Reichstag Fire Trial, the Sequel
by Jared Israel
How can one describe it? Slobodan Milosevic, who has a genius for getting
things just right in few words, calls it a "a genocidal circus."
This was TV, and it takes awhile to process the images: on the one hand, a modest man,
genuine, very smart; on the other hand, a sugary nightmare of Empire.
Now that the Americans run the world, they like to wheel out a British voice
for classy effect, but it wasn't enough. Twice the voice, one 'Judge' May, 'Chairman' of
the 'Tribunal', (in this New World Unreality, one is driven to excessive use of quotation
marks...) had to hit the button on his desk cutting Milosevic off
in front of 300 million viewers because things were not going according
to script. I'll say one thing for May: he does know when to use the cut-off
button. When Milosevic finishes making a complete fool of him, he can definitely find work
as a Talk Show host.
To the glib unreality of CNN's standard coverage, with the cameras first
lingering on Stately Old Building buildings and a reporter who talked like what's-his-name
who used to narrate ' Lives of the Rich and Famous,' was added the faux-judicial
atmosphere of NATO's Tribunal, which looks like the movie set of a court designed by some
high-priced ad agency.
Chairman May was the perfect TV pitchman, delivering his memorized lines with
what somebody called "cut glass politeness"
"You will have all possible rights under International Law,' he told Slobodan Milosevic plus hundreds of millions of viewers at least
six times, as if we are all fools, as if Mr. Milosevic were a fool, as if in this theme
park of a court room with its bit actors in designer robes, this drone of a Chairman was
addressing some fellow actor rather than the man who stood up to Richard Holbrooke, the
man who led the country which for ten years resisted Washington's attempt to destroy it by
violating every international law, an actual statesman who had just been kidnapped by
quisling Serbs - the greatest shame for all Serbs - kidnapped on orders of a monstrous
foreign power, as if Slobodan Milosevic could reasonably be expected to act like a good
slave and say, 'yes, sir, of course, sir...'
"It's a very complicated process," cooed
the false May, don't you think you might want to reconsider your decision to
"I consider this tribunal false tribunal and
indictments false indictments. It is illegal, not being appointed by UN general assembly
so I have no need to appoint council to illegal organ," said the real Slobodan
Milosevic. "Mr. President..."
If I remember right, that was the first time May cut off
May pouted to the cameras, meaning: 'Why does this
man have so much anger?' But he maintained his cut-glass, explaining
to the three hundred million that of course this unwise decision could be reversed anytime
because NATO's court was entirely fair minded and now would or perhaps would not Mr.
Milosevic care to exercise his inalienable right to listen to the indictment of lies?
"That's your problem," said Milosevic.
May looked definitely pained, telling the world:
'Now do you see why we had to drop uranium-encased bombs on them? '
"What is your plea?"
"This Tribunal aims to produce false justification
for the war crimes committed in Yugoslavia."
"I asked you a question," said May,
telling the world: 'Don't test us; we only have so much patience.'
"And I have given you my answer,"
replied Milosevic. "This Tribunal," but May cut his microphone again.
One almost expected the Director to shout "CUT!"
if it's not too much trouble,
could you kindly stick to your lines?