[Used with Permission from Srebrenica Genocide Blog.]

Why do Srebrenica massacre revisionists and Srebrenica genocide deniers minimize numbers of Srebrenica victims?

Ask yourself: Why do Holocaust revisionists deny Holocaust? Why are 9/11 attacks on America target of conspiracy theories, revisionism and denials?

When it comes to Srebrenica massacre, let us consider case of Ed Herman, outspoken Srebrenica genocide denier. Of Herman’s many dubious and outright false assertions about Srebrenica, one of the most contemptible is his attempt to make disappear from history the roughly 8000 Bosnian civilians massacred by Serbian forces. Some of his mystification is couched in slippery deniability, in a half-hearted attempt to deflect the criticism he deserves.

But taken together, his comments comprise a clear endeavor at war-crimes denial. Herman is perturbed that the estimated number of victims has stayed relatively constant around 8000.  But this estimate has been documented in detail by several independent sources and has been accepted widely, from the corporate media to such progressive reporters as Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” (Srebrenica 10th anniversary report, July 11, 2005).

Though Herman uses misleading and out-of-date reports to cast doubt on the credibility of the lists of missing, he ignores the detailed documentation of the lists from several sources. The credibility of the lists deserves particular attention in rebuttal to Herman.

On June 5, 2005 Bosnia’s Federal Commission for Missing Persons (Federalna Komisija za nestale osobe) issued a list of the names, parents’ names, dates of birth, and unique citizen’s registration numbers of 8,106 individuals who have been reliably established, from multiple independent sources, to have gone missing and/or been killed in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. The Federal Commission’s list was made public early in June.  A verification process is underway for approximately 500 more victims whose disappearance or death has not yet been verified from two or more independent sources.

Relatives and friends have registered a total of 7,789 names of people missing or known to be dead from the July 1995 events at Srebrenica with another reporting body, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross has compiled its own list, based on inquiries from friends and relatives. (The ICRC list is slightly shorter because it allows only those reported by relatives. Where entire families were wiped out, the ICRC does not accept reports from friends or neighbors.) The ICRC states that there are still 5500 missing persons from Srebrenica, in addition to the 2000+ identified dead. (July 2005).

Another list appears as an annex to the Republika Srpska Srebrenica Commission’s June 2004 report. It should also be kept in mind that names appear on the missing-persons lists as a result of active inquiries from relatives and others close to the missing/deceased individuals in question. In addition to these names there are other individuals who were among the dead and missing in July 1995 but do not appear on any lists because they had no close friends or relatives there to inquire after them – including cases where whole families (or whole village populations) were killed.

For one of numerous reports on the difficulties faced by forensic investigators in attempting to identify some of the recovered bodies, see Srebrenica: ten years on, by Ed Vulliamy, July 6, 2005. That sort of information should be posted on ZNet as a counter-balance to Herman’s ridiculous denials.

Apparently Herman has never been to Bosnia, so he thinks he is able to preserve his ability to look at the issues with “objectivity,” unlike the surviving victims of the massacre. But his selective reliance on Serbian nationalists, right-wing Republicans, and a handful of leftist ideologues produces historical revisionism that disgraces Z Magazine.

If you are interested in more on this topic, you can also read about General Lewis Mackenzie, the former commander of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia, who is outspoken Srebrenica genocide denier. He portrays himself as an expert on Srebrenica who can rule on genocide issues, even though he has no legal background and he has never visited Srebrenica in his life, plus he has been accused by eyewitnesses of participating in mass rapes of Bosniak women in Serb-held rape camps. Here is a copy of the 1993 article by the investigative reporter Dennis Bernstein (Pacific News Service): Answers Needed to Charges of U.N. Misconduct in Bosnia.

Used with Permission from Srebrenica Genocide Blog.