Note from the Editor

Did you notice by any chance Slobodan Milosevich's cross-examination of Mr. Mahmut Bakalli, the first witness of the prosecution in The Hague? If your only sources of information are the main media, it'd be fair to presume that you must not have noticed much, for "Officialdom" seems to have suddenly fallen rather silent in regard to the trial. Mr. Bakalli's testimony was properly dispatched, comprehensively demolished by Mr. Milosevich, much to the embarrassment of the court and the distress of the prosecution. Fortunately for Mrs. del Ponte, she need not prove much of anything. The Tribunal can convict Milosevich, whether or not the prosecution can assemble proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he masterminded this or that alleged crime, on the simple basis that he "should have known." Still, it appears that before the trial is over many people may wish that the "nefarious dictator" had never been abducted and spirited to The Hague, or that being in an unstable emotional condition, as it was so prominently reported, he had committed suicide. Upon the prodding by the Court to act swiftly, poor Carla del Ponte started whining:

"There is no doubt we're going to do our utmost to achieve our aim, but what I've heard these days -- of course, I won't be able to be in the courtroom every day. It may well be that we have to call other witnesses, even crime-based witnesses. It all depends, Your Honours, on the arguments provided by the accused during the hearings and the testimony. We have to adduce evidence of the crimes alleged in the indictment, and I hope that we will be treated by the Court in the same way as the accused, so that we can fulfil our obligations, our duty, as best as we can. Therefore, Your Honour, we try to act as swiftly as we can. Still, you have to take into account the fact that this is an important mission that we have to carry out, and it will very much hinge on the arguments as provided by the accused when hearing witnesses. So I do have to make some reservations. I may have to produce other witnesses as the need may arise. Thank you, Your Honour." (Transcript, 02/02/19, page 653, lines 8-21.)

As you can see, she's highly confident that she has a solid case!

Anyway, this rendition of Swans is very much focused on the Yugoslav issue, the collective Serbian guilt and this preposterous trial. Our correspondent in Serbia, Stevan Konstantinovic, much to our delight, is back after a six-month hiatus. In a potent essay, he places the Yugoslav tragedy in a wider historical context that will undoubtedly stir a few controversies. Alma Hromic shares what it has meant to her to be a Serb in the midst of such dismayed maelstrom. Priestfield takes a serious look at the US notion of infinite justice. Gowans hits more than a few nails right on their heads. Deckert shows what he's been up against over the past three years. Lynching and intellectual cowardice are on Gilles d'Aymery's mind. Michael Stowell presents his own balanced views and Clark plays the contrarian that he often is. We also publish the famously misquoted speech of June 28, 1989 by Slobodan Milosevich, as well as an exchange of diverse opinions in regard to the IWCT. And don't forget about poetry. Sandly Lulay grieves for the Earthlings who cannot be taught to see beyond what they were taught to believe.

As always, please enjoy this rendition, form your OWN opinion and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. PLEASE DO! It's your voice that makes ours grow.


Patterns Which Connect... The IWCT, Serbia and Milosevich

Stevan Konstantinovic:  The Barbarians Stand Before the Gates of America

All the things that are currently stirring the world -- the Milosevic trial in The Hague, the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, the avenging bombardment of Afghanistan, the threats of new (or continued) bombing of Iraq, the naming of North Korea to an "Axis of Evil" -- began a long time ago.   More...


Aleksandra Priestfield:  Operation New Justice

In December of 2001, Harper's Magazine published a transcript from the late President Franjo Tudjman's meetings and his plans for Croatia. It gave some graphic elucidations about how the Serbian minorities in Croatia would be dealt with under the Tudjman regime.   More...


Stephen Gowans:  Munchausens At The Hague, Cowards At Woods Hole

If Carla del Ponte, The Hague's chief prosecutor, were a piece of chocolate, she wouldn't so much resemble the chocolate of her native Switzerland as she would a bar of Ex-Lax, the faux chocolate laxative made in America whose sole purpose is to draw forth copious quantities of shit.   More...


Alma A. Hromic:  I Am Tired

It's been a long decade, and too much has happened in it. Before the last decade of the twentieth century was over, Yugoslavia, the country I was born in ceased to exist (in every atlas published since 1993, even in the Encyclopedia Britannica), its constituent peoples have been viciously turned against each other, and the West has played midwife, and continues to do so to this day, to a focused and brutal destruction of one of those peoples, the Serbs, whose crime appears to be quite simply that they were the stumbling block for the plans which the West had for the region that they happened to occupy.   More...


Deck Deckert:  The More Things Change

In the spring of 1999, I knew very little about Yugoslavia, its history or its peoples, even though I was in daily e-mail correspondence with a Serb woman who had been born in the Yugoslav city of Novi Sad.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Such A Perfect Little Lynching!

Just imagine a headline in a major newspaper: "Could Milosevich Be Found Innocent Of All Charges?" or "Milosevich, Not Guilty?" You would not believe your eyes, would you? The author of the piece would be crucified, immediately discredited.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  The First Stone

Denis Perkovic brought up some important points and expressed some strong emotions in his recent communications with me.   More...


Milo Clark:  History, Patterns, Differences. . . Not Again!

History reveals patterns of evolution among systems of states. The processes of larger subjugating smaller are nearly mechanical in repetitions over time.   More...



Sandy Lulay:  South of Jade

We arrived from the sky
Holding hands with the wind
And each other;
Dazed by the beauty
Of that first breath sans ego,   More...


For The Record

Slobodan Milosevich:  Kosovo Polje Speech, June 28, 1989

By the force of social circumstances this great 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo is taking place in a year in which Serbia, after many years, after many decades, has regained its state, national, and spiritual integrity. Therefore, it is not difficult for us to answer today the old question: how are we going to face Milos?   More...


Letters to the Editor & Correspondence

Regarding the US Proposed Military Budget for 2003


Diverging views regarding the IWCT and more



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Created: March 6, 2002