Coastal Post Online

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March 2001

Spin Masters

By Edward W. Miller

"The war over Yugoslavia was fought not only inside the country, but also on a global front, through the international public opinion... the strategy proved successful. During the whole string of events that lead to the toppling of the legitimate president, America used its flagship propaganda mouthpiece, CNN, to broadcast manipulated information to a global audience. In addition, television stations Together with American coercion, most governments and people spoke with the same voice (and picture)... CNN manufactured and told a one-sided propaganda tale... conveying the impression that the whole people in Yugoslavia not only opposed the president, but deeply despised him." Kai-Alexander Schlevogt, Jordan Times 12/04/2000

"For the better part of a decade, the US public has been bombarded with a media campaign to demonize the Serbian people and their elected leaders. During that time, the US government has pursued a goal of breaking up Yugoslavia into a cluster of small, weak, dependent, free-market principalities. Yugoslavia was the only country in Europe that would not dismantle its welfare state and public sector economy... it still is charting a course not in keeping with the New World Order." Michael Parenti, www.tenc.net 05/22/2000

Manufacturing a crime to justify military intervention has become the custom in Washington. Noam Chomsky calls it "the principle of retrospective justification," while political writer Diana Johnstone, reporting from Paris, prefers: "making the crime fit the punishment." In any case, the object is to present Washington"s military and political adventurism in such a way as to hide both intent and process, thus achieving tacit support from a misinformed public, while avoiding such a politically-embarrassing backlash as Washington suffered during the Vietnam War. This smoke-and-mirrors approach to our wars, always against tiny countries, requires extensive planning.

With most media marching in lock-step with Washington, it is often difficult to steer through the misinformation maze to get at the truth. In one paragraph back in the March 1999 Coastal Post ("Beating a Dead Horse), foolishly believing our State Department, I echoed their picture of Milosevic as an arch criminal. After checking on his supposed Muslim victims, I was n ever able to verify Washington"s figures, which were late found grossly exaggerated... Mea Culpa.

The whole intent behind Washington"s ten-year Balkan adventurism has been to first disassemble that Federation of Yugoslavian States (structured by Tito toward the end of WWII and before his death in 1980), and then present these small once-socialist countries on the silver-platter of "democratization" to feed the rapacious appetites of international business, the IMP and the World Bank.

The process had its beginnings shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when political groups in both Washington and Berlin visualized the Balkan States as potential targets for first, military, and then economic exploitation.

At Berlin"s Brandenberg Gate on October 12, 1994, President Clinton referred to Germany"s then-Chancellor, Helmut Kohl as "my principal partner in Europe." To create military backing for the modern colonization of the Balkans, Clinton then peddled that straw tiger, NATO across Europe to the border of Russian, while the arms industry lobbied our Senate for NATO expansion. Giant Lockheed-Martin in 1996 offered a $2.3 million campaign fund contribution. Meanwhile, arms manufacturers, Saab/British Aerospace, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, and others, envisioning a central European arms market, spent millions on "voter education" in the projected NATO countries, violating local media laws regarding foreign contributions (The Nation, March 16, 1998). Early in 1998, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 16/2 to extend NATO membership to Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, followed by Senate approval in April of that year.

With little or no adequate media coverage in the US, the Balkan countries were violently separated from one another as the West employed such nationalists as Trudjman and Izetbegovic to assist in "ethnic cleansing" of the Serb populations (over 350,000 Serbs were expelled or killed in the fighting from Croatia alone). Our CIA had offered both arms and military assistance (air cover) while stirring up anti Serb feelings in both Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Germany, along with the Vatican, secretly armed the Croats, then worked politically to separate, first Slovenia and then Croatia from the Yugoslav Federation. Our media constantly demonized Slobodan Milosevic, while he tried in vain both to protect his Serbs and hold his Yugoslav Federation together.

In Bosnia-Herzegovenia, our CIA even brought some of its old Muslim mujahedin fighters from Afghanistan to help drive the Serbs out of their homes. Both the US and Germany using the UN and NATO, as well as compliant members of the EU to shield their activities, secretly supported ethnic cleansing of the Serb population from these states while both demonizing Milosevic and reporting any Serb efforts to defend their lives and homes as "Serbian Terrorism."

CNN and other media reported Bosnia Serbs "raped anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 Muslim women." The Serb army, however, which numbered only 30,000 men, were desperately defending their Serbian families and their own lives. Michael Parenti reports that these stories actually originated from Bosnian Muslim and Croatian governments and that representatives from the Helsinki Watch could find no credible supporting evidence of these "atrocities."

As NATO bombs rained down on Yugoslavia and Kosovo, the anti-Milosevic and anti-Serb media campaign expanded exponentially. In the now infamous Racak incident, our CIA and ex-El Salvador ambassador William Walker, escorted his choir of foreign reporters to the "execution massacre of 45 Kosovo Albanians in a mass grave."

Foreign forensic experts brought in at Serb request, noted the bodies had been assembled at the "grave" from some distance, that rifle shell casings were missing and only one body had been shot in the head. European news reported these victims as having been killed in crossfire actually filmed earlier by an Associated Press TV crew. So much for CNN.

Parenti reported that: "Serb attacks on KLA strongholds or the forced expulsion of Albanian villagers were described as "genocide." But experts in surveillance photography and war propaganda charged NATO with running a "propaganda campaign" in Kosovo that lacked any supporting evidence. State Department reports of mass graves and 100,000 to 500,000 missing Albanian men "are just ludicrous" according to independent critics."

The anti-Milosevic campaign continues. The US with NATO assistance has set up a pseudo "International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia" to indict Serbs accused of crimes genocide. Milosevic is the NATO target. Toronto lawyer Christopher Black, specialist in International Law, says this court in the Hague is illegal, was instigated and funded by private US corporations and NATO. Black says though the UN Security Council tried to legitimize it, the Council lacks the credentials to do so, since International Tribunals, such as the one Clinton recently officially recognized, can, under the UN Charter, only be established by the UN General Assembly, not the Security Council.

Efforts are not being made to force Yugoslavia"s new president, Kostunica, to deliver Milosevic to NATO"s Tribunal, by threatening to hold back any EU or US financial assistance to his suffering country. Kostunica has to date stood firmly against this.

The US media campaign against the Serbs continues to this day. American Radio Works, owned by Minnesota Public Radio, in January 2001 began a series accusing the Serbian army and, indirectly, Milosevic, of having disposed of some 1500 Kosovo Albanian corpses by incinerating them in the blast furnaces at the Trepca lead refinery, later seized by NATO. When experts noted the conveyor belts carrying crushed ore to the furnaces were much too narrow to accommodate a human corpse, the Minnesota group quickly added that the bodies had been ground up in the grinders which pulverized the rough ore. Just how 1500 bodies had been transported to this facility without being either seen or reported was explained by saying the transporting of bodies was "done at night." However, another question remains. Since the Yugoslavian authorities who were then managing the Trepca works had ordered the entire facility shut down just hours after the NATO bombing commenced to protect their workers from being trapped in the facilities, how could corpses, even ground into meat, be cremated in a cold blast furnace? A Yugoslav friend and engineer, Tika Jankovic, was visiting his native Yugoslavia when the NATO bombing began and happened to be within three miles of the Trepca facility. He assures me the plant was shut down. Foreign forensic experts since have found no evidence of human remains in the ashes.

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