A Fair Trial for Milosevic?
Jude Wanniski
July 3, 2001


Memo To: Attorney General John Ashcroft
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Hurray for Ramsey Clark

Quite apart from my belief that Slobodan Milosevic has been demonized to cover up the blunders of the State Department in the last Bush administration, I’m now disgusted with the willingness of our Political Establishment to celebrate his kidnapping. The fact that our government promised $1 billion in ransom to buy the Belgrade government’s willingness to ship him off for a “fair trial” at the International Court of Justice at the Hague makes me ashamed to be an American. Yes, John, I know you are just a cog in the wheel, forced to turn at the Establishment’s bidding, but this is truly reprehensible. Imagine what it would have been like if Richard Nixon or Jerry Ford had been indicted by the Hague Tribunal as war criminals, for their complicity of the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, or former Sen. Bob Kerrey dragged before the court for his slaughter of innocents. President Bill Clinton was clearly a war criminal, having bombed a Sudan aspirin factory and killing several folks in the process (not to mention the Iraqi civilians who got in the way of his wag-the-dog bombing attacks). What do we do if he is indicted?

I’d like you to read this press release from a former Attorney General of the United States in the Lyndon Johnson administration, Ramsey Clark, whose father Tom was A.G. in the Harry Truman administration and a Supreme Court Justice from 1949 to 1967. The fact that Ramsey Clark was despised by conservative Republicans for being anti-war in the Vietnam era may cause you to hesitate, but this is a different issue. Please note that former President Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, has already announced that Milosevic IS A WAR CRIMINAL and should be dealt with severely after his fair trial. The New York Times also concluded that Milosevic is a monster and now treats us to selected photographs designed to prove that he should be put away for life. Remember, what goes around, comes around. One of these days the Eurocrats might offer a bundle of euros for your extradition, or that of your boss. Don’t you worry about that?



The International Action Center (IAC), a nationwide anti-war organization, denounced today's deportation of ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to the "International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia" in The Hague, Netherlands. "It is an enormous tragedy for Yugoslavia, the Serbian people and the rule of law," said IAC Chairperson and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. "Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic and other officials should be investigated for high crimes against the people, and if found guilty should be sentenced in accordance with the law."

"Demands should be made to the ICCFY," Mr. Clark continued, "which is itself illegal, to immediately return Mr. Milosevic. The United Nations must not encourage the illegal seizure of persons, such as took place in this case. The people of Yugoslavia should unite in response to this illegal seizure and demand the return of Mr. Milosevic, as should people from all over the world.”

"Today's U.S.-engineered deportation of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is a gross violation of both legality and Yugoslavia's national sovereignty," said IAC West Coast Coordinator Richard Becker. "The ICCFY in The Hague is nothing more than a 'kangaroo court,' set up by the U.S.-dominated UN Security Council, and run by the NATO powers."

"The ICCFY's role as an instrument of the United States and other NATO powers was made apparent during the 1999 NATO war against Yugoslavia. Despite the fact that the massive bombing of Yugoslavia constituted grave violations of international law -- including crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- the ICCFY refused to even consider indicting the NATO powers," Becker continued. Instead, the ICCFY indicted five Yugoslav leaders, among them then-President Milosevic. NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea stated in May 1999, "Of course NATO supports the ICCFY – NATO created it."

Sara Flounders, National Co-Director of the IAC, pointed out the fact that "Milosevic's deportation violated Yugoslavia's constitution, and decisions of its federal president, parliament and Constitutional Court. The extradition of Milosevic was carried out today under the orders of the #1 U.S. lapdog politician in Yugoslavia, Zoran Djindjic, prime minister of Serbia. In the recent election, Djindjic and his party were the main conduits for U.S. funds. The U.S. government openly boasts of having spent more than $100 million fixing the election in Yugoslavia, a country of 10 million people. The equivalent would be a foreign government spending $2.8 billion to influence a national election in the U.S.”

"Today, Djindjic overrode the federal courts, parliament and president of Yugoslavia in order to deliver Milosevic to the imperialist's court one day before the Yugoslavia ‘donors conference’ (really the creditors conference) opens," Flounders continued. "Milosevic was sold to the U.S. by their man in Belgrade. Imagine a governor of state in the U.S. overriding the federal government and constitution to surrender a U.S. citizen to another country."

"The objective of this step is not just, or even primarily, Milosevic himself," said Becker. "The deportation of Milosevic is another element aimed at terminating Yugoslavia's sovereignty once and for all. For more than a decade the U.S. and NATO have used war, blockades, sanctions and other means to re-balkanize the Balkans. Today, as a result, U.S. military bases dominate the region -- in Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Hungary, Macedonia, Kosovo (Serbia) -- where there were none 10 years ago. Yugoslavia's real crime was that it resisted this re-colonization process."

"The IAC stands with those in Yugoslavia today who are resisting the U.S./NATO takeover of their country," said Flounders, noting that an IAC delegation is presently en route to Yugoslavia.