Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/12-4

Dec. 16, 2000

The Washington Post on Yugoslav Elections 2000...

How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency

Kostunica, Once a Serb “Nationalist,” Now a $41 Million-Washington Puppet; NATO Tells Serbs to Stay Put, Adds Insult to Injury; Bosnian “Demo Farce:” West Rejects Serb Party’s Victory; Kosovo Heating Up Again; Serbia Sinks into Darkness Following DOS’s Electoral Victory

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONABALKANS AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

Washington                 1. How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency  

Pristina                        2. NATO Tells Serbs to Stay Put, Adds Insult to Injury

Sarajevo                      3. Bosnian “Demo Farce:” West Reject Serb Party’s Victory  

Pristina                        4. Kosovo Heating Up Again: Albanians Fire at Americans,

                                         Russians; Two Serb Civilians Die in Clash with BelgiansDec. 18, 2000

Brussels                      5. Kostunica-Djindjic About to Commit “Mother of All Betrayals?”Dec. 18, 2000

Belgrade                     6. Serbia Sinks into Darkness Following DOS’s Electoral VictoryDec. 26, 2000

Belgrade                     7. DOS Claims Landslide Victory in Serbian Parliamentary ElectionsDec. 26, 2000

Belgrade                     8. Outraged Serbs Protest Power OutagesDec. 28, 2000

Belgrade                     9. NATO Knocks Out Electricity in Serbia (REPRINTED) May 3, 1999

1. How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency

Kostunica, Once a Serb “Nationalist,” Now a $41 Million-Washington Puppet

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 - Good speechwriters follow the classical speaking rule - tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; and then tell them what you’ve told them. 

Well, we told you in July the September 24 Yugoslav elections would be a Serb “demo farce,” with Vojislav Kostunica starring as a nave Don Quixote, while, in fact, being a Trojan Horse bought and paid for by Washington.  We told you as the Serb “Ostrich Revolution” was unfolding, complete with destruction of electoral ballots, that it was a foreign-orchestrated coup d’etat.  And we repeated that when Kostunica started to reverse himself following his electoral “victory.”

And now, with less than two weeks to go before the Dec. 23 Serbian elections, just as we were about to sum up what we’ve been telling you all along about DOS and Kostunica, lo and behold the Washington Post did it for us.  Yes, that “liberal” establishment mouthpiece; the nation’s penultimate authority on the imbroglio at the DC bordello, told the truth about how Washington bought the Yugoslav presidency for $41 million.

The innocuous sounding headline of the Post’s Dec. 11 article, “U.S. Advice Guided Milosevic Opposition,” was a guise for its devastating content.  Devastating for Kostunica, an erstwhile Serb “nationalist,” now a mere Washington puppet.  Devastating for DOS - the Washington-funded and organized Democratic Opposition of Serbia, now the new Yugoslav regime.  Devastating for “Otpor” (Resistance), an ostensible “student” movement, also financed and run by the U.S. government. 

In short, the Post confirmed all our suspicions, and put a very explicit price on the Yugoslav presidency and Kostunica’s betrayal of his erstwhile ideals:

“The U.S. democracy-building effort in Serbia was a curious mixture of secrecy and openness. In principle, it was an overt operation, funded by congressional appropriations of around $10 million for fiscal 1999 and $31 million for 2000.”

The Post also paints a picture of Kostunica, DOS and Otpor as nothing more than U.S. marionettes.  Even the very lines they mouthed off during the election campaign were scripted by their Washington puppeteers:

"According to Stevanovic, the (DOS) coalition marketing expert, EVERY WORD of the opposition's one-minute and five-minute core political messages used by opposition spokesmen across the country was discussed with U.S. CONSULTANTS and tested by opinion poll. Coalition candidates running for the Yugoslav parliament and tens of thousands of local government positions received extensive training on how to stay "on message," answer journalists' questions and rebut the arguments of Milosevic supporters.” (emphasis added).

Here are some other excerpts from the Post report:

“Held in a luxury hotel in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, in October 1999, the closed-door briefing by (Doug) Schoen, a Democrat (pollster), turned out to be a seminal event, pointing the way to the electoral revolution that brought down Milosevic a year later. It also marked the start of an extraordinary U.S. effort to unseat a foreign head of state, not through covert action of the kind the CIA once employed in such places as Iran and Guatemala, but by modern election campaign techniques. […]

Had Yugoslavia been a totalitarian state like Iraq or North Korea, the strategy would have stood little chance. But while Milosevic ran a repressive police state, he was never a dictator in the style of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.”

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TiM Ed.: It’s rather amusing to see the Post attempting now to rewrite history, as if in passing.  Never mind that the preceding contradicts its own past stories, among other western media’s.  Lest we forget, one of the most popular anti-Milosevic slogans has been for years “Sloba-Saddam” - a clear attempt to equate the Milosevic regime with that of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  And the eight-year long U.N. sanctions against Serbia for being allegedly an aggressive “totalitarian state,” are only exceeded by the still on-going sanctions against Iraq.  Because unlike Milosevic, Hussein hasn’t thrown in the towel.

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“Twenty (Serb) opposition leaders accepted an invitation from the Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) in October 1999 to a seminar at the Marriott Hotel in Budapest, overlooking the Danube River. The key item on the agenda: an opinion poll commissioned by the U.S. polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates.

The poll reported that Milosevic had a 70 percent unfavorable rating among Serbian voters. But it also showed that the big names in the opposition--men such as Zoran Djindjic and Vuk Draskovic--were burdened with negative poll ratings almost as high as Milosevic's.  Among the candidates best placed to challenge Milosevic, the poll suggested, was a moderate Serbian nationalist named Vojislav Kostunica, who had a favorable rating of 49 percent and an unfavorable rating of only 29 percent. […]

Kostunica's selection as the opposition presidential candidate in August was shaped, in large measure, by the opinion polls. "The polls showed that Kostunica could defeat Milosevic in the easiest possible way," recalled Dusan Mihajlovic, leader of the New Democracy party, one of 18 political parties that made up the coalition. Part of Kostunica's APPEAL, the polls showed, was that he was widely perceived as ANTI-AMERICAN. Because he was an outspoken critic of the NATO bombing of Serbia, it was difficult for the Milosevic government to label him a Western stooge or a traitor to Serbian interests. (emphasis added).

Kostunica was also the one opposition leader strongly opposed to accepting U.S. campaign assistance. "I was against it, never got any myself, and thought it was unnecessary," he said in an interview.

To many opposition activists, KOSTUNICA’S DENIALS RING A LITTLE HOLLOW. While it is true that his own party, the Democratic Party of Serbia, rejected anything that smacked of U.S. aid, his presidential campaign BENEFITED ENORMOUSLY from the advice and financial support the opposition coalition received from abroad, and particularly from the UNITED STATES. […] (emphasis added).

Some Americans involved in the anti-Milosevic effort said they were aware of CIA activity at the fringes of the campaign, but had trouble finding out what the agency was up to. Whatever it was, they concluded it was not particularly effective. The lead role was taken by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government's foreign assistance agency, which channeled the funds through commercial contractors and nonprofit groups such as NDI and its Republican counterpart, the International Republican Institute (IRI).

While NDI worked closely with Serbian opposition parties, IRI focused its attention on Otpor, which served as the revolution's ideological and organizational backbone. In March, IRI paid for two dozen Otpor leaders to attend a seminar on nonviolent resistance at the Hilton Hotel in Budapest, a few hundreds yards along the Danube from the NDI-favored Marriott. […]

Over the next three months, millions of "Gotov je" stickers were printed on 80 tons of imported adhesive paper--paid for by USAID and delivered by the Washington-based Ronco Consulting Corp.--and plastered all over Serbia on walls, inside elevators and across Milosevic's campaign posters. Printed in black and white and accompanied by Otpor's clenched-fist emblem, they became the symbol of the revolution. […]

An iron rule for both the coalition and Otpor was never to talk about Western financial or logistical support. To have done so would have played straight into the hands of the Milosevic propaganda machine, which routinely depicted opposition leaders as "traitors" or "NATO lackeys".”

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TiM Ed.: Which helps explain virulent verbal attacks on anyone telling the truth during the Serb election campaign, including the TiM editor, who publicly and frequently called Kostunica, DOS and Otpor by their real names - Washington “lackeys” or “quislings.”  (For the rest of the Post story, go to the TiM web site and click on: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18395-2000Dec3.html).

So as you can see, despite our own “demo farce” unfolding in Florida and Washington, we, Americans, are relatively lucky.  At least we are cooking in our own stew, rather than one prepared by an adversarial foreign power.  

To put the Serb “Ostrich Revolution” in U.S. perspective, imagine Red China, for example, fielding its own candidate in the American presidential race (we know, some may argue they already have - in the person of Al Gore, of course. But humor us on this for a moment, will you, for the sake of allowing us to make a bigger point?).  

Let’s assume Beijing sets up its election command center in, say, Cuba, from where it disperses funds and masterminds the U.S. presidential campaign. 

To make sure their candidate comes out on top, Beijing hucksters and pollsters paint him as an American patriot and anti-communist.  And in the final stretch, they orchestrate a media campaign that pronounces the Chinese quisling the winner before the official counting was even over (any similarities with the real life Florida scenario, and the U.S. national media, is, of course, coincidental J).

In the end, when if even that’s not enough to get their man into the White House, Beijing imports its mercenaries from the countryside to storm the Capitol Hill, set it on fire and destroy some of the electoral ballots in the process.  Finally, after the frightened sitting American president concedes defeat, Beijing sends its goons to various Washington federal departments to kick butt (literally) and kick out the current administration heads, replacing them with its own lackeys.

And then the Red Chinese proclaim that they have done all that, of course, in the name of “democracy-building.”  If in doubt, just ask the Washington Post.  You saw that even in its today’s electoral post-mortem the Post called what happened in Serbia a “U.S. democracy-building effort.”

Now, if this were to happen in our country, how would you feel about such foreign-imposed “democracy,” my fellow-Americans?  How would you feel about its symbol - a clenched fist (a communist symbol) painted on a black shirt (a fascist symbol)? 

One would hope that any American, except perhaps a red commie or a fascist (or both, meaning a New World Order elitist), would be outraged, right? 

Well, surprise, surprise… Guess how a majority of Serbs felt about all that?  They were elated! 

In fact, even today, as the masks are slowly starting to drop from Kostunica’s and other DOS leaders’ faces, pollsters tell us that Washington’s bought-and-paid-for Yugoslav president still enjoys about a 70% approval rating in Serbia.

So what does that tell us? 

First, you CAN fool some people ALL of the time, as Teddy Roosevelt also noted.

Second, America isn’t the only nation dumbed down by the New World Order, especially considering that Serbs are now cheering the Washington lackeys after the U.S. led the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia.

Third, Americans should feel lucky by comparison.  Not only because what happened in Serbia makes our little Florida shenanigans look like a storm in a teacup.  Also because the NWO’s dumbing down of America has been under way for decades.  Yet now, after our own Election 2000 brush with infamy, many Americans are waking up to that fact.  And are beginning to fight back. 

How long will it be before most Serbs realize they’ve been duped (again - see Serbia Is in Love, Again), and start to fight back (again)?  Probably a lot longer that it will take them to get used to the Wall Street-financed and Madison Avenue-designed “democracy” chains they are now wearing around their necks (like the rest of the NWO slaves).  

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P.S. Incidentally, Otpor’s clenched fist on a black shirt, a cross between communism and fascism, is a perfect symbol of the New World Order.  And no wonder, since it was created in Washington, the capital of the NWO Evil Empire.  Perhaps the truth and liberty-loving Americans and other people around the world should paint a TARGET sign right over top of it.  At least that’s a symbol of genuine resistance to foreign aggression that originated in Belgrade, and spread like wildfire around the globe last year, inspiring patriots world over into action in defense of the truth and liberty.

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"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." (Thomas Gray)

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." (Albert Einstein)

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." (Albert Camus)  

"Peoples, once accustomed to masters, are not in a condition to do without them. If they attempt to shake off the yoke, they estrange themselves even more from freedom.  By mistaking for it an unbridled license to which it is diametrically opposed, they nearly always manage, by their revolutions, to hand themselves over to seducers, who only make their chains heavier than before." (Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1754)

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A P.S.: TiM readers can now have a “sneak preview” of a two-part series of Bob Djurdjevic’s comments on Yugoslav affairs, written for Beograd.com within his New World Order series, by clicking on the following URLs: “How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency,” Part 1 of 2, and  “Listen Not to What They SAY, Watch What They DO,” Part 2 of 2.

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2. NATO Tells Serbs to Stay Put, Adds Insult to Injury

Western Diplomat Slights Yugoslav Army’s Capability

PRISTINA, Dec. 15 - In our Dec. 4 update about the situation in Kosovo, “Serb Wimps Kiss Up to NATO Pimps,” we quoted Zoran Djindjic as saying that, “Yugoslav government was seeking NATO acceptance of the plan to drive the Kosovo Albanian rebels from the 80-square mile contested Presevo Valley buffer zone between Kosovo province and the rest of Serbia.”  

Asking permission from a foreign occupying force if you can be allowed to defend your own land from terrorists who have killed and massacred your troops makes the label “wimps” fairly benign.  Yet to the new Yugoslav president, Vojislav Kostunica, the remark by the man who is widely expected to become Serbia’s prime minister after the Dec. 23 vote was not wimpy enough.  Speaking last week after Djindjic's comments, Kostunica said that, "this is not the time for war drums."

Belgrade’s appeasing attitude toward the aggressors drew protests and demonstrations by the Serbs from Presevo Valley on Dec. 13.  Thousands of angry Serbs blocked key roads near Kosovo today, demanding that the authorities drive out the ethnic Albanian militants entrenched in the area, the New York Times reported on Dec. 14.  Some 3,000 people used cars, trucks and tractors to close roads into and out of Bujanovac and the rail line, and all roads that link Serbia to Macedonia and Greece.

So now Kostunica and Djindjic have their own people rising up against them with no Slobodan Milosevic around any more to take the blame.

Furthermore, Kostunica’s willingness to prostrate himself and his country before NATO lower than even Djindjic was prepared to do was not lost on the KFOR leaders.  Yesterday, they told Belgrade what its leaders’ meekness asked for - butt out!  Brig. Gen. Dennis E. Hardy, the American who commands peacekeepers, including 6,000 American troops, in the eastern part of Kosovo, said in an interview published Dec. 15 by the New York Times that, NATO “would not tolerate Serbian police or army use of force to reassert control of a three-mile-wide buffer zone along Kosovo's eastern border that ethnic Albanian rebels control.”

No surprise there.  As eyewitnesses in the area have already reported to TiM, the U.S. troops are virtual accomplices of the Albanian terrorists, having been seen to provide logistical support for the rebel operations (see “Kosovo Eyewitness: American Troops Aided Albanian Rebels Who Killed Four Serb Policemen,” Nov. 29, 2000).

But don’t take our word for it.  Here’s what the Kosovo Albanian recently-elected leader, Ibrahim Rugova, said in a Dec. 11 interview with the German Der Spiegel (The Mirror) magazine:

“Thanks to the presence of KFOR peacekeeping troops, NATO's support and the UN's reconstruction assistance Kosovo today is de facto independent.”  Later in the interview, Rugova also added, “NATO is already our (Albanian) private army. But in the future we will share responsibility and also develop an army of our own as a protective power.”

So the new Serb leaders are appealing for help from the foreign troops that the Kosovo Albanian leader calls their “private army!”  Is there any wonder the Serbs of the Presevo Valley are rising up against such Belgrade “leaders?”

As if that was not demeaning enough, asked by the Times whether the Serb forces could flush out the Albanian in a quick clean operation, a Western diplomat added insult to injury by replying, "I don't think the Serbian forces are capable of that."  Or was it realism? Because the Albanian rebels are certainly treating the Serb posturing as empty threats.  

Violence flared anew on Friday (Dec. 15).  NATO spokesman said two cars in the southern (Bujanovac) part of the zone carrying Serbs were raked with gunfire Friday (Dec. 15), leaving one of the occupants wounded in the arm.  The two targeted cars then drove to a crossing into Kosovo and the wounded man was treated by U.S. soldiers, a spokesman for the American peacekeepers, Maj. Jim Marshall, said in a statement.

And in a report suggesting tensions might be spreading, locals in the northern part of the zone, near Kursumlija, said Albanian militants shot at a Serb-populated village late Friday (Dec. 15). It was the first such incident reported in the north. The villagers told police they had seen Albanian rebels digging trenches in the region.  The shootings occurred even as Serbs lifted their barricades on roads along the tense border with Kosovo after a personal appeal by Kostunica.

Meanwhile, the governments of Yugoslavia and of Serbia, its main republic, met today (Dec 16) in Bujanovac - on the edge of the tense region - and threatened tough action unless NATO peacekeepers and U.N. officials running Kosovo clamp down on the insurgents, according to a Dec. 16 Associated Press report.

The commander of the Serb Third Army reported that ethnic Albanian militants are seeking to export their independence war from Kosovo into a neighboring Serbian area are assembling military hardware for a major offensive later this month, according to a Dec. 16 Associated Press report.  Speaking before the meeting, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic said his military intelligence was reporting a rebel offensive planned for Dec. 27 by “several thousand terrorists.”

“They are fixing up bridges, improving their communications, and bringing in ... mortars and howitzers,” said Lazarevic.

The U.N. Security Council is to meet Tuesday to discuss the latest Balkan flashpoint. If it fails to produce an efficient plan and action, Yugoslavia will “invoke its legitimate right to solve the problem itself, with the use of all internationally permitted measures to fight terrorism,” the Bujanovac declaration said.

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3. Bosnian “Demo Farce:” West Rejects Serb Party’s Victory

SARAJEVO, Dec. 12 - Bosnian Serbs were warned last week that the West could cut off vital aid to them if they give a major role in government to the winning Serb party in last month’s elections, according to a Dec. 12 Reuters’ report.  The Serb Democratic Party (SDS) won the largest number of seats in the assembly of the Serb Republic in the elections, and its deputy president, Mirko Sarovic, won the presidential vote.

Luke Zahner, spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which organized the general elections in Bosnia last month, said Bosnia's Serb Republic needed to appoint an apolitical government of experts if it wanted to survive a serious economic crisis.

He was clearly referring to the nationalist Serb Democratic Party (SDS) founded by Bosnian Serb wartime leader Dr. Radovan Karadzic, which has reportedly demanded a significant number of posts in the future government.

And what about the will of the people?  Never mind that.  Since when has that mattered in the western rendition of the “demo farce?”  So in comes the blackmail, just as the Austrians found out when they chose the “wrong” leader (Joerg Haider) last February (see “Haiderbash Is On, Democracy Is Off”). 

As if trying to confirm this impression, the U.S. officials called for a ban on the SDS before the vote, charging that it had not broken links with indicted war criminals like Karadzic. After the vote, the U.S. government said it would not give any financial assistance to a government that included the SDS.

U.S. Ambassador, Thomas Miller, on Tuesday (Dec. 12) reiterated his government's stance at a news conference in the Bosnian Serb de facto capital Banja Luka. "We have no interest in putting assistance into support of a government which includes the SDS," said Miller.

The SDS has a poor international reputation, the Reuters said, once having been called by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, a "criminal organization".

Now, isn’t that a pot calling a kettle black?

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4. Kosovo Heating Up Again: Albanians Fire at Americans, Russians; Two Serb Civilians Die, Third Is Wounded in Clash with BelgiansDec. 18, 2000

PRISTINA, LEPOSAVIC, Dec. 18 - The Kosovo “peace farce” is heating up again.  Two unrelated incidents this weekend, one in the southern, another in the northern part of this nominally Serbian province, have escalated tensions in the area close to a breaking point. 

In the southern Presevo Valley, a joint patrol of U.S. and Russian soldiers serving within KFOR came under fire from a group of Albanian gunmen inside the three-mile (five kilometer) wide buffer zone within Serbia.  In the northern Serb town of Leposavic, two Serb civilians died and a third was wounded in clashes with Belgian troops, seven of whom were taken hostage in retaliation by the angry crowd.  The captured KFOR soldiers were disarmed and then released.

Back in the southern Presevo Valley, the American and Russian troops returned fire and did not sustain any injuries.  NATO has sent 150 British infantry troops from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment to back up the U.S. and Russian in the area.

It is believed to be the first time since World War II that American and Russian soldiers, former Cold War foes, have fired jointly in anger at a common enemy, the Agence France Presse reported today (Dec. 18).

“Common enemy?”  The AFP must be joking.  As the TiM has reported recently, the U.S. troops were seen by eyewitnesses to be providing logistical support for the Albanian rebels operating in the Presevo Valley buffer zone.  So brazen has been KFOR’s collaboration with the local Albanians, that the recently elected Kosovo Albanian leader, Ibrahim Rugova, has said in an interview that, “NATO is already our (Albanian) private army” (see Item 2 of this TiM Bulletin).

The AFP might have come to the same conclusion if the French news agency had bothered to read what it had reported in the very same news story.  The AFP also said that, “the gun battle broke out when KFOR patrol was demolishing a road leading to the village of Muhovac, which is held by ethnic Albanian guerrillas, inside a buffer zone separating the NATO-led forces from the Yugoslav Army.”

Why would this KFOR patrol be demolishing a road leading to an Albanian village?  Logical explanation is to make it more difficult for the Yugoslav Army to reach it using mechanized transport, should the Serbs decide to flush out the Albanian insurgents from the buffer zone?  If so, then that’s yet another example of the KFOR collaboration with the Albanian terrorists - provided by the AFP newswire this time.

So why would these Albanians do such a thing like fire on their allies?  Well, one explanation is they may be stupid and a renegade group of rebels had acted on its own. 

But another scenario is that, now that NATO has helped Albanians cleanse Kosovo of some 300,000 Serbs, they don’t want KFOR there, either.  After all, Rugova, the Albanian leader, also said in that interview that, “in the future we will share responsibility and also develop an army of our own as a protective power.” 

So firing at the American and Russian troops may have been the Albanian way of saying “thank you and goodbye.”

Meanwhile, up at Leposavic (see the map), a DEM 50 ($23) traffic ticket the Belgian troops were reportedly trying to collect on Saturday (Dec. 16) from a Serb for not wearing a seat belt turned into an ugly confrontation. 

Two Serb civilians lost their lives, another was wounded, seven Belgians had been briefly taken hostage, three Belgian KFOR vehicles were burned, and a U.N. police station was destroyed, according to an AFP report.  The Serb whose arrest sparked the disturbance, Vladimir Tomovic, is expected to be charged with “reckless driving,” according to the U.N. spokeswoman Susan Manuel.

Six Belgian KFOR troops and a civilian employee were surrounded by about 200 Serb protesters who forced them from their vehicles, and held them for about three hours, Major Steven Shappell, chief spokesman for the KFOR force said.

The Belgians were disarmed by the crowd, and were released after negotiations between local Serb leaders and the commander of the Belgian peacekeeping battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Rik Koumans, Shappell said.

Two Serb civilians suffered gunshot wounds (one to his back).  One of the injured, Bojan Jokovic (20), later died at the hospital.  The other, Mladen Obradovic (19), is seriously wounded.  The third victim, Trifun Milenkovic (42), died of an apparent heart attack during the mle.

The United Nations has pulled its civilian police - both international staff and Serb officers - out of the town of Leposavic, thus virually abandoning control of that part of Kosovo.

Belgian Defence Minister, Andre Flahout, called a crisis meeting of senior commanders in Brussels following the incident, the AFP reported on Dec. 18.  The Belgian military is extremely sensitive over the safety of its troops, the AFP said, after 10 of its peacekeepers were captured, tortured and killed in April 1994 during a United Nations mission to Rwanda.

But what the AFP did not say is that unprotected civilians have good reasons to fear any time Belgian and other U.N. “peacekeeping” troops give them “protection.”  Here’s an excerpt from the TiM Bulletin “Put the UN Justice on Trial,” published in August 1998:

“Two Belgian paratroopers serving within the U.N. forces in Somalia in 1993, were photographed roasting a Somali boy over a flaming brazier. They were sentenced to only a month in jail, and fined 200 (about $333) after admitting the atrocity in a military court in Brussels on June 23, 1997, according to a June 24, 1997 report by the London Telegraph. A third Belgian soldier accused of atrocities during the United Nations "Restore Hope" mission five years ago was said to have forced a young Somali to eat pork, drink salt water, and then eat his vomit. A fourth member of the 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment, based at Tielen in Flanders, was photographed urinating on a Somali whom he had allegedly murdered.

Belgium was the third country involved in the U.N. "Restore Hope" mission whose soldiers were charged with serious misdemeanors against the Somali civilians, including rape, torture and murder. In 1995, a group of Canadian paratroopers were investigated for torturing a Somali to death and killing three others. The charges of disobedience, racism, and the rituals for new members of the unit led to the Canadian Airborne Regiment being disbanded in 1996.

And in early June 1997, gruesome photographs of Italian soldiers torturing a Somali youth, and abusing and raping a young Somali girl, were published in a Milan magazine. As a result, the U.N. "Restore Hope" mission will be best remembered by its "Destroy Hope" messages.

Yet despite their confessions and/or indisputable evidence, none of these western U.N. soldiers were ever charged under the War Crimes Tribunal's jurisdiction. Why not? Especially considering that the Hague Tribunal has been also given the duty of prosecuting atrocities committed by the Rwandans in that African country's civil war.

So what is good for the (Serb) goose is obviously not good for the (U.N.) gander? Or as Solon (a Greek philosopher - c.630-c.555 BC) noted some 27 centuries ago: "Laws are like spider webs. If some poor weak creature comes up against them - it is caught. But the bigger one can break through and get away."

Well, the two dead Serb civilians should probably consider themselves lucky by comparison to that Somali boy.  At least they died without being roasted first.  

The worst part of it is, however, that the various western soldiers who have committed heinous crimes against innocent civilians while serving as U.N. “peacekeepers,” got off with only a slap on the wrist by their governments.  Way to show the world examples of the western “civilization” at work.

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5. Kostunica-Djindjic About to Commit “Mother of All Betrayals?”Dec. 18, 2000

A $100+ Billion of Former Yugoslavia Assets to Be Given Up

BRUSSELS, Dec. 18 - A fairly routine-sounding Dec. 18 Reuters news report put in perspective the staggering price on the succession rights that the new Yugoslav president, Vojislav Kostunica, has reportedly indicated is willing to give up.  The former Yugoslav assets are estimated at $220 billion by Belgrade, and at $100 billion by the other republics that had seceded from it. 

Either way, these are staggering amounts for a tiny country like Serbia, economically and physically devastated by eight years of U.N. sanctions, and the NATO bombing.

Never mind that internationally recognized legal scholars, such as Dr. Milan Tepavac, for example, have argued that the parts of the former Yugoslavia that have seceded from it, all by force except for Macedonia, aren’t entitled to any succession rights anyway (see http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins2000/tim2000-11-2.html). 

That’s like someone running away from a marriage, leaving the spouse in a lurch, or even shooting at him/her and their children, and then coming back years later to claim its share of remaining joint assets.  All under the protection of NATO and other international goons, of course.

The “so-called succession talks being held in Brussels are also an imperative for Belgrade to rejoin the International Monetary Fund,” the Reuters said.  In other words, it’s international blackmail before the so-called “outer sanctions” are lifted, just as we said would happen in our series of pre-Yugoslav election TiM Bulletins and columns (just run a search at our web site using “outer sanction” as keywords).

A TiM reader who has sent us this Reuters report, but who wishes to remain anonymous, had this to say about it:

“Kostunica-Djindjic have already abandoned claims to SFRY (acronym for the former Yugoslavia) - gold, cash, and foreign bank holdings.  Now, they have agreed in principle to giving away the SFRY fixed assets.  In doing so, Kostunica-Djindjic are merely fulfilling one of their campaign pledges publicized in the DOS party platform.

In agreeing to the Holbrooke-Albright formula regarding SFRY assets, Kostunica-Djindjic are giving away roughly $100 billion (that's "B" for billion) of their people's assets.  This works about to be more than $10,000 per man, woman, and child living in Serbia (TiM Ed.: where average wage is about $70 per month - see http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins2000/tim2000-10-7.html).

In exchange for giving up $100 billion of SFRY assets, Kostunica-Djindjic have received pledges of some $425 million ( that "M" for million) worth of (very expensive) loans. As they would say in New York, a “sweetheart of a deal.” 

By way of comparison, last year, Peking gave Belgrade $300 million to buy oil and nearly $100 million of loans to buy other equipment  for a total of $400 million.

I sincerely would like to understand why giving up $100 Billion worth of SFRY assets is a good thing. Would any Kostunica-Djindjic supporters care to explain the benefits of their action?”

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TiM Ed.: That’s easy to explain.  The benefits will accrue to those who put Kostunica-Djindjic/DOS into power, namely Washington and Wall Street bankers.  Liabilities will go to those who cheered Kostunica-Djindjic/DOS on their way - the Serb taxpayers.

But perhaps the greatest example of the new regime's betrayal of the Serb national interests is that one hears not a peep from any of the Belgrade leaders about reparations for damages caused by the NATO bombing last year, which is estimated to be in excess of $30 billion.  Not including, of course, the 2,000 or so human casualties.

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6. Serbia Sinks into Darkness Following DOS’s Electoral VictoryDec. 26, 2000

BELGRADE, Dec. 26 - Serbia sank into darkness (literally) Tuesday following Saturday’s (Dec. 23) electoral victory by DOS (Democratic Opposition of Serbia - now a misnomer, since this erstwhile opposition has become the “position” in both federal and Serbian parliaments).

“We had electricity all day Saturday (the election day), but the power outages started on Sunday, then worsened in the last two days,” one Serb resident told TiM today.  Meanwhile, the temperatures had sunk to as low as -10C (14F).  More cold weather is forecast for this weekend.

This resident said they had their power turned on and off every eight hours.  But the BBC World News reported today that most households in Serbia have had only six hours of electricity a day.  In addition to the power cuts, many other heating plants reduced production due to insufficient gas deliveries from Russia, the BBC said.

Which seems to be a vicious circle.  Shortages of Russian gas fail to ignite electrical plants, while even households with gas heating are unable to use it during blackouts since most heat pumps are powered by electricity.

Authorities in Cacak in central Serbia, for example, whose mayor was a prominent figure in the storming of the Yugoslav parliament on Oct. 5, introduced a state of emergency after a major relay station broke down, leaving about 80,000 people in darkness for more than 24 hours.

Protestors also blocked a road in the southern city of Nis to complain about the blackouts, amid warnings that some kindergartens will be forced to close. Shops and cafes throughout Serbia have been told to shut early.

“It’s really awful and spooky to be walking through the dark streets at night,” complained one Serb resident.  “Even during NATO’s bombing we had no such problems” (to which this writer can attest from personal experience in April 1999).

But the subsequent NATO strikes, carried out in late May against Serbia’s power grid, are one of the major reasons for the hardships the Serbian people are suffering today, despite having voted in a pro-western government.

Another is international sanctions.  Serbia's power grid is also poorly maintained due to financial hardships caused by the sanctions.  Serb officials admit that only about a third of the necessary maintenance was conducted on the network this year.

Serbia’s power company had received warnings from Bosnia, Romania and Greece to stop skimming electricity from their grids, and reduce the amount of water being taken for hydro-electric power, the BBC reported.  Recent cold weather, plus low water levels in rivers caused by summer droughts have also created problems for hydro-electric stations.

"Although the cuts are drastic, they make sense and are the only way to stabilise the system," Dragan Batalo, an EPS official, told the BBC (see “Serbs face blackout misery”).

Three-hour power cuts were also introduced in neighboring Montenegro on Monday following supply problems in Albania, Greece, and Macedonia.

And what of the promised aid by the “international community,” not to mention war reparations that Serbia should be entitled to?  Looks like they are AWOL.  At least for the time being.  Interesting how quickly the masks have fallen.

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7. DOS Claims Landslide Victory in Serbian Parliamentary ElectionsDec. 26, 2000

BELGRADE, Dec. 26 - With 93% of the votes counted, the DOS coalition has claimed a landslide victory in the Dec. 23 Serbian parliamentary elections.  Here are the latest results, according to a report by Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS):

Serbian Radical Party (Seselj)                                299,155 votes               8.43%

Serbian Renewal Movement (Draskovic)               132,432                         3.73%

Socialist Party of Serbia (Milosevic)                       473,481                      13.35%

DOS (Kostunica, Djindjic…)                              2,285,600                      64.44%

Serbian Unity Party (Arkan)                                   189,611                        5.35%

DSP (Vucelic, Socialist splinter party)                      28,700                        0.81%

JUL (Mira Markovic)                                              13,836                        0.39%

SDSS (Ilic, Socialist splinter party)                           27,632                        0.78%

Based on the 5% legal threshold for a party to be awarded seats in the parliament, the following will be the number of seats allocated to the four leading parties:

Serbian Radical Party (Seselj)                                            23 seats

Socialist Party of Serbia (Milosevic)                                   36

DOS (Kostunica, Djindjic…)                                           177

Serbian Unity Party (Arkan)                                               14

If DOS does win 177 seats as it stands now, then the following will be the allocation of seats to the individual parties that had entered into the DOS coalition:

DSS (Kostunica)                                                              46 seats

DS (Djindjic)                                                                    45

Civil Alliance (Svilanovic)                                                    9

Social Democracy                                                               9

New Democracy                                                                 9

New Serbia                                                                         8

Demo-Christian Party                                                           7

Democratic Alternative                                                         6

Union of Vojvodina Hungarians                                            6

Social-democratic League                                                    6

Movement for Democratic Serbia                                         5

Democratic Center                                                               4

Social-democratic Union                                                      4

Coalition Vojvodina                                                             4

Vojvodina Reformists                                                           4

Sandzak Democratic Party                                                   2

Serbian Otpor from Kosovo                                                 1

Sumadija League                                                                  1

Association of Independent Unions                                       1

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As we have previously reported, the voter turnout has dropped off considerably since the Sept. 24 federal elections, when 75% of eligible voters cast their votes.  According to the latest results, 3,547,123 people voted on Dec. 23, or 59.43% of the total eligible to vote.  However, when the tallies from some polling stations in Kosovo are added, where the turnout was very low, the total Dec. 23 voter turnout percentage drops to 58.5%.

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8. Outraged Serbs Protest Power OutagesDec. 28, 2000

BELGRADE, Dec. 28 - Only four days after voting the pro-western DOS coalition into power in Serbia’s Dec. 23 parliamentary elections, outraged citizens staged a series of spontaneous protests against power outages which hit them like a ton of bricks in the dead of winter. 

“With traffic lights failing, frozen foods thawing in grocery stores and people struggling to keep warm, Yugoslavia's worst-ever energy crisis is prompting many people to question whether the new democratic leadership can't at least keep the lights on,” the Associated Press reported in a Dec. 27 dispatch from Belgrade.

At a clinic for paraplegics on Mount Gucevo in western Serbia, nurses piled up blankets trying to keep their 70 patients warm, the independent Beta news agency reported. Only one of four water boilers was working, chief nurse Vida Ivanovic said.

By evening (Dec. 27), dozens of angry Belgrade residents overturned garbage containers across tram lines, blocking a main road opposite the well-lit Hyatt hotel. The crowd then stood in silent protest.

"I knew that we couldn't expect a fast improvement after Oct. 5," Milovan Radisic, 57, a retired factory worker, told the AP. "But I didn't expect things would get worse."

The long power cuts have affected virtually everyone in the country, the AP said.  Traffic lights weren’t working.  Long lines formed in front of supermarkets and department stores in the capital as harried cashiers were scrambling to tally customers' bills by hand, with only the dim light of candles. A crowd in the southern city of Nis burned tires in protest.  

"You wanted 'democracy,' now you got it," Dragoljub Matic, a self-described Milosevic supporter, grumbled as he waited at a crowded bus stop, according to the AP.

But Serbia's deputy prime minister, Nebojsa Covic, tried to cast blame on the Milosevic's regime, which wielded power for 13 years.  Covic told Belgrade radio and TV stations that the Milosevic government had failed to maintain the power grid and keep up repairs on power stations.

Far be it from anyone shielding Milosevic and his cronies from the blame for ruining the Serbian economy, but to put all, or even most, of the blame for the power outages on the old regime is just cheap politicking by the Serb lackeys who have now been installed in Belgrade as western puppets. 

Despite seven years of genocidal international sanctions and a crumbling economy, the Serbs had ample electrical power until such time that the NATO war criminals bombed the country’s power grid in May 1999.  That is a crucial detail that the western quislings, like Covic and others in the ruling DOS coalition, are neglecting to stress (see NATO Knocks Out Electricity in Serbia,” May 3, 1999, for example, also reproduced below as the next item of this TiM Bulletin). 

But many angry Serbs want solutions, not more scapegoats. "I've heard enough of that... Milosevic also used to blame others for everything," said Tamara Blazic, fuming because a blackout left her stranded in an elevator for three hours. "It's time somebody takes responsibility."

Exactly.  So may we remind Covic, Vojislav Kostunica, Zoran Djindjic and other kow-towing DOS Serb leaders of the boastful comment made on May 4, 1999 by the NATO spokesman, Jamie Shea, at a news conference in Brussels: "We can turn the power off (to Serbia) whenever we need to, and whenever we want to" (see http://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/War/day43.html).

So why not ask Mr. Shea and his bosses to turn the power back on now that Serbia is a “democratic” country?

Evidently, it didn't take long for the Serbs to wake up and get angry at the (DOS) devil they chose and cheered - not so long ago.  But a TiM reader from Novi Sad, Serbia, also warned Wednesday that not all Serbs are to blame, though all Serb are now suffering.  "As for the elections, I hope that Djindjic and his revolutionaries realize that 4.5 million people did not vote for them, either by voting against or by abstaining," this Serb said.

Andre Huzsvai, a TiM reader from Massachusetts, sent us the following letter he received on Dec. 27 from a friend in Serbia:

"We did not have the electricity yesterday the whole day here, so we did not work. Yesterday, majority of people in our country had the electricity for three hours only, then they were cut off for 9 hours, then again they had the electricity for three hours and were cut off again.

You get the picture? Everybody is nervous, angry, furious.

My friends are telling me: why are you so impatient? Things cannot go for the better immediately. You have to be patient. You have been patient for the last ten years, and now suddenly you do not have patience any more.

I do not have patience any more. Enough is enough. I have had enough of this country and, I lost my patience long ago.

OK. I do not want to sound so negative. But I believe you can understand me, because you know the situation here pretty well."

To which Mr. Huzsvai adds that his friend “was/is anti-Milosevic. Covic is full of BS.”

Yet there are some foreigners in Serbia who are standing up for the “Covic’s” in the new DOS government.  We received today the following comment from Charles Alverson, an American now living in Serbia, whose contributions to the TiM Bulletins may be found in some of our past editions:

“So, what do you want, Bob?  Milosevic back?  You are not helping with this bullshit TiM is handing out.

DOS never promised miracles.  Do you know anyone who could do better? I hate these bloody outages, too, but they're the price we have to pay for ten years of sanctions, 78 days of bombing and a whole lot of looting of the country.

Why don't you concentrate on getting a flag or a gun in every hand and mandatory hourly prayers?”

To which we replied:

“Charles, this was an "AP bullshit" - as you can see, not TiM's.  But you'd better believe it, more of it will be coming from TiM, too.  Mostly about the ostriches whose rear ends are now freezing as they are being plucked, too. 

Another name for what you think is "bullshit" is the TRUTH.  Which happens to be what the T in TiM stands for.  What do you want?  Censorship of the truth?

My heart goes out to those 4.5 million Serbs who did NOT support DOS.  Because they are now also having to pay for the stupidity and gullibility of their fellow-citizens.

As for the rest, they've made their beds, now they have to sleep in them.  Judging by the venom in your response, guess that would have counted you, too, had you been able to vote?

I'll disregard a clearly malicious last paragraph of your comment, and will try to answer your question about I would have done if anyone had asked me.  If I were the pre-election Kostunica, and if I were being wooed by the West to help them unseat Milosevic.  So stand by for that.” 

And now, here it is.  Picture a scene at the downtown Budapest Marriott hotel, circa October 1999 (see “How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency,” Dec 26, 2000).  Western pollsters and politicos have just finished presenting their charts and analyses to an assembly of about 20 Serb opposition leaders before concluding that the only Serb politician who has a chance of unseating Milosevic is Vojislav Kostunica.

“So how about it, Vojo?  Will you accept the nomination?”, Kostunica is being asked by the European Union representatives and the other Serb opposition leaders.

Now picture yours truly in the role of Kostunica, answering this question.

"Okay, you working girls at Washington's Euro-bordello.  Listen up, and listen carefully.

A year ago, you tried to bomb me and my people into the stone age.  A military alliance of 19 nations and 780 million people; with over half of the world's gross economic product, possessing two-thirds of the global military power, ganged up on a tiny nation of 10 million.  For 79 days, NATO terrorized the people of Serbia, dropping 23,000 bombs and missiles on us in 36,000 sorties.

Your savage attacks killed 576 Serb soldiers and more than 2,000 Serb civilians, 79 of them children.  Your bombs have deliberately destroyed our most valuable industrial assets that had nothing to do with our conduct of war.  You have attacked our bridges, factories, hospitals, schools, churches...  You have tried to destroy our entire civilian power grid.  In other words, you tried to deny 10 million people the right to live.

Yet the citizens and the army of Serbia remained unbowed and unkowed.  Despite your pompous 'superiority,' you - NATO - would have lost the war were it not for Milosevic's and Yeltsin’s week-kneed betrayal of Kosovo. 

Now you come to me and want me to help you unseat the man whom you weren't men enough to remove from power with all your supposed military might.  Now you want me to help you save face, to protect you and your Washington bosses from being prosecuted for war crimes against civilians.

I have to tell you… it is against every fiber in my body even to be sitting in the same room and talking to the likes of yourselves.  (Then turning to the Serb politicians, and looking Vuk Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic straight in the eyes…) Or to cavort with some of your disgraceful vassals among my fellow-Serb politicians.

But I came here prepared to swallow my pride, and suspend my better judgment for the sake of my people’s salvation - IF and only IF you agree to the following six conditions:

1. You will stay out of the Yugoslav elections as far as the public in Serbia is concerned, and will refrain from making any public comments about it regardless of the harshness of my public statements during the campaign against NATO or the West.  The only public comments you are free to make is to criticize me for saying things like that, but that you will accept the election outcome as the will of the people.

2. Should I be so fortunate to win, immediately upon my swearing in as president, you will lift all sanctions, including the outer sanctions, and will restore Yugoslavia’s membership in all international organizations from which our country was either ejected or suspended.

3. You will publicly apologize to all innocent Serb civilians whom you terrorized for 79 days while pretending to be punishing one man - Slobodan Milosevic, and to the families of all victims of the NATO bombing.

4. You will pay as war reparations, not as loans or “investments,” for the reconstruction of all facilities destroyed or damaged during NATO’s bombing, the amount of which is currently estimated at about $30 billion. 

In addition,you will also pay damages to families of the bombing victims in accordance with the formula established as your compensation to the victims of NATO’s bombing of the Chinese embassy on May 7, 1999 ($4.5 million for the three people killed and 27 injured - see http://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/Peace/ps26.html), the amount of which is currently estimated at about $2 billion.

5. You will publicly reiterate your commitment to maintaining the territorial integrity of Kosovo as a part of Serbia, and will work with my future government on creating a political solution which would facilitate an expedient and safe return to Kosovo of the Serb and other residents expelled during NATO’s occupation of this Serbian province since June 1999. 

6. You will agree to do the same with respect to enabling other Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia to return to, and live safely in, their homesteads or other safe areas, as provided by the Dayton agreement, but never actually fully implemented.

IF you agree to these six conditions, I promise to deliver to you Milosevic’s political scalp, but not his body.  Only Serb people, his greatest victims, can sit in judgment of Milosevic’s crimes, not your kangaroo court at the Hague.

I furthermore pledge to you that if I am elected president, my country will never engage in any wars of aggression against any of its neighbors, and will fully respect the rights of all minorities living within its boundaries as equal citizens, including granting a reasonable amount of autonomy for minorities to run their local governments.

That is my answer to your question about whether or not I would accept the nomination to lead the Serb democratic opposition parties in the next election.  Now, what is your answer to my conditions?”

Of course, had Kostunica ever replied to the West’s offer as such, chances are he would never have become the opposition coalition candidate, much less president.  But he would have continued to be the man he once was, instead of the puppet he now is. 

That’s a somber thought Kostunica and his fellow countrymen can contemplate as they await the arrival of the third Millennium under flickering candle lights, while the rest of Europe toasts them as the new “champions of democracy.”  Maybe the freezing Serbs should reply to such “friends” and “leaders” with:

“DOS(ta)!”  (Enough already!)

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REPRINTED from the Special Wartime TiM Bulletin S99-63, Day 41, May 3, 1999

9. NATO Knocks Out Electricity in Serbia

BELGRADE, May 3, 1999 - One day after Belgrade released the three American POWs, Washington and Brussels said "thank you" by bombing much of Serbia practically into stone age. NATO air strikes hit Kostolac and Obrenovac gigantic electric power plants on the 40th day of bombing, leaving Belgrade, Vojvodina and much of Serbia without power.

Last night's bombing has caused a complete breakdown in power supply to about 65% of Serbia, 80% of Republika Srpska in the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, TiM sources estimate. Some parts of Croatia and Macedonia, who also receive power from Obrenovac.

"Civilians are left without water supply, bakeries don't work, hospitals cannot treat patients etc.," a TiM correspondent from Belgrade reports. Which means that the TV and Internet services have now also been cut off. Except for those using laptops, whose batteries are also going to run out in a few hours.

"Whose capacity to fight were they (NATO) trying to disable - of pensioners, kids, bakers, kidney patients?" our outraged correspondent asks, adding that, "THIS IS CLEARLY A WAR CRIME! Atilla the Hun and Hitler had far more sensitivity for human suffering than (Bill) Clinton, (Gen. Wesley) Clark and their bunch."

Other TiM sources in Serbia also report severe hardships in coping with a life without electrical power at the end of the 20th century, which has made so many people dependent on electricity. But NATO's savagery is also bringing the best in the people of Serbia, as families and strangers bond together in a quest for survival.

One family in Vojvodina, for example, has cooked its main meal today using an old propane camping stove. Others are bringing out of their sheds, garages or barns the long-forgotten wood burning stoves. And families who have either gas or wood burning stoves are sharing them with those who don't.

Fortunately, with temperatures in the low 80s (Fahrenheit; 28 Celsius), God has once again intervened on behalf of the Serbs enabling them also to use outdoor barbecues in lieu of kitchen stoves.

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TiM Ed.: Also see some contemporaneous photos of “graphite bombs” used in May 1999 to knock out the electricity in Serbia - http://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/War/PhotoAlbum/photos-war-5.html, and other civilian targets - http://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/War/PhotoAlbum/photos-war-index.html).

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Also check out… Kostunica Snubs Albright; Serbia Is in Love, Again..., Kostunica Likens Himself to Lenin, “Fifth Column,” Not Street “Revolutionaries,” Toppled Milosevic, Serb "Ostrich Revolution" Was Anything But Spontaneous,  Russia in Cahoots with New Word Order,  Washington Funds Serb Opposition Efforts,  Serbia: Toward Another "Red October" and American vs. Serbian "Demo Farce"

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