Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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May 4, 1999

Special Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins on NATO's War on Serbia

Issue S99-65, Day 42, Update 2

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

May 4, 1999; 2:30PM EDT - DAY 42, UPDATE 2

HEADLINES

Pec                        1. Serbs Take Foreign Media to Bombed Out Bus,

                                 NATO Still Denying Responsibility

Novi Sad               2. Novi Sad TV Also Hit by NATO: An Attack on

                                 Multiculturalism

London                 3. Mad and Madder: Besting NATO Leaders' Madness,

                                 British Historian Urges Nuclear Attack on Serbia

St. Louis               4. Is U.S. Committing War Crimes (By Bill Ramsey)

San Francisco       5. Stop the Bombing, Read Thoreau (By Col. Alex Vardamis)

Bonn                     6. German Public Support for War Rapidly Eroding

Belgrade              7. Serb Black Humor Thriving Under Bombs II

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1. Serbs Take Foreign Media to Bombed Out Bus, NATO Still Denying Responsibility

PEC, May 4 - The Yugoslav government took some foreign journalists to the "horrific scene" pec-bus3.jpg (28455 bytes)(per a New York Times report) 12 miles north of Pec (Kosovo) where NATO hit yesterday at about 2PM local time a bus and several private cars on a road to Montenegro (see S99-63, Day 41, Update 1, Item 2, May 3). Yet, despite the eyewitness and photographic evidence (available at our Web site - check out the Photo Album section), the "lie and deny" NATO news spinners continue to deny responsibility for this bombing attack. The New York Times reported even cited the physical evidence pointing to NATO - the unexploded cluster bombs on the crime scene.

Here's an excerpt from today's New York Times report about this murder of civilians, including many Albanians. We find especially interesting the statement by an Albanian woman from Prizren which confirms what the Serbs have been saying all along - that she was fleeing the NATO bombs, not the alleged Serb "ethnic cleansing:"

"A NATO warplane rocketed and strafed a bus and some cars at a police checkpoint Monday, high in the soul-stirring mountains that lead to Montenegro. NATO spokesmen said they had no information about such an attack.

Yugoslav officials who accompanied reporters to the scene Monday said that at least 17 people were killed and 40 wounded. The scene was horrific in the increasingly familiar way in which frail human bodies are ripped apart by explosive blast and steel.

A bureaucratic paper giving Zoran Mihajlovic the right to get gasoline for his white Ford Sierra, plate DJ 173-70, from April 29 to May 3 to secure food for his restaurant, lay soaked in his blood by his car. His Ford was holed with shrapnel, its glass burst, its white paint burned away.

It was hard enough for reporters who arrived after the event. They noted the smear of blood by the woman's black-strapped shoe; the two blasted civilian cars and two police cars; the buzzing flies; the scraps of flesh; the unexploded cluster bombs; the meager belongings in the rice-bag suitcases of the refugees and travelers, still crammed into the shattered bus, its faded blue polyester curtains ragged from broken glass and shrapnel.

But Miss Buzshila and her family were there when it happened Monday, at about 2 p.m., in a second bus behind the first, trying to flee to Montenegro. Asked what she saw, she cupped her hands to her face, covering her eyes and twisting her head violently away.

The Buzshila family is from Prizren, the lovely old Turkish town deep in southern Kosovo where ethnic groups had lived peacefully together. Four days ago, while the Serbs intensified their expulsions of Albanians from Prizren and NATO intensified its air campaign, a bomb fell on a house just behind theirs, and the Buzshilas decided to flee.

It was not the Serbs so much, she said in English -- unprompted and untranslated -- that set the family to flight. It was the (NATO) bomb(ing) that made life in Kosovo seem impossible. That she should have been where a bomb fell again Monday seemed so utterly implausible that even she could not take it in. [emphasis added by TiM].

NATO denies that its bombs cause anyone to flee, but that is a dubious notion to anyone who has had one land nearby, when it feels as if one's head is coming off and one's stomach is so clenched it strains a muscle."

For the full New York Times report, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe/050499kosovo.html. But you'll have to do it today if you want to avoid having to pay the paper's archives' retrieval fee.

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2. Novi Sad TV Also Hit by NATO: An Attack on Multiculturalism

NOVI SAD, May 3 - The Novi Sad TV station was bombed by NATO at 9:50PM last nns-tv.jpg (8071 bytes)ight (local time, May 3 - see the photo) in what the local viewers describe was an attack on multiculuralism. That's because the Novi Sad TV station that used to broadcast programs in six languages spoken by ethnic communities in Vojvodina, a northern Serbian province: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Ruthenian, Romanian and Roma (the Gypsy language).

Here is a comment by Ben Works, a Vietnam veteran and a commentator for Fox News and CBS Radio in New York:

"NATO hardliners (Albright, Blair, Strobe Talbott), desperate to hang onto their reputations in the face of a failing campaign, still insist that NATO must police the province and only after all Yugoslav military and special police units withdraw --an act of surrender that Yugoslavia will not make. Nor should Belgrade, the pluralist society (consisting of 26 ethnic groups - the most multicultural country in Europe - TiM Ed.) , accept giving the Serb heartland to a racist, drug-running conspiracy, which is what the KLA remains, despite all Albanian-American and NATO spin control to the contrary:

'Let's not forget what the origin of the problem is. There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th century idea and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states.'--Gen. Wesley Clark, USA; Supreme Commander, NATO -- via CNN, April 24-25, 1999.

The above quote betrays the fundamental intellectual dishonesty at every level in this ongoing and increasingly criminal NATO bombing campaign. Yugoslavia is the most multi-ethnic state in Europe; it is the KLA and its ethnocentric supporters who seek an ethnically pure 'Greater Albania' at the expense of NATO troops and taxpayers, as well as other ethnic communities in Kosovo.

Reading Clark's statement, one also wonders how much longer Scots in kilts will be suffered by the Wholly-Socialist Empire's enlightened despots. We'll get further into the matter of the Wholly-Socialist Empire on another day.

So NATO bombing continues, getting more malicious each day; more directly aimed at degrading the 'quality of life' for Yugoslavia's Serbs and 25 other ethnic groups, though spokesmen all assert the target is Milosevic, and not the people. That sophistry falls on deaf ears as bombs continue to impose 'Censorship by Terror' and as carbon-ribbon canisters crash the power grid.

NATO vainly hopes to turn the people, in their increasing misery, against Milosevic. But on Monday, both ABC and CBS's Dan Rather (in Belgrade), confirmed the vast majority of the people stand solidly behind the government as long as the attacks persist. Each bomb makes the people hate NATO more and makes it harder for Clinton to insist that NATO man the peacekeeping mission.

Oh, Wesley Clark, in his personal spin-campaign, admitted a Jewish grandfather as the root of his personal commitment to justice in the Balkans. It seems he has not explored his Holocaust connection sufficiently to uncover the Nazi connections of his Albanian client-allies, and like the whole Albright-Cohen-Berger-Rubin-Holbrooke team, is ignorant about the Croat-Ustasha concentration camp at Jasenovac."

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3. Mad and Madder: Besting NATO Leaders' Madness, British Historian Urges Nuclear Attack on Serbia

LONDON, May 4 - Few sane people would argue against an assertion that the NATO have gone completely mad. Now a TiM reader from Britain has pointed out an example of an even madder would-be bomber - the British conservative historian, Andrew Roberts, who is trying to best the NATO lunatics at their madness.

In an article published by London's Sunday Telegraph (May 2), Roberts suggests that the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia is not working as intended, and that therefore the simplest and most painless resolution to the conflict is for NATO to threaten, and if necessary use, a small nuclear bomb in Yugoslavia.

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TiM Ed.: Shades of Dr. Strangelove, a.k.a. Henry Kissinger (check out Day 12, Update 2, Item 6, Apr. 4 at our Web site).

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Roberts claims the technology exists to minimize the effect of this bomb to a very small area which presumably the Yugoslav authorities would evacuate beforehand. The threat or actual bombing would have the same effect as in 1945 Japan and lead rapidly to unconditional acceptance of NATO demands, he says.

He acknowledges that there would be some international opposition, and that NATO would have to head off a Russian "overreaction" to the decision to use nuclear weapons to win a war.

"I would suggest this, probably isolated, article is an example that NATO desperation to win the military war which they are patently losing (even if they are winning the propaganda war) is coming to override all other considerations," our TiM reader concludes.

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4. Is U.S. Committing War Crimes (By Bill Ramsey)

St. LOUIS, May 3 - "Is U.S. Committing War Crimes from on High?" asks Bill Ramsey in a column published by the St. Louis-Post Dispatch on May 3. "If one knows that dropping bombs on targets that have both civilian and military functions will inevitably take or harm civilian lives, can one claim that one does not intend to kill and therefore is not responsible for those who die in the attack?" the author asks. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Ramsey's column:

"The 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Protocols define crimes against humanity as attacks on civilian populations or civilian objects. Civilian objects are defined as those indispensable to the survival of a population; and drinking water installations are designated as a civilian objects. Those water pipes in Belgrade are not legitimate targets under international standards.

The Geneva Conventions and Protocols prohibit indiscriminate attacks. An attack is "indiscriminate" when its effect cannot be limited and thus harms military and civilian targets without distinction. Indiscriminate attacks include those that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life or injury to civilians. Where there is doubt, a potential target must presumed to be civilian.

Does Clinton's decision to use an air-war strategy that he knows will kill civilians amount to a violation of the Geneva Conventions? Is our government committing war crimes in a futile attempt to halt Milosevic's horrendous war crimes?

The 1945 the Nuremberg Charter declares that the "wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity" is punishable as a war crime. NATO said its target in Surdulica was an army barracks. Surdulica is near Serbia border with Bulgaria, not Kosovo. Can NATO identify a "military necessity" that warranted the risk of destroying homes and killing civilians in Surdulica? If not, did it commit a war crime? Are "war-related factories" now to include "word factories" like that Serbian television station struck on April 23, killing 15 civilian journalists?

Amnesty International reminded NATO that international humanitarian law not only prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian sites. It also requires stringent safeguards when carrying out attacks against "military objectives," including giving effective advance warning of attacks that may affect the civilian population.

International law also sets conditions on decisions to wage war. If they are not met, then another category of war crime called a crime against peace is committed. Under the U.N. Charter, collective military action by member states to prevent crimes against humanity requires Security Council approval. By what authority is NATO making war? All diplomatic options must be exhausted and negotiations cannot proceed under the threat of force. Does "Sign or we bomb" meet to these conditions? [...]

How many mornings will we have to hear "regrettable but inevitable" from places like Serbia, Iraq, Sudan and Panama before we realize that modern air war is a blunt and deadly instrument that cannot confine itself within even the minimum humanitarian standards that arose from the ashes of WW II?"

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5. Stop the Bombing, Read Thoreau (By Col. Alex Vardamis)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3 - Alex Vardamis, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former director of European Affairs at the at the Army War College, argues in an OpEd piece published by the San Francisco Chronicle on May 3 that our nation's moral credibility is in jeopardy. Here is an excerpt:

"President Clinton gave Monica a copy of Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass.' Too bad she did not reciprocate with another key 19th century text, Henry David Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience.' At this point in America's protracted aerial war in the Balkans, President Clinton needs to read it.

One wonders why this erstwhile admirer of romantic poetry now charts a policy of death and destruction. We are told that Clinton authorizes bombing to save the Kosovars, but surely their fate has worsened since the war began. Does Clinton bomb to improve his image? Or is he convinced by hawks, like Madeleine Albright, Bob Dole and John McCain, that he must win at all costs in order to preserve American military and political credibility? Somebody should warn the president that his, and the nation's, moral credibility is in jeopardy. In 'winning,' Clinton reflects the worst features of the enemy. [...]

Thoreau foresaw that the General Wesley Clarks of this world, once unleashed, would blithely drop bombs and fire cruise missiles, with little regard for the death, dismemberment and destruction that they cause. Clearly, Clinton cannot rely on the military for ethical council.

Do politicians show a keener moral sensibility? Thoreau thought otherwise. He wrote that 'most legislators, politicians . . . serve the state chiefly with their heads; and as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God.' The Albrights, Doles and McCains are not reliable moral agents. They see the world in geopolitical terms.

To whom can Clinton turn for moral advice? Thoreau would say he should seek out the 'heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers, who serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.' [...]

In the meantime, as we wait for Clinton to do the right thing, we citizens, too, should follow Thoreau's advice and listen to the small, still voice of conscience. According to Thoreau, the only way to react to an immoral policy is to oppose it. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. took his advice and, through nonviolent protest, changed the world. The American public should demand, first of all, that the United States stop bombing. It is the policy of an immoral nation. [...]

Clinton should muzzle the bombastic dogs of war and rechart a new course with Henry David Thoreau. In that direction lies moral and presidential greatness."

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6. German Public Support for War Rapidly Eroding

BONN, May 3 - The German "Chancellor of war," Gerhard Schroeder, faces a tide of dissent, today's London Times reports from Germany. The tide of German opinion is shifting rapidly against the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Popular opponents have now found a new voice in the form of Oskar Lafontaine, the former Finance Minister, who this weekend re-launched his political career with a scathing attack on the NATO campaign.

"We are stuck in a dead-end street," Lafontaine told a May Day rally. "More and more innocent people are becoming victims of this bombing. I urge those responsible to work towards ending the bombing, to return to the negotiating table."

Before the speech, Herr Lafontaine was urged by nervous Social Democratic colleagues to curb any direct attack on Gerhard Schroeder, the Chancellor, the Time says. Yet the target was clear; Lafontaine, a former Social Democratic chairman, is convinced that he can feel the pulse of his party better than anyone.

"Oskar," said a friend of the difficult, often edgy Saarlander, "regards it as his duty to alert the Chancellor to the public discontent about the war."

Herr Lafontaine could well be reading the mood correctly. Rudolf Scharping, Defense Minister, hailed by the media, was greeted with chants of "Killer, killer". At the Lafontaine rally, somebody hoisted a placard showing Herr Schroerder as Adolf Hitler. A section of the crowd shouted abuse at the "war Chancellor".

Growing legions of German critics accept the Serb propaganda that Kosovans are fleeing NATO bombs rather than ethnic cleansers, the Times says. The Forsa Opinion Poll Institute shows 52 per cent now favor an immediate unilateral interruption of the NATO campaign. "The consensus machine is beginning to break down," says Ernst-Otto Czempiel, politics professor.

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7. Serb Black Humor Thriving Under Bombs II

BELGRADE, May 4 - In our Special TiM GW Bulletin S99-60, Day 38, Update 1, Item 3, Apr. 30, we provided some examples of the continued high spirits of the Serb population despite the escalating NATO bombings. Here is the second edition of the Serb "black humor" which seems to be thriving under NATO's bombs:

"When you cross a street in Belgrade, you look left, right and up."

"Do you know what a Serb feels like when he wakes up in the morning? Like a missed target."

"A classified ad in a Belgrade paper: 'Willing to trade two Montenegrins with a mobile (phone) for one Macedonian with a stick'."

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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"