of the Belgrade Coup
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Leon Chame - 2008
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- Transnational (TFF)
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avgust 20, 2008
Ultimate War Crime
That is the triumph which has been achieved.
In my country, my president, my secretary of state assured the
Serbs and the rest of the world that if they did not comply with our orders to them, we
would bomb them and we would bomb them until they would give up, and this has occurred.
The Serbs did not comply immediately. When
we said "jump," they did not jump; therefore, we
have bombed them for almost three months. I think the current
statistics are something like 35,000 airplane sorties and something like 20- 25,000 bombs
have been dropped on Serbia. Now you have to congratulate all the NATO powers because this
was quite a demonstration. Of course the Serbs and the Yugoslavs did not have great
anti-aircraft defences that would reach up to 30,000 feet; therefore, with these heroic
sorties we ultimately accomplished what we sought to do, although it was not quite as
comprehensive and complete as represented.
We maintained throughout the splendid diplomatic posture of holding a
non-negotiable position. In other words, whatever we told the Serbs to do we would not
vary from one inch. Bombing itself was represented to be a demonstration of credibility.
Now the American authors of this campaign actually in personal terms lacked some
credibility but that's neither here nor there. The bombing campaign itself proved to be
credible and, of course, I regard that as a great success.
What have we accomplished? What is this triumph? The triumph, in my judgment, is to undermine the UN Charter;
destroy a substantial part of the Nuremberg judgments directed at Nazi war criminals; and
reduce an imperfect international law to something more closely resembling anarchy and the
use of untrammeled power. NATO, which was originally conceived to be
a defensive alliance under the umbrella of the Security Council of the U.N., has been
transformed into an instrument for aggression and that is my primary thesis.
The thing that I find particularly offensive to this campaign is that I am a
citizen of the United States and it's being done in my name. I object to that. I just
don't have the characteristics used to describe a "good German." A "good
German," for those of you who do not know what>the expression means, was someone
who did whatever his government told him to do. Why do I say that this war is essentially,
from the standpoint of law, a criminal enterprise? Because when the Nazis were tried at
Nuremberg, the primary count was launching a war of aggression against their neighbors:
invading Poland, invading Belgium, Holland, invading France, invading Norway, invading
Denmark, invading, amongst other countries, Yugoslavia where their opponents were the
Serbs, invading Greece. I don't want to go through the whole list because it's even
But why were they charged? At that time they were
defenders of the defendants who said well, war has been the experience of the human
species since almost its inception. Well, the Germans had, among other things, signed a
treaty in 1928 called, it was the Pact of Paris - along with about 75 other countries of
the world including all the major powers. In that instrument, which Canada and the United
States signed as well, the countries involved, represented that they would renounce war as
an instrument of policy and you can match that up against the bombing campaign as see
whether that pledge was honoured. The Germans as well as the Western powers have entered
into a series of non-aggression treaties from time to time, which are essentially
repudiated by this act.
The tribunal at Nuremberg - which was not a tribunal; it was a four-power court - held that the ultimate crime in international law, the ultimate war crime, is launching an unprovoked attack upon
another state, another country. What is
"unprovoked?" "Unprovoked" means when the other country has not
attacked you, when it's not a defensive war - a defensive war under the Charter is
permissible - but obviously Yugoslavia or Serbia has not gone outside its borders to
attack anybody, never did at any point in the last 10 years. So, you
read the classic definition of what is a war of aggression and this in the opinion of the
tribunal, as I said, was the supreme crime. In other words, that launching a war carries
with it every crime that may be committed in that war. That's what war is basically. It
happens to be a sanction essentially of criminal activity inherently.
The UN Charter actually does not even give the Security Council the power to
intervene in any state's domestic affairs. There are provisions in
the Charter - Article 2, Sections 4 and 7, which prohibit interference in the domestic
jurisdiction of any state; which prohibit the threat of military force; which prohibit the
use of military force. Now on what basis could the U.N. act? It would have to be if you
had a state of affairs, which truly threatened peace. That COULD arise out of a civil war
but there is no provision in the UN Charter, which
says, 'any country may invade any other country to uphold what it represents to be human
rights.' There just is no such a provision. There is no treaty,
which provides that. The United States was one of
the authors of the UN>Charter and it insisted on veto-power for the major powers in the
Security Council. This was a characteristic of the Security Council which we wanted - so
did the Soviets - for self-protection. In other words we could not be attacked in the
Security Council over our veto. So this was the procedure set up.
NATO was created, as I said, as a defensive alliance but
if you look at the treaty terms, it purports to be totally under the U.N. It's a defensive alliance subject to the control and oversight of
the Security Council of the U.N. Obviously in this attack, which has always been labeled
NATO, and which I regard as primarily American (and I regret to say that), the Security Council was deliberately bypassed. Now, you say, that's because we might have
run into a veto on bombing. Yes, we might have, and that was the conception of the U.N -
the U.N. essentially required that there be no veto with respect to military action. And
we might have had that.
We never explored non-military means. In fact we didn't even utilize at the
outset a pretext of humanitarian violations in the Kosovo case. That was batted around at
some length with respect to Bosnia, but at the
outset of the Kosovo crisis when the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army], labeled by the United
States earlier as a terrorist organization, was murdering Serb policemen and Serb
officials in Kosovo - and let me say that I am not inherently
pro-Serb or anti-Albanian but these are the facts - at that time the grounds on which the
United States urged action to solve this situation were not widespread human-rights
violations, it was a somewhat preposterous reading of history to the effect that (and I
remember a speech by President Clinton along these lines), to the effect that the Balkans
were always a source of all the world wars and we had to step in to make sure that they
weren't troublesome. We would determine what would happen there.
The humanitarian violations, or alleged humanitarian violations, in effect
followed the bombing; they were not the basis on which the bombing was undertaken. There was virtually no expulsion of
Albanians; there were no murders, except essentially murders by the KLA of Serb policemen,
5 or 10 at a time in ambushes, which furnished the pretext for this military invasion.
So, why the military invasion? I have a lot of trouble
explicating the reasons. For some reason, which is not clear to me ever since the
Yugoslavian civil war began, we adopted essentially an anti-Serbian position everywhere.
Why there should be this hostility to the Serbs, I do not know, but this very quickly
became something else. We were going to determine
the conditions under which this country would live thereafter and this will, the
"triumph of will" of Ms. Riefenstahl statement, is to me what is really
Now this triumph involves the shredding to me of international law. It involves
substituting anarchy for an imperfect system of international law. It avoided any
diplomatic negotiations of any kind between the NATO aggressors and the Yugoslav
All our demands were non-negotiable and that to me is the key element of the
situation. What does
"non-negotiable" mean? It means you do as we say or we'll bomb you. And we'll bomb you endlessly
and of course our bombs are not perfectly accurate so we will kill a certain number of
civilians. We know that. We'll bomb bridges; we'll bomb factories; we'll bomb sanitariums;
we'll bomb hospitals; we'll bomb roads; we'll bomb waterways; we'll bomb electric plants;
we'll bomb your country out of existence.
That is the triumph which has been achieved.