Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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April 12, 1999

Special Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

Issue S99-38, Day 20, Update 1

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA  explosion.gif (16495 bytes)    Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS

Apr. 12, 1999; 2:00PM EDT - DAY 20, UPDATE 1


Leskovac                   1. NATO Hits International Passenger Train; At Least 10 Dead

Washington               2. Tennesseans Say 'No' to NATO's War

Utrecht                      3. Clinton to Bomb England Over Northern Ireland?

Parage                       4. The Serbian Nightmare (By Charles Alverson)

California                  5. My Solution for the Yugoslav Crisis (By David McLau)


1. NATO Hits International Passenger Train; At Least 10 Dead

LESKOVAC, Apr. 12 - NATO's terror over civilians has reached a new high today when the internationalleskovac.gif (64524 bytes) passenger train No. 393, travelling from Belgrade to Thessalonika, Greece, was bombed around 1PM (7AM EDT) in the vicinity of Leskovac. At least 10 people were killed and scores of others hospitalized, the Tanjug news agency has reported. The train carried both domestic and international passengers, but the identities of the dead and injured are now known at this time.

The train was attacked while on the Grdelica Canyon bridge. The second car took a direct hit and was thrown off the tracks into the canyon, while other cars were badly damaged (see the photos at our Web site, but be forewarned - some of them are rather graphic).

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2. Tennesseans Say 'No' to NATO's War

WASHINGTON, Apr. 12 - "At a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act," noted George Orwell, the famous author of "1984." Well, at a time of universal deceit by the establishment media, sometimes one has to go to regional sources to find out the truth about how Americans feel about NATO's bombing of Serbia.

In an Apr. 7 report filed from Washington, the News-Sentinel said most of the Tennesseans who contacted their representatives in Washington opposed the military action against Yugoslavia.

Republican Sen. Bill Frist's office received 143 calls about the U.S. forces helping in the bombing since it started March 24. Only one caller backed the military action.

The office of Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., a Knoxville Republican, noted that 225 people wrote or called in opposition to U.S. action, and only 20 registered their support.

Sen. Fred Thompson's spokesperson also said that the opinions are "predominantly against" the bombing.

In Republican Rep. Van Hilleary's office, there have been about 50 people calling or writing since the bombing started, with an overwhelming majority against it. "There hasn't been an overwhelming influx of reaction yet," Hilleary aide Ed Frank said.

Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga, a Republican, has had 94 people contact his office to oppose the bombing, and 13 have supported it, aide Dick Kopper said.

Yet, in a recent national poll for Newsweek, 58 percent approved of the U.S./NATO air strikes, and 54 percent said they would favor ground troops to help make peace.

But in another poll by CNN, USA Today and Gallup, only 22 percent said the air strikes have made Kosovo's situation better; 64 percent said it made it worse.


3. Clinton to Bomb England Over Northern Ireland?

UTRECHT, Netherlands, Apr. 11 - We received the following "News Flash" from a professor at the Utrecht University who said it was "a rare example of wit at a time of crises." The text which follows was written by an unknown student whose tongue was evidently firmly pressed against the cheek:


White House--President Clinton announced today an all out bombing offensive against England will begin in two weeks, unless a peace accord is ratified by England and its break-away province of Northern Ireland.

"Using the fine logic we crafted in the Kosovo intervention, we have decided to add, incrementally, to the list of peace initiatives around the world," he said in a prepared statement. A background briefing indicated that on a weekly schedule, the Clinton administration would intervene in the following areas:

Week one -- Bombing of England to free Northern Ireland

Week two -- Bombing of Ankara, Baghdad and Teheran to free the Kurds.

Week three -- Bombing of several random African countries to stop the Hutus from killing Tutsis.

Week four -- Bombing of both Istanbul and Athens to solve the Cyprus problem

Week five -- Bombing of Madrid to free the Basque Country.

Week six --Bombing of Ottawa to free the Québécois..

Week seven --Bombing of Jakarta to free the Timor Islands.

Week eight --Bombing of New Delhi to free the Tamil peoples of Sri Lanka

Week nine -- Bombing of Paris to free Corsica

Week ten --Bombing of Washington, D.C. to free the Confederate of Southern States, held captive for 139 years.

"This schedule will do until we can come up with others," said Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State.

She did not respond when asked when the bombing of Beijing in order to free Tibet would occur."


4. The Serbian Nightmare (By Charles Alverson)

PARAGE, Apr. 11 - We received the following contribution from Charles Alverson, an American journalist and teacher, formerly a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and a writer for Rolling Stone, who has been living in Serbia for nearly five years. He says he intends to go on living there.

"Right now, for an American being in Serbia is like living in a bad dream but not exactly a nightmare. Here in the Vojvodina countryside about midway between Belgrade and southern Hungary, disturbed only by anti-air raid sirens and the dull boom of distant anti-aircraft fire, everyday life is too peaceful to support such a dramatic description.

But all the same it is very strange.

I mean, the country is being bombed by NATO, those defenders of European peace, allegedly to protect the ethnic Albanian Yugoslavs in Kosovo. But ethnic Albanians are daily fleeing Kosovo and Serbia in ever-greater masses. The bombing is obviously not working. Some 28,000 NATO troops perched just across the Macedonian border await—President Clinton tells us—an ‘invitation’ from the Yugoslav government to come in and restore the peace. Bombs, apparently, do not need an invitation, but troops do. So the troops, potential saviors of the ethnic Albanians, sit idly amid growing Macedonian hostility while the international media scream louder and louder about ‘ethnic cleansing.’

The curious current worldview of the Serbs asks us to believe two things simultaneously: that the Serbs are superhuman and that they are also subhuman. They are superhuman in that they should not really mind turning over a nice chunk of their nation (just under 10 per cent) to an ethnic Albanian republic because the majority there simply does not want to be Yugoslavs. The world asks Serbia: What is the big deal about this? Never mind the Serbian view of Kosovo as the cradle of Serbian culture drenched with the blood of Serbian martyrs over more than 600 years, etc. In a very real way, it is the equivalent of telling Mr. and Mrs. Jones: ‘Look, the relations sharing your house outnumber you, and they are unhappy about the way you have treated them. So, why don’t you just move out of a couple of rooms and let them take over? And invite in some nice policemen for an unlimited time to make sure things go smoothly. Come to your senses, folks or we’ll keep bombing you until you do.’

Your superhuman Serb is supposed to be above such mundane concerns as patriotism, historical and cultural pride and simply the fact that a part of his country is suddenly going to require a visa to visit. He is supposed to reject not only Big Serbia, that mythical state beloved of the editorial writers who have forgotten all the Serbian history they never learned, but positively embrace Little (or even Minimalist) Serbia, the small-economy size nationlet the world might possibly leave him to enjoy. My Serbian wife, Zivana, claims that the Vojvodina region where we live—with large ethnic Hungarian, Slovakian and German minorities—will be the next bit of Serbia to be surgically removed. Before the Kosovo-inspired bombing, I thought she was being paranoid.

At the same time, the Serbs are urged to be superhuman enough to ignore a little thing like an armed uprising and to fight a civil war against guerrillas without upsetting or displacing non-combatants, they are accused of being subhuman in their treatment of the ethnic Albanians. No atrocity, no brutality is too extreme to be attributed to the vicious Serbs, especially by journalists far from the scene or those with an axe to grind. Their blood lust whetted by the Bosnian War, the Serbs are caricatured as eager to persecute the innocent ethnic Albanians simply because they are not Serbs and do not want to stay Yugoslavians.

It probably does no good for me to insist that these do not resemble the Serbs that I have come to know in nearly five years of living in the country. You may think that I am naive to mention that in all that time I have seldom witnessed a public argument and never seen even a fistfight. Perhaps there is something magical about donning a uniform that turns an 18-year-old conscripted Serb into a ‘beast.’

I don’t pretend to know what is going on in Kosovo in these dark times. But I hope for the best while fearing the worst. What I see in Belgrade is a maligned and persecuted people reacting with courage and humor to the phenomenon of defenselessness under the bombs of NATO. All over Belgrade people wear pinned-on target badges to reflect their contempt for the bombers and those who sent them. The sight of a young mother pinning targets on her toddler and a baby in a pushchair at a huge pop concert in the center of Belgrade typifies the spirit of a people who are battered but not yet defeated."

Charles Alverson, Serbia


5. My Solution for the Yugoslav Crisis (By David McLau)

CALIFORNIA, Apr. 6 - We received the following comment from David McLau, headlined "Here is my solution for the Yugoslav crisis:"

"It is obvious that the pictures of the Albania refugees on the news each night has turned public opinion against Yugoslavia. As a result, the public has essentially given Clinton permission to bomb Yugoslavia out of existence. NATO will not stop bombing because it is a matter of saving it's face. NSC officials now feel that the prestige and very existence of NATO is at stake. Henry Kissinger said, "NATO must appear to win ". That is what all of the politicians are saying too. Something drastic must be done to save Yugoslavia. And here is my suggestion.

It is time to play hardball. Yugoslavia should unilaterally request friendly Russian peacekeeping troops to enter Kosovo immediately to supervise the return of the refugees while the ceasefire is in place. It was announced today that Yugoslavia would work with the United Nations Commission On Refugees to do this, but The US has the power to block that, and they will. Anyway, it would take too long. We need to do something to stop the bombing right now.

With Russian soldiers on the ground inside both Serbia and Kosovo it will force NATO into a cease fire. This would be a total humiliation for this criminal organization NATO, which is what I want very badly.

Can you imagine what would happen if Russian peacekeeping soldiers were attacked by NATO ? While it is true, Russia will be threatened temporarily with a cut off of its IMF monetary support, as Senator John McCain has threatened, it will gain instant prestige and rehabilitation of its image worldwide. Russia will be a superpower again, and all at the expense of the hated NATO. Their will be an end to the crisis. NATO will go home with it's tail between it's legs. Yugoslavia will make a political deal with the elected President of Kosovo, now under house arrest, for autonomy. Everyone of NATO's arguments for this debacle will have been undercut. Madeline Halfbright's new legacy for NATO will be in shambles. How about it, let's do it Russia?"

David McLau, California


TiM Ed. :In another message sent to TiM the same day, Mr. McLau identified himself as a Democrat. "Before this debacle, I would have voted for (Al) Gore," he wrote. "Al Gore was on Larry King last night lying to us. He repeated the same lie that Clinton gave us" - that "we must continue to bomb in order to save the refugees." As a result, Mc. McLau now says that Gore "is finished for year 2000" (election).

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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", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) 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"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN magazine columns: "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "A New Iron Curtain Over Europe"