Unwritten History

refuting disinformation about the Balkan Wars

Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero

Translated, edited and supplemented by Milo Yelesiyevich

"The only certainty of his whereabouts has been at the top of the world’s most-wanted-men list with a huge price on his head. Little else is widely known about Gen. Ratko Mladic beyond the accusation of committing war crimes during the 1992-1995 civil war in Bosnia.

Here for the first time is almost everything one could want to know about Mladic — except where he has been for most of the last decade.

Milo Yelesiyevich has done a masterful job of assembling a huge variety of material beginning with the revealing biography "Hero or War Criminal?" by Ljubodrag Stojadinovic and including 96 pages of translated interviews with Mladic. It concludes with the text of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia indictments against Mladic  and Radovan Karadzic.

Altogether it constitutes an unvarnished portrait of a man widely acclaimed for his military skills and bravery, but also criticized for intemperate statements and accused of crimes on the battlefield.

Read this and make up your mind whether Ratko Mladic is guilty until proven innocent as the Hague court holds, or innocent until proven guilty."

— David Binder began covering the Balkans for The New York Times in 1963

Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero is the first book-length study to appear in English about the controversial Serbian general. It departs radically from mainstream news coverage of General Mladic because it presumes him to be innocent of charges of war crimes and genocide until he has been proven guilty. Furthermore, Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero presumes that the West has been acting against its own best interests by supporting Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the former Yugoslavia, while at the same time attempting to prosecute General Mladic for alleged crimes for which there is still no proof, even after the passage of more than a decade. Genegal Ratko Mladic was the first General to fight Islamic fundamentalism in Europe. Why has he been demonized while others, who have done little or nothing—or who have even aided and abetted the rise of Islamic fundamentalism—have been praised?

Ratko Mladic, Tragic Hero consists of an abridgment of Mr. Stojadinovic’s book, Ratko Mladic, Hero or War Criminal? (Evro, Belgrade: 2001) which discusses Mladic’s biography, his successes and failures as a general, the dilemmas he faced as a soldier, and tries to answer the question: how good a general was he? and is he a war criminal?  It is followed by Bringing Democracy to Bosnia, by Gregory Elich, a respected journalist whose work has appeared on counterpunch.org and Covert Action, which examines the results of the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia, and demonstrates that the West has imposed a dictatorship in Bosnia that benefits only globalists and multinational corporations.

Background chapters provide a context for the Bosnian War that the mainstream media has systematically ignored. Bosniacs, Nazi Muslims, Mujahideen, and Bin Laden traces the rise of Bosnian Muslim fascism and its connection to Islamic fundamentalism as exemplified by the Nazi SS Handzar Division during WWII, which was organized by Himmler and Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Alija Izetbegovic, former President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, began his career as recruiter for the Handzar Division and acted as a historical link, connecting resurgent Muslim fascism and fundamentalism in Yugoslavia in the 1990s to that of WWII. Ustashi, Murderer Monks, and the Modern Croatian State examines the Ustashi Nazi Puppet state created by Hitler in Croatia during WWII, and the involvement of the Roman Catholic clergy in the administration of the Jasenovac death camp, as well as many others like it. The contemporary Croatian state is shown to be a direct heir to the Croatian Nazi puppet state of WWII.

The most controversial chapter is Srebrenica, the Phantom Massacre, which analyzes the alleged "Srebrenica Massacre" and challenges the groundless accusation that "7,000 Muslim men and boys" were killed there. This analysis relies on mainstream news coverage of The Hague Tribunal, the work of independent analysts, and the Srebrenica Report (authored by Darko Trifunovic) that was issued by the Republika Srpska in 2002. UN High Representative Paddy Ashdown dismissed this 2002 Report without ever having read it. The analysis argues persuasively that at most about 1,800 armed Bosnian Muslim soldiers died in combat, and that about 100 were killed in summary executions. In other words, there was no massacre—only combat fatalities.

Seventy pages of interviews with General Mladic appear in English for the first time, along with appendices that reprint key articles by David Binder, A.M. Rosenthal, Chris Hedges, Kosta Cavoski, and T.W. Carr.  The Hague indictment is also reprinted

Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero will contribute to a greater understanding of General Mladic’s role in the Bosnian war that will benefit scholars, historians, journalists and students, as well as Americans who want to take a more critical look at U.S. military adventures overseas.

Ratko Mladic is a tragic hero because he fought the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism and neo-fascism in the Balkans, which U.S. foreign policy supported. Yet there is another, greater tragedy looming: the U.S. itself, whose use of power, isolated from external criticism and restraint in order to "fight evil," has become self-destructive. U.S. citizens have suffered a serious erosion of civil liberties as the U.S. transformed itself from a republic into an empire. Hubris destroys the great as well as the small.

The lesson we in the United States must learn is that we cannot fight Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the U.S. and in Europe by harboring and supporting Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Bosnia, in Croatia, in Kosovo, in Macedonia and in Chechnya. The World Trade Center attacks may be viewed as a monument to our corrupt and short-sighted policies that tried to appease radical Islam in exchange for cheap oil and commerce. It is high time for us to re-evaluate our role in the Balkans, our relations with the Islamic world, and our own national ideals and aspirations. No serious discussion of evil can take place unless we acknowledge our own participation in it. And General Mladic is at the heart of the matter.