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Date:  Thu, 13 May 1999 13:08:28 +0900
From: Hendrik
To: Multiple recipients of NETSOURCE-L <netsource-l@mail.think.service>
Subject:  [NS] A short primer on NATO war: 5 Myths

There is (fortunately) a lot of information available to counterbalance the
war propaganda, but it is, admitteldy, a lot of reading material - often
more than what one can manage. Here is a short article that lends itself as
a primer on the issue of NATO's war against Yugoslavia.



The US/NATO War in Yugoslavia: Five Myths

Myth #1. U.S./NATO had to attack "the Serbs" because the Yugoslav
government and President Slobodan Milosevic refused to negotiate on Kosovo,
a region of Yugoslavia where ethnic Albanians are the majority.

Reality: U.S./NATO bombs are falling on all Yugoslavs: Serbians,
Montenegrins, Albanians, Hungarians, Romanis and other peoples who make up
the multiethnic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. There were no
"negotiations." U.S. officials like Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,
went out of their way to make this point when "peace talks" were held in
France in February. Instead, there was an ultimatum presented by the U.S.
government to the Yugoslav government that had three points: 1) Kosovo must
be granted autonomy; 2) NATO must be allowed to station 30,000 ground
troops in Yugoslavia to ensure this autonomy; and 3) A NATO-conducted
referendum for Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia would take place
within three years. The Yugoslav government agreed to the first condition,
and rejected the second and third, saying they were a gross violation of
their sovereignty and the independence of their country.

Myth #2. Yugoslavia is the aggressor in this conflict and Milosevic is a
"new Hitler."

Reality: No Yugoslav soldiers, planes or ships are attacking another
country. The conflict in Kosovo is an internal issue. A developing country
of 10 million people, Yugoslavia is being attacked by 19 countries,
including the biggest military powers in the world, which have a combined
population of more than half a billion people. Milosevic has been demonized
much like Saddam Hussein is. As a State Department official said, "the
demonization of Milosevic is necessary to maintain the air attacks." (S.F.
Chronicle, Mar. 30, 1999)

Myth #3. Clinton, Albright and the Pentagon generals were moved to action
by their concerns about "ethnic cleansing" and human suffering.

Reality: The U.S., Germany and other NATO powers played a key role in
breaking up Yugoslavia in 1991-92, arming and supporting secessionist
movements. For 45 years after World War II, the many nationalities that
made up Yugoslavia lived together in peace. In the civil wars, which
followed the break-up of Yugoslavia, there was much bloodshed and human
rights violations on all sides. The biggest single act of "ethnic
cleansing" was the forced removal of 600,000 Serbs from the Krajina region
of Croatia (a former Yugoslav republic) by the U.S.-trained and armed
Croatian military in 1995. More than 55,000 of these Serbs, who were
resettled in Kosovo, are among the hundreds of thousands of people made
refugees by NATO bombing and the conflict in Kosovo. (Julia Taft, Asst.
Secretary of State on C- SPAN, 3-29-99) The U.S. "concern" about removal of
people from their homeland is very selective. This is not surprising:
Virtually the entire continent of North America was "ethnically cleansed"
of Native people to make way for the U.S. and Canada, two of the NATO
powers. U.S. policy has supported, with arms and money, the removal of
Kurdish people in Turkey, Palestinians, East Timorese, Guatemalan
indigenous people -- and the list goes on.

Myth #4. The U.S./NATO goal is to protect the rights of the predominantly
Muslim Albanians in Kosovo.

Reality: U.S. officials pretend to care about the rights of Muslim people
in Yugoslavia, while their policy of sanctions and war kills 300 Iraqis
every day -- half children under 5 years old. Most Iraqis are Muslims.

The Pentagon is not a humanitarian relief agency and the corporate- owned
politicians don't really care about any people -- Albanians, Serbs, Kurds,
Iraqis, or the poor and working people of this country.

This war is killing people of all nationalities in Yugoslavia, and
poisoning their land with radioactive depleted uranium (DU) weapons.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, U.S. veterans and their families are
suffering from Gulf War Syndrome as a result of depleted uranium poisoning.
The Clinton administration and the Pentagon talk about "supporting our
troops" before they go into battle, but then deny medical benefits to
veterans who suffer from the after-effects of Agent Orange from Vietnam or
DU from Iraq.

This war will cost many billions of dollars, money stolen from housing,
health care, education and other social programs. Each cruise missile costs
$1 million. The only ones who will benefit from this war will be the
military-industrial complex and big business. The real U.S./NATO goal is to
break Yugoslavia into ever-smaller pieces and bomb its people into
submission. The Balkans is a strategic region, a crossroads between Western
Europe and the oil- rich Middle East and Caspian Basin. The U.S. has
established, in only 5 years, military domination of the former Yugoslav
republics of Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia, as well as Hungary and Albania.
The only hold-out has been what is today the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia. This is the real reason why Yugoslavia has become the target in
the Balkans, just as it is the real reason that Iraq has become the target
in the Persian/Arabian Gulf region.

Myth #5. U.S. news reports are balanced and impartial, giving us the true

Reality: What we see today is a gross distortion of the facts. The media is
dominated by big business interests, and functions as a Pentagon propaganda
machine. For political purposes, the suffering of only one group, the
refugees leaving Kosovo, is shown, while the other Yugoslav victims of the
NATO bombing are virtually ignored. The New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC,
The Chronicle Examiner, and others have given a very slanted view of events
in Yugoslavia, to justify the massive bombing. General Electric, one of the
country's largest military contractors which supplies engines for NATO jet
fighters, owns NBC and co-owns MS/NBC. Volunteers and donations are needed!
Contact us to receive a copy of the 1998 IAC book NATO in the Balkans The
International Action Center


Global Reflexion
Foundation for International Cooperation
P.O. Box 59262 - 1040 KG Amsterdam - The Netherlands
e-mail: office@globalreflexion.org

Wed, 28 Apr 1999


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