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Archive for the tag “war crimes”

Trial by media trumps truth and justice

The warmongering mendacity of the Western “mainstream” media just became a whole lot more obvious. They lied about the Iraq War, and several other wars, but at least they did report on the Chilcot report, which exposed many of their lies as just that.

But they are still covering up the lies they told about the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession, which they assiduously promoted. They lied about Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Serbia, calling him “The Butcher of the Balkans”, a “mass murderer” and saying he was responsible for the deaths of 250 000 people. They brainwashed a lot of people, especially in the West, into believing these lies, which is presumably why none of them have said a word about this — ICTY Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic for War Crimes | InSerbia News:

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has determined that the late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible for war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

In a stunning ruling, the trial chamber that convicted former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic of war crimes and sentenced him to 40 years in prison, unanimously concluded that Slobodan Milosevic was not part of a “joint criminal enterprise” to victimize Muslims and Croats during the Bosnian war.

Why should we worry about this?

Slobodan Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic died more than 10 years ago, the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession ended nearly 15 years ago — why not let the past stay in the past? What purpose can be served by dragging all this stuff out of the past?

It is almost a cliche to say that those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it, but what the Western media did to Slobodan Milosevic 15-20 years ago helped to promote a regional war, and what they did to Milosevic back then they are now doing to Vladimir Putin, where the stakes are higher. It is not just a regional war they are trying to promote, but global thermonuclear war.

Here is one example of an obituary in the Western “mainstream” media — Slobodan Milosevic, 64, Former Yugoslav Leader Accused of War Crimes, Dies – The New York Times:

As he rose and then clung to power by resurrecting old nationalist grudges and inciting dreams of a Greater Serbia, Mr. Milosevic became the prime engineer of wars that pitted his fellow Serbs against the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Albanians of Kosovo and ultimately the combined forces of the entire NATO alliance.

By stirring a dormant but incendiary nationalism, he succeeded in rallying support for himself in the late 1980’s, at a time when Communism in the rest of Eastern Europe was in its death throes.

At the time of Milosevic’s death most of the obituaries accused Milosevic of “engineering” or “orchestrating” these wars. I wrote more on this at the time of his death here Will the real “Butcher of the Balkans” please stand up? – Methodius Hayes’s journal. The stories treated these accusations not as allegations, but as established facts, though the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has now shown that most of these accusations were groundless.

As for the “orchestrating”, a contemporary American policy analyst, Samuel Huntington, describes the orchestration as follows (in his book The Clash of Civilizations):

The breakup of Yugoslavia began in 1991 when Slovenia and Croatia moved toward independence and pleaded with Western European powers for support. The response of the West was defined by Germany, and the response of Germany was in large part defined by the Catholic connection. The Bonn government came under pressure to act from the German Catholic hierarchy, its coalition partner the Christian Social Union Party in Bavaria, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and other media. The Bavarian media, in particular, played a crucial role in developing German public sentiment for recognition. ‘Bavarian TV’, Flora Lewis noted, ‘much weighed upon by the very conservative Bavarian government and the strong, assertive Bavarian Catholic Church which had close connections with the church in Croatia, provided the television reports for all of Germany when the war began in earnest. The coverage was very one-sided’…

Germany pressured the European Union to recognize the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, and then, having secured that, pushed forward on its own to recognize them before the Union did in December 1991.

And the first violent act in the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession was the seizure of customs posts along the Austrian border by Slovenian nationalists — did Milosevic really “engineer” that? One of the better obituaries of Milosevic in the Western media is to be found here — Scapegoat, R.I.P.:

Slobodan Milosevic’s obituaries are damning. In death, as in the last years of his life, the former Serbian president is being blamed for all of the death and destruction that accompanied the breakup of the Yugoslav Federation in the early 1990s. He has been described as the “Butcher of the Balkans.” He is accused of masterminding four wars, of committing genocide and ethnic cleansing. These charges have been repeated so many times that they have become part of received wisdom. Yet the facts tell a different story.

And among the facts that the author, James Bisset, adduces are:

But it was not the Serbians and “Slobo” who started the wars in Yugoslavia. The fighting started because Slovenia, then a Yugoslav republic, declared unilateral independence and used force to seize customs posts along the Austrian border.

The federal prime minister of Yugoslavia, Ante Markovic, who happened to be a Croatian, ordered the army into Slovenia to restore order. The army was met by armed resistance and retired to barracks in Croatia to avoid further bloodshed. The Croatian security and paramilitary forces then surrounded the federal barracks and fighting broke out in Croatia. At this time, Milosevic, as president of Serbia, had no control over the federal army. (Incidentally, the federal minister of defence at the time was also a Croatian, as was the foreign minister.)

Later, when the army lost all of its non-Serbian soldiers, it did become a Serb-dominated force. But when the federal government collapsed, it was none other than Milosevic who ordered all Serbian soldiers out of Bosnia.

Bisset goes on to point out that Milosevic was not a very nice man. He was an unreconstructed communist leader, but so were Tudjman and Izetbegovic, who were backed by the West. But he was not a war criminal, the accusation used by the leaders of Nato at the time as a casus belli.

The Western media are not just spinning, they are spinning out of control, and I urge anyone with any concern for truth and justice to tweet and retweet and share this until the Western media acknowledge that they lied, and start publishing the truth for a change.

Growing up in apartheid South Africa (book review)

The Persistence of MemoryThe Persistence of Memory by Tony Eprile

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Bildungsroman about growing up in apartheid South Africa — a white boy at school, then an army conscript, and afterwards.

I would like to be able to say that this book “tells it like it was” in the same way that Andre Brink‘s A Dry White Season does, but two things make me hesitate to say that. One is that I never served in the army, so I cannot say that the middle section, which deals with that, is accurate. Secondly, there are several inaccuracies about known things in the book, which cast doubt upon the accuracy of some of the other parts,

The inaccuracties bothered me. One of the most egregious errors is a reference to the Australian national rugby team as the All Blacks. Another was a reference to a Xhosa chief, Makhana, which goes on to say that Makhana wasn’t his real name, but a reference to his left-handedness. There is a footnote to the effect that his real name was Nxele. But it is Nxele, and not Makhana, which is a referwence to left-handedness.

At first sight these errors (and there are several more) are not about matters central to the plot, and one might attribute them to careless writing and editing. But on second thoughts, they relate to something that is central to the plot and is embodied in the very title of the book. The protagonist, we are told, has an excellent memory, and at one point, when he testifies before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the reliability of his memory is both demonstrated and brought into question.

If the protagonist’s memory is crucial to the plot, then perhaps these errors scattered through the book (told in the first persion) are intended as hints that the protagonist’s memory was not as good as he claimed it was, and therefore, far from “telling it like it is”, the book is a kind of bizarre fantasy, reminiscient of Jean Genet‘s The Balcony.

So though I wanted to give it four or five stars, in the end I gave it only three.

View all my reviews

New Statesman – Blair must be arrested

New Statesman – Blair must be arrested:

Now consider the Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, of a kind the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the ‘paramount war crime’. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide.

In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma. Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter ‘liberated’ by the British) are now higher than those at Hiroshima. ‘UK forces used about 1.9 metric tonnes of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,’ the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, told parliament on 22 July. A range of toxic ‘anti-personnel’ weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and US forces.

Hat-tip to Neil Clark: who notes

Let’s just hope that when Blair is finally in the dock, he doesn’t come up against a judge like Judge Griffith-Jones.’Started an illegal war which led to the deaths of 1m people’? ‘Took part in the illegal bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well?’
Well, you have a rather respectable background and you’re not a lower-class yobbo so I’ll only give you three months in jail.’

In May 1999 someone set off nail bombs in various places in London, and Tony Blair went on record as denouncing this as “barbaric”. And at the same time there were news reports that Father Milivoje Ciric, who left a special service in his church to help victims of a Nato bombing, has been decapitated by a follow-up blast. This is a typical terrorist tactic — set off a bomb, and when a crowd gathers to help the injured, kill even more people with a second blast. You can read about the incident here, and see pictures here.

The nail bombs, of course, were barbaric. They were designed to cause the maximum injuries. But Natos cluster bombs were designed to do exactly the same thing, only far more efficiently. Look at the pictures, and see Tony Blair’s handiwork. Yes, it is truly barbaric.

As the playwright Harold Pinter noted on his web site, quoting the Socialist Review, www.haroldpinter.org – Serbia and Kosovo:

When the bomb went off in Old Compton Street, Mr Blair described it as a barbaric act. When cluster bombs go off in Serbian marketplaces, cutting children into pieces, we are told that such an act is being taken on behalf of ‘civilisation against barbarism’. Mr Blair is clearly having a wonderful time. But if Britain remains America’s poodle, she is now a vicious and demented poodle. The Nato action is in breach of its own charter and outside all recognised parameters of international law. Nato is destroying the infrastructure of a sovereign state, murdering hundreds of civilians, creating widespread misery and desolation, and doing immeasurable damage to the environment.

Barbaric? Yes. But as the prophet Nathan said to King David, “Thou art the man.” (I Sam 12).

But there is one crucial difference, for it is recorded that King David repented, but Tony Blair has not.

Tony Blair pushed Gordon Brown to hold Iraq war inquiry in private

Tony Blair pushed Gordon Brown to hold Iraq war inquiry in private: The Observer:

Tony Blair urged Gordon Brown to hold the independent inquiry into the Iraq war in secret because he feared that he would be subjected to a ‘show trial’ if it were opened to the public the Observer can reveal.

The revelation that the former prime minister – who led Britain to war in March 2003 – had intervened will fuel the anger of MPs peers military leaders and former civil servants who were appalled by Brown’s decision last week to order the investigation to be conducted behind closed doors.

Could this be the same Tony Blair? Blair Threatens Milosevic With War Crimes Trial

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will be held accountable for any further war crimes in Kosovo British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday. Blair s threat was the first time any Western leader has singled out Milosevic for possible war crimes committed by forces under his command. Blair ‘President Milosevic and his commanders must … understand that NATO will not stand by in the face of renewed repression in Kosovoor atrocities like the one we witnessed in Racak. Nor can the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague’ Michael Evens London Times 9 Mar .

Could it be that the man who wanted others held accountable for their alleged warmongering is shying away from accountability himself? And remember that the “Racak atrocity” was shown to be a fabrication, unlike Tony Blair’s very real involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

It seems that the belligerent Mr Blair made a habit of lying to take his country into war.

The Western Confucian: M�nster and Nagasaki

The Western Confucian reminds us that more Japanese Christians were killed by US bombing in one day that were killed in four centuries of persecution by the Japanese government


‘At 11:02 AM, two-thirds of Japan’s Catholics were annihilated,’ wrote yours truly last year about today’s grim anniversary in a brief history of Japan’s historic center of Catholicism — The Holy City of Nagasaki. ‘On that day that will live in infamy, more Japanese Christians were slaughtered than had been martyred in four centuries of brutal persecution.’ Urakami Cathedral, the largest Christian church in Asia, was the siting target.

Karadzic Arrest: A Boost for Serbia – TIME

Karadzic Arrest: A Boost for Serbia – TIME:

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic’s latest lair wasn’t a cave or a safe house; no hidden compartments or special security details shielded him. Instead, it turns out that one of the world’s most wanted men was hiding in plain view in the drab, anonymous housing blocks of Novo Belgrade, a suburb of the Serbian capital. He was nabbed not by NATO, whose forces had spent 13 years in a vain and sometimes desultory search for him, but by the security forces of Serbia, the country whose fantastic designs for grandeur he had once so ardently tried to further. Now Karadzic, 63, faces a trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

And we now wait with bated breath for the USA to get a similar boost by arresting and handing over Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright for war crimes in Yugoslavia; and George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. And for Britain to get a similar boost by arresting and handing over Tony Blair for war crimes in all three — he’s probably the biggest war criminal in recent times.

Compared with these, Karadzic is a relatively small fish. But of course the big fish usually get away. If Tony Blair were occupying a cell next to Karadzic I might believe that the Hague Tribunal is not a kangaroo court. As it is, it’s nothing more than a Nato propaganda organ.

And when I read the propaganda (including the Time article above, still churning it out after all these years), I begin to wonder if Radovan Karadzic isn’t Bosnia’s Bram Fischer. I don’t know enough about him, of course, to make such a judgement, but I wonder. Perhaps the truth will emerge at the Hague, or perhaps, like Slobodan Milosevic, he will conveniently die before it does. And then we’ll be left wondering just whose convenience was served.

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