Kosovo bombing on its own increases murders
By announcing at the start that there would be no ground troops for Kosovo in Yugoslavia, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) leaders made genocide in Kosovo even more certain, because some of the murderers believe they will never be put on trial. Nazi Germany, as the bombing intensified in 1944-45, increased its roundups and murders of Jews, Gypsies, Russians, and others, in spite of the fear of possible prosecution if the incoming allied armies won on the ground. Bombing didn't make Britain, Germany, Afghanistan, or Iraq give in nor change their policies, so why did NATO leaders try to tell us air power would make Milosevic stop the death and expulsion squads in Kosovo? [On 3 June 1999 Milosevic gave in.] 

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John Massam
46 Cobine Way
Greenwood, WA, 6024
08 9343 9532
0408 054 319
12 April 1999

The Editor
The West Australian
Private Bag 54
Perth WA 6001   letters@wanews.com.au

Dear Sir,


  I agree wholeheartedly with lecturer Bill Leadbetter's article "War lets genocide explode" (West, 9/4), and I. K. Anderson's letter "Is there really a plan B?" (West, 10/4).

  By announcing at the start that there would be no ground troops, the NATO leaders made the genocide even more certain, because some of the murderers believe they will never be put on trial.

  Nazi Germany, as the bombing intensified in 1944-45, increased its roundups and murders of Jews, Gypsies, and others, in spite of the fear of possible prosecution if the incoming allied armies won on the ground.

  Bombing didn't make Britain, Germany, Afghanistan, or Iraq give in nor change their policies, so why did NATO leaders try to tell us air power would make Milosevic stop the death and expulsion squads in Kosovo?

  By the way -- will the West's taxpayers be called upon to pay for the rebuilding of the bombed country, as we were after Vietnam?

  Yours faithfully,

  John Massam

e-mailed 1746 Mon 12 Apr 1999     (This segment inserted 12Apr 1999)
[It seems I was wrong in thinking that the bombing alone would not stop the fighting.  On 3 June 1999 Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic announced acceptance of the joint Western-Russian peace plan.  The Yugoslav Parliament adopted the plan 136-74.  All Serbian forces have to withdraw from Kosovo within seven days.   There are reports the Army is burning bodies.]

Bill Leadbetter lectures in history at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. He is an Associate of the Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia, and is teaching a course entitled the History and Sociology of Genocide.

Mr I. K. Anderson is a campaigner for reform, and lives at City Beach, a Perth suburb.

Belgrade stifles independent news service



  Belgrade has stopped a brave internet system that kept an independent radio station "broadcasting"  for a few days although Belgrade had confiscated the radio's transmitter.

  Even before the first NATO missiles were deployed, Yugoslavia's most important independent media entity, radio station B92 was closed. On the night of 24 March 1999, Radio B92's Belgrade transmitter was confiscated by the Serbian authorities. B92's editor-in-chief, Veran Matic, was arrested and held in custody for over 8 hours.

  In response to these extraordinary events, an international support group, comprising writers, activists and media practitioners from across Europe and around the world, was founded to stage a campaign to help B92 continue to provide news updates about the situation in Yugoslavia as it developed.

  The campaign was centred in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, through the internet service provider, XS4ALL and the cultural organisation, De Balie.

  With the assistance of internet provider XS4ALL, B92 had been broadcasting its radio programs on the internet since December 1996. These digital broadcasts were picked up by the BBC World Service and retransmitted via satellite.

  Through a network of local radio stations, the programs of B92 could be heard throughout Serbia. Despite repeated attempts by the authorities to silence the station, this method had ensured that B92 had been able to provide up-to-date news about developments within Yugoslavia to many media entities across the country.

  The support of XS4ALL had ensured that, in spite of Yugoslavia's repressive information laws, B92 had been able  to remain operative.

  But on 2 April 1999 the Yugoslav government took the even stronger action of closing the station's building and sealing the doors, so that it became almost impossible for the journalists to continue collecting and disseminating news via the internet for re-broadcasting.  After some days the Yugoslav government put B92 back on the airwaves, but under government control.

  The news by and about B92, while it was independent, was distributed from a specially-established website:


  B92 had been the backbone of the independent news service in Yugoslavia. (There had been an independent newspaper, which was forced to have its printing done outside Serbia and the paper smuggled back, but in the first half of April 1999 the newspaper's publisher was shot dead.) Without immediate financial support this last source of independent news for the inhabitants of this region is endangered.

  A fund-raising campaign was started by the support group, with the objective of sending money and equipment to B92 and other independent radio stations in Serbia and Kosovo.


  There are four key ways that you can assist the group in its support of B92.

1) Link to our website:  http://helpb92.xs4all.nl

By using the logo from the website and promote the spreading of this logo in any way you can.

Also link to the B92 website: http://www.b92.net

2) Help us raise funds for B92 and other endangered independent news services from Serbia and Kosovo. The special account number that has been opened for donations is 7676.

International money orders are payable to: Press Now, Kleine Gartmanplantsoen, 10 1017 RR Amsterdam, The Netherlands

International bank transfers can be sent to: Postbank Amsterdam

Swift address: INGBNL2A Account number: 7676, in the name of: Press Now Kleine Gartmanplantsoen, 0 1017 RR Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3) Distribute the press release about the fundraising campaign to your local media.

4) Sign the guestbook on the website if you want to express your individual support or, if you represent an organisation that wants to become part of the support group, mail us more details about the organisation and nature of the support offered, preferably accompanied by a small logo in GIF-format to include on our website.

The Help B92 Team is:

B92: http://www.b92.net/

De Balie: http://www.balie.nl/

De Digitale Stad: http://dds.nl/

Next 5 Minutes: http://www.n5m.org/

Press Now: http://www.dds.nl/~pressnow/

radioqualia (Australia): http://www.radioqualia.va.com.au/

De Waag (MONM): http://www.waag.org/

XS4ALL: http://www.xs4all.nl/

helpb92@xs4all.nl         (This segment inserted 29 March 1999, updated by John Massam 4 Apr 1999)

http://news.flora.org/flora.mai-not/10624     (This segment inserted 06 Apr 1999)

THE TRAGEDY OF KOSOVO By Fred  E. Foldvary in The Progress Report
http://www.progress.org/fold84.htm    (This segment inserted 07 Apr 1999)

POL 340: The Politics of Genocide, First semester, 1999, Course Outline
Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia
http://genocide.sunnet.com/pol340.htm     (This segment inserted 12Apr 1999)

Wimpy Mainstream Media Easily Fooled by War Propaganda
http://www.progress.org/sol12.htm   (This segment inserted 12Apr 1999)

Serbs are also victims

Serbs, Kosovars, Israelis, Palestinians, by David Plotz in Slate, 23 Apr 1999

European Movement in Serbia , opposes racist murders and NATO bombing
Evropski Pokret U Srbiji , the same in romanised Serbian
http://www.emins.org/epus.htm  (This segment inserted 29Apr 1999)

Oil company kept shipping oil while bombs fell

It was reported that Texaco, one of the huge United States oil conglomerates, kept on sending a regular shipment of petroleum products bound for Yugoslavia to a port in a nearby country that sends it to Yugoslavia, about two weeks after the NATO bombing had started. The oil got through. Now, such devotion to money-making ought to appeal to our "rational economics" propagandists. (During the Gulf War "Operation Desert Storm" against Iraq, the Allies turned back a ship loaded with goods for the regime. The so-called democracies and the then Soviet Union for years seemed to be competing for the business of Saddam Hussein. His dictatorship grew too much even for the "respectable" global corporations, so now Iraq is under a kind of embargo and blockade. (Inserted 04 May 1999) Iraq is still under an embargo and blockade, with No Fly Zones being policed by United States and British warplanes flying over them, and bombing every few weeks for various reasons. (Inserted 30 May 2001)

Is this visit likely to bring peace and justice?

The Geonomist has resumed publication, issues 3 and 4 are on the Internet at http://www.progress.org/geonom49.htm    Editor: Jeffery J. Smith.  There are references to the corruption of governments by the privileged groups. Quote: "Russians feel uneasy about the commoditizing of their land. Former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin left office with over $5 billion dollars. Whether feeling sated or remorseful, or just positioning himself to run for the presidency, in the Kremlin he told our cohorts, Drs. Mason Gaffney, Fred Harrison, and Nic Tideman (whoíll be speaking in Oregon on Tax Day), that he supports plans to tap land rent for public revenue. On sound moral footing, Russia would be again a superpower." Comment by John Massam 1 May 1999: Is this the same Chernomyrdin who around 30 April 1999 went to Yugoslavia to talk about peace for Kosovo, where ethnic cleansing proceeds while NATO bombs Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia? (inserted 01 May 1999)

Why isn't it called a 'land grab' instead of 'ethnic cleansing'?


Media companies are [April-May 1999] providing non-stop coverage of NATOís attempt to end/reverse Serbian extrication of Albanians from Kosovo.  Very, very few, though, ask what Slobodan Milosevic hopes to gain by killing people in Kosovo and driving others out of the country.  With what will Serbian soldiers be rewarded?  Virtually zero news reporters discuss the purpose of "ethnic cleansing." Is the population being "cleansed" of their ethnicity?  What is being "cleansed"?

Random samplings of other news sources by the Georgist News finds a ratio between the use of words such as "territory" or "land" and the use of words such as "race," "religion" and "ethnic" at higher than 10 to 1 in favor of the latter group.

Milosevic isnít Hitler; heís just a (former?) banker.  Why are journalists so afraid to expose the use of the phrase "ethnic cleansing" as a form of newspeak* for what is actually just a land-grab?  Why does their journalistic fervor fail them all when explaining what these "ethnic" groups (isnít everybody "ethnic" somehow?) are fighting over?

If any readers are able to locate a mainstream or alternative information source (other than The Progress Report ) which accurately describes the current Balkan conflict, please, send the reference to: GNewsdesk@aol.com.

* Newspeak - a term from the book, "1984," by George Orwell, referring to media/governmentís use of obfuscating terminology.  Examples: War Dept. called "Ministry of Peace," missiles named "Peace-Keepers," etc.

(By courtesy of The Georgist News.)

Re-unite Kosovar families, news on Globalbeat, privacy, encryption

A Website endeavouring to re-unite Kosovar families is: http://www.glaine.net/~kosovo   A Website from Ulqin, a small town in Montenegro that is sheltering refugees is: http://www.advanton.cg.yu/lajmet   The Kosovo Privacy Project , to prevent persecution of people in the area, is FREE to them at: http://www.anonymizer.com/kosovo.shtml and http://www.roy.hi-ho.ne.jp/hamradio/Anonymizer.htm  People not at risk of death etc. are invited to pay about $50 U.S. for the system.

For varying facts and viewpoints on the Kosovo and Yugoslav crisis, try Globalbeat: http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat/  (This and the other internet addresses are from Time magazine, April 26 1999, pp 40-41, which also said that strong encryption, to protect internet users in the Balkans from persecution, was being provided by http://www.fortify.net/) (Inserted 6 May 1999)

STRATFOR's Global Intelligence Update

Weekly Analysis June 7, 1999

Of G-8, Rambouillet, Compromise and Surrender


Things are becoming curious indeed.  When Milosevic agreed to the G-8 accords, we thought this meant he was agreeing to the terms agreed to in Bonn: a UN [United Nations] peacekeeping force under UN command in which some troops would be drawn from NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation], but many others would be from non-NATO countries. NATO, it turned out very quickly, had a different understanding of the Bonn G-8 agreements. NATO was reading it as essentially the same as the Rambouillet accords that Milosevic had rejected.  Who had agreed to what is emerging as a mystery of the first order.


We have argued for the past several weeks that the basic outlines of a settlement are in place and that domestic politics have been holding up a settlement.  Neither NATO nor the Serbs could afford to let it appear that they were defeated. Thus, a delicate ballet had to be acted out in which a settlement could be portrayed by each side as a victory or, at the very least, as something other than a defeat. That is why the G-8 agreement hammered out in Bonn was so important.  It was a document that allowed both sides to claim that they had not been defeated.  For that to work, however, each side had to avoid being greedy.  Like a couple sharing a bed in a bad marriage, each had to leave enough cover for the other.

What happened this weekend seems to be that NATO could not resist the temptation to take Milosevic's cover away from him.  Worse yet, NATO tried to steal Yeltsin's cover.   The result is a settlement in trouble, at least for now.

Let's begin by reviewing the core issue separating NATO and Belgrade.   Serbia had refused to sign at the Rambouillet agreements because of two core issues, both having to do with the concept of Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo.   First, Serbia would not agree to the withdrawal of all troops from Kosovo.  Some troops, numbers unspecified, had to remain. Second, Serbia was not prepared to allow a heavily armed NATO force to occupy Kosovo.  It was prepared to allow a United Nations peacekeeping force into Kosovo.  There were other issues, but none were as central as these two.  NATO told the Serbs to take it or leave it. Serbia left it.

The Russians, essentially supporting the Serb position, entered the discussions.   After intense negotiations between primarily the Germans and Russians, followed by broader discussions, the G-8 accords were established in Bonn (the text is available at http://www.stratfor.com/crisis/kosovo/specialreports/special62.htm?section=3 )  

The G-8 accords constituted an agreement between NATO and Russia. It was the price that Russia demanded in order to attempt to negotiate a settlement with Belgrade.  The G-8 accords were a redefinition of the NATO demands into terms that Moscow felt Belgrade would accept and which could fit into Russia's and Belgrade's core concept of Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo. It was never conceived of by anyone, at the time it was negotiated, as a Serbian surrender.  Rather, it was perceived as a center-point between NATO and Serbian demands that would allow for a workable settlement.  Russia agreed that an armed force would occupy Kosovo.  NATO agreed that that force would be under United Nations and not NATO command.  The force was not defined but it was clearly intended that the force would include large numbers of non-NATO troops.

It should be remembered that the G-8 accords were pressed on the Americans and British by the Italians and in particular by the Germans.  Fearful of an extended bombing campaign, completely opposed to a ground war, and terrified of long-term Russian hostility, the Germans and Italians were the architects of the G-8 agreement.  They wanted that agreement in order to find some way out of what appeared to be a hopeless deadlock.  They were the driving force behind the G-8 accords and they clearly saw them as a compromise between the Serb position and Rambouillet.

The G-8 agreement accepted the principle of the return of Kosovo Albanians to their homes and the creation of an autonomous Kosovo under Serbian sovereignty.  But the important price NATO paid in the Bonn G-8 talks was the agreement that the United Nations and not NATO would command and control troops moving into Kosovo.  It was not clear what the command structure would be beyond this, nor was it clear what precisely the composition of the occupying force would be.  However, it was clear that it would be a United Nations force with significant non-NATO presence. When the Russians first brought the agreement to the Serbs, they focused on the composition of the forces, demanding that no NATO country that had bombed Serbia participate in the peacekeeping force.  That is where the negotiations stood before Chernomyrdin and Ahtisaari went to Belgrade last week.  On one side, there were the G-8 agreements; on the other side were the Serb demands that only limited NATO forces be admitted to Kosovo.

Thus, when Milosevic agreed to the G-8 agreement, he did not see himself as surrendering to NATO or as agreeing to Rambouillet.  Rather, he was agreeing to the proposal negotiated by NATO with the Russians in Bonn.  He was agreeing to a substantial NATO presence, but not to an exclusive NATO presence or to de facto NATO control of the province. At least that is what anyone familiar with the original G-8 agreements would have imagined him to be agreeing to.

It is not clear what went on at the meeting between Viktor Chernomyrdin and EU [European Union] representative Martti Ahtisaari in Belgrade last week, but Milosevic's agreement to the G-8 terms was not surprising or stunning.  It appeared to us to be the logical result of the Russian peace process, which seemed to have reached a compromise between the Rambouillet position and the Serbian position.  We had been expecting a move by the Serbs to accept a United Nations force containing large numbers of NATO troops.

It was, therefore, quite surprising to hear NATO officials and the Western media talking about Milosevic's capitulation.  It was also surprising to hear the terms to which NATO thought Milosevic had agreed.  According to NATO's account of things, Milosevic had simply surrendered.  Apart from a purely formal nod to the United Nations, it became clear that NATO saw itself as occupying Serbia.

Indeed, it was not clear that any non-NATO troops would be coming in and if they were, whether they would be permitted outside of NATO command.  Thus, NATO's take on what Milosevic had agreed to was pretty much the old Rambouillet terms.  It was not surprising to us that Milosevic had agreed to the G-8 agreements.  We were very surprised that he had, in effect, agreed to the Rambouillet accords.

What seems to have happened was that NATO re-interpreted the G-8 agreement into the Rambouillet agreement and Milosevic's acceptance of the G-8 formula as his capitulation to the Rambouillet accords.  NATO was also making it clear that Russian participation, an essential element of the G-8 agreements, was both of marginal importance and only on NATO's terms.  In other words, NATO was basically asserting that there were no G-8 accords independent of the Rambouillet formula.

That created a major crisis inside of Serbia over the weekend.  Why had Serbia endured two months of bombing simply in order to give in to the original terms?  The bombing was endurable and NATO was not capable of invading.  What was the point of this sacrifice if the only outcome was to accept what could have been had without any sacrifice?  Indeed, that was extremely confusing.  If Milosevic had in fact agreed to the terms that NATO was now dictating, his behavior was in fact inexplicable. Therefore, by Sunday, the real question was this: just what had Milosevic agreed to during his meetings with Chernomyrdin and Ahtisaari?  If he had agreed to the G-8 proposals, as all three participants had agreed, then how had the G-8 agreements transmogrified into the settlement NATO was now trying to impose?  Was the Bonn G-8 formula simply a phantom of our imagination or was it a substantially different formula than Rambouillet?

It seems to us that NATO deliberately chose to interpret Milosevic's agreement to the G-8 proposal in the most extreme form imaginable-a form not easily drawn from the G-8 proposal.  Even the document purportedly presented to Milosevic was not as extreme as NATO's interpretation.  NATO's motive in this conversion was, of course, to demonstrate that Milosevic had not compromised but capitulated.  This was critical in order to demonstrate that the air campaign was successful and that the war was not pointless.

Clearly, NATO believed Milosevic's decision to accept the G-8 was driven by the fact that he was desperate and, being desperate, he would now accept any interpretation of the G-8 accords that NATO placed on him.  NATO read Milosevic as too badly beaten to resist the reinterpretation.

More interestingly, NATO seemed to feel that the Russians would accept the reinterpretation as well.  Remember that the G-8 accords were not negotiated between NATO and Serbia.  They had nothing to do with Serbia.  They were negotiated between NATO and Russia, and NATO's concessions were Russia's price for beginning the mediation campaign.  By turning G-8 into Rambouillet and the Russian compromise solution into a Serbian surrender, NATO put the Russian government into an incredibly difficult situation.  As a result, political pressure began to rise in Moscow against the agreement and the treatment of Russia by NATO. Last week's compromise turned into this weekend's surrender.  By Sunday night, both Milosevic's capitulation and the compromise were up in the air.

What in the world happened? There are several possible explanations.

* NATO's leaders, particularly Clinton and Blair, and also the Brussels bureaucracy felt themselves under tremendous pressure to produce what appeared to be a victory.  They tried to "spin" the G-8 into a Serbian surrender for domestic political purposes, either unaware of the consequences in Belgrade and Moscow or convinced that they could get Serb acceptance of NATO's reinterpretation of G-8.  They stole Milosevic's cover for their own use, gambling that he was too badly beaten to reverse course.

* Chernomyrdin was telling different things to different sides in order to get a settlement.  The Russian role has been ambiguous at times.  It is possible that Chernomyrdin's transmission of the meaning of G-8 to the various parties differed substantially.  NATO may well have had a private understanding that G-8 meant Rambouillet, with a wink and nod to the UN.  Milosevic may have had a private understanding from Chernomyrdin that G-8 meant the UN with a wink and nod to NATO.  By the time everyone compared notes, they were on the Serb-Macedonian border.  It is particularly interesting to find out what Chernomyrdin told the Russian leadership.

* Russia has sold out the Serbs.  We predicted a crisis in Kosovo on January 4, 1999 precisely because of Russo-American tensions.  When Primakov fell, we stated that this represented a major geopolitical setback to Milosevic. We have always argued that the Russians made possible Milosevic's position.  The Russians began to weaken their support for Milosevic when the IMF's $4.5 billion loan was made available.  Perhaps one of Strobe Talbott's missions in Moscow was to negotiate a side deal with the Russians for delivering Milosevic to NATO.  If so, it is not clear what the quid pro quo is.  It is also not clear what the response in the Duma [Parliament] will be if it is revealed that Yeltsin approved a sell-out of Milosevic for unspecified goodies later on.

What is certainly clear is that the G-8 agreements are not merely a restatement of the Rambouillet accords.  When Milosevic realized NATO thought that they were, it appears that he balked.  Now, if the Russians have truly abandoned him, if the third possibility is really what happened, then the Russians are now quietly telling him the game is up and Serbia stands alone.  Milosevic will really have no choice but to capitulate.  If, however, the first possibility is true, and NATO has spun the agreement to make it appear to be a surrender, then NATO may well have sown the wind.  If Serbia genuinely rejects the G-8 reinterpretation and is backed by Russia, then American and British spin-doctors will have to answer to NATO partners who are sick of the war.  If this is Chernomyrdin's ego or incompetence getting in the way of the settlement, then we may be back to the beginning of a long, miserable haul.

Whatever happened, the G-8 Ministers are going to meet tomorrow and NATO will get a chance to explain to the Russians how they got from here to there.   Ahtisaari has postponed his trip to China and will have an opportunity to explain what he thought Milosevic was agreeing to when he said he accepted the G-8 agreements.  All of the strings can be untangled.  It will be an interesting few days while they are.

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Also see: Yugoslav e-mail pleas against extremism, killings and bombing (Kosovo crisis) at: http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/yugoslav.htm
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