The Destruction Of Yugoslavia: International Justice Or NATO “Battering Ram”

With the March 24 ICTY decision condemning Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes, exactly 17 years after NATO began its bombing spree on Serbia,  international criminal justice revealed itself once again as an instrument of US and NATO foreign policy.

[They chose that the 24th of March to render judgment regarding Karadzic iquite deliberately with a view to erasing the history of NATO crimes.]

If any doubts persist, it is worth remembering how the Former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, David Scheffer, perceived that tribunal. Writing about it in his memoirs, Scheffer wrote unabashedly:

the tribunal was an important judicial tool, and I had enough support from President Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of Defence William Cohen, and other top officials in Washington to wield it like a battering ram in the execution of US and NATO policy. (All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2012, p. 321. Our emphasis)

Justice Belied

Justice Belied, The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice provides essential background to understand how the whole international criminal law movement, of which the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia is a part, has in fact undermined international criminal law.

The late Michael Mandel did groundbreaking work on the question, particularly with his 2004 book, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes against Humanity. David Jacobs knew him well. Following is an excerpt from David Jacobs’s important contribution to Justice Belied, entitled “How the International Criminal LawMovement Undermined International Law— Michael Mandel’s Groundbreaking Analyses.” Read that article and more in Justice Belied, The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice, edited by Sébastien Chartrand and  John Philpot.

*       *       *

click to order book directly from Baraka books

How the International Criminal Law Movement Undermined International Law— Michael Mandel’s Groundbreaking Analyses

by David Jacobs, (Excerpt)

(…) As Michael put it, it is “the quite massive and unspeakable criminality of the world’s richest countries and particularly that of the United States of America.”[3]

The only rational assumptions are that international criminal law will be firmly subordinated to power, that impunity will be a perk of economic and military hegemony, and that the usual suspects will continue to be rounded up while America gets away with murder.[4]

Michael Mandel

Michael Mandel

Michael surgically eviscerated the foundational pretensions of the international criminal law movement in works such as his 2004 publication, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage And Crimes Against Humanity. Michael’s view was that the old, anti-war order of international law, which recognised the sovereign equality of nations and anathematised unilateral aggressive war, had to be overthrown to legitimise the “new world order” crystallising after the end of the Cold War. The new order was characterised by the desire of the United States to violently and unilaterally impose “regime change” on governments it held in contempt. This new order needed legal sanction, and the international criminal law movement obliged by fatally undermining the old order governed by the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.

Michael’s argument, made with unassailable logic, is that given the context of NATO’s illegal attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (the “flagship”[5] post-Nuremberg tribunal first promoted by the movement), in turning a blind eye to the illegality of the attack, had no option but to become implicated in “the overthrow of international law and the UN Charter’s fundamental principles.”[6] Thus the ICTY (and by extension the International Criminal Court and the ad hoc tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) had to fashion a “substitute legality”[7] in the form of the current face of international criminal law promoted by the international criminal law movement.

Michael’s starting points include the Charter of the United Nations: the “fundamental document of the old world order,” [8] the “world’s constitution,”[9]and the Nuremberg Principles.[10] The central tenets of the UN Charter are:

[T]he equality of states and the prohibition of the use of force in international relations. Violence is only permissible when authorized by the Security Council… The only permissible unilateral use of military force is the strictly limited right of self-defence, temporarily available until the Security Council can deal with the situation.[11]

The Preamble to the UN Charter expressly sets out as its goal “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Principle IV of the Nuremberg Principles sets out that crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity are punishable as crimes under international law. Principle IV defines crimes against peace, in part, as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances.” In a statement often cited by Michael in his writings and speeches, the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal famously declared:

War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.[12]

Michael pointed out that collateral to the establishment of the various new international criminal tribunals to try war crimes and crimes against humanity was the 1999 war over Kosovo “fought under the legally preposterous claim of unilateral ‘humanitarian intervention,’” and the “mortal blow” to the UN Charter of the 2001 war against Afghanistan, “under the equally preposterous claim of self-defence.”[13]

It is in the furnace of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia that the ICTY and the “substitute legality,” which the international criminal law movement is enamoured of, were forged. Under the “old world order,” the forcible violation of national sovereignty was a violation of the “sound and precious anti-war principles of the”[14] UN Charter and the supreme international crime. While NATO spokespersons tried to justify the attack on the pretext of “humanitarian intervention” (now renamed with the more soothing soubriquet, “responsibility to protect”[15]) such pretext was itself an admission of criminality:

‘Humanitarian intervention’ by military force finds no place in the Charter of the United Nations, because for the generation who wrote the Charter the ‘scourge’ was war betweenstates, the violation of national sovereignty that was Nuremberg’s ‘supreme crime’… The notion of a ‘humanitarian war’ would have rang in the ears of the drafters of the UN Charter as nothing short of Hitlerian, because it was precisely the justification used by Hitler himself for the invasion of Poland six years earlier.

Michael showed beyond doubt that the NATO attack was a violation of the UN Charter and a crime against peace—a crime punishable under international law. It was a war of aggression, a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, not least in breach of the UN Charter and the NATO Treaty. The latter Treaty including the Preamble and Articles 1 and 7 thereto attests to the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council and the subordination of NATO to the UN Charter. As he explained:

Neither Security Council authorization nor self-defence was even claimed by NATO as justification for the use of force… The preamble of the NATO Treaty (1949) states that the signers of this document are attesting to their commitment to the premises of the United Nations Charter as well as their resolve to live amicably with all human beings.[16]

(…) To purchase Justice Belied, click here.

Notes

[3] Speakers’ notes, Michael Mandel, unpublished, 2001.

[4] Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder, supra, fn. 1, p. 233.

[5] Michael Mandel, “The Legal Institutions of the New World Order: ‘Might Makes Right’ and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,” in Gordana Yovanovich, ed., The New World Order: Corporate Agenda and Parallel Reality, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montréal, 2003, p. 72.

[6] Ibid. pp. 113-114.

[7] Ibid., p113-114.

[8] Ibid., p. 72.

[9] Michael Mandel, R2P & ICC v. UNC: The Responsibility to Protect and the International

Criminal Court versus the Charter of the United Nations in Costituzione Economia Globalizzazione, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2013, p. 1379.

[10] Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal. Adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations, 1950.

[11] Michael Mandel, “The Legal Institutions of the New World Order, supra, fn. 6.

[12] Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder, supra, fn. 1, p. 6.

[13] Michael Mandel, “The Legal Institutions of the New World Order,” supra, fn. 6.

[14] Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder, supra, fn. 1, p. 113.

[15] See Michael Mandel, R2P & ICC v. UNC: The Responsibility to Protect and the International Criminal Court versus the Charter of the United Nations, pp. 1379-1391.

[16] Michael Mandel, “The Legal Institutions of the New World Order,” supra, fn. 6, p. 75.


READ MORE!
Dysfunction in the Balkans: Can the post-Yugoslav settlement survive?
The political settlement in the former Yugoslavia is unraveling. In Bosnia, the weakest state in the region, both Serbs and Croats are mounting a concerted challenge to the Dayton peace accords, the delicate set of compromises that hold the country together. In Macedonia, political figures from the large Albanian minority are calling for the federalization of the state along ethnic lines. In Kosovo, the Serb minority is insisting on the creation of a network of self-governing enclaves with effective independence from the central government. In Serbia’s Presevo Valley, Albanians are agitating for greater autonomy. In Montenegro, Albanians have demanded a ...
READ MORE
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
THE GLOBALIZATION OF NATO Author:  Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya Clarity Press (2012) ISBN:  978-0-9852710-2-2 Pages:  411 with complete index Available to order from Global Research The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies. NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and ...
READ MORE
The history of “Humanitarian Warfare”: NATO’s reign of terror In Kosovo, the destruction of Yugoslavia
The following text was written in the immediate wake of the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia and the invasion of Kosovo by NATO troops. It is now well established that the war on Yugoslavia was waged on a fabricated humanitarian pretext and that extensive war crimes were committed by NATO and the US. In retrospect, the war on Yugoslavia was a “dress rehearsal” for subsequent US-NATO sponsored humanitarian wars including Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), Syria (2011), Ukraine (2014). Who are the war criminals? In a bitter irony, the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague ...
READ MORE
From the History of Anti-Russian Policy: The First Balkan Alliance (1866−1868)
The creation of the First Balkan Alliance against the Ottoman Empire in 1866–1868 in the light of territorial requirements of the Balkan states and nations at the expense of the decreasing power of the Ottoman authorities and the Ottoman state integration was the first political-military treaty on the mutual cooperation by the Christian Balkan states and nations. The secret paragraphs of bilateral military-political contracts between Greece and Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro in regard to territorial inheritance of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans are the most important points of the treaty. Serbia became a leader of the Balkan coalition and ...
READ MORE
The Mladic NATO-Style Trial at the ICTY: A Stain on Civilization
“All that is a lie. This is a NATO-style trial.” The defiant words of General Mladic to the judges of the NATO controlled ad hoc war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia rang out loud and clear the day they pretended to convict him. He could have added ‘but history will absolve me” and a lot more but he was thrown out of the room by the chief judge, Orie, in his condescending style, as if he was dealing to a truant schoolboy, instead of a man falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, echoed the ...
READ MORE
Rescue in Serbia of the Jews during the WWII
Serbia rescued more Jews than any other part of the former Yugoslavia during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem , The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, has awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations, those who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, to 127 individuals from Serbia, which is the highest number for the former Yugoslavia. On December 2, 2008, Arthur Koll, the Israeli Ambassador to Serbia,  presented to the children and grandchildren of Borivoje Bondzic, Grozdana Bondzic, Ljubica Mandusic-Gazikalovic, and Jelica Rankovic the Righteous Among the Nations award. They are the descendants of Serbs who during the Holocaust risked their own lives ...
READ MORE
Civilian Casualties Of NATO’s War On Yugoslavia
From the onset of NATO’s aggression from March 24 to June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) flew over 35,000 combat missions over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 1,000 warplanes (among others F-15, F-16, F-117) and 206 helicopters were used in the air strikes. More than 20,000 laser or satellite-guided weapons were launched and over 79,000 tons of explosives were dropped, including 152 containers with 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual and graphite bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions.1 The NATO forces justified the bombing of civilian targets as either “mistakes” or essential to the destruction of Milosevic and ...
READ MORE
Confession Of A CIA Agent: They Gave Us Millions To Dismember Yugoslavia
Confession of a CIA Agent: They gave us millions to dismember Yugoslavia November 26, 2015 We bribed parties and politicians who have enticed hate between the nations. Our ultimate goal was to enslave you! WebTribune publishes their interview with former CIA agent Robert Baer during his promotion tour in Quebec for upcoming book “Secrets of the White House” last week. My boss, who was formerly a US Senator, stressed repeatedly that some kind of scam would go down in Bosnia. A month before the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, he told me that the town would be headline news around the world and ordered us ...
READ MORE
The USA from 1776 onward
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save Save
READ MORE
Kiev Junta War Crimes
A new Foundation for the Study of Democracy (FSD) report is titled “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture of the Donbass region residents.” It provides graphic evidence of horrendous Kiev war crimes Western media ignore. Earlier articles discussed Kiev’s dirty war. It deliberately targeted civilian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and infrastructure. It used of cluster munitions, white phosphorous and other chemical weapons, as well as cold-blooded murder of hundreds of captives. Most were abducted civilians. They were brutally tortured, murdered and secretly buried. Eyewitnesses exposed the crimes. FSD’s report provides more damning evidence of junta torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. Over 100 former ...
READ MORE
War Crimes Charges for the Hague Tribunal Against NATO Leaders
Accused of War Crimes: The British Prime Minister Tony Blair   WAR CRIMES CHARGES FOR THE HAGUE AGAINST THE NATO LEADERS – ONE OF THE INDICTMENTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA NOTICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING SERIOUS VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE TRIBUNAL; REQUEST THAT THE PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATE NAMED INDIVIDUALS FOR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND PREPARE INDICTMENTS AGAINST THEM PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 18.1 AND 18.4 OF THE TRIBUNAL STATUTE. TO: Madam Justice Louise Arbour, Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Churchillplein 1, 2501 EW, The Hague, Netherlands. AND TO: President William J. ...
READ MORE
Syrian rebels get arms from Kosovo and Bosnia
The DEBKA website, close to Israeli military intelligence, knows well all the behind the curtain details of regional politics. A few days ago it reported about basically new turns of the way the events unfold in Syria. According to it, the Syrian extremists received a load of heavy weapons for the first time since the war started. The senders are the groups from Kosovo and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina linked to Al Qaeda. The package includes Kornet and Fagot anti-tank systems delivered by the Soviet Union to former Yugoslavia in the past. The weapons ended up in the ...
READ MORE
The US-NATO plan for Macedonia: Keep Serbia down and Russia out
The role of the United States in the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is often overlooked by people who are critical of Washington’s intervention in the internal affairs of independent, sovereign countries. For it was in the former Yugoslavia that the precedent was set for future American intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo provided the launch pad for the West’s concept of humanitarian intervention, which, in reality, is a pretext for safeguarding and enhancing US global hegemony. However, intervention by Washington in the Balkans in the 1990s served a more immediate objective for the ...
READ MORE
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
The title page of Rūta Vanagaitė’s best-known book contains two pictures of young men. “This one is a Jew,” she said, pointing at the picture on the left. “He was a bicycle-racing champion. Good enough to represent Lithuania in international competitions, but not good enough to live.” He was executed during the Holocaust. The man in the picture on the right was a Lithuanian executioner. “They are both us,” Vanagaitė explained. “But Lithuanians don’t like to think of them as ‘us,’ because one is a Jew and the other is a killer.” Her book is called “Us.” (The title has ...
READ MORE
The History of the CIA
When I began reading the work of Douglas Valentine about six years ago, I had not read his books, only the articles that the US online journal Counterpunch had published. In fact I only began reading Counterpunch because of the accident of having been introduced to the two original editors of what was then only a printed newsletter. Later I was even able to publish a few pieces in that journal before its more famous founding editor’s demise. Why do I preface a book review with such personal observations? To that question I will return later. After reading numerous articles I ...
READ MORE
America’s Hegemonic Ambitions: The US “International Dictatorship”, Its Friends, Its Enemies
In a speech delivered in the southern suburbs of Beirut on October 23, 2015, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a resistance organization rooted in Lebanon’s Shia community, presented a description of US imperialism that largely comports with that of secular leftwing anti-imperialists in the West. Hezbollah was established in the early 1980s to end Israel’s occupation of Lebanon. With Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, and a subsequent Israeli incursion in 2006 repulsed by Hezbollah fighters, the resistance organization remains on the qui vive against future Israeli aggressions. It is now assisting the Syrian Arab Army in its death struggle against ...
READ MORE
Journey to Aleppo: Exposing the Truth Buried under NATO Propaganda
Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives. The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation, and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme. The purpose of this photo essay and my ...
READ MORE
Holocaust Revisionism And The Campaign Against Russia
“The main reason for that was not because of warfare or systematic killing, it’s because …diseases, …did not have any immunities, so they perished in large numbers.” The above statement, if said in reference to the slaughter of Jews in concentration camps by Nazis, would be illegal in most European countries. Individuals like David Irving, who have claimed that “disease” not homicidal gas chambers, killed the victims of Auschwitz and other concentration camps, have been fined and imprisoned. Claiming pure intentions on the part of the Nazis, revising the statistics on their atrocities, and purporting that those who say otherwise have ...
READ MORE
U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Fascists Who Want To Destroy Russia
The Nation  published an outstanding article on March 9th, by James Carden, which described the remarkable extent to which the Obama government (and virtually all of the Washington Establishment) are supporting (financially and otherwise) fascists who want to destroy Russia.  One such example was a recent event in Washington. According to Carden: It featured the deputy speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, Andriy Parubiy. According to the program bio, Parubiy served as the “commandant” of the Euromaidan (why did an ostensibly peaceful protest require a “commandant” anyway?) and, later, as secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. The bio provided to attendees might fairly be described as selective. ...
READ MORE
Ratko Mladic’s Sham Trial and Conviction
The Western-controlled International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was charged with delivering victor’s justice, polar opposite the real thing. In March 2016, it wrongfully convicted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on multiple counts of genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes and crimes against humanity, sentencing him to 40 years in prison. At age-71, it was a virtual life sentence. He served as Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska president from 1992 – 1996, part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alleged genocide at Srebrenica was more myth than massacre. Deaths were hugely inflated, the ICTY established to blame Serbs for war crimes committed by both sides. Srebrenica ...
READ MORE
Dysfunction in the Balkans: Can the post-Yugoslav settlement survive?
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
The history of “Humanitarian Warfare”: NATO’s reign of terror In Kosovo, the destruction of Yugoslavia
From the History of Anti-Russian Policy: The First Balkan Alliance (1866−1868)
The Mladic NATO-Style Trial at the ICTY: A Stain on Civilization
Rescue in Serbia of the Jews during the WWII
Civilian Casualties Of NATO’s War On Yugoslavia
Confession Of A CIA Agent: They Gave Us Millions To Dismember Yugoslavia
The USA from 1776 onward
Kiev Junta War Crimes
War Crimes Charges for the Hague Tribunal Against NATO Leaders
Syrian rebels get arms from Kosovo and Bosnia
The US-NATO plan for Macedonia: Keep Serbia down and Russia out
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
The History of the CIA
America’s Hegemonic Ambitions: The US “International Dictatorship”, Its Friends, Its Enemies
Journey to Aleppo: Exposing the Truth Buried under NATO Propaganda
Holocaust Revisionism And The Campaign Against Russia
U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Fascists Who Want To Destroy Russia
Ratko Mladic’s Sham Trial and Conviction