“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”.
“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.”)
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:
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
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. […]
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.)