by Felix Quigley
July 7, 2008
The Hague Kangaroo Court was set up by US Imperialism and by NATO in order to hand down a verdict of guilty on Slobodan Milosevic, and through that of course on the whole Serb independent nation. It was shown by Milosevic, however, that it is possible to use even these sorts of phoney courts to get some truth about what happened out to the world.
The evidence which the French General seconded to the UN Philippe Morillon gave to the Kangaroo Court was one such example of some truth emerging. The strange thing though is that Morillon was a witness for the Prosecution against Milosevic.
The questioning of Morillon by Milosevic and his aide in the court brought out many important things. But it is of great importance to note that this evidence has been deliberately hidden by Kamm and Hoare ever since he appeared in the Court in 2004. You will find no report in any of their writings of the evidence of Morillon in that Kangaroo Courtroom.
This is an extract from a report of this evidence, the part which concentrates on the history of Srebrenica as a UN safe area, in which the Bosnian Islamofascists of Izetbegovic were heavily armed and organized for war within the safe area, in which the Islamofascist Nasir Oric figured highly IN CARRYING OUT HIS GHASTLY MURDERS. The evidence of Morillon concentrates on Oric. One caveat is this…Morillon follows the Herman line, he suggests that since Oric murdered so many Serbs that there was therefore (bound to be is the insinuation) vengeance murders by the Serbs when they retook Srebrenica in 2005. Like Herman and Chomsky, however, he produces NO evidence for this.
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“One Can’t Be Bothered With Prisoners”
Under the Geneva Conventions, it is a war crime to torture and execute Prisoners of War (POWs) and to order that no prisoners would be taken. Yet this is precisely what Naser Oric did in the Srebrenica pocket. He has not been indicted for these obvious and blatant war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Protocols. Why didn’t Carla Del Ponte indict Oric for his execution and torture of Bosnian Serb prisoners? As the testimony of Morillon showed, Oric admitted himself to Morillon and there is abundant and overwhelming evidence to prove it.
What were the Bosnian Serb forces accused of when they captured Srebrenica in 1995? US propaganda accused the Bosnian Serbs of executing Bosnian Muslim soldiers. US propaganda and infowar terminology referred to “Muslim men and boys” to brainwash us into thinking or believing they were unarmed and hapless Muslim civilians. This is a propaganda and brainwashing trick of the US propagandist. In fact, these forces were well-equipped and well-armed. They were an army, the 28th Infantry Division of the Bosnian Muslim Army, stationed in Srebrenica and supplied and commanded from Muslim-held Tuzla. So the Bosnian Serb forces are accused of executing Bosnian Muslim POWs? Is that a war crime? Can you torture, mutilate, and execute POWs? You can if you are a proxy, client, or surrogate of the US government and corporate media. This is what Naser Oric had been doing systematically in 1992 and 1993. So the pieces finally fit together in the puzzle. Naser Oric was not indicted or charged for war crimes by Del Ponte for executing Bosnian Serb POWs because this charge was being saved only for the Bosnian Serb forces. This was going to be the basis for the “massacre” charge. It all makes sense now. One can ask: But weren’t Naser Oric’s forces “massacring” Bosnian Serb troops in just such a manner in 1992 and 1993? This is the fact that must be denied and suppressed by Carla Del Ponte and the ICTY. This is the reason why Naser Oric is not charged with war crimes in relation to the systematic mass killings/executions of Bosnian Serb POWs. If this fact is admitted, that Oric committed war crimes in executing Bosnian Serb POWs, then the whole US propaganda construct collapses. This is why this issue is crucial in understanding the Srebrenica case. There are legal subtleties here that expose the ICTY as a biased political show trial set up by NATO/US. Then there is the other issue of Naser Oric’s systematic policy of burning Bosnian Serb villages and killing all the inhabitants. The ICTY indictment implies that no one was living in those villages because Oric is only charged with destroying and burning them. But what about Oric’s systematic policy of killing all Serbian civilians in those villages? Oric is not
indicted for those crimes. Why? This bias is meant to preserve and sustain the US propaganda image of the Bosnian Muslim faction as the victims. To admit otherwise would be to admit that Bosnia was a civil war where all three factions bear responsibility. This is why the Oric indictment is limited to a few token crimes and crimes against property.
See the latest on the treatment of Oric by US Imperialism at
ICTY Prosecutor Groome asked Morillon about Oric’s treatment of Bosnian Serb POWs: “If I could ask you, what if anything did Mr. Oric himself say to you with respect to what he had been doing with prisoners during this time period?” Morillon answered: “Naser Oric was a warlord who reigned by terror in his area and over the population itself. I think that he realized that these were the rules of this horrific war, that he could not allow himself to take prisoners. According to my recollection, de didn’t even look for an excuse. It was simply a statement: One can’t be bothered with prisoners.”
It is a war crime to refuse to take prisoners and to execute POWs. In the June 8, 1977 Protocols to the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, under Article 40, Quarter, it is stated: “It is prohibited to order that there shall be no survivors.” Under both the international and non-international protocols of 1977, the same prohibitions exist. Why didn’t Carla Del Ponte indict Oric for these obvious and blatant war crimes?
Morillon explained how he had been shown the bodies of Bosnian Serbs massacred in eastern Bosnia: “I wasn’t surprised when the Serbs took me to a village to show me the evacuation of the bodies of the inhabitants that had been thrown into a hole, a village close to Bratunac. And this made me understand the degree to which this infernal situation of blood and vengeance-I think Subotic (sic) [the reference is to Croatian-American journalist Chuck Sudetic and the book Blood and Vengeance] spoke very well about this blood and vengeance, the degree to which this led to a situation when I personally feared that the worst would happen if the Serbs of Bosnia managed to ender the enclaves and Srebrenica.”
Morillon expected retaliation in Srebrenica: “I feared that the Serbs, the local Serbs, the Serbs of Bratunac, these militiamen, they wanted to take their revenge for everything that they attributed to Naser Oric. It wasn’t just Naser Oric that they wanted to revenge, take their revenge on, they wanted to revenge their dead on Orthodox Christmas.” One has to ask: Why does the US government and media excuse “revenge killings” in Kosovo and not in Srebrenica? Why isn’t the so-called massacre in 1995 merely a retaliatory revenge killing? Of course, only proxies and clients of the US can engage in “revenge killings.” Legally, murder is murder. There is no such thing as a “revenge killing” as US propaganda maintains. All murders are “revenge killings” in one way or another. This does, however, show how the US sanctions murder in Kosovo against the Kosovo Serbs. The US selectively enforces this sanction as is shown by the Srebrenica case. Moreover, what about the Croat army attack that ethnically cleansed over a quarter of a million Serbs in Knin, Pakrac, and the Krajina area, which was a UN-protected area? Hundreds if not thousands of Krajina Serbs were killed in this US-orchestrated act of ethnic cleansing, the largest single act of ethnic cleansing during the Yugoslav conflict. The Croat troops killed not only Krajina Serb civilians, but UN peacekeepers. Where is the concern for these massacres? These massacres committed against Serbs in Krajina are ignored and covered-up by the US government and media because the US government and media orchestrated, planned, and conducted the massacres against Serbs in Krajina.
Morillon concluded that the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 was due to the massacres committed by Naser Oric’s forces in 1992 and 1993. Judge Patrick Robinson asked Morillon: “Are you saying, then, General, that what happened in 1995 was a direct reaction to what Naser Oric did to the Serbs two years before?”
Morillon replied: “Yes. Yes your Honour. I am convinced of that.”
Morillon was convinced that the Srebrenica crisis was being manipulated by the US and the Bosnian Muslim leaders to achieve other political and propaganda goals. Milosevic quoted a statement Morillon had made: “I was convinced that the population of Srebrenica was the victim of a higher interest.this higher interest which was located n Sarajevo and New York.” Morillon talked about how Mladic had been tricked into attacking Srebrenica. Oric had been evacuated by helicopter to Tuzla. The Bosnian Muslim political and military leadership had abandoned Srebrenica after provoking a Bosnian Serb attack.
How did Morillon explain the alleged massacre in 1995? Morillon had been asked earlier and had replied: “Accumulated hatred. There were heads that rolled. There were terrible massacres committed by the forces of Naser Oric in all the surrounding villages. And when I went to Bratunac at the time when I intervened, I felt that.”
Milosevic related how the Bosnian Muslim forces were firing artillery into Serbia and were threatening the hydroelectric plant in Bajina Basta in Serbia. This was the reason why Yugoslav military forces fired at the Bosnian Muslim positions.
Morillon explained the propaganda machinations that the Bosnian Muslim leaders had engaged in. The commander of Srebrenica had orders from Sarajevo not to let him enter Srebrenica. Milosevic asked him: “So all this was rigged from Sarajevo? .They were being manipulated and stage managed.” Morillon’s statement was read by Milosevic: “The fact that they held me as a prisoner in Srebrenica was orchestrated by Sarajevo.” The Izetbegovic authorities opposed the humanitarian evacuation of civilians from Srebrenica, “.2 to 3.000 women.”, because they wanted to use them as human shields and to create a humanitarian crisis to provoke military intervention by the US. Milosevic quoted Lord David Owen who maintained that Izetbegovic prevented the evacuation of civilians from Sarajevo as a propaganda ploy to garner world sympathy. Morillon stated that “similarly they prevented the evacuation of Srebrenica.” So in both Sarajevo and Srebrenica, Izetbegovic wanted to use Bosnian Muslim civilians for propaganda purposes, sacrificing them to score propaganda points.
The Amicus Curiae, Branislav Tapuskovic, questioned Morillon about his meetings with Bosnian Muslim military commander in Srebrenica, Naser Oric. Morillon stated that he had met Oric in Konjevic Polje and in Srebrenica.
Morillon’s statement was read: “Naser Oric, every night, raided Bosnian Serbs outside town. When General Morillon opposed him on this score, he said that this was the only way he had to get hold of weapons and ammunition. He admitted killing Bosnian Serbs every night.” (my emphasis FQ)
Morillon repeated the admission to him by Oric that he never took any Bosnian Serb POWs: (my emphasis…FQ) “Oric said that those were the rules of the game, and that in this type of partisan warfare, he cannot take prisoners.” Morillon confirmed that Naser Oric was getting his directives and instructions from Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo:(my emphasis…FQ) “Naser Oric’s reign implied a thorough knowledge of the area held by his forces. It appeared to me that he was respecting political instructions coming from the Presidency” in Sarajevo.
Geneva Convention on the Treatment of POWs
The Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 established the guidelines for the treatment of POWs. These international legal guidelines for the treatment of POWs emerged in the wake of World War II. The treatment of POWs had been the focus of international treaties and conventions beginning in the mid-19th century. There was an attempt at a codification of the “laws of war” in 1864 when 12 nations endorsed the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Time of War. A subsequent treaty was ratified by 54 states. It was replaced by the 1906 Geneva Convention and then by the 1929 Geneva Convention. They dealt with: 1) the protection of hospitals, staff, and medical facilities; 2) the protection of civilians; and, 3) the right of reputation. The first attempt to regulate international treatment of POWs was in 1874 in Brussels, which resulted in the Brussels Declaration. The Hague Peace Conference of 1899 adopted the 1864 Geneva Convention. These guidelines were further codified in the 1907 Hague Regulations. On August 12, 1949, the Geneva Conventions defined the treatment of POWs in international law. On June 8, 1977, Protocols to the Geneva Conventions were enacted that added greater protections for POWs and civilians.
Naser Oric’s forces committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian laws on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to civil wars. POWs must be treated humanely and murder, mutilation, torture, and cruel treatment are proscribed. POWs cannot be executed unless there is a public trial, due process, and the right to appeal. While vengeance or retaliation is not allowed, “reprisals”, however, are allowed against combatants. A reprisal is “an otherwise illegal act resorted to after the adverse party has himself indulged in illegal acts.” Reprisals are allowed if proportional to the original wrong. Isn’t this what the Bosnian Serb forces engaged in when they took Srebrenica in 1995, reprisals against Naser Oric’s forces?
Philippe Morillon’s testimony at the Milosevic trial at The Hague showed that Naser Oric’s troops tortured, mutilated, and executed Bosnian Serb soldiers and civilians. These were flagrant war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions for which neither Naser Oric nor Alija Izetbegovic nor Sefer Halilovic were charged by Carla Del Ponte. Morillon revealed that the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 was the “direct reaction” to the massacres and mass murders that Oric had committed against Bosnian Serbs in the Srebrenica pocket. The US propaganda claim that “7,000 Muslim men and boys” were “slaughtered” at Srebrenica is not based on factual evidence. It is a propaganda allegation of the US government meant to place the blame for the Bosnian civil war on the Bosnian Serb faction, when in fact the US government fomented the war. A prosecution witness that testified on Wednesday, February 11, 2004, a Bosnian Serb soldier who participated in the capture of Srebrenica, showed that much of the Bosnian Muslim casualties were sustained when elements of the 28th Infantry Division sought to break out from the Bosnian Serb encirclement. The 28th Division was seeking to withdraw to Muslim-held Tuzla. Many of the Bosnian Muslim troops were killed during this breakout. But many Bosnian Muslims troops managed to withdraw to Tuzla. US government and media propaganda implies that the Bosnian Serb forces executed unarmed and defenseless civilians. But this is patently untrue. As photographs clearly demonstrated, Oric’s forces wore military fatigues and uniforms, wore military insignia, and possessed AK-47s, artillery, grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, tanks, and helicopters. These were not civilians, but armed combatants, soldiers, killers who had murdered Serbian civilians and burned entire villages. The Bosnian Muslims had military formations in Srebrenica. The fall of Srebrenica in 1995 was a military disaster for the Bosnian Muslim Army forces led by Naser Oric, but it was not a “massacre” of civilians.
What came out during Morillon’s testimony was that Bosnian Muslims and Croats engaged in “mass murdering” of Serbs even before the outbreak of war. The first victims in the Bosnian civil war were Serbian civilians. Moreover, Morillon revealed that Izetbegovic sought to use Muslim civilians as shields in Sarajevo and Srebrenica to garner sympathy and garner propaganda points. Morillon showed that the real siege of Sarajevo started when the Muslims surrounded and attacked the JNA, killing the JNA soldiers as they were withdrawing. The Bosnian Muslim faction violated its own agreement by attacking the troops. Such premeditated and wanton murder only provoked a corresponding response. But clearly the Bosnian Muslim faction provoked the violence.
The Bosnian Muslim “mass graves” have not been found to substantiate the massacre charges/allegations. There were many Bosnian Serb mass graves in the Srebrenica area. Naser Oric’s forces had murdered hundreds if not thousands of Bosnian Serb civilians in the Srebrenica area. At least 50 Bosnian Serb villages in eastern Bosnia were burned to the ground by Oric’s forces. Morillon’s testimony showed that the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 was the “direct reaction” to Naser Oric’s real massacres in 1992 and 1993.
Source: Serbiana, April 2004
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