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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So what are you saying? You're saying there's a symbolism: they
want the world to pay attention to what's happening. They says,
"Hey! We're not gonna harm these people but we're grabbing these
people to make a point that *our* viewpoint is not being *heard*
for some reason!" So now everybody says, "Why did you grab these
people? They've got the 'U.N. thing?'" Is that it?
And the news media cannot afford -- going back to my wrestling
analogy -- they can't afford to portray the "bad guys" as the
"good guys"; they have to *stay* the "bad guys" to keep this
So your view, as would-be peacemakers, is that there are bad guys
and good guys in that area, right?
There are bad guys. There are good guys. And there are great
To answer the question that you keep asking: "*Why* won't the
United States sit down and talk with Karadzic?" Their position at
this point [June 1995] is, they don't recognize him. Before Nixon
went to China, we didn't recognize China. Did that mean that
there were not a billion Chinese living over there?
This is not clear to a lot of Americans. *Who* does our State
Department, our government, recognize?
They have been dealing with, at this point, Milosovich, who is
the leader of Yugoslavia, the former head of the Yugoslav
Communist Party. And *he* is the one that the U.S. recognizes.
And that's where our "declaration of independence" comes in...
Which one of them is accused of being a war criminal?
Well, ironically enough, Milosovich was accused as a war criminal
*until* *they* *started* *negotiating* *with* *him*! They started
negotiating with him and suddenly he's not a war criminal, it's
just Karadzic and Miladich(sp?).
So in other words, the one *you* went to negotiate with to try to
make a peace understanding, constitution and all that, is not
recognized. And he's not recognized, why? Because the State
Department doesn't take him seriously?
Well, because for one thing, as far as I'm concerned, from an
international law basis, they have not declared themselves as an
independent country. If they are of the constituent republic of
Yugoslavia, then the person to talk to is Milosovich.
Under the Logan Act, no American citizen, private citizen, is
supposed to negotiate foreign policy. So you went over there,
negotiating foreign policy.
Not only were we *not* negotiating foreign policy, but I think
it's clear even to the casual observer of the situation that
there *is* very little foreign policy of the United States.
[laughs] There's no foreign policy, therefore they couldn't
violate the Logan Act because there isn't any foreign policy one
way or the other! Right? Is that fair?
*I* think so.
So where do you think the thing is going? I mean, what is the
hopeful sign? We've seen all the bloodshed, plenty of it, on the
television: bodies, buildings bombed. What is the hopeful sign?
Well, the hopeful sign is that the Republic of Srpska and
Republic of Croina will adopt the "declaration of independence",
adopt the "constitution", and create a democratic form of
constitutional government where people can live freely regardless
of race, religion or creed. And if they do that then, hopefully,
it will bring peace to that troubled area of the world.
Well the point of the matter is that that area (you mentioned
about democracy and all that): Have they ever *had* democracy
They have a democratic form of government in the Republic of
And before we run out of time, let me tell you that we have tapes
of the Croatian genocide in Bukovar(sp?) and the Croatian
genocide perpetrated against the Serbs from 1941 to 1990. And the
post office box has been flashed from time to time on the screen.
If people are interested in obtaining those tapes, they should
write there for further information. [Andrew B. Spiegel, PO Box
396, Wheaton, IL 60187]
You're on an educational mission, all three of you.
And all three of you would go back, to try again, even though
you've been rebuffed by the mainstream media...
I think that another point that should be made is that the
Bosnians have hired a public relations firm to handle their side
of the story. And they're just putting out all this information
that is pro-Bosnian -- which is *one* of the reasons why the news
media is so slanted.
Let me ask you this: When you went over there and were doing
these things *pro bono*, so to speak, for [their] government and
for [their] president, weren't you on their local TV and in their
local paper, their media? Didn't they play that up over there?
We were on their local TV; we were on their local radio -- both
in the Republic of Srpska *and* in Yugoslavia.
So you were played up as heroes there. And you should have been
played up as peacemakers in the United States.
Correct. When we left, I thought that we would get all kinds of
news media coverage.
So if the three of you wanted to smuggle into the country and
sell them some exotic weapons, you might have been better off;
you would have been accepted by the United States if you were
really three arms merchants.
The exotic piece of equipment that we tried to bring into the
Republic of Srpska was a popcorn maker, which...
That they wouldn't allow into the country!?
...which the Hungarian border guards said was "a violation of
By what stretch of the imagination were they gonna turn it into a
Well, when we tried to convince them that this was humanitarian
relief, and not something that was covered by U.N. sanctions, we
were talking about Bill Clinton. And it turns out, we learned
later, we should have been talking about "Ben Franklin" [$100
bills] and how many of them we'd have to give them to let us
bring it through.
Let's ask our Serbian-American representative here, what do you
think? Is there peace possible in the area? Or are they going to
go on killing each other for another thousand years?
If we want to solve the problem, we can solve the problem.
Twenty-four hours. I know. I am sure. But America should *see*
*all* *sides*. They recognize only two sides and show on
television two sides. On the Serbian side, they never show
anything good -- only bad. Now, they must sit around the table
and work together, and negotiate. And I *know* that we can solve
the problem. We *stop* killing and negotiate. If we must
negotiate for ten years, we should negotiate for ten years. And
then, make economical war to be able... see how can economically
go forward. And then we build again, together.
I want to thank our three illustrious peacemakers. I hope you go
back there and make peace. I appreciate you came on our program.
And I thank everybody for watching "Broadsides". And call up your
local newsfakers and ask them why these three have not been
played up as heroes in their own country, the United States.