03 Aug '16 00:15>1 edit
So the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has determined that the late Serbian president Slobodan Milosovic was innocent of the charges against him ...
For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and 'liberal interventionist' pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated) was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression' 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression'.
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.
How very different it all was when the trial of the so-called ‘Butcher of the Balkans’, began in February 2002! Then, you‘d have to have been locked in a wardrobe not to be aware of what was going on.
CNN provided blanket coverage of what was described as “the most important trial since Nuremberg.” Of course, Milosevic’s guilt was taken as a given. “When the sentence comes and he disappears into that cell, no one is going to hear from him again,” declared US lawyer Judith Armatta from the Coalition for International Justice, an organization which had the former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmerman, as an advisory board member.
Anyone who dared to challenge the NATO line was labeled a “Milosevic apologist”, or worse still, a “genocide denier”, by ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’.
The irony is that the former Yugoslav President had already been praised by President Clinton for his role in brokering a peace deal in Bosnia in 1995, which was signed in Dayton, Ohio.
The truth is that Milosevic was no hardcore Serb nationalist but a lifelong socialist, whose commitment was always to a multi-racial, multi-ethnic Yugoslavia.
His aim throughout his time in power was not to build a ’Greater Serbia‘, but to try and keep Federal Yugoslavia together, as the ICTY now belatedly acknowledges.
Not only was Milosevic not responsible for ethnic cleansing which took place in Bosnia, he actually spoke out against it. The ICTY noted Milosevic’s “repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies made by the Accused (Karadzic) and the Bosnian Serb leadership.” Milosevic, a man for whom all forms of racism were anathema, insisted that all ethnicities must be protected.
But in order to punish Milosevic and to warn others of the consequences if they dared to oppose US power, history had to be re-written. The pro-Yugoslavia socialist who had opposed the policies of the Bosnian Serb leadership had to be turned, retrospectively, into the villain of the Bosnian War and indeed blamed for all the bloodshed which took place in the Balkans. Meanwhile, the aforementioned US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman, whose malign intervention to scupper a diplomatic solution helped trigger the Bosnian conflict got off scot-free.
The ‘Blame it All on Slobo’ campaign saw facts simply thrown out of the window.
Star witness Ratomir Tanic was exposed as being in the pay of Western security forces, whilst ex-Yugoslav secret police chief Rade Markovic, the man who was finally going to spill the beans on Milosevic and reveal how his former master had ordered the expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, in fact did the opposite and testified that he had been tortured to tell lies and that his written statement had been falsified by the prosecution.
In addition, as I noted here, the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas (an ethnic Hungarian), testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo had been handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it. Farkas also said that Milosevic ordered no paramilitary groups should be permitted to operate anywhere in Kosovo.
When Milosevic died, his accusers claimed he had “cheated justice”. But in fact, as the ICTY has now confirmed, the injustice was done to Milosevic.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a pattern here.
Before a US-led war or ‘humanitarian intervention’ against a targeted state, a number of lurid claims are made about the country‘s leader and its government. These claims receive maximum media coverage and are repeated ad nauseam on the basis that people will bound to think they’re true.
Later it transpires that the claims were either entirely false (like the Iraq WMD ones), unproven, or greatly exaggerated. But the news cycle has moved on focusing not on the exposure of the fraudulent claims made earlier but on the next aggressive/genocidal ‘New Hitler’ who needs to be dealt with. In 1999 it was Milosevic; now it’s Assad and Putin.
And guess what, dear reader? It’s the same people who defend the Iraq war and other blood-stained Western military interventions based on lies, unproven claims or great exaggerations, who are the ones doing the accusing.
As that very wise old saying goes: When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.