bian population of Yugoslavia, had lived together in one staternsince 1918 and believed that they had a right to remain a partrnof Yugoslavia. Or, if not, they believed that they had a right tornereate their own mini-states on territories that they have inhabitedrnfor centuries. After all, they thought, if self-determinationrnwas right for the secessionists, why not the Serbs?rnWhat puzzled some Americans (and not only those of Serbianrndescent) was the West’s attitude, which on the one handrnwelcomed the fall of communist systems but on the otherrnfought doggedly to internationalize the communist Tito’s administrativerninternal borders, which punished the Serbs. Thisrnwas particularly relevant in the case of Bosnia-Merzegovina,rnwhere the Serbs constituted one-third of the population.rnMoreo’er, the leader of the Muslims, Alija Izetbegovic, plainlyrnstated in his book The Islamic Declaration that there “can bernneither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion andrnnon-Islamic social and political institutions.” Moreover, hernwrote: “The upbringing of the people, and particularly meansrnof mass influence—the press, radio, television and film—rnshould be in the hands of people whose Islamic moral and intellectualrnauthoritv is indisputable. The media should not bernallowed—as so often happens—to fall into the hands of perx’crtedrnand degenerate people who then transmit the aimlessncssrnand emptiness of their own lives to others.”rnCleariy, this view was contrary to the Bosnian Muslims’ claimrnthat they favored a multiethnic state. But American politicalrnleaders and the American media, presumably great defendersrnof pluralism, seemed not to notice and continued with theirrnpro-Muslim and anti-Serb declarations.rnUnderstandably, Americans of Serbian background wererngreatly troubled by the reports of various atrocities in Bosnia,rnwhich the media ascribed to Serbs. Thev realized that in wars,rnespccialH’ civil wars—including the American Civil War—allrnsides commit atrocities. And according to United Nations observersrnand some private relief agencies, this was also true inrnBosnia, but the American media paid scant attention, choosingrninstead to continue vilifying only the Serbs. Newspapers oftenrnfailed to identify Serb victims or Serbian graves in publishedrnpictures, leaving the impression that the graves were those ofrnMuslims or Croats. American political leaders and the mediarnthen attributed the three main outrages in Sarajevo to thernSerbs, when to this day no credible evidence against the Serbsrnhas been produced, and much to the contrary. These were thernso-called “breadlme” massacre of May 1992, the explosion inrnthe Markale market in February 1994, and a similar explosion inrnAugust 1995. The first prompted the Western powers to havernthe Security Council of the United Nations vote for severe economicrnsanctions against rump Yugoslavia, meaning Serbia andrnMontenegro. The second one was used to force Bosnian Serbsrnto pull their heavy weapons some 20 kilometers away from Sarajevornand to tighten the sanctions against Yugoslavia. The thirdrnwas used as a pretext for the massive bombing campaign againstrnthe Bosnian Serbs.rnOf the first, the U.N. commander in Sarajevo, General LewisrnMacKenzie, has provided information that suggests that thernMuslims were the more likely culprits. The same point wasrnmade by the London newspaper. The Independent. Of the second,rnthe U.N. office in New York reported that based on theirrnreports from Sarajevo, it was impossible to tell who was responsible.rnExperts from Israel have thrown serious doubts on allegationsrnthat the Serbs were the villains. A Turkish doctor at arnSarajevo hospital pointed to the nature of victims’ wounds thatrnthrew doubts on the allegations of those who had said that itrnwas a Serbian shell. Independent journalists who have seen thernconfidential U.N. reports have concluded that indeed it wasrnimpossible to place responsibility, while at the same time hintingrnthat Muslims—domestic or foreign, and perhaps not underrnthe command of the Bosnian Muslim authorities—were liable.rnFrench television was more forthright in blaming the Muslims.rnSome reports even hinted that it may have been a device accidentallyrnexploded by Muslims. Of the explosion last August,rnindependent investigations have concluded that the Serbs werernnot and could not have been responsible.rnr n h e parroting of insidious T Serb-bashing by teachersrnand study guides, including publicationsrnfor students that deal withrncurrent events, means that thernindoctrination has reached youngrnunsuspecting minds in the schools.rnConsequently, Americans of Serbian descent arc bewilderedrnby the indifference of Western leaders to the evidence and thernfacts and by the relentless Serb-bashing of the Western media.rnOne of the worst excesses occurred when the media publicizedrna statement from an unnamed FBI source who claimed thatrnthe Serbs were suspects in the Wodd Trade Center bombing.rnYet the arrest of members of an Islamic terrorist ring brought nornapology to Serbs.rnOlder Americans can recall how Americans of German descentrnsuffered because of the indiscriminate German-bashingrnduring Wodd War I. We need to remind ourselves, however,rnthat at that time there was no radio or television, and no newspapersrnfor students to spread the venom. Ironically, the Serbbashingrncame at the very time when we were apologizing forrnthe way Japanese-Americans were treated in Wodd War II.rnAnd we are not even at war with Serbia!rnAlarge number of Americans of Serbian heritage have writtenrnletters and articles to national newspapers and magazines,rnas well as those in their respective communities, seekingrnoutlets for the truth. Most of them were met with silence, althoughrnsome were published, especiall}’ letters to the editor.rnSome Serbian-American organizations have placed ads, somernfull-page ones, in a few leading newspapers. A few Americanrnscholars and journalists with no ethnic ties to Serbia but whornknow the Yugoslav case well have written similar messages, usuallyrnwith the same results.rnBut the truth does trickle out. Peter Brock, a political writerrnFEBRUARY 1996/2.5rnrnrn