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Lying about Slovenian Secession, 1991

by Petar Makara (9-10-00)

[Emperor's Clothes]

In June, 1991 Slovenia announced it had seceded from Yugoslavia and proceeded to seize Yugoslav customs stations. The Western media then broadcast news of a barbaric attack by vicious Yugoslav troops, beaten back by brave Slovenians. But those stories were pure fiction. There was no such attack. Total casualties in this war were: 3 dead Slovenian irregulars and 33 Yugoslav soldiers, executed after they surrendered. The Yugoslav troops in Slovenia had not been issued live ammunition, and this was public knowledge at the time.

Only one mainstream Western source admitted the stories were lies. That was the 'European' in its July 19-21, 1991. Note the date: barely one month after Slovenia declared their intention to secede, thus starting the first Yugoslav war of secession. The title of the story was: "Lies win Balkan war of words." It was written by Simon Freeman. Emperor's Clothes has a photo copy of the original. This is fortunate, for the article cannot be found on the Internet using either the Lexis or Google search engines.

The article is worth reading carefully because it at once exposes how lies were used early on to demonize the Serbs and at the same time implicitly supports some of the propaganda it is exposing.

The article has this subtitle:

"Yugoslavia has rediscovered the old adage that truth is the first casualty of war. Simon Freeman reports from Zagreb [Croatia] and Ljubljana [Slovenia] where the protagonists are involved in a fierce fight to capture the attention of the world's media."

It begins by talking about the Croat government's understanding of the value of propaganda:.

[Quote] "The Croats' strategy today is clear. They are bombarding the world with information, which is usually so petty that it seems that it must be true. But this is an illusion; it is impossible to check most of these reports precisely because the clashes were so minor that, even if they happened, they left no mark. And, in between the recital of these so-called facts, the Croats toss quite incredible allegations; this week's favourite is to claim, straight-faced, that the Serbs have hired assassins from the Romanian Securitate.

[Quote continued] "Zagreb has launched this propaganda blitz after carefully analysing how the Slovenians managed to outmanoeuvre Belgrade in the fight for international sympathy. The Croats realised that the decisive engagements, which virtually guaranteed Slovenia's independence, took place in the pages of the foreign media and, even more important, in the news bulletins of the major television networks." [End quote.]

In fact, the Croatian leaders 'realised' nothing at all, nor did the Slovenes 'outmaneuver' Belgrade. The secession of these countries was planned and coordinated by the US and German elites, working through various agencies, including the CIA and BND. They trained their proxy forces in Croatia and Slovenia and then opened the pages of the mass media which they controlled to accept their proxies' propaganda.

How much maneuvering is required to win a media war when the Slovenes and the mass media are controlled by the same forces?

The Western conquerors divided the job of getting out misinformation. The proxies in Slovenia and Croatia were to craft lies, as best they could. The Western media was to bring the lies to market.

The article goes on to say that "the Serbs" (meaning, the Yugoslav Federation) are learning the lesson that you have to use the Western media but that they are slow students:

[Quote] "They have a leader, Slobodan Milosevic, whose brand of stubborn nationalism and hardline marxism is a public relations disaster.'' [End quote]

Note the propaganda hidden in this sentence. In the early stages of the breakup of Yugoslavia, the West tarred the Serbs with being "the last Communists on Planet Earth." This particular propaganda slogan was launched by the Croatian Catholic Church.

Then the article talks about the "cleverness" of the Slovene propagandists:

[Quote] "The Slovenes cleverly portrayed themselves as clean-limbed, tanned churchgoers who only wanted to live peacefully and democratically in their Alpine idyll of mountains, lakes and meadows

[Quote] "The Serbs, on the other hand, the Slovenes suggested [and the West readily published], were ruthless communists. They were dirty, unshaven brutes who dropped cluster bombs on innocent civilians. They came from the east, which had always sought to inflict its intolerance, religious fanaticism and alphabet of squiggly lines on Europe.

[Quote] "These were grotesque caricatures, of course, but, thanks to the brilliant propaganda campaign in Ljubljana [capital of Slovenia], they have taken hold of the public imagination in the West, turning a complex struggle into a straightforward battle between the forces of light (Slovenes and Croats) and darkness (Serbs). The nerve-centre of this propaganda operation was an underground conference complex deep below the streets of Ljubljana. Here, a few dozen officials from the Slovenian Ministry of Information, backed up by young, multilingual patriot volunteers, worked tirelessly to service more than 1,000 journalists.

[Quote] "Inside this bunker the information flowed fast and efficiently in an atmosphere oddly similar to that found in a press centre at an Olympic Games; the results - tanks hit, shots fired, prisoners taken - were given every hour. The Slovenes needed a bloody, dramatic conflict to ensure the world did not loose interest. So they showered the media with details of battles that had often never taken place.

[Quote] Sometimes the Slovenes would enliven the day with revelations which were either ficticous or irrelevant...

[Quote] "...It was possible to report the war without ever venturing above the ground. Indeed, since it required an honours degree in orienteering to negotiate the labyrinth of roadblocks, many journalists opted [or were ordered?] to remain underground. But, for those who did venture into the sunlight, the bunker war often seemed a fantacy. For example, the world heard of a major battle at Jezersko, a small border post an the frontier with Austria. This greatly surprised the Slovene militiamen at Jezersko, who told me a few days later that the army had fired a few shots, taken the post and then, faced with Slovene reinforcement, retreated happily down the mountain. No one was hurt" [End quote]

Olympic Games indeed. The author counts on Olympian ignorance among his readers. Some thoughts on this excerpt:

  • 1) He is telling us that Slovenes, for the first time in the history of warfare, have discovered that it is good to present themselves positively and the enemy negatively. This is astonishing. Even Hitler tried to present himself positively - thus he launched World War II by staging an incident which made it appear that Polish border guards had attacked Germany. And Hitler said he was fighting unshaven, dirty communists also.
  • 2) WHY did Western reporters sit in secessionists bunker and present only the secessionist side of the story when in fact the media of the Federal Government of Yugoslavia was also issuing daily news reports, and accurate ones (i.e. that the stories about fighting were lies). Why didn't Western reporters go out and investigate to see who was telling the truth? Why did these reporters happen to take the side of secessionists who described themselves in terms painfully similar to those used by WWII Nazis? Why did they refuse to give fair hearing to the news of a recognized, sovereign country, one of the founders of the United Nations, a country which had been on friendly terms with the West for many years?
  • 3) Since when do Western reporters sit in a bunker while reporting on a war? Haven't they gone out and reported far tougher situations? The war in Slovenia was feeble. The end count of casualties was 3 dead Slovenian irregulars and 33 executed Yugoslav Federal Army soldiers who had no ammunition (!) and surrendered. A total of 36 people dead. Some war! The casualty level of a bus accident. What happened to so called Western "investigative journalism" ?
  • 4) The article says: "It required an honours degree in orienteering to negotiate the labyrinth of roadblocks [in Slovenia]" Baloney. Go and try to find Slovenia on the map. Hard isn't it? A country smaller than Connecticut. I guess these journalists, with their true "interest" in events, would be get lost in their Slovenian hotel. With all those great and terrible roadblocks and savage obstacles they wouldn't find a bathroom.
  • 5) Did ONLY the Slovenes have "young multilingual patriot volunteers" ready to spread their view of events? See how the image of clean-limbed young Slovenes is presented even here, where it is supposedly debunked! Are Serbs never multilingual? Are they never beautiful?

The author then presents his moral, which appears in the pages of the 'European' in large type:

[Quote] "Exaggerations will do nothing to heal the divisions which are ripping the country apart." [End quote]

Upside down and backwards, because in fact it is precisely the exaggerations put forth by the Western media which were the instrument for allowing Western involvement in Yugoslavia - justifying economic and military support for the secessionists, sanctions against multiethnic Yugoslavia, expulsions of Serbs, moderate Muslims and others who wanted to hold it together, the reintroduction of huge numbers of expatriate Croatian Ustashe fascists, the disarming of Yugoslav loyalists through introduction of UN troops, and the bombing of loyalist forces, in Bosnia and later Serbia and Montenegro.

Savagery was introduced from the West. Without the West, the Slovenian and Croatian fascists would never have had a chance in Yugoslavia.


Further reading....

1) "Germany and the US in the Balkans- a Careful Coincidence of National Policies?" by T.W. Carr at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/carr/carr.html

2) "What Does NATO Want in Yugoslavia?" by Sean Gervasi at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/gervasi/why.htm

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