18 August 2006

Book Review: Justice or Revenge for Mladic?

Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero. Translated, Edited, and Supplemented by Milo Yelesiyevich. New York. Unwritten History, Inc., 2006. 730 pp. Buy the book here -->
Is the indictment by the Hague Tribunal of Ratko Mladic on war crimes charges based on “justice” or “vindictive triumph”, revenge and retribution? Is he indicted because he prevented NATO expansion and US penetration into Southeastern Europe? Is his greatest crime opposition to the US and NATO and the EU?
One person’s war criminal is another person’s hero. On June 30, 2006, the ICTY convicted the senior Bosnian Muslim military commander of Srebrenica of committing war crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians because forces under his control tortured and murdered unarmed Bosnian Serb civilians in Srebrenica. Oric was a convicted war criminal. But he was regarded as a “hero” by Bosnian Muslims as reported by AKI, “Convicted War Criminal Returns to Hero’s Welcome”. Moreover, he was regarded as a hero in the US and the Western media. The US and Western media reported with satisfaction his arrival in Bosnia to cheering Bosnian Muslim crowds. Why and how is a convicted war criminal a hero? His forces beheaded and slit the throats of Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs. Oric himself led the attack on Kravica where his forces burned down Serbian houses and destroyed the Serbian Orthodox Church. Oric never took any Bosnian Serb POWs. He ordered that all Bosnian Serb POWs be executed. He burned down at least 50 Bosnian Serb villages in eastern Bosnia around Srebrenica. Is he a “hero”? How is this to be explained?
Croatian General Ante Gotovina has been indicted for the mass murder of over 150 Krajina Serb civilians during the Croatian takeover of UN protected zones in Krajina. Over 200,000 Krajina Serbs were ethnically cleansed from the Krajina in a US-planned operation in 1995. Yet the BBC reported that Gotovina is a hero in the West. In the BBC article, “Croatian fugitive general seized”, BBC, December 8, 2005, the reported noted that: “Many Croats consider Gen. Gotovina to be a hero.” How can a mass murderer be a “hero”? Is one person’s war criminal another person’s hero? Are Naser Oric and Ante Gotovina war criminals or heroes? Who decides? Based on what legal principles? Does it matter if the accused is a proxy and ally of the US and NATO and the EU? Does it matter if he advances US geopolitical, economic, and military interests in Eastern Europe?
Ratko Mladic reassures Bosnian Muslim civilians from Srebrenica that they will not be harmed.
What about Ratko Mladic? Is he a war criminal or a hero?
Ratko Mladic, Tragic Hero, edited by Milo Yelesiyevich, is a collection of essays, news articles, analyses, and interviews, which rebuts the US propaganda on Ratko Mladic and the Bosnian civil war. In the introduction, Yelesiyevich wrote that the book “attempts to redress the obfuscations, omissions and outright lies the American people have been subjected to.” Yelesiyevich argued that Mladic is a “tragic hero”: Mladic is “a virtuous individual who is catapulted into a series of intolerable yet unavoidable situations in which he must make difficult moral decisions that ultimately bring misfortune upon himself by means of his own tragic flaw.” He has “an excess of virtue” which resulted in hubris. The tragedy is “not brought about by villainy but by an error in judgment.” The misperceptions were also created by the US and Western media and governments. Mladic is quoted: “The West understands that the human mind has a limited capacity, and that they can shape it as if it were well-kneaded dough.” Mladic noted how Western PR firms, the corporate media, and organizations “which accept money for their services”, were “fabricating loathsome lies” and “demonizing us”.
The book is made up of three sections. The first section presents a condensed biography and an analysis of Mladic’s military career and record during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 by Ljubodrag Stojadinovic, “Ratko Mladic: Hero or War Criminal?” Stojadinovic concluded that Mladic was neither a hero nor a war criminal but somewhere in between. Instead of confronting the intellectual and moral issues involved directly, Stojadinovic displays journalistic detachment and coyly shirks the issues and sits on the fence. He does quote Mladic, however, as refusing “to be tried by those whom he himself would put on trial.” This implies that “justice” is based on might makes right. Is “justice” merely about winners and losers? Do the victors try the losers for “war crimes”? Why aren’t the victors ever tried for war crimes? Why are the political and military leaders of the losing and weak powers always tried for war crimes but never the winning powers? Why are proxies and allies never prosecuted for war crimes? Is it just “victor’s justice”?
The second section examines the historical background to the Bosnian conflict with analyses of the World War II period.
Bosnian Muslim civilian refugees after the fall of Srebrenica, July, 1995.
This background has been carefully and systematically censored and covered-up in the US and the West. The chapter "Bosniacs, Nazi Muslims, Mujahideen, and Bin Laden" explored the origins of Bosnian Muslim ultra-nationalism during World War II when Bosnian Muslims formed two Nazi SS Divisions, Handzar and Kama, which were created by Heinrich Himmler and Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The connection of Alija Izetbegovic to radical Islam and Muslim ultra-nationalism is examined with an analysis of The Islamic Declaration, a book long suppressed and censored in the US and the West. The role of the Afghan-Arab mujahedeen, Ossama bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda in the Bosnian civil war is examined. The US empowered Al-Qaeda in Bosnia by supporting the mujahedeen and Iranian “volunteers” and relief and “assistance” to the Bosnian Muslim forces. The US even allowed “secular” Alija Izetbegovic to visit Tehran in 1993, at the height of the civil war. Iran also openly sent shipments of arms and weapons routinely to the Bosnian Muslim forces via Zagreb. At that time, Iran was the main supplier and ally of the Bosnian Muslim regime, which the mainstream US media erroneously claimed was “pluralist” and multi-ethnic, and Western-oriented. Two prominent Western journalists, Renate Flottau and Eve-Ann Prentice, even stated that they saw Ossama bin Laden in Sarajevo in 1994, at an official meeting with Alija Izetbegovic. Misguided US advocacy journalism and unprecedented propaganda that relied on the Holocaust and “genocide” paradigms empowered radical Islam, US propaganda portrayed the Bosnian Muslim faction as “victims” and the Jews of the 1990s, facing genocide. Such reckless and mindless propaganda only strengthened Ossama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda and radical Islam. It gave radical Islam moral and legal empowerment.
The chapter "Ustashi, Murderer Monks, and the Modern Croatian State" analyzed the Ustasha Movement and its role in Croatian nationalism. The Ustasha Nazi puppet state, the NDH, was created by Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelic. The NDH embarked on a systematic campaign to exterminate the Serbian, Jewish, and Roma populations of Croatia and Bosnia. The involvement of the Roman Catholic clergy in the genocide and in the administration of the Jasenovac death camp was discussed.
The chapter "Srebrenica, the Phantom Massacre," analyzed the lack of conclusive evidence to to warrant the conclusion that a “massacre” occurred. Srebrenica is largely a US propaganda construct used to justify U.S. support for the Bosnian Muslim faction during the civil war. This analysis offers critical and opposing perspectives on Srebrenica and presents evidence that disproves the US propaganda allegations.
There is a section consisting of interviews that Ratko Mladic gave to the press.
The last section examines the Hague Tribunal and the indictment brought against Mladic.
The one-sided and biased nature of the ICTY has made it controversial. Is it imposing “justice” or revenge and punishment on those who opposed the “international community”? Controversial Swiss-born prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has been referred to as “the new Gestapo”, “La Puttana” or “the whore”, “the personification of stubbornness”, and “the unguided missile”. Del Ponte has demonstrated an obsession and an idee fixe in going after Serbian “war criminals” almost exclusively. She showed all the zeal and determination of German police chiefs Heinrich Himmler and Heinrich Muller and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. According to the BBC News profile, “She takes perverse pride in such labels---she says they show she is doing her job.” The BBC notes that the “petite, chain smoking war crimes prosecutor, who is famous for her ruthless pursuit of goals”, has a “vigorous approach” to the pursuit of justice. She gained notoriety in the 1980s by exposing the “pizza connection”, the link in the Italian drug trade to Swiss banks.
Chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte
Del Ponte was appointed ICTY prosecutor on September 15, 1999 after the US/NATO bombardment and occupation of Yugoslavia, primarily to rationalize and justify the illegal US/NATO aggression and war crimes committed against Yugoslavia. She was, in essence, appointed by the US and NATO, to give ex post facto legitimacy to their illegal war against Yugoslavia, a war organized to help Albanian separatists and secessionists achieve a Greater Albania. The US State department absurdly and paradoxically itself labeled the KLA a “terrorist” organization. Del Ponte was appointed to prosecute the Balkans case and the Rwanda case. She was dismissed from the Rwanda case because there was “insufficient attention” shown. African countries accused her of “insufficient progress” on Rwanda.
Why this lack of commitment to Rwanda? Why doesn’t Del Ponte show concern for a real genocide committed in Rwanada? Is this because there is very little to gain for herself and her paymasters?
During the Rwandan genocide, US President Bill Clinton was more concerned about adulterous dalliances and affairs than he was with preventing a real genocide in Rwanda. Clinton and the US “humanitarian interventionists” totally dismissed the Rwanda genocide. Clinton was more concerned with Monica Lewinsky. This is the moral calculus of humanitarian interventionism. It is not surprising that Del Ponte would show “insufficient attention” to the Rwandan genocide. This is what her paymasters have pursued all along. Del Ponte administers “justice” in whatever manner her paymasters dictate.
Is “justice” in the guise of “victor’s justice” or “vindictive triumph” counterproductive to ensuring enduring peace and stability in the Balkans? By not granting amnesty to all combatants following the Dayton Peace Accords, “the international community” only perpetuates ethnic and religious enmity and prolongs the divisiveness and division in the region.
Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero, edited, introduced, translated, and published by Milo Yelesiyevich, rebuts the US propaganda allegations regarding the role of Ratko Mladic in the Bosnian Civil War, 1992-1995. The book allows an unbiased and neutral reader to make up his or her mind for themselves. Mladic has already been found guilty and convicted in the US and corporate globalist media as a "war criminal". He is guilty until proven innocent. And there is no intention to prove him innocent. Guilt is thus assumed and presupposed.
The corporate media can induce us to think however its paymasters want us to think. We were told that Iraqi troops had killed Kuwaiti babies in the infamous Iraqi Incubator Hoax of Gulf War I. This was later shown to be a blatant deception orchestrated by the US media with collusion by the US government. We were told there were concentration camps in Bosnia. This was exposed as a deception concocted by US PR firms and in collusion with the US government and media. We were told that there were “mass rapes” in Bosnia against Bosnian Muslim women. This was proven to be a propaganda hoax. We were told thee was a “genocide” in Kosovo. It was later shown to be a separatist war of secession by Albanian terrorists supported by the US government, NATO, the EU, and the globalist, corporate media. We were told by our media that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. There were none. We were told by our media that Al-Qaeda had links to Saddam Hussein. There were no links. We were told Hussein sought to buy uranium from Africa. This was not true. In order to foment war in Yugoslavia in 1999, we were told that there was a "genocide" in Kosovo. This was not true. In fact, Kosovo was a separatist terrorist conflict meant to create a Muslim statelet of Kosova as part of Greater Albania. These events show a pattern of deception and brainwashing that should trouble and perplex all Americans. We should question a media and a government that brainwashes and deceives its own citizens. These are not harmless and meaningless lies and deceptions? They were the lies and untruths meant to foment war and to incite racial, religious, and ethnic conflict. They were the lies that kill. They were the lies that fomented war. We need to ask why? We live in a democracy. We need to hold people and governments accountable. We need answers. Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? Where are the “concentration camps”, “rape camps”, “rape motels”, in Bosnia? Where is the other side to the Bosnian conflict?
This book gives the other side to the Bosnian civil war. The book presents the historical context to the conflict. During World War II, Adolf Hitler made Bosnia a part of a Greater Croatia which was ruled by Croatian Roman Catholic and Bosnian Muslim leaders. This Nazi/fascist Ustasha regime, made up of Croats and Bosnian Muslims, embarked upon a systematic and planned campaign of genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Roma. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were murdered in Bosnia and Croatia. Roman Catholic priests Alojzije Stepinac of Zagreb and Ivan Saric of Sarajevo endorsed and sanctioned the Ustasha genocide of Serbs, Jews, and Roma. There is Vatican complicity in this genocide committed against Serbs and Jews. The Vatican under Pope Pius XII had legates to the Nazi Croat puppet state and knew what was happening but did nothing to prevent the genocide, indeed, encouraging it.
Del Ponte attendind a Bosnian Muslim prayer.
In Bosnia, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem came to Sarajevo in 1943 to form the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar or Handschar, made up of Bosnian Muslims. This Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division was deployed in eastern Bosnia against mostly Serbian guerrillas and resistance groups. Bosnian Muslim political leaders had written a famous Memorandum in 1942 to Adolf Hitler requesting that he make Muslim Bosnia a part of the Nazi New Order. The Bosnian Muslims would form two Nazi SS Divisions, Handzar and Kama. The Bosnian Muslims played a role in the Final Solution, the Holocaust. All of this factual background is censored and suppressed in our free and open societies and by our free media.
This is the context for the Bosnian civil war and for Ratko Mladic, whose father was killed in 1945 fighting Nazi Croat and Bosnian Muslim forces during the Holocaust. This event cast a shadow on Mladic's view of Bosnia and Croatia. Mladic’s father was a Communist Partisan. Mladic himself grew up under the Communist/socialist slogan “brotherhood and unity” of the Josip Broz Tito regime and regarded himself as a “Yugoslav”, not a Serb. He rose rapidly in the ranks of the Yugoslav military. He was first stationed in Skopje in Macedonia in 1965. When Yugoslavia began disintegrating along ethnic and religious lines after the revival of rival nationalisms in 1990, Mladic had to choose sides in an ethnic conflict. He did not want a repeat of World War II. He did not want to witness again the genocide and mass murder of the Serbian population. This is an important fact in showing what motivated Mladic. It shows that Mladic came from an anti-nationalist background.
The book dispels many of the US propaganda constructs. The Bosnian Muslims had a well-armed military division stationed in Srebrenica. The Bosnian Muslim commander of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, was convicted of war crimes in 2006. Oric burned down Serbian Orthodox churches, murdered Serbian civilians and POWs, and burned down at least 50 Serbian villages. His forces would castrate and cut the throats of Serbian POWs and civilians and mutilate the bodies, usually by decapitating the corpse or by circumcising the victim. Oric told the UN commander Philippe Morillon that he never took any Serbian prisoners, but executed all Serbian POWs he could find. Oric was never tried for these blatant and egregious war crimes.
This created the background to Srebrenica. Srebrenica was a military defeat and disaster for the Bosnian Muslim faction. It was a military loss. All those killed were well-armed Bosnian Muslim military forces. When is killing armed soldiers in a war considered "genocide"?
The US has created an absurd notion of war. When we or our proxies kill, we do so in legitimate self-defense and are perfectly justified in doing so. When those who oppose us kill, they are committing genocide and illegal war crimes. This is an absurdity. War itself is always organized murder. There is no such thing as a good war. The real responsibility for the Yugoslav conflicts rests on those outside powers that fomented the war, such as US ambassador Warren Zimmermann, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Pope John Paul II. They rejected diplomacy and negotiations and opted for ultimatums and diktats that they knew would result in civil war. They bear ultimate responsibility for the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia. But paradoxically, they will not have to account for their actions. Instead, scapegoats and straw men will be found. This book exposes the absurd US propaganda claims. Moreover, there is no proof for any of the allegations made about Srebrenica. There is only propaganda. And this book does an excellent job in disproving the US-manufactured propaganda.
This book also shows that war crimes were committed against Bosnian Serb civilians, in Pofalici, in Celebici, and in the towns and villages around Srebrenica. Ossama bin Laden made an official visit to Sarajevo in 1994, meeting with Alija Izetbegovic in his office. Al-Qaeda forces were actively fighting as members of the Bosnian Muslim Army under ultra-nationalist radical Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic. Al-Qaeda even formed a special unit in the Bosnian Muslim Army known as the El Mujahedeen Unit. Iran was the major backer and supplier of the Bosnian Muslim forces. Izetbegovic visited Tehran in 1993 on an official diplomatic mission at the height of the Bosnian civil war. The Ossama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and Iranian connection to the Alija Izetbegovic regime has been very carefully covered-up. This is done in a very subtle way. None of this factual material has been presented in the US media. It has been censored and suppressed. Why?
This book allows you to make up your own mind based on all the facts and not from handouts from the US State Department. This book allows you to cut through the brainwashing and “infowar” technology and propaganda and to decide for yourself. What harm can that do? Why is the US propaganda machine so alarmed by an opposing view? What is there to be so afraid of? Show us both sides to the issue. Let us decide. That is real democracy and freedom.
This encyclopedic collection allows differing and opposing viewpoints and analyses. Dissent and debate are crucial in a democracy. Lock-step uniformity, conformity, and mindless subservience are anathema in a true democracy. US President Thomas Jefferson noted that a well-informed public is essential in a democracy:
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be... [I]f we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.”
Jefferson noted how images and perceptions can be disseminated to manipulate and to deceive: “Those who don't read the newspapers are better off than those who do insofar as those who know nothing are better off than those whose heads are filled with half-truths and lies.” One must be wary of a corporate media that seeks to “persuade” by infowar technology and advocacy journalism. Jefferson was able to see the danger even in his time.
Knowledge and information are essential for Jefferson. In a democracy, one has to be informed: “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion. Enlighten the people generally and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
US Democratic Presidential candidate and NATO commander Lt. General Wesley Clark pictured in the center with Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic on the left in Bosnia, August 27, 1994. Clark is wearing a "nationalist" Bosnian Serbian cap while Mladic is wearing a US Army cap. UN commander Sir Michael Rose is on far right.
What was Ratko Mladic’s real crime? Why is he a “villain” and not a “hero” in the New World Order? Is it because he opposed the imposition of the New World Order from Washington and Bonn? Is that his real “crime”? His biggest “crime” was standing up to Germany and the US and the EU and NATO. He prevented NATO expansion and US penetration into the Balkans, Southeastern Europe. Opposition and dissent are always unacceptable when power is the sole criterion of right. In a might makes right scenario, the greatest danger and the greatest threat is opposition, any opposition, any dissent. Dissent is, frankly, unacceptable. Why? Dissent implies freedom. Dissent implies individuality and choice. You can choose to disagree. It is this freedom to choose and to decide that is perceived as a threat. As Thomas Jefferson noted, the decision a person makes can be altered and manipulated through infowar techniques, public relations, a corporate globalist media, and biased news sources. Ignorance and democracy are incompatible. Ignorance and freedom are incompatible. That is why this book is needed to allow a different perspective, a different set of facts. It allows you to analyze all the different sides to an issue and to decide for yourself.
Is there a distinction between “justice” and “the law”? As Thomas Jefferson noted, “law is often but the tyrant's will” In US history itself, the law was used to institutionalize slavery, segregation, and the racist policy of “separate but equal” in the schools and in public places, Law can be used to institutionalize and to justify injustice. The Dred Scott case of 1857 is an important example of how “the law” differs from “justice”. US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney held that blacks were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Blacks were legally regarded as not citizens of the U.S. and legally subhuman, not accorded the rights that “all men” enjoyed under the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Blacks were not human beings, but property. “Justice” and the “law” do not always coincide.
Ratko Mladic. Is he a “hero” or “villain”? Decide for yourself. As David Binder noted, this collection allows the reader to decide by examining the full picture, not merely half the picture. Is it justice or is it just the law imposed by NATO and the US? Is it justice or the imposition of “the tyrant’s will”, the will of the US, NATO, and the EU? This book allows the reader to determine whether the Ratko Mladic case is about “justice” or about triumphal vengeance, about going after and destroying those who would dare to oppose the New World Order. It offers another perspective, a perspective meticulously censored and suppressed in the US and Western mainstream. Moreover, the book is essentially antiwar because it shows how wars are manipulated and exploited and fomented by self-interested outside powers and interests. They maliciously foment war and incite hatred and encourage killing, then sit back and judge and impose their “justice”.
This book is highly recommended. It encourages critical and independent thought, not mindless, lock-step conformity and obeisance.
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Carl Savich is a historian who teaches history at the college level. His articles have appeared on numerous websites and newspapers.Carl SAvich Archive -->
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