Yugoslav Round-up. ACT NOW!
The following articles were published in "The Guardian", newspaper
of the Communist Party of Australia in its issue of Wednesday,
April 21st, 1999. Contact address: 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills.
Sydney. 2010 Australia. Phone: (612) 9212 6855 Fax: (612) 9281 5795.
1. World protests against NATO's war
2. Depleted Uranium
3. The Media's War
4. Dangerous Logic
5. Some thoughts on joining NATO
6. Who is the so-called KLA?
World protests against NATO's war
Protest rallies are escalating world-wide as NATO continues its bombing raids on Yugoslavia. While opposition to NATO's aggression is growing, time is running out. NATO is preparing to widen the aggression by sending in ground troops, leading to full- scale war in Europe.
Outraged over the NATO bombings of civilians on a tourist train and a refugee convoy in Kosovo and the ongoing bombing of Belgrade, tens of thousands of demonstrators throughout the US and around the world marched on April 17 to demand "Stop the US/NATO bombing of Yugoslavia!". There have been demonstrations in over 100 American cities.
In New York, 15,000 protesters marched past the missions, consulates and government facilities of the United States, Germany, Britain, France, and Italy -- all members of NATO. The rally announced the formation of a national Emergency Mobilisation to Stop the War, which will organise a national march on the Pentagon.
The call for the march on the Pentagon states in part:
"Now, as the bombing and its terrible toll escalate, the threat of a US invasion of Yugoslavia looms. A ground war will mean the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops.
"Now is the time to act! We are urging you to join us in the newly formed Emergency Mobilisation to Stop the War. Hundreds of thousands of us marched against the US war on Iraq in 1990-91. We continued to work against the sanctions that have killed more than 1.5 million civilians in that country.
"Now the Pentagon is embarked upon another bloody intervention, in violation of all international law, and against the interests of the people of the Balkans and the people of [the US] as well.
"We must act urgently to build a broad and deep movement that says `NO' to this madness."
About 500 Greeks stoned and forced back a convoy of NATO trucks carrying military equipment to Macedonia on Thursday last week in protest against the air strikes against Yugoslavia.
Police said the protesters blocked the national road a few kilometres before the Evzoni border crossing at the Greek- Macedonian frontier, and forced the 15-truck convoy to turn back after smashing the leading vehicle's windows with stones.
Three sailors who are crew members of the Greek destroyer "Themistoklis"
have written letters protesting the NATO aggression and that they do not
wish to join the NATO war fleet.
Email messages of solidarity with these courageous sailors can be sent to the Communist Youth of Greece <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thousands have protested in the Czech Republic, and opinion polls show that the majority of Czech people are opposed to NATO's war.
Protest rallies were held in most major Australian cities over the weekend. A Concert For Peace In Yugoslavia was held in Perth, which brought together over 3,000 people from diverse communities in WA.
The desire for peace was expressed in a wide range of music, song and dance, including Russian and Macedonian performers.
Greens ex-senators, Christabelle Chamarette and Jo Valentine condemned the bombing and the use of depleted uranium shells. A message read out from Dr Harry Cohen, Vice-President of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, also condemned the use of depleted uranium.
The rally adopted a resolution calling on the Federal Government to
distance itself from NATO operations in Yugoslavia and urged the people
of WA to contact their local politicians.
Rallies also took place in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
A resolution adopted by the CPA Central Committee Executive at the weekend suggested ways by which opposition to the war could be expressed.
* Take part in the many demonstrations taking place;
* Write letters to the daily newspapers;
* Take part in radio talk-back shows;
* By distribution of leaflets. Draft leaflets are available from
CPA Sydney office;
* Adoption of resolutions in your trade union and other
* Make use of the internet to send protest messages to NATO
leaders and to break through the lying NATO propaganda;
* Send protests to Mr J Howard, Prime Minister, Parliament House,
Canberra. ACT 2700
* Take part in the coming May Day marches in all capital cities.
There is a serious danger that NATO will launch a land invasion of Yugoslavia which could result in a wider war and massive loss of life by all countries involved. The Australian press on Monday quoted Britain's "Observer" newspaper as reporting that NATO was laying plans for a ground invasion as early as the end of May. It said 80,000 troops had been earmarked and that some American troops had started training in Colorado.
Citing sources in London and Washington, the "Observer" said military planners considered six weeks the minimum period necessary to wear down the Yugoslav military so they could offer only limited resistance to an invasion force.
Considering that more civilians have been killed on a daily basis as a result of NATO bombing than were said to have been killed by military action in Kosovo before the bombing, it is clear that NATO's aggression has done more to "ethnically cleanse" Kosovo than the Serbs were accused of. It must be asked: "What is the aim of the NATO offensive?"
The rising civilian casualties from NATO bombs -- including the recent
death of over 60 ethnic-Albanian refugees -- belie the claims that the
air attacks are to defend the human rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
NATO's real aims include the breakup of Yugoslavia, control of
the Balkans and ultimately Russia, as well as the oil resources of the Middle East.
By Dr Rosalie Bertell, Canada
Depleted uranium (DU) is one of the largest categories of radioactive waste produced for the nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor industry. It is highly toxic to humans, both chemically as a heavy metal and radiologically as an alpha particle emitter which is very dangerous when taken internally.
Recently it has been a substitute for lead in bullets and missiles by the US and UK, and was first used extensively by the West in the Gulf War. When used in war, the DU bursts into flame from the impact when it hits a target.
It can pierce tanks and armoured cars, releasing inside of them a deadly radioactive aerosol of uranium, unlike anything seen before. Concentrated like this, it can kill everyone in a tank.
This ceramic aerosol is much lighter than uranium dust. It can
disperse in air tens of kilometres from the point of release, or
be stirred up in dust and resuspended in air with wind or human
movement. It is very small and can be breathed in by anyone: a
baby, pregnant woman, the elderly, the sick.
This radioactive ceramic can stay deep in the lungs for years, irradiating the tissue with powerful alpha particles within about a 30 micron sphere, causing emphysema and/or fibrosis.
The ceramic can also be swallowed and do damage to the gastro- intestinal tract. In time, it penetrates the lung tissue and enters into the blood stream.
It can be stored in liver, kidney, bone or other tissues, again for years, irradiating all of the delicate tissues located near its storage place. It can affect the blood, which is the basis of our immune system, and do damage to the renal system as it is eventually excreted in the urine.
It can also initiate cancer or promote cancers which have been initiated by other carcinogens.
In October 1998 the WHO undertook a two-year study of the increasing cancer rates, especially leukemia in young children, which have been noted in southern Iraq where most of the Gulf War took place.
The WHO report is not yet out, but newer data from Iraq tells the story of even more dramatic increases in cancer rates, especially among the Iraqi veterans who participated in the war.
In the West, thousands of veterans are recognised as being seriously ill with an unknown syndrome (Gulf War Syndrome), and we have been able to document DU in their urine as late as seven or eight years after the war.
There is no natural source of DU to explain this phenomena!
It is imperative that we all denounce this radiation and toxic chemical warfare! It has been used by the US and Britain against Iraq and in Bosnia. It is now being used in Kosovo (NATO announcement in Europe, March 30, 1999).
It has been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Tribunal. The
damage being done will not only cause incredible and unending suffering
to today's victims, but the genetic damage it may cause can be passed on
to their offspring. Such weapons and war itself need to be condemned as
The Media's War
By Jared Israel
People should be wary of believing the atrocity stories flooding the press and TV. As the "Sunday London Times" news story, "Truth Chokes on the Fog of War", noted: "All is not what it seems in the latest Western attempt to impose order on Balkan chaos. A conflict promoted in Washington, London and elsewhere as a crusade against a despot looks a lot more complicated to those who live within earshot of exploding Tomahawk missiles...." ("London Times", 28/3/99)
The "Times" is right. Consider the miraculous case of Fehmi Agani. Miraculous because a "London Times" story of March 30 reported that "among those seen fleeing yesterday were the moderate politician Fehmi Agani and his family".
Why is this miraculous? Because he had been "killed" by CNN and the rest of the media a day or two before. Here's a sample from Associated Press (AP) on March 29:
"BELGRADE, Yugoslavia [AP] -- Fehmi Agani, a key ethnic Albanian political figure from Kosovo who NATO said was executed Sunday..."
And just to emphasise the rottenness of the deed, AP adds that Agani "was considered a voice of reason amid the conflict and hatred..."
At least the dastardly Serbs who "didn't" kill this man could have had the decency to "not kill" someone who wasn't a voice of REASON! But you know those Serbs. They're the types who'd probably bomb some country if the government refused to sign a phony peace agreement!
Now consider. Wouldn't an unbiased press have been eager to correct this slanderous error by plastering retractions all over page one of every paper?
Yet while the fabrication of Agani's death was page one news the truth of his reincarnation was a minor event. Buried inside some newspapers, entirely absent from others. Why?
Doesn't the "rush" to print the "lie" and the "failure" to make "known "the truth" demonstrate a terrible bias?
And indeed, a smart fellow once said: "Truth is the first casualty of war."
Because NATO is bombing Kosovo and this bombing is creating a wave of
refugees (wouldn't you flee??);
Because the KLA (Albanian secessionists) is doing everything it can to get Albanians to leave Kosovo to prove there's a humanitarian disaster to justify NATO invasion;
Because the KLA's tricks include impersonating Serbian soldiers and committing acts of terror (KLA is a terrorist outfit, after all) such as burning villages to justify bombing and invasion; Because the KLA has many agents among the refugees who lie for the cause, because lies are a key KLA weapon to justify the bombing of Serbia; Because our media is controlled by precisely the people who are pushing this war;
Because refugees know they will get a much better reception if they blame their flight on Serbs -- instead of the NATO bombs;
Therefore the reporting has become an hysterical demonization of Serbia.
But THINK. When a crime occurs, we're supposed to ask WHO GAINS? Well, WHO GAINS from atrocities against Albanians in Kosovo? Such atrocities hurt the Serbs. Who gains? ONLY the KLA and NATO.
In the 13 months that the Yugoslav Army and police fought 15,000 heavily
armed terrorists, the press said 2,000 people died, 2,000 total, both sides,
five a day on both sides.
Doesn't that suggest the Serb forces have been very careful NOT to kill civilians? Why would the Serbs change NOW when they know that any atrocity will be used to justify bombing and invasion?
The answer is they have not. People are fleeing mainly because bombs
are falling. Most Americans would flee too! Some make up atrocity stories
to curry favor with NATO -- remember, they are
REFUGEES now and refugees know that in THIS world they are treated better if they say what CNN wants to hear.
Some are KLA supporters, who have a motive to lie. And some have been attacked by Serbs who were<%0> <%2>driven to desperation by seeing their relatives blown apart by NATO bombs. But isn't that NATO's fault?
As the "London Times" said in the article "TRUTH CHOKES ON THE FOG OF WAR":
"... Not everyone reaching Macedonia had encountered a genocidal Serb. Many had been scared from their homes not by Milosevic's marauding troops, but by the threat of NATO attacks. Others, like the well dressed Albanians, had motives that were hard to fathom through the centuries-old fog of Balkan intrigue and deceit.
"In Tetovo, there was speculation that the Kotlina Albanians had fallen
foul of their own side. Reports reaching Skopje have suggested that the
(KLA), the underdog resistance unit of Albanian separatist guerrillas,
is not always as heroic as it is sometimes portrayed." ("The Sunday Times"
March 28, 1999)
War is hell. LET'S STOP THIS ONE!
By Andrew Murray*
The first casualty of this war, as with others, has been the truth. In an attempt to mobilise support behind the air bombardment of Yugoslavia, the British Government's propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, with scant regard for truth, the supposed independence of the BBC or even the intelligence of the British people.
LIE NUMBER ONE -- This is a humanitarian intervention.
Quite apart from the direct civilian victims of the bombing, NATO aggression has engulfed Kosovo in a tide of misery far greater than any which preceded the bombing.
Just as the position of the Kosovo Albanians deteriorated following the funding and arming of the Kosovan Liberation Army by the German Government, so it is the Kosovan Albanians who are suffering the consequences of this latest escalation.
Clearly they are pawns in a game which has nothing to do with "humanitarianism" but plenty to do with big-power politics.
It is fair to assume that the plight of the Kosovan Albanians ranks rather low down NATO's concerns.
By provoking the very humanitarian crisis that it claims to be trying to avert, NATO is setting the stage for further and deeper military intervention in the Balkans, probably amounting to the armed occupation of much of the region and the complete destruction of independent Yugoslavia.
LIE NUMBER TWO -- Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is a new Hitler.
The British Establishment failed to do anything about the real Hitler until the matter was forced upon it.
The main measure of Hitlerism in international politics was its disregard for international law and the League of Nations and its willingness to violate the sovereignty of other states in pursuit of global hegemony.
On that reading of Hitlerism, one should not look for the heirs of Adolf in Belgrade, which threatens no other state, but in Washington, London, Paris and Bonn.
LIE NUMBER THREE -- This attack represents the will of the "international community".
The largest states in the world -- Russia, China and India -- actually oppose NATO's actions, which has neither sought nor received the blessing of the United Nations.
It is an action undertaken solely by the US, the west European nations and their immediate satellites for their own interests.
LIE NUMBER FOUR -- Something must be done and there is no alternative.
This is a double deceit. First there is no necessary reason why "something must be done" about the exclusively internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Second, the clear alternative is the path of negotiation, primarily between Kosovan Albanians and the Yugoslav Government.
It is this path that the policy of the NATO powers has actually frustrated again and again with its support for violent attempts to rewrite the Yugoslav constitution.
The best alternative of all would be a ringing call by the United Nations for the full reconstruction of Yugoslavia and support for her right to sovereignty and independence, free from aggression.
In summary, Germany wants to extend its hegemony over eastern Europe and has pursued the dismemberment of Yugoslavia for some years as part of this policy.
The US is glad for a chance to remind the European Union that, whatever its economic strength, it still needs US military might -- in a sense the war is the US response to the birth of the euro.
And Britain, a second-rank power with global economic interests and ambitions, will do whatever is required to sustain a "world police force" intervening here, there and everywhere in the interests of the "haves" against the "have-nots".
* "Morning Star" (Abridged)
Some thoughts on joining NATO
By Jiri Horak*
Today all the ideals of peace and independence, neutrality and non-alignment so frequently displayed as a pretext in the recent past have been formally betrayed. Our country [the Czech Republic] is officially delivered to the political and military control of the US superpower through NATO.
The new Czech bourgeoisie has thought it a good idea to couple its unstable power to the wagon of the most powerful.
There must have been no shortage in "ideal" reasons: didn't Mr. Clinton give a quite recent proof of the humanistic spirit breathing in the "big western democracies" when he expressed sincere "regret" for the murder of 200,000 Guatemalans with the decisive contribution of the CIA and the US military?
Unfortunately we will have to wait for a while to be able to listen to a similar "regret" about the present shameless interventions in the Balkans or about the bombing of Yugoslavia.
Even for the genocidal starvation of the Iraqi people during the last ten years and for the daily air and missile strikes against that country, we will have to be patient and wait for a while.
To enjoy one's place on the wagon of the most powerful, one has to be equipped with a strong stomach. One has to adjust oneself to the ideas on "democracy" of today's Turkish generals or the former, but not forgotten, US sponsored Greek Colonels.
Regarding Greece and Turkey, two countries on the brink of war although both are members of NATO, some never-satisfied fault- finders might observe that being a member of NATO involves no security guarantee from one's mighty neighbours, even when they are partners in the same alliance. But this is only a minimal part of the picture ...
One has to be equipped with a strong stomach because there are people around, like the former Italian communist D'Alema, now the Prime Minister of Italy, who would have you believe that by being a member of NATO one can influence its decisions.
D'Alema must have rapidly forgotten his being "upset" over the acquittal of the Rambo-top-guns of Cavalese -- the US warplane crew who sent the innocent occupants of a cable car hurtling to their deaths. Perhaps D'Alema was also absent-minded about the US threatening to bomb Libya with nuclear weapons from the Italian base of Aviano. And maybe he had no time when he was a leader of the communist youth to be thoroughly informed about the clandestine fascist army [Claddio] organised by the US secret services in Italy and its operations. (Now the US secret services will be in a position to watch over Czech security in the same paternal way they have shown when they used terrorist bombs to make Italy follow the right course).
But this is old history:
Let us look then at more recent events: three months ago in December,
Mr Clinton and Mr Blair unchained a huge war operation against Iraq completely
relegating the UN (now openly undermined by the US as the League of Nations
was by the fascist regimes).
No other European government was even forewarned.
Those who try to portray NATO as a kind of democratic forum where respectable governments and institutions take majority decisions are shameless liars. These things have been well-known for a long time by all honest persons. Now, they are becoming even clearer.
The annexing of the Czech Republic to NATO, together with Poland and Hungary, occurs at a time when a dramatic turning-point has been reached and war is being prepared on a much larger scale than in the past.
In the midst of the celebrations for its fiftieth anniversary, NATO will officially adopt its new military doctrine of intervention EVERYWHERE in the world. The net of US military bases has been widened and strengthened in Europe as well as in Asia.
Many countries have prepared special rapid deployment forces with professional personnel (the Czech Republic too will now be in a position to send some cannon fodder to win the high esteem of its masters).
There are clear signs of the plans to deploy large military units in the Balkans and break the slightest resistance to the achievement of strategic military goals unthinkable some years ago.
In the space of months the military units deployed in Macedonia (FYROM) under the pretext of defending the OSCE observers [in Yugoslavia] have become a threatening and heavily armed bridgehead for the invasion of Yugoslavia.
The whole area from the Balkans to Central Asia is the object of special attention by the US military. It is the area where the present and future big oil pipe-lines run. It is not by chance that the establishment of US-Turkish military bases in Azerbaijan is now on the agenda and NATO secretary Solana expands the horizon of NATO operations as far as Kazakhstan.
US-NATO military doctrine still involves the possibility of the first
nuclear strike (just to underline how hypocritical the pretensions of nuclear
non-proliferation are) and military expenditure becomes sky-high both in
quality and quantity, well beyond the already astronomical levels of the
cold war years.
Against the background of these facts, the admonitions coming from high Western personalities not to let Russia feel isolated sound rather pathetic. What they really mean is, let us be sure that the Russian government delays as long as possible any meaningful reaction to the impending threat and confines its protest to a harmless and pathetic mumbling.
The fact is that ten years after the crisis of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist regimes, the days of reckoning are approaching.
In Russia particularly, there has been no such thing as a conversion of the economy from socialism to capitalism. What has taken place is rather the large scale destruction of productive forces and the embezzlement of social wealth like in a robbery committed by the few new rich who transfer the spoils abroad.
The tragic consequences resemble the effects of a foreign invasion, like the nazi invasion of 1941.
The western powers know only too well that they have nothing to offer to the peoples of the world, neither eastward nor southward, but misery and oppression.
Tremendous economic crises with catastrophic consequences for the lives of the masses have swept over, not only the republics of the Soviet Union, but also the capitalist "paradises" of South East Asia and the dependent economies of almost all countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Winds of recession
The winds of a recession crisis of catastrophic proportions can be perceived with threatening frequency not only in Japan, where they have been blowing already for some time, but also in the remaining major centers of world capitalism.
The speeding up of large scale war preparations can be easily understood against this background. They find in it a very strong impetus.
* Jiri Hovak is a member of the Prague Committee of the
International Nino Pasti Foundation for Peace and the
Independence of the Peoples.
Who is the so-called KLA?
And what role does it play for NATO?
by Walter Grobe, "Neue Einheit", Dortmund, Germany (abridged)
The public is being deliberately deceived by the media if they talk about a "KLA" which, as they put it, represents the just interests of the Albanian population of Kosovo.
Firstly, there is no real KLA-organisation -- as some European newspapers and politicians are themselves complaining -- but a number of armed groups which needed pressure from their Western guardians to demonstrate anything like unity at the Rambouillet conference. A Kosovo under the reign of these rival gangs would not at all be a political whole.
What they have in common is the ideology of "Greater Albania". By this they understand the separation not only of Kosovo from Serbia but also the dismemberment of Montenegro and Macedonia, and the union of their Albanian-dominated regions with the present state of Albania.
Their "Declaration #42, February 27, 1998'' said: ``Welcoming the increased interest, in particular by American and Franco-German diplomacy, we declare that the solution of the Albanian question cannot be defined solely within Kosova's present borders, but has to be solved as a whole, by integration of the Albanians and their regions occupied by `Macedonia' and Montenegro.''
Which social concept does the KLA have for the separated Kosovo, or for "Greater Albania"? In "Political Declaration #22" of December 31, 1998, we read: "... again, the acceptable and respected ideology of the Liberation Army of Kosova is ALBANIANNESS, solely to it we bow, solely to it we sacrifice ourselves.
"Everything for freedom, fatherland and ALBANIANNESS, also life.
This is the motto and the oath of the KLA's soldiers."
A movement which seriously puts forward "Albanianness" as its political ideology is no better than one which puts forward for example "Germanness". Almost everybody would immediately sense in the latter the musty odour of primitive national self-interest and hostility towards other nations.
"Albanianness" in Kosovo, if we look at it from a historical viewpoint, unfortunately also means a centuries-old movement by a Muslim-Albanian population to oust the Serbs from their old core region, Kosovo.
For a long time this process was furthered by the region's Turkish rulers for whom the Islamised Albanians were very important suppressor troops. The Serbs on the other hand put up fierce resistance against the oppressive Ottoman regime.
In our century, this aspect of the Albanian movement achieved further deplorable peaks of aggression against Kosovo's Serbs between 1941 and 1944 under the fascist rule of Italy and Germany.
According to the US paper the "San Jose Mercury" of March 28, 1999, a paper which incidentally supports both NATO and the KLA, the KLA's "goals include not only independence but the expulsion of Serbs from the province". NATO's propaganda that it wants to give room to a "national liberation movement" is merely a lie to cover itself. If the goal had really been the improvement of the situation of the population in Kosovo, there were plenty of opportunities for the NATO countries, and probably also the support of different political forces in Kosovo.
NATO wants to push through a war agenda, the creation of a public climate favourable for completely high-handed actions which are based only on superior military terror and finally on nuclear weapons, actions which it envisages in all regions of the world.
It perhaps also wants, as the increasing propaganda for ground troops shows, a permanent stationing amidst the southern Balkans, and certainly also Kosovo's enormous mineral resources.
Today the population of Kosovo is massively suffering from the KLA's
and NATO's policy, and the media tears are sheer hypocrisy.
It is impossible for NATO to assert that it could not foresee the tough counter-measures in Kosovo taken by the Yugoslavian Government against the separation of the province desired by the KLA and NATO.
The flight of refugees today is caused by NATO itself, and the Western media campaign which is constructing, out of these refugees, an ex post justification for its aggression and its escalation, had long ago been prepared as a part of this whole aggression.
The war against Iraq showed what deliberate lies the Western media are
able to fabricate.