rn: “Victory”?, Hardly!


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,

As the following messages will show, the "party line" of our mass media is
that NATO won this Kosovo war, and that this was good for the future of
human rights prtoection. This means that we who know otherwise must be
creative in finding ways to show what the real reasons for the war were and
what the real consequences are.

In one nearby city, Halifax, a teach-in will be held this Saturday. I'll
post the notice on that event (below) in the hopes it may inspire others to
organize similar events. And please continue to share information about
ideas for countering the "party line" stuff; our work is never done!

all the best, Jan

Note from Jan: I particularly like this line, from the last paragraph of
Frank Scott's article below:
" democracy has little to do with our reality, but 
everything to do with changing it."

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 21:20:19 +0000
From: frank scott <•••@••.•••>

(415)868 1600 FAX (415) 868 0502
P.O. Box 31
Bolinas CA 94924
email: •••@••.•••

Depressing Democracy   

The  triumphalism over the Yugoslavian slaughter  reached a low point
when the  serial killer Albright was treated like Mother Theresa by 
Kosovar Albanians. In their misery, the Albanians can be forgiven  their
gullibility. But how can the  most  affluent  population in the world
accept the fairy tale offered about Yugoslavia? Weapons of mass
destruction and  mass distraction are  creating  an America of mass
mental   depression.

As the re-writing of  history takes place before our eyes, future
fiction is being attempted in the  presentation of  candidates for the
year 2000 . Slobodan Milosevic may have represented more of his people
than the two political ciphers shilling for  accommodations in the
public housing at Pennsylvania Avenue .

Even with the massive mind assault , some might ask  why these two are
even candidates. Of course, one is the vice president, though his most
memorable achievement seems to be that he has not sodomized any of his
staff. The other is a governor,  son of a former  president, and  as
bland, boring and unknown as his opponent seems merely bland and boring.

Those truly  represented by this rich and pampered duo are those who
have  enjoyed the  economic boom , really a stock market boom with some
trickle down value to janitors, lawyers and other servants. Market
fundamentalists  crow  that more people are holding jobs, and that  poor
people are working  . They don't tell us that Americans are laboring
longer hours, with less benefits, and falling deeper into debt. Nor do
they mention that as more poor people  work , more working people are 

Low unemployment numbers leave out  millions  in the military. When that
group is added to those in jails and prisons, the employment figures 
show that without government intervention in the market, however  bloody
it may be, we might have an employment depression.  That would match the
state of mind of citizens who cannot survive without taking  drugs, both
legal and illegal. So much for a rising tide that is  supposedly lifting
all boats.

But can  these two [Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican John McCain]
strengthen democracy in a nation so dominated by minority wealth? Last year,
CEOs at the top 350 corporations averaged compensation of more than $2.5
million. 90% of the gains in this stock market have gone to the wealthiest
10% of Americans. In the last congressional race , 81% of those who
contributed more than $200  had
incomes over $100,000 . In this horribly skewed economic environment,
talk of a democratic electoral process is a form of whistling while
walking through a cemetery .

Now our young people can read the ten commandments before buying their
handguns, remembering to disregard the one about not killing,when their
government  murders foreigners. And  their parents  can take lots of
legal drugs , buy more needless products, incur more debt, and borrow,
at usurious rates, from legalized loan sharks . Young and old need to
understand that democracy has little to do with our reality, but 
everything to do with changing it. The Main Street  majority needs to
get smarter, and less depressed, to really contest the  Wall Street
minority. Neither legal drugs nor major media are likely to help.

Copyright (c) 1999 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.

             This text may be used and shared in accordance with the
             fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be
           archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that
            the author is notified and no fee is charged for access.
           Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on
             other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the
author . 

frank scott
email: •••@••.•••
225 laurel place, san rafael ca. 94901
(415)457 2415   fax(415)457 4791

Note from Jan: Janet Eaton has complied a 5th collection of articles on the
ecological consequences of the Yugoslav war which I would be happy to send
to you on request.
From: "Janet M Eaton" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 23:58:02 +0000
Subject: Green Cross  PRESS RELEASE- Envir. Consequences  -Kosovo
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Wed, 23 Jun 1999 17:32:34 +0200
From:          Sophie Barbey <•••@••.•••>
Subject:       PRESS RELEASE

Press Release

Green Cross International continues its action to mobilize the
international community on the environmental consequences of the Kosovo

On 17 June, 1999, during a session of the Council of Europe's Congress of
Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, held in Strasbourg, a motion was
taken for a resolution on the environmental consequences of the Kosovo

"Taking into consideration the different evidences of the environmental
impact of the Kosovo conflict, they decided that they should:
1) (S.) assist the municipalities to avoid an environmental catastrophe
2) co-operate with Green Cross International to collect and analyze
information on environmental impacts and damage to human settlements in the
3) support the joint UNEP/UNCHS Balkans Task Force in its efforts to create
strategic partnerships for future reconstruction (S..)"

Green Cross International, through its president Mikhail Gorbachev, was one
of the first environmental organization to insist on the possible
environmental catastrophe contained in this conflict and on the necessity
for action. Already a full member of the UNEP/UNCHS Balkans Task Force,
Green Cross International has now been confirmed as a partner in the
strategy of the Council of Europe.

For additional information, contact Sophie Barbey, Green Cross International,
e-mail: •••@••.•••, tel +41.22.789.16.62, fax +41.22.789.16.95

The Council of Europe < http://www.coe.fr > is an international
organization based in Strasbourg (France). Its main role is to strengthen
democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout its 41 member
states. The Council of Europe has two organs, the committee of Ministers
with the minister of foreign affairs of the state member and the
Consultative Assembly made of elected parliamentarians of the state members.

In attached documents, Mikhail Gorbachev's last article on the concerns
about the environment in the aftermath of the Kosovo crisis and the free
translation in French.


By Mikhail Gorbachev

 Now that the air strikes against Yugoslavia have been stopped, the
 world community will have to assess the damage and draw lessons from
 the events of these past months. We should not allow this misguided
 and unwarranted action to be followed by the wrong conclusions. Faced
 with the plight of the Kosovars, the destruction of much of the
 essential infrastructure in the rest of Yugoslavia and the tremendous
 damage to international relations, triumphalist statements sound
 hollow. Claims of victory are being made by those, on either side,
 who must be troubled by the thought of being held accountable for the
 tragedy. What is really needed now is responsible analysis.

 Prevention must be foremost in our thinking and
 our actions. But, if hostilities break out despite all our efforts,
 they must be constrained by certain legal limits. Such constraints
 have been laid down by the Geneva conventions and their protocols. It
 is now clear that they should be supplemented by provisions to limit
 the environmental damage caused by warfare.
[Note from Jan: The press release is also available in French from me or the
Green Cross itself.]

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:56:30 -0600
From: Delongs <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Yugo:  Robert Fisk: Was it rescue, or revenge?

1999.06.21 Independent (UK)
 Was it rescue or revenge?
 by Robert Fisk
 Bestialisation is an unpleasant sport. The Serbs bestialised the
 Albanians for years. Terrorists, mafia, communists, Marxists,
 murderers. Officially directed at the Kosovo Liberation Army, these
 epithets came to be applied to the entire Kosovo Albanian community.
 And when General Nabojsa Pavkovic warned that "settling scores... is
 what we'll do if our country is attacked from the air or the ground,"
the Albanians knew what to expect. The moment Nato commenced its
 blitz against Yugoslavia, the harassment of the Kosovo Albanians
 turned into persecution, and the atrocities into mass murder.
 But now it is we who are doing the bestialising. Nazis, Gestapo,
 blood-stained thugs, genocidal. The Serbs. In just a few short sound-
 bites, we are now bestialising a whole people. Serbs Out, Nato In,
 Refugees Back. That was how George Robertson -- with appalling
 simplicity and even more awful results -- summed up the west's
 ambitions in Kosovo earlier this month. And sure enough, the Serbs
 are moving out. At least 50,000 Serb civilians -- half the remaining
 Serb population of the province -- have already fled the homes that
 Messrs Clinton and Blair promised to protect. Perhaps half the gypsy
 population of Kosovo have fled with them on their wooden carts and
 ponies. Serbian Kosovo is turning into Albanian Kosovo.
 True, it was Serb forces -- not the KLA -- which dispossessed the
 Albanians of Kosovo. Serb forces executed the Albanian men of
 countless villages across the province. The KLA have committed
 atrocities, but not on this scale. Yet it remains a sad and devastating
 fact that the vast majority of war crimes -- almost the entire mass
 dispossession and "ethnic cleansing" of Albanians -- occurred after
 Nato had begun its war.
 Had we been prepared to intervene on land at the beginning -- at the
 cost, no doubt, of Nato soldiers' lives -- countless murdered Albanians
 would still be alive. And had we attempted to sort out the whole
 Kosovo crisis when the Albanians first appealed for our help at Dayton
 in 1995 -- when Richard Holbrooke and his chums told them to get
 lost -- the last three months' bloodbath might never have occurred, 
 and hundreds of thousands of dispossessed Albanians would still be 
 in their homes.
 Moral outrage is a very powerful emotion. I felt it a year ago when I
 saw the Serb police looting houses in the village of Comerane. I felt
it a few days' later when a Serb police officer threatened to rape an
 Albanian woman who was travelling with me. I felt it when The
 Independent's own Albanian interpreter emerged from the heart of
 darkness just over a week ago with a frightful story of her two months'
 persecution in Kosovo. I knew what to expect when British KFOR
 troops entered the MUP police headquarters in Pristina and found their
 collection of baseball bats, strapped bed, knuckledusters.
 Because I have visited another identical police station with a torture
 basement. Indeed, I have been interrogated on the first floor,
 surrounded by policemen holding identical baseball bats. And that
 police force was engaged in the persecution, dispossession and -- with
 the help of that nation's armed forces -- the burning of villages and
the murder of their ethnic inhabitants. But readers who fear another Nato
 bombing campaign can relax. This police station happened to be in a
 city called Diyarbakir, and the country whose police forces are
 involved in torture and murder is called Turkey. And Turkey is a
 member of Nato, supporting -- albeit without enormous enthusiasm --
 our righteous war against Serbia. And Turkey is not (quite) in Europe.
 Hence the need for our masters to say that we are discovering war
 crimes unknown "in Europe" since the Second World War.
 But back to Kosovo, where our moral outrage is at its loudest. In our
 reporting of Kosovo's "liberation", there is no longer any mention of
 the bombing campaign that preceded it. The hundreds of Serb and
 Albanian civilians killed by Nato bombs have been expunged from the
 record. The train at Grdelica, the two hospitals, the Chinese embassy,
 the bridge at Varvarin -- with its beheaded priest and its female high-
 school student with her stomach torn out -- the housing estates in Nis,
 Surdelica and Cuprija, and the Albanian refugee convoy destroyed in
 April -- all must now be forgotten. The evil we now uncover makes
 such matters irrelevant, even if most of that evil had not yet been
 committed when we began our blitz against Yugoslavia.
 Having witnessed much of the war -- far too much of the war -- I am
 convinced it was unnecessary; that there must have been some way of
 avoiding Nato's brutal bombardment and the wickedness that Serb
 forces unleashed against the Albanians once that bombardment began.
 True, their "cleansing" of Kosovo had already started, but on an
 infinitely smaller scale. And Nato General Wesley Clark's assertion
 that the post-attack onslaught against the Albanians was "entirely
 predictable" still seems to be the height of cynicism.
 Nato unleashed a war that produced a refugee exodus on a Biblical
 scale. It went on to slaughter hundreds of civilians in order to return
 the refugees, most of whom were in their homes when the blitz began.
 And then it watched the exodus of half of Kosovo's other population --
 the Serbs -- whom it was also meant to protect. And it then proclaimed
 a victory.
 This may go down well in the United States, but I don't think Europe
 should suffer this kind of treatment. I don't believe that American
 generals should be in charge of the destruction of a European nation,
 however barbaric its ruler. I don't think think the European Union
 should tolerate any repeat performances.
 There was a moment back in April, early in the bombing campaign,
 when Nato's lie became obvious. "Had we not acted," said President
 Clinton, "the Serb offensive would have been carried out with
 And there we have it. Ours was a punishment campaign, not a
 preventive action. It was intended to avenge the Albanians, not to save
 them -- and to revenge ourselves on the Serbs, I have no doubt, for the
 humiliation we suffered at their hands in Bosnia. The Albanian
 refugees will now return to their "predictably" burned homes and the
 "predictable" mass graves of their loved ones. The Serbs will continue
 to flood out of the province that Nato had sworn to preserve. And the
 Americans will continue to make the decisions. Europe deserves better.
 So do the Kosovo Albanians. So do the Serbs.
 * * *
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 13:12:24 -0700
From: Sid Shniad <•••@••.•••>
Subject: NATO's Victory - A few more victories like this and....

Global Intelligence Update
Weekly Analysis June 21, 1999

NATO's Victory

        A few more victories like this and....


NATO's victory was due to a brilliant diplomatic tour d'force.
Having blundered into the war with insufficient preparation or
planning and having prosecuted it amateurishly, NATO's political
leaders ended the war by giving a clinic in diplomatic cunning.  Of
course, the prize NATO has won is control over Kosovo, a dubious
trophy at best.  We wonder what was second prize?  In addition, the
war has opened a deep rift inside of NATO and intensified the
anti-reform process in Russia.  Along the way, it also drove
U.S.-Chinese relations to the lowest level since Nixon first met
Mao.  That is a large price to pay for assuming responsibility for
the Balkans.  In fact, responsibility for the Balkans is not
something most sane people would want.  But this much must be said:
even if NATO won a booby prize, the concluding diplomacy was a
wonder to behold.

The shift in the strategic environment was, obviously, the fall of
Primakov and the increasing unreliability of Russia as Serbia's
patron.  The diplomatic solution was the G-8 compromise, which was
understood to differ fundamentally from the Rambouillet accord.  As
the G-8 was written, Milosevic's acceptance of it did not mean a
capitulation to NATO, but the acceptance of an international
peacekeeping force under UN control, enabled by a UN Security
Council resolution.  Since Serbia had accepted the principle of a
foreign presence in Kosovo, but objected to a purely NATO presence,
the G-8 accords seemed to achieve Milosevic's primary objectives.

NATO, mainly the U.S. and U.K., went into action the minute
Milosevic accepted the compromise.  First, NATO created a public
atmosphere in which it successfully portrayed Milosevic's
acceptance of G-8 as its own victory.  What began as a public
relations campaign designed for domestic consumption, was rapidly
transformed into the accepted reality.  In a brilliant, global
public relations campaign, the U.S. and U.K. convinced even the
Serb public that Milosevic had surrendered.  Milosevic found
himself trapped in a reality created by NATO.

And therein lies the tale.  Everything has a cost.  The first price
that NATO must pay is the victory itself.  It now controls Kosovo.
That is a booby prize if there ever was one. Second, NATO is now
responsible for the stability of the whole of the Balkan peninsula.
What the Austro-Hungarians and the Turks found undigestible NATO
will now try to digest.  The Balkans is a region whose very
geography breeds insecure states without room for viable
compromises.  It can be done, but the mission is, in the long run,
always exhausting.  On the bright side, NATO now has a full-time
mission to keep it occupied.

NATO's greatest price will be paid in NATO itself.  Gerhard
Schroeder has tried to put a good face on it, but the Germans were
and remain appalled by the risks the Anglo-Americans forced Germany
to accept in relation to the Russians.  Schroeder insisted on
Friday that Russia should be treated with "respect," a code word
for avoiding another such confrontation.  Germany cannot afford
another episode of Anglo-American diplomatic brilliance.  Thus,
when Schroeder said last week that:  "Human rights are and should
be inviolable," but that "we have to look at issues very closely
and in fact differentiate between different situations," he was
announcing that it would be a long time before Germany tried this
again.  He went on to say that NATO action should be "confined to
its own territory and that should continue to be its way."  After
Kosovo, a compliant Germany within NATO simply should not be taken
for granted any longer.

The Kosovo affair carries with it another price: it has intensified
the process in which reformers are losing out to communists and
nationalists.  Kosovo was beyond Russia's reach.  There are areas
that are very much within its reach, such as the Baltics, Ukraine,
Central Asia, and the Caucasus.  NATO has established a precedent:
it can intervene in other countries so long as human rights issues
justify it.  Human rights violations abound in the former Soviet
Union.  As hard liners inexorably increase their power in the
Kremlin, NATO will have provided them with full justification for
intervention in areas where they have the upper hand and NATO is
without options.  If suffering humanity is a justification for war,
NATO just gave Russia the moral basis for reclaiming its empire.
And it should be remembered that Russia may not be able to take on
NATO, but Lithuania or Uzbekistan have a different correlation of
forces, to say the least.

NATO has clearly won a victory and the diplomats have been
instrumental.  However, it is a victory in which the price will be,
we think, higher than anyone anticipated or would have been willing
to pay at the beginning of the war.  NATO came out of the war
internally weaker than it went in.  Russia and China came out of
the war more, rather than less, hostile. The stability of the
Balkans is now a permanent and impossible responsibility for the
West.  It was a victory.  A few more victories like this and....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 12:30:33 -0300
From: Jessica Squires <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Teach-In: The Rhetoric of victory: Yugoslavia After the Bombs


        Teach-In: The Rhetoric of Victory: Yugoslavia After the Bombs

Panel: Marina Dragosevic, Daniel Haran, Jessica Squires, Bruce Wark

        Saturday, June 26 1999
        2015 Gottingen Street
        7:00 pm

Recent developments: Rambouillet vs. the Peace Accord
Iraq and Serbia: the effects of economic sanctions
Kosovo and Bosnia: will Kosovo be partitioned?
The real NATO/US/International Monetary Fund agenda
Building the anti-war movement

For more information call (902) 454-8781 or 496-0049.