Dear Jared Israel, Editor-in-Chief:


I want to say that it hurts to see an article about "Judgment" video on the main page of your web site. The article left me with an impression that death camps in Bosnia were actually humanitarian camps. I will not mention the dead people here but I know some who have survived those camps. I will not even mention the women and what was done to them in those camps. There were many stories about those and I bet you have seen many of them since you are so politically active.

I could even live with that article because it is nothing compared to what I have been through in Sarajevo during 1992-1995 (and, of course, years before and years after the events in Bosnia around that time). What makes the difference are the sentences (quoted from "Who we are" page about Jared Israel):

"I was very much impressed with Slobodan Milosevic. Here was this President of a small country, standing up to U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and his huge NATO forces. Every day Holbrooke publicly threatened to bomb Yugoslavia - which of course was by definition terrorism - and Milosevic handled it brilliantly. He would start to give in, then hold firm, then retreat, then advance. It was like watching David stand up to Goliath. And then it dawned on me: he was buying time, using every chance to get his message out to wake up the world."

I have to admit I almost laughed after reading the passage as I could not believe that a sane person could say something like this. I think you got it all wrong somewhere in your mind. The admiration towards someone who stands up to what one believes is worth admiring as long as it is "within limits". What I mean here is that the line between courage and insanity is indeed very thin. Before you ever say that Milosevic (or whoever) wants the world to "open its eyes" you should take a look at the situation first. Could not someone say the same thing about Hitler or Bin Laden??? Aren't they just "buying [the] time, using every chance to get his [their] message out to wake up the world.", I wonder? I truly doubt it.

One more issue is constant generalization of relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the notorious Bin Laden. I would note that although there are speculations about him having a Bosnian passport (issued via the consulate in Vienna) it has never been confirmed that he ever was near Bosnia.

I'm writing this as a person who spent his whole life in Bosnia (or Yugoslavia) and hopes to know more about the scene than the author of the aforementioned articles. Of course that being born or living here does not automatically give me the right to claim so, I truly believe that to be the fact. :)

I merely wanted you to read my reaction as I felt the need to respond to the messages on the site. I am sorry that after reading mentioned passages I have less trust in other articles or the way those are presented. All I want is for you to be even more just in your efforts, if that is possible within human limits.

The text about "fake" death camps kind of justifies the ethnic cleansing and the war crimes as well as the recent terrorist acts in New York, doesn't it?



Alen Siljak


Copyright © 2004 Alen Šiljak