Read the entire story here.
If he had been hiding in America he would have been posing as a trial attorney and claim he was just seeking justice for all. Mistress and love child on hand he could have been an important fixture in the Democrat hierarchy.
First of all you need to understand that Bosnians are not a ‘people’. Bosnia is merely an historic region of the Balkans first referred to by the Byzantine Empire in the tenth century – Bosnia simply meaning boundery in certain Latin dialects or possibly running water from the Illyrian (proto-Albanian). Bosnia’s co-province of Hercegovina was created by the Austrian Empire, its name derived from the German word for Duke: Herzog, and thus has no ethnic or National basis whatsoever.
The Bosnian Muslims are in reality the descendants of Slavs who in an infamous act of cowardice and betrayal abandoned their heritage and National identity, adopting the Islamic culture of the conquering Ottomans as a sop to their Asiatic overlords. Bosnian Muslims are thus: merely Turko-Islamcised Serbs and Croats. So they deserve their own State in deference to their ancestors’ perfidy?
The Muslim Shqipëtars (also a people who abandoned their own ancient European traditions to become the genuflecting cattle of the Ottoman sultan) of the Serbian province of Kosovo are merely ethnic Albanians who migrated to Serbian territory. So by virtue of their creeping occupation , these Muslims also became entitled to carve out an independent state from Serbian territory?
This precedent has alarming implications for the future of Britain and the rest of EU occupied Europe. How long before say, the tens of thousands (and growing) strong Somali community of Birmingham England, grows to such significant numbers that they too have the strength and the international political clout to begin clamoring for some degree of territorial and ‘National’ autonomy? The Pakistanis of Kirklees – under their local Saladin, Shahid Malik the Labourite MP for Dewsbury- are already well on their way to establishing a defacto Pakistani State within a State in Yorkshire.
How long before Britain and Europe has become a Balkanized miscellany of semi- or fully independent Asiatic and African colonial states superimposed over our own National homelands? Is there any doubt this is where we are headed if the European people do not wake up to the folly of this multiculturalism sham we call the European Union?
And as for Radovan Karadzic being condemned as a war criminal by the Clinton and Bush administrations, the UN (precursor to a world parliament), the international court of ‘justice’ at the Hague and this kangaroo court the: ICTY.? Now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. I am sure the survivors of the Rwandan and continuing Darfur massacres are sleeping a lot sounder knowing that Mr. Karadzic is no longer at liberty; as is, no doubt, the ‘liberated’ civilian population of Iraq.
If I were a Darfurian, I might wonder why the pursuit of Radovan Karadzic by the international community would take precendence over coming to their defence against the genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing being conducted againt them by the ethnic Arab Janjuweed with the endorsement and complicity of the Khartoum government. What exactly is the purpose of the United Nations with its thousands of millions per annum budget other than promulgating globalist legislation such as the law of the sea treaty which infringes upon the sovereignty of members states.
I see western media gleefully announced the arrest of Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic on Monday, thereby adding one more nail on the lid of their hypocrisy, duplicity and self serving arrogance.How these postulating, perverse, immoral demons of hell can stand themselves defies the sensibilities of anyone who truly stands for truth and justice, not the justice of the law of the jungle where the strong crush the weak, but true justice.
As matter of fact Karadzic is Anti Muslim Hero.Nothing but lies have been told about Kardadzic on the media.He was the scourge of muslims and was right to protect Serbia from their malevolent effects.Would we had a Karadzic to purge us of the pestilential presence of muslims in the UK? What a disastrous policy was pursued by the Western powers in the Balkans spearheaded by the twin evil of Clinton and the New World disorder of the UN.
INTERVIEW WITH KARADZIC
Following are excerpts from an interview with the Dutch publication, De Standaard on 16 October 1995 by Axel Buyse in Banja Luca: “Radovan Karadzic Sees NATO as a Monster From the Cold War” that give some insight into the mind of this hunted man. (It should be noted that Karadzic was one of the few leaders of the various parts of the former Yugoslavia without a communist past).
“So much suffering has not been seen in the world since the suffering of Jesus Christ! We are being crucified. Even though we are literally only defending our homes. We were labeled the aggressor, as if we came from the Serb republic. We who have lived here since time immemorial. We are the oldest population group in this country. The Muslims were Serbs once. How can we be aggressors in our own country?
“We have been crucified by the entire world. By great powers. By the EU. And then punished again by NATO. We cannot fight against NATO. We Serbs have fought in many wars. But we have never provoked one.
“This war is an example of what modern media and governments can do. They can arrange anything. Put on a show so that their people believe anything. While watching their television pictures or their radios sometimes I myself almost came to the conclusion: We Serbs, we are real swine. They could put their stories together that well. But one day the world will understand. In the two world wars we fought with Americans, and the French. On each occasion the Croats were on the German side. And they would do the same again.The West will not remain proud of what it has done to the Serbs. Certainly now that you are heading for serious problems with Islamic terrorists. We will no longer protect Europe against Islamic terrorism. Let them go, to Europe [the Bosnian Muslims]. They look like Europeans. And they take pride in the fact that with their European appearance they are exceptionally efficient terrorists. Europe wanted an Islamic country here.”
Let them have it!”And “let them have it,” we did! Bosnia has become al-Qaeda’s and Bin Laden’s corridor into Europe.
Karadzic’s Arrest Puts the Lid on the FAKE War on Terror.
Radovan K is going to be another victim of judicial murder. He cannot possibly get a fair trial, as we in the United States understand the meaning of such a trial. EU has torn Kosovo, a terrorist government whose Muslim “government” hates everything about Europe.
Serbia is being persecuted simply because it is now and has historically been a bulwark Christian nation. The EU hates Christians and especially Christian nations. The goal of the EU is to destabilize countries with a great past, such as Serbia and turn them into a mindless nation such as “Great” Britain. Remember, Christian Europe, you are next!
I comment as someone who was a US attorney for over 30 years, a judge for 6 years and as a retired U.S.Army Field grade officer.
What’s all that fuss really about, whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? I see even PM ,every Tom, Dick and Harry who’s ever made a deposit into the Bank of Collective Serbian Guilt elbowing into the limelight to get his two minutes of hate in.
The ongoing spitting contest, led by the UK and US mainstream media and the Western political apparatchiks, competing who is going to spew more vitriol and throw more napalm over the still-smoldering ruins, while issuing the most damning verdicts to yet-to-be-tried President of Republic of Srpska Dr. Radovan Karadzic, is yielding quick results: old hatreds are fully resurrected and Bosnia-Herzegovina is rapidly sliding back to the 1990s, when Western mainstream talking heads’ chorus played exactly the same vile role, inflaming, exasperating and prolonging the carnage in the Balkans.
Bosnian Muslim leaders have once again eagerly jumped on the Western tsunami of malice, to announce that “this is only the beginning” (another one), and to demand the abolition of the Serb republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina, being that Uncle Sam and John Bull keep assuring them Bosnian Serbs deserve to be exterminated — a threat most certain to push the region closer to another round of bloodshed.
The main pillar on which the Bosnian Muslim policy rests is to create an impression in the world that Bosnian Muslims were the only victims of Bosnia-Herzegovina war. And once you get the halo of a victim, you then have the right to everything: you have the right to revenge, to make mistakes, the right to hate, to demand whatever pops into your head… While it is non-disputable that many Bosnian Muslims lost their lives in the war, there were also victims among the Croats, and a great number of Serbs were also killed. So, it is impossible to make a victim out of one nation alone, because that is simply not true. The Serbs and Croats [in Bosnia] were not killed by the humanitarian organizations, but by the exponents of the Bosnian Muslim ideology who are even today figuring prominently on the Sarajevo political scene.
This was all too predictable, as was CNN and the like scrambling, in the immediate aftermath of the arrest, to get the usual cast of Balkan ‘good guy’ characters in front of the cameras. Their gushingly effusive castigation, always reserved for those caught on the losing side of history, trumped facts, such as Karadzic’s documented attempts to keep the peace and the unsettling truth that it was the late Bosnian President, Alija Izetbegovic who more than any single person was responsible for stoking the conflict in Bosnia- and promoting a radical Islamist ideology in it (as pointed out by former NSA Balkans expert John Schindler in his compelling book Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad).
As an aside here, the oft-used argument in America that punishing the Serbs for “genocide” against the Balkans Muslims would demonstrate the good will of the West is cynical. There would be no gratitude from Muslims, Balkans or otherwise, for something they consider America’s obligation. I mean, who ever gets praised for doing what is expected of them? Furthermore, the fanatical Muslims will never be pleased by anything the “Crusaders” do. The whole “appease the Muslims by kicking the Serbs” thing is as stupid as it is irrational.
And all this is happening in the US at least, because of decline of conservatism -a once-great philosophy of individual liberty, property rights and society-over-state degenerated into a totalitarian institution that tramples liberty, destroys property and elevates state above all-when the Soviet Union collapsed, conservatives were left without a raison d’être. Their very existence, as a political movement, ceased to be. They had accumulated weapons and powers – along with an army of defense contractors eager to keep the game going – but no “enemy.” Conservatives – and, I should add, so-called “liberals” – were like a man with a leash, desperately in search of a dog
I agree with prior posts… With the news of Radovan Karadzic’s arrest a lot of untruths are being reported in the media. He is accused of being a genocidal butcher out to exterminate the Bosnian Muslim ethnic group. If you want a real understanding of who Radovan Karadzic was and what he stood for then you should read what the man had to say for himself. In that vein here is a collection of interviews spanning Karadzic’s political career.
INTERVIEW WITH RADOVAN KARADZIC; Bosnian Serb leader speaks about Dayton, postwar situation
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts – May 17, 1996, Friday
SOURCE: Source: Bosnian Serb television, Pale, in Serbo-Croat 1840 gmt 13 May 96
 Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has called on the international community to recognize the Bosnian Serbs’right to regulate and supervise the movements of Bosnian civilians. Speaking about recent attempts by displaced Muslims to visit their former homes on Bosnian Serb territory, he said the Bosnian Serbs would not allow such ” attempts to destabilize” the Serb-Muslim demarcation line. Karadzic said that the military aspect of the Dayton Agreement had been implemented on the ground, and the international community should be grateful instead of “bad-mouthing” commanders such as Ratko Mladic for this. He said that the “crisis” lay in the interpretation of the agreement rather than in its implementation. Karadzic denied reports of a rift between himself and Mladic, adding that “certain misunderstandings in the past” occurred because of the unsatisfactory work of their aides. He spoke about his privatization plans, which would be based on the Czech model, and the need to avoid having a large bureaucracy. The following are excerpts from a phone-in with Karadzic, broadcast live by Bosnian Serb TV (Pale) on 13th May; subheadings editorially inserted:
Studio presenter Drago Vukovic Dear viewers and listeners of Serb radio and TV, good evening. This is the programme “Ask the President” … Until 2200 hours 2000 gmt you will be able to communicate with the president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Dr Radovan Karadzic, in the programme “Ask the President” .
Mr President, welcome to our studio.
Karadzic I am glad to be here.
Vukovic With this programme we are resuming, tonight, a specific means of communication between the president and the people. Unfortunately, this channel of communication was cut short last autumn after the NATO air strikes and the destruction of our transmitters. It used to be a custom and an established routine. How would you comment on this revival of our system?
Karadzic Since then we have been in the studio several times, but we went to each studio separately. I also had to carry video cassettes with me and there was no direct communication with the audience.
Of course, it was very sad because they had cut us in shreds. I am overjoyed the TV has revived and that we can be seen throughout the Serb Republic and also in other Serb lands. I congratulate you on this. I think you have risen from the ashes again.
A major force hit us. But the transmissions have resumed and I hope both the technical quality and the other one will continue to rise.
Implementation of the Dayton Agreement
Vukovic … Allow me in this programme to raise several groups of questions – from the topical ones to the elections and some basic issues concerning the fate of the nation and the state, in other words our perseverance and survival.
The current issues are the following: there is a crisis in the implementation of the Dayton Agreement; the Serb Republic existed before Dayton; it was recognized in Dayton. And now we are confronted with some surprising situations, to say the least.
The Muslim state and religious leaders are again advocating a unitary Bosnia and war; Elisabeth Rehn UN human rights rapporteur is advocating Dayton 2; Trnka Kasim Trnka, Bosnian ambassador in Zagreb says if there is no federation another war will break out, this time probably between Muslims and Croats.
Mr President, how do you assess the situation, and what affect could it have on the Serb Republic?
Karadzic You all know that we were not satisfied with the Dayton Agreement. But we were firm and determined in our decision to implement it. I am not sure that the assessment, often heard in the international community, about Dayton being in jeopardy, is correct. First of all, the military paper which was of vital importance for the peace has been implemented in full. I want to say that in the international community they are trying to create the illusion that it was implemented against our wish, by some force.
We are too strong a military power for the existing number of foreign troops. If we had not wanted it to be implemented – both the state and military leadership and our army commands headed by Mladic – that agreement would not have been implemented.
They would not have succeeded in imposing upon some Serbs as heard something the leadership and the people opposed. So, the military paper Dayton Agreement was consistently implemented on the ground, with the absolute consent of the state leadership, political players and the army commands led by the headquarters and General Mladic.
And all accusations against the leadership and Mladic are not valid because nothing could have been implemented without us and without Mladic. In other words, the international community should be grateful instead of bad-mouthing our commanders. It should be grateful to our commanders that they managed, in spite of the agreement being unfavourable to us, to get these papers implemented.
As far as the civilian aspect is concerned, I believe that the crisis is not in the implementation of the agreement. The crisis is in the interpretation of the Dayton Agreement. We are committed to the implementation of the Dayton Agreement. But the Dayton Agreement. Dayton, yes, but less than Dayton – no.
But certain players are trying to change Dayton to our detriment. Just as they changed the map between Dayton and Paris, that is Ohio and Washington, the US Defence Department. In the transfer of the map from the 1 to 600,000 scale to the 1 to 50,000 scale they stole from us many kilometres, they took some roads. They changed, for example, the picture in Dobrinja, in place of the situation on the ground, which must remain if the international community does not intend to continue losing face. They have significantly changed the map. In the same way that they changed the map they are trying to change the sense of Dayton in the civilian sector.
Of course it is a great risk for the international community. Because it again is choosing frustration over cooperation with the Serbs.
Again, they cannot count upon some amenable Serbs. I cannot change the policy. The policy is determined by the assembly and the people with their support, in a plebiscite and in elections. When one policy is adopted it must be implemented. My duty as the head of the executive power and the state is to oversee the work of the government and all other institutions so that they do not change that policy.
That is why their hopes that they will find amenable Serbs are in vain. It would be better if the Dayton Agreement were strictly implemented. We have agreed with Holbrooke and international mediators before Geneva and before New York that Bosnia-Hercegovina is made up of two entities, above which is a very thin roof.
That very thin roof is the minister of foreign affairs. All the rest is within the authority of the entities.
Everything else is within the jurisdiction of the entities. Therefore, it is only the mission in the United Nations that is single; even our embassies do not have to be single – we can choose to have embassies of the Belgian type, with one department for the Serbs, i.e. the Bosnian Serb Republic, and another for the federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina , if the third department for the Croats does not emerge, as they probably will not accept seeing their identity denied in that federation.
Of course, a lot of confusion has been caused by some of our officials who, for the lack of political skill, have been making some soft statements. Mr Carl Bildt the international coordinator and others then gain the conviction that the Dayton Agreement may be changed. They have even publicly said that the Serb Republic should not exist, that Bosnia should be reintegrated, everyone is talking about the reintegration of Bosnia, although they are aware that we have 500 years of experience and 500 years of conflict behind us.
They are now working on the separation of the Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East, as they have understood that they cannot live within the same political system, while in Bosnia they are trying to put us into a melting pot, as if we were born yesterday. Neither the Serbs nor the Croats, who actually make up a Christian majority in Bosnia, can accept being melted; in this context my opinion is that the international community must return to Dayton. If it returns to Dayton, then it will not be in crisis.
Calls for a unitary Bosnia; the international community
Vukovic … Mr President, you have mentioned some dilemmas. What is the relationship between the conduct of the international community and some new or maybe old ideas on urging a unitary Bosnia. Is this conduct linked to Izetbegovic’s urging a single Bosnia and Bosnia-Hercegovina the warning by Reis ul-Ulema, leader of the Islamic community in Bosnia about a single Bosnia?
Karadzic I believe there is a connection. Of course, the Muslim motive for speaking about a unitary Bosnia is their hope that they will win over the Serbs and Croats and that the whole of Bosnia will be theirs. The international community has a different motive. Those forces in the international community that wish NATO to stay here for good – they need tension here for good, i.e. they need a situation that can always be used for igniting a crisis in order to justify the existence of NATO and its presence here.
I think it would be more honest to sit down at the table and talk with NATO, with Russia and other interested parties. If that is the price and if that is necessary, then we can strike a deal. The international community does not need to try to keep tensions here all the time. I believe that nobody in the world wishes to see a Muslim state here. That is a problem both for us and for the Croats. They would like to put us together to neutralize the Muslims. However, we do not wish to waste our life on the neutralization Serbo-Croat: neutralizacija of the Muslims. We have our path and our life, I guess the Croats also do.
Muslims must understand that if they are a factor of instability in the Balkans and Europe, they will lose their allies, which they have already begun to do. Of course, there are forces in the world, particularly in Germany and in some parts of ministries of foreign affairs, which created the Dayton Agreement in order to stop the war because of the internal political situation in their countries, but which are also trying, in the wake of Dayton, to thwart the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, using political and maybe even military actions, or to bring about a new conference which would be less favourable, i.e. which would again lead towards war and tensions.
Vukovic If a fresh war breaks out what in your opinion will be the attitude of the international community in this new war?
Karadzic I believe Europe would find itself in great difficulties as its interests are not identical. NATO would face huge difficulties as its partners do not think the same, and they do not share the same interests. I believe that, unless some other disputes between Serbia and Croatia, i.e. between Serbs and Croats in former Bosnia arise, Muslims would suffer the worst. Of course, I do not think that we shall interfere in the Muslim-Croat war, that is out of the question. We do not rejoice in their instability, we are calling on them to be stable, we are calling on the international community to stabilize them or to help them to separate peacefully; thus three entities would emerge, as was envisaged in the Lisbon agreement.
If they start fighting, that would thrust the whole region into a crisis. We do not want to take part in that war, we shall only defend ourselves if attacked. However, I think that the Muslims should not desire to be armed. Whoever is arming the Muslims is not their friend . The Muslims are still a small island in Europe. They are positioned between two strong nations, Serbs and Croats, and whoever gives them a weapon is actually bringing them to ruin.
Therefore, I think that the international community, as there are no reasonable forces in the Muslim nation, would have to be aware that if it wants to drive the Muslims out of Europe and the Balkans, they should not use us, the Serbs. We do not wish to do that. We shall not fight. We only wish to defend ourselves, and by this defend European values and European Christian culture. To fight in a religious war is completely out of the question.
Problems of Serb refugees
Vukovic … We have a listener from Prijedor on the line. Good evening.
Q Good evening… My question to the president is why can’t a mother who has lost her son secure for herself or her husband, a war invalid, any benefit here in Prijedor municipality?…
Karadzic I think that your question is very valuable since it can serve as an example to other people with similar problems. First of all, it is the task of the state and state organs to regulate all this. Unfortunately, the exodus of Serbs from Sarajevo has confused us slightly. However, in Pale, in Serb Sarajevo, offices are being opened by exiled authorities of Ilijas, Vogosca, part of Ilidza is still ours, and Novo Sarajevo. Hadzici and Centar municipalities will also open their offices here and this will enable our citizens to realize their rights by contacting these offices.
When it comes to refugees, I must say that I am very cross. I recently issued a 12-point decree which I did not forward to the media but which I sent to all relevant addresses in our municipalities. I am very displeased and I think that we have made mistakes when it comes to our refugees. Unbelievable and totally unnecessary things have been happening. For instance, it is said that a refugee cannot be given an identification card otherwise he or she would lose their refugee status. A refugee is the citizen of the Serb Republic with the right to identification papers – Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons Vladusic has explained all this – and must not lose his or her refugee status. He is both a citizen of the Serb Republic and a refugee. In other words, the refugees must be assertive, must pursue and know their rights and insist on them.
We are also displeased with the pace of the implementation of the law on refugees and abandoned property and over the next few days I shall personally visit some municipalities. I think that some municipal officials will have to be sacked, mostly from the secretariats for property, legal and local issues, in other words our land registry office will have to replace those who are concealing the details or are not being helpful vis a vis the ministry for refugees. Believe me, what is happening is a sin against these people. This is mostly happening in big towns, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Bijeljina, and the problem lies most likely with an insignificant clerk somewhere in an office. Presidents of municipalities, of executive committees, of the party Karadzic’s ruling Serb Democratic Party, SDS and of the ministry for refugees have shown good will to help but, as usual, it is always a small piece of paper that creates obstacles and that holds us back. We said that we wanted each refugee to sow something somewhere, and this has happened to some extent but I must admit that some examples have alarmed us.
Vukovic Excuse me, most of the questions so far deal with the problems of the refugees, and I would like to begin with a question from a Miroslav of Doboj, who greets you and hopes for an SDS victory in the elections. His question is: will the boundary line on Mt Ozren be shifted? There is the map.
Karadzic No, the border on Ozren will not be shifted. This is not a map of the Serb Republic, these are the maps of our priorities in reconstruction. No, especially not to our detriment. We rejected all the proposals for changing the border in Prisade near Doboj since it would bring it too near the town, and Doboj is a town that succeeded in defending itself and no-one has the right to do anything that would be damaging to it. Of course, we are not satisfied with the size of the Ozren given to us but nevertheless we have been given land of good quality where the people will be able to live. The area includes some mines, hot water springs, fresh water springs and – and this is most important for us – at least one Serb monastery of the three on Ozren…
Relations with Mladic, other Bosnian Serb leaders
Vukovic We have a viewer on the line again. He is from Sabac, from western Serbia. Good evening.
Q Good evening. Milenko Ignjatovic from Sabac. I would like to congratulate you on the re-establishment of Bosnian Serb TV… As you may expect, we in Serbia hear information about there being rifts within the leadership. We wish there to be no divisions between President Karadzic and Mladic. This implies that we would like, along with the information we now hear and the appearance of President Karadzic, to see General Mladic occasionally as well…
Karadzic Thank you very much for your greetings. I can give you good news. There are no conflicts between me and Mladic. Certain misunderstandings in the past did not take place because of him or me, but because of our aides, who may not have been doing their work as they should have. But all this did not have a deep or fundamental meaning.
Relations are excellent now. As far as the rest of the leadership is concerned, we know exactly who does what in the leadership. Within the leadership, especially the team which has been together since the beginning, there is not even the slightest hint of division.
Finally, there is our assembly. And everything we are doing we put before our people. The people know exactly who is doing what.
Thank you for your good wishes. You may rest assured that the attempt of the international community to cause divisions will not succeed. I wish to remind you and the other viewers of the international community’s assessment that a new leadership cannot be formed quickly – and I am not the only one to lead this country – there are some 400, 500 distinguished people, including deputies, members of the main committee, members of the municipal committees and distinguished individuals. Consequently, neither can a new leadership be formed to defeat this leadership, nor can a new party be formed.
They could then choose to try and find a more amenable line within the SDS or characterize a part of the leadership as hardliners. And then they could say, the SDS must be transformed, moderates must come to the fore and only then can the SDS remain in power. All this, of course, is in vain. Our leadership is moderate.
Our people, our supporters criticize us for being too moderate. Ours is the only party in former Yugoslavia, from Djevdjelija Macedonia to Triglav Slovenia which has not split and will not split. One or two people could drop out but the party is on the whole democratic and that is why it has not collapsed.
International community’s ties with Serb leaders
Vukovic You have mentioned the international community…
Representatives of the international community are here, in an internationally recognized state, but they do not communicate with the leadership. How is this possible?
Karadzic You see, it is not individuals they object to, but the positions these individuals defend.
They put pressure on President Martic former leader of Serb Krajina and threatened him until Krajina collapsed Croat offensive in August 1995 when Krajina reverted to Croatia . Now they do not even mention President Martic, our dear compatriot and a great martyr of the Serb people, an individual with very high moral qualities to whom we all owe a great deal. They the international community put pressure on General Mladic until the military paper was implemented. Of course, Mladic did not take the decisions he did because of the pressure but because that was what we wanted.
They have not mentioned him so much lately. Now, their biggest obstacle is Karadzic. Why? Because they want to change the Dayton Agreement and destroy, annul the Serb Republic.
If I started making deals with them and accepted, then we could perhaps even receive the Nobel Prize. We know how the Nobel Prize is won – you betray your own people and are then transformed from a criminal to a Nobel prize winner.
But this couldn’t be further from our mind and we could not do it, not out of moral consideration – of course, moral consideration exists – but our people are not politically illiterate. If we took one wrong step, our people would say: What is the matter with you? Until yesterday you were normal. Sorry, but you have to leave your posts.
Sometimes some of our people do say something without thinking. Then we get hundreds of phone calls. People ask: What is the matter with so and so – is he changing policy with your knowledge or is it his arbitrary decision?
So, we are not leading the people. We are following the people and their aspirations. And those who think that they could strike a deal with some more amenable Serbs would not succeed because the people would renounce them.
In fact, there are no more-or-less amenable and hardline Serbs. We are doing what we have to do and not something which is a product of our meekness or hardline positions. Being meek or hard may describe the political positions or psychological characteristics of a stubborn people. We are not stubborn. We know what we can and what we cannot apply.
Vukovic Mr President, a group of questions deals with the problems of fighters – problems ranging from their status and their jobs to recognition of their service during the war. There were promises that the years they spent fighting in the war would be recognized as double the years spent in employment . But they say the PIO Pensions and Invalids’ Benefit Department does not approve of this. Could you give an answer to all these questions?
Karadzic The fighters are slowly being demobilized and it is our duty and obligation to enable them to find work as soon as possible. We even proposed that those who had been working previously, and were in fact in a privileged position compared with those in the trenches, could maybe go on some kind of vacation, so the fighters could get jobs immediately where they had been employed before.
There is also the problem of employment of fighters in municipalities from which they fled. Their status must be equal to the domestic fighters and domestic population. There are many problems and we will be very strict with the communities and municipalities which discriminate between citizens who are from that municipality and the ones who have fled their municipalities.
The fighters themselves have not been asking for special rights. It is an exceptional attitude. They simply say: Put me back in my factory and do not worry about me. Of course, I am not sure that the fighters would like double years of service because retirement is an unfair and unpleasant affair, especially in countries with market economies. But we can discuss this as well, if need be.
What the fighters want is work, their jobs. Families of dead fighters and the disabled want complete security for welfare. As far as other fighters are concerned, it is through privatization that we shall reward all those to whom we owe pay. We have had comments directed at our system of payment – we owe many months’ back-pay to our fighters. The Prijedor fighters of the 43rd and 45th Brigade proposed issuing a bond which would be called Serbi ancient name for Serbs and which would be worth several months’ back-pay.
We are going to use something similar. At present and in its draft stage, our privatization plans envisage 15 per cent of all our assets going to the Fighters’Fund. It will then be decided who was a deserter and who was in the trenches and who among them deserves how much.
Vukovic Yes, these solutions must be institutionalized.
Karadzic Yes, absolutely. But instead of the state being involved in this let the fighters themselves resolve it. They will easily know what to do. It is important to stress here – although this is a good opportunity to say something about privatization for which we are very -
Vukovic interrupts I suggest we talk about this later.
Karadzic As far as the fighters’ security is concerned, they will be exceptionally well provided for financially. Our target is that all fighters should receive substantial assets and that they should be economically productive, leave poverty behind and enrich themselves.
Fall of northwestern Bosnia
Vukovic Here is one very specific question. The president said on many occasions that western Krajina northwestern Bosnia had fallen due to a military failure. If this is so, can the president explain to us which one of the 2nd Krajina Corps officers is responsible for it? Where is the 2nd Krajina Corps commander, seeing that he bears the greatest responsibility?
Karadzic It is true that we were attacked by a huge force then. The balance of strength – from the point of view of both personnel and firepower – was completely disproportionate. We were exhausted after a year and a half of sanctions imposed by Serbia and three and a half years of the international community’s sanctions. We used to produce all types of ammunition during the war, but we were running out of large-calibre ammunition because we were under the sanctions. These reasons can to a large extent explain our loss.
It would not be good for me to say whose responsibility it was without a court’s judgment. A court is the only body authorized to say whose responsibility it was, and only after a valid verdict. As far as I know an investigation has been launched, I ordered it to be launched, and the General Staff is carrying out another investigation . It has all been passed on to the military prosecution, or rather, the military court which is independent of the General Staff and all other bodies. I think work on this is continuing. Some people have been detained. For moral reasons we did not want to and could not intervene on anyone’s behalf, although there are indications that many of them are not guilty. But it is up to the court to decide. We have no evidence of treason. We have evidence, or rather indications, that there was lack of competence, there was exhaustion and a huge imbalance of strength. In any event, it is best for the court to pronounce itself on this.
Vukovic Here is a question about intellectuals by Biljana from Prijedor. Where does the president see us, intellectuals who have been loyal to the Serb Republic, in the future?
Karadzic In the Serb Republic. If we find ourselves short of anything it will be intellectuals. We see intellectuals of all kinds as the moving force behind the economic and cultural development of our country. We are convinced that peace belongs to them and that they will find full satisfaction in having stayed in the Serb Republic and in contributing to its revival. Nothing can be done without the elite, without intellectuals…
Provision for families of war dead
Vukovic Here is Olivera Dragovic from Bijeljina on the line. Good evening, Olivera.
Q Good evening… I just wanted to greet our President Karadzic and congratulate him on his perseverance in the face of all the trials of this war… I am a dead soldier’s widow, and I just wanted to greet our president and congratulate him on his perseverance… I would like to ask him whether adequate accommodation will be provided for the families of dead soldiers, since we are refugees…
Karadzic Thank you very much, although your question is not unimportant at all. We all owe a huge debt to the families of dead soldiers. We will carry out a speedy privatization of business premises and some other facilities which will provide permanent accommodation for the families of dead soldiers. A permanent source of financing for the families of dead soldiers will be set up to tide us over until the whole process of privatization is over, which I hope will be this summer. Of course, we will have to struggle with a small group of profiteers who have appropriated spacious business premises, but they account for less than one percentage point of the population. Other people will be grateful to us when that is over.
Let me return your compliments: I have to say again, as I have done on many occasions, that women – with their exceptional instinct for defending the nest, the people and the people’s tradition – are our staunchest and most stable followers and their support – together with the support of our people in the diaspora who can tell good from bad because they have lived in the democratic world for a long time and the support of the church – are the three important sources of support on which we base our optimism about our country.
Privatization based on the Czech model
Vukovic You mentioned privatization. All these problems concerning the people’s status and future can be resolved only at the level of the state. Six years ago you said the following in an interview: In order to preserve its ideological virginity the former Yugoslavia remained the economic spinster in Europe. Could that happen to us? Probably not.
Karadzic I would like to repeat that phrase: Ideological virginity and economic spinsterhood indeed was the fate of the postwar Yugoslavia. You know that before the war Yugoslavia was economically developed, or rather, it was moving in the direction of a rather restrictive monetary system. The dinar had quite a high value. Had we continued in that direction, had there been no communist revolution, Yugoslavia would nowadays be among the happy countries.
That could not happen to us because our people are committed to changes. These people will never again vote for communism or social ownership or a system which does not provide security for private property. Our people are private farmers by blood. The Serbs were not favourably disposed to Bolshevism. Farmers all over Serbia, Sumadija region in Serbia , Hercegovina and Bosnia had to be arrested, beaten up, and sometimes even killed, in order to be forced to join the collectives. These people are not inclined towards communism. The Serb people are well-disposed to their traditions, to private ownership and making money. Each Serb is a kind of little king. I used to say that when I flew over former Bosnia in a helicopter, Serb villages were distinguishable from other villages. Each farmer is in the middle of his farm, he is a little king in that farm, which he enlarges and strengthens. I think that over the past four years our people have moved away from socialism or communism, and they want to be what the Serb people and Serb society used to be – people who are well-off and who love their state and pay their taxes, which must be low in order to be paid…
Vukovic Let us return to questions concerning privatization. Professor Projic greets you and has this question for you: When will privatization happen in the Serb republic, what are its aims and which model will be used?
Karadzic In some aspects privatization will most likely happen very quickly. A law on business premises is at the draft stage. Many organizations, the League of Communists, the Socialist Alliance, this and that federation, had the use of premises, in those days socially-owned but now state owned, for next to nothing, with no charge. We were advised that the SDS should take over the League of Communists property, but we said no. Their property belonged to the people and should be returned to the people. The SDS will have to pay rent just like any other party or will have to buy property if it can afford it.
Privatization in this sphere will happen very quickly. Shares will be issued to families of dead soldiers and to certain categories of invalids. As early as the following month these shares will yield income for these people.
As for privatization in general, it is designed to make our economy more efficient, to do away with state and social ownership as very inefficient categories, to join the international division of labour and trends of the international market economy. It will be based mainly on the Czech model. Today the stock exchanges in the Czech Republic operate with between 17 and 18 billion dollars. We have just reached an agreement with the KPMG Barents group of Washington which was involved in the process of privatization in the Czech Republic. The director of our privatization agency, Professor Milojevic, has spent some time in the Czech Republic on a study visit and a law is being prepared It has already been submitted for discussion.
The gist of all this is that we hope to carry out privatization, i.e. ownership transformation, by distributing at least one third, about 33 per cent, to everyone, to all citizens. War veterans will be additionally entitled to an extra share of state-owned property for being veterans. We also owe pensioners back payment for their pensions. We must boost the pension fund. There will be a special fund to boost the birth rate, in other words we must help women to bear children without becoming poor. Furthermore there will be a fund for the resettlement of the population; we must strengthen our outer municipalities, Kljuc, Ribnik, Sipovo, Mrkonjic Grad. Within the last few days we have given instructions to deliver cattle to the area, to give cattle from reserves to peasants so that they can repay their debts to the state in the form of calves, etc. From this fund, which will amount to about 5 per cent of state-owned property, we must help the outer areas including Ljubinje, Berkovici, Nevesinje, Kalinovik, Han Pijesak, what’s left of Bosanska Krupa, Sanski Most, Novi Grad Bosanski Novi in the south, and Mrkonjic Grad, Sipovo, Kljuc and Ribnik must be boosted demographically. For instance, in these areas we shall use the fund to cut taxes or give people financial help so that can buy factories and land. We have already done something about this by using these funds. Like any other state, we must have a demographic policy and must strengthen the threatened areas…
Vukovic A lot of viewers’questions, in addition to these which are being put to you directly, are in connection with the future, with what will happen. Therefore, I must ask you the following: thousands of lives have been built into the foundations of this state. A political struggle embodied in the SDS, which saved the Serbs from giving up their identity and which enabled the Serbs to survive, has also been built into the foundations of our state. What can happen in these elections? Can we count on preserving what has been created?
Karadzic I believe that the people will know how to vote. Of course, there will be attempts to manipulate Muslim votes. However, Mr Izetbegovic may lose elections in the federation if his people vote for municipalities from which they come, because Abdic, Durakovic, Silajdzic and many others are hard on his heels.
On the other hand there will be attempts to rig the elections with the votes of refugees. However, if the Serb people know what they want and if they vote for those forces that will most certainly continue to preserve this level of statehood, and even increase its current level – continue to secure the survival of the Serb Republic – then we will win over two thirds of the vote and will be able to guarantee our people the continuation of a policy which will lead towards strengthening the statehood of the Serb Republic, further improving relations between Serb states and possible all-Serb unification.
I believe there is no danger from any sort of propaganda. The more propaganda, the more changes thought – you know that before the last elections there was Yutel independent Yugoslav TV station not affiliated to any national state of the former Yugoslavia and how our people reacted to Yutel. It has been announced that Mr Bildt now wishes to set up his television. People will know what Bitel presumably Bildt’s future TV station is, what is true, because Yutel brought the Serbs to their senses then. We are not afraid of any information or propaganda. You know that our viewers are allowed to watch all TV stations whose signal can be picked up in this area. We have not jammed a single broadcast. It is important for us to be able to tell our people what we are working towards and what our programme is.
Tax plans, “value-for-money” state
Vukovic … We have another caller on the line. Your question please.
Q Good evening. This is Milanovic speaking from Banja Luka. Greetings to you in the studio and the president. My question relates to the tax system which, I believe, is still very unstable in our republic. It is true that the republic is young and in the process of being formed. But my direct question is: Why were soldiers who took part in our defensive war not given the chance to convert into public debt the bills they were sent recently in connection with small business debts, as was the case with pensions, military salaries etc as heard …
Karadzic I think this suggestion is interesting. I want to tell you what our commitments are with regard to taxes. The war did, of course, cost us a lot of money. I cannot say how much it cost. And this is why we have to retain taxes at 24 per cent, say, on turnover, whilst taxes on profits are a little lower, because on the whole no profits were made.
We aim to further reduce all taxes to below 20 per cent and even bring them down to 12 per cent. In order to achieve this, we have to remain a value for money state. We cannot afford to have a large bureaucracy. We can achieve this because even now we do not have a big bureaucracy, and this is despite the fact that the state administration is not equipped sufficiently. It should have computers and everything should be automated, so that we do not have to take on more workers for administrative tasks.
Thereafter we can move towards gradually reducing taxes so that we are very attractive to the whole of Europe, and if you like, we want to be something like Cyprus or Hong Kong, so that we can do business with the whole world, especially Serbia. Our parliament approved a proposal I made which called for citizens of Serbia to be allowed to apply for citizenship of the Bosnian Serb Republic, with the aim being to promote joint ventures.
As regards taxes on soldiers who have private businesses, I believe that we should examine whether some other kind of solution can be found. Everyone, of course, should pay taxes but these taxes should be acceptably low and, of course, there should be penalties for those who refuse to pay, as is the case throughout the world.
If taxes are acceptably low no-one will evade them. People want to sleep peacefully and pay their dues to their state. But if the state at every turn resorts to raising taxes, the people and business people are quite happy to cheat such a state. This is a words indistinct circle which has to be stopped somewhere.
This means that the state, especially now when it does not have an expensive administration, must introduce low taxes and high penalties, so that the functioning of the state is secured and help is given to industry, because big taxes are bad for the economy and the state. They say a state collapses in two cases: where no taxes are paid at all, or where taxes are constantly raised. In both these cases the state goes into self-destruct mode.
Vukovic … Milos Jeftic from Brcko asks: Does the president believe that there has been too much gambling over Brcko. Could more have been done?
Karadzic If you are talking about military actions, it is difficult for me to talk about this now. There were various decisions and tasks . If policy is the issue, our policy regarding Brcko was not a gamble . We were clear on this. Many people tell me – and the Banja Luka intellectuals’ forum write letters to me, etc – that something should be done. It is not the case that we are not doing anything. We are. Our foreign minister, Mr Buha, has had detailed preparatory discussions with experts and people who are dealing with this. We have an office in Brcko and people who are preparing historical documents, etc.
However, what is important is that agreement should be reached on what it is that is in dispute. If arbitration goes ahead without defining what the parameters of the dispute are, we know what arbitration will bring. We shall have big problems here. We do not believe in the international community. We will be getting arbitration which even a first-year law student would not tolerate. This is scandalous arbitration.
We do not believe in the international community. We first want to establish what is in dispute. According to the rules, the subject of a dispute can only be one thing; it cannot be two things. For us what is in dispute is one area, as set out in the Dayton Agreement, part of the (?inter-ethnic) border in the Brcko zone. The town of Brcko and the six kilometre zone are not in dispute as far as we are concerned, and we will never accept that this is in dispute. So we are quite clear on this.
There will not be any arbitration if someone tries to contest the town of Brcko or our line of communication between the eastern and western part of the Serb Republic . Gorazde has a five kilometre-wide line of communication linking it with its home territory. Brcko stands in the middle of two halves of the Serb Republic, one in the east, one in the west. Naturally, things could not end peacefully if someone were to try to cut our communications here…
Employment of Serb war veterans
Vukovic We have a viewer from Prijedor on the line. Good evening.
Q Good evening… My question is: My husband was on the front from the very beginning of the war. His work organization is in the Serb Republic, but he has not yet been employed…
Karadzic Thank you very much. I think it is a shame for that work organization which was most probably semi-operational during the war. Now it should let people who were working during the war rest a little and give employment to the fighters. Unfortunately, there are a small number of extremely irresponsible company directors who have not yet initiated production even though they could. We shall have to examine that, although many of them are hiding behind other political parties – no director has been or will be replaced because of his political affiliation, but rather because of his attitude to work, particularly towards war veterans, as this amounts to some sort of political manipulation. I do not know which is the work organization in question, but they must look after their workers who spent the war in trenches.
Exchange of territory
Vukovic Here is one question, Mr President, which seems to be important. From a Drago from Prnjavor: Is there any chance of western parts of the Serb Republic, such as Bosanski Petrovac, Drvar and Glamoc, being returned by political means, since they were seized from us during the implementation of the Dayton Agreement?
Karadzic We offered them Croats some Croat areas in exchange for some Serb areas. We fought a lot for Drvar and Bosanski Petrovac, we wanted to have them back, not the whole of the municipality, but at least the town and its vicinity. Sometimes our chances seemed to be quite good. This does not seem to be a completely resolved situation. Of course, we do not wish to wage a war.
Five great powers signed the Dayton Agreement. These five powers now have to be very watchful lest Izetbegovic manipulates and rejects this agreement. That would be a shameful situation for the great powers. But if it becomes politically possible, I believe some changes can be carried out.
Croats do not wish to live in Serb areas. They cannot settle in Glamoc, Drvar. Bosanski Petrovac is in Muslim hands. Significant changes of the map are possible – we hope – by political means, since in my opinion the Balkan crisis is not yet completely over.
International community dangerous when united
Vukovic Many people are asking about the forthcoming Bosnian elections. Before you hear their questions, I want to ask you whether the international community wants to be in control of the elections for technical reasons or is it a part of their policy towards the territory of former Bosnia-Hercegovina and Yugoslavia?
Karadzic They should not be in control of the elections. They should monitor the elections and respect the will of the voters, our constitution and our laws as well as our electoral commissions. Naturally, they will try to manipulate the elections. The fact that they inserted an illegal provision in the Dayton Agreement according to which those indicted by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague cannot stand in the elections shows that the international community does not respect democracy.
If they believe that our leadership is extreme and that it leads people against their will, let the people decide about our results in the elections. Democracy either exists or it does not. Democracy cannot exist if any restrictions are being imposed on it.
My experience throughout this period is that the international community cares only about its own interests. The best thing for us is when their interests are not the same. The international community is very dangerous when it is united and dominated by one power; there is no mercy and they will do anything to achieve their goals even if an entire nation has to be destroyed.
Someone has said that the Bible mentions many nations which have disappeared. It is not paranoia or a myth to think that a nation can disappear. The Serb nation has to fight because it is on the German road to the east. Important Islamic and Catholic interests also meet here. Had it not been for our survival, for the survival of the Serb Republic – unfortunately the self-proclaimed Republic of Serb Krajina in Croatia has been lost militarily for the time being – Serbia would have ended up with indefensible borders. Can you imagine a Serbia surrounded by a hostile Hungary to the north, a hostile Albania to the south, a hostile Croatia and Muslim Bosnia to the west? Bulgaria can also be hostile when headed by certain leaders; I am not speaking about the Bulgarian people, I am speaking about government interests. Romania is probably the only one state which has no territorial aspirations towards Serbia.
Such a Serbia could not survive and we are sure that we have defended Serbia, Montenegro, i.e. the whole Serbdom, just as much as we have defended the Serb Republic during our struggle.
Vukovic We must let our viewers ask questions again. Good evening.
Q Good evening. My greetings to the president. I am a refugee from Serb Sarajevo. I shall be brief. There are people who have lost nothing but nevertheless been allowed to move into other people’s property. When will they be moved out and those who lost everything be given at least a single room?
Karadzic Well, unfortunately, your question is very topical. This problem should have been solved by mid March. There is a law, there are provisions to regulate this particular problem. There was an earlier law on the efficient use of residential property, but nothing was done. There is someone somewhere who is not doing his job properly.
I must say that state administration is our weakest point. State administration has nothing to do with democracy. Democracy matters at the decision-making level. Once decisions and laws are passed, state administration must ensure that they are implemented without exception or delay. Of course, we are very short of people with administrative skills but what is even more important is that we lack the necessary mentality. We have been through self-management, socialism, where everything was possible. In a democracy and in present-day societies there is no self-management. There is a new way of management and to attain that level we shall have to work hard.
Still, the refugees are a problem in which I am personally involved, and I think that the Ministry of Internal Affairs will have to dispatch special teams since it seems that local forces are not capable of removing the people you mentioned because of family ties, friendship, etc. This is to some extent understandable but cannot be justified. On the other hand, in some administration departments, in some municipalities, despite the good will of the people in charge, some bureaucrats are withholding documents and have not been very helpful to the minister for refugees and his municipal offices. I hope that this problem will be solved very quickly and in a favourable way…
Vukovic When you mention openness, I must remind you of one of the ideas you came up with quite a while ago, when you said that had cameras been present at meetings of the ruling party earlier, then it would not have ruled beyond the fifties, but unfortunately they came on the scene late. How do you assess the openness of the ruling party’ s work?
Karadzic Well, you know Serbs do not tolerate secrets, and the state authorities and party authorities no longer have secrets. People do ask, and we sometimes have to reveal things which we ought to have passed over in silence. I believe that on the whole everything is known. But the party is huge – a mass party – and in such circumstances it is not possible to keep anything secret.
Vukovic And this programme is proof that there is no problem as regards openness. We have someone on the line from Banja Luka. Good evening. Hello?
Q I would like to say hello to the president and ask him to answer the following question: When will the fate of people who disappeared on the front be known? I am thinking in particular of the Srbobran Serb name for Donji Vakuf front, but also, of course, of other fronts.
Karadzic We are making enormous efforts and in particular we support the association of families who have missing relatives, or rather POWs. We cannot say that they are missing, because we know that there are still a lot of Serbs alive in Croat and Muslim prisons . We have some witnesses and evidence to confirm this. I believe this is scandalous for the international community.
We, for our part, have done everything to respect the Dayton Agreement as regards the release of POWs. The international community put pressure on us to release 10 or 12 people, for whom we have proof that they are war criminals, and we asked to hand this evidence over to the Hague tribunal. However, the international community simply does not mention the problem of the numerous Serbs – perhaps over 1,200 Serbs – who are languishing in prison.
I do not understand why the Muslims and Croats are holding these people. This is immoral and inhuman, and ultimately it is a violation of the Dayton Agreement. I also fail to understand the international community which is so unscrupulously biased that it no longer even mentions the question of releasing people.
We will persist in our efforts. Capt Bulajic, chairman of the state commission for refugees , and all others are working on this. Speaker Krajisnik is making special efforts. He is always in contact with the opposing side and the international community, and he has been insisting on their release and has succeeded in winning the release of many POWs – from Vijenac, Lisac phonetic and other places.
This is a concern for the whole of our community and the whole of our state. Unfortunately, we cannot do much. It would have been a mistake for us to hold a number of POWs, because then the international community would have said we were to blame for our people not being released.
We, for our part, have done everything. We have released some but we have not pardoned them. We cannot pardon them. For us they remain guilty and responsible. But we handed them over to the international community only and exclusively with the aim of obtaining our people. We have got some back, of course. However, there is a large number whose release we have not obtained. In our meetings with all sides we never give up demanding that this issue be resolved.
Vukovic And we should, of course, never refrain from demanding that this be resolved.
Karadzic We should never give up. As I said, this fact that Serbs are still being held prisoner is scandalous for the whole international community.
Vukovic We have a viewer on the phone from Brcko. Good evening.
Q Good evening.
Vukovic Your question please.
Q This is Ivan Teodorovic from Brcko… I have two questions for you. You once promised to divide up the forests amongst the people. This evening you are promising that you will give away parts of factories words indistinct . Please tell me why, seven months after the end of the war, the factory in Brcko has not begun work…
Karadzic Thank you very much. Firstly, as regards privatization, we shall implement this because we believe that unless there is privatization there can be no progress and no recovery. Of course, we have seen that many countries have made catastrophic mistakes in relation to privatization. For this reason we have not rushed into this. It is easy to make mistakes and difficult to rectify them.
We are committed to models which produce good results in the world, and as part of this I believe that land, flats and business premises will be the first things to be privatized. This will be followed by enterprises and tourism as heard and afterwards smaller businesses, and finally larger enterprises. Naturally, this is a huge undertaking and it will take time to achieve.
The question of forests can be resolved in two ways. They can either be privatized and given away piecemeal, or shares can be issued and people can take part in managing them… Forests will probably be dealt with later because at present we are using the forests to feed the people as heard .
As regards factories, I do not know if you are right as regards Brcko, but you are partially right: Many directors have preserved our enterprises excellently during the war, and we are thankful to them for that. We have never asked them what party they belonged to. That was of no interest to us.
However, many are now delaying the start-up of manufacturing. Many cannot do so for objective reasons: The sanctions have been lifted but both we and Yugoslavia are not open to foreign capital, and it is not easy for us to raise loans. We are slowly increasing production on the basis of our own strength and resources. The banking system is in a crisis situation. There is little money about. Therefore, many are really unable to start manufacturing.
However, a lot depends on personalities. If the director is dynamic he can do a lot. We believe that we are making a mistake over the age of directors. They do not have to be 60. Directors are very good, ambitious and competent when they are 30 or 35. I believe we should not fear introducing new blood into management structures. We will very quickly see who is really concerned about his enterprise, soldiers, workers and production, and who is not. We may have to replace all of them. If we replace people in the political arena, we must be able to bring new blood into the economy too.
Freedom of movement
Vukovic We still have to answer an interesting group of questions dealing with freedom of movement and manipulation linked with this. Brane from Vraca Sarajevo suburb wants to know who has allowed the Sarajevo Muslims to pass through Vraca and what is behind all this Muslim manipulation with freedom of movement and their people?
Karadzic Well, no-one has had to allow it. Freedom of movement exists in Europe as well but that does not mean that there are no regulations or supervision. We demand that the international community recognizes our right to regulate the movements of Bosnian civilians and supervise them. We have witnessed acts of Bosnian Muslim terrorism and the whole world has experienced similar problems with Muslim terrorism. We have already arrested terrorists, even on Mt Trebevic near Sarajevo .
We also have a budget. It is also in the interest of the Muslim-Croat federation to prevent smuggling. We have our budget, they have their budget. The flow of goods in Bosnia should be free but regulated. Taxes must be paid, etc.
As far as manipulations with these crowds of Muslim people trying to enter the Serb Republic are concerned, the international community can see for itself that freedom of movement is not an issue in this case. It is an attempt to destabilize the Serb-Muslim demarcation line and the border between the entities. We will not allow this to happen, i.e. our people are against this and they have organized themselves to prevent Muslim incursions . Our police have also tried to restore order…
Vukovic … There is a question I have to ask you – about regionalization, or, as you call it, tribal divisions. Even the international community encourages such an approach. To what degree can this jeopardize our state?
Karadzic You see, Yugoslavia was destroyed through the Alpe Adria organization organization of central European countries, including Slovenia and Croatia . Does anyone mention Alpe Adria nowadays? Or the regionalization of Europe – nobody mentions it any more. It was an instrument aimed at destroying other states.
Now they are trying to provoke antagonism between the western and eastern part of Serb Republic , between certain parts of the eastern or western part. The people have to be clear about this – only united can we survive.
We have had support for this at rallies and in referendums, and we shall not allow certain local princes to destroy the state.
The destruction of every Serb state to date began with the rebellion of local princes and their increasing arrogance. Their tiny psychological, political or financial personal interest threatened the interest of the whole.
We shall always stand before the people and say: This person is doing this or that. Do you want him to lead the state, do you want emotions, rivalries, jealousy, psychology to lead the state, or do you want the state to be led by a rational force which takes into account both the interests of the parts and of the whole.
I think we enjoy the full support of the people against regionalism. There are some extremely immature people in our political life. There are people who are not up to their task. There are people who could say: Let us close a university, let us move the capital here, let us do this or that, without considering the consequences at all.
Of course, we shall have to say farewell to many people from our political life – we cannot afford immaturity, we do not have the right to jeopardize the state because there is no resitting the exam.
You see how Krajina Serb-held Krajina in Croatia was divided. Krajina was divided at the regional level as well. Western Slavonia was divided in one way, Knin Krajina in another, eastern Slavonia in yet another, the interior minister was once even beaten up in eastern Slavonia and President Martic former leader of Krajina Serbs in Croatia was disobeyed in eastern Slavonia and you know what happened .
So we shall not allow – changes thought we do not believe that we have to be like King Dusan Serbian mediaeval king , but we shall not be weaklings, either. Whoever counts on that can leave his political position and go to some other party and try to present himself to the people as a benefactor.
We have the mandate to preserve the state and the people and we shall take all measures envisaged by law to do so.
Of course, so far we have not had to resort to legal measures because the people are very strong, and their support for us is very strong.. .
Vukovic You mentioned failings, and there were many questions about problems, and they are all about the insufficiently-built state structure. There is something untypical nowadays: People from the world, and it seems to me a number of local people, are trying to destroy with weaknesses what we have created.
Karadzic Yes, the attitude of some people is very careless towards this infant who started to walk but is not yet completely safe because our surroundings are terribly hostile.
The best medicine is open and public action. The people must be confronted and told: What this man is saying means this and leads there. We should ask the people whether they really want to go towards ruin or want to have a strong stable state based on law, respect for obligations and responsibilities, or whether they want to gamble with their state through socialist self-management, brotherhood and unity, false values and other phrases which could lead us irretrievably to ruin.
We do not know when or how we can bring back the Serb Krajina former Serb-held territory in Croatia but we know how to preserve the Serb Republic and ensure its survival and that of its people.
There are no higher reasons than state reasons. We shall really preserve the state, relying on the people and their support…
Vukovic … I would also like you to comment on the maps and what is important with regard to the maps.
Karadzic Well, we have a map on the screen. What I would like to comment on is what we have been doing over the past few days in our negotiations with the parties. We have set some priorities for those who want to cooperate with us. Our basic priority is the development of the whole infrastructure in the eastern and in the western part.
Now, you see. Yes you can see it better now. You see here that we have planned above all to build a railway line from Bijeljina via Brcko to Milosevci. At this point we link up with this railway line points to line leading from Croatia . I believe that we should build a railway line from word indistinct to Brod, but that is a long-term plan.
We also intend to build a motorway through Posavina northeastern Bosnia , as far as Banja Luka, and it would then be possible to extend it to Prijedor and Novi Grad Serb name for Bosanski Novi and make the link with European countries, even if this has to be via Croatia.
We are already digging and working on the road and the railway line, and we also intend to lay a gas pipeline. Our first aim is to build a 24 km stretch of gas pipeline from Zvornik to Bijeljina, because we have a concentration of industry here which would be able to produce things very cheaply if we had cheap Russian gas. Afterwards we also want to extend this gas pipeline via Brcko, Modrica, Derventa, Doboj to Banja Luka and Prijedor and beyond – but at least to Prijedor for the time being.
For example, if you could manufacture Selpak products paper handkerchiefs and suchlike using Russian gas, production would be effected very cheaply – and this is not to mention the whole Banja Luka industrial complex. Access to Russian gas would have a great impact on the economy of Banja Luka, Doboj, Derventa, Modrica etc.
Apart from this, optic fibre cables should be laid – digging has already begun – from Sarajevo right through the country to enhance telecommunications.
Here you see the Brod oil refinery. It is linked to the Adriatic oil pipeline. Since we have already started digging, we intend to set up a pipeline so that we have one terminal at least in Banja Luka, one in Bijeljina and further terminals in Serbia so that the oil does not have to travel by tanker. Instead, the tankers collect the oil from the terminals.
In this eastern part, our priority is to develop this part here Karadzic points to the road to Banja Luka in the western part of the Serb Republic . We will accomplish this by work drives, special actions by the whole economy and the whole nation – and we will give concessions to foreigners who want to build and exploit the road and railway.
Vukovic Excuse me, we have had contacts with foreigners, some firms from Switzerland and the USA. To what extent can these projects be supported from outside?
Karadzic Well, they can be supported from outside. For example, the most recent refineries were very interesting. We have resources which can be exploited here. For example, a motorway from Modrica to Bijeljina – we want to see it extended at least as far as Banja Luka and on to Prijedor – could bring big profits to someone who develops it. By the same token they could exploit any railways they might construct. They are showing significant interest, for example, in
…in leasing oil refineries. They could exploit the roads even if this were only a motorway running in one direction with three lanes. They could also make money out of all the filling stations, all the repair workshops, restaurants, and motels etc. A motorway would generate profits for anyone who put money into it.
Karadzic Here, it is our ambition later to repair the road and gas pipeline to Sarajevo, as well as the optic fibre cable. And at a later stage we will link this European vertical route Samac-Sarajevo-Ploce and this Belgrade-Bar route with a 120 km railway line using an old line which already exists, which will reduce the production costs. This is something that we must do urgently.
Then we also have the possibility of building another phase of the Ugljevik thermoelectric power station of 300 MW.
Vukovic The second phase.
Karadzic This is the one which is already operating; this one shown in white can be installed. This is Visegrad, which is functioning, and here we have (?Vuk Bijela) and Foca – 505 MW – for which plans have already been drawn up and feasibility studies approved. They have been passed by the European Bank EBRD , and preparatory work has been carried out.
The upper horizontal lines are not shown here, but here there are three power stations which would produce 250 MW of electricity and would also irrigate all these karst fields.
So the priorities are the links between the eastern and western parts on which all forces will be used, including work drives and public action of all kinds, and the granting of concessions, and then the hydroelectric power stations, which will be the first to show results, to yield a profit, and lastly, the connection between Sarajevo and Bijeljina.
Foreign aid, investment
Vukovic There are two situations when it comes to investment. You have said that the agreements which you have reached are without political pressure, although Bildt has different views, as far as we know.
Karadzic We are sure that there will be far less aid for us than for the Muslims and the Croats, and they will try to make aid to us conditional, politically. We will not accept any such conditions because this would mean the annihilation of the Serb Republic. Aid yes, provided that it is not conditional and provided it does not alter the Dayton Agreement. However, we are not relying too much on aid. We are a very rich country. We can – we million and a half can – live quite well, we have the resources, we have timber – our three prime products are timber, healthy food and electricity. Everything we build in the way of electricity potential can also serve exports, and these are major, very attractive capacities, so we are relying on the interest of the international community, that is of foreign investors, and not on their aid and love of the Serb people.
Vukovic To return to certain realities and a question with a note of warning from Boro Prastalo, a soldier from Ljubija. He asks: there is talk of peace but the Croats and Muslims are arming themselves. Could there be another operation Storm and are we preparing our defence?
Karadzic Our army is undergoing an essential transformation and is preparing itself for defence just as the whole nation is preparing itself. We have, of course, demobilized a significant number of fighters, but these fighters can be mobilized in three hours, so that if the international community does not prevent the Muslims and Croats from penetrating our territory, we will have to prevent them.
Vukovic There is another question on the subject of the army. How do you, as president and supreme commander, think that a modern army should be developed?
Karadzic I believe that we will go for a professional core – insofar as we are permitted to have an army – and that professional core will be strong and highly efficient and will be capable of absorbing reservists very quickly, so that in three to five days the peacetime professional formations will expand into war formations. Our experts in the general staff are working on this and have already produced several variants. I think we will also decide at some point on a new law on the army, law on defence, and on (?the formation) which under the constitution is signed by me, but only, of course, after I have seen all the variants and we have decided together on the most advantageous.
Treatment of refugees
Vukovic We began this conversation with many questions about refugees. I have to say that there are quite a lot of such questions because almost all of the population of the Serb Republic are refugees in a way and have been moved from their homes. How do you, as a statesman and head of state, consider that this problem can be permanently resolved?
Karadzic First of all, the population should be treated equally, materially and with regard to property, and politically. All areas, all political workers, mayors, municipal councils, party members, and so on, who do not work on the integration of this population, will not be accepted in our party nor at the elections. We will invest enormous efforts – I will personally tour many municipalities to see what the situation is like, and I will be asking for the refugee population to be integrated as soon as possible into the environment in which they have chosen to live. The local population and the usurpers cannot have several residential buildings. We should make this a punishable offence. I am asking for laws and regulations to be drafted under which everyone will be obliged to report property which he has no right to own and this will be given to refugees.
Secondly, we must apply the law on refugees, the law on property. The Ministry for Refugees has been sabotaged in many areas, in many municipalities, I don’t mean by the top officials in the municipalities, but by someone in the municipalities, in certain offices. We will very quickly get rid of this phenomenon and we will not spare anyone who is doing this. We are sinning here before God and the people. These people fought for the Serb Republic and lost enormous properties. There were rich people and now in their own state, where they have arrived at last, they feel like second class citizens.
Serb Democratic Party to win elections
Vukovic So that we are not criticized by those who have different views, who belong to other parties and not the SDS Serb Democratic Party , we have two questions which sum up all the questions about us . The first is whether the SDS will win the elections and the second is how the other parties will fare, and what will happen if the SPRS Socialist Party of the Serb Republic wins – that was one of the questions.
Karadzic The SDS will win if that is what the people want, and of course if we monitor the elections well against rigging and forgery. As things stand at the moment the SDS will win with more than two thirds of the votes and even the polls of our enemies abroad indicate that we will win more than 67 per cent. The other parties will be judged by the people exclusively on their attitude towards the state and patriotism and to some extent on political and economic freedoms. I don’t believe that the people will go for some little known option which supports the reintegration of Bosnia.
We hear parties which say that we do not have the right to demand to be a state, but we acquired the attributes of statehood in Dayton, far more than we would have in some kind of confederation. We have sovereign powers, legislatively, there is nothing above our assembly. Our president and government are not affected by anyone except our own people. The people elect the president and the president appoints the prime minister and influences the work of the government. The judicial authorities are sovereign, there is no-one above our supreme court. In other words we form our own army, our own police and all the other attributes of a state. We must not abandon the idea of a state and devalue Dayton. So any political force supporting the reintegration of Bosnia-Hercegovina will certainly be rejected by our people…
Serbs more united than ever
Vukovic … I wish to ask you about the prospects for our nation and our state, about our future survival.
Karadzic … We have received different proposals – changes thought namely, we should form the state council. There are proposals by prominent people for it not to be a council but a senate which would be established by the decision of the People’s Assembly of the Serb Republic . In that case the president would appoint a senate instead of a council. The senate members would be the most prominent Serbs from the Serb Republic and from the diaspora. Their term would last at least five years. The senate would propose certain views and measures, it would advise the nation.
I believe that the Serb people are more united today than they have ever been. But they cannot be united on different ideological grounds, whether left or right. They can only become united on a the basis of common sense and maturity, on the basis of rational principles of what is good for the people. So, not entirely on the ideological basis but on the basis of national aspirations and national feelings…
I want to remind you that we have not held any political prisoners in the four years since the beginning of the war, nor have we held a single political trial or carried out a death sentence. Four people were sentenced to death for first-degree murder but the sentences were not carried out. The people have sensed all this. They know that the freedom they now have west of the River Drina for the first time in 600 years is precious, and the people word indistinct this. When we asked the Serbs to stay in Sarajevo they refused. The people would not listen to us if what we asked for was against their interests and natural aspirations.
Vukovic … What would you tell our people at the end of this programme?
Karadzic I am very pleased that we are in contact once again. I am also pleased to receive questions directly and without censorship via the phone-in. What I would like to tell people is that they should be the masters of their own fate in an active way, not allowing any of us to stray from the natural course and their natural aspirations, and not allowing any devaluation of our achievements. The families of fallen soldiers have been the most vociferous of them all. They often tell us: don’t let anyone trifle with our sacrifices and don’t let anyone devalue the state and its degree of freedom. I think that the Serb people have the duty – by adopting an active political stand – not to allow anyone to lead them astray, the duty to control their own leadership and political parties, to assess them well from the point of view of their own interests, and in this sense I think that the people have the right to ask us anything and demand that their leadership be at the service of the people and not the masters of the people – for the first time in I don’t know how many decades…
Karadzic interview with Moscow daily: “international community” caused war
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts – June 23, 1994, Thursday
Summary: Karadzic says that if USA decides it is time to end the war, solution will emerge, otherwise USA will propose a remedy that ” spells catastrophe” for Bosnian Serbs; Americans have set up Muslim-Croat Federation to recreate an anti-Serb front; Bosnian Serbs ready to surrender some territory in return for peace – to break the deadlock would even accept 49; 51 division, if exchange was quality for quantity; insist on mouth of the Una river, sufficiently wide corridor in Posavina, rejection of border along River Drina, “our part of Sarajevo” , access to the sea; Russia “understands us” ; West is seeking to divide Serbs in order to weaken Russia; Muslims are not seeking peace, they are fundamentalist and pro-Iranian, pose threat of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe
‘Krasnaya Zvezda’, Moscow in Russian 21 Jun 94 p 3
Excerpt from interview with Radovan Karadzic by Sergey Sidorov in Moscow, entitled: “There are forces which regard stability in the Balkans as disadvantageous, according to Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadzic”
…[Sidorov] …What is your forecast: Will the plan proposed by the Washington contact group mark a decisive step towards peace or will the next round of discussions about peace end in a renewed escalation of the war?
[Karadzic] I do consider that the international community is largely to blame for the unleashing of this war. And if that community or, more precisely, the United States decides that it is time to end it, then a solution acceptable to the Serb side will not fail to emerge.
If, however, they decide that it is not yet time and that the war should continue, they will propose a remedy that spells catastrophe for the Serbs in Bosnia. In that case the war will continue, and the Serbs will appear to be to blame. We have, alas, had to contend with just such a technique of interference.
During my present visit to Moscow I have been able to see for myself yet again that Russia sincerely wants stability in the Balkans and is ready to support us in our striving for peace. If the United States built its relations with the Muslim side in the same way, there would already be peace in Bosnia. But the Americans are urging the Muslims to seize the greater part of the territory of Bosnia-Hercegovina. They are encouraging the Muslim leadership in its ambitions and its desire to dominate in the Balkans. This means in effect continuing this exhausting war. A war by one side to secure an Islamic bridgehead in Europe, while on our side it is a war for survival… [newspaper ellipsis]
[Sidorov] How are relations shaping up inside the Croat-Muslim Federation, created through US mediation? Does it have any prospects?
[Karadzic] We do not think it has any serious prospects. The deep-rooted conflicts between the Muslims and the Catholic Croats constitute a separate and pretty extensive topic. The Americans have restored the Croat-Muslim alliance not so much to reconcile the Croats and the Muslims, who have fought each other over the last year, as to recreate an anti-Serb front. I am, unfortunately, forced to say that some American circles are openly working for war. The war is now in their hands, and they refuse to let peace and stability prevail in the Balkans… [agency ellipsis]
[Sidorov] Tell me, have you come to that standpoint recently or have you held it since the start of the war?
[Karadzic] We had our suspicions. But over time we became convinced of the following: As soon as the sides came close to a common solution, the Americans, who had started to pretend that they wholly supported the Muslims, would enter the “game” . And that would prompt the Muslims to continue the war.
[Sidorov] If that is so, what, in your view, might be the next step by the United States on this plane?
[Karadzic] As I have already said, an attempt to impose terms unacceptable – absolutely unacceptable – to the Serbs. If the United States does actually want peace, then at least half of its initiatives will be acceptable to us and half not. Let the terms be equally disadvantageous to the Muslims and to us.
[Sidorov] As far as I recall, the Washington contact group’s plan, that is to say the division of territory between the Serb community and the Croat-Muslim Federation in a 49:51 ratio, does not suit the Serb side, as you hold 70% of the territory.
[Karadzic] That formula does indeed fail to suit us because prior to the war 64% of the territory belonged to Serbs. We did not start the war and we have not lost it either. Why, then, should the Serbs have less territory after the war than before? Yet we are ready to surrender something in the interests of peace. We will surrender the 10% of the territory which is not ours. We are holding on to it at the moment in the interests of defence. But we are also ready to surrender Serb land provided there is peace. To break the deadlock we could even accept the 49:51 formula provided that an exchange of territory – quality for quantity – subsequently took place.
[Sidorov] Does that mean that it is far from being a matter of numbers and percentages?
[Karadzic] It is not just a matter of them. Discussion should also proceed in terms of the viability of the states formed in place of the former Bosnia-Hercegovina. Of course, the conditions for viability are important not just for the Croat-Muslim state but also for ours. After all, if the international community were to accept the arguments of one side and ignore those of the other, that would be an obvious injustice. Our terms are as follows: the mouth of the Una river, a sufficiently wide corridor in the Posavina, and the rejection of any border along the Drina river, which was a symbol of the Serbs’separation (half the Serbs were in the Austro-Hungarian empire and half in Serbia). In addition, we need our part of Sarajevo and access to the sea.
[Sidorov] But you know that these terms are regarded as unacceptable by the Muslim side.
[Karadzic] No, I consider that if they were in favour of peace they would accept these terms, as they pose no threat to the security of their state.
[Sidorov] How do you now rate the state of contacts with Moscow?
[Karadzic] We feel that Russia – particularly the people – understands us. The government is in a difficult position. Russia cannot afford to get into conflict with the West, but we do not want that either. For us Moscow’s objectivity is the main thing. The Russian government really can play the role of mediator, as it understands both us and the Muslims. Unfortunately, the United States demonstrates a different approach.
We have no right to ask Russia to intercede in everything, but it is in Russia’s own interests to see that the Serbs always have been and remain the country’s most consistent allies in the Balkans. And we are, after all, now paying the price for our traditional friendship with Russia. By dividing the Serb people and weakening their state system the West has always sought to weaken Russia in some hypothetical conflict. The double standards which Western countries and Turkey are demonstrating in Balkan affairs – in their assessments, say, of the actions of the Croat-Muslim and Serb sides – cannot be explained any other way.
[Sidorov] What do you think of the intentions of your opponents – the leaders of the Muslim community? Do you concede that they are sincere in their desire for peace for their own people?
[Karadzic] We are convinced, unfortunately, that our opponents are essentially not seeking peace. These are politicians of a fundamentalist, pro-Iranian persuasion. They have already promised their co-religionists in Sudan and Iran that they will take all of Bosnia-Hercegovina under their control and become a member of the Islamic Conference. This despite the fact that there are fewer Muslims than Christians in Bosnia… [newspaper ellipsis] Not so long ago Nijaz Durakovic, former leader of the Bosnian communists, said that the Bosnian Muslims would be the best terrorists among the Islamic revolutionaries because they look like Europeans. Alija Izetbegovic expressed himself in similar vein a few days ago.
I have to say that we are facing the first threat of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe – the first but not the last. Europeans’ heads will continue to ache from what has happened in Bosnia.
Karadzic interviewed on origin of Bosnian conflict and role of great powers
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts – September 30, 1993, Thursday
‘Anteni’ , Sofia, in Bulgarian 22 Sep 93 p 16
Excerpts from interview Radovan Karadzic by Dmitriy Yakushin, reporter for ‘Moskovskiye Novosti’ ; place and date not given
Summary: Karadzic gives his explanation of how the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina came about: the EC and Germany wanted the disintegration of Yugoslavia; he hopes Russia will take a more active role in the Balkans; he cannot understand the attitude of the United States to the Serbs; international public is responsible “for everything”
…[Yakushin] Were you a member of the Communist Party?
[Karadzic] I was admitted to the party when I was 17. At that time there were no other parties. In 1968 I was expelled because of my participation in the student movement. I never was a real communist, but some of the social democratic ideas, such as the idea of social justice, were close to my heart. Perhaps those ideas are even now close to my heart, despite the fact that my party belongs to the… [ellipses as published] democratic centre, and is not a leftist party . Thanks to the Eastern Orthodox faith we have always paid great attention to the ideas of social justice…
[Yakushin] Do you know Izetbegovic personally?
[Karadzic] Izetbegovic was a well-known Muslim dissident. He was imprisoned for articles about Muslim fundamentalism.
I also was a dissident for 30 years. I was a member of a circle of Serb intellectuals, but we did not intend to deal with politics. However, when the Croats and the Muslims created their parties with pronounced nationalistic programmes, aimed at splitting from the union, and the Serbs became a minority, we understood that we needed our own party, because otherwise the Serbs would have remained without representatives. The Serbs have the right to remain in Yugoslavia, precisely as the Muslims and Croats have the right to leave it.
Thus we created the Serbian Democratic Party, and afterwards we created a coalition government with the Muslims and Croats. They decided to leave Yugoslavia, but could not, because such a decision could have been adopted only with the consent of the three peoples. They betrayed our interests, so we left parliament and created our own.
In principle, Izetbegovic’s programme did not presuppose a confederation or breaking away from Yugoslavia, but rather a prudent federation. The Muslim population also voted for this. However, Izetbegovic was pushed to declare independence. By whom? By the EC, and especially Germany, whose aim was to achieve the disintegration of Yugoslavia and who utilized Izetbegovic for this purpose. And so the war began.
[Yakushin] Was the war in your view inevitable?
[Karadzic] Evidently yes, because the international community wanted it…
[Yakushin] How do you assess Russia’s role?
[Karadzic] Russian diplomacy plays an important and constructive role . Now people are interested in its view, despite the fact that until a few months ago they did not want to hear it. I hope that Russia will be more actively present in the Balkans, because NATO is against the Serbs. It opposes them not because of the Serbs themselves but because of the influence of Eastern Orthodox Russia. Certain circles in the United States rely on two influential states in the region – Germany and Turkey. Through Germany they want to dominate in Europe and undermine European unity, while with Turkey’s help they want to influence Russia…
[Yakushin] How do you assess the role of the United States?
[Karadzic] I cannot understand it. I know the United States and value the Americans as open people. However, why do they always need an enemy? Now Russia does not fit the role, but then Iran, Sudan and the Serbs emerged. I absolutely cannot understand why are they against the Serbs. Did we not always look up to America in the 45 years we tried to construct a democracy?
I think that America is still afraid of Russia, because Russia, for the time being, is a sleeping giant. Democratic Russia will be stronger than the previous Russia, precisely as the new Serbia will be stronger than the one that was a part of Yugoslavia. However, the Americans are deceiving themselves. Democratic Russia will not be an enemy of America, while Croatia and Slovenia will always be German satellites…
[Yakushin] Could the war erupt in another place?
[Karadzic] If the international public wants a war in Kosovo, there will be a war in Kosovo. They have tolerated the war in Bosnia for 17 months now. They could stop it within a week, just as they could transfer it to Kosovo, or refrain from transferring it to Kosovo. The international public is aware of the consequences of the war in Yugoslavia. It is responsible for everything.
KARADZIC DENOUNCES IZETBEGOVIC; WARNS OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST STATE IN BOSNIA
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts – March 4, 1992, Wednesday
SOURCE: (a) Belgrade TV 1830 gmt 2 Mar 92 in Serbo-Croat 2028 gmt 2 Mar 92
Text of recorded ”special” interview with Radovan Karadzic, president of the Serbian Democratic Party, by Slavica Raketic – date and place not given
[Raketic] How do you assess the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina and the latest events?
[Karadzic] The situation is more than explosive it has actually already exploded. Several incidents and killings have taken place so far, but what happened yesterday regarding the attacks on the wedding party and on Serbian symbols has gone beyond all limits. This shows that the peak of the enslavement of the Serbian people, both in the information and political spheres, went beyond the limits of forbearance and degree of possible tolerance of the Serbian people a long time ago.
[Raketic] The crisis headquarters of the Serbian people has issued a statement with six demands, including the cessation of all activities regarding the proclamation of independence. What will the SDS [Serbian Democratic Party] do if these demands are not met?
[Karadzic] The SDS will fight with its political means, and in this sense we already have the adopted constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. If they continue with such activities, we will promulgate the constitution – since it has already been adopted and on its basis several laws have been passed – and we will begin to function as a state organism linked with Yugoslavia. We will go in front of Europe to show how Mr Izetbegovic undermines and minimises every achievement made at the conference on Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The SDS is not omnipotent, however. It deals with a political struggle and political means, but people are dying, not from political means but from other people’s bullets. The people will defend themselves. The Serbian people are quite capable in all of Bosnia-Hercegovina of completely protecting themselves.
[Raketic] Do you expect any steps to be taken by the SFRY Presidency in Bosnia-Hercegovina?
[Karadzic] We have just been to the expanded session of the SFRY Presidency and a statement was issued, which should point out and present the positions of the Presidency. I do not yet know if there will be any special actions regarding the involvement of the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs or the Army, but in any case the Presidency has sharply condemned the circumstances in which these events are taking place.
[Raketic] Mr Izetbegovic yesterday interpreted the results of the partial referendum as an orientation of the people in Bosnia-Hercegovina not only in favour of independence but against the separation of all three peoples. How do you respond to this?
[Karadzic] That is one of the most unbelievable examples of Izetbegovic’s acrobatics with which he rejects the EC and everything that we have so far achieved, even though he earlier received a letter from Cutileiro which says that we are going forward and that there is no returning to square one.
I cannot understand Mr Izetbegovic. How does he think that he can close 35% and 1.5 million Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina into a state creation in which he will be the boss, and how does he think he will impose a state on Serbs which they will not accept? We will never accept a state which we have not endorsed with our signature.
There is no way that this will happen, and we have warned the EC that unverified support for Mr Izetbegovic is in fact support for a very well-camouflaged and hidden militant Islamic fundamentalism which will bring misfortune to Europe. The Serbian people are the first target of such fundamentalism and this can already be seen. We will fully brief the EC on the latest events and we will particularly inform them of the behaviour of Mr Izetbegovic, who disparages everything that we achieve with his interpretations.
[Raketic] Do you think that there could be an armed conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina?
[Karadzic] There has already been an armed conflict.
[Raketic] A more complex one, of greater proportions than today.
[Karadzic] It could happen if (?there are really ambitions for this). I was until recently a great optimist, and I thought that one people would not resort to such means and use arms to impose their will on another people, but now I see that such plans really are being made, and there is the firm intention of imposing a solution on the Serbian people in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
I do not understand. Is it that they do not know the Serbian people or is it that they have promises or guarantees from somewhere else, but in any case this is a completely unrealistic approach. Serbs control more than 60% of the territory. We are in the position to completely close this territory within two hours and to take full control of our territories so that not even a bird could enter.
There is no one who can govern us in Bosnia-Hercegovina without our consent. The state that they want to impose on us would be much worse than any Lebanon, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, or Nagornyy Karabakh. The domination of Serbs by anyone is simply out of the question, and we do not want to dominate anyone else either.
[Raketic] Could this be interpreted as a kind of message?
[Karadzic] We have been sending this kind of message for a year and a half, since we were established. We are prepared for an agreement. We are prepared for dialogue. We are prepared for a life together. We can live with each other or next to each other. I fear that we will no longer be able to live together. We cannot stand in the same ranks, in the same army. We must separate many functions, just as the Indians and Pakistanis did, the Turks and Greeks, and the Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Simply, if our neighbours opt for militant Islam, then there can be no cohabitation in the same legal and political system.
[Note According to Tanjug (in Serbo-Croat 2028 gmt 2 Mar 92), this interview was given to Sarajevo TV.]
KARADZIC SAYS SOVEREIGNTY VOTE DID NOT CHANGE LEGAL POSITION OF BOSNIAN SERBS
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts – October 21, 1991, Monday
Text of recorded interview with Radovan Karadzic, president of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina, by Srdjan Savic in Sarajevo on 17th October
[Savic] Mr Karadzic, what is the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina after the parliament’s decision proclaiming Bosnia-Hercegovina’s sovereignty? I particularly refer to the position of the Serbian people.
[Karadzic] The actual legal position of the Serbian people is unchanged, considering that nothing has been proclaimed, because a group of Muslim and Croat deputies, together with some opposition deputies, held an illegal meeting, a meeting that was both called and chaired by the Vice-President of the Assembly who does not have the right to do that. These documents could not be voted on, because, according to the constitutional procedure, they have been sent to the Council for National Equality. In brief, all this was illegal and invalid. Therefore, the position of the Serbian people has not changed.
However, something else happened. It has been openly demonstrated what our partners intend to do, what they want. What they want is to separate Bosnia-Hercegovina from Yugoslavia, to form an independent state, or even an independent state in a loose union with other states.
[Savic] Do you think that someone has influenced this decision?
[Karadzic] Not only influenced. The entire Party of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Community [HDZ] did that under the patronage of Mr Izetbegovic, who did a lot of damage to himself with this, because he lost his credibility in Europe. Europe respects constitutional and parliamentary procedures very much, and will not accept such illegal acts. We think that everything was done because of The Hague and the Friday [18th October] , because of the meeting scheduled to take place in The Hague tomorrow, where one expects to hear statements such as Well, we now have four republics in favour a loose union and two in favour a federation, so let us make these two republics go into a loose union with the rest of the republics. However, this will not happen, because Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina should be asked about their own fate.
in leasing oil refineries. They could exploit the roads even if this were only a motorway running in one direction with three lanes. They could also make money out of all the filling stations, all the repair workshops, restaurants, and motels etc. A motorway would generate profits for anyone who put money into it.
Together with the Middle East, the border lands of southeast Europe known as the Balkans have been a region of the world where seminal events and trends in human history have taken place. It has been called many names, including “the powder keg of Europe” or “the graveyard of empires.” The conflicts in the region have also been a mirror of history.
Long before Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations,” in the period between the 14th and 19th centuries, the incessant ebb and flow in the conflict between Islam and the West took place in the Balkans. Early in the 20th century, Serbian gun shots in Sarajevo ushered in World War I, Communism and Nazism. At the end of the century, Bosnian Muslim fundamentalists fired gun shots in Sarajevo, killing several Christian Serbs at a wedding party and began a bloody war in Bosnia among Christian Serbs and Croats and Muslims. This war may have well reflected in earnest the renewed clash of civilizations.
The Berlin Wall fell at the end of 1989. The Soviet Union imploded and the end of Communism as a global force followed. Balkan countries joined the trend. However, the pivotal and largest state, Yugoslavia, rapidly descended into a bloody civil-religious war and dissolution. This decade-long war at the end of 20th century mirrored a number of important political, legal, religious and geopolitical precedents for the post-Communist world. Of particular significance are those involving America, the European Union and the United Nations.
At first, the United States favored the preservation of Yugoslavia, or at least its peaceful and orderly dissolution. Changing this position abruptly, America did not oppose Germany’s drive for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and then sided with Islamists in Bosnia. Secretary of State James Baker said “we have no dog in this fight” but in the end America was the top dog in the fight.
The international community’s engagement in the Balkans have so far been a textbook illustration of the dangers of contradictory policies, chronic indecisions, confusion and ignorance about historical forces in play, double standards and flawed precedents. America was not prepared for the peace and the role of the only superpower in the world. Our leadership has failed in this task so far.
Apparently, not much has been learned from this experience. We could replace the location, inserting Iraq instead of the Balkans, and the aforementioned assessment would be similar today.
The Balkan mirror also shows the impotence and irrelevance of the United Nations. Any country and any people would be foolhardy to place their destiny in the hands of this inept institution. With America’s complicity, the United Nations did nothing when its embargo on arms shipments was violated by Iran sending planeloads of arms to Bosnian Muslims. Subsequently, when veteran jihadists came to the country to fight Serbs, the West was also supportive.
The Serbian province of Kosovo has been ethnically cleansed from Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanians while 150 churches and many medieval monasteries have been destroyed during 10 years of U.N. governance.
The mirror showed the duplicitous methods by which world media influenced world opinion. With few exceptions, it has abused its power and professional responsibility, failing to heed Ed Murrow’s admonition to examine all sides of a story and aim to elucidate, not advocate. It did the latter and in general continues to advocate an Islamic agenda in Bosnia and Kosovo.
The Balkan realities also show a great adaptability of Islamists to present a worldly, democratic face. Readily accepted by the West, Bosnian leader and fundamentalist Islamist Alija Izetbegovic was tolerated and praised as a democrat. Nevertheless, in his book “The Islamic Declaration” Izetbegovic asserted absolute validity of dominance of Islam: “There can be neither peace nor coexistence between Islamic religion and non-Islamic social and political institutions,” he wrote. Later in the war, Mr. Izetbegovic was influenced and financially and militarily supported by fundamentalist Islamists (including Osama bin Laden). Similarly, some Kosovo leaders, previously called terrorists and thugs by U.S. special envoy Robert Gelbard, are now afforded respect in the United Nations and elsewhere.
The ugliest and most dangerous reflection in the mirror is that of double-standards. As we are facing challenges and dangers of radical Islam and terrorism worldwide, let’s not dismiss the Balkan experience. Our policies must contain moral dimensions. International agreements, legal precedents and evenhanded treatment of warring people were not followed in the Yugoslav tragedy. If we are to get out of the Middle East quagmire we must change these policies. Failing to realize that by endeavoring to resolve complex problems by double standards, we more often than not double them in the end.
There is no doubt in my mind that terrible war crimes happened on all sides. This was a vicious ethnic civil war. But trying to get people to see the bigger picture is like trying to get a driver — passing a bloody car accident — to look straight ahead because if he doesn’t he’ll go off a cliff. The psychological draw to wallow in the misery of the accident is just too much temptation, even though focusing on it instead of the road may mean his own demise.
In this case, we are “the driver” and “the bloody car accident” are the Bosian war crimes. What we need to do is keep our eyes forward, while still acknowledging the car accident and praying for its victims.
Some of what happened was real, and much was fictionalized to frame a context that made Serbs the fall guys for the war itself. The only way to do that was to dehumanize and demonize “the Serbs” into some unique species of subhuman — the same way that Goebbels did to Jews (except in this case, it was to project onto them the image of inhuman “Nazis”). It had to be done, otherwise, people would be looking for some real context for how this horrible war between “real humans” happened. But instead, the only “real humans” we are offered in the MSM are Muslims (and some Croats)That, alone, should tell us something if we are listening.
Today, we know that the Golden Chain letter http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&complete_911_timeline_al_qaeda_by_region=balkans of the original donors to al Qaeda was found in Bosnia and that letter was dated three years before the war between Muslims and Serbs even started. We know Izetbegovic was an Islamist. We know that foreign Mujahaddin were fighting on the Muslim side. We know that we have been subjected to a propaganda campaign http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/bosnia2.htm
by the Muslims and the globalists. We also know that several of the 9/11 hijackers cut their jihadi teeth during the Bosnian war. We know that the attacks on America by al Qaeda began with a year of the Bosnian war (1st Trade Center Bombing).
All roads to this terrorism against us began in Bosnia — and we opened the door to it. We just forgot tell the Serbs to get the hell out of the way while we chose to commit suicide on their land.
The court’s decision on Karadzic is a foregone conclusion, even though it would be like convicting a US president for what some of our soldiers in Iraq chose to do without orders from him . But this is what the Hague was set up to do from the very beginning, convict the easy and expedient political targets and vindicate those who may have done worse but are “our political pawns”.
Welcome to the NWO, where there are no rules, no fairness, no morality, no justice and no laws — only power in a sugar-coated “moral” pill to make it easy to swallow. George Orwell underestimated the insidiousness of it.
USA/NATO/UK have exaggerated Muslim deaths every step of the way
The Balkan situation is so screwy that the Germans & Austrians hate Serbs with a passion because the Germans & Austrians are (nominally) Catholic and ally with the Croats or whoever (Muslims) is fighting the Eastern Orthodox Serbs.Germany has always allied with the Catholic Croats against the Serbs. Check out the WW2 record, anyone hear of the Arrow Cross? This rotten attitude extended into supporting Muslim efforts against the Serbs in WW2 and in more recent Balkan wars and Germany is the prime NATO & EU power.This Catholic German animus against Orthodox Serbs is centuries old
Disappointing article. I expected more, but it doesn’t move beyond the stereotypes of the blood-thirsty Balkans.
Firstly, you associate brutality with a uniquely Balkan issue. This is a blinkered and ahistoric view. Secondly, you forget that it was a civil war. This does not excuse atrocities, but it puts them in context. People didn’t start massacring each other at a whim, but it was a civil war. Bad things happen in wars and civil wars. It’s nothing to do with the Balkans per se.What is at stake here is the skewed portrayal of evil and the unilateral ‘side-taking’.This is precisely the kind of neo-imperial attitude that fosters antagonism. They elected Milosevic through a democratic process, but that fetishisation of ‘democracy’ only extends to whom the west deems acceptable. If electing the ‘wrong’ person is punishable by the loss of territory, then I suggest this is illegal, immoral, and reprehensible.
I don’t see why the Serbs couldn’t have tried him themselves just as Mugabe, if he had been captured, should have been tried by his own people. No one suggested that Saddam should be extradited to The Hague and he also committed numerous atrocities, over a much longer period of time, particularly against the Kurds. This dragging to The Hague of anyone the West deems worthy of a show trial, smacks of Roman triumphalism when prisoners were dragged through the city on victory parades. Is this really the way to make friends with Serbia? After the criminal irresponsibility shown by Western governments in their rush to break up Yugoslavia?
And isn’t it true, that despite atrocities on all sides, only the Serbs were really vilified in our media? And isn’t it also true that our politicians started to quake in their boots when fighters started to pour into Bosnia from the Middle East? Suddenly a settlement was desperately urgent.
Anyone who thinks that the capture of one alleged war criminal will gloss over our own dark diplomacy in this sordid conflict, may be in for a surprise.
It seems to see that Radovan Karadzic is being accused of crime against humanity and genocide. It’s false, he has never killed women and children. Someone else has said that this process is like Nuremburg’s. Everyone should burst out laughing after this comparison. Milosevic has done the same thing that each head of state would’ve made. He wanted to defend his nation by separatism. What if California, Corsica, or Wales decided to do like Croatia and kosovo? Each Serb has been sentenced but, then again, Albanians and Croats have been released, whilst all of them had yielded illegal actions such as murders and trade of organs. And they say justice should be blind! Not in this case.
Phyllis Chesler trots out all the usual clichés about Balkan tragedies, and reminds us of the horrors that the South Slav peoples visited upon each other in the 1990s.
The first indictment against Karadžić was issued by the ICTY prosecutor R. Goldstone in November, 1995. The charges included 36 counts such as genocide, complicity in genocide, killings, persecutions, deportations, inhumane acts, terror against civilian population, and the taking of hostages. However, the new ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte subsequently changed the indictment leaving only 11 counts.
Interestingly, the ICTY had in fact pronounced a judgment on Karadžić already in July, 1996. When the ICTY rules were drafted at the early phase of its existence, controversy arose over the procedure allowing for trials in absentia, that is, without the accused being physically present before the Tribunal. A number of judges strongly objected to the option while others deemed it necessary. Rule 61, formally regarded as the procedure of reviewing charges by the Tribunal, was adopted as a compromise. In reality, the procedure is a lot more unfair than the previously proposed trials without the accused being present, as the latter would at least provide for the participation of defense in the process. On the contrary, Procedure 61 does not imply any involvement of defense even formally. Karadžić was indicted on July 11, 1996 on all counts in accord with Rule 611. The hearings took only 7 days, and the decision was made in just 2 (!) days.
Indicting Karadžić was a matter of enormous importance to the ICTY due to the fact that the Tribunal’s interpretation of responsibility was based on the theory of “a joint criminal enterprise”. According to it, the guilt of the accused could be assumed proven in case there allegedly existed the enterprise and the individual was involved in it. The concept was introduced by a US judge in the beginning of the Tribunal’s activity to make it possible to prove cases lacking any kind of supporting evidence. Thus Karadžić, who was not only portrayed as a kind of demon by mass media but also had been indicted by the Tribunal without a trial, turned into “evidence” against other accused individuals. It may be hard to imagine, but bracketing Karadžić with “a group of criminals who acted in concert” was presented as evidence proving the guilt of Yugoslavian President Milosevic!
The allegation that over 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed in Srebrenica in July, 1995 by the forces of Republika Srpska which were under the command of Karadžić as the Republic’s President, was the main charge against him. Though several trials related to the events in Srebrenica have taken place at the Tribunal between 1996 and 2008 and, due to vigorous media campaigns, the very word Srebrenica became a synonym of the “Serbian atrocity”, the trials actually failed to confirm the version of the events. Of course, the ICTY did “establish” that genocide against Muslims had been committed in Srebrenica and laid the guilt for it on the leaders of Republika Srpska, but a review of the evidence on which the conclusion was based easily reveals that the resulting sentences are unfair and rely on hypotheses, guesswork, and in some instances on downright falsifications. Even the fact of mass killings of civilians in the form in which it has been “established” by the ICTY remains unconfirmed. Though the notion that over 7,000 Muslim men and boys have been killed in Srebrenica is now commonly accepted, no evidence to the effect has been presented to the Tribunal! Only 1,500 of the mythic 7,000 burials were found, but some 1,000 of the people died in combat and could not be counted as civilians. As for the extent of responsibility of particular individuals, the situation is even obscurer. A number of people, particularly Gen. R. Krstic and V. Blagojevic, were found guilty solely on the basis of testimony given by other individuals who initially had been tried together with them. For example, somebody, Miroslav Deronjic agreed to testify against others and said they planned genocide, but did so in return for dropping genocide charges against himself! Deronjic also testified against Milosevic who was charged with genocide in Srebrenica. The centerpiece of Deronjic’s testimony was his statement that Karadžić “told to kill them all”. That was all the evidence available, but it was deemed convincing enough to find Milosevic guilty of genocide as it was concluded earlier that Milosevic had been in the same “criminal enterprise” with Karadžić. As for Deronjic, upon having played his role he was sentenced to 10 years and died last year in jail in Holland.
The case of Drazen Erdemovic, who had personally executed over a hundred civilians, was no less absurd. Murder charges against him were dropped as a reward for his saying that he killed people on the orders issued by the leaders of Republika Srpska! Milosevic completely disproved Erdemovic’s testimony during a cross-examination, but the Tribunal has no concerns over the truthfulness of witnesses’ testimonies as it is fully aware that those are actually false. No doubt, Erdemovic is going to be the key witness in case Karadžić is tried by the ICTY.
The defense phase of another trial related to Srebrenica – the Popovic case involving a total of 9 people – continues, but it is already equally clear that the Tribunal failed to prove the guilt of any of the accused and that they are not going to be acquitted. The purpose of the Tribunal is not to serve justice but to legitimize the falsified version of history written with the blood of the victims of the forces which had destroyed Yugoslavia, that is, the US and other NATO countries.
A circumstance that should not be overlooked is that Karadžić was arrested at the time when, as planned by the UN Security Council, the Tribunal is about to close. According to the plan, all trials must be completed by the end of 2008, and all appeals must be processed by the end of 2010. It is obvious at the moment that the schedule will not materialize. Some of the trials are at the very early phase (for example, the trial of Serbian Radical Party’s President Vojislav Šešelj) and others have not even commenced nor are going to open in the nearest future. Russia addressed the situation by suggesting not to extend the Tribunal’s mandate and to transfer the currently open proceedings to national jurisdictions. It is clear in the context that the arrest of Karadžić can benefit the ICTY. Notably, the Tribunal is the costliest institution run by the UN. The salaries of its judges are orders of magnitude higher than those of the presidents of Western countries. The exact salaries of the ICTY judges and prosecutors are kept secret, but one can guess a lot from the fact that minor ICTY attorneys are paid Euro 30,000 a month. The end of the Tribunal would be a personal drama for its employees. Russia’s suggestion to transfer incomplete cases to national courts is not a problem-free solution either. Does Karadžić have a chance to stand fair trial in Bosnia where the case would belong as the alleged crimes were committed in its territory? No doubt, no fair trial of Karadžić can be expected in the Hague either, but there at least the process would be watched by the whole world.
In case the trial of Karadžić takes place, it is going to be a serious challenge for the ICTY. Until recently, the Tribunal was not exactly eager to see him arrested and brought to trial. Carla Del Ponte’s recent scandalous book has overshadowed the no less interesting one written by her former press-secretary Florence Hartmann, in which she describes “strange” developments related to Karadžić’s and Mladic’s cases. For example, she claims that Jacques Chirac has brokered a deal to never try Karadžić in return for the release of French officers. A lot of things referred to in this book, if presented at a trial, could hurt high-ranking politicians in the US and other NATO countries. It appears likely that the trial will either never start or never be completed. The destiny that awaits Karadžić, considering how much he knows, can be the same as that of Yugoslavian President S. Milosevic and Serbian Krajina’s President M. Babić – doctors in the Hague jail are known to easily declare that the deaths of inmates have been natural.
Karadzic must undoubtedly answer for his actions. But what about the other guilty parties, including those who today are convinced of their right to judge others?
It seemed strangely fitting that Radovan Karadzic was found in an elaborate disguise when he was finally arrested, accused of genocide. Many in the international community have spent more than a decade dressing up this unexceptional local nationalist leader as a Hitlerian monster.
Perhaps it was also appropriate that he had apparently spent his years in hiding since the civil war in the former Yugoslavia practising as an alternative therapist. The moral crusade to turn the Serbs into the new Nazis, pursued after the Yugoslav civil war through the hunt for Karadzic on charges of genocide, has served as a strange sort of therapy for many in the West. By branding the Serbs as evil, they have found a way to make themselves feel righteous. In the process, they have distorted the realities of Yugoslavia’s civil wars, risked diminishing the history of the Nazi Holocaust, and paved the way for further disastrous Western interventions.
That last point makes the Western crusaders even more determined to hang on to their anti-Serb banners today. The Balkan wars of the 1990s marked the high tide of the liberal left’s new moral case for international intervention in the affairs of nation states. The notion that they were taking a stand against the new Nazis in Bosnia and Kosovo has become just about the only thing the pro-interventionists can hold on to as proof that they are on the side of right.
That is why, after the capture of Karadzic this week, the new Nazi-hunters are cock-a-hoop, with Paddy Ashdown, former United Nations overlord of Bosnia, announcing that he was off to celebrate with his Bosnian friends. Whether they find it quite so comforting when they have to deal with the man rather than the monster in court remains to be seen. The trial of Milosevic should remind them how such carefully staged showpieces can turn into embarrassing debacles.
During the war in Bosnia Karadzic acted as a self-important petty nationalist with a romantic dream and a ruthless streak. And he was far from alone in that. The campaign to demonise Karadzic and nail him for genocide before an international war crimes tribunal, however, has been a politically motivated circus that serves interests other than justice. The fact that he has been arrested as a diplomatic stunt to help the new Serb government gain entry to the European Union is in keeping with a campaign that has been politically loaded from the start.
There has always been a strong air of double standards around accusations of war crimes. The very notion of a war crime is questionable, since it suggests that there is a way of waging war that is somehow civilised and done according to the rules of cricket. When a participant in a war is singled out to be accused of war crimes, it is generally a safe bet that it will be one of Them rather than Us – the barbarians of the developing world rather than the gentlemen of the West.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was voted into being by the United Nations Security Council in 1993, during the Balkans war. It was the first war crime tribunal to be set up since the Second World War. Why was that? There had hardly been a shortage of wars in the intervening half century, many of them bloodier than the Balkans conflict. From the first, the tribunal was a political tool set up in response to the crisis of authority within the West in the post-Cold War era. Its primary aim was to establish the right of the UN Security Council to sit in judgement on the rest of the world. Its political role was most blatantly revealed when it indicted President Milosevic for war crimes during the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999.
But the most striking feature of the crusade to Nazify the Serbs was the role of liberal-left journalists. It was these ‘laptop bombardiers’ who demanded that Britain and the West intervene more forcefully against the Serbs, first over Bosnia and then Kosovo. This, too, was more a product of events within the West. The collapse of traditional left-right politics at the end of the Cold War had left many bereft of a clear mission or cause. Some sought salvation and a new sense of moral purpose via a foreign crusade in the Balkans. Journalists and politicians talked about Bosnia as ‘our Poland’ or even ‘our generation’s Holocaust’, the battle against the Serbs as ‘our Second World War’, a chance to emulate their fathers’ noble fight against the Nazis.
To justify this cause they had to turn the complex civil war in the former Yugoslavia into a simple act of genocide by Serb neo-Nazis. There were certainly terrible atrocities committed by Serbs, as well as by Croats and Muslims. Such is the nature of civil wars. But many of the atrocity stories, as in other wars, were distorted to get the required message across. The events in Srebrenica, over which Karadzic has now been charged with genocide, were a case in point. It was a bloody, complicated and prolonged battle, concluded in murky circumstances, at the end of which Bosnian Serbs massacred an unknown number of Bosnian Muslims in cold blood. But there is little to support the assertion that it was an act of pre-meditated genocide (see How did Srebrenica become a morality tale?, by Tara McCormack).
The upshot of this propaganda war was to distort perceptions of both the past and the present. Endlessly comparing the Yugoslavian civil war to the Holocaust risked denigrating the unique historical crime of the killing of six million Jews. At the same time, the myth was born that here was a new Holocaust that the West had refused to intervene against. The lesson of Bosnia was said to be that earlier and stronger intervention would be needed in the future. In fact, the problem in the former Yugoslavia was that the West had interfered far too much; as always, such interference served to intensify and perpetuate the conflicts. There was no civil war until the tensions were exploded by Germany’s recognition of the breakaway republic of Croatia, and America’s recognition of Bosnia. Having never fired a shot throughout its Cold War stand-off with the Soviet Union, NATO’s first military action was to bomb the Bosnian Serbs in 1995 – and then Serbia itself in 1999. At the end of the war, Bosnia became a divided UN protectorate under the effective dictatorship of an imposed official such as Ashdown.
That was why some of us opposed the moral crusade over Bosnia and the wars against the Serbs. Not because we were in some way ‘pro-Serb’ – what reason would there have been to take anybody’s side in the destructive Balkan civil wars? No, it was because we saw the dangers of international intervention, of historical revisionism, and of trying to resolve the problems of Western politics and society on somebody else’s battlefield.
It has been barely written about these issues since then, because I presume American public have little interest in Balkan politics. However, the Western reaction to the arrest of Karadzic might remind us that there are still some important arguments about issues such as international intervention, justice and war reporting to be had over here.
The assertion that some 250,000 people were killed during the Bosnian war in the 1990s is an obligatory part of the postmodern media ritual dealing with the Balkans. Over the past 15 years the claim has been repeated ad nauseam in countless outlets, and still continues to be repeated. It is routinely inserted into wire reports that are carried by thousands of dailies. It is repeated by the electronic media and by editorialists as a fact, not as an estimate that is open to doubt or can be legitimately disputed. It is presented as fact by the U.S. Government, and in particular by its authoritative Country Report on Human Rights Practices, published by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. President “Bill” Clinton, addressing the nation on November 27 1995, repeated the figure of 250,000. His Defense Secretary, William Perry, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 7, 1995, declared that “there were, by our best estimate, about 130,000 civilian casualties”-and that in 1992 alone! Similar claims have been made on the Left and on the Right, by Gentiles, Jews, and Muslims propagandists alike.
On December 10 we were finally told by a “mainstream” media outlet that the facts of the Bosnian case may not be quite as clear cut as we had been led to believe. “The death toll from Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, widely estimated at being at least 200,000, was considerably lower,” a Reuters report announced on that day. According to Reuters, a Bosnian Muslim investigator by the name of Mirsad Tokaea, head of a team of researchers working on a Norwegian government grant, has established that the true number is closer to 100,000; but even that figure is yet to be verified: “After cross-referencing, we have whittled down the number of those killed to about 80,000 right now.”
A similar assessment had come some months earlier from an unexpected source. According to the research done by The Hague Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), “the number of people killed in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was around 102,000.” Since the Tribunal’s continued existence is critically dependent on the continued exaggeration of all Yugoslav war crimes, even that figure should be taken with a grain of salt. The research project was conducted by the two population experts, Ewa Tabeau and Jacub Bijak, who work for the Office of the Prosecutor at The Hague. They were nevertheless deemed so explosive that the findings were presented at a conference for demographers in Norway a year ago “but they have not been revealed to the wider public.”
This extremely interesting report has been ignored by all English-language media outlets that have embraced and propagated the myth of “250,000 dead in Bosnia.”
“The ‘Bosnian Holocaust’ story was fabricated by the Muslim side as part of a wide-ranging and effective PR campaign. In December 1992, the Izetbegovic authorities first claimed that there were 128,444 dead on the ‘Bosnian’ side (including Croats and “Serbs loyal to the Bosnian Government”). According to [ex-State Department official george] Kenney, this figure was cooked by adding together the 17,466 confirmed dead until that time, and the 111,000 that the Muslims had already claimed as missing.”
Kenney recalled the precise moment-on June 28, 1993-when Izetbegovic’s deputy minister of information, Senada Kreso, told journalists that “200,000 had died.” He regarded that assertion as “an outburst of naive zeal,” and was taken aback when “the major newspapers and wire services quickly began using these numbers, unsourced and unsupported.” The figure eventually grew to 250,000 fatalities by 1994, and has been peddled ever since without serious challenge.
In reality, after an initial bout of heavy fighting (summer-fall 1992), from 1993 to mid-1995 there was a period of relative calm on most fronts in Bosnia, interrupted by brief outbursts in isolated localities (Gorazde, Bihac). Stories of mass murder and grand-scale atrocities, such as “Srebrenica,” have never been independently substantiated. On the basis of different sources (ICRC, British military intelligence etc), conclusion is that the war in Bosnia is unlikely to have resulted in more than 70,000 deaths. Including Croatia/Krajina, the Yugoslav wars of 1991-95 have killed up to, but not more than, 100,000 people.
Over the past 12 years there is had no reason to make any radical alteration to this overall assessment. Even if Mr. Tokaca’s current figure of 80,000 “verified” names of individual victims is accurate, after almost a decade I stand corrected by 14 percent. President Clinton et al were wrong by more than 300 percent. If the lie of the “Bosnian genocide” is eventually unmasked in the coming year or two, by the same token we can expect the lie of the “Kosovo genocide” to follow suit not too long thereafter . The truth will out eventually, even if the political consequences of the lie-such as dozens of destroyed Christian shrines, and hundreds of thousands of Christians expelled or murdered by Muslims-are irreversible. The truth exists; it is the lie that needs inventing.
Great article by Brendan O’Neill on the collusion between US politicians, terrorists & the media during the Bosnian War…
Since he was arrested in Belgrade last week, there have been miles and miles of newspaper commentary on Radovan Karadzic: on his bloody past; his role in Srebrenica; his bouffant; his limp handshake; his transformation from war leader to bearded hippy therapist. Yet perhaps the most interesting article – or at least the most unwittingly revealing – was a 374-word piece that appeared on the website of the UK Guardian on 25 July.
It was written by Inayat Bunglawala, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and bête noire of Britain’s left-leaning “humanitarian militarists.” Pro-war commentators despise Bunglawala because he supports Hamas, sympathizes with Iraqi suicide bombers, and, just prior to 9/11, he was disseminating the writings of Osama bin Laden, whom he described as a “freedom fighter.”
In the ever-shrinking world of British dinner-party spats between humanitarian militarism on one hand and Islamism on the other, Bunglawala is considered the arch enemy of Britain’s laptop bombardiers, who believe you can liberate Third World countries by writing a few outraged newspaper columns and dropping a few hundred bombs.
Yet in his Guardian comment on Karadzic, Bunglawala found himself siding with one of his staunchest critics amongst Britain’s “muscular left.” Under the headline “Lessons from the past,” Bunglawala wrote: “I [have] finally managed to find something written by Martin Bright that I wholeheartedly agree with.” Bright is the political editor of the New Statesman and is associated with Britain’s liberal interventionist writers; he is also the author of a pamphlet titled “When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries,” which attacked the British government for having links with Bunglawala’s apparently “extreme” organization, the MCB.
What could Bunglawala and Bright possibly agree on? In Bunglawala’s words, they agree that British schoolchildren should be taught about Srebrenica “in the same way that they are taught about Auschwitz,” that Karadzic is evil, and that the Bosnian war was a lethal explosion of the Bosnian Serbs’ “deadly hatred” which followed their “relentless vilification of entire communities” (presumably the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats).
In short? Both Bunglawala, the anti-Western political Islamist, and Bright, the leftish sympathizer with Western military intervention, see the Bosnian conflict in precisely the same way: not as a bloody civil war in which all sides committed atrocities, but as an episode of Nazi-style Serbian rampaging against vilified communities, which was comparable in its horror to Auschwitz.
Bunglawala’s article was a fleeting but powerful reminder of a truth that is too often brushed under the carpet these days: namely, that both contemporary Western interventionism and contemporary radical Islamism have their origins in the Bosnian war. But back then, the “arch enemies” of the interventionism-vs-Islamism debate were allies. They took the same side (that of the Bosnian Muslims), propagandized wildly against the Serbs (whom they denounced as thugs, gangsters, dogs and even monkeys), demanded Western military assaults on Serb positions, and described the actions of the Serbs as uniquely barbaric, even Nazi-esque.
And both the Western militarists and radical Islamists were re-energized and moralized by their joint crusade against the Serbs in Bosnia. One might even argue that both of the major curses in international affairs today – the militaristic meddling of Western governments that pose as humanitarian and the occasional bloody attacks launched by al-Qaeda and others – spring from the anti-Serb hysteria of 1992-1995.
This goes way beyond a rare and polite agreement between Bunglawala and Bright. The capture of Karadzic is something that everyone from Bush to bin Laden will celebrate. Pretty much the only consensus that exists between the American military machine and the al-Qaeda network is that the Serbs are evil and deserving of punishment.
Following Karadzic’s arrest, Richard Holbrooke, the US diplomat who negotiated the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995, described him as “one of the worst men in the world, the Osama bin Laden of Europe.” This is darkly ironic, since in the early and mid-1990s Holbrooke and bin Laden were on the same side, united in a violent campaign against Karadzic and the rest of the Bosnian Serbs. Holbrooke must remember this; in an interview in 2001 he said the Bosnian Muslims “wouldn’t have survived” without the help of al-Qaeda militants.
Today’s humanitarian militarists and Islamic radicals are cut from the same cloth. In Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, they were close allies – propagandistic, moralistic and militaristic allies. During the Bosnian war, anywhere between 1,200 and 3,000 Arab Mujahideen, many of them veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war of the 1980s, descended on Bosnia to fight alongside the Bosnian Muslims. And their movement into Bosnia was facilitated by the new “humanitarians” in Washington.
In 1993 and 1994, the Clinton administration gave a green light to Iran, Saudi Arabia and various highly dubious radical Islamic charities to arm the Bosnian Muslims. Despite having denounced Iran as “the worst sponsor of terrorism in the world,” the Clinton administration told both Croat and Bosnian Muslim leaders that they should accept shipments of weapons, ammunition, antitank rockets, communications equipment and uniforms and helmets from Iran.
Washington also allowed “Islamic charities,” which really were radical Mujahideen-based organizations, to supply money and arms to the Bosnian Muslims. As the Washington Post reported in September 1996, US officials on the ground in Bosnia, who were motivated by “sympathy for the Muslim government and ambivalence about maintaining the arms embargo,” instructed other Western officials to “back off” and “not interfere” with these shipments from radical Islamists. One of the “charities” whose provision of funds and arms to the Bosnian Muslims was protected by American diplomats was run by Osama bin Laden.
The US-protected supply line between the Middle East and Bosnia, through which both Iranian elements and radicals sent money and guns, also encouraged Mujahideen to make their way into the Balkans. Along with the flow of radical Islamist weaponry, there followed the movement of radical Islamist warriors.
Once inside Bosnia, these Mujahideen, many of them fresh from the bloody battlefields of Afghanistan, fought with the Bosnian Muslim Army at a time when it was being supported politically and militarily by Washington and vast numbers of Western liberal commentators. In 1994 and 1995, Washington surreptitiously supplied the Bosnian Muslim Army with weapons and training, even though it had hundreds of Mujahideen in its ranks. The Mujahideen formed a battalion of holy warriors which was, according to Evan Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaeda’s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, directly answerable to then Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic.
In other words, America armed and trained a military machine that was using Mujahideen as “shock troops.” As the United Nations said in a communiqué in 1995, the period of America’s secretive arming, the Mujahideen were “directly dependent on [the Bosnian Muslim Army] for supplies.” Washington helped to create the gateway between the Middle East and Bosnia, protected the supply of funds to Bosnia by bin Laden and others, and secretly armed a Bosnian army that kept the Mujahideen in paid employment (otherwise knowing as warmongering) after the Afghan-Soviet war came to an end.
If the radical Islamists who flooded Bosnia were militarily backed by Washington, they were propagandistically inspired by the Western liberal media.
The similarities between the positions of the liberal hawks in newsrooms across America and Europe and the line taken by al-Qaeda militants were striking. As the British author Philip Hammond argues, hawkish journalists in the Western press depicted the war as “a simple tale of good versus evil.” Likewise, Kohlmann describes how Mujahideen who fought in Bosnia believed there was a “clear divergence between good and evil” and understood the conflict “in terms of an apocalyptic, one-dimensional religious confrontation between Muslims and non-Muslims.” Western journalists labeled the Serbs “thugs” and “gangsters”; the Independent newspaper in Britain even published a cartoon showing them as monkeys. The Mujahideen labeled them “dogs” and “infidels.”
Indeed, many of the Mujahideen who fought in Bosnia were inspired to do so by simplistic media coverage of the sort written by liberal-left journalists in the West. Many of the testimonies made by Arab fighters reveal that they first ventured to Bosnia because they “saw US media reports on rape camps” or read about the “genocide” in Bosnia and the “camps used by Serb soldiers systematically to rape thousands of Muslim women.” Holy warriors seem to have been moved to action by some of the more shrill and unsubstantiated coverage of the war in Bosnia.
In his book Landscapes of the Jihad, Faisal Devji argues that contemporary jihad “is more a product of the media than it is of any local tradition or situation and school or lineage of Muslim authority… [The] jihad itself can be seen as an offspring of the media, composed as it is almost completely of preexisting media themes, images and stereotypes.” The jihad in Bosnia was in many ways a “product of the media” – many Mujahideen were inspired to fight by media “images”, and they executed their violent attacks against media “stereotypes”: wicked Serbs.
Most strikingly, perhaps, both Western liberals and the Eastern Mujahideen ventured to Bosnia in response to their own crises of legitimacy, and in search of a sense of purpose. As Adam Burgess says of sections of the Western left in his book Divided Europe: “Deprived of the traditional staples of left-wing politics, the search for an alternative became increasingly pronounced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The left embraced new causes such as environmentalism, which were traditionally associated with a more conservative orientation. It is in this context that sense can be made of the readiness of the left to embrace the anti-Serbian ’cause’ with less restraint and qualification than even the rest of society.”
Similarly, the Mujahideen embraced the anti-Serbian “cause” because they too had lost direction. In the early 1990s, Afghanistan was becoming bogged down in civil war after the withdrawal of the Soviets, and governments in the Middle East and north Africa were persecuting veteran Mujahideen returning from Afghanistan and wiping out radical Islamic groups. For both Western liberals (governments and thinkers) and the Mujahideen, Bosnia became a refuge from these harsh realities, a place where they could fight fantasy battles against evil to make themselves feel dynamic and heroic instead of having to face up to the real problems in their movements and in politics more broadly.
Bosnia had a key transformative effect on both the Western liberal establishment and the Arab Mujahideen. It was the conflict that made many in the West pro-interventionist, convincing them that the “international community” must ignore sovereign norms and intervene around the world to save people from tyranny. And it transformed the Mujahideen from religious nationalists – who during the Afghan-Soviet war possessed “no global blueprint transcending their individual countries” – into global warriors against “evil,” who also, like their humanitarian paymasters, began to care little for old-fashioned ideas about sovereignty. It is after Bosnia that we see the emergence of international networks of Islamic militants.
In Bosnia, both Western elements and radical Islamists became super-moralized, militarized, internationalized. As a result of their joint war against the “evil” of the Serbs, they began to conceive of themselves as warriors for “good” who did not have to play by the old rules of the international order. Post-Bosnia, Western governments, backed by numerous commentators, launched “humanitarian” wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq – and Islamic militants who trained in Bosnia were involved in the African Embassy bombings of 1998, the 9/11 attacks and the Madrid train bombings of 2004.
There is nothing so bitter as a conflict between former allies. We should remind ourselves that much of today’s bloody moral posturing between Western interventionists and Islamic militants – which has caused so much destruction around the world – springs from the hysterical politics of “good and evil” that was created during the Bosnian war. No doubt Karadzic has a great deal to answer for. But the West/East, liberal/Mujahideen demonization of Karadzic and the Serbs, and through it the rehabilitation of both Western militarism and Islamic radicalism, has also done a great deal to destabilize international affairs and destroy entire communities.
So, what about Franjo Tudjman’s practice of ethnic cleansing during the Balkan wars? Does it not rate a special mention in history as but a resumption of similar practices carried out under Croatia’s puppet Nazi regime during World War ii? Why aren’t Tudjman’s henchmen—those still at large—subject to a similar manhunt as that mounted for Karadzic?
What about the Muslims who enacted atrocities against Serbs in those same Balkan wars? Where’s the condemnation of the U.S.- and German-backed Albanian terrorists, the kla, for atrocities committed by them against ethnic Serbs and especially their overt ethnic cleansing of Serbian Kosovars?
Why must Phyllis Chesle single out Karadzic as one “whose enthusiastic advocacy of ethnic cleansing merits a special place in history?
It’s simple. It all fits an overarching agenda to which the greater public remains oblivious.With such overt manipulation of public opinion having been promulgated by the mass media, Karadzic is hung, drawn and quartered well before he sets foot in the dock.
Placing these falsehoods into their proper perspective. Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said if you tell a monstrous lie people will believe you because they cannot imagine anyone making up such an outrageous falsehood. Then if evidence is shown to contradict the lie, you dismiss it as irrelevant or misguided. Finally, when the truth is disclosed it is too late. Nobody cares or wants to know. That has undoubtedly been the case with the mass condemnation of the Serbs.
White House has stated that Karadzic arrest had demonstrated Serbia is “honoring its promises”, while charging the former RS president of failing to prevent “rapes of thousands of Muslim women in detainment camps and the setting up of concentration camps in Bosnia” (?!). How convincing this Hollywood indictment really is, is best proven by Alija Izetbegovic in person, in his confession to Bernard Kouchner, when he admitted that the story about the rape and concentration camps was a marketing trick, to win over the international public (B. Kouchner, Les guerriers de la paix).
Excellent article about Bosnia and Karadzic from Intel Daily.
The capture of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions echoing the propaganda used to justify US-NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia and to obscure the role of the Western powers in the federation’s break-up.
Karadzic was president of the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska—RS), head of the Serbian Democratic Party and supreme commander of the Bosnian Serb army. He was indicted in 1995 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 13 counts of genocide and other war crimes allegedly committed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992-1995. Included in the charges are his responsibility for the 44-month shelling of the capital Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica.
Karadzic disappeared following the signing of the November 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia and partitioned the former Yugoslav republic into two ethnically based entities—the RS and the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Moslem-Croat alliance).
He was arrested on Monday, July 21, in the Serbian capital of Belgrade where he was disguised as Dragan Dabic, a doctor of alternative medicine. The circumstances surrounding his capture remain unclear. His attorney says he was arrested on the previous Friday on a bus near the capital and held incommunicado over the weekend.
Reports indicate that Western intelligence services may have played a role and that the capture of former Bosnian Serb police chief Stojan Zupljanin in June revealed new information. Others suggest his whereabouts were known for some time, but his arrest only went ahead after the removal of the Security Intelligence Service chief Rade Bulatovic by the new pro-Western coalition led by President Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party. Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, who is also the head of former President Slobodan Milosevic’s Socialist Party, denied that officials from his ministry took part in the arrest.
The arrest of all those indicted by the ICTY, including Karadzic and Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, has been a precondition of Serbian accession to the European Union, which was the main platform on which the new government campaigned.
All eyes have turned on Karadzic following the failure of the ICTY to produce any real proof of the direct responsibility of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for the terrible crimes carried out during the civil wars that erupted in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade,” said chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz. “It is also an important day for international justice, because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice.”
Secretary of State and special advisor on Yugoslav Affairs between 1989 and 1992 to President George H.W. Bush, Lawrence Eagleburger, said, “I think he’s one of the last of a really miserable bunch that is still at large. He’s not the only one but he’s probably, with the arrest and then later the death of Milosevic, I think he’s probably the man who most deserves to be caught and punished.”
Former Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who oversaw the Dayton Accord, singled out Karadzic as someone “whose enthusiastic advocacy of ethnic cleansing merits a special place in history.”
Former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, said of Karadzic’s arrest, “Well, I think it is a huge event, a watershed event. It should have happened a long time ago, but the fact that it has in fact happened is very important for the Bosnian people and those who suffered as a result of Karadzic’s policies.”
There is no doubt that Karadzic played a major role in the political developments that sparked off the civil war in Bosnia, but for the Western media and politicians to portray him as the all-powerful “Butcher of Bosnia,” who masterminded the destruction of the delicate ethnic balance in the country, is absurd.
What is entirely absent from this version of recent Yugoslav history is the decisive role of the major imperialist powers, particularly the US and Germany, which deliberately engineered the country’s break-up, with a complete indifference to the inevitable tragic consequences of their intervention. Neither is there mention of the nationalist and communalist politicians they cultivated, such as Croatian President Franjo Tudjman or the Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, who were culpable along with Karadzic.
Yugoslavia as it emerged from World War Two was the product of a popular movement against the Nazi occupation and Serbian royalist Chetnik forces, led by Josip Broz (Tito) and the Yugoslav Communist Party. Tito established a delicately balanced federation of disparate ethnic groups and regions. Under the specific historical circumstances provided by the Cold War, Tito was able for a number of years to manoeuvre between the US and the Soviet Union, while maintaining a unified federation based on constitutional guarantees to the various ethnic components—Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Kosovars, etc.
Karadzic was born in Montenegro in June 1945, but he grew up without seeing his father who had been jailed by the Tito regime for fighting with the Chetniks. In 1960, Karadzic studied at the Sarajevo University of Medicine and attended New York’s Columbia University from 1974 to 1975 to do advanced psychiatric work. In 1985, he was sentenced to prison along with close friend Momcilo Krajisnik (later to be speaker of the Serb Assembly) for embezzling state funds in order to build houses for themselves.
Karadzic increasingly came under the influence of the Serb writer Dobrica Cosic, a propagandist for Tito’s regime turned leader of the Serbian national revival movement and lauded as the “Father of the Serbian Nation.” Karadzic became Dobric’s political protégé, but he would probably have played a minor role in politics had it not been for the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation.
The origins of its break-up in the late 1980s and early 1990s are directly linked to the impact of policies dictated by the Western powers and imposed through International Monetary Fund and World Bank structural adjustment programmes. The aim of the West was to dismantle the state-run economy and restore the economic domination of international capital over Yugoslavia.
Pressure from the West contributed to soaring inflation and huge job losses, which sparked strikes and other mass protests by the Yugoslav working class. Seeking to divert the class struggle, ex-Stalinist bureaucrats promoted nationalist sentiments, while vying for support from Western governments.
By the time of multiparty elections in Bosnia in November 1990, three ethnically based parties had been formed. Alongside the Serbian Democratic Party set up by Karadzic, Krajisnik and Biljana Plavsic, who was to become RS vice-president, were Izetbegovic’s ethnic Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ). The SDA won most seats in the Assembly, followed by the SDS and then the HDZ. The remaining seats were split between other parties, including the former Communist Party.
The ethnic tensions that had developed were to explode with the collapse of the USSR and the reunification of Germany in 1991. The geopolitical position of Yugoslavia as a bulwark against a Soviet thrust into the Mediterranean fundamentally changed. A resurgent German imperialism saw its interests in the Balkans—historically a German sphere of influence—best served through the promotion of secession by Slovenia, the most prosperous Yugoslav region, and then Croatia.
It was inevitable, given the history and politics of Yugoslavia, that the piecemeal break-up of the federation would lead to civil war. The secession of provinces would suddenly deprive ethnic minorities of the constitutional protections they had enjoyed under the federation. The creation of new nation states based upon ethnic nationalism led to “ethnic cleansing.”
The US administration, after first opposing the break-up of Yugoslavia, changed its strategy in order to further its goal of hegemony over the former Eastern bloc countries newly opened to capitalist exploitation. It became the chief sponsor of Bosnian and then Kosovan independence and targeted Serbia, which defended the unitary state as its most powerful component, as its enemy. The US opposed ethnic cleansing only when the Serbs carried it out, while supporting Croatia, Bosnia and the Kosovo Albanians when they pursued identical aims through the same bloody methods.
In April of this year, the former Kosovo Liberation Army leader and ex-prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, was acquitted of war crimes committed against Serbs in Kosovo during 1998. The ICTY prosecution, which is seeking a retrial, claimed that two crucial witnesses did not come to The Hague to testify against the accused because they felt it unsafe to do so, and the trial chamber itself said that the trial was conducted “in an atmosphere where witnesses felt unsafe.”
Last month, the US envoy in Croatia from 1993 to 1995, Peter Galbraith, denied that the 1995 offensive known as Operation Storm, which drove 200,000 Serbs from the Krajina area of Croatia, constituted “ethnic cleansing.” Galbraith was appearing at the ICTY in the trial of Croatian generals, including Ante Gotovina, indicted for war crimes against Serbs committed by troops under their command during the military operation. Galbraith revealed that the US government had taken an “understanding attitude” towards Operation Storm, but insisted he would not have asked Washington “to give it the green light” if he had believed Tudjman intended to remove the Serbs. Earlier in his testimony, Galbraith admitted Tudjman and his associates wanted an “ethnically clean country”.
As a result of the June 1991 war that broke out in Slovenia and Croatia after the two republics declared independence, chaos engulfed Bosnia. The SDA increasingly agitated for Bosnian independence whilst the SDS wanted Bosnia to remain a part of Yugoslavia. Within months, Izetbegovic had held a referendum on independence, which was approved by two thirds of the population but boycotted by the Serbs. For their part, the Serbs had formed a separate Bosnian Serb Assembly, which proclaimed the “Serbian republic of Bosnia” and created an army commanded by Ratko Mladic. Civil war was all but inevitable.
Srebrenica was the scene of the killing of an estimated 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in July 1995 by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of Mladic—officially the largest mass murder in Europe since World War Two.
Srebrenica was designated as a “safe area” by the United Nations and was protected at the time by 200 Dutch troops. It became a base for the Bosnian Muslim Army (ABiH) to attack Serb forces. When Mladic’s forces entered the town on July 11, they slaughtered a column mainly comprising men trying to escape to Tuzla with no distinction made between ABiH soldiers and civilians.
The ICTY prosecution will now have to prove Karadzic’s command responsibility for the crimes that occurred during the civil war. Last year, the International Court of Justice found RS forces had committed genocide, but only in reference to Srebrenica, not elsewhere in the Bosnian war. So far, the tribunal has only proven genocide against two Bosnian Serbs for direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. It was unable to prove genocide against Karadzic’s co-defendant Krajisnik.
Read the entire article. It will open your eyes. That is, if you don’t have them wide shut already..
You must first view the video: The Pictures That Fooled The World – Yugoslavia Death Camp Hoax. The death camp of Karadcic was fake it was staged by a western left camera team, from England.
Link : http://www.guba.com/watch/3000055895
And read Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting: Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia by Peter Brock and David Binder
What the mainstream media is not likely to tell you about the man the Bosnian Muslims and their supporters call “the Butcher of Bosnia”.
Who is Dr. Radovan Karadzic, the man for whom one could hardly think of a more unlikely disguise than bioenergy guru?
A psychiatrist-physician and recognized poet, a man from the mountains far more educated than his admirer, the late Vladimir Volkoff, described and disguised in his fictionalized accounts*, he was elected the head of the political party of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina shortly before the president of the Islamic party asked the European Community to recognize the independence of Bosnia (December 20, 1991), subsequently proclaiming its secession (March 3, 1992) in violation of the constitutions of both the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SRBH) and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ).
With Jose Cutileiro, he was one of the chief proponents of the Lisbon Agreement (accepted by the three parties on February 23, denounced by the Muslims, renegotiated thanks to Karadzic on March 16, ultimately signed on March 18) constituting a Swiss-type Bosnia and Herzegovina confederation of three cantons, Muslim, Serb and Croat, a pre-constitutional agreement intended to avoid the war. Upon the instigation of U.S. ambassador Warren Zimmermann, for whom the Muslims had more to gain from war than from peace, Islamist president Alija Izetbegovic (who had authored an Islamic manifesto as early as 1972) withdrew his signature from the Lisbon Agreement on March 28, followed on April 4 by his decree mobilizing Islamist militias (prepared secretly beforehand) and ordering them to take control of all town centers, which sparked the beginning of the war. This occurred with the encouragement of the USA, which recognized the independence of Muslim Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 6 and was followed the same day by the European Community, which wanted to avoid independent recognition by Germany, as had been the case for Croatia and Slovenia. Therefore, the next day, April 7, 1992, Karadzic proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Srpska, while his Croat counterpart Mate Boban would wait until August 28, 1993 to declare the independence of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia.
Most importantly, President Karadzic founded the last Christian theocracy in Europe. He was among the first to return properties confiscated under Communism to the Church (since then all former Communist countries have followed suit; only France still refuses to return what had been confiscated during the Revolution). He drafted a constitution according to which Christianity was the official religion of the state, and instituted universal catechism in the public schools, which quickly became the favorite subject of the students, who were proud to bring home teachings denied their parents under Communism. At the same time, Karadzic ensured a decent existence not only for the Muslims who remained in the territory of his Christian republic but also for the thousands who sought refuge there after fleeing from the Islamic republic of central Bosnia. And he welcomed the Orthodox Serb refugees expelled from Croatia (some of whom first went to Serbia, which was bigger and at peace, but they were so poorly received there that they came to the Republic of Srpska, which was at war). Considering the Muslims to be “misled brothers” (Serbs converted to Islam during the Turkish occupation), Karadzic was nevertheless cautious of opportunistic false conversions and “prohibited” the Church from baptizing Muslims during the war, while ensuring these would be possible after the war. This resulted in some Muslims going to Serbia or Germany to be baptized before returning as Christians to the Republic of Srpska. A devout believer himself, Karadzic recommended his army and his people to the Church. One recalls how the Bishop of Tuzla and Zvornik was deemed a “war criminal” by the so-called international community (OSCE, OHR, UNHCR, SFOR, etc.) after he was reported by the Muslims to have “blessed Serb guns” during the war when, of course, his only “crime” was to have blessed soldiers going to the battlefront and perhaps to their deaths. Karadzic believed that the Serb people had sinned horribly (by its materialism) and had to suffer to redeem itself of this sin. A monarchist, Karadzic restored the royal Serb coat of arms, re-crowning the double-headed eagle which made his flag and seals easily distinguishable from those of neighboring Serbia, and the currency of Yugoslavia. But as he wrote in “The Awakening of the Crushed Soul”, he believed that the Serbs would not be reunified for a long time, perhaps for decades, and that the suffering of the Serbs west of the Drina River would contribute to the redemption of all Serbdom. But Serbia, plodding slowly from socialist to capitalist materialism, which had just abandoned the Bosnian Serbs by withdrawing Yugoslav Army troops was not yet mature for such as reunion. President of a community that officially came under attack on April 4, 1992, Karadzic waited until May 12 to create an army; like his Croat counterpart Mate Boban, Karadzic accepted (and even proposed) every attempt to negotiate a peace agreement (except one), and he respected every agreement he signed, unlike their Muslim counterpart Izetbegovic. At the same time quite humane but also a responsible head of state, Karadzic decided that the Republic of Srpska would not issue passports because if it did so, the entire population would leave (a bitter saying was “would the last one to leave please turn off the light”), unlike the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, which was still issuing passports two years after its official dissolution, and the Islamic republic of central Bosnia, which gave Osama bin Laden, a leader supplier of fighters and funds, a passport in 1993. Karadzic is also accused of tolerating black market activities, though these may have been inevitable and necessary in a country emerging from Communism, subject to a strict embargo and without access to the sea, abandoned by its mother state of Serbia, and forced to barter agricultural goods with neighboring Croatia to get the fuel that both the army and the farmers needed.
The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which U.S. propaganda sought to hide was of a religious nature (presenting it as a national conflict instead) can be roughly divided into two periods. When what was left of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia) withdrew Yugoslav Army troops after the declaration of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s secession, the Bosnian Muslims launched a military conquest of all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Bosnian Croats (who had initially accepted the idea of independence, believing it might result in union with Croatia, already independent since the previous year) understood, as did the Bosnian Serbs, that the ultimate goal of the Bosnian Muslims was not secession but islamization. This first phase of the war, which lasted about six months, was the most brutal, because it was a real civil war. It saw very few clashes between Serbs and Croats, who lived in different regions according to the old demarcation of zones of influence of Rome and Byzantium (but they made the mistake of not forming an alliance, and thus today they are dominated by the Muslim minority). Both the Serbs and the Croats, in their respective areas of population, were farmers who had retained their Christian tradition despite the Ottoman occupation, while the Muslims throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina were typically city dwellers, craftsmen, merchants or public servants whose ancestors had converted to Islam. The first phase of the war, therefore, was one where, in the best case, people who felt they were in the minority in one area moved to another area where their community was in the majority; in the worst case, they were expelled or simply executed by their neighbors. Intimidation, murder, a sense of impunity and settling of accounts between neighbors raged throughout the summer of 1992 (after the Yugoslav Army’s withdrawal at the end of May). With autumn the war entered its second phase, which was to last three years, with regular armies (now constituted and wearing distinct uniforms) representing four, and later three, communities confronting each other. A quick parenthesis here: in addition to the Serbian Orthodox Republic of Srpska, the Croat republic (which was secular but predominantly Roman Catholic) and the Islamic republic, a fourth entity emerged, Muslim-dominated but secular and resolutely anti-Islamic, in the northwest, the so-called Bihac pocket. Maintaining good relations with its immediate Christian neighbors, the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia, the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, and the Serb Republic of Krajina in Croatia, this small autonomous Muslim region was eventually cruelly crushed by the Islamic republic of central Bosnia. From the autumn of 1992 to the end of the summer of 1995, a conventional war between warring nations and their constituted states was fought with their regular armies along relatively fixed front lines, a war of positions (and trenches) between armies which, born from the reservists militia of the former Yugoslav self-defense system, had most defensive tactics and weapons, and would have had to get used to an armed but balanced coexistence. This equilibrium was disrupted when the US sent offensive weapons to the Bosnian Muslims (in violation of the embargo imposed by the United Nations), as it has repeatedly acknowledged without qualms. The Bosnian Muslims also recruited mujahedeen (“soldiers of Allah”) from across the Muslim world, especially the Arab countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who were armed and financed by all the Islamic powers (Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, etc.) with, of course, strong support from the USA. The second part of the war, in comparison with the civil war that had preceded it, was far more civilized, in the sense of the concept cultivated by the different societies: the Bosnian Croats behaved like a professional army with leadership closely patterned on the German model; the Bosnian Serbs behaved like Christians following the Gospel and as worthy successors of the Crusades; and the Bosnian Muslims behaved like Islamist practitioners of the raid (razzia) and systematic rape taught in the Koran, as heirs of such medieval Turkish techniques as the impalement of civilian “infidels” and the collection of severed heads, and fans of all types of fellagahs that have made Algeria and Lebanon what they are today.
A major event marked this war and its history, the takeover of Srebrenica in July 1995. A predominantly Muslim town enclaved in a mainly Serb countryside, it had been designated by the UN a “demilitarized safe area” but was never demilitarized (the same was true of Gorazde, which had an arms and ammunition factory). Instead, it served as the base of an Islamist brigade of 5.000 fighters that terrorized the whole region, burning hundreds of villages and hamlets and killing some 3.000 Serb peasants. The chief of that brigade, Naser Oric, was recently acquitted by the “tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” – despite the existence of videos in which he boasts of his exploits to foreign journalists and pulls from a box several still identifiable heads of Serbs. Having asked for Srebrenica’s demilitarization by the UN, and waited for several years in vain, the Republic of Srpska decided, after the destruction of the village of Visnjica and the massacre of its entire Serb population, to attack Srebrenica and remove this canker. After concentrating their troops, the Muslim fighters in Srebrenica were called on to surrender in order to avoid an attack that could potentially harm the civilian population. This call was rejected outright, and the Serbs prepared to attack the Muslim brigade entrenched in the city. They called on the civilian (also Muslim) population to leave, and this was forcibly prevented by the Islamist fighters keeping them hostage, knowing their presence would deter the Christians from attack. The Serb general in charge of the operation (a hero and a great man) brought in dozens of buses and trucks. He told the civilians they had the choice of staying after Srebrenica had been cleaned of fighters or they could be taken to a Muslim area. He asked the UN to observe the takeover of the town and to oversee the subsequent sorting of the population. When attack became imminent, the 5.000 Islamist fighters fled into the night and hid in the forest hoping to rejoin Muslim lines. They were pursued by the Serb troops: a quarter were killed (in combat), some were taken prisoner (and later exchanged), and the rest arrived in the Muslim-held town of Tuzla a few days later. The remaining population was sorted into locals who wanted to stay, refugees from other regions who wanted to be transferred to a Muslim area, and non-local men of fighting age without families, who were suspected of being fighters who stayed and therefore forcibly taken to Muslim lines. For a non-conventional and semi-police operation of its kind(extracting enemy fighters hiding among a civilian population), it was a great success, well done and cleanly carried out by military personnel. Unfortunately, it also became a great success of US pro-Muslim propaganda. Different reports on the columns that fled into the forest were added together (thus, if the same column was reported by three different organizations and there were three different reports, the total number in the column would be multiplied by three). Reports of the Muslim fighters’ arrival in Tuzla and elsewhere were strangely omitted; what was broadcast to the world was that the Serbs had massacred tens of thousands of Muslims (the figure has now been reduced to 8.000), who suddenly all became unarmed civilians. Lists of “missing persons” were subsequently tacked on where some of the names were repeated as many as three times; many of these “missing persons” would reappear (miraculously) one year later to vote in the 1996 elections. In short, if one adds the numbers of the remaining population, the columns of fighters who arrived in Tuzla and the captured combatants, one gets just about the same figure as given by the UN as the total population of Srebrenica (44.000) a few weeks before the conquest of Srebrenica. The difference amounts to just over 1.000 Islamists who may have been actually killed (as were some Serbs) when they chose to fight rather than surrender. This propaganda-based version of events has been used to justify the NATO attack against the Republic of Srpska. It was followed by a specious search for the mass graves the USA claimed to have detected by satellite; when they were not located, it was explained that the bodies had been dug up and transferred. Thereafter, any corpse found within a two hundred kilometer radius around Srebrenica (including the 3.000 Serbs who had been slaughtered by Oric’s men in the surrounding countryside for the three previous years) automatically became “Muslims massacred by Serbs in Srebrenica”.
But one cannot say or write any of this without risking the accusation of “revisionism” and “negation of a war crime”.
Radovan Karadzic withdrew from public life after the signing of the Peace Agreement initialed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Dayton, Ohio, USA and signed in Paris (December 1995) after being assured by the USA that his withdrawal would ensure that he would not be pursued by the extraordinary “tribunal” created to vilify the Serbs and justify NATO intervention on the side of the Bosnian Muslims. On Saturday, July 26, at noon, the population of the Republika Srpska gathered peacefully and lit candles for the hero of its resistance to the Islamic conquest.
* Vladimir Volkoff, La Crevasse (1996) and L’enlèvement (2000).
After evading capture for thirteen years, former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague on Thursday.
Western journalists and politicians have portrayed his arrest and extradition to the Tribunal as a great triumph. They have spent the last sixteen years promoting the thesis of Serbian guilt and Muslim victimization in the Bosnian war and in their minds Karadzic’s arrest validates their politics.
Ever since Karadzic’s arrest was announced early last week our political establishment has engaged in an orgy of childish name-calling. Karadzic has been portrayed as evil incarnate; various journalists and political figures have called him a “monster”, a “demon”, and a “butcher”. Former Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke called him “Europe’s Bin Laden”. While this kind of name-calling might give self-important journalists and politicians the opportunity to portray themselves as virtuous crusaders for international justice, it does very little to shed light on what actually happened in Bosnia.
The people who cheer Karadzic’s capture today might regret it tomorrow. These people built their professional careers on the premise of saving “innocent” Bosnian-Muslims from Karadzic’s “genocidal Serb aggression”. Their credibility and professional reputation depend on his guilt. Until now, they’ve been able to accuse him with impunity because he was in hiding and couldn’t defend himself. Now that he’s in the Tribunal’s custody, he will be given a high-profile public trial where he will have the opportunity to challenge their accusations and present his own evidence. The odds of him getting a fair trial are slim to none, but the spectacle of a trial, even a show trial, will make it harder to silence him.
One of the most famous “crimes” that Karadzic is accused of is the Siege of Sarajevo. Most of us can remember the scenes of pockmarked apartment blocks in Sarajevo and the images of Muslim civilians maimed and killed by Serbian artillery fire. Karadzic’s trial promises to give much-needed context to that imagery.
Without a doubt the Serbs laid siege on Sarajevo, what the Karadzic trial will reveal is why they did it. The evidence has already been presented during other trials at the Tribunal, but the Karadzic trial will be the highest profile presentation of that evidence.
The Serbs laid siege on Sarajevo because the Muslims were in the city shooting at them. The siege began as an operation to rescue soldiers that the Muslims were holding hostage and threatening to kill in the Marshal Tito Barracks. It continued because the Muslims wouldn’t agree to a cease-fire and they wouldn’t stop shooting at the Serbs.
Muslim troops in Sarajevo deliberately attacked the Serbs from built-up civilian areas of the city in order to increase the likelihood that civilians would be hit when the Serbs returned fire. UN military observers stationed in Sarajevo have already testified at the Tribunal that they witnessed this practice many times.
David Harland, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping in Bosnia, is on record testifying at the Tribunal. He said, “The Muslims certainly understood that when they fired out of the city that [it] would provoke incoming Serb fire, which would make normal life in the city impossible.” According to his testimony the Muslims violated 514 attempts by the UN to implement a cease-fire.
Philippe Morillion, the French general who commanded the UN force in Bosnia from 1992 to 1993, is on record testifying that the Muslims “very frequently used mortars at Kosevo (the main hospital in Sarajevo) for provocation purposes”.
Morillion’s protest letters to the Bosnian-Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic are already exhibits on file at the Tribunal. One letter dated January 11, 1993 says: “[an] 82-milimeter mortar had been set up on the western side of the Kosevo Hospital within the hospital grounds. This mortar and its crew then proceeded to fire nine rounds using the hospital as a screen. The direct consequence of this disreputable and cowardly act was that shortly afterward the hospital came under fire from anti-aircraft gunfire, artillery fire, and mortar fire … You will, I’m sure, be aware that the firing of weapons from the hospital is against the Geneva Convention.”
The siege of Sarajevo wasn’t a genocidal Serb attack on defenseless peace loving Muslims like our news media led us to believe. The Muslims deliberately put their civilian population in the crossfire so that NATO would intervene against the Serbs on “humanitarian” grounds.
NATO took the bait because the news media shamelessly shilled for the Islamic cause. Our journalists dutifully reported that Muslim civilians were killed in Sarajevo by Serb artillery fire, but they deliberately failed to report that the Serbs were provoked by Muslim artillery fire emanating from the city.
The story of Srebrenica is similar. We’ve been told the half-truth that the Serbs over-ran a UN safe area and killed thousands of Muslims, but we weren’t told that the Muslims of Nasir Oric’s 28th Infantry Division used that safe area as a base to launch attacks from. They massacred the Serbian villages surrounding Srebrenica and they fled back into the warm bosom of the UN Safe Area when they were done – safely behind the UN’s skirts and out of reach of Serb retaliation.
In July 1995, when a column of 15,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica ventured out of the safe area to attack the Bosnian-Serb frontlines and break-through to Tuzla, the Serbs got even. The Serbs shot and managed to kill about half of their Muslim attackers and now we’re being told that they committed genocide.
One has to wonder what kind of “genocide” it was when most of the bodies being pulled from the mass graves around Srebrenica are military aged men. Thousands of bodies have been exhumed and there isn’t a single woman among them. Can you think of any other “genocide” that spared women and children? If exterminating the Muslims was their goal, why didn’t the Serbs kill the women and children? The story of Srebrenica doesn’t make sense until you realize that it is a lie. Srebrenica wasn’t genocide at all. What happened in Srebrenica is simple: the Muslims attacked the Serbs so the Serbs shot them. That’s how war works: attack and counter-attack.
Only a fool would believe that the Bosnian-Muslims were striving for a multi-ethnic democratic Bosnia. Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of the Bosnian Muslims, was seen in the company of Osama bin Laden by Der Spiegel’s Balkan correspondent Renate Flottau and by London Time’s war correspondent Eve-Ann Prentice in 1994. According to the 9/11 Commission report, four of the 9/11 hijackers, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were veterans of the Bosnian jihad against Radovan Karadzic and the Serbs.
A report published in 1996 by the US House Committee on International Relations says, “Iran ordered senior members of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the elite force used to advance militant Islam, to travel to Bosnia to survey the military needs of the [Izetbegovic] government. IRGC trainers taught the Muslims how to use anti-tank missiles and helped with troop logistics and weapons factories. The IRGC also incorporated religious indoctrination into military training. Iran used this leverage to urge Hizballah to send foreign fighters to the region as members of the Mujahideen. The effort was successful and a force of thousands drawn from several pro-Iranian groups and other Islamic Opposition movements assembled in Bosnia.”
Radovan Karadzic was fighting the good fight in Bosnia. He was fighting to keep his people free from the rule of an Islamic regime in Sarajevo that had ties to Osama bin Laden and the Iranian government. Anybody who believes that the Muslims invited Osama bin Laden and the Iranians to Bosnia for the sake of multi-ethnic democracy is hopelessly delusional.
The Bosnian-Serbs had every right to break away from Bosnia and re-join what was left of Yugoslavia. To call the Serbian war effort an aggression for “Greater Serbia” is grossly dishonest. The Bosnian-Serbs had the same right to leave Bosnia and re-join Yugoslavia that West Virginia had to break away from Confederate Virginia and re-join the Union during the civil war.
Just for fun, let’s use “Bosnia talk” to describe the American civil war: “In 1861 Abraham Lincoln committed an aggression against the Confederate States of America. Over the course of the war, Lincoln’s thugs systematically seized Confederate territory in a genocidal quest for ‘Greater America’. Lincoln’s war killed more than 600,000 people and left millions homeless. Lincoln, better known as ‘the butcher of Gettysburg’, was not brought to justice for his crimes until he was slain by a Confederate loyalist named John Wilkes Booth in 1865.”
The tendentious description of the American civil war that you just read is one of the most intellectually dishonest things ever written. Unfortunately, our news media and our politicians describe what happened in Bosnia in precisely that fashion. It is time to call these people out, the next bleeding hart that bemoans “Karadzic’s genocide in Bosnia” and smugly applauds his capture as “a victory for international justice” needs to be put in their place.
No matter what you’ve been told, there was nothing especially evil about the 1992-95 war in Bosnia compared to other wars. The war killed about 100,000 people including the civilians and soldiers from each side. That’s a lot of people, but it’s not a remarkable death toll for a war. It certainly isn’t indicative of genocide or anything even close.
When the United States firebombed Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945 we killed 100,000 Japanese civilians in that one night of bombing alone. Does that mean Franklin Roosevelt was a genocidal monster? Coalition forces estimate that they killed 100,000 Iraqi troops during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91. Does that make George H.W. Bush guilty of genocide? If it’s absurd to accuse Bush and Roosevelt of genocide, then it’s equally absurd to accuse Radovan Karadzic.
Radovan Karadzic’s fight to keep his people from being subjugated by Islamic extremists is no less valid than the U.S. war against Imperial Japan or the U.S. campaign to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. If anything, Karadzic had more of a right to stand and fight on the territory where his people lived than the United States had to take the fight halfway around the world to Japan and Iraq.
If Radovan Karadzic marshals the evidence already on record at the Tribunal, and if he supplements it with the documents and evidence that undoubtedly came into his possession as the President of the Bosnian Serbs he will burry his opposition. The people who are pointing their smug, self-righteous, fingers at him today could very well regret the day they ever put him on trial. Then again, his accusers have been dishonest from day one they will probably keep repeating their story no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. They’ve been lying to us for sixteen years and there’s no reason to believe they’ll stop now. It is time to call these people out and start applying some common sense to our understanding of the Bosnian war.
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