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The Milosevic trial is a travesty
The Guardian (UK) ^
| Thursday February 12, 2004
| Neil Clark
Posted on 02/11/2004 8:58:33 PM PST by Int
The Milosevic trial is a travesty
Political necessity dictates that the former Yugoslavian leader will be found guilty - even if the evidence doesn't
Thursday February 12, 2004
It is two years today that the trial of Slobodan Milosevic opened at The Hague. The chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, was triumphant as she announced the 66 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide that the former Yugoslavian president was charged with. CNN was among those who called it "the most important trial since Nuremburg" as the prosecution outlined the "crimes of medieval savagery" allegedly committed by the "butcher of Belgrade".
But since those heady days, things have gone horribly wrong for Ms Del Ponte. The charges relating to the war in Kosovo were expected to be the strongest part of her case. But not only has the prosecution signally failed to prove Milosevic's personal responsibility for atrocities committed on the ground, the nature and extent of the atrocities themselves has also been called into question.
Numerous prosecution witnesses have been exposed as liars - such as Bilall Avdiu, who claimed to have seen "around half a dozen mutilated bodies" at Racak, scene of the disputed killings that triggered the US-led Kosovo war. Forensic evidence later confirmed that none of the bodies had been mutilated. Insiders who we were told would finally spill the beans on Milosevic turned out to be nothing of the kind. Rade Markovic, the former head of the Yugoslavian secret service, ended up testifying in favour of his old boss, saying that he had been subjected to a year and a half of "pressure and torture" to sign a statement prepared by the court. Ratomir Tanic, another "insider", was shown to have been in the pay of British intelligence.
When it came to the indictments involving the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, the prosecution fared little better. In the case of the worst massacre with which Milosevic has been accused of complicity - of between 2,000 and 4,000 men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 - Del Ponte's team have produced nothing to challenge the verdict of the five-year inquiry commissioned by the Dutch government - that there was "no proof that orders for the slaughter came from Serb political leaders in Belgrade".
T o bolster the prosecution's flagging case, a succession of high-profile political witnesses has been wheeled into court. The most recent, the US presidential hopeful and former Nato commander Wesley Clark, was allowed, in violation of the principle of an open trial, to give testimony in private, with Washington able to apply for removal of any parts of his evidence from the public record they deemed to be against US interests.
For any impartial observer, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Del Ponte has been working backwards - making charges and then trying to find evidence. Remarkably, in the light of such breaches of due process, only one western human rights organisation, the British Helsinki Group, has voiced concerns. Richard Dicker, the trial's observer for Human Rights Watch, announced himself "impressed" by the prosecution's case. Cynics might say that as George Soros, Human Rights Watch's benefactor, finances the tribunal, Dicker might not be expected to say anything else.
Judith Armatta, an American lawyer and observer for the Coalition for International Justice (another Soros-funded NGO) goes further, gloating that "when the sentence comes and he disappears into that cell, no one is going to hear from him again. He will have ceased to exist". So much then for those quaint old notions that the aim of a trial is to determine guilt. For Armatta, Dicker and their backers, it seems that Milosevic is already guilty as charged.
Terrible crimes were committed in the Balkans during the 90s and it is right that those responsible are held accountable in a court of law. But the Hague tribunal, a blatantly political body set up and funded by the very Nato powers that waged an illegal war against Milosevic's Yugoslavia four years ago - and that has refused to consider the prima facie evidence that western leaders were guilty of war crimes in that conflict - is clearly not the vehicle to do so.
Far from being a dispenser of impartial justice, as many progressives still believe, the tribunal has demonstrated its bias in favour of the economic and military interests of the planet's most powerful nations. Milosevic is in the dock for getting in the way of those interests and, regardless of what has gone on in court, political necessity dictates that he will be found guilty, if not of all the charges, then enough for him to be incarcerated for life. The affront to justice at The Hague over the past two years provides a sobering lesson for all those who pin so much hope on the newly established international criminal court.
The US has already ensured that it will not be subject to that court's jurisdiction. Members of the UN security council will have the power to impede or suspend its investigations. The goal of an international justice system in which the law would be applied equally to all is a fine one. But in a world in which some states are clearly more equal than others, its realisation looks further away than ever.
TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: balkans; bilallavdiu; campaignfinance; carladelponte; delponte; icty; kangaroocourt; kangarookourt; kosovo; markovic; milosevic; nato; politicalpersecution; racak; serbia; showtrial; thehague; un; warcrimes; yugoslavia
posted on 02/11/2004 8:58:34 PM PST
Doe's this mean that Clinton lied about our reasons for going to war? ;^)
posted on 02/11/2004 9:09:40 PM PST
Yes Clinton did lie and he dodged the draft lie under oath defiled the oral office sold secrets allowed other countries to have nukes and assaulted women and pardoned criminals. But that pales to Pres. Bush and Viet Nam (LOL)
posted on 02/11/2004 9:21:55 PM PST
A good wrap up as most followers of this fiasco would agree. Shame on US talk radio and espescially Rush Limbaugh for not shinning the light of truth on this blatantly corrupt 'tribunal'.
It's the final blow in the sellout of Serbia to the EU and the Islamists.
posted on 02/11/2004 9:25:26 PM PST
The US has already ensured that it will not be subject to that court's jurisdiction
Why can't Serbia do the same, so Milosevic can take the next train to Belgrade? What a Stalinist kangaroo court.
posted on 02/11/2004 9:26:43 PM PST
...Del Ponte has been working backwards - making charges and then trying to find evidence.
TEAR DOWN THIS HAGUE CIRCUS MR BUSH !
LET THE CLOWN ROAM FREE
posted on 02/11/2004 9:31:00 PM PST
(you ain't seen nothing yet)
You mean... As in "WAG THE DOG?"
posted on 02/11/2004 9:39:39 PM PST
(EnvironMentalism is NOW beyond the point of "Diminishing Returns!" GANG-GREEN is setting in!!!)
So, there was a little "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia and Serbia. We preform "rural cleansing" in this country every danged day!!!
posted on 02/11/2004 9:42:40 PM PST
(EnvironMentalism is NOW beyond the point of "Diminishing Returns!" GANG-GREEN is setting in!!!)
Another reason not to have Saddam tried by an international court.
posted on 02/11/2004 9:52:03 PM PST
(Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain!)
It also illustrates the folly of relying on our continental European "allies."
posted on 02/11/2004 10:16:16 PM PST
(Should we be more like them, or they like us?)
Comment #11 Removed by Moderator
Ever read other stuff from Neil Clark? He hits the nail on the head many times, however the fact he he has written for Antiwar.com will have send many FReepers in a Anti-DemoRAT, Socialist, Anarchist tirade. The fact is how many in POWER now has called the shots in the former Yugo?
posted on 02/12/2004 12:47:35 AM PST
(To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)
To: mylife; Int; NYer
<< Doe's this mean that Clinton lied about our reasons for going to war? ;^) >>
Yes it does.
As, least we ever forget, did his former Neo-Axis co-founder cobber, the overall execrable "third-way" Tiny Blair and their then perfumed-princeling 'general' and sometimes "DemocRAT," Waco-Wesley "Delta" KKKlark.
And every other EURO-peon-Neo-Soviet Neo-Axis/NATO cohort contributor to that tawdry tangle of picked-up-where-Hitler-left-off pro-islamofascistic anti-Christian-Serbia atrocities.
Blessings -- Brian
posted on 02/12/2004 12:58:46 AM PST
by Brian Allen
("I don't belong to no organized political party -- I'm a Republykin!" - With Apologies to J Robinson)
posted on 02/12/2004 1:55:16 AM PST
(To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)
The lack of evidence to back up charges against Slobo is indeed a major story. Yet this Guardian hack uses the old Socialist line by chalking up the biased proceedings to: "the economic and military interests of the planet's most powerful nations."
Bull! Slobo will be convicted despite any lack of evidence to tie him to certain crimes because the UN/NATO court already hailed his arrest as justice for the butcher of the Balkans. After such pronounciations how could they just let him go?
"Milosevic is in the dock for getting in the way of those interests..."
I'm sick of ancient regional ethnic conflics being blamed on 'Western interests.' No multi-national corporation or agency forced paramilitary squads to kill innocent people! It was the fault of nationalist leaders and military forces and no one else. This constant abdication of guilt and responsibility in order to blame the shadowy "powers that be"...typical lefty nonsense.
posted on 02/12/2004 5:48:09 AM PST
Doe's this mean that Clinton lied about our reasons for going to war?
You could say that. Kosovo was about removing the Juanita Broaddrick storyy from American newspapers and television. Milosevic is guilty of trying to protect his nation from the IMF and from the Albanian narco-savages and there isn't really much else he's guilty of.
If Milosevic, was so guilty, the press would be covering this trial every night, on the news. It seemed to me, at the time of the war, that most of the acts of mass murder, occured, after we started bombing.
posted on 02/12/2004 6:03:06 AM PST
>>>>>>I'm sick of ancient regional ethnic conflics being blamed on 'Western interests.<<<<<
If there were no interests, why Germany and United States meddled into the Balkan mess before the hell broke loose, while the hell was raging and after the peace has setled?
To point to the most obvious:
1. Forcible change of Yugoslavia borders was approved by international community led by Germany and the U.S. although it was against Helsinki accord. Both Germany and U.S. were signatories of Helsinki accord.
2. U.S. Ambassador Warren Zimermann persuaded Bosnian Muslim leader to retract signature on a EU-brokered peace plan and as a result Bosnian civil war broke out
3. PR firms such as Rudder Fin and Hill & Knowlton were given permission by US DOS to accept one side of Balkan conflict as a client and refuse the other. As a result, the most vile smear campaign ensued, fanning the flames of Balkan conflict ("genocide" "holocaust" "belsen in bosnia" "death camps"
4. Clinton administration sided with Iranian Mullahs to secretly arm islamists in Bosnia. US military cargo planes were used to haul arms to Bosnia in breach of UN EMBARGO
5. NATO bombed Bosnian Serbs although Bosnia is not NATO member country nor attacking another NATO country. It was against NATO charter.
6. Clinton administration was behind the largest ethnic cleansing of the 1990's , expulsion of more than 250,000 Serbs from Krajina region in 1995.
7. Clinton administration armed and equipped terrorists in Kosovo in a bid to provoke war.
8. Clinton administration deliberatelly caused war over Kosovo under false pretense of "humanitarian intervention"
9. International community condones ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and violation of human rights of all non-albanian citizens in Kosovo province.
10. Last but not least, support to jaundiced justice of the Hague, instead of trial of criminals in domestic courts ensures the ethnic hatreds will continue in the next generation.
When all else fails, follow the money. So far, more than 100 Billion was spent to stabilize Bosnia, and bilions were spent for destruction of Serbia infrastructure. All this expense could be saved if there was no meddling from the outside. No one spends billions without having good reason. if they do, please let me know, I could put a billion or two to good use.
posted on 02/12/2004 6:16:21 AM PST
(you ain't seen nothing yet)
"If there were no interests, why Germany and United States meddled into the Balkan mess before the hell broke loose, while the hell was raging and after the peace has setled?"
Because if no one "meddles" and all hell breaks loose then everyone turns around and says "Why didn't we do anything?" To suggest that Yugoslavia was of huge economic interest is beyond absurd.
"Forcible change of Yugoslavia borders was approved by international community led by Germany and the U.S. although it was against Helsinki accord. Both Germany and U.S. were signatories of Helsinki accord."
Croats and Muslims wanted to leave Yugoslavia and Serbs didn't. Their differences were irreconcileable regardless of what any outsider said or did. To blame it all on others is to deflect attention away from those who used violence to achieve their aims.
"U.S. Ambassador Warren Zimermann persuaded Bosnian Muslim leader to retract signature on a EU-brokered peace plan and as a result Bosnian civil war broke out"
The Croats withdrew their signature first, Muslims second. In fact there are some who claim that nothing was actually signed at all - merely an agreement to talk some more. The Serbs were laying claim to Bihac for God's sake! How do you think a workable agreement was in place?
"PR firms such as Rudder Fin and Hill & Knowlton were given permission by US DOS to accept one side of Balkan conflict as a client and refuse the other. As a result, the most vile smear campaign ensued, fanning the flames of Balkan conflict ("genocide" "holocaust" "belsen in bosnia" "death camps""
There were many exagerations in the war - but the Serbs lost their own PR war by seizing 2/3 of Bosnia and cleansing the East and North. That's what won the Muslims so much sympathy, not Rudder Finn.
"Clinton administration sided with Iranian Mullahs to secretly arm islamists in Bosnia. US military cargo planes were used to haul arms to Bosnia in breach of UN EMBARGO"
If there's no UN embargo leaving the Muslims almost defenceless against the JNA-backed Serbs then there's no Iranian arms shipments. Sorry if the USA didn't allow the Serbs to dominate the battlefield!
"NATO bombed Bosnian Serbs although Bosnia is not NATO member country nor attacking another NATO country. It was against NATO charter."
UN did bugger all so it was left to NATO. Speasking of which, Serb aid to the war in Bosnia (weapons, Arkan etc)was technically illegal as well.
"Clinton administration was behind the largest ethnic cleansing of the 1990's , expulsion of more than 250,000 Serbs from Krajina region in 1995."
Could have sworn those were Croat troops who carried out Operation Storm. Guess they were actually Marines. Croats were going to invade Krajina regardless of Clinton's green light. 200,000+ troops had massed since 1992 for the attack. You seem to think that no one in the Balkans was able to make any decisions on their own without permission from the USA or Germany. Lack of permissiom sure didn't stop the Serbs from doing what they wanted and it wouldn't have stopped the Croats either. USA wanted a balance of power and so they backed the Croats. Doesn't mean it wouldn't have happened regardless. A violent end to the Croatian stalemate was inevitable.
"Clinton administration armed and equipped terrorists in Kosovo in a bid to provoke war"
Bull. Weapons came from Albania and exiles in the Weat. I've seen no proof of US-government sanctioned aid. Serb oppression of Albanians was all the need the KLA needed to pick a fight. Again you pretend that the policies and actions of the participants was of no influence on the war.
"Clinton administration deliberatelly caused war over Kosovo under false pretense of "humanitarian intervention"
They went in to prevent another Bosnia and the whining that would come with not stepping in were it to happen. You probably think it was to build pipelines and open Starbucks.
"International community condones ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and violation of human rights of all non-albanian citizens in Kosovo province."
You can't police 100% of the place and eliminate ethnic hatreds that stem from a long history of bloody conflict and animosity. Again, to blame it all on the West is overy simplistic but convenient for Serb nationalists who want no responsibility for what happened.
"Last but not least, support to jaundiced justice of the Hague, instead of trial of criminals in domestic courts ensures the ethnic hatreds will continue in the next generation."
They kill eachother to the tune of 60,000-100,000 and hatred will continue because of a UN/NATO trial. Uh huh.
"When all else fails, follow the money. So far, more than 100 Billion was spent to stabilize Bosnia, and bilions were spent for destruction of Serbia infrastructure. All this expense could be saved if there was no meddling from the outside. No one spends billions without having good reason. if they do, please let me know, I could put a billion or two to good use."
Yup, the West started at least three wars so they could blow $100 billion+ just for the hell of it. It's not the West's fault that some wanted independence and some didn't.
Take some responsibility for your own actions!
posted on 02/12/2004 7:47:18 AM PST
The Bush White House called for the ICTY farce to be shut down as soon as possible (I believe they called for this in 2001)
posted on 02/12/2004 12:20:07 PM PST
To: JCB; joan; kosta50; wonders; Wraith
Agreed that the locals should take responsiblity for their our actions.
However, in the case of Yugoslavia, Clinton supported the most extremist elements possible. Whenever there was a chance at achieving peace, The Clinton White House actively scuttled the peace plan and convinced both the Bosnian Jihadists & the KLA to take even more extreme positions.
Clinton spent some 5 billion on Alija Iztbegovic's un-elected regime. All the while Clinton sidelined the moderate Muslim, Fikret Abdic, who just happened to have won the Presidential election.
Instead of supporting the legally elected Bosnian President Abdic, Clinton supported the xenophobic Iztbegovic.
The locals bear much blame, but the Clinton White House bears just as much for their lavish support of the most extreme elements out there.
posted on 02/12/2004 12:26:36 PM PST
A book recommendation for the weekend:
No escape zone by Nick Richardson
London : Little, Brown, 2000
Reveals the experiences of Fleet Air Arm pilot Nick Richardson after being shot down behind Serb lines during a mission over Gorazde. Lined up to take out two Serb tanks on a ridge above the town, Richardson's sea Harrier was hit by a missile and he was picked up by a group of Muslim militia. DR1313.8 RIC
The book is about 1994 Gorazde episode when British SAS was fighting on Muslim side and requested air support. The catch? SAS operated under the guise of UN observers.
It was not only local savages killing each other, it was Brits and others helping them do it more efficiently.
As you said, we should take our own responsibility.
posted on 02/12/2004 1:13:29 PM PST
(you ain't seen nothing yet)
That woman is scary looking, yeow !
The problem is that there never really was a working peace to "scuttle." Serbs wanted a united Yugoslavia, then a Greater Serbia. Muslims and Croats wanted independence.
This statement has me puzzled: "Clinton spent some 5 billion on Alija Iztbegovic's un-elected regime. All the while Clinton sidelined the moderate Muslim, Fikret Abdic, who just happened to have won the Presidential election."
Isn't Abdic the tycoon/warlord near Bihac who allied himself with the Serbs and fought against the V Corps along with the BSA? I've never heard of him winning any elections. On the contrary, he was viewed by most Muslims as a traitor. Where do you get your info from?
"The locals bear much blame, but the Clinton White House bears just as much for their lavish support of the most extreme elements out there."
No, not "just as much." Not even nearly as much. If you want to talk extremists, there's plenty: Arkan, Mladic, Karadzic, the Jokers, HVO, Oric, etc. Most of whom were not sponsored by the West. They had their own agendas and persued them regardless of whether they had a stamp of approval.
The Balkan wars were fought by nationalists out to grab land, not by some suit in Washington or Berlin.
posted on 02/12/2004 1:19:24 PM PST
Let's not pretend the SAS fought like they were BiH. They primarily just stood around and reported back to Sarajevo UN HQ or London as to what was going on. It's not like the UK/USA/NATO bombed the Serbs around the clock.
If the UK/SAS wanted to help Muslims kill more affectively, as you claim, then they didn't do much in support. The Muslims had chronic arms shortages throughout the war and, if I'm not mistaken, Gorazde was one of the three towns in Eastern Bosnia full of refugees driven out from elsewhere - land the Muslims never reclaimed. The SAS was active around Screbrenica as well, and we both know who won there!
The few SAS-directed airstrikes in 94-95 were meant to simply hold the Serb advance at bay - not to help the Muslims turn the tide. If helping the Muslims were the goal then a few AT-4 rockets, artillary pieces and more ammo would have seen the numerically superior Muslims break out of the UN safe areas and drive the Serbs back to the Drina. But it never happened.
Trust me, DTA: If the US/UK wanted to help Muslims kill Serbs they'd have done more than just launch a few airstrikes on their behalf.
posted on 02/12/2004 1:31:39 PM PST
posted on 02/12/2004 1:54:46 PM PST
The few SAS-directed airstrikes in 94-95
The damage to Bosnian Serb infrastructure caused by NATO/British/US bombing was great, and many Serb civilians were killed. Depleted uranium was used as well - especially in a Sarajevo suburb called Hadzici.
posted on 02/12/2004 1:57:18 PM PST
And despite the efforts of the CIA/SAS/NATO/UN/Denmark the Serbs still overran Eastern and Northern Bosnia including 2/3 Safe Areas with UK/US aircover and kicked ass until August 1995. Go figure!
Oh and Serb civilian losses from NATO airtrikes were minimal. So much so that Karadzic didn't even make a big deal of it at the time. I still haven't seen any figures on the matter.
posted on 02/12/2004 2:07:40 PM PST
There was a retired British Captain writing to a website called Spy magazine - unfortunately his letter isn't up anymore, but I quoted it on FR and could possibly find it again if I can retrieve posts of 2 years ago - who said that Goradze was initially taken over by Muslim forces and Mujahedeen who then stayed in Serb homes. When the Serb forces and civilians were preparing a comeback, the Muslims burned the houses and blamed Serbs while CNN was filming.
The man also wrote how foreign mercenaries were being brought in under cover of humanitarian groups and even the Red Cross.
posted on 02/12/2004 2:16:08 PM PST
Was it also part of the cunning Muslim plan to lose the other 90% of Eastern Bosnia while holding on to Gorazde, Zepa and Screbrenica?
I know all about Muslims burning Serb houses, raiding villages and Muj volunteers arriving to carry out atrocities. Greek and Russian mercenaries killed their share on the Serb side as well. But c'mon - when Muslim control in the region is reduced down to three over-crowded towns with constant ammo shortages, you have your work cut out for you in playing the victim.
posted on 02/12/2004 3:46:33 PM PST
Well Tuzla, Muslim controlled and populated, looks more eastern to me than central. Where it is in the north is about 1/6 of Bosnia's width from the border with Serbia, yet 5/6 from Croatia in the west. I consider Tuzla east Bosnia or at least very close.
posted on 02/12/2004 3:57:28 PM PST
"By finally shooting back, Moller and his troops destroyed bridges of confidence and trust that they painstakingly had built to the Serb side. The Danes had built a four-mile road for Serb children to use in walking to school from the nearby village of Pelemsi, so they would remain safe from Muslim shelling."
I read the full article from the link you posted. You basically isolated a lone quote about Serb children and Muslim shells and ignored the rest about Serb forces blasting UN peacekeepers and even destroying a Swedish APC. How Noam Chomskyish of you.
posted on 02/12/2004 3:59:42 PM PST
It was common Muslim tactics to get near UN troops and provoke the Serbs in order to draw fire towards the UN and get the Serbs in trouble. If you don't believe me, I can link to Hague testimony by a Ukrainian soldier who was in Sarajevo - testifying that he heard outgoing mortar fire next to the UN compound in Sarajevo which was located in the part of Sarajevo controlled by the Muslim army.
Anyhow, one earlier attack might not have been caused by the Serbs:
"In one incident, on March 18, Serb fighters destroyed a Swedish armored personnel carrier with an antitank missile and six tank rounds in the northern town of Gradacac. Moller reported it, clearly blaming the Serbs -- but U.N. officials in Zagreb contended that the source of the attack was unknown."
posted on 02/12/2004 4:17:21 PM PST
The Muslims did frequently try to coax the Serbs into shooting at UN troops. Gen. MacKenzie reported as much in Sarajevo. But the Serbs shot at UN troops a lot more than the Muslims tried to draw Serb fire.
It's kinda like the marketplace massacre in Sarajevo that many blame on the Muslims. It may very well be true - the Muslims very likely fired that mortar shell. But how does one dismiss the other few thousand shells that landed in Sarajevo? All fired by Muslims?
Likewise, every Serb shot at a UN post was not the result of Muslim fire.
posted on 02/12/2004 5:02:30 PM PST
The US and other powers favored an independence referendum in Bosnia & Hercegovina even though signs were evident that such a vote would likely lead to civil war. Why was no constitution demanded, protecting the rights of all groups, but primarily the minorities? The same thing in Croatia: Why no constitution to protect everyone's rights? In Kosovo, the US once again pushed for an independence referendum, knowing that the demographics would lead to eventual breakup. The "Great Powers" do influence these matters, much to the detriment of the Balkans, as history so clearly reveals.
posted on 02/12/2004 8:10:30 PM PST
To: JCB; joan
Abdic had been painted as a 'tycoon/warlord' by Iztbegovic and Clinton........but He was a legitmate politician in BiH.
He won the election to the Bosnian Presidency garnering many non-Muslim votes. (because he was a moderate)
In a 'mysterious' turn of events, Iztbegovic took Abdic's place. Iztebegovic tears up the Lisbon Agreement (under Zimmerman's advice) and what could have been solved without war wasn't.
Ultimately Abdic felt so strongly about Iztbegovic's destructive extremism, that he organized some 10,000 to 20,000 Soldiers to fight against Iztbegovic's xenophobia.
Of course, the fanatics in Iztbegovic's SDA over in Sarajevo did all they could to discredit Abdic. Abdic and his thousands of Muslims fighting allied with the BSA was proof positive that it was Iztbegovic who was the racist extremist.
Indeed, Clinton's White House pumped some $5 billion into Iztbegovic's regime coffers. Much of that was pumped in after 1995, the fact remains that a staggering amount of money was sent by Clinton to Iztbegovic.
My point is simply that there were moderate alternatives for Clinton's White House to support. Before Clinton's active support, the moderates were in trying to stop escalation of violence. By supporting the extremists, Clinton undermined a peaceful solution. joan has lots of data sources on Abdic and so forth
posted on 02/13/2004 3:03:15 AM PST
And if the Power that Be don't allow for an independence referendum then they're denying self-determination, are they not? Most Muslims wanted to break away and Serbs didn't. A clash was inevitable. A constitution with guaranteed rights (which I agree should have been insisted upon) would still have left Serbs living in countries they wanted no part of. The fires of nationalism was stoked since the death of Tito and so some sort of partition was going to happen.
And in Kosovo, the two sides again held irreconsible positions, which was addressed in 1999 by a proposed referendum in three years to buy some time. If the demographics would lead to eventual breakup then what is everyone supposed to do? Deny the majority what they want?
posted on 02/13/2004 5:43:55 AM PST
Abdic won the 1990 election (by something like 43% to 37%) but, as you said, his support stemmed mainly from non-Muslims, leaving the biggest demographic in Bosnia with their wishes unaddressed. They didn't want to be part of a Serbia-dominated Yugoslavia. Same reason why Croatia and Slovenia jumped ship.
I'm curious as to how Iztbegovic took Abdic's place. Was it some sort of a coup or through foreign recognition?
As for the Lisbon Agreement, I'm not sure a working peace was in place at all. Zimmerman reportedy told Iztbegovic that "if you don't like it don't sign." In other words, he hadn't signed in the first place. The Croats, if I'm not mistaken, had already turned the plan down when the Muslims did.
It seems to me that even if Abdic were president, you'd still have the same grievences in place.
posted on 02/13/2004 5:54:53 AM PST
Abdic and the presidency is a strange issue to say the least. From http://www.diacritica.com/sobaka/dossier/abdic.html:
"In the Bosnian federated system, the republic was ruled by a presidency of five members, and the one who received the largest number of votes would become its chair. Abdic outscored Izetbegovic rather handily (Abdic received 1,010,618, with a good share of support among Serbs and Croats, to Izetbegovic's 847,386, mostly among Muslims). For mysterious reasons which have never been adequately explained, Abdic abstained from taking the head of the presidency, granting it instead to Izetbegovic. Abdic in return had his lieutenant Alija Delimustafic named Interior Minister.
In the Spring of 1992, as the Serbs and Muslims entered into a tense stand-off in downtown Sarajevo, Abdic was drawn into the fray. Izetbegovic was held by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) from May 2nd to May 3rd, in what his party rather hysterically described as a "kidnapping". In fact, a Bosnian militia was then holding a JNA general prisoner, and a local commander planned to use Alija as bait to free his colleague. During the crisis (which was broadcast on television, as Izetbegovic called in to a live news broadcast from "captivity" and spoke on the air to his deputies), Abdic arrived in Sarajevo. Later, members of the SDA accused Abdic of attempting to take advantage of Izetbegovic's absence to stage a coup d'etat. It was a rather fanciful charge, especially as Abdic had voluntarily passed over the high office which was his due, and the very nature of the crisis would lead one to think that the members of the Bosnian presidency should be close to the seat of government."
So....why did Abdic not take is place at the head if the DSA? Any idea what his version of events are?
posted on 02/13/2004 6:06:07 AM PST
The SDA was Izetbegovic's party - the Bosnian constitution provided for the seven members of the collective presidency deciding amongst themselves who would be the president. After some wheeling and dealing, Izetbegovic got the nod for the top spot, and various posts within the government were handed out, as agreed, to the various parties, to include Abdic's faction of the SDA.
It's neither as complicated nor as underhanded as our Serb friends would have us believe, and it's a recurring topic in their attempt to rewrite the history of Bosnia.
posted on 02/13/2004 10:42:34 AM PST
The author means we got involved becuase of economic and military interests in Yugoslavia not that we were responsible for the war in total.
posted on 02/13/2004 10:31:11 PM PST
(Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
Kosovo poses a different problem than that of the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia. In Kosovo, Serbia exerts historical, and many would say, legal rights; whereas in the latter, Croatian and Bosnian Serbs were left with little or no assurance of guaranteed rights. Fragmenting along ethnic lines is a failure, leading only to stunted growth and stagnation, where parties exist as failed statelets, depending on charity to live, while resources are privatized to global profiteers. Much more needed to be done to prepare the new independent states: assurances put into law, compromises from high to low, options to break down mistrust. There is fault for everyone, including the external Powers who should have used their weight more fairly.
posted on 02/14/2004 12:24:10 AM PST
To: JCB; joan; wonders; *balkans; Wraith
Ultimately Abdic garnered more votes, and Hoplite is correct "in some wheeling and dealing" Abdic the moderate alternative to Iztbegovic was displaced.
Instead of supporting Abdic, Clinton supported Iztbegovic.
Abdic and his 10-20,000 soldiers, later on fought allied with the BSA against Iztebgovic extremism.
As for the Lisbon Agreement, Zimmerman didn't advise that signing was a good way to prevent a destructive civil war ( as every other observer was advising )..........Zimmerman's support of breaking the (unratified) Lisbon Agreement is merely another indication of how we sided with the extreme rather than moderate voice every single time.
Every single peace plan was rejected by Clinton White House. Finally the Dayton Agreement was forced upon the unelected Iztbegovic government. At Dayton, Clinton basically screwed Iztbegovic.
Iztbegovic had to abandon every last War Aim he had. Under Dayton, Iztbegovic achieved less than under Lisbon, less even less than under Vance-Owen, less than under every other serious peace plan made.
Clinton supported Bosnian extremists, pushed them into extreme positions, and then ditched them at the end.
He did the same in Kosovo and Metohija when Clinton effectively took the KLA from a couple of dozen nutcases, promoted their cause, legitimized them, and sent them guns etc. Instead of supporting the moderates in Kosovo and Metohija, Clinton backed the KLA.
After the bombing, Clinton then screwed the KLA with UNSCR 1244 & the MTA. Bush finished the job by chucking virtually the entire KLA into prison.
posted on 02/15/2004 8:44:32 AM PST
Kosovo poses a different problem than that of the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia
That seems obvious enough: Nothing in Croatia or Bosnia could be construed as a precedent for the UN to demand that the United States hand California over to Mexico.
To: mylife; duckln; montag813; DTA; SierraWasp; endthematrix; Brian Allen; JCB; suekas; vooch; ...
posted on 02/20/2004 4:51:14 AM PST
(Sins of the media: exaggeration and oversimplification)
The best comment I've read for a while:
It is beyond embarrassing for Del Ponte and her supporters that despite their millions of dollars in funding, hundreds of zealous lawyers and investigators, cases of intelligence files, hundreds of witnesses willing to make things up as they go, the ability to make up procedures on the fly and that the three-judge panel is firmly on their side, they have suffered a defeat after defeat at the hands of an elderly man with a heart condition, imprisoned, cut off from his family and friends, under constant surveillance and lacking any money or power. On October 6, 2000, Slobodan Milosevic was a political washout with a questionable legacy, accused of war crimes. Three years later, thanks to the Hague Inquisition, he can justifiably claim to be a champion of truth.
posted on 02/20/2004 6:22:42 AM PST
(you ain't seen nothing yet)
To: DTA; *balkans
despite their millions of dollars in funding
hundreds of millions
the ICTY's budget is $100 million per year. They've been after Milosevic since 1995.
posted on 02/20/2004 1:13:49 PM PST
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