Slobodan Markovic on Tue, 18 May 1999 23:25:55 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Craig Goodrich on the War (fwd)

[this is a forwarded article. address for comments is included below. --sloba]


Sincere Regrets
by Craig Goodrich

As I write this, in the wee hours of May 8, our US ambassador to the UN, Peter
Burleigh, is addressing an emergency session of the Security Council, responding
to Chinese outrage that we blew up their embassy in Belgrade, killing four and
injuring a dozen others. Burleigh said earlier that there was "no confirmation"
that the missiles which flattened the Chinese embassy were fired by NATO; he
obviously believed that they might have come from some _other_ country firing
missiles in Yugoslavia -- perhaps India or Uruguay.

But he's now admitted they were fired by NATO -- that is, by the US, since our
country is providing more than 90% of the operational support for this war. He
places the blame for this incident, though, squarely on the shoulders of
Milosevic, insisting "the real blame lies with Yugoslavia's president for
causing the Kosovo crisis."  But he graciously offers the Chinese our "sincere
regrets" anyway.

Well, let's think about that for a moment. Milosevic had already agreed to an
international military presence in Kosovo -- indeed, two hundred observers from
the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) had to be
evacuated from Kosovo before the bombing began. What the Clinton Administration
insisted on, though, was free access to all of Yugoslavia (not just Kosovo) by
armed NATO troops, aircraft, and tanks. This was the _only_ point that Milosevic
rejected. Could _any_ sovereign country acquiesce to such foreign occupation?

So the US, your country and mine, after a full year of rejecting one peace plan
after another -- one from the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church and
another from Kosovar Albanian politician Ibrahim Rugova, to name just two --
decided to start bombing Yugoslavia to force Milosevic to accept terms that no
head of state anywhere in the world could possibly agree to. The bombing
violated the US Constitution, the NATO Charter, the UN Charter, the Geneva
Accords, and indeed every known precept of international law.

Then Milosevic, now free of foreign observers, faced with a civil war in Kosovo
fomented by the KLA -- a drug-running guerilla group financed principally by
the Albanian mafia -- and believing that he had nothing further to lose, turned
loose his thugs to drive hundreds of thousands of Albanians out of Kosovo,
while he could simultaneously silence his growing democratic opposition by
accusing them of treason. This is _exactly_ what had been predicted for more
than a year by observers ranging from the CIA to the Cato Institute -- yet the
Administration (which has repeatedly utilized the "Wag the Dog" phenomenon to
build its own support) appeared shocked and surprised.

The bombing has continued for more than six weeks. Kosovo is essentially
uninhabited now; its cleansing is complete. NATO -- that is, the US with
Britain playing the part of the small but noisy faithful dog -- is running out
of targets. One oil refinery has been bombed into oblivion no fewer than five
separate times. Yugoslavia was a poor country to start with; the bombing has
set back more than twenty years of painful progress in improving its standard
of living. The Danube -- a principal highway of commerce for all of southern
Europe -- is blocked.

Feverishly searching for targets, we have recently bombed Montenegro, which was
run by a moderate, pro-Western, anti- Milosevic government -- now, like all of
Yugoslavia, being pushed into the Milosevic camp by NATO insanity.

We have bombed to rubble a splended example of industrial art-deco architecture
in Nis on the grounds that it was a military target: it produced cigarettes for
the Serbian army.

We have repeatedly set off enormous quantities of high explosive within fifty
yards of monasteries not only housing Orthodox monks working as best they can
to relieve the suffering of _all_ Kosovars, but also containing irreplaceable
treasures of Byzantine religious art, which have survived wars with the Bulgars,
the Turks, the Austrians, and the Nazis. These precious mosaics and frescos, and
the 800-year-old monasteries themselves, are being destroyed by the continuous

We have flattened the old city of Pec, whose markets and workshops dated back to
the 13th century. We have damaged the 16th-century Hadum Mosque in Djakovica,
and the 1600-year-old Byzantine basilica in Nis. St Procopius's 9th-century
church in Prokuplje has been hit. The old Belgrade Fort has been hit and part of
its 15th-century rampart collapsed -- a historic site of immense patriotic
importance to Hungarians as well as Serbs, since it was there that the Magyar
General Janos Hunyadi defeated the Turks in July of 1456.

And speaking of Hungarians, on April 18th we blew up the Banovina Palace in Novy
Sad, the finest work of Art-Deco architecture in the Balkans, because the
Vojvodina Assembly met there.  The Vojvodina province of Serbia contains a
majority of Magyar descent, who before the bombing began had not been
particularly friendly with Milosevic.  Now, of course, they are.

While we were in Novy Sad, we also damaged the old Austrian Petrovaradin
Fortress, since it had a military-sounding name. The fact that it has had no
military importance whatever for more than 150 years, housing currently only
shops and museums, and was built nearly a century before the US Declaration of
Independence was signed -- all this seems somehow to have been overlooked.

We have bombed a convoy of the very refugees we claim to be helping. We have
bombed a bus of civilians off a bridge. We have bombed a train full of
passengers. We have bombed bridges more than 500 years old, historical treasures
of no conceivable military value.

We are killing more than a dozen innocent Serbs every day. The makeup girl in
the Belgrade TV studio. The residents of apartments two blocks from a civilian
factory. We were horrified by the senseless loss of innocent life at Columbine
High School; NATO has been providing a Columbine every day, a Waco every week,
for a month and a half now, and charging you upwards of two million dollars an
hour to do so.

It is tempting to refer to this operation as The War To Make Us Forget The
Impeachment, or The War To Keep Up CNN's Ratings. But NATO spokesmen have
scrupulously avoided the term "war", and the US Congress has refused to declare
war. Rightly so: this is not a war; it's not a "police action"; it's not even a
"conflict." It has long since become simply an exercise in compulsive, psychotic
vandalism: not simply a crime against international law but a crime against
civilization itself -- a barbaric video game on real people, heedless
self-absorbed nihilism worthy of the Trenchcoat Mafia, notwithstanding the
hypocritical condemnation of violence from a President who has bombed more
countries during his administration than any since the Second World War.

NATO diplomats from Greece, Italy, and Turkey could not convince the
Administration to stop the bombing. Nor could the President's friend Jesse
Jackson. But since the Red Chinese bought and paid for Clinton's reelection,
they may not be willing to settle for a breezy "you better put some ice on


Computer guru Craig Goodrich lives in a house in the woods in Elkmont, with
his wife, two children, and four cats. He is a former Congressional candidate
of the Libertarian Party of Alabama, a smoker, and a gun owner. Comments are
welcome; they may be emailed to

Thanks to Simon Jenkins' Times of London column May 7 (at
for targeting data.

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