The Victims and Bystanders
Genocide, by its very nature, is a relationship between at least two actors -- perpetrator and victim--however unwelcome it may be on the part of the victim. The victim's perspective, however, may have an impact on the outcome of events. To a great extent, the Muslims were unprepared for what happened to them. For a long time, many in the Muslim community were prone to deny even to themselves that something like ethnic cleansing could occur, and, specifically, that any harm would befall them as individuals.
The revival of the Chetnik movement in the mid-1980 s in Serbia, and later in Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, reintroduced the old uniforms, flags, songs, and slogans as part of its rehabilitation as the mainstream of the Serbian nationalist movement. Such overt signals should have set off alarm bells throughout the Muslim community, but relatively few individuals heeded them. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina had been governed by a hard-line Communist system, until the 1990 multiparty elections brought Izetbegović to the presidency, attempts to make the Muslims aware of their defense needs were hampered.
Serbian nationalism became an increasing cause of concern in Bosnia- Herzegovina, only once Milošević had consolidated his power base and had