Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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Aug. 29, 1999

Special Truth in Media Reports on NATO's Kosovo War explosion.gif (16495 bytes)and "Peace"bomb.gif (3054 bytes)

S99-142, KFOR "Peacefarce" 36

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONAnatologo-animated.gif (3783 bytes)    Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS

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Aug. 29, 1999 - KFOR "Peacefarce" 36


Belgrade                        1. Serb General Tells KFOR to Leave Kosovo

Gracanica                      2. Albanians' Mortar Attack on an Ancient Serb Monastery

Nis                                  3. Remaining Serbs in Kosovo Are Starving


1. Serb General Tells KFOR to Leave Kosovo

BELGRADE, Aug 25- The fact that Belgrade's independent Nedeljni Telegraf (Sunday Telegraph) is published on a Wednesday, may be only a minor quirk when it comes to the Balkans logic. But what this Sunday's (Aug. 29) NT had to say in its front page story is sure to send shudders down the spines of the NATO generals and political leaders who have put the lives of 46,000 (and counting) western soldiers at risk, when they sent them to Kosovo as "peace-farce-keepers."

"Gentlemen, get out of Kosovo!" screams today's bombastic headline (see the photo), quoting the Serb Generalwpe17.jpg (32257 bytes) Nebojsa Pavkovic, commander of the Third Yugoslav Army, which managed to outfox and survive, virtually intact, the 79-aerial assault by the world's most powerful alliance - NATO. "Soon, I am returning, with my soldiers," Gen. Pavkovic warned the KFOR leaders.

For the record, we should point out that the NT interview took place during the general's first vacation in two years, which he spent with his family on the Tara river (in Montenegro), in a retreat owned by the Yugoslav military. Gen. Pavkovic reportedly spent his free time hiking, at the pool, on the soccer field, and painting under the tutelage of a local artist colony, the NT reported.

In an exclusive interview with NT's Milos Antic, Gen. Pavkovic did not hide his animosity toward his former boss, Gen. Momcilo Perisic, whom the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic dismissed last December (see "Senators Urge Ouster of Milosevic", TiM GW Bulletin 98/12-8, 12/26/98). But Gen. Pavkovic's bombshell pontification concerned KFOR, not Perisic.

Gen. Pavkovic blamed KFOR "for failing to honor a single condition of the agreement. They have not protected the border, they have not protected the Serbs and other non-Albanian residents, they have not disarmed the KLA; quite the contrary."

"So what comes next?" asked the NT.

"Our country has the perfect right to say to the international forces: You have not completed your task in Kosovo and Metohija. You have not implemented a single condition of the Military-Technical Agreement and the United Nations Resolutions. Gentleman, get out of Kosovo and Metohija, and leave us to fix the situation as it should be. I am convinced that this is precisely what will soon happen."

"Are you prepared to lead Serbian soldiers and volunteers back to Kosovo to establish peace and order there?" the NT asked.

"Very prepared. The moment the decision is made to return the Yugoslav Army to Kosovo and Metohija, I will personally lead that army back. I think that our army will return to Kosovo and re-establish peace and order very soon."


TiM Ed.: But alas, who will make that decision? ("to return the Yugoslav Army to Kosovo and Metohija"). The same person who sold out Kosovo's 200,000 Serbs to the KFOR-sponsored "ethnic-cleansing?" (Slobodan Milosevic). Perhaps when hell freezes over?

So unless the general is prepared to put his money and troops where his mouth is, maybe he ought to stay closer to the painters colony canvasses than to the battlefield. For, the time for talking tough is over; and the time for acting tough is long overdue.


Nevertheless, here are some additional excerpts from that NT interview, in an English translation:

"NT: Immediately prior to the beginning of the war, you were given command of our largest and most powerful army, the Third Army of the Yugoslav Army, the one which was supposed to have endured the chief burden of opposing the aggressor. Were you aware of this upon assuming command?

PAVKOVIC: I didn't expect this kind of war to happen nor to engage in battle against NATO. We soldiers didn't have the slightest idea that something like that might occur. However, we knew there were going to be problems in the region of Kosovo and Metohija because after the signing of the agreement with Holbrooke and the arrival of the OSCE mission to Kosovo things again grew more complicated.

But, the aggression had been in preparation for at least four-five years. Since Dayton. According to that agreement, we were obliged to provide them with full information regarding the deployment of our troops and our combat systems, which they later inspected in accordance with the same agreement. They had the coordinates of practically all of our garrisons, our training camps, our warehouses and other military facilities.

NT: Are you a member or a sympathizer of any political party?

PAVKOVIC: Categorically, no. As a member of the Yugoslav Army, which is apolitical and non-partite, I cannot be. However, members of the Yugoslav Army, as members of a federal institution, must remain in direct contact with legally elected officials as long as they are in government positions. If someone has a problem with that, then that is an entirely separate issue.

NT: Will the Yugoslav Army defend the current government if protesters demand their departure from power?

PAVKOVIC: I never said that the army would do that. However, I have always advocated that the government cannot be replaced in the streets. For only one reason: this cannot be done peacefully. And that means the beginning of a fratricidal, that is, a civil war in the country. The security forces and the army are here to prevent something like this from happening.

We who are in the army have nothing against a possible change in the government as long as it is carried out in a peaceful manner, a legal manner, that is, through elections. The people will decide whom they will empower to govern, and the army will remain in the same position as it is now.

NT: Is there a possibility that someone in the army command could order the army to use its weapons to stand between those in the streets who are demanding a change of government and the representatives of that government?

PAVKOVIC: It is well known who, under what conditions and when has the right to use the army according to our Constitution. I don't believe that this will ever happen because, in the long run, everyone must understand that the street is not the place to change the government.


yugarmydeploy.JPG (39787 bytes)NT: Were you militarily defeated in the war?

PAVKOVIC: We were not defeated because we did not lose an inch of land. We successfully protected our units and all combat capabilities. The fact that the army, according to the Military-Technical Agreement, withdrew from the region of Kosovo and Metohija, that was the decision of our highest state officials and of the Yugoslav Parliament. The Yugoslav Army was obligated to fulfill its assignment.

NT: What led to the withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army? Was it the assessment that it would be defeated or was this a purely political decision?

PAVKOVIC: As far as military assessments are concerned, we were convinced then and we are convinced now that the Pristina corpus and the units of the Third Army in Kosovo and Metohija, would never have been defeated and that they were prepared to endure there for as long as necessary. With the forces which NATO then had at its disposal in Albania and Macedonia, they could never have defeated us. If they based their assessment on entering Serbia from other directions: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Croatia, and thought that this entering would influence the conquest of Kosovo and Metohija, in this situation, as well, we would have been prepared to defend Kosovo and Metohija at any price. It is certain that in this case we would have had tremendous casualties but the aggressor would have had much greater ones. The decision regarding withdrawal was made by the Parliament and accepted by the army.

NT: What would have happened had the army refused to accept the decision to withdraw from Kosovo?

PAVKOVIC: If we had refused to implement the decision of the highest state leadership and said instead 'We are staying in Kosovo and Metohija', it would have caused horrible consequences for Serbia and for Yugoslavia as a whole.

NT: What kind of consequences?

PAVKOVIC: The agreement which was offered and which was later accepted, was conditional: either you will accept it or the attacks will intensify. We were literally told - all your remaining bridges will be destroyed, your whole infrastructure will be destroyed, your cities will be bombed, your entire electrical power system taken out and so on. They threatened to level Serbia to the ground. In my opinion, in that phase they would have left Kosovo alone. They only planned revenge on the citizens of Serbia, which she, after everything else she had been through, could not have endured. If we had decided to stay and if all they threatened us with had materialized, no one would have forgiven us. […]

NT: General Perisic accuses you of threatening to use the army against the people if it demands a change in the Serbian government?

PAVKOVIC: I never threatened to use the army against the (Serb) people. I vigorously deny Perisic's claim and anyone else's who wants to accuse me of this. Because as long as I am alive, I will serve this people; at any moment, I would give my life for the Serbian people. […]

NT: Were you aware that the United States, immediately prior to the signing of the agreement, was a step away from calling off the bombing?

PAVKOVIC: We heard of this information but it was not confirmed. We knew that the development of events in Kosovo was unfavorable for them, that they had great problems with their armies, and their states, too, as well as within the framework of the NATO alliance. We soldiers were prepared to defend ourselves even longer but the ultimatums of the Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin plan led our administration into a great dilemma: whether to accept the ultimatums and thus protect the people and Serbia from total destruction, or to refuse to accept it. […]

NT: We heard that prior to accepting the agreement you had an intense meeting with the state leadership in which, reportedly, you were opposed to the withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army from Kosovo and that you were reportedly dismissed; however, this was, again reportedly, hastily rescinded...

PAVKOVIC: Stories regarding my dismissal, as you can see, are false. However, it is correct that after the agreement was ratified by the Yugoslav Parliament there was a meeting of the Supreme Command at which assessments regarding what and how should be done were presented. At that time I stated that, as far as the army was concerned, it could stay and defend Kosovo and Metohija. However, the threat of consequences which could have had a devastating effect on our people and our country outweighed everything all around. And this was only after reassurances by the international community that they would honestly and according to the agreement carry out their task in Kosovo and Metohija. […]

NT: Will the Yugoslav Army, according to the Military-Technical Agreement, be permitted to return to Kosovo and the borders between FRY and Albania, and when?

PAVKOVIC: The military-technical agreement foresaw a small number of soldiers returning to the border crossing and securing the border crossings together with units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This is a small number of soldiers, twenty-thirty per border crossing, and there are only four border crossings. However, considering the situation in Kosovo right now, it is not safe and secure for that number of our soldiers to be there. I think it would be a mistake to send them at this point.

NT: Is there a possibility that the Yugoslav Army will go to defend the Serbian enclaves in Kosovo?

PAVKOVIC: In my opinion, that is a real possibility. Especially if those enclaves are well organized beforehand. That would be possible to achieve through an additional agreement but if the situation in Kosovo continues to escalate, it is possible that this may be realized without an agreement.

NT: Do you perhaps expect KFOR's invitation for the Yugoslav Army to come and help them secure the situation in Kosovo?

PAVKOVIC: They are either incapable or intentionally refusing to do what was agreed. Because of their personal pride, I don't believe that they will now invite our army to help them. Although, and I have said this before and repeat it, they can only complete their assignment successfully with the help of the Yugoslav Army. However, sooner or later they will see with whom they are dealing and what they have gotten themselves into. And the moment that the entire KFOR mission and the lives of their people are in danger, they will overcome their personal pride and call us.

NT: How correct is the information from foreign media that an undeclared war is currently being waged in Kosovo between KFOR forces and the Albanian terrorists?

PAVKOVIC: We have seen that KFOR is unable to establish contacts with the KLA since it is not an organized and disciplined army, but unbridled terrorist bands. The moment they attempt to disarm them and forbid them to create a reign of terror throughout Kosovo, I think that there will be intense fighting between them.


NT: Who should be ashamed because of what is happening to the Serbian populace in Kosovo today?

PAVKOVIC: Exclusively the international community's. First and foremost, the United Nations', then KFOR's for failing to honor a single condition of the agreement. They have not protected the border, they have not protected the Serbs and other non-Albanian residents, they have not disarmed the KLA; quite the contrary. [...]


NT: Unlike many Yugoslav Army officers, you frequently make public statements. Is this because of something new in the Yugoslav Army, or simply your own initiative?

PAVKOVIC: The Yugoslav Army has no reason to be secretive before the public. It is the army of its people, and it has shown itself to be always supportive of its people. There is no reason that we soldiers should not comment publicly regarding some things. I make public appearances because I believe I have something to say and because others are interested in what I think, not because I have someone's permission to do so.

NT: Do you have any political ambitions perhaps?

PAVKOVIC: No, I don't. The only thing I want is to remain in the army and help my people to end this crisis. And if someone thinks I am not capable of doing this, I will withdraw and engage in other activities, but not in politics."


TiM Ed.: For some other TiM stories referencing Gen. Pavkovic, check out S99-44, Day 25, Item 1, Apr. 17,  S99-112, "Peace" 6, Items 1 and 2, June 21S99-134, "Peace" 28, Item 3, Aug. 8


2. Albanians' Mortar Attack on an Ancient Serb Monastery

GRACANICA, Aug. 26 - "Today, at around 5.30 P.M., from the direction of the Albanian village Ajvajlija, 6km to the South from Pristina, ten odd mortar shells were fired on the Serbian village Gracanica," we received a message in evidently broken English, uncorrected here for the sake of authenticity, from our Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) sources in Kosovo.

"The shells landed in the backyards of the Serb families Stojanovic and Djurlic, 200m from the monastery Gracanica (14.century), one of the greatest Christian sacred places and cultural monuments placed under the protection of UNESCO," our sources reported.

"This attack on the biggest Serbian village in Kosovo caused the great concern and bitterness among the Serbian population, especially since the attack took place on the eve of the great Christian holy day of the Virgin Mary's Ascension, the feast day of the monastery and the village of Gracanica," our sources added.

The Gracanica monastery is the temporary seat of the Raska~Prizren diocese, while in the village itself there are over 300 of refugee families being sheltered, who had been expelled from different parts of the southern Serbian province.


3. Remaining Serbs in Kosovo Are Starving

NIS, Aug. 28 - We've just received this dramatic message from a correspondent in Nis, the third largest Serb city, and the one closest to the Kosovo KFOR "peace farce." Read and weep:

"I spent the day today (Aug. 28), collecting aid for the remaining Serbs in Orahovac (the Kosovo townwpe18.jpg (71033 bytes) where Albanians are blocking the Russian KFOR troops from taking over from the Dutch - see the map).

Tomorrow, a truck is supposed to leave for Orahovac. Over there, people truly are starving. They have nothing to eat. The truck drivers tell us, upon returning, moving stories about what they that just witnessed. Such as a real fight for a peace of bread.

Children have no fruit, even though it's in season, not to mention any sweets. And none of them dare move an inch from where they are. For, the Shiptars (Albanians) will kill them if they venture out. All, of course, in collusion with the Americans.

By the way, the Americans are not are not letting the Russians tear down the Albanians' barricade."


TiM Ed. Whatever happened to that parallel and independent Russian command, over which our (U.S.) secretary of defense, and his Russian counterparts, haggled so strenuously for so long? Was this another NWO farce, to make the world think the Russian troops in Kosovo are anything more than the Russian NWO quislings in Moscow?

If these "Russians" were commanded by the real Russians, they would have done what the Russians had done at the outset of the Kosovo "peace farce" - when they took over the Serb military airport in Pristina before NATO could get to it.


"Just this moment, I had in my home a man from Kosovska Kamenica (see the map). He is telling me that the Shiptars (Albanians) in Kamenica will destroy everything if the Russians enter Orahovac. Even the poor Russians will then become the victims.

Still our (Serb) people keep their blind faith despite everything. As if they have no choice…"


TiM Ed.: (no choice) "…but to kiss the foreign occupiers' posteriors?" For alternative tactics, they should check out the Serb history books.  Such as the Gavrilo Princip, or Major Dragutin Gavrilovic stories (see S99-33, Day 16, Update 2, Item 5, Apr. 8).

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Also, check out... 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"