UNDERNEWS INDEX E-MAIL US STATS LINKS
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR BALKAN ARCHIVES
- Greek Court ruling
- Prebombardment genocide in Kosovo
- Supporters and opponents of the war
- Places we've bombed since WWII
- Collateral damage
- Speech by Sam Smith, April 2000
- Speech by Sam Smith, April 1999
- Speech by Harold Pinter
- Hashim Thaqi
- Nuremberg prosecutor speaks out
- Reasons to stop the war
from The Progressive Review
WILLIAM BLUM, ROGUE STATE: Beginning about two weeks after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began in March, 1999, international-law professionals from Canada, the United Kingdom, Greece, and the American Association of Jurists began to file complaints with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, charging leaders of NATO countries and officials of NATO itself with crimes similar to those for which the Tribunal had issued indictments shortly before against Serbian leaders. Amongst the charges filed were: "grave violations of international humanitarian law", including "willfully killing, willfully causing great suffering and serious injury to body and health, employment of poisonous weapons and other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, unlawful attacks on civilian objects, devastation not necessitated by military objectives, attacks on undefended buildings and dwellings, destruction and willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences." The Canadian suit names 68 leaders, including William Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen, Tony Blair, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and NATO officials Javier Solana, Wesley Clark, and Jamie Shea. The complaint also alleges "open violation" of the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty itself, the Geneva Conventions, and the Principles of International Law Recognized by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The complaint was submitted along with a considerable amount of evidence to support the charges. The evidence makes the key point that it was NATO's bombing campaign which had given rise to the bulk of the deaths in Yugoslavia, provoked most of the Serbian atrocities, created an environmental disaster, and left a dangerous legacy of unexploded depleted uranium and cluster bombs. In June, some of the complainants met in The Hague with the court's chief prosecutor, Louise Arbour of Canada. Although she cordially received their brief in person, along with three thick volumes of evidence documenting the alleged war crimes, nothing of substance came of the meeting, despite repeated follow-up submissions and letters by the plaintiffs. In November, her successor, Carla Del Ponte of Switzerland, also met with some of the complainants and received extensive evidence. The complainants' brief in November pointed out that the prosecution of those named by them was "not only a requirement of law, it is a requirement of justice to the victims and of deterrence to powerful countries such as those in NATO who, in their military might and in their control over the media, are lacking in any other natural restraint such as might deter less powerful countries." Charging the war's victors, not only its losers, it was argued, would be a watershed in international criminal law . . . In an interview with The Observer of London, Del Ponte was asked if she was prepared to press charges against NATO personnel. She replied: "If I am not willing to do that, I am not in the right place. I must give up my mission." The Tribunal then announced that it had completed a study of possible NATO crimes, which Del Ponte was examining, and that the study was an appropriate response to public concerns about NATO's tactics. "It is very important for this tribunal to assert its authority over any and all authorities to the armed conflict within the former Yugoslavia." Was this a sign from heaven that the new millennium was going to be one of more equal justice? Could this really be? No, it couldn't. From official quarters, military and civilian, of the United States and Canada, came disbelief, shock, anger, denials . . . "appalling" . . . "unjustified". Del Ponte got the message. Four days after The Observer interview appeared, her office issued a statement: "NATO is not under investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There is no formal inquiry into the actions of NATO during the conflict in Kosovo.
JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: NATO is the war criminal, Slobo will say. He makes the following key points:
Environmental harm: Bombing oil and petrochemical plants near the cities of Novi Sad and Pancevo spread cancer-causing toxins across civilian areas and contaminated the Danube, thus threatening the drinking water supplies of thousands of downstream inhabitants.
Infrastructure damage: U.S. forces in effect attacked civilians when they knocked out Serbia's electric-power and water-purification systems-a tactic the Clinton White House classified as terrorism in 1998. The following year, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich told the House that cutting off electricity to hospitals was "almost certainly a war crime."
Nuclear fallout: NATO ignored a demand from Italy this year that it investigate the use of depleted uranium in U.S. armor-piercing shells fired in Kosovo and Bosnia. Six Italian soldiers died, allegedly of exposure to depleted uranium, while on a peacekeeping mission, as did Belgian and Portuguese soldiers. "We're a military alliance," said a NATO spokesperson, "not a medical alliance." But Doug Rokke, a physicist who directed a U.S. Army team monitoring the use of spent uranium shells after the Gulf War, pointed out that whenever the military fires spent uranium ammo in the U.S., the Pentagon cleans up the area and fences it off to protect the public.
Nonmilitary targets: To protect pilots and limit protest at home, the Clinton administration approved bombing above 15,000 feet, a high-altitude launching point that all but guaranteed bombs would be sent off course and land in civilian areas.
STEVEN ERLANGER, NY TIMES: On one level, the transfer of Mr. Milosevic is a crucial and necessary step toward the reconciliation of Serbia with the rest of the world, let alone with the rest of the region, broken apart in the wars of Yugoslav secession. But on another level, the quick transfer of Mr. Milosevic by the Serbian government, in defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling and without bothering to inform the elected federal president, Vojislav Kostunica, will be seen by many Serbs as a craven response to international blackmail, further undermining the country's independence and damaged legal system.
NEWS FROM THE COLONIES
SARA FLOUNDERS, INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER: Claiming they were concerned about controlling air pollution, some 3,000 NATO soldiers stormed a lead smelting plant in Zvecan at 4:30 in the morning of Aug. 14. The plant was the only functioning industry in the vast Trepca mining complex in northern Kosovo, a few miles from the city of Mitrovica. At 6:30 a.m., in a further attack that had nothing to do with air pollution, NATO soldiers closed down and confiscated the equipment of Zvecan's Radio S--the only station that dared to report information critical of NATO. The northern part of Mitrovica is the only remaining multi-ethnic part of Kosovo. Thousands of Serbs, Romani people, Slavic Muslims, other nationalities and peoples of mixed backgrounds have been driven out of other areas by Kosovo Liberation Army vigilante groups . . . The mines, with their smelting, refining and power centers, once constituted one of Yugoslavia's leading export industries and a main source of hard currency. It was the major source of jobs in the region.
Defending the pre-dawn attack, Bernard Kouchner, the head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, said, "As a doctor and chief administrator of Kosovo I would be derelict if I allowed a threat to the health of children and pregnant women to continue for one more day." UNMIK is the police force set up by NATO to administer Kosovo. Kouchner has never had a word of criticism for the environmental havoc NATO created throughout the entire region with the use of depleted uranium weapons, the bombing of chemical plants and the use of cluster bombs.
On July 8, 1998, New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges wrote, "The sprawling state-owned Trepca mining complex is the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans." Hedges described glittering veins of lead, cadmium, zinc, gold and silver.
It was George Soros, the multi-billionaire financier, who wrote Kouchner's script. Paris-based journalist Diana Johnstone, in a Feb. 28 report, described a policy paper by the International Crisis Group. This is a think tank set up by Soros to provide guidance in the NATO-led reshaping of the Balkans. The think tank publicly called on Kouchner to take over the management of Trepca and to use the pretext of environmental hazards to shut the Zvecan smelter down.
The Soros group stressed that the takeover should happen before new elections in Yugoslavia so that the opposition could blame Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for the loss of Trepca. The elections are now six weeks away.
With the seizure of the smelting plant in Zvenca, NATO will control the entire Trepca complex. The first move after seizing the complex was to turn it over to a consortium of private mining companies. This consortium--ITT Kosovo Ltd.-- is a joint venture of US, French and Swedish companies.
This is an enormously lucrative deal. ITT Kosovo Ltd. will administer Trepca, appoint executives and a board of directors, develop the investment strategy and skim the greatest profits from every possible deal. Soros's think tank recommends that the management and administration be made up of foreign executives "in order to prevent corruption."
"There is a gray zone we have to think about and how to react when members of demonstrating crowds all of a sudden brandish rifles and throw grenades at our troops." - General Yves Crene, commander of France's land forces, discussing future tactics in Kosovo.
GREAT MOMENTS IN DIPLOMACY
LORIS CAMPETTI, IL MANIFESTO, ITALY: After the first undeclared war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, NATO with the support of the European Union and thus of Italy has initiated a second war, this time declared. The old people and the children who are dying of cold and sickness only a short distance from our homes are not victims of the harshest of Balkan winters -- it is we in the West who are killing them with the embargo. Try to imagine what it means for a citizen of Belgrade to spend the night at 14 degrees below zero without heating because the sanctions prevent deliveries of fuel oil, without light because the electric power plants were bombed and are still closed for lack of fuel, without medicine because Serbia is the evil empire and its inhabitants are demons, their sin is deadly and deadly must be the punishment... Serbia's roads are covered with three feet of snow, the means of transport are stuck in depots, stations, airports. The schools are closed.
REUTERS: The UN special human rights investigator for former Yugoslavia said a lack of organized civilian power structures in Kosovo had turned it into "a paradise for different mafias". "There is chaos in Kosovo," Jiri Dienstbier said at the end of a 10-day tour of Yugoslavia in which he focused on problems in and near the province, a de facto international protectorate since NATO-led peace-keepers (FOR) deployed there last June. "There are very different private structures of power...It is a paradise for different mafias which not only control certain regions and villages, they even fight each other."
ICHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING
NO ACCIDENT SAYS REPORT
JOHN SWEENEY, JENS HOLSOE, ED VULLIAMY, OBSERVER (LONDON) & POLITIKEN (COPENHAGEN): NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. According to senior military and intelligence sources in Europe and the US the Chinese embassy was removed from a prohibited targets list after NATO electronic intelligence detected it sending army signals to Milosevic's forces. The story is confirmed in detail by three other NATO officers - a flight controller operating in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior headquarters officer in Brussels. They all confirm that they knew in April that the Chinese embassy was acting as a 'rebro' [rebroadcast] station for the Yugoslav army after alliance jets had successfully silenced Milosevic's own transmitters. The Chinese were also suspected of monitoring the cruise missile attacks on Belgrade, with a view to developing effective counter-measures against US missiles .... The Observer investigation, carried out jointly with Politiken newspaper in Denmark, will cause embarrassment for NATO and for the British government.
Two journals that saw this coming:
The fall and rise
of Ibrahim Rugova
WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 1999: The political leadership that emerged from the Kosovo Liberation Army is suffering a collapse of its support, according to voter surveys, interviews with ordinary ethnic Albanians and even senior figures in the rebel movement .... If presidential elections were held today, [Hashim] Thaqi would be easily defeated by Ibrahim Rugova.
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, MAY 1999: One of the most interesting -- and potentially important people -- in the whole Balkan crisis has gotten short shrift lately from Clinton spinners and the media, but it wasn't always like that. When Ibrahim Rugova, the president of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo, showed up at the State Department in 1997, the meeting with Secretary Albright was announced like this: "The Secretary will reaffirm the United States' support for the nonviolent policies advocated by Dr. Rugova and his party, the Democratic League of Kosovo. His restraint in the face of serious provocations commands our deepest respect .... Michael T. Kaufman of the New York Times, one of the few American journalists to take serious note of Rugova, wrote recently that he had opposed a violent revolt against the Serbs and had counseled against anti-Serbian slurs as only contributing to the troubles.
As the US and its allies moved towards a military solution, Rugova's influence started to fade in favor of such elements as Kosovo Liberation Army, America's new contras. And when Rugova was seen recently in conversation with Slobodan Milosevic, the White House-spun media suggested ominously that he might be under some form of duress and later reports had him under house arrest.
There is, of course, another possibility: that Secretary Albright was right last year when she professed support for Rugova's peaceful efforts. Watch this space.
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, MAY 1999: The Washington Post waited until the page A11 and the 30th paragraph to tell (incompletely) what was in the Yugoslavian peace proposal. The New York Times and Washington Times played it up front and straight, like real newspapers do. Included in the plan, quickly rejected by the US:
-- Cessation of all military activities -- Withdrawal of NATO troops along Kosovo's border and reduction of Yugoslavia's force to 11,000-12,000 soldiers. --Introduction of a UN peacekeeping mission including representatives of neutral nations, including Russia, Ukraine, and Western European nations that are not member of NATO. Force could only carry small arms. -- The return of all refugees, with free access to the UN and Red Cross. -- Continuation of discussions with Kosovo leader Ibrahim Rugova in the presence of international observers. -- An economic recovery plan for areas damaged by NATO.
By any normal standard of decency, there was more than enough here to stop bombing and start talking. Instead James Rubin, State Department representative and husband of CNN's Christiana Annapour, stated that U.S. NATO forces must be at the core of any peacekeeping force in Kosovo.
POST READERS STILL
BEHIND THE CURVE
The Washington Post's fading attachment to the KLA still provides its readers little hint of the group's ties to major drug trafficking, leaving them perplexed no doubt by such references in the story as "young rebel soldiers, many with wads of German marks and late-model Audis."
Earlier this year, the New York Times, TPR, and a few other journals foreshadowed problems with the KLA:
TPR, MAY 1999: Thaqi, a radical university student who helped to organize the KLA, rose to the top in early March by liquidating the more democratic and moderate government-in-exile of the moderate reconciliationist, Ibrahim Rugova. Rugova had been elected shadow president during a 1992 rump election but received little support from the US or NATO and was not recognized by Yugoslavia. While there is no evidence of direct American involvement in Thaqi's elevation, Madeline Albright quickly hailed him with a State Department announcement.
TPR, SEPT 1999: Adding confirmation to TPR's reports on the true nature of our friends in the KLA, Chris Hedges of the New York Times writes that the drug-trafficking, Albanian-backed force "carried out assassinations, arrests and purges within their ranks to thwart potential rivals ... The campaign, in which as many as a dozen top rebel commanders were shot dead, was directed by Hashim Thaci and two of his lieutenants ... As TPR has reported, the 29-year-old warlord Thaci [or Thaqi] liquidated the pro-democracy, nonviolent rebel government of Ibrahim Rugova who was elected in a shadow vote never recognized either by Yugoslavia or NATO. Rugova's more moderate politics, which dominated the Kosovo freedom movement for nearly a decade, did not fit the aggressive, expansionist agenda of Clinton and Albright.
ON THE KLA
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (LAST SPRING): I don't think we have to do a background check [on the KLA] any more than we did on the Contras.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
General Wesley Clark
COUNTERPUNCH: With the end of hostilities it has become clear even to Clark that most people, apart from some fanatical members of the war party in the White House and State Department, consider the general, as one Pentagon official puts it, "a horse's ass." Defense Secretary William Cohen is known to loathe him, and has seen to it that the Hammer of the Serbs will be relieved of the NATO command two months early.
DOCTORS AND DESTROYERS
Text of talk
by Sam Smith
Dupont Circle Rally, Washington
June 26, 2000
I want to tell you about a nightmare I had. At first, it was pretty much your ordinary nightmare - dragons, wraiths, witches, pterodactyls, poltergeists, Stygian swamps, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, that sort of thing.
Then the dragons, wraiths, witches, pterodactyls and poltergeists faded away. Clinton and Albright were still there but they had been transformed into doctors and the Stygian swamps had become the emergency room of a hospital. There were other doctors with name tags that read Blair and Berger and Bacon.
Then an ambulance drove up and deposited a man in terrible pain from some bad food he had eaten. And Dr. Clinton walked up and said to the man, "We must strike in the name of freedom and gastronomy against the criminally heartless restaurant that did this foul deed to you" and he drove his scalpel into the man's stomach. Which of course, didn't help much and after a few more such blows the patient died.
Then a man came in who had suffered a heart attack and Dr. Albright stood over him and declared loudly, "You are a victim of a evil disease; we shall not sleep until it is exorcised. It is clear, though, that you must be partitioned before we can reconstruct you" and so Dr. Albright took a hatchet and cut off the man's arms and legs and instructed a nurse to Fedex them to the far corners of the country. The man, of course, died.
Finally a young woman arrived at the cusp of childbirth but before Dr. Blair would attend to her he demanded that a commission of nurses determine whether any sex crimes had been committed against the woman and when he found that the child was the consequence of a rape, he delivered the baby but promptly threw it out the window declaring that democracy had triumphed again.
Just then I awoke and realized that it was just a dream and that all along I had been listening to the home service of the Voice of America, better known as NPR. The words were coming not from Doctors Clinton, Blair and Albright but from Cokie Roberts and I realized that, in fact, all was once again well with the world.
There is a name for this sort of medicine. It is called iatrogenic - in which the disease is caused by the physician. Doctors who cause diseases or ruin the health of the patient through arrogance, incompetence, and mindless machismo have large insurance policies because people sue them for something we call malpractice. In medicine this is considered a bad thing.
We have just gone through yet another iatrogenic war, in which our elites have argued falsely that their stated intentions outweigh any actual consequences. The patient is in far worse shape than before this war began, the victim of arrogance, incompetence, and mindless machismo.
This war was conducted, in no small part, by people who called themselves, in their private lives, killer litigators. Their speciality was making the other side lose. So now we have seen what happens when you give a bunch of corporate lawyers their own air force. These are the people F Scott Fitzgerald described in the Great Gatsby when he wrote:
It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
The difference was that the Gatsby crowd didn't have cruise missles.
We, of course, have had other iatrogenic wars. This is what happened in Vietnam when we declared that it was necessary to destroy villages in order to save them. This is what happened in Iraq when in the name defeating a modern Hitler we caused the post-war death by disease and malnutrition of far more people than Hussein himself had killed. And it is what happened when NATO declared that Slobadon Milosevic's crimes against humanity were such that they justified the brutal destruction of a country and the pain and death and the very ethnic cleansing we said we sought to avoid.
In fact, every moral act in the face of mental or physical injury carries twin responsibilities: to mend the injury and to avoid replacing it with another. This twin burden is faced every day by doctors. Every police officer faces it. Every firefighter. It was what I was taught as a Coast Guard officer. It's well past time for our politicians do so as well.
The point of speaking of the evils of a Milosovec or a Hussein is to raise the alarm. But once that has been successfully done, this alarm may not rightfully be used as a perpetual excuse for our own misdeeds. From the moment we commence a moral intervention we become a part of the story, and part of the good and evil. We are no longer the innocent bystander but a full participant whose acts will either help or make things worse. Our intentions become irrelevant; they are overwhelmed by the character of our response to them. The morality of the disease is supplanted by the morality of the cure. Any other course amounts to reckless and negligent political malpractice.
Wars are one of the foul rituals of misdeveloped, morally dyslectic men and women, whose power has dangerously outstripped their integrity, their hearts, and their wisdom. Yet we, too, must avoid treating this disease as an excuse. Being against a barbaric invasion is not a policy or a paradigm; it is simply a necessity.
Let's be honest; one of the reasons thing deteriorated to the point that a Democratic president thought he could get away with such a war is because throughout his life far too few have held him accountable for his behavior. He has come to rely upon the misguided support of those who have let his words trump his acts. This has helped us to lose other wars such as those against democracy, civil liberties, our planet's health, people without wealth or power, the young, the non-conforming, and citizens who prefer to use a mild drug such as marijuana rather than the deadly yet legal one of nicotine.
The bombing has stopped over Belgrade but we remain the targets in these other conflicts. And this is the way it will be until we too can move beyond our words to results. Is there a doctor in the house?
OUR NEW ALLIES
Adding confirmation to TPR's reports on the true nature of our friends in the KLA, Chris Hedges of the New York Times writes that the drug-trafficking, Albanian-backed force "carried out assassinations, arrests and purges within their ranks to thwart potential rivals ... The campaign, in which as many as a dozen top rebel commanders were shot dead, was directed by Hashim Thaci and two of his lieutenants ... Thaci denied through a spokesman that he had been responsible for any such killings."
As TPR has reported, the 29-year-old warlord Thaci [or Thaqi] liquidated the pro-democracy, nonviolent rebel government of Ibrahim Rugova who was elected in a shadow vote never recognized either by Yugoslavia or NATO. Rugova's more moderate politics, which dominated the Kosovo freedom movement for nearly a decade, did not fit the aggressive, expansionist agenda of Clinton and Albright.
Hedges reports that while a student at Pristina University, Thaci -- later known as "Snake" -- joined a secret organization called the Kosovo Popular Movement, which had been "financed and backed by the Stalinist dictator of Albania, Enver Hoxha, until his death in 1985." Members of this group are at the core of Thaci's organization.
Says Bujar Bukoshi, Rugova's prime minister in exile, "Cadavers have never been an obstacle in Thaci's career." He should know. According to one western diplomat, Bukoshi almost became one of them last May, but the plot failed.
The World Food Program says that only 30 percent of Kosovo's arable land had been planted. It is now too late to plant and, besides, there are too many unexploded mines in the fields. Agriculture supplies work for 60% of Kosovo.
KLA TAKES OVER KOSOVO
A lead New York Times story supports TPR reports that far from producing democracy in Kosovo, the NATO war and invasion has turned the province over to the KLA which "has taken sweeping control .... establishing a network of ministries, seizing businesses and apartments, and collecting taxes and customs payments in the absence of a strong international police presence."
Despite the fact that the KLA "has no legal standing, they have created a fait accompli, and these days they talk not of ceding power to the United Nations but of cooperating as if they were equals." The KLA has ousted moderate Kosovo leaders, tried to assassinate at least one of them, and has been closely linked to Europe's major drug trafficking operations.
TELEGRAPH, LONDON: NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia had almost no military effect on the regime of President Milosevic, which gave in only after Russia withdrew its diplomatic backing. This is the gloomy assessment of a private, preliminary review by NATO experts of the alliance's 78-day Operation Allied Force bombing campaign against Yugoslavia over Kosovo. At the same time, British diplomats have concluded that Milosevic had no intention of honoring any diplomatic agreement which reduced his hold on Kosovo - despite his vaunted willingness to enter the negotiations at Rambouillet and the peace talks in Paris which preceded the bombing campaign. The experts nevertheless judge that, diplomatically and politically, the operation was a success because the 19-member alliance remained united throughout and left Belgrade so isolated that it was forced to submit to NATO's terms.
WASHINGTON TIMES: UN administrators in Kosovo say a deal worked out with the Kosovo Liberation Army in June by State Department spokesman James P. Rubin is not binding and will undermine UN efforts to police the province. KLA leaders are pressing for enforcement of the agreement, struck in the closing days of NATO's bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, which would give members of the ethnic Albanian guerrilla force favorable consideration in recruitment of a civil police force.
BRITISH CONSERVATIVE SPOKESMAN IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: "The security situation [in Kosovo] is deteriorating and if the government does not act soon the whole region will be destabilized .... Urgent action, not platitudes, are needed to stop the creation of a Balkan Northern Ireland and another Balkan war."
ALBANIAN ECONOMIC TRIBUNE: Albanian criminals wanted by the police have moved into Kosovo on the heels of the deployment of NATO troops to escape justice, police sources confirmed on Thursday. A police spokesman said that investigators have compiled a list with the names of the 72 most wanted criminals believed to have found safe haven in Kosovo .... Reports from Kosovo say that Albanian gangs are already running lucrative operations, smuggling drugs, cars, petrol and cigarettes. On the Kosovo roads the mobsters' are easy to spot in their glossy black Mercedes with tinted windows and no number-plates, and in the flashy four-wheeled drives registered in Vlora, southern Albania.
UPI: The Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, an independent think tank, says NATO's military forces in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo are failing to deter or halt a new ethnic cleansing campaign being conducted by the Kosovo Liberation Army. In a study released Sept 8 .... senior analyst Michael Radu says, "The war in Kosovo ended a few months ago, but the practice of 'ethnic cleansing' is flourishing, this time perpetrated by ethnic Albanians who are proving even more adept at it than the Serbs." He said that although Serb military and police, along with NATO bombing, pushed out "only about half of the Albanian population into temporary exile, fully 90 percent of the non-Albanian minority (which numbered about 200,000 at the beginning of the year) have now left the region - this, during three months of 'peace' and under the oversight of the United Nations and NATO."
THIS WILL ONLY HURT A LITTLE BIT
UPI: To bring democracy to Kosovo, international officials must act undemocratically in the short run based on lessons learned in implementing peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to the newly appointed Southeastern Europe coordinator for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe .... In Kosovo, which is likely to become a protectorate, international officials must create the government institutions, and elections should be postponed, possibly for two years, Barry said. Creating an apolitical judiciary and independent media should be priorities.
Days of bombing: 73
Sorties by aircraft: 32,000
Targets hit: 900
Cost: Up to $2.6 billion
Civilian death toll: 1,500
Yugoslavian military death toll: 5,000
Cost of rebuilding Kosovo province: Up to $30 billion
[US News & World Report]
BALKAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT
-- Yugoslavia is actually a sovereign country.
-- Kosovo is actually a province of Yugoslavia.
-- Historically, the term for what is now happening in Kosovo is not "peacekeeping mission" but "invasion and occupation."
-- One way to tell this is to ask a simple question: just who asked NAT0 to bomb and invade Yugoslavia?
-- No representatives of any indigenous group has had any formal role in the decisions that led to the destruction and occupation of Yugoslavia. They have no formal role now. One way to tell this is to take this simple test: Name one or two indigenous leaders on whose behalf we just killed 6,500 people and blew $2.6 billion
FROM A SPEECH BY HAROLD PINTER
TO THE CONFEDERATION
OF ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS, LONDON
Why is NATO in Yugoslavia? This question is related to another. Why has NATO, which was effectively made redundant at the end of the Cold War, in fact expanded? Why are Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary members of NATO? The answer appears to lie in the considerable potential oil wealth in the Caspian Sea region. One of the Guardian newspaper intellectuals had this to say the other day: "How absurd it is," he jeered, "to refer to the oil in the Caspian Sea region as having anything to do with the NATO operation. The Caspian Sea is over a thousand miles from Yugoslavia." It is indeed. But to get the oil from the Caspian Sea into the hands of the West you can't use buckets. You need pipelines and those pipelines have to be installed and protected. The oil reserves in the Caspian Sea are vast. The pipelines mean that security in the Balkans is of concrete economic and strategic importance. The US Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson has explained it quite clearly "This is about America's energy security. It's also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We are trying to move these newly independent countries toward the West. We would like to see them reliant on Western commercial and political interests. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian and it's important that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."
.... I suggest that it was in the interest of the imperialist states -- the USA, the United Kingdom and Germany -- to fragment what was an effectively, if precariously, unified Yugoslavia. The way to do this was to demand the break-up of nationalized industries and to impose austere neo-liberal policies which exacerbated simmering ethnic tensions. The economic pressure exerted upon Yugoslavia lay the objective foundations for the dissolution of the Balkan State. The break up was accelerated by Germany which abruptly recognized the independence of Croatia and Slovenia in 1991 and the US which gave its approval to Bosnian succession in 1992. Naturally to break up a state into many parts is to reduce the strength of that state.
The dismantling of the USSR has created a power vacuum in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. The principle significance of Yugoslavia at this critical juncture is that it lies on the Western periphery of a massive swathe of territory into which the major world powers aim to expand .... The greatest untapped oil reserves in the world are located in the former Soviet Republics bordering the Caspian Sea. These resources are now being divided between the major capitalist countries. This is the fuel that is feeding militarism and which threatens to lead to new wars of conquest by imperialist powers against local powers. Brezinski, the former national security chief under Carter stated in 1997: "America's status as the world premier power is unlikely to be contested by any single challenger for more than a generation. No state is likely to match the United States in the four key positions of power -- military, economic, technological and cultural -- that confer global political clout."
Having consolidated its power in its base in the Western Hemisphere, the US, Brezinski argues, must make sustained efforts to penetrate the two continents of Europe and Asia. "America's emergence as the sole global superpower" he continues, "now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia.
.... The US House Committee on International Relations has begun holding hearings on the strategic importance of the Caspian region. Doug Bereutter, the committee chairman spoke as follows: "Stated US policy goals regarding energy resources in this region include fostering the independence of the new states and their ties to the West, breaking Russia's monopoly over oil and gas transport routes, encouraging the construction of East/West pipelines that do not transit Iran and denying Iran dangerous leverage over the central Asian economies." Mortimer Zuckerman, the editor of US News and World Report said last month that the "Central Asian resources may revert back to the control of Russia or to a Russian led alliance. This would be a nightmare situation. We had better wake up to the dangers or one day the certainties on which we base our prosperity will be certainties no more. The potential prize in oil and gas riches in the Caspian sea, valued up to 4 trillion dollars, would give Russia both wealth and strategic dominance. The potential economic rewards of Caspian energy will draw in their train Western military forces to protect our investment if necessary." It could be argued that the significance of the military action against Yugoslavia rests in the fact that Kosovo was a testing ground for wars that might follow in the former Soviet region -- to protect the interests of the United States.
TELLS NEW YORK TIMES
WHAT TO WRITE
When he was not busy writing international agreements, State Department flack James Rubin took the Clinton Administration's new propaganda strategy out for a test ride. UPI reports that Rubin "has demanded that the New York Times issue a formal correction to a story that claims $1 billion of U.S. assistance has been misappropriated in Bosnia-Herzegovina." The State Department denied the story, in fact denied there even was a 4,000 page report on the subject as the NYT had alleged. It arranged a conference call with a Balkan aid official and several Washington reporters incuding a UPI correspondent who wrote:
"Apparently discarding Clinton administration protests and explanations, the Times repeated the central claims of the story in an editorial today and called for a crackdown against official corruption in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Albright's spokesman, James Rubin, appeared flabbergasted with the Times today for not correcting the original mistake and then compounding it with an editorial. Rubin also called on the Times to correct the 'false, unjustified and unsubstantiated' story, the first time in recent memory that any State Department spokesman has publicly made such a demand. 'We would like to see corrective measures taken that create the truth, rather than false perceptions,' he said. The Times had no immediate response to the demand from the State Department.
Today some NATO leaders scorn the UN and tell us human rights must prevail over sovereign rights. Yet none of them are able to suggest new rules to replace the ones in place. Those who express concern about this are regarded as old-fashioned, but is it old-fashioned to assume that until new laws are proclaimed the old ones should be respected? It may be some of our NATO leaders are not old enough to remember that the founders of the United Nations had lived through two cataclysmic world wars in less than 20 years. They had witnessed the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs. Those who drafted the United Nations framework for world peace and security did so in the conviction of one simple truth, that if mankind were to survive it had to learn at all costs to put an end to war and to learn to settle disputes by peaceful means. To their everlasting shame, our NATO leaders have chosen war over peace in Kosovo. They have abandoned diplomacy in favor of bloodshed. They have taken us back to the Cold War and the arms race. They have smashed the framework of world security. They have guaranteed that we will start the new century as we did this one, with killing and carnage. They have left us with a terrible legacy. With six months to go before the millennium, they have taken us back to barbarism. -- James Bissett, former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, in the National Post
BBC: A British biologist, Roger Coghill, says he expects the depleted uranium weapons used by U.S. aircraft over Kosovo will cause more than 10,000 fatal cancer cases .... In mid-June scientists at Kozani in northern Greece were reporting that radiation levels were 25% above normal whenever the wind blew from the direction of Kosovo. And Bulgarian researchers reported finding levels eight times higher than usual within Bulgaria itself, and up to 30 times higher in Yugoslavia. DU is a by-product of the enrichment of uranium for making nuclear weapons and reactor fuel. It is 1.7 times heavier than lead, and is used for making armor-piercing rounds.
PROBABLY JUST TRYING TO PLEASE CLINTON
TELEGRAPH, LONDON: SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC yesterday dropped his plans to use a special session of the Serbian parliament to make major changes to the country's election procedures in the face of mounting protests against his regime .... Under the draft legislation the voting system would have been changed from proportional representation to a first-past-the post poll in local elections, which would have been called soon. The aim, said Mr. Draskovic, was to wipe out opposition gains in elections three years ago.
TELEGRAPH, ENGLAND: Albanians in Kosovo are behaving as violently as the Serbs before them and taking advantage of NATO's presence to settle scores, Lt. Gen. Sir Mike Jackson, alliance commander, has told The Telegraph. In an exclusive interview, Gen. Jackson said: "Too many Albanians haven't realized we're trying to do something new and different here. Some Albanians have behaved in a very similar way to those who have just left."
It seems that the international war crimes tribunal has been taking selective enforcement lessons from the New Jersey State Police. The only war criminals it indicted this week were those with hard-to-spell foreign names. No one with a simple Anglican name -- say like Clinton or Blair -- was charged.
THE REAL PLAN
BY BARTON GELLMAN AND R. JEFFREY SMITH, WASHINGTON POST [6/6]: In a three-page confidential memo to Clinton in April, Albright foresaw "a rebuilt Kosovo and a post-Milosevic Serbia," but her ambitions actually were greater. For southeastern Europe as a whole, the United States and the European Union "need to play a catalytic role in helping them develop their economies, their civil societies, their democratic infrastructure and their security relations," she wrote. "And we need to condition such help, as we did fifty years ago in Western Europe, on close cooperation among the beneficiaries and new understandings of sovereignty." .... Senior White House officials said Clinton has now accepted that the Balkans and their neighbors are "a kind of cancer in the middle of Europe," .... "We are going to stay engaged in this until this part of Europe looks like the rest of Europe," one senior State Department official said. "We're not talking about troops for two years. We're talking about a long-run engagement in the region."
FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR NEW ALLIES
-- Hashim Thaqi, now mildly referred to in media like the Washington Post as the leader of the provisional Kosovo government, is a 29-year-old precocious KLA warlord known in the field as "Snake." Putting him in charge of the reconstruction of Kosovo is a bit like having let General Patton run the Marshall Plan or having a Contra leader coordinate post-hurricane aid to Central America.
-- Thaqi, a radical university student who helped to organize the KLA, rose to the top in early March by liquidating the more democratic and moderate government-in-exile of the moderate reconciliationist, Ibrahim Rugova. Rugova had been elected shadow president during a 1992 rump election but received little support from the US or NATO and was not recognized by Yugoslavia. While there is no evidence of direct American involvement in Thaqi's elevation, Madeline Albright quickly hailed him with a State Department announcement declaring KLA's support of the Rambouillet surrender terms "a welcome development and an important step forward in the negotiating process, one that furthers prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Kosovo conflict."
-- Thaqi had been a regional commander in the rebel army and was convicted in absentia by Yugoslav courts and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He has vowed to fight for Kosovo's independence although he is quite close to Albania. According to one regional news report this spring, Albania spokesman Sokol Quoka said that "Tirana had established contacts with the [KLA] long ago and that the organization was steering its activities to the political sphere. Quoka went on to say that Tirana had already given its support to Hasim Thaqi, the head of the Kosovo negotiating team in Paris, Adem Demaqi, Blerim Shala and Yakup Krasniqi."
-- GARY WILSON, INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER: The origins of the KLA are murky at best. Some say it was founded in 1993. Others put the organization's beginnings in 1996, when a letter was sent to the media announcing its formation. The letter took credit for a February 1996 massacre of Serbian refugees from the Krajina region of Croatia who had fled to Kosovo for safety. Throughout 1996 and 1997, most of the KLA attacks were on Albanians who it called "collaborators." These were Albanian opponents of the separatist movement in Kosovo.
The KLA was never an organization like the liberation armies well known around the world. It never had a recognized leadership. It never even had a spokesperson until last year. It never issued any documents or statements of purpose. It doesn't even have a newspaper or magazine.
The grouping that called itself the KLA at first was actually an odd assortment of various opponents of the Yugoslav government who joined together with gangsters, mercenaries and other opportunists. Those who called themselves KLA ranged from people claiming to be followers of Albania's former Marxist leader, Enver Hoxha, to those who claimed roots in the fascist, nationalist Greater Albanian organizations of the 1940s. It was a combination of convenience, with no central agreement on anything but their hatred of the Yugoslav government.
.... In late 1997 and early 1998, there was a sudden shift. The KLA went through a "rapid and startling growth," according to a report in the April 25, 1998, New York Times. Foreign mercenaries, money and arms started to pour in to the KLA. The erstwhile KLA bands were quickly overwhelmed by an influx of mercenaries coming from Germany and the United States, who quickly took over command. It took a year before a representative from Kosovo could be produced to represent the KLA publicly. The new KLA began serious military operations-not only killing isolated Albanian and Serbian individuals but attacking government buildings and police stations. This open warfare could only be stopped by strong police measures. But when the government forces responded, the U.S. and NATO powers accused them of repression. This became the excuse for their war on Yugoslavia.
-- CHRIS HEDGES, FOREIGN AFFAIRS: [The KLA inside Kosovo is] "led by the sons and grandsons of rightist Albanian fighters [from the]Skanderbeg volunteer SS division raised by the Nazis, or the descendants of the rightist Albanian kacak rebels who rose up against the Serbs 80 years ago. Although never much of a fighting force, the Skanderbeg division took part in the shameful roundup and deportation of the province's few hundred Jews during the Holocaust. The division's remnants fought Tito's Partisans at the end of the war, leaving thousands of ethnic Albanians dead. The decision by KLA commanders to dress their police in black fatigues and order their fighters to salute with a clenched fist to the forehead has led many to worry about these fascist antecedents."
-- FRANK VIVIANO, MOTHER JONES: The Kosovo Albanians ~~ are part of an immense tidal wave of desperation that will fuel organized crime recruiting long into the next century. Put simply, the world's stateless nations -- Kosovan Albanians, Kurds from Turkey and Iraq, Tamils from Sri Lanka, Chechens from Russia, Ibos and Ogoni from Nigeria, and hundreds of other tribes and ethnic groups whose names are not yet in the headlines -- are the army-in-waiting of the new criminal super state. Or the army already in the field, altering its composition at a rate that befuddles law enforcement authorities.
-- SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: I don't think we have to do a background check [on the KLA] any more than we did on the Contras.
-- Raymond Bonner of New York Times has written that Albania has become a major hub for the movement of heroin and cocaine into Western Europe. As for the KLA's politics, one European diplomat told Bonner, "We really don't know what they are. There is an Islamic component, a left-wing component and there are those who are just guerillas." Said another diplomat, "They are not a people we would feel comfortable getting too close to. It is not like they are the military wing of a democratic resistance movement."
-- While the CIA's role in the Balkan disaster is not clear, it appears certain that NATO's chief military ally in the war against Yugoslavia, the KLA, is deeply involved in the heroin trade. And as late as last year, the KLA was still listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization.
-- Jerry Seper has reported in the Washington Times that some members of the KLA, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden -- who is wanted in the 1998 bombing of two US embassies in Africa that killed 224 persons, including 12 Americans. Seper wrote:
"Recently obtained intelligence documents show that drug agents in five countries, including the United States, believe the KLA has aligned itself with an extensive organized crime network centered in Albania that smuggles heroin and some cocaine to buyers throughout Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States....
"The Greek representative of Interpol reported in 1998 that Kosovo's ethnic Albanians were 'the primary sources of supply for cocaine and heroin in that country.' .... France's Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs said that the KLA was a key player in the rapidly expanding drugs-for-arms business and helped transport $2 billion worth of drugs annually into Western Europe. German drug agents have estimated that $1.5 billion in drug profits is laundered annually by Kosovo smugglers, through as many as 200 private banks or currency-exchange offices."
-- In July 1998, PBS Newshour reported that U.S. Vietnam War veterans were training KLA mercenaries in Albania.
-- Jane's Defense Weekly reported April 20: "Special forces involvement confirmed." The report also said that that special units from Britain, the United States, France "and other NATO groups'' were working undercover in Kosovo.
-- The April 18 London Sunday Telegraph reported that SAS, a unit of the British special forces, was running two KLA training camps near Tirana, the Albanian capital. The same report said that the KLA also has contact with the Virginia-based MPRI, a corporate supplier of mercenaries set up by top US military officers. MPRI also trained the Croatian Army that carried out a vicious campaign against Serbs in 1995. For more on this see the July 28,1997, Nation magazine.
-- On April 8 the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany, an opponent of the war, issued a report describing an alleged CIA covert operation named "Operation Roots" aimed at sowing ethnic divisions in Yugoslavia to encourage its breakup. The report claimed that this operation has been going on "since the beginning of Clinton's presidency." It was supposedly a joint operation with the German secret service, which also sought to destabilize Yugoslavia. The final objective "is the separation of Kosovo, with the aim of it becoming part of Albania; the separation of Montenegro, as the last means of access to the Mediterranean; and the separation of the Vojvodina, which produces most of the food for Yugoslavia. This would lead to the total collapse of Yugoslavia as a viable independent state." The report also asserts that the KLA was founded by the CIA with funding was funneled through drug-smuggling operations in Europe.
-- GARY WILSON, INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER: The top commander of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army is Agim Ceku, a brigadier general who took a leave from the Croatian Army in February .... In August 1995 Ceku presided over "Operation Storm," the massive bombing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Serb farmers from the part of Croatia known as the Krajina .... Ceku's military career began in the Yugoslav Army. But after Croatia became a separate state under the reactionary leadership of Franjo Tudjman, he defected to the Croatian Army. Ceku, an ethnic Albanian, was then trained by the United States. He is closely tied to Military Professional Resources, Inc .... Jane's Defense Weekly describes Ceku as "one of the key planners of the successful 'Operation Storm.'" Many reports have shown in detail that MPRI planned and directed this operation in the Krajina. "Operation Storm" was, until the current U.S. bombing, the bloodiest and most brutal military campaign in the Balkans since the Nazi invasion during World War II .... This March 21, the New York Times carried a front-page story about a report from the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague that characterized this attack as probably the most brutal event in the Balkans in the last decade. But no commentators picked up on this. The report was quickly forgotten.
INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER http://www.iacenter.org
COMMITTEE AGAINST US INTERVENTION http://www.antiwar.com
NONVIOLENCE WEB http://www.nonviolence.org
OUR BALKAN ARCHIVES: http://prorev.com/balkan.htm
STRATFOR INTELLIGENCE SERVICE http://www.stratfor.com/crisis/kosovo/Default.htm
NEWS FROM THE COLONIES
The World Health Organization reports that as much half of emergency drug shipments to Kosovo will go unused because US are dumping unsuitable drugs for tax breaks. Relief workers, desperate for antibiotics and other life-savers, have been finding boxes of chap sticks, hemorrhoid ointment and anti-smoking inhalers.
MOTHER JONES: Ecologists say the authorities in Serbia are concealing the extent of the ecological and health threats caused by NATO bombing .... A massive environmental disaster is at hand, with untold health problems to come .... Teams from the United Nations Environmental Program and the United Nations Center for Human Settlements in Yugoslavia have already sent a report to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warning of the dangers of "miscarriages, birth defects as well as incurable diseases of the nervous system and liver."
STRATFOR INTELLIGENCE ON THE KLA PROBLEM: The problem is, NATO simply has no options. It has so elevated the KLA throughout Operation Allied Force, so marginalized Rugova and the moderates, and so demonized the Serbs, that it can not now tear down Thaci's organization. NATO was successfully manipulated into waging a war on behalf of the KLA and its backers in the Albanian government. NATO is now learning that it is impossible not to take sides in a conflict .... NATO attempted to wage an even-handed humanitarian war to impose a peaceful tie between hostile camps engaged in a very messy, centuries-old blood feud. Now, too late, it learns what it stepped into.
GUARDIAN, LONDON: The son of Slobodan Milosevic surfaced from months of hiding to unveil the latest venture in the family's business empire: Bambipark. Speculation that Marko Milosevic had fled abroad ended when he opened Serbia's first recreational theme park. The Yugoslav president's son spent the past six weeks hammering and painting to ensure that the site would be ready for children needing to recover from NATO's bombing, workers claimed.
A Portrait of America survey finds that only 29% of all adults think that we achieved our goals in Yugoslavia while 35% do not. 36% are not sure. Sixty-eight percent think that Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic will act like Saddam Hussein and continue to harass the United States for years to come. Overall, 25% of Americans think that our nation's international image was helped by the war; 38% say it was hurt; and 15% say the war had no impact on our International reputation.
PORTRAIT OF AMERICA http://portraitofamerica.com
GUARDIAN, LONDON: Up to 50,000 K-For troops could be struck by a "Kosovo syndrome" similar to the illness which blighted veterans in the Gulf war, a senior environmentalist warned. Kent Cassels, head of training and education at the World Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, will visit the Balkans next month to assess the environmental damage caused by the crisis, on behalf of the UN Balkans taskforce. He said the use of depleted uranium in NATO cruise missiles, shells and bombs could pose a threat to the peace force .... Last year an American nuclear physicist said up to 90,000 British services personnel in the area might have been poisoned by DU.
GUARDIAN, LONDON: The United Nations agency resettling nearly 1 million refugees in Kosovo yesterday warned that it was close to bankruptcy because NATO governments that spent billions on the war were not prepared to pay for peace. "I just find it quite incredible, after a hugely expensive conflict in Europe, that we have to keep on saying, 'We haven't got any money,' " said Dennis McNamara of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We haven't. We're just about bankrupt in terms of cash flow." The UNHCR had received only $140 million of the $400 million it needed for its work in Kosovo in 1999, he said. "We are just not getting the cash from donor governments to make this a viable operation."
LORRIE GOLDSTEIN TORONTO SUN: The "genocide" NATO claims it had to stop in Kosovo is being increasingly revealed not to have been "genocide" at all, but the typical evil unleashed by civil wars all over the world - which the West usually ignores - and which had been going on in Kosovo prior to NATO's intervention. In that war between Serbs and the Kosovo Liberation Army, there had been atrocities on both sides. It is also becoming very clear that most of the atrocities and ethnic cleansing occurred only after the air war began, suggesting the Serbs, predictably, wreaked vengeance on ethnic Albanians on the ground because they had no defense against NATO's bombs. That doesn't excuse Serb atrocities, although atrocities on all sides are nothing new in the Balkans. But it does make NATO's motives in declaring war on Yugoslavia, in the absence of having the threat of the Soviet Union to justify its existence any longer, suspect.
BARRY GREY, WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE: According to Clinton and his NATO allies, all of the tragedy and turmoil of the past decade in the former Yugoslavia are the result of Milosevic's grand design to forge a Greater Serbia at the expense, even the destruction, of the Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians. That Milosevic is a Serb nationalist, and that Greater Serbian chauvinism is a reactionary political force, are truisms. This, however, is only one part of the picture. What is left out is the disruptive and destructive role played by US-dominated financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, which imposed austerity and capitalist market policies on Yugoslavia throughout the 1980s, driving up unemployment and poverty and undermining the economic foundations of the federated Yugoslav state. These policies encouraged the growth of nationalist tendencies among all ethnic groups.
WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE http://www.wsws.org/
THE CASPIAN CONNECTION
UPI: The U.S. government has given Bulgaria a half-million dollar grant to explore building a pipeline across the Balkans to pump Caspian Sea oil to the West, sending shock waves through Turkey, a key U.S. ally that wants the potentially lucrative pipeline for itself .... The decision has raised speculation among regional experts that it may be part of a larger economic development plan envisioned by the Clinton administration to stabilize the southern Balkans after the massive dislocations and infrastructure damage caused by the Serbian repression in Kosovo and the US -led NATO bombing of Serbia.
NEWS FROM THE COLONIES
ROBERT FISK, INDEPENDENT, LONDON: [A CNN reporter] "astounded one of his English colleagues after NATO had bombed a narrow road bridge in the Yugoslav village of Varvarin, killing dozens of civilians, many of whom fell to their death in the River Morava. 'That'll teach them not to stand on bridges,' he roared" This was not the kind of language he used on air, of course, where CNN's report on the bridge killings was accompanied by the remark that there had been civilian casualties 'according to the Serb authorities'-all this when CNN's own crew had been there and filmed the decapitated corpse of the local priest .... Two days before NATO bombed the Serb Television headquarters in Belgrade, CNN received a tip from its Atlanta headquarters that the building was to be destroyed. They were told to remove their facilities from the premises at once, which they did. A day later, Serbian Information Minister Aleksander Vucic received a faxed invitation from the Larry King Live show in the US to appear on CNN. They wanted him on air at 2:30 in the morning of 23 April and asked him to arrive at Serb Television half an hour early for make-up. Vucic was late-which was just as well for him since NATO missiles slammed into the building at six minutes past two. The first one exploded in the make-up room where [a] young Serb assistant was burned to death. CNN calls this all a coincidence, saying that the Larry King show, put out by the entertainment division, did not know of the news department's instruction to its men to leave the Belgrade building."
Robert Hayden Director,
Center for Russian & East European Studies
University of Pittsburgh
In October 1998 NATO faced a dilemma: while its member states were threatening air attacks against Yugoslavia in response to Yugoslav attacks on Kosovo Albanians, they also recognized that Kosovo is clearly within the sovereign territory of Yugoslavia. On March 24, 1999, NATO resolved this dilemma by committing the first unprovoked, opposed military aggression in Europe since Soviet troops invaded Hungary in 1956. The attacks were clearly contrary to international law and to the UN charter. The aggression took the form of intensive bombing of the Yugoslav "infrastructure," the first such massive use of air attacks in Europe since World War II. As of May 23, after 60 days of bombing, NATO had mounted 7,000 air attacks on more than 500 targets, with munitions alone costing about $20 million per day. While Yugoslav military casualty figures in the first 60 days of the attacks were estimated at being "in the hundreds," NATO had in that time killed as many as 1500 civilians. Further, in the third week of May NATO began to commit textbook war crimes, aimed at depriving the civilian population of Serbia of water and electrical power, and explicitly not aimed at military forces in Kosovo ....
LONDON TIMES: THE Kosovo conflict has turned the province into a magnet for many of the world's notorious drug barons, according to a director of the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers' Association. More than 40 per cent of the heroin reaching Western Europe comes through the Serb province because of a lack of border controls, says Marko Nicovic. "Kosovo is now the Colombia of Europe."
THE REVIEW LIST
Differences between Slobodan Milosevic
and Adolph Hitler as observed
by Regis Debray in an article
for Le Monde
-- Milosevic has been elected three times; dictators are usually only elected once.
-- Milosevic has observed the Yugoslavian constitution
-- There are multiple parties in Yugoslavia and Milosevic's does not have the majority in parliament.
-- He is virtually absent from the everyday landscape.
-- People criticize him in public.
-- On the whole nobody pays much attention to him
-- The West seems a hundred times more befogged by Mr. Milosevic than his fellow-countrymen.
Debray also wrote: "You can buy a country's foreign policy - as the United States is doing with various countries in the region - but not its dreams or its memory. If you could see the looks of hatred on the faces of Macedonian police and customs officers when the nightly convoys of tanks from Salonika to Skopje are passing, driven by arrogant escorts wholly unaware of what surrounds them, you would understand without difficulty how much easier it will be to enter this 'theatre' than to get out of it. Would you then, like the Italian president, have the courage or the intelligence to abandon unrealistic postulates, to seek with Ibrahim Rugova what he has called 'a political solution on realistic foundations?'
"If you do, a number of realities will force themselves on your attention. The first is that there is no solution without a modus vivendi between Albanians and Serbs, as Mr. Rugova insists, for there are two or more communities in Kosovo, not just one .... My understanding is that there are a million or more Albanians, a quarter of a million Serbs and another quarter of a million members of other communities: Islamized Serbs, Turks, Gorans or Montagnards, Romanies, "Egyptians" or Albanian-speaking gypsies, these last having taken the Serbian side for fear of what a Greater Albania would mean to them. The second reality is the high probability of a resurgence of fierce internal warfare. . ."
NEWS FROM THE COLONIES
MICHAEL EVANS, TIMES [LONDON]: NATO's 79-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, which involved thousands of sorties and some of the most sophisticated precision weapons, succeeded in damaging only 13 of the Serbs' 300 battle tanks in Kosovo .... It was claimed that up to 60 per cent of Serb artillery and mortar pieces had been hit and about 40 per cent of the Yugoslav Army's main battle tanks had been damaged or destroyed. KFOR troops have found just three damaged T55 tanks left behind in Kosovo. "What we have found is a huge number of dummy tanks and artillery," one KFOR source said.
STRATFOR INTELLIGENCE: Russia's top military negotiator on Kosovo, General Leonid Ivashov, threatened today to bypass NATO and negotiate a Russian-controlled sector directly with Belgrade if the Atlantic alliance refuses to agree to one. He said that Russia would not be bullied into placing Russian forces under a unified Kosovo peace force command run by NATO general, Sir Mike Jackson. "We are not going to beg the United States to give us a specific sector," Interfax news agency quoted Ivashov as saying. "If we do not reach an agreement (with the Americans), we will work out with Yugoslavia the sector we will control," he said.
NPR, which has never met a White House news release it didn't like, described the war against Yugoslavia as Clinton's "most significant foreign policy success." Your tax dollars at work at home and abroad.
Legal advocates from the United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, and Norway met for two and a half hours with the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal, Louise Arbour and three senior members of her legal staff in The Hague. The lawyers presented what they believe to be compelling evidence of war crimes committed by NATO. The lawyers charged NATO leaders with grave violations of international criminal law in causing civilian death, injury and destruction. They underlined that ample evidence was available to justify prosecution of individual NATO leaders and promised to continue providing the Prosecutor with evidence to further substantiate the charges. Justice Arbour reaffirmed that NATO leaders were not immune from prosecution, but added that the tribunal has a firm rule not to disclose the existence or nature of its ongoing investigations.
SUBMISSION TO TRIBUNAL http://ban.joh.cam.ac.uk/~maicl/
BBC: NATO has admitted dumping unexploded bombs into the Adriatic Sea after fishermen found several in their nets off the coast of Venice. A NATO spokesman said bombs had been dumped on several occasions. ~~ During the past week two fishermen were injured in explosions and about 30 bombs were caught in fishing nets.
Ethnic "cleaner" Milan Petrovic speaks to the Guardian's Maggie O'Kane
We're not allowed to kill them; no beating and no mutilation allowed .... We give most of them 24 hours to get out. The rich ones and they're all criminals you know, with satellite TVs and big houses were tougher to move. But if you push hard enough, they all go in the end. They're cowards, those Albanians, they run like rabbits. Most of the cleaning was done by the time we got there .... There was no raping - a Serb soldier wouldn't be interested in raping an Albanian woman, it would be against our nature. Don't get me wrong, there were some pretty ones and even if we did want to, we didn't, because the army didn't allow it' .... We came from all over the country. One guy turned up who was 72. They told him he was too old, that the limit was 65 .... If I'd been in charge, I would have executed the KLA terrorists on the spot with their families, but my orders were to hand them over to the army. I don't know what they did to them they're probably holding them as prisoners of war....
One in a hundred, I'd say, did raping or killing and that kind of thing, not more. About six guys in my unit got a bit out of hand one night and started killing Albanians. But they only killed three or four of them before they started taking stuff out of their houses. The next day our army came and took the six of them away.
Six or seven of us would go from door to door. We'd get one of the Albanians who lived in the village to help us out. He'd have to tell us who was who, how long they'd been there, and where the terrorists were. That made things a lot easier.
PROFILES IN WHATEVER
"I don't think it's necessary to declare war, but I think it is important for use to express ourselves." -- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle
BBC: NATO has admitted dumping unexploded bombs into the Adriatic Sea after fishermen found several in their nets off the coast of Venice. A NATO spokesman said bombs had been dumped on several occasions. ~~ During the past week two fishermen were injured in explosions and about 30 bombs were caught in fishing nets.
THE REVIEW LIST
[From a May 18 report
by John Pilger in the Guardian,
DESTROYED OR DAMAGED
19 hospitals and clinics
200 nurseries, schools, colleges and dormitories
Various estates, hotels, libraries, youth centers, theaters, museums, churches, 14th century monasteries on the World Heritage list.
5 embassies or ambassadorial residences
38 NATO aircraft
NUREMBERG PROSECUTOR SPEAKS OUT
Chicago Tribune, Monday, May 10, 1999
[Walter J. Rockler is a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials]
For the United States, alias "NATO," the planning and launching of this war by the president heightens the abuse and undermining of war-making authority under the Constitution. (It seems to be accepted that the president can order his personal army to attack any country he pleases). The bombing war also violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent "Polish atrocities" against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok. Our alleged concern with human rights borders on the ludicrous.
We dropped twice as many bombs on Vietnam as all the countries involved in World War II dropped on each other. We killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the course of that war. Very recently, in Central America, we sponsored, trained and endorsed the local armies - Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan Contras - in the killing of at least 200,000 people.
We encouraged the Pinochet coup in Chile with the resulting killing of another few thousand or so people, including the democratically elected president. We saw nothing wrong with the Croat slaughter and expulsion of 200,000 Serbs from the Krajina area. We have taken very little stand on the monumental slaughters of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in Africa. We have restrained the Iraqis from attacking Kurds but see nothing amiss in Turks attacking Kurds. We cannot even agree to abandon the use of land mines.
In reality when we, the self-anointed rulers of the planet, issue an ultimatum to another country, it is "surrender or die." To maintain our "credibility," we must crush any semblance of resistance to our dictates to that country.
JUST A GAME
Under the headline "War Gaming," Newsweek listed an agenda for getting ready for an invasion of Yugoslavia in time for winter. Troops would have to start assembling in June and war would have to be won no later than the middle of October "to spare Kosovo's refugees the worst rigors of a Balkan winter." Newsweek didn't indicate the game plan if the war refused to end on schedule.
THE REVIEW LIST
Percentage of Yugoslav military equipment
wiped out by NATO so far. As calculated
by Counterpunch using NATO's actual damage
reports and comparing them with Jane's
1997 survey of Yugoslavian forces
Armored combat vehicles: 15.29%
Artillery pieces: 3.5%
Combat aircraft: 51.61%
-- Number of cruise missiles launched per piece of Yugoslavian equipment destroyed: 18
-- Number of tons of explosive required to destroy one piece of Yugoslavian military equipment: 50
LAWSUIT TO STOP THE BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA http://www.mratner.com/main_frameset_sf.htm LEGAL GUIDE TO THE KOSOVO CONFLICT http://www.jurist.law.pitt.edu/kosovo.htm
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. -- Viktor Chernomyrdin in the Washington Post
THE REVIEW LIST
The Pentagon's order this week
for Purple Heart medals
from the Graco Company in Tomball TX
1,400 for November
1,400 for December
1,600 for January
1,600 for February
1,600 for March
1,400 for April
[Steve Dunleavy in the New York Post]
SOUTH CHINA POST: Beijing's strategists are studying the possibility that Washington and its allies may target North Korea if NATO succeeds in its war against Yugoslavia. Generals also have warned that the "NATO military machine" might intervene in China, using Taiwan, Tibet or Xinjiang as a pretext. Diplomatic sources said yesterday Pyongyang had related its fear to Beijing that North Korea might become an "Asian Serbia". ~~ The diplomat said since the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, PLA officers and strategists had had more influence in foreign policy. ~~ The People's Daily yesterday also quoted the Chief of Staff, General Fu Quanyou, as urging more "large-scale army training using science and technology".
REUTERS: NATO's two-month-old bombing campaign against Yugoslavia has caused acid rains in Romania and its authorities are concerned over the possible long-term impact of pollution on the Danube and the Black Sea. ~~ A ministry study of Danube water pollution showed copper, lead, chromium and cadmium concentrations rose to double the admissible levels during three consecutive days in April. The study also showed zinc concentrations between 20 and 55 times permissible levels during that interval.
The Pentagon is claiming that its first order of Purple Heart medals in eight years -- 9,000 of them -- is just to refill its inventory, rather than being a sign of anticipated heroic injuries in the Balkan War. Only problem is, the factory says it had never gotten such an order before.
Pollster and toe sucker Dick Morris thinks the president is being too timid in his handling of the Balkan war. Says Morris, "Polls and past experience suggest the American people would accept 25 to 50 deaths .... There's nothing wrong with conducting wars by polls. You just have to ask the right questions."
One of the secrets the American media is keeping from its audience is the willingness of Yugoslavia to have a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo; it has just steadfastly and logically refused to have command and control in the hands of the war's aggressor, NATO. The failure of the media to clearly make this distinction is one of the more serious forms of journoprop impeding a resolution of the conflict. Instead the press quotes faux tough guys like unindicted war capo Strobe Talbott. Talbott, who is not known to have faced anything more deadly in his life than a skeptical professor, says, "We are not talking to Milosevic except in one language and this is bombing."
FIRST THE MEDALS, THEN THE VICTORY
We recently learned that the government had ordered 9,000 copies of the Purple Heart. Now comes word that 200,000 copies of an expeditionary medal has been ordered, despite that fact that only about 33,000 American troops are currently involved in the war against Yugoslavia. We may run out of cruise missiles but apparently we won't be short on medals.
Reuters reports that animals at the Belgrade zoo provide early warning of bomb attacks, starting around a half hour before the planes arrive.
Zoo director Vuk Bojovic: "It's one of the strangest and most disturbing concerts you can hear anywhere. It builds up in intensity as the planes approach - only they can hear them, we can't - and when the bombs start falling it's like a choir of the insane. Peacocks screaming, wolves howling, dogs barking, chimpanzees rattling their cages. . . .
"I had 1,000 eggs of rare and endangered species incubating, some of them ready to hatch in a couple of days. They were all ruined. That's 1,000 lives lost. . .
Many animals aborted their young in late stages of pregnancy including a snake that aborted 40 fetuses. On a night when NATO hit an army headquarters 600 years way, "The next day we found that some of the animals had killed their young. A female tiger killed two of her four three-day-old cubs, and the other two were so badly injured we couldn't save them.''
Armed guards now patrol the zoo to shoot any escaping dangerous animals should the zoo itself be bombed.
PRESIDENT WENT TO WAR WITHOUT CONSULTING JOINT CHIEFS
Rowan Scarborugh and Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times report that today will mark W.J. Clinton's first meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the war against Yugoslavia began. "In fact, the president has not met with the full Joint Chiefs in nine months. For the war in Kosovo, Mr. Clinton has relied on advice from his civilian national security team --none of whom has military experience -- and Gen. Henry Shelton, the Joint Chiefs chairman."
One of the hallmarks of the bumbling boomer barons running America these days is a sense of superiority so well honed that they don't see much need to go beyond their own ilk for advice. The result can be a compounding of ignorance of the sort that led to the Yugoslavian disaster.
IF ONLY RON BROWN WERE HERE
If you want to get in on the $30 billion that Congress has voted to restore the damage NATO has done to Yugoslavia, you might be interested in a conference that will be held this month by something called the Center for Reconstruction & Development.
The agenda includes "an assessment of assistance needed by each country in the region." Speakers include various ambassadors from nations with an eye on some of that money. Registration fee is $495 for corporations, $245 for non-profits, and $125 for relief agencies and diplomats.
The center is already involved in the reconstruction bonanza in Central America as a result of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges, pointing out to potential customers that "numerous business opportunities exist for companies involved in roads and bridges, housing, potable water, power, telecommunications, agriculture, food, health and medicine, and many other fields."
It offers a $125 briefing book that includes the latest damage assessments and information on "the programs and private sector contracts of numerous U.S. and multilateral agencies ~~ Especially valuable is hard-to-obtain contact information in each of the U.S. and multilateral agencies involved in reconstruction."
The center's parent firm, Equity International, has already hosted a conference on hurricane reconstruction, complete with a keynote address by the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. "The program also featured representatives of U. S. agencies involved in reconstruction, including high-level representatives of US AID, State Department, Treasury, Export-Import Bank, OPIC, Agriculture, and the Inter-American Foundation, as well as high-level representatives of multilateral agencies involved in reconstruction, including the Inter-American Development Bank, The World Bank, OAS, and the European Union. Numerous companies participated, including Caterpillar, Bechtel, Mitsubishi, COMSAT, Citibank, Riggs Bank, AGCO, Black & Veatch, and McDermott/Babcock & Wilcox. Conference sponsors included Brown & Root, Space Imaging, and Latin Trade Magazine."
CENTER FOR RECONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
While even the President seems confused as to what just has been agreed to in the Yugoslavian war talks, it appears that we have just fought our first war over a bunch of paragraphs. Given that the Clinton administration is run by those more comfortable with leveraged buyouts than with war strategy, this is not surprising, but the known differences between what Yugoslavia was willing to accept before the bombing began and what has now been agreed in no way justifies the destruction of a whole country to get there. Rather it merely accentuates the criminality of US behavior in the matter.
For example, the media watchdog FAIR reported some time ago:
"By the close of the first round of the Rambouillet talks in late February, Serb President Milan Milosevic had already declared Serbia's willingness to discuss 'an international presence in Kosovo' to monitor the implementation of the accords. On February 21, Madeleine Albright responded by insisting that 'We accept nothing less than a complete agreement, including a NATO-led force'
"On March 23, the day before the NATO bombing began, the Serbian parliament adopted a resolution again rejecting the military portion of the accords, but expressing willingness to review the 'range and character of an international presence' in Kosovo. According to the Toronto Star's correspondent in Belgrade on March 24, 'There have been hints Serbia might ultimately accept a UN force.'
But the U.S. appears to have been unwilling to consider any option other than NATO troops."
In other words, an agreement probably could have been struck at that time if NATO had given up its illegal insistence on command and control over Kosovo, eventual independence for Kosovo, and an egregious demand that it be allowed access throughout Yugoslavia much as the Nazis had in Vichy France. We went to war over goals that never should have been sought in the first place.
It now appears that NATO has relented (to an uncertain degree) on the matter of control of the peacekeeping force, has agreed to a more ambiguous status for Kosovo ('substantial autonomy')with UN Security Council oversight, and has withdrawn of its demand for the de facto occupation of the rest of Yugoslavia.
This is quite contrary to the spin already coming out of the White House and State Department, but we shouldn't be too choosy. Mere lies, after all, are quite an improvement over unconstitutional international aggression and war crimes.
Meanwhile George Kenney, a former State Department Yugoslavia desk officer, writes in the Nation that there is evidence the U.S. deliberately set out to thwart the Rambouillet peace talks in order to provide a "trigger" for NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, correspondents from major American news organizations reportedly knew about this plan to stymie the Kosovo peace talks, but did not inform their readers or viewers.
Writes Kenney: "An unimpeachable press source who regularly travels with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told this [writer] that, swearing reporters to deep-background confidentiality at the Rambouillet talks, a senior State Department official had bragged that the United States 'deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept.' The Serbs needed, according to the official, a little bombing to see reason.
Kenney compares this plan to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. FAIR adds that Jim Jatras, a foreign policy aide to Senate Republicans, reported in a May 18 speech at the Cato Institute in Washington that he had it "on good authority" that a "senior Administration official told media at Rambouillet, under embargo" the following: "We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that's what they are going to get."
[Last week, TPR pointed out that the recent Balkan agreement was not as the White House and media have alleged and that, on paper at least, Yugoslavia seems to have come out better than it would have signing the Rambouillet edict. The media watchdog, FAIR, in its latest advisory, supports this view]
FAIR: A New York Times editorial (6/4/99) claimed the plan, if genuine, shows that NATO's "sustained bombing has been more effective than many critics allowed" and represents a "victory for the principles of democracy and human rights." The Washington Post's Stephen Rosenfeld wrote (6/3/99): "They said Bill Clinton was wrong to rely on air power alone to win the war, and -- assuming the details are mastered -- they were wrong.... This time around, anyway, he showed he was right. His weighing of means and ends finally clicked." USA Today's Walter Shapiro stated (6/4/99): "The record must show that Bill Clinton did the morally right thing. And if his efforts are crowned with a lasting peace in the Balkans, the president deserves the gratitude of all of us who doubted his resolve and courage." CNN's Christiane Amanpour (6/3/99) said that the "plan amounts to [Milosevic] accepting less than he would have come away with had he agreed several months ago at the Rambouillet talks."
These interpretations are seriously misleading. Seventy days of bombing in the Balkans have brought an agreement from Yugoslavia whose terms, in many important respects, diverge little from those Yugoslavia accepted before the first shot was fired. To a great extent, an end to the war seems possible now not because massive bombing forced Yugoslavia to capitulate, but because the U.S. seems to be willing to drop conditions that it had previously insisted Belgrade must meet before bombing could be halted.
Indeed, the media notion of Serb capitulation seemed to rely on a cue from NATO powers, as evidenced by this CNN report from correspondent Walter Rodgers (6/3/99): "It's difficult to say whether it's a capitulation. It really isn't even up for me to say that, that is something that has to be decided by someone like the president of the United States, Britain's prime minister, Mr. Blair."
At Rambouillet, before the bombing began, Yugoslavia had agreed to almost all the points that are contained in the June 3 Serbian Assembly resolution, including autonomy for Kosovo. A major point insisted on by the U.S. at Rambouillet -- a referendum on Kosovo's independence after three years -- is now absent from the Serb Assembly decision, without audible complaint from U.S. officials. What Yugoslavia rejected at Rambouillet was the idea of a NATO-led force in Kosovo, proposing instead a UN command. It also objected to a last-minute addition to the agreement known as Appendix B, which would have given NATO sweeping powers throughout all of Yugoslavia.
There is strong evidence that the U.S. intentionally crafted this document to provoke a rejection from the Serbs. A State Department official reportedly told journalists at Rambouillet: "We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that's what they are going to get."
After two and a half months of that bombing, the Serb parliament agreed to a peacekeeping force "under UN auspices" in which there would be "essential NATO participation." This language is only slightly different from the Yugoslavian position at Rambouillet, and there are suggestions that Belgrade was willing to accept such a compromise peacefully
What was the price of the failure to reach an agreement at Rambouillet? 800,000 Kosovars have fled the province since the start of the bombing; many will never return to homes that are now destroyed. According to the Pentagon, the bombing killed 5,000 Yugoslavian soldiers, while Belgrade reports that NATO killed 1,200 civilians. The U.S. State Department claims that upwards of 4,600 Albanians have been killed by Yugoslavia since NATO announced bombing plans.
FAIR YUGOSLAVIA SITE
From an article
by John F. Harris
of the Washington Post
One friend who has spoken to Clinton several times in recent months believes Kosovo -- and what Clinton believes were the unambiguously moral motives for NATO's intervention -- represented a chance to soothe regrets harbored in Clinton's own conscience. One of those regrets concerned Vietnam, a war Clinton believes was a mistake and took steps to avoid serving in. The friend said Clinton has at times lamented that the generation before him was able to serve in a war with a plainly noble purpose, and he feels "almost cheated" that "when it was his turn he didn't have the chance to be part of a moral cause."
.... Once, after the Middle East peace accord at Wye River last fall, Clinton publicly said he was rededicating himself to doing good things as president. .... Compared with what Clinton viewed as the low-minded nature of the Lewinsky scandal, this confidant said, in Kosovo the president believed, "This is something big; this is something important .... There was a sense that if this costs him points, at least it was in the service of something moral." Another friend said the regular "spiritual counseling" that Clinton is receiving in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal has helped him curb a tendency to vent anger and lose focus on the larger picture when things aren't going well.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
On June 5, the New York Times finally took notice of the of the appendix of the Rambouillet edict that would have let NATO forces move at will through Yugoslavia almost like the Nazis through Vichy France. In the article Steven Erlanger wrote:
"The key part of the proposal that made it acceptable for Belgrade, the officials said, was the limitation on the movement of the international forces, mostly NATO and Russian troops under a United Nations flag, to Kosovo itself. Under an annex of the Rambouillet accord, a purely NATO force was to be given full permission to go anywhere it wanted in Yugoslavia, immune from any legal process. 'NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia including associated airspace and territorial waters,' the annex read."
MISSING IN ACTION
Not only are ethnic Albanians (save the Kosovo Contras)curiously absent from discussions of their future, but the United Nations is still being treated by the media as only slight better than an anti-war protestor. For example, NPR's Julie McCarthy manages to regurgitate every burp emitted by NATO flacks but the network, like much of the reset of the media, passed over the marvelously wise and sardonic comments of UN Secretary General Kofi Amman when he pointed out that sooner or later one had to come to the United Nations about matters such as the Balkans and that it was probably better to do it sooner than later.
MAY 1999 NOW CELEBRATING FOUR WEEKS
OF BOMBING BELGRADE
We do know that we must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to express their anger and to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons -- W.J. Clinton
BALKANIZING THE BEEF BUSINESS
Despite all the hoopla over 20,000 Balkan refugees coming to the US, Carl Limbacher of Newsmax says that since the mid-1990s, America has already resettled over 80,000 displaced persons from the region. Most of them are Bosnian Muslims who have ended up in the middle west. Writes Limbacher: "America's largest meat processing company ~~ has done very well by the deluge of hardworking Balkan refugees willing to take their dangerous non-union jobs. A case in point: The small town of Waterloo, Iowa, population 65,000, has been overwhelmed since 1995 with resettled Bosnians, many of whom find their first work at the local meat processing plant. Until recently Bosnian immigrants made up nearly a third of the 2,000 strong workforce at Iowa Beef Processors, Inc.'s Waterloo plant. Over the last few years Waterloo has taken in about 6,000 Bosnians, nearly 10% of the town's entire population. The new immigrants are recruited by IBP for rough and tumble meatpacking jobs at below union wages. The influx of Bosnians to Iowa has made the state the only one in the nation with its own refugee bureau." NEWSMAX http://newsmax.com
BROTHERS IN ARMS?
I believe in killing people who try to hurt you. And I can't believe we're being pushed around by these two-bit pricks. -- Bill Clinton speaking of the Somalis, quoted by George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education
Kill Em AALLLL!!!! --Eric Harris
WAR OF THE KILLER LITIGATORS
The war on Yugoslavia shows what happens when you give a bunch of boomer corporate lawyers their own air force. If one looks at pre-bombing positions of the disputants one finds not a single grand principle worth destroying a country for, but rather the routine headaches of international diplomacy. In fact, one finds, among other things, a modest crew of unarmed international observers doing a far better job of protecting the lives and property of the Kosovars than their NATO liberators would later.
This fact is daily obscured by the spin of the Clinton machine and its media backers. The former is now desperately crediting anything good that happens - from the release of our POWs to Jesse Jackson's latest allegory - to its patently disastrous bombing strategy. The latter have consistently distributed false and misleading information such as the declaration by the New York Times a few weeks back that Milosevic "has absolutely refused to entertain an outside force in Kosovo, arguing that the province is sovereign territory of Serbia and Yugoslavia."
Here is what really happened.
On February 21, the Yugoslavs rejected the Rambouillet edict - not an agreement at all, but a declaration of surrender. Under this edict, 28,000 NATO troops would take over Kosovo. This provision was inserted without the knowledge of the Russians who opposed it.
In Appendix B of the edict, NATO was given the right to do pretty much whatever it wanted in the rest of Yugoslavia. This was not reported to the American people who thus do not know that they had signed on to the sort of document that invading countries use to give a modicum of dignity to their aggression.
For example the provision said:
"7. NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]. 8. NATO personnel shall enjoy... free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. 11. NATO is granted the use of airports, roads, rails and ports without payment... "
This is not unlike the arrangement that the Nazis had with Vichy France. The moral: before you go to war at WJ Clinton's urging, read the fine print carefully.
The true situation was well described by FAIR (and previously reported by TPR)
By the close of the first round of the Rambouillet talks in late February, Serb President Milan Milosevic had already declared Serbia's willingness to discuss 'an international presence in Kosovo' to monitor the implementation of the accords. On February 21, Madeleine Albright responded by insisting that 'We accept nothing less than a complete agreement, including a NATO-led force'
"On March 23, the day before the NATO bombing began, the Serbian parliament adopted a resolution again rejecting the military portion of the accords, but expressing willingness to review the 'range and character of an international presence' in Kosovo. According to the Toronto Star's correspondent in Belgrade on March 24, 'There have been hints Serbia might ultimately accept a UN force.'
But the U.S. appears to have been unwilling to consider any option other than NATO troops. At a March 24 State Department press briefing, spokesman James Rubin was asked about this development:
QUESTION: Was there any follow-up to the Serbian Assembly's yesterday? They had a two-pronged decision. One was to not allow NATO troops to come in; but the second part was to say they would consider an international force if all of the Kosovo ethnic groups agreed to some kind of a peace plan. It was an ambiguous collection of resolutions. Did anybody try to pursue that and find out what was the meaning of that?
MR. RUBIN: Ambassador Holbrooke was in Belgrade, discussed these matters extensively with President Milosevic, left with the conclusion that he was not prepared to engage seriously on the two relevant subjects. I think the decision of the Serb Parliament opposing military-led implementation was the message that most people received from the parliamentary debate. I'm not aware that people saw any silver linings.
QUESTION: But there was a second message, as well; there was a second resolution.
MR. RUBIN: I am aware that there was work done, but I'm not aware that anybody in this building regarded it as a silver lining.
In other words, the State Department was aware that the Serbian parliament expressed openness to an "international presence," but this was not seen as a "silver lining," apparently because only a NATO force was acceptable to the U.S.
As late as January even Madeleine Albright was still saw the matter in non-military terms:
"The Kosovo situation is, I think, one of the most tragic and difficult ones that we have to deal with. There is a tendency for people -- and I can understand why -- to just mirror image what happened in Bosnia and transfer it to Kosovo. In many ways, it's a different situation. Bosnia was a republic within Yugoslavia; Kosovo has been a region within Serbia itself, where there is Albanian majority. But many Serbs have lived there, and many as the most historic places and holy places to the Serbs are within Kosovo, so that it is much more than internal conflict with great complication. ~~ We have tried very hard . . . to work out an arrangement which would provide the greatest degree of self-autonomy to the Kosovars, and those are the talks that were going on. The problem has been that President Milosevic has not lived up to the agreement that he made with Ambassador Holbrooke in October, in which it was determined that there would be a certain number of Yugoslav forces -- military forces in the region -- and some of the special police that's called the MUPP, and that they would be in their barracks, and there was a certain set of numbers that was agreed to. He has not lived up to that. On the other hand, elements of the Kosovars -- the KLA -- has, in fact, also been involved in a variety of activities that undermine the cease-fire and there has not been the possibility of getting an all-Albanian negotiating team to talk with Milosevic. ~~ There is no simple answer to the problems of Kosovo: the ethnic Albanians are fragmented; the Kosovo Liberation Army has committed deliberately provocative acts of kidnapping and murder; the outlook for a negotiated solution is cloudy."
In short, we have destroyed a country, killed a lot of people and let many more become homeless and helpless in large part because some killer litigants couldn't tell the difference between a leveraged takeover and real life. And after all this, we find ourselves moving back to the bargaining table, falsely claiming as victory a negotiating position close to what we could have had before the first bomb was dropped.
In what may be a first, the American Legion has called for bringing back home US troops currently in combat. "We believe the best thing we can do to support our troops, to protect our troops, is to bring them home," said Harold L. ''Butch'' Miller, national commander of major veterans organization. "We believe we are getting into a bad situation in Kosovo." The Legion's national executive committee unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for all U.S. soldiers, pilots and support staff to be removed from the region. The statement said the NATO attacks "could only lead to troops being killed, wounded or captured without advancing any clear purpose, mission or objective."
TWO VIEWS OF THE CHINESE REACTION
STRATFOR INTELLIGENCE: The U.S. has claimed that the bombing was an unfortunate accident. From the American point of view that, and some financial reparations, should end the matter. That is precisely what has the Chinese furious. They accept that it was an accident. What they don't accept is that accidents happen. More precisely, it is their view that such accidents happen only when there is carelessness and, more importantly, indifference to the consequences of the accident. In other words, the accident happened because making sure that such accidents didn't happen was not a top priority of U.S. and NATO planners. During the Vietnam War, avoiding hitting Chinese and Soviet facilities and ships was an absolute top priority for American pilots. The United States avoided bombing and mining Haiphong harbor for years lest a Russian or Chinese ship be accidentally hit. Similarly, when the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, one of the first assignments for the invading troops was to place a strong guard around the U.S. Embassy. This was only partly due to a desire to prevent the U.S. from engaging in any mischief in Prague. The more important reason was to make certain that some tank gunner didn't mistake the Embassy for a legitimate target and trigger a crisis with the United States.
JUNGE WELTE: China, whose new embassy was just completed a few years ago, assumes that the attack took place with the full intent and [under false] pretenses from Washington. A lead article [that appeared] in the Communist Party organ "People's Paper" [Volkszeitung] asserted on Sunday that the "hair-splitting" of NATO that spoke of accidental strikes, "cannot obscure the bloody facts." Three rockets hit the embassy building, coming from three directions, which lays bare completely "the malign intent of the aggressors." Plans of the European NATO countries to end the war by diplomatic means and subsequently to legitimize [the solution] through a U.N. resolution, have suffered damage from the anti-Chinese bombardment in any case. Above all, the list of principles worked out in concert with Russia at the G-8 meeting in Bonn suffered damage. The Chinese People's Republic has a veto inn the U.N. Security Council. The German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer had hoped that China would abstain from voting on eventual U.N. consideration [of the Kosovo issue]. The policy planners of the USA have decided otherwise: the war shall continue.
NEW YORK TIMES
PLAYS WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST
In a more discreet version of the sort of journalism that helped to bring on the Spanish American war, the New York Times has begun beating the drums for an invasion of Yugoslavia. In a bizarre article suggesting a massive escalation in American current war crimes, Blaine Harden argued:
"Given the character of Milosevic's regime and knowing that there is almost certainly more horror to come, a bold, if impractical, question is just now beginning to be formulated. Is it finally time for outside powers to make the effort necessary to cure a national psychosis inside Serbia that has been destabilizing a corner of Europe for a decade?
"Put another way, has the time come for NATO to do in Serbia what the Allies did in Germany and Japan after World II?
"To follow that model, Serbia's military would have to be destroyed, and Milosevic crushed, by an invasion that almost certainly would cost the lives of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. After unconditional surrender, the political, social and economic fabric of Serbia would be remade under outside supervision so that the Serbs could take their place in a prosperous and democratic world."
MISSING IN ACTION
Curiously absent from the list of those deciding the fate of the ethnic Albanians are any ethnic Albanians. Even the neo-Contras of the KLA are expected to fight, keep quiet, and not get in the way of Clinton, Blair, and Albright, who, we are told, know exactly what an ethnic Albanian wants out of life.
One of the few ethnic Albanians to get in the news at all is Ibrahim Rugova, who even some American diplomats recognize as a true leader of Kosovar Albanians. American media accounts, however, prefer to deal with Rugova, when they mention him at all, as a pacifist under the Svengali-like sway of Milosevic, and hence not worth bothering with. He most recently appeared in the New York Times on page A13.
It would seem that if we are going to bomb a country, make large numbers of people refugees, and then cook up a deal that tries to fix the mess we've just made, the folks we were supposed to be saving should be at least invited to the party.
"Every day seems to bring news of civilians being killed and the White House apologizing. ~~ The result is the death of cleaning ladies and bus drivers, evacuation of 85,000 people from Belgrade neighborhoods poisoned by toxic chemicals, the unemployment of 100,000 Serbs and laying waste of Serbia's civilian infrastructure with what the New York Times calls "greater effects on the gross domestic product than the Nazi and, then, the Allied bombing of Yugoslavia" during World War II. And the silence continues. Perhaps the silent ones think these are all regrettable accidents, or that war is hell, or that bombing Serb civilians who have opposed Milosevic in the past will help them to overthrow him now. What then of the intentional indiscriminate infliction of shrapnel wounds on children? Unexploded cluster bomb units are turning whole areas of Yugoslavia into a "no man's land," wounding large numbers of children in the process. According to the Los Angeles Times, the director of Pristina's hospital says he has never done so many amputations as he has since victims of the weapon started coming in." - Tom Hayden
FRANK VIVIANO IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Officers of the Kosovo Liberation Army and their backers, according to law enforcement authorities in Western Europe and the United States, are a major force in international organized crime, moving staggering amounts of narcotics through an underworld network that reaches into the heart of Europe. In the words of a November 1997 statement issued by Interpol, the international police agency, "Kosovo Albanians hold the largest share of the heroin market in Switzerland, in Austria, in Belgium, in Germany, in Hungary, in the Czech Republic, in Norway and in Sweden."
SF CHRONICLE ARTICLE
The Environmental News Service reports that all the ecological groups of the warring Balkan countries have joined in signing a Declaration against NATO bombing and pollution in the region. At the initiative of the Macedonian environmental movement, the document was sent around for everyone to sign. It has now been signed by Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Declaration asks that NATO stop the bombing immediately for the safety of the world. Among other things, the declaration attacks the use depleted uranium -- which the Pentagon has admitted is in aircraft shells fired in the Balkans - a highly dangerous substance believed by some to be a major cause of civilian deaths in Iraq.
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS SERVICE
"When we started it, I never thought it would be a three-day wonder. I have always been -- relaxed is the wrong word -- but patient about the timetable. And I'm looking forward, frankly, to May and June and July, where the weather is much clearer and we'll be freer to pursue our strategy." -- WJ Clinton speaking of the Yugoslavian bombardment in an interview with Tom Brokaw a few days before some of his bombs hit a hospital and the Chinese Embassy.
If you've ever wondered why diplomacy doesn't work better then it does, consider this provision in the Group of Eight's statement concerning what was needed to end the Yugoslavian disaster: "A political process toward the establishment of an interim political framework providing for a substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region and the demilitarization of the [KLA]" Clue to how much faith you should put in all this: the "Rambouillet accords" are in direct conflict with the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia.
Here's enough of fame and pillage,
Great commander Jane!
Now that we've been round the village,
Let's go home again.
-- From a Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Lewis Stevenson, retrieved by Anne Heutte
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the outfit that couldn't find the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, would like to improve its image. It will pay $58,000 to $104,00 a year for a "supervisory public affairs officer" according to a new announcement.
A bipartisan group of 11 house members pushing an alternative peace plan for the Balkans had a futile two-hour meeting with Madeleine Albright. Albright reacted negatively towards the reasonable scheme which calls for a Serbian military pullout from Kosovo, A NATO patrol of Kosovo borders with Albania and Macedonia, repatriation of all refugees, and an armed international force of peacekeepers whose make-up would be decided by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
While noting that its members are far from united on the use of force and solutions to the Balkan Conflict, the Association of State Green Parties has issued a statement declaring that "Green Parties in the United States are opposed to the destruction of Yugoslavia's people, economy, environment, and democratic prospects, and many American Greens have been involved in actions to stop the madness of war." Among state parties conducting anti-war activities are those of Connecticut, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and DC
SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (MUNICH): The Green Bundestag delegate Stroebele expects a majority for his anti-war position at a special [Green] party conference on the Kosovo War, according to the Berliner Zeitung. An increasing number of the party's state organizations favor an end to the war, said Stroebele. There are no longer any resolutions [being presented] for the unconditional support of the NATO policy, he added, but many Greens want the [government] coalition dissolved or the resignation of the foreign minister, although he himself does not.
TIMES OF INDIA: Arguing that NATO's use of force against Yugoslavia is illegal and potentially genocidal, Prof Ian Brownlie -- Britain's leading authority on international law -- urged the International Court of Justice to order an immediate halt to the bombing campaign. ~~ According to ICJ staff, the court, which is temporarily headed by its vice-president, Justice Weeramantry of Sri Lanka, could give an interim ruling as early as next week. Of course, there is no telling what the court will decide. Its 15 judges come from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Japan, Venezuela, Brazil, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, China and Russia. Six of these countries are members of NATO and five are actually belligerents. Since judges tend not to vote against ``their'' governments, Yugoslavia would be lucky to get any relief.
The San Francisco Chronicle and too few other media have reported the use of cluster bombs by the NATO forces. The Chronicle wrote, "The bombs struck next to the hospital complex and near the market, bringing death and destruction, peppering the streets of Serbia's third-largest city with shrapnel and littering the courtyards with yellow bomb casings .... In a street leading from the market, dismembered bodies were strewn among carrots and other vegetables in pools of blood. A dead woman, her body covered with a sheet, was still clutching a shopping bag filled with carrots."
And this from the London Telegraph: "In Novi Sad and Nis, and several other places across Serbia and Kosovo where there are no foreign journalists, heavier bombing has brought more accidents .... Used against human beings, cluster bombs are some of the most savage weapons of modern warfare."
Columnist Norman Solomon let one of these devices speak for itself: "I'm a 1,000-pound marvel .... When I go off, a couple of hundred 'bomblets' shoot out in all directions, aided by little parachutes that look like inverted umbrellas. Those 'chutes slow down the descent of the bomblets and disperse them so they'll hit plenty of what my maker calls 'soft targets.' Before that happens, though, each bomblet breaks into about 300 pieces of jagged steel shrapnel."
Military historian and expert on Russian weaponry Bryan Fugate points out that the Yugoslavian army has tons of Russian material including shoulder-fired aircraft missiles and rockets as well as truck-mounted AA guns that "can throw up literally a wall of steel." Fugate notes that the terrain in Afghanistan in some ways is similar to Kosovo in that the Soviet's armored helicopters had to come down into the valleys in order to hit their targets. "The Afghan peasants slaughtered the Russian helos with stingers. Also wiped out were their low-level Yak and Sukoi ground support attack planes similar to our A-10 Warthogs."
Seen any stories on how spring planting is going in Serbia and Kosovo? Probably not, but it's hard to plant under aerial bombardment. Big story upcoming: the Balkan famine.
Bill Gertz of the Washington Times has obtained an FBI report that alleges that it was Chinese hackers who broke into U.S. government computers, including the White House Interior, Energy, State and our embassy in China.
THE REVIEW LIST
Reasons why the argument that NATO
acted to prevent ethnic cleansing
doesn't hold much water. [From
the Transnational Foundation
for Peace and Future Research]
-- Nobody talked about such a plan before NATO's bombs started falling.
-- The bombing was predicated on Yugoslavia not signing the Rambouillet dictate, which did not address ethnic cleansing.
-- If such a plan was known already during autumn, why did the West invite representatives of a killer regime to Paris? Why did US send ambassador Richard Holbrooke to Belgrade to try to make a last-minute deal with such 'a serial cleanser' President?
-- If the West knew of such a plan why did it do absolutely nothing to plan for the humanitarian emergency it would cause? Why did the West/NATO not actively threaten to prevent it or initiate bombings much earlier?
-- How come that neither the OSCE mission nor any of the numerous humanitarian organizations in Kosovo warned the world that such an incredibly big and inhuman plan was about to be implemented?
TRANSNATIONAL FOUNDATION http://www.transational.org
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR I
"I told NATO, the Americans, the Germans: Don't push us toward military action. Otherwise there will be a European war for sure and possibly world war.'' Russian President Boris Yeltsin, April 6, 1999 (Reuters)
"In the event that NATO and America start a ground operation in Yugoslavia, they will face a second Vietnam, I do not want to forecast what is going to start then. I cannot rule out a third world war.'' Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, April 17, 1999
"If NATO goes from air force to ground force it will be a world catastrophe. (Russia) has never felt such anti-Western, anti-European feelings." -- First Deputy Russian Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais, April 25, 1999. (Reuters)
"You have to understand that if we want to cause you a problem over this, we could. Someone, we don't know who, could send up a missile from a ship or a submarine and detonate a nuclear weapon high over the United States. The EMP [electromagnetic pulses that destroy electronic and computer equipment] would take away all your capability."-- Vladimir Lukin, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Policy Committee, late April, 1999 quoted by Rep. Kurt Weldon in May 18, 1999 speech.
"Just let Clinton, a little bit, accidentally, send a missile. We will answer immediately. Such impudence! To unleash a war on a sovereign state. Without Security Council. Without United Nations. It could only be possible in a time of barbarism." -- Boris Yeltsin, May 7, 1999 (Washington Post)
[Collected by Carol Moore]
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR II
Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford
I am writing with an enormous sense of urgency and dread. I have just been at a seminar in Moscow, followed by one at the Olof Palme Institute in Stockholm ....
Our meeting with Aleksander Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Defense Committee of the Russian State Duma, left us deeply concerned. Arbatov stated that U.S.-Russian relations, in the wake of NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, are at the "worst, most acute, most dangerous juncture since the U.S.-Soviet Berlin and Cuban missile crises." He states that START II is dead, co-operation with NATO is frozen, co-operation on missile defense is out of the question, and Moscow's willingness to co-operate on non-proliferation issues is at an all-time low. Moreover, anti-U.S. sentiment in Russia is real, deep and more wide-spread than ever, and the slogan describing NATO action -"today Serbia, tomorrow Russia," is "deeply planted in Russian's minds." Arbatov was bitter about 10 years of wasted opportunities on both sides, with disarmament talks completely stalled even
before this crisis.
Scientist, politicians, doctors and generals all told us the same thing - that NATO bombings of Serbia have set back disarmament 20 years. Some said that India and Pakistan are safe now they have nuclear weapons and that other states like North Korea will step up their nuclear weapons programs. Officials from Minatom, the Russian atomic energy agency, have indicated their great concern about some 22 nuclear reactors in the region of conflict. A bomb hitting a reactor by accident would cause a catastrophe worse than Chernobyl.
Government spokesmen told us repeatedly that Russia will not allow the bombings to continue for another month, and that because their conventional forces are in tatters, Russia must rely on its nuclear weapons. I must ask, if these are idle threats, what distinguishes them from real threats? The credibility of the people we spoke with has convinced me that the threats are serious.
The Russian speakers deplored ethnic cleansing and did not support Milosevic, but Dr. Serguei Kapitsa, a scientist famous for his weekly television show, stated that Russians feel a sense of betrayal by the West and a profound loss of confidence in treaties and in the United Nations because NATO took this action outside the UN. Previously confident that Russia was moving toward integration with Europe, they focused their security concerns only on their southern and eastern boundaries. Now they perceive their primary threat from the West. Officials in Foreign Affairs told us that Russia has no option but to rely on nuclear weapons for its defense because its conventional forces are inadequate. When I said that if Russia used even a single nuclear weapon the U.S. would respond with hundreds or thousands of missiles, they nodded and said "Yes, it would be suicidal, but how else can we defend ourselves?"
[Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford is co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War]
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR III
This information comes from The International Strategic Studies Association which organized a fact-finding mission from Washington DC to Yugoslavia in April. Here's a summary of the report:
* At least 1/3 of all Albanian refugees are fleeing deeper into Yugoslavia to avoid the KLA
* NATO bombing is a major contributive cause of the suffering of Kosovar Albanians and many other ethnic groups within Yugoslavia as well
* Yugoslavia is the most multi-cultural, multi-religious state in the Balkan region and home to 26 different ethnic groups. Only 1/3 of Yugoslavia is Serbian.
* Over 2 million Yugoslavians of all origins have been rendered homeless or income-less as the result of NATO. The country's total population is less than 11+ million.
* NATO bombing has seriously weakened democratic dissent with the Yugoslavian Republic and has struck numerous non-military targets (hospitals, churches, schools, food processing plants etc.)
* Many of the economic targets are worker-owned enterprises
* The extent of NATO equipment and personnel losses to date has been withheld from the public
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR IV
BILL RAMSEY IN THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Responding to an April 24 report that US/NATO destruction of bridges in Belgrade and other Serbian cities had severed pipes carrying the civilian drinking water, NATO's spokesman James P. Shea, replied, "I acknowledge that, but it's not our intention. . ."
The 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Protocols define crimes against humanities as attacks on civilian populations or civilian objects. Civilian objects are defined as those indispensable to the survival of the population; and drinking water installations are designated as civilian objects ....
The Geneva Conventions and Protocols prohibit indiscriminate attacks. ~~ Indiscriminate attacks include those that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life or injury to civilians. Where there is doubt, a potential target must presumed to be civilian.
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR V
India's Prime Minister Atai Behari Vajpayee says that NATO's "naked aggression" in Yugoslavia totally justifies his country's decision to develop a nuclear capability. "Nuclear weapons are the only way to maintain peace."
REASONS TO STOP THE WAR VI
-- 1989: Students erect a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square
-- 1999: Students erect a states of Bill Clinton dressed as the Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square. He is carrying a bomb rather than a torch. The students burn the statue.
Each day NATO kills three times as many civilians as were killed in Kosovo in the months prior to the bombing.
Gulf War commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, speaking in Australia, has attacked Clinton's character and said the president could have prevented the war in Kosovo with proper leadership.
TIM BUTCHER, LONDON TELEGRAPH: The Apache attack helicopter, promoted as the most potent weapon in America's airborne arsenal, will never fly on combat missions in Kosovo because it cannot cope with the region's mountains, defense sources said yesterday. The aircraft, deployed to Albania by the Pentagon with great fanfare as the "silver bullet" to end to the Kosovo crisis, is militarily redundant because of the 10,000 ft mountains. Only by fitting additional fuel pods could it negotiate such obstacles, and that would reduce its weapons payload and its capability to defend itself. Defense sources said the problem meant that the Apache will never be ordered into Kosovo on offensive operations against Serb positions, contradicting the PR campaign that promoted the machines as a decisive weapon for the Balkan crisis. It confirms what many experts have suspected for a long time; the deployment of the Apache was intended only as a coercive gesture to threaten attacks on Serb positions but never actually carry them out.
The Zoby poll showing a major drop in the President's popularity as well as approval of the bombing of Yugoslavia is one of the best kept secrets of the week. Zogby reports, "In a dramatic reversal of public sentiment, likely voters now favor a diplomatic solution to end the crisis at Kosovo instead of the continuous NATO-led bombing campaign, a Zogby America poll shows." 33% of those surveyed said seeking a diplomatic solution is the best course of action, compared to 24% who favor continuing the NATO bombing, while 15% say the use of ground troops is the best action.
An April Zogby America survey found only 27% choosing a diplomatic solution as the best course of action, while 32% of the respondents said NATO bombing was the best choice.
BRIAN BECKER, INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER: Jane's Defense Weekly reports that the current leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army is a Croatian general, Agim Ceku, who was in charge of Operation `Storm,' the bloodiest and most brutal military campaign carried out in the Balkans between the invasion of the Nazis and the bombing of NATO. In August 1995, the Operation `Storm' offensive against the Serbian population in the Krajina region in Croatia that drove hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the region that they have inhabited for centuries. Ceku is a U.S.-trained military officer who is closely tied to the Pentagon's Military Professional Resources, Inc. The MPRI is a semi-official Pentagon contractor, headed by retired U.S. military officers. It specializes in sending mercenary armies under Pentagon contract into unofficial wars. The MPRI was contracted by the Pentagon to organize and train the Croatian Army for its Operation Storm against Serbs in Krajina. This massive ground offensive against hundreds of thousands of civilians was seen as the decisive military event that forced the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia to sign the U.S.-brokered Dayton Accord for Bosnia.
A group lawyers from several countries has laid a formal complaint with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia against all of the individual leaders of the NATO countries and officials of NATO itself. The complaint was initiated by professors from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto. The list of crimes includes "willful killing, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, extensive destruction of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, employment of poisonous weapons or other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity, attack, or bombardment, by whatever means, of undefended towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science." The complaint also alleges "open violation" of the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty itself, the Geneva Conventions and the Principles of International Law Recognized by the Nuremberg Tribunal (the latter of which makes "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances" a crime).
THE TIMES OF INDIA: Russia's deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Prikhodko, discussed with Chinese leaders the urgent need for a closer cooperation among China, Russia and India to deal with new threats to international security, Voice of Russia said here on Tuesday. In a commentary on foreign affairs, the radio said that in order to avert the possibility of non-NATO nations meeting the same fate as Yugoslavia, New Delhi, Beijing and Moscow should work in close cooperation. Besides enabling them to avert the use of force against them, such an arrangement would strengthen world security and reduce global tensions, it said. The idea discussed by Prikhodko, who had gone to Beijing to make preparations for a Sino-Russian summit is, in essence, a reiteration of the ``triangle'' theory advanced by Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov last December during his New Delhi visit, the radio said.
BOMB OR BE BLASTED
You don't have to be a woman assaulted by Clinton to be bad-mouthed by the capital establishment these days. All you have to do is oppose the president's pathological foreign policy to win yourself the title of "isolationist." Chris Matthews, for example, has several times used the phrase for those who have the gall to oppose the war in Yugoslavia. And now John Judis in the New Republic lays it all out:
"The war's failure would buttress the argument that foreign policy should be based solely on narrow national interests rather than on the attempt to create a democratic community of nations. In the United States, it would reinforce Republican isolationists who gauge foreign policy issues on what they will mean for department store sales in Houston or the price of mutual funds. And the same sentiments might well extend to international economic issues, limiting support for international economic and environmental regulation. At a time when Clinton and Representative Richard Gephardt are forming a new consensus in favor of regulated free trade, popular opinion could tilt toward Pat Buchanan's protectionism."
SO if you don't want to be labeled an isolationist and a friend of Pat's, you better be a bomb-booster. This is not an era of nuance.