Interview of Ambassador Sacirbey about recent development of the past events regarding BiH, Croatia and Iran.
1. Are you aware of the meeting between Silajdzic and Granic that Misic cites in his interview?
Answer: No and it does strike me as unusual. I was present at numerous meetings involving Presidents Izetbegovic and Tudzman and Foreign Minister Granic and Prime Minister Silajdzic. Here, I should emphasize that at that time, Dr. Silajdzic I believe was Prime Minister rather than Foreign Minister, as Misic asserts. I was Ambassador at the UN at the time, and I would think that I would have been present or that Ivan Misic would have informed me since he was my deputy. It could be that this was something that he kept secret from me, but would then Haris let Misic know but not me?
2. Was there ever such an understanding between Croatia, BiH and Iran? Some have speculated that in return for facilitating deliveries to BiH, Croatia also received a commitment from Iranian Foreign Minister Veleyatti to receive weapons necessary to liberate its territory.
Answer: It would be inappropriate for me to comment beyond that whatever existed was fully known by BiH's western allies. Around the same time, in October of 1994, during the session of the UN General Assembly, in the basement of the United Nations standing outside of a conference room, Holbrooke told Pres. Izetbegovic, Prime Minister Silajdzic and myself that, we " must stop pressing in the US Congress, including the Dole, Lieberman legislation, for lifting of the arms embargo." According to Holbrooke, this would create problems for the US in dealing with UK, France as well as Russia. Rather, we would be allowed to "receive weapons from any source necessary, including Iran, for BiH's defense"
And, I don't see any reason why we would not have taken any opportunity we could to follow Amb. Holbrooke's offer. By then, I had already formally advised the UN Security Council that BiH did not consider the arms embargo to be legally valid or morally legitimate. It prevented BiH, now a sovereign member state, from defending its territory or protecting its people against genocide.
The Iran of 2007 is perceived very differently from the Iran of 1994, and some might be now trying to connect the defense of BiH as well as Croatia, to today's notions of Islamic radicalism. We can only thank Amb. Holbrooke, in 1994, for being clear as to how BiH could be defended. It would be inappropriate though to make a connection to Iran as an exclsive factor in BiH's or Croatia's defense when states from the west and east were most important contributors.
3. What is Misic's motive then in alleging such a meeting and payments to Mate Granic?
Answer: This would be speculation in refuting Misic's allegations. While I'm not aware of any such payments for the benefit of a Croatian individual, I certainly cannot rule it out. Of course, nor will Dr. Silajdzic or Dr. Granic be in a position to defend themselves by having to prove a negative. The timing strikes me as not coincidental and the sums alleged, in my mind, seem amazing.
Maybe Dr. Silajdzic or Dr. Granic have fallen out of favor with some circles or are being pressured as to their credibility and political standing. Mr. Misic has developed a history of not only making allegations that are intended to conveniently damage the reputations and credibility of those who are targeted for disinformation, but at the behest of outside factors. Also, the sums of moneys involved according to Mr. Misic would have a tendency as well to grow with each testimony.
4. How is it that Mr. Misic feels secure in making such unsubstantiated allegations?
Answer: I don't understand either, unless Mr. Misic feels secure with patrons able to protect him from both political and judicial consequences. Then though, as Chief of the so-called anti-terrorist task force, he felt secure to send 6 people to Guantanamo, (after trying according to his own words to send them to Algeria first), in contradiction to the Constitution of BiH and the European Convention of Human Rights. There, of course, was also a criminal violation, legally labelled in similar cicumstances in Italy and Germany as "kidnapping" regardless of alleged motive. Ironically, BiH has been both sanctioned for this violative act and has accepted guilt for such violations. On the other hand, no BiH official, including Misic, (as Chief of such official, unofficial self defining authority as the anti-terrorist task force directly responsible for such violative acts), has been held accountable by the law. There has been no investigation, prosecution or judicial inquiry while Italy and Germany are criminal prosecuting people from their own intelligence and government services for such similar and lesser violations.
5. So who stands behind Misic according to you?
Answer: The same people who now make Guantanamo possible, but we will not see them. In America, they are called "spooks" which means ghosts. They are invisible until revealed.
6. Do you mean the US?
Answer: Even the US Courts do not have control over an apparatus that now yells "terrorism" whenever confronted regarding its abuses of our own American laws and values as well as international standards of humanitarian law. I have confidence in the US, that it will recover its soul and senses and that terrorism will be defeated by the inherent strengths of an open society.
But, what about Bosnia & Herzegovina?
How can BiH expect to become a partner in the Euro-Atlantic family when it dares not respond like Italy and Germany to even more serious violations of its own constitution and European laws. How can it be a partner when its own Constitution are manipulated by those that preach to the natives, "the rule of law"?
Maybe the new High Representative can set the right example by holding those accountable that act illegally, even when it is at the direction of those in theory responsible for helping guide BiH into a new period of legality and a Euro-Atlantic prospective. If not, then we might as well understand that this is again 1989, or maybe 1948. Purges are common in totalitarian systems and prosecutors and judges become the biggest puppets. In democracies, leaders are re-elected or sent to defeat and a quiet life, by the voters in fair elections.
It does not surprise me that Gen. Delic and his able counsel believe that he can receive a fair trial in the Hague rather than Sarajevo, a town he helped to defend and to survive. Now, Sarajevo and BiH are for someone else's agenda. We, BiH will be a 'banana republic" but without the bananas. I think it is important that no one makes monkeys of Bosnians and Herzegovinians in their own country.
As for whatever the history was between BiH, Croatia and Iran: what was defended was done by the sacrifice of BiH's own people and soldiers. I'm responsible for some things that need to be changed now. However, Dr. Silajdzic, dr. Granic nor I should have any regrets or shame about what was done to facilitate that defense. It may be someone else's agenda to turn defenders into felons, but Bosnians & Herzegovinans have no business being made into monkeys. My observation is that Croatia is more fortunate. It is avoiding the same manipulations even as it comes to terms with what it should critically address as well as honor of its recent past.
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
Formated for CROWN by Nenad Bach Distributed by www.Croatia.org This message is intended for Croatian Associations / Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions / articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please delete or destroy all copies of this communication and please, let us know! Or simply...enjoy and spread the word and good vibrations