Gerard Baudson: The New World Order And Yugoslavia
The Yugoslav Wars of Secession
"It is madness to liquidate in only a few months a country which has existed for 80 years and with 24 million inhabitants, when we, the French, when confronted with the problem of New Caledonia, a territory situated 18 000 kilometers away from France and inhabited with 400,000 people, we gave ourselves ten years to think and decided that the problem should be solved by a referendum. It is madness to create in a totally artificial fashion, an Islamic and fundamentalist state in the heart of Europe, at the dawn of the year 2000, the country called Bosnia. It is madness to transform peoples into minorities, as was done by the Badinter Commission. It is madness to wish to construct an Europe made of different peoples, nationalities and religions, of different languages, cultures and customs, while at the same time destroy Yugoslavia which was already that Europe in miniature, made up of many nationalities, religions and customs. The destruction of Yugoslavia sounds the last bells for Europe of homelands and nation-states"
The author Interview for Pans newspaper "Le Quotidien", July 30, 1993
"The Lunacy of Unitarianism"
"The one sitting at the bottom of a pit in
order to contemplate the skies, will find them small".
Hem Yu - a Chinese thinker
The fall of the Soviet Union and of Communism in Eastern Europe, the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, eliminated a forty-year old threat of the red army. The defaults of the East bloc consumed the end of the post-war period and the constraints imposed by the allies on the Hitlerian Germany. Chancellor Kohl suddenly found himself offered the occasion to reunite two Germanies and to bring into life the politics that will make of Germany a dominant power in Europe, both economically and financially, the one capable of controlling European Union and of imposing its influence on the former USSR satellite countries.
Almost at that same moment, in 1991, we witnessed the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation into many countries whose interior frontiers were recognized as "international frontiers", which raised the "Serbian question", meaning the right of the Serbian people to live together within their common state.
In fact the existence of Yugoslavia is incompatible with the "Greater Germany". Born from the ruins of Austro-Hungary, it will be destroyed by Hitler and his Third Reich, after Mussolini had arranged the assassination of King Alexander in Marseilles and inflicted on this country the first blows. Yugoslavia will be re-born in 1945 with the German defeat, before finally disappearing, this time because of the German reunification. There is no coincidence there or any haphazard - "haphazard favors only the prepared minds", Pascal was saying - but this time it was a historical statement.
Yugoslavia is dead because it could serve no purpose any more! Created in 1918 in order to aggravate Germany, she well played its role between 1941 and 1945 by keeping fifteen German divisions - mostly in Bosnia - well distanced from the Russian front. From 1945 to 1989 it was a pet child of the Americans in the face of the Soviet Union. These two motives having disappeared, Yugoslavia - but also Czechoslovakia - were condemned.
Without the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the German reunification neither would have the dismembering of Yugoslavia been possible and for a well obvious reason never would either the Soviet generals or leaders have accepted it. In the Yugoslav affairs, the German politics pro-Croat and violently anti-Serbian was less dictated by reason then by an instinct for revanchism as if history was again tributary to the immediate geography. It is not a question of conspiracy, as the Serbs are inclined to believe. It is simply a question of a reappearance of the geopolitical model of "Mitteleuropa".
The end of Communism in Eastern Europe will allow the resurrection of the Baltic states Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia - and the appearance of democratic forces in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgarian, Romania. In that wave of retrieved freedoms the aspirations of all the peoples to recover their liberty were considered as legitimate, whether it was a question of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan or the other republics of the Caucasus or Central Asia (and we see now what happened). Why under these circumstances Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina could not also achieve their independence? This problem was treated in a theoretical and philosophical manner, without the knowledge of history and interconnection of peoples, as if the three Yugoslav republics were having homogeneous population.
The fact playing also in favor of independence of these three republics was that they had their leaders knowing well how to present themselves is liberals, democrats respecting civil liberties and rights of man in comparison with the last communist country in Europe: Serbia. In Croatia, the nationalist party of Tudjman is called HDZ "Croat Democratic Union" and the formation of the extreme right, the heir to the historical party of Ante Starcevic from the 19th century, led by Dobrosav Paraga who openly revendicated the heritage of the Ustashi regime is called Party of Right. In Serbia, the League of Communists was transformed into the Socialist Party of Serbia. Let us admire the linguistic subtleties democracy and right certainly have a more pleasing sound for the ear than the word "socialist" for the European "liberals"!
Furthermore, Serbs had lost their capital of sympathy which they had in the western democracies, where the population had long forgotten even the name itself "Serb" and remembers only the "Yugoslav" nationality. Especially the French knew through history books the assistance rendered by Serbia and Montenegro to their country during the Great War but this sympathy was no longer attached to Yugoslavia, a Communist country. Conversely, Croats could count on support without fail of Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and certainly the support of Vatican, a traditional enemy of Yugoslavia since 1918 and attached to the emergence of the two Catholic nations, Croatia and Slovenia. Therefore the play was played before the eruption of hostilities and the media war lost before it was even launched: half of the Yugoslav ambassadors, non-Serbs like the representative at the OUN, President of the Republic of Yugoslavia Stipe Mesic (a Croat) like the Prime Minister Ante Markovic (a Croat), like the Croats Minster of Air Forces and the President of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Yugoslavia.
The "unanimous imbecility" reigning in the European democracies, especially in France since the fill of Communism and prevailing among our politicians, our intellectuals, is a Manichean vision of things: the Good triumphant over Evil, Truth over Falsehood, Democracy over Communism, God over atheism; so many stereotypes reflecting a profound and tragic ignorance of history. The New World Order is not the appearance of a better world but a return to the complex, torturous, hypocritical and often masked geopolitics practiced by the great powers in the 19th century and until the World War Two. The last decade of the 20th century is allowing again to the "cool monsters" that the states are, to bring into life the politics based on the use of force. Certainly, there is no longer application of "the big stick policy" or that of "the big brother" based on the idea of the "Manifest Destiny" of the United States, and no one wishes to remind Germany of the writings of Heinrich Von Treitschke (1839-1896): 'The State is power, and it follows that the small states which can not defend themselves, can only survive through the tolerance of the strong states", or Moeller Van Den Bruck (1876-1925), the author of a work with a nostalgic title "The Third Reich" (1923) where he writes: 'The true German nationalism wishes the unity of Europe at the same time as that of Germany and from... this point of view, the frontiers of Germany are those of its mission in Europe'!
The actions are thus, under cover of international respectability, through manipulations of the OUN Security Council, by use of the task of interference. Has anyone seen a weak state interfere in the affairs of a strong state? and by claiming humanitarian considerations on the television screen, at dinner time, to invite tears in the huts of the poor...
"Danke Deutschland" or The Croat Independence
"I would not like to have Germans for neighbors."
At the beginning of the crisis European Community and the United States were in favor of the unity of Yugoslavia. Anyway, this is what results from the reading of the two messages which the Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Markovic (a Croat), received in March 1991.
The first one, dated March 28, 1991, is a joint declaration of the Twelve: "In the opinion of the Twelve, a democratic and unified Yugoslavia remains the best chance for it to integrate itself harmoniously into the new Europe...".
The second one, dated March 27, 1991 is signed by President George Bush: "...It should be absolutely clear that the United States do not favor and will not favor any national or ethnic group in Yugoslavia. At the same time, we wish to see differences between nationalities being resolved within the framework of a unified and democratic Yugoslavia and we will neither encourage nor reward those who wish to break the unity of the country...".
The promises are obliging only for those who listen to them. The reunification of the two Germanies and integration of the armed forces of East Germany allowed the formation of an enormous stock of arms and disposal of military instructors for arming and training of Croat militia. At the end of the year 1989 and during 1990 the arms were in large quantities being supplied from Germany to Croatia for equipping the militia units. During the entire year 1991, especially via Hungary, the German arms, but also those from the former Communist countries, were shipped to the Croat armed forces or rather to the Croat United National Guard (the ZNG). In fact, the ZNG were not a "national" force in the exact meaning of the term, but rather an ultra-nationalist military wing and a pro-Ustashi one, of the Croat Democratic Community party (HDZ), the political party of Tudjman. This "guard" passed from 18,000 to 40,000 men after the elections in spring of 1990 which brought Tudjman into power and all Serbs were chased away.
In order to understand the eruption of the civil war in Croatia, it is necessary to know the nature of the regime which took power in Zagreb in 1990, under the leadership of Franjo Tudjman, the apostle of the anti-Serbian historical revisionism and a clearly anti-Semite writer.
Tudjman and the Genocide Apology
Franjo Tudjman was born in Croatia in 1922. In 1941 he joined the ranks of partisans of Tito who were fighting against the pro-Nazi regime placed in power in Croatia in April 1941. This satellite of the Reich was headed by Ante Pavelic, chief of the Ustashi movement who had ideological basis very close to the National-Socialist movement. The position of Tudjman at that time was very clear. He was a part of a small number of Croat resistance fighters who took arms against the Nazis from the beginning of the war. His younger brother was killed at the age of 17.
After the war, he made a very good carrier in the federal army. A political commissioner, he left the Army in 1960 with the rank of a general. During the sixties he re-converted into Croat nationalism. It was a dangerous road in Yugoslavia at the time of Tito; he will be expelled from the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. He was twice imprisoned for anti-Communist activities, separatism and anti-Yugoslav activities.1
Before his election to the presidency of the Republic in 1990, he will publicly congratulate himself that his "wife is neither Serbian nor Jewish". This man has nothing of a democrat in him. He published in 1989 a book in Zagreb entitled "Bespuca povjesne zbilje" which may be translated as "Wastelands of Historical Reality", or rather as "The Impasse of Historical Veracity". Written in a very intricate style, the work is stuffed with quotations and testimonies behind which the author is hiding. This work was never translated in a western language; anyhow, its author does not wish it to be. The analysis made here as well as the excerpts offered were corroborated by the international press.
The chronicle of revisionism and a true apology of genocide, this work was not conceived for revealing the historical sense, but rather for denying all historical sense, all moral responsibility of man for historical crimes. Here one can find the usual obsessions of revisionists wishing to rewrite history by placing in doubt the reality of genocide. Contestation of figures and, in this context particularly of the Yugoslav ones, rewriting of triple genocide that the Ustashi committed, in favor of the World War Two, at the expense of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. The method applied is simple: since the Ustashi crimes can not be denied, their proportions are being diminished, their responsibility banalized and there is no hesitation of transferring the guilt to the lamentable weakness of the human species, abstract and general. The true responsibilities, we learn here, is to be looked for in an inherent evil in the human race ever since the killing of Abel by Cain! By a skilful and very documented general apologetic of the evil, the book of Tudjman is trying to relativize and banalize genocide in general and the one committed by the Ustashi in particular, without departing from an anti-Semitism of the first order - the Jews are the root of all evil - and a "philosophical" one at that.
Here are some excerpts from the "Impasses of Historical Veracity".
"Evil is inherent in the human species"
"...Since the ancient times when the apex of the historical-philosophical thought was represented by God of the Bible, Yahweh, the genocidal violence was a natural occurrence, in concordance with man and his social nature, as well as with the mythological-divine nature. The violence is not only permissible, it is even recommended; even better, it is in concordance with the words of the All Powerful Yahweh; it should be used every time that it is necessary for survival or revival of Kingdom of the Chosen People, or for the safeguard and propagation of faith, the only true one."2
Diminishing of the genocide proportions
First for the Jews: "Concerning the total number of Jewish victims during the World War Two, we can not find anywhere the established facts, even approximately, in a scientific manner... Raul Hilberg... claims that the number of victims was around 5 million, which is around one third of the Jewish population before the war, but within these statistical figures, he notes that of the 5,100,000 victims only 900,000 were identified in the files...". It is probably for this reason that he thinks it necessary to mention that, on the other hand, the figure of six million is considered by some as extremely "exaggerated", quoting even the figure of one million of victims as "an impartial judgment".3
Regarding Serbs and Gypsies "The promoters of the Jasenovac myth, from the beginning until now are insisting on the fact that the prison camp of Jasenovac was conceived with the explicit aim to liquidate all prisoners, and that every day hundreds and even thousands of Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and Communists were being killed. The truth is that this camp was organized as 'a labor camp' and that it contained a number of agricultural and industrial establishments. During their entire stay the prisoners were exhausted, and tortured by the incredibly constraint conditions of work and hygiene and were tortured and killed for the slightest disobedience, they were assassinated in a bestial manner, in small or large groups (the groups from ten to one hundred persons). It is in that fashion that several thousands, probably three or four, of prisoners have perished."4
The transfer of guilt on the human weakness and, if possible, on the victims themselves, preferably the Jewish ones.
Therefore, the Ustashi were certainly killing prisoners, but this was nothing in comparison with what were doing the groups of prisoners in charge of administration. Tudjman is quoting the prisoner Vojislav Prnjatovic:
"...The totality of the group of prisoners in charge of administration consisted of 'free prisoners', and all of these posts were occupied by the Jews. The Jews have arrived earlier and have taken over all the most important responsibilities in the hierarchy of prisoners, they continuously made intrigues in a very skillful way against Serbs. The Serbs, further to the bad treatment inflicted upon them by the Ustashi, had also to endure the inflictions of the Jews... A Jew remains always a Jew, even in the camp of Jasenovac. In the camp, they preserved all of their faults, except that they became even more visible: egotism, cunning, misery, cheating and a mania for secrecy were the main characteristics. It was the Jews who have largely conducted the process of selection...". 5
On the behavior of Jews
The author is quoting Ante Ciliga, an former member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia who had spent over one year (from December 14, 1941 to the end of 1942) in the camp of Jasenovac as a prisoner:
"In Jasenovac, the Jews were responsible for the management of the camp, they were the internal force of the camp." The fact that the camp administration was left in the hands of the Jews is in contradiction with the official anti-Semitism of Pavelic which Hitler imposed on him. If it was so it is because the party of Pavelic was in one way or the other "fundamentally a philo-Semitic and in particular, it was the Jewish party among Croats..."
The Jews of course are only thinking of how to become rich, even in a concentration camp.
Participation of Jews in the liquidations of the Gypsies in Jasenovac becomes explicit in the story told of the Gypsy gold (1942). The process of liquidation in Gradina was also realized by a group of Jews, and since the Jews were responsible for the shops "where the goods belonging to the ones liquidated were being kept and classified', they fell upon great quantities of gold which was concealed in the clothing of the victims. In order to be able to place outside of the camp the gold coins so concealed ("for some better times") the Jews incited interest of certain Ustashi, in particular of a lieutenant who was the brother of the camp commander.
According to Ciliga it is the particular character of the Jewish religion which explains their conduct.
They "guarded jealously the monopoly over internal administration of the camp" and "took initiative when it was the question of preparing and provoking the killings not only individual ones but also the mass killings among the non-Jews, Communists, partisans and Serbs. This tenacity and this irrationality, an attribute of the Old Testament, these double standards of Mosses, these two laws regulating one and the same thing depending on whether it applies to a Jew or a non-Jew and in order to fulfil the supreme commandment of Mosses... God commands you to exterminate all the others and to take their place because you are the Chosen People... You kill the others to save yourself and your group".
Tudjman refers to a very complete and thorough repertoire of anti-Semite philosophies
He quotes a dozen of authors in order to finally conclude that all genocide in reality is nothing but a logical consequence of the numerical and ideological disproportion between the peoples in question, as testified by the historical destiny of Jews: "...When a movement or a people, a state or its alliance, a religion or an ideology, confronts an enemy which it considers dangerous for its survival or as the principle obstacle to its domination, it will do everything it can, it will use all the possible means to control its enemy or to destroy him, if it can not submit it to its will. It will only be dissuaded from this conduct if it encounters the danger of being itself destroyed in the process".8
The message is clear, genocide is threatening all minorities placing themselves in the way of the majority and all genocide - including the genocide committed in the Independent State of Croatia - is not simply the act of madness and human bestiality, but also represents something quasi-inevitable the hand that kills is only executing the act of which it has no conscience. Responsible - yes, guilty - no.
Furthermore, this reasoning is also being applied to the Israelis, the butchers of the Palestinian people, the new "Judeo-Nazis".
"And for this reason precisely, the example of the Jewish people was and remains instructive in many ways. After all that it has endured throughout its history, especially during the World War Two, the Jewish people launched itself in a politics of such a cruel genocide, that it may be called "Judeo-Nazism" What is the meaning of this easy transit from Nazism-Fascism to Judeo Nazism?9
Bernard Kouchner, when he learned of this text, declared the following "These are always the same accountants of death, the same morticians of mathematics who are contesting the dead in Biafra, in Cambodia and certainly, in the extermination camps. The accountant of assassins. It is a terrible burden on History. When one reads the writings of Mr. Tudjman, the disciple of Faurisson and an anti-Semite, truthfully, I would like for someone to prove me wrong!"10
It will be the British daily "The Guardian" that will, under the signature of Richard West, be the first to bring the book by Tudjman to the attention of the public, under the title "An Apologist of Hitler" on October 18, 1991. In Italy, it will be necessary to wait for an article in the "Corriere della Sera" of January 19, 1992: "Exterminations at Auschwitz? Everything is exaggerated Says Tudjman, a Croat", to be followed on January 25, 1992 in "Il Manifesto" under the title: "Franjo Tudjman, An Anti-Semite". In France, "Journal du Dimanche" will publish on December 22, 1991 an article entitled "The Troubling Writings by the Croat President", and a weekly "Le Point" in its edition of December 28, 1991 will evoke the book within an article on Yugoslavia entitled "The Only Champion of Germany".
Channel 5 of the French Television refused to mention Tudjman' s book in November 1991, although it identified and verified by a Croat professor the translated text which I have submitted to Mr. Ivan Brazov. Only the program 'Thursday Event" broadcasted one part of the translation. Nothing will ever appear in "Le Mond", and neither in the "Nouvel Observateur". The Croats insisted that the translation was a skillful montage by Serbs, a pure propaganda effect, and they took very good care never to translate themselves the book by their president.
This work is very important because it presents the general "philosophy" of Franjo Tudjman and explains the first measures that he will take after his election for president, and which will result in the uprising of Serbs living in Croatia: the adoption of the new Croat flag with red and white chess board, practically the identical one with that of the Ustashi and under which those Serbs who survived genocide, have seen dying in the most atrocious way hundreds of thousands of their near and dear, re-naming of the Square of the Martyrs of Nazism into the Square of Croat Kings; the obligation to give a pledge of loyalty to the new regime, the appearance of a new Croat language as a written and spoken language, revendication of HDZ demanding a new revision of the internal frontiers of Yugoslavia (November 29, 1991) and declaring that all the Croat people must be contained within the "historical and natural" frontiers of Croatia, meaning that of the Independent State of Croatia of Ante Pavelic, sales of publications and Ustashi insignia, insignia with the Ustashi "U" letter worn on the uniforms of Paraga militia; welcome of the Ustashas returning from exile and often the ancient war criminals, etc.
For Franjo Tudjman, the state and the nation are above and beyond all, even above God, truth and human dignity. In a study devoted to this book, Max Erenreich gives the following conclusion "Tudjman is not trying to escape from the errors of history because then he would have to enter the space of the spirit, of ethics and not religion. The Ustashi Croat state finds its raison d'etre only there where there is neither a way out, nor hope, nor a common feeling."
How Can One Be a Croat9
In February 1994 Tudjman presented his apologies to the Jews for having expressed his doubts as to the scope of holocaust. While receiving on Monday, March 28, 1994 in Zagreb Branko Lustig, one of the producers of the Steven Spielberg film "The Schindler's List", Croat President Franjo Tudjman declared the following:
"I am taking this opportunity of presenting my apologies to you as well as to the members of the Jewish community on behalf of those who, in the NDH (under the pro-Nazi regime of Ante Pavelic) have participated in the Holocaust (...)."
The Jews, in the Croat state were being exterminated directly by the Ustashi. Only 15 percent from the 36,000 of Jews in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Krajina and Dalmatia survived the Ustashi persecutions, thanks to the sole fact that they took refuge in the Dalmatian territory under Italian occupation, while from some 16,000 Jews living in Serbia, almost 95 percent were deported or killed. Let us recall that in Serbia, occupied by Germany, extermination of Jews was entrusted not to the SS but to the Wehrmacht, of which more than 50% of officers were Austrians.
Thus 2,500 Jews and 4,500 Serbs were interned in the camps on the island of Pag on the Adriatic coast. Every morning the executioner would call out several dozens of them and would decapitate them with an axe. In the largest extermination camp of Jasenovac, the Ustashi were throwing during the first months of 1942, the entire groups of Jewish children into furnaces.
In April 1996 the State of Israel still did not recognize Croatia whose President is Mr. Franjo Tudjman. A French author wrote a book entitled "How Can One Be A Croat?" The answer is simple: like everyone else. The criminal culpability does not exist on a collective level. On the contrary, if one is a Jewish intellectual, as the author of this book is presenting himself, the question is rephrased: How can one be pro-Tudjman?
On June 25, 1991 Croatia and Slovenia proclaimed their independence and the government of the Republic of Slovenia occupied the customs posts and placed new panels at the border-crossings affirming thus its sovereignty over the stretch of the territory. By a unilateral decision, the Yugoslav frontiers were modified, the Constitution violated (see the chapter on Badinter Commission) and the Helsinki Accords breached.
The federal government dispatched several thousands of men - mostly young recruits - to confront 35,000 men from the units of the Slovenian Territorial Defense who shot at them, at the great stupefaction of the federal soldiers. The balance: 75 dead and 350 wounded, mostly soldiers of the federal army. The cease-fire was announced on July 18th and Belgrade withdrew its troops. The conflict stopped there and Slovenia left the Federation without any problems. The expression "taking an English leave" could be replaced now by "taking a Slovene leave".
The ease with which Slovenia left the Federation derives also from the real situation in which the Yugoslav Army was, prepared by Tito, to intervene not in any conventional classic warfare, but for a popular war and in reality in anticipation of an invasion by the Soviet forces. This concept of the in-dept defense will have three major consequences once the civil wars erupted:
- Mass training of population and the arms and ammunition depots extremely numerous and dispersed in order to allow all the localities to continue with resistance even after being cut-off from the other parts of the country, favored the emergence of the local conflicts.
- Since the very first phases of war, in Slovenia and certainly in Croatia, the new national militia will often be organized, better structured - and less obedient to the military hierarchy, unfortunately! - than the regular units. The Yugoslav People's Army was a multi-ethnic army, with a multi-ethnic commanding staff, but if only for the historical reasons, it was of a Serbian majority. Immediately after the defection of the Slovene men and officers and certainly Croats (just like in 1941), the army found itself plunged in often an extreme confusion. Since the war in Croatia, the Serb militia will prove itself to be more efficient in battle than the federal army. This will be especially, the lamentably notorious Arkan's Tigers who will launch the final attack against Vukovar.
- The theme of the military weakness of the Bosnian Muslims was invented in all the places. There was in Bosnia more weapons stocked and military factories than anywhere else in Yugoslavia. The military weakness of Muslims derived from their combat inexperience in view of the rather small number of professional military personnel, also for historical reasons.
Elections in Croatia
In May 1990 free elections were organized for the first time for the renewal of the deputies in the assembly of the republic of Croatia. The HDZ (Croat Democratic Union) the nationalist party led by Mr. Franjo Tudjman, won 60% of votes. The partisans of a strong federal power, whether it be in the socialist or liberal framework, obtained each less than 15 percent.
The program of Mr. Tudjman did not explicitly foresee dismantling of the federal power. It forecasted the return of liberal economy, demanded greater interior autonomy and especially confronted the Serbian hegemony. They exploited such topics which are generally associated with the extreme right: pride of being Croat of purest origin, defense of the Croat culture against contamination from Serbian influences, the place of Croatia as a bastion of the West against the "Byzantine imperialism", etc. Unfortunately, these themes were well received... except by the Serbian minority in Croatia which saw the insurgence of the shadows from the Ustashi period.
Once the elections were won, the language of Mr. Tudjman became less vehement. Everything was taking place as if he was speaking two different languages: one for the extreme right, for the internal use, for wining the elections. The other one, a democratic and for the exterior use, for gaining sympathy and support of westerners.
Elections in Serbia
In December of that same year, Mr. Milosevic was also elected by an absolute majority. It is the only leader of a former Communist country of the East who gained the elections while defending the idea of a certain continuity (which gave the opportunity to some journalists and Croat and Slovene men of politics to treat Serbs as "Byzantine Bolsheviks"). The Democratic Party (also very nationalistic) obtained only some twenty percent of the votes.
How can the success of Mr. Milosevic be explained? The main reflex which came into play, confronted with what was experienced by Serbs as a situation threatening their future, was grouping around the one who represents for them the safeguard of certain organization and of certain force: essentially the army (army staff continued to form a compact cadre, in general faithful to the Titoist spirit) and a part of the federal apparatus. The democratic leader Vuk Draskovic, charismatic speaker and a talented writer, seduced but his vehemence and the lack of political experience of his team provoked mistrust.
The Serbian Revolt in Croatia
If the Slovenian independence was won so fast it is because it did not pose any ethnic problems since the population there was homogeneous up to more than 90%.
A completely different situation will take place in Croatia where the Serbian minority refused to live under the regime enthroned by Tudjman.
The secession of Croatia confronted itself with the right of Serbian people to dispose with itself. Being a constituent people of Yugoslavia, the Serbian people in Croatia enjoyed the same rights as the other five sovereign peoples of the federation. The Serbs expressed their firm will to remain within the federation by a referendum of August 19, 1990. The new Croat constitution, proclaimed after the elections of Mr. Tudjman, promulgated Croatia as the state of the Croat nation, leaving to Serbs the status of an ethnic minority without any specific rights. For Serbs, present for centuries in Croatia, surviving the Ustashi genocide, to become a minority after being a nation in their own right, was intolerable and unacceptable. The conflict thus in its origin, was not a conflict between Croatia and Serbia, but between Croat militia and that of the Serbian minority.
To expect from Serbs to accept the sovereignty of Croatia was like hoping for the survivors of the Holocaust living in Jerusalem to return to live in Berlin or Vienna and see again the Nazi symbols waved under their noses: Tudjman encouraged the use of Ustashi insignia, songs and uniforms and took over, a very close form of the Ustashi flag with the chess-board!
Responsibility of the International Community
Was it possible to avoid or stop the war in Croatia? The answer is - yes. The Croats wanted their independence but did not accept to give guarantees to the Serbian minority living for five centuries in Krajina; on the contrary, the government of Mr. Tudjman undertook all the possible and imaginable discriminatory measures against this minority. Contrary to everything that was written at that time, the government in Serbia did not oppose this independence. This was proclaimed at many occasions by Mr. Milosevic who asked for only one thing: the rights of Serbs to be guaranteed in the framework of Croatia or the independence of the Serbs in Croatia by a referendum.
There are two testimonies which prove that the Croat independence was accepted in the minds of the Serbian leaders.
The first one is the one by Mr. Jovanovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the FR of Yugoslavia, quoted in my book "Europe of Fools" (page 112 and on): "...all conflicts are to be solved at the negotiating table, rather than see them immediately erupt..."
Still it was necessary for this good will to be transformed into a concrete proposal which corresponded to a reality of things and would be acceptable to all the parties: Croat, Serbian and Slovenian. Thus, the idea of "an international peace conference" that I proposed on December 6 and 7, 1991 to the Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladislav Jovanovic during my brief visit to Belgrade.
Such a proposal could not, it this formulation, be requested by Belgrade, because then it would be suspicious in the eyes of the leaders in Zagreb and Ljubljana; therefore, the initiative had to be French, but it had to previously test the Yugoslav government. The tactics consisted in convincing first the government presided by Slobodan Milosevic and then in making this government make some kind of request to France to assume the sponsorship over the operation. The second level of the plan was without any real difficulty, bearing in mind the close links maintained between the French and the Yugoslav diplomats. This will be verified at the end of the month of June 1992...
In the essence, the fundamental aim was to avoid continuation of war and, consequently, to prevent on December 10 and 11 the Twelve from recognizing Croatia before solving the problem of the Serbian minority. An invitation by President Mitterrand to the three parties - Croat, Serbian and Slovenian - to come to Paris, could not be rejected by anyone and in Maastricht there will be no discussion of the Yugoslav question, but the results of the Conference...
...I expressed this idea to the Minister in the language of Voltaire which he mastered perfectly. Mr. Jovanovic informed me that he agrees (otherwise he would not have received me) and pointed out that he should discuss this with Mr. Milosevic after our talk. He touched upon certain points of the international law - frontiers, minorities, dual nationalities - and, to my profound surprise, told me that his government would be satisfied with the same arrangement as suggested by Michael Tocard for the New Caledonia: freezing of all contestation of Krajina, Slavonia and Srem for a period of ten years, to be followed by a referendum. In the meantime, the other problems would be resolved inherent in the independence taking place, the idea of which his government is accepting, as already stated in The Hague and on many other occasions by Slobodan Milosevic."
The second testimony, which is supportive of the first one, is the testimony by Lord Carrington, President of the Peace Conference at The Hague, established on September 7, 1991 by the EEC, when he appeared rather too late, in a BBC program of 4 hours duration and broadcasted at the end of 995 by the French television ("Yugoslavia - A Suicide of A Nation").
This program showed the opening of the Conference in The Hague on September 7, 1991 "Where Carrington convened the representatives of the six republics. During his interview, Lord Carrington said: "... I spoke to President Milosevic. I asked him: are you ready, for example, to accept the independence of Croatia, with the reservation of course of the respect of rights of Serbs living in Croatia? Are you ready to accept that? He answered - yes. I asked this question many times and his answer was always - yes." The television program continues and, without specifying the date, it points out that Mr. Milosevic rejected the Carrington Plan which stipulates that every republic should become independent and sovereign. Lord Carrington then said: "Mr. Milosevic changed his mind. He advanced a number of Judicial arguments. I did not very well understand why...". The interview with Milosevic: "...The presented document was unacceptable. By a simple strike of a pen they (EEC) propose to dissolve Yugoslavia. They do not have that right."
The commentator explained then that Milosevic did not wish to lose his power over the other republics, but wishing to assure the broadcasting of the program in order to approach the Bosnian problem, the commentator finishes by giving the true explanation - "..there are 1.5 million Serbs in Bosnia".
The European Community had the means to impose its will during the summer of 1991, by linking two questions of the Croat independence with the right to self-determination of Serbs. It should have clearly confirmed that one can not take place without the other.
I was not saying anything else in an article of October 22, 1991 published in "Le Figaro": "Serbs are not opposed to the independence of Croatia. They simply wish for the guarantees to be given to 600,000 Serbs living in Croatia."
President Francois Mitterrand declared on January 22, 1993: "...The stand that I defended in Luxembourg in the month of June 1991, when for the first time we were confronted with this affair, was to wait with the recognition of the republics coming out of former Yugoslavia until the determination by the international community of the rights of minorities. I think that the major mistake was committed several month later under the pressure of events. To recognize the independence and sovereignty of the new states without obtaining the guarantees which I requested, was to open ourselves to the drama which followed. This case was badly treated by the Community and by the United Nations."
On December 9 and 10, 1991 in Maastricht, heads of states and governments of the twelve EEC countries confronted the Yugoslav problems. The war started in Croatia and Slovenia, but the peace was still reigning in Sarajevo and in Bosnia. The main principles were laid out. All the republics - and not only Croatia and Slovenia - could now be recognized. The sovereign states at the international level, less certain conditions pertaining to the democracy and the rights of minorities.
But on December 18th, breaking up the unity of the Twelve, Germany announced that it will unconditionally recognize Croatia and Slovenia on January 15, 1992 (in fact, this took place on December 23, 1991, but the exchange of ambassadors will take place only on January 15, 1992). Since then, the eleven partners in the Community, confronted by a fait accomplit, had only this alternative: to follow Germany and in this way drag the Yugoslav population into an infernal conflict, or to refuse to accept the fait accomplice; but this would in turn mean an open admission that the communal foreign policy was not communal but in name, and placing in danger of the Maastricht Treaty before it was even signed!
The Yugoslavs were sacrificed at the altar of European unity.
Finally, and worse of all, Mr. Badinter and his colleagues estimated that the present demarcation lines between Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina could not be modified except through "a free and mutual" accord. In the lack of such an accord, the interior lines will acquire the character of frontiers "protected by the International Law". Maurice Duverger, in an article released for public in "Le Monde" of December 27, 1991 under the title "The Virus of Fragmentation", anticipated for 15 days the publication of a report of the commission and commented on its contents:
"In law it is not admissible to confound interior borders between members of a federation with the international frontiers between independent states. Established in the functions of a joint life in the same unity, the former ones are based on arrangement between the conjugal partners which are to be revised in case of a divorce... By favoring the breaking-down of Yugoslavia, Community aggravated the worst danger menacing today the entirety of peoples situated between the Atlantic and Vladivostok... Europe is threatened by fragmentation whose virus has already reached the West...".
Lord Carrington, the former European negotiator, will consider as a grave error the recognition by the European Community of Slovenia and Croatia and certainly of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
"I accepted the role which the Twelve proposed to me, but under certain conditions. One of the conditions was that there will be no international recognition of either one of the six Yugoslav Republics for as long as they have not settled their differences under a global agreement. Or, shortly after the European Council meeting in Maastricht, the foreign ministers of the Community proposed recognition of Croatia and Slovenia. I warned the European responsibles against such a decision which would ruin the entire peace efforts."
And Lord Carrington continues: If Croatia and Slovenia were thus recognized as states, naturally the other four had the grounds to proclaim their own independence. Alija Izetbegovic warned me: "I should demand independence of Bosnia, he said. If I do not do so, my throat will be cut. But I must also tell you that such a demand will end up in a civil war." (Le Figaro" of July 13,1993.)
On June 18, 1993, the American Secretary of State Warren Christopher estimated that "Germany is carrying a particular responsibility for the breaking out of a civil war in Bosnia". He was joint in this judgment by Roland Dumas, who declared on June 21, 1993: "The responsibility of Germany and of Vatican in the acceleration of crisis are obviously staggering." Therefore, Yugoslavia - "A suicide of A Nation", or "Assassination of A Nation"? Let us simply say that the victim was found hanging after having fired a bullet in the back of his head...
The Badinter Arbitration Commission
"Oh, Liberty! What crimes are being committed in your name!"
Madame Rolland, while going to the scaffolds, when seeing the Statue of Liberty
"Arbitration Commission" was conceived as an integral part of the engagement in the peace efforts of the European Community in the settlement of the Yugoslav crisis, this engagement deriving from the joint Declaration on Yugoslavia, approved by the extraordinary session of the European Community ministers of August 27, 1991, and adopted by the Yugoslav republics at the inauguration of the Conference on Yugoslavia on September 7, 1991. It was convened that the peace efforts of the European Community will be based on offering good offices and mediation, in view of a global solution of the Yugoslav crisis, on the basis of the consent of all the Yugoslav republics.
The joint Declaration did not have process provisions regarding "the arbitration procedure", but is resulted clearly from the contents of the Declaration that the arbitration procedure should clarify the judicial aspects of the questions which are the subject of negotiations and of the decisions of the Conference. In other words, and this derives from the text of the Declaration, the intention was not for the Commission to intervene in the role of an Arbitration Court.
The aim of arbitration is to settle disputes on the basis of the respect for the law by the appointed arbitrators. Bearing in mind the facultative character of the arbitration, the appropriate procedure before an arbitration body rests on compromise to which the parties in disputes agree, and which should decide on the subject of dispute, the manner of appointment of arbiters, judicial rules on the basis of which the arbitration court will pronounce its judgment. Non of these elements were respected.
The Arbitration Commission, being a consultative body of the Conference, was transformed into an Arbitration Court with the judgment binding for the parties in dispute.
The Arbitration Commission followed the evolution of the approach adopted by the European Community regarding settlement of the Yugoslav crisis, the approach which can be qualified as the evolution from an seemingly objective and impartial engagement, based on the OUN Charter and the Charter of Paris, towards a brutal attempt at imposing solutions by means of pressure and blackmail.
In fact, the C.S.C.E. Declaration on Yugoslavia, adopted in Berlin on July 19,1991 stipulates as follows:
"The ministers have expressed their concern for and support of the democratic development, unity and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, based on the economic reforms, full respect of human rights in all parts of Yugoslavia, including the rights of minorities. The ministers have also underlined that only the peoples of Yugoslavia should decide on the future of their country, without the use of force, in conformity with the legal and constitutional procedure."
The communiqué of the C.S.C.E. of August 9, 1991 specifies that the European Community "has offered Yugoslavia its good services and mediation".
Without entering into the judicial clauses, very complex in this particular case, nevertheless it is possible to examine the rules of international law and of the internal law of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which are at the basis of the presumed considerations of the "Arbitration Commission", and this for the first three, and the most important opinions:
Opinion No. 1 of December 7,1991
It is the act of demise of Yugoslavia!
In the opinion No. 1 the Commission takes the following stand:
"The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is engaged in the process of dissolution."
The opinion of the Commission is based on two points, very much contestable:
1 - The malfunctioning of the federation bodies.
As far as Yugoslavia is concerned, the federal form of the country and the position of certain federal units can not be taken as the only criteria for evaluation of the existence or non-existence of Yugoslavia as a state, as could be done for example, in the case of Switzerland or the United States of America. In fact, Yugoslavia was not created as a federation, Just as it did not derive from either a confederation or a federation. The core of Yugoslavia, the unitarian state created in 1918, was Serbia endowed with the judicial person in the light of the uninterrupted international law ever since the Berlin Congress of 1878. The federal Yugoslavia, as such, was born as a federation of peoples in 1943, and its federal republics were constituted later on, through a constitutional intervention of a strong ideological color.
2 - The referendums which took place in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, through which these republics expressed their wish for independence.
Regarding the Internal Law
The Constitution of the SFR of Yugoslavia of the year 1974 stipulates in its Article 5 (1, 3) that "the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is single and is composed of the territories of the socialist republics... The frontiers of the SFR of Yugoslavia can not be changed without the consent of all the republics and autonomous provinces."
The republics, therefore, could not organize referendums on the achievement of their independence, because that question was not within their competencies.
Regarding the International Law
The United Nations Charter does not know the notion of "secession", because that notion is in a profound ontological opposition with the very philosophy of the construction of the Charter. The respect for territorial integrity is elevated by the Charter to the rank of a constitutional norm (for example Biafra).
The United Nations Secretary General underlined on January 4, 1970 that : "Regarding the secession of one part of any of its member-states, the United Nations have never accepted, are not accepting, and I believe will never accept, the principle of secession of one part of the member-country."
We find an implicit qualification of the secession as an illegal act in accordance with the international law in the declaration and principles orienting the state-signatories of the Helsinki Charter of August 11, 1975: "The states-signatories consider as inviolable all their frontiers as well as the frontiers of all the states in Europe and will therefore abstain today and in future, from all attempts at those frontiers".
In order to circumvent these obstacles, the Commission adopted the reasoning stated in its opinion No. 1 according to which the Yugoslav federation was a "contractual creation", an organism founded on "the convergent will" of the federal units, from which derives the conclusion that if a certain federal unit should express the wish to go out, the federation will cease to exist...
Such a stand of the Commission is erroneous from the historical point of view and from the total ignorance of the notion of federal sovereignty, the way it is recognized and accepted by the international community.
From the historical point of view, Yugoslavia was not born as a community of states, but as a community of peoples.
Since its creation in 1918 Yugoslavia changed its name, its territory, government, the state set-up, territorial and administrative organization, but at no point was its judicial identity derived from that of the republics, and neither has its judicial identity been delegated to it by the republics.
The reasoning of the Commission according to which the federation is the creation based on "the convergent will", suggests that in the heart of the federation coexisted two sovereignties: the sovereignty of the federation and the sovereignty of the federal units. There is there, in all evidence, a confusion between these two different notions. It is true that the federal units dispose with a certain sphere of their own competence (legislative, executive, judicial). But, the autonomous competencies of a federal unit can not be mistaken for the sovereignty. The titular of the sovereignty, understood in the sense of the totality of the qualitative and quantitative attributes, is the federation as the only and exclusive subject of the international law. The sharing of competencies between the federation and its federal units derives from the Constitution.
The sphere of autonomous competencies of the federal units is not a reflection of some natural right of the federal units, and neither is it a contractual creation, but it derives from the federal Constitution, and therefore can not be changed except by a modification of the federal Constitution itself.
This view, if it was taken as valid, would not have failed to make the greatest difficulties for the states with the federal structure and where there is a co-habitation of the central power and of the territorial units, in particular Germany, Switzerland, the United States, Italy, Canada, Mexico, etc.
Opinion No. 2 of January 11,1992
Lord Carrington, of his own accord, changed the second question that Serbia addressed to the Arbitration Commission. The question asked by Serbia was the following: "Who is the titular of the right to the self-determination, from the point of view of the public international law: the nation or the federal unit; the right to self-determination, is it a subjective right, a collective right or a right of a territory?", and Lord Carrington changed it into the following question:
"The Serbian population in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (we are now in January 1992, and the independence of Bosnia will not take place until April!!), being one of the constituent peoples of Yugoslavia, will they be granted the right to self-determination"?
The President of the Conference on Yugoslavia has not only undertaken to rephrase the question, but has also indicated in an inexact way that the question so modified was posed by the Republic of Serbia.
Behind this substitution of a seemingly only terminological nature, hides the very essence of things. Because the question of the principle of titular to the right of self-determination expresses the philosophy of the global solution of the Yugoslav crisis which takes as basis for this solution the egalitarian position of all the constituent peoples of the SFRY. Conversely, to pose the question of the right of Serbian people in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina suggests a partial approach, which starts from the acts of secession of Croatia and Slovenia as the faits accomplis, and places under the question mark the position of Serbs in Croatia (and in a future and somber stage, their position in Bosnia-Herzegovina) at the level of PROTECTION OF MINORITIES.
In fact, the Arbitration Commission is of the following view:
"That the Serbian population in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia has the right to exercise all the rights recognized to minorities and to the ethnic groups by the international law..."
The Commission transformed by that opinion Serbian people in Croatia and Bosnia into a national minority! European peoples will they be able to survive the principles of the Badinter's Commission? Or, Serbian people was the constituent people, both from the historical and from the judicial point of view.
Serbs in Croatia were having the status of the constituent people throughout the period of existence of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as the recognized subject of the international law. After the second session of the Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia in 1942, Yugoslavia was constituted as a federation of the sovereign peoples; this means that the constituent peoples of Yugoslavia represent the creators of the Yugoslav federation. The Constitution of Croatia, which was in force and effect until the secession, recognized to the Serbs in Croatia the status of the constituent people.
It is not a question here of a wage judicial terminological deliberation, but of a fundamental problem. In Geneva in January 1993, the Owen-Vance Plan spoke of "the three constituent peoples, equal among themselves, in Bosnia-Herzegovina".
The opinion No. 2 of the Badinter's Commission allows for transformation of the citizens of one country into a national minority!
European peoples are since then confronted with a terrible menace: THE TYRANNY OF A GREATER NUMBER.
The Tyranny of a Greater Number
The notion of "the right of people to dispose with itself" covers two different realities, of which one is extremely perverted.
In the modern history, the one of nations post 1789 - the first referendum was the one to be held in 1791 among the inhabitants of the Comtat Venaissin (Avignon) to separate from the Papal states and become reunited with France. In this particular case it was the question of an opinion of the majority which took place within a homogeneous population where citizens among themselves did not make any object of discrimination or differences linked with the color of skin, language or religion.
It was a completely different thing when the principle was placed into life in order to allow one or more "ethnicities" to exercise control without sharing, in a territory where it is majoritarian. This is the tyranny of the greater number which makes of a minority a community of strangers on their own land. This was the case of the referendum on self-determination in Algeria. Thus, there is a conflict between democracy and the number. This is actually the case for the Serbian minority in Croatia, as well as for the Serbian and Croat minorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Therefore, there was a choice for a remedy, between two types of solutions, neither one nor the other being satisfactory.
The first one consisted of "guarantee to minorities" that the international community had the duty to impose, prior to the recognition of the new states or at their creation, with the problem of enforcing the respect of these guarantees in case of trouble. Protection of minorities which is not exercised in the time of war is an illusory protection, which it actually is in 99% of cases...
The second solution was to consider that one people can not "dispose of itself if it is a minority or if it must share its territory with other peoples", in other words, if it is not territorially "homogeneous". In the first case, it is "sausaging" of the country, and in the second, it is the ethnic cleansing.
Consequently, the right of people to dispose of its minorities is not better than the right of the state to dispose of its people.
Opinion No. 3 of January 11,1992
The following question was raised:
"The lines of internal delimitation between Croatia and Serbia, on the one hand, and between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other, can they be considered as frontiers in respect to the international public law?"
The answer of the Arbitration Commission was the following:
"In the absence of an agreement contracted between the parties, the interior limits will acquire the character of the frontiers protected under the international law."
However, in the light of international law, the term "frontier" is reserved for the states. As far as Yugoslavia is concerned, it could have been considered that there is a difference between the status of the state frontiers of the federation and the "frontiers" between its federal units; in fact, contrary to the international frontiers which are established by the acts of international law, the "frontiers" between the federal units are in principles determined by the acts of internal law. In the case of Yugoslavia, the delimitation of the administrative frontiers between the Yugoslav federal unit was never directly a subject of any judicial act. They were traced by the Politburo of the Yugoslav Communist Party on the basis of the conception of the Communist International, concerning the settlement of the Yugoslav national question.
Ever since the creation of Yugoslavia in 1918, "the interior administrative and territorial frontiers" were delimited on three occasions, notably:
1. in 1918, within the framework of the Kingdom, by the division into 32 regions;
2. in 1929 within the framework of the Kingdom, also by the division into the units called "banovina", and finally
3. during the period between 1943 and the first post-war years, in the process of constitution of the federal Yugoslavia, by the division into six republics.
The transformation of the administrative frontiers into international ones is not possible except within the Constitution and on the basis of the autonomy of will of the people of Yugoslavia. In view of the fact that the decisions of certain Yugoslav republics on proclamation of their "sovereignty and independence" constitutes an act of secession both from the point of view of internal law and that of the United Nations Charter and the C.S.C.E. Document, the decisions which are not grounded on the equality of the right to self-determination of the constituent peoples, this transformation of administrative frontiers into state frontiers has no legal grounds.
Therefore, the Opinion No. 3 allows one republic, one province, one region enjoying a certain form of autonomy, to aspire thereupon to the independence.
Countries of Europe are therefore, confronted in their turn, by another threat: THE THEORY OF FRAGMENTATION.
The Theory of Fragmentation
Thereupon, Europe exists on the basis of two diametrically opposed principles: Europe of unitarian forces against Europe of centrifugal forces which are appearing everywhere.
Thus, is the division of Czechoslovakia a reality? Slovakia, with 10 percent of its population being of Hungarian origin, can it avoid conflict with Hungary? Belgium is practically faced with partition. In Great Britain, the separatist trouble exists for years in Northern Ireland and Scotland and the country is raided with tremors leading in the same direction. Anyhow, the British have shown a great reserve regarding the Badinter Commission and the principles on rights that it had established. Spain was always the object of the conflict between unitarian and separatist forces. Catalonia and the Basque country were often tempted by independence. In Italy, the rich and developed North wishes more and more to distance itself from the poor and "mafioso" South. The Lombardian separatism is the order of the day.
The three opinions of the Badinter Commission form the basis of a true "right to secession", with the following principles which decline under the form of a theorem of the international law - the theorem of the Badinter Commission - like the Pythagoras theorem on hypotenuse or the one of Archimedes on hydrostatics:
Once a territorial entity, freely constituted, disposes with a democratically elected government, it can, by a referendum, chose its independence, become internationally recognized within its existing administrative frontiers, provided its Constitution prescribed guarantees pertaining to the rights of minorities.
1 For the biography of Tudjman, where little is known, consult the work by Sava Bosnich: "Franjo Tudjman, An Ambiguous Carrier", Paris, L'Age d'Homme, 1993.
2 Op cit. page 172
3 Op. cit ,pp. 135 ss
4 Op cit. pp. 316 to 319
5 Ibid pp. 316 to 319
6 Ibid p. 319
7 Ibid, p. 320
8 Ibid p 160
9 Ibid, pp. 160-161
10 Le Journal du Dimanche, of December 22 1991
The Bosnian Melting Pot
"They have recognized a country which does not exist, within the frontiers which do not exist, for the people which does not exist."
Slobodan Milosevic, March 11, 1993, Paris
It was Tito who initiated the Bosnian question, by progressively recognizing during the sixties the Muslims as a new "nation". This nation was not called "Bosnian" but "Muslim" with a capital M. This "innovation" was definitely instituted in the new Federal Constitution of 1974. The Muslims being Islamized Slavs, speaking Serbo-Croat language, did not differ from Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholics) except for their religion (Sunnite). Thus, a religion was transformed into a people and the worm was implanted in the fruit.
The second particularity of Bosnia-Herzegovina is that non of the three groups constitutes an absolute majority. The most important group is composed of the Muslims (44%); then come the Serbs (35%) and Croats (17%). But these percentages were evolutive in the sense unfavorable for Serbs (44.3% in 1948) and Croats (24% in 1948), in respect to the Muslims (30.7% in 1948). These figures were even more favorable for Serbs before the genocide in 1941-1945.
Bearing in mind these proportions, the basis for coexistence between the three communities was the "consensus", meaning the agreement, the consent of all; and not the supremacy of the bigger number. No decision was made without a formal agreement of the three communities and this essential political principle was respected under the reign of Tito.
Since the elections in 1990, Muslims voted for the Party of Democratic Action (headed by Alija Izetbegovic), Serbs for the Democratic Party (of Radovan Karadzic) and Croats for the HDZ (Croat Democratic Union led by Stjepan Kljujic), meaning for the same political formation which was headed by Tudjman in Croatia. Thus, for the reasons of growing tension in Yugoslavia, everyone expressed himself in the function of his "nationality".
Nevertheless, the principle of the "consensus" as the form of government was preserved. A collective presidency was created - two representatives for each group plus one "Yugoslav" - and Alija Izetbegovic became the President of the Republic.
The situation started to deteriorate with the decision of the Twelve to offer independence to all the republics in December 1991. The reasoning was particularly contorted: since Yugoslavia will disintegrate, why treat Bosnia-Herzegovina differently from Slovenia?... except that Bosnia was a miniature Yugoslavia and ready, itself, to disintegrate under any little push... Taking into consideration this reality, Badinter Commission stated its opinion No. 4 of January 11,1992:
"Arbitration Commission is of the opinion that expression of the will of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina to constitute the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina into a sovereign and independent state can not be considered as fully established. This appreciation could be modified if the guarantees are given in this respect by the Republic before formulating its demand of recognition, eventually by means of a referendum, to which will be called upon to take part all the citizens of the SR of Bosnia-Herzegovina, without any distinction and under international control."
Then after the referendum of February 29, 1992, Serbs opposed an independent Bosnia and boycotted consultations. Therefore, in favor of independence voted only Croats and Muslims (62.7%). In all evidence, independence was going to become an anti chamber of the civil war. This independence was recognized on April 6,1992 (by the EEC) and on April 17, 1992 (by the USA). On April 8, 1992 the state of emergency was imposed and the fighting started. The developments were foreseeable and I was among those who saw the fatal point towards which the incoherence of the twelve countries of the EEC was dragging Bosnian population. In my article published on March 24,19921, I announced the civil war, the creation of a Serbian republic, the establishment of a Croat state in Bosnia-Herzegovina and I drew the attention of the public opinion to the confessional nature of the regime which Mr. Izetbegovic intended to install:
"It is incoherent to desire peace in Croatia, to send 14,000 blue helmets and, at the same time, to proclaim that independence will be recognized to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia at the beginning of April. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a powder-cake where there is a cohabitation of 44% of Muslims, 17% of Croats, 32% Serbs and 7% Yugoslavs. The independence wished by the Muslims can only scare Croats and Serbs. In fact, Muslims are not the descendants of the Turks, but are Islamized Serbs and Croats. It is a question of one and the same Slav people! It is the first time that a religion becomes a people. There is no ethnic difference, but only a religious one. Bosnia-Herzegovina will become a Muslim state. It is a free choice and a free right of the Muslims. But do we really believe that a Catholic Croat or an Orthodox Serb will wish to live there? Will a French accept such a destiny, certainly if he has the choice of rejoining the neighboring motherland?
And I concluded as follows: "The reality of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is that Croats and Serbs will never accept to live in an Islamic state and that the division of this Republic into three parts will take place eventually...".
The Croat Position
The Croat position consisted in tactically playing a double game in order to achieve strategic aim of an eventual union with Croatia.
The "yes" given at the referendum was purely a tactical move. Knowing well in advance that Serbs will refuse the independence, the maneuver consisted in playing the legality and leaving it up to Serbs to bear the responsibility for the eruption of the new republic, supporting the government of Mr. Izetbegovic and at the same time, favored by combats and diplomatic confusion, create their own "court-yard", form an independent state of Herzeg-Bosna a "free territory" which will be born on July 5, 1992. The capital city was Mostar, the town which passed entirely under the Croat control after two months of violent confrontations with the Serbian militia. In May 1993 the new fighting, with the Muslim forces this time, will give the Croats the complete mastery over this city, which comprised before an equal number of Serbian and Muslim inhabitants as that of Croats. In spite of the creation of the Croat-Muslim federation on March 1, 1994 and the Dayton Accords, Croats are still today refusing the reunification of Mostar.
In reality, there is no difference between the war objectives of Serbs and Croats, except that the former ones were placed under the sanctions of the international community and the latter ones benefited from a total absolution.
The Serbian position is clear: Serbs in Bosnia refused to live the life of a minority outside of Yugoslavia. Serbs have lived for centuries in this territory where they were a majority and which they have liberated both in 1918 and in 1941. They wanted to remain either in Yugoslavia or to enjoy some form of autonomy. That is why they accepted the proposition for cantonization presented by the European Community in Lisbon on March 18, 1992. They gave their consent to an independent and territorially united Bosnia-Herzegovina, but under only one condition: that the power be exercised on the basis of territorial principle (this principle will latter on become the basis of the Vance-Owen Plan).
On March 18, 1992 the three parties accepted the principle of cantonization. Obviously, the proposed maps by the three communities were different, but the agreement existed. Thus the war was avoided. Furthermore, the maps of the 10 provinces presented in Geneva on January 1993, were they different? But on March 20th Mr. Izetbegovic will denounce this agreement, after a telephone conversation with the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade, Mr. Zimmermann. The ambassador will later admit that it was certainly "his greatest error".
Contrary to the Croats and Serbs, Muslims wanted an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina in which they will be, one day and soon, bearing in mind their birth rate, a majoritarian people. They could not be satisfied with the partitioning of the country - which is the common and admitted aim of Serbs and Croats - because for the historical reasons, they are especially concentrated in the large cities and do not dispose with the background areas (for example, the cadastre from the times before the war shows that 64% of the land belonged to Serbs).
Starting with the end of February 1992, President Izetbegovic will be persuaded that he can adopt a hard political line, taking into consideration the American support. He was hoping from the United States for a military intervention which will come in the form of NATO in May 1995 and August-September 1995.
In order to attempt to present the events which took place as clearly as possible, the four years of war may be divided into three periods: the first one from the independence to the Vance-Owen Plan (April 1992 - May 1993), the second from the rejection of the plan and first NATO ultimatum to Serbs in February 1994 and the third ending in September-December 1995 with the Dayton Accords.
I - From Independence to the Vance-Owen Plan
In April and May 1992 the war continued and intensified in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was ended in Croatia. The OUN under American pressure, adopted two resolutions concerning Bosnia, under dubious conditions and after the Serbs became victims of a manipulation: the massacre in Vase Miskina Street in Sarajevo. The affair was played in three acts. Act one, Resolution 752 of May 15, 1992, which is to say only one month and a half after the Bosnian independence.
It demanded in its Articles 3, 4 and 5 the retreat of the Yugoslav and Croat troops:
"3. It is demanded that all forms of exterior interference in Bosnia-Herzegovina including the one by the units of the Yugoslav People' s Army, as well as by the elements of the Croat Army, should cease immediately.
4. It is demanded that the units of the Yugoslav People's Army and the elements of the Croat Army actually present in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be either withdrawn or submitted to the authority of the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina or disarmed, their armament placed under an efficient international surveillance.
5. It is also demanded that all the irregular forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina be at once dissolved and disarmed."
Conversely, it disregards the para. 24 of the report by the UN Secretary General of May 12, 1992 to which it, nevertheless, makes a reference:
"... having examined the announcement made in Belgrade on May 4, 1992, described in para. 24 of the Report by the UN Secretary General of May 12, 1992, concerning the retreat of the personnel of the Yugoslav People's Army, from the republics other than Serbia and Montenegro and the renunciation of all authority over those who remain."
Second period: on May 27, 1992 the blood-bath of the massacre of the queue in front of the bakery resulted in 16 dead. Washington D.C. and the Security Council charged it without any hesitation on Serbs, while at the same time most of the high officials knew, said and wrote that the Muslims were the perpetrators of this massacre.
In his book "The Route to Sarajevo", the Commander of the blue helmets. General Mac Kenzie, wrote on page 193 the following:
"For the day of May 27,1992:
Disaster in Sarajevo. The people queuing in front of the bakery to buy bread were attacked and at least seventeen of them killed. The Presidency (of A. Izetbegovic) supports the view that it was a mortar attack committed by Serbs. The Serbs are claiming that it is a mounted attack, executed by the aid of explosives. Our men are informing us that many points "do not fit" together. The street was closed just before the incident occurred. Once the people were allowed to enter and formed the queue, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place and the media found themselves immediately on the spot. It is alleged that the majority of those killed were the "assimilated Serbs" (those who have accepted to live in the Muslim zone. Note by translator). How to know the truth? The only thing that is sure is that the innocents have been killed."
The London newspaper "The Independent" published its inquiry on August 28, 1992: "...the explosion of an alleged mortar shell in the Vase Miskina Street, in the very center of Sarajevo, killing 22 persons waiting in the line to buy bread... shows no crater that a mortar shell must have made, the presence of the camera-men of the Bosnian television, the wounds suffered by the victims at the length of the buttocks, all this corresponds to what we have claimed at the time and what the United States have later learned: it is a question here of a particularly performing mine placed by the green berets of Alija (Izetbegovic)."
The third period: Resolution 757 of May 30 stating that the Resolution was not applied. Voted in an extremely emotional climate kept up by the media: "killed while waiting for bread...", it:
"1. Condemns the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) including the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), for not having taking efficient measures in order to comply with the demands and other provisions contained in the Resolution 752 (of 1992);
2. Demands that the elements of the Croat Army still present in Bosnia-Herzegovina act in accordance with the provisions of para. 4 of the Resolution 752 (of 1992) without any further delay;
3. Hereby decides that all the states will adopt measures described hereinafter, which will apply for as long as the Security Council shall not decide that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) including the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) have undertaken efficient measures in order to satisfy the requirements of the Resolution 752."
This Resolution is a cathedral of hypocrisy. On May 30, 1992, there were no more Serbian soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There remained only as fighters those Serbs who were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Conversely, there were there 40,000 soldiers of the Croat Army who were the subject of the agreement which will on July 21, 992 be settled between Tudjman and Izetbegovic.
The economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro were voted in a scandalous fashion, because three days later, one report by the United Nations Secretary General Mr. Boutros Ghali, whose contents are well known but whose publication seems to have been deliberately delayed, indicates that: "Serbia is not the only responsible for the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina", and in the end of August, another report of the OUN implicates the Muslim militia in the massacre of May 27,1992...
From May to December 1992 Serbs were the subject of a campaign of "satanization" aimed at identifying them with the Nazis.
From the month of May, Serbs were being accused of systematic rape of Muslim women with the aim of ethnic cleansing. The figures of 20,000, 30,000, 60,000 then of 100,000 of women raped! It is obvious that every war entrails the violations and consequently the rape. There was rape committed by all the three parties involved in conflict.
The investigation committee of the EEC to which Mrs. Simone Veil belonged and the investigation committee of the OUN under the guidance of Tadeusz Mazowiecki did not bring in any elements which would support the reality of the rapes committed on large-scale.
The conclusions of the report by the EEC - 4 days of investigation in December 1992 and 3 days in January 1993, are the following:
"It is probable that it will never be possible to calculate precisely the number of victims in question. The direct testimonies are extremely difficult to obtain (...). Nevertheless, it is possible to speak in terms of many thousands. The estimates are extensive, going from 10,000 up to 60,000 (...). Our mission did not acquire direct testimonies except for a very small number of victims (...). Satisfactory verifications are not possible, especially for the period May-June 1992."2
The report of the Mazowiecki Committee submitted to the OUN Security Council on November 17,1992 estimates the following:
"The rape is another revolting practice of the ethnic cleansing. Serbs and Muslims are accusing each other of a systematic rape of the thousands of women, especially in the prison camps. These allegations are particularly serious, on the one hand because they are being spread out by the parties in conflict in order to pour oil over the fire, and on the other hand because it is an imperative to present the moral and psychological state of the presumed victims before any other considerations. Until now, the rapporteur and his delegation were not in the position to verify carefully and systematically these allegations."3
After yet another mission of seven days from January 10 to 17, the second report indicates the following: "There is manifested proof that the Croat, Muslim and Serbian women were detained for long periods of time and raped at several instances."4
and concludes thus:
"The estimates which are very different on the number of victims of rape were recently published: the expert team was not in the position to learn whether a viable method was used for calculation of these numbers. The data collected by this mission leads to the conclusion that a large number of rapes were committed, but the team estimates also that it is not able to evaluate the total number of victims in this conflict."5
The reports brought only three certain things: there really was a rape of a large number of women; there really was a rape by all the parties involved in conflict, but the rapes can not be even in an approximative way be quantified.
Finally, in March 1993 the affair of the "Serbian rapists" will disappear by itself, just as it has appeared. The only explanation: Serbs do not rape in spring!
The Prison Camps
In early August the affair starts of the "concentration camps" of Serbs in Bosnia. The American newspapers, then the entire world press, published photos of the skeleton-like-prisoners kept behind the barbed wire of the Serbian prison camp in Manjaca. This image of a deported Muslim interned in the Serbian concentration camp will travel the world round. It is of little importance that this man, presented on the TV screen, is actually a Serb and is called Slobodan Konjevic and that he is suffering from tuberculosis: "it is beginning again", there comes a new Dachaus, a new Auschwitz and Buchenwald!
The affair was launched by an American journalist who never verified the existence of these prison camps and notably whether this was a detention camp, a concentration or extermination camp. It was taken over by the American public relations agency Ruder Finn Global Affairs, financed by the Croats and Muslims. In his book, Jacques Merlino tells that at the question "what are you the most proud of", the director of this agency, James Harff answered:
"Of having succeeded in bringing on our side the Jewish public opinion. The game was very delicate and the file contained a very great danger from that side. Because President Tudjman was very imprudent in his book "The Wastelands of Historical Reality". While reading the book, he could be accused of anti-Semitism. From the Bosnian side, it was no better case because President Izetbegovic had in his "Islamic Declaration", published in 1979, taken a too strong position in favor of an Islamic and fundamentalist state. Furthermore, the past of Croatia and Bosnia were marked by a real and cruel anti-Semitism. Many dozens of thousands of Jews were liquidated in the Croat camps. Thus, there were all the reasons there for the intellectuals and Jewish organizations to become hostile towards Croats and Bosniacs. Our challenge was to reverse the state of things. And we succeeded in a masterly manner. Between August 2 and 5, 1992, when the New York Newsday broadcasted the affair of the camps. We then seized on this affaire good and immediately, we covered three great Jewish organizations: the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, The American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress. We suggested to them to publish an article in the New York Times and organize a protest rally in front of the United Nations. It worked perfectly; the entrance into the game of the Jewish organizations on the Bosnian side was an extraordinary hand of poker. Immediately, we were able in the public opinion to identify Serbs with the Nazis. The file was complex, no one understood what was going on in Yugoslavia, and to be frank, I will tell you that the great majority of the Americans was asking itself in what African country Bosnia is located, but by a single blow we could present a simple affair, a story of the good and the bad. We knew that the whole affair is going to be played there and we won by targeting a good objective, targeting of the Jewish audience. Immediately, there was a very clear change of the language in the press with the use of terms of very strong emotional value, such as the ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, etc..., everything associating with the Nazi Germany, the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The emotional charge was so strong that no one could go against it, under the penalty of being accused of revisionism. We have struck the bull in the eye."6
Merlino faithfully reports on the boasting of James Harff on the manipulation of the three great Jewish organizations. Only Harff was wrong. He neither convinced, nor manipulated, nor circumvented any leader of these associations and this for an extremely simple reason: to identify with Auschwitz some prison camp of several thousands of prisoners somewhere in Bosnia, would be to deny the specific character of the Shoa, the extermination of the Jewish people, to banalize the death of 9 million of persons out of the total of 12 million passing through the camps - the million of them were Jews - and, finally, to make relative - because it is "all starting again" - the responsibility of the Nazis.
What is specific of the Shoa, is not only that the extermination of the Jews, the final goal of a secular anti-Semitism, was announced by Hitler, that it was realized in an industrial manner - in the gas chambers and crematorium furnaces - but that it was "the final solution" meaning a total annihilation of an entire group of humans, and for the only reason of their race. The Jew had to disappear because he was a Jew. Thus it was also officially forbidden for a German to sleep with a Jewish woman because she would "contaminate him".
The horror is always detestable, but what is the common trait between Sabibor and the Serbian camp of Omarska, between Auschwitz and the Croat camp of Dretelj, between Maidanek and the Muslim camp of Celebici?
None of the leaders of the Jewish community could make an amalgam between the detention camp, the concentration camp and the extermination camp. The first detention camps for civilians, including women and children, were the work of the British, or more precisely of Lord Kitchener, during the Boerish War in South Africa (1899-1902). Dozens of thousands of families were placed in camps where the conditions of hygiene and malnutrition cased death of many persons. We have seen that during the World War One the Austro-Hungarian Empire imprisoned in camps Serbs from Bosnia.
Concentrations camps - Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravenbruck (for women), Mauthausen, Struthof in France, Jasenovac in Croatia, they were the internment camps designated for furnishing at the same time cheap labor force and where inmates were dying from exhaustion under the blows or torture.
Extermination camps - Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobibor, Maidanek, Belzec - were the camps specially managed and equipped for the final solution, reserved for the Jews and the Gypsies, with the gas chambers and the crematorium furnaces. These are immensely vast camps - containing from 50 to 100,000 persons - where death was functioning in an industrial fashion, 24 hours on 24 hours, for the entire families, from the infants to the old men. Thus, during the last weeks they were killing by gas or burning from 6,000 to 9,000 of Jews per day at Auschwitz. The final solution occupied at least half a million of Germans and this was heard throughout Europe. What is the relations of this to Bosnia?
When Laurent Fabius declared in "Le Monde" of August 13, 1992: "Since several days now we know that Serbs have organized concentration camps in order to achieve "ethnic cleansing" claimed by the Nazis", he was wrong, and not only about the Serbian camps, but also about the Croat and the Muslim ones, and in the sense of the "final solution" wished by the Nazis; not cleanse, but annihilate, exterminate.
Simon Wiesenthal, in the "Herald Tribune" of August 12, 1992 gave warning about banalization of the term "concentration camp" and Elie Wiesel will say "to compare this camp (Manjaca) with the Nazi camps that I have known, makes no sense at all". In "Le Mond" of August 27th Mr. Point Delpech quotes Simone Veil who was escorting the humanitarian convoy of the Association Equilibre in Bosnia:
"Refugee is not a deportee, collection camp is not a concentration camp, much less an extermination camp. Genocide has a different sense."
The American Jewish leaders were not manipulated. They adhered to a stand which allowed them to be along the lines of the new American and Israeli policy in the Near East and vis a vis Islam.
This confusion between Nazi camps and camps in Bosnia benefited only the revisionists on all sides!
The Geneva Conference
The Conference started on January 2, 1993. It gathered the three conflicting parties in Bosnia - Serbs with Radovan Karadzic, Croats with Mate Boban and Muslims with President Izetbegovic - under the pastoral staff of Cyrus Vance (OUN) and Lord Owen (EEC), who proposed to them a project of the following outstanding points:
1. Bosnia-Herzegovina will be a decentralized state where most of the governmental functions will be executed by the provinces.
2. The provinces will have no international judicial identity.
3. Constitution will recognize the three major ethnic groups as constituent units of the state.
4. All the subjects of vital interest for any one of the constituent units will be regulated by the constitution, and all the amendments necessary to that effect will require consensus of the three units.
5. Provinces and the central government will have democratically elected parliaments and democratically appointed executives.
6. Bosnia-Herzegovina will be progressively de-militarized.
Immediately, strong disagreement appeared between Serbs and Muslims on the constitutional level, but also and especially on the maps. The Croats were of the view that the project is acceptable (the three Croat provinces neighboring on Croatia and being ultimately easily "re-attachable" to Croatia).
The negotiations will be suspended and resumed after the Orthodox Christmas (January 6), on Friday, January 8th. They will last until the 12th, the Orthodox New Year's Eve. Terrible pressure was made on Serbs to accept the plan which they rejected until the last moment. Finally, Radovan Karadzic accepted the plan which will guarantee, according to him: "Full equality of Serbian people as a constituent people", but on condition that "The Parliament of the Bosnian Serbs" accepts this agreement within seven days. This will be done on January 20th. The negotiations were continued on Saturday January 23rd. On the eve, the Croat forces launched a blitz offensive in the region of Knin "so that they will not be forgotten". Finally, only the Croats accepted to sign the three volumes of the plan (constitutional, military, cartographic). From their side, Serbs and Muslims contested the drawing of the map. The Muslims also rejected the terms for the cease-fire which were accepted by Serbs. The three sides accepted the constitutional principles (which they interpreted differently) which were to regulate the future Bosnian state.
The Geneva negotiations were terminated and were transferred to New York and the Security Council will approve, in mid-February, the Vance-Owen Plan, after it was accepted by Bill Clinton.
But the Geneva Conference remained a model of contradictions and unacceptable propositions...
There was a constant double language at the Geneva Conference by each of the participants.
Regarding the international community, the premature recognition of Bosnia and on the confessional basis, was a mistake. All the diplomats are now recognizing this fact. Nevertheless, Bosnia, once admitted in the OUN, should have been a reality and its existence could not be questioned any more. Thus the necessity to avoid the mention in the accords of the term "federation" or "confederation", and to maintain the prohibition of provinces to conclude international treaties. On the other side, constitution of an integrist Muslim state was to be avoided - of a new Gaza strip - in the heart of Europe. But at the same time, it was necessary to give some reason to Serbs to sign the Geneva Accords without mentioning the dishonorable name of confederation. Let us not forget also Messrs. Owen and Vance, obliged to take into consideration an unbelievable American pressure against Serbs. President Bush, let us also not forget, wished for a military intervention which he knew was technically possible, but militarily inoperative.
Thus, a monster was created! The State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, having no precedent in human history. The central government did not have in its hands anything but the foreign affairs and the "day to day" business. There was no army or judiciary, no police except those of the provinces This state is a fiction and the Croat President Tudjman explained this in his very clear interview for "Le Figaro".7 According to him, Federal Yugoslavia is dead and the same will happen to either federal or confederal Bosnia.
By the end of January 1993, the positions of the three communities were the following:
For the Croats - who displayed a remarkable diplomatic talent, who created their own state in Bosnia, the "Herzeg-Bosnia", on July 1992 and whose regular army of 50,000 men operated in Bosnia under the very nose of the OUN, on the basis of an agreement with the Muslims concluded on July 21, 1992 - the double game was clear and may be so summarized: to have an agreement with Serbs against the constitutional principle of a unitarian Bosnia that might prevent an eventual reunion of the Croat provinces which have territorial continuity with Croatia - thus the fight with Muslims over the control of the region of Gornji Vakuf - and diplomatic continuity in a fictitious Croat-Muslim understanding against Serbs. With a certain doze of humor, the Serbs translated this in the following way: "During the day, Croats are wagging war on us, during the night we are playing cards together"! The diplomats preferred to say that Yugoslavia was born out of a Serbo-Croat agreement and that it could not be dissolved without a Serbo-Croat agreement.
For Serbs, the tactics consisted in never being isolated, in the fashion never to be accused of torpedoing the Geneva Conference which, they thought, will be done by the Muslims who were always hoping for a military intervention. In this "dance macabre" of the three sides, Serbs could not be the only cavaliers. Thus a union was made between Serbs and Croats against the unitarian constitutional principle for Bosnia and another paravan-union between Serbs and Muslims against the actual cartographic division of Bosnia. In fact, this division left almost 700,000 Serbs outside of the zones held by the militia of the Bosnian Serbs. Thus, there existed homogeneous Serbian territories: Ozren, in the province of Sarajevo, parts of Posavina, as well as the valley of the rivers Neretva, Drina and Una, inhabited by more than 400,000 Serbs and which could be attached to the provinces granted to Serbs. Therefore, there was a possibility for the Serbs and Muslims to exchange territories among them, Muslims eventually, gaining the totality of the city of Sarajevo. This exchange was envisaged in January-February 1993, but it was not talked about.
As far as Muslims were concerned, the least that can be said is that their politics were at the same time confused and dangerous:
Confused, because on two occasions, on March 18, 1992 in Lisbon and on July 21, 1992 in Zagreb, they accepted the principle of "equality of the three peoples" and the formation of "constitutional units". It is in order to make them swallow better for the third time "the pill" of the constitutional principle of "the three constituent peoples", which opens the option for an eventual secession in the name of the right of peoples to dispose with themselves, that the Muslims were given 72.50% of all the thermo-electrical power stations and 50% of the hydro-electric potential, while Serbs obtained only 11.50% of the total!
Dangerous because, always tempted by his own Islamic "Bantustan", Mr. Izetbegovic made efforts to perpetuate the state of war (he will not sign the Vance-Owen plan until March 25th) in order to allow for an American intervention, and call upon the public opinion by denouncing "ethnic cleansing" of which the Muslims are the victims, which is true, but not the only victims, because there were 700,000 recorded Croat refugees and 600,000 Serbian refugees.
Tragi-comedy of Pale
On March 23,1993 General Morillon visited Belgrade and obtained from Mr. Milosevic his help for the acceptance of the Vance-Owen plan by the Bosnian Serbs.
A summit conference gathering all the protagonists took place in Athens on May 1 and 2nd at the invitation of the Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis. The two negotiators were present, plus the Serbian President Milosevic and the Yugoslav President Cosic, and, of course, Mr. Karadzic. Greece engaged its reputation in this affair because, as will be stated plainly by Mr. Andreas Papandreu, the chief of the socialist opposition: "Greece must not betray Serbia, a traditional friend, because a Serbian defeat will favor Turkey on the regional scene".
Mr. Karadzic will end up by accepting the plan, a corridor of ten kilometers in length in the north of Bosnia, providing a link between the Serbian zones. The agreement was, nevertheless conditioned by its approval by the Serbian Parliament in Pale, convened for May 5th. The Parliament refused to ratify the signature placed on the Vance-Owen Plan by Radovan Karadzic, at the consternation of Belgrade, who sent the three Presidents: of Yugoslavia, of Serbia and Montenegro, to convince it. "It is a defeat of the policy dictated by reason" (Cosic). "I will be direct and honest. There is no alternative to peace" (Milosevic). On May 15th Bosnian Serbs refused, by a referendum, the Vance-Owen Plan.
What has happened? What were the motivations of the Bosnian Serbs? Simply speaking, the plan was unacceptable; "a brutal plan conceived by two blind men", said one Serbian deputy. A plan devised under the consequences of a blood-bath conflicts and which demanded of Serbs what they could not accept: to live in a country that they did not chose.
This rejection of the plan caused the closure of the Serbian-Bosnian border and serious differences erupted between Serbs. But at the same time it brought under the lime-lights two very important things. First of all, the conflict in Bosnia is really a civil war, a spontaneous rebellion of the Bosnian Serbs, and not an aggression of Serbia against Bosnia, which was actually the basis of the OUN Resolution of May 30, 1992 imposing the embargo. There is no equation "Serbs of Bosnia = Serbs of Serbia". Secondly, a people already involved in war does not have much more to lose...
II - From the Vance-Owen Plan to the NATO Ultimatum
The war continued. In May 1993, Security Council adopted Resolution 824. Six security zones around the cities of Tuzla, Bihac, Srebrenica, Sarajevo, Gorazde and Zepa will be protected by the blue helmets. In June, President Cosic was removed from power in Belgrade.
On June 20, 1993 a new meeting in Copenhagen, the Vance-Owen Plan being transformed into Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, which is the same, but with certain modifications, in particular the beginning of abandon of the cantonization idea and a march towards a system of a tripartite federation which will prevail in Dayton.
During this time, in Mostar, mutual killing between Croats and Muslims started. During the negotiations which were taking place under the table, Serbs accepted to cede 20% from 70% of their territory which they controlled, while Muslims were granted 43%. Croats, however, refused to cede their territory.
At the end of August 1993, a new conference was held in Geneva and President Izetbegovic rejected a Bosnia which would be composed of three separate units, and Tudjman refused to grant Muslims free access to the Adriatic Sea. The failure of this conference was admitted on September 1,1993.
On September 20, 1993 a new meeting, at the initiative of Great Britain, on board Her Majesty's ship in the Adriatic Sea. A new failure...
On September 22, 1993, the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan was officially rejected both by Serbs and by Muslims.
End of 1993, Milosevic meets with Tudjman in Geneva and there was the agreement between these two men at the detriment of the Muslims, the idea being that Muslims will have one third of the territory, Croats 17.5% and Serbs 49.1%. Upon the return from this meeting, the elections were held in Belgrade and were won by President Milosevic.
At the beginning of the year 1994, new encounter in Geneva between the three war-faring parties. The Muslims, supported by Washington showed themselves immovable in the negotiations which failed and will resume on February 10,1994.
But at that point the Markale affair erupted, just in time to prevent bringing into life of the agreement concluded in Geneva between Tudjman and Milosevic (49% for Serbs and 51% for the two others, or exactly as in Dayton...). On February 5, 1994 an explosive device fell on the market place Markale in Sarajevo and the television broadcasted again and again the images of 68 corpses covered in blood and almost 200 civilians wounded, screaming in panic and agony. The Serbs were immediately held responsible for this barbaric act.
Before even hearing the results of the investigation, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppe obtained the approval of Elysee and on February 6, 1994 it was decided that all the Serbian armament must be withdrawn outside of the zone of 30 kilometers from Sarajevo, under the penalty of the NATO air strikes.
But this massacre was the act of the Muslims and both French and the American knew it. In his editorial in "Le Nouvel Observateur" from August 31 to September 6, 1995 Jean Daniel, director of this daily with the circulation of over 500,000 copies, writes, with all the calm of this world and without being denied:
"I still remember the first assassination on the central market place, the one that provoked the first NATO air strikes. I have to say this today. I heard successively Edouard Balladur, Francois Leotard, Allain Juppe and two generals very 'responsible' whose confidence I will not betray, tell me that they are convinced that many French, soldiers of the OUN troops, who were killed or wounded in Bosnia, were hit by the Bosnian snipers. And even that the explosive device fired on the central market place was also Bosnian! They caused the massacre of their own people!, I observed with fright. Yes, answered the Prime Minister without hesitation, but they made NATO display its might.
Balladur, just like Alain Juppe, thought that Izetbegovic could be at times 'a provocateur'. Mitterrand, himself, went even further: he gave the right to Bosnian President to provoke."
Jean Daniel did not appear to be particularly shocked by the fact that the highest state authorities were informed of the falsehood regarding Serbs, and have not only concealed it but also supported, and neither by the fact that the entirety of the media accepted to second this action. It is up to everyone personally to assess what is his conception of the role of politicians and of the press in a democracy... In order to give provide with all the elements these revelations of Jean Daniel, let us recall that after the Markale massacre, one journalist of the TF1 Bernard Volker - while only doing his duty - announced in the newsreel of 20 hours that he was in possession of a OUN report testifying that the explosive device was of Muslim origin. He was not only denied, but also reprimended by his TV channel.
The NATO ultimatum to Serbs marks a turning point in the Bosnian war. It also had incalculable consequences for the European balance and the relationship between the United States and Europe. It is the work of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppe, in this post since April 1993 who had a firm will to see the end of this terrible Yugoslav crisis which lasts since the year 1991. He devised a plan in two parts with the key solution in the political settlement.
1. Military pressure on Serbs
2. Political pressure on the Muslims for them to agree, finally, to a negotiated settlement.
Furthermore, a solution which will resemble the Vance-Owen-Stoltenberg Plan - three zones in the midst of a confederation - with the possibility for Serbs and Croats to establish later on a federation with Serbia and Croatia. Mr. Juppe was saying, and justly, that it is not possible to impose on people to live in a country in which they do not wish to live. This will become finally, grosso modo, the scheme of the Dayton Accords.
Only France does not have either military or political means. This is, anyway, the fact ever since the end of the thirties. Thus, from the times when France was bound by the defense agreements with Poland and Czechoslovakia which surmised its projected capacity of force, now it is dug in the holy soil of the Motherland on the Maginot line!
Consequently, Mr. Juppe, in his demarche, thought that it is necessary at all cost to implicate the United States, because they were the only power capable of exercising a determining influence on the Muslims, because they had the military means, and because it is necessary to have, at a given moment, the appropriate OUN decisions in the midst of which they were playing a decisive role. In brief, he could not imagine that the whole affair could be concluded outside of the United States.
The entire affair, unfortunately, took an extraordinary turn.
The first part took place according to the following scenario: threats to Serbs - an ultimatum - final acceptance by Serbs to withdraw their armament, but with an unforeseen element which changed everything: the arrival of the Russians! It was a half-success of the French and a half-success of the Serbs who will be, ultimately, abandoned by those same Russians. The second part, the one of political pressure, gave zero results! The French have no means whatsoever of making pressure and the Americans did not wish to make it. Anyway, they were the ones advising the Muslims not to sign the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and were already thinking of creating a Croat-Muslim federation.
The initiative of Mr. Juppe will end up by placing France in the same situation as at the time of the Suez crisis : Britain and France have thousands of men on the ground, but are incapable of regulating the problems, Russians and Americans intervene and "draw the chestnuts out of the fire".
The arrival of the Russians drew the parallel for the USA, an obligation to take into its own hands the Yugoslav affair. It was not a question of letting the Russians parade along the Adriatic coast. Their strategy will be to block the Russians. Why? Certainly, the Balkans are "useless". There is no petrol there, agriculture is mediocre, industry obsolete, but in the geopolitical game, one should not allow the other one to install himself. It was necessary to prevent the return of Russia to the Balkans (they were absent from there since the year 1914!) which is favored by the Orthodox bloc, which is not a bloc of an diplomatic and military alliance, but a convergence of geopolitical interests between Belgrade, Athens and Bucharest, today enlarged by Cyprus and Bulgaria.
In February 1994, it is the end of the French diplomatic autonomy, the beginning of the Serbian decline and deterioration under the effects of blockade, the growth of power of the Croat-Muslim federation armed by Germany and the United States in violation of the embargo.
All the air forces which were controlling the "Deny Flight" operation passed under the command of Admiral Boorda, Commander of the 6th American Fleet in Naples.
From February 1994 to Dayton
On March 13, 1994 the Americans obliged Croats and Muslims to submit to the Vienna Accord of March 1st, signed in Washington, creating a Croat-Muslim federation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since that date, the Americans will violate the embargo on arms sales to Muslims: they will supply, via Iran and the ex-satellite states of the USSR the arms to Croats who will receive one part (50%) and to Muslims. In the same spirit, the high-ranking American officers will supervise the plans of the two Main Headquarters (revealed by the International Herald Tribune of April 6 and 7,1996).
March and April 1994 will be the months of Gorazde. Serbs will make siege of this city and a new NATO ultimatum will force them to withdraw their armament. On May 13, 1994 in Vienna, a new gathering will be convened to expose the territorial organization of the Croat-Muslim federation: 8 cantons (2 Croat, 4 Muslim and 2 mixed). According to this project, this Federation should dispose with 58% of the territory and not with 51%! Plan was rejected by the Serbs and on July 5, 1994 the Contact Group (The United States, Russia, Germany, France, United Kingdom) will meet in Geneva to adopt the plan for settlement, granting the Croats and Muslims 51% of the territory and 49% to Serbs who were controlling 70%. This plan was approved by the Parliament in Sarajevo on July 18, 1994 and rejected by Pale, in spite of the intervention by Belgrade, which decided on August 4, 1994 to impose an embargo on Serbs in Bosnia. In counter-action, the Security Council adopted the Resolution 943 which eased the economic sanctions imposed on Belgrade since May 30,1992....
On November 11, 1994 the United States decided to no longer participate in the control of the arms sales embargo (and for a good reason!).
By the end of December 1994, Jimmy Carter went to Bosnia, went to Pale, and to the general amazement, declared that the United States were ill informed, that they do not know the other side of the story, etc...and proposes himself as the intermediary for Serbs with the Americans. Several days later, the State Department will disavow Mr. Carter.
The main result of the visit by Mr. Carter is that he obtained from the warring sides a reprieve of 4 months which would allow actually for the Americans to arm the Croats and Muslims.
In April 1995 General Rose left his command post and made disclosures to the press. He told the following (for the Nouvel Observateur, for the French press): that the explosion in the Markale market place was an act of the Muslims, that he went on many occasions to Mr. Izetbegovic to accuse the Muslims of the sniper fire.
Since the end of the cease-fire, on May 1, 1995, the Croat offensive started on Krajina, and was launched in the region of Slavonia without any noticeable protests by the OUN or the super powers. On the contrary, on May 24, 1995 NATO launched a "warning" raid on the ammunition depots near Pale. In reprisal, Serbs bombarded Tuzla, then responded to the second NATO air attack by capturing 400 blue helmets some of which were shown on television, attached to the poles, a true human bondage. This spectacle was unbearable for Jacques Chirac who then adopted a very hard stand towards Serbs. On June 18th there was an exchange of prisoners between Serbs and blue helmets and Jacques Chirac created the Rapid Reaction Force - composed of French and British - as a support for the UNPROFOR in Bosnia.
Alain Juppe pressed the Americans to intervene against Serbs. The operation will take place, as usual, in three acts.
1. August 4-7: Croat attack on Krajina and expulsion of 200,000 Serbs. The Republic of Serbian Krajina has lived its life. Little or no international protests.
2. August 28: Bombardment of the market place Markale - known as Markale II - attributed without any proof and immediately to Bosnian Serbs, with 41 dead and a hundred wounded. In the heat of emotions provoked by televised images;
3. From August 30 to September 14, NATO and the Rapid Reaction Force launched the operation "Deliberate Force" against the Bosnian Serbs. The daily air raids damaged all the communication routes and all the Serbian ammunition depots, as well as a number of civilian structures. At the very moment when the air raids are stopped, the grand-scale Croat-Bosnian offensive starts which allowed, as of September 19th, to the coalition forces to control half of the territory of Bosnia. "Acta est fabula", the piece was played... Since August 30th, Serbs in Bosnia accepted to let Belgrade defend their interests during the negotiations (bearing in mind that on July 25th the International Criminal Tribunal had indicted Mr. Karadzic and Mladic of the genocide and the crime against humanity).
September 26th: Foreign Ministers of Bosnia, Croatia and Yugoslavia, Mr. Mohamed Sacirbey, Mate Granic and Milan Milutinovic, gather in New York, and arrive at an institutional agreement, without regulating the territorial division.
On November 1st started the first Dayton negotiations between Messrs. Milosevic, Tudjman and Izetbegovic, under the direction of Mr. Richard Holbrooke, the United States having demanded and obtained that Mr. Karadzic and Mladic be eliminated from the negotiations.
The Dayton Accords (November 1-21, 1995) are the expression of the highest American hegemony. What is the power of one state if it is not the power to make peace and war, on equal footing as God who gives life and death?
Having fomented and unnecessarily prolonged the war in Bosnia, the Americans, after having re-established through their supply of armament a military equilibrium between Croato-Muslims and Serbs, in order to allow the warring parties to meet - as if by chance - on the battle fronts corresponding to the future alignment of the territorial maps, imposed the peace of Dayton.
Dayton, situated at 40 kilometers from Washington, is a Pax Americana, as the venue - one European war is being terminated in the United States, just like the Jordan-Israeli or Palestinian-Israeli accords - by the manner in which the negotiations some 20 days long were conducted -Europeans are totally kept aside and counted for nothing in the discussions; by the pressure exercised by Bill Clinton, on the last day, in order to force the Serbian, Croat and especially the Muslim delegations to reach an agreement. What are the main points of the Dayton Accords?
1. Bosnia is a single state, with frontiers recognized by the international community.
2. The Bosnian state is composed of two entities: the Croat-Muslim Federation and the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia.
3. The capital Sarajevo will be united.
4. There will be a central government, a parliament, a presidency, etc...
5. The refugees will be allowed to return to their homes.
6. The elections will be held (between June and December 1996)
7. The persons accused of war crimes will be excluded from the political life.
8. The agreement on the ground will be guaranteed by the deployment of 60,000 NATO soldiers, 20,000 of them Americans.
The Dayton Accords do not represent a durable peace. They were signed under coercion. Certain points are not regulated - Eastern Slavonia, Brcko corridor - the others remain fragile - will Serbs and Croats in Bosnia be able to confederate with Serbia and Croatia, while at the same time remaining in the Bosnian state? And some were solved in a scandalous manner. Thus, 70,000 Serbs still present in Sarajevo (their existence is suddenly discovered) have the choice between a suitcase and a coffin. They chose the suitcase. Dayton is peace, but a hasty peace. There is one winner, the Croats, there is one defeated, the Muslims, their is one half-winner, half-defeated, the Serbs.
The Croats gained their independence, erased 5 centuries of the Serbian presence in Krajina, created a Croat republic in Bosnia with Mostar as capital to which they refused reunification with the Muslims. These latter ones, who have suffered the heaviest losses, had to content themselves with a state of a unified facade and whose durability is long from being assured. Serbs lost Krajina, had to give up 15% of the territory which was always theirs in Bosnia (49% instead of 64% according to the cadastre before the war), lived 3 years under a terrible embargo and became moral victims of abominable accusations. Conversely, they did not cede except in the face of coalition NATO forces, disposed with territorial continuity along both banks of Drina river and, an exceptional fact of which they were not aware most of the time, they are living all together in the same region, even if it is not as yet formally a single state. The loss of Krajina, with frontiers were much elongated, paradoxically, now makes possible territorial unity of Serbs.
Detours of the French Politics
During four long years France mobilized many thousands of men and shed blood of dozens of its children in ex-Yugoslavia, and with what result?
1. The reunited Germany extended its influence over Croatia and Slovenia. It is on the way of creating a new economic zone in the Eastern Europe: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
2. To this German "Real Politik", to the resumption of old alliances, to the return to strategic objectives traditional for the Germanic world, to the formation of the third Mitteleuropa, in the face of secular antagonisms, France contented itself by abandoning its own traditional allies - Serbs and Greeks - responded by a stupid angelical humanitarianism, maintained by the inconsistencies and cowardice of its politicians, favored by the treason of its intellectual elite and encouraged, under cover, by the power of money. They shot Mata Hari for less than that!
3. NATO extended the field of its application from its zone to Yugoslavia and 20,000 American soldiers are now camping in the heart of Europe, at the request of France, what made General Bachelet declare "General de Gaulle would never have accepted Dayton Accords". The Americans have their troops in Macedonia and are exercising a determinant influence on the Albanians, Bulgarians and Rumanians. Their garrisons are stationed in Hungary. They can, at any moment, start conflicts - Kosovo, Macedonia, Epirus - in the zone of the South of Europe and justify thus their growing presence. "We are also a European power" declared in February 1996 Richard Holbrooke, Deputy Secretary of State, the craftsman of the Dayton Accords.
4. The Bosnian state can only be a transition - via disintegration of the Croat-Muslim Federation - towards an Islamic fundamentalist state which will become a center of terrorism and drug trafficking, as is already the case, and as France has already experienced, even if this truth is being deliberately concealed from the French.
5. France is no longer a military power. It has neither the doctrine, not the material adapted or a sufficient number and its army is at the present moment submitted to a "reorganization" which is contributing to an even greater disorganization and which is gradually making it totally inoperative.
1 Le Quotidien de Paris, Yugoslavia: Bias and Incoherence of the Twelve.
2 Jacques Merlino, The Yugoslav Truth Is Not All Good To Tell, Edition Albin Michel,
7 January 1993
Calvary Of The Innocents1
"Individual crimes can be forgiven but not participation in a collective crime." M. Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu ("In the Search of Times Lost")
The phenomenon of the embargo constitutes a manifestation of blind and massive human cruelty. It is the most cowardly of all the means of coercion because it does not involve any risk for the states imposing it and is taking revenge on children and aged, on poor and meek, for a policy of which they do not approve.
Resolution 757 of May 30,1992
The Resolution 757 of the United Nations Security Council, adopted on May 30, 1992, imposed a total economic and petroleum embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which at that time consisted only of Serbia and Montenegro. This resolution especially ordered the suspension of the technical, scientific, cultural and sports exchange, suspended the airline traffic and froze Serbian and Montenegrin assets abroad. It will be further reinforced by the Resolution 787 and especially by the Resolution 820 blocking all the road and river transport (except for the medicaments and food products susceptible to derogation), and allowed among others the seizure of the Yugoslav material goods abroad. With these last provisions authorizing up to the violation of the territorial waters. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially cut off from the rest of the world. The only thing that remained for the Yugoslavs, as the links with the exterior world, was private transport, travel by train, mail dispatching only letters and the telephone communications (which were also considered for the cut off in an excess of zeal) For the citizens of this country placed under the blockade, obtaining a visa for travel abroad became a true Calvary. We can assess even better the ferocity of these measures if we recall that Yugoslavia was one of the largest exporters of qualified manpower to the western Europe, a great sports nation of world fame, a country of high university education which gave a large number of scientists and doctors of world reputation, a strategic communication knot linking Danube with the Adriatic and the Aegean Sea, and controlling the main land routes between Europe and the Near East This was beyond any doubt the country of Eastern Europe having the most liberal cultural life and the most intensive one at that.
Therefore, the blockade fell on this country there were it could be hurt the most in the field of its zone of exchange and transit During the three years of isolation, the international community succeeded to a great extent in melting the Serbs into an image which it wished to impose on them from expansive inventive, humorous and pro-western people that they were, many have become through Song hardships the mistrusting troglodytes, sad and ill shaved which is exactly the way ' Serbs were, without variation presented in the press caricature, from Pans to Chicago.
The obstruction of these lungs of the Balkans has evidently spread the asphyxia to the bordering countries Thus, we have seen Hungary, a country historically hostile, protest against the sanctions imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and helping discretely to keep it afloat Not to mention the solidarity shown by Romania, Bulgaria or Greece.
By the end of 1995, the economy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had to support some 1,700,000 persons without jobs, or almost 35% of its active population.
The quasi total stoppage of production in a number of sectors, the generated poverty and the presence of a very burdensome state apparatus, paved the way for an exponential inflation which, in the year 1993, reached the world record, surpassing 20,000% and more It was momentarily erased by the program of monetary recovery initiated by Dr Avramovic in 1994 Nevertheless, this program did not succeed in launching again the production burdened both by the state expenditures as well as by the suspended exports Faced with the task which was imposed on it and which was actually an act of war, the Yugoslav state searched for ways to maintain the normalcy, estimating that perhaps the population should not be alarmed by a misunderstanding that will quickly be lifted Thus it did not institute exception measures - such as the Wahlen plan adopted by Switzerland during the World War Two -and left the gangrene of speculation and the black marketing to develop Counting on the clemency of the powerful, rather than on the faculties of resistance of its own people, it placed itself in a situation of weakness which translated itself in its political and military failure in the year 1995
The Status of Refugees
One chance of Yugoslavia in the midst of its misfortunes, was its abundance of "agricultural production If its population severely suffered from cold for the lack of mazouth the sick for the want of medicaments and equipment it never knew the hunger on a collective level But there was yet another misfortune in its hardships the refugees When the embargo was imposed in May 1992 the Yugoslav civil war was raging for almost one year Before even the first confrontations the first group of 40 000 Serbs from Croatia took refuge in Serbia suspicious of the militant demonstrations of the government in Zagreb At the beginning of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro were already offering shelter to more than 150 000 refugees.
According to the data of the Commissariat for Refugees of the Re public of Serbia the victims of war received in the country since the year 1991 and in this republic are classified as follows.
Before the cleansing of Krajina from its Serbian population by the Croat army under the American supervision in August 1995, the Republic of Serbia hosted 430 000 registered refugees 58% among them or 249 000 persons originated from ex Bosnia-Herzegovina, 37% (or 149 000) from Croatia and 7 6% (32 000) from Slovenia 43% were children and 85% of the adults were women 75% among them were Serbs, 105% declared themselves as Yugoslavs' and there were more than 9 6% of Muslims and 2 3% of Croats.
In mid October 1995 the number of refugees from Krajina, three months after the Croat invasion of this ancient Serbian republic, grew to 212,000 only for Serbia 27% were children under the age of 18, 53% of the adults were women.
In total this figure amounts today to some 650,000 registered refugees of war to which number it should be added the figure of at least 20% of persons not registered all these people at the care of a state under the embargo. In other words, one inhabitant of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia out of ten is the victim of war who has lost all his property and goods and who can count only on the solidarity of the state and population bleeding to death from the blockade. After the first wave of refugees was sheltered with 95% of population - parents, friends, charitable persons - 20% of victims of the ethnic cleansing of Krajina were taken under the care of the Yugoslav state and distributed in over 600 collection centers located throughout the country. According to the official statistics, one person sheltered by the individuals costs 15 dinars per day, or some 3.50 US dollars, while persons taken under care of the state cost the double. Thus, the costs of accommodation of the refugees in the FR of Yugoslavia amounts every month to 69,500,000 dollars. The western humanitarian organizations showed themselves extremely discrete when it was the question of helping this population in distress, practicing in fact ethnic and political preferences of the victims. I say political because 10% of the Muslim refugees in Serbia are also as compromising if not more than their brothers in distress, the Orthodox Serbs.
The Sanctions Committee
It is in the field of health that the sanctions hitting the FR of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Srpska were doubly painfully experienced. Officially, the importation of medicaments and raw materials for pharmaceutics were authorized, with an approval of an anonymous Sanctions Committee with the headquarters in New York. In practice, the situation was completely different. Created through the Resolution 724, this Committee formed by the right of all the Security Council members, had the task to supervise the application of the embargo on the arms sales, decreeted by the Resolution 713. Since the sanctions fell on Serbia, the role of this Committee became quite considerable.
The Committee worked according to the procedure of what was called confidentiality, meaning that its meetings were secret and were opened only to the representatives of the 15 states - or to all persons that the Committee decided to consult on this or that matter. In particular, this meant that Serbia could never explain itself directly and neither defend the grounds for its requests.
The entire application of the sanctions against Serbia derives from the competencies of this Committee. The decisions are made during regular sessions of the Committee and by consensus of all the members; only one single objection, one additional information supplied by one of the Committee members would suffice to refuse or suspend a decision or a request.
Another accelerated procedure especially concerning humanitarian field, consists in the procedure called "no objection": if there are no objections submitted to the Committee, the request is considered as accepted.
The third procedure: notification by the third countries.
The Committee is communicating with the countries submitting to him the requests or asks for clarification regarding the application of sanctions (for example: the question of retirement pensions due to the Yugoslav workers who have returned to their country).
The Committee is piled with work: it receives an average of 24,000 requests per year (for the reason of one request necessary for every subject!) which must be translated and processed in the UN computers, examined if need be, specified with the country which submitted the request.
Then comes the phase of approval: a letter signed by the president of the Committee must be addressed to the requesting delegation, while the approval must be recorded in the computer and sent to the control bodies on the ground, in Serbia. In view of the fact that all the approvals are of a limited validity, that there are too much requests in proportion with the staff engaged in New York, it may be concluded that the delay in approval for even the merchandize without theoretical problems, is being endlessly prolonged.
Health Care Problems
These interminable delays imposed by the Committee are detrimental for the humanitarian aid and the humanitarian organizations, which are often supplying medicaments close to the date of their expiry. The raw materials have become too costly for a country without hard currency. Hospital equipment is falling in ruins and can not be replaced.
Only a few months ago, a patient could not be operated upon in Serbia if he could not pay for his operation. In some cases, and especially in the year 1993, hospitals asked the patients to bring their own anesthetics and surgical thread. The general state of health care of the population has experienced a global fall which is especially expressed by these facts:
- increase of 141% of death rate from contagious diseases
- extreme surge of a large number of diseases
- increase of 20% of cases of suicide
- fall of the fertility rate of women, which dropped from 3.37% in 1980 to 2.08% in 1992.
By making obstacles to medical supplies, the international community acted with disrespect one of the most sacred traditions of medicine and principles of the international humanitarian law. It violates the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 23) stipulating that in spite of an economic embargo, the supply of medicaments needed for mothers and children under the age of 15 must be free. (Protocol signed in 1977 also specifies that the essential humanitarian needs will be supplied to the inhabitants of a country under the embargo if their survival is threatened). The association of Yugoslav physicians, a fact without precedent, was excluded from the international medical associations. Researchers working at foreign universities were sent back to their country.
In an appeal to the world public, sent on April 7, 1995, the medical workers and doctors of Yugoslavia wrote the following:
"We are experiencing a brutal fall of the birth rate, of natural growth of population and, for the first time over the past 50 years, a progression of infant mortality. Only in the period 1990 to 1993 the number of births has diminished for 24,000 while 10,000 infant deaths were recorded, which is explained by the resurgence of the diseases which for decades did not cause victims either in our country or in the world; the intestinal diseases, tuberculosis, etc. The epidemiological situation is dramatic regarding the contagious diseases. The pandemics and endemics which have been eradicated are now reappearing." All these facts were very well known to those who had imposed the sanctions and who had the power to lift them. In March 1993, while addressing the European Parliament, Mr. Dobrica Cosic, a great writer and president at that time of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, amply evoked the ravages of the embargo. He said the following:
"Thousands of urgent surgeries are being postponed since the summer of 1991, the sick being in mortal danger... tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are become epidemics... all our appeals aimed at importation of medical material... have remained without response..."
The Cultural Embargo
By imposing the blockade on the cultural and sports exchange, the OUN have directly violated the fundamental article of one of its own bodies, of the UNESCO, guaranteeing the freedom of movement to persons and ideas. Persons, however, were destined to stay through the fall of their revenues and impossibility to obtain the visas; while the ideas, to be circulated through the support in books, magazines, films or discs, were circumvented because this support was considered by the OUN to be merchandize! Thus the cultural exchange between Yugoslavia and the world, was de facto broken: thanks to an absurd logic of the world bureaucracy, the only "cultural" items allowed to penetrate the stronghold of resolutions, were the propaganda brochures distributed free of charge by the religious sects or some foreign officials. Only a few foreign publishers dared take the adventure, at a colossal risk; of attending the Book Fair in Belgrade. The theatrical troops and orchestras had their engagements abroad canceled. In different countries, and especially and unfortunately, in France, the teaching of Serbo-Croat language was instantly abolished in schools.
Why This Embargo?
This embargo, whose catastrophic aspects we have just seen, was decided upon and imposed in the name of democracy and justice, by an institution which is boasting of insuring peace and harmony on the planet. All the absurdity and injustice of this measure become even more outstanding if the circumstances are known which have led to it.
The embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was decreeted three days after the massacre on May 27th in front of a bakery in Sarajevo, which will serve as an emotional argument for an undefendable political decision. Not unlike what followed after the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914, Serbia was accused, before any investigation, of the deed for which it was not responsible. In his book "Peacekeeper", the Canadian General Lewis Mac Kenzie, who was at that time the Commander of the UNPROFOR, tells how was this operation mounted and filmed by the Bosnians in order to gain the world public opinion' sympathy in support of their cause. Like in the case of two massacres at the Markale market place, the establishment of truth did not have any effect on the designation of the guilty.
This embargo had for motive the "aggression" allegedly conducted by the FR of Yugoslavia in the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Which "aggression" was translated by the presence on the Bosnian soil of an army which, only a day ago, was their own and on their own ground.
Conversely, the Republic of Croatia which maintained since the very beginning of the conflict its important regular forces in the territory of that same state, never had to answer for an "aggression" which it exercised in the territory of one member state of the United Nations, and which resulted especially in an almost complete destruction of the city of Mostar, a jewel of the medieval architecture.
After only a few months, maintaining of the United Nations embargo no longer responded to the criteria which have governed its imposition. It was necessary to invent some other ones. They linked the sanctions on Yugoslavia to the question of the war crimes, which was not applied in Somalia, Iraq or Panama. In spite of the hundreds of thousands of refugees which it sheltered, they persisted in accusing only the Serbian states of the practice of ethnic cleansing, which they tried to "prove" by falsified or insignificant documents. Since the very beginning, the civil war in Bosnia was dotted with massacres of civilians, as opportune as suspect, and renewed punishment always directed at only one side in conflict. Tied by the part taken and imposed from the beginning by the massive engagement of the Americans in favor of the Islamic faction in Sarajevo, the international instances multiplied unrealistic peace plans and prolonged in that way the suffering of the population. In order not to be forced to admit their initial errors, the westerners and their allies persevered in the same direction, up to the point where it became necessary for them to invent an "enemy" of such viciousness which will surpass and justify their inability. The cruelty of punishment to which the Serbian people was submitted is proportional to the irresponsibility of the great powers which are today ruling the world.
1 This text was drafted by Slobodan Despot, in the collaboration of the author, and presented by Mr. Despot at the seminar "Economic Embargo, Calvary of the Innocents", held at the National Assembly on February 12, 1996 under the chairmanship of Mr. Jean Marc
Justice In The Service Of Politics "Per Fas Et Nefas"
For the Just and Unjust
The Origin of the International Criminal Tribunal
This tribunal is clearly a reflection of the one constituted on August 8, 1945 in London, the International Military Criminal Tribunal, which was to try the accused of Nuremberg, the great criminals of Nazi Germany during a process which will start on November 19, 1945. This trial, contrary to what has often been said, was not a "vade victis" - misfortune for the vanquished - an expression of law of the victors judging the vanquished, even if the Tribunal itself was retroactive, which is always possible in the criminal law. The law which was applied was the law of people, a tradition going back to the 16th century, common to all the civilized nations and especially expressed in The Hague Convention of the end of the 19th century, the Geneva Convention of the beginning of the 20th century, in the great international accords and around the League of Nations on the eve of the war. Furthermore, the Tribunal, at the objection of retroactivity, responded on October 1, 1946 in its ruling as follows: "The Statue of August 8, 1945 does not constitute an arbitrary exercise of supremacy by the victorious nations. It is expressing the International Law in force at the moment of its creation; it contributes, by this fact, to the development of the law."
After the Nuremberg Trial, a true manifestation of a universal conscience and the first penal demonstration of this conscience, it was subjected to the study by the United Nations, of the very problem of the International Penal Code, since then clearly pre-existent. The OUN created in November 1947 a commission on international law which will formulate what will be known since as "the Nuremberg law", meaning the principal issues of this decision of the Tribunal, but at the same time a written expression of a tradition two centuries long. This law establishes the principle that no one can escape responsibility by executing a superior order, and that this may be an attenuating circumstance but not an excuse for acquittal. At the same time, the great principles of the International Criminal Law were made, meaning the qualification of the war crime, crime against peace and this new formula of the crime against humanity which in reality soon encompassed them all.
Then followed the Convention against genocide which will be recognized by all the countries of the world. The word genocide is anyway a new word, born out of a Latin word and a Greek word "genos sedere", in 1947, for translating the crimes defined by Andre Frossart before the Court of Assisi in Lyon during the trial of Klaus Barbie: "There is a crime against humanity when someone is killed on the only pretext of having been born into the world."
The Convention against genocide was adopted and it was imagined that a creation of a jurisdiction will follow in order to apply this law. Already before the war, international jurists have asked for an "International Penal Code" and it appeared evident that this jurisdiction will create a jurisprudence, which will be precedent and according to which it will be a jurisdiction of ephemeral exception. In effect, since the year 1950, the successive projects will be prepared, submitted to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, but never be finalized in a resolution. The latest report, the eleventh one, was submitted on March 1993. It comprised the draft statute of an International Criminal Court. This project was never adopted until this day... There is, as we have already seen in Korea, as we have seen again in Kuwait, an international policeman, but there is no international judge. There is an international force, but there is no international law applicable by one jurisdiction.
It is under such conditions that ensued the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
The Tribunal of Exceptions
In March 1993 there was the last report concerning the creation of an International Criminal Tribunal to follow the events. Two months after what constitutes the conclusion of its inability of practically fifty years to create an international jurisdiction, the Security Council and not the United Nations General Assembly, creates a jurisdiction by its Resolution 827 of May 25, 1993, based on Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, constituted in a very determined manner - what is called an ad hoc tribunal - and which corresponds to the definition of a tribunal of exceptions since it is constituted after the events for judging the events on completely provisional title and to disappear after them. Resolution 827 reads as follows: "for the sole purpose of judging persons responsible for grave violations of humanitarian law, committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia". There is a humanitarian law, there is even a bloc of humanitarian law: the Geneva convention. The Hague Convention, the Convention on Genocide, the European Convention on the Rights of Man, International Convention on the Rights of Man, international Convention on exemption from the statute of limitation for the crimes against humanity, etc... all this constitutes a law. Therefore, since it was impossible to establish a judge for so many crimes, and especially for the crime of crimes, meaning genocide in Cambodia (4 million dead!), they created a jurisdiction which was not adopted by a conventional inter-governmental manner, meaning through the negotiations between the states preceding a vote at the OUN General Assembly.
The Security Council which stated the inability of the General Assembly, will not adopt diplomatic ways, beyond any doubt because it was aware that that would take too long, and decided to apply a particular procedure: instead of drawing consequences from the Geneva Convention, Convention of The Hague and that on genocide, the Statute of the Tribunal, it preferred to constitute on the sole grounds of power invested in it by the Charter, by an interpretation which otherwise could be annulled by the General Assembly, a jurisdiction. Article 38 of Chapter VII gives to the Security Council the powers to undertake measures: "for maintaining or reestablishing peace and international security". Article 41 of the same Chapter VII indicates that it may undertake measures of coercion and that among these measures is also the use of armed force. (Resolution 687 concerning Kuwait), and since it is allowed to intervene with armed forces, it can also create a tribunal. This decision is not grounded because it was never foreseen for a tribunal to be "a coercive measure"! On the contrary, it is a measure of pacification! (it speaks of the "justice of peace"). It will also be founded on Article 29 which reads that the Security Council may create subsidiary bodies if it deems so necessary to exercise its functions. The ad hoc tribunal is thus, a subsidiary body! In consequence, it is a jurisdiction with its competencies limited "ratione loci" to the former Yugoslavia and "ratione temporis" to the facts posterior to the date of May 25, 1993 (in reality to the facts dating back to the year 1991).
Such an organizing of a tribunal will end up in a jurisdiction which applies the international humanitarian law, but can also conclude that this law was accepted and adopted by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia where Serbia is considered entity of continuation (?). Consequently, Serbs are not right in saying that it is a retroactive law since they have accepted that law. They are the international norms which, this time, pre-exist to the jurisdiction having the seat in The Hague.
A Political Tribunal?
The Tribunal is composed of judges appointed by the Security Council, installed on November 17, 1993 and representing, more or less, the great judicial systems which are at present in force.
After the Nuremberg Tribunal, an eruption limited and ephemeral of the ethics in the domain of the nation-states, which was not a precedent, which did not create a jurisprudence and which is, as a consequence, a jurisdiction of exception, the Security Council, by creating the International Criminal Tribunal, created a jurisdiction in the lack of an international criminal justice.
Therefore, this is a Tribunal "by the lack", of an exceptional jurisdiction and this fundamentally spoils the International Criminal Tribunal.
It is not the peoples on whom the criminal acts were committed that will judge the war criminals, it is the powerful International Organization which will judge other crimes and judge only them, which is striking this jurisdiction with a "congenital weakness", and one wonders whether it will be able to overcome it, which further leads to following question: the International Criminal Tribunal of The Hague, a subsidiary body of the Security Council, of exceptional jurisdiction, is it not a political tool"?
Justice in the Service of Politics
Five elements, among the others, have transformed The Hague Tribunal into a "political machine".
1. Nuremberg Tribunal judged the crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But The Hague Tribunal is not judging the crimes against peace, because this would implicate a general competence regarding all the countries and citizens of these countries, especially those who have pushed towards the war and who have financed it. Bearing in mind that disintegration of Yugoslavia is due, in one part, to the foreign interference, especially German and American, an extension of competencies of the Tribunal to the crimes against peace would arrive at indictment also of the leaders of this world.
2. The Hague Tribunal is a means of political pressure on Serbs and on them alone. The Dayton Accords prescribe that it is impossible for persons indicted by the Tribunal to perform political functions in the new Bosnia, which allows for elimination of Mr. Karadzic and Mladic. The Hague Tribunal is not judging "by contumacy", which means that for as long as the wanted person for war crimes is not arrested, he can not be tried, and consequently, if the Serbian leaders in Bosnia prove the "political comprehension", it may happen that they are never arrested and that pressures exercised on Belgrade to that effect will diminish.
3. Certain facts are "over-qualified". Thus, Milan Martic, President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, is the indicted for having fired four rockets on Zagreb causing death of five civilians. On April 14, 1996, during the Israeli operation "Grapes of Wrath" in the South Lebanon, an Israeli missile fell on an ambulance killing six persons, of them four children. On April 18 an Israeli bomber aircraft fired a missile on a house in the suburbs of Nabatiya some 75 kilometers from Beyrouth, annihilating 11 members of the same family, among them a small girl three days old! In 8 days, Hezbollah fired hundreds of rockets on North Israel, especially on Kiriat Shmona, aiming and firing only at civilian objects in that city whose half of the population is living in underground shelters, and the other half has abandoned their homes. Will the responsible for these acts be surrendered to the tribunal? President Tudjman ordered fire of 1,500 shells on Knin on August 4,1995. When will he be indicted by The Hague Tribunal??
4. Certain facts are "under-qualified" and do not entail indictment. Thus, in August 1995, 200,000 Serbian civilians were chased out of Krajina, by the attack of the Croat troops with the aim admitted to oblige Serbs to leave the territories where they were rooted for 5 centuries. But, the fact of emptying a territory from its civilian population was judged by the Nuremberg Tribunal as a war crime. Thus, Marshal Von Manstein, commander of the East Front was condemned to 18 years of prison for having, during his retreat at the end of 1943, forced 180,000 Russian civilians to follow the German army.
5. Selectivity of indicted persons. In mid-November 1995, 52 persons, of them 45 Serbs, were indicted. When one knows the hardships of combats and savagery prevailing in all civil wars, when one knows that in Bosnia the war involves three communities, at times allies, at times enemies, as far as Croats and Muslims are concerned; it is perplexing to see that the other 7 accused are the Croats from Bosnia indicted for massacre of Muslim civilians! No indictment against Muslims for the war crimes. Therefore, there are bad Serbs, gentle Muslims and more or less correct Croats. Becoming aware of the effect that it produced, the Tribunal started, drop by drop, indicting some Muslims and a bit of Croats at the beginning of the year 1996.
The international criminal justice is always reserved for the others!
Of Identity and of Religion
"Conflicts of identity have become for a long time now an aggravating factor of world instability and are the source of great violence"
Civil wars in former Yugoslavia are the conflicts of identity1 followed by the religious ones. What is a conflict of identity?
In the introduction of his book on "conflicts of identity", Francois Thual underlines:
"There are conflicts of identity when either a real or imagined survival of the given group is in question, when this group feels itself dispossessed of a territory or of its own territory, but more seriously when it is dispossessed of its right to live, of its identity and of its specificity."
And he adds:
"The main difference in the genesis of a conflict of identity and the other conflicts of a classic type concerning a national or a religious, consists in the fact that the identity conflict is based on an 'existential fear'. The fear that the very substance, the very identity of the group, menaced more or less phantasmagorically, will end up is disappearance.... From the geopolitical point of view, there is a conflict of identity when there is certainty, that one or more groups have agreed, more or less secretly, to suppress the group to which the individual belongs...
...The conflicts of identity are the conflicts of survival of the group, and not only of its material survival, but before all of its cultural and psychological survival. Their tenacity finds its origin in this specificity, when an individual, the group and society enter in communion at the occasion of defending precisely the specificity which units them."
Today we are witnessing the emergence of a new race of conflicts, different from those that we have known in the past: the conflicts of identity. There are conflicts of identity in our times, not only because there is a re-assessment of the national identity, but because the media are allowed with every citizen, in every family, and every evening, to recall the past, to re-consolidate the Nation and if need be to "hysterize" it. It is necessary to recognize that these phenomena of identity intervene amply in the political decisions and neither the diplomacy nor the OUN or NATO can master this type of phenomena or regulate fundamentally the problems. In its national version, Serbian identity is nurtured on the massacres to which it was subjected during the Ottoman axe, then on the ones during the liberation wars of Serbs in Bosnia, on the terrible losses suffered during the first world conflict, on the Ustashi genocide from 1941-1945, on the ocultation of Serbia under Tito. The most secret of secret identity pulsations of Serbs is the idea that Serbia is suffering because it is the defender of a certain truth which transcends it and that this truth, equal to the divine message to the Jewish people, can not be experienced except in solitude - we have no friends - and are in the midst of our enemy coalition - USA, Germany, Italy, Hungary - reinforced by the satanic conspiracy, because against nature, what does it represent this alliance between the Muslim sabre and the Catholic aspergillus.
The Croat identity functions as a three-speed engine. In the first gear, there exists perfect understanding, a golden age, the Holy Russia, the first Muslim state in Medina, the reign of King Solomon, the Indians of the New World before Christopher Columbus, Japan before the arrival of Commodore Perry, China of Confucius, etc... It is a source of an eternal essential species. For Croatia this period corresponds to the times of the first Croat kings reigning over Croatia, Dalmatia and one part of Bosnia. The break happened in 1102 when the Croat crown fell into the hands of the King of Hungary. In the second gear, a perturbing element appeared which will become a religious rival - Serbs in Krajina, etc... who will disrupt the intemporal march of this community. Consequently, the third gear should be a re-integration, restoration of the Golden Age, of the primitive state. Therefore, it is up to the community to liberate itself through the destruction of those who are a menace. This will be the genocide of the year 1941, annihilation of Krajina in 1995, "ethnic cleansing" which will be aimed at Serbs and Muslims, especially in Herzegovina. This is actually the problem of Mostar divided between Croats and Muslims; Serbs having already been expelled from the city.
In these identities in three gears, there is narcism of the group, certainty of the groups' superiority, and the fear of disappearance which leads into making the others disappear.
The Croat identity can not for long accommodate itself to the existing situation in the Croat-Muslim Federation in Bosnia, which is condemned to disappearance.
Is there an identity of the Bosnian Muslim? There are ground for doubt. A Muslim from Bosnia has always wanted to be called a "Turk". But he is neither a Turk and even less an Arab. Therefore, he can not attach himself to an identity. "Islam and Arabism". The war having been an accelerating factor to the national process, the Bosnian tragedy has certainly done more over three years in the sense of creating a national Bosniac feeling than did the five centuries of religious specificities. The war as an embryo of nation is also the cause and explanation of the Bosnian conflict.
Off the Religious
How is the religion functioning in this regional crisis which is at the same time an international crisis?
The wars in Croatia and Bosnia are not religious wars. They are the national wars, of the dissolution of frontiers, the wars of identity, where the religion intervenes as legitimation from one unto the other.
Serbs have no intention of converting Croats into Orthodoxy and if the Croats tried to convert Serbs during World War Two, this is certainly not the case today.
Consequently, the religion is following on the battle fields at the same time as legitimation of identity -1 am Serb therefore I am Orthodox, I am Croat, therefore I am Catholic - and touches up to the extent to which the religion allows to affirm that this is the fight for truth and not only for Serbia, Croatia or Bosnia - thus also the presence of mujahedins on the Muslim side. The game is surpassing a political quarrel or a purely national one in the Alsace-Lorraine style. This is the play for the truth of the Catholic world, for the Orthodox one and for the Muslim one.
In this war of identity with religious references, what is the attitude that the parties involved take in respect to the religion?
The Serbian Orthodox Church has a much more moderate attitude than the Serbian nationalistic ideologies. There are, however, men of the cloth who are certainly not opposed to the Serbian nationalism, but who are refusing violence. The Orthodox hierarchy is stricto-sensu trying to lead a policy of moderation but it is not always listened to. One should not make "fusion amalgams" - nationalism = religion - the two sides, both Orthodox and Catholic.
Serbs are rather less susceptible to religion in the sense of practice and religious piety, but it is the people for which any reference to the Orthodox religion is extremely powerful, for historical reasons since the Battle of Kosovo and the Ottoman occupation.
It is not a question here of Serbs defending the Holy Orthodoxy, but an identity reflex was created here - I am Serb thus an Orthodox, I am an Orthodox, thus a Serb - doubled by the martyr mythology: all the world inflicts me pain because I am an Orthodox.
In the identity conflict there is always the process of victimization which is making legitimate all the violence. The religions are trapped and for many in their membership, they are delighted at being trapped...
Regarding the Vatican, the situation is very complex. In the first times, paradoxically, Vatican was opposed - for several months only - at the beginning, to the disintegration of Yugoslavia and attempted to slow down the fervor of Mr. Tudjman. The reason was very simple: Vatican understood very well that a disintegration of Yugoslavia will cause the appearance of a Muslim state at some 100 kilometers from the Italian coast, the state called upon to become the spear-head of all the conflicts in the Middle East and of all the integrism.
What is the policy of Vatican in the Balkans? Much more complex than one could imagine! It is founded on three principles:
- First of all, the Vatican diplomacy is expected to defend the Catholic community but without seeing the re-creation, as was the case during World War Two, of a new identification Croato-Catholic, and it was searching for some distance in the relations with the extremist Croat nationalists.
- Furthermore, Vatican favors maintaining of a certain ecumenical dialogue - in the long-term - and wishes to avoid taking geopolitical positions which may prevent for one or two centuries all possibilities of the dialogue with the Orthodox world.
- Finally, if the pressure of Islam is to continue to increase on Europe, during one or two generations, it will be necessary to make an appeal, like it was done in the past, to the barrier of Orthodoxy...
Thus, it is a question of a policy which, in its immediate position is simple in appearance - defense of Catholicism as an political and geo-religious identity - but, at the same time, this defense is modulated by an idea that it is necessary to maintain an Orthodox world for the reasons of an Islamic pressure and especially the conflicts of identity which are erupting everywhere where Islam is in contact with the non-Islamic world.
This prudence vis a vis the Orthodoxy does not mean that Vatican will accept - and we have already seen this happen - an Orthodox domination over Catholicism. But the game is subtle. The greatest force of the Vatican diplomacy is its capacity for differentiating the conjunctual from the structural, the immediate from the long-term.
Therefore, it is necessary to differentiate to a certain degree, the Catholic Church of Croatia from the Vatican. It is not certain that Vatican has always found the Croat Church to have politically well acted. Vatican was placed in a wrong planetary image and on a long-term basis by the actions of this Croat Church. Vatican was embarrassed in its dialectics of the particular and of the universal by the confusion between the Croat Church and the nationalistic Croat circles. That the Croat leaders were making mistakes in the past is quite certain. That the Vatican considered this as well concordant with its long-term policy is more than doubtful. The aim of the Catholic Church is not the defense of Croatia, it is Catholization of the world! The attitude of the Pope in July 1995, during the Srebrenica affair, is explained by his policy of non-confrontation with Islam and his silence in August 1995 at the moment of the invasion on Krajina is a simple application of the old political principle: "I am their chief, thus I follow them...". It is difficult for the Pope to reprimand the Croats and tell them that they are going too far. Vatican, vis a vis Croatia has the following policy:
1. To mould the Croat nationalism.
2. To avoid that it becomes embarrassing and a handicap for the overall Vatican diplomacy.
3. To close its eyes from time to time to the developments. Therefore, these are the principles of the tactical guidance which is not very easy to maintain in a dialectics which is at the same time a long-term and a short-term one, which is, at that, both particular and universal. Thus, there are the twilight zones and frictions which are difficult to perceive and, as Leibnitz has said: "What is the tragedy of men in comparison with a myriad of angels?"
Islam and Catholicism
The only combat which actually exists at the level of Churches is that of the destiny of humanity. This fight is taking place between Islam and Catholicism because, religiously speaking, the Jews do not have a vocation for universality (there are 12 million Jews in the world in reject to 5 billion other people), even if the Catholic religion and Islam are the "descendants" of Judaism and if the Christian societies and the Muslims have made their own a certain number of values from Judaism.
Vatican has perfectly understood that here is little to hope for from Europe, from the North America, from western societies in general, attacked by gangrene of materialism, and that it is in the Third World, the most densely populated one, that its future is at play.
Vatican is convinced that once the fall of communism is consummated, there remains only one danger, less ideological, but much more stronger: Islam, and that this danger is that much more serious that it is more difficult to discern, for the reason of multiplicity of the forms of Islam and its decision-making centers. Islam is dangerous because it does not have a monolithic bloc in the style of the 3rd International.
What can be the attitude of Vatican in the face of rise of Islam? Certainly not a confrontation. Islam is an emerging phenomenon which is here for a long time and which is day by day being reinforced by the increasing poverty of the world and a demographic explosion in the regions the most afflicted by disease, hunger and social injustice. It is not a question of taming a new Crusader or of making speeches which will deny specificities of Islam. The Vatican policy is founded on a dialogue, on non-aggression, on the reference to the sons of Abraham.
This does not mean that there are no problems, far from that, and for the reasons of the very nature of Islam. What are the "problematic frontiers" of Islam? All over Europe, Africa and Asia there are to be found the frontier zones of Islam, with two different geopolitical situations: either a non-Muslim majority is dominant over a Muslim minority, or a Muslim majority is dominant over a non-Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and other minority. And certainly everywhere there are conflicting situation, an explosion of Islam at the very moment when it enters into contact with non-Islam, because it can not stand the difference. It is the war of Dar al Islam against the Dar al Harb. If we are to have a look at a map of the Islamic world, we will see that there is almost a dozen binary conflicts and this number is increasing.
Islam will lead between 1.5 and 2 billion of its faithful into the year 2020 and Vatican can not manage its relations with Islam through a holy war or through a strong confrontation, but this balance is to be looked for the sphere of the religious, meaning through references to the sons of Abraham. In a certain fashion, the Croat-Muslim confederation is on the right path of this long-term policy of Vatican, but in total opposition to the political will and deliberations of Mr. Tudjman for re-attaching Croat territories in Bosnia to Croatia, and thus realizing "the Croat dream" of the reunion of territories of the Croat Golden Age before the year 1102, and is also in a profound contradiction with the Islamic convictions of Mr. Izetbegovic such as are described in his "Islamic Declaration"
1 Francois Thual, "Conflicts of Identity", Edition Ellipses.
"They are killing an entire people, yes? In Europe. Are there any witnesses?
A witness is the entire world. The governments, do they not see it? No."
Victor Hugo, August 30, 1876, An Appeal for Serbia.
Krajina is not a territory occupied or annexed by Serbs since the year 1991. Krajina is a Serbian land since the 9th century. Nevertheless, the Croat state of Franjo Tudjman, worthy successor of the Independent State of Croatia of Ante Pavelic, succeeded in almost totally emptying of its Serbian population this territory which should have figured among the human heritage of the world, such is its great originality and which should have thus be protected.
Krajina, it is a land in collective memory of Europeans which has disappeared. Practically, nothing is left, no more traces of its existence over many centuries, of its culture, of its destroyed monuments, of the houses burnt-down, of its people assassinated and exiled.
What Is Krajina?
Since the year 822, the "Annals" of Einhard indicate a Serbian presence in the lands West of the Drina river, in Dalmatia and in the present-day Krajina In mid-14th century, the Turkish invasion started in the Balkans. The Battle at Kosovo Polje on June 28, 1389 marks the beginning of Turkish conquests of the Serbian medieval kingdom which will be totally completed in 1459. In the year 1463 Mehmed captured Jajce, capital of Bosnia and in 1526 Turks defeated Hungarians at the Battle of Mohac and occupied a large part of Hungary. The Turks will try to conserve and enlarge their conquests (their power stretched up to Vienna) and the Austro-Hungarians will strive to stop them and push them away. This conflict will last for almost 4 centuries and the Serbs will form a fortress of the western Christian world in the face of the Ottoman Empire.
Since the year 1102 the Kingdom of Croatia was re-attached to the crown of Hungary, and for the defence of the southern frontier of Croatia, almost 200,000 Serbs were deployed, who had escaped from Kosovo, and have already populated this area in the middle of the 15th century, the land that will become the Krajina. The constant and fierce combats against Turks left the lands devastated and without inhabitant. This deserted zone was called "nicija zemlja", or "the no-man's-land".
On December 1522 the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was entrusted with the defense of the frontiers of the south of Croatia, meaning the ones separating it with Bosnia. He decided to implant there the Serbian peasants originating from Kosovo and the South of Serbia. They obtained the land, were exempted from taxes and enjoyed a certain autonomy. In exchange, they were to secure the frontiers of the Austrian Empire and could be mobilized at any moment. This was a system of peasants-soldiers which was extremely efficient and not costly. All the men aged over 18 were retained in the service. In the case of attack, the disposition of the defense had to be placed in operation within 2 to 3 hours. This was a modern Sparta. This tampon zone, this "Roman Limes", will last until the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1878. The military regiments will be dissolved in 1881. Serbs, during 4 centuries, were composing almost half of the forces of the Austro-Hungarian army and protected the Empire against Turks.
The Independent State of Croatia
In 1878 the Turkish threat definitely disappeared and the Serbs in Krajina became unnecessary for the Austro-Hungarian Empire and even represented a certain danger in the confrontation with Serbia. The Catholic Church was against the Orthodox presence in Croatia and Serbs were jealous of their privileged status which they enjoyed in return for the "blood tax" which they have always given.
The Croats considered that they had historical rights in Croatia, which implied that they were the only ones allowed to live there. This theory is expressed in the slogans such as : "In Croatia there is no political people other than the Croat people", or "The Croat state rights mean a Croat territory inhabited exclusively by the political Croat people".
Ante Starcevic (1823-1896) called "the father of the Croat nation" was the first one to promote the anti-Serbian racism and to call - well before Hitler - to genocide. In his view, the Serbs were "a race of slaves, more base than beasts", and that for them, the only solution was "an axe to the neck". At the end of his life, Starcevic founded together with Joseph Frank the "Party of the Pure Right". His theories will be applied with an unimaginable savagery by the Ustashas under the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), instaured under the protection of the Third Reich on April 10,1941 in Zagreb.
On April 30, 1941 the "Judicial rules for the protection of the Aryan blood and the honor of the Croat people" were proclaimed. This document stipulates that "marriage with a Jew or persons who are not of the Aryan origin are prohibited". All Serbs had to wear on their sleeve a blue ribbon and a letter P, the first letter of the word Pravoslavac, meaning Orthodox. On their side, Jews found themselves imposed with wearing the star of David. In all the coffee shops, stores, busses, administration, there were writings: "Entry prohibited to Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and dogs." One third of the Serbian population had to escape, one third to convert and one third - 700,000 Serbs together with 35,000 Jews and 25,000 Gypsies - were assassinated in the death camps, of which the most notorious one is, let us recall, Jasenovac, where in the opinion of all the historians, a minimum of 300,000 persons have found their death, the figure brought down to only a few thousands by Mr. Tudjman in his book "The Wastelands of Historical Reality".
The Republic of Krajina
In May 1989 Franjo Tudjman founded the HDZ, the Croat Democratic Union and immediately took over the themes defended by the creator of the Party of Croat Right Ante Starcevic and Eugene Kvaternik in 1861, continued by Joseph Frank and the Party of Pure Right, brought to life by Ante Pavelic in the Independent State of Croatia. Since the first congress of the HDZ, Tudjman declared: "The state of Pavelic is not only the fruit of the war allies, but also an expression of the secular aspirations of the Croat people". He aspired to the creation of "The Greater Croatia within its ethnic and historical borders" (Croatia and part of Bosnia), and declared being "lucky that his wife is neither Serbian nor Jewish", justifying historically the Croat revisionism in his book "The Wastelands of Historical Reality". As soon as he was elected President of Croatia on May 30, 1990, he undertook the political, economic and cultural marginalization of Serbs through an entire series of measures already mentioned, and which were aimed at intimidating Serbs and provoking in them the "identity reflexes". On December 22, 1990 the Croat Constitution was amended: "Croatia is the state of Croats" (Article 1) and 600,000 Serbs in Croatia became a national minority (see the chapter on Badinter Commission).
The first confrontations took place in March 1991. On May 19,1991 a referendum on independence was boycotted by Serbs. This independence was proclaimed on June 25, 1991 and came into effect on October 8,1991.
Croatia will be recognized on December 23,1991 by Germany (with coming into force on January 15, 1991) and on January 13, 1992 by the Vatican, and finally on January 15, 1992 by the Twelve, April 7, 1992 by the United States and will be admitted to the OUN on May 22, 1992 and the Council of Europe at the end of April 1996.
During the summer of 1991, 350,000 Serbs escaped from Croatia and 12,000 found refuge in Krajina. On December 19, 1991 Krajina made a secession and on February 21, 1992 the OUN Security Council adopted the Resolution 743 on the deployment of 14,000 blue helmets in Krajina.
On June 20, 1993 Serbs in Krajina pronounced by referendum their union with Serbia; on September 27, 1993 the Muslim leader Fikret Abdic, ally of the Serbs in Krajina, proclaimed autonomy of the Bihac pocket and entered into an open rebellion against the government in Sarajevo.
The Bihac pocket - 200,000 persons, of them 80% Muslims - were attacked on August 22, 1994 by the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Army entirely equipped with the assault guns M 16 of the American manufacture and 40,000 Muslims took refuge in Serbian Krajina.
Early in January 1995 Franjo Tudjman demanded the departure of the blue helmets from Croatia by the end of March, in order to finally accept their presence.
On March 1, 1995 the Croat Army, totally equipped by Germany, invaded Western Slavonia. According to the Institute for Geopolitical and Armament Studies, the "Jane's information Group", Germany exported from January 1992 to April 1994 more than 300 million US dollars' worth of military material. The arms trafficking will reach its summit in 1995, the year of annihilation of Krajina. Germany supplied, from the arms stocks of the ex-communist countries, also attack helicopters MI 24, the MIG 29 aircraft, vehicles T 55 and T 72. The assault riffles G 3, missiles Milan and armored Fuchs cars actually in the service of the German army were also the part of equipment of the Croat army.
In fact, almost 20,000 Serbs were forced to escape from Slavonia. On July 22, 1995 in Split Alija Izetbegovic and Franjo Tudjman signed an agreement uniting Croat and Muslim armed forces in the presence of Peter Galbraith, the American Ambassador in Zagreb.
The third and the last act of this tragedy, the August 4, 1995, 120,000 Croat soldiers supported by heavy artillery - 1,500 mortar missiles launched on Knin - aviation - the MIG 21 aircrafts - attacked Krajina. In 48 hours everything was settled. 200,000 Serbs took the road of exile. The total number of Serbs chased away from Krajina and Croatia surpassed half a million persons.
The part of Serbs in the total population of Croatia from 12.5% dropped to some 2%. Croatia accomplished the greatest ethnic cleansing in Europe after World War Two. In less than 4 years Franjo Tudjman succeeded in executing what Hitler, Mussolini, Ante Pavelic and the Independent State of Croatia together could not accomplish.
This operation of the liquidation pure and simple, of the very existence of one people in the territory which is theirs since 5 centuries, took place in an atmosphere of indifference and only purely formal disapproval, underlined with acclamation. "After five years of conscience beating with truncheons, to assassinate Serbs, guilty or not, is no longer considered a crime!"'
During the last days of July 1995, the Pope took Muslims in the enclave of Srebrenica under his defense and spoke of "the just war". The Pope had not a word to say about 200,000 Serbs of Krajina, less than one week later. Why would he have any compassion for them? Pie XII never raised his voice, during the entire five years of war, against persecution of the Jews by the Nazis, and did not even protest when the Nazis were arresting Jews in Rome, in his own diocese.
The Shame of the West
This moral fall into which some of the minds have drawn us is the result of a poisonous climate in which the West has been evolving ever since the beginning of the conflict in former Yugoslavia. We have made of Serbs a satanic people, like the Jews were proclaimed at one time a deocidal people.
Fifteen centuries of religious, social, economic, political and racial anti-Semitism succeeded in making of the Jews, in the collective awareness of European peoples the pariahs, confined to their own ghettos, expelled from almost all of the countries in the Middle Ages, arrested, burned, tortured and brought to the torch, prohibited the practice of certain professions, constrained in the exercise of others, deprived of rights. Propaganda is presenting them as the people physically repugnant - with long noses and crouched fingers - with base moral values, the men thinking only of how to become rich, killing Christian children during Easter. Treated as capitalists by the communists, as communists by the capitalists, as deocidals by the Catholic Church, as apatrides from father to son by the nationalists, accused of wanting to dominate the world through the czarist police which edited a false "Protocol of the Sages of Zion", they were often the subject of pogroms and at the end, Europe abandoned the light in order to descend into the darkness and then there was a Shoa and the Auschwitz.
In less than five years, thanks to the media and television, this planetary unified system of information, the Serbs have replaced the Jews and Serbia has taken the place of Israel as the Jew of the nations.
The Serb is presented as a poorly dressed, poorly shaved man, with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth, always between two drinks or between two buttocks, because he is both a drunk and a rapist. He has become such an individual, because he comes out of the Balkan forest and belongs to a backward civilization. Serbs think only of looting, killing and destroying. If today many of them have neither a country, nor a nationality, and no home and job, so much the better for them! There is no smoke without a fire and Serbs, like the Jews, "have certainly done something". Should one be indignant? Yes! Should one be surprised at the derogatory discourses many of which, it should be well recognized, were delivered in France by those whose own fathers were wearing a yellow star?
1 Patrick Barniot and Eve Crepin, "They Are Assassinating One People", Edition 1' Age d'Homme
CONCLUSION: The War Postponed? >>