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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/30/19

Clinton Era Bosnia War, Precedent to the "War on Terror"

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The "Srebrenica massacre" is the greatest triumph of propaganda to emerge from the Balkan wars.....It is the symbol of Serb 'evil' and Bosnian Muslim 'victimhood', and the justice of the Western dismantling of Yugoslavia and intervention there at many levels, including a bombing war and colonial occupations of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.--- Edward S. Herman, (R.I.P.).

The dirty details of how the Bosnia war was covertly waged, with massive use of local and foreign proxies, is a dismal and relatively little explored chapter of the Clinton presidency. It will surely not receive objective attention at the Clinton Library, nor will visiting scholars and members of the public generally go away any the wiser about it. But in terms of filth, it is incomparably dirtier than Monica Lewinsky's soiled skirt.

Clinton's famous invitation to Izetbegovic to improvise a slaughter "of at least 5,000"* Muslims by the Serbs in order to make American involvement palatable to the US domestic public, as recounted in 1993 by astounded Hakija Meholjic, a member of a Srebrenica delegation visiting Sarajevo, is but the tip of the iceberg. But in a very real sense it does lead to tragic subsequent events, culminating after the fall of Srebrenica to Serbian forces on July 11, 1995 in a prisoner of war massacre. Never mind that the death toll of the massacre was multiplied by propaganda by a factor of at least ten , in that business that is par for the course. Never mind even that the Srebrenica massacre was concocted by murky elements apparently outside the Bosnian Serb army's legitimate command chain in order to provide cover for Croatia's ferocious attack on Serbian enclaves and the murder and expulsion of a quarter million of their inhabitants, with Western logistical support and under the expert field direction by "retired" NATO officers.

The really big and only lightly touched upon story of the Bosnian war is that it marks the grand entrance of Western-sponsored Mujahedeen on the global political stage. They played a key role as Western proxies in the early 1980s in Afghanistan and, of course, the blowback from that episode lasts to the present day, but that at least was played out on their home turf. The first out-of-theater use of extremists as pawns of Western policy was in the Balkans in the 1990s, during the Bosnian war. The nasty aftereffects of that brilliant policy decision are also still haunting its dilettantish authors.

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But that is a topic to which we must return at a different time. We focus here on another piece of nastiness, the International Commission on Missing Persons, one of the infrastructural elements that were premeditatively put in place no sooner than the infamous Hague Tribunal was created in order to assist in the cover-up of Srebrenica and to bolster the misleading fictitious narrative.

ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons) was founded on then US President Bill Clinton's initiative in 1996 at the G-7 Conference in Lyon, France. Its ostensible task was to aid governments in disaster relief and other humanitarian missions requiring victim identification. But in fact the bulk of its work was focused on assisting the Prosecution of the Hague Tribunal to build its Srebrenica case. ICMP's president is always an American citizen nominated by the State Department. Until recently, ICMP maintained its headquarters in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and operated two laboratories there, one in Tuzla and the other in Banja Luka. In 2015, its head office was moved to the Hague, Netherlands.

It is noteworthy that although ICMP has allegedly furnished to the Hague Tribunal key forensic evidence for use in Srebrenica cases, chambers have consistently rejected all defense requests for independent verification of ICMP data. Although ICTY theoretically has the power to compel disclosure of probative evidence, and has used it on governments, no chamber has ever ventured to enforce production of evidence from ICMP. Instead, disregarding defense objections as well as long-standing legal principles, ICTY chambers based their factual conclusions and judgments not on direct access to hard data but on ICMP summaries and its claims of what the forensic facts were.

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We now know that deliberate steps had been taken as early as 1998, when the Hague Tribunal was in its inception and shortly after ICMP was founded, to ensure that the ICMP was above and beyond the law and could never be held to account. In fact, there was never the remotest possibility that its crucial scientific evidence on Srebrenica's forensic situation would be made available for independent scrutiny.

Research in 2017 by the international Association of Genocide Scholars revealed the mechanism that made such exceptionalism possible. It turns out that ICMP had been granted extraordinary and unprecedented immunity in a deal signed with the governments of Croatia and the central government of Bosnia. The Headquarters Agreement between the Commission and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia Herzegovina gave the ICMP, a private NGO, the status of an intergovernmental organization.

Article 3 granted the ICMP "immunity from every form of legal and administrative process."

Article 4 stated: "The premises of the ICMP shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the ICMP shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action".

Only a decision by the ICMP itself to waive these immunities could render it accountable. Thus, the age-old legal principle 'be you never so high the law is above you' was cynically sidelined.

Alert observers will note remarkable similarities between the terms of the ICMP Headquarters Agreement and the typical Status of Forces agreement host governments are required to sign with NATO. In both instances, supposedly sovereign states are put in a position of subordination to non-state entities. The latter are empowered to act as they see fit on host government's territory and entirely without regard for local laws, if they so choose.

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The Bosnia and Herzegovina Headquarters Agreement with ICMP, in both English and the local language, can be downloaded at the Srebrenica Historical Project website. On behalf of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the document was signed, but only in its English-language version, by its Foreign Minister, Jadranko Prlić, who is not even an English speaker. Prlić did not, however, see fit to sign the version of the document translated into his own language that, presumably, he could understand. That curious fact, in addition to the high rank of the Bosnian signer within his own government's hierarchy and in particular given the nature of his portfolio, implies that in the view of the Bosnian government the ICMP signer represented a foreign power of approximately equal rank. That sends a clear message of neo-colonialist subservience that was probably not unintentional.

Finally, it seems that ICMP's stint in Bosnia was in the nature of a laboratory experiment in preparation for a globalist project of much greater magnitude. Just as ICTY has served as but a steppingstone to the creation of the International Criminal Court, which was largely constructed upon the practical experience acquired during the operation of the Hague Tribunal, ICMP also has recently been raised to a higher dimension. In December 2014 the Agreement on the status and functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons was signed , providing the commission formally with international personality. The treaty was signed in Brussels by five countries and will remain open for accession by more. It entered into force on 14 May 2015, following ratification by Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The treaty establishes The Hague as the seat of the Commission and establishes a Conference of States Parties, a "Board of Commissioners" (chosen "from among eminent persons") and a Director-General. Particular note should be taken of Article VII of the Treaty which contains language about ICMP "privileges and immunities" remarkably similar to the terms of "cooperation" imposed upon the helpless Bosnian government.

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Stephen Karganovic is the president of the Srebrenica Historical Project.


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After 20 years, the truth is getting to the general public. I am just learning about it myself, although I have been suspicious of this "good war" for a long time.

Here is my take on it. Yugoslavia was the last socialist country in Eastern Europe after the fall of the USSR. The cold war project was not complete without a "regime change" that destroyed the old Yugoslavia. It was also a final poke in the eye of Russia.

The US was puffed up with pride for having used the Mujahideen to beat the Russians. Basically they did the same thing in Yugoslavia, as well as Chechnya. Who knows where else? But, hey, what could go wrong?

Yugoslavia is also very strategically located, but then what country isn't in the eyes of the USA? By splitting Yugoslavia into 7 countries (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo, and Montenegro) us was child's play for the US to make them into vassals.

Kosovo now has one of the largest US military base in Europe. Camp Bondsteel.


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Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 30, 2019 at 2:33:27 AM

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