The Guardian April 21, 1999


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 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!

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