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Monday, February 20, 2006


Global Village time. Peter North in Australia pointed out this letter from a Mr Brian Gallagher in Liberal Democrat News.
Liberal Democrat News 6 August 2004 Issue 816

I am concerned that due to Iraq, the Liberal Democrats have forgotten about ex-Yugoslavia, where scrutiny is needed.

The UN appeals court overturned the conviction of Croat General Tihomir Blaskic for war crimes, his sentence reduced from 45 years to 9. A similar fate may await fugitive Croat General Ante Gotovina, whose case I have written extensively on. The UN have charged him and two others with the American controlled Croat offensive ’Operation Storm’ in 1995 which stopped Milosevic, saving Croatia and Bosnia.

The UN - which supported the Serbs throughout the war - ludicrously claim Operation Storm to be a war crime. These charges should now be dropped, not least because the prosecutors have contradicted them with evidence in the Milosevic trial. Must we wait for justice at an appeal?

Extensively reported in Croatia, British Intelligence are apparently falsely claiming to international officials that Croatia is harbouring General Gotovina
in an attempt to sabotage Croatia’s EU entry. Sadly, anti-British feeling is thus rife in Croatia.

Elsewhere - and virtually ignored - Hungarians and Croats are being violently attacked by Serb extremists in the Vojvodina province of Serbia. The Liberal
Democrats should start taking a interest - and to be sceptical of Foreign Office policy.

Brian Gallagher
One of the things I am facing expulsion for is is questioning the propriety of the ICTY & suggesting that they should take action against somebody who had undeniably committed perjury (admitedly it was Paddy Ashdown) & yet Mr Gallagher is given space by the party to criticise the ICTY for an opposite decision on prosecution.

Neither Mr Gallagher nor the editor are facing expulsion even for the egregious lies that "The UN - which supported the Serbs throughout the war - ludicrously claim Operation Storm to be a war crime" - The UN expelled Yugoslavia for intervention in Bosnia (part of Yugoslavia) butdid not do so to the Croatian Nazis& the claim that it is ludicrous to call the Krajina Holocaust a war crime coyuld only be stated by the sort of Nazi who would also deny Auschwitz.

Mr Gallagher's commitment to liberal principles, combined with his role as a "consultant" to the Croatian Nazi regime can also be seen in
Operation Storm Destroyed “Greater Serbia”

Gotovina's Offensive may have been bloody but it also forced Serbia to the negotiating table in 1995.
By Brian Gallagher in London (20-Jan-06)

There is no doubt that the indictment of General Ante Gotovina, along with two other Croatian officers by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in relation to Operation Storm, has caused resentment in Croatia.
And for good reason. Firstly, Operation Storm was instrumental in defeating Serbian aggression in both Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina. And secondly, the indictment against Gotovina is in itself questionable and has been contradicted by United Nations prosecutors themselves.
First, Operation Storm. There is no doubt that the Croatian army offensive in July 1995 against rebel Serbs, based in Knin, entailed human rights offences and several hundred quite unnecessary deaths of civilians.
But with the assistance and effective control of the United States, it liberated large swathes of Croatia occupied by the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, RSK. The RSK had seized one-third of the republic and – though this is often forgotten – ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Croats from their homes and killed many.
After dealing a death blow to the RSK, the Croatian offensive was instrumental in pushing back the Serb military in neighbouring Bosnia,
breaking the siege of the UN safe haven of Bihac and forcing the Serbs
to negotiate peace at Dayton, Ohio, later that year.
Had Bihac fallen, tens of thousands of Bosniaks would have been expelled and many perished, and the Bosnian Serbs would have cemented their strategic position. So, Croatia had to act.
This action is now characterised as a "criminal enterprise" in which Gotovina, along with the late President Franjo Tudjman, ethnically cleansed thousands of Serbs, killing them and destroying their property to ensure they never returned.
There is no question that the charges are challenging the legitimacy of Operation Storm. It is expressly mentioned in Gotovina's indictment as part of the "criminal enterprise".
But the idea that the army offensive was in itself responsible for the mass flight of the Serbian population of the RSK needs to be challenged.
It is not controversial that the Bosnian Serb leadership - not the Bosniaks - in collusion with Belgrade, urged Sarajevo's Serbs to leave the Bosnian capital in 1995. Similarly, the RSK leadership, in collusion with Belgrade, ordered out the Serb population ahead of Operation Storm.
Moreover, the prosecutors themselves seem contradictory in their charges against Gotovina. On the one hand they allege ethnic cleansing on Gotovina's part. On the other, in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, they said that Milosevic was responsible for an "overall plan" in which the Serbs would be funnelled from Croatia into Kosovo, where the Serbs were a minority. Clearly these two points are not reconcilable.
If anyone should be indicted for the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from Croatia it should surely be the RSK leadership and Milosevic.
There is another aspect to all this - the involvement of the US. The Clinton administration provided training and intelligence for Croatia before Operation Storm. It was the US that then stopped Croatian forces from continuing their advance in north-west Bosnia in conjunction with the Bosnian army towards the Serb metropolis of Banja Luka. The exercise of the US veto showed that Washington had a supervisory role over the operation.
It is simply not credible that the US in effect conspired with Tudjman and Gotovina to ethnically cleanse Croatia's Serbs. Rather, US involvement was to ensure an end to Serb aggression in the face of European impotence. The US almost certainly possesses the evidence that would exonerate Gotovina. It should provide such evidence to the defence.
If the indictment is shaky, it is to be hoped that the judges can be relied on to throw it out. However, previous experience is not good. The Hague's own appeals chamber in the case of the Bosnian Croat general Tihomir Blaskic listed a litany of errors by the original trial chamber. The Blaskic case does not inspire confidence in Gotovina's trial, especially given Gotovina's high profile.
What compounds the ICTY's poor image in Croatia over Gotovina is its poor record in the prosecution of Serb crimes in Croatia. For the bombardment of Dubrovnik there were only two convictions, with sentences for seven and eight years. For the destruction of the entire town of Vukovar in the autumn and winter of 1991, where thousands perished in a frightful siege, the prosecutors have focused on three middle-ranking officers, the so-called Vukovar Trio. The senior Yugoslav Army commanders most responsible for those horrors have eluded indictment. Yet Gotovina's alleged crimes pale in comparison with theirs.
If Operation Storm had not taken place, a Greater Serbia would exist today. Possibly thousands of Bosniaks from Bihac would be homeless or dead. Is it really possible that saving thousands of Muslim lives was part of a criminal act?
If the Gotovina case results in a guilty verdict, Serb extremists will be able to say they were justified in waging war against both Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, and that they were merely defending themselves. Will the legacy of the ICTY really be that Radovan Karadzic has the last laugh?

Brian Gallagher is the editor of Croatia Business Report, He is also a consultant to the Croatian Worldwide Association.
While he is entirely correct in his statement that the Krajina Holocaust was carried out under the "effective control of the United States" howver the average level oftruth is this mishmash is more effectively shown by the claim that the Holocaust was justified because "Had Bihac fallen, tens of thousands of Bosniaks would have been expelled and many perished, and the Bosnian Serbs would have cemented their strategic position". Bihac was the Moslem northern province which, far from being under threat from Serbs was in alliance with them against the al Quaeda press gangs sent there by Izetbegovic. On a previous occasion local Serb forces had given refuge to its inhabitants when they were driven out by our al Quaeda friends. After 10 years of NATO rule the inhabitants still suffer from the random murders of "unknown" gangs of Moslem fundamentalists & their leader Fikret Abdic is imprisoned in a Croatian Nazi jail having been convicted of prematiure opposition to our al Quaeda friends. These people, like most Kosovo Albanians are in some ways the most tragic victims of our wars becuase there is nobody to speak for them & against the genocidal psychopaths we found it convenient to set over them.

It is obvious that if I have gone to far in my commitment to liberalism, freedom & the rule of international law, Mr Gallagher has gone equally far, to his financial benefit, in his commitment to Holocaust Denial & Nazism. If the party is to maintain a balancing act between these positions they cannot expel me without equally expelling him. I will be drawing their attention to this point.

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