Extreme Pacifists

We decided enough was enough. All the news we heard about the horrendous atrocities carried out by Serbian aggressors was just too much to tolerate. So my friends and I decided one day that we were going to do something about it. We decided to set up tables in the Pow Wow to convince students to sign petitions to various U.S. influential politicians supporting a U.N. resolution to lift the arms embargo on Bosnia. A lot of students were supportive of the resolution, but I was surprised to see that some students (I call “extreme pacifists”) were against the idea of lifting the arms embargo on Bosnia and refused to sign the petitions. They claimed that lifting the arms embargo on Bosnia wasn’t going to help the situation but rather make it worse. Obviously they are not aware of the current situation in Bosnia, and they don’t seem to understand the notion that everyone has the right to defend him/herself.

I would like to tell my fellow student “pacifists” that the war in Bosnia isn’t just another war. It is very similar to the German Holocaust led by Adolf Hitler. The victims of this war are murdered, raped and tortured simply because of their ethnic background and religion. The kinds of atrocities committed by the Serbs in the name of “ethnic cleansing” are unspeakable. Shooting point blank or slitting men’s throats is less horrific than the widely reported forms of torture, such as gouging out eyes, cutting genitals, ears and noses, skinning people alive and other acts of savagery which often result in death. Residents are often forced to burn their own homes or are even burned alive inside them. Women and girls as young as six are subjected to gang rape by Serbian forces as an intentional strategy of war and a means of “genetic cleansing.” These atrocities have been widely reported by the U.S. and international media. The Bosnian Muslims haven’t only been stripped of their human lives but they have been stripped of their pride and dignity as human beings.

We all know that the Serbian agressors are well-armed, but what about the Bosnians? Should they just sit “passively” and wait for their aggressors to kill, torture, rape, or force them out of their own country? It seems as though some “pacifists” in this university think so. Everyone has the right to defend themselves. My question is, what makes the Bosnian people any different? We all know that the U.S. isn’t going to intervene militarily because it has no direct interest involved. This certainly isn’t oil rich Kuwait at stake, and the “only” interests to be served are those of the millions of Bosnians living there. So if nobody else is going to help them, why not allow them the right to get weapons for self-defense?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am all for a peace plan to resolve the situation. However, as we have seen time and time again, the Bosnian Serbs want no such thing as peace. Just a few days ago the minority Bosnian Serbs rejected a peace plan giving them about 43 percent of the republic’s territory. Their goal is very clear and simple. They want to control all of Bosnia and its people under a greater Serbia and it sure seems as though they are getting away with it.

As time passes by the Serbians are taking control of more and more Bosnian towns and destroying more and more lives. Already over 2.5 million Bosnians have been forced out of their country, over 30,000 women have been raped and over 250,000 people have been killed. And what did on “extreme pacifist” have to say to this: “Well, uh, giving them weapons still isn’t going to help.” Of course it will help. By giving them weapons it will deter Serbian aggression and it will help stop this “ethnic cleansing” from going on. Serbian aggressors will think twice before carrying out any of their horrendous crimes or before raiding another Bosnian town. It might even cause them to take a U.N. peace plan seriously. But in the meantime, resistance is the only solution to stop this from turning into another Holocaust. The problem is that it may have already turned into one.