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TODAY SARAJEVO, TOMORROW CHICAGO:

THE TYRANNY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Paper presented at the international conference:

America's Intervention in the Balkans

Chicago, February 28 - March 2,1997

Dr. Thomas Fleming


The War Crimes tribunal going on at the Hague is the first test of one of the great principles of post-war politics -- the Nuremberg Doctrine which makes individuals liable to international prosecution for actions committed during a war. In the old days, military personnel and police officers were expected to do as they were told. In time of war, a soldier who refused to obey an order could and would be shot, sometimes without a hearing. Officers and soldiers who shot prisoners or mistreated civilians might be punished by their superiors; otherwise, the only penalty inflicted on a guilty army was enemy retaliation -- you kill your prisoners, we'll kill ours.

But after the Nuremberg trials, the phrase (always spoken with a phoney German accent) "I vas just following orders" became both a standing joke and a reproach against anyone who refused to disobey a dishonorable order. [Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 8: The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.]

At the time, there were people who were severely critical of the Trials. At least one of the American prosecutors later thought they were conducted unfairly, more in the spirit of Stalin's show trials than a like an Anglo-Saxon trial by jury, and even recent evidence has been published showing the prejudices that influenced the judges in deciding which prisoners were executed and which let go.

The obvious fact of the matter was that after a war the losers were being tried by the victors, and even under the best of circumstances, it would be hard for a defeated nation to get a fair trial from its enemies. The aftermath of WW I shows that. All the great powers -- England, France and Russia as much as Austria and Germany -- were more or less guilty of starting the Great War, but crippling reparations were enforced against Germany by the Versailles treaty, which also required Germany to hand over accused war criminals to be tried by the victors. In the event, some officers were put on trial in Germany for committing "crimes", even though similar crimes had been committed by the allies.

There is another similarity between the aftermaths of the two world wars: the Versailles Treaty and Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points were a preliminary attempt to establish a uniform code of international conduct, according to which the Kaiser was to be charged with "a supreme offense against international morality."

War is terrible, and even the best men do things which would otherwise be regarded as crimes: they destroy houses, kill some people deliberately and others through carelessness. Winston Churchill -- who did all of the above in two World Wars -- was honest enough to see the hypocrisy of Nuremberg. Churchill, Anthony Eden and even many Americans thought that the top Nazis should have been killed as soon as they were captured, without setting a dangerous precedent for international revenge.

This is not to say that the Nazi regime did not deliberately commit mass murder against Jews, Poles, Russians, Serbs, even Italians, and that the ringleaders should not have been summarily shot -- like Mussolini, who was a choir boy compared to Hitler. Afterwards, a new German government could have settled scores, as best it could, with the other criminals according to German law. Or, if we had to have a trial, if it were limited to clear evidence of international murder -- the slaughter of the Polish Jews, for example -- no harm might have come of it.

Instead, the allies established three very dangerous principles: first, that conspiracy to make war is a crime by itself Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, [Article 6, a] and second, that subordinates can be held responsible for carrying out orders (after WW I officers were acquitted because they followed orders, although in one case a naval officer was held culpable, because he knew the orders themselves were illegal); and third, that it is criminal to wage war against civilians; this includes such acts as murder, ill-treatment, or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population.

Conspiracy -- By the above standard the following American Presidents are undoubted war criminals: John Tyler, James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, as well as Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Bush, and Clinton. In some cases we might think these Presidents were justified in initialing a war, in others not. But most leaders of great nations, at one time or another make plans to wage a war, when they think it is in their nation's interest -- and others when it is only in the leader's personal interest.

I do not approve of aggressive wars. I have, in fact, opposed virtually every American military action taken in my lifetime; but until George Bush and Bill Clinton are dragged to The Hague in handcuffs and tried for their aggressions, I am opposed to this hypocrisy.

Following orders -- Suppose you are a German soldier on the Russian front, and you are told to assault a Ukrainian village and take no prisoners. What do you do? If you refuse, you die on the spot. In fact, many German officers did exactly that and were shot. They were heroes, martyrs, and we bless their memory. But how hard can we be on a 17 year old conscript who did as he was told and lived with the nightmare for the rest of his life?

It is not as if American soldiers have never done anything similar. During WW II American soldiers more than once murdered their German prisoners and Eisenhower gave orders against "coddling" POWs. It has been argued that this led to the death of hundreds of thousands. Perhaps exaggerated, but a great many disappeared. In the war in the Pacific, both the Americans and the Japanese fought a war of extermination against each other. I heard one marine officer, who had been at Pelelou, joke about how American journalists had admired the marines' marksmanship: all the dead Japanese soldiers had been shot in the forehead. That was -- you guessed it - because the marines had executed all the wounded soldiers, who were in the habit of calling for medics and then blowing up the medics with a grenade.

War against civilians -- Everyone knows of the Mylai massacre, but such incidents were a routine occurrence in Vietnam. There were even special groups of Navy SEALS (Mike Beamon, "The Green-Faced Frogmen" in Santoli, 203-19) whose job was to sneak into Vietnamese villages to murder civilians and make it look like the work of the Vietcong. We used massive airstrikes against population centers, defoliated the forests, and used flesh-burning napalm indiscriminately. Finally, the nations responsible for the fire-bombing of undefended German cities are in no position to point the finger at war criminals. Say it was justified, say that it saved lives -- the Germans thought they had a noble purpose in killing Jews. As one British foreign officer put it in 1945, [A.W. Harrison in Bradley F. Smith, Reaching Judgment at Nuremberg] Bomber Harris must have got more victims on his conscience than any individual German General or Air Marshall. The judges at Nuremberg appear to have been aware of allied war crimes because they refused to allow any but German documents to be introduced as evidence.

The United States collaborated with the British in the fire-bombings, but we bear sole responsibility for the use of atomic weapons against civilian population centers. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an ineradicable black mark on this nation's character, on the President who made the decision, and on the people who reelected Harry Truman in 1948.

I.- The Hague "tribunal" is only a faint echo of the Nuremberg trials. The alleged war crimes of the Serbs fall into same categories; but even if they were all proved, they are trivial in comparison with anything done not just by Germans but by Americans in recent years. At Nuremberg, at least, an effort was made to fix the blame on the Nazi leadership: men who had preached a doctrine of racial superiority, laughed at Christian morality as weakness, and insisted that their strength and superiority gave them the right to treat other nation as slaves and cattle. There were no such leaders among the Serbs, and the so-called criminals who have been put on trial are so insignificant that they would not have been allowed even to testify at Nuremberg, much less enjoy the glory of a trial. So far the only leaders who have been indicted have been Serbs -- clear evidence of the double-standard at work.

The government of Croatia, in particular, has repeatedly refused to collaborate with the Tribunal. Earlier this month, the Croatian ambassador to the Netherlands addressed the Tribunal to explain his country's non-compliance, and even when they handed over the documents that had been requested, the ambassador continued to insist that there could not be any suggestion that Croatia had given into threats. [Klarin, February 10-15] In complying, Croatia remains defiant. By the criteria established at Nuremberg, there are three men who must be tried first, otherwise the whole episode is a farce, and those men are Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, and Slobodan Milosevic -- but they are the very parties who ratified the Dayton accords.

Like the Nuremberg proceedings, the Hague Tribunal is an irregular and illegal court. In the first place, the proper place for adjudicating international disputes is the International Court of Justice, but the ICJ has been virtually silent on the Balkans conflict. [Exception: accepting a case of Bosnia v. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] In the second, the UN Security Council has no business involving itself in what was, after all, a civil war. The pretext was international security, but no one has ever taken the trouble to prove that there was a real danger of international conflict. As Prof. Alfred Rubin has written recently: If the Security Council, by its own vote, can categorize events in such ways as to avoid limits on its own authority...a radical change in the structure of the United Nations will have been achieved.

In the third place, the United States and its partners in the Security council have been careful to limit the investigation to crimes committed by the three parties to the Civi1 War. Just as at Nuremberg, where the Germans were not allowed to use any "tu quoque" arguments in their own defense, the activities of the peace-keepers themselves -- including the use of American air-power against civilians -- is not to be investigated. At least at Nuremberg, some of the judges did their best to insure a fair trial for the defendants, but this tribunal has been set up on the assumption that Serbs are Nazis, and that their leaders deserve to be hanged. As Srdja Trifkovic put it in the August 1996 issue of Chronicles, The model for the Hague Tribunal is not Nuremberg 1946, but Moscow 1938. [p.19]

Were crimes committed by Serbs during the Bosnian Civil War? Undoubtedly. These things occur in all wars, civil wars in particular, but no impartial examination of the evidence has been able to attribute a criminal intention to Serb military commanders.

l.- The most frequently heard charge is that the Serbs launched military attacks on civilian population centers like Sarajevo. There is a word for this -- it is war. To paraphrase the famous commentary on the charge of the Light Brigade, ce n'est pas magnifique, mais c'est la guerre. Even if the Serbs were responsible for all the faked explosions in Sarajevo, they would be guilty of nothing that the U.S. does not routinely do. In the Gulf War, before we ever committed ground troops, we subjected Iraqi cities to a murderous barra,ge of missiles and heavy bombardment. We completely destroyed their infrastructure-plumbing, water supplies, electricity, all gone. Nobody really knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civŘans have died as a result of the bombing and the subsequent embargo. [Cf. P.M. Gallois, Le Sang du petrole]

If we are going to talk about military terrorism against a people, then the United States should be accused of war crimes against the Serbs, not only for when we bombed the Bosnian Serbs into submission but perhaps still worse when our air-strikes prepared the way for the Croatian massacres in the Krajina --massacres which shocked even the normally anti-Serb press. It was the most brutal episode in a brutal war, and the blood is on our hands.

2.- Ill treatment of civilians. War against civilians was U.S. policy during the American Civil War according to the doctrine of total war. Sherman's famous march to the sea, authorized by President Lincoln, was a campaign to break the Southern will to resist by reducing women and children to starvation. A similar plan was carried out in the Shenandoah Valley. In Missouri, all the inhabitants living in a long strip along the Kansas border were driven from their homes, which were then looted and burned by Union troops. These were not isolated incidents: the terror bombings of German cities in WW II had no direct military value - they were meant to cause disaffection of German people - but they had the opposite effect. The same can be said of the war of attrition waged in Vietnam or the brutal suppression of the Filipino indepedence movement in the Spanish-American War.

3.- Rape. Upon closer inspection, most of the horror-stories of Serbian rape camps turned out to be either gross exaggerations or even outright fabrications. Were any Muslim women raped by Serb fighters? Probably, undoubtedly. Should they be punished? Of course, either by the Muslims or by their own government. Is rape something unusual in a war? Hardly.

The American army, it is said, raped its way through Germany, and the only soldiers punished were the unlucky few who refused to stop when the war was over. In fact, our record on this is still very bad. The German government has repeatedly complained about the misconduct of American GI's stationed in Germany, and the recent horror stories from Okinawa and Korea reveal that rape is still regarded as a venial sin by the US military. More recently, American soldiers have been accused of raping their female comrades, and the most recent charges are coming from women stationed in Germany.

In the Civil War, Sherman's men, when they were not burning and looting, spent their time raping the black slave women -- a subject that few historians are willing to touch, because the unspoken assumption is that the victims were, after all, only black. In one famous case, in Athens Alabama, a former cossack officer turned over the town to be pillaged and the women -- white as well as black, by the way -- to be raped. When Ivan Vasilev Turchin was convicted at his court-martial, President Lincoln reinstated and promoted him. This is the same Lincoln whose government established the first American code of military ethics.

Drawn up by a German immigrant, Francis Lieber, this code was promulgated as General Orders No.100. General Halleck, who authorized the code, was the military officer who also gave General Sherman's soldiers their carte blanche to burn, loot, murder, and rape their way across what had been the richest section of the United States. This same government and same officer bore responsibility for setting up the first concentration camp, designed to intern possibly pro-Southern Indians in the Southwest, and whose troops in Colorado massacred an Indian encampment at Sand Creek at the very same time that their comrades-in-arms were putting the torch to the cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, SC.

I have dwelled upon the war crimes of the United States, not because I hate my country or want to blacken its reputation. Many other countries have worse records. But war is usually a dirty business, and few nations have clean hands. One fact alone should make us despise the entire procedure set up at Nuremberg: the fact that Stalin, his hands reeking with the blood of 50 million victims, was one of the prosecutors. None of the Nazi defendants, perhaps not even Hitler, could match Stalin who even managed to prosecute the Germans for the massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest -- a crime committed by the Russians themselves. [Smith, p.104]

III. - I have spoken about the hypocrisy, but there is a greater danger in the Nuremberg mentality, and that is the underlying justification: that there is a set of international human rights that take precedence over national law, local custom, and religious tradition. The U.S. State Department and the American media it controls have repeatedly accused the Serbs of "human rights violations," a charge that can range from rape and murder to an ethnic joke told in a private home.

Underneath all the horror-stories of rape camps and mass murder, there is an underlying principle to the State Department line, and it is this: Human beings are individuals whose only group affiliation is to a state that protects their human rights. Differences of religion and nationality are insignificant, and it is morally wrong for members of one group to discriminate against members of another. In Bosnia, for example, this means that a Serb would be wrong not to want a Muslim to move into his neighborhood, or to oppose his daughter's marriage to a Muslim or a Croat. When these prejudices become a policy of trying to preserve a Serb village or ensure Serbian political and military control over an area, the acts are not only wrong they are criminal.

From this perspective, all the parties in Bosnia are guilty of human rights violations, but the Serbs are guiltier than the rest. Why? Because the Muslims, in their desire to control the entire region -- let us not make the mistake of calling it a country -- could play the multi-cultural card. Some of the descriptions of Sarajevo make it sound like San Francisco or Madison, Wisconsin; even the Croats -- once they were bullied into forming a federation with the Muslims - they, too, were grudgingly multi-cultural. Only the Serbs were honest in declaring their intentions, which was to have either a separate Serbian state or else a Bosnian Serb republic within what is left of Yugoslavia. In the eyes of the international community, that desire by itself is a war crime.

Now, I am not going to stand up here and tell you that Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright really care about human rights. (The President has no time to think about foreign policy, he has enough to do just staying out of jail during the next four years.) In fact, a glance at the Geneva Convention will reveal at once the hypocrisy of the U.S. and Germany, since the preamble to the latest version adopted in 1977 contains this lofty statement: every state has the duty, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of any State. What else was the break-up of Yugoslavia but the threat and the use of force against that nation's territorial integrity?

We should not waste time, reciting the motives for US foreign-policy makers -- ignorance, greed, and lust for power. But the language and rhetoric of human rights, repeated over and over by prissy little chatterboxes like Nicholas Burns, has created the poisonous atmosphere that makes the Serbs guilty even if they have never mussed the hair of a single child-butchering Turk.

A)- Where did such an idea come from? Since the Renaissance, philosophers have dreamed of such an international law, and by the l8th century most European nations were waging war according to certain rules which forbade the murder of prisoners and excessive mistreatment of civilians. In one sense, this is only good business: if wars are frequent, then whatever the Germans do to the French, they may, in the course of a few years, get a taste of their own medicine. The rule of tit-for-tat develops spontaneously even during modern wars: in WW I, for example, French and German soldiers respected each other's mess times and struck up a trade in cigarettes, wine, and food, until their officers put a stop to it.

But the kind of international law that has developed in the 20th century is neither pragmatic nor humane. It is a kind of religion -- the noxious gas given off from the decay of Western Christianity. Religious people, who see the image of God in their fellow human beings, are often reluctant to go the full distance in brutality. But Western socie2y has been only superficially Christian for the past two centuries. International human rights are simply the idea of divine law, with God left out.

Since, for people like Helmut Kohl, Madeline Albright, and Bill Clinton, there is no god but ambition, power, and wealth, they are forced to disguise their crimes and double-dealing with the rhetoric of human rights and international law.

This idea of human rights has been kicking around for about five hundred years, but it took concrete shape during the French Revolution, when the revolutionaries proclaimed their declaration of the rights of man--the right to life, property, freedom, etc. But what they did was a dress-rehearsal for Russian communism: they destroyed churches, murdered priests, raped nuns; they practiced scorched earth policy in the Vandee. [General Westem&127;ann, a client of Damon, proudly reported to the Convention: Thre Vendee is no more... According to your orders I have trampled their children beneath our horses' feet; I have massacred their women, so they will no longer give birth to brigands.1 do not have a single prisoner to reproach me... Mercy is not a revolutionary sentiment.] Yes, in the name of the Rights of Man they confiscated property, massacred a large part of the upper class, they created a whole class of people called "suspects" who had no rights, because of who their parents were -- they even talked about taking the children of suspects away in order to indoctrinate them.

The Soviet constitution, too, breathes with the warm glow of human rights, and since World War II the nations of the world have ratified or endorsed or proposed charter after charter on women's rights, children's rights, religious rights, and ethnic rights. During exactly the same period, the civilized world has witnessed an epidemic of child prostitution. Fifty years ago a man who assaulted a little girl or a little boy would not have to worry about getting a fair trial, because he would never have lived that long. The same goes for the rapist and the child-murderer. Now these psychopaths and degenerates are very unlucky if they have to spend full five years in a psychiatric hospital.

Let me talk about just one of these charters: The International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In this convention, genocide is defined as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such" and genocidal acts include:

A) killing members of the group, B) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the groups, C) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, D) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, E) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Now, during the Bosnian Civil War, we heard a great deal about genocide. The Serbs were said to be practicing ethnic cleansing which was interpreted as a form of genocide against the Bosnian Muslims. But if we go over the list of genocidal acts specified by the convention, we might reach a different conclusion. As for the first charge -- killing members of the group, all the parties are guilty. Serbs killed Muslims who killed Croats who killed Serbs who killed Croats who killed Muslims who killed Serbs.

But let us look at the second and third charges -- serious bodily and mental harm and the infliction of destructive conditions of life. Apart from the normal incidents of war, the gravest bodily harm was caused by the embargo, which -- as we now know -- was enforced only against the Serbs, and not against the Muslims and Croats. In fact, the United States violated more than one international agreement by arranging the passage of Iranian arms by way of Croatia to the Muslims. The embargo was enforced so successfully against the Serbs that vital necessities - food, medicines -- were not allowed to enter into the country, and from Belgrade to Pale, Serbian children were dying because there were not antibiotics or anesthetics for routine operations. A reporter had brought this matter to the attention to officials of the Red Cross in Switzerland, and they admitted that the Serbs were receiving very little Red Cross assistance compared with what the Muslims were receiving. If the world ever found out, they added, no one would ever give money to the Red Cross again, an organization that plays politics with human suffering.

Let us talk a moment about mental suffering. Over the past several years I have received letters and phone calls from Serbs and Serb-Americans all over the United States, telling me the same story: that they were loyal Americans who loved this country, but that they were beginning to be afraid: death threats in the mail, snubs and insults at work, their children bullied at school. Last year Alex Dragnich wrote a piece in Chronicles going over some of the evidence of what Serbian kids are exposed to: teachers telling them they come from a race of genocidal butchers; a Weekly Reader map comparing the actions of Bosnian Serbs to 'Nazi brutality'; even a crossword puzzle where 'Serb' is the answer to clues like 'guilty party in Bosnia.'

Where does all this hatred spring from? To say that Americans get it from the media is no answer, since Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw know as little about the Serbs as they know about nuclear physics, German philosophy, or life in middle America. In fact, the media campaign against the Serbs was orchestrated in the US State Department, which has knowingly propagated lies and hatred. If there is ever a real War Crimes tribunal, then these masters of hatred -- Warren Christopher, Madeline Albright -- will face the same charges as Julius Streicher, who was executed for his anti-Jewish propaganda.

The other categories probably do not apply to the Bosnian Civil War, but I would point out to you that it is the policy of this administration to force contraception and abortion both on blacks and Hispanics in the US and upon Third World nations. The usually unspoken assumption is that the world has too many Africans, Indians, Asians and not enough Europeans. I say usually unspoken, because back when Planned Parenthood was getting underway, its founders were very open in promoting eugenics, and beneath all their humanitarian rhetoric today, the agenda remains the same: don't let the colored races breed. Both the United States and the United Nations are part of this worldwide effort, which is defined -- in their own convention -- as genocide.

The final category of genocidal crime is the transfer of children out of their group. Strange as it may seem, such transfers are increasingly common here in the United States. Many African Americans have expressed outrage over the general pattern of adoption, which means that black children are brought up in non-black homes. I think they go too far, and the many white families who have adopted children of another race are obviously good-hearted people. And yet, black Americans have heard our good intentions before. The fact remains that there is a wholesale effort to raise black children in surroundings that alienate them from their own people, and black leaders do not hesitate to call this genocide.

But there is a more subtle aspect of question of child transfer. Illinois has the most aggressive child protection statute in the nation. In most states, the operating assumption is that a child, whenever possible, should be kept with his natural parents. But because of several widely publicized honor stories, usually involving a criminally insane mother who kills her child, Illinois law no longer favors parents. Now it is only the best interests of the child. Who determines the best interests? Social workers and lawyers hired by the state.

Saving children from abuse is obviously a good thing to do. But what constitutes abuse? According to UN and US statements on children's rights, children have the right not to be spanked, the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of religious toleration, the right to be provided with information on sex and contraception. You probably do not realize that even as we speak, there are religious parents all over this country whose children are being taken away on unsupported allegations of abuse, there are home-schooling families whose doors are being kicked in by social workers who think there is something inherently wrong in parents who want to protect their kids from public education or who think their own religion is preferable to others.

The attorney-general of the United States, Janet Reno, made her reputation in Dade County, Florida, prosecuting fathers for sexually molesting their daughters. In case after case, Reno violated every ordinary provision of due process guaranteed by the Constitution. Wives who refused to testify against their husbands -- a right guaranteed by Common Law -- were locked up and subjected to duress. In one trial, I have been told, Ms Reno spent the night in the cell with the mother-cum-reluctant witness, and held her hand at the trial. In at least one of these cases, forensic tests have destroyed the case against the father, and both the Wall Street Journal and the Readers Digest have published exposes of the unmarried attorney-general whose distaste for the male sex is all too well-known.

The justification for all this legislation is the doctrine of children's rights. Until a few years ago, nearly everybody knew that children did not have rights. They could not have civil rights, because they were not legally persons -- they cannot vote, hold office, make contracts, incur debt. As for their human rights, we used to believe that children had a duty to love and obey their parents, and that parents, on the other hand, had the duty to feed, clothe, protect, and educate his kids. Bad parents were not abusing the rights of their sons and daughters; they were failing in their duties as parents.

This is not a semantic difference. In modem political theory, a right always turns out to mean a legal claim. If I have a right to an education, that means that I have a have claim on somebody's wallet, somebody who must pay for my schooling. In practice this means the government, which steps in, not just in cases of abusive or deficient parents. In fact, our governments-state and federal -- claim to act in loco parentis for all the children of the country. This means that if a government agent decides that a child's right is being violated, then the parents must face the full force of the state of Illinois or even of the government of the United States.

Even the State Department can get involved. About ten years ago in Chicago, a Ukrainian immigrant family decided they wanted to go home. Their son, Walter, however, wanted to stay with his aunt. Although no wrong-doing was ever alleged against the Polvchaks, the State Department stepped in to enforce Walter's right to divorce his parents and stay in the United States. Back then, the excuse was Communism. Today, it would be religious freedom or the threat of female circumcision which has led some African girls to claim asylum. The details change, the basic principle does not: the doctrine of human rights means that in Bosnia Serbs are forced to live in a country controlled by their enemies, and that here in the United States, no citizen is free to raise his kids, manage his business, or think his own thoughts.

The United States and its satraps on the Security Council have established a simple principle at the Hague: when other countries have problems, it is a matter for the international community to take up, but if there were a question of one of the permanent members of the Security Council -- a question, say of Scotland or South Carolina demanding their independence, or of attorney-general Reno's decision to massacre close to 100 people in order to "protect the children" at Waco, the permanent members can exercise their veto power.

The so-called New World Order that so many American conservatives are obsessed with is only the American Empire doing business under a new logo. In the new American International, Inc., children's rights are used as a pretext for killing children: in order to defend the territorial sovereignty of a non-existent nation -- Bosnia -- a member nation of the UN had to be dismembered, and in order to assert the right of self-determination, the Bosnian Serbs had to be forcibly subjected to a government they hated. As an ancient Scot said of the First World Order, the Roman Empire: they make a desert, they call it peace.

Is there any hope? Yes, there is, but it lies not in the karst-stubbled hills of Bosnia, but here in Middle America, where the citizens have begun to question government policies. There is evidence all around us that American globalism abroad is cracking from the strain. The American foreign policy elite -- never a very learned or astute class of people -- are now in the position of those psychotics who think that it is their concentration that keeps the planets in their orbits: if they fall asleep, the whole universe will fly to pieces. This nation and its leaders lack the will and the mental clarity required of a great empire, and every move we are likely to make under "The Clinton Presidency, the Sequel" will be a monumental blunder.

Meanwhile here at home, the welfare-socialist state constructed in the 1930's is falling apart -- much as the Soviet Union disintegrated -- and it is all the government can do to hold things together. More than a few Americans now understand that the destruction of the Bosnian Serbs might be a trial run for what can be done here in Chicago in the name of human rights. For the time being it may be too late to do much for Bosnia, and we can only pray it is not too late to do something to save the United States.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dragnich, Alex. "Cry the Beloved Country," Chronicles, February 1996, 22-26
Karsten, Peter. Law, Soldiers, and Combat. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press,1978
Klarin, Mirko. "Blaskic Case: Minisers Ordered to Appear in Court," Tribunal Update, No.15 (10-15 Feb) an electronic service of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
Rubin, Alfred P. "Dayton, Bosnia, and the Limits of Law" in The National Interest 46 (Winter 96-97),
Santoli, A1, ed. Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Thirty-three American Soldiers Who Fought it. New York: Random House,1981.
Smith, Bradley F. Reaching Judgment at Nuremberg. New York: Basic Books,1976
Taylor, Telford The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: a Personal Memoir. Boston: Little Brown,1992.
Trifkovic, Srdja, "The Hague Tribunal: Bad Justice, Worse Politics," Chronicles, August 1996,15-19.



Dr. Thomas Fleming is editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, published monthly by The Rockford Institute


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