*** GUERRA, BUGIE E VIDEOTAPE: un nuovo video dell'International Action
*** Una trasmissione televisiva ed un video tra le iniziative del
Partito del Lavoro del Belgio: http://www.ptb.be/

* Gli "umanitaristi" europei estendono le sanzioni mentre i vicini serbi
muoiono di freddo (Diana Johnstone, L. Campetti, J. Israel)

* La televisione britannica mostra un documentario sulle menzogne di
guerra - naturalmente a notte fonda (F. Weston, "In defence of Marxism")

* Anche il Washington Post e' un'arma della NATO ? (FAIR)

* Un narcostato in Kosovo, tra le conseguenze del "Blair-ismo" (J.


International Action Center
39 West 14th St., #206
New York, NY 10011
212-633-6646 fax: 212-633-2889
Email: iacenter@...
Web Page: www.iacenter.org


RIPS THE MASS MEDIA. “War, Lies & Videotape: How
media monopoly stifles truth” exposes the true
character of the media today. Order a copy now with
your credit card on www.leftbooks.com.

Have you ever wondered whether the news you hear is
true? Who makes the news and how? How do mega-
mergers and the consolidation of media outlets
affect what you see on the evening news?

The International Action Center’s new book, “War,
Lies & Videotape: How media monopoly stifles truth”
is a superb new work by some of your favorite
fighters for justice and media critics. Read new
works by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney
General; Michael Parenti, author; Nawal El Saadawi,
Novelist & Journalist; Ben Bagdikian, former editor
of the “Washington Post”; Sara Flounders & Brian
Becker, Co-Directors of the IAC; Diana Johnstone,
former European Editor of “In These Times”; Jean-
Bertrand Aristide, former President of Haiti; Scott
Armstrong, Co-Author of “The Brethren”; and others
on the very nature of the news we see and read.

POLICY: “The means of communication are controlled
by a handful of interests. Ninety percent of all
television fare comes from six or seven companies.
A General Electric or Rupert Murdoch can
marginalize a Socrates. A cup of hemlock might seem
to so the same, but the fact of Socrates’ existence
and authenticity abides.

“This is not an easy time to be a thinker. When the
media marginalizes a Socrates of our time, if there
will be one, where will the memory of his word

“Our (the U.S. Government’s) ability to manipulate
and admit without alarming the public is
overwhelming. There was a review in the New York
Times last week of the new book called ‘To Win a
War’ by Richard Holbrooke. It’s written in the
first person, telling how he did it. He didn’t
title his narrative ‘To Establish a Peace.’ And in
his tale he reveals the horrors of ethnic cleansing.
But pride overcomes discretion, and he writes,
boastfully according to a review, of how, even as
Washington was condemning the Croatian purge of more
than a quarter million Serbs from the Krajina, he
was in Zagreb making sure that the Croatians did
exactly that, identifying the cities to be purged,
the deaths and the massive forced emigration.

“The power of the Media to demonize is perhaps its
most dangerous and vicious power.”

the news media as sensationalist and intrusive. In
fact, the press’s basic modus operandi is evasive
rather than invasive. More important that
sensationalist hype is the artful avoidance…

“The news media’s daily performance is not a failure
but a skillfully evasive success. Their job is not
to inform but to disinform, not to advance
democratic discourse but to mute it. The media
gives every appearance of being vigorously
concerned about events of the day, saying so much,
meaning so little, offering so many calories and so
few nutrients. When we understand this, we move
from a liberal complaint about the press’s sloppy
performance to a radical analysis of how the media
serve the ruling circles with much craft and

AGE: “Two phrases in an African-Jamaican song
summarize the media’s dark age in which we live:

Raise the chains off the body.
Put the chains on the mind.

“…This is one of the functions of the media. To give
you the illusion that you are free to choose what
you like from the free market, that you are free to
elect your representative in Congress or
Parliament. But in media’s dark age how can anyone
be free?

“Never before in history has there been such
domination of people’s minds by the mass media.
Never before in history has thee been such a
concentration and centralization of media, capital,
and of military power in the hands of so few
people. All the countries that form the group of
seven (in the North) control almost all the
technological, economic, media, information and
military power.”

LOSS OF CREDIBILITY: “The more absolutely
controlled and homogenized news and information
becomes the more it lacks credibility--and the more
vulnerable it is to the truth. A generation ago in
the U.S. the average person accepted or believed
what governmental officials said and what they
heard on the news.

“Now the distrust of the media goes even deeper than
the alienation from government. Today the average
person knows that the politicians lie. They lie
about their personal lives and sexual affairs, of
course. They lie about taxes and finances and they
lie about reasons for going to war. This distrust
is reflected first in apathy and alienation…

“Consider the response on issues of U.S. military
action. Historically, war is one issue where every
strata and class in society is aroused, apprehensive
and has an opinion… Wild claims of self-defense or
demonizing an opponent are hardly new tactics in the
annals of war. Great wars of conquest and plunder
have always been masked by noble appeals…

“During the 40 days of bombings when more than
110,000 aerial sorties were flown against Iraq,
under a 24-hour- a-day media barrage calling on the
public to ‘support our troops,’ approval ratings of
President Bush and the war reached 80%. But the
support was shallow and short- lived. Six months
later this approval rating for President Bush had
plummeted to 30%. It takes greater hype and in
heavier doses to achieve even temporary support.”

“War, Lies & Videotape: How media monopoly stifles
truth” is 280 pages, fully indexed, for $15.95. You
can either order it now, on-line, with your credit
card at www.leftbooks.com for 15% off or you can
send a check to the International Action Center for
$15.95 plus $4 shipping. This book is now in stock.
Buy it for a friend; use it in a discussion group,
or as a textbook. Help circulate the truth about
the corporate control of the media. And help to
support the International Action Center as it
continues uncompromising leadership against U.S.
interventions and militarism.



Guerre 40-45, Irak, Kosovo: secrets et mensonges. Débat avec Eric
Laurent, (écrivain), Francis Balace (historien) et
Michel Collon (journaliste à Solidaire). RTBF, lundi 31 janvier, 20h10.

Une vidéo comme contrepoison
de la propagande Otan

´Sous les bombes de l?Otan.' Ce documentaire de Michel Collon et Regards
Croisés montre la face cachée de la guerre en
Yougoslavie. Les images ont été prises lors d?un voyage effectué par le
journaliste et quatorze autres Belges en mai 1999.
La vidéo dévoile aussi la stratégie de l?Otan, les intérêts stratégiques
du Caucase et la manière dont l?organisation
atlantique entend contrôler les réserves de pétrole.

t Vidéo de 45 minutes, 400 F. A verser au compte 001-3178376-53 de Fonds
de soutien tiers monde, communication
?vidéo Yougo?. Ou à la LAI, tél. 02/513.53.86, fax 02/51398.31.



Succumbing to Albright -
by Diana Johnstone www.emperors-clothes.com

"BELGRADE - (Reuters) Snow-bound Serbia introduced on Tuesday sporadic
cuts and urged the nation to cut energy consumption to avoid a collapse
its strained grid as outside temperatures sank to -20 degrees Celsius.
freezing spell came only two days after blizzards swept across the
blocking roads and cutting off many villages." (Reuters 1/25/00)

On January 25, in the first month of this new humanitarian millenium,
inhabitants of Serbia were snowbound and freezing after blizzards swept
country and temperatures plunged to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Serbia's
grid, one third destroyed or damaged by NATO's bombing campaign, was
to meet the demand for domestic heating. Repeated two-hour power cuts
introduced to prevent breakdown. The situation was reportedly critical
in the
central Serbian towns of Kraljevo and Kragujevac, once the site of
Yugoslavia's proud modern automobile industry, wiped out by NATO bombs,
leaving the population jobless and destitute. "There are no fuel
reserves. We
can only pray the skies have mercy on us", a senior Serbian oil company
executive told Reuters news agency. Meanwhile, nearby, on earth, mercy
not on the agenda. On the very same day that temperatures were plunging
record lows in Serbia, European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels
decide whether to agree to a partial lifting of the sanctions, as
by Italy, Germany, France and Greece. This could have allowed export to
Serbia of such necessities as heating oil, medicines and items needed to
repair vital civilian infrastructure. Most of the Europeans also wanted
end the ban on airline flights to Belgrade. But not all the Europeans
sentimental humanitarian considerations interfere with the humanitarian
necessity of keeping up the torture of the Yugoslav people. Having still
failed to practice democracy as dictated by Washington and London, the
clearly require more lessons. The United States' most faithful European
followers, Britain and the Netherlands, kept a stiff upper lip and
vetoed the
soft-hearted proposal of their EU partners to ease sanctions. "The
will continue", the Foreign Office declared. "We believe that there will
no peace in the region so long as Milosevic is still President." As for
"peace in the region", in recent days there have been mounting reports
armed ethnic Albanian incursions across the border from Kosovo into
Serbia. On January 18, the Muslim principal of the Muhovac village
school, near the city of Vranje in Southeastern Serbia, was assassinated
in a
hail of machinegun fire. The educator, Chemalj Mustafi, was vice
president of
the local branch of the Socialist Party of Serbia (Milosevic' party).
were other reports of mortars fired at police posts. The Kosovo
Army, like other Albanian nationalists, demand the inclusion of more
parts of
Southern Serbia as well as Kosovo into a future Greater Albania.


The independent Italian left daily newspaper "Il Manifesto" published
following comment on January 27, 2000:

TO DIE OF EMBARGO by Loris Campetti (Excerpts)

After the first undeclared war against the Federal Republic of
NATO with the support of the European Union and thus of Italy has
initiated a
second war, this time declared. The old peple and the children who are
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
with the embargo. Try to imagine what it means for a citizen of Belgrade
spend the night at 14 degrees below zero without heating because the
sanctions prevent deliveries of fuel oil, without light because the
power plants were bombed and are still closed for lack of fuel, without
medicine because Serbia is the evil empire and its inhabitants are
their sin is deadly and deadly must be the punishment...

Serbia's roads are covered with three feet of snow, the means of
are stuck in depots, stations, airports. The schools are closed. In your
opinion, how do they feel, those hundreds of thousands of Serbs and Roma
driven out of Kosovo for being Serbs or Roma, who have disappeared into
freezing refugee camps in Serbia, huddled under plastic tents or in
bombed-out factories. [...] Italy is not happy with this, but perfidious
Albion pounded its shoe on the table and then what are you to do?
and wait till the next time. The Italians are so sensitive that they
have liked to come to the aid of some Serbs, at least those who live in
cities administrated by the opposition (they others can be patient), but
English didn't want to. What can you do? patience, wait till next time.
put ourselves in the place of those old people and those children
at 15 or 20 degrees below zero for whom there will not be a next time.
we are saying is that patience is at an end, and ours as well. We want
to say
to the knights of humanitarian intervention...humanitarian intervention,
today, means saving the Serbian people and the Roma people. And what
you, Mr. Dini?

[ Note: Lamberto Dini is Italian foreign minister. ]


For other articles by Diana Johnstone, please click on Articles by
Author or
go to http://emperors-clothes.com/artbyauth.html then click on "J".

To browse articles at emperors-clothes, go to www.tenc.net

For a report on how NATO forces under the command of the Dutch
with which the U.S. is closely allied, treat people in occupied Kosovo,

NOTE: Russia has been sending fuel through Hungary. Under U.S. pressure,
Hungarian government has demanded Yugoslavia pay millions of dollars in
money it does not have due to the effect of the sanctions, or Hungary
stop transmitting Russian fuel at the end of this month.

Does the U.S. government want the world for its Empire? If not, what is
crime the Yugoslavs have committed, to be bombed, driven from Kosovo,
deprived of heat during winter? Is the crime of this small, brave
that it refuses to crumble, to be defeated? Perhaps by not accepting
diktat, Yugoslavia is setting an example for all who value human
freedom, an
example that has already inspired others to resist Imperial domination.
Jared Israel.



In Defense of Marxism
January 25, 2000
British TV documentary exposes NATO lies about Kosovo
During the NATO bombings in Serbia and Kosovo the propaganda machine of
the media in the West, with a few noble exceptions, obediently put
forward the line that it was necessary to concentrate the armed might of
the nineteen most powerful nations of the world, in order to stop the
"ethnic cleansing" of the Kosovar Albanians. All the news was aimed at
justifying everything NATO was doing.
At the time we published a series of articles explaining the real
reasons for the bombing: to impose the strategic interests of Western
imperialism on the Balkans. When we wrote these articles we were "going
against the stream", especially in countries like Britain where the
barrage of propaganda was enormous. Many honest workers and youth may
have been taken in by this propaganda and may even object to us calling
it "propaganda", but propaganda it was, nevertheless.
On 16th January ITV (a British TV channel) broadcast a documentary by
Jonathan Dimbleby which confirms everything we said throughout the
bombing campaign. It is a pity it was shown late on a Sunday evening, so
we think it worthwhile to highlight the most significant parts of the
programme and to quote at length from Dimbleby himself.
His mission was to "find out if there really was a victory in Kosovo,
whether good did triumph over evil." Dimbleby shows how, in reality, the
bombing destroyed the basic infrastructures that make for a civilised
existence, both for the Albanians and the Serbs.
He describes K-for (the UN troops) as the "military wing of a colonial
governor, better known as the Security Council of the United Nations,"
and shows how it is only the presence of 50,000 NATO and UN troops from
23 different countries that is preventing a new explosion of violence.
NATO lies exposed
The most interesting parts of the documentary are those where Dimbleby
exposes the lies of NATO. We all remember how we were led to believe
that possibly hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians had been
massacred by the Serb forces. In one scene we see corpses of those
killed being dug out, and Dimbleby's comment is, "In the early days of
the war, as if to justify the bombing of Belgrade, NATO fuelled
speculation that the massacres in Kosovo had been apocalyptic in scale.
But the evidence so far, with just over 2000 bodies recovered, suggests
that the final toll will be far lower than some of the wilder claims
fostered by war time propaganda."
Of course even the killing of one innocent civilian is unjustified, but
as he points out, "by comparison with atrocities committed elsewhere in
the world, the Kosovo killings, though dreadful, were clearly on a
modest scale, and, for me at least, a dubious pretext for turning most
of this region into rubble." As he points out the message that had to be
got across was: "Something must be done. Do it now!"
The Rambouillet provocation
He explains how the so-called Rambouillet Accords were worded in such a
way that no country could have accepted them. He says that at
Rambouillet, NATO delivered a "take it or leave it ultimatum" which
involved autonomy for Kosovo and a referendum three years later on
self-determination, a chance for the Albanians of Kosovo to achieve
outright independence.
But, he adds, "Any lingering chance of a deal finally collapsed when the
allies inserted a last minute clause into the Rambouillet Accords giving
NATO freedom of movement not only in Kosovo but throughout Serbia, and
complete immunity from all Yugoslav law. Serbia rejected NATO's
ultimatum as a gross violation of national sovereignty, well aware that
this would mean war."
And what about the argument, pushed so vehemently by NATO spokespersons
at the time, that it was all necessary to save lives? Dimbleby explains
that, "NATO had no mandate from the UN, a violation of international
law, which the allies justified by claiming that the purpose of the
campaign was to avert a humanitarian disaster. But so far from being
averted, the disaster was compounded. As NATO intensified its onslaught
against Serbia, Milosevic accelerated the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
This was the very opposite of what the bombing was supposed to
achieve... NATO had expected Milosevic to crumble under the aerial
onslaught. He didn't."
Dimbleby admits what we pointed out at the time. It was only thanks to
the Russian intervention that a deal was brokered. He also shows that
the withdrawal of Serb troops "was very far from that rabble which NATO
spin doctors had predicted." He also explains that Milosevic withdrew
his troops only after having "extracted two remarkable concessions":
NATO no longer insisted on the right to enter Serbia "at will", but it
also revoked the promise of a referendum on independence and confirmed
that Kosovo would remain a "constituent part of the Federal Republic of
Couldn't all this have been averted?
It is on this question that Dimbleby makes the most significant
statement of his documentary: "It was a remarkable outcome, and it
surely isn't unreasonable to ask what might have happened if the same
terms had been on offer before the war as after it. If NATO had not
insisted on freedom of movement throughout Serbia, and if Milosevic had
been told that an autonomous Kosovo would remain within the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, might we have avoided all that misery, bloodshed
and destruction?"
And what about a "democratic" and "multiethnic Kosovo"? He asks the
question if Kosovo is "free" and his answer is that it clearly is not.
He visits Pristina and finds that ethnic cleansing of the Serb minority
has taken place and continues to take place on a massive scale. He
visits a hospital and finds that not only are the staff totally
Albanian, but there are also no Serb patients to be found anywhere! The
Serb population is too frightened of going to the hospital. They are
terrified of KLA intimidation. In fact those among the staff who would
be prepared to treat Serbs would be risking their lives at the hands of
the KLA.
Now the Serbs are being "ethnically cleansed"
Dimbleby goes on to explain that, "Since the end of the war there has
been ethnic cleansing in Kosovo on a monstrous scale, an outrage which
K-for failed to arrest, that the leaders of NATO's moral crusade have
ignored, and from which the Western media, for the most part, has
averted its gaze." He points out that 150,000 Serbs, 75% of the original
population, have been "cleansed". The rest live in enclaves, in theory
"protected" by K-for troops. As he says, K-for is, in reality, paralysed
and cannot stop the rape, murder and pillage. One Serb woman is shown
preparing to leave the house she had lived in for forty years, and she
expresses her anger at the West: "The world doesn't care about us!"
The aim of the UN had been to create a local police force, made up of
both Albanians and Serbs, but that is impossible in the given
conditions. At the same time, as a British Army officer explains, the
risk is that the Albanians begin to see NATO as the enemy! The Albanians
want independence, but NATO is not going to let them have it, (as we
explained in several articles at the time).
A colonial dictatorship
So what is the real role of NATO in Kosovo? Dimbleby confirms what we
always maintained, when he says that, "Instead of a government, there's
K-for and the UN. In effect, a colonial dictatorship, an administration
which is benevolent, but also invested with absolute power..." On the
"benevolence" of a force that killed some 2,000 civilians we would have
some doubts! But in the essentials what he says is absolutely true: what
we have in Kosovo is a dictatorship, a NATO protectorate, whose aim is
to defend the strategic interests of western imperialism. It is not
there to defend the interests of the ordinary people, the Serb and
Albanian workers and peasants.
The KLA have not disarmed. Only a tiny fraction of their arms have been
handed in and NATO is powerless to find all the remaining armoury. The
nationalists on both sides have committed terrible crimes against the
peoples of Kosovo. This has created mutual hatred on both sides.
At the end of the documentary Dimbleby seems to have no hope for Kosovo.
He says, "For me there has been no victory of good over evil here, and
so far there is very little to celebrate... Anyone who thinks that this
venture represents the triumph of an ethical foreign policy, or is the
blueprint for a new world order should, I believe, think again. As it
is, we, that is the Western allies, are here for a very long time to
Dimbleby has all the shortcomings of a liberal bourgeois news reporter.
He cannot see the underlying causes of the conflict. But he at least
exposes a lot of the spin we had to endure during the bombing campaign.
He points to the truth. Of course all this is shown late on a Sunday
evening months after the events. When it really counted, the evening
news bombarded us with propaganda, but at least we can use this
documentary to show that the Marxists had the courage to tell the truth
in the heat of the bombing campaign, when it really counted.
We must also go beyond simply denouncing the lies of NATO. We must offer
an alternative to the peoples of the Balkans. That can only be achieved
on the basis of a struggle to unite the workers of different
nationalities in a common struggle against the real enemies, the
capitalists, the Mafia and the ex-Stalinist bureaucrats, who are all
responsible, who have all played the nationalist card to divide the
workers along ethnic lines, in order to more easily remain in power. But
for this we suggest you read, or re-read the material we published
during the bombing campaign itself.
by Fred Weston,
London, 25th January 2000

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and news reports

Washington Post a "Useful Tool" for NATO?
Paper's coverage distorts facts about Kosovo war crimes

Jan. 28, 2000

When a group of prominent international legal scholars filed a war
complaint against NATO for its actions in Yugoslavia, the Washington
coverage (1/20/00) was dismissive--demonstrating a poor grasp of
international law and the war in Yugoslavia, and relying on an "expert"
a blatant and unmentioned conflict of interest.

The scholars, led by Professor Michael Mandel of York University in
sent a detailed legal brief to the U.N.-sponsored International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), arguing that NATO leaders
committed serious violations of international law during the 78-day
campaign against Yugoslavia last year.

The Post article, by Paris correspondent Charles Trueheart, curtly
the legal case against NATO: "Most legal scholars say the professors
have a
pretty weak case, noting that accidental civilian deaths caused by NATO
bombs fail to meet the commonly accepted standard for war crimes. Even
the legal campaign against the Western alliance has taken on a life of
own." The piece goes on to claim that "even the Tribunal's most ardent
champions in the human rights community and elsewhere are worried that
case may have damaged its reputation through an exercise in dangerous

Yet only one such "legal scholar" or member of the "human rights
is quoted by Trueheart: Professor Paul Williams of American University,
is identified simply as a "war crimes expert." Nowhere in the article is
disclosed that Williams, a former State Department lawyer, is currently
paid lobbyist for the "provisional government of Kosovo" in Washington.

There's no evidence in Trueheart's article that he made a genuine effort
determine whether, in fact, other jurists or human rights experts
Mandel's view that NATO violated international law during its Kosovo
campaign. Trueheart could have examined Human Rights Watch's recent
announcement that that it will send detailed reports to the Tribunal
that NATO's target selections were "disproportionate and should be found
violations of international humanitarian law." (London Guardian, 1/7/00)

Trueheart might also have noted that no less a "champion" of the
than its former President and presiding judge, Antonio Cassese, has
expressed the view (European Journal of International Law, #1/99) that
violated the United Nations Charter by attacking Yugoslavia without a
mandate from the U.N. Security Council: "The breach of the United
Charter occurring in this instance cannot be termed minor. The action of
NATO countries radically departs from the Charter system for collective
security." (Cassese did add that in his view a moral case could be made
NATO's intervention.)

In fact, judging by Trueheart's assertions--"accidental civilian deaths
caused by NATO bombs fail to meet the commonly accepted standard for war
crimes"--he appears to be ignorant of either the nature of NATO's
attacks on
Yugoslavia or of the Geneva Convention statutes which make up the
accepted standard for war crimes." This unfamiliarity is disturbing,
Trueheart regularly covers the ICTY for the Post.

The Geneva Conventions would not hold a bomber pilot criminally liable
if a
missile aimed at a military installation--say, an anti-aircraft gun or a
munitions storage facility--drifted off-course and accidentally struck a
village populated by civilians. Such accidents are not war crimes. In
complaint, Mandel and his colleagues do not cite such accidents as
violations of the Geneva statutes. They point to other strikes that were
deliberate attacks on civilian targets.

Ironically, some of the clearest evidence that some NATO strikes
breached the Geneva Conventions can be found in the Washington Post's
reporting. For example, a front-page article last year by military
Dana Priest ("Bombing by Committee: France Balked at NATO Targets,"
recounted the decision-making processes behind several NATO targeting
decisions. According to Priest, at one point, British "Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook questioned strikes on power lines affecting a large hospital
Belgrade. But the group brought him around."

In another episode, shortly before a planned missile strike on the
headquarters of Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party--which was located in
residential neighborhood of Belgrade--an internal memo assessing the
civilian destruction was distributed among NATO leaders:

"Next to a photograph of the party headquarters, the document said:
'Collateral damage: Tier 3 -- High. Casualty Estimate: 50-100
Government/Party employees. Unintended Civ Casualty Est: 250 -- Apts in
expected blast radius.'

"In short, NATO anticipated that the attack could, in the worst case,
up to 350 people, including 250 civilians living in nearby apartment

"Washington and London approved the target, but the French were
noting that the party headquarters also housed Yugoslav television and
studios. 'In some societies, the idea of killing journalists--well, we
very nervous about that,' said a French diplomat."

Ultimately, Paris went along. But in going ahead with the attack, NATO
appears to have directly breached Article 51 of the Geneva Convention
(Protocol I), which prohibits any
"attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life,
injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination
which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military
advantage anticipated."

The Socialist Party building was itself a civilian facility located
of miles from the site of any military conflict. Asked by a reporter at
next day's press briefing what military rationale lay behind the party
headquarters strike, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea could not name any
military function. Instead, he declared that NATO considered "any aspect
the power structure" in Yugoslavia to be a legitimate target, adding
the party headquarters building "contains the propaganda machinery...of
ruling Socialist Party."

The reluctance expressed by British and French diplomats over these
apparently stemmed from their concern that the raids in question might
represent violations of the Geneva Conventions--or at least that they
be perceived as such. In fact, NATO leaders repeatedly admitted that
strategy in attacking civilian targets was to terrorize the population
the hope that the Serbian public would turn against its government and
pressure Milosevic to capitulate. In a May 24 interview with the
Post, U.S. Air Force Lt.-Gen. Michael Short explained the strategy:

"If you wake up in the morning and you have no power to your house and
gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be
in the Danube for the next 20 years, I think you begin to ask, 'Hey,
what's this all about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?'
at some point, you make the transition from applauding Serb machismo
the world to thinking what your country is going to look like if this

Short's rather bowlderized list of examples of civilian destruction in
Serbia does not fully explain the strategy: As the memorandum published
the Post showed, NATO expected its attack on Socialist Party
headquarters to
kill up to 250 neighboring residents as they slept.

In an another instance, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea declared : "If
Milosevic really wants all of his population to have water and
all he has to do is accept NATO's five conditions and we will stop this
campaign." Statements like these have led Human Rights Watch executive
director Kenneth Roth to declare (Letters, London Guardian, 1/12/00) his
group's concern that

"NATO bombed the civilian infrastructure not because it was making a
significant contribution to the Yugoslav military effort but because its
destruction would squeeze Serb civilians to put pressure on Milosevic to
withdraw from Kosovo. Using military force in this fashion against
would violate the 'principle of distinction' -- a fundamental principle
international humanitarian law -- which requires military force to be
only against military targets, not against civilians or civilian

But if Trueheart and the Post appear uninterested in examining whether
violated international law during its Kosovo campaign, that does not
they are uninterested in the subject of war crimes. In fact, the Post
considers the Tribunal's activities to be major news when they are
against NATO's enemies.

When the Tribunal handed down its indictment of Slobodan Milosevic last
Trueheart's article ran on the front page. Since then, the Post has used
phrase "indicted war criminal" to describe Milosevic an average of about
once a month. Yet the Post has made no serious attempt to evaluate
our own government violated the laws of war in its air campaign last

When the Tribunal was first established, American policymakers hoped
just such a double standard would prevail in media coverage. As Michael
Scharf, the State Department envoy who dealt with the Tribunal when it
created, wrote in the Washington Post (10/3/99) :

"America's chief Balkans negotiator at the time, Richard Holbrooke, has
acknowledged that the tribunal was widely perceived within the
government as
little more than a public relations device and as a potentially useful
policy tool.... Indictments also would serve to isolate offending
diplomatically, strengthen the hand of their domestic rivals and fortify
international political will to employ economic sanctions or use
Indeed [the Milosevic indictment] became a useful tool in their [U.S.
Britain's] efforts to demonize the Serbian leader and maintain public
support for NATO's bombing campaign."

It's bad enough that the international war crimes tribunal--much of
funding comes directly from the U.S., in violation of the tribunal's own
statutes (New York Press, 1/26/00)--can be described as a "useful tool"
Washington's foreign policy. The Washington Post should not serve the

ACTION: Please encourage the Washington Post to fully and fairly cover
allegations of NATO war crimes.

Robert McCartney, Foreign Editor

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Kosovo, close to being a Mafia state, is littered with unexploded bombs.
That`s the result of ethical Blairism
New Statesman (UK)
John Pilger
24th January 2000
The Blair government`s resumption of arms sales to Indonesia ends an
unreported hoax. The four- month "ban" supposedly in re-sponse to the
renewed repression in East Timor, was hardly a ban at all. Licences were
merely extended, so that no future business would be lost, and
parliament and the public were not told. Now, with 170,000 East Timorese
held hostage by the Indonesian military in camps in West Timor and
British-supplied Saladin armoured cars used in attacks on civilians
elsewhere in Indonesia, the military dictatorship that still runs the
country (regardless of its democratic trappings) will be encouraged in
its campaign against the popular resistance.
At the same time, the ethical Blairites are eager to resume arms sales
to the Pakistani military dictatorship, which three months ago crushed
an elected government.
Pakistan`s appalling human-right record makes a grim joke of the
European code of conduct on arms sales, adopted when Britain held the EU
presidency. This is unsurprising; British arms exports have long gone to
regimes with appalling human-rights records.
The ethical Blairites, however, add another dimension. Consider the
legacy of their "new moral crusade" in Kosovo last spring. Clare Short,
an avid crusader, said then "Nato is not killing civilians. The very
carefulness of our operations is to ensure that there is minimum damage
to civilians". This was manifestly false. Several thousand civilians
were killed and thousand more maimed many by cluster bombs which are, in
effect, air-dropped time-activated landmines. Those that did not explode
immediately now lie in wait for unsuspecting civilians, often children,
who pick them up; on detonation, they release dozens of "bomblets" that
cause horrific injuries.
I saw something of the human carnage they caused in Indochina following
the American bombing; 30 years later, they are still killing and
injuring. Not long ago, in tiny Laos, the British Mines Advisory Group
found 700 unexploded bomblets in one school playground. According to the
Asia correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, cluster bombs have given
Laos "an annual nationwide casualty rate of 20.000 more than half of
them deaths".
For Laos, now read Kosovo. Last April, Paul Watson of the Los Angeles
Times, who distiguished himself by remaining in Kosovo during the NATO
bombing, reported that cluster bombs had turned "parts of the province
into no-man`s land" which was "littered" with unexploded bomblets. At
Pristina Hospital, he witnessed the "horrific wounds" of Albanian
children, caused by delayed-action clusters. (It was Watson who
memorably wrote: Even in Kosovo, I couldn`t escape the sound of (Nato
spokesman Jamie) Shea`s voice… it haunted me at the strangest times,
denying things that I knew to be true, insisting on others that I had
seen were false").
With Robert Fisk`s reporting, Watson`s witness to the carnage caused by
Nato was rare. This was not so much a reporters` war as one dominated by
drum-beating lifestyle columnists who never acknowledged that British
pilots were using terror weapons against civilians, sowing Kosovo with
harvest of death and suffering that was in explicit violation of the
Ottowa Convention, which prohibits the production and use of
anti-personnel mines. Subsequent scrutiny of ministry of Defence
statistics reveals that, contrary to Clare Short`s fiction of
"carefulness" more than 75 per cent of bombs dropped by the RAF were
free-fall, including the 78,057 cluster bomblets released.
"It would be wrong to assume" said Blair last April, "that bombs and
missiles that miss their target necessarily cause collateral damage."
Read again that statement and you get a sense of the craven sophistry
with which respectable regimes cover their crimes. Blair is afraid of
the truth getting out and his ministers blocked disclosure of the
percentage of British bombs and missiles that "went astray" in Kosovo.
They justify this recourse to the Code of Practice on Access to
Government Information, a decree of state secrecy that no Soviet-era
apparatchik could better.
The ethical Blairites claim they did not use depleted uranium in Kosovo,
as John Major did in Iraq. Can se believe that? Their co-crusaders, the
Americans, used it. The physicist and chemist Professor Hari Sharma, a
world authority on depleted uranium, says: "The danger is equal to that
of a long-term weapon of mass destruction. The inhalation of even the
smallest dust particle may cause irreparable cell damage in unprotected
people, resulting in a cancer epidemic that over time could kill
thousands of the exposed" - in other words, the very people Blair
claimed to be liberating.
Also unreported is the installation in Kosovo of paramilitary regime
with links to organised crime. Indeed, Kosovo may become the world`s
first Mafia state. As they oversee the ethnic cleansing of 240,000 Serb
and Roma civilians Nato and its United Nations partners have established
a "working relationship" with the Kosovo Liberation Army, which Robin
Cook and Madeleine Albright once dismissed as a terrorist group. Much of
the KLA is criminalised, with war criminals. common murderers and drug
traders forming an "interim administration" that will implement the
"free-market reforms" required by the US and Europe. Their supervisors
are the World Bank and the European Development Bank, whose aim is to
ensure that western mining, petroleum and construction companies share
the booty of Kosovo`s extensive natural resources: a fitting finale to
the new moral crusade. Watch for others.

e-mail: crj@... - URL: http://marx2001.org/crj