FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
Apr. 3, 1999; 4:00PM EST - DAY 11, UPDATE 1
Novi Sad1. Two More Bridges Over the Danube Destroyed;
NATO to Invade from Hungary?
Sarajevo 2. War Escalates to Bosnia: NATO's S-FOR Troops Blow Up Serb
Railroad Line, Come Under Fire from Civilians
Moscow 3. 56,000 Russian Volunteers Ready to Fight for SerbiaBelgrade 4. Russian Miracle-Making Icon in Belgrade; Duma Delegation
Gets First-hand Taste of NATO's Terror
Athens 5. Two Million Greeks Strike Against NATO
Washington 6. Washington Protest Planned for Sunday, Apr. 4
---------------------1. Two More Bridges Over the Danube Destroyed; NATO to Invade from Hungary?
NOVI SAD, Apr. 3 - We've just received word that NATO has destroyed two more bridges over the Danube - the main civilian interstate highway bridge on the Belgrade-Novi Sad-Budapest route, and the bridge at Backa Palanka, some 30 miles west of Novi Sad, near Serbia's border with Croatia (2PM EST).
Preliminary reports indicate that there were passenger cars on the Novi Sad bridge when it was struck. No word yet from Backa Palanka.
Tim Ed.: It appears that NATO is trying to cut off Central Serbia from its northern province of Vojvodina. This has brought on speculation from one Belgrade source that, since NATO cannot mount an invasion of Kosovo, it may try to attack Serbia from the north; using its new member, Hungary, as a jump-off point. Which is the way Hitler did it, too, in 1941.
This source was not alone in such speculation. In yesterday's (Apr. 2) Wall Street Journal OpEd article, "Take Belgrade," a former US Army general, William Odom, urged just such a land push from Hungary, where the flat terrain "invites a high-speed armored ground attack." At today's press briefing, however, the Pentagon spokesperson denied that NATO was planning such an invasion.
"Watch their actions, not their lips," is our counsel to the truth-seekers.
Meanwhile, speaking in Moscow yesterday, the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, said, "NATO first created a humanitarian tragedy by its air strikes, and it is now saying it is planning ground troops to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe. The ground troops for this operation would number 150,000 to 200,000. It is clear that this NATO adventure fell through."
Not so fast. The Hungary scenario suggests the game is far from over. Our only question is, how long will it take for NATO to gear up for that? If any of the TiM readers in the military wish to try to answer it, we welcome their input.
-------------2. War Escalates to Bosnia: NATO's S-FOR Troops Blow Up Serb Railroad Line, Come Under Fire from Civilians
SARAJEVO, Apr. 3 - NATO Special Forces (SFOR) have come under fire while destroying a major railroad line through Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UPI newswire has just reported from Sarajevo. SFOR said the operation rendered the tracks of the Belgrade-Bar (Montenegro) railroad line, which crosses through the Bosnian Serb territory, useless to Yugoslav troops. The incident occurred inside Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Two men in civilian clothes armed with AK 47 rifles fired on SFOR soldiers today as they prepared to blow up the railway. SFOR soldiers were unharmed. But the Serbian news agency SRNA reports that one of the civilians was killed by SFOR troops.
SFOR Commander, Gen. Montgomery Meigs, said the railway has been cut because of indications that Yugoslav troops intended to use it. He refused to elaborate, or to speculate on the intent of Yugoslav troops.
3. 56,000 Russian Volunteers Ready to Fight for Serbia
MOSCOW, Apr. 2 - Andrei Manilov, am official of the Liberal Democratic Party, has told IZVESTIA, a Russian daily, that leading Russian financial and industrial groups are sponsoring arrangements for the dispatch of volunteers to Yugoslavia. He said more than 56,000 volunteers across the country had already signed up.
Battalions of volunteers, he said, included many veterans of special-purpose units with fighting experience in Chechnya and Abkhazia. Representatives of the LDP party had been negotiating with the Yugoslav embassy for over a week. Negotiations were also going on between the Yugoslav and Hungarian embassies to make arrangements for the volunteer force to go to Budapest by air, and then on to Yugoslavia by road. Manilov claimed that the transportation of the volunteers would be financed by the Yugoslav government.
TiM Ed.: It will be interesting to see what will happen if the Russian volunteers and the NATO troops meet in Hungary should they come across each other.
--------------4. Russian Miracle-Making Icon in Belgrade; Duma Delegation Gets First-hand Taste of NATO's Terror
BELGRADE, Apr. 2 - A group of Russian volunteers from St. Petersburg, who have already arrived in Belgrade, have brought with them the Miracle-making Mother of God icon, one of four who used to be originally in the famous Kazan Cathedral. Our sources say that that is the very icon before which the Russian General Kutuzov prayed in 1812 before Russia's deciding battle against Napoleon. Before that, Napoleon had burnt down Moscow, just as now NATO is applying terror to Belgrade civilian targets (see the photo). The symbolism is obvious...
Meanwhile, a visiting delegation of 10 Russian lawmakers, led by Duma's vice speaker, Sergei Baburin, had a first-hand taste of NATO's terror yesterday when NATO bombed downtown Belgrade for the first time. Yet even before that, they arrived in a "radical mood," according Yuri Zaynashev, foreign editor of Moskovsky Kosmolets, a Russian daily.
"They said they would ask the Russian government to send S-300 air defense complexes to Yugoslavia," Zaynashev said. Baburin, the delegation's leader, said that, "peace will only come when the Serbs get adequate weapons.."
By the way, the Russian Duma delegation passed through Novi Sad minutes before the (old) bridge was destroyed (see Day 8, Update 3, Item 1; Apr. 1). Serbs and Jews used to be thrown off that bridge into the Danube during WW II, Zaynashev said.
5. Two Million Greeks Strike Against NATO
ATHENS, Apr. 2 - An estimated two million Greeks took part in a two-hour strike on Friday to protest NATO's attack on Serbia. The strike affected public services as well as private enterprises across the country.
6. Washington Protest Planned for Sunday, Apr. 4
WASHINGTON, Apr. 3 - Residents of the DC area who are against NATO's attack on Yugoslavia can let their feelings be known at a demonstration planned for Sunday, April 4, at the Lafayette Park (across from White House). Time: 2PM.
There are also a number of other demonstrations being held this weekend in cities across the U.S. Check your local sources for details as to when and where they may be held. Or just get together with your friends and organize one.
Another way to express your feelings is by writing to your congressmen and senators. And we mean WRITE, not e-mail. E-mail is easily discarded, while the congressional staff have to process, and do keep count of the "snail mail" they receive.
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"