Technologies To The People on Sun, 18 Apr 1999 20:30:59 +0200

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Syndicate: (Fwd) The Matrix

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Priority:      urgent
Date:          Sat, 17 Apr 1999 23:21:29 +0000
From:          Ivo Skoric <ivo@REPORTERS.NET>
Organization:  Raccoon, Inc.
Subject:       The Matrix

Interesting propositions

Israel, besides sending its doctors to help refugees, now takes the
refugees from Kosovo into Israel. This is for the second time that
Israel takes in Muslim refugees (first was Bosnia). This time it
does it before any Arab state offered to do it. And it definitely
beats the U.S. kind offer to take Kosovo refugees and put them on
Guam and at Guantanamo Bay military base on Cuba.

Brazen as he is, Milosevic offered military alliance to Russia and
Byelorussia. Duma is urging Yeltsin to accept that "offer."
Yeltsin's government does not seem eager to go into war with NATO
over Serbia, but Yeltsin is in frail health, and it is not quite
clear what would happen if he dies.

Clinton just rose his asking to $6 billion in emergency budget for
the war against Yugoslavia (last week it was $5 billion). With this
tempo - a billion a week - and with not knowing when it's going to
end, who knows how much it will cost in the end? And this is just a
small country - Serbia. Can you imagine how much it would cost to
destroy all strategic targets in Russia if such a need arises?

Ukraine offered to take three American POWs from Serbia and place it
in Ukraine until the end of NATO-Yugoslavia hostilities. It is as if
former Soviet Union would love to have some U.S. POWs on its soil,
even after its collapse.

Mc Donalds re-opened in Belgrade, making Serbia now the first
country with a McDonalds franchise in history to be bombed by
Americans. I wonder how do they get McDonalds wrappers now that they
are in war with the country where those are produced...

Star Wars Generation At War

"The pilot attacked what he believed to be military vehicles," said
Mr Shea. "He dropped his bomb in good faith, as you would expect of a
trained pilot from a democratic country."

May force be with him the next time.

"The pilot reported at that time that he had attacked a military

"The bomb destroyed the lead vehicle which we now believe to have been a
civilian vehicle."

As I wrote in `Who Killed Bamby?' - refugees in the future should
choose bright orange trucks - so that trained pilots from democratic
countries do not have such a hard time making a difference between
the military and the refugee convoys.

Did you see those $50,000 dropped in the Serbian woods, the pilot
having steered it away from what looked like a civilian house, to
prove that the pilots will from now on be more careful about
checking out their targets before they let the bombs hit them? That
happened after cases with Aleksinac, the passenger train over the
bridge and, most recently, with the refugee convoy - which lead
MSNBC commentator to say that "there is confusion about who is
killing more innocent civilians."

Indeed, so far the NATO killed more Albanian and Serb civilians than
Serb soldiers, policemen or paramilitaries. In fact, while the
amount of innocent civilians killed by NATO strikes steadily climbs
to 100, not a single Serb soldier, policeman or paramilitary was
killed yet. Who needs enemies with such friends?

Yet, KLA not only forgave but saved NATO's face by capturing a Serb
lieutenant and delivering him to the U.S. captivity in Albania (and
Clinton still opposes arming them?!). It is still 3:1 for Serbia in
the POW count. And, yes - the Pentagon declared that the captured
officer would be treated as a prisoner of war, although the U.S.
never declared the war.

For every action comes a reaction: the Serb forces continued to
expel Albanians from their homes as NATO intensified the bombing
(and if you watch CNN or MSNBC, each new day the bombing was the
most intense so far), and as KLA is infiltrating to Kosovo from
Albania, Serb artillery started shelling into Albania, prompting
gen. Wesley Clark to utter a Serbian word - `sovereignty' - as in:
"Serbs are attacking a sovereign country..." The Apache helicopters
are going to finally arrive to Albania tomorrow, to take care of
that, or, at least, Pentagon says so.

In 1941 Germans marched their Wehrmacht into Belgrade in 12 days
with 151 casualties. It is day 25 of NATO air campaign against
Yugoslavia, while I am writing this. I never realized that Serbia
had that many factories, bridges and military installations, that it
would take around 10,000 sorties and nobody to say whether it is at
least half done. And, when it comes to Balkans, the conquering is
usually the easy part - the keeping of the territory proves to be
tricky. In four years of occupation, Germans needed to move 600,000
troops in Yugoslavia to fight 145,000 Tito's partisans. Despite both
the overwhelming force and massive amount of collaborators in all
parts of Yugoslavia, Germans lost.

There is a chilling definition of war by Bertrand Russel: maximum
slaughter at minimum expense. British historian Niall Ferguson
proved that Germans in the WW I were simply "more efficient killers"
than the Entente Powers soldiers: "Whereas it cost the Entente
Powers $36,485.48 to kill a serviceman fighting for Central Powers,
it cost the Central Powers just $11,344.77 to kill a serviceman
fighting for the Entente." I believe that we can fairly assume that
the Serbs would be the "more efficient killers" in this war: they
can be sustained on Sljivovica (plum brandy) and need just a
kalashnikov and bullets, with minimum training. An Apache pilot,
agreeably, needs much more. After all, didn't Clinton just ask a
billion dollars more from Congress for the bombing campaign?

The only hope for quick resolution would then be in the erosion of
Serbian morale. This, however, is precisely what Milosevic is most
careful about: using all available media to keep that morale high
and even sending his messages of spite abroad using English in ads.
Marathon run in which 49 people run together holding hands,
rock-concerts (using an essentially western influence as a tool
against the west), joint weddings, human chains on bridges, posters,
films, ads, etc. In essence the media plays similar role both in
Serbia and in the U.S., it not only prepares people for the war, but
rather makes them accept the war as inevitable and even good.


The Matrix

Media dictates the war both in the U.S. and in Serbia. Defense
secretary Cohen does not yet know how much reservists will be called
up, but CNN does (33,000). MSNBC commentator correctly noticed that
the U.S. did not declare a war against Serbia, but media like MSNBC
and CNN de facto did just that: their presentation (even the choice
of background music) of events give us an impression that we are in
the war with Serbia. And now the U.S. has a prisoner of the
undeclared war: a Serb officer captured by KLA and held in Albania.

>From Serbian Television we get pictures of rubble and buildings on
fire, buildings that always look like civilian buildings. There are
close-ups on kid's toys eerily looking at us from the rubble, parts
of human bodies and, inevitably, a part of exploded NATO bomb with
clear markings in plain English. From the western media, which are
banned from taking pictures inside Yugoslavia on their own, we get
endless footage of walking refugees, muddy camps with one toilet on
200 people, on one hand and on the other the images of targets
through the eyes of dropped laser guided bombs, detailed, near
pedantic description of used tools of war and maps of targets hit,
suggesting their utmost superiority.

Pictures of destruction of objects that might have been civilian by
looks and wounded, killed people in the vicinity of an American made
exploded bomb - they are repeated over and over on Serbian TV to
instigate hate amongst the Serbs against the NATO and particularly
against the U.S. government. Marathon runs and joint weddings are
there to assert the desired level of defiance.

Refugees are the lifeline of the western media. They justify the
airplanes and cruise missiles as the punishment for the Serbs.

In both cases the television makes it obvious that Yugoslavia and
the U.S. are at war.

Refugees, actually, are favored by the Serbian Television, too -
although they are Albanians chased away by Serbs. Serbian
Television, of course, claims that they run away from the NATO
bombing. This trick Serbian Television learned well after the fall
of Kostajnica during the war in Croatia: the same victims were
claimed both by Croatian TV and by Serbian TV. The picture was the
same, only the comment was different: on Serbian TV the victims were
Serbs slaughtered by Croats and on Croatian TV they were Croats
slaughtered by Serbs. The sickest detail was a Yugoslav People Army
tattoo on one of the victims. It would be more likely for a Serb to
had such a tattoo. On the other hand, one of the top HDZ fundraisers
in the U.S. had the same tattoo. This is the Balkans: nothing is
true and anything is possible.

There is, of course, the fundamental difference between the Serbian
Television and the CNN and the MSNBC. In Serbia the TV represents
the interest of a single corporation: Milosevic's regime, Inc.  In
the U.S. the TV represents interests of a complex of interdependent
corporations, of which some, that pay ads for their civilian use
products, also make defense stuff. So, although in both cases the
TVs profit from the war, in the U.S. case the TV has no reason to
favor the government, i.e. if Clinton does not come up with
something "together" pretty soon, the CNN and MSNBC may burry him
with his war with the same enthusiasm they showed in covering the
bombing campaign.
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