March 20th 2011 12:12:23 AM
The good thing about retired diplomats, press secretaries and other high-level drones or operatives serving seditious Western leaders is that they eventually publish memoirs. What happens in the telling, as they glorify their quiet but powerful roles behind the scenes, is that they casually expose their lies, sometimes without even realizing that’s what they’re doing. For example, after telling the world that the Serbs were the problem, in his book the belatedly late Richard Assholbrooke directly contradicts that notion when he describes Bosnian wartime president Izetbegovic’s nasty disposition and war-making in contrast to Slobodan Milosevic’s affable peace-making. That’s not my assessment; it’s Assholbrooke’s. In his book To End a War, which should have been called To End a War After Starting It.
Now, released on Jan. 20th, we have a new delight. It comes from Tony Blair’s 1999 press secretary, Alastair Campbell, who was otherwise a journalist. The UK Guardian recently published an edited extract from The Alastair Campbell Diaries Volume Two: Power and the People 1997-1999:
Friday 2 April…We were losing the propaganda battle with the Serbs. TB [Tony Blair] called early on, and wanted a real sense of urgency injected into things. He had spoken to Clinton about the timidity of the military strategy. He had spoken to Thatcher last night who was appalled that the NAC and Nato ambassadors discussed [with each other] targeting plans. He wanted the message out that we were intensifying attacks. I said we said that on Wednesday.
Tuesday 6 April Family holiday France
The rightwing commentators were in full cry and we agreed to try to get Thatcher and [Thatcher foreign policy adviser] Charles Powell out saying the right hate the left fighting wars but they should be supporting what we are doing. Nato might balk but we were going to have to get a grip of their communications and make sure capitals were more tightly drawn in to what they were saying and doing.
Thursday 8 April…Militarily, Nato is overwhelmingly more powerful than Belgrade. But Milosevic has total control of his media and our media is vulnerable to their output. So we can lose the public opinion battle and if we lose hands down in some of the Nato countries, we have a problem sustaining this.
Friday 16 April…[Nato communications director Jamie] Shea said he had been fascinated how we had changed our approach to the media…[Nato secretary general Javier] Solana…said he loved the way we had “tamed” the media. I said we hadn’t, we’d just made them think we had.
[Nato supreme allied commander, US General Wesley] Clark…said “Well, I like a lot of what you’re saying. And I kid you not, we have to get something done, because we are on the brink of a disaster.” It was pretty alarming to hear him say it so bluntly, just as I found it alarming when, as I was leaving, he took me by the arm and said “Good luck, Alastair, we’re all counting on you!” I said “Shouldn’t I be saying that to you?”
I found it a bit scary that at the height of a military campaign, I was sitting down telling a general how to run it, or at least run the media side, and complaining that the media campaign lacked the discipline we expected of a military campaign. I also assured him I was no Freedom of Information freak, and indeed felt they were sometimes giving out too much. I said I would not have shown the bombing of the train. It did not benefit us at all. If you are fighting a war, it has to be fought like a war at every level.
Recall that Blair’s and Campbell’s media campaign reached new levels indeed, including the mass murder of 16 civilians (and the mutilation of 16 others) working at the Radio-Television-Serbia studios on April 23, 1999:
Once you kill people because you don’t like what they say, you change the rules of war (UK Independent, Apr. 24, 1999, by Robert Fisk):
HANGING upside-down from the wreckage was a dead man, in his fifties perhaps, although a benevolent grey dust had covered his face. Not far away, also upside-down — his legs trapped between tons of concrete and steel — was a younger man in a pullover, face grey, blood dribbling from his head on to the rubble beneath.
Deep inside the tangle of cement and plastic and iron, in what had once been the make-up room next to the broadcasting studio of Serb Television, was all that was left of a young woman, burnt alive when Nato’s missile exploded in the radio control room. Within six hours, the Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short declared the place a “legitimate target”.
It wasn’t an argument worth debating with the wounded — one of them a young technician who could only be extracted from the hundreds of tons of concrete in which he was encased by amputating both his legs. Nor with the silent hundreds who gathered in front of the still-smoking ruin at dawn yesterday, lost for words as they stood in the little glade of trees beside St Marko’s Cathedral, where Belgrade’s red and cream trams turn round. A Belgrade fireman pulled at one of the bodies for all of 30 seconds before he realised that the man, swinging back and forth amid the wreckage, was dead.
By dusk last night, 10 crushed bodies - two of them women - had been tugged from beneath the concrete, another man had died in hospital and 15 other technicians and secretaries still lay buried. A fireman reported hearing a voice from the depths as the heavens opened, turning into mud the muck and dust of a building that Ms Short had declared to be a “propaganda machine”.
A June 5, 2000 Amnesty International report that unequivocally classified the bombing of the TV headquarters a war crime, pointed to an interview that Blair gave which hinted at the real reason the station was hit:
In an interview for a BBC television documentary, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair reflected on the bombing of RTS and appeared to be hinting that one of the reasons the station was targeted was because its video footage of the human toll of NATO mistakes, such as the bombing of the civilian convoy at Djakovica, was being re-broadcast by Western media outlets and was thereby undermining support for the war within the alliance. “This is one of the problems about waging a conflict in a modern communications and news world…We were aware that those pictures would come back and there would be an instinctive sympathy for the victims of the campaign.”
Under the requirements of Article 52(2) of Protocol I [of the Geneva Conventions], the RTS headquarters cannot be considered a military objective. As such, the attack on the RTS headquarters violated the prohibition to attack civilian objects contained in Article 52 (I) and therefore constitutes a war crime.
“The bombing of the headquarters of Serbian state radio and television was a deliberate attack on a civilian object and as such constitutes a war crime,” Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s Balkans expert said…”Ten years on, no public investigation has ever been conducted by NATO or its member states into these incidents.”
Actually, the bombing was even a touch more sinister, according to Amnesty:
Although NATO claimed RTS was attacked “because it was spreading propaganda”, the real reason for this assault was revealed by their earlier threat that they will bomb Serbian TV stations if Serbia refuses to broadcast reports by the Western TV stations (CNN, BBC et al) for [six] hours each day. NATO insisted that if President Milošević ensured reports by the Western media and their programs are broadcast daily, during three hours midday — between 12 and 3 p.m. and three hours in the evening, 9 p.m.-12 a.m. — “his” television would become an acceptable instrument of public information.
When Belgrade offered to accept the six hours in exchange for six minutes of Serbian news on Western networks, NATO backtracked, saying it had only meant it would bomb transmitters also used for military communications. Soon after, Belgrade TV headquarters, subsequently declared a “legitimate military target” by NATO, was bombarded.
And see Wesley Clark’s admission here.
Back to Campbell’s complacent memoirs:
…Wednesday 21 April The White House
TB said we have to generate more uncertainty in Milosevic’s mind re whether we would use ground troops. Bill [Clinton] said he was not as negative as Sandy [Berger, US national security adviser]. He said it would be irresponsible not to do some planning, but in a way that doesn’t split the alliance.
Thursday 22 April [TB said] if Bill is unsure, and I go all out to persuade him, as this cannot be done without the US, how much are we putting our relations at risk? Jonathan [Powell] reminded him of the time Thatcher told Bush [Sr.] this was not the time to go wobbly. [They had been discussing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.]
The difference, TB pointed out, was that “she had been PM a long time, and I have only been here two years”. But he said he wanted to see BC [Bill Clinton] again and emphasise we could not live with a messy deal. He felt strongly that there was a fresh place in history for BC here that blew away all the rubbish about his personal life. He said repeatedly it was a moral question. He was really fired up and even though he was wearing just socks and underpants, it was hard not to take seriously what he was saying, though I was constantly chivvying him to get dressed.
Blair flew to Chicago to deliver one of the most important foreign policy speeches of his premiership in which he established the principle of liberal interventionism. The speech laid down the conditions under which one sovereign state could attack another.
TB was getting more and more steamed up at the idea that we were asked to help in an operation that may end in just such a messy deal. If it did, he said he would never again lend our troops to such an operation.
Sunday 25 April Third Way seminar
[German chancellor Gerhard] Schröder asked me how my disinformation campaign was going. I said it would go a lot better if we had a few more Germans in it. TB took Bill into a private room, just the two of them, where he pressed him again on ground troops, saying we really needed a proper fix on where we were heading, that it could only be done if the US were clear they would be there when the time came. He said afterwards Bill was much more amenable.
He also said I should basically run the whole media operation.
Tuesday 27 April Car journey and then dinner at chateau outside Brussels used by Nato supreme allied commander General Wes Clark He told me of a bomb they were intending to use that could destroy an area the size of four football fields, and then grenades would go off, and spread further. He said the Serbs don’t know we have it. The question is do we warn them or just use it?
Not easy. I said if you do end up using it, make sure we have enough time before you do to have a proper explanation for its use. […]
So, distraction from the Lewinsky affair was officially spoken of as having a role in the Kosovo war; and there was a “disinformation” campaign going on. While the Schroeder/Campbell reference to the latter may be limited to ‘disinforming’ the public about how well the war is going, there is no reason to think it wouldn’t extend to disinformation about the supposed crimes of the designated enemy. And since we know that is precisely what happened, one can take the reference as an admission that applies to the larger picture.
Of course, it doesn’t matter what these high-level bureaucrats reveal; the media and public continue to cling to their original lies.
It’s also worth mentioning the recently leaked, but as yet unpublished, memoirs of Chinese former president Jiang Zemin, which further expose NATO’s lies, including the real reason that we bombed the Chinese embassy (killing 17 people). The NY Post article about it — which idiotically defends the bombing of the embassy since it was harboring Serb officials — ends with one of the other grand NATO lies of that era: “I would like to remind the people of Yugoslavia that we carefully select targets that are directly related to President Milosevic’s political and leadership apparatus.”
Meanwhile, no sooner did I see Margaret Thatcher’s name mentioned in the Campbell diaries than the very same week my attention was called to a little-noted obituary from December. An email titled “Ustasha Banker’s Son Lauded” came from reader Tim Fenton, who has been writing letters to editors since the early 90s objecting to “the appalling treatment meted out to Serbs both in word and in deed,” as he wrote me a few months ago. Here was the obituary, preceded by his note:
“I missed this until I came to start a fire recently and spotted the name and sinister face on the old newspaper I was about to scrumple.
“This is appalling in many ways but probably mostly because the son of a prominent member of the Ustashe should be so obviously following in their bloody footsteps but be lauded with such fulsome praise for fomenting hatred and causing so much suffering through his propagandising.
“The only point on which I have any sympathy is his love of PG Wodehouse - nevertheless I think my original act was right: to send him up in flames!”
28 Dec 2010
A Croat, Cviic spent more than half a century in England, working at the BBC, The Economist, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) and finally the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He also spent a short unhappy spell as editor of a new journal, Tjednik (“Weekly”), in Zagreb, an experience which convinced him that he was better suited to life in Britain than Croatia.
Speaking and writing perfect English, and an Anglophile by affection and conviction, he fitted easily into British institutions and mixed effortlessly with British public figures. He was well read in the literature of many countries, but his favourite poet was TS Eliot and his favourite entertainment the novels of PG Wodehouse, one of which he carried wherever went.
Cviic’s depth of loyalty towards Croatia and his scorn for communism were wisely concealed behind a wall of professional objectivity and natural caution. But his shrewdness and his position probably allowed him to do more for Croatia and Bosnia behind the scenes in the 1990s than any other expatriate from the region.
Note that the media folks always neglect to explain that most Croatians’ scorn for communism is in the context of it as an enemy and rival of fascism, which they are NOT scornful of.
At the time of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Cviic was working at Chatham House, where he edited the monthly magazine, The World Today, and appeared regularly on television and radio. He avoided polemic, but also avoided equivocation about who was the aggressor.
At this time he also became a regular adviser to – and soon friend of – Margaret Thatcher [of course!], who had embarked on a lonely crusade to challenge Western complicity in the crimes of Slobodan Milosevic. Enraged by some news report of what she considered Western (and usually British) feebleness, she would cry: “Send for Chris Cviic!”, and in he would come. Defying his reputation for amiable pliancy, he, like her, thought that Belgrade must be stopped, not appeased.
Sure, that had nothing to do with his being Croatian at all.
So we see here that, sure enough, like Bob Dole and other lawmakers/leaders, Thatcher had Croatians whispering in her ear.
Krsto Cviic was born in 1930 near Nova Gradiska in northern Croatia. He was an only child, and his childhood was difficult. In 1937 his father walked out, later becoming governor of the National Bank under the NDH (fascist) war-time regime, which provided an excuse for ill-treatment of his family by the communists.
Sort of like I’d use the Holocaust as an “excuse” to maltreat Hitler’s henchmen.
From his teens it was left to Krsto, now in Zagreb, to earn enough to keep himself and his mother, who was too ill to work. He taught himself English, and then taught others. Imprudently, he often visited the British Council library. Still less prudently, he was a devout Roman Catholic and was denounced as a “clericalist”. He joined an underground group of students influenced by the philosophy of “personalism”, first propagated by the philosopher Alfred Mounier, which emphasised secular engagement and was much less hostile to liberalism than the Catholic nationalism traditional to Croatia.
OK, so he was slightly less Croatian than some Croatians. Though that didn’t help him want to kill Serbs any less, nor see straight on the 90s wars.
Cviic’s anti-communism was also unusual. It did not spring primarily from the mistreatment of Croats at the hands of the Party, but from a radical dislike of communism as such, which he had imbibed from a lodger in his family’s flat, a White Russian later shot by the Partisans.
OK, that is unusual. But something tells me it would have happened anyway — whether by definition or by Croatianism.
In 1954 Cviic applied for a job in the BBC World Service’s Yugoslav Section. He was denied permission to leave Yugoslavia until Vladimir Bakaric, head of the Croatian Communist Party, was informed that the alternative candidate was an ex-fascist Serb émigré. Permission was immediately granted.
During Cviic’s years at the BBC he was under constant observation by a colleague who reported back on him to the embassy. Then and later, he avoided public expressions of Croatian nationalism, while privately assisting the cause.
In his years at The Economist, as Eastern Europe correspondent, he practised the same cautious tactics. Sometimes the mask slipped. He criticised the crackdown launched by Tito against the reformers of the “Croatian Spring”, and an article in December 1971 was given the provocative title: “An Old Man in a Panic”. The Yugoslav government launched a formal protest, and the British Foreign Office also signalled its displeasure.
Ooh, how provocative: an old man in a panic. Is that considered risque by British standards? As for 1971, sure, that’s all the Croats wanted — to be free of the communist yoke.
…Cviic published three books: Remaking the Balkans (1991), in which he argued for a re-creation of a “Lesser Central Europe” to which Slovenia, Croatia and (significantly) Bosnia should adhere [hmm, what do those three purified or purifying states have in common?]; a collection of essays in Croatian, Pogled Izvana (“The View from Outside”, 1994); and In Search of Balkan Recovery (2010), a study written with Peter Sanfey of the region’s economic prospects.
He is survived by his widow, Celia, and a son and a daughter.
Yayyyy! More little Ustashas running rampant in the West.
Nah, doesn’t look like an old Nazi at all.
But you see how they implant themselves wherever they are? Cviic was very much an example of that busy, effective, powerful — and paying — Croatian diaspora that drove and stage-managed Western government policy in Yugoslavia.
As this 2008 letter to the Emperors Clothes website about fighting Croatian fascism attests:
To Emperor’s Clothes,
From 1967 to 1970 I was Commander of the Central Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth, now Australian, Federal Police. In 1973 I was security adviser to Senator Lionel Murphy, Attorney-General under the newly elected ALP (Australian Labor party) government.
It is true that until 1972 the Croatian extremist groups received a significant measure of protection from Liberal Party governments. I believe that this was primarily due to the government’s need for support from an extreme right wing Catholic party – the so-called Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The Liberals and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) had the misguided belief that the Croats could help in the identification of communists in Australia, who in the 1960s were factionalized, ineffective and posed no threat to national security. (Australian communists are now anachronistic.)
As you note in your Newsletter, bombings [by Croatian fascists] were a regular occurrence, and appropriate counter-measures were not permitted. 
On 15 and 16 March 1973 I accompanied Attorney General Murphy and the Commonwealth Police on Murphy’s visits to ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, in Canberra and in Melbourne.
The visits (not the ‘raid,’ as the New York Times article that you posted called it ) were precipitated by the upcoming 20 March arrival of Yugoslav Prime Minister Djemal Bijedic in Australia. Attorney General Murphy had intelligence information relating to a planned attempt on Bijedic’s life. That this intelligence was impeccable was demonstrated by the fact that police did seize explosives on Prime Minister Bijedic’s planned route to Canberra. It was a desperate time, and Murphy had the courage to take an extreme but necessary step.
An ASIO officer subsequently told me that ASIO had scant knowledge of the Croatian groups but plenty on the ragtag communists, on homosexuals in the public service, and on suspected Eastern Bloc spies thought to be in Australia.
Needless to say Murphy and I created powerful enemies amongst those who chose not to accept the truth. The ‘old’ ASIO professed to believe that Murphy was a Soviet spy, and that fallacy has endured in some quarters until this very day. Murphy was worn down and died in 1986.
The 1973 visits to ASIO might be regarded as extreme, but the consequences of Bijedic and perhaps even Prime Minister Whitlam being assassinated would have been worse than a few bruised egos in ASIO.
Following the upheaval, and significantly greater police and ASIO attention, the Croatian extremists were literally flabbergasted…The Croats then changed tack and targeted the ALP [Australian Labor Party] as their primary support base. An article in the December 1972 issue of Nova Hrvatska [New Croatia, a Ustasha publication] on the Australian situation, recommended the taking of a new approach, suggesting the idea of a Croatian radio station and the standing of Croats for elections.
They ‘stacked’ key ALP branches with Croats and donated money to the ALP. Gradually over the years they became a powerful lobby group and now even have members and sympathizers in parliaments (state and federal).
Hence, Immigration Minister Chris Evans’ reluctance to do anything about Marko Perkovic’s band “Thompson” or the Croatian fascists generally in Australia – they are now ‘off the radar’.
At the moment Australia is engaged in the ‘war on terror’ – sic! Whilst so heavily occupied with investigating Muslims, the Ustasha expatriates remain active, assisting the corrupt Croatian government and aiding the spread of fascism. In this regard, it is interesting to note where the Albanian celebration for Kosovo’s so called ‘independence’ was held – in Melbourne’s Croatian Centre. 
I am not denying the threat posed by Muslim fundamentalists; however, it is incumbent on governments not to lose track of the ideologies that caused the Holocaust and which still persist amongst groups within the extreme Right.
The Croatian extremists still run church schools in Australia teaching hatred of the Serbs and the virtues of [Croatian Ustasha fuehrer] Pavelic and the Ustashe.
A parting thought: whereas the CIA’s late Director of Counter Terrorism James Jesus Angleton was livid over the ASIO visits [the “raid”] and the reversal in policy regarding Croatian terror, curiously, Murphy got strong support from MI5 [the UK security intelligence agency], whose Australian liaison officer described the expatriate Croatian Ustasha ‘revolutionaries’ (HRB, UHNj, HOP etc.)  as “thugs and murderers”. [Recall the distinction between the U.S. and UK attitudes regarding Croatia in this WikiLeak.]
– Kerry L. Milte
And a parting thought on Margaret Thatcher — mentioned in the Cviic obituary and the Campbell diaries — who did not distinguish herself on the Balkans front, but fell easy prey — like the rest — to Croatian-spun anti-Yugoslav/anti-Serb propaganda. (Perversely, she even asked the Board of British Jews to support the Muslims and the Croatians.) I’ve excerpted before writings by her late adviser Sir Alfred Sherman, who had a little more class and a lot more background on the Balkans. Below is a 2006 eulogy for him by Srdja Trifkovic:
Sir Alfred Sherman: Witness to a Century (Aug. 30, 2006)
Sir Alfred Sherman, a friend and long-time political associate who died in London on August 26, started his political life as a Stalinist and ended it as one of the few “paleoconservative” thinkers in today’s Britain…
Born in 1919 to recent immigrants from Russia, Sherman joined the Young Communist League in his first year at Chelsea Plytechnic; as he later explained, “to be a Jew in 1930s Britain was to be alienated. The world proletariat offered us a home.” Within months he was a machine gunner with the Major Attlee battalion of the International Brigades in Spain. A gifted linguist, he translated the orders of the battalion’s Red Army instructor into English, French and Spanish.
During the Second World War Sherman served with the British Army as a Field Security Officer in the Middle East, became fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, and embarked on a life-long study of Islam. After the war he continued his studies at the London School of Economics and became president of the Communist Party student cell.
In that capacity he visited Yugoslavia, at that time one of Moscow’s staunchest allies, and upon his return prepared a favorably intoned report. As he was about to deliver it to his comrades in the summer of 1948, news came of Stalin’s break with Tito. The Party asked Sherman to rewrite his report accordingly. He refused and was duly expelled for “Titoist deviationism.” Sherman promptly left for Belgrade and offering his services to Tito’s authorities in their dispute with Moscow. He assumed his talents as an intellectual would be of value, but to his surprise when he arrived he was put to work helping to build a railway in Bosnia. Despite his small stature and obvious unsuitability for physical labour, he never complained. He carried on, learned the language, and developed a long lasting emotional tie to the former Yugoslavia.
In the early 1950s Sherman — by that time an ex-Communist but still a man of the Left — returned to Belgrade as an Observer correspondent. Unlike most of his Western colleagues, then and now, he was fluent in the language known as Serbo-Croatian at that time and possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history, culture and politics of the South Slavs. He developed a strong, life-long affinity for the Serbs, in many ways comparable to that of Dame Rebecca West. That affinity was rekindled in the 1990s when Sherman became a leading critic of the Western policy in the Balkans.
After a few years in Israel, during which time he advised the government on economic affairs, Sherman returned to London. Thoroughly disillusioned in Socialism in all its forms he joined the staff of The Daily Telegraph in 1965, rising to become the Tory flagship’s leader writer (1977-86). In 1974 he co-founded, with the late Sir Keith Joseph, the conservative think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), and became its first director…The CPS was the launching pad for Margaret Thatcher, gradually transforming her from the untried party leader of 1974 into a prime-minister-in-waiting. More than any one man, Sherman provided her with the strategy for capturing the leadership of the Party and winning the historic general election of 1979.
Sherman’s forte was economics but he was acutely aware of the importance of a coherent cultural basis on which the economic superstructure rests. It behove a Jew deeply worried about the condition of our civilization to advocate the revival of Christianity in general, and particularly to stress that British political history was largely that of religion: church and state were inseparable. As Margaret Thatcher argued in a lecture, Dimensions of Conservatism, in 1977, which Sherman wrote for her two years before she became Britain’s Prime Minister,
“To describe us as a party of free enterprise as opposed to State ownership would be misleading, although we have good cause to fear the deadening effect of State ownership and control . . . The Tories began as a Church party, concerned with the Church and State in that order, before our concern extended to the economy and many other fields which politics now touches.”
Sherman’s star shone briefly after Mrs. Thatcher became prime minister. As the Telegraph’s obituarist has noted, during those years when his star was in the ascendant, Sherman…provided a vital stimulus to “the Leaderin,” giving her the intellectual confidence to proclaim her radical free-market vision in her early years at the helm….
In her memoirs, Lady Thatcher…credits him with a central role in her achievements….In the last decade and a half of his life, Sherman was tireless in exposing the stupidity and malovelence of the Western policy in the Balkans. In 1994 we joined forces to establish The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, with the help of Michael Stenton and Ronald Hatchett, as a non-partisan research institute. In Sherman’s words, it was “designed to correct the current trend of public commentary, which tends, systematically, not to understand events but to construct a propagandistic version of Balkan rivalries, designed to facilitate the involvement of outside powers.” He chose the name of a great Western poet who gave his life in the fight to free Balkan peoples from Mohammedan rule, which reflected his belief in “the essential unity of our civilization, of which the Orthodox nations are an inseparable and essential ingredient.” As Michael Stenton wrote when Sherman retired as LBF Chairman in 2001, “Alfred has known Yugoslavia since the days the Muslim ladies were still wearing veils. Long decades before the talk of a ‘clash of civilizations’ he understood the Balkans in this sense. Where the average journalist sees the wars in Yugoslavia through some ‘worst since World War Two’ lens, Alfred sees precise parallels: between the Anglo-French reluctance to recognize Nazi malice and ‘Western’ courtesies and concessions to Islam today; between the fashionable denunciation of the Czechs for their treatment of the Sudeten Germans in 1938 and the recent excoriation of the Serbs in Kosovo and elsewhere…”
As early as 1992, writing in London’s Jewish Chronicle, Sherman warned against the lapse of logic in confusing the present plight of Bosnian Muslims with that of European Jewry under Hitler. “It does us no good…when third parties in their own interests take the name of our martyrs in vain; Bosnia is not occupied Europe; the Muslims are not the Jews; the Serbs did not begin the civil war, but are predictably responding to a real threat”:
“Some years ago, I, among others, warned that, whatever the logic of establishing Yugoslavia in the first place, any attempt at hurried dismemberment, particularly along Tito’s internal demarcation lines, would lead to armed conflict, self-intensifying bloodshed and floods of refugees . . . Since 1990, the independent Croatian leadership — with its extreme chauvinist and clericalist colouring — and the Bosnian Muslim leadership — seeking, in its Islamic fundamentalist programme, to put the clock back to Ottoman days — have threatened to turn the Serbs back into persecuted minorities… The Serbs cannot forget that, in living memory, the ‘Independent Croatian State,’ set up by Hitler in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, massacred close on half of the Serbian population—which was then the largest of the three communities in Bosnia — and as many Jews as it could lay hands on . . . If there is any parallel with the Holocaust, it is the martyrdom of the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, who account for a third of the Serbian nation.”
Both the Croatian and Muslim leaderships enjoy support and encouragement from Germany, Sherman noted, and from militantly Islamic governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, though Serbian refugees from Croatia and Bosnia outnumbered Croatian and Muslim refugees combined, the media virtually ignore them:
“It reminds one of the late 1930’s, when most of the British press demonised the Czechs at Downing Street’s behest, denouncing them as a threat to European peace and for ill-treating their peaceful German Sudetenland minority; ‘Herr’ Hitler, by contrast was held up as a reasonable man . . . It is almost invariably the innocent who suffer in war. But that does not equate them with victims of the Holocaust, any more than being a Jew automatically qualifies one to pronounce on Yugoslavia. This needs to meet the Serbs’ legitimate claim to self-rule with religious and cultural freedoms, otherwise they will go on fighting even if the whole world is mobilised against them . . . This will not be achieved so long as European Community foreign policy is made in Bonn, whose agenda entails the reversal not only of Versailles, but also of the post-1945 settlement.”
Almost a decade ago, well before Iraq and 9-11, Sherman saw that Washington had “set up the cornerstone of a European Islamistan in Bosnia and a Greater Albania, thus paving the way for further three-sided conflict between Moslems, Serbs and Croats…Far from creating a new status quo it has simply intensified instability.” The U.S. may succeed in establishing its hegemony, in the Balkans-Danubia-Carpathia and elsewhere, “but it will also inherit long-standing ethno-religious conflicts and border disputes without the means for settling them.” His 1997 warning…:
“At the time of writing, the USA is uniquely powerful. It will not always be so. In the course of time, Russia may gain its potential strength, and there is very little the USA can do about Chinese developments one way or the other . . . A law of history is that power tends to generate countervailing power. It is not for me to trace how this will come about. We can do little more than guard against arrogance and over-extension and minimize the pointless sacrifices they usually entail. I am proud to have taken part in this struggle, the struggle to bring the powerful to their senses before they plunge into reckless, ruthless folly…”
His realization that Western intervention in Yugoslavia has come as a result of Western crisis and not of Balkan tragedies, stemmed directly from his key insight that Washington’s “Benevolent Global Hegemony” is based on a new cultural paradigm, materialistic and anti-traditional. This megalomania is a form of madness, he would add, and nothing new in world history, but, as he wrote for Chronicles’ website in May 2000,
“The power and prestige of America is in the hands of people who will not resist the temptation to invent new missions, lay down new embargoes, throw new bombs, and fabricate new courts. For the time being, they control the United Nations, the World Bank, most of the world’s high-tech weapons, and the vast majority of the satellites that watch us from every quadrant of the skies. This is the opportunity they sense, and we must ask what ambitions they will declare next . . . Instead of rediscovering the virtues of traditionally defined, enlightened self-interest in the aftermath of its hands-down cold war victory, America’s foreign policy elites are more intoxicated than ever by their own concoction of benevolent global hegemony and indispensable power.” […]