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<nettime> geertogram 050799 [digest]: UK legs, Freeserbia site, 60 mins
Geert Lovink on Fri, 7 May 1999 15:07:15 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> geertogram 050799 [digest]: UK legs, Freeserbia site, 60 mins


Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
     U.K. Legislators Criticize Role of Media in Yugoslav Conflict
     Freeserbia Website 
     (fwd) 60 minutes

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Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 08:32:22 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: U.K. Legislators Criticize Role of Media in Yugoslav Conflict

Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 19:16:50 -0400
From: Miroslav Visic <visic {AT} PIPELINE.COM>
To: JUSTWATCH-L {AT} LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
Subject: U.K. Legislators Criticize Role of Media in Yugoslav Conflict

Some members of British Parliament are unhappy with media coverage of
the war in Yugoslavia.


     "The media did not bring out the full details of the
     Rambouillet peace talks in March that made unreasonable
     demands on Yugoslavia. It wasn't surprising Yugoslavia 
     rejected the proposals, which included stationing foreign 
     troops in the country and not subjecting them to local 
     jurisdiction."

Also, it's OK for BBC to be afraid of the British Government but RTS
should report freely against Yugoslavian government:


     "Protests outside the British Broadcasting Corporation after
     the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombed the headquarters 
     of state-run Serbian television went unreported, because the 
     media was afraid of the British government."

Miroslav

/article not for crossposting/
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.K. Legislators Criticize Role of Media in Yugoslav Conflict

     London, May 6 (Bloomberg) -- A group of U.K. legislators
criticized British newspapers and broadcasters for not reporting
the Kosovo conflict more critically and for not protesting more
strongly against NATO bombings of Serbian media facilities.

     <... rest of article deleted...>
--
_______________________________________________________________________

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 09:06:12 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Freeserbia Website 

(source: Freeserbia Website - http://come.to/freeserbia )

Therefore, the Bombardment Has To Stop!

Are there possibilities for students to give their opinion?  What is the
student's opinion about the situation in Serbia?

    I guess none of use is proud of war. Being in a war at the beginning
of 21st century is, at least, miserable.

    It is important to stress that: MILOSEVIC DOES NOT EQUAL SERBS

    Somehow, it appears a lot of people are just equalizing those two
conceiving. Therefore a lot of people are approving the bombardment by
"the Serbia are the one to do the cleansing. The Serbs are the savages".
We are not.  Milosevic is!

    Milosevic is the one (together with Tudjman, Izedbegovic and the rest
of company) that caused the war in Croatia, Bosnia. Milosevic is the one
that made there are no more Serbs in Croatia and in almost in Bosnia as
well.  Milosevic is the one that is responsible for the wrong policy that
led us upon such a disasters are happening in these years. Milosevic let
KLA to become more and more strong, therefore causing more and more
conflicts, therefore causing such a number of dead people and refugees on
both sides.

    Milosevic is the one that gave chance to NATO to show their force, to
violate it's own rules, to violate the chapter of UN, to humiliate EU and
Europe in general, to test it's newest weapons in the heart of Europe, to
celebrate it's 50th anniversary on Kosovo, with "the fireworks" and
bloodshed! Milosevic is the one that gave chance to NATO to destroy a half
of my country, to kill a lot of my friends. What are they guilty for?
Milosevic is the one that gave a chance to NATO to destroy, and than to
give some loans to us afterwards to rebuilt the country.  But there is no
money that can revive dead people, old men, women, kids, babies! No meter
they are Serbs or Albanians!

    Because of all he has done so far, no one could call him the protector
of Serbs! He is not a Serbian nationalist, and he never was. To be a
nationalist, he would have to love his country, to fight for it, to do the
best he can for Serbia and Serbs. He has done no good for Serbia, but only
for himself!

    It's clear now that Milosevic is guilty for all.

Now - why one must not equalize Milosevic with Serbs?

    We haven't had democratic elections in Serbia for more than 50 years.
We have been fighting a lot against him and his totalitarian regime. It is
a damn hard job. The roots of his reign are somewhere deep in the our
communism history.

    The people were used to believe to their television, no parties except
the Communist party did exist, no opposition at all, no free media. Years
and years of brainwashing. One leader with some people to help him. None
had to be responsible for his own doing, none had to think about what to
do, for - there was the regime to deal with that.

    The Tito's regime obviously knew how to lead the country on their own,
but to make people live good, too.  Though those times showed to be much
better for living then the present ones, the only thing they left after
disappearing was - abyss.

    Milosevic appears to be extremely good player, but not as good as Tito
used to be. While Tito based his public support on the public confidence
since the people had been living quite good, Milosevic bases his public
support on media and force only, reposing on the brainwashing done by
Communism. He does not care about the people at all, and that is his big
mistake. That's why he won't live what Tito did.

    Milosevic's most important power is the power of the public opinion.
The only way we could and we can get rid of this regime is trying to weak
that power. Trying to move the people, to tear the people away from
Milosevic's extremely powerful media, to make them think on their own, to
make the people react!

    We felt all kind of oppressions during those years.  Milosevic's
weapons are media and force - police. He had been using the police
whenever he could. During the demonstrations on 9. of March two people
have been killed, a lot were brutally beaten and arrested...

    During the civil protests 96/97, while more than 100 000 people were
demonstrating on the streets in each town all around Serbia EVERY DAY FOR
THREE MONTHS, god knows how many times we've been brutally beaten,
arrested, tortured... Two men were killed on the streets in those days as
well, thousands were badly injured...

    Anti War Campaign (ARK - Anti Ratna Kampanja in Serbian) started in
'98, when the Kosovo crises began expanding and becoming more and more
dangerous. The activists of ARK were trying to explain the facts to the
people. However, we did have some success, but not much of it, since Radio
Television Serbia (RTS, the regime's one)  was strengthening their war
propaganda.

    It is important to know that independent media were strong in bigger
towns, where some civil society did appear. Yet, the regimes propaganda
was much stronger on the south of the country, among less educated people
and the old generations, already brainwashed.

    The activists of Anti War Campaign had been arrested and mistreated
for hundreds of times... We did not have much of support in these days
from the west, it has to be stressed.

    OTPOR (the Resistance) movement started in June 1998.  We had a lot of
successful actions from that time on. One of our activists was brutally
beaten just in front of his house by "unknown" group of people. His
neighbours were the one to prevent something worse to happen. The other
one of our activists was arrested and kept in prison for 24 hours without
a single explanation and statement. He felt various sufferings in these 24
hours...

    In spite of all the oppressions, we were ready to go on, to give our
best. And we did achieve a lot. A lot of people realized they have to
react. The repression was becoming more and more rude. Almost all the
independent media have been sealed up. The university was left for the
loyal people to administer; it was on it's way to depth!  Just when we
were up to make another big movement - NATO decided to kill us all for
solving the humanitarian catastrophe! All of our 10 years efforts have
been erased in one day!!!

How?

    Our primary aim was to get rid of Milosevic. It means to change the
public opinion, to make the people use their minds for thinking instead of
their TV sets.

    It is not simple, however, because we do not have much of tools to do
that, to inform the people, to talk to them.  All we had were our voices
and free media. We had to be very careful 'cause of the regime's
oppression, but the regime had to be very careful as well, 'cause of the
people's reaction.

    Milosevic is the ruler of this country for about than 10 years. During
all that time, in spite all he had done, he kept his position, though
weakening more and more.  During all that time his regime clamed there
exist the conspiracy of the World against Serbia. The media did their task
- persuaded a number of people.

    Moreover, the opposition, 'cause asking for help from the west -
different foundations, which was the only source of the material support,
was accused of co-operating with the west in that big conspiracy against
Serbia.

    The strong regime propaganda of forcing the stories like "the opposite
thinking and free media are well paid by some foreign countries to work
against our country", "there is a strong conspiracy of the Western World
and Western people against Serbia", etc. were becoming more and more
senseless. Less and less people did believe to that. More and more people
were listening to us, by starting to listen and believe to free media.

    And what now? After NATO attacks, all the people start believing again
there really is the conspiracy of the world against Serbia and the Serbs,
they start believing we really were the betrayers of the country, 'cause
there is no more us to act in these days. There are no more free media to
listen to. They believe again Milosevic was right.

    Imagine his happiness now - he proved his claims. At least in the eyes
of ordinary people. The opposition is defeated. The obstinate ones will be
liquidated.

    Now all the people are united against NATO (which is absolutely
expected), saving their lives. All are united against NATO. No one is
thinking about Milosevic except some of us students. It was quite
predictable.

    On the other hand - we do not have any chance to operate in these
days. First of all, cause our lives are double endangered (by bombs as
well as by regime). We do not have any people's coverage any more, 'cause
people do not believe us any more, and, above all - they have the bombs as
much bigger problem right know, they are thinking how to survive.

    The regime is ready to clean all the country from those like we are.
That includes the liquidation as well, that have already started. Finally,
we do have the tool to operate with no more. All the free media are sealed
up. The only tool that left is our voice, even if forgetting about the
regime's reaction, this tool is to weak, especially in this situation of
the state of war. Our voice against the regimes Radio Television Serbia,
extremely powerful and experienced tool for the control? We have no
chance!

    Milosevic did succeed already. He is gaining more and more with each
day of the bombardment. WE CAN NOT do the single thing while the war is
on, while the bombs are falling, while the capital punishment is on, while
the police has the right to arrest you and keep captured for 60 days
without anyone knowing where and how you are and what you are captured
for, while the liquidation of the anti regime people is on.

    We are double endangered, and our hands are strongly tied. Milosevic
is the one that has completely free hands in this vary moment.

    In the same time, while everyone is now justifiably furious 'cause of
the non selected brutality of NATO, Milosevic is irresponsible as usual,
and no devastation do concern him while sitting in his comfortable
pill-box 40 meters under the ground.

    The people are exhausted of fighting. After 10 years - no results
appear. Further more, the situation is much worse than it was in the
beginning of our fight. What do the young people decide? They decide to
leave the country.  Who does stay? Think about it.

    I could easily leave the country and live the proper life somewhere
out some years ago. I did not want that, nor did a lot of us. Why? Because
we wanted to make this country live freely. We did sacrifice the best
years of our lives for fighting for the democracy in this country. After
all we've done, we are awarded by NATO bombs?!

    THEREFORE, THE BOMBARDMENT HAS TO STOP!

Is there a difference between your generation and your parents'?

    For all stated above, it's obvious the age classes do exists. However,
the situation in the cities is a bit different.

    The young generation is almost completely against the regime,
conscious of the disastrous effects it's being producing. The students are
the most pro democratic forces, were the first to start and to move the
other people.

    The middle age generation could be divided into two groups - the
first, luckily much smaller - the low educated ones, they do accept the
regimes propaganda published through the regime media. The others, mostly
the higher educated ones, are well conscious of the real situation,
knowing who is the one to blame for. However, only the intellectuals
(professors, journalists, writers) are ready to act, to move, to show the
resistance.

    The third generation, the veterans of communism, are not able to get
rid of the brainwash effects. Almost all of them were strongly supporting
Milosevic (him personally), since his first approach was quite like the
old one Tito and the communists used to have.

    Although the standard has been lowering each year, they used to
justify that with a huge economical problems our country faces because of
the world conspiracy, sanctions, etc. Those were the main justifications
of the regimes propaganda, so they believed that. Moreover, they did
believe to RTS much more that to their own children and grandchildren.
Again, justifying their opinion by - children, you are still young, you
don't know how the world is rude, you are seduced by America and the
West...

    However, they were becoming more and more aware of the real situation
lately, since the old age pensions do not come properly, but with the
delay of few months! (As well as all the other incomes of the ordinary
people) Let alone how small those pensions are.

    What could they possible think now, after this bombardment started?
Don't forget they've already survived two bombardments - nazi's in 1941.
and Alliance's in 1945.  Those memories do not ever vanish! On contrary -
they do recover in the situation like this.

    Finally, the situation is the worst on the south of Serbia, in some
villages, where the population is much less educated... The population of
the southern part of Serbia appeared to become quite full and proud of
nationalism throughout their history. There is nothing wrong with that,
until someone starts experimenting, using the media for raising the level
of nationalism till it reach it's extreme level.

    It is easy to be done especially since the only media they have access
to is the regime's one, mostly because the independent media did not have
much financial support from out of the country, and RTS has been strongly
fighting for keeping that region under it's control only.

    Imagine how the nationalism grows for the NATO bombardment. It is
slowly reaching to the xenophobia.

    THEREFORE - STOP THE BOMBARDMENT!

What do you hear in Beograd about the activities in Kosovo?

    All the news are strictly censored. The things we officially here from
RTS are the pure propaganda. On the other side, the reports we here from
the biggest western media are the propaganda as well, but opposite to RTS.

    The main information we get from "the first hand"  sources, meaning
from our friends, relatives, etc. Yet, those stories change after few
retellings, but not too much. Enough for the main information, enough for
to be acquainted with the situation.

    It looks like Milosevic's Special Police Forces are doing the
cleansing even more then they did before the bombardment. KLA is still
present there, though much weakened since the bombardment has started.

    The Army has never been the one to do the killings among the civilians
on Kosovo, since it's consisted of the ordinary people all around
Yugoslavia (not only Serbs, but ethnic Hungarians, Bulgarians, Gipsies,
etc., even Albanians as well!). They are not specially paid for what they
are doing (they are not paid at all), but forced to defend their country
against KLA as well as against NATO.

    They were acting only near the borders, where the extremist Albanians
from KLA were trying to illegally enter Yugoslavia, as well as in close
combats against the well armed extremist's units. It does sound dark but -
one doesn't need tanks to kill the unarmed helpless civilian.  The gun is
absolutely enough.

    In these days, the army is not only all around Kosovo, but all around
Yugoslavia as well. I think it's clear why it is like that.

    The forces that have been doing the cleansing are the special police
forces (SPF) (which are specially paid for that as well). Their mental
state is non human for sure.

    The important thing to notice is that *terrorist is an armed
civilian*. He doesn't have to wear a uniform, weapon he carries is enough.
When the new member of SPF together with the others comes into a village
searching for the terrorists, he might see none in the first moment. While
passing through the village in the first twilight, through quite
interminable narrow lanes, surrounded by high wooden fences, he never
knows when and where the bullet could come from. And it happens so often.
There comes the firs psychosis and paranoia.

    It happened that the group of SPF were in the village in southern
Kosovo, searching for the terrorists of sc.  KLA. It was the sunny day
with no clouds. The civilians were the only one that could be seen.
Suddenly, the man comes out of the dog's box behind, firing the burst of
fire on them, killing three cops. The others started the uncontrolled fire
killing all around.

    The psychological consequences of those situations bear the
devastation of their mind. A young new member here becomes an animal more
that a human being. He joins the crew of the lunatics!

    In that condition, they vent the inside rage upon all the people they
can, mostly upon the innocent civilians.  They are not humans any more,
not even the animals. I catch that. I DO NOT APPROVE THAT!

    In spite of my opinion, Milosevic is definitely not concerned for the
human lives (neither Albanian nor Serbs), so he do approve that. Moreover,
he pays SPF for doing the cleansing. It looks like he learned from the
Croatian experience - their forces did the ethnic cleansing in all the
Croatia while the world almost did not react at all.  Afterwards, there
are not many problems with the ethnic minorities in Croatia any more (who
cares about the half a million of Serb refugees from over there. Let alone
the massacred ones!).

    On the other hand, NATO is of much of help for the cleansing.

    We are now watching the cleansing even bigger then before because of
NATO raids. Two ways the bombardment did impact the number of refugees
enlarge:

    - they gave the free hands to Milosevic to finish the cleansing under
the cover of NATO attacks. The stories that say "the army supports would
be destroyed so they couldn't act" are senseless. That could happen only
after the long long time of bombing, but not in a month. Till then, the
cleansing will be completely finished by Milosevic, and hundreds of
thousand of refugees would be fleeing all over the Europe;

    - the bombardment directly - hundreds of tons of bombs have already
felt all around Kosovo, killing god knows how many people, devastating all
around Kosovo, producing huge number of thousands of refugees more. In one
word - much more devastation, killings and evacuations then Milosevic's
Special Police Forces were ever able to do! Moreover, if those refugees
ever come back to Kosovo, they will find no place to live in, no house, no
shelters... Everything is being devastated in these days by NATO bombs!

    THEREFORE - THE BOMBARDMENT MUST STOP!

What is the current opinion about the Kosovo problem among students,
considering NATO intervention?

    There is no way out of peace. There is no way to solve anything while
the bombs are falling. Firstly - this gives Milosevic free hands to
operate and to clean Kosovo.  Secondly - this gives him free hands to
clean Serbia from his opponents - free media, intellectuals, etc. As third
- he is becoming more and more powerful with each day of the bombardment.

Why has NATO involved itself into the Kosovo crises?

    One can say: "NATO only wants to do best for people in Balkan". I say
that I would like to think so. Still, let's make a short overview of
Balkan crises in last 10 years, I don't see many good moves.

    First of all, Genser's insisting on recognizing Bosnia and Croatia
before solving ethnical problems, that escalates the atrocities in the
region and brought nationalistic leaders like Milosevic, Tudjman and
Izedbegovic on power. It would have been very different if west made them
talk first, at that time.

    Secondly, remember plan Z-4 where the equal rights were guaranteed to
Serbs in Croatia and Albanians in Kosovo.  More pressure should have been
put on that plan.

    As third - western reaction on operation Storm (cleansing of Krajina).
I haven't really seen many Serbian refugees at that time on satellite TV,
and any mention of military pressure towards Croatia.

    Finally, Gonzales mission in Serbia in 96. If western countries
insisted and supported that mission, and opposition (first of all
financially), Milosevic would probably have been long gone. But not again.
Official turn in at least USA politics was announced in November 1998! So
after all these things you cannot persuade me that NATO has a clear
conscience and good intentions.

    The usual NATO justification for the bombardment is "We couldn't just
sit and watch Milosevic is doing the cleansing. We had to react." Than, it
all goes according to the old simple logic: "...if all You have is a
hammer, everything begins to look like a nail." (the hammer-nail corundum
as described by J. D. Lipschutz, expert on security policy)

    NATO's aim does not exist! It is simply that nobody seems to be able
to think of another response to perceived problems in the Balkan...

    The "logic" looks the following:

We have a problem on the Balkans.  We have to solve it in the quest for a
better mankind How do we solve it?  Do not know. What instruments for
problem-solving do we have?  Well, we have NATO as an institutions which
can deliver forceful messages of any kind.  O.K., so the Balkan problem
can be solved by using NATO.

...weird, isn't it ?!

    Yet, the usage of "the NATO tool" was all but unlooked- for. Few facts
are pointing to the benefits NATO will achieve, America before all, if it
plays the role of "the world gendarme on duty" until defeating the enemy.
.  showing the untouchable power of it's, the domination upon the other
countries, especially upon Russia; . turning the money through the weapon
that has been used (the costs of the whole operation so far are about
several billion dollars - without the crashed planes); . testing some new
weapons (the newest reports from the military companies in USA about the
Kosovo crises say the laser guided missiles are estimated to be better
investment than the air planes from now on!?)

    The most important fact for involving NATO in this conflict is the
upcoming 50th anniversary of the Alliance.  Kosovo is the perfect
opportunity to demonstrate it's strength and power, hopping it wont be
disgraced, so to celebrate the anniversary with the bloodshed and
"firework". Cheers!

Let's face the concrete consequences of the NATO attacks

    - a few hundred thousands of refugees more than before the bombing,
Kosovo remains almost empty - without either the Albanians or the Serbs

    - many dead civilians, including those killed in the NATO massacres,
like the ones in Aleksinac, Cuprija, Surdulica, Pristina, not to mention
the train and the refugee column hit... Many Serbian families left
homeless afterwards.

    - the entire Kosovo region devastated - most of the villages and
cities likewise: there is almost no more Pristina to speak of! No home for
the refugees to return.  Moreover, the horrible memories that will never
go away - mistreatment from all sides: Milosevic's forces, NATO, KLA,
while nobody admits any wrongdoing.

    - Half of Serbia has been destroyed - Pristina, Pec, Prizren,
Aleksinac, Cuprija, Surdulica, Novi Sad, Beograd, Nis, Sombor, Smederevo,
Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Valjevo, Krusevac, Pancevo, Podgorica; bridges,
schools, oil constructions, heat plants, factories, civilian houses and
blocks of flats, shopping centres, airports, barracks...

    - a predictable turnout: a complete economical chaos - the majority of
factories of the crucial economical importance were destroyed, more than
200 000 men and women left with no job at all, which means more than 200
000 families with almost no incomes; sum up for how many people is pure
existence in question here!

    - likely ecological catastrophe: * large quantities of oil were
spilled into Danube after NATO missiles hit the oil constructions in Novi
Sad; big oil blot is moving downstream! * extremely radioactive DU
(depleted uranium)  has been used in the missiles for it is a quite strong
material, while much cheaper than wolfram, since it is a nus-product of
nuclear power plants; during its explosion, 80% evaporates in the form of
uranium oxide; once breathed in, it radiates the body for good! * some of
the fertilizer factories were targets in the attacks, which means the
nitrogen could spread into air - and cause an ecological catastrophe of a
very wide range, spreading out of Serbia as well, since gases do not know
borders!

    - The last seeds of democracy have been abolished from Serbia:

Radio B92, "021" and many others have been shut down, there is no more
independent media in Serbia at all, the regime has put an end to them all
pictures of Slobodan Milosevic have appeared on the Belgrade's main
square, (the same one that had been the meeting point of all the
anti-regime demonstrations to date), this hasn't happened in the last 10
years the most important people of the regime are walking freely on the
streets of Belgrade, while only a month ago they didn't even dare it, for
someone would lynch them the civil law has been cancelled, the capital
(dead)  penalty is on!  a new regulation is on, claiming that anyone can
be captured by the police, without a single word of explanation, and kept
under arrest for 60 days, without anyone knowing were he/she was few days
ago, Slavko Curuvija, the famous opposition journalist, editor in chief of
two powerful independent newspapers, was liquidated, in broad daylight
downtown Belgrade, in front of his home; the executions have begun

    - cultural devastation:

The Monastery of Gracanica, built in XII century - under UNESCO's
protection; damaged facade, night-quarters and the bell-tower partly
destroyed The Ancient Monastery on Cetinje, spiritual capital of
Montenegro The Monastery of Pec Patriarchate, XII century, the
headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church The Rakovica Monastery in
Belgrade The Monastery of Novo Hopovo, XIV century

Are there any positive consequence of the bomb attacks?

    No. 

So, why does NATO still keep bombing Serbia?

    It looks like NATO did not achieved what it hopped to.  It did not
succeed in forcing Milosevic to "surrender", to give up of the fight. This
is the specially irritating situation for NATO, 'cause it could be
disgraced on it's anniversary. NATO is aware it must not stop now, not
until "the victory". For whatever costs! Who cares about the casualties,
sufferings and devastation...

And what happens then?

    Again, the simple stupid logic:

    As long as air strikes continue nobody has to think about what is to
follow. Its like getting drunk: You do not want to stop because You know
that You will then soon have a terrible headache. The only problem is, the
more You drink, the greater the headache to come...

    Finally, NATO seems to be thinking about sending the ground troops
without a permission of Yugoslav authorities.  That would be interpreted
as the occupation of the territory of sovereign county, which means the
complete mobilization inside Serbia. Western analyses say NATO would need
150 000 to 200 000 men, while counting on at least 7- 12% of NATO men
loss.

    Further more, that would expectable involve the other Balkan
countries, even some non-Balkan ones. That would mean the wide range
conflict, that could be easily spread all around Europe at least. The
Europe would be burning, saturated with blood.

    WE MUST PREVENT THAT HAPPENING!

What is the way out?

    NATO has to declare the ceasefire, to give a chance to the
negotiations again. Ten years of negotiations are better than ten days of
war! After the bombardment stops, the opposition in Serbia will able to
think and to act.  Though on the very beginning again, we still have some
chances.

    The Western countries should strongly invest in the opposition in
Serbia. Several billion dollars is the cost of NATO campaign for the time
being. If only they had invested even 1% of that amount in the democratic
forces in Serbia, there would have been no crises on Kosovo!

    THEREFORE - STOP THE BOMBARDMENT!!!

Is it still possible to study or do the usual daily things?  What is the
life in Belgrade like in these days?

    The state of war is on in Serbia. The schools are closed, as well as
the faculties. The people are in the state of emergency during the whole
day. Although the protests are on all around Serbia, big tension could be
felt among the people. The song is the one to keep the spirit of people
still bright and hopeful.

    The life is quite OK during the day in Belgrade.  Fortunately, the
days are nice and shinny, so one can go out to take a breath. But when the
night comes, the sirens start voicing the beginning of the attacks.
Psychoses is too big. It is so sad knowing someone is ruining all you've
built so far, your town, your country, and you can not do anything about
that.

    Belgrade has been bombed for several times. Even the centre of the
town, with a big density of population, was the target for few times. It
is so sad seeing one of the biggest European metropolis burning, being
bombed and devastated, hearing a lot of detonations every night, not
knowing who was the unlucky one...

    The scene for which the comments are useless:

    The slogan written on the peace of paper that a 5-years old girl,
while sitting on her father's shoulders, has been trying to bring out
through the crowd during the anti-war demonstrations in Belgrade said:

    "I am not the mushroom to grow up in the shelter"

    STOP THE BOMBARDMENT!

The conclusion

    All one can see when watching the reports from over here are blood,
dead innocent civilians, ruined houses, a lot of people with no shelter,
no home, no food... We came to the position to be the amusement between
the advertisements. How ironic!

    This is the tragedy of two nations - Albanian and Serb.  The HUMAN
catastrophe. The Albanians and the Serbs are on the same side, both are
innocent, both are suffering, both are being killed.

    The murderers are on the other side. The lunatics that do not care
about the human beings, sufferings, devastation, life, but only about
their own position. The lunatics lead the world, straight to the abyss.

    The beginning of the 21st century! Miserable!

    The pro democratic forces in Serbia hope that all of those who are
responsible for ethnical cleansing in Kosovo will be convicted. However,
we appeal the same to happen to NATO officers responsible for civilian
casualties (regardless of nationality) during the 'bombing campaign'.

    We've been fighting for Yugoslavia to become a part of Europe. But not
Europe that we are seeing in these days.  Not the savage Europe controlled
by media and conducted by lunatics. No - the real Europe, consisted of all
of you and all of us, clear sense people!

    THEREFORE - THE BOMBARDMENT MUST STOP!

    There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

Vlada age 21, student
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 12:13:57 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: (fwd) 60 minutes

From: MICHAEL GAVSHON <MHG {AT} CBSNEWS.COM>
To: JUSTWATCH-L {AT} LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
Subject: 60 minutes

                      Copyright 1999  Daily News,  L.P.
                             Daily News  (New York)

                             May  04, 1999, Tuesday

RATHER LET MRS. SLOBO AIR BIG LIE

BY ERIC MINK

   There's no nice way to say this:

   Dan Rather's exclusive one-on-one interview with Yugoslav First Lady
Mirjana Markovic conducted Saturday and rushed onto "60 Minutes" Sunday
night did little more than allow Markovic, all but unchallenged, to carry
her husband's Big Lie campaign to the American people via the
highest-profile, most prestigious and most credible news venue in
television. The problem was not Markovic's desire to use Rather and CBS
News for her own purposes; anyone who chooses to appear on television has
an agenda. Indeed, in what felt like the exchange's lone candid moment,
Markovic acknowledged that that was her motive for granting the rare
interview.

   "I really wish to send a message," she said, "to the whole American
nation and all the American citizens." The message: "That the Serbs are
not aggressors against the Albanian people."

   And the journalistic legitimacy of getting Markovic on camera, asking
her questions and broadcasting the results is undeniable, given her
political background and the influence she supposedly wields over her
husband, President Slobodan Milosevic.

   The problem was that throughout the segment, produced by Wayne Nelson
and Marina Komarecki, Rather failed to ask tough initial questions and
then failed to follow up Markovic's predictably vague answers with more
tough questions.

   Even what appeared at first glance to be aggressive questioning by
Rather "Is there no ethnic cleansing in Kosovo?" "Are there no atrocities
committed by Serbs in Kosovo?" lacked the specificity of time, place and
source that might have given Markovic less wiggle room. As it was, she was
able to dismiss the accusations with denials as broad and as meaningless
as the questions. And Rather's limp followup: "Many witnesses say the
Serbs are doing these things in Kosovo."

   Would it have been so difficult for Rather to ask Markovic why so many
of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees have told so many
journalists some of whose stories have aired on Rather's own "CBS Evening
News" of being driven out of specific villages by paramilitary forces
under the direction of her husband's army?

   Couldn't Rather have asked Markovic to respond to specific accounts
including where, when, who and what compiled by investigators for Human
Rights Watch, among other groups, offering credible evidence of massacres
conducted by those same forces?

   And instead of asking for Markovic's reaction to a spuriously
confrontational question about Milosovic being compared to Hitler (she
said her husband was nothing like him), couldn't he have asked for her
reaction to the all too grimly documented specific war crimes committed
earlier at least with Milosevic's blessing, if not under his orders
against Muslims throughout Bosnia?

   There's no way of knowing, of course, what Rather and the "60 Minutes"
team decided against airing, but it's reasonable to believe that what
aired Sunday night was the best material they had. Other than confirming
the ease with which Markovic handled weak questioning, their best wasn't
very good.

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