Never mind the World War II genocide that you still don’t know about—the one in Croatia, where half a million Serbs were slaughtered in the countryside, in churches, and in the war’s earliest death camps. It’s one thing to suppress a mass slaughter in a pre-internet age, but after last month’s biblical flooding in Serbia and Bosnia–which you probably didn’t know about either–now we know that even nature takes a backseat to politically and historically ‘correct’ narratives, the ‘information superhighway’ be damned.
implore media to raise awareness, and to accuse CNN and BBC of “virtually ignoring a ‘total catastrophe of biblical proportions’,” as The Guardian deigned to report five days in. He added, “Half the country is in danger of not having any electricity, there is total immobilisation, evacuations…I see that on CNN, the BBC and other big networks there is a lot about the miners in Turkey, and so forth. This is another disaster, but there is no broadcast [about] Serbia and Bosnia, nothing about the biggest floods that we have ever seen, that maybe Europe has ever seen. This is incredible. I just hope that people can find [some] common sense and broadcast this….We need help.” (Djokovic pledged his $750,000 Rome Masters prize to aid, and is asking everyone to help through his foundation.)The May rains in Serbia and Bosnia poured for days before there was any coverage of the floods in the West, prompting tennis star Novak Djokovic to
Three days into the flooding, which started on May 13th, Canada’s Globe and Mail finally started reporting (though the government didn’t issue so much as a press release or any aid, a pattern among Western governments, prompting a petition that leaders speak publicly about the events, and one that they send aid). Another three days later, Reuters relented and reported that Russia and the EU were helping, the latter somewhat reluctantly at first: “The European Union has been half-hearted, even cold, asserting its bullying posture over admitting Serbia to the club but indifferent to its times of need. In the words of Svetlana Maksovic, writing for the Serbian monthly Geopolitika, “many Serbian people are upset by the…lack of reaction…especially after EU Foreign Policy Head Catherine Ashton did nothing more than send her condolences.” And while a massive Macedonian charity drive collected $165,000 just over the first weekend after the flood, U.S. ambassador Michael Kirby offered $100,000 from the embassy, after first lecturing Serbia about gay rights. Pretty paltry, considering we didn’t help rebuild after the NATO-assisted terrorism against a country that, unlike some under the Marshall Plan and more recent examples in the Middle East, did not declare war or attack us first.
Such a natural disaster and state of emergency occurring anywhere else in the world would be headline news, and every American celebrity would be doing a telethon (on that point, thank god for Billy Idol and Russell Crowe; Angelina Jolie also pitched in). However, since the floods happened where Serbs live, and humanity had sympathy for them surgically removed, only Russia took notice in the early days, sending food, water, rescuers, boats and diving equipment. Only once landslides started dislodging landmines, it appears the wrathful flooding was finally newsworthy. That, and the sappy stories they realized they could write about former belligerents — Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Albanians — reaching out to help one another, something that UNLV professor Dr. Michael Pravica wrote about from a more intimate perspective in his recent Pravda.com op-ed, adding a few other important observations from his visit to the region:
Doctors, nurses, and other aid workers from a variety of [Slavic] nations were working in Hotel Slavija, rushing to and fro….and I found very few (if any) citizens from Western nations. [M]y government (USA) gave next to nothing in aid…and neither did Canada (roughly $30,000 CAD). In two days of fundraising, Serbian-Americans in Las Vegas collected some $50,000, to give some comparison….[T]he West and NATO squandered billions of dollars illegally arming combatants…and illegally bombing Serbia, [under the guise of] “humanitarian concern” …This demonstrates that the “humanitarian” intervention in the former Yugoslavia then was really political and regime-changing in nature…and that Western governments could care less about helping these peoples when they really need it unless there is something in it for Western leaders.
Americans shouldn’t let Russia be the only good guy in the region yet again, and should help the victims even if they’re the politically incorrect Orthodox Christians and not, for example, our kindred Muslims (sarc). Though to be sure, Muslims were affected, with the AP reporting that almost a third of Bosnia “resembled a huge muddy, lake,” so there’s at least hope for that region, the only one that NY Times seems to be mentioning. As Nebojsa Malic wrote me, “I get the ‘Serbs aren’t people, so their suffering can’t be human interest’ mentality of the Western press, but Muslims have died and lost property in the flooding too.” As for the Serb part of Bosnia, consider that it’s Israel’s best friend in the Balkans, and Israel has been delivering aid to Serbia. The region has not seen such a catastrophe since the last time we “helped” it, in 1999.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimated the damage at $4 billion. Here is a list of needed items, and here are additional instructions. British-Serb publication “eBritic” also has a helpful Flood Issue and update, later adding a Red Cross SMS number at this full directory of how to help. Three other donation sites, with the last two being most reliable are http://brussels.mfa.gov.rs/cir/, International Orthodox Christian Charities in Baltimore (already on the ground), and lifeline.org. There are also the good people at the Serbian diaspora organization 28June, whose efforts can be helped via PayPal at email@example.com. And this accidental Serbia-lover on Huffington Post recommends this site.
Since Serbs are simply never to be perceived as victims, even in an apolitical context such as a flood, it was apparently risk-free for their detractors to engage in the following behaviors:
While Albania sent five search and rescue units (to Bosnia), and Pristina took the opportunity to help Serbia, giving the appearance of good faith as it seals the Kosovo steal this year, Albanian fans of Kosovo’s Drenica football club went to a recent Sunday match with Pristina and showed the depth of their humanity. And, a day or two later, fans at a basketball match in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina (above left photo)
Meanwhile, Shefqet Krasniqi,(left) imam of Pristina’s Grand Mosque, concluded, “What is happening in Serbia is undoubtedly God’s punishment for all the…injustice against the Albanian people. NATO stopped but did not condemn Serbia for all the crimes and genocide against the innocent population in Kosovo. I am sorry for the children who got born after 1999 because they have the least guilt.”
Believe it or not, that last twisted part is relatively compassionate, coming from an Albanian imam. Below is someone to whom Krasniqi’s caveat does not apply, apparently, as he was already around in 1999. Twenty-five-year-old Kosovo refugee Slobodan “Jumbo” Nedeljkovic lost his entire family in 1999 and was last heard to be looking for his wife and two-year-old son while engaging on the front lines of flood rescue:
Closing with just some images that your local, national, and international news didn’t show you, about something that’s just happened in your world, and in your time:
Julia Gorin is an opinion columnist with a focus on the Balkans. Her articles have appeared in Jerusalem Post, Wall St. Journal, NY Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, NY Post, Washington Times, New York Observer, Christian Science Monitor, American Legion Magazine, and scores of others. She blogs at www.RepublicanRiot.com. When not trying to set the record straight on self-destructive Western interventions in the former Yugoslavia, Julia is a recognized name in conservative comedy