Show trial at the Hague
mstainsby at tao.ca
Thu Feb 21 05:25:13 MST 2002
----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Ferguson" <plf13 at it.canterbury.ac.nz>
> SHOW TRIAL AT THE HAGUE
> by James Heartfield
> With the opening of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, the
> international community has at last brought to bear its combined legal
> authority against the so-called 'Butcher of Belgrade'. The result is
> proceedings with all the majesty and gravitas of a social security appeal
I justy want to say before I post the article I'm about to, that Slobodan
Milosevic's defence has me getting a singularly unhealthy repsect for him. The
idea that the trial isn't predetermined for it's outcome is so clear that
Milosevic has them in a box almost as clearly as they have him in a cell... and
his defiance and ability to spin this to the real trial- one of Nato- is
inspirational. We don't need heroes, we don't need banners or anything of the
sort. But I do wish I could shake his hand at this point.
The fact is that this trial has to retroactively judge Milosevic to exonerate
Nato. This means that Nato and their aggressive war was already the real
defendant. It is starting to make me think that the leaders of Nato are quite
likely quietly wishing that Slobo had been flown off to some Dacha in the middle
of the night.
Remember that Georgi Dmitrov got off when the Nazis hauled him out for trial. He
defended himself in much the same fashion. There is simply no chance that
Milosevic will get off against the Hague the way the Nazis let the Bulgarian
Think about what that means.
Maybe we should re-read Dmitrov's definition of what fascism is, as simplistic
as it sounded, it is very close to not the national or continental but rather
the current global order.
MILOSEVIC TURNS TABLES ON U.S./NATO IN THEIR OWN COURT
On Feb. 15, his second day in court in The Hague,
Netherlands, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic
continued to raise charges against those he saw as the
real war criminals regarding the 10 years of war that tore
the Balkans apart. These were the regimes then governing
the United States and the other NATO powers.
Milosevic is charged with 66 counts of war crimes at the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavic
(ICTY). U.S. pressure caused the United Nations Security
Council to set up the court in 1993. It is financed by
NATO countries and from private contributions by, among
others, multi-billionaire George Soros, a big investor and
speculator in Eastern Europe.
Milosevic demanded that the court bring as witnesses
former U.S. President William Clinton, United Nations
General Secretary Kofi Annan, former German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl, former German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel,
former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, German
Defense Minister Rudolph Scharping, and other leaders of
the campaign to destroy Yugoslavia.
A day earlier, Milosevic laid the groundwork for these
demands by explaining and showing with pictures the crimes
the U.S. and NATO bombers committed during the 78-day
bombing campaign against his country in the spring of
Bill Doares, head of a delegation from the U.S.-based
International Action Center to The Hague, was enthusiastic
in his description of Milosevic's statements to the court.
"Today," said Doares, "Slobodan Milosevic made a clarion
call to all oppressed peoples and all progressive forces
all over the world. He spoke out clearly to say that
"colonialism is genocide," turning the phony charges of
genocide against him back on the so-called great powers of
Western Europe and the United States.
"He described how Africa, Asia and Latin America were made
victims of colonialism in the 19th century, and said that
the imperialist powers were trying to reassert that
control in those areas and indeed were extending this
colonialism to Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
"His call is also to those all over the world fighting
against capitalist globalization from South Africa to
Genoa (Italy) to Prague to Calcutta. Milosevic is not in
the dock because he committed 'ethnic cleansing,'" said
Doares. "If that were true Milosevic would probably be the
guest of honor in the White House, as for example Ariel
Sharon of Israel, who has been trying to 'cleanse'
Palestine of Palestinians, has been, or Bulent Ecevit of
Turkey, who has been trying to 'cleanse' Kurdistan of
Doares described how the prosecutor, Geoffrey Nice, kept
referring to Milosevic's "quest for power." Doares said
that if the court-appointed attorneys who are supposed to
be helping Milosevic were serious, they would have
objected each time Nice referred to Milosevic's
psychological state, since Nice has no evidence of any
such state. "It was a pure political attack on the former
Yugoslav president," said Doares.
"Let's face it," Doares continued. "If Milosevic had only
been interested in staying in power, he could have made a
deal with the U.S. But he saw what happened to his
neighbors in Eastern Europe and how they were completely
taken over by the imperialists. He didn't want that to
happen to Yugoslavia.
"They also tried to show that Milosevic was some kind of
pathological Serb nationalist," Doares went on. "But
Milosevic emphasized throughout the need to fight for
equality for all the peoples of Yugoslavia. He even
corrected the prosecutor's use of the expression 'Serbian
Socialist Party' to designate the Yugoslav president's
party. He said it was the 'Socialist Party OF Serbia,'
meaning that it was in Serbia but composed of many
different nationalities, as Serbia itself is.
"The court interrupted Milosevic again, cutting off his
microphone as it did so many times in the preliminary
hearings, but now he is supposed to have another
hour-and-a-half on Feb. 18 to conclude his opening
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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