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Yugoslavia: How Demonizing A Whole People Serves Western Interests
May 06, 1999

Recolonization of the Balkans is what this is all about

The Coastal Post - April, 1999

By Marie-Pierre Lahaye

The role of U.S. public relations firms should also be exposed. According to a U.S.  department of Justice official document, the Washington based public relations agency Ruder-Finn served as a media counsel for the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to "facilitate a greater U.S. leadership role in the Balkans ... and to educate U.S. government officials, including Clinton Transition Team members and news media reporters, editors and producers to the continuing tragedy taking place in Bosnia." The same document also acknowledges that Ruder-Finn during the period from November
1992 to May 1993, rendered the same type of service for the province of Kosovo for a fee of $230,000, consisting of a "compilation of background materials and dissemination of information regarding the brutal Serbian repression of minorities in Kosovo." This provides clear evidence that a strategy of communications has been carefully planned by the ethnic Albanians with the support of the U.S. government at least five years before the violence erupted in the province, specifically targeting opinion leaders in order to manipulate the mass media against the Serbs."

Officers criticize NATO's air-war strategy

By Rowan Scarborough


The U.S. military's misgivings about the air-power-only war against Yugoslavia run deep into the officer corps, even down to some of the pilots dropping bombs in Operation Allied Force, according to active and retired officers.

An American pilot flying missions from Italy recently sent an e-mail to a fellow pilot in Washington, complaining about how the war is being prosecuted and criticizing NATO leadership. The pilot in Washington shared a copy of the e-mail with The Washington Times on the condition the NATO aviator not be identified.

"This has been a farce from the start," says the pilot's e-mail. "We have violated every principle of campaign air power I can think of."

The pilot adds in the e-mail sent last weekend:

"We are right to conduct military operations against Yugoslavia. The question that faced us was 'Can air power solve the crisis in Kosovo by bringing [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic to his knees?' Unfortunately, we will never know the answer due to the tragic misapplication of air power by politicians, which includes not only the national leaders in
the NATO alliance but also NATO itself...

"I think overzealous air power advocates have, since Desert Storm, sold us as something we are not. Air power can do a lot of things. However, it can not change the mind of a dictator who has his people's tacit support... It is not the USAF's fault that the air  campaign is not going as well as Desert Storm. Hitting 5-8 targets a night, with sequential vice parallel operations is not the way to prosecute a campaign."

It is already known that the Joint Chiefs of Staff told President Clinton before the first strikes on March 24 that they doubted an air war, minus the threat of ground troops, would force Mr. Milosevic to bend to NATO's demands.

But what is also significant is the number of rank-and-file officers who privately express little confidence in the 47-day-old assault.

Officers stationed in Washington say there is a palpable difference between the military's enthusiasm for the 1991 Gulf war and its uneasiness over the current air operation.

"I know of no one in the Pentagon who is happy with how we got put into Kosovo," said an Army officer, who, like other active duty personnel interviewed, asked that his name not be used. "If we were going to see action there, we needed to develop an entire campaign plan that included both an air phase, and an air-ground phase. We needed to deploy overwhelming combat power there, then operate."

This officer, who has regular contact with officers in other branches, added, "I don't know anyone in the Pentagon who is optimistic that things will work out."

Another Army officer said: "The objectives keep changing. What's the use?"

More than a dozen retired and active officers were interviewed for this report. All told of discussions or "bull sessions" with colleagues who were notable for their lack of enthusiasm for this mission as compared with the gung-ho approach to winning the 1991 war against Iraq.

In Desert Storm, the objective seemed clearer: evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait and destroy as much of Saddam Hussein's army as possible.

In Operation Allied Force, the goals appear harder to attain. President Clinton has ruled out ground troops. The air campaign started small and then grew on an ad-hoc basis. The United States is scrambling to find air bases for another 300 planes as Mr. Milosevic shows few signs of surrender after six weeks of air strikes.

In the Persian Gulf, said a Marine Corps aviator, "we all realized that the president was going to turn prosecution of the military campaign over to the generals. The military campaign was going to be 100 percent until our goals were achieved. In this case, we aren't doing 100 percent and there is certainly ambiguity of what the goals are."

Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen "Skip" Butler, who flew Cobra attack helicopters, still stays in contact with active-duty officers.

"I don't know of any military people who are supporting this other than the national command figures and appointees," Col. Butler said. "I've not talked to one single retiree who has confidence in the way this thing is being handled. What we're hearing is this force was established over the objections of most of our senior leaders in the military."

From the briefing podiums at the Pentagon and NATO headquarters in Brussels, the message is upbeat. The NATO air armada is methodically degrading the Serbian military machine, the spokesmen say.

"We're winning," says Gen. Wesley Clark, supreme NATO commander. "Milosevic is losing. And he knows it. He should face up to this, and he should face up to it now."

In the e-mail from Italy, the American pilot bemoans the need to get NATO ambassadorial approval for targets. He also says NATO strikes could have stopped the Serbian atrocities against ethnic Albanians - a principal goal for Mr. Clinton that since has been discarded by the military - if NATO's political leaders had permitted an all-out bombing campaign at the start.

There are now an estimated 700,000 Kosovar refugees and 800,000 displaced people in Kosovo, nearly the Serbian province's total population of ethnic Albanians.

"Had we decided to allow unity of command, and had the 19 NATO countries decided to politically accept the idea of military operations with civilian oversight ... then we could have been far more successful in halting the Serbian sweep through Kosovo," the pilot says.

"The rejection of parallel attacks actually gave the Yugoslav army the time to disperse throughout the Kosovo province to attack their targets and make it all the more difficult to hit the forces than when they were massed in staging areas."


NATO - natodoc@hq.nato.int

Addresses of NATO heads of state

M. Jean-Luc Dehaene
Premier Ministre
rue de la Loi 16
B-1000 Brussels
phone 02-501-02-11
e-mail jeanluc.dehaene@premier.fgov.be
webpage http://belgium.fgov.be/

Jean Chretien
Prime Minister
House of Commons, PO Box 1103
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
phone 1-613-992-4211, fax 1-613-941-6900
e-mail pm@pm.gc.ca
webpage http://pm.gc.ca/english.html-ssi

Vaclav Havel
Office of the President of the C.R.
Hrad (Castle)
119 08 Praha 1
Czech Republic
phone 420-2-3337-1111, fax 420-2-2437-3300
e-mail president@hrad.cz
webpage http://www.hrad.cz/

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Prime Minister
Prime Minister`s Office
Christiansborg, Prins Jorgens Gaard 11
DK-1218 Copenhagen
phone 45-33-92-3300, fax 45-33-11-1665
e-mail stm@stm.dk
webpage http://www.stm.dk/

M. Jacques Chirac
President de la Republique
Palais de l`Elysee
55 et 57, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore
75008 Paris
phone 331-42-92-81-00, fax 331-47-42-24-65
e-mail page http://www.elysee.fr/mel/mel_.htm
webpage http://www.elysee.fr/

Gerhard Schoeder
Adenauerallee 141
PA: Briefpost, PLZ 53106
53113 Bonn
phone 49-228-56-0, fax 49-228-56-2357
e-mail page
http://www.bundesregierung.de/inland/.bin/pbamaild?10 webpage

Kostas Simitis
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Greek Parliament Bldg., Constitution Square
fax 301-671-6183
e-mail mail@primeminister.gr
webpage http://www.primeminister.gr

Viktor Orban
Prime Minister
Kossuth Lajos ter 1-3
1055 Budapest, Budapest fovaros
phone 36-1-268-3000, fax 36-1-268-4702
e-mail Viktor.Orban@meh.hu
webpage http://www.meh.hu

David Oddsson
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
150 Reykjavik
phone 354-609400, fax 354-622373
e-mail david@althingi.is
webpage http://www.althingi.is/~wwwadm/upplens.shtml

Massimo D'Alema
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (Prime Minister)
Piazza Colonna, 370
00187 Rome
phone 39-6-67791, fax 39-6-678-3998
e-mail page http://www.palazzochigi.it/contattaci.htm
webpage http://www.palazzochigi.it/index.htm

Jean-Claude Juncker
Prime Minister
Ministere d`Etat
4, rue de la Congregation
L-2910 Luxembourg
phone 352-47-81
e-mail page http://www.restena.lu:80/gover/mailbox.html
webpage http://www.restena.lu/gover/index_french.html

Willem Kok
Prime Minister
Binnenhof 20, 2513 AA
Postbus 20001, 2500 EA
The Hague
phone 31-70-356-4100, fax 31-70-356-4683
webpage http://www.postbus51.nl/

Kjell Magne Bondevik
Prime Minister
Akersgt. 42, blokk H
P.O. Box 8001 Dep
N-0030 Oslo
phone 47-2224-9832, fax 47-2224-2796
e-mail odin@ft.dep.telemax.no
webpage http://odin.dep.no/

Jerzy Buzek
Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office
al. Ujazdowskie 1/3
00-583 Warsaw
e-mail cirinfo@kprm.gov.pl
webpage http://www.kprm.gov.pl

Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Prime Minister
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
e-mail page http://www.primeiro-ministro.gov.pt/correio.html
webpage http://www.primeiro-ministro.gov.pt/

Excmo. Sr. Jose Maria Aznar
Presidente del Gobierno
Complejo de la Moncloa
Edf. Semillas
28071 Madrid
phone 34-1-335-3535, fax 34-1-390-0329
webpage http://www.la-moncloa.es

Bulent Ecevit
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara
fax 90-312-417-0476
e-mail ddlbsl@tccb.gov.tr

Rt. Hon. Tony Blair
Prime Minister
10 Downing St.
SW1A 2AA London
United Kingdom
fax 44-171-925-0918
email: tony.blair@geo2.poptel.org.uk
webpage http://www.number-10.gov.uk/

William Clinton
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20500
United States of America
phone 1-202-456-1414
fax 1-202-456-6218 or 1-202-456-2461
e-mail president@whitehouse.gov
webpage http://www.whitehouse.gov/

My congresswoman is Darlene Hooley. I voted for her in 1998. She is a democrat. I am a Vietnam veteran (draftee) and now a university professor in the area of international studies. From both of those perspectives, I oppose the action of the US in the Balkans.
We are creating far more problems and causing many more deaths than Mr. Milosevic. We have turned a trickle of refugees into a flood, destroying the infrastructures necessary for economic prosperity in the Balkans, and severely damaging any possibility of budget sanity in DC. We are now posed to spend an additional 13 BILLION dollars on the military? This is absurd. I am also curious about US interests in the Balkans. Why do we not take a firmer stand against the continuing Turkish oppression of Kurds? Against the Chinese repression of Tibetans? Why have we no history of aiding the people of East Timor in their struggle for freedom and democracy against Indonesia? Why didn't we stop the Guatemalan military from slaughtering the Amerinds of the highlands in the 80s? Etc.., etc. We should be  seeking a peaceful end to this war, not intensifying the bombing.

S.K. Ainsworth Salem, Oregon  97304

Stop the NATO's war dance in a pool of blood before the splashes reach you.

Please find a solution

Violence begets violence. What Milosevic is/has done is wrong, undoubtedly. But the answer is not by bombing the Serbian people. There have been 8 incidents that have gone awry. How many more do we have to tolerate before NATO stops this. Just stop it. And do it now. The rambolliet agreement was obviously flawed. Perhaps we can urge the Serbs to accept a peaceful solution rather than a violent one. I have never heard of a thing such as bombing to achieve peace. Its absurd.

History has shown that violence breads only violence. The military actions taken by NATO against the sovereign nation of Serbia, prove one thing only, that it takes the efforts of hundreds to build, but only the destructive hand of one to turn everything into ruins. If
the memebers of NATO were truely concern with notions such as liberty, democracy, and human rights they would spend their powers and resources to build, rather than to destroy. And most of all, they would not descriminate between the value of life of one vs. the value of life of another. Please stop this dreadfull course before it is too late.


Each day as I watch the news, I see the faces of the suffering people of Kosovo as they flee their homeland. It is heartbreaking, especially to see the children and elderly as they struggle across the border into the refugee camps. They are swarmed by reporters of the major networks, anxious to get them on film. NATO and the humanitarian organizations receive them into tent cities and then shuffle them off later to points farther away from their homes, either in Albania, or even in foreign countries. Being forced from one's home because of the poor decision making of a small group of politicians is a tragedy, and that tragedy can be seen on the people's faces.

However, media coverage in the west has been far from reciprocal in showing the tragedy within the rest of Yugoslavia. For forty-seven days now, day after day, the major networks re-broadcast Serbian TV pictures of the damage done by the NATO projectiles. They have shown the train, the buses, and even a few of the buildings. Not the people
though. You have not seen the faces of the children who have lost parents in the blasts, you have not seen the dead elderly, you have not seen the human face of NATO's mindless destruction. This is not accidental. As long as the Yugoslavs (and remember that there are 26 different national groups living here) remain faceless, it is easy to demonize them, to imagine them as a mass and not as individuals. It is one thing to see a picture of the remains of a train, it quite another to see the charred body of the thirteen year-old boy who was killed by the NATO missile, or anyone of the other 17 victims. It is one thing
to see the "collateral damage" of a home destroyed near Podujevo, it is quite another to see 11 month-old Bojana Tosovic and her father who were killed by the bomb. There have been upwards of 1,000 such civilian deaths, and I have yet to see any network presenting the tearful families of any of those casualties. Refugees by the scores. But Bojana's pregnant, tearful mother? Hardly.

Would Americans have understood the horror of the Littleton, Colorado massacre if they had not seen the mourning families and friends? Most certainly not. Those people, those individuals, would remain faceless names in a news story.

In showing a small part of the "collateral damage", the western media give the appearance of being "objective". However, sometimes what you are not shown is just as important as what you are shown. The manipulation of details in the news to fit a particular political
program has a name - PROPAGANDA. The free press has become little more than the voice-box of the government's political agenda. It was only when things started going radically wrong that the reporters began asking those uncomfortable questions. There have been rare exceptions in the media, and those individuals are to be praised. The others will come on board, and we will begin to see the victims of the bombing,
only when it is time to begin drawing the conflict to an end. This will help sway public opinion so that concessions can be made on all sides.

On the other hand, we have the Serbian media. Everyone in Serbia was used to Serbian TV, and we always knew that they were presenting only part of the story. They never made any bones about being biased, about showing the "other side" of Operation Allied Farce. They were a tiny voice when compared to the vast machinations of the western news networks. Yet, they were apparently very effective. So effective that NATO decided to silence them with three tomahawks, killing more than a dozen anchor people, technicians, make up artists and so on. Then on May 3, they also blew up the local TV station here in Novi Sad with an incredible amount of ordinance. As westerners, we should all be horrified by this. Just because you disagree with what someone says, you have no right to kill them. That is the principle of free speech, one of the fundamental rights of democracy. A few days later, after Littleton, President Clinton stated "We need to teach our children to express their anger with words, not weapons". If you ask me, those
children were following the very example set by our hypocritical President. He is the one who is using weapons and not words to silence those with whom he disagrees. Tomahawk democracy.

For years I have taught my students a block of classes which I have labeled "American Studies", as a tandem to a course they have in British culture. In preparation for those classes, the students are required to read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and some of the more famous speeches by American presidents. They also
read about US geography, foreign policy, economy, health care, race relations and about the place of women in society. We then come together and discuss these issues, and try to compare the state of things here in Yugoslavia to the state of things there. My students have always been enthusiastic about the classes, participating vigorously in the discussions about the nature of democracy. I wonder how our discussions will go in the future.  My task will be a difficult one, because I will have to find a way to explain that,
while the principles of that democracy are sound and right, something has gone completely wrong in the way it is being applied. By breaking international law and by negating the essential principles of the US constitution, the Clinton administration has put a new face on democracy altogether, and that face is not a pretty one to see.