Kosovo: Bahus Dispatches (5)

Cika Bahus (bahus@sirius.com)
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 12:46:28 -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.

It came as a big surprise to me that the CNN and the Serbian Television
have somewhat different takes on the same two events: NATO raids against
Yugoslavia and the actions of the Yugoslav Army in the province of Kosovo.
I mean, what's there to differ about, facts are facts, right?

Well, even the facts do not match. Take for instance the number of the
enemy planes that each side claims to have shot down. According to the
Serbian TV the Serbian Air Defense have shot down so many NATO airplanes
that one keeps wondering how come the Western Alliance have any flying
vehicles left in spite of all their propensity to produce new ones. At
some point I expected to hear that every household in Serbia had at least
one cockpit of a NATO plane in its backyard, while the experts from the
Serbian TV rush to give advice how best to turn those into hen-houses, as
it is a well known fact that Serbian chicken simply adore Plexiglas and
the warmth it provides. To say nothing about leather seats. And shiny

On the other hand, CNN reports that NATO haven't lost any of its planes.
Their reporters usually claim that 62 NATO planes left Aviano air-base in
Italy, while 63 planes returned. Apparently one of the Serbian MIG pilots
was so impressed with the Allied mighty air-power, that instead of
intercepting and attacking NATO aircraft, once he took off he simply
blended in, and followed the rest of them to Aviano. In order to blend in
he had to unload its bombs onto two orphanages (according to Serbian TV)
or two super-secret Serbian Police ethnic-cleansing training center.

As for the treatment of the so-called Albanian refugees, the two
news-media organizations can't even agree if they are refugees. The
Serbian TV claims that those few Albanians trying to cross into
neighboring countries are either running away from NATO bombing that is
supposed to help them, or are pretending to be running away from the Serbs
to ad fuel to the media war against Yugoslavia. Their stories, claim the
Serbian TV, are all written in Langley, VA and distributed to the
Albanians who were than advised to leave their homes and chase reporters
at the Macedonian border crossing to tell them about the atrocities and
ethnic cleansing, which will give NATO justification to continue its

CNN have a completely different take on this, if you can believe it. They
disagree with the Serbian TV's assessment of the situation. But here we
encounter another problem. As there are no reporters on the ground in
Kosovo, CNN has to report what the Albanians are reporting by phone from
the area. The Albanians are reporting all kinds of atrocities that are
impossible to verify, but why would they lie? Would people lie only to get
the greatest power on Earth involved even more deeply into the conflict on
their side? I think not. So they must be telling the truth, and nothing
but the truth. And that's why the US officials believe those stories to be
accurate and they too are repeating those stories to CNN reporters during
almost hourly briefings.

And why would the US officials lie, as Serbian TV claims? Would people lie
only to protect their careers and the careers of their bosses who started
this operation hoping for a quick victory, but when it didn't happen that
way, they can't back off anymore? I think not.

There is a little bit of a problem here too, but nobody seems to be paying
attention, so I hate to bring it up. If we agreed that the Albanians and
the US officials are telling the truth, what about the discrepancies in
their own stories. From the Albanians reaching the border we hear first
that the Serb forces are separating Albanian men from women and children
and taking them somewhere to be executed. Than we get pictures of all
those young men that are executed arriving to the Montenegro or Albanian
border on tractors, telling the reporters that Serbs took women and
children somewhere to rape them before killing them. Than all those women
and children that are supposedly taken somewhere to be raped and executed
(not necessarily in that order, we all know how perverted the Serbs are)
appear on another border crossing telling everyone that the Serbs took men
and raped them in front of the children, but the children were not there
at the time because the Serbs took them to some other location with some
other agenda on their dirty minds.

A tragedy or a farce, that is the question. In any case history does
repeat itself. The latest news from CNN told the world that the Serbs were
taking Albanians to the stadium in Pristina and forming a concentration
camp there, just as they did so many times in history. Than a reporter
from the Serbian news agency went to the stadium and found it unlocked but
empty. What happened to those tens of thousands Albanian men that were
taken to the stadium? I am sure the CNN will find out pretty soon.

In the meantime I drink chamomile tea and watch exclusively the Weather
Channel. Although, there are some discrepancies over there too.


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