Dead Babies and Baby Killers
Witness K41: "The people who were in the houses were expelled. They were forced out into the yard…There was a gun placed to each of their heads…I think there were about 15 people there. There were women there too, children. I remember at least one child that I saw…"
Prosecutor Dirk Rynevald: "Were there any babies? …"
Witness K41: "Yes…There was at least one baby. It might have been well, not even a year old. A soldier checked to see if they had any money. The rest of the soldiers started to leave the yard, and the four of us, or five of us, remained. And our sergeant, Sergeant Kozlina, ordered us to shoot the people who were in the yard. The people who were shot at began falling down one across the other, one over the other, and what I remember most vividly is how I remember this very vividly. There was a baby, and it had been shot with three bullets, and it was screaming unbelievably loud….
Never a night goes by without my dreaming about that child."
Is this a scene from yet another Hollywood Holocaust movie? Is it from Schindler's List? Is this the Racak Massacre Hoax, an example of Propaganda of the Deed? Is this the massacre at Babi Yar during World War II? Is this "testimony" from the Iraqi Baby Incubator Hoax that Tom Lantos manufactured and concocted/orchestrated to foment war against Iraq? In 1990, Iraqi troops were alleged to have turned off incubators and allowed Kuwaiti babies to die. There were dead babies. The Iraqi troops were baby killers. Is this the testimony of Hun atrocities in Belgium in 1914 during World War I? German troops were alleged to have carried dead babies on bayonets and to have cut off the arms of Belgian children, dismembering a baby.
This was the testimony of Witness K41 at the ICTY "international trial of the century" of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, at the session held on Friday, September 6, 2002. The testimony by K41 bears a striking resemblance and similarity to the "Hun atrocities" alleged to have been committed in Belgium in August, 1914 and to the Iraqi Incubator Hoax of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
British and French government/media propaganda accused German troops of the mass rape of Belgian girls in public in Liege. German troops were accused of mutilating the breasts of a Belgian girl. The classic propaganda image of the Allied propaganda against Germany was the dead Belgian baby on a bayonet. German troops, eight in number, were accused of bayoneting a two-year-old Belgian baby. The London Times published the news dispatch of an eyewitness account of German atrocities against Belgian babies. A man was quoted as stating that he witnessed "with his own eyes German soldiery chop off the arms of a baby which clung to its mother's skirts." The French propaganda office even manufactured a photograph of the "handless baby" which on September 18, 1915 was published in the French newspaper La Rive Rouge. The French media included a drawing that showed German troops eating the hands of the dead baby. A Belgian commission of inquiry in 1922, however, failed to find any evidence whatsoever for any of these alleged atrocities. But that is irrelevant.
The truth of the allegations is irrelevant in propaganda. What is important is that the dead babies propaganda was successful on the propaganda front. For Britain and France, the dead babies propaganda rallied domestic public opinion against Germany. The truth of the allegations is irrelevant and immaterial. The goal was to create public opinion on the home front to create support for a continuation of the war, to manufacture racist/national/ethnic fervor, to instill war frenzy and to lessen the antipathy towards killing. The Belgian atrocity propaganda was also used to create public support in the US for a declaration of war against Germany. As John MacArthur noted, "slaughtered and mutilated Belgian babies were a tremendous propaganda triumph for the Allies."
Dead babies propaganda would be used again in the Iraqi Persian Gulf War in 1991. Propaganda techniques do not change. Wars and "dictators" and "butchers" come and go, but propaganda techniques do not. Why is this so? Propaganda appeals to fundamental, universal impulses of man. Propaganda relies on archetypes of the human mental psyche, primordial psychological processes and mechanisms of the mind. There are archetypical motifs, paradigms, stereotypes that are unchanging. This is why massacres, atrocities, the mass rape of women and the killing of babies remains an unchanging propaganda technique from the 1914 Belgian atrocities to the 2002 ICTY "international trial of the century" of Slobodan Milosevic. The mass rape propaganda technique was revived during the Bosnian civil war while the dead babies propaganda was used again in the Iraqi War of 1991 and the Milosevic trial of 2002. You go with what works. And if it works, why change it? Why fix it if it ain't broken?
The ICTY dead babies propaganda is analogous to the Jewish Ritual Murder allegations or "blood libels" in European history. In medieval Europe, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic racism and racist paranoia was induced by manufacturing allegations that Jews abducted Christian babies and then killed them in sacrificial religious blood rites. Jews require the blood of Christian babies for the Passover rite or ritual. Every year Jews abduct a Christian baby, torture and crucify the baby, pierce its side, perform a circumcision, then they kill the Christian baby and dispose of the body. The Jewish ritual murder of Christian babies charge first emerged in England. Thomas of Monmouth published an account of St. William of Norwich in 1173. William was alleged to have been the victim of a Jewish ritual murder committed in Norwich in 1144 by a converted Jew, Theobald. William was tortured, circumcised, and his side was pierced in a mock crucifixion. Anti-Jewish propaganda and paranoia would eventually result in the expulsion from England of all Jews by King Edward. In 1171, Jews of Blois, France, were accused of crucifying a French Christian baby during Passover as a ritualistic yearly murder. Jews then threw the dead baby into the Loise river. There was a dead baby. Jews were baby killers. That was the message. That was the image. The association was with dead Christian babies and Jews. Similarly, anti-Gypsy racism and bigotry is based on the allegation that wandering Gypsies kidnap helpless and defenseless babies who are subsequently murdered. The dead baby propaganda of the ICTY prosecutors makes use of the same psychological or psychic mechanisms and responses of the human brain. The dead babies allegations legitimize racial and religious hatred and suspicion and in the case of the Kosovo conflict, "revenge killings" of Serbian children due to the "repression" and "oppression" of the "ethnic Albanians". K41 was used to show that the Yugoslav/Serbian Army was made up of baby killers. Slobodan Milosevic was a baby killer. By implication, every Serbian Orthodox is a baby killer. This should insult our intelligence and human dignity. But the ICTY prosecution is appealing to our emotions, our feelings. Don't think, just feel. Focus on the image. The image is everything. Just take in the image of a dead Albanian baby being shot with three bullets and screaming. Do you feel guilty now? Do you feel remorse? Well, do you? Do you still want to be a Serb now? Feel. Do not think. How many times have we heard this before?
During the Iraqi conflict, Iraqi troops were accused of removing 312 babies from incubators and placing them on the hospital floors to die in Kuwait City. The London Telegraph of September 5, 1990 reported that "babies in the premature unit of one hospital had been removed from their incubators so that these, too, could be carried off." Two days later, the Los Angeles Times carried a Reuters news dispatch which reported: "Iraqis are beating people…taking hospital equipment, babies out of incubators. Life-support systems are turned off…The Iraqis are beating Kuwaitis…cutting their ears off if they are caught resisting." MacArthur noted that "of all the accusations made against the dictator, none had more impact on American public opinion" than the dead babies propaganda. The dead babies propaganda was manufactured by the US government. President George Bush used the dead babies propaganda is calling for a war against Iraq in 1991. The US government colluded with the media and PR firms to manufacture the hoax. Tom Lantos orchestrated the presentation of bogus "testimony" to substantiate the dead babies accusation. Lantos presented "Nayirah" who would testify about witnessing the murder of innocent Kuwaiti babies. Nayirah testified before the Human Rights Caucus as follows:
I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital…While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.
Voila! Dead babies! Of course, the later investigations proved the Kuwaiti baby incubator story was a manufactured hoax, manufactured and orchestrated by the US Government, the Hill & Knowlton PR firm, the US media, and Tom Lantos. Why did Lantos not reveal her last name? Nayirah was actually Nayirah al-Sabah, the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US. It was all a phony propaganda stunt orchestrated and staged by the US Government. It was a hoax and a sham. But it worked. And therefore it is to be imitated and repeated. That is why we see its reappearance at the "trial of the century" of Slobodan Milosevic. What is the lesson here? What is the moral? In the New World Order, all we are concerned with is results. If it works, it is good. If it does not work, it is bad. This is the morality and ethics of the New World Order. This is the ethos of the era. Selling. But you cannot have economic expansion and exploitation without first having military and political exploitation. It is all about selling. We want to build more McDonald's restaurants. We want to build Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises globally. The goal is to expand markets. The avatars of the New World Order are the Big Mac and the soft-drink Coca-Cola and affordable PCs. Selling. Get used to it. Because we will see it repeated ad infinitum and ad nauseam.
Why use dead babies propaganda? Dead babies propaganda is highly effective as Western propagandists have learned since the 1914 Belgian atrocity hoax following the German occupation of Belgium in August, 1914. But attempting to portray the Serbian Orthodox as baby killers is an act of desperation and a sign of utter weakness by the prosecutors at the ICTY. Dead babies propaganda is a last resort. Its use demonstrates moral and ethical bankruptcy and total disregard for human rights, for humanity, humanitas. Why did the ICTY use it? The ICTY could find no evidence of genocide in Kosovo, no evidence of war crimes, no evidence of a plan or conspiracy by Slobodan Milosevic to deport or ethnically cleanse Albanians, no evidence of crimes against humanity. The ICTY learned that the Milosevic regime was engaged in a legal and legitimate state action to prevent infiltration/invasion of armed terrorist groups from Albania, the "mother country", a terrorist army that sought to create an ethnically pure Greater Albania that would encompass "Kosova", Kosovo-Metohija, and "Illirida", western Macedonia. Indeed, events in "Kosova" following the NATO bombing showed that this was the actual goal all along.
Dead babies propaganda is a textbook example of the Atrocity Technique or Atrocity Appeal in propaganda. Atrocity propaganda was the US/NATO technique used during the Bosnian Civil War to mobilize public opinion against the Bosnian Serb faction. How was this done? The US/NATO/ media relied on atrocity propaganda. The Bosnian Serb forces massacred Bosnian Muslims and Croat civilians, engaged in a systematic policy of mass rape as an instrument of war, established "rape camps" or "rape motels", set up concentration camps to intern Bosnian Muslim and Croat civilians. The US government/media concocted the Markale Massacre I and Markale Massacre II, the Sarajevo Breadline Massacre, and the Srebrenica Massacre. Why did the US government/media do this? This was done to create anti-Serbian public opinion so that the groundwork could be established for war against the Serbian faction. The ultimate aim of all propaganda is to enable or to justify the killing of the "enemy".
Dead babies propaganda is meant to camouflage or obscure/obfuscate the fact that the ICTY has failed to prove or establish any part of its case against Slobodan Milosevic. A focus on dead babies is termed an appeal to the emotions, Affective Appeal in propaganda analysis. In other words, it as an appeal to emotion, not to reasoning, not the intellect. The goal is to bypass reason. Atrocity propaganda in fact is meant to preclude or prevent thought. Don't think, don't use your brain, the ICTY prosecutors are saying, but let your emotions control you. Here is a dead Albanian baby that Yugoslav troops have killed. You must emote, you must feel. Guilt and contrition are the objectives here. The Milosevic trial is aimed primarily at the Serbian population. That is why there is a virtual news black-out in the US. The "trial of the century" is meant for Serbia. Ironically, Pravda exposed the Milosevic trial as "The Lie of the Century." It is a waste of time for Americans. The trial is meant to discredit Serbia and the Serbian people, the Orthodox. This was noted concisely in a Houston Chronicle article of February 26, 2002: "Truth is, Serbia's on trial along with Milosevic." This is why Sylvia Poggioli of NPR interviews citizens of Belgrade and not in New York or Washington, DC. The trial is meant to vindicate or justify the NATO bombing and the anti-Serbian Orthodox propaganda. Common sense tells us the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia violated the UN Charter and all rules, customs, and agreements of international law. The unprovoked NATO bombing, invasion, and occupation of Serbia/Yugoslavia violated basic principles of sovereignty. The only way NATO could sell the war was by propaganda, by manufacturing an imperative for intervention based on genocide. But there was no genocide. Thus the need to justify the illegal NATO aggressive war against a UN state, Yugoslavia. The trial is meant to justify and vindicate what cannot be justified and vindicated. Thus there is a mindless and inexplicable appeal to emotion. Don't think. Feel.
Why appeal to emotion? We cannot control our emotions. Emotion is spontaneous and based on our subconscious and operates at the subliminal level. Is this propaganda technique new or original? Adolf Hitler examined and discussed this propaganda technique in Mein Kampf in 1924. Hitler wrote that atrocity propaganda, dead babies propaganda, appeals to the emotion, and not the intellect:
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the masses…The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blasé young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses…Its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect…Sober reasoning determines the people's thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling…
As Hitler understood, propaganda is illogical and based not on reason, but on emotion and feeling. This is why the ICTY prosecution used the dead babies propaganda which is illogical, absurd, and factually unconvincing. But emotionally the dead babies propaganda is effective because its appeal is to the emotions, which are involuntary and reflexive and which are sensory in nature.
How did the media report on this testimony of the alleged killing of a baby? Ian Black in The Guardian Unlimited for September 6, 2002 had this headline: "Milosevic's army shot baby in village massacre". As the ICTY prosecutors planned, the media focused on the dead baby, the dead babies propaganda, the baby killers propaganda. "We shot a little baby three times: soldiers tell" was the headline in the Sun-Herald on September 8, 2002. This article even falsifies/manipulates the testimony by adding the superfluous redundancy "little" to describe the dead baby. K41 never used the adjective "little". Isn't a baby always "little"? Media overkill? Propaganda? The propaganda, nevertheless, worked as the ICTY prosecution knew it would. Never mind that legally their case against Milosevic was a total failure and fiasco and amounted to a show or witch-hunt trial or political trial masterminded by the US/NATO. Never mind that legally the dead babies propaganda had achieved absolutely nothing, had shown or proven nothing. That was irrelevant. Why bother with something as trivial as jurisprudence, due process, fundamental fairness, and basic legal principles and procedures? The headline in the Electronic Telegraph for September 6, 2002 was "Milosevic unmoved": "Milosevic yawns as soldier witness tells of village massacre" by Neil Tweedie for September 7, 2002. National Public Radio (NPR) pointed to the dead babies testimony to vindicate and justify their anti-Serbian posture.
The US and Western media advanced the propaganda line that, contrary to all common sense and rudimentary legal concepts, the ICTY had proven its case against Milosevic. Isabel Vincent in The National Post Online for September 14, 2002, argued that the ICTY prosecutors had won a "slam dunk": "Milosevic prosecutors win a 'slam dunk'". Ruth Wedgwood, an international law professor at Johns Hopkins University, was quoted as follows: "Kosovo was a slam dunk." The term "slam dunk" is an Americanism using a basketball analogy. Does using a basketball analogy in a genocide prosecution reveal profound moral hypocrisy and ethical cynicism or does it demonstrate a genuine concern for human rights? According to Vincent, the K41 dead babies testimony was achieving its results in Serbia, instilling guilt and contrition of the Serbian Orthodox as the ICTY prosecutors planned: "After K41's testimony, media outlets in Belgrade noted prosecutors were beginning to win the case against Mr. Milosevic." Of course, not legally, but emotionally, or at the propaganda or infowar level. The propaganda was working. Keep it coming. Give us more of the same. As for the legal case against Milosevic, Vincent concluded that the ICTY prosecutors "appeared to present a strong case." The operative term here is "appeared". Was a strong legal case against Milosevic presented? We do not know because "appeared" is a meaningless, superficial term, actually a propagandistic term implying plausible deniability and reality control and spin. Based on the facts and the evidence, the prosecution case was a total and complete failure and flop/fiasco, "the travesty of the century".
Why does the US and Western media use the term "ethnic" to describe Albanians but not the other ethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia? The use of the term "ethnic" stands out as an anomaly. The ethnic Serbs of Bosnia-Hercegovina were referred to as "Bosnian Serbs". The ethnic Serbs of Krajina were referred to as "Croatian Serbs". The ethnic Macedonians of Macedonia were referred to as "Slavs". Does a propaganda pattern emerge? Why the difference in media reporting with reference to the term "ethnic"? Nothing in propaganda or infowar is by accident or at random. This terminology was devised and manufactured at the US State Department and then handed out to the "free and independent" media as an instance of handout journalism. Every word, every nuance of the psyop technician has a subtle purpose. As Hitler noted, propaganda is not meant as "interesting distraction for blasé young gentlemen". Propaganda takes time, coordination, planning, and money to organize. Infowar techniques have a specific result in mind, to convince. To be consistent, US/Western terminology should refer to Bosnian Serbs, Croatian Serbs, as "ethnic" Serbs. But that was not the case. Ethnic Albanians should be referred to as Yugoslav Albanians or Serbian Albanians. In the Macedonia conflict, the two groups, Albanians and Macedonians, were described as "ethnic Albanians" and "Slavs" respectively. Is this just random and by accident? We have to get inside the mind of the US propagandist here. The terms the US propagandist uses are based on function or on objectives the US propagandist seeks to advance or achieve. Let us take the term "Croatian Serbs", an oxymoron coined by the US propagandist at the US State Department. Why this term? The infowar technician wants to convince the reader that the ethnic Serbian population of Croatia only has meaning as part of Croatia. In other words, the propagandist opposes any autonomy for the Krajina Serbs or ethnic Serbs of Croatia. The way this brainwashing is achieved is by the oxymoron "Croatian Serbs". Similarly, the US propagandist coined the term "Bosnian Serb" for the ethnic Serbs of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Why? The choice here again is to limit Serbs to the territory of Bosnia by the use of the limiting adjective "Bosnian". The propagandist could just as well have used "ethnic Serbs" or "Hercegovina Serbs" but instead chose "Bosnian Serbs". Similarly, in the Macedonian conflict, the US propagandist could use the term "Macedonian Albanians" but instead refers to them as "ethnic Albanians". This requires a parallel designation for "ethnic Macedonians". But inconsistently and illogically, the propaganda specialist uses the term "Slavs". Here the goal is the opposite. The term "ethnic" is used because "Macedonian" would limit the Albanian population to the territory of Macedonia. The term "Slavs" is used because the infowar technician wants to de-legitimize the ethnic Macedonian classification. The dichotomy is between "ethnic Albanians" and "Slavs". This creates parity and equality between the two groups and allows for the establishment of a separate Albanian federation in Macedonia, the division of the country into "Slavs" and "ethnic Albanians", the Greater Albania federalization plan. Similarly, the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia is referred to as "ethnic Albanians" and not as "Yugoslav Albanians" or "Serbian Albanians" or Kosovo Albanians. The rationale is obvious. The US propagandist seeks to deny legitimacy to Yugoslavia and to Serbia by using the vague and open term "ethnic". This systematic and planned propaganda campaign insults our intelligence and treats us like swine and cattle. But the US government and media do not agree. They would maintain that they are doing us a service, that they are teaching us how to think correctly and ethically. Moreover, they are counteracting the negative influence of the "butcher", "dictator", "Hitler", Milosevic's propaganda. So enjoy it. It is for your own good.
The dead babies testimony was presented by witness K41, an anonymous witness, who presented his testimony on "video link". K41 was the star prosecution witness after the botched Rade Markovic fiasco. K41 was the final act, the climax to the Kosovo Phase of the "trial of the century". Before his testimony, Judge Richard May summarily dismissed Milosevic's request to make legal submissions: "Mr. Milosevic, we're not hearing legal submissions now." Judge May was eager and excited to get the star witness who was going to deliver the "slam dunk" against Milosevic: "Now, Witness K41, we're going to hear your evidence." K41 was questioned by Ryneveld, and cross-examined by Slobodan Milosevic and Branislav Tapuskovic.
Much of the background information regarding K41 was "redacted" from the trial transcripts, that is, it was cut out or censored. But what emerged was that K41 was unable to get a passport to appear at the Hague in the Netherlands because he was a suspected criminal fugitive, wanted by the Yugoslav police, who had been to his house seeking his arrest. K41 was 19 years old at the time he was a member of the 549th Motorized Brigade in Prizren. K41 was in the Battalion Technical Company. His duties consisted of the maintenance of trucks, road construction, and delivering food supplies. His Logistics Battalion was part of the Technical Company under the charge of Sergeant Rajko Kozlina. K41 served from September 9, 1998 to June 10, 1999. His company was ordered to set up an ambush in the Trnje area of Kosovo. K41 testified that he and other Yugoslav troops had expelled Albanian civilians from villages after the villages had been shelled. He had received orders "to clean up the village." There had been no shooting from the village. He testified that the inhabitants were all Albanian civilians. He stated that there was "looting" of "shops" by Yugoslav troops. He saw no UCK/KLA uniforms. K41 "left the village of Trnje with a truck full of bodies and children." A truck full of dead babies! Hill & Knowlton and Ruder Finn could never top that one. What a propaganda bonanza! Too bad this is a trial and not a PR campaign. Hill & Knowlton and Ruder Finn would have a field day. One of his accomplices in the massacre was Miroslav Fejzic according to K41. But during cross-examination Milosevic was able to show that no one by the name of Miroslav Fejzic was in the company. His actual name was Mohammed Fejzic. Why is this important? It may or may not be. K41 stated that the "nickname" for Fejzic in the company was "Miroslav", a Slavic Christian name. Why would a Muslim be called by such a "nickname"? One possible explanation is the ICTY prosecutors wanted to conceal the fact that one of the accomplices to the so-called massacre near Trnje was a Muslim. The object was to create a clear-cut line between Good and Evil, a classic dichotomy between Us and Them. But if one of those killing the Muslim victims was a Muslim himself, the story is rendered less plausible. Moreover, the dichotomy is destroyed. Miroslav Fejzic? That is an oxymoron. Why conceal the fact that his real name is Mohammed Fejzic?
In his cross-examination of Witness K41, Milosevic was able to show that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of K41 for armed robbery. The police had come to K41's house but he had fled. He was fleeing and eluding arrest. This is a serious crime in itself. K41 was a wanted criminal and a self-confessed murderer. Why was he the star prosecution witness against Milosevic?
Milosevic explained that he wanted to "test" the "credibility" of K41 by this line of question. Judge May, however, cautioned Milosevic to question K41 on his testimony only. Milosevic stated that "quite obviously we're dealing with a criminal here." Milosevic explained that K41 was part of a contingent sent to the village of Ljubizda Has near the Albanian border where UCL/KLA guerrillas/terrorists were infiltrating Yugoslavia from their military bases in Albania. The unit of which K41 was a member had set up an ambush position at the village which was 4 kilometers from the Albanian border on the Pastrik Mountains. Milosevic introduced evidence that representatives of the OSCE Verification Mission witnessed the Yugoslav military operations in the region at the time. The OSCE "conducted a verification spot-check" and concluded that no civilians were killed. There were no massacres or executions according to the OSCE monitors who were on the scene. Instead, 9 UCK/KLA guerrillas were killed in the operation in Jeskovo. The UCK "freedom fighters'/"terrorists" were all wearing UCK military uniforms with Greater Albania badges, the black double-headed eagle on a red background, the national flag of Albania, the mother country. The UCK troops all possessed weapons. Brigadier General Michel Maisonneuve of the Canadian force, head of the regional center in Prizren, along with OSCE monitors from Poland, Finland, and Russia confirmed these facts. How could the OSCE monitors miss another Racak-style massacre under their own eyes? Milosevic concluded that "this witness, like many others, is a false witness."
Milosevic pointed out an inconsistency in the testimony. K41 stated that the massacre occurred in Trnje. But K32, an earlier who witness gave the same testimony, claimed that Medvedje was where the massacre occurred. After a recess, the court announced that K32 had later corrected his version to agree with that of K41. Milosevic concluded: "These witnesses did not reach the right kind of agreement when they were supposed to tell these falsehoods."
K41 was part of a Logistics Battalion that supplied food and water to front-line troops stationed in the Trnje area of Kosovo-Metohija. Logistics is involved with supply, not combat or actions in "built-up" positions, and operates in the rear. Captain First Class Major Pavle Gavrilovic had stated that every soldier was instructed on how to treat the wounded, POWs, and civilians and informed of humanitarian law. The Geneva Convention guidelines were read to the troops. The "Rules for Combatants" was also provided to the troops. Gavrilovic concluded that no violations had occurred in this area. K41 testified that there were no UCK/KLA troops in the area. There was no combat whatsoever. Milosevic queried K41: "You were just going and killing babies, women, and children."
K41 stated that the Yugoslav forces suffered no casualties and were not in danger. But Milosevic then disproved this statement by introducing KFOR documents that showed that a UCK/KLA brigade was in that area. A heavy KLA concentration of military forces was located precisely in the Trnje area. Milosevic showed that three Yugoslav troops, Slobodan Gasparic, Bojan Jovanovic, and Vladimir Mirko had been killed in the operation K41 described in combat with KLA guerrillas. Milosevic was able to contradict the testimony of K41 that there were no Yugoslav losses. The trial transcript is redacted following this evidence. The evidence was presented in private session. Milosevic asserted that this evidence was offered "to show you that the witness has not been telling the truth about other matters either."
Milosevic then introduced evidence that the OSCE had reported no civilian deaths in the Trnje area of Kosovo. In fact, Yugoslav police and military forces had helped the Albanian civilians of this area to build roads. The UCK/KLA guerrillas had occupied the villages and imposed terror and blackmailed residents into paying money to KLA. K41 testified that Yugoslav forces had burned houses in Mamusa. But Milosevic introduced a tape that showed that no houses had been burned in Mamusa. On the tape, Albanian residents of Mamusa reported that no houses had been burned. K41 stated that his unit fired an anti-aircraft gun at the Albanian village for 20 minutes non-stop. Milosevic, however, was able to show that based on the rate of fire of the gun, it was not possible to maintain constant fire for that long without the ammunition running out. K41 then changed his testimony and stated that the fire was sporadic only. Milosevic clearly showed that K41 did not know what he was talking about.
Yugoslav military rules, regulations, and laws required a member of the armed forces to report an order to commit a crime and to disobey such an order. An order to commit a crime was to be reported to a superior officer immediately. All members of the Yugoslav armed forces were duty-bound by the "Rules of Service" which every member of the armed forces was required to know. Milosevic introduced the "Rules of Service" as part of the evidence to the court. Milosevic asked K41 if he was aware of these rules and regulations. K41 replied that he was not. Milosevic explained that every Yugoslav soldier was informed of these regulations. K41 played dumb. Perhaps he didn't have to play that much.
The amicus curia, Branislav Tapuskovic, then cross-examined K41. Judge May admonished him: "Mr. Tapuskovic, we wish not to be too long." Setting a time limit on cross-examination is definitely a clear violation of due process. Tapuskovic asked K41 why he chose now to come forward with his testimony about killing the "little" baby. Why had it taken him nearly three years to confess his crimes? If he is innocent, why does he fear going to the police? K41 explained that he wanted to have his relatives exonerate him. He did not want to go to the police. Tapuskovic explained that the proper and legal way to be exonerated was to go before a magistrate or judge. This is how to clear his name. Eluding and fleeing the police was not the accepted or normal way to be exonerated. K41 stated that he planned to go to the police "when it suits me." K41 was asked about ICTY investigator John Zdrilic. Did Zdrilic recruit him to testify? Was he offered anything in exchange for his testimony? K41 explained: "I thought that if I come forward and tell the truth that I will feel easier in my soul." It had taken three years for K41 to make his "confession".
Dead babies. That is what the Kosovo phase of the ICTY Slobodan Milosevic "international trial of the century" came down to. In the final analysis, this is what the prosecution used to close their case against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the "Hitler", "dictator", "Butcher of the Balkans". The earlier ICTY "star witness" exonerated Milosevic and admitted that he was coerced. Milosevic alleged that Markovic was "tortured" to testify falsely against him. Judge May prevented any testimony on the "torture" allegation because he ruled that it was "irrelevant" to the Kosovo case.
The Kosovo phase of the "trial of the century", the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic in the ICTY in the Hague, concluded on September 11, 2002. Milosevic had been charged with 66 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the conflicts in Kosovo-Metohija, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Croatia/Krajina. In what human rights groups have dubbed "the international trial of the century", 95 days were spent on in court testimony. The three-member panel was presided over by Judge Richard May of the UK appointed by Tony Blair. The prosecutor was Geoffrey Nice of the UK. In these 95 days, 124 witnesses were called, both public/open and "secret"/anonymous witnesses, while chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte assembled over 300 exhibits, consisting of maps, charts, photographs, video tapes, and statements. What is the result of the Kosovo phase? The trial has been a total, complete, and unmitigated failure and disaster. The trial has been exposed as a political show trial orchestrated by the US/NATO. Fundamental and elementary principles of due process have been egregiously violated. News coverage of the trial has been censored, suppressed, and manipulated. The trial has been a useful propaganda tool of US/NATO. Legally the trial is a travesty of justice. The trial of the century is a lynching, exposing the so-called Western justice as a sham.
What have legal analysts and the so-called mainstream media concluded about the Kosovo phase of the trial of the century? In The Independent (UK), September 11, 2002, Stephen Castle concluded that the prosecution "fails to make vital link" in "Case against Milosevic fails to make vital link". The prosecution needed to prove command responsibility on the part of Slobodan Milosevic. But this was not done. Castle concluded: "It says [the prosecution] proves Mr. Milosevic must have known of the murder and deportation of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, and he therefore bears command responsibility." Ian Black in "Milosevic protests as curtain falls on first act of his trial" in The Guardian (UK), September 12, 2002, concluded: "If there were a jury in this trial, it would probably be deeply divided at this stage."
Lynching or Justice?
Is the ICTY trial of Slobodan Milosevic an example of justice or is it a lynching? Edward L. Greenspan, QC, a Toronto attorney in The National Post Online for March 13, 2002 concluded: "This is a lynching!" Due process was violated as well as fundamental fairness and elementary legal rules. Slobodan Milosevic was prevented by Judge May from conducting a complete and thorough cross-examination. May has set time limitations on the Milosevic cross-examinations and has restricted their scope. This is a blatant violation of an accused's right to cross-examination. As Judge Learned Hand noted: "Thou shalt not ration justice." Justice is rationed when a time limit is set for cross-examination. Greenspan noted the political nature of the trial and its function as a show trial masterminded and organized by the US/NATO. Greenspan concluded that the trial of the century was nothing short of a lynching:
This is a lynching. Normally, lynchings are done outdoors. Here, the lynching has been brought indoors. Instead of a tree and rope, there are May and Del Ponte. The problem with lynching is that it's flawed as a process, whether the man who gets hanged is innocent or guilty. The result is certain. A kangaroo court is one in which legal procedures are largely a show, and the action "jumps" from accusation to sentencing without due process. No matter how long a trial takes, if the result is inevitable, then it's a show trial. The accusers might as well shoot Milosevic. At least it doesn't soil the process.
Lynchings have a long history in American "justice". Between 1882 and 1951, 4,730 persons were lynched in the United States, 1,293 white, 3,437 black, by vigilantes or vigilance groups. "Lynch law" or swamp law consists in the administration of justice by a self-appointed and self-constituted court that imposes sentence on a person without due process. The goal is political and social submission. Various explanations have been offered for the derivation of the term "lynching". One explanation bases the derivation from Colonel Charles Lynch (1736-1796), a Virginia planter and justice of the peace, who harassed Tories during the American Revolutionary War. Summary punishment, usually hanging, was imposed by a self-appointed commission without a trial based in law. The punishment of persons suspected of crime without due process of law is the gravamen of the definition. Another derivation bases the term on Captain William lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, who made an agreement to punish criminals without due process of law. Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan at the Million Man March maintained lynching was derived from William Lynch, a British slave-owner in the West Indies who later settled in the United States. Lynch was alleged to have made a speech in 1712 to US slave owners advising them on how to control and subjugate their slaves.
How did the ICTY obtain jurisdiction over Slobodan Milosevic? Due to intense military, economic, and political pressure by the US and NATO amounting to "blackmail", Milosevic was arrested and extradited to the Hague Tribunal in 2001. The US/NATO blackmail included arming and training the UCK/KLA/UCMPB Greater Albanian "terrorists", "guerrillas", "insurgents", and planning military operations on their behalf in Southern Serbia. The US/NATO sent this KLA proxy army from US/NATO occupied Kosovo into Serbia where they murdered and mutilated the bodies of several Serbian policemen and soldiers and occupied Serbian towns and villages. Was this terror campaign by the US meant to achieve "greater rights" for the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia? That was the official propaganda or "party line" spewed forth by US propaganda outlets like National Public Radio (NPR), the "Radio Free America", and RFE/RE. But the actual motive was to exert blackmail on the Serbian government. Dead and mutilated corpses of Serbian police and soldiers would only stop if Milosevic was extradited to the Hague. That was the price. The US/NATO moreover withheld economic aid to Yugoslavia unless Milosevic was extradited. Using military, economic, and political blackmail is prohibited by the United Nations and international legal guidelines. But NPR and RFE/RL and the mainstream media of the US/NATO countries never seemed to notice or to care. Laws exist to be broken. The ends justified the means.
The Serbian and Yugoslav constitutions prohibited the extradition of Milosevic. Nevertheless, the US/NATO and the ICTY urged the violation of the both the Serbian and Yugoslav constitutions. The Vojislav Kostunica/Zoran Djinjic regime complied. Milosevic was unconstitutionally extradited to the Hague in violation of the constitutions.
Milosevic attacked the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the ICTY tribunal. "Defiant Milosevic rejects 'lynch law'" was the headline by Neil Tweedie at the Hague for February 2, 2002 in the Telegraph. In a February 13, 2002 Reuters article by Andrew Roche, "Milosevic Scorns War Crimes Trial as 'Lynching'", Milosevic accused the trial of being a "lynching":
This tribunal does not have the right to try me because it has not been established lawfully. We cannot speak of a fair or equitable trial here. The prosecutor is not only biased but has already publicized my judgment. From your prosecutor's office a media campaign has been orchestrated as a parallel lynching.
Is this a valid characterization of the international trial of the century? Is it a lynching? What is a lynching?
Fundamental and elementary standards of due process are violated in the ICTY: 1) an accused has no right to bail or to a speedy trial; 2) defendants can be tried and convicted for the same crime twice, no double jeopardy safeguards; 3) there is no distinction/separation/division between the judge and prosecution; 4) there is no clear burden of proof for conviction; 5) there is no independent appeal body or process; 6) suspects can be held for 90 days without trial; 7) hearsay evidence is admissible; 8) witnesses can testify anonymously and maintain "secret" identities, i.e., K41, K32; 9) confessions are assumed to be free and voluntarily given unless otherwise shown; and, 10) secret indictments are allowed. Protagonists of the ICTY argue that strict adherence to due process guidelines is not possible because no nation wants to see its citizens prosecuted. Moreover, political and military leaders can use their influence and immunity to avoid prosecution. Due process must be sacrificed in the interests of expediency.
NATO is immune from prosecution for war crimes. The 6th Convention of the Nuremberg prohibited targeting civilian targets not based on "military necessity". NATO systematically targeted Serbian civilian targets. ICTY prosecutor Louise Arbour initially charged Milosevic with war crimes at the behest of NATO and to support and buttress the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia. Louise Arbour made the charges at the apex of the NATO bombing campaign when NATO was bombing Serbian civilian targets in violation of the Nuremberg conventions. NATO targeted Serbian television, power grids, oil refineries, bridges, passenger trains, busses, automobiles, nursing homes, Orthodox churches, and hospitals. Thus, the initial charges were lodged as a cover for NATO war crimes. Indeed, even before the NATO bombing, Paddy Ashdown had threatened that Milosevic would be indicted by NATO for war crimes if he did not allow NATO troops to occupy Yugoslavia. Ian Black, in the September 12, 2002 "Hectoring interventions" in The Guardian (UK), quoted Ashdown as follows when he testified against Milosevic at the Tribunal: "I said that you would end up in this court, and here you are." Indeed, NATO was able to write its own script and dictate events at will. Milosevic opposed NATO occupation of Yugoslavia. Now he paid the price for opposing NATO. Exactly as Ashdown threatened. The ICTY is just a NATO/US tribunal.
The ICTY prosecution seeks to establish command responsibility or superior authority over subordinates based on the theory of joint criminal enterprise a criminal conspiracy theory. If a group is engaged in a criminal operation then guilt is imputed to all members of that group so long as they are members of the group and seek to advance the goals or objectives of the operation or enterprise. Under this quasi-conspiracy theory, command responsibility can be imputed to Milosevic as the member holding the top command authority. Milosevic need not have direct knowledge of all the events carried out in the commission of the scheme. Knowledge can be inferred or imputed. But a criminal enterprise must first be established. And the ICTY prosecution has not shown this. Anonymous Witness K41 testified that he had executed 15 Albanian civilians including the killing of a baby. But does this show a criminal enterprise? K41 should turn himself in to the Yugoslav police and be prosecuted for the crimes he personally committed. What have the actions of K41 to do with Milosevic? No link has been established whatsoever.
The ICTY appointed three amici curiae, friends of the court, lawyers to assist Milosevic in his defense and to ensure that the trial is fair, Branislav Tapuskovic from Yugoslavia, Steven Kay from the UK, and Mikhail Wladimiroff from the Netherlands. Wladimiroff, a Dutch lawyer, gave a newspaper interview in which he claimed that there was enough evidence to convict Milosevic. Vladimiroff was quoted in a Bulgarian newspaper of saying that Milosevic had a "zero" chance of being acquitted. He was appointed to assist in Milosevic's defense and to ensure that justice was maintained. But with only the Kosovo phase concluded, he was making his opinion known. Indeed, why even bother with a trial? Just hang Milosevic now? But he overreacted in his eagerness and called his hand and thereby exposed the "trial of the century" as a sham and farce. As everyone already knew, the verdict had been reached in advance: Guilty. The pathetic and shameful aspect of this incident is that Vladimiroff announced this to the press as a revelation or bombshell. Only problem was that the cat was out of the bag. Everyone knew the so-called trial was a lynching and political show trial. What is the great mystery here? Of course Milosevic is guilty. Why even have a trial at all? Lynch the scoundrel immediately! Hang the "Balkan Hitler" from the nearest tree or lamppost. Show everyone how Western justice really works? The ICTY dismissed Vladimiroff because his statements were supposed to have compromised the impartiality of the tribunal. But there was no impartiality to compromise.
Mainstream media accounts of the Kosovo phase of the trial of the century were self-congratulatory. The US media parroted this propaganda line. The Los Angeles Times for September 13, 2002 had this headline: "Compelling Case Seen Against Milosevic". The Fresno Bee for September 10, 2002 stated that: "Military expert says Milosevic responsible for war crimes".
Common sense told a different story. In the WSWS analysis for September 11, 2002, "The Milosevic Trial: Key prosecution witness backs deposed Yugoslav president" by Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell concluded: "The fact is that the prosecution has not been able to produce any evidence that Milosevic was directly responsible for war crimes." Moreover, they noted that "officials used threats to extract testimony, ex-spy chief says" referring to the exculpatory testimony of Rade Markovic, who under oath stated that he was coerced to testify against Milosevic. Milosevic then accused the ICTY prosecutors of using "torture" in violation of UN conventions to extract and compel Markovic's testimony. Judge May, however, concluded that this testimony of alleged torture was irrelevant to the main charge of war crimes in Kosovo so he prevented Milosevic from cross-examining Markovic further on this crucial issue. The final ICTY prosecution witness during the Kosovo phase was Canadian "military expert" on Yugoslavia, Phillip Coo, who testified that Milosevic held ultimate responsibility for decisions made by the Yugoslav government. The conclusion was that this testimony "failed to prove the charges" against Milosevic. Initially, NATO charged Milosevic with causing the planned murder of over 100,000 Albanians in Kosovo. This was revealed and exposed to be a NATO hoax, part of the massive and systematic NATO propaganda war against Serbia/Yugoslavia. The ICTY had no choice but to reduce the numbers allegedly killed to figures based on the evidence or facts. The ICTY accused Milosevic for being "responsible for the murder of hundreds of Albanians from Kosovo." Absurdly, the so-called genocide was reduced from the murder of 100,000 Albanians to the murder of hundreds of Albanians. In fact, NATO bombing, "collateral damage", killed more Albanian civilians than Milosevic's forces did. NATO killed more Albanians than Milosevic did. Who is guilty of war crimes then?
NATO Kills a Baby
NATO killed more babies and children than Milosevic did. On April 10, 1999, at 11:55 PM, a NATO attack on Merdare and Mirovac on the Kosovo-Serbia border killed an eleven-month-old Serbian baby in Kosovo as was reported in a Tanjug news report for April 11. 1999, "NATO Kills a Baby". On the 18th day of the NATO bombardment, on Orthodox Easter, Bojana Tosovic, who was an 11 month old baby, was killed along with her father, Bozin Tosovic, from Kursumlija, 30 years of age, and her mother Marija Tosovic was seriously injured. On April 18, 3 year old Milica Rakic of Batajnica was killed by NATO bombing. NATO used cluster bombs, banned by international agreements. The New York Times wrote, "in Merdare, NATO bombs and anti-personnel cluster bombs demolished four houses early Sunday morning, killing five…" The New York Times noted that: "A number of pigs and cows were killed…" The New York Times is more concerned for the welfare of pigs and cows than the killing of a Serbian baby. This is the epitome of dehumanization. The New York Times has reduced propaganda to a science. There was nothing about the killing of a Serbian baby by NATO. And nothing about the illegality of using cluster bombs. General Wesley Clark called it an "uncanny accident" when 20 civilians were killed.
Serbian civilians and the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia/Serbia were purposely targeted by US/NATO. Passenger trains, automobiles, tractors, factories, automotive plants, electricity power grids, nursing homes, hospitals, residential areas were systematically and methodically targeted by the US/NATO. A Spanish pilot in NATO even confessed that civilian targets were systematically and purposely targeted. The Serbian civilian population was the target. An unexploded shell had this written on it by US troops: "You still wanna be a Serb now!!"
NATO bombed a passenger train that killed 23 civilians. Was this by accident and due to a mistake? The NATO pilot in cold blood waited until the passenger train crossed the bridge and then bombed the train along with the bridge to kill as many Serbian civilians as possible. Isn't this a war crime? The way NATO explained this systematic killing of Serbian civilians was that the bridge itself was targeted only, while it is only a coincidence that the passenger train happened to be passing over it just when NATO jets bombed it. How plausible is this? NATO not only committed war crimes by targeting civilians but also by concealing its blatant and egregious war crimes in Yugoslavia. NATO sped up film footage of the attack on the passenger train to make it appear as if it was by accident. NATO wanted to create the illusion that the NATO pilot did not have time to react to the passenger train. NATO knew it was committing war crimes which were subsequently covered-up. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea functioned as a Joseph Goebbels-style "information" or propaganda mouthpiece. When NATO killed approximately 100 Albanian civilians who were in a tractor convoy, Shea stated first that the Yugoslav/Serbian military forces had massacred them. Then Shea stated that the Yugoslav forces had tricked NATO into bombing Albanian civilians. Finally, Shea admitted NATO pilots killed the Albanian civilians, but argued that it was by mistake and by accident, i.e., "collateral damage". Shea did Joseph Goebbels proud! The NATO bombing of Yugoslav targets was the purposeful, planned, and systematic targeting of civilians. NATO violated the Nuremberg Convention and committed war crimes. Why isn't NATO prosecuted? The Milosevic trial was meant to cover up these NATO war crimes.
The dead babies propaganda of the ICTY demonstrates the moral hypocrisy and selective morality of the US/NATO. The US/NATO sanctioned the murder of two-year-old Kosovo Serb Danilo Cokic, his father Njegos, and his mother Snezana. The entire Cokic family was murdered. The US/NATO dismissed this mass murder as a "revenge" killing. The mass murder of a Kosovo Serbian family was a planned, premeditated murder carried out by Kosovo Albanians. The Cokic family was on a bus traveling through Kosovo when Albanians detonated a remote-controlled bomb killing 11 Kosovo Serbs. The suspected Albanian murderers were allowed to escape by US/NATO forces and no one was prosecuted. Kosovo Serb Branko Jovic, 70, and his wife Saveta, 65, were bludgeoned to death with an axe by Albanian attackers. The US/NATO dismissed this murder as a "revenge" killing. Moreover, approximately 230,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Turks, and Jews were expelled from Kosovo in an officially sanctioned expulsion by US/NATO. Human rights and international humanitarian law have nothing to do with the Kosovo conflict. The ICTY and US/NATO are using the dead babies propaganda merely to demonize Milosevic and by implication the Serbian Orthodox. NATO/US and ICTY engage in selective morality and moral hypocrisy.
The Slobodan Milosevic "trial of the century" has absolutely nothing to do with international law, war crimes, or justice. The "international trial of the century" is a travesty of justice and international law, the legal travesty of the century, "The Lie of the Century", a US/NATO political show trial. President Bill Clinton explained the motives for the Kosovo conflict and the attendant "trial of the century" in The Nation for April 19, 1999:
If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world…. That's what this Kosovo thing is all about.
The Kosovo conflict thus has nothing to do with human rights or international humanitarian law or war crimes. The Kosovo crisis was merely a pretext for expanding US economic/political/military penetration of Eastern Europe. In other words, it was all about markets and spheres of influence, economic expansion and exploitation with concomitant military expansion. Coca-Cola diplomacy. The goal was to ensure that US corporations and the Pentagon were allowed to expand into the Balkans. Is this something new or original? Absolutely not. This is merely an instance of Gun Boat diplomacy, the Policy of the Big Stick, the Banana Republic paradigm of South and Central America, the "military-industrial complex". It is business as usual. So in other words we do not need to sweat the small stuff. Just enjoy your Big Mac and French Fries and your Coke and your SUV and your mini-van. Enjoy your freedom. Do not worry about the Slobodan Milosevic trial. We are building McDonald's restaurants and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King franchises all over the world now. Enjoy.
What about the violations of morality and ethics of the Milosevic "trial of the century"? Why is the US/NATO using an updated version of the Jewish Ritual Murder accusation, the dead babies hoax, to demonize the Serbian Orthodox? Why is the Racak Massacre Propaganda of the Deed Hoax being repeated? Is this ethical and moral? Is it humane? Isn't this racism and a violation of basic human rights? Isn't the ICTY insulting our intelligence and dignity as human beings with the dead babies propaganda? How can we say we have progressed and advanced when we are witnessing a reversion to the tactics of the Jewish Ritual Murder hoax? Have we progressed? Have we advanced? Or have we regressed instead? Has our moral and ethical sense been degraded? Has our humanity been deadened by the New World Order? The ICTY trial of the century of Slobodan Milosevic answers all of these questions.
Carl Savich is a columnist for Serbianna.com.
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