Bosnian War Quotes

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Ne, nisu jučer ubili majku, srušili kuću. Ubili su, babo, moje djetinjstvo, mladost, snove, sav moj život.
Nura Bazdulj-Hubijar (Ljubav je Sihirbaz, Babo)
Never can that be told, for those who saw and lived through it have lost the gift of words and those who are dead can tell no tales. Those were things which are not told, but forgotten. Fore where they not forgotten, how could they ever be repeated?
Ivo Andrić (The Bridge on the Drina (Bosnian Trilogy, #1))
That war [Bosnian war] in the early 1990s changed a lot for me. I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstiutution of torture and rape as acts of policy. And I didn't expect so many of my comrades to be indifferent - or even take the side of the fascists. It was a time when many people on the left were saying 'Don't intervene, we'll only make things worse' or, 'Don't intervene, it might destabilise the region. And I thought - destabilisation of fascist regimes is a good thing. Why should the left care about the stability of undemocratic regimes? Wasn't it a good thing to destabilise the regime of General Franco? It was a time when the left was mostly taking the conservative, status quo position - leave the Balkans alone, leave Milosevic alone, do nothing. And that kind of conservatism can easily mutate into actual support for the aggressors. Weimar-style conservatism can easily mutate into National Socialism. So you had people like Noam Chomsky's co-author Ed Herman go from saying 'Do nothing in the Balkans', to actually supporting Milosevic, the most reactionary force in the region. That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favour of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. That seemed interesting to me. These people were saying that we had to act. Before, I had avoided them like the plague, especially because of what they said about General Sharon and about Nicaragua. But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans, or in strategic needs, and the people who tried to say that - like Chomsky - looked ridiculous. So now I was interested.
Christopher Hitchens
I realize that what happened in Bosnia could happen anywhere in the world, particularly in places that are diverse and have a history of conflict. It only takes bad leadership for a country to go up in flames, for people of different ethnicity, color, or religion to kill each other as if they had nothing in common whatsoever. Having a democratic constitution, laws that secure human rights, police that maintain order, a judicial system, and freedom of speech don't ultimately guarantee long lasting peace. If greedy or bloodthirsty leaders come to power, it can all go down. It happened to us. It can happen to you.
Savo Heleta (Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia)
Europe has another meaning for me. Every time I mention that word, I see the Bosnian family in front of me, living far away from whatever they call home and eating their own wonderful food because that's all that is left for them. The fact remains that after fifty years, it was possible to have another war in Europe; that it was possible to change borders; that genocide is still possible even today.
Slavenka Drakulić (Café Europa: Life After Communism)
....in Bosnia, mass rape was a policy of the war, systematically carried out, implicating neighbors, paramilitaries, soldiers.
Ausma Zehanat Khan (The Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #1))
All the characters in my book are fictional, but every single one of them was inspired by someone I knew and loved who didn't make it out. I wanted to bring them back to life and so, I wrote a book about them.
Sanela Ramic Jurich (Remember Me)
During the Bosnian war in the late 1990s, I spent several days traveling around the country with Susan Sontag and her son, my dear friend David Rieff. On one occasion, we made a special detour to the town of Zenica, where there was reported to be a serious infiltration of outside Muslim extremists: a charge that was often used to slander the Bosnian government of the time. We found very little evidence of that, but the community itself was much riven as between Muslim, Croat, and Serb. No faction was strong enough to predominate, each was strong enough to veto the other's candidate for the chairmanship of the city council. Eventually, and in a way that was characteristically Bosnian, all three parties called on one of the town's few Jews and asked him to assume the job. We called on him, and found that he was also the resident intellectual, with a natural gift for synthesizing matters. After we left him, Susan began to chortle in the car. 'What do you think?' she asked. 'Do you think that the only dentist and the only shrink in Zenica are Jewish also?' It would be dense to have pretended not to see her joke.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
...while hiding in plain sight in Belgrade, undercover as a New Age mountebank, Karadžić frequented a bar called Mad House - Luda kuća. Mad House offered weekly gusle-accompanied performances of Serbian epic poetry; wartime pictures of him and General Ratko Mladić, the Bosnian Serbs' military leader (now on trial in The Hague), proudly hung on the walls. A local newspaper claimed that, on at least one occasion, Karadžić performed an epic poem in which he himself featured as the main hero, undertaking feats of extermination. Consider the horrible postmodernism of the situation: an undercover war criminal narrating his own crimes in decasyllabic verse, erasing his personality so that he could assert it more forcefully and heroically.
Aleksandar Hemon (The Book of My Lives)
And not only our own particular past. For if we go on forgetting half of Europe’s history, some of what we know about mankind itself will be distorted. Every one of the twentieth-century’s mass tragedies was unique: the Gulag, the Holocaust, the Armenian massacre, the Nanking massacre, the Cultural Revolution, the Cambodian revolution, the Bosnian wars, among many others. Every one of these events had different historical, philosophical, and cultural origins, every one arose in particular local circumstances which will never be repeated. Only our ability to debase and destroy and dehumanize our fellow men has been—and will be—repeated again and again: our transformation of our neighbors into “enemies,” our reduction of our opponents to lice or vermin or poisonous weeds, our re-invention of our victims as lower, lesser, or evil beings, worthy only of incarceration or explusion or death. The more we are able to understand how different societies have transformed their neighbors and fellow citizens from people into objects, the more we know of the specific circumstances which led to each episode of mass torture and mass murder, the better we will understand the darker side of our own human nature. This book was not written “so that it will not happen again,” as the cliché would have it. This book was written because it almost certainly will happen again. Totalitarian philosophies have had, and will continue to have, a profound appeal to many millions of people. Destruction of the “objective enemy,” as Hannah Arendt once put it, remains a fundamental object of many dictatorships. We need to know why—and each story, each memoir, each document in the history of the Gulag is a piece of the puzzle, a part of the explanation. Without them, we will wake up one day and realize that we do not know who we are.
Anne Applebaum (Gulag)
My quarrel with Chomsky goes back to the Balkan wars of the 1990s, where he more or less openly represented the "Serbian Socialist Party" (actually the national-socialist and expansionist dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic) as the victim. Many of us are proud of having helped organize to prevent the slaughter and deportation of Europe's oldest and largest and most tolerant Muslim minority, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo. But at that time, when they were real, Chomsky wasn't apparently interested in Muslim grievances. He only became a voice for that when the Taliban and Al Qaeda needed to be represented in their turn as the victims of a "silent genocide" in Afghanistan. Let me put it like this, if a supposed scholar takes the Christian-Orthodox side when it is the aggressor, and then switches to taking the "Muslim" side when Muslims commit mass murder, I think that there is something very nasty going on. And yes, I don't think it is exaggerated to describe that nastiness as "anti-American" when the power that stops and punishes both aggressions is the United States.
Christopher Hitchens
In Sarajevo in 1992, while being shown around the starved, bombarded city by the incomparable John Burns, I experienced four near misses in all, three of them in the course of one day. I certainly thought that the Bosnian cause was worth fighting for and worth defending, but I could not take myself seriously enough to imagine that my own demise would have forwarded the cause. (I also discovered that a famous jaunty Churchillism had its limits: the old war-lover wrote in one of his more youthful reminiscences that there is nothing so exhilarating as being shot at without result. In my case, the experience of a whirring, whizzing horror just missing my ear was indeed briefly exciting, but on reflection made me want above all to get to the airport. Catching the plane out with a whole skin is the best part by far.) Or suppose I had been hit by that mortar that burst with an awful shriek so near to me, and turned into a Catherine wheel of body-parts and (even worse) body-ingredients? Once again, I was moved above all not by the thought that my death would 'count,' but that it would not count in the least.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Dünya, Saraybosna'yı -her ne kadar direnişin sembolü olarak hatırlanmasını tercih etsem de- acının sembolü olarak hatırlayacak.
Alija Izetbegović (Konuşmalar)
If the international community is not ready to defend the principles which it itself has proclaimed as its foundations, let it say so openly, both to the people of Bosnia and to the people of the world. Let it proclaim a new code of behavior in which force will be the first and the last argument.
Alija Izetbegović
The streets were empty, the courtyards and gardens as if dead. In the Turkish houses depression and confusion reigned, in the Christian houses caution and distrust. But everywhere and for everyone there was fear. The entering Austrians feared an ambush. The Turks feared the Austrians. The Serbs feared both Austrians and Turks. The Jews feared everything and everyone since, especially in times of war, everyone was stronger than they.
Ivo Andrić (The Bridge on the Drina (Bosnian Trilogy, #1))
Bosnia's war had its visual hallmarks. Parks that were turned into cemeteries, refugee families piled onto horse-drawn carts, stop-or-die checkpoints with mines across the road. The most hideous hallmark of all was the blackened patch of ground in the center of town. It always meant the same thing, a destroyed mosque. The goal of ethnic cleansing was not simply to get rid of Muslims; it was to destroy all traces that they had ever lived in Bosnia. The goal was to kill history. If you want to do that, then you must rip out history's heart, which in the case of Bosnia's Muslim community meant the destruction of its mosques. Once that was done, you could reinvent the past in whatever distorted form you wanted, like Frankenstein. p. 85
Peter Maass (Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War)
Children lost their arms, legs, and eyes While foreign governments fed us blatant lies Bodies laid on the street, frozen to death While some foreign teenagers took crystal meth
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
My father was shot in his ankle by a Chetnik And my mother was 2 inches away from death I could have easily become an orphan And suffered endlessly until my last breath
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
We were trapped, we were completely caged Some of my mother’s good friends were raped This is what went on while war and genocide raged Our dignity, identity, and layers of skin were scraped
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I am a lawyer, and for me it is very sad to say that there is now law here. There are weapons rather than law. What did Mao say? Power comes out of the barrel of a gun. It's very true. The situation is decadent. A lot of Serbs think this is leading us nowhere but they feel powerless. How many disagree? I don't know. Perhaps thirty percent disagree, but most of them are frightened and quiet. Perhaps sixty percent agree or are confused enough to go along. They are led by the ten percent who have the guns and who have control of the television towers. That's all they need.' p. 107
Peter Maass (Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War)
The neo-cons, or some of them, decided that they would back Clinton when he belatedly decided for Bosnia and Kosovo against Milosevic, and this even though they loathed Clinton, because the battle against religious and ethnic dictatorship in the Balkans took precedence. This, by the way, was partly a battle to save Muslims from Catholic and Christian Orthodox killers. That impressed me. The neo-cons also took the view, quite early on, that coexistence with Saddam Hussein was impossible as well as undesirable. They were dead right about that. They had furthermore been thinking about the menace of jihadism when most people were half-asleep. And then I have to say that I was rather struck by the way that the Weekly Standard and its associated voices took the decision to get rid of Trent Lott earlier this year, thus removing an embarrassment as well as a disgrace from the political scene. And their arguments were on points of principle, not 'perception.' I liked their ruthlessness here, and their seriousness, at a time when much of the liberal Left is not even seriously wrong, but frivolously wrong, and babbles without any sense of responsibility. (I mean, have you read their sub-Brechtian stuff on Halliburton....?) And revolution from above, in some states and cases, is—as I wrote in my book A Long Short War—often preferable to the status quo, or to no revolution at all.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
The Siege of Sarajevo, the longest city siege in the history of modern warfare, stretched from April 5, 1992, to February 29, 1996. The United Nations estimates that approximately 10,000 people were killed and 56,000 wounded. An average of 329 shells hit the city each day, with a one-day high of 3,777 on July 22, 1993. In a city of roughly half a million people, 10,000 apartments were destroyed, and 100,000 were damaged. Twenty-three percent of all buildings were seriously damaged, and a further 64 percent partially. As of October 2007 the leaders of the Bosnian Serb Army, Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, are still at large, despite having been charged in 1996 with war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslovia in The Hague
Steven Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo)
I barely escaped Sarajevo in one piece Chetniks looked directly at my mother They were eager to kill us like mice She saw their evil eyes, as cold as ice They wanted to ensure our extinction They wanted to plan our demise But despite their ammunition We were strategic, clever, and wise Imagine being in a situation like that What would you do? What would you think? How would you deal with the intensity Of being afraid to even blink? Think about people that matter to you most What if they became like a distant ghost? What if all your friends, family, and favorite things Suddenly became birds with clipped wings?
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Peacekeeping is a soldier-intensive business in which the quality of troops matters as much as the quantity. It is not just soldiering under a different color helmet; it differs in kind from anything else soldiers do. The are medals and rewards (mainly, the satisfaction of saving lives), but there are also casualties. And no victories. It is not a risk -free enterprise. In Bosnia, mines, snipers, mountainous terrain, extreme weather conditions, and possible civil disturbances were major threats that had to be dealt with from the outset of the operation. Dag Hammarskjold once remarked, "Peacekeeping is a job not suited to soldiers, but a job only soldiers can do." Humanitarianism conflicts with peacekeeping and still more with peace enforcement. The threat of force, if it is to be effective, will sooner or later involve the use of force. For example, the same UN soldiers in Bosnia under a different command and mandate essentially turned belligerence into compliance over night, demonstrating that a credible threat of force can yield results. Unlike, UNPROFOR, the NATO-led Implementation Force was a military success and helped bring stability to the region and to provide an "environment of hope" in which a nation can be reborn. It is now up to a complex array of international civil agencies to assist in putting in place lasting structures for democratic government and the will of the international community to ensure a lasting peace.
Larry Wentz
A few years back, I had a long session with a psychiatrist who was conducting a study on post-traumatic stress disorder and its effects on reporters working in war zones. At one point, he asked me: “How many bodies have you seen in your lifetime?” Without thinking for too long, I replied: “I’m not sure exactly. I've seen quite a few mass graves in Africa and Bosnia, and I saw a well crammed full of corpses in East Timor, oh and then there was Rwanda and Goma...” After a short pause, he said to me calmly: “Do you think that's a normal response to that question?” He was right. It wasn't a normal response. Over the course of their lifetime, most people see the bodies of their parents, maybe their grandparents at a push. Nobody else would have responded to that question like I did. Apart from my fellow war reporters, of course. When I met Marco Lupis nearly twenty years ago, in September 1999, we were stood watching (fighting the natural urge to divert our gaze) as pale, maggot-ridden corpses, decomposed beyond recognition, were being dragged out of the well in East Timor. Naked bodies shorn of all dignity. When Marco wrote to ask me to write the foreword to this book and relive the experiences we shared together in Dili, I agreed without giving it a second thought because I understood that he too was struggling for normal responses. That he was hoping he would find some by writing this book. While reading it, I could see that Marco shares my obsession with understanding the world, my compulsion to recount the horrors I have seen and witnessed, and my need to overcome them and leave them behind. He wants to bring sense to the apparently senseless. Books like this are important. Books written by people who have done jobs like ours. It's not just about conveying - be it in the papers, on TV or on the radio - the atrocities committed by the very worst of humankind as they are happening; it’s about ensuring these atrocities are never forgotten. Because all too often, unforgivably, the people responsible go unpunished. And the thing they rely on most for their impunity is that, with the passing of time, people simply forget. There is a steady flow of information as we are bombarded every day with news of the latest massacre, terrorist attack or humanitarian crisis. The things that moved or outraged us yesterday are soon forgotten, washed away by today's tidal wave of fresh events. Instead they become a part of history, and as such should not be forgotten so quickly. When I read Marco's book, I discovered that the people who murdered our colleague Sander Thoenes in Dili, while he was simply doing his job like the rest of us, are still at large to this day. I read the thoughts and hopes of Ingrid Betancourt just twenty-four hours before she was abducted and taken to the depths of the Colombian jungle, where she would remain captive for six long years. I read that we know little or nothing about those responsible for the Cambodian genocide, whose millions of victims remain to this day without peace or justice. I learned these things because the written word cannot be destroyed. A written account of abuse, terror, violence or murder can be used to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, even though this can be an extremely drawn-out process during and after times of war. It still torments me, for example, that so many Bosnian women who were raped have never got justice and every day face the prospect of their assailants passing them on the street. But if I follow in Marco's footsteps and write down the things I have witnessed in a book, people will no longer be able to plead ignorance. That is why we need books like this one.
Janine Di Giovanni
Dehumanization has fueled innumerable acts of violence, human rights violations, war crimes, and genocides. It makes slavery, torture, and human trafficking possible. Dehumanizing others is the process by which we become accepting of violations against human nature, the human spirit, and, for many of us, violations against the central tenets of our faith. How does this happen? Maiese explains that most of us believe that people’s basic human rights should not be violated—that crimes like murder, rape, and torture are wrong. Successful dehumanizing, however, creates moral exclusion. Groups targeted based on their identity—gender, ideology, skin color, ethnicity, religion, age—are depicted as “less than” or criminal or even evil. The targeted group eventually falls out of the scope of who is naturally protected by our moral code. This is moral exclusion, and dehumanization is at its core. Dehumanizing always starts with language, often followed by images. We see this throughout history. During the Holocaust, Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen—subhuman. They called Jews rats and depicted them as disease-carrying rodents in everything from military pamphlets to children’s books. Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Indigenous people are often referred to as savages. Serbs called Bosnians aliens. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals. I know it’s hard to believe that we ourselves could ever get to a place where we would exclude people from equal moral treatment, from our basic moral values, but we’re fighting biology here. We’re hardwired to believe what we see and to attach meaning to the words we hear. We can’t pretend that every citizen who participated in or was a bystander to human atrocities was a violent psychopath. That’s not possible, it’s not true, and it misses the point. The point is that we are all vulnerable to the slow and insidious practice of dehumanizing, therefore we are all responsible for recognizing it and stopping it. THE COURAGE TO EMBRACE OUR HUMANITY Because so many time-worn systems of power have placed certain people outside the realm of what we see as human, much of our work now is more a matter of “rehumanizing.” That starts in the same place dehumanizing starts—with words and images. Today we are edging closer and closer to a world where political and ideological discourse has become
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
in 1994 Oman was approached by the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, to discuss a special need. Karadzic, currently on trial for war crimes including the Srebrenica genocide, wanted to acquire something that would fundamentally alter the conduct of the Balkans conflict: a weapon of mass destruction.64 Karadzic believed that Oman could use his connections in the Russian military to deliver a so-called ‘vakuum’ or elipton bomb. The device, roughly suitcase size with a kiloton payload powered by nuclear material – either red mercury or osmium – was known to be immensely powerful.
Andrew Feinstein (The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade)
Several dozen Britons, most of them former British army or police officers (by mid-March 1948 some 23o British soldiers and thirty policemen had deserted),32 also served in Palestinian Arab ranks,-3-3 as did some volunteers from Yugoslavia and Germany. The Yugoslavs, possibly in their dozens, were both Christians, formerly members of pro-Axis Fascist groups, and Bosnian Muslims;-3' the handful of Germans were former Nazi intelligence, Wehrmacht, and SS officers.35
Benny Morris (1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War)
i wish i could see stars shining magnificently,birds flying in the limitless sky,sunset reflect in the blue sea,beautiful rivers running free and streets full of kids playing games with their gorgeous smiles.
Kadir Kasabov
Soon we were at Camp Eagle, a U.S. military base near Tuzla in Bosnia. The Tuzla airstrip was in constant use, sending planes to bomb the Taliban. As I talked to the service members there, I learned that before Camp Eagle had mostly been a peacekeeping mission to keep the Bosnian War from being reignited. They talked about having to be careful of landmines left behind. “I’m staying put with you guys then,” I said. I was mortified that before I came there, I had never even heard of Bosnia, and certainly didn’t know that American troops were there. When I’d reached out to the USO to volunteer to perform for service members, I’d had a vision of these sorts of big brothers and sisters in the military coming in to save the day. I was gonna put on this big show for them, high-octane with lots of red, white, and blue peekaboo clothes that I felt I had to wear for them. I even had a bikini top made from parachute material to go with army pants. But when I met actual service members, I wasn’t prepared for them to be so young. They were all my age or even younger. I did “God Bless America” as my last song at each stop, a capella, and Bosnia is where things changed. It was right at that first “stand beside her and guide her.” These men and women started to sing along with me, and I noticed they were just bawling their eyes out, so of course I did, too, and I knew that this was more than a song. It was a prayer. They just wanted to be with the people they loved, in the prairies, the mountains, and, yes, the rivers. I was so privileged to share in that moment. I have done a lot of singing at bases and aircraft carriers since, and every time I do “God Bless America,” I ask everyone to sing along. “I don’t care if you think you can’t sing,” I say. “I want to hear you.
Jessica Simpson (Open Book)
In May 1941, when the German army overran and split up Yugoslavia, the pre-war terrorist-nationalist Ustaša and its longtime leader Ante Pavelić were permitted to take power in the newly independent state of Croatia. Even Nazi onlookers were appalled by the disorderly slaughters in which the Ustaša massacred a soberly estimated 500,000 Serbs, 200,000 Croats, 90,000 Bosnian Muslims, 60,000 Jews, 50,000 Montenegrins, and 30,000 Slovenes.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
Until the war had broken out, there had been some sort of order in the strange and complex mixture of the four disparate peoples crowded into the little valley, all calling themselves Bosnians. They celebrated separate holidays, ate different foods, feasted and fasted on different days, yet all depended on one another, but never admitted it. They had lived amidst an ever present, if dormant, mixture of hatred and love for each other. The Muslims with their Ramadan, the Jews with Passover, the Catholics with Christmas, and the Serbs with their Slavas- each of them tacitly tolerated and recognised the customs and existence of others. With suckling pigs turned on spits in Serbian houses, giving off a mouth-watering fragrance, kosher food would be eaten in Jewish homes, and in Muslim households, meals were cooked in suet. There was a certain harmony in all this, even if there was no actual mixing. The aromas had long ago adjusted to one another and had given the city its distinctive flavor. Everything was "as God willed it." But it was necessary to remove only one piece of that carefully balanced mosaic and that whole picture would fall into its component parts which would then, rejoined in an unthinkable manner, create hostile and incompatible entities. ‏Like a hammer, the war had knocked out one piece, disrupting the equilibrium.
Gordana Kuić (Miris kiše na Balkanu)
Until the war had broken out, there had been some sort of order in the strange and complex mixture of the four disparate peoples crowded into the little valley, all calling themselves Bosnians. They celebrated separate holidays, ate different foods, feasted and fasted on different days, yet all depended on one another, but never admitted it. They had lived amidst an ever present, if dormant, mixture of hatred and love for each other. The Muslims with their Ramadan, the Jews with Passover, the Catholics with Christmas, and the Serbs with their Slavas- each of them tacitly tolerated and recognised the customs and existence of others. With suckling pigs turned on spits in Serbian houses, giving off a mouth-watering fragrance, kosher food would be eaten in Jewish homes, and in Muslim households, meals were cooked in suet. There was a certain harmony in all this, even if there was no actual mixing. The aromas had long ago adjusted to one another and had given the city its distinctive flavor. Everything was "as God willed it." But it was necessary to remove only one piece of that carefully balanced mosaic and that whole picture would fall into its component parts which would then, rejoined in an unthinkable manner, create hostile and incompatible entities. ‏Like a hammer, the war had knocked out one piece, disrupting the equilibrium. Wartime turned differences into outright hatred and instead of blaming the foreign enemy for all their hardships, people blamed their nearest neighbours, which, in turn, represented an invaluable favour to the true enemy of all.
Gordana Kuić (Miris kiše na Balkanu)
Saudi Arabia continued its policy of supporting jihad and spreading Wahhabism with Koran and Kalashnikov to the war's end and beyond. By the time the guns fell silent, Riyadh had lavished the Bosnian jihad with well over a billion dollars in aid, much of which went to fund the holy warriors.
John R. Schindler (Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad)
It was only in the 1990s, in Bosnia, that "the Che Guevara of Islam"43 really came into his own, developing al-Qa'ida into the flexible, well-funded multinational jihadi organization it became. It was the Bosnian civil war that transformed bin Laden and his cadres into the backbone of the mujahidin worldwide.
John R. Schindler (Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad)
The SDA's vision of an Islamic mini-state carved from central Bosnia bore strong resemblance to the plans of Bosnian Islamists during World War II, who desired satellite status under the Third Reich; the later concept was much the same but under American protection: a Balkan Islamistan subject to Holbrooke rather than Himmler.
John R. Schindler (Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad)
Although Mrs Albright stopped calling for further air strikes she still lamely insisted that the UN Sec General should consider cost of backing down in the face of Bosnian Serbs.
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
Smith proposed not to use air power, but to employ an ad hoc group to open Mount Igman road into Sarajevo. This was the last attempt (in Split) he made to come out on top in the face-off with the Bosnian Serbs. Again, Janvier rejected his proposal....."We are a peacekeeping mission. We do not have the option of going to war. We are not authorized to do so. It is not our mandate
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
While the US stumped for the Bosnians, Russians defended the interests of Milošević (as distinct from the Bosnian Serb leader) and Germans supported Croats. .....Srebrenica itself was indefensible as Izetbegović admitted to a senior UN official 22 Sep 1994. ....Silajdžić indicated that if the Serbs traded Sarajevo for the enclaves he would be prepared to go to Srebrenica and explain to the people that they had to leave. ....The envoy said Izetbegović was ready to discuss a trade-off of the eastern enclaves for Sarajevo on the condition that Milošević was prepared to recognize BiH. Although the Bosnian government and Western gov all privately admitted that ultimately Srebrenica and Žepa would go to the Serbs, no government was prepared to be seen publicly making territorial deals with the Serbs. After all, would not such a move be perceived as a rewarding of the ethnic cleansing and aggression? Dilemma was especially acute for countries where public opinion was strongly anti-Serbian - post pointedly the US, Germany and NL. .... Clinton administration in particular did not want to be publicly associated with any diplomatic proposal that ceded the enclaves to the Serbs.
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
Having publicly made a clear distinction between aggressors - the Serbs and victims - the Bosnians - from the moment they took office, they had stuck to this line ever since. Their credibility would be in doubt and their reputations damaged if they were not to give public approval to a territorial swap involving eastern enclaves.
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
Back in Washington Frasureˇs delicate diplomacy was supported by his direct superior flamboyant Assistant Secretary of State R.H. To Vice-President Al Gore, Secretary of State Christopher, Ambassador Albright and Leon Fuerth, Gores representative on the National Security Council, any lifting of sanctions against the Serbs would be anathema. They still believed that Serbs had to be punished not wooed. ......Frasure gave this account of talks with Milošević: ...look at him like this....he is a Mafia boss who has gotten tired of doing drugs in South Bronx and so he is planning on moving to Palm Beach and getting into junk bonds. ....... Milošević was not prepared to see the Bosnian Serbs getting defeated militarily, he was very keen on preventing Karadžić from becoming "King of all Serbs"........The moment in which the parties would substitute politics with force was approaching fast.
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
Muslims in general were aware of the fate that awaited them. Their desparate attempt, en masse to break through Bosnian Serb lines from the night of 11-12 July onwards reflected this. Very few politicians and soldiers ever questioned this premise of impartiality. Few accepted that one could force such an obstreperous party into allowing convoys through and still remain impartial. General Janvier in particular has unjustly been much maligned. He is often blamed for loosing Srebrenica because he did not authorize massive air strikes.
Jan Willem Honig (Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime)
Who wouldn't go fight when-according to Milosevic-they are killing Serbs here like flies. Here, the Serbian people is fighting for its survival. True, in the struggle to save their own skin, the Serbs have obliterated one Bosnian town after another. Defending their age-old hearths, they have conquered seventy percent of this country's territory. In order to save ourselves from this imaginary danger, we have made a dozen concentration camps for Muslims all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nothing short of a magic wand will erase the poison that Milosevic poured into the heads of the Orthodox people in the Balkans. And the dose is big enough to take us all down by collective suicide.
Zlatko Dizdarević (Portraits of Sarajevo)
I'd keep it [Kevlar vest] with me in my vehicle, but I wouldn't bring it into people's homes. Surrounded by Bosnians who didn't have protection, I felt that it was inappropriate for me to stay sealed off. I wanted them to tell me their stories, risk exposing themselves to me. I couldn't ask that of someone if I wasn't willing to expose myself as well.
Anderson Cooper (Dispatches From The Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival)
My grandmother was almost shot dead Snipers proudly aimed right for her head The world watched us lay in our own blood As Serbian forces threw our bodies in the mud They chopped off heads of Bosnian children And thrust them directly onto a knife So that their mothers felt the unbearable pain Of having lost the meaning to their life
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
My grandmother was almost shot dead Snipers proudly aimed right for her head The world watched us lay in our own blood As Serbian forces threw our bodies in the mud They chopped off heads of Bosnian children And thrust them directly onto a knife So that their mothers felt the unbearable pain Of having lost the meaning to their life
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
These are the voices of Sarajevo This is the price of nationalism and fear These are the voices of Sarajevo Bosnians lost everything they held dear
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Please remember the heroes of the Bosnian War Like Izet Nanić, Safet Hadžić, and Mehdin Hodžić Who bravely ventured into situations that were unknown Risking their safety in the middle of a war zone Sing this powerful song for everyone to hear Sing so that the stories of Bosnians are clear and loud Pound your fists on the table and declare That justice must be firm, strong, and proud!
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The three-finger salute was flashed by Serbs To signify their hatred and nationalistic pride They shot at us repeatedly until we died We cried over and over again, we couldn’t even hide
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Why were so many painful tears shed? Why were so many babies not fed? Why did Serbs have to throw darts? Why were Bosnian bodies torn into parts?
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
For some, their childhood began in World War II And old age ended with the Bosnian War They tried to run from their horrible past They wanted their heartache to pass by fast
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
We were trapped, we were completely caged Some of my mother’s good friends were raped This is what went on while war and genocide raged Our dignity, identity, and layers of skin were scraped
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Countless people were traumatized beyond belief They were just looking for a way to escape From the mountains of intense sorrow and grief So that their suffering would become brief
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Bosnia and Herzegovina went through hell Terror and evil ruthlessly charged through As snipers shot at heads and grenades fell The lives of Bosnians took on a dark view
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I’m not strong enough for this.’ Egon’s words are thin and strained. ‘My talent will be entirely wasted. And for what? So I can die in some god-forsaken country, fighting a war I don’t believe in? I’ve seen them! Injured soldiers, poor young bastards from all kinds of backgrounds – Czechs, Magyars, Bosnians, Slovaks. They’ve been shipped off in their thousands,
Sophie Haydock (The Flames)
They did not have the privilege to express themselves publicly like other social groups. People should not be allowed to disrespect marginalized communities like Bosniaks. I had to face a constant stream of bullies and haters who tried to destroy my success and contributions. Bosniaks like me encountered heartache, considerable hurdles, and pain as a product of the Bosnian War and its aftermath. If they tried to succeed or make a mark, Bosniaks dealt with people who were jealous of what they achieved. Furthermore, these people were fully aware that Bosniaks escaped the Bosnian Genocide. That fact did not stop them from being cruel and sadistic.
Aida Mandic
Children were forced to translate English to their parents. Their parents had no one to help them understand English. Bosnian children also drove parents to places like work, stores, doctor’s appointments, etc. because of their physical handicaps. Due to a lack of understanding English, their parents could not get a driver’s license. Imagine barely escaping a genocide, going to a foreign country, leaving everything you own behind, having memories of war and murdered family members, your identity practically destroyed, and then having to figure out where grocery stores, department stores, and malls are in an alien culture. Essentially, they did not have resources and access to information that was trivially available to other people around them.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I have personally encountered several Bosnians who shared very negative experiences. Other employees would spew hateful and toxic comments intended to devalue them. They could not tolerate the thought of immigrants and refugees getting bigger paychecks. Many complaints were that Bosnians were easy targets for harassment. Those who harassed them could not pick on people from dominant, powerful, and wealthy socioeconomic classes.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I recall a few incidents from when I was a little girl in America, of Bosnian boys that I personally knew being mercilessly beat up and having their eyes gouged out by individuals of other social groups. This happened simply because Bosnians were “outsiders” and “unwelcome” in their territory.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
It was a common occurrence for Bosnian boys and girls to be physically assaulted. Those social groups lived in the same area for a long time. Bosnians had to fend for themselves because they were often the only Bosnians in that region. This gave a sense of power to the other social groups, but weakened the courage and hope of Bosnians who had to endure such injustice. It was unnecessary, hurtful, intense, painful, hateful, stressful, and pure evil. I am disgusted by those who seek to degrade marginalized, traumatized, and oppressed people.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Another theme among Bosnians is that they sometimes avoid speaking to each other because they do not want to talk about the war and how it dramatically affected the quality of their lives. There are so many open wounds, memories, and scars that have directly caused Bosnians to battle with suicidal thoughts and depression. They feel that their entire personality has been destroyed. These thinking patterns have led them to believe that they are “damaged goods”.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
One memory stands out in my mind more than the others. My heart breaks from overwhelming angst each time I sadly recall a Bosniak boy I knew. He was a severe drug addict and killed himself because of the trauma of his mother being raped and killed in the Bosnian War. He had no real support system and people he encountered did not show an ounce of compassion or support for him. Situations like this were all too common for Bosniaks in particular because so many Bosniak women were raped during the course of the war. I have a personal connection to this terror because some of my mother’s friends were also raped during the Bosnian War.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I stand by the mothers of Srebrenica I know that Chetniks are a violent herd I think that the entire world should know that Serbs tried to ensure the truth was blurred
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I stand by the mothers of Srebrenica I know that Chetniks are a violent herd I think that the entire world should know that Serbs tried to ensure the truth was blurred
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I stand by the mothers of Srebrenica I know that Chetniks are a violent herd I think that the entire world should know that Serbs tried to ensure the truth was blurred
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I’m sick of the oppression, constant trauma, and despair I’m sick of seeing innocent people have to live in fear Being heroic needs to become common, not something rare Otherwise war, genocide, and hate will always be near
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Nura Alispahić, the mother of Azmir, had her entire family killed Her husband (Alija) and her two sons (Admir and Azmir) are all gone In addition to her brother, 12 of her nephews, and five brother-in-laws Everyone was wiped out from the face of the Earth, their destiny was drawn In addition to all of the hell that she went through Nura’s daughter died after the Bosnian War because of intense grief Why do Serbs get to do whatever they want to Bosniaks? But then receive prison sentences that are very brief?
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serbs murdered Safet Fejzić, Azmir Alispahić, Sidik Salkić As well as Smajil Ibrahimović, Dino Salihović, and Juso Delić These killers called themselves the Scorpions to display power They thought they were gods, that they ruled society’s tower
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
There is a video online that shows the brutality of this crime How a Serbian Orthodox priest blessed them to show support These Serbs were so confident that Chetniks would win the war They thought that they would never see the inside of a court The cameraman of the Scorpions massacre video was disappointed Because the camera’s battery was almost out Can you imagine the level of evil that lived inside them? This is why good people have to fight against such scum
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serbs murdered Safet Fejzić, Azmir Alispahić, Sidik Salkić As well as Smajil Ibrahimović, Dino Salihović, and Juso Delić These killers called themselves the Scorpions to display power They thought they were gods, that they ruled society’s tower There is a video online that shows the brutality of this crime How a Serbian Orthodox priest blessed them to show support These Serbs were so confident that Chetniks would win the war They thought that they would never see the inside of a court The cameraman of the Scorpions massacre video was disappointed Because the camera’s battery was almost out Can you imagine the level of evil that lived inside them? This is why good people have to fight against such scum
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The organization of Human Rights Watch spoke the truth About how the Serbian Radical Party launched a campaign Intended to undermine the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide and crime By spinning stories which degraded Bosniaks, Chetniks are such slime
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serb leaders refuse to admit that genocide Is what happened to Bosniaks in Srebrenica Tomislav Nikolić, Dodik, Šešelj, Dačić, and Vulin are an evil crew That call the genocide in Srebrenica untrue
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serb leaders refuse to admit that genocide Is what happened to Bosniaks in Srebrenica Tomislav Nikolić, Dodik, Šešelj, Dačić, and Vulin are an evil crew That call the genocide in Srebrenica untrue
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
More than eight thousand Bosniak men and boys Were slaughtered mercilessly by Serbs in Srebrenica Who wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina’s land Who murdered in cold blood, it was all planned Mass graves were found on every single corner Because torture is how Chetniks spend their time They wanted to display their dominance over us And commit acts against humanity, their favorite crime
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The United Nations lied directly to our face They said that Srebrenica was a safe zone But clearly they did not protect us at all Judging by the number of bodies and bone
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Graffiti showed the text of a Dutchbat UN soldier Who said that Bosnian women had no teeth He thought they smelled like shit and had mustaches, too It seemed that evil took over and shared its view
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
A member of the Red Berets spoke openly About how starving Bosniaks in Srebrenica Was like a cat and mouse game to play It was how nationalism continued to slay Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Karremans and General Ratko Mladić Were seen drinking a toast together to celebrate All of the innocent lives that were destroyed All of the Bosniak heads that were on a plate
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Mladen Grujičić became the Mayor of Srebrenica He is an ethnic Serb that spreads vicious poison He said that genocide never happened there Why is there no justice for Bosniaks? This is unfair!
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Miloš Milovanović, a former commander of the Serbian Guard Who represents the Serbian Democratic Party in Srebrenica Stated that the entire Srebrenica massacre was a lie He called it propaganda, as if Bosniak people didn’t die
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
People were lit on fire, little girls were raped Pregnant women had their stomachs stabbed This is how Chetnik minds were shaped This is how they ensured our mouths were taped
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
In another such instance I witnessed a classmate ruthlessly declare to my entire class, “All Bosnians should have been killed in the war”. He was an Albanian Catholic who openly supported Serbs, hatred of Muslims, and genocide. He also enjoyed pointing out that my father was a “weakling” next to his father because my father worked as a security guard (despite having a college degree) while his father worked for a reputable company and made more money despite not having any education. He wanted to emphasize how much more powerful he and his family were than me and my family.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Furthermore, parents of these bullies also bullied Bosniak children by hitting Bosniaks with their purses (and other personal belongings) as they walked by them. These parents shoved into the shoulders of Bosniak children to make them suffer. Despite such tragic events, Bosnians face Serbian Chetniks and nationalistic Croats who publicly declare that they want to commit another genocide.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I encourage readers to get informed and expand their perspective on war and global events. My life has been profoundly affected by the Bosnian War and genocide. I have made it my life mission to spread awareness about the excruciating impact it had on the lives of millions of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Bosnians. My goal is to honor Bosnian people who were raped, tortured, and murdered from senseless violence. Bosnians have literally gone through every form of degradation from Serbs. They were beaten, harassed, discriminated against, threatened, thrown out of their homes, dismissed from workplaces, had their properties robbed, and had their businesses bombed. In addition, Serbs took passports, driver’s licenses, jewelry (among other valuable items), and money from Bosnian families. Religious institutions were completely obliterated. Villages were raided, pillaged, and burned.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I encourage readers to get informed and expand their perspective on war and global events. My life has been profoundly affected by the Bosnian War and genocide. I have made it my life mission to spread awareness about the excruciating impact it had on the lives of millions of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Bosnians. My goal is to honor Bosnian people who were raped, tortured, and murdered from senseless violence. Bosnians have literally gone through every form of degradation from Serbs. They were beaten, harassed, discriminated against, threatened, thrown out of their homes, dismissed from workplaces, had their properties robbed, and had their businesses bombed. In addition, Serbs took passports, driver’s licenses, jewelry (among other valuable items), and money from Bosnian families. Religious institutions were completely obliterated. Villages were raided, pillaged, and burned.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serbs frequently used hammers, crowbars, rifles, and kitchen knives to inflict maximum damage on innocent civilians. People had their faces carved out by knives. Even Serb children engaged in beatings and murders of Bosnian citizens.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I think that it is important for everyone to understand the brutality of the Bosnian War. The Army of Republika Srpska (VRS, operated by Serbian Chetniks), The Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA, who transferred from their army and into the Army of Republika Srpska), The Croatian Army (HV), and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) committed genocide against Bosnians, the majority of them being Bosniaks. Political parties that supported Croatian and Serbian nationalism included the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS). 90 percent of war crimes were committed by Serb forces while Croats were responsible for 6 percent of war crimes.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Paramilitary units that operated during the Bosnian War included the Serb “White Eagles” (Beli Orlovi) and the “Serb Volunteer Guard” also known as “Arkan’s Tigers” (commanded by Željko “Arkan” Ražnatović, a notorious Serb war criminal). They slit throats of babies and children in front of their parents. Afterwards, the Serb soldiers laughed. The Serbs would take the bloody bodies of the children and put them into the laps of their parents. Children’s heads were thrust onto knives and shown to Bosnians to traumatize them as much as possible.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Serbs also stabbed pregnant Bosniak women in the stomach, cut them open, took babies out of their stomach, and then beat those babies to death in front of everyone. Any Bosnian who survived torture would be forced to sing Serbian songs and then was shot. It was common to cut open Bosnian people from their throat to their stomach. Bosniaks were called “Balija” and “Turks” (derogatory terms for Muslims) by Serbs.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
More than 100,000 Bosnians were killed during the war. More than 2.2 million people were displaced. There were more than 677 detention centers and concentration camps where Bosniaks and Bosnians were subjected to agonizing, inhumane, excruciating, and horrifying war crimes and conditions by the Serb forces. Several of these camps held thousands of prisoners. Intellectuals, in particular, were targeted because they are the backbone of society. They drive progress and initiate changes that benefit everyone around them. That is why the Serb forces sought to eliminate critical thinkers so they could conquer Bosnian culture more effectively. More books, movies, TV shows, and songs should discuss the Bosnian Genocide and its effect on Bosnian culture.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Compassion for the victims of the Bosnian Genocide can only be properly developed if people have an accurate understanding of what sorts of experiences someone has gone through. This leads them to realize the gravity of the situation. Please take a moment of silence and read about the atrocities that were committed towards innocent Bosniaks and Bosnians during this war. There is no other place for Bosnians to go but up because to say that we went through hell would be a massive understatement.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
May the innocent people who died on the bloody soil of Bosnia and Herzegovina be forever remembered. May the voices of Sarajevo be heard throughout the world. May the mothers of Srebrenica (where 8,372 Bosniak men and boys were killed in cold blood) know that justice and truth is on their side. The forces of good and evil will always exist. The conflict between them shows the contradictions that live in human nature. We must ensure that love conquers hate.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Around 50,000 Bosniak women and girls were raped in the Bosnian War. Some of them were systematically abused and raped in special rape camps. Bosniak women often became pregnant and gave birth to children from rape. Serbs stated that they wanted to “plant Serb seeds” in the wombs of Bosniak women so that the Serbs could gain domination over the region and infiltrate as well as destroy Bosnian culture. Children that were born out of rape were unwanted, lost, and nameless. They often did not know their true identity or family origin. Bosniaks were brutally attacked by Serb forces because Serbs wanted the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Serbs fought to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the region. This was due to the desire for Bosnian territory as well as religious and ethnic hatred. The extent of the suffering endured by Bosniaks has not been realized to this day. There are Bosniaks that still live in debilitating conditions, extreme poverty, and makeshift refugee tents. Furthermore, some Bosniak rape victims are forced to live next door to their rapists (as they have nowhere else to go) and see them on a daily basis. The level of horrifying injustice is deeply disturbing.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Around two million land mines and unexploded munitions were still littered around Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war. Some of these munitions exist to this day and people frequently lose their lives to them. Bosniaks have lost entire families and generations to the consequences of the evil acts perpetrated by the Serb forces. Prominent individuals have vividly described concentration camps of the Bosnian Genocide as an echo of Auschwitz. In addition to the terror of the Bosnian Genocide, Bosniaks and Bosnians have dealt with intense discrimination, obstacles, hardships, multiple types of stress, trauma, and harassment as refugees and immigrants in foreign countries.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Their university degrees were not accepted. They did not receive the jobs they had prior to the war, often working in dead-end and underpaid positions while barely trying to make ends meet. They called themselves “invisible” due to either being unable to work because of war injuries or having jobs which they were overqualified to do. At work, they were treated like second-class citizens and had to endure hardship because of their socioeconomic status.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Harassers chose Bosnians because they could not retaliate and had lower socioeconomic power. Bosnians had no one to turn to for support or to get their job back if they lost it. Other employees would turn on Bosnians to ensure their failure. Those employees frequently projected their own personal frustrations upon Bosnians and worsened their suffering. It was impossible to do this with other privileged and powerful social groups as they feared retaliation.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
These crises (in addition to trauma endured during the war) led to identity issues, anger, depression, anxiety, physical illness, sleep and dream disturbance, neurological disorders, post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addictive behaviors, eating disorders, attachment issues in personal and familial relationships, developmental delay, phobias, aggression, fear, gender dysphoria, self-harm, learning difficulties and disabilities, psychosomatic disorders, psychosis, and resentment for everything that they endured.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Bosnian Americans are a minority even though they are of European origin and have white skin. They have been systematically oppressed for a very long time by those who support Serbian and Croatian nationalism. They are not formally accepted as a minority, but I think that their horrifying conditions qualify them to be one. Bosnians have not received any “white privilege” and this is particularly true for Bosniaks. I had classmates attack me for being a Muslim. I faced severe xenophobia and Islamophobia. My classmates had the audacity to scream that I would bomb their house.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
They went as far as to call me a “terrorist” even though the irony was that they were terrorizing, degrading, and harassing me on a daily basis. They would fake being “afraid” of me and Muslims, but treated me with ferocious hatred and vicious hostility. Their two-faced approach was sickening and a manipulative tactic to avoid getting punished for their evil acts.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)