Madman On The Loose In Serbia Threatens Peace And Human Dignity

Vojislav Seselj, indicted war criminal awaiting ICTY verdict

Vojislav Seselj,
indicted war criminal
awaiting ICTY verdict

 

Vojislav Seselj’s return to Serbia (after being temporarily released from war crimes tribunal in the Hague on account of advanced illness and pending judgment) happened just days before the 23rd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar (18 November), which is a very important date for the Croats and which evidences untold atrocities committed in the early 1990’s against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia at the directive and under Seselj’s or Serbian Radical Party’s directives (whose members at the time also included the current Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic).

A master at rubbing salt into the wounds and enjoying it, as on 18 November Croatia mourned and remembered its dead, its raped, its devastated lives from Serb aggression, Seselj tauntingly published from Belgrade headquarters a statement in which he congratulated the Serb chetniks on their liberation from Croats of Vukovar on 18 November 1991! (He reportedly also sent such a press release to the Croatian media). For Seselj, for Greater Serbia ideology occupation, murder, rape, ethnic cleansing means – liberation! Furthermore, in the same statement Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party vowed to pursue with their aim in ensuring that the territory they had occupied in Croatia in 1990’s, which was then liberated by Croat forces in 1995, becomes Serb territory again.

 

Croatia reacted with horror to these statements by Seselj, but the Serbian government remained quiet. Seselj’s excesses have also unleashed a hailstorm of criticism against the ICTY, with detractors saying Seselj’s release deals a serious setback to the court’s mandate to promote post-war reconciliation.
To “correct” the lack of Serbian government’s reaction to Seselj’s hateful and violent public rhetoric, its foreign minister Ivica Dacic has come out saying that there is no need to react to Seselj for Seselj is not a political factor in Serbian government. Oh dear, he may not be, but he is certainly raising hell in Serbia and abroad!
As suggested by my previous post on the issue of Seselj’s temporary release from prison, there are many disquieting questions to be answered as to why the war crimes tribunal would release its prisoner pending judgment to receive medical treatment in their own country, far away from the court and far away the capacity of being able to monitor such treatment. As if to provoke outrage, numerous exceptions were made for Seselj’s case. The Office of the Prosecutor, run by Serge Brammertz, did not participate in the deliberations for temporary release. And the final order, published on November 6, stipulates only that Seselj should refrain from witness and victim intimidation and return promptly to The Hague when summoned. No restraints were put on Seselj in terms of political activity. The trial chamber also took the unusual step of circumventing a final consultation with Seselj that would allow him to accept or deny the terms of his release. Nor is it clear the trial chamber received detailed information about the state of Seselj’s health.
The November 6 ICTY court order approving Seselj’s release notes only that the judges had “received additional confidential information that points to a deterioration in the accused’s health.” The dissenting opinion in the matter by Judge Mandiaye Niang (PDF) describes Seselj as “gravely ill,” adding, “We know this despite his refusal to allow his medical file to be disclosed officially.”

If you, the fair and just minded reader, are confused and enraged at this point, know that you are experiencing an outrage at the lack of justice in this matter, at the lack of consideration for the victims of the brutal crimes committed against Croats under Seselj’s tutelage and orders. The courts that the just world has known to this point require expert evidence in cases of ill-health claims. In this case, Seselj has refused to disclose health records to the court and the court released him anyway! What calamity for human kind!

So far, Seselj has yet to show any overt signs of serious health setbacks. Indeed he appears as strong as an Ox and his voice is full of strength and energy; he emanates a dynamic stature and drive, he refuses to undertake medical treatment he’s reported to be returned to Serbia for. Certainly, he could be very physically ill nevertheless, and, in a mad rage to push his political agenda. Whichever it is, it’s certainly not what the ICTY said it was going to be (medical treatment/ exceptional humanitarian grounds).

 

Presented with Seselj’s public grandstanding, ethnic hatred speeches, raising unrest the ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz would like the world to believe that his office cannot appeal the temporary release decision without access to Seselj’s medical records! How about appealing on grounds that decision should not have been made without medical records in the first place!

Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic stated that he wrote to the ICTY president Judge Theodore Meron, alerting him that Seselj’s hate speeches could destabilise peace in that part of Europe.

Former ICTY prosecution spokesperson Florence Hartmann used irony on Saturday 22 November when she commented on the Seselj situation and Croatia’s reaction to the Slovenian Delo:

They (Hague war crimes tribunal) are absolutely above everything, above international standards, above the UN Security Council, and even above God.”
“They’ve temporarily released a madman,” she continued.
If I were in Croatian president Josipovic’s place, I would not write to the president of the Hague tribunal, Meron, but instead I would write to the member states of the UN Security Council and ask them: what is happening? We are paying enormous sums of money for the work of the tribunal and in return we are receiving only attempts to revise the conflict’s history and premature release from prison of a madman,” said Hartmann. Hartmann said that there is more and more of nationalism emerging and that “we would not have that were it not for the fear of confronting the past.”
Croatian member of EU Parliament, Tonino Picula (Social Democrats) said that good care should be taken to ensure that “individual pathological cases“, such as recent statements by Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, did not affect entire societies. “Croatia should be extremely cautious, considering its recent past, and the European Parliament is a forum where we can discuss this in good time,” he concluded.

 

The issue is that “individual pathological cases” such as Seselj cause a great deal of suffering and fear and must be stopped at once, not discussed about “in good time”. One can discuss and discuss about a madman ‘till the cows come home’ but nothing will change. Firm action is needed.
On a more promising note, though, MEP Andrej Plenkovic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that the European People’s Party (EPP) was planning to propose a resolution at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg next week to condemn Seselj’s behaviour. It’s an urgent matter to stop the rhetoric that caused the crimes of the 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – Seselj should have been on his way back to the Hague prison – yesterday! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. How is it possible to apply ‘exceptional humanitarian grounds’ o someone who lacks basic humanity?
    The appalling acts committed by or in the name of this man in an age where men are supposed to be enlightened show that some people still possess base animal instincts, and rabid animals are usually pout down rather than released..
    It’s said that many top Nazi’s were good family men. That can never be allowed to excuse their behaviour outside the family. It’s only when the world is rid of .the evil in the shape of these men that we can ever know peace and security.
    The Hague war crimes tribunal need to rescind the order of release and place Seselj in a military hospital to establish his state of health without allowing him opportunity for further rhetoric. If he’s found to be healthy then the tribunal should reconvene and pronounce sentence. Death must be an option.
    I’m a dreamer of World peace which many say makes me naive but I recognise it could come if only at a price. If that price is the removal of the murdering subhumans then so be it.
    xxx Huge Hugs Ina xxx

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    • Well said, David. The unsettling thing is that in the normal world if one takes “unusual” sick leave from work one must produce a medical certificate etc. And here, the tribunal did not insist to see the medical file of the man and yet pronounced its decision on basis of “exception humanitarian grounds”, citing severe illness. There is no doubt that Seselj incited to murder, rape, ethnic cleansing and committed heinous crimes in that process and yet the politics get in the way of justice. I wonder if this atrocious move by the tribunal has anything to do with offering Serbia a sweet cookie by which it can continue justified crimes in order to get it away from its commitment to Russia? Ah, all will be revealed.

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      • The first thing Seselj said when he returned to Sserbia last week: “We want integration with Russia. We do not want the European Union. That is where our enemies are,” Seselj told his supporters, some of whom carried posters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

        Serbia has sought to balance its bid to become a member of the European Union and to maintain its close relations with Russia, its traditional Slavic ally – the West think Tito broke away from Stalin in 1948 from Belgrade and with help of Serbs he managed to keep the secret making fools of the West all the while. In a sign of close ties with Moscow, Serbia last month gave the visiting Putin a hero’s welcome, organizing a military parade to his honor.

        Seselj said “Serbia must set a clear path and decide between east and west,” adding: “We must show sincerely we are for Russia.”

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      • Good response, Mateo. And there is much more of politics behind this shameful release from the Hague

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  2. This whole situation is vile. One ceases to wonder about the judges who brought the decision to release him without the verdict being delivered – we now know they’ve lost their sense of decency towards victims.

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  3. Yesterday, one of the best university students ever in Croatia told me that he has concluded that God has sent us the arrival of Seselj back in Belgrade so that Croats could be united against Serb violence again like they were in 1991.
    I’m not sure but there is a logic to that. Without deep connection to the Creator we will not get out of this crisis and love and freedom will only be illusions.

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    • I can see the logic quite clearly, Ante. Croatia has had such an alienating government and president for several years now that various citizens’ initiative for referendums do leave a strong taste of frustration among the people. Then there is the veterans’ protest that has lasted for more than 30 days in Zagreb so far, not looking to stop any time soon… indeed it seems that Seselj’s arrival in Belgrade from the Hague has stirred everyone in Croatia into reactions and shock regardless of their political orientation.

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  4. He is insane and anyone who supports this criminal is as well.

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  5. And today, Dacic compared Seselj’s return to Serbia with the return of Markac and Gotovina…vile comparison. He stated that Croatia gave our generals a hero’s welcome while Serbia did not welcome Seselj home. Well I guess that’s because the generals were innocent and Honorable men, and Seselj is a hateful, madman who is guilty of the most heinous crimes. And then stated that the war was fought on Serbian soil. Serbia will never be reconciled to the past unless it gives up on Greater Serbia; which it never will. Croatia must never stop defending itself and stop deluding itself by voting for traitors and incompetents, like Yugosipovic, Chetnik Princess Pusic, just plain stupid Milanovic and that traitorous Mesic.

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    • Terrible stuff coming out of Serbia, Sunman – Croatia needs strong people indeed as I do not think the world will see any remorse for war crimes and atrocities committed on Croatian soil, which Serbia call their soil just because some Serbs lived there! Just imagine if the immigrants across Western countries decided they’d hive off for themselves a piece of the country their fathers, grandfathers, great fathers had settled on having left their homeland!

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      • I’m not a supporter of Seselj. I’m an anti nationalist.
        But my ancestors lived in what is today Croatia for centuries. We are not immigrants.

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  6. Seselj sees it as “liberation” because he does not see the humanity of his victims. That is the fascist way. Serbian integration with Russia, with Croatia in the EU, would create an impossible flashpoint.

    I find that Serbian negotiations to accede to the EU began formally on 21 January this year. I hope saner voices will prevail in Serbia.

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    • Some people will do or say anything to avoid responsibility. Clare. It’s so unfortunate that others have to put up with the vile and as to Serbian demands when it comes to EU it’ll be interesting to watch because they say they want to stay friends/in close relations with any country they choose – even the enemy of EU. Go figure! When Croatia was in the process of accession it was absolutely hard, even stopped until the general who was not in Croatia but fled, was in the Hague – that took years of wasted time and then the general/s were acquitted of war crimes.

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  7. justice is more often negate that uphold in court. Is a world trend in this day. That a person involve in war terrible crime can be exonerate with a possible lies of sickness is confirm that is time for God one to come.

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  8. Like

  9. This madman and his ilk are completely deranged and should be barred from entering Croatia and BiH. Then again, deranged and/or morally compromised are the ICTY folks who let him go freely. A more pathetic legal system I have not seen.

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    • And too join in the sentiment regarding ICTY, Veronika. It should have at least announced when it intends to deliver the judgment before letting him out. I recall when Croatian General Markac was on temporary release from ICTY and then whisked right back because he was seen going hunting with his friends as a sport and here we have Seselj reaping havoc and inciting hatred on public grandstanding and – nothing from ICTY. The apparent bias is just awful.

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  10. …no,no, Seselj is NOT a madman! He cares about the Greater Serbian chetnik idea! The Serbians will FOREVER be Chetniks (whether disguised as Jugoslav communists or open chetniks, such as Vojislav Seselj), but it is the Croatian leaders who are the MADMEN as they also work towards a Greater Serbia!
    …but at least the Serbians KILL their traitors!

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  11. Bosniakprince says:

    This is so crazy 20 years after the genocide in Bosnia aganist Bosniaks a war I never saw because I was a child in the 1990s a story only told from my parents I now have to mobilize in the army to protect myself from the second genocide I hope Croatia too makes itself ready to war

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  12. Bosniakprince says:

    This time we are ready!

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  13. Exceptional article,criminals like this butcher should rot in prison away from the society.Best regards.

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    • Yep, it seems almost 12 years in the Hague prison so far have made no indents in his conscience whatsoever, Jalal – still as determined as ever to stay on the path of destruction and hate.

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  14. Lock him on a prison ship that has a teeny weeny hole in the bottom and set it’s auto course for Antarctica… no lights, no flags, no nothing.

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  15. therealamericro says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that Seselj was released to protect Stanisic and Simatovic, as Seselj received all of his funds, arms, trainers, food and equipment from them.

    Stanisic and Simatovic of course were found not guilty on all charges because

    a) They approached the CIA early in the war to cover their hides as the world was talking about a world court to punish war crimes in fmr. “YU” – basically acting as bag men for US policy (which, as the Panic debacle showed, was to bring a more human not so human face to Serbia), with them feeding the US disinformation and counter disinformation the duration of the war to try and consolidate their goals.
    b) They helped overthrow Milosevic when the time came.
    c) Seselj’s conviction would mean a retrial of Stanisic and Simatovic, and with a conviction of them (which already should have happened as they were the architects of the war and the mountains of evidence and bodies left no room for any reasonable doubt) would also be a conviction of the state of Serbia, and through that, US, UK, French, Dutch, Scandinavian and most importantly, UN policy before, during and after the war.

    Tudman was right – the ICTY was and remains a legal farce to equate guilt, wash Serbia of its responsibility, and wash the responsibility of the haughty democracies that openly and tacitly backed Serbia during the war and tried at all turns, doing everything possible to solidify their territorial gains.

    Serbia was, and always be, protected by the globalists (Kissinger, Scanlon, Eat-a-Burger, Baker, Bush, Scowcroft, UK establishment) and UK – and US by proxy as US and UK policy is carrot and stick with nations, with the two switching roles depending on the nation. Anyone who believes otherwise is lost in the sauce.

    NATO peppering of them and outdated T-55 tanks was a comical show. That was not a proper sortie nor intensive bombing campaign. Removing Kosovo from Serbia was the greatest favor the West could have ever done for Serbia.

    I’ll give it to Seselj, his remarks on his support for Josipovic’s policies and complimenting of Pusic’s family’s Chetnik pedigree is something that no amount of money or PR can buy.

    Both Kolinda and Kujundzic should run with this without any mercy – it is a freebee that should be exploited to the maximum.

    In sum: the ICTY was, and remains, a political court.

    The blessing in disguise is that Seselj is a rabble rouser and will likely bring political instability to unapologetic Serbia. I would not be surprised if he takes over the whole circus and ends up as PM. He says what 90 percent really think.

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    • The connection between ICTY cases Seselj, Stanisic and Simatovic is well put, therealamericro. And yes it would seem Serbia with its allies will be its own undoing – give it time in the wide world of today and in the meantime totally agree regarding the need for Kolinda & Kujundzic to press on in their presidential campaigning with same force Croatia is getting from Serbia – no mercy

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  16. thealamericro, this thesis of your caught my attention: ….

    c) Seselj’s conviction would mean a retrial of Stanisic and Simatovic, and with a conviction of them (which already should have happened as they were the architects of the war and the mountains of evidence and bodies left no room for any reasonable doubt) would also be a conviction of the state of Serbia….

    i’ve read luka misetic’s opinion about what the judges could/should do re. Seselj verdict (you have it here, under Madman on the loose…); now, since the judges have not yet come with the verdict orally, that would mean that:

    a) either the reason is the one you have said above in your comment;

    b) judges Antonnetti and Latanzzi have fully opposite opinion re. Seselj’ s guilt (personally, I have high doubts that this would be the case considering the indictment!)

    if this is what you say i.e. that they want to avoid criminalizing Serbia by all means the request for Seselj return to The Hague is still on this track although the primary reason that they let him go (under no strict conditions) was that they REALLY knew that he has not much time left.

    the only thing is that they were not expecting such fierce reaction from Croatia (and EP) and now, under pressure they simply had no other exit than claiming Seselj back to The Hague. of course, all this gives them more time – Seselj apprehension by Serbian forces will take some time, as, the newspapers say he would be soon undergoing operations and chemo..
    thus, we need not expect the verdict soon. if ever.

    p.s. suppose Seselj was not ill, i presume the trial chamber would drag with the pronouncing of the verdict and when they could not do it anymore, they would free him (frankly, the prosecution did not really succeed to provide strong evidence for his guilt)

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  17. Firefly says:

    War itself is a crime against humanity so I don’t really understand the term ‘war crimes’ as if there is a legal and honourable way of killing. ‘War Crimes’ were committed on all sides and not just by the Serbs. To suggest otherwise is irrational, childish and just plain stupid. As so often happens in time of war, it is the innocent who pay the price. I’m sad for all the civilians who suffered, regardless of their nationality. Seselj was released despite The Hague’s best attempts to convict him because the charges made against him were so blatantly ridiculous. This is not my personal opinion, it is an obvious observation and anyone with half a brain who watched the videos of his trial would come to the same conclusion. If justice is to be served it must be distributed fairly and equally. Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian commanders must all be persecuted and or acquitted based on legal merit and not political affiliation. Anyway, none of this matters, the Hague was not created to restore peace to the Balkan region, it’s purpose is to keep the conflict going because it is in the interest of the US to prolong the conflict and fragmentation. They are doing the same thing to the Middle East. They have now turned their propaganda against the Muslim people. It seems propaganda against the Serbian people is not so popular as it once was. The US wheel of ‘justice’ just keeps turning, crushing the people beneath it. In my opinion, they are the real Criminals and we need to unite against the US aggression, not fight amongst ourselves. I don’t understand why people don’t see this.

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    • Seselj was released for now, Firefly – an appalling performance bythe prosecutor perhaps on purpose and setting up such a judgment but it is good to know that Appeal is forthcoming and that Seselj is banned to enter Croatia for next 20 years. There’s no doubt he is guilty at least of inciting crimes but hey who would have known that ICTY Prosecutor would stay biased and err in putting the charges together – as the Judges said prosecution didn’t do much to prove their charges etc… go figure — as to war there is lawful killing in war and there is unlawful killing in war if you don’t know the difference I suggest you go find out. Hague has proven to be a joke it pronounced Seselj’s acts as political and ignored the fact that he held a gun ready to shoot and egging on to shoot while engaging in political speak. A very sad day for the victims

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  18. Firefly says:

    In time of war, innocent people on both sides always pay the price. If you think there is such a thing as ‘lawful’ killing of innocent people, then you have just revealed yourself as a person of both very low morals and intelligence. And if you think Seselj is a criminal because according to you he spreads ‘hate speech’, then by your own logic you are yourself a criminal. Anyway, there is no point in speaking with a person who does not poses the power of rational thinking and logic and who speaks without proper consideration of what is in fact a very complicated situation. Your response to my previous post shows that you are such a person. You trivialise and simplify the problem because you are not capable of grasping the broader issues at play. Your beliefs are as empty as your words and I feel sorry for a person so lost and filled with so much hate.

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    • Firefly, no one here said that it was “lawful to kill innocent people” just that in war there are lawful and unlawful killings and it’s obvious to almost everyone except people like you who protect Seselj that killing innocent people in war is unlawful. I suggest that instead of going around insulting people and twisting their words to suit your own warped mind you go and take lessons on paying attention and permitting people to express their opinion on facts, which anyone can take or leave…I trivialise nothing when it comes to Seselj and war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – you do!

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      • “In war, there are lawful and unlawful killings” – ok, would you be so kind to tell us all what according to you constitutes a ‘lawful killing’, and would you also be so kind to point out a war in the history of mankind that was ‘lawful’ and did not involve horrific loss of innocent people…? All wars are unlawful and unjust and criminal action always occurs on both sides. Anyone who thinks otherwise cannot be an intelligent person… DELETED as insulting…

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      • Firefly – again you show your intelligence…but for the sake of being polite here it goes: War is the organised killing of human beings by other human beings. The law of armed conflict makes many of those deaths lawful (those of combatants) and prohibits or minimises others (those of civilians). International humanitarian law (IHL) thus privileges certain forms of lethal violence, in particular that between soldiers. But while its overall goal is ostensibly to stem the horrors of war, it imposes no principled limit on the taking of combatant life. In other words, in certain instances the laws of war sanction the completely unnecessary death of human beings… I did not make the laws and whether wars are unlawful or not that again depends from which side one looks at it but I completely agree peace should be the way to solve disputes and not wars but you see when someone wants to steal somebody elses land then you will get war and killing out of defence and whether such killing is lawful depends on who looks at it and what the facts were or alternatives were at the time…

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      • Firefly says:

        Madame, in real life, during war, chaos always erupts. In times of panic and chaos, predatory people always take advantage of the disorder to commit criminal acts. Stealing, murdering, raping, then there are acts of vengeance and so on. Certain individuals or groups of individuals very often decide to take matters into their hands. War turns men into animals and all too often, those soldiers escape punishment. Obviously I’m not talking about all soldiers, ultimately it boils down to individual character and as always there are good people and there are bad people. If we accept that ultimately the commanders of those soldiers must take responsibility for the actions of those same soldiers, then it follows that the Croatian and Bosnian commanders who participated in this war are also ‘war criminals’. To suggest that the Croatian and Bosnian soldiers who were under their command did not commit the very same atrocities as the Serbian soldiers is ridiculous. I’m absolutely sure there were just as many psychotic soldiers on the Croatian and Muslim side as there were on the Serbian side of the fence. It has nothing to do with nationality it is simply human nature in time of war. And yet, it is only the Serbian commanders who are found guilty, why is that? And are the Serbian victims of that war somehow of less value than the Croatian or the Muslim victims?Where is their justice? And why is it that the ‘guilty’ verdicts by The Hague received the full support of the Croatians and the Muslims but now Seselj’s acquittal is being challenged? You don’t get to pick and choose which verdict you want to accept and which you don’t want to accept, you can either recognise The Hague as an honourable court and accept all their verdicts as justice or you can recognise their system as unlawful and corrupt and refuse to accept their judgements, whether those judgements suit you or not. And I do not and cannot understand your point of view madame. Are you seriously telling me that only the Serbs are guilty and that they are the only ones who deserve any form of punishment. Is that logical to you, really?

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      • Sadly, Firefly, war criminals do exist and act in breach of war policies etc and yes, command responsibility is actual if the commander orders crimes or actively incites his troops to commit them. Just line of command is not acceptable in cases where individuals stray from command and directions and commit crimes…writing from Belgrade I assume you might read what you say that I say only Serbs are guilty for crimes, that is not so for I am quite aware that there were war criminals among all ethnic groups but Serbs are guilty of aggression and that aggression put others in need for defence. I have never said that certain victims are more valuable than others for all victims regardless of ethnicity are equally valuable so please don’t even bother replying to this, just read and read and read

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