"A little sunlight is the best disinfectant."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Luc Delahaye, Sipa Press for Newsweek

Biljana Vrhovac, a 20-year-old Bosnian Serb, lies in agony in Sarajevo after a Serb mortar attack on July 20, 1992. Her father and dog were both killed.

At 08:50 PM 3/3/97 -0500, Milekic wrote:


I am not sure if it is you ( I do not believe it is ) that wrote the article found at http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/bosnia/bosnia.html but I would like to express my views on this issue.

From what I have read and seen, the author has only identified one side of the story. The author obviously has not taken the time to observe both of these sides and therefore has failed in the transmission. Such an article may be concidered "Litterature" to some but I strongly believe that this is the simplest and dullest way of representing this war.

>"How ironic it is that when President Clinton finally decided to move seriously with an extensive use of military air power the killing ended almost overnight."

The above is a what was mentionned at the beginning and I strongly disagree with this statement for it addresses that which is irrelavant and unture. Mister Clinton was useless in this situation from the very start.

>" Employing "ethnic cleansing" and "scorched earth" tactics, Serb forces expelled the city's Croatian inhabitants by terror. The population in this particular village before the war had been 43.7% Croat and 37.4% Serb. Methods used in ethnic cleansing include mass murder, torture, pillage, abuse in detention, rape, castration, and other forms of violence. I doubt there were many Croats left at the end of the war in the village pictured above."

The above statement shows a personal remark made by the author which should not have been applied in a formal article. As for the "disasters", the author should have examined both sides to this story as he obviously has not... or at least has not mentionned and illustrated this other side.

>"During all the years that this happened the West basically just watched. The United Nations was involved, but they were worse than useless militarily serving as targets in their baby blue helmets and vehicles. Jesus! When will we learn? Why does it always take us so long?"

At this point I would like to state that before one goes about judging what his country can do for him and what his country should do in the first place, one should go about asking oneself much one would appreciate to be sent off to Bosnia to carry a gun and go into battle... especially if that one has a family.

In conclusion, I have stated only what should have been pointed out in this "article" and which was not. Why this is so important to me is because I am 15 years old, I hate politics, and am a victim to the media which obviously covers not many facts but rather focuses on personal opinion which is a great influence in today's world. This is unfortunate for the media is making the decisions man should be making.

Thank you for taking the time to read... even if some do not agree (which is very understandable, i felt like i needed to write this to address something that I believed in) I do not have any interests whatsoever in politics but I would like to let the United States (and other countries) know that the media is not going to help the youth therefore the future for it is (what I refer to as...) an example of a "hidden" military non-democratic system. How are we supposed to learn to live as democrats if we are being commanded by the media and brainwashed into believing what they want us to believe?


      Dear Milekic,

      First of all, the below webpage about Bosnia appeared on my personal webpage. I am sorry if you disagree with what I wrote, but I stand by what I said. It is obvious that all sides participated in atrocities during the bloody conflict in the former-Yugoslavia which has only recently subsided, but it would be hard to argue that the Serbs were not AT LEAST as responsible as the Muslims or Croats - if only because they had more guns and power. Everyone involved covered themselves with shame in Bosnia, but it seems to appear as if the Serbs were the worst offenders. There were many many independent journalists in Bosnia and I have studied the conflict from a variety of different sources. A friend of mine, Rosey Goodman, has even recounted to me her personal experiences there first hand. (http://www.pangea.ca/~rosey/)

      As for my countrymen - or even myself - having to go carry a gun and shoot possible knuckleheads in Bosnia, I am already up to a point in that position: One of my old college friends is at this moment serving in the United Sates Army in Bosnia and I wish him all the luck in the world. I would prefer him to be out of harm's way, yet I believe in his mission and I know if he was not there people would still be killing each other with steak knives if that were the only weapons they had. I support my friend in the army both as a friend and as a fellow citizen; similarly, the United States government has my eager consent and tax dollars in its military efforts in Bosnia. When naked murder happens in front of your eyes, if you have any self-respect you measure the costs, and then you try to stop it. The Bosnian conflict was primarily a European problem, but the Europeans lacked the political will to settle it. The American President Bill Clinton, along with the major European powers, finally had put up with enough only after years of bloodshed and atrocity, and stepped into the conflict decisively with considerable military power after the region was already a bloody shambles and hasty graveyard.

      Ever since then, there has been an unsteady peace in the region. Can you honestly tell me if President Clinton and the other NATO leaders had not made this commitment, the Muslim, Serbs, and Croat powers involved would not still be fighting and killing each other even as we write each other? Someone with enough willpower had to step in and say, "ENOUGH!" The United States and NATO had the power to do so. And thank God they did! Perhaps now the parties to the conflict can try to rebuild so much which war has torn asunder. I find it hard to understand how you can think that President Clinton was irrelevant to the Bosnian conflict.

      I hope my friend in the U.S. Army never fires a shot in anger in Bosnia. But if he has to do so to keep the parties separated and preserve the peace, may he do so decisively and with extreme prejudice! Even today there are without doubt still many "irregular soldiers" of all ethnicities all over Bosnia who hate excessively, walk the countryside heavily armed, and probably are drunk at least a good amount of the time. Without some greater physical force bringing some semblance of law to that area, it would only be a matter of time until chaos, anarchy, and a state of war returned to Bosnia. I firmly believe the only way peace was ever going to come to that area was if a major power (United States, NATO) put a gun to the leadership of the Serbian irregulars in Bosnia and said, "Stop it!... or else!" Any half-measures - such as were put into effect by the United Nations - were clearly not going to be sufficient. I believe history has shown me to be correct in this. I am sincerely sorry that American and NATO aircraft did not start dropping bombs on the guilty parties years before they actually did. If they had done so, perhaps we would not have had to watch the slow destruction of Bosnia and Sarajevo, and a thousand other brutalities year after year in living color. As Edmund Burke said almost 200 years ago, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

      I never intended to present my webpage about the pathetic and vacillating Western response to the slaughter in Bosnia as "literature." I will have to look at it again and perhaps clarify this. It is my webpage and I have the right to express my opinion as such - in the same way that you are free to disagree with it.

      Very Truly Yours,


A picture is worth a thousand words!

Fear For His Life!
Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 1992
Ron Haviv, Saba Press Photos for TIME

A Muslim resident begs Bosnian Serb soldiers for his life during the occupation of Bijeljina. The man would later fall from a fourth-floor window.
Sources and facts on this webpage can be corroborated at the following URL:
"Faces of Sorrow"