I listened to a short broadcast on the Today Programme at around 07.17 which examined the history behind the commencement of the trial of Ratko Mladic, the planner and instigator of the Srebenica massacre. One piece of the short history of the siege of Sarajevo, as spoken by the BBC’s Alan Little, spoke volumes about our understanding of that war, in that hardly any of the atrocities carried out with precision by mainly the Serbs, but also the Croats, Bosniaks, Montenegrins and the Muslim portion of all three areas; were known about because everyone concentrated on Sarajevo. The ethnic cleansings, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Muslims, Croats, latterly Serbs after the Croats became better-armed, are only now coming under scrutiny, albeit in a half-hearted way. The deadly statistics are better understood when taken in context, as in the statement by Nigel Rodley, expert from the United Kingdom when he recalled that only eight former Interior Ministry officials had been prosecuted for 49 crimes associated with the Batajnica massacre, whereas 889 bodies had been found in that area.
I write of these matters because we, as in our political membership of the European Union, have already welcomed in Croatia, despite the new member having to wipe the blood of the massacres off their boots, and are now preparing to welcome Serbia, despite their protection of Ratko Mladic for over fifteen years and Karadic for some 13 years.
Are we just going to shrug, and let bygones be bygones. The former black-clad killers sit in their homes, secure in the knowledge that their Serbian protectors are high in the Government, and after all, the dead are still dead, and the Croats, and the Muslims gave as good as they got, in their humble opinion.
So the welcome mat gets laid out, and the blood has already been washed away, and only the families remember!