By Barry Lituchy and Jim Yarker
The Anti-imperialist Camp receives and publishes:
We, the undersigned, wish to register our disgust with and opposition to the planned trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by the current Serbian authorities at the request of the United States and its NATO partners.
While NATO`s criminal aggression against the people of Yugoslavia goes unpunished, and reparations go unpaid, we are witnessing the repulsive spectacle of DOS ministers and officials (the new regime in Belgrade) serving as judicial handmaidens to NATO`s criminal leaders and their illegal puppet court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.
We charge the ICTY and the American government with falsifying war crimes charges against President Milosevic solely for the purpose of manipulating public opinion against "the Serbs," justifying NATO`s barbaric 78-day campaign of terror against Yugoslavia in 1999, and to deflect attention from the bombing`s horrific consequences. Meanwhile, the ICTY has exonerated its NATO sponsors of responsibility for a host of well-documented war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the deliberate bombardment of vital civilian infrastructure, conspiracy to initiate a war of aggression, the lethal targeting of journalists, the use of anti-personnel weapons such as cluster bombs in areas of high civilian concentration, and bombing with the intent and effect of unleashing environmental catastrophe.
Having cleared her NATO paymasters of criminal responsibility for their deliberate bombing of Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in Belgrade, which killed 16 journalists and support staff, ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte now asserts that Mr. Milosevic and the RTS director, Dragoljub Milanovic, were culpable in these victims` deaths because they had been "notified in advance" that the facility would be bombed! Despite Del Ponte`s promises, no evidence to support these charges has been made public. Mr. Milanovic has been ordered detained by a Belgrade judge, a clear effort by the DOS forces to dignify Del Ponte`s outrageous claim.
While some DOS spokesmen refer openly to the need to cooperate fully with the ICTY, others affect a different-sounding stance, calling for prosecuting Mr. Milosevic in a "Serbian trial," on charges of "corruption," and "war crimes." But their call for a domestic trial of Milosevic is nothing but "patriotic" fakery: a pathetic trick aimed at concealing their own craven duplicity in carrying out the orders of their foreign masters. As the experience in Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe has shown, bowing to Western pressure will never improve living standards; and imposing political repression will only leave deep and long lasting scars on the national psyche.
Let it be known that we categorically reject the case against President Milosevic:
* Milosevic the so-called "ethnic cleanser" preached multinational unity, not nationalist intolerance. His famous 1989 speech that supposedly called for Serbs to shed Albanian blood actually said:
"Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it." The effort to
prosecute Milosevic is an attack on all who support multinational unity.
* Milosevic conducted no persecution of Albanian civilians: he did not drive Albanians from Kosovo, except to clear civilians out of a zone of combat and bombing. Albanians who fled Kosovo fled NATO bombs and ground combat between KLA rebels and Yugoslav federal troops. Some 100,000 Yugoslav Albanians lived peacefully in the Serbian capital of Belgrade throughout the war, suffering no ethnic persecution.
* The most notorious "atrocities" for which Milosevic is accused never happened: the 40 Albanians found dead in Racak were never "executed" but in fact were KLA troops killed in action in a variety of encounters, then laid out together in a ditch for the cameras. The 1500 bodies supposedly buried in the Trepca mines were never found. NATO specialists sent in to find proof of mass extermination of 100,000 Albanians in fact found only 2,800 bodies. And most of those were neither Albanian civilians nor even Albanians, but rather Serbs, Romas, Egyptians, Goranis and other victims of KLA atrocities.
* There is no evidence whatsoever for the most preposterous and recent charges: that Milosevic knew in advance of the bombing of the RTS television station in Belgrade but let 16 people die to create outrage against NATO, or that thousands of Albanians were stuffed into meat grinders and disposed of in mineral mine-shafts in Mitrovica, etc.
A trial of Milosevic on these false and outrageous charges would be nothing but a travesty of justice, a contemporary "show-trial." Those Western leaders who pursue it put the lie to the claims that the United Nations is a defender of the sovereignty of nations, or that NATO is a defender of freedom. This witch hunt also exposes the leaders of the present government in Yugoslavia as traitors to their own people who dishonor the Serbian nation and its great history of resisting foreign invaders, including most notably the Nazis in World War II when the Serbs stood alone against the Nazi onslaught.
Crimes were committed in Yugoslavia - but not by Milosevic. They were committed by American and NATO leaders who authorized a low-grade nuclear war that specifically targeted civilians and left huge portions of the country contaminated for the next 4.5 billion years with radioactivity from depleted uranium armaments.
Crimes were committed by the American leaders who casually ignored their own constitution`s requirement that wars be formally declared by Congress and then violated the UN Charter and numerous international conventions.
A crime will be committed if the twice-elected President of Serbia is kidnapped from his own country and made to stand "trial" in an artificially created, American-made "court" that goes under the fancy-sounding name of an international tribunal.
And a crime will be committed if the obedient, made in the USA government in Yugoslavia endangers the safety of President Milosevic in any way that might allow gangsters or bounty-hunters to cash in on the $5 million bounty posted by the US for delivering him into captivity.
Slobodan Milosevic`s real offense was that he tried to keep the 26 nationalities that comprise Yugoslavia free from US and NATO colonization and occupation; his nation`s resources, industries, and media from being stolen by multinational corporations; his nation`s institutions from being controlled by US consultants and advisers. His real offense was to defend his nation`s freedom and sovereignty from a political "opposition" bought and paid for by the United States and installed into power by US specialists in psychological operations. He and all those now under attack resisted Western colonization to the very end, even as American naval ships waited off the coast of Yugoslavia to ensure the "correct" results in Yugoslavia`s contested elections.
Shame on those DOS leaders who consort and conspire with NATO politicians while seeking to assign the blame for NATO`s crimes on the very patriotic and progressive figures who did the most to fight NATO`s neo-colonial aggression! In doing so, the DOS dishonors itself and desecrates the memory of those who lost their lives to NATO war crimes.
DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST DRAGOLJUB MILANOVIC!
STOP THE POLITICAL WITCH-HUNT AGAINST PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC
AND ALL FORMER YUGOSLAV LEADERS NOW!
BRING THE NATO-KFOR WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE!
Barry Lituchy, New York City
Jim Yarker, Toronto, Canada
MARCH 10, 2001
TO JOIN: Please email your name, location (town, state and country)