"At the same time, though, where are the leaders of the international community who also helped to bring events in the Balkans about? Have we ever heard one word of apology or acknowledgment of failure or responsibility from anyone in leadership positions of Unprofor, the United Nations or the major governments that they got it wrong?"
--William D. Montgomery, former special representative of the U.S. president and secretary of state for Bosnian Peace Implementation in 1996-97. Also, U.S. ambassador to Croatia from 1998 to 2000 and ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro from 2000 to 2004. (IHT, 07.12.2005)
The Hague, The Netherlands--In a vote of 13-2, Serbia has been cleared of charges of genocide surrounding the Bosnian conflict of 1992-1995, with only 50 protesters outside of the court calling-for a guilty verdict. Where were you, almighty moralists and apologists for NATO? Nowhere near the Hague, that's for certain.
NATO (through German diplomatic channels) allowed for Croatia and Slovenia to break away from Yugoslavia, a move that was strongly-opposed by Serbs, and which likely would have prevented the cataclysm that ensued. Yet, looking at the reporting today, the West's role in all of this is imperceptible:
Bosnia's Muslims and Croats followed Slovenia and Croatia in breaking away from Yugoslavia in April 1992, against the wishes of Bosnian Serbs, who were left as a one-third minority in what had previously been a Yugoslav republic ruled from Belgrade. This triggered a war in which at least 100,000 people were killed. Backed by the Yugoslav army, the Serbs captured two-thirds of Bosnia and besieged Sarajevo. Tens of thousands of non-Serbs were killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes. (Reuters, 02.26.2007)It must be an unpleasant an disorienting feeling to be someone who swallowed the line that it was all about the Serbs, when KLA (later to become Al-Qaida) was and is involved-in similar depredations.
Cognitive-dissonance is natural, however, and earned for those who wholeheartedly-embraced this notion, ignoring the facts, and accepting the hyperbole. Now you all have a tiny-piece of what it felt like to be a German after WWII.
The article still fails to mention that over 200,000 Eastern Orthodox Serbs were relocated forcibly during the conflict thanks to NATO policies, but our crimes don't exist. The Hague has done a disservice by ignoring these facts. But, if you follow the media closely, this isn't new. This is my favorite-part of the ruling:
The Serbian leaders "should have made the best effort within their power to try and prevent the tragic events then taking shape," in the U.N. enclave, the scale of which "might have been surmised," the ruling said. However, it rejected Bosnia's claim for monetary reparations. ...Serbia's claim that it was powerless to prevent the massacres "hardly tallies with their known influence" over the Bosnian Serb army, said the ruling. The ruling did not specify what Serbia could have done. (AP, 02.26.2007)I think we know what Serbia could have done--attack the UN, NATO, and the KLA. That's fair, isn't it? Considering the total chaos of the conflict, it's unsurprising that the Hague "did not specify", because that would reveal Western-involvement in funding the KLA (particularly by the US State Department).
Again, our crimes don't exist...unless you do some digging in the margins of the known record of what occurred.
But, according to most in America, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the bombings of Dresden, Munich, and the fire-bombings of Tokyo and nearly every Japanese city during WWII by Allied forces, were not war crimes. Yet, the reality is, there were. A winner's justice is never justice. The UN, and all the members of NATO are equally responsible for the what occurred during the Bosnian war, and inflicted heavier-casualties during the 1999 aerial-bombings.
During that same period, President William Jefferson Clinton's administration was committing a calculated act of genocide against Iraqi citizens through the no-fly zone, and aerial-bombardment of crucial infrastructure. This makes him and everyone who was involved in the expediting of these acts war criminals.
As a result of this, approximately 500,000 Iraqi children--almost an entire generation--died. Coupled with the invasion of Iraq--the thousands of murders, the cultural-looting, torture, rape, and more, we have all the ingredients of genocide as an ongoing-policy of the United States towards Iraq. That's attempted genocide, folks.
Someone should ask Rahm Emanuel why he did nothing to dissuade the president and the State Department from this course, and why he isn't today. But these facts escape most of the public, and certainly the majority of the intelligentsia in the West.
There is blood on our hands, and today's verdict--while fairer than expected--was still shot-through with irony and a hollowness that is typical of our daily rationalizations. We're not learning, as much as we would like to convince ourselves that we are. These are the seeds of our own destruction that might come sooner than we think, unless we change our foreign policy in a radical sense. This will require more involvement by the public.
Our Beloved AP: http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2007/02/26/ap/headlines/d8nhcsl00.txt