By Ares Demertzis (Feb. 2009)
I: A Brief Synopsis.
- Part 1:
- (i) Covert Exploits; Encouraging Islamic Jihad.
- (ii) Catholic Croatia; Operation Storm.
- (iii) Rambouillet
- Part 2:
- (iv) The “Air Campaign.”
- (v) The Catholic Croatians.
- (vi) The Muslims
- Part 3:
- (vii) Genocide
- (viii) Disinformation & Misinformation.
- (ix) The Breadline Massacre, The Market Massacres & Racak
- Part 4:
- (x) Iconic Images.
- (xi) On Trial.
- (xii) Follow the Money
II: Links, plus
- Czechoslovak Documentary (Video):
- “Stolen Kosovo.”
- International Criminal Tribunal (Video):
- “Milosevic On Trial.”
- “The Hague Tribunal”
- “Slobodan Milosevic vs. New World Order”
(iv) The “Air Campaign.”
The New Statesman, December 13, 2004: “Lies as great as those told by Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and Blair in their grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked attack on a European country. Following the same path as the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the media coverage in the spring of 1999 was a series of fraudulent justifications, beginning with the then US defence secretary William Cohen’s claim that “we’ve now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing…they may have been murdered.” David Scheffer, the then US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as “225,000 ethnic (Muslim) Albanian men aged between 14 and 59 may have been killed. Blair invoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War.” The British press took its cue. “Flight from genocide,” wrote the Daily Mail. “Echoes of the Holocaust,” chorused the Sun and the Mirror. In parliament, the heroic Clare Short compared to Nazi propagandists those (such as myself) who objected to the bombing of defenceless people.”
“By June 1999, with the bombardment over, international forensic teams began subjecting Kosovo to minute examination. The American FBI arrived to investigate what was called “the largest crime scene in the FBI’s forensic history.” Several weeks later, having not found a single mass grave, the FBI went home. The Spanish forensic team also returned home, its leader complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become part of “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one – not one – mass grave.”
One year prior to the American sponsored NATO bombing war that was intended to stop the Serbs from killing Muslims, George Robertson, British Secretary of Defense, testified before the Select Committee on Defense in the U.K. House of Commons that the “Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) were responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav (Christian Orthodox Serb) authorities.” This was also true of Bosnian Muslims and the Croatian Catholics; facts undisclosed by a mainstream media eager to caricature Serbs as “Milosevic´s willing executioners” intent on perpetrating genocide against the innocent.”
“On March 23, 1999, the day before the air attacks, a last minute initiative by the Yugoslav National Assembly approved a ten-page resolution requesting immediate return of UN monitors “to facilitate a peaceful diplomatic settlement.” The resolution promised Kosovo full autonomy with guarantees of human rights. News of the legislature’s desperate resolution was reported worldwide, but received no coverage in the American press. To the contrary, The New York Times on March 24, 1999 falsely reported that the bombing had begun “because Milosevic refused to accept…or even discuss an international peacekeeping plan.”
“The order to bomb was signed by Javier Solana, General Secretary of NATO, contravening The Hague Convention of 1949, The Stockholm Declaration of 1972, and NATO´s own charter. Subsequently, NATO amended its Charter, stipulating that the organization is no longer solely a “defensive organization.” It authorized itself to strike outside its “sphere of influence.” Javier Solana further clarified this new concept during a speech in Brussels: “We must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people in Europe at the end of the 20th Century. We have a moral duty to do so. The responsibility is on our shoulders and we will fulfill it.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “I thought NATO was a defensive organization. At least that’s what its charter said. But NATO’s war moved along like a giant unconscious force. Soon NATO was prepared to blockade Russian ships in Montenegro’s harbor, prompting Vladimir Lukin of the Yabloko party to warn that such an action was ‘a direct path to nuclear escalation.’ He didn’t have to say it. There were numerous quiet discussions taking place around Washington and across the country of people who were beginning to sense that NATO was out of control. They understood that NATO was moving into that fuzzy circumference of high violence where the possibility of nuclear war, on purpose or by accident, was beginning to be real.” (The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999)
The Michigan Daily, March 24, 1999: “Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, in a dramatic gesture of opposition, canceled plans to visit Washington as the crisis intensified. Primakov was over the Atlantic, en route to Washington, but turned his jet around and headed back to Moscow after Vice President Al Gore refused to promise that airstrikes would not take place. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said Russia would step up its combat readiness if NATO attacks, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. But despite Russia’s bluster, Moscow has no effective means to prevent the NATO action.”
In an act of historical mendacity, or appalling ignorance inappropriate of a former Rhodes scholar, but more likely simply a confirmation of impertinent contempt for the intellect of his fellow citizens, on March 24, 1999, during a televised address to explain his decision to implement “the Air Campaign” against Yugoslavia, President Clinton declared “No, the Serbs did not only cause WWI; no, without them there would have been no Holocaust either.”
Tomahawk Cruise missiles were discharged from American combat aircraft on Serbia, including its civilian infrastructure; the latter considered a war crime in international jurisprudence. Evidence supports allegations that the American pilots were purposely given non-military targets within the resident population which included commuter trains, water treatment plants, 300 elementary schools, and a dozen health care facilities, killing over 5,000 innocent Serb and Kosovar civilian non-combatants in the process.
Washington Post, April 28, 1999: “The attack on Surdlica, 200 miles southeast of Belgrade, came as NATO stepped up its aerial assault against Serb-dominated Yugoslavia following a decision by allied leaders at their summit in Washington last weekend to grant military commanders broad new authority to strike a wider range of targets, including some that primarily affect civilians.”
“The bombing of Surdlica came a day after Cornelio Sommaruga, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, criticized NATO for causing civilian casualties and damaging Yugoslavia’s civilian infrastructure with its airstrikes…Yugoslav state television showed wrecked single-family homes in Surdlica and rescue workers picking through bricks, beams and tiles trying to reach survivors and recover bodies…residents said in a telephone interview that 16 bodies had been found by tonight – 12 of them children between the ages of 5 and 12”
“An Associated Press reporter taken to the scene by police reported seeing 50 houses destroyed and 600 damaged. Rescue workers said 11 people, including five children, were believed trapped in the basement of one house…On April 12, an allied bomb intended for a railway bridge struck a passenger train near the Serbian town of Leskovac, killing 10 people. Last week, allied aircraft targeted the studios of state-run television in Belgrade on the grounds that its broadcasts were propaganda that inflamed public opinion and were prolonging the conflict.”
BBC News, June 1, 1999: “NATO has been coming under increasingly fierce criticism amid a mounting toll of innocent people killed or injured in its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. In its defence, the alliance has called on the world’s media to put its bombing campaign in perspective, arguing that fewer civilians have been killed or injured in the Kosovo campaign than in any other comparable conflict…”
“As of June 1, NATO had carried out around 31,000 campaign flights over 70 days…Speaking at NATO headquarters, alliance spokesman Jamie Shea said: “When we started this operation, we were conducting around 30 [sorties] a day. Now we are conducting up to 350 attacks every night…Serb officials say that a NATO bombing attack led to the deaths of at least three patients in a Belgrade hospital…State television reported that emergency services evacuated infants and pregnant women…At least 100 civilians died after NATO bombed what it said were “legitimate military targets” in the village of Korisa, southern Kosovo. Footage broadcast by Serbian TV showed charred remains, including at least two children, smouldering homes and burning tractors.”
“In the third NATO blunder in 26 hours, alliance missiles hit an apartment block in Novi Pazar, south-west Serbia, killing at least 11 people and injuring a further 23 residents…Tanjug said that 20 missiles fell on various targets in Novi Pazar with the apartment taking a direct hit. More bodies were believed buried in the rubble…The news agency also reported that NATO´s targets had included a publishing house, printing presses and regional television and radio headquarters close to a hospital and a bus station…Yugoslavia reported that at least 20 people lost their lives when NATO bombs hit a sanotorium and neighbouring old people’s home in Surdulica, south-east Serbia.”
“NATO spokesman General Konrad Freitag said “NATO cannot confirm any Serb claims of casualties or collateral damage.”…At least 11 civilians were reported killed and a further 40 injured when NATO bombers mounted a daylight raid on a bridge in Varvarin, south-central Serbia. Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said local people were attending the town’s market when the attack happened at 1pm local time. Witnesses said four cars fell into the River Velika Morava. Rescuers who went to aid of the injured were hit in the second attack. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said the alliance had bombed a “”legitimate designated military target.”
Spanish weekly “Articulo20,” Issue 30, June 14, 1999: “The suspicions that NATO’s repeated bombings of civilian victims and non-military targets are not the result of war “errors”, are confirmed by Captain Martin de la Hoz: “Several times our Colonel protested to NATO commanders why they select targets which are not military targets…I want to tell it to the whole world: once there was a coded order of the North American military that we should drop anti-personnel bombs over the localities of Prishtina and Nish. The colonel refused it altogether and, a couple of days later, the transfer order came.”
“They are destroying the country, bombing it with novel weapons, toxic nerve gases, surface mines dropped with parachute, bombs containing uranium, black napalm, sterilization chemicals, sprayings to poison the crops and weapons of which even we still do not know anything. The North Americans are committing one of the biggest barbarities that can be committed against humanity…I will never be able to forget that what was being committed there was one the biggest savageries of history.”
Compelled by the withering destruction of the U.S./NATO bombing campaign, Milosevic´s continuing appeals for resuming negotiations were consistently ignored. On March 29, 1999, his Prime Minister declared, “Yugoslavia is prepared to resume talks on the Kosovo province if NATO calls off air strikes.” On April 7, Milosevic requested a ceasefire for (Serb) Orthodox Easter. The request was denied.
‘The end of the conflict will come when they stop persecuting innocent people in Kosovo,’ Vice President Al Gore said in Louisville, Ky. ‘We can’t stand by with that kind of atrocity going on.’
Oh, the offensive irony! The disreputable cynicism! NATO bombs slaughter 5,000 innocent civilians, yet the Vice President of the United States considers Serbs to be the violent aggressors.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “As the death toll began to mount, I thought of times when I rode trains in Europe and wondered what it would be like to be traveling to work or to visit relatives while, 15,000 feet above, a sophisticated targeting system was locking into the approaching bridge, and suddenly it is as if dozens of people never even existed. And who was taking responsibility for all of this? What was the purpose of any of it? Why did civilians in Serbia and Kosovo have to die in air attacks? Who made that decision?
(The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999)
President Clinton´s “humanitarian intervention” employed two types of weapons considered illegal under international law (Geneva, The Hague, and Nuremberg): cluster bombs and weapons tipped with depleted uranium (DU) which results in radioactive poisoning and environmental contamination. UN General Assembly Resolution 96 specifically outlaws the use of DU bombs.
In her “Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,” Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague declared she was “very satisfied that there was no deliberate targeting of civilians or unlawful military targets by NATO during the bombing campaign…The prosecutor judged these to be genuine mistakes on the part of NATO.” This conclusion was reached without any inquiry because the charges did not merit an investigation; the conclusion therefore, simply reflects an opinion of the Committee and chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.
It is important not to confuse the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with the International Court of Justice, although both tribunals are based in The Hague. The ICTY was created in the Security Council in May 1993, and its formation is considered by some as illegal, ultra vires (beyond the powers) of the Security Council because they exceeded their authority granted by the U.N. Charter.
In a subsequent speech to the United Nations Security Council, ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte reiterated: “Although some mistakes were made by NATO, I am satisfied there was no deliberate targeting of civilians or any unlawful military targets during the NATO campaign.”
William Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg (Germany) War Crimes Tribunal: “The  bombing war violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”
According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, NATO heads of State and heads of government are responsible for the supreme crime: “the crime against peace.”
President Clinton defended the bombing as a means “to protect thousands of innocent people in Kosovo from a mounting military offensive.” Vaclav Havel assured the world that “war places human rights above the rights of the state.” And Tony Blair added “we now have a chance to build a new internationalism based on values and the rule of law.”
It is of interest to note that the United States and its allies didn´t judge it necessary, for “righteous humanitarian” purposes, “human rights above the rights of the state,” “a new internationalism based on values and the rule of law,” to undertake a military assault designed to curb civil war and the internal genocidal conflicts of countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tibet, and Zimbabwe, among so many others; therefore it could be validly presumed that intervention in those theatres was of little interest given that they, unlike Yugoslavia, were unpromising from an economic cost-benefit consideration and the continuing progress of a “New World Order.”
WV World News, January 23, 2008: “Hashim Thachi, leader of the Kosovo (Muslim) Liberation Army (KLA) and later Prime Minister of a unilaterally declared independent Kosovo, at a press conference in the Caglavica Media Center was asked if he felt guilty of the crimes the KLA committed against Serbs. He responded: “We have made all achievements together with help from the international community.”
Europenews, January 19, 2008: “I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal,” he answered, in reference to the NATO bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999, which ended after 78 days with the withdrawal of Serbian security forces from the province.”
The New Statesman (U.K.), December 13, 2004 “NATO’s clients were the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA). Seven years earlier, the State Department had designated the KLA as a terrorist organisation in league with al-Qaeda.”
“The Kosovar (Muslim) Albanians played us like a Stradivarius violin,” wrote the former UN commander in Bosnia, Major General Lewis MacKenzie, last April. “We have subsidised and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early 1990s, and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today, in spite of evidence to the contrary.”
National Post – April 6, 2004. General Lewis MacKenzie: “The objective of the (Muslim) Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community’s representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of “Greater Albania.”
“The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic’s heavy-handed response into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed by the West – the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: “Maybe you do not know, but the government of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohia in 1998 and 1999 – that is, during the war, until those who committed aggression installed their mercenaries in power – was formed of Serbs, Albanians, Moslems, Turks, Goranies, Roma and Egyptians. Serbs were a minority in that government. How can the notion that there was national discrimination be reconciled with that fact?!”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: ”For ten years since the time you claim Serbia “seized” control of its own territory, there were no murders, no expulsions, no plunder, no arson, no arrests in Kosovo. We did not have a single political prisoner in Yugoslavia – not one. Kosovo had 20 newspapers and other publications in Albanian which one could buy at every street corner. Not a single issue, not a single copy, was ever banned. Albanian political parties, even separatist ones, worked freely. Someone here said we tolerated them. No, our view was that everything should be permitted – except violence.”
“Then the powers behind Yugoslavia’s destruction and occupation rounded up criminals throughout Western Europe and sent them to Kosovo to establish a terrorist organization. They began terrorist attacks in the spring of 1998. Then they were crushed. By the fall of 1998, they were completely eliminated, surrendering by the truckload the weapons they had smuggled in. Within that year, they mostly killed Albanians. More (Muslim) Albanians than (Orthodox Christian) Serbs were killed by the terrorists in 1998. They killed Albanian police officers, postal carriers, forest rangers, even retirees – only because they received their retirement checks from the state. They were attempting to strike terror in the hearts of Albanians as well as kill Serbs. We protected our citizens – both Serbs and Albanians – from terrorism, and this operation was completed by the fall of 1998. Then [US envoy] Holbrooke came to demand a “Verification Mission” in order to create a pretext for attacking Yugoslavia.
“The most recent Serb murdered in Kosovo that I’ve heard of was killed on Christmas this year. Some 350,000 were expelled from Kosovo under the UN auspices, while Albanian terrorist activities were protected by the UN. Since the arrival of the so-called UN peacekeepers that were obligated by [UN Security Council] Resolution 1244 to guarantee the security of person and property to every inhabitant of Kosovo, Albanian terrorists have expelled 350,000 people and torched tens of thousands of homes. Sometimes they would burn 50, 60, all the Serb houses in villages, in plain sight of the [UN] troops. These are in fact occupation troops, who came [to Kosovo] under the UN banner only to transform themselves overnight into occupiers and allies of the terrorists who killed, who mutilated and butchered so many, and burned so much, and continue to do so even today. And they say they were unaware of it happening.”
“This is obviously a crime, and the thread running through it is obviously a crime against Yugoslavia. I want to point out that falsifying historical facts is not easy…With all due respect, the real judges in this trial – not you who wear the robes – …The real judge here is the people – not just the people of Yugoslavia, but the peoples of all the countries who care about liberty and equality.”
As a result of the Kosovo War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization created a second NATO medal, the NATO Medal for Kosovo Service, an international military decoration… Shortly thereafter, NATO created the Non-Article 5 Medal for Balkans service to combine both Yugoslavian and Kosovo operations into one service medal.”
“Due to the involvement of the United States armed forces, a separate U.S. military decoration, known as the Kosovo Campaign Medal was established by President Bill Clinton in the year 2000.
(v) The Catholic Croatians.
Caution: In this segment I provide an appallingly deplorable account of particulars which may be considered offensive to those excessively civilized and enlightened readers whose limited grasp of history makes them unaware of the barbarities committed, as recently as the second half of the twentieth century, in conflicts that were not conditional on the profoundly indulgent contemporary notion of “proportional response.” My objective is not to affront; rather the examples are intended to assist in an understanding of the shocking current events through graphic illustrations of that extreme cruelty which forms an integral component of the inerasable Yugoslav historic memory.
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, “The Wasteland of Historical Reality,” 1989: “Genocide is a natural phenomenon, in harmony with the societal and mythologically divine nature. Genocide is not only permitted, it is also recommended, even commanded by the word of the Almighty, whenever it is useful for the survival or restoration of the kingdom of the chosen nation, or for the preservation and spreading of its one and only correct faith.”
On each anniversary of the United States government sponsored “Operation Storm” (August 5), Croatia celebrates a “Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day,” formally rejoicing in the single largest ethnic cleansing in Europe since the Third Reich.
It is worth noting that in the “Independent State of Croatia” (1941-45) the Croats constituted 3.3 million out of around 6.7 million people. There were 2.2 million Serbs, 60,000 Jews, 700,000 Muslims, 70,000 Protestants, as well as hundreds of thousands of Romas and other minorities. The Independent State of Croatia was created and supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy; an Axis-created puppet state (much like the present Croatia vis-à-vis the West), which initiated a partially successful genocide, with the approval and active participation of Catholic clergy.
Carlo Falconi “The Silence of Pius XII,” Little, Brown and Co., 1970: “In 1940, an article appeared in the official Church publication “Catholic List,” praising Mein Kampf and adding that there was no conflict between being a good Catholic and a good Nazi. Indeed, similar articles were published by innumerable Catholic clergy all over Europe in the 1930′s and 1940′s. (p.409). The entire Catholic press in this period in Croatia was thoroughly pro-fascist, racist and supportive of the elimination of the “minorities.”
The Catholic priest Father Grga Peinovic, was President of the Ustashe Central Propaganda Office, a position corresponding to that occupied by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
“They (Catholic Croats) persecuted the Serbs who were mostly Orthodox (Christians), yet they were tolerant toward the Bosnian Muslims because the Muslims were actually ethnic Croats that converted to Islam during the Ottoman Turk (Muslim) occupation of Croatian lands. These Muslim Bosnians joined in the Nazi and Ustashe forces as part of (Nazi) Waffen SS divisions.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Christian Orthodox Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were murdered by Catholic zealots. The professed goal was that one third of Orthodox Serbs, considered heretic Christians by the Catholic church, were to be forcibly converted to Catholicism, one third were to be expelled (ethnically cleansed), and the final third were to be killed…According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center (citing the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust) “Ustashe terrorists killed 500,000 Serbs, expelled 250,000 and forced 250,000 to convert to Catholicism.”
“Croatian race laws were patterned after those of the Third Reich, which were aimed against Jews, Roma and Orthodox Christian Serbs who were collectively declared enemies of the Croatian people…(they were) interned in concentration camps…around 32,000 Jews were killed. Gypsies (Yugoslav Roma) numbered around 40,000…of Serbs who died, estimates tend to vary between 300,000 and 700,000.”
“Serbs had to wear blue bands on their sleeves with the letter “P” (for Orthodox) and Jews a band with the Star of David and the letter “Z” (for Jew). Serbs and Jews were forbidden to walk on sidewalks; signs were posted in public places stating “No Serbs, Jews, Gypsies or Dogs Allowed!” (European Law Division / Library of Congress).”
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “The active participation of clergy in running concentration camps in Croatia was known by the German, Italian, British and American intelligence services, as well as the Vatican. The U.S. intelligence report of February 23, 1943 entitled “Massacres of Serbs in Croatia” speaks bluntly of “the bloody hands of the Catholic clergy in the camps.” (p. 159-161)
“The Vatican´s Holocaust,” Avro Manhatten, Ozark Books, 1986: “On the night of August 29, 1942, the (Croatian) prison guards made bets among themselves as to who could liquidate the largest number of inmates. One of the guards, Petar Brzica, reportedly cut the throats of about 1,360 new arrivals with a butcher knife…Other participants who confessed to participating in the bet included Ante Zrinusic, who killed some 600 inmates, and Mile Friganovic, who gave a detailed and consistent report of the incident. Friganovic admitted to having killed some 1,100 inmates. He specifically recounted his torture of an old man named Vukasin; he attempted to compel the man to bless Ante Pavelic (the Croatian Fuhrer), which the old man refused to do, although Friganovic cut off his ears, nose and tongue after each refusal. Ultimately, he cut out the old man’s eyes, tore out his heart, and slashed his throat. This incident was witnessed by Dr. Nikola Nikolic.” (p. 48)
“The Croatian/Nazi concentration camp in Jasenovac was commanded by Maks Luburic, who boasted that they “killed more Serbs in this camp (in) four years than the (Muslim) Turks did for 500 in the whole of Serbia.”
“Holocaust in the Independent State of Croatia,” Lazo M. Kostic, Liberty Press, 1981: “The Ustashe Minister of Education, Dr. Mile Budak, summarized the racial policy of Croatia in a speech on July 22, 1941 in Gospic when he said: “The movement of the Ustashe is based on religion. For the minorities – Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, we have three million bullets. We shall kill one part of the Serbs. We shall deport another, and the rest of them will be forced to embrace the Roman Catholic religion. Thus, our new Croatia will get rid of all Serbs in our midst in order to become one hundred percent Catholic within ten years.” (p. 272)
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “In May 1940 the Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac, was called to the Vatican for briefings on the future invasion and partition of Yugoslavia.” (pp. 48-49)
“In the years immediately preceding the German and Italian invasion of Yugoslavia of April 1941, the head of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia, Stepinac, met regularly with representatives from both the Italian foreign ministry and the illegal Ustashe terrorist organization, as Stepinac himself noted in his diary” (pp. 49-50)
“Among these visitors was the future Ustashe Minister of Education Mile Budak, a chief architect of the genocide in Croatia, who is best known for his infamous speech on the final solution for the Serbs: “We will kill a third, expel a third, and convert a third.” (p. 59)
“On April 16th Stepinac held a dinner party in his residence in honor of Pavelic (the Croatian Fuher), and the Ustashe leadership. In his diary, Stepinac described the day and admitted that Pavelic told him of his plans to “exterminate” the non-Catholic religions in Croatia. Stepinac’s diary indicates that he too was prepared for an all out religious war, for he added that “If that man (Pavelic) rules Croatia for ten years…Croatia will be a paradise on earth.” (p. 74)
“Also revealed from entries in his diary, such as one from 1940 when he wrote: “… the Serbs have not learned anything… and in the end they will lose everything…. I wish them no evil because they are God’s children. But if nothing can teach them a lesson, distress will.” (p. 47).
“The Silence of Pius XII, Carlo Falcone, Little, Brown and Co., 1970: “(Archbishop) Stepinac was easily outdone in fascist criminality by other high ranking clergy, most infamously by the second highest ranking cleric in fascist Croatia, the Archbishop of Sarajevo, Ivan Sharich – called “the Hangman of Serbs” by his fellow Ustase…Whereas Stepinac was willing to spare the lives of some Jews and Serbs who had converted to Catholicism, Sharich ridiculed those who did not have the stomach for total genocide, declaring it “stupid and unworthy of Christ’s disciples to think that the struggle against evil could be waged in a noble way and with gloves on.” Among Vatican documents that have emerged is one dealing with Sharich’s personal expropriations of property belonging to Jews in Bosnia.” (p. 294-296)
“Orthodox (Christian) clergy were marked for especially cruel torture, usually ending with the gouging out of their eyes or other forms of bodily mutilation. In one case the eighty-one year old Bishop of Banja Luka was shod like a horse and forced to walk until he collapsed, at which point his heart was cut out and he was set on fire.” (p. 287-293)
“One Franciscan monk, Miroslav Filipovic, was accused by a grade school teacher who recalled that “when Filipovi? and some Ustase entered her classroom…Filipovi? took a child, Vasilija Glamo?anin, and “slaughtered her with a knife” in front of the class. He urged the Ustashe troops who accompanied him to deal similarly with the other children and assured them that he would take the sin upon himself…(Nazi) General Edmund Glaise-Horstenau…implicated Filipovi? in a report where he stated that as well as being present “during the slaughtering” the priest had attended a planning meeting prior to the massacres, along with certain other Catholic priests.”
“The Vatican´s Holocaust,” Avro Manhattan, Ozark Books, 1986: “Father Srecko Peric… reassured his fellow Ustashe prior to a massacre by saying: “Kill all Serbs. And when you finish come here, to the Church, and I will confess you and free you from sin.” (p. 68)
“All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-1943,” Jonathan Steinberg, Routledge, 1990: “The Ustashe operations were carried out with incredible acts of sadism and torture. In some cases entire villages were axed to death, in others men and women were hanged, crucified, burned to death or buried alive, body parts mutilated, decapitated, infants impaled or hammered…Nazi Wehrmacht units attached to the Ustashe military were so impressed by the Ustashe’s methods for carrying out genocide that they established a commission to study the killings at Bjelovar, exhume the bodies, take photographs and write a report, later published under the title “Ustachenwerk bei Bjelovar.” (p. 57)
After the defeat of the Third Reich, (Fuhrer) Pavelic escaped from Croatia with what was believed to be the clandestine aid of the Vatican. He conferred the leadership of Croatia to Archbishop Stepinac.
U.S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “According to cable intercepts cited in a 1947 U.S. diplomatic report, Pavelic escaped in November 1947 to Buenos Aires, where he was said to have been met by a retinue of Catholic priests. Newly declassified documents also show that Bishop Rozman was funneling money to South America from a Swiss bank account set up “to aid refugees of the Catholic religion.”
“The British Foreign Office reported in January 1947 that Pavelic himself, by that time a wanted war criminal, was living “within the Vatican City.” An earlier report by Gowen, in October 1946, noted that Pavelic was in Rome.”
Colliers Magazine, “Blowback,” Christopher Simpson 1988: “The Vatican aided in the escape of thousands of war criminals from Croatia, transporting millions of fascists from POW camps to the Vatican with false International Red Cross identity papers. The Vatican ratlines, organized by the Vatican and Croatian-Ustashe clergy, would probably have never become widely known if not for the trial of Klaus Barbie who escaped through them. Because of the Barbie trial, the truth emerged.”
U.S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “According to secret reports from the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC), written just after World War II and since declassified…(war criminals were aided) through an underground railroad of sympathetic priests, known as the “ratline,” the Ustashe could move from Trieste, to Rome, to Genoa, and on to neutral countries–primarily Argentina – where they could live out their days unpunished and unnoticed. Along the ratline, virtually the entire Ustashe leadership went free.”
“All these people were escaping – and this at a time when just getting a meal in Rome was a major accomplishment,” recalls William Gowen, a CIC officer in Rome after the war.”
“Documents include accounts of Ustashe being hidden at the pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo and being seen driving in Rome in cars with Vatican license plates. The recently declassified Golik memo reports that Ustase ate at the papal mess and that Father Golik was “declared to be in close contact with the Vatican.”
“…declassified documents from the archives of the United States and other nations suggest that – with the aid of Croatian Catholic priests – Ustashe plunder made its way from Croatia to Rome, and possibly to the Vatican itself. Some of the stolen wealth was used to help Croatian war criminals flee to South America.”
“We make no charges against the Vatican, but we keep building a very damning picture,” says Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.
“Because of their silence in the face of accumulated evidence, the failure to uncover the truth can only be laid at the doors of the Vatican.”
“The memo, dated Oct. 21, 1946, was discovered last summer in the declassified files of the U.S. Treasury Department. Written by OSS agent Emerson Bigelow, it reports that money sent by Ustase from Croatia to Rome after the war had been partly intercepted by the British, but that 200 million Swiss francs – the equivalent of $170 million today – were being held in the Vatican for safekeeping. According to “rumor,” the memo says, the money was being used to finance Croatian war criminals in exile.”
“When the Bigelow memo was released last year, the Vatican swiftly dismissed it, insisting that the charges could not be true. But some researchers who have studied World War II intelligence matters note that other archival documents counter the notion that a Vatican-Ustashe link is implausible on its face. One is a British diplomatic memo from Oct. 17, 1947, cited in the 1991 book Unholy Trinity by journalist Mark Aarons and former Justice Department Nazi-hunter John Loftus. According to the memo, a San Giralomo priest named Father Mandic was a “liaison to the Vatican” who was involved in converting Ustase gold, jewelry, and foreign exchange into Italian lire.”
U. S. News & World Report, January 22, 2009: “A trial held by the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission in 1946 resulted in the conviction of a half-dozen Ustashe priests, among them former Franciscan Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, a commandant of the Jasenovac concentration camp where the Ustashe tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands with a brutality that shocked even the Nazis.”
“The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State,” Milan Bulajic, Beograd Struchna kniga, 1994: “At his trial for war crimes in 1986, Andrija Artukovic emphasized that the management of forced conversions was entirely in the hands of Archbishop Stepinac and the church leadership.” (p. 88). “In a letter to the Vatican dated May 8, 1944 Stepinac informed the Holy Father that to date 244,000 Orthodox Serbs had been “converted to the Church of God.” (p. 99)
“The Jesuit Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagreb, and the Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashe Army, was accused of supporting the Ustashe, and exonerating those in the clergy that collaborated with the Ustashe of complicity in forced conversions. On March 28, 1941 he declared: The (Orthodox-Catholic) “schism is the greatest curse in Europe, almost greater than Protestanism.”
“(After the war) a Belgrade court found him guilty of collaborating with the Ustashe and complicity in allowing the forced conversion of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but after five years was released and confined to his home parish of Krasic.”
“He was appointed a Cardinal in 1952 by Pope Pius XII. In 1998, Pope John Paul II declared him a martyr and beatified him.”
“The current regime in Croatia today carries on a constant propaganda war of denial about Jasenovac and has desecrated the site itself. The Tudjman regime has not acknowledged that crimes of genocide were even committed by fascist Croatia during World War II and holds to the view that it represented a positive chapter in Croatian history.”
The Serbs during World War II were sacrificing their lives as American allies fighting German forces. It took half a century for them to recover from the deliberate and viciously wicked Croatian decimation of their population, only to find that once again a newly created independent Republic of Croatia was enacting laws disallowing jobs, pensions, citizenship, and land ownership to the resident Serb minority, and was intent on repeating the mass executions of the forties, this time supported not by the Nazis, but most ironically, Serbia’s former ally, the United States.
“Le Grand Charles” de Gaulle reputedly remarked, “Nations don’t have friends, they only have interests.
“At the U.S. Holocaust Museum the history of the Holocaust has been tailored to fit the political fashions of the Clinton administration and the New World Order: hence, one finds the words “Serbs” and “Russians” are altogether absent from the official record of the Holocaust, and instead are replaced in the most obscene Orwellian manner by the words “Yugoslavs” and “Soviets.”
(vi) The Muslims
I will desist from even a brief account of Muslim atrocities during the Islamic colonization of the Balkans as further examples of pertinent regional historical violence. The incidents are further removed (although not forgotten, and never to be forgiven) from the twentieth century Croatian Holocaust, and therefore less relevant to the current Balkan propensity for savagery. I suggest that those interested initiate their own inquiry (or anxiously await a future reference paper such as this on the subject, written by me).
Alija Izetbegovic, considered an “Islamic Hero of the Western World,” the first President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and supporter of Sharia in Bosnia, in his “Islamic Declaration” cites the “incompatibility of Islam with non-Islamic systems…there is neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic social and political institutions…having the right to govern its own world, Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of putting a foreign ideology into practice on its territory. There is thus no principle of secular government, and the State must express and support the moral principles of religion.”
“In 1995, the Kosovo Liberation (Muslim) Army (KLA) started terror against the (Orthodox Christian) Serbian civilians and Yugoslav army and police, bombing police stations and government buildings, killing Yugoslav police and innocent people of all nationalities, even (Muslim) Albanians who were not on their side. This triggered a Yugoslav (Serb) interior ministry counter strike aiming at crippling terrorist KLA-members…they (KLA) deliberately wanted civilians to die since this would trigger an international reaction.”
Baltimore Chronicle, December 1, 1999: The “International Crisis Group, a private organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority leader George Mitchell…(a) Washington and Brussels-based group, which is funded by the European Union and the U.S. government, reported “systematic attacks on Serbs,” and that the “Albanian (Muslim) majority is determined to rid the [Kosovo] province of all non-Albanians.”
Human Rights Watch, March 19, 2004: “NATO peacekeepers and United Nations police must make the protection of the minority communities in Kosovo the top priority in the province, Human Rights Watch said today… most of the violence is being directed at the ethnic Serb minority. Unidentified attackers have burned churches, homes, public offices and at least one school. Particularly disturbing are reports of arson attacks on newly built homes of Serbs who had recently returned to Kosovo following their forced displacement in previous years.”
“The attacks bear similarity to the campaign of arson, abduction, intimidation and killing directed at Serbs and Roma (by Muslim Kosovars) in the summer of 1999. This campaign of violence forced 200,000 Serbs and thousands of Roma from the province.”
Human Rights Watch, August 1999: “Ethnic Albanian (Muslim) civilians have taken part in much of the burning and looting of Serb and Roma property, and, in a few instances, in violent attacks on their neighbors…The most serious incidents of violence, however, have been carried out by members of the (Muslim) KLA. Although the KLA leadership issued a statement on July 20 condemning attacks on Serbs and Roma, and KLA political leader Hashim Thaqi (Thachi) publicly denounced the July 23 massacre of fourteen Serb farmers, it remains unclear whether these beatings and killings were committed by local KLA units acting without official sanction, or whether they represent a coordinated KLA policy. What is indisputable, however, is that the frequency and severity of such abuses make it incumbent upon the KLA leadership to take swift and decisive action to prevent them.”
“It is also important to note that the KLA has been linked to earlier abuses against Serbs, Roma, and Kosovar (Muslim) Albanians (who were not KLA sympathizers) during 1998 and during the first three months of 1999. Specifically, reports by the Humanitarian Law Center, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Human Rights Watch’s own research indicate that dozens of Serbs, and a smaller number of Roma and (Muslim) Albanians, were detained by the KLA between mid-1998 and March 1999. At least 130 Serbs went missing during this time and are presumed dead.”
What the above statements make abundantly clear is that the nationalist/religious zeal in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was real, but attributed for political expediency to Slobodan Milosevic, a pawn in the mortal, high stakes competition of realpolitik, where if you aren´t winning, you’re losing. The myth that Milosevic incited the Orthodox Christian Serb population to violence has been a very effective propaganda endeavor by American and European governments; however Milosevic never expressed any ethnic/religious intolerance that even approaches the rabid utterances of the Catholic Croatian Franjo Tudjman and the Bosnian Muslim Alija Izetbegovic. Both men were later permitted to ascend to the presidency of their respective now independent nations, after the compulsory U.S. initiated violent fragmentation of the sovereign Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia under the leadership of Tito had been a prosperous economy based on his unique socialist concept of worker self-management of state enterprises; a “third way” between United States capitalism and the state socialism practiced by the European Union. The nation was a socialist, multiethnic, regional power with an enviable record of economic achievement. From 1960 to 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years. (World Bank, World Development Report 1991, Statistical Annex, Tables 1 and 2, Washington, 1991.)
By 1990, after succumbing to the generous credit available by the seductive siren song of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the annual rate of growth of GDP had collapsed to -7.5 percent. In 1991, GDP declined by a further 15 percent, to a staggering -22.5, while industrial output collapsed by 21 percent. (Judit Kiss, “Debt Management in Eastern Europe, Eastern European Economics,” May June 1894, (p 59)
Milosevic´s deplorable crime in America´s judgment was his unacceptable attempt to maintain Yugoslavia as a united, multi-ethnic federation. The United States was determined to dismantle what it considered an anachronistic, albeit successful, socialist democracy; the European Union governments were threatened by an economically thriving socialist system that discarded direct state intervention. Additionally, the U.S. plan called for a continuation of the encirclement of Russia by broadening its domination adjacent to Russia´s western borders; a politically and economically crushed USSR had already surrendered the republics on its southern frontier and at the moment was incapable of any credible response, being thoroughly occupied with a delicate transition from Communism to Democracy.
On June 28, 1989, in a speech given at Kosovo Field, Milosevic said: “Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully.”
“Socialism in particular, being a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people and other nations, are in their own republic.”
“After all, our entire country should be set up on the basis of such principles. Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it.”
Despite an intense search by those who would judge and condemn him for war crimes in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), not one line has been found in which Milosevic displayed bigotry and intolerance for non-Serbs, or a single order to commit unlawful acts.
One irrefutable fact that disproves the Western fabrication of a Serb desire for an “ethnically pure” Serb state is the absence of any ethnic cleansing in Serbia proper. To the contrary, Serbia received refugees from other former republics although Serbs were being forcibly expulsed, with covert United States military assistance, from those very same areas. During Milosevic´s trial, Mihailo Markovic, a Serbian professor of philosophy and founder of the progressive Marxist/Socialist journal Praxis, inquired of the ICTY tribunal: “Why would Serbs be expelling (Catholic) Croatians from Croatia if they’re not expelling them from Serbia? Why would Serbs be expelling (Muslim) Albanians from Kosovo if they’re not expelling them from Belgrade and other parts of Serbia?”
Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague (ICTY) Tribunal: “There were no expulsions, from the beginning to the end of the Yugoslav crisis. All other republics had changed their ethnic makeup. Half a million Serbs were expelled from Croatia and we all know what happened in Bosnia, not to mention other parts of Yugoslavia…do you know that 70,000 Muslim refugees sought sanctuary in Serbia during the Bosnian conflict? Do you think someone would flee their home and take refuge in the very territory from which they were endangered?”
“Therefore, I would say this is a malicious, utterly hostile process aimed at justifying the crime against my country and use this court as a weapon against my country and my people.”
The Centre for Peace in the Balkans: “The civil war in Yugoslavia continues, with untold suffering on all sides. The media report the suffering of the Muslims in gruesome detail. The suffering of Croats at Muslim hands gets little attention. The suffering of Serbs is ignored. So it will surprise large sections of the American public that some 600,000 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia have sought refuge in beleaguered Serbia deprived of food and fuel by UN dictate during the deadly winter.”