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Canada at War with Yugoslavia
>Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 07:01:00 -0500 (EST)
>From: email@example.com (Richard Sanders)
>Subject: Canada at War with Yugoslavia
>This email contains three items:
>(1) Notice of a peace vigil (call Peggy at 747-9651)
>(2) A report from Yugoslavia on the NATO bombing
>(3) Excerpts from a book called "NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition"
>(1) Peace Vigil
>In response to recent events in Kosovo Ottawa Quakers are organizing a Good
>Friday Peace Vigil. It will be between 12 noon and 2pm at the Centennial
>on Parliament Hill. There is free parking at the World Exchange Plaza one
>block away. The organisers are hoping to be joined by many others who feel
>moved to be together and to pray for peace. Better to light a candle than to
>curse the darkness.
>For more information on this vigil please call Peggy Land (747-9651)
>(2) And now, on the "cursing the darkness" front, a report on the NATO bombing
>of Yugoslavia, from the World Serb Congress - Congres Mondial Serbe -
>Weltkongress der Serben (March 26th, 1999/11p.m.)
>According to the latest news from independend sources from
>Belgrade (which might be the last objective ones for the next
>time, if electricity will be cut as it is expected - ):
>until now the following living places of civilian population -
>without any military objects!!!!!- in Belgrade have been and are
>- Bele Vode
>- Bubanj Potok
>- Banovo Brdo
>In all of this parts of the city are only places of residence of
>civilian population and civilian facilities!!! Only until now,
>thirty schools have been hit by the NATO-bombs.
>Further, two chemical fabrics [factories] have been bombed into
>fire - poisened clouds are spreading out over Belgrade. The
>population is asked to wear gas masks that in fact nowbody do
>possess! Supply with drinking water for the inhabitants of
>Belgrade is getting difficult after the drinking water facility
>at Zarkovo was bombed.
>Last not least, two ancient monasteries were bombed in Kosovo and
>Metohija; one of them Gracanica, build in 1320. What to say
>without becoming cynical - let's quote Matija Beckovic: "Nowbody
>is as dead as the one has been shot in his soul..."
>(3) Here are some excerpts from a book we should probably all read for a
>better background understanding of what's going on in Yugoslavia:
>NATO in the Balkans: Voices in Opposition
>By Ramsey Clark et al
>Published by the International Action Centre
>39 W. 14th St., #206, New York NY 10011 USA
>This book is produced with the confidence that it will help to arm
>a new generation of anti-war militants who will surely emerge as
>the full implications of this pernicious policy sink in. All the
>king's horses and all the king's men can't control every aspect of
>life in Bosnia_even though these outside forces take charge of
>the parliamentary elections and physically seize radio and TV
> The occupation of Bosnia by U.S.-led NATO forces takes its
>toll not only on the peoples who are subjugated militarily. It
>also exacts a silent price here in the U.S. The Pentagon is
>soaking up every available dollar that could feed or heal or
>educate or provide employment. And with every dollar it absorbs,
>this military monstrosity grows ever more powerful, arrogant, and
> This is the danger inherent in the military-industrial
>complex. Its goal is to control the destiny of the planet_
>militarily, politically, and economically. It is driven by a
>ravenous appetite for profits.
>Here are some extracts from some of the 13 chapters in this book:
>U.S. and NATO plans to divide Yugoslavia (excerpt)
>By Ramsey Clark
> Yugoslavia had one of the worst experiences in World War II.
>It's not commonly told. But there was a major killing camp_
>concentration camp, as we tend to call them_at Jasenovac in the
>Nazi state of Croatia, according to a very detailed, elaborately
>researched book called The Yugoslav Auschwitz. It's by Vladimir
>Dedijer, a really interesting man I've had the good fortune to
>know for many years. He was vice chairman of the Bertrand Russell
>War Crimes Tribunal and also wrote a major biography of Tito, with
>some understanding of what was accomplished in the Yugoslav
>Federation after World War II. His research on the slaughter of
>the Serbs came out in a new reprint in the United States recently.
> It is a document of basic historic importance. Many of the
>children of those killed, and even some of those interned, are
>still alive. Without a federation to protect them living with each
>other, it wouldn't be easy, and everybody knew that.
> Don't think that NATO isn't planning the map of Europe every
>day, knowing exactly what it wants it to look like. Don't think
>they don't know the composition of the peoples, the physical
>terrain and the natural resources, the industry and all the rest.
>They're working on it constantly.
> And if you think a country is too small for them to be
>interested in, you just haven't seen anything. Was Grenada bigger?
>There's never been a military engagement in history where so many
>armed troops went so far to attack so few. A people with no
>defense. The Pentagon inflicted more casualties per capita on the
>Grenadian population than the United States lost in World War II.
> Don't think there's not a purpose to it. Not long after Tito
>died, as the influence of the Soviet Union declined and its
>capacity to intervene in anything became negligible_which made
>the Gulf War possible_the plans to divide Yugoslavia were under
>way. There can't be any doubt about that. Just look at our
>legislation, look at what so many people have said in memoirs and
>other things. The plans were under way.
> And there are lots of interests in there. In Slovenia there
>are over one million Italians. Slovenia and Croatia are the richer
>parts of the country. We can talk about the success of the
>federation in terms of the basic quality of life. The people had
>food, clothing, education, housing, and things like that. In terms
>of per capita income it was a Third World nation, richer in the
>north than in the south. Slovenia had about $9,500 per capita
>income, Croatia over $7,000, Serbia $3,500, Bosnia less than that.
>Go a bit further south and it's a poor, underdeveloped country.
> The purposes of dismantling Yugoslavia have to be
>understood. Germany obviously had a keen interest. Everybody knew
>when it was dismantled there would be hell to pay. The United
>States used ways to direct the violence, and for four or five
>years now the violence has been directed in the way the United
>States likes to fight a war_"You and them fight."
> This chapter is based on a paper presented to a conference
>in Prague, Czech Republic, on 13-14 January 1996.
> 2 Why is NATO in Yugoslavia? (excerpt)
>By Sean Gervasi
> The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has recently sent a
>large task force into Yugoslavia, ostensibly to enforce a
>settlement of the Bosnian war arrived at in Dayton, Ohio, at the
>end of 1995. This task force is said to consist of some sixty
>thousand men, equipped with tanks, armor, and artillery. It is
>backed by formidable air and naval forces. In fact, if one takes
>account of all the support forces involved, including forces
>deployed in nearby countries, it is clear that on the order of one
>hundred and fifty thousand troops are involved. This figure has
>been confirmed by U.S. defense sources (1).
> By any standards, the sending of a large Western military
>force into Central and Eastern Europe is a remarkable enterprise,
>even in the fluid situation created by the supposed end of the
>Cold War. The Balkan task force represents not only the first
>major NATO military operation, but a major operation staged "out
>of area," that is, outside the boundaries originally established
>for NATO military action.
> However, the sending of NATO troops into the Balkans is the
>result of enormous pressure for the general extension of NATO
> If the Yugoslav enterprise is the first concrete step in the
>expansion of NATO, others are planned for the near future. Some
>Western powers want to bring the Visegrad countries (2) into NATO
>as full members by the end of the century. There was resistance to
>the pressures for such extension among certain Western countries
>for some time. However, the recalcitrants have now been bludgeoned
>into accepting the alleged necessity of extending NATO.
> The question is: Why are the Western powers pressing for the
>expansion of NATO? Why is NATO being renewed and extended when the
>"Soviet threat" has disappeared? There is clearly much more to it
>than we have so far been told. The enforcement of a precarious
>peace in Bosnia is only the immediate reason for sending NATO
>forces into the Balkans.
> notes to excerpt
> (1) Defense News, 25 November 1995; see also Gary Wilson,
>"Anti-War Activists Demand: No More U.S. Troops to the Balkans,"
>Workers World News Service, 7 December 1995.
> (2) As of 1996, the Visegrad countries were the Czech
>Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Poland.
> This chapter is based on a paper presented to a conference
>in Prague, Czech Republic, on 13-14 January 1996.
>Dismantling Yugoslavia, colonizing Bosnia
>By Michel Chossudovsky
> As heavily armed U.S. and NATO troops enforce the peace in
>Bosnia, the press and politicians alike portray Western
>intervention in the former Yugoslavia as a noble, if agonizingly
>belated, response to an outbreak of ethnic massacres and human
>rights violations. In the wake of the November 1995 Dayton peace
>accords, the West is eager to touch up its self-portrait as savior
>of the Southern Slavs and get on with "the work of rebuilding" the
>newly sovereign states. But following a pattern set early on,
>Western public opinion has been misled. The conventional wisdom
>holds that the plight of the Balkans is the outcome of an
>"aggressive nationalism," the inevitable result of deep-seated
>ethnic and religious tensions rooted in history. Likewise,
>commentators cite "Balkan power-plays" and the clash of political
>personalities to explain the conflicts.
> Lost in the barrage of images and self-serving analyses are
>the economic and social causes of the conflict. The deep-seated
>economic crisis which preceded the civil war is long forgotten.
> The strategic interests of Germany and the U.S. in laying
>the groundwork for the disintegration of Yugoslavia go
>unmentioned, as does the role of external creditors and
>international financial institutions. In the eyes of the global
>media, Western powers bear no responsibility for the
>impoverishment and destruction of a nation of twenty-four million
> But through their domination of the global financial system,
>the Western powers, in pursuit of national and collective
>strategic interests, helped bring the Yugoslav economy to its
>knees and stirred simmering ethnic and social conflicts. Now it is
>the turn of Yugoslavia's war-ravaged successor states to feel the
>tender mercies of the international financial community.
> As the world focuses on troop movements and cease fires, the
>international financial institutions are busily collecting former
>Yugoslavia's external debt from its remnant states, while
>transforming the Balkans into a safe-haven for free enterprise.
>With a Bosnian peace settlement holding under NATO guns, the West
>has unveiled a "reconstruction" program that strips that
>brutalized country of sovereignty to a degree not seen in Europe
>since the end of World War II. It consists largely of making
>Bosnia a divided territory under NATO military occupation and
> This article appeared originally in Covert Action Quarterly,
>No. 56, Spring 1996.
>How imperialism broke up the Yugoslav Socialist Federation
>By Sam Marcy
> It is impossible to seriously consider the Yugoslav
>situation without first taking into account some pertinent aspects
>of history and politics.
> The imperialist conspiracy to break up the Socialist
>Federation of Yugoslavia didn't start yesterday. It didn't start
>with the UN Security Council voting for sanctions. It didn't start
>with the earlier meeting of the European Economic Community in
>Spain. It started a long time ago, when the Anti-Fascist Council
>of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), led by Tito (Josip
>Broz) and the Communist Party, defeated the royalist and
>reactionary forces of Col. Draza Mihajlovic and his Chetniks.
> The front mobilized the workers, peasants, progressive
>intellectuals, and thousands of middle-class people into the
>Partisan guerrilla army that defeated the German Nazi and Italian
>fascist invaders and their quisling regimes.
> The U.S. and the British until 1943 recognized Mihajlovic
>and his royalist, reactionary coalition and refused recognition to
>the representatives of the Yugoslav people organized in the AVNOJ.
>Then, seeing that the progressive and revolutionary forces were on
>the verge of scoring a historic victory, the imperialists suddenly
>changed sides and began to give token support to the Partisans.
>They did so largely to disrupt the socialist solidarity between
>the Yugoslav leaders and the Soviet Union.
> The very same forces that fought in Yugoslavia against the
>revolution, particularly the royalist riffraff and pro-fascist
>groupings, have all these years been promoted, secured,
>cultivated, and supported financially by the U.S. and European
>imperialists. Now they are being pushed forward as an authentic
>leadership to replace the Yugoslav government in Belgrade.
> This article originally appeared in Workers World newspaper,
>11 June 1992
>The role of sanctions in the destruction of Yugoslavia (excerpt)
>By Richard Becker
> "The one who chooses this economic, peaceful, quiet, lethal
>remedy will not have to resort to force. It is not such a painful
>remedy. It doesn't take a single human life outside the country
>exposed to boycott, but instead subjects that country to a
>pressure that, in my view, no modern nation can withstand."
> U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, speaking on economic
>sanctions in Versailles, France, 1919
> In 1990, the Yugoslav republic of Serbia had a gross
>domestic product of about $24 billion. The per capita income was
>over $3,000, and every person was guaranteed the right to housing,
>education, quality health care, a job or income, a one-month paid
>annual vacation, and other benefits. Three years later, Serbia's
>gross domestic product had dropped to under $10 billion and per
>capita income was $700. People were dying from the lack of common
>medicines and were being operated on without anesthesia.
> What brought about this catastrophe? In its relative
>magnitude it far exceeded the impact of the 1929-33 depression in
>the United States. But unlike the economic crisis of the 1930s_a
>product of the normal, unconscious functioning of the capitalist
>business cycle_Yugoslavia's destruction was planned and created
>with full deliberation. The planning took place not inside the
>country but in the capitals of the "great" powers_Berlin, London,
>Paris, Rome, and, above all, Washington.
> Yugoslavia's economy was demolished by sanctions. Sanctions
>is a word with a deceptively mild ring to it. But the sanctions
>imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Yugoslavia,
>today a country of ten million people, cut off the country's
>economic lifeblood. Even in mid-1997, twenty months after some of
>the harshest sanctions were lifted, it has not really begun to
> In 1991-92, Yugoslavia, a socialist federation of six
>republics and two autonomous regions that had existed since 1945,
>disintegrated in a horrific civil war. There were internal factors
>leading to the breakup, but the decisive role was played by the
>intervention of outside powers. By mid-1992, the Federal Republic
>of Yugoslavia was reduced to Serbia and Montenegro. Western-backed
>governments in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia had declared their
>independence, and Macedonia soon would do likewise.
> In the early stages of the breakup of Yugoslavia, Germany
>and Austria encouraged and gave military support to the
>secessionist governments in Slovenia and Croatia. The German
>government, emboldened by its recent swallowing up of East
>Germany, was looking to extend its empire along familiar lines.
>Slovenia, Croatia, and, in fact, all of Yugoslavia had been
>conquered by Nazi Germany a half century earlier (1). But it
>wasn't just Germany. The U.S., France, Italy, Britain, and Austria
>were all contending for influence over, and control of, pieces of
>the former federation and the other Balkan and East European
>states. The target of hostility of all these outside powers was
>the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serbian forces living
>outside the now-shrunken borders of Yugoslavia.
> The attack on the FRY was justified by a media campaign
>labeling "the Serbs" as war criminals and violators of human
>rights. There were undoubtedly war crimes, crimes against
>humanity, and violations of human rights committed in the civil
>war by Serbs, and also by Croatians and Muslims. It was a war
>fought on the basis of nationality against nationality.
> The outside powers who wanted to break up the old Yugoslav
>federation fanned the flames of nationalism and secession, knowing
>full well what a civil war fought on this basis would mean. These
>same powers have themselves committed crimes against humanity all
>over the world, for which they have yet to answer_in Vietnam, the
>Congo, Algeria, Ireland, Guatemala, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the
>slave trade, the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas_
>the list is long indeed. So, when the governments responsible for
>the historic and contemporary oppression of so much of humanity
>invoke "human rights" as justification for punishing Yugoslavia
>(or any country, for that matter), they should be challenged,
>especially by progressives. The role of sanctions is an important
>issue for the anti-war and anti-intervention movement,
>particularly because they are increasingly being used by the U.S.
>government against developing countries. This chapter will attempt
>to show how, under the banner of protecting human rights,
>sanctions were used as a key weapon in destroying Yugoslavia,
>promoting civil war, and inflicting great suffering on the people
>in Yugoslavia and throughout the region.
> (1) See, e.g., former U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren
>Zimmerman, "The Last Ambassador, A Memoir of the Collapse of
>Yugoslavia," Foreign Affairs, v. 74, n. 2, 1995.
>The picture that fooled the world
>By Thomas Deichmann
> The picture that appeared in several tabloids reproduced on
>the facing page is of Fikret Alic, a Bosnian Muslim. Emaciated and
>stripped to the waist, he is apparently imprisoned behind a
>barbed-wire fence in a Bosnian Serb camp at Trnopolje. The picture
>was taken from a videotape shot on August 5, 1992, by an award-
>winning British television team led by Penny Marshall of ITN.
>Marshall was accompanied by her cameraman Jeremy Irvin, Ian
>Williams of Channel 4, and reporter Ed Vulliamy from The Guardian
> For many, this picture has become a symbol of the horrors of
>the Bosnian war_"Belsen '92," as one British newspaper headline
>captioned the photograph (1). But that image is misleading. The
>fact is that Fikret Alic and his fellow Bosnian Muslims were not
>imprisoned behind a barbed-wire fence. There was no barbed-wire
>fence surrounding Trnopolje camp. It was not a prison, and
>certainly not a "concentration camp," but a collection center for
>refugees, many of whom went there seeking safety and could leave
>again if they wished.
> The barbed wire in the picture is not around the Bosnian
>Muslims; it is around the cameraman and the journalists. It formed
>part of a broken-down barbed-wire fence encircling a small
>compound that was next to Trnopolje camp. The British news team
>filmed from inside this compound, shooting pictures of the
>refugees and the camp through the compound fence. In the eyes of
>many who saw them, the resulting pictures left the false
>impression that the Bosnian Muslims were caged behind barbed wire.
> Whatever the British news team's intentions may have been,
>their pictures were seen around the world as the first hard
>evidence of concentration camps in Bosnia. "The proof: behind the
>barbed wire, the brutal truth about the suffering in Bosnia,"
>announced the Daily Mail alongside a front-page reproduction of
>the picture from Trnopolje: "They are the sort of scenes that
>flicker in black and white images from fifty-year-old films of
>Nazi concentration camps.(2)" On the first anniversary of the
>pictures being taken, an article in the Independent could still
>use the barbed wire to make the Nazi link: "The camera slowly pans
>up the bony torso of the prisoner. It is the picture of famine,
>but then we see the barbed wire against his chest and it is the
>picture of the Holocaust and concentration camps.(3)"
> Penny Marshall, Ian Williams, and Ed Vulliamy have never
>called Trnopolje a concentration camp.
> notes to this excerpt
> Daily Mirror, 7 August 1992.
> Daily Mail, 7 August 1992.
> Independent, 5 August 1993.
> This chapter is an edited translation of an article that
>appeared in the German magazine Novo, January/February 1997 issue.
>It was then published in English in the British magazine Living
>Marxism, Issue 97, February 1997. The British television station
>ITN sued to prevent LM from publishing the story, demanding that
>its editor withdraw the issue and pulp every copy. LM now faces a
>costly legal battle for insisting on its right to publish the
>Media complicity in a scripted Balkan tragedy (excerpt)
>By Lenora Foerstel
> "If the media can influence public opinion and determine
>political decisions of the international community on key foreign
>policy issues, then the same media which belongs to certain
>nations and warring sides_by way of fabricated reports on actual
>or alleged actions_can become the most efficient instruments in
>achieving certain military and political goals.(1)"
> By fallaciously attributing the breakup of Yugoslavia to
>"aggressive nationalism," the inevitable result of deep-seated
>ethnic and religious tensions rooted in history, the Western media
>served as a "Second Front" for German and U.S. involvement in the
>Balkans. The U.S. and Germany view Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria,
>Romania, Moldava, and the Ukraine as areas for future economic
>control. Germany has once more embraced its World War II goal of
>carving up Europe, this time using an economic strategy. With the
>fall of the Berlin Wall, Chancellor Helmut Kohl gained the
>opportunity to reunite the two parts of Germany and to formulate
>policy which would make Germany the dominant power in Europe.
> Under the pretense of ensuring peace in the Balkans, the
>U.S. has used NATO troops to establish a wall of containment
>around Yugoslavia, forging military bonds with every country that
>borders Yugoslavia. Hungary, Romania, Macedonia and Albania are
>all participants in NATO's Partnership for Peace, the U.S.-
>designed program for joint training and military ties. The U.S.
>provides Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims with military advisors,
>arms and training.
> Germany and the U.S. are supporting a project "to build a
>new Balkan highway atop an ancient Roman road, the Via Egnatia,
>from the port city of Durres in Albania to Istanbul.(2)" This will
>open up better access to the Adriatic, Aegean and Black seas, and
>according to U.S. analysis, will break Serbia's monopoly on
>transportation links to the Middle East.
> Despite clear evidence that Serbia has been devastated by
>the American-led military action and economic boycott, the media
>continue to characterize Serbia as a powerful military threat to
>other Balkan countries. This has become the rationale for U.S.
>military industries to make huge profits by selling weapons to the
>Eastern European countries. The U.S. is considering the sale of F-
>16 fighter aircraft to the Polish government. According to the
>Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. has
>sold four C-130B Hercules military planes and five AN/F PS-117
>surveillance radar units worth $82 million to Romania. "Romania
>has signed an agreement with Bell Helicopter Textron to begin
>producing AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters for the Romanian armed
>forces to be carried out between 1999 and 2005.(3)"
> notes for this excerpt
> (1) Z. Ivanovic, The Media War Against the Serbs (Belgrade:
>Republic of Serbia Ministry of Information, Tanjug News Agency,
>May 1994), p. 5.
> (2) J. Pomfret, Washington Post, 19 December 1996, p. A-28.
> (3) Ibid
>New and old disorder (excerpt)
>By Nadja Tesich
> Ultimately I am talking about fascism of a different sort,
>but I cannot write about fascism in a few pages. It would take at
>least a book. For the purpose of this essay I'll limit myself to
>the propaganda against the Serbs these past four years. And my own
>experience_not just as a writer, filmmaker, professor of film,
>but as a person who observed events, people, the war itself, often
>risking my life.
> When the civil war started in 1991, I went back. I had
>decided that if what I saw in the papers about Serbia was true,
>then I'd never go back again. I was born there, but I have lived
>in the United States most of my life.
> What I saw was a drastically different image from the one in
>the U.S. press: people crying about the breakup of Yugoslavia, the
>wounded, the refugees from Slavonia, and the first very mutilated
>kids in the hospitals. I speak the language, I could move in and
>out, listen unobserved. These were not the people described as
>barbarians in the Times. The Times reporter, Chuck Sudetic, would
>set the tone, a man whose background was Croatian. The essential
>thing is that prior to this, he had a top security job in
>Washington. I didn't know this at the time, I just knew something
>was wrong about his reporting.
> Back in New York, I attempted to correct this information_
>what was true, what was lies_but largely I tried to add the
>missing parts of the picture. Always with names and events that
>could be checked. Without attacking any other group, I tried to
>talk about the suffering on the Serb side. The embargo that turns
>the country into an economic concentration camp, factories shut,
>hospitals without spare parts, doctors without plastic gloves,
>operations with no anesthesia, lack of medicine, kids dying
>because of the embargo, along with old people and those not so
>old. When I reported these things, I was called a nationalist.
> I contacted most of the papers, most of the women's
>magazines, television stations including PBS, Nightline, Time,
>Newsweek, Vanity Fair, the Times magazine section, Mother Jones,
>Harper's, the New Yorker, etc. Nobody wanted to hear about
>doctors, or ordinary people, or about a woman called Azra from a
>Muslim background who goes to Belgrade every year from Florida.
>Nobody wanted to hear about Croatians living in Belgrade or the
>real story of how three women, me included_Muslim, Croat, and
>Serb_traveled together to a funeral in a village in western
>Serbia. This was too peaceful for them, not exciting enough. They
>wanted to hear about rapes. (Got any rape stories, we want to hear
>about rapes.) But the moment I mentioned Serb women raped, they
>were not interested.
> The first part of this article was delivered as a speech in
>October 1995 to a New York teach-in on Bosnia sponsored by the
>International Action Center.
>Media deception and the Yugoslav civil war (excerpt)
>By Barry Lituchy
> It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Of
>course, today with the appalling spectacle of the civil war in
>Yugoslavia filling our TV screens and newspapers, this old axiom
>has taken on an uglier, more sinister meaning. If four years ago
>we could say that the American public was totally uninformed about
>the conflict ready to unfold, today we can say with equal
>justification that Americans are doubly or triply misinformed, and
>dangerously so, about this tragic and completely unnecessary war.
> And there's a very good reason why. A malicious campaign of
>war propaganda, anti-Serb hatred, and just plain lies has flooded
>the American media. It has been financed and run through public
>relations firms, non-governmental organizations and human rights
>groups with the patronage of various governments, all with the
>single purpose of mobilizing public opinion on the side of the
>Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and against those "horrible people,"
>the Serbs. The truth, the lives of innocent people, and the real
>dangers of a wider war are all forsaken; the main thing is to
>twist or to invent the facts so that they fit in with America's
>foreign policy objectives in Bosnia. Every step of the way, the
>media has acted as a co-belligerent, with the aim of whipping up
>anti-Serbian sentiment and support for military intervention on
>the side of the Muslim and Croat forces.
> Many of the stories on the Bosnian conflict that we read
>about and see on TV are actually fed to the media by public
>relations firms. Jim Harff, President of Ruder Finn Global Public
>Affairs, the public relations firm that handles the accounts of
>Bosnia, Croatia, and the Albanian opposition in Kosovo, argues
>that modern wars cannot be fought and won today without good
>public relations work. "In terms of persuading and convincing the
>UN to take proper measures," says Harff, "it's even more
>important." According to U.S. Justice Department records, Bosnia
>and Croatia pay Ruder Finn more than $10,000 a month plus expenses
>"to present a positive image to members of Congress,
>administration officials, and the news media.(1)"
> The amount of covered "expenses" is many times greater than
>the disclosed fee. Harff is himself an insider in Washington,
>where he has worked for three different Representatives over the
>past decade. Because of international economic sanctions imposed
>on the Serbs by the UN_largely due to false stories in the
>media_the Serbs, ironically, are barred from hiring a public
> The use of public relations firms to manufacture "the news"
>and shape public opinion is a dangerous phenomenon that threatens
>the lives and freedom of people around the world. But it is not
>entirely new. It was used to devastating effect during the Gulf
>War. John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harpers magazine and author
>of Second Front, an expos, of media disinformation during the Gulf
>War, has compared media coverage of the Bosnian conflict to that
>of the Gulf War.
> note for this excerpt
> (1) Harff is quoted here by Mike Trickey in The Spectator
>(Hamilton, ON), 12 February 1993. All public relations firms
>working for foreign governments must register with the Justice
>Department. I found in documents obtained from the Justice
>Department that while Croatia was contracted to pay Ruder Finn
>$16,000 a month and Bosnia was to pay $12,000 in 1992, payments in
>some later months were as high as $200,000, and total payments per
>year were ultimately in the millions of dollars. Moreover, Ruder
>Finn was not the only P.R. firm employed in Bosnia. Hill and
>Knowlton was also contracted early in the war. Waterman &
>Associates was employed by Croatia. Financial backing came from
>countries such as Saudi Arabia, which alone funneled nearly $1
>billion to the Sarajevo regime from 1993 to 1996, according to the
>Washington Post, 2 February 1996. Ruder Finn was also contracted
>by the non-existent "Republic of Kosovo" for $5,000 a month,
>according to a Justice Department document dated 1 November 1992.
> This article was originally published in the February 1995
>issue of The College Voice, College of Staten Island, City
>University of New York.
>War propaganda aimed at Jewish opinion (excerpt)
>By Heather Cottin & Alvin Dorfman
> There is at present widespread support in American public
>opinion for the policies of the U.S. government in the Balkans. It
>is a striking and dark paradox that Jewish opinion has played an
>important role in helping to mobilize that support.
> U.S. policy in the Balkans has now carried the United States
>into direct intervention in two civil wars_one between Croatian
>Serbs and the new proto-fascist state of Croatia, and the other
>between the Bosnian Serbs and a Bosnian Muslim government that has
>become increasingly fundamentalist.
> In the first case, the United States helped the new Croatia
>to plan, organize, and carry out the invasion of the Krajina
>region in Croatia, which led to the uprooting of more than a
>quarter of a million Serbs and the slaughter of thousands who
>tried to remain in their ancestral homes there.
> In the second case, the U.S. used NATO, against the advice
>of many of its allies, to destroy the military infrastructure of
>the Bosnian Serb army and to shift the balance of power in favor
>of a minority Muslim government in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This, too,
>has led to the flight of well over one hundred thousand Bosnian
> In intervening in this manner, the United States has not
>just taken sides in an internal European war, it has allied itself
>with the most reactionary elements in Europe, including a newly
>expansionist, racist, and increasingly militaristic German
>government. Worse still, the United States, in order to create a
>more favorable atmosphere for the re-election of President
>Clinton, sought to impose an unworkable overall peace "settlement"
>in Yugoslavia and to enforce it with a NATO task force of sixty
>thousand, including some twenty-five thousand U.S. troops. Even
>Richard Holbrooke, the Assistant Secretary of State for European
>Affairs, admits that this could well lead to another Vietnam.
> To anyone who lived through World War II and who still
>understands the meaning of Nazism_and this applies especially to
>Jews_all this should be not just astonishing but repulsive. The
>United States in alliance with the German government is now
>pursuing policies very similar to those pursued by the Nazis in
>the Balkans. It was the Nazis who wished to splinter the Balkans
>in order to dominate the area. It was the Nazis who unleashed
>clerical fascism in Yugoslavia during World War II. And it was the
>Nazis who displayed a pathological hatred of the Serbs, as well as
>of Jews and Romani (Gypsies).
> It is difficult to understand how U.S. policy toward the
>Balkans could have taken such a turn in any reasonably democratic
> Unfortunately, a large part of the explanation is that
>public opinion in this matter has been driven into something like
>a frenzy by what seems to be an officially inspired and large-
>scale campaign of propaganda. No foreign policy can succeed
>without public support. And U.S. policy in the Balkans is clear
>testimony to that fact. Although as recently as four years ago,
>the American public did not even know the location of the regions
>known as Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Krajina, and
>Montenegro_and perhaps many Americans still don't_key
>individuals and groups in this country were targeted for a
>propaganda barrage designed to demonize the Serbs, to hide the
>reality of Croatian fascism, and to canonize the Bosnian Muslims.
>Reminder: for info on Peace Vigil on April 2, call Peggy at 747-9651.
>Richard Sanders, Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
>COAT, 489 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 3N7
>Tel: (613) 231-3076 Fax (613) 231-2614
>WWW: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/coat Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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