BOSNIA: HOW THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND MEDIA
HAVE FAILED AND MISLED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Special thanks to my "Chicago connection" for sending a videotape
of a public access program, "Broadsides", which was taped on June
6, 1995. Host is Mr. Sherman Skolnick of the Citizens' Committee
to Clean Up the Courts; co-host is Mr. Robert E. Cleveland, an
attorney and associate of Mr. Skolnick. Guests are James Nagle,
an attorney with the law firm of Querry & Harrow, Andrew B.
Spiegel, also an attorney, and Mike Pavlovic, a Serbian-American.
Pardon spelling errors. If you know the correct spellings, please
let me know.
Contact info: Andrew B. Spiegel, PO Box 396, Wheaton, IL 60187
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Hi. Thanks for watching "Broadsides". I'm Sherman Skolnick,
sitting in for our moderator, Cliff Kelley.
We have an interesting program this evening. It's about "Bosnia:
How the State Department and the Media Have Failed the American
People". And we have with us three gentlemen that have just come
back; they've been on a goodwill tour to promote peace in the
Bosnia area. We have James Nagle, a trial attorney with Querry &
Harrow in Wheaton; an International Law expert, Andrew B.
Spiegel; and Mr. Spiegel's client, Mike Pavlovic. And, as a guest
panelist, we have a Chicago lawyer, Robert E. Cleveland. And
we're gonna be discussing some things here that you probably will
not see on the media because, apparently, the media doesn't want
you to know this, and apparently the State Department doesn't
want you to know it. And *were* the American people to know more
about this (what we're gonna discuss in this program), probably
there would be peace in that area.
Why don't you start, Mr. Spiegel, and tell us about this letter
which you have, that you feel would've made peace, if Clinton
would have done something about it.
Well, Sherman, the letter you refer to is a letter dated April
22nd, 1995. It's a letter that President Radovan Karadzic [CN --
Please pardon the levity, but this may help you picture who
Karadzic is: my nickname for him is "hairdo".], the president of
the Republic of Srpska, wrote (with our assistance) after we met
with him in Pale [PALL-ay], which is the capital of the Republic
of Srpska. (The Republic of Srpska is the Serbian section of
I think, Mr. Pavlovic, we can start with the history. I think
you're prepared to tell us about the history of this area from
about 1914 to 1980. And then Mr. Nagle will take it from there.
I can say that, 1914, we had start First World War, from
Sarajevo. At that time was assassination of Prince Ferdinand(?)
from Austria. And that time, before world war finished, we had
monarchs in Yugoslavia; they create country as Yugoslavia. We
create country from Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia that time. And
what... From that time, we had monarch until 1941.
Was the arrangement of the boundary lines to promote peace over
that period, or not?
*That* time is not. They had only, they created one country as,
That was created by the Versailles Treaty, is that not correct?
And then, after King Peter the First took over the country, that
was, at that time, monarchy of the, of Yugoslavia.
During the Second World War, I understand that one of the
factions that lives in that area, the Croats, very much co-
operated with the Nazis. In fact, in some ways, they were more
brutal than the Nazis (if that's possible): the Ustashe(sp?). Can
you tell us a little bit about that?
I can tell you one thing: that is, that time they create, in
Croatia... they work together, with Germany. They create a
special army they call Ustashe. And that time, Second World War,
they kill maybe 750,000 Serbs -- massacred -- in Serbia and
The Nazis had come in and took over the country; they conquered
it from the monarchy.
In other words, the monarchy during that period brought a certain
amount of peace and tranquility to that region?
That time was peace, all the time. But when start Second World
War, they start separating.
What about in the postwar period? I think some of us know there
was a "strong man" by the name of Tito [TEE-toe]. Can you tell us
a little bit about that?
That time, it was 1941 that Tito came in power. And during that
time of war was several leaders in the Yugoslavia. That time was,
like General [Unclear] who save all those 750 American pilots. (I
hope this pilot we have right now... I hope is alive and safe.
[O'Grady, probably, during June 1995])
So was there, in the postwar period, tranquility and peace,
because you had (more or less) a dictator by the name of Tito?
Yes. There was, at that time, a communist system dictating all
the life until 1980.
Well some claim that Tito wasn't *quite* within the Soviet bloc.
In other words, he was in some instances disagreeing with the
Moscow government. But it was similar, in other words.
Yugoslavia was independent communist system.
And that brought us up to the period of 1980.
1980, yes. Up to 1980.
And I think Mr. Nagle is prepared to tell us a little bit about
from 1980 until now.
From 1980 to 1991, Yugoslavia was a complex country, and there
was a saying used to describe this: it was, "One country, with
two alphabets, three religions, four main languages, five
nationalities, six republics, and it was bordered by seven
Did they get along over the centuries? Or have they been killing
each other more or less repeatedly?
What happened in 1980, Tito passed away. In 1990-91, Germany re-
unified. At that time, Croatia attempted to secede from
Yugoslavia. Germany was the first country to recognize Croatia.
At this time, Yugoslavia did not want one of its republics to
secede. So they called in the Yugoslav National Army in an
attempt to suppress the secession. But at that time, the
international community put pressure on Yugoslavia to back off.
The situation that gives rise to the current conflict is that
there are many Serbs who have lived in Croatia for thousands of
years who do *not* want to live under Croatian rule.
Why is that?
In World War II there were between 750,000 and one-and-a-half
million Serbs that were killed in concentration camps...
By the Ustashe?
Well, in other words, Germany was occupying this portion of the
country, but the Croatians were Nazi sympathizers. In other
words, after World War II, when Tito came into power he wanted to
unify Yugoslavia. So he swept this genocide "under the carpet",
so to speak. You can imagine how the Jewish people would feel if
the Holocaust was swept "under the carpet". But now, at this time
[1990-91], Croatia's saying, "We're going to be our own country,
govern ourselves." And obviously, the Serbian people living in
Croatia do not want that to happen.
Fifty years after the war, would the Croatians that live in
Chicago disagree with this? If I, for one, raise the issue that
even fifty years after the war there still is -- oh, I don't know
-- a "pro-German" "pro-Nazi" twist to Croatia, is that fair? Or
is that unfair?
I can only speak from what we saw happen. Obviously, Croatia
seceded at that time and Germany was the first country to
recognize Croatia. It's my personal opinion that, obviously, a
deal was made *before* Croatia seceded.
But it's the same conflict that we have in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
There are many Serbs that have lived in Bosnia for thousands of
years that don't want to live under Muslim rule. When Bosnia also
attempted to secede from Yugoslavia... the same situation. The
president of Bosnia wants to start, basically, a fundamentally
Islamic state, and have Serbs who are Eastern Orthodox that don't
want to live under Islamic rule.
[...to be continued...]