Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo: NATO’s Prototype for the Next Wars of Globalization. Publisher: Unwritten History, Inc., New York, 2007. By Michel Collon, 276 pages, with photographs and maps.
“Each war begins with media lies.” This is how Belgian journalist Michel Collon begins his analysis of the Kosovo conflict which resulted in the U.S. and NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the subsequent occupation of the Serbian Kosovo province by U.S. and NATO troops. The U.S. and NATO had launched a war of aggression without United Nations approval and in violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia. The war was illegal and criminal under international law and under the Charter of the UN.
How was an illegal and criminal war “sold” as a “humanitarian intervention” to prevent “genocide” and a second Holocaust? This is the question that Collon analyzes and attempts to answer in the book.
Collon stated that the “primary objective” of the book is to allow “the reader to recognize media lies”. The Kosovo conflict is used to demonstrate how the U.S. media and government used “disinformation” and “war propaganda” to cover up the fact that no “genocide” or atrocities had taken place in Kosovo. He is able to deconstruct the deceptions and lies perpetrated by the U.S. and Western media. The analysis is essential reading in promoting critical media literacy skills and in the deconstruction of the modus operandi of the U.S. and Western media.
But if there was a massive and unprecedented U.S. infowar and propaganda and disinformation campaign, what was the reason for it? Collon analyzed the hidden agendas and objectives that the U.S. and the NATO countries had in launching such a blatantly illegal and criminal war of aggression. He showed how NATO expansion eastwards and into “Southeastern Europe” were important strategic and military objectives. The neutralization of Serbia was vital for the U.S. and the EU because Serbia was not a compliant U.S. proxy, client, and satellite state. Serbia was a large roadblock in the way of U.S. and NATO expansion. Serbia had to be wiped out. And that is what the U.S. and NATO did. The Kosovo conflict was the result.
Economic interests were also of primary concern for the U.S. and NATO. Serbia was resisting “privatization” and the “open society”, that is, the corporate takeover of its economy by U.S. and Western corporate raiders, NGOs, and corporate conglomerates.
Collon examined the ramifications of the Kosovo conflict for future conflicts, the “next wars of globalization.” In particular, he saw the connection of Kosovo to the Caucasus, the interconnection of Kosovo to the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts. Collon saw the Kosovo conflict as only the first war in NATO’s expansion eastwards and NATO’s plan to encircle the Russian Federation.
The war launched on August 7, 2008 by U.S. client state Georgia to take over the de facto independent regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia can be seen as the second war concocted by the U.S. and NATO. The goal is the same in Kosovo and in South Ossetia. The U.S. and NATO seek expansion. Collon was able to foresee the South Ossetia conflict, His analytical framework is accurate and critical, providing an objective and unbiased analysis of NATO and U.S. motives and policies.
Collon begins his analysis by deconstructing the media deceptions and lies that the U.S. and Western media used to “sell” the illegal war in Kosovo. The U.S. propaganda model was to use the Bosnia Holocaust propaganda analogy. Accuse the Serbs of committing genocide, of recreating the Holocaust. Make up outrageous and preposterous atrocity stories and fabrications and concoct unbelievable casualty numbers. Revive the “ethnic cleansing” meme that worked so well in Bosnia. And then develop the genocide propaganda argument.
NATO deliberately targeted and bombed a passenger train over the Grdelica Bridge, a blatant war crime, 1999.
There was a claim by the U.S. and Western media that there were “100,000 Missing” Albanian Muslims, presumed to have been killed by the Serbs. U.S. President Bill Clinton stated at a White House press conference on June 25, 1999 that “tens of thousands of people”, that is, Albanian Muslims, had been murdered in Kosovo on the personal orders of Slobodan Milosevic. This was nonsense and a malicious deception. Geoff Hoon of the British Foreign Office similarly claimed that “it appeared that around 10,000 people had been killed in more than 100 massacres.” These were outlandish, cynical, and immoral lies disseminated by government leaders. But Bill Clinton and Tony Blair understood that there were no repercussions and consequences for the most outrageous of lies and deceptions. By playing the genocide game or genocide card, moreover, invoking genocide in what was an internal, separatist and secessionist conflict, Clinton and Blain knew that they could silence any dissent and debate. Who wouldn’t want to prevent genocide and atrocities? Framed in those deceptive terms, it was a win-win situation that was based totally on disinformation, infowar and psyop techniques, and fabrications.
In fact, claims of genocide by the U.S., Britain, and other NATO countries were later shown to be lies and fabrications concocted and planned by the governments of those same NATO countries that bombed and occupied Yugoslavian territory. U.S. infowar techniques went into high gear. The U.S. media and government propaganda machine went into overdrive. U.S. Army Psyops specialists even were hired by CNN to work for the news network. This was the appetizer. This was to get everyone ready for the main show, which was the bombing and occupation of Serbia.
Collon examined and discussed the language and terms of the Rambouillet Accord which no sovereign and independent country could accept. It harkened back to the 1914 Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia that led to World War I. Under the terms of the Rambouillet Accord, Serbia had to allow NATO the right to potentially occupy all of Serbia and Yugoslavia, had to give Kosovo de facto independence immediately, and allow Kosovo Albanians to vote on independence after three years. What sovereign state would accept these terms? Would Georgia under Mikhail Saakashvili accept these terms for the resolution of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts? Clearly, the U.S. planned a war to allow the Kosovo Albanian Muslim separatists to secede from Serbia, like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini had done in 1941, and for essentially the same reasons, to use Albanians as a proxy against Yugoslavia, a hostile and non-proxy state.
Collon cited convincing and compelling evidence that the U.S. and NATO planned an “intervention” in Kosovo long before the 78 day bombing started in 1999. In June, 1997, a French government official visited a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Adriatic. A U.S. admiral showed him a map of Yugoslavia with blinking lights on it. When asked what the lights represented, the admiral replied, “These are the future targets of our air attacks.” This was almost two years before the alleged “crackdown” and “atrocities” in Kosovo by the Slobodan Milosevic regime. This was before anything had happened in Kosovo. The U.S. and NATO were planning the next war. And Kosovo was the place. Some rationale was needed, any rationale, and the U.S. propaganda and infowar machine came up with one.
Two Serbian children killed by U.S. and NATO bombardment of a Belgrade suburb on May 27, 1999, Dejana, 4, and Stefan Pavlovic, 7.
Finally, Collon analyzed the war crimes the U.S. and NATO committed in Kosovo by targeting Serbian hospitals, nursing homes, passenger trains, automobile factories, power grids, marketplaces, refugee columns, and television stations. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirmed that based on the evidence they gathered, the U.S. and NATO were guilty of committing horrendous war crimes. But who was going to prosecute them? Who was going to arrest Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright and bring them before a war crimes tribunal and court? Who was going to prosecute the U.S. and NATO war crimes in Serbia and Yugoslavia? Might makes right.
What did the U.S. and NATO achieve with the alleged “humanitarian intervention”? Following the war, an estimated 250,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Turks, Gorani, and Jews were forced to flee Kosovo, creating an ethnically pure Albanian or Shqip “Kosova”, a Greater Albania. What the U.S. had achieved was to allow its proxy Albanian forces to secede and to create a second Albanian state in Europe. The U.S. had achieved the goals of Albanian separatism, creating two Albanian Muslim states in Europe.
Collon analyzed the Racak “massacre” and showed how this incident was staged and manipulated and distorted by the U.S. government and media. Those killed were armed Albanian Muslims who had been engaged in a shootout with Yugoslav police and security forces. The evidence showed that they had gun residue on their hands indicating that they had fired weapons. Racak was the pretext the U.S. needed to launch the illegal bombardment of Yugoslavia. Anything, any pretext, would have done.
Collon showed how economic factors were also paramount in the Kosovo conflict. U.S. President Bill Clinton had explained that “that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about … our ability to sell around the world.” He cited a Thomas Friedman statement in the New York Times : “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist—McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15.” Finally, the New York Times on July 18, 1996, attacked Slobodan Milosevic, “a former Communist”, because he retained “state controls” over the Yugoslav economy and because of “his refusal to allow privatization.” The Washington Post explained succinctly why Yugoslavia was targeted by the U.S., NATO, and the EU: “Milosevic failed to understand the political message of the fall of the Berlin Wall while other Communist politicians accepted the Western model, and moved in the direction of the rest of Europe, Milosevic went the other way.” Milosevic did not grasp that the U.S. was the sole Superpower, the “global hegemon” who required all states to adopt and to follow the “Western model”. Ultimately, this was what the Kosovo thing was all about.
Collon was able to analyze and deconstruct the many issues involved in the Kosovo crisis and to see their future implications in the Caucasus. Originally published in 2000 in French as Monopoly: The NATO Conquest of the World, Collon analyzed how the Kosovo conflict was aimed ultimately at Russia and was a precursor to NATO expansion into the Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Georgia. Kosovo was not the end, but only the start. Kosovo was the beginning. South Ossetia and Abkhazia were the next wars. Kosovo set the stage for Iraq, Afghanistan, and the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and was the intended “prototype” for future wars of “globalization” and for spreading “democracy” and “freedom” around the globe.
NATO targeted hospitals, power grids, nursing homes, passenger trains, bridges, refugee columns, busses, television stations, factories, and residential areas. These are war crimes under international law and the customs and conventions of warfare. Cluster bombs were dropped by NATO in civilian areas. NATO bombed the residence of Slobodan Milosevic in a “decapitation” attack meant to assassinate him. NATO also killed hundreds of Albanian Muslim refugees.
The Chinese Embassy building in Belgrade after NATO bombardment. Out of 900 targets bombed by NATO, only the Chinese Embassy was targeted and chosen by the CIA and consisted of an independent U.S. bombing run.
Anti-NATO demonstrators in Beijing, China in 1999 protest the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade which killed three Chinese civilians. Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu, and his wife, Zhu Ying, were killed, while 20 were injured. The Chinese government stated that the bombing was a “barbarian act”.
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