Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/2-2

Feb. 3, 2000

TiM Editor's Letter Published by the Wall Street Journal

Kosovo: A New Internet "Country?"

London Sunday Times' Credibility Implodes on Its Vacuum Bomb Story; Dublin Anti-NATO Graffiti

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN/RUSSIAN AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

New York                    1. TiM Editor’s Letter re. Putin Published by

                                         The Wall Street Journal

Moscow                        2. Russia Swaps American Spy for Its POWs  

Pristina                         3. Kosovo: A New Internet “Country?”

Mitrovica                     4. Two Elderly Serbs Killed As KFOR Bus Ambushed by 

                                          Kosovo Albanians

London                         5. London Times’ Credibility Implodes on Vacuum

                                          Bomb Story (by Venik)

 Dublin                          6. Graffiti: “To Hell With NATO!” 

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1. TiM Editor’s Letter re. Putin Published by The Wall Street Journal

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 – Excerpts from the TiM editor’s Jan. 25 letter regarding Russia’s acting president’s Christian beliefs was published today by the Wall Street Journal under the headline, “Vladimir Putin, Good Christian.”  You can check it out at our Web site by clicking on the hyperlinked headline.

2. Russia Swaps American Spy for Its POWs

MOSCOW, Feb. 3 -  Russia said Thursday (Feb. 3) that it had released Andrei Babitsky, a reporter for U.S. State Department-funded Radio Liberty, to Chechen rebels in an exchange for three of its captured soldiers. 

"At 3:05 p.m. (7:05 a.m. EST), at one of the crossroads between Argun and Shali, Babitsky was exchanged for three (Russian) soldiers held by the bandits," the Kremlin's official spokesman on Chechnya, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, told a news conference. "This is an unexpected development," he said.

Yastrzhembsky read out a faxed statement from Babitsky in which the reporter said he had agreed to the exchange deal in order to secure the release of the three Russian servicemen in Chechen captivity. He also read out a faxed statement from Chechen field commander Said Usykhodzhiyev proposing the exchange and praising Babitsky as a "friend" of the Chechen rebel cause.

"Our friend, the journalist Babitsky, has stood side by side with us, defending the interests of the Chechen people," said the statement, which Yastrzhembsky allowed reporters to read after the news conference.

Radio Liberty said the move was an unprecedented set-up to discredit its reporter. Babitsky, whose reports from rebel-held Chechen territory have infuriated Russian officials, had been held by Russian forces in Chechnya since last week. Radio Liberty and its sister station Radio Free Europe were set up during the Cold War by the U.S. government to broadcast news into Russia and its Eastern European satellite states. 

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TiM Ed.: Tisk, tisk... So one of the Washington spies wearing a journalist uniform has been spared the customary (death) sentence which spies world over deserve, though rarely get.  Bosnia, for example, was awash with such "journalists" during that country's civil war (1992-1995). Instead, Babitsky's life was spared so that three Russian soldiers may also live.  Halleluiah! Right?

Not so, according to Washington's reaction to this humanitarian move by Moscow.  "The U.S. officials have said they would raise the Babitsky case with Russian diplomats," according to a Feb. 3 Reuters news wire story. 

In other words, the U.S. government would rather have its spies dead than so PUBLICLY exchanged for Russian prisoners?  So that PROOF of Washington's support of the Chechen terrorists may remain a secret?  Now the world can see why some who know the U.S. Secretary of Hate have nicknamed her Madam Halfbright.

Speaking of which... before the U.S. Secretary of Hate visited Moscow this week, she had referred to the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, as "her friend." "Ivanov is now dead meat (politically)," this writer commented in a subsequent conversation with a TiM reader in Moscow.

TiM reader laughed and replied. "You should see a picture in today's Moscow Times of Albright kissing Ivanov."

"It's a kiss of death," this writer replied.  "And none too soon, considering how Ivanov stood by (Boris) Yeltsin's Serb backstabber, Viktor Chernomyrdin, when he delivered its stab in the back of Serbia last June.

3. Kosovo: A New Internet “Country?”

PRISTINA, Feb. 2 - Ever heard of a “country” called Kosovo?  We haven’t.  For, Kosovo is Serbia.  Always has been, always will be, notwithstanding its temporary occupation by foreign troops and Albanian terrorists.

Well, the New York Times has reported (Feb. 2) that Kosovo is soon to get its own Internet e-mail code - .ko, as distinct from the rest of Serbia, whose e-mail addresses end with .yu.  Paul Meyer, of the International Rescue Committee, an American charity, has told the Times that the Pristina University will soon apply for a separate Internet domain for Kosovo, as another statement of Kosovo’s supposed sovereignty.

Text Box:  For those who are new to Internet nomenclatures, various countries have been assigned unique e-mail endings, kind of like country codes the telephone systems use.  So the British e-mail IDs end with .uk; French with .fr, Australian with .au; German with .de, Russian with .ru, etc.

Meanwhile, Covert Action Quarterly (CAQ) has published an interesting photo in its Fall/Winter 1999 edition taken during Gen. Wesley Clark’s visit to Kosovo in September 1999.  Five men joining hands were all smiles at the time the “ethnic cleansing” of the Kosovo Serbs was in full swing.  The magazine’s caption underneath the photo aptly reads: “Kosovo ‘Peacekeepers,’ Four War Criminals and Nobel Prize Winner.” 

The four war criminals, according to the CAQ are Kosovo Albanian Hashim Thaci (first from left, also see “Who Is Thaci?”), British General Michael Jackson (center), Kosovo Albanian General Agis Ceku (second from right), and Gen. Clark (first from right).  The reference to the Nobel Prize winner is because Bernard Kushner (second from left), a French Jew whom NATO has appointed as the civilian administrator of Kosovo, is a co-founder of the infamous French-based organization “Medecins sans frontieres” (Doctors without borders), which was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize.  Yet the TiM reader had a chance to see how politicized and un-humanitarian these French “doctors” have been (see 4. Greek Doctors Expelled from "Medecins Sans Frontieres" Over Help for Serbia, S99-155, KFOR "Peacefarce" 49, Oct. 30), and “They Are Not Doctors!” - TiM GW Bulletin 2000/1-4 Jan. 13, 2000).

4. Two Elderly Serbs Killed As KFOR Bus Ambushed by Kosovo Albanians

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Feb. 2 - A rocket attack on a bus filled with Serbian civilians killed two elderly villagers and wounded three more people on Feb. 2, just yards from their armed NATO escort, according to a  New York Times report from Pristina.

The Serbs were using a weekly bus service organized by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees to their village in northern Kosovo and were ambushed, NATO "peacekeepers" said. An elderly man and woman were killed instantly in the Wednesday ambush. 

French troops took two others to a hospital at the French base in Kosovska Mitrovica. A man in his 30's, with a severed leg and hand, was being operated on in the hospital later in the evening, said Lt. Col. Patrick Chanliau, a spokesman for the French troops. 

An 80-year-old woman was also treated for a wound to her hand. And a third woman was treated at the scene and taken home. The remaining passengers, who numbered more than 40, were safely escorted to their isolated village of Banja, about 18 miles from Kosovska Mitrovica. The driver, a Dutch worker, escaped unharmed. 

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TiM Ed.: And so, NATO's Kosovo "peace farce" continues into the year 2000.

5. London Times’ Credibility Implodes on Vacuum Bomb Story (by Venik)

LONDON, Jan. 30 - The London Sunday Times published a bombastic story on Jan. 20, “Bomb video took fight out of Milosevic.”  Filed by Tom Walker from Banja Luka, Bosnian Serb Republic, the article said that, America sent Yugoslav army generals a video showing the devastating effect of one of its most potent weapons - the vacuum, or fuel-air, bomb - shortly before Slobodan Milosevic gave in to western demands over Kosovo last summer, diplomatic sources have revealed.  And that, “analysts believe the video, probably the product of one of America's shadowy ‘psychological operations’ units, may have contributed to bringing the war to an end,” according to the Sunday Times.

Well, one of our readers and occasional contributor to TiM on subjects dealing with military matters has taken issue with the Sunday Times story.  Here’s a comment submitted to TiM by “Venik,” a pseudonym which our old-time readers may recognize from our wartime reports on NATO’s bombing of Serbia (see S99-48, Day 29, Update 1, Item 5, Apr. 21, for example, or S99-139, KFOR "Peacefarce" 33, Item 2, Aug. 24 ).

Click on the title to read the original Sunday Times article: “Bomb video took fight out of Milosevic” .

“Fuel-air bombs (a.k.a aerosol bombs, vacuum bombs, volume-detonation bombs) were first developed in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Other countries also experimented with this weapon, but the Germans were the first to come up with a design that could be actually used in combat.

Such bombs existed for decades and are a part of the arsenal of many countries, including Yugoslavia. For the first time vacuum bombs were used on a large scale in combat by the Soviet Air Force in Afghanistan to destroy mountainous hideouts of Islamic fighters. (There is ample evidence that vacuum bombs were used by the USAF in Vietnam, but Americans vehemently deny this, and right now, I don't feel like arguing.)

These bombs proved to be very effective. During the Operation Desert Storm fuel-air shells were used by American artillery and the USAF used fuel-air bombs. Vacuum bombs were also used by the Russian Air Force during the 1994-1996 Chechen war and, I believe, are being used now, although Russian AF officials deny that.  Arguing with Russian generals is just as hopeless as arguing with American generals, although not as entertaining.

Fuel-air bombs are relatively inexpensive, although I would say they are simple to construct. The main consideration is the quality of explosive aerosol and methods of its delivery. In 1994, the US tested a new, more powerful version of fuel-air bomb, as the article above mentions. However, this was not related in any way to the situation in the Balkans. Simply, earlier in 1994 Russia tested a new powerful fuel-air bomb and Americans felt they had to react. Later in 1995 Russians presented ODAB-500PM fuel-air bomb (a medium-class bomb) at the Paris armaments show.

Fuel-air bombs are effective against area targets or hard-to-reach targets, such as caves, reinforced buildings. However, such weapons would have been quite useless against Yugoslav Army dispersed rather thinly in Kosovo and the rest of Serbia. American pilots had trouble identifying individual military targets in the field, and there were really no military area targets to bomb that weren't already attacked with cluster bombs and cruise missiles.

Fuel-air bombs could have been used against civilian targets of course, especially considering that the USAF, lacking in most other departments, seemed to be particularly proficient in attacking power stations, schools and hospitals. On the other hand, there is simply no need to use fuel-air bombs against unprotected civilian targets, when the job can be done just as well by cluster bombs used by the USAF.

Was Milosevic scared by the video of a fuel-air bomb detonation? I don't think so. As Russians say, it's like trying to scare a hedgehog with your bare bottom. In fact, his chances in the war would have been considerably boosted on the propaganda front, if Americans did use the vacuum bomb. The only thing this bomb could have destroyed was the waning consensus within NATO.

Everybody is trying to answer one important question: why did Milosevic agree to a deal with NATO? Western media is desperate to find an answer. Naturally, American and British journalists are hoping to find the explanation in the overrated might of their armies. It's an ego problem common among underworked and overpaid journalists.

It seems to me that during the entire operation Allied Force, the Yugoslav army remained ready to meet NATO ground troops in Kosovo or elsewhere. If that had happened, American military experts estimated that NATO's losses would have been at 150,000+ troops before Yugoslavia would have surrendered. And that's if Yugoslavia decided to surrender. That's also if Russia maintained it's official non-involvement policy, which I find highly unlikely.

Eventually, it became clear that, except for the British, no NATO member even wanted to talk about a ground war in Kosovo. The option of a ground war was essentially off the table in late May and early June. Yugoslav Army did not have a chance of meeting the enemy on the ground. Once Milosevic realized that there will be no big showdown in Kosovo, he did the only logical thing and signed the peace deal.”

Venik

(“Venik” is a pseudonym for an occasional contributor to TiM on military matters whose real identity is known to TiM. You can visit Veniks Web page at: http://venik.way.to ).

6. Graffiti: “To Hell With NATO!”

Text Box:  DUBLIN, Jan. 31 - A TiM reader Ireland, has sent us this photo of a graffiti painted on a wall in South George Street in Ireland.  The headline under a soccer poster reads: “To Hell with NATO!” The rest of the sign says:

“You may speak for Sheady, but not for Irish soccer!”

The TiM reader adds that Sheady is “a rich architect who killed a woman while driving drunk, and was released from jail very quickly - because his father knows the (Irish) prime minister, Berne Ahearn.”

The graffiti was originally painted last spring, when the Yugoslav soccer team was not allowed to play Ireland at the height of NATO’s bombing of Serbia.  This is one of many such signs which the Irish people, who disagreed with their government, had apparently painted in Dublin’s city center.  Since that time, however, Ireland has joined NATO. 

Also, check out our latest TiM Bulletin on Global Investment Trends: "A Cleaner, Neater World? Hardly. Deadlier, for Sure..."

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Also, check out... Deafening Silence: Sign of Fear That End Is Near? Who Is the Real Putin?, Reverse Fascism, Racism of NWO Media, How Gen. Clark Misled the World, Who Is the Real Putin?, Buchanan on the Stump, Death of the City, Cavorting with the Enemy (Albright), Toward a new Multipolar World in the New Millennium, Albright's State, Soros' Estate, NWO "Liberals" Cancel Christmas, Stitching Together the New World Order Flag, Chinese Embassy; Slovakia; bin Laden and Bosnia, Criminals Return to Scene of Their Crimes, "Buchanan Jumps GOP Ship," "Services-based Economy Means Cheaper Labor,"  Truth in Media Statement on the Kosovo War, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up""Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street""Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan""What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Serb WW II General Exhonerated by British Archives," "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques", "Kocevje: Tito's Greatest Crime?", "Perfidious Albion Strikes Again, Aided by Uncle Sam", "Lift the Sanctions, Now!" (1993)

Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN magazine columns: "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "A New Iron Curtain Over Europe"