Croatian Viewpoint
Print This Page


All Things Come to Those Who Wait
In Search of Justice at the Hague
The'Croatian Three'
The "Secret War" Against Croatia
Knin Never in 'Military Frontier'
Gotovina Indictment is Flawed
Western Justice Held Hostage by the Hague
Is the West on Trial at the Hague?
History Repeats Itself
Searching for a Storm—Important Documentary about Injustice at the Hague

All Things Come to Those Who Wait

"... the story of the Serbian-led aggression against Croatia is on record in the newspaper headlines below. I dedicate the story in these headlines to Croatian victims and defenders so that the world will remember what some authors and journalists would have us all forget."
Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were acquitted on 16 November 2012 after a successful appeal against their previous convictions at the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The return of the Generals Gotovina and Markac to Croatia as free men was immediately and widely publicized around the world on satellite television and in newspapers. For the innocent Croatian generals, who had been imprisoned at the ICTY for many years, pending a verdict, the old proverb comes to mind, that "all things come to those who wait".
When the Canadian national newspaper the Globe & Mail did not appear to report the ICTY Appeal news, in spite of the fact that other Canadian and world media had immediately reported it I was shocked as a Canadian-born citizen. After all most media reportage had been more than even-handed and had included both the Croatian response and the Serbian condemnation of the overturned verdict. And, just to illustrate the fact that the Globe & Mail does immediately notice what happens in Croatia it was quick to publish an article about the former Croatian PM Sanader's verdict for corruption a few days later!
Fortunately for me too, "all things come to those who wait". I watched the Globe & Mail website until they finally belatedly published news of the Croatian Appeal nearly two weeks after the fact. On the 28th November 2012 the Globe & Mail published the news of 16th November 2012. Referring to the news of the 16th November the author Dragan Todorovic in "This Hague ruling sets dangerous precedents" claims that a report from the ICTY on November 16th 2012 "could not get serious attention". Really? -- this was breaking news on BBC and subsequently a feature item on the news around the world.
How the ICTY was created, and why, is detailed in the depressing book written in 2000 by Carol Off "The Lion The Fox & The Eagle" which is in part devoted to "the Fox" Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie, and which discusses the failure of UNPROFOR and the creation of the UN ICTY to create justice. I describe Carol Off's book as depressing because it focuses on Bosnia and hardly mentions Croatia, especially in the index, which lists Vukovar to be in Bosnia.
In Canada Carol Off's book would undoubtedly be unpopular because Canada has enshrined the UN Peacekeepers in a monument, at the Canadian War Museum, and in Canadian institutions.
UN Peacekeeping Monument, Ottawa Canada
Ironically in Carol Off's book the same Canadian Globe & Mail newspaper features in the concluding chapter. On December 29, 1999 the Globe & Mail published an editorial entitled "The World is Developing a Conscience" in reference to the arrest of the Serbian General Galic for trial at the ICTY for responsibility for the long Serbian siege on Sarajevo. In this context, if one reads the Carol Off book in its entirety a reference to the JNA's bombing of Croatia is mentioned briefly page 204, "The JNA fought in Sarajevo as it had fought in Croatia, by lobbing hundreds of shells at a position ... before moving in."
The Serbian-led "JNA shelling" of Croatia was the topic of many newspaper headlines during 1991 in a collection of articles I still possess because, ironically, I was studying Yugoslavia at La Trobe University as Yugoslavia was breaking-up while the world watched the bombing of Croatian cities on the 6pm news each night. One of my professors was Robert Manne who strongly condemned the one-sided aggression against Croatia in an article in Melbourne's Herald-Sun entitled, "We Must Rescue Croatia: Will another six months of slaughter have to pass before serious action is taken by the West to force the Yugoslav Army out of Croatia?" (cited below).
The story of Serbian-led aggression against Croatia is on record in the newspaper headlines, many of which I cite below as part of this article for the record. I dedicate the story in these headlines to the Croatian victims and defenders so that the world will remember because judging by the reports of 16 November 2012 in the same newspapers 21 years later there are still many who would have the world forget what was written in the same newspapers 21 years earlier!
Since the year 2000 I have written about the indictments of the Croatian generals by the ICTY, even suggesting that the apparent ICTY 'equal guilt' culture was in effect putting the 'west'on trial. The indictments against individuals, whether aggressor or defender, was punishing the victims just as the UN Arms Embargo resolution had done, an embargo which had the unintended result of punishing unarmed civilians who were being bombed by the Serbian-ledYugoslav National Army, the third best equipped army in Europe at the time.
On 17 November 2012, the day after the release of the Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac, Mr Kehoe, Counselor for Ante Gotovina was reported in the Canadian Vancouver Sun newspaper: "the appeals judgment did not undermine the tribunal's credibility but in fact proved its impartiality" and Mr Kehoe agreed that the verdict was "a vindication for the rule of law and justice".
In conclusion, the headlines below are meant to form part of this article: what a story these headlines tell about the reason for a call for UN involvement and that the overwhelming guilt in this conflict was from the Serbian side.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
November 2012
The 1991 Headlines
"More dead in Croatia as truce is ignored" Herald-Sun Melbourne 11Sept1991
"EC observers 'fail' in Croatia" The Age Melbourne 14 Sept 1991
"Rebels tighten their grip on Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 15 Sept 1991
"Mortars pound key town" Sunday Age Melbourne 15 Sept 1991 (Osijek, Maslenica, Zadar, Krusevo)
"Army Slams Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16Sept1991 (Yugoslav jets, tanks & gunboats)
"Croat Port bombed in new offensive" The Age Melbourne 16 Sept 1991 (Ploce)
"West Condemns Yugoslavia as war escalates" The Australian Canberra 17 Sept 1991
"Croatia's main ports blockaded" The Age Melbourne 18 Sept 1991
(map inset: Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik)
"PM favors UN role in Yugoslavia" The Age Melbourne 18 Sept 1991 (Mr Hawke)
"Europe ready for refugee flood" Herald-Sun Early Edition Melbourne 19 Sept 1991
"Gunfire plunges a city into darkness" Herald-Sun Late Edition Melbourne 19 Sept 1991(Zagreb)
"Army accused of violating ceasefire" The Australian Canberra 19 Sept 1991
"Hungary protests as Serbs cut oil link" The Age Melbourne 19 Sept 1991
"Hawke call for UN intervention" The Age Melbourne 20 Sep t1991
"Federal army troops pour into Croatia" Weekend Australian Canberra 21-22 Sept 1991 (...Mr Hawke & Mr Mulroney agreed on a common aim of UN ...)
"EC shelves peace force plan" The Age Melbourne 21 Sept 1991
"Attack on Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 21 Sept 1991
"Croatians agree to safeguard Serbs" Sunday Age Melbourne 22 Sept 1991 (in Croatia)
"Tanks circle Croat towns" Sunday Herald - Sun 22 Sept 1991 (Vukovar, Zadar, Sibenik, Split)
"Army ready to cut Croatia" Financial Review Canberra 23 Sept 1991
"Evans to urge UN role in Yugoslavia" The Age Melbourne 24 Sept 1991 (UN Security Counci-Austraila, Canada, Austria & Hungary for UN involvement)
"New world order at risk-Hawke" Herald-Sun Melbourne 24 Sept 1991
"UN move to block Yugoslav arms" The Age Melbourne 25 Sept 1991(Britain, France, Belgium seeking world arms embargo on Yugoslavia at UN; & Mesic at UN asks for international peacekeeping force)
"Killings continue amid peace moves" Guardian Weekly Manchester 27 Oct 1991 (400,000 refugees out of Croatia)
"Hungary bombed-cluster bomb drop an accident-Serbia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 30 Oct 1991 (also re siege on Dubrovnik)
"Troops poised to take historic city" The Age Melbourne 30 Oct 1991 ("EC threatens to use trade sanctions in Yugoslavia")
"Federal jets, tanks hit Vukovar in fierce attack" The Age Melbourne 31 Oct 1991
"Fighting worsens-Croats face air raids as death toll mounts" Herald-Sun Melbourne Early Edition 31 Oct 1991 (Dubrovnik)
"Yugoslav planes intensify bombing of Croatian towns" The Australia Canberra 31 Oct 1991 (Vukovar, Dubrovnik)
"Threat to cut Yugoslav oil" The Age Melbourne 1 Nov 1991 (Britain, Austria urge oil embargo)
"Croatia pounded as EC talks near" The Age Melbourne 4 Nov 1991
"Vukovar braces for final assault" The Australian Canberra 6 Nov 1991
"City's Royal Appeal-Save Dubrovnik mayor asks Prince" Herald-Sun Early Edition Melbourne 7 Nov 1991 (during Prince Charles' tour of Canada; & Serbs' 3rd rejection of EC Peace Plan)
"Air, sea forces in huge attack on Dubrovnik" The Age Melbourne 8 Nov 1991 (Croatian President Tudjman urges involvement of US 6th Fleet)
"Surrender, city told" Herald-Sun 8Nov1991 (Dubrovnik, Varazdin)
"EC imposes Yugoslav Sanctions" Weekend Australian Canberra 8-10 Nov 1991(total Yugoslav blockade of Croatia's ports, Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, by Yugoslav armed forces and Yugoslav Navy)
"Yugoslavia: US to apply sanctions, says Bush" The Age Melbourne 10 Nov 1991
"Army closes in on Croat cities" Herald-Sun Melbourne 12 Nov 1991
"EC team tries to flee Dubrovnik" The Australian Canberra 13 Nov 1991
"EC foreign ministers call for Security Council to intervene" The Australian Canberra 14 Nov 1991
"Hundreds flee as fire is held" Herald-Sun Melbourne 14Nov1991 (Dubrovnik; UN terms ... "The Serbs want the Peacekeepers inside Croatia to separate the warring sides. The Croats vowing not to cede territory despite losing one third of the Republic to Serbian forces in the war, insist Peacekeepers should be on the border with Serbia"
"Serbia, Croatia accept deployment of UN force" The Australian Canberra 15 Nov 1991 ("Dr Tudjman said after his talks with Lord Carrington in the Austrian town of Graz that he was prepared to accept the deployment of UN troops on the condition that federal army forces were withdrawn simultaneously from Croatia.
"In New York special UN envoy Mr Cyrus Vance said the UN should not send troops to Yugoslavia until a ceasefire was in effect.
"Mr Vance, addressing the Seccurity Council, cited five other conditions for the deployment of a buffer force.
"He said no peacekeeping troops should be sent until all respect the legal status of the UN force and it was given a clearly defined mandate, accepted by all parties.
"Other conditions were the willingness of member States to supply military personnel, constant UN pressure on the warring parties not to break the ceasefire and sufficient financial resources to Carry out the operation"
"Serbs & Croats agree to peace force: Carrington" The Age Melbourne 15 Nov 1991 (" ...talks with leaders of the republics of Serbia and Croatia and the head of the Serb-led Yugoslav army...Vukovar, Serbian forces were reported to be on the verge of seizing control of the city ...50,000 people are still trapped in Dubrovnik after days of shelling from sea and shore that have killed dozens of people and wrecked parts of the city ...UN or European forces would ... act as a buffer between the forces of both sides ...")
"EC nations urge early move on Croatia peace-keepers" The Age Melbourne 27 Nov 1991 ("Britain, France and Belgium today urged the UN Security Council to make an early decision ... the Croatian Government indicated a clear willingness to compromise on its previous insistence that UN troops should be placed only on the recognized border ... now prepared to accept Serbia's insistence on deployment in areas of conflict ... Osijek, which had come under renewed shelling as the Serb-run federal army moved towards it after seizing the nearby town of Vukovar. ...") "We Must Rescue Croatia: Will another six months of slaughter have to pass before serious action is taken by the West to force the Yugoslav Army out of Croatia?" Herald-Sun Melbourne 13 December 1991 ("We are witnessing, in the Yugoslav Army's operations in Croatia, the most savage act of military aggression seen in Europe since the end of World War II." ... "The dead are many. Estimates range from 2500 to 10,000. A large proportion are innocent civilians, almost all Croatian. Over 100,000 homes and as many as 200 Catholic churches have been reduced to rubble." ... "The Yugoslav Navy shells defenceless Croatian coastal cities at will. The Croatians have no navy or air force, or allies to call upon." ... "Liberal prejudice informs us that wherever there is a military conflict there must be two sides ... equally to blame. ... In the case of the present attack on Croatia, it cannot be emphasized too strongly, this is simply not true. The aggression launched by the Yugoslav Army was utterly unprovoked. " .. "the normally vociferous Australian peace movement has maintained for Croatia an uncharacteristic six-month-long vow of silence.)
"The World is Developing a Conscience" Globe & Mail Ottawa 29 Dec 1999 (re Seerbian General Galic arrest and siege of Sarajevo ... "We won't turn our heads anymore")
"Warcrimes court jails ex-Croatian general for 24 years on ethnic cleansing charges" Globe and Mail 15 April 2011
"The Lion The Fox and The Eagle: A story of generals and justice in Rwanda and Yugoslavia", by Carol Off Toronto 2002 (This book argues that The Hague court was indeed created to find justice in the face of the UN Peacekeeping failures,")
"The Hague Indictments: Analysis" Croatian Viewpoint website Melbourne 2000-2012
"UN court frees Croatian 'hero' generals" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16 Nov 2012
"Joy in Croatia as generals return" Herald-Sun Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"Serbia angry Croatian generals acquitted" Herald-Sun Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"UN court frees jailed Croatian generals" The Age Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"Tribunal overturns convictions of Croat generals" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16Nov2012
"Croatia celebrates after Gotovina & Markac convictions overturned" The Australian Canberra 17 Nov 2012
"Croat generals get hero's welcome after UN tosses war crimes convictions" Toronto Star 16 Nov 2012
"UN court overturns convictions of two Croatian generals Vancouver Sun 17 Nov 2012
"Former PM of Croatia jailed for corruption" Globe & Mail 20 Nov 2012
"This Hague ruling sets dangerous precedents" The Globe & Mail Ottawa 28 Nov 2012
Jean Lunt Marinovic
November 2012

In Search of Justice at the Hague

The internationalization of both Canadian and Croatian foreign policy puts these two nations on a collision course. Hopefully justice will prevail for all concerned, as Croatia is to become a NATO member.
Lt. General Andrew B. Leslie (commander of UNCRO, Croatia during 1995), is a witness at the trial at the Hague against Croatian generals. The Canadian general is from one of Canada’s finest military families, and is the grandson of the Chief of Defense in Canada during WWII, and since his service in Croatia he has become commander of the Canadian army. Another Canadian former commander of UNPROFOR Major General (ret’d) Lewis MacKenzie was subsequently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.
Statue of the former Canadian PM, L.B.
Pearson Next to Canadian parliament buildings,
© photo J. L. Marinovic, Ottawa,
14 Aug 2003
After WWII Canadian foreign policy was deliberately internationalized in order to create a distinct Canadian role in the world affairs. Canada invented peacekeeping, which is a pillar of Canada’s foreign policy, and the 29th of May became International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers from 2002.
After WWII Croatian people were unwillingly included within the former Yugoslav communist dictatorship. It was the Yugoslav Stalinist era which prompted Churchill’s famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech.
Although the 1974 Yugoslav constitution guaranteed the right of its republics to secede, when Croatian independence was on the horizon in 1991 Croatian civilians were bombed from land, sea and air. Unarmed Croatian civilians were dying in their thousands and ethnically cleansed from one-third of Croatia. As the Serbian-led Yugoslav National Army itself was attacking Croatia, including the Yugoslav Air Force’s bombing of the presidential palace in Zagreb on 7 Oct. 1991, the Croatian leaders had no choice but to look to an ambivalent international community. There is no doubt that the United Nations presence was essential at the time.
The internationalization of Croatia’s strategy for the defense of its people resulted in the creation of UNPROFOR. Subsequent UN resolutions created “safe havens” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Croatia got “pink zones”. Subsequent UN resolutions had strengthened the mandates of UNPROFOR because of Serbian intransigence, but ironically UN force was then used against the Croats, for example at Medak Pocket, which in effect served to prolong the Serbian aggression in neighbouring Bosnia & Hercegovina. It evolved that peace came to Croatia and B&H, as a direct result of an American-supported Croatian military operation, after the UN was unable to implement most of the Security Council resolutions in Sector South.
The current trial at the Hague against Croatian defenders illustrates the inevitable meeting of the foreign policy of two nations, Canada and Croatia. The outcome of the trial at the Hague will be reported around the world and its legacy will enter the history books, and fuel future models for Peacekeeping Operations.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
May 2008

The 'Croatian Three'

The up and coming trial against Croatian generals at the ICTY on May 7 is a trial which will have consequences for all of us in the West, not just those directly involved. In the past, enemies of Croatia and enemies of the West have used the International Criminal Court to widen the existing rift between members of NATO.
May 7, 2007 is an interesting choice for the trial of Croatia's generals to commence. It would appear that many events have occurred on May 7 in the past.
On May 7, 1995, for the first time, the Serbs were called to account for their five years of aggression against neighbouring states at the Hague ad hoc Tribunal. On May 7 the very first international war crimes trial at the ICTY began against a Bosnian-Serb concentration camp guard, Dusan Tadic. And, on May 7, 1999 NATO missiles hit Belgrade.
Lies and propaganda about Croatian self-defence are designed to take attention away from the serious flaws in the indictments. The indictments against the Croatian generals are flawed in comparison with indictments relating to Bosnia & Hercegovina.
In the case of the Indictment against the Serbian War Lord Mladic, in Bosnia & Hercegovina, the Hague Indictment details the international recognition of B & H on 6 April 1992 in the Statement of Facts in Item 7 which is deliberately listed before the Charges.
In a deliberate contrast, in the indictment against General Gotovina it appears as if Croatia is somehow an unwarranted aggressor against Serbian-occupied territory within Croatia, and the UN recognition of Croatia as an independent state is not even mentioned. One wonders if the little-mentioned 'Republic of Croatia' in the indictment is the Croatia which was within the former Yugoslavia or is it the Croatia which was recognized internationally around the world. It is deliberately not stated. After reading the indictment against Croatian generals it appears as if the unlawfully Serbian-occupied territory (so-called RSK) within Croatia receives more legitimacy than the UN-member nation of Croatia. The Statement of the Facts in the Gotovina indictment appears only at the end as items 42 to 58.
Concerned people need to unite around this impending 'trial by media' issue and be prepared to answer the lies and propaganda which are eroding our western traditions. Indeed, slanderous articles have already appeared in connection with the up and coming Hague trial on a 'trial watch' website, entitled: "When Will World Confront the Undead of Croatia?"
Over the past years it has become evident that the ad hoc Hague trials, and some media outlets, are often used as a platform for anti-Americanism and anti-Western rhetoric. For example, anti-Americanism was central to the Milosevic defence and this theme will continue leading up to and during the trial of the 'Croatian Three'.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
January 2007

The "Secret War" against Croatia

Canadian peacekeeping missions have been much criticized, not because of their "secret war" in Croatia, but mostly for their command of UNPROFOR in Bosnia & Herzegovina. (The term "secret war" was dubbed by Carol Off, a Canadian journalist.) During WWII the joint effort of the American, British and Canadian governments led to victory, but since then Canadian foreign policy has adopted an internationalist posture through the UN, in an effort to forge an active role for itself apart from the United States. When the UN passed a resolution to create UNPROFOR it was inevitable that Canada would take the first command.
Unfortunately, Canada's 'Operation Harmony' in Croatia failed in its mission to remain neutral. Even though it was the well-documented Serbian terrorism which led to the creation of UNPROFOR, it was the Serbs, and not the Croats, who were protected in Sector South by the Canadian Peacekeepers.
For example, for four years the Serbian shelling of Croatia continued unabated from inside Sector South, in spite of the presence of UNPROFOR, who had failed to implement any of their mandate. In Medak Pocket, when Croatia mustered the strength to defend itself, the fully-equipped French and Canadian UN battalions engaged the Croats in combat. It was Croats who had to pull back from their own homeland territory, not the Serbs, who had taken that territory by 'ethnic cleansing' in 1991.
This so-dubbed "secret war" waged by Canada does not get mentioned in typical criticism of the UNPROFOR. Ironically, criticism is normally confined to how UNPROFOR peacekeepers were militarily "ill equipped" to fulfil their mandate. Canadian foreign policy was implemented on the front line by the first commander of UNPROFOR, Major General Lewis MacKenzie, who was also responsible to the de facto Commander-in-Chief of Canadian Forces, Prime Minister Mulroney. (1) After 1993, both of those former Canadian leaders publicly revealed their pro-Serbian sentiments. Was it any wonder that in 1995 two Canadian officers gave the incredible testimony that Knin was "not a military target", testimony, in part, which led to the indictment of General Gotovina.(2)
The Hague indictments do not reflect all events on the ground in the so-called-Krajina. In order to justify the UNPROFOR combat against Croats in Croatia, who were trying to defend their own country from being bombed, it has been necessary for the Hague indictments to 'forget' the years of Serbian shelling of Croatian villages during the UNPROFOR presence, and before it. Indeed, it is not only the Gospic region that was shelled. Years of Serbian shelling of Croatian villages beyond Sector South, in the whole Zadar region, have been eliminated from the pages of history, and from the Hague indictments, in an effort to illustrate 'moral equivalency'.
The International Court of Justice verdict which cleared Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide in the former Yugoslavia was predictable. After all, during the early 1990s, the measures taken, or not taken, by individuals of influence in western governments, the Contact Group, and the UN all failed to halt Serbian-led terrorism in the former Yugoslavia.
(1) The Queen is the official Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces.
(2) Knin was an army barracks headquarters for the Serbian terrorist forces until Operation Storm in August 1995.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
March 2007

Knin Never Located in 'Military Frontier'

A propaganda campaign has been spreading that Knin was in the 'Vojna Krajina' (Austrian-administered Croatian 'Military Frontier' zone), and that by association the so-called-Serbian-'krajina' created in the early 1990s was part of the 'Vojna Krajina'. Documented treaties in history show this Serbian propaganda to be a lie, a lie which served as a pretext for starting a Serbian war of aggression costing the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
It is essential to understand that Knin was never within the Vojna Krajina because this false propaganda underpins the Serbian 'historical' claims which have found their way into the Hague indictments. The issue of Serbia's false historical claims should be introduced, and exposed as lies, during the defence of Gotovina at the Hague. There is a legal precedent for introducing 'historical' testimony in a trial.
For example, in the Australian trial known as the 'Croatian Six' a quarter of a century ago, the prosecution deliberately introduced as 'evidence' the inaccurate historical testimony of an Australian historian 'specialist' on Yugoslav history. The framed Croats in Australia were incarcerated on the basis of this type of fabricated 'historical' evidence and 'police verbals'. The six Croats were subsequently released years later, but still have not been officially exonerated. Such is the power of propaganda on our legal system.
Tragically, Serbian fabrications are supported by many foreigners who inadvertently encourage contravention of international law and protocol. As part of a very vocal pro-Serbian lobby around the world many books, websites, and international organisations have shown unquestioning support of false historical claims. On some unofficial maps of Croatia, even today, a non-existent region appears known as the so-called-krajina, an alleged historical region which exists only in the minds of Serbia and its foreign allies. The false allegations or insinuations have been often repeated by authors such as Silber & Little, Misha Glenny, Richard Holbrooke, Mark Thompson, and many others. Authors who have refuted the false propaganda about the location of Knin and the 'Vojna Krajina' include Tim Judah and Ivo Banac.
In a legal context 'highly irregular' frames of reference are used in the indictments against Gotovina and others. For example, instead of referring to the official UNPA Sectors, or to internationally-recognized Croatia, the Hague indictments constantly refer to the unrecognized 'Krajina' region of Croatia. It would seem that 'Krajina' has been recognized in many international circles including the Hague, even though it was not recognized by the UN. These irregular frames of reference have been introduced into the indictments even though the 'Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe' talks in Europe had rejected proposals to link 'minority rights' with territorial demands in 1991.
Indeed, Croatia's historical territory around Knin has been documented in treaties by the Habsburgs, the Ottomans, and the Venetians, just to name a few. For example, several stages of Venetian occupation which rivalled Ottoman incursions over the centuries around the Knin region have been well documented. For centuries Knin has always been an integral part of Croatian history, not Serbian history. Even when under the Ottoman Empire, Knin was in 'Turkish Croatia' (as designated by many official contemporaneous mapmakers). Later when Knin and the Dalmatian hinterland were occupied by Venice the majority of the inhabitants there were Croats with whom most of the 'Morlacchi' became assimilated as either Orthodox or Catholics. These facts are all part of European history but the Hague Court, in the name of politically correct 'moral equivalency', ignores the truth and betrays justice.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
February 2007

Gotovina Indictment is Flawed

The Gotovina Indictment is a clear-cut example of inequality before the law and it does not take a rocket scientist to see its flaws. Note: Fortunately the Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac were later acquitted after an appeal on 16th November 2012.
Article 51 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to the inherent individual or collective right of self defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.
Croatia , a United Nations recognized country, was attacked by Serbian-led terrorists for several years, in spite of the presence of UNPROFOR there. Indeed, it was the widely televised Serbian intransigence and Serbian aggression against Croatia which had prompted the United Nations to create the first resolutions about the former Yugoslavia .
First, in order to carry out those resolutions prompted by aggression against Croatia , the United Nations established its base in Sarajevo.
Secondly, the Hague Indictments in reference to Bosnia & Herzegovina detail the international recognition of B & H in the Statement of Facts which is deliberately listed before the Charges against Serbian war criminals such as Mladic.
In contrast, it appears that in order to isolate the indictment charges against Croatian generals from any historically related context, both the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Croatia, and the ad hoc Hague court Indictments which refer to events in Croatia deliberately do NOT mention the international recognition of Croatia. In the Indictment against Gotovina for example the Statement of Facts inappropriately follows the list of charges instead of preceding them. In addition, after reading the Indictment against Croatian generals it appears as if the unlawfully Serbian-occupied territory within Croatia receives more legitimacy than the UN-member Republic of Croatia.
Finally, in the theme of the initial UN presence being first in Bosnia & Herzegovina instead of Croatia , the Hague indictments also first related to Serbian genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina . Only later did Serbian-led terrorism in Croatia begin to be investigated by the Hague , although this did not receive as much media cover as other indictments.
Thus, the process of law ignored the first victims of injustice until after many had died, or permanently left their homeland as refugees. The Hague indictment charges which refer to Croatia mention the flight of an alleged 150,000-200,000 Serbs from Croatia but nowhere is the flight of 400,000 Croats from Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina mentioned.
In consideration of the above-mentioned inconsistencies in the indictments, in the case of Croatia , it appears as if Croatia is somehow an unwarranted aggressor against Serbian-occupied territory within Croatia -even though the opposite is a matter of public record. Refer to the '1991 Headlines list' above which records the Serbian aggression in Croatia, under the above sub-heading: "All things come to those who wait". In contrast, in the case of Bosnia & Herzegovina the indictments clearly show the Serbian generals to be the aggressors by the content and placement of the Charges in relation to the Statement of Facts therein.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
January 2006

Western Justice Held Hostage by the Hague

The Hague Criminal Court indictment against former Croatian general Ante Gotovina, who has been wrongfully accused, is an indictment against the tradition of western justice. The tone and language of the 2001 Del Ponte indictment makes a mockery of the legal tradition we live by today in the west, that which separates our modern world from totalitarianism or feudalism. The perspective of this indictment, which was created out of the UN resolutions 713 to 762, etc. on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia , is available for public scrutiny on the internet. One of the consistent tenets of these resolutions was the continued UN arms embargo, which in effect punished unarmed Croatian civilians and not the belligerent Serbian-led Yugoslav Army, the third best equipped in Europe . The political division of the Europeans and the international community behind the scenes, in the creation and application of this indictment, is less understood by the public.
The EU is pressuring Zagreb for the extradition of the fugitive general, as a condition of entry into Europe . Recently, the EU's current president, Jean-Claude Juncker, reiterated the accusation to former Croatian General Ante Gotovina that he should understand, "he is holding millions of Croats as hostages" by failing to surrender to the Hague 's prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte. The un-constituted European Union appears to have forgotten that it was the Serbian/Yugoslav leadership which held hostage the citizens of the former Yugoslavia , and members of the UNPROFOR. The EU has made it clear that without Gotovina , Croatia 's EU entry negotiations will not proceed. But, for the rest of the western world, there are bigger issues at stake than Croatia 's EU membership. It is not for nothing that the American government pressures for the ad hoc Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to close its chambers.
Internationalist politics and old European rivalries are reflected in the text of the ad hoc indictment against the former Croatian general. In addition, Del Ponte herself must be keen for a victory, as she jealously watches her predecessors move up the ladder following their successful convictions at the Hague . Former Canadian prosecutor at the Hague Louise Arbour is now the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and former prosecutor Richard Prosper is the newly created US Ambassador to the Office of War Crimes Issues. Following the defeat of the Democrats, President Bush had been pressured into doing something about the Hague court, against his better judgment, so the above-mentioned new position was devised, and Ambassador Prosper subsequently issued rewards for Hague indictees. But it is not America which pressures Croatia today for Gotovina's extradition, it is the un-constituted European Union.
In 2001 a few months after the Gotovina indictment was issued, the Italian president Ciampi announced that a WWII fascist award would be bestowed on Zadar for the Italian fascists who were bombed out of Zadar in WWII . ("the flag of the last Italian civil administration of Zadar")
Gotovina himself is from the Zadar region, and it is in Zadar-Knin County that the Serbian-led Yugoslav Army and Mladic began their campaign, until Croatia 's Operation Storm five years later, when at last the bombing stopped and Croatian civilians could sleep in peace again. Then, began the yet unfinished process of clearing Serbian-planted landmines, one of which was on display in the Canadian War Museum . The Serbian-led Yugoslav National Army had bombed Zadar in the early 1990s from the Sea, Air, and Land, and deliberately cut-off its unarmed civilians from water and electric supply and from the rest of Croatia . Having lost this prize piece of real estate, now it would appear that pressure is on from Italy to gain through the EU, what Serbia could not gain through the Yugoslav Army.
In 1991, after the bombardment of Croatian cities, such as Zadar, Dubrovnik , Osijek , Karlovac, etc.and Vukovar, the remaining wounded Croats were marched away from the satellite television cameras at Vukovar, and massacred and hidden in mass graves at Ovcar. Ovcar is Croatia 's 'Srebenica'; as is ' Jazovka ' after WWII, where the remains of 40,000 Croats were discovered, along with canes, and old bandages, etc. The total obliteration of Vukovar is the Dresden-like scene which prompted the UN into action. Other Croatian cities, towns, villages, hospitals, ancient churches, cultural monuments, and their civilians were bombarded, tortured, murdered and otherwise ethnically-cleansed from one third of Croatia . Subsequently two million people were cleansed from both Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, including Croats, half a million of whom never returned to their homes. Yet, in spite of the above Serbian terrorism, all documented on public record, in the media headlines, and on television, and not just a matter of propaganda, Europe is asking that Gotovina surrender!
Croatia 's defensive operations, led by Gotovina, between 1992 and 1995 expressed their legitimate and inherent right under the United Nations Charter of self-defence. Croatian operations were authorized only after the publicly-acknowledged failure of a much scorned and humiliated UNPROFOR to demilitarize Sectors North or South or adjacent Pink Zones (eg, Resolution 762 ), thus failing to prevent over four years of bombardment and the death of thousands of Croats. Lester B. Pearson, the former Canadian PM who received the Nobel Prize for his concept of UN peacekeeping must have turned in his grave.
Sectors South and North were areas where Serbs had terrorized and ethnically cleansed and murdered Croats from inside one-third of Croatia , during 1990 and 1991 . Many planned massacres occurred there under the command of Chief of Staff, Ratko Mladic of the Yugoslav Army's 9 th Corps. Do the victims of Mladic in Bosnia deserve respect and closure, but not in Croatian towns such as Skabrnje, Brusko, or Nadin? Apparently not, as the Gotovina indictment refers to the period in question as 'inter-communal tensions'. Is Gotovina acceptable to the international community as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion in a foreign country, but not acceptable in the defence of his own country?
The unprovoked aggression ordered from Belgrade should be put into a proper political context also. Whilst the rest of newly liberated Eastern Europe was enjoying multiparty elections after 1989, or a so-called 'Velvet Revolution', Croats were being bombed, ethnically-cleansed, interned in concentration camps, and massacred, following their own free elections. The de jure international recognition of Croatia during this bombing had already been scrutinized by the Badinter Commission in a three-month moratorium. This European commission issued a set of unworkable conditions which the EEC member nations themselves did not comply with, and recognition of Croatia and Slovenia went ahead. The facts as outlined in the Gotovina indictment bear no resemblance to all these events, especially within a legal context.
This is because the indictment has adopted the vague non-committal language of the UN resolutions about the crisis in the former Yugoslavia , which led to the so-called Vance Plan. The language of the indictment reflects a new legal concept of equal guilt of 'all parties', as did the growing number of UN resolutions, which appeased the opposing sides in the EEC, or at the UN. A dilemma about how to handle Serbian aggression and Serbian ceasefire violations threatened to de-rail European unity at Maastricht . But old European rivalry and competition in the Balkans is not the only issue reflected in the indictment and UN resolutions.
Clearly, an anti-American lobby is emerging through this court, a lobby which has obviously caused a gap in traditional western solidarity and NATO. This anti-American foreign policy is nowhere more transparent than in Canada 's input into UNPROFOR, which ultimately caused international embarrassment and failure, and its main leaders' pro-Serbian affiliations were later exposed. Both the former Canadian PM Mulroney, whose wife is Serbian, and UNPROFOR's first commander, General MacKenzie, have adopted a pro-Serbian posture after their retirements.
In trying to make amends through an ad hoc court, the original UNPROFOR mandates were adopted as its cornerstone, thereby adding insult to injury in the Croatian indictments. An article in 'Canadian Foreign Policy' by Cohen and Moens acknowledged that sharp divisions over the Balkan issue in North America and Europe served "as an early opportunity for Ottawa to re-conceptualize the manner in which Canada and like-minded states should address governmental breakdown, wars and humanitarian crises in disintegrating countries". Thus, it has evolved that a series of UN resolutions and Hague indictments about Croatia have put the so-called Krajina, a self-declared Serbian terrorist state within Croatia , on an equal footing with the de jure recognized Croatian government. How precarious now are the issues of safety, human rights, right of self-defence and the western system of justice, if this indictment is given any legitimacy.
The accusations against Gotovina are unwarranted, unjust, and in contravention of international charters. Rather, the key issue here is the bias and failure of UNPROFOR to provide peace and security to Croatian civilians over a five year period, and to deny Croatian people the right of self-defence, their human rights or their fundamental freedoms. The Gotovina indictment represents an attempt to cover-up the UNPROFOR failure as the Croatian people's exercise of self-defence is referred to as a 'criminal enterprise' or an attack on 'Krajina', a document which appears to respect more the rights of Serbian terrorists, many of whom have already been sentenced at the Hague, than the rights of Croatian victims. If this international criminal court is allowed to set such a dangerous precedent, civilians in Europe will no longer trust the law, as totalitarianism justice rules. Note: Fortunately the Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac were later acquitted after an Appeal on 16th November 2012.

Is the West on Trial at the Hague ?

If Croatians, so frequently wrongly accused, were as guilty as it has been alleged, over the past century, then why has it been necessary:
  • to admit perjured testimony into trials against them; or
  • to frame innocent Croatian-born people; or
  • to abuse the western rule of law; or
  • to allow a pre-trial slanderous environment in lieu of evidence; or
  • to abuse extradition treaties;
With an international public arena saturated with anti-Croatian propaganda, where can an impartial court be situated? Why is the entire western legal tradition being held hostage in order to legitimize an ideologically-based, anti-Croatian agenda?

Chronology of Injustice

The first Yugoslav state was created by a feudal system without the will of the majority of people in Croatia. However there was domestic support from the majority of 'elected' politicians in Zagreb for Yugoslavia. (link: "Who Created The First Yugoslav State?")
Why did the world turn its back when five Croatian 'front bench' Members of Parliament were gunned down inside a parliament in session in Belgrade by an MP of Serbian nationality, in 1928? II
After World War II why did Tito plan and execute the genocide of Croatian soldiers and civilians? Refer to "Bleiburg Anthology".
Why does Maribor City Council call for the cremation of thousands of Bleiburg victims' skeletal remains as discovered in June 1999, instead of photographing, displaying, analysing DNA or documenting them? IV
Why is " Katyn ," a metaphor for wrongful accusation and genocide, but " Bleiburg" , " Koceve " or " Jazovka ," etc. are virtually unheard of?
Why were the West's Amnesty International Prisoners of Conscience of Croatian background double-crossed decades later and accused falsely, when as democratically "elected" leaders they worked for the defence and human rights of their people? (note: 32,000 Croatian intellectuals were purged in 1971, known as the 'Croatian Spring'.) V
Why does the world embrace Nelson Mandela's struggle but not the struggle of former Croatian political prisoners?
Why is there little news of the assassination of 100 Croatian dissident intellectuals and former political prisoners in W. Europe and abroad in recent decades? VI
Why were six innocent Croats framed and imprisoned in Sydney , Australia in 1980 on the evidence of "unsigned police verbals" (now illegal) whilst evidence of their innocence was withheld by state institutions from their trial? VII
When a teenager (J. Tokic) is wounded by machine gun bullets, outside of a Yugoslav Consulate in Australia , during a peaceful protest in 1988, before television cameras, why does he not have bipartisan support? How is it that his peers are accused of "brainwashing" or of being worse than pornographers or drug pushers in a school ground, whilst the perpetrators have "diplomatic immunity"? VIII
Why doesn't the West refer to its favourite Yugoslav author, Djilas (or statements of former President Truman) who acknowledged that Croats had to die so that Yugoslavia could live -- and in reference to Stepinac's show trial, that sometimes good men must be condemned for political necessity?

A Century of "Ethnic Cleansing

If Croatian people are such a "threat" to western society, why are they still encouraged to migrate to western industrialized nations?
Why were special agreements signed between the Australian and Yugoslav governments, unions and corporations, to enable Yugoslavia to get "rid" of its rural Croats following W.W. II? IX
Why, during the 1990s, were refugee quotas extended in Australia in order to accommodate as many tens of thousands of Croats from Bosnia and Croatia as possible, for permanent settlement abroad, whilst other refugees from Serbian aggression in contrast are either "contained" or (safely) repatriated? X
If the former Yugoslavia has so many Croatian refugees in proportion to others, how is it that Croats have been indicted in greater numbers before the International War Crimes Tribunal?
Why are the human rights of Croats abroad disregarded with impunity? They receive shelter, food, and welfare but have been continually wrongfully accused of crimes in the media, without trial. And, in addition, why is it that the inconsistent application of laws ensures the censoring of public information about law-abiding, Croatian/Australian communities, in direct violation of international treaties and multicultural legislation? XI

Self-Defense Is Not A War Crime!

United Nations Charter 51 on International Law expressly distinguishes between the "aggression" in war, and "self-defence" ("duress" in common law). XII
That's why the media has gone to great lengths to portray the long-term, full-scale military assault against unarmed Croatian civilians as a "civil war" or "ethnic cleansing."
Therefore, why at the Hague is it a "war crime" to defend your family and home, bare-handed, and your village, town or city which for years had been literally under siege daily - a nation robbed of its defence because of a UN arms embargo (which in effect, represented the consensus of UN nations of up to five billion people) a community under siege by air, land and sea by the heavy artillery of the third largest modern army in Europe ?
The comparison is always made between the ad hoc court and the Nuremberg trials, yet no actual precedent exists for this ad hoc court's application of the rules of law, which are "developed" as they go along by its own judges and which has been strongly criticized at Rome in 1998 in its current format as a precursor to any permanent criminal court. XIII
Why was the first interim prosecutor for this ad hoc court and current deputy prosecutor also the former head of the Australian War Crimes Trials, which owe their establishment in Australia to the ground work (anti-Croatian propaganda) prepared by a member of the Australian Communist Party ( Mark Aarons), who launched its campaign on ABC radio series on "10th of April" 1986? Why was this prosecutor's report (Graham Blewitt) who criticized the work of the Australian War Crimes Prosecution Support Unit never made public? XIV
How can any career prosecutor who worked in New South Wales , Australia be deemed to be free from anti-Croatian bias where the wrongfully imprisoned "Croatian Six" have yet to be exonerated or compensated since release from wrongful imprisonment?

Western Justice On Trial

The International Criminal Tribunal is not a military court and not a common law court and it is not a good model in its present form for a permanent court (Rome Conference 1998) because it needs "improvement" -- the only point which the international community agrees on. It is not a court which engenders international consensus because it infringes on national legal sovereignty, and its only enforcement ability is derived from the "consensus of the powerful." XV
I have posed several serious questions and to answer them I have briefly outlined the role of legal and democratic institutions in the genocide perpetrated against Croatian people. Croatian democracy is under siege and its leaders are being coerced (by threat of sanctions) to cooperate with a court which other nations criticize as unworkable. The western legal tradition, political democracy, international treaties and UN charters are constantly transcended and abused in the case of Croatia . Clearly, a greater issue is at stake therefore, for so-called western civilization, than just the fate of the Croatian nation. Power usually erodes from within when integrity is bargained with and no doubt American and western submission to the use of totalitarian tactics against some might ultimately result in the decline of their own culture.
Croatian leaders therefore should not unquestioningly submit to a court which itself has been the target of so much criticism.


I Corfu Declaration, July 22, 1917 .
II "Trial by Slander", L. Shaw, Summit Press, Canberra , 1973; or "Deputies Shot in Belgrade , Wild Scene in Chamber," London Times, 22/6/1928 .
III "The Minister and the Massacres", Nikolai Tolstoy, Century Hutcheson Ltd., London , 1986.
IV "Preserve Maribor Genocide Evidence", J. Lunt-Marinovic, Croatian Herald (Hrvatski Vjesnik), (New Generation, English language supplement) Melbourne , July 1999.
V Conditions of Imprisonment of Prisoners of Conscience, in "That's Yugoslavia ", Hans Peter Rullman, Hamburg , 10/88 to 1/89 -- prepared from 'Amnesty International' report, London .
VI "Assassinations Commissioned by Belgrade ", H.P. Rullman, Ost.-Diest, Hamburg , 1981.
VII "Cloak and Dagger", on Four Corners , ABC-TV Channel 2, (Australian government's station) Expose of wrongfully imprisoned Croatian Six.
VIII See Prime Minister Hawke's response in The Australian newspaper, 29/11/88 ; or The Age newspaper, 29/11/88 . (Re: why Yugoslav Consulate refused access to its grounds before the demonstration to the Australian Protection Service) See also, the "Australian Time" magazine, same week.
IX "Divided Working Class", Lever-Tracy & Quinlan, London , 1988.
X "Ethnic Balance in the Croatian Region is a Priority for Peace", J. Lunt- Marinovic. Croatian Herald (Hrvatski Vjesnik) (New Generation, English language supplement), Melbourne 24 July 1998 .
XI "Centre for Population Research", Monash University booklet (Government-funded) 1988 (re: Croats not major group in Brimbank (includes Sunshine, Keilor-western suburbs of Melbourne ) Victoria , Australia -- in contrast to actual Brimbank City Council information which suggests inconsistency within government departments); or Melbourne 's Immigration Museum fails to acknowledge Croats in mainstream permanent exhibits and alleges that no information available (re: 1996 census) yet full information is available!)
XII "Peace Through Emerging International Law," Jost Delbruck in book, The Quest for Peace International Social Science Council, SAGE Publications, London , 1987.
XIII "Pressing Charges," on ABC's Channel 2 (Australian government channel), "Lateline" 1998, (re: establishment of UN permanent criminal court). Also Press Release: (re: remarks made by Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, president of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to Preparatory Commission for Permanent International Criminal Court, 3-/7/99.
XIV "A Case to Answer: The Story of Australia 's First European War Crimes Prosecution", David Bevan, Wakefield Press, Adelaide , 1994, also: (re: Interview: Graham Blewitt in the Hague
XV "Red" lawyer fought on all fronts, The Australian (obituaries) 28/5/98 . (Re: Telford Taylor, Nuremberg prosecutor and legal partner with Benjamin Ferencz, (of "Tribunal Newswatch Group" and advocate for the ad hoc court establishment - refer also See also "Documents 17 and 18" on ICTY's official web site, 1998, chapter on "the Path to the Hague," under titles Letter of Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger to Mr. Antonio Cassese, May 8, 1996 and letter of Mr. Elie Wiesel to Mr. Antonio Cassese, June 28, 1996 . (Re: their active role in creation of Hague ad hoc court is described).
Jean Lunt Marinovic
October 2000.

History Repeats Itself

"If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world -- and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation." (Former American President S. Truman in March 1947.) The 'Truman Doctrine' speech was a response to the violations along the frontier between Greece and the former Yugoslavia and Albania. Sixty years later we are witnessing a repeat of history.
WWI, the Cold War, and the recent war in the former Yugoslavia were all triggered by Serbian atavistic nationalism, and now once again the issue of Serbian EU-membership threatens EU unity and the credibility of the ICTY.
WWI followed the Serbian assassination of the Austrian Archduke, and the ultimate consequence of this for Serbia was its rise to power. Further assassinations followed in the Serbian parliament against Croatian front benchers, five of whom were shot by a Serb, and Belgrade became the capital of a Yugoslav dictatorship.
For Croatian people the situation deteriorated even more. Several hundred thousand Croatian civilians and soldiers were massacred after WWII. Because of the Serbian-led liquidation of all of their opponents Churchill noted that an 'Iron Curtain' was descending on Europe, signalling the beginning of the Cold War. In spite of the genocide it was responsible for, communist Yugoslavia received unconditional aid and IMF loans until its downfall.
The end of the Cold War triggered Serbian-coordinated terrorism and ethnic cleansing of Croats from one third of Croatia in the former Yugoslavia. For a further four years Croatian people in many parts of the country were bombarded and cut off from electricity and water. This situation was exacerbated by a UN arms embargo which punished the un-armed and, due to the much-criticized bias of UNPROFOR, the Serbian aggression spread into Bosnia. An ad hoc international criminal court was established but the main Serbian war criminals have never been arrested. Iraq was systematically bombed in search of Sadam Hussein, but the response in the EU today regarding Mladic and Karadzic is the opposite.
Note: Eventually both Mladic and Karadzic were found in hiding and indicted. Mladic was extradited to The Hague on 31 May 2011 to face charges and his trial formally opened in The Hague on 16 May 2012. The trial is ongoing. Karadzic was charged at the ICTY with committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide and convicted as a war criminal responsible for the Srebrenica genocide, terrorizing Sarajevo, the persecution and extermination of 'Bosniaks' and Croats in 20 municipalities, and taking UN Peacekeepers hostage. Also charged at the Hague was Slobodan Milosevic who was found "not responsible" for war crimes during the 1992-95 'Bosnian War', and after he died before the end of his trial. Milosevic was later exonerated of victimizing Muslims and Croats during the 'Bosnian War'.
The UK, Canada and others in the EU are not the only allies of Serbia. Russia is always an ally of Serbia, but this fact is less mentioned by the western media. So the question needs to be asked about whether the opening of the EU doors to Serbia is related to the Russian President Putin's outburst at Munich, when he claimed that America and NATO are threats to the world? The 'English Pravda' newspaper makes no secret of Russia's support for Serbia where it is insinuated that the legal constraints of international law which once protected smaller, weaker nations were no longer viable. (The Age 12 Feb 07) Mr. Putin hopes we have forgotten that it was Moscow which denied small European nations their rights for fifty years, and that Moscow supported Serbian aggression during the 1990s.
Serbian atavistic behaviour continues to be a thorn in the side of EU unity, regional stability and world peace. Sixty years ago the Truman doctrine halted the spread of communism into Greece and Western Europe. After 80 years, when some small nations, Croatia amongst them, are free from Serbian terrorism, Putin deems NATO and America to be a threat to the world. Note: Nearly a decade after this was written the Russian President Vladimir Putin is still in power, is still a strong Serbian ally, and still deems NATO to be a threat.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
February 2007

Searching for a Storm - Important Documentary about Injustice at the Hague

It has been argued in the past that the first ‘Royalist’ Yugoslavia was a dictatorial Serbian hegemony but that in contrast Tito’s ‘communist’ Yugoslavia was a successful socialist self-management experiment.
Similarly today it is argued that the UN Peacekeepers failed to carry out their mandate in the former Yugoslavia but that in contrast the UN ad hoc Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at the Hague is successful in delivering justice.
Both of the above arguments are flawed. That the socialist self-management experiment in the former Yugoslavia failed is an understatement. Whether or not the Hague court delivers justice also remains to be seen.
Jack Baric’s film, “Searching for a Storm” shows how the Hague court fails to deliver justice.
In one of its own reports the United Nations has discussed how the Serbian-led Yugoslav Army’s systematic shelling of Croatian civilians between 1992 and 1993 resulted in massive death, destruction, injury and a continuous Croatian exodus outside of the ‘UNPA’s’. Yet this UN report was not introduced into any background ‘statement of the facts’ in the original indictment against the former Croatian General Ante Gotovina who led Operation Storm in UN Sector South.
Why has the Serbian-led bombing of Croatia and massacres of thousands of non-Serbian civilians before and during the UN presence in Croatia been referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’? In contrast, why has the Croatian defensive reaction to the years-long deadly and destructive Serbian terrorism in Croatia been referred to as a ‘criminal enterprise’ by the UN court? Is it because the UNPROFOR never disarmed Serbian terrorists in the ‘so-called Krajina’ (occupied Croatian territory) where UN personnel were stationed?
For the answers to these questions a good starting point is Jack Baric’s film.
In the Baric film, through testimony of well-known individuals involved we become aware of an apparent agenda of the UN international tribunal--that a narrative is being created to revise history, to divert attention away from the well-documented UN failure to carry out its mandate in Croatia.
Former Canadian Peacekeeping commanders or the retired UN Lt General Satish Nambia, in the Baric film, would like us to believe that Serbian aggression in Croatia was just a ‘storm in a teacup’--whilst in contrast the Croatian ‘Operation Storm’ in UN Sector South was an alleged “joint criminal enterprise” allegedly responsible for random death and destruction and a massive Serbian refugee exodus.
With the tradition of western justice and self-defense at stake in this trial, naturally the court has another concept to justify its unprecedented approach to justice--‘moral equivalency’ or ‘equal guilt’. The UN Tribunal spokesman would have us believe that it is impossible to see who started the war in question because the so-called ‘Balkan conflict’ was a “civil war” which led to the end of communist Yugoslavia.
The pro-UN position of ‘equal guilt’ is effectively challenged by relevant testimony in the Baric film.
Fortunately, using authentic archival news reels and testimony, the Baric film reminds viewers of unprovoked Serbian attacks on civilian targets in Slovenia and Croatia including Vukovar, Skrabrnja, Zadar, and on Sarajevo or Srebrenica and eventually Kosovo. Indeed it was the three month long Serbian-led siege on Vukovar which ‘turned the tide’ so to speak, leading to the UN resolution to create UNPROFOR in the first place--a fact stated in the indictments against Mladic or Karadzic--but missing from indictments against Croatian generals--even though it was Mladic who also ordered massacres and so-called ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Croats in Croatia while still a Yugoslav National Army officer. The Baric film also provides us with a fair and balanced insight into the professionalism of the Croatian General Ante Gotovina.
That the UN mandate failed is documented in many books such as “The Lion The Fox and The Eagle: A story of generals and justice in Rwanda and Yugoslavia” by Carol Off, Toronto 2002. This book argues that the Hague court was indeed created to find justice in the face of the UN Peacekeeping failures. Unfortunately due to the author’s anti-Croatian bias, the book leaves the reader looking through the prism of ‘equal guilt’ in order to justify the existence of the UN court.
So how should we rate the Baric film? Did Baric succeed in presenting his argument that the Hague court has its own political agenda of creating a narrative, to interpret the war as a “civil war”, instead of a Serbian war of aggression to create a “greater Serbia”?
The ICTY’s ‘moral equivalency’ agenda is evident in propaganda throughout the world and so Baric’s film “Searching for a Storm” is an important historical antidote.
Baric’s film achieves its purpose and any criticism of the documentary film would be minor. For example, could he have named all Croatian civilian targets on the maps he used which depicted the occupied area of Croatia, before the arrival of the UN in early 1992? In this way, along with dates, the synchronized Serbian siege against all major Croatian centres would become evident at a glance--Vukovar, Zagreb, Gospic, Zadar, Sibenik, Dubrovnik, etc. were all bombed--and though not all shown in the film, a map and brief chronology would have been effective.
Overall the film is successful in its mission and its release has been timely.
At the Hague court there is more at stake than Croatia’s honour! Also at stake is Canada’s integrity at the UN and NATO, and at stake is the morale of brave military personnel in Afghanistan from many nations—including Croatian soldiers who have been stationed in Afghanistan long before Croatia’s official entry into NATO in April 2009.
At the Hague court the former Croatian generals found themselves up against testimony from Canada’s most prestigious military commanders such as General Andrew Leslie (shown in the film) who is the grandson of the legendary General Andrew McNaughton--known as the “father of the Canadian Army”. Not surprisingly, Canada’s media is comparatively quiet about the Hague court and about Croatia’s NATO entry, in contrast to President Obama’s more public welcome of Croatian NATO membership.
If anyone wants to understand the background to the controversial Hague court’s style of justice I recommend Jack Baric’s documentary, on DVD, “Searching for a Storm”.
The unprecedented approach of the Hague court has resulted in a ‘catch 22’ situation for the historical Canadian Peacekeeping role, for the future of UN peacekeeping, for the legitimacy of the defense of the Croatian nation, and for NATO unity. Some argue, particularly Serbs, that the Hague court is a ‘NATO court’--yet it would appear evident that the opposite is true--what enemies of western democracy and justice could not achieve through their support of the Serbian war machine in the so-called ‘Balkans’ in the 1990s they are now trying to achieve at the Hague into the 21st century.
A verdict of guilty at the UN ICTY for the Croatian Generals will be a verdict against the tradition of western justice, against western democracy, against western unity, and against the right to self-defense—ironically enshrined in a UN declaration. Whether justice prevails at the Hague court remains to be seen. Note: After being convicted the Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac were later acquitted after an appeal on 16th November 2012.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
July 2009
Home  |  About Us  |  Gallery  |  Maps  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map