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Originally posted on a French Yahoo group


De: "Julie Wornan" <juliewornan@...>
: chomsky@...
Objet : Srebrenica and honesty
Date : Tue, 4 Jan 2005 23:04:53 +0100

Dear Mr Chomsky,

I am always happy to read the sensible things you say about US policy, Iraq and Palestine. But your position on some other subjects leaves me frankly bewildered.

In an interview conducted by Junaid Alam and published in Left Hook, December 17, 2004, you wrote,

"Srebrenica was an enclave, lightly protected by UN forces, which was being
used as a base for attacking nearby Serb villages. It was known that there's
going to be retaliation. When there was a retaliation, it was vicious. They
trucked out all the women and children, they kept the men inside, and
apparently slaughtered them. ...."

Surely, you know that the attacks on the Serb villages were themselves retaliation for the Serbian siege of Srebrenica. Thousands of Bosnian Muslims from the surrounding villages had been driven from their homes by Serbian terror squads. They fled to Srebrenica, whose population was multiplied several times and subject to siege resulting in much hunger and deprivation. If "retaliation" sweetens or almost-condones or at least explains the Serbian atrocities, why don't the Bosnian Muslim attacks on Serb villages deserve the same perspective? Moreover, if "retaliation" accounts, in part, for the Serbian impulse to murder Muslims, why do you neglect to mention the "ethnic cleansing" that was Serbian policy from the start of the war - from the first Serbian attack on peaceful protesters in Sarajevo? Does that motive suddenly disappear when "retaliation" can be blamed? (It makes me think of the way Israeli attacks on Palestinian populations are usually billed as "retaliation" for some incident, although in the global context it's clearly Israeli policy to terrorize these people so as to reduce their will to resist the occupation, or incite them to pack their bags). - And when you say "*apparently* slaughtered them", you seem to imply that there are grounds for doubt - despite the mass graves and so many survivors' accounts. Have 8000 men and boys been hiding in the woods for 9 years?

I cannot believe you are ignorant of the facts about Srebrenica and the Yugoslavian wars. You've devoted your life to uncovering hypocrisy and dispelling ignorance. So how am I to understand your bias in this matter?

Sincerely,
Julie Wornan
(member of Americans Against the War, France )

 


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