|Chris Byrne on Tue, 30 Mar 1999 17:29:41 +0100|
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|RHIZOME_RAW: Fwd: Syndicate: IWPR'S BALKAN CRISIS REPORT, NO. 12|
>X-Authentication-Warning: web.aec.at: mdomo set sender to owner-syndicate >using -f >Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 17:37:40 +0200 (CEST) >From: Geert Lovink <firstname.lastname@example.org> >To: email@example.com >Subject: Syndicate: IWPR'S BALKAN CRISIS REPORT, NO. 12 >MIME-Version: 1.0 >Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org >Precedence: bulk > >From: "Tony Borden" <email@example.com> > >WELCOME TO IWPR'S BALKAN CRISIS REPORT, NO. 12, 30 MARCH 1999 > >THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Albanians may watch proudly as NATO bombs destroy >military buildings. But at night, our correspondent listens fearfully for >a knock on the door. > >ROUND ONE: MILOSEVIC. Belgrade is winning the war, and NATO faces a hard >choice: deploy ground troops or return to the negotiating table to face an >even stronger Milosevic. Dejan Anastasijevic reports from Belgrade. > >***************************************************** > >IWPR's network of leading correspondents in the region provide inside >analysis of the events and issues driving crises in the Balkans. The >reports are available on the Web in English, Serbian and Albanian; >English-language reports are also available via e-mail. For syndication >information, contact Anthony Borden <firstname.lastname@example.org>. > >The project is supported by the European Commission and Press Now. > >*** VISIT IWPR ON-LINE: www.iwpr.net *** > >To subscribe to this service, send an e-mail to <email@example.com>; in >the body of the email write the message <subscribe balkan-reports>. To >unsubscribe, write <unsubscribe balkan-reports>, Alternatively, contact >Duncan Furey directly for subscription assistance at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. > >For further details on this project and other information services and >media programmes, visit IWPR's Website: <www.iwpr.net>. > >Editor: Anthony Borden. News and Internet Editor: Rohan Jayasekera. >Assistant Editing: Alan Davis. Translation by Denisa Kostovic and Alban >Mitrushi. > >"Balkan Crisis Report" is produced under IWPR's Balkan Crisis Information >Project. The project seeks to contribute to regional and international >understanding of the regional crisis and prospects for resolution. > >The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) is a London-based >independent non-profit organisation supporting regional media and >democratic change. > >Lancaster House, 33 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH, United Kingdom >Tel: (44 171) 713 7130; Fax: (44 171) 713 7140 E-mail:email@example.com; >Web: www.iwpr.net > >The opinions expressed in "Balkan Crisis Report" are those of the authors >and do not necessarily represent those of the publication or of IWPR. > >Copyright (C) 1999 The Institute for War & Peace Reporting <www.iwpr.net>. > >************************************************* > >THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR > >Albanians may watched proudly as NATO bombs destroy military buildings. >But at night, they listen fearfully for a knock on the door. > >By an IWPR correspondent in Pristina * > >The NATO jets flew very low over the city Sunday night. Each one was met >with anti-aircraft fire from the ground, shooting into the sky. > >Outside on the street, I could hear shouting and cursing directed at >Albanians, NATO, America, Britain, Clinton, Blair, Muslims, Turks--anyone >who doesn't speak Serbian. > >Around 10 PM,. I heard someone wearing heavy boots run up the stairs of >the building where I was staying. (I haven't slept at home for a week.) >Then I heard a hard knock on a neighbour's door. > >"That's it," I thought, "they've arrived." > >I'm amazed at how calm you become when danger is close. I used to be >terrified whenever I saw a policeman or anyone carrying a gun. But last >night it was completely different. I was cool. I waited and thought, "The >worst thing they can do is kill me, so nothing can surprise me." > >I made my decision: "I won't try to hide my identity or my native tongue." >Albanian of course. > >Then I head footsteps again but this time they were running downstairs. No >one knocked on my door. But I had to know what was going on, so I peeked >outside my door. > >I saw a man I had spoken to before. I'd met him on the street a week ago >and we exchanged a few works about, what else, the political situation. We >spoke in Serbian. He seemed very open-minded, very "normal." After we >talked, I thought to myself, "You can't condemn a whole nation just >because of the government's policies. There are decent people among them." > >Or at least that's what I thought last week. > >When I saw him again Sunday night, he was wearing a strange >uniform--neither police nor military--and carrying weapons as he headed >down the stairs. The knock I'd heard was that of his friend, also wearing >a uniform and armed, coming to pick him up. Off they went, no doubt to try >to kill "at least" one Albanian or to burn down someone's home. > >And I will have to find a new place to sleep at night. I wouldn't want to >run in him again. > >Until few days ago, I felt very sorry for Albanians living in the villages >and all they were going through. Not anymore. Now, I'm fighting for my own >survival. I'm try to stay alive and act as normal as possible, but it's >difficult. > >In the morning, I ran back to my own home to check on my family. Out of >breath, I nearly collapsed when I arrived. Since the phones are out, >there's no other way I can check on my parents when I spend a night away >from home. Every time I kiss my mother and father goodbye. I have this >terrible feeling that I may never see them again. > >Sunday, I walked pass my favourite cafe--the place where my friends and I >used to meet everyday. For years, we gathered here to meet and chat. We >were so close that if you missed an afternoon, everyone noticed, and >wondered where you'd gone. Now it's all destroyed. Even the chairs are >gone. It doesn't look like my cafe at all. Inside five policemen were >getting drunk on whisky in the middle of the mess they'd probably made. > >It may seem ridiculous to be thinking about this cafe now, but not to me. >It represents too many memories, too many friends. God knows when we will >all be together again. > >How many of my friends are missing? There is no way to find out. >Telephones in Albanian houses are cut off, and the whole town is divided >by police and armed civilians. No one can communicate, no one can move. >For now, I can only remember my friends' names. I try to remember their >faces but cannot. The only faces I remember are the frightening ones I see >on the streets. > >We wanted these NATO attacks so badly. We protested for them last year. I >never dreamt that the sound of the incoming jets could horrify me so much. >But it's not the air strikes that scare me. What I fear is their >consequences on the ground and that there will be more killings. > >I felt happy last night for the first time as I watched the Ministry of >Interior building in the centre of town be completely destroyed. I proudly >stood at the window, watching. There are only ashes now where before the >huge armoured police vehicles would begin their daily tours. At least >something of "theirs" has been destroyed and people can finally see it. > >The big mushroom of flames that lit the night looked so beautiful. When we >saw that huge, ugly building burning, we didn't care so much about the >consequences of the attacks. At last, something good was coming from this >tragedy, that shows no sign of ending So what if the windows in the nearby >apartments were blown out by the blast? We just hope that the attacks >continue and that NATO planes fly even lower tonight. > >How quickly day goes now! My friends used to call me "Nighthawk" because I >adored the night and I adored waiting for the dawn. Night was my time. Now >I hate it. When darkness comes, I will have to leave my home again and >find someplace to hide. I will take my blanket, stay awake the whole night >and hope not to hear a knock on the door. I'll listen to the roar of the >jets, the anti-aircraft guns, the machine guns, and the shouting. Every >shot sounds to me as if it's coming from the direction of my home. It >fills me with a killing fear. > >The electricity goes off at about 6 PM. It's not a good idea to light a >candle--that just shows that someone is inside. So everyone stays in the >dark, waiting. > >* The name of this journalist is withheld to protect him against >reprisals. > > >ROUND ONE: MILOSEVIC > >The regime is having a very successful war, and in a few days, NATO will >face a hard choice: deploy ground troops with considerable risk of >casualties, or return to the negotiating table to face a even stronger >Milosevic. > >By Dejan Anastasijevic in Belgrade > >NATO may have predicted that the immediate consequence of its bombing >campaign against Serbia would be a rapid deterioration of the situation on >the ground in Kosovo, and this has occurred. But Western officials have >been surprised by their inability to reduce Slobodan Milosevic's capacity >to destabilise the region, and in particular to compel him to accept a >peace accord and NATO peacekeepers. > >After six days of continuing missile attacks and air strikes, it seems >that the Yugoslav military and police are in surprisingly good shape. NATO >has hit most of its designated targets: eight military airports and dozens >of radar sites, barracks, storage and other facilities have been blown up >or badly damaged. But the military and police communications, command >chains, and human resources have remained untouched. > >The same goes for most of the surface-to-air missiles and flak system, >which the Yugoslav Army cleverly refrained from engaging during the raids, >thus making them invisible to NATO electronic detectors. NATO now says >that it is bringing in tactical fighters and targeting artillery and tanks >in southern Serbia and Kosovo. But for the moment, bad weather is still >forcing the allies to keep flying well above 10,000 feet, too high to aim >at moving targets. The ground offensive by Serbian troops in Kosovo can >thus continue for several more days at least, whatever NATO's efforts. > >In fact, Milosevic's forces have already achieved most of their goals: >with frightening speed they crushed the resistance of the Kosovo >Liberation Army (KLA) in the northern part of Kosovo, sending a wave of >refugees south. They have secured 10-kilometre-wide buffer zones along the >borders with Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro--blocking possible entry >paths for KLA reinforcements and supplies, and presenting an obstacle to >an eventual attempt by NATO to force its way in. > >It remains unclear how NATO intends to cope with this situation: basic >military theory says it is impossible to force an army to retreat by air >attacks alone, regardless of the number of bombs and missiles used. This >means that intensifying the bombing campaign south of the 44th parallel, >which NATO announced on Monday, is unlikely to yield any fruit. It also >means that NATO will have to reconsider its strategy, and more >importantly, its policy. The problem is that correcting a mistake also >means acknowledging that a mistake was made--a risk few policy makers are >ready to take. > >On the home front, Milosevic has gained tremendous support, even among his >most ardent critics. After the first air raid alert was sounded, most >Serbs immediately adopted the slogan "my country, right or wrong." All of >their frustrations about life in Yugoslavia were transferred towards the >West. On Sunday, March 28, tens of thousands of young Belgraders assembled >at the central square to attend a rock concert organised in defiance of >the raids. For a moment, it looked as if Belgrade slipped back in >time--the bands, as well as the faces in the crowd, were much the same as >two years ago. Then, they were calling for the resignation of Slobodan >Milosevic; this time, the target of their dissent was NATO and the Western >leaders who ordered the strikes. > >Couple all this with the successful downing of an American F-117 west of >Belgrade, which also boosted moral, and the conclusion is that Milosevic >is better off than he ever was--and getting more so with each day of the >campaign. NATO will continue to bomb for a few more days. But then it will >face a hard choice: deploy ground troops with considerable risk of >casualties, or return to the negotiating table to face an even stronger >Milosevic. > >Dejan Anastasijevic is a journalist with Vreme magazine in Belgrade. > + + + -> RHIZOME COMMUNICATIONS -> post: firstname.lastname@example.org -> questions: email@example.com -> answers: http://www.rhizome.org -> unsubscribe: http://www.rhizome.org/unsubscribe/ + + + posts to RHIZOME RAW are subject to the terms set out in the Subscriber Agreement available online at <http://www.rhizome.org/subscribe/>.