DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

22 October, 2009


Note: We have sent an E-mail to Mr. William Topich (aka: Bill Topich) advising him that he is welcome to provide his side of the story.

William Topich, also known as Bill Topich, who happens to be ethnic Serb, is Dept. Chair, Social Science at Pulaski Academy and Jr. High Tennis Coach. He was the coordinator for his school's National Peace Essay Contest (sponsored by the U.S. Peace Institute). You can see his photo on the left; unfortunately, we don't have higher resolution.

Endorsement of a 'Justified Genocide'
For 2008/2009 contest, one of his students - Erin Morbeck [photo on the right] - wrote an essay titled "Failure in Rwanda and Srebrenica: The Need for Political Will" (find it here). Mr. Topich endorsed the essay without any critical analysis and entered it in the National Peace Essay Contest. The highschool essay won National Second Place Winner.

The essay recognizes the Srebrenica genocide, but at the same time it uses genocide denial web sites and blogs in its references to propagate a dangerous lie about imaginary Serb suffering around Srebrenica. Consider this quote:
A lie in action: "The Serbs felt justified [to commit genocide]; Bosnian Muslims had led countless raids against Serbs in Srebrenica and surrounding villages, torturing, decapitating, and roasting Serbs."
In the footnote, we see that a source of this outrageous lie about roasted Serbs was propagated by Svetlana Novko - the Serbian ultranationalist and discredited Srebrenica genocide denier from Vancouver BC, Canada.

The fact is that no Serbs around Srebrenica had ever been 'decapitated' and 'roasted' by Bosniaks. These types of imaginary allegations are created and used by genocide deniers for the purpose of justification of genocide against Bosniaks. The facts tell a different story: in 1992 (3 years before the genocide) Serbs tortured and roasted alive scores of Bosniak women and children around Srebrenica, see photos.

Serbian propaganda has extensively used photos of Serb casualties who died elsewhere in Bosnia and then portrayed them as victims of the 'Bosnian Muslim raids around Srebrenica.' Here is one of many examples of the Serbian propaganda in action when it comes to justifying the Srebrenica genocide by portraying bloodthirsty Serbs around Srebrenica as the so called victims: "How Many Serbs Died Around Srebrenica?"

Why did Bill Topich endorse such a poorly written analysis of the Srebrenica genocide? Why did he endorse Serbian extremist and genocide denial web sites in references/footnotes? Only he can answer that question - and we are still awaiting for his official response.

FACTS: What Bill Topich and his student Erin Morbeck don't know
Between 1992 and 1995, militarized Serb villages around Srebrenica had been used to attack and destroy nearby Bosniak villages around Srebrenica, as well as to launch brutal attacks on Srebrenica. Serb village of Kravica had a large cache of weapons and was used to stage attacks on Srebrenica and nearby Bosniak villages. Furthermore, Serbs used their villages around Srebrenica to block humanitarian aid coming into the Bosniak enclave, which caused Bosniaks to start dying from starvation and engage in counter-attacks for the purpose of obtaining food and demilitarizing heavily armed Serbs around Srebrenica.

The Trial Judgment of Naser Oric makes it clear that Serb villages around Srebrenica were heavily militarized bases from which Serbs launched brutal attacks on Bosnian Muslim villages, as well as on the town of Srebrenica itself. As stated in the Judgment, quote:
"Between April 1992 and March 1993, Srebrenica town and the villages in the area held by Bosnian Muslims were constantly subjected to Serb military assaults, including artillery attacks, sniper fire, as well as occasional bombing from aircrafts. Each onslaught followed a similar pattern. Serb soldiers and paramilitaries surrounded a Bosnian Muslim village or hamlet, called upon the population to surrender their weapons, and then began with indiscriminate shelling and shooting. In most cases, they then entered the village or hamlet, expelled or killed the population, who offered no significant resistance, and destroyed their homes. During this period, Srebrenica was subjected to indiscriminate shelling from all directions on a daily basis. Potočari in particular was a daily target for Serb artillery and infantry because it was a sensitive point in the defence line around Srebrenica. Other Bosnian Muslim settlements were routinely attacked as well. All this resulted in a great number of refugees and casualties."
According to the Judgment, the Bosnian Muslim villages around Srebrenica were totally unprepared for war:
"In comparison, it appears that the Bosnian Muslim side did not adequately prepare for the looming armed conflict. There were not even firearms to be found in the BosnianMuslim villages, apart from some privately owned pistols and hunting rifles; a few light weaponswere kept at the Srebrenica police station."
The Judgment makes it clear that Serb village of Kravica was a military base from which Serbs launched deadly attacks on neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages and town of Srebrenica itself. The Bosniak counter-attack on Kravica on the 7 January 1993 followed as a result of Serb blockade of humanitarian aid and constant attacks on nearby Bosnian Muslim villages. According to the Judgment:
"The fighting intensified in December 1992 and the beginning of January 1993, when Bosnian Muslims were attacked by Bosnian Serbs primarily from the direction of Kravica and Ježestica. In the early morning of the 7 January 1993, Orthodox Christmas day, Bosnian Muslims attacked Kravica, Ježestica and Šiljkovići. Convincing evidence suggests that the village guards were backed by the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army], and following the fighting in the summer of 1992, they received military support, including weapons and training. A considerable amount of weapons and ammunition was kept in Kravica and Šiljkovići. Moreover, there is evidence that besides the village guards, there was Serb and Bosnian Serb military presence in the area. The Trial Chamber is not satisfied that it can be attributed solely to Bosnian Muslims. The evidence is unclear as to the number of houses destroyed by Bosnian Muslims as opposed to those destroyed by Bosnian Serbs. In light of this uncertainty, the Trial Chamber concludes that the destruction of property in Kravica between 7 and 8 December 1992 does not fulfil the elements of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity."
The Judgment also confirms that Bosniak refugees in the besieged enclave started dying from starvation caused by the Serb blockade of humanitarian aid. As a result, Bosniaks had to counter-attack Serb military bases around Srebrenica to obtain much needed food and other necessities for the survival:
"Between June 1992 and March 1993, Bosnian Muslims raided a number of vllages and hamlets inhabited by Bosnian Serbs, or from which Bosnian Muslims had formerly been expelled. One of the purposes of these actions was to acquire food, weapons, ammunition and military equipment. Bosnian Serb forces controlling the access roads were not allowing international humanitarian aid – most importantly, food and medicine – to reach Srebrenica. As a consequence, there was a constant and serious shortage of food causing starvation to peak in the winter of 1992/1993. Numerous people died or were in an extremely emaciated state due to malnutrition."
And finally, here is what the United Nations concluded in its report the Fall of Srebrenica [Fifty-fourth session, Agenda item 42, 15 November 1999, pages 103-104]:
A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.
Controversial essay written by Erin Morbeck and endorsed by her coach and ethnic Serb William Topich (Bill Topich), can be found at this link: