October 10th 2010 03:30:53 AM
One can almost hear the crunch as Karadzic’s shoe crushes this cockroach of a journalist, who — apparently for the first time ever — is called to account for his “reporting” in Bosnia. The fact that the reporter was from Britain’s Sky News, which tends to be a bit more balanced in its reporting than the left-leaning mainstream media underscores a fact I often point out: In the Balkans, there was, and is, no discerning left from right; every last faction of every kind was on the same page.
When the targeted infidel was the Serb — targeted by both our common ancient enemy and our common WWII enemy arisen from history’s ash heap — the rules that apply to the rest of humanity, and the right to survive, do not apply to Serbs. When Serbs were, and are, under siege by what the rest of humanity is under siege by, we call it something else — and blame the Serbs. It’s a statement that the Serbs are not considered part of humanity. In fact, they’re not considered at all.
As BBC paraphrased the late Slobodan Milosevic in 2002 during his trial: “He says the Yugoslavs and the Serbs had only been defending themselves against Bosnian fundamentalists, Croatian fascists and a Europe in thrall to Germany. He said that the Vatican bank had paid for arms for Croatia - and yet while he was treated as a criminal for protecting the Serbs, the Pope remains, as he put it, ‘the Holy Father’.”
(Indeed, one of earth’s most appalling unknown facts is that money the Nazis and Ustashas stole from Holocaust victims was laundered through the Vatican and used not only for the escape and post-war sustenance of fleeing Croatian Nazis (Ustashas) but also later for international lobbying by the Croatian diaspora for Croatian independence, which was built on terrorism; on revival of Nazi-era symbols, currency, racial policies and actual Ustashas (see 7th item at link); on renaming of streets after WWII Nazis; on attempts to rebury Nazis alongside their victims and a successful such reburial; on bombing of Jewish centers and cemeteries; and on racial purification through ethnic cleansing and extermination of those who couldn’t flee. That is to say, fascist Croatia was revived with money stolen by Croatian Nazis from Jews. See p. 18 here.)
But all that was just one of the multi-front assaults the Serbs were contending with simultaneously. Below is an outtake from the Karadzic trial centering on the more ancient and more visibly resurgent assault, the one by Muslims. It reveals the type of character whose thousands of clones in the “independent” Western press we relied upon to bring back the story from Bosnia. Which we believe to this day.
The second day of former Sky News reporter Aernout van Lynden’s testimony at the trial of Radovan Karadzic was more explosive than the first. So it is that day’s report which appears below and which we have thanks only to the existence of Andy Wilcoxson, whom history will also thank — if not in this life then the next. The hearing date was May 20 and Wilcoxson published his report over the summer (it takes a while to get through the transcripts). I’m only now catching my breath after reading it, and sharing it with readers.
Aernout Van Lynden: Propagandist or Perjurer? June 28, 2010
Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden on Thursday May 20th. Van Lynden was a television reporter who advocated Western intervention in the Bosnian war on the side of the Bosnian Muslims. He covered the Bosnian war for Sky News.
Karadzic began by showing van Lynden a combat report from the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Bosnian-Serb Army (VRS). The document (exhibit D195) was dated June 8, 1992 and it corroborated Sefer Halilovic’s (the commander of the ABiH [Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina]) report (exhibit D192) to Alija Izetbegovic on June 17, 1992.
Both reports showed that the Bosnian-Muslims opened fire on the Serbs from Sarajevo and inflicted heavy losses on them – even though they had agreed to a cease fire on June 1st.
When van Lynden saw the Halilovic report he tried to dismiss it by saying, “Military commanders will say a lot of — make a lot of statements to their political leaders.” But when he saw the Serbian document corroborating it he began to complain to the judges.
Van Lynden said, “I’m not a lawyer, but as far as I’m aware, if the Prosecution is going to tender a document, it has to show those documents to the Defense beforehand. If the Defense is going to put forward a document, the Prosecution has to see it beforehand. But I have not seen any of these documents, and surely a witness has certain rights as well. How am I meant to react instantaneously to documents that I have never seen before?”
Judge Kwon told the witness, “I don’t think the Tribunal has the rule the witness has to be shown the documents he’s going to see during the course of cross-examination.”
Van Lynden persisted in his complaining saying, “I think witnesses should also have rights to see certain documents. Mr. Karadzic could have been polite enough to show me those documents when I went to the prison to visit him.”
Karadzic told the witness, “[It’s not the] document that I’m asking you about. It’s really the events, and you reported on these events quite contrary to what is stated here. At no point was it said that there was an exchange of fire. From your reporting one could not even divine that there were any Serb victims [or] that the Muslims were the ones who had actually started the fighting.”
Van Lynden was full of excuses for why his reporting from Sarajevo wasn’t accurate. He said, “You expect me, on one side of the war zone, on one side of the front-lines, to hop over backwards and forwards to find out precisely what’s happening on the other side. That is a ridiculous expectation of any war correspondent in any war zone. You are reporting from one side or the other.” He said, “I couldn’t see the whole of Sarajevo continually. Nor do I have eyes in the back of my head, Your Honour.” Adding, “You can’t be everywhere simultaneously. It’s a large drawn-out city, Sarajevo, and that should be borne in mind.”
An example of van Lynden’s false war reporting was his reportage on the fighting in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Otes.
In van Lynden’s December 5, 1992 report (exhibit P937) for Sky News he says, “Otes burns. Four days after the Serbs launch their offensive, Sarajevo western suburb falls into their hands.”
After Karadzic showed the witness VRS combat reports and an Italian TV report saying that the Muslims attacked the Serbs from Otes and that the Serbs captured the neighborhood in a counter-offensive, van Lynden admitted “In all honesty, I don’t know who began that particular engagement at Otes at the beginning of December 1992.”
The explanation wasn’t good enough for Karadzic. He asked the witness, “What was stated was that Otes fell into Serb hands four days after the Serbs had launched an offensive, and that harmed us, and it’s not true; right?”
Van Lynden attempted to shift the blame to the UN saying, “We reported on the basis of the information that we were given by the United Nations forces in Sarajevo at the time.”
Again, the answer wasn’t good enough. Karadzic pressed the witness for more information. He asked, “Can you please be a bit more specific. Who was it that gave you that information?”
Van Lynden had no answer. He said, “I don’t remember precisely who that was.” But he tried to make excuses for himself saying, “To remember every single conversation and who gave us that information 18 years later, I’m sorry, I don’t know the precise detail.”
Obviously, that’s not a satisfactory explanation. Van Lynden’s report is a prosecution exhibit in the trial, and now he says he doesn’t know where the information in it came from.
Karadzic showed the witness a report (exhibit D208) written by the BH Ministry of Defense and dated June 1, 1992.
The report dealt with Juka Prazina and his unit in Sarajevo. It said, “A significant number of shells that landed on this territory [Sarajevo] from the [Serbian] aggressor’s positions” because Prazina and his men “opened fire and provoked the aggressors”. The report said, “a large number of apartments and buildings were hit and some people injured and killed” because of that.
The report said “Last night, around 2200 hours, Juka’s guys installed a PAM on a confiscated Pinzgauer, and yesterday, in broad daylight, they opened fire towards Nedzarici while a large number of people were walking around in that settlement, men, women, and children. And then they repeated this again around 2200 hours, targeting the crew of the tanks on Mojmilo Hill, on which occasion a machine-gun opened fire from a transporter, and then seven or eight shells were launched from the Zavnobih Square on the Lukavica Road, on which occasion there was some material damage, and thousands of people had to seek shelter in their cellars.”
After seeing the report the witness said, “I was never taken by them into actual positions where they were shooting. I did not ever witness that, so I cannot confirm or deny this statement.”
Karadzic then proceeded to show the court a document (which they refused to exhibit because the witness couldn’t speak to it [part of the tribunal’s new rules]) from the BH Presidency dated September 11, 1992 promoting Juka Prazina to the rank of general in the ABiH on account of his “patriotic display of war skills”.
After seeing the document van Lynden said, “When I interviewed and saw Jusuf Prazina, he never told me he was a general. He and his men simply called themselves defenders of Sarajevo. As you, yourself, pointed out, and as I pointed out yesterday, in my report I made clear that this was a man with a criminal record. There is nothing further that I can say about this.”
Karadzic put his case to the court that “Juka Prazina is a symptom. The Presidency that appointed him to the Main Staff of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, knowing full well who he was. I’m talking here about a state that asked us to be subjugated to a social-political system in which Juka Prazina was a general.”
Karadzic also showed the witness a document written by [ABiH Chief of Staff] Rashim Delic (exhibit D209) showing that the Bosnian-Muslims opposed the demilitarization of Sarajevo. Delic wrote that the “demilitarization of Sarajevo is out of the question”.
Igman & Trebevic
Karadzic asked the witness, “Mr. van Lynden, do you know who held Igman from the beginning until the end? This part above Hrasnica, who held that area?”
The witness answered, “The Bosnian Army.” Adding, “I never personally witnessed artillery fire from Mount Igman onto Sarajevo. And from our position at the military hospital, in the periods that we were there, if there was fire from Mount Igman, it would have been practically impossible for us to film, because it’s way out to the west from the position that we had.”
Karadzic showed the witness an excerpt from Rashim Delic’s book where it said, “Jusuf Prazina fired from Igman during the course of one day only, about 300 projectiles, 130 millimeter and 82- millimeter mortars. Also, during two or three days only, several thousand 120-millimetre shells were fired from Igman, twice as many as could have been provided to other army units.”
In addition Karadzic showed the witness the combat report of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the VRS for the same period which said, “The enemy [Muslims] fired artillery pieces from Igman and Hrasnica against Ilidza, Hadzici, Vojkovici, Lukavica, the Slobodan Princip Seljo Barracks, and positions of the 1st and 2nd Sarajevo Brigade. Over 300 shells were fired, and a great deal of material damage was inflicted … Two fighters were killed and nine wounded; two of them seriously. At Ilidza, 15 women and children were wounded.”
After seeing the Serbian and Muslim documents the witness said, “I do not remember being informed of that. I was in the Bosnian Army-controlled part of Sarajevo at that time[.]” He explained, “While we were on one side of the front-lines, we report what we know of there.”
Because van Lynden was ignorant of the contents of the documents they were not admitted as exhibits in the trial, which is problematic because they impeach his credibility. His testimony is that the Bosnian Army was practically unarmed, but these documents show the contrary.
After van Lynden incorrectly identified a Muslim position on Mt. Trebevic as a Serbian position, Karadzic asked the witness, “Do you think, since you reported on those events, that you were supposed to know who held which position exactly?” And Van Lynden answered, “In no war zone do the forces give you precise locations of where their forces are stationed or precise front-lines.” He said, “Your forces took me on Mount Trebevic, Mr. Karadzic. They showed me their positions along — over the — on the mountain overlooking Sarajevo. At no time was I informed by your forces, Look over there, that’s where the Bosnian Army is; therefore, we are in danger here, or we are being shot at from these places on Mount Trebevic.”
Of course it’s a matter of public information that Musan Topalovic “Caco” held positions for the Bosnian Army on Mt. Trebevic. That is where the famous Kazani pit is located where he sadistically butchered and beheaded his Serbian victims. A Google search for Caco and Trebevic is illuminating. The Serbs had positions up there too, but they didn’t have the whole thing like van Lynden seemed to think.
When Karadzic showed van Lynden a VRS document dated September 7, 1992 describing the heavy gunfire emanating from Sarajevo that the Serbs were subjected to van Lynden said, “It wasn’t mentioned to me, as I recall at the time, nor was I taken there to be shown, by either people from your government or from your army, that this was taking place.”
“You never told me” was van Lynden’s standard cop-out answer. Of course nobody knows what van Lynden was told. Van Lynden didn’t bring any of his notes or raw footage to court so there is no way to corroborate what anyone told him.
Green Berets & Mobile Mortars
Van Lynden testified that the Green Berets were “a figment of Serb imagination.” He said “I never saw units of people with green berets walking around in Sarajevo in June 1992.” Therefore, van Lynden believes they must only exist in the Serbian imagination.
Of course there are thousands of pages of documents from Serbian, Croatian, Muslim, and UN sources testifying to the existence of Bosnian-Muslim “Green Beret” paramilitary units acting at the behest of the BH Presidency. The Tribunal itself has established their existence (See paragraph 119 in the November 16, 1998 judgment in the Delalic et al., trial under Background and Preliminary Factual Findings).
Another thing that van Lynden conveniently “didn’t see” was mobile mortar launchers in Sarajevo. Karadzic asked him, “Do you know, Mr. van Lynden, that Sarajevo was full of legitimate targets, and also that the Muslim forces used trucks in order to open fire at our positions, and then they would leave that particular location?”
Van Lynden replied, “I’m aware that this happens. I have not seen, myself, a truck with a mortar mounted on it while I was in Sarajevo.”
Iranian involvement? Van Lynden didn’t see that in Bosnia either. He told the court, “I did not report, because I was not aware of any co-operation between the Bosnian Army and Iran and Pakistan, no.”
Again, there are reams of evidence about this. “The Iranian Green light Subcommittee” in the US congress put out a 500 page report on the subject 14 years ago that said, “Iran ordered senior members of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the elite force used to advance militant Islam, to travel to Bosnia to survey the military needs of the government. IRGC trainers taught the Muslims how to use anti-tank missiles and helped with troop logistics and weapons factories. The IRGC also incorporated religious indoctrination into military training. Iran used this leverage to urge Hizballah to send foreign fighters to the region as members of the Mujahideen. The effort was successful and a force of thousands drawn from several pro-Iranian groups and other Islamic Opposition movements assembled in Bosnia.” Iran provided the Izetbegovic regime with two-thirds of its weaponry. (See: US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Final Report of the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia; October 10 & 25, 1996; Pg. 543-545)
There were thousands of foreign mujahadeen in Bosnia and Iran was providing the Muslims with two-thirds of their weapons, and van Lynden says he was “not aware” of it. That seems hard to believe. Just like it’s difficult to believe that he really thinks the Green Berets were a figment of the Serbian imagination.
A complete transcript of this hearing is available at:
The following day’s proceedings concluded Karadzic’s cross-examination of van Lynden:
Radovan Karadzic continued to cross-examine British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden on Friday, May 21, 2010.
JNA Military Hospital in Sarajevo
Van Lynden stayed in the former JNA Military Hospital in Sarajevo while he was covering the Bosnian war for Sky News. Karadzic asked him, “Bakir Nakas was the director of the hospital from the 10th of May  onwards when the Yugoslav People’s Army had left the hospital. Up until then, it was the property of the Yugoslav People’s Army, and it was guarded by a small JNA unit. That unit got killed. All of its members got killed on the 2nd of May. Did you know about that?”
Van Lynden replied saying, “I was not there at the beginning of May, so I cannot comment on something that I did not bear witness to.” Although he did testify for the prosecution that the “hospital had been targeted for fire before” he got there.
Van Lynden also said, “I’m not aware of the hospital being taken over by the Muslim side. Throughout my time in — in Sarajevo, within the hospital, Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox worked in that hospital.”
As it turns out, the JNA military hospital was the site of fighting between the JNA and Muslim paramilitaries. The Muslims did take the hospital over, and the UN had to evacuate the staff from Sarajevo.
The London Guardian reported on the fighting at the hospital in their May 8, 1992 edition. Reporter Maggie O’Kane described it as the “besieged Yugoslav army military hospital, which is surrounded by the Bosnian territorial army”. Her report said, “In an evacuated ward on the ninth floor [the Hospital director] can point to a building in the centre of town where the Bosnian territorials have set up their mortar positions. In the corner, pillows and blankets have been stuffed into the hole made by a rocket on Wednesday night.”
In its May 11, 1992 edition the London Times reported on the expulsion of the hospital staff. Reporter Tim Judah wrote: “Among those beginning their journey out of Bosnia yesterday were staff from Sarajevo’s military hospital. ‘I have worked here for 32 years and now I must go back to Serbia, where I have no home,’ a doctor said.”
It was the Muslims, not the Serbs, who targeted the hospital with mortar fire before van Lynden’s arrival, and when the Muslims took the hospital over they expelled the staff. That’s what happened, and it’s remarkable that van Lynden didn’t know about that. It was common knowledge in Sarajevo, and it was even reported in the London Times and the London Guardian – arguably the two most prominent newspapers in Britain – and van Lynden is a British reporter.
What is on van Lynden’s Film? Van Lynden Doesn’t Know.
The prosecution exhibited several of van Lynden’s TV reports, so Karadzic played back one of Van Lynden’s reports and asked him about the footage. He said, “Right. Where those explosions are. Half to the right, south-west of where you were. Is that where the Serb settlement of Vraca was or is?”
Van Lynden couldn’t answer the question. He said, “Your Honors, this is edited pictures, edited without my presence. Without me seeing the entire film, I can not precisely say what that one shot was. I can’t answer that question. You may be right, but I don’t know.”
“Arrested” by the Bosnian Serbs
Van Lynden testified that he reported mostly from the Muslim side of the war because the Bosnian-Serbs arrested him. He angrily told Karadzic, “When we went to Pale and tried to film there from your side, we were arrested again and again. We could never work. Now, that’s not my fault. That’s your fault.” He said, “Every single time we left the Pension Olympic [hotel in Pale] we were arrested. How were we meant to be able to report on Serb losses?”
When Karadzic asked him to explain his so-called “arrests” van Lynden said, “I meant ‘arrested’ in the sense that we were not allowed to go to [the] front lines to film. There were military units that we were not allowed to film at. We were not allowed to drive on, and we were told to go back to Pale. In the strict sense of the word, you’re right. We were stopped and sent back. We weren’t put in jail, for instance, no.”
He wasn’t arrested at all. This isn’t an innocent difference in semantics; it was a bald-faced lie. When an English-speaking person says they’ve been arrested they mean that they were captured and imprisoned by the authorities, not that they were stopped and told to go back where they came from. Secondly, general Mladic personally took van Lynden to the Serbian frontline to film and the videotape is exhibit P933 in the trial.
Karadzic on the Enclaves
In his testimony for the prosecution van Lynden said that Karadzic told him “that the enclaves were unacceptable, that they had to become part of Serb territory.”
Karadzic asked him, “Do you agree that on all maps the territory that you call enclaves was accepted by the Serbs to be in Muslim-held territory, the Cutileiro map, the Vance-Owen map, then Owen-Stoltenberg, that map was accepted. In all these maps, and primarily in Cutileiro’s map, we accepted that that would be Muslim territory?”
Van Lynden’s response was, “I was asked what you had said to me when we met, and I — as I, to the best of my knowledge recall, you said that they were not acceptable. What you did elsewhere I was not asked about.”
Of course this intrepid TV reporter didn’t have the camera running when Karadzic said that[,] so Karadzic said that maybe his notes from the discussion would help his memory and the witness said, “I do not know if I wrote notes about those meetings, Mr. Karadzic. I do not remember.”
Testifying Makes van Lynden “Uncomfortable”
Even though Karadzic wasn’t done with the cross-examination van Lynden figured that he had testified long enough so he made it clear that he didn’t want to come back for more. He told the judges, “I think the accused has had a great deal of time to question me.” He said, “I don’t know if Your Honors have been a witness at a Tribunal ever in your own lives. It is not a comfortable experience.”
Before he left van Lynden took one departing jab at Karadzic. He said, “In my experience of this court, I have never encountered such muddled questioning and heard so many comments made by the accused or by the representative of the accused, and that, as Your Honours yourselves have pointed out to the accused, has wasted a great [deal] of time. That’s his decision. That’s not my fault.” […]
Van Lynden returned to the courtroom a few weeks later as an expert witness, and the day turned out as entertaining as his first:
British advocacy journalist Aernout van Lynden was recalled to the witness stand at the Radovan Karadzic trial on Monday, May 31, 2010 to complete his testimony. Van Lynden was a war correspondent for Sky News who covered the Bosnian war and advocated Western military intervention against the Bosnian Serbs in his news reports.
No Notes or Raw Footage
Again, Van Lynden came to court unprepared. He refused to disclose his notebooks. He awkwardly explained to the court, “As I told the Court when I was last here, the diaries — or my notebooks, rather, I don’t have diaries, my notebooks are not in my possession. All our property is currently held in storage, and I — that’s held in the Netherlands, and I have not been in the Netherlands, and, no, I have not been into the storage.”
Of course van Lynden was making excuses, and bad ones at that. “I haven’t been in the Netherlands” isn’t a very good excuse when you’re sitting in a chair in the Netherlands, which is where The Hague is located.
All van Lynden had to offer were his 18-year-old recollections and the 2-minute news reports he edited for Sky News. Karadzic asked him “So at least an hour of film was reduced to two or three minutes; right?” and Van Lynden said, “That’s the process.” The only material van Lynden had in court was the two or three minute clips he edited, the hours of footage he made those clips from were not available.
Trust Me: I Have Sources
…When van Lynden testified on May 20th he couldn’t remember who his sources in the UN were. He said, “I don’t remember precisely who that was” adding “To remember every single conversation and who gave us that information 18 years later, I’m sorry, I don’t know the precise detail.”
Although van Lynden claimed that these unnamed individuals in the UN were a key source of his information, he didn’t consider the reports written by the commanders of the UN Protection Force, General [Bernard] Janvier and General [Michael] Rose in particular, to be credible.
According to van Lynden, “When we met General Rose in March 1994 in Sarajevo after having been in Pale, we informed him that we had had information while in Pale that [UN-protected Muslim enclave] Gorazde would be attacked by the forces under General Mladic in April 1994. General Rose’s reaction at that time was that how could we know such a thing and that we were wrong, and we said we did not know for certain but that we had spoken to certain people while we were in Pale [who] had warned us that this was going to happen.” He explained, “We had heard, not on the streets but from, let’s say, more informed contacts that specifically Jaksa Scekic (van Lynden’s producer) had built up there that an attack on Gorazde by General Mladic was likely in April, and we simply passed that on to General Rose and were slightly surprised by his reaction at the time, because he dismissed it out of hand, which of course it’s his right to do, but as it turned out, we were right and the information was correct.”
Karadzic put it to van Lynden that the media misrepresented what happened in Gorazde and to that end he read an excerpt from General Rose’s book which said:
“My own theory is that this misrepresentation of the truth did little to stem the tide of propaganda. The perception of many US east coast commentators is that during the fighting in Gorazde [the] UN deliberately misled the world about what happened, underestimated the scale of the disaster, and was economical with the truth. I explained that most of the damaged houses in Gorazde revealed by US air reconnaissance had not been destroyed in the fighting that took place in the town in April 1994. They had been destroyed in 1992 when the Muslims drove the Serbs from the town and surrounding area. These former Serb homes had no roofs, window frames, or doors, and had been stripped of all furniture and fittings. Many of them had been torched. They were demonstrably not buildings recently subjected to shelling. Today, the UN still stands condemned for having underplayed the damage done by the Serbs in Gorazde.”
After seeing what General Rose had written about Gorazde van Lynden said, “To the precise nature of what happened to the buildings that General Rose is referring to, I don’t know. I don’t think that General Rose was in Gorazde in 1992, either, so I don’t think he knows.” [As] if the UNPROFOR commander didn’t have people in the field who reported back to him about what had happened.
Karadzic also read out a report written by General Janvier which said: “Similar to what happened in Gorazde (spring 94) the BiH can attempt to draw UNPROFOR (including the rapid reaction forces) of NATO into the conflict on the BiH side. Sudden abandoning of positions along the confrontation line, the simulation of a collapse of the enclave, or alarming reports from Bosnian side on the situation in the enclaves, will be indicators for this.”
After seeing Janvier’s report van Lynden said, “What we had warned General Rose about in March 1994 was that what we had been told while we were in Pale. We know that fighting took place at April 1994 around the Gorazde enclave. That we can agree. Do I know the precise nature of that fighting? No, I wasn’t there at the time. My only — I cannot react to what — Janvier is saying this for reasons best known to General Janvier.”
Karadzic asked, “Are you challenging the observations made by General Janvier?” and Van Lynden replied, “I can absolutely not confirm them.” He said, “I have not witnessed the Bosnian forces behaving in the manner described by General Janvier.”
For the record, David Harland (former head of UN civil affairs in Bosnia) gave very similar testimony about Gorazde to what is contained in Janvier’s report when he testified on May 10, 2010. Namely that the Muslims tried to trick the Serbs into firing on UN peacekeepers there in order to provoke Western military intervention against the Serbs.
It’s interesting to note that van Lynden cites the UN as an important and credible source of his information when he’s condemning the Serbs, but as soon as UN sources reveal anything unflattering about the Muslims he doesn’t believe them anymore.
Karadzic asked van Lynden if he knew that the Bosnian-Serb attack on Gorazde in April 1994 was in response to Muslim attacks emanating out of the enclave.
Van Lynden replied saying, “It’s clear, Mr. Karadzic, that for you everything is only ever a counter-offensive. No one ever shot at the Bosnians until the Bosnians shot at the Serbs.
“I’m sure that there were instances where the Bosnians did shoot first, leading to a counter-attack. Was I in Gorazde at that time? No, I wasn’t. Is the information that I’ve just given to this Court correct that we were told in Pale in March 1994 that an attack was likely in April on Gorazde, yes, that information is correct, and did such an attack occur? Yes, it did. Can I say absolutely that it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth that this was not to a degree a counter-offensive? No, I can’t.”
Of course we don’t know who in Pale allegedly told van Lynden of the impending attack on Gorazde because van Lynden never identified those people in his testimony as anything more precise than “informed contacts” and “certain people” who told him.
Van Lynden Takes offense to General Rose’s Book
Karadzic read another quote from General Rose’s book which said: “Many journalists in Sarajevo also supported the war option, either because they believed that it was morally right to engage in some form of holy war against the Serbs or else because images of war sell better than those of peace. A journalist working for a leading London newspaper summed up this view when he told Simon Shadbolt (Gen. Rose’s aide) that he did not care about the facts or the UN argument in favor of peace, his object was to get the West involved in a war in Bosnia.”
Van Lynden reacted to the passage from General Rose’s book with outrage. He said, “I absolutely do not believe that any journalist that I ever encountered in Bosnia believed in any kind of holy war against the Serbs. That’s something in the Serb figment of the imagination. That’s utter nonsense. And an unnamed journalist working for a leading London newspaper, I’m surprised General Rose could write such things. I really cannot comment further on that. I’m pretty outraged to read something like that.”
Van Lynden’s hypocrisy is striking to say the least. Is the unnamed journalist in General Rose’s book supposed to be somehow worse than Van Lynden’s unnamed sources at the UN, or his “informed contacts” and “certain people” who he said warned him about an impending attack on Gorazde?
In it’s own pathetic way, van Lynden’s testimony was entertaining – if for no other reason than to see what he’d say next. General Rose was British, his assistant Simon Shadbolt was also British, and the journalist that General Rose referred to in his book was British too. But van Lynden said the phenomenon that General Rose was describing was a figment of the Serb imagination.
To that end, van Lynden himself would have to be a figment of the Serbian imagination because the clear intention of van Lynden’s reports was to drag the West into the Bosnian war. That is clear from the things he said on television.
Van Lynden Complains All the Way out the Door
Before van Lynden left he complained to the judges about the cross-examination. He complained that Karadzic was indecent for not letting him in on his cross-examination strategy ahead of time. Van Lynden said, “It was noticeable to me or it has been during these days that none of the questions I was posed when I met Mr. Karadzic in prison were ever asked in the court and that he could have shown me the decency and the courtesy of showing me the documents that he was going to bring before me in the court, but he did not do so. This is strange to me, because Prosecution and Defense have the right to see documents, and I do not understand why a witness should not have that right as well.”
Van Lynden’s complaining betrays his intentions. From his complaining one can conclude that he would have testified differently if he had known what Karadzic had in store for him. The job of a witness is to tell the truth to the best of their knowledge, and that shouldn’t change no matter what the intention of the person doing the cross-examination is. The truth is the truth, and the witness knows what they know. The witness’s answers to the questions shouldn’t change based on the information that the witness knows the person asking the questions has at their disposal. It is obvious that van Lynden’s intent was to mislead and that his testimony was disingenuous, and that he was upset because Karadzic exposed him.
A complete transcript of this hearing is available at: http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/100531ED.htm
Related is testimony from just this week by General Michael Rose. From Italian news agency Adnkronos International:
The Hague, 8 Oct. (AKI) – Many western and Muslim countries had violated the United Nations arms embargo during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, a prosecution witness told the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday.
Former British general Michael Rose, testifying in the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told the court that implementation of the arms embargo was a “task of NATO and the United States”.
“UN forces had no intelligence capacity and their main task was to supply humanitarian aid to civilians in Bosnia,” said Rose, who served as chief of the UN’s peacekeepers in Bosnia in 1994.
Rose said he saw an Iranian plane with a cargo of arms landing in the Croatian capital Zagreb, on its way to Bosnia, but the UN peackeeping mission “had no mandate to conduct an investigation to determine whether [the] arms embargo was violated,” he added. [The UN’s frustrations in working around the US’s surreptitious facilitating of illegal Muslim weapons shipments is outlined in this 2002 UK Guardian article.]
Wartime Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic at one meeting complained to United States general Wesley Clark that the Muslim army was being supplied with American uniforms and equipment, Rose stated.
“Clark didn’t deny this,” he said.
“Fifteen years later, it turned out that many countries had violated UN arms embargo,” Rose said during cross-examination by Karadzic, who is conducting his own defence. […]