Wednesday, March 12, 2008
General Ante Gotovina, working closely with American advisers, was the commander of a campaign in the summer of 1995 known as Operation Storm that put an end to the Serbian occupation of Eastern Croatia and forced more than 150,000 Serbs to flee towns and villages where they had lived for generations.
The four-day military operation was a turning point in the drawn-out war, and while Croatia celebrated it as the heroic recapturing of its homeland, Serbia mourned it as the single largest event of "ethnic cleansing" of the 1991-1995 war that broke up Yugoslavia
Observers of the trial believe it may also shed more light on the little-known covert American role during that decisive Croatian counteroffensive against Serbia.
U.S. advisers, among them retired and active American military personnel, helped plan the operation, and Americans directed unmanned aircraft over the battle zone to gain real-time intelligence for Croatian forces, Croatian government officials have said.
The United States is not implicated in any of the charges related to the operation, but its intelligence methods and sources might be revealed, lawyers at the court said. In the summer of 1995, Washington and Western diplomats were seeking to end the war and were in favor of rolling back Serbia's considerable military gains in Bosnia and Croatia, in order to create a viable peace plan.
Washington has taken a keen interest in the trial, and American diplomats have visited the war crimes tribunal to discuss the case, a former senior prosecutor said.
I love that line: America is not implicated in any of the charges. Of course it isn't! After all:
This ICTY service was based on structural facts: the institution was created by the NATO powers, with the United States in the lead; it was funded heavily by these powers and closely allied NGOs (George Soros's Open Society Institute); it was staffed with NATO country personnel, and its high officials were vetted by NATO-power leaders; and it depended on NATO for information and police service. But this meant that NATO itself would be exempt from "justice," and that it would be difficult to bring to justice NATO clients, even if they committed crimes similar to or even worse than those committed by Serbs. Mandel points out that, when he presented the ICTY prosecutor with a three-volume dossier and complaint on NATO war crimes in May 1999, it took a year for the prosecutor to decide to reject this application, without ever having made a formal investigation, whereas in the case of the alleged Racak massacre, attributable to the Serbs, the prosecutor declared this a war crime and rushed into action on the very same day, based solely on information supplied her by the U.S. representative in the scene, William Walker.
So much for the 1990s, a wasted decade. All the demands for American intervention into various trouble spots were in vain. America was already intervening, on behalf of mass murder and ethnic cleansing. If you've spent the last decade or so clamouring for 'humanitarian intervention', I suggest you get yourself another hobby.