Protesters have set photos of several U.N. war crimes tribunal judges on fire in Sarajevo to oppose the shortening of the genocide indictment against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
About 150 members of war victim associations demonstrated in front of the U.N. office in the Bosnian capital on Wednesday.
Prosecutors have trimmed the indictment against Karadzic by cutting the number of crime sites from 45 to 27, and the U.N. tribunal judges in The Hague, Netherlands, want that done further to speed up the trial.
Karadzic is accused of masterminding Bosnian Serb atrocities during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, including the siege of Sarajevo and the 1996 slaying of 8,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica, Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.
The same week saw Bosnians going crazy over a rare case of a Serb getting a sentence reduced instead of getting the book thrown at him/her as usual:
Muslim victims of Bosnia’s war voiced outrage Tuesday at the UN war crimes court’s decision to grant early release to a Bosnian Serb ex-president convicted of crimes against humanity.
The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced Tuesday that Biljana Plavsic should be granted early release from her 11-year jail term for good behaviour and apparent rehabilitation.
The 79-year-old is serving her sentence in a Swedish prison and under Sweden’s law becomes eligible for release from October 27, after serving two-thirds of her term. The tribunal has the final say in the matter.
Plavsic was sentenced in February 2003 after she admitted playing a leading role in a campaign of persecution against Croats and Muslims during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.
She is the highest ranking official of the former Yugoslavia to have acknowledged responsibility for atrocities committed in the 1990s wars that accompanied the former federation’s break up. […]
Now, as readers of this blog know, the oft-cited “Siege of Sarajevo” and “massacre” at Srebrenica were neither a siege nor a massacre, much less the “worst atrocity since WWII,” as the oft-parroted cliche goes.
The second obvious point is this: When Bosnian Muslim war criminals are let off the hook at the Hague — or, more often, not even put on trial — you don’t see Serbs going crazy and turning to pyromania, even when they should. But if the Hague dares to attempt some truth, accuracy or actual justice in a case against a Serb — making the indictment or verdict less in accordance with the Muslim propaganda that has so far guided the world’s view of events in Bosnia-Hercegovina — the Muslims won’t stand for it. Of course, whether Karadzic did or didn’t do anything that’s worthy of the longer indictment called for by Muslims is completely immaterial.
At the same time, the Bosnian Muslims don’t stand for their own being put on trial for war crimes, even when the defendant is ultimately the architect of the deaths of their loved ones. And let’s not even get into the hero’s welcomes that Bosnian Muslims give to their war criminals when they get off for killing Serbs.
Nor do Bosnian Muslims skip a beat in their We-Are-Pure-Victims drumbeat when one after another Bosnian war criminals is arrested (which, incidentally, is only a post-2002 practice by the International Tribunal, which was opened in 1993 to try exclusively Serbs). Just the latest:
Police have arrested four former Bosnian Army soldiers suspected of having killed 19 civilians and three soldiers during an attack on a Bosnian Croat village during the country’s 1992-95 war.
The state prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo said Wednesday that Nedzad Hodzic, Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin and Senad Hakalovic were arrested in four different cities in Bosnia.
They were allegedly part of a Muslim-dominated Bosnian Army unit that attacked the village of Trusina, 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Sarajevo, in April 1993. Nineteen civilians and three Bosnian Croat soldiers who had surrendered there were killed.
Four civilians, including two young children, were injured.
Police also raided the homes and offices of 17 people throughout the country searching for evidence in the case.
Anyway, the burning of symbols of Western institutions that were set up to make Muslims happy and then predictably backfired as soon as those institutions tried to retain some semblance of modern-day justice — causing them to veer off the Muslim agenda — gives us just the slightest glimpse into why the Court very much needed Milosevic to die and the case to be “closed.”
Since the evidence “against” Milosevic was pointing to an opposite truth from what the world set out to prove — but since an acquittal or light sentence would make the Muhammad cartoon riots look like a pep rally — there was only one possible outcome for the Milosevic trial: death of the defendant.
While there are credible analyses of his beingpoisoned, I won’t get into that. What is indisputable is that the Hague did facilitate Milosevic’s demise by denying him leave for a needed operation. Imagine, now, what’s in store for Karadzic as some very discomforting, unsettling truths about the West’s devious roles in the Balkan wars emerge in the course of his trial.
Karadzic has already gone on record that ambassador and war criminal Richard Holbrooke wants him dead. This was not Karadzic’s opinion or paranoia, but concerned a plot that he’d learned of. And now at the Hague he is of course a sitting duck for Holbrooke’s long tentacles.
Andy Wilcoxson went into this brilliantly last year:
Murdering Radovan Karadzic
Does Radovan Karadzic have evidence linking high-level U.S. officials to Islamic terror groups? Will he live long enough to present his defense at The Hague, or will he die in the UN Detention Unit like Slobodan Milosevic and Milan Babic before him?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic claims to have made a secret deal with American diplomat Richard Holbrooke in 1996. Under the terms of the agreement, Karadzic would completely withdraw from public life and in return the United States guaranteed his safety and his immunity from prosecution at the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.
Holbrooke vehemently denies making a deal with Karadzic. He said, “That is a total fabrication. It would have been not only immoral, but illegal.”
In spite of Holbrooke’s denials, former Bosnian-Serb foreign minister Aleksa Buha told Belgrade radio that he was present when the agreement was signed. He said the deal was made “in the night between 18 and 19 July 1996″ and that “Holbrooke strongly promised that The Hague tribunal would be history for Karadzic if he withdrew from politics forever.”
The Serbian news media has also published copies of the document signed by Holbrooke and Karadzic.
Confirmation of Karadzic’s claims of a secret deal also comes from a less likely source. Karadzic’s sworn enemy Muhamed Sacirbey, the former Bosnian-Muslim envoy to the UN, claims that he learned about the agreement from US diplomat Robert Frowick on the day it was signed.
Former Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte also believes that a deal was struck. In a meeting with Dragan Kalinic, the former speaker of the Bosnian-Serb parliament, Del Ponte said, “I am investigating the story of an agreement between Karadzic and Holbrooke.” Kalinic asked “Do you believe that the agreement exists?” and Del Ponte replied, “Yes”.
Former Tribunal spokeswoman Florence Hartmann echoed those claims. She said the deal would explain how Karadzic was able to live for years on Bosnian-Serb territory and be ignored by more than 60,000 NATO troops.
She told Belgrade’s FoNet news agency, “Information about his whereabouts was abundant, however, it would always turn out that one of the three countries - the U.S., Britain or France - would block arrests. Sometimes arrest operations were halted by Chirac personally, other times by Clinton,” she said adding that she spoke “based on authentic statements and documents”.
William Stuebner, an American advisor to former UN war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, told reporters after Karadzic was indicted that he “personally witnessed a group of Italian peacekeepers at a checkpoint literally turn their backs as a convoy carrying Radovan Karadzic came by with lights flashing, just so they wouldn’t ‘encounter’ him.”
Stuebner claims to have met with Karadzic in May 1996, shortly before the deal with Holbrooke was signed. He described the meeting with Karadzic to the Christian Science Monitor saying: “He was scared to death, he was really sure they were coming to get him and was seriously looking to turn himself in.”
In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Del Ponte said that at one point Karadzic sent a message to the Tribunal “saying that he would turn himself in voluntarily. But then he suddenly changed his mind.”
It would appear that Karadzic wanted to surrender to the Tribunal, but the United States convinced him to sign the agreement with Holbrooke and withdraw from public life instead. One could certainly speculate that the United States was more interested in keeping Radovan Karadzic quiet than in putting him on trial for his alleged crimes.
Eventually, Karadzic’s deal with Holbrooke turned sour. The Belgrade daily Blic reported that in November 2000 the CIA tapped Karadzic’s phone and discovered that he was still controlling his political party from behind the scenes. The unnamed source, who claimed to be an official from a Western intelligence agency, said “In America they went crazy realizing Karadzic was making a fool of them.” At that point the protection was withdrawn.
Not only was Karadzic’s protection withdrawn, Del Ponte believed that he was in danger of being killed. In her meeting with Kalinic she said, “Karadzic knows very well that he is in danger because if they find him he will not be transferred to The Hague alive.”
In an interview with the Bosnian newspaper Slobodna Bosna, Radovan Karadzic’s wife said the U.S. ambassador for war crimes, Pierre-Richard Prosper, “told my mother-in-law that she would never see her son alive again and that they would kill him when they find him.”
Again, the determination to kill rather than arrest Radovan Karadzic suggests that the United States was more interested in keeping him quiet than in bringing him to justice for his alleged crimes. The question is why. The answer may be that he has evidence incriminating U.S. officials.
The United States and NATO supported the Muslim war effort in Bosnia. So did the Iranian Government, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Islamic radical groups. As the wartime leader of the Bosnian-Serbs, Radovan Karadzic may be in a position to prove that there was high-level collaboration between U.S. officials and certain Islamic terror groups in Bosnia.
Imagine the political ramifications if Karadzic were to present strong evidence linking high-level U.S. officials with terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, both of whom were active in Bosnia before masterminding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If something like that were shown to be true, it would explain the U.S. determination to keep Radovan Karadzic quiet.
At his initial appearance before the Tribunal, Karadzic expressed concern for his safety. He said, “I must say that this is a matter of life and death. If Mr. Holbrooke still wants my death and regrets that there is no death sentence here, I wonder if his arm is long enough to reach me here.”
The fact that high-level Serbian leaders have died suspicious deaths at the UN Detention Unit in the past should give Karadzic reason to question his safety.
On March 5, 2006 the Tribunal claimed that former Krajina-Serb leader Milan Babic hung himself with his belt. During the autopsy The Netherlands Forensic Institute noted that it was “exceptionally uncommon” that the ligature mark found on Babic’s neck was narrower than the belt he supposedly hung himself with. Generally in a hanging, they would expect the mark to be roughly the same width or slightly wider than the belt.
In spite of the fact that the marks on his neck didn’t match the belt he supposedly hung himself with, no criminal investigation was carried out. His death was declared a suicide and the books were closed.
Less than a week after Babic’s death, former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic also died in the UN Detention Unit. Less than 72 hours before having a fatal heart attack, Milosevic wrote a letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming to have been poisoned with a powerful drug that negated the effect of his high-blood pressure medication. His letter said, “In order to verify my allegations, I am presenting you a simple example which you can find in the attachment. This document, which I received on March 7, shows that on January 12th (i.e. two months ago), an extremely strong drug was found in my blood…the fact that doctors needed 2 months to report [it] to me, can’t have any other explanation than we are facing manipulation.”
In its report on Milosevic’s death, the Tribunal confirmed that Milosevic was given a blood test on January 12, 2006 and that the suspicious drug was found. However, according to the Tribunal’s report, “Mr. Milosevic was not told of the results until 3 March 2006 because of the difficult legal position in which Dr Falke found himself by virtue of the Dutch legal provisions concerning medical confidentiality.”
Clearly the Tribunal is covering-up something, because there is absolutely no Dutch legal provision that prevents a doctor from telling his patient the results of their own blood test. Nonetheless, no criminal investigation was launched. The death was deemed “natural” and that was the end of that.
If Karadzic dies in the UN Detention Unit, he will be the third high-level Serbian leader to do so. If he has incriminating evidence against U.S. officials he would be well advised to get it out in the open as soon as possible, otherwise that information might go to the grave with him.
A piece by Wilcoxson just a week earlier also offers some invaluable insight:
After evading capture for thirteen years, former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague last Thursday.
Our media and our political establishment have portrayed his arrest and extradition to the Tribunal as a great triumph. They have spent the last sixteen years promoting the thesis of Serbian guilt and Muslim victimization in the Bosnian war and in their minds Karadzic’s arrest validates their politics and their policies.
Ever since Karadzic’s arrest was announced our political establishment has been engaged in an orgy of childish name-calling. Karadzic has been portrayed as evil incarnate; various journalists and public figures have called him a “monster”, a “demon”, and a “butcher”. Former Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke called him “Europe’s Bin Laden”. While this kind of name-calling might give self-important journalists and politicians the opportunity to portray themselves as virtuous crusaders for international justice, it does very little to shed light on what actually happened in Bosnia.
The people who cheer Karadzic’s capture today might regret it tomorrow. These people built their professional careers on the premise of saving “innocent” Bosnian-Muslims from Karadzic’s “genocidal Serb aggression”. Their credibility and professional reputation depend on his guilt. Until now, they’ve been able to accuse him with impunity because he was in hiding and couldn’t defend himself. Now that he’s in the Tribunal’s custody, he will be given a high-profile public trial where he will have the opportunity to challenge their accusations and present his own evidence.
One of the most famous “crimes” that Karadzic is accused of is the Siege of Sarajevo. Most of us can remember the scenes of pockmarked apartment blocks in Sarajevo and the images of Muslim civilians maimed and killed by Serbian artillery fire. Karadzic’s trial promises to give much-needed context to that imagery.
Without a doubt, the Serbs shelled Sarajevo several times during the war. The Karadzic trial will reveal why they did it. The evidence has already been presented during other trials at the Tribunal, but the Karadzic trial will be the highest profile presentation of that evidence.
The Serbs fired on Sarajevo because the Muslims were in the city shooting at them. The so-called “siege” began as an operation to rescue soldiers that the Muslims were holding hostage in the Marshal Tito Barracks. It continued because the Muslims wouldn’t agree to a cease-fire and they wouldn’t stop shooting at the Serbs.
Muslim troops in Sarajevo deliberately attacked the Serbs from built-up civilian areas of the city in order to increase the likelihood that civilians would be hit when the Serbs returned fire. UN military observers stationed in Sarajevo have already testified at the Tribunal that they witnessed this practice many times.
David Harland, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping in Bosnia, is on record testifying at the Tribunal. He said, “The Muslims certainly understood that when they fired out of the city that [it] would provoke incoming Serb fire, which would make normal life in the city impossible.” According to his testimony the Muslims violated 514 attempts by the UN to implement a cease-fire.
Philippe Morillion, the French general who commanded the UN force in Bosnia from 1992 to 1993, is on record testifying that the Muslims “very frequently used mortars at Kosevo (the main hospital in Sarajevo) for provocation purposes”.
Morillion’s protest letters to the Bosnian-Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic are already exhibits on file at the Tribunal. One letter dated January 11, 1993 reads: “[an] 82-milimeter mortar had been set up on the western side of the Kosevo Hospital within the hospital grounds. This mortar and its crew then proceeded to fire nine rounds using the hospital as a screen. The direct consequence of this disreputable and cowardly act was that shortly afterward the hospital came under fire from anti-aircraft gunfire, artillery fire, and mortar fire…You will, I’m sure, be aware that the firing of weapons from the hospital is against the Geneva Convention.”
The siege of Sarajevo wasn’t a genocidal Serb attack on defenseless peace loving Muslims like our news media led us to believe. The Muslims deliberately put their civilian population in the crossfire so that NATO would intervene against the Serbs on “humanitarian” grounds.
NATO took the bait because our news media shamelessly shilled for the Islamic cause. Our journalists dutifully reported that Muslim civilians were killed in Sarajevo by Serb artillery fire, but they failed to report that the Serbs were provoked by Muslim artillery fire emanating from the city.
The story of Srebrenica is similar. We’ve been told the half-truth that the Serbs over-ran a UN safe area and killed thousands of Muslims, but we weren’t told that the Muslims of Nasir Oric’s 28th Infantry Division used that safe area as a base to launch attacks from. They massacred the Serbian villages surrounding Srebrenica and they fled back into the warm bosom of the UN Safe Area when they were done, safely behind the UN’s skirts and out of reach of Serb retaliation.
In July 1995, when a column of 15,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica ventured out of the safe area to attack the Bosnian-Serb frontlines in an operation to break through to Tuzla, the Serbs weren’t inclined to be friendly. The Serbs shot and managed to kill thousands of their Muslim attackers, and now we’re being told that they committed a so-called “genocide”.
One has to wonder what kind of “genocide” it was when most of the bodies being pulled from the mass graves around Srebrenica are military-aged men. Thousands of bodies have been exhumed and there isn’t a single woman among them. Can you think of any other “genocide” that spared women and children? If exterminating Muslims was the goal, why not kill the women and children? The story of Srebrenica doesn’t make a lot of sense until you realize that it wasn’t genocide at all. What happened in Srebrenica is simple: the Muslims attacked the Serbs so the Serbs shot and killed them, some died in battle and others were executed. It might not have been pretty, but it’s ridiculous to call it “genocide”.
Only a fool would believe that the Muslims were striving for a democratic and multi-ethnic Bosnia. Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of the Bosnian Muslims, was seen in the company of Osama bin Laden by Der Spiegel’s Balkan correspondent Renate Flottau and by London Time’s war correspondent Eve-Ann Prentice in 1994. According to the 9/11 Commission report, four of the 9/11 hijackers, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were veterans of the Bosnian jihad against Radovan Karadzic and the Serbs.
A report published in 1996 by the US House Committee on International Relations says, “Iran ordered senior members of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (”IRGC”), the elite force used to advance militant Islam, to travel to Bosnia to survey the military needs of the [Izetbegovic] government. IRGC trainers taught the Muslims how to use anti-tank missiles and helped with troop logistics and weapons factories. The IRGC also incorporated religious indoctrination into military training. Iran used this leverage to urge Hizballah to send foreign fighters to the region as members of the Mujahideen. The effort was successful and a force of thousands drawn from several pro-Iranian groups and other Islamic Opposition movements assembled in Bosnia.”
Radovan Karadzic was fighting the good fight in Bosnia. He was fighting to keep his people from being subjugated by an Islamic regime in Sarajevo that had ties to Osama bin Laden and the Iranian government. Anybody who believes that the Muslims enlisted the help of Osama bin Laden and the Iranians for the sake of multi-ethnic democracy is hopelessly delusional.
Radical Islamic groups supported Izetbegovic’s regime because he shared their fundamentalist views. In 1990, two years before the war started, Izetbegovic published his book “The Islamic Declaration” in Sarajevo. In that book Izetbegovic advocates Sharia law and the establishment of “a united Islamic community from Morocco to Indonesia”. He wrote that the establishment of an Islamic order was his “incontrovertible and invincible aim”. In Izetbegovic’s view “the Islamic movement should and can, take over political power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only overturn the existing non-Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one”. He branded Western feminists “a depraved element of the female sex” and said, “There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions”.
Under the circumstances, the Bosnian-Serbs had every right to break away from Bosnia and re-join what was left of Yugoslavia. To call the Serbian war effort an aggression for “Greater Serbia” is grossly dishonest. The Bosnian-Serbs had the same right to leave Bosnia and re-join Yugoslavia that West Virginia had to break away from Confederate Virginia and re-join the Union during the civil war.
The rhetoric that our media and our political establishment have used to describe the Bosnian civil war is some of the most malicious propaganda ever conceived. To illustrate the point I’ll use their “Bosnia rhetoric” to describe the American civil war: “In 1861 Abraham Lincoln committed an aggression against the Confederate States of America. Over the course of the war, Lincoln’s thugs systematically seized Confederate territory in a genocidal quest for Greater America’. Lincoln’s war killed more than 600,000 people and left millions homeless. Lincoln, better known as the butcher of Gettysburg’, was not brought to justice for his crimes until he was slain by a Confederate loyalist named John Wilkes Booth in 1865.”
Obviously, that tendentious description of the civil war is one of the most intellectually dishonest things ever written. Unfortunately, our news media and our political establishment describe what happened in Bosnia in precisely that fashion. It is time to call these people out, the next bleeding heart that bemoans “Karadzic’s genocide in Bosnia” and smugly applauds his capture as “a victory for international justice” needs to be put in their place.
No matter what you’ve been told, there was nothing especially evil about the 1992-95 war in Bosnia compared to any other war. The war killed about 100,000 people including the civilians and soldiers from each side. While that’s a lot of people it’s not a remarkable death toll for a war. It certainly isn’t indicative of genocide or anything even close.
When the United States firebombed Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945 we killed 100,000 Japanese civilians in that one night of bombing alone. Does that mean Franklin Roosevelt was a genocidal monster? Coalition forces estimate that they killed 100,000 Iraqi troops during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91. Does that make George H.W. Bush guilty of genocide? If it’s absurd to accuse Bush and Roosevelt of genocide, then it’s equally absurd to accuse Radovan Karadzic.
Radovan Karadzic’s fight to keep his people from being ruled by Islamic extremists is no less valid than the U.S. war against Imperial Japan or the U.S. campaign to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. If anything, Karadzic had more of a right to stand and fight on the territory where his people lived than the United States had to take the fight halfway around the world to Japan and Iraq.
If Radovan Karadzic marshals the evidence already on record at the Tribunal, and if he supplements it with the documents and evidence that undoubtedly came into his possession as the President of the Bosnian Serbs he will bury his opposition. The people who are pointing their self-righteous fingers at him today could very well regret the day they ever put him on trial. Then again, his accusers have been dishonest from day one. They will probably keep repeating their story no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. They’ve been lying for sixteen years and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop now. It is time to call these people out and start applying some common sense to our understanding of the Bosnian war.
A copy of the signed pact was published by Serb Republic newspaper Fokus, and its existence was confirmed by Vladimir Nadezdin, former aid of Serbian foreign minister Milan Milutinovic, though Nadezdin couldn’t authenticate the document published by Fokus. He did, however, tell the Italian news site, AKI that “I’ve seen it [the document] with my own eyes.” Karadzic’s brother Luka also confirmed the existence of the deal, and wrote a letter appealing to Holbrooke futilely asking him to be honorable and stop lying about it.
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