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I read with interest the Aug. 19 article “16 years after war, Bosnian mines claim new generation” (Mideast and Europe editions) because I recently spent a week in Bosnia-Herzegovina and visited Sarajevo, Mostar and Srebrenica. Each city had a story to tell encompassing Bosnia’s complex three-year war with Serbia (1992-1995).

Travelers are advised not to venture out into abandoned buildings, forests and fields because of land mines that served as the only defense against the Serbian forces. I will never forget the ubiquitous signs in the forests bearing white skulls that warn people of unexploded land mines in Bosnia-Herzegovina even though villagers earn their meager living selling wood but risk their lives on a daily basis out of necessity.

However, what was most compelling in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the massacre of 8,000 Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica in 1995 by Serb soldiers in just two days. I visited the cemetery, the open-air mosque and battery factory occupied by the Dutch United Nations peacekeepers in Srebrenica who witnessed the separation of men and women but were unable to intervene. Two English-speaking guides lived to share this horrific experience firsthand.

Genocidal rape camps in the vicinity of Srebrenica were used as weapons by the Serbs when Muslim girls and women were violently impregnated before and during the massacre of boys and men. These damaged babies who were conceived by rape are now coming of age and recognized as Serbs because of their unknown fathers’ nationality. Can you imagine what their lives must be like?

When both guides were questioned about this atrocity, they refused to acknowledge this as genocide because rape is a taboo topic in Bosnia. The site of the cemetery, mosque and museum in Srebrenica only commemorates the 8,000 Muslim boys and men who were victims of genocide without consideration given to the traumatized girls and women who were raped as part of the war effort.

Bosnia-Herzegovina expects to clear the unexploded land mines by 2019 so people can safely venture into the forests for enjoyment or earn a living selling wood. Hopefully, by 2019, people from all countries of the former Yugoslavia and throughout the world will acknowledge that the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 is only one-third of this tragic story — and that the remaining two-thirds is the violent rape of women who were forced to give birth to Serbian babies, which resulted in the most abominable crimes against humanity since World War II.

Betty Roberts

Stuttgart, Germany

Secretary’s plan fails the test

The Aug. 19 column “Deferred action: A step forward on immigration” by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is propaganda and a disgrace, as is she.

Napolitano has consistently flaunted the law, as has her boss, to meet a political agenda. Her record has been a complete failure. Remember, this is the person who stood up and said that “the system worked” after the attempted underwear bomber ignited his device on board an aircraft over the United States. She has consistently refused to enforce laws designed to protect our country. Yes, that means deporting illegal aliens.

In fact, the union representing U.S. Border Patrol agents has filed multiple grievances against Napolitano and her department.

Now, obviously, things like this don’t happen in a vacuum. Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and ultimately their boss, President Barack Obama, need to read the U.S. Constitution.

Deferred action is amnesty. This is an illegal policy by an administration that picks and chooses the laws it likes. With 8.2 percent unemployment (actually more like 14 percent) in the United States, jobs and benefits should not be going to illegal immigrants. Secretary Napolitano, spare me your compassion argument. Don’t let your compassion wreck my country.

Anyone who came to the United States illegally is not entitled to anything but a bus ride to the border. Members of the Obama administration shouldn’t let their pandering to left-wing political organizations and big-money donors wreck our country. They should do their jobs and enforce the law.

Alan J. Marinoff

Forward Operating Base Nijrab, Afghanistan


Stripes in 7



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