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Analysis of the US-led Assault on Yugoslavia

May 7, 1999

1. Radioactive rounds finally acknowledged by mainstream press
2. The origins of the Serb genocide charge
3. The American Legion - bashers of war protesters for
nearly 80 years - comes out AGAINST the war
4. 100,000++ invisible refugees
5. Memories of cluster bombs

1. The San Francisco Examiner finally reported
today that NATO is using radioactive (so called
"depleted" uranium) rounds in Yugoslavia. We
first posted this information on April 8
and it was already old news then.

Our source: * International Action Center

2. We first posted this on March 24 about the roots
of the genocide charge - might be worth reviewing.
It was for me. Know your sources.

What we aren't hearing in the U.S. media

Military expansion in the Balkans is being justified by reports of an
alleged massacre of Albanians in Kosovo. The reports are based on
accusations made by William Walker from the U.S. State Department. Walker
heads the Kosovo Verification Mission. But Walker's account has been
strongly disputed by several major European newspapers, including Le Monde
and Le Figaro. These papers assert that the allegations of a massacre are a

Walker is not an independent, neutral observer. He represents the U.S.
government. He has a sordid history in his years of work in Central America
with U.S.-trained death squads in El Salvador. And he was responsible for
setting up a so-called humanitarian operation that was used as a cover for the
contra war to overthrow the government of Nicaragua.

Source: * International Action Center

3. Some astonishing news about an unprecedented
event sent along by Stan Smith
The American Legion leadership has voted
unanimously to call for a complete withdrawl
of all US military from Yugoslavia.

"We believe the best thing we can do to support our troops, to protect our
troops, is to bring them home," said Harold L. ''Butch'' Miller, national
commander of major veterans organization.

"We believe we are getting into a bad situation in Kosovo."
The Legion's national executive committee unanimously adopted a resolution
Wednesday calling for all U.S. soldiers, pilots and support staff to be
removed from the region. The statement said the NATO attacks "could only
lead to troops being killed, wounded or captured without advancing any clear
purpose, mission or objective."

For those who puzzle over the American Legion Halls that dominate
small town America (there's an active one a two minute walk from
my home), the Legion was founded in 1919 after World War I
as a veteran's mutual support group, but immediately took on
an aggressive "anti-Bolshevik" stance.

The founders originally considered becoming an armed
paramilitary force to help suppress dissent and pioneer members organized
raids in many cities, burned literature, confisticated membership
lists and had the leaders of many "radical" groups arrested *.
Ultimately, the Legion settled into the more low key role of
an unarmed volunteer intelligence and propaganda auxililary
for the military. Part of their function has been to wave the
flag for every US military operation, good, bad or indifferent.

That the Legion has refused to salute this war is a first and
an encouraging sign that common sense, if not decency, is
asserting itself in spite of the Pentagon-CNN barrage.

This must be the first time that the American Legion and
the International Action Center have agreed on anything.

* Army Surveiilance in America, 1775-1980. Jensen, Joan.
Yale  Universtiy Press, 1991.

4. Note that when scenes of refugee camps are shown, no one
mentions the fact that there are also tens of thousands of
Gypsies, Serb Muslims, Serb Christians, and other minorities who
have been made homeless since the NATO bombing started. That
should signal the astute that something in the reporting is
fundamentally amiss and the propaganda element is high.

5. Here's a statement from Tom Hayden who has seen this
all before (thanks to SF's tenacious citizen guardian
Doug Comstock for sending this along):

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Wednesday, May 5, 1999

As the Innocent Die, Where Are All the Voices of Protest?

Balkans: The liberals' silence on the NATO bombing and its 'collateral
damage' is keeping us from talking about alternatives.

Where are the voices of protest against the suffering inflicted on civilians
and children by our bombardment of Serbia?

The moral rationale provided by the Clinton administration at the outset of
the bombing was that the brutal ethnic cleansing of Kosovo could be stopped
in a short military campaign. That promise was either a deception or a
delusion. The war has turned into a horrific quagmire, and yet even liberal
Democrats remain strangely tongue-tied about the suffering, which our
government lamely calls "collateral damage."

Every day seems to bring news of civilians being killed and the White House
apologizing. Worse, according to the Wall Street Journal, President Clinton
and British Prime Minister Tony Blair pushed in mid-April for a wider
definition of targets that would increase the danger to civilians. The result
is the death of cleaning ladies and bus drivers, evacuation of 85,000 people
from Belgrade neighborhoods poisoned by toxic chemicals, the unemployment of
100,000 Serbs and laying waste of Serbia's civilian infrastructure with what
the New York Times calls "greater effects on the gross domestic product than
the Nazi and, then, the Allied bombing of Yugoslavia" during World War II.
And the silence continues. Perhaps the silent ones think these are all
regrettable accidents, or that war is hell, or that bombing Serb civilians
who have opposed Milosovic in the past will help them to overthrow him now.
What then of the intentional indiscriminate infliction of shrapnel wounds on
children? Unexploded cluster bomb units are turning whole areas of Yugoslavia
into a "no man's land," wounding large numbers of children in the process.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the director of Pristina's hospital says
he has never done so many amputations as he has since victims of the weapon
started coming in.

I keep an early model of the cluster bombs used in Vietnam on my shelf as a
reminder of the evil done in the name of good intentions. The bombs are
dropped over a broad landscape, where they explode via timers or the simple
vibration of a passerby. The blast causes up to 300 pieces of deadly shrapnel
to scatter in all directions. The shrapnel is very difficult to remove
because of its deliberately jagged design.

Liberal silence on these issues allows Pentagon and NATO spokesmen to
systematically and routinely utilize doublespeak and refuse to discuss the
kinds of weapons they are using.

There seem to be two reasons for the Democratic war fever.

First, invocation of the Holocaust analogy has led many to accept Ted
Koppel's admonition to "get used to the idea of civilian casualties." But is
this the Holocaust or is it intervention in a long-standing Balkan religious
and ethnic war? Whatever the answer, is there no level of civilian suffering
that makes the bombing unjustifiable? And most important, isn't the U.S. and
NATO military commitment to stop ethnic cleansing in the Balkans even
slightly suspicious given the ethnic cleansing that they tolerate in Tibet,
Turkey, Guatemala, Rwanda and Angola? Is this war really about human rights
or about consolidating the U.S. and NATO as an alternative to the United

Second, the fact that President Clinton and his European social democratic
allies started the bombing leads a majority of Democrats to rally behind
their party leader. This was acceptable when the issue was belittling the
president's sexual indiscretions to avoid impeachment, but it is quite
something else to become apologists for the killing of children with
anti-personnel bombs to shore up Western "credibility."

The Democratic Party's domestic agenda will be unraveled by the new liberal
militarism. Already the Republican Congress has forced Clinton to accept $13
billion in military funds, twice what the president requested. By contrast,
the president will ask for just $1 billion this year for new teachers and $5
billion over five years for school overcrowding.

I want to continue deepening and expanding the president's domestic agenda of
investing in schools and jobs in the inner city, providing health care and
restoring the natural environment.

Three decades ago, I was pursuing the same agenda when the Democratic Party
started the Vietnam War and abandoned its commitment to a great society. That
experience should not be repeated.

Before this becomes a Vietnam in the Balkans, it is time for liberals to
start breaking their silence. The Jesse Jackson mission, opposed by the White
House, plainly proves that diplomatic alternatives, like a partitioned Kosovo
under the U.N., have not been exhausted.

Instead, the much-touted Apache gunships with American crews are preparing to
escalate the conflict. The real Apaches, the Native Americans, were victims
of a brutal, even genocidal, ethnic cleansing by the U.S. armed forces in the
last century. That our government can self-righteously go to war to save
Kosovo with helicopters named after the victims of our own ethnic cleansing
measures the state of denial we are in.
- - -

Tom Hayden Is a Democrat Representing Parts of West Los Angeles and the San
Fernando Valley in the State Senate [article published in Los Angeles Times]

-- and one of the few decent people left in California politics

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