By Nina Burleigh
Feb. 8, 2002 | PARIS -- In a new book, "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth," two French intelligence analysts allege the Clinton and Bush administrations put diplomacy before law enforcement in dealing with the al-Qaida threat before Sept. 11, in order to maintain smooth relations with Saudi Arabia and to avoid disrupting the oil market. The book, which has become a bestseller in France but has received little press attention here, also alleges that the Bush administration was bargaining with the Taliban, over a Central Asian oil pipeline and Osama bin Laden, just five weeks before the September attacks. The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, see a link between the negotiations and Vice President Dick Cheney's energy policy task force, with its conclusions that Central Asian oil was going to become critical to the U.S. economy. Brisard and Dasquie also claim former FBI deputy director John O'Neill (who died in the attack on the World Trade Center, where he was the chief of security) resigned in July to protest the policy of giving U.S. oil interests a higher priority than bringing al-Qaida leaders to justice. Brisard claims O'Neill told him that "the main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia."
The authors also allege that the Sept. 11 attacks were a calculated response to Western pressure on the Taliban to hand over bin Laden and permit the return of the long-exiled Afghan leader, King Shah. They say the terror attacks were aimed at sparking a widespread war in Central Asia and thereby reinforcing the Islamic extremists' grip on power.
Brisard, a private intelligence analyst who once worked for the French conglomerate Vivendi, compiled a report in 1997 on the financing behind the al-Qaida network. Dasquie is a journalist and editor of Intelligence Online. The authors are negotiating with American publishers now to get the book translated and published in England. They recently discussed their book with Salon.
How did you meet John O'Neill, and how often and where? Did you ever tape your discussions with him?
Brisard: I met him twice. The first time was in Paris in June 2001 and then in July in New York. I met him because I wrote some years ago a report about the bin Laden family and its financial connections with Osama bin Laden. Our meeting was in the process of the French sharing information with the FBI. He wanted to meet me again a month after our first meeting to discuss the points of my report, and so we met at the end of July 2001. I never taped him and that's why I only quote him directly three or four times. That's all I have and the rest is paraphrase. The discussion of O'Neill is only 10 pages in the book. It is the first 10 pages of the book. What he said is a synthesis of what we say in the book, and that's why we decided to put it on the first pages. That is, the role of Saudi Arabia, the role of oil and the way the investigation worked in the United States before Sept. 11.
Did O'Neill indicate that the FBI expected more attacks on the United States?
Brisard: No. Not even implicitly. We didn't talk about the threat itself. We focused on the sources and roots of the problems and the way to deter further action.
How much did Mr. O'Neill know about al-Qaida that the public didn't know until after Sept. 11, such as the extent of the training, the network and the hatred?
Brisard: John O'Neill clearly knew extensively about the threat of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. He told me the FBI had identified for years the financial supports of bin Laden. For instance, in the Yemen investigation [of the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole], he said everything pointed at Osama bin Laden but there was an unwillingness among U.S. diplomats to act and to put any kind of pressure against the governments. His investigation was made difficult because of this unwillingness, and in his mind it was especially because of the economic interests of the United States. I quote him saying that everything about bin Laden and al-Qaida can be explainable through Saudi Arabia. And when I asked why the U.S. was unwilling to go after the states that host bin Laden, he said because of oil.
In what sense was Saudia Arabia supporting bin Laden? He had been exiled.
Brisard: Yes, the official stance is he was banned in 1994 and his assets were frozen. This is the official position of the Saudi government. But we prove in our book that until 1998 he was able to use economic and financial structures in Saudi Arabia. He could have linked working bank accounts in Sudan with companies registered in Saudi. He had various contacts with Saudi officials. And remember, the Saudis were supporting the Taliban regime, which was hosting him. In Saudi Arabia, the left hand ignores the right hand. And the FBI was fully aware of the situation.
Other than the U.S. ambassador in Yemen sending O'Neill home because of his alleged insensitivity to the culture, exactly how did the State Department hinder the FBI investigation?
Brisard: O'Neill said the State Department has had an overwhelming role on these investigations. He was explicitly blocked in Yemen from further investigation. We now know from different files that the FBI was starting investigations on different aspects of Saudi Arabian support [of bin Laden], and those investigations were all stopped, even under Clinton. What John O'Neill said is that for him, there was a clear [conflict] between the FBI's goal, which was to go fast and to implicate members of the networks and eventually to implicate states that gave them support, and the State Department's goal, which was to move in a more diplomatic way to negotiate with those states and to some extent accommodate them. And what he said was that the diplomatic way was chosen over the security or law enforcement policy, and of course he was very angry about what happened to him in Yemen.
In your book, you allege that the Bush administration was negotiating with the Taliban last year over a proposed Central Asian oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Which Bush official conducted those talks?
Brisard: [Assistant Secretary of State] Christina Rocca, in August 2001 in Pakistan, explicitly discussed the oil interest, not the pipeline.
Did you ever speak with Rocca?
Dasquie: I tried to, but when you are a foreign journalist you must ask the U.S. embassy in France before an interview. My correspondent in Washington also made requests. Since March or April 2001 we had tracked this story, because just after the United Nations' decision against the Taliban, it was crazy to see Taliban leaders coming into Washington and having meetings. Christina Rocca arrived at the State Department in June, and we knew her background at the CIA; she had managed all the relations between the agency and Islamic groups in Central Asia. Since around June I have been focused on Rocca. We made requests. The embassy said it was impossible. With no explanation.
Do you allege that she mentioned oil explicitly?
Dasquie: Madeleine Albright was the first to refuse to negotiate with the Taliban in 1997. Before that, from 1994 to '97, Clinton did negotiate with the Taliban. We describe the meeting of Rocca and some Taliban leaders in Islamabad in August 2001. There are documents to support it. And at the same time in Washington there are lots of meetings of the energy policy task force and lots of oil company representatives around Dick Cheney. The task force's conclusion is that Central Asia oil is a very important goal. And at the same time people are negotiating with the Taliban for the first time since 1994.
Brisard: We believe that when [Rocca] went to Pakistan in 2001 she was there to speak about oil, and unfortunately the Osama bin Laden case was just a technical part of the negotiations. I'm not sure about the pipeline specifically, but we make it clear she was there to speak about oil. There are witnesses, including the Pakistani foreign minister.
Are you saying that the Central Asian oil and pipelines were not an issue under Clinton, or just more of an issue for the Bush administration? And what are you basing that on?
Brisard: Oil was also an issue for the Clinton administration, but the difference between Clinton and Bush is, under Bush the economic argument became predominant and the U.S. thought they could pursue the Taliban to accept a deal on economics.
Dasquie: The area was of enormous strategic concern to many nations. The U.N. "six plus two" group [made up of the six countries that border Afghanistan, plus the United States and Russia] had tried to persuade the Taliban to take back the Afghan king in exchange for recognition. The biggest mistake of the U.N. and the U.S. was to consider the Taliban as independent and able to negotiate. Nobody saw the reality of the relationship between Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. So when the U.N.'s six-plus-two group and the U.S. said accept the king and give us Osama, it was incredible; it was like asking them to kill themselves. It was the very wrong way to negotiate. People say the only reason 9-11 happened is that Osama is a bad boy and the Muslims hate the U.S., but that is not enough. It is a pity to see that all our policies are built on that. It is very, very much more complex. They knew that if they did nothing they would lose. Everyone wanted to give power to the former king. When you think you are going to lose, the easy reaction is to be the first to attack. So 9-11 was not just a mad act, it was a political act meant to create a good ground for a big war in all Central Asia. Mullah Omar and bin Laden wanted to rally Muslims in Central Asia. In the last 10 years, the focal point of Islamists has taken off from the Middle East and gone into Central Asia.
The first President Bush has lots of connections with the Saudis and has made visits there as a private businessman with the merchant banking firm the Carlyle Group. Did you find any trace of the Carlyle Group on the financial trail?
Brisard: No. Carlyle has connections to the bin Laden family. Also, [Saudi banker and alleged terrorist financer] Khaleed bin Mahfooz financed the Bush oil companies in Texas in the late '70s and we discovered that he is also the primary financial support of Osama bin Laden. For years he was the personal banker of King Fahd, but now Mahfooz is under house arrest in Saudi Arabia for allegedly financing terrorist groups. He was arrested in 1999, but he is still a shareholder of the Saudi Bank National Commercial. He had charities around the world and one of them, International Development Foundation in London, has just been banned by the charity commission in London because of our book. We also make lots of connections with BCCI [Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the foreign bank closed 10 years ago after a huge scandal connected it to fraud, secret weapons deals, money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups]. We say the system financing bin Laden was more or less the revival of the BCCI. Even the associates of the BCCI are now involved in those networks. And bin Mahfooz was the operational director of BCCI.
Exactly how have the Saudis promoted Islamic terrorism?
Brisard: It's a political question for them. They have to support those religious fundamentalists because they are a large part of the regime of the kingdom and they need them to survive politically. Wahhabism, the Saudi form of Islam, is one of the harshest forms, and bin Laden is a product of his country.
Is there anything in the American press about your book you would like to correct?
Brisard: The main error is to say that the U.S. preferred oil to fighting against al-Qaida. That oversimplifies it. And it is also wrong to say John O'Neill told me that George Bush blocked inquiries into al-Qaida because of oil. It was not personally Bush [that O'Neill complained about]; it was a policy of putting diplomacy ahead of law enforcement going back to Clinton.
Why is the book so popular in France?
Brisard: Because there have been a lot of books about Sept. 11 and what happened and bios of bin Laden, but it's the first time that two investigators put facts on the table, documents, interviews and nothing else. We don't say it could have been stopped. If any government had known what was going to happen it wouldn't have happened. But we point out the role of the Western countries that led to Sept.11 -- back to 50 years ago, when we agreed to make an alliance with Saudi Arabia, and then by closing our eyes to the support they were giving fundamentalists around the world for the last 20 years.
Cronch, Cronch, Cronch!
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson* Feb. 8, 2002
Mt. Shasta (APJP) -- I'm planning to blow off the Winter Olympics altogether.
Part of it is due to weary disgust with the ceaseless commercial exploitation of the games. I'll see quite enough mawkish and jingoist ads from outfits telling me they support "our" athletes so please buy their crap to last me a lifetime, without running out and getting a concentrated dose from NBC during game broadcasts.
I was already fed up with the Olympics, with the endless politicization and corruption, and the intensely irritating practice of cutting away from competitions to run stupefyingly dull interviews with humans who have devoted most of their waking hours to sliding downhill faster than anybody else. Television coverage has worsened sharply over the years, becoming increasingly jingoistic and "personality driven," which is a way of saying that they were wasting time on vapid announcers and idiot savant athletes instead of watching the competition.
I had been a big fan of the Olympics going clear back to 1960, and only started becoming disaffected in 1980, when the US boycotted because the Russians were picking on poor little Afghanistan. Oh, the irony.
Even then, I might have at least caught the opening ceremonies, except that this year, the games are being held in America. It was embarrassing enough watching Americans in the crowds in Japan and Canada endlessly chanting "USA! USA!" and booing when other athletes won while hosts and other visitors regarded them with puzzled and concerned frowns. It will only be worse here, where Olympic officials will be cowed into just letting them scream their fury and arrogance and fear at the world.
I might rent Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" and watch that instead. It will have the same types of nationalistic pageantry, the same appeals to patriotism and piety, the same insensate and inchoate roars from the crowd. It will be a spectacle like the world has never seen, just like every other spectacle of its sort. The narration will be the same mixture of pride and fear, patriotism and hatred, and it will be described in fawning newspaper articles over the following weeks as a great success for the home country. Just like the 1936 Olympics. Just like Nuremberg.
"Triumph of the Will" has two advantages over the Olympic opening ceremonies in Utah.
The first advantage is that I don't speak German, so the content won't be as disturbing. Hoarse shouts are just obnoxious noises if you can't understand them.
The second advantage is that I can look at the overjoyed ultra-nationalists and remind myself that such can be defeated, as Hitler's were.
Although in reality, I might be better off picking a different movie to watch instead of the Opening Ceremonies. "The Man Who Cried" with Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp comes to mind. It's a movie from last year that few people know about, since it lacks the triad of plot elements Bill Watterson deems essential to popular acceptance in movies: "Idiots, anvils and explosives."
In the movie, a young Russian Jewish girl is separated from her father, and then spirited out of 1920s Russia to England. Ten years later, as a young woman (Ricci) she ends up in Paris, hoping to launch a career as an opera singer.
In the creepiest scene in the movie, on the morning Paris falls, Ricci is awakened to a strange noise coming from outside her apartment: "Cronch, cronch, cronch!" She leaves the fog of sleep, and her awareness of what the nature of the sound is grips her just as the movie audience is realizing what it is, and her face becomes a mask of horror and fear. She has realized that the cronch, cronch, cronch is the sound of thousands of hobnailed boots striking the flagstones of the Parisian avenues in strutting military cadence. The Germans have arrived.
Over the next ten minutes, in a sequence of brilliant direction, the sound increases as panicked residents scurry about, grabbing what they can and running in all directions, seeking escape. You don't see the Germans, and that only makes it creepier.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
The IOC has backed away from its plea that the flag from the World Trade Center not be used in the opening ceremonies as a exercise in national chest thumping, so viewers will be treated to the sight of the vindicated gleefulness and hoarse cries of truculent "patriots" reveling in the fact that "American values" again have triumphed over foreign heathens. The cameras probably won't show it, but athletes from other countries will be eyeing each other and wondering if the Olympics in 1936 at Berlin were something like this.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
The Conservative Action Committee is meeting this week. Professional harpy Ann Coulter stood before a group of the nation's leading legislators, judges, businessmen, religious leaders and editors, and said, "When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."
Not a member of the group of the nations' leading republicans or their allies -- the people who feel they should be leading and guiding our nation -- turned a hair. Liberals have become the Jews of the 21st century.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that 340 sentences in California are invalid, because the application of "third strike" sentencing provisions for otherwise minor misdemeanors constituted "cruel and unusual punishment." This involves sentences of twenty-five years to life for such heinous crimes as stealing a slice of pizza, smoking a joint, swiping a bicycle, and refusing to provide ID. Conservatives have immediately gone into an uproar about "liberal judges," demanding that the Supreme Court preemptively overrule the 9th Circuit, and decrying the idea that justice should be independent of the political process.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
We now have a permanent war against shadowy and ever-shifting "enemies." Our military budget, 45% of the world's total and larger than the next 30 nations combined, is said to exist to defray threats from such superpowers as Afghanistan, Libya, North Korea and insurgents in the Philippines. In the meantime, the media fails to report that we are quickly losing our allies, who realize that the United States is moving to a position of permanent war in order to assure support for the right-wing junta that has taken it over. Europe, old and tired and familiar with the ways of dictatorships, will give us a wide berth and hope we self-destruct before we do the rest of the world serious damage.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
American troops attack a village, and after a brief exchange of gunfire, accept the surrenders of the men in the village. They then tie 19 of them up, and shoot them, and leave mocking notes on them for their friends and relatives to find. As if that wasn't bad enough, it turns out that the suspected "Taliban" and "Al Qaeda" that our brave soldiers summarily executed and mocked were nothing of the sort, but were allies who had the misfortune to be at odds with some of our favorite snitches over there.
Our media is so intimidated by the government and the out-of-control flag-waving frenzy that only one paper, the New York Times, reports the incident in full.
Cronch, cronch, cronch!
You think it can't happen here? My friend, it already has.
Cronch, cronch, cronch.
By Robert Macklin,
Canberra Times. Friday February 8, 2002
AUSTRALIA'S toll in the World Trade Centre tragedy has fallen markedly from the 96 estimated killed in those first terrible days. On his visit to New York last week Prime Minister John Howard revealed that there were 17 Australian casualties. And the total deaths, once thought to be in the tens of thousands, has now fallen to below 3000.
To the families affected such numbers are meaningless. But politicians have not been beyond using them to their advantage. So the New Internationalist magazine has just published some figures to provide a different perspective.
On that same September 11, it reveals:
24,000 people died of hunger,
6020 children were killed by diarrhea,
2700 children were killed by measles,
1411 women died in childbirth
3288 children were made homeless by war. -- Time for a war on poverty perhaps?
ByBridget Gibson 02/08/02
"Finance is the art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears." -Robert W. Sarnoff
When George W. Bush presented his $2.16 Trillion budget for the period of October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003, he did so with a flourish and much pomp and circumstance. He wrapped his "budget" in a United States flag and presented it to Congress. He did this to attempt to dissuade any dissenters and to give the illusion that this was a patriotic act. Well, my friends, this was nothing less than the lowest scheme to steal from our country and line his own pockets. In this "budget" there appears to be a disproportionate amount of money being earmarked for some very interesting items. $12 Billion for three new jet fighter programs, 42-ton Crusader artillery system and heavy destroyers (all of which were designed to attack Soviet forces that are no longer in existence). He also antes up for the unworkable discredited missile defense program to the tune of $7.8 Billion. Altogether, there is a $48 Billion increase in military spending. These dollars are not for servicemen/w! omen, but for equipment. The kind of equipment that a certain sector of the economy makes a handy profit from supplying to our government. One of the companies that is most heavily vested in this industry is The Carlyle Group.
The following is a chart of the top 15 Defense Contractors for the United States in 1998:
Rank - 1 Lockheed Martin Contract/Equipment - 4,847,559,000 Other Services - 2,883,348,000 Supplies - 4,608,033,000 Total - 12,338,940,000
Rank2 Boeing Company Contract/Equipment - 2,092,767,000 Other Services - 1,657,024,000 Supplies - 7,115,603,000 Total - 10,865,394,000
Rank3 Raytheon Contract/Equipment - 1,115,590,000 Other Services - 1,779,191,000 Supplies - 2,763,650,000 Total - 5,658,431,000
Rank4 General Dynamics Contract/Equipment - 757,692,000 Other Services - 290,561,000 Supplies - 2,631,567,000 Total - 3,679,820,000
Rank5 Northrop Grumman Contract/Equipment - 981,396,000 Other Services - 643,428,000 Supplies - 1,063,198,000 Total - 2,688,022,000
Rank6 United Technologies Contract/Equipment - 341,366,000 Other Services - 73,632,000 Supplies - 1,567,969,000 Total - 1,982,967,000
Rank7 Textron Contract/Equipment - 494,208,000 Other Services - 24,058,000 Supplies - 1,316,885,000 Total - 1,835,151,000
Rank8 Litton Industries Contract/Equipment - 89,994,000 Other Services - 320,609,000 Supplies - 1,232,884,000 Total - 1,643,487,000
Rank9 Newport News Shipbuilding Contract/Equipment - 1,324,000 Other Services - 1,427,297,000 Supplies - 118,012,000 Total - 1,546,633,000
Rank10 TRW Inc Contract/Equipment - 592,707,000 Other Services - 687,505,000 Supplies - 63,841,000 Total - 1,344,053,000
Rank11 Carlyle Group Contract/Equipment - 382,761,000 Other Services - 416,363,000 Supplies - 529,694,000 Total - 1,328,818,000
Rank12 Science Applications Contract/Equipment - 349,446,000 Other Services - 822,306,000 Supplies - 52,148,000 Total - 1,223,900,000
Rank13 General Electric Contract/Equipment - 152,885,000 Other Services - 122,585,000 Supplies - 885,706,000 Total - 1,161,176,000
Rank14 Humana Inc Contract/Equipment - 0 Other Services - 867,453,000 Supplies - 885,706,000 Total - 1,753,159,000
Rank15 GTE Corporation Contract/Equipment - 68,252,000 Other Services - 449,216,000 Supplies - 269,065,000 Total - 786,533,000
The number eleven on this list is The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is comprised of private investors and its senior directors are such notable figures as George H. W. Bush (US President from 1988 - 1992, also the father of George W. Bush), James A. Baker III (Secretary of State under GHWB), Frank Carlucci (Secretary of Defense, Reagan Admin and college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld) and John Major (former UK Prime Minister).
One of the corporations owned and directed by The Carlyle Group is United Defense, which went public on December 14, 2001. United Defense is the maker of the Crusader, a 42-ton, self-propelled howitzer. This equipment has been in the sights of Pentagon budget cutters for years with the argument that it is a relic of the cold war era, too slow and heavy for today's warfare.
Last week, the Pentagon's own auditors admitted the military could not account for some $2.3 trillion in transactions. Jim Minnery of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service said "We know it's gone. But we don't know what they spent it on." That $2.3 Trillion equals $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. This amount is just somewhat smaller than one-half of the United States current debt. It is beyond comprehension that an entity could misplace such an amount and yet still our numerically challenged Chief Executive feels the need to increase the spending for 2003 by another $48 Billion.
It stands to reason that if The Carlyle Group makes money it will enrich its owners. Each of us knows the conflict of dealing with family. We know that if a family member approaches us with a favor that can be done, we attempt to do it. Has George W. Bush answered to his father in helping to keep the Crusader in a budget that is bloated and over-reaching? If GHW Bush has a larger estate to pass to his children, made larger not only by the cessation of the estate tax under his son, George Walker Bush, but larger because of governmental contracts, our country needs to know.
George W. Bush has been busy trying to make presidential records secret. It is becoming the hallmark of his administration. If there were not conflicts in these dealings, why would George do this?
Is George W. Bush busy changing our money into his own?
Bridget Gibson is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant
to the world's leading "rogue state"
by Mehdi Hasan
Question 1) Which country was the primary "sponsor" - in terms of weapons, training and funding - of Osama Bin Laden and his fighters during the 1980s?
Answer: The United States of America.
Q2) Which country's spokesman saw "nothing objectionable" in the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan in 1996?
A: The United States of America.
Q3) Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in December 2001?
A: The United States of America.
Q4) Which country renounced the efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brought an international conference on the matter to a halt in July 2001?
A: The United States of America.
Q5) Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Kyoto treaty on global warming in March 2001?
A: The United States of America.
Q6) Which country is the world's biggest polluter?
A: The United States of America.
Q7) Which country prevented the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at a small arms conference in July 2001?
A: The United States of America.
Q8) Which country is the world's largest exporter of arms?
A: The United States of America.
Q9) Which country was responsible for a car bomb which killed 80 civilians in Beirut in 1985, in a botched assassination attempt, thereby making it the most lethal terrorist bombing in modern Middle East history?
A: The United States of America.
Q10) Which country's illegal bombing of Libya in 1986 was described by the UN Legal Committee as a "classic case" of terrorism?
A: The United States of America.
Q11) Aside from Somalia, which is the only other country in the world to have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?
A: The United States of America.
Q12) Which is the only country in the West which still permits the execution of children (i.e. "persons under the age of 18")?
A: The United States of America.
Q13) Which is the only G7 country to have refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, forbidding the use of landmines?
A: The United States of America.
Q14) Aside from China, which is the only other nuclear power to have refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)?
A: The United States of America.
Q15) Which country rejected the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to terminate its "unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua in 1986, and then vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?
A: The United States of America.
Q16) Which is the only G7 country to have voted against the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998?
A: The United States of America.
Q17) Which country refuses to hand over a variety of indicted war criminals, terrorists and mass murderers - all residing within its borders - to Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti?
A: The United States of America.
Q18) Which country has provided approximately $100 billion in aid to a country [Israel] which has maintained a 34-year occupation of land in defiance of international law?
A: The United States of America.
Q19) Which was the only other country to join with Israel in opposing a 1987 General Assembly resolution condemning international terrorism?
A: The United States of America.
Q20) Which country refuses to fully pay its debts to the United Nations yet reserves its right to veto United Nations resolutions?
A: The United States of America.
Q21) Which country only ratified the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide in 1988, forty years after its passage at the United Nations?
A: The United States of America.
Q22) Which country was accused by a UN-sponsored truth commission of providing "direct and indirect support" for "acts of genocide" against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala during the 1980s?
A: The United States of America.
Q23) Which country is the driving force behind the current economic embargo on Iraq - responsible for the death of over half a million Iraqi children and described by one of its own legislators as "genocide masquerading as policy"?
A: The United States of America.
Q24) Which is the only country in the world to have dropped bombs on twenty other countries since 1945?
A: The United States of America.
Q25) Which is the only country in the world to have used all three types of "weapons of mass destruction" (chemical, biological and nuclear)?
A: The United States of America.
By Richard Becker, Western
Region Co-Director, International Action
What is really behind the
intense U.S. hostility toward Iraq and its
For more information,
contact: International Action Center
by Lenora Foerstel and Brian Willson
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) 26 January 2002
The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference, but it was not until the end of World War II that a more comprehensive definition of what constitutes war crimes was developed. First among new international conventions addressing war crimes was the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Its fundamental premise was that the conduct of war in violation of international treaties was a crime against peace. Ill treatment of prisoners of war, killing hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages was a war crime. Crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, deportation, and prosecution based on political, racial or religious grounds.
The 1949 Geneva Convention gave recognition to the development of new technologies which exposed civilian life to greater threats of destruction. A 1977 addendum further emphasized the right of civilians to be protected against military operations. This included the protection of civilians against starvation as a method of warfare. Article II of the Geneva Convention addressed the issue of genocide, defined as killing or causing serious bodily harm to individuals based on their nationality, ethnic, racial or religious group and with the intent to destroy that group.
Since the Geneva Convention, a number of other significant international treaties addressing war and human rights have been drafted, but the United States has rejected almost all of them. Among the treaties that the United States has refused to sign are the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (1966); the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (1966), and the American Convention on Human Rights (1965).
The United States has been particularly reluctant to sign treaties addressing the "laws of war". It has refused to sign The Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Thermo-Nuclear Weapons (1961); The Resolution on the Non-Use of Force in International Relations and Permanent Ban on the Use of Nuclear Weapons (1972); The Resolution on the Definition of Aggression (1974); Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Convention (1977); and the Declaration on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(1989).1 Equally disturbing was the U.S. refusal to sign the Convention on Rights of the Child, introduced into the United Nations General assembly on November 20, 1989 and subsequently ratified by 191 countries. The first use of atomic weapons against human beings occurred on August 6-9 1945, when the United States incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, killing an estimated 110,000 Japanese citizens and injuring another 130,000. By 1950 another 230,000 died from injuries and radiation. Earlier in 1945 two fire bombing raids on Tokyo killed 140,000 citizens and injured a million more.
Since World War II the US has bombed twenty-three nations. Author William Blum notes: "It is sobering to reflect that in our era of instant world wide communications, the United States has, on many occasions, been able to mount a large or small scale military operation or undertake other equally blatant forms of intervention without the American public being aware of it until years later if ever."2 The growing primacy or aerial bombardment in the conduct of war has inevitably defined non-combatants as the preferred target of war. Indeed, the combination of American air power and occupation ground forces has resulted in massive civilian casualties around the world.
On August 15,1945, the Korean people, devastated and impoverished by years of brutality from Japanese occupation forces, openly celebrated their liberation and immediately formed the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CKPI). By August 28, 1945, all Korean provinces on the entire Peninsula had established local people's democratic committees, and on September 6, delegates from throughout Korea, north and south, created the Korean People's Republic (KPR). On September 7, the day after the creation of the KPR, General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the victorious Allied powers in the Pacific, formally issued a proclamation addressed "To the People of Korea." The proclamation announced that forces under his command "will today occupy the Territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude." The first advance party of U.S. units, the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, actually began arriving at Inchon on September 5th, two days before MacArthur's occupation declaration. The bulk of the US occupation forces began unloading from twenty-one Navy ships (including five destroyers) on September 8 through the port at Inchon under the command of Lieutenant General John Reed Hodge. Hundreds of black-coated armed Japanese police on horseback, still under the direction of Japanese Governor-General Abe Noabuyki, kept angry Korean crowds away from the disembarking US soldiers. On the morning of September 9, General Hodge announced that Governor-General Abe would continue to function with all his Japanese and Korean personnel. Within a few weeks there were 25,000 American troops and members of "civil service teams" in the country. Ultimately the number of US troops in southern Korea reached 72,000. Though the Koreans were officially characterized as a "semi-friendly, liberated" people, General Hodge regrettably instructed his own officers that Korea "was an enemy of the United States...subject to the provisions and the terms of the surrender." Tragically and ironically, the Korean people, citizens of the victim-nation, had become enemies, while the defeated Japanese, who had been the illegal aggressors, served as occupiers in alliance with the United States. Indeed, Korea was burdened with the very occupation originally intended for Japan, which became the recipient of massive U.S. aid and reconstruction in the post-war period. Japan remains, to this day, America's forward military base affording protection and intelligence for its "interests" in the Asia-Pacific region. Seventy-three-year-old Syngman Rhee was elected President of South Korea on May 10,1948 in an election boycotted by virtually all Koreans except the elite KDP and Rhee's own right -wing political groups. This event, historically sealing a politically divided Korea, provoked what became known at the Cheju massacre, in which as many as 70,000 residents of the southern island of Cheju were ruthlessly murdered during a single year by Rhee's paramilitary forces under the oversight of U.S. officers. Rhee took office as President on August 15 and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was formally declared. In response, three-and -a-half weeks later (on September 9, 1948), the people of northern Korea grudgingly created their own separate government, the Democratic People's's Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Kim II Sung as its premier. Korea was now clearly and tragically split in two. Kim Il Sung had survived as a guerrilla fighter against the Japanese occupation in both China and Korea since 1932 when he was twenty years old. He was thirty-three when he returned to Pyongyang in October 1945 to begin the hoped-for era of rebuilding a united Korea free of foreign domination, and three years later, on September 9, 1948, he became North Korea's first premier. The Rhee/U.S. forces escalated their ruthless campaign of cleansing the south of dissidents, identifying as a suspected "communist" anyone who opposed the Rhee regime, publicly or privately. In reality, most participants or believers in the popular movement in the south were socialists unaffiliated with outside "communist" organizations. As the repression intensified, however, alliances with popular movements in the north, including communist organizations, increased. The Cheju insurgency was crushed by August 1949, but on the mainland, guerrilla warfare continued in most provinces until 1959-51. In the eyes of the commander of US military forces in Korea, General Hodge, and new "President" Syngman Rhee, virtually any Korean who had not publicly professed his allegiance to Rhee was considered a "communist" traitor. As a result, massive numbers of farmers, villagers and urban residents were systematically rounded up in rural areas, villages and cities throughout South Korea. Captives were regularly tortured to extract names of others. Thousands were imprisoned and even more thousands forced to dig mass graves before being ordered into them and shot by fellow Koreans, often under the watch of U.S. troops. The introduction of U.S./UN military forces on June 26,1950 occurred with no American understanding (except by a few astute observers such as journalist I.F Stone) that in fact they were entering an ongoing revolutionary civil war waged by indigenous Koreans seeking genuine independence after five years of U.S. interference. The American occupation simply fueled Korean passions even more while creating further divisions among them. In the Autumn of 1950, when U.S. forces were in retreat in North Korea, General Douglas MacArthur offered all air forces under his command to destroy "every means of communication, every installation, factory, city and village " from the Yalu River, forming the border between North Korea and China, south to the battle line. The massive saturation bombing conducted throughout the war, including napalm, incendiary, and fragmentation bombs, left scorched cities and villages in total ruins. As in World War II, the U.S. strategic bombing campaign brought mass destruction and shockingly heavy civilian casualties. Such tactics were in clear violation of the Nuremburg Charter, which had, ironically, been created after World War II, largely due to pressure from the U.S. The Nuremburg Tribunal defined "the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages" to be a war crime and declared that Ainhumane acts against any civilian population" were a crime against humanity. From that fateful day on September 8, 1945 to the present, a period of 56 years, U.S. military forces (currently numbering 37,000 positioned at 100 installations) have maintained a continuous occupation in the south supporting de facto U.S. rule over the political, economic and military life of a needlessly divided Korea. This often brutal occupation and the persistent U.S. support for the repressive policies of dictatorial puppets continues to be the single greatest obstacle to peace in Korea, preventing the inevitable reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Until 1994, all of the hundreds of thousands of South Korean defense forces operated under direct U.S. command. Even today, although integrated into the Combined Forces Command (CFC), these forces automatically revert to direct US control when the US military commander in Korea determines that there is a state of war.
After 350 years of colonialism, President Sukarno, with the cooperation of the communist party (PKI), sought to make Indonesia an independent socialist democracy. Sukarno's working relationship with the PKI would not be tolerated by Washington. Under the direction of the CIA, rebels in the Indonesian army were armed, trained and equipped in preparation for a military coup. The Indonesian army's campaign against the PKI in 1965-66 brought the dictator Suharto to power. Under his rule, teachers, students, civil servants and peasants were systematically executed. In Central and East Java alone, 60,000 were killed. In Bali, some 50,000 people were executed, and thousands more died in remote Indonesian villages. In some areas citizens were confined in Navy vessels which were then sunk to the bottom of the sea. The most extensive killing were committed against suspected PKI supporters identified by U.S. intelligence. Historian Gabriel Kollo states that the slaughter in Indonesia "ranks as a crime of the same type as the Nazi perpetrated."3 Recent revealed documents at George Washington University's National Security Archive confirmed how effectively the Indonesian army used the U.S.-prepared hit list against the Indonesian communist party in 1965-66. Among the documents cited is a 1966 airgram to Washington sent by U.S. ambassador Marshall Green stating that a list from the Embassy identifying top communist leaders was being used by the Indonesian security authorities in their extermination campaign. For example, the US Embassy reported on November 13,1965 that information sent to Suharto resulted in the killing of between 50 to 100 PKI members every night in East and Central Java. The Embassy admitted in an April 15, 1966 airgram to Washington: "We frankly do not know whether the real figure for the PKI killed is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000."4 The Indonesian military became the instrument of another counter revolutionary offensive in 1975 when it invaded East Timor. On September 7,1975, just 24 hours after the highest officials of the United States government, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had been in Djakarta on a state visit, 30,000 Indonesian troops landed in East Timor. Napalm, phosphorus bombs and chemical defoliants were delivered from US supplied planes and helicopters, resulting in the killing of tens of thousands of people, and the conflict continues to simmer.5
President Harry Truman began granting material aid to the French colonial forces in Indochina as early as 1946, and the aid was dramatically increased after the successful Chinese revolution in 1949 and the start of the "hot" Korean War in June 1950. By the time of the French army was defeated in 1954, the U.S. was paying nearly 80 percent of the French military expenditures and providing extensive air and logistical support. The unilateral U.S. military intervention in Vietnam began in 1954, immediately following the humiliating French defeat in early May 1954. The July 21, 1954 Geneva Agreement concluded the French war against the Vietnamese and promised them a unifying election, mandated for July 1956. The U.S. government knew that fair elections would, in effect, ensure a genuine democratic victory for revered Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. This was unacceptable. In June 1954, prior to the signing of the historic Geneva agreement, the U.S. began CIA-directed internal sabotage operations against the Vietnamese while setting up the puppet Ngo Dinh Diem (brought to Vietnam from the U.S.) as "our" political leader. No electrons were ever held. This set the stage for yet another war for Vietnamese independence, this time against U.S. forces and their South Vietnamese puppets. The significance of U.S. intentions to interfere with independence movements in Asia cannot be underestimated. U.S. National Security Council documents from 1956 declared that our national security would be endangered by communist domination of mainland Southeast Asia. Secret military plans stated that nuclear weapons will be used in general war and even in military operations short of general war. By March 1961, the Pentagon brass had recommended sending 60,000 soldiers to western Laos supported by air power that would include, if necessary, nuclear weapons, to assure that the Royal Laotian government would prevail against the popular insurgency being waged against it. For the next ten years the U.S. unleashed forces that caused (and continue to cause ) an incomprehensible amount of devastation in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia. Eight million tons of bombs (four times the amount used by the U.S. in all of World War II) were dropped indiscriminately, leaving destruction which, if laid crater to crater, would cover an area the size of the state of Maine. Eighty percent of the bombs fell on rural areas rather than military targets, leaving ten million craters. Nearly 400,000 tons of napalm was dropped on Vietnamese villages. There was no pretense of distinguishing between combatants and civilians. The callous designation of as much as three-fourths of South Vietnam as a "free fire zone" justified the murder of virtually anyone in thousands of villages in those vast areas. At the time, Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara cited a 1967 memo in which he estimated the number of Vietnamese civilians killed or seriously injured by U.S. forces at 1000 per week. The CIA=s Phoenix program alone killed as many as 70,000 civilians who were suspected of being part of the political leadership of the Viet Cong in the south. There was a historically unprecedented level of chemical warfare in Vietnam, including the indiscriminate spraying of nearly 20 million gallons of defoliants on one-seventh the area of South Vietnam. The vestigial effects of chemical warfare poisoning continue to plague the health of adult Vietnamese (and ex-GIs) while causing escalated birth defects. Samples of soil, water, food and body fat of Vietnamese citizens continue to reveal dangerously elevated levels of dioxin to the present day. Today, Vietnamese officials estimate the continued dangerous presence of 3.5 million landmines left from the war as well as 300,000 tons of unexploded ordnance. Tragically, these hidden remnants of war continue to explode when farmers plow their fields or children play in their neighborhoods, killing thousands each year. The Vietnamese report 40,000 people killed since 1975 by landmines and buried bombs. That means that each day, 4 or 5 Vietnamese civilians are killed day by U.S. ordnance. The U.S. and its allies killed as many as 5 million Southeast Asian citizens during the active war years. The numbers of dead in Laos and Cambodia remain uncounted, but as of 1971, a congressional Research Service report prepared for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee indicated that over one million Laotians had been killed, wounded, or turned into refugees, with the figure for Cambodia estimated two million. More than a half million "secret" US bombing missions over Laos, begun in late 1964, devastated populations of ancient cultures there. Estimates indicate that around 230,000 tons of bombs were dropped over northern Laos in 1968 and 1969 alone. Increasing numbers of U.S. military personnel were added to the ground forces in Laos during 1961, preparing for major military operations to come. The "secret" bombing of Cambodia began in March 1969, and an outright land invasion of Cambodia was conducted from late April 1970 through the end of June, causing thousand of casualties. These raging U.S. covert wars did not cease until August 14, 1973, by which time countless additional casualties were inflicted. When the bombing in Cambodia finally ceased, the U.S. Air Force had officially recorded the use of nearly 260,000 tons of bombs there. The total tonnage of bombs dropped in Laos over eight and a half years exceeded two million. The consensus today is that more than 3 million Vietnamese were killed, with 300,000 additional missing in action and presumed dead. In the process the U.S. lost nearly 59,000 of her own men and women, with about 2,000 additional missing, while combatants from four U.S. allies lost over 6,000 more. The South Vietnamese military accounted for nearly 225,000 dead. All of this carnage was justified in order to destroy the basic rights and capacity of the Vietnamese to construct their own independent, sovereign society. None of the victims deserved to die in such a war. Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, and U.S. military "grunts" were all victims. All of these corpses were created to perpetuate an incredible lie and to serve a "cause" that had been concocted by white male plutocrats in Washington, many of whom possessed Ph.Ds from prestigious universities. Like most of their predecessors throughout U.S. history, these politicians and their appointees, along with their profit-hungry arms makers/dealers, desired to assure the destruction of people's democratic movements in East Asia that threatened the virtually unlimited American hegemony over markets, resources, and the profits to be derived therefrom. But never did a small country suffer so much from an imperial nation as the Vietnamese did from the United States.
The royal family in Kuwait was used by the United States government to justify a massive assault on Iraq in order to establish permanent dominion over the Gulf. The Gulf War was begun not to protect Kuwait but to establish US power over the region and its oil.6 In 1990, General Schwarzkopf had testified before the Senate that it was essential for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Gulf in order to protect Saudi Arabia. However, satellite photos showed no Iraqi troops near the Saudi Border. After Iraq announced that it was going to annex Kuwait, the United States began its air attacks on Iraq. For 42 days the US sent in 2000 sorties a day. By February 13,1991, 1,500 Iraqi citizens had been killed. President George Bush ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production. The Red Crescent Society of Jordan announced at the end of the war that 113,00 civilians were dead and sixty percent were women and children. Some of the worst devastation was wrought by the US military's use of Depleted Uranium (DU) on battlefields and in towns and cities across Iraq. It left a legacy of radioactive debris which has resulted in serious environmental contamination and health problems, particularly among Iraqi children. Child mortality rates have risen by 380 percent. Between August 1990 and August 1997 some 1.2 million children in Iraq died due to environmental devastation and the harsh economic sanctions imposed in 1991. Not satisfied with such havoc, the U.S. and Britain have recently sought to tighten the blockade against Iraq by imposing so-called :"smart sanctions." This would continue the aggression against northern and southern Iraq and lead to the deaths of more women, children and elderly.
The United States and Germany prepared plans for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the late 1980's and have since reconfigured Yugoslavia into mini-states, with only Serbia and Montenegro remaining in the Yugoslav federation, a situation which has opened the way to the re-colonization of the Balkans. In 1991, the European Community, with US involvement, organized a conference on Yugoslavia that called for the separation, sovereignty and independence of the republics of Yugoslavia. President George Bush's administration passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Act, which provided aid to the individual republics, but cut off all aid to Belgrade, the capitol of Yugoslavia. This stimulated the eventual secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. With secession came civil wars. Ethnic Serbs living in Croatia had been loyal to that Yugoslav republic, but great power meddling now forced them to defend their region in Croatia known as Krajina. The U.S. covertly provided arms, training, advisors, satellite intelligence and air power to the Croats in "Operation Storm" directed against the helpless Serbs in Krajina. When the bombing began, the Krajina Serbs fled to Belgrade and Bosnia. Approximately 250,000 Serbs were thus ethnically cleansed from the Krajina and all evidence of Serb habitation was systematically destroyed. Civilians were executed, livestock slaughtered and houses were burnt to the ground.7 To avoid a similar human catastrophe in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bosnian Serbs consolidated Serb-owned lands, an area constituting about two thirds of Bosnia/Herzegovina. Germany and the U.S. quickly aided the military alliance of Bosnian Muslims and Croats against the Serbs, and , supported by American bombing and regular army forces from Croatia, the Muslim/Croat alliance soon swept the Serbs from the majority of Bosnia/Herzegovina. As in the Krajina, the conflict forced ethnic Serbs off of their lands, creating one hundred thousand Serb refugees. Under the U.S.-brokered Dayton Agreement, Bosnia/Herzegovina was divided into two parts, a Muslim-Croat Federation and Republica Srpska. The central government today is controlled by US/NATO forces, the IMF, and international NGOs. With no history of independence, Bosnia/Herzegovina's economic assets have been taken over by foreign investors who now own their energy facilities, water, telecommunication, media and transportation. The effects of the Bosnian civil war on the city of Srebrenica were reported extensively in the western media. Reports claimed that 7,414 Bosnian Muslims were executed by the Serbian army. After years of searching, digging and extensive investigations, only seventy bodies were found, but the original charges of genocide are still circulated in the media. Kosovo, an autonomous region of Serbia, is the site of the most recent, and perhaps most disastrous, U.S. military intervention. Kosovo's problems began after World War II when immigrants from Albania flooded into the region, sparking political confrontation between Albanians and Serbs. escalated into military conflict. The "Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian terrorist/separatist group, escalated tensions by directing their violence against not only Serbian civilians, but Albanian who refused to join their cause. As the war intensified, a United Nations team of observers in the Kosovo village of Racak found 44 Albanian bodies. The Serbs identified them as KLA fighters killed during one of the now frequent gun battles with police. William Walker, a US diplomat, who had earlier acted as an apologist for the death squads in El Salvador, led a group of journalists to view the bodies, and their subsequent claims of Serb war crimes made world-wide headlines.8 President Clinton used this event to bring delegates form the contending forces in Bosnia to Rambouillet, and the proposed Ramboullet Accords served as a prelude to U.S. intervention in Kosovo. The accords, if accepted, would have allowed NATO forces complete access to all of Yugoslavia, a virtual foreign occupation, with all associated costs to be borne by the Yugoslav government. As the Ramboullet negotiations began to stall, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright ordered the bombing of Yugoslavia to begin. On March 16, 1999, twenty three thousand missiles and bombs were dropped on a country of eleven million people. Thirty five thousand cluster bombs, graphite bombs and 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons were used, the latter scattering radioactive waste throughout the Yugoslav countryside. The 78 day bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia targeted schools, hospitals, farms, bridges, roads communication centers, and waterways. Because a large number of chemical plants and oil refineries bombed by US/NATO planes were located on the banks of the Danube river, the bombing of these industrial sites polluted the Danube, a source of drinking water for ten million people in the region. The environmental damage done to the soil, water and air of Yugoslavia soon spread to Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Greece and Italy. Countries like Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, which border on the Black Sea, into which the Danube empties, also continue to face health hazards.
"The Bush-Afghan war calls up memories of the Vietnam War in both actions and rhetoric, the massive use of superior arms heavily impacting civilians, deliberate food deprivation, wholesale terror allegedly combating 'terrorism', but always sincere regrets for collateral damages."9 Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the U.S. has waged a merciless war against the Afghan people, using chemical, biological and depleted uranium (DU) weapons. The use of DU continues to spread radiation throughout large parts of Afghanistan and will affect tens of thousands of people in generations to come, causing lung cancer, leukemia and birth defects. DU was also used against Iraq and Yugoslavia, where the frequency of cancer has tripled. The bombing of the Afghan population has forced thousands of civilians to flee to Pakistan and Iran, and seven to eight million civilians are facing starvation. UNICEF spokesman Eric Larlcke has stated, "As many as 100,000 more children will die in Afghanistan this winter unless food reaches them in sufficient quantities in the next six weeks."10 The racist underpinnings of the American world-view allows the American press and its political leaders to be silent on the mass killing of Third World children. Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, has stated that the U.S. is not looking to negotiate peace with the Taliban and Al-Quida in Afghanistan. There is a clear indifference to the daily carnage in Afghanistan, where sixty percent of the casualties are women and children. Human rights organizations have expressed concern over reports of large-scale executions of would-be Taliban defectors in the city of Kunduz, and the United Nations has echoed human rights groups in demanding an investigation into the slaughter of prisoners at the Qala-i-Jhangi fort near Mazar-i-Sharif. With more than 500 people dead and the fort littered with bodies, allegations of war crimes against the U.S. and UK for ignoring the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war have led the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to call for an urgent inquiry. "Once we recognize the pattern of activity designed to simultaneously consolidate control over Middle Eastern and South Asian oil and contain and colonize the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan is exactly where they need to go to pursue that agenda."11 In his book The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brezezinski writes that the Eurasian Balkans are a potential economic prize which hold an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil and important minerals as well as gold. Brezezinski declares that the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are "known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea."12 Afghanistan will serve as a base of operations to begin the control over the South Asian Republic in order to build a pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to deliver petroleum to the Asian market. This pipeline will serve as a bonanza of wealth for the US oil companies.
An examination of the American conduct of its wars since World War II shows the US to be in violation of the Nuremberg Principles, the 1949 Geneva Convention relating to protection of civilian prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and the amended Nuremberg Principles as formulated by the International Law Commission in 1950 proscribing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The massive murder and destruction of civilian infrastructure through the use of biological, chemical and depleted uranium weapons violates not only international laws but the moral and humanitarian standards expected in modern civilization. ----------------------- Notes 1. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1942 to the Present. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1977, p. 371. 2. William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II, Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995, p. 17. 3. Gabriel Kollo, AWar Crimes and the Nature of the Vietnam War, Bertrand Russell Foundation, http:www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/littleton/br7006gk.htm 4. George Washington University's National Security Archive, July 27, 2001, www.Narchives.org 5. Deirdre Griswold, Indonesia: the Second Greatest Crime of the Century, 2d edition. New York: World View Publishers, 1979, p. vii. 6. Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992, p. 3. 7. Scott Taylor, INAT: Images of Serbia and the Kosovo Conflict. OttAwa, Canada: Espirit de Corps Books, 2000, p. 15. 8. Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. New York: Verso, 2000, p. 106. 9. Edward Herman, A Genocide as Collateral Damage, but with Sincere Regrets, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca , 2001 10. 100,000 Afghan Children Could Die This Winter, The Times of India, October 16, 2001. 11. Stan Goff, A September 11th Analysis, October 27, 2001, www.maisonneuvepress.com 12. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative, New York: Harper
---------- Lenora Foerstel is author of War, Lies & Videotape: How media monopoly stifles truth. <http://www.leftbooks.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.100.exe/online-store/scstore/p-bmed20001659.html?E+scstore>
Brian Willson is a Vietnam war veteran, peace activist and author. Brian Willson has carefully documented the balance sheet of US government war crimes in Vietnam and Korea. <http://brianwillson.com/>
By cunning and any other means Israel constantly tries to divert attention from the Jewish occupation of Palestine and from the dominance exerted by Jewish power over the western states. A group of militant Zionists at Stockholm University have thus "revealed" - in an opinion poll financed by Jewish organizations in Sweden - that 34% of Swedish junior high school students doubt that the Holocaust has really taken place.
The result of the poll, which has been made a great feature of in Jewish-controlled media, caused panic in ruling circles. In the Swedish parliament immediate measures were demanded from the government, and in an emotionally tinged pronouncement the prime minister Geran Persson expressed his indignation and worry about the fact that only 66% of the junior high school students acknowledged the existence of the Holocaust.
Since one of the more important goals of the educational system and the media is to make people believe in the story of the Holocaust and to achieve the one hundred percentage of believers demanded by the Jewish power, Geran Persson has promised to take quick steps to intensify the brainwashing of the junior high school students and citizens in general, and to shut the mouth of everybody, who spreads doubt about the reality of the Holocaust. The Swedish prime minister has also promised to distribute a video cassette about the Holocaust to the parents of all junior high school students, so that the former take their responsibility to educate their children in a Zionist spirit.
It should be no secret that the speeches of the Swedish prime minister are usually written by the strong man of the government, the Jew Leif Pagrotsky! Geran Persson's statement before the parliament struck the note for the media. The day after the meeting of the parliament the pro-Zionist Swedish newspaper Dagen wrote that "The Association of survivors from the Holocaust" has decided to stop Radio Islam and erect a big monument in memory of the Holocaust in front of the synagogue in Stockholm. In an interview in the same number of the newspaper the leader of the association, Jakob Ringart, declared it to be "a scandal that Ahmed Rami is allowed to continue denying the Holocaust in radio broadcasts on Swedish soil."
In an interview the same day in Swedish radio and TV one of the leaders of the Jewish lobby declared that the result of the poll was the fruit of broadcasts for years from Radio Islam, and that only Ahmed Rami can be happy about it today. Exactly a week after the pronouncement of the prime minister the Swedish attorney general decided to initiate legal proceedings against Radio Islam's home page on Internet. To the media it was given to understand that the whole dossier about this "affair" was to be classified as secret.
Since this legal action has been completely covered up and the attorney general refuses to give a statement, the Swedish television turned to a professor of law at Stockholm University. In his opinion "Ahmed Rami may be found guilty of disrespect for the Jewish people, even if his home page on Internet is based in America. As a Swedish citizen he is to be judged according to Swedish law."
The day after the decision to initiate legal proceedings against Radio Islam's home page on Internet Ahmed Rami received a bill concerning the broadcastings from Radio Islam, which sends 35 hours a week in various languages (among other things information from the persecuted Canadian history revisionist Ernst Zundel). According to the bill, Radio Islam is requested to pay 6000 Swedish crowns for the costs of the broadcasting at a tariff of 65 crowns for a quarter of an hour (there is a common sender for all the stations).
Radio Islam began sending on the 3rd of March 1987 and has never before been requested to pay for the transmissions except for the use of a telephone line connecting the studio with the sender! The chairman of the board of directors of this sender is an active member of a Zionist organization, and the signer of the bill (also a Zionist) is a member of a homosexual organization, which in its publications has repeatedly attacked Radio Islam.
These legal and financial persecutions of Radio Islam and its home page on Internet are not only directed against the person Ahmed Rami, who has already served a sentence of six months in jail for the expression of his views, but against the freedom of us all. Yesterday it was Zündel, today it is Rami. Who will be the next tomorrow?
It is high time to pass to concrete acts of solidarity across the geographical, ideological and religious boundaries. The powers of evil are acting on a global level in a total war to lay our planet under Jewish dominion. After showing their real face in Palestine they constantly advance their positions for the purpose of turning the whole world into a single large prison, guarded by a Jewish oligarchy!
Our civilization can only survive in a climate of freedom of thought and respect for fundamental human rights. All religions, ideologies and political systems should not deny an opposition the right to exist. The totalitarian Zionism of today is the only ideology that systematically wants to make the very existence of an opposition a criminal offence! Before we can coexist, we must first be able to exist. That right is denied those who are opposed to the Jewish domination. This fanaticism and obscurantism is a serious threat against our civilization and against world peace. Each one of us should do something concrete to defend freedom!
Boston Globe February 8, 2002
By Derrick Z. Jackson, 2/8/2002
KOFI ANNAN is to the Davos crowd what a busboy is on a cruise ship. If he is lucky, he might get a good tip. As for mingling in a tuxedo at the banquets or chatting at poolside, he might as well be Cinderella sweeping for her two sisters. He is to be tolerated as long as he knows his job is to pick up the crumbs.
The elite met once again on how to stay elite at the World Economic Forum.
To be completely accurate, they were forced by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 to display a veneer of conscience. Financier George Soros said: ''We need a global society and not just a global economy. We need to address wealth disparities and inequalities.'' Bill Gates said: ''People who feel the world is tilted against them will spawn the kind of hatred that is very dangerous for all of us.'' Even Horst Koehler, managing director of the International Monetary Fund said: ''Societies in the advanced countries are too selfish to give up their privileges.'' Beneath the soft veneer was hard, unvarnished greed. US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said not to even bother asking the United States to pull out its wallet to help out the world's poor, even though the United States gives out less foriegn aid per capita than any developed nation in the world. O'Neill said: ''Over the last 50 years, the developed world has spent trillions of dollars in the name of aid, and I would submit that we have precious little to show for it. How much money we spend is not the right issue. How fast we raise every human being's standard to our own, that's the question.''
O'Neill's argument is laughable on the face of it, since the American standard of living is possible only because our 5 or 6 percent of the world's population consumes about a quarter of the world's energy. The United States and the developed world comprise a quarter of the world's population but eat half its cereals and two-thirds of its meat. As for how the remaining 75 percent of the world is supposed to raise its standard of living while having access to only half the cereals and a third of the world's meat, O'Neill has no answer. Giving aid with precious little to show for it is the American way, from bloated Pentagon contracts to the current $15 billion bailout of shoddy airlines.
O'Neill does not want to spend the money on the poor because a moment of fun cannot be missed on the cruise ship. The 3,000 participants at the World Economic Forum, which drifted through the hallways of the Waldorf, dropped $100 million on New York hotels, ballrooms, and restaurants, according to the New York City tourism board.
That comes out to $33,333.33 per person. In five days in New York, each participant of the World Economic Forum spent on average what the average American makes in a year, four times what the average Mexican makes in a year, 14 times what the average person in India makes in a year, 22 times what the average person makes in Bangladesh, and 74 times than the average person makes in a year in Sierra Leone, according to United Nations figures.
To that body, the world's spokesman for the globe's busboys and buswomen of cheap labor made his appeal. Annan asked for $50 billion annually in new aid to cut the most extreme of world poverty in half by 2015. That amount is quite small considering that it would still leave the developed world giving less than 1 percent of its gross national product to developing nations. In the United States alone, that is a puny figure, given what we will do for airlines alone.
It is an eerie figure, given that President Bush just asked for an increase in military spending of nearly $50 billion despite the stark evidence at Ground Zero and in Israel that heavily armed militaries do not stop suicide bombers.
Annan tried to turn the cruise ship into a ''small boat driven by a fierce gale through dark and unchartered waters, with more and more people crowded on board, hoping desperately to survive. None of us, I suggest, can afford to ignore the condition of our fellow passengers on this little boat. If they are sick, all of us risk infection. And if they are angry, all of us can easily get hurt.''
By their spending in New York only five months after Sept. 11, the elite have made it abundantly evident that they still consider themselves invulnerable to infection and in no need of an infirmary aboard their vessel. Annan was allowed to come topside at the World Economic Forum, but the rich showed him no tux, no pass to the pool, and certainly no invitation to step over the crumbs to get a taste at the banquet table.
Derrick Z. Jackson's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
more than a little skepticism is in order
"If you want to be spectacularly misinformed," said writer Henry Miller, "buy a newspaper."
That's something I discovered at the age of 18, while working as a grocery store clerk.
One Tuesday, my day off, I happened by the store in which I worked. My co-workers were milling about the parking lot, chatting animatedly. There were police cars pulled up in front of the store, and a fire truck.
As I approached, an older man named Frank who worked as a butcher, called out, "You left your cigars on the shelf."
"What?" I replied, bemused.
"Your cigars. What's the idea of hiding your cigars behind the fireworks?"
"What are you talking about, Frank?"
"Jody" -- he was one of my fellow clerks -- "Well, he found two sticks of dynamite, attached to a timer, hidden behind the fireworks in aisle three."
A bomb? I couldn't take it in. Things like this didn't really happen, not to ordinary people.
They do. Something the local newspaper was to remind to me of in the coming days. Of course, we snapped up the newspapers every day as soon as they hit the streets, poring over the stories, as otherwise anonymous people do whenever they find themselves in the centre of a news story. And what we discovered came as a shock. They got the story wrong. The names were wrong. The ages wrong. The sequence of events wrong. The dates wrong. "If they can get this so screwed up," we complained, "how screwed up is everything else we're reading about?"
Fast forward a few years.
Having given up on the grocery business, I found myself wearing the handle of a coffee mug -- the graduate student's ring, we called it. Graduate students, I now recognize, are a supercilious lot, much attached to any sign of ascendance over mere undergraduates. Like med students, who make a point of walking around with stethoscopes slung across their shoulders like a rich matron's mink stole, graduate students go out of their way to avoid being mistaken for their junior peers. With no reason to wear stethoscopes (we would have if we could have), we embraced coffee mugs. Index fingers wedged firmly in coffee mug handles, we graduate students would regularly meet to mouth egocentric and pompous twaddle, much of it beginning with: "It's scary what people out there don't know," "out there" referring to the great unwashed masses upon whom the gods of wisdom had not smiled.
"Out there" also included the press, for however blinkered we were to expect ordinary people to have even a basic grasp of what we spent our days studying, it wasn't asking too much to expect that at the very least journalists who took it upon themselves to report on our subject could do a little research. Instead, reporters showed a dismaying lack of knowledge, and a voracious appetite for misinformation.
And so it was that I felt the same dismay again. If the press was so far off on the subjects I knew something of, wasn't it fair to assume they were equally far off on the subjects I knew nothing about. And didn't that mean that on most matters, I was spectacularly misinformed?
For a few years I was gripped by a kind of epistemological paralysis. If I knew I couldn't rely on the media to get the story right, what could I do? I couldn't possibly research every story myself. So mostly I threw up my hands and said, "Who knows what's going on?" And went about my life, trying to concentrate on areas that were illuminated by personal insight, avoiding the great darkness, which was much of the rest of the world, outside the narrow orbit of my own life.
But one thing I was sure of: There were a lot of words in newspapers, many of them the words of presidents and prime ministers, Secretaries of State and generals, CEOs and PR hacks, all of whom, most of the time, had reasons to mislead. Newspapers are filled with self-serving fictions.
Skip forward a few more years.
Slobodan Milosevic is being demonized in the Western press. Brute, murderer, monster, ethnic cleanser, dictator, strongman, warlord, demagogue. You can't stoop too low, exaggerate too much, denounce him profoundly enough. Call him a Hitler and nobody bats an eye.
In the official Milosevic demonology, the former Yugoslav president's 1989 speech at Kosovo Field becomes the signal event in Milosevic's transformation from communist party apparatchik, to virulent Serb nationalist, intent on building a "Greater Serbia."
On June 3rd 1999, with large parts of Serbia laying in ruins after being targeted by NATO warplanes, The Economist says, "But it is primitive nationalism, egged on by the self-deluding myth of Serbs as perennial victims, that has become both Mr Milosevic's rescuer (when communism collapsed with the Soviet Union) and his nemesis. It was a stirringly virulent nationalist speech he made in Kosovo, in 1989, harking back to the Serb Prince Lazar's suicidally brave battle against the Turks a mere six centuries ago, that saved his leadership when the Serbian old guard looked in danger of ejection. Now he may have become a victim of his own propaganda."
On July 9th, the international edition of Time reports, "It was St. Vitus' Day, a date steeped in Serbian history, myth and eerie coincidence: on June 28, 1389, Ottoman invaders defeated the Serbs at the battle of Kosovo; 525 years later, a young Serbian nationalist assassinated Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, lighting the fuse for World War I. And it was on St. Vitus' Day, 1989, that Milosevic whipped a million Serbs into a nationalist frenzy in the speech that capped his ascent to power."
And on July 28th, as questions are being asked about NATO's 78-day bombardment, the New York Times weighs in:
"In 1989 the Serbian strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, swooped down in a helicopter onto the field where 600 years earlier the Turks had defeated the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo. In a fervent speech before a million Serbs, he galvanized the nationalist passions that two years later fuelled the Balkan conflict."
Certainly, it seemed that, regrettable bombing errors aside, the destruction of Yugoslavia was necessary to stop Milosevic's raging nationalist ambitions, ambitions it was said that fuelled a campaign of murder, mass deportation, and genocide. Except, like the story of the dynamite planted in the grocery store, this story was all screwed up.
Gregory Elich, a researcher and writer, decided to check out whether what the media said about Milosevic's speech was truth or fiction. Tracking down a US government translation of the address, Elich discovered the media had the story all wrong. Not only had Milosevic not whipped up nationalist fervor, he'd tried to do the very opposite. Jared Israel, who had been dissecting media coverage of the Balkans, posted the speech on his Web site, Emperors Clothes, http://emperors-clothes.com.
Wrote Israel, "It is impossible for a society to engage in genocide unless the population is won to hate the target group. This has to be done in a systematic way. That is, political leaders must support hate in deeds but also in words."
"We are told that this happened in Serbia. We are told that Slobodan Milosevic and other Serbian leaders indoctrinated the Serbian people to hate non-Serbs, especially ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province. We are told that Milosevic launched this racist campaign in a speech at Kosovo Field in 1989."
Except if you read what Milosevic said -- something the media obviously hadn't done -- you'd see the claims that the speech "did not differ greatly from the anti-Semitic diatribes of the Nazis" was all dross. Milosevic had said none of it.
Francisco Gil-White, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow at the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, happened upon the Emperor's Clothes site. "I noticed their startling claim that we have been systematically lied to about Yugoslavia," recalled Gil-White. " Since their views entirely contradicted my own, I started systematically checking their references by obtaining the relevant original documents."
Startled by the transcript of the Kosovo Field speech-- "according to what I had read," Gil-White observed, "this was supposed to be an inflammatory ultranationalist diatribe" -- the University of Pennsylvania academic tracked down a BBC translation of the speech to check against the version Israel had posted on his Web site. "They matched almost exactly except for very minor variations in wording due to the fact that they used different translators," Gil-White remarked.
An expert in ethnopolitical conflict, Gil-White decided to delve deeper. How had academics and the media got it so wrong, he wondered. Going back to press reports filed in 1989, days after the speech was given, and a decade before Milosevic was to fall within the cross-hairs of a NATO eager to oust the Yugoslav leader, Gil-White discovered that a very different story was being told, far closer to the truth.
June 29th of that year, the day after the speech, The Independent reported:
'There is no more appropriate place than this field of Kosovo to say that accord and harmony in Serbia are vital to the prosperity of the Serbs and of all other citizens living in Serbia, regardless of their nationality or religion,' he said. Mutual tolerance and co- operation were also sine qua non for Yugoslavia: 'Harmony and relations on the basis of equality among Yugoslavia's people are a precondition for its existence, for overcoming the crisis.' The cries of 'Slobo, Slobo' which greeted his arrival on the vast monument to the heroes of 1389 soon gave way to a numb silence. 'I think people were a little disappointed, it became very quiet after the beginning,' an educated-looking woman from Belgrade said"Milosevic "talked of mutual tolerance," the Independent added, "'building a rich and democratic society' and ending the discord which had, he said, led to Serbia's defeat here by the Turks six centuries ago."
The same day, the BBC reported, "Addressing the crowd, Milosevic said that whenever they were able to the Serbs had helped others to liberate themselves, and they had never used the advantage of their being a large nation against others or for themselves."
"He added that Yugoslavia was a multi-national community," the BBC continued, "which could survive providing there was full equality for all the nations living in it."
Twelve years later, on April 1, 2001, the BBC would change its story, claiming Milosevic had "gathered a million Serbs at the site of the battle to tell them to prepare for a new struggle."
Milosevic's words that day were patently pacific. "Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully."
Hardly an appeal to hate filled nationalism.
"Equal and harmonious relations among Yugoslav peoples are a necessary condition for the existence of Yugoslavia and for it to find its way out of the crisis and, in particular, they are a necessary condition for its economic and social prosperity. In this respect Yugoslavia does not stand out from the social milieu of the contemporary, particularly the developed, world. This world is more and more marked by national tolerance, national co-operation, and even national equality. The modern economic and technological, as well as political and cultural development, has guided various peoples toward each other, has made them interdependent and increasingly has made them equal as well [medjusobno ravnopravni]. Equal and united people can above all become a part of the civilization toward which mankind is moving. If we cannot be at the head of the column leading to such a civilization, there is certainly no need for us to be at is tail."
This isn't ultra-nationlism. This is the opposite. It's an appeal for harmony, for equality, for interdependence. How could the story change so radically in the space of a decade?
That's what Gil-White vowed to find out. His conclusion? "The problem is not merely that reporters and academics are misinformed," he observes. "It appears to be a conscious effort to misinform." It's curious, Gil-White notes, that "the same source will report the facts accurately and then, in another place, usually later, report them completely inaccurately. I have difficulty explaining this as a result of ignorance, or chance, or confusion."
Not too long after Milosevic's Kosovo Field speech, the Soviet Union collapsed and the US, free to embark largely unopposed on a program of establishing global primacy, began to draw Eastern Europe and the Balkans into its orbit, economically, politically, and militarily. Yugoslavia resisted, too fond of socialism and public ownership for Washington's liking, and uninterested in NATO membership. Washington decided it was time for "a regime change."
The first step in justifying regime change is to demonize the regime to be changed. Gil-White believes the demonizing of Milosevic was "calculated to exploit the human tendency to essentialize racial, national, and ethnic groups, in order to solidify the prejudice that Serbs are virulent nationalists, which prejudice then stably frames the conflict in Yugoslavia in such a way that the interests of the powers which dismembered it might be served."
Did journalists deliberately lie, or were they just lazy, relying on what someone else said about Milosevic's Kosovo Field address, not bothering to read the original transcript? The University of Pennsylvania expert figures journalists parroted unreliable sources, which happened to present Milosevic in a light that was consistent with NATO's propaganda aims.
The implications are far-reaching, especially now that Milosevic's trial at the Hague is underway. Newspapers talk of Milosevic as a monster, of the tribunal as a step forward for international justice, of horrific atrocities.
But Gil-White asks, "What can we believe about what has been written about Milosevic in particular, and Yugoslavia more generally? After all, the demonization of Milosevic, and the Serbs more generally, perfectly fits with the propaganda aims of the NATO powers that went to war against Yugoslavia, including the US and Britain. Here we have seen that the media establishment in these two countries has produced stories about Milosevic's speech that are consistent with such a deliberate propaganda campaign."
This wouldn't be the first time NATO pressure has led to spectacularly misleading claims by the media. Soon after NATO began its assault on Yugoslavia in 1999, spokesman Jamie Shea claimed 100,000 Kosovor Albanians were unaccounted for, a claim uncritically accepted by the press.
Dr. Peter Markesteyn, a Winnipeg forensic pathologist, was among the first war crimes investigators to arrive in Kosovo after NATO ended its bombing campaign.
"We were told there were 100,000 bodies everywhere," said Dr. Markesteyn. "We performed 1,800 autopsies -- that's it." Fewer than 2,000 corpses. None found in the Trepca mines. No remains in the vats of sulphuric acid. Most found in isolated graves -- not in the mass graves NATO warned about. And no clue as to whether the bodies were those of KLA fighters, civilians, even whether they were Serbs or ethnic Albanians.
Not surprisingly then, when the Hague Tribunal issued its first indictment against Milosevic, it said nothing of 100,000 dead, citing 391 deaths instead, all from incidents -- with the exception of one now believed to have been faked -- that happened after NATO's bombing started. The media, scrupulously steering clear of asking tough questions, didn't wonder how a bombing campaign to stop a genocide could be justified, if those who were doing the bombing had no evidence of a genocide in the first place (and don't now; the Tribunal has not brought forth a genocide charge for Kosovo, despite the loud claims by NATO at the time that a genocide was going on and needed to be stopped.) But by then, the press was so firmly implicated in building the credibility of the myth, they could hardly back off.
The one pre-bombing incident on which Milosevic was indicted, the Racak massacre, is still treated as gospel truth by the media, even though a number of questions had been raised about the incident at the time, and have been raised since.
The French newspaper La Monde had some trouble swallowing the story. It reported on Jan. 21, 1999, a few days after the incident, that an Associated Press TV crew had filmed a gun battle at Racak between Serb police and KLA guerillas. The crew was present because the Serbs had tipped them off that they were going to enter the village to arrest a man accused of shooting a police officer. Also present were two teams of international monitors.
It seems unlikely that if you're about to carry out a massacre you would invite the press -- and international observers -- to watch. The film showed that as the Serbs entered Racak they came under heavy fire from KLA guerillas positioned in the surrounding hills. The idea that the police could dig a trench and then kill villagers at close range while under attack troubled La Monde. So too did the fact that, entering the village after the fire fight to assess the damage and interview the villagers, the observers saw no sign of a massacre. What's more, the villagers said nothing about a massacre either. It was only a day later, when Washington's man in Kosovo, William Walker, returned with the press in tow-- at the KLA's invitation -- that a trench was found filled with bodies.
Adding to the implausibility of the claim, a report last February by the Finnish forensic team that investigated the incident on behalf of the European Union said none of the bodies were mutilated, there was no evidence of torture, and only one was shot at close range -- all at variance with the official story.
Thirty-seven of the corpses had gunpowder residue on their hands, suggesting that they had been using firearms, and only one of the corpses was a woman, and only one was under 15 years of age. The pathologists say Walker was quick to come to the conclusion a massacre had happened, even though the evidence was weak. And they point out that there is no evidence the deceased were from Racak.
The first casualty of war is the truth," says Paul Buteux, a political scientist at the University of Manitoba, echoing a cliché that is sententiously uttered after every war, but never learned from. "It gets very murky. I have no doubt that whoever was putting those intelligence reports together prior to the NATO air campaign would be under pressure to put things in the worst possible light. There was a point when the spin doctors came in."
Putting things in the worst possible light? There's a big difference between putting things in the worst possible light and turning 1,800 corpses into 100,000, between arguing that a genocide had to be stopped by a bombing campaign, and being able to adduce only one incident of a war crime -- and a doubtful one at that -- occurring before the bombing.
As for Jared Israel, he's so certain the depiction of Milosevic as a racist monster is baseless, he's willing to put his money where his mouth is. Israel says he'll pay $500 to anyone who can "show that Slobodan Milosevic made a racist statement in any speech or interview at any time," a prize you would think the journalists who have been writing about Milosevic whipping Serbs into an ultranationalist frenzy would step forward to claim. Israel's challenge, posted at http://www.icdsm.org/more/peaceintro.htm , was issued last December.
Slobodan Milosevic's speech at Kosovo Field can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/milo/milosaid.html
Gil-White's research can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/milo/gw.htm
Fri Feb 15, 1:08 PM ET
By Andrew Roche
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Slobodan Milosevic (news - web sites) told his war crimes trial on Friday "genocidal" U.S. forces had been the unwitting ally of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) in Kosovo, and demanded Bill Clinton and other Western leaders come to testify.
Bin Laden's al Qaeda was "one of the fundamentalist groups which sent a unit to fight in Kosovo" alongside Muslim Kosovo Albanians aided by the United States against Serb forces in 1998-9, the fallen Yugoslav leader told The Hague (news - web sites) tribunal.
"The attacks on New York and Washington show what the terrorism you sponsored looks like when it turns against you," he said in a speech that ranged across centuries of history and much of the globe, and exhausted court interpreters.
Milosevic, 60, was extradited from Belgrade seven months ago to a jail cell in The Hague. On Tuesday his trial began for crimes against humanity in Kosovo in 1999 and in Croatia in 1991-2, and for genocide in the 1992-5 Bosnian war.
Prosecutors have this week portrayed him as prime mover in a decade of massacres, torture, mass rape and expulsions by Serbs.
In a second day of reply to prosecutors' opening addresses, he blamed the carnage entirely on his Balkan enemies and NATO (news - web sites). Echoing the language of his indictment, he said the West itself had committed "genocide and crimes against humanity."
"I'm asking what kind of tribunal this is, if you refuse to try people for these crimes by the leaders and armies of NATO countries," a coolly pugnacious Milosevic told judges.
On the fourth day of what is forecast to be a marathon case, he insisted the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians who fled Kosovo in 1999 during the NATO air war against Yugoslavia had been driven out not by Serbs but by their fellow Albanians.
The guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) "referred to all Albanians who did not flee Kosovo as traitors," he said, creating an "illusion of exodus." "There were hundreds of cameras waiting at the borders to show alleged Serb misdeeds."
The motive was to justify NATO's attack, said Milosevic, showing the court pictures of carbonized bodies of civilians killed by NATO bombs in Kosovo and the rest of Serbia in 1999.
CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING
NATO missiles destroyed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, in what Washington insisted was a mistake by Central Intelligence Agency (news - web sites) target planners using an outdated map.
"It is quite clear that (former U.S. president) Clinton wanted to go down in history as the first man to bomb Chinese territory by bombing the Chinese embassy," Milosevic said. "This was no accident."
Milosevic accused Germany of setting out to destroy old communist Yugoslavia by its support for Slovenian and Croatian independence, and by secret backing of Albanian "terrorists."
"The German intelligence service rallied up criminals from all over Europe. They were pushed to Kosovo," he said.
Bin Laden, meanwhile, used anarchic Albania as a launchpad for violence in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe, he said.
Some Muslim "terrorists" in Kosovo, had they not been jailed by Serbia, would now be "going in chains to Guantanamo Bay" from Afghanistan (news - web sites) instead, the white-haired Milosevic insisted.
"While Americans transport al Qaeda terrorists to Guantanamo...at the same time they demand all Albanian terrorists be freed from prisons in Yugoslavia," he added.
The involvement in the Balkans of Mujahideen guerrillas from Arab states and Afghanistan is well-documented, and U.S. agents followed the trail of bin Laden and his followers in Albania and Kosovo itself, before the September 11 attacks.
Accusing NATO of the use of especially lethal cluster bombs, he showed the court a photograph of a Serb woman killed while plowing her field and corpses of children in pajamas.
"This is an example of bestiality, targeting people in this way," he said, adding NATO bombed at night to maximize deaths among sleeping civilians. He showed pictures of shattered hospitals, an old people's home, buses, houses and workplaces, some strewn with charred and bloodied bodies.
After NATO occupied Kosovo in June 1999, they allowed Serbs to be killed or forced out by Albanian "terrorists" and "savages." More than 100 Serb Orthodox churches were razed in a campaign he likened to Taliban destruction of Buddhist statues.
Kosovo, seen by Serbs as a historic heartland, was now run by an "Albanian drug mafia" and the sex-slave trade, he said.
CALLS CLINTON, ALBRIGHT, BLAIR, SCHROEDER
"I am going to call witnesses here and I want it to be possible to question Clinton and Albright and Kinkel and Schroeder and Kohl and Dini... Kofi Annan (news - web sites)... Blair," he said, listing Western and U.N. leaders involved in Balkan peace talks.
Milosevic wants them to testify that the West used him as a peacemaker in the Bosnian war before turning against him.
Under the tribunal's procedures Milosevic is expected to produce a list of witnesses he wants called. The three judges have the final say on whether witnesses are subpoenaed.
The reformist Yugoslav government, which handed Milosevic to The Hague, on Friday called his testimony "disgusting." But the Russian parliament branded the tribunal a "political" court which had failed to charge NATO states for atrocities.
During his afternoon speech, Milosevic compared Clinton's strategy in fighting the Kosovo war to that of Adolf Hitler's: to establish a strategic base from which to attack Russia. He described the policy the Austro-Hungarian empire had adopted toward the territories of the crumbling Ottoman empire in the 19th and 20th centuries, that of keeping Serbia weak and the Balkans divided, he said. Presiding Judge Richard May urged Milosevic to slow down so interpreters could keep up.
Dressed in a navy suit and a tie in the red, blue and white Serbian colors, Milosevic sits flanked by seated guards in a courtroom sealed off from the public gallery by a bullet-proof glass wall and equipped with computer screens and cameras.
Milosevic is conducting his own defense, after refusing to appoint counsel or enter a formal plea on the grounds the court has no right to judge him, but is advised by Belgrade lawyers.
Judges have entered not guilty pleas on his behalf and appointed three lawyers as "friends of the court" to ensure he gets a fair trial. The "friends" on Friday appealed for judges to give him leeway in the length of his address, and he was allowed to continue on Monday until 1 p.m.
Milosevic could face life in prison if convicted at the end of an epic trial some expect to last at least two years.
(AFP) - Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic told his war crimes trial that NATO and the West had fabricated an "ocean of lies" to back the 1999 war on Yugoslavia.
"This is just an atom of truth in the ocean of lies and the product of propaganda and the use of global media as a means of war against my country," Milosevic said Thursday after presenting a nearly hour- long video on the Kosovo war.
The video cast doubt on the January 1999 massacre of ethnic Albanian civilians in Racak and charged that the West fabricated allegations of a Serbian plan to ethnically cleanse the province of its Albanian population.
"This terrible fabrication," Milosevic argued, was used to whip up public opinion in favor of a war against Yugoslavia.
Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians fled Kosovo to avoid NATO air bombs in 1999, Milosevic contended.
"Now they wish to negate that fact by saying that they in fact fled from Serb forces," he said.
Milosevic opened his defense by showing the UN war crimes court a video discussing the 1999 massacre of ethnic Albanians in Racak, which triggered the NATO air war that effectively drove federal Yugoslav troops from Kosovo.
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(AFP) - Slobodan Milosevic bombarded the international tribunal with photographs of burnt corpses, slain children and razed homes that he said were targeted by NATO air strikes in 1999.
On the second day of his defense against war crimes charges, the former Yugoslav president accused NATO of targeting civilians who stayed in the province, arguing that the West wanted to force an exodus in order to pin it on Serbian forces.
"The movement of Albanians from Kosovo was strategically important for the Clinton administration," Milosevic said Friday, adding that their flight provided "confirmation and justification for what they were doing."
Dozens of horrific photographs were presented to the court, one showing a baby lying in a field and another of a young boy with part of his abdomen blown open, along with many smashed buildings.
A column of ethnic Albanian refugees was hit by NATO bombs in April 1999 because they sought to return to their village, Milosevic said, disrupting NATO plans to show that Serb forces were driving out civilians.
"A more horrific message could not have been sent to Albanians that were returning to their village," he said.
Milosevic is on trial before a UN tribunal in The Hague for war crimes and genocide for three Balkan wars in the 1990s that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions homeless.
For Kosovo, he is accused of being behind the deportation of 800,000 ethnic Albanians, the murder of at least 900 civilians and other atrocities in 1999, with the aim of "ethnically cleansing" the Serbian province and stamping out a separatist rebellion.
Speaking in a soft, somber tone, Milosevic described the destruction in villages, named the victims shown lying in pools of blood, and carefully outlined their ages and the circumstances of their deaths.
During the first day of his defense on Thursday, the former Yugoslav president accused the West of spreading an "ocean of lies" and showed a first set of grisly photographs to support his claim that the West had blood on its hands.
On Friday Milosevic reiterated his view that NATO's air campaign between March and June 1999 was a violation of international law because it was not endorsed by the United Nations.
"All the laws of international law and the statutes of NATO were infringed upon," he told the court.
NATO has acknowledged that civilians died during the air war and expressed regret for what it terms "collateral damage," but Milosevic said targeting civilians was central to their military strategy.
Milosevic is to wrap up his defense on Friday before the prosecution begins calling witnesses to testify next week in the most important war crimes trial in Europe since Nazi officials filed into the dock at Nuremberg after World War II.
He is charged with 66 counts of murder, deportation, persecution and other atrocities committed during the wars in Bosnia (1992-1995), Croatia (1991-1995) and Kosovo (1998-1999).
On Bosnia, the Serb nationalist is also charged with genocide, the gravest of war crimes and also the most difficult to prove.
If convicted, Milosevic faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
James T. Phillips
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 @ 11:00:49 EDT
Topic: Guest Editorial
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (United States)
(YellowTimes.org) – A
recent report on BBC World identified accused war criminals Radovan Karadic and
Ratko Mladic as "henchmen" of Slobodan Milosevic, the former leader of
Yugoslavia now on trial in The Hague. The BBC's televised news is the European
Cable News Network (CNN), so hearing the word henchmen used in a television news
report did not seem out of place. I would have been more concerned if the same
word was spoken on the BBC World Service, the respected radio network that is
also based in London.
However, my distress vanished immediately after reading the definition listed in my old copy of the American Heritage Dictionary. My battered paperback edition defines a henchman as (1) a loyal and trusted follower or subordinate and (2) one who supports a political figure chiefly out of self-seeking interests.
I have no argument with Karadic and Mladic being identified in the news media as loyal and trusted supporters of Milosevic, or self-seeking political figures interested in gaining favor with their leader. Henchmen is the exact definition of many patriotic Americans and, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in September of 2001, many of the people who support President George W. Bush have assumed roles similar to those of Karadic and Mladic when, during the civil wars in Yugoslavia, they played their parts as patriotic Serbs.
Henchmen is the perfect word to use when describing the men and women sprouting like weeds around Bush, so its usage is certainly acceptable when identifying those subordinates who surrounded Milosevic when he was the leader of Yugoslavia.
United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is a henchman, and has assumed a role similar to that of his Serb counterpart, the alleged war criminal Radovan Karadic. The U.S. Defense Secretary is directing a global war against terrorism. Karadic allegedly directed the actions of military forces under his command during the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, on much smaller battlefields than Rumsfeld, and he has been accused of approving actions that, according to the Hague indictment, were war crimes.
Rumsfeld is authorizing the killing of Afghans in Afghanistan, Colombians in Colombia and Filipinos in the Philippines, unilateral actions approved by the President of the United States. Since there are no current indictments of Donald Rumsfeld - or George W. Bush - for alleged war crimes committed or permitted by United States military forces in Afghanistan, Colombia or the Philippines, the U.S. Secretary of Defense cannot be identified as an alleged war criminal. A henchmen for sure, but not (secret indictments aside) a war criminal.
Lieutenant General Dan McNeill is a henchman, and has assumed a role similar to that of his Serb counterpart, General Ratko Mladic. General McNeill is the commander of the United States military forces in Afghanistan. General Mladic commanded Serb forces fighting the 1992-1995 civil war against the Muslims and Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and has been indicted for war crimes. Mladic is the alleged mastermind of mass killings in Srebrenica where, it has been alleged, more than 7000 innocent civilians died. General McNeill, like his fellow warrior Mladic, has also had the opportunity to command troops allegedly involved in massacres and, though the U.S. General has not been indicted for war crimes (secret indictments aside), he undoubtedly is a henchman of President Bush.
Henchmen and war criminals do not always arrive in war zones wrapped in the same camouflage, or the same flag. Some henchmen are more equal than others, and have been enabled in their deadly endeavors by the power held by their respective countries. The United States of America is the ultimate superpower and Yugoslavia was only a small European nation. My American Heritage Dictionary has seven listed definitions for the word power, including (3) strength or force capable of being exerted; might and (5) a nation having influence over other nations.
Bush's minions do not have to worry about suffering the same fate as Milosevic's underlings. Karadic, Rumsfeld, Mladic and McNeill are all henchmen and, of course, wanted men. The two Serbs are fated for an appointment in The Hague; the two Americans are slated for appearances at Bush House (the home of the BBC) and the White House (the home of George W. Bush).
[James T. Phillips is a freelance reporter. He has covered conflicts in Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.]
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Why Milosevic Was Murdered
Tinpot dictator blew the whistle on the New World Order
Paul Joseph Watson/ www.PrisonPlanet.com
March 13 2006
Slobodan Milosevic was a distasteful man with authoritarian Communist ideals. But the reasons for his obvious murder revolve around his evergreen willingness to blow the whistle on the global criminal masterminds who had made the mistake of giving 'Slobo' a speaking platform in the first place.
Just two days after Milosevic's death the evidence indicating murder has poured in.
- Milosevic wrote a letter one day before his death claiming he was being poisoned to death in jail. The lawyer who advised Milosevic during his trial, Azdenko Tomanovic (pictured below) , showed journalists a handwritten letter in which Milosevic wrote: "They would like to poison me. I'm seriously concerned and worried."
- Blood tests show that Milosevic's body contained a drug that rendered his usual medication for high blood pressure and his heart condition ineffective, causing the heart attack that led to his death.
- The media has spun this to make out as if Milosevic deliberately took the wrong drug so he could seek specialist treatment in Moscow and delay his trial. This is frankly absurd. Milosevic only had access to the drugs provided to him by UN appointed doctors and took them under close surveillance. Are we to believe that Milosevic had managed to set up a secret drugs lab in his closely watched prison prison cell and then substituted the drugs while under constant monitoring?
- Milan Babic, a former Croatian Serb leader who testified against Milosevic was "suicided" just six days before Milosevic's death. According to the BBC, tribunal spokeswoman Alexandra Milenov said he had given no indication that he was contemplating suicide. "There was nothing unusual in his demeanor," she said. Another Hague detainee, Slavko Dokmanovic, supposedly killed himself in 1998.
- Allegations of suicide were dismissed by British lawyer, Steven Kay QC, who said Milosevic had told him before he was found dead: "I have not come all this way not to see it to the end."
- The Globalists have wanted to eliminate Milosevic for a long time. Former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson said he saw documents in 1992 that discussed assassinating Milosevic by means of a staged car accident, where the driver would be blinded by a flash of light and remote controlled brake failure enacted to cause the crash. This exact same technique was utilized for real in the murder of Princess Diana.
Milosevic was a loose cannon with intimate knowledge of the criminality of the Globalists after the IMF/Bilderberg coup de 'tat in Serbia in the 1990's.
In March 2002, Milosevic presented the Hague tribunal with FBI documents proving that the United States government and NATO provided financial and military support for Al-Qaeda to aid the Kosovo Liberation Army in its war against Serbia.
This didn't go down too well at the Pentagon and the White House, who at the time were trying to sell a war on terror and gearing up to justify invading Iraq.
Milosevic made several speeches in which he discussed how a group of shadowy internationalists had caused the chaos in the Balkans because it was the next step on the road to a "new world order."
During a February 2000 Serbian Congressional speech, Milosevic stated,
"Small Serbia and people in it have demonstrated that resistance is possible. Applied at a broader level, it was organized primarily as a moral and political rebellion against tyranny, hegemony, monopolism, generating hatred, fear and new forms of violence and revenge against champions of freedom among nations and people, such a resistance would stop the escalation of modern time inquisition. Uranium bombs, computer manipulations, drug-addicted young assassins and bribed of blackmailed domestic thugs, promoted to the allies of the new world order, these are the instruments of inquisition which have surpassed, in their cruelty and cynicism, all previous forms of revengeful violence committed against the mankind in the past."
Milosevic was far from an angel, but evidence linking him to genocides like Srebrenica, in which 7,000 Muslims died, was continually proven to be fraudulent. In fact, Srebrenica was supposedly a 'UN safe zone', yet just like Rwanda, UN peacekeepers deliberately withdrew and allowed the massacre to unfold, then blamed Milosevic.
Milosevic's exposure of UN involvement in the Srebrenica massacre was another reason why tribunal transcripts were heavily edited and censored, and another contributing factor towards his murder.
Milosevic 'took the wrong drugs'
http://news.bbc.co.uk Published: 2006/03/13
An expert who found traces of drugs in Slobodan Milosevic's blood before his death says they may have neutralised treatment for his heart conditions.
Full test results are awaited, but the comments by toxicologist Donald Uges raise questions over what caused the heart attack that killed Mr Milosevic.
The ex-Yugoslav leader, on trial at The Hague war crimes tribunal, had alleged that he was being poisoned.
The tribunal says Mr Milosevic received competent medical supervision.
Russia, home to Mr Milosevic's widow and son, says it does not trust the autopsy report and wants its doctors to examine the body.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had been disturbed by the UN tribunal's decision to turn down Mr Milosevic's request to undergo treatment in Russia.
Serbian President Boris Tadic told the Associated Press news agency that Mr Milosevic should have been granted a "higher level of health care" and that the tribunal was responsible for Mr Milosevic's death.
Mr Milosevic's lawyer said he had asked Serbian authorities to allow the body to be returned to Belgrade for a funeral. Serbia has yet to respond.
The former leader was found dead in his cell at the UN tribunal on Saturday morning.
Mr Uges said he tested Mr Milosevic's blood two weeks ago at the tribunal's request because his blood pressure was not falling.
Mr Uges said rifampicin, a powerful antibiotic used to treat leprosy or tuberculosis, was found.
Rifampicin would neutralise the effects of heart drugs, he said.
Mr Uges added that he believed Mr Milosevic took the drugs himself to try to prove his medical care in The Netherlands was inadequate and secure a "one-way ticket to Moscow".
However, the presence of rifampicin or other drugs has not yet been confirmed by the post-mortem toxicological tests - the results of which have still to be released.
Mr Milosevic's lawyer, Zdenko Tomanovic, has said the former president feared he was being poisoned.
On Monday, the Russian foreign ministry said it had received a handwritten letter from Mr Milosevic days before his death complaining of "inadequate treatment by doctors" at The Hague.
In the letter he renewed his plea - rejected by the tribunal - for treatment in Moscow.
Sources close to the tribunal suggest Mr Milosevic may have deliberately mixed or missed the dosages for his bad heart and high blood pressure.
Mr Milosevic's body is to be released on Monday or Tuesday, said Mr Tomanovic.
The former leader's son, Marko, has been granted a visa by the Dutch embassy in Moscow to travel to the Netherlands to collect his father's remains.
His mother, Mirjana - known as Mira - Markovic, earlier told Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti she had not decided on the location for the burial.
But she added: "If it was only up to me to decide it would be Pozarevac" - Mr Milosevic's birthplace 80km (50 miles) east of the capital, Belgrade.
She faces charges of abuse of power if she returns to Serbia, but Serbian President Boris Tadic has ruled out a pardon, and said a state funeral for Mr Milosevic would be "completely inappropriate".
Mr Milosevic's daughter Marija had said he should be buried in Lijeva Reka - the family's ancestral home in Montenegro.
Authorities in Serbia and Montenegro fear a burial there could spark an embarrassing show of support from the former president's hardcore supporters.
But Mr Milosevic's Socialist Party said it would try to bring down Serbia's minority coalition government - which relies on its votes - if there were no funeral there.
Mr Milosevic was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged central role in the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s.
He also faced genocide charges over the 1992-95 Bosnia war, in which 100,000 people died.
Milosevic: 'no link to genocide found'
Chris Stephen Sunday October 10, 2004 The Observer Guardian.co.uk
Fresh controversy has hit the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic with a claim from a senior intelligence analyst that the Yugoslav leader is innocent of genocide.
Dr Cees Wiebes, a professor at Amsterdam University, now says there is no evidence linking Milosevic to the worst atrocity of the Bosnian war, the massacre of 7,000 Muslims at the town of Srebrenica.
Srebrenica, which was overrun by Serb forces in July 1995, forms the basis of the genocide charge against Milosevic, but Wiebes, a member of a Dutch government inquiry into the atrocity, said there is nothing to link Milosevic to the crime.
'In our report, which is about 7,000 pages long, we come to the conclusion that Milosevic had no foreknowledge of the subsequent massacres,' he says in a radio programme, The Real Slobodan Milosevic, to be broadcast by BBC Five Live tonight. 'What we did find, however, was evidence to the contrary. Milosevic was very upset when he learnt about the massacres.' The prospect of the former Balkan strongman being cleared of the most serious charge he faces is a fresh blow to an already troubled case, which begins hearing defence evidence this week after several months of delays.
Any failure to prove genocide will cast a shadow not only over this case but over the whole practicality of holding tyrants to account in war crimes trials, most obviously in the case against Saddam Hussein.
Wiebes headed a team of intelligence specialists commissioned by the Dutch government to look into the massacre because its own forces were present in the town under the UN flag.
He had access to secret files, key diplomats and hundreds of witnesses to a massacre in which Muslim men and boys as young as 12 were butchered by Bosnian Serb forces. But while clearly implicating senior Serb field commanders, including General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian army chief still on the run, Wiebes says Milosevic played no part.
He said it was understandable that Milosevic was upset 'because in this phase of the war he was looking for a political settlement and this was not very good for him'.
Wiebes also says his team offered their evidence to the Hague tribunal chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte, but were brushed off. 'What I heard from good sources in The Hague is that Miss del Ponte thinks that we're too nuanced and not seeing things in black and white,' he said.
Hague prosecutors insist this is not so, saying that the report was not relevant. Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said: 'The purpose of the report was not to deal with criminal cases relating to Srebrenica, and was commissioned... for other purposes.'
Wiebes is the first senior figure to say publicly what many Hague sources have been saying privately for some time - that there is simply no evidence to back the genocide charge.
Prosecutors have spent months trying to prove otherwise, but have drawn a series of blanks, despite the appearance of high-profile witnesses. These have included former Nato commander Wesley Clark, whose evidence in The Hague last December was that Milosevic told him he knew about the crime and tried to stop it.
Milosevic undoubtedly facilitated the killing by providing Bosnian Serb forces with guns, fuel and cash. But for a genocide conviction to stick, prosecutors must prove that he gave the order.
· Chris Stephen is the author of 'Judgement Day: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic', published by Atlantic Books
Robalini's Note: "Suicide" my ass...
Croatian Serb leader Babic commits suicide in jail
(Reuters) Updated: 2006-03-07 11:05
Former rebel Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic has committed suicide in jail in The Hague where he was being held to testify against another top Croatian Serb, the UN war crimes tribunal said on Monday.
The tribunal said in a statement that Babic was found dead in his cell at the UN detention unit on Sunday evening.
Former rebel Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic makes a surprise appearance at the U.N. International Tribunal in The Hague in this November 26, 2003 file photo. Babic has committed suicide in detention in The Hague, the U.N. warcrimes tribunal said on March 6, 2006. Babic was found guilty by the U.N. war crimes tribunal on a charge of persecution against non-Serb civilians, a crime against humanity, and sentenced to 13 years of prison. [Reuters]
"The Dutch authorities were called immediately. After conducting an investigation, they confirmed that the cause of death was suicide," the statement said, adding that Tribunal President Judge Fausto Pocar had ordered an internal inquiry.
The tribunal did not say how Babic had killed himself.
Babic, 50, was the former president of the self-declared Krajina Serb republic that broke away from Croatia after it declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
UN prosecutors regarded him as a key ally of former Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic in a campaign to expel non-Serbs from about a third of Croatian territory and create a Serb-dominated state. Babic testified against Milosevic in 2002.
"He is one of the most critical high-level insiders that the prosecution has been able to produce," said Edgar Chen, from the Coalition for International Justice, which monitors the tribunal.
"This will have an enormous impact on future cases where he would have testified," he said. "He has already provided critical information about Belgrade's involvement in Krajina."
Babic surrendered to the tribunal in 2003 and pleaded guilty in 2004 to participating in a plan to forcibly and permanently remove the non-Serb population from eastern Croatia.
The crimes he admitted to included murder, deportation and unlawful imprisonment of non-Serb civilians, as well as destruction of their property.
"SHAME AND REMORSE"
A dentist by training, Babic fled the Krajina Serb republic when the enclave was recaptured in a Croatian offensive in 1995 called "Operation Storm". Babic had said he felt a "deep sense of shame and remorse" over his actions.
In 2004, the tribunal sentenced Babic to 13 years in prison, but accepted that his admission of guilt and cooperation with the prosecution should count as mitigating factors, having been "at great risk to his family and his own safety".
After the tribunal's appeals chamber confirmed Babic's sentence last year, he was transferred to serve his sentence abroad but brought back to The Hague last month to testify in the trial of Milan Martic, another Croatian Serb.
Martic was also a high-level official of the Krajina Serb republic and is charged with crimes against non-Serb civilians.
Babic testified against Milosevic in 2002. Known only as witness C- 061, he initially gave evidence behind a screen.
But judges lifted his protected witness status after Babic's lawyer said his client wanted to reveal his identity to openly counter allegations made by Milosevic and aid reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia.
"Mr Milosevic in 1991 you waged a horrific war. You dragged the Serbian people into that war," Babic told Milosevic's trial in 2002. "You brought shame upon the Serbian people. You brought misfortune on the Croatian people, upon the Muslim people."
Milosevic, charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Balkans in the 1990s, is accused of providing Krajina Serbs with money and military support in a campaign seen as a prelude to the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
Babic was the second ethnic Serb to be sentenced by the tribunal after pleading guilty. Former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic, who admitted responsibility for atrocities in the Bosnia war, was jailed for 11 years.
World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org
WSWS : News & Analysis : The US War Drive
In a speech February 12, his first major political address since the US Supreme Court stopped a vote count in Florida and handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, the Democratic presidential candidate, Al Gore, declared his full support to the Bush administration's plans for expanded warfare in the Middle East. Gore called for a "final reckoning" with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
The former vice president spoke in New York City before a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, the think tank that publishes Foreign Affairs and has long exercised important influence on foreign policy, whether the occupant of the White House was a Democrat or Republican.
Gore specifically solidarized himself with the "axis of evil" rhetoric in Bush's State of the Union speech. Bush's bellicose language—particularly his singling out of Iraq, Iran and North Korea— has been widely denounced in Europe and criticized even by several congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.
"As far as I'm concerned, there really is something to be said for occasionally putting diplomacy aside and laying one's cards on the table," Gore said. "There is value in calling evil by its name. One should never underestimate the power of bold words coming from a president of the United States."
Gore made a bow to European criticisms of Bush's unilateralism, and presented himself as an advocate of a more inclusive style of foreign policy. He called for attention to underlying causes of global unrest, including poverty, ignorance, disease and political oppression, warning, "What we deal with now is today's manifestation of an anger welling up from deep layers of grievance shared by many millions of people."
But the basic thrust of his speech was to demonstrate how far the Democratic Party's titular leader would go in identifying himself with the aggressive militarism that now dominates Washington. Gore declared, "I also support the president's stated goals in the next phases of the war against terrorism as he laid them out in the State of the Union." The 2000 Democratic presidential candidate thus backed the worldwide campaign of military force, covert provocations and diplomatic bullying that is being waged in the name of the "war on terrorism." He endorsed Bush's shift in the focus of this campaign from terrorist groups to governments allegedly engaged in the development of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
Gore said, "There is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq. As far as I am concerned, a final reckoning with that government should be on the table. To my way of thinking, the real question is not the principle of the thing, but of making sure that this time we will finish the matter on our terms."
The former vice president recalled that he was among a small group of Democratic senators who backed the first President Bush in his decision to dispatch a huge army to the Middle East and go to war against Iraq over Kuwait. His only criticism of the Persian Gulf War was that it did not go far enough and was ended with Saddam Hussein still in power.
Gore added, "So this time, if we resort to force, we must absolutely get it right. It must be an action set up carefully and on the basis of the most realistic concepts. Failure cannot be an option, which means that we must be prepared to go the limit. And wishful thinking based on best-case scenarios or excessively literal transfers of recent experience to different conditions would be a recipe for disaster."
This amounts to a rebuke to the more optimistic war planners in the White House and Pentagon, who have suggested that it would be possible to overthrow Saddam Hussein with only 50,000 US troops, or perhaps no ground troops at all, using proxy forces and American air power on the Afghanistan model. Gore declared in advance his support for a much larger commitment of American forces against Iraq than was required to overthrow the Taliban.
Gore did not spell out what he meant when he said the US had to be prepared to "go the limit" against Iraq. Do his provocative and reckless words imply the destruction of Iraq as a functioning society, through saturation bombing? The invasion of the country and occupation of Baghdad by an American army? Or perhaps the use of nuclear weapons in the event that an air and ground attack should prove insufficient?
Gore also said that Iran was "a much more dangerous challenge" than Iraq in terms both of support for terrorism and development of weapons of mass destruction. He did not draw the conclusion that war with Iran was more necessary than war with Iraq, but strongly implied that such a war would be inevitable unless the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Teheran were overthrown from within.
The former vice president closed his half-hour speech with a paean to the virtues of bipartisanship and the need for national unity in defense of the interests of American imperialism. He suggested that the war against terrorism should be modeled on the Cold War, which he said was "won by the cumulative work of administrations from Harry S. Truman to George H.W. Bush."
He concluded: "When all is said and done, I hope that when the people of our country next return the White House for a time to the Democratic Party, our leadership then will be big enough to salute the present administration for what it will have done that is wise and good. And to build upon it forthrightly."
Gore's speech underscores two fundamental facts: from the standpoint of foreign and military policy, to quote another leading Democrat, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, there is "no daylight whatsoever" between the Bush administration and the Democratic Party. Gore offers a no less reactionary and bloodthirsty program for using American military power to reshape the world.
From the standpoint of American politics, Gore's remarks demonstrate the politically moribund and intellectually debased character of liberalism. As he did during the election campaign, when he sought to ignore the right-wing campaign that led to Clinton's impeachment, and as he did during the post-election crisis in Florida, Gore seeks to tranquilize the American people about the dangers to their democratic rights.
Far from his idyllic picture of two major parties peacefully alternating in control of the White House, it is clear that the ultra- right elements that dominate the Bush administration and the Republican Party are prepared to resort to criminal and illegal methods to hold onto power, regardless of the will of the people.
A movement within the United States against imperialist militarism and in defense of democratic rights must involve a political break with both the Democrats and Republicans, and the building of a new political party based on the interests of working people.
The Paul Revere Forum:
July 18, 2010
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