Hague Inquisition Mocks the Rule of Law
Milosevic’s third appearance before the Hague Inquisition
(ICTY), this past Monday, provided a much-needed distraction
from the blundering war against the inhabitants of Afghan
wastelands. What better way of re-forging one’s resolve to
obliterate Afghanistan in the name of retribution, than to
remember the triumphant air war against Serbia not so long
ago that embodiment of Empire’s boldly asserted power to
attack anyone, anywhere, with impunity?
be sure, the conquest of the Balkans is not quite over yet;
some in Macedonia still refuse to unconditionally
dismember the country. Judging by recent
reports, their chances of success are slim. But the capstone
of a decade of intervention, occupation and destruction in
the Balkan Peninsula surely must be the "trial" of a man designated
to take the blame for it all. Once that is done i.e. once
Milosevic is convicted of genocide, aggression and expulsions
in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo the One Official Truth about
the past decade of warfare in what used to be Yugoslavia will
be complete, and anyone daring to question it can be dismissed
as a lunatic, dangerous heretic, or both.
almost two hours, Milosevic listened to a litany of accusations,
monotonously recited by a clerk. Then, as he angrily dismissed
them as rants of a "retarded
seven-year old," the presiding "judge" disconnected
his microphone yet again and entered a plea on Milosevic’s
behalf. Then the ball was in the press court, as reporters
painted a sinister picture of the unrepentant
"Butcher of the Balkans," scowling as he "exuded defiance
and contempt." Just so no one missed it, the London Times
even pointed out that Milosevic was the "world’s most-hated
figure" before Osama Bin Laden came along.
Milosevic’s continued defiance and his rejection of the new charges,
pertaining to the 1991 war in Croatia, were expected.
No doubt, a similar scene will play itself out once the Head
Inquisitor, Carla Del Ponte, submits the third amended
indictment, this time accusing Milosevic of genocide in the
1992-95 Bosnian War. One would not go too far out on a limb
to guess that a few days before that hearing, the Human Rights
Watch will again publish a report
asserting that it has "clear
evidence" (namely, its own assertion) that Milosevic was
absolutely guilty of everything in the indictment, and then
only does Human Rights Watch resurrect the debunked canard
about 10,000 murdered Albanians, its report makes the brazen assertion that
the crimes in Kosovo "fit into the Belgrade government’s strategic
aims." That, along with statements of interviewed victims/witnesses
and "photographs of alleged perpetrators" (!) constitutes
"clear evidence" of systematic, "carefully planned and implemented
operations." In other words, it is supposed to be the
truth because it fits HRW’s theory.
one should be glad that an organization such as HRW has such
competent, committed, independent researchers, and is not
in thrall to any government or alliance, so it can safely
throw thousands of years of jurisprudence out the window,
save American taxpayers millions of dollars in court expenses
(someone has to pay for Del Ponte’s three-ring circus),
and convict Milosevic on the power of assertions alone. And
of course, the timing of their report was purely a coincidence.
top general, who fought against NATO and the KLA in Kosovo,
the HRW allegations as "idiotic ranting," "unfounded gossip
and calculations" of people "who suffer from an inferiority
complex." That may be so, but HRW needs to be given some credit.
They understand what many in present (and former) Yugoslavia
do not: the true purpose of the Hague Inquisition.
know that giving Milosevic a pretense of fair trial (with
the inevitable conviction) would both justify the ICTY’s existence
as a "UN court, established in 1993 to bring to justice those
responsible for atrocities in the Balkans," and assert its
credibility. Once they are considered meritorious to adjudge
responsibility (i.e. guilt), the ICTY can "cover a much broader scope
of the violent breakup of Yugoslavia," asserting (and thus
proving) the existence of a "Serb campaign to route [sic]
out other ethnic groups and create a ‘greater’ Serbian state."
canard about "greater Serbia" is, in turn, the ultimate justification
of American, European, and even Islamic involvement in the
1991-2001 Wars of Yugoslav Succession. Never mind that the
US paper of record, the New York Times, featured a
front-page story about ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia 14
years ago on this very day, pointing out as a culprit
the violent Albanian separatists in Kosovo and western Macedonia.
is bitter irony in Milosevic’s claim that these Albanians
were aided by no other than Osama Bin Laden, America’s current
number-one enemy. Though at first it may sound like an opportunistic,
cynical attempt at manipulating American anger over Black
Tuesday, facts indicate otherwise. Milosevic has alleged Bin Laden’s involvement
in the Balkans for years,
and numerous reports have backed
horrible things have happened in the course of the Yugoslav
Succession Wars, as former neighbors fought over land and
power in a vacuum created by the collapse of their common
house of cards. Those who bloodied their hands in the process
certainly need to answer for their actions. After all, is
not war itself a crime against humanity? But the millions
of victims in former and current Yugoslavia do not want justice.
They want vengeance, a sentiment familiar to Americans as
they look upon the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center,
or the blackened gash in the Pentagon.
as Americans blame Bin Laden for their dead, Croats, Muslims
and Albanians fervently believe Milosevic was behind their
tragedies. Serbs, on the other hand, blame Croat, Muslim,
Albanian and American leaders.
so-called "International Criminal Tribunal" was established
to manipulate this desire for vengeance and create the illusion
of justice, all the while serving the purpose of its sponsors
and founders. Its illegitimate genesis, its practices, the
timing of its indictments, and even the general purpose
to pin blame on one people, one idea and one man, as mentioned
above all point to a cruel irony: that the inventors of modern
total war have asserted themselves as judge, jury and
executioner of the peoples whose misfortunes they have exploited,
while remaining immune from prosecution themselves.
such a world, it is not irrational that Yugoslavia, once a
founder of the United Nations, becomes its youngest member
(a year ago today); that Osama Bin Laden is declared evil
incarnate when he is accused of killing Americans, but is
ignored when he helps kill Serbs, Croats or Macedonians; that
the United States can bomb a country half the world away,
while forcing the Macedonian police to risk death in its own
country; and where justice and power both come from the barrel
of a gun or in this case, the missile rack.