NOW THEY TELL US!
from Diana Johnstone,

April 5, 1999, the eve of the anniversary of the Nazi blitzkrieg bombing of
Belgrade

Sooner or later, when it can no longer shape public opinion, The
New York Times editors may let their journalists slip some significant
information past the rewrite desk, albeit at the bottom of an article. Such
as in the final paragraphs of this report from Vukovar, Croatia, by Blaine
Harden ("In the Misery of Vukovar Lies an Awful Model for Postwar Kosovo",
International Herald Tribune, page 4, April 3-4, 1999):

"Before the war, Vukovar was one of the most ethnically integrated
cities in Croatia: about a third Croat, a third Serb and the rest a mix of
other ethnic groups.
"But the relative harmony that prevailed here since World War II
was upset in the late 1980s by an outburst of Croatian nationalism. Just as
ethnic Albanians in Kosovo pressed the Serbian minority in that province of
Serbia in the 1980s, so did Croats here frighten and anger the Serbian
minority here in what was then a republic in the Yugoslav Federation.
"In both cases, Mr. Milosevic used that fear to whip up nationalist
anger inside Serbia and solidify his political power. His forces then
responded to what was going on -- in Vukovar just as in Kosovo -- in a
manner vastly out of proportion to the threat against Serbs.
"The fall of Vukovar, though, was not simply a matter of Serbian
aggression. Like nearly everything in the Yugoslav wars, it was more
complicated, more devious than that. President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia
chose not to defend the city, apparently calculating that the destruction
of such a photogenic community would win international sympathy for his
country."

Well, well -- so, to gain power, Milosevic merely EXPLOITED Serbian
fears that had already been aroused by hostile Croatian and Albanian
nationalism.
Those fears were perhaps exaggerated, but they stemmed from the
memory of the genocide carried out against the Serbs during World War II,
first of all by the Croatian Ustashe in their "independent Croatian state",
and then by the extreme Albanian nationalists who had been given "Greater
Albania" by Mussolini as a fascist puppet state. The fears might have been
less exaggerated had they met with understanding from the West. They did
not.
For a decade, Serbs' fears have been routinely dismissed with
contempt as "ancient history" or a bizarre national martyr complex. But the
memories of the systematic massacres of Serbs during World War II are no
more "ancient" than the Holocaust of the Jewish people, to which they were
closely related.
We have learned that we must never forget the Holocaust. But the
genocide against the Serbs was never officially recognized in Tito's
Yugoslavia. In the West, it is played down, forgotten, dismissed, and even
ridiculed as part of a weird propensity of the Serbs to consider themselves
martyrs.
And so it is just fine in 1999 to pick up where the Nazis left off,
destroying Serbia, this time with Serbia's old friends, Britain, France and
the United States, side by side with the Germans, the Croatians and the
Albanians.
Several years later, perhaps, when Serbia has been reduced to
ashes, a black hole surrounded by the hostile NATO protectorates of Kosovo,
Montenegro and Voivodina, and when ruined Kosovo lives almost exclusively
off the heroin trade from Turkey run by KLA gangsters, The New York Times
will again allow one of its journalists to slip a few obscure truths about
the glorious NATO war of 1999 into the bottom of his article.

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