Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/6-7

June 17, 2000

Another Clandestine Western Role in Montenegro Alleged

The Botched Draskovic  "Assassination" 

U.S. Officials Admit Belgrade Had No Role in Montenegro Assassination; Pentagon Objects to UN War Crimes Court; Secret KLA Military Camp Found in Kosovo

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONABALKAN AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

Budva                      1. The Botched Draskovic “Assassination”  

Even U.S. Officials Admit Belgrade Had No Role in Montenegro AssassinationJune 18, 2000

Washington             2. Pentagon Objects to UN War Crimes Court

Pristina                    3. Secret KLA Military Camp Found in Kosovo

                                     BBC: Enough Arms to Start Small War June 18, 2000

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1. The Botched Draskovic “Assassination”

BUDVA, June 17 - The plot is as old as politics.  A failing politician needs a boost in ratings.  His sponsors need an excuse for intervention on his behalf.  So they engineer an “assassination” attempt on the politician in the hopes of garnering a sympathy vote. 

In Vuk Draskovic’s case, they also do it at a place where they can control the police “investigation” (in Montenegro, Yugoslavia republic headed by Draskovic’s fellow-western vassal Milo Djukanovic).  Except that the plotters botch the “assassination” so that anyone with minimal amount of common sense, let alone sleuths like Sherlock Holmes or Columbo, can see large holes in their plot.

In short, people who are buying Draskovic’s story loudly heralded by the western media - that the Belgrade regime is behind an alleged Thursday evening assassination attempt on the Serb opposition politician in the coastal town of Budva - probably still believe in Santa Claus, too.

Let’s start with a motive for the assassination.  There isn’t one.  Why would Slobodan Milosevic waste a bullet on a politician who has distinguished himself throughout his career by the ability to shoot himself in the foot?  Repeatedly.  Or get it in the ear when he misses the foot?

Only the western neo-colonialists and their Serb quislings have something to gain from such “assassinations,” especially when they fail.  Which is why they fail.  They were meant to fail.  Dead martyrs are useless as vassals. 

The entire assassination scenario, as outlined to the western media last night by Draskovic himself, reads like a bad plot for a third-rate fiction novel.  And to think that the man (Draskovic) was once a fairly decent writer!?

Draskovic claimed he had received a warning from a high-level contact in the Serbian government a few days ago that an “order” had gone out to kill him, according to today’s New York Times story, prominently headlined “Wounded Serb Opponent Blames Milosevic.”  “People in Moscow also knew about this,” Draskovic added, alluding to his recent failed trip seeking Russia’s support against Milosevic.

“He did not explain further,” the Times said, without explaining why this New World Order lapdog newspaper did not demand further explanations of Draskovic, as any half objective journalist would have done.

But let’s accept Draskovic’s claim at its face value.  Let’s put ourselves in his shoes... 

You believe the regime in Belgrade is about to kill you.  You leave Serbia and go to a supposedly safer Montenegro where your pal Djukanovic is in charge.  You even leave your wife in Serbia, presumably for her own safety.  And then you sit around at 11:30PM watching television all alone in your unguarded home?  No personal bodyguards[1].  No security detail provided by your pal Djukanovic.  Nothing.  Nada[2].  .

Is that how you would behave if you thought you were in mortal danger?

Of course, not.  But that’s what happened in Draskovic’s case.

And then, two alleged assailants come by and start shooting from the terrace through the shutters of the living room in which Draskovic is sitting.  Five or six shots are fired, leaving two bullet holes in the wall above the sofa where he sat, and several more holes in the wall to the side, according to the Times.

“I threw myself to the ground, rolled over and crawled up the steps,” Draskovic said, showing how he had scrambled into the adjoining kitchen area and sought cover behind a pillar. “There was a trail of blood on the floor to the front door he used to escape to a neighbor's home,” the Times reporter writes.

Now, which parts of the above statements don’t seem to add up?

Text Box:  Well, to start with, everyone could see that Draskovic’s wounds were superficial at the worst.  They required what looked like a couple of band-aids (see the photo).  And those kinds of wounds left “a trail of blood on the floor?”

Second, why was the blood still there on the floor more than a day after the shooting?  Even if Draskovic was busy rehearsing his fairy tales, was Draskovic’s wife also too busy to clean it up when she got to Budva from Belgrade?  Or was the blood left there to help embellish and dramatize Draskovic’s lavish claims about the supposed assassination?

Third, if Draskovic threw himself on the floor, and the bullet holes were visible ABOVE the sofa, wonder how he managed to get hit by - not one, but two of them?  Ricocheting off the wall, straight down to the floor? 

Fourth, Draskovic told the Times he had escaped to a neighbor’s home.  Any self-respecting reporter would have at that stage walked next door to that neighbor and asked for his version of the story.  Yet no mention of that in the Times’ report, nor in any other western reports filed about the Draskovic interview.  Why not?  Was the media bought off, or was the neighbor silenced, so that Draskovic could spin his tale unhindered by the truth?

The Montenegro police said last night (June 16) that they had arrested the suspects.  Identities of the men will be disclosed on Saturday, Montenegrin Deputy Interior Minister Vuk Boskovic told the state television in the capital, Podgorica, adding that the men had followed Draskovic from Serbia to carry out the attack.

But Saturday has come and gone without any such “evidence” being presented.  “They also did not provide any evidence to support the claim that the assailants had come from Serbia,” the Associated Press reported today. 

No surprise there.  A TiM source in Belgrade said that today’s scuttlebutt in the Serb capital is that the would be-Draskovic killers were his former bodyguards.  (So they did get their firearms back, after all!  J ).  If so, people like that would be perfect recruits for foreign agencies plotting a real or a pretend hit (the CIA has already been implicated in the May 31 assassination of a Montenegro security official).

In Belgrade, Yugoslav telecommunications minister, Ivan Markovic, ridiculed the allegations of his government’s involvement, saying Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, Djukanovic and “terrorists” from “Otpor” (a militant student organization) had all decided “to publicly support Draskovic, with the aim to disrupt his vacation.”

“Indirectly, he was inferring that the U.S. and pro-western opposition had staged the shooting to drum up popular support for Draskovic and discredit the Yugoslav government,” the AP explained.

The Yugoslav state news agency also sought to dismiss Draskovic's accusations and cast doubts on his account of the attack. “It is strange that Draskovic was shot at four times from the terrace of his house, and that he suffered only a pierced ear and a light flesh wound on his head,” Tanjug said (see the Danas cartoon by Corax, English text by TiM).

Tanjug added that “nobody in his right mind” would want to solve political conflicts “through violence and assassinations.”

Well, maybe nobody in his right mind would.  But Draskovic did.  He urged last month an armed rebellion against the Yugoslav government (see “Opposition Rally Fizzles as Belgrade Sizzles”).  It was such calls for a violent uprising, also aired by the Draskovic-controlled Studio B and others, that led to the Belgrade government’s subsequent crackdown on the opposition media.

In the end, Draskovic’s botched “assassination” has so far managed to kill only the target’s own character and credibility.  Not for the first time.  And probably not for the last time, either.


[1] The Times lamely explained that some Draskovic bodyguards had been supposedly arrested in Belgrade for possession of firearms.  But what about all the others he has?  Nowadays, bodyguards are a dime a dozen in Serbia.  Except when they are not wanted by the boss as possible witnesses.

[2] Okay, maybe not “Nada.”  “Nada” means “hope” in Serbian and is also a female name.

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June 18, 2000

Even American Officials Admit Belgrade Had No Role in  Montenegro Assassination

WASHINGTON, June 18 - “It's always easy to make too much of local elections, but the message to American policy makers was clear: Mr. Milosevic has won a round in fair elections,” the New York Times’ Stephen Erlanger wrote in a Sunday, June 18 commentary about Montenegro, “Trouble with Democracy.”

"Djukanovic clearly thought he'd get a better result, and he didn't," one senior American official told the Times. "It's not a disaster, but it's a signal." 

Senior American officials insist that any effort to move against Mr. Djukanovic with force could have consequences in Belgrade, with new bombing attacks, the Times said. But few in NATO want another bombing war after Kosovo. One senior NATO official said acerbically, "Kosovo was such a resounding success that no one in the alliance wants to repeat it ever again."

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TiM Ed.: Finally, a morsel of truth escapes from a NATO mouth. Not only was Kosovo a dismal failure of the puffed up military alliance of 19 nations, but NATO now knows that the next time they contemplate bombing Serbia, it will be only over a dead Russian bear's body.  Meaning, it will be the start of WW III.  Not even the corrupt western "death merchants" are that crazy. If they start WW III, it will be by accident, not by boldness.

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"Belgrade's pressure is not just political and psychological, Western and Montenegrin officials insist, but also physical, with the skillful assassination, 10 days before the vote, of one of Mr. Djukanovic's closest bodyguards," the Times continued. " American officials say they have no evidence of Belgrade's involvement."

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TiM Ed.: Now, here's the New York Times again at its ugliest.  Spinning the news its way, the facts notwithstanding.  In two adjacent sentences, the Times managed to convey two opposite and contradictory messages. 

"Belgrade's pressure" supposedly includes a "skillful assassination," says the Times.  Yet "American officials," who themselves have never been shy about lies and denials when it comes to Serbia, say "they have no evidence of Belgrade's involvement."

As we've suggested before, the New York Times should change its front-page motto from "all the news that's fit to print" to "all the 'news' that fits our opinions."

To read the rest of the Times commentary, click here.

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2. Pentagon Objects to UN War Crimes Court

WASHINGTON, June 12 - Speaking aboard a jet enroute to Moscow, Defense Secretary William Cohen, said that establishing an independent and international criminal court for human rights violations would be "intolerable" to the Defense Department if it did not include an exception for the United States and any other country with a respected judicial system.

“If there are no protections for our soldiers -- we are the ones that are called upon virtually every time to be deployed all over the world -- then we would adamantly oppose that,” Cohen said. “With more than 200,000 U.S. soldiers deployed overseas, opportunities to manipulate the court to hamstring the United States would abound.”

“You could have charges brought before The Hague,” Cohen added, “and this, I think, would be very destructive to our international participation. It would be intolerable as far as our people our concerned.”

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TiM Ed.: Wait a minute… So what’s sauce for the goose isn’t sauce for the gander?  More than 100 countries with “respected judicial systems” signed on to the idea of a UN World Court for war crimes two years ago in Rome.  But not Washington.  Not Clinton’s Washington, that is. 

Why not?  Isn’t the issue of “respected judicial systems” merely a red herring intended to disguise the Clinton administration’s real fears?  That one of these days those who gave unlawful orders to our troops to attack sovereign countries and kill innocent civilians may one day find themselves facing war crimes charges in such a court?

In other words, the kind of a “respected judicial system” that Cohen and his cohorts in the Clinton administration want is one that can be appointed or bought by them.  They are evidently afraid even of the Hague kangaroo court, which could “be very destructive to our international participation,” according to Cohen. 

Meaning, it may hamper Washington’s neo-colonial wars.  Well, at least now we have it in black-and-white what the Hague court’s purpose is - political persecution, not justice.

By the way, did you know that you and I and other American taxpayers are paying for over 200,000 U.S. soldiers to serve as a neo-colonial army of the New World Order rather than defend our country?  If not, now you have it from the horse’s mouth - William Cohen himself.

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3. Secret KLA Military Camp Found in Kosovo

PRISTINA, June 17 - A secret Kosovo Albanian military training camp in Kosovo has been discovered by the KFOR “peacekeeping” troops, complete with an assault course and a major weapons dump with automatic weapons, explosives and rockets, the (Australian) ABC news has reported.

A KFOR spokesman says four bunkers were found only one kilometre (two-thirds of a mile) from the former headquarters, and the present summer home of the head of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Agim Ceku.  He says the camp with its assault course, had looked as though it were still in use. 

ABC news said the find is one of the biggest of its kind in the Serbian province since last year's war.  

The KLA was officially demilitarized last fall after the arrival of the KFOR peace force, and became the Kosovo Protection Corps, a civilian body run by Mr. Ceku.  But some of its members see it as the nucleus of a future Kosovo Albanian army.

Ceku, a Kosovo Albanian, is a former Yugoslav Army officer who defected to Croatia, and who has been accused of war crimes committed against the Serbs while serving in the Croatian military.  Here’s what Berkeley University’s Prof. Raymond Kent says about him in the TiM Bulletin 2000/3-1:

“The military leader of the KLA, General Agim Ceku, is a major war criminal. He led the U.S.-trained Croat Army during August 1995 in the cleansing of over 200,000 Serbs from Krajina, the systematic looting and torching of Serb properties and the systematic execution of several thousand elderly Serbs who could not or would not leave their homes.”

And now, people like Ceku continue to do “business as usual” with the people like KFOR.  What do they say, “birds of a feather flock together?” 

The only surprise here may be a feigned surprise by the KFOR spokesmen about the discovery of the “secret” camp.  After all, the KLA is a western invention whose air wing and protector has been NATO all along.  Ceku must have “forgotten” to pay some of his bills, and KFOR seems to be reminding him of it with its latest camp seizure. 

There are warlords and there are overlords of war.   

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BBC: Enough Arms to Start a Small War June 18, 2000

LONDON, June 17 - It was the British-led peacekeepers in Kosovo that have uncovered the largest store of illegal arms found since fighting ended in the province a year ago (described in the above story), the BBC News reported Saturday.

Four underground bunkers were discovered during a search near Klecka, near Ceku's home, a former stronghold of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the Drenica valley west of the regional capital Pristina. Six tonnes of arms have so far been removed from the bunkers.

"You've got enough here to start a small war," said British Major Simon Marr. 

British soldiers had to use explosives to blow the steel doors off the bunkers.  In the first concrete bunker to be cleared - 10 metres long by three metres wide (30 feet by 10 feet) - KFOR soldiers found tripod-mounted heavy machine guns; hundreds of rifles, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers; anti-tank and anti-personnel mines; flak jackets; large quantities of ammunition; and communications equipment.

The commander of British forces in Kosovo, Brigadier Richard Shirreff, said it was inconceivable that the KPC knew nothing of the weapons cache." This is a very significant find. This represents a major weapons haul. It is almost certainly entirely Albanian, all evidence we got here suggests that it is former KLA material," he said. "This is a degree of non-compliance" (with the disarmament agreement signed by the KLA).

Sources among said some of the weapons had been placed there recently and that a list of individual owners of rifles had been found. That might indicate that Kosovo Albanians had hidden the weapons in the bunkers, rather than hand them over to KFOR.

For the rest of the BBC story, click here.

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Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns:  "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "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: "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms", "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "New Iron Curtain Over Europe"