[First it was Carla Del Ponte in her tell-all book and now this. The truth comes out.]
Former US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith who testified before the Hague tribunal on Monday, confirmed that ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Serbian Krajina region was a deliberate systematic operation and the state policy of Croat leadership, headed by Franjo Tudjman, which led to the mass scale ethnic cleansing in two blitzkrieg operations in 1995, codenamed Storm and Flash.
As a prosecution witness in the case against Tudjman’s generals Ante Gotovina, Mladen Markaca and Ivan Cermak — accused of conducting military operations aimed at forced and permanent removal of Serbian population from the Krajina region, including killing Serbian civilians and prisoners, expulsion, deportation, plunder of Serbian property, merciless destruction of Serbian-populated towns and villages and inhumane and cruel treatment — Galbraith stressed that this was Croatia’s state policy that continued to be enforced afterwards, preventing the expelled Serbs from returning to their homes and land in Croatia.
According to Galbraith, the systematic destruction and plunder of the Serbian property during the Storm, as well as prevention of their return, through the legal and other means undertaken after the operation, took place “because Croat state leadership — Tudjman and the gang around him — wanted it to happen, and they were happy when it did happen”.
“Once the Serbs were gone, Tudjman didn’t want them to return”, American diplomat said, adding that Croat state enacted legal measures to prevent the return of the expelled and refugees.
“The systematic destruction of Krajina was either ordered or permitted, but in any case, this was intended by the Croat leadership. I believe this was a deliberate policy of Zagreb government,” Galbraith stressed.
He said that Croat war-time president Tudjman, during their numerous meetings before the Operation Storm, was not hiding the fact he considers Serbian population in Krajina region “a strategic threat” to Croatia. His adviser Hrvoje Sarinic called Serbian population in Croatia a “cancer on Croatia’s belly”, US diplomat noted.
Galbraith confirmed that Tudjman was saying that only “up to 10 percent of Serbs can remain in Croatia”, and that Serbian Krajina region ought to be cleansed of Serbs and populated by the diaspora Croats. Emphasizing that his goal was a nationally “homogeneous”, i.e. an ethnically clean state, Tudjman was also openly advocating “moving the population” and dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Galbraith revealed.
He testified that right after the military offensive on Serbian Krajina began, on August 4, 1995, the mass “torching and pillaging” of the Serbian towns and villages also started. He had personally witnessed these crimes and knows these were not merely “isolated incidents”, as Croats refer to them, but organized, massive action, planned at the very top of Croat political and military leadership.
GALBRAITH REGRETS LYING DURING MILOSEVIC’S TRIAL
Mass ethnic cleansing of Serbian population from Krajina in Croatia — Operation Storm — remains the biggest single act of ethnic cleansing committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia, with over 300,000 Serbs being forced to flee, while more than 14,000 Serbian civilians were killed. It was, therefore, quite convenient that US State Department’s Madeleine Albright had miraculously discovered, at the very moment Croats were “purifying” their state, that Serbs have committed a “genocide” in Srebrenica a whole month earlier, so that the focus of the world public could be successfully and instantly taken off the genocidal Croat state.
During his Hague testimony on June 23, Galbraith expressed regret he had lied in the trial against former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, claiming that there was no ethnic cleansing during Operation Storm. He said that this was a “technical explanation”, because many Serbs left the town of Knin before the savage Croat troops entered (compared to hyenas by a senior British officer who, after his peacekeeping service in Bosnia, said he “would rather find Serbs under his command, as they could be counted on to fight to the last man [while] Croats were no more dependable or courageous than hyenas”).
Elsewhere, it was noted that the US State Department representative was present the entire time during Galbraith’s testimony, sitting behind the prosecutor, with the task to oversee American diplomat’s testimony and prevent him from touching upon the subjects which involve the US role in purging Croatia of Serbs.