lundi 24 mars 2014

Irak, Lybie, Serbie, et maintenant Ukraine : les guerres pétrolières des USA et l'inféodation de l'OTAN

A l'Ouest, rien de neuf.. A Belgrade, ce 25 mars 2014, commémoration des bombardements OTAN d'il y a 15 ans. La vérité n'a pas encore été avouée par les responsables auprès des foules d'Europe et d'Amérique du Nord qui ont stupidement approuvé ces crimes contre l'humanité. Quand le sera-t'elle? L'ancien chef des forces de l'ONU à Sarajevo, une fois délié de son devoir de réserve grâce à sa mise à la retraite, lui, a parlé. Et il vaut la peine de le lire, et de l'écouter. Et de ne plus se laisser berner par nos dirigeants qui sont au service des pétroliers nord-américains.

We bombed the wrong side?

by Lewis MacKenzie


National Post, 6 April 2004   11 April 2004
Five years ago our television screens were dominated by pictures of Kosovo-Albanian refugees escaping across Kosovo's borders to the sanctuaries of Macedonia and Albania. Shrill reports indicated that Slobodan Milosevic's security forces were conducting a campaign of genocide and that at least 100,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been exterminated and buried in mass graves throughout the Serbian province. NATO sprung into action and, in spite of the fact no member nation of the alliance was threatened, commenced bombing not only Kosovo, but the infrastructure and population of Serbia itself -- without the authorizing United Nations resolution so revered by Canadian leadership, past and present.
Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.
The recent dearth of news in the North American media regarding the increase in violence in Kosovo compared to the comprehensive coverage in the European press strongly suggests that we Canadians don't like to admit it when we are wrong. On the contrary, selected news clips on this side of the ocean continue to reinforce the popular spin that those dastardly Serbs are at it again.
A case in point was the latest crisis that exploded on March 15. The media reported that four Albanian boys had been chased into the river Ibar in Mitrovica by at least two Serbs and a dog (the dog's ethnic affiliation was not reported).Three of the boys drowned and one escaped to the other side. Immediately, thousands of Albanians mobilized and concentrated in the area of the divided city. Attacks on Serbs took place throughout the province resulting in an estimated 30 killed and 600 wounded. Thirty Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed, more than 300 homes were burnt to the ground and six Serbian villages cleansed of their occupants. One hundred and fifty international peacekeepers were injured.
Totally ignored in North America were the numerous statements from impartial sources that said there was no incident between the Serbs, the dog and the Albanian boys. NATO Police spokesman Derek Chappell stated on March 16 that it was "definitely not true" that the boys had been chased into the river by Serbs. Chappell went on to say that the surviving boy had told his parents that they had entered the river alone and that three of his friends had been swept away by the current. Admiral Gregory Johnson, the overall NATO commander, further stated that the ensuing clashes were "orchestrated and well-planned ethnic cleansing" by the Kosovo-Albanians. Those Serbs forced to leave joined the 200,000 who had been cleansed from the province since NATO's "humanitarian" bombing in 1999. The '"cleansees" have become very effective "cleansers."
In the same week a number of individuals posing as Serbs ambushed and killed a UN policeman and his local police partner. During the firefight one of them was wounded which caused an immediate switch from Serbian to Albanian as he screamed, "I've been hit"! The UN pursued the attackers and tracked them to an Albanian-run farm where they discovered weapons and the wounded Albanian who had died from his wounds. Four Albanians were arrested. Once again, the ambush had been reported in the United States but not the follow-up which clearly indicated yet another orchestrated provocation by the Albanian terrorists.
Kosovo is administered by the UN, the very organization many Canadians have indicated they would like to see take over from the United States in Iraq. The fact the UN cannot order its civilian employees to go or stay anywhere -- they have to volunteer -- combined with recent history that saw the UN abandon Iraq after a single brutal attack on their compound in Baghdad and the reality that Kosovo, under the organization's administration, is a basket case, disqualifies it from consideration for such a role.
Since the NATO/UN intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the crime capital of Europe. The sex slave trade is flourishing. The province has become an invaluable transit point for drugs en route to Europe and North America. Ironically, the majority of the drugs come from another state "liberated" by the West, Afghanistan. Members of the demobilized, but not eliminated, KLA are intimately involved in organized crime and the government. The UN police arrest a small percentage of those involved in criminal activities and turn them over to a judiciary with a revolving door that responds to bribes and coercion.
The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community's representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of "Greater Albania." The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic's heavy-handed response into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed by the West -- the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.
The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.
Funny how we just keep digging the hole deeper!

Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.



A Peacekeeping General Recalls Sarajevo

By Susan McClelland (interviewer)
SUSAN MCCLELLAND: In the former Yugoslavia, the United Nations was confronted with many ideological questions including looking at its original mandate of not interfering in civil war. Do you think this will spawn a review of the U.N.'s original mandate?
LEWIS MACKENZIE: The United Nations looks at its mandate every time a civil conflict occurs. Yet the unchanging structure in the Security Council usually dictates that, no, they won't get involved. For example, in spite of anarchy in Somalia, this alone wasn't justification for the U.N. to go in. The justification was the movement of refugees, which was viewed as a threat to international peace and security. The U.N. has been extremely hesitant to impose a solution on an internal problem. We will never see a peacekeeping mission in the home turf of a permanent five member. Only in Russia, and they invited the U.N into Georgia. But what would they do if the Catholics called for intervention in Northern Ireland? If the French Canadians cried out for help, would the Security Council send in an intervention force? I think not. As for Bosnia, some said, "Put a fence around the country. Give the warring parties all the weapons they want and go in, two years later, with a plan to rebuild." The U.N. ethically cannot accept this as a solution and therefore they did what they could within their own rules. To change the rules could set a dangerous precedent.
MCCLELLAND: You supported the United States's delayed involvement in the war. Can you explain why?
MACKENZIE: The Duke of Wellington said that big countries don't fight small wars. They would risk their credibility. Right now the United States needs to be available for the "biggies" if they get out of hand - like North Korea, Russia, China, and Iraq, for example. The U.S. risks their credibility in getting involved in small wars, just like what happened in Vietnam. Besides, the former Yugoslavia was in the European theater and for the Europeans to say, "We can't put 40,000 troops into Bosnia unless the Americans come along," I say, what a condemnation of NATO! What have we been doing for the last 40 years if all these countries, less America, can't go into Bosnia and sort this thing out? It was very much the Europeans not wanting America to leave NATO. This was the bigger issue. And that is the trouble when you get into the Security Council. There is always a bigger issue, that being the national self interests of the Permanent Five members, which rarely coincide. And, in this case, the bigger issue - even the early recognition of Croatia and Slovenia by Germany and the E.C. which started this thing - was driven by the Maastricht Treaty, which was being debated at the time. As usual, the former Yugoslavia became the pawn. Nobody anticipated that the situation would turn out the way it did.
Right from the beginning, with the Bosnian president Izetbegovic, I was adamant that the reason his forces were screwing up the cease-fires and becoming as much a thorn in my side as the Bosnian Serbs was that they expected the U.S. cavalry to come over the hill and save them. And the United States was not going to come because it was not in their self interest to do so. Nonetheless, Izetbegovic's forces played the game very well. It was expensive for them in life and limb. But they knew that ultimately, with the proper public relations representation, the Americans would be forced to come. And sure enough they did. So to go back to the original question, the potential of U.S. involvement was the carrot that kept this thing going.
MCCLELLAND: There are some who maintain that the situation in the former Yugoslavia, and as seen in Kosovo today, has the potential to move down into Albania, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. What is your opinion on this?
MACKENZIE: Certainly the potential was there. Over the last month, however, there has been no impact whatsoever into the surrounding areas, outside of Kosovo. I spent a fair time with the president of Macedonia, who was even surer that his population would be seriously affected. He spent a great deal of money on his internal police force in preparation. But nothing has happened outside the region. That is encouraging.
It is important to note that the focus initially in Kosovo was on Milosovic. He is still thought of by many as "the Butcher of the Balkans." Well, one has to remember that Milosovic was a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize after Dayton. What is being done in Kosovo is a result of a liberation group, the Kosova Liberation Army, who are defined as terrorists in CIA files. This liberation group decided to internationalize themselves and their struggle, and they knew from recent history in the Balkans that if they started to kill some Serb policemen, the Serbs would do what they normally do - over-react and try and sort out the problem by using heavy weapons like artillery on civilian targets. This gets a lot of attention from the international community but when people sat back and looked at this thing in the cold hard light of day, they saw that this was an internal problem and the people causing the problem are not all that nice either. So no, I don't see the conflict in Kosovo spreading. I don't know if I would have had the same answer a couple of months ago.
MCCLELLAND: There are many theories as to the spark that made conflict in the former Yugoslavia inevitable. What is your theory?
MACKENZIE: A lot of people will say the spark was early recognition by the E.C. led by Germany of Croatia. I think, however, that the spark could well have been just after recognition, in the Krajina, among all the sniping and ambushing. One incident involved a pizza salesman from Ottawa who was the Minister of National Defence for Tudjman and who allegedly led a patrol that killed several Serbians at a check point. He too knew that the Serbs, with their overwhelming superiority in weapons, would respond. So I would say that it is somewhere in the early tensions between Croatia and Serbia that the hostilities began. Croatia saw its new flag, for example, as being this wonderful historical and religious symbol. The Serbs saw the red and white checkerboard as a reminder of when the Croats were aligned to the Nazis during World War II. There is fantastic polarization in the Balkans. And that early period, while there was conflict in the Krajina, was when the real war began. People in the area around southern Croatia and the Krajina bore a lot of the responsibility for starting the war and Serbia must bear serious responsibility for expanding it to a horrific level.
MCCLELLAND: You mentioned in your book about a New York Times article that inaccurately portrayed the hostilities. Could you comment on the reporting that was done during the war.
MACKENZIE: This is probably the hottest topic of the conflict. But I don't hold the journalists responsible. Their reporting was driven by technology. Before the war in Bosnia and, dare I say the Gulf, a reporter would put something together, which would be sent back to an office in London, Atlanta, or wherever, and staff would take this reporting and mix it with that from other reporters, for there was no shortage of information coming out of the war. Then the story went out to the public and the public saw it in some context. In Bosnia, the reporting was live, and therefore without context.
Another problem involved the freelancers. In the beginning Martin Bell of the BBC brought all the journalists together and said, "The best way for us to keep from getting killed is to send out teams and pool our work." Then the freelancers moved in. They came in brash and as stupid as anything and they would go out and get right in the middle of a conflict and send these pictures back home. What happened is that the head offices phoned Martin and said, "You've got to get pictures like these." Christiane Amanpour from CNN was being told, "You've got to get out there. We are being wiped out by the other channels." It isn't that what was being shown were fabrications. It was the fact that only a tiny bit of the overall situation was being reported. Frequently I would be in the middle of a crisis situation where people were being killed and someone would be recording live. The footage was going up to a satellite and telecast directly onto someone's television screen. How do you put that into context? Talk about "Wag the Dog"! These reporters created tremendous emotions based on 1/1,000 of what was going on. There was stuff that was every bit as bad, if not worse, in the rest of the country. But the whole world was focused in on Sarajevo. Why? Because the media was living in the basement of the Sarajevo Holiday Inn. They were living on one side of the conflict so they naturally recorded the war from one side of the conflict. There should have been reporting from all sides. The reporting had a tremendous impact on national foreign policies around the world.
MCCLELLAND: You talked in your book about the market bombings. In light of some reports that question who was responsible for the massacres, have you changed your own opinion?
MACKENZIE: My response to this issue is part of the reason why I have been frequently accused of being pro-Serbian. My book says quite clearly that we will never know who did the breadline massacre. People say I am accusing the Bosnians of doing it to themselves. And I say, no, absolutely not! The people who had the most to gain from any number of atrocities in Sarajevo were the people who were selling eggs on the black market for five marks each. It was the criminal element that was interested in keeping the war going because they were getting really rich. So there was a tremendous amount of self interest for them to do this. Sure there was also self interest on the part of the Bosnian government to generate sympathy. It wouldn't have been the first time in history that events were staged to drive policy. But really, when I say it could have been the Bosnian side, that does not mean it was government policy; it could have been one of many criminal elements, a freelance unit or, equally, it could been the Bosnian Serb side.
MCCLELLAND: You mentioned being accused of being pro-Serbian. Would you like to address some of the allegations made against you?
MACKENZIE: It started after my appearance in front of the U.S. senate and congressional committees in Washington. Also, to a certain extent, in Sarajevo because I was seeing Karadzic on a daily basis. Izetbegovic was livid because he saw me representing the international community and he felt that I should be helping him because he represented a country that was a member of the U.N. On one occasion I said I wouldn't go and see Karadzic, even though my mandate from the Security Council was to maintain contact with both sides in the conflict and use my good offices to do what I could to reach some sort of accommodation. Izetbegovic responded by saying, "OK, you can go and see Karadzic," and he subsequently explained why to his people on TV. But nobody had television because the power was out and I was therefore condemned for dealing with "the aggressor."
Then accusations started to come out that my wife is a Serb - she is a McKinnon, of Scottish descent. My men were also being threatened with death because they worked for me, which is one of the reasons I left. But when I came home, appeared in front of the U.S. Senate and said, "America, don't get involved," that's when the allegations started, big time.
The major allegation, fortunately, has been exposed by a German reporter as part of the Herak fabrication. Herak was a Bosnian Serb soldier who had been captured by the Bosnian government. He said in an interview with John Burns, a Canadian Pulitzer Prize winner with The New York Times, that General MacKenzie would come over to Sonya's Cafe in northern Sarajevo and pick up Muslim girls, who would subsequently be found dead with their throats cut. Burns asked him how he knew it was me. And he responded by saying he recognized me from television. Herak said I was wearing three gold stars and Burns knew that we don't wear stars in Canada. Herak also said the incident took place around the middle of August and Burns knew I had left on the first of August.
Burns, however, turns to the government representative there at the time and says, this is obviously not true and don't let the MacKenzie aspect of the story get out for if it does it will ruin the credibility of the rest of the story I am writing about Herak.
The story about me broke about 48 hours later when the Bosnia judiciary said they were assigning a lawyer and charging me with war crimes. At that time, Burns was back in the U.K. and called me. He said that he was absolutely horrified that this story would get out because it would erode the credibility of the article he was writing. Burns later won a Pulitzer prize for his article on Herak.
The Canadian government, myself, and the military decided to take a low profile on the allegations because the North American media refused to carry the story. But the story broke on the day of the Islamic conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when Izetbegovic arrived there.
Sonya's Cafe is where the Serbians were allegedly keeping prisoners of war. During my time there, which was at the height of the war in the early days, we couldn't even get to that part of town. Not only that, we were alleged to have shown up in jeeps. The U.N. didn't have jeeps.Yet the real convincing piece of evidence for the people of Sarajevo was a photograph taken on my last day there, which was July 31. Four secretaries from my headquarters came in to see me. I had gotten them out when the war started - one of them had a child - so they were grateful because I had overruled a civilian U.N. guy who said they couldn't leave Sarajevo. They returned shortly after the U.N. came back to Sarajevo. They asked if they could have their picture taken with me. I put my arms around the four of them. They were all crying.
I guess it was about two months later, a Canadian doctor came back from Sarajevo. He told me that a picture was being circulated around Sarajevo of four crying girls with me in the middle. People are saying that these are the girls I raped and murdered on my last day there. When I went back to do the documentary, three of the same girls met me when I arrived at Sarajevo airport.
Nevertheless, these allegations are still brought up in international conferences - particularly German or Islamic ones. I went to my lawyer and asked how I could deal with this. If I am a war criminal than let's get this out. Let me go to The Hague and testify. The bit that really bothers me is that Canada - such a generous nation and considering all the money we have given for reconstruction in Bosnia - to the best of knowledge the Canadian ambassador in Sarajevo has never protested or asked for a withdrawal of the charges.
Subsequently, the entire Herak thing, including my alleged role, was revealed as a fabrication. It was a little show put on to elicit sympathy. The four people I allegedly killed have all been found alive. If any of this was true - even one percent - it would have been on television. I had 32 of the top journalists living in my headquarters in Sarajevo. I went nowhere without a television camera in tow. So if I had gone to Sonya's Cafe or anywhere else, ten television journalists would have come with me.
I inadvertently gave my accusers more fuel for the fire a few months after my return from Sarejevo. I was responsible for speaking engagements - sometimes three a day.
I spoke to the Heritage Foundation in Washington and a few weeks later, I was informed that the event was partially subsidized by a Serbian lobby group. I had no idea at the time the contract was signed so I gave the money, $15,000, to AIDS research. Needless to say, my critics took this as confirmation of my alleged pro-Serbian stance.
MCCLELLAND: The majority of Canadians don't like to admit the parallels between the former Yugoslav a and things that have and are happening in Canada. On the political side, do you see parallels between, say, Canada taking the issue of secession to the Supreme Court and lessons we have learned from Yugoslavia?
MACKENZIE: We are the world's industrial-strength standard of compassion, tolerance, and compromise, although we don't often give ourselves credit for this. Other countries give us the credit. I have said in many presentations that if we fail at this, if secession in this country degenerates into violence and civil conflict, you can imagine the message that it will send to the rest of the world. If Canada can't sort out this problem, then my God, what hope is there for the rest of the world?
MCCLELLAND: What lessons can the world learn from Yugoslavia?
MACKENZIE: As for actual peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, the American clandestine intervention which armed the Croats and trained them to achieve success on the ground in the Krajina and Bosnia stopped the war for now. The question is, for the long term will it be successful? I think a bad lesson that has been derived from that particular experience is that an awful lot of people look to air strikes to solve problems. In Yugoslavia, they gave the appearance of driving the people to Dayton, where in fact they didn't. It was the changing situation on the ground due to the Croatian offensive and Milosovic's lack of response that took the delegates to Dayton.
MCCLELLAND: One of the arguments you hear today as a result of the Balkan experience is whether military personnel make the best peacekeepers. Some question how a soldier, trained for war, can go into a country with a mandate to preserve peace. Some soldiers in the U.S. military say that peacekeeping is eroding and weakening the warrior ethic. What are your comments on this?
MACKENZIE: I get asked this question probably a dozen times a year by American audiences, especially military audi- ences. For many years I answered no. Peacekeeping does not erode the warrior ethic. Yet my answer these days is that there is a danger of just that. But it is not in the military. The danger is in the mind of the citizens of the country the military represents. How many times have you heard Canada described as a peacekeeping nation? We have probably killed more enemy per capita than any other country in the last century - in World War I, II, and Korea - yet we still see ourselves as a purely peacekeeping nation. Therefore, when it comes to dangerous peace operations, we do what we did in the Gulf War - we say to the U.N.,"We'll give you our sons and daughters but make sure nobody gets hurt." We kept our sailors out in the Persian Gulf, far away from the land theater. We sent F18s but we only had them fly into Iraq on very rare occasions. The rest of the time our planes just circled around our ships, which was the safest thing they could do. That was under our government's direction. So in the decision making of the government and the minds of the population, yes, peacekeeping missions erode the warrior ethic. As a result, our soldiers on the ground work very much handcuffed and their reputation with allies is suffering.
But as far as the soldiers themselves go, no, I don't believe they are weakened because of peacekeeping duty. Why? Because a peacekeeper may be stopping traffic on one day and on the next, fighting his or her way out of the situation. The escalation can be so dramatic and occur so rapidly that peacekeeping must be a soldier's responsibility. It is also important to note that peacekeeping is a bit of a macho game. If I am dealing with a soldier on the Serb, Muslim, or Croatian side there is a certain amount of respect between us for what we do. If all of sudden I showed up as a sort of constabulary conciliator from Canada, having just been issued a uniform and given a weapon, there is not the same rapport. Soldier peacekeepers can sit down with the Israelis, the Syrians, and the Iraqis and talk tactical professional arrangements for cease-fires.
MCCLELLAND: What do you think is the greatest threat to world security right now?
MACKENZIE: Civil war. Internal civil conflict. There are 43 to 44 civil conflicts going on as we speak and few of them cross recognized borders. A lot of those borders, particularly in Africa, were drawn by politicians after World War I and World War II. And a lot of those borders don't make sense today. I absolutely agree that the U.N. needs to look at its mandate as a result. Maybe there are other ways than U.N. intervention to deal with civil conflict. Maybe there are other ways to bring pressure on the belligerents. But first you have to recognize civil conflict. I drove Izetbegovic, the European community, and the U.N. mad for the first couple months of the war because they didn't want us talking to the Bosnian Serbs. I am a simple soldier saying "these guys are half or more of the problem." Michael Ignatieff said it best: At the end of the Cold War, the two teams representing the East-West conflict self-destructed. Those teams had client states, so everybody knew what side they were on. And when the Cold War pulled the Iron Curtain down, a lot of people, a lot of countries, needed a security blanket, be it color, religion, territory or a combination of these things. Everyone needs to feel part of a group. People are sorting out their groups now and they are doing it by way of conflict. That is the challenge the future faces.
Susan McClelland is an Ottawa journalist.


Who was responsible for the market place massacres in Sarajevo ?
Seán Mac Mathúna
Civilians killed by bomb attack in Sarajevo market Picture by Rickard Larma - SIPA
"A few days ago Mr. Boutros Ghali informed me that the projectile which hit the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo was an act of (Bosnian) Muslim provocation". President Mitterrand of France, 1995
Open military confrontation in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement on 14th December 1995. The conflict had resulted in more than 160,000 deaths, and 2.5 million refugees and displaced persons. Not long before, the United Nations (UN) had ordered the first combat units from its rapid reaction force into Sarajevo, after after Serb rebels killed two French peacekeepers. Three Bosnian Serb shells had hit the French and Danish areas of a U.N. compound in Zetra, north of Sarajevo's centre killing a French peacekeeper and wounding another French soldier and a Dane. A half-hour later, another French peacekeeper was killed and two wounded, one seriously, when a U.N. convoy was targeted by Serbs in the suburb of Butmir. The deaths brought the number of French dead to 42 since the Bosnian war began in April 1992 - and not all of them were killed by the Bosnian Serbs, a number of them were also killed in crossfire or deliberately by the forces of the Bosnian government.
Not only did the UN get tough with the Bosnian Serbs - whose political and military leaders have now been charged with war crimes - in 1995, NATO had become directly involved when when they ordered air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs. These attacks had been preceded by a series of barbaric attacks against civilians in the Markele market in Sarajevo, all of which were assumed to be the work of the Serb army laying siege to Sarajevo.
There were three attacks on the markets, all of which were blamed on them: the first on 27th May 1992, killed 16 people, the second on 5th February 1994 killed 68, and the third on 28th August 1995, killed 37. The last attack is the most significant, as it has been widely alleged, by members of the UN Mission in Bosnia, UN Commanding officers and of course, predictably, the Bosnian Serbs themselves, that this one in particular was staged by elements within the Bosnian government to provide the pretext for NATO military involvement in the war. In subsequent attacks, bombs and bullets used by the NATO jets used Depleted Uranium (DU) which is now estimated to have claimed the lives of some Serb 300 civilians who lived in the vicinity of the bases hit by NATO, according to reports that surfaced in 2001. What evidence is there for the claims that the Bosnian government carried out these attacks ?

The first attack in 1992

The first of three attacks happened on 27th May 1992 when 16 people killed in a "mortar attack" on a bread queue in Vase Miskina street in Sarajevo. As The Independent (22nd August 1992) noted, the televised scenes of civilians cut to pieces by an explosion as they queued for bread horrified international public opinion, and added growing pressure for NATO to "intervene" in the civil war against the Bosnian Serbs. Vivid footage showed dead bodies littering the street and "terrified crying people sitting on the pavement in pools of blood". The attacks came shortly before a meeting by European Union ambassadors to consider imposing sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. UN officials from the start were "suspicious about the circumstances but would not go public with their thoughts without jeopardising the UN mission" in Bosnia. Classified reports given to the commander of the UN peace keepers, General Satish Nambiar, concluded that it was likely that the army of the Bosnian government in Sarajevo carried out the attack. In fact, they were reported to believe it wasn't a mortar attack at all but a "command-detonated explosion - probably in a can". The impact mark left by the "mortar" on the market square floor was nowhere "near as large as we came to expect with a mortar round lading on a paved surface". This is also supported by another UN commander in Bosnia, General Michael Rose of the British army, who according to his book Dispatch the Bosnian government in Sarajevo shelled their own people to get a military response by NATO against the Bosnian Serbs (The Observer, 28th March 1999). NATO launched air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs as a result of this attack.
According to The Independent, United Nations (UN) officials and senior Western military officers believe that the attack in 1992 was carried out by the Bosnian government, "To win world sympathy and trigger intervention". This was also expressed in confidential reports circulating at the UN headquarters in New York, and in classified briefings to US policy makers in Washington, according to the British newspaper. The attack on the bread queue in Vase Miskina Street also led to draconian sanctions against Yugoslavia imposed by the Security Council (resolution 757) on 30th May 1992 (which had been preceded by Yugoslavia's expulsion from the WHO). All supplies of raw materials to the well-developed pharmaceutical industry of Yugoslavia for production of medicines were immediately suspended. The justification for blaming Yugoslavia for attacks carried out in Bosnia was based on Western intelligence disinformation that the country was directing the war on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs.

The second attack in 1994

The second attack on a market in Sarajevo happened on 5th February 1994 when a single mortar round left 68 dead and 200 wounded. Some people immediately questioned how son many civilians had been killed or wounded by one mortar bomb. Furthermore, officials from the Bosnian government did allow anyone from UNPROFOR to verify what had happened. Despite vehement denials from the Bosnian Serbs, the US news channel, CNN, immediately reported that they were responsible for the shocking carnage that the attack left, which CNN claimed was "caused by a Serb mortar bomb". The US President Bill Clinton added to this saying it was "highly likely" that the Bosnian Serbs were responsible for it.
Thus, US ambassador to the UN, Madeline Albright and the US presidential security advisor Anthony Lake, immediately called for NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs. Yet there were already people claiming that even the UN itself did not suspect the Bosnian Serbs, but this appears to have been suppressed by the Western media, possibly acting under covert British and American pressure, assuming the the whole purpose of the mortar attack was to provide the pretext for NATO military involvement in the Balkans for the first time. If this is not the case, then it is certainly hinted at by the former British Foreign Secretary David Owen in his book Balkan Odyssey (Victor Gollanz, London, 1995):
"People around General Rose never tried to hide the fact that at his meeting with Bosnian Muslim leaders (President Alia Izetbegovic and General Delic) he said that he had just received some information which shows that the mortar bomb did not come from the area under Serb control but from the Muslim part of the city . . ."
However, Owen's account of the the Market square massacre in 1994 has been criticised by Noel Malcom in a review of his book in The Sunday Telegraph on 12th November 1995.
When discussing the market-place massacre in Sarajevo of February 1994, Lord Owen goes on at length about a UN investigation which concluded that the mortar shell had been fired from a Bosnian Government position. Dramatically, he confirms that General Rose put pressure on Bosnian ministers by threatening to reveal this finding, unless they did as they were told. What Lord Owen does not tell us is that a second, more thorough investigation found that the first had made mistakes in its calculations, and concluded that the shell could equally have come from the Serb side. It is surely inconceivable that Owen is unaware of this second report; yet he chooses not to mention it. Readers will have to draw their own conclusions about the overall reliability of this grotesquely vainglorious book.
But, Owen also fails to give any clear evidence as to the perpetrators of this attack - if you read his statement carefully, he is only telling us that the second investigation, although on one hand, described as "more thorough", still concluded that the shell could "equally" have come from the Serb side. This indicates to me that their is still no hard evidence that either side were responsible. Bosnian Serb and Russian claims should be treated with scepticism (as they have a vested interest, from a propaganda point-of-view, in making sure these allegations are widely circulated). But the claims of the UN and representatives of various NATO countries serving as peacekeepers should be treated as serious and worthy of investigation.
From example, On 6th June 1996, Yasushi Akashi, UN special envoy for Bosnia, told a German journalist working for DPA in New York, that there was a secret UN report accusing the Bosnian government forces of this massacre. It was claimed that this secret report was passed on to the UN Secretary General, Boutros Boutros Ghali, who did not publish it in the interest of "higher politics". Citing this UN report, B. Volker, a French journalist working for TV TF1 said that the mortar bomb was fired from Bosnian government positions. Volker also quotes the words of President Mitterrand: "A few days ago Mr. Boutros Ghali informed me that the projectile which hit the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo was an act of (Bosnian) Muslim provocation".

The third attack in 1995

The third attack, on 28th August 1995 also hit market and left 37 dead and 90 wounded. When UN issued a declaration blaming the Bosnian Serbs, it evidently ignored the report of the British and French experts as well as the assessment of the UN's artillery expert for the Sarajevo sector, a Russian colonel, A. Demurenko. Soon after the attack, NATO launched extensive air strikes against Bosnian Serb military and civilian targets. The strategy appeared pre-planned as it coincided with an joint Croat and Bosnian government offensive against the Bosnian Serbs. The attacks changed the course of the war in Bosnia as enabled NATO to enter the conflict on behalf of the Bosnian government and Croat forces. After this attack, President Yeltsin gave official credence to reports circulating in the Russian media that a "third party" was responsible for the mortar attack on the bread queue. Yeltsin said that Russia "insists" that the UN "look again" at the attacks as there was new evidence indicating that it was not the Bosnian Serb's who carried out the attack. Despite this, NATO went ahead and launched air strikes. One military adviser to the foreign ministry, General Boris Gromov, even claimed (with no evidence provided) that one of the NATO powers was involved in the mortar attack "as a provocation". Yeltsin also said:
"Why am l against the expansion of NATO ? This (mortar attack in Sarajevo) is the first sign of what might happen when NATO comes right up to the borders of the Russian Federation. Those who insist on the expansion of NATO are making a major political mistake. The flame of war would burst out across the whole of Europe" (The Guardian, 9th September 1995).
The Russians and Bosnian Serbs have claimed that the third attack was prepared in advance over many months by "certain" Western secret services (probably including the CIA), and that Bosnian government troops under the commander of the General R. Delic carried it out. The reason for this, they argue, was to provide NATO with an opportunity not only discredit the Bosnian Serbs, but to provide the pretext to use heavy air strikes on them so as to destroy their military potential. The Russian intelligence service (FSB) were said to had known about the preparation of the plan since February 1995. Then a detailed plan, allegedly called Cyclone 2, was related to a secret memorandum, signed on 10th August 1995 at the Pleso airport in Zagreb, Croatia. The memorandum was signed for the UN by the commander of the UNPROFOR forces based Croatia and Bosnia,General B. Janvier and by Admiral L. Smith for NATO. This secret memorandum was only passed on, as "secret", on 13th September 1995 to the UN Security Council, when the main destruction of Serb targets had already taken place. According to article 7 of the memorandum UNPROFOR agreed to provide all information necessary for the NATO strikes against Serb targets to achieve the maximum success.
According to the FSB, the mortar was fired from the roof of a building near the market and they further claimed that the device was not a standard mortar bomb. Another author, Y. Bodansky, the director of the Republican parliamentary task force studying terrorism and unconventional warfare (Target America, Terrorism in the US Today, S.P.I. Books, Shapolsky Publishers, New York, 1993), believed that the Bosnian Serb intelligence service knew that "something was being planned" in Sarajevo. On 26th August 1995 (two days before the second massacre) he spoke by telephone to a senior official of the Republika Srpska in the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade, who told him anxiously that once again "something terrible is being planned against the Serbs" in Sarajevo. How much of this is true, made up or just a joint FSB-Bosnian Serb disinformation campaign is hard to assess.
Another report indicating that the Bosnian Serbs were not responsible for this market place attacks was published in The Sunday Times on October 1st 1995. It claimed that British ammunition experts serving with the UN in Sarajevo had "challenged" key evidence of the attack on the bread market which not only triggered NATO attacks against the Serbs in Bosnia, but turned the tide of the war against them. According to the newspaper, the British experts:
"found no evidence that the Bosnian Serbs had fired the lethal round"
Nora Beloff, writing in her book Yugoslavia: An Avoidable War (New European Publications, London, England, 1997), also allege that "that Bosnian government arranged to kill their own people" so as to get the Bosnian Serbs blamed. She alleges the news reporter Martin Bell, now an independent MP in Britain, had known about these allegations through his contacts with British UN officers but "he ignored what they might have told him". She repeats claims, as reported in David Owen's account of the bombings, that western experts had discovered that it was the Bosnian government forces and not the Bosnian Serbs who had been behind the attack in February 1994. Allegedly, when UNPROFOR wanted the Bosnian government to participate in truce negotiations, the British commander, General Michael Rose:
"Blackmailed the Bosnian Muslim leaders into submission. He told them that unless they agreed to cooperate, he would tell the international press that he had technical expertise proving that the grenade came from the Muslim, not the Serb, side" (Beloff, p112/113).
Other attacks supposedly carried out by the Bosnian government - and blamed on the Bosnian Serbs - include:
  • 29th June 1992: Rocket attack on Sarajevo's TV station kills 5 people. Bosnian government troops implicated in this attack (The Sunday Times, October 1st 1995).
  • 17th July 1992: A "choreographed" mortar salvo, 30 seconds after British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd entered a building for a meeting with the Bosnian President, Alija Izetbegovic. The attack killed or wounded 10 bystanders - but not Hurd's guard of honor, who had clearly been forewarned and ducked for cover seconds before the attack.
  • 4th August 1992: Bomb attacks which were filmed by the Western film crews at a funeral of two orphans in a cemetery in Sarajevo. The attacks were blamed on the Bosnian Serbs.
  • 13th August 1992: After the Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic arrives in Sarajevo airport for a meeting with Izetbegovic, a Bosnian government sniper kills US TV producer David Kaplan. The attacks disrupts the schedule of Panic, and he only manages to spend 20 minutes on the phone with Izetbegovic.
Philip Corwen, a senior member of the UN in Bosnia has recently written a book about his experience there (Dubious Mandate: A memoir of the UN in Bosnia, Summer 1995 [Duke, London, UK, 1999]):
"The French forces (the main UN armed force in Sarajevo) were continually harassed, shot at, blocked at, and threatened by Bosnian government forces . . . it was the French who pointed out that the Bosnian government was placing weapons systems next to UN facilities in order to draw fire from Serb artillery onto civilian and UN targets and thus provoke international outrage against the Serbs . .. (p178)
I recommend that readers interested in the background to the conflict in Bosnia read Corwen's book: His meticulous account shatters once and for all the "one victim - one enemy" myth promoted mainly by the Western media. For the record, l unequivocally condemn the war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by the Bosnian Serb regime against the people of Sarajevo - whom they relentlessly bombed and shelled. The Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic have been rightfully indicted by the International war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands - but why has this tribunal failed to indict Alija Izectbegovic, the Bosnian President and other senior officials of his government when there is clearly enough prima-facie evidence of their complicity in war crimes carried out by the Bosnian army ? I believe that the UN probably has ample evidence to show that the Bosnian government carried out these attacks in Sarajevo, but along with NATO, decided not to pursue charges against Bosnian government leaders for political reasons, and decided to sweep the whole story under the carpet and suppress it.

Footnote: an estimated 300 civilians killed after NATO used depleted Uranium in reprisal attacks

"Up to 300 men, women and children who lived close to the site of the (NATO) bombings in 1995 have died of cancers and leukemia over the last five years". Robert Fisk, 2001
Finally the bombings of the market place unleashed a wave of NATO air-strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets in and around Sarajevo. In these attacks, bombs and bullets used by the NATO jets used Depleted Uranium (DU) that is now estimated to have claimed the lives of some Serb 300 civilians who lived in the vicinity of the bases hit by NATO. According to Robert Fisk, writing in The Independent of Sunday on 14th January 2001, NATO subjected the Serb military bases and surrounding civilian areas to an intense bombardment between 30th August to 15th September 1995, using jets and artillery from Mount Igman just outside Sarajevo. Civilians living in the area surrounding the bases starting to begin suffering from a variety of symptoms now linked to the use of DU by NATO in Bosnia. NATO governments have so far shown little interest in helping the civilian victims of DU in either Bosnia, Yugoslavia or during the assault on Iraq in 1990.