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<nettime> geertogram 050899 [digest]: misc, images, crisis, adventures


Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
          (fwd) konfrontatie misc
          (fwd) Images of Kosovo: Photographs by the AP [NYC]
          (fwd) IWPR's balkan crisis report 29 (5 may)
          (fwd) Markus Raskin, Adventures in Nowhere-Land 

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Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 21:18:08 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: (fwd) konfrontatie misc

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 20:32:22 +0000
From: konfrontatie <konfront {AT} xs4all.nl>

1. Eduardo Galeano: CONFESSION OF THE BOMBS;
2. Duncan Campbell: THE ENFOPOL 98 AFFAIR;
3. Weekly Analysis: NATO Summit Generates Gridlock
*****************************************************

1.

auteur:  Eduardo Galeano
thema: internationaal

CONFESSION OF THE BOMBS

The United States and its NATO allies are discharging a torrent of missiles
on Yugoslavia, or on what is left of what was once Yugoslavia.

According to the official reports, those attacking are moved by
the rights of the Kosovo Albanians, victims of a "war of ethnic
cleansing" unleashed by Milosevic's Serbian forces. According
toPresident Clinton, the western democracies cannot stand by and
allow this "inadmissible human catastrophe."

The worst "war of ethnic cleansing" and the most "inadmissible
human catastrophe" in the history of the Americas in the twentieth
century took place not that long ago in Guatemala, above all
in the decade of the eighties. Guatemalan indigenous peoples were
the principal victims of this massacre: which produced one hundred
times more dead than in Kosovo, and twice the number of displaced
persons.

In his recent tour of Central America, President Clinton asked
to be forgiven for the support his country gave to those military
men, exterminators of Indians, who were trained, armed, and
advised by the United States. Why doesn't Clinton demand that
Milosevic apply this successful doctrine of washing of hands?
The bombing raids might be stopped in return for a formal promise,
that in the year 2012 or 2013, for example, Yugoslavia's president
could ask the cadavers of Kosovo to forgive him and all would
be well, end of story, sin absolved, what's done is done. And the
killing could continue unabated.

The U.S. president was bogged down in his sex scandal, and Robert
de Niro and Dustin Hoffman invented a war in order to distract
the attention of the respectable public.

In the film, called "Wag the Dog," this invented war was launched
on behalf of the Albanians. Now, once again in an effort to save
Albanians, the film continues in another medium. Its Hollywood-
esque nature remains intact however: the planes take off, they
seem to have been designed on some movie set, and night after
night explosions like fireworks light up Yugoslavia's sky.

As was true during the bombing raids against Iraq, this spectacle
does not give us images of the enemy's dead, and there are no
dead on our side. As long as the bombs fall from above, this real
war will continue pretending to be virtual reality. If ground troops
are used, and the attacking countries begin to receive their
heroes back in coffins, it will be another story.

Meanwhile, NATO continues celebrating, with fanfare, its half
century of life. And, as the old saying goes, they're throwing
the house out the window.

This is the most expensive birthday party in history: without
counting the value of lives and property destroyed in Yugoslavia,
because the long and short of it is that there is no enemy who
doesn't deserve what's coming to him, and every night of bombing
raids costs $330 million dollars.

According to the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (March 30,
1999), on the first night of this war alone the U.S. spent as
much money as Clinton promised to the countries of Central America
after they were devastated by Hurricane "Mitch." And that's not
all. There were those who were asking what NATO's role might
be, since the Communist threat to Eastern Europe no longer exists.
The company's general manager, Javier Solana, wasted no time in
responding to such insidious doubts.

Twenty years ago, Solana shouted "No!" to NATO. Ten years ago
and speaking on behalf of the Spanish government, he uttered a much-
quoted phrase. The U.S. had just unleashed its war against Iraq,
and Solana said: "They asked our opinion, but after the fact."
Today he explains that NATO is "defending peace," at the tune
of a million dollars per missile.

The great powers are the ones who practice crime and recommend
it. No one breaks the law so often. These bombing raids poke fun
at international law, and also at NATO's charter. Against a bloody
dictator like Milosevic, we are told, anything goes, including  the
unthinkable.

Against Milosevic? On our television screens, at least, the Hitler
of the Balkans looks healthy and fit. The people are the ones
who suffer.

The wars against Iraq, as well--violations of every law ever
passed--have been justified in the context of the urgency of
overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

Years pass, bombing raids succeed bombing raids, and the so-called
Hitler of the Middle East continues alive and well. Yet how many
Iraquis have died?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics' official report
(January, 1992), 145,000 Iraquis and 124 U.S. citizens were killed
in the war of 1991.

And how many continue to suffer as a consequence of that blockade
theoretically destined to overthrow the dictator?

How many suffer the hunger imposed by international economic
sanctions?

According to the latest Red Cross report, in this decade alone
the number of Iraqui babies born with below-normal weight, has
multiplied by six.

And if it really were true that NATO's heart has been broken
by "ethnic cleansing"? Is saving the threatened minorities worth
destroying everyone? It would be moving, indeed, if NATO was
responding to injustice. But in that case, why have they not
bombed Turkey? Hasn't Turkey exercised a systematic purge of
the Kurdish people? Why does Yugoslavia deserve punishment and Turkey
applause?

Perhaps because Turkey is one of our own, a member of NATO. But
more likely because Turkey is one of the best customers of the
West's war industry.

This war, like all wars, serves as a giant display case for the
exhibition and sale of arms. The prize offering continues to
be the F-117, that began its devastating career killing Panamanians
at the end of 1989. And anyone can take a tumble; not every
marketing campaign is successful.One supposedly invisible F-117
suddenly became visible and was shot down. The accident cost
U.S. taxpayers $45 million dollars, not counting the weapons on board.

This war, like all wars, justifies military spending. The great
Western powers, armed to the teeth, need clients. And they also
need enemies.

Not very long ago, at the beginning of this year, when the second
war against Iraq was coming to an end, the Pentagon's generals
warned:

"Our stockpile of missiles is getting depleted." Immediately,
President Clinton announced a $12 billion dollar increase in
the already immense military budget. This is 15% of the federal budget
called, who knows why, Defense Budget. And Clinton presides over
a country with a million and a half soldiers, willing to die who
knows why.

NATO was born as The United States' right arm in Europe. Although
Russia no longer supports anyone, NATO continues to grow, and
with it grows Washington's hegemony and the market of the U.S. arms
industry.

For Poland, Hungary,and the Czech Republic to pass their good
conduct test, they had to become members of NATO and buy the
latest weaponry from the United States. Yesterday's bad boys
become today's models of propriety by renovating their arsenals
and achieving the level of "interoperationality" NATO demands.So
that the U.S. Congress approves these new memberships, Lockheed
Corporation and other industries of death grease the legislators'
palms with legal gifts.

Recently a scandal broke out in Great Britain. It was revealed
that the most prestigious universities, the purest charitable
institutions and the largest hospitals had invested their
employees' pension funds in the weapons industry.

Those responsible for education, charity, and public health
explained that they were putting their money in the industries
that produce the highest earnings, and these are precisely those
that make arms. A spokesperson for Glasgow University said it
all:

"We don't make a moral distinction. We want our investments to
make money, not be ethical."

If the bombs falling on Yugoslavia could speak as well as they
can explode and kill, would they speak the truth?

"My dear bombs, are you the mortal instruments of Good?"
     "A little more respect, my friend. We are good business!"

Posted by:
Tom Kruse Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia
Tel/Fax: (591-4) 248242, 500849
Email: tkruse {AT} albatros.cnb.net

------------

STRATFOR's
Global Intelligence Update
April 26, 1999

Weekly Analysis -- NATO Summit Generates Gridlock

Summary:

With the war in Kosovo going badly, the attendees at the NATO
summit decided not to think about the problem.  They decided
neither to change the war plan nor to initiate a radical
diplomatic solution.  NATO's decision not to rethink its policy
derives from the institutional structure of NATO.  It was not
designed to think on its feet.  It also leaves the solution to
the war, whether through war or through diplomacy, in the hands
of nation-states like the United States and Germany.   What
Kosovo has demonstrated is the vitality of nationalism, the
nation-state, and ultimately, the sovereign nation.  Dreams of
multilateral solutions to international conflicts are dying a
nasty death over Yugoslavia.  The United States will agree to
peace in large part because NATO didn't work.

Analysis:

What has emerged from the NATO summit concerning Kosovo is pure
gridlock.  Three basic decisions were made: first, there will not
be a ground war; second, there will not be a major redefinition
of negotiating terms; and, third, there will be an intensified
air war.   Having bluffed and been called, NATO, rather than
reshuffling the deck, has decided to keep pushing in money,
hoping that Milosevic will eventually fold his hand.

The only new element to emerge is an agreement to embargo oil
shipments to Yugoslavia.  That decision in itself was shocking.
Consider the extraordinary fact that NATO even considered going
to war with Serbia without having established a blockade.  That
absurdity was compounded when it looked for a few days like NATO
could not generate unanimity on the subject of a blockade.  After
intense diplomacy, everyone fell into line.  Finally, NATO
countries like Hungary will make the major concession of agreeing
not to ship oil to Serbia.  What is shocking is that this should
have even required discussion.

Equally shocking was what was not discussed: what to do if the
Russians, the Chinese, or, for that matter, any country decides
to deliver oil.  NATO has decided to board and inspect all ships.
What does NATO plan to do if the Russians decline to be boarded?
Will NATO use force against Russian ships?  Chinese ships?  It is
not the decision that is shocking, nor the thought that ships
will be boarded.  What is shocking is that NATO has given very
little thought to how these policies will be implemented by the
Lt. Commanders who will be called upon to enforce them in split
second decisions.

The issue here isn't thoughtful or thoughtless policymaking.  The
issue here is far more serious: whether NATO at fifty is
institutionally capable of managing a military crisis.  For the
past month, what we have seen are individual NATO members trying
to use the machinery and legitimacy of NATO to formulate and
execute a war-fighting strategy.  A strategy, by definition,
requires flexibility, comprehensiveness and the effective
generation of options in the face of unexpected or unpleasant
events.  NATO has shown itself to be inflexible, unable to
provide a comprehensive approach to the war, and unable to face
and respond to unexpected events and painful truths.  NATO, as an
institution, is in deep denial.  This is not to say that the NATO
officials and its military officers are in denial.  They are
painfully aware of the deep problems they are facing.  The denial
is being generated by the institution itself.

What is now obvious is that there will not be an institutional
solution to the crisis.  By this we mean that NATO, as an
institution, which involves decisions by nineteen governments and
operates on the bases of consensus, cannot generate a vision for
either winning or concluding the war.  NATO can neither shift its
military strategy nor diplomatic strategy without losing the
consensus its decision-making is predicated upon.  Therefore,
NATO is locked in to the existing policy that isn't working
because flexibility has become impossible.  If the United States
were to stage a fight for a ground option, or Italy a fight for
acceptance of Russian proposals, the entire political edifice of
NATO would buckle.  It is easier to evade problems than to face
them.

It is important to understand how NATO went from being a solid
bulwark against the Soviets into a herd of cats, unable to make
any definitive decisions.  The problem is rooted in the very
nature of the institution.  NATO's decision making structure was
designed for a world in which major decisions were locked in by
history and ratified by doctrine.  NATO had a founding purpose:
to prevent the Soviets from conquering Germany and Western
Europe.  NATO also had a fundamental concern, which was to make
certain that all members carried out their military obligations
in the event of war.  The deepest problem facing NATO was to
create confidence in the idea that in the event of war, each
nation would automatically do what it was pledged to do.  So, for
example, a great fear of the Europeans was that in the event of a
Soviet invasion, the United States might choose not to commit the
forces promised to defend Europe.  More important yet was the
widespread concern that the United States would not carry out its
guarantees at the last minute, being unwilling to risk U.S.
troops, or the city of Chicago, to deter Soviet occupation of
Bonn.  The mission was known.  What was not known was the extent
to which members would commit themselves to their obligation at
the moment of truth.

NATO solved this problem with what we might call a culture of
planning.  With a clearly understood mission, NATO planners
analyzed every possible contingency.  For every contingency, they
generated a plan.  For every plan, they allocated forces.  For
every force, NATO devised endless training exercises designed to
make execution as automatic as possible.  That is precisely what
NATO did: they created a system of automated, conditioned
responses that were to be executed so rapidly that participants
did not have the time or opportunity to pause, reflect and
potentially renege.

The planning and exercise process, quite apart from being
necessary for military preparedness, was also an instrument that
psychologically and operationally locked in the actors.  Under
such and such circumstances, given the doctrine and the
particular plan that applied, units in North Carolina, the
Netherlands, and Sicily all went into motion.  In operational
terms, the goal was to make the commitment of forces as
thoughtless as possible.  Even complex war fighting doctrines
like Air-Land Battle, which foresaw a fluid and unpredictable
battlefield, still contained highly routinized, automated
procedures for the initiation of conflict.  NATO's internal
battles were referred to countless planning cells that packaged a
basic strategic challenge into an array of automated responses.
In many respects, scenario construction, contingency planning,
war gaming, and repetitive exercises was the glue that held NATO
together, staving off the fear of a last minute doublecross.

The rock on which the church rested was the Soviet threat.
Without that threat, contingency planning collapses.  War gaming
is built on a base of sand.  Exercises become intellectual in
nature, not preparatory.  NATO now operates in a highly undefined
set of circumstances.  Having debated the meaning of NATO ever
since the collapse of communism, NATO suddenly found itself with
a mission, one wholly unanticipated.  There were no plans, there
were no wargames, there had been no exercises and no one was on
automatic pilot.  Therefore the inevitable happened: everyone
became wholly unreliable.

Nevertheless, NATO decided to intervene in Kosovo.  However,
NATO's exquisite preplanning process with its branching logics
and pre-negotiated solutions was not in place.  Rather,
Yugoslavia required planning on the fly.  Basic strategic
decisions have to be made in parallel with operational
implementation and tactical deployment.  NATO was simply unable
to cope with that because its strategic planning process assumes
a dramatic separation in time between strategic planning and
operational implementation.  The strategy is to be discussed at
various levels in dozens of working groups, hammered out over
years and locked into place.  In Kosovo there was no time for
that planning and no time to generate the political consensus to
support a strategic concept.  The result is not so much chaos as
paralysis.

Behind this, there is a fundamental problem of political theory:
the problem of sovereignty.  National sovereignty does not simply
mean that a government has the right to make the decisions it
wants without being overridden by a higher authority.
Sovereignty means that the internal processes of a country define
how that country will respond.  During the Cold War, the
automated process of NATO was specifically designed to suspend
national sovereignty.  At the crucial moment, when Soviet tanks
crashed across the Fulda Gap, it would have been disastrous to
have individual nations exercising their national sovereignty by
turning over the decision to commit forces to their internal
political process.  NATO's planning process was designed to
automate the commitment of forces so as to avoid the problem of
national sovereignty.

That curtailing of national sovereignty was, in turn, the cost
the members were willing to pay in order to protect Western
civilization from a menace, the Soviet Union, which threatened
its very foundations.  The suspension of national sovereignty to
multinational organizations and their bureaucracy makes a great
deal of sense when the stakes are as high as they were from 1948
until about 1990.  But the suspension of national sovereignty in
the interest of a peacekeeping, humanitarian mission is quite
another matter.

Thus, not only has NATO's mechanism for short-circuiting
sovereign decisions broken down because of a lack of strategic
focus, but the willingness of NATO members to suspend sovereignty
without a fundamental threat to civilization has dissolved.  Try
as Prime Minister Blair might to brand Milosevic, he is not a
threat to civilization.  If every charge leveled against him were
completely true, then he would be a vicious, genocidal thug.  But
he would still not be a threat to civilization in the sense that
Hitler or Stalin was.  He just doesn't have the battalions. Since
he is not a fundamental threat to the whole, NATO simply doesn't
have the political consensus, decision making structure or
flexibility to craft strategies, operations and tactics in real-
time.  That is the weakness of any multinational grouping and why
NATO cannot function as the speechmakers in Washington might
wish.  To put it simply, since NATO is not sovereign, it cannot
make sovereign decisions.  Its rapidly generated responses
represent the lowest common denominator. Generating a subtle
diplomacy and a flexible war-fighting strategy is simply beyond
its institutional energy.

The essence of success in war is surprise.  The essence of
success in diplomacy is subtlety.  The essence of both is
secrecy, timing, and above all, somebody in charge who can make
decisions.  The relevant joke might be, what has 19 mouths and no
brain? Answer: NATO leaders at a summit.  Individually, each of
them might well be brilliant in every way.  Collectively, the
pathetic spectacle of speechifying coupled with a complete lack
of imagination could only have encouraged Milosevic.

The summit meeting was a time to forge a dramatic change in war
plans.  Plan A failed.  That happens.  That calls for Plan B:
perhaps a ground attack, perhaps a new diplomatic initiative.
But something must be done to break the gridlock.  All that NATO
could decide on was to do what they had done unsuccessfully for a
month, and to add an oil embargo that should have been in place
before the first bomb fell.  The issue now is not what NATO will
or won't do.  We have the answer to that: it will do what it did
yesterday in the hope that what failed before will succeed now.

Since the multinational entity is paralyzed, it follows that
sovereign states will step in.  The United States and Britain may
well mount an invasion of Kosovo.  If they do, it will be as it
was in Iraq: a coalition built as needed, bypassing Brussels.
The Germans and Italians may launch a diplomatic offensive with
the Russians.  If they do, it will be as Germans and Italians on
behalf of their own national interests.  NATO may or may not
ratify the results of war and diplomacy.  It will not be the
front.

NATO's operational failure is a deep blow to multinational
entities and a reminder of the primacy of the nation-state.  As
much as Clinton wanted to justify his Balkans adventure under the
guise of multilateralism, in the end he will have to justify it
in terms of the American national interest.  As much as Germany
would like to cover its abandonment of a failed strategy with
NATO sanction, it will try to make its peace with Russia because
German national interest requires it.

One of the odd outcomes of this marginal military enterprise is
that is it is pushing the nation-state to the fore, almost by
default.  NATO was designed to cope with a predetermined threat
in a predetermined way.  The spectacle of NATO trying to execute
a war against an unexpected enemy in an unplanned way should not
surprise us.  It was not built for this mission and the nation-
states that constitute it will not permit it to act as a super-
state.  They will hold on to their sovereignty and will act in
their national interest.  Germany and Italy will not consent to a
ground war simply because NATO planners suggest it. Nor will the
United States agree to a cease-fire for that reason.  Policy will
be set between Bonn, Rome, Washington and London.  Brussels and
Mons must be bypassed if anything is to be achieved.  Whatever
the outcome of the Kosovo affair, statesmen will think twice
before trying to use NATO's machinery to wage unanticipated wars.
We are approaching a peace agreement that will occur in spite of
NATO's machinery and not because of it.

___________________________________________________

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********************************************************
"Macht entspricht der F=E4higkeit, sich mit anderen zusammen zu schlie=DFen=
 und
im Einvernehmen mit ihnen zu handeln."

                                   Hannah Ahrendt

********************************************************

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Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 08:26:20 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Images of Kosovo: Photographs by The Associated Press (fwd)

---------- Forwarded 
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 19:44:57 -0400
From: Thomas Keenan <tkeenan {AT} BINGHAMTON.EDU>
To: JUSTWATCH-L {AT} LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
Subject: Images of Kosovo: Photographs by The Associated Press

Kosovo photojournalism exhibit on display May 5 through June 5, 1999

"Images of Kosovo: Photographs by The Associated Press"

See a collection of photographs by The Associated Press that tells the
continuing story of the crisis in Kosovo. On display at Newseum/NY. Photos
available.

Newseum/NY, 580 Madison Ave., NY NY. 212-317-7586.

Subway 4, 5, 6 to 59th St.

Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

=========================================================================

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Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 08:43:01 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: (fwd) IWPR's balkan cris report 29 (5 may)

WELCOME TO IWPR'S BALKAN CRISIS REPORT, NO. 29, 5 May 1999

DIVIDED BEHIND MILOSEVIC. Serbian political parties are untied only in
opposition to NATO. Their inability to elaborate any coherent alternative
positions leaves Milosevic, as ever, in full control.

STUCK IN THE MACEDONIAN MUD. With the camps in Macedonia crammed to
bursting, many Kosovo refugees at the Stenkovec camp tell Iso Rusi that
they wish to move to third countries out of the region.

*****************************************************

IWPR's network of leading correspondents in the region provide inside
analysis of the events and issues driving crises in the Balkans. The
reports are available on the Web in English, Serbian and Albanian;
English-language reports are also available via e-mail. For syndication
information and permissions, contact Anthony Borden <tony {AT} iwpr.net>.

The project is supported by the European Commission, Press Now and the
Carnegie Corporation.

*** VISIT IWPR ON-LINE: www.iwpr.net ***

To subscribe to this service, send an e-mail to <majordomo {AT} iwpr.org.uk>; in
the body of the email write the message <subscribe balkan-reports>. To
unsubscribe, write <unsubscribe balkan-reports>, Alternatively, contact
Duncan Furey directly for subscription assistance at <duncan {AT} iwpr.org.uk>.

For further details on this project and other information services and
media programmes, visit IWPR's Website: <www.iwpr.net>.

Editor: Anthony Borden. Assistant Editing: Christopher Bennett, Alan Davis.
Internet Editor: Rohan Jayasekera. Translation by Alban Mitrushi.

"Balkan Crisis Report" is produced under IWPR's Balkan Crisis Information
Project. The project seeks to contribute to regional and international
understanding of the regional crisis and prospects for resolution.

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) is a London-based
independent non-profit organisation supporting regional media and
democratic change.

Lancaster House, 33 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH, United Kingdom
Tel: (44 171) 713 7130; Fax: (44 171) 713 7140 E-mail:info {AT} iwpr.org.uk;
Web: www.iwpr.net

The opinions expressed in "Balkan Crisis Report" are those of the authors
and do not necessarily represent those of the publication or of IWPR.

Copyright (C) 1999 The Institute for War & Peace Reporting <www.iwpr.net>.

*************************************************

DIVIDED BEHIND MILOSEVIC

Serbian political parties are untied only in opposition to NATO. Their
inability to elaborate any coherent alternative positions leaves Milosevic,
as ever, in full control.

By a journalist in Belgrade

Soon after the beginning of NATO's bombing campaign, the government
launched a new slogan: "All of us are one party now--it's name is freedom."

Despite the war, the partners in the ruling coalition are anything but
united. Nevertheless, Western hopes that sustained NATO bombing would
encourage the emergence of an internal opposition within Serbia to dislodge
Slobodan Milosevic appear unrealistic to those Serbs who would presumably
be the current regime's natural opponents.

Although Serbs marched daily in the streets of Belgrade in protest against
Milosevic's rule throughout the winter of 1996-97, the opposition coalition
Zajedno ("Together") which organised the demonstrations broke up in
acrimony soon after the Yugoslav president granted minor concessions. It is
hardly in a position now to come together again under NATO's bombs.

Vuk Draskovic, the recently dismissed deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia,
was one of the Zajedno leaders who was then co-opted into a government of
national unity formed in 1997. The governing coalition included Vojislav
Seselj's ultra-nationalist Radicals as well as Milosevic's Socialist Party
of Serbia (SPS) and his wife Mira Markovic's United Yugoslav Left (JUL), in
addition to Draskovic's Serb Renewal Movement.

Draskovic's dismissal for "speaking in public against the government's
position" simply confirmed the long-standing divisions. Despite Western
excitement, however, it has not changed the balance of forces within Serbia
and does not herald the emergence of a moderate alternative to Milosevic.

The fact that the most influential Belgrade daily newspaper Politika deemed
news of the dismissal only to be worthy of page 16 is perhaps the best
illustration of Draskovic's relative standing within the administration..

Draskovic's power base had consisted of Belgrade and a handful of
municipalities in inner Serbia. But his party would not have been allowed
even this, without the tacit agreement of the SPS and JUL, the two parties
which continue to dominate all aspects of Serbian life.

The issue now is whether other divisions within the ruling coalition will
lead to further splits or possible challenges to Milosevic's rule.

The most obvious alternative to the Yugoslav President is Serbia's other
deputy Prime Minister, Vojislav Seselj, not that his elevation would
improve the situation from NATO's point of view.

In contrast to Draskovic, Seselj has demonstrated in successive elections
that he commands a substantial following among within the Serbian public.
To date, however, it seems that the idea of challenging Milosevic has not
entered Seselj's mind.

Since the beginning of NATO's bombing campaign, Seselj has been
uncharacteristically reserved, possibly aware that a premature move may
backfire. Indeed, Seselj has only spoken out on one occasion to suggest
that the killing of Slavko Curuvija, the owner of the newspapers Dnevni
Telegraf and Evropljanin, was a political assassination.

Western leaders say they are not at war with the Serbian people but just
with Milosevic and his "war machine". Yet every example of "collateral
damage" is more than enough to generate the very opposite feelings among
ordinary Serbs to those which they hope to achieve.

Regardless of the extent to which the Serbian media systematically distorts
reality, the West persistently ignores the fact that a large number of
Serbs--including the majority of the armed forces--remain motivated to
defend their country.

The reason is simple. War against a vastly superior foe evokes historical
memories and is viewed as a struggle for the very survival of the country
and the nation. In such circumstances, many people feel, no sacrifice is
too great.

Even individuals who consider themselves opposition activists have adopted
an almost identical vocabulary to that used by the government-namely, that
the only goal at present is to stop the bombing, in such a way as to
preserve the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the country. In
effect, the issue of a change of regime has been put off indefinitely.

Agreement over the overriding importance of ending the war does not,
however, equate to the homogenisation of all Serbs behind one party, one
ideology and one man, as the official media attempt to present it.

Probably the only significant change in Serbia's political landscape since
the beginning of NATO's bombing campaign has been the beginning of a
rapprochement between two of the former Zajedno coalition leaders,
Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic, head of the Democratic Party. Djindjic
managed briefly to put personal differences aside to state in public that
he supported the views Draskovic had expressed before his dismissal.

To the surprise of most viewers, Djindjic's support for Draskovic was
broadcast on Studio B, the Belgrade television station which Draskovic
controls and which has demonised Djindjic since the two men fell out.

According to sources close to Djindjic, it seems that it took several hours
to persuade him to support Draskovic publicly. This hesitation is yet
another illustration of why Milosevic is Serbia's undisputed ruler, and
why, despite NATO's bombs, he is likely to stay so for a long time to come.

The author is an independent journalist in Belgrade.


STUCK IN THE MACEDONIAN MUD

With the camps in Macedonia crammed to bursting, many Kosovo refugees wish
to move to third countries out of the region.

By Iso Rusi at the Stenkovec refugee camp

As Kosovo Albanian refugees enter Macedonia at the Blace border crossing,
the relief can be seen on their faces. After weeks of uncertainty, they
finally feel safe. Hungry and exhausted from days sleeping rough and
travelling across hazardous terrain, they queue patiently to
register--determined to show that their spirit remains unbroken.

This is just as well: the next stage of their ordeal is just beginning.

With between 4,000 and 8,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees arriving in Macedonia
every day, the aid agencies cannot keep up with the huge demand for
accommodation. The nearest refugee camps at Stenkovec and Brazde were built
to house 30,000 people. More than 60,000 people are now living there
crammed into tents. The new arrivals will have to sleep in the open for the
first few nights.

"A few days ago someone told me about the stench at Stenkovec, but I did
not believe him," said a taxi driver who now ferries journalists to the
camp from Skopje. "After I saw conditions with my own eyes, I decided that
it stinks of human tragedy." Having seen conditions for himself, British
Prime Minister Tony Blair declared, "This is not a battle for NATO. This is
not a battle for territory. This is a battle for humanity."

He promised that Britain would take in more refugees and announced a
doubling of aid to the region. from ?20 million to ?40 million ($62
million). British ministers suggest that the UK--which to date has only
received a few hundred--could soon be accepting up to 1,000 refugees a
week. But even these additional measures are unlikely to be sufficient.

Aid workers say the camps are full to overflowing. The newest camp at
Cegrane, though still under construction, is already crammed to bursting
point. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked the
Macedonian government for permission to build new camps.

Trains crammed with refugees continue arriving at the Macedonian border.
According to UNHCR officials, tens of thousand more refugees are expected
to arrive in the coming days. By contrast, only a few hundred have been
airlifted to other countries.

Just a week ago the rain and cold made life miserable for the refugees.
While visiting the Stenkovec camp, Hollywood star Richard Gere asked a
young refugee what she found most difficult in the camp--a shortage of food
or water, or something else?

"The mud", the refugee replied. A week ago refugees prayed for sun. Now,
the sun and the heat bring with them new health hazards. The refugees
require regular water supplies and better sanitation facilities.

"Too many people in such a small space," was the verdict of one UNHCR
official who warns that overcrowding in the refugee camps could lead to
unrest. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janovski has even mentioned the possibility of
riots. At present some 90,000 Kosovo Albanians are housed in the camps, a
little less than half of total figure of 190,000 who have sought refuge in
Macedonia. Most of the rest have been put up in private homes.

Dizonska Street is a densely populated street near the centre of Skopje. It
is a poor part of town and the houses are generally single-storey
constructions, each with two or three rooms and outdoor toilets.

It is also home to many Kosovo Albanians who have been taken in by their
ethnic kin. Macedonian Albanians have turned over parts of their homes to
the refugees, some of whom sleep 30 to 40 in a single room.. The yards are
filled with children, some of whom have already enrolled in school.

The refugees do not receive much humanitarian aid. Host families share
their own meagre resources with their guests. "We don't have a lot, but all
we have we'll share with them," they say. "What's ours is theirs."

The town of Tetovo is in many ways the unofficial Albanian capital of
Macedonia. Even before the influx of Kosovo refugees, ethnic Albanians made
up almost 80 per cent of the population. Now the proportion of Albanians is
even greater.

The two biggest ethnic Albanian political parties in Macedonia are based in
Tetovo and both have helped put up as many refugees as possible in private
houses. It is the same story in predominantly-Albanian villages throughout
western Macedonia.

The hundreds of refugees who have crossed the Kosovo-Macedonian border
unofficially, after trudging over the ice-covered mountain of Popova Sapka,
have found shelter and their first hot meal in few weeks in the small
villages of Lisec, Lipkovo and Malina.

Two weeks ago, some 6,000 Kosovo Albanians were put up there in private
homes for several days before UNHCR could come to their aid.

In the first days of the crisis, most refugees wanted to remain as close as
possible to Kosovo, in the hopes of an early return. Now given the
conditions, many now wish to move on to third countries out of the region.

Iso Rusi is a journalist with the newspaper Fokus in Skopje.

IWPR'S BALKAN CRISIS REPORT, NO. 29

-- ### --

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 12:36:27 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: (fwd) Markus Raskin, Adventures in Nowhere-Land 

---------- Forwarded 


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-05/05/087l-050599-idx.html

Adventures in Nowhere-Land

By Marcus Raskin

Wednesday, May 5, 1999; Page A31

Undeclared wars have terrible consequences for the rule of law, a
cardinal principle of constitutional democracies. They create a
conflict between power and legitimacy. Without legitimation from
laws and legal processes, executive power deteriorates into sheer
force.  Moral claims lose their ground and degenerate into
individualist pretensions.

The American war against Serbia is no exception.  Whatever the
motives President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright may have had -- humanitarian intervention, remaking the
map of the Balkans, creating new democratic states with open
markets, pursuing a protectorate system in the Balkans -- the
message given to the American citizenry is that law does not
matter when an executive intends to act in an imperial and
uncontrolled manner.

As most Americans know, it is Congress's role to declare war.
Nevertheless, examples abound in which Congress's passive role in
military actions abroad has failed to protect this basic
constitutional power.  Furthermore, when it was asked, in no
previous case did Congress refuse to vote a declaration of war
when it had the chance to do so. But in the past week Congress has
voted directly not to declare war.  Furthermore, by a tie vote it
declined to support the air war. In other words, there is no
congressional legal authority for this war. Under the War Powers
Resolution, the voting of funds is not to be taken as
congressional sanction of a war.

Some might advance the argument that by virtue of Congress's
having voted for the NATO alliance, and given that the United
States is supposedly participating in the war at the request of
NATO, the war is legitimate. This argument fails, however, because
the NATO charter makes it clear that any actions taken by alliance
members are dependent on the constitutional processes of member
nations being followed.

In the case of the United States, Congress has spoken, and NATO's
actions are not regarded as legitimate, because the NATO alliance
was understood by its participants to be defensive in nature. That
the United States and other nations may have wanted to change its
NATO mission without resorting to rewriting the charter and
without returning to Congress for debate does not give NATO any
more credence or legitimacy.

The United States, a signatory and initiator of the United
Nations, solemnly agreed to bring threats to the peace before the
U.N.  Security Council, where a vote would be taken by the members
to decide under Chapter 7 whether military or other action would
be undertaken through the United Nations. This the United States
and NATO have chosen not to do. Only in the case of self-defense
can a nation act unilaterally, and the United States is not under
attack in the Balkans.

Tragically, the United States circumvented the role of the
Security Council in debating the important question of
humanitarian intervention in sovereign or new secessionist states.
Instead of following this procedure, it sought to demean and
degrade the role of the United Nations while upgrading the role of
NATO to make it the new international arbiter of right and wrong.
Similarly, the United States has refused to support the
international convention to establish an international criminal
court, thereby making its claim that alleged war criminals should
be held personally accountable little more than a propaganda ploy.

Americans are left with a legal shambles. We have an illegal war
undertaken by a runaway executive, without the support of
Congress, a declaration of war or any color of the legitimacy that
could have been granted through the War Powers Resolution.
Americans are left in a political and legal nowhere-land in which
the Clinton administration "dissed" the United Nations and
brazenly attempted to extend NATO beyond its alliance objectives
-- as well as beyond both the NATO and U.N. charters. So much for
the rule of law and for the abhorrence of violence this
administration loudly professes.

The writer is co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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