Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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May 6, 1999

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

Issue S99-68, Day 44, Update 2

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

May 6, 1999; 1:30PM EDT - DAY 44, UPDATE 2

HEADLINES

Belgrade               1. A Serb Mother, Author.. Now a Target: "We're All Lab Rats"

Washington          2. Meet the Real Gen. Clark: Vain, Pompous,

                                 Brown-noser... Clinton's Pal, and Now His Fall Guy?

Canada                 3. Albanian Refugees Arrive in Designer Clothes,

                                 More Men Than Women!

Minnesota            4. Home-made Anti-war Sign Stops Traffic

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1. A Serb Mother, Author.. Now a Target: "We're All Lab Rats"

PHOENIX, May 6 - The following letter about a life under the bombs was written by Maja Volk in Belgrade on Apr. 23. But due to a circuitous way in which it traveled, it has reached us only now, May 6. Just as well. For, Mrs. Volks' message is perhaps even more relevant now that NATO has escalated its bombing campaign, no longer even pretending to distinguish between civilian and military targets.

BELGRADE, Apr. 23 - "Dear colleagues, I thought that you might be interested how is it being a woman in Belgrade these days. I am a 'Yugoslav purebreed' of mixed cultures (one grandfather a Bosnian Serb, another a Slovene; one grandmother a Bosnian Croat, another a Serb from Hungary...).

I did my MA in Paris, 15 years ago, my Ph.D. in Stockholm, 10 years ago. I used to live in Sydney in my maiden days, and I wrote a novel about it 15 years ago. I am a professor of Belgrade university, author of seven books, writer, poet, and what is most important, mother of three little children, ages 9, 8 and 3.

Time has stopped here. Our normal lives stopped to function four weeks ago. No schools, no kindergartens, no universities, no future plans, no nothing. My latest book, about mothers and daughters within the complicated macho mentality of the Balkans, was supposed to be printed 4 weeks ago. It was, of course, halted. The film, I was working on for four years, was just about to begin shooting in Montenegro, and of course, there will be no film (it was supposed to be a film about our most successful woman ever, the last queen of Italy, who was a Montenegrin princess, the queen Helen of Savoy).

Those are the banal trifles in comparison with the whole situation, but then, it is just an example how every one is affected with what is going on. We watch our collapse like a TV nightmare, a video game, and I still can not believe my own eyes.

I moved from my home in the first week of bombing, after the NATO struck on the heating plant opposite the building I was living in. Needless to say there is no heating in Belgrade, and it is still quite cold outside. The detonations made me deaf for couple of hours, and I was playing a "LA VITA E BELLA" routine with my scared children, telling them "it was just an earthquake."

So I am a refugee in my own town, living in my parents tiny flat in the center of the town, with my three kids, my mother-in-law and my husband. At least, we crossed the bridge.

There is no cooking oil in town, and for milk one should get up very early and queue...but then, we have been queuing for years now, since those sanctions...(at that time I had babies and we had to go to the village once a week and fill up the coca cola bottles with milk, then freeze them and pray to God, there will be electricity...), and the queues for cigarettes are miles long (also see "A Slice of Life in Wartime Serb Capital," Day 28, Update 1, Item 1, Apr. 20 - at our Web site).

But we still sing and dance every day at noon in the center, on our bridges at night, defending them with our bodies.

I do realize that the next step is to proclaim all of us as military targets, because we might hide soldiers at our homes.

Two days ago, NATO struck a TV station which was owned by the President's daughter. But ironically, that station had no news, just the trashy American films and south American soap operas. So we were devastated because the transmission of CASSANDRA and ESMERALDA was delayed for one day. Is that a military target?

Parts of the cluster bombs went straight through the windows of the people living opposite that skyscraper. A three-year old kid died in her own bathroom, killed through the window with the parts of the cluster bomb. This is not propaganda, this is merely a mother's voice from the real world.

No, we do not go all to the shelters... I can not imagine myself with three kids in a damp cellar, sitting there all night. And besides, we believed that the civilians will not be targeted.

I do not know what to do anymore... But one thing is certain. This is not a peaceful mission. Three million children go to bed with the sounds of the sirens. This morning the TV Belgrade was hit, and in its basement was the only children's cinema in town, and a youth center.

A friend of mine was devastated when the hospitals released all patients home, because they cannot guarantee their safety. So she is stuck with her mother who cannot move, nor talk, nor live without constant assistance. And she has no money to hire a nurse. She is a film critic of that same blown-up television. Her office was in flame this morning, along with her salary check.

Another friend of mine went two days ago to a funeral of her cousin, a Bosnian refugee who was an engineer at a Pancevo chemical factory. When the poor man saw his work go up in flames, he simply had a heart attack and died.

My neighbor is a chemist, working in a laboratory for the police. She is mother of three asthmatic children, and she can not go to the shelter, either, because the kids might have an attack. She turned pale when she saw from her balcony that two kilometers wide black cloud from the Pancevo chemical plant (also see "Huge Toxic Cloud Unleashed...", Day 26, Update 1, Item 2, Apr. 18 - for TiM's eyewitness report about the same incident).

But God is with us. The wind blew it away from Belgrade, and the clouds are over my city every night for these four weeks, since the bombing begun. This is not the typical weather here at this time of the year, believe me...

You might and should ask me about the poor refugees running away from Kosovo. You don't know what Kosovo looks like even in normal times... scattered villages, isolated houses, a civil war going on since the Turkish times.

I saw a documentary last year about this teacher, who walks 20 miles every day, from her home in Djakovica to this remote village, just to teach four children in the last Serbian school there. Their parents say, "we would have sold our houses to the Albanians long time ago, if it weren't for her." She is 30 now, and is still walking.

Albanians are good people, with lots of children, their natality rate is the highest in Europe, in average, they have six children. And now they are under the bombs, with no electricity, no water, nor food; caught in a crossfire, with the KLA behind them, and the Yugoslav Army in front of them. What would you do in their shoes?

But that is another story... the story of mentalities, drug and weapons chain, the Balkan route of heroine, and so on.

But I won't talk about the things I do not know. Nor do I wish to even think about the radiation after thousands of bombs already thrown on my land, and how my grandchildren will look like if they are ever born.

My brother is in Novi Sad. Do I presume I should swim upstream Danube to see him again? (because all bridges across the Danube have been knocked down by NATO.  TiM Ed.).

There are foreigners in my sky every day and night. They are blowing apart my country, (while)telling me stories about peace and democracy.

I know this: if the money spent so far on the bombs and humanitarian aid was just invested in our country, it would have been a paradise for everyone. But the money keeps rolling on; the old weapons must be tested, and the new ones improved. The macho male pride must be satisfied on both sides.

We are the lab rats, and we are still alive... No one expected that.

Thank you for reading this. Yours truly, Maja Volk,. Ph.D., prof. etc....a mother, daughter, sister, wife and daughter-in-law - from Belgrade."

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2. Meet the Real Gen. Clark: Vain, Pompous, Brown-noser... Clinton's Pal, and Now His Fall Guy?

WASHINGTON, May 5 - And now, meet the man who is doing all this to Mrs. Volk and her children, along with millions of other civilians in Serbia - Gen. Wesley Clark. The real Gen. Clark is a vain, pompous, brown-noser, say those who have served with him in the armed forces, according to a report by "Counterpunch," a Washington-based newsletter.

And now this Bill Clinton's pal from Little Rock, AK; a Rhodes scholar who, like Clinton, also went to Oxford; aclark4.jpg (10177 bytes) typical "political general" whose promotions came only because of his White House pull; is facing the gloomy prospect of becoming the fall guy for NATO's disastrous failure to bring the Serbs to its heel.

If he is lucky, that is. For, if there is justice in this world, Gen. Clark, along with his Arkansas buddy "Bubba," and their pals like Tony Blair and other NATO leaders, should be tried as war criminals, and charged with murders of 1,200 Serb civilians, and with causing injuries to 5,000 others. And counting... And for creating a humanitarian disaster with their bombings of Kosovo which has driven hundreds of thousands of Albanian from their homes.

"Who is responsible for an air offensive that is building anti-American anger across Europe without breaking the Serbian regime's will?" asks Robert Novak, a nationally-syndicated columnist, in his today's column. And he proceed to answer his own question. "The blame rests heavily on Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the NATO supreme commander."

After pointing out that Clark's belligerency toward Serb civilians has stunned even his defenders in the national security establishment, Novak concludes: "The president and the general are collaborators in a failed strategy whose consequences cast a long shadow even if soon terminated by negotiation."

To understand the reasons for such failures, one must look at the general's past, and the way he rose to power. "Clark is a perfect model of a 1990s political four-star general," Novak observes. "Clark's rapid promotions after Dayton (agreement which ended the war in Bosnia) - winning his fourth star to head the Panama-based Southern Command, and the jewel of SACEUR - were both opposed by the Pentagon brass. But Clark's fellow Arkansan in the White House named him anyway."

Novak's observations are consistent with the "Counterpunch's" report, which cited many a number of the U.S. military sources whose paths have crossed with Clark's in their prior assignments. Here are some excerpts from the article titled, "A Vain, Pompous, Brown-noser: Meet the real Gen. Clark."

"Anyone seeking to understand the bloody fiasco of the Serbian war need hardly look further than the person of the beribonned Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley K. Clark. Politicians and journalists are generally according him a respectful hearing as he discourses on the 'schedule' for the destruction of Serbia, tellingly embracing phrases favored by military bureaucrats such as 'systematic' and 'methodical'. The reaction from former army subordinates is very different.

'The poster child for everything that is wrong with the GO (general officer) corps,' exclaims one colonel, who has had occasion to observe Clark in action, citing, among other examples, his command of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood from 1992 to 1994.

While Clark's official Pentagon biography proclaims his triumph in 'transitioning the Division into a rapidly deployable force' this officer describes the '1st Horse Division' as "easily the worst division I have ever seen in 25 years of doing this stuff."

Such strong reactions are common. A major in the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado when Clark was in command there in the early 1980s described him as a man who 'regards each and every one of his subordinates as a potential threat to his career'. [...]

All observers agree that Clark has always displayed an obsessive concern with the perquisites and appurtenances of rank. Ever since he acceded to the NATO command post, the entourage with which he travels has accordingly grown to gargantuan proportions to the point where even civilians are beginning to comment.

A Senate aide recalls his appearances to testify, prior to which aides scurry about the room adjusting lights, polishing his chair, testing the microphone etc prior to the precisely timed and choreographed moment when the Supreme Allied Commander Europe makes his entrance.

'We are state of the art pomposity and arrogance up here,' remarks the aide. 'So when a witness displays those traits so egregiously that even the senators notice, you know we're in trouble.' His NATO subordinates call him, not with affection, 'the Supreme Being'.

'Clark is smart,' concludes one who has monitored his career. 'But his whole life has been spent manipulating appearances (e.g. the doctored OPFOR exercise) in the interests of his career. Now he is faced with a reality he can't control.' This observer concludes that, confronted with the wily Slobodan and other unavoidable variables of war, Clark will soon come unglued. 'Watch the carpets at NATO HQ for teeth marks'."

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3. Albanian Refugees Arrive in Designer Clothes, More Men Than Women!

CANADA, May 4 - The first Albanian refugees arrived in Canada on May 4. And the first glimpses of the truth about them were visible to the Canadian TV viewers who, like the Americans, have been subjected to heavy dosages of the Washington-Ottawa "lie and deny" was propaganda. Here's a letter which we received from a Canadian TiM reader:

"Bob: On Canadian television tonight (May 4) they showed the first of the (Albanian) refugees getting off the plane. These were poor souls who had supposedly spent weeks hiding out in the mountains from 'Serb killers' and 'ethnic cleansers;' refugees who had almost starved to death and were sun-burned... Well let me tell you, they got off the plane in fancier apparel than a lot of Canadian citizens I know, with lots of high-quality luggage.

We were told that very few men would be arriving. But I counted, and there were more men than women - young, healthy-looking men with gold rings(I thought the Serbs had stolen those?), and expensive shoes that certainly showed no mud-stains or wear and tear.

These clothes couldn't have been donated recently - how could the donors have known everyone's sizes? The children were dolled up like you wouldn't believe, some of the women had elaborate hair-do's. We were told, as Canadians, not to ask these poor people too many questions - after all, they had been traumatized.

I guess my beloved Canada is in danger of becoming KLA Kanada. Doesn't anyone ask - or CARE - why we're taking KLA members in? (It was reported that some of these people are KLA members). The world has to be near the end - what other possible explanation could there be?"

Dawn from Canada

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TiM Ed.: TiM editor replied to the above letter saying, "good news about Canada's taking the KLA in is that they won't be committing any more crimes in Kosovo. Bad news is that Canada is about to find out just how vile some of these terrorists are. So send them to Temagami and have them kill black flies in June. Or vice versa?" :-)

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4. Home-made Anti-war Sign Stops Traffic

MINNESOTA - In our first edition today, we reported on many supportive reactions by citizens of Seattle,mn-sign.jpg (129176 bytes) Washington, to a TiM reader's sign which said, "Drop Clinton, Not Bombs" (see S99-67, Day 44, Update 1, Item 7, May 6).

Today we bring you a photo of a home made sign posted on the front lawn of Sandra Killian, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota (see the Web version of this Bulletin). The sign reads: "Stop bombing my friends in Yugoslavia."

Mrs. Killian says that she has had the sign up for about four weeks now. "We live on a small highway and it stops traffic at times," she writes. "Some people come from a town which is eight miles from here to see it. It is the least I can do for Yugoslavia. May God provide an end soon."

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TiM Ed.: Hopefully a peaceful, rather than a violent end.

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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"