Roy Gutman and the “Freedom of Sarajevo”!

by Jim Stephens 

April 19 2010 

The following is a picture of a very important individual in the Yugoslavia story 

Roy Gutman (file photo) 

The picture shows Roy Gutman and is taken from a report by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, whatever the hell that is! 

I have heard of Mr Gutman before and in my mind I ALWAYS place him alongside a Dublin lady called Maggie O´Kane. In my mind, however, being placed alongside either Mr Gutman or Ms O´Kane is not a good thing! 

Perhaps some future articles in 4international may explain why, little by little we will get there! 

[Start quote from Radio Free Europe here] 

April 08, 2010
SARAJEVO — Journalist Roy Gutman, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for his reporting on ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Croats by Bosnian Serb forces, has been made an honorary citizen of Sarajevo, RFE/RL’s Balkan Service reports.

Who the hell are they anyway…The mission statement from the above organization:
An extract:
Regional Expertise: RFE/RL journalists and experts are a unique source of information about many of the world’s political hotspots.
They are a big organization, have hundreds of journalists and many subscribers, I am sure unlike here they get paid and probably well paid.
But the name of Roy Gutman and Maggie O´Kane, and many other such journalists, should be made quite familiar to more people.
We on 4international have covered Gutman before. Edward S.  Herman is a very good writer and does know a lot about this subject, as this shows
[Begin quote from Herman here]

The focus on “justice” as opposed to peace, and the demonizing of the Serbs and making them the unique group needing punishment, was the vehicle used by Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic and his close associates, and Clinton/Albright and Kohl-Genscher and their associates, to prevent a peaceful settlement–most importantly in backing out of the 1992 Lisbon Agreement–and to work incessantly to get NATO to intervene militarily on behalf, first, of  Izetbegovic and the Bosnian Muslims and then the Kosovo Liberation Army and Kosovo Albanians. Brock shows that the media served these pro-violence and anti-peace ends relentlessly and effectively. 

In a recent extensive article on 4international we alluded to this problem with modern journalism. We struggled to describe it and eventually called it “emotive journalism” where the journalist first and always seeks an underdog or victim and then is a campaigner for that victim, not a journalist in the sense of reporting on facts. 

Herman is on the same track in dealing with the Brock book: 

[Begin quote here] 

The pack journalists in Sarajevo (and elsewhere in the Balkans) were thus highly manageable, knowing the broader truth in advance, dispensing with notions of substantive objectivity and balance, and on the hunt for stories that would both confirm the institutionalized bias–and therefore please their editors at home–and advance the cause that they advocated and for which they campaigned. Journalists like David Rieff, Roy Gutman and Ed Vulliamy openly acknowledged that they were campaigners for more aggressive NATO intervention (i.e., war), and they were by no means alone. But this meant that they had ceased to be serious journalists who would check out the facts and claims of all sides and provide a full and fair picture of  the complex events in the struggle. They would instead gravitate to stories that advanced the cause and would treat them with uncritical zeal. As another cynical observer described it, this meant that Izetbegovic “could play them like a Stradivarius,” and in effect use them as agents of Bosnian Muslim propaganda and disinformation. (The more “balanced” Roy Gutman was played like a Stradivarius by the Croatian information service and U.S. Embassy as well as Muslim authorities.) 


The Media towards the Serbs would stop at nothing. One of their continually reported lies was the rape of women, always by the Serbs. The feeling was engendered that the Serb army was an army of rapists, a savage and uncouth thing. 


[Start quote here] 

The bias confused the media—Paul Lewis writing in the New York Times on “Rape Was Weapon of the Serbs” (Oct. 20, 1993) noted that a UN report had identified “800 victims by name,” but Lewis failed to mention that they were Serb women. The estimates of 50,000 or 20,000 rape victims of Serbs were based on no evidence whatsoever, and the belief that rape was a special Serb crime rested strictly on the overwhelming political  bias of the pack and superior public relations and propaganda activity of  the Croats and Bosnian Muslims. (A January 1994 UN report evaluating all the documentation on rapes, excluding evidence from the Serbs, listed 126 confirmed  victims. This finding did not interest the media.) 

The important information above, 126 confirmed, excluding evidence fromthe Serbs. 

And…that those facts did not interest the Media 


 The media role in this hysterical propaganda barrage, with the best of the reports noting that the claims are “unconfirmed” (!), was a scandal,  reflecting a media completely out of control and justifying UN official Aracelly Santana’s comment that “I’ve never seen so much lack of professionalism  and ethics in the press.” Brock also has a very good discussion of the famous photo of Fikret Alic, taken at the Trnopolje transit camp in August 1992, another fine illustration of the quest for denigration of the enemy and the lack of scruple of  Western reporters and media. He shows that the three British reporters, two from Independent Television News (ITN) and one from the Guardian, sought out the uniquely emaciated man among the camp residents, and carefully arranged for a photo that made it look as if  Alic was enclosed in a fenced prison,  the reporters having deliberately placed themselves behind four strands of  rusted and sagging barbed wire, strung haphazardly between two posts, with a thin chicken wire mesh hanging beneath, with Alic on the other side. “The cameramen and layout editors cropped the photos of  Alic so that the three or four strands of barbed wire were emphasized.” There was no barbed wire fence around the camp, which was a transit facility and not even a prison encampment, and  the refugees in the camp were even free to leave. 


But the Fikret Alic picture was quickly seized upon by the Western media, and juxtaposed with pictures of Belsen and Auschwitz, and the media featured this “death camp” with frenzied indignation and thoroughgoing dishonesty. Compelling evidence by Thomas Deichmann that the photo was a propaganda fraud led to a journalistic bloodbath: “The reactionary attacks from pack-journalism’s interventionists commenced with fury and gusto,” and led to a libel suit and bankruptcy of  the British magazine Living Marxism that had published Deichmann’s article. The suit was lost by Living Marxism not on the ground that the facts in the article were wrong but rather that it had not been proved that there was an intent to deceive—the huge deception, which happened to fit both the biases of  the reporters, editors and Western establishment, was inadvertent! 


This deceptive photo worked wonders in advancing the demonization process and war agenda, and though based on serious misrepresentation it  was not correctible in the mainstream and remains alive today


Remember the situation. the Serbs were fighting against Izetbegovic who had a history of at least collaboration with Hajj Amin el Husseini inthe Holocaust.

Jihadwatch, the fine site run to expose the Muslim Jihad, did not then exist.

The Left Fascists were already corrupted by their support for the Palestinians, who the Nazi Hajj Amin el Husseini had created.

So how could the Left Fascists, like the SWP, be in support of the Serbs against Izetbegovic without exposing their own role!

Then there were serious supporters of Izetbegovic int he form of Harry´s Place, and characters like Oliver Kamm,along with the venal British and European Media.

What was really absent was the trotskyist party. That is what has to be now righted by building up 4international.


Gutman, 66, who reported for “Newsday” from the Balkans and published his dispatches in the multiple-award-winning book “Witness to Genocide” in 1993, was handed the keys to Sarajevo by its mayor, Alija Behmen, at a ceremony to mark Sarajevo Liberation Day on April 6.

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