Making sure nothing stands in the way of the EUrabian Caliphate:
* Â With thanks to Atlas Shrugs:
You must first view the video:Â The Pictures That Fooled The World – Yugoslavia Death Camp HoaxÂ The dheath camp of Karadcic was fake it was staged by a western left camera team, from England.(hat tip Lucky Bee)
And readÂ Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting: Journalism and Tragedy in YugoslaviaÂ by Peter Brock and David BinderÂ
I recently wrote aÂ responseÂ for Jihad Watch, which also appeared on Atlas, to a blog post by war reporter Michael Totten in Commentary magazine online, titled “This is a Kosovar Muslim” and showing a photo of a Kosovo Albanian wearing a pro-USA sweatshirt.
The following morning, Dr.Â Andrew BostomÂ , author ofÂ Legacy of Jihad, forwarded an exchange he had with Totten about his Commentary post (it starts with Totten’s response to Bostom’s initial query):
TOTTEN: You do know that the majority of people here are atheists, right? There is no religious state or religious majority. “Dhimmi” does not apply to anyone here. The local troubles are ethnic, not religious. Catholics are very deeply respected. It is the Serbs and the Orthodox who are not, thanks to Milosevic and his apartheid and ethnic cleansing regime.
You are never going to understand this place through a Muslim/infidel lens.
BOSTOM: Do you think “secular/atheist” Kosovo will join the OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference], which has clamored for its creation?
TOTTEN: I don’t know. But I wonder why you are putting “secular” and “atheist” in quotation marks. Do you actually believe most people are religious Muslims? I wish we could have this argument in Prishtina. It would be a different argument.
BOSTOM: Not only don’t you know (why you don’t know, or won’t at least hazard your best guess is one question), you apparently don’t think the question is relevant, when what actually happens may be pathognomonic of the problem of creating truly secular Muslim societies in the first place…Can’t you see that? The OIC serves one primary purpose: Islamization. Why would a secular society need to join such an entity?
TOTTEN: Albania joined in 1992, and Albania is overwhelmingly atheist, even more so than Kosovo which is also majority atheist. I’m done arguing with you about this, Andrew, unless you come out here.
BOSTOM: It probably won’t register with you, but “secular” (NOT!) Turkey â€” which has progressively re-Islamized since the Menderes government was elected by pandering to an Islamic revival in 1950, and now has an openly fundamentalist govt which represents a majority fundamentalist populace â€” is a major player in the OIC, and a (rather vile) Turk heads the OIC.
Again, I ask you, why would any truly secular nation be part of the OIC?
Let’s start with Totten’s most embarrassing and callous but commonly used canard about the Serbs: “It is the Serbs and the Orthodox who are not [respected], thanks to Milosevic and his apartheid and ethnic cleansing regime.”
In addition to U.S. policy analyst Martin Sletzinger’s casually statedÂ commentsÂ that it is “nonsense” to think that Kosovo’s becoming a country has something to do with Milosevic’s supposed oppression â€” and in addition to the fact that when Sletzinger started working in Congress in the 1970’s, the Albanian lobby was “giving us maps of Iliria, which included Kosovo, half of Macedonia, a good portion of Montenegro, and of course Albania” â€” we also have Andy Wilcoxson laying it out inÂ this post:
On April 2, 1981, rioting erupted in Kosovo. Nine people were killed and scores injured as police broke up a mob of 10,000 ethnic Albanian demonstrators who were rampaging through the streets of Pristina smashing shop windows and destroying factory machines. The demonstrators, some armed with guns and firing at the police, pushed children in front of them to make it more difficult for security forces to disrupt the march.
The Yugoslav Government said the rioting was the “worst outbreak of separatist demands” since World War II, and imposed martial law to bring the situation back under control. Eyewitnesses reported that cars and trucks were overturned and burning in the center of Pristina while the army guarded public buildings and ambulances toured the streets to pick up the injured.
The separatist nature of the rioting was clear to one and all. When the New York Times reported on it their lead paragraph read: “Yugoslav tanks and troops took up positions today in a province in the south to put down anti-Government riots by Albanian separatists … the separatists want to unite with Albania, the small and selfisolated Communist country on the Adriatic.”
According accounts published in the Washington Post, the demonstrators were said to be chanting “Long Live Enver Hoxha” along with slogans demanding Kosovo’s unification with Albania.
Things flared up in Kosovo a month later when Pristina University was forced to close its doors amid student demonstrations demanding Kosovo’s unification with Albania.
In 1982 Becir Hoti, an ethnic Albanian official in Kosovo’s ruling Communist Party, explained the situation quite well. He told the New York Times: “The nationalists have a two-point platform. First to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a Greater Albania.”
This is significant because today’s Western narrative claims that the Kosovo-Albanian population wants to secede from Serbia because they allegedly suffered mistreatment under the rule of Slobodan Milosevic.
That thesis is exposed as fallacy because Slobodan Milosevic’s political career didn’t even begin until 1983, when he took a job as economic advisor to the mayor of Belgrade…Kosovo-Albanian separatism had already erupted violently in 1981 and 1982 â€” long before the public even knew who Slobodan Milosevic was.
Totten’s State Department ventriloquism reminds me of this unbelievable sentence from a November email from,Â appropriately enough, a “Wilhelm”:
The reason orthodox churches are burnt is only due to their identification with Milosevic-type politics not because Albanians are Muslim let alone them being extremists.
What this airhead is saying is that as the Albanians increasingly expose their long-awaited designs on the region through, among other things, the ongoing, viscerally carried out destruction of Orthodox churches eight years after the Serb-led ouster of Milosevic, we should instead believe that this has something to do with the 1990s decade, and not with the similar attacks on Serb holy sites in Kosovo that went on for a century before that, including during WWII when Greater Albania was undergoing a similar ascension, under the sponsorship of Adolf Hitler. Like Totten, Welhelm wants to believe that the desecration and destruction of thousand-year-old churches by Albanians not only has nothing to do with religion (despite the demonic-like zeal with which Albanians pried off, by hand, the crosses from the churches during the 2004 pogrom), but it doesn’t even have to do with the ethnic intolerance which preceded Milosevic and which tripled after his ouster â€” that is, after the Albanians were “freed”.
Never, never has the world seen such a persistent, widespread, irrational and singular hatred as that reserved for Serbs. Even age-old anti-Semitism doesn’t compare, given that there are so many thinking, fair-minded people who don’t engage in it. In contrast, people who otherwise have minds make sure not to use them when Serbs are involved.
Notice Totten’s insistence on continuing to use the term “ethnic cleansing” in reference to Kosovo regardless of how many times and ways that notion has been debunked â€” including by every major U.S. paper in late 1999 after Americans lost interest in Kosovo, and most recently by documentation I provided in my Jihad Watch response to his piece. But Serbs aren’t worth the trouble of a mouse click.
On Totten’s ventriloquism regarding the religious question â€” “There is no religious state or religious majority…The local troubles are ethnic, not religious. Catholics are very deeply respected” â€” here isÂ Chris DelisoÂ on Kosovo’s direction, based on developments in long-independent Albania:
Perhaps the most significant emerging trend in the case of Albania is the rise of internecine strife based on religious difference. Rallying a decade ago under the nationalist banner of “one nation, three religions,” the paramilitary KLA claimed support from Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox Albanians during its war in Kosovo. Today, while most Albanians still do feel their ethnicity strongly, religious tensions have nevertheless been growing. In october 2003, police arrested author Kastriot Myftari, charging him with inciting religious hatred against Muslims for writing that Albanian Muslims should convert to Catholicism.
In the northern, Catholic majority city of Shkodra, which borders on Montenegro, mutual provocations between Catholics and Muslims are suddenly emerging. A cross was put up in the city, and then mysteriously vandalized in January 2006. And when civic leaders decided to honor national hero Mother Teresa with a statue, three Muslim groups â€” the Association of Islamic Intellectuals, the Albanian Muslim Forum, and the Association of Islmaic Charities â€” publicly protested. The [Albanian Muslim Forum], which allegedly supports interfaith relations, declared that a statue of one of the world’s most renowned humanitarian figures would be a “provocation” to Muslims, and that the religious situation in Shkodra was “not so calm.”
Deliso also explains that “the end of the national question in Kosovo is the beginning of the religious one, as new challenges to the social and clerical order arise from radical Islam.”
Regarding Catholics being “deeply respected” in Kosovo: Aside from Catholics and Muslims having some deep roots in eliminating Serbs and Jews together during WWII, I addressed Kosovo’s religious “pluralism” in my blog post titled “Kosovo’s Religious Pluralism“, which demonstrated, among other things, how an Albanian Catholic priest felt more in common with, and was better to, Albanian Muslims than his Croatian Catholic flock. Because the point is Albanianism Uber Alles. Until it isn’t. AsÂ Jim JatrasÂ reminds us:
Typically these begin as what are represented as “national liberation movements,” the desire of a group of people described in national or ethnic terms â€” Algerians, Afghanis, Kosovo Albanians, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Iraqis, etc. â€” to have their own independent national state. But at some point â€” either after achieving that goal…or in the process of the “national liberation” struggle…the movement shifts to a primarily Islamic jihad orientation, in which the national element is downplayed and the jihad element is emphasized. This transition coincides with the marginalization or elimination of the non-Muslim social elements (Christian Arabs, Albanian Catholics, etc.), some of whom may have been militant supporters of the first, national phase but who will have no future in the Islamic new order.
But apparently the big picture is irrelevant to Totten, who is interested only in what he observes on the surface and two feet in front of him. Trends? What’s that? Indeed, what is all this nonsense about the Islamization of the world and a caliphate forming? You don’t see me wearing a burqa, do you?
Let’s hear fromÂ anotherÂ Catholic Albanian priest:
Some tensions appeared after the war. In its December 1999 report, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation, OSCE, said that following the withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo, ethnic Albanian fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, were harassing Catholic Albanians over their alleged lack of commitment to the KLA cause.
The OSCE report said: “Catholic Albanians and evangelical groups have faced continued intimidation and harassment.” It went on: “A common feature of many attacks was the underlying intention to force minorities to leave and/or to ensure their silence through fear. This strategy was effective.”
According to a US State Department report for 2003, certain Catholic-populated areas within Kosovo had previously been “under suspicion of collaboration with the Serb regime,” adding: “Such suspicion was fuelled by the fact that Catholic Albanian villages suffered relatively little damage during the conflict.” [Indeed, clearly theyÂ weren’tÂ doing enough for the KLA terrorists/separatists.]
The Catholic Church in Kosovo condemned ethnically-motivated riots in 2004 when dozens of Serbian Orthodox Churches and other properties were damaged or destroyed. “I felt ashamed after what happened in 2004. We were under some pressure as well,” said a Kosovo Albanian Catholic who has since moved to neighbouring Montenegro.
Gosh, I wonder what made him move out of Kosovo. But notice that this Albanian feels shamed by the actions of his fellow Albanians, and considers them reprehensible. Too bad Totten can’t be as honest. But then, Serbs deserve to suffer, according to Totten’s first paragraph at the top of this post. Note also that bullying of Catholics in Kosovo didn’t start only after the war, but was practiced in the 70s and 80s as well, and many of the Albanians who moved out of Kosovo (often to Serbia) along with the Serbs who were fleeing in those decades were Catholics. FromÂ one of my earliestÂ articles on Kosovo, based on an interview with a Jew who was raised there (Branko, whose brother is Slobodan):
Slobodan’s best friend, Bardy, was a Catholic Albanian married to a Serbian woman. “He had just called me a few months ago,” Branko reminisces, “because he was so excited about his new dog â€” a Rottweiler, like so many in America have. When the KLA came in with NATO, he was killed, just for not being a ‘good’ Albanian.”
Another friend, a Serb named Ilija, died while an “internally displaced person” in Serbia, from what Branko calls “sorrow and anger.”
The Serb Ilija, the Albanian Bardy, and the Jew Slobodan were three best friends who got married on the same day, alternately serving as one another’ s best man.
As for Totten’s point about most Albanian Muslims not being religious, surely we don’t have to explain that a MuslimÂ doesn’t have to be religiousÂ toÂ sympathizeÂ with the cause and buy into the universal Muslim sense of aggrievement. He also states above that there is no religious majority, which is strange, given that about 95 percent of Kosovo is Muslim. That these Muslims are still recovering from their communist-imposed atheism is irrelevant. But it shouldn’t be too long a process, given that Islam is a popular religion among recovering atheists. Does Totten think that Kosovo lends itself to Islamic indoctrination less than Russia,Â whereÂ “especially the atheist groups are gradually getting inclined towards Islam because of extensive propaganda and activities of the Islamist NGOs.” And here is something related from a 1994 article in the London Chronicle by former Thatcher adviserÂ Sir Alfred Sherman:
[I]t should be noted that in Britain and Western Europe, individuals and groups faithful to Moscow’s line in world affairs for years, though mainly atheist, inexplicably back the Muslim fundamentalist government [of Bosnia].
Incidentally, does Totten think that the Bosnia war we abetted, which brought Bosniaks exponentially closer to Islam, doesn’t have echoes in the Kosovo war we abetted?
Totten’s shrug at Albania’s membership in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, meanwhile, is also worth noting. Like I said, all thinking is suspended if the subject is the Balkans.Â HereÂ was the OIC upon Kosovo’s “independence”:
RIYADH (Reuters) – The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has welcomed Kosovo’s declaration of independence, saying it would be an asset to the Muslim world.
“Kosovo has finally declared its independence after a long and determined struggle by its people. As we rejoice in this happy result, we declare our solidarity with and support to our brothers and sisters there,” Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the head of the OIC, said at the opening of a meeting in Dakar on Monday.
“The Islamic (umma) nation wishes them success in the new battle awaiting them, which is the building of a strong and prosperous state capable of satisfying its people. There is no doubt that the independence of Kosovo will be an asset to the Muslim world and further enhance joint Islamic action,” he said in comments sent to Reuters.
It doesn’t matter if both we and the Albanians take Totten’s advice and steer clear of seeing “this place through a Muslim/infidel lens.” The umma certainly sees Kosovo through a Muslim/infidel lens â€” as was the premise of Deliso’s book and the reason for its titleÂ The Coming Balkan Caliphate.
“‘Dhimmi’ does not apply to anyone here,” Totten admonishes Bostom. Aside from the fact that one can be a dhimmi just to the Albanian violence being threatened should their cause not be promoted to its conclusion (as that Hungarian parliamentarianÂ demonstratedwhen he explained the awarding of a state to an intolerant population by saying “we’re afraid of them”), what do you call the populations (Serbs, Croats, Roma,Â JewsÂ and evenÂ Gorani Muslims) who are at the mercy of their Albanian-Muslim “hosts” in the event that the armed KFOR guards blink?
Beyond that, there is this fact: Even if dhimmitude weren’t being imposed by the master population on the untermenschen in its mist, or on the master population’s Western benefactors, that doesn’t mean people won’t behave as dhimmis preemptively, of their own accord (we are seeing this everywhere now) in an attempt to please the wider population of Masters. We started calling Albanians ‘Muslims’ and declaring the Kosovo project to be about the U.S. creating a Muslim state in Europe even when the Albanians didn’t â€” with Tom Lantos asking Muslim countries and jihadists to take this action into consideration, and outgoing Under Secretary of State Nicholas BurnsÂ hailingsupport for Kosovo from the OIC and “happily claiming that a ‘vastly majority Muslim state’ has been carved out of Serbia, a European Christian country.”
Which brings us to a phenomenon that I’ll call Dhimmi Irony. Because despite our efforts to please our masters, onlyÂ five out of 57Â member states of the OIC (which includes a “Palestine” that would benefit directly), have recognized Kosovo’s independence:
More and more countries are getting ready to recognize Kosovo’s independence, but many are hesitant, including some Arab and Muslim countries despite Washington’s appeals to display solidarity with Kosovo Muslims.
During a briefing on Kosovo after its declaration of independence, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns welcomed the recognition of this step by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and hence, by the governments of its member countries. He said: “And we think it is a very positive step that this Muslim state, Muslim majority state, has been created today.”
Today, the most urgent issue is whether Kosovo will create a precedent for other territories. This is why many Muslim and other countries do not rush to accept Kosovo’s independence. The United States hoped for Islamic solidarity, but in vain.
Only three [sic] OIC members – Turkey, Afghanistan and Senegal [plus Albania and Burkina Faso] – have recognized Kosovo’s independence out of almost 60 members of the organization. Others have adopted a wait-and-see attitude because of the potential threat of a domestic split, or destabilization in neighboring countries.
For the time being, no politician in these conflict-prone zones has loudly expressed readiness to follow Kosovo’s example…Kosovo’s independence is threatening primarily because a decision on it was made without a UN Security Council resolution. It is solely based on the support of the United States and some European countries. In other words, political circumstances have prevailed over international law.
To close, here is a blogger lamenting the lack of Muslim solidarity in walking the Kosovo walk and not just talking the talk:
With the new government one hopes Kosovo is recognized sooner rather then later. The above map shows the countries which have recognized Kosovo in blue. The ones who are expected to soon are shown in yellow. It is startling how many countries in the Middle East are still to recognize the country.
By the way I do not support how Kashmir is shown as a part of India in the map. I got the map of a website called ‘Kosovo Thanks You.’ The Kosovons of all people should know about the struggle for freedom of the Kashmiri people.
For a laugh, here is a comment under the post, from “Kosova_girl”:
Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan….cmon people, support your muslims brothers and sisters. I am sooo dissapointed by the lack of recognition by so many muslims countries. Oh and then we wonder why are muslims always oppressed.
Karadzic Says Fair Trial Impossible
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic says he cannot get a fair trial at the war crimes tribunal because of a “media witch hunt.” In a statement published Friday by the court, Karadzic also reiterates his claims that former US mediator Richard Holbrooke reneged on an immunity deal.
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in the ICTY courtroom on Thursday.
Radovan Karadzic does not believe he can get a fair trial at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague because he has already been tried and convicted in the world’s media. He also insists that the US had offered him immunity from prosecution.Â
In a submission to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) the former Bosnian Serb leader, who was captured in Belgrade two weeks ago afterÂ 11 years on the run, has said that there are “drastic irregularities” in his case. Karadzic was prevented from reading his statement on Thursday when he appeared before the court for the first time to face 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Karadzic, who was the Bosnian Serb leader during the 1992-1995 war that marked the break up of the former Yugoslavia, faces charges relating to the 43-month siege of Sarajevo that left 10,000 dead and the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica.
Karadzic claims that one barrier to a fair trial is the “media witch hunt which began in the Muslim media even before the beginning of the armed conflict, and which proclaimed me a war criminal at a time when the only victims were Serbs.”
Karadzic also repeats his claim that the former US special envoyÂ Richard HolbrookeÂ had offered him immunity from the tribunal if he disappeared from public life. “Holbrooke undertook on behalf of the USA that I would not be tried before this tribunal.” He says that the US diplomat, who negotiated the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war, then reneged on that deal when the tribunal’s chief prosecutor threatened to resign. According to Karadzic, Holbrooke then decided to “liquidate” him instead.
Karadzic added that he thought Holbrooke still wished for his “disappearance,” and that his life was in danger, expressing fears that Holbrooke’s “long arm,” could extend to the courtroom.
Holbrooke has dismissed those claims as having “zero” truth. “Such a deal would have been immoral and unethical … It obviously didn’t happen,” he told Reuters on Thursday.
by Srdja Trifkovic
The spirit of the media frenzy surrounding the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on July 21 is based entirely on the doctrine of non-equivalence inaugurated in 1992: Serbs willed the war, Muslims wanted peace; Serb crimes are bad and justly exaggerated, Muslim crimes are understandable.
This doctrine was spectacularly reiterated a month before Karadzic’s capture, when the Muslim wartime commander of Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, was found not guilty by The Hague Tribunal of any responsibility for the killing of thousands of Serb civilians by the forces under his command in the three years before the fall of the enclave in July 1995. It is also apparent today, in the endless media repetition of Karadzic’s alleged bellicose intransigence before and during the Bosnian war.
UNRESOLVED ISSUE OF WAR GUILT
The imbalance is more than merely unfair. The talking heads gloating over Karadzic’s capture no longer need to suppress the thought that different U.S. policies could have prevented the horror of “Bosnia,” because no such thoughtâ€”however pertinent in this caseâ€”ever occurs to them. Yet the fact remains that in the spring of 1992 the late Warren Zimmermann, the last U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia before its breakup and civil war, materially contributedâ€”probably more than any other single manâ€”to the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The facts of the case have been established beyond reasonable doubt and are no longer dosputed by experts.
Nine months earlier, in June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence, a move that triggered off a short war in Slovenia and a sustained conflict in Croatia where the Serbs refused to accept Tudjman’s fait accompli. These events had profound consequences on Bosnia and Herzegovina, that “Yugoslavia in miniature.” The Serbs (34%) adamantly opposed the idea of Bosnian independence. The Croats (17%) predictably rejected any suggestion that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains within a Serb-dominated rump Yugoslavia.
Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of the Muslim community (43%), had decided as early as September 1990 that Bosnia should also declare independence if Slovenia and Croatia secede. On 27 February 1991 he went a step further: “I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty.” The process culminated with the referendum on independence (29 February 1992). The Serbs duly boycotted it. In the end just over 62 percent of voters opted for independence, overwhelmingly Muslims and Croats; but even this figure was short of the two-thirds majority required by the constitution. This did not stop the rump government of Izetbegovic from declaring independence on 3 March.
Simultaneously one last attempt was under way to save peace. The Portuguese foreign minister Jose Cutileiro organized a conference in Lisbon attended by the three communities’ leaders, Izetbegovic, Radovan Karadzic, and the Croat leader Mate Boban. The EU mediators persuaded the three sides that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be independent but internally organized on the basis of ethnic regions or “cantons.”
The breakthrough was due to the Bosnian Serbs’ acceptance of an independent Bosnia, provided that the Muslims give up their ambition of a centralized, unitary one. Izetbegovic appeared to accept that this was the best deal he could makeâ€”but soon he was to change his mind. When he returned from Lisbon, Zimmermann flew post haste from Belgrade to Sarajevo to tell him that the U.S. did not stand behind the Cutileiro plan. He said it was a means to “a Serbian power grab” that could be prevented by internationalizing the problem. When Izetbegovic said that he did not like the Lisbon agreement, Zimmerrmann encouraged him to renege. State Department subsequently admitted that the US policy “was to encourage Izetbegovic to break with the partition plan.”Â The New York TimesÂ (August 29, 1993) brought a revealing quote from the key player himself:
The embassy [in Belgrade] was for recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina from sometime in February on,” Mr. Zimmermann said of his policy recommendation from Belgrade. “Meaning me.” … Immediately after Mr. Izetbegovic returned from Lisbon, Mr. Zimmermann called on him in Sarajevo… “He said he didn’t like it; I told him, if he didn’t like it, why sign it?”
After that moment Izetbegovic had no motive to take the ongoing EC-brokered talks seriously., just as the Albanians had no motive to negotiate with Belgrade in 2007, after President Bush declared in Tirana that it would become independent. After his encounter with Zimmermann Izetbegovic felt authorized to renege on tripartite accord, and he knew that the U.S. administration would come to his assistance to enforce the independence of a unitary Bosnian state.
The motives of Zimmermann and his political bosses in Washington were not rooted in the concern for the Muslims of Bosnia as such, or indeed any higher moral principle. Their policy had no basis in the law of nations, or in the notions of truth or justice. It was the end-result of the interaction of pressure groups within the American power structure: Saudis and other Muslims, neocons, Turks, One-World Nation Builders, Russophobes… all had their field day. Thus the war in the Balkans evolved from a Yugoslav disaster and a European inconvenience into a major test of “U.S. leadership.” This was made possible by a bogus consensus which passed for Europe’s Balkan policy. This consensus, amplified in the media, limited the scope for meningful debate.
Zimmermann’s ploy heralded a virulently anti-Serb, agenda-driven form of Realpolitik that was to dominate America’s Bosnian policy. Just as Germany sought to paint its Maastricht Diktat on Croatia’s recognition in December 1991 as an expression of the “European consensus,” after Zimmermann’s intervention in Sarajevo Washington’s fait accomplis were straightfacedly labeled as “the will of the international community.” Europe was resentful but helpless when the United States resorted to covert action to smuggle arms into Croatia and Bosnia in violation of U.N. resolutions. Zimmermann’s torpedoing of the EU Lisbon formula in 1992 started a trend that frustrated the Europeans, but they were helpless.
Cutileiro was embittered by the US action and accused Izetbegovic of reneging on the agreement. Had the Muslims not done so, he recalled in 1995, “the Bosnian question might have been settled earlier, with less loss of life and land.” Cutileiro also noted that the decision to renege on the signed agreement was not only Izetbegovic’s, as he was encouraged to scupper that deal and to fight for a unitary Bosnian state by foreign mediators.”
Over the past two centuries Balkan lands were bargaining chips for alliance construction. The Bosnian war of 1992-95 confirmed this trend. It was the most destructive segment of the War of Yugoslav Dissolution that began when the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia seceded in the summer of 1991. With no ethnic majority and no “Bosnian” nation, of all six republics of the old Yugoslav federation the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had most to fear from violent secession. Yet once reunited Germany was committed to the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia, the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo knew both that the old Yugoslavia was dead and that historic opportunities beckoned.
At the outset of the present crisis most inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not want to become “Bosnians” in any political sense; but they were unaware of the extent to which their future depended on events beyond their republic’s boundaries. The ruling League of Communists of Yugoslavia literally disintegrated in the first months of 1990, setting the stage for multi-party elections in all six federal republics. The resulting power vacuum was felt in Bosnia-Herzegovina more keenly than in other republics because the Party rule there was more rigidly doctrinaire than in other federal units. When the first multi-party election since 1938 finally took place in November 1990, the voters overwhelmingly acted in accordance with their ethnic loyalties that proved more enduring than any ideological differences between them.
The weakness or even non-existence of non-nationalist opposition to the old communist establishment was at least partly due to the deliberate Western policy of appeasement of Tito’s dictatorship following his break with Moscow in 1948. Contrary to the situation in Poland (“Solidarity”) or Czechoslovakia (“Charter 77”), in Tito’s lifetime and even in the decade following his death in 1980 there had been no serious attempt by the United States to develop or cultivate alternative political teams in Yugoslavia among the narrow stratum of the intellectual establishment which could have been considered friendly to “Western democracy.” In accordance with the Kennan Doctrine, Tito’s dictatorship enjoyed America’sÂ cheque blancheÂ to do as it pleased domestically, for as long as it shunned full rapprochement with Moscow.
When the system unravelled the Muslims were the first to organize, founding theirStranka Demokratske Akcije,Â SDA (Party of Democratic Action) in March 1990. The Croats followed two months later with the creation ofÂ Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica Bosne i Hercegovineâ€”HDZ BiH (Croatian Democratic Union); in reality theirs was but a local subsidiary of the retired YPA General Franjo Tudjman’s HDZ in Zagreb. Finally, in July the Serbs established theÂ Srpska Demokratska Stranka Bosne i Hercegovine,Â SDS (Serb Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina). The pattern of the Muslims and Croats acting proactively, and the Serbs reacting, was thus established very early on.
When the Bosnian election results were tallied, they effectively read like a census plain and simple. The overwhelming share of the voteâ€”80 percentâ€”went to the three parties that had grounded their appeal in the ethnic-national identity and issues. In the National Assembly of 240 seats (Chamber of Citizens and Chamber of Municipalities), the SDA won 86 seats, the SDS took 72 seats, and the HDZ 44. The three winning parties soon reached a power-sharing agreement. Although the maverick businessman-politician Fikret Abdic from the region of Velika Kladusa polled more votes, due to the constitutional vagaries of the late-Yugoslav Bosnia Alija IzetbegoviÄ‡ was elected President of a seven-member multi-ethnic rotating presidency. The prime ministry of the Republic went to the HDZ, and the presidency of the Assembly to the SDS.
The tripartite coalition agreement was applicable not only to the distribution of posts at the level of the Republic, but also at the regional and municipal level. The ruling SDA-SDS-HDZ coalition, contrary to some dark predictions by the defeated communists, started functioning without major difficulties in the early months of the new regime. The notion of such cooperation was counter-intuitive to the outside observers of the Bosnian scene, but it made perfect sense in the context of the common desire by all three groups to purge the body-politic of the decades-long layers of communist lies and distortions.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990 three tiers of government authority were in existence, those of the Republic itself, of the regions, and of municipalities. Depending on the level of participation among the coalition partners, the distribution of political power was accordingly carried out at all levels. The apparent ability of the three “nationalist” parties to cooperate in the immediate aftermath of the election was based on one thing they all had in common: the desire to break free from the Titoist straightjacket. During Tito’s lifetime the three constituent nations of Bosnia-Herzegovina found themselves under steady pressure to “Bosnify” their identities. (Bosnian Serb writing, to take a little known but drastic example, was not to be classed as Serbian literature but asÂ BosnianÂ literature.)
The SDA, the HDZ, and the SDS, all sought to recreate long-established identities, to represent real, traditional national diversity as against a new, synthetic (“modern”) composite identity. This was a blast of fresh air; it was not the precursor of war as one can see from the simple fact of amicable co-operation. It was, in any case, a natural response to the decay of communist authority. But the SDS were in no sense “anti-Yugoslav” in the political sense: what they were against was the communist cultivation of false nationality (“Yugoslav,” “Bosnian”), as against the spontaneous, natural identities of the historic nationalities of Yugoslavia.
Had Yugoslavia not been breaking up in 1991-92, this emphasis on traditional identities would have passed as a perfectly natural democratic readjustment to reality. The “Left Bloc” was finished, defeated even in the municipality of Prijedor where it confidently expected to be victorious thanks to the area’s “Partisan” tradition and strong “Yugoslav” spirit. The old CPYÂ apparatÂ was simply irrelevant: the pampered friends and clients of the old bureaucracy, who could not explain why their version of Yugoslavia had needed a police state to keep together. The truth is thatÂ there was no internal, Bosnian threat to peace at the beginning of 1991: when it came the threat was from outside.Â The SDS and the SDA were not simply in coalition:Â they were natural allies while Bosnia remained at peace, although they would become just as natural enemies if Yugoslavia fell apart.
KARADZIC’S EARLY POSITION
Karadzic headed the party representing the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they wanted, overwhelmingly, to preserve theÂ status quo. Since they had no desire for the destruction of Yugoslavia, they were forced intoÂ reactive postureÂ vis-Ã -vis those who willed the Federation’s disintegration. It is important to dispose of the idea that the Serbs of Bosnia in 1991 were simply fanaticized by Belgrade propaganda: they were still gasping for air after the Titoist era and composing a revisionist history of ethnic civil war and Serbian suffering, a history which may have contained new exaggerations, but which corrected the evasions and lies in the old story.
At the outset of the last Yugoslav crisis, the Serbs’ basic argumentâ€”even if seldom stated with simplicity and coherenceâ€”was clear when freed from rhetoric: they had lived in one state since 1918, when Yugoslavia came into being. They reluctantly accepted Tito’s arbitrarily determined internal boundaries between the six federal republicsâ€”which left one third of them outside Serbia-properâ€”on the grounds that the Yugoslav framework afforded them a measure of security from the repetition of the nightmare of 1941-1945; but they could not swallow an illegal ruse that aimed to turn them into minorities, overnight and by unconstitutional means, in their own land.
Even without the vividly remembered trauma of the Second World War, they reacted in 1991-1992 just as the Anglophone citizens of Texas or Arizona might do if they are outvoted, one day, in a referendum demanding those states’ incorporation into Mexico. They demanded the right that the territories, which the Serbs have inhabited as compact majorities long before the voyage of the Mayflower, not be subjected to the rule of their rivals. In the same vein the Protestant Ulstermen demanded – and were given – the right to stay apart from united Ireland when the nationalists in Dublin opted for secession in 1921. In the same vein the state of West Virginia was created in 1863, incorporating those counties of the Commonwealth of Virginia that refused to be forced into secession. The Loyalists of Ulster and the Unionists of West Virginia were just as guilty of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” to break up Ireland, or the Old Dominion, as were the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina who did not want to be dragged into secession against their will.
Yugoslavia was admittedly a deeply flawed polity, and there could have been no rational objection to the striving of Croats, and even Bosnian Muslims, to create their own nation-states. But equally there could have been no justification for forcing over two million Serbs west of the Drina to be incorporated into those states against their will, and without any guarantees of their rights. Yugoslavia came together in 1918 as a union of South Slav peoples, and not of states, or territorial units. Its divorce should have been effected on the same basis; the boundaries of the republics should have been altered accordingly.
This is, and has been, the real foundation of the Yugoslav conflict ever since the first shots were fired in the summer of 1991.Â Even someone as unsympathetic to the Serb point of view as Lord David Owen conceded that Josip Broz Tito’s internal administrative boundaries between Yugoslavia’s republics were grossly arbitrary, and that their redrawing should have been countenanced at the time of Yugoslavia’s disintegration:
Incomprehensibly, the proposal to redraw the republics’ boundaries had been rejected by all eleven EC countries… [T]o rule out any discussion or opportunity for compromise in order to head off war was an extraordinary decision. My view has always been that to have stuck unyieldingly to the internal boundaries of the six republics within the former Yugoslavia… as being the boundaries for independent states, was a folly far greater than that of premature recognition itself.
THE MUSLIM STRATEGY
Of the three ethnic-religious parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslim partyâ€”the SDAâ€”was perhaps the most radical, in that it alone advocated a fundamental restructuring of the Bosnian society in accordance with divine revelation. It attempted to do so not on Bosnia’s own terms, not within the Republic’s own local paradigm, but within the terms of the global-historical processâ€”as its leaders saw itâ€”of the globalÂ Islamic renaissance. Many commentators in the West have been in a state of denial for years about the true nature of Alija Izetbegovic’s long-term program. To put it simply, they preferred to believe their own assurances that Izetbegovic’s blueprint is not “Islamist” but “multicultural.”
Not unlike Islamist parties elsewhereâ€”notably the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkeyâ€”the SDA had a public, “secular” front, and an inner core of Islamic cadres that remained semi-conspiratorial in the early days. This is vividly described by one of the party’s founders who had previously made a successful business career in the West, Adil ZulfikarpaÅ¡iÄ‡. He was appalled by the “fascist” methods of the SDA and by its “conservative, religious, populist” orientation, Adil ZulfikarpaÅ¡iÄ‡ founded his own party, the MBO (Muslim Bosniak Organization). It fared badly in the elections of 1990 but it nevertheless left an important mark by charting the potential for a genuinely secular, “post-Islamic” political force of the Bosniaks.
In the early stages of the Bosnian crisis numerous Western reporters and commentators have claimed that the SDS sought to scare Bosnian Serbs with exaggerated and untrue claims of the militantly Islamic character of the SDA ideology and policy. It is a matter of record, however, that Izetbegovic was an advocate of Sharia law and a theorist of the Islamic Republic long before the first shots were fired. Already as a young man during World War II, Izetbegovic was a member of theÂ Young MuslimsÂ organization (Mladi Muslimani). His was a radical Islamic political organization inspired by the teaching of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Al Husseini, who toured the German-occupied Europe preaching that the Third Reich and the Muslim world had a natural community of interests that demanded personal commitment of every able-bodied Muslim. Izetbegovic’s ideas subsequently matured into a comprehensive, programmatic statement in theIslamic DeclarationÂ (1970), the document that led to his imprisonment by the communist authorities in 1983.
TheÂ DeclarationÂ became Izetbegovic’sÂ de factoÂ political platform. Reprinted in Sarajevo at a key moment in 1990, it startled the public. In the language familiar to the students of militantÂ jihadÂ everywhere, it called for Islamic moral and religious regeneration, and for the strengthening of different types of Islamic unityâ€”up to, and including, armed struggle for the creation of an Islamic polity in countries where Muslims represent the majority of the population.
As Izetbegovic put it,
The Islamic movement must, and can, take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non-Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one… There is no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions.
This was a political programÂ par excellenceÂ that non-Islamic groups in Bosnia could not accept; for the Serbs “it confirmed their suspicions that IzetbegoviÄ‡ wished to transform Bosnia-Herzegovina into an Islamic state.” The author’s contempt for Western values is evident in his dismissal of the Kemalist tradition: “Turkey as an Islamic country used to rule the world. Turkey as an imitation of Europe represents a third-rate country the like of which there is a hundred in the world.” Elsewhere, he accepts the “achievements of Euro-American civilization” but only in the area of “science and technology… we shall have to accept them if we wish to survive.” In a revealing sentence, IzetbegoviÄ‡ discusses the status of non-Muslims in countries with Muslim majorities: “The non-Muslim minorities within an Islamic state, on condition that they are loyalÂ [emphasis added], enjoy religious freedom and all protection.” He advocates “the creation of a united Islamic community from Morocco to Indonesia.”
It should be stressed that Izetbegovic’s views are unremarkable from a traditional Islamic point of view. The final objective isÂ Dar al Islam, where Muslims dominate and infidelssubmit. That is the meaning of Izetbegovic’s apparent generosity to the non-Muslims, “provided that they are loyal”: the non-Muslims can be “protected persons” only if they submitted to Islamic domination.
In his daily political discourse Izetbegovic behaved throughout the 1990s as aÂ de factoÂ nationalist, fostering narrowly-defined Bosniak (i.e., Muslim) nationalist feeling and seeking to equate the emerging “Bosniak” identity with an imaginary supra-ethnic “Bosnia.” He was juxtaposing the construct with the two traditionally Christian communitiesâ€”Serbs and Croatsâ€”whose loyalties were alleged to lie elsewhere, with Belgrade and Zagreb respectively. The two sides of Izetbegovic’s personalityâ€”the deeply committed Islamist on one hand and the functional nationalist on anotherâ€”were not at odds, since within his terms of reference the Bosniak ethnicity was defined by religion, the Muslim religion.
Izetbegovic should not be blamed for being what he is, nor should his followers be condemned for subscribing to his outlook: Luther would say that he and theyÂ kann nicht anders. But to have Alija Izetbegovic, with his record and his vision, as the head of a democratic, pluralist state anywhere in the world, is simply unthinkable. But for his peculiar vision to be applied in practice, Bosnia-Herzegovina had to be taken out of Yugoslavia and proclaimed independent and sovereign.
THE ROAD TO WAR
As the fateful year of 1991 approached, the Serbs would have preferred an all-Yugoslav referendum based on the principle of “one man-one vote,” with a simple questionâ€”“Yugoslavia, Yes or No?”â€”and with the result binding for all. While in theory this same principle should have appealed to the Western democracies, in practice the “international community” appeared to be too deeply committed to the quasi-federal Titoist framework to question the assumptions of the secessionist-minded leaders in Croatia and Sloveniaâ€”assumptions that paved the way for disintegration. The separatists preferred the model of localized, republic-by-republic elections. Once they were in power, those elections would be followed by ambiguously worded referenda on independence withÂ de factoÂ preordained outcomes. This strategy had little to do with “democracy,” but it proved effective in radicalizing political discourse and escalating Yugoslavia’s crisis.
In early 1990 separatist parties had already triumphed in Slovenia and Croatia. In December of that year Slobodan MiloÅ¡eviÄ‡’s authoritarian Socialist Party of Serbia gained a convincing victory in Serbia’s elections. The media in all republics had been busy pursuing openly nationalist themes, and the politicians followed suit. In December 1990 the Slovenes voted for an “independent and sovereign state,” and within months Slovenia stopped sending conscripts to serve in the federal armed forces. That same month the Assembly of the Republic of Croatia adopted the new Constitutionâ€”the so-called Christmas Constitutionâ€”that defined the Republic of Croatia as the “nation-state of the Croatian people.” The constituent status of the Serbian people in Croatia was thus abrogated and the Serbs in Croatia were reduced to the status of a national minority.
Unlike Slovenia, however, Croatia had within its boundaries a large Serb population that resented being stripped of its status as a constituent nation. The Serbs had initially favoured the preservation of Yugoslavia, but in the light of Slovene and Croat moves towards independence they raised the issue ofÂ self-determination.Â This was specifically related to the question of adjusting borders between the Yugoslav federal units in such a way as to allow various Serb communities outside Serbia to remain attached to it.
Separatist republics are free to go, the Serb argument essentially went, but they should not be allowed to take areas with a Serb plurality along with them. Slovenia’s and Croatia’s declarations of independence (June 25, 1991) were accordingly followed by rather different responses. There was a short conflict in Slovenia involving the Yugoslav Army, and a sustained and much bloodier war in Croatia involving local Serbs. Inevitably these events were bound to have profound consequences on Bosnia.
Izetbegovic’s chief concern was to find a pretext for the intended separation from Yugoslaviaâ€”anyÂ Yugoslaviaâ€”and to use the Croat tactical alliance in pursuit of that goal; the day of reckoning with the HDZ could come later. The decision by Izetbegovic to treat Tudjman’s bid for independence as the cue for Bosnia’s repeat act was fateful: the moment that the SDA made it clear that it would not remain in any Yugoslavia without Croatia, war was inevitable in Bosnia. IzetbegoviÄ‡ was willing to risk that war. In the 1990 election campaign he said that the Muslims would “defend Bosnia with arms.” In February 1991 he declared in the Assembly: “I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty.” To the Serbs this was a war cry. By May Izetbegovic went even further, saying that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina probably could not be avoided because “for a state to be created, for a nation to be forged, it has to endure this, it is some kind of fate, destiny.” This statement echoed his Islamic fatalism.
KARADZIC AND MILOSEVIC
Over the past two centuries Balkan lands were bargaining chips for alliance construction. The Bosnian war of 1992-95 confirmed this trend. It was the most destructive segment of the War of Yugoslav Dissolution. With no ethnic majority and no “Bosnian” nation, of all six republics of the old Yugoslav federation the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had most to fear from violent secession. Yet once reunited Germany was committed to the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia, the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo knew both that the old Yugoslavia was dead and that historic opportunities beckoned.
President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, however, played the Bosnian crisis primarily as a means of consolidating his power in Serbia proper and extending his influence without committing himself to any clearly defined strategic objective, such as a “Greater Serbia.” By contrast, President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia did not shed Marxist crocodile tears at the passing of the old Titoist certainties. Unlike Milosevic heÂ wasÂ a true nationalist. In April 1992 he brought Croatian troops into western Herzegovina just as Milosevic withdrew the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) from Bosnia. Furthermore, in a twisted re-enactment of the chetnik-partisan divide, Milosevic had constantly sought to deepen the divide between the civilian leadership in Pale headed by Karadzic, and the military HQ at Han Pijesak led by General Ratko Mladic.
When the Bosnian Serbs took control of the Serb-majority areas and connecting corridors in 1992, they were well equipped and officered. But the numerical advantage lay with the Muslims, who hoped to win in the end with international help. Radavan Karadzic never understood that this was, indeed, Izetbegovic’s grand strategy, and that time was not on the side of the Serbs.
In addition Karadzic personally and the Serbs collectively were severely damaged by the western media handling of their mistreatment of Muslim prisoners and by their expulsion of non-Serb civilians in the summer of 1992. Similar atrocities by Croats and Muslims against Serbs and against each other, while no less common, were less conspicuous and deemed unworthy of attention. The Western elite class chose its sympathies at the start and kept up an agitation in favor of military intervention against the Serbs.
Of several peace plans offered or mediated by the Europeans, Karadzic was under particular pressureâ€”especially from Milosevic in Belgradeâ€”to accept the Vance-Owen Plan (May 1993) that would have divided Bosnia into ten “cantons.” He initialled its acceptance, but subsequently it was rejected by the Republika Srpska national assembly. Only months later Muslims rejected the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan that provided for a confederal model of three sovereign national entities (December 1993). A vague yet “non-negotiable” plan presented by the “Contact Group” in 1994 was refused by the Serbs. It was quietly discarded in early 1995, by which time the Clinton Administration decided to intervene directly on the Muslim side.
KARADZIC’S COSTLY MISCALCULATIONS
The media call for intervention, launched in its early stage, made the Bosnian war the subject of international debate to an extent unknown since Vietnam. Many Europeans were inclined to support a compromise peace, a federalized Bosnia, and a real arms embargo; whereas the United States disliked European peace plans, broke the arms embargo starting in late 1993, and overtly supported the Muslims.
In 1992-1993 Karadzic made a fundamental miscalculation that made the war unwinnable for the Serbs. Ever obsessed with maps, square miles and territorial percentages to the detriment of strategic planning, he sat on his advantages and hoped that in the fulness of time the world would recognize the Serbs’ apparent victory. His often repeated adage, “we don’t want to defeat them [Muslims], we want to separate from them,” was absurd, however: the latter could not be effected without securing the former.
Blinkered by his flawed assumptions, Karadzic failed to grasp the tectonic shift that took place in January 1994, when the U.S. sponsored a Croat-Muslim alliance and the Europeans realized that there would be no settlement unless they surrendered political leadership to Washington. This new stage was inaugurated in February 1994, when a mortar shell fell on the crowded Markale market in Sarajevo. The Serbs were duly blamed, and evidence that the shell could not have been fired from Serbian lines became available too late to affect the subsequent crisis.
From this point the war became a matter of Muslim attempts to exploit the “safe areas”â€”in Sarajevo, Gorazde, Tuzla, Bihac, and Srebrenicaâ€”which had been declared by the UN but never demilitarized. In short the Muslims were allowed to attack out of these areas, but the Serbs were not allowed to pursue them back in. From spring 1994 on the Muslims could no loger lose the war, which, in view of their weak starting position, was tantamount to winning it.
Once treated as a key interlocutor in London, New York, or Geneva, by early 1995 Karadzic was no longer a player in the big game. In Washington Bosnia was seen as an opportunity to transform NATO from a purely defensive alliance into an “out-of-area” enforcement agency, thus paving the way for the Kosovo intervention four years later. The success of the pro-intervention lobby in the media must be seen in the context of strong support for their agitation from parts of the U.S. administration.
Russia was the source of Karadzic’s constant hopes and repeated disappointments. Often puzzled by Moscow’s supine posture, he kept hoping that it would “shake itself up.” Yet Yeltsin’s Russia was weak, eager to appease the West, and reluctant to exert itself in the Balkan area. Russian policy began with an almost ideological commitment to accepting Western good faith, and Russia was slow to grasp that Washington wanted a peace settlement based on the defeat of the Serbs. By 1995 informed Russian opinion was getting alarmed at the direction events were taking, but it was too late, and too difficult, for the Yeltsin presidency to devise a new policy.
In the summer of 1995 London and Paris reluctantly agreed to allow NATO to bomb the Serbs, while the United States reluctantly accepted the sort of settlement the Europeans had wanted in 1992-3. But the bombing of the Bosnian Serb army in August 1995, which appeared to end the war, was less important militarily than the entry of the Croatian Army into Bosnia, now trained and extensively re-equipped by the U.S. Even this Croatian intervention was only possible because the Yugoslav army refused to intervene to save its clients west of the Drina. The war ended because Milosevic of Serbia wanted it to end.
The chief outcome of the war was a transformed NATO, and the renewal of American leadership in Europe to an extent not seen since Kennedy. It established that America wanted to lead, and to be indispensable, in the process of European reorganization after 1989. Bosnia itself was not much affected by international intervention. The war took longer than it would have done and the Serbian position is more uncertain, but the settlement that followed Dayton is not unlike a plausible compromise that seemed within reach in Lisbon in April 1992.
Richard Holbrooke, the chief U.S. negotiator in 1995, boasted a year later: “We are re-engaged in the world, and Bosnia was the test.” This “we” meant the United States, not “the West” or “the international community.” Indeed, no nation-state started and finished the Bosnian story as a political actor with an unchanged diplomatic personality. Each great power became a forum for the global debate for and against intervention, the debate for and against a certain kind NATO, and an associated, media-led international political process. The interventionists prevailed then, and their narrative dominates the public commentary on Karadzic’s arrest now.
Far from bringing the Bosnian episode to a close, Karadzic’s transfer to The Hague raises an old question that remains unanswered by the interventionists: If the old Yugoslavia was untenable and eventually collapsed under the weight of the supposedly insurmountable differences among its constituent nations, how can Bosniaâ€”the Yugoslav microcosmÂ par excellenceâ€”develop and sustain the dynamics of a viable polity? The answer will become known only when the outside powers lose their present interest in upholding the constitutional edifice made in Dayton.
As for the specific charges against Karadzic, we need not hypothesize a pre-war “joint criminal enterprise” to ethnically cleanse and murder, to explain the events of 1992-5. The crimes and violations of human rights that followed were not the direct result ofÂ anyone’sÂ nationalist project. These crime, as Susan Woodward notes, “were the results of the wars and their particular characteristics, not the causes.”
The effect of the legal intervention of the “international community” with its act of recognition was that a Yugoslav loyalty was made to look like a conspiratorial disloyalty to “Bosnia”â€”largely in the eyes of people who supposedÂ ex hypothesiÂ that if there is a “Bosnia” there must be a nation of “Bosnians.” In 1943-4 Tito was able to force the Anglo-Americans to pretend that his struggle was not communist revolution. In 1992-5 Izetbegovic forced the West to pretend that his jihad was the defense of “multi-ethnicity.” Both pretenses were absurd.
How do they do it, these Balkan political impresarios? The Hague Tribunal does not recognize the question as legitimate and therefore does not seek answers. The strange truth is that then, like now, great powers pay a fee for entering the Balkan casino. They consent to someone’s story, not “the Truth.”
Radovan Karadzic will be duly convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, and he will not come out of jail alive. The verdict is already written, but it reflects a fundamental imbalance. It ignores the essence of the Bosnian warâ€”the Serbs’ striving not to be forced into secessionâ€”while remaining mute about the culpability of the other two sides for a series of unconstitutional, illegitimate and illegal political decisions that caused the war.
The judgment against Karadzic at the U.S.-sponsored and largely U.S.-funded tribunal at The Hague will be built on this flawed foundation. It will be neither fair or just, and therefore it will be detrimental to what America should stand for in the world. It will also give further credence to the myth of Muslim blameless victimhood, Serb viciousness, and Western indifference, and therefore weaken our resolve in the global struggle euphemistically known as “war on terrorism.” The former is a crime; the latter, a mistake.
Kriegsgegner in Den Haag
Das Jugoslawien-Tribunal hat nichts mit Verbrechensaufarbeitung und Gerechtigkeit zu tun. Die NATO lÃ¤ÃŸt dort ihren eigenen Krieg als Â»gerechtÂ« absegnenVon Klaus Hartmann
Mit der Ãœberstellung von Radovan Karadzic an das Den Haager Sondertribunal hat die neue serbische Regierung einen Beweis ihrer UnterwÃ¼rfigkeit gegenÃ¼ber den USA, der EU und der NATO geliefert. Deren permanente Auslieferungsforderungen an Belgrad haben nichts mit dem heuchlerisch zur Schau gestellten Wunsch nach VerbrechensÂaufarbeitung und Gerechtigkeit zu tun. Sie sollen die Propaganda von der Â»serbischen HauptschuldÂ« im jugoslawischen BÃ¼rgerkrieg untermauern, mit der die westlichen MÃ¤chte ihren ZerstÃ¶rungskrieg gegen Jugoslawien getarnt und gerechtfertigt haben.Â
Der westlichen BevÃ¶lkerung soll erneut eingetrichtert werden, diesen Krieg als einen Kampf von Gut gegen BÃ¶se aufzufassen. Wobei die Serben das BÃ¶se verkÃ¶rpern, deren Ziel Â»GroÃŸserbienÂ« gewesen sei, und deren Weg dorthin Ã¼ber Â»ethnische SÃ¤uberungenÂ«, Massenvergewaltigungen, Folter, Konzentrationslager, Massaker und VÃ¶lkermord fÃ¼hrte. Dieses angebliche Â»GroÃŸserbienÂ« ist bereits eine irrefÃ¼hrende Propagandaformel, da es den Serben immer um die Erhaltung eines multinationalen und multikulturellen Jugoslawiens gegangen ist, in dem auch die Serben verschiedener Republiken in einem Staat zusammenleben kÃ¶nnen. Genau die ZerstÃ¶rung dieses gemeinsamen Staates war das Kriegsziel der WestmÃ¤chte, und daher waren die Serben als ihre entschiedenen Gegner Â»schuldigÂ«.
Die Einrichtung des Den Haager Sondertribunals fÃ¼r Jugoslawien diente und dient genau diesem Propagandazweck der NATO, ihre Kriegsgegner zu kriminalisieren, und den eigenen Krieg als Â»gerechtÂ« heiligsprechen zu lassen. Dabei soll vergessen gemacht werden, daÃŸ das Sondertribunal kein UN-Gericht, sondern illegal ist, da es unter Bruch der UN-Charta vom hierfÃ¼r nicht zustÃ¤ndigen Sicherheitsrat ins Leben gerufen wurde, und weil sein Budget nicht ausschlieÃŸlich aus UN-Mitteln, sondern Ã¼berwiegend von westlichen Medienkonzernen finanziert wird.
Der seit dem Bosnien-Krieg hierzulande nur als Â»SerbenfÃ¼hrerÂ« apostrophierte Radovan Karadzic ist das Opfer der DÃ¤monisierung der serbischen Rolle im gewaltsamen Auseinanderbrechen Jugoslawiens. In dieser Propaganda kommen serbische Opfer ebenso wenig vor wie jene Zehntausende bosnische Muslime, die wÃ¤hrend des BÃ¼rgerkrieges Zuflucht Â»ausgerechnetÂ« in der Republik Serbien suchten und fanden.
Deshalb werden auch die Opfer von Srebrenica, Â»bis zu 8000Â«, ausschlieÃŸlich als wehrlose bosnisch-muslimische MÃ¤nner und Jungen bezeichnet, aber die darunter befindlichen Ã¼ber 1000 serbischen Opfer nicht wahrgenommen. Ignoriert wird ebenso, daÃŸ von den Â»bis zu 8000Â« Toten einige tausend spÃ¤ter an anderen Orten wieder ihr Wahlrecht ausÃ¼bten, was Ende 1995 zu einer Wahlbeteiligung von sage und schreibe 103 Prozent der bosnischen Muslime fÃ¼hrte.
Die Â»UnvoreingenommenheitÂ« des Haager Sondertribunals wurde mit der Weigerung deutlich, Ermittlungen gegen die NATO wegen ihres vÃ¶lkerrechtswidrigen Ãœberfalls auf Jugoslawien 1999 einzuleiten, geschweige denn Anklage zu erheben. Was niemand verwundert, der aus dem Munde des damaligen NATO-Sprechers Jamie Shea hÃ¶rte, die NATO sei Â»die Freundin des GerichtsÂ«.
Auch aus seiner Feindbildfixiertheit auf die Serben machte dieses saubere Gericht nie einen Hehl. Nachdem es Anklagen gegen die Separatisten-Chefs Alija Izetbegovic und Hashim Thaci nie in ErwÃ¤gung zog, wurden nach Jahren zumindest Kriminelle aus der zweiten Reihe angeklagt: Naser Oric, Kommandant und SchlÃ¤chter von Srebrenica, hat nachgewiesenerweise 1300 getÃ¶tete Serben und 192 niedergebrannte DÃ¶rfer auf seinem Schuldkonto. Obwohl er auslÃ¤ndischen Reportern stolz seine Â»KriegstrophÃ¤enÂ« zeigte, Videos mit abgeschnittenen KÃ¶pfen, verbrannte und erschossene Serben, abgebrannte HÃ¤user und Leichenberge, sprach ihn das Haager Â»GerichtÂ« vor vier Wochen frei.
Die Haager AnklagebehÃ¶rde versuchte, den jugoslawischen PrÃ¤sidenten Slobodan Milosevic mangels anderer substantieller VorwÃ¼rfe fÃ¼r Verbrechen in Bosnien verantwortlich zu machen: Die FÃ¼hrung der bosnischen Serben hÃ¤tte unter seiner Kontrolle gestanden. Milosevic, dessen Anliegen nicht seine persÃ¶nliche Verteidigung war, sondern die Verteidigung des serbischen Volkes gegen die NATO-LÃ¼gen, verwandte nicht viel Zeit auf die leichte Widerlegung dieser These, der sogar Zeugen der Â»AnklageÂ« widersprachen. Er trat der DÃ¤monisierung der bosnischen Serben und Karadzics entgegen, ungeachtet der erheblichen politischen Differenzen, die er bekanntlich mit diesem erklÃ¤rten Antikommunisten gehabt hatte.
Mit der Auslieferung Karadzics an die NATO-gesteuerte Haager KolonialbehÃ¶rde hat die Belgrader Regierung ihre Bereitschaft erklÃ¤rt, unter Preisgabe der nationalen WÃ¼rde und SouverÃ¤nitÃ¤t den NATO-Feinden Gehorsam zu leisten. Die Zustimmung des neuen serbischen Innenministers Ivica Dacic, Vorsitzender der Sozialistischen Partei Serbiens, zum AuslieferungsbeschluÃŸ besiegelt den Verrat am VÃ¶lkerrecht, den Interessen der jugoslawischen VÃ¶lker und am VermÃ¤chtnis von Slobodan Milosevic.Der Autor ist Vorsitzender des Internationalen Komitees fÃ¼r die Verteidigung von Slobodan Milosevic und Sprecher der deutschen Sektion