So here’s a sad sight.


Xhangyle Ilijazi, chief of the board for Kosova-Israel Friendship Association, talks to a group of Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers about the history of Kosovo families during a Holocaust Remembrance luncheon at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, April 30.

Set aside the irony of these poor tools — used to create an ethnically clean Albanian Kosovo — earnestly trying to learn about the Holocaust.

And consider the source they’re “learning” about it from. Why, from the Axis side, of course.

Yes, Righteous Albanians saved Jews. But today’s Albanians — including descendants of the Righteous — are using WW2 Righteousness to buy political capital for today’s evildoing side (in the Serbian-Albanian conflict). Notice you don’t see American soldiers being plopped in front of any Serbs talking about Serbs who saved Jews. (And died doing it.) No, that would make too much sense, given that those saviors were not on the Axis side.

Which would then unmake sense of what side we’re on today.

Anyway, here’s the unrelenting pabulum:

News: Soldiers remember the Holocaust

Multinational Battle Group - East (KFOR)
Story by Ardian Nrecaj

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - The Holocaust is one of the darkest times of human history, and in that darkness there was a small light shining from a small region and community, an area in Europe occupied by Nazi forces.

Part of that community was Arsllan Rezniqi, who helped save and shelter 42 Jewish families in his home during World War II.

Leke Rezniqi, chief executive officer of Kosova-Israel Friendship Association “Dr. Haim Abravanel” and a successor of Arsllan, talked to a group of Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers about his family history during a Holocaust Remembrance luncheon at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, April 30.

“My great grandfather [Arsllan] was one of the leading members of the Nazi resistance in Kosovo, and he devoted six years of his life to saving Jews,” said Rezniqi. “My grandfather Mustafa Rezniqi, an adolescent during the war, assisted him and he carried on the history of our family’s role in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.”

Rezniqi said that as word spread about his family’s sanctuary, other families came asking for help.

“Soon more than 40 families from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia were sheltered in our house, until my family was able to organize a safe passage for them to Albania,” added Rezniqi.

Rezniqi explained that shedding light into this part of the history of Kosovo Albanian families that sheltered and helped transport Jews safely to Albania is more complex than it might seem.

“One of the goals of our association is to identify the families that saved Jews during World War II, and so far we have identified 30 families,” said Rezniqi. “It is hard, because we are doing this 70 years later, but we continue to work with Yad Vashem.”

Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

Staff Sgt. Jason Sansom, an equal opportunity leader for Task Force Medical with MNBG-E, native of Cleveland, Ohio, organized the event.

“When people think of World War II they think of Nazi persecution in Europe, but they do not know what exactly happened here [Kosovo] and how families supported the Jewish migration through,” said Sansom.

“We are fortunate to have members of the association here sharing their personal and family experiences,” added Sansom. “They have direct ties with families who participated in the liberation of Jews through Albania, Kosovo and Balkans; it was great having them.”

Xhangyle Ilijazi, chief of the board for Kosova-Israel Friendship Association, said the main reason Kosovo Albanians sheltered Jewish families is “Besa” an Albanian cultural concept that means “to keep the promise” and “word of honor”.

Ilijazi explained that almost all the Jews that made it to Albania survived.

“Before World War II in Albania lived more than 200 Jews, but in the end of the war there were 2,000 Jews living in Albania, and this is official data from Albanian state archive,” said Ilijazi.

Mustafa Rezniqi, received a Righteous Among Nations award from Yad Vashem. The award is given to honor non-Jews who risked their lives, liberty or positions to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Further to the theme of our American lads learning all their Balkans history from Albanians, eBritic and InSerbia cited a Sputnik News article last month about Bondsteel. Two noteworthy paragraphs:

The administration at Bondsteel tries to ensure soldiers don’t get homesick and keeps shops in which personnel could buy clothes and food from the United States. There is also a souvenir shop where one could buy souvenirs from many countries across the world, except Serbia, the author said.

The personnel serving at Bondsteel have an opportunity to attend history lessons on the statehood of Kosovo, as most soldiers have a vague idea where they’re actually serving. However, since all teachers at the camp are Albanians, they only tell their version of history. The Serbian perspective is ignored.

Included is a photo of the base chapel, where a sign reads “Peacekeeper’s Chapel, Pro Deo et Patria.” That is, “For God and Country.”

Remind me how either is served in all this?

Columnist David P. Goldman (a.k.a. Spengler) had an article in Asia Times this month (”To be kind is to be cruel, to be cruel is to be kind,” Apr. 14), citing a recent migrant incident in Europe, first reported by UK Daily Mail:

The 240ft Monica had been spotted in international waters during the night. When Italian coastguard boats drew alongside, the crews were shocked to see men and women on board begin dangling the infants over the side. The refugees – mostly Kurds and many said to be heading for Britain – calmed down only when they were assured they would not be turned away from Italy.

Goldman remarked:

What kind of people threaten to murder their own babies? The normal response would be to arrest them and put them in prison for endangering children. Instead, the British newspaper reported, “The Archbishop of Catania, Luigi Bommarito, was at the dockside to greet the Monica in what he called ‘a gesture of solidarity’. He said: ‘I’m here to appeal to people not to close their hearts and doors to people trying to survive. We mustn’t forget that in the last century many immigrants also left Italy.’”

The Monica incident is multiplied ten thousand-fold at the diplomatic level. Turkey’s President and de facto dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan last October threatened European officials with 10,000 to 15,000 drowned migrants….Erdogan demanded 6 billion Euros up front and 3 billion Euros a year to stop the refugee flow….The leader of a prominent Muslim country who claims to speak for the Muslim world threatened the Europeans with 10,000 or 15,000 Muslim deaths. When in world history has one side in negotiations threaten[ed] to kill its own people in order to gain leverage?

Here I started getting antsy, yelling at the computer screen, “When in world history? When? Try the ’90s!” That is, when Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic followed through on Bill Clinton’s suggestion that he needed to cough up at least 5,000 dead bodies if he wanted a NATO intervention on his side of a turf war against Serbs.

But Goldman didn’t disappoint, and made clear that words like ‘when’ and ‘first time’ refer to the current era, inclusive of several decades. First, he appropriately enough brought up the Gaza example:

The same grisly farce has played out for years in Gaza, where Hamas fires rockets at Israeli population centers from civilian locations, including schools and hospitals, and then complains of human rights violations when the Israelis respond and on occasion kill civilians. Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan…observes that the Gaza civilians are not human shields, for their purpose is not to shield anything. Rather, they are human sacrifices, intentionally set to die.

This is the first time in the entire history of warfare that a combatant intentionally set out to maximize civilian casualties on its own side, the better to gain diplomatic leverage…In an Oct. 15, 2015 essay, Times of Israel analyst Haviv Rettig Gur…quoted the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Daraghmeh: “Palestine is an international issue. [The issue] won’t be decided in a flurry of knives or acts of martyrdom, or in protests or demonstrations. It will end only when the world understands it has a duty to intervene and to draw borders and lines, as it did in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Kosovo…

So once again I must point out that there are no illusions about Bosnia/Kosovo among the Arab world. The jihadists who fought in the Balkans know what it was, and Palestinians — seemingly in that separate conflict packaged as “Israel-Palestine” — know what it was. And they know it was a ground-breaking model. Only the West — whose leaders made the very deal — is in denial.

Goldman concludes:

The West has not imposed a “solution” on Israel only because Americans respond to weaponized horror differently than the UN bureauracy, the Vatican, or the government of Sweden. Fully half of Americans support a ban on all Muslim immigration to the US…Perversely, the United States created a monster when the Clinton administration went to war with Serbia in 1998 in order to rescue the Kosovo Liberation Army — a dodgy band of Albanian hoodlums engaged in drug and human trafficking — from the harsh response of the Serbs to their provocations. Muslims like Mohammed Daraghmeh learned that at least some in the West would take their side in order to stop humanitarian disasters, even if the Muslims themselves set those disasters in motion. The Pope, the U.N. Secretary General and Sen. Sanders encourage the creation of such disasters by responding according to script.

Ergo, Goldman’s title “To be kind is to be cruel, to be cruel is to be kind.” He’s actually quoting an ancient midrash, one that I’ve on occasion extended to mean that being kind to the cruel is being cruel to his victim. Adding a whole new layer of evil to the “humanitarian interventions” of the Balkans. And of course illuminating how our well-insulated public officials play with our lives:


The utilization of the rabbinic idiom cited in this contemporary context is that he (the government) who acts compassionately, in others words, benevolently, towards cruel people…ultimately will become cruel to [”the compassionate,”] the general public, which is forced to pay the price of additional casualties for the government’s irresolute behavior.

“My permanent fight to preserve the peace, prevent the war and decrease the sufferings of everyone regardless of religion were an exemplary effort deserving respect rather than persecution.”

–Radovan Karadzic to Balkan Insight, ahead of his March 24, 2016 Guilty verdict

“Through relentless propaganda efforts, “Srebrenica” has become a synonym for “genocide,” as Serbs stand accused of killing some 7,000 Muslim men – military personnel who refused to surrender – who fled the town. The fact that they gave safe passage, food, and water to the women and children left behind – hardly a hallmark of “genocide” – is ignored.”

Nebojsa Malic, 2005

If one thinks that the 40-year sentence handed down last month to former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic has nothing to do with oneself or with our collective future, then one hasn’t been paying attention. Not that anyone thinks about it one way or the other. Certainly not Americans in the throes of a presidential election year, and so who would bother paying attention to the fate of some former president, from some other, unthought-about country, for something that happened 20 years ago? Never mind that the American co-president from that era may be our president again next year.

Fact is, the American election pales in relevance to what just happened, yet again, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The Karadzic verdict in March was preceded in February by the death from “unknown causes” of yet another Serb in Hague custody. (Belgrade’s requests for treatment leave for the ailing Zdravko Tolimir — whose trial saw two judges go off the reservation with dissenting opinions that devastate the evidence of “genocide” in Srebrenica — were ignored.) Three months earlier, in October, a defense witness for Ratko Mladic died suddenly at a Hague hotel. That’s without mentioning the other six, starting with Croatian-Serb mayor Slavko Dokmanovic in 1998 and the back-to-back deaths of Milan Babic and Slobodan Milosevic in 2006. If these events all seem somehow marginal, then one has somehow missed that we are all Serbs now. No less for finding ourselves at the mercy of the “migrants” in our midst, whom our governments are intent on risking our hides to make welcome.

For the Serbs were the designated white man, and the designated Christian, to be sacrificed for the greater Muslim good. And, we thought, for the greater Western good, given the appreciation that would surely come our way from the Muslim world for punishing the infidels who dared fight back. Symbiotically, while Yugoslavia was being targeted by jihad, it was also targeted by the New World Order, as a test case, with the Serbian nation marked for extinction as an identity. The death of the “nation-state” as such would follow, as we are now seeing.

There is a reason that America exempts itself from the jurisdiction of an international court (at least until Hillary Clinton becomes president again). The U.S. is concerned about the potential for political prosecutions. That is, show trials. Of American leaders, generals, servicemen, and so on. That’s understandable. But it is more than a little vile to exempt oneself from such an Orwellian institution — while exploiting those very characteristics of it against others, something that not one American politician speaks out against.

But back to Karadzic. A few headlines, for background:

Radovan Karadzic found guilty of genocide, sentenced to 40 years

Radovan Karadzic, nicknamed the “Butcher of Bosnia,” was sentenced to 40 years….over his responsibility for the Srebrenica massacre, in which more than 7,000 [sic] Bosnian Muslim men and boys were executed [sic] by Bosnian Serb forces under his command…Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement that the verdict and sentence “will stand against continuing attempts at denying the suffering of thousands and the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.”

Note here that the prosecutor has let slip the real, political purpose of the trial: to preclude “genocide denial” vis-a-vis the still-not-established facts of Srebrenica. And he has carefully worded the much bandied-about “genocide” as general “suffering of thousands,” something no one has ever denied. The rest of the CNN excerpt:

…In a statement, the tribunal said it found Karadzic had committed the crimes through his participation in four “joint criminal enterprises,” including an overarching plot from October 1991 to November 1995 “to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory.”

The Croatian government hailed the verdicts Thursday — which came at the end of an eight-year trial — as welcome but long overdue, calling them “the minimum, for which the victims and their families unfortunately waited too long.” […]

In contrast, a verdict that wasn’t so hailed by Croatia came a week later, when Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj was uncharacteristically acquitted — after a 13-year stint in Hague custody during the proceedings — in a sort of balancing act the Court started practicing in recent years (when it noticed that people started noticing its Serb hunt). BBC on the Seselj verdict:

[P]residing Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti said the prosecution “had failed to prove…that there was a widespread and systematic attack against the non-Serb civilian population in large areas of Croatia and Bosnia. The evidence tendered and considered establishes instead that there was an armed conflict between enemy military forces with civilian components.”

Prosecutors had argued Mr Seselj was criminally responsible for the murder, torture and deportation of non-Serbs as part of his project to create a “Greater Serbia”. They had accused him of raising an army of volunteers who committed “unspeakable crimes”. But the trial chamber found that there was no “criminal purpose in sending volunteers” — and, moreover, they had not been under Mr Seselj’s command.

“The majority simply notes that it is not satisfied that the recruitment and subsequent deployment of volunteers implies that Vojislav Seselj knew of these crimes on the ground, or that he instructed or endorsed them,” it said.

The verdict also concluded that the “Greater Serbia” plan Mr Seselj had supported was not a “criminal”, but “political”, project.

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic criticised the outcome as “a defeat for the Hague tribunal and the prosecution”.

More:

“This verdict is an embarrassment for the Hague Tribunal…” Oreskovic told media in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar… “He’s the man who is burning the flags of Croatia and the EU,” Oreskovic said. [Said, mind you, without a hint of irony given not only the Yugo- and Serb-flag-burning that adorned Croatia’s secession, but also the sumptuous headlines that have been coming out of this “model EU member” in the past year alone (Wiesenthal Centre urges Croatia to end pensions to Nazi [veterans]; Wiesenthal Center Shocked by Appointment of Fascist Culture Minister Hasanbegovic; Croatia’s ‘Banal’ Fascism on Display at Israel Match; Croatia faces hardline sanctions over swastika etched on pitch; Croatians chant “Kill a Serb” at concert; and just this weekend: Monument to fascism victims [at site of biggest mass crime in Zagreb, Dotrscina forest] desecrated with fascist graffiti)]

[And] Bosnian lawyer Senad Pecanin called the verdict “scandalous”. […]

Not scandalous to Bosniaks, meanwhile — never mind their own butchers going free — was the guilty verdict in 2012 for the now dead Tolimir: “This is what we expected and we feel better now,” Srebrenica widow Rejha Avdic said. “We hope the court will continue to conduct fair trials.” One supposes the Not Guilty verdict in Seselj makes that trial “unfair.” (See Nebojsa Malic on the verdict: “Prisca Matimba Nyambe, a Zambian judge…calls out the other ‘judges’ for failing to prove even a single charge in the indictment. ‘Without a single piece of evidence adduced during this trial of a written [or stated] plan of a [Joint Criminal Enterprise] to Murder…the Majority relies upon circumstantial evidence to draw conclusions…I am wholly unpersuaded that the Accused is guilty of any of the charges alleged in the Indictment,’ she concluded…[T]he prosecutors — and the judges who sided with them — failed to prove that many of the things in the indictment actually happened, Nyambe argued.”)

More:

Croatia on Thursday banned Šešelj from entering the country after prime minister Tihomir Orešković labelled the verdict “shameful” during a visit to Vukovar, scene of some of the alleged atrocities, where he laid wreaths in memory of war dead.

Šešelj was not at the courtroom in The Hague to hear the verdict…He had been allowed to return to Serbia because of his deteriorating health [which prompted a bizarre letter to the UN Secretary-General from Croatia’s incoming president, saying the humanitarian release undermined the entire purpose of the tribunal]…[T]he ICTY judgment said the prosecution’s case had been full of “confusion” and that “a lot of the evidence shows that [his] collaboration was aimed at defending the Serbs and the traditionally Serb territories or at preserving Yugoslavia, not at committing the alleged crimes”. [Imagine that!]

In the majority ruling, the ICTY’s presiding judge, Jean-Claude Antonetti, said… “The totality of the evidence substantiates the fact that the purpose of sending volunteers was not to commit crimes, but to support the war effort…The [court] by a majority…was unable to find…that, in calling upon the Serbs to “cleanse” Bosnia…Vojislav Šešelj was calling for ethnic cleansing of Bosnia’s non-Serbs. […]

The fairer fate of this least likeable of Serb defendants is interesting. Seselj is an actual nationalist and actually was interested in a “Greater Serbia” — which none of the convicted or dead bigger fish (Karadzic, Milosevic etc) had been. It’s possible Seselj was earmarked for a counterweight purpose. Unlike Milosevic, he was a) allowed health leave; b) the judges acknowledged the prosecution was “full of confusion,” something that judges in the Milosevic trial never acknowledged despite the schizophrenic prosecution there, which had international journalists laughing in the aisles and the judges calling for order; c) the judges chose to also acknowledge here that the evidence pointed not to murderous intent but to war-related aims and preserving the union, despite this defendant actually using the word “cleanse” — which less fortunate Serb defendants never did; and d) here we finally get the ‘bombshell’ admission that, in any case, “Greater Serbia” isn’t a criminal project, but a political one.

Or perhaps Seselj just wasn’t high-profile enough for the crowd-pleasing purposes that other Serb convictions serve, and so the Court felt it could give this one to the Serbs, to show that this too can happen. I asked former Senate Republican foreign policy analyst Jim Jatras for his take on the Seselj acquittal that came a week after the Karadzic conviction. He replied:

My own guess:

1. Springing Seselj shows ICTY’s fairness and impartiality, so that convicting other Serbs (notably Mladic and Karadzic) and exonerating Muslims (Oric, Ceku, Haradinaj, Thaci) is all the more “credible.”
2. Seselj is the perfect candidate to be the “Exhibit A” of “fairness towards Serbs,” since (a) there’s no evidence against him anyway, (b) he’s already “served” many years of a non-sentence for not doing anything, and (c) releasing him “back into the wild” in Serbia will make life difficult and interesting for other politicians, rendering them even more pliable (if that’s possible) [to Brussels and Washington demands].

An even more soberly cynical take came in an email from longtime Hague observer Andy Wilcoxson (links added):

[Serbian state security chiefs Jovica] Stanisic and [Franko] Simatovic were acquitted too, then the prosecutor appealed the verdict — and now the Tribunal is going to put them on trial all over again (double jeopardy). The same thing could happen to Seselj; they could drag this out forever.

If the Tribunal had convicted Seselj, it’s unlikely that they could have sentenced him to more than time served. By acquitting him, they open the door for the prosecutor to appeal the verdict and conduct a double jeopardy trial…I’m not a big fan of Seselj. He describes himself as a Serbian nationalist and he openly espouses the idea of greater Serbia. His party published the “Protocols of Zion,” which was banned by Slobodan Milosevic’s government because it promotes antisemitism.

That said, the charges against him were idiotic. The Serbian Radical Party was in the opposition for the duration of the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Seselj and the Serbian Radical Party recruited volunteers to join the Bosnian-Serb and Krajina-Serb armed forces….As the president of an opposition political party, Seselj didn’t have the authority to issue orders to anyone. Nor did he he have the responsibility or power to punish anyone who committed war crimes…because the police and the courts didn’t answer to him.

He did make nationalistic speeches and he did make inflammatory statements during the war. He continues to do that to this very day, but that isn’t a crime nor should it be one. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right.

Wilcoxson also allows for the possibility that some sort of deal was struck between Washington/Brussels and the West-subordinated Serbian government. “A deal is possible,” he continued in a follow-up email. “The ICTY would have convicted Seselj if that was what they wanted to do. Not having sufficient evidence to convict has never stopped them from convicting anyone before — especially not a Serb. If he doesn’t hold up his end of the deal they can always grant the prosecutor’s appeal.”

(Or even if he does hold up his end of the deal, as Milosevic and Karadzic found out.)

Malic foreshadowed as much in 2013 (second link added):

The indictment and conviction [e.g. of Croatian, Bosniak, and Kosovo-Albanian defendants] are supposed to create the impression the ICTY is a real, impartial, legitimate court of law — which is then followed by a release on appeal. …Furthermore, as a fellow blogger pointed out, the ICTY has a habit of prosecuting only the alleged crimes against the designated victim groups. Hence, Serbs and (Bosnian) Croats get the (ICTY-written) book thrown at them for killing (Bosnian) Muslims, the few KLA are punished only for killing fellow Albanians, while no one ever gets punished for killing Serbs.

Back to Karadzic, and another telling choice of words, from Reuters:

“[T]hese harrowing images reveal the reasons why he was found guilty of the 1995 massacre and nine other war crimes.” –Gemma Mullin, UK Mirror, March 24, 2016

Think about that sentence a moment. There’s not even an attempt to disguise how international “justice” for the Balkans has worked. The judicial standard is, ‘Why was he convicted? Just look at the pictures.’ Images say he’s guilty, the evidence is irrelevant. A blatant, undisguised appeal to emotion. And they’re saying it themselves: It’s all an image war, Folks, a PR war. The court of public opinion is what counts here, based on inflammatory images devoid of context including the other belligerent’s suffering. Just as they did to secure the war itself, media shoved images in the public’ face to “explain” the verdict, and reinforce what we were told originally.

The images that The Mirror wanted you to base your opinion on, (from the above excerpted article), without mentioning that the trial found some of this bloodshed came from the victims’ own Muslim ranks:





Apparently, we’re still supposed to be moved and even outraged by Muslim suffering. Or, at the very least, be more understanding of their violence directed at us. (Indeed, who is more fanatical — Muslims, or the Westerners who, even as Muslims mow them down, are determined to put Serbs away for life?)

Below, some images you’re *not* supposed to see. Of dead Serbs, which would have only confused the tidy picture being peddled:

Tangentially, here was one of the “read more” links in that Mirror article: “Read more: Taunt of the ‘Butcher’: Former Bosnian Serb general makes throat-slit gesture at his war crimes trial“. It’s another illustration of the West’s immunity to correction when it comes to the Balkans; that the hazy incident happened at all was questionable enough that the AP issued a correction, at my prompting, when it could find no documentation that it took place.

That the ICTY is a political rather than judicial construct is illustrated by a decision that was timed as breathtakingly as the March 24th date of the Karadzic verdict. After a genocide charge (in a set of seven municipalities) was dropped from Karadzic’s trial in the summer of 2012 (”a setback for reconciliation!” the chorus repeated), it was reinstated a year later — announced on July 11, the same date that Srebrenica is commemorated. So dates are sometimes chosen as much to please Muslims as they are to beat up Serbs:

Radovan Karadžić genocide charge reinstated by UN judges (The Guardian, July 11, 2013)

Appeals judges at the United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes tribunal have reinstated a genocide charge against Radovan Karadžić linked to a campaign of killing and mistreating non-Serbs at the start of the Bosnian war in 1992. The decision reversed the former Bosnian Serb president’s acquittal last year on one of the two genocide charges he faces, but it does not amount to a conviction.

The ruling in The Hague came on the day survivors gathered in Srebrenica to mark the 18th anniversary of the massacre by reburying 409 recently identified sets of remains exhumed from mass graves. […]

In the end, Karadzic was acquitted of, very specifically, “genocide” in the seven municipalities, and only on that count. Srebrenica, on the other hand, is still being asserted as genocide. Without any evidence of intent (in fact, plenty of evidence to the contrary, from the evacuation itself to the explicit orders to not harm civilians and to observe all the laws), and without even a precise number of victims and their causes of death. It’s easy to get confused, however, especially with sentences like this one from an October 2012 Toronto Sun article (emphasis added): “During the trial of Bosnian Serb General Stanislav Galic, the tribunal established that Bosnian Serb forces were responsible for shelling the market place.”

The key word there is that the tribunal “established.” In fact, as with a “genocide” per se happening in Srebrenica, what the tribunal does is not ‘establish’ anything so much as ‘assert’ (Western media consistently dodge the distinction). After the ICTY asserts, the other UN court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), adopts the assertions, and the institutions are then cited by the Bosniak lobby and wider Muslim mafia as having both “found,” for example, that genocide took place. The “findings” are then duly parroted by governments and media.

There are yet more strands to the M.O. of the Hague-Media-Government Axis. Retired Canadian ambassador James Bissett — who, before Karadzic ever said it, said that Karadzic “did his damnedest to prevent the war” — told me years ago that at the Milosevic trial (2002-2005), he observed NY Times correspondent Marlise Simons lifting her pen only when testimony correlated with the approved version of events. That is, not during the countless bombshells that came out in that trial chamber. And so it has gone with the media in general, something I got a taste of in the early 2000s, when the new New York Sun — revived ostensibly as a thinking “alternative” to The Times — deigned to broach the Balkans. It did so exactly when a set of inflammatory images of dead Muslims was being circulated to coincide with some narrative-reinforcing development in the Milosevic trial. Much the way the Court circulated a video of the execution of six Bosniak soldiers in 2005 (timed to the 10th anniversary of Srebrenica), something that all media including the “alternative” Fox News obliged in looping, no less as supposed “proof” of “genocide,” of “8,000.”

Below is an excerpt from Diana Johnstone, author of the new Hillary Clinton book Queen of Chaos, from her recent take on the seven-year Karadzic trial. It rounds out several aforementioned points:

The media stayed away from the marathon, and only showed up to report the inevitable “guilty” verdict condemning the bad guy. The verdict reads a bit like, “they said, he said, and we believe them not him.”

The most amazing passage in the rambling verdict by Judge O-Gon Kwan consists of these throw-away lines:

“With respect to the Accused’s argument that the Bosnian Muslim side targeted its own civilians, the Chamber accepts that the Bosnian Muslim side was intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf and, as a result, at times, engaged in targeting UN personnel in the city or opening fire on territory under its control in order to lay blame on the Bosnian Serbs.”

This is quite extraordinary. The ICTY judges are actually acknowledging that the Bosnian Muslim side engaged in “false flag” operations, not only targeting UN personnel but actually “opening fire on territory under its control”. Except that that should read, “opening fire on civilians under its control”. UN peace keeping officers have insisted for years that the notorious Sarajevo “marketplace massacres”, which were blamed on the Serbs and used to gain condemnation of the Serbs in the United Nations [which led to bombing them], were actually carried out by the Muslim side in order to gain international support.

This is extremely treacherous behavior. The Muslim side was, as stated, “intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf”, and it succeeded! The ICTY is living proof of that success: a tribunal set up to punish Serbs. But there has been no move to expose and put on trial Muslim leaders responsible for their false flag operations.

The Judge quickly brushed this off: “However, the evidence indicates that the occasions on which this happened pale in significance when compared to the evidence relating to [Bosnian Serb] fire on the city” (Sarajevo).

How can such deceitful attacks “pale in significance” when they cast doubt precisely on the extent of Bosnian Serb “fire on the city”?

[The ICTY] imported from US criminal justice the concept of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE)”, used originally as a means to indict gangsters. The trick is to identify the side we are against as a JCE, which makes it possible to accuse anyone on that side of being a member of the JCE.

After Slovenia and Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia, the Muslims and Croats of Bosnia voted to secede from Yugoslavia, but this was opposed by Bosnian Serbs who claimed it was unconstitutional. The European Union devised a compromise that would allow each of the three people self-rule in its own territory. However, the Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, was encouraged by the United States to renege on the compromise deal, in the hope that Muslims, as the largest group, could control the whole territory. War thus broke out in April 1992.

Now, if you asked the Bosnian Serbs what their war aims were, they would answer that they wanted to preserve the independence of Serb territory within Bosnia rather than become a minority in a State ruled by the Muslim majority…However, according to ICTY the objective of the Serbian mini-republic was to “permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Serb-claimed territory … through the crimes charged”, described as the “Overarching Joint Criminal Enterprise”, leading to several subsidiary JCEs…The problem here is not that such crimes [expulsions] did not take place – they did – but that they were part of an “overarching civil war” with crimes committed by the forces of all three sides. If anything is a “joint criminal enterprise”, I should think that plotting and carrying out false flag operations should qualify…One of the subsidiary JCEs attributed to Karadzic was the fact that between late May and mid-June of 1995, Bosnian Serb troops fended off threatened NATO air strikes by taking some 200 UN peacekeepers and military observers hostage. It is hard to see why this temporary defensive move, which caused no physical harm, is more of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” than the fact of having “[lethally] targeted UN personnel”, as the Muslim side did.

Many well informed Western and Muslim witnesses testify to the fact that the Serb takeover [of Srebrenica] was the unexpected result of finding the town undefended. This makes the claim that this was a well planned crime highly doubtful…ICTY’s constant bias (it refused to investigate NATO bombing of civilian targets in Serbia in 1999, and acquitted notorious anti-Serb Bosnian and Kosovo Albanian killers) drastically reduces its credibility.

ICTY reiterated its earlier judgment that the “killings demonstrate a clear intent to kill every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica. Noting that killing every able-bodied male of a group results in severe procreative implications that may lead to the group’s extinction, the Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference is that members of the Bosnian Serb Forces orchestrating this operation intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.” In other words, even though women and children were spared, Srebrenica was a unique genocide, due to the “severe procreative implications” of a lack of men…This judgment is widely accepted without being critically examined. Since wars have traditionally involved deliberately killing men on the enemy side, with this definition, “genocide” comes close to being synonymous with war.

As if to make a point, the verdict was announced on the 17th anniversary of the start of NATO bombing of what was left of Yugoslavia, in order to detach Kosovo from Serbia. Just a reminder that it’s not enough for the Serbs to lose the war, they must be criminalized as well.

The verdict is political and its effects are political. First of all, it helps dim the prospects of future peace and reconciliation in the Balkans. Serbs readily admit that war crimes were committed when Bosnian Serb forces killed prisoners in Srebrenica. If Muslims had to face the fact that crimes were also committed by men fighting on their side, this could be a basis for the two peoples to deplore the past and seek a better future together. As it is, the Muslims are encouraged to see themselves as pure victims, while the Serbs feel resentment at the constant double standards. Muslim groups constantly stress that no verdict can possibly assuage their suffering – an attitude that actually feeds international anti-Western sentiment among Muslims. […]

The final recurring theme that I’ll mention here seems to be prosecution documents that don’t make their way to Serb defendants. On March 23rd, the day before the verdict was due, Karadzic defense attorney Peter Robinson tweeted:

@PeterRobinICTY
Just rec’d 208 pages of exculpatory material in #Karadzic case from #ICTY prosecution this afternoon. Seriously, prosecutors?

This recalls a May 17, 2012 item, which the UK Mirror headlined “War Crimes Trial Blunder: Butcher of Bosnia’s genocide case halted after prosecutors’ error“:

The man dubbed the Butcher of Bosnia Ratko Mladic had his war crimes trial dramatically suspended today…because prosecutors failed to disclose thousands of documents to his defence.

Just another “blunder.” And notice how they still can’t seem to decide which one — Mladic or Karadzic — to dub “Butcher of Bosnia,” and so they split it between the two, sometimes calling one “Butcher of the Balkans” and the other “Butcher of Bosnia,” and sometimes applying one or both titles to Milosevic as well, when they remember about him. Also be on the lookout for facts eventually admitted by the Court (such as the Muslim side shelling its own civilians), to continue being reported as outlandish ravings by a desperate despot in denial. (For example, Reuters reporter Thomas Escritt’s “Karadzic denies Bosnia war crimes as he starts defence” was written in 2012, but the Islamic self-bombing that Karadzic claims and the report scoffs at will continue to be attributed to the mere defendants and not as the (reluctant) findings in his case.)

In addition to the Karadzic conviction doing its part for the general goal of justifying the 1990s Western policies and NATO operations that catalyzed worldwide jihad, it also had a more specific endgame, as outlined by Dr. Srdja Trifkovic last month:

Karadzic Sentencing Designed to ‘Delegitimize’ Republika Srpska (SputnikNews.com, Chronicles Magazine, March 26, 2016)

We are going to see the use of this verdict as another building bloc in the political case for the dismantling of the Dayton Agreement, signed in the fall of 1995, which recognized the Republika Srpska as a semi-autonomous entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina. This will be used, together with some previous verdicts, as justification for a sustained attempt to delegitimize its existence and to claim that — having verified the guilt of Karadzic — it is now time to look for another arrangement for the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a more or less unitarized state — in which, by virtue of their members, the Muslims will have predominance.

…The whole show at The Hague Tribunal has the task of providing legal justification for the decisions made by the Western powers in the 1990’s…a tribunal with a clear brief to prove Serbian guilt, as retroactive justification for political decisions made at the time.

…It is up to the Russians in particular to consider the implications of the quasi-legal proceedings at The Hague as a sword of Damocles that can be used against anyone who is politically inconvenient to the powers-that-be, such as the Donbas leaders today or Bashar al-Assad tomorrow.

… For as long as we have [a] political agenda, and in particular the pernicious doctrine of collective command responsibility — the so-called “joint criminal conspiracy [enterprise]” — anyone connected with a political structure that is inconvenient to the Western powers can be criminalized.

It is not a matter of committing real war crimes; it is a matter of collective guilt because you do not belong to the right side of history. In that sense, The Hague is even more politicized than the Moscow processes of 1936-1938.

Attesting to this dynamic was the Nov. 2012 conviction-reversal of two top Croatian generals who had led a homicidal and stated ethnic cleansing campaign against the Serbs of Krajina — just in time to clear NATO member Croatia’s legal slate for its 2013 EU entry. Jatras in November 2012:

[T]o claim guilt on the basis of a “joint criminal enterprise” (JCE) where there is no direct evidence of the accused’s personal participation in a crime does have its legal problems. That said, the fact that the clearing of the Krajinas was a JCE — that its intention was precisely to uproot the Serbian population — is well attested, including by [Croatian wartime president Franjo] Tudjman’s own words. Certainly far better attested than anything that can be demonstrated regarding, say, Srebrenica or Kosovo, where the proof of the JCE is entirely lacking….In short, there’s no way decently to dismiss JCE basis for Croat defendants (much less Muslims and the oh-so-righteous jihad) while rubber-stamping Serb convictions based on JCE.

This only shows that the purpose of ICTY was to criminalize the Serbs and their aspirations as such, netting such individuals as needed…while legitimating those of the Croats and, especially, Muslims (including Albanians).

So the merry game of rock, paper, scissors continues. Serbs are uniformly guilty. Muslims are uniformly innocent. Croats are guilty if their victims are Muslim, innocent if their victims are Serbs.

And this is all without even mentioning the tribunal’s legitimacy to begin with, as Nebojsa Malic reminded us the day after the Karadzic verdict:

The Hague is not bringing peace, reconciliation or closure — but a cynical victor’s justice, an endorsement of ‘might makes right.’ …The very purpose of the ad-hoc tribunal, a brainchild of the Clinton administration’s “human rights interventionists,” was to deny any legal legitimacy to the Serbs, while bestowing it on the US and its regional clients and proxies.

… Yes, [the tribunal] was established…under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, allowing the creation of “measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.” The very inception of the ICTY required stretching the definition of “measures” to include judicial power the UNSC clearly lacked — and therefore could not delegate.

Even if the tribunal were perfectly legitimate to begin with, its pattern of indictments should have been a signal something was amiss. The ICTY and its backers clearly believed any Serb atrocities were systematic and deliberate, while those committed by anyone else were random or incidental. While every single senior Serb official in present-day Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia was hauled before the court, only a few lower-level Croat, Bosnian Muslim or Albanian officials were even indicted — and most of them were acquitted outright, or on appeal. Only Serbs were charged with genocide — by definition, a systematic crime. Only Serbs were accused of a “joint criminal enterprise,” a category specifically constructed for the tribunal by a US jurist. [The gracious contribution of Pittsburgh law professor John Cencich, a Croat-American.]

“NATO countries are those that have provided the finance to set up the Tribunal, we are amongst the majority financiers… so let me assure that we and the Tribunal are all one on this, we want to see war criminals brought to justice and I am certain that when Justice [Louise] Arbour goes to Kosovo and looks at the facts, she will be indicting people of Yugoslav nationality and I don’t anticipate any others at this stage,” NATO spokesman Jamie Shea told reporters on May 17, 1999. Telling enough?

The Dayton-dismantling tool that the Court provides, meanwhile, is understood well enough by Serbian politicians — even those who play ball with the West and shamefully, finally acquiesced this year to formal NATO cooperation:

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic — who organised a protest rally in 2008 when Karadzic was sent to The Hague — warned on Thursday prior to the verdict that he will not allow the UN court’s verdict to be used to undermine Republika Srpska.

“I warn those who think they can use today’s verdict against the former president of Repubika Srpska for a political or any other kind of attack on Republika Srpska, that in line with Dayton agreement, Serbia cannot, should not and will not allow that,” Vucic said.

A mouse warning a snake. So far, it’s only ever ended one way.

The quote came from a Balkan Insight article titled “Serbian Nationalists Rally Against NATO, Karadzic Verdict“:

Commenting on the verdict, Seselj said that Karadzic “was convicted…because he is [a] Serb who found himself at a decisive and historic moment at the head of Republika Srpska”.

Seselj slammed the Serbian government for agreeing to cooperate with NATO’s Support and Procurement Organisation.

“Those who were bombing us in 1999, who were killing our children, those criminals from NATO, have now got the right voted in by parliament to walk freely across Serbia,” Seselj said.

The cooperation agreement with NATO “guarantees diplomatic immunity and freedom of movement through Serbia for NATO troops,” RT explained. “The troops are to uphold peace and stability in the region in exchange.” That part of the agreement is surely a punch line, as one protester’s words illustrate:

“We think it is hypocrisy to say that NATO will guarantee stability and security to our people in Kosovo and Metohija,” Milica Djurdjevic, spokeswoman for Zavetnici (Oath Keepers), the right-wing Serbian party that organized Sunday’s protest, said.

“Kosovo has had a NATO base for years now. And despite their presence, Serbs were persecuted, some [most] of our holiest and oldest monasteries were burnt, our houses were burnt and people were expelled from their homes.”

She also accused the alliance of breeding global problems [e.g. terrorism and migration] instead of solving them.

“I think what Nato did by bombing Serbia actually precipitated the exodus of the Kosovo Albanians into Macedonia and Montenegro. I think the bombing did cause ethnic cleansing. The whole business in the Balkans has been mismanaged from the start. It was obvious it was going to blow up.”

–Former British Foreign Secretary and NATO Secretary-General Lord (Peter) Carrington, Saga Magazine, Aug. 27, 1999

“Never before have so few lied so thoroughly to so many, as in connection with the Kosovo war.”

–Former Bundestag Member Willy Wimmer, 1999

“I was just a child in 1999 when NATO was destroying my country without any real basis. I swore to myself that I would defeat that same world in my own way and here I am today. That destruction did not destroy me, nor my people. They did not break our soul and we are yet joyful despite our problems. That is victory.”

–Novak Djokovic, March 24, 2016, via Opanak (Facebook)

“Some Serb paramilitary groups caused many sleepless nights to both Mladić and Karadžić. Not all of them were helpful and welcome. Some of them included even criminal elements, psychopaths. The others treated the Croat or Muslim civilians too heavy-handedly, but it could be understood to some extent, but not permitted, [particularly] if some of them had seen their families assassinated by the Muslims or the Croats. President Karadžić issued many orders to protect Muslims from those irregulars. I have seen many relevant documents about it. On the other [hand], some Serb paramilitaries helped a lot the unprepared and undefended Serb settlements that had been at the beginning an easy prey to the organized and trained Croat and Muslim bands, e.g., in northern and eastern Bosnia.”

–Czech university professor Rajko Dolecek, in an account of some conversations with Ratko Mladic, posted Dec. 16, 2009

“I did everything in human power to avoid the war. I succeeded in reducing the suffering of all civilians. I proclaimed numerous unilateral ceasefires and military containment. And I stopped our army many times when they were close to victory.”

–Radovan Karadzic, Opening Defense Statement, Oct. 16, 2012

******UPDATE******

It seems that just this past December another witness — a protected witness in the Mladic trial — testified that the marketplace bombing, specifically in February 1994, was not only perpetrated by the Muslim side, but ordered by President Izetbegovic himself. The item below is from Balkan Insight, Dec. 16, 2015, and notice the word choice in the headline “Mladic Witness Claims,” as opposed to the more commonly used (when reporting from judicial settings) “testifies.” Notice also the integral role played by a certain West-beloved cleric named Ceric. And for the first time, we have names offered up of the actual men behind the attack: Mladic Witness Claims Bosniaks Staged Market Attack

Protected witness GRM-116, who testified in Mladic’s defence at the Hague Tribunal on Tuesday, claimed that the attack on the market that killed 66 civilians in February 1994 was approved by the then Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic.

The witness said that as a member of the Biseri special security unit from 1992 to 1994, he worked on security at the Bosnian presidency building.

He said that during that time he could hear what Izetbegovic and others said during meetings.

According to the witness, Izetbegovic’s main goal was to ensure Western intervention to help the Bosniaks “by creating mass suffering in Sarajevo and Srebrenica”.

He said that Izetbegovic was heavily influenced by Islamic community leader Mustafa Ceric. According to the witness, Ceric convinced Izetbegovic that “losses must be suffered”.

Speaking about the attack on the Markale market, GRM-116 testified that was “Ceric’s idea, which was carried out by generals Sefer Halilovic and Mustafa Hajrulahovic, alias ‘the Italian’”.

“I was there when Alija [Izetbegovic] approved this,” he said.

At the next meeting, the witness said that Halilovic reported the first attempt was a failure because the mortar hit the roof of the market.

“Alija told them to try again. They went and soon we heard what happened with Markale,” he said.

Izetbegovic, who died in 2003, said after the attack that it was a “black and terrible day for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

As commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Ratko Mladic is charged with terrorising the population of Sarajevo during wartime with a campaign of shelling and sniping.

According to the charges, the mortar which killed 66 citizens at the Markale market on February 5, 1994 was fired from Bosnian Serb positions. […]

******UPDATE******

In another recent example of categorizing things that go the Bosniaks’ way as “fair,” professional Srebrenica widow Munira Subasic reacted last June when Switzerland gave precedence to a Bosnian warrant over a Serbian one for Srebrenica warlord Naser Oric, tormentor of fellow Muslims and killer of Serbs: “This is the only fair decision.” (In the Reuters item that carried it, one couldn’t help noticing that Oric was referred to with the innocuous word “defender” of the town, in an all too Balkans-typical grafting by Western press of one side’s self-serving terminology.)

Restaurant honours mass murderer (Herald Sun, April 13, 2008)

An acclaimed Melbourne restaurant has sparked multi-ethnic outrage for paying homage to a fascist warlord and mass murderer.

The plush Katarina Zrinski restaurant attached to Footscray’s Croatian Club has been branded “disgusting” for its celebration of genocidal World War II Croatian leader Ante Pavelic.

Pavelic, who historians say was responsible for the deaths of up to 500,000 Jews, Serbs, Muslims and gypsies, has been described as the Heinrich Himmler of the Croatian nation.

The popular restaurant during the week displayed a big portrait of Pavelic on its wall and T-shirts depicting Pavelic for sale at the bar.

The T-shirts also showed two commanders of the Ustashe’s notorious Black Legion, which murdered thousands of civilians, and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, who was jailed for collaborating with the Ustashe.

Drinkers at the bar were also toasting “The Poglavnik” - the name fascists use for their Fuhrer - and on Thursday the restaurant commemorated Hitler’s establishment of the puppet state of Croatia on April 10, 1941.

On Tuesday the restaurant was reviewed in a Melbourne newspaper’s food section, with its “large, airy downstairs dining room perfect for large, extended family groups”.

Dr Bob Miller, a Balkans expert at the Australian National University, has hit out at the club’s feting of Pavelic.

“It’s disgusting. This would be the equivalent to the German community honouring Himmler,” he said.

“Even the Nazis found the Ustashe regime’s actions so brutal as to be counter-productive.”

Serbians in Victoria have also expressed their distress.

“How can they do this?” George Marinkovic, publisher of the Serb Voice, said.

“Can someone explain this? We are in one beautiful country and you are going back and promoting fascists from the Hitler era. I cannot understand it.”

Dr Colin Rubinstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said: “While it is entirely understandable that Croatian Australians would want to celebrate the self-determination of modern democratic Croatia [as if it’s not the direct legacy of WWII Croatia], to celebrate a fascist World War II Nazi puppet state and its war criminal leader is totally contrary to the norms of multicultural Australia and should be condemned by Australians committed to a tolerant, diverse and democratic society.”

Club president Tony Juric acknowledged the restaurant honoured Pavelic, but said the leader had nothing to do with the Nazis.

“What the Nazis did was a disgrace and we had nothing to do with that,” he said. “I have never received one letter of complaint from a Jewish or a Serb organisation.”

One is left too speechless after that last line to offer intelligent commentary. But to echo Dr. Miller, it was the Nazis who ultimately wanted nothing to do with the Ustashe, as the latter were far too brutal.

Serb returnees, priest under attack in Croatia (B92, Tanjug, March 23, 2008)

ZADAR, ZAGREB — Ethnic Serbs in the vicinity of Zadar, in Croatia, have once again been targeted Saturday. Unknown perpetrators broke into and robbed a house in the village of Ceranje Donje near Benkovac. The house, which belongs to late Gojko Čubrilo, and is now used by his daughter Ksenija J., both Serb returnees, was then vandalized. The attackers also spilled some 500 liters of wine from the barrels inside the house. Beside this incident, Croatian MUP in Zadar also said a car belonging to Orthodox Serb priest Ljubomir Crnorak was stoned in Benkovac, when all the windows on the vehicle were smashed.

The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Dalmatian Eparchy condemned the incidents, and said the priest’s vehicle likely came under attack because of false allegations, printed in a local newspaper, that Crnorak “had erased the Croatian coat of arms from his license plates”.

The vice-president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) in Croatia, Milorad Pupovac, also condemned the attacks, which happened in his native village, where six returnee houses were vandalized last year.

Some 250,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Croatia during Operation Storm in the summer of 1995. Official Croatian government data says that 50,000 of them have since returned.

Serb Basketball Fans Hurt in Croatia (Balkan Insight, Jutarnji list, Tanjug, March 17, 2008)

Five Serbian citizens were beaten up while taking a break at a service station in Croatia, local media reported Monday.

The five, fans of the Vojvodina basketball team, were driving in a car with Serbian plates on their way back from Split where they had attended a match between Serbia’s Vojvodina and Croatia’s Split basketball teams.

They had stopped to rest in Dobra in central Croatia early Sunday when they were attacked by a group of masked people.

Croatian police confirmed the incident. The Jutarnji list daily said no one was seriously injured but other sources reported that two were hospitalized while other three suffered minor injuries.

(If the victims had traveled in order to cheer the Vojvodina team, there’s a good chance that, ironically, they were ethnic Hungarian citizens of Serbia, another group that’s looking for a piece of Serbia for itself. But all it took to get hurt was a Serbian license plate.)

On this very weekend in 2008, we also saw the following Croatian epiphany:

Croatian Breakthrough: This Year, Let’s Not Give Less Money to the Holocaust Memorial than to the Memorial for the Nazis who Killed People There

Oh but here’s post-EU Croatia:

Wiesenthal Centre urges Croatia to end pensions to Nazi [veterans] (AFP, May 19, 2015) (It’s actually a double pension, according to the article above, enacted within two years of Croatia starting its secession war.)

And full-circling back to this week, from Jerusalem Post, by Simon Wiesenthal’s Efraim Zuroff, April 13, 2016:

…Earlier this week, Croatian army veterans (of the war of the Nineties against Yugoslavia) of the Ninth Division gathered to celebrate their unit’s 25th anniversary, but also to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) which was governed by the fascist Ustasha movement and pursued genocidal policies against Serbs, Jews and Roma. The veterans’ call to legalize the Ustasha salute of “za dom spremni” (the Croatian equivalent of the Nazis’ “sieg heil”) is an attempt to legitimize the murderous policies of the NDH and whitewash that regime’s crimes.

Another typical initiative, but one which is much more dangerous, is a new documentary movie entitled Jasenovac-Istina (Jasenovac - The Truth), which had its world premiere this past February 28 in Israel, of all places, most probably to help deflect potential criticism of its highly controversial content. Jasenovac, which was established in August 1941, was the largest of the concentration camps created by the Ustasha regime of the NDH in order to rid their country of its minority populations, as well as their Croatian political opponents…

…[T]he film claims that Jasenovac was actually only a labor/concentration camp, not one at which there was any attempt to commit genocide of any sort, and that the number of Ustasha victims there was less than the number of innocent people murdered by the Yugoslav partisans after the war on the same site. In other words, it was the Communists who set up a “death camp” in Jasenovac, not the Ustasha, a totally unsubstantiated claim without any hard evidence to back it up.

…In addition, the film accuses former Croatian presidents Mesic and Josipovic, both known for their opposition to fascism and Ustasha nostalgia, as well as several left-wing journalists, of keeping alive the [”]Communist myth[”] of Jasenovac, and covering up the full truth about postwar Communist crimes. Needless to say, recently-appointed Croatian Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegovic, who is well known for his support for right-wing causes, was quick to praise the film. [See Wiesenthal Center Shocked by Appointment in Croatia of Fascist Culture Minister Hasanbegovic and Calls for his Immediate Replacement, Feb. 5.]

Given these circumstances, the Serb and Jewish communities, along with the Croatian anti-fascist organizations, have decided to boycott the official government memorial ceremony annually held at Jasenovac on April 22. Instead, the Jewish community announced that it would hold its own memorial ceremony a week earlier on April 15, as a form of protest against the government’s failure to act against the revival of fascism and anti-Semitism in the public sphere.

The only good news in that respect these days was a declaration by both the Croatian president and prime minister (separately) that the Ustasha government was a “criminal regime,” but these pronouncements were apparently only made at the request of the US State Department’s envoy on Holocaust issues, who met with them earlier this week in Zagreb. […]

Interestingly, while the date March 24th was symbolically reserved for the Karadzic verdict this year, those headlines came perilously close to being upstaged on that same day by an unwelcome headline regarding our pal Croatia, “Croatia’s ‘Banal’ Fascism on Display at Israel Match.” (Four days later, Zuroff was busy again: “Wiesenthal Center Calls for Sanctions Against Croatian Soccer Fans in Wake of Fascist and Anti-Semitic Chants at Recent Israeli-Croatian Friendly Match

Indeed, why is a Nazi hunter having such a busy 2016 in Croatia? Here he was the previous week:


Nazi-Hunter Criticizes Croatia Fans’ Fascist Chants
(Balkan Insight, April 6, 2016)

…“If the prime minister and/or at least other ministers would have clearly and unequivocally denounced the disgusting behaviour of the Croatian fans after the match, the damage done would have been mitigated somewhat, but the only response from the prime minister’s office was a short press release condemning the use of symbols and slogans of totalitarian regimes, without mentioning the match and the specifics of the event,” Zuroff wrote in his article.

[Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic’s statement responding to the Jewish and Serb boycott of the annual Jasenovac commemoration seemed to blame the boycotters: “I’m sorry that this occasion, instead of paying respect to the victims, is used for politicization that opens new divisions in society. All that not only insults the victims and their families, but also inflicts huge damage on Croatia.” (It’s apparently gotten so that the previous government, itself no beacon of anti-fascism, has joined the boycott, acknowledging that the current government has a fascism problem.)]

[Zuroff] also criticised Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and Education and Sports Minister Predrag Sustar, who attended the match against Israel in Osijek, for not reacting immediately.

“Given the fact that these chants were clearly heard by all those in the stadium, their failure to respond is an indication of tolerance for such outrageous, insulting and clearly anti-Semitic behaviour,” Zuroff said.

Zuroff alleged that Croatia is “a country where manifestations of fascism and anti-Semitism are very common, especially in the local soccer stadiums…”

…Football governing body FIFA fined the Croatian Football Federation 55,000 euros after fans chanted “Za dom spremni” at a match against Norway in March 2015, and ordered the national team to play its next match to an empty stadium. […]

And yet here was that June:

Croatia faces hardline sanctions over swastika etched on pitch (InsideWorldFootball.com, By Mark Baber, June 15, 2015)

…[I]ncredibly, despite a giant swastika being emblazoned on a pitch during a televised match which was being held behind closed doors due to previous racist incidents, the game continued with groundsmen attempting, but failing, to remove the markings at half-time.

…Following the imposition of the closed door sanction, the Croatian FA…blamed an anti-racism campaigner for bringing the problem of racist chanting to the attention of UEFA, despite the history of Nazi sentiment expressed by Croatian fans which included 200 of them lining up in swastika formation on the terraces in a game against Italy in Livorno 2006. The ineffectiveness of the Croatian Football Federation in tackling the problem is unsurprising given that [Croatian Football Federation president Davor] Suker himself has been photographed paying his respects at the tomb of the fascist Ustase leader and war criminal Ante Pavelic in Madrid.

Then that August (under a slightly different headline): Croatians chant “Kill a Serb” at concert organized by local authorities to celebrate Serb-expulsion national holiday (Balkan Insight, Aug. 6, 2015)

And September:

Croatia coach defends controversial choice of Simunic [as his assistant, citing Simunic’s “decency”, “patriotism” and promoting “a good atmosphere”] (Joe Simunic was of course the soccer star who celebrated Croatia’s World Cup qualification in November 2013 with the Croatian-fascist chant “Za Dom Spremni” — a Croatian ‘indiscretion’ that uncharacteristically found its way to mainstream radars, such as ESPN’s.)

Meanwhile, a few more details on Croatia’s new culture minister, Hasanbegovic, a Croatian Muslim:

Croatian Historian Condemns Minister’s WWII Rhetoric (Balkan Insight, April 13, 2016)

…Culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic has never expressed any regret for his controversial statements in the 1990s praising Croatian Nazi-allied Ustasa fighters as heroes, [historian] Natasa Matausic told BIRN in an interview…Matausic also criticised more recent statements by Hasanbegovic in which he…insisted that Croatia was “tragically defeated in 1945…”

Hasanbegovic has said that the state should cut the funding for the annual commemoration at Jasenovac, arguing that the event was used for “the rehabilitation of Yugoslav communism”…Matausic also had harsh words for Croatia’s HDZ-backed President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, who visited the Auschwitz concentration camp in January.“I remember, after my first visit to Auschwitz, faced with the fact that the name ‘death factory’ for this camp is not a metaphor but a literal meaning, I was completely broken. I couldn’t eat, sleep or see anyone near me,” Matausic said.“The president, in the other hand, had enough strength to support our handball players at a match in Cracow after her visit to Auschwitz,” she added…

Mind you, what expectations can one have of the permanently recovering fascists of Croatia, when the godfather himself — the U.S. — gives tacit blessings to such goings-on? It was after a doppelganger Croatian year of escalating clerical-fascist activity (2006-07) that NATO gave the nod to Croatia as its/our home base in the Balkans:


As you probably are not aware, on October 1st [2007] NATO began twelve days of special forces maneuvers on land and in the air and sea, on the Yugoslav side of the Adriatic. Thirteen countries are participating, including twelve NATO members plus Croatia, which is hosting the maneuvers even though it is not a member — a first. Albania and Montenegro, also not members, are observing. Serbia is not.

These military maneuvers, positioning Croatia as NATO’s command center in the Adriatic Sea area, with coastal states Albania and Montenegro as deputies (see map), are being held after a year of escalating clerical-fascist activity in Croatia, activity to which NATO, by presenting Croatia as a model Adriatic state, has given its blessing.

Now, keeping this year’s ‘colorful’ Croatia headlines in mind, enjoy this final flashback to Bush’s last year, 2008:

Bush: Croatia a Good Example for the Region

The United States of America supports Croatia’s membership of NATO, said the president of the USA, George W. Bush in an interview for Croatian Television (HTV)…adding that…Croatia has become an example for the other countries created after the fall of Yugoslavia…I am coming to a different country from the one visited by my forerunner Bill Clinton. Since then society, government and economy have changed – said the president of the most powerful country in the world. He explained that NATO is important because it will ensure stability and security, which will attract foreign investments which bring well paid jobs.

Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Sanader of Croatia in Zagreb, Croatia (PRNewsWire, April 5, 2008)

…The United States appreciates the leadership you have shown in the cause of freedom. We re pleased Albania and Croatia have been invited to join NATO…Laura, who has joined me today, and I are proud to stand on the soil of an independent Croatia.
(Applause.)

The Croatian people have overcome war and hardship to build peaceful relations with your neighbors, and to build a maturing democracy in one of the most beautiful countries on the face of the Earth.

(Applause.) Americans admire your courage and admire your persistence.

And we look forward to welcoming you as a partner in NATO.

Henceforth, should any danger threaten your people, America and the NATO Alliance will stand with you, and no one will be able to take your freedom away.
(Applause.)

With the changes underway in this region, Europe stands on the threshold of a new and hopeful history.

The ancient and costly rivalries that led to two world wars have fallen away. […]

So much for that.

Croatia has served as a very good example, following a very dramatic moment, and that is the breakup of Yugoslavia…I’m really looking forward to going to your country…And they say it’s one of the most beautiful coastlines in the entire world.

–President George W. Bush, March 26, 2008

As we all know, human rights don’t matter if you’ve got a nice coast. And so that’s usually what most articles about Croatia in the West are about. Not only was HBO’s “Game of Thrones” sold on it, filming part of the show there, but CNN has been known to loop Croatian tourism ads saying ‘Croatia — the Mediterranean as it once was.’

And so Croatia, that good guy of the Balkans — “leading the way to the EU” — pledged help to other Balkan nations on their own path to the EU: Croatia pledges to help fellow Western Balkan countries on path to EU (Xinhua, March 29, 2008)

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said on Saturday that his country is willing to assist fellow Western Balkan countries on their path to EU membership by offering them its experience and advice…Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn stressed the positive role of Croatia in stabilizing the region….

As Miodrag Linta, head of Serbia’s Coalition of Refugee Associations, put it in November 2014, Croatia presents itself “as a country that has met all the requirements before entering the European Union and therefore claims the right to lecture Serbia about respecting the standards of democracy and the rule of law - which represents the pinnacle of cynicism.”

He added:

More than 100,000 people gathered [in Knin, Croatia, to commemorate 1995’s Serb-cleansing Operation Storm] for the 11th time, organized by Marko Perković aka Thompson, many of whom carried flags, hats and other props with the symbols of the WW2-era Nazi entity known as the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). Linta added that those gathered in Čavoglava sang songs with lyrics such as, “Oh mother Croatia, we will slaughter Serbs …” and the like, and also chanted slogans of NDH’s Ustasha regime which spread hatred towards Serbs. Linta specifically invited parliamentary groups to condemn, in a declaration, convicted war criminal Dario Kordić, former president of the HDZ party in Bosnia-Herzegovina and vice-president of the war-time Croat Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia entity. He this year addressed the event in Čavoglave and said it was “a magnificent gathering, and a road sign showing Croatia where it should go.”

Kordić, Linta recalled, was this year was released from prison after serving two thirds of his sentence of 25 years, handed down by the Hague Tribunal for the war crimes he committed against Bosniak civilians.

Meanwhile, in addition to graciously offering to mentor other Balkan countries vis-a-vis the EU, Croatia in 2009 also made this promise: “Croatia won’t block Serbian integration”

Fast-forward:

Croatia to block Serbia from joining EU over [2003] war crimes law (Feb. 6, 2015)

Serbia’s EU accession talks blocked by Croatia (March 21, 2016)

Croatia Stalls Serbia’s EU Negotiations (April 7, 2016)


EU Urges Croatia Not to Block Serbia’s Path
(April 15, 2016)

“Presumed innocent until proven Serb”
–Balkans forum commenter

“The falseness of the entire situation here defies description.”
– Radovan Karadzic, Opening Defense Statement

Well, at least this Hague-held Serb didn’t turn up dead like six or so others.

Very little in or about the Balkans happens by accident. In 2008 Radovan Karadzic was arrested at a time that the U.S. and EU were desperately ramming through statehood for a criminal enclave named Kosovo. Conveniently, the arrest of Karadzic reinforced the image of Serb as war criminal just as they were looking to have fewer questions about officialdom’s obsession with this tiny place.

And it is again no accident that the date of the Karadzic verdict eight years later was “set for March 24th,” the infamous date in 1999 of America’s greatest international crime and shame, when a purportedly anti-war president took us to war against a Christian, European population that had been America’s historical ally. All for doing battle against domestic terror and the ambitions of Greater Islam which, having little experience with it at the time, Washington dubbed “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” As did Berlin, Paris and Brussels.

Payback is a bitch. Particularly when it’s self-orchestrated, as Europe and America are today reaping the karma and consequence of what they’ve sown, making Serbs of us all. As publisher Milo Yelesiyevich, who has translated Karadzic’s Opening Defense Statement, put it in a letter to me:

I hope the Europeans give Dr. K a second look, because they’re in for it now. In a few short decades, they’ve been cast in the role of “Serbs” in their own countries, yet they still refuse to acknowledge their complicity in their own downfall, which stems from having attacked Serbs and Serbia throughout the 1990s [on behalf of what would become the next nexus of jihad — Bosnia and Kosovo].

From the back cover of the hard-copy version of the opening statement, by Kirkus Reviews:

Karadžić’s defense itself is remarkable, by turns eloquent, historically provocative…. Karadžić claimed Serbs had long been champions of peace and compromise, but they met an intransigent Muslim faction that all but insisted on either war or submission. Moreover, he contended that the “forcible removal of Bosnian Muslims and Croats was never our plan.” In many ways, the full account of Karadžić’s defense does add valuable perspective, especially in pointing out that Muslim insurgents were themselves guilty of extraordinary war crimes and that they were often stubbornly unreasonable partners in political dialogue…. This translation remains an important contribution to the understanding of a historically significant war.

No doubt one U.S. presidential candidate in particular will seek to capitalize on the carefully timed verdict to burnish her credentials, for having urged her husband to wage that “successful” 1999 war and for the overall ’90s Balkans legacy that today culminates in this “important” conviction of yet another Serbian official.

A salient point from the book’s web page:

The U.S. and NATO used the Bosnian War as a laboratory to test weapons as well as new methods of perception management, which they deployed in a long series of wars. Americans who no longer believe the U.S. government’s selective presentation of its foreign policy will find much to consider in Dr. Karadžić’s Opening Defense Statement.

With that, a few relevant snippets. First, an October 2013 email from the American who first coined the term “ethnic cleansing” in the context of Bosnia while serving as a foreign service officer, George Kenney. (Kenney subsequently subscribed to a more balanced version of the war than the cartoon that Americans were fed.):

I am still mystified as to why, but last Friday I was invited to a lunch at a fancy restaurant on K Street for Zeljka Cvijanovic, the Bosnian Serb Prime Minister. She was in town for a couple days, opening an office here. About a dozen people attended, including several former government types. After the meal, over coffee, about half a dozen of us lingered, swapping stories.

One guy recalled how he’d been up to Pale with a BBC reporter and a NYT reporter to see Karadzic. Sometime later in the war but before 1995…On a white board he noticed a list titled “war aims,” in Cyrillic, of course. Reading the list he realized that winning the war was not enumerated. In a lull in the reporters’ conversation he mentioned this, in Serbian, to Karadzic. The latter switched to English (no secrets there?!) to explain that the Serbs did not want to win the war. The guy at lunch telling the story thought this demonstrated political ineptitude but another lunch guest, a former senior CIA analyst, offered what I thought was a very insightful comment: Karadzic had continued to think of his political future in terms of Bosnia. Not of a merger with Serbia. Not of a separate statelet. But Bosnia.

And I suppose, thinking some more about it, that Karadzic could not have imagined an outcome in which the Bosnian Muslims dominated the politics of non-Muslims in Bosnia. On that point he was closer to the action and had, arguably, a reasonably realistic idea of what was politically possible. For most westerners at the time, however, the prospect of Bosnian Muslim political domination did not seem at all problematic — the Muslims were really Europeans, after all, except with mildly idiosyncratic religious beliefs. Their potential political dominance, in and of itself, was unimportant. In hindsight, and with the heuristic benefit of all the current turmoil in the Middle East, it’s much more clear how wrong that assumption was.

Next, a revelation at the Karadzic trial that was guaranteed to not make the wires:

Karadzic’s Witness Claims Bosnian Army Attacked its Own People (Balkan Insight, Nov. 12, 2009)

At the trial of Radovan Karadzic, an ex UN military observer claims that in 1992 the Sarajevo authorities “killed their own people for the sake of media“ in order to trigger international military intervention against Serbs.

…Colonel Richard Gray from New Zealand, an ex UN military observer, claimed that attacks on its own civilians was a part of a “full scale strategy” by the predominantly Bosniak government and its army.

Gray stated that the Bosnian army fired mortars from locations near civilian buildings and the UN protection forces, UNPROFOR, headquarters in order to provoke Bosnian Serb forces to open fire.

The witness said that the predominantly Bosniak forces “had a custom” of shelling the area in front of the Bosnian Presidency during visits by international diplomats and peace mediators.

“A grenade would usually explode while a foreign official spoke to Alija Izetbegovic in the Presidency building,” Gray said.

Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and the supreme commander of its army, is charged with terrorizing civilians in Sarajevo by artillery and sniper attacks…Gray said that the Bosnian army was most probably responsible for a mortar attack which killed a girl and wounded several teenagers as UNPROFOR soldiers were handing out candies in front their headquarters on July 13, 1992.

The witness added that the UNPROFOR Command was targeted by snipers from the surrounding buildings. […]

Some more details, from the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR, Nov. 12, 2009):

…[Gray] said that when British for secretary Douglas Hurd visited the city on July 17, 1992, “the Presidency building was shot at [with mortar fire], and that resulted in the deaths of some ten [people]”…Gray mentioned another incident in July 1992, in which he said “a group of teenagers were being shot at by the Bosnian army while some UN peacekeepers were trying to give them candy”.

He also claimed that [the] Bosnian army kept firing at Bosnian Serb Army, VRS, positions from the vicinity of civilian buildings and UN headquarters, in order “to cause the [Serb army] to fire back at these objects”…Gray added that the Bosnian army even fired directly on a group of UN observers stationed in Sarajevo.

Another witness appearing on behalf of Karadzic this week was Savo Simic, the former head of artillery for the 1st Sarajevo Motorised Brigade of the VRS…[Karadzic] read out a summary of Simic’s written statement. It said that “…There was never any kind of intention to terrorise the civilian population” …In court, Simic said there was “a simple reason” why it was practically impossible for the VRS to shoot at civilians: “You see, we were under permanent UN observation, and our positions were being constantly monitored by UN peacekeepers.” […]

Related: Four witnesses dispute alleged Serb bombing of Sarajevo market (AKI, Oct. 31, 2012)

…British ballistic expert Derek Alsop, testifying in Karadzic’s defence, told the court on Wednesday there was “very little evidence” to determine where the grenade which killed 66 people and wounded 140 in February 1994 was fired from.

Earlier on Wednesday and Tuesday three former Canadian officers, who served with the UN peacekeepers (Unprofor) in Bosnia at the time, backed Alsop’s view that it was almost impossible to target the market by a mortar fire from Serb positions in hills overlooking Sarajevo.

Retired Canadian colonel Stephen Youdry went a step further, saying the explosion at Markale was “staged to blame Bosnian Serb forces”. …
Karadzic has been charged on eleven counts of genocide and war crimes, including two attacks on Markale in February 1994 and August 1995…

“The responsibility of one (Serb) side was wrongly determined,” Youdry told the court. Former Canadian general Michael Gaultier said the Unprofor investigation didn’t determine where the grenade was fired from, nor “which side was responsible”.

A spectre of Bosnia’s war (UK Morning Star, Nov. 23, 2010 by Marcus Papadopoulos)

The revelation by Major-General David Fraser, who was military assistant to the UN protection force’s (UNPROFOR) sector Sarajevo commander from April 1994 to May 1995, has of course the potential to become a Pandora’s box for the West - if it was to be widely reported by the media.

At risk is the image of the Bosnian Muslim government as an innocent and peace-loving authority - a perception fostered and propagated not only by Western governments but by Western journalists and Western PR firms - that is being brought into serious question.

Fraser’s testimony would also undermine the basis for the Nato bombing of the Bosnian Serbs in 1994 and 1995.

Under cross-examination by Karadzic, Fraser said he had heard from fellow UN soldiers that the (Muslim) Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had employed sniper detachments to target Muslim children in the Bosnian capital and to then blame these killings on the Serbian side.

Bosnia’s Serb community had, as the former US secretary of state Colin Powell said, “very good reason to be worried about being in a Muslim-dominated country.”

It was inconceivable that the Serbs would tolerate living in an independent, Muslim-led Bosnia and would not resist this with force.

An important factor in explaining why the Western public largely took a negative view of the Serbs during the war in Bosnia was due to how Western journalists reported the conflict.

As former UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia general Sir Michael Rose said: “The reporting and commenting of some members of the press corps in Sarajevo became close to becoming identified to the propaganda machine of the Bosnian government.”

With the vast majority of Western journalists on their side, the Bosnian Muslim authorities took advantage of this by orchestrating the killing of their own people in Sarajevo and then blaming it on the Serbs, knowing that the foreign press would attribute their actions to the Serbian side.

What were described as Serbian atrocities were used by former US president Bill Clinton as a pretext for the Nato bombing of the Bosnian Serbs in 1994 and 1995, carried out to achieve a foothold for Washington in a strategically important part of Europe, and to prevent the Russians from attaining future influence in the region - Russia is a traditional ally of the Serbs. […]

And from the horse’s mouth:

Bosnian Army ‘Shelled Children in Srebrenica’ (Balkan Insight, Dec. 13, 2013)

A former Bosniak soldier told the trial of Radovan Karadzic this week that the Bosnian Army opened fire on Bosniak children who were playing football in Srebrenica in 1995.

The former Bosniak soldier, a protected defence witness codenamed KW-12, told Karadzic’s trial at the Hague Tribunal this week that the attack took place in 1995 after a letter had been received from the Sarajevo authorities telling the Bosnian Army to “do something” in order to convince NATO to take the Bosniak side against the Serbs.

Testifying with his face hidden and voice electronically altered, KW-12 said that the shelling, which happened “two or three months before the fall of Srebrenica [in July 1995]”, was immediately blamed on Serb forces.

KW-12 said that the authorities in Sarajevo had threatened to kill him after the war because he had told the truth about the events in Srebrenica, but the prosecutor described these claims as “pure fantasy”. […]

ICTY: A common enterprise against the Serbs (Spiked Online, Dec. 6, 2012, by Tara McCormack)

The international court trying cases from the former Yugoslavia is there to heap blame on just one side.

This week, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found the former prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, not guilty of all charges against him. Haradinaj had been a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the 1999 war in which the majority Albanian area of Kosovo sought to secede from Serbia. The previous week, two Croatian generals, Gotovina and Markac, were acquitted on appeal for charges brought over their role in Operation Storm in 1995. After the verdict of Haradinaj, Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic gave a statement that the ICTY was formed to try the Serbian people. He has a point.

One of the central but unwritten mandates of the ICTY is the establishment of the official history of the break-up of Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, the break-up of Yugoslavia and the wars that ensued became central to several aspects of Western intellectual and political life. The wars provided a point of clarity for confused and demoralised Western liberals, intellectuals and journalists who chose to interpret what were civil wars as a rerun of the Holocaust, with the Serbs playing the role of the Nazis. The propaganda war and misrepresentation of the conflict were truly staggering. Thus, the Yugoslav wars became the cause célèbre in the early 1990s and achieved notoriety far beyond the reality of the actual conflict. The UN secretary-general at the time, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, is still reviled for his comments that there were 10 worse wars going on at the same time as Bosnia.

The wars were also internationalised and exploited by the international community. For example, the EC - forerunner of the EU - used the crisis as a way of trying to build a joint foreign-policy identity after the signing of the Maastricht treaty. The EC intervened extensively in the very early days of the conflict, exacerbating and inflaming the situation, explicitly forbidding the Federal State of Yugoslavia from asserting control, and actively supporting the secessionist states in the name of democracy and human rights. All the while, the EC cavalierly ignored key questions of statehood, citizenship and self-determination. It was simply assumed that various groups in Yugoslavia couldn’t possibly care about whether the state they had lived in since 1945 was dissolved overnight and new states created - a policy that, of course, no Western state made up of regions, such as Spain or the UK, would tolerate.

The secessionist states reached out for, and received, outside recognition and support, thus avoiding the need for political negotiation and compromise with other republics. Unsurprisingly, these policies failed to end the conflict in a negotiated political settlement. As the conflict raged on, the US became more directly involved, arming the Bosnian Muslims and Croats and allowing Iran to transport Mujahideen into Bosnia to fight the Bosnian Serbs.

When in 1999 the KLA launched a violent guerrilla war in order to achieve secession for Kosovo from Serbia, this script was repeated. Once again, Serbs were portrayed as the new Nazis and the Kosovo Albanians’ key tactic was to gain international support - which they certainly did, with NATO following KLA instructions from the ground. In April that year, at the height of the conflict, Tony Blair delivered his famous ‘Chicago Speech’ in which he spoke of the need to eschew the outdated doctrines of state sovereignty and non-intervention and called for a new type of international community.

So a key role of the ICTY has been that of the ‘court historian’: to write the official history of the break-up of Yugoslavia. The aim is not so much to cover for Western interests as it is to erase the role of external intervention and locate the blame for everything on the Serbs. […]

During his encounter with Karadzic and Mladic in August 1992, Gray said he concluded that the RS president ‘had a genuine interest’ in stopping the fighting and avoiding civilian casualties.

Just when I’d said “And that’s that” about the two teen Bosnian bimbos who fled Austria for Syria in 2014, there’s an update that — lo and behold — their higher Islamic purpose turned out to be sex slavery. These girls couldn’t see that possibility coming from a mile away. How could they have known that if you’re drawn to violence, you could become its victim yourself.

(And if only they’d known they didn’t have to go to Syria for unwanted sex because Syria was coming to Austria and the rest of Europe anyway.)

Anyway, even this seemingly tangential Bosnian-emigre episode corroborates the more bellicose party in the Bosnian war, as one highlighted sentence below unwittingly suggests.

Teenage Islamist “poster girl” who fled Austria to join ISIS was used as a sex slave for new fighters before she was beaten to death as she tried to escape, former prisoner reveals. (UK Daily Mail, Dec. 30, 2015)

A teenage Austrian girl who fled home to join ISIS was used as a sex slave by the terrorist group before she was beaten to death, a former prisoner has revealed.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15, became ‘poster girls’ for the death cult after they arrived in Syria in April 2014.

They appeared on ISIS websites carrying AK-47s and surrounded by groups of armed men.

But by October that year, there were reports Miss Kesinovic wanted to flee having been sickened by the terror group’s murders.

She was killed by ISIS as she tried to flee their stronghold of Raqqa.

Prior to her death, she was forced to be a sex slave for the terror group, according to a Tunisian former extremist who lived with the two girls in the terror group’s de facto capital.

The Tunisian woman said the two Austrian teenagers lived together in the same house and were viewed as a ’sexual present for new fighters’.

Earlier this year, a United Nations official revealed a girl ‘of Bosnian origin from Austria’ — believed to be Miss Selimovic — died in fighting in Syria.

The two girls were children of Bosnian refugees who fled to Austria in the nineties to escape the war in their homeland.

They reportedly left a note for their families which read: ‘Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah and we will die for him.’

In April 2014, the two travelled, via Turkey, to Syria where it is thought they both married jihadists.

An Islamic preacher from Bosnia living in Vienna, Mirsad O., known by the Islamic name of ‘Ebu Tejma’, was allegedly responsible for the radicalisation of the two young girls. He has denied the claims.

He was arrested for his role in an alleged terrorist funding network based in Austria in November.

Shortly after arriving in Syria, Sabina, speaking through SMS messages to a French magazine, insisted she was enjoying life in the war-torn region where she felt free to practise her religion.

She said her husband was a soldier and added: ‘Here I can really be free. I can practice my religion. I couldn’t do that in Vienna.’

As many as 130 people from Austria are now believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad.

Experts say at least half of them originally come from the Caucasus region of Russia and were granted asylum in Austria after the bloody Chechen war. [This gets better and better.]

Roughly half a million Muslims live in Austria today, around 6 per cent of the population. Many of them have Turkish or Bosnian roots.

And if the closest victim wears a yarmulke, one supposes that doesn’t make it a hate crime. Maybe just convenient. Or, maybe, it’s killing two birds with one stone. From Saturday’s NY Daily News:

Brooklyn teens held in on $25G bail for Midwood assault (Jan. 2, 2016)

Two teenage terrors nabbed for pummeling a man in Brooklyn were each ordered held on $25,000 bail Saturday, prosecutors said.

Baskim Huseinovic, 19, and Eldin Sabovic, 17, are facing robbery, assault and menacing charges for the early Monday attack on Avenue M in Midwood, officials said.

The two suspects, who live just a few blocks from where the beating took place, left their 55-year-old victim bloody, brutalized and needing 70 stitches to close a massive gash in his forehead, cops said.

The duo hit victim Eli Weinstein from behind, causing him to fall forward and smack his head against the pavement during the 12:45 a.m. assault, prosecutors said. They then went through his pockets, taking his cell phone and wallet.

Weinstein was treated at Maimonides Medical Center.


Victim Eli Weinstein (l.) — speaking here with Assemblyman Dov Hikind (r.) — needed 70 stitches from the assault.

Huseinovic and Sabovic were identified with the help of surveillance video that captured the vicious assault, cops said.

Meanwhile, the U.S., still happy with these 1990s Muslim “refugee” imports, has — as we know — doubled down to try the Syrian version.

Austrian teen who joined ISIS beaten to death for trying to leave terror group: report (NY Daily News, Nov. 24, 2015)

Update to this Bimbo-itis/isis story (last we heard, the little Bosnian girls who’d run off with ISIS wanted to go home):

An Austrian teen who ran away to Syria last year to marry an ISIS fighter was beaten to death when she had a change of heart and tried to escape from the terror group, local media reported.

Islamic State fighters killed 17-year-old Samra Kesinovic after she tried to leave the terrorist-run city of Raqqa, a woman who once lived with the teen but successfully escaped the jihadists’ reign told an Austrian tabloid.

Kesinovic ran away with her friend, 15-year-old Sabina Selimovic, last year. The two teens were considered “jihad poster girls” and were used by ISIS to inspire other young girls to join the fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Selimovic was allegedly killed last year. European media reported that one of the two girls was killed during a September ISIS battle, while a second report from December reaffirmed that one of the two teens was dead.

Neither report clarified which of the teens had died, but the news of Kesinovic’s alleged beating death seems to suggest Selimovic was the first of the two to be killed.

The girls came from Bosnian refugee families who settled in Austria after the Bosnian War of the early ’90s. […]

Well, NY Post has the best, to-the-point title for what happened yesterday: “Serbian handball team takes down crazed airline passenger” (thanks to Melana P.) But since my computer for some reason won’t call up anything in The Post, I have to go with the UK Daily Mail version of the story, which for some reason avoids the adjective “Serbian” to illuminate what sort of handball team was responsible for the heroic actions. Not only in the headline, but in the first four paragraphs as well:

‘Unstable’ American passenger on Lufthansa flight demands to be let in the cockpit and threatens to open plane door (UK Daily Mail, Reuters, Dec. 6, 2015)

A Jordanian-American man was taken into custody after he tampered with an airplane door on a flight from Frankfurt to Belgrade.

Crew aboard Lufthansa Flight 1406 and passengers including members of a professional handball team guarded the unidentified man after he went to the door about an hour into the 110-minute flight on Saturday.

He was arrested by police and questioned after the plane landed at its destination.

Serbian media outlet Blic had previously reported after the plane landed that the man had been yelling he was going to bring the plane down if he was not allowed into the cockpit.

Passengers allegedly tackled him during the incident.

The account featured quotations from Milan Djukic, the president of the professional handball team Vojvodina, who later said that the situation was ‘not so dramatic’ as Blic made out and was not a terrorist attack.

He told news agency Tanjug that he thought the man, who sat next to the coach at one point…was most likely mentally unstable.

One is almost surprised that we haven’t yet seen headlines reading, “Serbians Attack American Aboard Lufthansa Flight.”

But let’s just take a moment to contrast what we deem worthy of being called an “American,” and what we deem worthy of bombing. No less, “to defend our way of life.” Our increasingly Islamo-Arabic way of life.

Other recent Serbian sports news underscores the point. Though in this case the worthies aren’t Arabic, but Albanian:

Serbia bus hit by stones ahead of Albania clash (Sky News, Oct. 8, 2015)

A bus carrying Serbia’s squad was hit by stones in the Albanian capital Tirana ahead of Thursday’s Euro Qualifier.

Albania has stepped up security for the politically-charged match, after their first meeting in Group I in Belgrade was abandoned when a drone carrying a flag depicting ‘Greater Albania’ flew over the stadium and a brawl ensued between players.

No one was hurt, but Serbia said the incident raised doubts over security for the game on Thursday evening in the central Albanian town of Elbasan.

Tomislav Karadzic, the president of Serbia’s football federation, commended the Albanian police for securing the route from the airport to the hotel.

But, he said: “Several rocks were hurled from the crowd towards the bus. A sizeable one landed in the vicinity of the second or third row of seats, where our players were sitting.

“If this level of security remains unchanged, there will be problems. But they [Albanian police] have guaranteed that this will not happen again. We are waiting to see what happens next.”

The man behind last year’s drone incident was arrested on Wednesday in Albania in possession of a handgun and 36 match tickets despite himself being banned from the game.

“We know that there is tension…” Serbia’s captain and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic said. “We know we face a cauldron; we don’t expect the applause of the Albanian fans.”

And just an abridged upshot of the drone incident from a year ago:

Ending an Albania-Serbia Game and Inciting a Riot, With a Joystick (NY Times, Oct. 7, 2015)

…The fallout was intense. The Serbian government considered the drone and the flag a provocation. “If someone from Serbia had unveiled a flag of Greater Serbia in Tirana or Pristina, it would already be on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council,” Serbia’s foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, told the newspaper Blic.

UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, initially ruled the game a forfeit by Albania, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed that decision in July, awarding a 3-0 victory to Albania and docking Serbia 3 points for failing to control the crowd.

[Now there’s a surprise.]

The sanctions ended any chance Serbia had of qualification for next year’s Euro 2016 tournament in France. But on Thursday, Albania and Serbia will meet again, in the central Albanian city of Elbasan.

[See above.]

The seeds for [Morina’s stunt] were planted in 2010, he said. He had finished his shift working on a crane in Milan, where he had lived for the six years with his Italian wife and two children. When he went home and turned on his TV, he saw Italy playing Serbia in a 2012 European Championship qualification game. The match was abandoned after seven minutes because of crowd violence, but in the disturbances, two Serbian supporters wearing masks scaled a fence and used a flare to burn an Albanian flag.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Morina said…

Morina’s mission, he said, had been to send a message. The flag he attached to the drone bore the double-headed black Albanian eagle, a map of Greater Albania — a nationalistic concept that also includes territory in Macedonia, Greece and Serbia — and the date Albania won independence from the Ottomans in 1912. At the bottom was the word Autochthonous, an obscure English word that means indigenous, or native.

“I am a patriot, not a nationalist, and I chose it to say to the Serbs that it is the Albanians that are native to the Balkans,” he said last week, sitting in a cafe in the Albanian capital, Tirana. “That is not to say the Serbs can’t live here,” he added. “But they have to respect our flag.”

[That’s rich. The invaders graciously ‘allow’ the indigenous to live in the Balkans.]

In Albania, the drone has made Ismail Morina a national hero. On any given day, dozens of people — students, war veterans, even the police — stop him to pose for pictures. His actions are still discussed on Albanian television regularly, although not always favorably. “One analyst on TV said I was both from ISIS, because the flag was black, and that I was paid by the Serbian secret service!” he said.

Thursday’s rematch could be a significant moment. Assured of at least a third-place playoff spot, Albania can move to the verge of qualifying for its first major international tournament by beating Serbia. But the Albanian soccer federation has told Morina not to come; the match has been deemed high risk by UEFA, meaning no Serbian supporters — aside from 70 students — will be allowed to attend.

But even after the game, life will not be the same again for Morina. He is now back in Albania permanently, having left Italy three days after the drone incident because, he said, “people knew where me and my family lived.”

He knows of the threats made against him online and has even heard tales that there is a reward for his capture. “I’m not worried about the Serbian state, but extremist groups,” he said.

He pulled out a gun that he bought recently. He says he keeps it with him, loaded, at all times. It is a Zastava pistol. Made in Serbia.

But in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Morina was arrested. The police reportedly seized the pistol and about 30 tickets to Thursday’s match. More important, they said Morina did not have a permit for the gun. It is unlikely that he will be allowed to watch the match in jail.


Kosovar troops on Saturday with Ismail Morina, who piloted the drone that stopped the 2014 Albania-Serbia match. On any given day, dozens of people stop him to pose for pictures. Credit James Montague

At least the term “Greater Albania” has finally entered the media-managed language lexicon, though so far we’re only up to “so-called” Greater Albania. The next step will be a leap to the dismissive “Oh-yeah-everyone-knows-that” status, similar to that of the once inconvenient and taboo fact that “our” side in Bosnia was fought alongside jihadis. (Previously this had been relegated to the domain of ‘Serbian rumor/myth/propaganda,’ but in recent years it’s been written about with a casual shrug. Of course, in light of our more open jihad-support in Libya and Syria, this is understandable.)

Ah the problematic Islamic Community and its “traditional Kosovo ways.”

Kosovo Islamic Body Accused of Tolerating Extremists (Balkan Insight, Oct. 29)

At a round table in Kosovo, theologians and researchers criticized Saudi Arabia and Kosovo’s official Islamic Community concerning the rise of religious radicalism.

Ervin Qafmolla BIRN Pristina

A round table that sought to raise awareness of traditional Islam vs. religious extremism in Kosovo saw harsh accusations made at the expense of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the BIK.

The event was held by “Fol Tash” (“Speak Now”), a Kosovar media portal run by moderate Islamic theologians, researchers and imams, who seek to explain traditional Islamic values as opposed to the violent practices of organisations such as the Islamic State.

Most of the participants felt that Kosovo’s official Islamic body had failed to prevent the growth of extremism and the emerging Wahhabist ideology backed by Saudi Arabian funds.

More than 200 fighters from Kosovo have reportedly joined the ranks of ISIS and Al Nusra in Syria and Iraq. Around 40 hardliners, including imams and alleged former fighters, are being tried in courts following a crackdown on suspected groups and individuals from autumn 2014 to spring 2015.

“Not jihad through war, but jihad through the pen is what we need [HUH?],” [Zuhdi Hajzeri, an imam from the city of Peja and editor of the website,] noted, explaining the common misinterpretation of the traditional Islamic concept of holy war.

Blerim Rama, from the police’s antiterrorism department, said that youngsters who pursue their studies in Saudi Islamic universities were a source of serious concern… “They are not guided by the principles and values of the Kosovo believers’ community,” Rama said.

[Oh, I think they got a good sense of the Kosovo believers’ community principles and values from its behavior in the 90s toward the non-Muslim infidels in its midst. (As ISbanian leader Lavdrim Muhaxheri pointed out.) They’re merely taking the behavior they observed to its logical conclusion.]

…While the security official said that their main partner in combating extremism “had to be” the BIK, other speakers did not agree.

… “The BIK is not doing its job to duly manage mosques, because 99 per cent of the participants in the war in Syria – both recruiters and the recruited – came out of these mosques,” Avni Islami, a researcher into security affairs and a practising Muslim, said.

Saudi funding for certain mosques and for the BIK itself was also described as a source of concern.

When BIRN contacted BIK spokesperson Ahmet Sadriu, he would not comment on any of the claims raised.

Some years ago the BIK issued an internal regulation that forbids imams from talking to the media. The move attracted criticism from journalists who viewed it as censorship and an obstacle to the fight against religious extremism.

Fol Tash’s website (foltash.com) is considered a media channel that bypasses BIK’s communication embargo, and allows moderate imams and scholars to talk to the general public without censorship.

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