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[Emperor's Clothes]

And Now, From London, Your Milosevic Misinfo for the Day

The excerpt below is from the London 'Telegraph.' This newspaper has no connection with the Belgrade 'Telegraph' which published a transcript of an alleged phone conversation between Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic and Yugoslav President Kostunica before they illegally kidnapped President Milosevic. (1)

The London 'Telegraph' article is educational for it demonstrates the extent to which the media spreads pro-Washington misinformation about the Serbian people in general and Slobodan Milosevic in particular. (2)

The 'Telegraph' writers claim they have spoken to Milosevic lawyers and ferreted out details of Mr. Milosevic's legal strategy. This is remarkable since Milosevic's Legal Defence team has not yet been assembled. That is, there is no lawyer in the world from whom they could have ferreted. These details of strategy are purely fictional.

According to the 'Telegraph,' Mr. Milosevic will make the following argument: "Sure I did bad things, but British leaders helped me." According to the 'Telegraph,' in this way Milosevic will show that "NATO is guilty" and, adds the 'Telegraph,' NATO leaders are very nervous.

Sure they are.

I can tell you one thing with certainty. The "Yes-I-am-bad-but-you helped-me-do-it-so-you're-guilty-too" argument will NOT be part of Mr. Milosevic's legal strategy.

For years, outrageous actions by NATO were preceded by a kind of mock-criticism in the press. Media pundits would attack the Serbs for some atrocity, invariably fictitious. They would then castigate this or that NATO government (particularly the governments of the U.S. and England) for failing to take sufficiently strong action against the 'Serbian monsters.'

Since people tend to identify with anti-governmental critics, this approach has the beauty of producing public support for even harsher government actions in the guise of attacking uncaring officials.

When the NATO governments proceeded to take harsh, unfair and unjustified actions against the Serbs, the ground had been prepared. Instead of being furious at the blatant imperialism of NATO intervention, a section of the public thought, "Well it's about time they did something about those Serb fascists. Better late than never."

Now the 'Telegraph' is suggesting that Mr. Milosevic will use the same sort of argument, though in retroactive form, saying, "Who are they to preach about war crimes? While I was committing all those war crimes they sat on their hands or even helped me." If Mr. Milosevic were to adopt such an approach, he would accomplish two things for NATO. First he would agree that he (and of course the Serbian people) was guilty as charged. Second, he would justify NATO's most aggressive actions. And third, such a defence would be devastating to those who want to use this 'trial' to attack NATO and the Tribunal and clear the name of the Serbs.

For the record, I have contacted a representative of the Socialist Party of Serbia. Speaking for the Head Committee, he had the following comment about the 'Telegraph's' claims:

"This, and you may quote me, is *expletive meaning horse manure*." (SPS spokesman, interviewed by phone, 1 July 2001)

When Mr. Milosevic was being 'processed' at The Hague. He reportedly said:

"I am not afraid of the Hague tribunal...that is no
court but a political circus aimed at jeopardizing the Serb people....And let me tell you one thing - you are not arresting me, you are kidnapping me and you will answer for your crimes. Drop the buffoonery, let's hurry up." ('AP,' 30 June 2001)

I contacted Chris Black, Chairman of the Lawyers section of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic. (3) Mr. Black suggests that, based on common sense, and knowing Mr. Milosevic's political principles, one might expect the following legal defence:

1) The Hague is a tool illegally created by the UN Security Council under orders of Washington; it functions in violation of all legal standards to demonize and brutalize Serbian leaders and the Serbian people.

2) NATO and its proxy forces are the ones guilty of war crimes. Covering this up is a key function of the Tribunal.

3) The media has systematically lied, slandering the Serbian people, in coordination with NATO and its solely owned subsidiary, the Tribunal.

Such a defense would greatly increase the effectiveness of all those trying to challenge the U.S. Empire and its violence and slanders against the Serbian and other target peoples. Because of the central importance of this 'trial,' our ideas and information would have far more power to reach ordinary people.

OK, OK, now swallow your daily dose, courtesy of the 'Telegraph' from sunny London. And remember this, boys and girls: a dumb citizen is a good citizen. So please - stay misinformed.

-- Jared Israel

"Milosevic: I'll name British leaders who helped me

"By Julius Strauss and Philip Sherwell in Belgrade and Joe Murphy in London

"SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC is planning to embarrass Britain and other Western governments by revealing at his war crimes trial at The Hague the secret deals which he claims propped up his regime during a decade of bloodshed in the Balkans.

"Milosevic: Lawyers will claim Western Governments propped up his regime

"Lawyers for the deposed Serbian president will name three former Foreign Secretaries, Lord Hurd, Lord Carrington and Lord Owen, in a strategy designed to implicate British and American diplomatic figures in the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia. They will claim that he was given a "green light" for many of his most controversial actions, including the use of force, by Western governments. Branimir Gugl, one of Milosevic's lawyers, told The Telegraph yesterday: "Mr Milosevic feels that Nato are the real criminals and that will be part of his defence." Milosevic will argue that the British peers, along with Foreign Office diplomats, were involved in negotiating peace deals that were designed to maintain him in power despite his record. Lord Hurd's later role as a director of National Westminster Bank in striking a lucrative deal with Milosevic to refinance the Serbian economy is likely to be highlighted during the trial. Milosevic is expected in court on Tuesday." (London 'Telegraph,' 1 July 2001)


Further Reading:

1) For alleged Djindjic-Kostunica conversation, see 'Alleged Transcript of Conversation Between Djindjic and Kostunica Just Prior to Milosevic's Kidnapping ' at

2) On Friday, Channel 4 on UK Television reported that Milosevic's kidnapping took place 12 years from the day he made a famous speech calling for the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians. Well, Milosevic did make a speech 12 years ago last Friday, but he did NOT call for ethnic cleansing. He called for ethnic unity. He warned of the dangers of nationalism. See 'What Milosevic Really Said at Kosovo Field (1989)' at

3) For Chris Black's report to the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM) go to





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