Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


The War in Yugoslavia
NATO leaders indicted for war crimes
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark indicts NATO leaders

Amnesty International reports on Kosovo

Human Rights Watch: Kosovo Focus on Human Rights

Censorship and Bias in the Yugoslav war

Kosovo Information Archive

TThe International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: The prosecutor of the trial against Slobodan Milosevic, Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic and Vlajko Stojilkovic.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: The prosecutor of the trial against Radovan Karadzic and Genaral Ratko Mladic

Application of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide (Croatia vs Yugoslavia)

Application of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v Yugoslavia)


Canadian House of Commons,
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
February 22, 2000 ,
By: M. Mandel

Personal Note from M. Mandel:

Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself and how I came to be involved in this. I am a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School where I have taught for 25 years. I specialize in criminal law and comparative constitutional law with an emphasis on domestic and foreign tribunals, including United Nations tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. I have no personal interest in the conflicts in Yugoslavia- I have no Serbs or Albanians in my family and I am not being paid by anyone. I became involved in this as a Canadian lawyer who witnessed a flagrant violation of the law by my government with unspeakably tragic results for innocent people of all Yugoslav ethnicities. I became involved as a Jew appalled by the grotesque and deliberate misuse of the Holocaust to justify the killing and maiming of innocent people for what I am convinced were purely self-interested motives, the farthest thing from humanitarianism, in a cynical attempt to manipulate the desire of Canadians to help their fellows on the other side of the world.

Illegality of the War

The first thing to note about NATO's war against Yugoslavia is that it was flatly illegal both in the fact that it was ever undertaken and in the way it was carried out. It was a gross and deliberate violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. The Charter authorizes the use of force in only two situations: self-defence, or, when authorized by the Security Council.

The United Nations Charter provides in so far as is relevant:

  • Article 2(3): All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  • Article 2(4): All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independance of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
  • Article 33: The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
  • Article 37(1): Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council.
  • Article 37(2): If the Security Council deems that the continuance of the dispute is in fact likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it shall decide whether to take action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it may consider appropriate.
  • Article 39: The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
  • Article 41: The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its' decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, or other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
  • Article 42: Should the Security Council consider that the measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
  • Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security . Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice is also clear. For instance, it stated in its ruling against United States intervention in Nicaragua;

In any event, while the United States might form its own appraisal of the situation as to respect for human rights in Nicaragua, the use of force could not be the appropriate method to monitor or ensure such respect. With regard to the steps actually taken, the protection of human rights, a strictly humanitarian objective, cannot be compatible with the mining of ports, the destruction of oil installations, or again with the training, arming and equipping of the contras.


It should be also noted that the preliminary decision of the World Court last year in Yugoslavia's case against 10 NATO countries, including Canada, does not in the slightest contradict this. As Mr. Matas has pointed out to you in his statement, this decision was taken on purely jurisdictional grounds, first the United States' shameful refusal to recognize the World Court's jurisdiction in general, and second Canada's objection to jurisdiction in this specific case. But it is worth quoting some paragraphs from the decision of the Court:

  • 15. Whereas the Court is deeply concerned with the human tragedy, the loss of life, and the enormous suffering in Kosovo which form the background of the present dispute, and with the continuing loss of life and human suffering in all parts of Yugoslavia;
  • 16. Whereas the Court is profoundly concerned with the use of force in Yugoslavia; whereas under the present circumstances such use raises very serious issues of international law;
  • 17. Whereas the Court is mindful of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and of its own responsibilities in the maintenance of peace an security under the Charter and the Statue of the court;
  • 18. Whereas the Court deems it necessary to emphasize that all parties appearing before it must act in conformity with their obligations under the United Nations Charter and other rules of international law, including humanitarian law.

[CASE CONCERNING LEGALITY OF USE OF FORCE (YUGOSLAVIA v. CANADA) International Court of Justice, 2 June 1999]

To sum up, in the case of NATO's war on Yugoslavia, neither of the two exclusive bases for the use of force (Security Council authorization or self-defence) was even claimed by NATO.

As a violation of the United Nations Charter, the attack on Yugoslavia was also a violation of the NATO Treaty itself and Canada's own domestic law.

The NATO Treaty (1949), so far as is relevant, reads as follows:

[Preamble]: The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.

  • Article 1: The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain n their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
  • Article 7: This treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.

The Canada Defence Act, in so far as relevant reads as follows:

  • 31. (1) the Governor in Council may place the Canadian forces or any component, unit or other element thereof on active service anywhere in or beyond Canada at any time when it appears advisable to do so
  • (a) by reason of an emergency, for the defence of Canada; or
  • (b) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any other similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada.

The war's illegality is not disputed by any legal scholar of repute, even those who had some sympathy for the war- for instance, Mr. Mendes in his presentation to this Committee. Of course, Mr. Mendes calls this a "fatal flaw" in the UN Charter. I don't believe it is a "flaw" at all, for reasons I'll elaborate. But I don't think the seriousness of this can be glossed over one bit; the flagrant violation of the law by our government is no small thing. Democracy is quite simply meaningless if governments feel they can violate the law with impunity.

Humanitarian Justification

We all know that the leaders of the NATO countries sought to justify this war as a humanitarian intervention in defence of a vulnerable population - the Kosovo Albanians - threatened with mass atrocities.

A lot turns on this claim, but NOT the illegality of the war. In fact, the reason why there is such unanimity among scholars on the illegality of this war is that there is no "humanitarian exception" under international law or the United Nations Charter. That does not mean that there are no means for the international community to intervene to prevent or stop humanitarian disasters, even to use force where necessary. It just means that the use of force for humanitarian purposes has been totally absorbed in the UN Charter. A state must be able to demonstrate the humanity of its' proposed intervention to the UN Security Council, including, of course, the five permanent members possessing a veto. Nor has the Security Council shown itself to be incapable of acting in these situations. It issued numerous resolutions authorizing action in this conflict. (Resolutions 1160, 1199, 1203 during 1998 and Resolutions 1239 and 1244 during 1999, the last of which brought an end to the bombing)

The Security Council has also shown itself capable of authorizing the use of force; for example, its' authorization of "all necessary means" to restore the sovereignty of Kuwait in Resolution 678 passed 11/29/90, which gave Iraq until 1/15/91 to withdraw. Bombing by the Americans commenced on 1/16/91.

But NATO did not even move a Resolution before the Security Council over Kosovo. Nor did it use the alternative means of demonstrating to the international community the necessity for its' use of force in the General Assembly's "Uniting for Peace" (Resolution 1950), which allows the General Assembly to recommend action to the Security Council if two-thirds of those present and voting agree:

"...(The General Assembly) Resolves that if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its' primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security."

There are 2 basic reasons why these procedures were not utilized by NATO in this case. In the first place, the most plausible explanation for this whole war was that it was, at its' foundation, nothing less than an attempt by the United States, through NATO, to overthrow the authority of the United Nations. In the second place, NATO could never have demonstrated a humanitarian justification for what it was doing- because, it had none.

In law, as in morals, it is not enough for a humanitarian justification to be CLAIMED; it must also be DEMONSTRATED. To use an odious example, but one which makes the point clearly enough, Hitler himself used a humanitarian justification for invading Poland and unleashing WW II: he claimed he was doing it to protect the German minority from oppression by the Poles.

In the case of NATO, what had to justified as a humanitarian intervention was a bombing campaign that, in dropping 25,000 bombs on Yugoslavia, directly killed between 500 and 1800 civilian children, women, and men of all ethnicities, and permanently injured many others; a bombing campaign that caused 60 to 100 billion dollars damage to an already impoverished country; a bombing campaign that directly and indirectly caused a refugee crisis of enormous proportions, with about one million people fleeing Kosovo during these attacks; a bombing campaign that indirectly caused the death of thousands more, by provoking the brutal retaliatory and defensive measures that are inevitable when a war of this kind and intensity is undertaken, and by giving a free hand to extremists on both sides to vent their hatred. What also has to be justified is the ethnic cleansing that has occurred in Kosovo since the entry of the triumphant KLA, fully backed by NATO's might, which has seen hundreds of thousands of Serb (and Roma and Jewish) citizens of Kosovo driven out, and hundreds murdered as well- a murder rate that is about 10 times the Canadian rate per capita.

These results were to be expected and they were predicted by NATO's military and political advisors in their very careful planning of this war which went back more than a year before the bombings commenced.

A humanitarian justification would have to show that this disaster was outweighed by a greater disaster that was about to happen and would have happened but for this intervention. The evidence for this, which must be carefully scrutinized by this Committee, is meagre to say the least.

Nobody could seriously maintain that the conditions for a repeat of the Bosnian bloodbath were there: this was not an all-out civil war with well-armed parties of roughly equal strength on each side and huge ethnic enclaves fighting for their existence. These conditions simply did not exist in Kosovo prior to these bombings.

Nor did the facts indicate a humanitarian disaster would have occurred but for NATO's bombing. A total of approximately 2000 people had been killed on both sides in the prior two years of fighting between KLA and the Serbs, and violence was declining with the presence of UN observers. The alleged massacre of 45 ethnic Albanians at Racak, Yugoslavia, must be regarded with the greatest suspicions, not only because of the circumstances, but because of involvement of the American emissary Mr. William Walker, with his history of covert and illegal activities on behalf of the Americans in Latin America.

Nor is the Report recently released by OSCE of much value in assessing the situation, since it was written and paid for by the NATO countries themselves.

Even more importantly, the evidence is overwhelming that NATO did not make serious efforts at averting a disaster and was not at all serious about peace.

If we look at the Rambouillet negotiations, a number of perplexing questions are raised: why was the irredentist and insurrectionary KLA preferred as NATO interlocutor to the only popularly-elected leader, the moderate Ibrahim Rugova? Why, for that matter, was Rugova ignored during the war? Why did the US insist on a secret annex to the Rambouillet Accord (Appendix B) that would have allowed it to occupy all of Serbia? Why did the final peace agreement look so much like what the Serbs had agreed to before the bombings? Do we really think that NATO could not have put the 10 billion dollars ( worth of bombs it dropped) to working out and underwriting a peace agreement that would have accommodated and protected all sides, if it were only interested in humanity- and not war?

Why are NATO countries so unwilling to spend money on reconstruction of Kosovo, claiming that they have run out of money, with less than 1 billion dollars spent?

And where, to resolve these enormous doubts about whether NATO acted out of humanitarian motives this time, is the evidence that these people have ever acted from humanitarian motives before?

With such huge holes in its' argument. we are entitled to examine the leopard on his spots. What about the failure to intervene with force in Rwanda? What about the United States' own bankrolling of the repressive Suharto regime in Indonesia? What about Turkey's violent repression of the Kurds, a humanitarian disaster that has claimed 30,000 lives, not 2000?

What about the United States itself? The richest country in the world which creates social conditions so violent and racist that its' normal murder rate is in the realm of 20,000 per year, almost as high, per capita, as Kosovo is RIGHT NOW - the same United States that puts two or three people to death by lethal injection every week.

NATO has no humanitarian lessons to teach the world.

Finally, and very importantly, we must ask some serious questions about the way in which this supposed humanitarian intervention was handled. With Albanian citizens of Kosovo supposedly in the hands of genocidal maniacs, NATO gave five days warning between the withdrawal of the OSCE observers and the launch of the attack. This was followed by seven days of bombing by NATO that mostly ignored Kosovo itself. In other words, these tactics were an INVITATION to genocide that was not accepted, but one that also was guaranteed to produce a refugee flow to legitimate a massive bombing campaign.

As Ambassador Bissett told this committee last week, that NATO leaders have no respect for the truth should startle no one. What of the claim by Jamie Shea that it was the Serbs who bombed the Albanian refugee convoy? (until independant journalists found bomb fragments marked, "Made in USA")

What of the claim by a NATO general, with video up on the screen, that the passenger train on the Grdelica bridge was going too fast to avoid being hit? (until somebody pointed out that the video had been speeded up three times its' normal speed)

What of the claim that the Chinese embassy was bombed because NATO's maps were out of date?

What of the claims by Mr. Clinton (and Mrs. Clinton) and Mr. Cohen that a "Holocaust" was occurring in which perhaps 100,000 men from Kosovo had been murdered? (until the bombing was over and the numbers dwindled down to 2108- and we have yet to be told who they were and how they died)

In fact, most people in the world simply do not believe NATO's claim of humanitarianism.

A poll taken in mid-April and published by The Economist shows that this was a very unpopular war, opposed by perhaps most of the world's population both outside and inside the NATO alliance. ("Oh what a lovely war!", The Economist, April 24, 1999, showing more than a third opposed in Canada, Poland, Germany, France and Finland, almost an even split in Hungary, an even split in Italy and a majority opposed in the Czech Republic, Russia and Taiwan) A poll taken in Greece between April 29th and May 5th showed 99.5% against the war, 85% believing NATO's motives to be strategic and not humanitarian, and, most importantly, 69% in favour of charging Bill Clinton with war crimes, 35.2% for charging Tony Blair and only 14% for charging Slobodan Milosevic, not far from the 13% in favour of charging NATO general Wesley Clark and 9.6% for charging NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. ("Majority in Greece wants Clinton tried for war crimes", The Irish Times, May 27, 1999).

Much more plausible than the humanitarian thesis is the one that the United States deliberately provoked this war, that it deliberately exploited and exacerbated another country's tragedy - a tragedy partly of its own creation (we should not forget that the West's aggressive and purely selfish economic policies that have beggared Yugoslavia over the last ten years). NATO exists to make war, not peace. The arms industry exists to make profits from dropping bombs. And the United States, by virtue of its military might dominates NATO the way it does not dominate the United Nations. The most plausible explanation then is that this attack was not about the Balkans at all. It was an attempt to overthrow the authority of the United Nations and make NATO, and therefore the United States, the world's supreme authority, to establish the "precedent" that NATO politicians have been talking about since the bombing stopped. To give the United States the free hand that the United Nations does not, in its conflicts with the Third World and its rivalries with Russia, China and even Europe.

In other words, this was not a case of the United Nations being an obstacle to humanitarianism. It was a case of using a flimsy pretext of humanitarianism to overthrow the United Nations.

Not only was this an illegal war that had no humanitarian justification. It was a war pursued by illegal means. According to admissions made in public throughout the war (for instance during NATO briefings), according to eye-witness reports and according to powerful circumstantial evidence displayed on the world's television screens throughout the bombing campaign - evidence good enough to convict in any criminal court in the world - these NATO leaders deliberately and illegally made targets of places and things with on ly tenuous or slight military value or no military value at all. Places such as city bridges, factories, hospitals, marketplaces, downtown and residential neighbourhoods, and television studios. The same evidence shows that, in doing this, the NATO leaders aimed to demoralize and break the will of the people, not to defeat its army.

The American group Human rights Watch has just issued a lengthy report documenting a systematic and massive violation of international humanitarian law by NATO in Yugoslavia. They estimate the civilian victims to be about 500. This figure should be taken as a minimum because it is a number Human Rights Watch says it can independently confirm and that can be attributed directly to the bombing. It excludes persons known to be killed as an indirect result of the bombing. every benefit of the doubt is given to NATO, a fact exemplified by the Report's puzzling and actually undefended distinction between these grave "violations of humanitarian law" and "war crimes". Human Rights Watch has also documented the use of anti-personnel cluster bombs in attacks on civilian targets.

The reason these civilian targets are illegal is that civilians are very likely to be killed or injured when such targets are hit. And all of the NATO leaders knew that. They were carefully told that by their military planners. And they still went ahead and did it.

And they did it without any risk to themselves or to their soldiers and pilots. That's why this war was called a "coward's war". The cowardice lay in fighting the civilian population and not the military, in bombing from altitudes so high that the civilians, Serbians, Albanians, Roma, and anybody else on the ground, bore all the risks of the "inevitable collateral damage".

War Crimes Charges before the International Tribunal

But the fact that this war was illegal and unjustified has further very serious implications. Mr. Chretien, Mr. Axworthy and Mr. Eggleton, along with all the other NATO leaders, planned and executed a bombing campaign that they knew was illegal and that they knew would cause the death and permanent injury of thousands of civilian children, women and men. Hard as it is for us to accept, or even to say, killing hundreds or thousands of civilians knowingly and without lawful excuse is nothing less than mass murder. Milosevic was indicted the The Hague for 385 victims . . . (NATO) killed between 500 and 1800 (civilians).

That is why, starting in April of last year and continuing to the present day, dozens of lawyers and law professors, a pan-American association representing hundreds of jurists, some elected legislators, and thousands of private citizens from around the world, have lodge formal complaints with the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague charging NATO leaders with war crimes.

The particular compliant I am involved in was filed in May, 1999 and names 68 ministers of the 19 NATO countries (including US President Bill Clinton, Secretaries Cohen and Albright, Canadian Prime Minister Chretien, Ministers Axworthy and Eggleton and so on down the list), and the highest ranking of NATO officials, from then Secretary General Javier Solana, through Generals Wesley Clark, Michael Short, and official spokesman Jamie Shea.

The charges against NATO leaders include the following:

Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, contrary to article 2 of the Statue of the Tribunal, namely the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention: (a) willful killing; (c) willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health; (d) extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

Violations of the laws or customs of war, contrary to Article 3 namely: (a) employment of poisonous weapons or other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering; (b) wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity; (c) attack, or bombardment, by whatever means, of undefended towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings; (d) seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science.

Crimes against humanity contrary to Article 5, namely; (a) murder; (i) other inhumane acts.

Article 7 or the Statute provides for "individual criminal responsibility" thus:

  • 1. A person who planned instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime referred to in articles 2 to 5 of the present Statute, shall be individually responsible for the crime.
  • 2. The official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility or mitigate punishment.
  • 3. The fact that any of the acts referred to in articles 2 to 5 of the present Statute was committed by a subordinate does not relieve his superior of criminal responsibility if he knew or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof.

We have been in frequent contact with the Tribunal, travelling to the Hague twice to argue our case with Chief Prosecutors Louise Arbour and Carla Del Ponte and their legal advisers, filing evidence, legal briefs and arguments in support of the case. I am filing with this Committee a book of the evidence we have filed with the tribunal. I understand that you already have the two volumes prepared by the government of Yugoslavia. I would point out that these volumes have been confirmed as "largely credible" by the Human Rights Watch Report.

Recently, Justice Del Ponte disclosed that she was studying an internal document analyzing the many claims that have been made against NATO. My latest word from her (February 8) is that she is still studying the case.

Justice Del Ponte has said that if she is not prepared to prosecute NATO she should pack up and go home, and I have to agree with her, because, in that case, the tribunal would be doing far more harm than good, only legitimating NATO's violent lawlessness against people unlucky enough to be ruled by "indicted war criminals", as opposed to the un-indicted kind that govern the NATO countries.

This was the very purpose for which the United States sponsored this tribunal in the first place, at least according to Michael Scharf, Attorney-Advisor with the US State Department, who, under Madeleine Albright's instructions, actually drafted the Security Council resolution establishing the Tribunal.

"the tribunal was widely perceived within the government as little more than a public relations device and as a potentially useful policy tool... Indictments also would serve to isolate offending leaders diplomatically, strengthen the hand of their domestic rivals and fortify the international political will to employ economic sanctions or use of force" (The Washington Post, October 3, 1999)

I must confess that my colleagues and I and the thousands of others who have complained to the Tribunal have grave doubts about its impartiality. We have given the benefit of every doubt even in the face of mounting evidence that it didn't deserve it: when, in January, 1999, then prosecutor Judge Louise Arbour made a rather dramatic appearance at the border of Kosovo, lending credibility to contested American accounts of atrocities at Racak, a precipitating justification of the war itself; when, only days after the bombing had commenced, she made an announcement of the Arkan indictment that had been secret from 1997; when she made television appearances with NATO leader Robin Cook, already the subject of numerous complaints during the war to receive war crimes dossiers; when she met with Madeleine Albright, herself by then the subject of well-grounded complaints before the tribunal, and Albright took the opportunity to announce that the United States was the major provider of funds to the indictment of Milosevic, on the basis of undisclosed evidence, for Racak and events which had occurred only six weeks earlier in the middle of a war zone - on what, in other words, must have been very flimsy and suspicious evidence; and when, at the conclusion of the bombing Judge Arbour handed over the investigation of war crimes in Kosovo to NATO countries' police forces themselves - notwithstanding that they had every motive to falsify the evidence.

I am sad to say, because the former prosecutor is now a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada and an old colleague and friend of mine, of whom we all want to be proud, that these could not be regarded as the acts of an impartial prosecutor. Not when NATO was in the midst of a disastrous war in flagrant violation of international law.

We sincerely hoped for better things from Judge Del Ponte coming as she did from a country outside of the NATO alliance. But our expectations have been progressively lowered. First, when she declared, immediately upon taking the job, that her priorities were the prosecution of Milosevic, something which clearly suited the NATO countries but which, as we told her in November, could in no way be compatible with her sworn duties. A prosecutor cannot declare that she is going to concentrate only on some crimes and grant effective immunity to other criminals. Then, when she made the observation that she was indeed investigating complaints against NATO, and NATO reacted in its typically outrageous fashion by attacking the Tribunal, Judge Del Ponte quickly issued unseemly appeasing statements and went on a conciliatory mission to Brussels.

I am saying all this to put the Committee on guard against delegating its own judgment to this Tribunal which was set up as an instrument of the United States foreign policy and has given us so many grounds to suspect that it sees itself the same way. Whatever this Tribunal decides to do or not to do, it is incumbent on this Committee to scrutinize its reasons and the evidence with the utmost care.

Let me end by citing to you the words of Justice Robert Jackson from his opening statement to the Nuremberg Tribunal on November 21, 1945:

"But the ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars, which are inevitable in a a system of international lawlessness, is to make statesmen responsible to law. And let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment. We are able to do away with domestic tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of their own people only when we make all men answerable to the law." (The Nuremberg Case As Presented by Robert H. Jackson, Chief Counsel for the United States (New York; Cooper Square Publishers Inc, 1971) at page 93)

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