Srebrenica “men and boys” Was it a genocide?

Did the Bosnian Serb Army have a right to engage the column of “Srebrenica men and boys,” as Western media have labeled it? Were these helpless, disarmed people, trying to run away to save their lives or was it a military formation doing a hostile military manoeuvre?

Let us get as close to the source of information as possible. Let the top Bosnian Muslim generals, themselves, once again, tell the truth.

Clinton needs 5,000 Muslims dead
Bosnian Muslim leader tries to provide

Documents on this page all come from the testimonies given by the Muslim generals Sefer Halilovic and Enver Hadzihasanovic at the Hague. On one of our previous pages the same generals claimed that they had no intention to honor the disarmament agreement. They even did their best to arm Srebrenica war criminals.

Let us see what they said, out of their own free will, about the attempted retreat of Srebrenica Muslim Army.

Srebrenica Muslims left to their destiny

Thursday, 5 April 2001
The Hague Proceedings,
Case against Serbian General Krstic
pp 9452, 9454:

JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, to move on to the attack on Srebrenica, do you have an idea when the Bosniak [i.e. Muslim] authorities, civilian or military, learnt of the attack on the Srebrenica enclave by the [Bosnian] Serb forces, and in particular, when were they informed of the transfer of the population, the capture…? When did they learn of this? And the BH army [Muslim] forces, did they have military materiel and manpower to prevent the attack or to launch a counter-attack?

Muslim General, Sefer Halilovic: In the [Muslim controlled] Danimagazine published in 1998 as a special edition, Dani magazine, under the title of “How They Sold Out Srebrenica and Retained Power,” this was an article written by Mr. Hecimovic, a journalist, he quotes a series of testimonies from the meeting of the SDA [Bosnian Muslim Party] Main Board in Zenica…

Hecimovic at that time was a journalist and he was a close collaborator of the [Bosnian Muslim] prime minister, Mr. Haris Silajdzic, prime minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, therefore, he was in a position to know at firsthand what was happening there.

I later learnt that the command of the 2nd Corps and the General Staff knew when the operation on Srebrenica started, but from a series of testimonies, the people who were in Srebrenica, both from military and political structures, we can clearly see that they [Srebrenica Muslims] asked for help, both of the command of the 2nd Corps and the command of the General Staff and [Muslim] President Izetbegovic, but that they did not receive that assistance. To answer your question whether they had the power and materiel to help, to come to the help of Srebrenica, I think that they did…

JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General. Perhaps we could now move on more specifically to the column, the issue of the column. In general terms, what information do you dispose of with respect to the column, the formation of the column, the evolution of the column, and everything else with respect to the column, how it was pierced?

General Sefer Halilovic: From what I learnt talking to people who were in the enclave, that is to say, in Srebrenica, but also from the discussions I had with members of the [Muslim] General Staff, I learnt that, in fact, the General Staff and the presidency did not have any information as to the direction taken by the column from Srebrenica. They reported back once but did not communicate after that, so that in practical terms, the first information as to the direction of the column, whether it was moving towards Zepa or Kladanj or Tuzla, reached them only when the first parts of the column began to appear along the Tuzla axis, which means that along that route of horror from Srebrenica to Tuzla, they were not assisted in any way [by the main Muslim forces]. No aid was provided.

Why was there no aid provided? The answer may come from Bosnian Muslim fundamentalist leader Alija Izetbegovic:

Allah does not count victims


The above quote is from:
The Islamic Declaration
book by Alija Izetbegovic
First printed in Sarajevo in 1970,
reprinted 1990, page 53

Bill Clinton needs
at least 5,000 Srebrenica victims
Dutch documentary reveals the trap

Thursday, 5 April 2001
The Hague Proceedings, pp 9474, 9475:

Defense council of Serbian General Krstic, Mr. Petrusic, addresses General Halilovic: General, do you know Hakija Meholjic? Have you heard of him?

Muslim General, Sefer Halilovic: I met him in 1999 or 2000 perhaps, after having read some of his statements in the press.

Mr. Petrusic: General, he was chief of police in Srebrenica in 1995, or rather, in the period of the safe area until the end of the war. Is that so, for the record?

General Halilovic: As far as I know, yes.

Mr. Petrusic: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the technical booth to play a short video film of some 10 minutes. It is a video film made by Dutch television, after which I will have a few questions for the General, General Halilovic.

“The International Community
needed the genocide!!!”

Thursday, 5 April 2001
The Hague Proceedings, starting on page 9480:

From tape presented:
[Muslim official] Hakija Meholjic [INTERPRETER Voiceover]:
THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] “A meeting with American president Clinton, Alija [Izetbegovic] was telling us about the offer of Clinton. Chetniks [ment as derogatory for Serbs] would take Srebrenica and kill 5.000 Muslims, and then there will be a military intervention, and what did we think about that? And we rejected that. We didn’t think it was normal that 5.000 people would be slaughtered.”

[Dutch narrator(?)]: That the American president would have suggested that Serbs would enter Srebrenica and to kill Muslims in order to justify an intervention would be too absurd, but from the UN research, it now seems that this is not too awkward. Some surviving members of the Srebrenica delegation have stated that President Izetbegovic also told them that he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina was possible but could only occur if the Serbs which would break into Srebrenica are killing at least 5.000 of its people.

We talked about an exchange and the exchange of Srebrenica for other territories.

UN report: The delegation opposed the idea and the subject was not discussed further.

[Hakija Meholjic]: In negotiations we will demand that the maps will be corrected in the Bosnian parliament, that the Bosnian Republic will get Muslim territory along the Drina. The delegation is — imposed secrecy. The exchange of territories is not — it was not abolished. We agreed to meet the next day. But after our meeting with Izetbegovic, people started to be bribed. People were taken everywhere. Men came that I didn’t know and they made propositions. I’ve seen those men, but never again afterwards.

They spoke individually with us or in groups, sitting at a table. I was sitting at a table together with Mehovic, and they asked us what we thought about Srebrenica for [Sarajevo, Serb held suburb of] Vogosca, exchanging for Srebrenica for Vogosca, and Zepa for Ilijas [also suburb of Sarajevo]. In case I would not accept the exchange, I could be liquidated, so I returned with the delegation to Srebrenica.

General Halilovic was aware of the meeting between Izetbegovic and the delegation. According to him, the president spoke also with other representatives of Srebrenica. Izetbegovic offered to exchange Srebrenica for Zepa, for neighbourhoods in Sarajevo, Vogosca, Ilijas and Ilidza. We rejected that. Only half a year after Srebrenica was proclaimed a safe area, it is the Muslim government that discusses the destiny of the Muslim population in Srebrenica. Did Sarajevo sacrifice Srebrenica in 1993?

Answer: I think so, yes.

Interview of the Dutch Defence Ministry for [unintelligible]…

The question is: Would the Dutch government have sent DutchBat if they had known that the Muslims were considering the secret proposal and maybe have accepted that? Broskij, acting commander of DutchBat, says that this would have been decisive. This is Broskij, the acting commander:

Well, the situation would have been different for the Dutch government in that case. I’m certain of that… we would not have been sent in that case.

Early 1995, after a year of relative quiet, tensions increase in the enclave. February, a year and a half after the issue of exchange of territory was discussed — they’re talking about a discussion with Naser Oric. The one general refuses to take Oric with him. Early April 1995 Oric would have managed to speak to Izetbegovic and to discuss his presumptions. In the General Staff, according to this man, there was a meeting between Oric and Izetbegovic.

I heard from Naser that those two were together in one room during that night. Naser told me that himself. Everything indicates that Oric’s fears were confirmed. Oric is back from Kakanj, but then he[Naser Oric] leaves for good from the enclave and he orders the deputy commander to come with him. After that, he told me, I don’t know the exact number, but he sent about 20 officers away, known fighters who participated in heavy fighting. They were trusted by the soldiers and by the people. Each of them could easily gather a hundred people with them that were willing and able to die, able to die. He sent them away to [military] study, to follow an education. Sources confirm that Oric left on his own initiative. The soldiers spoke to Oric just before Oric left. He said he would come back. He said that he would come back and arrange something for our enclave.

The man who had been in the centre of attention for four years left in silence. DutchBat and the UN left — knew that Oric has been in safety for three months only after the fall of Srebrenica.

Is this his biggest secret? Answer: Probably. His secret and Izetbegovic’s secret.

Dutch deputy commander: He was a very strong leader.

The people, he really — he was a very strong force behind his brigades, at the moment such a commander, at least, and case is complete. People panicked, especially women, children, and elderly, so the weaker groups. And the… army that was left started to panic. We saw that there was no more leadership, and we had obviously been abandoned…

Then something strange happened.

Muslim soldiers leave the enclave and plunder the [Serbian] village of Visnjica just behind the defence line. The order came from Sarajevo to change the pressure on the front. In the meeting, I resisted. This could not happen because this would cause problems. The village was very unimportant.

Still the order was given, and the guys in Srebrenica followed the order.

Why, for goodness’ sake? Houses were burned. The attack was led by one of Oric’s former allies, former associates.

11th of July, 1995, Serbs take the enclave. The Muslims separated. Women and children are bused to safety.

The men stay behind.

The remaining army, the remaining part of the army flees through the woods to [Muslim held] Tuzla… The International Community needed the genocide…

[End of the Dutch documentary.]

Mr. Petrusic: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Petrusic: General, sir, you will agree that the man on this video clip speaking about the alleged agreement of Alija Izetbegovic on the liquidation of 5.000 Muslims was Hakija Meholjic; am I right in saying that? For the record, you assert that it was Hakija Meholjic?

General Halilovic: Yes, that’s right. It was Hakija Meholjic.

Izetbegovic: Srebrenica people – not my people

Thursday, 5 April 2001
The Hague Proceedings, pp 9487, 9488:

Mr. Petrusic: And finally, General, I’m going to quote one more sentence, page 134 of your book, and I quote: “According to an interview with Holbrooke, Izetbegovic in January 1995 was ready to hand over Srebrenica to the Serbs in the context of a broader solution of the peace question and in order to retain Sarajevo intact. He said that they were not his, and he did not care about that. Mark Dunner [phoen] recorded Holbrooke’s statement on that occasion.”

When you say he did not care about that, that they were not his people, do you mean “he” being Alija Izetbegovic? Is that the “he” you’re referring to? …

General Halilovic: Here it states precisely that it refers to Mr. Izetbegovic, and there is no need for us to deduce anything. It says so clearly.

Were Muslim men a military target?

We see from the study presented on one of our previous pages that top Muslim generals Halilovic and Hadzihasanovic easily admit that they had no intention to honor the disarmament of Srebrenica agreement. They even did their best to arm Srebrenica war criminals.

The two generals inform us that Srebrenica Muslims, already in April 1993, are organized in well formed military unit (the 28th Division), numbering 5.803 people. The “disarmament” scam left them quite well armed. The generals were able to admit that the unit had 1.947 automatic rifles, 27 submachine-guns, 15 machine-guns, 68 hand-held rocket launchers, all kinds of mortars, anti-armour, anti-missile, anti-aircraft launchers, rockets, guns…

This is not your L.A. street gang.

But this was in April 1993 and thanks to the demilitarization agreement given to them by their Western allies the Muslim generals did their best to arm Srebrenica criminals more. The generals admit that they sent, in front of the besieging Serbian noses, eight helicopters filled with arms and ammunition.

So, these are the people who formed a column trying to break trough 100km deep, well defended Serb-held territory.

We called their attempt a suicide run.

The entire 28th Division
on the march!

Friday, 6 April 2001
The same, page 9527, 9528:

Muslim General, Enver Hadzihasanovic: I know that on the 11th of July [1995], almost all members of the army gathered in the village of Susnjari.

In addition to the military, as far as I know and according to the information that I have, there were about 7.000 civilians in that village. There was a very small number of women there, not more than ten, I think. So on the 11th of July, in the evening, the division command, together with the municipal authorities, on their own initiative decided to move in a column and try and leave the area of the protected zone in the direction of the free territory around Tuzla. I think that that decision was taken around 2200 hours on the 11th of July.

According to the statement by the late [Muslim] Chief of Staff with whom I had an opportunity to talk, Mr. Becirovic, I think that was his name, the column consisted between 12.000 and 15.000 people and almost the complete composition, the complete division was there, that is, 5.500 to 6.000 troops…

Only half of the armed force
survives the suicide march!

Thursday, 5 April 2001
The same, page 9490:

JUDGE [FOUAD] RIAD: …What was the percentage of fighters or of military people in the column, if you know about it?

Muslim General, Sefer Halilovic: I can’t say exactly what the percentage of military people was compared to the civilians in the column, but after the breakthrough from the encirclement — from the enclave, rather, several days later I saw a review of the 28th Division in Tuzla, and there were about 3.000 soldiers, 3.000 fighters amongst them, and the information media claimed that they came from the enclave to Tuzla together with the column.

JUDGE RIAD: And have you an idea how strongly they were armed in the column?

General Sefer Halilovic: The soldiers who were in the column together with the civilians were armed with light infantry weapons. That was shown during the review and ceremony [!!!] held in Tuzla seven or eight days later, after they had broken through, after they had exited.

JUDGE RIAD: And were they in a position to fight, to fight back?

General Sefer Halilovic: Their position was a highly precarious one, and according to what I learnt, once again from the information media, they had to walk for a very long time and were very tired. They were exhausted, and a large number did not reach Tuzla at all, so that they were not in a position to defend themselves, to fight.

Of course, they were in “precarious position” and they could not defend themselves very efficiently. That was the whole point of the above mentioned Bill Clinton’s plan of obtaining 5,000 Islam martyrs.

This is how the column looked when they arrived. The following photograph was presented in The New York Times on Friday, July 21, 1995, Page A8. The subtitle reads: “Bosnian Government soldiers from the enclave of Srebrenica, which fell to the Serbs last week, stopped for a rest Wednesday near the Government-held town of Kalesija. The soldiers had trekked for days through Serb-held territory, carrying their wounded with them”.

Srebrenica 28th Division arrives –
with Western machine-guns on their sholders

American armed Islam terrorists
Did you notice the German made, Heckler & Koch G3A3 semi-automatic rifles these Islamic war criminals and terrorists have? The rifle fires the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridge. This kind of weaponry was never (ever) seen before in ex-Communist Yugoslavia. How did this Srebrenica soldier obtain it? Srebrenica was completely encircled by the Serbs from the very first days of the war. What was the content of American “humanitarian” operation “parachute?”

As said before, American Pentagon supplied arms, even Arab mujahedin fighters to “demilitarized” Srebrenica.

Criminally irresponsible
the Muslims involve civilians
in suicide military act

Friday, 6 April 2001
The same, page 9528:

Muslim General, Enver Hadzihasanovic: It was decided that the column should go along the axis Konjevic Polje-Bratunac moving along the ridges west of that axis, and that the asphalt road be crossed over in the area between Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba and that they should continue towards Tuzla after crossing the tarmac on that spot. The length of the column, according to the information that I have, was between 12 and 15 kilometres, and the time span was about two and a half hours from the head and the tail of the column. They started on the 11th of July around midnight.

As far as I could note, it was structured as follows: The head of the column consisted of elements of the 284th Brigade who were followed by the 280th Brigade and I know that the Chief of Staff told me that he was amongst the members of that unit. Then followed civilians together with the military, and the last element of the column was the independent battalion which was also part of the 28th Division.

through mountains and hell!

Friday, 6 April 2001
The same, page 9528 – 9531:

Muslim General, Enver Hadzihasanovic: Before they reached the asphalt road at Konjevic Polje towards Vlasenica, an artillery attack was launched against the second half of the column. Fire was opened from various kinds of artillery weapons on the tail of the column, and the head of the column realised that there was nobody on the tarmac road. They had started crossing the road on that spot, not knowing that the second half of the column was, in the meantime, exposed to a fierce attack, artillery attack. That was on the 12th of July. I think that about 80 or 100 people managed to cross the tarmac road, that is one-third of the column.

After that, some APCs and a tank, I believe, arrived and the Serb forces pierced the column on that spot. So the first third of the column managed to cross the asphalt road, and they were waiting to see what would happen with the rest of the column. However, throughout that day, the second half of the column was exposed to heavy shooting and shelling, and during the night, they probably thought that other members of the column would also cross the road, but nobody did so they decided to move on. I know that because the Chief of Staff who told me about this was with that portion of the column.

They continued towards the Udrc mount where they assembled, and at that point in time they sent a group of people back to the asphalt road to wait and see whether anybody else would cross over, but they had to return because no one was crossing the road any more. So on the 13th of July, they continued on their way across the Udrc mount in the direction of Kalesija that is towards the Kalesija-Zvornik asphalt road.

On that part of the road, they were ambushed on several occasions. There were fatalities and casualties there, and on the 14th of July or the 15th, they reached the area of the village of Medzedza, that is the area of Crni Vrh, which is a hill near Kalesija.

On the 15th of July, they tried to leave the area of Crni Vrh [Black Peak] and the wider area is called Parlog. They tried to move closer to the [Muslim held] front lines but they were ambushed again [by the Bosnian Serbs] so they had to go back and they spent the night there. In the afternoon hours of the 15th of July, they selected a large group of people who then fought with the Serbs at one point in time, but they were unable to do anything. So on the 15th of July in the evening hours, they went back to the same spot to spend the night.

On the 16th of July, in a similar way with a group of people, they attempted once again a breakthrough and at that point in time, the communication was established with the [Muslim] front line through a walkie-talkie so the Corps Command, at that time, was already familiar with the spot where they could be expected to come out. In the early morning hours of the 16th of July, the front line was finally pierced by the elements of the 24th Division and the 212th Brigade.

As for the other side, they were moving from the rear of the front and they managed to pierce the line along the distance of one and a half kilometres, and the civilians and the military which was with that group started entering the free area at that spot. However, as regards the asphalt road between Konjevic Polje and Vlasenica, in that area, there were very few people left, only an individual here and there who managed to go through.

Later on, people who survived and who managed to come out told us that it was like a manhunt in that area near the asphalt road coming from Srebrenica going towards Kravica, Konjevic Polje, and then further on from Konjevic Polje towards Vlasenica near Kasaba. So that region was the theatre of a fierce manhunt, and I know that they were collecting people at three locations. One of them was the stadium near Nova Kasaba. The second one was a farm, agricultural farm in the village of Kravica. The third location was an elementary school or part of a factory in Kravica.

If you were a Serb sitting in your village burned down to the ground by Srebrenica Muslims, when you hear that they are coming your way, full force, thousands of them, well armed, would you consider them a military target? They murdered your old mother who barely survived them the first time 50 years ago when they were on Hitler’s side and in Nazi SS uniforms. They mutilated and murdered some of your neighbors. More than 2,000 Serbs by this time were slaughtered by these criminals. They roasted some Serbs, as if they were animals, alive, on the spit, slit throats of others, chopped off heads…

Do you wait for them to appear in front of your house or do you shell them with all you got? Do you trap them in the woods or do you wait to see whether they would, in passing by, murder your wife and children?

As they come to you, by thousands, the best armed ones first, do you check to see who is armed and who is not and shoot only on those who are? Before you shoot, as they shoot at you, do you ask whether anyone in the approaching crowd is younger than 21?

It is the well deserved justice what these criminals are afraid of. That is why they did not want to surrender, not even under supervision of U.N., but it is truly criminal if they brought civilians, maybe even some young boys, on this path of death. Why should the Serbs be guilty if some of these, maybe innocent people, died?

The Western estimate was that too few Srebrenica Muslims died in this hostile, suicidal military act. Again, Bill Clinton needed at least 5,000 Srebrenica Muslims dead so he can pretend to be a humanitarian and unleash the full power of NATO/Nazi force on the Bosnian Christian Serbs’ heads.

No problem. The West, with their Islam fundamentalist allies will find many creative ways to lie about how many people died on the zig-zag, back and forth, Muslim attempt to break through Serbian controlled forests and mountains.

Western media will repeat their lies, as if they were true. The best Western experts were sent to dig, haven and earth in areas broad around Srebrenica, and try to find material evidence, any evidence, to the claim that the Serbs performed mass execution of Srebrenica Muslims. Years of digging could bring no result. No problem. The Western culture slipped so far back into dark ages that not one person would be burned on a stake after a false accusation of being a witch. A whole nation, will be accused of no less than genocide and then this false accusation not supported by ANY evidence would be used as an excuse for all-out punishment in form of mass-bombing (using depleted Uranium), expulsion of at least million Serbs (from Krajina and Western Bosnia) from everything they ever owned…

One of the first tricks implemented was to hide some Muslim survivors of the above events and then declare them dead.

The original page for the above quotes, for General Halilovic’s statements, can be found at “UN” web site at this address.

General Hadzihasanovic’s statements, are at this address.

Morality? Don’t make me laugh

Morality? Don’t make me laugh

John Pilger sees only one Balkan winner:
the arms trade

[British] The Guardian,
Monday, April 19, 1999

For fair use only
Published under the provision of
U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.

 * * * 


“The struggle of people against power,” wrote Milan Kundera, “is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” The idea that the Nato bombing has to do with “moral purpose” (Blair) and “principles of humanity we hold sacred” (Clinton) insults both memory and intelligence. The American attack on Yugoslavia began more than a decade ago when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund set about destroying the multi-ethnic federation with lethal doses of debt, “market reforms” and imposed poverty.Millions of jobs were eliminated; in 1989 alone, 600,000 workers, almost a quarter of the workforce, were sacked without severance pay. But the most critical “reform” was the ending of economic support to the six constituent republics and their recolonisation by Western capital. Germany led the way, supporting the breakaway of Croatia, its new economic colony, with the European Community giving silent approval. The torch of fratricide had been lit…

In spite of his part in the blood-letting of Bosnia, Milosevic, the “reformer”, became a favourite among senior figures in the US State Department. And in return for his co-operation in the American partition of Bosnia at Dayton in 1995, he was assured that the troublesome province of Kosovo was his to keep. “President Milosevic,” said Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy, “is a man we can do business with, a man who recognises the realities of life in former Yugoslavia.” The Kosovo Liberation Army was dismissed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as “no more than terrorists”. Last October, the Americans drafted a “peace plan” for Kosovo that that was pro-Serbia, giving the Kosovans far less autonomy and freedom than they had under the old Yugoslav federation.

But this deal included, crucially for the Americans, a Nato military presence. When Milosevic objected to having foreign troops on his soil, he was swiftly transformed, like Saddam Hussein, from client to demon. He was now seen as a threat to Washington’s post-cold war strategy for the Balkans and eastern Europe. With Nato replacing the United Nations as an instrument of American global control, its “Membership Action Plan” includes linking Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic before them, these impoverished countries will be required to take part in a “22 billion weapons” buildup. The beneficiaries will be the world’s dominant arms industries of the US and Britain – the contract for fighter aircraft alone is worth pounds 10 billion.

Like the 1991 “moral crusade” in the Gulf, which slaughtered more than 200,000 people, including the very minorities the West claimed to be protecting, the terror bombing of Serbia and Kosovo provides a valuable laboratory for the Anglo-American arms business. Mostly unreported, the Americans are using a refined version of the depleted uranium missile they tested in southern Iraq, where leukaemia among children and birth deformities have risen to match the levels after Hiroshima. The RAF is using the BL755 “multi-purpose” cluster bomb, which is not really a bomb at all but an air-dropped land-mine: readers will recall the Blair government’s “ban” on land-mines. Dropped from the air, the BL755 explodes into dozens of little mines, shaped liked spiders. These are scattered over a wide area and kill and maim people who step on them, children especially.

Britain’s new military-industrial-arms trade, which Margaret Thatcher built and the taxpayer subsidises through “soft loans” to dictatorships, is central to the “Blair project”. Each time New Labour has sought to bring big business into the fold, arms companies or their representatives have been at the head of the queue. A New Labour backer is Raytheon, manufacturer of the Patriot missile and currently under contract to the Ministry of Defence to build tanks. More arms contracts have been approved by the Blair government than by the Tories; and two-thirds of arms exports go to regimes with appalling human rights records – such as the dictatorship in Jakarta, which is currently deploying death squads in East Timor.

Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that British-supplied small arms have caused in East Timor the equivalent of the Dunblane massacre many times over. Last year, the Defence Secretary, George Robertson, intervened in a Courtaulds Aerospace deal for armoured vehicles, headed for Indonesia’s Kopassus special forces whose commander, General Prabowo, he described (in a letter to Robin Cook) as “an enlightened officer, keen [on] human rights”. Kopassus is the Waffen SS-style force that spearheaded the invasion of East Timor, murdered five journalists and is responsible for the worst atrocities in the illegally occupied territory. When Prabowo’s father-in-law, the tyrant Suharto, was toppled from his throne last year, the general was also sacked.

… However, no bombs will fall on Jakarta. They might hit the local offices of British Aerospace (supplier of machine guns and Hawk fighter bombers) and the Defence Export Sales Organisation, the Blair government’s official merchants of death who, as Thatcher used to say, “are batting for Britain”.

(End quote)

The facts about Mr. Pilger that follow were taken from:

July, 2003

John Pilger was named Media Personality of the Year, at this year’s EMMA awards, held on Friday 30th May.

At the annual ceremony – Britain’s biggest multicultural awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel – John’s daughter Zoe picked up the award on his behalf.

John is currently filming in Afghanistan for his latest Carlton documentary…

Speaking from there, he said: “The value of this award is that it is the result of a nationwide vote among Britain’s multicultural community.”

The judges cited Pilger’s Carlton documentaries… They commented that John Pilger “goes the extra mile to bring us the alternative truth.”

John Pilger has been named the winner of one of the world’s most distinguished environmental and development prizes. The Sophie Prize was established in 1997 in Oslo and is awarded to “individuals or an organisation that, in a pioneering and particularly creative way, has pointed to alternatives to the present development development system.”

John Pilger, says the President of the Sophie Foundation, Elin Ene, “has, in his documentaries, articles and books and through his integrity, thoroughness and courage, strengthened democracy and human dignity. He has managed to engage the public — morally and politically — for the protection of the powerless.”

Pilger is the first journalist to be awarded the Sophie Prize, which will be presented by the Norwegian Minister of the Environment on 12 June.

Mr. Pilger is author of book “The New Rulers of the World” (published by Verso)
John Pilger’s biography is at http://pilger.carlton.com/home/biography

We recommend:

– The same author: “Acts of murder!”

– Professor Michel Chossudovsky: “Dismantling Yugoslavia – colonizing Bosnia”



Up to 38 aircraft have been shot down or crashed.
This is suppressed, of course.

[British] The Guardian,
May 18, 1999

By John Pilger

For fair use only
Published under the provision of
U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.

 * * * 


The room is filled with the bodies of children killed by Nato in Surdulica in Serbia. Several are recognisable only by their sneakers. A dead infant is cradled in the arms of his father. These pictures and many others have not been shown in Britain; it will be said they are too horrific. But minimising the culpability of the British state when it is engaged in criminal action is normal; censorship is by omission and misuse of language. The media impression of a series of Nato ‘blunders’ is false. Anyone scrutinising the unpublished list of targets hit by Nato is left in little doubt that a DELIBERATE TERROR CAMPAIGN is being waged against the civilian population of Yugoslavia.

Eighteen hospitals and clinics and at least 200 nurseries, schools, colleges and students’ dormitories have been destroyed or damaged, together with housing estates, hotels, libraries, youth centres, theatres, museums, churches and 14th-century monasteries on the World Heritage list. Farms have been bombed, their crops set on fire. As Friday’s bombing of the Kosovo town of Korisa shows, there is no discrimination between Serbs and those being ‘saved’. Every day, three times more civilians are killed by Nato than the daily estimate of deaths of Kosovans in the months prior to the bombing.

The British people are not being told about a policy designed largely by their government to cause such criminal carnage. The dissembling of politicians and the lies of ‘spokesmen’ set much of the news agenda. There is no sense of the revulsion felt throughout most of the [Western] world for this wholly illegal action… and for the bellicose antics of Blair, Cook and Robertson, who have made themselves into international caricatures.

‘There was no need of censorship of our dispatches. We were our own censors,’ wrote Philip Gibbs, the Times correspondent in 1914-18. The silence is different now; there is the illusion of saturation coverage, but the reality is a sameness and repetition and, above all, political safety for the perpetrators.

A few days before the killing of make-up ladies and camera operators in the Yugoslav television building, Jamie Shea, Nato’s man, wrote to the International Federation of Journalists: ‘There is no policy to attack television and radio transmitters.’ Where were the cries of disgust from among the famous names at the BBC, John Simpson apart? Who interrupted the mutual back-slapping at last week’s Royal Television Society awards? Silence. The news from Shepherd’s Bush is that BBC presenters are to wear pinks, lavender and blues which ‘will allow us to be a bit more conversational in the way we discuss stories’.

Here is some of the news they leave out. The appendix pages of the Rambouillet ‘accords’, which have not been published in Britain, show Nato’s agenda was to occupy not just Kosovo, but all of Yugoslavia. This was rejected, not just by Milosevic, but by the elected Yugoslav parliament, which proposed a UN force to monitor a peace settlement: a genuine alternative to bombing. Clinton and Blair ignored it.

Britain is attacking simultaneously two countries which offer no threat. Every day Iraq is bombed and almost none of it is news. Last week, 20 civilians were killed in Mosul, and a shepherd and his family were bombed. The sheep were bombed. In the last 18 months, the Blair government has dropped more bombs than the Tories dropped in 18 years.

Nato is suffering significant losses. Reliable alternative sources in Washington have counted up to 38 aircraft crashed or shot down, and an undisclosed number of American and British special forces killed. This is suppressed, of course.

Anti-bombing protests reverberate around the world: 100,000 people in the streets of Rome (including 182 members of the Italian parliament), thousands in Greece and Germany, protests taking place every night in colleges and town halls across Britain. Almost none of it is reported. Is it not extraordinary that no national opinion poll on the war has been published since April 30?

‘Normalisation,’ wrote the American essayist Edward Herman, depends on ‘a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals… [and] others working on improved technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive Napalm). It is the function of experts and the mainstream media to normalise the unthinkable for the general public.’

This week, the unthinkable will again be normalised when Nato triples the bombing raids to 700 a day. This includes blanket bombing by B-52s. Blair and Clinton and the opaque-eyed General Clark, apologist for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, are killing and maiming hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people in the Balkans. No contortion of intellect and morality, nor silence, will diminish the truth that these are acts of murder. And until there is a revolt by journalists and broadcasters, they will continue to get away with it. That is the news.

(End quote)<

Follow this link to see the list of downed NATO aircraft.


The facts about Mr. Pilger that follow were taken from:
http://pilger.carlton.com/July, 2003
John Pilger was named Media Personality of the Year, at this year’s EMMA awards, held on Friday 30th May.

At the annual ceremony – Britain’s biggest multicultural awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel – John’s daughter Zoe picked up the award on his behalf.

John is currently filming in Afghanistan for his latest Carlton documentary…

Speaking from there, he said: “The value of this award is that it is the result of a nationwide vote among Britain’s multicultural community.”

The judges cited Pilger’s Carlton documentaries… They commented that John Pilger “goes the extra mile to bring us the alternative truth.”

John Pilger has been named the winner of one of the world’s most distinguished environmental and development prizes. The Sophie Prize was established in 1997 in Oslo and is awarded to “individuals or an organisation that, in a pioneering and particularly creative way, has pointed to alternatives to the present development development system.”

John Pilger, says the President of the Sophie Foundation, Elin Ene, “has, in his documentaries, articles and books and through his integrity, thoroughness and courage, strengthened democracy and human dignity. He has managed to engage the public — morally and politically — for the protection of the powerless.”

Pilger is the first journalist to be awarded the Sophie Prize, which will be presented by the Norwegian Minister of the Environment on 12 June.

Mr. Pilger is author of book “The New Rulers of the World” (published by Verso)
John Pilger’s biography is at http://pilger.carlton.com/home/biography


We recommend:

– From the same author:
“NATO morality? Don’t make me laugh!”

Desperate attempt to justify NATO aggression

As no UN resolution could be misinterpreted as an excuse for attack on sovereign Yugoslavia Clinton Administration was desperately looking for any loophole in the international law to justify the crime. They found NONE. The only thing left then was to invent one. The Big Lie was simplified to boil down to one word: GENOCIDE! The United States was to breach all international law and all decency under excuse that it is fighting to prevent genocide… But of course there was no genocide in the fact that one thousand people (on both sides!) were killed in Kosovo conflict in the year preceding NATO’s attack.

Here presented New York Times document is shocking in its honesty and was never again repeated in the Western press and, to our knowledge, it was never again referred to in any other Western article.

Here are the key quotes:

The New York Times, Sunday, April 4, 1999, page 7, Early edition:


…[A] word usually avoided by policy makers is being uttered ever more frequently to describe events in Kosovo: GENOCIDE.

[…] Policy makers in the United States and Europe are invoking the word to help provide a legal justification for their military campaign against Serbia.


A broad spectrum of legal scholars agree that there is currently NO simple, straignhtforward or obvious LEGAL BASIS for the bombing of Serbian targets to be found in treaties, the United Nations’ Charter or binding resolutions or *ANY* OTHER WRITTEN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL CODE.

(End quote)

The integral quote
follows this analysis.

Well, there you have it — spelled very clearly: The legal experts of past and present colonial powers now known as “NATO powers” worked hard in trying to find any (absolutely any!) loophole in the international law in order to justify aggression on Yugoslavia. The legal experts of both Europe and USA came out empty handed. The end result of their brainstorming was that: THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE AGGRESSION. THERE IS NO WRITTEN (what else!?) INTERNATIONAL LEGAL CODE THAT CAN BE MISINTERPRETED AND USED AS AN EXCUSE FOR MASS-BOMBING (i.e. MASS MURDER AT RANDOM!)

But do not worry dear reader.

Do not forget: we are talking here about the NATO murder club. This is a club which almost exclusively consists of nations who “owned” other peoples and nations; a club of oppressors who committed countless crimes of genocide all across the globe. United States; “the moral leader” of the club has cleansed some 160 peoples from the face of the Earth – from sea to shiny sea – all with perfectly good intention of spreading white culture. This is now called pioneering spirit.

The club includes Great Britain, now only a remnant of the Evil Empire which “owned” half of the planet and which destroyed, mutilated countless peoples. It includes Germany which is a country that industrialized genocide during Second World war; the country guilty of starting two world wars that cost some hundred million lives. It includes other nations of Western “culture” — the culture of genocide — countries like France, Belgium, Holland,… countries that pillaged Asia, Africa… countries that still posses far away islands in Atlantic and Pacific but who were “deeply concerned” when indigenous Serbs of Krajina and Bosnia took arms to protect their ancestral lands and property; to protect their families, their Christian heritage and their very right to exist. These Serbs were called “thugs”, “oppressors”, “land grabbers” and even “conquerors” – while living on the lands that they inhabited, as a majority population for many centuries. The Serbs were called all those names by true thugs, oppressors and land grabbers.

So what was the trouble for these Westerners – the traditional liars and murderers – to come with just another lie?

You see the Western tradition is not simply bash-then-bomb. It is more complicated than that. In their own eyes they have to justify the appalling crimes they are about to commit. They have to see themselves as doing some good. First, they always try to LEGALIZE the monstrosities. This is why Hitler did not just start murdering Jews. He had to find excuse first (burning of Reichstag,… whatever). Then he issued LAWS that absolved the future criminals from murdering Jewish men, women and helpless children. Finally, Hitler tried to convince the world that he is doing this “hard work” only in order to preserve peace and justice. He tried to convince the world that he is doing the world a favor. He is to get rid the world of “the parasites.”

Of course one can easily see the traits of Western culture — of Hitler, Mussolini, Machiavelli — in what NATO was to do to Yugoslavia and to the Serbian people in particular. As Machiavelli would say it: “The end justify the means” and “The Might is RIGHT!”.

To add insult to injury US and NATO will not only cleanse *ALL* Serbs from Krajina (where Serbs settled in 1578), from large swaths of Bosnia (where the Serbs settled in 7th century) – the Serbs will be expelled from Kosovo; the very cradle of the Serbian civilization. NATO will do terror bombing of roads, bridges, factories, schools, hospitals, foreign embassies,… and even graveyards… and at the end of the day NATO will form and pay “Tribunal” at the Hague where all Serbs who dared fight in order to prevent the repeated genocide over their people will be declared war criminals.

All Serbs of importance — all key politicians, all generals from Serbia, Bosnia and Krajina — will be declared war criminals.

To pull this appalling crime of denying one whole nation – the Serbs – the right to exist on their ancient lands the West was following the advise of their moral and ideological leader – Hitler – who taught them that the Big Lie has better chance to fool a common mind than any small one.

And what bigger lie could there be but to accuse the Serbs — the nation who suffered repeated genocide over centuries — of no less then GENOCIDE!?

Here is your rare chance to see the admission of how the West tried to excuse its inexcusable crime:


A *WORD* Bolsters Case
For Allied Intervention

By Neil A. Lewis

The New York Times,
Sunday, April 4, 1999,
page 7, Early edition.

For fair use only
Published under the provision of
U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.

 * * * 

NOTE: Our comments are in [square brackets].


Washington, April 3 – From the brief room at the State Department to the corridors of Whitehall in London and NATO headquarters in Brussels, a word usually avoided by policy makers is being uttered ever more frequently to describe events in Kosovo: GENOCIDE.

It is not used merely to cudgel the Yugoslav leader, Slobodan Milosevic, and to warn that he could be held culpable for atrocities and to press him to stop. Nor is it used solely to place him in the public mind squarely in the ranks of this century’s tyrants and to ally Americans and Europeans to defeat him.

Policy makers in the United States and Europe are invoking the word

to help provide a legal justification for their military campaign against Serbia. It is one based in part on concepts of humanitarian law, where no word is more evocative.

At the same time, the public invocation of genocide – something political leaders had been distinctly reluctant to do during the strife in Bosnia and Rwanda – is itself helping to create a new model of international law that may be used to justify similar interventions in sovereign countries.

A broad spectrum of legal scholars agree that there is currently NO simple, straignhtforward or obvious LEGAL BASIS for the bombing of Serbian targets to be found in treaties, the United Nations’ Charter or binding resolutions or *ANY* OTHER WRITTEN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL CODE.

“The traditional view of international law would clearly prohibit what is happening.” Professor Abraham Chayes, of the Harvard Law School, said in an interview.

One feature of this approach is to bypass the United Nations whose Charter is the fundamental legal document on the international peace and security. In fact, the Charter explicitly forbids regional alliances like NATO from taking military action without first seeking the Security Council’s prmission. United States policy makers did not seek such authorization, officials have acknowledged, in part because of Russia and China would be expected to veto it.

While [Clinton] Administration officials said they did not set out to create any new broad precedents for military intervention, they have insisted that there is an adequate basis for their action.

Col. P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said, “We believe there is legitimate and sufficient legal grounds for the United States and NATO for the use of force in this situation.” He cited two recent United Nations resolutions calling on Yugoslavia to take measures to end the suffering in Kosovo. Those resolutions do not, however, contain any authorization of the use of force.

A senior Administration official said that the resolutions have been made to “support rather than authorize” the use of force. The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity [!], said that there are several factors the United States and its allies believe provide a legal foundations for the military action.

The “humanitarian crisis unfolding” is prominent among them, the official said. In addition to accusations of genocide, the official said, there are “abhorrent crimes against humanity that violate international law and that are every bit as serious as genocide,”

Genocide is defined in a specific convention, which the United States and Yugoslavia have both signed, that does not explicitly provide for armed intervention as remedy.

Russian and Yugoslav leaders have loudly asserted that the bombing is a clear violation of international law, which traditionally elevates the value of national sovereignty in most situations.

But Professor Chayes, a former State Department legal adviser, said that while there is little traditional justification for the current bombing campaign, “some people have argued for a humanitarian exception allowing for the intervention with force to prevent large-scale violations of human rights.”

“That certainly is in many ways a new idea in terms of international law and raises a lot of difficult questions,” he added.

In the amorphous field of humanitarian law, “There’s a great deal of debate about what the threshold for intervention should be,” said Diane F. Orentlicher, a human rights lawyer and law professor at American University.” But the treaty does provide a bright line in saying that states should not stand idly by when there is genocide but have a duty to put stop to it. It is the legal embodiment of the vow ‘never again.'”

The [anonymous] Administration official said that another important element of the humanitarian factor is the legacy of the Nuremberg Tribunal set up after World War II, which prohibits systematic abuses of civilians, even by a state within its own borders.

W. Michael Reisman, a professor of international law at Yale University, said he believes that what is occuring in Central [sic!] Europe “has produced a critical moment and a basic change in international legal practice.” Although he believes that international law has been used to deal with humanitarian issues, Professor Reisman said what is happening in Central [sic!] Europe is of an unprecedented scale.[!?]

“We now have something that goes far beyond the usual notion of using force for self-defense,” he said “We have a massive use of force against a Government over inappropriate treatment of their own nationals.” It may also bring about the redrawing of a sovereign state’s borders.

Traditionally, the cases in which military intervention has been sanctioned for humanitarian reasons have applied to campaigns with limited objectives. Professor Ruth Wedgwood of the Yale Law School said the classic example is the Israeli raid at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976 to rescue its citizens from terrorists who had hijacked their plane. “The idea of humanitarian bombing is much heavier.” she said.

[Actually, it is exactly Orwellian. “Humanitarian bombing!” is contradiction in terms and represent a nice example of Orwellian “double speak.”]

Nonetheless, Professor Wedgwood said she believes what is happening may provide a model for the future. [Would this model then be reimplemented to punish America – the main violator of human rights? Should US be humanitarily bombed?] “We are pushing the envelope, being legally innovative,” she said.

What underlines the discussion is a deeply held anxiety among international legal authorities about how fully international law is respected by political leaders. International law has traditionally been derided as something to which policy makers claim fealty when it is to their advantage and ignore or interpret very loosely when it is not on their side.

Professor Thomas M. Franck, of the New York University Law School, said he believes that the allies can justify their action by arguing that even if they have violated the United Nations Charter and international law, it was necessary to counteract even greater violations by the Belgrade Government [which was trying to defend integrity of its own country against separatists and terrorists armed, trained and equipped by the West] of laws that prohibit a government from abusing its own citizens [who like to carry bazookas on their sholders].

(End quote)

FBI’s definition of terrorism:


Start quote:

Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (28 C.F.R., Section 0.85) as…

…the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(End quote)

The above quote was taken from
FBI’s web site at:
The above link was last checked on:
July 25, 2003



NATO’s use of force and wanton violence against Yugoslav citizens and property was done purposely and in order to intimidate and coerce Yugoslav government in furtherance of Western political and social objectives. As we have seen in the analysis above this aggression and terror bombing was utterly UNLAWFUL. In other words, NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia fully complies with FBI’s definition of terrorism.

NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia clearly shows it as a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. The Serbs fully understand NATO acronym: NORTH ATLANTIC TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.

We doubt that FBI will arrest NATO’s leaders for their terrorist act and for mass murder of several thousand Yugoslav civilians.

Recommend reading:

John Pilger:

The Spectator Editorial:
“Nato’s only policy was to destroy Serbia’s civilian infrastructure.”

Professor Michel Chossudovsky:
“Dismantling Yugoslavia – colonizing Bosnia”





by Professor Michel Chossudovsky

(Dr Michel Chossudovsky is professor of economics, University of Ottawa. An earlier version of this paper was presented at ‘The Other Face of the European Project, Alternative Forum to the European Summit, Madrid, 1995.)

While Western soldiers make headlines as peace enforcers, an army of international bankers, lawyers, and creditors continues its economic conquest of the Balkans.

As heavily-armed US and NATO troops enforce the peace in Bosnia, the press and politicians alike portray Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia as a noble, if agonizingly belated, response to an outbreak of ethnic massacres and human rights violations.

In the wake of the November 1995 Dayton peace accords, the West is eager to touch up its self-portrait as savior of the Southern Slavs and get on with “the work of rebuilding” the newly sovereign states.

But following a pattern set early on, Western public opinion has been misled. The conventional wisdom holds that the plight of the Balkans is the outcome of an “aggressive nationalism,” the inevitable result of deep-seated ethnic and religious tensions rooted in history (1). Likewise, commentators cite “Balkans power-plays” and the clash of political personalities to explain the conflicts.(2)

Lost in the barrage of images and self-serving analyses are the economic and social causes of the conflict. The deep- seated economic crisis which preceded the civil war is long forgotten. The strategic interests of Germany and the US in laying the groundwork for the disintegration of Yugoslavia go unmentioned, as does the role of external creditors and international financial institutions. In the eyes of the global media, Western powers bear no responsibility for the impoverishment and destruction of a nation of 24 million people.

But through their domination of the global financial system, the Western powers, in pursuit of national and collective strategic interests, helped bring the Yugoslav economy to its knees and stirred its simmering ethnic and social conflicts. Now it is the turn of Yugoslavia’s war-ravaged successor states to feel the tender mercies of the international financial community.

As the world focuses on troop movements and cease-fires, the international financial institutions are busily collecting former Yugoslavia’s external debt from its remnant states, while transforming the Balkans into a safehaven for free enterprise. With a Bosnian peace settlement holding under NATO guns, the West has unveiled a “reconstruction” program that strips that brutalized country of sovereignty to a degree not seen in Europe since the end of World War II. It consists largely of making Bosnia a divided territory under NATO military occupation and Western administration.

Neocolonial Bosnia

Resting on the Dayton accords, which created a Bosnian “constitution,” the US and the European Union have installed a full-fledged colonial administration in Bosnia. At its head is their appointed High Representative, Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister and European Union representative in Bosnian peace negotiations (3). Bildt has full executive powers in all civilian matters, with the right to overrule the governments of both the Bosnian Federation and the Republika Srpska (Serbian Bosnia). It make the point crystal clear, the accords spell out that “The High Representative is the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of the agreements.”(4) He will work with the multinational military implementation force (IFOR) Military High Command as well as creditors and donors.

The UN Security Council has also appointed a “commissioner” under the High Representative to run an international civilian police force. Irish police official Peter Fitzgerald, with UN policing experience in Namibia, El Salvador, and Cambodia (5), presides over some 1,700 police from 15 countries. The police will be dispatched to Bosnia after a five-day training program in Zagreb (6).

The new constitution hands the reins of economic policy over to the Bretton Woods institutions and the London based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The IMF is empowered to appoint the first governor of the Bosnian Central Bank, who, like the High Representative, “shall not be a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina or a neighboring State.”(7)

Under the IMF regency, the Central Bank will not be allowed to function as a Central Bank: “For the first six years … it may not extend credit by creating money, operating in this respect as a currency board.” Neither will Bosnia be allowed to have its own currency (issuing paper money only when there is full foreign exchange backing), nor permitted to mobilize its internal resources (8). Its ability to self-finance its reconstruction through an independent monetary policy is blunted from the outset.

While the Central Bank is in IMF custody, the EBRD heads the Commission on Public Corporations, which supervises operations of all public sector enterprises, including energy, water, postal services, telecommunications, and transportation. The EBRD president appoints the commission chair and will direct public sector restructuring, i.e., the sell-off of state- and socially-owned assets and the procurement of long-term investment funds (9). Western creditors explicitly created the EBRD “to give a distinctively political dimension to lending (10).

As the West trumpets its support for democracy, actual political power rests in the hands of a parallel Bosnian “state” whose executive positions are held by non-citizens. Western creditors have embedded their interests in a constitution hastily written on their behalf. They have done so without a constitutional assembly and without consultations with Bosnian citizens’ organizations. Their plans to rebuild Bosnia appear more suited to sating creditors than satisfying even the elementary needs of Bosnians.

And why not? The neocolonization of Bosnia is the logical culmination of long Western efforts to undo Yugoslavia’s experiment in market socialism and workers’ self-management and to impose the dictate of a the free market.

The Shape of Things to Come
Multiethnic, socialist Yugoslavia was once a regional industrial power and economic success. In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years (11). But after a decade of Western economic ministrations and five years of disintegration, war, boycott, and embargo, the economies of the former Yugoslavia are prostrate, their industrial sectors dismantled.

Yugoslavia’s implosion was partially due to US machinations. Despite Belgrade’s non-alignment and its extensive trading relations with the European Community and the US, the Reagan administration targeted the Yugoslav economy in a “Secret Sensitive” 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133), “Us Policy towards Yugoslavia.” A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 64 on Eastern Europe, issued in 1982. The latter advocated “expanded efforts to promote a ‘quiet revolution’ to overthrow Communist governments and parties,” while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy (12).

The US had earlier joined Belgrade’s other international creditors in imposing a first round of macroeconomics reform in 1980, shortly before the death of Marshall Tito. That initial round of restructuring set the pattern. Throughout the 1980s, the IMF and World Bank periodically prescribed further doses of their bitter economic medicine as the Yugoslav economy slowly lapsed into a coma.

From the beginning, successive IMF sponsored programs hastened the disintegration of the Yugoslav industrial sector industrial production declined to a negative 10 percent growth rate by 1990 (13) and the piecemeal dismantling of its welfare state, with all the predictable social consequences. Debt restructuring agreements, meanwhile, increased foreign debt, and a mandated currency devaluation also hit hard at Yugoslavs’ standard of living.

Mr. Markovic goes to Washington
In autumn 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Yugoslav federal Premier Ante Markovic met in Washington with President George Bush to cap negotiations for a new financial aid package. In return for assistance, Yugoslavia agreed to even more sweeping economic reforms, including a new devalued currency, another wage freeze, sharp cuts in government spending, and the elimination of socially owned, worker- managed companies (14). The Belgrade nomenclature, with the assistance of Western advisers, had laid the groundwork for Markovic’s mission by implementing beforehand many of the required reforms, including a major liberalization of foreign investment legislation.

“Shock therapy” began in January 1990. Although inflation had eaten away at earnings, the IMF ordered that wages be frozen at their mid November 1989 levels. Prices continued to rise unabated, and real wages collapsed by 41 percent in the first six months of 1990 (15).

The IMF also effectively controlled the Yugoslav central bank. Its tight money , policy further crippled the country’s ability to finance its economic and social programs. State revenues that should have gone as transfer payments to the republics and provinces went instead to service Belgrade’s debt with the Paris and London clubs. The republics were largely left to their own devices.

In one fell swoop, the reformers engineered the final collapse of Yiugoslavia’s federal fiscal structure and mortally wounded its federal political institutions. By cutting the financial arteries between Belgrade and the republics, the reforms fueled secessionist tendencies that fed on economic factors as well as ethnic divisions, virtually ensuring the de facto secession of the republics.

The IMF-induced budgetary crisis created an economic fait accompli that paved the way for Croatia’s and Slovenia’s formal secession in June 1991.

Crashed by the Invisible Hand
The reforms demanded by Belgrade’s creditors also struck at the heart of Yugoslavia’s system of socially-owned and worker-managed enterprises. As one observer noted,

The objective was to subject the Yugoslav economy to massive privatization and the dismantling of the public sector. The Communist Party bureaucracy, most notably its military and intelligence sector, was canvassed specifically and offered political and economic backing on the condition that wholesale scuttling of social protections for Yugoslavia’s workforce was imposed.” (16)

It was an offer that a desperate Yugoslavia could not refuse. Advised by Western lawyers and consultants, Markovic’s government passed financial legislation that forced “insolvent” businesses into bankruptcy or liquidation. Under the new law, if a business was unable to pay its bills for 30 days running, or for 30 days within a 45-day period, the government would launch bankruptcy proceedings within the next 15 days.

The assault on the socialist economy also included a new banking law designed to trigger the liquidation of the socially-owned “Associated Banks.” Within two years, more than half the country’s banks had vanished, to be replaced by newly-formed “independent profit-oriented institutions.”

These changes in the legal framework, combined with the IMF’s tight money policy toward industry and the opening of the economy to foreign competition, accelerated industrial decline.

From 1989 through September 1990, more than a thousand companies went into bankruptcy. By 1990, the annual GDP growth rate had collapsed to a negative 7.5 percent. In 1991, GDP declined by a further 15 percent, while industrial output shrank by 21 percent (l7)

The IMF package unquestionably precipitated the collapse of much of Yugoslavia’s well-developed heavy industry. Other socially-owned enterprises survived only by not paying workers. More than half a million workers still on company payrolls did not get regular paychecks in late 1990. They were the lucky ones. Some 600,000 Yugoslavs had already lost their jobs by September 1990, and that was only the beginning. According to the World Bank, another 2,435 industrial enterprises, including some of the country’s largest, were slated for liquidation. Their 1.3 million workers half the remaining industrial workforce were “redundant.”(18)

As 1991 dawned, real wages were in free fall, social programs had collapsed, and unemployment ran rampant. The dismantling of the industrial economy was breathtaking in its magnitude and brutality. Its social and political impact, while not as easily quantified, was tremendous. “The pips are squeaking,” as London’s Financial Times put it.(19)

Less archly, Yugoslav President Borisav Jovic warned that the reforms were “having a markedly unfavorable impact on the overall situation in society…. Citizens have lost faith in the state and its institutions…. The further deepening of the economic crisis and the growth of social tensions has had a VITAL impact on the deterioration of the political-security situation.(20)

The Political Economy of Disintegration
Some Yugoslavs joined together in a doomed battle to prevent the destruction of their economy and polity. As one observer found, “worker resistance crossed ethnic lines, as Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Slovenians mobilized … shoulder to shoulder with their fellow workers.”(21) But the economic struggle also heightened already tense relations among the republics and between the republics and Belgrade.

Serbia rejected the austerity plan outright, and some 650,000 Serbian workers struck against the federal government to force wage hikes.(22) The other republics followed different and sometimes self-contradictory paths.

In relatively wealthy Slovenia, for instance, secessionist leaders such as Social Democratie party chair Joze Pucnik supported the reforms: “From an economic standpoint, I can only agree with socially harmful measures in our society, such as rising unemployment or cutting workers’ rights, because they are necessary to advance the economic reform process.”(23)

But at the same time, Slovenia joined other republics in challenging the federal government’s efforts to restrict their economic autonomy. Both Croatian leader Franjo Tudjman and Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic joined Slovene leaders in railing against Yugoslavia’s attempts to impose harsh reforms.(24)

In the multiparty elections in 1990, economic policy was at the center of the political debate as separatist coalitions ousted the Communists in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia. Just as economic collapse spurred the drift toward separation, separation in turn exacerbated the economic crisis. Cooperation among the republics virtually ceased. And with the republics at one anothers’ throats, both the economy and the nation itself embarked on a vicious downward spiral.

The process sped along as the republican leadership, deliberately fostered social and economic divisions to strengthen their own hands: “The republican oligarchies, who all had visions of a ‘national renaissance’ of their own, instead of choosing between a genuine Yugoslav market and hyperinflation, opted for war which would disguise the real causes of the economic catastrophe .”(25)

The simultaneous appearance of militias loyal to secessionist leaders only hastened the descent into chaos. These militias, with their escalating atrocities, not only split the population along ethnic lines, they also fragmented the workers’ movement.(26)

Western Help
The austerity measures had laid the basis for the recolonization of the Balkans. Whether that required the breakup of Yugoslavia was subject to debate among the Western powers, with Germany leading the push for secession and the US, fearful of opening a nationalist Pandora’s box, originally arguing for Yugoslavia’s preservation.

Following Franjo Tudjman’s and the rightist Democratic Union’s decisive victory in Croatia in May 1990, German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, in almost daily contact with his counterpart in Zagreb, gave his goahead for Croatian secession.(27) Germany did not passively support secession; it “forced the pace of international diplomacy” and pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia. Germany sought a free hand among its allies “to pursue economic dominance in the whole of Mittel Europa.“(28)

Washington, on the other hand, favored a loose unity while encouraging democratic development … [Secretary of State] Baker told Tudjman and [Slovenia’s President] Milan Kucan that the United States would not encourage or support unilateral secession … but if they had to leave, he urged them to leave by a negotiated agreement. (29)

Instead, Slovenia, Croatia, and finally, Bosnia fought bloody civil wars against “rump” Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) or Serbian nationalists or both. But now, the US has belatedly taken an active diplomatic role in Bosnia, strengthened its relations with Croatia and Macedonia, and positioned itself to play a leading role in the region’s economic and political future.

The Post-War Regime
Western creditors have now turned their attention to Yugoslavia’s successor states. As with the demise of Yugoslavia, the economic aspects of post-war reconstruction remain largely unheralded, but the prospects for rebuilding the newly independent republics appear bleak. Yugoslavia’s foreign debt has been carefully divided and allocated to the successor republics,(30) which are now strangled in separate debt rescheduling and structural adjustment agreements.

The consensus among donors and international agencies is that past macroeconomics reforms adopted under IMF advice had not quite met their goal and further shock therapy is required to restore “economic health” to Yugoslavia’s successor states. Croatia and Macedonia have followed the IMF’s direction: Both have agreed to loan packages to pay off their shares of the Yugoslav debt that require a consolidation of the process begun wit Ante Markovic’s bankruptcy program. The all too familiar pattern of plant closings, induced bank failures, and impoverishment continues apace.

And global capital applauds. Despite an emerging crisis in social welfare and the decimation of his economy, Macedonian Finance Minister Ljube Trpevski proudly informed the press that “the World Bank and the IMF place Macedonia among the most successful countries in regard to current transition reforms. (31)

The head of the IMF mission to Macedonia, Paul Thomsen, agreed. He avowed that “the results of the stabilization program were impressive” and gave particular credit to “the efficient wages policy” adopted by the Skopje government. Still, his negotiators added, even more budget cutting will be necessary. (32)

But Western intervention is making its most serious inroads on national sovereignty in Bosnia. The neocolonial administration imposed by the Dayton accords and supported by NATO’s firepower ensures that Bosnia’s future will be determined in Washington, Bonn, and Brussels not Sarajevo.

Reconstruction Colonial Style
If Bosnia is ever to emerge from the ravages of war and neocolonialism, massive reconstruction will be essential. But judging by recent Balkan history, Western assistance is more likely to drag Bosnia into the Third World than to lift it to parity with its European neighbors.

The Bosnian government estimates that reconstruction costs will reach $47 billion. Western donors have pledged $3 billion in reconstruction loans, yet only $518 million dollars have so far been given. Part of this money is tagged to finance some of the local civilian costs of IFOR’s military deployment and part to repay international creditors. (33)

Fresh loans will pay back old debt. The Central Bank of the Netherlands has generously provided “bridge financing’ of $37 million to allow Bosnia to pay its arrears with the IMF, without which the IMF will not lend it fresh money. But in a cruel and absurd paradox, the sought-after loans from the IMF’s newly created “Emergency Window” for “post-conflict countries” will not be used for post-war reconstruction. Instead, they will repay the Dutch Central Bank, which had coughed up the money to settle IMF arrears in the first place. (34)

Debt piles up, and little new money goes for rebuilding Bosnia’s war torn economy.

While rebuilding is sacrificed on the altar of debt repayment, Western governments and corporations show greater interest in gaining access to strategic natural resources. With the discovery of energy reserves in the region, the partition of Bosnia between the Federation of Bosnia- Herzegovina and the Bosnian-Serb Republika Srpska under the Dayton accords has taken on new strategic importance. Documents in the hands of Croatia and the Bosnian Serbs indicate that coal and oil deposits have been identified on the eastern slope of the Dinarides Thrust, retaken from rebel Krajina Serbs by the US-backed Croatian army in the final offensives before the Dayton accords. Bosnian officials report that Chicago-based Amoco was among several foreign firms that subsequently initiated exploratory surveys in Bosnia.(35)

“Substantial” petroleum fields also lie in the Serb-held part of Croatia just across the Sava River from Tuzla, the headquarters for the US military zone.(36) Exploration operations went on during the war, but the World Bank and the multinationals that conducted the operations kept local governments in the dark, presumably to prevent them from acting to grab potentially valuable areas. (37)

With their attention devoted to debt repayment and potential energy bonanzas, the Western powers have shown little interest in rectifying the crimes committed under the rubric of ethnic cleansing. The 70,000 NATo troops on hand to “enforce the peace” will accordingly devote their efforts to administering the partition of Bosnia in accordance with Western economic interests rather than restoring the status quo ante.

While local leaders and Western interests share the spoils of the former Yugoslav economy, they have entrenched socio ethnic divisions in the very structure of partition. This permanent fragmentation of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines thwarts a united resistance of Yugoslavs of all ethnic origins against the recolonization of their homeland.

But what’s new? As one observer caustically noted, all of the leaders of Yugoslavia’s successor states have worked closely with the West: “All the current leaders of the former Yugoslav republics were Communist Party functionaries and each in turn vied to meet the demands of the World Bank and the IMF, the better to qualify for investment loans and substantial perks for the leadership.” (38)

The Only Possible World?
Western-backed neoliberal macroeconomic restructuring helped destroy Yugoslavia. Yet, since the onset of war in 1991, the global media have carefully overlooked or denied their central role. Instead, they have joined the chorus singing praises of the free market as the basis for rebuilding a war shattered economy. The social and political impact of economic restructuring in Yugoslavia has been carefully erased from our collective understanding. Opinion-makers instead dogmatically present cultural, ethnic, and religious divisions as the sole cause of the crisis. In reality, they are the consequence of a much deeper process of economic and political fracturing.

Such false consciousness not only masks the truth, it also prevents us from acknowledging precise his torical occurrences. Ultimately, it distorts the true sources of social conflict. When applied to the former Yugoslavia, it obscures the historical foundations of South Slavic unity, solidarity and identity. But this false consciousness lives across the globe, where shuttered factories, jobless workers, and gutted social programs are the only possible world, and “bitter economic medicine” is the only prescription.

At stake in the Balkans are the lives of millions of people. Macroeconomic reform there has destroyed livelihoods and made a joke of the right to work. It has put basic needs such as food and shelter beyond the reach of many. It has degraded culture and national identity. In the name of global capital, borders have been redrawn, legal codes rewritten, industries destroyed, financial and banking systems dismantled, social programs eliminated. No alternative to global capital, be it market socialism or “national” capitalism, will be allowed to exist.

But what happened to Yugoslavia and now continues in its weak successor states should resonate beyond the Balkans. Yugoslavia is a mirror for similar economic restructuring programs in not only the developing world, but also in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. The – Yugoslav reforms are the cruel reflection of a destructive economic model pushed to the extreme.

— (1) See, e.g., former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmerman, ‘The Last Ambassador, A Memoir of the Collapse of Yugoslavia,’Foreign Affairs,v. 74,n.2,1995.

— (2) For a critique, see Milos Vasic, et al., War Against Bosnia,9 Vreme News Digest Agency, Apr. 13, 1992.

— (3) Testimony of Richard C. Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Dec 19, 1995.

— (4) Dayton Peace Accords, ‘Agreement on High Representative, Articles I and II, Dec 16, 1995.

— (5) United Nation General Secretariat, Curriculum Vitae of Thomas Peter Fitzgerald, n.d. (1995).

— (6) Dayton Peace Accords, Agreement on Police Task Force,2 Article II.

— (7) Ibid., Agreement on General Framework, Article VII

— (8) Ibid.

— (9) Ibid, Agreement Public Corporations, Article I.10 —

— (10) Stabilizing Europe, The Times (London), Nov 22, 1990.

— (11) World Bank, World Development Report 1991, Statistical Annex, Tables 1 and 2, 1991.

— (12) Sean Gervasi, ‘Germany, the US, and the Yugorlav Crisis,’ Covert Action, n. 43, Winter 1992-93, p 42

— (13) World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study: Overview, Issues, and Strategy for Restructuring, Washington, D C, June 1991, pp. 10,14. — (14) Gervasi, op. cit., p. 44

— (15) World Bank, Restructuring, op. cit., p. viii

— (16) Ralph Schoenman, ‘Divide and Rule Schemes in the Balkans,9 The Organizer (San Francisco), Sept. 11,1995

— (17) Judit Kiss, 3Debt Management in Eastern Europe, Eastern European Economics, May June 1894, p 59

— (18) Already laid off and ‘redundant workers constituted fully two thirds of the industrial work force. World Bank, Restructuring, op. cit., Annex I

— (19) Jurek Martin, ‘The road to be trodden to Kosovo,” Financial Times, Mar 13, 1991.

— (20) British Broadcasting Service, 3Borisav Jovic Tells SFRY Assembly Situation Has ‘Dramatically Deteriorated,’3 Apr 27, 1991.

— (21) Schoenman, op. cit.

— (22) Gervasi ep cit p 44

— (23) Federico Nier Fischer, 3Eastern Europe: Social Crisis,2 Inter Press Service, Sept 5, 1890

— (24) Klas Bergman, ‘Markovic Seeks to Keep Yugoslavia One Nation, Christian Science Monitor, July 11,1990, p.6.

— (25) Dimitrue Boarov, 3A Brief Review of Anti-Inflation Programs: the Curse of the Dead Programs, Vreme News Digest Agency, Apr. 13, 1992.

— (27) Gervasi, op cit,p 65

— (28) Ibid, p 45

— (29) Zimmerman,op cit

— (30) In June 1995, the IMF, acting on behalf of creditor banks and Western governments, proposed to redistribute that debt as follows: Serbia and Montenegro, 36%, Croatia 28%, Slovenia 16%, Bosnia&Herzegovina, 16% and Macedonia 5%

— (31) Macsdonian Information Liaison Service News, Apr 11,1995.

— (32) Ibid.

— (33) “The Govermnent of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall provide, free of cost, such facilities NATO needs for the preparation and execution of the Operation (Annex I A). Under the accord, NATO personnel will pay no Bosnian taxes, including sales taxes.

— (34) United Press International IMF to admit Bosnia on Wednesday,” Dec 18, 1995.

NOTE: The above articel is also published in Covert Action, No. 56, Spring 1996