deeply ashamed. I asked if anyone had tried to persuade themrnto be more forthcoming—after all, such evidence might helprnto prevent air strikes. “We Serbs do not exploit our women.”rnIt is always the same answer, whether the question has to dornwith raped women or victims of massacres. Local villagersrnwould not allow anyone to photograph the remains of theirrnmassacred relatives. “We do not exploit our dead.” Hill &rnKnowlton would have a hard time handling this account.rnI make the trip with Misho Vujovitch, a Montenegrin journalistrnwho can recite the atrocities committed by Muslims goingrnback to the 14th century, and like most Serbs he can tellrnyou exactly where the bodies arc buried. “For 500 years theyrnbutchered us, and then during the last war they and the Croatsrnjoined the S.S. and committed atrocities that even scared thernGermans. Now, the Americans and the Germans think theyrncan make us live under the rule of our butchers, after all thatrnhas been done and all they are doing now?”rnMisho is a mystic as well as a nationalist. “We are God’s people,”rnhe declares, and as evidence of divine judgment, hernpoints out that the Turkish president has died; Gcnschcr is outrnof office; the Austrian president is half-paralyzed. Like manyrnSerbs, he sees his nation’s history as the unfolding of a divinernplan in which events of five or six hundred years ago are fulfillingrnthemselves only today. He quotes a poem he has written,rnof which I can only remember the first line: “The ghostsrnare coming alive in the graveyard.”rnIf the Serbs are God’s people, then their enemies must belongrnto the devil, and, in general, Misho has no high opinion ofrnforeigners. When journalists ask him questions, he sometimesrnresponds with a tall tale, like the one about the Muslimrnselling foreskins as oysters in Srebeniea. Asked what paper hernworks for, he likes to answer Chetnik Times.rnOur destination is Nevesinje, and the train takes us throughrnMontenegro—brilliant blue water spilling out of gorges, thernmost beautiful trout water I have ever seen. There are evenrnfish, and not 50 miles from the war zone I see families campedrnbeside the river and fishermen lazily working their long andrndeadly poles along the banks. We arrive in Podgorica, whichrnused to be Titograd, which used to be Podgorica, and wait forrna driver. We all succeed in losing each other for over an hour,rnbut when we finally assemble, our driver proves to be a 6’6″rnHerzegovinian youth, too handsome to be in the movies.rnBoro, who has seen things that make him sick inside, thingsrnthat make him wonder if he can ever have a normal life, is onlyrna kid who likes to drive too fast and play the music too loud.rnWc talk him out of the Sarajevo pop he has on tape—I dare notrntell him it sounds Arabic—and he switches to a sort of ChetnikrnTop 40, including songs of the current war, variations on thernmost ancient themes. “Ko to kazhe, ko to lazhe Srbija je mala?”rnplays over and over in our two-hour steeplechase through therndark hills of Herzegovina.rnWc arrive late, but Colonel Gushitch, the local commander,rnis still up, attending to business. He gives us a detailed and lucidrnbriefing on the events leading up to the war in Bosnia, andrnalthough the colonel had a distinguished career in the Yugoslavrnarmy, he has harsh words for communist rule. “A spiritualrngenocide inflicted by leaders who were all misfits and jailbirds.”rnMost of the current crop of leaders in the breakaway republicsrnhe describes as misfits who ran afoul of Tito. Somernwere open traitors, like the (Croatian) last president of a unifiedrnYugoslavia, who wrote a book. How 1 Destroyed Yugoslavia.rnThis head of the Croatian parliament, he points out, becamernfamous as a village mayor who was convicted not only of divertingrnfunds from the restoration of an Orthodox church butrneven of hiring goons to beat up the iguman (prior),rnWorse than the political treacheries, in the colonel’s opinion,rnwas the betrayal of the army by its Croatian and Slovene officers.rnHe speaks with bitterness of the great Slovene victory overrnthe army. “The truth is, our men would not fire on thernSlovenes, and as we were retreating through Croatia, the Croatsrnattacked us.” Now he is here in his hometown, one of the fewrnofficers with his son, his only son, on active duty. His men arernbattle-ready, he says, not because of their equipment or training,rnbut because “they have noble souls.” What he means isrnthat unlike the Muslims, the Serbs have no record of genocide,rnno history of imperialism. “They are fighting now, as they havernalways fought, to keep their own.”rnThough there is a certain contradiction in the Serb positionrn—simultaneously cursing and defending the old union—rnit is hard not to rail against the hypocrisy of the American Republicrnthat forced the South back into a union, with a slaughterrnthat makes the Bosnian conflict look petty, and now complainsrnabout Serbian intransigence. “When are the English going tornget out of Ireland?” a Herzegovinian soldier asks me, adding,rn”There will be time enough to listen to their sermons, whenrnthey do,”rnIf Kosovo is a land of churches, Bosnia-Herzegovina hasrnbeen a land of singers and poets. One of the greatest of Serbrnpoets, Aleksa Shantiteh, lived in Mostar most of his life, refusingrnto settle elsewhere. “Ostajte Ovde (stay here),” he tells himself,rn”this country is your mother. Take a look at the karst andrnthe fields—everywhere are the graves of your ancestors. For thisrnland they were giants, heroes who knew how to defend her. Inrnthis land you also stay and for her give your blood.” Shantiteh,rnwho was a patriot without being a chauvinist, had kind wordsrnfor Muslims and Croats. As a famous Serb, however, he was regardedrnas a demon, and his grave has been desecrated, apparentlyrnby Croats.rnAccording to some accounts, another writer, Ivo Andritehrn(Nobel Prize, 1961), may have inspired the most famous terroristrnincident of the Bosnian conflict. A deranged Muslim terrorist,rnMurad Shabanovitch, who opened the floodgates ofrnthe Vishegrad power station, hoped to drown the Serbs—althoughrnthe first result was to destroy his own house and village.rnAccording to Misho, some Muslims justify Shabanovitch, sayingrnthat the Satan Ivo Andriteh had haunted the unfortunaternMurad until Allah appeared in a dream and told him to returnrnIvo Andriteh to the River Drina. The unfortunate Murad isrnnow a general in the Bosnian army.rnEverywhere I hear and read the familiar stories, of churchesrnleveled, Serb villages massacred, and women violated. How tornevaluate them? What frustrates the Bosnian Serbs is that thisrnhas all happened before, when the Ustashi and Muslims set uprntheir death camps in the 1940’s, Now the Croatian presidentrnsays it never happened, but it did then and it is going on today.rnIt was in Nevesinje that the uprising against the Turks beganrnin 1875, and here that the revolt against the Ustashi began inrn1941. The colonel’s own father was killed on Vidovdan, thernsecond day of the uprising, and the people have not changedrnin 50 years. Colonel Gushitch tells me that the Serbs of Bosniarnand the Kraina are the toughest, partly because they have beenrnoppressed the most, and cites a saying of a 19th-century Croatianrnnationalist: “The snake must be struck in the head,”rnthat is in Bosnia and the Kraina, because the men are willingrnAUGUST 1993/17rnrnrn