Not Only Croatia Suffers From Serbian Deception

Serb Chetniks in Australia – continue deceiving with pretence Serbia was with Allied forces in WWII
Photo: Facebook

The persistent coverup of Serbia’s horrid and active role in the WWII Holocaust and the fact that in May 1942 Serbia was one of the first European countries to declare itself Jew-free (Judenfrei) had prostituted factual history to the point of yet another criminal blow to the many victims of the Holocaust in Serbia. The coverup was hatched by Yugoslav communists with headquarters in Belgrade towards the end of WWII and viciously pursued with the single aim of vilifying Croatia and Croatian people, lumbering against them distressing lies and recklessly tossing out wildly fabricated numbers of those killed in the Holocaust. There’s no doubt that some “leading” people of Jewish ancestry, such as Efraim Zuroff of Simon Weisenthal Center and Gideon Greif, an Israeli historian, have been going out of their way to coverup Serbia’s and its Chetniks’ role in the Holocaust in Serbia. One can only wonder why this is so and why these men pursue the path of this same filthy work of coverup, but one cannot avoid the thought that rewards from official Serbia for them must be large! The sickening thing is that Serbia has raised a monument to the victims of the Holocaust there, but, guess what, Germans and not Serbs are the culprits of that WWII depravity! The fact that official Serbia was a willing partner in these crimes is totally ignored and underplayed in this wicked propaganda program.

While those that seek to research facts of WWII history in Croatia and Serbia are persistently and with apparent malice labelled as revisionists, the same people who pursue with the Serbian coverup of the role of Serbs in the Holocaust on its own soil continue to work tirelessly, it seems, in attempting to discredit and stop such research! Truth has always had a difficult path to the surface, and that is a sad fact of humanity.

For the sake of justice to all the victims of crime and for the sake of demonstration how Serbs have succeeded in fooling and deceiving the world, I shall continue this post with a transfer of David Goldman’s recent article in the Independent Australia portal on the Serbian collaboration with the Nazi’s (the collaboration Serbia and its “friends” are persistently trying to coverup with the aim of vilifying WWII Croatia). David Goldman’s article from January 2020 is this:

 

Betrayal: RSL backs Nazi-aligned Serbian Chetniks

Australia’s Returned and Services League (RSL) is allowing a Nazi-aligned group from WWII and their supporters to march in Anzac Day parades.

Meanwhile, the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Department pays their entitlements out of the public purse at a time when Australian soldiers suffering physical injuries and issues like PTSD find their health benefits being slashed.

The Nazis in question are a WWII Serbian military formation called ‘Chetniks’, that according to most widely-available histories, including all the various official histories of WWII, were listed at worst as being active Axis collaborators or at the least, a nationalist-chauvinist militia responsible for numerous bestial war crimes.

According to Winston Churchill’s liaison officer in wartime Yugoslavia, Major-General Sir Fitzroy Maclean:

The reason why we have ceased to supply Draza Mihajlovic [Supreme Chetnik commander] with weapons and support, is a simple one: He has not been fighting the enemy and moreover some of his subordinates have been making accommodations with the enemy.

Maclean further wrote in his book Eastern Approaches:

‘Some Chetnik Commanders were openly living at German and Italian headquarters. The Chetniks were either not fighting at all or fighting with the Germans against their own countrymen … [the Chetnik’s were] impeding rather than furthering the allied war effort.’

Because of his collaboration and other war crimes, Draza Mihajlovic was executed by Yugoslavia in March 1946.  In fact, Chetnik collaboration became so widespread that after the Tehran Conference of 1943, the Allies finally broke off all ties with the Chetniks, eventually even forcing their own political head, King Peter II Karadordjevic to publicly disown them by September 1944 and throw his lot in with Tito’s Communist Partisans.

The Australian government has been well aware of this for decades. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in a letter to an enquiry to a retired New Zealand veteran way back in May 1993 wrote: ‘Serbia was not an ally’ and that ‘it is true that the Chetniks were collaborators’. Despite this, these units march in our major cities every April 25th.

After a follow-up enquiry by the same retired Kiwi Army Sergeant on whether anyone who served in the Chetniks during WWII was ‘eligible’ to receive Veteran’s Affairs entitlements, the response from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) also from 1993, was crystal clear:

The Chetniks were discredited on 12 September 1944, because of widespread collaboration with the Nazis and Fascists, and because they were fighting on the German and Italian side since 1941.’

Then in a twist that would have made Kafka proud, the same letter went on to say:

‘The DVA has assessed your specific concern under Section 35 of the Veteran’s Entitlements Act 1986. Due to restrictions under the Privacy Act 1988, DVA cannot inform you of the outcome.’

This despite the fact that the VA was only asked if these units ‘were eligible to receive VA entitlements’, and not whether (or not) any living individual was actually receiving them.

Postage stamps in WWII Serbia
Antisemitic – violently!
Photo: Screenshots

During WWII, Chetnik units operating across Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro found collaboration with Hitler natural as they were already part of Mussolini’s fascist army, the so-called, ‘Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia, a component of the 5th, 6th and 17th Corps of the army of fascist Italy, who according to historians were responsible for the murder of over 50,000 people, mainly innocent civilians.

One of their most revered military leaders, indicted war criminal and Serbian Orthodox priest Momčilo Đujić, who, despite being dead for 20 years, is still the central figurehead under whose symbols many Chetniks in the Anzac Day celebration march and who has from his long-cold grave given inspiration to a new generation of fanatical Nazis, including the likes of alleged NZ mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant and Norwegian mass murderer and neo-Nazi Anders Breivik among others.

Đujić also became the spiritual godfather of convicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Vojislav Seselj, whose role in financing Serb war criminals living here was documented by The Australian in 2019.

As both a loyal German as well as an Italian ally, in December 1944, Đujić sent an emissary to General Gustav Fehn of the German 264th Infantry Division with the following message:

The Chetnik Command with all of its armed forces has collaborated sincerely and loyally with the German Army in these areas from September last year. This collaboration has continued to the present day. The Chetnik Command wishes to share the destiny of the German Army in the future.

In response, General Fehn organised the safe transport of Đujić’s wounded Chetniks to the Third Reich, where after the war, he and his followers were employed by the CIA and eventually relocated to the U.S. where Đujić lived out his days.

The Washington PostIsrael’s Yad Vashem and the U.S.-based Shoah Resource Centre admitted that:

By the end of 1943, the break between the West and the Chetniks was complete. The Chetniks became collaborators and joined the forces fighting the Partisans. There were many instances of Chetniks murdering Jews or handing them over to the Germans.

Fast forward to 2019 and some high-ranking Serbian RSL members have gone on to form alliances with neo-Nazi groups such as Golden Dawn, which was implicated in the Srebrenica Massacre, nationalist Russian Cossacks on ASIO watchlists such as Simeon Boikov and various local far-right extremists like Jim Saleam and Kim Vuga.

Moreover, the leader of the Chetnik Anzac Committee for NSW, Milan Brkljac, along with his brother Draz, a serving NSW policeman, march under the banner of Serbia for Anzac Day, in clear breach of RSL protocols and by-laws, as the RSL does not even have a marching schedule for a country called Serbia, rather only one for Yugoslavia.

As mentioned, this situation has led directly to Chetnik units forming triad-like alliances with groups like the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and pro-Putin Russian Cossacks, all aided and abetted by well-known figures in the Australian extreme Right, and coordinated by modern-day followers of the Italian and German quisling Momčilo Đujić and their fellow Anzac Day marchers.

Others in this clique have posted pictures of themselves on social media holding ‘Remove Kebab’ signs – a clear reference to, and support of the likes of Tarrant and Breivik, while more disturbing is the fact that some of their supporters have trained and fought alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine in breach of Australia’s Foreign Incursions Act 1978.

Of course this circus would be incomplete without the involvement of clueless politicians like NSW Opposition leader Jodie McKay, who allowed herself to be photographed with some of these individuals a few years ago.

Just how the RSL can ignore Nazi collaborators and units from Mussolini’s fascist army tied to local neo-Nazi groups openly marching in Anzac Day parades alongside legitimate veterans, in spite of the overwhelming evidence provided to the heads of the RSL over many years is simply mind-boggling.

Even though their inclusion breaches numerous RSL and Veteran’s Affairs (VA) codes, by-laws and protocols such as provisions of Section 5(c) of the Veterans Entitlements Act which states that an ‘allied veteran’ does not include a person who was ‘at any time’ in a force which was assisting the enemy forces of Australia, the RSL has stayed mute on the subject.

On April 25 2019, in a rare act of common sense, an attempt was made to ban the Chetniks from all Anzac Day activities by the Victorian RSL, however, the branch’s leadership lost its nerve and quickly reversed this decision, allegedly due to legal threats.

Going further, by giving VA entitlements to Chetniks, Australia’s Government is also inadvertently helping fund the war in eastern Ukraine while Australian soldiers suffer constant ATO checks or entitlement cut-backs and Australian Afghan war veterans endure cuts to their medical benefits and VA entitlements.

While the bureaucratic heads of the VA department and the Veteran’s Affairs Minister Darren Chester should resign over this outrage, for its part, the RSL should consider rewording its ‘Lest We Forget’ slogan to ‘Lest We Remember’.

After all, that would be a far more accurate description of their attitude towards both WWII history and the fate of Australia’s servicemen and women.”

Ina Vukic

 

Slobodan Milosevic Not Innocent – Still, Serbia’s War Crimes Deniers Get Field Day

Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic is led into the courtroom of the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague 2002 PHOTO : JERRY LAMPEN/AFP/Getty Images

Former Serbian president
Slobodan Milosevic
is led into the courtroom
of the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague 2002
PHOTO : JERRY LAMPEN/AFP/Getty Images

 

Dubbed “the butcher of the Balkans”, Serbia’s late Slobodan Milosevic almost rose from the grave with a bright halo glowing above his head last month when a handful of apparent Serb war crimes and Slobodan Milosevic apologists briefly succeeded in convincing much of the unsuspecting world that The UN crimes tribunal in the Hague had acquitted/exonerated him of war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s as part of joint criminal enterprise. Andy Wilcoxson and Neil Clark dropped into the world’s public arena a hotter than burning claim that sent members of Serbia’s leadership dancing in deliriums of denial and pathetic disregard for victims of horrible crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s and false interpretation of justice – oblivious to truth and reality.

 

Neil Clark served  the world (via RT) the evidently calculating sensational claim that the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died 2006 in The Hague cells, was “exonerated… for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war …”. Clark appears to have let himself loose and reckless, saying: “The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity…There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us…”

Well, hello Mr Clark – Karadzic’s trial was not Milosevic’s trial and Milosevic was not tried – he went on and died in prison before the evidence against him could actually be tested in the court of law.

Ah, Andy Wilcoxon. Well, he wrote on a pro Slobodan Milosevic website in July 2016 analysing snippets of the ICTY judgment against Radovan Karadzic as if they were snippets from a trial against Milosevic where adequate or applicable evidence against Milosevic was tested! Wilcoxon in essence pronounced Milosevic innocent of war crimes by addressing a handful of paragraphs in the 2,615-page ICTY judgment against Karadzic. How calculating and cruel can some articles appear!

Radovan Karadzic 40 year prison sentence for war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina against Croats and Bosniaks Photo: AP

Radovan Karadzic
40 year prison sentence
for war crimes in
Bosnia and Herzegovina against
Croats and Bosniaks
Photo: AP

So, it was more than four months from the time the ICTY in the Hague delivered 24 March its judgment against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and sentenced him to 40 years imprisonment for war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during 1990’s war, which saw ethnic cleansing and genocide create the so-called ethnically clean Serb Republic within Bosnia and Herzegovina, that journalists Neil Clark and Andy Wilcoxson decide to interpret the ICTY Judgment against Karadzic as a finding of Slobodan Milosevic’s innocence and got the world thinking that Milosevic has in The Hague trial been found innocent of war crimes in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The full judgment does have 2, 615 pages (or 2,590 – depending on format at hand) and it takes time to digest that but one cannot but suspect that such articles purporting to confirm Milosevic’s innocence in Bosnia and Herzegovina were what “the doctor ordered” and to be used to feed Serbia’s deluded genocide denial, denial of any guilt in the war they started and played a critical role of aggression in it, regardless of whether that aggression was physical or verbal or political.

Truly disturbing stuff!

Wilcoxon in his article enumerates a selection of paragraphs from the Karadzic judgment that he says evidences Milosevic’s innocence but apparently fails to actually quote those paragraphs in full or link them to the actual ICTY Judgment (for the reader to access easily)! One of these paragraphs Wilcoxson heavily relies for his preposterous claim is paragraph 3460 and that one says:

 

With regard to the evidence presented in this case (Karadzic case) in relation to Slobodan Milosevic and his membership in the JCE (Joint Criminal Enterprise), the Chamber recalls that he shared and endorsed the political objective of the Accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership to preserve Yugoslavia and to prevent the separation or independence of BiH and co-operated closely with the Accused during this time. The Chamber also recalls that Milosevic provided assistance in the form of personnel, provisions, and arms to the Bosnian Serbs during the conflict. However, based on the evidence before the Chamber regarding the diverging interests that emerged between the Bosnian Serb and Serbian leaderships during the conflict and in particular, Milosevic’s repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies and decisions made by the Accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership, the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan.” (Full Radovan Karadzic Judgment ICTY pdf here)

So, no sufficient evidence against Milosevic in Karadzic’s trial equals Milosevic’s innocence of the crimes as far as one can deduce from Neill and Wilcoxson’s incredulous claims. Wilcoxson enumerates several other paragraphs from the Karadzic judgment that mainly address meetings in Belgrade or in Pale (administrative centre of Serbian Republic then created by Serb’s as ethnically pure entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and tend to suggest Milosevic’s certain disagreement with the politics of Bosnian Serb leaders, but to me this is not evidence of Milosevic’s innocence. Indeed, Milosevic’s attitudes reportedly expressed at meetings do not necessarily automatically follow that he is innocent of the war crimes covered in Karadzic’s trial.

(L) Ivica Dacic, Serbian foreign minister (R) Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian labour, employment minister Photo: Tanjug/Nenad Milosevic

(L) Ivica Dacic, Serbian foreign minister
(R) Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian labour, employment minister
Photo: Tanjug/Nenad Milosevic

 

What’s even more disturbing is that most of Serbia’s media and some outside it promoted this deception for days, leaving that lie permanently available in the public domain. What’s further distressing and obscene is the fact that Serbia’s leadership via foreign minister Ivica Dacic (former member of Milosevic’s ultra-nationalist party) and labour and employment  minister Aleksandar Vulin “have been expressing triumphant satisfaction for days about claims (Clark and Wilcoxson) that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s verdict convicting former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic also said that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dacic has said that the Karadzic verdict also shows that Serbia itself was innocent of wartime crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But some Serbian analysts suggest that they are simply using these claims of Milosevic’s innocence in an attempt to rehabilitate the former leader’s policies and their own role in the wars of the 1990s, with which the country has never truly come to terms…”

Poor, wretched soul, Dacic, who accused the West of keeping quiet about Milosevic’s innocence because, if it spoke about the findings in ICTY Karadzic case about Milosevic’s innocence, then the West would tear down the justification for its politics towards Serbia! This man is truly mad! It doesn’t seem to cross his mind that Karadzic’s case was not Milosevic’s case and that the case did not pronounce Milosevic innocent nor would it have been just to do so (as all evidence tested was that to serve indictment against Karadzic).

An army of world’s top psychiatrists couldn’t heal this lot in Serbia from the devastating, dangerous delusions that include persistent and false sense of victimhood and denials of Serbia’s role in war crimes during 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

But, wouldn’t you know it – Russian Pravda swiftly published a piece after Clark’s article saying that “International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague quietly acknowledged the innocence of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic and went on with an interview with the French/ Russian journalist Dimitri de Koshko, another Milosevic apologist it seems, who went on to say: “Today, we are talking about the trial in The Hague that has seen its legal ending only now. Milosevic was posthumously and very quietly acquitted by the Tribunal.”

Unbelievable garbage! Nobody can be acquitted or found not guilty via a trial held against someone else!

The Tribunal did not acquit Milosevic. Trial against Milosevic stopped when he died. Did not continue! Did not finish. Perhaps Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina should join forces and seek to have it finished posthumously.

 

The indisputable facts are that Slobodan Milosevic presided over and oversaw the worst atrocities committed against humanity since WWII on European soil. Serbia’s soldiers as they entered Croatia’s Vukovar in 1991 with guns, knives, bombs, tanks sang: “Slobo, Slobo (meaning Slobodan Milosevic) bring us some salad, there’ll be meat – we’ll slaughter the Croats”; thousands of Bosniak men and boys slaughtered in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the banner of Serb superiority and land theft – to just mention the very tip of the horrendous iceberg of war crimes committed.

Has Milosevic been exonerated of war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Has he been found or declared innocent? Heck no – not by a court of law; just by handful of journalists twisting and bending facts about the most serious matter of human existence – crime – to suit a political agenda that has nothing to do with justice. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

US based attorney Luka Misetic, who has significant experience in ICTY trials and appeals for war crimes recently tweeted the following on the matter (click on image to enlarge):

luka-misetic-tweet

Towards A Croatian Entity In Bosnia And Herzegovina

19 Anniversary of Srebrenica Genocide Photo: Reuters

19 Anniversary of Srebrenica Genocide
Photo: Reuters

 

When US diplomat Richard Holbrooke and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt gathered Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks), Serbs and Croats together in 1995 at an American air force base near Dayton, Ohio, harassing them into a deal that would end years of terror, genocide and ethnic cleansing that became the modus operandi of what initially appeared to be Serbian resistance to a breakup of communist Yugoslavia but emerged as an utterly brutal attempt to widen borders of Greater Serbia on the territory of former Yugoslavia, the world breathed a sigh of relief. Dayton peace agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was signed in November 1995. Consequently, Carl Bildt was installed as the first High Representative for BiH and remained in that role during the initial crucial 18 months of implementation of the Dayton agreement.

Holbrooke and Bildt essentially endorsed the partition of the country into Serb Republic and the Bosniak-Croat Federation, giving ample leverage to Serb republic forged on genocide to affirm itself as some legitimate entity that has a “God-given” right to independence. On the Federation side, the Bosniaks grabbed a card blanche made available through this Dayton deal to pursue oppressing the Croats. Lacking political and institutional incentives for inter-ethnic cooperation, lacking leadership via the internationally imposed Office of High Representative the system imposed in BiH rewarded, largely unchecked, ethnic-based nationalist platforms and intra-ethnic infighting, making cross-group cooperation almost impossible. (Milorad Dodik, the president of the Serbian Republic entity of has turned to nationalist rhetoric to gain and consolidate power since 2006 while in Bosniak controlled government of the Federation the Croats are increasingly suppressed into a tortured, striped-of-most-decision-making-rights ethnic minority even though they are a constitutional ethnic group just as Bosniaks are).

Hence, divided into two entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and predominantly Serb, Serbian Republic, post-war BiH has been marred by political games – that retard democratic progress of ethnic equality – trickling through either actions or inaction of the Office of High Representative, systemic corruption and remains vastly underdeveloped. A mess of overlapping and competing administrations, ethnic rivalries that undoubtedly owe much of their their impetus to unresolved or under-resolved war crimes issues (Bosniak side seems to have magically evaded full responsibility for its part in the violence and bloodshed) had created out of BiH a mecca for ethnically based politicians at all levels to exploit many possibilities for corruption and personal enrichment. All the while unemployment grew to catastrophic proportions (hovering around 45%) due to utter inadequacy in economic development, corrupt and atrociously managed privatisations, and thieving, yielding a large sector of population that lives in distressing levels of poverty and hopelessness. Most of the while the European Union kept injecting subsidies, keeping this dying, suffocating Dayton agreement model afloat.

The 19th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide has just passed and was marked by the heartbreaking burial of 175 souls whose newly identified bones were scattered across a number of mass graves found on the territory known as the Serbian Republic. The Serbs still deny the genocide, the Serbs still seem to count on international politicking to bury the past and create a peace, in the creation of which they would not need to lift a finger, not even the one that represents remorse.

Having in mind the Dayton agreement imposed solution for BiH that did not require a full reconciliation of war crimes through pressure to achieve justice for all victims regardless of their ethnic background – that played and plays the dangerous game of equating the aggressor with the victim in an effort to achieve lasting reconciliation – in the eyes of those grieving at Potocari Memorial Centre (Serbian Republic) on 11 July I could sense the meaning of Antony’s words in Act 3, Scene 1 from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” when he addresses Caesar’s departed spirit and says:

If your spirit is looking down upon us now, it must hurt you more than even your death to see your Antony making peace—shaking the bloody hands of your enemies—in front of your corpse. If I had as many eyes as you have wounds, and they wept as fast as your wounds stream blood—even that would be more becoming than joining your enemies in friendship…

On 10 July the International Crisis Group released its extensive Europe Report No. 232 in which, among other matters, in its recommendations regarding the failing Dayton agreement model of BiH it sates:

“…The European Union (EU) and the wider international community should support Bosnia without high-handed interventions. The UN should close the Office of the High Representative and dissolve the Peace Implementation Council. The EU should welcome a Bosnian membership application as a first step towards eventual accession…”

On the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre the Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier made the following statement:

The commemorations remind us of the terrible consequences when poisonous rhetoric is followed by acts of killing and ethnic cleansing, and when these go unchallenged. We reject entirely the efforts of those who seek to alter history, to deny Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rich and diverse ethnic make-up, or that work to undermine the territorial integrity of this country. The redrawing of borders in the Balkans is over.
Germany and the UK stand firmly with those in Bosnia who want to a build a peaceful, united and prosperous future”.

The international community repeats what was said in 1995 for BiH and it contributed heavily in making it into what it is today: a country exhausted from foreign power play and a country ready to be divided into three entities in accordance with its three ethnic constitutional peoples (Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs). What the international power brokers either don’t understand or won’t acknowledge is that ethnic communities in BiH are not the same as ethnic communities in US, UK, Germany, France etc. Loyalty to the ethnic communities and their identities are intrinsically very strong and it is upon that strength that joint existence within the state should be built.

And given that BiH is on its knees, desperately avoiding its total break-up and disintegration, ethnic federalism makes most sense and promises a path to a happier and more productive life. Croats, with their own entity within BiH would gain the deserved sense of equality with the other two (Serbs and Bosniaks) and ethnically based recriminations, ethnic based competitions of all sorts that affect daily lives would be reduced under a model of equal federal representation in the decision making for BiH. Certainly, the international community, or the most influential members of its network who are to blame for the conflicts and problems that have evolved from the Dayton agreement model for BiH, have without explanations or reasons so far been against the creation of a third (Croat) entity. They have treated Croats in BiH as and unplanned child in a family that, for whatever sinister reasons, visualises itself without it. It is no wonder that BiH Croats want their own entity, and why shouldn’t they have it when in effect the other two ethnic groups have it. After all, after 19 years of failed Dayton recipe, this would provide a significant assurance that BiH would indeed exist as a “rich and diverse ethnic make-up” the UK foreign secretary and German foreign minister want because the “richness” here (and everywhere else in the world) is defined and underpinned by equality in the sense that matters to the people most. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Serb Leaders: Serb War Crimes Suspects Should Be Handled Delicately!

Croatian Police arrest 12 Serbs suspected of war crimes in Trpinja - Photo: Davor Jovanovic/Pixsell

Croatian Police arrest 12 Serbs suspected of war crimes
in Trpinja – Photo: Davor Jovanovic/Pixsell

Croatian Vecernji list reports that compelling and credible evidence – witness statements etc – points to mass murders committed by (from September to the end of November 1991)members of rebel Serb led “territorial defence” for the self-proclaimed Serbian autonomous region Krajina (SAO Krajina) within the sovereign borders of Croatia, in Trpinja near Vukovar. It is alleged a number of Serb rebels had illegally arrested, mentally and sexually abused and killed some 14 Croatian civilians and 60 members of Croatia’s defence forces, at the time.

On Thursday 11 July a joint operation by the Osijek and Vukovar police had seen swift arrests of 12, out of 15, Croatian Serbs suspected of having participated in committing the above war crimes. Trpinja was a village of intense Serb aggression against Croatia in the early 1990’s. Court in Osijek had Saturday 13 July ruled a one month investigative remand for those arrested, thus enabling further investigations and preventing witness tampering.

All this is good! Right?

War crimes suspects must be arrested any which way! Right?

Not when it comes to Serbs – it seems. Such firm handling and justice doesn’t seem to figure in their reaction to the above arrests.

Belgrade, Serbia, based Novosti news portal wasted no time in securing and publishing statement by a joint council of ethnic Serb refugees which suggests that Croatia is, via these arrests, intimidating Serbs, driving fear into them and that the suspects should have been sent a letter of invitation for questioning in regards to these alleged war crimes!

Yeah right!

Novosti reports that “the police arrested people in their homes, even on their farm fields, where they were working, at their places of employment and that the Trpinja residents (Serbs) were upset by the police ‘Phantom – like’ uniforms and weapons in their hands”.

It’s a matter of intimidating the Serbs. This spectacular action by Croatian police brought fear into the village near Vukovar where Serbs live,” Novosti was told at the SDSS (Independent Democratic Serb Party) office in Vukovar, Croatia.  The SDSS is led by Vojislav Stanimirovic, who was very active in the Yugoslav People’s Army during it’s brutal aggression against Vukovar in 1991).

Chairman of the Serb National Council in Croatia, Milorad Pupovac, also voiced concern last Thursday over the manner in which the arrest of the Serbs from the village of Trpinja near Vukovar was carried out, emphasising that there were elements of force and intimidation.

It certainly cannot be that both Stanimirovic and Pupovac are not aware as to how arrests by police occur in the democratic world. Raids, surprise elements, physical force are often crucial to securing arrests of suspected criminals.

And, as far as these latest arrests in Croatia of suspected war criminals are concerned it seems the Croatian police authorities might have learned a lesson from the recent past when even convicted ethnic Serb war criminals (rapists) fled Croatia (Vukovar) into Serbia, thus avoiding prison and punishment for their crimes.

As for Croatian Serb leaders Stanimirovic and Pupovac, if any one of them actually lodges a complaint about the manner of the above arrests with Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic, then the best reply to this complaint would be to send these two appalling politicians on a seminar or short workshop of demonstrations of police arrest techniques in some “Western” democratic country. No mercy there! And rightly so!

The victims of the above war crimes certainly did not get any mercy when they were arrested (without even being suspected of any crimes, but because they were Croats), raped, and murdered. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Generals Gotovina and Markac: ICTY prosecutor seeks interference with justice

Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac

The ICTY prosecutor has, as expected, filed August 10 briefs to the Appeal Chamber as to alternate modes of liability the appeal should result with in Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac appeals.

In short, the prosecutor submits that if the Appeal Chamber upholds the Generals’ appeals and finds against joint criminal enterprise and unlawful artillery shelling during Operation Storm (which according to the prosecutor defines the joint criminal enterprise/ persecuting -causing fear by excessive artillery shelling – and, hence, deportation of Croatian Serbs) then the Appeal Chamber should find the generals guilty of aiding and abetting persecutions, deportation, murder, wanton destruction and plunder, other inhumane acts and cruel treatment, even though the Trial Chamber did not in April 2011 find the generals guilty of these crimes. I.e. the Trial Chamber only focused on convictions of joint criminal enterprise that was, according to Trial Chamber, evident in unlawful artillery shelling.

Furthermore, the ICTY prosecutor did not appeal any of the Trial Chamber’s decisions in any shape or form.

The prosecutor further states that the Trial Chamber found (in April 2011) the fear instilled by the shelling attack during Operation Storm was the primary and direct cause of the mass flight of more than 20,000 Serb civilians from Krajina and that the Croatian Army committed deportation.  The prosecutor states that Croatia’s president Franjo Tudjman and other senior figures shared the intent to drive the Serb civilians out of Krajina and used the army to implement their criminal intent through Operation Storm. That Gotovina knew of this intent…

According to the prosecutor Gotovina knew of this criminal intent and sent his troops into Operation Storm knowing that these crimes would probably occur and therefore aid and abetting should be found!

The prosecutor is telling the world that Gotovina was a mind reader – could read minds of individual soldiers – and that he, therefore, could predict the future.

The fact that Operation Storm occurred and was mounted in order to bring about liberation of occupied territory, to stop further bloodshed, to ensure that the homes of the Croatian and non-Serb people in Krajina deported from Krajina prior to Operation Storm remained the homes belonging to those people (and not rebel Serbs) does not factor in the prosecutor’s brief.

So the prosecutor maintains that even if the Appeal Chamber finds that there was no joint criminal enterprise via unlawful artillery shelling (for which the prosecutor originally said was the culprit in frightening the Serb civilians to flight), persecution and deportations were committed, anyway!

During the Trial the prosecutor insisted that persecutions and deportation of Serbs (joint criminal enterprise) occurred through excessive/unlawful artillery shelling. Now that at the Appeal it seems that there may not have been excessive/unlawful shelling during Operation Storm the prosecutor introduces “intent” by Croatian leaders (half of whom are dead and have not contributed to the evidence) to persecute and deport Serb civilians as specific crimes.

Basically, in simple words, the prosecutor says that since it might not have been a case of violent or excessive artillery shelling then the crimes were in the heads (thoughts) of Croatian leaders. To “evidence” the potency of the unknown and un-provable beyond reasonable doubt the prosecutor enumerates things such as Peter Galbraith’s (US Ambassador) statements (or should I say whimsical ramblings?) that Tudjman saw Serbs as a threat to Croatia.

Excuse me Mr Prosecutor, Serbs were a threat to Croatia and they executed their threats. They attacked Croatia, they ethnically cleansed 1/3 of Croatian territory of Croatians and non-Serbs, they murdered and plundered Croatian homes, they occupied Croatian territory. But in no way was Operation Storm an instrument to persecute and deport – it was an instrument of liberation of occupied territory without plans to deport Serbs, who, by the way, were guaranteed safety and asked by Tudjman not to leave their homes.

While the prosecutor admits that Gotovina issued clear orders to prevent crimes, they say that Gotovina failed to implement follow-up measures to ensure compliance with his orders by soldiers or subordinates. Therefore, the prosecutor maintains, Gotovina should be found guilty of aiding and abetting these crimes.

So, Gotovina, according to the prosecutor, gave orders to subordinates not to commit crimes, knew in his head that they would commit crimes regardless of his orders and failed to install follow-up measures on compliance with his orders!

What would have been any reasonable measures of follow-up as procedure in the circumstances of war and in the days that followed Operation Storm when Gotovina went on to lift Serb siege of the town Bihac, preventing an another Srebrenica genocide, has not been tested in court. In fact, many of the bits and pieces from the original trial that the prosecutor submits qualify for a conviction of aiding and abetting crimes have not, as far as I can ascertain, been properly tested in court neither in favour nor against such criminal conviction.

Regardless of that and regardless of the fact that the prosecutor’s brief is nothing more than a preposterous premise (just as joint criminal enterprise riding on supposed unlawful shelling was), untried to acceptable standards of evidence in criminal proceedings, the prosecutor wants the Appeal Judges to find Gotovina guilty of aiding and abetting crimes and Markac of aiding these crimes. In the mind of the prosecutor all this aiding and abetting amounts to joint criminal enterprise because “they knew that crimes may occur”.

Oh, for God’s sake!

The prosecutor wants the Appeal Chamber to convict Gotovina and Markac of crimes they have not been specifically and beyond reasonable doubt convicted of in the original trial. The prosecutor is, thereby, asking the Appeal Chamber to take on the role of the prosecutor (given that the prosecutor failed to insist in original trial on exhaustive evidence for alleged crimes in original indictment) and to act as judges at the same time without any further reference to any defence that would come under due process. The prosecutor is asking the Appeal Judges to act with grave bias and injustice against appellants’ right to due process. The prosecutor wants the Judges to interfere with justice of due process and with natural justice.

The full truth, both real and from the original trial, is that Generals Gotovina and Markac never personally ordered or tolerated the commission of any crimes.

The full truth is that the orders to evacuate the Serbian population from the liberated by Operation Storm Krajina region came from Belgrade and we do not know yet whether the Appeal Chamber will allow filing of additional evidence sought by Gotovina’s defence that reportedly proves that real truth. One would think that now the prosecutor has asked the Appeal Chamber to find Gotovina and Markac guilty of aiding and/or abetting crimes of deportation the Appeal Chamber has no choice but to allow the additional evidence that actually points to the facts of Serbs leaving Croatia not out of fear for their lives but out of politically installed orders from Belbrade in August 1995 or thereabouts. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Gotovina defence asks ICTY Appeals Chamber to admit additional evidence

General Ante Gotovina

NEWSFLASH FROM daily.tportal.hr

The defence team for Croatian General Ante Gotovina has asked the appeals chamber of the UN tribunal in the Hague to allow the introduction of new evidence which his lawyers believe challenges a conclusion of the trial chamber’s judgment that local Serbs fled central and southern Croatia due to excessive shelling of Knin by the Croatian Army during the liberating operation “Storm” in August 1995 when the Croatian forces retook those areas from Serb insurgents, the tribunal reported on Wednesday 1 August.

Those are documents that were not available to the defence teams during the trial, as the prosecution of the UN-run International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) failed to disclose them in timely manner. 

Gotovina’s lawyers also believe that those five documents “could have impacted the Trial Chamber’s verdict.”

The lawyers say that the new evidence show that Serb civilians were evacuated on the order of local Serb rebel authorities who prepared a plan for evacuation and even asked the United Nations personnel “to facilitate the evacuation of 32,000 civilians”.

The contents of another four documents have not been disclosed as they are marked as classified documents.

The defence also proposes the addition of a statement by British artillery expert Timothy Granville-Chapman who also contests the trial chamber’s conclusion about excessive and indiscriminate shelling by the Croatian forces.

Link to the ICTY motion filed and Observations by Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman , General, UK Army regarding artillery shelling of Knin in Croatia’s Operation Storm (1995), comparisons with today’s advances and reality in warfare  

Croatian Generals at ICTY Appeal: we fought honourably, facts have been twisted

Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac

Like many throughout the world I sat for hours watching the live streaming of the Croatian generals’ Appeal hearing in the ICTY, Monday 14 May. Had I not heard the Appellants’ defence arguments first, had I tuned in at the point of prosecution’s arguments I could have easily concluded that the reason Operation Storm occurred in August 1995 was to expel Serbs from Croatia.

The prosecution’s view is that Operation Storm was not a military offensive (to liberate Serb occupied territory) that brought about undesired consequences, but an attack aimed at deporting the Serb civilian population out of Croatia. They said some 20,000 Serbs left Krajina due to fear from shelling by the Croatian Army. They argued that the transcripts from Croatian leadership meeting at Brijuni (July 31, 1995) and the events when Croatian army targeted whole towns for shelling where there were both civilian and military targets supported the prosecutions claim of joint criminal enterprise to drive Serbs out.

When asked by Presiding Judge Theodor Meron about the defence claim that there had been no civilian casualties during the shelling, the prosecution said that there was no need to prove that there had been civilian casualties because several witnesses said during the trial that they had seen dead bodies and wounded people in the streets of Knin.

The problem with these cited witness statements is that they had not been tested in court, nor had the credibility of the witnesses been tested; the Trial Chamber simply accepted as fact statements of witnesses who merely said that they saw some bodies lying on the streets of Knin, without proving that those bodies were in fact dead people and that, if they were dead, they were killed by the shelling… Gotovina’s defence attorney Luka Misetic brought the court’s attention to the fact that at no time, not even till today – 18 years after Operation Storm – had anybody come forth saying that a person they knew or was a family member had been killed in the shelling of Knin. Simply there were no civilian casualties from that shelling.

The prosecution pressed on with its case, saying that even if the Appeals Chamber should decide that Croatian artillery attacks during Operation Storm in the summer of 1995 were not illegal, it should rule that Croatian army did set out to expel Serbs from Krajina under joint criminal enterprise that had that goal.

Gotovina’s defence attorney Greg Kehoe challenged the use of t so-called “200-metre rule” by the Trial Chamber (2011) to determine whether artillery shells were aimed at military or civilian targets. The Trial Chamber had ruled that any shells falling more that 200 metres from a military target were aimed at civilians and Kehoe said that the Trial Chamber had introduced this rule after the prosecution failed to prove civilians were targeted.

Gotovina’s defence team sought the quashing of his convictions.

There’s no dispute that shelling was legal, it was a military operation to liberate occupied territory – legal operation whichever way one looks at it.

General Mladen Markac defence attorney John Jones said that a conclusion on the existence of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at the persecution of the Serb population could not be drawn from the transcripts of the Brijuni meeting. He said that all conclusions from the trial chamber’s verdict about the persecution of civilians were based on the conclusion on the illegal shelling, stressing that if there had been no illegal shelling, there had not been a joint criminal enterprise either.

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Monday, after a day-long appeal hearing, that a verdict would be handed down soon, adding the the key point would be the reasons for the departure of the Serb population from the territory which was under their control until the 1995 Operation Storm.

General Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were given the opportunity to address the court themselves and this is what they said:

Gotovina spoke in the French language:  “During my entire military career, I endeavoured to perform my duties dignifiedly and honourably, and have always given my all as a commander and soldier in order to protect civilians. As a commander I am proud of the results of the Operation Storm. I’m proud not only because we won but because the damage to the civilians and their homes was minimal. As a man I very much regret every lost life and damaged property. I cannot, however, be responsible for that which others have done or omitted to do while I was away in Bosnia.

Even to this day I am convinced that I have fulfilled my duties in the best possible way. We were in a battle for life and death with the enemy, fought so we could liberate our country. We tried hard to maximally protect the lives of soldiers and civilians. If I made mistakes, such as refusing to give myself up to the court, I am the first to regret that. I am not saying that I am without sin, but I hope I will not be judged for not being perfect. But, even if you conclude that I had made wrong decisions you will not establish that I had ever wanted or agreed to that any soldier or civilian should be killed because he/she was a Serb or belonged to some other national group. 

I am conscious of and content that my actions during Operation Storm were correct and my commands are witness to that fact. Therefore, I do not seek any favours from you, nor do I ask you to do anything other than what my defence has asked of you in my name. I live with the feeling of satisfaction that my actions were in harmony with the actions of an honest and diligent military officer who had given his all in hard circumstances.

If this Chamber could simply examine my actions in that context, I will be content and would not ask anything else”.

Markac spoke in the Croatian language: “I am surprised at the statements made about Storm that were not based on facts. Moved by the attempts to reshape the facts from the Homeland war I want to say that I am not a member of a joint criminal enterprise nor am I a war criminal. I have heard about existence of a joint criminal enterprise for the first time during these proceedings. Neither the representatives of the European Union or anyone from Croatia had shown me that joint criminal enterprise exists. Never had anybody shown me illegal actions by members of the special police MUP, whose professionalism makes me especially proud. I have not committed nor hidden any crime because that is not my way of viewing life. I am a police-military officer who has performed the tasks given to him by the Minister of internal affairs of Croatia responsibly. My job was to defend and liberate illegitimately occupied Croatia.”

Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Operation Storm: “Serbs forced Serbs to flee”

Dr. Adalbert Rebic (centre) at the launch of his book "All My Refugees" Photo:Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

On Wednesday 4 April the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has scheduled an appeal hearing in the case of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for May 14.

Gotovina’s and Markac’s defence teams will each have 90 minutes to present their submissions and the prosecutors will have as much time to respond. After the prosecution’s response, the two defence teams will each have 30 minutes to reply, and the two generals have been given ten minutes each to address the judges at the end of the hearing if they so wish.

Now, less than a week ago (on Sunday 1 April) ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated in an interview that ICTY is no longer insisting on the delivery of documents pertaining to the 1995 Operation Storm, when Croatia liberated a large part of its area previously held by Serb rebels.

Brammetrtz said that the Trial chamber has already made a ruling on the case and documents are no longer required, adding that “Croatian officials have pledged to continue an investigation about where those documents are regardless of our position, so that they can solve the problems for their own purposes”.

It’s a known fact that Brammertz, and Carla del Ponte before him, were on a vicious hunt for the so-called Croatian artillery diaries which according to their florid and twisted imagination would prove that there was excessive shelling during Operation Storm and that such excessive, nonselective shelling served as a strategy to expel Serbs from Krajina.

The alleged Artillery diaries could not be found anywhere, ICTY prosecutors accused Croatia of lying etc and Croatia’s EU accession negotiations suffered severely.

Gotovina and Markac defence motions to ICTY to subpoena documents from Serbia that would prove that shelling was not excessive were twice denied during the last half of 2011.

Perhaps Brammertz thinks it’s funny that Croatia will continue to look for those documents for “their own purposes”, or feels resentful about the possibility that Croatia may confirm such documents never existed when the ICTY failed to pursue the matter. In any case his comment is in bad taste.

Regardless of what the outcome of the Appeal may be the people will want the truth as the issue of whether the Croatians expelled Serbs from Krajina using excessive shelling or whether in fact the Serbs organised and orchestrated the exodus themselves needs to be resolved. Otherwise, one is looking down a very long dark road of recriminations and bitterness between Serbia and Croatia. That cannot be good for anyone. Truth must be known no matter what but it seems the ICTY isn’t going to be the one to confirm the truth.

Given that ICTY denied the motions to subpoena Serbia for documents perhaps there are other ones already there that would show, after all, that Croatians did not expel the Serbs from Croatia as a matter of joint criminal enterprise and as the ICTY prosecutor claimed.

If such documents are not already there, and given that Serbia has not been required to produce documents, let’s hope that the book “All My Refugees” by dr Adalbert Rebic in Croatia, released last week 29 March might make its way to the ICTY Appeals Chamber, in good time – as food for serious  thought, at least.

During the time of the Croatian Homeland War dr. Adalbert Rebic, a Theologist, was Head of Croatian Government Office for Refugees and Displaced persons. His responsibilities were not only Croatian refugees and displaced persons but also the Serb refugees at the time.

At the launch of his new book “All My Refugees” he said:

The international tribunal in the Hague has convicted our Generals Gotovina and Markac, for, among other things, forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatian regions using nonselective shelling. As a man who has worked for more than for years for refugees and displaced persons, who had contact with the Serbs and who had pleaded with them not to leave Croatia, that conviction not only saddened me but irritated me to extremes, because that theory keeps repeating. Hence, I decided to look into and publish the documents that the Serbs themselves had published; such as documents of civilian protection, directive for relocation, etc.”

The Serbs who ruled over the so-called self proclaimed Serbian Republic of Krajina (within Croatian borders) organised their departure by themselves. And this was done systematically, before the start of Operation Storm, they even held evacuation drills,” said Rebic remembering how on the day of the capitulation of Serbian Republic of Krajina he found himself in Topusko with two haul-trucks of humanitarian aid for the Serbs who were leaving Croatia.

There were drinks, milk, bread, cigarettes … I asked the International representatives what to do, how to stop them (Serbs) and have them return, and they said that we must let them go wherever they want. I spoke to one of their ministers, who was seated in a car, and told him not to go to Serbia, for how and where are they going to live, that Serbia is not their homeland, to stop the files of people and turn them back, as president Tudjman guarantees their safety. No, we are going to Serbia, he told me.

When on 9th of August (1995) we arrived in Obrovac, we met a group of women who had after five days come out of a cellar, in which they hid so they wouldn’t be taken to Serbia. They told us that Serbian soldiers beat people with battons and chased them to flee, and that they even killed some”, said dr. Rebic adding that the long lasting propaganda which portrayed Croatians as Ustashe and killers is to blame for everything, and this caused a panic and speeded up the exodus.

In his aforementioned interview last Sunday Serge Brammertz said: “We are aware that coming to terms with the past is a complex process. Many find it difficult to accept that their war heroes actually abused their position and committed serious crimes against civilians. Therefore it is important for the Hague tribunal to support by documents the irrefutable truth.”

It’s not clear what documents he is referring to here; it’s clear he has given up on searching for documents that he himself used to say are vital. Brammetrz should stop patronizing and offending the Croatian nation – if a hero has committed a crime, then that is accepted, but what’s not accepted is if a crime not committed by a hero is pinned to that hero by a malicious theory developed for political purposes of equating the victim with the aggressor. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Vojislav Seselj: unadulterated evil to give closing arguments at ICTY

Vojislav Seselj - Photo: BBC news

Closing arguments in the ICTY trial that started in 2007 against Vojislav Seselj are to commence in the Hague March 5. Seselj, a Serb radical leader in 1990’s is accused of crimes against humanity, persecution, ethnic cleansing and murder in early 1990’s of Croats, Muslims, and other non-Serbs across Croatia, Bosnia  and Herzegovina.

Seselj, a Serbian ultranationalist and the figurehead of the Serbian Radical Party in early 1990’s, considered himself as the successor of the World War II Serb nationalist butchers – Chetniks. Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party participated in the formation of the Serbian paramilitary unit “White Eagles” (Beli Orlovi) who are responsible for countless war crimes across Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s.

“Many claim, he was responsible for “dirty job” on Milosevic’s behalf that concluded in organizing paramilitary units for the fronts in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as heating up ethnic intolerance among the local Serbs. Allegedly, the volunteers led by Seselj committed numerous crimes between 1991 and 1993 (including those in Vukovar, Samac, Zvornik, etc.). Inside Serbia he was widely believed to be in fierce opposition to Milosevic, and this reputation enabled SRS to gain high percentage of votes in all parliamentary elections held in Serbia in the 1990s.”

He hated all non-Serb populations of former Yugoslavia with a passion and made sure everyone knew it. He spread that hatred vigorously, wherever he went.

In short, Seselj is one of many faces of absolute evil Serbia thrust against Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s.  The following video from Serbian TV Politika from 1991 demonstrates how evil Seselj was and Serbs looked up to him, applauded, laughed approvingly at  his evil ways.

Transcript of above video is translated into English for my readers’ benefit as many, I believe, may have never experienced the utter inhumanity that comes from unadulterated evil dressed-up in humour:

Seselj: “Well I think that the Croatians are at the moment very dangerous for us, because Croatia has become a nuclear power (laughter, applause), they obtained atominc weapons, the contaminated with radiation Kalashnikovs from Hungary, and for us Serbs it’s going to be most dangerous when they throw them into (river) Sava and the radiation reaches us in Belgrade” (laughter , applause).

As as far as their army is concerned, you know, 20 or 30 Chetniks quickly solve that problem (laughter, applause), When from a Thompson a bullet hits a Croat in the forehead both of his eyes pop out and when a bullet hits him in the neck he becomes headless and there’s no need to slaughter him “(laughter applause)

Show host: “This is now in the domain of a bit of black humour.

Seslj: “There’s no humour here, I’m answering the questions seriously. We’re not joking…

Show host: “I’m trying…to brighten up things …this is an entertainment show and well OK…”

Question from audience: “I was asking about Tihomir (Abdic  or Avdic – pronunciation not clear on audio)

Show host: “Mr Seselj, You said that the real border between Croatia and Serbia would be Italy”.

Seslj: “There’s no Croatia (applause) and Dalmatia is Serbian, There’s no legal document…Croatia does not exist (applause) … according to international plan it does not exist…”

Show host: “OK so you go to Karlobag, over Ogulin to Karlovac … Osijek is going to be in Serbia…”

Seselj: “Well Osijek is a Serbian city, old Serbian city, everybody should know that…”

Show host: “…then to Sisak …”

Seselj: “You’ll need to learn geography all over again (laughter, applause)…

Show host: “… ok then tell me (applause)… then that means that Split is going to be a Serbian city…”

Seselj: “Yes Split too…

Show host: “…everything then …Zadar…(applause) Sibenik…”

Seselj: “Everything…according to European pact Split was to be Serbian city…large Serbian port (applause)… at time of Yugoslavia there was about 1 million Serb Catholics …Italians had everything from Karlobag to north …”

Show host: “ …that’s to do with the agreement from 1915…”

Seselj: “yes that’s it…”

Show host: “well how can that be, there was war in 1915 and it’s known borders don’t change during a war…”

Seselj: “ah..yeah…the winners were planning how to proceed…”

Show host: “I have another question from Zoran Milanovic – what do you think about the situation in Croatia?”

Seselj: “There is a second alternative in case the Italians don’t accept to agree with us there’s a second alternative that Yugoslavia breaks up into three states Big Serbia, small Slovenia and even smaller Croatia (laughter, applause) …”

Show host: “OK you haven’t mentioned Bosnia and Herzegovina …”

Seselj: “What Bosnia and Herzegovina, that’s a Serbian country (laughter, applause) I know that best, I was born there …”

Show host: “You haven’t mentioned Macedonia…”

Seselj: “Macedonia is a Serbian country, currently we are preparing in Kumanovo a large meeting I think it’s going to be soon … couple of hundred thousand people…Serbs from Macedonia… “

Show host: “Let me ask Dragana if she agrees with these things, with all these borders …  (laughter, applaude)that would be a very large Serbia…we’ll go like from Sumadija to Split …(laughter, applause) then Serbs will need to start buying cars they now use bicycles …they’ll go Nis, Sibenik, Split, Makarska…”

Seselj:  “half an hour by phone…”

Female Voice from audience: “no medical help from them…”

Seselj: “I’m present there constantly, already two three times three times I’ve gone there besides you’ve heard Vucurevic president of the Trebinje Council that there is no need to send volunteers from this narrowed Serbia, there’s enough Serbs there ready to fight and when needed they’ll fight, and besides, that we are constantly present over there is best evidenced by the fact that many Muslims and Croats don’t sleep in their houses that they are on watch day and night  (laughter, applause)…and so they’re telling stories how our Chetnics are marching around over there …they say how I give them some tablets (pills) with which they don’t need to sleep nor eat for five days and five nights …”

Male voice from audience: “they just slaughter

Seselj: “yes … (laughter, applause) …  as far as the slaughtering is concerned, again you may not like it…we have perfected new methods, yes, we now slaughter with shoehorns, rusty ones and then an autopsy can never conclude the cause of death if it was slaughter or tetanus…”

Show host: “well good idea but then why is there an announcement for witnesses…other orientations…(laughter)…”

Seselj: “you seem to be in a pacifist mood…”

Show host: “Well I need to be for all, I need to explain to everybody in a nice way ….I don’t know … in fact I didn’t vote … as no one appealed to me a lot …”

Seselj: “you should have kept that to yourself…”

Show host: “about voting?…let me ask now something lighter and brighter… “(turns to Dragana for questions…at 5min40sec of video clip)

The truth is that even through Serbian laughter and evil wit the Serbian resolve to destroy Croatians, Muslims and non-Serbs in former Yugoslavia was frightening, let alone the actual slaughters, tortures, rapes, destruction…

Closing arguments in Seselj’s case at the Hague will most likely last a few days and start with the Prosecution’s arguments. I think that Seselj’s part of the closing arguments should be very swift indeed. It should only contain one short phrase and that phrase should be formed in the meaning of begging for mercy – from humanity. The whole of humanity, not just the ICTY should work hard at ridding itself of such evil. I would not recommend the taking of one of those “Seselj pills” in order to succeed at that for the “Seselj pill” referred to in Seselj’s TV appearance above is a metaphor for pure evil, pure hate, pure determination to destroy. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps. (Syd)

Legal and military experts support Gotovina and Markac Hague defence challenge

Lt. Gen. (ret.) Wilson A. Schoffner (Photo: courtesy of U.S. Army)

An unprecedented occurrence landed at the Hague on Thursday 12 January.

A  25 page Application and Brief by 12 world experts, analysing the ICTY’s April 2011 Judgment on Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac in relation to the alleged excessive shelling of Knin, Benkovac, Gracac and Obrovac during 1995 Operation Storm that liberated the Croatian territory of Krajina from Serb occupation, was submitted for filing.

Although not a defence document in the Appeals Chamber but a submission by Friends of court, the Application and Brief support the Generals’ defence and seems to have an overwhelming capacity of contributing to the original judgment being declared unacceptable and baseless.

As a reminder, a significant part of the 2011 Judgment against the Croatian Generals Gotovina and Markac (who received 24 and 18 years imprisonment respectively) relates to the artillery findings which the ICTY translated into a conviction of participating in “joint criminal enterprise”. I.e., the trial chamber found that Croatian artillery hit too wide of the military targets and was therefore indiscriminate, and concluded that civilian areas were targeted based on an order issued by Gotovina because he aimed to drive out the Serb population.

Compiled by a group of high ranking British, Canadian and American experts and professionals in international military and humanitarian laws including retired US Army generals, the brief and application seek that the court reconsiders the findings of the original judgment in the case.

The brief submits among other matters that if the Appeals Chamber uphold the original judgment on artillery findings it would have long term implications for the international humanitarian and military laws and future armed conflicts.

The submitting experts suggest that unrealistic standards of battle/shelling including the acceptable error in target precision, applied by the Trial Chamber in the case of the Croatian Generals, are not the standards practised/acceptable in past conflicts around the world.  And state that the Friends of the court:

“… are united in their concern that any judgment encouraging application of this 200­ meter standard (or any standard of acceptable error that is not based on the actual realities of artillery and indirect fire employment) in future operations will subject military commanders to a standard of care that is impossible to satisfy and operationally untenable”.

In conclusion of the Application and Brief the group of experts:

“… respectfully request that the Appeals Chamber admit this Brief pursuant to Rule 74 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and reconsider and reject the findings of unlawful artillery attacks during Operation Storm”.

Submitting individuals/Friends of the court are:

Laurie R. Blank, Walter B. Huffman, Bill Boothby, Eric Talbot Jensen, Geoffrey S. Corn, Mark E. Newcomb, William J. Fenrick, Thomas J. Romig, Professor C H B Garraway CBE, Colonel Raymond C. Ruppert, Dean Donald J. Guter, Gary Solis.

Furthermore, in his expert report to the Application and Brief the retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Wilson A. Schoffner said: “Should the standard of review adopted by the Trial Chamber be allowed to stand as a legitimate interpretation of international law, it would unfairly condemn commanders who have properly conducted military operations pursuant to accepted technical and tactical standards. War is inherently dangerous and an abhorrent matter, but it is an acceptable use of force when executed pursuant to morally responsible standards and established technical and tactical norms. In the name of justice, I respectfully submit that this court cannot allow this fallacious finding of the Trial Chamber to stand, as doing so would place at risk many future commanders who are executing their responsibilities in a professionally competent and morally responsible manner to the threat of being brought before some international tribunal and unfairly charged with war crimes, as was General Gotovina here”.

Journalist Jadranka Juresko-Kero from the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List has written an exclusive article depicting in the Croatian language the most relevant sections of the above Application and Brief, suggesting that the Croatian Generals should be freed.

To the many Croatians who regard the Generals as heroes of the Croatian Homeland War this unprecedented occurrence in the Hague is a form of blessing. There are other people in the world who also argue that Croatian Generals hadn’t breached any international war or humanitarian laws or acceptable practices in the shelling of Krajina, in their efforts to liberate it.

Croatians justifiably feel that Croatia with its leadership had not embarked on a joint criminal enterprise to ethnically cleanse the Serbs from Croatia as suggested by the Hague Trial Chamber’s judgment in April 2011. Had the Croatian Serbs and the Yugoslav army accepted in 1991 the will of 94% of Croatian people to secede from the Communist Yugoslavia there would have been no armed conflict, no war and no victims. But since the Serbs rejected to live in an independent Croatia and began brutalising Croatian and non-Serb population, ethnically cleansing the Croatian territory and occupying a third of Croatia, liberating that territory was a just cause.

The fact that Serbs decided to leave Croatia in masses, in August 1995, immediately after the Operation Storm liberated Krajina from Serb occupation, may not have been, as Trial Chamber in the Hague stated April 2011, due to fear of being killed from excessive shelling. Indeed, they may have fled because their goal of pinning Croatian Krajina territory to Serbia did not materialise and their leaders urged them to leave. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb), B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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http://inavukic.com/2011/12/20/icty-in-the-hague-just-before-christmas-2011-goran-hadzic-trial-date-set-general-ante-gotovina-appeal-road-strewn-with-more-unjust-obstacles/

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