I’ve been meaning to bring up something that was reawakened by a recent verdict at a Serbian war crimes trial. What most people are kept ignorant of is that the first shots of the Bosnian war were fired upon a retreating convoy of Yugoslav troops from Bosnia. As they were retreating, per the agreement between Belgrade and Sarajevo, the multi-ethnic soldiers of the JNA (Yugoslav National Army) were fired upon by the Muslims. It was a massacre, triggering the bloody war. That was the shot heard ’round the world if, of course, if you don’t count the Bosnian Muslim who in March 1992 killed the father of the groom in a Serbian wedding party in Sarajevo.

In a mainstream news source reporting on the verdict (AP), I was surprised to see the writer actually deign to consider the real chronology of the start of the war — rather than defer to the usual “Milosevic, the man who started three wars in the Balkans….”:

Bosnian jailed in Serbia for war crimes

BELGRADE, Serbia — A Serbian court on Monday convicted a wartime Bosnian security officer of ordering a 1992 attack on a Yugoslav army convoy that killed at least 50 soldiers, and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. The trial of [Bosnian Croat] Ilija Jurisic at the Serbian war crimes court has strained relations between Bosnia and Serbia. Bosnian officials had claimed the proceedings were staged and politically motivated and demanded his release.

Jurisic was found guilty of ordering the attack against the Serb-led army convoy consisting of dozens of army trucks carrying some 100 soldiers withdrawing from the predominantly Muslim Bosnian town of Tuzla in May 1992.

The court said in its verdict that the Bosnian troops first killed the truck drivers with sniper fire, and then fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at the idled vehicles. At least 44 army soldiers were also injured in the clash.

Bosnian authorities have maintained that the Yugoslav soldiers fired first during the pullout arranged between Belgrade and Sarajevo. They said the Bosnian troops acted in self-defense in one of the bloodiest clashes during the opening days of the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The war in Bosnia started after the country’s Muslims and Croats voted to split from Serb-led Yugoslavia, triggering a rebellion by the Bosnian Serbs. The conflict — which saw Europe’s worst bloodshed since World War II — lasted until a U.S.-brokered peace deal was signed in 1995.

In January De-Construct.net had a more detailed report on the security officer convicted above:

Massacre of Yugoslav Army Conscripts Approved by Sarajevo

On May 15, 1992, Bosnian Muslim paramilitary troops, aided by local officials, used snipers to ambush and attack [a] Yugoslav Army convoy while it was attempting to withdraw from the territory of then-Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result, up to 200 JNA conscripts were killed, 33 were wounded, 140 were imprisoned and tortured, many of whom were handed back to their loved ones in the body bags later on. For some, this atrocious war crime signaled [the] actual start of the Bosnian civil war (1992-1995).

At the trial of [Bosnian] Croat Ilija Jurišić, indicted for ordering the attack on the convoy of Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) conscripts during their scheduled retreat from Tuzla in May 1992, Deputy Chief of Military Security at the time, Marko Novaković, who testified on January 16, said that the attack “never could have been carried out without the express approval of the Bosnian Muslim supreme command in Sarajevo.”

In a case known as the Tuzla Column massacre, [the] trial before the Belgrade District Court War Crimes Chamber [of] Ilija Jurišić continues to provide solid evidence that the cold-blooded massacre was ordered and coordinated at the very top of Bosnian Muslim leadership.

According to the indictment, [a] JNA convoy, consisting mainly of unarmed 18-year-old conscripts from all parts of former Yugoslavia and of all nationalities, who were serving in the unified country in various military polygons throughout state of Yugoslavia, obeyed a decision on [the] peaceful withdrawal of troops from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order not to [exacerbate] with their presence a tense atmosphere at the time one segment of the population, Bosnian Muslims, demanded secession of the republic from Yugoslavia.

The JNA convoy that attempted to withdraw from the town of Tuzla was given guarantees by Muslim leadership that they will be allowed to retreat and provided a safe passage to Serbia through Bijeljina. Nevertheless, [the] convoy was ambushed and brutally attacked by the Bosnian Muslim paramilitary troops, with the help of local officials headed by Jurišić, at the very start of retreat…

Jurišić, who at the time was a member of the Bosnian Interior Ministry police reserves and a senior officer in the Public Security Service operational HQ, is accused of issuing a direct order to attack JNA convoy in retreat. On the basis of his orders, snipers in nearby buildings first shot and killed the drivers of the military vehicles, thus stopping the vehicles and blocking the way for the rest of the column. They then proceeded to target the conscripts in those vehicles, shooting and killing the young men who had not been equipped to fight or resist attack, the indictment states.

As the JNA conscripts were jumping out of the vehicles, they were being cut down by the snipers. [An] identical attack was also carried out against the visibly marked sanitation vehicles in the convoy.

Zoran Vukojević and Slobodan Radić, former reservists who survived the attack on the JNA column in Tuzla, testified that the convoy had been attacked after the second attempt to leave the army barracks. They confirmed that the drivers of the military and sanitation vehicles had come under fire first, and then everybody else in the convoy, as they were trying to to get away from the burning vehicles and find refuge in the nearby buildings. Witnesses claimed that explosions could be heard later.

Tatomir Krušić, a conscript who was wounded in the attack, testified that on the afternoon of May 15, 1992, when the JNA convoy had set off to leave Tuzla in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he had heard gunshots and seen that the driver of the truck he was in had been shot.

“The army convoy was coming under fire from all sides. Bora (the driver) was shot and I told everybody to get out of the truck. The four of us jumped out, and that’s when I was wounded,” Krušić recalled.

The brutal attack on the convoy of unarmed conscripts was being broadcast live on a local Bosnian Muslim television station, showing that the column was being shot at even from the Tuzla hospital building. Part of that footage, including abuse and murder of the conscripts by the Bosnian Muslims and Croats is shown in the documentary “Truth.” As the local Muslim television was showing the burning column of Yugoslav Army vehicles, the commentator in studio asks for [a] cold beer and then informs the viewers they ought to go and “help out” [with] one conscript he saw reaching the entrance of a nearby building, suggesting the wounded soldier should not be left alive.

Another survivor of the Tuzla Column atrocity described how one of his unarmed friends that was lightly wounded in the arm managed to hide in the entrance of a building, only to be handed over in a body bag six days later. Most of the 140 conscripts who were caught alive were subsequently abused, tortured and killed in the Bosnian Muslim and Croat camps.

President of Bijeljina’s Association of Missing, Imprisoned and Killed Bosnian Serb army members and civilians, Žarko Radić said it is impossible to tell how many of the conscripts killed in [the] Tuzla Column massacre have been buried in Spomen Kosturnica, [a] mass grave turned into [a] memorial after the civil war. He said there are cases where remains of several soldiers and civilians killed in [the] Tuzla column were placed in the same casket. It is believed that remains of at least 80 JNA conscripts killed in Tuzla are buried as “unknown persons” in Bijeljina alone.

Jurišić pleaded not guilty to the charges when the trial began on February 22. He was arrested upon the international arrest warrant on May 2007, at Belgrade airport Nikola Tesla, while attempting to escape to Cologne, Germany.

For a more general reminder of how it all started, here is Andy Wilcoxson’s short article from a few years ago BOSNIA: How the war started:

On March 18, 1992, Alija Izetbegovic (Bosnian-Muslim leader), Mate Boban (Bosnian-Croat leader), and Radovan Karadzic (Bosnian-Serb Leader) all reached an agreement on the peaceful succession of Bosnia & Herzegovina from Yugoslavia.

The Agreement was known as the Lisbon Agreement (it is also known as the Cutileiro Plan). The agreement called for an independent Bosnia divided into three constituent and geographically separate parts, each of which would be autonomous. Izetbegovic, Boban, and Karadzic all agreed to the plan, and signed the agreement.

The agreement was all set, internal and external borders, and the administrative functions of the central and autonomous governments had all been agreed upon. The threat of civil war had been removed from Bosnia, that is until the U.S. Ambassador Warren Zimmerman showed up.

On March 28, 1992, ten days after the agreement was reached that would have avoided war in Bosnia, Warren Zimmerman showed up in Sarajevo and met with the Bosnian-Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic. Upon finding that Izetbegovic was having second thoughts about the agreement he had signed in Lisbon, the Ambassador suggested that if he withdrew his signature, the United States would grant recognition to Bosnia as an independent state. Izetbegovic then withdrew his signature and renounced the agreement.

After Izetbegovic reneged on the Lisbon Agreement, he called a referendum on separation that was constitutionally illegal. On the second day of the referendum there was a Muslim-led attack on a Serb wedding. But the real trigger was Izetbegovic announcing a full mobilization on April 4, 1992. He could not legally do that without Serb & Croat consent, but he did it anyway. That night terror reigned in Sarajevo. The war was on.

The United States likes to point to Bosnia as a shining example of where it helped Muslims. It is true that the United States armed the Muslims in Bosnia. But, after many thousands of deaths and massive destruction throughout Bosnia, the Muslims were afforded by the terms of the Dayton Accords, less territory than they had been guaranteed by the Lisbon Agreement, which the United States urged the Muslim leader to reject.

The bottom line here is that this war didn’t have to happen at all. Nobody had to die in Bosnia. If Ambassador Zimmerman had just left Izetbegovic alone, then none of this would have happened to begin with. It’s that simple. The blame for all of the death and destruction associated with the Bosnian war lies exclusively with Alija Izetbegovic for starting the war, and with the U.S. President [Herbert Walker Bush] for sending that idiot Zimmerman to Bosnia in the first place.

In addition to journalism’s newfound/uncharacteristic/temporary respect for war chronology, as exemplified in the AP item above, I also recently stumbled on a Reuters report that casually mentions — as if this is how it was being reported all along — systematic rape on all sides, actually naming Croatians and Muslims as no less guilty than Serbs:

Amnesty urges justice for Bosnia war rape victims (Sep 30, 2009)

SARAJEVO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Amnesty International urged Bosnia on Thursday to seek justice for up to 50,000 women and girls who were raped during the country’s 1992-95 war and to punish the perpetrators, many of whom still hold public posts.

During the war, Bosnian Croats, Serbs and Muslims all participated in systematic rape as part of widespread ethnic cleansing but the victims, most of them Muslims, have been denied reparations given to civilian war victims, the human rights watchdog said in a report. […]

The piece goes on to say that the estimate is actually between 20,000 and 50,000 victims (a 30,000-victim span!), and that most don’t come forward because of the stigma attached, as well as the fact that the culprits still occupy positions of power in officialdom and the police force. (As if the Muslim and Croatian soldiers who raped the 800 Serb women who did come forward aren’t freely walking around.)

Here’s just a related note on the man whose shooting at the Serbian wedding party was considered the opening shot of the Bosnian war. He died in 2007:

Bosnian crime boss killed (June 28, 2007):

SARAJEVO — Crime boss Ramiz Delalić was murdered late last night in Sarajevo.

The murder was not considered a surprise in Sarajevo, Delalić was known for problems with the law and a history of violent behavior. Delalić is best known for killing a Serbian man in front of a Serbian Orthodox Church in Sarajevo in 1992. He was not indicted for the crime until late 2004.

Police were unable to locate Dalalić until August 2004. During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, [he] was the commander of the Ninth Motorized Brigade of the Bosnian Muslim Army.

Notice how in both Bosnia and Kosovo, the “freedom-lovers” whom we passed off as anti-communists in order to gain public approval for backing them are all crime bosses. Here’s more:

Bosnia: EUR 500,000 Found in Dead Crime Boss’s Apartment (B92, July 3, 2007)

SARAJEVO — Police found EUR 500,000 in the apartment rented by Ramiz Delalić, who was killed last week.

According to Dnevni Avaz, citing sources close to the police, ten to 15 kilograms of gold and platinum jewellery, ten pistols and two automatic weapons were found in the apartment as well.

Delalić was killed last Wednesday in front of the apartment, located in downtown Sarajevo.

He is best known to the public for being charged with killing a Serbian man at a Sarajevo wedding in May [sic] 1992, an event that sparked armed conflict in the city.

Delalić was familiar to Sarajevo police and was on different occasions charged for attacks on police officers, murder attempts, death threats, illegal possession of fire arms, violent behaviour and other crimes. […]

Kosovo Albanian suspect in Delalić murder (June 30, 2007)

SARAJEVO — Lirim Bytyqi, 29, native of Prizren, Kosovo, is suspected of murdering a Bosnian crime boss in Sarajevo Wednesday.

Police issued a warrant for Bytyqi’s arrest. He is also wanted on charges of inflicting severe gunshot wounds on Amir Faća, 36, in downtown Sarajevo on June 12.

Delalić was best known to the public for killing a Serbian man in front of a Serbian Orthodox Church in Sarajevo in 1992. […]

Indeed, it seems that every other jihadi — whether Middle Eastern or Eastern European or even black or white or any of the hundreds of thousands of all colors being converted while in jail — has a criminal background separate from jihad. As I’ve written before, it’s the inability to walk a straight path that draws them to jihad to begin with — criminality with a higher purpose.

In addition to the Duka brothers who were planning a massacre at Ft. Dix, and in addition to Kosovo’s leaders — all of whom started out as petty and not so petty crooks and continue their rackets today — we have this update on the Bosnian guy involved in the North Carolina-based plot disrupted over the summer:

…[Friend Jasmin] Smajic claims that the arrested Anes Subasic was a “refugee” from Bosnia who fled ethnic persecution by Serbian authorities during the Bosnian civil war that started in 1992. [Here we go again. Ah, how war traumatizes the violent people instigating it.]

The police in the Bosnian Serb city of Banja Luka say that the 33-year old Anes Subasic was born in a Banja Luka suburb of Laus, that his father went by a pseudonym Tutma, but that Anes is a man involved in criminal activities that include attempted murder, extortion and robbery.

The Bosnian Serb police say that in 1992, Anes changed his name to Mladen, an ethnic Serbian name, and that under both names Anes was charged 11 times on 16 counts of attempted murder, extortion and robbery.

The police in Banja Luka has also investigated Anes Subasic for an attempted murder of Stanslav Koljancic, an ethnic Serb and an owner of Banja Luka night club Kajak.

In my recent unpublished letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I tried to warn the zombies about the possible backgrounds of some of the paper’s celebrated, resettled “victims” of the Bosnian war, saying that Salt Lake City shooter Sulejman Talovic’s father wasn’t the only one who lied about his war record to get refugee status. I should have added that they can also lie about their criminal records to get that status:

Bosnian fighting extradition indicted on South Dakota charges (March 23, 2007):

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota-A Bosnian man was indicted on state charges of aggravated assault as he fights extradition for a 1995 slaying in his homeland.

Samir Avdic, who was found guilty in absentia in his home country of shooting and killing a man while they hid in a cave to escape the violence in Bosnia, has been fighting a federal complaint accusing him of being a fugitive from a foreign country.

Avdic, 40, is in the United States on a temporary visa and has been living in Sioux Falls with his family and working at the John Morrell & Co. meatpacking plant. He was arrested March 9 by Sioux Falls police after he
was accused of using his vehicle to ram into another vehicle carrying his stepdaughter’s boyfriend.

A grand jury on Thursday indicted him on two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of simple assault and reckless driving…In August 1995, Avdic and two other men were hiding in a cave while the nearby town of Srebrenica was under siege by Serbian forces, according to the federal complaint. The three men argued and Avdci fatally shot one of them in the back and, with the third man’s help, threw the body down a
ravine, according to the complaint.

A Bosnian court issued a warrant for Avdic’s arrest in November 1998 and he was convicted a month later.

Avdic was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison but an appeals court later reduced it to six years after re-evaluating mitigating factors, the complaint states.

So even when they’re not in battle, Bosniaks — like Albanians — have a propensity to kill. That must be the mitigating factor. Similarly, even Croatia’s heroes and top military commanders are ex-cons: Croat War Crimes General was Armed Robber (AP)