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[Emperor's Clothes]


Editorial from 'People's Daily' (China)
Edited by Rick Rozoff and Jared Israel [posted 9 May 2001]

A staff member wounded when NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, May 8, 1999. Three journalists, Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying were torn apart by the bombs. More than twenty staff members were wounded. Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying had just married.

Washington claims the bombing was an error. Virtually everyone in China and Yugoslavia considers this a lie.


"Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face,
The mirror where the stars and mountains view
The stillness of their aspect in each trace
Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue..."

Those lines were written by the poet, Lord Byron, when he toured Leman Lake, also called Lake Geneva.

This March and April, I was in Geneva reporting on the UN Human Rights Commission session (UNHRC). The same period two years ago, I experienced and reported a war in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

It was today, May 8th, two years ago, that US-led NATO aircraft savagely bombed a small country.

The same time this year, the United States took the field without hiding behind NATO. At the Geneva human rights session, it attacked the developing countries, picking faults right and left.

On May 8th 1999, US missiles attacked the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia, murdering three Chinese journalists and injuring more than 20 staff members. To this day, the wounds of the Chinese people have not healed. At the human rights session the United States again waved its big 'human rights' stick at China.

As an ordinary journalist, I have not yet made a profound analysis of the view, fashionable in certain circles, that "human rights stands above sovereignty." My intuition tells me: This obviously means "might is right".

Yugoslavia to Geneva: This is a war in the same strain, whether with or without the smoke of gunpowder. The United States wants to achieve one aim: to clear the obstacles to worldwide rule by the United States.

Things that took place two years ago are not so far from us today.

I remember one night when NATO bombed Yugoslavia. A Yugoslav driver was taking us back to our station. When NATO aircraft rumbled past, the driver leaned out the car window, waved his fist at the sky and cried, "You horde of cowards! Come down and fight us on the ground if you have the guts. We'll floor you three to one, with punishment."

US-led NATO, however, finally subdued the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by continuous air attacks, not through ground battle. The aggressors, as if playing video games, selected targets on a computer screen, pressed buttons and destroyed Yugoslav factories, bridges, railways and highways, one by one, calm, unhurried.

When the brave yet desperate Yugoslav people left the air-raid shelters, and defended bridges, factories and television stations against NATO bombing with their bodies I, as a foreign reporter, saw this heroism and wanted to cry. But I had no tears.

I remember the words said by Javier Solana, then secretary-general of NATO: If Yugoslavia does not submit to our will, we will peal its skin as we would a rabbit, until it is dead.

The elated victors really got a swelled head. On May 8, 1999, they extended their evil hands to the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. Although China is far from Yugoslavia and is separated from the United States by half the globe; and though there are various international laws and international rules, they still put their hands to it. Is this because, in their ideology, China is no more than Yugoslavia, enlarged?

The Kosovo flames of war left us so many things to ponder.

Two years have elapsed. The United States has forgotten it owes the Chinese people a debt of blood, and that it ravaged the innocent people of Yugoslavia. On the UN human rights rostrum this year, it again taught the people of China and other developing countries a lesson. In its posture of Supreme Human Rights Guardian the U.S. applied strong political and economic pressure on members of the Human Rights Commission, demanding that they submit and pass an anti-China motion.

The U.S. dared do this because it thought it would succeed. Assistant United States Secretary of State, Harold Koh, once openly said: In the world today, there is nothing the United States cannot accomplish if it wishes.

Nothing? Then what about this fact, that the anti-China motion was defeated this year, for the 10th time?

China does not fear any threat. If the opposite side chooses confrontation, we would take it to the very end. Don't slight the trial of strength at the human rights session. U.S. arrogance, swollen after the Kosovo war, has been continually frustrated in Geneva. The battles fought at the human rights sessions these past two years have boosted the morale of the Chinese people and other developing countries. When representatives of various countries vied to come over to the seat of the Chinese delegation, shook hands and embraced the Chinese representative, when the US representative walked away, accompanied only by his briefcase, I felt the strength of justice.

This year's human rights session has concluded. As we were about to leave Geneva news came that the United States had lost its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission. Uncle Sam, who had ordered people around there for dozens of years, had been forced off stage.

Once again I walk along the banks of Lake Geneva. On one side, blue water, azure sky. Swans and wild ducks play in the water. Distant mountains undulate in sunshine. Snow gleams white.

On the other side, the grass is a carpet of flowers with here and there the homes of great intellectuals from the past. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake plays. Beautiful melodies drift between mountains and rivers.

Perhaps it is the music that causes me to recall: a photo. Two newly wed youngsters, both journalists, laughing in the bright, beautiful sunshine. In their hands, blue birds ready to fly. For it was at this time, in this place and amidst these beautiful melodies that Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying left Geneva two years ago for our Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Is it a coincidence? Geneva to Yugoslavia.

Perhaps it is the music. I listen to Swan Lake and see the photograph in my mind's eye. Two newly wed youngsters.

I think: If only the story of Prince and Princess Odette had not been rewritten by persons of evil character.



1. A sharp look at the news coverage just after the Chinese Embassy bombing in 1999 suggests a cover story, badly prepared. See 'Lies, Damn Lies & Maps' by Jared Israel at

2. In August, 1998, the U.S. launched a massive missile attack on a pill factory in Sudan. This crime has never been punished. The U.S. was asked to show independent investigators its 'evidence' that this factory was making nerve gas.

'I don’t see what the purpose of a fact-finding study would be,’ Peter Burleigh, the deputy American representative to the UN said after the meeting. 'We have credible information that fully justifies the strike we made on that one facility in Khartoum.' ('N.Y. Times', August 25, 1998)

For an analysis of how the leading U.S. newspaper, 'The New York Times', fed its readers a completely false view of the bombing, see 'Credible 'Deception: The 'Times' and the Sudan missile attack' at

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