Letters to the WSWS

11 May 2002

On “Camp Bondsteel and America’s plans to control Caspian oil”

Amazing the arrogance of the US, and their media acolytes who keep Joe Public ignorant of this blatant imperialist land grab. When I first heard of its construction in 99, I wondered then whether the mainstream would see the significance of the building and the bombing, but alas it’s just another slow day at the office as far as the monopoly-owned media are concerned. By the way I found your article very well written.

Keep up the great work!!

Regards

DK

* * *

Why is it that the US mass media consistently fails to inform the American public what is really going on in the Balkans and the fraud perpetrated there to create this criminal expropriation of a sovereign country’s lands, via the denial of credible historians and journalists to be interviewed and presented on the various TV “news” (truth programs) channels?

Good job on your write-up. Keep up the good work!

PK

On “Behind the Milosevic trial: the US, Europe and the Balkan catastrophe”

Excellent piece! But how was the US public so thoroughly duped; and where were our truth pursuers during this entire cruel and criminal Yugoslavia adventure? Surely, there had to be a highly developed public relations conspiracy (?) orchestrated in the background. As an example, I recall that great pursuer of truth—Bill O’Reilly’s Factor program—lambasting and demonizing the Yugoslavian leadership and playing up justification for the US/NATO bombing of that sovereign country. And throughout that time there were several authors and historians presenting the opposing view (like your paper here) that NEVER were interviewed nor published in the major media outlets. It simply boggles the mind that such connivance and historical falsehood could become an acceptance as truth of the vast majority of Americans.

PK

On “Milosevic and Sharon: when is a war criminal not a war criminal?”

Mr. Marsden on M and S,

Outstandingly done!

Anon.

* * *

Chris Marsden tells us that by “any objective standard”, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should be facing a war crimes trial alongside Slobodan Milosevic. Yet, typical of leftist disinformation, he then entirely fails to prove his case.

That’s because he has no case. Palestinian officials themselves have admitted that no more than 55 people were killed in Jenin, which number closely approximated the claims of the Israelis.

That Marsden—also typical of a leftist disinformation specialist—entirely blanks out the context of the Israeli “invasion” is particularly telling. Note that not a word of his article refers, even once, to the war crimes of the Palestinian Authority, led as it is by an unrepentant terrorist whom the Israelis should have assassinated a decade ago. Note that Marsden, just like every other Palestinian apologist, can’t bring himself to call their suicide bombers the murderous, rabid dogs that they are.

You should be ashamed of yourself, Marsden, but I’ve never yet known a leftist with a capacity for shame.

TB

* * *

Your article comparing the alleged atrocities of S. Milosevic and A. Sharon raises a significant point, that all violators of International Criminal Law should be held accountable. However, it contains some serious errors of fact that undermine the overall message. The International Criminal Court will not have jurisdiction over any crimes unless they are committed after July 1st, 2002 when the treaty comes into force.

Consequently, the ICC cannot act with respect to any atrocities that may have occurred in Jenin. From July, only crimes that are committed on the territory of a state party to the treaty, or by a national of a state party to the treaty elsewhere in the world, can be heard by the ICC. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is currently prosecuting not only Milosevic, but many other Serbians, Croats, and Bosnians who are accused of such crimes, of course cannot claim jurisdiction over activities in Israel or the occupied territories. A new ad hoc court could be established for that purpose.

In spite of the limitations on the ICC’s jurisdiction, it does have the potential to be a significant force for promoting justice in world affairs, and reducing the impunity of leaders like Sharon. Given that potential, it seems odd that your newspaper writes erroneously in ways that could discredit and undermine the ICC before it even has a chance to fulfil its mission.

JA

Reply: You miss the wood for the trees, I’m afraid. Yes, I could have added a longer explanation of the limited remit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the ICC, but that was hardly the point of the article.

You argue, however, as if those limits are handed down from heaven, rather than having been decided on by signatories who were anxious that their past crimes were not dredged up and that they could determine what was considered to be a politically expedient prosecution.

On the basis of the additional limitations on its remit listed by yourself, there is as little likelihood of Sharon facing a trial over criminal actions he may commit after July 1, 2002, as there is of a prosecution for his atrocities in Sabra and Shatilla, or Jenin. I could also have explained in greater detail the history of efforts to accommodate the US and ensure its support for the ICC. But this too has failed miserably, and I would draw your attention to the May 7 article by Bill Vann, “US repudiates International Criminal Court”.

I have no reason to change my estimate of either the ICTY or the ICC. They are both tools of Western political intrigue, as is their parent body, the United Nations. Nothing good can be expected of either institution and no support should be given to the ICC’s so-called mission.

Sincerely,

Chris Marsden

On “British police acquitted of wrongdoing after shooting unarmed man”

Hi,

My name is Pauline Ashley,

I’ve just read your piece on my brother who was shot dead by Sussex Police, England in 1998. May I congratulate you on a factual, straight to the point piece of writing. I’m not sure when it was written. Would it be possible to return our email for future updates?

Yours in struggle,

Pauline Ashley