Ivo Skoric on Fri, 22 Jan 1999 09:09:56 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Racak and Deja Vu

For nearly a decade news from the Balkans too often started with:
"The bodies of dozens of men were found..." A recent AP wire
reporting on the massacre in village Racak, for example, had that
same beginning: "The bodies of dozens of men were found scattered on
a hillside and in ravines in southern Kosovo today, many of them
mutilated, the day after a fierce attack by Serb forces on ethnic
Albanian villages. Reporters counted at least 35 bodies."

Journalists versed in former Yugoslavia events perhaps have already
created form articles with multiple choice of locations and objects,
kind of like this:

<<The bodies of dozens of men were found scattered on a hillside and
in ravines in... 

a)	Eastern Croatia
b)	Western Bosnia
c)	Southern Kosovo 

...today, many of them mutilated, the day after a fierce attack by
Serb forces on... 

a)	Albanian
b)	Croatian
c)	Muslim 

...villages. Reporters counted at least 35 bodies.>>

Indeed, the history seems to repeat itself: in the Balkans
much too often and way too soon. And now we even have OSCE
"verifiers" to verify that undeniable truth. We've been hearing and
seeing the same BS (as in bullshit) for the third time in eight

In Kosovo, American special envoy Richard Holbroke brokered the same
kind of solution that American diplomacy vehemently opposed to
support and ridiculed as a sign of European failure in Bosnia. As
such a solution did not work in Bosnia, expectably it does not work
in Kosovo, either. Unarmed monitors are sitting targets: a hefty
supply of hostages. Verifiers are there to verify the truce that
isn't, the truce that neither of the two involved parties really

The Racak massacre makes perfect sense from Milosevic's standpoint.
The "truce" brought the opportunity to KLA to consolidate, obtain
weapons and rid itself from informers (KLA has a policy to kill
ethnic Albanians that cooperate with Serbian government), which is
basically what such temporary periods of truce had brought to
Croatian and Bosnian governments in the past. Then a heap of
mutilated bodies would be found somewhere, or a grenade would hit
the market- place in the busiest hour. Serbs never failed us with a
zesty bloodshed. The emphasis on gore is very important - since the
massacre has a single intent: to provoke the opposing side into
fighting back before it is ready to take Serbs on, and consequently
to drag the West deeper into the Balkan conflict: in Croatia a
slight help (arming, training, close air support) was sufficient,
while in Bosnia the West actually had to send ground troops to
police the cease-fire. The later may also be the case in Kosovo.
Although - Kosovo is a part of Serbia, and Serbia is not likely to
approve West sending troops there, so the West would actually had to
go in war with Serbia over the fate of Kosovo.

On that note: USS Enterprise sailed back into Adriatic. NATO is 
transferring more airplanes to bases in Italy. British SAS is ready 
to pull out hostages. NATO is developing plans to evacuate the entire 
OSCE team with a 8-10 thousands strong force. Serbia has less than 80
jet-fighters, and 4/5 are ancient MIG 21s. In air battle, Serbia has
no chances whatsoever.

But maybe Serbia wants to loose the war. What if Milosevic really
wants to unload Kosovo, but can't do it because that would make him
lose political support of the hard-core nationalists who brought him
to and keep him in power? Also, he can't let Albanians win. But he
can afford to lose the war to the U.S. He will stay in power, just
like Saddam. (I just rode with a truck driver who was asking
rhetorically, why didn't just somebody go and kill the s.o.b.-s

The attempt to expel American diplomat Walker, the head of the OSCE
team, resulted in the drop in publicity of the Serbian cause
everywhere, including Russia. Not that a P.R. can help Serbia, not
any more: the interviews Milosevic gave to Washington Post and
Newsweek, were generally cut and edited short, amusing Western
Reader with the exotic Balkan madman thinking - because they were
mostly made for domestic public to reassure people that not all is
lost. It is, however.

Serbia's efforts to wipe out KLA are going to be hampered by
verifiers, until the KLA is ready and equipped to fight back. Taking
verifiers hostage, on the other hand, might provoke quick response
from the USS Enterprise.



to a Silent Vigil 
on Wednsday, Janaury 27, 1999 from 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm,
 in front of the New York Public Library, 5th Avenue between 41 and 42nd streets.

Please wear black clothes.
For further information contact Indira at (212) 598-0954.


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