Food For Thought|
Kosovo and Chechnya
The Genocide of Innocent Children and Others
November 12th, 1999
David Lawrence Dewey
"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
Kosovo's horrors were not denied, but these same horrific horrors are being ignored in Chechnya
For example, when the Serbs dragged Afrim Imeraj, 2 years old, from his home in Kosovo and murdered him on the spot, did this go unnoticed?
They then hanged Argjend Demijaha, 5, from a tree and shot shot Rita Vejsa, 2, and her brother Arlind, 5. Did this go unnoticed by the world?
Most of these Kosovar Albanian children didn't end up in a mass grave, they were buried by remaining family or friends that were not butchered by the Serbs. But in Chechnya, children of the same age but with different names are being brutally murdered, but no one is paying any attention.
Their hasty murders and not their hasty burials, are why Canada went to war in Kosovo. Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav president, is charged with these horrific crimes and is wanted as a war criminal. I applaud Canada for doing so! Canada was the only country at first that had the guts to do something about this when this horrible genocide began. But it appears she stand by herself again when she expressed her outrage against what is occurring in Chechnya.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and a United Nations court, has charged Milosevic with crimes against humanity. Also for war crimes for his role in the killing of of these children, and more than 500 other people.
The major media outlets have been hyper ventilating recently that U.N. investigators are having difficulty in locating the mass graves that many expected to find once the Kosovo war was over.
The critics have made much out of this, particularly by those who believe Canada had no business making war on Serbia. They base this on the sites at theTrepca mines or in Ljubenic have failed to turn up mass graves.
The Americans, some critics say, tricked Canada and the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into believing the Milosevic regime was worse than it turned out to be.
The critics are now saying that no mass graves means that there was no Serb genocide against Kosovars. So therefore, there was no justification for the war, these critics are saying. The problem I see here is that the mass graves are simply being hard to find. It was several weeks and in some cases nearly a year before NATO troops could get into these areas. By then, weeds, grass, growth would have overgrown the graves. Yet in Chechnya, even today, the cries of innocent children as they are being murdered are being ignored. And the Russia continues on its' mass killings.
Try telling that to little Afrim, Argjend, Rita, and Arlind that were brutally murdered. One cannot go anywhere within Kosovo and not see that the whole country is a crime scene. For example. The whole world is watching as Russia does the same thing in Chechnya. It is being turned into a crime scene today. Much of it is a burial ground, pocked by hundreds of small mass graves, many with 5 or 10 bodies, but some with 100 or more. Does the need or qualification of a few truly horrific common graves make such a difference? Why is it that no country in the civilized world is taking a stand against this atrocity. We are not talking about so called terrorists the Russians claim that are in Chechnya, we are talking about hundreds of small innocent children being brutally killed in Chechnya, just like they were in Kosovo. Yet, the world sleeps warmly in their beds as this happens. I am mentioning this because, here you see the double standard. The U.S., Canada and Nato are afraid to do anything about the same kind of crimes going on in Chechnya because they are afraid of a war with Russia. I'm sorry, but what is the difference here? Horrible crimes in Chechnya are occurring against humanity as a whole, not against a few so called terrorists. Hundreds of Innocent children are being horribly murdered in Chechnya daily. There is no difference between what happened in Kosovo and was is occurring now in Chechnya. I mention Chechnya in its' relationship to Kosoco because we have a very simple truth here. A basic right and wrong and no one should be looking away from it, otherwise we truly have no conscious and do not believe in what we preach as humans. That we care and will protect human life. If you feel like I do that this genocide in Chechnya must stop also, then please start writing your Congressman, your elected officials where ever you are reading this column in the world.
This leads us to the so called number crunchers in Kosovo. This is from a report to the Security Council on Wednesday by the U.N.'s chief prosecutor in Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte.
"To date, the U.N. has probed 195 grave sites where 4,266 bodies had been reported buried. The investigators dug out 2,108 full corpses, half the number they expected to find. That's about 10 per grave. Partial corpses, and there were many, weren't counted. In all, the Kosovars have reported a total of 11,334 deaths. There are 324 sites left to investigate, and more are being discovered daily. If the U.N. teams continue to locate bodies at roughly the rate they have been, they'll have identified 6,000 or so when their work is done, not counting incomplete bodies."
So everyone is running around waving a red flag now and saying...so where are all these bodies and mass graves? Has anyone thought that the Serbs couls have burned many of the bodies. Or buried the bodies in unmarked graves. Or what about dissolving the bodies in acid or putting them deep into fields. Remember one thing, the Serbs have lots of experience in getting rid of corpses. Del Ponte also said in his report, "there were also a significant number of sites where the precise number of bodies cannot be counted. In these places steps were taken by those trying to dispose of the bodies to hide the evidence. Many bodies have been burned. The figures themselves may therefore not tell the whole story and we would not expect the forensic evidence in isolation to produce a definitive total, Del Ponte also elaborated in this report further.''
This does not sound like promotion for NATO. It sounds like one mad Swiss prosecutor, calling it as she sees it. Her job is not to compile a census of death. It is to bring the killers to justice.
Whether 11,000, 8000, 5,000 or even just 5 Kosovars were unjustly murdered, the Milosevic government did its best to "cleanse" Kosovo of 2 million Albanian Muslims last March. Milosevic was behind the by launching of a precise premeditated and furious campaign of terror, murder, rape, arson and plunder. This campaign devastated the region and drove 1.4 million from their homes, yes 1.4 million people from their homes.
The Milosevic regime already had killed 2,500 in the year before. And don't forget the tens of thousands in Bosnia before that. Milosevic and the Serbs capacity for crimes against humanity was notorious. NATO was prepared for a much higher death toll. NATO in my opinion did not paint the Milosevic regime in too-dark colours like they are being accused of doing.
U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen caught flak for his comment on May 16. He said "100,000 military-aged men missing ... may have been murdered.'' They are missing. Cohen went on to specify that at that point there were just 4,600 reports of killings and could not explain the difference in the numbers. But for most of the war NATO stuck to a relatively conservative estimate of 10,000 dead that still looks credible in the light of Del Ponte's findings.
After all the dust settles, like in any war, the Kosovo conflict should be reevaluated to see if these charges of Nato duping the European community with false numbers is true or not. However, NATO should never, ever be blamed for not doing enough or its reluctance to deploy ground troops. I only wish they would do this again now in Chechnya to stop the innocent killing of hundreds of children, the hope of our future.
Did some NATO politicians go overboard in calling Kosovo a genocide, another Holocaust? I don't think. Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. So far, 6,000 Kosovars were killed by the Serbs. For those that try to apply a number in calling something a Holocaust, you are so wrong. A Holocaust to me has nothing to do with numbers. A Holocaust to me is when a man, or a group of men, purposely plan and go out and kill innocent people simply because of a difference in religion, color, race or whatever. What Milosevic and his henchmen have done in Kosovo is undeniably a crime against humanity. Just because we may be looking at 6,000 killed instead of 6 million, no one should be making the Kosovo massacre any less that this. It was a crime against humanity period!
What I find disturbing is that Russia and China voted in the security council at the beginning to block NATO intervention in Kosovo. They tried to block this intervention for their own cynical reasons. I find this truly amazing since you read all the time about how liberal and open Russia and China is becoming. Bull!
NATO through the courage of Canada's efforts at first, drew the line at allowing Milosevic to wage war unopposed against Kosovo's civilian population. The Canadians couldn't stomach the horrific genocide of innocent people and did something about it. So for all those cynics that are walking around crying, "where's the graves", let me ask you this? When allied troops began arriving at the concentration camps in Germany, what did they find? They found the same identical thing that allied troops started finding in Kosovo, only in lesser numbers. Innocent human beings brutally killed and murdered simply because they were different. They had a different religious belief. So for those cynics trying to make light of the Kosovo massacre, don't even go there. You should be ashamed of yourself. It is you that is an insult against humanity. And for the world community that is ignoring what is occurring in Chechyna now. Shame on you. You by not standing up against this killing of innocent children and old people and not so called terrorists are actually partners in these horrible crimes. You, the world community ignoring this are no better than the Russians doing this! You are a participate in these horrible crimes by not doing anything about it!
~ David Lawrence Dewey ~
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