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<nettime> [ot] Further proof of U.S. War Crimes in Yugoslavia


New revelations that NATOís high-altitude bombing of Yugoslavia 
was far less successful than claimed at the time, are "further proof of 
U.S. war crimes against Yugoslavia," said Sara Flounders, national 
co-director of the International Action Center on May 10.

"This will provide additional evidence for the International War 
Crimes Tribunal we will hold in New York June 9-10 to try U.S. 
and NATO political and military leaders for war crimes, crimes 
against humanity and crimes against peace," Flounders said.

Newsweek magazine had gotten hold of an internal U.S. Air Force 
report showing that only 58 of NATOís so-called high-precision 
strikes hit their targets. This compares with 744 NATO claimed at 
the end of the bombing campaign. 

"The claims of high accuracy with little harm to civilians," said 
Flounders, "was just another in the long line of lies NATO 
spokespeople used to justify massive attacks on civilian targets in 

A special investigation team from the U.S. and other NATO air 
forces searched Kosovo on foot and by helicopter. U.S. top 
officers boasted that NATO forces had disabled "around 120 
tanks", "about 220 armored personnel carriers" and "up to 450 
artillery and mortar pieces" in 78 days of bombing.

The investigators reported instead that NATO hit just 14 tanks, 18 
APCs and 20 artillery and mortar pieces, less than one tenth of 
NATO claims. These figures are quite close to the losses Yugoslav 
forces reported at the end of the war. NATO dismissed the 
Yugoslav report as "disinformation" at the time.

The investigators found out that U.S. and NATO high-altitude air 
power was effective chiefly against civilian targets. It was the 
bombing of cities and power stations that most damaged Serbia.

Flounders noted that the report, made last summer, had never been 
made public. A second report, which reported hits closer to NATO 
and the Pentagonís boasts, was then used.

"The Newsweek article avoided the implications that the U.S. and 
NATO commanders violated the rules of war by striking civilian 
targets," said Flounders. "Instead, it pointed to the efficacy of 
striking the civilian infrastructure of a country, which in the case of 
Yugoslavia includes hundreds of schools, dozens of hospitals and 
almost every major industry. In effect it advocates new war crimes."

Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark had drawn up the original 
charge sheet against NATO leaders, which added up to 19 charges. 
Charge number 9, said Flounders, was "Attacking Objects 
Indispensable to the Survival of the Population of Yugoslavia," 
including depriving the population of Yugoslavia of food, water, 
electric power, food production, medicines, medical care and other 
essentials to their survival, [by engaging] in the systematic 
destruction and damage by missiles and aerial bombardment of food 
production and storage facilities, drinking water and irrigation works 
for agriculture, fertilizer, insecticide, pharmaceutical, hospitals and 
health care facilities, among other objects essential to human survival.

"The NATO commanders, fearing the complete failure of their 
campaign against the Yugoslav military, concentrated on hitting 
civilian targets," said Flounders. "This is clearly a war crime, and we 
will prove this before the world on June 10."

International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
phone: 212 633-6646
fax:   212 633-2889

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