Jim Andrews on Sat, 3 Jun 2000 07:27:34 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> NATOsevic

You say that since Serbia is still involved in a war, it is understandable
that independent media has been largely eliminated. What war are you
referring to? There are sanctions against Serbia, is that what you are
referring to? But it seems to me that the main reason the Milosevic
government has largely eliminated independent media is to silence opposition
to the government from within the country itself, not to avoid foreign
propaganda, though the government is very big on the notion that foreign
propaganda seeks to have its way inside the country (hence the justification
for eliminating independent media).

Undoubtedly there is considerable such foreign propaganda. But the students
are seeking independent media, not foreign media. Whatever the problems are,
eliminating independent media will not solve them.

The students are protesting the lack of independent media. This would be a
good thing to do, were there little independent media (and that is the case)
regardless of whether a country was at war or not.

Also, I am far more inclined to trust the inclinations and stance of a
student movement than many other information sources within or outside
Yugoslavia. Student movements have a history of basically leading the way
toward justice during times of injustice. It is a beautiful and delicate
thing. This power is, in part, due to the natural shield they enjoy by
virtue of being young and idealistic and otherwise powerless (tough to
oppress or slaughter the lambs, tough to oppress or slaughter the young,
tough to slaughter the future, tough to silence young citizens).

They are demanding three basic things: elections, open universities, and
independent media. Regardless of the complexity of the situation, these
three demands are warranted and much to be desired.

The universities have been shut down by the government and a law has been
put into place that forbids 'political activity' on campuses. This would
seem to be a move to quell the student protests.

The Milosevic government of course maintains that the reasons for their
oppressive actions are grounded in aggression from outside. But it does seem
to be the case that, instead, they do not enjoy sufficient support within
the country to maintain power without such measures. The war and the
sanctions have provided the government with justification for silencing
independent media. The student movement appears to be considerably harder to
silence. In part this is because it is 'grass roots' amid the citizenry.

I agree that the situation is in many ways confusing and complex. But I
can't agree with your justifications for the Milosevic government doing what
it is doing, regardless of NATO etc., and I think the students deserve

Have you checked out the student site at http://www.otpor.com ?

It seems to me one of the truly significant web sites. This so called
information revolution holds the promise, often empty, of international
communications toward deeper understanding and a better world. The role of
the Net in the student movement is significant, and we can access it
directly via their site, and can support them significantly via our own web
sites by putting The Fist, their symbol of resistance, on our sites and
linking The Fist to otpor.com or wherever you think it will help.

There are graphics on otpor.com of the fist and there are graphics at
http://www.vispo.com/TheFist/Students.html of The Fist.

As you said, Thomas, further discussions are welcome. I am by no means fully
informed on the situation, do not consider myself an expert, and seek
dialogue also concerning the situation in Yugoslavia.

Jim Andrews

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
> [mailto:owner-nettime-l@bbs.thing.net]On Behalf Of Thomas Temme
> Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2000 4:02 PM
> To: nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
> Subject: <nettime> NATOsevic

> The same problem goes for the mails being concerned about media-rights and
> students freedom in Serbia right now. In my point of view Serbia was
> driven into the role of the bad guy and into the Kosovo-conflict by
> history and the NATO for reasons I am not absolutely sure about. There is
> a new book published in Germany by General a.D. Heinz Loquai _Der
> Kosovo-Konflikt: Wege in einen vermeidbaren Krieg - Die Zeit vom November
> 1997 bis Maerz 1999_ in the Nomos-Verlag. (The Kosovo-conflict: Ways into
> an avoidable war). Heinz Loquai is a German general of the Bundeswehr who
> shows on which unreliable basis the so-called facts about massacres that
> led Germany and the NATO into the aggression against Serbia were and how
> these facts were used by politicians.  Also there were descriptions in
> German leftist newspapers that the CIA and the German equivalent, the BND,
> were fighting about who may give more tons of weapons to the peace-loving
> Kosovo-Resistance-Army throughout the ninetees.
> Besides that point, even though I have empathy for oppressed democrats,
> media-activists and students in Serbia, the media is not free in any
> country involved in a war. And Yugoslavia still is in a war. The Western
> media during the war in Kosovo were not free to send what it wanted, but
> fortuantely Western media often even worked better on a purely ideological
> basis for the cause of the NATO than it could if forced to.
> I find it difficult to simply show solidarity with people who work for a
> good cause like democracy, if it is one in the western way, or like free
> media in a situation as is in Serbia, and to forget about the history of
> these good causes.  If we just assume that the NATO is partly responsible
> for the situation of the Serbian state, good or not, and that a state's
> main interest is to maintain its souvereignity, we could conclude that the
> NATO has driven Serbian government in a situation where it has to oppress
> certain democratic rights in order to survive. Shortly later the
> inhabitants of the NATO-reigned states, in a kind of second invasion,
> start showing all kinds of solidarity with the oppressed. Could we maybe
> still call this a part of the war, a war with different means?
> Excuse me if I did not make my point all clear. Further discussions are
> very welcome under tomtem@gmx.de
>  TT

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