www.slobodan-milosevic.org - April 24, 2009

Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Recently the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague started an online database of court documents. In this database you can find witness statements, trial exhibits, and other documents used by lawyers arguing cases at the ICTY. Although the database is not as complete as it could be, it still contains some very interesting material.

One document that I unearthed while perusing the Tribunal’s new online database was a transcript of a meeting that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman had with his top military and police commanders on July 31, 1995 -- just days before Operation Storm.

In the transcript Tudjman is planning the operation together with his top military brass, and the things they said at that meeting are absolutely damning to Croatia.

At the end of this article I will give you a link where you can download the whole transcript to read it for yourself, but before I do that I would like to draw your attention to some selected passages.

On page 2 of the transcript Tudjman explains the goal to his generals. He says, “We have to inflict such blows that the Serbs will to all practical purposes disappear.”

On page 15 Tudjman makes it clear that he means ethnic cleansing. He says, “it is important that those [Serbian] civilians set out, and then the army will follow them, and when the columns set out they will have a psychological impact on each other.”

Expanding on Tudjman’s remarks general Gotovina says, “if we continue this pressure, probably for some time to come, there won’t be so many civilians just those who have to stay, who have no possibility of leaving.”

The most damning remark that Tudjman makes with respect to the ethnic cleansing campaign is on page 29 of the transcript. Tudjman explains that, for the benefit of propaganda in the international community, leaflets should be given to Serbian civilians saying, “We are appealing to you not to withdraw, we guarantee … This means giving them a way out, while pretending to guarantee civil rights etc…” That’s right he said “pretending to guarantee civil rights” with the operative word being “pretending”.

Tudjman was very conscious of propaganda. He said on page 1 that “every military operation must have its political justification.” For Tudjman and his generals this meant staging fake Serbian attacks. On page 19 Tudjman says that the Serbs “should provide us with a pretext and provoke us.”

Chief of staff Zvonimir Cervenko replies, “We should ask Markac to do that.”

Mladen Markac, a high ranking official in Croatia’s interior ministry, interjects saying, “… and we accuse them of having launched a sabotage attack against us and of heading towards Maslenica, of intending to go over Mt. Velebit to the road from Karlobag to Starigrad, that they want to cut it off, and that’s why we were forced to intervene.”

General Davor Domazet responds, “I think it would be best to do it in the following way. They are using Udbina airport, we can organize an explosion as if they had struck with their air force and in this manner we can disguise all our axes.”

The fact that Croatia is prone to staging fake attacks against itself raises some disturbing questions in the context of its recent admission to NATO – especially given that Article 5 of the NATO charter says, “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”

This is hard evidence of a conspiracy that goes straight to the top of the Croatian political and military structure, and it gets worse. To gain time to prepare their ethnic cleansing campaign, Croatia participated in the Z-4 peace negotiations in bad faith and the Germans knew it.

On page 2 of the transcript Tudjman explains that he will agree to send a delegation to the Z-4 negotiations in Geneva “as a mask.” On page 32 he expands on that remark saying, “I am going to Geneva to hide this and not to talk … I want to hide what we are preparing [so] we can rebut any argument in the world about how we didn’t want to talk.”

The transcript contains strong indications that Germany, which apparently hasn’t taken the right lessons from its Nazi past, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Croatian ethnic cleansing campaign. On page 1 of the transcript Tudjman says, “We have a friend, Germany, which consistently supports us.” On page 32 of the transcript Tudjman says that Germany supports the planned operation. He says, “Kinkel has promised that Germany will support us, but we have to inform them ahead of time.”

If the Tribunal had this kind of evidence against any Serbian leaders you can bet that we never would have heard the end of it in the media. According to the date-stamp at the end of the document, the ICTY prosecutor’s office has had this transcript in its possession since 2003.

You can read the whole transcript for yourself at:

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