Last Sunday, the Deseret News ran a piece titled “Roots of Murder: Shooter’s kin remember ‘ordinary kid’” — failing to include so much as a one-sentence disclaimer reminding readers that, as the paper had printed last month, the Salt Lake City shooter’s former uncle Nasir Omerovic’s “account of Talovic is sharply at odds with that of other relatives who described Talovic as a nice boy.”

As long as he knew him and heard about him…Talovic was a “bad kid.” …Talovic was about four years older than Omerovic’s son, Safer. In one incident, he said, when Talovic was about 11, he packed a broken piece of glass in a snowball and hit Safer in the head. The younger boy bled and Talovic was afraid he would be punished. But Omerovic doesn’t believe the child was punished.

Separately, the article also includes a graphic of a timeline that starts with the birth of this prize to Suljo and Sabira Talovic in 1988, followed by 1993 and the sentence “Suljo Talovic goes into mountains with village men in a defensive unit while other members of his family and many villagers flee to Srebrenica.”

So there, finally, out in the open are the dots that a rare few of us have been trying to connect, namely that Suljo, like most Bosnian Muslims aged 14 and over at the time, was a fighter — and most likely lied about it on his visa application. But lucky for him, only Serbs are called on this and deported. Meanwhile, let’s remember that his “defensive unit” was part of an offensive war.

Toward the end of the article, the Deseret News cites Omerovic echoing what other family members and acquaintances told both that paper and Salt Lake City Tribune from the beginning:

Genocide against Bosnian Muslims during the war in that country, 1992-95, cannot be blamed for Talovic’s violence, his uncle said. The boy was so young at the time that he doubts he remembered the war.

But the Deseret News was determined to justify the murder of five Utahns by a Muslim, and it was not to be deterred. To that end, Sunday’s article about “ordinary kid” Sulejman Talovic was actually part of a three-part package that was introduced thus:

…Nothing can erase any of his responsibility for killing five people and wounding four, and the incalculable suffering and terror he caused. But [But! But! But!] crime never happens in a vacuum. These articles attempt to shed light on Talovic’s actions by examining factors that may have influenced him.

The emotional history of the 18-year-old killer is difficult to untangle. The trail begins in a remote mountain village in Bosnia, [I sense the word “Serb” approaching…] leads to the family’s flight during the Serb military assault against Bosnian Muslims [there it is!], continues at refugee centers during the war and shifts to several locations in Salt Lake City.

The package relies heavily on Utah’s favorite imam in Bosnia, Nezim Halilovic:

The second piece of the package is “Cities, Citizens, still Scarred by War.” (i.e. “Maybe if we can prove that everyone else is still scarred, then it can mean that baby Sulejman somehow was — even though members of the family have repeatedly told us that none of them were.”) Here is an excerpt from the belated Balkans hack job, written by a Joe Bauman and dripping with obsolete, Balkan-war-era melodrama, the paper still milking the thing even five years after Americans started realizing that maybe the Bosnian war wasn’t exactly what our pack media told us it was:

To understand the impact on Bosnians of the 1992-95 war, ask anybody in this country old enough to remember it…From the bellhop who grows morose and silent when questioned about the fighting to the top imam in Bosnia, all have horror stories. [But not Serbs! Still no horror stories there! Well, at least no Pulitzers there.] …after Tito’s death in 1980, Yugoslavia began to fracture along ethnic lines.

No explanation that the fragmentation had something to do with the separatist Bosnian-Muslim fundamentalist president Alija Izetbegovic, the separatist Croatian Nazi nostalgics, or the separatist Albanians of Kosovo; instead, it just goes straight into:

In 1986, Slobodan Milosevic [there it is!] — an advocate of “ethnic cleansing” [there it is again!] against Bosniacs and Croats — took power as Yugoslavia’s strongman.

Ah, the cacophony of smalltown newsies trying to make sense of the big, bad world.

The artillery took aim at civilians, [translator Adi Sokolija] said. “At the beginning it was just to make people scared. Later, people standing in rows for water and bread, that was more fierce. They shot at people that were waiting just to have a piece of bread.”

“A lot of children, actually, were killed,” Sokolija continued. They were targeted, he said. “A lot of children waiting in rows for bread and water, part of those were killed.”

I wonder if he could he be talking about the infamous bread line and marketplace massacres of 1992, 1994 and 1995:

Pursuant to Izetbegovic’s end game, writes Michigan-based Balkans writer and historian Carl Savich, “the Bosnian Muslim faction engaged in propaganda, staged massacres, killed Bosnian Muslim civilians to garner sympathy and used civilian hostages or shields to further its propaganda of victimization.” For example, the 1992 Breadline Massacre and the Markale Marketplace bombings of 1994 and 95 resulted in U.S. economic sanctions and a bombing campaign, respectively, of the Serbs — despite European headlines like the Sunday Times of London’s “Serbs ‘not guilty’ of massacre, Experts warned US that mortar was Bosnian” (Oct. 1, 1995).

But back to Deseret’s drivel, and to Utah’s favorite mujahid:

The most influential imam in Bosnia, Nezim Halilovic [what? former mujahideen influential among the non-religious Muslims of Bosnia?!], described what he called “genocide and hard aggression” against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Interviewed in the Islamic Center in Sarajevo, he wore western clothing and a short beard. [Of course he did. But good job sticking to the program about those “Westernized” Bosnian Muslims by pointing that out.]

You can see churches standing in the places occupied by the Bosnia-Herzegovina army, Halilovic said. “There were no massive killings of civilians….On the opposite side, where those Serbs and Croats were, 614 mosques were destroyed; not one church on this side. And to add to that … 307 mosques are left damaged. That’s out of a total of 1,400 and some mosques.”

Because Christians destroy mosques. Whereas Muslims do not destroy churches. Got it. And that’s 614 mosques for the non-religious Bosnian Muslims in minority-Muslim areas? I’ll try to make that gel, too. Except in an unpublished letter to Deseret’s Joe Bauman, the paper’s chief recycler of the old and already debunked Balkan-Muslim propaganda, author Bill Dorich writes:

[A]re we supposed to believe that there was a mosque for every 200 Sarajevo Muslims, 90% of whom ate pork [and] drank alcohol, [while] less than 5% of all Bosnian Muslims attended mosques on a regular basis including during Ramadan? …Your belief that Serbs destroyed over 600 mosques and damaged another 300 is really naive. But why did you fail to mention that 98 Serbian churches were destroyed in Croatia in 1991 [and] 282 in Bosnia from 1992-95, and 151 churches in Kosovo since the arrival of NATO troops?

Back again to Bauman’s pabulum:

“Two hundred thousand Muslims and patriots from other nations were killed in Bosnian war.”

Around 300,000 people were placed in concentration camps, he said. “About 40,000 women were raped, amongst whom were 10,000 girls.”

About that 200,000 figure: the total war death toll — for all sides — was halved in late 2005, to 100,000, Reuters reported. Retired New York Times Washington Bureau member David Binder elaborates on this in the foreword to Peter Brock’s book Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting:

[A]ll at once in 1993 the number of Bosnian Muslims estimated to have been killed rose astronomically from 20,000 to 200,000. [John F.] Burns of The Times amplified this at one point to 300,000! Brock then recounts how George Kenney, a Foreign Service officer who quit the State Department in disillusionment over United States passivity toward the Bosnia fighting subsequently became vocally skeptical about the ballooning death numbers. After a lot of research he put the toll at 70,000 to 90,000 and was immediately blackballed by the pro-Bosnian establishment. Not incidentally, the total for ALL SIDES killed in the Bosnia fighting was estimated in mid-2005 by Muslim researchers to be under 150,000.

Reader Michael Pravica responds to these points in his unpublished letter to the Deseret News:

Many of the claims…such as the “40,000 raped (Bosnian Muslim) women” were investigated by such respected agencies as the Red Cross and found to be wildly exaggerated. Neither has Mr. Bauman discussed the hundreds of Bosnian Serbian women who were raped.

Writes Binder:

Others pouncing on the allegations of “up to 60,000 rapes” of Muslim women by Serb soldiers included Newsweek’s Charles Lane and colleagues for a cover story and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Judy Bachrach for a magazine piece. Conspicuously ignored then and later, as Brock points out, were the 800 cases of raped Serbian women copiously documented for the United Nations.

Binder mentions a Bosnian Serb named Boris Herak, who admitted to committing between 35 and 42 murders plus 16 rapes after being tortured by Bosnian-Muslim officials before giving Roy Gutman of New York Newsday an interview. Binder writes that, “as with Borislav Herak, whom The International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague refused to indict after the story fell apart, so the court declined to accept as a witness one of Gutman’s principal rape accusers who turned out to be using five aliases.”

About those concentration camps where, Bauman writes, “victims starved,” Mary Mostert of the Banner of Liberty website asks:

When I was writing as editor of Michael Reagan’s website and newsletter in the 1990s, I checked out the statistics from the last Yugoslav census during the Bosnian war. In 1991 the population of Sarajevo was 525,980…About 155,000 Serbs and 262,000 Muslims lived in Sarajevo and its suburbs before the war…How could 155,000 Serb men, women and children put 300,000 Muslims, or 115% of the entire Muslim population of Sarajevo, in concentration camps?

True to Balkans-reporting form, these concentration camp stories, “far from representing on-the-scene reporting,” writes Binder, “were based on scantily identified sources who never surfaced as real people.”

But back to Deseret’s dutifully reported propaganda from the mujahid-imam:

When investigators dug up one mass grave last year, they found the remains of “an older woman that was approximately 103 years old — she had documents — and her grand-grandchild, that has only three years.”

The child was still in the woman’s arms. “The cause of this and the people that did this are Serbs,” [Halilovic] said.

On July 11, 1995, near Srebrenica, a woman named Jamila noticed a woman in the crowd who wore an expression of pain. Jamila asked her what was wrong. “And she was saying, ‘I’m giving birth.”‘

Jamila told her, “Hold my hand and hold the hand of the woman next to you.” The woman gave birth to a boy. “It had black, long hair, and it looked clean even though it was just born. She took the child on her stomach.”

A Serb ordered her to put the baby on the ground, then stepped on him, killing him, he said.

These are the delicious tales that filled reams and reams of paper for a decade, and Deseret is still repeating them. Someone should tell the paper that the Pulitzers for fabricated Balkan reporting are long distributed. We have here yet another reporter relying on hearsay, and printing it without making an attempt to corroborate. Is it obvious yet that the Bosnians have had a long-running competition for most imaginiative and mutable horror tales?

But if the subject is pregnant women, and newborns, here’s one that was printed in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, March 7, 1993: “UN officer: No Serb atrocities”

The commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Bosnia visited two besieged settlements in eastern Bosnia yesterday and dismissed Moslem accounts of Serb atrocities and mass starvation there.

General Philippe Morillon’s report was the first independent account from the area after days of unconfirmed reports of atrocities and human deprivation in the snowbound mountain settlements of Cerska and Konjevic Polje.

“Thanks to God it seems that there have been no atrocities there (in Cerska),” the French general said. “On the contrary, a pregnant woman who was there and could not leave the village has been taken by Serbian forces and put in a hospital.” — KURT SCHORK, TUZLA

I wonder if the Bosnian Muslims got the newborn-atrocity idea from any number of incidents in which Hitler’s willing Croatian (”Ustasha”) and Bosnian executioners slammed babies into brick walls, or perhaps from this similar incident as chronicled by the late Jewish Holocaust survivor Cadik Danon in his book The Smell of Human Flesh, A Witness of the Holocaust Memories of Jasenovac:

Some meters from the gate I saw a column of men, women and children. The Ustashas were pushing them and hitting them with the butts of their rifles. When they came near I saw that they were peasants from some Serbian village in Bosnia. They were frightened, confused, and the Ustashas were beating them mercilessly with curses and threats.

I noticed a group of women with children and among them a handsome young woman with a kerchief on her head. She was not older than twenty three, or four. She was carrying on her chest her baby in diapers; a sweet, fearful boy of about four years was holding on to a corner of her skirt.

The Ustashas were rough in separating the children from their parents. The screams of mothers and cries of children were heard. An Ustasha approached the young woman with her baby in her hands, tore away the boy and pushed him to the side where the separated children were standing. The cries and screams were growing; on the sadists’ faces pleasure was visible. The Ustasha who had torn off the boy from his mother, approached her again intending to take away her suckling baby. The fury, fear and the decidedness not to give up her child, whom she pressed even tighter to her breast, were seen on the mother’s face. The Ustasha grabbed the child with both hands and was trying to take him away, but the woman, strongly holding the baby on her left arm, suddenly grabbed the Ustasha by the throat with her right hand and tightened her grip so hard that he started choking, rolling his eyes and sticking out his tongue. Seeing what was happening, another Ustasha approached the woman from the back and with a strong stroke of the butt [of his rifle] he sent her into the mud. She fell in a prone position, over the baby, to the ground. The Ustasha who was almost strangled collected himself. He turned the woman over on the back and started again tearing away the baby from her. His fury was even more intensive, not only because of the woman’s resistance, but because she had shamed him in front of his Ustashas. So he furiously wanted to grab the child again; she was holding him tight on her chest and would not let him go. Mad, he hit the woman with his hilt into the stomach and with a sudden jerk he grabbed her child. Helpless and stunned, the woman was lying on the ground. The Ustasha began cursing: “Cursed be your Serbian mother, we shall kill all of you! How dare you [try] to strangle me!”

The baby in his hands was crying, and cursing he took off its diapers, grabbed it by his small legs and started revolving it in a circle. He turned it faster and faster and suddenly threw it on the ground at the head of his mother. The baby’s head cracked like a ripe melon, its blood and brain spilling over the mother’s maddened face. The desperate cry of the poor woman resounded and she then lost consciousness. I saw that she was taken by the legs and pulled to the side.

The children seized and separated were led further to the depth of the camp. So I lost them out of sight. Children’s cries and shrieks were weaker and weaker. Mothers called them by their names: “Milan! Marko! Marija!” The adult villagers were taken to the Sava river which flowed just next to the camp. They were take to Lower Gradina, where they were killed en masse…The cries and wailings were slowly subduing in the distance…The camp gate was shut again.

This snapshot goes to the point of why most Serbs were reluctant to live under independent Croatian or Bosnian-Muslim rule, but Yugoslavian only — especially since not much changed by the 1990s. So civil wars ensued. Hence we get the myth of Serbs “starting” the wars, and of Serbia trying to “carve out more land for Serbs” as part of a “Greater Serbia.”

The last part of the Deseret News hackage was titled “Bosnian Family Torn Apart by War,” and it elaborated on the timeline information about Suljo’s military service:

“Civilians went to Srebrenica,” said Sacir Cumurovic, a cousin of Suljo Talovic, interviewed in Talovici. A Jacksonville, Fla., resident, he went back to Bosnia for the funeral of Sulejman Talovic last month. “Army was in the forests hiding, trying to find a way out,” he said. “But civilian, children and women, went into Srebrenica.”

Asked why the family split up, Cumurovic replied, “Because he’s (Suljo Talovic) in army.” …The day of the funeral in Talovici, Hasic located a man who identified himself as Suljo Talovic’s military commander in a defensive unit during the war.

The man said his first name is Alija but did not give his surname. He refused to speak with the American newspaper during an interview attempt, although he did talk with Hasic. [Hmm, won’t talk to American; has the same first name as our friend the Bosnian fundamentalist president Izetbegovic, who asked to be buried in the cemetery of the “shahids”.]

Alija described Suljo Talovic as an ordinary soldier, not an officer. “He says that he was really good soldier, and says that he knows all his family.

This piece of the package ends with the oft-quoted aunt Ajka Omerovic, finally changing her original story, as I’ve been waiting for this waywardly honest relative to do. It took a full two months to happen. Here’s what she said before, first as reported in the NY Times:

Ms. Omerovic said the Bosnian civil war alone as an explanation made no sense to her because all Bosnians had been “touched by war” but had not committed crimes.

and second as reported in Salt Lake Tribune:

Sulejman Talovic’s aunt, Ajka Omerovic, said she doesn’t know why her nephew became a mass murderer, but claimed neither he nor the rest of her family has any lingering psychological effects from the war in Bosnia.

But here’s how she feels about it this month:

She and her child Safer were present during the 1995 massacre.

“Oh, I cannot tell you how that like,” she said. “It’s terrible.”

After the town was overrun, Serbs rounded up the men and killed them, amounting to 8,000, she said. [SHE said…as opposed to the fluctuating, Islamic-propagandized number that’s been publicized ad infinitum.]

“They occupied us and put us in one building,” she said. People were taken from the building, a battery factory, and killed or raped. The Serbs could “do whatever they want,” she said. Women were killed there, she said.

The Bosnian agony had an effect on her nephew, Sulejman Talovic, she believes. [Here she finally falls in line and gets with the program. What took you so long, Ajka? Didn’t you hear how the rest of the family was playing it, and the way Deseret was begging you to play it?] “I don’t make any excuses [well she didn’t before], but [But! But! But!] it’s terrible to suffer something like that.”

Even though he was a young boy, he knew what was going on, she believes. [She does now!] She thinks his mother said that when they were traveling from Srebrenica to Tuzla, he saw women killed and women raped.

“The enemy can just stop the truck and take you and kill you or whatever they want,” she said. “I think they said he saw some of that.”

So now we’re just down to one off-script relative, Ajka’s ex-husband above, who still hasn’t gotten the memo to play up the war-of-Serbian-aggression thing.

Toward the bottom of this last article, Bauman quotes the translator Hasic, saying that “something like 50 mass graves have been discovered. ‘And right now…we are finding the mass graves, but you don’t know who is inside of the mass graves.’”

Well here’s a clue, from the preface of the Brock book:

There is no question that several thousand people were killed [in Srebrenica] — some by fellow combatants — in a murderous orgy.

What the International Committee of the Red Cross originally said on September 13, 1995, and again on February 8, 1996, was that 5,000 mostly Muslim troops and civilians fled from Srebrenica into other areas of Bosnia before and during the Serb attacks.

Some reports indicate that many were discreetly assigned to other Bosnian Army units. Some managed to join up with paramilitary groups. Others hid in forests.

Limited exhumations of supposed mass graves near Srebrenica resulted in identifying only some of the “missing” thousands of Muslim corpses — later categorized as civilian non-combatants — the largest number of which were taken to a warehouse in Tuzla. In fact, the Srebrenica region also contains intermittently re-disovered — and, reluctantly reported — mass graves of hundreds of Serb victims murdered during atrocities before 1995. An understandable, even reasonable provocation for subsequent retaliation, some may assert!

Ah, now do we understand the end game?

Just a footnote on the reporter of the 1993 item in Jerusalem Post, in which UN General Morillon reported no atrocities aside from the Serbs taking a pregnant woman to the hospital: The late Kurt Schork eventually gave up the unpopular no-Serbian-atrocities stuff and, like Aunt Ajka, got with the program. According to Brock’s introduction, as a reporter for Reuters, Schork too engaged in the sleight-of-pen reporting that was pandemic among Balkans correspondents:

[Schork] wrote about a man named “Zarko Spasic” who disappeared near the village of Sipovac in Kosovo….Finally, in the eleventh paragraph of the report, readers could figure out that Zarko Spasic was a Serb who was kidnapped and murdered by Albanian Muslims in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Maddeningly, journalists used this method of allowing presumption and mistaken inference to occur until deep into the narratives of thousands of such accounts — and long after copy editors had excised the most critical information — throughout the war reporting of the 1990s!