A Tale of Two Articles
by Jared Israel (posted 11-12-99)

On 9/4 http://emperors-clothes.com posted an article by Blagovesta Doncheva. Ms. Doncheva is a Bulgarian intellectual who writes with great honesty and passion, and quite well, in English. The article, With her eyes opened: A letter to the Serbian Opposition is re-printed below. (See Note #1 at end for URL) The article was posted on emperors-clothes, it was picked up by www.antiwar.com and other websites and it was emailed all over the Internet. A NY Times reporter gave it, in printed form, to a woman on the editorial staff of the Times op-ed page.

That editor contacted me. The Times was willing to print something based on the emperors-clothes.com article. I conferred with Ms. Doncheva. Acting as her agent, so to speak, I had a most interesting conversation with the woman from the NY Times.

Our conversation went like this:

Jared: I'm frankly surprised that you're willing to print something that so thoroughly contradicts your editorial policy.

Editor: We always print things that contradict our editorial policy. That's the idea of the op-ed page.

Jared: So Ms. Doncheva will be able to write anything she wants?

Editor: Of course not. We edit for style, it has to meet the standards of the Times, and also for content.

Jared: You mean you'll edit her stuff politically?

Editor: Of course.

Jared: Such as?

Editor: Such as she can't refer to Serbia.

"She can't refer to Serbia."

The article, as it appeared in Emperors-clothes, and the Times verson, which appeared 11/11 on the op-ed page, are re-printed below.

The Times' restriction is quite interesting. You will notice, in reading the original, that the article uses the experience of Bulgaria to warn Serbs who support the "Democratic Opposition" not to fall for the seductive promises of the West. Doncheva argues that whatever terrrible suffering the Serbs have gone through, these are nothing compared to what will befall them if the IMF and Soros Foundation boys get hold of them. IMF loans are the gift that kills.

Also she exposes the role of the present Bulgarian leadership, which she says is quite similar to the Serbian "Opposition", in prostituting itself to support the NATO bombing of Serbia.

The Times would allow none of this. They were willing to print an edited version - the story of what had happened in Bulgaria, though diluted and blunted - but the soul of the piece, the warning that the program of the "Democratic Opposition" would destroy Serbia - that conclusion could not be stated. Not negotiable. End of discussion.

So why did they print it at all? Here's my opinion: The NY Times is read by the whole top and middle leadership of the New World Order. Such people have to know what's going on. One of the places where they find out is in the NY Times. So while the Times is loaded with distortions - for a study of those distortions, see Credible Deception:The Times and the Sudan Missile Attack or go to http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/sudan.html - while the Times is in fact thoroughly slanted it must also keep its readers informed. Hence the willingness to print Doncheva's report, though in a watered-down form.

Ms. Doncheva thought, and I agreed, that despite this it was worth getting the article into the Times, if only that the tragedy of Bulgaria might be told in a "credible" forum...

Below is Blagovesta's article, as written in freedom, followed by the version rendered "Fit to Print" by the NY Times.

Original Version, posted on emperors-clothes.com, 9/4

With her eyes opened

Letter to the Serb 'Democratic Opposition' by Blagovesta Doncheva

[Note http://emperors-clothes.com encourages everyone to distribute the following in any way possible but please include the entire text including this note. ]

I was an activist in the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) until June 1993. UDF is the mirror image of the Serbian Alliance for Change (the United Democratic Opposition).

The Bulgarian Union of Democratic Forces or UDF received a lot of money in 1990 - cars, computers, luxurious placards (transported from abroad in big trucks) for the 1990 elections and the next ones - until the consolidation of the UDF in power. We think that a certain amount of money continues to flow, but now it is directed only to the UDF officials presently in power.

You all know what the Bulgarian government of the UDF did during the US war against neighboring Yugoslavia. I will remind those who might happen not to know or who have forgotten.

  • It provided FULL SUPPORT for the USA.
  • It gave the US and NATO all the asked-for corridors - in the air and on the ground. (There is talk that Southern Serbia has been demolished by US planes flying over Bulgaria from a US Turkish base.)
  • For the first time since the end of the 500 year Turkish Yoke last century Turkish ground force passed through Bulgaria.

Here's an easy question: "From whence does money for the UDF (and now for UDF leaders) mainly come?" You get one guess.

So. We, here in Bulgaria, have had US-style democracy since 1989. For 10 years already.

MY TEN MOST AWFUL YEARS.

What happened during that most awful period of my life on Earth?

Through the ardent UDF leaders in power, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are successfully devouring Bulgarian industry, destroying the social fabric and opening national boundaries. (Our national boundaries, mind you, never those of the US or Germany.)

Three ways they devour Bulgarian industry

- privatizing the Bulgarian plants and factories and liquidating them afterwards;

- directly liquidating them;

- selling them for twopenny-halfpenny to powerful foreign corporations. For instance, the Copper Metallurgical plant near the town of Pirdop producing gold and platinum as well as electrolytic copper was sold in 1997 to Union Miniere, Belgium for next to nothing.

Conclusion: Bulgarian industry and infrastructure (the roads for instance) have been most successfully demolished - and this WITHOUT bombing! - in less than ten years. All this, just from doing what the Serbian opposition is saying the Serbs should do.

  • A popular joke here during the US war on Yugoslavia: two Turkish pilots, flying over Bulgaria, are looking down at the Bulgarian landscape. One of them says: "I wonder… Have we dropped bombs here?" "Don’t be silly," answers the other. "It is Bulgaria! They look like that without bombing.")

Side results: - hordes of unemployed, as you can well imagine.

Beggars in the streets.

Children dying in the street from drugs and malnutrition.

Old people digging in the rubbish containers for some rag or moldy piece of bread.

  • In 1989 my friend mother’s pensions had been 105 leva. Now it is 46 leva at $1 = ~1,87 leva. - August, 27. So, calculate for yourselves how much dollars that 75 year old woman receives per month.
  • Yesterday my brother in law told me he had seen the former headmistress of his son’s school to dig in a rubbish container…

The Infant death rate has increased.

The Birth death rate has increased. The reasons in most of the cases: mothers suffering of shock and malnutrition).

The Death rate generally has increased.

Young people refuse to marry and have children.

Will there be a Bulgarian nation in the 21 century? What have the Big US think-tanks planned for Bulgaria? The answer is getting clearer with every year…

Eating away social privileges.

Before 1989 Bulgaria was a SOCIAL state: Free medical care, FREE education, social help and privileges for the mothers and the elderly. According to the old (totalitarian) pension law people retired at 55 years of age for the women and 60 years of age for the men.

According to the new (U.S.-democratic) pension law and the adopted new system there will not be any retired people here.

The new system demands gathering of 90 points for the women- age plus number of years in service - and 95 points for the men. The small number of people about 55 still at work will managed to retire at about 58 years of age (for the women) and 63 (for the men).

But what about the people at 35-40-45 years of age, some of them unemployed for years on a run already?

How will they gather the number of years in service, necessary for retiring?

Nobody needs them, nobody wants them at work, nobody offers work to them.

When you open the newspapers at the pages with job offers you see the repeated demand for age of 30 for the eventual applicants. Even if the offer is for building workers or scrub women.

So, if you are under 30, you have some chances to slave for 12 hours for next to nothing for a newly hatched businessman.

All the others are expendable and the only open exit for them is the crematorium. Amen.

And the IMF and WB aim will be achieved: less population, less pensioners, less children…And THEY (the Global Super Rich?) will get closer to their Global Aim of providing an Earth inhabited only by the Golden Milliard [billion] (after the messy job of clearing away the redundant/unwanted 6 milliards…)

What about…education?

Now the number of children that do not go to school increases with every year. Only comparatively well to do parents or parents who still have some saved money can fulfill their children desire for a higher education.

Health?

People have turned to old grannies’ ways of healing.

Going to the dentist is looked upon as a kind of a luxury.

There are talks for a drastic raising of all the medicine prices here - with 60-70% - from September 1st 99.

The chasm between the handful of rich and the great majority of poor people is disastrously deepening with every day.

By the way, the last remnants of privileges will be taken away after the 1st of January 2000.

I have in mind the lower prices for train tickets for students, mothers with children and the elderly.

IMF demands:No More Subsidized Travel!

Taking away these special, lower fares was one of the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) conditions for the latest loan, agreed to willingly by the UDF leaders now in power. Note that the UDF is short for Union of Democratic Forces, whose program is the mirror image of the Serbian Alliance for change or United Democratic Opposition. Note that the names are almost the same, aren’t they? Bad. A proof of very poor imagination on the part of the Money-givers. They should insist on variety in names.

What taking away travel privileges really means

It means additional separation of people, forcing them to stay either in the towns, where they will die away from hunger, or in the villages with the same result. Because most of the still active pensioners presently add to meager family and personal income through some occasional jobs in the towns or by providing vegetables and fruit for the winter in their father’s village gardens. It is possible and worth while NOW when they are travelling by train at half the price. After January 1 it will be senseless.

So the death rate will increase - one of the IMF's apparent goals will be successfully realized and the servile UDF leaders will be correspondingly rewarded.

I wonder. How much does it pay to destroy one’s own people under the sweetened slogans of "democracy" (what democracy?) and joining the "Western civilization" (what civilization are we speaking of.) Does it pay really well?

Do you, the so-called opposition in Serbia REALLY think that the best road for you is joining THAT "civilization"? What will be the bitter fruit later of your efforts now? Cheap labor for the US and Western corporations and the humiliating agony of a slow torturous death through wretched poverty for your people.

Look back into your history - a history of tough people able to find solution of their OWN, to overcome obstacles with their OWN resources.

We saw what our contemporary "Western civilization" actually stands for during those awful 79 days.When they bombed a sovereign EUROPEAN country they defined themselves.

Since Yugoslavian capitulation we all are DAILY witnesses what Western civilization stands for in Kosovo.

Everybody knows now that:

1/ The US and Europe are against ethnic cleansing of the Albanians by the Serbs.

2/ But THEY are for the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs by the Albanians.

What has happened to the sugared talk about Human Rights?

Ah, sorry, I have forgotten. Serbs are not Human. (With the exception of those that take the U.S. and NATO countries' money to betray their people and their country!)

You in the opposition, do you really want to lick the soles of those cruel greedy monsters?

Opening OUR boundaries, making us an 'Open Society'...

...as expounded by George Soros, the international financier of newspapers, radio stations, NGO's and political parties that facilitate the destruction of previously viable nations. That philanthropist of the 'open society.'

We have learned the hard way what those pretty slogans about "opening the boundaries" mean.

  • It means KILLING the part of Bulgarian industry that is still managing to stay alive and thereby give bread to a certain number of people.
  • It means that lots of LOW QUALITY - I use the phrase deliberately: LOW QUALITY - food products and other goods (socks for instance) flow freely through the "open(ed) boundaries" into Bulgaria, undermining the efforts of local producers. We have been perhaps one of the biggest consumers of the notorious Belgian dioxin chickens. Result: some of the local producers have gone bankrupt and sunk into dismal poverty. Some of the salami and sausage producers have had the same fate. The same holds true for producers of veal and veal products.
  • I have a cousin who has a small farm - four cows. He hasn’t been able to sell his calves for two successive years. Two of the cows have already died. He is smashed. The veal-buying firms explain that they prefer to work with the frozen meat imported at low prices ready to be stuffed and turned into salami and sausages. Never mind the salami and sausages' quality...
  • "Fasan", the sock and stocking factory in the Danube town of Rouse, is slowly sinking down (maybe it has already gone bankrupt and hundreds are in the streets). Because of the Turkish socks, flooding the Bulgarian market and sold at 0.5 leva a pair. The "Fasan" socks are sold at about 1 leva ($1 =1,87 leva).

    They cannot sell them at a lower price - they will go bankrupt.

    They cannot sell them at the only possible-for-them price - and they have gone bankrupt. Amen. Rest in peace.

    So much for "open boundaries." So much for Mr. Soros’ "Open Society".

    I hope you have now a clearer picture of what U.S.-type democracy has brought Bulgaria and its people. Of the real, practical meaning of the sugared phrases.

    What breaks my heart

    I personally live in abject misery. I pay my Internet fee at the expense of great limitations in food, forgoing other needs as well. I do not know how long I will be able to support it.

    But it is the sight of the old men and women, digging into the rubbish containers that is breaking my heart.

    And the old people begging in the streets… the outreached trembling hands…the tears of pain and humiliation in the eyes…They make me cry.

    Because, you see, street beggars might be only part of the New York scenery. But it is a new and very shocking sight for us here, and our hearts are bleeding.

    Prices - before U.S. 'Democracy' - and after

    I enclose a comparing table of some prices in 1989 and 1999 from "Appeal", the monthly newspaper of our activist group.

    Prices in leva 1989 and 1999

    $1 = 1,87 leva (as of 8/27/99)

    Bread, 1 kg (white flour) * Was: 0,48 - Now: 0,63

    Bread, 1 kg (wholemeal) * Was: 0,15 - Now: 0,45

    Salami 1 kg * Was: 2,80 - Now: 3,60

    Yogurt * Was: 0,22 - Now: 0,32-0,75

    Tram ticket (Sofia) * Was: 0,06 - Now: 0,25

    Steam Heating, average * Was: 14,0 - Now: 80,00-150,00

    El. energy,1 kwh:day/night * Was: 0,042/0,022 - Now: 0,08/0,04

    Luxury lady shoes * Was: 30-40 - Now: 100

    Suit, average price * Was: 100 - Now: 300

    Lighter, ordinary * Was: 0,20 - Now: 4,00

    Books * Was: 1-2 - Now: 6-10

    Cinema ticket * Was: 0,40-0,80 - Now: 4-8

    Salary, average * Was: 200 Now: 150

    Pension, average * Was: 100 -Now: 50

    And so on and on and on …

    All genocides are not equal in their eyes

    The USA started bombing Yugoslavia officially because of the still unproven genocide on the poor Albanians by the Serbs, the Demons.

    Meanwhile they are carrying out invisible at first sight but very effective genocide on my people in Bulgaria. As in all the countries in the deadly grip of the US type of democracy and its envoys, the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND and THE WORLD BANK.

    What are the Serbs thinking?

    I am truly amazed at some Serbian people’s reactions lately. I have never looked upon them as being a nation of suicides.

    What are they striving for? What do they want? The dismal, hopeless life of their Bulgarian neighbors?

    Do they REALLY want to see their old people dig in the dung containers?

    Do they REALLY want to stop their children from going to school because of lack of money for shoes and text-books?

    Do they REALLY want to slave for the American or German corporations 12 hours per day for miserable pay? Because think: what is the greatest attraction for a foreign corporation in a devastated country like Yugoslavia? The cheap labor! That is it!

    The so called Sweatshops.

    I cannot believe my eyes and ears! AFTER 78 or 79 DAYS OF AMERICAN BOMBS at that! Over the bodies of killed Serb children by the A M E R I C A N bombs!

    It is simply UNBELIEVABLE!

    And after the good example of what the US kind of "democracy" has done to Bulgaria, the Yugoslavian neighbor.

    I do not want to vindicate myself for having been an activist of the UDF till 1993. I only would like to point out that at that time we all believed the totalitarian state [the former, Communist Bulgaria] was simply lying about the USA. That all the warnings about the USA were simply propaganda lies. We had not heard anything about the IMF or the WB or the transnational corporations and their expansion policy in 1990. We fell for the seductive talk about democracy and openness and the rest.

    But it is impossible to say the same for the so-called Serb Opposition.

    Especially after the U.S. war on THEIR country!

    They, the Serb Opposition, are even not ashamed of the $100 million of US "help", arrogantly announced in the face of the whole world! [This refers to US aid openly given to help the opposition in Serbia]

    Don’t you, all the Serbs that are hanging at the lips of that US or German flunkey, [Alliance for Change leader] Djindnic, feel humiliated at having chosen to work for the US and West European interests against your own people?

    When the blood of the Serbian children is still fresh on the money they are giving you?!

    SHAME, SHAME ON YOU!

    Desanka Maksimovic has a poem saying:

  • My forebears and fellow-villagers
    Have never been traitors.
    They have gone since times immemorial
    Where Justice has called them…
  • She is lucky she is not alive today.

    What is at issue?

    The issue is not Milosevic. US and the "Western civilizations" are reaching greedily for your country. Their geopolitical interests and their corporations demand it: they need the land and what resources you have.

    Doncheva,
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    the Balkans

    Now here is the NY Times version:

    In Bulgaria, 10 Years of Misery

    By BLAGOVESTA DONCHEVA

    SOFIA, Bulgaria -- We here in Bulgaria have had democracy since 1989. What has happened during these last 10 years?

    The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are successfully devouring Bulgarian industry. They have insisted on the privatization of Bulgaria's plants and factories. In many cases, the Bulgarian government, which diligently follows the I.M.F.'s advice, sold these factories to powerful foreign corporations. And these corporations often liquidated the businesses (a new way to fight the competition!).

    What is the result? Hordes of unemployed workers, beggars in the streets, old people digging in rubbish containers for some rag or moldy piece of bread.

    Our social fabric is falling apart. Before 1989, Bulgaria was a socialist state: free medical care and education for everyone. Mothers and the elderly received other aid and privileges.

    Now, since the fall of Communism, I see more and more children who have dropped out of public school. Their parents cannot provide them with shoes and clothes, never mind textbooks and paper.

    Things are no better for the elderly. In 1989, my friend's mother's pension had been about 105 leva a month. Now it is 46 leva a month, a little more than $24.

    There are many people, especially those who are older than 30, who are not working. Nobody needs them; nobody offers work to them. The job offers in the newspapers repeatedly demand that applicants be no more than 30 years old. And even if you are under 30, what do you get? You have the chance to slave for 12 hours for next to nothing for a newly hatched business.

    In January, the last remnants of our socialized state will be taken away. The government will no longer subsidize train tickets for students, the elderly and mothers with children. This means that people will be forced to stay either in the towns or in the villages, which will hurt active pensioners and the unemployed. Now, they add to their meager family incomes through some occasional jobs in the towns, or they go to the village and grow vegetables and fruit for the winter in their fathers' gardens. It made economic sense when they were traveling by train at half price. After the new year, it will be senseless.

    We are undergoing untold hardships, yet George Soros, the financier, eggs us on, telling us to open our boundaries, make ourselves an open society. But we in Bulgaria have learned the hard way what those pretty slogans mean. It means killing the industry that is managing to stay alive in Bulgaria. Turkish imports are flooding the market. Socks made in Bulgaria are selling for 1 leva; I have seen Turkish socks, selling for half a leva. So soon we will have only Turkish socks, and no jobs.

    Lots of low-quality food products and other goods flow freely into Bulgaria, undermining the efforts of local producers. I have a cousin who has a small farm with four cows. He hasn't been able to sell his calves for two successive years. He is crushed. The companies that buy veal explain that they prefer to work with the frozen meat imported from Greece at low prices, ready to be stuffed and turned into salami or sausages.

    What is the West offering us in return for this misery? What is the great attraction for a foreign corporation in a devastated country? The cheap labor and national resources!

    So much for open boundaries. So much for an open society. I personally live in misery, but I can still manage. It is the sight of the old men and women digging into the rubbish containers that is breaking my heart.

    Before the fall of Communism, I and many others believed that the Communist government was lying about the United States of America. We thought all its warnings about America were simply propaganda.

    And from 1989 to 1993, I was a democratic activist. That was before I understood the true work of the I.M.F. or the World Bank or the transnational corporations and their policy of expansion. We fell for the seductive talk about democracy and openness. Now 10 years later, I wish we hadn't.

    Blagovesta Doncheva is a translator in Sofia.

    Articles by Blagovesta Doncheva on Emperors-clothes.com:

    * Note # 1 - Click on With her eyes opened - a letter to the Serbian 'Democratic Opposition' or go to
    http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/bulgaria.htm

    *Note # 2 - Click on 'We here think it has been planned' or go to http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/doncheva/donch2.htm

    Another article by Ms. Doncheva will be posted soon, probably by 11-15-99. Check the emperors-clothes website.

    If you would like to browse articles from Emperors-Clothes.com, click here Or go to: http://www.emperors-clothes.com