October 2010


In the news this week:

Serb court annuls verdict of Bosnia wartime official

BELGRADE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Serbia’s Appeals Court quashed a war crimes conviction against a Bosnian official on Monday in a move that could ease ties between the two former Yugoslav states that have never fully recovered from the 1992-95 war.

A court spokeswoman said the judges had ordered a retrial in the case of Ilija Jurisic, a Bosnian Croat who was jailed for 12 years for alleged crimes against the Yugoslav army in Bosnia.

Official relations between the two neighbours worsened in 2007 after Serbia arrested Jurisic, from the northern town of Tuzla, on charges that he ordered an attack on a column of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army (JNA) that killed at least 50 soldiers.

Belgrade backed separatist Bosnian Serbs during the war, in which more than 100,000 people from all ethnic groups died.

In May, the Muslim chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency postponed a visit to Belgrade after he was denied permission to visit Jurisic.

Jurisic will now be released from jail and allowed to go home to Bosnia pending a fresh trial, court spokeswoman Mirjana Prljic said.

“A retrial was ordered due to incomplete and inaccurate evidence,” she said.

Both Bosnia and Serbia aspire to join European Union, and building good neighbourly relations is, among other things, a condition for progress towards membership in the wealthy bloc.

I’ll just give Nebojsa Malic’s take on this:

This is indeed bad, so they saved [the news] for the aftermath of the “pride riots”, when nobody would be paying attention. Remember how Albanian “officials” would get arrested on Serbian warrants, then released? [Examples: Hashim Thaci’s brief arrest in Hungary in 2003; Agim Ceku’s detainment and release in Bulgaria last year after pressure from the U.S. and France, as well as Hungary and Slovenia in previous years; plus a momentary detainment and expulsion of Ceku from Colombia last year.]

That pretty much established that Serbian Interpol warrants were not to be taken seriously. Then there was the Ganic fiasco [Bosnian-Muslim war criminal arrested in UK], in which the British upheld all sorts of wacky Muslim claims, including that the Serbian prosecutors tried to bargain with his extradition in exchange for Muslims accepting the Srebrenica declaration (!!), whereupon Ganic walked, and the Serbs decided not to appeal (”to save money”).

And now the man who was rightly convicted of ordering the attack on the helpless Army column [they’d laid down their weapons] that was ambushed and massacred in Tuzla gets released (and returns to Bosnia, meaning he’ll NEVER be put on trial again) — because of alleged prosecutorial incompetence?!

It is becoming crystal clear that the only purpose of that “special court” [the Serbian court helping with the Hague’s overflow] is to put Serbs on trial, and only because the Hague Inquisition is running out of money and time. The moment it is expected to actually pursue justice for the Serbs? Failure, scandal, incompetence. To add insult to injury, this is all at the expense of Serbian taxpayers.

From Serbianna.com last month:

Chief Imam Ceric widens Bosnia’s Jihad net (Sep. 11, 2010)

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bosnia inaugurated a Kuwaiti funded mosque while a corresponding Kuwait based Islamic “charity”, the International Islamic Charitable Organization, was passing out Quarans to the Bosnian Muslim youngsters who were capable of memorizing the Quaran by heart.

This enlargement of the world-wide Jihadist infrastructure in Bosnia was, according to report by the Kuwaiti Kuna news agency, spearheaded by Bosnia’s Chief Imam Mustafa Ceric.

“The inauguration ceremony of the ‘Ilyash’ Mosque was attended by a host of Bosnian scholars, spearheaded by the country’s Grand Mufti Dr. Mustafa Ceric,” explains Kuna.

Notes The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:

Considered by some to be a leading “liberal” Islamic leader, Mustafa Ceric is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and by his participation in the U.K.-based “Radical Middle Way” consisting of a wide range of associated scholars representing the global Muslim Brotherhood.

Established by an Egyptian Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) enjoys full support of Kuwait’s royal family and government. The purpose of the IICO, as described by Al-Qaradawi, is “…practical resistance to the frenzied wave of Christianization within the Muslim world” by which Al-Qaradawi means spread of Islam as seen by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dubbed a prominent Islamic scholar and a so-called Global Mufti, Al-Qaradawi says that “I have been affiliated with a group considered by Zionists as their first enemy; it is the Muslim Brotherhood that has provided and still provides martyrs”.

Considered by many to be the central kernel in the worldwide Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood has not been found by the Council on Foreign Relations, probably because of the group’s use-value in [a] wide range of global theaters, to have any “direct” terror links.

Nor are there any “direct” links involving Bosnia’s Chief Imam Ceric so the Western insistence that Ceric should be prefixed with the misleading attribute of “moderate” may be Washington’s expression of gratitude for keeping his Islamic terror links “indirect”.

Thanks to Anna P. for finding this:

Serbian director Emir Kusturica withdraws from Turkish film fest

World famous Bosnia-Serbian director Emir Kusturica held a press conference at his hotel Sunday morning announcing his withdrawal from this year’s Golden Orange Film Festival jury, saying protests against his inclusion reflected “barbarism and primitiveness.”

Kusturica, who was the target of protests from various Turkish groups that claimed he supported the Serbian genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, said: “It is known that I am an anti-imperialist. This is the point of my life and work. Such reactions are always meaningless to me. The thing I … fought for was [a] united Yugoslavia. Approaches before and after the war should be evaluated according to this.”

A group gathered Sunday morning in front of the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality’s building to protest Kusturica’s inclusion in the Golden Orange festival, leaving a black wreath in front of the building.

Protestors included Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Provincial Chairman Adnan Kaya and members of the Turkish Bosnia-Herzegovina Cultural Associations Federation.

Turkish Bosnia-Herzegovina Cultural Associations Federation Chairman Cemal Şenel said they condemned the festival for inviting Kusturica to sit on the jury. He said Kusturica was a close friend and supporter of people who committed crimes against humanity.

“While thousands of Bosnian women were raped during the Bosnian War, he said, ‘You exaggerate the situation,’ and regarding the genocide in which 250,000 people were killed said, ‘We were already Serbs 500 years ago, let’s become Serb and Christian again.’ Many times he also said he was born from a Bosnian mother but felt culturally closer to Serbs – and that he never participated in any ceremony held to commemorate the victims of Serbian massacre in which 10,000 Muslim men were massacred in two days in July 1995. On the other hand, he became close friends with the ultra-nationalist Serb warlord Arkan, as well as former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who died in his cell while being tried for war crimes,” Şenel said.

Bosnians love Turkey and are tied in brotherhood and religion, Kusturica said, adding that political events had paved the way for “accusing a director of supporting genocide.”

[Note: In order for him to do that, wouldn’t a genocide first have to occur?]

“My vision of my country is personal. I am not a member of any political party. My statements are totally caused by my faith. It is sometimes right or sometimes wrong,” he said.

“I don’t even want to defend myself but want to explain some things. I want to thank the Antalya Mayor Mustafa Akaydın and others for the their warm interest in me. But I declare this country’s minister of culture as an enemy. Because he deserves it. Any person who dedicates his life to opening new windows to mankind cannot support a crime. We performed in Bursa a few months ago. The mayor from the same party of the minister of culture hosted us in the best way. We performed a very nice concert. Women wearing headscarves were dancing. It was a big happiness for me,” he said.

Kusturica said he was expected to hold a workshop with students as part of the festival but was unable to do so because he planned to leave Turkey immediately following the press conference.

When the 47th Golden Orange Film Festival opened Saturday at the Glass Pyramid in Antalya, jury guest Emir Kusturica became the target of criticism from a local politician.

When Mayor Akaydın was invited to the stage to address the audience at the opening ceremony, Municipal Councilman Reşat Oktay of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, stood up, turned to the audience and started shouting that Kustarica had made racist remarks about Bosnian Muslims and had no right to be at the festival, Doğan News Agency reported.

Oktay was booed by the audience and escorted from the event by private security and other municipal councilmen. He justified his actions by saying the Bosnian director drew criticism from his controversial remarks about the Serbian conflict.

Akaydın apologized for the incident, saying that Antalya was a city of civilization, tolerance, and peace and has a great appreciation for the arts. “I condemn politicians who try to sabotage this wonderful event by involving politics,” he said.

This was a class act by the Turkish mayor and what I presume to be the mostly Turkish audience members booing the troublemaker. It’s nice that the Turks accept Kusturica as a Serb, though why shouldn’t they? They’re reconquering the Serbs all over again, so relations are good.

I first discovered Emir Kusturica only a year ago, I’m embarrassed to say, and he became an instant hero of mine. It was this intriguing 2005 NY Times article about him that I stumbled upon.

***UPDATE***

Just a touch more info, courtesy of Nebojsa Malic:

Though the video is grainy and I could not discern uniform detail, the vehicles were another matter. These are Brits. The transports they are using to help the mujahedin are Warrior AFVs (Armored Fighting Vehicles), the counterpart of the Bradley in use by the U.S. military. The Brits were stationed in central Bosnia. If I recall correctly, even that drug-addled adventurer, Anthony Loyd (”My War Gone By, I Miss It So”) told of Brits shielding the jihadists from Croats.

Description:

The video you are watching shows footage of Arab Muslim Mujahideen (Odred El Mudzahidin) being brought into Bosnia on UN transports to carry out part of the Islamic war against the non-believers, in this case the Serbs.

Formed under the orders of the Bosnian Presdient Alija Izetbegović, the Mudzahidin, also know as the ‘7th Muslim brigade’ were a unit made up entirely of Muslim Arabs shipped over from the Islamic world to engage in the wider Jihad and to help establish Muslim states within Europe.


Where’s that sniper fire when you need it?

Srdja Trifkovic has an insanely good explanation of what Clinton’s Bosnia visit is all about:

Hillary Clinton’s Ongoing Bosnian Fixation by Srdja Trifkovic
October 12th, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton started her two-day Balkan tour in Sarajevo on Tuesday by issuing a fresh call for Bosnia’s centralization. She urged “reforms that would improve key services, attract more foreign investment, and make the government more functional and accountable.” Hatreds have eased, she went on, “but nationalism persists. Meanwhile the promise of greater stability and opportunity—represented by integration into Europe—remains out of reach.”

Mrs. Clinton’s performance amounted to yet another coded demand for the abolition of the Republika Srpska, the autonomous Serb republic covering 49% of Bosnia—and the assertion of Muslim (“Bosniak”) dominance in a “reformed” (that is, unitarized) Bosnia-Herzegovina. She treats the Balkans as one of the few spots in the world where she can assert her credibility by postulating a maximalist set of objectives and insisting on their fulfillment. She is greatly helped in that task by the fact that the regime of Boris Tadic in Belgrade has capitulated to Brussels and Washington on all fronts…

Like a dog returning to lap up its own vomit, Hillary Clinton just cannot let go of Bosnia, a place she fundamentally misunderstands and treats as an “imagined community.” And yet this figment is so important to her that during the primaries in 2008 she repeatedly invoked embellished memories of a “dangerous” trip to Bosnia in 1996, when she was supposedly threatened by Serb sniper fire at Tuzla airport — although the war had ended six months earlier, and video footage shows smiling schoolchildren greeting her in Tuzla. The same obsession was evident in her Senate hearing in January 2009, when she declared she was committed to wrapping up what she called ‘the unfinished business in the Balkans.’ The same fixation was manifested in her Tuesday call on Serbs, Muslims and Croats “to put country ahead of ethnicity.”

Mrs. Clinton’s Sarajevo speech is the latest in a long series of attempts by the Department of State under her guidance to meddle in Bosnian affairs. Exactly a year ago her Deputy, James Steinberg, came to Sarajevo with a set of proposals for constitutional reform. The news was hyped in the Western media as the imminent remaking of Dayton. Even the location chosen for the talks — a NATO military base at Butmir near Sarajevo — echoed the events of November 1995, when the Bosnian war was ended at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside Dayton. The Serbs unsurprisingly rejected these proposals because they would have stripped them of the remaining elements of self-rule that were first guaranteed by the Dayton agreement. The failure of this attempt, one of many, to reduce the Republika Srpska to an empty shell devoid of self-rule did not stop Mrs. Clinton’s officials from [talking] of a “Butmir Process,” which would presumably lead to a “functional” government. In reality there was no such “process” at all.

A reasonable observer might have hoped that the outcome of last week’s elections — the results of which were tantamount, yet again, to an ethnic census — might finally convince Washington that no arrangement can be good for Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole unless it is good for each of its three constituent peoples. Yet Mrs. Clinton refuses to allow this reality to blur her “vision,” which is built on the self-defeating notion that the U.S. needs to be seen, and perhaps even appreciated, in the Islamic world as the champion of Muslim interests in Europe. Accordingly, the push from Washington for Bosnia’s “reforms” will undoubtedly continue after Mrs. Clinton’s visit, which is unfortunate. That push is a major obstacle to the lasting stabilization of the area known as Western Balkans in general, and of Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular. It is but a codeword for establishing what in effect [would] be a Muslim-dominated unitary state — in a majority-Christian country! — and amounting to the end of the RS in fact if not in name.

In addition to being certain to re-ignite old animosities that caused the war of 1992-1995, Mrs. Clinton’s claim that Bosnia’s constitutional arrangements are detrimental to European integration is at odds with the strong trend towards devolution, self-rule, and decentralization in some of the world’s most stable democracies — from Belgium to the Basque Country, from Scotland to Catalonia. It is also at odds with the Western demand that Serbia grants its northern province of Vojvodina the level of autonomy which is frowned upon when it is demanded from Banja Luka, the RS capital in Bosnia.

Whatever the defects of Dayton, the essential fact is that for over 14 years Serbs, Croats and Muslims living in Bosnia-Herzegovina have not been killing each other. Nothing should be done that risks a new confrontation among Bosnia’s communities and possibly reigniting the horrors of the 1990s. With all that America has on its plate today, at home and abroad, it is ill advised to trigger an optional crisis. What is really impeding Bosnia’s progress is not “nationalism” but heavy-handed international bureaucracy and excessive foreign meddling in local affairs. Such meddling is detrimental to the spontaneous growth of democratic institutions. Going a step beyond and imposing centralization would be a gross violation of democracy, law, and logic.

Fifteen years after Dayton, an old question remains unanswered by Mrs. Clinton and other advocates of unitary Bosnia: If Yugoslavia was untenable, and eventually collapsed under the weight of the supposedly insurmountable differences among its constituent nations, how can Bosnia-Herzegovina — the Yugoslav microcosm par excellence — develop and sustain the dynamics of a viable polity, let alone a centralized and unitary state?

Today, Bosnia is not much of a problem, and in any event it is Europe’s problem, not America’s: Bosnia’s future is integration with its immediate and regional neighbors. There are many responsible European officials who privately admit that they do not want Washington charging in and upsetting the applecart, especially since they would have to cope with the consequences. Furthermore, with no end in sight for America’s many foreign quagmires from Mesopotamia and Hindukush to the 38th parallel and beyond, and no end in sight for its ongoing economic, financial, and social-cultural decline, the United States does not have the resources to police and subsidize yet another stepchild “nation-building” project.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and the rest of the Balkans have suffered a lot through history, almost invariably due to some distant powers’ ambitions and policies. They deserve to be left well alone. Hillary, go home!

Below is just an article that gives some background on the recent elections in Bosnia and has an apolitical tone that nonetheless promotes as “progress” the disastrous direction that Trifkovic describes above:

Clinton starts Balkans tour in divided Bosnia

SARAJEVO — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began a two-day Balkans tour with talks with Bosnia’s tripartite presidency where she is expected to push for more unity in the deeply divided country.

Clinton did not speak to journalists before the talks but she is expected to push the Bosnian authorities to work towards a more centralised state a week after elections which failed to heal the country’s ethnic divide.

Pro-reform moderate political parties gained ground in the Muslim-Croat part of the country, but the nationalist Union of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) won comfortably in the Serb entity known as the Republika Srpska.

Bosnian daily Oslobodjenje said that Clinton arrived at the right time “at the moment when Bosnians chose change” at the elections.

It is almost 15 years since the US-brokered Dayton peace accords ended the bloody 1992-95 inter-ethnic war in Bosnia. Since that time the country has made only tiny steps towards healing the deeply entrenched divide between the former enemies, mostly Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs and creating a more centralised state. [Stated as though moving toward a more centralized state was part of the plan all along.]

Post-war Bosnia, divided into the semi-autonomous Muslim Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serbs’ Republika Srpska has been unable to agree on political reforms needed to ensure possible EU and NATO entry.

Clinton will also meet other political leaders later Tuesday, including Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim moderate just elected to the Muslim seat on the tripartite presidency. [Recall the previous Izetbegovic whom the media assured you was a moderate, this man’s father and author of The Islamic Declaration; who asked to be buried “with the shahids”; and who was a young recruiter for Hitler.]

She is expected to call on the different communities to overcome their differences and reinforce the central institutions to facilitate their entry into the European Union.

But last week Milorad Dodik, the newly elected [sic] president of the Republika Srpska, whom Clinton will also meet, rejected calls by the international community for improved relations within Bosnia. [See that? The Serbs are the ones spoiling for everyone the subordination to a Muslim Bosnia.]

In the afternoon Clinton will travel to Belgrade where she will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss the start of the EU-sponsored talks between Serbia and breakaway Kosovo. [At least that Serb’s country has been brought to heel, so this should be a much more relaxed meeting.]

Twelve years after the war in Kosovo and two years after the former Serb province declared independence, Clinton will express US impatience to see a dialogue begin with US involvement. […]

On a related note, don’t let anyone tell you the U.S. doesn’t subjugate people. Again, one need only look at Bosnia. Two people who worked for the UN’s Office of the High Representative there laid it out in an article yesterday, and while we Balkans-watchers know that what the hands of the “international community” have wrought in Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo is an authoritarianism beyond anything their Milosevic bogeyman ever dreamed of, the following should send a chill up the spine of any Free World dweller unfamiliar with the totalitarian methods of the West — including the U.S. — in the Balkans:

Bosnia – the unfortunate case of Dragomir Andan
TransConflict Oct. 12, 2010
By Matthew Parish and Predrag Raosavljevic

The case of Dragomir Andan – who was, until recently, on hunger strike outside the OHR’s regional office in Banja Luka, in protest against his dismissal three years ago – demonstrates the extent to which the OHR has subverted the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The peoples of the former Yugoslavia have long experiences of authoritarianism…Alas it has been Bosnia’s misfortune to find itself the subject of a new form of capricious political authority since 1997. Although extolling the virtues of democratic accountability and rule of law as European Union standards, successive High Representatives have been the embodiment of quite the opposite.

Between 1997 and 2005 OHR took to dismissing public officials without courts, trials, evidence, an opportunity to respond or a right of appeal. Dismissals were coupled with bans from holding any other public office: a severe burden in a country where most good jobs are in the public sector. These bans were expressed to last indefinitely; and the individuals were barred from holding office in a political party. The aim of these draconian techniques was to force Bosnian politicians to go along with the international community’s plans to re-mould the country in an image created abroad: a unified state with a central government that the Dayton Peace Accords never intended to create. The message was clear: if Bosnian officials did not go along with the High Representatives’ agenda, they would be ruined.

In time the chorus of criticism became deafening. Bosnia’s future should not be determined by foreigners; High Representatives should not serve as tin pot dictators. Somebody was listening; and with the arrival of High Representative Christian Schwarz-Schilling in January 2006, suddenly these dismissals stopped. Schwarz-Schilling saw threats and cajoling as counter-productive: sooner or later OHR would have to close, and a sustainable future could not be forged from the furnace of High Representatives’ tyranny. As soon as Schwarz-Schilling delivered this message, Bosnian politicians found themselves unleashed; and there was a dramatic decline in the temper of the country’s political debate. The international community became nervous; it was not sure it wanted Bosnia to plot its own autonomous course bereft of international supervision. Schwarz-Schilling became a scapegoat for the international community’s loss of nerve; and in July 2007, barely 18 months after he arrived, he was fired and replaced by Miroslav Lajcak.

Lajcak’s first priority was to reassert the powers of the High Representative, and get a grip on what the international community perceived as Bosnia’s rapidly deteriorating political climate. The first victim of OHR’s renewed assertiveness was Mr Dragomir Andan, who until recently has been on hunger strike outside the front door of OHR Banja Luka. Mr Andan held the obscure position of Deputy Head of Administration for Police Education in the Ministry of Interior or Republika Srpska. He was not a major political figure; before he was dismissed, nobody had heard of him. The tired reason given for his removal was familiar to many of those who previously felt the High Representatives’ wrath: Mr Andan, while “in a position of responsibility, contributed to shielding war crimes indictees from justice”. It is not clear how being a deputy for the administration of police education meant Mr Andan could help shield Karadzic, Mladic or Hodzic. Indeed Mr Lajcak offered no explanation for this bizarre conclusion. Mr Lajcak fired Mr Andan only 10 days after arriving in the country. He could have had no time to exercise independent judgment on the matter. His staff no doubt had this order pre-prepared, in particular his aggressive Principal Deputy Raffi Gregorian [an American]. They pushed it upon Mr Lajcak in his early days in office. It is testament to his weakness of character that he acceded to this pressure so soon into his new position.

The punishment imposed upon Mr Andan was novel in its cruelty. The police were instructed by Mr Lajcak to investigate unspecified allegations of wrongdoings, and to seize his identity documents until those investigations were concluded. This arcane punishment meant Mr Andan could not travel or even perform basic daily tasks. Without an identity card or passport, citizens cannot open a bank account, obtain a driving license, claim social security benefits or even register a child’s birth. Petrified of suffering the same fate as Mr Andan, the police dared not ever conclude the investigation they had been instructed to commence. More than three years later Mr Andan remains deprived of his identity, robbed of a career in the police and unable to travel.

This pitiless conduct had a political aim: to reassert the authority of the High Representatives after a lull. Ultimately it did not work: Mr Lajcak lost a confrontation with Mr Dodik over OHR’s attempt to change voting in the Council of Ministers in late 2007, and Mr Lajcak seldom used his powers again. His successor Mr Inzko has dismissed virtually nobody. Indeed he has taken to rehabilitating individuals dismissed by his predecessors: a welcome stage in Bosnia’s progress away from an international protectorate to a modern sovereign democracy. Yet Mr Andan’s case, perhaps the most egregious of all High Representatives’ abuses of power, remains outstanding.

We know nothing of Mr Andan and cannot pass judgment on him either way. But if evidence exists that he has committed a crime, OHR should make that evidence public and should ask the local authorities to prosecute him. If found guilty, he will be punished for his misdeeds. Mr Andan will then be given an opportunity to answer the allegations against him. Currently he cannot do so, because neither he nor anyone else outside OHR knows what those allegations are.

If however no evidence exists (as seems likely after three years of inconclusive investigation), Mr Andan should be released from his torment. That is how the rule of law works in a modern European democracy, and OHR has no business subverting these basic standards of human rights in a country whose history has seen too much repression and dictatorship. Messrs Lajcak and Gregorian have moved on, and Mr Inzko can do the right thing without losing face. After he has done so, he should finish the task long overdue and close his organisation as well. In its treatment of Mr Andan OHR has proved itself morally bankrupt and utterly out of place in modern Europe.

The authors are lawyers based in Geneva and Banja Luka. Both formerly worked for the Office of the High Representative, Mr Parish as Head of the Legal Department in OHR Brcko and Mr Raosavljevic as legal officer in OHR Banja Luka.

(Note on Mr. Lajcak: I was surprised to find this bit of sobriety and fairness on his part vis-a-vis Kosovo.)

Did anyone else find it interesting that Iran’s nuclear computer got hacked — and the next day Jimmy Carter checked himself into the hospital? This means that if and when Israel finally bombs Iran’s nukes, it could finally kill the man. Apparently, the news merely upset Jimmah’s stomach and he was released the next day.

The week before, we learned of a summer interview with a Muslim U.S. soldier on al Jazeera:

Muslim-American Soldier at Fort Hood Tells Al Jazeera: U.S. Army Training is ‘Propaganda Against Islam’ (Sep. 16, 2010)

(CNSNews.com) - Zachari Klawonn, a Muslim U.S. Army specialist stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, told the Arabic-language television network Al Jazeera in a recent interview that training he had undergone in the U.S. military was “propaganda against Islam.”

U.S. Army Specialist Klawonn told Al Jazeera he was subject to disrespectful comments and harassment of his property from fellow soldiers and from the Army command itself.

Aww, poor baby! In civilized societies, the way one responds and gets through that is called a character-buiding exercise.

…When Klawoon appeared on Al Jazeera on Aug. 24, the moderator asked, “Could you tell us how this anti-Islam campaign which coincides with the month of Ramadan affected your situation at the Fort Hood base which witnessed a shooting by a former Muslim American soldier? How are you being treated these days?”

“Absolutely,” said Klawonn. “Even before that horrific attack [by Maj. Hasan], the overwhelming sense of Islamophobia was present in the U.S. military. It’s evident within the anti-terrorism training as well as the vibe in the general environment around me, and unfortunately some of the discrimination I have been through is the result of that environment.” […]

Now, people, there’s no Muslim-relevant miltary training that isn’t going to be interpreted negatively by a Muslim. If you prepare our military to defend us against any Muslim aggressors, it will only be seen as an assault. But let’s see: even with all the military mosques and imams — plus the mental gymnastics and curbs to the First Amendment we’ve been engaging in voluntarily to help the Muslims understand that we’re really trying to see them as part of “the human familiy” despite their best efforts to destroy that perception — even the most basic, sanitized, de-Islam-ized version of the training that necessarily deals with the Muslim world is viewed by Muslims as “anti-Islam.” When will our political and military leadership finally understand that they can’t win these people over?

We can’t keep trying to find a middle ground between sanity and insanity, for that’s called lunacy. In order for Muslims to not feel under assault, there would have to be no response to Muslim aggression whatsoever, and actually there would have to be no non-Muslims.

Fortunately for us: Scientists find “Earth-like” planet

Even if you’re sick of hearing about outer space, we think you’re going to agree that this is pretty cool. Astronomers have discovered a new planet that may actually be able to support life. The planet, called Gliese 581g, is about 20 light years away from Earth, so it’s gonna take you a while to get there. However, it does possess a few traits that make it stand out to scientists. According to an article that will be published in Astrophysical Journal, the planet is “squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star.” The habitable zone means that the planet “orbits the star at a distance that allows for the planet to have both liquid water and an atmosphere.” Those are two very important things for [sustainability of] life.

As is lack of Muslims.

I’m there.

Further to my posts about Turkey’s reclaiming the Balkans:

Izetbegovic asks Turkey to continue its role in Balkans (Oct. 6)

Calling Turkey a “powerful and wise big brother” of his nation, Bakir Izetbegovic, the son of Bosnia’s wartime president, applauded Turkey’s constructive policy in the Balkans.

According to the election results, the late wartime President Alija Izetbegovic’s son, Bakir, is set to become one of three presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bakir Izetbegovic led the race for the presidency’s Muslim seat with more than 80 percent of Sunday’s votes counted.

Turkey’s role in the Balkans is growing each day, Izetbegovic told the Anatolia news agency on Tuesday, describing Turkey’s policy in the region as “very powerful and persuasive.” He said: “Turkey has a positive role in the region. It is soothing and introducing appropriate solutions. Turkey is not someone who came to the region by force or without being invited. It [Turkey] is displaying a significant policy both for us and for all countries in the Balkans. I hope that this policy will continue in a more expanded way.”

The president-elect indicated trilateral meetings held among foreign ministers of Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia had yielded significant fruits and that his country would continue to engage in this trilateral process. The meetings were initiated by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in October 2009. In effect, diplomatic relations have improved between the Balkan countries.

“Turkey has already helped us to smooth our relations with Serbia. These meetings should continue,” Izetbegovic said. In Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry was pleased that Sunday’s elections in Bosnia were conducted in conformity with international norms and in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“These elections mark a new era for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The expectation of the people of Bosnia as well as of the international community in this new period is that Bosnia will rapidly and resolutely implement the necessary reforms in line with the European and Euro-Atlantic integration objective,” the ministry said in a written statement released on Tuesday.

Which in the Balkans especially happens to be strikingly similar to the Muslim objective.

***UPDATE***

While we’re on the subject of Turkey in the Balkans, it’s worth noting the affinity that the “non-Muslimy” Albanians demonstrated for Muslim Turkey’s basketball victory over the Serbs last month. While one imagines that anyone’s victory over the Serbian team would have been a cause for Albanian celebration, this victory was greeted with particular animation:

Basketball Match Leads To Violence In Kosovo

Three international peace-keepers and six locals were wounded in Sunday’s violent clashes in Kosovo’s divided town of Mitrovica following Serbia’s loss in a World Basketball Championship match in the Turkish city of Istanbul the previous night, officials said.

The clashes began after hundreds of people from the ethnic Albanian-dominated Muslim southern part of Mitrovica gathered at a bridge on the Ibar river, which separates the two communities, to celebrate Turkey’s semi-final victory over Serbia.

Christian Serbs from the north and Albanians from the south started pelting stones and hurling Molotov cocktails at one another, forcing Kosovo police and European Union security forces to close the bridge to separate the two warring groups.

A spokesman for KFOR [Nato’s peace-keeping mission in Kosovo] strongly condemned the violence, and said two NATO soldiers were wounded in the clashes. Police said that five civilians, a local police officer and a French police officer serving with European Union’s security and justice mission (Eulex) were also injured.

Denouncing the violence, Major-General Erhard Buhler, heading the mission, said Sunday that KFOR would not tolerate any violence in Kosovo and sought the help of Kosovo residents in arresting the trouble-makers.

The violence came just days after Belgrade supported a compromise U.N. resolution on Kosovo, and agreed to a E.U.-backed dialogue with Kosovo to promote reconciliation between the divided communities.

Kosovo, with its 90 per cent ethnic-Albanian majority declared independence from Belgrade in 2008, following nine years of United Nations administration. However, violent ethnic strife, particularly in Kosovo’s Serb-dominated north, continues unabated.

That last sentence of this report — written by “staff” at something called RTT Global Financial Newswires — requires translation: it says that the ethnic strife is particularly in the Serb-dominated north. In other words, the past decade of Serbs getting picked off by Albanians throughout Kosovo one by one and ten by ten — that’s not ethnic strife. In fact, it hasn’t even been worthy of reporting by RTT. Ethnic strife, apparently, only happens in the last place in Kosovo where Serbs haven’t been disarmed to helplessness and reduced to wire-surrounded enclaves, and where they might actually hurl a stone back at the rabid Albanians who have been cleansing them from the province for a century by all means necessary. And, of course, the use of the term “Serb-dominated” is meant to leave the reader with the timeless impression that problems happen where Serbs start them — and that it’s the Albanians being abused by Serbs rather than the other way around.

Finally, the sentence also reveals what we could have assumed: like so many of their clones, the folks at this news outfit only discovered the region in 2008, when Kosovo was back in the headlines upon Albanian secession and laypeople and novices learned the name Northern Mitrovica, the area that needs to be brought to heel, as our bureaucrats briefed them.

Reader George points out a great comment left by a “Leo” under a B92 article about the doomed Bosnian state: “There will still be churches in Banja Luka long after they’ve disappeared from London and Paris.”

One can almost hear the crunch as Karadzic’s shoe crushes this cockroach of a journalist, who — apparently for the first time ever — is called to account for his “reporting” in Bosnia. The fact that the reporter was from Britain’s Sky News, which tends to be a bit more balanced in its reporting than the left-leaning mainstream media underscores a fact I often point out: In the Balkans, there was, and is, no discerning left from right; every last faction of every kind was on the same page.

When the targeted infidel was the Serb — targeted by both our common ancient enemy and our common WWII enemy arisen from history’s ash heap — the rules that apply to the rest of humanity, and the right to survive, do not apply to Serbs. When Serbs were, and are, under siege by what the rest of humanity is under siege by, we call it something else — and blame the Serbs. It’s a statement that the Serbs are not considered part of humanity. In fact, they’re not considered at all.

As BBC paraphrased the late Slobodan Milosevic in 2002 during his trial: “He says the Yugoslavs and the Serbs had only been defending themselves against Bosnian fundamentalists, Croatian fascists and a Europe in thrall to Germany. He said that the Vatican bank had paid for arms for Croatia - and yet while he was treated as a criminal for protecting the Serbs, the Pope remains, as he put it, ‘the Holy Father’.”

(Indeed, one of earth’s most appalling unknown facts is that money the Nazis and Ustashas stole from Holocaust victims was laundered through the Vatican and used not only for the escape and post-war sustenance of fleeing Croatian Nazis (Ustashas) but also later for international lobbying by the Croatian diaspora for Croatian independence, which was built on terrorism; on revival of Nazi-era symbols, currency, racial policies and actual Ustashas (see 7th item at link); on renaming of streets after WWII Nazis; on attempts to rebury Nazis alongside their victims and a successful such reburial; on bombing of Jewish centers and cemeteries; and on racial purification through ethnic cleansing and extermination of those who couldn’t flee. That is to say, fascist Croatia was revived with money stolen by Croatian Nazis from Jews. See p. 18 here.)

But all that was just one of the multi-front assaults the Serbs were contending with simultaneously. Below is an outtake from the Karadzic trial centering on the more ancient and more visibly resurgent assault, the one by Muslims. It reveals the type of character whose thousands of clones in the “independent” Western press we relied upon to bring back the story from Bosnia. Which we believe to this day.

The second day of former Sky News reporter Aernout van Lynden’s testimony at the trial of Radovan Karadzic was more explosive than the first. So it is that day’s report which appears below and which we have thanks only to the existence of Andy Wilcoxson, whom history will also thank — if not in this life then the next. The hearing date was May 20 and Wilcoxson published his report over the summer (it takes a while to get through the transcripts). I’m only now catching my breath after reading it, and sharing it with readers.

Aernout Van Lynden: Propagandist or Perjurer? June 28, 2010

Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden on Thursday May 20th. Van Lynden was a television reporter who advocated Western intervention in the Bosnian war on the side of the Bosnian Muslims. He covered the Bosnian war for Sky News.

Karadzic began by showing van Lynden a combat report from the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Bosnian-Serb Army (VRS). The document (exhibit D195) was dated June 8, 1992 and it corroborated Sefer Halilovic’s (the commander of the ABiH [Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina]) report (exhibit D192) to Alija Izetbegovic on June 17, 1992.

Both reports showed that the Bosnian-Muslims opened fire on the Serbs from Sarajevo and inflicted heavy losses on them – even though they had agreed to a cease fire on June 1st.

When van Lynden saw the Halilovic report he tried to dismiss it by saying, “Military commanders will say a lot of — make a lot of statements to their political leaders.” But when he saw the Serbian document corroborating it he began to complain to the judges.

Van Lynden said, “I’m not a lawyer, but as far as I’m aware, if the Prosecution is going to tender a document, it has to show those documents to the Defense beforehand. If the Defense is going to put forward a document, the Prosecution has to see it beforehand. But I have not seen any of these documents, and surely a witness has certain rights as well. How am I meant to react instantaneously to documents that I have never seen before?”

Judge Kwon told the witness, “I don’t think the Tribunal has the rule the witness has to be shown the documents he’s going to see during the course of cross-examination.”

Van Lynden persisted in his complaining saying, “I think witnesses should also have rights to see certain documents. Mr. Karadzic could have been polite enough to show me those documents when I went to the prison to visit him.”

Karadzic told the witness, “[It’s not the] document that I’m asking you about. It’s really the events, and you reported on these events quite contrary to what is stated here. At no point was it said that there was an exchange of fire. From your reporting one could not even divine that there were any Serb victims [or] that the Muslims were the ones who had actually started the fighting.”

Van Lynden was full of excuses for why his reporting from Sarajevo wasn’t accurate. He said, “You expect me, on one side of the war zone, on one side of the front-lines, to hop over backwards and forwards to find out precisely what’s happening on the other side. That is a ridiculous expectation of any war correspondent in any war zone. You are reporting from one side or the other.” He said, “I couldn’t see the whole of Sarajevo continually. Nor do I have eyes in the back of my head, Your Honour.” Adding, “You can’t be everywhere simultaneously. It’s a large drawn-out city, Sarajevo, and that should be borne in mind.”

An example of van Lynden’s false war reporting was his reportage on the fighting in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Otes.

In van Lynden’s December 5, 1992 report (exhibit P937) for Sky News he says, “Otes burns. Four days after the Serbs launch their offensive, Sarajevo western suburb falls into their hands.”

After Karadzic showed the witness VRS combat reports and an Italian TV report saying that the Muslims attacked the Serbs from Otes and that the Serbs captured the neighborhood in a counter-offensive, van Lynden admitted “In all honesty, I don’t know who began that particular engagement at Otes at the beginning of December 1992.”

The explanation wasn’t good enough for Karadzic. He asked the witness, “What was stated was that Otes fell into Serb hands four days after the Serbs had launched an offensive, and that harmed us, and it’s not true; right?”

Van Lynden attempted to shift the blame to the UN saying, “We reported on the basis of the information that we were given by the United Nations forces in Sarajevo at the time.”

Again, the answer wasn’t good enough. Karadzic pressed the witness for more information. He asked, “Can you please be a bit more specific. Who was it that gave you that information?”

Van Lynden had no answer. He said, “I don’t remember precisely who that was.” But he tried to make excuses for himself saying, “To remember every single conversation and who gave us that information 18 years later, I’m sorry, I don’t know the precise detail.”

Obviously, that’s not a satisfactory explanation. Van Lynden’s report is a prosecution exhibit in the trial, and now he says he doesn’t know where the information in it came from.

Juka Prazina

Karadzic showed the witness a report (exhibit D208) written by the BH Ministry of Defense and dated June 1, 1992.

The report dealt with Juka Prazina and his unit in Sarajevo. It said, “A significant number of shells that landed on this territory [Sarajevo] from the [Serbian] aggressor’s positions” because Prazina and his men “opened fire and provoked the aggressors”. The report said, “a large number of apartments and buildings were hit and some people injured and killed” because of that.

The report said “Last night, around 2200 hours, Juka’s guys installed a PAM on a confiscated Pinzgauer, and yesterday, in broad daylight, they opened fire towards Nedzarici while a large number of people were walking around in that settlement, men, women, and children. And then they repeated this again around 2200 hours, targeting the crew of the tanks on Mojmilo Hill, on which occasion a machine-gun opened fire from a transporter, and then seven or eight shells were launched from the Zavnobih Square on the Lukavica Road, on which occasion there was some material damage, and thousands of people had to seek shelter in their cellars.”

After seeing the report the witness said, “I was never taken by them into actual positions where they were shooting. I did not ever witness that, so I cannot confirm or deny this statement.”

Karadzic then proceeded to show the court a document (which they refused to exhibit because the witness couldn’t speak to it [part of the tribunal’s new rules]) from the BH Presidency dated September 11, 1992 promoting Juka Prazina to the rank of general in the ABiH on account of his “patriotic display of war skills”.

After seeing the document van Lynden said, “When I interviewed and saw Jusuf Prazina, he never told me he was a general. He and his men simply called themselves defenders of Sarajevo. As you, yourself, pointed out, and as I pointed out yesterday, in my report I made clear that this was a man with a criminal record. There is nothing further that I can say about this.”

Karadzic put his case to the court that “Juka Prazina is a symptom. The Presidency that appointed him to the Main Staff of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, knowing full well who he was. I’m talking here about a state that asked us to be subjugated to a social-political system in which Juka Prazina was a general.”

Karadzic also showed the witness a document written by [ABiH Chief of Staff] Rashim Delic (exhibit D209) showing that the Bosnian-Muslims opposed the demilitarization of Sarajevo. Delic wrote that the “demilitarization of Sarajevo is out of the question”.

Igman & Trebevic

Karadzic asked the witness, “Mr. van Lynden, do you know who held Igman from the beginning until the end? This part above Hrasnica, who held that area?”

The witness answered, “The Bosnian Army.” Adding, “I never personally witnessed artillery fire from Mount Igman onto Sarajevo. And from our position at the military hospital, in the periods that we were there, if there was fire from Mount Igman, it would have been practically impossible for us to film, because it’s way out to the west from the position that we had.”

Karadzic showed the witness an excerpt from Rashim Delic’s book where it said, “Jusuf Prazina fired from Igman during the course of one day only, about 300 projectiles, 130 millimeter and 82- millimeter mortars. Also, during two or three days only, several thousand 120-millimetre shells were fired from Igman, twice as many as could have been provided to other army units.”

In addition Karadzic showed the witness the combat report of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the VRS for the same period which said, “The enemy [Muslims] fired artillery pieces from Igman and Hrasnica against Ilidza, Hadzici, Vojkovici, Lukavica, the Slobodan Princip Seljo Barracks, and positions of the 1st and 2nd Sarajevo Brigade. Over 300 shells were fired, and a great deal of material damage was inflicted … Two fighters were killed and nine wounded; two of them seriously. At Ilidza, 15 women and children were wounded.”

After seeing the Serbian and Muslim documents the witness said, “I do not remember being informed of that. I was in the Bosnian Army-controlled part of Sarajevo at that time[.]” He explained, “While we were on one side of the front-lines, we report what we know of there.”

Because van Lynden was ignorant of the contents of the documents they were not admitted as exhibits in the trial, which is problematic because they impeach his credibility. His testimony is that the Bosnian Army was practically unarmed, but these documents show the contrary.

After van Lynden incorrectly identified a Muslim position on Mt. Trebevic as a Serbian position, Karadzic asked the witness, “Do you think, since you reported on those events, that you were supposed to know who held which position exactly?” And Van Lynden answered, “In no war zone do the forces give you precise locations of where their forces are stationed or precise front-lines.” He said, “Your forces took me on Mount Trebevic, Mr. Karadzic. They showed me their positions along — over the — on the mountain overlooking Sarajevo. At no time was I informed by your forces, Look over there, that’s where the Bosnian Army is; therefore, we are in danger here, or we are being shot at from these places on Mount Trebevic.”

Of course it’s a matter of public information that Musan Topalovic “Caco” held positions for the Bosnian Army on Mt. Trebevic. That is where the famous Kazani pit is located where he sadistically butchered and beheaded his Serbian victims. A Google search for Caco and Trebevic is illuminating. The Serbs had positions up there too, but they didn’t have the whole thing like van Lynden seemed to think.

When Karadzic showed van Lynden a VRS document dated September 7, 1992 describing the heavy gunfire emanating from Sarajevo that the Serbs were subjected to van Lynden said, “It wasn’t mentioned to me, as I recall at the time, nor was I taken there to be shown, by either people from your government or from your army, that this was taking place.”

“You never told me” was van Lynden’s standard cop-out answer. Of course nobody knows what van Lynden was told. Van Lynden didn’t bring any of his notes or raw footage to court so there is no way to corroborate what anyone told him.

Green Berets & Mobile Mortars

Van Lynden testified that the Green Berets were “a figment of Serb imagination.” He said “I never saw units of people with green berets walking around in Sarajevo in June 1992.” Therefore, van Lynden believes they must only exist in the Serbian imagination.

Of course there are thousands of pages of documents from Serbian, Croatian, Muslim, and UN sources testifying to the existence of Bosnian-Muslim “Green Beret” paramilitary units acting at the behest of the BH Presidency. The Tribunal itself has established their existence (See paragraph 119 in the November 16, 1998 judgment in the Delalic et al., trial under Background and Preliminary Factual Findings).

Another thing that van Lynden conveniently “didn’t see” was mobile mortar launchers in Sarajevo. Karadzic asked him, “Do you know, Mr. van Lynden, that Sarajevo was full of legitimate targets, and also that the Muslim forces used trucks in order to open fire at our positions, and then they would leave that particular location?”

Van Lynden replied, “I’m aware that this happens. I have not seen, myself, a truck with a mortar mounted on it while I was in Sarajevo.”

Iranian involvement? Van Lynden didn’t see that in Bosnia either. He told the court, “I did not report, because I was not aware of any co-operation between the Bosnian Army and Iran and Pakistan, no.”

Again, there are reams of evidence about this. “The Iranian Green light Subcommittee” in the US congress put out a 500 page report on the subject 14 years ago that said, “Iran ordered senior members of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the elite force used to advance militant Islam, to travel to Bosnia to survey the military needs of the government. IRGC trainers taught the Muslims how to use anti-tank missiles and helped with troop logistics and weapons factories. The IRGC also incorporated religious indoctrination into military training. Iran used this leverage to urge Hizballah to send foreign fighters to the region as members of the Mujahideen. The effort was successful and a force of thousands drawn from several pro-Iranian groups and other Islamic Opposition movements assembled in Bosnia.” Iran provided the Izetbegovic regime with two-thirds of its weaponry. (See: US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Final Report of the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia; October 10 & 25, 1996; Pg. 543-545)

There were thousands of foreign mujahadeen in Bosnia and Iran was providing the Muslims with two-thirds of their weapons, and van Lynden says he was “not aware” of it. That seems hard to believe. Just like it’s difficult to believe that he really thinks the Green Berets were a figment of the Serbian imagination.

A complete transcript of this hearing is available at:
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/100520ED.htm

The following day’s proceedings concluded Karadzic’s cross-examination of van Lynden:

Van Lynden Gives a New Meaning to Being “Arrested”

Radovan Karadzic continued to cross-examine British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden on Friday, May 21, 2010.

JNA Military Hospital in Sarajevo

Van Lynden stayed in the former JNA Military Hospital in Sarajevo while he was covering the Bosnian war for Sky News. Karadzic asked him, “Bakir Nakas was the director of the hospital from the 10th of May [1992] onwards when the Yugoslav People’s Army had left the hospital. Up until then, it was the property of the Yugoslav People’s Army, and it was guarded by a small JNA unit. That unit got killed. All of its members got killed on the 2nd of May. Did you know about that?”

Van Lynden replied saying, “I was not there at the beginning of May, so I cannot comment on something that I did not bear witness to.” Although he did testify for the prosecution that the “hospital had been targeted for fire before” he got there.

Van Lynden also said, “I’m not aware of the hospital being taken over by the Muslim side. Throughout my time in — in Sarajevo, within the hospital, Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox worked in that hospital.”

As it turns out, the JNA military hospital was the site of fighting between the JNA and Muslim paramilitaries. The Muslims did take the hospital over, and the UN had to evacuate the staff from Sarajevo.

The London Guardian reported on the fighting at the hospital in their May 8, 1992 edition. Reporter Maggie O’Kane described it as the “besieged Yugoslav army military hospital, which is surrounded by the Bosnian territorial army”. Her report said, “In an evacuated ward on the ninth floor [the Hospital director] can point to a building in the centre of town where the Bosnian territorials have set up their mortar positions. In the corner, pillows and blankets have been stuffed into the hole made by a rocket on Wednesday night.”

In its May 11, 1992 edition the London Times reported on the expulsion of the hospital staff. Reporter Tim Judah wrote: “Among those beginning their journey out of Bosnia yesterday were staff from Sarajevo’s military hospital. ‘I have worked here for 32 years and now I must go back to Serbia, where I have no home,’ a doctor said.”

It was the Muslims, not the Serbs, who targeted the hospital with mortar fire before van Lynden’s arrival, and when the Muslims took the hospital over they expelled the staff. That’s what happened, and it’s remarkable that van Lynden didn’t know about that. It was common knowledge in Sarajevo, and it was even reported in the London Times and the London Guardian – arguably the two most prominent newspapers in Britain – and van Lynden is a British reporter.

What is on van Lynden’s Film? Van Lynden Doesn’t Know.

The prosecution exhibited several of van Lynden’s TV reports, so Karadzic played back one of Van Lynden’s reports and asked him about the footage. He said, “Right. Where those explosions are. Half to the right, south-west of where you were. Is that where the Serb settlement of Vraca was or is?”

Van Lynden couldn’t answer the question. He said, “Your Honors, this is edited pictures, edited without my presence. Without me seeing the entire film, I can not precisely say what that one shot was. I can’t answer that question. You may be right, but I don’t know.”

“Arrested” by the Bosnian Serbs

Van Lynden testified that he reported mostly from the Muslim side of the war because the Bosnian-Serbs arrested him. He angrily told Karadzic, “When we went to Pale and tried to film there from your side, we were arrested again and again. We could never work. Now, that’s not my fault. That’s your fault.” He said, “Every single time we left the Pension Olympic [hotel in Pale] we were arrested. How were we meant to be able to report on Serb losses?”

When Karadzic asked him to explain his so-called “arrests” van Lynden said, “I meant ‘arrested’ in the sense that we were not allowed to go to [the] front lines to film. There were military units that we were not allowed to film at. We were not allowed to drive on, and we were told to go back to Pale. In the strict sense of the word, you’re right. We were stopped and sent back. We weren’t put in jail, for instance, no.”

He wasn’t arrested at all. This isn’t an innocent difference in semantics; it was a bald-faced lie. When an English-speaking person says they’ve been arrested they mean that they were captured and imprisoned by the authorities, not that they were stopped and told to go back where they came from. Secondly, general Mladic personally took van Lynden to the Serbian frontline to film and the videotape is exhibit P933 in the trial.

Karadzic on the Enclaves

In his testimony for the prosecution van Lynden said that Karadzic told him “that the enclaves were unacceptable, that they had to become part of Serb territory.”

Karadzic asked him, “Do you agree that on all maps the territory that you call enclaves was accepted by the Serbs to be in Muslim-held territory, the Cutileiro map, the Vance-Owen map, then Owen-Stoltenberg, that map was accepted. In all these maps, and primarily in Cutileiro’s map, we accepted that that would be Muslim territory?”

Van Lynden’s response was, “I was asked what you had said to me when we met, and I — as I, to the best of my knowledge recall, you said that they were not acceptable. What you did elsewhere I was not asked about.”

Of course this intrepid TV reporter didn’t have the camera running when Karadzic said that[,] so Karadzic said that maybe his notes from the discussion would help his memory and the witness said, “I do not know if I wrote notes about those meetings, Mr. Karadzic. I do not remember.”

Testifying Makes van Lynden “Uncomfortable”

Even though Karadzic wasn’t done with the cross-examination van Lynden figured that he had testified long enough so he made it clear that he didn’t want to come back for more. He told the judges, “I think the accused has had a great deal of time to question me.” He said, “I don’t know if Your Honors have been a witness at a Tribunal ever in your own lives. It is not a comfortable experience.”

Before he left van Lynden took one departing jab at Karadzic. He said, “In my experience of this court, I have never encountered such muddled questioning and heard so many comments made by the accused or by the representative of the accused, and that, as Your Honours yourselves have pointed out to the accused, has wasted a great [deal] of time. That’s his decision. That’s not my fault.” […]

Van Lynden returned to the courtroom a few weeks later as an expert witness, and the day turned out as entertaining as his first:

The Prosecution Calls Its First Expert Witness

British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden was recalled to the witness stand at the Radovan Karadzic trial on Monday, May 31, 2010 to complete his testimony. Van Lynden was a war correspondent for Sky News who covered the Bosnian war and advocated Western military intervention against the Bosnian Serbs in his news reports.

No Notes or Raw Footage

Again, Van Lynden came to court unprepared. He refused to disclose his notebooks. He awkwardly explained to the court, “As I told the Court when I was last here, the diaries — or my notebooks, rather, I don’t have diaries, my notebooks are not in my possession. All our property is currently held in storage, and I — that’s held in the Netherlands, and I have not been in the Netherlands, and, no, I have not been into the storage.”

Of course van Lynden was making excuses, and bad ones at that. “I haven’t been in the Netherlands” isn’t a very good excuse when you’re sitting in a chair in the Netherlands, which is where The Hague is located.

All van Lynden had to offer were his 18-year-old recollections and the 2-minute news reports he edited for Sky News. Karadzic asked him “So at least an hour of film was reduced to two or three minutes; right?” and Van Lynden said, “That’s the process.” The only material van Lynden had in court was the two or three minute clips he edited, the hours of footage he made those clips from were not available.

Trust Me: I Have Sources

…When van Lynden testified on May 20th he couldn’t remember who his sources in the UN were. He said, “I don’t remember precisely who that was” adding “To remember every single conversation and who gave us that information 18 years later, I’m sorry, I don’t know the precise detail.”

Although van Lynden claimed that these unnamed individuals in the UN were a key source of his information, he didn’t consider the reports written by the commanders of the UN Protection Force, General [Bernard] Janvier and General [Michael] Rose in particular, to be credible.

Gorazde

According to van Lynden, “When we met General Rose in March 1994 in Sarajevo after having been in Pale, we informed him that we had had information while in Pale that [UN-protected Muslim enclave] Gorazde would be attacked by the forces under General Mladic in April 1994. General Rose’s reaction at that time was that how could we know such a thing and that we were wrong, and we said we did not know for certain but that we had spoken to certain people while we were in Pale [who] had warned us that this was going to happen.” He explained, “We had heard, not on the streets but from, let’s say, more informed contacts that specifically Jaksa Scekic (van Lynden’s producer) had built up there that an attack on Gorazde by General Mladic was likely in April, and we simply passed that on to General Rose and were slightly surprised by his reaction at the time, because he dismissed it out of hand, which of course it’s his right to do, but as it turned out, we were right and the information was correct.”

Karadzic put it to van Lynden that the media misrepresented what happened in Gorazde and to that end he read an excerpt from General Rose’s book which said:

“My own theory is that this misrepresentation of the truth did little to stem the tide of propaganda. The perception of many US east coast commentators is that during the fighting in Gorazde [the] UN deliberately misled the world about what happened, underestimated the scale of the disaster, and was economical with the truth. I explained that most of the damaged houses in Gorazde revealed by US air reconnaissance had not been destroyed in the fighting that took place in the town in April 1994. They had been destroyed in 1992 when the Muslims drove the Serbs from the town and surrounding area. These former Serb homes had no roofs, window frames, or doors, and had been stripped of all furniture and fittings. Many of them had been torched. They were demonstrably not buildings recently subjected to shelling. Today, the UN still stands condemned for having underplayed the damage done by the Serbs in Gorazde.”

After seeing what General Rose had written about Gorazde van Lynden said, “To the precise nature of what happened to the buildings that General Rose is referring to, I don’t know. I don’t think that General Rose was in Gorazde in 1992, either, so I don’t think he knows.” [As] if the UNPROFOR commander didn’t have people in the field who reported back to him about what had happened.

Karadzic also read out a report written by General Janvier which said: “Similar to what happened in Gorazde (spring 94) the BiH can attempt to draw UNPROFOR (including the rapid reaction forces) of NATO into the conflict on the BiH side. Sudden abandoning of positions along the confrontation line, the simulation of a collapse of the enclave, or alarming reports from Bosnian side on the situation in the enclaves, will be indicators for this.”

After seeing Janvier’s report van Lynden said, “What we had warned General Rose about in March 1994 was that what we had been told while we were in Pale. We know that fighting took place at April 1994 around the Gorazde enclave. That we can agree. Do I know the precise nature of that fighting? No, I wasn’t there at the time. My only — I cannot react to what — Janvier is saying this for reasons best known to General Janvier.”

Karadzic asked, “Are you challenging the observations made by General Janvier?” and Van Lynden replied, “I can absolutely not confirm them.” He said, “I have not witnessed the Bosnian forces behaving in the manner described by General Janvier.”

For the record, David Harland (former head of UN civil affairs in Bosnia) gave very similar testimony about Gorazde to what is contained in Janvier’s report when he testified on May 10, 2010. Namely that the Muslims tried to trick the Serbs into firing on UN peacekeepers there in order to provoke Western military intervention against the Serbs.

It’s interesting to note that van Lynden cites the UN as an important and credible source of his information when he’s condemning the Serbs, but as soon as UN sources reveal anything unflattering about the Muslims he doesn’t believe them anymore.

Karadzic asked van Lynden if he knew that the Bosnian-Serb attack on Gorazde in April 1994 was in response to Muslim attacks emanating out of the enclave.

Van Lynden replied saying, “It’s clear, Mr. Karadzic, that for you everything is only ever a counter-offensive. No one ever shot at the Bosnians until the Bosnians shot at the Serbs.

“I’m sure that there were instances where the Bosnians did shoot first, leading to a counter-attack. Was I in Gorazde at that time? No, I wasn’t. Is the information that I’ve just given to this Court correct that we were told in Pale in March 1994 that an attack was likely in April on Gorazde, yes, that information is correct, and did such an attack occur? Yes, it did. Can I say absolutely that it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth that this was not to a degree a counter-offensive? No, I can’t.”

Of course we don’t know who in Pale allegedly told van Lynden of the impending attack on Gorazde because van Lynden never identified those people in his testimony as anything more precise than “informed contacts” and “certain people” who told him.

Van Lynden Takes offense to General Rose’s Book

Karadzic read another quote from General Rose’s book which said: “Many journalists in Sarajevo also supported the war option, either because they believed that it was morally right to engage in some form of holy war against the Serbs or else because images of war sell better than those of peace. A journalist working for a leading London newspaper summed up this view when he told Simon Shadbolt (Gen. Rose’s aide) that he did not care about the facts or the UN argument in favor of peace, his object was to get the West involved in a war in Bosnia.”

Van Lynden reacted to the passage from General Rose’s book with outrage. He said, “I absolutely do not believe that any journalist that I ever encountered in Bosnia believed in any kind of holy war against the Serbs. That’s something in the Serb figment of the imagination. That’s utter nonsense. And an unnamed journalist working for a leading London newspaper, I’m surprised General Rose could write such things. I really cannot comment further on that. I’m pretty outraged to read something like that.”

Van Lynden’s hypocrisy is striking to say the least. Is the unnamed journalist in General Rose’s book supposed to be somehow worse than Van Lynden’s unnamed sources at the UN, or his “informed contacts” and “certain people” who he said warned him about an impending attack on Gorazde?
In it’s own pathetic way, van Lynden’s testimony was entertaining – if for no other reason than to see what he’d say next. General Rose was British, his assistant Simon Shadbolt was also British, and the journalist that General Rose referred to in his book was British too. But van Lynden said the phenomenon that General Rose was describing was a figment of the Serb imagination.

To that end, van Lynden himself would have to be a figment of the Serbian imagination because the clear intention of van Lynden’s reports was to drag the West into the Bosnian war. That is clear from the things he said on television.

Van Lynden Complains All the Way out the Door

Before van Lynden left he complained to the judges about the cross-examination. He complained that Karadzic was indecent for not letting him in on his cross-examination strategy ahead of time. Van Lynden said, “It was noticeable to me or it has been during these days that none of the questions I was posed when I met Mr. Karadzic in prison were ever asked in the court and that he could have shown me the decency and the courtesy of showing me the documents that he was going to bring before me in the court, but he did not do so. This is strange to me, because Prosecution and Defense have the right to see documents, and I do not understand why a witness should not have that right as well.”

Van Lynden’s complaining betrays his intentions. From his complaining one can conclude that he would have testified differently if he had known what Karadzic had in store for him. The job of a witness is to tell the truth to the best of their knowledge, and that shouldn’t change no matter what the intention of the person doing the cross-examination is. The truth is the truth, and the witness knows what they know. The witness’s answers to the questions shouldn’t change based on the information that the witness knows the person asking the questions has at their disposal. It is obvious that van Lynden’s intent was to mislead and that his testimony was disingenuous, and that he was upset because Karadzic exposed him.

A complete transcript of this hearing is available at: http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/100531ED.htm

Related is testimony from just this week by General Michael Rose. From Italian news agency Adnkronos International:

Bosnia: ‘Many countries violated UN arms embargo during war’

The Hague, 8 Oct. (AKI) – Many western and Muslim countries had violated the United Nations arms embargo during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, a prosecution witness told the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday.

Former British general Michael Rose, testifying in the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told the court that implementation of the arms embargo was a “task of NATO and the United States”.

“UN forces had no intelligence capacity and their main task was to supply humanitarian aid to civilians in Bosnia,” said Rose, who served as chief of the UN’s peacekeepers in Bosnia in 1994.

Rose said he saw an Iranian plane with a cargo of arms landing in the Croatian capital Zagreb, on its way to Bosnia, but the UN peackeeping mission “had no mandate to conduct an investigation to determine whether [the] arms embargo was violated,” he added. [The UN’s frustrations in working around the US’s surreptitious facilitating of illegal Muslim weapons shipments is outlined in this 2002 UK Guardian article.]

Wartime Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic at one meeting complained to United States general Wesley Clark that the Muslim army was being supplied with American uniforms and equipment, Rose stated.

“Clark didn’t deny this,” he said.

“Fifteen years later, it turned out that many countries had violated UN arms embargo,” Rose said during cross-examination by Karadzic, who is conducting his own defence. […]

In her loving tribute to Joseph Sobran, an anti-Semitic writer whom I was privileged to discover only after he died last week, Ann Coulter lists some of her favorite quotes of his.

I found this one to be an interesting inclusion:

On Buckley’s book “In Search of Anti-Semitism”: “Its real message is not that we should like or respect Jews; only that we should try not to hate them. But this implies that anti-Semitism is the natural reaction to them: If it’s a universal sin, after all, it must be a universal temptation. … When he defends Jews, I sometimes feel like saying: ‘Bill! Bill! It’s all right! They’re not that bad!’”

It was Sobran’s pathological hatred of Israel that led to his and William F. Buckley’s parting of the ways at National Review in the 1980s. As the NY Times obituary about him summed it up: “Mr. Sobran’s isolationist views on American foreign policy and Israel became increasingly extreme. He took a skeptical line on the Holocaust and said the Sept. 11 terror attacks were a result of American foreign policy in the Middle East, which he believed that a Jewish lobby directed.”

When Sobran tried to camouflage himself as a “critic” of Israel, Chuck Morse was among those who demonstrated that Sobran goes well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel.

While I get that the Sobran quote’s cleverness lies in turning Buckley’s accusation around on him, the fact is that, yes, anti-Semitism is a universal temptation. But it didn’t occur to Coulter or her dead Jew-hating pal that the pull of anti-Semitism is less a statement about Jews than a timeless fact about the world around them, something everyone was supposed to finally understand after WWII. This is simply how God set the Jews up — as a constant test for humanity. Most failed then, and they’ll fail again — even with an information superhighway at their fingertips debunking every myth and libel.

But such is the man whom Ann Coulter is proud to have called her friend. I don’t think she’s anywhere near as bad as Sobran vis-a-vis the Jews, but it appears in this instance that one can indeed judge a person to some extent by the company she keeps. Which takes me back to 2007, when I defended Coulter against charges of anti-Semitism in response to her telling television host Donny Deutsch that Christianity is a perfection of Judaism.

I wrote that it was natural for a practitioner of any religion to be a supremacist for that religion (as long as it doesn’t come at anyone’s expense). That is, Hindus think they’ve got it right; Buddhists feel they have the answers; Jews know that Judaism does; and we know how Muslims feel about Islam. So why should Christians not hold Christianity supreme — the way every other religion holds itself? Especially in the context of the breathtaking and over-tolerated ethnically-coded supremacy movements — often at Christianity’s and traditionalism’s expense — why shouldn’t Christians indulge in a little self-esteem boost like everyone else?

But perhaps Coulter’s 2007 remark was more telling than I realized. This was the other quote that was of interest:

Ironically perhaps, I’ve often used a Sobran observation to explain why I have a greater affinity to Israel than to the Muslim world after 9/11: Watching a death-match fight on Animal Planet once, Joe said he found himself instinctively rooting for the mammal over the reptile.

I take the “ironically perhaps” to be a nod to the fact that her friend was a hater of the Jewish State. But gee, Ann — only after 9/11 do you have a greater affinity for Israel than for the Muslim world? The decades of flying infant appendages as Palestinians sought to inflict maximum casualties on the civilian Jewish population hadn’t otherwise struck a chord with you? Not to mention the by-then countless atrocities committed by Muslims against Americans and other Westerners by 9/11? Prior to 9/11, the Muslim world hadn’t struck you as an entirely foreign culture whose values were quite opposite to ours?

At least she recognizes Jews as mammals. Thanks, bitch.

And for the record, Christianity isn’t a perfected form of Judaism — it’s an easier, watered-down one. Which is why I prefer it myself.

Meanwhile, hating Israel as Sobran did wasn’t very Christian. In contrast, Coulter appears to be a good Christian vis-a-vis Israel, but she’s not particularly a fan of the Jew.

I otherwise noticed, in Coulter’s list of catchy Sobran quotes, that not a single one was about Islam or Muslims. That is, there is nothing in Sobran’s memorable quotes addressing the greatest existential threat of our time. Like most of the rest of our “sages,” Sobran — and Coulter’s tribute to him — steered completely clear of that. Some visionary he was. Sounds about as risk-taking as the latter seasons of “24.”

She did, however, credit Sobran with telling her that “your enemies can never hurt you, only your friends can.” He told her this “in reference to his treatment by Buckley.”

Coulter appears to agree that the “treatment” was undeserved. But it was Sobran who first attacked Buckley in a traditionalist Roman Catholic newspaper for not letting him freely spew about Jews in National Review. And who depicted Buckley, according to the Times obit, as “kowtowing to Manhattan’s social elite.” In response to which Buckley wrote a letter stating that the column “gives evidence of an incapacitation moral and perhaps medical.”

While we’re on the subject of traditional Catholicism, it appears that neither Sobran nor Coulter stopped to think that the “universal temptation” toward anti-Semitism which they laugh about might have something to do with centuries of indoctrination by the Catholic Church (and other churches) to hate Jews.

The “universal temptation” quote ending with “Bill! They’re not that bad!” manages to defend Jews and justify anti-Semitism all in one — at the expense of a man who was better than Sobran and Coulter combined. Not just because Buckley apparently liked Jews, but because he had the ability to not turn hostile to them as a people despite the fact that a vast majority of them had an irrational and bottomless scorn for his way of thinking.

The main effect that learning the name Joe Sobran this week has had on me is to love William F. Buckley. That is the gift of Sobran’s passing.

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