Thomas Temme on Wed, 31 May 2000 17:03:12 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> NATOsevic

contains some polemics and cynicism

 Concerning the discussion about Serbia in Nettime as I followed it so
far:  I am concerned.  This last mail from Ann Doherty gave me the rest,
but probably I only misunderstood. 

 >In 1989, the Milosevic regime in Belgrade began its brutal drive for a
>"Greater Serbia" in former Yugoslavia by launching a reign of terror in
>the autonomous province of Kosova in southern Serbia, a country the size
>of Connecticut and home to 2.2 million people of whom 90 percent are
>ethnic Albanians.

 >Belgrade summarily revoked the autonomous status of the province, imposed
>martial law, sacked 150,000 Albanians from their jobs, dismissed Albanian
>physicians and hospital staff, closed Albanian-language schools and the
>university, and unleashed a six-year wave of massive human, civil and
>national rights abuses condemned repeatedly by the U.S. State Department,
>United Nations, European Union, and international human rights

>Since the Milosevic crack-down in 1989, hundreds of Albanians have been
>killed with thousands imprisoned, harassed, beaten, tortured and robbed.
>From Kosova Milosevic went on to spread his "ethnic cleansing" to
>Slovenia Croatia and finally Bosnia. The war in former Yugoslavia started
>in Kosova it will also end in Kosova.

>Living under Serb tyranny, the defenseless Albanian majority established a
>parallel society, declared their independence from Serbia in 1990, elected
>a parliament and president in 1992, and set up a government in exile. An
>underground economy was organized, with solidarity among the Albanians as
>a means of survival. Despite 60,000 Serbian military, paramilitary and
>police forces in Kosova the Albanians have managed to survive by telling
>their story to the international community and focusing public attention
>on their plight.

I am absolutely neither Pro-Serbian nor Pro-Milosevic, but these lines are
too much. This war in Southern Europe was not about good guys living in
sheer harmony except the bad oppressor wanting to have a Greater-Serbia
and killing the good guys until they got the intelligent and postmodern
idea of using the media to fight for their real and virtual and simulated

The same problem goes for the mails being concerned about media-rights and
students freedom in Serbia right now. In my point of view Serbia was
driven into the role of the bad guy and into the Kosovo-conflict by
history and the NATO for reasons I am not absolutely sure about. There is
a new book published in Germany by General a.D. Heinz Loquai _Der
Kosovo-Konflikt: Wege in einen vermeidbaren Krieg - Die Zeit vom November
1997 bis Maerz 1999_ in the Nomos-Verlag. (The Kosovo-conflict: Ways into
an avoidable war). Heinz Loquai is a German general of the Bundeswehr who
shows on which unreliable basis the so-called facts about massacres that
led Germany and the NATO into the aggression against Serbia were and how
these facts were used by politicians.  Also there were descriptions in
German leftist newspapers that the CIA and the German equivalent, the BND,
were fighting about who may give more tons of weapons to the peace-loving
Kosovo-Resistance-Army throughout the ninetees. 

Besides that point, even though I have empathy for oppressed democrats,
media-activists and students in Serbia, the media is not free in any
country involved in a war. And Yugoslavia still is in a war. The Western
media during the war in Kosovo were not free to send what it wanted, but
fortuantely Western media often even worked better on a purely ideological
basis for the cause of the NATO than it could if forced to. 

I find it difficult to simply show solidarity with people who work for a
good cause like democracy, if it is one in the western way, or like free
media in a situation as is in Serbia, and to forget about the history of
these good causes.  If we just assume that the NATO is partly responsible
for the situation of the Serbian state, good or not, and that a state's
main interest is to maintain its souvereignity, we could conclude that the
NATO has driven Serbian government in a situation where it has to oppress
certain democratic rights in order to survive. Shortly later the
inhabitants of the NATO-reigned states, in a kind of second invasion,
start showing all kinds of solidarity with the oppressed. Could we maybe
still call this a part of the war, a war with different means? 

Excuse me if I did not make my point all clear. Further discussions are
very welcome under

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