Do a ‘Desert Storm’ on Serbs
New Straits Times
9 October 1993.
By: H. Hashim Hassan
The cruelties committed by the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, defy the imagination. Expressing his disgust over the matter, the Prime Minister told the 48th UN General Assembly in New York on Oct 1, a six-year-old [Bosnian Muslim] child was repeatedly raped in front of her mother who not only had to watch but was prevented from giving any help until the little child died after two days of exposure.
This was not the first time Dr Mahathir has publicly touched on the barbarity of the Serbs. At the Non-Aligned Summit last year, he said that in Bosnia human rights were being ignored, ethnic cleansing was being carried out, women were being raped and children were being shot and killed by snipers. So apathetic and unconcerned were the Serbian aggressors after committing their horrendous crimes that rape and murder were something that they took delight in doing.
There was a case of a Bosnian woman, Jasmina, who told newsmen during the early days of the conflict how she was raped by her former neighbours and one of them was the best man at her wedding. How many Bosnian Muslim girls have been raped and latered butchered is a matter for conjecture.
Not all rape cases were reported to the police or to the hospitals, and in Bosnia of today there is no proper police station and whatever hospitals that function give priority to battle casualties. But two million Bosnian Muslims [Bosniaks] have been forced to flee from their towns and villages.
There were many girls in Malaysia who shared the same fate as Jasmina during the invasion of Malaya by Japanese troops in December 1941. They were raped not only by the invading Japanese soldiers but also by Japanese civilians who were residing in the towns since the pre-war years earning their living as photographers, dentists, barbers and other businesses. Most of the were friends of the local folks.
Chin Kee Onn in his book ‘Malaya Upside Down’ on the conquest and occupation of Malaya, said, “Rape is a touchy subject, but war without rape is as impossible as fire without smoke. It would be sheer prudery to avoid it.”
But the tragedy of war is not confined only to rape. It goes further than that. Hitler who believed the Germans, who are of ethnic Aryan stock, belonged to a ‘superior race’ carried out a genocidal war. He believed the Jews were the main cause of economic problems in Germany after the First World War. Before his Third Reich capitulated in 1945, he launched his so-called “Final Solution,” to wit, the extermination of all the Jews detained in concentration camps all over occupied Europe.
In the summer of 1944 alone, more than 400,000 Jews were liquidated by cremating them in specially built gas chambers. But before the cremation, gold rings were ripped from the fingers of corpses and gold teeth torn out. Bones were ground down for fertiliser and women’s hair were collected for the manufacture off socks. So far, we have not come across reports that the Serbs, who like Hitler believed that they were ethnically superious to the others in the former Yugoslavia, had started to exterminate their Muslim captives by gassing them, extracting their gold teeth and ripping away their gold rings. But their unconcern for human lives, to say nothing of human dignity, shows they are capable of perpetrating a Hitler on the Bosnian Muslims.
At the rate the Bosnian Muslims are being killed by the mightier forces of the Serbs, they will end up as extinct as the proverbial dodo birds unless, as Dr Mahathir put it, “…. the UN decided to increase pressure on the Serbs, including mounting a military offensive provided due preparations are m ade.” Dr Mahathir is absolutely right.
From my experience as a veteran of World War Two (I was in the RAF), only a blitzkrieg a la Desert Storm on the Serbs by the big democratic powers could free the Bosnian Muslims, end “ethnic cleansing” and bring peace once again to that war-torn country.