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Don't Let The War Crimes Tribunal Move Into Belgrade!

by William Spring (11-9-2000)
[Emperor's Clothes]

Regarding, this latest development, the invitation by the Yugoslav Foreign Minister to have the War Crimes Tribunal set up in Belgrade and then to join in hunting the people NATO is after - this is absolutely dishonorable. It is monstrous. You see it undermines the entire attempt to tell the truth about Yugoslavia.

I had some direct experience with the War Crimes Tribunal. I wrote to [Chief Prosecutor] Carla Del Ponte. I said we've got these legal proceedings in England against NATO leaders that we want the War Crimes Tribunal to consider. We just got a letter back saying, "We're not prepared to consider them. We will only prosecute the Serbs." (1)

Until then I hadn't a full understanding but then I realized: this Court is a setup job.

We asked the War Crimes Tribunal to investigate genocide in Kosovo and they simply refused. 350,000 Serbs and others thrown out and all their property stolen. If the Serbs of Kosovo and the Roma and the Jews of Kosovo were a form of indigenous moth and if they were just removed from their environment, the World Wildlife Fund would be on about it. But because they are human beings the War Crimes Tribunal is not remotely bothered. Nor are they willing to investigate the expulsion of a quarter million Serbs from the Krajina in 1995. (2) There were these American companies, connected with the US government, involved in that expulsion, which was called 'Operation Storm'. These companies are war criminals and it goes right back to the U.S. and Croatian governments.

And now this Court is to set up shop in Belgrade. What does this tell the world? That NATO is innocent and the Serbs, their leaders and by implication the whole lot of them, are guilty.

I said on the radio a few days ago, when they were going on about Milosevich, "Well look here. Abraham Lincoln (3) got involved in a war to defend the unity of his country. And nobody branded him a war criminal, because he won. These Serbian leaders, because you know it's not just Milosevich, it's the whole lot of them the Hague is after, they are not war criminals in my book. Not any more than Churchill, or Roosevelt, any of them. It is the NATO leaders who are war criminals because they deliberately unleashed an attack on a country without provocation. This comes straight from the Tokyo and Nuremberg tribunals held after World War II. The supreme war crime is aggressive war."


The reason the planning and preparation and execution of aggressive war is the supreme war crime is that it brings about all the other crimes that occur during a war. Every single murder or injury committed by whomever during that NATO war is the responsibility of NATO. Including the deaths of any soldiers. Because it was an illegal, aggressive war. Any death of anyone in Yugoslavia inflicted by NATO forces was a homicide, an act of murder. The legal position is absolutely plain.

The NATO governments won't accept the adjudication of the International Court at the Hague, the real, legitimate Court, as opposed to the War Crimes Tribunal that set up in shop in the city of The Hague so it could mimic the legitimate Hague Court's name.

That Court, the true court, the International Court, has been functioning in The Hague for fifty years. The Yugoslav government went to it with a complaint about the bombing; the Court is quite happy to consider it. But the NATO governments won't accept the Court's jurisdiction regarding Yugoslavia because they know the Court would pronounce that this was an unlawful war, just as one of the higher courts did in Germany this last May.

And that would lay the NATO leaders open to criminal and civil proceedings both in their own countries and in other countries.


My group is Christians Against NATO Aggression, CANA. We are part of the Campaign for Justice for the Peoples of Yugoslavia. We have been fighting for the Yugoslav people - for the truth. Those of us doing this are not people with power or wealth. Personally, I am a single parent, a dad. The reason we got involved, it's a matter of principal; it's a matter of public morality. Nothing else.

But we are in the fight. Now this Yugoslav government, however it became a government, should uphold our stance rather than undercutting our efforts.

I am not concerned about the Serbs' internal politics. I am only interested in the fact that there is an international legal system that has been subverted both directly by warfare instigated by the U.S. and Germany and by the construction of this ridiculous pseudo court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, the War Crimes Tribunal.

What I am concerned about is the honor of Yugoslavia because the fact is the Yugoslavs were at the forefront fighting for us in World War II. If it hadn't been for the Yugoslavs I would probably be speaking to you in German right now. They held down the German Army, forced them to postpone the invasion of Russia; and consequently, the Germans got bogged down in the Russian winter, which made all the difference, didn't it?

So while I am not interested per se in Yugoslav internal politics, I am interested in anything the Yugoslav government does that reflects on the honor and dignity of the country because I feel that have done remarkably well in standing up against the NATO alliance, and before that against the Germans.

But now these so-and-so's, with all the money they have gotten from NATO, (4) the bribes or whatever, are undermining our position which is aimed to make the Serbs realize that they are not the villains, that they are the ones who are right in this whole conflict. Every country, I believe, once in awhile has to stand for the common world cause, if you see what I mean. Britain stood for that world cause in 1940, alone. And it seems to be the destiny of Serbia, Yugoslavia, to stand for the world cause in the last years of the 20th century. In this case we are trying to rectify the misconception that many ordinary Serbs must feel that they must be at fault because everybody else is against them. The point is everybody else is not against them. It's all propaganda. They, the Serbs, are the ones who are in step. And it is the NATO people who are out of step, who are the war criminals.

By inviting the Hague to Belgrade this government demoralizes us who are trying to tell the truth. It must be even more demoralizing for the Serbs who have lost relatives and had serious injuries inflicted on their families by NATO to have a government which is prepared to pander to the West in this way. To set up this Tribunal and let it wander around Belgrade, while it refuses to even investigate the war crimes of NATO, war crimes committed openly, boasted about on the television, war crimes which killed so many Yugoslav citizens - this is just extraordinary.

Wasn't it the demand of the Austrians in 1914 that they appoint judges in Serbia to investigate the June 28th murder which caused the breakdown of negotiations between Serbia and Austria? What were we fighting about then, if the new Yugoslav Government is to give away the legal and jurisdictional integrity of Yugoslavia now?

You see, the Serbs have a remarkable history of being right when everybody else was wrong. I don’t want to see them dishonor that tradition. But that is exactly what they are going to do if they allow a foreign court to operate in Belgrade and if they themselves come within the orbit of NATO, this monstrous criminal alliance. (5)


Mr. Spring is director of CANA, Christians Against NATO Aggression, an ecumenical group of Christians who came together during the NATO air war against Yugoslavia.


(1) 'Report: Meeting with Carla del Ponte on NATO Crimes of War' by Michael Mandel. A group of Canadian lawyers started a worldwide campaign to get the War Crimes Tribunal to look at NATO's crimes. Mr. Mandel was the leader of this effort. Can be read at

(2) 'The Expulsion of the Serbian People from the Krajina' by Greg Elich. Account of 'Operation Storm', the destruction of an entire population. Can be read at

(3) 'Abe Lincoln and Slobodan Milosevic' by Jude Wanniski. A heretical comparison by a leading conservative economist. Can be read at

(4)Emperor's Clothes produced an important report on U.S. funding of the Yugoslav 'opposition'. It was called 'U.S. Arrogance and Yugoslav Elections' and it can be read at

Now it seems that Germany and Norway (as well as the U.S.) have been funding DOS and the 'Civil Society' groups. Foreign Minister Fischer: Germany Helped Fund Kostunica Campaign' Can be read at's.htm

(5) 'What does NATO Want in Yugoslavia?' by Sean Gervasi. The title says it all. This excellent analysis can be read at


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