Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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May 23, 1999

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

Issue S99-87, Day 61

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

May 23, 1999; 7:00PM EDT - DAY 61

HEADLINES

Srem. Mitrovica       1. An 89-year old Woman on NATO: "They

                                     Are Beasts, Not People"

Washington              2. Another Day of American Infamy: Clinton and

                                    His Associates Are Now Outlaws

Fredericton              3. War Crimes Tribunal Judge Says NATO's

                                    Targeting of Civilian Population Is Illegal

Moscow                   4. Somalia in Albania: KLA Shows No Respect for Dead;

                                   Russian Volunteer's Body Abused; Ransom Demanded

Tirana                      5. French Skinhead Mercenary: "I Want to Go On

                                    Killing Serbs as I Had Done in Croatia, Bosnia"

Pennsylvania           6. An American Mother Appeals to Her Country, Other Moms

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1. An 89-year old Woman on NATO: "They Are Beasts, Not People"

SREM. MITROVICA, May 23 - While others around her panicked at the sound of air raid sirens and bombs in the early days of NATO's war on Serbia, an 89-year old woman, who has lived through two world wars as a refugee, stayed calm. Her unperturbed "been there, done that"-attitude beamed a calming message to those around her, helping soothe their nerves, too.

Well, now even this Serb grandma is angry with NATO. "They are beasts, not people," she said, reached at her home this morning. Her apartment was without water and electricity after last night's air raids. Only her phone seems to be still working. "They want to kill us all. Even Hitler was not as bad."

Being without electricity in Serbia these days means a lot more than just an inconvenience to civilized living. It also means that the air raid sirens do not work.

"Last night, we had no warning at all," another resident of Srem. Mitrovica complained. "We started hearing the planes and explosions around midnight. Wave after wave of planes kept coming all the way through till about 4AM. I had not slept all night."

In the wake of 684 sorties flown during the most intensive night of bombing so far in NATO's 60-day air campaign, including 245 strike sorties, 16 Yugoslav cities lay in darkness, including the capital, Belgrade.

Four missiles struck the power plant in Kolubara, 20 miles southwest of Belgrade, and a nearby transformer station. The NATO weapons also included special cluster bombs with carbon filaments that cause damage to wires conducting electricity, the Serb media said.

Thirteen workers were injured in the strike on the Kolubara plant, which supplies power to most of Belgrade and central and northern Serbia, the private Beta news agency reported.

Repair teams managed to restore power to Belgrade early today, but the grid went down again a few hours later. A statement from Serbia's power company accused NATO of wanting to "cause a humanitarian catastrophe of major proportions."

Other targets in and around the capital included a fuel depot in Belgrade's Cukarica district, the Batajnica military airfield (for the umpteenth time!), and a TV transmitter on Mount Fruska Gora (also a repeat target), the NATO spokesperson said, according to an Associate Press report. Sabac, Leskovac, Prizren and Sombor were also bombed.

But NATO hit many more civilian targets all across Yugoslavia, TiM's sources report. "(Mount) Fruska Gora is raked over by NATO bombs," one resident of Srem. Mitrovica told us. "There are craters everywhere. They are now even bombing the monuments, such as the one on Iriski Venac (this monument commemorates the fallen partisan freedom fighters against the Nazi occupation during WW II). They've gone completely nuts."

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2. Another Day of American Infamy: Clinton and His Associates Are Now Outlaws

WASHINGTON, May 23 - When NATO's war on Serbia started on Mar. 24, we immediately called it the New Day of Infamy. Here is the opening paragraph from TiM's Statement issued on Day 1, even before the first bombs fell on Yugoslavia:

"Mark this day - March 24, 1999! It may be remembered in history as a new Day of Infamy. Just as was December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Except that this time, it is the NATO American-made missiles and pilots that are delivering hell to Serbia on behalf of the forces of Evil. By the order to launch air strikes against Serbia, NATO and President Clinton have entered uncharted territory in mankind's history."

To which we can now add:

Mark this day - May 23, 1999 - the 61st day of NATO's war on a sovereign country - Yugoslavia - which has done us no harm. May 23 may be remembered as another New Day of Infamy. For, on this Sunday, the U.S. Constitution and the American system of government and justice also became the trampled victims of a President who had sworn to protect them.

The War Powers Act of 1973, a Vietnam War-era legislation, requires the sitting President to get congressional approval for the "introduction into hostilities" of the U.S. armed forces for longer than a 60 days.

On Apr. 28, the House rejected Clinton's war on Yugoslavia by a tie 213-213 vote, and threw out the proposed declaration of war on Yugoslavia by an overwhelming 427-2 vote. On May 4, our sheepish and squeamish Senate voted not to vote. By a 78-22 vote, the Senators put aside indefinitely a resolution which would have allowed Clinton to use "all necessary force" in his undeclared war on Yugoslavia.

Finally, just this past week (May 19), the House Armed Services Committee voted to prevent Clinton from using any of next year's $289 billion defense budget for his war on Yugoslavia.

Today is Day 61 of Clinton's undeclared war on Yugoslavia hostilities. The President has not obtained congressional approval. From this day forward, this is not only an undeclared war; it is an ILLEGAL war, according to the U.S. laws and Constitution.

Members of the U.S. armed forces who continue to participate in Clinton's illegal war should understand that they are now executing UNLAWFUL orders. And that, therefore, they are Clinton's accessories, not only in his war crimes against Serb and other civilians, but also in his violations of our federal laws, of our Constitution, and of the will of the American people, as expressed by Congress.

Which means that the American soldiers participating from this day forward in this illegal war on Yugoslavia, and not just their Draftdodger-cum-Commander-in-Chief, one day may face prosecution. Under the U.S., not only international laws. If there is still such thing as justice and civilized behavior left in our country.

So mark this day, May 23, 1999. By repudiating Congress, and therefore, the will of the people, Bill Clinton has now also entered uncharted territory in the American history. By putting themselves above the law, the Presidents and his associates have now become outlaws.

Will we, the American people, allow ourselves to be ruled by outlaws? Let's drop Clinton, not bombs!

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TiM Ed.: During the last 60 days, we have been blessed with many offers of help from the decent, God-fearing, patriotic Americans. Now we appeal to those among the TiM readers who are lawyers or legal scholars to help us draft the articles charging Bill Clinton with violations of the War Powers Act and the Constitution, and seeking a federal court order for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Balkans. Thank you.

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3. War Crimes Tribunal Judge Says NATO's Targeting of Population Is Illegal

FREDERICTON, May 21 - Looks like our "home made" war crimes charges are having some effect (see S99-73, Day 49, Update 1, Item 4, May 11), thanks to many people around the world who have joined us in this form of civil protest. Speaking at a ceremony held at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada, Justice Louise Arbour, said on May 21 that the International Tribunal she heads could deal with allegations that NATO caused "disproportionate" civilian casualties during bombing missions over Yugoslavia.

"We have been seized by many complaints, ranging from pure political polemic, such as urging us to charge the entire NATO leadership with genocide... to much more detailed allegations that the principle of proportionality has been violated. That is, when NATO made decisions on military targets, that disproportionate civilian casualties were, or should have been, anticipated," she told reporters.

Arbour's remarks echo a recent comment by Mary Robinson, the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights, who said that NATO leaders should also be tried for war crimes against civilians. This might include the bombings of the Serbian state television building, which killed at least 10 people, the Chinese embassy, a refugee convoy, a bridge carrying a civilian train, and a hospital in Belgrade which was hit last week, Canada's National Post said on May 21.

Judge Arbour refused to say whether the Tribunal has launched formal investigations of any NATO actions. She didn't identify the source of the complaints. "We have received information from all kinds of sources. We have certainly analyzed what the legal position is," she said. Judge Arbour said the laws of war make it clear that it is illegal to target civilian populations in an attack. Because jurisprudence in the field is limited, the decision whether to prosecute is "a judgment call" informed by the opinions of legal scholars, she added.

She said it would be "wildly premature" for her to speculate on whether accusations that NATO has violated the Geneva Conventions will ever be substantiated. But she said there is no question her organization has the authority to investigate NATO. "I think it's a milestone in international justice, that we have jurisdiction over NATO."

For the full report, check out: http://www.nationalpost.com/home.asp?f=990521/2626620

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4. Somalia in Albania: KLA Shows No Respect for Dead; Russian Volunteer's Body Abused; Ransom Demanded

MOSCOW, May 22 - "KLA Do A Somalia on Russian Soldier's Body," read the headline yesterday's London Telegraph report about the Albanian rebels' killing of a Russian volunteer - the first known Russian casualty in NATO's war on Serbia.

Russian television showed pictures of KLA guerrillas parading the body of the 34-year old Lt. Vitaly Bulakh, and rifling the pockets of his uniform. Russia's Ministry for Emergencies admitted that Bulakh had served as one of its unit commanders, but said he had been discharged two years ago. The Foreign Ministry dismissed KLA claims that its forces had killed a Russian officer as a "provocation" aimed at undermining Moscow's efforts at mediating an end to the conflict.

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TiM Ed.: And then the KLA had the audacity to demand a ransom from the Russian embassy in Tirana, Albania, of 5,000 AK-47 automatic weapons and ammunition in return for the dead Russian soldiers' body, according to a New York Times May 21 report.

The Somalies who dragged the dead American servicemen through the streets of Mogadishu in October 1993 were savages who had no respect for the dead. The KLA are evidently savages who have no respect for the dead, either. Worse, however, they are also crass enough to try to profit from a dead body.

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5. French Skinhead Mercenary: "I Want to Go On Killing Serbs as I Had Done in Croatia, Bosnia"

TIRANA, May 21 - A French skinhead, wounded while fighting for the KLA, said he was recruited as an officer in the KLA "as soon as I showed pictures of the Serbs I had killed in Croatia."

"I arrived in Albania by boat, all by myself and without any connection, simply because I wanted to go on killing Serbs as I had done in Croatia and in Bosnia," 'Jacques', an athletic 39-year-old skinhead, his body covered with tattoos told the Agence France Presse at a Tirana, Albania, hospital.

"Jacques" said he was at first part of a group including nine foreigners - several Germans, a Lebanese, a Senegalese, a Spaniard and a Swiss. But after a first night of intense bombardment by the Serb artillery, seven members of the group asked permission to leave. "They were scared to death, they were vomiting," he said.

The Frenchman, who asked to remain anonymous while claiming his father was French President Jacques Chirac's chauffeur, said the KLA suffers severe losses as "the guys get less than two weeks' training". In order to conceal the scope of the losses, the foreign fighters who are injured are not allowed to go back to their countries of origin, 'Jacques' claimed.

"I was wounded the very day I was about to get a Winchester 308, a super rifle of great accuracy, excellent for sniping Serbs. This time I didn't have the chance to kill even one", he said regretfully.

Registered at the hospital under the name of Georges Hassani, 'Jacques' now hesitates between resuming fighting - once he has recovered - or going back to France, where former troubles with the police might catch up with him, the AFP said.

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6. An American Mother Appeals to Her Country, Other Moms

PENNSYLVANIA, May 21 - We received the following letter from Barbara Bodine of Pennsylvania, who says that she lives in a town (known to TiM) "that has never known the horror, or heartbreak of bombs in the night. And that every day that we live in peace, we must never forget the sacrifices and suffering of the innocent."

"I am an American mother. This sustained and brutal bombardment of an innocent country of civilians has triggered in me the most profound sense of loss and rage. I cannot ever hope to express how the dropping of bombs every day has changed my view of my country, my world and my life.

Since the bombing of Baghdad, I had dedicated my work, my intelligence, my heart and my soul to finding a new way of peace and hope for humanity. Every dollar I had, I spent, every prayer I prayed was given to the cause. I wrote, I produced, I carried myself with pride and dignity in the work and principles that I advanced.

However, these last weeks (since the bombing of Serbia started), I have witnessed something more horrific and shocking, more revolting and unthinkable... I have seen my country and its citizens surrender in silence the principles of truth and liberty and justice for all. The very principles that founded my country are now betraying it, as we continue in this dark and twisted deception.

Goaded by a President who is leading a campaign against violence, we sit and wait for an 'honorable exit.' The truth is that the war was the most horrific assault on all of humanity. Peace loving people all over the world have had to endure the presentation of this tragedy - and then its 'justification.' We have heard about errant bombs, misguided missiles, lasers run amok.

As the people of America have been force-fed this unthinkable murderous campaign, we are all the ones to blame. We accepted in silence the scenarios fed to us. We put our faith in PR and our so-called leaders. We waited for the UN to fix it. We prayed and expressed opinions, while we basically gave permission to NATO and leadership to continue.

I believe that every American must ask the hard and honest question - what and how could this have been prevented? The true tragedy was the inaction of those that sat by as bystanders and waited for the situation to correct itself. This is the very worst day and time in all of American history. We are in shock and denial. Only an informed citizenry can ever hope to prevent this.

After being awake all these nights - working in my own way to advance peace - here alone in my house, I can only say this: The only way that humanity and America can ever rise again is to face the truth. We were wrong. We were more wrong than we have ever been in our history. When we realized we were wrong, we took the wrong course - wait and hope that it will get better (bombs that hit targets, etc.)

But the wrath of God is on all of us. Killing is wrong. Period. It is wrong for everybody. We must build a new century of peace for humanity. But if it is not based on the truth - as painful as it is, we are doomed.

I appeal to my country, America: Face the tragedy, tell the story, learn the lessons and halt the bombing. I can never ever hope to feel good about my country, or my life, until I know that peace has been restored to Belgrade.

All people must bring that peace to a new reality. When the people lead, perhaps the government will follow. This is the day that it must begin. In spite of the deception and hypocrisy, the confusion and delusion, the real hope is that each and every human being demand a world free from terror and unite to build it themselves. The outrage and the injustice of this war is beyond belief.

Today, I feel as if I have lost all hope. I wish I were dead, along with the Serb children who died. I would rather be in heaven, than to live and witness this hell and hypocrisy.

I write my message to you in haste and heartbreak... My anger is justified. But it is my love of God and fellow human beings has sustained me in this dark time. Tonight is the wedding of a special friend, but I could not attend. I am in a personal protest. I ask other people all over the world to join me in lifting a light of hope against the darkness of evil. Let the peace be born and let us vow for all our children never, ever to let it happen again."

Barbara Bodine, an American mother, Pennsylvania

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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"