September 5, 2002
of Truth and Justice
Hague Inquisition’s Factory of Lies
a month-long hiatus, Slobodan Milosevic’s show trial before
the Hague Inquisition reopened
last week. As expected, no one looked back on the prosecution’s
fiasco just before the recess, when their star witness
turned around and exonerated Milosevic. Rade Markovic, former
head of Serbian State Security, also accused the new Belgrade
authorities of abuse
and suborning perjury.
there was no talk of forced testimonies when the "trial"
resumed. Markovic was disappeared
down the memory hole, and no one in officialdom seems concerned
about his fate. Yet that would be a legitimate concern, given
the propensity of Inquisition’s prisoners to end
up dead or worse.
failed to bully Markovic into fingering his former president,
the Inquisition finds itself running both out of time and
out of lies. With only a week or so remaining for the Kosovo
stage of the process, they have opted to recycle old, debunked
accusations in a last-ditch effort to sling enough mud so
some of it would stick.
Impossible Prison Massacre
of last week’s proceedings revolved around the allegation,
brought forward by two KLA members, that Serbian police massacred
the inmates of Dubrava prison near Istok, just after NATO
bombed the penitentiary. The media had a field day with this.
Not only did they describe Musa Krasniqi, the first KLA witness,
as a "physics teacher" and buried the references
to his KLA membership elsewhere in their dispatches, they
also presented his allegations as factual. Similar
treatment was given the other witness, Gani Beqaj, though
his peacetime profession was never mentioned. Perhaps it lacked
that "instant credibility" of teaching physics…
to Krasniqi and Beqaj, the prisoners were rounded up in the
courtyard, then machine-gunned. Those who escaped (how?) were
hunted down with hand grenades for two days. Yet both
of them, and many other prisoners, stayed alive and unharmed.
They were later transferred to other prisons and "told
to say all prisoners were killed by NATO."
can be forgiven for thinking this story somewhat less than
plausible, and it’s obvious as to why. Even the dumbest criminal
out there would never tell his intended victims they were
about to be killed as part of a frame-up, then leave many
of them alive and unharmed. And Milosevic is accused of being
a criminal mastermind who "covered up his crimes"
so well that the Inquisition can’t find any evidence of it!
of the BBC
triumphant Inquisitors next referred to a Human Rights Watch
about the incident. The report was, naturally, based on interviews
and former Dubrava inmates," and not those evil,
deceptive Serbs, so it must be true, right?
highlight of the show was Jackie Rowland of the BBC, who volunteered
to testify even as many of her colleagues were protesting
the decision to subpoena (Western) journalists against
their will. In a passionate
recounting of her testimony for the Guardian, Rowland
reveals her arrogance and ignorance. She mistook sarcasm for
praise, proudly spouted inaccurate "history," and
provided the entire sordid affair with a delightfully quotable
but utterly meaningless "expert opinion":
I look at you now, Mr Milosevic, I can see that you have both
your arms. I can see the features on your face. I can see
that your body is intact. If however, you were hit by a bomb
– heaven forbid – I think I would be able to tell by looking
at your body whether that was the manner of your death."
neither Milosevic, nor anyone in the Serbian government, ever
claimed that each and every prisoner at Dubrava was killed
by a direct hit of a NATO bomb. Fewer people are killed by
direct bomb hits than by lightning. When a building is bombed,
people are killed by debris, shockwave, shrapnel, even airburst.
Rowland was making a dumb statement and being snooty about
Men and Albanian Songs
process continued this week with a witness who claimed only
Albanian houses in his town were burned. Behar Haxhiavdija
told a sordid
tale of arson in his home town, but no one seemed to correct
his geography: "Gjakova," the town mentioned in
agency reports, is the Albanian name for occupied Djakovica.
Language aside, one glaring inconsistency found its way to
an AP report of Haxhiavdija’s tale:
of the victims were dragged from the basement and shot, but
his 5-year-old son was put in a cupboard and burned alive,
said a witness who was hiding in a house nearby."
this Haxhiavdija speaking, or another witness? The indefinite
article suggests him quoting someone else, i.e. hearsay evidence.
If he was present, how did he survive? Such questions are
not expected to come up, given the shocking image of a 5-year-old
burning in a cupboard.
testimony featured a bereaved Lirij Imeraj, who claimed Serb
soldiers "singing in Serb-Croat language and
Albanian," came to her house in March 1999, and shot
her husband and six children. Imeraj and her three children
survived and ran off to Montenegro (part of Yugoslavia).
would soldiers on a murder spree spare a woman and three children,
but kill her husband and the other six? More to it, why would
they be singing in Albanian? Milosevic asked the same
question, but Imeraj said it was "impossible, not at
all possible" that the killers were KLA. She claims the
murderers were Serbs, and that she knew them – yet she named
no names, at least none that appeared in the AP story covering
Incredibly Elusive Fridge Trucks
this Tuesday, the prosecutors resurrected the accusation used
to abduct Milosevic and send him to The Hague: refrigerator
trucks filled with Albanians' bodies.
Caslav Golubovic, whose position in the Serbian police hierarchy
agency reports never properly clarified, said a truck with
30 bodies was pulled out of the Danube river in April 1999
(during the bombing). Golubovic claimed the truck was
blown up and the bodies removed under
orders from Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister.
He also said the orders came to him through General Vlastimir
are several problems with Golubovic’s story. It conveniently
blames people who can’t be questioned: Djordjevic has disappeared,
and Stojiljkovic publicly committed
suicide in April. Then there is an exhaustive study by
an American scholar, showing that the "refrigerator truck"
story was never more than a malicious, unsubstantiated rumor:
there has been no
evidence to it whatsoever.
the Inquisition certainly doesn’t care. Lack of evidence is
by itself evidence of Milosevic’s criminal mastermind, right?
As long as they can find some patsy to say the lines, they
don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!
one shouldn’t be so harsh on Golubovic. It’s hard to tell
what he actually said, given the agencies’ habit of
printing out-of-context snippets in a sea of drivel. But that
doesn’t change the fact that the refrigerator truck story
a recent interview with a pro-NATO journalist and a leader
of the International Committee to Defend Milosevic (ICDSM),
a BBC journalist claimed the war crimes have been "proven."
But where is the evidence? All the world has heard so far
have been the testimonies of dozens of coached Albanian villagers,
KLA leaders and sympathizers, NATO officials, pro-NATO diplomats
and journalists, and the Inquisition’s own "experts".
The "evidence" they produced would have been thrown
out of any American court any day of the week, and twice on
no one even remotely sane would dispute that the Yugoslav
Succession Wars (1991-95) and the conflict in Kosovo were
rife with atrocities. The real question is, were those atrocities
is obvious from the Inquisition’s indictments that the "international
community" (the Empire and its allies) believes that
Serb atrocities were systematic, while others were random.
Only Serb government leaders, in Bosnia as well as Serbia,
stand accused of war crimes. Only Serbs are charged with genocide
– by definition, a systematic crime. Only Serbs are accused
of a "joint criminal enterprise."
employed, or allegedly employed, by Milosevic’s government
or the Bosnian Serbs are routinely deemed genocidal and criminal,
but when employed by NATO, there is "no
need for investigation." Same with the U.S., Croatians,
Bosnian Muslims or the KLA.
makes sense only if seen through the logic
of total war, where the "righteous" can employ
any means necessary to defeat the "evil." Naturally,
the definition of "righteous" and "evil"
depends on who has more bombs and better press coverage.
course, the state itself is a criminal institution, using
coercion to deprive its residents of their liberty,
property and life (when it fights wars, as most states
do). So essentially, every head of state is a criminal. From
that standpoint, Slobodan Milosevic is clearly guilty of being
head of state, and doing what any head of state would do in
his place. And those persecuting him are no less guilty, of
the same infractions and
then some. Yet they claim absolute innocence and the right
to judge others, as some sort of über-government.
regime at least prosecuted several hundred soldiers and militia
who were accused of looting, murder, arson and other atrocities.
The world is yet to see any Imperial troops answer for their
deeds: not because there weren’t any – for there
were, and plenty – but because the Empire considers itself
above the law. The Hague may be a monster’s
ball, but the monster is not Milosevic.
Factory of Lies
needs no justification to act as it wishes, just as its "courts"
need no evidence to proclaim guilt. It does need, however,
to manufacture consent for its continued survival by creating
perceptions of righteousness and legitimacy.
amazing number of people still misguidedly believe that the
Hague Inquisition is a legitimate
court, staffed by impartial
prosecutors and judges, which seeks to punish perpetrators
of war crimes for the sake of peace, justice and individualized
as real, not manufactured, evidence shows each day the charade
continues, the so-called "court" in the Netherlands
is nothing more than Empire’s vicious factory of lies.
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