June 2012

Forty-two-year-old Alexander Cvetkovic, accused of Srebrenica-related war crimes, is an Israeli citizen who is ethnically Serb. The latter usually means his chances of avoiding extradition to a Bosnian show trial aren’t good. Political expediency has been the rule governing all world governments facing Bosnian-Muslim demands for war crimes extraditions, based on dubious howls of “genocide.” So dubious that laws have been enacted in Europe to enforce the belief that extrajudicial executions of Muslim soldiers are on par with the Holocaust.

And so the world’s political classes sit on their haunches to see if Jewish Israel passes the test and gives Muslim Bosnia what it wants. Or if, as the alternative is likely to be interpreted, Jews “still think they have the monopoly on genocide.” But if Srebrenica is the barometer, they certainly do, as will be laid out here. For now, the question is: Will Israel try to join the world club that will never have it, a club in which due process is due to all but Serbs?

Last August, Judge Amnon Cohen of the Jerusalem District Court easily ruled against Cvetkovic to honor Bosnia’s request. Cvetkovic appealed, and that Supreme Court hearing took place last Monday. Oral arguments were heard, and the final decision will be handed down in a couple months. With that deadline looming, it’s worth excerpting an April Jerusalem Post column by Stephen Karganovic, president of the Dutch NGO Srebrenica Historical Project, warning that Israel’s decision will have implications for Israeli soldiers as well (emphasis added):

…Alexander Cvetkovic, a native of the Republic of Srpska [Bosnia’s Serb Republic], now citizen of Israel, is in detention in the Ramla prison awaiting resolution of an extradition request…. [D]uring the Bosnian civil war [Cvetkovic] was a member of a unit of the Army of the Republic of Srpska called the 10th sabotage detachment and he is charged with taking part in an episode at a site called Pilica where several hundred Muslim prisoners of war are alleged to have been shot. When authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina found out that he was residing in Israel, they accused him of genocide and other war crimes and submitted a request for his extradition.

For the past 20 years Cvetkovic has been married to a Ukrainian Jewish woman and has two sons with her. His wife immigrated to Israel and is now an Israeli citizen, and so are their children. Cvetkovic acquired Israeli citizenship through his wife and has been living in Israel with his family since 2006.

Following an adverse first instance decision, the defense headed by Jerusalem public defender Vadim [Shub] geared up for its last shot at blocking extradition at the June 25 Israeli Supreme Court hearing before the matter lands on the desk of the Minister of Justice.

The case raises some disturbing issues if this Israeli citizen is handed over to Sarajevo authorities. Serious misgivings have been raised as to whether a non-Muslim accused of grave war crimes against Muslims can expect to receive a fair trial there. The record of the Sarajevo war crimes court and prosecution is abysmal. Some of the major problems bear mentioning.

The overwhelming majority of indictees are predictably non-Muslim (133 Serbs, 21 Croats, and only 29 Muslims). They generally receive lengthy sentences, compared to minimal punishment meted out to the relatively few Muslims who were tried for crimes committed during the Bosnian war 1992-1995…The defense are allowed scant resources for adequate personnel and investigation as they face a well funded and staffed prosecution machine. Witness intimidation by the prosecutor is standard procedure, and dozens of prosecution witnesses were threatened with being put on trial themselves unless they gave evidence to fit the prosecution’s case. Some have already come out with disturbing stories of pressure and blackmail.

One notorious such case was on March 17, 2011, involving protected witness S-101 in the Dusko Jevic Srebrenica-related genocide trial. At one point, the witness refused to answer any further questions and, turning to the judge, he asked, “May I now finally start to tell the truth?” Then, in open court, he spilled the beans on the strong-arm tactics used by prosecutor Ibro Bulic and his investigators to extract false testimony against the defendants, which witness S-101 publicly retracted to the enormous embarrassment of the chamber and the prosecution.

(Please note that this State War Crimes Court in Sarajevo, which was set up in 2005 to take some of the load from the tribunal at The Hague, very much reflects the “standards” of the latter.)

But that is only the tip of the legal iceberg when it comes to the dangers posed by [J]udge Cohen’s ruling in favor of Bosnia….From the standpoint of the Israeli national interest, a fundamental dilemma posed by the extradition is the highly problematic precedent it would set for Israel. This situation appears to be distinguishable from past extraditions of Israeli citizens. The other cases involved mostly common crimes; this one is based on accusations of very serious breaches of international law and acts against humanity, including a controversial charge of genocide.

While Israel is understandably sensitive to charges of genocide and is loath to be perceived as shielding a potential culprit for that offense, there is a serious cautionary argument to be made. Israeli soldiers and officials are themselves subjects of grave accusations leveled by the other side in the Middle Eastern conflict, and a precedent of this nature could function greatly to their detriment.

Equally concerning is the thinness of the prima facie evidence submitted by the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to support their extradition request. It is based in large part on the questionable evidence of [an ethnic Croat named] Drazen Erdemovic, wartime member of the same unit to which Cvetkovic belonged, who after arrest made an advantageous deal for himself with the ICTY prosecution, [receiving a negligible sentence, along with a lifelong pension and changed identity, in return for repeating his dubious story at all Srebrenica trials to incriminate others].

Erdemovic is the Sarajevo war crimes court’s chief accuser. But as doubts have surged in relation to the many holes and contradictions in his courtroom narrative, Erdemovic has not been used at all as a viva voce witness in Sarajevo. Only the transcripts of his previous ICTY testimony at the Hague have been submitted, without the possibility of cross-examination. That is in itself a grave violation of a defendant’s procedural rights which, in a case involving an Israeli citizen, Israel arguably should not permit.

The ICTY recently disallowed this stock testimony from being reused in the Karadzic trial, ruling that Erdemovic must testify himself. However, in September the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina scandalously decided that, rather than compel Erdemovic to give testimony in court, the court would forward any questions from the defense to Erdemovic, wherever he might be. This is the supposed key witness to what happened at the Pilica prosecution site for which Cvetkovic is charged, Pilica being the foundational block on which the official Srebrenica narrative rests.

“This ruling clearly illustrates the understandable anxiety of the prosecution, who recognise the numerous vulnerabilities of their star witness Erdemović,” Mr. Karganovic assessed last month. “But it is also a disturbing illustration of the court’s pliability and its readiness to violate fundamental legal principles in order to accommodate the Prosecution by shielding the Srebrenica ’star witness’, and his improbable story, from discreditation in open court.” Erdemovic’s unique allowance to refuse a summons “is a development that has received scant attention or analysis in juridical circles, but as a precedent it is of fundamental significance for…criminal justice.” Mr. Karganovic’s Jerusalem Post piece concluded:

…The danger inherent in accepting for extradition purposes prima facie evidence that is manifestly defective is that it lowers the bar to an extraordinary degree. It sets a precedent that in the future would operate very adversely against Israeli suspects whose extradition is sought by other countries.

Not just because he is an Israeli citizen, but also because he is a human being who is inherently entitled to a fair and transparent trial, Cvetkovic should not be extradited to the scandal-ridden war crimes court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He should be tried in Israel on whatever real evidence the authorities [in] Bosnia and Herzegovina might manage to submit to demonstrate his culpability.

Such an outcome would protect the state interest of Israel as well as serve the cause of justice because it would mark the first time that a Srebrenica defendant is tried by a fair court, outside the ICTY/Sarajevo “judicial” apparatus. […]

From a January 2011 article in Haaretz one learns that Israel was already following Bosnia’s wishes by keeping Cvetkovic behind bars during the whole extradition and appeals process since his arrest in January 2011. Bosnian state prosecutors had said that “the allegations against Cvetkovic…justified holding him in police custody ‘given the enormity of the danger posed to the public.’” (As if at any moment a Serb is liable to go on a rampage against Jews — and sure, Bosnia is very concerned about the safety of Jews.)

In a subsequent Haaretz article, published upon the first extradition decision, one of Cvetkovic’s lawyers, Nick Kaufman, mentioned that “the genocidal intent was not made out in his case.” Unfortunately, the same article reminded us that “Cvetkovic’s unprecedented case has piqued interest in Israel, with its founding memories of the Holocaust and more recent pro-Palestinian efforts to prosecute its military commanders for alleged war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza.” Nor has the case escaped notice by Al Jazeera, which was practically cheering Judge Cohen’s decision: Israel to extradite citizen over Srebrenica.

Meanwhile, Mr. Karganovic, contacted me with a few things that his Post editorial did not mention: “Supporting the extradition request are statements by prosecution witnesses A. Hasic and someone designated as Q, which do not even mention or personally implicate Mr. Cvetkovic. And by ‘Z1,’ who does mention him but is suspected to be Marko Boskic, who also made a pre-trial plea bargain with the prosecution in Sarajevo. (Incidentally, the use of anonymous, code-named declarants such as ‘Q’ and ‘Z1′ is highly repugnant to proper regard for a defendant’s procedural rights.) In addition, the Bosnia/Herzegovina authorities have thrown in some portions from “statements of facts” given by Dragan Obrenovic and Momir Nikolic who too made plea bargains with ICTY prosecutors and who refer to Srebrenica events in general terms but do not make any specific allegations against Alexander Cvetkovic.”

Nebojsa Malic, libertarian proprietor of the Gray Falcon blog, points out that when a reporter for the pro-Tribunal, Soros-funded IWPR (Institute for War and Peace Reporting) dared challenge the ICTY’s plea-bargaining system over the incident, he was fired. He adds, “Nikolic’s false testimony was not only not overturned on account of perjury, but used to convict several other Serb officials!”

Then there is THE PROBLEM WITH THE PILICA KILLINGS in the first place. In February 2009, UK Guardian and Daily Mail contributor John Laughland, Director of Studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, explained it in his article “The Crown Witness at the Hague” (emphasis and links added):

[Deutsche Welle reporter] Germinal Civikov is a native of Bulgaria who lives in The Hague and Cologne. His book, “Srebrenica: Der Kronzeuge”…[is] devastating. Civikov explains that the ICTY ruling that genocide was committed at Srebrenica on the orders of the Bosnian Serb leadership is based on the testimony of a single witness, a self-confessed perpetrator of one of the massacres called Drazen Erdemovic. Civikov’s discussion of the “crown witness” and his evidence reads like a detective thriller: in fact, it should be made into a film.

Erdemovic originally surfaced in 1996 after he had been arrested in Yugoslavia for war crimes. [He was arrested in Novi Sad, Serbia, ten days after entering Serbian territory from Croatia. As Hague analyst Andy Wilcoxson wrote, the Serbian government under Slobodan Milosevic was actually leading the way in criminal prosecution against those responsible for the executions of Srebrenica Muslims. Had Erdemovic stood trial in Serbia, “he would have faced at least 20 years in prison…”] [Erdemovic] contacted the Prosecutor in The Hague because he believed that he would be given immunity from prosecution in return for evidence. Transferred to The Hague, he was himself charged with crimes against humanity, to which he pleaded guilty having admitted taking part in a massacre of 1,200 Muslim civilians of which [he] personally killed about 100. For this act of mass murder, Erdemovic was given a 10 year prison sentence by the ICTY, reduced to 5 years on appeal because he had cooperated so well with the Prosecutor. But there was never any trial because he pleaded guilty and so he was never cross-examined. He was released from prison shortly after his conviction, since he was considered to have served most of his sentence already, and he now lives with a protected identity in a North West European country…

Civikov’s interest in the case was aroused when he started to reflect on the veracity of Erdemovic’s testimony. The prisoners, he claimed, were shot in groups of 10. They were bussed in, taken off the busses, marched to the execution spot in a field several hundred metres away, frisked for their possessions, and shot. Arguments broke out between the executioners and the victims; the executioners drank and quarrelled….Quite simply, Civikov reasoned, it is not possible to kill 1,200 people this way in 5 hours unless one assumes that each group of 10 men was killed in 2.5 minutes. Even if it had taken only 10 minutes to kill each group, itself an achievement, it would instead have taken some 20 hours to kill so many people. If you do the maths you will see that he is right. [Note: In a different case — Blagojevic and Jokic — about executions at a different location, it took three times longer to execute fewer prisoners.]

Throughout the thirteen years since Erdemovic has been telling his story in four different trials, not one of the ICTY judges ever did this simple calculation or questioned the veracity of his account…On several occasions, he named his seven co-perpetrators. At one of the earlier hearings, a judge asked the Prosecutor whether these other men were going to be apprehended and he was told that they would be. But not only has the Office of the Prosecutor never tried to arrest or even question these men, one of them (the unit commander) lives in Belgrade and had given interviews to the Serbian press while another was arrested on a different matter in the United States without any extradition request ever being made against him by The Hague. It is as if the Prosecution is determined to prevent anyone else from giving his account of events.

(Indeed, the Hague never sought to prosecute them though their whereabouts have been known to Western governments; they also travel freely and serve in other conflict theaters including as part of the French Foreign Legion. However, since the 2010 translation into Serbian of Civikov’s book, proceedings against most of them have been started in Sarajevo, according to a footnote in the Srebrenica Historical Project’s Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide: The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Srebrenica. The footnote adds that “Erdemovic-style plea bargains with the Prosecution have already been made by some defendants or [are] on the verge of being made by others.”)

[Erdemovic] alleges that his unit acted on orders from the Bosnian Serb leadership. Yet as Civikov shows with excruciating attention to detail, Erdemovic’s own statements about the command structure in his little platoon are self-contradictory and untrue. He claims that he was forced to commit this massacre and that the orders came from one of his co-perpetrators, Brano Gojkovic. But as Civikov shows, and as even the Prosecution at one point had to admit, this Gojkovic was an ordinary soldier who could not give orders to anyone…

Erdemovic has presented himself, including in the media, as a pathetic victim of the Bosnian war. He did what he did because he had to. A sort of novel has even been written about him, as have newspaper articles, in which he is elevated to the status of a holy fool. Civikov wades through years of evidence, spanning a decade, to show that in fact Erdemovic is a pathological liar, as well as a callous murderer. He was not a conscripted soldier who was forced to fight, but instead a mercenary who fought on all three sides in the Bosnian civil war. He was not forced, on pain of death, to commit the massacre, as he claimed in court…During his time in the other Bosnian armies (Croat and Muslim) he had evidently been an unscrupulous war profiteer who extracted money from people in return for their safe passage.

Civikov has convinced me that the following is what really happened. Erdemovic belonged to a mercenary unit which was on leave after the fall of Srebrenica. On 15 July 1995, someone evidently offered him and some other mercenaries on leave a lot of money (gold, in fact) to commit a war crime, in this case a massacre of prisoners. [Erdemovic “forgets” who made the offer.] In other words, the Bosnian Serb authorities had nothing to do with it – and hence the ludicrous story about the private giving orders…The mercenaries then hijacked busses of prisoners which were on their way to be exchanged by the Bosnian Serb authorities — to the horror of the unsuspecting bus drivers, and of course of the prisoners themselves — and murdered them. A few days later, there was a fight in a bar over the money and the former comrades starting shooting at each other: Erdemovic was hit in the stomach and later sentimentalised the scar in Court by lifting up his shirt to claim that they had tried to kill him to prevent him from testifying. Escaping from this situation by fleeing into Yugoslavia, he was unexpectedly arrested by the Yugoslav authorities from whom he managed to escape by securing his transfer to The Hague….The Prosecution won out on the deal because it gained “proof” of both genocide and command responsibility – which enabled it to go after the “big fish” like Karadzic and Mladic in headline prosecutions — while Erdemovic won out too because he has not only been let off for mass murder, but has also been given a new life, a house and presumably some sort of income. This, I repeat, is the witness on whose evidence alone the finding of genocide at the ICTY is based.

Outstanding questions remain. Who offered the mercenaries money and why? Civikov’s book is scrupulously rooted in documentary evidence and there is no documentary evidence to support a clear answer to this question. However, there are speculations and Civikov discusses them. As Milosevic said during his own gripping cross-examination of Erdemovic — gripping because, whenever he started to get close to the truth, Judge Richard May intervened to prevent him from pursuing his line of questioning — there were reports in Serbia of a rogue French secret service unit operating on the territory of the former Yugoslavia and later involved in a plot to overthrow him, known as “Operation Spider”. There had also been reports that these people had been present at Srebrenica. The West, it is implied, “neededa big atrocity at Srebrenica, and it was indeed immediately following the fall of that town — and thanks largely to pressure exerted by the French president, Jacques Chirac…that NATO intervened and bought an end to the Bosnian war. As it bombed Bosnian Serb targets, the Americans helped Croatia to launch “Operation Storm” in which over a quarter of a million Serbs were driven out of the Krajina. Defeated and marginalised as war criminals, the Bosnian Serb leaders were barred from attending the peace conference at Dayton, where a deal was imposed by the Americans.

Quite simply, the Srebrenica “genocide” finding is based on perjury. Erdemovic “served ICTY’s purpose perfectly. He spun a story, pointed fingers, got a symbolic conviction and was given a new life in the West,” blogger Malic wrote in 2009. “Meanwhile, based on his testimony, a bloody episode of the Bosnian War was branded ‘genocide,’ an entire nation was demonized because of it, and even the ICJ [International Court of Justice] was duped into believing the ICTY verdict was legitimate.” (Contrary to what Srebrenica cultists would have us believe, the ICJ did not “also find” that genocide was committed; it simply adopted the ICTY’s verdict.)

It’s worth noting that Milosevic’s government again arrested members of Erdemovic’s group in 2000 and charged them with war crimes for killing Muslim POWs, but when the Western-puppeteered opposition took over, they were released. The possibility that mercenary executioners were acting on orders from French intelligence also came up in the trial of former leader of the Serbian Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj, as well as in this June 2005 Defense & Foreign Affairs analysis:

…Erdemovic claims that his group of eight was ordered to execute Muslims at Branjevo military farm near Pilica by a Lt.-Colonel, but this officer is never identified…Yet, based on a plea bargain with prosecutors, Erdemovic was allowed to participate in the farcical Rule 61 hearings later that year against Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and Mladic, a trial-by-media procedure which allowed uncorroborated testimony to be provided without cross examination. Legal experts were scathing about the procedure. The BBC called it a “circus,” but Chief Judge Cassesse, said “I am relying on the pressure of public opinion” to justify indictments against Serbian leaders.

…None of the prosecutors…[asked] why, if they had any interest in carrying out summary executions, would the Serb High Command entrust such a mission to a mentally unstable Bosnian Croat [Erdemovic], who had fought previously with Muslim forces and the Croatian HVO? Eventually, Erdemovic’s former partners-in-crime were reported serving as mercenaries in the Congo on behalf of French intelligence.

“Few outside Serbdom would object to Karadzic and Mladic being put on trial,” observed former UN Assistant Secretary-General Cedric Thornberry in the Summer of 1996 in Foreign Policy. “But is it likely, given their near universal demonization and the high places from which they have been denounced and condemned, that they could receive a fair trial?” Thornberry asserted that Judge Cassesse and others on the Tribunal had “stretched their judicial role,” by calling for political action. “Crusading and judging are two different (and incompatible) occupations,” he noted and warned that “the court could leave a poisoned legacy.”

Senior UN official Cedric Thornberry holds no particular brief for the Serbs, whom he accuses of shelling him out of several different residences in Sarajevo, but he expressed dismay at the bias, which impeded a solution to the war in Bosnia. “By early 1993, a consensus developed…that the Serbs were the only villains… This view did not correspond to the perceptions of successive senior UN personnel in touch with daily events throughout the area; as a kindly soul at the UN headquarters in New York, ear to the diplomatic grapevine, warned me, take cover – the fix is on.”

An ‘Editor’s Note’ at the bottom of the article further illustrates the biased farce that is “international justice” at the ICTY and affiliate courts (the likes of which Barack Obama will sign us on to if reelected, as Bill Clinton tried to do before him): “While showing the highly inflammatory and graphic imagery in [a widely-circulated video of six Muslim soldiers taken to execution], the ICTY refused earlier to show video footage of the 505th Buzim Brigade of the Bosnian-Muslim Government army showing heaps of mutilated bodies, torched villages and the beheading of a Serb soldier, Ensign Rade Rogic. The ICTY said that the footage was too brutal to show…”

The “needed atrocity” that Mr. Laughland hinted at in his article about Civikov’s book is something that is finally being looked into by the otherwise politically-correct Dutch, now that they’ll possibly have to pay large indemnities over a questionable number of victims, to groups like Mothers of Srebrenica who are suing the country for not protecting the Muslim enclave-slash-military-base. Last July, Mr. Karganovic commented that “by publishing this ‘heretical’ text precisely on July 11, the most sacred anniversary day for the proponents of the official Srebrenica narrative, the Dutch have acted with unusual boldness.” The following item appeared on a news site owned by the leading Dutch media conglomerate NRC, commenting on a previous NRC item:

Srebrenica: New Insights By Rene Gremaux

In the Opinion and Debate section of NRC, [historian] Hans Blom…correctly argues that the Bosnian Serb entry was not planned well in advance, and even less so the mass executions…Earlier, the Muslim government in Sarajevo refused to alleviate the plight of tens of thousands of refugees in Srebrenica by allowing their evacuation….What the outside world preferred to misperceive as a humanitarian issue, for the Republika Srpska was a very serious military and strategic question. Repeatedly, the Srebrenica enclave…was used by the Muslims inside it, sometimes reinforced by civilian men and women, as a base for provocative and murderous military assaults on the surrounding Serb villages. To combat and prevent the joining of Srebrenica and the neighbouring southern enclave of Žepa with the rest of the Muslim dominated areas, many Bosnian Serb forces were tied down….

Great was the surprise when in the second week of July 1995 Srebrenica was captured by a relatively small, not very heavily armed force, which was actually operating only on the south side of the enclave. What actually happened? The leadership of the 28th Division in [the] Srebrenica-based Muslim army was ordered back to Sarajevo.

Thus the protection of tens of thousands of Muslims in the enclave in fact was largely left to the small and weak Dutch battalion. Apparently the political and military leadership of Bosnian Muslims were not really afraid of Serbian revenge and arbitrariness, let alone of the implementation of any genocidal plan. Or could it be that they were left behind deliberately to be sacrificed for a “higher” purpose?

It is obvious that Srebrenica fell when the Western powers were looking for a pretext to enter the conflict on the side of the Bosnian Muslims, as well as the Croats, which would enable them to give their protégés massive and open military assistance…Soon, with NATO air support elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina Muslims and Croats were on the march. All the more reason to investigate in greater detail evidence of the involvement of intelligence services in the Srebrenica massacre. Several witnesses refer to…shadowy figures involved in death squad killings [for] gold or money. […]

There are some additional problems with the “1200″-person Pilica massacre narrative over which Mr. Cvetkovic faces extradition. On March 16-17 of last year, expert witness Dr. Ljubiša Simić testified in another Srebrenica-related case, “Pelemiš and Perić,” both defendants charged with aiding and abetting genocide in Pilica on July 16, 1995. Mr. Karganovic wrote the following at the time (emphasis added):

The conclusion drawn by Dr. Simić based on the exhumation of the Pilica primary mass grave was that it contained the remains of between 115 and 124…executed individuals. In addition, Dr. Simić accepted that the remains of an additional 32 individuals in four secondary mass graves, linked by DNA matching to the primary grave in Pilica, were also victims of this mass execution. That [150 total] is considerably short of the figure in excess of 1,000 that the prosecution asserted.

Pilica is the relatively best documented Srebrenica execution site. Any significant unraveling of the Pilica story will necessarily have serious repercussions for the integrity of the Srebrenica tale as a whole. Furthermore, it bears directly on the credibility of prosecution “Star Witness” Dražen Erdemović’s version of events…Are we to believe the material evidence, or the prosecution’s and Srebrenica lobby’s bare assertions?

In fact, several significant things have happened in the courtroom following the publication of Čivikov’s scathing critique of the Erdemović evidence… [P]rosecutors have obviously given a careful reading to Čivikov’s book (although they may not be keen to admit it) and they have restructured their evidence accordingly. In the Pelemiš and Perić case they have offered two protected witnesses who claimed that they were survivors of the Pilica massacre. They came prepped by the prosecution to try to avoid some of the more glaring incongruities of Erdemović’s testimony…

Accordingly, one of the alleged survivors has claimed that the Pilica mass execution did not, after all, last five hours, but six. The other gave a more expansive account of the proceedings, the gist of which was that the execution lasted until “nightfall.” And, as the prosecutor helpfully pointed out, we all know that nightfall in July comes very late in the evening, thus providing the killers with a few extra hours to complete their task. To make it still easier for them, the witnesses generously increased the size of prisoner batches from the 10 claimed by Erdemović to between 25 and 100, depending on which of the new witness’ narratives one chooses to credit.

The unraveling of the institutionalised Srebrenica narrative…bears note and careful watching. A story whose advocates are obliged to resort to witness tampering and intimidation may reasonably be suspected of resting on shaky foundations. And if its key elements must be adjusted as we go along to salvage its plausibility in light of previous criticisms, one wonders how much of it will still remain intact when the show is finally over.

All this is without even mentioning that tucked away in survivor Ahmo Husic’s otherwise standard account of the Pilica massacre is the detail that the victims “were taken to the execution site in seven busses which could seat ‘about 50 persons’ each…Seven multiplied by 50 gives a total of 350. That would have provided ample room in the busses to accommodate all the actually exhumed victims…but not nearly enough to transport the 1,200 claimed by Erdemovic,” concludes the Deconstruction monograph.

And all that is without mentioning the problem of forensics at the unaccountable, secretive ICTY and its affiliate courts, whose practices would cause the DNA-rich hair of any professional in the field to stand on end. To give just a sample from the monograph:

A number of reports which refer to Pilica exhumations in 1996 are perhaps the most telling practical illustration of the Tribunal’s professional culture…[T]he skeletons exhibit the presence of soft tissue to various degrees…no bodily injuries were found that could be linked to a bullet, dull objects, or any other cause…there were no blindfolds or ligatures associated with these remains…[I]t clearly follows that the cause of death is impossible to determine, and that is precisely what the forensic scientists stated in their autopsy report.

However, when they were obliged to state the manner of death, they nevertheless concluded that it was homicide…In simple language, fully cognizant that there were no signs of injury, without any material evidence pointing to homicide, and without being able to determine the cause of death, they nevertheless drew the conclusion that death must have been the result of a culpable act, murder….

Forensic specialists of the Hague Tribunal are perhaps the only professionals in their field in the entire world who do not depend on material evidence in order to determine the manner (and sometimes even the cause) of death…

As if to draw attention to these absurdities, it appears that a few months later someone took the trouble to review and correct these autopsy reports. In the “manner of death” rubric they wrote in the only response that could possibly be correct under the circumstances, i.e. that it was “unknown”…

After such a scandal, a proper court would surely have dismissed the prosecution’s frivolous team of “experts” and their conclusions would have been discarded. But instead the Hague Tribunal went on to construct its factual and legal findings precisely on such data of dubious integrity….

If we theorise that the unspoken but actual task of Tribunal investigators and other experts is not to follow the evidence wherever it leads but to doctor it up in order to create the public illusion that court judgments are factually supported, then many pieces of the puzzle come into place. That explains…the complete exclusion of independent experts during the exhumation process.

One last set of forensics nuggets from Deconstruction:

In the mass of defective autopsy reports, some indeed stand out because they literally defy common sense. In one such report, Tribunal forensic experts found a handkerchief in the victim’s pocket and they characterised it as a possible ligature…[which] would suggest that the person was executed. This is a stunning conclusion, and for the following reasons.

It is of particular interest that the handkerchief was found in the person’s pocket. That suggests that if it was indeed used as a ligature the soldiers who performed the execution must have first used it to tie the victim’s wrists and then, after the execution, removed it and placed it in the pocket of the executed person.

Such a procedure after execution is difficult to conceive and it is even more difficult to fathom how it occurred to anybody that it could have taken place…

In another example a knee injury is treated as a possible cause of death. The rationale is quite ingenious: It is stated that unless such injuries are treated medically, they can lead to hemorrhage and result in death.

In the case which is featured in Annex 5.11, the originally determined cause of death, said to be a calf injury, was crossed out by someone. The reviewing authority then wrote in its own assessment, as happened with numerous other Pilica reports, to the effect that the cause of death could not be determined. The corrector, of course, finally got it right because without more, a calf injury will scarcely be fatal…

In Annex 5.12 we have a case where Tribunal forensic specialists were faced with the sceletised remains of a leg without any apparent bone damage. The absence of bone trauma did not discourage Tribunal forensic experts from seriously drawing the following hypothetical scenario: a nearby bullet was said to have been the cause of death by damaging that individual’s soft tissue which, unfortunately, is unavailable for examination because it has disintegrated and is no longer attached to the bone.

It is a settled principle of forensic work that specialists in this branch do not have a mandate to engage in fanciful hypotheses and conclusions and that they must confine themselves strictly to noting observable facts…Where a handkerchief in the pocket is treated as a ligature, when the cause of death is determined without a single apparent injury, when imaginary conclusions are drawn about non-existent soft tissue which had disintegrated, or hemorrhaging knees, calves, and feet are speculated to have been the cause of death although in medicine these are still not known to be vital organs, it is difficult to avoid the impression that Tribunal forensic experts were operating with a mandate which was broader than merely reporting observed facts. Could it also have encompassed, on the implicit level at least, the prosaic task of providing professional cover for institutional conclusions that somehow had been formulated in advance?

Besides the issue of the legal characterisation of the crime [ “genocide”], the other central issue of Srebrenica, which is the subject of intense debate, is the number of victims. The answer which, oddly, seems to have been anticipated even before the actual events in July of 1995 is based on the expectation that there should be several thousand executed Moslems. A proper court would perform its task based not on expectations, but solely on the available evidence…What they have managed to produce are 3,658 autopsy reports which are presented to the court and to the public on the implicit premise that one report equals one body. That premise is false. An enormous number of these reports consist of only one or a few bones, often of a hand or foot, which may or may not exhibit any injuries, and in about 90% of them even Tribunal experts concede that cause of death is undeterminable.

In order to gain an accurate picture of the number of bodies those mass graves really contain, it was necessary to count femur bones. According to that analysis, the number of bodies is 1,923 for individuals who perished of a variety of causes, the principal ones being combat activity and execution. That is almost half as many as there are Tribunal autopsy reports (3,658), and it is over four times less than the figure (8,000) that has been sacralised over the last 15 years.

Finally, it should also be pointed out that in selecting its forensic specialists, the Office of the Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal has made some very odd choices. A significant number were from the United States and Turkey, and many of the corrected reports that we have mentioned were prepared by Turkish specialists. That is a matter of some significance when it is considered that Serbian and independent specialists were not allowed access to the sites or any role whatsoever in these proceedings.

It would perhaps be legitimate to inquire why countries like…Finland, Sweden, France, and others which are arguably more advanced in medicine…did not receive an invitation to take part in these exhumations and in the critical task of preparing accurate and reliable autopsy reports.

Given that this judicial process at The Hague tribunal — and certainly an affiliate court in Sarajevo — is quite unrecognizable to anyone living in a democratic country, as a term of extradition Israel must require an Israeli observer to be present during the trial or an Israeli-appointed defender. (The Tribunal being composed of international judges and prosecutors, it should be hard to deny an international advocate.)

According to the first Haaretz article above, the Israeli Justice Ministry has already denied Mr. Cvetkovic the ability to “serve any eventual prison time in Israel, because the crimes he is accused of predate his immigration.” At the same time, according to the second Haaretz article, “The Jerusalem District Court conditioned his extradition on assurances by Sarajevo regarding incarceration standards there.”

Assurances by Sarajevo. It sounds like the title of a satire. District Court Judge Cohen tried to appear to care about Mr. Cvetkovic after sealing his fate, by stipulating some conditions for the Bosnian authorities before the handover could take place, including unfettered access to Cvetkovic by the Israeli consul in Bosnia, and a request that he be kept separate from other prisoners, with the judge acknowledging serious personal safety concerns for non-Muslim prisoners.

Keep him separate from the Muslim prisoners? But where would be the fun in that? Consider the cautionary tale of a Serb general in a British prison where there were Muslims, and ask how well Mr. Cvetkovic can expect to fare in a Bosnian jail. (One doesn’t even need to be branded “Serbianwarcriminal™” to suffer the following fate; in the Balkans and the world infected by it — that’s the rest of us — Serbs are considered war criminals by birth, and so there’s nothing objectionable about attacking one.)

What happened was that the Brits, in their eternally clueless callousness, tossed General Radislav Krstic — after his inevitable conviction at The Hague — into a prison which also housed sex offenders and murderers. The predictable result was described in the 2010 news reports below. Please note that these articles make all the standard efforts to preemptively strip the reader of any potential sympathy for the victim, who is introduced from the start as a monster who had whatever-you’re-about-to-read coming, a sort of poetic justice. Which is how all mistreatment of Serbs is received anyway, so the effort is redundant. But as we’ll see, General Krstic was guilty of little more than being a Serb officer in a war. Herewith, the macabre tale of Radislav Krstic, and a cautionary one for Israel in the matter of Alexander Cvetkovic. Emphasis added:

Brutal revenge: In a high-security British jail, a Serbian warlord has his throat slashed by three Muslim inmates (May 8, 2010)

Hate figure: Radislav Krstic was [ruled] guilty of aiding genocide

A former Serb general convicted of Europe’s worst massacre since the Second World War[™] had his neck slashed open by three Muslim prisoners in a British jail yesterday.

Radislav Krstic, 62, serving a 35-year sentence for war crimes, was in a critical condition in hospital after the attack at top security Wakefield Prison.

The Serbs were the deadly enemies of Bosnian Muslims during the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990s. At least one of Krstic’s attackers is said to be a Bosnian Muslim. [There’s the instant absolution.]

The incident is a huge embarrassment to prison bosses because Krstic is regarded as one of Britain’s most sensitive and high-profile inmates. It is almost certain to be raised at diplomatic level and questions will be asked about how the suspects were able to attack him.

He was convicted for his part in the massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who had been rounded up in the UN’s supposedly safe haven [sic: internationally protected Muslim military base] of Srebrenica in July 1995.

At the time he was one of the most powerful men in the Bosnian Serb army, second only to General Ratko Mladic….

He was arrested in a daring joint SAS and U.S. Navy SEAL snatch in Bosnia in December 1998.

In 2001 he became the first man to be convicted of genocide by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and was sentenced to 46 years in prison. [Note: It was at Krstic’s 2001 trial that the term “genocide” was widened to include killing military personnel during war, essentially criminalizing war. And notice that the conflict which set a precedent to criminalize war was one in which infidels were responding to Muslim attacks.]

This was overturned on appeal and replaced by a 35-year sentence for aiding and abetting genocide.

Among Bosnian Muslims, Krstic, who is married with a daughter, remains a figure of hatred, with the families of many of his victims swearing revenge.

Retribution appears to have come when he was attacked in the maximum security area of Wakefield while in his cell — D320.

He was slashed using a homemade weapon - believed to be a razorblade embedded in a toothbrush.

Last night it emerged that one of his suspected assailants was serving life for the torture and murder of a girl in a suburban park in 2005.

He is [Albanian] Indrit Krasniqi, 22, of Chiswick, West London, convicted in 2006 of the gang murder of Mary-Ann Leneghan, 16, in Reading.

Krstic was found by prison officers on the floor in a pool of blood at 11am. One of the cuts narrowly missed a major artery. He had also been beaten around the head and body.

An insider said… ‘It was a well-planned and executed ambush. The view is that it was an act of revenge.’

Outraged officials in the city of Banja Luka, the centre of Bosnian Serb power, said last night that the ‘whole position’ of the War Crimes Tribunal would be further undermined if those convicted ‘couldn’t even [be] protected in a prison’. […]

So, as always, an attack on a Serb is a “revenge” attack, just as the mass slaughters of Serbs (and Roma) by Albanians in 1999 upon NATO’s entry into Kosovo were. (We were never told that that “revenge” was for daring to clamp down on decades of unchecked Albanian attacks not only on civilians but also on police and government officials.) As well, the Serbs continue to be portrayed as “powerful” strongmen, when their only power was having a better-led militia in a war that was imposed on them by an illegal fait accompli secession by terrorists and separatists empowered by the West which stepped in to make Serbs the underdogs. (Serbs are always presented as some sort of juggernaut, but Muslims had the biggest army in Bosnia and there was bitter, protracted fighting in both northern and eastern Bosnia before Serb forces eventually won out.)

Here was the AP’s version of the same, with the usual Srebrenica mythologizing dominating the article rather than the disturbing incident at the prison:

Bosnian Serb war criminal assaulted in UK prison (May 7, 2010)

A Bosnian Serb war criminal serving time for his role in the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica was assaulted by fellow inmates Friday at a high-security prison in northern England, officials said.

Krstic was convicted of aiding and abetting the murder of up to 8,000 Muslims in the U.N.-protected enclave of Srebrenica by the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in 2001.

The massacre occurred when Serb forces overwhelmed the town’s hopelessly outgunned Dutch protectors and rounded up its inhabitants. At a car battery factory on the edge of town, men and boys were separated from women and girls, then hauled away, forced to strip — and shot one by one. [This is the AP’s own fanciful insertion, most likely gleaned from a past article containing one of many uncorroborated — and often contradicted — atrocity yarns.] Their wives and children were deported [sic: saved by the Bosnian Serbs in cooperation with the UN after previous UN attempts were blocked by Sarajevo].

The slaughter was Europe’s worst civilian [sic: military] massacre since World War II[™]. Prosecutors said Krstic not only provided troops for the atrocity but also participated in meetings during which senior officers laid out their murderous plans. [Here the AP seems aware of plans that the Hague tribunal has admitted do not exist.]

His genocide conviction was the first in Europe since it became a crime under international law.

Krstic was transferred to Britain from The Hague in 2004. He is currently serving out a 35-year prison sentence at Wakefield, which houses around 700 prisoners, many of them serious sex offenders. […]

Genocide brute has his throat cut in a British jail (May 8, 2010)

…Former General-Major Radislav Krstic, 62, was set on by three fellow inmates in what is thought to be a revenge attack for the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims. [A general is “fellow inmates” with rapists and child-killers. That’s the league that serving your country puts you in if you’re Serb.]

…Krstic’s throat was cut a number of times and he was stabbed in the head…A source said last night: “It was a vicious revenge attack.”

One of the jail attackers is said to be Croatian illegal immigrant Indrit Krasniqi, 22 [sic: he was later determined to be an Albanian from Kosovo]. He is serving life for the 2005 gang rape and murder of Mary-Ann Leneghan, 16, in Reading Berks.

Radislav Krstic - Three Muslims Slash His Throat Open in Jail Revenge Attack (May 8, 2010)

Radislav Krstic the notorious Serbian Warlord was savagely attacked by three Muslim prisoners who slit open his throat in high security Wakefield Prison

The Serbs are despised by Bosnian Muslims and this attack will be a huge embarrassment to the British Authorities…. [In what universe does an attacked Serb embarrass any authority?]

Tensions between inmates will have been raised inside Wakefield Prison and attacks could escalate between Christians and Muslims. The three Muslims who gouged the throat open of Radislav Krstic in this murder attempt, will be targeted for revenge attacks. […]

So we have the anticipation of revenge attacks by Christians on Muslims, on behalf of a Serb general, which have yet to materialize two years since the incident. Rather, the update was as follows:

Mary Ann killer given second life sentence [to run concurrently] (Feb. 25, 2011)

Five years after getting a life sentence for murdering a Reading schoolgirl, this week Indrit Krasniqi was handed an additional life term for brutally attacking a fellow inmate.

The trio were all already serving life sentences for murder when they were found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

They launched their attack on May 7 last year in retaliation for Krstic’s war crimes – exactly five years after Krasniqi stabbed teenager Mary Ann Leneghan to death in Prospect Park, Tilehurst, with five co-defendants.

Krasniqi, 23, was convicted with Iliyas Khalid, 24, and Quam Ogumbiyi, 29, at Leeds Crown Court and all three were sentenced this week.

Mr Justice Henriques said he would have liked to extend each defendant’s minimum term but the option was not available to him in law. However, he said the new convictions would affect their respective release dates because it was likely their first application to the Parole Board would fail.

He said: “This was a crime of exceptional gravity. You planned an attack upon a defenceless man with an artificial leg.

“You planned a revenge attack by way of retribution for war crimes carried out by Radislav Krstic in the 1990s.

“All three of you are practising Muslims. I have no doubt what you intended was an act of revenge for those war crimes.”

Krasniqi was handed a minimum term of 12 years, Khalid received 10 years and Ogumbiyi six years to run alongside their existing sentences.

They were cleared of attempted murder.

Born in Afghanistan, Krasniqi came to the UK as an orphaned Kosovan refugee aged just 14.

When he was 18 Krasniqi was one of six men convicted of murdering Mary Ann Leneghan, 16, and trying to kill her friend, who was 18 at the time, after a brutal ordeal of kidnap, torture and sexual abuse on May 7, 2005. The judge acknowledged that Krasniqi played a lesser but willing part.

After abuse in a motel room, the girls were taken to Prospect Park where Mary Ann suffered a fatal, frenzied knife attack. Her friend was shot at point blank range and left for dead. […]

So in the end, there wasn’t a Bosnian Muslim among the three who attacked Krstic, after all that strained effort to depict it as an “act of revenge.” An Albanian wouldn’t be avenging Srebrenica relatives. Still, rather than call the attack what it was — a familiar case of Muslims wanting to kill a Serb for fun — everyone was sticking at least to the tale of avenging fellow Muslims, as always lending a higher rationale to murder-by-Muslim.

The perpetrators were sentenced to what amounts to missing the first parole hearing. Meanwhile, it surprised no one that the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina didn’t lift a finger to demonstrate its professed commitment to a “multi-ethnic” Bosnia and “European values” by undertaking the same sort of diplomatic campaign on behalf of citizen Krstic’s safety that it was engaged in at the time on behalf of massacre suspect Ejup Ganic, whose extradition request by Serbia a UK court dutifully blocked — Turkey stepped in as well — and he got a hero’s welcome back to Bosnia. (Ganic “had been the person in charge of the Bosnian Government during the massacre of Serb officers who were leaving Sarajevo under UN safe passage,” Sir General Michael Rose wrote in his book Lessons from Bosnia, adding, “His oily charm and good English endeared him to the international media…As the person in charge of the Bosnian Army, Ganic was responsible for implementing the Government’s strategy designed to drag the US and NATO into the war on the side of Bosnia. He seemed to be interested neither in peace, nor in the continued suffering of the Bosnian people. Instead he fed the media the political concept of the ‘victim State.’ He once said that ultimately Muslims from Bosnia, Sanjak, Kosovo and Albania would form a single political entity. On one occasion he offered me what appeared to be a bribe, but when he saw the look of utter contempt in my eyes, he swiftly turned the offer into what seemed to be a veiled threat against my life.”)

Yet the one that the media pretend to fear while piling on him is Krstic. But who is this Serb “brute”? As always where Srebrenica is concerned, nothing is as it seems. If one considers not only Krstic’s fate in a jail among Muslims, but also the kind of “justice” that put him there, things don’t bode well for Mr. Cvetkovic. Understand that General Krstic was given 35 years not only for a crime that has yet to be demonstrated to have occurred and its nature determined, but for deaths of people whose bodies had yet to even be discovered at the time, much less examined for cause of death. Deconstruction again:

The last source of the legend of a mass execution is the conviction of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic….According to the New York Times (August 3, 2001)… “Tribunal investigators have exhumed 2,028 bodies from mass graves in the region. An additional 2,500 bodies have been located.” This means that at the time of the verdict, the Tribunal had no evidence that the crime Gen. Krstic was convicted of — the summary execution of “more than 7,000 people” — had ever been committed…Gen. Krstic was initially sentenced to 46 years in prison, 4.6 times the sentence of Adolf Hitler’s successor, Admiral Karl Doenitz (10 yrs.), and 2.3 times the sentence of Albert Speer (20 yrs.), the Nazis’ head architect and war production chief.

We may set aside the obvious question: What entitles the chamber to venture such precise figures about the content of as yet unopened gravesites? But, more importantly, nine years have passed since then and there still is no trace of the 2,571 bodies of executed prisoners estimated by Tribunal experts, who are also quoted in the judgment as claiming that the total number of victims “detected” in the mass graves is 4,805. After a decade, and in spite of assiduous digging, there is no sign of these additional 4,805 bodies which, in order to support the chamber’s conclusion, must not only be discovered but also forensically demonstrated to be victims of Srebrenica-related execution and not of some other cause of death. [Note that Bosnian Muslims openly speak of soldiers from all over Bosnia, killed at various points during the three-year civil war, being excavated and moved to the Srebrenica memorial site. In previewing his defense in 2009, Radovan Karadzic added that “There are living people whose names are on the tombstones. In the [1996] elections, there were people who voted who had been listed as missing and killed…There were people who fell victims in combat throughout the entire period, and people who died in 1992 or 1993 [who] were later on portrayed as victims of massacre in Srebrenica…there are many people living abroad who were listed as missing.”]

[T]he chamber treats as valid evidence the prognosis that in an additional 18 then-unexhumed mass graves, over 2,000 more bodies were going to be found. It strikes one as a very odd procedure to base factual and ultimately legal conclusions about the number of victims in a criminal case not on the actual situation established at the time judgment is rendered, as would befit a serious legal institution, but on what is termed an “estimate”.

(That among the “dead or missing” are people who were alive and well is apparent from this London Times article of Aug. 2, 1995: “Missing Enclave Troops Found — Thousands of the ‘missing’ Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica who have been at the centre of reports of possible mass executions by the Serbs, are believed to be safe to the northeast of Tuzla. Monitoring the safe escape of Muslim soldiers and civilians from the captured enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa has proved a nightmare….For the first time yesterday, however, the Red Cross in Geneva said it had heard from sources in Bosnia that up to 2,000 Bosnian Government troops were in an area north of Tuzla. They had made their way there from Srebrenica ‘without their families being informed’, a spokesman said, adding that it had not been possible to verify the reports because the Bosnian Government refused to allow the Red Cross into the area.”)

For making up for the drastic body shortage “by making a prognosis that several thousand additional bodies would be exhumed,” Mr. Karganovic added in an April 2011 email, “the judges should be called to account professionally.” The same might apply to the prosecutors. There was an open admission by prosecutor Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff in the Karadzic case, Karganovic continued, “that critical evidence was being submitted unseen and unexamined by the prosecutor and, of course, that it was expected of the chamber to ‘accept’ it and ‘rule’ on it on the same basis. In the US the prosecutor would be held accountable professionally if he attempted something like that.” (One notes that many ICTY prosecutors are in fact American and therefore can be disbarred.)

I’d previously blamed British cluelessness for the thoughtless placement of Krstic among a general prison population. But on the other hand, one has to wonder whether — in light of the mysterious deaths of at least two high-profile Serb leaders at The Hague — it wasn’t thoughtless at all to give such a prisoner so little protection. As American author and human rights activist Diana Johnstone put it at the time, “It is outrageous to incarcerate what amounts to a political prisoner in a high security prison for the worst of common criminals…a man advertised as having committed ‘genocide against Muslims’ in a prison in a heavily Muslim region of England…”

So one must consider that leaving Krstic to the mercies of a general prison population — and thereby a potential “incidental” death — would provide useful cover for the international officialdom that would be served by his death. After all, the entire “genocide” claim rests on the Erdemovic testimony and the Krstic verdict, and “were the Krstic case to be re-examined,” blogger Malic wrote soon after the attack, “the ‘judicial fact’ supposedly created by his conviction could be shown for the fraud that it is.” Malic’s assessment was seconded by American expatriate writer George Pumphrey, in a general email that May: “Krstic may be [in danger] because more are beginning to look into his conviction. The Krstic trial was necessary to establish a ‘genocide’ precedent before Milosevic [started his trial]. Now Krstic too is dispensable…”

Johnstone, who in a letter to Justice Ministry Lord High Chancellor Kenneth Clarke demanded an official inquiry into the incident and an “end to the indifference of governments, human rights organizations and media to the fate of prisoners of ad hoc criminal tribunals, often exaggeratedly stigmatized by the media and without the protection afforded by judicial process in normal national courts,” explained the extended usefulness of the Srebrenica myth that doubles the need to safeguard it: “The gap between [Krstic’s] role in the alleged ‘genocide’ and the punishment meted out to him is particularly extreme. His trumped-up conviction…was motivated by the need to label the Srebrenica massacre ‘genocide’ in order to [also] justify the illegal NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia three years later — on grounds that it was necessary to ‘prevent another genocide.’”

Not two months before the attack on Krstic, Malic reminded us that:

Gen. Krstic, the first Serb officer convicted as “accessory to genocide” was nowhere near Srebrenica, having taken command on July 20, 1995 (five days after the town was taken). Momir Nikolic, another valuable witness for the prosecution [mentioned earlier], admitted to perjury — but his testimonies were kept! [T]he ICTY itself admitted that the actual facts of the case remain unknown, but the judges nonetheless believe some 8,000 men were killed. In a true court of law, it doesn’t matter what one believes…

(As a footnote on Nikolic-on-Krstic, the 2005 Defense & Foreign Affairs analysis cited previously and written by documentary filmmaker George Bogdanich, reads: “The trial of General Radislav Krstic demonstrated that faced with years of prison, Serbs were equally capable as their Muslim counterparts of providing false testimony used to prop up the official version of events at Srebrenica…Nikolic claimed that he had supervised the massacre of more than a thousand Bosnian Muslims at a warehouse in Kravica, but under cross examination, by defense lawyer Michael Karnavas, Nikolic admitted that he not only didn’t give the order; he wasn’t even present. ‘You needed to give him [the prosecutor] something he did not have, right?’ said defense attorney Michael Karnavas. ‘You wanted to limit your time of imprisonment to 20 years, that was part of the arrangement, yes? Quid pro quo?’ ‘I did not tell the truth when I said that,’ Nikolic admitted. ‘I lied.’” Krstic himself would likewise pass the massacre buck to Mladic.)

In his article after the attack, “Butchery at Wakefield Prison,” Malic added the following (links added):

The only trouble with Krstic being painted as some genocidal maniac is that he didn’t actually do anything. He wasn’t even in command of the Bosnian Serb force that took Srebrenica on July 11, 1995; he became commander of the Drina Corps only two days later, and led the attack on the other Muslim enclave in the region, Zepa, which fell on August 1 [and where POWs weren’t killed but exchanged.]

Even a cursory examination of the actual verdict, both the original (2001) and the appeals (2004), reveals that Krstic was actually convicted of being a Bosnian Serb general at the time a massacre at Srebrenica is alleged to have happened. That is all. He was charged as a member of the “joint criminal enterprise” — an asserted [and later withdrawn], but never proven or documented, all-encompassing conspiracy to create a phantomGreater Serbia.” So, just by being a Bosnian Serb general, Krstic was guilty by default. And this, in turn, was described as “proof” that the actual conspiracy existed! Circular logic, yes, but par for the course at the Tribunal.

What makes the Krstic trial particularly sinister is that it wasn’t about the one-legged Serb general at all. He was merely a tool for the Prosecutors to push through a ruling that a “genocide” happened in Srebrenica. His defense, predictably, chose to disavow his role in anything that may have happened, without actually pressing the prosecutors to prove any of their claims. But since Krstic was guilty of simply existing, he was convicted — and the prosecution’s unproven allegations accepted as facts! To say that ICTY had to severely stretch the definition of the term “genocide” to make it fit what happened in Srebrenica is a colossal understatement.

A basic rule of jurisprudence dating back to Roman times is that there can be no crime without intent. But where is the intent in Srebrenica? The Tribunal has found precisely none…The final curiosity about the Srebrenica “genocide” is that it has no culprit. Namely, Gen. Krstic and Col. Vidoje Blagojevic were both initially convicted of it, but the ICTY itself later overturned both verdicts. Krstic was eventually blamed for “aiding and abetting,” while Blagojevic’s verdict was changed to mass murder. No one — not a single person — has so far been rightfully convicted of actually committing “genocide” in Srebrenica. […]

In his analysis of the 2004 Krstic appeals judgment, Andy Wilcoxson wrote:

Because nobody bothered to contest that these sorts of killings had happened in the first place, the tribunal was able to use Krstic’s contact with Mladic to build a circumstantial case that took the line of “Mladic committed this crime. Krstic was in frequent contact with Mladic, therefore Krstic must have been involved too.” In paragraph 135 of the appeal’s judgement the tribunal admits that, “there was no evidence that the Drina Corps devised or instigated any of the [uncontested] atrocities.” In fact the judgement even says in paragraph 132 that Krstic took steps to ensure the safety of Bosnian Muslim civilians and that he issued orders that they should be protected.

…Not even the tribunal could conceal the fact that it had convicted an innocent man. In paragraph 239 of the judgement they admit that: “Radislav Krstic and the Drina Corps under his command did not personally commit any crimes against the Bosnian Muslim civilians, other than assist in the organisation of the forcible transfer [sic]…Furthermore, the Trial Chamber accepted that the transfer of the Bosnian Muslim civilians organised by the Drina Corps was a disciplined and orderly operation, and that Krstic specifically ordered that no harm was to befall the Bosnian Muslim civilians being transferred forcibly. [sic.]”

Yes, the women and children whom the 28th Bosnian Army Division abandoned at Potocari (near Srebrenica) by order of Sarajevo “were safely evacuated by Bosnian Serb troops, using trucks and buses hastily requisitioned from Serb civilians,” Malic wrote. “What kind of “genocide” leaves the women and children alive?” He was reiterating his 2005 piece “Troubles Yet to Come,” which read, “The fact that [the Serbs] gave safe passage, food, and water to the women and children left behind — hardly a hallmark of “genocide” — is ignored.”

And from Deconstruction (links added):

1. The existence of such [genocidal] intent is inconsistent with the transfer of about 20,000 women, children, and elderly, by the Serbian forces to safety in territory under Moslem army control.

2. On July 16th, 1995, VRS [Army of the Bosnian-Serb Republic] opened a corridor to allow passage for the retreating Srebrenica column instead of using all its available assets in an attempt to annihilate it….

3. The testimony of Dutchbat doctor A. A. Schouten, who was present in Srebrenica and nearby Bratunac for several days following the takeover, denies seeing anything that would support the suspicion that large numbers of Moslem men were being taken away for execution.

4. In the debriefing of three UN military observers, taken on July 24, 1995, it is also denied that in the aftermath of the takeover any evidence or reports of mass killing of military-age men had been brought to them.

It goes almost without saying that to get Krstic convicted, the forensics had to be cooked once more. Again, Deconstruction gives us a sampling:

[A]lthough victims with blindfolds overlap to a large extent with those with ligatures (442 in total), they are presented in the Krstic judgment as separate categories, apparently in an attempt to almost double the number of victims who were incontestably executed; also in Krstic there is no analysis to distinguish and set aside apparent victims of artillery ammunition or mine fragments, who could not possibly have been executed; prosecution forensic reports show also the presence of complete bodies with various amounts of soft tissue and no perceptible injuries, suggesting that some residents of the enclave died of natural causes rather than execution, but no proper account is taken of that; in Krstic, the number of bodies in the mass graves is put at 2,028, when in fact forensic evidence after a few more years of exhumation activity supports the presence of at most 1,919, including all causes of death….[A] number of bodies were exhumed in primary graves in 1996 which exhibited only skeletons, without any soft tissue, which virtually excludes that they could have been execution victims only a year earlier, since the decomposition process takes several years.

Most of the public is unfamiliar with the acronym ICMP, but it stands for the agency that The Hague tribunal relies on for DNA results that impact convictions and sentences. There are only a few small problems with the outfit, as Mr. Karganovic described in his July 25th article last year titled International Commission for Missing Persons Laboratory in Tuzla and its misrepresentation of DNA evidence about Srebrenica:

On the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre this year ICMP claimed that it has “closed 5,564 cases of Srebrenica victims” and that “only about 1,500 remain to be resolved.” [But]…no exhaustive and transparent analysis of DNA evidence has ever been conducted.

For instance, DNA evidence was offered in the most recent ICTY case Popović et al., but in closed session…The Tribunal’s rationale for such extraordinary restrictiveness was that public insight into this data would constitute a “callous” act which might injure the dignity of the victims and could even inflict great pain on their surviving relatives. The feelings and interests of persons and whole communities who…might have to be burdened by decades of prison time or carry the stigma of the heinous crime of genocide apparently did not greatly concern the chamber. Each and every request to ICMP by private parties facing serious accusations or research organisations to be allowed access to DNA samples for the purpose of independent verification is invariably met by the same polite response: that it is a potential violation of privacy and is therefore impossible without the signed consent of the victim’s relatives in every single case. So far nobody has ever obtained such written consent.

…[N]ot even the Office of the Prosecutor has properly examined the DNA evidence generated by ICMP, which it has nevertheless been happy to offer to the chamber as the material basis for the conclusion that in Srebrenica a crime of genocidal magnitude has been committed…

The degree of indulgence that the Hague Tribunal has shown to ICMP is truly phenomenal. In the course of the Popović trial it was disclosed that until October of 2007 ICMP was operating without professional certification from the international agency which approves DNA laboratories, Gednap. That fact was freely admitted by ICMP’s director of forensic studies, Thomas Parsons, under cross examination.

However, even then, while testifying under oath, ICMP’s witness did not state the whole truth. Our NGO “Srebrenica Historical Project” on July 20, 2010, sent an inquiry to Professor Bernd Brinkman, chairman of GEDNAP at that time, seeking information whether his organisation had issued a professional license to ICMP and whether ICMP was officially registered to perform laboratory DNA testing. Professor Brinkman’s reply was as follows:

“We do not have the ICMP Tuzla laboratory on our list of GEDNAP participants. That means that the Tuzla laboratory is unknown to the organizers of GEDNAP Proficiency Tests.”

…[T]he thousands of alleged DNA matches which ICMP tirelessly invokes in its public relations stunts and in courtrooms…the basis for verdicts establishing mass executions of genocidal proportions — is in fact taking place in ICMP’s inpenetrable Tuzla laboratories…[a] facility [that] was never visited by international inspectors nor was the validity of its work ever professionally reviewed. Most importantly, it never received a professional certificate entitling it to engage in the work it is doing….

According to London “Financial Times” 93% of ICMP personnel are Bosnian Moslems. To complete the picture, ICMP chairman is Thomas Miller, former US ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the director Kathryn Bomberger is also from the US, and her assistant Adam Boys is from the United Kingdom. When will the other Bosnia-Herzegovina ethnic communities get their one third representation on the staff of ICMP? When will the representatives of other countries within the international community, about 190 in all, obtain an opportunity to take part in the work of the International commission for missing persons on the executive level? Why couldn’t the chairman be from Argentina, the director from Ethiopia, and her assistant from India?

ICMP’s reports, like a medieval dogma, must be accepted on faith. Further, explains Mr. Karganovic, “Identification and reassociation are different. Reassociation means taking scattered skeletal fragments, comparing their DNA, and putting all bones which belong to one individual in a single pile. By ‘identification’ they mean using DNA evidence to determine the name of the victim. In this case they do it by comparing the exhumed DNA to thousands of relative samples, and if they come up with a genetic link to Stefan, then they say it is Joe, Stefan’s missing relative.

“One can readily see the opportunities for abuse here. If no one can obtain Stefan’s and Joe’s DNA samples and confirm that they are related, the relationship has to be taken on faith. Since there is no possibility for verification, they can produce as many execution victims as they need to fill their quota.”

What’s more, “the farther the distance between [victim and relative], the less reliable the linkage, even when everything is done without any politics…Thus, if the Srebrenica identification project were being conducted honestly, DNA would be used primarily for reassociation of body parts, not the “identification” mumbo-jumbo. But the number of bodies of “victims” would shrink disastrously. It is more convenient to use disarticulated body fragments and proclaim that each represents a separate individual. That way you can produce several victims using the same skeleton.”

Commenting on this judicial dystopia that has become reality, in August 2009 Andy Wilcoxson wrote, “It’s a little bit shocking that the Tribunal relies on the ICMP’s findings to substantiate allegations as grave as genocide when they haven’t even seen the evidence — let alone tested its quality or reliability.” More recently, Wilcoxson contributed a section to the Srebrenica Historical Project’s Deconstruction ( “Srebrenica: The Quest for Clarity”) which read:

The role played by the ICMP is limited to determining the identity of human remains through DNA analysis, and recording the location where the remains were found…It does not make any determination about the cause of death, the circumstances of the death, the military status of the deceased, the deceased’s connection to Srebrenica or the motives of the people responsible. The UN Tribunal and the Bosnian Government are the ones who draw all of the important conclusions. The UN Tribunal abuses the ICMP’s work for political purposes…The judges either don’t understand that you can’t tell how someone died from their DNA; otherwise, they are lying…What kind of court writes an opinion that says every corpse that gets found in a war zone, along with any subsequent corpses that may be found later, belongs to an individual who was captured and executed? Their credibility is zero, and so is the credibility of anyone who would treat the Tribunal’s findings as credible…

New York Press contributor George Szmuely lamented in an email that “the United States, the most ardent foe of the ICC [International Criminal Court], not to mention the World Court, is also the strongest and most munificent backer of these ad hoc tribunals.” (As an American opponent of such Orwelllian, one-world institutions myself, I find it an astounding and self-dooming hypocrisy that the U.S. would utilize these structures as a punishment tool to keep other countries in line. In counterproductive line, no less, as our ends in the Balkans are proving self-destructive.)

But the bad news about ICMP continues in Deconstruction:

ICMP is making great efforts to nurture the official profile of an independent and non-political organisation devoted to the noble purpose of assisting surviving relatives to find out what happened to their loved ones….However, ICMP’s autonomy is quite questionable. The organisation itself was set up in 1996 at the G–7 summit in Lyon, France, on the initiative of the American president Clinton. The list of its chairmen reads like an excerpt from the Who’s Who of the American establishment. The first chairman was former secretary of state Cyrus Vance from 1996 to 1997. Between 1997 and 2001 the position was occupied by Senator Bob Dole. The current chairman [appointed by the U.S. secretary of state], James V. Kimsey…was previously a director of America Online. [Update: In 2011 he was succeeded by U.S. former ambassador to Bosnia, Thomas Miller.]

…The government which apparently played an influential role in Kimsey’s appointment is also very keenly interested in promoting a specific version of the contested Srebrenica narrative [over which it waged war and set policy]…It also appears that ICMP does not render an account to any scientific or judicial body which might in any way be related to its official mission. [Furthermore,] as was pointed out by the American political analyst, George Pumphrey, “…Many of their reports are so ambiguously worded that even if someone would attempt to verify their announcements, it would be impossible, because one is not sure if they are speaking of whole corpses or of pieces of corpses.

ICMP was not disqualified for its steadfast refusal to permit its results to be independently tested and for operating for years without proper professional credentials. In one of the most bizarre segments of the Popovic judgment, ICMP was practically acclaimed for its persistence in circumventing accountability under applicable professional standards.

…Based on unseen DNA evidence, which was transmitted to it by the prosecution and which originated with the ICMP, the Popovic chamber solemnly drew the awkward conclusion that “5,336 identified individuals were killed in executions following the fall of Srebrenica.” …As any secondary school biology student could have informed the chamber, the maximum that DNA matching can possibly do is identify mortal remains. It has nothing whatsoever to say about the place or manner of death. That information is derived exclusively from other sources, including classical forensic procedures and whatever data that might yield.

…[Also,] it should be noted that a list with the names and surnames of the supposedly identified 5,336 victims has not been published, nor is it appended to the chamber’s judgment. The trial record does not contain an indication that such a list exists or that it was ever even tendered into evidence so that it might have been seen by the chamber at any point during the trial. So the logical questions must be asked. On what basis did the chamber draw its conclusions about the identifications to which it refers? Equally important, what kind of “identification” process is it if personal names are not disclosed?

Andy Wilcoxson spells it out in this excerpt from his article last August “Shroud of Secrecy Leaves Room for Doubt on Srebrenica DNA Evidence” :

Discrepancies have also been found between the ICMP’s findings and the original military records of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ICMP claims to have found the mortal remains of at least 140 soldiers in Srebrenica-related mass graves whose original military records listed them as having been killed months, and in many cases years, before Srebrenica fell. The Bosnian government has resolved these discrepancies by disavowing the accuracy of their original military records and amending them to match the ICMP’s findings.

Imagine for a moment that the shoe were on the other foot. Imagine if somebody like former Russian President Vladimir Putin took the initiative to establish an NGO to investigate allegations of atrocities committed by an ally of the United States against an ally of Russia during a war where the Russians attacked the same American allies they sought to investigate. Now imagine that the chairmen of this NGO were all somehow connected to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

In addition, let’s suppose this NGO publishes findings claiming the American allies had massacred — let’s say 6,598 people, and that they were able to conclusively prove this through DNA analysis in a lab that didn’t have professional accreditation when most of the DNA identifications were made.

Now let’s suppose that American scientists ask to see the underlying DNA evidence upon which the Russian NGO’s findings are based so that they can test it for themselves and verify the findings, but the Russians refuse to cooperate on the pretext that doing so would be unduly burdensome and a violation of the privacy rights of the victims and their families.

If that happened, would anyone in the West believe the Russian NGO’s findings? …And if the Russians tried to use those findings as evidence in a criminal prosecution of the political leadership of the accused American allies, they’d be accused of staging a political show trial – and rightly so.

And still the list of the Tribunal’s abnormalities isn’t finished. Consider the uncorroborated testimonies which, as was done by our “journalists” in the 90s, are taken at face value. It becomes even more fun when one uncorroborated yarn is contradicted by another. From the previously cited June 2005 Defense & Foreign Affairs article:

But other reports of massacres came from a handful of individuals close to [Bosnian-Muslim commander in Srebrenica] Naser Oric, including his cousin, Mevludin Oric, whose claims to being eyewitnesses to such events, were repeatedly undermined by contradictory accounts given to different reporters. One witness, Smail Hodzic, told Alexandra Stiglmayer of Die Woche that he had been captured and taken to “a basketball stadium near Bratuanac” and taken to “a large field not far from a forest”. Hodzic, however told another reporter Roy Gutman, that he had been held in a soccer stadium in Nova Kasaba, but then, he and others were moved to be killed, “probably in a town called Grbavce”. In a third interview with Aida Cerkez of the Associated Press, Hodzic now claimed that he went through the same experience as Mevludin Oric, this time being held in “a school in Krizevci”, before being taken for execution not far from Karakaj.

Several of these alleged eyewitnesses told reporter Louise Branson of The Sunday Times and Robert Block of The Independent contradictory stories, that thousands were executed, either at a school in one version, or at a nearby sports complex. Human Rights Watch, which acknowledged it had not been able to trace survivors of such crimes, called for “more detailed investigations.” However, Dutch UN officer Captain Shouten, who was the only UN officer in Bratunac during the period when this bloodbath was alleged, told the Dutch newspaper Het Parool on July 27:

“Everybody is parroting everybody, but nobody shows hard evidence. I notice that in the Netherlands people want to prove at all costs that genocide has been committed…The day after the collapse of Srebrenica, July 13, I arrived in Bratunac and stayed there for eight days. I was able to go wherever I wanted to. I was granted all possible assistance; nowhere was I stopped.”

In Deconstruction, Karganovic notes, “Those who had taken the trouble to read the judgment in the Krstic case will have noted the abundance of fantastic details provided by prosecution witnesses who seem to have been well coached….The Krstic chamber uncritically accepted their statements — see, for instance, paragraphs 43 and 44 of the trial judgment — and uses them as building blocks for its further factual and legal findings. The difference between those bombastic stories and the professional report of foreign observers…is drastic.”

“We probably will never know the truth about Srebrenica,” Wilcoxson concludes in his section “Quest for Clarity.” “It is clear that something awful happened there. A crime was committed, but the scale of that crime is completely unknown because the people doing the investigation cannot be trusted…The Tribunal is an institution where Naser Oric can murder Serbs, boast about it to reporters while showing them video proof of what he did, and the Hague Tribunal acquits him….But Radislav Krstic, who never personally committed a crime and who never ordered anyone else to commit a crime, is convicted of aiding and abetting genocide and he is sent off to prison for what will likely be the rest of his life, presumably because he is the cartoon character representing the “bad guys.”

On this point, Wilcoxson separately added in an email:

[In the Kravica massacre] there was horrific mutilation of the victims’ bodies…The prosecution didn’t charge Oric for the massacre, all they accused him of was destroying property and they didn’t convict him because they made no attempt to prove how the buildings in Kravica were destroyed. I remember during the Milosevic trial they had structural engineers looking at photographs and videotape of destroyed buildings in Kosovo to determine whether they had been destroyed by artillery fire, bombed by aircraft, or set on fire by people on the ground. The Tribunal didn’t bother doing any of that for Kravica because they obviously didn’t want to convict Oric. The whole point of the Oric trial was to whitewash his crimes, exonerate him and his bosses in Sarajevo, and deny justice to the Serb victims.

Thus, in addition to fudged and fabricated forensics, we also have selective forensics. Oric’s crimes are thoroughly documented; he openly boasted about them and showed Serb-killing video tapes to two Western journalists (John Pomfret of Washington Post and Bill Schiller of Toronto Star).

(Warning: Graphic images of the handiwork by Oric, other Bosnian Muslims, and mujahedeen in Bosnia appear at this site. Bigger Warning: The site is socialist.)

“Quest for Clarity” continues:

If Hague prosecutors were making a good faith effort to bring Oric to justice for his crimes, you’d think they’d call Pomfret and Schiller to the stand…You’d expect them to tender the articles Pomfret and Schiller wrote about their dealings with Oric into evidence during the trial, but they didn’t even do that. As far as the Prosecution was concerned, Oric’s boasts about his crimes never happened. During his testimony at the Tribunal, the former commander of the UN Protection Force in Bosnia, Gen. Philippe Morillon described his dealings with Oric. He testified that Oric was “a warlord who reigned by terror in his area [Srebrenica] and over the population itself” and that Oric and his men, “engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants.”

One would think the Prosecution would have called Morillon to testify against Oric. Gen. Morillon personally dealt with Oric, he had knowledge of his crimes, and he was a senior UN official. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect witness for the prosecution.

Oric is but one example of The Hague’s selective justice. Former Kosovo “prime minister” Ramush Haradinaj — who was accused of, among other things, ordering the murders of 40 Serbs as a KLA commander including at least six whom he killed with his own hands — was released by the ICTY for “lack of evidence” after two key witnesses were killed and others refused to testify. (His subsequent re-arrest in 2010 was a good way for the utterly appalling ICTY to claim objectivity and balance — that is, re-try a blatant killer who was initially released because witnesses were literally dropping out, in order to make it all right to convict not-necessarily-guilty men.)

As of August 2007, at the Bosnia court where Mr. Cvetkovic is to be tried, 170 of the 180 war crimes verdicts were against Serbs, with zero against Bosnian Muslims. At the time, it had been a year since criminal proceedings were launched against Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Atif Dudakovic, with no charges filed. As with Oric, there were witnesses and video footage of Dudakovic commanding operations where war crimes were committed.

“The truth is ugly,” Wilcoxson concluded in an article last July. “The Serbs executed enemy POWs in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the Muslims deliberately goaded them into it for propaganda purposes, the U.N. allowed all of it to happen even though they had the means to stop it, NATO got conned into being the Muslim air force, and Western governments and news media lied about the whole thing. The end result of all of it is that thousands of people died needlessly.

“…Krstic did not participate in, order, or even know the massacre was happening. In fact, Krstic specifically ordered that no harm was to befall the Bosnian Muslim civilians. The Tribunal ruled that ‘It was unnecessary for the Trial Chamber to conclude that Radislav Krstic was actually aware that those other criminal acts were being committed; it was sufficient that their occurrence was foreseeable to him and that those other crimes did in fact occur.’

“The Srebrenica massacre was foreseeable to the Bosnian-Muslim authorities and to the U.N. as well. They too had the ability and the obligation to prevent the massacre, and they didn’t do it either…One also has to wonder whether a conflict of interest arises when a UN Tribunal conducts the investigations, makes factual findings, and determines criminal liability with regard to events where the UN was as deeply involved as it was in Srebrenica.”

In his “Quest for Clarity,” Wilcoxson added:

Because the UN and the Bosnian Government are directly culpable for what happened in Srebrenica, common sense holds that they would want to re-direct as much blame as possible onto the Serbs. The Bosnian Government launched military attacks from the enclave and the UN did absolutely nothing to stop them, even though Srebrenica had been declared a UN Safe Area and was supposed to be demilitarized. Broadly speaking the UN condoned the Muslim attacks, and the Muslim regime goaded the VRS into attacking the enclave, and then did nothing to defend it, even though they had the materiel, the man power, and the obligation to do so. They abandoned the soldiers in Srebrenica who then tried to escape across Bosnian-Serb territory to Tuzla. Now the UN Tribunal in The Hague and the Bosnian Government are precisely the people running the investigation.

Ninety percent of the massacre victims were military-aged men, 70% of whose service records were found and examined by Hague researchers. The mass graves, meanwhile, contain also soldiers who were confirmed killed in combat throughout the 1992-95 civil war, and the ICTY itself declared the escaping Srebrenica column from Oric’s 28th Division a legitimate military target. Armies are not protected groups under the Genocide Convention, so all the shock photos of decomposing corpses and all the ICMP identifications (which one can have for any war) go nowhere vis-a-vis genocide, as Wilcoxson outlined in 2010:

…History is loaded with examples of military campaigns with much higher military and civilian death tolls than anything seen in Srebrenica, where nobody alleges genocide (Operation Meetinghouse, the Tet Offensive, the Allied bombing of Dresden, etc…).

When evaluating the allegation of genocide in Srebrenica one must determine whether the Bosnian Serb forces intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslim ethno-religious group as such, or whether their intent was to wipe out enemy resistance in the region. It’s a simple matter…

According to the Tribunal, “the Trial Chamber treated the killing of the men of military age as evidence from which to infer that Radislav Krstic and some members of the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army] Main Staff had the requisite intent to destroy all the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica.”

The Tribunal’s finding of genocide in Srebrenica isn’t based on hard evidence of a genocidal Serbian plan….[but] on an inference they drew from the killing of military aged men in a war zone, most of whom were members of the military as evidenced by their military records.

If one uses the definition of “genocide” concocted by the Tribunal for Srebrenica one could argue that genocide is a feature of practically every military conflict…They entered a finding of genocide because that was the finding they wanted to make, not because it was where the evidence led them.

The victims of the Srebrenica massacre fall into three categories: people who were captured and executed, belligerents who were killed in combat, and non-combatants who got caught in the cross-fire. We don’t know how many victims fall into each category because a proper post-mortem forensic examination has not been done for the vast majority of victims.

By affixing the “genocide” label to Srebrenica the Tribunal has undermined the will to do any further investigation into the cause of death of the bodies still being exhumed…

In a follow-up article last year Wilcoxson added:

If the massacre victims were targeted because of their real or suspected membership in the Army of Bosnia Herzegovina then the massacre, although still a war crime, wasn’t an act of genocide because the target was the military force, and not the Bosnian-Muslim ethnic group itself. [See 1948 Genocide Convention definition.]

[A]ll of the men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Srebrenica had been drafted…Even the Prosecution’s own experts have testified that “military combatants or potential military combatants” were the intended target of the massacre.

Upon entering Srebrenica, the Bosnian-Serb forces did not massacre the Bosnian-Muslim women, children, or the elderly who came under their control. On the contrary, they arranged for them to be sent to safety in Muslim held territory. The Popovic trial chamber noted that “the Bosnian Muslim women, children, and the elderly were transported out of [the nearby UN base at] Potocari on buses and trucks, to ABiH-held territory near Kladanj. Each convoy was escorted by [Bosnian-Serb] Bratunac Brigade Military Police….”

…There are no other instances of genocide where the perpetrators spared the women and children…The Krstic defense argued before the ICTY Appeals chamber that the genocide convictions should be thrown out because “the record contains no statements by members of the VRS Main Staff indicating…genocidal intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica.” Incredibly, the Appeals Chamber dismissed that argument on the grounds that “…Where direct evidence of genocidal intent is absent, the intent may still be inferred from the factual circumstances of the crime.”

The factual circumstances of the crime are that the executions targeted actual and potential combatants from a single town during an ongoing war….

The Krstic judgment arbitrarily introduced a new target class to qualify as genocide: “In par. 501 of the Krstić trial judgment,” Karganovic cites, “the number of executed victims can be ‘limited’ without affecting the conclusion of genocide. [Serb] units did not have to execute all military-age Bosnian Muslim males, or even all who happened to be in their custody, for the finding of genocide to be sustained.”

The absurdity of this ad-libbed justice was drawn out in another Wilcoxson email (link added):

We executed members of the Nazi SS during the Second World War. When the SS surrendered to American troops at the Dachau death camp we lined them up against the wall and shot all of them…But in “ICTY-land” they could say that because most of the SS men were Germans that we must have been targeting the German men of Dachau for destruction, therefore we committed genocide against the Germans…

What happened at Srebrenica isn’t the same thing as Hitler rounding up every Jewish man, woman, and child he could get his hands on and having them systematically slaughtered in extermination camps…

Indeed, unlike in WWII Poland and Estonia, for example, where the Germans killed more than 90% of Jewish men, women and children, in Srebrenica more than 80% of the Bosnian-Muslim population survived the fall of the town, and the vast majority who lost their lives were soldiers. But the Srebrenica ‘genocide’ is the cause célèbre that justifies everything NATO did and continues to do in the Balkans. It was all rather cheerily admitted-slash-boasted in 1999 by then NATO spokesman Jamie Shea when he said that there would be no Hague Tribunal without NATO, and that NATO and the Hague Tribunal are “allies and friends.”

In sum, from Deconstruction:

[T]he chambers’ conclusions in these trials with respect to genocide do not satisfy basic international law criteria….The verdicts of political ad hoc tribunals can never replace a thorough and professional legal analysis…[C]onstructs erected on such shaky foundations are by their nature ephemeral and cannot outlast the political conditions which brought them about and the availability of external resources which are required to prop them up.

Our position is simple and it is irreproachably reasonable. Srebrenica must be treated like any other criminal investigation. The reason why fifteen years after Srebrenica we still do not have a reliable idea of what happened and about the scope and nature of that crime is precisely because professional criteria were never applied in the investigation. Instead, Srebrenica serves only as a subject of political blackmail and exploitation.

The desperation and hysteria of the opposite side are understandable if account is taken of the fact that they have had an untroubled decade and a half to spout their slander and pass off their fabrications as established facts under the protective umbrella of powerful foreign sponsors.

For [the entrenched theses] to survive, their advocates must seek to an ever increasing extent the support of various political and administrative structures. Examples of such palpably unacademic behaviour are demands for the adoption of political resolutions which sacralise the dogmatic version of Srebrenica events and impose it as the only correct one, persistent attempts to criminalise the public expression of doubt in the official account and — finally — as an extraordinary sign of desperation, resorting to criminal complaints in order to silence, intimidate, and financially ruin skeptics. The old adage that the truth should be self-sufficient and not be made a ward of the coercive apparatus of the state in order to prevail, in this context becomes particularly significant. The protagonists of the official version of Srebrenica events act as if they themselves were unsure of the sustainability of their “truth”….

As an example, when Swedish TV in November broadcast the film “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed,” the ICTY’s Muslim spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic wrote a plaintive letter to the station’s chief executive, “containing a number of demands and criticisms.” It was essentially “an outrageous attempt by a judicial institution to interfere with the right of media to decide what it will or will not show,” assessed Mr. Karganovic. This move reflects “ICTY’s desperation for the results of its staged trials to be given [weight]…and for the massive evidence of defects that infect its flawed judgments to be concealed and suppressed.” Throughout the letter, she in fact mis-cited the court’s own findings.

According to Karganovic, Srebrenica cultists have gone so far as to condemn calls for professional and detailed autopsy reports — that is, traditional forensics — “as an obstruction and a failure, because it [won’t] produce anywhere near the hoped for 8,000 corpses.”

Most recently, in its June 29th issue, the Belgrade weekly Pechat (also available in Bosnia) included a gift copy of Srebrenica Historical Project’s new volume of critical essays Srebrenica: Falsifying History, but Bosnia-Herzegovina’s media-monitoring agency banned the book and threatened the Bosnian distributor with canceling his license if he tried to import it. Instead, ten days from now Western leaders everywhere will bow their heads in mandatory commemoration of the Srebrenica “genocide.” (No sooner did the EU pass a Srebrenica resolution in January 2009 than the same month Israel found itself rebuked by two Bosnian-Muslim authors for underscoring the singularity of the Holocaust, and for supposedly committing an equivalent genocide against Palestinians.)

Justice Flugge is another instructive example. He had been assigned to the Mladic case, but three Bosnian-Muslim groups in Europe and North America sent the ICTY a letter demanding his removal, because in a 2009 Der Spiegel interview he openly questioned the classification of Srebrenica as genocide — even though the judge still held all the “correct,” pro-Muslim opinions about the Balkan wars, and even though he’d said it wasn’t any better to kill people because they all happened to be in the same location (as in the Srebrenica case) than to kill people for who they were (i.e. not the case in Srebrenica).

But the Muslims desperately need their genocide, and Flugge had the gall to deprive them of it. Not only did the judge commit the unforgivable sin, he added insult to injury by adding, “Strictly speaking, the term genocide only fits to the Holocaust.” Which negates the point of the whole exercise of the hard-won “genocide.” (Equal political footing with Jews, whom they see as deriving much of their sympathy and clout from the Holocaust.)

In a general email last July, Andy Wilcoxson explained the beauty of the ICTY:

We have the Tribunal in The Hague precisely so the propagandists out there shilling for [NATO’s Balkan] cause won’t have to defend their claims from criticism and won’t have to “win arguments in open contests”…[I]f you disagree with them their response is invariably that the Tribunal has handed down its verdict and anyone who dares to disagree with its findings is a “revisionist” or a “genocide denier” who should be banned from speaking if not arrested and fined for “hate speech”.

The evidence, then, is the verdict itself, as attorney John Bosnitch put it in the documentary “Weight of Chains.”

In an August 2009 interview about his book Srebrenica — The History of Salon Racism, researcher Alexander Dorin explained the reason that things just don’t seem to quite fit about the Balkan wars. Their history has been written by the aggressors, while for “hundreds of years, Serbs were fighting against the aggressors and the fascist forces. Instead of respect and gratitude, they were rewarded with sanctions and bombs by the international community, and with a thorough and complete demonization by the Western media. Today’s world is ruled by the criminals and psychopaths who call themselves democrats.”

Israel must not join this club.

For two decades the Serbs have been doing as told by a Mecca-obliging West, and look where it’s gotten them. They are as reviled as ever, and subjected to double and triple standards. From one untermenschen to another, Israel needs to do Cvetkovic, and itself, a solid. Israel must try to remember for a moment that it answers not to masters in Washington or Mecca, who will betray it no matter how many times it does as told, but to a god that existed before the New World Order, whether Hitler’s or the West’s current facsimile of it.

We thought the West was long past arbitrary justice. It is not. We thought we were millennia past human sacrifice. We are not. There is a new paganism upon us. The Holy Land has no business becoming part of it.

Frequent flier Clinton hits 100-country mark

Which means that the secretary has touched down in more countries than recognize Kosovo.

The previous record was held by Madeleine Albright.

Which confirms that the more useless you are, the more you travel.

And of course, as diplomats they need to travel, since — as a diplomat friend of a friend confided — diplomats are largely sociopaths. Sociopaths who feel disconnected from society and therefore need to travel from place to place wreaking havoc.

I just saw this follow-up on Atlas Shrugs to the South Park threats from two years ago: Free Speech Victory! Muslim gets 12 years for South Park Death threat

Maybe he’ll be the one guy in prison who converts to something else?

Meanwhile, you don’t often see this kind of sanity from our judicial system on Islam. Good for the judge and prosecutors.


The Muslim who threatened the producers of South Park was sentenced to 12 years today. The prosecution was “relatively novel under a law enacted in recent years that makes it a federal crime to use the Internet to place another person in fear of death or serious injury.”

What a wonderful message to send to Islamic supremacist infiltrators in America who seek to restrict free speech and impose the blasphemy laws under the sharia. I am going to turn over the death threats I receive from Muslims to law enforcement with renewed vigor.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady agreed with the prosecution’s case that these threats will live on indefinitely for those targeted, and that a strong sentence is needed to stand against such brutal assaults on free speech.

I love how the jihadist called his death threats “engaging in dialogue.” That is sooooo Imam Rauf.

Man faces sentence for online ‘South Park’ threat FOX News

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam.

The sentence — largely in line with the term sought by prosecutors — came after Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, offered an apology for his conduct, saying he “contributed to a clash of civilizations” by espousing a violent ideology.

“I justified atrocities by Muslims simply because they were carried out by the weak against the powerful,” Morton said.

Morton founded the now-defunct Revolution Muslim website. He said he wanted the site to offer a forum for nuanced dialogue on relations between the Muslim world and the West and that he thought his website was protected by the First Amendment. However, he admitted that the website devolved into coarse calls for violent jihad, and that he crossed the line by posting the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire on the site. The magazine explicitly called for the murder of a cartoonist from Seattle who promoted “Everybody Draw Muhammad day” and featured an article titled “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

He and another defendant, Zachary Chesser, used the website to deliver thinly veiled threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show for perceived insults to the prophet Muhammad, by depicting him in a bear costume. Chesser earlier received a 25-year sentence, but he also tried to travel to Somalia to join the al-Shabab terrorist group.

Prosecutor Gordon Kromberg said Morton’s apology may well be sincere, but argued that a stiff sentence was necessary because of the nature of the crime. He said Morton’s site inspired a variety of would-be jihadis, including “Jihad Jane” Colleen LaRose; Antonio Benjamin Martinez, who plotted to bomb a military recruiting station; and Jose Pimental, who plotted to assassinate members of the U.S. military returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. He also corresponded with American Al Qaeda member Samir Khan on writing an article for use as Al Qaeda propaganda.

Kromberg said the posting of Al Qaeda’s instructional article on how to build a kitchen bomb will inevitably lead to someone’s death in the future. And he said Morton abused his free speech protections to call for the murder of those whose speech he found offensive.

“Make a TV show we don’t like — we’ll slit your throat. Draw a cartoon we don’t like — we’ll slit your throat,” Kromberg said, summarizing Morton’s philosophy.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady said Morton was a bright man who could have used his intellect and energy for good but instead took a “horrible turn.”

“You were rubbing elbows with some of the most dangerous revolutionaries of the past few years,” O’Grady said, who told Morton “there has to be religious tolerance in the world. There has to be freedom of speech.”

Defense attorney James Hundley had sought a prison term of less than five years. He argued that Morton by and large tried to keep his website on the right side of the line between free speech and advocating violence, but admitted that at times Morton crossed it.

“His goal was to engage in dialogue,” Hundley said.

Morton’s prosecution was relatively novel under a law enacted in recent years that makes it a federal crime to use the Internet to place another person in fear of death or serious injury.

Morton was arrested last year in Morocco, where he moved after Chesser’s arrest.

It turns out that someone at the State Department knew all along that Croatia never answered for its Nazi past and shouldn’t just sail into the EU un-scrutinized and unreformed. Unfortunately, it’s a bit late. This former Under Secretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat, could have spoken up when Croatia was put on the fast-track in the mid-2000s, or even as late as last year, when the final stage of accession began; Croatia will be an EU member by mid next year.

Still, one is grateful for the following item from Thursday’s Haaretz (and please don’t be fooled by the paper’s — likely not Eizenstat’s — clumsy efforts at moral equivalence where there is none, via the strained insertion of Serbia):

EU should hold Croatia and Serbia accountable for Holocaust roles, says U.S. diplomat (June 21)

Former Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat tells Haaretz in a wide-ranging interview that if Croatia wants to join the democratic body, it must follow rule of law and come to terms with its past.

By Mordechai I. Twersky

A leading U.S. diplomat and former ambassador to the European Union is calling on the EU to encourage Croatia and Serbia to take responsibility for their roles in the Holocaust before granting them EU membership.

“Now is the time for the European Union to exact the maximum amount of leverage,” said Stuart E. Eizenstat, a former U.S. under secretary of state, who served as the Clinton administration’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues. “Once they’re in, the leverage is lost.”

Eizenstat, who gave a wide-ranging interview to Haaretz while attending the President’s Conference in Jerusalem yesterday, noted that Croatia’s president, Ivo Josipovic, was also in attendance. He said Josipovic must go beyond his apology, issued last February, for his country’s role in the crimes committed against the Jews during the Second World War. He called on him to commence with a restitution program and the formation of an independent commission of international scholars to examine the country’s wartime past.

“Neither one of those is being done right now with respect to Croatia,” said Eizenstat, who has negotiated agreements with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and other European countries with regard to restitution of property, compensation for slavery, recovery of looted art and bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies for Holocaust victims.

According to the Yad Vashem’s website, 30,000 of Croatia’s Jews died during the Holocaust - 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population.

Croatia is expected to gain EU membership next year.

Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009 and may be granted entry as early as 2014. Yad Vashem estimates that 14,500 Jews were exterminated in Serbia during the Holocaust.

“This is a time to say, ‘Look, if you’re going to get into a democratic organization with rules of law, you have to demonstrate that the rule of law applies to you as well, and that you’re going to find ways to deal with your past,’” said Eizenstat, America’s ambassador to the EU from 1993-1996, who accused the EU of not holding Central and Eastern European countries accountable.

“It’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” said the 69-year-old diplomat, a native of Atlanta, Georgia. “They need to take the lead, and they simply haven’t.”

Haaretz attempted to reach the Croatian delegation attending the Jerusalem Conference but did not receive a response before press time. […]

Perhaps “it’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” Mr. Eizenstat, because the EU was, after all, conceived by “former” Nazis in 1957, and modeled on a less malevolent version of Hitler’s vision.

The stats mentioned by Haaretz — 30,000 Jews killed by WWII Croatia — naturally neglect to mention the 750,000 Serbs that Croatia killed, many of them alongside Jews at the notorious but unknown-to-Westerners concentration complex of Jasenovac, WWII’s third-most efficient death camp and in fact its first, laying the blueprint for the rest.

Clearly, Haaretz knows there’s nothing politically incorrect about ignoring the always politically correct deaths of Serbs.

Now, that’s what wasn’t mentioned about Serbs. What was mentioned follows protocol as well: “…14,500 Jews were exterminated in Serbia during the Holocaust.”

But there is a world of difference between “in Serbia” and “by Serbia,” between Nazis doing the killing in occupied Serbia and Croats doing the killing in Axis-allied Croatia. Nor, again, can one help but notice that the two mentions of Serbia — just enough to equalize it with Croatia — seem shoehorned in. They are outside of quotation marks, that is, not attributed to Eizenstat, whose quotes mention only Croatia. Another clue pointing to a bit of editorial guidance is the part about attempts to get a comment from the Croatian delegation.

Closing with a bit of history: While some Serbs did turn Jews in to the Germans (without doing the actual killing) — as was happening all over Europe — Haaretz’s glaring insertions perplexed Hague analyst Andy Wilcoxson, who sent an email elaborating:

I think there were probably some Nazi collaborators among the Serbs, but I don’t think there was a single country occupied by the Nazis where there weren’t collaborators.

What I do know is that the Chetniks [Serbian guerrillas] raised a rebellion against the Nazi occupiers, and that the vast majority of Serbs were either Communist Partisans or Royalist Chetniks. I also know that Truman posthumously gave [Chetnik] General Mihailovic the Legion of Merit. The fact that Truman gave him the award *after* the Communists executed him for “collaborating with the Nazis” tells me that President Truman didn’t put any stock in the allegations of Nazi collaboration [by Mihailovic’s Chetniks], which he was certainly aware of when he decided to give him the award because the allegations were all over the media by then.

I also know that if you go to a library and search the microfilms of American newspapers for stories mentioning Chetniks during World War II, especially 1941 and 1942, it was reported at the time that the Chetniks were leading the rebellion against the Ustasha and Nazi occupation forces in Serbia.

Here is a movie produced by 20th Century Fox in 1943 about the Chetniks.

Amazing how they can re-write the history of the 2nd World War to turn the Serbs into the Nazis they fought against and get away with it, when it was obvious to EVERYONE during the war that the Serbs sided with the Allies.

(Similarly, last year a writer named Royston Jones wrote for WalesHome.org: “While a small number of Serbs collaborated, the vast majority reacted as Serbs always have when threatened or invaded. They fought. The courage and doggedness of Tito’s (mainly Serbian) Partisans and the royalist (and totally Serbian) Chetniks led by Draža Mihailovic is well documented. The vast numbers of German troops they tied down for years undoubtedly helped the Soviets achieve victory on the Eastern Front.”)

Look for this documentary about WWII’s Halyard Mission, the largest American air rescue from behind enemy lines that no one knows about. (Because it was made possible by Serbs, and by Serb-Americans in the U.S. military):

Appendix A

At least reunified Germany has had Croatia’s back all along:

MEPs wrestle over report on Croatia’s EU progress (March 1, 2007)

…The report says that the “effective prosecution of war crimes is still being undermined by hostility at local level against initiatives questioning Croatia’s role in the conflict.”

It urges Zagreb “actively to encourage and support the prosecution of war crimes.”

It also “deplores” the government’s offer to help pay the defence costs of General Ante Gotovina and its offer to act as amicus curiae for this and other cases….

“I am satisfied with Croatia’s progress. At the moment I do not see any problems on the Croatian side for EU entry before the European elections in 2009 if prime minister Sanader pushes on with his successful policies,” said centre-right German MEP Elmar Brok.

And once we became Germany’s foot soldier, not only did we assist militarily in the biggest ethnic cleansing of the Balkan wars — Croatia’s 1995 Operation Storm which expelled 250,000 Serbs while bludgeoning those too old to make it out — but the reasons for our initial objections no longer mattered, as these more recent rosy headlines demonstrate:

Cheney: US backs Croatia for joining NATO, EU (May 7, 2006)

Bush: Croatia a Good Example for the Region (March 27, 2008)

Bush hails Croatia’s NATO acceptance (April 5, 2008)

US and UK clash over Croatia’s EU membership bid (Jan. 1, 2009)

Bush praises Croatia, promise to work on visa waiver program (April 5, 2008)

U.S. President George W. Bush praised Croatians as hardworking, freedom-loving people on Saturday and promised that America and NATO would stand by Croatia if anyone should endanger it.

Washington did not initially support Croatia’s independence….It was not until April 1992 that the U.S. recognized Croatian independence — three months after the European Union did. In the 1990s, Washington also disapproved of Croatian nationalism.

Bush’s visit is seen by the government as a confirmation that Croatia is now fully embraced by the West.

History be damned.

Appendix B

After my Croatia article ran in Jerusalem Post in February 2010, a friend shared the following revelation, indicating that WWII Croatia was a precedent for more than just death camps, and leading to the question whether six million Jews died for the dream of an independent Catholic Croatia:

Interesting chapter [in The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, Indiana University Press]. Page 39:

“….The Croatian genocide is significant historically because of its timing and the circumstances surrounding it. By failing to speak out publicly against genocide in Croatia, the Holy See lost an opportunity to condemn it in 1941, just months before the Holocaust began. The circumstances are equally important. Since the main victims of Ustasha genocide were Orthodox Serbs, Pope Pius XII forfeited an opportunity to denounce a genocide that did not involve Hitler’s plans for Jews which had not yet been worked out in detail. Among the Axis powers, the Italians found the brutality of the Ustasha murderers horrifying and the Germans saw it as economically disruptive. The summer of 1941 would have been the right moment in time for the Holy See to exercise moral leadership.

“Why then did Pope Pius not address this moral issue? It was not because it did not occur to him. Cardinal Eugene Tisserant had smelled genocide in the air at the beginning of WWII and had suggested to Pius at that time that he address the issue in an encyclical. Rather, it was because the Holy See preferred to bring diplomatic pressure on the Ustasha government instead of challenging the fascists publicly on the immorality of genocide. [Croatian fuehrer] Pavelic’s diplomatic emissaries to the Holy See were scolded gently by Monsignors Tardini and Montini…”

The genocide of Serbs and Jews in Croatia happened first — before Hitler’s started The Final Solution — and the Vatican was intent on keeping Catholic Croatia as a state, so they didn’t want to rock the boat by “condemning genocide” as a moral issue because it would damn Croatia and might even reflect badly on the Catholic Church given how religiously motivated that the Ustashe were…Once Pius remained silent about genocide in Croatia, Hitler had him over a barrel: What kind of “moral high ground” could Pius have condemning Hitler killing Jews when he’d never opened his mouth on what was happening in Catholic Croatia?

Jasenovac, the only death camp in Europe not run by Nazi Germany but rather by the Croats themselves, was built almost a year before Auschwitz . I had always assumed that the Croats had seen Germans sending Jews to death camps so they joined in by building Jasenovac, but based on the timeline it was the other way around. Croatia’s Jasenovac was actually the model for Auschwitz, right down to having a railway close by to transport people…(It’s true that Dachau was built in 1933, before the war began, but Dachau began primarily as a concentration camp to house political prisoners — mostly Christians.)

But don’t ask a Croatian about any of this stuff. He’ll believe he has no idea what you’re talking about and will call you a Chetnik for bringing it up. Anyway, it’s all about the beautiful coastline, Dude. Welcome to the EU!

Marking the one-year anniversary of clueless Hillel students from Dartmouth tidying up the neglected Jewish cemetery in Pristina, someone has vandalized it again. “Again” because the first time occurred within a few months of the students’ officially-approved and ballyhooed trip last June in cooperation with Our Friends the Kosovars.

A Google translation of an otherwise overlooked item from Radio Kosovo and Metohija:

Damaged and threatened Jewish cemetery in Pristina (June 2)

[The] fence on the part of the Jewish cemetery in Pristina was completely destroyed and buried…the only [Jewish] cemetery is in danger.

Jews from Pristina were buried, along with the residents of this city. This is the second time the Jewish cemetery destroyed.

Keeper of the cemetery [has] now banned filming and photographing [of the] cemetery by reporters and [the faithful].

[A] guard shouted at the journalists present. Zivojin Rakocevic [was physically] threatened. Without prior warning [the guard] started yelling at Rakocevic addressing him with the words: “What do you want? Are you crazy? Who are you? I am here to look after [the cemetery] and need to know what you are doing here…”

Rakocevic for KIM Radio said that this [reflects] the general state of [Kosovo] society and intolerance.

“This man is very aware of what works. He has learned to conceal the destruction of the cemetery. He sees [us take] pictures of it, but [doesn’t see] when they steal from graves or destroy the Jewish cemetery. He sees [a] demolished cemetery that [he] supposedly kept,” said Rakocevic. […]

And this just in from our Great Muslim Hope of Kosovo:

Kosovo set to join OIC (June 18)

(MENAFN - Arab News) Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has welcomed the application tabled by the Republic of Kosovo to become an official and permanent member of the organization.

He told the visiting Prime Minister Hashim Thaci following a meeting Saturday in Jeddah that the OIC had since 1996 supported Kosovo’s right for independence.

“Kosovo suffered a lot from injustice and repression under an administration that did not care for the political, religious and cultural rights of the people of the country. [Sic, sic, and sic.] Now, after independence and the recognition of 91 countries including 30 OIC members, the organization looks forward to Kosovo soon becoming a member of the UN and the OIC,” he said.

Thaci, on his part, appreciated the continued support of the OIC to his country until it gained independence and said he discussed with the secretary-general all the available means of further consolidating cooperation between Kosovo and the 57 OIC member countries. He said Kosovo maintained good relations with all countries of the region and was hoping to have close ties with Serbia.

The prime minister said the policies of his country, with more than 95 percent of its population Muslims, were in conformity with the general political stances of the Muslim countries. He explained that to be a member of the OIC, Kosovo should first be a member of the UN. “Kosovo is determined to further strengthen its ties with the OIC in the next phase,” he said.

In a meeting with Saudi businessmen at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Saturday, the prime minister asked Saudi businessmen to invest in various fields in his country.

“Kosovo is rich in raw materials including agriculture, electricity, minerals and tourist attractions,” he said.

Thaci recalled that Kosovo’s GDP growth rate last year was about 5 percent, and 79 percent of its land is arable. “Saudis can invest in basic infrastructure projects, communications, trade, cooper, zinc, iron, coal, cooper, silver and other minerals,” he said.

He told the businessmen they could also invest in tourism and said many Westerners came to his country for medical tourism. “We have ample facilities for entertainment tourism including mountains, hot springs and ice skating,” he added. [Did the organ-trafficker really just say medical tourism?]

Thaci said Kosovo is strategically located in the heart of the Balkan, so when businessmen come to it they will actually be in the middle of Europe.

He said the Kosovo-Arab Friendship Chamber was a non-profitable organization established to promote the country as a confluence between the West and the East. “The chamber is making strenuous efforts to cement the country’s ties with the Arab and Islamic world,” he said. Welcoming his guest, JCCI Secretary-General Adnan bin Hussain Mandoura said the chamber was keen to support investments in Kosovo and to entice Saudi businessmen to invest in it. […]

OIC? Oh I see.

Americans can keep patting themselves on the back for this one, and touting Kosovo’s West-drafted constitution. It won’t mean much in the end. As for the American general who got us into this, he’s getting what he wanted out of it:

Ex-NATO general Clark eyes Kosovo coal (AFP, June 11)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Retired US army General Wesley Clark, who led the NATO campaign to drive Serbian forces out of Kosovo 13 years ago, is now hoping to dig deep to tap the territory’s coal resources.

His company Envidity, which focuses on clean energy, has applied for a licence to explore in Kosovo and produce synthetic fuel if significant coal deposits can be found.

The Canadian company, of which Clark is chairman, said if the exploration was successful it could eventually produce up to 15.9 million litres (100,000 barrels) a day of high-quality synthetic diesel fuel.

Endivity estimates the Pristina government could benefit to the tune of 300 million euros, which it said was one fifth of its current revenue. Kosovo’s known lignite or brown coal reserves are estimated at up to 14 billion tonnes…

Madeleine Albright, meanwhile, got a sweet Kosovo deal for her mobile communications company. Stay tuned for a blog on Kosovo’s Western Profiteers. If war is a racket, Kosovo was a grand slam.


In my blog responding to The Washington Times and its calumnist — I mean columnist — Jeffrey T. Kuhner, I made a couple references to the traumatized Canadian UN soldiers who witnessed the aftermath of the crimes by rampaging Croatian troops upon Serbian soldiers and civilians alike. I wanted to just illustrate some of what that was referring to, with a few random excerpts:

ASHAMED OF OUR INCOMPETENCE: Recollections of a Canadian Soldier
Translated interview with Peter Cochrane, by Ljiljana Mitrovic

…One evening while heatedly debating how politicians yet again stirred the ashes and reignited the embers in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, and how many Serbs died in this last war, a passerby (from Georgia – formerly in USSR), obviously not realizing his surroundings, took it upon himself to announce that the Croatians didn’t kill enough Serbs. Before the present, shocked Serbs could react, [the stranger slugged him].

“I didn’t have a choice; I had to knock him out,” begins Peter Cochrane, a Canadian soldier who served as a peacekeeper in Serbian Krajina and Slavonia from October 1992 to October 1993. An experience which he says will remain forever etched into his conscious and subconscious mind.

Massacre in Medak Pocket

“I was a witness to the endless lines of broken figures carrying what they could take away on their shoulders. And the fallen cities, burning villages, bloody sidewalks, mass graves - everything that is unimaginable in modern society” confesses Pete who, with his gesture towards the Georgian, awakened a trust in even the most skeptical among us.

Born September 4th, 1965 in Montreal, where his family still resides, at the age of 21 Pete decided to join the Canadian armed forces.

After his training in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta, he was transferred to the Third Battalion PPCLI Division (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry)…In 1992 he was sent to the territories of the former Yugoslavia. There he spent the next six months in Krajina and Western Slavonia….

…”That breed of hate and resentment I simply couldn’t imagine. We, the UN soldiers, tried to help the poor locals on both sides of the conflict, but couldn’t do much due to political directives coming from New York. When I went into this mission I thought I was going there to help the people and to maintain peace with no regard towards nationality. Yet, because of orders coming from ‘above’ I was extremely frustrated and paralyzed to do anything as were the rest of the UNPROFOR soldiers whose hands were tied.”

“For example: It was well known to us that there were three mass graves in the vicinity of Uljanik, where Serbs were buried”, continues Pete in the same breath. “Given orders to go down there and investigate, we discovered bodies of massacred Serb civilians and sent our report to New York. They did absolutely nothing about the matter, nor did it in any way dawn on them to blame the Croatians. The same was seen, in an already witnessed scenario, around the villages in the area of Pakrac. Many knives were dragged across the throats of women, children, elderly and others… many more men were captured in a cursed ring of hate and revenge. I remember we patrolled for days around those villages. In one of the houses lived an old woman, as you would say, who had one foot in the grave. For days she greeted us with Turkish coffee and plum brandy (rakija). Then one day, she wasn’t there. Then the second, then the third… Being curious as to her whereabouts, we went into her open house and found her on the floor with her throat slit. We asked ourselves who she could have possibly crossed.

Then, there was a little Serbian boy who lost his family to a grenade explosion and was dramatically disturbed by the incident. Every day he greeted our patrol with an endless stream of “kako ste, kako ste” (how are you) which is why we dubbed him the ‘kakoste kid’. We gave him candies and food, then one day we found out he was killed. Again, why?

I even participated in the first big Canadian firefight in almost 40 years, on September 8th, 1993 in Medak Pocket.

At that time, while guarding the Serbian villages, we were attacked by the Croatian army. Upon our return to the demolished houses we came upon a scenario which cannot be forgotten. Slaughtered people, children and animals… a massacre unthinkable for civilization. I was ashamed of the political decisions of my superiors. Truth be told, I was ashamed of neither myself nor my friends since we were doing everything in our capacity to help civilians, especially children and the elderly. But, the effects of those memories I feel to this day.”

Could you understand what was going on there?

“At that time I couldn’t. Nobody could have understood that. But then, upon my return to Canada, I began to study the history of the former Yugoslavia and many things became clear. Only then did I comprehend what sorts of lies were being served through the “free” western media. There was a lot of shooting, and blood, especially at night. Fields were over-filled with mines in which many Canadian soldiers were injured including me. “

Pete does not wish to speak of injuries he sustained in just such a field, from which he almost went deaf and is frequently reminded of by the shrapnel in his leg…

“As a soldier you have to be strong, yet a stint in the battlefields of Yugoslavia will leave a lasting impression on the strongest of men. My friend who spent only six months in Croatia and was injured there a number of times, upon his return to Canada sought the help of numerous doctors and psychologists, but nobody could help him. He was found in his own apartment, having taken his own life, his pistol still in his hand.”

Hell in Kosovo

…During the 85th anniversary of the Canadian army [Pete] met Major General Lewis Mackenzie, with whom he is impressed primarily because of his objective political views.

“He is one of those rare leaders who always speaks the truth”, says Pete as he continues the story about his service, which eventually brought him to Kosovo and Metohija in July of 1999.

Right around the time when this Serbian region was a new hotbed around which all proven contributors and sub-contributors to the advanced Balkan crisis circled like vultures, Canadian troops had an assignment to protect Serbian Churches and other Serbian holy sites. Nothing personal against Pete and his objectives, but Archbishop Artemije at that time announced “churches and monasteries that survived 500 years of Turkish occupation, didn’t survive two months in the presence of 50,000 heavily armed international ‘peace keepers’.”

It is assumed that war is waged to prevent ethnic cleansing and genocide, to establish law and order.

“For me, it’s an astounding figure that out of the 80,000 Serbs in the region who we were supposedly protecting when we arrived in Kosovo, there were just 8,000 left only a few months later”, recalls Pete Cochrane.

This means that any living human being who wasn’t Albanian by descent was forced out of Kosovo and Metohija under the ‘watchful eye’ of heavily armed NATO soldiers.

“Those who stayed were attacked every day. And the properties of those who fled or were killed were pillaged and Serbian monuments were systematically defaced. Rule of law was - no law. We couldn’t do much nor did we know how to subdue the hordes of Albanians who rushed to destroy everything that lay in front of them. I’m ashamed that when I was in Kosovo I couldn’t do more for the innocent Serbian people.

Were you able to avoid your mission to Kosovo?

“Yes, but in that case I would have had to face the consequences - which goes without saying when you’re employed by the army. But, to be honest, before I left for Kosovo, I didn’t know what was waiting for me. Afterwards it was too late. During my time in the former Yugoslavia I didn’t do anything I regret. But, I do regret that I couldn’t do more.”

Croatian atrocities being forgotten: Cdn. officers (CBC News, July 21, 2003)

Canadian officers say they are frustrated by inaction over a 1995 ethnic cleansing operation by Croatians against Serbs – one in which the Croats may have had western help.

They documented numerous atrocities during Operation Storm, which was a four-day campaign by the Croats to recover land held in central and southern Croatia for four years by Serbian militias.

However, not one person has been arrested and brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

More than 200,000 Serbs were expelled, and thousands were killed.

“Just amazing. You can see the holes in the back of the head,” said Capt. Gerry Carron, showing pictures he took to document the killings.

“We found people in wells,” he said. “There was an old lady we found head-first in a well. Why did they do that?”

Some top military officers said the expertise required to plan and execute Operation Storm meant it couldn’t have been done by the Croats alone.

Croatia’s American consultant

Fingers have been pointed at Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), a U.S. consulting company based in Alexandria, Va. The company’s Web site points to an article in which the Croatian government praised the job MPRI has done for it – although MPRI has denied involvement in Operation Storm.

Croatia was getting assistance in other ways. Argentina [Nazi haven] supplied artillery used in Operation Storm – despite a UN ban and even though its own soldiers were working there as [ostensibly “neutral”] peacekeepers.

Looking back, Capt. Carron said peacekeepers may have made things worse by disarming the Serbs while the Croats re-armed.

Canadian officers say the involvement of the West could explain the foot-dragging on prosecution….

Embedding has been disabled for this documentary that interviews some of the Canadian soldiers — “The Ghosts of Medak Pocket” — but it is gripping. It includes some disturbing footage taken by the UN troops themselves. The introduction from the youtube account holder reads:

This is the story of brave men of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI) who put their lives on the line to protect Serbian civilians of Medak Pocket from Croat ethnic cleansing and whose noble cause and valiant actions were kept under wraps under the general pressure of anti-Serbian policy.

In 1993, Canadian peacekeepers in Croatia were plunged into the most significant fighting Canada had seen since the Korean War. Their extraordinary heroism was covered up and forgotten. The ghosts of that battlefield have haunted them ever since.

Canadian peacekeepers in Medak Pocket, Croatia, found no peace to keep in September 1993. They engaged the forces of ethnic cleansing in a deadly firefight and drove them from the area under United Nations protection. The soldiers should have returned home as heroes. Instead, they arrived under a cloud of suspicion and silence.

In Medak Pocket, members of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry did exactly the job they were trained — and ordered — to do. When attacked by the Croat army they returned fire and fought back valiantly to protect Serbian civilians and to save the UN mandate in Croatia. Then they confronted the horrors of the offensive’s aftermath — the annihilation by the Croat army of Serbian villages. The Canadians searched for survivors. There were none.

The soldiers came home haunted by these atrocities, but in the wake of the Somalia affair, Canada had no time for soldiers’ stories of the horrific compromises of battle — the peacekeepers were silenced. In time, the dark secrets of Medak’s horrors drove many of these soldiers to despair, to homelessness and even suicide.

Of course, no good Serb-slaughter goes unrewarded in the Balkans, and so it wasn’t long before an Albanian general with a prominent role in Medak and Storm was installed as “prime minister” of Kosovo, seen by Washington as a hardliner who could speed independence along:

General Who Ordered Attacks on Canadian Troops Becomes Prime Minister of the U.N.-Administered Serbian Province of Kosovo (Canada Newswire, March 13, 2006)

Agim Ceku, who is alleged to have led an unprovoked 1993 military attack on Canadian Peacekeepers in the Medak Pocket region of Croatia, has been chosen by Albanians [and facilitated by Washington] to replace the outgoing prime minister….

The Medak offensive, allegedly planned by Ceku, is also known as the “Medak massacre”. This name is entrenched in the minds of many Canadian Armed Forces personnel as Canada’s largest military battle since the Korean War. Four Canadians were wounded in the clash that left nearly 30 Croatian soldiers dead.

According to reputable sources, Agim Ceku was instrumental in the 1993 Croatian military offensive at Medak, and was one of the key planners of the 1995 ethnic cleansing operation ‘Storm’. Both of these operations involved the deliberate shelling of civilians, rape, torture, systematic arson, and the permanent expulsion of Serbs from the Krajina region of Croatia.

It is an insult to Canada, and in particular the honourable and respected personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces, that Agim Ceku is not behind bars.

[He’s quite the opposite of being behind bars, actually. In 2007 at the joint American-German Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, which trains Eastern Europeans in Western military ways and takes pride in grads going on to attain general officer rank and cabinet appointments back home, the “Highest Ranking Graduate” being touted, with enlarged photo and all, was General — oops, Prime Minister — Ceku. “The only good part of this story,” according to author and Naval War College professor John R. Schindler, from whom I learned of this, “is that this was pointed out to me, last month in Garmisch, by a Muslim graduate of the Marshall Center, a senior minister from one of the -stans, who was every bit as horrified by this as I was, who called Ceku a ‘war criminal’ even before I did.”]

This recent appointment raises concern that a man who helped plan and execute two campaigns of ethnic cleansing has become the Prime Minister of Kosovo, a province where intolerance towards non-Albanians continues unchecked and unabated. […]

UNPROFOR footage shown at Croatian generals’ trial (Feb. 13, 2008)

Video footage of UNPROFOR entering the Medak Pocket was shown at the trial of Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac.

The Croatian generals are on trial for war crimes carried out against civilians during the Medak Pocket operation. Croatian forces entered the region several days before UNPROFOR’s arrival.

On a number of videos, one can see villages razed to the ground, with UN soldiers picking up dead bodies and placing them in body bags. Footage of the identification of 50 bodies returned to the Serbs by Croatian forces in Korenica was also shown yesterday.

The video, filmed by the Reuters news agency, shows Croatian and UN officials meeting at the demarcation point after Croatian forces were obliged to leave the region under the terms of an agreement concluded between the two forces.

A Canadian battalion commander said in an interview that the Croatian forces had delayed their exit from the region, which was why UN forces had entered the territory several hours later than planned.

“We were fired on by the Croatian forces on several occasions. There were several incidents and we returned fire several times, but no one was killed,” UN officer Mark Rullo said in the video.

He said that Croatian forces had been issued a second ultimatum the next day in Ribnik that they should leave or risk being fired upon by UN forces.

Another UN officer, who did not give his name, said that the Serb homes in the occupied villages had been destroyed just before the arrival of the peacekeeping forces.

“They wanted to make sure that there was nothing left here when we arrived,” he added. […]

Canadian lieutenant-general in war criminals’ cross hairs
By SCOTT TAYLOR (Halifax Herald, May 5, 2008)

…The previous week, Lt.-Gen. Leslie had taken the witness stand at the Hague Tribunal to testify against a Croatian general accused of war crimes. The incident to which Leslie was an eyewitness occurred in August 1995 during the most violent episode of ethnic cleansing during the civil wars that heralded the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. At that juncture, a Canadian battalion and a large number of Canadian UN observers were located in the Krajina, an ethnic Serbian enclave in the newly declared independent republic of Croatia.

When the Croats seceded from Yugoslavia, the Krajina Serbs declared their own independence from Croatia. An armed standoff over this territory had existed from 1991 until the summer of 1995. When Croatian forces launched a major offensive to eliminate the Krajina pocket, the Canadian peacekeepers did not resist the Croatian attack, and the tiny Serbian army in the Krajina fled without much of a fight. Having already experienced the Croatian brand of ethnic cleansing, in particular the infamous massacre and rape of innocent Serbs in the Medak Pocket in 1993, the Serb civilians also fled the advancing Croats.

As the Serb soldiers fled into Bosnia, hundreds of thousands of Serbian refugees streamed into the Krajina capital of Knin. It was here that then-colonel Leslie was based with the UN mission. As the offensive approached Knin, the UN advised the Croatian troops that the city was devoid of Serbian military targets and should be regarded as an “open city.”

Despite the UN warnings, the Croatian gunners launched a devastating barrage that killed hundreds of defenceless Serb civilians. At that time, Leslie and other senior Canadian officers angrily denounced this as a war crime.

To his credit, Leslie, now army commander, was not dissuaded from testifying at the Hague by domestic political pressure….Predictably, the Croatian defendant, Gen. Ante Gotovina, wasted little time before unleashing his lawyers on a smear campaign against Leslie.

Last September a similar case occurred when two Croatian generals accused of war crimes in the Medak Pocket incident blamed the Canadian peacekeepers of having killed the innocent Serbs and committing the atrocities…What is noticeably absent on these occasions is any sort of supporting fire from the Canadian government.

Therefore, when Croatian war criminals accuse our soldiers of committing these atrocities and cast aspersions on our decorated generals, one would expect to see a purple-headed Peter MacKay kicking over garbage cans and demanding apologies on behalf of our maligned soldiers. Instead of meekly accepting Croatia’s membership into NATO last month, Canada should have demanded justice be brought upon the perpetrators of these heinous crimes as a prerequisite to Croatia’s entry into the alliance.

That is the kind of political support our soldiers deserve - not just red sweatshirts on Fridays and flag-waving rallies.

There is a good story to go with all of this as well, about another Canadian soldier, one that illustrates that in recent years Canada and Canadians have behaved more like what America is supposed to be, and once was (e.g. standing by Israel; the prime minister initially vetoing the Srebrenica resolution which, I think, Parliament eventually passed anyway).

‘King Marco’ left his legacy in Bosnia (The Canadian Press, April 20, 2002)

Major Shane Schreiber, who serves in another unit of the Canadian Forces in Kandahar, wrote this tribute the day after Sgt. Marc Leger’s death.

I had the pleasure of having worked with Sgt. Leger for two years when I commanded A Company (Parachute). He was a soldier of rare skill, compassion and intellect.

My most vivid memory of then-Master Cpl. Leger was during our tour in Bosnia in 2000. By that time, most of the international aid agencies had abandoned Bosnia for more exciting missions elsewhere, but the need was greater than ever because of the return of large numbers of displaced persons to their war — destroyed homes (and lives).

Master Cpl. Leger had been given a particularly difficult area of responsibility in a place called the Livno Valley. Here, Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed by their Croat neighbours were returning to shattered homes. Despite the fact it was beyond our mandate, Master Cpl. Leger felt he had to do something to help these people.

To him, it made no sense that he was enforcing a peace that kept these people living like refugees in their own homes.

He began by doing little things, like constantly harassing his company commander (me) for resources to help these people. He took leftover and thrown away building supplies and distributed these on patrol. He snuck food from the camp kitchen, and spirited off the camp water truck when no one was looking. The more he found to help with, the more he needed, as those villagers he was helping told their friends to return home, that the Canadians would help them. Soon, a shattered village began to rebuild.

The Livno valley became Master Cpl. Leger’s adopted home. He lived in the camp with the rest of us, but his heart and mind was always with ‘his’ people stuck in the bombed-out houses among mine-strewn fields. He could not accept that humanitarian aid agencies had simply left these people to fend for themselves. He began to badger the local UNHCR representative, and any aid agency that drove through the area was stopped by Master Cpl. Leger and given a lecture on the conditions and requirements for assistance.

Finally, I explained to Master Cpl. Leger that to get any resources from UNHCR or any other aid agency, he was going to have to get their attention, and the only way to get their attention was to get the locals to appoint a mayor to plead their case directly. Seizing on the idea, Master Cpl. Leger organized a “town hall” meeting with his people. He explained the realities and the requirements, and explained the need to choose a leader, a spokesperson. Unanimously, they chose him.

Amused, he explained that he could not act as their spokesperson; he was a Canadian soldier — not a Bosnian politician. He explained the foreign concept of an election, and they all agreed that this was an excellent way to choose a new mayor. Again, Master Cpl. Leger was the unanimous choice.

Less amused and more concerned, Master Cpl. Leger explained in detail that the mayor had to be one of them. Finally, after much good-natured teasing and a quick lesson on the concept of democratic elections theory done through a bemused translator, the locals chose their mayor. But they immediately became a constitutional monarchy when, again by unanimous decision, they named Master Cpl. Leger their king. ‘King Marco’ was to become Master Cpl. Leger’s lasting title, both in the Livno Valley, and within the parachute company.

In his advocacy for the plight of the Livno Valley, King Marco became the irresistible force that eventually wore away the immovable rocks of misunderstanding and apathy. Eventually, he became a spokesperson for returnees throughout the Canadian area of responsibility, and his passion and his commitment made him an eloquent representative.

I used to love to bring VIPs, like our British divisional commander, the American three-star commander of SFOR, or the Canadian ambassador to Radonovici in the Livno Valley for Master Cpl. Leger to brief. His forthright manner and common sense solutions made converts of them all, and I watched with pride as he stickhandled every question until even the most skeptical became his supporters.

Master Cpl. Leger’s proudest day of the tour was when the first red tile roof went up in the Livno Valley, reversing a 10-year cycle of destruction and despair. King Marco had brought hope back to the Livno Valley.

For his work in the Livno Valley, Sgt. Leger was deservedly awarded a Chief of Defence Staff Commendation last year…

What I find incredible is that Sgt. Leger was not all that different from every other trooper in my company. What I find even more surprising is how an institution as publicly maligned and neglected as the Canadian army can continue to consistently attract and retain guys like Marc Leger. As historian Jack Granatstein has said of another Canadian army at another time, it is probably a better organization than the people of Canada know or deserve. Marc Leger, and his fellow soldiers are, as the Prime Minister has already said, “the best face of Canada.”

He was a goddamned hero, and we should all take our lead from his spirit and his actions.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Another nice article about Sgt. Leger seems to avoid mentioning that these were displaced Serbs he was helping:
Marc Leger’s widow continues his work in Bosnia (Canadian Press, May 10, 2003)

With a heavy heart, Marley Leger opened a community centre in eastern Bosnia on Saturday, carrying on the work begun by her husband, Sgt. Marc Leger, who was one of four Canadian soldiers killed by U.S. friendly fire last year in Afghanistan.

After his death, Leger launched a memorial fund to continue the restoration work he started while on a NATO mission in war-ravaged Bosnia. After a year of fundraising and with the help of the Canadian military, she travelled to Livno Valley to open the centre and unveil a plaque in his memory.

“It was like coming home to my long-lost relatives,” Leger said Saturday in an interview from Bosnia after the opening ceremony. “The people were so receptive. And it was very emotional.

“I had a really tough time leaving them today. I cried quite a bit.”

After he died in April 2002, the residents sent a letter of condolence to Marley Leger.

“He was the world to them and it wasn’t only because he brought aid back into the area,” Leger said. “It was because he gave so much of himself and he loved them and embraced them and he brought hope back into an area that was devastated.”

Most of the residents are elderly, Leger said, and she hopes that the rebuilding of the centre, along with much-needed restoration of power to the area, will bring young people back.

“I can’t thank Canadians enough for helping me with this project,” she said. “There were donations anywhere from $25 to thousands of dollars.

Leger’s next challenge is to raise enough money to put a roof on the church next to the community centre, which she estimates will cost $10,000 to $15,000. She said there is about $6,200 in the account now.

“They touched my heart just the way they touched Marc’s and I don’t know how they couldn’t do that to you. They’re such humble people but would give you anything. And the fact that you give them your friendship is the world to them. That’s what Marc stood for.”

Marc Leger of Lancaster, Ont., was one of four Canadians killed during a training exercise near Kandahar, Afghanistan, on April 17, 2002, when the U.S. pilots mistook them for enemy combatants. While Maj. William Umbach circled overhead, Maj. Harry Schmidt dropped a 225-kilogram bomb on his unsuspecting allies.

Also killed were Pte. Richard Green, 21, of Mill Cove, N.S., Pte. Nathan Smith, 26, of Ostrea Lake, N.S., and Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer of Montreal.

Another eight Canadians were injured.

An American officer, Col. Patrick Rosenow, said in March there was sufficient evidence to send the pilots to a court martial, but that the charges should be dismissed and their case should be handled outside a military court. […]

Apologies for being asinine enough to dwell on what I know is a mere, unrelated coincidence, but I can’t resist: Well no wonder the Serb-lover was killed by “friendly” fire. And by a National Guard pilot, no less (see below). This would be the same National Guard currently shooting up Serbs in Kosovo as we speak. The last item is from Canada’s “Fallen Heroes Project”:

Sgt. Marc Leger

Lancaster, Ontario, CAN
Army, SGT, Third Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI)
04/18/2002 Afghanistan, Kandahar

Sergeant Marc Leger died at the hands of an errant bomb unleashed by a ‘gung ho’ American National Guard pilot who thought he was under attack while patrolling in Afghanistan during the war there. It is not, however, Leger’s death in Afghanistan that puts him on the list. During an earlier time in Bosnia, Sergeant Marc Leger became known as ‘King Marco.’ During his time in Bosnia, Leger was exposed to the horrors of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ In the Livno Valley, Bosnia, ‘King Marco’ is hailed as a hero. While on his peacekeeping (a misnomer) tour of duty, Leger was charged with disarming potential insurgents and providing security for all ethnic groups. Additionally, he was given the responsibility of assisting returning Serb refugees as they settled back into their communities. Most of the farmhouses had been destroyed by a rampaging Croat army hell bent to ethnically cleanse the area of all Serbs. The Croats killed or drove off livestock, poisoned wells, destroyed Serb Orthodox churches and laid land mines. One Serb family that managed to survive by fleeing, returned to their homeland only to face a place of destruction. With their few possessions, the family of Miorad Kozomara began to rebuild their home; all that remained from before was their house with its partial roof but little else; no doors, no windows, no livestock, and no seed to plant a crop. One day, a jeep with some Canadian soldiers arrived and told the Kozomara family that they were there to help. Sergeant Marc Leger was their leader.

When he saw the desperate state that faced the Serb family, Canadian Leger “badgered the local United Nations High Commission of Refugees’ representative and any aid agency that drove through the area.” For six months, Leger hounded the UN representative and other officers for resources. [Canwest news service]

“He took leftover and thrown-away building supplies and distributed them while on patrol. He snuck food from the camp kitchen and spirited off the camp water truck when no one was looking.” [ibid.]

Leger managed to pry money from the Canadian International Development Agency to re-roof 28 local houses. One re-roofed house is emblazoned with the Canadian Maple Leaf and the CIDA logo. [ibid.]

Recently, when the Serbs in the Livno Valley learned of Sergeant Marc Leger’s death, they mourned. One said, “We never could have returned to this valley without the help of that big Canadian soldier.” [ibid.]

The Kozomara family learned of King Marc’s death through one of their sons who lives in Canada. The news of Sergeant Leger’s death shattered Mrs. Kozomara. “I got very nervous and started crying as if my son had died,” she said. [ibid.]

Sergeant Leger’s widow, Marley Leger, will take the proceeds of the ‘Sergeant Marc Leger Memorial Fund’ to local officials so that a gutted schoolhouse can be rebuilt as a community centre and medical clinic. A plaque will be attached to the building; the plaque dedicates the building to Sergeant Marc Leger’s memory. ‘King Marc’s’ memory lives on.

Of the aforementioned Canadian heroes, Sergeant Marc Leger is the one that stands out. His heroism truly qualifies as “a person who does great and brave deeds and is admired for them.”

I guess during those times that I’m going off about the vast quantity of German-origin last names operating in the world-coordinated undoing of Serbia and Serbs as Germany finally wins WWII, I need to remember that Leger is a German last name too. (I think.)

I’ve just been corrected. A reader informs me that “Leger,” while Germanic in origin, is now very French in Quebec. And Marc is the French spelling of Mark, of course.”The surname is quite common in Quebec – so any good French Canadian reading this would take exception!! Please don’t call him German!!”

*****SECOND UPDATE******

I came across a comment that’s tangentially related to this blog. It appeared in Feb. 2011 under an article titled “Serbia: The Shame of the West,” which was written by a Welshman named Royston Jones. The link doesn’t work anymore, but I believe that the comment below appeared in response to anti-Serb comments posted by an international affairs graduate student named Ard Morina:

Feb. 18, 2011 8:07 a.m.

Ard Morina, Canadian soldiers in Croatia WITNESSED Croats killing Serb civilians in the Medak Pocket massacre. The Croats were forcing the Serbs to carry looted belonging[s] for the Croats and when the Canadian soldiers would get close the Croats would start killing them [the Serbs]. Further the Canadian soldiers took pictures of some of these dead Serbs that the Croats didn’t get cleared away. They found raped and murdered teenage girls in a basement – their bodies still hot from being burned.

Many Serbian massacre victims were left as they lay and not in graves. I’ve seen pictures and autopsy reports – full identifications. If the Serbs retook a village after a Muslim attack they’d find these bodies and then give them a proper burial, and Croats were known to bury the dead Serbs at a certain number of inches apart so it wouldn’t always qualify as a “mass grave”. This was told to me by an American UN worker from Tennessee – Stephanie Bond – who was there during the Croatian war and worked there as a return officer for a few years later.

She said Croats were using German street cleaning machines to clear off the blood and gore and wrecked vehicles of a road which was bombed as strafed by Croat planes as the Serb refugees were fleeing.

I’ll also post the article itself, since it’s no longer findable online:

Serbia: The Shame of the West (WalesHome.org, Feb. 15, 2011)
A proud people of an unjustly vilified nation
By Royston Jones

TODAY, Serbs around the world are remembering the Serbian National Revolution; a somewhat protracted affair generally agreed to have started in 1804 and concluded by 1835. So radical was this arrangement – a constitutional monarchy, abolition of feudalism – that Serbia’s autocratic neighbours insisted the constitution be watered down lest these dangerous ideas spread.

This fear and loathing was not to be an isolated incident. In fact, few nations in recent decades have been so universally vilified. Why that should be so can only be understood by glimpsing into Serbia’s history and looking at the events that have shaped modern Serbian attitudes, about themselves, their neighbours, and the wider world.

In the mid 14th Century the Serbs had an empire, ruled by Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, but the empire did not outlast the man, with the nation suffering two catastrophic defeats to the Ottoman Turks at Maritsa (1371) and Kosovo Polje (1389). The latter battle is of course more poetically known as “The Field of Black Birds”, a seminal event in their history that Serbs regard as both the birth of the modern nation and the door on an era of oppression and suffering.

During those dark centuries the fragmented territories of the Serbs knew, at varying times, partial independence, suzerain status or direct Turkish rule, but the people always remained focused on unification and independence. As unforgiving opponents of the Sublime Porte, Serbs often allied themselves with the Kingdom of Hungary and other Christian powers. Serbian tenacity and willingness to fight became legendary, resulting in Serbs being recruited by neighbouring countries as soldiers, even being settled with their families in troubled border regions.

Following the revolution the remainder of the nineteenth century was relatively stable, apart from a few minor conflicts. Finally, at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Serbia was recognised by the Great Powers as an independent state, and became a kingdom under Milan (Obrenovic) I in 1882. Although Serbia was now fully independent there remained outside the Kingdom many areas inhabited by Serbs. The inevitable irredentism that resulted led to strained relations with neighbouring states.

Then came Sarajevo. Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, and member of the Young Bosnia organisation, set out with a few comrades to assassinate the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand. The attempt failed and Princip was returning to his lodgings when to his surprise he saw the royal car again – it had taken a wrong turn. Now there would be no mistake. The event that sparked the First World War happened by pure chance.

In that European tragedy Serbia suffered 450,000 dead, or 16.11% of her total population, more than any other combatant nation. By comparison, France lost 4.29%, Germany 3.82% and the UK 2.19%. Such were the losses that the Serbs often had to withdraw – even to Greece and Corfu – to recruit and regroup. But they always came back fighting. It’s easy to say, ‘Well, they started it!’. But Princip’s group included Bosnian Muslims and Croats. This unity didn’t suit the agenda of the Austrians or their ally, Germany; for them it was simple: Princip was a Serb and so the plot, via the Black Hand organisation, was traced back to Belgrade.

As one of the victors, Serbia was rewarded with a new country, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, ruled by Alexander I, of the old Karadordevic dynasty. A superstitious man, Alexander. As a result of three members of his family dying on a Tuesday he was reluctant to undertake official duties on that day, but on October 9, 1934 he had no choice. While being driven through the streets of Marseilles on a state visit to France he was assassinated by a Bulgarian member of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO). According to many who have researched this (the first filmed assassination) IMRO was in league with the Ustaše, the Croatian fascist organisation, and both were secretly sponsored by Mussolini.

The Second World War was a time of yet more blood-letting. While a small number of Serbs collaborated the vast majority reacted as Serbs always have when threatened or invaded. They fought. The courage and doggedness of Tito’s (mainly Serbian) Partisans and the royalist (and totally Serbian) Chetniks led by Draža Mihailovic is well documented. The vast numbers of German troops they tied down for years undoubtedly helped the Soviets achieve victory on the Eastern Front. Yet, as ever, there was a price to be paid.

The Ustaše was well rewarded after the German invasion, ruling the Nazi puppet-state of Croatia (including Bosnia), with Croats providing recruits for a Croatian SS division. The Kosovo Albanians had their SS division and ethnically cleansed Serbs from Kosovo. Many Bosnian Muslims also sided with the Nazis. Bizarrely, Himmler showed quite a liking for Islam, regarding it, with its promise of paradise and maidens, as a good religion for a warrior. Surrounded by enemies the life of a Serb became very difficult.

The names of Auschwitz, Belsen and other Second World War extermination camps are familiar to us all, but few know the name Jasenovac. This camp, run by the Ustaše, did the Nazis’ bidding in exterminating Jews and Roma, but saved most places for Serbs. Overall, some 390,000 ethnic Serb residents of Croatia and Bosnia died at the hands of the Ustaše, though not all at Jasenovac, and in total well over half a million Serbs died.

The post-war history of Yugoslavia should be familiar to most readers. Under President Tito Yugoslavia achieved a certain amount of prosperity, and became a beacon for non-aligned countries during the Cold War. Yet in seeking to overcome the internal tensions of his country Tito came to be seen by many Serbs as favouring other nationalities above them, working for a “weak Serbia, for a strong Yugoslavia”. When he died in 1980 the stage was set for the next act in the Balkans tragedy. The only surprise was that it took so long for the curtain to rise.

There isn’t the space to deal with everything that happened between 1991 and 1999. The Western – in other words, the US – interpretation of this period runs as follows: Tired of Serbian oppression the other nations of Yugoslavia decided upon independence, but then found themselves subject to all manner of horrors inflicted, either by the regular Yugoslav army, police, or Serb irregulars. The Western media followed this line unquestioningly.

Here’s a different interpretation, for which we need to examine the general (and all too often unsubstantiated) claims of Serbian “brutality” in response to the break-up of their “empire”. The northernmost territory, Slovenia, and the southernmost, Macedonia, split with hardly any bloodshed. (In fact, the worst trouble in Macedonia came, post-independence, from secessionist Albanians.) The fighting was concentrated in Croatia, Bosnia and, finally, Kosovo – an Autonomous Province of Serbia. Why should Serbia, and Serbs generally, respond differently in different areas? Because Slovenia and Macedonia contained few ethnic Serbs. Whereas the other three areas contained large numbers of ethnic Serbs for whom anyone with a knowledge of recent Balkan history should have been very concerned.

Croatia was home [to] well over half a million ethnic Serbs, mainly in the Krajina region. Had you been a Krajina Serb in the country that had once been ruled by the Ustaše, and was now led by nationalist demagogue, Franjo Tudman, would you have felt safe? Wouldn’t you have sought help from fellow Serbs? When the 300,000 or more surviving Krajina Serbs were expelled in 1995, their homes burnt and the old people they had to leave behind killed, Western politicians and media referred to it as “an exodus” . . . for only Serbs can be guilty of ethnic cleansing.

As late as 1998 the US State Department had the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) listed as a terrorist organisation. The very same bunch of drug-traffickers and gun-runners whose leader Hashim Thaçi was then being lionised by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, with his gang promoted as freedom fighters, posing in front of the cameras and promising to go fight the Serbs. (Posing was what the KLA was best at, it did very little fighting.) And as we all know now, the KLA also ran a lucrative organ harvesting business from Serb civilians they kidnapped and butchered.

Why so many lies? Put quite simply, the West (again, mainly the US) had an agenda based on geopolitical considerations. The Soviet Union was breaking apart. The Cold War was over and Eastern Europe was in turmoil, with every Ivan and Istvan wanting to be a capitalist and to drive a Merc. The one remaining obstacle to the eastward advance of Western ideas (and goods) was perceived to be Yugoslavia led by Serbia, which despite the strained relationship under Tito, was now rediscovering older ties with its Orthodox cousins in Russia. Ergo Yugoslavia had to be dismembered and Serbia itself weakened.

This strategy became linked with the Gulf War. On February 23, 1991 a US-led force began the ground attack to “liberate” Kuwait. As we know, this was, militarily, successful, but there were unforeseen complications. Not least among those complications was the presence, post-conflict, of US military bases in Saudi Arabia. “Crusaders” so close to Mecca outraged many Muslims, not least, Osama bin Laden. It was this US military presence in his homeland that turned Osama bin Laden against the West. In a desperate attempt to placate the Islamic world the USA wanted to be seen defending Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.

You may see this as an apologia for the Serbs. So be it. But it is not the work of a denier. In the various conflicts of the 1990s many crimes were committed by Serbs, none worse than the massacre at Srebrenica. But why did the politicians and the media take me, and you, for idiots in telling us that the other parties were all innocent victims? Doesn’t it worry you that in a democratic society we were lied to over such a lengthy period? Those lies are slowly unravelling, but time is passing and the belated truth will never have the same impact as the nightly television reports we all saw, with their strident and insistent message: ‘the Serbs are guilty’.

Yet if we are considering war crimes . . . It was significant that rather than put in ground troops to link up with the heroes of the KLA the USA chose to bomb Serb civilians in order to bring their government to the surrender table. In killing Serbian civilians and bombing Belgrade the USA committed war crimes. But of course the USA won, so no one will indict Uncle Sam, even though his war crimes were filmed and otherwise better documented than any of the ‘atrocities’ alleged to have been committed by the Serbs.

Given that on more than one occasion they have come close to total annihilation as a people, we should not be surprised that when threatened Serbs fight back with everything they’ve got. But their struggles have invariably been defensive. Whether fighting medieval Turks or 20th Century Germans the Serbs have fought in defence of their land and their people. It was the same in the 1990s when Yugoslavia was broken apart.

Why the West – yes, again the USA – chose to misrepresent the situation has been explained. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the support for Croat neo-fascists, Albanian gangsters, and possibly even foreign mujahideen who came to kill Serbs, is one of the most dishonourable chapters in recent Western history.

********UPDATE AT BOTTOM*********

Well we knew it wouldn’t be long. If nationalists win a Serbian election, it follows that there will be an article in the Washington Times by Croatian-supremacist Jeffrey Kuhner, as usual angling for a new war against Serbia — by making the argument that Serbia wants it. As a typical rapist would.

Below is the letter I submitted to Washington Times, followed by a deconstruction of Kuhner’s latest excuse for Serbia needing another good bombing.

Dear Editor:

Are there no fact-checkers at the paper, or is Mr. Kuhner exempt from such rigors? (“Did Serbia Vote for War?” May 24.) Or perhaps Balkans facts are still expendable in America. Mr. Kuhner repeatedly references the “Greater Serbia project” that was reluctantly but repeatedly disproved at the Serb-hostile Hague, and brandishes the “neo-fascist” label that is so popular to use against Serbs. This from a champion of the nation that still reminisces about its Hitler-bestowed Independent State of Croatia, and still holds Mass for its fuehrer Ante Pavelic.

Nor is Mr. Kuhner concerned with the Albanian nationalism which not only started a terrorist insurgency to wrest 15% of Serbian land (is it “nationalist” to have a problem with that?), but which employed organ-harvesting, jihad, and human- and drug-trafficking in its service. He likewise isn’t bothered by the fundamentalist Muslim president of Bosnia who insisted on war to begin with. No, Mr. Kuhner wants to keep readers eternally fixed on Serbs. This is a man with a chip on his shoulder.

In time for Memorial Day Weekend, Mr. Kuhner gave a slap in the face to thousands of WWII vets, tracing Serbianationalism™ to “Drazen” (sic: Draza) Mihailovic and his Chetniks, the royalist guerrillas who fought not only the Nazis, but also the Communists after Tito’s Partisans attacked them. Something for which Ronald Reagan singled Serbian heroism out and for which President Truman bestowed a posthumous Legion of Merit upon Mihailovic. ( “The ultimate tragedy of Draza Mihailovich cannot erase the memory of his heroic and often lonely struggle against the twin tyrannies that afflicted his people, Nazism and Communism.” — Gov. Ronald Reagan, 1979)

It was articles like this, calling the Serbs and Chetniks “racist” and “far-right” — and inverting the documented, Axis-aligned fascism and continuing supremacy of Croats, Albanians and Bosniaks — that were so hard for American WWII vets like the aging Chetnik-rescued Richard Felman to take in the 90s, when the West was angling for the next betrayal of the Serbs. He was aghast to see Axis propaganda being printed in American newspapers at the turn of the millennium. And here we are more than a decade past, still repeating it.

Kuhner has the Chetniks “slaughtering tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims, Croatians and Kosovar Albanians.” As any Jewish library can show, one-third of Croatia’s Serb population was liquidated by the Croatians’ Ustasha regime which Mr. Kuhner is covering for with his inversions; and huge swaths of Kosovo’s Serbs (plus 400 Jews) were rounded up by those “Kosovar Albanians” in their fez-capped Nazi uniforms. I won’t go into Jewish Holocaust survivor Cadik Dannon’s experience with a Bosnian Muslim working at a Croatian concentration camp, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t the Croats, Albanians, or Bosniaks whom the Germans had to threaten to kill by the hundred for every dead German soldier; it was the Serbs. And this of course affected the attack plans of Mihailovic’s Chetniks. An obscure term to Americans, which the writer hisses like a true partisan of one of the sides in the Balkan wars.

By equating the recently victorious Serbian Radical Party with “Mihailovic’s Chetniks,” Kuhner elevates the object of his derision. That he means to do the opposite at Mihailovic’s expense the very month that Congress yet again praised Mihailovic and his Chetniks for helping execute the largest air rescue in American combat history (and two days after Bronze Star recipient George Vujnovich was inducted into the New York Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame for coordinating it), should have readers asking why The Times is allowing itself to be used as a mouthpiece, and lowered to the level of the Islamic and Nazi-heir propaganda websites where this ‘information’ comes from.

“No wonder nationalists celebrated [Tomislav Nikolic’s] victory, unfurling Chetnik flags and symbols,” continues Mr. Kuhner. Yes, take it from someone who has no problem with the chilling symbol of Croatian purity that is the checkered flag of Croatia, resuscitated during that country’s 1990s re-embrace of fascism, complete with Nazi and Ustasha symbolism and street names.

Mr. Kuhner doesn’t even bother with the veneer of accuracy for the paper’s sake, using the obsolete figure of “250,000” killed in the Balkan wars. Even if, to the 100,000 killed on all sides in Bosnia, you add the 20,000 in Croatia and the 3,000 in Kosovo before the NATO bombs and the 5,000 after, that still leaves us under 130,000. The mainstream media long ago, if imperfectly, corrected themselves on this, but here we have the generally more honest Times still latched onto the inflated propaganda figures that came from the MSM in the first place. Considering how widely cited the more accurate figures have been, including the very week before Mr. Kuhner’s article ran (upon the opening of the Mladic trial), one can only deduce a profound professional ignorance on Mr. Kuhner’s part, or an even more profound hatred. How else does one explain the right-leaning Kuhner continuing to propagate Amanpourite “facts”?

He further continues to peddle the debunked German-Bulgarian-cooked hoax about there being a Serbian plan to “annihilate ethnic Albanians in Kosovo,” referring to “Belgrade’s genocidal project,” which Hague prosecutors were at a loss to demonstrate. That he uses the term “final solution” to describe it is offensive, including to the memory of reporter Daniel Pearl, who in his December 1999 article found that the Serbs were engaging in nothing of the sort. Mr. Kuhner must have also missed the scores of other articles like it appearing in virtually every newspaper at the time, though they all subsequently opted for the original fiction over the findings. (I’d thought Washington Times to be better.)

To brazenly fly in the face of observable facts on the ground, namely a Kosovo almost devoid of non-Albanians (as per the original stated Albanian goals) takes a personality type that’s entirely alien to me. As does the hubris that enables one to recklessly abuse a prominent podium such as The Washington Times.

Kuhner makes sure to specify that Belgrade “launched” brutal wars “of aggression.” This is so readers have no idea these were actually defensive wars that neither the Bosnian nor the Croatian Serbs wanted, let alone Belgrade. “I don’t know if he is a war criminal,” Canadian former ambassador James Bissett said of Radovan Karadzic in 2008. “But I do know he did his damnedest to prevent the war.”

Kuhner also mentions Serb units in Croatia engaging “in systematic murder and destruction,” for he knows it’s unlikely readers will ever hear from the muzzled UN soldiers who are still in therapy and disability over the crimes they witnessed by Croatian troops against Serbs. The body of one charred teenage girl was still smoking when Canadian troops found her.

The Times should be ashamed, but it doesn’t know enough to be. And it cares even less.

DECONSTRUCTION: KUHNER: Did Serbia vote for war?
New ultranationalist president promotes instability (May 24)

Another war is brewing in the Balkans. Recently, Serbia’s voters elected a new president. Ultranationalist Tomislav Nikolic narrowly defeated the liberal, pro-European Union incumbent, Boris Tadic. Mr. Nikolic’s victory means the Balkans may be plunged into ethnic violence again.

[The above INSERT STOCK PARAGRAPH HERE is saying it’s not violence while only Serbs (and Roma) were being picked off (in Serbia’s Kosovo) or Serbs alone targeted for war crimes prosecution (which becomes persecution).]

The 60-year-old former cemetery manager is a neo-fascist, who wants to restore a “Great Serbia.”

[OF COURSE! That Greater Serbia project that didn’t exist last time and doesn’t exist this time. Coming to you from someone who internalized the truly fascist-spun version of the 1990s Balkans.]

Mr. Nikolic embodies the worst forms of Serbian nationalism, whose ideological roots go back to the “Chetniks” - the term for Serbian royalists - of World War II. Led by Drazen Mihailovic, the Chetniks formed a racist far-right-wing movement that sought to forge an ethnically pure Great Serb empire incorporating Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo,Macedonia, most of Bosnia and large chunks of Croatia. Allied to Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy, the Chetniks engaged in murderous ethnic cleansing, slaughtering tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims, Croatians and Kosovar Albanians.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO NEWSPAPERS INFILTRATED BY BALKANITES FROM THE FASCIST SIDE. Almost every drop of the preceding paragraph is written in reverse of actual events, as the reams of documentation (including Jewish documentation) of WWII Balkans attest. While in Croatia the Italians found themselves having to prevent a wholesale genocide of Serbs, it’s true that both the Partisans and Chetniks dealt with the Italians and Germans in between fighting them, depending on what arrangements became necessary, each ganging up with the Fascists at least once against the other, as the Chetniks found themselves simultaneously under attack from the Communists in Tito’s power struggle.

The Partisans (and the Fascists) made sure that the Allies — and history — would remember it only one way, and in the most nefarious-possible context. Which is the way Kuhner continues to propagate it, engaging in purposeful obfuscation and oversimplification. Just to give a small sense of the intricacies of what has been simplistically construed as “Chetnik collaboration” with the Fascists (again, a laughable decoy given Croatia’s opportunist, Hitler-aligned clerical-fascist bloodbath in contrast to the Serbs’ multiple, suicidal attempts to fight the Nazis including a national revolt against Serbia’s first would-be collaborationist regime), below is a paragraph from British writer John Cripps, a contributor to a 2001 book titled Action This Day. He is none too kind to the Chetniks, while nonetheless criticizing Churchill’s ultimate decision to back the Partisans. In the course of disputing the widely (and correctly) perceived notion that Churchill’s decision to abandon Mihailovic and support the Partisans came from Communist spies advising Churchill (something that Churchill would later call his biggest mistake of WWII), Cripps has the following paragraph showing the complexity of the situation that’s been distorted for our (and the distorters’) convenience:

Decrypts showed that the Italians were supplying the Chetniks with weapons and transporting them in lorries to get into position against the Partisans. In fact, during March the Germans did not advance against the Partisans or attempt any action against the Chetniks. Many years later, it became clear that there had been a ceasefire between the Germans and the Partisans, initially for the exchange of prisoners, but also because the Partisans were negotiating with the Germans for recognition as combatants, and for possible joint action against the Chetniks. Hitler put an end to the negotiations. Two Abwehr decrypts had, however, revealed that one of their agents, a German who reported as Dr Baux, was in negotiation with the Partisans, although it was not clear what the negotiations were about.

The above context is in addition to the fact that not only were Tito’s Partisans taking credit for several of Mihailovic’s victories against the Germans, misreporting to London, but just as some Croatian fascists donned Partisan uniforms to save their skins toward the end, so was there a sort of corollary wherein some Chetniks ran for their lives from marauding Partisans, alongside retreating Nazis. Nor were they necessarily “Mihailovic’s Chetniks,” though there were some. But the game is to paint all ‘chetniks’ (i.e. guerrillas) in a monolithic way so as to lump Mihaiilovic and his men — the saviors of hundreds of American pilots — in with guerrilla factions and individuals who may have had more to do with the Germans. It’s an attempt as brazen as it is insidious, given that (to offer just one factoid) a top Mihailovic commander fell out with Mihailovic because the former wanted to “assist the Germans against the Partisans, a course of action Mihailovic refused to contemplate.

Back to Kuhner’s ongoing disinformation:

As Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s, Belgrade launched brutal wars of aggression against Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. [He doesn’t even know who started the wars.] More than 250,000 were killed and nearly 2 million ethnically cleansed. Mr. Nikolic openly championed Serbia’s power grab and territorial annexations.

I had wanted to include the following sentence in my already too-long blog about the MSM’s “coverage” of the opening day of the Mladic trial: “At least now they’re printing “100,000″ Bosnia war deaths — and on all sides — rather than the “250-300,000″ they’d been reporting for a decade and a half.” But not Kuhner! He won’t be fooled by any deprogramming, and he’ll take his newspaper down with him.

In Croatia, he served in notorious Serbian volunteer units where, dressed in Chetnik uniforms and espousing ultranationalist[™] ideology, they engaged in systematic murder and destruction….

I won’t dwell on the reversals contained in that sentence, whose egregiousness can be ascertained just from the testimonies of the Canadian soldiers who witnessed the crimes by Croatians against Serbs. No, I’ll dwell on something else.

To see the regional term “Chetnik” — intended by most of its modern users as an anti-Serb slur — dripping from an American newspaper, no less from the otherwise anti-propagandistic Times, is surreal indeed. It’s an obscure, esoteric term virtually unknown to today’s Americans (who hardly even know what a Serb is except that it’s bad); a term which hasn’t really even entered the language lexicon — yet there it is in the Washington Times. With a definition thoughtfully provided for you. The only definition you need to trouble yourself with if you know what’s good for you: the one propagated by an unholy alliance of Fascists, Communists and Islamists (and originated by those who allied with the Germans to begin with). Again, it’s a testament to what can happen when someone from one of the warring sides implants himself at an American news outlet, think tank, business, film studio, institution or government office (see Capitol Hill in the 90s).

So, a term that general media are hardly familiar with is being vomited from the pages of The Washington Times, all because a speared tail wags a dog that’s obliviously allowing itself to be used as a mouthpiece. By someone who’s got a horse in a foreign race. It’s the cherry on top of the complete graft we’ve transplanted onto ourselves of the distant ethnic rivalries from, of all places, the utterly blocked-out and unsorted-out-by-Americans region called the Balkans. We don’t even realize we’re engaging in the kind of ethnic bias that runs so counter to what we fancy our values to be, still believing that here is where ethnic rivalries are forgotten.

…In short, [Nikolic] is not some flinty Serbian patriot but a radical nationalist whose election threatens the region’s security. Mr. Nikolic has not abandoned the dream of a Greater Serbia. [Never mind about the actualized dream of “a Kosovo without Serbs” as part of the now openly admitted Greater Albania project.] He claims, however, that he wants to achieve it “peacefully.” He demands that Kosovo be restored to Belgrade’s control [as I’ll demand that Jerusalem be to Israel’s when the world tries to gift it to the Arabs]; that the Bosnian Serb Republic secede from Sarajevo [as any rational being including Bosnia’s Croats want to do]; and that Croatia relinquish areas claimed by Serbian revanchists. [He means the areas that the Serbs living there for four centuries were violently cleansed from upon Croatia’s illegal secession.]

…Yet his policies will lead to only one outcome: war. He is challenging the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia’s neighbors. [Translation: Never mind about Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia (and soon Hungary) successfully challenging their neighbor Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, causing these inevitable counter-claims.] Mr. Nikolic is a political thug with delusions of grandeur. Serbia is eerily reminiscent of Weimar Germany. Defeated, humiliated and sliding toward an economic abyss, Serbian voters have opted for a neo-Nazi. He is not their savior. Rather, he is leading the Serbs - again - to doom and disaster.

And Mr. Kuhner, like so many MSM “journalists” in the 90s, will do his part to make sure of it.

Only a few days after the Kuhner column appeared, another one followed, this time reprimanding Obama over his recent reference to “Polish concentration camps.” In it, Mr. Kuhner partially covered his tush by giving a single-phrase mention to the Croatian Ustashas in the midst of rattling off a dozen countries seized by Nazi fever during WWII. He then predictably — to satirical proportions — expended the rest of the paragraph re-fixating on Serbia (in case anyone thought it was any better than the rest for having resisted the Nazis the most), and made sure to include the standard anti-Serb propaganda sentence about German-occupied Serbia having become “Judenfrei” (Jew-free).

Without a touch of irony, he then gave the credit that Reagan gave to Serbs about fighting twin evils — to Croatia’s fellow Catholic Poland:

This is what makes the Poles so remarkable. Guided by their deep Catholic faith and unflinching patriotism, they stood up against the two seminal evil ideologies of the 20th century - Nazism and communism. Poland is a Christian nation. It has been crucified repeatedly throughout its long, tragic history.

Not to take anything away from Poland, but in addition to all of the above applying to Kuhner’s reviled Serbs, unlike Poland the latter have also had to contend with perpetually encroaching Islam, which they’ve historically staved off from the West. (They similarly tied up Hitler long enough to delay him in reaching Stalingrad until the Russian winter, which proved a decisive disadvantage to the Germans.)

It is often forgotten that Hitler’s victims also included millions of Slavs, Catholics, Gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people. According to Nazi racial doctrine, Slavs were deemed “subhuman” - fit only for slave labor. Hence, countless Poles and others perished at the hands of Nazi butchers.

Again, Kuhner’s hated Serbs can check off ‘All of the Above,’ and yet this list glaringly excludes “Orthodox Christians” — such as those whom his Catholic Slavs in Croatia liquidated. So he’s talking about the plight of Slavs as if the Slavs who had it worst weren’t the ones who were also under attack by their fellow Slavs.

Imagine, the subhead under the headline “Obama’s Holocaust revisionism” actually read “Pinning Nazi atrocities on Poland dishonors a loyal friend.” Again, no touch of irony about what Kuhner spends his professional life doing to our Serbian ally, to which we’ve done more than just insult.

As for that nationalist election victory in Serbia, here is just something to keep in mind when hearing or reading about “Serbianationalism™”. In addition to the fact that it’s nothing like the supremacist nationalism of those whom the West did buttress (count the non-Croats in Croatia, the non-Slovenians in Slovenia, the non-Albanians in Kosovo and the non-Muslims in Sarajevo, and compare those figures to multi-national Serbia’s ethnic minorities). What to keep in mind is that those who dare to preserve historical memory and identity are commonly called “nationalists” by a world in the process of extinguishing the nation-state as such. Nationalist is what they’ll call any American who objects when the same one-worlders come for our country too. After having practiced on Yugoslavia and Serbia.

Yet nationalism is simply the determination of a people to cultivate its own soul, to follow the customs bequeathed to it by its ancestors, to develop its traditions according to its own instincts. It is the national equivalent of the individual’s determination not to be a slave.” – Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, 1935

Now we know why it’s under attack.

That paragraph from Kuhner’s second piece that listed willing Nazi collaborators then turned attention back to German-run Serbia went like this:

…Fascist regimes came to power in Italy, Spain, Vichy France, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Some of the most savage Quisling states were erected in the Balkans. Romania’s ruler, Marshal Ion Antonescu, unleashed a murderous rampage against Jews and Gypsies. In Croatia, the sadistic Ustashe led by Ante Pavelic slaughtered numerous Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croats. Contrary to myth, Serbia also had a genocidal collaborationist dictatorship. Led by Gen. Milan Nedic, Belgrade’s fascists engaged in the comprehensive extermination of the country’s Jewish population. By the summer of 1942, Serbia had become completely “Judenfrei.”

But here’s what’s wrong with lumping Nedic in with that lot, particularly with the likes of Pavelic, and Kuhner probably knows it (which is probably why he’s doing it). Reader Alex summarized the scenario in an email:

Nedic resigned from government prior to WWII because he hated how close Yugoslavia got to Germany (I read it in an American Encyclopedia yearbook from the 1930s in the library). When the war came someone had to take over the government or Germany was going to put all of Serbia under the fascist Hungarians, Bulgarians, and Albanians, so he took over to save at least rump Serbia. His government saved many Serbs and Slovenes who fled from the Nazis in Croatia, Bosnia, etc… (the Slovenes used to celebrate this in Serbia every year after the war – don’t know if they still have that annual celebration – it used to be televised), and his government secretly armed the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist Chetniks (my grandfather’s house was an arsenal where the Nedic police came to smuggle weapons to the resistance.)

Nedic hated the position he was in and said that Draza Mihailovic sacrificed his life for his people but that he (Nedic) sacrificed something that was even more important to the Serbs – his honor and his reputation – to try to save a remnant of his country. The Germans in Serbia rounded up Jews while the Serbs, like St. Nikolaj Velimirovic, hid them. (St. Nikolaj himself was later shipped to Dachau, along with the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch, while the head of the Catholic Church in neighboring Croatia was blessing the death camp overlords. Yet the Croats still like to say that St. Nikolaj was pro-German. Huh???)

After the war the Communists pushed Nedic out of a window and claimed that he committed suicide. A trial would have only embarrassed the Communists. There is no way that a willing Nazi mass murderer like Pavelic who declared war on the USA and Britain and said (to make no mistake about it) that Croatia was doing this on its own volition — and who was then rescued by the Catholic Church — with Milan Nedic, who hated the Germans and was stuck administering a government in Belgrade until war’s end, while saving refugees and arming the resistance, and then paying for it with his life. (Where was the Catholic Church to save people like him? Its help was reserved for murderers.) There were a handful of Croats who died in Jasenovac and they should be honored (I wish the rest of the Croat nation would honor their example of integrity and nobility), but to put Croats on the same level with hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews, who were victims, while at the same time trying to equate the enthusiastic, Hitler-loving Croat Nazis with the bombed, betrayed, and beaten up Serbs in Belgrade — as equal criminals — is beyond belief. Honest to God, if he is not pathological or otherwise mentally deranged and gets a free pass because of that, you have to wonder where the souls of the ilk of Kuhner are heading.

A 2010 response to a video on a Jewish site attempting to simplify WWII Serbs and Serbia as Fascist, reads as follows. (It was posted on the Jewish Task Force website):

In this video Milan Nedic’s administration is portrayed as a Nazi-regime, which is a flagrant lie. The government of Milan Nedic was not a Nazi-government. It was a Serbian government during the Nazi-German occupation of Serbia.

There did not exist an independent Serbian state during the WW2. What was left of Serbia, was directly occupied by Germans. The other Serbian territories were annexed to Serbia’s fascist surrounding nations. The Germans were in charge of occupied Serbia. The government of Milan Nedic did not have much control in Serbia. The crimes against Serbs and Jews in occupied Serbia, were organized and perpetrated by Germans.

Milan Nedic tried to save as many as possible Serbian and Jewish lives, during the German occupation. He provided false documents to Jews to save them from [persecution]. Nedic was not a fascist. He could not beat the Germans, so he tried to save as much as possible people by closing agreements with the occupying forces.

In this film the soldiers of Milan Nedic who were royalists and not Nazis, are falsely presented as Nazis. This is funny because the soldiers are using monarchist, royal symbols and not Nazi symbols.

I think that a Jewish member should try to convince this man to stop with this propaganda. Nedic saved many Jews and this behavior is very immoral.