Ivo Skoric on Thu, 8 Apr 1999 08:37:51 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Smoke On The Water

Is the flow of Albanian refugees caused by NATO? It may be that 
Yugoslav Army would not commit such a large scale offensive against 
Kosovo Albanians should it not be as revenge for NATO attacks. On the 
other hand there is a well documented history of escalation in ethnic 
cleansing operations every March (in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo 
wars), and Milosevic moved 40,000 troops into Kosovo *before* NATO 
strikes had begun.


A distant war is good for economy: the DOW rises consistently 
since the NATO strikes took full swing. The war that is too 
close is not that good for economy: the Yugoslav dinar is 
now worth a half of its already miserable value at the 
beginning of the strikes. A gallon of gasoline in Belgrade is going 
for $20, so Slivovitz may soon be replacing the fuel.


Another American aircraft is shot down: the spy drone Predator, that 
had technical problems from the beginning. So, I guess that's a piece 
of technology that still has to be worked on.


NATO pulverized Prishtina! Prishtina was "vukovarized" in one night 
in yet another demonstration of power. Serbs/Yugoslav Army deported 
Albanians from Kosovo a little bit too overzealously, so NATO figured 
out, as in a chess game, that since Prishtina has almost no civilian 
population any more, it is ripe for carpet bombing. Following the 
demolishon of Prishtina, Serb authorities, guided by the same chess 
rules, decided to stop deporting Albanians and started to turn 
refugees from the border with Macedonia back home - they said: "It is 
safe to go home now...." (Yugoslav Army lied landmines on the border, 
just in case some Albanians would not believe them).


Choice of targets is broadening to include government buildings with 
no specific military value. While this opens an unwelcome posibility 
of civilian casualties, it perhaps reflects the NATO's rage against 
Milosevic's recent stunt with the unilateral cease-fire. He is 
mocking NATO with saying - hey, guys, it took me less to achieve my 
military objectives than it took you to achieve yours, and with all 
your power and might. So, now he is getting punished for that 
humiliation. The unwanted but expected side effect of that punishment 
is that Serbs are now united behind its military. Young people who 
just two years ago walked the streets against Milosevic, now stand on 
the bridges in Belgrade (and the remaining bridge in Novi Sad) to 
protect them from NATO bombs. In a typical Balkan irony, the stand-in 
is accompained with rock music. While that government building was 
hit last night in Belgrade, the band played Deep Purple's "Smoke On 
The Water" and the public hold banners intended to insult Clinton 
calling him a "cloned sqiptar" and a "third-rate saxophone player."


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