FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
May 22, 1999; 9:30PM EDT - DAY 60
Djakovica 1. NATO Hits KLA Compound, Killing Five and
Wounding 25 Albanian Rebels
Brussels 2. NATO Considers Halt to Bombing
London 3. Blair Talks Tough, Is Less "Invincible," As
Aircraft Carrier Is Withdrawn (Due to Munity?)
London 4. Mountains Ground U.S. Apaches
Hong Kong 5. China Bars U.S. Ships from Hong Kong
1. NATO Hits KLA Compound, Killing Five and Wounding 25 Albanian Rebels
DJAKOVICA, May 21 - With the kind of "support" the Kosovo Liberation Army rebels received at 7:30AM local time on Friday May 21 from their friends and allies at NATO, the Albanian terrorists may prefer low-tech combat against the Yugoslav police. By the time smoke had cleared after three NATO bombs hit a KLA compound in Kosovo, a mile from the Albanian south west of Djakovica, five KLA rebels lay dead and 25 were wounded.
The KLA compound was actually a former Yugoslav Army barracks taken over by the rebels last month, the Washington Post reported today (May 22). The attack is an embarrassment for both NATO and the Albanian guerrillas, who had felt confident enough of their control of the area to invite western journalists to visit, the Post said.
TiM Ed.: This mishap is another example of "friendly fire" bungling by the NATO "supermen" and their "precision" high-tech killing machines. On several earlier occasions they couldn't even hit the right country, let alone the intended military formation, as several NATO missiles exploded in Macedonia or Bulgaria. So far, at least five missiles had hit Bulgaria, the last one falling in the early morning hours on May 10 near the village Liulin, which was heard by the residents of the Sofia suburb Nadezda.
And NATO might as well draft a form letter for diplomatic apologies it is having to send out, as its May 21 bombing in Belgrade reportedly also slightly damaged the Indian, Israeli, Pakistani and Hungarian embassies, in addition to the earlier damages to the Swedish and Swiss ambassadors' residences (see S99-84, Day 58, Item 1, May 20 and S99-85, Day 59, Item 2, May 21).
With such "precision bombing," should the American and other NATO troops ever move in close to the Yugoslav border, the may discover a whole new meaning of "air support" and that oxymoron term, "friendly fire." Just as the KLA rebels did on May 21.
2. NATO Considers Halt to Bombing
BRUSSELS, May 21 - The all pomp and bluster NATO supreme commander, Gen. Wesley Clark, said at the outset of the war that he was going to have the Serbs on their knees after the first three days of bombing (see S99-58, Day 36, Item 1, Apr. 28). For, after 60 days of incessant and accelerating bombing, the only knee pads being worn out are those used by NATO leaders while praying for a miracle - to save them from the dead end road they have picked out for themselves.
And small miracles are being granted, it seems. To those who still have a dose of humility left. NATO leaders are considering a fundamental switch of tactics whereby the bombing of Serbia could be halted before Slobodan Milosevic has met the alliance's five conditions for a cease fire, the London Telegraph reported on May 21.
The move, if agreed, would represent a significant climbdown from NATO's position that its demands must be met in full before the air campaign could end, the Telegraph said. As diplomatic efforts to find a solution intensified, NATO made it clear that it was seriously considering plans advanced by Massimo D'Alema, the Italian prime minister, which involve a cessation of bombing as soon as a United Nations Security Council resolution on a settlement had been merely drafted. Which could happen any time now.
Under the Italian plan, bombing would stop before Milosevic had withdrawn any of his 40,000 troops and perhaps even before he had formally agreed to do so, and to allow in a Nato-led peacekeeping force. The bombing would halt before the UN resolution had been officially approved to get round the possibility of a Chinese veto. After meeting D'Alema at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Javier Solana, the alliance's secretary general, said the Italian proposal is being taken "very seriously".
Last night (May 20), Solana flew to London to meet Tony Blair and for dinner with George Robertson, the defence secretary. The Italian plan was understood to be one of the main items for discussion.
And at the May 20 NATO briefing in Brussels, Jamie Shea, the alliance spokesman, hinted clearly that the D'Alema plan, or something like it, was under active consideration. Previously, NATO had rejected any such claims out of hand.
3. Blair Talks Tough, Is Less "Invincible," As Aircraft Carrier Is Withdrawn (Due to Munity?)
LONDON, May 22 - While Tony Blair, is trying to outdo in tough military talk even his good friend, the Draftdodger-in-Chief, Bill Clinton, the British prime minister is looking less "Invincible" every moment.
In a terse statement issued in London on May 20, the Ministry of Defense said that the British aircraft carrier, HMS "Invincible," is being withdrawn from the NATO operation against Yugoslavia, and sent home, the BBC World Service reported. The Ministry said the vessel would not be replaced.
TiM Ed.: Which goes to show you that the liberals' bark is worse than their bite. Except when it comes to killing innocent civilians, a "military" challenge at which they excel.
By the way, the British Defense Ministry did not elaborate as to the reasons the "Invincible" was being withdrawn from the Adriatic theater of war. But speculations range from having to go home for an oil change, to a more credible scenario - that the "Invincible" needed to have its entire crew replaced. With brainless morons who don't care if they hit hospitals or barracks. Nor who is in them.
As we had reported earlier, this British aircraft carrier's crew were near mutiny last month after realizing that they were being commanded by leaders missing some screws, not just needing an oil change (Day 27, Update 1, Item 7, Apr. 19).
4. Mountains Ground U.S. Apaches
LONDON, May 22 - "Mountains Ground US Apaches," read a headline from today's report by the London Telegraph's defense correspondent, TiM Butcher:
TiM Ed.: What an irony! Not only because the Pentagon's "pride and joy" helicopter fleet has turned out to be a paper tiger (which we've already told you - see "Flying Coffins," S99-81, Day 55, Item 1, May 17). But also because anyone who has seen where the real Apaches live (in northeastern Arizona) knows that they are mountain people.
It is all reminiscent of a famous line uttered in opposition to the U.S. involvement in Bosnia by Gen. Colin Powell, when he was running the U.S. military: "We don't do mountains." Well, if anyone knows how to "do mountains," the real Apaches do. Which means that the Pentagon's paper tigers, besides being militarily impotent in the mountains, were also badly misnamed.
5. China Bars U.S. Ships from Hong Kong
HONG KONG, May 21 - The Chinese dragon is putting some teeth in Boris Yeltsin's version of the Russian bear. While the Russian president and his "special envoy" to the Balkans, Viktor Chernomyrdin, were busy trying to sell out the Serbs' interests to Kremlin's western masters (while talking tough, of course), China has put the New World Order leaders know that it will not be bought, like the Moscow lapdogs.
China said Friday that it had barred U.S. warships from visiting Hong Kong because of ''the current situation,'' the International Herald Tribune reported today (May 22). Although officials in the Chinese Foreign Ministry office did not offer a clear explanation, the ban was apparently a fallout from the accidental NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade on May 7.
The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong said earlier Friday that China had canceled visits by five warships that had been scheduled for May and June. ''The Chinese have denied all pending U.S. port visits,'' a consulate official said.
Barbara Zigli, a U.S. consulate spokeswoman, said it was the first time that Beijing had banned a U.S. warship from docking in Hong Kong since the territory's handover to Chinese rule.
''We regret these mutually beneficial port calls, which bring economic benefits to Hong Kong, as well as shore leave benefits to U.S. Navy personnel, are unable to take place at this time,'' she said.
TiM Ed.: We suspect that this must come as a shock to people like the U.S. consulate's spokesperson - but you can't buy everybody. And especially not after you first bomb them.
By the way, Hong Kong has been one of the favorite ports of call for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, we are told. So we suspect that the Hong Kong and the State Dept. whores probably see eye-to-eye in this foreign policy dispute, even if the official Washington and Beijing don't.
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"