Serbs had to battle an Islamist threat, too Stella Jatras, Washington Times
I am not defending Radovan Karadzic ("Karadzic blames Islamic militants for war," Web, Monday, and "Karadzic blames Muslims for killing," Geopolitics, Tuesday). However, there is a basis for his claim that Osama bin Laden's Muslim militants were active in the Balkan war. Instead of being honest brokers in what was a civil war, the Clinton administration, along with a willing media, successfully portrayed Serbian forces, including the Serbian people collectively, as the only villains.
In 1993, the government of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport to bin Laden at the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna, thereby enabling themaster terrorist to visi tboth Bosnia and Kosovo on several occasions. In his book "Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad," professor John R. Schindler, formerly with the National Security Agency, made the following points: The Bosnian conflict has been misrepresented by the mainstream media, which has covered up the large role played by radical Islam and al Qaeda; bin Laden used Bosnia as a base for terrorist operations worldwide; and the Clinton administration, in collaboration with Iran, secretly supplied Bosnia's mujahideen, including al Qaeda, with weapons and supplies.
At the urging of President Clinton, NATO forces bombed the Bosnian Serbs in 1995. Yossef Bodansky, in his book "Offensive in the Balkans," wrote that the mortar used to bomb Sarajevo's main marketplace was designed and built with the help of Hezbollah. Mr. Bodansky wrote, "This callous self-killing was designed to shock the West, especially sentimental and gullible Washington, in order to raise the level of Western sympathy to the Bosnian Muslims and further demonize the Serbs so that Western governments would be more supportive of Sarajevo's forthcoming aggressive moves, and perhaps even finally intervene [militarily]."
In a 1995 interview with the Dutch publication De Standaard, Mr. Karadzic said, "This war is an example of what modern media and governments can do. They can arrange anything. Put on a show so that their people believe anything. While watching their television pictures or their radios sometimes I myself almost came to the conclusion: We Serbs, we are real swine. They could put their stories together that well."
It is hypocritical for our administrations to blame Islamic militants for the atrocities committed against us but not for the atrocities the Islamists committed against Bosnia's Christian Serbs.
STELLA L. JATRAS
Camp Hill, Pa.