Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 99/2-5

Feb. 21, 1999

Dragnich on the "Kosovo Crisis"

Carving Up Serbia

Albright Shows Once Again Why the "Halfbright" Nickname Fits Her So Well


"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."

Solon (a Greek philosopher- c.630-c.555 B.C.)


A Letter by Prof. Alex Dragnich to the Washington Post

PHOENIX, Feb. 21 - The "Kosovo crisis" is heating up again.  For the "umpteenth" time, it seems.  And as many times before, the trigger-happy and power-hungry Clinton administration is threatening to bomb another sovereign country.  Unless, of course, this sovereign country (Serbia) yields to the NATO gun pointed at its head, says goodbye to its sovereignty, and lets foreign troops (NATO) occupy its province of Kosovo, a preamble to its eventual secession.

Dr. Alex Dragnich, professor emeritus of Vanderbilt University, and a widely published author of books on history of the Balkans, says he cannot believe what our government is doing.  His letter to the Washington Post was published at the top of the Letters' page on Saturday, February 20, 1999:

Do We Really Want to Bomb?

I just can't believe what my government is threatening to do, and may actually do before these words appear in print -- bomb a sovereign country. As Tony Benn, a well-known member of the British Parliament, said last October in a letter to his foreign secretary, Robin Cook:

"Air strikes against Serbia would constitute a total breach of international law, of the Charter of the United Nations and of Article 1 of the NATO Treaty, which commits NATO to upholding the U.N."

We are threatening to bomb the Serbs not because they have invaded a foreign country but because they refuse to accept an agreement, which we have crafted, to resolve a domestic conflict inside Yugoslavia and to permit the entrance of NATO troops to enforce it.

What or who gives us the authority to do such a thing?   Some say the United Nations. But the United Nations and the League of Nations before it were created specifically to prevent a nation, or combination of nations, from infringing on an independent country's sovereignty. We are arrogating to ourselves the power to judge a country for seeking to put down terrorism within its borders as well as to protect its borders with foreign countries.

More serious in the long run will be the precedent we would be creating. Our proposed actions would provide the arguments to justify a power or a combination of powers to invade some country in search of justice for a minority or minorities. This could be some Arab states, perhaps in agreement with Russia, or it could be China seeking to take over Taiwan. And what if the Hispanics in Texas or California should desire to detach a part of those states, appealing for foreign intervention to come to their assistance?

In any one of the hypothetical situations, power would be decisive. We will have provided the legal justification. Do we really want to do that?

I am disturbed not only by what my government is about to do but also by the apparent bankruptcy of the political opposition. The Republicans have yet to craft a credible foreign policy program for the Unites States.


Bowie (Maryland)



PHOENIX, Feb. 21 - On the topic of Kosovo, here is an excerpt from a message we received this morning from a TiM reader, along with our reply, which follows:

Note that this article (a Reuters report) indicates, contrary to major network and other press  propaganda, that the Albanian's HAVE NOT accepted the agreement for Yugoslav control of Kosovo with no independence. Yesterdays reports portrayed the Serbs as the sole hold up for an agreement. The article shows that the US and NATO is practically begging he Albanians to sign an agreement so that they can bomb the Serbs.

I know. There is a similar dichotomy in today's front page story in the New York Times. The U.S. (Madeleine Albright) is praising Albanians for their conduct at the talks in France while lambasting the Serbs. Yet "at the last minute," the Albanians refused to sign the political provisions of the agreement which were intended to put pressure on the Serbs, the New York Times says.

A Rambouillet Egg on Face!

Albrght2.jpg (16983 bytes) It's as if Madam Halfbright is telling the Albanians, "please sign quickly so we can get on with bombing the Serbs."

At least the Secretary of State is being consistently "half bright." While she was still the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., she reportedly confronted the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, by chiding him (paraphrasing) - "what good is it having the most powerful military in the world if you don't use it?"

Which is like saying - "what good is it owning a gun if you don't kill people with it?" So let's give her a toy gun instead of the Pentagon. It may save lives.

While at the Kosovo talks in France, earlier in the week, the gun-toting Secretary of State also caused quite a fluster among the European diplomats while displaying her Halfbright qualities. Here is what one diplomat had to say to the London Times (Feb. 16):

"EUROPEAN diplomats in Paris accused Madeleine Albright yesterday of having a poor understanding of the Kosovo problem after the US Secretary of State suggested to an ethnic Albanian negotiator that he should adopt Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader, as a role model.

American officials rushed to smooth over any controversy, but the remark served to draw out European discontent at the heavy-handed American push behind the Kosovo peace talks.

"Quite honestly, she's been unimpressive on the details," said one European Union source involved in setting up Ms Albright's whirlwind weekend inspection of proceedings at Rambouillet and her meetings with EU and Contact Group ministers. "It's clear that she hasn't grasped the full deal under discussion, but having said that, she has massive clout - she's the one who can say to the Serbs, 'sign this, or we'll bomb the hell out of you'."[...]

American officials said Ms Albright had tried to charm both sides; she had reminded Serb leaders of her Belgrade childhood, and of how her Czech diplomat father, who loved Serb songs, had said that, if he had not been born Czech, he would have liked to have been Serb."

True. Mr. Korbel, a Czech diplomat, was grateful to the Serbs for their friendship and protection, especially at a time when the Serbs, as well as the Jews, were being hunted down by the Nazis and their collaborators (including the Kosovo Albanians). Which is why Madeleine's father, Mr. Korbel, is probably turning in his grave now seeing what his daughter is trying to do to the Serbs (also see our 1997 column, "Da Bull" ).

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Also, check out... "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'""What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"

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