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Europe’s Pro-War Leftists: Selling “Humanitarian Intervention”

“I believe in two principles: never again war and never again Auschwitz.”[1]

These words could be heard at a convention of the Green Party of Germany in May 1999, during the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in which Germany participated. The speaker was the Green politician Joschka Fischer, Germany’s Foreign Minister at the time. His comment was meant to be a justification for the war against the Serbian people, the same people that already had to suffer under German imperialism in two World Wars.

In the 70s this same Mr. Fischer was a radical leftist activist and in the 80s he became one of the founders of Germany’s Green Party. The premise behind its creation was to give political and parliamentary representation to all the different environmentalist and anti-war groups. At that time, if anyone had spoken about the possibility that this same party would one day play an active role in a war of aggression against Yugoslavia at the end of the millennium, it would have been labeled as absurd. In fact, direct German involvement in any war used to be completely taboo and no one from the Left or from the Right would have even dared to consider such an option; the popular consensus was that after 1945, no war would be started out of Germany ever again.

This political transition in Germany, which has been mirrored across much of Western Europe, is important for understanding how it came to pass that many mainstream “leftists” became modern-day warmongers, sometimes to even greater extremes than their conservative counterparts.

It is their promotion of the self-contradictory concept of “humanitarian interventionism” (as carried out, for example against Yugoslavia in 1999 and Libya in 2011) that has come to make the approach of allegedly “progressive” policy-makers so subversive. Their moral authority is spun as being much more credible than the more blatant ranting of neo-conservative preachers of hate.

In Western Europe, most proponents of militarisation on the mainstream Left are associated with Green or Social Democratic parties. One of the first advocates of militarized “humanitarian intervention” was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, member of the Green Party of France. He was also one of the masterminds behind the abolition of European nation states in favour of a stronger European Union. During the Civil War in the former Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia, Cohn-Bendit demanded that the Serbs had to be bombed, and anyone who didn’t agree with that would carry the same burden of guilt as those who turned a blind eye to the Fascist mass murder in World War Two:

“Shame on us! We, the generation that held our parents’ generation in such contempt because of its political cowardice, now we watch on seemingly helpless, powerless and yet still holier-than-thou as the Bosnian Muslims are ethnically cleansed.”[2]

Indeed, the ploy of drawing parallels with Nazi crimes in order to demonise a rival who stands in the way of Western geostrategic interests was perfected during the Bosnian war. A case in point was the story of the so-called death camps in Bosnia: In August 1992, a British newspaper published a photograph of an emaciated man behind a fence, which was supposed to be proof of the existence of Nazi-style concentration camps run by Serbs. However, as German journalist Thomas Deichmann later found out, the man was standing outside the fence and therefore was not imprisoned behind barbed wire.[3] To be sure, detention camps existed on all sides and there is no doubt that conditions there were often horrific. The point, however, is that Western propagandists tried to whitewash the Croat and Muslim sides, portraying them wholly as victims, while at the same time presenting the Bosnian Serbs as barbarians and Nazis.

Using labels to demonize opponents or even whole populations is not a new concept when it comes to the mudslinging of propaganda wars. A de-politicised understanding of Fascism merely as a form of nationalism makes it possible for postmodern leftists to present wars of aggression as “humanitarian interventions” and therefore as “anti-fascism” in action. The more traditional leftist idea of anti-fascism would view fascism not only as a chauvinist/racist ideology, but would also consider its economic background and the alliance of high finance, the arms industry and political elites.

When the United Nations Security Council proposed Resolution 1973 on the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya in March 2011, which served as a pretence for attacking the country, Germany abstained from voting, along with Russia, China, India and Brazil. The German conservative-liberal coalition government was heavily criticised by Social Democratic and especially Green circles for not taking a stronger pro-war stance. Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer attacked his successor Guido Westerwelle for not having supported the resolution of the warmongers, and added that Germany could now “forget about a constant seat in the U.N. Security Council.”[4]

Therefore it is not surprising that in the current conflict in Syria (which is significantly orchestrated and financed by the West, as were the civil wars in Yugoslavia and Libya), Western Europe’s Green politicians and other liberal leftists are the strongest proponents of a policy of escalation towards the Al Assad government. Claudia Roth, one of the two current German Green Party chairs, recently hosted a TV debate on Syria and shouted down any voice of reason pleading for negotiations with the Al Assad government.[5] One of them was writer and politician Jürgen Todenhöfer, who holds a balanced position on the conflict and recently travelled to Damascus for an interview with Al Assad, in order to let the Western world hear the “other side” as well.[6] The fact that anyone let Al Assad voice his opinion was already too much for Ms. Roth, who expressed her irritation with Mr. Todenhöfer’s trip to Syria in no uncertain terms.

At the same time, the first Western head of state to openly raise the possibility of attacking Syria was France’s newly elected “socialist” president François Hollande. In his statement he let the world know that he would “not rule out international military intervention in Syria”.[7]

Hollande’s election to the presidency expressed many people’s hope that Nicolas Sarkozy’s five years of reactionary, neoliberal and corrupt leadership would be replaced by a more humane way of governing. Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign policy, Hollande seems to carry on his predecessor’s neo-colonial agenda.[8]

In the cases of both Libya and Syria, Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French “nouveau” philosopher, professional self-promoter and frequent object of media mockery, called upon his government to intervene and prevent the “killing of innocent civilians”. [9] Of course his open call for war was sold as humanitarian grassroots activism. In an open letter to the French president, published (among others) by Huffington Post, Lévy used the massacre in Hula as a justification for intervention.[10] The fact that evidence indicates that the victims of this terrible crime were supporters of Al Assad’s government who were killed by insurgents[11] doesn’t matter to the black-and-white world of these virtuous philanthropic activists.

From “Auschwitz” in Bosnia and Kosovo to a “Syrian dictator” slaughtering women and children, the strategy of overcoming people’s resistance towards wars of aggression by appealing to their guilty conscience – the “don’t turn a blind eye” tactic – stays the same. And no one plays this game better than today’s “progressive” false samaritans.

Bearing all this in mind, we return to the example of Germany. To date, the country’s government has actively participated in spreading anti-Syrian propaganda, but has not expressed a pro-intervention enthusiasm comparable to the “progressive” pro-war disinformation campaign. Although not many positive things could be said about Chancellor Merkel’s neoliberal, U.S.-friendly government, Germany’s present administration at least does not seem to be inclined to risk a military adventure to the same extent as the Green/Social Democratic opposition, and continues to speak in favour of a “diplomatic solution”.[12] And while the current government’s track record proves they are far from innocent in matters of interventionism[13], things could get even worse during elections in 2013 if Germany’s government again forms a Social Democratic/Green coalition, as was the case from 1998 to 2005. After all, they managed to pull off a historic achievement by making war presentable again to the German public for the first time since 1945.

[8] During his presidency, Sarkozy was responsible for militarised intervention both in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.

[13] All this, however, despite the fact that the German army and Federal Intelligence Service is providing military aid to the insurgents in Syria. See:http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/aug2012/syri-a21.shtml.

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From Bosnia to Syria: Is History Repeating Itself?

Anyone closely following the ongoing crisis in Syria will notice that the desire for reforms is coming from a large part of the Syrian population which has no ties to the armed insurgency supported by foreign powers. These groups, many of them Wahhabi or Salafi terrorists, constitute a serious threat to the unity of Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian and Druze living together in a sovereign secular state.

In fact, reports suggest that in places where the armed insurgents have managed to gain control, the actions being carried are tantamount to “ethnic cleansing”. However, as long as those allegedly responsible are acting in a way which serves US-NATO interests, their various undertakings go unreported and media attention is strategically diverted.
(See: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29842)

In reality, many Syrians who are demanding reforms are not opposed to President Al Assad, and in fact believe in his commitment to implement change. Such reforms, however, require time to be carried out in the face of certain obstacles. Indeed, after decades of Baath rule, certain factions within the current regime have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo rather than having their privileges threatened by major changes brought about through reforms.

Moreover, there is also a peaceful opposition within the country that stands for change through dialogue with the government, knowing that sudden provocations could plunge the country into chaos. In an interview with “Syria Comment” from October 2011, writer Louay Hussein, an outspoken and longstanding opponent of the Syrian government, warned of further escalation:

“I believe there are two reasons why demonstrations will significantly diminish; first, the violent oppression by the authorities recently and second, the increase in the number of armed operations by groups opposed to the authorities such as ‘The Free Syrian Army’. This is why I expect more bloodshed in Syria. Moreover, I worry that if we fail to reach a homegrown settlement of the conflict very quickly, we will clearly witness different aspects of a civil war in the near future.”
(See: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=12507&cp=all)

The mainstream media has dismissed this assessment and ignored these basic facts. Media attention has focussed on the exiled “opposition” group, the “Syrian National Council” (which is already breaking apart thanks to the domineering role of the Muslim Brotherhood) and the “Free Syrian Army”, supported covertly by the West. In addition, one of Western media’s favourite sources of information is the small, London-based organization called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose claims, though unverified, have nevertheless been broadly quoted.

All this bears a striking resemblance to events leading up to last year’s NATO attacks on Libya, in which tens of thousands of Libyan civilians were killed. But there are two key differences:

1. This time Russia and China have been playing a more decisive role. They have expressed their opposition to actions which might lead to aggression against Syria.

2. The so-called Libyan “rebels” had some kind of a stronghold in the city of Benghazi in the East of the country, from where NATO could bomb their way into Tripoli. Comparable conditions do not prevail in Syria.

Might this be a reason for the Syrian insurgents to increase violence by carrying out bomb attacks and provoking shootings, in order to cause severe reactions from government troops and destabilize the country, and thereby reinforce sectarian conflicts? Namely, until the situation escalates to the point that Western powers feel they can “justify” the need for intervention?

The efforts for a peaceful solution made by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan would only stand a chance if Western countries and their Saudi and Qatari allies stopped their unilateral support for anti-Assad armed insurgency.

The Lessons of History: Yugoslavia

Historically, this situation is not unique and prompts us to consider how similar events have played out in the past, particularly during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s which set a historical precedent for armed Western intervention. These tragic conflicts, especially in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, served as a playground for exercising the destabilization of an entire region, manipulating public opinion in order to start a war of aggression, and carrying out regime change and economic (and partly territorial) colonization. (See: Michael Parenti’s incisive speech on the destruction of Yugoslavia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEzOgpMWnVs)

Given the extent to which insurgents in Syria can count on full support from the outside, some parallels to the outbreak of the Bosnian civil war (1992 – 1995) are worth emphasizing. Consider the following: during the war, the leader of the Bosnian Muslims, Alija Izetbegovic, supported covertly by the West, set as a priority the creation of an independent Bosnian state under Muslim rule. However, he had to deal with the problem that his vision did not represent the will of Bosnia’s majority population: according to a 1991 census, 44% of the population considered themselves Muslim/Bosniak, 32.5% Serb and 17% Croat.

While quite accurately all of Bosnia’s Serb population (one of the three constitutional nations within the republic) did not wish to leave the Yugoslav federation, the Croat side did support the holding of a referendum on an independent Bosnia. However, anyone familiar with the political aspirations of Croatia’s then president Franjo Tudjman and his Bosnian Croat allies will understand that the Croatian side certainly did not favour Bosnia’s independence because they wanted to live in such a state; rather, breaking Bosnia apart from Yugoslavia was supposed to be the first step in amalgamating the Bosnian territories having a Croatian majority population within the Croatian “motherland”.

Facing these facts and knowing that civil war had already broken out in Croatia in 1991, the only reasonable way to prevent a catastrophe in Bosnia would have been through sincere negotiations on all sides. This, in fact, was the goal of the most popular Bosnian Muslim politician at the time, Fikret Abdic, who considered himself pro-Yugoslav and received the most votes in Bosnia’s 1990 elections. Nevertheless, Izetbegovic – the candidate favoured and supported by U.S. officials – seized the Bosnian presidency instead. (Incidentally, the fact that Izetbegovic had been in prison for having disturbed the order of the Yugoslav state by stating there could be “no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions” in a text called the “Islamic Declaration” did not seem to pose a problem to Washington.)

In March 1992, a peaceful solution for Bosnia finally seemed to be within reach. All three Bosnian leaders (Alija Izetbegovic/Muslim, Radovan Karadzic/Serb and Mate Boban/Croat) signed the so-called Lisbon Agreement, which proposed ethnic power-sharing on all administrative levels and the delegation of central government to local ethnic communities. However Izetbegovic withdrew his signature only ten days later, after having met with the U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann. It has been widely confirmed that the U.S. was pushing for an immediate recognition of Bosnia at that time. (See short clip from “Yugoslavia – An Avoidable War”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iobb8xMFRc)

A few weeks later, war broke out, and the West was one step closer to achieving its goal of nationwide destabilization. Could the same fate be in store for Syria given the parallel involvement of the West in Syria?

In Syria as in Bosnia, efforts to find a compromise would mean putting pressure on both sides to reach an agreement. But if one side already has full support from the West, what incentive is there in pursuing a compromise with the government? In Syria, the insurgents had foreign support from the outset, automatically sabotaging the possibility of real negotiations.

Further exacerbating the situation, the mainstream media has been aggressively building the case for intervention in Syria. Several statements made by Syrian government opponents and some Western media blame the Syrian government of being responsible for the bloody terrorist bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo that took place on the weekend of March 17 and 18. But they were stuck for an answer regarding why it would be in President Al Assad’s interest to cause an escalation in the two largest cities of the country where he is still enjoying the support of a majority of the population.

If we go back to the Bosnian example, we can see who has historically taken advantage of such events. On May 27, 1992, a massacre took place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, killing many innocent people waiting in line to get some bread. The terrible event was immediately and repeatedly broadcast across the world. Just four days later, on May 31, harsh UN sanctions were imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For Western decision-makers, it was clear that the Serbs were responsible for the crime. Many experts disagreed with the finger-pointing, and reference should be made particularly to Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, then Commander of the Bosnia UN troops:

“The streets had been blocked off just before the incident. Once the crowd was let in and lined up, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place, and the media were immediately on the scene. The majority of the people killed are alleged to be ‘tame Serbs’.” (http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Bosnia/Sarajevo/breadline.html)

Similar events took place in 1994 and 1995 (See for example “Yugoslavia – An Avoidable War”, in its entirety: http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=5860186121153047571#)

This finally caused the NATO bombing campaign against Bosnian Serbs, carried out between August 30 and September 20, 1995, as justified by Western calls for “humanitarian intervention”. Following from the Damascus and Aleppo attacks, could a similar “justification” be around the corner for Syria?

A great irony, of course is the hypocritical stance taken by the U.S. government, which calls for peace on the one hand and is a leading global supplier of weapons on the other. While the Obama administration might have called on the Syrian rebels to lay down their arms, there is a vast difference between official statements and what is being carried out on the ground. Indeed, there is currently a multi-billion dollar deal underway between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia (a leading arms supplier for the Syrian rebels) for the sale of US advanced weapons. (See: http://rt.com/news/saudi-arabia-protests-piety-514/)

This double standard was certainly applied in Bosnia, where the CIA was secretly smuggling weapons into the area despite an arms embargo officially being in place. (See: “Wie der Dschihad nach Europa kam: Gotteskrieger und Geheimdienste auf dem Balkan” [“How Jihad Came to Europe: Holy Warriors and Secret Services in the Balkans“] by Jürgen Elsässer, 2008)

It is worth noting that in the cases of both Syria and Bosnia (among other examples), Al Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries from several Arab countries were involved. In Syria, they integrated the “opposition”, heralded by the Western mainstream media as the victims of the government crackdown.

This should come as no surprise. Those who operate under the “Al Qaeda” label are often serving the interests of Washington. In Bosnia, where Mujahideen fighters trained Bosnian soldiers and fought against Serbs and Croats, the Al Qaeda leadership had to approve military actions by the Bosnian Muslim Army. (See: Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, http://www.bim.ba/en/79/10/4113)

One of the Bosnian Muslims who refused to fight against the Serbs, the previously mentioned Fikret Abdic, created his own safe haven by making a peace agreement with the Serbian side and by forming the “Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia”, located in the area of Velika Kladusa. British diplomat David Owen described him as “forthright, confident and different from the Sarajevan Muslims. He was in favour of negotiating and compromising with Croats and Serbs to achieve a settlement, and scathing about those Muslims who wanted to block any such settlement.” (David Owen, “Balkan Odyssey“, 1995, S. 82)

In August 1995, under a joint attack carried out by Izetbegovic’s troops and the Croatian army (both Western allies), Abdic’s peaceful, autonomous province collapsed.

Often in the media, conflicts are portrayed with reference to “good guys versus bad guys”, peacekeepers versus terrorists, us versus them. As this example from Bosnia shows, the full story cannot be accurately conveyed using these stylized concepts; not all Muslims were automatically against the Serbs, and certainly not all were interested in having Izetbegovic as president.

And in Syria, it is clear that not all of those who are demanding democracy are enemies of the Al Assad government. However, delving into the “grey area” of the good/evil dichotomy puts into question the clear-cut “justification” for intervention, and casting such doubts is certainly not in the interest of the mainstream media and the Western interests they serve.

In order to avoid misunderstanding, the people on all sides suffered terribly in the Bosnian civil war. But as in Syria, it is important to establish who has an interest in triggering increased social chaos and violence.

Throughout the entire Yugoslav civil war, separatist forces served the Western agenda which consisted in destabilizing and destroying an entire country. Yugoslavia had free education, an equitable distribution of income. It preserved its independence by being a key player within the Non-aligned Movement. In turn, this historical stance by Yugoslavia served as an example for other countries of the Non-aligned Movement which refused to accept the neoliberal diktats of the IMF.

In the context of the Balkans, the Serbian people bore the brunt of the blame from the West, and were vilified largely because they firmly opposed the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Serbia was the largest Yugoslav nation and suffered heavily during World War Two, when the Croatian fascist Ustasa movement systematically slaughtered Croatia’s and Bosnia’s Serb population. It was largely this trauma that made the idea of living in the independent states of Croatia and Bosnia, both led by extremists, unbearable for most Serbs. A realistic image of Serbia’s role in the Yugoslav wars was given by then Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, in an interview made during the Kosovo war:

“We are not angels. Nor are we the devils you have made us out to be. Our regular forces are highly disciplined. The paramilitary irregular forces are a different story. Bad things happened, as they did with both sides during the Vietnam War, or any war for that matter.” (See: http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/MiloInt.html)

All facts considered, the same could easily be said of the Syrian army and other groups fighting on Al Assad’s side. But maintaining an ambivalent position on current events in Syria, as is the trend among many mainstream liberal-leftist circles, means giving in to the neo-colonial and imperialist agenda of Western powers and their pseudo-humanitarian justification. And this despite the fact that they have actively stirred up ethnic and/or religious hatred and ignored reasonable voices, in Yugoslavia as well as in Syria, in order to follow the old Latin concept of “divide et impera“.

Author’s Note: According to the latest reports, Syria’s government has accepted Kofi Annan’s 6-point peace plan. On April 1, the “Friends of Syria” will be meeting in Istanbul, bringing together mostly Arab and Western countries favouring stronger action against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Time will tell how these developments will impact the Syrian crisis and the potential effectiveness of the peace plan, knowing that so many outside players are acting in the background.

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The Criminalization of Justice at The Hague: Former Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte Faces Charges of Witness Intimidation

Carla del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, has recently been confronted with charges of intimidation of witnesses, which has led to the tribunal’s opening an investigation into the matter. This was made public by the British newspaper “The Guardian” in an article dated August 18th 2010.[1] According to this article, the court will nominate an external expert to examine the accusations and decide within six months whether a lawsuit is justified. Del Ponte’s former close associates, Daniel Saxon and Hildegard Ürtz-Retzlaff, are affected by the accusation as well. The charges were brought forward by the Serbian politician Vojislav Seselj, who himself is a Hague prisoner. The alleged victims of intimidation are several witnesses of the prosecution in his trial.

Seselj voluntarily surrendered to The Hague in 2003, this in spite of the fact that he does not recognise the court, arguing that it has never been legitimised by the UN general assembly, which in fact should be mandatory according to the UN Charter. The trial against the politician, who once presented himself as the nationalist alternative to the more Yugoslav-oriented former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, finally started at the end of 2006 and is still going on today, with several interruptions and so far with no relevant results.[2]

The fact that the ad hoc tribunal of The Hague deems it necessary to take this case into consideration in one way or another is in itself remarkable. After all, the tribunal’s manner of conduct cannot be called impartial: the methods The Hague employs to reach their desired convictions range from the denial of the right to self defence, to silencing the microphone when the accused speaks out on facts that are embarrassing to the prosecution or, as already mentioned, the intimidation of witnesses. Such occurrences happened often enough during the Milosevic trial[3], as when the former head of the Serbian secret service, Radomir Markovic, testified as a witness of the prosecution that he had been pressured in Belgrade to wrongly accuse Milosevic of having ordered war crimes.[4] For this he was offered a new identity abroad, but after these revelations, Markovic was sent back to Serbia where he is still serving a prison sentence.

Another way to make the witnesses tell the most fantastic stories are the so-called “plead guilty” lawsuits: someone who is accused of having committed war crimes by himself and who has testified already can be convicted in a summary procedure without the prosecution having to investigate and to prove the confession. The only important thing is that the right persons are being charged. The most well known example is the case of the Bosnian Croat Drazen Erdemovic, who pleaded guilty in 1996 to having served in the army of the Bosnian Serbs and having participated at the so-called “Srebrenica massacre” in July 1995. In 2000 Erdemovic was set free and was offered a new identity. Since then he has served the prosecution as a protected witness in several trials. Even the charge of having committed “genocide” in Srebrenica against the former Bosnian Serbian president Radovan Karadzic and his army chief General Ratko Mladic is based on Mr. Erdemovic’s confessions. The German-speaking journalist Germinal Civikov has written a book that deals with all the contradictory statements Erdemovic has given, and all the obvious lies he is telling.[5]

The German-language online magazine “Schattenblick” has published an article on the tribunal’s dealings with the Bosnian Serb officer Momir Nikolic, who was pressured to incriminate himself and others with regard to alleged crimes that are supposed to have taken place in Srebrenica. In exchange for this the prosecution offered to take back the charge of “genocide” against the officer and “only” blame him for having committed “crimes against humanity”. But they did not succeed:

“Nikolic, who was sentenced to 27 years, said in another case against one of his officer colleagues that he had been lying throughout. His lies were exposed by the American attorney Micheal Karnavas. He testified not to have ordered the alleged mass execution he had been blamed for and that he was not even at the place where the crime is supposed to have taken place. The attorney of the other accused officer demonstrated how Nikolic had confirmed that he had to “give something” to the prosecuting counsel, something he “did not have” for reducing his prison punishment to 20 years. Thus the model-witness for the “Srebrenica massacre” was “burned” judicially as well as politically.”[6]

Seselj had already mentioned the use of “false witnesses” in his testimony at the Milosevic trial in September 2005. Momir Nikolic also plays a role in his testimony, in the context of the trial against another officer, Miroslav Deronjic:

“I was an eyewitness in the prison of The Hague Tribunal as to how Miroslav Deronjic was broken down by The Hague Tribunal, how they blackmailed him and the process of breaking him down. I was on good terms with him to begin with. He told me how he was arrested, how he was beaten, how they put him in a barrel of water and so on and so forth. He confided in me, and they — it took months to break him down. And they didn’t succeed in breaking him down until Momir Nikolic, in his testimony before the Prosecution, said that Deronjic was present at a conversation where an execution was agreed. Well, then Deronjic broke down completely and agreed to testify on any subject whatsoever and against anybody whatsoever. He agreed to falsely testify against Karadzic.”[7]

Another important key witness of the prosecution who probably had been pressured was the former President of the Krajina Serbs, Milan Babic. He testified against Milosevic, blaming him of being responsible for war crimes. Seselj doubted his credibility as a witness:

“For example, Milan Babic, during his testimony mentioned my name on several occasions in a completely false context. And I’m conscious of it being a false context.”[8]

Babic will not be able to be questioned any more: he died in his cell in The Hague in March 2006, officially because of suicide, one week prior to Milosevic’s death under suspicious circumstances.

This and other examples are the subject of a new book written by a Swiss researcher with Serbian roots, Alexander Dorin [9], who, as Civikov, is researching facts, legends and the methods of justice in The Hague concerning the happenings in Srebrenica. But Ms Del Ponte is also facing dissatisfaction from unexpected circles, the ones she is claiming to fight for: the organisation “Mothers of Srebrenica”, founded by Bosnian Muslim women whose sons died in the war, blame Del Ponte for having destroyed their personal belongings that were supposed to help determine the causes of their sons’ deaths:

“Members of the Women of Srebrenica NGO are gathering signatures to file a lawsuit against former Hague prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. […]Our memories have been murdered as well and Carla Del Ponte must be held responsible,” the organization said. Current Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz confirmed in May of last year that some 1,000 pieces of evidence recovered from mass graves in and around Srebrenica were destroyed. Brammertz said this was regular procedure, implemented as the evidence could not be archived.”[10]

The justification of the destruction of “IDs, photographs and pieces of clothing” (B92) with the lack of sufficient storage space to archive them appears strange indeed, if one considers that we are talking about an incident that politicians and the mainstream media claim to be the “worst massacre in Europe since World War Two”. And in the ongoing trial against Radovan Karadzic, the politicians planned conviction for his alleged responsibility for “genocide” is supposed be justified with the Srebrenica case. The question should be allowed (without any intention to downplay the suffering of the Mothers of Srebrenica) if the destroyed documents maybe did not fully sustain the official version of the happenings in Srebrenica. After all, there was extensive fighting in the region, especially when soldiers of the Bosnian Muslim army were trying to break through the Serbian lines and reach the Muslim-controlled town of Tuzla. Dorin speaks of 2000 soldiers who died during the fighting and are now being counted as “massacre victims”.[11] Or, if soldiers were actually murdered, this alone is not conclusive evidence for a crime that was ordered from above, as the prosecutors of the tribunal pretend to know.

In any case, no written or otherwise recorded order from the hand of President Karadzic or his chief of army, Mladic, pertaining to the killing of soldiers or civilians has so far been found. But it is a fact that there was at the time a great amount of hatred on both sides in that region: the Muslim warlord Naser Oric, whose specialty was the production of videotapes of “burning houses, dead bodies, severed heads, and people fleeing”[12], was spreading terror among the Serbian villages around Srebrenica, which were officially declared a UN “safe haven” before the Serb invasion.

David Owen, the British politician who was the former negotiator from the European community for Yugoslavia, testified in at the Milosevic trial and spoke of a phone call he received in April 1993 from the former Serbian president, who was then already worried about the situation in the region:

“I rarely heard Milosevic so exasperated and also so worried. He feared that if the Bosnian Serb troops entered Srebrenica, there would be a bloodbath because of the tremendous bad blood that existed between the two armies.”[13]

Many other writers are nowadays contributing to the debunking of the official version of what happened in Srebrenica. Apart from the authors already quoted in this article, one should mention Philip Corwin [14], who was the highest UN-representative in Bosnia during the war (1992 – 1995), the journalist George Szamuely [15], and the well known writer Prof. Edward S. Herman [16], among many others.

The media’s prejudgment of Serbia, with the use of the term “genocide” when referring to Srebrenica as its climax, has enabled the tribunal to act in ways that serve neither the finding of truth nor the reconciliation between the Yugoslav peoples. The construction of “evidence” with the use of dishonest methods is intended only to justify in retrospect the western politics towards the Serbs as an “inevitable reaction” to their “savage and ruthless” behaviour.

So The Hague is using a strategy of creating “evidence” that puts the blame solely on the Serbian policymakers who were in power during the war, holding them personally responsible for the planning and execution of all the atrocities that took place in the civil war. A conflict that actually was fuelled from the outside is being presented to the western public as a “joint criminal enterprise” for the creation of an ethnically cleansed “Greater Serbia”.

It can be assumed that the tribunal will find a way to whitewash itself from the accusations. But the fact that the prosecutors will for the first time be forced to explain some of their strange conduct before a broader public restores an inkling of hope that the mainstream version of what happened with Yugoslavia will not be the one that people will learn in the future.


Notes

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/aug/18/carla-del-ponte-prosecution.

[2] See Hannes Hofbauer in “Neues Deutschland”, 26 10 2009:
http://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/158031.kriegsgraeuel-vor-umstrittenem-gericht.html.

[3] See for example the Dutch documentary “De zaak Milosevic”:
http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2010/03/milosevic-trial-corruption-international-justice-110.

[4] See trial transcript from 26 07 2002: http://www.milosevic-trial.org/trial/2002-07-26.htm.

[5] Civikov, Germinal: “Serbrenica. Der Kronzeuge”, Wien 2009.

[6] Translated from German: http://www.schattenblick.de/infopool/geist/meinung/gmeid-96.html.

[7] See trial transcript, 16 September 2005, page 44264: http://www.milosevic-trial.org/trial/2005-09-16.htm.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Dorin, Alexander: “Srebrenica. Die Geschichte eines salonfähigen Rassismus”, Berlin 2010.

[10] B92, 23 August 2010:
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2010&mm=08&dd=23&nav_id=69240.

[11] See interview with Alexander Dorin in “junge Welt”, 10 July 2010: http://www.jungewelt.de/2010/07-10/051.php.

[12] See: http://original.antiwar.com/malic/2006/07/05/crime-and-punishment.

[13] See trial transcript, November 3th 2003, page 28411:
\http://www.milosevic-trial.org/trial/2003-11-03.htm.

[14] See: Interview with Corwin in “junge Welt”, 31 7 2008:
https://www.jungewelt.de/loginFailed.php?ref=/2008/07-31/059.php.

[15] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5847.

[16] http://www.zcommunications.org/the-politics-of-the-srebrenica-massacre-by-edward-herman.


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Global Research, September 7, 2010

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