Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Two [20]


Johnstone kicks off with this bold claim:

"The presumption that a defendant is "innocent until proven guilty" has been cast aside by the ICTY."

This is strong stuff. After the introductory paragraph--which I am quoting, sentence by sentence, with commentary, in this post--Johnstone presents three examples of anti-Serb bias by the ICTY. Namely, Karadzic, Milosevic, and the Srebrenica massacre. This is going to be rough going.

"The presumption of guilt is blatant in regard to Serb political leaders, starting with the president of the "Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," or Republika Srpska, Dr. Radovan Karadzic."

Not to play spoiler, but I cannot wait 12 and a half pages (the length of part 5) to make this observation: Of course there was a presumption of guilt; I'm pretty sure the Nuremburg prosecutors were pretty damn sure they had the goods on Goering as well. The ICTY was created to deal with the charges of genocide; it's facetious to pretend otherwise.

"After years of hearing commentators rail against the occupation forces in Bosnia for failing to arrest "the indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic," the Western public must be convinced that the case against him is overwhelming. This impression, based on media uproar, is not borne out by close examination."

Again with the shift to public opinion. Johnstone shifts from legalistic hair-splitting to a generalized impression of public opinion frequently throughout Chapter Two; the better to paint a (not very detailed) picture of an overriding Western conspiracy/misinterpretation/bias/etc.

That she considers the public impression of Karadzic as a war criminal to be based on "media uproar" is neither surprising nor enlightening; we already know where she stands on the issue.

At any rate--you've been warned. We are about to enter 12 straight pages of full-bore genocide denial. Up until now, she has at least maintained the fiction that she is concerned with wider questions of Western bias, international law, the legitimacy of hastily-constructed international tribunals, the arbitrary nature of international law in a world dominated by a handful of powerful Western states, and so forth. In this section, she cuts the crap and gets right down to it: genocide denial, and open alignment with the architects of the Serbian Nationalist ethnic cleansing project of the 1990s.

No comments: