Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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May 27, 1999

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

Issue S99-91, Day 65

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

May 27, 1999; 5:00PM EDT - DAY 65

HEADLINES

The Hague               1. Milosevic Indicted! Clinton, Blair... Next?

Moscow                    2. Chernomyrdin Stiffens His Back

Beijing                      3. Russian, Chinese Military Leaders Meet,

                                    Denounce NATO's Brutality

Atlanta                     4. Jimmy Carter: "How Did We End Up in

                                    This Quagmire?"

London                     5. British Helsinki Human Rights Group

                                   Reports from Belgrade on NATO's War

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1. Milosevic Indicted! Clinton, Blair... Next?

THE HAGUE, May 27 - Judge Louise Arbourkangaroo.jpg (59706 bytes), chief prosecutor of the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague (ICTY), announced today that Yugoslavia's president, Slobodan Milosevic, along with four other senior officials have been indicted for war crimes.

Five down, 70 to go? If this court were about serving justice, that's exactly what should follow - indictments against all NATO leaders for mass murder of over 1,200 Yugoslav civilians, and the maiming of more than 5,000 others (see S99-73, Day 49, Update 1, Item 4, May 11). But, given ICTY's track record of persecution of Serbs, rather than prosecution of justice, we are not holding our breath, despite Judge Arbour's recent allusions to such a possibility (see S99-87, Day 61, Item 3, May 23 and "Put U.N. Justice on Trial," TiM GW Bulletin 98/8-5, Aug. 17, 1998).

In her today's statement, Arbour said that an independent review by a judge of this Tribunal had confirmed that there is a credible basis to believe that these accused are criminally responsible for the deportation of 740,000 Kosovo Albanians from Kosovo, and for the murder of over 340 identified Kosovo Albanians.

She added that "this indictment is directed against the five named accused. It is not directed against the State of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, nor against its people."

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wpe8.jpg (1703 bytes)TiM Ed.: Sounds like something right out of NATO's "lie and deny" PR kitchen. For, it echos the statement which the NATO secretary general, Javier Solana, made at the outset of the attack on Serbia - that NATO is supposedly NOT waging war on Yugoslavia, only on Milosevic. Arbour and Solana should try selling such "snake oil" PR to the families of thousands of dead Yugoslav citizens whose souls are crying out for justice.

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2. Chernomyrdin Stiffens His Back

MOSCOW, May 27 - Just as aids are having to prop up Boris Yeltsin in public as if he were a wax museum figure, the Russian military leaders seem to have helped stiffen Viktor Chernomyrdin's back. In an OpEd piece published today by the Washington Post, Chernomyrdin sounded more like an angry Russian bear, than a New World Order lapdog that he has been so far. Moscow's special envoy to the Balkans said he felt compelled to respond to "certain ideas put forward by President Clinton in his contribution of May 16 to the New York Times."

Here are some excerpts:

"The new NATO strategy... has led to a serious deterioration in Russia-U.S. contacts. I will be so bold as to say it has set them back by several decades. Recent opinion polls back this up. Before the air raids, 57 percent of Russians were positively disposed toward the United States, with 28 percent hostile. The raids reversed those numbers to 14 percent positive and 72 percent negative. Sixty-three percent of Russians blame NATO for unleashing the conflict, while only 6 percent blame Yugoslavia.

These attitudes result not so much from so-called Slavic fraternity as because a sovereign country is being bombed ... This approach clashes with international law, the Helsinki agreements and the entire world order that took shape after World War II. [...]

Just as Soviet tanks trampling on the Prague Spring of 1968 finally shattered the myth of the socialist regime's merits, so the United States lost its moral right to be regarded as a leader of the free democratic world when its bombs shattered the ideals of liberty and democracy in Yugoslavia. [...]

Now that raids against military targets have evidently proven pointless, NATO's armed force has moved to massive destruction of civilian infrastructure - in particular, electric transmission lines, water pipes and factories. Are thousands of innocent people to be killed because of one man's blunders? Is an entire country to be razed? Is one to assume that air raids can win a war? [...]

Serbs see NATO and the Americans as aggressors against whom they are defending their native land. I do not think a ground war will be a success, and I am sure it will bring tremendous bloodshed.

Further, it will no longer be possible to thwart the proliferation of missiles and nuclear arms – another negative consequence of NATO's policy. Even the smallest of independent states will seek nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles to defend themselves after they see NATO's military machine in action. The danger of global instability looms, with more new wars and more victims. [...]

Also, sooner or later NATO will be expected by the world community to pay Yugoslavia for damages, to compensate the bereaved families of innocent victims and to punish pilots who bombed civilians and their commanders who issued criminal orders. Thus, the bloc is headed for a Pyrrhic victory, whether the conflict ends with the Serbs capitulating or in an invasion of Yugoslavia. [...]

Now, a few words about the ethnic Albanian paramilitaries. They are essentially terrorist organizations. Of this, Russia is sure. They are making money chiefly from drug trafficking, with an annual turnover of $3 billion. [...]

The world has never in this decade been so close as now to the brink of nuclear war. I appeal to NATO leaders to show the courage to suspend the air raids, which would be the only correct move. It is impossible to talk peace with bombs falling. This is clear now.

So I deem it necessary to say that, unless the raids stop soon, I shall advise Russia's president to suspend Russian participation in the negotiating process, put an end to all military-technological cooperation with the United States and Western Europe, put off the ratification of START II and use Russia's veto as the United Nations debates a resolution on Yugoslavia.

On this, we shall find understanding from great powers such as China and India. Of this, I am sure."

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TiM Ed.: The last three paragraphs are particularly ominous. What Chernomyrdin is basically saying to Clinton (or those in Russia who speak through Chernomyrdin while helping him stiffen his back), "stop the bombing or face WW III," as Russia, China and India form a new "triangle plan," a nuclear military alliance against the U.S. and the NATO countries. Which is, of course, a consequence of which we have been also warning (see S99-76, Day 51, Update 1, Item 2, May 13).

For the full text of Chernomyrdin's article, check out: http://www.WashingtonPost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/balkans/stories/chernomyrdin052799.htm

Meanwhile, in another sign that a diplomatic solution is becoming ever more elusive, Chernomyrdin again postponed his planned trip to Belgrade, where he was expected today. This is the second time this week that the Russian envoy has put off his meeting with Milosevic. Chernomyrdin is reportedly continuing to meet in Moscow with the U.S. deputy secretary of state, Strobe Talbott, and the Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari.

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3. Russian, Chinese Military Leaders Meet, Denounce NATO's Brutality

BEIJING, May 24 - As if adding an exclamation mark to Viktor Chernomyrdin's newfound tough talk, the Chinese Defense Minister General Chi Haotian, and Russian Navy chief, Vladimir Kuroyedov, met in Beijing this week. After the meeting, both condemned NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, calling it "brutal" and an "eastern expansion," the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported on May 24.

Chi, who is also vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, said President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Boris Yeltsin had talked by phone, and "both denounced NATO's brutal act and reached common ground on the settlement of the Kosovo issue."

Kuroyedov also "strongly denounced NATO's brutal act" and noted "the government, people and military forces of Russia firmly oppose NATO's eastern expansion," it said. The two military chiefs also discussed ties between their two navies, and expanded cooperation between the two, Xinhua said.

Last week, China barred the U.S. Navy from one of its favorite ports of call - the Hong Kong harbor (see S99-86, Day 60, Item 5, May 22).

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4. Jimmy Carter: "How Did We End Up in This Quagmire?"

ATLANTA, May 27 - Former president, Jimmy Carter, still a member of the New World Order's inner circle (CFR, TLC, Bilderbergers), added his own voice to a chorus of protests against NATO's war on Serbia. In an OpEd piece published today by the New York Times, Carter said that, "even the most severe military or economic punishment of oppressed citizens is unlikely to force their oppressors to yield to American demands."

Carter also spoke out against the use of cluster bombs by the Pentagon. "The United States' insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on our nation (as does our refusal to support a ban on land mines). Even for the world's only superpower, the ends don't always justify the means."

There, the international community has admirable goals... But the decision to attack the entire nation has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal," Carter said. "There is little indication of success after more than 25,000 sorties and 14,000 missiles and bombs, 4,000 of which were not precision guided."

"Instead of focusing on Serbian military forces, missiles and bombs are now concentrating on the destruction of bridges, railways, roads, electric power, and fuel and fresh water supplies. Serbian citizens report that they are living like cavemen, and their torment increases daily."

Concluding that NATO's decision to amass 50,000 troops at Kosovo's border is a signal of an impending ground assault on Serbia which will lead to more casualties, Carter asks, "How did we end up in this quagmire?" And answers his own question: "We have ignored some basic principles that should be applied to the prevention or resolution of all conflicts." He put the "short-circuiting the long-established principles of patient negotiation leads to war, not peace" at the top of the list.

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5. British Helsinki Human Rights Group Reports from Belgrade on NATO's War

LONDON, May 22 - The British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG), a non-governmental organization which has been involved in a variety of activities in the Balkans, such as monitoring civil elections in the last several years, has just issued a report about NATO's war on Serbia. The report is based, in part, on a May 10-13 visit to Belgrade by a delegation of the group.

Here are some of BHHRG's conclusions:

"Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless and many others maimed and killed as a result of the West’s political machinations and military blunders since 24th March 1999. NATO leaders’ pronouncements that this conflict is about human rights seems to be a cruel and dishonest fig leaf put forward to hide strategic ambitions in the Balkans.

Unhappily, the Hague War Crimes Tribunal is unlikely to be a forum for objective justice, as presently composed. Far from promoting the rule of law the Tribunal is controlled by NATO countries: the chief judge is American, the chief prosecutor Canadian. Until NATO took sides in this conflict this was not necessarily a flaw of the Tribunal but now its impartiality must be questioned.

This means that no one from a NATO country is likely to face prosecution for war crimes – such as alleged breaches of the Geneva Convention. However, the words of Major-General Curtis LeMay who spearheaded the bombing of Japan in World War 11, including the dropping of the first atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be prophetic: "I wasn’t particularly worried about getting the job done . I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal". It remains to be seen who will win this war and what the response of countries like China will be to the outcome.

Even if the conflict stops with a carefully crafted NATO ‘victory’ the region will remain unstable with more wars - between Albanian and Albanian, for example – possible. The followers of Ibrahim Rugova and those of the KLA are already deeply distrustful of one another – the former are alleged to control large sums of money collected as taxes from the Albanian diaspora over the past few years. The KLA, according to the Wall Street Journal (20/5/99) would dearly like to gain access to these funds. Either side could be joined by Albanians from Albania proper who support one side or the other as well as different political formations in Albania itself.

And, far from having their hands burnt , it is also likely that the period of reconstruction that will, inevitably, follow the conflict will offer Western governments fresh opportunities for meddling in the internal politics of Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Large numbers of consultants, analysts and experts will descend to ‘rebuild’ the country - and its neighbors. There will be rich rewards for those who do what the donors want. A major sticking point for Western politicians in the past has been Serbia’s failure to enter into the right kind of business deals; all these issues will be on the table again.

In other words, there is little optimism that much good will come out of the tragic war over Kosovo. Other places have been watching events in the Balkans with interest. For example, a Polish diplomat publicly stated that neighboring Belarus ‘met all the conditions’ for a similar invasion by the West. And during the recent presidential campaign in Slovakia, people have been told by state and private media that if they vote for Vladimir Meciar the country will meet the same fate as Yugoslavia. In the Caucasus region there is unease about the future of disputed regions like Nagorno Karabakh.

The question is: will the United States and its allies have the stomach for taking on any more adventures of this kind? If they do, the world could face the nightmare predicted in George Orwell’s 1984 with small, low-grade wars going on all the time while people become dehumanized, impoverished and ultimately reduced to meaninglessness."

For the full report, check out the BHHRG Web site: http://www.bhhrg.org/serbia/serbia1999/serbia1999.htm

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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"