by Ares Demertzis (Feb. 2009)
I: A Brief Synopsis.
II: Links, plus
Czechoslovak Documentary (Video):
International Criminal Tribunal (Video):
“Milosevic On Trial.”
“The Hague Tribunal”
“Slobodan Milosevic vs. New World Order”
“The breakup of Yugoslavia provided the fodder for what may have been the most misrepresented series of major events over the past twenty years. The journalistic and historical narratives that were imposed upon these wars have systematically distorted their nature, and were deeply prejudicial, downplaying the external factors that drove Yugoslavia’s breakup while selectively exaggerating and misrepresenting the internal factors.
Perhaps no civil wars…have ever been harvested as cynically by foreign powers to establish legal precedents and new categories of international duties and norms. Nor have any other civil wars been turned into such a proving ground for the related notions of “humanitarian intervention” and the “right (or responsibility) to protect.”
Yugoslavia’s conflicts were not so much mediated by foreign powers as they were inflamed and exploited by them to advance policy goals. The result was a tsunami of lies and misrepresentations in whose wake the world is still reeling.”
I: A BRIEF SYNOPSIS.
(Note: For those readers who entertain a certain confusion concerning the adversaries in the Yugoslav conflict, encouraged in large measure by a media reluctant to explicitly identify the contenders for reasons not relevant to this paper, be advised that references to “Kosovo,” or “Kosovar,” signifies Muslims, and “Croat” or “Croatian,” Roman Catholics – unless preceded by “Serb,” or the individual designation “Serb,” which in all cases connotes Orthodox Christians).
(i) Covert Exploits; Encouraging Islamic Jihad.
I suspect that when historians analyze the successful revival of Islam in the twentieth century, they will without doubt harshly judge the enigmatic contribution of three recent Presidents of the United States who have emerged as unexpected supporters of a Muslim ideology dedicated to the annihilation of a despised Western civilization, thereby accommodating the consequent universal supremacy of Islam. The most respected and venerated Muslim political and religious leaders publicly express a Global Caliphate as their goal; Western governments and the accredited media paradoxically encourage their success. The twenty-first century may well evolve into the much dreaded, tyrannical “Muslim Century.”
One of those injudicious American supporters of supremacist Islamic ideologues is President Jimmy Carter, who was reportedly considered the worst President of the United States until George Walker Bush seriously disputed the title. It was Jimmy who allowed the overthrow of a Westernized Iranian regime because he felt uncomfortable that the Shah was a dictator, replacing him with a man of faith in whom he could deposit his confidence – the Ayatollah Khomeini, who promptly instituted an oppressive, authoritarian anti-American Islamic theocracy.
The second President was William Clinton who instigated a clandestine undertaking against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia although there was no national security threat – not even the vituperative, pernicious rhetoric of loutish, braggart bluffers such as Kim Jong-il, Castro, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, or Saddam. Clinton´s imprudent exploit was in violation of the United Nations Charter which provides for non-interference in the internal affairs of member states and obliges respect for each other’s sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity. George W. Bush enjoyed more international authority, granted by the United Nations, for his invasion of Iraq and subsequent annihilation of Saddam Hussein. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights accuse the United States, and consequently the Clinton Administration of violating international law. Furthermore, Clinton´s illegal and imprudent hostile undertaking, conceived with calculated and premeditated deliberation, irresponsibly provided Islam with a Muslim state in the heart of Europe, strategically poised for the projected creation of what Bat Ye’or incisively described as “Eurabia.”
BBC Online, July 6, 1999: “President Clinton has authorised an all-out campaign to topple Slobodan Milosevic, according to sources close to the US Government. Earlier this spring, Mr. Clinton signed a secret presidential ‘finding’ giving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the green light to try to bring down the Yugoslav president, said sources quoted in the US news-magazine Time.”
The Observer (U.K.), March 11, 2001: “The United States secretly supported the ethnic Albanian (Muslim) extremists now behind insurgencies in Macedonia and southern Serbia. The CIA encouraged former Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) fighters to launch a rebellion in southern Serbia in an effort to undermine the then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, according to senior European officers who served with the international peace-keeping force in Kosovo (K-For), as well as leading Macedonian and US sources…European officers are furious that the Americans have allowed guerrilla armies in its sector to train, smuggle arms, and launch attacks across two international borders.”
“One European K-For battalion commander told The Observer yesterday: “The CIA has been allowed to run riot in Kosovo with a private army designed to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic. Now he’s gone the US State Department seems incapable of reining in its bastard army.” He added: “Most of last year, there was a growing frustration with US support for the radical (Muslim) Albanians.”
Republican Policy Committee (RPC) of the U.S. Senate, March 31, 1999: “… the (Muslim) KLA is closely involved with Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin.”
Washington Post, Sept 22, 1996. Congressional Press Release: “(The) Republican Party Committee (RPC) accused the Clinton administration of having “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world”
“Perhaps most threatening…is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), “played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.”
“Further, according to the Times, in September 1996 National Security Agency analysts contradicted Clinton Administration claims of declining Iranian influence…it is irresponsible in the extreme for the Clinton Administration to gloss over the extent to which its policies have put American personnel in an increasingly vulnerable position while performing an increasingly questionable mission. In short, the Clinton Administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe.”
“The Administration repeatedly deceived the American people about its Iranian green light policy…two Clinton Administration officials bear particular responsibility: Ambassador Galbraith and then-NSC Director Anthony Lake, against both of whom the House of Representatives has referred criminal charges to the Justice Department. Mr. Lake, who personally presented the proposal to Bill Clinton for approval, “played a central role in preventing the responsible congressional committees from knowing about the Administration’s fateful decision to acquiesce in radical Islamic Iran’s effort to penetrate the European continent through arms shipments and military cooperation…There is evidence that Ambassador Galbraith may have engaged in activities that could be characterized as unauthorized covert action.” —Republican Policy Committee report (1997)
BBC Video: “The scope of these activities included bugging UN Commanders and diplomats.”
Former UN Commander in Bosnia General Sir Michael Rose was aware that the Americans were secretly bugging his office. “We were always very careful in what we said in that office. And if we did say something, it was with deliberate intent.” Two Clinton Administration officials bear particular responsibility: Ambassador Galbraith and then-NSC Director Anthony Lake, against both of whom the House of Representatives has referred criminal charges to the Justice Department.”
“Senior European negotiators believe that with US backing, the war could have ended two years earlier, but US desire to see the (Orthodox Christian) Serbs punished meant that they instead encouraged the (Muslim) Bosnian Government to continue fighting.”
“The price in human terms? Over 15,000 dead and nearly 600,000 refugees.”
”For some time it has been an open secret that the American government planned and initiated a confrontational strategy aimed at dismembering Yugoslavia, the only state in the Balkans that had failed to acquiesce to United States pressure in the headlong rush to extend Western domination to the borders of Russia.”
The Guardian (U.K.) April 22, 2002: “The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, released last week, contains one of the most sensational reports on western intelligence ever published. Officials have been staggered by its findings and the Dutch government has resigned.”
“One of its many volumes is devoted to clandestine activities during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s. His findings are set out in “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia, 1992-1995.” It includes remarkable material on covert operations, signals interception, human agents and double-crossing by dozens of agencies in one of dirtiest wars of the new world disorder. Now we have the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”.
“In the 1980s Washington’s secret services had assisted Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. Then, in 1990, the US fought him in the Gulf. In both Afghanistan and the Gulf, the Pentagon had incurred debts to Islamist groups and their Middle Eastern sponsors. By 1993 these groups, many supported by Iran and Saudi Arabia, were anxious to help Bosnian Muslims fighting in the former Yugoslavia and called in their debts with the Americans.”
“Bill Clinton and the Pentagon were keen to be seen as creditworthy and repaid in the form of an Iran-Contra style operation – in flagrant violation of the UN Security Council arms embargo against all combatants in the former Yugoslavia.”
“The result was a vast secret conduit of weapons smuggling though Croatia. This was arranged by the clandestine agencies of the US, Turkey and Iran, together with a range of radical Islamist groups, including Afghan mojahedin and the pro-Iranian Hizbullah.”
“Rather than the CIA, the Pentagon’s own secret service was the hidden force behind these operations. The UN protection force, UNPROFOR, was dependent on its troop-contributing nations for intelligence, and above all on the sophisticated monitoring capabilities of the US to police the arms embargo. This gave the Pentagon the ability to manipulate the embargo at will: ensuring that American AWACS aircraft covered crucial areas and were able to turn a blind eye to the frequent nighttime comings and goings at Tuzla.”
Weapons flown in during the spring of 1995 were to turn up only a fortnight later in the besieged and demilitarised enclave at Srebrenica. When these shipments were noticed, Americans pressured UNPROFOR to rewrite reports, and when Norwegian officials protested about the flights, they were reportedly threatened into silence.”
It is an uncomfortable experience to watch videos of the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) soldiers parading while singing in Arabic the U.S. Marine marching songs they were taught by their American military instructors. We can expect in future armed conflicts with Islam that these mujahedeen will see to it that this effective and costly training facilitates the premature return of American military personnel to the “green, green grass of home.” In body bags.
In the “Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States” (W.W. Norton & Co. 2004), at least two of the 9/11 terrorists Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, had fought as mujahedeen in Bosnia. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the “mastermind of the planes operation,” had also participated in the Bosnian Islamic jihad.
Unreported by America´s elite media which consistently shielded the Clinton Administration from negative reporting (excluding the internet), was that President Clinton had secretly armed and trained Muslim mujahedeen in Yugoslavia with the deliberate intent of provoking a civil war that would splinter Yugoslavia into geographically smaller, politically less significant, more manageable, independent states; in the process overthrowing (Serb) President Slobodan Milosevic whose government was clinging to what was considered by the United States as an obsolete socialist economic doctrine.
When the mujahedeen proved unable to effectively complete their mission, impeded by an unexpectedly effective Yugoslav government (Serb) military response (cleverly promoted by the West as “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” of non-Serbs), the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and the indispensable regime change required the support of a major, albeit overt U.S. intervention. This arrived in the form of a brutally lethal bombing campaign that included disinformation as an essential component to validate the military assault against a sovereign state accredited with international legitimacy.
(ii) Catholic Croatia; Operation Storm.
Proof of Milosevic´s intent to ethnically cleanse non-Serbs is contained in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) “Milosevic Trial Transcript” of February 12, 2002. Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice told the court that Milosevic “had broken the taboo of (Tito) against invoking nationalism by saying: “No one should beat you,” to the (Orthodox Christian) Serbs gathered at the Hall of Culture in Pristina in April 1987.
My interpretation of Milosevic´s admonition to his Serb audience is that it was a reference to the Croatian Holocaust (see section (v) below) rather than its opportunistic and expedient interpretation by Prosecutor Nice as a call to genocide.
In the same transcript referred to above, on June 26, 2003, the (Catholic) Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman is quoted as having instructed his generals to “inflict such a blow on the Serbs that they should virtually disappear.” Days after this exhortation, “Operation Storm,” a clandestine American supported military maneuver virtually eliminated the presence of 200,000 Serbian civilians, a majority population in the Croatian province of Krajina.
It is estimated that more civilians were killed in Krajina than Srebrenica, but this consequence was virtually ignored by the Western media and never regarded, as was Srebrenica, a genocide.
“More than two hundred thousand Serbs, virtually the entire population of Krajina, fled their homes, and 14,000 Serbian civilians lost their lives…According to a UN official, “Almost the only people remaining were the dead and the dying”…The roads were clogged with refugees, and Croatian aircraft bombed and strafed refugee columns…A UN spokesman said, “The windows of almost every vehicle were smashed and almost every person was bleeding from being hit by some object.” Serbian refugees were pulled from their vehicles and beaten. Bosnian Muslim troops crossed the border and cut off Serbian escape routes. Trapped refugees were massacred as they were pounded by Croatian and Muslim artillery. Nearly 1,700 refugees simply vanished. While Croatian and Muslim troops burned Serbian villages, President Clinton expressed his understanding for the invasion, and Warren Christopher said events “could work to our advantage.”
“Croatian assembly deputy Mate Mestrovic also claimed that the “United States gave us the green light to do whatever had to be done.”
Newsweek, August 21, 2001: “Americans in military uniform, operating from a cream-colored trailer near the runway, directed the GNAT-750 drone to photograph Serb troop positions and weapons emplacements. The images were transmitted back to base, analyzed and then passed on to the Pentagon. According to top Croat intelligence officials, copies were also sent to the headquarters of the Croatian general in command of “Operation Storm (Ante Gotovina).”
“Now a Newsweek investigation has shown that U.S. intelligence cooperation with Croatia went far deeper than Washington has ever acknowledged. According to Miro Tudjman, son of the late president Franjo Tudjman and head of the Croatian counterpart to the CIA in the mid-1990s, the United States provided encryption gear to each of Croatia’s regular Army brigades. He says the CIA also spent at least $10 million on Croatian listening posts to intercept telephone calls in Bosnia and Serbia. “All our [electronic] intelligence in Croatia went online in real time to the National Security Agency in Washington,” says Tudjman. “We had a de facto partnership.”
“Last month prosecutors (at The Hague Tribunal) announced the indictment of General Gotovina for atrocities committed during and after Operation Storm, including the murder of 150 Krajina Serbs, the forced displacement of as many as 200,000 others and the torching of thousands of homes. Yet he has refused to surrender to the tribunal, complaining that he would have to spend years in jail awaiting trial. Gotovina’s Chicago-based lawyer, Luka Misetic, argues that…”He was in the chain of command, but there was this other set of eyes and ears watching this operation,” says Misetic. “No one there [in the CIA] saw there was a problem with war crimes or a crime against humanity.” Neither did the pleased officers at the Pentagon, nor a comfortable President Clinton at the White House, all observing the slaughter relayed to them by the GNAT-750 in real time.
“I always said that the only people in Croatia who know everything are the Americans,” says Markica Rebic, the former head of military intelligence. When Gotovina stands trial, some of those Americans may be asked to testify about their country’s role in an ugly conflict.
HRVATSKI SVJETSKI KONGRES (CROATIAN WORLD CONGRESS)
PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: PROF. DR. SIMUN SITO CORIC
+41-32-62-19202. THE HAGUE JULY 4, 2002:
“The Croatian World Congress today submitted to Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a formal request to open a criminal investigation against senior U.S. officials for aiding and abetting indicted Croatian General Ante Gotovina in a 1995 Croatian military operation known as “Operation Storm.”
“Specifically named in the complaint are former President William Jefferson Clinton, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, former Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith.”
“The complaint filed today alleges that the US officials aided Gen. Gotovina and the Croatian Army in Operation Storm by violating a UN arms embargo and allowing Croatia to obtain weapons.”
“Furthermore, the US officials established a CIA base inside of Gen. Gotovina’s military base which provided the US officials with real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm.”
“If General Gotovina carried out a pre-planned campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serb civilians, then the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such a plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged plan.”
“The US officials gave the green light for the Operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it. The US officials at all times had the ability to halt the military operation.”
“Accordingly, the US officials named in the complaint should be indicted for having aided and abetted General Gotovina. The Croatian World Congress reiterates, however, that it believes the most just outcome would be to withdraw the indictment against General Gotovina.”
Washington Post, September 21, 2005: “The chief prosecutor for the U.N. tribunal for Balkans war crimes has said that a Roman Catholic monastery in Croatia is sheltering a fugitive Croatian general (Ante Gotovina) charged with atrocities against Serb civilians and that the Vatican has refused pleas to help find him. Carla Del Ponte of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that…”he is accused of overseeing the murders of at least 150 Serbs and the forced expulsion of tens of thousands near the end of the 1991-95 civil war.”
“Del Ponte said…”I have taken this up with the Vatican and the Vatican refuses totally to cooperate with us…The Catholic Church is protecting him. Del Ponte told the British daily that she visited the Vatican this summer and asked the foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, for help in flushing Gotovina out of one of 80 monasteries in Croatia where he might be hiding. “Msgr. Lajolo said to me: ‘Let me know in which monastery Gotovina is hiding,’ “Del Ponte said in the Daily Telegraph interview. “I said, if I knew, I would not be here in Rome.”
“Del Ponte said Vatican officials “said they have no intelligence, and I don’t believe that,” adding that she believes the Vatican could find Gotovina “in a few days” if it chose to.”
Balkan Insight, June 24, 2008: “A former US ambassador to (Catholic) Croatia has accused Zagreb of plotting and sanctioning the exodus of (Orthodox Christian) Serbs in 1995 to create an “ethnically clean” country. Peter Galbraith told The Hague war crimes trial of three Croatian generals, that the leadership headed by late President Franjo Tudjman used ‘Operation Storm’ to ‘cleanse’ Croatia of Serbs.”
“Croatian authorities either ordered or allowed a mass destruction of the Serb property in former (Serb-held region of) Krajina to prevent the return of the population. I consider that to have been a thought through policy. His testimony came as a surprise, since when he testified at the trial of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in 2003, Galbraith said Croatia was not responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Serbs.”
“On Monday he said he was sorry for saying that because it was understood as his justification for the Croatian army’s actions, which had not been his intention.”
Amnesty International: “…regarding the killings which took place after Operation Storm, it is important to note other human rights violations which took place at the time. Some of the (Serb) women who remained behind, including the elderly, were raped by Croatian soldiers, police or uncontrolled civilians.”
“The widespread and deliberate destruction of (Serb) houses and other buildings throughout the Krajina is the most visible evidence remaining of the gross human rights violations committed after Operation Storm…House destruction is an effective means of ensuring that a population which has fled has nowhere to return. Indeed, the deliberate destruction of property continues to be an effective means of making Croatian (Orthodox Christian) Serbs who wish to return to Croatia change their minds.”
“While the Croatian authorities are eager to facilitate the resolution of cases of “disappearance” when the victims are of Croatian nationality, are vigorous in pursuing the prosecution of Croatian Serbs and others accused of committing war crimes against Croatian victims, and are facilitating the return of displaced Croatians to their homes within Croatia, the authorities have done little to address violations committed by its own side…no attention has been given to the continuing impunity for the human rights violations suffered by the Croatian Serbs who did not leave Croatia in 1995. Crimes remain unacknowledged, uninvestigated, and the perpetrators unpunished.”
“The Croatian authorities’ initial reaction to the reports which emerged about killing, torture, house destruction and other human rights violations and acts of violence was denial, or else they claimed that all the victims had been engaged in military activity. As more cases continued to emerge, however, the authorities’ reactions shifted to admitting that some crimes had been committed, but that they were the acts of uncontrollable individuals, or else were committed by civilians dressed in military uniform.”
The United States was actively involved in the secret preparation, launching and monitoring of the Croatian offensive “Operation Storm.” Personally approved by President Clinton, the Croat military, trained and armed by the United States, attacked and ethnically cleansed the resident non-combatant, civilian Serb majority inhabitants. The operation was transmitted in real time directly to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Where was the ethically uncompromising, morally offended, confrontational and belligerent, raucous multitude? Why was no one chanting: “Willy lied; people died!”
The President of the United States, William Clinton, exposed his magnanimity for global appreciation at Rambouillet, but only after assuring that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY), had formally indicted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his government for war crimes. Rambouillet was to be the final, altruistically charitable attempt by a United States government reluctant to escalate the dispute with Yugoslavia into a full scale military assault.
In an interview with L´Unita, reported in ANP English News Bulletin on July 27, 1995, ICTY president Antonio Cassese openly acknowledged that indictments were a politically motivated endeavor of the Tribunal: “The indictment means that these gentlemen will not be able to participate in peace negotiations. Let us see who will sit down at the negotiating table now with a man accused of genocide.”
The ICTY chief prosecutor Louise Arbour, in a press conference in May, 1999, admitted that Milosevic was primarily indicted in order to eliminate the possibility of his participation in peace negotiations: “evidence upon which this indictment was confirmed raises the serious questions about their suitability to be guarantors of any deal, let alone a peace agreement.”
“Milosevic had accepted the Rambouillet agreement which provided for the immediate withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from Kosovo and the return of Kosova autonomy. However, Rambouillet did not provide for a UN presence in Kosovo, instead insisting on NATO military occupation of the entire country.”
“Appendix B, paragraph 8, reads: “NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including associated airspace and territorial waters.” Milosevic accepted all stipulations of Rambouillet except this last demand. No sovereign nation would agree to such outright capitulation.”
The general-secretary of Milosevic’s Socialist Party, Gorica Gajevic: “We are not accepting foreign military troops on our territory under any excuse and at any price, even at the price of bombing.”
On July 23, 1914, an ostentatious Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire delivered a ten demand ultimatum to Serbia after the Sarajevo assassination. The militarily inconsequential Serbian government submissively consented to all but one of the demands: Austrians on Serbian soil. Serbia was invaded; allies entered the conflict on both sides and World War I commenced. The fatuous Austro-Hungarian Empire was destroyed.
World War II also had a diffident beginning; Hitler accused Czechoslovakia of “atrocities” against ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland and demanded self-determination. Ethnic Germans and the Sudeten Nazi Party initiated worker strikes and riots; the Czechs responded with military force. Newsreels showed “evidence” of the violence; journalists hyped the situation. Hitler threatened to invade, and at Munich on September 29 1938, the Sudetenland was ceded to Germany. “Peace for our time!” boasted a pusillanimous Chamberlain to the cheering crowd, claiming that the Fuhrer was “a man who can be relied upon.” Scarcely a year later, on September 2, 1939, World War II began.
Are we to trust that the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo will remain content with presiding over their Islamic states and not obey the Koranic injunction for world domination, commencing with Western Europe? Can we realistically believe that the Serbs, given their spirited history, will meekly accept the U.S. imposed humiliation?
At Rambouillet, President Clinton´s tenuous grasp of history was showing; there are those who believe in a future resurrection of the conflict. In a future Vidovdan, “The Day When We Shall See.” In the Balkans, no one forgets; no one forgives. The region will once again be engulfed in the flames of vengeance.
Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: “A similar situation under Turkish occupation lasted for all of 500 years. This one won’t last that long, and in the very moment it ends, Kosovo will again be completely under Serbian control, and here we are talking not only about Kosovo, but of Serbia as well, since Serbia too will be ruled again, and soon, by patriots. Patriots will rule in other countries as well, instead of this scheme of new colonialism and the establishing of various puppet governments.”
Global Policy Forum: “Rambouillet was never about negotiations. It was about presenting the Serbs with an ultimatum precisely designed to provide the pretext for NATO bombing. Rambouillet was a tragic farce, a low point in the history of diplomacy.”
The New Statesman (U.K.), December 13, 2004: “The trigger for the bombing of Yugoslavia was, according to NATO, the failure of the Serbian delegation to sign up to the Rambouillet peace conference. What went mostly unreported was that the Rambouillet accord had a secret Annex B, which Madeleine Albright’s delegation had inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia…As the Foreign Office minister Lord Gilbert later conceded to a Commons defence select committee, Annex B was planted deliberately to provoke rejection.”
“Equally revealing was a chapter dealing exclusively with the Kosovan economy. This called for a “free-market economy” and the privatisation of all government assets. As the Balkans writer Neil Clark has pointed out: “The rump Yugoslavia . . . was the last economy in central-southern Europe to be uncolonised by western capital. ‘Socially owned enterprises’, the form of worker self-management pioneered under Tito, still predominated. Yugoslavia had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car and tobacco industries.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “On February 6, talks began in Rambouillet, France. The Administration billed the talks as a promise to arrive at a peaceful resolution. Details that emerged weeks later about Appendix ‘B’ to the agreement — which gave NATO the right to go anywhere in Yugoslavia — mark Rambouillet as the start of the war, not the beginning of a peace.”
“Madeleine Albright issued a series of nonnegotiable demands to ensure that the only solution was to be bombing.”
The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999
Not surprisingly, a persistently obfuscating President Clinton (“I never inhaled;” “I never had sex with that woman;” “It all depends on what your definition of is, is”) repeatedly and hypocritically described Rambouillet as an honest and humane attempt to negotiate a settlement acceptable to all those interested in peace.
Henry Kissinger disagrees: “Several fateful decisions were taken in those now seemingly far-off days in February, when other options were still open. The first was the demand that 30,000 NATO troops enter Yugoslavia, a country with which NATO was not at war, and administer a province that had emotional significance as the origin of Serbia’s independence. The second was to use the foreseeable refusal as justification for starting the bombing…Rambouillet was not a negotiation – as is often claimed – but an ultimatum.”
The International Crisis Group, a private organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority leader George Mitchell, (a) Washington and Brussels-based group, which is funded by the European Union and the U.S. government, interpreted the events at Rambouillet in a theoretically unbiased report titled, “Reality Demands: Documenting Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Kosovo 1999”: “…a conference was convened at Rambouillet, in France, at the beginning of February. Serbian and Kosovar Albanian leaders met over a period of two weeks to discuss the terms of settlement that had been put together by representatives of the Contact Group countries. However, these terms ultimately proved unacceptable to the Serbian government representatives and it became evident they were simply using the negotiations as a diversion.” (p 67)
(iv) The “Air Campaign.”
The New Statesman, December 13, 2004: “Lies as great as those told by Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and Blair in their grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked attack on a European country. Following the same path as the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the media coverage in the spring of 1999 was a series of fraudulent justifications, beginning with the then US defence secretary William Cohen’s claim that “we’ve now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing…they may have been murdered.” David Scheffer, the then US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as “225,000 ethnic (Muslim) Albanian men aged between 14 and 59 may have been killed. Blair invoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War.” The British press took its cue. “Flight from genocide,” wrote the Daily Mail. “Echoes of the Holocaust,” chorused the Sun and the Mirror. In parliament, the heroic Clare Short compared to Nazi propagandists those (such as myself) who objected to the bombing of defenceless people.”
“By June 1999, with the bombardment over, international forensic teams began subjecting Kosovo to minute examination. The American FBI arrived to investigate what was called “the largest crime scene in the FBI’s forensic history.” Several weeks later, having not found a single mass grave, the FBI went home. The Spanish forensic team also returned home, its leader complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become part of “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one – not one – mass grave.”
One year prior to the American sponsored NATO bombing war that was intended to stop the Serbs from killing Muslims, George Robertson, British Secretary of Defense, testified before the Select Committee on Defense in the U.K. House of Commons that the “Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) were responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav (Christian Orthodox Serb) authorities.” This was also true of Bosnian Muslims and the Croatian Catholics; facts undisclosed by a mainstream media eager to caricature Serbs as “Milosevic´s willing executioners” intent on perpetrating genocide against the innocent.”
“On March 23, 1999, the day before the air attacks, a last minute initiative by the Yugoslav National Assembly approved a ten-page resolution requesting immediate return of UN monitors “to facilitate a peaceful diplomatic settlement.” The resolution promised Kosovo full autonomy with guarantees of human rights. News of the legislature’s desperate resolution was reported worldwide, but received no coverage in the American press. To the contrary, The New York Times on March 24, 1999 falsely reported that the bombing had begun “because Milosevic refused to accept…or even discuss an international peacekeeping plan.”
“The order to bomb was signed by Javier Solana, General Secretary of NATO, contravening The Hague Convention of 1949, The Stockholm Declaration of 1972, and NATO´s own charter. Subsequently, NATO amended its Charter, stipulating that the organization is no longer solely a “defensive organization.” It authorized itself to strike outside its “sphere of influence.” Javier Solana further clarified this new concept during a speech in Brussels: “We must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people in Europe at the end of the 20th Century. We have a moral duty to do so. The responsibility is on our shoulders and we will fulfill it.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “I thought NATO was a defensive organization. At least that’s what its charter said. But NATO’s war moved along like a giant unconscious force. Soon NATO was prepared to blockade Russian ships in Montenegro’s harbor, prompting Vladimir Lukin of the Yabloko party to warn that such an action was ‘a direct path to nuclear escalation.’ He didn’t have to say it. There were numerous quiet discussions taking place around Washington and across the country of people who were beginning to sense that NATO was out of control. They understood that NATO was moving into that fuzzy circumference of high violence where the possibility of nuclear war, on purpose or by accident, was beginning to be real.” (The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999)
The Michigan Daily, March 24, 1999: “Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, in a dramatic gesture of opposition, canceled plans to visit Washington as the crisis intensified. Primakov was over the Atlantic, en route to Washington, but turned his jet around and headed back to Moscow after Vice President Al Gore refused to promise that airstrikes would not take place. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said Russia would step up its combat readiness if NATO attacks, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. But despite Russia’s bluster, Moscow has no effective means to prevent the NATO action.”
In an act of historical mendacity, or appalling ignorance inappropriate of a former Rhodes scholar, but more likely simply a confirmation of impertinent contempt for the intellect of his fellow citizens, on March 24, 1999, during a televised address to explain his decision to implement “the Air Campaign” against Yugoslavia, President Clinton declared “No, the Serbs did not only cause WWI; no, without them there would have been no Holocaust either.”
Tomahawk Cruise missiles were discharged from American combat aircraft on Serbia, including its civilian infrastructure; the latter considered a war crime in international jurisprudence. Evidence supports allegations that the American pilots were purposely given non-military targets within the resident population which included commuter trains, water treatment plants, 300 elementary schools, and a dozen health care facilities, killing over 5,000 innocent Serb and Kosovar civilian non-combatants in the process.
Washington Post, April 28, 1999: “The attack on Surdlica, 200 miles southeast of Belgrade, came as NATO stepped up its aerial assault against Serb-dominated Yugoslavia following a decision by allied leaders at their summit in Washington last weekend to grant military commanders broad new authority to strike a wider range of targets, including some that primarily affect civilians.”
“The bombing of Surdlica came a day after Cornelio Sommaruga, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, criticized NATO for causing civilian casualties and damaging Yugoslavia’s civilian infrastructure with its airstrikes…Yugoslav state television showed wrecked single-family homes in Surdlica and rescue workers picking through bricks, beams and tiles trying to reach survivors and recover bodies…residents said in a telephone interview that 16 bodies had been found by tonight – 12 of them children between the ages of 5 and 12”
“An Associated Press reporter taken to the scene by police reported seeing 50 houses destroyed and 600 damaged. Rescue workers said 11 people, including five children, were believed trapped in the basement of one house…On April 12, an allied bomb intended for a railway bridge struck a passenger train near the Serbian town of Leskovac, killing 10 people. Last week, allied aircraft targeted the studios of state-run television in Belgrade on the grounds that its broadcasts were propaganda that inflamed public opinion and were prolonging the conflict.”
BBC News, June 1, 1999: “NATO has been coming under increasingly fierce criticism amid a mounting toll of innocent people killed or injured in its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. In its defence, the alliance has called on the world’s media to put its bombing campaign in perspective, arguing that fewer civilians have been killed or injured in the Kosovo campaign than in any other comparable conflict…”
“As of June 1, NATO had carried out around 31,000 campaign flights over 70 days…Speaking at NATO headquarters, alliance spokesman Jamie Shea said: “When we started this operation, we were conducting around 30 [sorties] a day. Now we are conducting up to 350 attacks every night…Serb officials say that a NATO bombing attack led to the deaths of at least three patients in a Belgrade hospital…State television reported that emergency services evacuated infants and pregnant women…At least 100 civilians died after NATO bombed what it said were “legitimate military targets” in the village of Korisa, southern Kosovo. Footage broadcast by Serbian TV showed charred remains, including at least two children, smouldering homes and burning tractors.”
“In the third NATO blunder in 26 hours, alliance missiles hit an apartment block in Novi Pazar, south-west Serbia, killing at least 11 people and injuring a further 23 residents…Tanjug said that 20 missiles fell on various targets in Novi Pazar with the apartment taking a direct hit. More bodies were believed buried in the rubble…The news agency also reported that NATO´s targets had included a publishing house, printing presses and regional television and radio headquarters close to a hospital and a bus station…Yugoslavia reported that at least 20 people lost their lives when NATO bombs hit a sanotorium and neighbouring old people’s home in Surdulica, south-east Serbia.”
“NATO spokesman General Konrad Freitag said “NATO cannot confirm any Serb claims of casualties or collateral damage.”…At least 11 civilians were reported killed and a further 40 injured when NATO bombers mounted a daylight raid on a bridge in Varvarin, south-central Serbia. Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said local people were attending the town’s market when the attack happened at 1pm local time. Witnesses said four cars fell into the River Velika Morava. Rescuers who went to aid of the injured were hit in the second attack. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said the alliance had bombed a “”legitimate designated military target.”
Spanish weekly “Articulo20,” Issue 30, June 14, 1999: “The suspicions that NATO’s repeated bombings of civilian victims and non-military targets are not the result of war “errors”, are confirmed by Captain Martin de la Hoz: “Several times our Colonel protested to NATO commanders why they select targets which are not military targets…I want to tell it to the whole world: once there was a coded order of the North American military that we should drop anti-personnel bombs over the localities of Prishtina and Nish. The colonel refused it altogether and, a couple of days later, the transfer order came.”
“They are destroying the country, bombing it with novel weapons, toxic nerve gases, surface mines dropped with parachute, bombs containing uranium, black napalm, sterilization chemicals, sprayings to poison the crops and weapons of which even we still do not know anything. The North Americans are committing one of the biggest barbarities that can be committed against humanity…I will never be able to forget that what was being committed there was one the biggest savageries of history.”
Compelled by the withering destruction of the U.S./NATO bombing campaign, Milosevic´s continuing appeals for resuming negotiations were consistently ignored. On March 29, 1999, his Prime Minister declared, “Yugoslavia is prepared to resume talks on the Kosovo province if NATO calls off air strikes.” On April 7, Milosevic requested a ceasefire for (Serb) Orthodox Easter. The request was denied.
‘The end of the conflict will come when they stop persecuting innocent people in Kosovo,’ Vice President Al Gore said in Louisville, Ky. ‘We can’t stand by with that kind of atrocity going on.’
Oh, the offensive irony! The disreputable cynicism! NATO bombs slaughter 5,000 innocent civilians, yet the Vice President of the United States considers Serbs to be the violent aggressors.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “As the death toll began to mount, I thought of times when I rode trains in Europe and wondered what it would be like to be traveling to work or to visit relatives while, 15,000 feet above, a sophisticated targeting system was locking into the approaching bridge, and suddenly it is as if dozens of people never even existed. And who was taking responsibility for all of this? What was the purpose of any of it? Why did civilians in Serbia and Kosovo have to die in air attacks? Who made that decision?
(The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999)
President Clinton´s “humanitarian intervention” employed two types of weapons considered illegal under international law (Geneva, The Hague, and Nuremberg): cluster bombs and weapons tipped with depleted uranium (DU) which results in radioactive poisoning and environmental contamination. UN General Assembly Resolution 96 specifically outlaws the use of DU bombs.
In her “Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,” Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague declared she was “very satisfied that there was no deliberate targeting of civilians or unlawful military targets by NATO during the bombing campaign…The prosecutor judged these to be genuine mistakes on the part of NATO.” This conclusion was reached without any inquiry because the charges did not merit an investigation; the conclusion therefore, simply reflects an opinion of the Committee and chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.
It is important not to confuse the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with the International Court of Justice, although both tribunals are based in The Hague. The ICTY was created in the Security Council in May 1993, and its formation is considered by some as illegal, ultra vires (beyond the powers) of the Security Council because they exceeded their authority granted by the U.N. Charter.
In a subsequent speech to the United Nations Security Council, ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte reiterated: “Although some mistakes were made by NATO, I am satisfied there was no deliberate targeting of civilians or any unlawful military targets during the NATO campaign.”
William Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg (Germany) War Crimes Tribunal: “The  bombing war violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”
According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, NATO heads of State and heads of government are responsible for the supreme crime: “the crime against peace.”
President Clinton defended the bombing as a means “to protect thousands of innocent people in Kosovo from a mounting military offensive.” Vaclav Havel assured the world that “war places human rights above the rights of the state.” And Tony Blair added “we now have a chance to build a new internationalism based on values and the rule of law.”
It is of interest to note that the United States and its allies didn´t judge it necessary, for “righteous humanitarian” purposes, “human rights above the rights of the state,” “a new internationalism based on values and the rule of law,” to undertake a military assault designed to curb civil war and the internal genocidal conflicts of countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tibet, and Zimbabwe, among so many others; therefore it could be validly presumed that intervention in those theatres was of little interest given that they, unlike Yugoslavia, were unpromising from an economic cost-benefit consideration and the continuing progress of a “New World Order.”
WV World News, January 23, 2008: “Hashim Thachi, leader of the Kosovo (Muslim) Liberation Army (KLA) and later Prime Minister of a unilaterally declared independent Kosovo, at a press conference in the Caglavica Media Center was asked if he felt guilty of the crimes the KLA committed against Serbs. He responded: “We have made all achievements together with help from the international community.”
Europenews, January 19, 2008: “I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal,” he answered, in reference to the NATO bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999, which ended after 78 days with the withdrawal of Serbian security forces from the province.”
The New Statesman (U.K.), December 13, 2004 “NATO’s clients were the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA). Seven years earlier, the State Department had designated the KLA as a terrorist organisation in league with al-Qaeda.”
“The Kosovar (Muslim) Albanians played us like a Stradivarius violin,” wrote the former UN commander in Bosnia, Major General Lewis MacKenzie, last April. “We have subsidised and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early 1990s, and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today, in spite of evidence to the contrary.”
National Post – April 6, 2004. General Lewis MacKenzie: “The objective of the (Muslim) Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community’s representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of “Greater Albania.”
“The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic’s heavy-handed response into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed by the West – the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: “Maybe you do not know, but the government of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohia in 1998 and 1999 – that is, during the war, until those who committed aggression installed their mercenaries in power – was formed of Serbs, Albanians, Moslems, Turks, Goranies, Roma and Egyptians. Serbs were a minority in that government. How can the notion that there was national discrimination be reconciled with that fact?!”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: ”For ten years since the time you claim Serbia “seized” control of its own territory, there were no murders, no expulsions, no plunder, no arson, no arrests in Kosovo. We did not have a single political prisoner in Yugoslavia – not one. Kosovo had 20 newspapers and other publications in Albanian which one could buy at every street corner. Not a single issue, not a single copy, was ever banned. Albanian political parties, even separatist ones, worked freely. Someone here said we tolerated them. No, our view was that everything should be permitted – except violence.”
“Then the powers behind Yugoslavia’s destruction and occupation rounded up criminals throughout Western Europe and sent them to Kosovo to establish a terrorist organization. They began terrorist attacks in the spring of 1998. Then they were crushed. By the fall of 1998, they were completely eliminated, surrendering by the truckload the weapons they had smuggled in. Within that year, they mostly killed Albanians. More (Muslim) Albanians than (Orthodox Christian) Serbs were killed by the terrorists in 1998. They killed Albanian police officers, postal carriers, forest rangers, even retirees – only because they received their retirement checks from the state. They were attempting to strike terror in the hearts of Albanians as well as kill Serbs. We protected our citizens – both Serbs and Albanians – from terrorism, and this operation was completed by the fall of 1998. Then [US envoy] Holbrooke came to demand a “Verification Mission” in order to create a pretext for attacking Yugoslavia.
“The most recent Serb murdered in Kosovo that I’ve heard of was killed on Christmas this year. Some 350,000 were expelled from Kosovo under the UN auspices, while Albanian terrorist activities were protected by the UN. Since the arrival of the so-called UN peacekeepers that were obligated by [UN Security Council] Resolution 1244 to guarantee the security of person and property to every inhabitant of Kosovo, Albanian terrorists have expelled 350,000 people and torched tens of thousands of homes. Sometimes they would burn 50, 60, all the Serb houses in villages, in plain sight of the [UN] troops. These are in fact occupation troops, who came [to Kosovo] under the UN banner only to transform themselves overnight into occupiers and allies of the terrorists who killed, who mutilated and butchered so many, and burned so much, and continue to do so even today. And they say they were unaware of it happening.”
“This is obviously a crime, and the thread running through it is obviously a crime against Yugoslavia. I want to point out that falsifying historical facts is not easy…With all due respect, the real judges in this trial – not you who wear the robes – …The real judge here is the people – not just the people of Yugoslavia, but the peoples of all the countries who care about liberty and equality.”
As a result of the Kosovo War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization created a second NATO medal, the NATO Medal for Kosovo Service, an international military decoration… Shortly thereafter, NATO created the Non-Article 5 Medal for Balkans service to combine both Yugoslavian and Kosovo operations into one service medal.”
“Due to the involvement of the United States armed forces, a separate U.S. military decoration, known as the Kosovo Campaign Medal was established by President Bill Clinton in the year 2000.
(v) The Catholic Croatians.
Caution: In this segment I provide an appallingly deplorable account of particulars which may be considered offensive to those excessively civilized and enlightened readers whose limited grasp of history makes them unaware of the barbarities committed, as recently as the second half of the twentieth century, in conflicts that were not conditional on the profoundly indulgent contemporary notion of “proportional response.” My objective is not to affront; rather the examples are intended to assist in an understanding of the shocking current events through graphic illustrations of that extreme cruelty which forms an integral component of the inerasable Yugoslav historic memory.
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, “The Wasteland of Historical Reality,” 1989: “Genocide is a natural phenomenon, in harmony with the societal and mythologically divine nature. Genocide is not only permitted, it is also recommended, even commanded by the word of the Almighty, whenever it is useful for the survival or restoration of the kingdom of the chosen nation, or for the preservation and spreading of its one and only correct faith.”
On each anniversary of the United States government sponsored “Operation Storm” (August 5), Croatia celebrates a “Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day,” formally rejoicing in the single largest ethnic cleansing in Europe since the Third Reich.
It is worth noting that in the “Independent State of Croatia” (1941-45) the Croats constituted 3.3 million out of around 6.7 million people. There were 2.2 million Serbs, 60,000 Jews, 700,000 Muslims, 70,000 Protestants, as well as hundreds of thousands of Romas and other minorities. The Independent State of Croatia was created and supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy; an Axis-created puppet state (much like the present Croatia vis-à-vis the West), which initiated a partially successful genocide, with the approval and active participation of Catholic clergy.
Carlo Falconi “The Silence of Pius XII,” Little, Brown and Co., 1970: “In 1940, an article appeared in the official Church publication “Catholic List,” praising Mein Kampf and adding that there was no conflict between being a good Catholic and a good Nazi. Indeed, similar articles were published by innumerable Catholic clergy all over Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s. (p.409). The entire Catholic press in this period in Croatia was thoroughly pro-fascist, racist and supportive of the elimination of the “minorities.”
The Catholic priest Father Grga Peinovic, was President of the Ustashe Central Propaganda Office, a position corresponding to that occupied by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
“They (Catholic Croats) persecuted the Serbs who were mostly Orthodox (Christians), yet they were tolerant toward the Bosnian Muslims because the Muslims were actually ethnic Croats that converted to Islam during the Ottoman Turk (Muslim) occupation of Croatian lands. These Muslim Bosnians joined in the Nazi and Ustashe forces as part of (Nazi) Waffen SS divisions.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Christian Orthodox Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were murdered by Catholic zealots. The professed goal was that one third of Orthodox Serbs, considered heretic Christians by the Catholic church, were to be forcibly converted to Catholicism, one third were to be expelled (ethnically cleansed), and the final third were to be killed…According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center (citing the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust) “Ustashe terrorists killed 500,000 Serbs, expelled 250,000 and forced 250,000 to convert to Catholicism.”
“Croatian race laws were patterned after those of the Third Reich, which were aimed against Jews, Roma and Orthodox Christian Serbs who were collectively declared enemies of the Croatian people…(they were) interned in concentration camps…around 32,000 Jews were killed. Gypsies (Yugoslav Roma) numbered around 40,000…of Serbs who died, estimates tend to vary between 300,000 and 700,000.”
“Serbs had to wear blue bands on their sleeves with the letter “P” (for Orthodox) and Jews a band with the Star of David and the letter “Z” (for Jew). Serbs and Jews were forbidden to walk on sidewalks; signs were posted in public places stating “No Serbs, Jews, Gypsies or Dogs Allowed!” (European Law Division / Library of Congress).”
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “The active participation of clergy in running concentration camps in Croatia was known by the German, Italian, British and American intelligence services, as well as the Vatican. The U.S. intelligence report of February 23, 1943 entitled “Massacres of Serbs in Croatia” speaks bluntly of “the bloody hands of the Catholic clergy in the camps.” (p. 159-161)
“The Vatican´s Holocaust,” Avro Manhatten, Ozark Books, 1986: “On the night of August 29, 1942, the (Croatian) prison guards made bets among themselves as to who could liquidate the largest number of inmates. One of the guards, Petar Brzica, reportedly cut the throats of about 1,360 new arrivals with a butcher knife…Other participants who confessed to participating in the bet included Ante Zrinusic, who killed some 600 inmates, and Mile Friganovic, who gave a detailed and consistent report of the incident. Friganovic admitted to having killed some 1,100 inmates. He specifically recounted his torture of an old man named Vukasin; he attempted to compel the man to bless Ante Pavelic (the Croatian Fuhrer), which the old man refused to do, although Friganovic cut off his ears, nose and tongue after each refusal. Ultimately, he cut out the old man’s eyes, tore out his heart, and slashed his throat. This incident was witnessed by Dr. Nikola Nikolic.” (p. 48)
“The Croatian/Nazi concentration camp in Jasenovac was commanded by Maks Luburic, who boasted that they “killed more Serbs in this camp (in) four years than the (Muslim) Turks did for 500 in the whole of Serbia.”
“Holocaust in the Independent State of Croatia,” Lazo M. Kostic, Liberty Press, 1981: “The Ustashe Minister of Education, Dr. Mile Budak, summarized the racial policy of Croatia in a speech on July 22, 1941 in Gospic when he said: “The movement of the Ustashe is based on religion. For the minorities – Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, we have three million bullets. We shall kill one part of the Serbs. We shall deport another, and the rest of them will be forced to embrace the Roman Catholic religion. Thus, our new Croatia will get rid of all Serbs in our midst in order to become one hundred percent Catholic within ten years.” (p. 272)
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “In May 1940 the Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac, was called to the Vatican for briefings on the future invasion and partition of Yugoslavia.” (pp. 48-49)
“In the years immediately preceding the German and Italian invasion of Yugoslavia of April 1941, the head of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia, Stepinac, met regularly with representatives from both the Italian foreign ministry and the illegal Ustashe terrorist organization, as Stepinac himself noted in his diary” (pp. 49-50)
“Among these visitors was the future Ustashe Minister of Education Mile Budak, a chief architect of the genocide in Croatia, who is best known for his infamous speech on the final solution for the Serbs: “We will kill a third, expel a third, and convert a third.” (p. 59)
“On April 16th Stepinac held a dinner party in his residence in honor of Pavelic (the Croatian Fuher), and the Ustashe leadership. In his diary, Stepinac described the day and admitted that Pavelic told him of his plans to “exterminate” the non-Catholic religions in Croatia. Stepinac’s diary indicates that he too was prepared for an all out religious war, for he added that “If that man (Pavelic) rules Croatia for ten years…Croatia will be a paradise on earth.” (p. 74)
“Also revealed from entries in his diary, such as one from 1940 when he wrote: “… the Serbs have not learned anything… and in the end they will lose everything…. I wish them no evil because they are God’s children. But if nothing can teach them a lesson, distress will.” (p. 47).
“The Silence of Pius XII, Carlo Falcone, Little, Brown and Co., 1970: “(Archbishop) Stepinac was easily outdone in fascist criminality by other high ranking clergy, most infamously by the second highest ranking cleric in fascist Croatia, the Archbishop of Sarajevo, Ivan Sharich – called “the Hangman of Serbs” by his fellow Ustase…Whereas Stepinac was willing to spare the lives of some Jews and Serbs who had converted to Catholicism, Sharich ridiculed those who did not have the stomach for total genocide, declaring it “stupid and unworthy of Christ’s disciples to think that the struggle against evil could be waged in a noble way and with gloves on.” Among Vatican documents that have emerged is one dealing with Sharich’s personal expropriations of property belonging to Jews in Bosnia.” (p. 294-296)
“Orthodox (Christian) clergy were marked for especially cruel torture, usually ending with the gouging out of their eyes or other forms of bodily mutilation. In one case the eighty-one year old Bishop of Banja Luka was shod like a horse and forced to walk until he collapsed, at which point his heart was cut out and he was set on fire.” (p. 287-293)
“One Franciscan monk, Miroslav Filipovic, was accused by a grade school teacher who recalled that “when Filipovi? and some Ustase entered her classroom…Filipovi? took a child, Vasilija Glamo?anin, and “slaughtered her with a knife” in front of the class. He urged the Ustashe troops who accompanied him to deal similarly with the other children and assured them that he would take the sin upon himself…(Nazi) General Edmund Glaise-Horstenau…implicated Filipovi? in a report where he stated that as well as being present “during the slaughtering” the priest had attended a planning meeting prior to the massacres, along with certain other Catholic priests.”
“The Vatican´s Holocaust,” Avro Manhattan, Ozark Books, 1986: “Father Srecko Peric… reassured his fellow Ustashe prior to a massacre by saying: “Kill all Serbs. And when you finish come here, to the Church, and I will confess you and free you from sin.” (p. 68)
“All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-1943,” Jonathan Steinberg, Routledge, 1990: “The Ustashe operations were carried out with incredible acts of sadism and torture. In some cases entire villages were axed to death, in others men and women were hanged, crucified, burned to death or buried alive, body parts mutilated, decapitated, infants impaled or hammered…Nazi Wehrmacht units attached to the Ustashe military were so impressed by the Ustashe’s methods for carrying out genocide that they established a commission to study the killings at Bjelovar, exhume the bodies, take photographs and write a report, later published under the title “Ustachenwerk bei Bjelovar.” (p. 57)
After the defeat of the Third Reich, (Fuhrer) Pavelic escaped from Croatia with what was believed to be the clandestine aid of the Vatican. He conferred the leadership of Croatia to Archbishop Stepinac.
U.S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “According to cable intercepts cited in a 1947 U.S. diplomatic report, Pavelic escaped in November 1947 to Buenos Aires, where he was said to have been met by a retinue of Catholic priests. Newly declassified documents also show that Bishop Rozman was funneling money to South America from a Swiss bank account set up “to aid refugees of the Catholic religion.”
“The British Foreign Office reported in January 1947 that Pavelic himself, by that time a wanted war criminal, was living “within the Vatican City.” An earlier report by Gowen, in October 1946, noted that Pavelic was in Rome.”
Colliers Magazine, “Blowback,” Christopher Simpson 1988: “The Vatican aided in the escape of thousands of war criminals from Croatia, transporting millions of fascists from POW camps to the Vatican with false International Red Cross identity papers. The Vatican ratlines, organized by the Vatican and Croatian-Ustashe clergy, would probably have never become widely known if not for the trial of Klaus Barbie who escaped through them. Because of the Barbie trial, the truth emerged.”
U.S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “According to secret reports from the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC), written just after World War II and since declassified…(war criminals were aided) through an underground railroad of sympathetic priests, known as the “ratline,” the Ustashe could move from Trieste, to Rome, to Genoa, and on to neutral countries–primarily Argentina – where they could live out their days unpunished and unnoticed. Along the ratline, virtually the entire Ustashe leadership went free.”
“All these people were escaping – and this at a time when just getting a meal in Rome was a major accomplishment,” recalls William Gowen, a CIC officer in Rome after the war.”
“Documents include accounts of Ustashe being hidden at the pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo and being seen driving in Rome in cars with Vatican license plates. The recently declassified Golik memo reports that Ustase ate at the papal mess and that Father Golik was “declared to be in close contact with the Vatican.”
“…declassified documents from the archives of the United States and other nations suggest that – with the aid of Croatian Catholic priests – Ustashe plunder made its way from Croatia to Rome, and possibly to the Vatican itself. Some of the stolen wealth was used to help Croatian war criminals flee to South America.”
“We make no charges against the Vatican, but we keep building a very damning picture,” says Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.
“Because of their silence in the face of accumulated evidence, the failure to uncover the truth can only be laid at the doors of the Vatican.”
“The memo, dated Oct. 21, 1946, was discovered last summer in the declassified files of the U.S. Treasury Department. Written by OSS agent Emerson Bigelow, it reports that money sent by Ustase from Croatia to Rome after the war had been partly intercepted by the British, but that 200 million Swiss francs – the equivalent of $170 million today – were being held in the Vatican for safekeeping. According to “rumor,” the memo says, the money was being used to finance Croatian war criminals in exile.”
“When the Bigelow memo was released last year, the Vatican swiftly dismissed it, insisting that the charges could not be true. But some researchers who have studied World War II intelligence matters note that other archival documents counter the notion that a Vatican-Ustashe link is implausible on its face. One is a British diplomatic memo from Oct. 17, 1947, cited in the 1991 book Unholy Trinity by journalist Mark Aarons and former Justice Department Nazi-hunter John Loftus. According to the memo, a San Giralomo priest named Father Mandic was a “liaison to the Vatican” who was involved in converting Ustase gold, jewelry, and foreign exchange into Italian lire.”
U. S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “A trial held by the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission in 1946 resulted in the conviction of a half-dozen Ustashe priests, among them former Franciscan Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, a commandant of the Jasenovac concentration camp where the Ustashe tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands with a brutality that shocked even the Nazis.”
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “At his trial for war crimes in 1986, Andrija Artukovic emphasized that the management of forced conversions was entirely in the hands of Archbishop Stepinac and the church leadership.” (p. 88). “In a letter to the Vatican dated May 8, 1944 Stepinac informed the Holy Father that to date 244,000 Orthodox Serbs had been “converted to the Church of God.” (p. 99)
“The Jesuit Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagreb, and the Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashe Army, was accused of supporting the Ustashe, and exonerating those in the clergy that collaborated with the Ustashe of complicity in forced conversions. On March 28, 1941 he declared: The (Orthodox-Catholic) “schism is the greatest curse in Europe, almost greater than Protestanism.”
“(After the war) a Belgrade court found him guilty of collaborating with the Ustashe and complicity in allowing the forced conversion of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but after five years was released and confined to his home parish of Krasic.”
“He was appointed a Cardinal in 1952 by Pope Pius XII. In 1998, Pope John Paul II declared him a martyr and beatified him.”
“The current regime in Croatia today carries on a constant propaganda war of denial about Jasenovac and has desecrated the site itself. The Tudjman regime has not acknowledged that crimes of genocide were even committed by fascist Croatia during World War II and holds to the view that it represented a positive chapter in Croatian history.”
The Serbs during World War II were sacrificing their lives as American allies fighting German forces. It took half a century for them to recover from the deliberate and viciously wicked Croatian decimation of their population, only to find that once again a newly created independent Republic of Croatia was enacting laws disallowing jobs, pensions, citizenship, and land ownership to the resident Serb minority, and was intent on repeating the mass executions of the forties, this time supported not by the Nazis, but most ironically, Serbia’s former ally, the United States.
“Le Grand Charles” de Gaulle reputedly remarked, “Nations don’t have friends, they only have interests.
“At the U.S. Holocaust Museum the history of the Holocaust has been tailored to fit the political fashions of the Clinton administration and the New World Order: hence, one finds the words “Serbs” and “Russians” are altogether absent from the official record of the Holocaust, and instead are replaced in the most obscene Orwellian manner by the words “Yugoslavs” and “Soviets.”
(vi) The Muslims
I will desist from even a brief account of Muslim atrocities during the Islamic colonization of the Balkans as further examples of pertinent regional historical violence. The incidents are further removed (although not forgotten, and never to be forgiven) from the twentieth century Croatian Holocaust, and therefore less relevant to the current Balkan propensity for savagery. I suggest that those interested initiate their own inquiry (or anxiously await a future reference paper such as this on the subject, written by me).
Alija Izetbegovic, considered an “Islamic Hero of the Western World,” the first President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and supporter of Sharia in Bosnia, in his “Islamic Declaration” cites the “incompatibility of Islam with non-Islamic systems…there is neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic social and political institutions…having the right to govern its own world, Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of putting a foreign ideology into practice on its territory. There is thus no principle of secular government, and the State must express and support the moral principles of religion.”
“In 1995, the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) started terror against the (Orthodox Christian) Serbian civilians and Yugoslav army and police, bombing police stations and government buildings, killing Yugoslav police and innocent people of all nationalities, even (Muslim) Albanians who were not on their side. This triggered a Yugoslav (Serb) interior ministry counter strike aiming at crippling terrorist KLA-members…they (KLA) deliberately wanted civilians to die since this would trigger an international reaction.”
Baltimore Chronicle, December 1, 1999: The “International Crisis Group, a private organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority leader George Mitchell…(a) Washington and Brussels-based group, which is funded by the European Union and the U.S. government, reported “systematic attacks on Serbs,” and that the “Albanian (Muslim) majority is determined to rid the [Kosovo] province of all non-Albanians.”
Human Rights Watch, March 19, 2004: “NATO peacekeepers and United Nations police must make the protection of the minority communities in Kosovo the top priority in the province, Human Rights Watch said today… most of the violence is being directed at the ethnic Serb minority. Unidentified attackers have burned churches, homes, public offices and at least one school. Particularly disturbing are reports of arson attacks on newly built homes of Serbs who had recently returned to Kosovo following their forced displacement in previous years.”
“The attacks bear similarity to the campaign of arson, abduction, intimidation and killing directed at Serbs and Roma (by Muslim Kosovars) in the summer of 1999. This campaign of violence forced 200,000 Serbs and thousands of Roma from the province.”
Human Rights Watch, August 1999: “Ethnic Albanian (Muslim) civilians have taken part in much of the burning and looting of Serb and Roma property, and, in a few instances, in violent attacks on their neighbors…The most serious incidents of violence, however, have been carried out by members of the (Muslim) KLA. Although the KLA leadership issued a statement on July 20 condemning attacks on Serbs and Roma, and KLA political leader Hashim Thaqi (Thachi) publicly denounced the July 23 massacre of fourteen Serb farmers, it remains unclear whether these beatings and killings were committed by local KLA units acting without official sanction, or whether they represent a coordinated KLA policy. What is indisputable, however, is that the frequency and severity of such abuses make it incumbent upon the KLA leadership to take swift and decisive action to prevent them.”
“It is also important to note that the KLA has been linked to earlier abuses against Serbs, Roma, and Kosovar (Muslim) Albanians (who were not KLA sympathizers) during 1998 and during the first three months of 1999. Specifically, reports by the Humanitarian Law Center, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Human Rights Watch’s own research indicate that dozens of Serbs, and a smaller number of Roma and (Muslim) Albanians, were detained by the KLA between mid-1998 and March 1999. At least 130 Serbs went missing during this time and are presumed dead.”
What the above statements make abundantly clear is that the nationalist/religious zeal in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was real, but attributed for political expediency to Slobodan Milosevic, a pawn in the mortal, high stakes competition of realpolitik, where if you aren´t winning, you’re losing. The myth that Milosevic incited the Orthodox Christian Serb population to violence has been a very effective propaganda endeavor by American and European governments; however Milosevic never expressed any ethnic/religious intolerance that even approaches the rabid utterances of the Catholic Croatian Franjo Tudjman and the Bosnian Muslim Alija Izetbegovic. Both men were later permitted to ascend to the presidency of their respective now independent nations, after the compulsory U.S. initiated violent fragmentation of the sovereign Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia under the leadership of Tito had been a prosperous economy based on his unique socialist concept of worker self-management of state enterprises; a “third way” between United States capitalism and the state socialism practiced by the European Union. The nation was a socialist, multiethnic, regional power with an enviable record of economic achievement. From 1960 to 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years. (World Bank, World Development Report 1991, Statistical Annex, Tables 1 and 2, Washington, 1991.)
By 1990, after succumbing to the generous credit available by the seductive siren song of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the annual rate of growth of GDP had collapsed to -7.5 percent. In 1991, GDP declined by a further 15 percent, to a staggering -22.5, while industrial output collapsed by 21 percent. (Judit Kiss, “Debt Management in Eastern Europe, Eastern European Economics,” May June 1894, (p 59)
Milosevic´s deplorable crime in America´s judgment was his unacceptable attempt to maintain Yugoslavia as a united, multi-ethnic federation. The United States was determined to dismantle what it considered an anachronistic, albeit successful, socialist democracy; the European Union governments were threatened by an economically thriving socialist system that discarded direct state intervention. Additionally, the U.S. plan called for a continuation of the encirclement of Russia by broadening its domination adjacent to Russia´s western borders; a politically and economically crushed USSR had already surrendered the republics on its southern frontier and at the moment was incapable of any credible response, being thoroughly occupied with a delicate transition from Communism to Democracy.
On June 28, 1989, in a speech given at Kosovo Field, Milosevic said: “Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully.”
“Socialism in particular, being a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people and other nations, are in their own republic.”
“After all, our entire country should be set up on the basis of such principles. Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it.”
Despite an intense search by those who would judge and condemn him for war crimes in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), not one line has been found in which Milosevic displayed bigotry and intolerance for non-Serbs, or a single order to commit unlawful acts.
One irrefutable fact that disproves the Western fabrication of a Serb desire for an “ethnically pure” Serb state is the absence of any ethnic cleansing in Serbia proper. To the contrary, Serbia received refugees from other former republics although Serbs were being forcibly expulsed, with covert United States military assistance, from those very same areas. During Milosevic´s trial, Mihailo Markovic, a Serbian professor of philosophy and founder of the progressive Marxist/Socialist journal Praxis, inquired of the ICTY tribunal: “Why would Serbs be expelling (Catholic) Croatians from Croatia if they’re not expelling them from Serbia? Why would Serbs be expelling (Muslim) Albanians from Kosovo if they’re not expelling them from Belgrade and other parts of Serbia?”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: “There were no expulsions, from the beginning to the end of the Yugoslav crisis. All other republics had changed their ethnic makeup. Half a million Serbs were expelled from Croatia and we all know what happened in Bosnia, not to mention other parts of Yugoslavia…do you know that 70,000 Muslim refugees sought sanctuary in Serbia during the Bosnian conflict? Do you think someone would flee their home and take refuge in the very territory from which they were endangered? “
“Therefore, I would say this is a malicious, utterly hostile process aimed at justifying the crime against my country and use this court as a weapon against my country and my people.”
The Centre for Peace in the Balkans: “The civil war in Yugoslavia continues, with untold suffering on all sides. The media report the suffering of the Muslims in gruesome detail. The suffering of Croats at Muslim hands gets little attention. The suffering of Serbs is ignored. So it will surprise large sections of the American public that some 600,000 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia have sought refuge in beleaguered Serbia deprived of food and fuel by UN dictate during the deadly winter.”
The most damning evidence of Serb genocidal criminality was to be found in the “Srebrenica Massacre.” Kofi Annan qualified it as “a terrible crime.” The claim that 8,000 Bosnian Muslim males were executed was reported by the New York Times on September 15, 1995.
Six years of subsequent meticulous independent forensic investigation yielded 2,028 individual remains; how many of those were executed, and how many were killed in battle is conjecture.
“Just as the weapons of mass destruction have never been found in Iraq, the charge of massacres, mass graves, ethnic cleansing and genocide proved to be an utter fabrication in Kosovo. Immediately after the war, 20 forensic teams were sent to Kosovo by the International Criminal Court at The Hague from 15 NATO countries, including the U.S.. They dug all summer of 1999 at the very sites where supposed witnesses had reported mass graves.”
By October 1999 they reported back to Chief Prosecutor for the Tribunal Carla Del Ponte that they had been unable to find any mass graves in Kosovo at all. They had found a total of 2,108 corpses in individual graves. How many of that number may have been killed by the NATO bombing they did not speculate.
This troubling fact notwithstanding, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in a contemptible judicial thuggery, without even a minimal pretense for acceptable Western standards of justice, convicted Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic of genocide, concluding in a breathtakingly arbitrary decision, without a shred of evidence, that the total number of Bosnian Muslim males executed was “likely within the range of 7,000 – 8,000.” (Judgment in Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic, par. 82)
Madeleine Albright, speaking before the United Nations Security Council on August 10, 1996, reminded those present not to “forget the tragedy and outrages perpetrated earlier in Bosnia against the eastern enclaves of Srebrenica…(the) dead were not killed in the heat of battle, they were not killed in self-defense and they were not killed by accident, they were systematically slaughtered on the instructions of the Bosnian Serb leadership.”
US Representative Frank McCloskey (D. IN) wrote in the Christian Science Monitor on December 31, 1992: “Serb forces in Bosnia have killed between 128,000 and 200,000 persons – almost one in 10 Bosnian Muslims. They particularly target educated, white-collar Bosnia Muslims in the death camps. This is “elitocide,” or the sociopolitical decapitation of a people. Women of child-bearing age are also targeted for destruction in the rape/death camps. I know no name for this new horror.”
“The UN predicts up to 400,000 deaths this winter, from Serb weapons and from equally purposeful Serb subjection of Bosnian Muslims and Croats to freezing weather, famine, and disease. By winter’s end the death toll is likely to reach a half million – a quarter of Bosnia’s Muslims. Half of Bosnia’s Muslims have already been forcibly displaced, and their homes and cultural institutions destroyed.”
“We know that genocide is underway in the Balkans. Our television screens show us bits of it. The alarm is sounded by the press, human rights groups, political figures around the world, and many governments. Western leaders compare Serb fascists actions to those of the Nazis.”
The New Statesman, December 13, 2004: “In November 1999, the Wall Street Journal published the results of its own investigation, dismissing “the mass grave obsession.” Instead of “the huge killing fields some investigators were led to expect…the pattern is of scattered killings [mostly] in areas where the separatist Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army has been active.” The Journal concluded that NATO stepped up its claims about (Christian Orthodox) Serbian killing fields when it “saw a fatigued press corps drifting toward the contrary story: civilians killed by NATO’s bombs. The war in Kosovo was cruel, bitter, savage. Genocide it wasn’t.”
“One year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body in effect set up by NATO, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo’s “mass graves” was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Like Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions – along with Serbian “rape camps” and Clinton’s and Blair’s claims that NATO never deliberately bombed civilians.”
George Robertson, British Secretary of Defense, before the Select Committee on Defense in the U.K. House of Commons: “Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) were responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav (Christian Orthodox Serb) authorities.” This was also true of Bosnian Muslims and the Croatian Catholics; facts undisclosed by a mainstream media eager to caricature Serbs as “Milosevic´s willing executioners” intent on perpetrating genocide against the innocent.”
During a speech in Geneva reported by UPÏ on January 4, 1993, Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic in an exquisite exercise of Islamic taquiyya, repeated the unfounded and provocative claim of U.S. Representative Frank McClosky´s 200,000 figure, and added that the Muslim women of Bosnia had been subjected to the “most massive raping in human history.’’ Speaking to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington D.C. he emphatically declared: “In the last nine months, more than 200,000 people have been killed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means approximately almost 1,000 per day.” (Federal News Service, January 8, 1993).
Within hours, Izetbegovic’s spurious claim had been reported as fact by the self accredited disseminators of flawless information: National Public Radio, Associated Press, Washington Post, and New York Times.
“Ms. Magazine ran a cover story that accused Bosnian Serb forces of raping for the purpose of producing pornographic films. No such films were ever found and the charges were not supported by the findings of Helsinki Watch or Human Rights Watch.”
“In January 1993 the Warburton Report, authorized by the European Community, estimated 20,000 Muslim women had been raped as part of a Serb strategy of conquest. This report was widely cited as an independent, authoritative source. No coverage was given to a dissenting member of the investigative team, Simone Veil, a former French minister and president of the European Parliament. She revealed that the estimate of 20,000 victims was based on actual interviews with only four victims—two women and two men.”
“The Jan. 4, 1993, issue of Newsweek reported that up to 50,000 Muslim women had been raped in Bosnia. Tom Post, a contributor to the article, explained that the estimate of 50,000 rapes was based on interviews with 28 women.”
Covert Action Quarterly, Diana Johnstone, August 10, 1998, No 65: “No one denies that many rapes occurred during the civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, or that rape is a serious violation of human rights. So is war, for that matter. From the start, however, inquiry into rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina focused exclusively on accusation that Serbs were raping Muslim women as part of a deliberate strategy. The most inflated figures, freely extrapolated by multiplying the number of known cases by large factors, were readily accepted by the media and international organizations. No interest was shown in detailed and documented reports of rapes of Serbian women by Muslims or Croats.”
“The late Nora Beloff, former chief political correspondent of the London Observer, described her own search for verification of the rape charges in a letter to The Daily Telegraph (January 19, 1993). The British Foreign Office conceded that the rape figures being bandied about were totally uncorroborated, and referred her to the Danish government, then chairing the European Union. Copenhagen agreed that the reports were unsubstantiated, but kept repeating them.”
See: Norma von Ragenfeld-Feldman, “The Victimization of Women: Rape and the Reporting of Rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1993”, Dialogue, No 21, Paris, March 1997Diana Johnstone, “Selective Justice in The Hague”, The Nation, September 22, 1997, pp 16-21.
The World Association of International Studies, Stanford University: “It is extraordinary how the estimates of deaths in Kosovo shrank, from the 100,000 repeatedly asserted by US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, to the 4,600 claimed in a US State Department report issued in May 1999, to the 346 cited in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) war crimes indictment against Slobodan Milosevic.”
These figures hardly provide the evidence necessary to assert the systematic genocidal slaughter which NATO officials and the Western media claimed was taking place in Kosovo, and which provided the pretext for American military intervention. This cumulative death toll is far smaller that the number of fatalities inflicted on innocent civilian Serb non-combatants by the US-NATO bombing.
The hysteria and Serb bashing emanating from highly biased interventionist sources was enthusiastically accepted by individuals willing to believe the statements of such propagandists as former Assistant Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Richard Holbrooke, who wrote in his book “To End A War,” that “Between 1991 and 1995, close to three hundred thousand people were killed in the former Yugoslavia.” American journalists eagerly embraced, without investigation, this disinformation that presented the Serbs as rabid nationalist killers, notwithstanding that the European press was introducing contradictory evidence and skepticism of the established and highly promoted U.S. government narrative.
Media exaggeration and mendacity aside, the European Journal of Population (June 2005) reported that researchers for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), testified for the prosecution during the Milosevic trial (therefore their biases were not likely to neither reduce Muslim victims nor inflate Serb fatalities), that they estimated the total war-related deaths as approximately 100,000 on all sides. 55,000 deaths out of a total of 102,622 were civilians, among which were included over 16,000 Serbs; the remaining 47,000 were members of military groups.
Although these deaths are not negligible, they are far less notable than 200,000 or 300,000 strictly Bosnian Muslim deaths cited by supposedly knowledgeable sources. The estimated deaths by the researchers for the ICTY have not received media circulation because they make difficult a case for genocide against the Serbs in general and a despised Milosevic in particular. Database searches of news stories revealed that the death tolls for genocide being reported in the U.S. media was a ratio of 76 to 2 in favor of the higher, obsolete and unrealistic numbers.
In a shocking and deplorable display of prejudiced predisposition Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague (ITCY), during a guest appearance on the PBS Charlie Rose Show in June 2007, maintained that “more than 300,000” civilians had died as a result of the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo,” although she knew that this was sheer fabrication.
A dissenting voice with a contrasting, albeit far less widely circulated view was Representative Dennis Kucinich, who through his privileged position in the U.S. Congress had access to information available only to members of the U.S. government: ”I read the latest reports concerning a recent Executive Order that hands the CIA a black bag in the Balkans for engineering a military coup in Serbia, for interrupting communications, for tampering with bank accounts, freezing assets abroad, and training the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) in terrorist tactics, such as how to blow up buildings.”
“How this is intended to help establish a democracy in Serbia or Kosovo hasn’t yet been explained. Nor has the failure to substantially disarm and demilitarize the KLA been explained. Nor has the reverse ethnic cleansing taking place in Kosovo by the KLA while NATO rules the provinces been explained.”
“But the extracurricular activity is consistent with NATO’s policy of the ends justifying the means, of might makes right, of collective guilt, of retribution upon a civilian population. Part of the story of this war is how the Administration and NATO used events and sentiment to suppress criticism of the war and shroud the multitude of violations of international law.”
(The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999)
(viii) Disinformation & Misinformation.
The civil war in Yugoslavian was portrayed by the West, and accepted as such by a badly informed public receiving fictional, ideologically motivated reporting, as an ethno-religious conflict carried out by Serbs against the rest of the Yugoslav community. Carla Del Ponte, the Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Slobodan Milosevic summed it up: “The purpose of this joint criminal enterprise was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs…” (IT-01-51-I), ICTY, November 22, 2001, para.5-9).
George Kenney, US State Department, Video, “Milosevic On Trial”: (In contrast to the public relations efforts of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo) “the Serbs were not only not cooperative with the United States; the Serbs were singularly indifferent to the media. They really didn´t like the media.” This proved to be a fatal Serb error in twentieth century hostilities where public relations and media hype can be far more effective than military combat success – as the Viet Nam war amply demonstrated. Viet Nam was the first conflict waged and won by the U.S. media.
An intense propaganda campaign to sway American public opinion and journalists, humanitarian organizations, politicians and academics was created by professional American public relations firms such as Global Communications, Hill & Knowlton, Ruder Finn, and Waterman & Associates, which were contracted by the Muslim terrorists in Kosovo, the Bosnian Muslims and the Croatian Catholics.
A storyline that on occasion included distortions and falsehoods originated at the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon, and was fashioned and legitimized by the governments of the United States, the European Union, the Vatican, and the mainstream media; a formidable assembly of conspirators who became, in effect, co-belligerents in Yugoslavia´s civil war. Those challenging the accepted argument were considered apologists for Milosevic, confronting malicious scorn and virtually insurmountable media censorship.
James Harff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the public relations company Global Communications in a 1993 interview with French journalist Jacques Merlino: “We have been working for the Republics of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as for the opposition in Kosovo. Throughout this period, we had many successes, giving us a formidable international image…Speed is vital…The first statement counts. The retractions have no effect…Our work is not to verify information. We are not equipped for that. Our work is to accelerate the circulation of information favorable to us, to aim at judiciously chosen targets. It is not our job to verify information …We are professionals. We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to be moral…And when the time comes to start a debate on all of this, we have a clear conscience. For, if you wish to prove that Serbs are in fact poor victims, go ahead, but you will be quite alone.”
“At the beginning of August 1992, “New York Newsday” came out with the affair of [Serb] concentration camps. We jumped at the opportunity immediately. We outwitted three big Jewish organizations – B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. We suggested to them to publish an advertisement in the “New York Times” and to organize demonstrations outside the United Nations. That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the [Muslim] Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind.”
“Nobody understood what was happening in Yugoslavia. The great majority of Americans were probably asking themselves in which African country Bosnia was situated. But by a single move we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys, which would hereafter play itself. We won by targeting a Jewish audience. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with the use of words with high emotional content, such as “ethnic cleansing”, “concentration camps,” etc., which evoked images of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers ofAuschwitz. The emotional charge was so powerful that nobody could go against it.”
“President Tudjman was too imprudent in his book, “Wastelands: Historical Truth.” A reading of his text could find him guilty of anti-Semitism. In Bosnia, the situation was no better: President Izetbegovic, in his book, “The Islamic Declaration,” strongly supported the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state (in Bosnia). Moreover, the Croatian and Bosnian past was marked by a real and cruel anti-Semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps. So there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile towards the Croats and Bosnians. Our challenge was to reverse this attitude. And we succeeded masterfully.”
The Spectator, February 12, 1993: “All public relations firms working for foreign governments must register with the Justice Department. I found in documents obtained from the Justice Department that while Croatia was contracted to pay Ruder Finn $16,000 a month and Bosnia was to pay $12,000 in 1992, payments in some later months were as high as $200,000, and total payments per year were ultimately in the millions of dollars. Moreover, Ruder Finn was not the only P.R. firm employed in Bosnia. Hill and Knowlton was also contracted early in the war. Waterman & Associates was employed by Croatia. Financial backing came from countries such as Saudi Arabia, which alone funneled nearly $1 billion to the Sarajevo regime from 1993 to 1996, according to the Washington Post, 2 February 1996. Ruder Finn was also contracted by the non-existent “Republic of Kosovo” for $5,000 a month, according to a Justice Department document dated 1 November 1992.”
Il Manifesto, Jeannie Toschi Visconti: “In recent years a new method of waging war has evolved. It is cynical, amoral, and dangerous, because it is capable of mobilizing and influencing millions of people. It is called media war. The masters of this new type of warfare are experts in communications and visual images…The operators using this new methodology are called public relations agencies…The TV media and the press have responded with enthusiasm to the stimuli provided by these communications experts, often casting aside professional scruples in favor of sensationalism.”
Canada Free Press, August 30, 2004: “Was the “River Incident” in Yugoslavia, widely reported by the media, the work of a well-paid public relations firm? The media reported that at least two Serbs and a dog had chased four Albanian boys into the river Ibar in Mitrovica. According to the heart-catching story, three of the boys drowned, and only one made it to the safety of the other side. Revenge followed swiftly. Reprisal attacks on Serbs claimed 30 lives and wounded 600. United Nations representative Derek Chappell said the river event was “definitely not true,” he was promptly pulled by the UN and transferred to another job. “The UN said he was too frank in telling the truth,” said James Bissett, former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia.”
“Says Marjaleena Repo of Ruder-Finn: “The PR firm was piling hoax upon hoax. These stories and photos of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” (a la Hitler) in a civil war, in which Serbs are as guilty as sin and others are their innocent victims, are repeated ad nauseum by western reporters without the slightest evidence, and have provided the grounds for the public’s acceptance of the illegal and brutal war against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia.”
There isn´t enough space available to identify all the authors, many of them Pulitzer Prize winners, who were complicit in this dishonorable and reprehensible assault on their ostensibly principled and respected profession with the shameful, counterfeit “information” they imposed on credulous readers. Let it suffice to publicly identify just a few who followed the standard narrative:
David Rieff in a vividly dramatic journalistic tract more consistent with a work of fiction than reportage, exaggerated in 1995: “The Serbs came, they slaughtered, they conquered, while the world looked on. As I write, the genocide is all but complete.”
Laura Silber and Allan Little: “Under Milosevic´s stewardship (Serbs were) the key secessionists (seeking) creation of a new, enlarged Serbian state encompassing as much territory of Yugoslavia as possible…his politics of ethnic intolerance provoke(d) the other nations of Yugoslavia, convincing them that it was impossible to stay in the Yugoslav federation and propelling them down the road to independence.”
Misha Glenny: “Without question it was Milosevic who had willfully allowed the genie out of the bottle, knowing that the consequences might be dramatic and even bloody.”
Noel Malcolm: “Two processes seemed fused into one: the gathering of power into Milosevic’s hands, and the gathering of the Serbs into a single political unit which could either dominate Yugoslavia or break it apart.”
Roy Gutman: “Serbia had harnessed the powerful military machine of the Yugoslav state to achieve the dream of its extreme nationalists: Greater Serbia.”
David Rieff: “even if (Croatia’s President) Tudjman had been an angel, Slobodan Milosevic would still have launched his war for Greater Serbia.”
Tim Judah: (Wars in) “Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo: four wars since 1991 and the result of these terrible conflicts, which began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State,’ is the cruelest irony.”
Florence Hartmann: “Long before the war began, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and, following his example, Franjo Tudjman in Croatia, had turned their backs on the Yugoslav ideal of an ethnically mixed federal State and set about carving out their own ethnically homogeneous States. With Milosevic’s failure in 1991 to take control of all of Yugoslavia, the die was cast for war.”
Marlise Simons: (Milosevic) “rose and then clung to power by resurrecting old nationalist grudges and inciting dreams of a Greater Serbia…the prime engineer of wars that pitted his fellow Serbs against the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Albanians of Kosovo and ultimately the combined forces of the entire NATO alliance.”
Ed Vulliamy: “Once Milosevic had back-stabbed his way to power and had switched from Communism to Fascism, he and Mirjana set out to establish their dream of an ethnically pure Greater Serbia cleansed of Croats and ‘mongrel races’ such as Bosnia’s Muslims and Kosovo’s Albanians.”
George Kenney, U.S. Foreign Service officer: “At many different levels there´s an element of groupthink. Everyone is going along saying the same thing, believing the same thing, and they´re all wrong.” (Video: Milosevic On Trial).
Covert Action Quarterly, August 10, 1998, No 65: “In fact, in the case of the Yugoslav tragedy, the irony is that “alternative” or “left” activists and writers have frequently taken the lead in likening the Serbs, the people who most wanted to continue to live in multi-cultural Yugoslavia, to Nazi racists, and in calling for military intervention on behalf of ethnically defined secessionist movements…American journalists who repeated unconfirmed stories of Serbian atrocities could count on getting published, with a chance of a Pulitzer prize. Indeed, the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting was shared between the two authors of the most sensational “Serb atrocity stories” of the year: Roy Gutman of Newsday and John Burns of The New York Times. In both cases, the prize-winning articles were based on hearsay evidence of dubious credibility.”
“Gunman’s articles, mostly based on accounts by Muslim refugees in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, were collected in a book rather misleadingly entitled “A Witness to Genocide,” although in fact he had been a “witness” to nothing of the sort…Burns’ story was no more than an interview with a mentally deranged prisoner in a Sarajevo jail, who confessed to crimes some of which have been since proved never to have been committed.”.
“On the other hand, there was no market for stories by a journalist who discovered that reported Serbian “rape camps” did not exist (German TV reporter Martin Lettmayer), or who included information about Muslim or Croat crimes against Serbs (Belgian journalist Georges Berghezan for one). It became increasingly impossible to challenge the dominant interpretation in major media. Editors naturally prefer to keep the story simple: one villain, and as much blood as possible.”
“Still, the virtually universal acceptance of a one-sided view of Yugoslavia’s collapse cannot be attributed solely to political designs or to sensationalist manipulation of the news by major media. It also owes a great deal to the ideological uniformity prevailing among educated liberals who have become the consensual moral conscience in Northwestern Euro-American society since the end of the Cold War.”
(ix) The Breadline Massacre, The Market Massacres & Racak
Offensive in the Balkans, Yossef Bodansky, Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare for the US House of Representatives: “After blaming the Bosnian (Christian Orthodox) Serbs “beyond reasonable doubt” for the “mortar shell” which caused the Market Street carnage, the Clinton Administration then used this incident to justify the massive bombing campaign which was launched against the Bosnian Serbs virtually immediately. On August 29, President Clinton called the still-escalating bombing campaign “an appropriate response to the shelling of Sarajevo.” Initial targets were around Sarajevo, giving credence to the fig-leaf claim of retaliation for the “mortar shell.” But, within a few hours, bombing raids were taking place all over Bosnia-Herzegovina.” (Foreword)
1992 Breadline Massacre: “United Nations officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city’s mainly Muslim defenders – not (Christian Orthodox) Serb besiegers – as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention.”
“Classified reports to the UN force commander, General Satish Nambiar, concluded… that Bosnian forces loyal to (Muslim) President Alija Izetbegovic may have detonated a bomb. “We believe it was a command-detonated explosion, probably in a can,” a UN official said then. “The large impact which is there now is not necessarily similar or anywhere near as large as we came to expect with a mortar round landing on a paved surface.” (“Muslims ‘slaughter their own people’,” (London) The Independent, 8/22/92)
“Our people tell us there were a number of things that didn’t fit. The street had been blocked off just before the incident. Once the crowd was let in and had lined up, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place, and the media were immediately on the scene.” (Major General Lewis MacKenzie, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, Vancouver, BC, 1993, pages 193-4)
February 5, 1994 First “Market Massacre”: “French television reported last night that the United Nations investigation into the market-place bombing in Sarajevo two weeks ago had established beyond doubt that the mortar shell that killed 68 people was fired from inside Bosnian (Muslim) lines.” (“UN tracks source of fatal shell,” (London) The Times, 2/19/94)
“For the first time, a senior U.N. official has admitted the existence of a secret U.N. report that blames the Bosnian Moslems for the February 1994 massacre of Moslems at a Sarajevo market. “…After studying the crater left by the mortar shell and the distribution of shrapnel, the report concluded that the shell was fired from behind Moslem lines.”
“The report, however, was kept secret; the context of the wire story implies that U.S. Ambassador Albright may have been involved in its suppression.
August 28, 1995 Second “Market Massacre”: “British ammunition experts serving with the United Nations in Sarajevo have challenged key ‘evidence’ of the Serbian atrocity that triggered the devastating NATO bombing campaign which turned the tide of the Bosnian war.” The Britons’ analysis was confirmed by French analysts but their findings were “dismissed” by “a senior American officer” at U.N. headquarters in Sarajevo. (“Serbs ‘not guilty’ of massacre: Experts warned US that mortar was Bosnian,” (London) The Times, 10/1/95)
“(A) crucial U.N. report (stating Serb responsibility for) the market massacre is a classified secret, but four specialists — a Russian, a Canadian and two Americans — have raised serious doubts about its conclusion, suggesting instead that the mortar was fired not by the (Christian Orthodox) Serbs but by (Muslim) Bosnian government forces.” A Canadian officer “added that he and fellow Canadian officers in Bosnia were ‘convinced that the Muslim government dropped both the February 5, 1994, and the August 28, 1995, mortar shells on the Sarajevo markets. An unidentified U.S. official contends that the available evidence suggests either “the shell was fired at a very low trajectory, which means a range of a few hundred yards — therefore under (Sarajevo) (Muslim) government control” or “a mortar shell converted into a bomb was dropped from a nearby roof into the crowd (of Muslims).” (“Bosnia’s bombers,” The Nation, 10/2/95)
“French magazine editor Jean Daniel put the question directly to Prime Minister Edouard Balladur: “They (i.e., the Muslims) have committed this carnage on their own people?” I exclaimed in consternation. “Yes,” confirmed the Prime Minister without hesitation, “but at least they have forced NATO to intervene.” (“No more lies about Bosnia,” Le Nouvel Observateur, 8/31/95, translated in Chronicles Magazine, January 1997)
Another successful media enthused (especially in the American press), Muslim deception was the Racak incident of January 15, 1999. It was the culmination of (Muslim) KLA attacks provoking (Christian Orthodox) Serbian reprisals that had continued unceasingly throughout the winter of 1998–1999. General Klaus Nauman, Chairman of NATO Military Committee, in a statement to the North Atlantic Council affirmed that “the majority of (ceasefire) violations was caused by the KLA.”
The Racak incident was immediately, without any investigation, advantageously seized by the U.N. the U.S. and the E.C., and proclaimed to be a massacre of Muslim civilians by Serbs. American Ambassador William Walker held a press conference categorically condemning the Serbs for the massacre. Although later proven to be a KLA hoax (the dead were KLA combatants killed in action, not civilians) it formed the basis for one of the charges of war crimes against Milosevic.
The political slanting of NATO favoring the (Muslim) KLA was reported in the BBC Television program “Moral Combat: NATO at War.”
(x) Iconic Images.
“One picture is worth a thousand words” is the clichéd but accurate proverb that more than adequately describes the media driven conflicts of the last half of the twentieth century.
During the Viet Nam war, Associated Press photographer Nick Ut was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his image of a naked nine year old, Phan Thi Kim Phuc running from a napalm attack. The caption provided by the American press originally reported that it was an American air strike. That was incorrect, leading subsequently to a grudging correction holding the South Vietnamese air force (VNAF)accountable. Eddie Adams photographed General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnamese national police commander, executing a Viet Cong prisoner on a Saigon street and galvanized American public opinion against the war. General Loan justified his action because: “These guys kill a lot of our people, and I think Buddha will forgive me.”
During the Second Intifada, Muhammad Jamal al-Durrah, a young Palestinian boy was videotaped cowering behind a concrete cylinder as Israeli Defense Forces pitilessly murdered him. The scenes were aired around the world, appalling viewers; the boy became a martyr in the Arab world and an international symbol of Israeli aggression. The Israeli army hurriedly communicated that “the shots were apparently fired by Israeli soldiers” and issued an apology, expressing sorrow and calling the episode “heartrending” in the wake of intense condemnation. However, the entire incident was staged by a reporter for French public television station “France 2.”
During the Lebanese conflict with Israel, the Reuters news agency consistently released manipulated, false images. Their journalists also created events with the cooperation of Hezballah; Reuters nevertheless submitted these images for global release as authentic, spontaneous events.
The Serbian conflict also proved to be vulnerable to the manipulated deceptions of elite media. Samantha Powers, in her Pulitzer Prize winning “A Problem from Hell,” confessed that U.S. diplomats “needed help from American reporters, editorial boards, and advocacy groups.”
The British Independent Television Network, on August 6, 1992, aired the indispensable iconic image designed to inflame worldwide public outrage against Serbia. An emaciated man, Fikret Alic, was standing timidly behind a tall barbed wire fence at a Serb “concentration camp” in Trnopolje. Except that it wasn´t a concentration camp, but a transit camp, and the barbed wire was not a corral, being visually manipulated to create the false impression that he was detained in an enclosed space. Fikret Alic was recovering from a long illness and was specifically chosen by the cameraman whose voice can be heard over the image in the original footage indicating that “the thin one, on the left” should approach the camera.
“They (the journalists) were fully aware this image would shock the world,” said Thomas Deichmann, known for his writing on the Bosnian war accusing journalists of fabricating evidence. (Video: “Milosevic On Trial”). Nonetheless the ICTY judges of war crimes at The Hague found that, contrary to the visually documented claims and the physical evidence, Trnopolje was indeed a camp where Muslims were “undoubtedly” imprisoned and where many were beaten, tortured, raped and killed by their Serb guards.”
George Kenney, US State Department, Desk Officer for Yugoslavia: “It was absolutely false, and was very, very misleading. It´s a shame that afterward…people who told that (real) story, they were punished. A magazine in the U.K. was shut down with a libel suit…Columbia Journalism Review had requested an article from me…eventually the editor said: this story is too complicated for us, and we don´t want to get involved. It went against mainstream opinion.” (Video: “Milosevic On Trial”).
(xi) On Trial.
Twelve years after publishing “The Wasteland of Historical Reality,” Croatian President Franjo Tudjman´s paean extolling the concept of genocide, six years after President Clinton´s devastating “Operation Storm,” ethnically cleansed Serbs from Croatia, two years after President Clinton´s murder of innocent civilians by American bombing attacks, finally, on April Fool’s Day, 2001, Slobodan Milosevic was arrested in Serbia without charges, and on June 28 of that year illegally, without any extradition formality, presented as a kidnapped prisoner to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
“The ICTY opened the prosecution in February 2002 after a year of preparation. At that time, the ICTY and the media presented the Milosevic case as “the trial of the century.” Within the first month, however, Milosevic had so ably handled his political and legal presentation, and had so effectively cross-examined hostile witnesses, that many reporters had to admit the case against the Serb leader was weak to non-existent. Publicity on the case was damaging NATO’s justification for the war.”
“The ICTY allowed Milosevic only 90 days to prepare his defense and was to allow only 150 days for him to present it, half the time the court took for the prosecution.
“Transparency is not of much interest to the judges (of the ICTY) either: when I asked to see the medical evidence which, they claimed, showed that Milosevic was too sick to defend himself but not so sick that the trial should be abandoned, I was told it was confidential. And when on Tuesday Milosevic pleaded that he was too sick to continue, presiding judge Patrick Robinson simply barked, ‘Are you deaf? I told you to call the next witness.’…These days we have the Neo-Cons’ war (Iraq). Back then we had the Liberals’ War (Yugoslavia). There’s continuity. The lying didn’t start with Judy Miller nor the saber-rattling with Bill Kristol.”
Slobodan Milosevic suspected the ICTY of a calculated intent to convict him with deliberate prejudice. The lead prosecutor, Geoffrey Nice, was allowed by the court to employ tactics reminiscent of Stalin´s show trials in the former Communist USSR that included secret witnesses for the prosecution, admission of hearsay evidence by the prosecution, immunity from perjury for witnesses for the prosecution, and that most repugnant prosecutorial contrivance: the suborning of witnesses for the prosecution. It bears repeating that this Tribunal was considered by the U.S. and the E.U. as a lawful proceeding being conducted in the consecrated halls of The Hague.
Slobodan Milosevic at the ICTY: “This here is obviously a colossal abuse of power to fabricate an historical forgery in which those who advocated the preservation of Yugoslavia would be charged with its destruction; those who defended the country would be accused of crimes; and those who advocated and committed secession, advocating separatism and terrorism, would be given amnesty – because they were backed by forces that wanted to establish control over the Balkans, so as to be able to use this strategic position to establish their control elsewhere.
Milosevic addressed the legitimacy of the court as follows: “This tribunal represents the most serious form of discrimination against one country and is a violation. The jurisdiction of a court and its legality has precedence over the question of authority; because if a court is not legal then the question of its authority or jurisdiction is pointless…no court can decide on its own legality. This illegal tribunal does not have the right to deprive persons before it from answering whether they are facing a legal or an illegal organ, particularly if there is a legally valid way to resolve this question (through the previously established International Court of Justice).”
On another occasion Milosevic dramatically exposed the Tribunal as part of NATO´s war strategy by attacking the covert funding of the ICTY: “Your own Article 32 of the Statutes for the Tribunal provides that expenses should be covered by the regular budget of the United Nations, but in practice the money comes from very much morbid sources, dark sources, like the Soros Foundation, other foundations, and also some Islamic countries. The bulk of the money comes from NATO itself. We should also need to recall that Soros is funding the Liberation (Muslim) Army of Kosovo (KLA).”
Among the inconsistencies in the ICTY indictment against Milosevic, several facts actually undermine the prosecution´s case: Paragraph 23 admits that it was the KLA, not the Milosevic regime, which precipitated the civil war in Kosovo: “While the wars were being conducted in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation in Kosovo, while tense, did not erupt into the violence and intense fighting seen in the other countries (Keep in mind that these “other countries” formed part of one country – Yugoslavia). In the mid-1990s, however, a faction of the Kosovo (Muslim) Albanians organized a group…known in English, as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). This group advocated a campaign of armed insurgency and violent resistance to the Serbian authorities. In mid-1996, the KLA began launching attacks primarily targeting Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and Serbian police forces. Thereafter, and throughout 1997, FRY and Serbian police forces responded with forceful operations against suspected KLA bases and supporters in Kosovo.”
“Had Western powers supported the federal state, Yugoslavia might have held together—but they did not. Instead they not only encouraged Slovenia, Croatia, and later Bosnia-Herzegovina to secede, they also insisted that the (Yugoslav) federal state not use force to prevent it. Diana Johnstone recounts a January 1991 meeting in Belgrade between the U.S. ambassador and Borisav Jovic, a Serb then serving on Yugoslavia’s collective State Presidency. “(The) United States would not accept any use of force to disarm the paramilitaries,” Jovic was told. “Only ‘peaceful’ means were acceptable to Washington.”
“The Yugoslav army was prohibited by the United States from using force to preserve the Federation, which meant that it could not prevent the Federation from being dismembered by force – a remarkable injunction against a sovereign state.”
“Similar warnings were communicated by the EC as well. We might try to imagine what the United States would look like today were the questions it faced in 1860 about its federal structure (The US Civil War), and the rights of states handled in as prejudicial a manner by much stronger foreign powers.”
Contemporary examples of sovereign governments which have carried out violent repression of secessionist or insurgent movements include Spain against the Basque ETA, France in Algeria, Britain in Northern Ireland, and Turkey against its Kurdish minority and the separatist PKK, but suppression of violent insurgent movements in order to maintain a stable and unified Yugoslavia were unacceptable to the United States and the European Union.
Paragraph 34 of the Milosevic indictment details that “towns and villages have been shelled, homes, farms and businesses burned, and personal property destroyed. As a result of these orchestrated actions, towns, villages and entire regions have been made uninhabitable for (Muslim) Kosovo Albanians.” This deceitful accusation could also provide the basis for prosecution of those responsible for the U.S./NATO bombing against Serbia, however there are no anticipated indictments of Clinton, Albright, Cohen, or General Wesley Clark by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Dutch Government Report April 10, 2002: “In view of the US covert support to the Croats it will be interesting to see if the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY), will seriously investigate this matter.” (Srebrenica – A Safe Area? Appendix II. Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The Role of the Intelligence and Security Services. Chapter 4, Secret Arms Supplies and Other Covert Actions.)
“In a startling concession to the Milosevic defense, and in contradiction of the serial indictments of Milosevic et al. for having participated in a “joint criminal enterprise” the alleged purpose of which was to create a “new Serb-dominated state,” the “Greater Serbia” of lore, Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice asserted that “The concept that all Serbs should live in one state is different from the concept of the Greater Serbia…” (p.43225).”
“Nice acknowledged that Milosevic was motivated not by any desire to create a “Greater Serbia” but by the “pragmatic” goal of “ensuring that all the Serbs who had lived in the former Yugoslavia should be allowed – for either constitutional or other reasons – to live in the same unit.” That meant, as we know historically from his perspective, first of all that the former Yugoslavia shouldn’t be broken up.” (p. 43227).” (Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic (IT-02-54-E), August 25, 2005, pp. 43225-43227.
“As best we can tell, this instance of the prosecution’s abandonment of one of the central charges against Milosevic was never reported in the English language print media.” See here (pdf p.24).
“The trial had been going badly from the point of view of the prosecution (which included the judges) for most of its incredible duration. Here is what Neil Clark, a Balkans specialist, wrote in the Guardian newspaper of London, in 2003: It is two years today that the trial of Slobodan Milosevic opened at The Hague. The chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, was triumphant as she announced the 66 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide that the former Yugoslavian president was charged with. CNN was among those who called it ‘the most important trial since Nuremburg’ as the prosecution outlined the ‘crimes of medieval savagery’ allegedly committed by the ‘butcher of Belgrade.’”
“But since those heady days, things have gone horribly wrong for Ms. Del Ponte. The charges relating to the war in Kosovo were expected to be the strongest part of her case. But not only has the prosecution signally failed to prove Milosevic’s personal responsibility for atrocities committed on the ground, the nature and extent of the atrocities themselves has also been called into question.”
“Coverage of the trial in the US was virtually non-existent, though there was a brief spotlight on what was actually going on when it was reported here that Wesley Clark’s testimony in court was subject to US censorship. Writing in the British Spectator last November John Laughland painted a trenchant portrait of the kangaroo proceedings, then four years old: Even though the former Yugoslav head of state has always pleaded his innocence, producing scores of witnesses to prove it, the trial is still not due to end until 2010. With the budget of The Hague tribunal running at nearly $300 million a year, this is doubtless a comfortable sinecure for the lawyers involved, most of whom had pretty unsuccessful careers at home. But such a long trial is by definition a travesty of justice: the Nuremberg trials lasted just over ten months, from 20 November 1945 to 30 September 1946.”
“…The trial has heard more than 100 prosecution witnesses, and not a single one has testified that Milosevic ordered war crimes. On the contrary: only last Tuesday, a Muslim captain in the Yugoslav army testified that no one in his unit had ever committed systematic harassment of (Muslim) Albanian civilians in Kosovo, and that he had never heard of any other unit doing so either. On 9 November the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas, an ethnic Hungarian, testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo were handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it.”
“What has emerged from the trial to the general indifference of the world’s media is that the Serbs were subject to horrendous provocations.”
Encountering serious difficulty in making its case, and unable to produce credible evidence of Milosevic´s guilt even after accumulating a massive, unprecedented amount of testimony from witnesses, the prosecutor of the ICTY, Geoffrey Nice, found himself bizarrely obliged during the course of the trial to modify the original indictment brought against Milosevic and to include additional charges. Subsequent to the trial, in an act of most egregious cynicism by the British government, he was awarded the honor of Knights Bachelor for his services to international criminal justice.
London Times (U.K.) November 20, 2003: ”General Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander and (US) presidential hopeful, will testify next month at the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic under conditions of strict censorship and confidentiality imposed by the United States.” Washington is believed to be fearful of potentially damaging revelations about its Balkan realpolitik during the 1990s and in the Bosnian War.”
“General Clark will testify on December 15 and 16, 2003. Public galleries will be closed and the broadcast system that transmits the proceedings on the internet and on closed-circuit television will be shut down. The conditions of General Clark’s testimony include a 48-hour delay to enable the US Government to review the transcript and seek the court’s consent to censor parts on the ground of national security. Two US representatives will attend the sessions.”
“In his cross-examination of General Clark, Mr Milosevic could reveal sensitive information about the West’s diplomatic and military strategy for dealing with the crisis in the Balkans.”
President Milosevic objected to the terms of Clark’s testimony: “I don’t quite understand the position of this witness since my understanding was that he would be testifying in closed session and that you described that as a temporarily closed session, and then, in the meantime, representatives of the government of his country may be able to review the transcript, to approve some of it, to redact some of it possibly, and only then to release it to the public. I am not aware of any legal court in the world delegating its authority of this kind to any government.
This would be the first time for any such thing to happen. Of course, you consider yourself to be a legal court?”
“(Presiding Judge Sir Richard) May was very keen to limit the cross-examination. The first thing he said to President Milosevic was “Mr. Milosevic, before you begin cross-examining, you should know that there are parameters in this case beyond which you cannot go. We’ve already made an order which restricts the scope of cross-examination. I’m not going to go into the reasons for it again. It is limited to the statement which the witness has given, which means that you are restricted in a way that you are not restricted with other witnesses, because then you’re allowed to ask any relevant matters. You’re restricted in this case to the witness’s evidence. So you can give — ask him questions, of course, about what he’s said here but not about other evidence. He’s given no other evidence against you apart from the matter which General Clark has dealt with here. So your cross-examination in this case is limited. Of course you may conduct your cross-examination, but you will be stopped if you go beyond those particular bounds.”
President Milosevic: “Mr. May, just in order to clarify the basic attitude towards me in relation to this witness, is it in dispute that General Clark was in command of NATO during the war against Yugoslavia? And is it disputed that that was his most important role in everything that related to Yugoslavia? And is it in dispute that you’re not allowing me to ask him anything at all about that?” At that point President Milosevic denounced the proceedings as a farce…May said, “I also restrict your comments too.”
“President Milosevic asked him (May) again: “So I cannot ask him anything at all about the war waged by NATO against Yugoslavia. Is that what you’re saying?” And May said, “Yes.” Yes you read that right, Slobodan Milosevic was the President of Yugoslavia, and while he was the President of Yugoslavia, Wesley Clark conducted a war against Yugoslavia, and this “minor detail” was something that President Milosevic was prohibited from asking questions about.”
“Milosevic attempted to bring up the fact that Wesley Clark admitted in the November 17, 2003 issue of the New Yorker that NATO’s Kosovo war was “technically illegal” because according to Clark, “The Russians and the Chinese said they would both veto it. There was never a chance that it would be authorized.” I guess if Clark thinks that the NATO bombing was “technically illegal” then that makes him technically a war criminal, because he commanded it. Unfortunately, Milosevic couldn’t make that point because his microphone was constantly being switched off by Mr. May.
“When the cross-examination did start, Mr. May limited it to two and a half hours. As he explained to President Milosevic,”two and a half hours should be adequate to deal with the limited matters which the witness has given in evidence…Clark says he told Milosevic that if he didn’t remove the army and the police, then NATO would attack Yugoslavia…He just confirmed to the world that he, Wesley Clark, went to a sovereign state and told the head of that state that unless they removed their army and their police forces from their own territory that they would be bombed, and as we know, Yugoslavia was bombed.”
“Wesley Clark quite clearly proved that he broke international law, but he didn’t demonstrate that Milosevic did, his “evidence” was worthless to the prosecution.”
On March 11, 2006, Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell from an alleged heart attack. The chief prosecutor, Geoffrey Nice, in a video interview, commented wryly: “I think the conclusion of this trial was more likely to be a disaster…I think they would have got judgment eventually, I don´t know when, (and) if it would survive in the appeals…but the judgment would always have been open to various forms of attack.” Pausing, he chuckled briefly and continued: “Curiously, I know and I shouldn´t say so or even think this, I think it’s a rather satisfactory conclusion.” (Video: “Milosevic On Trial”).
“It’s hard not to feel that by dying in his cell, Slobodan Milosevic finally succeeded in his determined effort to cheat justice.” Thus the opening sentence of a New York Times editorial, Tuesday March 14 (2006). The editorial cited without comment Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the United Nations tribunal, who told an Italian interviewer that “the death of Milosevic represents for me a total defeat.”
“In fact Milosevic’s death in his cell from a heart attack spared Del Ponte and the Court (itself a drumhead tribunal set up by the United States with no proper foundation under international law or treaty) the ongoing embarrassment of a proceeding where Milosevic had made a very strong showing against the phalanx of prosecutors, hearsay witnesses and prejudiced judges marshaled against him. Until his death, “total defeat” had been the prospect facing Del Ponte, not Milosevic, though she presumably felt justifiably confident –based on their record of prejudiced rulings against Milosevic – that the judges would never let her down.”
“There are now charges and countercharges about poisons and self-medications. Milosevic’s son says his father was murdered. The embarrassed Court claims Milosevic somehow did himself in by tampering with his medicines.”
Now why would Milosevic, obviously and unmistakably winning his case, make the terminal decision to forego the prescribed medication he had been taking throughout the trial?
Indictment prepared by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark “to hold those convicted of the violations alleged accountable for their acts”: http://www.iacenter.org/warcrime/indictmt.htm
(xii) Follow the Money
Of all the American Presidents pursuing U.S. international supremacy, it was Clinton who subjected the democratic and sovereign Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to uncalled-for violence for its audacious temerity in resisting being usurped by the “Washington Consensus” into a “New World Order.” The “New World Order” terminology, incorrectly attributed to President Bush Sr., is in point of fact an expression coined by Adolph Hitler for The Third Reich, his totalitarian Socialist experiment. “Our strength lies in our intensive attacks and our barbarity…After all, who today remembers the genocide of the Armenians?”
It could be effectively argued that George W. Bush was encouraged to emulate Clinton´s successful Yugoslav regime change in Iraq by the lack of any detrimental political consequences to his predecessor from an American electorate largely ignorant of the clandestine military operations and the savagery of the remorseless “Air Campaign.” However, much like President Nixon before him, Bush lacked four indispensable political essentials: a supportive media, attractive features and a captivating charisma accompanied by convincing articulateness.
“Goals that are treated as an acceptable cost of “stability”…were articulated unabashedly and arrogantly in a Pentagon document entitled “The Defense Planning Guide.” The forty-six-page policy statement was excerpted in a prominent New York Times article on March 8, 1992. This major policy document asserts that the only possible course for the U.S. to pursue is complete world domination—militarily and politically. And it adds that no other country has the right to aspire to a role of leadership, even as a regional power.”
In 1982, a secret document, “National Security Directive #64” was signed by President Ronald Reagan; it allowed for “expanded efforts to promote ‘a quiet revolution’ to overthrow Communist governments while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.” Two years later, in 1984, the Reagan Administration expressly selected Yugoslavia with “NSD #133”, “United States Policy toward Yugoslavia,” which provided for increased intervention.
Unwavering in his objective to impose rigorous capitalist ideological principles, Reagan insisted that a successful Communist state outside the Western bloc would not be tolerated. In large measure due to his relentlessly stern, albeit diplomatic and nonviolent efforts, the USSR ceased to exist in 1991, disintegrating into fifteen newly independent states.
Although benefiting from a successful economy, shortly before the death of Marshall Tito and partially due to United States maneuvering, Yugoslavia was persuaded into joining the Western International Monetary Fund (IMF) which “wreaked economic and political havoc… Slower growth, the accumulation of foreign debt and especially the cost of servicing it, as well as devaluation led to a fall in the standard of living of the average Yugoslav… The economic crisis threatened political stability … it also threatened to aggravate simmering ethnic tensions” (Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93, p. 42.)
“Following the initial phase of (the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sponsored) macro-economic reform in 1980, industrial growth plummeted to 2.8 percent in the 1980-87 period, plunging to zero in 1987-88 and to a negative 10 percent growth rate by 1990.” (World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study: Overview, Issues, and Strategy for Restructuring, Washington, D C, June 1991, pp. 10, 14)
“In one fell swoop, the reformers had engineered the final collapse of Yugoslavia’s federal fiscal structure and mortally wounded its federal political institutions. By cutting the financial arteries between Belgrade and the republics, the reforms fueled secessionist tendencies that fed on economic factors as well as ethnic divisions, virtually ensuring the de facto secession of the republics.”
In Autumn 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Yugoslav federal Premier Ante Markovic met in Washington with President George Bush Sr., to cap negotiations for a new financial aid package. In return for assistance, Yugoslavia agreed to even more sweeping economic reforms, including a new devalued currency, another wage freeze, sharp cuts in government spending, and the elimination of socially owned, worker-managed companies… The austerity measures had laid the basis for the recolonization of the Balkans.
The United States Congress passed the “1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act” which curtailed all financial assistance to Yugoslavia. The provisions of the Act had been casually referred to by the CIA as “a signed death warrant” for Yugoslavia. Jim Burkholder, “Humanitarian Intervention?” President Reagan´s earlier, non-violent, ideological “quiet revolution” to overthrow Communist governments was proving successful.
Unlike President Reagan, given Clinton´s tenuous credibility regarding ideology as evidenced during his “triangulating” Administration, it can be hypothetically, candidly understood that he lusted eagerly after the dismemberment of the sovereign Republic of Yugoslavia in anticipation of the substantial economic benefits to be derived from the privatization of Yugoslavia´s state owned assets. The United States and its allies had formulated an interventionist scheme to establish a puppet regime in Belgrade; however, the Socialist Milosevic government obstinately refused to submit. Like Josip Broz (Tito) before him, Milosevic favored a self-determining, non-aligned policy. For the U.S., the “One-World,” “One-Government” future was being hindered and seriously challenged by an insignificant bit-player on the world´s political stage: Slobodan Milosevic. The only viable option for the accomplishment of the neo colonialist vision was a strategy of divide and rule; the individual republics of Yugoslavia must be encouraged to secede.
The U.S. and its allies were determined to dominate the Balkans in Eastern Europe, dividing amongst themselves the mineral treasures and unexploited oil reserves in the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, the former Soviet states in southern Asia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, access to the Rhine/Danube river system, the Adriatic/Aegean, and a Black Sea route for an oil pipeline with a terminus in Turkey.
New York Times, December 5, 1995: “Retired Army General William Odom, affirmed that NATO occupation of the Balkans is part of a plan for U.S. domination of Europe and the former Soviet Union. He described the entire strategy as securing the resources of the Caspian Sea and “stabilizing, ultimately, Russia.”
R. Nicholas Burns, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, speaking to the U.S. Congress on April 17, 2007: “The cornerstone of (U.S.) policy in this region has long been the promise of integration of the Balkan countries with NATO and the European Union.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Crimes of War,” Gutman & Rieff, 1999: “America’s emergence as the sole global superpower makes a comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative…The task is to insure that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the U.S. or diminish its decisive role.”
In the words of Paddy Ashdown, International High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, on December 9, 2003 during a conference in London to promote Bosnia to foreign investors: “The macroeconomic reforms…clear away the debris of the formerly socialist economy and open up the (country) to international markets and investment.”
Baltimore Chronicle: “What has gone totally unreported except in oil industry newsletters is the United Kingdom’s oil interests in the region of central and Eastern Europe. The leading NATO member has oil deals floating off the coast of Montenegro. In May of 1998 Medusa Oil and Gas Ltd. signed a 51-49 agreement with Jugopetrol Kotor. The agreement was for the excavation and exploration of a 1,548 square mile block of land and coast in the southern half of Montenegro. Kotor, a major port of Montenegro, is seen as a straight route to western markets. NATO has claimed its involvement in the Balkan region is based on fears that “if Kosovo unraveled then all the other states would unravel.” We never heard that if Montenegro dissolves, then this untapped source of oil is up for grabs.
The New Statesman (U.K.), December 13, 2004: “At the Davos summit of neoliberal chieftains in 1999, Blair berated Belgrade (Yugoslavia), not for its handling of Kosovo, but for its failure to embrace “economic reform” fully. In the bombing campaign that followed, it was state-owned companies, rather than military sites, that were targeted. NATO’s destruction of only 14 Yugoslav army tanks compares with its bombing of 372 centres of industry, including the Zastava car factory. “Not one foreign or privately owned factory was bombed.”
“Multinational companies are being offered ten- and 15-year leases of the (Kosovo) province’s local industries and resources, including the vast Trepca mines, some of the richest mineral deposits in the world. Overseeing this plundered, now almost ethnically pure “future democracy” (Blair), are 4,000 American troops at Camp Bondsteel, a 775-acre permanent-base imperial presence.”
Today, Germany owns 30% of industrial plants in these first two “former Yugoslav republics.” (E.H. Solano, “Media War Against the Serbs,” p.64)
“The breakup of the Yugoslav Federation meant that the many industries of Yugoslavia, including steel, auto, pharmaceuticals, chemical plants, railroads, mines, refining and processing, that had previously been owned by the whole population or by the workers in those plants have been forcibly privatized.”
Sara Flounders, International Action Center, in “Bosnia Tragedy” (1995), claimed: “U.S. involvement in the Balkans is not about helping any of the people in the region — Muslims, Croats, Serbs, or Albanians. The only interest of the Pentagon is in creating weak, dependent puppet regimes in order to dominate the entire region economically and politically. Only the giant multinational corporations will benefit.”
“Meanwhile, the show trial of Slobodan Milosevic proceeds as farce. Milosevic was a brute; he was also a banker once regarded as the west’s man who was prepared to implement “economic reforms” in keeping with IMF, World Bank and European Union demands; to his cost, he refused to surrender sovereignty.”
A distinctly singular judgment was voiced by the Democratic Party Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 17, 2007. It serves to expose U.S. priorities and apprehensions concerning Islam, ignoring that appeasement has always sharpened the appetite of Muslims, rather than satiating it. Congressman Tom Lantos called on “jihadists of all color and hue” to see Kosovo as “yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe.” If appeasement hasn´t worked for the yahood in Israel, why should it work for the kufr? What was the quid pro quo for such a manifestly suicidal decision regarding Western Civilization?
When Nixon was President, the salient advice given to Woodward and Bernstein during their Watergate investigation was to “follow the money.” That advice can be considered applicable to the puzzling, rationally inexplicable decisions of the Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations.
Prior to leaving office, Clinton started raising funds for his William J. Clinton Foundation. After years of persistently and inexplicably refusing to identify the donors, Hillary Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration obliged the following, albeit partial and inadequate disclosure: the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated 10-25 million dollars; foreign governments donated directly at least 41 million; Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid and the organization Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation each gave between one and five million; other Middle Eastern governments including Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Oman also donated between one and five million dollars. Clinton has also received remarkable compensation for his speaking fees in the Arab world.
And finally there is the enigma, the contradiction: George W. Bush, a Republican Party President considered a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by his supporters, in what seemed to be another error in judgment fashioned by a predictable ignorance, appeared to share the flawed vision of Islam held by his Democratic predecessors -“a religion of peace” – notwithstanding his actions as Commander in Chief in Afghanistan and Iraq. Seemingly thoroughly captivated by the Saudi King Abdulah, they sashayed into the scrub of his Crawford ranch holding hands – the President of the United States and an eminently wealthy former oil colleague.
President Bush stubbornly refused all appeals by an anxious Russia to reconsider the usurpation of Kosovo and its transformation into an Islamic state; he blundered into the attempted creation of a still illegitimate separate Islamic nation of Kosovo torn from the sovereign country of Serbia. At this writing, only 54 of the 192 member states of the United Nations recognize Kosovo as an independent country. This fateful gaffe created an international precedent Bush was soon to bitterly lament.
The West, and America in particular, is directly responsible for the present tense relationship with Russia. There is a definite, unambiguous connection between the Balkans and the Caucasus; South Ossetia and Abkhazia provide a mirror image to the clandestine aggression, overt military intervention and subsequent usurpation of Kosovo from an historical Russian political ally and devotee of an identical religion. With the swift occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russians appropriately countered the American cowboy President´s impudent confrontation with a Biblical response: “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”
Notwithstanding that U.S. and NATO fighter/bombers remained passive, Russian President Vladimir Putin openly warned the West he would forcefully oppose any clandestine effort at destabilizing his country – an implicit allusion to the covert Clinton subversion of Yugoslavia prior to its mutilation. The American media chose to interpret this communication as signifying a dwindling of Russian democracy; in fact, it indicated that Putin, like Milosevic before him, has no intention of being Washington´s lackey.
Pavel Felgenhauer and Nebojsa Malic, European military analysts, provide the following interpretation of Russian post-Kosovo opinion: “The people in the Russian military believe sincerely that they need to try to stop the U.S. now, before it goes on a real rampage around the world. That the U.S. is striving for world domination, no one has any doubt.”
Henry Kissinger, Newsweek, May 24, 1999: “The ill-considered war in Kosovo has undermined relations with China and Russia and put NATO at risk. The rejection of long-range strategy explains how it was possible to slide into the Kosovo conflict without adequate consideration of all its implications, especially the visceral reaction of almost all nations of the world against the new NATO doctrine of “humanitarian intervention”…No issue is more in need of rethinking than the concept of humanitarian intervention put forward as the administration’s contribution to a new approach to foreign policy. The air war in Kosovo is justified as establishing the principle that the international community – or at least NATO – will henceforth punish the transgressions of governments against their own people. But we did not do so in Algeria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Croatia, Rwanda, the Caucasus, the Kurdish areas and many other regions…And what will be our attitude to emerging ethnic conflicts in Asia, for example in Indonesia and the Philippines? The answer often given is that we act where we are able to without undue risk, not elsewhere. But what are the criteria for this distinction? And what kind of humanism expresses its reluctance to suffer military casualties by devastating the civilian economy of its adversary for decades to come?”
“A strategy that vindicates its moral convictions only from altitudes above 15,000 feet – and in the process devastates Serbia and makes Kosovo unlivable – has already produced more refugees and casualties than any conceivable alternative mix of force and diplomacy would have. It deserves to be questioned on both political and moral grounds.”
The United States squandered an exceptional opportunity to forge a close alliance with a nation whose impressive cultural history and proud people have always been considered part of Western civilization, except for that brief and violently enforced sojourn into a political system that eliminated fifty million of its citizens in order to succeed as an oppressive political entity. In today’s capitalist Russia rock music, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds reign supreme. An American-Russian alliance would have provided the necessary resistance against an explicitly acknowledged future Islamic attempt at world hegemony; where the freedoms of the West may conceivably be obliterated in a totalitarian Muslim tsunami.
It remains doubtful that Communism as a state enforced collective political system will return to Russia, and if it should, it is extremely unlikely that the Russian government will revisit their prior abortive goal of world domination that has now been successfully appropriated by an expansionist Islam. However, the country will likely never achieve democracy in the conventional American concept of the term; their cultural traditions and history should lead them to construct a different politics of citizen participation in government, perhaps a more “Authoritarian/Egalitarianism,” if we can refrain for the time being from considering this apparently contradictory expression an oxymoron.
The West accepts and enthusiastically supports the contradictory “Communist/Capitalist” policies of an unfamiliar Chinese Oriental civilization; there should be no social/political trauma in the peaceful co-existence of a democratically mature United States with an independent Russia that has, like China before it, “stood up” – notwithstanding that Russian missiles will be provided to Iran, and symbolic mischief, such as Russian warships once again at anchor in La Habana, and a disconcerting Russian military presence in an America baiting Venezuela will continue as a justifiable rejoinder to American political short sightedness. There will be a return to the complex, insidious geopolitics of the “Cold War.” We are even now witnessing the revival of the foreign policy doctrine of that epoch which advocated strict compliance with the dictum that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Particular to this conclusion is the expressed United States concern of Russian nuclear assistance to Iran. This is a well deserved Russian reply to the arrogant, narcissistic political ignorance of our incompetent and avaricious governing elite.
Permit me to cite another proverb, with apologies for its graphic vulgarity, which refers to the currently popular, vociferous demonizing of Russia by the United States government and the American media: bear in mind that “the devil don’t take it up the arse.”
A Czechoslovak Documentary tells the story:
(Video): “STOLEN KOSOVO”
(Video): Dutch 2 Part Documentary “The Milosevic Case”:
(Video): The Hague Tribunal:
(Video): Milosevic On Trial:
(Video): Slobodan Milosevic vs. New World Order:
Video Kosovo Conflict:
American Jihad in Yugoslavia
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