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December 9, 2003

Carla del Ponte's Pound of Serbian Flesh


by Stella L. Jatras

One by one, Serbs are confessing to their guilt regarding Srebrenica. Are we witnessing another Stalin show trial, where the defendants were told, "if you sign, we won't shoot you"?  Well, Stalin's victims signed and many were shot anyway, or worked to death in the Gulag.

The Hague "Tribunal" seems to have taken Uncle Joe's lesson to heart.  Serbs have been so demoralized, so dehumanized, and so brutalized that they are willing to confess to anything and everything that is put before them hoping to get a better deal for themselves and for their families.  It is obvious to this writer that The Hague's Chief Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, must have her pound of Serbian flesh either by hook or crook, in order to justify her kangaroo court. "If you don't confess (regardless of the accusation), we will guarantee that you will receive no less than 20 years," is clearly the offer from del Ponte, who, like a jackal, has tasted blood and will not rest until she has devoured her prey. It should also be remembered that the majority of funding for The Hague's International kangaroo court is being provided by the American people.

In his speech during his trip to Britain, President Bush evoked the name of Milosevic, not once but several times. The President also eluded to the evils that had occurred in Europe without, to my recollection, evoking the names of either Hitler or Stalin, as though Milosevic was more evil than those two. The question is, why?  Was it to further demonize and humiliate the Serbs?

President Bush also said that "we cannot turn Iraq over to the terrorists," yet that is exactly what was done in the Balkans by the two previous administrations. We turned the Balkans over to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda who have been operating there since the early 1990s. The President also said, "we must cut off funding for terrorists," yet we have been funding the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) or their alter ego the Kosovo Protection Corps. (KPC) in the Balkans for over a decade.
 
THE SERBS WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER

Billions and billions of dollars have been earmarked to rebuild both Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the rebuilding of Serbia after its destruction by NATO's war planes can only come until every alleged Serbian war criminal is made to pay for alleged atrocities.  President Bush even made it a point to ask each American school child to send $1.00 to help the children of Afghanistan. Oh, that such compassion would be shown for Serbian children.

In a recent e-mail (one of many) to Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia, I expressed my concerns regarding an October 30 briefing of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on "The Future of Albanians in Montenegro."  The briefing was on the alleged plight of Albanians in Montenegro, yet I have seen nothing from this congressional caucus, co-chaired by Congressman Wolf and Tom Lantos (D-CA) regarding the Serbian population of Kosovo which is being decimated by murder and ethnic cleansing.

On Friday, 14 November I received a call from Congressman Wolf's office asking if I would like to meet with him, which I and my husband did on the 18th.  We gathered from the meeting that the congressman wanted to impress upon us that he, in his opinion, has been dealing fairly with all parties concerned. We, in turn, welcomed the opportunity to impress upon him that while he was concerned about the plight of Albanians in Montenegro where we have no direct involvement, the American Congress is funding the criminals responsible for the atrocities that are still being perpetrated against the Serbian people in Kosovo. Congressman Wolf seemed to be taken aback when we showed him the photo of Sadik Chuflaj, an Albanian member of the KLA, and his son who is currently a lieutenant in the UN funded KPC, jubilantly holding the severed head of one Serb, while the severed head of another Serb was more obscure to the left of the photo.  (Warning:  Explicit photo of decapitations)  The congressman had no answer as to why, with such graphic evidence these men have not been arrested. Only now, after ten years, are two ex-army commanders, the first senior Bosnian Muslims to appear before the tribunal for "ritual beheading" of Serbs, are on trial for atrocities that go as far back as 1993. We also questioned the congressman as to why there was no congressional condemnation of  the recent axe killings of elderly Serbs and the machine gunning of Serbian youths while they were swimming. 

Although he seemed to be impressed by the evidence of Albanian actrocities, the congressman stated that until Karadzic is captured and sent to The Hague, the sanctions on Serbia will likely remain. I responded by saying that it was not fair to punish innocent Serbs collectively. The congressman answered (to paraphrase), "No, it is not fair, but that's the way it is." By this reasoning, we should not spend billions and billions of dollars to help the Iraqis until they turn over Saddam Hussein. By this reasoning we should also withhold funds from Afghanistan until they turn over Osama bin Laden. As we pointed out to the congressman, even after Karadzic is captured, there are those who then will demand the capture of Bosnian Serb and former army chief General Ratko Mladic, and so on and so on, to which the congressman said "I don't think that will happen." Ironically, shortly after our meeting, a provision was presented in the U.S. Senate to make economic assistance to Serbia and the Bosnian Serb Republic dependent on Mladic's capture.

The most troubling aspect of our meeting with Congressman Wolf was the realization that if a man like Frank Wolf, who is correct on most issues, who is truly concerned about human rights, who has worked hard on behalf of persecuted Christians in Sudan and China, is not demanding the same human rights for the Serbian people, then there is little chance that we will see justice for the Serbian people.

All sides do terrible things in civil wars, but only Milosevic, dubbed by his accusers as The Butcher of the Balkans, has been singled out for particular reprimand and demonization.  Scarce attention is given to Croatian war criminals (and only if the crime was perpetrated against Muslims) and virtually no attention is given to Bosnian Muslim or ethnic Albanian [KLA] terrorists. Is it not a war crime to willingly slaughter your own people ("Muslims slaughter their own people ," The [London] Independent, 22 Aug. 1992), in order to advance a Muslim Bosnia as did Alija Izetbegovic? Is it not a war crime to ethnically cleanse an entire people from their Serbian ancestral homes in Croatia as did Croatian forces during "Operation Storm," with U.S. military aid and technology? Only after the war criminals Bosnian President Izetbegovic and Croatian President Tudjman are dead do the Serb-bashers say, "Oh yes, if they hadn't died they would have been indicted."  Needless to say, with the deaths of Tudjman and Izetbegovic, the war crimes committed by their accomplices will not be pursued.

Even if Carla del Ponte's court were fair and just, to continue to punish the Serbian people is uncivilized, immoral and above all, cruel. Americans want to be known as compassionate. Where is the compassion for the Serbian people? These are the people who demonstrated against Milosevic for four months in the cold of the 1996 winter with no help or support from the American government or media. These are the people who themselves or their parents or grandparents fought alongside us in two world wars. These are the people who saved over 500 American airmen during World War Two at great sacrifice to themselves. These are the people who lived for nearly 50 years under communist rule largely as a result of our support of the dictator Josip Broz Tito.

MANY DISCREPANCIES REMAIN

Many discrepancies remain regarding what actually happened at Srebrenica "'Srebrenica' – Code Word to Silence Critics of U.S. Policies in the Balkans." Strategic Studies reported on 19 Sep. 2003, "On the eve of the dedication of a monument to Muslims killed at Srebrenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1995, a group which includes a former UN official, intelligence experts, and journalists, released a statement challenging the alleged casualty number of 7,000 victims as vastly inflated and unsupported by evidence'."

In an exclusive analysis titled, "US Official Implicated With Bosnian High Representative Ashdown in Attempted to Force Fabricated Report on Srebrenica," Gregory R. Copley, Editor of Global Information System (GIS) and Director of Strategic Studies, with input from sources in Sarajevo and elsewhere, wrote "Very reliable sources within the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other sources in Sarajevo have told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily that a second US official, Amb. Donald S. Hays, the Deputy High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been actively engaged in attempts to force a fabricated report to be published on the controversial wartime fighting at the city of Srebrenica.

"Amb. Hays, presumably at the insistence of High Representative Paddy Ashdown, the former British politician, has demanded the publication of a so-called 'final report' on an alleged mass-killing of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995, during the Bosnian civil war, by the Government of Republika Srpska, the predominantly Serbian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In essence, Amb. Hays and Lord Ashdown are attempting to force the Government of Republika Srpska (RS) to admit that Serbs were responsible for killing thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica."

It is evident that through intimidation and threats, the leadership of Bosnian Serb President Cavic has been told not to question; not to qualify anything, just admit, and then the powers-that-be will see whether the Serbs will be allowed to survive as the state of Republika Srpska.

Former Canadian Ambassador to Belgrade James Bissett expresses his sentiments thusly: "One of the reasons that I have championed the Serbian cause in Canada and why I spoke out against the bombing was because I was very much aware of the lies being told.  Another reason was because I knew it was almost impossible for the Serbian community to defend itself.  It needed an outside and objective spokesperson and I have tried to play that role and will continue to do so."

There have been so many false accusations, so many exaggerations, so many hoaxes against the Serbian people, even charges of cannibalism, that one wonders where reason stops and insanity begins. By confessing to crimes they haven't committed, Serbs will only meet the same fate as those who confessed at Stalin's show trials. Unfortunately, the lies have been told so often that even the Serbs have begun to believe them.

As former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic said, "This war is an example of what modern media and governments can do. They can arrange anything. Put on a show so that their people believe anything. While watching their television pictures or their radios sometimes I myself almost came to the conclusion: We Serbs, we are real swine. They could put their stories together that well."


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As a career military officer's wife, Stella Jatras has traveled widely and has lived in many foreign countries where she not only learned about other cultures but also became very knowledgeable regarding world affairs and world politics. Stella Jatras lived in Moscow for two years (where her husband, George, was the Senior Air Attaché), and while there, worked in the Political Section of the US Embassy. Stella has also lived in Germany, Greece and Saudi Arabia. Her travels took her to over twenty countries.

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