by Zafar Bangash (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 28, No. 1, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1419)
When Muslims hear the word ‘peace,’ the ‘peace process,’ or ‘peacekeepers,’ they should be deeply concerned. The Muslims’ experience with each has been nothing short of disastrous. The cases of Palestine and Bosnia immediately spring to mind.
A very similar exercise is underway in Kosova where the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) is being asked to give up their heavy weapons in return for western promises of protection. If the KLA leadership has even a rudimentary knowledge and sense of history and of the west’s record of broken promises, they should dismiss the proposal with the contempt that it deserves.
The anti-Muslim rulers of the west are compulsive liars. Their leader, US president Bill Clinton, who only two weeks earlier got off the hook for lying and perjury under oath, is the biggest liar of them all. If he can lie under oath in front of television cameras and still look the American people in the eye, why should he care about the Kosovars in some distant Balkan mountains?
Clinton, moreover, is a draft dodger. He has little stomach for military action except when it comes to killing innocent Muslims. The west is in the business of killing, not protecting Muslims. Even so, it is relevant to reflect on some of the west’s broken promises.
Remember Sarajevo, Gorazde and Srebrenica? For those suffering from short memory, here is a brief account. In November 1991, as the Serbian army was completing its murderous mission in Croatia’s Krajina region, Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic sought American assurances that the Serbs would not attack the Bosniaks as they crossed his territory on their way to Serbia.
The Serbs having tasted blood, had other plans. They turned the tables on the Bosniaks by pretending that they feared attacks from them. In what can charitably be described as a most naive approach, Izetbegovic offered to deposit all heavy Bosnian weapons in the armouries then controlled by Serb officers. With the Bosnians’ heavy weapons safely under Serbian control, the Serbian army, far from leaving Bosnia, occupied positions in the hills above Sarajevo as they left Krajina on January 15, 1992.
Even as the Serb terrorist Radovan Karadzic threatened war, Izetbegovic was proclaiming, ‘There will be no war in Bosnia and Hercegovina. It takes two to make war.’ He had not accounted for the Serbs’ propensity for murder, pillage and rape.
In early April 1992, the Serbs opened their heavy guns on Sarajevo and what was once the most cosmopolitan city in the whole of Europe, was turned, almost overnight, into a burning wreck. When the guns finally fell silent in December 1995, 300,000 people had been left dead in Bosnia, the overwhelming majority Muslims.
Sarajevo, however, was only one theatre. There were other places where the Serbs satiated their blood lust with active help from the west. In Gorazde, Srebrenica and other towns and villages in eastern Bosnia, which were declared ‘safe havens’ by the UN, the Serbs perpetrated gruesome massacres. The idea of safe havens was floated in March/April 1994 by the American secretary of State Warren Christopher. In return for the Bosniaks surrendering their weapons in these towns, the UN offered to protect them.
Quite naively and despite the experience of Sarajevo, the Bosniaks accepted this western proposal. A year later, the demonic Serbs invaded Srebrenica and in a horrific act of bestiality unsurpassed even by the Balkans’ murderous standards, slaughtered an estimated 20,000 innocent Muslim civilians in July 1995. The Dutch battalion stationed there to protect the civilian population actually helped the Serbs to separate the men from the women. Even young boys were not spared. The massacre was filmed by a Serb cameraman but the Dutch army chief ordered it destroyed because, as he put it, the video identified a number of Dutch soldiers. The fact is it had also identified the Serbs who perpetrated the massacre.
Lest someone gets carried away with the notion that these horrible acts of betrayal are confined to the Balkans, here is a quick tour of the Middle East. In May 1967, as the drums of war were getting louder, then US president Lyndon Johnson contacted Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and assured him that if Egypt refrained from attacking Israel, he (Johnson) would guarantee that the Israelis would not attack Egypt.
Nasser had no intention of going to war with Israel. He was forced into sabre rattling by the provocative propaganda beamed from Jordanian radio at the behest of the Israelis and the CIA. The outpouring of grief in the west last month at the death of king Husain must be viewed against the backdrop of services rendered by that treacherous little man to the zionists and his American masters over the years.
On the morning of June 5, 1967, as Nasser rested on Johnson’s assurances, Israeli warplanes destroyed virtually the entire Egyptian air force on the ground within the first few minutes. The rest of the war was simply a mopping up operation. So much for American assurances from the president himself.
Was June 1967 an abberation? Let us look at 1982: another June, another war. The Israeli army invaded Lebanon and over the next three months, perpetrated one of the most horrific slaughters in Middle East history. Even the tortuous history of Lebanon could not match the killings the Israelis indulged in; 20,000 civilians were massacred. In early September, Yassir Arafat, the putative leader of the PLO, was forced to pull his fighters out of Lebanon. The Americans gave assurances that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would be protected by a mulitnational peacekeeping force comprising American, British, French and Italian contingents.
Within days of the PLO’s departure, armed Christian Phalangist thugs backed by the Israeli army entered the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in south Beirut and for three days systematically slaughtered its inhabitants. The Phalangists went from door to door, killing men, women, the elderly and children. They also killed their animals--horses, cows and chickens--so consumed were they by hatred.
The west has a pathological hatred of Muslims. Anyone who is naive to assume that they can trust their assurances must prepare for a horrible fate. The Kosovars had better not make this mistake by surrendering their weapons or they will face the fate of the residents of Sabra and Shatilla and of Srebrenica. Their only guarantee of survival is to defend themselves with whatever they have.
Muslimedia: March 1-15, 1999