nettime's_indigestive_syetem on Sun, 28 Mar 1999 21:03:32 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> yugoslavia update Sun Mar 28 17:52:24 GMT+0100

          a non libertarian responce <nettime> acton plan no.1
          Charles Krauthammer: Confused on Kosovo
lisa haskel
          Radio Report

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Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 13:34:14 +0100 (BST)
From: "K.Patelis" <>
Subject: a non libertarian responce <nettime> acton plan no.1

Given that my government has refused to be part of this fiasko, and that
it is clear that the issues are not war and peace, I do not see why not
debating them is similar to writing to gov. 

If it was ethics that led to military action, we would have not had any
wars ever, since wars are always about other things ( the same could be
said of ethics) I think it is great to "talk", for me at least this has
been very interesting , and though it may not do lots for my high-school
frineds in the greek albanian border I am sure they will be interested
when they return


Korinna Patelis
Department of Media and Communications
Goldsmiths College-London-SE14 6NW
DIRECT LINE 0171-9197243

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Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 12:55:19 +0200 (CEST)
From: nettime's_roving_reporter (
Subject: Confused on Kosovo

Confused on Kosovo

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, March 26, 1999; Page A33 

Just hours before President Clinton sent bombers to attack Serbia, he gave a
speech to explain why. Unlike the televised address he delivered the next
night, this speech, delivered to a union group on Tuesday, appeared to be
unscripted. It was Clinton being Clinton. It has to be read to be believed.
For incoherence and simple-mindedness, for disorganization and sheer
intellectual laziness, it is unmatched in recent American history.

It is forgivable to make a difficult, if mistaken, decision in a situation
with no very good options. It is not forgivable to send American men and women
into battle in the name of a cause one can barely elucidate.

Clinton's first stab at telling us "what Kosovo is about" is this: "Look all
over the world. People are still killing each other out of primitive urges
because they think what is different about them is more important than what
they have in common."

But if that is what Kosovo is about -- an inability to "just get along," to
quote Rodney King -- why are we going to war? Cruise missiles are an odd
instrument of social work.

In fact, Clinton is wrong. The reason for the killing in Kosovo is not
mindless ethnic hatred but quite rational power politics. There is a guerrilla
army of Kosovar Albanians who want independence and are willing to kill to
achieve it. And there is a Serb army that wants to keep Kosovo in Yugoslavia
and preserve the sovereignty of the state. And they are willing to kill for

By the president's logic, the American Revolution was Minutemen and Redcoats
killing each other out of primitive urges because they thought what was
different about them was more important than what they had in common.
Contrary to Clinton's sentimental view, civil war -- in Kosovo as elsewhere
-- is not mere mindless bigotry. It reflects the desire of one group to
another, and the other to resist that domination. It is about politics, not
about psychology.

Later in the speech, Clinton seems dimly to acknowledge this point. He said
"it was an insult" to claim that the Balkan peoples are congenitally given to
ethnic warfare, "that somehow they were intrinsically made to murder one
another." So, he concludes, contradicting his view of just five minutes
earlier, Kosovo is indeed about more than people just fighting over ethnic
differences out of primitive urges.

What then? Clinton makes a halfhearted attempt to show that it's about our
economy, stupid. "If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that
includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key."
Our economy demands a "Europe that is safe, secure, free, united, a good
partner with us for trading."

Okay. But what's that got to do with Yugoslavia? How is it that during the
Bosnian war, a far more savage conflict involving three European countries,
the United States enjoyed its greatest peacetime expansion in history, a boast
Clinton never tires of making?

Perhaps realizing that he is on soft ground here, Clinton immediately switches
rationales. "And so I want to talk to you about Kosovo today but just remember
this -- it's about our values. What if someone had listened to Winston
Churchill and stood up to Adolf Hitler earlier?"

But if Serbia's Milosevic is Hitler, how come this Hitler has been our peace
partner in the Dayton Accords these past three years now?

Never mind. When in doubt play the Hitler card. No matter how ridiculous the
analogy. After all, Serbia has no ambition to rule a continent, nor the power
to do so.

It was always wrong and unwise to call Saddam "Hitler" (as both the previous
and current administrations have done), but at least Saddam in control of the
vast oil wealth of the Persian Gulf would have become the dominant power in
the region and a nuclear-armed threat to world peace. But Serbia? In Kosovo it
is not even attempting to take over any foreign territory. Its objective is
merely to retain sovereignty over a province that has been Yugoslavia's since
Yugoslavia was created in 1918.

Clinton then veers into an attempt at domino-theory geopolitics, saying that
it is really about Greece and Turkey. He says that twice, never explains why,
and then drops the subject completely. Was he reading talking points?

It was a disgraceful performance. People join the military knowing they might
one day be asked to risk their lives. They thus cannot complain when that day
comes. But they also join the military with the expectation that when they are
sent to risk their lives, they serve a commander in chief who can, unscripted,
justify their coming sacrifice in a manner that at least simulates
deliberation, strategic thinking and coherence. On that score, they have
already been seriously let down. 

c Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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From: "lisa haskel" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 13:54:38 +0000
Subject: Radio Report

Dear All,

Yesterday evening, in chaotic but friendly backspace-style, Radio 
Deep Europe netcast for two hours between 5pm and 7pm GMT.

Syndicalists Toni Prug, Lina D. Russell, Mare Tralla, Manu Luksch, 
Armin Medosch and Gordana Novakovic, and good Syndicate friends 
Rachel Baker, Giovanni D'Angelo and David Cross gathered to make the 
programme and contribute.  Plus a half dozen or so other backspacers 
and friends dropped by.  Mongrels Matsuko Yokokoji and Graham Harwood 
lent much needed equipment, and a few more supporters appeared on the

Despite equipment shortages and breakdowns - endemic to this 
small-scale production - we got some resemblence of a programme out 
reviewing news, opinions, alternative sources of information and 
pointers towards issues we could address immediately within our own 

We made telephone interviews with Micz Flor and some Serbian 
colleagues at Public Netbase in Vienna, Adam Hyde from the B92 
campaign in Amsterdam talked about the independent media situation in 
Serbia, Kosovo, and the border areas in Macedonia, and Florian 
Schneider from the Cross the Border campaign in Germany who had some 
very useful points to make on the issue of refugees, army deserters 
and asylum seekers and how to lobby governments on these issues.  

>From Backspace: Rachel Baker contributed her own re-worked version of 
newspaper headlines in her PPP service, Armin Medosch contributed a 
collection of mainstream media clips and choice pieces of political 
outrage,  Lina Russell and Tony Prug gave live simultaneously 
translated updates on the situation in Belgrade and elsewhere from 
FRY taken from the chatlines and message boards on, Manu 
contributed music and  David Cross talked extemely eloquently about 
the sub-culture of army life as he understands it from his contact 
with one of his brothers who is in the British Army in Bosnia and 
probably now Macedonia, and the difficulty of reconciling this family 
relationship with his own position. 

As well as commenting on the current situation, its escalation and 
complex effects, many of us mentioned the contradictions and 
challenges of receiving news of this conflict from mass media 
sources, personal sources and the semi-public forum of the Syndicate.

I hope that there is some value to this exercise, even as the crisis 
escalates and many on the Syndicate list - in ways that I fully 
support - turn their attention to trying to trying to articulate 
and present a position to governments and humanitarian agencies. I am 
trying to weigh this up myself.

One immediate effect is that another good Syndicate friends: Matthew 
Fuller and I/O/D have suggested that we "hijack" a slot in their 
presentation of his new artwork at London's ICA to talk about the 
lists, the radio project, the underlying arguments and potential 
future initiatives.  Extracts of the audio material will provide a 
resource for this kind of presentation which I think will be very 
valuable, which provide something to present more publicly other than 
the list texts. Maybe this can help preserve the delicate 
integrity of the forum which Andreas and Adele have talked about.  

Maybe this is is a resource others can use.

I will post again soon to let you know the whereabouts of the 
archived programme and prepare a running-order so that those who 
watn to can select extracts.  Some new audio files have been uploaded 
since the programme so I will try and make these available aswell.

With many, many thanks to all who contributed to and supported the 
programme and very best wishes to all,


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