Tag Archive for ‘Serbia’
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Zagreb and other Croatian cities over the past week to protest the conviction of two Croatian generals by the UN war-crimes tribunal in The Hague. The ICTY sentenced Ante Gotovina to 24 years in jail and Mladen Markač to 18 years for their role in the August 1995 Operation Storm, which resulted in the exodus of up to a quarter of a million Krajina Serbs.
“Truth and reason are eternal,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to Rev. Samuel Knox in 1810. “They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail . . . ” Jefferson was wrong. His belief that “Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it” was naive. As Patrick J. Buchanan proves in a passing reference in his otherwise sound latest column, even men of generally sound understanding and good intentions end up the victims of the disinformation campaigns that pass for media reporting.
Mrs. Clinton’s performance amounted to yet another coded demand for the abolition of the Republika Srpska, the autonomous Serb republic covering 49% of Bosnia—and the assertion of Muslim (“Bosniak”) dominance in a “reformed” (that is, unitarized) Bosnia-Herzegovina.
On October 5, 2000, in an almost bloodless coup by the security forces staged against the backdrop of massive street protests, Slobodan Milosevic was removed from power in Serbia. Ten years later, many of those who cheered his downfall then (this author included) have nothing to celebrate.
At a time when the U.S. power and authority are increasingly challenged around the world, the incoming team sees the Balkans as the last geopolitically significant area where they can assert their “credibility” by postulating a maximalist set of objectives as the only outcome acceptable to the United States, and duly insisting on their fulfillment. We have already seen this pattern with Kosovo, and it is to be expected that we’ll see its replay in Bosnia under the new team.
All history is to some extent contemporary, but none more so than that analyzed, interpreted, and sometimes constructed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. I had my second appearance before that institution earlier this month, on September 4—no longer as an expert witness (like in the Stakic case in March 2003), but as a material witness in the defense of Col. Beara, a Bosnian-Serb officer accused of war crimes in Srebrenica. I offer the transcript of that testimony to our readers, insignificantly abbreviated, for three reasons. First of all, it is a genuinely interesting, real-life courtroom mini-drama, a good read quite apart from the political context. Secondly, it throws some long-overdue light on the intra-Serbian tensions that were exploited by Slobodan Milosevic and the Clinton Administration alike, and proved decisive to the outcome of the Bosnian war. Last but not least, the final third of the transcript illustrates the apparent inability of the Western elite class—embodied in this instance by the cross-examiner for the Prosecution, Mr. Vanderpuye—to grasp the significance of the Jihadist threat to our civilization and our way of life.
The BBC talks to Dr. Trifkovic regarding the forthcoming Karadzic trial at The Hague Tribunal. “This trial would need to mark a new beginning by The Hague,” he says, “and yet I have no reason to believe that such a beginning will indeed be made.”
BBC: The fact that Karadzic could face trial at The Hague is causing consternation among those who consider the court to be anti-Serbian. Srdja Trifkovic is one of them. He is an American historian, journalist and political analyst, and an expert on Balkan politics.
TRIFKOVIC: It would be a hugely significant moment if it were to be followed by a fair and just trial that would seek to establish the facts of the case, not only on Srebrenica but also on what came to pass in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. However, in Serbia many people—including those who favor the new, pro-European government—have a very jaundiced view of The Hague Tribunal, especially since the release of Nasir Oric, the wartime commander of the Muslim garrison in Srebrenica, came just before the capture of Karadzic. In fact, in Belgrade The Hague Tribunal is universally regarded as a politically motivated tool for providing quasi-legal justification of political decisions made by the powers-that-be back in the early 1990s.
The spirit of the media frenzy surrounding the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on July 21 is based entirely on the doctrine of non-equivalence inaugurated in 1992: Serbs willed the war, Muslims wanted peace; Serb crimes are bad and justly exaggerated, Muslim crimes are understandable.
This doctrine was spectacularly reiterated a month before Karadzic’s capture, when the Muslim wartime commander of Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, was found not guilty by The Hague Tribunal of any responsibility for the killing of thousands of Serb civilians by the forces under his command in the three years before the fall of the enclave in July 1995. It is also apparent today, in the endless media repetition of Karadzic’s alleged bellicose intransigence before and during the Bosnian war.