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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/18/20

New British Documents About Srebrenica

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Other observers made similar assertions as Martins Branco (here , pp. 47-48). So once again the British documents did not reveal anything fundamentally new, but the fact that they have been made public is nevertheless helpful because one can never go too far repeating the startling fact that in Srebrenica there was no resistance and that the armed and much more numerous "men and boys" withdrew to the mountains, leaving their womenfolk and elderly unprotected in the face of an "aggressor" who by that time in their eyes had already acquired a genocidal reputation.

Finally, the question must be raised: why did they act that way? Was it to take the opportunity to lure the Serb forces into a strategic trap (remember General Morillon's testimony at The Hague , where he used precisely such language to describe the situation), hoping the Serbs would slaughter several thousand refugees in Potocari? That certainly would have satisfied the terms of Izetbegovic's and Clinton's secret convention, which envisioned exactly such a scenario in order to ensure the political preconditions for a US intervention in the conflict.

It is almost always the case when new files concerning Srebrenica are opened, whether the result is really new data or just a confirmation of already known facts, that not only do these disclosures in no way help the official narrative, but on the contrary they systematically undermine it. It is not surprising therefore for such information to have been kept under lock and key for decades precisely so as not to disturb the prevailing, concocted narrative in the expectation that buying time (and criminalizing "genocide denial") would assist the narrative in taking hold.

The Karl Rovian way the process of rearranging reality now unfolds was recently explained by Craig Murray, a former British ambassador, in a remarkable article, "The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative". The ruling establishment, Murray claims, has learnt one important lesson from the collapse of the official lies about the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction: "Never to admit they lied, never to admit they were wrong."

And the same goes now for all their monumental lies, from the pretext for invading Iraq to Srebrenica. The security services, Murray writes, understand "that in future they just have to brazen it out." If a hypothetical situation like the mythical Iraqi weapons were to recur today "and the security services decided to brazen it out" by asserting deliberately the false claim that the armaments were in fact found, "there is not a mainstream media outlet that would contradict them."

The rebuttable or easily refuted claims that are blatantly disseminated and parroted, and believed by millions who blindly take them at face value even though evidence refuting them is close at hand, Murray christens "zombie narratives." Srebrenica is undoubtedly one of the prominent illustrations of Murray's thesis.

The "declassification" of the British documents is no evidence of Western transparency or democratic will to keep the public informed. It is proof, rather, of a perfidious damage-control tactic. As we have seen, some of the major "disclosures" in the British documents have long been in the public domain and have gradually been seeping into the public discourse. Extending the embargo would accomplish nothing, but the removal of the secrecy mark would impress the simpleminded who may imagine that this is evidence of regrettably belated, but still highly commendable "transparency" of the Western system.

Those who think this way have already forgotten the farce about finally making public the remaining, most sensitive documents about the assassination of John Kennedy. In the 1990s, Congress explicitly ordered that by 2017 everything must be disclosed, even the last scrap of paper. Yet, under a Presidential directive countermanding Congressional instructions, 2017 has come and gone but the most compromising documents remain locked away for several additional decades, for the reasons of "national security" to which Murray has alluded. Locked away and unpublished documents on Srebrenica surely also abound in the secret files of "all the usual suspects ," as Captain Louis Renault picturesquely put in the movie "Casablanca."

The availability of these British Srebrenica documents -- assuming Ambassador Murray is correct -- may in some circles achieve a favorable propaganda effect for the UK, but in relation to Srebrenica, a wall of blatantly imposed lies will not permit them to change or meaningfully challenge anything. Tactical damage control operations should not be confused with permission to touch the core of a protected zombie narrative.

If in 2015 the general public were unaware of these "sensational" documents kept in the British Defense Ministry safe, the British government certainly were. Yet, that did not prevent them from attempting to push through in the UN Security Council a resolution chastizing the Serbian nation for genocide in Srebrenica. The resolution failed only thanks to the veto placed by the Russian Federation. And as we now learn, British government sources, in their own contemporanerous and confidential report, had frankly stated that their misleading resolution alleging genocide in Srebrenica was to do with an attack undertaken by a local commander, not by the Bosnian Serb military and political leadership in Pale, and therefore even less probably so by the Serbian leadership in Belgrade.


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Stephen Karganovic is the president of the Srebrenica Historical Project.  He also writes for Strategic Culture Foundation.

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