Bojana Pejic on Wed, 07 Jul 1999 14:20:26 +0200

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Syndicate: MEDIA&WAR 2/2

this story, claiming that KLA gathered their military casualties, dressed
them in civilian clothes, and, with the help of Walker, launched a media

6. Conclusion

What is frightening in the whole affair is the synchronisation of
diplomatic, media and military action in all these cases. This tells us a
lot about the connection of governments and corporate media and their joint
efforts in manipulating public opinion. Sheer power of propaganda, which is
consistently repeated by the US, UK and media from other countries during
the Kosovo crisis strongly shows that governments have means to indirectly
control the media even though the latter are formally independent. This way
thay can convert the public opinion. Pools in UK showed that, even though
the Nato intervention in Yugoslavia was grossly failing to meet any of its
objectives, support for war was growing.

This also indicates vulnerability of the contemporary media and their
management to political power and their apparent instrumentalization and
misuse in power game. It leaves us with little, if any hope for the ideals
of media as "public service" for "objective information". Conclusion is
that the media miraculously abandon these ideals during wars in which their
countries are involved, and they become real combatants in wars in much
more tangible sense than the military is.

Western armies do not rely anymore on traditional military skills -
tactics, courage, etc. It is heavily dependent on technological advantage;
it almost assumes the position of distant, "unreal", video game
destruction. Media, on the other hand, make good out of a bad cause and
other way round, manage atrocities, demonise and victimise. The sole role
of military is to verify what the media has already established: if the
Iraqis are shown on TV shattered and fleeing, the only thing left for them
is to really do it. Thanks to media, wars such as the one in Persian Gulf,
are decided even before they take place.


1) Herman Edward S. and Chomsky, Noam Manufacturing Consent: The Political
Economy Of The Mass Media New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

2) Walsh, Jeffrey (ed.) The Gulf War Did Not Happen, Hunts, 1995: Arena, and
Baudrillard, Jean La Guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu, Paris, 1991: Galilée.

3) Virilio, Paul, War and the Cinema, 1989, London, p. 4.

4) A statement of general Dragoljub Ojdanic on Thursday, 29 April to
Yugoslav News Agency Tanjug

5) "NATO claimed to have shot down many Yugoslav aircraft (according to
NATO, they destroyed 50% of Yugoslavia's MiGs, which would amount to at
least 35 aircraft), however, they also failed to provide any proof (except
for the one or two MiG-29s of questionable origin shot down over Bosnia).
And NATO has very capable photo and video reconnaissance aircraft,
including the U-2 and a number of highly advanced UAVs, such as Predator
and Hunter, not to mention that all NATO aircraft are equipped with video
recording devices. Yugoslav media was lucky to photograph the remains of
the downed F-117. There were reports in Russian military publications back
from the Persian Gulf War against Iraq: Iraq claimed to have shot down a US
F-117, but failed to present any proof because the aircraft's remains were
hit by a laser-guided bomb before Iraqi troops found the crash site"
(quoted from Internet site:

6) Quoted from: Hammond, Philip The War on TV, due to be published in the
weekly magazine Broadcast on 14 May

7) "I've seen assertions by western journalists that 'thousands of refugees
have all told the same story'. Use common sense, Do you really think that
the handful of western journalists over there have questioned thousands of
people? And how many of these western journalists speak Albanian or
Serbo-Croatian? My guess is none. That means that they have to rely on
translators who are probably being furnished by the KLA. The refugee can be
saying one thing and the translator another, and the reporter will be none
wiser. That happened in Vietnam, where translators sometimes turned out to
be Viet Cong intelligence agents."

Reese, Charley "Serbs are also victims - of a massive propaganda campaign"
Orlando Sentinel, 25 April, 1999.

8 ) "?M: But when you did all of this, you had no proof that what you said
was true. You only had the article in Newsday! H: Our work is not to verify
information. We are not equipped for that. Our work is to accelerate the
circulation of information favourable to us, to aim at judiciously chosen
targets. We did not confirm the existence of death camps in Bosnia, we just
made it known that Newsday affirmed it. M: Are you aware that you took on a
grave responsibility? H: We are professionals. We had a job to do and we
did it. We are not paid to be moral."

quoted from: Dr. Yohanan Ramati "Stopping the war in Yugoslavia" A Monthly
Jewish Review, April 1994, New York: Midstream (also in: "Manipulating the
media", Intelligence Digest, Great Britain, February 4, 1994 and Nora
Beloff , "The secret weapon? PR" Jewish Chronicle, Great Britain, December
10, 1993).

9) Dunsmore, Barrie, The Next War: Live? Discussion paper D-22, March 1996,
Harvard University

10) "27 August 1995 Prior to attending peace talks in Paris, Richard
Holbrooke, US negotiator, states that force will be used against the
Bosnian Serbs if a settlement is not reached shortly. 28 August 1995 Up to
37 people are killed in a reported mortar attack near Sarajevo's Markale
Marketplace; preliminary UN investigations say there is no clear evidence
of who is responsible (Cymbeline mortar-locating radar failed to track the
fatal shell); the Bosnian government delegation threatens to pull out of
the Paris talks unless military action is taken against the Bosnian Serbs;
Radovan Karadzic, at about the time of the attack, announces acceptance of
the Contact Group plan as a basis for negotiations.
29 August 1995 At 7 a.m. local time, the UN report on the Marketplace
shelling is complete; in Paris, the Bosnian government delegation agrees to
attend the talks; at 11 a.m. local time the UN announces that Bosnian Serbs
are clearly responsible for the attack; the only new evidence cited is that
someone heard the shell being fired from a Serb position; later, Russian,
British, French, and Canadian investigators cast strong doubt on the
certainty of the UN report.
30 August 1995 In the early hours of the morning NATO launches air attacks
against Bosnian Serb positions throughout central and eastern Bosnia;
around Sarajevo the UN Rapid Reaction Force fires more than 600 shells at
Bosnian Serb positions, joined by Bosnian government artillery. 7 September
1995 In Geneva a formal agreement to seek a negotiated settlement is made
between the warring parties; NATO attacks continue, as they have throughout
the week
9 September 1995 Cruise missiles are launched from U.S. ships in the
Adriatic against targets around Banja Luka; Bosnian government, Bosnian
Croat, and Croat forces launch offensives in western Bosnia. 19 September
1995 In the 10 days of coincidental NATO air attacks, Bosnian government,
Bosnian Croat, and Croatian advances, in western Bosnia, the towns of
Jajce, Drvar, ?ipovo and others have fallen. Up to 150,000 Serb civilians
have fled to Banja Luka, many forced out of three or four towns
successively since the end of July.
26 September 1995 U.S.-sponsored talks open in New York, attended by the
foreign ministers of Croatia, Bosnia and the FRY. 1 November 1995 Talks
open in Dayton; Presidents Milo?evic, Tudjman, and Izetbegovic are present.
21 November 1995 "Dayton Peace Accord" deems Republika Srpska one "entity"
within the internationally recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina (Dayton
Agreement). 1 December 1995 NATO Council, meeting in Brussels, agrees on
deployment of NATO troops in Bosnia.
6 December 1995 Advanced contingent of U.S. NATO troops arrives in Tuzla;
British and French troops start to "change hats" from UN to NATO; German
parliament votes to send 4,000 troops to support NATO deployment in Bosnia:
they will be stationed in Croatia.
15 December 1995 UN Security Council approves NATO deployment in Bosnia. 20
December 1995 Formal handover of UN command to NATO.


11) "It is extremely easy to demonise by atrocities management. I became
steeped in this subject during the Vietnam War era, and even published a
small volume in 1970 entitled Atrocities in Vietnam: Myths and Realities.
The marvel of that era was how easily and effectively the U.S.
establishment and media focused on the cruel acts and killings of the
indigenous National Liberation Front (NLF, "Vietcong") and made them into
sinister killers ("terrorists"), when in fact the terror of the U.S. and
its local and foreign proxies was worse by a very large factor. The
violence of the Diem government in the late 1950s was extremely brutal,
indiscriminate, and massive; and when the US entered the fray directly in
the 1960s a new level of (wholesale terror) was reached with chemical
warfare, napalm, fragmentation bombs, "free fire zones," and high level
B-52 bombing raids on "suspected Vietcong bases" (i.e., villages). The NLF
was always more selective in its killing, for strategic and political
reasons--it had a mass base in the countryside that it did not want to harm
or alienate. The Diem government, its successors, and the US, were less
discriminating for the same reason--they had little or no peasant support,
so that indiscriminate terror and mass killing was the understandable
strategy of aggression. Similarly, with the US "constructively engaged"
with South Africa, Israel, and Turkey over the past several decades, the
South African occupation of Namibia, assaults on the front line states, and
support of Renamo and Savimbi, Israel's invasions and "iron fist" attacks
on Lebanon, and Turkey's scorched earth policies and killings of Kurds,
could proceed for many years killing hundreds of thousands unimpeded by any
intense focus on atrocities or serious attention from the "international
community." Turkey could even offer to lend armed support to the NATO
effort in Kosovo, presumably diverting troops from killing Kurds, without
eliciting the slightest sense of irony in the West. Only when the Godfather
needs atrocities--as with the NLF, PLO, or Serbs--do atrocities come on
line, with intense focus and indignation.

Herman, Edward S. Atrocities Management, quoted from:

12) Herman Edward S. and Chomsky, Noam Manufacturing Consent: The Political
Economy Of The Mass Media New York: Pantheon Books, 1988, pp 37-86

13) Wilson, Gary Warhawk Behind U.S. Kosovo Policy - Amb. Walker Covered Up
real Massacres in El Salvador Quoted from:

14) "British ammunition experts serving with the United Nations in Sarajevo
have challenged key 'evidence' of the Serbian atrocity that triggered the
devastating Nato bombing campaign which turned the tide of the Bosnian war.
The experts, who examined the scene of the market massacre in Sarajevo in
August, say they found no evidence that Bosnian Serbs had fired the lethal
mortar round. They suspected the Bosnian government army might have been
They say French analysts who also examined the scene agreed with them. But
they were overruled by a senior American officer, and the UN issued a
statement saying it was beyond any doubt that the Bosnian Serbs were
responsible for the blast, in which 37 people were killed and 90 wounded.
The carnage was used as the pretext for Nato's huge air campaign against
the Bosnian Serbs, which was followed by extensive battlefield losses, and
forced the Serbs to the negotiating table. They concluded that four of the
mortars, which had caused no injuries or loss of life, had been fired from
positions on a compass bearing of between 220deg and 240deg, indicating
Serbian positions. The fifth shell, which caused the bloodshed, had come
from a different position on a bearing of 170deg, which they could not
identify. They suspected that the perpetrators might easily have been not
the Bosnian Serbs but the Bosnian government army, which has been
implicated in other incidents such as a rocket attack on Sarajevo's
television station on June 29, in which five people died and 30 others were
injured. Their observations and findings were confirmed by the French, and
they returned to base to make their report.
A senior American officer at the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)
headquarters in Sarajevo dismissed their findings. Single mortar rounds can
be fired without warning into crowded squares or streets with enough
accuracy to ensure casualties. In February last year a mortar fired into
the same market complex as the one hit in August killed 68 people.
Throughout the siege of Sarajevo, there have been repeated but unproven
suspicions among UN officers that the Bosnian army had on occasions
mortared its own side for propaganda purposes?"

McManners, Hugh, "Serbs Not Guilty of massacre" The Sunday Times, 1 October

15) Ames, Mark and Taibbi, Matt Meet Mr Massacre Washington Post, May 6, 1996.

>From what I saw, I do not hesitate to describe the crime as a massacre, a
crime against humanity," he said. "Nor do I hesitate to accuse the
government security forces of responsibility." We all know how Washington
responded to Walker's verdict; it quickly set its military machine in
motion, and started sending out menacing invitations to its NATO friends to
join the upcoming war party.
In late 1989, when Salvadoran soldiers executed six Jesuit priests, their
housekeeper, and her 15 year-old daughter, blowing their heads off with
shotguns, Walker scarecely batted an eyelid. When asked at a press
conference about evidence linking the killings to the Salvadoran High
Command, he went out of his way to apologise for chief of staff Rene Emilio
Ponce, dismissing the murders as a sort of forgivable corporate glitch,
like running out of Xerox toner. "Management control problems can exist in
these kinds of these kinds of situations," he said. "I'm not condoning it,
but in times like this of great emotion and great anger, things like this
happen," he said, apparently having not yet decided to audition for the
OSCE job.
Walker questioned the ability of any person or organisation to assign blame
in hate crime cases. Shrugging off news of eyewitness reports that the
Jesuit murders had been committed by men in Salvadoran army uniforms,
Walker told Massachusetts congressman Joe Moakley that "anyone can get
uniforms. The fact that they were dressed in military uniforms was not
proof that they were military."
Later, Walker would recommend to Secretary of State James Baker that the
United States "not jeopardise" its relationship with El Salvador by
investigating "past deaths, however heinous." This is certainly an ironic
comment, coming from a man who would later recommend that the United States
go to war over...heinous deaths. As Walker knows, not only can "anybody
have uniforms", but anyone can have them taken off, too.[..]

Wilson, Gary Warhawk Behind U.S. Kosovo Policy - Amb. Walker Covered Up
real Massacres in El Salvador (quoted from:

A U.S. State Department veteran who directed the dirty war against El
Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980's and lied about every aspect of it.
Walker, now the head of a NATO-imposed inspection team in Kosovo, said he
had visited the site of the alleged massacre and declared that he knew all
the facts. He was the judge, jury and executioner all in one. Not even a
district attorney in any United States city could so boldly make such a
declaration. Guilty first. Evidence later. The Yugoslav government ordered
Walker's expulsion. The U.S. media all said this was in order to cover up
what had really happened. But that's turning reality on its head. It was
Walker who spoke out before the facts could be known. He thus guaranteed
that Washington's version of what happened became the official version.
That 's a real cover-up.
Walker heads up a NATO inspection team in Kosovo. Who makes up the team?
"Sizeable numbers have military backgrounds; a lesser number, but also a
sizeable number, have police backgrounds," Walker said at a State
Department news conference Jan. 8 (official transcript, U.S. Information
Service). When asked if the Kosovo team was a spy team like the UNSCOM
group in Iraq, Walker replied, "I hope everyone on my mission is trying to
gather as much intelligence as they possibly can." Questioned again, "Are
you reporting it back to
Washington?" Walker replied, "A lot of it comes back to Washington, but it
goes to all the capitals [of the NATO powers]." Sounds a lot like what's
been happening in Iraq.
Walker was responsible for setting up a phoney humanitarian operation at an
airbase in Ilopango, El Salvador. It was secretly used to run guns,
ammunition and supplies to the contra mercenaries attacking Nicaragua.

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Bojana Pejic
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