FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
Apr. 8, 1999; 9:30PM EDT - DAY 16, UPDATE 2
Pristina 1. NATO Bombs Cause Carnage; At Least 10 Civilians Dead
Zlatibor 2. NATO Hits Medical Institute: Three People Die
London 3. The Independent: "We Have Lost This Foolish War"
Phoenix 4. A Marine Named Mitch (a story about the life of Col. Mitch Paige)
Phoenix 5. From Love to War in 50 Years (a historical sketch of
1. NATO Bombs Cause Carnage, At Least 10 Civilians Dead
PRISTINA, Apr. 7 - At least 10 civilians were killed and scores of others were wounded early Wednesday morning when NATO bombs hit the very center of Pristina, the densely populated Kosovo capital. The Post Office and the Pensioners Fund buildings took direct hits. One of the missiles reportedly exploded at an Orthodox Christian cemetery.
Among the dead was one ethnic Turkish family of five - husband, wife and three daughters. Given that the western media have been telling us for years that 90% of Kosovo's population were ethnic Albanians, statistically speaking, nine out of the ten victims in this NATO assault on civilians were also Albanians, the people NATO was ostensibly "protecting."
This was the second time that a downtown Pristina residential area came under attack from NATO. Some photos showing the devastation from earlier bombings are available at our Web site (see the "Photos from Serbia" section).
2. NATO Hits Medical Institute: Three People Die
ZLATIBOR, Apr. 8 - A TiM correspondent from the Zlatibor area, a pastoral tourist district about 100 miles southwest of Belgrade known for its pure mountain air, reports that at 4:10AM this morning NATO bombed the Tornik skiing center, also hitting the Medical Institute "Cigot," and killing three people. Dead are security guards, Nedjo Urosevic (31) and Radoje Marjanovic (34), as well as the forest ranger, Milenko Savic, who celebrated his 25th birthday only yesterday.
All facilities within a 2,000 square meters area of where the bombs hit were destroyed, our sources report, including the skiing center, children's resort with 60 beds, medical clinic, kitchen, restaurant, classrooms and other surrounding facilities.
[See the photos of the carnage, which we will post at our Web site within this story as soon as they are available. Meanwhile, we've received from Novi Sad some new photos which we have added to our Web site. They include the pictures of the Freedom Bridge after the NATO attack, and of the protests in downtown Novi Sad - see Day 12, Update 2, Item 1, Apr. 4).
3. The Independent: "We Have Lost This Foolish War"; "Our Leaders Have Consistently Lied to Us"
LONDON, Apr. 5 - NATO's war against Serbia is not over yet, but the recriminations within the NATO allies are already in full swing. Here is an excerpt from an Apr. 5 story by Robert Fisk, a veteran war correspondent of the London-based daily, The Independent:
The Independent's Web site: http://www.independent.co.uk/
4. A Marine Named Mitch
(a story about the life of Col. Mitch Paige, a WW II war hero, adapted from the TiM GW Bulletin 97/11-3, 3-Nov-97)
TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA - "October 28, 1997 is now one of the greatest days of my life," Col. Mitch Paige, USMC (ret.), recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, told this writer about the ceremony in which the Sergeants Course building at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, CA, was renamed to Paige Hall.
"Friends arrived from all over the nation," a grateful Col. Paige said. "Several hundred Marines, along with Marine Corps band, were in attendance."
"Calling him a living legend," Maj. Gen. E. Bedard said that Col. Paige is "the most unselfish man I've ever known," the Palm Spring's daily, the DESERT SUN, reported in its Oct. 29 issue. Bedard recalled Paige's heroic efforts on Oct. 26, 1942 at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands which earned him the Medal of Honor.
All 33 men in Paige's unit were either killed or wounded during a Japanese attack. But Paige continued to man his machine gun until reinforcements arrived, preventing a regiment of between 2,500 to 3,000 Japanese troops from advancing.
Paige got a battlefield commission to second lieutenant and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Victory Medal, etc. in addition to the Medal of Honor.
Col. Paige was born in a small western Pennsylvania town of Charleroi, near the Ohio state line. His parents were Serb immigrants who came to the U.S. around the turn of the (20th) century from the Serbian Krajina, the territory which was overrun in 1995 by the Croats, but which was back then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Col. Paige speculates that his original family name might have been Pejic (pronounced "Pey-ich") which might have sounded like Paige to Anglo-Saxon immigration officers' ears.
"Mother never let us forget our Serbian roots," Col. Paige recalled in a Nov. 3 conversation with this writer. "When my brother Pete once showed a lack of interest, mother scolded him, 'your blood also flowed at the Battle of Kosovo.'"
One of the Paige family's proud possessions was a painting which depicted a Serbian soldier on a white horse at the Battle of Kosovo (1389). "It had the word 'Kosovo' inscribed at the bottom," Col. Paige recalls. Unfortunately, the painting was destroyed in a house fire, along with many other family treasures. But the spirit of Kosovo lived on.
Col. Paige's mother also taught her kids to be proud Americans. During an Armistice Day (Nov. 11) parade in McKeesport, PA, in the 1920s, every time the Old Glory passed by, an old gentleman with three medals pinned to his chest would stand very erect, and would hold his hat over his heart. "I could see tears rolling down his cheeks into his distinguished-looking handle-bar mustache," Col. Paige wrote in his autobiographical book, "A Marine Named Mitch."
Later on, his mother explained to her boy that it was because the man was so proud to be an American and living "in the land of the free and the home of the brave."
No wonder Col. Paige started "soldiering" early. At about the tender age of 10, on a Fourth of July, he built a large cannon with the help of his neighborhood pals. "I assembled all of my friends and we paraded around the cannon with a small American flag," he said.
When the time came to fire his home-made cannon, Col. Paige instructed his friends to hide behind a large cherry tree while he lit the fuse. "I ran to a nearby tree and fell behind it, as we heard the terrifying loud blast," he writes in his autobiography. "There has never been a louder boom at Camden Hill."
When the smoke cleared, it became evident that the pieces of Col. Paige's pipe cannon had ripped through the nearest neighbor's house. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but he caught hell at home. "My parents were paying for the broken windows and the holes in the roof for a long time," he said.
Col. Paige was encouraged to write his memoirs by his very good friend, the Oscar-winning Hollywood star, Lee Marvin. When the soldier confessed to the actor that he was afraid such a book may seem as if he were patting himself on the back, Marvin replied: "How will we know if you don't tell us? Just sit down and write it out like it was."
Col. Paige did. And now we know. "A Marine Name Mitch is a story of a "living legend," as Gen. Bedard put it.
(a historical sketch of Serbian-American relations - adapted from a short story by Bob Djurdjevic, November 1997)
"WHAT SEPARATES SERBIA AND AMERICA?"
"The languages - Serbian vs. English."
"The sizes of the two countries? Serbia's 10 million people versus America's 260 million."
"WHAT DO SERBIA AND AMERICA HAVE IN COMMON?"
"Love of freedom."
"Unselfishness; big hearts."
"Alliances forged in blood during two world wars. Both times, Serbia and America found themselves on the same side, fighting the Central and Axis powers respectively."
"Yes. Maybe one more thing. Both countries have had their Alamos'."
"Yes. The Alamo symbolizes courage and gallantry of the Texan freedom defenders who gave their lives so others can enjoy freedom. Some 190 Texans died at Alamo in 1836, facing a Mexican army of over 4,000. They became legendary American heroes."
"So what does that have to do with Serbia?"
"Serbia had many Alamos in her history."
"Oh? You mean, like Kosovo, in 1389?"
"Yes. But not only Kosovo. In 1915, for example, the defenders of Belgrade faced an enemy far more superior in numbers and materiel than even did the Texans at Alamo in 1836 - the invading Central Powers' forces (Germany and Austro-Hungarians). And here's what happened..."
* * * *
After having survived a heavy artillery barrage by the attacking Germans, at exactly 14:30 (2:30PM) on Oct. 7, 1915, Major Dragutin Gavrilovic (see the photo) addressed the Serbian volunteers under his command, assembled near the banks of the Danube, at the foot of the Kalemegdan fortress:
A few hours later, 233 soldiers of the 340 member-strong volunteer unit were dead. Major Gavrilovic was himself badly wounded. But he survived to fight again, as commander of the 1st battalion of the victorious 12th Serbian infantry division at the Thessalonika (Greece) front in 1918. The gallant sacrifice of the 233 Belgrade volunteers in 1915 gave the bulk of the Serbian army enough time to retreat, regroup and eventually win the war.
TiM Ed., Apr. 8, 1999: Anybody recognize the same genes still flowing in the Serbian youth and the Belgrade University academia who had joined hands, night after night, defending the Belgrade Brankov bridge as 'human shields' against with nothing but their lives and a faith in God?"
* * * *
By the time WW I ended, over one million Serbs had perished, a quarter of the country's prewar population. About 55% of the nation's male population died. That's as if over 70 million American males were to lose their lives defending our country. No wonder Secretary Lansing paid Serbia such a tribute. Nor was he alone. Even the enemies of Serbia and America paid the Serbs a grudging tribute:
Having been informed that Bulgaria had capitulated and signed an armistice agreement in U.S in September 1918, the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, sent a telegram full of bitterness to his ally in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl:
"62,000 Serbs have decided the outcome of this war. Shame on us!"
Actually, Serbia was liberated by an army of only about 80,000 people - all that was left from some 450,000 at the start of WW I. But evidently more than enough to achieve liberty.
* * * *
During World War II, the Serbs, although themselves the targets of the Nazi pogroms, saved many Jews, sometimes at their own peril. Here is what a Jewish-American, Major Richard Felman, USAF (ret.), said about his experiences after being downed by the German guns over Serbia:
The Serb General, Draza Mihailovic, was posthumously awarded a Legion of Merit by President Harry Truman, in part, "for the undaunted efforts of his troops" in rescuing the American flyers. Wonder how many Americans know that?
TiM Ed., Apr. 8, 1999: And now, the two countries, Serbia and America, so different yet so much alike, united by the courage and gallantry of their sons - the warriors, are at war. Thanks to our Washington leaders who have never known war, much less courage or gallantry.
No wonder that the commander of the American troops in Europe who wrote to us today, said: "I honestly feel we don't belong here any longer. I am trying to keep the faith, but it gets more difficult every day."
My friend, we never did belong there in the first place. Except perhaps to toast our brothers-in-arms in honor of our mutual Alamos. But first, we must get rid of our respective liars and cowards.
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "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?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
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"