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Prof. Raju G. C. Thomas, USA

More on the Violations of International Law

Contradicting my claim that NATO had violated at least five accepted norms of international law, several respondents argued that the NATO attack on Serbia was justified under the 1948 Genocide Convention and/or other general humanitarian principles.

First, the Genocide Convention does not authorize such attacks. Only the Security Council can do so which was deliberately bypassed by NATO because it knew that Russia and China would veto such an attack.

Second, there was no genocide going on in Kosovo. Cries of Serbian agression and genocide within its own province were being made in the US Congress in April 1998 when only 80 people had died and less than 100,000 internally displaced. At the time of the attack, 2,000 had died on all sides and 250,000 Albanians had been displaced. It was the threat of NATO attack and the subsequent terror bombing that parallels the fire bombing of Tokyo and Yokohama during the Second World War that triggered the Serbian retaliation and humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo.

Third, there was no humanitarian intervention by the US and the West when the Nigerian authorities crushed the Biafra separatist movement between 1967 and 1970 causing the deaths of one million Ibos, when Pakistani forces killed one million and drove out 10 million Bengalis during the East Pakistani secessionist struggle in 1971, when the Pol Pot regime killed one million Cambodians, to name just a few cases. In the latter two cases, the US condemned India and Vietnam for their interventions and threatened military action against them.

Fourth, ethnic cleansing is not genocide. If it were, the Allied powers were guilty of genocide for the expulsion of some 12 million Germans from Poland, Czechoslavkia and elsewhere at the end of the Second World War, and surely European Jews committed genocide when it drove out nearly a million Palestinians to carve out the state of Israel in 1948. There is now an ethnically pure Greater Croatia. There are almost 900,000 Serbian refugees ethnically cleansed from Croatia and the federation, 300,000 in Republika Srpska and 600,000 in Serbia. This is more than any other ethnic group. Croatia conducted the largest single ethnic cleansing of the war with American military support.

For the record, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute determined that about 35-50,000 people died on all sides during the Bosnian civil war, not 250,000. The investigative team for the Hague Tribunal interviewed only 223 Bosnian women claming to be raped, and collected another 575 affidavits. Allegations of 20-60,000 rapes are guesses.

The emaciated figure of Fikret Alic in a Serbian "concentration camp" at Tronpolje has now been proved to be a fraud. There are good reasons why all the others look reasonably healthy and are laughing including Alic. The broken down barbed wire surrounds an adjacent building compound, not Alic and the others who were in a refugee camp free to go anytime. The ITN cameraman, Jeremy Irvin zoomed his lense from inside the barbed wire compound making it appear that it surrounded the men who were in a refugee camp waiting to be moved. There are good reasons for showing only a five second clip (shown a zillion times) and not the full film. Now that it has been proven to be a fraud, it is never shown again, but there has been no retraction either.

Regarding genocide, General Satish Nambiar, the first UNPROFOR commander from 1992 to 1994 told me that he, his deputy General Lewis McKenzie and 28,000 men under their command witnessed no genocide. They checked with the UNHCR and the International Red Cross, and they did not witness any genocide either. So how did Roy Guttman and others manage to witness genocide?

Russia, China and India, representing half the human race, got it right about the Kosovo crisis. NATO, the only alliance left in this galaxy, committed aggression on Serbia. This is all about saving NATO's face at a very heavy price for the Serbs. If NATO is above international law, so is every other state and organization. It has set a terrible precedent.

Professor Raju G. C. Thomas
Marquette University
Milwaukee, USA

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