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Analysis of the US-led Assault on Yugoslavia

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May 19, 1999

Another explosive report blacked out by the US news media

"...on Wednesday, public relations specialist Leslie Dach was
recruited by the White House to help the National Security
Council shape its communication strategy about Kosovo. Dach,
active in Democratic causes and head of the Washington office
of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, was an outside adviser
to Clinton during the impeachment battle. Dach planned to lend
his services for 30 days."
- Source: New York Times, May 13, 1999


US news consumers may be getting the best (the worst?) the
public relations world has to offer, but they're sure not
getting even the most basic facts about the reports on
Yugoslavia generated within their own country.

Here's something I only just discovered today - and I had to
learn about it from a Yugoslavian news source. If anybody
doubts that US news and US propaganda have become
one on the subject of this war, look at some of the
explosive facts the US news media has not bothered to report.

This information comes from The International Strategic Studies
Association (ISSA) which organized a fact-finding mission from
Washington DC to Yugoslavia on April 18-21, 1999.

US Congressman Jim Saxton (Republican, New Jersey), an ISSA Life
Member and Chairman of the US House of Representatives Task Force
on Terrorism & Unconventional Warfare (and member of the House
Armed Services Committee; and Vice-Chairman of the Joint
[House-Senate] Economic Committee), participated in the mission.

Here's a summary of their report:

* At least 1/3 of all Albanian refugees are
fleeing deeper *into* Yugoslavia to avoid the KLA
(Brasscheck note: NATO uses KLA intelligence for
planning air strikes which may explain the two
"accidental" bombings of Albanian civivilians.)

* NATO bombing is a major contributive cause
of the suffering of Kosovar Albanians and many
other ethnic groups within Yugoslavia as well

* Yugoslavia is the most multi-cultural, multi-religious
state in the Balkan region and home to 26 different
ethnic groups. Only 2/3 of Yugoslavia is Serbian.

* Over 2 million Yugoslavians of all origins have
been rendered homeless or income-less as the result of
NATO. The country's total population is less than 11+ million.

* NATO bombing has seriously weakened democratic
dissent with the Yugolavian Republic and has struck
numerous non-military targets (hospitals, churches,
schools, food processing plants etc.)

* Many of the economic targets are worker-owned

* The extent of NATO equipment and personnel losses
to date has been withheld from the public

Update on this last item. *** US and NATO ground troops
have been reported killed within Yugoslavian territory ***

The actual text of the report:

1. The Flow of Refugees: The international media, because it is largely on
the external borders of Yugoslavia, has seen only the flow of refugees out
of the country, to Albania and Macedonia. However, some one-third of the
Albanian Yugoslav and other ethnic group refugees appear, in fact, to be
fleeing further into Serbia, to avoid the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Yugoslavia has already been burdened since 1992 with almost one-million
refugees from Bosnian Serb areas and Croatian Serb areas, as well as
Croatians and Muslims fleeing into Serbia-proper from what is now
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

2. There is no doubt but that the NATO bombings in Kosovo and in the rest
of Serbia have contributed heavily - perhaps overwhelmingly - toward the
outflow of refugees, not only the Kosovar Albanians but many other ethnic
groups who have been forced on the road with the destruction of their homes
or their livelihoods.

3. There are some 26 different ethnic groups in Yugoslavia, and some 20
different ethnic groups living in the Kosovo region. Within Yugoslavia,
some one-third of the population is not of Serbian origin, and this makes
it the most multi-cultural, multi-religious state in the Balkan region.

4. We saw extensive destruction of civilian targets, many of which could
not be justified by NATO as military targets nor vital to the maintenance
of a Yugoslav strategic power base. Given the widespread damage to these
purely civilian targets which we saw, including the direct destruction of
homes, it is not difficult to believe the claims of the Yugoslav Government
that some 400,000 to a half-million people have been thrown out of work
because of the destruction of their workplaces. This means that some 2-million Yugoslavs of all ethnic origins are without income, out of a population of some 10+-million people.

5. Justification for bombing civilian targets has now been given that these
facilities were owned by relatives of President Milosevic, but the vast
majority of these factories were either State-owned, privately-owned by
non-Milosevic family members or, for the greater part, owned jointly by the
State and by the workforces of the various factories. As a result, this has
directly contributed to an attack on the average Yugoslav family.

6. There was no evidence to support the contention that the Yugoslav
warfighting capability has been overwhelming broken by the sustained NATO
bombing campaign. Rather, the bombing has driven the Yugoslav people to put
aside their political differences and to unite in the face of an external
threat, much as would be the case if the United States was attacked. We met
with people who have, in the past, been totally opposed, politically, to President
Milosevic. Today, they are working completely with Mr Milosevic to defend
their country. So the intention of the bombing to break the Yugoslav people
away from Mr Milosevic has totally failed, and shows no sign of succeeding.

7. The cost in terms of human casualties from the NATO bombing have largely
been civilian: between 500 and 1,000 dead, with several thousand injured.
Military personnel casualties have been minimal.

8. There has clearly been significant damage suffered by Yugoslav military
assets, including domestic oil refining capability. However, it would be a
mistake to believe that the real warfighting capability of Yugoslavia has
been degraded to anything like the level where the insertion of ground
forces could be successful: that is, that it could militarily defeat
Yugoslavia without massive loss of life and without destroying the one thing 
which the campaign intends to save, namely a viable restoration of Kosovars to their
homes and livelihoods in the Kosovo region. The net result of an insertion
of ground forces would be that a protracted war would continue within the
very rugged terrain of the country, and that the lowland areas would be
lain-waste to in the process. It surely is not our intention to achieve a
victory without restoring the homes and employment of the Kosovar people
(whether of Albanian origin or not).

9. Apart from a costly, protracted war with the massive loss of life among
NATO states, including, of course, the United States, there is reason for
grave concern over a wider war. Firstly, it is clear that there would be
retaliatory actions against major Western targets, such as our own oil
refineries and nuclear power stations, etc., from Yugoslav special forces
or from non-government Serb activists. So we could expect a major outbreak of
anti-NATO terrorism, perhaps on a scale not before seen, if we choose to
escalate the war into a full ground operation. This must at the very least
be taken into consideration.

10. We attempted to investigate reports that there has already been
considerable loss of life among NATO forces, and we feel that we received
some confirmation that this has been the case. Clearly, the cost to NATO in
human and equipment terms has already been far greater than anything which
has been announced. Just how extensive the NATO aircraft and personnel
losses have been remains to be confirmed. What is clear is that already
there has been a cost to us, apart from the mere monetary cost of equipment and consumables. This cost can only rise significantly as the conflict proceeds.

11. It has been stated by NATO that the Yugoslav Air Force has been driven
from the skies, with half the Yugoslav fighter aircraft force lost, and
that all defenses now consist only of anti-aircraft artillery and
anti-aircraft missiles. It is more likely that the Yugoslav Air Force is
preserving its forces to be used in any broader conflict. This is not Iraq,
and we should not make the mistake of believing that the fight, or fighting
capability, has been driven from the Yugoslavs.

12. There has, in fact, been considerable progress toward reaching a
political solution acceptable to all moderate parties. And, of course, we
except from the definition "moderate parties" the so-called Kosovo
Liberation Army, which derived from the communist origins of the former
Albanian stalinist leaders and which today is funded largely by narcotic
trafficking into Western Europe and through extortion. It has been a mistake for the West to support the KLA now, when moderate Kosovar Albanian leaders have been committed to a political solution to the tragedy. Equally, attempts to discredit
moderate Kosovar Albanian leader Dr Ibrahim Rugova are counter-productive
to achieving a peaceful and lasting solution to the problem. The fact that
Dr Rugova's enormous courage in remaining in Yugoslavia to seek such a
solution is now being dismissed by allegations that he is "a virtual
prisoner" only serve to reinforce the hand of the KLA, which has previously
been labeled a terrorist force by the United States, and remains so today.
[The matter of KLA terrorism and the prospect of Yugoslav special
operations in a wider war are both matters which have been the subject of
considerable study by the US House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, chaired by Congressman Saxton.]

13. We received strong indications from the very senior officials with whom
we met - and clearly the messages which we received were sanctioned by Mr
Milosevic himself - that virtually all the substantive demands for Kosovo's
future autonomy within Yugoslavia could be met, and met quickly, provided
negotiations could resume. As a result, we need to undertake a careful
step-by-step approach toward peace and we need to see some substantive
evidence of commitment and goodwill on the part of the Yugoslavs. I believe
that this will be forthcoming.

14. Without question, we need to ensure that Congress is totally clear on
the situation before further escalation takes place, and before further
funding is put in place to continue a protracted war. Congress needs to
undertake this process of due diligence itself, given the fact that the
enormous confusion which has taken place due to media manipulation on all
sides has only
contributed to a blood-lust which - if it is the only basis for
decisionmaking - could lead to a much longer and wider war.

15. Finally, it seems clear that if we accept that we must commit to a
broader war in Yugoslavia, then we must also accept that US and NATO
military preoccupation with this conflict will open the door to a range of
other conflicts which could be of massive and lasting consequence. In this
regard, we must expect that an expanded war would lead to an exacerbation
of Turkish-Greek tensions leading to a separate war, in which the Cyprus
issue would become a key. We could expect North Korea to take the
opportunity to initiate a military attack on South Korea, with Japan drawn
into the fray. We could expect that the People's Republic of China would
use the opportunity to attempt to invade Taiwan. We could expect a variety
of new conflicts to arise in the Middle East. And so on. What is clear, not just to ourselves but to others, is that we have a finite military force available to NATO at
present, and, because we have spent our post-Cold War "peace dividend",
others will take advantage of the situation to launch their offensives,
knowing the West does not have the capacity to fight on many fronts.

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