July 2012

I’ve been meaning to get back to the Ratko Mladic media frenzy over a supposed throat-cutting gesture that he may or may not have made at the largely Muslim pubic gallery in May — the same gesture that a year earlier was mis-attributed to him by the AP. Within a day of this year’s “gesture” news, it came out that the Prosecution failed to hand over tens of thousands of documents to the Defense. What didn’t come out was that presiding judge Alphons Orie knew about it. But he was in such a rush to start the media orgy that the Mladic trial would bring, that he betrayed the legal profession in favor of media attention (which is par for the course at The Hague anyway). Meanwhile, thanks to the media’s zeal to have another Mladic lynching, by the end of the trial’s opening, the story ended up being something else, bringing unwanted attention to the Prosecution and the tribunal, rather than the Defendant.

Below is a news item about the suspicious “omission” of documents — one of those rare Hague stories that makes it into the mainstream, offering the smallest glimpse of the shadiness upon which the entire edifice is based. Following the short news item is an excerpt from Peter Brock’s article implicating Orie.

Ratko Mladic war crimes trial plunged into confusion
Lawyers prosecuting Bosnian Serb commander failed to provide documents to defence, causing judge to announce delay
(by Julian Borger in The Hague, May 17)

The Hague war crimes tribunal, already under fire for its slow pace in dealing with Balkan war crimes cases, was thrown into confusion on Thursday by the revelation that lawyers prosecuting the Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic had failed to turn over hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence to the defence.

The Dutch judge, Alphons Orie, said the mistake would lead to a delay in the trial, which lawyers were already predicting would last four years or more.

The fiasco drew outrage from Bosnian survivors and bereaved families who had made the trip to The Hague to see Mladic face trial.

“We don’t agree with this. We ask to speed up the trial and to speed up the judgment, because it is important for the past, for Bosnia and the whole region, and it’s important for the future, [and because we Muslims care little for legality]” said Hatidza Mehmedovic, whose husband and two sons, one still a teenager, were among over 7,000 men and boys massacred by Mladic’s forces in Srebrenica.

It was unclear how the debacle at The Hague had come about. The prosecution declared in November that it had handed the documentation over and only realised last Friday that it had failed to do so. The defence says a million pages were involved. Prosecutors admit that more than 37,000 documents could be missing. […]

The prosecution’s claim that it only realized “last Friday” that not all the documents had been turned over is questionable. According to the Daily Telegraph, “The deadline for disclosure was last November and despite complaints from the defence in February, the UN prosecutors had failed to hand over the documents by last Friday.”

And now, Peter Brock’s article, emphasis added, and with the following disclaimer by Brock for his referring to Judge Orie as Orie-Freisler:

Since it is fashionable to invoke Nazi-era names and symbolisms for Serbs whenever they are dragged through courtrooms at The Hague, it is only fair to apply similar treatment all around, including the applicable legacy of the late Judge Roland Freisler, State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Justice and President of the People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof). He was the master orchestrator of the notorious German show trials.

Hague’s ‘Judge Orie-Freisler’ in contempt of his own court!
Add obstruction of justice, conspiracy and evidence tampering to judicial misconduct

THE HAGUE (May 21, 2012) - Alphonsus Martinus Maria Orie-Freisler, the 64-year-old presiding judge in the trial of Ratko Mladic, should hold himself in contempt for violating the Rules of Procedure and Evidence governing the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Rule 77, Section A, Subsection iii, was breached by Orie-Freisler five days ago (May 17, 2012) when he imposed an indefinite suspension of proceedings after just three hours into the second trial-day for the 70-year-old Mladic….

Sitting Judge Orie-Freisler grievously exceeded his privilege of judicial discretion by suspending proceedings and obstructing justice in a cover-up for prosecutors who had attempted to conceal “millions of pages” among “hundreds of thousands” of missing documents which prosecutors failed to turn over to Mladic’s defense team. Orie-Freisler and others had known about it for almost a week. Add to this, conspiracy and evidence tampering.

He could have delayed the sensational start of the trial the previous day instead of pandering to the prosecution’s gory rehearsal of genocide charges. But, Orie-Freisler simply wanted to publicly re-ignite the pack media — even if only for a day or two — and had ignored the cardinal rule that requires the disclosure of all prosecution evidence.

As a result, the grandstanding Dutch judge and the rest of the ICTY found themselves held up to unprecedented international ridicule on just about every television news program aired that evening in the known world.

“The Tribunal in the exercise of its inherent power,” stipulates Rule 77, “may hold in contempt those who knowingly and willfully interfere with its administration of justice, including any person who… (iii) without just excuse fails to comply with an order to… produce documents before a Chamber…”

Gladstone’s famous tenet — “justice delayed is justice denied” — cannot be more aptly offended than by wayward judges who abuse their privilege of procedural discretion and instead collude with prosecutors to conceal evidence from the defense. In most civilized Western countries the offense amounts to judicial misconduct.

The prosecution, headed by two Americans, Peter McCloskey (son of former California Republican congressman Pete McCloskey), and Dermot Groome (a little-heralded former Manhattan prosecutor and law school instructor) well understood the elementary statute about evidence disclosure — and even announced seven months ago they had complied!

But after all, it was Orie-Freisler’s responsibility, and he could have summoned lawyers to a less inflammatory pre-trial hearing to determine the extent of the prosecution’s “mistake” without the courtroom carnival…

Even the near-institutional bias of the media could not shield Orie-Freisler’s circus from its indictments the next day with headlines that the caricature “was thrown into confusion” by an “apparent clerical error” which “cast a shadow over one of the court’s biggest cases — and over the reputation of the court itself.” (Associated Press)

How serious is the issue?

Orie-Freisler clownishly referred to it as a minor denouement of only “significant disclosure errors.”

But, despite the forgone prediction about Mladic’s waning mortality, not to mention any lingering vapor of hope for a declared mistrial, the defense pegs the missing documents at “a million pages” while prosecutors admit that, yes, “more than 37,000 documents could be missing.”

…The tribunal itself rushed out a letter from prosecutors to defense lawyers, which attempted to head off a motion for mistrial, offering that the “missing documents were not uploaded onto an electronic database accessible to defense lawyers. ‘We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience,’ it read.”

The usually friendly reporters impugned the blunder as the latest ICTY “fiasco” and “debacle” (The Guardian).

As expected, The New York Times’ ICTY-protector, Marlise Simons composed a soft-pedaled two-paragraph litany for the top of her report, beginning with the standard reference to the 1995 “massacre” at Srebrenica….Obviously, Simons wanted to clinically sanitize Orie-Freisler, the ICTY, the prosecutors and to get in her own apology for them all, beginning in the third paragraph:

“…Frederick Swinnen, an adviser to the prosecutor, said that the prosecution had reviewed more than a million pages from other trials to check for material that it must share with Mr. Mladic’s defense. ‘But there was a technical error,’ Mr. Swinnen said, ‘and several thousand pages were not accurately uploaded when they were sent. We recently learnt of this, and we are trying to correct it as fast as possible’.”

The New York Post withheld any Murdochian sensation and reported without tabloid sarcasm that “evidence errors” had caused the suspended proceedings. Its cross-town rival The New York Daily News unsheathed its 200-word verdict (hacked from the Agence France-Presse service), death sentence, and banishment from the planet:

“To see 70-year-old Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic hauled before a war crimes tribunal is to witness a man of evil called to account for the blood on his hands…That blood collected in immeasurable quantities during the 1992-95 war that followed Yugoslavia’s dissolution…On this Earth, he can never pay enough for his crimes.”

Anthem-like, Jasmina Tesanovic [on Huffington Post], “feminist author and political activist”, according to her byline — although coming across more like another self-hating Serb” — bemoaned the defiant image of Mladic, alluding to his baldness, and her dissatisfaction with proceedings at The Hague, generally…Tesanovic’s own third paragraph recited from a Serbian proverb that “The wolf loses his hair but not his character.”

“There is little going [on] in The Hague courtroom that wasn’t described by Hannah Arendt during Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem in 1963.

“It outdoes Hollywood, though. Angelina Jolie’s recent movie, In the Land of Blood and Honey, is a pale replica of this horror reality show, live from The Hague…

“The Serbian population is still living in denial, and other nations have learned to let this new nation do that…”

Mike Corder, of the Associated Press and the “dean” of correspondents covering the war crimes trials at The Hague for the past seventeen years, did his usual job — all sizzle, no steak. He consistently knows more than he tells and will never encounter a shriek of protest from the Mothers of Srebrenica.

Orie-Freisler’s boss, Tribunal president Theodor Meron, an 82-year-old American and an Holocaust survivor, likewise cannot be happy that the prosecution had much earlier informed Orie-Freisler about the missing evidence. Meron was ensconced behind his chamber doors as ICTY apologists scurried around to come up with a reasonable explanation for Orie-Freisler’s exhibition of incompetent trial management in the headlong rush to start the Mladic show the day before…

Meron had just 48 hours earlier denied a defense motion to remove Orie-Freisler from presiding in the case because of his tangled impartiality in previous sentencing of several former subordinates of Mladic.

Perceived as a Dutch favorite-son at The Hague, Orie-Freisler bragged to Deutsche Presse-Agentur in 2008 that he and two-dozen other trial court judges enjoyed “very nice” annual salaries and perks worth almost $250,000 — including “official” travel and lodgings, generous holidays, etc.

Meron, an avid Shakespearean, and author of several prohibitively expensive volumes that deal with the obscure (to general readerships) minutiae of international law….[has a new] collection on the subject of the international tribunals, The Making of International Criminal Justice — A View from the Bench: Selected Speeches.

The “making” of laws without the use of democratic legislatures and parliaments used to worry such organizations as the American Bar Association in the ICTY’s formative beginnings in the 1990s. But no longer. […]

In an article following up on the trial’s postponement, the World Socialist Web Site offered some interesting revelations, or rather confirmations of what we already knew:

Mladic trial postponed indefinitely (By Paul Mitchell, May 28, 2012)

…Orie made his announcement after the defence called for a six month delay, claiming that it had “repeatedly complained of lack of full and timely disclosures” from the prosecution and criticised “the inaction of the Chamber to timely respond to the verified complaints of the Defence made previously (and since last year).”

Prosecutors Dermot Groome and Peter McCloskey insisted that they only became aware of the problem on April 24, three weeks before the start of the trial. They blamed a computer “operator error” for failing to disclose witness statements, photos, maps and other evidence but claimed that they were largely “technical” in nature, and that “an adjournment should be of a limited duration.”

Besides Serbia’s reluctance to capture Mladic, there has been covert opposition to his arrest on the part of the United States, Britain and France. This was revealed following the capture of former RS president Radovan Karadzic….The prosecution finished its case against Karadzic earlier this month and the defence case is scheduled for a few months time. Like Mladic, Karadzic also disappeared following the signing of the November 1995 Dayton Accord….When he was captured, Karadzic claimed that he had been offered immunity by the US in return for stepping down from office and disappearing from public life.

Del Ponte acknowledged that this claim was true. Her spokeswoman, Florence Hartmann, said, “Information about the fugitives’ whereabouts was abundant, however, it would always turn out that one of the three countries — the US, Britain or France — would block arrests.”

“Sometimes arrest operations were halted by [former French President Jacques] Chirac personally, other times by [former President Bill] Clinton,” she added.

Hartmann said that “the reasons why Western powers don’t want to see Karadzic and Mladic on trial is . . . their very likely intent to put the blame for the crimes they have committed on the international community by saying that they have been given a green or orange light to take over the Srebrenica enclave.”

“Western powers created the conditions for mass killings to happen”, she added. From the day the ICTY was created, “there was an effort to steer justice to justify the actions of the big powers in their response to the war, the genocide. . . . They consistently tried to overlook who was indicted, and then selectively provided evidence and even altered it depending if the Tribunal mandate to establish the truth would harm them or not”. […]

Note: I was using the interview from an email that someone had sent me back in 2007, but I’ve just found it online, at Srpska-Mreza.

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

In looking for something else, I stumbled upon the following excerpt from a 1997 interview between Belgrade-based journalist Jasa Almuli, a Jewish WWII survivor, and Professor Enriko Josif, one of then Yugoslavia’s top Jewish intellectuals. Among other, bigger things, the interview corroborates what I try to explain to people when they perceive or attempt to paint Serbs as anti-Semitic. In countering that charge, I’ve often explained to people that there may have been an increase in that phenomenon in the past 15 years, after Bosnia and Kosovo, during which prominent American Jews were at the forefront of calls to bomb the Serbs (though they were by no means alone). But, continues my explanation, this new grudge was not something that had ever been endemic to the Serb people historically.

This is also why attempts to conflate Serbs with Russians gets under my skin, even though the two Orthodox nations are understandably allying more closely in this unforeseeable era of the most unholy alliances by America. Two sentences in the interview are: “[I]n Serbia, I never felt what it means to be a Jew in its bad meaning…to live in one Serbia and not to feel a burden of being a Jew is something that happened in no other place in pre-Hitler Europe.” The opposite has always been true of Russia.

Similar Destiny

Translation: Petar Makara
Editors: Jasa Almuli, Professor Wanda Schindley

In the conversation we had on May 4, 1997 our renowned composer and Academician Enriko Josif explained how his family and himself were saved from Germans, thanks to help Italians provided to Jewish refugees. Delving deep into the Old Testament, he explained just how and why he concludes that Jews and Serbs are peoples close in destiny.

He then sent an emotional message to the leaders of American Jews not to participate in “the American media Auschwitz against the Serbs.”

We also talked about his music compositions as well as his work as an educator at the Music Academy in Belgrade. Until his retirement, he was Professor of Composition at that institution.

Excerpts from the interview

I was born on May 1, 1924, in Belgrade. With exception of the time during the war years, I have never left the city. At that time, guided only by destiny, my mother, brother and I left the city, unaware that by doing so we avoided possible death. I came back to the city, with my mother and brother right after the war.

What may explain my statements to the reader is my relationship, my shared living with the Serbian people; the people I regard as truly exceptional. I want to say that just after Jews, the Serbs belong to the most eschatological people in this 20th century. [Eschatological: millennial/apocalyptic/eternal/prophetic/parabolic/cautionary]

I will try to prove it using some arguments from the Bible.

Before that war, I spent my childhood and my early youth — I can tell it for sure — as if in a paradise. In this country, in Serbia, I never felt what it means to be a Jew in its bad meaning. Quite the contrary. Literally, I felt as it is said in the Bible: “Love the one who is with you — a stranger — as you love [thyself].” I was shielded in that fashion, and I had great relationships. Later on, I learned what a great thing it was and that there was no other such place. Nowhere was it so good. Deep down in my heart, I am grateful to God that I was born in this extraordinary country that was so benevolent toward the Jews. Of course, there are always individual exceptions but taken as a whole Serbia always looked at the Jews in this special way. This must be because of our similar destiny. This is especially true in this — 20th — century when our common destiny was that we will be pointed to as culprits. This was done to such a scale that, during Hitler’s time, the fingers would point to us, and we would be called monsters — guilty for everything!

Interviewer: Could you tell more about your family?

My father’s name was Mosha Josif. He was a merchant representative of the Italian company “Snia Viskosa.” That is how I got the name Enriko. He was also representing the well known German car industry of BMW.

That horrible war came, but my father died before it. He was one of the rare Jews, though, who used to say “Let us all go to Australia. The arrival of Hitler means the end of Europe. It is our end, too.” Of course, our people did not believe him.

Then, only days before the Germans’ attack on Yugoslavia, my mother’s instinct was telling her that we should leave Belgrade. I did not want to hear of it. She then took her little pistol and said, “If you do not decide to leave, I will kill myself right here.” This is how we left toward Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coast. We spent some time there and then — miracle: The Italians (it was them who took over Dubrovnik first) tell us, “Run out of Dubrovnik. Germans and Ustashas [Croat Nazis] will take over the city in few days.”

They even gave us some passes. So we left toward Split, which is also on the Adriatic coast but under their [Italians’] control.

To make this part of my testimony shorter — we were first transported to the [Adriatic] island of Korchula and then to “free confinement” in Italy itself. At the end of 1943 when the Italian government capitulated and the Germans took over the entire Northern Italy, we succeeded in crossing the border into Switzerland.

I was 19 years old then. In Switzerland we lived with my grandfather. There, in Switzerland, I experienced the turmoil in my soul. There, for the first time, through [the] Bible which I did not know of before, I grasped the tragedy that befell my people: the Jews. It was a tremendous inner change. Suddenly, somehow as if through the genes or through denka as they call it today I understood why our destiny is the way it is and why I am.

I read the entire Old and New Testament…I have no prejudice about the difference between the Old and New Testament. I see them as a magnificent, indivisible bridge. Of course, later, theologists split this bridge, substituting it with unbridgeable horror that ended in the holocaust.

The message to American Jews

I have to tell you now why I agreed to participate in this interview. Usually, I try to avoid public appearances, but I accepted this conversation so I can address my people — the American Jews. I want to tell them something from my long experiences. It is up to them to understand it as they want.

[A]t this very moment, all those prophecies are becoming an astonishing truth. They are not part of some mysticism but a call of reality stronger than any mysticism.

What Prophet Zacharias said about the destiny of Jerusalem is quite up to date — exactly as now. He said, “All peoples of the world stood against you — because of Jerusalem”. And that is what is happening today. Literally. Out of 180 member nations of the United Nations, 160 criticize Israel for building suburbs in Jerusalem. This is what literally happens today but what was uttered more than 2,500 years ago! So, it is not something one can joke about. This is not something one can only accept as mere symbolism or something which is aside from history. This symbolism, this historical statements above, were uttered in an eschatological manner — some 2,000 years ago, and they are becoming historical reality.

In light of all of this, let us get back to Isaiah and his prophesy which dates from even before 2,500 years ago. In his prophesies we find a very important analogy. He said, “As I chose David to be the King and leader of peoples — so that people that you did not know you will know and that people that did not know you will flock to you”.

Please — the thing is terribly clear. We are soul-mates of the Serbs as two eschatological peoples and as two peoples of terribly similar destinies. Something eschatologically miraculous is happening with the Serbian people as it was happening yesterday above Israel. This is why it is a holy duty of every Jew to understand that. Jasenovac for the Serbs is exactly the same as Dachau was for us. It is even kept as a secret from you — but you have to get to know it. If you did, then you, the American Jews, would get to understand the events in our country [of Yugoslavia] in quite a different, more truthful way.

I beg you then — do not participate in persecution, in verbal attack, on the Serbian people because the Serbs are our brothers in soul, our eschatological brothers.

Second, to live in one Serbia and not to feel a burden of being a Jew is something that happened in no other place in pre-Hitler Europe. But it was so natural here. The Serbs are simply unbelievable people. I call them hugging people. These are the kind of people who would hug a stranger more than their own. They have a feeling for strangers and are extremely honest and brother-like to them. This is the reason why Serbia is so divided, butchered, today. The Serbs never though of themselves as anything special. They always had full respect for everyone who lived with them and, of course, wished Serbia no harm. This is an exceptional people, and it is horrible what was done to them. All of what was premeditated.

I will repeat: a true media genocide, a media Auschwitz, was perpetrated on the Serbian people! The Serbs were dehumanized and portrayed as monsters exactly as the Jews were portrayed through centuries, and in particular with Goebbels and his propaganda.

I watched this cartoonish show of horror. I saw the Serbs labelled the same way Hitler labelled the Jews — as cripples, devils and Satans. That is mind-boggling! It is horrible. How can anyone fathom it? I understand that someone could profit from it and that profit is a strong incentive, but this is truly un-Godly profit. This un-Godly benefit, and invented strategic reasons are absurdities that can not stand in front of a living God. I tremble thinking of the destiny of the perpetrators of this horrifying genocide, the media crime perpetrated against the Serbs. I am afraid to talk about it or to guess what would happen to those who did it. This is not my concern any more. God will decide…

Please understand: The way you were informed was one-sided. It is inexcusable, and please do not participate in persecution of the Serbs by signing demands that they should be bombed or like activities. [I think this is a reference to the New York Times ads taken out by prominent American Jews, calling for military action against Serbia during the Bosnia conflict, which happened again during Kosovo.] You are unaware that you are participating in murder of a brother. Brother in soul. By signing it, you are simply endorsing Auschwitz, and you are giving full justification to what was done only yesterday by German National Socialists.

Please, I beg you. I wrote to the head Rabbi of France to address the believers, at least the believers, not to participate in this maddening lynch mob. What we have here is true medieval exorcistic mob hunting the Serbian people. The Serbs are exceptional people — exceptional in their embrace and love of other peoples. We are not talking here just about people who were your allies in the First and Second World War but well before the two wars. These are the people who were devoted to the ideas of great America, the ideas of once democratic but now failed Europe.

So, this is the only reason why I agreed to talk about this. But let me tell you the exegete meaning of what Isaiah said. He said, “A people you did not know but will call upon.” Is that not a clear proof? You know who the Serbs are but are so horrifyingly against them in following the current trends. When Isaiah says “that people will flock to you” that simply marks our destiny of people who were haunted, persecuted only yesterday. They came to us. They now have our destiny…That is the Truth, and it would be wonderful if you get an ear for it, if you could relate to it. So, do not listen to those who keep repeating that this poor people are guilty for everything, that they are nothing but a people of murderers. Of course the Serbs have murderers — every nation has them, but Serbs are the people — the soul of the world. They are hugging, all embracing, wonderful, rare to find on this otherwise horrible, crippled Earth.

Here. That was my all encompassing wish to tell — to say it without putting blame on anyone. But be aware that you are not informed. Unfortunately, you are not.

If you do not want to trust me, you could trust Mr. [Abraham] Rosenthal, renowned American journalist. He is well informed and feels that something is wrong. He was here. I know him personally. He is an exceptional human being, a brave man. Here I see that in The New York Times he managed to publish his views about the Serbian people.

I keep repeating: The Serbs are our soul brothers. Nowhere else were you allowed to feel this much a Jew other than in this wonderful Serbia. But here is where the prophecy becomes true: People you did not know — you will get to know. Today, through some exceptional Jews we got to know this “people that did not know you but will flock to you.” This also means “This people did not know your destiny but now got to live your destiny”. Let us embrace them. Let us not participate when some of our people, in ignorance, raise their voices against this wonderful people.

Biblical Punishment

I returned from Switzerland as a believer. I felt a huge change in my soul. There are many Jews for whom the Holocaust made them leave God. They would say: “If that horror happened and one whole people got massacred, then there is no God”.

Even Moses told us what will happen. That’s the thing. He says, but actually God himself says: “Israel, I will spill you across the globe. I will mix you with other peoples. You will go insane from what will happen to you. And because you abandoned me.”

Our forefathers from Israel abandoned God and wanted to be like other people, but the punishment was foretold.

This is what kept faith alive in me.

Already in the fifth book of Moses it is all foretold, and it says: “Across burning furnace” — and that is the Holocaust — “I will return you to the Promised Land.” That is exactly how it happened. After burning furnaces, we…moved back to the lands that was once Israel.

Then it says, “Only tenth out of tenth of you will remain, but out of those a new people will form.” In Isaiah it says, “Where did you hear that in a single day I will declare you a nation”? In a single day the United Nations declared us a nation-state. That never happened before. There existed nations that suffered under colonial empires and then their rights would be recognized. But we had no holy site left standing, and we had no land, but still we were declared a nation in a day.

So, for me, these are crystal clear truths. If you love Truth, then there is no metaphysical escape in saying that this is only a symbolism or a random event…Clearly no escape. […]

********************UPDATE: FLASHBACK*********************

Israel Uneasily Wrestles With ‘Genocide’ in Kosovo
By Lee Hockstader
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, April 1, 1999; Page A12

JERUSALEM – When the West employs the term “genocide” and compares Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic with Adolf Hitler, many Israelis perk up their ears. As victims, or relatives of victims, of the 20th century’s deadliest genocide, Jews here feel a special moral resonance in atrocities committed against ethnic minorities in Europe.

…While the suffering and persecution of the ethnic Albanians is universally condemned, some Israelis are nevertheless deeply uneasy with the West’s bombing campaign against the Serbs.

For its part, the Israeli government at first balked at criticizing the Serbs directly and has refused to explicitly support NATO’s airstrikes. Only after several days of sustained criticism in the Israeli press did Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday condemn massacres by “the Serbs or any other group . . . both from the point of view of our history and our moral sense.”

The Jewish state, which is fond of boasting that its standard of living has soared nearly to Western European levels, has so far decided to send just $100,000 worth of medicine, tents and clothing to the Kosovo Albanian refugees in Albania, a relative pittance compared with the West’s donations, or Taiwan’s, even in per capita terms.

When Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon was asked whether he supports the NATO bombing, he replied: “We were not asked . . . It is not our job to comment on this.” Other Israeli cabinet ministers agreed.

Israel’s lukewarm official stance has enraged many Israelis who believe Jews have a unique historical and moral obligation to speak out for persecuted minorities who face massacres and possible genocide.

“As representatives of the Jewish nation, which went through a terrible process of complete annihilation, we are obligated because of our past to act and offer them assistance,” Yehuda Bautzer, head of the International Foundation for Holocaust Research, wrote in the newspaper Maariv.

For these Israelis, the exhortation “Never again!” applies broadly, not only to the specter of another holocaust against the Jews but to genocidal wars elsewhere, particularly in Europe.

But there is another strain in Israeli public opinion, for whom “never again” has a more limited application, principally to Jews. That the victims in Kosovo are Muslims who Sharon said were in league with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, or Party of God – which is fighting Israeli army in southern Lebanon – further complicates matters.

History-minded Israelis know that the Serbs, alongside other Yugoslav partisans under Tito, stood up against the Nazis and eventually beat them back, at great cost in blood. The Serbs were also on generally good terms with the Jews who lived among them, and instances of Serbian antisemitism, or collaboration with the Nazis in the extermination of Serbia’s Jews, were relatively rare.

The Kosovo Albanians, by contrast, joined a German SS division toward the end of the war and fought the partisans.

“If a Jewish dimension comes up in this, it calls for sympathy for [the Serbs],” said Yehoshua Porath, a retired history professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

To [some] observers, who tend to be on the right wing edges of public opinion, the plight of the Kosovo Albanians bears just enough resemblance to that of the Palestinians, or Israel’s own million-strong Arab minority, to be unsettling.

Like Israeli Arabs, the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are a Muslim minority in a sovereign state. Like the Palestinians, they aspire to create an independent state on land they regard as their birthright….to some Israelis, a dangerous precedent is being set.

“In the future, if we refuse to give [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat Jerusalem, will the bombing, or at least economic sanctions, begin?” asked Elyakim Haetzni in the daily Yedioth Aharonoth.

Despite such views, the persecution of Kosovo’s Albanians – the wrenching images of refugees and reports of horrific massacres – have struck a chord in Israel as they have elsewhere. Many Israelis who have followed the crisis – perhaps a majority – see in the Albanians’ plight distinct echoes of the Holocaust. [Precisely the desired result.] They note that NATO’s’ response is exactly what Jews wanted, and were refused, by the Allies in World War II.

“Dear Europe,” wrote Uri Avneri, a columnist for Maariv. “I was happy about your decision to use force to guarantee peace in Kosovo. You learned a lesson. Sixty years ago, when the Nazis abused the German Jews and threatened to eliminate all the Jews of Europe, you did not lift a finger.”

[As always, the “learned lesson” was inverted.]

After trying for more than a month to get the new Algemeiner Journal to print a shorter version of my appeal on behalf of Alex Cvetkovic, an Israeli citizen of Serb ethnicity being extradited to Bosnia for a biased trial over Srebrenica-related war crimes, on Thursday the site published something about Cvetkovic under my name.

Unfortunately, the article published barely resembled what I’d sent them; instead it was a re-write, with outright inventions inserted and facts made up as they went along. (In addition to misspellings, missing words, missing periods, and double quotes within double quotes.)

Not surprisingly, the two comments posted (reprinted below) — which are what alerted me to the article’s publication in the first place — reacted to some of the bizarre claims in “my” article. But anyone who is familiar with my work over the years would instantly know that I couldn’t have written this article, which makes the most basic mistakes about the ICTY and the Bosnian conflict. Presenting a dissenting view on the Balkans — almost unheard of — is perilous enough (everyone who has ever tried instantly becomes a “famous genocide denier” so as to marginalize the argument), so it’s vital to not have mistakes on top of it.

I’ll excerpt from the editor’s version, correcting the facts, and will then paste the actual text I’d sent to the Algemeiner, for the record. Granted, we know that my detractors would have howled even if my piece had been posted faithfully and accurately, but the fact that the Algemeiner mis-posted it certainly played into their hands.

The hasty removal of the article was done at my request, when I called the editor-in-chief at 11 p.m. Thursday night, upon seeing the posting. It is no longer viewable online.


Forty-two-year-old Alexander Cvetkovic, an Orthodox Christian Serb and now Israeli citizen, is accused of war crimes for killing Muslims in the fall of Srebrenica, in 1995, when he was a 25 year old soldier.

His extradition was demanded by Bosnia and granted by Jerusalem, though now the decision under appeal.

His ultimate fate is important for global human rights, because while the courts may be certain of his guilt, Cvetkovic’s likely punishment of a lengthy prison sentence is unlikely to be fulfilled. In a similar case from 2010, General Radislav Krstic was sentenced by a Muslim-dominated jury to 46 years, then executed, his throat slit, by three Muslim prisoners in a daylight prison attack.

1. Muslim-dominated jury? Anyone who has ever read my articles knows that this is a mistake I’m not capable of making. But it certainly exposes the Hague-literacy levels of Western media. The ICTY does NOT have a “Muslim-dominated jury.” There is no jury at all, much less a Muslim one. There’s a handful of internationals posing as judges handing down verdicts.

2. The article I handed in to the editors referred to a “gory ATTEMPT on Krstic’s life.” An attempt on someone’s life is not an execution. As we know, Krstic survived the attack; he is not dead. Later in the article, my wording “gory attempt on his life” became “gory end to his life.”

3. How can someone unfamiliar with either case refer to the Krstic and Cvetkovic cases as “similar”? They’re unlikely to be such, given that Krstic was a high-ranking general and Cvetkovic was a regular soldier. The editor apparently also decided that because the assault on Krstic took place in 2010, that’s also when his trial took place, and so he called it a “2010 case.” As we know, the Krstic case took place in 2001.

4. “While the courts may be certain of his guilt…”: Why would we assume that the courts are certain of his guilt? Everything at The Hague is political and verdicts on Serbs are often a foregone conclusion. It’s certainly preferable to The Hague and affiliated courts that he be guilty, as Serb acquittals always cause them political headaches.

That was four corrections for just one paragraph. Here was the next one.

In the darkest days of the Yugoslavian civil war, Srebrenica was used by the Bosnian-Muslim military as base from which it launched gruesome raids on nearby Orthodox Christian Serb villages, with Muslim fighters and civilians alike murdering Serb inhabitants, in an orgy of violence that shocked the world.

Crimes against Serbs were ignored. The world didn’t have the opportunity to be shocked by them, as it was given stories and images only of Muslim death and suffering to be shocked by. To this day, no one knows that the Muslims were attacking Serbs in Bosnia from the beginning.

For those war crimes, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague and the affiliated Sarajevo court may be demanding the head of Cvetkovic, but they are not interested in rounding up the rest of the perpetrators.

So now Cvetkovic is wanted for war crimes against Serbs? And the problem with prosecuting him, apparently, is that his Serb accomplices in Serb-killing aren’t also being sought? If that’s even what the editor is trying to say.

As Cvetkovic sits in an Israeli jail (as per Bosnia’s request), while appealing the adverse decision by the Jerusalem District Court to block his extradition, his case is calling into question Israel’s responsibility to protect his life

The adverse decision by the district court was to NOT block his extradition. If it had been blocked, that would not be an adverse decision.

…According to Haaretz, “The Jerusalem District Court conditioned [Mr. Cvetkovic’s] extradition on assurances by Sarajevo regarding incarceration standards there.”

Human rights observers mock the notion — “Assurances by Sarajevo” – it could be the title of a satire!

I’m the one who joked about “assurances by Sarajevo” — not “human rights observers,” as the editor injected. Next, trial observer Andy Wilcoxson becomes a “legal analyst”:

…And who was this Krstic, the Serb “war criminal” and “brute,” as news reports described him upon the gory end to his life? Examening Krstic’s case shows what’s wrong with the charges against Cvetkovic.

Legal analysts also were surprised by the judgment in the Krstic case. In his analysis of the 2004 Krstic appeal, Hague analyst Andy Wilcoxson wrote:

“Not even the tribunal could conceal the fact that it had convicted an innocent man. In paragraph 239 of the judgment they admit that: ‘Radislav Krstic and the Drina Corps under his command did not personally commit any crimes against the Bosnian Muslim civilians…[and] 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….’”

At least the quote was printed accurately.

It’s no surprise that these were the two comments, this time with something valid to harp on. But again, these were not my fictional facts, but those of a journalistic dilettante.

From: BosnianGenocide, July 26, 2012, 4:56 pm

The author is a well known genocide denier and it is not surprising that she is defending a man accused to taking part in genocide and the slaughter of Bosnian civilians. She doesn’t even bother the get the facts right. General Radislav Krstic was sentenced by the ICTY court in The Hague by judges chosen by the United Nations and not by a “Muslim jury” as she claims. The fact that the uses the term “Muslim” interchangeably to refer to Bosnian Muslims (i.e. Bosnians) as well as to muslims from around the world indicated that she has a dislike for all members of the islamic faith and seems to disregard the genocide that was committed against the Bosnian people because she considers them to be “Muslims” unworthy of sympathy or justice. Bosnia-Herzegovina has been processing lower-level war criminals for years and the process has proceeded without complaints from any international watch-dog groups [not true] which indicates that Mr. Cvetkovic’s trial would be fair and would deliver justice to the victims of genocide.

From: Fred, July 26, 2012, 4:55 pm

This story is full of outright lies and propaganda. It also suggests because all perpetrators are not prosecuted that means that this war criminal should not be extradited? Should we allow any Nazis that committed genocide during World War II to walk free just because not every camp commander has been prosecuted? This man is a criminal and Israel of all states needs to ensure he is punished for the bloody murders he committed against civilians.

If I were someone who, like most, was unacquainted with — and generally confused by — the Balkans, I’d be even more so after trying to get through this impossible article. Below is my piece as sent to the editors, though the documentation it contained is not hyper-linked here (I’ll do the links when I get a chance); for now, the documentation can be found in my original long version here.


As Western Leaders Bowed Their Heads This Month over the “Genocide” of Muslim Soldiers in Bosnia, Israel Weighs Extraditing a Citizen to a Bosnian Show Trial

Forty-two-year-old Alexander Cvetkovic, accused of 1995 war crimes related to the fall of the town Srebrenica — designated a UN “safe haven” for Muslims — is an Israeli citizen of Serb ethnicity whose extradition is demanded by Bosnia. The never demilitarized enclave, however, was used by the Bosnian-Muslim military as a base from which it launched gruesome raids on nearby Serb villages, with Muslim fighters and civilians alike murdering the Serb inhabitants, including on Orthodox Christmas. For those war crimes, the ICTY at The Hague (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) and the affiliated Sarajevo court demanding Cvetkovic is not interested in rounding up perpetrators.

As Cvetkovic sits in an Israeli jail (as per Bosnia’s request), while appealing an adverse decision by the Jerusalem District Court, it’s worth excerpting an April warning in Jerusalem Post by Stephen Karganovic, president of the Dutch NGO Srebrenica Historical Project:

[Cvetkovic] 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…For the past 20 years Cvetkovic has been married to a Ukrainian Jewish woman and has two sons with her….

The case raises some disturbing issues if this Israeli citizen is handed over to Sarajevo authorities…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…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…with disturbing stories of pressure and blackmail.

According to Haaretz, “The Jerusalem District Court conditioned [Mr. Cvetkovic’s] extradition on assurances by Sarajevo regarding incarceration standards there.”

Assurances by Sarajevo. It sounds like the title of a satire. One requested “assurance” was that Cvetkovic be kept separate from other prisoners because of safety concerns for non-Muslims. But what would be the fun in that? Consider the cautionary tale of a Serb general in a British prison where there were many Muslims. The Brits tossed General Radislav Krstic into a prison housing sex offenders and murderers. The predictable result on May 7, 2010: Radislav Krstic - Three Muslims Slash His Throat Open in Jail Revenge Attack

And who was this Serb “war criminal” and “brute,” as news reports described him upon the gory attempt on his life? One must look at Krstic’s case to see what’s wrong with the charges against Cvetkovic. Krstic was sentenced to 46 years (reduced to 35) for a crime whose nature has yet to be determined, and for bodies that had yet to be unearthed at the time of his conviction. From the Srebrenica Historical Project’s 2011 monograph Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide:

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.

[N]ine years have passed since then and there still is no trace of the 2,571 bodies…[which must be] also forensically demonstrated to be victims of Srebrenica-related execution…

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

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…[and] 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….”

Yes, 20,000 women, children and elderly of Srebrenica whom the 28th Bosnian Army Division abandoned by order of Sarajevo (as part of the attempt to stage an atrocity that would bring in NATO) “were safely evacuated by Bosnian Serb troops, using trucks and buses hastily requisitioned from Serb civilians,” wrote Nebojsa Malic, proprietor of the libertarian blog “Gray Falcon.” Giving safe passage, food, and water is hardly a hallmark of genocide. Adds Deconstruction, “On July 16th, 1995, VRS [the Bosnian-Serb Army] opened a corridor to allow passage for the retreating Srebrenica column…” Further, UN military observers who were debriefed that July 24th said no evidence or reports of mass killings had been brought to them.

To get Krstic convicted, the forensics had to be fudged. Again from Deconstruction:

[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…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….[A] number of bodies were exhumed in primary graves in 1996 which exhibited only skeletons…which virtually excludes that they could have been execution victims only a year earlier, since the decomposition process takes several years.

Sure enough, we run into similar problems with the Pilica killings that Mr. Cvetkovic is accused of. From UK Daily Mail and Guardian contributor John Laughland (emphasis and links added):

[Deutsche Welle reporter] Germinal Civikov …explains that the ICTY ruling that genocide was committed at Srebrenica…is based on the testimony of a single witness [Ethnic Croat Drazen] Erdemovic]….

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….[I]t 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…

…Erdemovic belonged to a mercenary unit….[which was offered–he “forgets” by whom] a lot of money (gold, in fact) to commit a war crime…The mercenaries then hijacked busses of prisoners which were on their way to be exchanged…and murdered them…[T]here were reports in Serbia of a rogue French secret service unit….The West, it is implied, “needed” a big atrocity at Srebrenica, and it was indeed immediately following the fall of that town…that NATO intervened.

Civikov’s book The Crown Witness has had an effect in the courtroom itself, as Mr. Karganovic points out in Deconstruction:

Accordingly, one of the alleged [Pilica] survivors has claimed that the Pilica mass execution did not, after all, last five hours, but six. The other gave a more expansive account…that the execution lasted until “nightfall”…[and] increased the size of prisoner batches…to between 25 and 100….

Then we arrive again at the unaccountable and secretive ICTY’s forensics problem. A sample from the monograph:

[N]o bodily injuries were found [in Pilica exhumations done in 1996]…there were no blindfolds or ligatures [indicating execution]…[T]he 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 the mass of defective autopsy reports, some indeed stand out….Tribunal forensic experts found a handkerchief in the victim’s pocket and they characterised it as a possible ligature…suggesting that…after the execution, [the executing soldiers] removed it and placed it in the pocket of the executed person.

…In another example a knee injury is treated as a possible cause of death…

For its DNA results, the Tribunal relies on the International Commission for Missing Persons lab in Tuzla, Bosnia, but Mr. Karganovic describes how it misrepresents DNA evidence:

On the 16th anniversary [in 2011] of the Srebrenica massacre 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…Each and every request to ICMP by private parties facing serious accusations or research organisations to be allowed access to DNA samples…is invariably met by the same polite response….

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…

…According to London “Financial Times” 93% of ICMP personnel are Bosnian Moslems.

Commenting on this judicial dystopia, in August 2009 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.” And in his contribution to the Deconstruction volume, Wilcoxson stressed that “ICMP is limited to determining the identity of human remains through DNA analysis….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.”

In an August 2011 article, Wilcoxson wrote, “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…amending them to match the ICMP’s findings.”

Soldiers’ bodies from all over Bosnia have been moved to the Srebrenica memorial site. As well, among the “dead or missing” are people who are alive and well, as is apparent from this London Times article of Aug. 2, 1995, to name just one: “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…‘without their families being informed’…it had not been possible to verify the reports because the Bosnian Government refused to allow the Red Cross into the area.”

Meanwhile, the “needed atrocity” that Guardian writer John Laughland hinted at earlier is something being looked into by the otherwise politically-correct Dutch, now that they may have to pay large indemnities over a questionable number of victims to litigious groups like Mothers of Srebrenica — for their UN troops not protecting the Muslim enclave-slash-military-base. In fact, on July 11, 2011, the 16th anniversary of the celebrated “genocide,” a rather heretical text was published on a prominent Dutch news portal, examining the staged aspects of Srebrenica.

The Jewish State shouldn’t buy into the political concoction of “genocide” either, and should stand up for Citizen Cvetkovic — or set a dangerous precedent for its own military.

A couple of my recent blogs again touched on the Albanian mafia ties to Sweden and Switzerland. In looking through some old blog notes, I see that I overlooked this Gates of Vienna post from 2008, which carried a news item about Albanians smuggling guns into Sweden:

The Kosovo Connection by Baron Bodissey (Jan. 22, 2008)

I have written previously about the Albanian Kosovar criminal networks that control most of the heroin trade in Western Europe. Discussing this undisputed fact is actually against the law in Sweden, as Dahn Pettersson, a local politician in Skåne, discovered last year.

Now we find out that along with the skag [heroin], the Kosovars are importing automatic weapons into Sweden. Here’s the latest from The Local: Four indicted after major weapons seizure

“Four people have been indicted in Malmö on gun-running charges following the seizure last autumn of a major consignment of weapons.

Customs officials in Malmö found 40 semi-automatic weapons concealed in the seats of a car on October 10th last year.

The driver of the vehicle was pulled over after customs officials noticed him behaving in a nervous manner when crossing the border from Denmark to Sweden.

One of the driver’s two passengers was also arrested. A woman travelling in the car was released almost immediately.

A criminal investigation conducted by the customs authorities also led to the identification of two further suspects.

“Cooperation on the international and national levels has worked extremely well,” said Rolf Bårdskär, head of Swedish Customs’ investigative division.

The customs authority has described the haul as one of the largest weapons seizures ever made in Europe.

The four suspects, each with addresses in southern Sweden, have been indicted on arms trafficking charges.

Both men arrested at the Lernacken border station in Malmö admit to smuggling Beretta and Zastava weapons from Kosovo to Sweden. The two suspects arrested later deny committing an offence.”

To see what Baron meant by “Discussing this undisputed fact is actually against the law in Sweden” (although I had a pretty good idea), I read the 2007 post that he linked:

The Skåne Witch Trials

“Incitement against an ethnic group” (hets mot folkgrupp) has reared its ugly head again in Sweden.

A local Swedish politician is currently on trial under the country’s hate-speech statute, and our Swedish correspondent LN has been keeping us abreast of unfolding events…LN has drawn the material for his account from Aftonbladet and Sydsvenska Dagbladet…As you read the material below, keep in mind that this man is on trial for saying things the state considers uncharitable about a certain national group. That’s it.

He didn’t pull a gun on anybody. He didn’t desecrate a cemetery, or firebomb a mosque. He didn’t yell, “Nuke the ragheads!” He simply referred to some people — presumably accurately — as members of a particular national and ethnic group while describing their activities. He should have been praised for celebrating diversity!

But what he did was against the law in Sweden.

Below is LN’s summary of material from Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Aftonbladet:

Dahn Pettersson

“Dahn Pettersson, a local politician in Burlöv, a suburb of Malmö, Sweden, represents a very tiny local right-wing party called the Alliance Party, which [in its program] declares itself to have the mission of keeping Sweden Swedish, guaranteeing the freedom of the Swedish people in their own country, and wishing to expand real Democracy and to keep the Monarchy. He cared a lot for the [homeless] in the municipality, so last autumn he wrote a petition to the municipal council about the miserable living conditions of these people.

“In his petition he argued that the number of homeless people is increasing — in the end due to an increase in heroin smuggling, but more proximately to the increasingly easy availability of the drug, and that this in turn was due to the large number of ethnic Kosovo Albanian immigrants in Sweden.

“A fellow politician, the right-winger (member of the Moderate party) Lars Johansson…contacted the police to get information about the truth of this assertion. The petition came under the eyes of an assistant police precinct chief named Mikael Storm, who judged the statement about the “Kosovo Albanians being connected to smuggling and distributing heroin” probably to be so-called racial agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrupp), and made a report of it to the police.

“Dahn Pettersson says that his intention with the petition was solely to stand up for the [homeless] and not at all to express contempt for any ethnic group.

“What then was the blameworthy content of Dahn Pettersson’s petition? According to the newspaper Aftonbladet the blameful and indictable in spe content of the petition amounts to the following verbatim passus:

‘95 percent of all heroin arrives via Kosovo, must you then wonder why the [homeless] are increasing in number when we have imported this drug because Friggebo [female liberal idiot-politician— ln] gave 46,000 Kosovo Albanians permanent residence permits. After this mistake the heroin has flowed freely in Sweden and in Europe.’

“After a long and thorough preliminary investigation of the case since October 2006, the district prosecutor Mats Svensson arrived at the conclusion that the accused has ‘officially spread a statement or other message that express disrespect for a group of people, with allusion to origin of race, colour of skin, nationality, ethnic origin, or confession of faith.’

“According to the prosecutor, the primary purpose of Dahn Pettersson’s petition was to express disrespect/contempt against refugees in general and Kosovo Albanians as an ethnic group in particular, and not to stand up for the homeless.

“The prosecutor pointed out different factual errors in Dahn Pettersson’s petition, but at the same time said that it was not ‘errors, if any’ of the factual content that the trial was about; the trial was about the purpose of the petition. And the purpose of the petition was, asserted the mind-reading prosecutor, to paint Kosovo Albanians (as an ethnic group) in black colours. ‘In the petition rhetoric is used that is prevalent among new political parties that are opposed to immigration — one wants to achieve one’s objective through placing different groups against one another, one places immigrants against pensioners or the unemployed,’ the mind-reading prosecutor declared. According to the prosecutor, Dahn Pettersson shall be sentenced to fines for minor ‘agitation against an ethnic group’…

“The accused’s legal representative, who seems to have made a very bleak appearance, emphasized the importance of freedom of speech and declared that the prosecution would be rejected.

“The local edition of the newspaper Aftonbladet, on the day after the trial, with veiled mockery makes a show of the following headline: ‘Blaming Kosovo Albanians for wave of heroin’

“However, this same paper on February 29th 2000 wrote: ‘The police have made a survey of how Albanian gangs control the drug trade. Kosovo Albanian clans control the heroin market in Scandinavia. These clan- or gang-members can be found in the Swedish towns of Malmö, Lund, Landskrona, Göteborg, Stockholm, Kalmar and Halmstad. Walter Kegö gives his opinion that 80% of all brown smoking heroin emanates from Kosovo Albanians.’

“As far as Albania is concerned ‘We do not talk in kilos any more but in tonnes of drugs,’ a senior Western diplomat in Tirana told the Irish Times in July of 2006. ‘Albania is like a big drugs warehouse,’ the diplomat concluded. […]”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LN supplied me with ample documentation of the “Kosovo Connection” in the European heroin trade. I have compiled some of it into a separate document here….To summarize: the heroin comes in from Turkey and Afghanistan and passes through established routes to Kosovo, where it is smuggled north to Scandinavia via central Europe. This creates new addicts in Sweden; hence the [homeless].

A final quote from LN:

“Statistics speak for themselves: 19,500 Kosovo Albanians are clogging German jails for selling drugs; 2,500 Kosovo Albanians are in Swiss jail for selling drugs; Hungarian anti-mafia chief Djerd Hološi says Albanians control 80% of Hungarian drugs; Czechs attribute 70% of drug distribution to Kosovo Albanians… the Azuri coast in Spain is controlled by the Kosovo Albanian Mafia… (Partly from: Kosovo Albanian Criminal Enterprise, by M. Bozinovich February 11, 2007)…”

Reading about Sweden’s Albanian problems, then contrasting them with the relationship that Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has with Kosovo’s mobster-in-chief, his country coming in fifth in the dhimmi race for recognizing Kosovo, one can’t help but ask whether, in these desperate times of worldwide economic collapse, Europe and the U.S. — whose military protects and transports KLA heroin — aren’t getting a cut of Albanian heroin profits. No wonder there are political and legal consequences for bringing attention to Albanian heroin as such.

Bildt with Kosovo Albanian Thug-in-Chief Hashim Thaci

That is the question that Rock Cellar Magazine’s “Both Sides Now!” section tackles in the current issue. Since Obama is obviously a socialist and worse, I did the “pro” side. Meaning, yes he’s a socialist. My friend Ed Rampell, a regular contributor to the magazine, did the “con” side, since he’s a real socialist and doesn’t see Obama as the real thing. (I told him he needs to appreciate the concept of transition. Meaning, if Obama gets reelected, he’ll show Ed they really are on the same page.)

Anyway, there are some funny cartoons and of course some funny prose by yours truly. (And by my socialist friend Ed, I guess, if I’m being honest.)

Is Obama a Socialist or Not?


“For THIS I Left the Soviet Union?!” — by Julia Gorin


“If Obama is a socialist, he’s a lousy one.” – by Ed Rampell

And STILL this is how much Americans know about their intervention in Bosnia:

“…the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina.”

Did you know that the former Yugoslavia is now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Good thing we have Roanoke Times reporter Laurence Hammack to explain that to us. Apparently, not a single of his editors or copy editors saw anything wrong with that sentence either.

Of course, that’s not the main point of the item, which was circulated by 1389 Blog. This guy is:

Almaz Nezirovic

Roanoke Co. resident faces extradition on war crimes allegations (July 18)
By Laurence Hammack

A former Bosnian prison camp guard now living in Roanoke County was led in handcuffs to a federal courtroom Tuesday, where he was told he faces extradition to his native country on charges of committing war crimes.

Almaz Nezirovic was ordered held without bond during a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

Court papers unsealed late in the day accuse Nezirovic of torturing Serbian civilians who were sent to a prison camp during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The prisoners were beaten with rifles and batons, starved, ordered to crawl naked on the ground and forced to eat grass soaked with urine, a seven-page complaint charges.

“In these and other ways, the Fugitive participated in torturing and inflicting cruel, inhumane and humiliating treatment on multiple prisoners at the Rabic camp,” the complaint states.

Nezirovic — who had been living quietly as a welder and soccer coach in Roanoke County since immigrating to the United States about 15 years ago — appeared stunned and defiant during his hearing.

“I was very surprised,” he told Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou in broken English.

(Of course he was! Since when did Serb-torture become a prosecutable offense?)

Wearing a yellow T-shirt and shorts, his long, dark hair tied back in a ponytail, he turned several times to make eye contact with about a dozen family members and friends sitting in the courtroom.

“We love you,” a woman called out as he was led away.

Although the charges against him were filed in 2003 by authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nezirovic had more recently been facing separate but related federal charges in Roanoke.

In June 2011, he was charged with lying on an application for U.S. citizenship and making a false statement during a naturalization interview. [We know that’s a problem — see father of Trolley Square shooter Sulejman Talovic.]

Federal prosecutors said at the time that Nezirovic, 53, indicated on the applications that he had never committed acts for which he could be charged criminally — such as the alleged abuse of prisoners at the war camp.

After his indictment, Nezirovic was allowed to remain free on bond. He had been living in his Roanoke County home without incident until his arrest Tuesday morning on an extradition warrant.

Notice how when a non-Serb is arrested in a Western country for war crimes, he doesn’t have to sit in jail while the extradition decision runs its course. In contrast, our most recent example is Alex Cvetkovic, whom Israel was mandated by Sarajevo to keep in jail from the tie of his arrest in January 2011. Naturally, Israel complied. (Since when Bosnia says Jump, every country jumps.)

…In 2004, one year after Nezirovic was charged by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina with war crimes, U.S. officials refused to extradite him, according to his attorney, public defender Fay Spence.

The more recent extradition efforts apparently came after the Bosnia-Herzegovina government presented additional information to the U.S. State Department.

Nezirovic denies the charges, Spence has written in court documents.

The allegations against Nezirovic are politically motivated and stem from lingering tensions between ethnic and religious groups in the war-torn country, Spence maintains.

As we know, any time a non-Serb is wanted for killing or torturing Serbs, the charges are always “politically motivated” or “ethnically motivated.”

During his country’s civil war in the 1990s, Nezirovic was a member of the Croatian Defense Council military force and worked in the Rabic prison camp that held Serb civilians.

As a Bozniak Muslim, Nezirovic wanted no part of the three-way fighting among Serbs, Croatians and Muslims, Spence has written in court documents. But when his homeland of Derventa was invaded by Serb nationalists, Nezirovic said he joined a Croatian paramilitary group as an act of self-defense.

And it’s always “an act of self-defense” because Bosniaks, Croats and Albanians can never seem to remember who insisted on war, and so the Serb side is always by definition the aggressor. Then just put in the requisite word “nationalist” after the word “Serb,” and you definitely won’t get any questions about whether there was anything specific that the Serbs were fighting against.

“At no time did Nezirovic detain or mistreat civilians, nor did he mistreat combatant prisoners at the Rabic camp,” a motion filed on his behalf stated.

Well a couple of witnesses would beg to disagree: Former prisoners receive permission to testify at trial (March 22)

By Laurence Hammack

…U.S. District Court Judge James Turk ruled this week that testimony from the former prisoners can be taken by live video, despite arguments from Almaz Nezirovic’s attorney that such an arrangement would violate his right to a fair trial.

When Nezirovic goes on trial in July, he will argue that the people he is accused of abusing are affiliated with a Bosnian Serb militia group and have political motivations to falsely incriminate him.

And that is why it is so important to hear from them in person, Spence argued in a motion opposing their videoconference testimony,

“Live testimony, i.e. perspiration on the brow or the smell of sweat, cannot be transmitted through cables — no television can replace the ability to pick up on slight body language,” Spence wrote.

“The jury will not hear the witness shift in his chair when asked a difficult question. The jury will not see the subtle indicators bearing on credibility that we all rely upon in making judgments about people in our daily lives.”

Well now there’s something that you haven’t heard in a while if you’ve been following trials not in the U.S. but at The Hague, formed to convict Serbs. There, the Serbs get convicted by witness testimony that doesn’t even get beamed in like this. Sometimes it’s just written down on a piece of paper. This lawyer seems to have a sense of democratic standards in the judicial process, so one wonders if he’d give a darn if he knew what went on at the international court that’s a precursor for the rest of us.

Federal prosecutors say the two witnesses have health problems that would make it difficult for them to travel from Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United States to testify.

In an order this week, Turk rejected the defense argument that video testimony would deny Nezirovic his right to confront witnesses against him, as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

“This right, however, does not guarantee criminal defendants the absolute right to a face-to-face meeting,” Turk wrote. The judge ruled there were legitimate reasons for a videoconference, and that the high-tech process would allow the defense to adequately confront the witnesses.

Since his arrest last June, Nezirovic has remained free on bond at his southwest Roanoke County home, where for the past decade he has lived quietly as a welder and soccer coach.

Well I just had to cross-post THIS:

“Arthur Schneier, chief Rabbi of Synagogue in New York: Srebrenica reminds me of the Holocaust.”

And the rabbi reminds me that Jews can be stupid enough to simplify achieving future holocausts, by equalizing a few thousand dead Muslim soldiers with the liquidation of six million men, women and children.

Good job, Rabbi! Maybe it’s time to retire now that dementia has set in.

Of course, the best part was in the first paragraph:

Chief Rabbi of Park East Synagogue in New York Arthur Schneier, who will attend the 17th celebration anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, said today that he wants to express solidarity with the families of the victims….

Well if THAT doesn’t say it all! As I called the commemoration of this apparently holiest of holocausts four years ago: Srebrenica Party Weekend!

Like I always say, it IS a celebration if you’re desperately seeking your own holocaust, to be on “political par” with the Jews, as Muslims see it. (I just wish they wouldn’t kill so many people in the process.)

Rabbi: I arrived because I survived. Can I please get high-fived? Or at least mentally revived?:

“I arrived in Bosnia because the loss of 8000 lives something that touches me personally, because I survived the Holocaust and I know what it means. I feel the pain and anguish of those who lost their loved ones, because I am in the Holocaust and lost his family. Goal I was primarily to express solidarity with families and to promise that I will not be silent when it comes to any kind of injustice, “said Rabbi Schneier in an interview in Sarajevo for three BiH news agencies.

Recalling the horrors of the Holocaust, Rabbi Schneier, who is also president of the Foundation “Appeal of Conscience”, he said that after everything that happened could lose faith in humanity, to turn against God and be angry and resentful, but that it would not help future.

“We must not forget, we have to remember, but we must not be paralysed because of the horror that happened in the past. For our children and future generations, we must use our own life to build bridges of coexistence, especially in this era of globalization in which we are all interconnected. I often say that we or swim together or sink together, “said Rabbi Schneier.

I believe it was sinking together - with Serbs — in the Neretva River. And then buried together in Medjugorje, BOSNIA. But it’s doubtful the rabbi knows anything about that.

When asked to comment on the situation the world when it comes to interreligious tolerance, [he] said that religion in history caused many wars and conflicts, but that is no longer the case.

“We are far from that, pushed, and responsible religious leaders now realize that they must be part of the solution and not become a problem,” the rabbi, recalling that he always believed that “the conflict in former Yugoslavia was the result of nationalist ambitions, not religious conflict, although it could become.”

What a genius! ‘We are far from religious conflict today, and Yugoslavia had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.’ (See Muslim Bosnia and Catholic Croatia and Muslim Kosovo…)

“All that we have a sense of responsibility for the future of this world we must do everything that our approach overcomes extremism and radicalism,” he said.

In response to the reporters that during the war in Bosnia were those religious leaders who instigated conflicts Rabbi Schneier said that one should not generalize, because there were some who did, but those who were brave and did not follow suit.

He stated that religious leaders responsible caring human rights, justice and all that will make good citizens and that can contribute to reconciliation among peoples so as to be open to each other and build bridges.

However, he warned that the reconciliation cannot occur if they avoided the historical truth and facts.

Start with the man in the mirror.

“People must face the reality … If someone says to me that the Holocaust did not happen I’ll tell him to stop talking, because I experienced the Holocaust, it has lost family and saw the brutality,” he said, adding that it is very important to all who have experienced the tragedy of genocide testify about what they experienced.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier will talk on 11th July in Srebrenica, marking the 17th anniversary of the genocide against Bosniaks.

What is it about Birmingham, Alabama? First a synagogue there hosted the wily Bosnian chief mufti Mustafa Ceric, doing the interfaith song-and-dance while working to usurp Bosnia and parts of Serbia under Islam. And now there’s a Croatian woman that Birmingham residents are flocking to, because she claims to have been seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia for the past 30 years:

Visions of Virgin Mary draw thousands to Alabama (July 6)

STERRETT, Ala. — A visit from a Croatian woman who says she sees the Virgin Mary on a daily basis drew thousands of people to a small Alabama town this week, many of them traveling long distances to be near the self-proclaimed visionary.

Despite skepticism of prominent Catholics, the faithful said they trekked to Sterrett, about 30 minutes south of Birmingham, with hopes of hearing a message from the mother of Jesus, witnessing miracles and receiving direction about how to follow their faith.

The woman at the center of the gathering, Marija Pavlovic Lunetti, said she saw the apparition or appearance of Mary in 1981 at age 16 with a group of five other youth in Medjugorje, then part of Yugoslavia.

That is where she later met Terry Colafrancesco, a Catholic and former landscape excavator from Alabama who runs Caritas of Birmingham, a Christian non-profit dedicated to spreading news about the visions of Our Lady of Medjugorje.

In 1988, Colafrancesco invited Lunetti to stay on his family farm after he helped arrange her kidney donation to her ailing brother at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.

Lunetti, now 47, has returned 11 times since and has attracted a large following…

“She is coming to bring the scriptures alive, to bring about the conversion of our country to Christ,” said Colafrancesco, whose organization is not connected to the Catholic church or charity groups with the Caritas name.

The Roman Catholic Church acknowledges historic appearances of Mary in Guadalupe, Mexico; Lourdes, France; and Fatima, Portugal - all of which were studied and authenticated by local bishops.

But the church continues to investigate the status of the apparitions in Medjugorje….That has not stopped 60 volunteers at Caritas of Birmingham from working year-round to organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje in Croatia [sic: Bosnia-Herzegovina] and run an extensive religious printing operation.

Colafrancesco has built a complex on his 130-acre (52.6-hectare) property that includes a new $8 million printing press and office building, as well as a chapel, gift shop and mobile homes for the community members.

Some detractors describe the group as a cult, saying it fosters isolation, family estrangement and control. A lawsuit filed by former residents and families of residents accused Colafrancesco of enticing devout Catholics to the complex, draining their assets and keeping them from their loved ones. The suit was settled privately.

There was no charge this week for those who came to be near Lunetti. Colafrancesco told local media that the five-day visit drew about 15,000 to 18,000 people by the time it ended on Thursday.

Gina Hall, 49, of Washington, D.C., said she sold her condo and most of her possessions to drive to Birmingham and begin a life of discipleship.

On Monday, the second day of Lunetti’s visit, she announced the Virgin had told her she would appear at 6:40 p.m. As about 2,500 people gathered to pray in a field decorated with a statue of Mary, a smaller group waited in Colafrancesco’s bedroom for the vision.

The faithful prayed the rosary as they kneeled around the bed, which was covered with roses and prayer requests. Lunetti entered the room and began to pray aloud in Croatian. Then she fell silent, still moving her lips and looking upward.

Some witnesses began to sob and wail as they awaited what they believed to be a message from the mother of Jesus.

“She blesses you all,” Lunetti announced in English. […]

As Liz, who circulated the item, asked: “Could it be that ‘Lunetti’ (lunatic) has visions of murderous Ustashe, Ante Pavelic and (Saint) Alojzije Stepinac dressed in drag, dancing in her Ustasha head? For anyone who may not know, the Medjugorje region is where Croatian Ustashe dumped thousands of Serbs into open pits, in WWII.”

Indeed, if Mary really does appear at Medjugorje, it’s probably to remind the Croatian Catholics of the Serbs they put under the ground there. (Mary is Jewish, as she herself reaffirms when appearing to America’s most credible medium, George Anderson.)

Diana West caught this tidbit in a San Diego radio report about the local YMCA, and highlighted it on the Political Mavens blog:

From KPBS in San Diego, a report whose narrator’s happy, girly voice makes the story all the more horrifying.

And if you think imposing sharia-compliance on the YMC(hristian)A is the end of it, think again.

“There are also cultural barriers that keep them from using the parks. The women can’t risk coming into contact with off-leash dogs. They follow strict hygiene guidelines in their faith, which considers dogs to be unclean, or not halal.

“They also didn’t grow up with dogs as pets.

“’In Africa, dogs are kind of wild, so you never see a good dog. So when any women of East Africa see dogs, we tend to be scared,’ Abdi said. ‘So those two issues are real—the religion and the cultural.’

(As I explained here: The less evolved a human, the more it looks down on lower creatures.)

“Abdi said the women want to work on making the parks safer next.”

(Does that include ’safe’ from dogs?)

Let’s hope Americans stand up for their dogs better than they stand up for themselves.

Well said, Diana. I tried to say it here in 2008:

I would put every person who complained about the dog on a terror watch list. After all, we know that it isn’t a “tiny minority” that’s getting the Three Little Pigs taken out of schools and libraries…

My fellow Westerners, as they’re doing with Jews, so they’re doing with dogs: Muslims are making us choose between them and dogs. So decide now. Who would you rather live with:


…[E]very few generations one set of monsters or another rears its head and tells the world to choose between it and the Jews. And every time the world chooses the monsters over the Jews for as long as it can. But even though the world is always willing to part with its Jews, I don’t think it will part with its dogs. What I’m basically envisioning is: “First, they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. Then, they came for my dog, and I said, ‘Hell no!’”

And so I’m hoping that when civilization finally does pick the dogs over the monsters, by extension that will save the Jews. So I place my faith and my fate in the reliable paws of the canine world.

We’ve of course seen the seeds for Muslim-imposed anti-dog legislation in the West — in the UK, which is always ahead of the curve when it comes to bowing to Muslims: Sniffer Dogs to Wear ‘Muslim’ Bootees

Good for Elie Wiesel. (Though I don’t agree that there should be Holocaust-denial laws, the suggestion of which undermines the strong stance he is taking here. Such laws shouldn’t exist in free societies.)

Elie Wiesel renounces Hungarian award, claims Nazi past ‘whitewashed’
Nobel Peace Prize laureate renounces a state award he received in 2004; accuses Hungarian authorities of honoring memory of pro-Nazi writer. (Haaretz, June 19)

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel has renounced a Hungarian state award he received in 2004 in protest against what he said was a “whitewashing” of the role of former Hungarian governments in the deportation of Jews during World War Two.

In a letter to Hungarian Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover, Wiesel, 83, said he was furious that Kover had participated in a ceremony honoring a writer who was a loyal member of Hungary’s WW2 far-right parliament, an act he suggested reflected the authorities’ willingness to gloss over the country’s dark past.

“It has become increasingly clear that Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary’s past, namely the wartime Hungarian governments’ involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens,” Wiesel wrote in his letter.

According to Budapest’s Holocaust Memorial Centre, 500,000 to 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, with most of them deported to death camps after the country’s occupation by Nazi Germany in March 1944.

The Nazi Arrow Cross party, which led the Hungarian government from October 1944, was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews, local historians say.

Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi camps who has chronicled his suffering in numerous books, told the Hungarian parliament during a 2009 visit that the country should consider banning Holocaust denial to improve its image abroad.

But in his letter, that was dated June 7 and was published by [a] Hungarian website late on Monday and cited by a leading newspaper Nepszabadsag on Tuesday, he said the authorities had since gone in the opposite direction.

“I do not wish to be associated in any way with such activities. Therefore, I hereby repudiate the Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary granted to me on June 24, 2004, by the President of Hungary,” he wrote.

In the letter, Wiesel angrily complained that Kover and a senior Hungarian government official had attended a ceremony in Romania honoring writer Jozsef Nyiro.

Nyiro, who is a popular writer in the parts of Romania where ethnic Hungarians live, was a member of Hungary’s WW2 far-right parliament dominated by the Arrow Cross Party. The present conservative Hungarian government has made him part of the official school curriculum.

“I found it outrageous that the Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly could participate in a ceremony honoring a Hungarian fascist ideologue,” Wiesel wrote.

Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, also said it was distressing that public spaces were named after Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s head of state when the country allied with Nazi Germany.

On Saturday, about one thousand Hungarians attended the unveiling of a statue of Horthy in a village with activists in paramilitary outfits flying the flags of the far-right Jobbik opposition party and various nationalist groups.

The government says the debate about Horthy’s role in Hungarian history is an academic one in which it has no role.

Notice that countries which still pine for their fascist days and still get away with honoring elements of their Axis past — such as Hungary and Croatia — are also countries that are on the march today. Like Croatia, Hungary still nurses pretensions toward expanding its territory. There’s Vojvodina in Serbia, and one imagines that something is or will be afoot with the above-mentioned part of Romania where Hungarians dominate. (I don’t follow Romania, so I’m ignorant on this.) Albania also belongs to this list, as it too was never asked to apologize for its Axis past and, sure enough, its expansionism is on the march toward Greater Albania.

My main point here, however, is that Mr. Wiesel’s outraged reaction would be multi-fold and much more frequent if he were to follow developments in Croatia. This sort of thing (the Hungarian ‘indiscretions’) is a regular feature of Croatia, and the country gets away with all of it, continually flying under the radar. The world — and especially Elie Wiesel — should not have a stronger radar for Hungary than it does for Croatia. Especially since we now know it’s possible that Six Million Jews died for a Catholic Croatia. Here is the full version of the letter sent me by my friend Melana (excerpted a few days ago), who discovered the possible connection. She and I were engaging in a back-and-forth about the enigmatic nature of Croatia’s WWII Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac — about whether he was a “monster,” or merely a “company man” who went along, in the interest of the Church’s ascendance. Either way, he presided over the Orthodox and Jewish genocide in his country. Herewith, Melana’s take:

Interesting chapter [in The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, Indiana University Press]. One of the things pointed out was that Stepinac and the Vatican were so concerned with making the Ustasha succeed that they missed the opportunity to condemn genocide BEFORE Hitler started carrying out his plan for the Jews. This is ultimately THE answer as to why Pope Pius XII never spoke out against the Holocaust. Pg. 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…”

I now know why Pope Pius XII and the Vatican remained silent on the moral issue of Hitler’s slaughter of 6 million Jews. Because the genocide of Serbs and Jews in Croatia happened first — before Hitler 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 the Ustashe were. They had their Catholic Croatia and they wanted to keep it.

If Pius had condemned the genocide in Croatia in 1941 while Hitler’s plan for the Jews was still on the drawing board, Pius would have been condemning genocide as “a moral issue” before Hitler even really got rolling. Auschwitz wasn’t even built until 1942. But to save Croatia, Pius remained silent on the moral issue of genocide. Once Pius remained silent about genocide in Croatia, Hitler had Pius 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? Pius was screwed — and so was Stepinac, no matter how he felt.

If you look at the the quotes from Stepinac about “saving Jews,” most were about saving Jews who had converted to the Catholicism, likewise the handful of Serbs that he spoke for. Stepinac hand-picked the priests on the “Conversion Board” and as one Bishop noted, most of those priests would have been “more suited to carrying a revolver than a crucifix.” How does one explain that if Stepinac was just a “poor tortured soul”?

I now think that what happened in Croatia was primarily a Religious Crusade, set against the backdrop of a World War (not the other way around). Stepinac might have disagreed with some of the methods used, but not the aim — an Independent Catholic Croatia — and he held his nose as to what it took to get that. He may have saved some people here and there to assuage his conscience, but saving his dream of a Catholic Croatia was more important to him — and to the Vatican. And when you realize just how many people suffered for that dream — not just in Croatia — but beyond it, it’s almost beyond all belief.

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. Of course, the Germans were into efficiency so they killed with less bloodletting, but Croatia led the way with a camp totally devoted to murdering its inmates.

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 Auschwitz was a killing factory, just like Jasenovac that preceded it.

There was already a World War going on when the Ustashe took power in Croatia. Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. He invaded Yugoslavia in April, 1941. A few days later, the Ustashe NDH [Independent State of Croatia] was established.

I don’t necessarily think that ALL the Jews would have been saved if Pope Pius spoke out against genocide, but I do think that Hitler would have run into much more resistance from Catholic Germans and Poles in implementing The Final Solution had Pius denounced genocide before Auschwitz was built. But the Pope couldn’t speak out on genocide, without sinking his Catholic Croatia project.

Meanwhile, the Bosnian Muslims were already serving as “honorary Croats” in the Ustasha regime well before the Mufti of Jerusalem established the Bosnian-Muslim SS Handzar/Hanschar Division in Feb. 1943 [revived in the early 90s by Sarajevo’s “Western-facing, multi-culturalist Democrat,” the fundamentalist wartime Bosnian president, Alija Izetbegovic.

P.S. For 50 post-WWII years preceding 9/11, the WWII Nazi-Islamic link was completely ignored — virtually no one mentioned the Mufti in connection to the Holocaust. The focus then was on “why didn’t Pope Pius speak out against the Holocaust?” The pressure was really on the Catholic Church. But post 9/11, the Mufti Amin al Husseini’s link to Hitler and to the Holocaust has been rediscovered and is totally in the forefront. The heat has been taken off the memory of Pope Pius. Just for an example, here’s an article called, “Hitler’s Mufti, Not Hitler’s Pope.” Most everything is geared toward looking at the Mufti as having spurred on Hitler to complete the Final Solution. In Western eyes, Pope Pius is pretty much off the hook for the WWII Holocaust….That said, the Mufti really was the biggest influence on incorporating Nazi thinking into Islam post-WWII to produce the kind of Islamic terrorism we are seeing today and he did it by giving fleeing German Nazis a home in the ME.

Here’s another one for the “Catholic Croatia at all costs” file: “Cardinal Francis Spellman, the Archbishop of New York meets with the Croatian Ambassador to the Vatican during WWII.” [The link, http://www.jerusalim.org/cd/biblioteka/pavelicpapers/vatican/va0006.html, is no longer available.] Croatia was at war with the US at the time, and Cardinal Spellman was the best-known Catholic Bishop in the US, but there is Spellman supporting them.

Let me make it clear that the purpose of the last two paragraphs is not to compare the Mufti and the Pope. The Mufti was evil, whereas the Pope was deficient. Both men are worth examining in their own right. One does not cancel out the other. Especially since, again, there was no comparison between them. They should be examined independently, without using one to let the other off the hook.

So, before there was a holocaust of Jews in WWII, there was a holocaust of Serbs. Similarly, the Kosovo scenario is a precedent for Israel, including the specter of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

As Victor Sharpe wrote in “Serbia and Israel — Two Nations Under Islamic Duress“:

Although Serbs living in enclaves within Kosovo are still holding on from being completely driven from their homes, the price of creating a Muslim Palestinian state is the expulsion — the ethnic cleansing — of all Jews from its proposed territory. In other words, it is even worse for the Jews as a new Arab state called Palestine will be judenrein — the forcible removal of Jewish villages and their inhabitants. And this unthinkable outrage of ethnic cleansing will be sanctioned by President Obama and the immoral United Nations under cover of the misnamed peace process.

Jordan is historically in possession of nearly 80% of Mandatory Palestine and its population is over 75% Palestinian. There already thus exists a de facto Palestine. Israel is a mere 40 miles wide from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan and it is within this narrow strip of land that a new Arab and Islamic state would be carved from the biblical Jewish heartland. The world demands that Israel returns to the highly vulnerable armistice lines that existed before June 5, 1967 when it was only nine miles wide at its most populous region. [Similarly, there already exists an Albania, so as with Israel’s case, a single ethnicity of Muslims is getting two countries while further reducing what little the Serbs — like the Jews — have. That’s in addition to the question, Why are Albanians are entitled to two countries and Israel to not even one? (Two countries which, of course, will be combined into one big one.)]

During the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, the Croatians expelled some 250,000 Serbs from their homes in the Krajina district. As soon as the [Albanian] Muslims in Kosovo received autonomy in 1974, they drove out 400,000 Serbs. At the same time a vast influx of ethnic Albanians fleeing Communist rule flooded across the border to take the place of the disinherited Serbs. Albanian Muslim birth rate was so high that within 60 years the Kosovan population within Kosovo grew from 70,000 in 1947 to 2,000,000 by 2004. Similarly, the Arab Muslim population within Israel has grown from 200,000 in 1950 to 1.2 million in 2010.

The Serbian people have been reduced to only 10% of their original population in Kosovo. Ethnic cleansing against the Serbs began long before the Western press ran their lurid stories of Serbian ethnic cleansing against the Bosnian Muslims…

The lesson for Israel is that foreign powers have conspired to strip the expendable Serbs of their ancestral heartland and give it to the Muslims. In doing so, these same western powers believe that by placating and ingratiating themselves with the oil rich Arab and Muslim world they enrich their own economies. After all, Serbia does not possess any known oil reserves.

Israel, too, has been until quite recently bereft of meaningful reserves of oil. It too is thus expendable. The pressure upon Israel to give away its own ancestral, historic, spiritual and biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) grows relentlessly and insidiously.

And a comment found under the 2011 article “Serbia: Shame of the West” by Royston Jones for WalesHome.org:

…[I’ve] actually been to the Field of Blackbirds monument (we had to pick our way up the first flight of stairs because an Albanian nationalist has recently tried to blow the building up). I’ve always said that holy peoples are a pain in the backside, but it is really worth going to the Field of Blackbirds to understand what motivates most Serbs. Imagine a moment so crucial to the history of Wales – crucial enough to believe that national identity hangs on it – and it was located somewhere like Worcestershire. That’s what you have in Kosovo. […]

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