Monday, 17 May 2010
To Los Angeles Times - by Jerry Blaskovich
The Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor
Thomas Plate, editor
February 15, 1993
Dear Mr. Plate;
Alexander Cockburn's "The U.S. Can't Blame Serbia for Everything" (2/14/93), echoes, chapter and verse, the Serbian position. Blaming both sides, labeling the Croatian government fascist, disingenuously omitting mention of the Serb concentration camps and organized rapes is typical of the Serbian propagandists. The L.A. Times, not editing Cockburn's unsubstantiated allegations is surprising journalistic practice.
When Slobodan Milosevic's star was rising, with the help of the American embassy in Belgrade, Franjo Tudjman was a pariah after he had been imprisoned by Communist Yugoslavia. His political isolation made it impossible for him to "sponsor" anyone in the Yugoslav army as Cockburn alleges. Croatia had no army or militia to sponsor-all military power was in Serb hands.
Tudjman arrived on the political scene only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. No longer fearing the Russian monolith, Croatia, as well as all the former captive nations, opted for self-determination and Croatians were no longer fearful to express national feelings.
Rather than pandering to exiles, as Cockburn alleges, it was the communist government U.S. politicians and intelligence agencies "pandered" to after Tito's split with Russia.
Cockburn's attempt to equate a democratically elected government in internationally monitored elections with the fascist Ustashe is demeaning. Despite its faults, Croatia has as much ties with the Ustashe as Moshe Dayan had with the PLO.
In the 1980's the flurry of Western Bank credits and loans to Belgrade resulted from Ambassador Lawrence Eagleburger pressuring Western-banking institutions, despite it being contrary to American policy at the time.
In the interim and after Eagleburger left the State Department and until being named Deputy Secretary of State, Eagleburger worked for Yugoslav government owned companies and banks. He became director of a Yugoslav bank in New York, which benefited from the loans he previously arranged. His protégé, Milosevic directed a sister bank in Belgrade.
In it is noteworthy that, Eagleburger, General Brett Scowcroft and Lord Carrington were principals in Kissinger Associates, whose clients included the Yugoslav arms industry. When Eagleburger went back to the State Department he received $1.1 4 million as severance pay from Kissinger Associates.
The recent call for intervention did not come for altruistic motives, such as aiding self-determination or protecting the sovereignty of a legitimate state. Rather it was the atrocities and ethnic cleansings that stirred the world's conscience to call for intervention. Cockburn's theses for nonintervention are in keeping with the Serbian line.
Quoting General Lewis Mackenzie, whose credibility is now in question after being accused by the Bosnian government of sexually exploiting Muslim women prisoners brought to his quarters by Serbian guards, was incredible. Mackenzie disparagingly berated Moslems for defending and wanting to take back their own homes.