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<nettime> Kosovo Crisis eMagazine-text version


     [orig to "Kosovo Crisis eMagazine" <kosovo {AT} send.memail.com>]

 Kosovo Crisis eMagazine http://www.memail.com
 ____________________________________________________________________
 May 14 1999
 
 
 Index
 
 ---------------> HRW on Cluster Bombs & Other NATO Violations
 ---------------------> Watson on Cluster Bombs in Playground
 --------------------------------------> China and the Bombing
 ------------------------> Was A Diplomatic Solution Rejected?
 --------------------------------> Free B92 Netcast on 5-15-99
 --------------------> Koha Ditore, Kosovar Albanian Newspaper
 -----------------------------------------> Report from Kosovo
 --------------------------------> Overlooked News: East Timor
 -------------------------------------------------> Commentary
 ------------------------------------> MoJo Wire Kosovo Update
 --------------------------------------------------> Headlines
 
 
 Human Rights Watch on Cluster Bombs & Other NATO Violations
 -----------------------------------------------------------
 
 Human Rights Watch sent a strong letter to NATO Secretary General
 Javier Solana listing concerns about civilian casualties and 
 violations of the laws of war. HRW Executive director
 Kenneth Roth said, "NATO says it is fighting a war on behalf of 
 human rights. If so, then it's absolutely essential for NATO to 
 scrupulously respect human rights in its conduct of this war. 
 NATO must do everything feasible to avoid hitting civilians." 
 Earlier, HRW issued a statement critical of NATO's use of cluster 
 bombs and a detailed background report on the weapon. 
 
 Also: NPR reports on the Pentagon's response... Media critic 
 Norman Solomon's column looks at media coverage of cluster 
 bombs.. 
 
 As this newsletter goes out, there are reports that
 cluster bombs killed as many as 100 Kosovar Albanians in 
 a village in Kosovo. Journalists have described the scene
 as one of "sheer horror." If NATO had responded to Human Rights
 Watch call and stopped using cluster bombs, this might
 not have happened. 
 
 Growing Concern About NATO Violating the Laws of War (5-13-99)
 http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/may/nato0512.htm
 
 HRW Letter to Javier Solana (5-13-99) 
 http://www.hrw.org/hrw/campaigns/kosovo98/solana.htm
 
 NATO Use of Cluster Bombs Must Stop (5-11-99)
 http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/may/cluspress.htm
 
 NATO's Use of Cluster Munitions in Yugoslavia
 Human Rights Watch Background Report (5-11-99)
 http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/arms/clus0511.htm
 
 The Pentagon Defends Use of Cluster Bombs
 by Steve Inskeep, All Things Considered (5-13-99)
 http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/19990513.atc.15.ram
 (This report is in real audio and lasts 3 minutes 30 seconds.)
 
 Message from a cluster bomb 
 by Norman Solomon (5-13-99)
 http://www.msnbc.com/news/269027.asp
 
 Belgrade says 100 civilians dead in NATO attack on village
 Agence France-Presse (5-14-99)
 http://asia.yahoo.com/headlines/140599/world/926687880-90514131800.newsworld.html
 
 
 Watson on Cluster Bombs in Playground
 --------------------------------------
 
 In a May 12th dispatch that begins with an analysis of the KLA, 
 Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times writes about the aftermath
 of cluster bombs hitting a park and playground in a village 
 in Kosovo:
 
 As Serbs slept in the prosperous farming village of Staro Gracko, 
 NATO said, several "bomblets" from a cluster bomb exploded beside 
 three houses about 1:15 a.m. 
 
 The airstrike apparently was aimed at military forces that may have 
 been deployed in a large park and playground, where most of the
 bomblets fell. 
 
 The words "Bomb Frag." were printed in black on the side of one 
 yellow canister, along with the designation BLU-97 A/B, the 
 standard ammunition in a U.S.-made CBU-87 cluster bomb. 
 
 At least three of the unexploded bomblets lay in the playground, 
 where three empty bunkers suggested that soldiers may have been 
 based there. But there were no signs of damage to any military 
 vehicles Tuesday morning. 
 
 Instead, 4-year-old Dragan Dimic was dead, along with the boy's 
 neighbors, Bosko Jankovic, 60, and his wife, Jevrosima, 59. 
 Their bodies lay smeared with dried blood where they fell at 
 the edge of their small front patio. 
 
 The couple's dog died too, and its body was surrounded by small 
 cluster bomb craters in a yard where chickens clucked and pecked 
 for insects in the freshly turned earth. 
 
 A couple of hundred yards away, Milan Seslija was pouring buckets 
 of water on the smoldering roof of his parents' farmhouse to douse 
 the last embers. 
 
 His 70-year-old father, Okica, was fighting for his life in a 
 hospital, with severe burns and shrapnel wounds. He fell into a 
 blazing pile of hay when one of the cluster bomblets exploded 
 outside the house. 
 
 "There was an explosion and he said, 'I have to go free the 
 cattle,' " said Okica Seslija's wife, Stana, 63. "I told him, '
 Who cares about the cattle now?' "Then there was another 
 explosion and suddenly a fire. I started to scream and Milan 
 came and dragged him out of the fire. He was all bloody." 
 
 Despite NATO Rhetoric, Rebels May Be Ultimate Beneficiaries 
 by Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times (5-12-99)
 http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/REPORTS/YUGO/DISPATCH/t000042699.html
 
 
 China and the Bombing
 ---------------------
 
 Robert Weil is author of Red Cat, White Cat: China and the 
 Contradictions of "Market Socialism." He says:
 
 The anger in China is widespread and is no doubt very genuine. 
 Either it will stiffen the Chinese government reaction to the 
 U.S., which would have its own serious consequences; or they 
 won't stand up to the U.S., which might result in a domestic 
 backlash. There's widespread feeling in China that the U.S. is 
 bullying them, practicing gunboat diplomacy and this may be a final 
 straw. There's already a lot of political discontent about the 
 economic situation -- the increased class polarization, unemployment, 
 corruption and crime. The government might tap into the reaction to 
 the embassy bombing, but will be nervous about protests going 
 too far. But the domestic discontent could fuse with a sense of 
 China being weakened internationally. Such feelings in the past 
 in China have led to radical movements for social change.
 
 This news release quoting Weil, with additional views, is 
 from the Institute for Public Accuracy:
 
 http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR051299.htm
 
 
 Was A Diplomatic Solution Rejected?
 ----------------------------------
 
 Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and Jason Vest of the Village
 Voice write about media coverage of the Rambouillet process. Seth
 Ackerman of FAIR begins:
 
 Since the beginning of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the war has 
 been presented by the media as the consequence of Yugoslavia's 
 stubborn refusal to settle for any reasonable peace plan--in 
 particular its rejection of plans for an international security 
 force to implement a peace plan in Kosovo. 
 
 An article in the April 14 New York Times stated that 
 Yugoslavian President Milosevic "has absolutely refused to 
 entertain an outside force in Kosovo, arguing that the province 
 is sovereign territory of Serbia and Yugoslavia." 
 
 Negotiations between the Serb and Albanian delegations at the 
 Rambouillet meeting in France ended with Yugoslavia's rejection 
 of the document that had been adopted, after much prodding, by 
 the Kosovo Albanian party. 
 
 But is that the whole story? 
 
 Was a Peaceful Kosovo Solution Rejected by the U.S.?
 by Seth Akerman, FAIR (5-14-99)
 http://www.fair.org/press-releases/kosovo-solution.html
 
 The Real Rambouillet 
 by Jason Vest, Village Voice (5-12-99)
 http://www.villagevoice.com/columns/9919/vest.shtml
 
 
 Free B92 Netcast on 5-15-99
 ---------------------------
 
 NetAid, a 24-hour webcast celebrating the 10th Anniversary of B92,
 the independent Belgrade radio station shut down by the Serbian
 government, will take place on Saturday, May 15th. Bands and
 artists from around the world will take part, including Sonic
 Youth and Mike Watt. Also, Aidan White, president of the
 Federation of Journalists, is interviewed about his fact-
 finding mission in Belgrade on the state of independent
 media in Yugoslavia.
 
 Information on NetAid
 http://www.freeb92.net/netaid/index.html
 
 Interview with Aidan White (5-99)
 http://www.freeb92.net/days/day45/white.html
 
 
 Koha Ditore, Kosovar Albanian Newspaper
 ---------------------------------------
 
 Koha Ditore, Kosovo's leading Albanian-language daily paper, has 
 started to publish again in Macedonia. There is a long piece 
 on the paper in the May 17th New Yorker (which isn't available
 online), Editor in Exile, by Elizabeth Rubin. A shorter piece 
 on the journalists who are putting out the paper is in the 
 Independent. Also, an NPR story about the paper.
 
 You only live twice 
 by Steve Boggan, Independent (5-11-99)
 http://www.independent.co.uk/med/990511me/M1105905.html 
 
 Koha Ditore 
 by Anne Garrels, All Things Considered (5-13-99)
 http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/19990513.atc.03.ram
 (This report is in real audio and lasts 5 minutes 38 seconds.)
 
 
 Report from Kosovo
 ------------------
 
 New York Times reporter Steven Erlanger spent six days 
 reporting from Kosovo. One of the last stories he filed 
 from there is a profile of Meli, a 21-year-old Kosovar 
 Albanian who has remained in Pristina. The other is a 
 "Reporter's Notebook" with brief items (including one 
 on why Paul Watson was allowed to remain in Kosovo when
 most other reporters were expelled).
 
 In One Kosovo Woman, an Emblem of Suffering 
 by Steven Erlanger, New York Times (5-12-99)
 http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe/051299kosovo-pristina.html
 
 Bombed Villagers Ask, 'Why Are We Guilty?'
 by Steven Erlanger, New York Times (5-13-99)
 http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe/051399kosovo-belgrade.html
 
 Since he returned to Belgrade, Erlanger has given a number of 
 interviews. There is a transcript and real audio from an interview 
 on the NewsHour on PBS and real audio of an interview on NPR. 
 Portions of a transcript of the NPR interview follow.
 
 Interview with Steven Erlanger 
 by Elizabeth Farnsworth, NewsHour (5-12-99)
 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/europe/jan-june99/kosovo_5-12.html
 
 Interview with Steven Erlanger 
 by Bob Edwards, Morning Edition (5-11-99)
 http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/me/19990511.me.03.ram 
 (This report is in real audio and lasts 7 minutes 30 seconds.)
 
 
 Bob Edwards: Now tell me about the ethnic Albanians still living in 
 Kosovo. What shape are they are in? 
 
 Steven Erlanger: Well, there are quite a lot of them. I mean, even 
 under UNHCR figures, there are still probably 1.2 million Albanians 
 inside Kosovo. Some of them are displaced. Some of them have
 gone back to their homes. Some of them have never left. They're 
 just kind of living as quietly as possible. There's a great deal 
 of fear and anxiety. One should never underestimate that. The first
 two, three weeks of this campaign were truly horrible and many evil 
 things happened. But there was also a great deal of mass panic. I 
 think the Serbs did manipulate that panic and stampeded lots of
 people, but you talk to a lot of Albanians who remain, who say 
 that no one ever came to their door, they were never threatened, 
 but they heard lots of stories. And many of the people who heard 
 those stories left. 
 
 So now what you have, because I think the Serbs are preparing the 
 world for some sort of settlement--you have a kind of impression of 
 normality in Pristina itself, and it's the fake normality but
 I think the storm there has essentially passed. It's not necessarily 
 true of other parts of Kosovo, particularly the city of Prizren where 
 Albanians are still being pushed out to the Albanian border
 which is only about 10 miles away. And it is also true that a lot of
 Albanians also ave a fear of the bombing. NATO keeps insisting that, 
 you know, the bombing which goes on all the time down there
 and the noise of the planes which are like drilled in your brain, 
 have no effect on anyone whatsoever which is clearly nonsense. 
 
 I talked to a lot of Albanians who were fleeing, in part because 
 their neighborhood had been bombed. Most Albanians I've spoke to
 are just very eager to have it over. They're very eager to
 have an international force there to protect them and they're 
 rather less discerning about whether it's run by a NATO general or 
 run by somebody else. They just want somebody there between them
 and the Serbs and if possible very soon. 
 
 Edwards: What evidence did you see of the NATO bombing and of 
 the destruction the Serbs brought? 
 
 Erlanger: Well, you see massive examples of both. Let's start with 
 the Serbs. Thousands of houses have been torched and burned. Whole 
 villages have been depopulated. There are packs of wild dogs 
 roaming the villages, there are dead animals lining the sides of 
 the roads. In most of the big cities, the Albanian commercial areas 
 have been trashed and looted. You see spray-painted signs on
 shops and houses that try to protect them that say Serbia' or 
 say Gypsy House,' and in a town, let's say, like Pec, every house 
 that isn't so spray-painted has been burned or destroyed. 
 
 So you see a massive revenge against the Albanians who were the 
 majority in the province and remain so, and one really feels
 that the Serbs set out to cut back Albanian wealth and power and
 influence, and there was a real feeling, particularly I think 
 in the first two weeks, of a lot of revenge.
 
 There was also, one must say, you know, the KLA was trying to 
 run Kosovo. I mean, there was a war there also and some of the 
 damage you see comes from firefights with the KLA early in this, 
 you know, bombing campaign. However, the effort to clean out the 
 KLA and its supporters has had extraordinary consequences and, as 
 I say, I think a lot of evil has happened, particularly in the
 villages, where there's a very strong smell of death and where, 
 every once in a while, you run into a Yugoslav army checkpoint. 
 
 You don't really know what's behind it. It could be a bunch of 
 soldiers; it could be something else, but you know, you do feel 
 there the kind of eerie sense of death. On the NATO side, you know, 
 they're bombing all the time. I mean, almost every bridge has been 
 hulled, it's--highways have been smashed. Almost all the petrol, the 
 gasoline facilities in the province are gone, the airport has been 
 destroyed. A lot of fixed targets have been hit. You also see, 
 obviously, examples of NATO's collateral damage of bombs that go 
 astray or hit the wrong target. It's a place that feels a little 
 bit out of hell. 
 
 
 Overlooked News: East Timor
 ---------------------------
 
 Coverage of the war with Yugoslavia has dominated the shrinking
 newshole in the United States for international news. Important
 stories such as the recent massacres in East Timor aren't getting 
 the amount of coverage they should. 
 
 Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman made an award winning radio documentary
 on the 1991 Dili massacre East Timor. While covering it, they were 
 attacked and Nairn had his skull fractured. Last year, he was 
 arrested while reporting in Indonesia and threatened with six 
 years in prison before being deported. 
 
 Nairn has gone back to report on the massacres despite the 
 risk. He writes in the Nation about a secret 'accord' the 
 Indonesian army has made with the militias which "authorizes 
 them to 'attack homes, interrogate and kill members of the CNRT 
 [the National Council of Timorese Resistance, the nonpartisan, 
 pro-independence umbrella group] and Fretilin [a left-leaning 
 pro-independence party],' as long as the militias refrain from 
 common crimes like 'car theft and stealing food.'" 
 
 Amy Goodman interviewed Nairn from Jakarta, the capital of 
 Indonesia, on Democracy Now. 
 
 License to Kill in Timor 
 by Allan Nairn, The Nation (5-31-99)
 http://www.thenation.com/issue/990531/0531nairn.shtml
 
 Democracy Now (5-13-99)
 http://www.webactive.com/webactive/pacifica/demnow/dn990513.html
 
 
 Commentary
 ----------
 
 What is the point of Nato?
 by Robert Fisk, Independent (5-13-99)
 http://www.zoran.net/afp/text/independent/what_is_the_point_of_nato.htm
 
 Protest the War 
 Editorial, The Nation (5-31-99)
 http://www.thenation.com/issue/990531/0531editors1.shtml
 
 Humanitarian, All Too Humanitarian 
 by Katha Pollit, The Nation (5-31-99)
 http://www.thenation.com/issue/990531/0531pollitt.shtml
 
 International Law May Halt the Bombing 
 by Jonathan M. Miller, Los Angeles Times (5-11-99)
 http://www.latimes.com/CNS_DAYS/990511/t000042180.html
 
 Use More Common Sense, Less Faulty Intelligence 
 by Alexander Cockburn, Los Angeles Times (5-14-99)
 http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/COMMENT/t000043297.html
 
 Crossroads in Kosovo
 by Jesse Jackson, LA Times Syndicate (5-11-99)
 http://www.wald.com/opinion/columnists/jackson051199.cfm
 
 The ethics of virtue vs the ethics of justice 
 by Brenda Arnold, Independent (5-14-99)
 http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/C1405922.html
 
 
 MoJo Wire Kosovo Update
 -----------------------
 
 Mother Jones' online site, Mojo Wire, has been providing excellent
 coverage of the war. They have a daily email update that
 includes the new material on their site and two stories or sites
 worth looking at elsewhere on the net. 
 
 Here are some excerpts from the 5-13-99 edition of MoJo wire's daily 
 email, Kosovo Update:
 
 F E A T U R E __________________________________________________
 
 *The China Syndrome?* - Loral says the NATO embargo obliged it to 
 sever Yugoslavian ISPs' satellite feeds. But is there a China 
 missle-secrets connection? 
 
 http://www.motherjones.com/total_coverage/kosovo/internet.html
 
 
 A L T E R N A T I V E N E W S _________________________________
 
 The MoJo Wire's picks of insightful news and analysis of the 
 Kosovo crisis.
 
 http://www.motherjones.com/total_coverage/kosovo/altnews.html
 
 
 *Web bears witness to civilian casualties*
 
 The Free Serbia Web site, hosted by a group of folks against the 
 bombings in Kosovo, has put up photographs of non-military targets 
 in Serbia hit by NATO. Rife with warnings of extremely disturbing 
 images, the photographs portray civilians killed or injured by the 
 bombs. If you want to bypass the government's officialspeak on 
 collateral damage and see the destruction for yourself, visit 
 this page. Just be sure you're ready to stomach it.
 
 http://freehosting.at.webjump.com/am/aman-bre-webjump/civil/e-index.html
 
 You can subscribe to Kosovo Update and find their coverage at
 
 http://www.motherjones.com/total_coverage/kosovo/
 
 
 Headlines
 ---------
 
 As Air Raids Drag On, NATO Fears Stalemate 
 by Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times (5-14-99)
 http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/REPORTS/YUGO/lat_airwar990514.htm
 
 White House Hires PR Expert to Handle Kosovo 
 by Ann Compton, ABC News (5-13-99)
 http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/OnBackground/onbackground990513.html
 
 US May Pull Belgrade Bandwidth 
 by Leander Kahney, Wired News (5-13-99)
 http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/19671.html
 
 Albright Asks Lawmakers to End Balkan Effort
 by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (5-13-99)
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-05/13/052l-051399-idx.html
 
 'One boy with spiky hair lost his legs and lay white-faced 
 on a stretcher. Another, still spotty with acne, was razed 
 by shrapnel' - Under attack with the KLA
 by Janine di Giovanni, Times of London (5-13-99)
 http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/99/05/13/timkoskos01003.html?3394235
 
 Allied Air Chief Stresses Hitting Belgrade Sites
 by Michael Gordon, New York Times (5-13-99)
 http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe/051399kosovo-nato.html
 
 
 

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