The Srebrenica morgue in Tuzla: the stench of this place haunts me to this day.
Fifteen years ago today there began a orgy of industrially-planned genocide at a little town in western Bosnia known as Srebrenica. At the end of a weeklong period, some 5500 military aged Bosnian male prisoners of war from ages 12 to 85 were deliberately massacred in an act of stone cold state-sponsored genocide. Some 2500 others died unarmed on a battlefield in an act that was technically an act of war (think the Iraqi "Highway of Death" of 1991) but which compounded the slaughter of the prisoners. Together that made about 8000 or so dead, or some 1% of the Bosnian Muslim population of the entire country (2% of its males), the equivalent of 3,000,000 Americans.
Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had this to say about the Srebrenica Massacre:
Today we remember the tragic events in Srebrenica 15 years ago. I join President Obama and the people of the United States in offering our deepest condolences on this most solemn occasion. We honor the memories of the victims and mourn with their families.
The United States stands with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all countries in the region who wish to foster peace and reconciliation. We remain committed to ensuring that those responsible for these crimes face justice. We recognize that there can be no lasting peace without justice. It is only by bringing all responsible parties to account for their crimes that we will truly honor Srebrenica’s victims.
We are duty-bound – to the victims, to their surviving family members, and to future generations – to prevent such atrocities from happening again. Our common faith in the value of freedom and peace unifies us and drives us to act. That is why we are committed to working with all the communities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina to move forward and build a pluralistic, democratic state that can take its rightful place in the Euro-Atlantic community. A prosperous, free, and unified Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most worthy monument to those who lost their lives at Srebrenica and the best guarantee against such a tragedy ever repeating itself.
This marks the first time I can say I am in full agreement with Hillary about ANYTHING.
If you have five or ten minutes, please take the time to read Wikipedia's article about the Srebrenica massacre. You may not be glad that you did, but it's the right thing to do.
Srebrenica was where the World, after saying "never again" in 1945, shrugged its collective shoulders and said, "Well, never say never." Christ forgive us.