Nebojsa Malic for Antiwar.com
December 19, 2002
More Dirty Lies Courtesy of The Hague Inquisition
Just recently, this column examined the many facets of falsifying history, noting in passing the role of the Hague Inquisition in currently the largest such effort in the world. Indeed, the ICTY is an endeavour more massive even than the current campaign to conjure a reason for invading Iraq, and it seeks not merely to modify history, but to rewrite it wholesale.
Lubyanka, not Nuremberg
Its main thesis, that Slobodan Milosevic and other Serb leaders organized a vast conspiracy, a “joint criminal enterprise,” to murder, expel or conquer other Balkan peoples and “defy the West” in the process, is a transparent attempt to recast Balkans actors as modern-day Axis and Allies. In this production, Slobodan Milosevic is starring as Hitler, his fellow Serbs as Nazis, and Albanians, Croats and Bosnian Muslims as their innocent victims, while the ICTY invokes the spirit of Nuremberg.
Apart from this being a deeply ironic role reversal from the original production, which ran in blood from 1941 to 1945, the “Tribunal’s” methods and practices reflect far more the Soviet show trials of the Stalin era. It doesn’t help that the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, just like those in Lubyanka, or that its “holding facilities” in Scheveningen were used by the Nazis to imprison Dutch patriots.
For almost a year, however, Milosevic has been making a mockery of the prosecutors’ efforts to railroad him. He has successfully demolished every witness and every argument brought out against him, while refusing to recognize either the Inquisition’s authority or its rules. Milosevic’s outspoken defense made a striking contrast to the conquered Balkans, where the Empire had managed to silence virtually all the voices of dissent and resistance.
Having failed in a head-on confrontation, despite playing with heavily loaded dice, the Inquisitors tried a different route. In September, they managed to extort a confession from a former Bosnian Serb leader, Biljana Plavsic, in which she not only admitted to participating in the planning of atrocities, but also implicated Milosevic and other Serb dignitaries.
Bits of Plavsic’s plea cited by the media sound like they were written by the prosecutors: [She] acknowledged she covered up crimes, ignored widespread allegations of criminal acts and “publicly rationalized and justified the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs” in a document setting out facts underpinning her guilty plea.
“Mrs. Plavsic embraced and supported the objective of ethnic separation by force and contributed to achieving it,” said the document admitting her role in killings, expulsions and cruelty inflicted by Bosnian Serbs on non-Serbsin 1992.” (Reuters)
It’s as if the Inquisitors took lessons in purging “traitors to the Party” directly from Lavrenti Beria’s NKVD. Such extorted confessions are part and parcel of any show trial, but even the ICTY has not been this blatant before.
Why Plavsic confessed is a mystery. She claims it was remorse, and that Serbs committed crimes out of fear, but both explanations sound more pathetic than reasonable. She does have a strong dislike for Milosevic, and she enthusiastically collaborated with Bosnia’s NATO occupiers between 1996 and 1998. Plavsic’s true motives may be an enigma, but the Inquisition’s are not. They have seized upon the confession to re-launch allegations of Nazi-like conduct by the Serbs, while “rewarding” Plavsic with a “lenient” sentence of life imprisonment.
‘Nazi’ Slander Resurrected
The assault came this week, at Plavsic’s sentencing hearings. One of the Inquisitors’ star witnesses was no other than Madeleine Albright. The former U.S. Secretary of State has never tried to hide her Serbophobia, nor has she ever expressed an ounce of remorse for masterminding the criminal act of NATO aggression in 1999, which led to the present occupation of Kosovo. In fact, she has been outright proud of it, as well as of her support in establishing the Inquisition.
Albright was supposed to testify to Plavsic’s willingness to
collaborate with the NATO occupiers, but also to provide the association between the alleged Serb crimes and the Holocaust. Events in Bosnia were “reminiscent of pictures that reminded one of World War II,” she said, adding, “We saw pictures of people being taken into what could only be labeled as concentration camps.”
Reinforcing the Nazi analogy further was Holocaust celebrity Elie Wiesel. Even during the war, Wiesel sided with the Bosnian Muslim campaign to depict their side as the victim of “Serb Nazis,” despite the fact that many Muslims joined the actual Nazis sixty years ago. Since he neither knew Plavsic or possessed intimate knowledge of the alleged atrocities in Bosnia, Wiesel’s testimony was intended purely for emotional value in absence of real arguments.
In case anyone missed the point, the prosecutors then showed the pictures of emaciated Muslims in Serb “death camps,” recycling that 1992 canard long after its expiration date. The photo, actually depicting a tuberculosis-ridden Muslim standing in front of a chicken-wire fence with barbed-wire top, was debunked as a malicious camera trick by 1997.
Trotting Albright to the stand, invoking Wiesel’s fame and recycling trashy propaganda photos only goes to show that, while the Inquisition’s vitriolic assault on Serbs as “genocidal Nazis” shows no sign of slowdown, the actual case against Plavsic or Milosevic, for that matter is pretty much nonexistent. The only “joint criminal enterprise” is between them, NATO and the Empire.
Champions of Falsehood
But that is not all. Having long since collapsed into itself under the burden of lies and fabrications, like a black hole, the ICTY attracts ever more such material from all over the world. The following two cases come from the UK, but there is plenty of hypocrisy to go around.
As the Plavsic hearings unfolded and the Milosevic trial continued, the London Guardian published a tear-jerking piece by Jadranka Cigelj, a “rape victim” of a “Serb death camp.” Cigelj’s passionate diatribe is a masterpiece of propaganda. It blames Milosevic for horrendous atrocities without a shred of evidence, while also damning the “West” for its supposed inability to stop him then, or punish him now.
Though an author of a book about her alleged ordeal (for it was never proven in court), and a prominently featured celebrity victim, Jadranka Cigelj is also a high official of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), party of the late Croatian president, ardent Serbophobe and Holocaust revisionist Franjo Tudjman. She also worked for the Croatian Information Center, a propaganda arm of the HDZ aimed at Western reporters, and single-handedly provided most of the “evidence” for stories of mass rape and genocide in Bosnia, none of which have ever been proven. In other words, Ms. Cigelj is a professional propagandist and a committed Croatian national-socialist. Her story, however tempting, ought to be taken with healthy skepticism.
Speaking of accomplished propagandists, one cannot ignore the real champion in the category, the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Their take on reporting about the Inquisition simply reeks of falsehoods. They dare use such terms as “hate speech,” “misconceptions” and “negative propaganda,” even as their own coverage is nothing but. One look at their Balkans report page is enough: tabloid-style headlines heading columns of malicious drivel. Lascivious services of media hacks have been a powerful factor in the rise of the modern repressive State, but IWPR has taken shameless prostitution of journalism to a whole new level.
Truth? You Can’t Handle the Truth!
It is disturbing to see the ease with which outlandish concepts such as the “Tribunal” itself and the outrageous lies it peddles are accepted by the general public in the Empire and elsewhere. But the sad fact of human nature is that violations of truth and justice are seen as somehow less despicable the more they are committed.
The sheer gall of the violators seems to know no bounds. One of the Inquisitors actually said, “It is only through the establishment of the truth that the unhealthy shackles of revisionism that debilitate the former Yugoslavia and that foster suspicion, ethnic hatred and civil unrest can be broken.”
Everything in this sentence is a lie. The Inquisition does not establish truth, but rather forges those very shackles of revisionism, making sure that the debilitating miseries of former Yugoslavia are perpetuated!
Burden of Fiction
Since its illegal inception in 1993, the “International Criminal Tribunal” has faithfully pursued its one and only purpose: to serve the Empire’s interests in the Balkans. It has done so in part by usurping the authority of sovereign states and subverting international treaties and accords, but its focus has been on fabricating a recent history of the Balkans that would justify Imperial intervention, occupation and war.
What makes the ICTY’s lies and hypocrisy so hard to swallow is the fact that many Balkans atrocities they claim to be prosecuting actually happened but not in the way they present them, and not to the degree alleged by the combatants or the media. By manipulating very real crimes into false history, the Hague Inquisition is poisoning the well of collective memory for generations to come.
Driven by their demented obsession to falsify facts by casting Serbs (and sometimes others, for the sake of “diversity” and political expedience) as evil incarnate, the Inquisition and its patrons have come to willfully ignore reality. And in reality, their actions have disastrous consequences, perfectly exemplified in the recent terrorist attack on Pristina’s Bill Clinton Avenue, and the situation in Kosovo in general.
Those who seek to control things that by nature cannot be controlled are doomed to fail. When the truth finally emerges, and it has a nasty habit of doing so when least expected, there will be Hell to pay.