ME and Ophelia

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Thanks to brilliant blogger Lisa Williams

I think this is the RSS link for ME AND OPHELIA.

Update later on (I am waiting to hear from Lisa to find out what to do next) in the meantime I am pasting the RSS link into my sidebar with a million thanks to Lisa at Cadence 90.

The trials and tales of a lone soldier Medic blogging in the Balkans

Blogger Michael Brown does not have an "about" section in his new blog Bosnia Army Medic Live. I am guessing he is American and that his surname is Brown because his first post contains a tribute to his late grandfather.

Michael started blogging on October 23, 2003 and has had 61 site visits. From what I can gather, he appears to be with Nato's SFOR - Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina located at Base Camp Eagle in Tuzla and can be contacted via his link to Yahoo Groups Bosnia Army Medic Live.

Here are some excerpts from his recent post "Preventing Genocide, Healing Bosnia" featuring physician and author Dr Sheri Fink in an online discussion at on November 12, 2003, on the role of the international community in preventing future genocides:

"Preventing future genocide hinges on the ability to reconcile the past. For Rwanda, establishing a war crimes tribunal was a necessary measure for moving forward. But establishing the tribunal required international intervention. Author Sheri Fink believes that international intervention is now needed for Bosnia. Though the International Criminal Tribunal has laid the groundwork for testimony, there is more to be done."

Question from
Would you start by giving a background of your personal experience with Bosnia and the region?

Sheri Fink:
I followed the war closely while it went on, traveling to the region with an aid group and assisting refugees back in the U.S. My senior year of medical school, I received an invitation from the University of Sarajevo medical students to attend a conference they organized called "medicine, war and peace." The stories stunned me. Doctors and nurses faced not only professional challenges, but also the most personal and ethical dilemmas. Then I heard the story of Srebrenica Hospital, which became the subject of my book War Hospital. The town, which the United Nations Security Council had designated a "safe area," was the site of a great massacre in 1995. I was shocked by how the story of the doctors, nurses and aid workers intersected with the story of the preventable tragedy, and I spent the next five years doing the research that became the book. I felt that the story, told through the eyes of those who lived it, would be interesting and understandable for American readers, and the story of Srebrenica has great lessons for us.

Question from someone in Washington DC:
What exactly do you think the information is that the US is not willing to provide regarding Srebrenica? I am a journalist and I covered the Bosnian war between 93-95 and subsequent Bosnian elections, followed by the conflict in Kosovo.

Sheri Fink:
In 1995, I was involved along with several dozen citizen's groups and Congressional Representatives in a Freedom of Information Act request for information the U.S. government had about the fall of Srebrenica.

The information the U.S. government is rumored to have but has refused to fully release includes both imagery and signals intelligence.

Both Cees Wiebes, an intelligence expert who studied the fall of Srebrenica for a report issued by the Netherlands War Documentation Institute, and Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have said that they believe such information exists, but States that have it have not been willing to release it.

The information is not only important for the prosecution of those who perpetrated the massacres and the survivors looking for the remains of their loved ones (buried in mass graves that might be detected in aerial photographs). It is also important for us to learn, as Americans, exactly how much our intelligence experts and governmental officials knew about the attack on Srebrenica as it was happening, and how we did or didn't respond. The full truth, which may well be embarrassing, could logically help prevent future genocides. The U.S. has never undertaken a governmental inquiry into our role in the fall of the town, even though this has been requested by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and several other governments (e.g. France, the Netherlands) have done so to varying extents. I believe it's time for the U.S. Congress to initiate an inquiry into the U.S. role in the fall of the town.
_ _ _

Homepages and pictures of Peacekeepers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Michael's blog led me to half a dozen links in Bosnia - and some very interesting photos posted in the homepages of peacekeeper Adis Halimic, a native Bosnian who recently became an American citizen. Here's:

--"Welcome House" in Sarajevo. Looking at this picture you can imagine what this beautiful city went through while Serb forces shelled it for 3 years.

--Tunnel used by Bosnian Muslims during the War. It ran underneath the Sarajevo International Airport, and it was used as a SAFE passage across the runway, which was surrounded by Serb militia and snipers. People of Sarajevo created this tunnel during the War.

--Another photo, believed to be one of many bunkers located in Sarajevo.

--Olympic Village where life moves slowly in lovely Sarajevo and a pedestrian street in downtown Sarajevo.

And, these beautiful "snow" pictures.

Note: for anyone seeking employment or thinking of becoming a Peacekeeper here is a starter link to SFOR Stabilisation Force - Vacancies.
_ _ _
Further reading:
The fine lines of beastliness
Why humans are so beastly to each other
- And what, if anything, can be done about it.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 11/25/2003
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