KOSOVO: "Cutting Through a Fog of Lies"

by Jared Israel

Tuesday, March 30, 1999


People should be very wary of believing the atrocity stories flooding the press and TV. As the Sunday London Times news story, "Truth Chokes on the Fog of War," noted:

"All is not what it seems in the latest western attempt to impose order on Balkan chaos. A conflict promoted in Washington, London and elsewhere as a crusade against a despot looks a lot more complicated to those who live within earshot of exploding Tomahawk missiles...."

The Times is right. Consider the miraculous case of Fehmi Agani. Miraculous because a London Times story 3/30, reported that

"among those seen fleeing yesterday were the moderate politician Fehmi Agani and his family."

Why is this miraculous? Because he had been "killed" by CNN and the rest of the media a day or two before. Here's a sample from AP on 3/29:

"BELGRADE, Yugoslavia [AP] -- Fehmi Agani, a key ethnic Albanian political figure from Kosovo who NATO said was executed Sunday..."

And just to emphasize the rottenness of the deed, the AP adds that Agani "was considered a voice of reason amid the conflict and hatred..."

At least the dastardly Serbs who DIDN'T kill this man could have had the decency to NOT KILL someone who wasn't a voice of REASON! But you know those Serbs. They''re the types who'd probably bomb some country if the government refused to sign a phony peace agreement!

Now consider. Wouldn't an UNBIASED press have been eager to correct this slanderous error by plastering RETRACTIONS all over page one of every paper? Yet while the FABRICATION of Agani's DEATH was page one news the TRUTH of his REINCARNATION was A MINOR EVENT. Buried inside some newspapers, entirely absent from others. Why?

Doesn't the RUSH to print the LIE and the FAILURE to make KNOWN the TRUTH demonstrate a terrible bias?

And indeed, a smart fellow once said: "Truth is the first casualty of war."

BECAUSE NATO is bombing Kosovo and this bombing is creating a wave of refugees (wouldn't you flee??);

BECAUSE the KLA (Albanian secessionists) is doing everything it can to get Albanians to LEAVE Kosovo to prove there's a Humanitarian Disaster to justify NATO invasion;

BECAUSE the KLA's tricks include impersonating Serbian soldiers and committing acts of terror (KLA is a TERRORIST outfit, after all) such as burning villages to justify bombing and invasion;

BECAUSE the KLA has many agents among the refugees who LIE for the cause, because LIES are a key KLA weapon to justify the bombing of Serbia;

BECAUSE our media is controlled by precisely the people who are pushing this war;

BECAUSE refugees KNOW they will get a much better reception if they blame their flight on Serbs - instead of the NATO bombs;

THEREFORE the reporting has become an hysterical demonization of Serbia.

But THINK. When a crime occurs, we're supposed to ask WHO GAINS? Well, WHO GAINS from atrocities against Albanians in Kosovo? Such atrocities only hurt the Serbs. Who gains? ONLY the KLA and NATO.

In the 13 months that the Yugoslav Army and police fought 15,000 heavily armed terrorists, the press said 2000 people died. 2000 total, both sides. 5 a day on both sides. Doesn't that suggest the Serb forces have been very careful NOT to kill civilians? Why would the Serbs change NOW when they know that any atrocity will be used to justify bombing and invasion?

The answer is they have not. People are fleeing mainly because bombs are falling. Most Americans would flee too! Some make up atrocity stories to curry favor with NATO - remember, they are REFUGEES now and refugees know that in THIS world they are treated better if they say what CNN wants to hear. Some are KLA supporters, who have a motive to lie. And some have been attacked by Serbs who were driven to desperation BY SEEING THEIR RELATIVES BLOWN APART BY NATO BOMBS. But isn't that NATO's fault?

As the London Times said in the article "TRUTH CHOKES ON THE FOG OF WAR:"

"... Not everyone reaching Macedonia had encountered a genocidal Serb. Many had been scared from their homes not by Milosevic's marauding troops, but by the threat of NATO attacks. Others, like the well dressed Albanians, had motives that were hard to fathom through the centuries-old fog of Balkan intrigue and deceit.  In Tetovo, there was speculation that the Kotlina Albanians had fallen foul of their own side. Reports reaching Skopje have suggested that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the underdog resistance unit of Albanian separatist guerrillas, is not always as heroic as it is sometimes portrayed. " (The Sunday Times March 28 1999)

War is hell. LET'S STOP THIS ONE! The victims are citizens of Serbia, whether of Serbian, Albanian, Gypsy or other ethnic group -- and they are MAINLY being killed by NATO's HUMANITARIAN BOMBS.

Jared Israel is a writer and peace activist in the Boston area. Formerly a leader of opposition to the Vietnam war, Mr. Israel has written extensively on the conflicts in the Balkans.

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