Monday, February 20, 2006
"LUDICROUS" CLAIM THAT US CONTROLED KRAJINA HOLOCAUST WAS A WAR CRIME
Liberal Democrat News 6 August 2004 Issue 816One 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.
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.
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”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.
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, www.croatiabusinessreport.com. He is also a consultant to the Croatian Worldwide Association.
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.
British historian, David Irving, has just been sentenced to a jail term of 3 years by an Austrian court for Holocaust denial.
But the Lib Dems' Brian Gallagher gets away with not only writing as an apologist for Holocaust denier, the late Franjo Tudjman & his neo-Ustasha [Croatian National Socialism]ethos [see http://126.96.36.199/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Genocide.htm and http://188.8.131.52/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Dec3192-2.htm ] where Mr. Tudjman claimed in his 1989 book "Wastelands of Historical Reality" [see http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Croatia/Tudjman.html ]
that: "Hitler's new European Order could be justified by the need to remove the Jews" & that the Holocaust was grossly "exaggerated" and that the WW2 Jewish death toll could be as low as 900 thousand; but Mr. Gallagher goes much further than that.
Mr. Gallagher has the brazen audacity to defend the hideously brutal Tudjman neo-Ustasha ethnic cleansing of 275 to 350 thousand Serbs from the Krajina province in "Operation Storm" in August 1995 as an operation that, according to Mr. Gallagher, "saved lives" [!!] and where he defends it by writing that it is simply "ludicrous" to call it "a war crime"! [?!]
Is this what the Lib Dems Executive refers to as a "liberal" set of views on the part of Mr. Gallagher or would this be categorized as "illiberal"? I doubt that Mr. Gallagher would have been able to get away with such pro-Nazi views were it not for the Lib Dems Executive turning a blind eye & a deaf ear to his writings & interviews.
However what makes this behavior far worse than merely turning a blind eye is the fact that Mr. Gallagher gets to air his obscene views in the official Lib Dems party paper - the "Liberal Democrat News" -where he has written [with presumably the full approval and/or tacit support of the paper's editor] brazen,shameless lies on many occasions in support of Franjo Tudjman's, Agim Ceku's & Ante Gotovina's pogroms against the Serbs.
It gets worse: the official party paper of the Lib Dems is also allowed to act as a propaganda conduit for Mr. Gallagher, who acts as a paid propagandist for the Croatian HDZ [Croatian Democratic Union] government where Mr. Gallagher gets to staunchly defend its ethnic cleansing policies against the Serbs from May 1990 until today.
I never would have believed that the Lib Dems could support - in allowing Mr, Gallagher to use the official party paper for propaganda purposes - such truly illiberal views & policies of Balkan neo-Ustasha National Socialists & their despicable views on ethnic purity - views which are a throwback to the 1930's era & surely definitely out of place in modern [supposedly] "liberal democratic" Europe & the UK?
In these articles/letters in the Lib Dems official party organ, the "Liberal Democrat News", Mr. Gallagher engages in pure conspiracy theory - since he does NOT provide a shred of evidence - by telling us repeatedly that the UN and "many other Western nations" [like the UK for instance, which he actually mentions as one of the guilty parties] were fighting on the side of the Serbs! [??!!]
As an example, he claims that in the case of the old city of Dubrovnik in 1991, the Serbs were guilty of:
"...barbaric attacks on a defenceless city. Simply put, war crimes"
and he writes that this was allowed to happen because it was a case of: "...Serbian expansion effectively backed by certain Western nations."
This is what Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, John Peter Maher, of the University of Chicago, Illinois, wrote back in July 1995 in a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune:
" Dubrovnik's Old City, I saw with my own eyes on March 25, 1992, three months after the "destruction", and as attested by the eyewitness of journalists who went there during and after the fighting, is intact except for the Library of the Serb Orthodox Church. It was gutted by plastic explosives and incendiary materials by Croatian forces.
"Stories of Dubrovnik's destruction were/are spread by people, such as Mr. Slattery, who have never gone there, repeating a hoax that was meant to provoke an attack on the bad guy Serbs. The Croatian-paid PR firm Ruder Finn now claims that the Old City has been so successfully restored that this "might give credence to Serbian propaganda that it was never destroyed."
Mr. Gallagher has also LIED brazenly through his teeth by saying that NO ethnic cleansing whatsoever took place during the Tudjman/Clinton/Gotovina/Ceku massive pogrom known as "Operation Storm" and that the Serbs cleansed themselves!!
In particular, Mr. Gallagher claims that Milosevic & RSK Krajina leader Milan Babic - were the ones who ordered the Serbs to leave the Krajina province AHEAD of time [i.e. before] "Operation Storm" actually commenced! [I suppose Mr. Gallagher would also imply that the Serbs ordered the Croatian Air Force & Army to strafe & bomb Serbian refugee columns and to throw heavy rocks - in cowardly gauntlet style - at columns of elderly men,women & children trying to escape the shelling of the Serbian Krajina capital, Knin, resulting in the deaths of thousands [some estimates are as high as 20,000 deaths].
Here is what US based commentator, Mary Mostert, wrote in her article "Clinton made 1995 Ethnic Cleansing in Krajina possible":
After the fall of Krajina, Croatian chief of staff General Zvonimir Cervenko characterized Serbs as "medieval shepherds, troglodytes, destroyers of anything the culture of man has created."
During a triumphalist train journey through Croatia and Krajina, Tudjman spoke at each railway station. To great applause, he announced, "There can be no return to the past, to the times when [Serbs] were spreading cancer in the heart of Croatia, a cancer that was destroying the Croatian national being."
He then went on to speak of the "ignominious disappearance" of the Serbs from Krajina "so it is as if they have never lived here... They didn't even have time to take with them their filthy money or their filthy underwear!" American ambassador Peter Galbraith dismissed claims that Croatia had engaged in "ethnic cleansing," since he defined this term as something Serbs do"
Not only that, but Mr. Gallagher has also blatantly & shamelessly LIED that the Serbs "ran the show" in the former SFR Yugoslavia, but yet never bothers to explain how both Croatia & Slovenia were the wealthiest of the two republics in the former Yugoslavia while supposedly subject to Serbian "domination" & "oppression" [real conspiracy theorists like Mr. Gallagher are always short of displaying logic & rational thought processes]. To see how much Brian Gallagher is lying about this subject, see: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~bip/docs/kosovo/media-jc-92.html
Mr.Yossef Bodansky, the Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US Congress House of Representatives, wrote in his book "Offensive in the Balkans" back in September 1995:
"...Zagreb would not let Belgrade off the hook. When the growing use of Croatian Armed Forces in offensives against the Bosnian Serbs failed to incite the Yugoslav Armed Forces to intervene in the war, Zagreb created an implied threat to a vital interest of Yugoslavia: the strategic port and airport facilities in Tivat.
"Using the excuse of Serb artillery fire on Dubrovnik, itself provoked by Croatian shelling, Croatia concentrated large forces in the area in late August. Fully aware of Zagreb's real intentions, Belgrade warned that recent Croat military activities around Dubrovnik suggested that Croatia "might try to draw Yugoslavia into a war around the port of Dubrovnik".
"And although senior Yugoslav officers stressed that Belgrade was urging restraint even in the face of massive destruction wrought upon their Serbian brethren just across the border, it is clear in Belgrade that Zagreb was pushing for an escalation."
If you think that 67 year old David Irving should spend 3 years rotting away in an Austrian jail for Holocaust denial, but yet Mr. Gallagher can say with a straight face that a massive Nazi Style pogrom like "Operation Storm" can be justified on the grounds that it "saved lives", then David Irving could also justify saying that Hitler's launching of World War 2 & the war in the East for German "living space" [lebensraum]& the invasion of Czechoslovakia in order to "liberate" the Sudeten Germans was also a case of "saving lives".
For a sampling of Mr. Gallagher's
writings in the "Liberal Democrat News" & on various Croatian websites & newspapers on behalf of Franjo Tudjman's neo-Ustasha Croatian National Socialism ethos & ethnic cleansing policies against the Serbs, check out these links:
http://www.glas-slavonije.hr/trazi2.asp?ID=35287 [this article is in Serbo-Croatian]
For further refutation of Mr. Gallagher's lies & absurdities concerning Dubrovnik being destroyed by the Serbs & miraculously restored just three months later [except for the gutted Serbian Orthodox Church library] and for the neo-Ustasha Nazi ethnic cleansing policies of Franjo Tudjman, see also:
If you are going to expel Mr. Neil Craig of Glasgow ,Scotland, for being too much of a classic liberal - for standing up for freedom,individual liberty,truth, justice,economic progress & prosperity - truly "liberal democratic" values, and yet you DON'T wish to expel somebody like Mr. Brian Gallagher - a shameless apologist & paid propagandist for Balkan Nazis like Franjo Tudjman, who PUBLICLY - both in his speeches & writings - supported mass murderers like Adolf Hitler & Ante Pavelic, & openly threatened the Serbian population of Krajina with genocide & ethnic cleansing from as early as 1990, then from 1991 to 1995 when Mr. Tudjman actually carried out his threats through to fruition, then may I suggest you rename your party to the "Illiberal non-Democrats" or maybe simply the "Illiberal National Socialists".
Peter Robert North.