FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
Apr. 5, 1999; 8:00PM EST - DAY 13, UPDATE 2
HEADLINES - IMPORTANT UPDATES (Item 1)
Phoenix1. At Least 50 Americans Allegedly Killed on Mt. Tara;
Clinton Lays First Bricks of New Wall of Tears
Belgrade 2. NATO Rains Terror on Serb Civilians (new photos, diary);
Another "Stealth" F-117 Downed Today?
Belgrade 3. Russian S-FOR Battalion in Serbia Now; Volunteers in Belgrade
Washington 4. Russian Foreign Minister Lashes Out against NATO;
Yeltsin's Appeasement Policy Toward Washington Reversed
Toronto 5. Canadian Columnist Says NATO Cannot Win War with Serbs
1. At Least 50 Americans Allegedly Killed on Mt. Tara; Clinton Lays First Bricks of New Wall of Tears
PHOENIX, Apr. 5 - At least 50 American soldiers, not counting the downed US Air Force pilots, may have died so far in Clinton's needless and undeclared war against Serbia, TiM has learned, based on several new independent confirmations of two of our earlier stories. Yet the American president continues to maintain his wall of silence despite having already laid a foundation for a new wall of tears.
We first reported on Apr. 2 that a combat plane and two U.S. helicopters carrying 50 U.S. troops were shot down over Mt. Tara by the Yugoslav anti-aircraft defenses, shortly after midnight on Apr. 1 (see Day 10, Update 1). Mt. Tara is about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Belgrade (see the map). The plane went down first, at which point two helicopters took off from a base in Bosnia to rescue the pilot, but were also shot down.
Two days ago, we also reported that 19 American soldiers were already enroute home in body bags, based on a front page story in the Athens daily, "Athinaiki" (see Day 12, Update 1). We have subsequently found out that several other Greek newspapers carried similar reports last Friday (Apr. 2), with varying American body bag counts.
Now, new sources have also come fourth since our initial reports which tie the two stories together. The 19 bodies which the "Athinaiki" referenced are a part of the 50 Americans who died when the two helicopters were shot down over Mt. Tara. All were killed, but some bodies were blown away and could not be shipped back, our sources say.
Even though the Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug, reported the news of the Mt. Tara shoot downs right away (on Apr. 1), Serb state TV broadcast the news only this evening for the first time. It said that the bodies of the dead American soldiers' were shipped by the Yugoslav authorities to Macedonia, from where the U.S. military secretly transported the bodies to the military hospital in Thessalonika, in preparation for having them flown back to the U.S.
Given the high number of casualties in a single operation, one of our U.S. military advisers speculated that the downed helicopters could have been of the "Chinook" type, which are apparently large enough to carry that many troops during a rescue mission.
Reacting to the news reports, the Greek General Army Staff's spokesperson today once again "categorically" denied reports of U.S. military coffins being transferred to Thessalonika. To which TiM offers the same comment as in our Day 12, Update 1, report:
TiM: "Looks like Washington's 'lie and deny' PR tactic is in vogue in Athens, too. Wonder how the Greek policemen just happen to meet the American transport at the border and escort it to the Thessalonika hospital? But the truth has its way of escaping even the NWO Big Brother. Regrettably, the tragic truth, this time."
2. NATO Rains Terror on Serb Civilians (new photos, diary); Another "Stealth" F-117 Downed Today?
BELGRADE, Apr. 5 - While Clinton continues to hide the truth about the U.S. casualties from the American people, Serbs have no place to hide as NATO rains terror on civilian targets.
Last night, for example, NATO missiles struck downtown Zemun, for the first time. Zemun is the west-most suburb of Belgrade on the river Danube. Scores of other civilian targets across Serbia were also hit.
Among the casualties of last night's bombing is the Internet service in Belgrade, which has been disrupted, if not completely knocked out, according to a Belgrade source with whom we spoke this evening.
But while NATO is terrorizing the Serb civilians, the Yugoslav military still seems to have plenty of punch left in it. According to one of our sources, 31 NATO aircraft had been downed as of yesterday. And this evening, Serb TV claimed another "Stealth" F-117 bomber "kill." NATO has refused comment on the story.
Meanwhile, check out what it is like to be a 21-year old in Belgrade these days, and wait for your number to come when you hear the sound of bombs and missiles. We've added a link on our Web page to a Web site in Belgrade where you can read his moving, day-by-day diary of a Belgrade 21-year old - in English (http://members.tripod.com/CodeMage/). We recommend that portion of our Web site for Americans of all ages.
We've also added to our Web site some new photos from across Serbia which illustrate the extent of destruction of civilian apartment buildings and homes across the country. But we must warn the faint at heart, some of them are rather graphic.
3. Russian S-FOR Battalion in Serbia Now; Volunteers in Belgrade
BELGRADE, Apr. 5 - One of our sources in Serbia has reported that a Russian battalion, which used to be a part of S-FOR forces in Bosnia under NATO command, as provided by the Dayton agreement, has been pulled out of Bosnia and is now based in Serbia.
Other sources report that thousands of Russian volunteers have already reached Belgrade, although the actual number could not be confirmed.
4. Russian Foreign Minister Lashes Out against NATO; Yeltsin's Appeasement Policy Toward Washington Reversed
WASHINGTON, Apr. 4 - Amid the finger-pointing which has already started in Washington, in light of the disastrous consequences of Clinton's attack on Serbia, the Washington Post reported Sunday on its front page that another, perhaps greater disaster is looming half a world away. The Russian Bear has awakened and is starting to growl angrily.
"It's a full-blown crisis, the first real crisis since the end of the Cold War" in Russian-U.S. relations, said Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute for the Study of the U.S. and Canada in Washington. "It covers economic relations, foreign credits, debts, sanctions, arms control, START II, the ABM treaty and, I am afraid, a few others.
"It's a bad crisis which could have very long-term implications for Russian-American relations, producing something between disengagement, 'cold peace' and maybe even something more serious," he also said.
The rhetoric in Russia has been "white-hot," the Post says, with Russian leaders accusing the United States and NATO of "genocide" in Yugoslavia, of supporting Kosovo Albanian separatists with "narco money," of seeking world diktat, and of using the Balkans as a proving ground for new, high-technology weapons.
And some analysts worry that sentiments are so strong that anti-American reactions could spin out of control. "In August, we saw the collapse of Yeltsin's market-reform policy and in March, we saw the collapse of Yeltsin's foreign and security policy," another Washington analyst told the Post.
"What you have today is, the anti-American sentiment is enormous," said Rogov, of the U.S.-Canada institute.
In a nationwide survey last week, the Public Opinion Foundation, one of Russia's leading polling organizations, found overwhelming opposition to the NATO attacks. The group reported that 92 percent of those surveyed were against the NATO bombing, and only 2 percent supported it.
5. Canadian Columnist Says NATO Cannot Win War with Serbs
TORONTO, Mar. 30 - Peter Worthington, a veteran Canadian nationally-syndicated columnist who writes for the Toronto Sun, said in his Mar. 30 column that, "NATO cannot win the war with Serbs."
"If anything could be more foolish and self-defeating than trying to help the people of Kosovo by launching air strikes on Serbia, it would be sending NATO ground troops in," Worthington said. "
Which is exactly what is now being debated in the NATO capitals. "Have we in the West gone crazy?" the columnist asks. "Have President Clinton, Tony Blair, Jean Chretien gone crazy?
Worthington could have kept going: Chirac, Schroeder... and 14 other heads of state could also easily qualify for a loony bin.
"The last time I recall feeling as I do about the US/NATO policy towards Serbs and Kosovo was in 1962-63, when I first visited Vietnam, and the Pentagon line was that the war would be won the following year."
"The best hope now would be for Russian Premier Yevgeny Primakov to get Slobodan Milosevic to agree to more negotiations, and for Americans to return to the bargaining table. Some loss of face, but better than no face. Attacking Yugoslavia over its internal mess has done more harm to America's and NATO's image than anything in the past 50 years."
Which is why Worthington counsels: "Admit error and back off before sending in troops turns blunder into catastrophe."
Alas, since the time this column was published (Mar. 30), we are already well past the blunder and into catastrophe, with Clinton and the rest of the hawkish Washington blindly taking our nation toward the precipice.
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"