To follow up on a recent blog post which illustrated that the “Siege of Sarajevo” was nothing of the sort, a 1998 letter by retired Air Force Colonel George Jatras was sent to General Perry Smith, (military advisor to CNN until he resigned in protest over the Sarin gas story) and others. In it, Jatras takes apart the faux reporting that dominated our media during the American-led NATO aggression on Europe in 1999, and includes the following quotes:

From an interview of British Army soldier Rod Thornton, by British journalist Johnny Byrne:

There are many misconceptions surrounding the ‘[siege]’ of Sarajevo. First of all, it is not really a [siege] in the accepted sense of the word. The Serbs do not want to take the city or to have it surrender — they would not know what to do with it…The word ‘[siege]’ sounds dramatic, but it hardly conveys the reality of a situation where the Bosnian Serb army, with no pressure being applied to it, wave through convoys of aid into a city which they are supposed to be demolishing. Once, in the street outside our barracks, I met one of the [Bosnian Muslim] government soldiers and asked him rather pointedly why his side was breaking the ceasefires. They had orders, he said. Sarajevo was too quiet: to stay in the centre of the world’s attention; it needed to be its ‘normal’ self — it needed to be shelled.

Jatras continues:

The fact of the matter was that rather than being a city under [siege], Sarajevo was a divided city, much like Nicosia with its “green line” between the Turks and Greeks, or Beruit. The fact only became clear to most outsiders when, after Dayton, the Serbs turned over control of the whole city to the Muslim government and over 90,000 Serbs fled the city. Less than 2,000 of these refugees have been allowed to return. The Serbs had offered to let the women and children leave Sarajevo before the all-out conflict, but Bosnian President Izetbegovic refused, preferring to keep them there for propaganda purposes. Additionally, those who had enough money could pay their way out. The Serbians were talked into turning Mt. Igman over to the UN as a demilitarized zone. However, the U.N. immediately turned Mt. Igman over to the Muslim forces, which moved in artillery to shell Serb positions.