Kosovo: Bahus Dispatches (4)

Cika Bahus (bahus@sirius.com)
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 22:59:28 -0800

K O S O V O mejling lista
Kosovo@yurope.com je privatan forum za razgovor u vezi sa udarom
NATO pakta na SRJ. Lista sluzi kao dopuna vestima, sa temama
vazanim za zivot i prezivljavanje civilnog stanovnistva SRJ.

The first thing American students majoring in journalism learn is the old r=
ule originated with William Randolph Hearst at the end of the last century.=
Hearst believed "that when great events are placed before the public, its =
mind was much more readily engaged, its emotion much more intensely involve=
d, if those events and issues were concretized through personification." To=
make it simple: the trick is to find personal stories about real people wh=
ose good or bad fortune can dramatically summarize an event and apply it on=
a much larger scale.

The American journalists have learned their lesson well, and that is why th=
ose that were dispatched to the muddy provincial border towns that outline =
the province of Kosovo are sending back stories that can all be reduced to =
three typical examples:

1. With clenched fists and barely able to hold back tears, little Azem Kelm=
endi was standing on the Macedonian side of the border while looking at the=
thick cloud of black smoke rising from his village over there on the Yugos=
lavian side. Five minutes later, when the compound with the houses where hi=
s proud ancestors lived for two hundred and seventy generations was reduced=
to a small pile of smoldering ashes, he run to the local KLM commandeer an=
d his CIA contact and begged them to give him arms so that he can exact a j=
ust revenge on the treacherous and murderous Serbian thugs. The grown ups w=
ere both sympathetic to his plea, but couldn't grant his request. At least =
for now. Azem is only six years old....

2. As the fifty two miles long column of Albanian refugees was entering Mon=
tenegro, stopping only long enough to inform the reporters about the horrib=
le atrocities and mass executions that the treacherous and murderous Serbs =
have committed before letting the Albanians go to tell the story a barefoot=
ed Adema Vlasi was approaching those arriving on foot asking them if they s=
aw her sister Zherhxe. People were turning their heads away from Adema, nob=
ody wanted to break the sad news to her, although everyone knew too well th=
at Zherxhe was taken aside from the column of people by the Serb soldiers a=
nd executed together with ? of a million Albanian patriots, freedom fighter=
s, intellectuals, nuclear scientists, lyric poets, musicians, human rights =
advocates, bird watchers, and others. All of the executed had two things in=
common: they were freedom loving Albanians, and none of them would kill a =

3. Captain Frank Yagger, aerial surveillance analyst at the NSA HQ's in For=
t George, Maryland shared with this reporter some of his observations. "We'=
re lucky that Serbs are the target of our surveillance and not the Albanian=
s," he said. "It's easy to see what the Serbs are up to. Their houses have =
yards and open spaces around them. And, weather permitting, they do everyth=
ing, including the ethnic cleansing, out in the open. Albanians, on the oth=
er hand, live in compounds surrounded by high walls, so that outsiders can'=
t see their women. Lately they've even resorted to covering their yards wit=
h canvas because they've learned about the satellites. Frankly, I do respec=
t their religion and their wish to keep their women hidden, but I must ad t=
hat the danger of our staff ogling over the photos of their female folk is =
pretty slim. For decades now they've had this policy of forcing their wives=
to have as many babies as possible in order to outnumber the Serbs in the =
province. The policy succeeded but not without a cost to the poor women who=
all look, again with all due respect, as mother Teresa. No wonder, because=
she was of Albanian origin herself, and she run all the way to Calcutta to=
live in a leper colony, but in this case I will keep my comment to myself.

Anyway, I am proud of my country and my work and the contribution I am maki=
ng in chasing away the treacherous and murderous Serbian thugs, so that our=
Albanian friends can go back to enjoying freedom, democracy and the Americ=
an way of life.=20

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