A Response to Michael Sells and his 9 Points!

June 6, 1997

By William Dorich

Your posting on the news group has been forwarded to The American Srbobran editorial department. I have asked them to give your corresponsence the same attention and respect that Serbian correspondence received at the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Washington Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor and the Los Angeles Times, in the last 5 years. I have insisted that the editor of Srbobran provide the same, or at least equal colums, as was provided by any one of the newspapers previously mentioned. I urged them, if nothing else, give Mr. Sells the same space in the Srbobran that was given to the Serbian point of view by Ljiljan and Oslobodenje, the Sarajevo newspapers or for that matter the Croatian newspaper in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Sells you are so full of hot air I am surprised that you aren’t floating a hundreds yards above the ground. And as usual, you are still full of shit and don’t know what you are talking about.

Let me take your first hideous exaggeration.

(Sells)-- “My concern is that in your publication, I found no indication that alternate perspectives exist...”

(Dorich)--You obviously have not even seen a Srbobran, have you? How arrogant that you would make this remark without ever actually seeing one of the newspapers. For the past 5 years I have complained, to no success, that the editors of Srbobran were reprinting articles in every issue from such syndicated journalists as Anthony Lewis, Chuck Sudetic, John Burns, Tim Judah, Chris Hedges, just to mention a few. Outrageous attacks by such newspapers as the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, London Times, The Wall Street Journal appeared in issue after issue of The Srbobran throughout the past 4 years. The publishers of Srbobran believed strongly that the Serbian people around the country who have no access to the major papers should be award of the opposing views in this war. That says more about the integrity of the publisher of Srbobran than it does about the demagogues in the major media who successfully muzzled opposing Serbian views and made the Serbian people non-persons in the process.

FIRST CLAIM

(Sells) -- “...Mr. Dorich begins with a religious and ethnic slur against Christiane Amanpour. Christiane is an unusual Muslim name, but let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that one of her relatives is Muslim, so what?”

(Dorich)--Last week in the Los Angeles Times the screaming headline read: “Serbian Is Sentenced in Fraud Tied to Abduction” With your outrageous double standards, Mr. Sells, I suppose the Serbian people should be used to this kind of appalling racism by now? Mr. Dragisa Lazarevich the “Serb” in the Times article was not found guilty of abducting his children to Yugoslavia six years ago, he was found guilty of passport fraud. “So What” that he was a Serb? If it was so damned important to call attention to Mr. Lazarevich’s ethnicity, then why was it not important to point out that his x-wife, Shayna Gluck, is a Jew?

(Sells)--“John Gotti is an American criminal. Yet to criticise him does not usually lead to charges of being anti-American.”

(Dorich)--“Usually,” now that is a a good cop-out word. I happen to know a great many Italians, my neighborhood, where I grew up, was full of Italians. For decades, Italians suffered from the slings and arrows associated with the mafia. How clever that you refrained from using that association in your remark, but I could sense it was probably your first choice and you wanted to be politically correct. But no one cares if they are politically correct when it comes to Serbs. Just look at the language of the Assistant Secretary of State who called Serbs, “Murderous Assholes,” and you get ticked when I use the word “Shit.” Senator Biden went one step farther, he called Serbs, “illiterates, degenerates, baby killers, rapists and cowards,” and that was only during one of his many CNN appearances during the Balkan conflicts. Morton Kondracke called Serbs, “Bastards” on national television. And to think, the media managed to coerce Senator D’Amato into apologizing to the Asian community on the floor of the Senate for merely mimicking their accent on a radio program.

SECOND CLAIM

(Sells)--“The piece by Peter Brock has been discredited...”

(Dorich)-- Not so, only by the New Republic, a hotbed of rabid Serbophobes! Isn’t this the same publication that printed the hideous remark by Anthony Lewis in their March, 1995 issue, “Bosnian Serb broadcasts told viewers and listeners that Serbian fighters were being roasted alive on spits. For many, this was the only source of news, and they believed?.” When I provided Mr. Lewis with several 8x10 color photographs of roasted Serbian soldiers taken by Japanese photo journalist, Yasunari Mizuguchi, Mr. Lewis did not have the professional integrity to apologize, much less print a retraction. Now you demand that the Srbobran take me to task!

Well I suggest that I have just discredited Amanpour as a liar, and a manipulater of truth. I have been in contact with Mr. Goran Mikic, the photographer who took the picture of the man in the red sweater Amanpour used to demonize Arkan, and by the way, Amanpour and CNN used this photograph without Mr. Mikic’s permission, a practice in broadcast and print media consider unethical and illegal. Mikic has been given political asylum in the U.S. primarily because his life has been threatened so often. Mr. Mikic has hundreds of very incrimminating photographs from Vukovar of what the Croatians did. He can name every victim in his photographs, the majority of whom were Serbs. He has one photograph of a killed Serbian mother sitting upright with the decapitated head of her son in her lap. Her son was obviously decapitated in her presence, the head thrown in her lap as she went out of her mind in agony, just before the Croatian bullet pierced her skull. Mikic is the son of a Croatian mother whose family has a Ustashi history. Mikic’s father was a Serb and was killed in this war. His mother fled to Belgrade for protection. How compelling that she fled to her enemies, just like 30,000 other Croatians and 70,000 Muslims did. I have seen many of Goran Mikic’s horror collection, they make the movie series ”Friday the 13th” look like the work of rank amateurs.

THIRD CLAIM

(Sells)--“LM magazine (Living Marxizm) is a group of fanatic Marxists who are trying to take an unpopular position to increase their visibility.” From the begining they denied atrocities occurred at Omarska and even implied that Roy gutman made up the story of Omarska.”

(Dorich)--You accuse me of an unethical or maybe at least an unprofessional attack against Amanpour. then what in hell do your call your statement about LM Magazine? Regardless if Living Marxism is a group of flaming Nazis, it does not for a moment change the fact that the Serbs at 74 Nikola Demonja Street were slaughtered and Amanpour used their pictures to re massacre the dead!

As for Roy Gutman, he got a Pulitzer for lying and supposition and his own words in the introduction to his book, Witness to Genocide reeks of his insulting lack of morals. He said: “Having set such lofty standards, I immediately made an exception and wrote about the Omarska camp, which I had not visited, based on the secondhand witness account.”(pg.Xii) In other words, he lied, he made it up as he went along. What “lofty standards” is he talking about, does he mean integrity, responsibility, truth? In Witness to Genocide, even the title is a lie, he was never witness to even a beating in this war. He published Witness to Genocide more than a year after his August,1992 stories in Newsday about alleged “concentration camps,” and “gulags” at Omarska and Brcko—he failed to list a single Serbian inmates of Croat and Muslim camps—almost a year after official documentation was public record and available!

On pp. 60-63 of Gutman’s August 5, 1992 Newsday article from Zagreb, reporting on the secondhand statements from an unnamed 15 year-old Muslim boy and two minimally described individuals, “Hujca” and “Meho.” Out of this emerges an account of allegations, among others, that Omarska contained “11,000 prisoners.” Early in 1993, the U.N. and the International Committee for the Red Cross possessed information that no more than 11,000 inmates had ever existed in detention camps operated by all three sides—Croats, Muslims and Serbs—and they were predominantly males. In 1994, the ICRC had updated its numbers, stating that 16,900 inmates from all sides were in as many as 200 camps operated by all three sides. There was no percentage breakdown except to say that as of December 31, 1993 there were 5,500 remaining inmates with this very interesting breakdown: 40%, or 2,200 held in Bosnian government camps; 25%, or 1,375 held in Croat camps; 13%, or 715 held in Serb camps. What was Gutman’s source for reporting 11,000 inmates at Omarska?

In the foreword to the book “Mass Rape,” by Alexandria Stiglmayer (page xi), it appears that Gutman still can't seem to get his facts straight. In referring again to the rape of women at Omarska, Gutman states in the foreward to her book: 'By day the women washed dishes for the 2,200 or more men being held...' First, it was 11,000 prisoners at Omarska to sell his own book, now it's 2,200 at Ormaska to sell Ms. Stiglmayer's.

His banner headlines were about “death camps,” and the sentences admitting that his reports “could not be independently confirmed” and that they were “thinly sourced,” were tucked away towards the end of his articles. On page xxxvii in his book, Roy Gutman identifies “a little noted but growing pro-Serbian lobby funded by U.S. Serb groups...” But, why does Roy Gutman omit from his book any mention of Ruder Finn, Hill & Knowlton, Waterman and Associates, who have earned millions of dollars promoting the Muslim side of the Bosnian war. Why has Gutman failed to acknowledge other prominent American firms and Washington advocacy organizations who have lobbied and provided PR for Slovenians, Croatians, the Bosnian government and Kosovo Albanian clients?

On page xxcii in the introduction to his book, Gutman explicitly denies—though it has long been proven otherwise by the U.N. and other sources—that more than 10,000 Mujahedin fighters have been used by Bosnian government forces along with thousands of mercenaries from Libya, Turkey, Iran, England, Australia, Germany and the United States. Why, at the late date of publication of Witness to Genocide, did Gutman persist in the denial of these mercenaries?

Robert Allen Lofthouse, from Nottingham, claims to have supplied the British and American media with black propaganda against the Serbs in Bosnia. Lofthouse was captured by Serbian troops on Mount Majevica in northern Bosnia at the end of January, 1993. Lofthouse has admitted supplying both Roy Gutman of U.S. Newsday and the BBC with false information about camps, rapes, ethnic cleansing and other atrocities carried out by the Serbs. Gutman admits that he spoke to Loftus on the telephone several times. “The guy called me out of the blue,” recalls Gutman. “And to tell you the truth, I was thrilled when he phoned.” This is the same Roy Gutman that denies he used information from Lofthouse, but proved quite capable of using undocumented, unsubstantiated and “thinly sourced” stories from others, including numerous tales from Alija Lujinovic, including his claim that Muslim bodies were taken to an animal feed plant where, Lujinovic said: “the prisoners didn’t actually throw the corpses into the oven, but they had every reason to believe the bodies were being cremated for animal feed.” (p. 50 of Gutman’s book and used in his original Newsday story.)

On August 6, Gutman reported from Zagreb on how “Serbian guards kept their captives in open pits.” This was another tale about alleged atrocities of hundreds of prisoners at Omarska, told by “Hajca...” However, on page 50, “Hajca” admits that he “did not witness any of the killings himself, but on one occasion he saw eight corpses covered with blankets.” Roy Gutman condemned the entire Serbian nation with such flimsy “evidence?” Michael Sells proves capable of using equally absurd “facts.” Someday Michael, I will watch you twist in the wind when the real truth of this war is eventually exposed....and don’t take comfort that the Serbs do not have a great deal of material that will eventually hang people like you for lying while making a buck on the deception.

FOURTH CLAIM

(Sells)--“Ms. Amanpour used footage of the extremely public wedding of Arkan, which was attended by Bishop Vasilje of Tuzla-Zvornik, The Serbian Bishop of Slovonia, and other Serbian religious leaders who have been totally committed to Årkan and his actions.

(Dorich)--In Bosnia’s version of “HIGH NOON,” the criminal Caco (Musan Topalovic) was gunned down at close range while in police custody in 1993. He was one of the worse Muslim criminals of this war. His body remained well hidden for three years. Recently, President Izetbegovic gave Topalovic a hero’s funeral with 15,000 Muslims in attendance, including I am told dozens of imams. That makes the 700 people at Arkan’s wedding pale in comparison. But why do you continue to make not a single remark about the 15 imams who took up arms and murdered Croats and Muslims? In your vicious attack of the Serbian church you cannot name a single Serbian priest that joined a militia and murdered anyone.

FIFTH CLAIM

(Sells)--”We look forward to further reports on Kordic, Oric, Bokan, Seselj, and other major war criminals. There is no reason to bring them into a report on Arkan.”

(Dorich)--We won’t hold our breath that CNN and Amanpour will be broadcasting any programs on these individuals any time soon.

SIXTH CLAIM

(Sells)--“This, (Bill Schiller’s report on Oric) is an excellent example that the media HAVE covered the crimes of Oric.”

(Dorich)--The Toronto Star was the only western newspaper that printed a story on Oric. The people of the United States were not exposed to this article as they were to the Arkan piece.

SEVENTH CLAIM

(Sells)--”Referring to the massacre in Gospic, Sells said. We look forward to afull investigation of this crime. There are tens of thousands, at least, perhaps hundreds of thousands of civilians killed by war-criminals in the Balkan wars of 1992-95.”

(Dorich)--Again, Serbs are not holding the breath about these massacres being “fully” investigated. The castration of Serbs POS’s is not being investigated, the forced circumcisions are not being investigated. The 58,000 Serbs cleansed from Slovonia in 1991 and the destruction of 180 Serbian villages is not being investigated. The “cleansing of 180,000 Serbs from the Krajina and the related murders of victims in that offensive is not being investigated. The 800 legal demosition of Serbian women (document S24491) in 1992 are not being investigated. The 4,000 Serbs killed in Okucani in 1995 are not being investigated. The 3,000 Serbs killed in Mostar in 1992 are not being investigated. As for your remark that “hundreds of thousands” were killed in the Balkan war of 1992-95, apparently you did not read George Kinney today in the Los Angeles Times. He was one of your boys. He left the State Department to protest your war. Now he claims that there are less than 70,000 killed in this entire war. You and your ilk praised him and his figures when he was attacking the Serbs are you now going to discredit him because he no longer supports the Muslim cause?

EIGHTH CLAIM

(Sells)--“Three Muslims and a Croat are being tried in the Hague for crimes against Serbs at the Celebic camp in Konjic.”

(Dorich)--I admit this oversight. However one trial in which 4 criminals are being tried for one crime while 70 indictments are against Serbs, still proves my point. The overwhelming majority of indictments are against Serbs. But, Mr. Sells, you honestly believe that we are prepared to prosecute thousands of cases in this war, when Nuremberg tried only a few dozen. Do you honestly believe that the United States, or for that matter, all nations combined are willing to spend the tens of billions of dollars to keep this Tribunal a float for 20 years, because based on the Tadic trial that took seven months, prosecuting thousands of cases will carry us into 2020? What kind of justice are you prepared to fight for, billions spent on justice while you simultaneously starve Serbs to death? Based on the Serbs only getting 2% of the $1.2 billion that has gone to Bosnia since Dayton, that is exactly what the U.S. is planning, economic genocide in the name of democracy! Clinton praised the effort this week of the Marshall Plan. This is the same American president that applauded giving billions of dollars to our Nazi and Japanese enemies. This is also the same president who “negative earmarked” numerous pieces of legislation in which aid going to Bosnia was marked to indicate that none of the millions we were sending was to go to Serbian refugees or to Serbs.

NINTH CLAIM

(Sells)--In reference to the kidnap of Dr. Dabic last week, you state: “Neither CNN nor any other news network can make a story on every atrocity.”

(Dorich)--What an appalling remark when every atrocity, including those that were perpetrated by the Muslims against their own people, like the three breadline massacres, were covered in great detail. In five years the major networks never told about a single atrocity against the Serbs, the destruction of 216 of Serbian churches, of the 1.2 million Serbian refugees, 7,300 of whom are Serbian children. There are also 50,000 orphened Serbian children from the war that the media simply ignores. If the media are unable, or more precisely, unwilling to tell the hideous torture, rape, and electrical shock of Dr. Dabic, then what prey tell constitutes getting their attention? Perhaps you have the mind set of John Burns, who also never wrote about Serbian victims in the three years he was in Bosnia, but he managed to have the time and the page space to write about how the dogs in Sarajevo were surviving the war. This is the same Pulitzer winner who wrote about 12 people freezing to death in the winter of ‘93 and accompanied their bodies to their burial, but never revealed to his readers that all 12 were Serbian victims who froze to death in a Serbian nursing home and that they were buried by a Serbian Orthodox priest in the Serbian cemetery of Sarajevo. What outrageous demagogues and liars you support Mr. Sells. The New York Times wears omission journalism on their sleeve like a badge of honor. Omissions that hurt others, that keep the truth from their readers and mocks every principle on which this nation was founded. Such BULL SHIT artists should be driven from their profession, including you, Mr. Sells.

My editors may disagree with your remark that I do “a disservice to the American Serbian community”—I am confident that they believe that through my contacts and sources I have revealed a sickening duplicity in this war, particularly by the American government. I have provided evidence that thwarts the lies and disinformation that major journalists have perpetrated and I have provided the Serbian people of this nation an opportunity to read the details about this war that have been arrogantly kept from their eyes.

No, Mr. Sells, the Serbian people of this country are not, “as a whole, filled with ethnic and religious hatred and stereotypes,” they are outraged at the way in which the media and people like you have practiced collective guilt—have deliberately made them non-persons, as is the case this weekend at Stanford University, a proces that was duplicated thousands of times on thousands of campuses around the country where Serbs were deliberately banned from presenting their views. But, if any ethnic group of people deserves to be resentful, angered, hurt, disappointed and outraged it is the Serbian people, who, for the second time in this generation, have been murdered in silence, raped and dysfigured in silence, cleansed in silence, starved to death in silence and their land taken away from them as though they deserve no human rights. If not for William Dorich, and a few others like me, the Serbs would never have had any voice!

William Dorich, President Serbian American Voters Alliance

CC: The Editorial Staff of Srbobran

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