Skip to comments.U.S. Mercenaries Accused of Abetting Genocide (MPRI)
Posted on 08/19/2010 1:49:34 PM PDT by Ravnagora
(CN) - A private U.S. defense contractor "trained and equipped the Croatian military for Operation Storm and designed the Operation Storm battle plan," which killed or displaced more than 200,000 Serbs in 1995, in the largest European land offensive since World War II, the Genocide Victims of Krajina say in Chicago Federal Court. They demand billions of dollars in damages from MPRI, founded by U.S. military officers who were "downsized" at the end of the Cold War, and L-3 Communications, which bought MPRI for $40 million in 2000.
"This is a class action brought by ethnic Serbs who resided in the Krajina region of Croatia up to August 1995 and who then became victims of the Croatian military assault known as Operation Storm - an aggressive, systematic military attack and bombardment on a demilitarized civilian population that had been placed under the protection of the United Nations," the 40-page complaint begins.
"Operation Storm was designed to kill or forcibly expel the ethnic Serbian residents of the Krajina region from Croatian territory, just because they were a minority religio-ethnic group. Defendant MPRI, a private military contractor subsequently acquired by Defendant L-3 Communications Inc., trained and equipped the Croatian military for Operation Storm and designed the Operation Storm battle plan. Operation Storm became the largest land offensive in Europe since World War II and resulted in the murder and inhumane treatment of thousands of ethnic Serbs, the forced displacement of approximately 200,000 ethnic Serbs from their ancestral homes in Croatian territory, and the pillaging and destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Serbian-owned property. The victims of Operation Storm and their heirs and next of kin herein claim that Defendants were complicit in genocide."
Two named plaintiffs, Milena Jovic and Zivka Mijic, describe what they suffered in the offensive.
Jovic says that as she and her husband and children fled the bombardment of Knin, on Aug. 4, 1995, "they saw dozens of bodies scattered throughout the streets and roads leading out of Knin and houses and buildings burning as a result of shelling with incendiary explosives. ... While driving through the Lika area in the Krajina region, the Jovic's refugee column was shelled by artillery, and bombed and strafed by Croatian military aircraft. People were wounded and dying all around them."
They escaped to Serbia, where they still live.
Mijic, who suffered the same attack, say she and her family was a neighbor "decapitated when struck by an artillery projectile ... and many other attacks by Croatian forces resulting in refugees being wounded and killed in their exodus from the Krajina."
They lived in a refugee camp in Kosovo, and were granted residency in the United States in July 2000.
They claim, for the class, the MPRI and L3 knew, or should have known, when they sought work as mercenaries in the former Yugoslavia, of the atrocities and war crimes that Croatians had committed against Serbs in World War II concentration camps, and in widely reported statements from Croatian officials, including its president, in the 1980s, as the violence in the former Yugoslavia intensified.
The United Nations in 1991 set up four protected areas - two of them in Krajina - to protect Croatian civilians from the Serbs. "The concern thus evidenced by the Security Council for the Serbian inhabitants of Krajina is objective proof of the imminence of hostilities coming from Croatia. This fact was known or reasonably should have been known to MPRI," according to the complaint.
"By October 1994, the accelerating campaign in Croatia to kill or oust all the Serbs in that country had focused intently upon the 200,000 Serbs living in the Krajina region. There was pressure on the Croatian Army to get rid of these people. But the Army could not figure out any way to do so. Objectively speaking it was virtually impossible to move or kill 200,000 people," the complaint states.
The class claims that MPRI got a multimillion-dollar contract from Croatia in or about October 1994. Among MPRI's duties were to "procure through its contacts heavy military equipment including artillery batteries and import it into Croatia; [and] arrange for Croatia to receive real-time coded and pictorial information from US reconnaissance satellites over Krajina in order for the data to be used for accuracy targeting in artillery batteries," the complaint states.
"It was evident that MPRI's acts, especially including equipping and training military forces, would run counter to UN Security Council Resolution 713. But because MPRI is not a state, it is not legally bound by U.N. resolutions. Thus MPRI could do things that the United States could not do, such as importing weapons into Croatia. ...
"There can be no doubt that MPRI knew exactly what Croatia would do with the training and armaments that MPRI was going to provide. During the contract negotiations between MPRI and Croatia in October 1994, Minister Susak specifically told the MPRI representatives: 'I want to drive the Serbs out of my country.'"
The complaint then describes in detail the planning and execution of Operation Storm, which the victims say was named after the U.S.' Operation Desert Storm operations against Iraq.
The complaint cites an indictment from the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague: "In the course of Operation Storm and the continuing related operations and/or actions, Croatian forces inflicted inhumane acts on Serb civilians and persons taking no part in hostilities, including persons placed hors de combat, causing not only mental abuse, humiliation and anguish (including threats to kill such persons or their families), but also severe physical injury, by shooting, beating, kicking and burning people, including extensive shelling of civilian areas and an aerial attack on fleeing civilians. Family members were often forced to watch while other family members were beaten and abused. Inhumane acts and cruel treatment were especially inflicted on the most vulnerable victims, including elderly women and civilians in hospitals.
"Whether MPRI personnel took part in the genocide is not known and is not alleged here. But what is known definitively is that MPRI provided the means that enabled the genocide to occur. And the well-known history of the Jasenovac massacres should have put MPRI personnel on notice that employing Air-Land Battle Doctrine on a peaceful civilian population would most likely have as its aftermath the murderous 'mopping up' operations of the Croatian army as described in the indictment quoted in the preceding two paragraphs.
"During and immediately after Operation Storm, land mines were placed in the areas that had had high-density demographics. The result is that displaced Serbians are afraid to go back to their old neighborhoods that are land-mined. The 1995 genocide is not over. The Statute of Limitations has not yet begun to run due to the presence of the deadly land mines."
The class seeks damages for complicity in genocide: Damages at $25,000 per capita for 200,000 victims of genocide amount to a total of $5 billion. The equivalent amount in today's dollars, figured at 15 years at 5 percent interest compounded annually, is $10.4 billion."
The class's lead attorney is Anthony D'Amato, with the Northwestern University Law School. Robert Pavich, John Ostojic, and Kevin Rogers, all of Chicago, signed on as co-counsel.
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Richard Holbrooke persuades the State Department to license Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), a private military contractor, to provide training to the Croatian army. [Ripley, 1999, pp. 81-82, 90; Scotsman, 3/2/2001] According to MPRI information officer Joseph Allred, the firm exists so that the US can have influence as part of its national strategy on other nations without employing its own army. [New American, 5/10/1999; Serbian National Federation, 8/1999]
Nacional says that Clinton engaged US military to attack Serbs:
In addition to electronically destroying the Serbian communications, the US military also acted militarily against the Serbian positions, when it fired on the anti-aircraft battery near Knin from American combat planes that flew over the battle area.
Nacional says that the entire ethnic cleansing of Serbs was monitored live in Pentagon. From Nacional:
This time, the entire Operation was transmitted in real time via satellite to the Pentagon, where these images remain archived today.
The news that over quarter of million Serbs have been expelled and hundreds of thousands murdered has been, says Nacional, a news item that was released only once, on the 6 oclock news. Afterwards, the US sharply condemned this, and that news was never repeated.
Nacional says that US was thrilled with the how fast and clean the operation was conducted.
But...but...according to the msm only Srbs were the bad guys, Croats and muslims were pure as the driven snow.
This was in fact one of the most successful acts of covert US policy since WWII. One can speak of “private” military contractors, but in reality this was an operation conducted entirely by the US government.
The arming and training of Croat forces changed the strategic balance of the Croat/Bosnian war and, pretty much, ended it. The current state of peace and relative prosperity for, at least, the bulk of Croatia and Bosnia is a direct result.
Until that time the Serbs were militarily superior due to the open support of the Bosnian/Croat Serbs by the Serbian state. After this there was no choice for the Serbs but to negotiate realistic terms.
“which killed or displaced more than 200,000 Serbs in 1995, in the largest European land offensive since World War II, the Genocide Victims of Krajina say in Chicago Federal Court”
Idiotic statement by blind nationalists. Serbia killed 10,000 Kosovo Albanians and displaced close to one million so there you have it, a new post WWII record. And I’m willing to bet that more than 200,000 Bosniaks and Croats were ‘displaced’ by Serbs.
Serbs got burned badly, first they threw out all the Croats from Krajina (Serbs were settlers there) and then refused the Z4 plan, only to lose everything in a brilliantly planned move by USA. It taught Serbs a valuable lesson, one that was continued in Kosovo: Stop causing trouble or you will cease to exist as a country.
With what I’ve read, the Serbs left days before the liberation of Croatia began.
You shouldn't start a war, execute it in the most brutal of ways, destabilize a region bringing in outside attention and lose. Like the innocent Germans that died in WWII, the innocent Iraqi's that died in Iraq, innocent Libyans, Iranians, Panamanians in wars past...... those are the consequences of begging for a beat down when ignoring warning after warning and pushing a very “reluctant, measured and reserved” West/NATO to take action. Those that bring these dead to the forefront are like the Green Helmet Guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salam_Daher) and their arguments are no arguments at all, they are appeals to emotions. Those nations that politically were the instruments for this war in Europe are by a far not belligerents looking for a fight. Frankly, the Germans (One of the political forces behind intervention) are nearly pacifist and appeasing trying to avoid any sort of military confrontation anywhere. But when you destabilize a region and send 320,000 refugees to Germany alone, even they begin to push for military action on the belligerents in the region that started the war, has all to benefit from it and no intentions of stopping. Hell, you had the Austrians questioning their pseudo neutrality in the 90s and if they should have taken action! At least the Germans learned their lesson from WWII, but the Serbs are still dreaming, arguing, denying........... They don't even have a collective concept of what they did and how wrong it was.
There are only two things that were really wrong with the intervention in the Balkans that we should reconsider for the future:
1. The US ended up doing the dirty work, flipping the majority of the bill, and it was a EUROPEAN problem. We paid the price more than ANYONE else in a war that others stood to loose and benefit from. The Turks had volunteers filtering into the region, as did the Chechen's. You had the Russians backing the Serbs. The problem was spreading, you had refugees flooding Europe, the war was spilling over............ And the US ended up taking the casualties because it was us that were essentially running the air war, sending in ground troops into the real hot spots and in some cases getting tangled up in skirmishes.
2. We executed this war on good faith as part of a NATO alliance on the request of two European nations that politically pushed hard for this intervention calling it a security crisis. Seven years later one of those nations did all they could to back out of any commitment and backpedaled as much as possible, restricted their rules of engagement etc after 9-11. From Afghanistan to Iraq, the Germans that politically “pushed” for the Balkan intervention were one of our larger political liabilities after 9-11. Within Europe, NATO and the UN they did all they could to undermine the Iraq mission, and even in Afghanistan their motto should be, “from as far away, with as little and late as possible.” Basically, there should be a realization that many of these NATO nations not only are marginal contributors to the alliance, and do little internationally, but even when they themselves benefited and used this alliance, they will later do little to nothing for you when in need.
What the Balkans and later 9-11 (Iraq/Afghanistan/GWOT) really showed is a very lopsided relationship between the US and her European NATO allies. A relationship where one side feels they can make demands and the other is required to respond, but yet they themselves are under no obligation to do anything when called upon. That's the "real" tragedy of the Balkan conflict.
The Slick WH occupant at the time and his henchmen and women should be court marshalled and hanged for war crimes against innocent civilians.
Aside from this lawsuit, many people, on all three sides lost and suffered much in that war. IMO, Germany was partially to blame by recognizing Craotia before any framework vis’a’vis Serbian and Bosnian ‘rights’ were set forth.
Except that the dead don't negotiate now, do they?
The war in Croatia had been going full tilt since August.
You'd do better to look at what was happening with the Yugoslav Federation in the late '80s, to discern the cause of the wars in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia.
As to this particular lawsuit, it has about as much hope as one brought against the US government by German refugees from Silesia, based upon the Lend-Lease program.
Which is to say the only people who stand to make anything here are the lawyers, assuming they're not working on contingency.
Your perspective is off-base.
More specifically, Operation Storm, led to many deaths and a massive population flight of up to 250,000-300,000 Serbs to Bosnian Serb territories and elsewhere into Yugoslavia.
In short, the Serbian presence in Croatia, which had accounted for about 12 percent of the republic's population 1991, was reduced to a mere 3 percent.
In fact, this was the largest example of ethnic cleansing during the break-up of Yugoslavia.
Well, yes Hoplite you're right, but youre blithely leaving out the catalyst of the war at that time which can easily be attributed to the new constitution introduced by Tudjman, which stripped the Serbs in Croatia of many of their rights, refusing, amongst other things, to accept the right of the Serb minority within Croatia a majority in the Krajina to self determination.
Regurgitating the 10,000 Albanian deaths... oh dear.
9999 or 10001? So how many died and what are your sources?
Its all about Krajina, since day one.
The 10,000 number was arrived at through statistical extrapolation not via a physical body count. A little over 2000 bodies were actually found.
Let’s not forget all those Serbs who were murdered for the purpose of having their organs harvested or the Albanians that were murdered by the KLA. Oh yeah, and those Albanians vaporized by NATO, they don’t count.
Too funny, if this indeed is the case then I suppose all this blustering about Operation Storm's military success is pretty much moot. If the metric for success of a professional military operation is to have effectively attacked and removed a civilian population, then perhaps the argument can be made.
“The 10,000 number was arrived at through statistical extrapolation not via a physical body count. A little over 2000 bodies were actually found.”
Tomorrow is a new day, and I waste a few minutes searching for statistics. If you lied, you will be called a liar and a fool for wasting my time.
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