This Associated Press video says about itself:
The UN mission in Kosovo admits that areas known to have been hit by depleted uranium ammunition during the NATO campaign were not identified as “no go zones”, despite calls by the UN Environmental Programme.
NATO peacekeeping troops also confirmed that none of the designated areas had been marked or sealed off as potentially hazardous.
A UN assessment team found slightly elevated levels of radiation or pieces of ammunition at eight of 11 sites it visited in Kosovo in November.
Altogether, NATO forces targeted 112 sites in Serbia and Montenegro and the UN team intends to visit more sites in the spring.
Concerns were raised in December after Italy announced an investigation of 30 cases of illness involving soldiers who served in the region, 12 of whom developed cancer.
Five have so far died of leukaemia.
A heavy metal with low levels of radioactivity, depleted uranium increases penetration of ammunition targeting tanks and other armour.
“I don’t believe anything was done. There are 112 sites. NATO has provided us with a map of the sites where 30-thousand rounds were concentrated, mainly in southern and western Kosovo along the border with Albania and Macedonia. UNEP did recommend at that time that sites be marked off and I am not sure that that has been done. I think that is something we need to take up.”
SUPER CAPTION: Suzan Mannuel, UN spokeswoman
From the Google cache.
Italian dies from depleted uranium of Kosovo war
Linking: 321 Comments: 8
Date: 2/18/05 at 9:15AM
Playing: War, by Edwin Starr
During the 1999 war against Yugoslavia, US and other NATO forces used depleted uranium, which causes cancer.
Tanjug (Serbia and Montenegro) reported:
February 16, 2005
Italian professor dies from depleted uranium effects
ROME – Italian government envoy and Florence University professor Giovanni Caselli, in Kosovo following the NATO bombing in 1999 within a mission of Operation Rainbow, has died from the effects of depleted uranium, the president of the national association of war veterans Falko Acame has announced.
According to the Ansa news agency, Acame established a direct link between Prof. Caselli’s illness and the negative effects of depleted uranium, because the professor’s activities in Kosovo included “monitoring the state of houses hit by the bombs.”
See also here.
Kosovo Roma poisoned by DU: here.
DU and The Netherlands: here.
Contamination from depleted uranium found in urine 20 years later: here.
Kosovo: dead bodies of victims found.
China remembers Kosovo war: here.
1990 wars in Yugoslavia: here.
History of bombing: here.
Neo-nazism in Kosovo now: here.
From Z magazine in the USA:
Review of John Laughland, Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice (London/Ann Arbor: Pluto Press, 2007).
[Z Magazine, forthcoming, April 2007]
John Laughland’s superb new book, Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice, is the fourth important critical study of the issues pertaining to the Balkans wars that I have reviewed in Z Magazine. The earlier three were Diana Johnstone’s Fools’ Crusade (2002), Michael Mandel’s How America Gets Away With Murder (2004), and Peter Brock’s Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting (2005). It is an interesting and distressing fact that none of the three earlier books has been reviewed in any major U.S. paper or journal, nor, with the exception of Z Magazine (and Swans and Monthly Review, which later ran a fuller version of the Johnstone review), in any liberal or left journal in this country (including The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive, or Mother Jones). This is testimony to the power of the established narrative on the recent history of the Balkans, according to which Clinton, Blair and NATO fought the good fight, though coming in late and reluctantly, to halt Serb ethnic cleansing and genocide managed by Milosevic, with the bad man properly brought before a legitimate court to be tried in the interest of justice.
This narrative was quickly institutionalized, with the help of an intense propaganda campaign carried out by the Croatian and Bosnian Muslim governments (assisted by U.S. PR firms), the U.S. and other NATO governments, the NATO-organized and NATO-servicing International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s (ICTY, or Tribunal), and the Western media, which quickly became co-belligerents in this struggle. This informal collective focused on numerous stories and pictures of suffering victims, on one side only and devoid of context. In commenting on the parade of witness victims, Laughland notes that “Indictments [by the ICTY] are drawn up with little or no reference to the fact that the acts in question were committed in battle: one often has the surreal sensation one would have reading a description of one man beating another man unconscious which omitted to mention that the violence was being inflicted in the course of a boxing match.” But this stream of witnesses, that the defense could duplicate in its turn if given the opportunity–and Milosevic did with a video presentation of badly abused Serbs for several hours toward the beginning of his trial–is effective in demonization and helped mass-produce true believers who viewed any contesting argument or evidence as “apologetics for Milosevic.”
This consolidation of a party line has been reinforced by a virtual lobby of institutions and dedicated individuals ready to pounce on both the deviants who challenge the new orthodoxy as well as the media institutions that on rare occasion allow a questioning of the “truth.” The refusal to review these dissenting books and to deal with the issues they raise is also testimony to the cowardice and self-imposed ignorance of the media, and especially the liberal-left media, unwilling to challenge a narrative that is false at every level, as is spelled out convincingly in the three books reviewed earlier and once again in Travesty.
Laughland’s Travesty focuses on “The Corruption of International Justice” displayed in the ICTY’s performance in the seizure and trial of Milosevic, but in the process the book covers most of the issues central to evaluating the Balkan wars and the role of the various participants. The institutionalized lies are dismantled one after the next. On the matter of “international justice,” Laughland stresses the fact that the ICTY is a political court with explicit political objectives that run counter to the requirements of any lawful justice.
This political court was organized mainly by the United States and Britain, countries that now freely attack others, but seek the fiction that will give their aggressions a de jure as well as quasi-moral cover. For this reason the rules of the ICTY stood Nuremberg on its head. The Nuremberg Tribunal tried the Nazi leaders for their planning and carrying out the “supreme international crime” of aggression. But the ICTY Statute doesn’t even mention crimes against peace (although with Kafkaesque hypocrisy it claims to be aiming at protecting the peace). Thus, Laughland notes, “instead of applying existing international law, the ICTY has effectively overturned it.” The dominant powers now wanting to be able to intervene anywhere, the new principles to be applied were a throwback to the Nazis in disrespect for international borders. Laughland says that “the commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of states, reaffirmed as part of the Nuremberg Principles in the United Nations Charter, is an attempt to institutionalize an anti-fascist theory of international relations. It is this theory which the allies destroyed in attacking Yugoslavia in 1999.” And it is this anti-fascist theory that the ICTY and humanitarian interventionists have abandoned, opening the door to a more aggressive imperialism.
The ICTY was established not by passage of any law or signing of an international agreement (as in the case of the International Court of Justice) but by the decision of a few governments dominating the Security Council, and Laughland shows that this was beyond the authority of the Security Council (also shown in another outstanding but politically incorrect and neglected work, Hans Kochler’s Global Justice or Global Revenge? [Springer-Verlag Wien, 2003]). It was also established with the open objective of using it to pursue one party in a conflict, presumed guilty in advance of any trial. The political objectives were allegedly to bring peace by punishing villains and thus serving as a deterrent, but also to serve the victims by what Laughland calls “the therapeutic power of obtaining convictions.” But how can you deter without a bias against acquittal? Laughland also notes that “The heavy emphasis on the rights of victims implies that ‘justice’ is equivalent to a guilty verdict, and it comes perilously close to justifying precisely the vengeance which supporters of criminal law say they reject.” “Meanwhile, the notion that such trials have a politically educational function is itself reminiscent of the ‘agitation trials’ conducted for the edification of the proletariat in early Soviet Russia.”
Laughland features the many-leveled lawlessness of the ICTY. It was not created by law and there is no higher body that reviews its decisions and to whom appeals can be made. The judges, often political appointees and without judicial experience, judge themselves. Laughland points out that the judges have changed their rules scores of times, but none of these changes have ever been challenged by any higher authority. And their rules are made “flexible,” to give efficient results; the judges proudly noting that the ICTY “disregards legal formalities” and that it does not need “to shackle itself to restrictive rules which have developed out of the ancient trial-by-jury system.” The rule changes have steadily reduced defendants’ rights, but from the beginning those rights were shriveled: Laughland quotes a U.S. lawyer who helped draft the rules of evidence of the ICTY, who acknowledges that they were “to minimize the possibility of a charge being dismissed for lack of evidence.”
Laughland notes that the ICTY is a “prosecutorial organization” whose “whole philosophy and structure is accusatory.” This is why its judges gradually accepted a stream of rulings damaging to the defense and to the possibility of a fair trial–including the acceptance of hearsay evidence, secret witnesses, and closed sessions (the latter two categories applicable in the case of 40 percent of the witnesses in the Milosevic trial). ICTY rules even allow an appeal and retrial of an acquitted defendant–“in other words, the ICTY can imprison a person whom it has just found innocent.”
Laughland’s devastating analysis of the Milosevic indictment and trial is a study in abuse of power in a politically-motivated show trial, incompetence, and faux-judiciary malpractice. The first indictment, issued in the midst of the NATO bombing war, on May 27, 1999, was put up in close coordination between the ICTY and U.S. and British officials, and its immediate political role was crystal clear–to eliminate the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the war and to deflect attention from NATO’s turn to bombing civilian infrastructure (a legal war crime, adding to the “supreme international crime,” both here protected by this body supposedly connected to “law” and protecting the peace!). The later kidnapping and transfer of Milosevic to the Hague was a violation of Yugoslav law and rulings of its courts. The ICTY’s NATO service and contempt for the rule of law was manifest.
The original indictment of Milosevic dealt only with his responsibility for alleged war crimes in Kosovo. But as Laughland points out, the wild claims of mass killing and genocide in Kosovo were not sustainable by evidence, and NATO bombing may have killed as many Kosovo civilians as the Yugoslav army. This accentuated the problem that if the Milosevic indictment was limited to Kosovo it would be hard to justify trying him for Kosovo crimes but not NATO leaders, a point even acknowledged by the ICTY prosecutor. So two years after the first indictment, but after Milosevic’s kidnapping and transfer to The Hague, the indictment was extended to cover Bosnia and Croatia. A bit awkward, given that back in 1995 when Mladic and Karadzic were indicted for crimes in Bosnia, Milosevic was exempted. There was also the problem that the Bosnian and Croatian Serbs were not under Serb and Milosevic authority after the declared independence of Bosnia and Croatia, and Milosevic fought with them continuously in an effort to get them to accept various peace plans 1992-1995 (documented in Sir David Owen’s Balkan Odyssey, another important book neglected perhaps because of its contra-party line evidence).
So the prosecution sought to make the case for “genocide” by belatedly making Milosevic the boss in a “joint criminal enterprise” (JCE) to get rid of Croats and Muslims in a “Greater Serbia.” The initial indictments that confined his alleged crimes to Kosovo never mentioned any participation in a JCE or drive for a “Greater Serbia.” So the prosecution had to start over in collecting evidence for the crimes, JCE, and Greater Serbia aims in Bosnia and Croatia and tying them to Milosevic. Guilt decision first, then go for the evidence, was the rule for this political court. The trial moved ahead while the “evidence” was still being assembled. Most of it was the testimony of scores of alleged witnesses to alleged crimes, a large majority with hearsay evidence, and almost none of it bearing on Milosevic’s decision-making or differentiating it from what could have been brought against Izetbegovic, Tudjman or Bill Clinton. Laughland shows very persuasively that the inordinate length of the trial was in no way related to Milosevic’s performance–a lie beloved by Marlise Simons and the mainstream media in general–it was based on the fact that this was a political trial that inherently demanded massive evidence, and the prosecution, unprepared and struggling to make a concocted charge plausible, poured it on, trying to make up for lack of any documentation of their charges of a Milosevic-based plan and orders with sheer volume of irrelevant witnesses to civil warfare and Kosovo-war crimes and pain.
A key element in the prosecution case was the belated charge that Milosevic was involved in a “joint criminal enterprise” with Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to get rid of non-Serbs by violence, looking toward that Greater Serbia. The concept of a JCE is not to be found in prior law or even in the ICTY Statute. It was improvised to allow the finding of guilt anywhere and anytime. You are part of a JCE if you are doing something bad along with somebody else, or are attacking the same parties with somebody who does something bad. With that common end you don’t even have to know about what that somebody else is doing to be part of a JCE. Laughland has a devastating analysis of this wonderfully expansive and opportunistic doctrine, and his chapter dealing with it is entitled “Just convict everyone,” based on a quote from a lawyer-supporter of the ICTY who finds the JCE a bit much. Milosevic probably would have been convicted based on this catch-all, or catch anyone, doctrine. Of course it fits much better the joint and purposeful Clinton, Blair, NATO attack on Yugoslavia, or the Croats U.S.-supported ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Croatian Krajina in August 1995, but there is nobody to enforce the JCE against them, whereas we have the ICTY to take care of U.S. and NATO targets!
Laughland has a fine chapter on Greater Serbia, which shows that Milosevic didn’t start the breakup wars (even quoting prosecutor Nice admitting this), that he was no extreme nationalist and that accusations about his speeches of 1987 and 1989 are false, that his support of the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia was fitful and largely defensive, and that he was not working toward a Greater Serbia but at most trying to enable Serbs in a disintegrating Yugoslavia to stay together. During Milosevic’s trial defense, Serb Nationalist Party leader Vojislav Seselj claimed that only his party sought a “Greater Serbia,” as the Croats and Bosnian Muslims were really Serbs with a different religion and his party fought to bring them all within Serbia–Milosevic only wanted the Serbs stranded in the breakaway states to be able to join Serbia. At that point the prosecutor Geoffrey Nice acknowledged that Milosevic was not aiming for a Greater Serbia, but, in Nice’s words, only had the “pragmatic” goal of “ensuring that all the Serbs who had lived in the former Yugoslavia should be allowed…to live in the same unit.” This caused some consternation among the trial judges, as Milosevic’s aggressive drive for a Greater Serbia was at the heart of the ICTY case. You never heard about this? Understandably, as the New York Times and mainstream media never reported it, just as they never tried to reconcile Milosevic’s support of serial peace moves with his alleged role as the aggressor seeking that Greater Serbia.
There is much more of value in Travesty and I can’t do it justice even on the issues discussed here. This is a wonderful book that should be on the reading list of everyone looking for enlightenment on the confused and confusing issues involving the Balkan wars and “humanitarian intervention.” It helps shred the notion that the NATO attacks were based on a morality that justified over-riding sovereignty and international law, and it shows decisively that the ICTY is a completely politicized rogue court that is a “corruption of international justice.”
As Laughland emphasizes (and Johnstone and Mandel do as well), the NATO war and the work of the ICTY in running interference for that war, were very helpful in setting the stage for George Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and possibly also, Iran. It was treated then, and remains treated today, as a “good war,” a “humanitarian intervention.” So those who swallowed the standard narrative, built on lies, at best failed to see the continuity between Clinton and Bush, and the service of the former and the publicists of the “good war” in removing the protection of the “anti-fascist theory of international relations” that protected small countries from Great Power aggression and unleashing the rule of the jungle.
- Kosovo war crimes suspects arrested (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- What The Media Doesn’t Want You To See (Please Note: Graphic and Upsetting Scenes) (panoffolin.wordpress.com)
- Iraq war infant birth defects (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
When will world confront the undead of Croatia?
By Julia Gorin
Originally published January 16, 2007
LAS VEGAS // President Bush recently echoed Vice President Dick Cheney’s support for Croatia to join the European Union, a bid that has been stalled because of the former Yugoslav republic’s slowness to own up to and prosecute its 1990s war crimes and its failure to ensure protections and rights for minorities, including returning Serb refugees.
Croatia also faces the possibility of being excluded from the 2008 European soccer championship because when an Italian team’s fans taunted the Croatian team’s fans at a match in August by waving Yugoslavia’s old communist flag, the other side took great offense and showed the competition what it was really made of: They formed a giant human swastika and gave Nazi salutes.
Old habits are hard to break. “In World War II, Hitler had no executioners more willing, no ally more passionate, than the fascists of Croatia,” A. M. Rosenthal wrote in The New York Times in 1998. “They are returning, 50 years later, from what should have been their eternal grave, the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Western Allies who dug that grave with the bodies of their servicemen have the power to stop them, but do not.”
In 1995, The London Evening Standard’s Edward Pearce wrote that “you can understand Croatia best by saying flatly that if there is one place in the world where a statue of Adolf Hitler would be revered, it would be Zagreb,” Croatia’s capital.
And The Washington Times reported: “A German tank rolls through a small village, and the peasants rush out, lining the road with their right arms raised in a Nazi salute as they chant, ‘Heil Hitler.’ Mobs chase minorities from their homes, kicking them and pelting them with eggs as they flee into the woods. Europe in the 1940s? No. Croatia in the 1990s.”
Last month Croatian TV broadcast video of a speech made 10 years ago by Stjepan Mesic, now Croatia’s president. Mr. Mesic is seen saying, “This thing they’re asking Croats to do: go kneel in [Croatian concentration camp] Jasenovac … we have no reason to kneel anywhere. We Croats have won twice in World War II, while all the others did it only once. We won on April 10, when the Axis powers recognized Croatia’s independence, and we won after the war since we once again found ourselves with the victors.”
Such were the “allies” to whom retired American generals were dispatched in the 1990s to train against the Serbs and help restore Croatia to its Hitler-defined borders. (We later did the same for Kosovo, whose independence we continue to push for.) One has to wonder at the ubiquitous “Nazi” analogies hurled at the Serbs – the designated villains of the Balkans – considering that this analogy was started by a former Nazi state that in 1995 ethnically cleansed 350,000 Serbs and by its Muslim former apprentices who helped kill hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and other undesirables in 40 of Croatia’s World War II concentration camps.
One has to wonder also because Croatia (along with Bosnia and Kosovo) hired American PR firms to make the analogy stick. Sure enough, our policymakers and our media – on the same page when it comes to the Balkans – bought it and recycled the propaganda to us, and continue to do so today. This despite the fact that our ally, President Franjo Tudjman – the “Father of Croatia” – was about to be hit with a war crimes indictment that was finally, slowly and quietly being prepared by the United Nations, allowing him to die a free man. (As was the case with wartime Bosnian-Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, a fundamentalist who asked to be buried “next to the martyrs.”)
To placate the European powers, Croatia has finally apprehended two of its most notorious criminals from the Balkan wars, Ante Gotovina and Branimir Glavas – despite the move being very unpopular because, as with Bosnian and Albanian Serb-killers, Croatian Serb killers are national heroes.
While to the world, “Serb” is synonymous with “war criminal,” Croatians, Albanians and Bosnians accused of war crimes get acquitted, or get convicted and released to a hero’s welcome, or go unpunished and pursue political careers, as is the case with indicted war criminal and Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku (and Ramush Haradinaj before him). All the while, we refuse to admit our 1990s alliance in Croatia with Nazi sympathizers, and in Bosnia and Kosovo with forces supplied and trained by al-Qaida, Iran and others.
A recent breakthrough occurred in October, when Zarko Puhovski, the Croatian president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, said on a radio program that war crimes in the Croatian town of Osijek are still unsolved because 1990s Croatia was a place where killing Serbs was normal. “In the first few years it was normal to kill Serbs, then it was normal to forget they had been killed, and now we finally talk about it,” he said.
The Serbs weren’t angels, but they are the only Balkans players to have admitted as much and actively done something about it. The media, our policymakers and our filmmakers still refuse to take the messier but more accurate view of the Balkans. For it is the more daunting task, one that could force the realization that the Serbs weren’t just fighting their enemies; they were fighting ours.
Nazism is not “part of the ugly past.” It was not a bout of madness that has been straightened out. The undead are among us.
Julia Gorin writes about the Balkans and serves on the advisory board of the newly formed American Council for Kosovo. Her e-mail is email@example.com.
Blair’s other illegal war
January 18, 2007 08:00 PM
Pop the champagne corks! Get out the cigars! At last! Tony Blair is standing trial for war crimes. Well, at least on Channel 4 he is, anyway.
But as pleasing as it is to see Blair – or rather Robert Lindsay portraying Blair – in the dock, why is the British PM only being charged with starting one illegal conflict?
Four years before “shock and awe” was unleashed on Baghdad, Blair played a key role in another act of international aggression which, like the Iraq war, was also based on a fraudulent prospectus.
The 1999 attack on Yugoslavia was in clear breach of international law. Only the UN security council can authorise military action against a sovereign state, and the UN security council was not consulted. The attack was also in breach of Nato’s own charter, which only allowed the use of force when a member state was attacked.
The stated casus belli was that Yugoslavia, in Blair’s own words, was “set on a Hitler-style genocide equivalent to the extermination of the Jews in world war two” against the ethnic Albanian population in the province of Kosovo.
There was no evidence to back this assertion up at the time, and there certainly isn’t any today. Over 100 prosecution witnesses were called at the trial of Milosevic at The Hague: not a single one testified that the former Yugoslav president had ordered genocide, or in fact had ordered any crimes or violence against the civilian population of Kosovo whatsoever. On the contrary, a Muslim captain in the Yugoslav army testified that no one in his unit had ever committed systematic harassment of Albanian civilians in Kosovo, and that he had never heard of any other unit doing so either, while the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas (an ethnic Hungarian), testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo had been handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it.
In reality, the “Kosovan crisis” was as contrived as the Iraqi “WMD crisis” of four years later. The west encouraged a terrorist group, the KLA, to provoke the Yugoslav authorities, and when the anti-terrorist response from Belgrade came, the US and Britain were ready to produce a document at the Rambouillet “peace” conference, which as defence minister Lord Gilbert has conceded, was deliberately designed to be rejected by the Yugoslavs.
Why was it all done? The rump Yugoslavia was targeted not for “humanitarian” reasons – as many on the liberal-left still mistakenly believe – but simply because it stood in the way. You don’t have to take my word for it – here’s George Kenney of the US state department. “In post-cold war Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalisation.”
The illegal war against Yugoslavia may not have led to as much bloodshed and carnage as the Iraq conflict, but its importance should not be underestimated. For the first time since Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia in 1968, a European state, which threatened no other, had been attacked.
A dangerous precedent – that of riding roughshod over international law – had been set.
Just how dangerous, we would all see four years later.
The Srebrenica ruling punctures the false claims that underpin the doctrine of intervention
Wednesday February 28, 2007
Slobodan Milosevic was posthumously exonerated on Monday when the international court of justice ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. The former president of Serbia had always argued that neither Yugoslavia nor Serbia had command of the Bosnian Serb army, and this has now been upheld by the world court in The Hague. By implication, Serbia cannot be held responsible for any other war crimes attributed to the Bosnian Serbs.
The allegations against Milosevic over Bosnia and Croatia were cooked up in 2001, two years after an earlier indictment had been issued against him by the separate international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the height of Nato’s attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. Notwithstanding the atrocities on all sides in Kosovo, Nato claims that Serbia was pursuing genocide turned out to be war propaganda, so the ICTY prosecutor decided to bolster a weak case by trying to “get” Milosevic for Bosnia as well. It took two years and 300 witnesses, but the prosecution never managed to produce conclusive evidence against its star defendant, and its central case has now been conclusively blown out of the water.
The international court of justice (ICJ) did condemn Serbia on Monday for failing to act to prevent Srebrenica, on the basis that Belgrade failed to use its influence over the Bosnian Serb army. But this is small beer compared to the original allegations. Serbia’s innocence of the central charge is reflected in the court’s ruling that Serbia should not pay Bosnia any reparations – supplying an armed force is not the same as controlling it. Yugoslavia had no troops in Bosnia and greater guilt over the killings surely lies with those countries that did, notably the Dutch battalion in Srebrenica itself. Moreover, during the Bosnian war, senior western figures famously fraternised with the Bosnian Serb leaders now indicted for genocide, including the US general Wesley Clark and our own John Reid. Should they also be condemned for failing to use their influence?
However, Monday’s ruling is about far more than Milosevic. Ever since the end of the cold war, the US and its allies have acted like vigilantes, claiming the right to bomb other countries in the name of humanity. The Kosovo war was the most important action taken on this basis and, as such, the curtain-raiser for Iraq. Fought, like the Iraq war, without UN approval, it was waged partly because the international community felt it should have intervened more robustly against Yugoslavia over Bosnia. It now turns out that Serbia was not in control in Bosnia after all. The ruling therefore punctures a decade-and-a-half of lies in support of the doctrine of military and judicial interventionism.
The ICJ, indeed, operates on a radically different philosophy of international relations than that which inspires the ICTY. Unlike the ICTY, the ICJ is not a criminal court and claims no power of constraint over states. Its jurisprudence is based on the anti-war sovereignty-based philosophy of the Nuremberg trial and the UN charter. In the international system, born out of the second world war, war is illegal except in a very restricted cases. States have no right to attack other states, not even on human rights abuse claims. This position is based on the understanding that there are no war crimes without war, and that war always makes things worse.
Mere anarchy was loosed upon the world when the cold war ended and the US sought to create a unipolar world system by destroying the old one. After the 1991 Iraq war, the US and Britain claimed the right to bomb Iraq to protect the Kurds and Shias, which they did for 12 years. Nato bombed the Bosnian Serbs in 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999. The ICTY, created in 1993, operates on the basis of this doctrine of interventionism, which has come to its ghastly conclusion in the bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Created and controlled by the Great Powers, the ICTY, like its sister courts for Rwanda and the new international criminal court, corrupts the judicial process for political ends, the most important of which is to support the US’s supposed right to act as the world’s policeman. The new ICC, created by Britain, also seems to operate on the basis that white men do not commit war crimes: its prosecutors are currently investigating two local wars in Africa while turning a blind eye to Iraq. Only when that hideous strength which flows from the hypocrisy of interventionism is sapped, will the world stand any chance of returning to lawfulness and peace.
· John Laughland is the author of Travesty: the Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE Belgian Coalition: ‘Stop Uranium Weapons!’ 22 nd
117 Belgian votes for a ban on depleted uranium (DU) munitions and
On Thursday 22th March the Belgian Chamber plenary sitting voted the law
proposal regarding depleted uranium munitions that was unanimously
approved by the Chamber Commission on National Defence two weeks
Again, the plenary sitting of the Parliament voted unanimously in favor of
this law proposal that will ” prohibit the manufacture,use, storage, sale,
acquisition, supply and transit of inert munitions and armour that contain
depleted uranium or any other industrially manufactured uranium .”
Deputies Brigitte Wiaux (CdH), Zoë Genot (Ecolo), Stef Goris (VLD) and
Dirk Van der Maelen (political group leader of SP.A and SPIRIT) appealed
for a wide parliamentary support of the law proposal.
All 117 parliamentarians, including extreme right, voted to ban depleted
uranium munitions and armor. Probably before the federal elections, the
law will be publicized in the Belgian Statute Book.
Willem Van den Panhuysen and Ria Verjauw, campaign leaders of the
Belgian Coalition ‘Stop Uranium Weapons!’ were surprised of this
tremendous political consensus to ban this type of weaponry. Belgium is
now the first country in the world to counter this indiscriminate DU weapons
relying on the precautionary principle.
What are depleted uranium weapons?
The category “Depleted Uranium weaponry” encompasses projectiles that
are specifically designed to pierce armoured vehicles, and DU strengthened
armour, specifically designed to stop adversary projectiles. These weapons
are particularly controvertial as when a DU-projectile impacts on a hard
object it turns partly to dust particles of uranium oxides, generating
temperatures of 3,000 C to 6,000 C.
When these particles are ingested into the human body, the chemically and
radiologically toxic properties of DU oxides reinforce each other and have
the capability of damaging cells in tissues and organs. (1) Although there
are no conclusive epidemiological data correlating DU exposure to specific
health effects, studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents continue
to suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive and
neurological effects from chronic exposure. (2)
A training videotape made in 1995 by the U.S. Army Chemical School
shows that soldiers on the battlefield should cover themselves completely
to avoid contamination, considering that the DU dose they could intake at
the time the combat vehicle is struck by DU munitions potentially exceeds
the U.S. safety standards.(3) Investigations at the U.S. Armed Forces
Radiobiology Research Institute have demonstrated that exposure to DU
oxide particles can induce irreversible damage to the genetic material, that
they accumulate in the lymph nodes and that they induce cancers. Though
there exists a consensus in the scientific community about the health
hazards from exposure to the mainly ceramic DU particles, when ingested,,
there remain scientific uncertainties due to a lack of sufficient research
regarding the environmental behaviour of DU.
Just because of these uncertainties and unresolved questions, and because
of the fact that DU – like any heavy metal – accumulates in the human
body, this should keep the international community from using DU weapons
and munitions on the battlefields.
This “precautionary principle” has led the European Parliament to make
four seperate requests to EU member states to immediately implement a
moratorium on the further use of DU ammunition. (4)
Nineteen countries have DU weapons in their arsenals. According to the
Belgian government Belgium has never bought or possessed such
weaponry. The Belgian Security and Defence Industry has declared to the
Commission on Defence that Belgium doesn’t produce DU weapons.
According to their website and spokesperson, MECAR, a Belgian
ammunition factory, manufactures armour piercing prjectiles based on high
strength tungsten alloys, without any use of DU. Despite arguments
regarding the superiority of uranium-based anti-tank weapons over
tungsten-based weapons, there are no critical studies that can verify this.
Belgian and International coalitions of scientists, war veterans, military
trade unions, ecological and human rights organizations, are working for a
global ban on uranium weapons. To reach the goal of an international treaty
outlawing Depleted Uranium weapons they make use of means such as
lobbying, proposing parliamentary questions, organising conferences with
specialists, petitioning and so on. A model international convention banning
DU weapons has also been developed. It is hoped that the Belgian ban on
DU weapons will be an important step towards achieving an international
Willem Van den Panhuysen
gsm: 0473 71 75 18
tel.: 09 256 01 45
Belgian Coalition: ‘Stop Uranium weapons!’:
Why NATO really smote the Serbs
March 22, 2007
This weekend marks the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led NATO bombing of
Yugoslavia. The implications of that action are still with us.
The onslaught that began March 24, 1999, continued for 78 days, causing an
estimated 10,000 civilian casualties and inflicting widespread damage on the
country’s infrastructure. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s
unprecedented attack against a sovereign state was done without United
Nations authority and in violation of the UN Charter and international law.
It also set a dangerous precedent: It transformed NATO from a purely
defensive organization into a powerful alliance prepared to intervene
militarily wherever it chose to do so. And it paved the way for the
unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Bill Clinton and other NATO leaders justified the bombing on humanitarian
grounds. It was alleged that genocide was taking place in Kosovo and that
Serbian security forces were driving out the Albanian population. Later, it
was disclosed there was no genocide in Kosovo. (Of course, the outcome
appears to be an independent quasi-state of Kosovo, as shall be recommended
next week to the UN Security Council.) Before the bombing, several thousand
Albanians had been displaced within Kosovo as a result of the fighting
between Serbian security forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army. But nearly
all of the Albanians who fled Kosovo did so after the bombing began. The
real ethnic cleansing came after Serbian forces withdrew and more than
200,000 Serbs, Roma, Jews and other non-Albanians were forced to flee; more
than 150 Christian churches and monasteries have since been burned by
The bombing had little, if anything, to do with humanitarian concerns. It
had everything to do with the determination of the United States to maintain
NATO as an essential military organization. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the
collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of Warsaw Pact armies had
called into question NATO’s reason for existence. Why was such a powerful
and expensive military organization needed to defend Western Europe when
there was no longer any threat from Soviet communism?
The armed rebellion by the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army provided
Washington with the opportunity needed to demonstrate to Western Europe that
NATO was still needed. So, it was essential to convince the news media and
the public that atrocities and ethnic cleansing were taking place in Kosovo.
This was done with relative ease by a campaign of misinformation aimed at
demonizing the Serbs and by assertions by Mr. Clinton, Tony Blair and other
NATO spokesmen that hundreds of young Albanian men were “missing” and that
mass executions and genocide were taking place in Kosovo. Compliant
journalists and a credulous public accepted these lies.
In April, 1999, at the peak of the bombing, Mr. Clinton gathered NATO’s
political leaders in Washington to celebrate the alliance’s 50th birthday.
The party was used as a platform for Mr. Clinton to announce a new
“strategic concept” — NATO was to be modernized and made ready for the new
century. There was no reference to defence or the settling of international
disputes by peaceful means or of complying with the principles of the UN
Charter. The new emphasis would be on “conflict prevention,” “crisis
management” and “crisis response operation.”
Usually when a treaty is to be amended or changed, it must be approved and
ratified by the legislatures of the contracting states. This was not done
with the North Atlantic Treaty. It was changed by an announcement from the
U.S. president, with little or no debate by the legislatures of member
countries. It may well be that NATO should be in a position to intervene
militarily in the internal affairs of another country, but it surely is
essential that the ground rules for such intervention be in accordance with
the UN Charter and only after concurrence of member states. NATO should not
become a convenient political “cover” to justify the use of military power
by the United States.
James Bissett was Canada’s ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1990 to 1992.
8th Anniversary of NATO Aggression against Yugoslavia –
House of Commons Public Meeting
Committee Room 15
27th March 2007, 7pm
Please note the importance of this meeting next week and make every
effort to attend.
House of Commons Public Meeting to commemorate:
The 8th Anniversary of NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia
Future of Kosovo
Judgement on Serbia in the Hague
Lessons of past year
Bob Wareing, MP
Member for Liverpool West Darby
Alice Mahon, former Labour MP
The last witness at Milosevic Trial
Journalist and writer
Misha Gavrilovic, Nedaist Initiative
Aggressors shall not write our History
Please come at least 10-15 minutes before the start time in order to
pass security check at St Stephens Entrance and get to Committee Room
Map of Parliament Area
Click to access colmap.pdf
Directions to Parliament
POMEN ZRTVAMA NATO AGRESIJE
Subota, 24. mart 2007 u 11:00 h
Srpska Pravoslavna Crkva St Stefan
3662 Albion Road S., Otava
Voici un texte diffusé par Tlaxcala, le réseau de traducteurs pour la diversité linguistique :
Un 46ème militaire italien est mort de contamination par l ’uranium appauvri
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 7:51 AM
Subject: http://www.tlaxcala.es>> Tlaxcala : Un 46ème militaire italien est mort de contamination par l’uranium appauvri
Un 46ème militaire italien est mort de contamination par l’uranium appauvri
Autor: France Rame, 17 avril 2007
Traductor: Traduit par Fausto Giudice
Giorgio Parlangeli, 28 ans, caporal-major du 4ème Régiment de Cavalerie de Gènes basé à Udine, marié depuis 3 ans, avec deux missions ces dernières années au Kosovo, est mort dimanche dernier à l’hôpital de Milan. Le type de pathologie (très rare à son âge) et les territoires où il a opéré font penser à un nouveau cas de mort suite à une pathologie liée à l’uranium appauvri.
Giorgio Parlangeli était originaire des Pouilles (Lecce), il avait choisi la vie militaire parce que c’était un travail « sûr » et que s’il allait à l’étranger, il pourrait aussi s’acheter une voiture.
Une histoire damnément égale à celle de ses 45 collègues qui l’ont précédé dans le calvaire du cancer avec la mort comme issue, dans le cas de Giorgio dans un hôpital de Milan.
Ça serait une belle chose si, pour ces garçons, il y a avait une reconnaissance au moins égale à celle exprimée par le chef de l’État pour les ouvriers extracommunutaires (immigrés non-européens, NdT) qui meurent sur nos chantiers par manque de mesures de sécurité. Évidemment les employeurs des militaires italiens doivent être « traités » d’une manière différente et ils ne peuvent pas être mis en accusation. Nous ne savons pas si cela tient à ce que les constructeurs qui obligent leurs travailleurs à faire un travail dangereux sont plus faibles ou à ce que les pouvoirs de la Défense sont si forts qu’ils peuvent se permettre d’ignorer les directives de protection pour les militaires sans faire l’objet de la moindre enquête. Des centaines de garçons malades oubliés de tous.
Comment la poussière d’uranium appauvri pénètre dans le corps
Jusqu’à il y a un certain temps, les garçons qui avaient des problèmes de thyroïde étaient opérés et maintenus dans l’armée. Mais depuis que l’Observatoire (Observatoire permanent sur la protection des droits des travailleurs des Forces armées et de police) a dénoncé cette situation, les militaires sont directement congédiés sans scrupules. De cette manière, non seulement on les « débarque », les laissant seuls avec leur problème, mais en plus ils se retrouvent au chômage.
Tout cela alors que la nouvelle commission d d’enquête peine à décoller, n’ayant même pas les ressources économiques suffisantes pour effectuer sa mission. La direction de l’Observatoire a décidé de lancer un appel à faire signer par des politiciens italiens et dans les jours qui viennent, sera présentée une initiative à laquelle participeront des politiciens de tous bords, lesquels annonceront qu’ils soutiennent inconditionnellement les garçons. Avec la mort de Giorgio, les décès s’élèvent maintenant à 46 et les malades sont 516, de nombreux cas de thyroïde qui, depuis quelques semaines, sont congédiés pour éviter que les cas soient comptabilisés.
Une situation devenue insoutenable, dans l’indifférence des politiciens et des militaires.
Original : http://www.francarame.it/?q=node/311
L’actrice Franca Rame, épouse de Dario Fo, est sénatrice italienne, élue sur la liste Italie des valeurs, d’Antonio di Pietro, et membre du Parti RadicalSocialiste.
Traduit de l’italien par Fausto Giudice, membre de Tlaxcala, le réseau de traducteurs pour la diversité linguistique. Cette traduction est en Copyleft pour tout usage non-commercial : elle est libre de reproduction, à condition d’en respecter l’intégrité et d’en mentionner sources et auteurs.
URL de cet article : http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=2459&lg=fr
Url : http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=2459&lg=es
Torino 17-19 ottobre 2007
La memoria rimossa –
l’occupazione italiana della Jugoslavia (1941 – 1943)
della Provincia di Torino
del Comune di Torino
della Regione Piemonte
in collaborazione con
Archivio Nazionale Cinematografico della Resistenza,
Anpi provinciale di Torino,
Istituto friulano per la storia del movimento di liberazione,
Istituto piemontese per la storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea,
Coordinamento Nazionale per la Jugoslavia
L’occupazione italiana della Jugoslavia (1941 – 1943)
LA MEMORIA RIMOSSA
Mercoledì 17 ottobre 2007
Sala proiezioni del Museo Diffuso della Resistenza
– ore 10: presentazione della manifestazione
-ore 10,30: Occupazione in 26 immagini di Lordan Zafranovic, introduce l’autore
-ore 16: La caduta dell’Italia di Lordan Zafranovic, introduce l’autore
-ore 20,15: materiali filmici inediti sulla Resistenza jugoslava presentati da Lordan
Giovedì 18 ottobre 2007
Sala proiezioni del Museo Diffuso della Resistenza
-ore 16: Fascist Legacy di Ken Kirby e Massimo Sani, introduce Massimo Sani
-ore 18: Quell’Italia del ’43, di Massimo Sani, una o più puntate
-ore 20,15: Fascist Legacy (edizione italiana) di Ken Kirby e Massimo Sani, introduce
Venerdì 19 ottobre 2007
Sala dei Consiglieri della Provincia di Torino
Coordina i lavori Angelo Del Boca
-ore 9,30: Introduzione di Angelo Del Boca
-ore10: Alberto Buvoli interviene su fascismo e persecuzione antislava nella Venezia Giulia
-ore 11: Alessandra Kersevan presenta i temi della sua ricerca sul campo di
concentramento di Gonars
-ore 12: The Gonars memorial 1941- 1943: il simbolo della memoria italiana perduta, di
Alessandra Kersevan e Stefano Raspa
-Intervallo per il pranzo
-ore 14,30: Eric Gobetti interviene su caratteri e conseguenze dell’occupazione italiana
della Jugoslavia dal 1941 al 1943
-ore 15,30: Lordan Zafranovic e Massimo Sani intervengono sulla produzione
cinematografica che ha affrontato il tema dell’occupazione italiana della Jugoslavia
-ore16,30: Riccardo Marchis interviene su approcci didattici possibili alle molteplici
implicazioni della storia del confine orientale nell’ambito della storia dell’Italia nel
-ore 17,30: Conclusione dei lavori
-ore 18: Presentazione di materiali filmici sulla Resistenza jugoslava
Replica di The Gonars memorial 1941- 1943: il simbolo della memoria italiana perduta.
— > Museo Diffuso della Resistenza: corso Valdocco 4/A, Torino
Sala dei Consiglieri della Provincia di Torino: via Maria Vittoria,Torino
Info: 011 4380111
A shameful verdict
13 Italians sentenced to 7 years each for having demonstrated against Nato�s attack on Yugoslavia
On May 13, 1999, when the bombing raids against Yugoslavia were in full swing, anti-war protesters took to the streets of Florence, Italy, among them also a contingent of the anti-imperialists. The police attacked the demonstration heavy-handedly injuring also the then member of Tuscany�s regional parliament, Orietta Lunghi. A law suit filed by her against the police was turned down by the judiciary.
Meanwhile the police in return accused 13 protestors for having committed civil disorder. On January 28, 2008, the judge handed down the sentences: seven years imprisonment for all of them.
Though Italy is known for its politically biased judicial system, nevertheless this sentence is widely regarded as to be exceptionally high. The Florentine section of the Anti-imperialist Camp wrote in a press communiqué dated January 28, one day after the scandalous verdict:
�Yesterday�s sentence is one of a police state waging war. While those who should have been persecuted for having committed war crimes in the aggression against Yugoslavia violating §11 of the constitution remain in top governmental charges, those who fought against these crimes are being sentences to seven years. This monstrosity can only be explained with the permanent war under US leadership attacking international law and sidelining also those of the national states.�
International Cancer Day
“According to estimates of oncologists, especially in the past five
years, the annual number of new patients exceeds 30.000, while in the
Serbian Institute of Oncology and Radiology currently treats more than
11.000 patients. The number of women suffering from breast cancer
increases by some 4.000 each year, while lung cancer is most common in
men. According to scientific indicators, depleted uranium, which NATO
forces used while during the 78 days of air strike against Serbia in
1999, is the main cause of the alarming increase in the number of
patients with malignant diseases. Measurements of radioactivity, which
since 2000 are executed on 112 sites that were exposed to operations
of the “nuclear waste” showed that the level of gamma and beta
radiation is two times higher than allowed.”
The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Vanier College present
HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION CHALLENGED
A Public Conference 10 Years After NATO Attacks on Serbia
March 24, 2009
Vanier College, Montreal
821 Ste Croix (Auditorium, A-103)
A day of commemorative events is organized at Vanier College, with the support of the Centre for Research on Globalization, ten years after the start of the 78-day bombing campaign in Serbia which killed thousands of civilians.
This event will draw attention to media disinformation, the nature of war crimes, and the spirit and letter of international law in an effort to remember, to educate and to inspire us in our collective effort against the injustice of war. It will mirror similar events happening worldwide on the same date.
Central to the discussion will be the legal and moral precedent set for further ‘humanitarian’ bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Schedule of events and speakers:
? 8:30 ?The Decriminalization of Aggression? by Dr. LJILJANA PETROVIC
? 10:00 ?Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War? with director GEORGE BOGDANICH
?11:30 Statements prepared by author and political activist Dr. DIANA JOHNSTONE to be read
and the director of the Centre for Research on Globalization Prof. MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY (video)
? 12:00 MAIN EVENT: PANEL DISCUSSION
EXPLORING THE HUMAN COST OF ‘HUMANITARIAN’ BOMBING:
» Former Canadian Ambassador JAMES BISSETT
» Publisher, author, war correspondent and ex-Canadian soldier SCOTT TAYLOR
» National best-selling author, environmental activist and political figure DAVID ORCHARD
? 2:30 Film: ?Kosovo | Can You Imagine?? with director BORIS MALAGURSKI
We invite you to attend any or all of the public events held at Vanier College in the auditorium (A-103).
This is a free event. Registration is not required.
For more info: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=66527783085#/event.php?eid=66527783085
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