Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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April 25, 1999

Special Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins on NATO's War on Serbia

Issue S99-55, Day 33

PHOENIX, ARIZONA      explosion.gif (16495 bytes)  Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS

Apr. 25, 1999; 3:00PM EDT - DAY 33


Washington             1. Clinton Warns Russia on Serbia Oil; France Balks

Belgrade                 2. Up to 20 People May Be Still Trapped at Serb TV

                                   Center; Mobile Phones Help Save Lives

Redding                  3. Bombing TV Relays: - Clinton's 1990s Version of

                                   Book-Burning in Hitler's Germany (By Mary Mostert)

Belgrade                 4. Kati Marton's Double Standard

New York               5. Holbrooke Under Attack at Media Dinner; NBC's

                                  Brokaw Muzzles Colleague

Chicago                  6. Chicago Sun-Times: Albright's Autocracy

Germany                7. A German Volunteer: "I Am So Ashamed!"


1. Clinton Warns Russia on Serbia Oil; France Balks

WASHINGTON, Apr. 24 - A day after the NATO summit in Washington decided to slap a tight oil embargo on Serbia, Bill Clinton issued Moscow a stern warning about attempting to re-supply of Belgrade, according to a UPI news wire report. Clinton refused to rule out the use of force against Russian ships in the Adriatic Sea if they attempt to breach, what is for all intents and purposes, a NATO naval blockade of the former Yugoslavia.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, speaking in Cairo Friday, refused to say whether Russia would heed the embargo or continue supplying its traditional Slavic ally with fuel and other related products.

The issue of a naval blockade on Belgrade, which under international law would require a declaration of war, has drawn sharp divisions in NATO during a high-profile 50th anniversary summit that was intended to highlight alliance resolve to bomb Milosevic into submission. French President Jacque Chirac said on Sautrday that the oil embargo was a "legitimate" action by the alliance.

But Chirac stressed the delicacy of maritime interdiction, and warned that it might have the unintended consequence of drawing Russia into a conflict with NATO that the alliance successfully avoided during nearly five decades of Cold War. "In law, it's an act of war," Chirac said. "You need to be very cautious."


2. Up to 20 People May Be Still Trapped at Serb TV Center; Mobile Phones Help Save Lives

BELGRADE, Apr. 24 - Up to 20 members of the Serb TV staff are thought to be without food and water and with diminishing air supplies, buried under rubble after Friday's pre-dawn NATO strike, the U.K. Press Association hasaptv4-25.jpg (32343 bytes) reported. Survivors still trapped inside the wreckage are communicating with rescue workers using their mobile phones.

According to unconfirmed reports, two people have access to phones and are helping guide rescue workers to where they are stranded under concrete and steel. Serb television sports editor Zvonko Mihajlovski is helping in the operation, which is being carried out by Yugoslav army units, and earlier briefed journalists on the rescue effort.

One journalist said: "They are helping look for them but are also reassuring them psychologically. Some of the rescuers are trying to get an air supply through and this is where the mobile phones are helping. The area is now completely sealed off."

So far only two of the dead have been identified but up to 10 are thought to have perished and 18 others been injured when the missile slammed into the third floor of the building sending rubble tumbling on to floors below.

Many of those trapped are thought to have been sheltering from the air raid in the basement but became stuck when a large concrete part of the building's structure collapsed. According to Serbian television staff records, 150 people were working on the shift that night.

Meanwhile, TiM has learned that Serb TV transmissions were interrupted again on Sunday morning when a power station supplying the electricity to the Avala TV relay was hit by NATO. But by 2PM this afternoon local time (8AM EDT), Serb TV went on the air again, underscoring the futility of NATO's effort to kill the freedom of speech.


3. Bombing TV Relays: - Clinton's 1990s Version of Book-Burning in Hitler's Germany (By Mary Mostert)

REDDING, CA, Apr. 24 - Bombing Serb TV relays is Clinton's 1990s version of book-burning in Hitler's Germany of the 1930s, says Mary Mostert, a California-based activist and writers. Mostert should be a familiar name to regular TiM readers (see "America's "Kosovo's": What Goes Around Comes Around, see Day 17, Update 1, Item 2, Apr. 9 - available at our Web site).

Here are some excerpts from her latest contribution (for the full article, visit her Web site at ):

"'On the evening of May 10, 1933, some four and a half months after Hitler became Chancellor, there occurred in Berlin a scene which had not been witnessed in the Western world since the late Middle Ages,' wrote William Shirer, in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - A History of Nazi Germany.

'At about midnight a torchlight parade of thousands of students ended at a square on Unter de3n Linden opposite the University of Berlin. Torches were put on a huge pile of books that had been gathered there, and as the flames enveloped them more books were thrown on the fire until some twenty thousand had been consumed. Similar scenes took place in several other cities. The book burning had begun.'

Why were the books burned? Because, the books chosen to be burned did not reflect the Nazi view of 'German thought.' One of the books in that first bonfire was the writings of Hugo Preuss who had drafted the Weimar Constitution.

Yesterday, NATO air forces destroyed the building of Radio Television Serbia around 2:10 am. Civilian casualties were confirmed. (A late e-mail from Truth in Media said: "Horrible scenes shown on Belgrade's Studio B (independent) TV station. Injured and dead people are being pulled out of the rubble (at Aberdareva Street). It is estimated that there were at least 70 people inside the Serb TV building when it was struck. This was meant to KILL PEOPLE, not just disable Serb TV. They could have destroyed the transmitters to disrupt, diminish and degrade. They chose to destroy and murder. One of the missiles apparently hit the entrance of the building." - Bob Djurdjevic)

On April 8th, on the Larry King live show, King asked Miodrag Ilic, a former news anchor for the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation and a former talk show host who has worked on and off of the Serb network for over 20 years.

MIODRAG ILIC, SERBIAN BROADCASTING CORP.: "What would you do, Larry, if you were me? We are professionals, and we perform our duty. You see this, moment, it is exactly 3:02 in the morning in Belgrade. And there are about between 800 and 900 people in this building. There are assistants, journalists, producers, members of the technical staff and so on. And we're performing our duty. We have no chance to do something else, you know? But if it happens, then it will be the deadly strike to the democracy, and I think it will be the beginning of the world slavery." [...]

As I have said before, I don't pretend to be a military strategist, but so far we are hearing a lot about bombed out TV transmitters, oil refineries, vacuum cleaner, chemical and auto manufacturing plants, refugee convoys of tractors and apartment buildings than we are about bombed military equipment. [...]

Yet, President Clinton told the Serb people that they were not the target. Milosevic is the target, Clinton says. However, we are told, dropping a bomb on the equivalent of the White House in Belgrade for him is not an assassination attempt? If missiles started dropping on the White House, CNN headquarters in Atlanta, or on automobile manufacturing plants in Michigan, or on oil refineries in Texas - would that convince Americans that whoever was doing the bombing really was merely attempting to "degrade" America's military?

Somehow, I don't think so. I think most Americans would think that a bomb dropped on the White House not only would be an attempt to assassinate Bill Clinton, but would be an attack on all America and what it stands for.

While all that was happening, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was telling the House International Affairs Committee that the Clinton Administration is against the Congress passing a formal declaration of war, saying they don't view the U.S. as being "at war" with Yugoslavia.

We are dropping bombs on everything that moves in Yugoslavia, including their White House, and she doesn't consider that "war?" I think she's been around Bill Clinton too long.

She also said NATO intends to launch a concerted effort to "pierce the veil of propaganda with which Milosevic has tried to shroud the people of former Yugoslavia." That, apparently, was a veiled reference to bombing Yugoslavia's main TV transmitters.

It ought to be obvious to almost anyone who has been watching the events of the past few weeks that the target audience that prompted NATO's modern form of book-burning is not the Serbs but the Americans. By showing Serbian TV stories on US Television, Americans were able to determine for themselves that they were being lied to by the White House and the Pentagon. [...]

Mary Mostert, Redding, California


4. Kati Marton's Double Standard

BELGRADE, Apr. 24 - The Democratic Party of Serbia, one of the opposition parties, says Kati Marton, Richard Holbrooke's wife and president of the Committee to Protect Journalists, is displaying a double standard. She was quick to condemn a restrictions placed by Belgrade on "independent media," but is now silent when Serb journalists are being killed by the NATO bombers. Here's an excerpt from a statement which we received from the Democratic Party of Serbia on Apr. 24:

"Mrs. Kati Marton has visited Belgrade on several occasions, each time deeply concerned over the condition of Yugoslavia's media. She used each and every of her highly regarded visits to preach that the unlimited freedom of the media is the cornerstone of the western democracy.

Since a month ago, TV transmitters in Serbia have been destroyed one after another, and Mrs. Kati Marton is still silent. A building housing the Belgrade television is destroyed in a criminal NATO air raid, and Mrs. Kati Marton has turned a deaf ear to the event. The bodies of ten dead journalists were recovered from the ruins, and Mrs. Kati Marton keeps silent. NATO warplanes left under the wracked building eighteen wounded people, engaged in a profession the guardian angel of which is Mrs. Kati Marton, who is still silent.

Does the silence of Mrs. Kati Marton mean that there is one standard for the media in western democracies, and that quite another, in the form of bombing rules, is to be applied to us, the Balkan natives?

One possibility for Mrs. Kati Marton's silence is that, appalled at the attack on Serbia's transmitters and the killing of Serbia's journalists, she may be too busy with preparing charges against those responsible for the crimes committed against the Serbian media and journalists, and sending them to The Hague? Incorruptible as she is, she will surely put the name of her husband on the list of the most responsible for those crimes. We are also absolutely positive that Mrs. Kati Marton, as a woman of firm character, persistent in defending the freedom of media and journalists, will put herself on the top of the list."


TiM Ed.: Amid the dead seriousness of the above satire, we could not help but chuckle about the repeated use of the term "Mrs." in the above release. The Serbs may or may not realize that that's an anathema to liberated liberals, such as "Ms." Marton, who is also a former wife of ABC TV anchor, Peter Jennings.


5. Holbrooke Under Attack at Media Dinner; NBC's Brokaw Muzzles Colleague

NEW YORK, Apr. 24 - True (ugly) nature of the establishment media is finally coming to fore, however obscurely. Tom Brokaw, the NBC news anchor, "found himself having to silence a fellow Fourth Estater at the Overseas Press Club awards dinner Thursday (Apr. 22), after the journalist lobbed questions at guest speaker Richard Holbrooke," the New York Post reported on page six of its Saturday (Apr. 24) edition.

The fact than no other establishment media reported on this embarrassing incident (as far as TiM is aware), even though the room was chocolate-block full of media stars, speaks louder than words about what they really are - New World Order's "working girls."

The TIME magazine, for example, did run a story on Apr. 24 about the media awards dinner in its on-line edition, but failed to mention anything about the incident when Pacifica Radio reporter Jeremy Scahill - who was one of the night's honorees - tried to interview Richard Holbrooke, a speaker at the event, as he stepped from the podium. Holbrooke refused to answer questions.

Scahill then asked NBC anchor Brokaw, the night's emcee, and ''60 Minutes'' reporter Lesley Stahl, to back his right to question ''this key player in the current war.'' Instead, the angry Brokaw rose from his seat and ordered Scahill to ''sit down,'' drawing applause from the audience.

But Scahill persisted and was escorted by security staff to the back of the room at the New York Grand Hyatt.

Scahill yesterday blasted Brokaw and Stahl, saying he was ''exercising his First Amendment rights'' to challenge Holbrooke, whom he called the Kosovo ''trigger man,'' about the war. He and his Pacifica colleague, Amy Goodman, were honored at the dinner for their documentary, ''Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship.'' But Goodman refused to accept the award after the Holbrooke fracas.

''His refusal to answer, along with the acquiesence of the journalists present, makes a mockery of the concept of free speech,'' blasted Goodman.


6. Chicago Sun-Times: Albright's Autocracy

CHICAGO, Apr. 20 - Editors of Chicago's Sun-Times highlighted the arrogance and the autocracy which pervades the Clinton administration. Just as Mary Mostert ridiculed Bill Clinton who assured the Serb people that they are not the enemy, while blowing them to bits, so did his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, make mockery of our Republic, by snubbing the Speaker of the House, the third most powerful post in our government.

"Some weeks ago, before bombs started falling on Serbia and while there still remained a chance for a negotiated settlement, House Speaker Dennis Hastert was proposing that Congress conduct a public debate on how the United States should deal with the Kosovo crisis," the Sun-Times said in an Apr. 20 editorial. "Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took exception to the proposal by the veteran Illinois Republican congressman, and told Hastert he would 'have blood on (his) hands' if he proceeded with a debate aimed at providing Americans with more information about what they might be getting into."


TiM Ed.: Albright's warning the House Speaker that he would have blood in his hands is like Count Dracula accusing the Red Cross of being responsible for spilling blood. After 33 days of war, Albright as well as all Clinton's war hawks, are by now dripping with blood of innocent people, including that of U.S. servicemen. Which is why they are so mum about the American casualties in this conflict.


"That was extraordinarily presumptuous of Albright," the Sun-Times continued. "Hastert acknowledged Monday (Apr. 19) in a meeting with the Sun-Times editorial board that he 'took it personally,' And so he should. For a start, Albright might do well to keep in mind that Congress is a separate and equal branch of government. Its members are not constitutionally subject to wearing a muzzle at the behest of the secretary of state. Also, Hastert, as House speaker, outranks Albright in the political hierarchy. Albright might remember that the Constitution reserves the authority to make declarations of war not to the president, but to Congress."

The Sun-Times editorial ends with an ominous warning: "Perhaps the White House would argue, as Albright did to Hastert, that a debate would have us tipping our hand to Milosevic. Once before a White House took America ever deeper into a faraway conflict while keeping the public in the dark. The consequences in Vietnam were disastrous."


TiM Ed.: If only the disaster this time were limited to a regional war, as in Vietnam. For, the Clinton administration may be taking us right into WW III.


7. A German Volunteer for Serbia: "I Am So Ashamed!"

GERMANY, Apr. 24 - TiM has just received another request for information about how one can volunteer to help the Serbs, this time from a reader in Germany. Here's an excerpt from his letter:

"I am so ashamed an outraged, even though I am a German citizen, and have even served in the army two months ago. I sit here and can do nothing, even though I would like to volunteer to go to Belgrade and help anyway I can. Who should I contact? I simply admire the bravery of the Serbian people who are not giving in to the NATO aggressions. And I hope that the truth will prevail. God bless Serbia!"

(Name withheld, but known to TiM)


TiM Ed.: We did provide to our correspondent the information about how to obtain the visa for travel to Serbia through the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest.

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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", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) 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"

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