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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SHERMAN SKOLNICK [continues]:
By the way, some conspiracy theorists have published stories in
smaller magazines that Scowcroft, Eagleburger, and Kissinger (all
connected with Kissinger Associates; they're believed by some to
be an evil cabal), that they suddenly toppled the economic system
in Yugoslavia and that led to all this fighting. Do any of you
believe that there's some sort of validity to that kind of
conspiracy theory, whatever it is? In other words, that something
touched off this situation? What about that, Mike?
It's very hard to answer that question. The death of Tito, maybe.
But what about this theory that some American meddler, like
Kissinger, that he meddled in some way with their banking system,
toppled their banking system? Is that possible, that the toppling
of their banking system and then their currency going to pot led
to this situation where everybody over there wants to kill each
That's only speculation. I think it's much simpler than that. I
think Germany, obviously when it reunified in 1991, wanted to
have more influence in southern Europe. The easiest way to do
this would be to have their own country down there -- which was
Croatia. What happened, though, is people just didn't think
(including the State Department in the United States; At that
time, James Baker was Secretary of State.) as to how the Serbs
would react -- the Serbs *living* in Croatia, the Serbs *living*
in Bosnia -- once these countries effected to go through...
The way you describe it, 50 years after the Second World War
there's a sinister undertone. It means that the Nazis are still
there. It's as if, "Hey. Croatia was with us in the Second World
War, with the Ustashe. They're still with us."
Sherman, when Croatia became a so-called "independent country" it
adopted the same names and the same national symbols that it used
when it was a fascist republic years ago.
Really!? So on the screen here we should have shown what? The
Nazi flag of 50 years ago?
Well they definitely use the Iron Cross.
Well the Iron Cross... The Iron Guard was, in some published
accounts, more brutal. There's one published account that -- it
was terrible. I don't know. I suppose it's true: where they
plucked out people's eyeballs and put 'em in big pails and
carried 'em through the streets. What about that?
Before I get to that, there's one point that should be made here.
There are credible accounts that President Ysabegovich(sp?), the
current leader of Bosnia, was a member of the Hanta(sp?) Brigade
in World War II (which was a fascist youth troop).
So they haven't all died. They're still around.
He's the leader of Bosnia now!
So in other words...
One of the so-called "good guys".
And I think the most ironic part of that story was that, this
year , with the 50th celebration of victory in Europe...
And Ysabegovich was invited back to the ceremony.
Let me get this straight. So in their heart of hearts, in their
inner sanctum, they might buy onto some Hitler image, some Iron
Cross image, some Swastika? Is that credible?
I don't know if that's credible. I think that this is the group
that he belonged in. It was the same situation with Kurt
Well if they were 20 years old at that time, they're not all
dead! They're still walking around. And in their heart of hearts
and their inner sanctum, they *might* conceive this Swastika and
the Iron Cross and the Ustashe. Some people believe that the
Ustashe idea exists today. Other people, in dark tones, say,
"Ustashe? There's a place in south Chicago where they still hang
out!" Is that all believable, Mike?
They have an organization...
I repeat: there's good people, there's bad people -- everywhere.
But in the Chicago area there's, some people believe, Ustashe;
sort of remainders of the Hitler types?
In Croatia, too. They have special troops that they call
I tell you why I raise that question. Because in the '80s (some
people have forgotten), in the vicinity of 98th and Commercial
(which is south Chicago), there was bombings between Croatian and
certain factions. And there was quite a bit of commotion at the
time. And there was this undertone that this is the leftover from
Ustashe. Most people have forgotten about it.
So in other words, there's still sort of a Hitler theme, 50 years
after the war?
I think that, for the most part, people all over the world are
the same: they want to raise their kids with a roof over their
head, and be able to walk to school without being killed. That
was the general tone of the people we met when we were over in
the Republic of Srpska. And I think that, for the most part,
they're no different from many Americans here. They want peace.
They've lived there for thousands of years. I still think we're
getting carried away when we start...
But you came back here... You were on a peace mission, the three
of you. And at your own time and expense you went over there,
promoting "declaration of independence" and a constitution that
might have brought peace there. Why do all these talk shows, that
have got all this time -- why is it that none of them put you on
to discuss this at length!? We're apparently the first ones that
are putting you on to explain what has happened here! How do you
You're the number one talk show in Chicago, Sherman. [laughter]
Oh, I don't know about that. They've got all these other
commercial windbags on.
Let's get back to something you were talking about. Because on
national television the last several days, there have been any
number of senators and congressmen asking, "Why? What is our
interest in this area?"
That hasn't been said. Is that unfair to say that?
Well it's not in our interest so far, because the United States
(at least on the record) has not been supplying arms to anyone in
Would the three of you go back, on your own nickel, and try
again? You're not so discouraged at this point that you wouldn't
go a second time?
I'd be more than happy to go back. And again, keeping in mind
that this is being taped on June 6th , the word that we
have from Pale is that President Karadzic is right now willing to
release *all* the remaining U.N. soldiers, providing they sit
down with him and discuss the peace treaty that he wants to
negotiate and that they don't bomb him. Is that too much to ask?
What is the slant in the media about these hostages?
The media seems more concerned about the taking of the U.N.
soldiers, who are not being harmed by the Serbs, than they are by
the four thousand Serb civilians who were massacred by the
Croatian army! Why weren't NATO air strikes called on the
[...to be continued...]