Petitioning Representative Bradley Schneider and 5 others

REMOVAL OF THE MONUMENT TO “ČETNIK” DRAŽA MIHAJLOVIĆ IN CHICAGO

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On behalf of the Bosnian Americans FB group (its 6000 members), Bosnian Organisations in the U.S.A. (signatories below), supporters of this petition, us as American citizens, we are reaching out to you seeking support, guidance, help, and action in removal of the monument of Draža Mihajlović in Libertyville, IL - symbol of hate, ethnic cleansing & genocide.

We are pleading to the Libertyville’s own Mr. Terry L. Weppler (Mayor), Village Board Members (Johnson, Moras, Justice, Adams, Garity, Carey), IL Governor Mr. Bruce Rauner, honorable Congressman Bradley Scott Schneider (Illinois's 10th congressional district), honorable Senator Mr. Dick Durbin and honorable Senator Mrs. Duckworth, and any government authority compelled to help us take action for the immediate removal of the monument, the symbol of hate, reminiscent of recent Bosnian aggression, ethnic cleansing, and Genocide.

Libertyville is located in south central Lake County, approximately 37 miles from Chicago and seven miles west of Lake Michigan. A community of about 22,000 inhabitants, enjoying the rich U.S. history and  traditions since 1830’s with the modern (music and arts) community and old town feel. Early settlers of Libertyville will certainly understand first Bosnian immigrants to Illinois... came with nothing, and build their livelihoods through hard work and determination. And it turned into a flourishing suburb of Chicago, where all ethnicities come together to build the fabric of American values.

We feel that with the erection of the monument in 2009, that Libertyville tranquility is disturbed. It is out of place, and does not reflect Libertyville’s values. U.S.A. never was and will never be a country which encourages or celebrates hatred, fascism and nazism. Case of Draža Mihailović, as the founder and leader of the Četnik movement from Serbia, exemplifies that disturbing definition. “Četnik” (pronounced Chetnik) organisation he founded is a movement which should be named a terrorist organization, on grounds of committing Genocide & Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia as 100 International Court cases have established; Milošević [3], Karadžić [4], Mladić [5], Plavšić [6], Hodžić [7], Lukić [8], and 103 other Serb convicted sentences. [9]

In last two decades the Serbian government, who endorses and supports Četniks (since their inception), has their lobbyists deeply entrenched in U.S. politics, manipulating history and facts (uncontested by politicians, who do not know any better). Facts about WWI, WWII and recent Bosnian aggression from Serbia is established by U.S., E.U, and International courts of justices. Not only Bosnia experienced the worse of Četniks (paramilitary, far-right extremist of Serbian government), but all former Yugoslav republics; Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Only way they have been able to do it in middle of Europe, is their significant geo-political ally in their back... Russia. Russia is doing their betting in international affairs using their Veto powers at the U.N., in their own geopolitical military self-interest, and against all American assets, interests, and investments. Therefore this neo-fascist movement shall not exist.

Serbian Government (as well as the Četnik movement) is still deeply denying the Srebrenica Genocide (despite numerous International court decisions), where 8000 Bosniak man, woman, children and elderly were killed based on their ethnicity. Systematic ethnic cleansing effort via State aggression was conducted throughout Bosnia, not just Srebrenica. “In April 1992 and under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." - U.S. Central Intelligence Agency [10].

Since then hundred Serb generals and Serb politicians are either serving their sentences, or find themselves in Hague Tribunal today. All of them were part of the Četnik movement started by Draže Mihajlović, and to this day those War Criminals are still seen as heroes by Četniks. Mentality and moral equivalent only seen by Taliban and ISIS today.

Unbeknownst to the local population of Libertyville, on September 7th 2009 their neighbourhood was chosen (under false pretenses) to display and glorify this European War Criminal, in turn his movement, which is responsible for deaths of 100,000, people in former Yugoslavia.

On May 25th 1995 Serbs took U.N. Peacekeepers hostage, for which actions U.S. and 19 NATO allies retaliated with bombing for 3 months of the Serbian capital Belgrade. Now those videos serve as propaganda videos for Serb radicals on YouTube [11]. As President Clinton then announced in this video broadcast from the White House; “we have seen (in Bosnia) worse inhumanities of our lifetime.“ [12]

Before today’s “ISIL” in the middle east, there was someone else known for chopping heads in Europe, in 1941 and ‘91 known as Četniks, as admitted by Aleksandar-Željko Knjeginjić just last week [43]. With this historical background, this monument is an embarrassment and humiliation to humanity, specifically Bosnian community who suffered enough through Genocide, and is still recovering from its losses, tragic and haunting events. This shall not stand, nor should it be acceptable in a country based on justice, freedom, and well-being of all citizens.

The effort to remove them is about more than symbolism. It’s about starting a conversation about the values and beliefs shared by a community. It’s about understanding our history as a nation. And it’s about acknowledging the injustices of the past as we address those of today.“- Southern Poverty Law Center. [13]

Please, support our cause by signing this petition and raise your voice by contacting YOUR representatives (Congressman, Senators...). Don’t know who your representatives are?

Click HERE.

Also, advise your community leaders, political and prominent figures in your country, to support this effort, raise awareness, and demand the immediate removal of the statue of Draža Mihailović anywhere. A monster who is responsible for 100,000 deaths in Yugoslavia during the period between 1941 and 1945 (which includes U.S. allies), and demand to label his Četnik and “Ravnogorski Pokret” as Terrorist organisations. They are responsible for Bosniak Genocide and ethnic cleansing that resulted in displacement of over 1,300,000 people, deaths of 63,000 civilians just little over 2 decades ago, and proved to be guilty of Genocide by International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

Giving Draža Mihajlović “Merit of Honor” award is like honoring Hitler with “Liberal Arts degree”, for his interest in painting… omitting the fact that he killed million Jews. 

This hate shall not stand!

FULL Petition Document here: http://bit.ly/RemoveDraza (Google Docs)

 (Bosnian translation: http://bit.ly/UkloniDrazu)

 

Sincerely,

Bosnian Americans (FB group)[57]

Signatories;

  • Association of Srebrenica Genocide Survivors [47] (Udruženje Preživjelih Srebreničkog Genocida)
  • Woman Victim of War [48] (Žena Žrtva Rata)
  • Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada [49] (Institut za Istraživanje Genocida, Kanada)
  • CNAB - Congress of North American Bosniaks [50] (KBSA - Kongres Bošnjaka Sjeverne Amerike)
  • Bosnian North American Woman’s Association [51] (Bosansko Sjeverno Američko Udruženje Žena)
  • Bosnian American Association Milwaukee [52] (Bosansko Američko Udruženje Milwaukee)
  • Children’s Movement for Peace, Love, Friendship “Children of Sarajevo” - NGO [53]
  • (Dječiji Pokret; Mira, Ljubavi, Prijateljstva “Djeca Sarajeva” - NVO)
  • Media:
  •  + Web magazine: www.Bosnjaci.net / www.Bosniakas.net
  •  + TV: BHTVNY - www.batv.tv
  •  + Radio: Radio Naša Rijeć - Chicago - www.radionasarijec.com
  • Bosniak American National Association (BANA)
    (Bošnjačko-Američka Nacionalna Asocijacija (BANA))
  • BAPA - Bosnian-American Professionals Association [54] (BAUP - Bosansko-Američko Udruženje Profesionalaca)
  • Bosnian Professionals (second largest Bosnian LinkedIn Group)[56](Bosanski Profesionalci)

 

Sources - References:

[1]  https://www.guidestar.org/profile/91-2106528

[2]  https://www.melissadata.com/lookups/np.asp?zip=363260126

[3]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/ind/en/mil-ii011122e.htm

[4]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/ind/en/kar-ai000428e.pdf

[5]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/ind/en/kar-ii950724e.pdf

[6]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/plavsic/tjug/en/030227_Plavsic_summary_en.pdf

[7]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/ind/en/110722.pdf

[8]http://www.icty.org/x/cases/milan_lukic_sredoje_lukic/cis/en/cis_lukic_lukic_en.pdf

[9] http://www.icty.org/en/action/cases/4

[10] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/print_ri.html

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6fq7DjMsqU

[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXPdY1zXXfA

[13] https://www.splcenter.org/20160421/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy

[47] http://www.stlbosnians.com/businesses-2/307/association-of-survivors-of-the-srebrenica-genocide/

[48] https://web.archive.org/web/20100715192706/http://www.zena-zrtva-rata.ba:80/o_nama

[49] http://instituteforgenocide.org

[50] http://www.bosniak.org

[51] https://bosnawa.com

[52] http://www.nonprofitfacts.com/WI/Bosnian-American-Association-Inc-Baa.html

[53] http://www.sarajevotimes.com/the-anniversary-of-ngo-childrens-movement-for-peace-children-of-sarajevo-today/

[56] https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1772660

[57] https://www.facebook.com/BosnianAmericans/

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Representative
    Bradley Schneider
  • Senator
    Tammy Duckworth
  • Senator
    Dick Durbin
  • Governor
    Bruce Rauner
  • Chicago, IL Mayor
    Rahm Emanuel
  • Vibertyville, IL Mayor
    Terry Weppler


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