I Had A Dream Says Carla Del Ponte *

by Edward S. Herman

September 17, 2001

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Last night I had a dream. And in my dream the spirit of Robert Jackson came to me. His spirit told me that in my labors as the chief prosecutor for The Hague Tribunal, I was suddenly free -- no longer would I be required to toe NATO's party line, and my future as an esteemed jurist in Switzerland would not be at an end if I called the shots as I saw them independently and without constraint.

Later in this dream, the leaders of the NATO powers are assembled in Paris to celebrate the "saving" of Kosovo by destroying it -- Clinton, Albright, Holbrooke, Blair, Cook, Robertson, Schroder, Fischer, Wesley Clark -- the lot of them, along with my bete noire, the "humanitarian" hypocrite and bona fide war criminal Bernard Kouchner. By prior arrangement with M. Jospin, I and the Tribunal had arranged that the French police would arrest these thugs and whisk them off to The Hague, where they would be detained pending my getting together the materials for an indictment for genocide and war crimes. They might have to wait in prison till we got everything arranged, the standard procedure the Tribunal has applied and is using with Milosevic, but our prima facie case is very strong.

Of course, the NATO leaders went to war against Yugoslavia without UN or Security Council sanction and in direct violation of the UN Charter's injunction that "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." The "self defense" exception was clearly not applicable to this case. However, the NATO powers cleverly did not include the waging of aggressive war as one of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, so despite its central importance -- "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole," in Nuremberg prosecutor Walter Rockler's words -- I cannot use this in making my case against them.

But the Tribunal's rules do include standard war crimes such as attacks on civilians not justified by military necessity. Here I have the NATO thugs cold. Wesley Clark was very careful early in the bombing war to state that NATO was going after military targets -- "we're going to very systematically and progressively work on his military forces" (CNN, March 26, 1999) -- implicitly recognizing that civilian targets were illegitimate. But as Yugoslavia did not surrender quickly, Clark and company moved steadily toward targeting civilian facilities, with many hundreds of civilian casualties. Clinton actually acknowledged publicly that the "civilian infrastructure" was now being targeted; so that his knowledge of and responsibility for these war crimes are crystal clear. While he and his colleagues cool their heels in Schevenigen prison, I will gather together the plentiful materials on their knowledge and instructions to the military managers, and on the human consequences of their criminal acts.

I also plan to focus on the Clinton gang's heavy involvement in the August 1995 Operation Storm in which 250,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from the Krajina and many hundreds slaughtered by the Croatian army. We know Holbrooke visited Zagreb just two days before this major set of war crimes began, and he surely discussed this program and gave his and Clinton's blessing to it. Clinton's approval is also on the public record, as is the heavy involvement of U.S.-based mercenaries and U.S. spy planes helping in the attack. Operation Storm was modeled on and even named after the U.S.-organized Operation Desert Storm, with significant U.S. planning and logistical inputs. I have them cold on this one, and will have ample official data assembled by trial time.

Although the Contact Group was committed by the June 1999 agreement with Belgrade ending hostilities in Kosovo to disarm the KLA, not only did it not do this, it went on to incorporate the KLA into a Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), and allowed the KLA to control Kosovo and terrorize Albanians as well as other elements of the population. One of the Croat generals leading Operation Storm, the eminently indictable Kosovo Albanian Agim Ceku, has not only survived without punishment, he eventually showed up in Kosovo as head of the NATO-sponsored KPC. Bernard Kouchner not only selected this war criminal and lauded him publicly at the inauguration of the KPC, he has protected and given authority to other KLA war criminals like Hashim Thaci. Under Kouchner's administration of Kosovo, ethnic cleansing has reached new heights, the civilians murdered may well have exceeded the killings in Kosovo in the year prior to the NATO bombing, and he has provided the KLA with a base for destabilizing Macedonia. Kouchner is finally going to see what "justice without borders" means in my free and unconstrained Tribunal!

And then I woke up and realized that my paymasters were coming today to speak with me about my budget!


*  This document was sent by an anonymous whistleblower working in the Tribunal to the care of Edward S. Herman, with the admonition that while the signature on it is similar to Del Ponte's the document's authenticity is not certain. Readers should be aware of this problem of authenticity. (back)


Letter to the Editor (added November 12, 2001)


       Edward S. Herman is a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a contributor to Z Magazine since its founding in 1988. Herman is the author of numerous books, including a number of corporate and media studies. These include Corporate Control, Corporate Power (1981), the two-volume Political Economy of Human Rights (1979) and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), both of which he co-authored with Noam Chomsky, as well as The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (1989), which he co-authored with Gerry O'Sullivan.

       Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Edward S. Herman 2001. All rights reserved.

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Published September 17, 2001
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