Brkic on Srebenica

Here’s an Op-Ed piece in the Times by Courtney Angela Brkic, on the revisionist trends still current in Serbia:

For years Belgrade has denied involvement by its citizens in Srebrenica and other massacres of the 1990s. The recent broadcast of a graphic video that showed Serbian paramilitary police executing six young men from Srebrenica should have made it very hard to sustain that revisionism. Amazing as it seems, however, the video was not enough to shatter what Serbian human rights activist Sonja Biserko has described as the country’s “state of collective denial.”

Fewer than half of Serbs polled last spring believed the Srebrenica massacre took place. And while much has been made of the video’s effects on a shocked Serbian public, it remains to be seen where that public will stand once the furor recedes. The Radical Party, which won 27 percent of the popular vote in the last national elections, making it the largest party in Parliament, has already criticized what it sees as the anti-Serb hysteria that “wishes at all costs to put the burden of all crimes on Serbia.” Graffiti has appeared in several cities praising the “liberation” of Srebrenica. Rumors circulate that the video was doctored, or that the men committing the crimes were acting independently.

She argues that the arrests of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic will not be enough, that all the people who contributed to the massacre should be turned over to The Hague. “The West should ask for no less than this when it considers Serbian requests for aid,” she says. Brkic is the author of Stillness: And Other Stories and The Stone Fields.