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Is Bosnia the end of the road for the UN? - Is Bosnia the end of the road for the UN?

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Is Bosnia the end of the road for the UN?
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Speaking to the people of Bosnia, predominantly, they blame two people for the crisis.  One is Slobodan Milosevic, the other is Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

The United Nations is an instrument, and in this sense, Boutros-Ghali is correct in stating that the UN can only act according to its mandate.  He just does what the great powers tell him to do--this is not to excuse the UN at all--but the UN is doing exactly what the Russians, the British, the French and the Americans want them to do.

But what Boutros-Ghali must be criticised for is for being so spineless and unprincipled for going along with the carve-up of Bosnia.  And remember, his grandfather was the one who signed the treaty handing over Egypt to Britain, so Boutros-Ghali is in the pocket of the British and the Americans.  They put him in that slot of Secretary-General against the wishes of the Africans.  They wanted a black candidate, but the Americans and the British wanted someone that they could control, and that candidate was Boutros-Ghali. The UN is complicit through and through but again, he UN is just a tool and an instrument of the permanent members of the Security Council  They are the ones behind this.

In 1993 when Boutros-Ghali flew into Sarajevo he stated that he could think of at least ten other regions in the world that had more urgent needs and concerns than Sarajevo, and how Bosnia is basically a white persons' war.  For what purposes would he have made these statements and, indeed, are there other arenas around the world that are more 'deserving' than Bosnia?
 
There are many areas of conflict in the world that we in the West overlook.  Bosnia was unique at that time because genocide was being perpetrated.  This is the first case in the history of the post-World War II era where a formal determination of the existence of genocide was produced, and of the trigger of the Genocide Convention obligation.  I won that World Court ruling on April 8, 1992 and no-one did anything about it despite the existence within the UN Convention of the obligation to stop genocide.  Later on, of course, the same thing happened in Rwanda and nothing was done there either--the UN did nothing, the United States did nothing, and indeed the UN made it worse by pulling troops out and allowing the genocide to happen again.  What we are witnessing now is a degradation of any international commitments to any principles at all.  That even when genocide stares the great powers in the face, they refuse to do anything to stop it.  Genocide evolved out of the consensus after World War II that what happened to the Jewish people was atrocious and should never happen again.  Yet the same type of backsliding, denial, abnegation of will power that we saw with the Jewish people is happening with the Bosnians and now the Rwandans.  I take it that what has happened in Bosnia and Rwanda is a sign to any dictator in the world that it's possible to commit mass murder and genocide and get away with it--no-one's really going to do anything to stop the action unless oil or capital interest is involved.  As Haris Silajdzic said in Geneva, 'if you kill one person you're prosecuted; if you kill ten people, you're a celebrity; if you kill a quarter-of-a-million people, you're invited to a peace conference'.  That's the lesson of Bosnia, and that's exactly what has happened with Karadzic.

So the agenda for the United Nations in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia is not to intervene at any cost--a number of public statements by General Michael Rose and Yasushi Akashi deliberately confuse, contradict and compromise the actions of the UN in Bosnia...

As a matter of fact, the UN has now withdrawn the air patrol over Bosnia that was imposed on the same day that I won the first World Court order.  On that day it was announced that NATO was going to set up the air patrol over Bosnian air space.  I was asked by the BBC what I thought about this and I stated that I hoped that those air planes weren't just going to fly over Bosnia and watch the raping, the killing, the murdering and the genocide that was going on, and just wave to the people without anything about it.  Yet that is exactly what has happened.

Again, it's not a question of inefficiency with the UN.  They know what they're doing and exactly why they're doing it.  These people at the UN are not dumb, they are not inefficient, and they are not incompetent.  What is being done in Bosnia is being done for a reason.  To give you an example, whenever it appeared that NATO might be instigating airstrikes under the impetus of the Clinton administration, General Rose would send some of his own troops to be captured by the Serbs in order to abort the airstrikes.  Why were all the UN troops taken hostage in the last month after the first set of UN airstrikes--why weren't they protected?

That's exactly what the UN wanted--they wanted them taken hostage so that further military action would be prevented, and then precipitate an excuse for the UN to pull out of Bosnia.  That's why those UN peace-keepers were left at risk.  And now, NATO has decided to pull back the patrol

"If you kill one person, you're prosecuted.  If you kill ten people, you're a celebrity; if you kill a quarter-of-a-million people, you're invited to a peace conference."

Bosnian Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic, referring to the invitation of Bosnian Serb representative Radovan Karadzic to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan negotiations.

over Bosnian airspace.  Now they are just patrolling on the Adriatic Sea.  When the attack by the Serb airplanes occurred in Bosnia, nothing was done.  Now NATO is pulling back what little ineffective military action they were taking.  Apparently senior UN General Bernard Janvier has promised Karadzic that there will be no more NATO airstrikes and as a symbol of this understanding, the UN pulled back and effectively terminated the air patrol of Bosnia.  And my guess is that the so-called Rapid Reaction Corps is being sent over there to extricate the UN--that's why Owen quit.  Owen has always been a tool of the British Foreign Office and he has done exactly what his masters in London have wanted him to do.  Now the great powers have decided that the time has come to pull out of Bosnia and have told Owen to get out of there.  So Owen is out.  Unless something remarkable happens between now and the end of this year, I suspect that the British and the French will probably withdraw from Bosnia. 

The operations of the War Crimes Tribunal have been along the same lines of ineptitude as the resolutions that have been passed through the Security Council and the General Assembly.  What exactly is the purpose of the War Crimes Tribunal and what are the problems that exist within its legal framework?

I don't mean to criticise any of the judges involved and I'm sure that they're men and women of good faith but essentially, the War Crimes Tribunal is an exercise in public relations by the Security Council.  The CIA has made detailed reports, the State Department has made detailed reports, they have their reconnaissance satellites and their airplanes--they know all about the war crimes in Bosnia.  But in an effort to try to deflect public pressure upon them, the Security Council decided to set up the so-called War Crimes Tribunal to make it appear as if something is being done about the problem, whereas in fact what they are doing is negotiating with the very people whom they know are responsible for the war crimes.  That's pretty much like negotiating with Hitler, Himmler and Goring, during World War II.  The assumption by the great powers is that these are the reasonable people, they're the ones in power, so we have to broker some type of peace settlement with them because they're the only ones that we can deal with. 

The tribunal was pushed by the Clinton administration.  Again, total hypocrisy.  Clinton took a very strong stand for Bosnia in the campaign.  Once he assumed power he just continued the Bush policies.  But there's a certain element of public relations.  During the campaign he had to appeal to a certain constituency in the United States, the human rights lobby, and for them Bosnia is an important issue.  So Clinton has to run around and make it appear as if something is really being done on Bosnia, and the installation of the tribunal gave this appearance.  Again, I don't mean to criticise Justice Goldstone, I'm sure he's a well intentioned man.  But it's the question of the parameters.  There's no money for the tribunal, not much staff, there's not much investigation, so not much is going to happen.  It's just like what happened with the Bassiouni commission to investigate war crimes.  What happened?  Sharif Bassiouni was put in charge of the commission to investigate war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.  The UN gave him no money.  He had to go out and find his own money.  How can there be an effective investigation without money?  Then he puts a report out that Boutros-Ghali buries in the ground.  We haven't seen very much of that report.  The UN buried the whole thing, on purpose. 

Then the UN put Bassiouni out of business.  Why?  Because he was doing an effective job even with all the financial obstacles.  And of course, when it was proposed that Bassiouni should be the chief prosecutor, the British objected because they couldn't control him--he might do an effective job--he might do something silly like indict Milosevic. Bassiouni has more than enough evidence at the court on Milosevic--do you think that they're going to indict him when they're trying to negotiate with him?   This will not happen.
 
In Geneva during the peace negotiations, President Izetbegovic had to go in and shake hands with Karadzic.  I walked right past him--I wasn't going to shake his hand because he's a mass murderer and a criminal.  And he has been given visas to come and negotiate in Geneva.  And in New York.  The State Department let Karadzic come to New York to the Vance-Owen carve-up negotiations, with a US visa.  The State Department was obliged under the Geneva Convention to apprehend Karadzic.  Eagleburger had already identified him a suspected war criminal.  The US had an absolute obligation to apprehend Karadzic if he showed up in New York, and to open an investigation, and to prosecute--instead, they're giving him a visa and secret service protection in New York.  And the same happened in Geneva--they're giving protection to war criminals.  People who commit genocide.  That's who the great powers are dealing with.  That's who they're negotiating with, and they know it.  They know it full well.  This is not a question of ineptitude and incompetence.  Everyone knows exactly what they're doing and why they are doing it.

So when Lawrence Eagleburger accused Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic of war crimes, and he is not the only one to make the accusations--the accusations have been made many times by leading political figures--is it another extension of the public relations and propaganda machine at work?

Pretty much--to make it appear that if nothing is being done effectively to stop the genocide, then at least there can be some condemnation because there is some public pressure here in the United States to do something.  At this time the first reports were coming out of the death camps by Roy Gutman, the courageous reporter from Newsday.  The US knew about these death camps but they weren't saying anything about them, and they weren't going to do anything about them.  Then Gutman broke the story and it went out all over the world.  Finally, amid the hemming and hawing the US said 'oh yes, we guess it is happening, we should condemn it'.  The same thing happen to the Jews which is what led to the Genocide Convention.  The theory was that if genocide ever happened again, that the world had an absolute obligation to stop it.  That's what the Genocide Convention is all about.

And yet here in the United States, even Clinton refused to admit that genocide was going on in Bosnia.  And that after I won the first World Court order determining that genocide was going on in Bosnia and that the Serbs must cease and desist, not only in Belgrade but also in Pale.  The US and the UN refused to admit that genocide was going on even when they knew all about it.  They didn't want to admit to the obligation to stop it.  And why?  Again, as the great powers see it, these people are Muslim, they're throw-away people.  If these people were Christians or Jews or whatever--different story.  But since they're Muslims, who cares.  It's the same attitude that the world took towards the Jews a generation ago.  And indeed that's pretty much how it looks with the Bosnians--it was a repeat of the attempt to save the Jews back in the 1930s, except this time the Bosnians will go down fighting.  Unlike everyone else who predicted that they were going to throw in the towel, they're going to fight.

I remember President Izetbegovic saying that he will die in Sarajevo.  So if the Bosnians are going to go down, they're going to go down fighting.  And that's what the inconvenience is for the great powers, that these little-bitty people are going to fight, they're not going to go quietly, and they're not going to sign some 'peace' document that puts them out of business completely.

In current world political affairs, there is one consistent factor in the conflicts in Bosnia, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Gulf war--a toleration by the West of atrocities committed against Muslim populations.  An overriding agenda in the West is to actively deter Islamic fundamentalism and create mass hysteria to surround any political domain that comprises a 'Muslim' leadership.

Certainly if you look at it, that's what is happening, where the West seems to be going to war with the Muslim world.  Just look around.  The way that the Palestinians are being treated by the Israelis is tantamount to genocide--and indeed, I've offered to President Arafat to sue the Israelis at the World Court over this matter.  Libya is being attacked and destabilised because of oil and the fact that Colonel Gaddafi will not take orders from the West.

Iran is under assault by the United States primarily at the beckoned call of the Israelis lobby the US.  The entire Gulf is under the control of the United States.  The US sits on top of all that oil--50 percent of the world's oil supply.  And the US is keeping Iraq in near genocidal conditions--I've also offered to the Iraqi government to sue the permanent members of the Security Council to break the economic embargo that's designed to destroy them.  Chechnya again is a situation where more Muslim people are being wiped out.  After the Russian invasion, I tried to get some of the Islamic states to let me sue Russia to try to stop this, but none of them were prepared to go after the Russians.  So this is the consistent pattern by the West of hostility toward the Islamic world, and it's only going to get worse not better.  Bosnia is simply part of it in the grander scheme of things.

And we've also heard Owen and others say 'we don't want a Muslim state in Europe'.  This is a continuation of the historic process of expulsion of Muslims from Europe going back to disintegration of the Ottoman empire and the subsequent mass transfers of people.  This is the final cleansing and wiping out of a major concentrated population of Muslims in Europe and no-one really cares.

In 1991, the Gulf war contained its own version of geo-political hypocrisy for the purpose of Western capital interests.  However, this period did see a level of consultancy and agreement amongst the great powers that failed to exist for decades, and was regarded as the pinnacle of the United Nations' achievements.  Four years after the Gulf war, the talk about the end of the United Nations is being circulated.  Will the friction that exists between Muslim countries and Christian countries ultimately lead to the dissolution of the United Nations, in the same way that the League of Nations dissolved over 50 years ago?

Of course, the Gulf war was simply an attempt by the United States to steal 50 percent of the world's oil resources using the UN as a pretext and a cover to do so.  The problem with many of the Muslim nations is their leadership.  It's not the Muslim people, it's their cowardly leaders.  They know exactly what's going on.  They are not prepared to take the West on behalf on any of these causes, they're divided, they're paralysed, they're corrupt, and they're bought off for the most part by the West.  This became clear to me when I was in Geneva, meeting with some of the Ambassadors from the Islamic Conference Organisation during the Owen-Stoltenburg carve-up.  I said to these Ambassadors 'gentlemen, your people will hold your leaders accountable if the Bosnians are carved-up and destroyed'.  The Deputy Head of the ICO smiled and shrugged his shoulders and said 'but, what can we do?'.  At that point it was clear to me that all the Muslim rulers around the world know exactly what's happening but are not prepared to take on the West over Bosnia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Chechnya, or anywhere else.  And they have had the options available to them.  In 1973 they had an oil embargo and the leverage that went with it.  In the speeches that I've given in Malaysia and Turkey, I've stated to the Muslim nations that if they want to save the Bosnians, they should impose an oil embargo on the West.  But they can't do it now because the situation has changed.  Because the US troops are now stationed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar.  These rulers are no longer free.  So this is the problem for the leadership.  But for the people of the Muslim world, Bosnia is a critical issue.

They see the total hypocrisy of the West on human rights and international law, and the United Nations Charter and see that their leaders are not prepared to go to the matt on any of these issues.  This is the typical colonial divide and conquer strategy, just as the Romans did, just as the British did, and what the Americans are doing today.
 
What type of future do you see for the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

The Bosnians are going to keep fighting.  As for where this will lead to, I really can't say, but as long as the Bosnians keep fighting, the pillars of the post-World War II legal order are going to be shaken--the UN, NATO, and the World Court.  With the total hypocrisy surrounding all of the international principles, these institutions will continue to be unmasked and will continue to be undermined.  That's what I see happening if the current policies continue, but unfortunately it appears that this is going to be the case in the future.  As for me, I am still prepared to return to the World Court and start suing the permanent members of the Security Council and break that arms embargo for the Bosnians.  This is the most critical factor now as they need the heavy weapons to defend their people.  This is their right under Article 51 of the UN Charter.  It is also their obligation under the Genocide Convention.  So I don't see the Bosnians going away when they are prepared to fight and die for human rights and democracy--that was my impression after talking with President Izetbegovic--he is not going to throw in the towel.  So the conflict in Bosnia will continue and the longer it continues the more it is going to shake the foundations of the post-World War II order.

What type of future is there for the United Nations?

None.  As I see it, if this continues the way that it's going, then the UN means nothing, and it would be better to put it out of its misery, than a continuation of the current hypocrisy.  By now, it should be clear to everyone that the UN is nothing more than the agent, and the instrument of those four permanent members operating in the Security Council and that it really has no independent or outside existence.  The UN is pretty meaningless, so let's strip away the facade and the veneer and get down to the fiasco that's really happening here.

Could the United Nations become more meaningful and legally viable if there was reform in the Security Council itself?

The Security Council should be put out of business and all the functions for any maintenance of international peace and security should be transferred to the General Assembly by two-thirds vote.  In this sense, there would be the capacity to have some sort of democratic control but this suggestion is not on anyone's agenda.

The Security Council is like a star-chamber these days, where they no longer even meet in public.  All matters are now transacted in private.  It's just a little club of the most powerful members of the world to order around everyone else.  That's what the Muslims saw in the Gulf.  We are seeing, in a historical perspective, the perversion--total perversion--of every known principle of international law, and the international organisations and institutions that were set up after World War II.  Now that this is being turned on its head, and especially if the war in Bosnia continues, I really don't anticipate the current order staying.

We've reached a historical era now where the West as it is, Europe, and the United States, has proven its moral bankruptcy--complete and total moral bankruptcy, initially in Bosnia and then later on Rwanda.  The West has now forfeited any moral right to leadership that it might have had in terms of a commitment to principles like human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, all of which they have subverted, undermined and destroyed in Bosnia.
 
The Bosnian crisis, whatever comes of it will be a turning point in the way people now perceive the West, and of course, that perception is that all the West is interested in its their own pocket books and controlling the world with weapons--the West produces the best weapons in the world and it has become obvious to the world that the West doesn't care about principles.  All the West cares about is oil, standards of living and developing the weapons necessary to keep those standards of living.  That's it.  And that is becoming more and more clear to the Third World.  How the Third World will act on is unknown but I think that we are certainly at a major turning point in international relations.


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