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Serbian case 2

by vbo Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 01:42:37 AM EST

First something very interesting here:
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/politics/myth/articles/042395.George_Kenney.html

THE BOSNIA CALCULATION: How many have died?
Not nearly as many as some would have you think.

George Kenney

The NY Times Magazine, April 23, 1995, pp.42-43

[George Kenney, a Washington writer, resigned from the State Department int 1992 to protest United States policy Yugoslavia.]

ALL TOLD, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN BOSNIA? For news organizations and policy specialists, the easy answer is 200,000. As someone who have followed the conflict closely from the begining in a proffesional capacity, I'm not convinced. Bosnia isn't the Holocaust or Rwanda; it's Lebanon.

A relatively large number of white people have been killed in gruesome fashion in the first European blowup since World War II. In response, the United Nations has set up the first international war crimes trial since Nuremberg. But that doesn't mean the Bosnian Serbs' often brutal treatment of Bosnian Muslims is a unique genocide, as the United Nations and the Bosnian Muslims have charged.

There can be no minimizing of what the Serbs have done in Bosnia. Their punishment of the Muslims far outweighs any Muslim transgression. For there to be peace in the long run there must jusitice. Yet the more serious the charge, the more effort we must make to get the facts right. We should think twice before revising historical fact into a fearful epic that plants the seeds for a future war.

By my count, the number of fatalities in Bosnia's war isn't 200,000 but 25,000 to 60,000 -- total from all sides. What surprises me is not that the popular figure is so inflated -- informed people can and will argue about it for some time to come -- but that it has been so widely and uncritically accepted.

The notion of hundreds of thousands of deaths emerged late in 1992, when "ethnic cleansing" was in full swing and journalists suspected the State Department of concealing its knowledge of a Bosnian killing field. It didn't. Its real failure was knowing nothing and not wanting to know.

In August 1992, shortly before I resigned as acting head of the State Department's Yugoslav desk, I wrote a memo suggesting that we send teams to investigate, and was rebuffed. At that time my most dire concern was a C.I.A. report predicting up to 150,000 deaths through the winnter if the West did nothing. Leaked in September, the report seemed tame next to a prediction of 400,000 deaths, made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy, Jose-Maria Mendiluce, a man, one senior United Nations official says, "gifted with theatrical flair." As it turned out, the winter was exceptionally mild. Few died.

Nevertheless, revelations of ethnic cleansing, combined with the C.I.A. and United Nations predictions, created expectations. Images of a killing field lingered, personified in grim photographs of skeletal Muslim men in Serbian concentration camps. That backdrop made it easy for Haris Silajdzic, then Bosnia's Foreign Minister, to give the first big boost in the number of deaths. In December 1992, he told journalists that there were 128,444 dead on the Bosnian side (induding Croats and Serbs loyal to the Bosnian Government). He evidently got the figure by adding together the 17,466 confirmed dead and the 111,000 that the Bosnian Institute of Public Health had estimated to be missing. An able politician, Silajdzic understood the benefit of apparent slaughter. In the West, it meant political support; in the Islamic world, much-needed donations to lubricate the Bosnian war machine.

At first, such high numbers didn't take. But on June 28, 1993 -- as near as I can pin it down -- the Bosnian Deputy Minister of Information, Senada Kreso, told journalists that 200,000 had died. Knowing her from her service as my translator and guide around Sarajevo, I believe that this was an outburst of naive zeal. Nevertheless, the major newspapers and wire services quickly began using these numbers, unsourced and unsupported (Mea culpa: I used the figure of 200,000 dead in articles and speeches for a while in 1993.) An inert press simply never bothered to learn the origins of the numbers it reported.

Today, Silajdzic, now the Prime Minister, routinely talks about genocide and the "Bosnian holocaust" with nary an eyebrow raised in his audience. But there was no holocaust. For Bosnia, an area slightly larger than Tennessee, to have suffered more than 200,000 deaths would have meant roughly 200 deaths per day, every day, for the three-plus years of war. But the fighting rarely, if ever, reached that level. After the Serbs carved out the areas they wanted in 1992, fighting declined steadily, reaching a virtual stalemate by autumn 1993. Now on the front lines, combatants often shoot past each other, tacitly understanding that in a low-intensity war nobody wants to get hurt.

Outright warfare, therefore, has probably resulted in deaths measured in the tens of thousands, induding civilians. If there were huge numbers of other dead, they would be accounted for only by systematic killing in concentration camps or the complete, as- yet-undiscovered extermination of entire villages.

Neither the International Committee of the Red Cross nor Western governments have found evidence of systematic killing. Nobody, moreover, has found former detainees of concentration camps who witnessed systematic killing. Random killing took place in the camps, but not enough to account for tens of thousand of dead. And, apart from the few well-known massacres nobody sees signs of missing villages, either.

The Red Cross has confirmed well under 20,000 fatalities on all sides. Extrapolating from that and from the observations of experienced investigators in Bosnia, its analysts estimate total fatalities at 20,000 to 30,000, with a small chance that they may exceed 35,000.

Analysts at the C.I A. and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research put fatalities in the tens of thousands but hesitate to give a more precise range until the war is over. European military intelligence officers with extensive experience in Bosnia estimate fatalities in the mid tens of thousands. From these and other estimates by generally reliable relief workers, and given the arguments about the physical impossibility of high numbers, I arrived at the range of 25,000 to 60,000 fatalities.

THE QUESTION OF HOW MANY FATALITIES there have been in Bosnia is far from academic. Many wars, maybe all -- but this war especially -- are fought for prestige and honor, not rational reasons. Many atrocities in the former Yugoslavia have been justified as revenge for killings during World War II. Yet the number of fatalities in Yugoslavia during World War II was also never documented. In fact, interpreting those numbers today defines your brand of ethnic nationalism. Thus, people in the Balkans think the number of fatalities makes a difference -- and since they do, so should we. The difference could be between getting a settlement in our lifetime and waiting generations. Not to break the cycle is a grattuitous, even immoral error.

Red Cross officials, normally secretive, surprised me by warmly embracing a public airing of the question. Their worry is that obsessive attention to Bosnia will come at the expense of the world's ability to allocate humanitarian resources among similar or more serious wars. Of perhaps greater long-term concern to them is that wild inflation of Bosnian fatalities will discredit reports of subsequent atrocities.

There is always a tension between moral outrage at particular horrors and the effort to put them into perspective. Michael Berenbaum, director of the Holocaust Research Institute at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, deftly explains: "The Holocaust has raised our tolerance for ordinary evil. This forces people to make their own plight more Holocaust-like." Bosnia was an ideal candidate for such an image make-over, since in the early confusion of ethnic cleansing and concentrauon camps American uncertainty about what was happening made our worst fears seem quite real.

Those who sounded the early alarm profoundly believe that "Never again" means "Never again." Preventive concern, however, evolved perversely into a distorted picture. My sense is that the chorus warning of genocide gradually got taken over by those who sought to stampede the United Sutes into unilaterally lifting the arms embargo against the Muslims. The activists half-succeeded. Though there has been no unilateral lifting, recent polls suggest that a large majority of Americans believe that the Serbs committed genocide. It may already be too late to change that perception.

Magnitude matters. As Berenbaum notes genocide with a small "g" (in which we might lump Bosnia with East Timor, Liberia, Guatemala, Sudan and Chechnya, among a score of others) is quite different from Genocide with a big "G" (the Holocaust -- and, perhaps, Cambodia or Rwanda). To their discredit, some advocates of lifting the embargo played down the difference. The emotional resonance of Genocide obscured the dismal possibility that arming the Muslims could inflame the war, killing far more than had already been killed: after a supposed 200,000 deaths, it didn't matter if additional tens of thousands died so long as we did what was "right." Like the cruel Balkan leaders themselves, advocates of arming the Muslims became strikingly callous.

In 1995, lacking the bodies, the charge of Genocide has worn thin. It seems to have almost become sensationalism for its own sake. Apart from any question of the number of fatalities, journalists have begun a hot little debate about how "objective" coverage of Bosnia has been, about whether it has tended to favor the Muslims. Several journalists with whom I spoke expressed the uneasy feeling that something was obviously wrong. In the words of the writer David Rieff, "Bosnia became our Spain," though not for political reasons, which is what he meant, but rather because too many journalists dreamed self-aggrandizing dreams of becoming Hemingway.

Who could do a reliable count? Probably not the State Department. Unfortunately, Secretary of Stae Warren Christopher folded under pressure from the interventionists and began-however furtively -- charging the Serbs with Genocide. Having thus taken sides, the State Department can hardly be expected to investigate reliably.

The United Nations is well placed, but its officials have every incentive to duck controversy. Western govermnents have repeatedly shrugged off any responsibility for an authoritative count. The news media can report figures only from others; it does not have the access needed to compile its own numbers. And the Balkan people can't be trusted.

The only other possible sources are nongovernmental organizations like the Red Cross, and their counting criteria vary greatly. But a neutral source is important. As long as the world tosses around words like "genocide" so loosely, the present tragedy will revolve endlessly. Counts count.


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11 years later looks like this man was much closer to the number then anybody else...But it does not matter any more because as he said:
Quote:
...recent polls suggest that a large majority of Americans believe that the Serbs committed genocide. It may already be too late to change that perception.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 02:20:20 AM EST
Here a little bit more about
Warfare and Conflict Between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs Since 1912
http://www.historyguy.com/kosovar_serb_warfare.html

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 03:04:05 AM EST
As I am surfing Internet more and more I find more and more interesting staff. Like this:
 Was Serbia a Practice Run for Iraq?
by Paul Craig Roberts

http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=8690

...A partisan accusation or the truth? Milosevic was known to be seriously ill. The Russian government promised to return Milosevic to the Tribunal after treatment. The Tribunal refused. It is easy to conclude that the case against Milosevic had collapsed and that an embarrassed U.S. government, NATO authorities, and Hague Tribunal decided to let him die in his cell rather than admit that his guilt could not be proven even after a trial lasting four years and one month.
...Milosevic could hardly remain a Serbian leader and not support the Serbs. Abraham Lincoln was canonized for invading the South to prevent its secession, but Milosevic was damned for trying to protect Yugoslavia's territorial integrity. In the end, Milosevic accepted secession. In 1995, Milosevic negotiated the Dayton Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia. According to Wikipedia, "Milosevic was credited in the West with being one of the pillars of Balkan peace."
...In 1998, Milosevic was confronted with a more severe problem. Armed actions by the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State, in the ancient Serbian province of Kosovo broke out into warfare. Milosevic was now trying to hold on to a province not of Yugoslavia but of Serbia itself, a province that had been colonized by ethnic Albanians. The Serbian population in Kosovo was outnumbered nine to one and suffered greatly at the hands of the KLA.
...Milosevic was demonized, and the Clinton administration had Serbia bombed by NATO forces for 78 days in the spring of 1999.
...In effect, the U.S. interfered in Serbian affairs in behalf of the secession, with the result that Kosovo has been essentially ethnically cleansed of Serbs.
...Somehow, this has been presented as a great moral victory for humanity.
...If the massive propaganda campaign against Milosevic had many facts behind it, he long ago would have been convicted at The Hague. What was the episode all about?
...In my opinion, it was to establish the precedent, later to be employed in the Middle East, that the U.S. government could demonize a head of state geographically distant from any legitimate "sphere of influence" and use military force to remove him. This is precisely the fate of Saddam Hussein, and the Bush regime still hopes to repeat the strategy in Iran and Syria.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 03:20:32 AM EST
You might want to choose your sources better:

This book is a study of Chile's turbulent recent history. It covers Salvador Allende's socialist revolution and explains how it sank Chile into chaos, economic deprivation, political turmoil, and illegality. It covers Chileans' repudiation of the Allende government three years later and their call to the military to intervene after the August 1973 congressional censure of Allende failed to stop Allende or convince him to resign.

By winter 1973, Chileans were desperate, as famine loomed in Chile and disorder reigned in the streets. Allende's government had so destroyed the productive apparatus that on Sept. 6, 1973, President Allende announced: "We do not have the most minimal supply of flour, at most for three or four days."

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean military intervened and put a stop to Allende's palace coup against Chile's longstanding democracy. The book explains how the incoming military government quickly restored production in Chile. Before three weeks, shops were re-stocked with goods and long lines for consumer products had subsided. The book details the economic plan-"the Brick"-- written by US-trained Chilean economists, and shows how its implementation by the Pinochet government lifted Chile out of the ranks of third world nations and put the country on a path to modernization.

[...]

_The Pinochet government was the most successful government Chile has ever known. Yet, the world views Pinochet as a monstrous dictator and Allende as a caring social democrat. The book tells the story of how the myth of Allende was created and shows its continuing deleterious effect on Chile. The October 1998 arrest of Pinochet in Britain on a warrant issued by a low-level Spanish magistrate was a stunning outcome of the triumph of communist propaganda over fact.

Chile: Two Visions, The Allende-Pinochet Era
by Karen Araujo and Paul Craig Roberts

Is the multicultural campaign really about diversity? Or is it about stamping out Western civilization and the "white race" itself?

[...]

If you thought genocide was left behind in the 20th century, be apprised that today genocide has a home in the educational system.

Harvard Hates The White Race?

Two weeks after Americans chose a new president on Nov. 7, the Democratic Party is still trying to change the vote count.
[...]

There is no excuse for a party that controls both executive and legislative power in Florida to stand aside while thieves steal the election. Every member of the Florida Supreme Court should be arrested, indicted, and immediately put on trial for aiding and abetting vote fraud. The Democrats, who are re-voting already recounted ballots, must also be arrested, indicted and tried for perpetrating vote fraud. The media that threw the West Coast to Gore by falsely announcing Gore's victory before the polls closed, together with the media that is cloaking Florida vote fraud as a recount, must also be indicted for their participation in fraud. Once Bush assumes the office to which he has been elected, Republicans must turn their attention to dismantling the Democratic Party's Propaganda Ministry that masquerades as a news media. The most obvious solution is nationalization. Give the corrupt media the socialism it wants, and run the organizations as strict news outlets with all editorializing and opinion banned. Once Americans can get the facts, they will realize that a Nazi Party (aka the Democratic Party) has grown up in their midst.

The democratic nazi party

_ An honest look at democracy's "great victories" shows them to be unmitigated disasters. The Civil Rights Act destroyed freedom of conscience, voluntary association and equality in law, replacing it with status-based privileges from the feudal past. Busing and federal aid destroyed public education. The Great Society spending programs eroded family and encouraged public dependency. The New Deal destroyed accountable law by forcing Congress to delegate lawmaking power to unelected federal bureaucrats. The Social Security Act substituted an intergenerational Ponzi scheme, which is entirely dependent on favorable demographics, for individual saving. The Federal Reserve Act gave us the Great Depression. American entry into World War I, which was to make the world "safe for democracy," resulted in Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Yet, all these disastrous policies greatly benefited the politicians who inflicted them. When democracy is mixed with racial and cultural diversity, the combination of short time horizons with internal conflict maximizes weakness, regardless of accumulated scientific and technological skills._

Destroying the West with political correctness

There is lots more where this came from. Roberts is a radical right wing white supremacist who happens to also believe that America should pursue an isolationist policy in the post Cold War era. That has led him to oppose both the Yugoslav wars and Iraq, but it doesn't change what he is.

by MarekNYC on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 03:30:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The October 1998 arrest of Pinochet in Britain on a warrant issued by a low-level Spanish magistrate was a stunning outcome of the triumph of communist propaganda over fact.
Whoa! Garzon is (and was already then) one of the most senior prosecuting judges in the most powerful Spanish Court (other than the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 03:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK I did not check on Roberts...I was just surfing Internet and I thought this was an interesting aspect of the situation. And also because it was on anti-war site I just didn't feel need and also did not have time to check properly. Thank you for letting me know this.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:09:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my opinion Milosevic will be damned by Serbs for few reasons/mistakes he made

1. He never gave up on communism and Serbs all though able to pretty much adapt , were / are not that much in love with it. Would you believe it? Remember we were the only one nation who had established monarchy at the time. I suppose it was our "love" for the Russians that made us accept Tito in the end ( apart from the fact that Tito killed everyone in Serbia opposing him in the years after the WWII). Milosevic may even have been decent in his love for communism (I was not fan of this theory at the time) but his family and his close "comrades" definitely was not. His wife preached left and grabbed as much as possible .His son was a criminal of the sort and he and his spoiled sister behave like Serbia is a gift for them from their daddy...His comrades ARE new capitalists and a class of rich in Serbia TODAY...and will be in future...

2.With 1 and with attitude and arrogance he had towards West Serbia stood not chance of support from the west...In a national struggle duty of the president would be to find powerful "friends". He had no chance from the beginning when he "kicked" USA ambassador Zimmerman "in his ass" not even wanting to talk to him. For me that was a first alarm that things are going to end up ugly for us. Later he made even more mistakes but supporting rotten Russian communist generals against Jelcin (all though I never hoped Russians will really help...they rarely really did it ever before)...

3.He had no (or he just never came out with)  clear plans what Serbia  is going to do in case of secession ( and it was obvious for some time that  it is coming) let alone to ask Serbs (in any possible way) what they are thinking and are ready to accept.. Serbs at least in Serbia were left to assume that what he is doing  is the only way things could be done. He hated criticism even between his pears and if he communicated with anyone at all he communicated with his Army high officers. When he turned the Army against people on March 9 there was no way for him to have consensus about anything in Serbia. He played it dirty with Serbs in Serbia (using all kinds of propaganda and repression) probably because it was in his (his wife) autocratic nature or because he wasn't that much sure they would voluntarily accept his "visions". I don't know why he did it as he did. He was also power hungry and it took "revolution" to take him out of power. If he really had a vision of free and democratic Serbian lands coming together he should come openly in front of the nation explaining his plans how to defend them and I am sure knowing Serbs  they will be ready to die to the last one for that goal. But we never knew exactly what's going on and what's coming...In the main time while we were suffering grossly during war and sanctions years some people in Serbia became bloody rich...it happened to be people around Milosevic.

4. Because of the above 3 everything he touched was a disaster...I personally can not forgive him that he put my family and friends under the NATO bombs (I already left country by that point). I do not accuse him for not signing Rambouie (spelling?) "capitulation" as I will not accuse Kostunica or anybody else in Serbia for not signing to give Kosovo independence . No one can sign such a thing (even according to Serbian law). In my opinion he would have just take Army and police from Kosovo (together with Serbian refugees) and say to USA and NATO : It's yours! We can't fight with you but we will proclaim that Serbian land is occupied and will never sign any papers"...NATO would probably still find a reason to bomb Serbia and it's infrastructure to the grand but it would be solely their wrongdoing. But why would Milosevic do it right way on Kosovo when he already had it soooo wrong in Croatia and Bosnia...It was just more of the same...
OK maybe I am naïve, and maybe things would go this way anyway what ever Milosevic did because it was "already in a cards"...still.
Some of you people here get me wrong , thinking that I do not want to see atrocities and catastrophe of this wars and that I am apologetic for Serbian crimes as opposed to crimes of other participant in ex-YU catastrophe. I am not. I am just trying to make you understand that first: there were others who participated in those wars and that there are atrocities on their sides that are not reported or are not realistically reported and this thanks to propaganda that is still brewing against Serbs reports of their atrocities were most of the time exaggerated and for the purpose of demonization of Serbian nation.
As for the wars it self  no matter how I hated Milosevic he was just one of the actors who made them possible  and as one man said on one of the forums :
"But blaming all the ills of the 1990s on him is pure scapegoating, which prevents people who do so from examining their own actions and perpetuates the legacy of self-righteous victimhood that will inevitably fuel new conflict."

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 05:34:05 AM EST
More interesting views :

http://69.90.74.94:90/chapter8.asp

 Chapter 8: THE EMPIRE AS GOOD GUY: CLINTON KILLS CIVILIANS TO SAVE THEM

Yugoslavia was a mosaic of people, languages, religions, and cultures. Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro were the six republics which joined together to form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The chapter briefly examines the histories of the six republics which were under the control of different empires at different points in their histories.

Josip Broz Tito became secretary general of the Communist Party in 1937. Tito called for a meeting of the Anti-Fascist Council for the Liberation of Yugoslavia in 1943 and became premiere in 1945 when the constituent assembly proclaimed Yugoslavia a federal republic.

In 1968, western Macedonia and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo staged violent demonstrations demanding equality and republican status for Kosovo. Political and cultural tensions between Serbia and Croatia strengthened nationalist sentiment in Croatia.

One of the major problems plaguing Yugoslavia in the 1980s was an economic crisis and economic disparities widened as Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia became more developed than Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. By 1991, conditions were ripe for the collapse of Yugoslavia as ethnic conflicts pitted one republic against another and republics against ethnic minorities within those republics.

As Yugoslavia edged toward brutal conflicts, the United States and the western powers actively promoted the breakup of Yugoslavia to serve their own interests. The U.S. and other European nations supported conservative separatist groups in the republics.

Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence in 1991. Croatia's attempt to achieve independence was a bloody struggle because of the large Serbian population living there. Croatia, with the assistance of the U.S., launched a bloody offensive against its Serbian population. The atrocities against the Serbs in Croatia were at least as horrifying as anything that occurred in Kosovo later.

In March 1992, Bosnians voted to secede from Yugoslavia and immediately afterwards the western powers recognized Bosnia as a sovereign state despite the unresolved festering ethnic problems. Thirty-two percent of the population were Serbs who did not want to secede from Yugoslavia. The Serbs in Bosnia rebelled, with the support of Serbia, in order to retain their territory in Bosnia. Croatia sent troops into Bosnia to support the Muslim population. American and NATO military intervention to support the Muslims with arms and troops escalated the conflict. NATO began air strikes on Bosnian Serb military units in 1994 and engaged in carpet bombing of Serbian territory in 1995.

One of the most publicized battles in the war was the Serbian siege of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Although Serbian forces committed atrocities in Sarajevo, the Bosnian atrocities against the Serbs were just as great. The three infamous marketplace massacres in Sarajevo in 1992, 1994, and 1995 were blamed on the Serbs when, in fact, there is evidence that the Muslims were responsible for the massacres.

The heavy U.S.-led NATO bombing of Serbian targets in Bosnia forced the Serbs to capitulate and seek an end to the conflict. In November 1995, the western powers led the peace negotiations which resulted in the Dayton Accords.

Kosovo, a province of Serbia, waged a fierce battle for its independence during the negotiations. The majority of the inhabitants of Kosovo were Albanians but there was also a small Serbian population living there. After Tito’s death, there was a surge of ethnic Albanian and Serbian nationalist sentiment. Ethnic Albanians were taking over land belonging to the Serbs, attacking Serbian churches, and raping Serbian girls.

In 1981, ethnic Albanians, led by students, protested in the streets against Belgrade to demand higher wages, greater freedom of expression, and republic status for Kosovo. Demonstrations by both Serbs and Albanians continued throughout the 1980s.

In 1989, Slobodan Milosevic became president of Yugoslavia and he implemented a new constitution which deprived Kosovo of rights achieved in the 1974 constitution. When ethnic Albanians protested the change, police opened fire on the crowd killing 24 people. Albanian members of the assembly declared Kosovo's independence and Serbia dissolved the assembly provoking more demonstrations. The first organized violence occurred in 1996 when Albanians attacked Serbian refugee camps with grenades.

The slow and apparent lack of progress of the protests drove ethnic Albanians to form the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) who were dedicated to the use of violence to achieve independence for Kosovo. Serbian forces responded more harshly as the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the KLA escalated.

Two major factors contributed to the growing strength of the KLA: the drug trade and support from the U.S. In 1998, the western perspective on the conflict began to shift from a condemnation of the KLA as a terrorist organization to a condemnation of the actions of the Serbian forces in Kosovo. The U.S. began equipping the KLA with very sophisticated weapons.

On March 9, 1998, the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, and Italy met in London and established conditions which the FRY had to meet in order to avoid punitive measures. The London meeting ignored the actions of the KLA who were brutally attacking the Serbs and focused exclusively on the actions of Serbian forces. The conflict in Kosovo had become a civil war with outside powers supporting the KLA. Near the end of 1998, stories about ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo began to surface. This and other myths were part of the propaganda campaign to win public support for a war against Serbia.

Western governments were seeking a method to back up diplomacy with force against Serbia. On February 6, 1999, the Kosovar Albanians and Serbs were summoned to a meeting in Rambouillet, France. The U.S. was not interested in negotiations and established an inflexible set of demands in advance. No sovereign state would accept the terms proposed by the U.S. Accepting these demands would result in a military occupation of Yugoslavia and Belgrade refused the ultimatum. The propaganda campaign was now complete. The Serbs had been accused of atrocities in Kosovo and now refused to sign a peace agreement.

American leaders repeatedly trumpeted their noble objective to wage a humanitarian war to rescue ethnic Albanians. The bombing of Serbia began on March 24, 1999. The stated intent of the NATO bombing campaign was to avoid civilian targets but hospitals, factories, towns, villages, utilities, a prison, a ski resort, and buses were bombed despite the fact that they had no military purpose. The NATO bombing caused $100 billion in damages.

After the bombing, a team of international lawyers filed a request with the International Court for the Former Yugoslavia requesting that the court investigate NATO leaders for possible violations of international law. Their request carefully documents the possible violations and describes in detail the damage caused by the bombing. Louise Arbour, Chief Prosecutor, refused to consider the case. She reassured the lawyers that NATO leaders intend to abide by international law.

NATO leaders, including President Bill Clinton, violated the UN and NATO charters and the Geneva Conventions. President Clinton lied about the atrocities committed by the Serbs and about the selected targets.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 06:02:19 AM EST
Hi vbo, thaks again for your further work on this project...haven't had time to read it yet, but will, and appreciate your efforts to educate us!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 07:08:14 AM EST
The numbers according to the ICTY (it's a Free Republic link but its a transcription from the Norwegian News Agency) are ~100.000 dead. What's interesting is that according to the ICTY:

102,622 civilians and military personnel were killed, Tabeau and Bijak conclude. 55,261 civilians and 47,360 soldiers were killed, including Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats.

The researchers estimate the number of killed civilian Muslims and Croats tobe around 38,000, while the number of killed civilian Serbians was about 16,700.

Among military personnel, the researchers think close to 28,000 people were killed in the government army, mostly Bosnian Muslims.

On the Serbian side, 14,000 soldiers were killed, while a bit over 6,000 Bosnian Croatian soldiers lost their lives because of actions of war.

So according to researchers working for the ICTY (which I expect we all agree a trusted source), the percentage of Serb civilian casualties is little over 30%. The percentage of Bosnian Serbs in the total population before the war was little over 31%. So as far as civilian casualties are concerned the Serb civilians suffered proportionally to their numbers in Bosnia before the war. In the military casualties list Bosnian Muslims are indeed over-represented.

Anyway one looks at it (unless there are considerations that I'm unaware of - not unlikely, please correct me if I'm wrong) these numbers do not show a one-sided campaign of terror. Of course one has to bear in mind that the warring factions were not along clear-cut ethnic lines (as the Erdemovic case demonstrates). Bosnian Serbs fought for the Bosnian goverment and there was the Abdic phenomenon. However I doubt if these considerations change the overall tally significantly (again I'm willing to stand corrected).

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:25:48 AM EST


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