My Letter Published in the Wall Street Journal : Bob Dole’s Corrupted Opinion on Bosnia
By Julia Goran 03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011
Below is the original version of my letter that the Wall Street Journal published today. Because of space considerations, there was no room for the whole story on Dole’s sordid machinations in the Balkans, which the version below details:
It was a perverse Orwellianism to see Bob Dole opining on Bosnia in the Wall Street Journal (“Bosnia and American Exceptionalism,” Oct. 23). He was criticizing President Obama for not demonstrating the traditional U.S. “leadership” in the region — that is, urging greater centralization of government in the 44% Muslim country, and strong-arming those “recalcitrant” Serbs in the direction that the country’s Muslim leadership wants to go.
For a snapshot of the Bosnia Mr. Dole hopes American leadership has created, he should look at Sarajevo, where the long tradition of Grandfather Frost — a non-denominational Santa — was recently banned from schools and exclusively Islamic education introduced, while Sharia police crack down on hand-holding couples and pig-shaped toys in malls. Such is the “democratic development” that Mr. Dole worries will be impeded by a more loosely organized system among the Croats, Serbs and Muslims.
He goes on to lament that “The current [U.S. and EU-sponsored] reform package will vindicate Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in his years-long, nationalist campaign to weaken and undermine the state of Bosnia…”
It’s interesting to see how Milorad Dodik went from being a Western favorite to being — what else — a Serbian “nationalist.” We saw the same labeling arch with Milosevic’s pro-Western, U.S.-backed successor Vojislav Kostunica. When this Constitutional scholar didn’t bend to our will on the illegal Kosovo secession, by 2005 he too was a “nationalist” according to our bureaucrats. Indeed, the man whom Bill Clinton declared a partner for peace at the 1995 Dayton Accords was none other than Slobodan Milosevic. But by 1999 we needed this multiculti socialist trying to keep the union together to become a virulent “nationalist” so that we could label as “ethnic cleansing” his belated crackdown targeting the cop-killing, civilian-dismembering, Albanian terrorists known as our friends the KLA.
Specifically, the “ethnic cleansing” was what we called the Yugoslav Army’s temporarily clearing out civilians from areas where they’d get caught in the crossfire, and then it’s what we called the Albanians, Serbs and everyone else running from our bombs.
If there is one place on earth where the opposite of “American exceptionalism” is on display it’s the Balkans. The Dayton Accords that Bob Dole, like every other politician, cites as American leadership that “ended the war” and “brought peace” in fact achieved the same result that the 1992 Lisbon Agreement — signed by Bosnia’s Serbs, Muslims and Croats — was about to achieve without bloodshed. But our ambassador Warren Zimmermann flew to Sarajevo with a wink and a nod to the fundamentalist Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic by essentially telling him, “You know, you don’t have to settle for that; you can get more.” Confident that he had Western backing, Izetbegovic promptly removed his signature and the war was on. This is well known among diplomatic circles from that time.
There is perhaps no harder realization or admission for any patriotic American to make than to understand that U.S. leadership is what ensured the horrific Bosnian war. America simply wasn’t America in the 1990s, when we stoked and joined an aggressive war against a natural post-Cold War ally — indeed our ally from two world wars — with one goal being to win over a new global enemy, and reassure the Muslim world after Desert Storm. Yugoslavia had been the most Western-facing, Hollywood-devouring country in the Communist Bloc next to Poland, and it was useful to us against Soviet Russia — while it was useful to us. Afterwards, it went on the chopping block.
If there is one place that calls for “multilateralism” and “dialogue” — which Mr. Dole urges Obama against — it’s the Balkans. And if there is one thing Obama is doing right, despite his VP’s violent Balkans record which Mr. Dole hails ( “All Serbs should be placed in Nazi-style concentration camps,” and “Serbs are illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists” — “Larry King”, Aug 1, 1993), it’s that an American president is finally listening to the very real concerns of Serbs sharing power with a Muslim majority — rather than consistently spitting into Serbian faces the way Mr. Dole is used to America operating in the Balkans. Naturally, Mr. Dole calls this unusual non-hostility “empowering the Serb entity.”
About that entity, he should try talking to a true Muslim reformer in Bosnia rather than the closet radicals we like to back. His name is Dzevad Galijasevic and in Sept. 2008 he said, “[The] Serb Republic is the better half of Bosnia…That is how it has to stay, because that is the only way that at least half of Bosnia remains unwelcoming for operatives, terrorists and al-Qaeda criminal[s].” This is because, as Galijasevic has been screaming from the rooftops, the Bosnian-Muslim third of the presidency, Haris Silajdzic, nurtures Wahhabists and harbors terrorists. Had Mr. Dole been following the Balkans at all, he would also know that increasing numbers of Serb-loathing Croatians are scampering out of Sarajevo and moving to the Serb Republic. Indeed, the Croatians are calling for a separation from Bosnia’s Croat-Muslim Federation, to have an entity of their own like the Serb Republic. But it’s understandable that Mr. Dole, like the other architects of our “successes” in Bosnia, doesn’t want to see the charade fall apart.
Mr. Dole writes that in Bosnia “a country and its people were under attack,” perpetuating the popular mythology that Bosnian Muslims, like Catholic Croatians, were responding to some kind of aggression by Yugoslavia. Aside from underscoring that our foreign policy elite is unable to grasp the basic concept that you can’t “invade” your own country, the easily followable chronology shows that the multi-ethnic Yugoslav Army responded to illegal secessions and border usurpations by Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia — entities that wanted to have their own countries, where their race or religion would reign supreme. That is not an assessment — it is documented fact, and was stated by the then leaders of those republics, by their publics, and by the discriminatory laws on their books.
In both Croatia and Bosnia, regions of Serbs who had been there for generations suddenly found themselves no longer in Yugoslavia, but at the mercy of the Croatians and Bosnians who exterminated their families in Croatia’s Jasenovac camp, the third-largest and conspicuously never mentioned concentration camp system of WWII. Naturally, these Serbian populations wanted to remain part of multi-ethnic UN member Yugoslavia. Survival dictated that they secede from the secessionists. Hence, war.
The US actively aided the supremacist designs of our old WWII Croatian and Albanian enemies — with weapons, military strategists, money and mujahedeen —alongside Iran and bin Laden himself, as the record shows, available even at the time. We then cleverly inverted the roles of aggressor and responder. It worked brilliantly every time. Because us exceptional Americans just can’t be bothered with figuring out the Balkans, and so our bureaucrats and “leaders” like Bob Dole have the continued luxury of operating in the shadows.
Very much like the Dole-praised Joe Biden and Richard Holbrooke, who called Serbs “murderous a**holes,” Mr. Dole’s own blind hatred for the Serbs was on display via his wife, who as president of the American Red Cross refused to leave any supplies for Serbian babies at the sanctions-starved Serbian hospitals as her convoys made their Serb-approved way through Serbia to the Bosnian Muslims.
More directly, and more disturbingly, Mr. Dole’s own anti-Serbism was bought and paid for going back to the 1970s and culminating in his unsuccessful 1986 Senate Resolution No. 150 decrying Yugoslavian repression of Kosovo Albanians — which is what we called the boycott of Yugoslav institutions by the Albanians building up a parallel system in preparation for a turf war of their own. In these parallel institutions, the Serbian language was banned, Serbian books burned and Serbian workers fired. Our major newspapers reported on the oft-declared nationalist goal to secede and create a Greater Albania, and on the violent intimidation — which included rape as a tool — that was causing an exodus of Serbs and others from Kosovo. This was while the province still enjoyed autonomous status and Slobodan Milosevic hadn’t even consolidated power to make a bid for presidency.
In 1987 Mr. Dole received $1.2 million from Albanian-Americans for his unsuccessful 1988 campaign against George Bush Sr. Albanian PAC money helped carry him and his wife through their 1996 and 2000 campaigns, respectively. In a July 1999 article, a researcher and Vietnam vet named Benjamin Works noted that “most of the Congressmen speaking loudest against Serbia and Serbs are those receiving money from [Joe] DioGuardi’s PAC,” referring to the Republican former Congressman (and father of “Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi), who after his congressional defeat discovered his Albanian roots and became Albanian for a living.
Warning against the creation of “mono-ethnic conclaves,” Mr. Dole writes that “preserving and defending our values at home and promoting them abroad are essential to protecting our national interests.” This, after leading the way in creating an all but mono-ethnic second Albanian state, where after our intervention even the most basic of American values — rule of law — doesn’t exist. Instead, the Americans and other internationals operating there are being corrupted or blackmailed into falling in line with the thugocracy that we bolstered.
It’s also worth mentioning that a Dole staffer advising the then congressman on foreign policy was a Croatian woman named Mira Baratta, granddaughter of an officer of the Ustasha regime (the Nazis’ Croatian incarnation) and daughter of Petar Radielovic, who called Croatian Fuehrer Ante Pavelic “the greatest man in Croatian history” — and who in 1985 defended Andrija Artukovic, “the Himmler of the Balkans” at his L.A. trial. Artukovic had said, “Kill all Serbs and Jews including children so that not even the seeds of the beasts are left.” Baratta helped frame a 1995 Senate bill lifting the U.S. arms embargo against Croatia and Bosnia, and even advocated for the Albanian cause against the Serbs. To quote Richard Perle, “Other than Richard Holbrooke, Baratta has been the most influential individual in shaping U.S. policy” in the Balkans.
But again, money played a role. A March 1993 issue of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy quoted a congressional investigator saying that Croatian lobbies spent more than $50 million on Capitol Hill in two years. He added, “Elected officials are being told to either support the Croatian line or face either a removal of funding or are told that funding will be given to their opponents. Or they are literally bribed into supporting the Croatian line. This was going on long before Croatia even made its open bid for recognition as an independent state.”
This sheds light on what former Senate Republican Foreign Policy Committee analyst James Jatras once told me about how when he would schedule meetings on Capitol Hill in the early 90s, to call attention to documented evidence and photos of some of the suffering in Yugoslavia, he would get the meetings easily enough. But when he would reveal that the victims of the slaughter and rape were Bosnian or Croatian Serbs, the doors would shut in his face:
Near the early stages of the Bosnia war — this would have been in late 1992 or early 1993 — Bishop Atanasije of Trebinje (in Herzegovina), whose diocese includes Mostar, visited me at my Senate office. He came with massive documentation of atrocities committed against his people by a militia under the command of [Croatian] Dobroslav Paraga, whose movement openly patterns itself on the WWII Ustashe. These included murders, arson, torture and rape in concentration camps. I phoned a number of Congressional offices (don’t remember which ones) and media (I do remember Washington Times), telling them I had a bishop from Bosnia with information about war crimes and human rights abuses. Their response was one of positive interest until it became clear we were talking about Serbian victims. At that point the tone of conversation changed to one of hesitancy, coupled with some lame excuse why a meeting would not be possible.
Italian General Mauro Del Vecchio told Italy’s “Panorama” publication earlier this year about the same phenomenon in Kosovo:
[D]uring the first three weeks of the [Kosovo] mandate “reports on the found bodies of killed Serbs and Romas arrived on his table each morning”, but that was a taboo topic they were not allowed to speak about with journalists…”The killing continued later but not so frequently. Those that have not fled Kosovo were under permanent risk to be killed or raped. Deserted Serbian houses were leveled to the ground or set on fire. Albanians were attacking the churches and monasteries, too. Their goal was to erase every trace of the Serbian presence in Kosovo,” Del Vecchio said…
As Mr. Works summarized, “All along it has been the ethnic nationalist fascist losers of World War II in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo who have been exploiting the political process in Germany and the United States. Their goal has been to effect the division of Yugoslavia and the cleansing of Serbian populations from their territories, while purporting that ‘Greater Serbia’ was the menace to European security and not the post-fascist ‘Greater Croatia’ and ‘Greater Albania.’”
Given that Mr. Dole fought in WWII, he should be familiar with the Serbian name Draza Mihailovic, the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist Serbian guerilla commander whose men saved 513 downed American pilots in 1944 and who graced the cover of Time magazine in 1942. Shame on Bob Dole for allowing himself to be co-opted to the other side by Nazi dollars and descendants.
Mr. Dole quotes Madeleine Albright about America being “the indispensable nation,” but it’s thanks to their ilk that America won’t remain such for long. He can thank himself for helping knock America down from exceptionalism to a for-sale thug like the rest.
As for the Journal, might it have been relevant to mention in Mr. Dole’s bio that he gets a paycheck from a law firm whose senior policy advisor worked for the Bosnian-Muslims and Kosovo Albanians — and has been Dole’s foreign policy advisor since 1999? See Marshall F. Harris, of Alston & Bird LLP.