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
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What about this theory that, at a time of recession in America,
there may be armaments business and the Balkans is as good of a
place to get rid of armaments as any: they're busy killing each
other. From a cynical standpoint, they use up a lot of guns,
bullets, bombs. And so American big business does not really
*want* peace there. Is that too cynical?
Well since there's an arms embargo currently [June 1995] in
effect, technically there's no arms supplied by the United
But just to go back to other people we've had contact with: I
faxed to [U.N.] Secretary-General Boutros Ghali(sp?) the letter
we sent to President Clinton -- the letter from President
Karadzic -- and the memo we sent to Dave Merrick of ABC
Nightline. That was done May 30th. No phone call, no fax, no even
acknowledgement [in response].
On June 1st there was a news report that Clinton was going to
introduce U.S. ground troops into Bosnia. At that point in time,
at least the thought was to either re-deploy the U.S. positions
or to help them evacuate. [Senator] Jesse Helms... Some of you
may recall that Jesse Helms said, "No U.S. troops into Bosnia on
my watch!" So I called up Jesse Helms' office, I talked to an
assistant, a Steve Beacon(?), told *him* about the letter of
April 22nd. He gave us the same type of response, that "President
Karadzic is a liar," that "We've dealt with him before and we
can't believe a word he says." I said, "Look. You may say that,
but that's the person you're gonna have to deal with to resolve
the situation." So I sent him a letter, and I pointed out to him
that to *not* deal with President Karadzic and to start a war
over there means that you're going to have to kill 1.9 million
Serbs, living in the Republic of Srpska, who are going to *die*
rather than surrender their homeland. And I don't think that the
United States is prepared to do that.
Let me point this out: We're taping this show on June 6th, '95,
and it won't go on the air for several weeks. By *that* time,
Heaven knows what happens. I mean we may, like Viet Nam, have
100,000 of our troops there... In other words, somebody may
create an incident that's good for the weapons business. I know
that's a cynical viewpoint, but the weapons business must be
considered. Somebody is doing a lot of business over there in the
Balkans. I mean, somebody recognizes the Balkans is some kind of
a boiling cauldron where, some way or another, some people like
to kill other people and this is a good place to ship a lot of
weapons. Is Germany shipping weapons there? I mean, who all is
shipping weapons there?
One thing that really puzzles me in this: President Clinton
ordered *our* planes to go in there and bomb certain parts of the
country, killing Serbians. *Killing* them! Now what did they do
in retaliation? They took hostages and didn't harm a one of them,
followed (further along) by returning some of the hostages -- in
fact, I think they let *all* of the peacekeeping force leave the
country without being harmed. Why would they want to do that?
Maybe some kind of bargaining chip.
Nagle's got an explanation. Tell us.
What people don't realize... We were there right before this
happened. And on May 1st (that was 3 days, 4 days after we left),
the Croatian army invaded the Serbian section of Croatia, killing
three- to four-thousand civilians. And what may have been in
response to that was to bomb the Serbs for allegedly violating a
12-mile zone of not having weapons. And obviously, the Serbs are
seeing that, thinking to themselves, "The U.N. is taking sides,
NATO is taking sides, with the Bosnians against us. Here we just
had 3,000 civilians killed, why don't they do something to
How does the news media cover that? The news media reports that
the Serbs in Croina fired a couple rockets into Zagreb; ten
people were killed. Ten civilians were killed. They tell us
*nothing* about the 4,000 Serb civilians that were killed on
*one* *day*! On May 1st! And the Croatian army took over and
occupied 50 percent of the Republic of Croina.
So the news is slanted. Can you give any explanation *why* it is?
I can give you the explanation that the Serbs, that many people
over there give. They believe that Arab oil money is behind the
Bosnian Muslim government, and that the Vatican is behind the
Croatian government. Now whether that's true or not, we don't
I get the impression that there's definitely been an agenda or
game plan with the media in this country to wrongfully villify
the Serbs. Is that correct?
That's correct. In fact, the analogy that I made was, the news
media is treating this like it is a professional wrestling match:
the Serbs are the "bad guys"; the Bosnians -- and the Croatians,
of all people! -- are the "good guys". And their reporting of it
is [similar] with a professional wrestling match.
By the way, I made a cryptic remark before. The Serbian leader
there sent a message on April 22nd. He didn't know it, but it was
the *worst* possible time to send Clinton a message. Because it
was on *that* *day* (which I believe was a Saturday) that Clinton
and his wife were being questioned, in the White House, under
oath, by the Whitewater independent prosecutor. So I don't think
Clinton or the first lady were interested in peace in Serbia.
They had this other problem.
Well they could have responded on May 26th. They could have
responded on May 30th. They could have responded on June 1st.
What is the explanation that our president is changing his policy
like, ten times a minute? Why is this?
I can say one thing. I'm not politician. My wife and I, we pray
every night: to stop killings. That President Clinton should
immediately stop killings, and negotiate around the table. He
should call President Karadzic to sit around the table and
negotiate and negotiate. What we pray every night.
That's commendable. But you know, some Americans... I read the
papers every day and I thought I'm well-informed. But on this
Bosnia thing, it is so loaded with complications, I think most
Americans do not understand this.
The other thing is, some Americans raise the question: What *is*
the so-called "American interest" in the area? It appears to be a
long-smouldering, one-thousand year civil war. What is the
American interest to get involved? What are we doing there?
I don't think there *is* any American interest. Obviously the
Europeans have an interest, if there's a war in their back yard.
*Maybe* there's an American interest from the standpoint that the
United States is fearful that this is a tinderbox and if it
spreads to Macedonia it might go down into Turkey and into
Greece; and at this point, we're looking at a much larger war.
What is our jurisdiction, what is our legality, of sticking *our*
nose into their civil war?
If you want to look at it from a purely legalistic level, it was
a violation of the United Nation's charter for Germany and the
other European countries, and the United States, to interfere in
the domestic affairs of Yugoslavia. It was a domestic affair in
which certain constituent republics were illegally seceding from
that country. It would be as if, when the South seceded from the
United States -- what happened?
Well some claim that the British fomented that. [CN -- See, for
example, *The Empire of "The City"* by E.C. Knuth]
[...to be continued...]