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The Emperor's New Clothes

Piercing a Fog of Lies

August 1999

1999

              Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1999
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2001 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2001
2002 Jan Feb Mar Apr                 2002

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
--- Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, 1916, Ch.9

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Reporting Kosovo: Journalism vs. Propaganda
by Phillip Hammond
Media Professor Hammond looks at British newspaper reports published after NATO occupied Kosovo. They were written by different reporters and appeared in different newspapers and yet Hammond discovers a certain, shall we say, consistency of style (imitation short story), consistency of theme (anti-Serbian) and even some of the same - well, Hammond explains it better, so best to read the article. This is one of a series by Hammond on the media. They are all posted here, connected by hyperlinks so you can proceed from one article to the next.

Hawks and Eagles: 'Greater NATO' Flies to the Aid of 'Greater Albania'
by Diana Johnstone
The on-going attack on Serbia is the first time NATO has officially gone to war. Diana Johstone wrote: "After a week of bombing, this much could be said with certainty: NATO leaders had lied so blatantly about things that could be checked, that there was no reason to believe anything they say about things that could not." Johnstone examines the Kosovo Verification Mission, the Rambouillet "Peace" Negotiations, the role of the Albanian-American lobby and more. Pop quiz: Which side in the Rambouillet talks argued for equality of all citizens and guaranteed human rights; wanted the facilitated return of all citizens to their homes; called for general amnesty for all political crimes related to the conflict in Kosovo except for persons properly convicted of crimes against humanity and international law; advocated the widest possible media freedoms and the preservation and promotion of the national, cultural, and linguistic identity of each national community? (And which side refused to include these positions in the agreement?)

The Tyranny of Human Rights
Key leaders of the Yugoslav government have been indicted by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. Since it is possible that the NATO countries (in which most of our readers abide) will at any time go back to war to capture these men we might want to ask: what is the Tribunal? If you think it is a legitimate international organization that has been around for years, you're mistaking it for the Hague Court, with which it has no connection. (Except that Madeline Albright put it in the same town (the Hague is a town in Holland) so she could hit on the real court's credibility...similar to ripping off a brand name...)

In her critique, Kirsten Sellars argues that the Tribunal is actually not an independent court at all, but rather a political weapon, contolled by the U.S. and England. Perhaps the most revealing Tribunal action was the indictment of a monstrous Serbian gentleman, one Gruban. Gruban (he has/had no first name):

"... was accused of viciously raping prisoners at the Omarska camp [in Bosnia Herzegovina]. When he was added to the Tribunal's wanted list, he continued to live openly in the Balkans. This is hardly surprising, given that 'Gruban' is not a human being but a fictional character from Miodrag Bulatovic's [famous!] novel, Hero on a Donkey. The Gruban-as-rapist hoax apparently began when a local journalist fed the story to a sensation-hungry American reporter in a Bosnian cafe, who, in turn, passed the information to The Hague, where it was 'confirmed' by the conveniently anonymous 'Witness F'. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic."

Heck of a way to run a court, eh? Will somebody please pass the kangaroos? You may also want to check out 
Prof. Raymond Kent's in-depth critique of the 'War-Crimes Tribunal.'

Lies, Damn Lies & Maps
President Clinton claims a U.S. B-2 bomber flew from Missouri to Serbia and blew up the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade -- all by mistake. This article takes apart the news reports issued just after the bombing and concludes the unthinkable, that the bombing was intentional and that it constituted a warning to China and perhaps to Germany as well.

NATO Installs Reign of Terror in Kosovo
While Western leaders officially regret KLA behavior, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky argues that the KLA plan to seize power and drive out those of "wrong" ethnicity has U.S. acquiescence. "Despite NATO's commitment to disarming the KLA… 'security assistance' has already been granted to the KLA by the US Congress under the 'Kosovar Independence and Justice Act of 1999'. Startup funds of 20 million dollars will largely be 'used for training and support for their [KLA] established selfdefence forces.'" Chossudovsky sees a chilling parallel between the terror in Kosovo and the Croatian government's wholesale elimination of its Serbian citizens, which somehow escaped American censure. If you are unsure about US policy in the Balkans, please read this.

Muslims seek haven from hatred by going to Belgrade? And...
Wait a moment, didn't the media tell us the Serbian people (and government) are anti-Muslim bigots? That their religious intolerance destroyed the old Yugoslavia? and led them to commit widespread atrocities in Kosovo? Then how come Muslims are fleeing from Kosovo to Belgrade, Serbia?

...an analysis of the News
Mary Mostert looks at the implications of the news report that Muslims are fleeing to Belgrade rather than away from it, the way they're supposed to. Doesn't this contradict the media reports of massive ethnic cleansing, supposedly organized by Milosevich, to drive ethnic Albanian Muslims from Kosovo? And if Serbians are not monsters who hate multiethnic society, then why did NATO bomb Yugoslavia for 78 days? We find Mostert's analysis relentlessly logical and relentless; she clears the brain. (Did you know Belgrade has been a haven for non-Serbian refugees - Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, ethnic Albanians, etc. - throughout the Yugoslavian civil wars?)

NATO Occupation of Kosovo is Thoroughly Immoral
Todd Emoff, author of
Hijacking the Holocaust, rejects NATO's argument that it's helpless to prevent attacks on Serbs, Roma ("Gypsies"), anti-KLA Albanians and others in Kosovo. The attacks are being carried out by NATO's ally, the KLA. NATO chose to demand the Yugoslavian Army leave Kosovo and by doing so NATO made itself responsible for the safety of everyone there.

The invasion of Serbian Krajina
by Greg Elich
In 1995 the Croatian army
blitzkrieged the Krajina, driving the population of Serbian farmers from their ancient home. Thousands of these destitute people were slaughtered on the road as they fled.

NATO professed humanitarian motives for the recent bombing of Yugoslavia. Why then wasn't Croatia bombed? Was it because US planes were already engaged, blowing up Krajina Serbian communications and radar facilities and strafing refugees? Claiming noninvolvement in this massive ethnic cleansing, President Clinton said it was a positive development. "I hope this will simplify negotiations." Indeed.

Greg Elich tells the story, drawing largely from official Croatian sources. Some of what you will read here, while true, is beyond belief.

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Unveiling Similarities: Anti-Serbism & Anti-Semitism
Is Serbophobia a prejudice akin to Anti-Semitism? A blistering debate.

How the ROMA ("Gypsies") view Serbia and what it means
The Serbian government has been accused of being fascist. Paul Kneisel argues that the way in which a European government relates to Roma people is a good test of their tolerance. How do the Serbian people and the Milosevich government measure up? What about the ethnic Albanian secessionists, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)? Documented with Roma sources and links to Roma info sites.

Were NATO's aerial photo's of mass graves faked? And why is it imporant?
We are deluged with anecdotal newspaper accounts of atrocities supposedly committed by Serbian troops against ethnic Albanians. But even before NATO entered Kosovo, during the air war against Serbia, NATO spokesmen not only claimed to have aerial reconnaissance photos proving the existence of mass graves in Kosovo, but claimed they could tell (apparently from these photos) the identity of the victims (ethnic Albanians) and of the culprits (Serbian armymen under orders from Milosevich). One might think such claims would be ridiculed by a vigilant press but one would be mistaken. An exception: this report, from Agence France Presse, of a Dutch reconnaissance expert who looked too closely at some NATO photos...

Holocaust Relativism
Diana Johnstone examines the argument that Serbian actions in Kosovo constituteanother Holocaust and finds it relies on a false understanding of World War II and the present.

Yugoslav Chief Rabbi Condemns Uninformed Serbophobia
The Yugoslav Jewish population was decimated by Nazis, both Germans and various local ethnic varieties, during World War II. Now the survivors and their descendents are almost unanimously opposed to NATO policy in Yugoslavia. Rabbi Cadik's passionate letter to American Jews was written in 1995 but it represents the thinking of most Yugoslav Jews on the Kosovo crisis today.

The Debate posted here is passionate and sometimes rude but not boring. And it is very informative about what's happened in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, about NATO's motives and about the demonization of the Serbian people.

Yugoslavia: Through a Dark Glass
Diana Johnstone's introduction to and analysis of what has happened to Yugoslavia in the 90s and why. Can be read even if you know from nothing about the Balkans. Discusses the following questions: have the Serbian people been demonized? are NGO's (such as Doctors without Borders and Human Rights Watch/Helsinki) biased? and if so, how is that possible? have the US and Germany tried to destabilize Yugoslavia? has NATO favored Croatian, Bosnian and Albanian secessionists against the state of Serbia and the Bosnian Serb and Krajina Serb Republics? why is the mass media so anti-Serbian? has the new anti-nation ideology helped justify the breakup of Yugoslavia? is the Serbian government chauvinist or multiethnic in orientation? why did ethnic Albanian nationalists boycott Kosovo institutions in the Albanian language starting in the early '90s? Readable, informative and smart.

The text is divided in three parts to make it easier to copy and send by email. Each part takes up one email.

Official German Documents
Contradict Humanitarian Claims
in Kosovo
During the year before the NATO bombing of Serbia, Germany's Courts and Foreign Ministry reviewed asylum appeals by Kosovo ethnic Albanians. Government investigators asked: are ethnic Albanians discriminated against by the Serbian government in Kosovo? They found no persecution by the Serbian police or the Yugoslavian Army and no humanitarian disaster among Kosovo ethnic Albanians. These detailed documents contradict German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's justification for NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and occupation of Kosovo, as humanitarian actions needed to defend ethnic Albanians from Serbian State terror.

STOP US Funding of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Punishment of Serbia
Anti-Serbian and (believe it or not) pro-KLA language is three quarters of the way to becoming law in Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, S.1234 and HR 2606. We urge you to call your Congressmen and tell them you oppose this outrage.

The KLA: gangsters, terror, and the CIA 
During the winter of '99 and especially with the onset of the bombing of Serbia, the NATO/media word on the Kosovo Liberation Army morphed from "terrorists" to "freedom fighters." What's the truth? Prof. Michel Chossudovsky's thoroughly documented study finds here a traditionally unpleasant CIA proxy, much like the Nicaraguan Contras, but more so.

Paul Watson Live From Pristina in Kosovo
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Paul Watson was interviewed by phone from Kosovo where he stayed throughout NATO's bombing. He found no evidence that the Serbian government was organizing atrocities against ethnic Albanians. He reported a direct connection between NATO bombing and flight from Kosovo.

The Racak Incident
The Racak 'massacre' was NATO's justification for forced negotiations at Rambouillet last winter. International political analyst Diana Johnstone produced this commentary at the time. It includes reports from the French newspapers Le Monde and Figaro. They suggest the massacre was an invention, staged using the bodies of people killed during fighting between the Serbian police and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The purpose: to create public support for threats against Serbia.

Has NATO made up massacre stories in the past to produce a climate of anti-Serbian public opinion at critical moments? Political analyst George Pumphrey says "Yes." Pumphrey examines the use of the War Crimes Tribunal and the media to convict the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) in the court of public opinion while producing no actual evidence that Serbian forces slaughtered 8000 men after the battle at Srebrenica. Mass graves are about to be discovered, satellite photos mysteriously disappear, investigators are on the verge of finding mass graves but nothing ever materializes. Nevertheless the Srebrenica massacre is referred to as if its existence were an established fact. Pumphrey's fascinating investigation is called: Srebrenica: 3 Years Later and Still Searching...

What Does NATO Want in Yugoslavia?
Prof. Sean Gervasi helps us place the bombing of Serbia in the context of US/German goals for Yugoslavia and the rest of Europe.

  • Is NATO humanitarian? Or has it fomented Islamic Fundamentalism, Greater Albanian nationalism and Croatian fascism? Is it really trying to prevent ethnic cleansing? Or is the creation of ethnically hostile states part of a US/German plan to grab power in the strategic Balkans and Caspian Sea areas? What is so strategic about these areas anyway?
  • And who will pay the piper? Pres. Clinton claims the NATO assault on Yugoslavia has made the world safer. Has it? Does US/German conflict lurk behind a facade of unity? What about all those Russian nuclear missiles, once again aimed at Western capitols?

The late Prof. Gervasi wrote this piece for a conference in Prague four years ago. It reads as if he knew NATO would bomb Serbia and take over Kosovo.

This "Peace" Means War by Jared Israel
When Associated Press published the June agreement between NATO and Serbia, the Emperor's Clothes editor wrote this critique. He said that once Yugoslavian Army troops withdrew, NATO would let the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) enter Kosovo and slaughter or expel everyone ethnically incorrect and/or opposed to secession. That NATO leaders would shed crocodile tears of regret while guaranteeing the KLA was successful. It appears that the only thing he was wrong about was the tears...

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Germany and the US in the Balkans: a Careful Coincidence of National Policies?
by T.W. Carr
Did Germany use its economic/political clout to force Europe to endorse the breakup of Yugoslavia? Did vast sums from a fund controlled by the Catholic Church hierarchy finance a neo-Fascist resurgence in Croatia? Did the US, while claiming to want peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, actually pressure Izetvegobic, the Islamic Fundamentalist leader, to go back on a peace deal, thus launching the Bosnian "Civil War"? T.W. Carr, Associate Publisher of the British publication, Defense and Foreign Affairs, notes that the newly redrawn map of the Balkans closely resembles the one created by Hitler during World War II. This is an excellent overview; if you are unfamiliar with the material we suggest also reading Diana Johnstone's Yugoslavia: Seen Through a Dark Glass

Barbarians at the Gate
by Jared Israel
The Serbian people were once Europe's first line of defense against the Ottoman Empire. Now the leaders of the US, Britain and Germany have united to bomb Serbia, including exquisite Church art, old age homes and the Belgrade Zoo in the defense of civilization, as they understand it.

What Milosevich really said at Kosovo Field This 1989 speech to a million people is so famous that everyone talks about it, even those who have no idea what he said. Western pundits claim Milosevich used the speech like a Hitler rally to launch a racist campaign against ethnic Albanians, Croatians and Muslims.

Could they be making it up? They could be; they are. We have posted the official US government translation with a commentary. (At least we've read the thing.)

A Tale of Three Soldiers
by Jared Israel
Just after NATO started bombing, the US government announced that three American soldiers had been kidnapped on the Macedonian side of the border with Serbia by Yugoslavian Army troops. The Defense Department claimed they were working for a UN mission in Macedonia. Subsequently, the media reported the men had been illegally put on trial. None of the preceding is true...

A Slaughter of Roma
by Peter Makara and Jared Israel
As tens of thousands of Roma ("Gypsies") are driven out of Kosovo and murdered by NATO's ally, the KLA, the press is virtually silent. One exception: a lone article in the
NY Times. Our writers read it and found a conscious attempt to suppress the truth. Were they wrong?

Media in Serbia
by Diana Johnstone
NATO's deadly missile attack on a Serbian TV station, killing and maiming reporters and staff, was justified by NATO spokesmen because "Serbian TV was lying." Many Americans have a stereotyped view of the media in other countries, especially Serbia, as being entirely pro-government. Actually, prior to NATO bombing, Serbian mass media was mainly anti-government and even now the press is a good deal more open, with a broader selection of viewpoints, than US media. (In Boston, Mass there were many anti-war demonstrations during the bombing of Serbia, but the Boston newspapers and TV stations ignored them. When a tiny group of pro-bombing people, claiming to be Albanian-Americans, demonstrated, the Boston papers gave it front page coverage - and called them peace demonstrators!) Diana Johnstone points out that before the bombing one could buy a KLA (ethnic Albanian secessionist) newspapers on the streets of Belgrade. Johnstone argues that the real media problem is in the NATO countries...

Missed...on Purpose?
by Diana Johnstone
Were NATO bombing attacks on Yugoslavian civilians accidental? Diana Johnstone analyses a column by
NY Times senior editor Thomas Friedman.

Serbs Shoot Selves in Foot
Venik, a Yugoslav-American intellectual, argues that the Serbian opposition is extremely dangerous to Serbia's recovery. Pointing to the harsh example of Ukraine, he warns Serbians not to fall for Uncle Sam's promises of aid "if you only do what we want." Not a big Milosevich fan, Venik nevertheless argues that Serbia's problems were made in Washington, not Belgrade.

B92 - Who Are You?
Serbian opposition parties and the anti-Milosevich Yugoslavian media are glorified in the West. Even many opponents of NATO bombing have a warm spot for the anti-Milosevich radio station, B92: feisty, intellectual-minded and independent. But is it? Some thoughts from Paul Treanor.

* * *

"The enquiry in England is not whether a man has talents & genius, but whether he is passive & polite & a virtuous ass & obedient to noblemen's opinions in art & science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved." (William Blake, Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds)

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