July 28th 2012 02:26:37 AM
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.