|Why do you say
"Of course!" Mr. Hume?
by Jared Israel (posted 12/13/99)
Mike Hume is the leader of the legendary group, Living Marxism, or LM. LM, which I am told is not actually Marxist, is legendary because, unlike a lot of people on the left, he and it stood up to the media campaign to demonize the Serbian people during the Bosnian conflict. And he and it have been sued by British television for telling the truth. This following the axiom that "No good deed shall go unpunished."
Mr. Hume's outfit published the findings of German journalist Thomas Deichmann and his wife. (I don't know the lady's name). These two have minds, which they use.
In 1992 some pictures were flashed around the world: supposedly a Bosnian death camp, run by Serbian forces, where Muslims were (we were told) tortured, raped, and murdered. Quite a horror story. It was a hoax.
A British film crew, led by Penny Marshall, very illustrious, filmed at the "camp" and from the video footage took stills showing Muslims behind barbed wire. (Nobody ever explained why the Serbian forces would allow a British TV crew to spend a day filming a place the Serbs subsequently denied existed.)
The pictures were shown everywhere. One of the men looked particularly bad - emaciated, half naked - and his picture was used the most. Often the shots were packaged in a collage with old black and white photos of Nazi death camps so the hundreds of millions exposed to these pictures could not fail to get the message and Clinton and Bush competed in calling for Serbian blood. Demonization with a vengeance.
As I mentioned, it was all a lie. The camp, the emaciated man. The barbed wire to start with. Mr. Deichmann's wife noticed something: the barbed wire was attached to the fence posts the wrong way if the purpose was to keep the Bosnian Muslims in. It only made sense if the film crew was inside the barbed wire enclosure, shooting their footage through the wire while the Muslims were outside, free as birds.
By some miracle, a Serbian film crew accompanied Marshall's people that day. So the Serbs filmed Marshall's crew filming the "inmates" - and the film, which I have seen several times, makes it perfectly clear. Marshall's crew was standing near a shed used to store building materials. To prevent theft, the shed and the materials were surrounded by barbed wire. Marshall and her people had set up inside this barbed wire enclosure; they were filming a group of refugees who were wandering around - filming them through the barbed wire. Slick, eh? Well, not that slick; they didn't figure anybody would study the photos and notice the scam. No, it wasn't terribly slick, but it was good enough for government work.
The Serbian film has a sound track. It isn't very good, but it's audible and one can hear (and see) Marshall questioning a Bosnian Muslim who speaks English. She is clearly trying to get him to say something negative; alas, the man has nothing negative to say. "This is a refugee center," he explains. The Serbian forces set it up to distribute food and people are free to come and go and sleep there if they wish. The only problem is it's extremely hot, hence the half-stripped man. "What about that man?" asks Marshall, fishing. "Why is that man so thin?" The refugee shrugs, says something about it being a personal problem. (As it turned out, the man had Tuberculosis) Marshall becomes increasingly irritated, trying to get the man to criticize the Serbs, but the man patiently explains: "No, no, everything good. Just too hot."
When LM exposed the death camp hoax, it was sued for libel by ITN, the British TV network for which Penny Marshall worked. Hume and LM refused to back down, arguing that their defense was: truth. The world owes LM and Mike Hume a great debt.
Mike Hume's article, "Who buried the evidence?" was posted on antiwar.com the other day. In it Hume mocks NATO leaders' justifications for bombing Yugoslavia. 'Up to 100,000 Albanians have been killed,' we were told by NATO leaders. 'Mass graves are everywhere. This is a new Holocaust,' etc.
As Hume notes, despite months of digging by teams of forensic experts sent by NATO governments - in all that time, and with all those NATO hirelings, nothing has been dug up. No evidence of genocide. No proof of atrocities.
A few weeks ago, Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the "War Crimes Tribunal" made a public statement. According to del Ponte, the NATO investigators had found 2108 bodies. That happens to ALSO be the number NATO said died in fighting BEFORE the bombing, fighting between the Yugoslav and KLA forces. Emperors-clothes has posted a critique of the del Ponte report and we urge people to read it. The logic is compelling: devastating: there is no credible evidence that any of the 2108 claimed by del Ponte were Albanian civilians killed by Serbian government forces. No evidence at all. (See note#1 at the end)
Mr. Hume seems to agree with Emperors-clothes on this. And yet, having presented his evidence that there is NO evidence of Serbian atrocities - Mr. Hume apparently feels compelled to state:
By why "Of course"? Why do you say "Of course", Mr. Hume? You've just presented overwhelming evidence that the evidence NATO presented is false. Not partially false; entirely false. Of course it is conceivable that Serbian troops committed atrocities. They are human, and God knows they had provocation - being bombed; faced with a population (Albanians) which included a large Fifth Column; being lied about in the Western press - so of course it is possible that some Yugoslav troops cracked and committed atrocities. But since when is "possible" the same as "proven"? I mean it is possible that you committed atrocities, Mr. Hume. Or maybe I did. Plenty of bad things have been done to both of us. Maybe we cracked. Maybe our mothers did atrocities; you know, getting together on the sly, knitting, planning how to lure in witless strangers and remove their body parts.
And sure, someday somebody MIGHT present real evidence that Serbian government forces committed atrocities in Kosovo - and that would be tragic - but it would have no more than an accidental relationship to NATO's case against the Serbs because, as we now know, NATO claimed to have solid evidence of Serbian government-sanctioned atrocities when it knew it had none at all. In other words, NATO's case was and is nothing more than war propaganda. That's what I call it today, because I hang out in polite circles. In Brooklyn, where I used to hang out, they'd call it a lying crock of, well, you know. Manure.
Has the demonization of Serbs gone on so long and so long gone unchallenged that by now even sharp fellows like Hume feel the need to pay obeisance? Apparently so. It is stuck under the scalp, this demonization, like a sliver of glass; the wound festers; it must be dug out or the head will rot. In the interest of the head, I wrote the following:
The Obligatory Bash
When speaking of the Serbs it is considered proper to say something negative. More than one thing is optional. But one is obligatory.
This is not due to politics. Some leftists engage in this practice, and some rightists as well. It is not simply due to prejudice: after all, some Serbs do it too. Nor, as Jared Israel and others have insisted, does it result from an organized effort to demonize the Serbs because they have been and still are the main force in the Balkans resisting Great Power (read: German and now US) Imperial domination.
No. It is Etiquette.
In the West, when invited to a bash (or party) that one wishes not to attend, one must lie: "I'd love to go; I wish I had known sooner..."
Why must one lie?
Etiquette. It is obligatory.
Similarly, with the Serbs. Even if a newspaper, let us say the Toronto Star, should happen to report that there is overwhelming evidence that there is no evidence that Serbian troops committed atrocities in Kosovo - even if said newspaper article should suggest to any functioning mind that the media tales of widespread Serbian atrocities, now revealed to be false, must therefore have been fabricated by some living beings - even then said newspaper must add: "There's no question that atrocities were committed in Kosovo, overwhelmingly by the Serb forces."
No question? Even though one is reporting that half the charges are based on misinformation (that is, lies) one must state, without restriction of evidence, that the other half of the charges is true? Doesn't this contradict every rule of normal reasoning?
It does. But giving Serbs the benefit of normal reasoning is just not done.
So it should come as no surprise that Richard Gwyn writes in the Toronto Star: "There's no question that atrocities were committed in Kosovo, overwhelmingly by the Serb forces."
What is surprising is that earlier in his article, Mr. Gwyn reports that scores of forensic experts - the FBI, Royal Mounties, Scotland Yard, Spanish police, French police, German police, Italian police - in fact all the police except Hercule Poirot - report finding no bodies to report. Indeed, the Spanish forensic experts left Kosovo early, in disgust. As Gwyn's Star article points out, this means the whole "genocide" justification for bombing Serbia was false. And Gwyn raises - as a real possibility - that the mass murder stories "may have been a grotesque lie concocted to justify a war."
So far, good for him.
Now you, dear reader, might think Mr. Gwyn would take the next step. You might expect him to suggest, at least as a possibility, that other media stories of Serbian atrocities might also "have been a grotesque lie concocted to justify a war." For instance, you might expect him to suggest that maybe it was NATO's bombs (and the KLA's orders) and not Serbian atrocities that caused Albanians to leave Kosovo during the bombing.
After all, the charge that Serbian atrocities drove the Albanians out comes from the same folks who gave us the mass graves stories, which Mr. Gwyn now says are false, and possibly "a grotesque lie concocted to justify a war."
If a witness gives testimony; if he offers his testimony to justify terrible acts; if he trumpets his testimony from every TV station and newspaper, insisting it is absolutely true; if we then examine half of said testimony and if we find that the half of his testimony which we have examined is false - shouldn't we doubt the truthfulness of the half which we have not yet examined?
Gwyn says NATO and the media were either honestly or, perhaps, dishonestly ("grotesquely") spreading lies (how do you honestly spread lies?) about mass graves. Shouldn't he take the next step and suggest that the rest of the anti-Serb stories may be "grotesque lies" too?
Mr. Gwyn does not take the next step. Instead, he asserts, as an article of faith, that the forced-exodus stories are true. Having asserted, on faith, that the ethnic Albanians were driven out by Serbian forces, he adds, "obviously, these forces, [were] acting on Milosevic's explicit orders."
"Obviously"? Why "obviously"? Remember all we have to go on here is the word of the mass media which Mr. Gwyn admits has lied ("honestly or "grotesquely") about Serbian forces. Not only are we supposed to accept, based on the word of that mass media, that crimes have occurred - but we are to blame these "crimes" on Milosevich. This is amazing stuff.
And now comes the coup de grace. Mr. Gwyn adds: "Acts like these are inexcusable."
One could say: writing like this is inexcusable. Really, why must Mr. Gwyn mix honest reporting and vicious trash? Why?
Silly question. It's obligatory.
Note # 1 - For the Emperors-clothes evisceration of the "War Crimes Tribunal" statement, see Spinning the Kill: Albright's Tribunal hastens to save a lie or go to http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/spin.htm
You can read Gwyn's article by clicking on Gwyn Article or
going to the following:
or more about the LM/Deichmann expose of the Bosnian death camp lie, click on The Picture that Fooled the World or go to http://emperors-clothes.com/images/bosnia/camp.htm