FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
May 30, 1999; 10:30PM EDT - DAY 68
Belgrade 1. Eleven Killed, 40 Wounded in Another
NATO Bridge "Kill"
Belgrade 2. Crossing the Bridges: Only Under the Sign of Cross?
Pristina 3. Foreign Media Convoy Bombed: One Dead,
Sarajevo 4. Serbs Said to Snatch Away Six NATO Soldiers;
Release Them after Eight Hours of Questioning
Belgrade 5. Yugoslav Jews Stand by Their Serb Neighbors: I'd
Rather Be Poor in Belgrade Than Rich in Tel Aviv!
Belgrade 6. Some of Belgrade's Ethnic German Felt the Same Way
Come and join the big anti-war rally being held at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, on Saturday, June 5, starting at noon at the Vietnam Memorial. Your editor is supposed to be one of the speakers. Let's tell Bill Clinton we don't want a KOSOVO MEMORIAL next to the Vietnam one.
Here is your chance to STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! So that one day, with your head held high, you can tell your children or grandchildren: "During the Days of the American Infamy, I did not remain silent; I stood up against Washington's Evil Empire, and defended America the Beautiful which our Founding Fathers had created."
For those who can't make it to DC but are close enough to San Francisco, there is a companion anti-war march being held there the same day (June 5). For details, check out www.iacenter.org.
1. Eleven Killed, 40 Wounded in Another NATO Bridge "Kill"
BELGRADE, May 30 - Add at least 11 more counts of murder, and 40 counts of attempted murder causing bodily harm, to the growing list of NATO's war crimes, after today's bombing of yet another bridge. Plus one damaged hotel, one church and one city hall.
This time, all these NATO "military targets" were in Varvarin, a small town 110km (65 miles) south of Belgrade. Three missiles struck the bridge while civilian traffic was flowing across it. More deaths are feared as a number of vehicles fell from the bridge into the swollen Velika Morava river.
Ironically, the town's name - Varvarin - means Barbarian in Serbian. Now, the town's residents can see that real barbarians live high up in the sky. And may consider renaming their town after the war - "Barbarians' Target."
Meanwhile, back in Brussels, the NATO leaders rejoiced in another "successful" day at the office, having launched a record 1,000+ sorties, along with over 300 strike sorties, in that 24 hour-period. A NATO spokesman confirmed the Varvarin bridge "kill," calling it a legitimate military target.
2. Crossing the Bridges: Only Under the Sign of Cross?
BELGRADE, May 30 - Crossing a bridge in Serbia these days is a crap shoot with your own life, as the above Varvarin story illustrated. But not all casualties are directly attributable to NATO.
One person was killed and another badly injured in a traffic accident on Belgrade's Gazela bridge last night (May 30). Fearing possible bombs, a driver reportedly sped up, lost control of his vehicle, and crashed through the fence and into the river below.
When this writer visited Serbia in late April, he had a similar experience, though with a happier ending. As you can see... by being able to read about it.
One of the three highway bridges near Novi Sad was still standing at the time. As we approached it after a brief stopover in downtown Novi Sad, the driver crossed himself, and asked everyone in the van to say a prayer. Then he gunned the vehicle across the bridge.
Half way across Europe's longest waterway, his eyes glued on the roadway ahead, "De Gaulle," the nickname which the driver, a tall wiry Serb, earned for having lived a few years in Paris, motioned to the right. "This is where the missile hit," he said.
Indeed, the damage was extensive and obvious, though the bridge was still standing. Back then. It no longer is. A couple of weeks later, NATO came back and finished the job.
No wonder many taxi drivers in Belgrade have crosses hanging under their rear view mirrors, having to cross the bridges across the rivers Sava and Danube numerous times every day. Only under the crosses, of course.
Incidentally, "DeGaulle" almost caused an accident a few days later right at the Kneza Milosa exit off the Gazela bridge in downtown Belgrade.
As this writer was walking along Kneza Milosa street to take pictures of the bombed-out Interior Ministry buildings (see the photos at our Web site - http://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/photos-rsd.html), a van suddenly came to a screeching halt on one of Belgrade's busiest streets. Several other vehicles behind the van also hit the breaks. But it was the van's driver, and not those behind him, who kept honking his horn more frantically than a Manhattan cabbie might during a presidential visit (see "Taking a Little Bite Out of the Big Apple").
When I finally looked up to see what all the kaffafle was about, I recognized "DeGaulle," my from Budapest to Belgrade, a few days earlier. "DeGaulle" seemed so happy to see me again, that he jumped right out of the van, ran across to the sidewalk to give me a big hug. After I returned the hug, he ran back to his vehicle.
Meanwhile, if something like that were to happen, say on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, what do you think would be the reaction of the drivers behind the abandoned van? Could maybe even the folks in New Jersey hear their impatient honking, let alone those in Queens?
Well, guess what... No one behind the abandoned van minded the two "old friends" (they thought, but in actuality two strangers who had met two days before) giving each other an impromptu hug, even if tying up the traffic for a minute or two. At least no one "audibly" minded it.
So if you want to see examples of civilized behavior, head out to wartime Belgrade. It's a hell of a more humane place than a peacetime New York. Or L.A.... Or Phoenix... (for a related letter from a Yugoslav Jew about his experiences in Israel - "I'd Rather Be Poor in Belgrade Than a Rich in Israel").
3. Foreign Media Convoy Bombed: One Dead, Two Injured
PRISTINA, May 30 - A group of foreign journalists traveling in a convoy in Kosovo was hit in a NATO air strike on Sunday May 30, the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said. Tanjug said the convoy "came under NATO fire" at 4:30PM (local time) at Krk Brod, on the road linking Brezovica and Prizren in southern Kosovo.
A convoy driver was killed, and at least two people were injured - the French philosopher Daniel Schiffer, and an unidentified British journalist. Tanjug said the injured had been taken to hospital in Prizren, a major town in southwest Kosovo.
TiM Ed.: Another "good day at the office" in Brussels; another "legitimate military target" hit...
4. Serbs Said to Snatch Away Six NATO Soldiers; Release Them after Eight Hours of Questioning
SARAJEVO, May 28 - What goes around, comes around. At least that's the way with most things in life and war. On May 28, a group of Serbs snatched away six NATO soldiers who were on a patrol in the Rudo area of Bosnia, and took them to Serbia for questioning, the Reuters newswire reported. No shots were fired and the NATO troops were released after eight hours of questioning.
Col. Lee Hockman, a NATO spokesman in Sarajevo who refused to identify the nationality of the detained soldiers, said the six NATO "peacekeepers" had been "heavily outgunned and outmanned," but had not resisted the Serbs.
TiM Ed.: Any wonder they had not? Meanwhile, here's a flashback from the TiM memory lane..
Back on Apr. 3, NATO's Special Forces came under fire from local Serb civilians while destroying a major Belgrade-Bar railroad line through Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UPI newswire reported from Sarajevo (see Day 11, Update 1, Item 2, Apr. 3). Nobody was hurt.
But the SFOR (NATO's evolving euphemism for its occupation force in Bosnia) said the operation rendered the tracks of the Belgrade-Bar (Montenegro) railroad line, which crosses through the Bosnian Serb territory, useless. The SFOR Commander, Gen. Montgomery Meigs, said at the time, the railway had been cut because of indications that Yugoslav troops intended to use it. He refused to elaborate.
You don't suppose this little Rudo Serb-NATO tussle, therefore, was a retaliation for the damage the NATO "peacekeepers" did to the Belgrade-Bar railroad line, while ostensibly keeping peace in a neighboring country? If so, that was surely is an odd way of peacekeeping, just as bombing a country into the stone age is a bizarre "humanitarian action."
Either way, the unidentified 8-hour NATO POWs should thank their lucky stars that they were captured by the "uncivilized" Serbs. Which is why they are still alive today. And free to kill more Serbs. God forbid!
BELGRADE, May 29 - The tiny Belgrade Jewish community is flouting the world opinion, writes Frank Brown, a religion correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. They are critical of the American Jewish organizations which have supported Bill Clinton in his strikes against Serbia, a country which had been a safe haven to many Jews during the Holocaust.
As you have seen from the earlier TiM Bulletins, some Jews in America and in Israel may have been trying to cleanse their own conscience by alleging that the war criminals, like Madeleine Albright, Wesley Kanne Clark, William Cohen or Sam Berger, aren't real Jews (see the "Jews vs. 'Jews:' Victims Don't Care About Quotation Marks" - S99-74, Day 49, Update 2, Item 4, May 11). They tried to do it by labeling these New World Order fascists as "Jews." Meaning, the "converts." Not the "real Jews."
As if the putting of quotation marks around their names will make it all right for all the thousands of innocent Serb civilians they have killed.
Some of the Yugoslav Jews, without any quotes around their names, are now suffering the new kind of a Holocaust, they say, along with their Serb neighbors, courtesy of the "Jews" who are running NATO's war against the Yugoslav civilians. The Jews or "Jews," take your pick, they say the American Jews should not try selling their "snake oil" remedies to the New World Order's victims - the Jews of Yugoslavia.
David Pesah (38), a Jew living in Belgrade, is a refugee, having escaped from the from the Muslim-held Sarajevo by the skin of his teeth in 1992. Now that he and his wife, a Serb, are being bombed again, Pesah vows not to leave, not to emigrate to Israel, nor to become a refugee again.
For Pesah, comparisons of the Kosovo Albanians' situation to that of the Jews in the Nazi Holocaust are particularly galling.
"The American Jews don't know what the Holocaust was. Maybe a few survivors do, but that's all. I'm very disappointed in them," said Pesah, an earnest man with a salt-and-pepper beard and wire-rimmed glasses. "If they call Kosovo genocide, then I compare Yugoslavia to Auschwitz. We are trapped and every night they (the NATO-Nazi bombers) pick a few people to kill."
Pesah said that his Yugoslav friends, and a strong attachment to Serb culture, had helped keep him in Belgrade despite the promise of material comforts in Israel, where he is entitled to claim citizenship under the country's Law of Return. He visited this Jewish state once - in 1995.
"The spirit is different there. Money is everything in Israel," said Pesah, who, with income from his Serb wife's job, currently lives on $180 a month. "If I am just going to work all day, and go directly into my pajamas when I get home, then I'd rather be poor here and live a life."
Even under NATO's bombs. And that's a life philosophy which many in the materialistic West just don't understand.
About 500 of Yugoslavia's 3,500 Jews have fled the NATO attacks, mostly to Israel and neighboring Hungary, the Chicago Tribune reported. Those remaining often share Pesha's feelings of solidarity with their Serb neighbors, and indignation at, what they perceive as, the U.S. and worldwide Jewish organizations' endorsement of the NATO bombing.
6. Some of Belgrade's Ethnic Germans Felt the Same Way
BELGRADE, May, 24, 1994 - It was a hot May day when we boarded a minibus which was to take us from Budapest to Belgrade. The Bosnian war was raging and the sanctions had been slapped on Serbia. So there were no international flights to Belgrade. Nor much of a demand to go there, it seemed. For, there were only five passengers in the van. Two men in the back seat spoke Serbian to each other, even though they had Swiss and Belgian passports. A pretty actress returning from a performance in Germany, who kept improving her makeup most of the time. And an older woman who sat behind me was evidently a foreigner, judging by her accent. This story is about her. Here is an excerpt from this writer's diary for May 24, 1994:
TiM Ed.: Just as were the Jews in the 1930s.
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"