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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In Chicago there are descendants of all these factions, right?
There's Moslems, there's Serbs, there's Croats -- all these
different factions live in the Chicago area. Am I correct?
Do they get along with one another? Or do they (unknown to the
rest of us) fight around?
There's lots of good Croatian people, lots of good Moslem people,
lots of good Serbian people. But that time, the Second World War,
Ustashe was organization that was able to work together with
I have a Croatian guy at work in my office, together with me.
So that makes it a little sensitive?
It's not sensitive. We are very reasonable about talking about
what's going on; we don't want war. We want to stop killing.
That's very important. And I *know* that we can stop killing! And
*then*, we start negotiating.
So for that purpose, the three of you formed a goodwill mission
earlier this year . Tell us a little bit about it. What was
the idea behind it?
Well Mike has been very concerned about the situation in
Yugoslavia, which was his homeland. He came up with the idea at
the beginning of this year that if the Serbs could live under a
system of government like we have in the United States, that
would help solve the problem. So he asked me to put together a
document that they could use to form this type of government. So
we put together a "declaration of independence agreement" that
was modelled on the Declaration of Independence of the United
States; we put together a constitution that was modelled on our
own Constitution, but taking out some of the defects in our
Constitution that has let the U.S. government get way out of
control -- at least in my opinion. And [Unclear] hand-carried
these documents to President Karadzic in Pale, which is the
capital of the Republic of Srpska. In January, he had invited us
to put together a delegation to consult with them in Pale about
their use of this declaration.
It's important for your audience to understand the legal
situation here. Yugoslavia was made up of six republics. It was a
violation of the Yugoslav Constitution for any republic to secede
from Yugoslavia. At the time, in 1991, Yugoslavia was a member of
the United Nations. *Three* of the six republics -- Slovenia,
Croatia, and Bosnia -- decided that they were going to secede, in
violation of the Yugoslav Constitution. In order to stop that,
the leader of Yugoslavia, President Milosovich(sp?), not unlike
our own President Lincoln, sent in the national army to stop them
from seceding from Yugoslavia.
Is that a quick and simplistic way of trying to understand a
complicated thing? That when one of the provinces, like the
southern states, tried to secede from the national government, it
caused the American Civil War? (At least that's what some people
think caused it.) Is that an uncomplicated way of trying to
understand what appears to be a civil war in Yugoslavia?
That's only part of it. The second part of it is that the Serbs
living in Croatia and the Serbs living in Bosnia -- like the
Virginians living in West Virginia -- did not want it to secede
from Yugoslavia. So *they* seceded from the Republic of Croatia
and the Republic of Bosnia and set up their own independent
republic which was independent from *those* republics, but not
independent from Yugoslavia. So today, in fact, the constitutions
of Croina(sp?) (which is the Serb republic in Croatia) and the
Republic of Srpska (which is the Serb republic in Bosnia) -- it's
a violation of those constitutions for them to secede from
Bob, you've studied this thing. What's your take on what appears
to be a civil war over there?
Well it appears to be a matter of these people looking out for
their own problems and not being subject to outside interference.
For whatever reason that may be, certain European countries wish
to get in and interfere in the guise of "peacekeeping", when
there *is* no peace!
Who's interfering? The Germans?
The Germans and the French... proclivity. And they're encouraging
us, the United States, to send armed forces over in the area.
They use the planes for the "fly over". They've done other things
Really, they're trying to influence decisions that could be done
internally, within the country.
So all these provinces are claiming a separate sovereignty and a
separate government? Do they all have separate governments,
separate taxing, separate everything?
Well they do now. Slovenia is an independent country now. Croatia
is an independent country now. Bosnia is an independent country
now. Macedonia is an independent country. And the *new*
Yugoslavia, also called the "rump Yugoslavia" -- which is
comprised now of Serbian Montenegro -- is an independent country.
Mike, I think our viewers would like to know what do the people
over there subsist on? They're so busy killing each other; do
they manufacture anything to make money in the meantime? How do
they get all this money to buy arms, food and whatever they need?
Where does it come from?
That's a good question. It's very hard to answer.
Do they manufacture anything over there?
They don't manufacture nothing right now.
So on what do they subsist?
Well what they subsist on... You have to understand: 90 percent
of the Republic of Srpska is agriculture. So they're self-
Tell our viewers what or how you organized by way of a peace
mission, a goodwill mission, or what. How did you go about it?
Well, because we were trying to get them to form a democratic
form of government, I asked Jim Nagle to accompany me, who in
addition to being a trial lawyer is a constitutional law expert.
And I asked Mike Ginsberg(sp?), who is a senior buyer with United
Air Lines and is a businessman and familiar with free market
principles, to join the delegation so we could try and convince
President Karadzic that this is the type of government he should
And ironically enough, when we sat down with him on Saturday,
April 22nd to discuss these issues, the first words out of his
mouth was that he wants to set up the very type of government
that we were trying to convince him to set up: a limited
government, with the private ownership of property, where
everybody has equal rights.
[Document shown on the screen.]
What we're looking at now is the April 22nd letter that we
convinced President Karadzic to fax to President Clinton, on
April 22nd. The most important portion of this letter is the last
paragraph, where Karadzic states: "What we are proposing,
therefore, is a permanent peace treaty to end the war completely,
and negotiations to resume at the same time under the auspices of
the international community."
President Karadzic was so impressed with what we had to tell him
that he called a special meeting of his cabinet for Sunday, April
23rd. This was 8 o'clock in the morning, on *their* Easter
Sunday. They took the time out to meet with us to discuss these
That is the Eastern Orthodox Easter.
Eastern Orthodox Easter.
And right from that meeting, they went to Eastern Orthodox
services, and we went to the front lines in Sarajevo.
[...to be continued...]