Richard Moore

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Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 22:03:44 EDT
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Spanish experts see no Serbian genocide in Kosovo
by Pablo Ordaz

commentary by Jared Israel (revised 9-27-99)

[The website http://www.emperors-clothes.com encourages everyone to
reproduce the following report in full including this note.]

The following article from El Pais (The Country), a mainstream Spanish
magazine, is most important. For months we've been barraged with stories
claiming Serbs killed thousands of ethnic Albanians and dumped them in mass
graves in Kosovo. Recently I did an internet search for newspaper articles,
appearing in the past 90 days, and including the words 'Kosovo' and 'mass
grave.' The report came back: 'More than 1000 - too many to list.' I had to
limit the search to articles in the NY Times and even then came up with 80,
nearly one a day.

It has been a giant air balloon of anti-Serbian publicity, but now comes
the pin: Spanish forensic experts, just back from Northern Kosovo where,
they were told, they would have to inspect the worst Serbian atrocities,
found no mass graves and no evidence of torture.

We received this article at 11 PM on 9/23 and had a translation the next
morning thanks to Herb Foerstal in the U.S. The translation was then
checked for accuracy, again on no notice and within a few hours, thanks to
Julio Fernández Baraiba in Argentina.

Below is the article from El Pais, followed by a commentary.

El Pais * 23 septiembre 1999 - Nº 1238
by PABLO ORDAZ in Madrid

Spanish police and forensic experts have not found proof of Genocide in the
North of Kosovo.

Crimes of War - yes, Genocide - no. This was definitely shown yesterday by
the group of Spanish experts formed by officials from the Scientific Police
and Civilian Forensics that has just returned from Istok, the Zone in the
North of Kosovo under the control of the Legion. {Spanish Legion?} 187
cadavers found and analyzed in 9 villages were buried in individual graves,
oriented for the most part toward Mecca out of respect for the religious
beliefs of the Albanian Kosovars and without sign of torture. "There were
no mass graves. For the most part the Serbs are not as bad as they have
been painted," reflected the forensic official Emilio Pérez Pujo.

That was not the only irony. Also questioned were the successive counts
that are being offered by the "allies" on the tragedy of Kosovo. "I have
been reading the data from UN," said Pérez Pujol, Director of the Forensic
Anatomical Institute of Cartagena. "And they began with 44,000 deaths. Then
they lowered it to 22,000. And now they're going with 11,000. I look
forward to seeing what the final count will really be." The Spanish Mission
which should now submit a report to the International War Crimes Tribunal
in The Hague, left from Madrid in the beginning of the month of the August
with the feeling that they were going on a road to hell. "They told us that
we were going to the worst zone of Kosovo. That we should prepare ourselves
to perform more than 2000 autopsies. That we would have to work until the
end of November. The result is very different. We only found 187 cadavers
and now we are going to return," explained the chief inspector, Juan López
Palafox, responsible for the Office of Anthropology and Scientific Police.

The forensic people, as well as the police, applied their experience in
Rwanda in order to determine what occurred in Kosovo at least in that
section assigned to the Spanish detachment and they were not able to find
evidence of genocide.

"In the former Yugoslavia," said López Palafox, "crimes were committed,
some no doubt horrible, but they derived from the war. In Rwanda we saw 450
corpses of women and children, one on top of another, all with their heads
broken open." The Chief Inspector added that in Kosovo, on the contrary,
they had found many isolated corpses. "It gives the impression that the
Serbs gave a choice to the families to leave their homes. If some member of
the clan, for whatever reason, decided to remain, upon returning they were
found dead from a shot or by whatever other method." {our emphasis}

One of the members of the Spanish mission shed light on events in the Istok
prison, bombed at the end of May by NATO planes. The work, directed by
López Palafox and Pérez Pujol was aimed at solving the following mystery:
who killed the more than 100 prisoners - the bombs of NATO or the bullets
of Serbian soldiers? The answer, according to the preliminary studies, is
clear. Some of the cadavers analyzed had shrapnel wounds and therefore
clearly appeared to have been killed by the bombardment. But others died of
clear clean bullet wounds, perhaps from the bullets of machine guns. The
most likely thesis is that after the bombardment, the prison inmates tried
to flee and were shot by Serbian guards.


by Jared Israel

I've been reading mass grave stories in the New York Times for most of a
day. I hope to do a detailed analysis soon. Meanwhile, here are a few

* You would expect these stories to be horrifying. What is surprising is
that they are so repetitious - using the same phrases - that reading them
is exhausting.

* The articles are often written in semi-fictional style, as in "A cap lay
on the ground, stained bright red. 'Who would believe the Serbs would do
this?' asked the gaunt Albanian. A tear trickled down the old man's cheek."
This kind of writing encourages the reader to suspend disbelief, as one
does when reading a short story, to accept emotionally charged statements
as true.

* Evidence, if any, is anecdotal; sources are vague.

* The discovery or even the rumor of a grave is cited (often in a press
conference by some authority figure) as proof of Serbian atrocities.

These 'atrocities' are then discussed in great, though entirely
speculative, detail. Trial by media. It is enough to make you gaga,
especially when you read such 'news' for hours at a time. The mental
equivalent of smog.

* Arguments are circular. A supposed mass grave is discovered. Assumptions
are (publicly and loudly) made about the unopened grave: the dead bodies
will be Albanians; they will be civilians; they will turn out to have been
killed by Serbs; the Serbs will have been soldiers or policemen. There is
no systematic follow-up, no testing of these predictions against fact.
Rather, such speculations, once uttered, become part of the record, to be
cited in later articles as if proven.

The Spanish experts were told they would find 2000 bodies. They found 187.
That is about 10%. Many of the 187 died when NATO bombed a prison or,
apparently. afterwards, trying to escape. The war crime involved here is
NATO's: it is a crime of war to bomb any nonmilitary target, let alone a
prison, the ultimate sitting duck.

Let me dwell on this point for a moment. NATO of course knew that the U.S.
Air Force had bombed the prison at Istok; it was publicly reported at the
time and anyway, the U.S. Air Force leads NATO, so, as a teenange American
would say, 'like, du-uh.' It was also no mystery that these bombs killed
people, prisoners and guards - that's what bombs do. Obviously if the term
'war crime' has any meaning, bombing a prison is a war crime.

Then why, may I ask, were the Spanish forensic scientists told to look for
evidence of Serbian war crimes at Istok? Given that a massive war crime
(the bombing of a prison) was publicly known to have been committed by the
U.S. Air Force, why weren't the forensic scientists instructed to look for
a U.S. war crime? Why is it necessary for them now to give a press
conference to reveal the STARTLING news that when the U.S. Air Force bombs
a prison to smithereens - it is not an act of Serbian genocide??

The Spanish scientists and policemen are correctly perceived as heroic for
standing up and saying: the bombing of a prison by the U.S. Air Force is
not a Serbian war crime. Doesn't the fact that this is indeed an act of
heroism tell us something about the present international climate?


The Spanish forensic scientists speculate that the remaining cadavers were
Albanian civilians killed by Serbian troops or police. If these
speculations are correct, these people could be victims of Serbian war
crimes. That's about 100 people, 5% of the promised 2000.

In considering this 5%, I suggest we adopt a cautious approach.


Every official in a NATO country is under pressure to parrot the NATO line.
Nevertheless these Spanish experts aired their reservations publicly. Note
that when they discussed the individuals with bullet wounds they made clear
they were speculating:

"It gives the IMPRESSION that the Serbs gave a choice to the families to
leave their homes. If some member of the clan, for whatever reason, decided
to remain, upon returning they were found dead."

Of course, one can only get the "impression" that these people were shot by
"the Serbs" for refusing to leave their homes if one accepts that they were
members of families whom "the Serbs" had ordered to leave. But how could
the scientists know this? They could only 'know it' from witnesses.

The El Pais story says nothing about witnesses, so now we must speculate;
fortunately we do know a few things.

First, Kosovo is under a reign of terror by the Kosovo Liberation Army,
with NATO's blessing. At the end of this commentary we list a few articles
documenting that reign of terror, including first hand accounts. (See note
1 at end)

Second, both NATO and the KLA have a strong interest in proving that the
Serbian government had a policy of genocide against Albanians. NATO needs
to prove this because the existence of Serbian genocide was NATO's
justification for bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days. The KLA needs to prove it
because Serbian genocide is the KLA's justification for driving Serbs and
"Gypsies" out of Kosovo. As CLinton adviser Sandy Berger put it, speaking
for NATO and the KLA:

"All across Kosovo, we see reminders that America and our allies did the
right thing in taking a stand against ethnic cleansing…. The Serb forces
responsible for the violence are gone…But there is also tremendous sadness
-- from the pain of remembering and the devastation left behind by
Milosevic's campaign of hate. And in many victims there is rage, a desire
for justice, and sometimes revenge. (Foreign Policy Adviser Sandy Berger,
"Remarks to Council on Foreign Relations", July 26, 1999)

In this remarkable speech Mr. Berger is a) giving the KLA the green light
to attack Serbs because it's all quite understandable considering the
"tremendous sadness" and "victims" consumed with "rage" and b) making the
purpose of the war crimes investigations perfectly clear. That purpose is
NOT to discover the truth. Discovery is unnecessary; Mr. Berger has
discovered the truth in advance. Rather the purpose of investigation is to
provide "reminders that America and our allies did the right thing."

Thus the investigation is controlled by two highly interested parties, NATO
and the KLA. Their control includes not only the handling of evidence but
the recruitment and preparation of witnesses. Obviously such witnesses can
be either agents of the KLA or under KLA domination. Any witness providing
testimony disliked by the KLA would be risking his or her life. And as a
recent story in the mainstream media suggests, the KLA considers lying a
perfectly legitimate weapon in winning international support. (See note 2
at end) So much for the witnesses.


And then there is the problem of the graves. The Spanish experts say the
cadavers were found in individual graves, not mass graves. That is
thoughtful of the Serbs. And even more thoughtful: the graves were
"oriented for the most part toward Mecca out of respect for the religious
beliefs of the Albanian Kosovars…"

This is curious. I have read many newspaper articles which argue that Serbs
are hostile to Albanians because the Albanians are (mostly) Muslims. This
supposed hostility was supposedly the motivation for alleged anti-Albanian
atrocities.  The Serbs say they don't hate anybody, that they have been
fighting to preserve a multiethnic society against a terrorist assault by a
racist faction among ethnic Albanians - a faction backed by the U.S. and

Let's assume the newspapers are right and the Serbs are mistaken. So first
Serbian troops murdered these 100 Albanians out of religious hatred - and
then they buried the Albanians facing Mecca out of religious respect. Isn't
this rather strange behavior?

Perhaps the Spanish experts were lied to. Perhaps they were shown the
bodies of KLA troops who died fighting the Yugoslav army; hence the bullet
wounds (inflicted in battle) and the respectful burial (performed by the
KLA army). That at least would make sense.

There are many graves in Kosovo, too many. For a year and a half a fierce
war raged between KLA terrorists and the Yugoslav Army and police. Aside
from those who died in the fighting, we have credible evidence that the KLA
executed many pro-Yugoslav Albanians, as well as non-Albanians (who do not
necessarily differ from Albanians in appearance) not to mention Yugoslav
soldiers and policemen.

So, thousands of people died and were buried. The KLA has had a free hand
in Kosovo since early June, plenty of time to move bodies around, to dress
dead soldiers as civilians and to tutor 'grieving relatives' until their
stories sound believable. And despite all that the Spanish scientists, sent
to the zone of the worst Serbian atrocities, came back virtually


Some people ask: are you saying Serbs are incapable of committing
atrocities? No, as with all populations, some Serbian people are probably
capable of committing atrocities. But to go from this general possibility
to the charge that the Serbian armed forces systematically killed Albanian
civilians (while publicly arguing for multi-ethnic unity and indeed arming
many Albanians against the KLA) is to go quite a distance. Traversing it
requires something: proof.

American legal theory says a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Implicit in this approach is the notion that criminal investigation should
be conducted by disinterested parties with a goal of finding out if there
has been a crime and discovering the truth, not in proving a case to
destroy some enemy.

Aside from whether this standard is actually applied in the U.S. legal
system (a HIGHLY debatable point) shouldn't we apply it when dealing with
alleged mass crimes possibly implicating a government and an entire people?
Or should such  investigations be launched only as needed to justify NATO
policy? Should guilt then be decided by a hostile US press with government
officials making prejudicial statements before the fact? Should the
evidence be the testimony of 'witnesses' supplied by the US side in a
vicious war, 'witnesses' who testify in secret, 'witnesses' who are never
cross-examined by the accused?

The use of these Inquisitorial methods of proof rebounds, proving that NATO
(that is, the US government) and the media are trying to railroad the
Serbian people.

Every time an accusation is made, two parties go on trial: the accused and
the accuser. For if an accusation can be shown to be false, then the
question must be asked: was it made with malicious intent? Was it perhaps
cooked up to divert attention from and/or justify some other crime, some
greater crime, some crime by the accuser?

The Spanish forensic scientists and policemen quoted in El Pais have done
us all a service. By denying NATO's charges they have indicted NATO. In
doing so they have risked NATO's wrath - and their careers - to tell the
truth. Their decency gives one hope.

(For analyses of specific instances in which NATO can be shown to have
cooked the evidence of 'Serbian war crimes' see note 3 at end)



Note 1: First hand reports of KLA terror

* For an interview with the leader of the Jewish community in Pristina,
Kosovo, go to:

*For an eye-opening report on a recent 2 week trip through Kosovo, go to:

* For an interview with Kosovo Albanians who led opposition to the KLA and
have been forced out of Kosovo by threat of death, go to:

Note 2: KLA Woman's Story Exposed as Lie

Go to: *

Note 3: Analysis of NATO 'mass grave' and 'atrocity' claims : * For 'Racak
- The Impossible Massacre,' by Diana Johnstone go to:

* For 'Were NATO's mass grave pictures faked?' by Jared Israel go to:

For a detailed look at (and refutation of) NATO's most important massacre
story, 'Srebrenica: Three years and still waiting,' go to:

If you're reading this article in a site other than Emperors-Clothes.com
and would like to see other articles, please go to:


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