From an anonymous Captain in the U.S. Army,
"Let me say that I am an Army reservist who has been
called to active duty for 9 months, taken from my family and my studies
to be here. I volunteered to come, feeling it was my duty to use my skills
to help bring peace to this world. Whether it be in mortal combat, or
using my brain to help the people here create the conditions for peace.
Thousands of innocents died here in Sarajevo where I am stationed. And
for them, and all the survivors, I would gladly lay down my life if I
could make a difference, and save three, four, ten or a hundred. Mankind
will not continue without sacrifice by some of us.
assigned to the Stabilization Force of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
in Sarajevo, Bosnia Hercegovina.
U.S. Army Capt. David Vanbuskirk passes out candy to orphans
at Bjelave Orphanage in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 23,
1996. Vanbuskirk, an Army interpreter with the Combined Joint Civil
Military Co-Operation, received candy, food and clothing from well-wishers
in the U.S. Vanbuskirk divided the large donation of goods between
Muslim and Serbian orphanages.
DoD photo by Senior Airman Blaze E. Lipowski, U.S. Air Force.
Subject: RE: Bosnia Hercegovina
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 04:27:51 +0200
Like your friend I too am deployed in Bosnia as part of NATO's
Stabilization Force. I would like to thank you for your
page which has given me many hours of pleasurable leisure time
reading and thinking.
However, I would also like to respond to your page regarding the
the atrocities here, and especially the
letter from the 15 year old protesting your website.
Three things that I would say about Milekic's letter. First, I
read the letter time and time again, but can't seem to grasp exactly
what he(she) was arguing about. Mr. Clinton WAS useless but only
in that his indecision and poor advice from so called "Experts" kept
him in the belief that this was a civil war. It was not, it was aggression
by Serbia and Croatia. However, once he acted, he became quite useful.
Second, In it he seemed to state that the press was the enemy,
not the Serbs.
"....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?"
I would say that without the Media controlled by Slobodan Milosevic,
the Serb people would never have stood for what took place. But they
were led to believe by the state controlled media that the world was
against them, that the war was being brought to them, not the other
way around. They were completely duped. Perhaps this is part of what
Milekic's letter was trying to say. His name is certainly Slavic. I
think perhaps he was in the Former Yugoslavia during the war. He seems
to be tired of the press which seems to have taken Slobodan Milosevic's
personal opinions as truth.
On the other hand, he may have been one of the duped, who is still
duped, and believes CNN painted the picture against the Serbs. I
am unclear on this point. Maybe you can enlighten me.
Let me take a quote from your
"The essence of civilization is the orderly quest
for truth, the rational perception of reality and all its facets,
and the adaptation of man's behaviour to its laws. So long as we
follow the path of reason we shall not move far from the lighted
circle of civilization. Its enemies invariably lie among those
who, for whatever motive, deny, distort, minimize, exaggerate or
poison the truth, and who falsify the processes of reason. At all
times civilization has its enemies, though they are constantly
changing their guise and their weapons. The great defensive art
is to detect and unmask them before the damage they inflict becomes
fatal. 'Hell.' wrote Thomas Hobbes, 'is truth seen too late.'
Slobodan Milosevic and his cronies are Enemies of Society. Just as
was Adolph Hitler.
Survival is falsehood detected in time."
"Enemies of Society"
Third, as to his point about what Americans would feel like if
we were to have to take up arms an go fight in Bosnia, especially
if they have family. Let me say that I am an Army reservist who has
been called to active duty for 9 months, taken from my family and
my studies to be here. I volunteered to come, feeling it was my duty
to use my skills to help bring peace to this world. Whether it be
in mortal combat, or using my brain to help the people here create
the conditions for peace. Thousands of innocents died here in Sarajevo
where I am stationed. And for them, and all the survivors, I would
gladly lay down my life if I could make a difference, and save three,
four, ten or a hundred. Mankind will not continue without sacrifice
by some of us. However, I agree with another
part of your page...
"Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the
fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining
from an act, but the coming of a state of mind. In this sense the
most insignifigant writer can serve peace, where the most powerful
tribunals can do nothing."
How then do we hope to bring peace by force? Simple. What NATO is now
trying to do, is stave off war through force long enough to reeducate
the masses by slowly taking the control of the press away from the
state and helping to rebuild their nation by creating a stable economy.
as presented by Herman Wouk
The Winds of War 1971
Forgive me for a lack of originality, but recognition of the wisdom
of others is indeed a step toward wisdom itself. Having said that,
let me now quote a quote, from an essay by T.D. Allman entitled Serbia's
Blood War, in the book "Why Bosnia? Writings on the Balkan War",
edited by Rabia Ali and Lawrence Lifschultz. This quote came from
a discussion with a Serbian journalist in Belgrade.
"Serbs like me represent nothing,.... The average
Serb honestly believes it's Serbia that's under attack. If only
every Serbian family could get CNN for three months, then maybe
there would be some hope for ending the madness."
My own observations here in Bosnia lead me to say this. In truth lies
Would that the problem could be summed up in one short email. It
can't, but still, I am here, proud to be here as an American, ashamed
we didn't get here sooner, and positively pissed that the legislative
branch of our government hasn't the guts to keep us here long enough
to do the job.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and ponder.
Thank you for your nice words about my
webpage! It makes me happy that you might be in Sarajevo and yet find
edification and good reading on my pages over the Web. And I respect
very much the moral core to your person which leads you to leave family
and studies to risk your life in a hostile environment. I think we
need to live for other people, and I hope that you are finding your
efforts to be helping others in Bosnia rewarding. Despite the inconvenience
and discomfort, I wonder if you will not look back at your time in
Bosnia many years from now and conclude that it was worth it. My experience
has been that when you are doing something you know to be worthwhile,
you can look yourself in the mirror in the morning without flinching,
firm in the knowledge that you are not a burden to the earth. You can
hold your head up high and walk proud. I think some people would say
a soldier cannot do this, since the job is violent and requires one
to be prepared to kill others (and often to kill them). Let this e-mail
stand as evidence to the contrary.
I just come back from reading an official
editorial in the "L.A. Times" which talks about the failure of the
Dayton agreements due to ethnic intransigence. They also somewhere
mentioned that NATO finally did stop the shooting war, saving perhaps
ten or twenty thousand lives. In my opinion, that is no small thing.
And I often hear people carping about the U.S. role in the pusillanimous
tones of self-interest and the, "Why is it our business to risk lives,
money, etc. over there?" I would argue that because if we do nothing,
nobody else will. Sometimes in a situation of anarchy and lawlessness
you have to go in there and be the cop on the block. Not everywhere
in this failed world, but in places where it might do some good and
be relevant to U.S. security needs. If you and many other NATO soldiers
were not in Bosnia, I have no doubt the murder would be continuing
The most annoying e-mail I get off my webpages
are from persons who tell me that ideas and morality are only so much
bullshit, and it is without exception all about money, power and lies.
There is some truth to this. However, there are always persons in the
world striving to make it a better place and willing to put themselves
at risk to do so. It is very inspiring to read your e-mail and be poignantly
reminded of this.
I salute you both as a fellow American
and human being who respects enormously what you are trying to do in
Bosnia. I cannot help but think those people with whom you deal in
Sarajevo will appreciate your efforts and perchance re-gain some confidence
in the inherent goodness of mankind after having the bad brutally and
bloodily hammered into them year after year from the surrounding hills.
Not long ago the residents of Sarajevo had to sit helplessly as bullies
calling themselves "soldiers" took potshots at the civilian population
without fear of retaliation. Those days are over. And you are a part
of the reasons why that is so.
Watch your back, and when it is appropriate
come back home safe and sound. And if you are ever in southern California,
the beers are on me.
Very Truly Yours,
U.S. Army soldier Pvt. Anthony Brice from Fort Myers,
Fla., secures the perimeter during a patrol in the village of
Mahala, 15 miles east of Tuzla on October 13, 1997. U.S. Army
infantry units patrol the area on a daily basis to allow a peaceful
return of refugees and reconstruction of their homes.
Three Charlie Company soldiers provide security while their fellow
soldiers load into UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters during company air
assault training at Camp McGovern, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on April