1. Wow, John, you can really write! Excellent! Keep the good work!

    Bob,

    NATO consists of lot of countries, truth, but you know perfectly well that only few count and rest is just doing what they are being told to do.
    Those western countries that pool the strings know the truth, but they choose deliberately to distort it to a very large amount as it suits their agenda.
    So west saw what they wanted to see.

    “… analysis would be better if it told the bad along with the good and the good along with bad…”

    I disagree. There isn’t any lack of exposure to the wrong doings of the Serbs, on the contrary, it is overblown. It is the wrong doings of the other actors in the war that went under reported. Including real motives and maneuvers of the west.

    As of war criminals, many of western countries are guilty of committing war crimes in the recent history. They treat their war criminals if not as a heroes then at least as respectable citizens who proudly served their country and are occupying highest positions in the politics and armed forces. Take a look at the US for example. If there was a justice, practically every administration would be jailed because of the war crimes committed. Are they brought to the justice?

    As for Milosevic, he is a typical case of the escape goat. As a Serb president in very difficult times, under attack of “International Community”, from all sides, Serbs being totally alone, he had a very few options.

    He actually did quite well, considering the circumstances.
    (Stevan, 5 June 2008 01:47)
  2. John

    Despite the fact that I agree with most of what you say, I still think that you are doing wrong if you join in trying to paint Serbia white and NATO black.

    Your analysis would be better if it told the bad along with the good and the good along with bad.

    A lot of the problem with Milosevic's politics was the complete denial of reality - both in terms of international politics and in terms of the corruption that hurt all Serbs.

    The problem of both sides is that they are exactly that - sides. NATO countries are not about to change their minds about 1990s Serbia (or about Kosovo although perhaps they should). Likewise some people's nationalistic mindset will mean that they will want to continue to believe that war criminals are heros.

    The acceptance of war criminals as heros makes Serbia look bad from the outside. The west sees the denial in the nationalist mindset and resists it. That is why they want Mladic arrested - and that is why Kosovo was allowed its UDI.

    NATO is lots of countries - Milosevic's biggest mistake was to treat them like fools.

    I have previously tried to say what you have said - Slovenia and Croatia started the break up of Yugoslavia yet Serbs take the blame. However, that does not make Mladic and Milosevic pure and innocent.

    A balanced understanding is needed, not the mere reawakening of 1990s propaganda.

    -------

    John - What you write is good blog material: it should really be in a less time-limited blog.
    (Bob, 3 June 2008 01:40)
  3. Dear Cees,

    In response to your comment to me above…

    My thinking about the Serbian role in the dismemberment of Yugoslavia is based on my firsthand observations of events there during years of reporting for Japanese media. Instead of acting on my gut instincts, I spent my entire first reporting trip to the region without filing a single story because I had to be doubly sure of my facts to avoid any charge of an unfounded bias.

    Your implication that there was some sort of Serbian hegemony in Yugoslavia in the years prior to the wars of the 1990s is not reflected by either the economic or political realities of that period. The presidency of Yugoslavia was held by a non-Serb president-for-life from WWII onward and after his death the presidency rotated to Serbia only once every eight years despite the fact that Serbs constituted by far the largest ethnic group with as much as 40% of the Yugoslav population. Serbia itself was the most ethnically diverse region of Yugoslavia before the fighting and remains so even more pronouncedly today. Serbs constitute the single biggest number of refugees today and have less chance than any other ethnic group of ever safely returning to their homes in areas where EU candidate countries like Croatia ethnically cleansed them with open military aid from the “human-rights-loving” United States.

    Historically, the use of force in self defense (as was the Serb case) has not viewed as aggressive violence in the traditional view of the rights of nations. The decisions to violently and illegally separate from the common state of Yugoslavia were taken by Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia in full knowledge that the result would be violence. By provoking violence they sought to turn the federal security forces into outlaws in the eyes of the world, going so far as to kill Serbs and then falsely presenting their bodies as those of dead Croats, for example, despite the fact that the Orthodox Christian crosses at their graves were inscribed in the Serbian-only Cyrillic alphabet.

    The ignorance of the Western public (not to mention the political and economic elites who were also duped) was indeed the key strength of the descendants of WWII Nazi collaborators who finally cut up Yugoslavia in line with the map that Hitler drew for the partition of the country in 1941.

    No, Cees, we are not talking here about Serbian hegemony at all. We are talking of a peaceful nation in which the Serbs were the most "Yugoslav" of all the nations both in terms of their wide distribution in all regions as well as in their adoption of Yugoslavianism in terms of culture and outlook -- even to the abandonment of their Serbian identity.

    When Yugoslavia was finally killed by the combined efforts of NATO-EU backed nationalist extremists in Croatia, Slovenia and so on, I was shocked by the fact than many Serbs did not even know that the flag of Serbia was RED-BLUE-WHITE, instead mistaking the BLUE-WHITE-RED Yugoslav flag as being that of Serbia as well. In 20 years of reporting about the region, I have yet to meet even one Croat, Bosnian Muslim or Slovene who was unable to identify his own republic's flag. You have put the nationalist label on the wrong nation.

    There is a simple litmus-test question that I have asked for more than a decade to resolve all of these doubts about who were the real nationalist separatists. You might recall that Croatia and Slovenia both claimed at first that they supported Yugoslavia but that the "evil Serbian ultra-nationalists" (an absurdity rendered even more laughable when falsely applied to Milosevic) were destroying Yugoslavia in pursuit of a "Greater Serbia" (a purposeful mistranslation from the original Serbian "GREAT SERBIA"). The Croat-Slovene story that they wanted to maintain a Slavic confederation falls flat in the face of my single test question that remains unanswerable to this day by any and everyone to whom I have posed it. Namely:

    “If Croatia and Slovenia truly wanted to continue to live together in a single state with their fellow Slavs, why did they *each* declare independence on the same day and form ethnically pure, separate countries, when they could just as easily have separated *together* as a single common state of Slo-Croatia or Cro-Slovenia or West-Slavia based on brotherly love between at least Croats and Slovenes?

    That permanently unanswerable question is the Gordian Knot that stops dead in its tracks the entire anti-Serbian lie and even more importantly, leads any deeper, logical thinker to the corollary conclusion that the entire media invention of Serbian-perpetrated genocides falsely alleged by the paid lobbyists of the ex-Nazi Croats and Muslims was a singularly brilliant form of "Holocaust denial" that effectively *erased* the real genocide that the Croat Ustashe and Muslim fascists conducted against three quarters of a million Serbs, Jews and Gypsies in WWII, while simultaneously diminishing the uniqueness of the Nazi Holocaust in the interest of their German backers. The perversely evil minds behind this trans-generational assault on the Serbian people, their personal dignity and their historical reputation can only be described by one word: *diabolical*.

    And, Cees, as for your tale about alleged Serbian paramilitaries hiding in Montenegro, let's dispense with this systematically:

    1. I was in Kosovo as a journalist well before the bombing of 1999 and personally observed the radical difference in conduct and tactics used by the police and army compared to the bloody ambushes of civilians (many of them fellow Albanians) staged by the terrorist KLA.

    2. Paramilitaries were illegal volunteers and knew very well that their activities were banned by the police and the military, which, on the direct written orders of President Milosevic, were to avoid even the hint of suspicion of any war crimes by "Serbian" forces. Arkan and his special forces were explicitly banned from entering Kosovo for precisely that same reason – avoiding even a rumor of misconduct. That is precisely why US ambassador William Walker had to stage manage the Racak “massacre” story – there simply was no real Serbian-perpetrated massacre that could be used as a “Gulf of Tonkin” style pretext for war. Even Hitler said he sent troops into Poland in 1939 in response to what he said was a *Polish invasion of Germany*. Surely we should be able to see through such bald-faced lies by now.

    So if anybody really did interview some self-professed Serbian "paras," the journalist conducting the interview had to know he was dealing with either an anti-Serbian disinformer or a real would-be killer who had signed up as a “para” knowing that what he was doing was explicitly punishable under Serbian law. How such extremist volunteers could then suddenly have a complete change of heart and scurry off to talk to US journalists in Montenegro at the first sight of the very blood that they supposedly signed up to spill makes no sense at all.

    3. Finally, far from proving your allegations, the sham interviews with “paras” conducted by Michael Montgomery and Stephen Smith operating in the guise of journalists at American Radioworks demonstrate nothing less than the long arm of the US government at work again.

    American Radioworks is directly funded by the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). To quote the CPB Web site: "A Board of Directors governs CPB, sets policy, and establishes programming priorities. The *President of the United States* appoints each member, who, after confirmation by the *Senate*, serves a six year term."

    Cees, on the presumption that you did not know the truth before you wrote your post above, I hope that what I have written here has changed your mind about the NATO-EU aggression against the Serbs.

    If however, you knew the truth yet still wrote what you did, the fact that your arguments have been so easily and completely debunked should lead you to adopt a different pseudonym and do better research next time.

    Sincerely,

    John Bosnitch
    Washington, DC
    john.b@imcnews.com
    (John Bosnitch, 2 June 2008 09:17)
  4. the RTS building was not a civil building and Milosivic as well as his ministers were informed by NATO, that it was considered as a part of the military infrastructure. the murderers were those which did not evacuate the building.
    (rolerkoster, 2 June 2008 07:31)
  5. NATO is a lot of countries. A lot of countries who saw the wickedness that occurred in Bosnia and were determined that this would not be allowed to happen again.

    I read lots of resentment against NATO and the 'NATO aggression' but this reflects lack of understanding of the causes and an unjustifiable denial of the reasons WHY the NATO bombing took place.
    (Bob, 2 June 2008 00:34)
  6. Cees,

    "Serbian population by their strive for hegemony on the Balkans did provoke this 'Anti-Serbian'?…"

    What Serb hegemony?

    "…but anti-violence…"

    Did you ever thought about the fact that this "anti - violant"western world is actually the most violant culture in whole history of human kind?
    (Stevan, 1 June 2008 23:53)
  7. John Bosnitch,

    I have read some of your articles with headers like:
    "Anti-Serbianism Goes Far Back in History". The only thinking behind it is your understandable positive stance to the nation, of which your ancestors emigrated. Like most of the people in the Serbian Diaspora you have this view. One thing I like to question you: "Did you ever get a little doubt, that it could be, that the Serbian population by their strive for hegemony on the Balkans did provoke this 'Anti-Serbian'? At the other hand, it is not 'anti-Serbian', but anti-violence. You really may ask, if it was correct to react on the Serbian violence by NATO-violence.
    If you would like to know more about the Serbian violence in Kosovo, just read the interviews in September 1999 with Serbian Para's, hiding in Montenegro, because they are afraid to return to Serbia, where they could be seen as traitors, if they would tell the truth about, what they actually did in Kosovo. They knew that the Serbian population wasn't informed about the atrocities in Kosovo as two of them stated. You can find the interviews done by Michael Montgomery and Stephen Smith on American Radioworks.
    Cees
    (cees, 1 June 2008 18:12)
  8. To keep stating the obvious that only NATO is responsible for the murder of those sixteen people at the RTS, misses in my view, a far more important point: Who is responsible for the jailing of Milanovic, to cover up for this crime of the US-EU-NATO ?
    This murder was a NATO shame but the condemning of Milanovic for it, is entirely the shame of some Serbs- not of the NATO!
    Who are they?
    I would venture to say the same people who convinced Wisner, Montgomery, Solana and Co that Serbs do not really care if Kosovo is taken away from them (so they just went ahead and did it).
    All this demonstrates clearly that the post-Milosevic's era turned rapidly into a culture of extreme sycophancy towards the West (witness Tadic's first preoccupation,from Bucarest, for the damage done to the U.S.embassy) and an abject selfdepreciation, as well as self deception. A deadly combination for a wounded Nation trying to get on its feet.
    Was all this self-debasement worthwhile? Does anybody still believe that more of the same could possibly lead us anywhere but further into the gutter?
    This is our real problem.
    (Peter RV, 1 June 2008 16:14)
  9. >> then Serb armed forces had a right to bomb CNN for example

    I am not a lawyer, but these determined by law. If CNN was controlled--as Serb TV stations were by Slobo, let's be honest--then I'd say yes.
    (Al, 1 June 2008 15:47)
  10. This bombing was an obvious war crime. NATO had almost complete control of the media, but RTS documentaries from various bombed sites, showing civilian victims, destruction of the civilian infrastructure and housing reached west in the few occasions. NATO was worried that that sort of images would further weaken already shaky support for the war among the public. So, RTS had to go…

    As for the silencing "Milosevic propaganda" - I wonder if NATO had a right to bomb the RTS did then Serb armed forces had a right to bomb CNN for example?

    Sentencing Milanovic is ridiculous. We are really living in Orwelian times.
    (Stevan, 1 June 2008 13:40)
  11. I suppose the schoolteachers should be blamed for schools being bombed, or hospital directors for hospitals being bombed, maternity wards being bombed. Everyone is to blame but the people who deliberately bombed nothing but civilian targets. Whole working class villages which had no military value whatsoever were bombed. In the entirety of the bombing, only 7 tanks were hit, yet scores and scores of civilian targets were destroyed. This was a war against the people of Yugoslavia. Blame/jail the victim and absolve the murderers, as usual.
    (Brian, 31 May 2008 21:59)
  12. What an evil, calculated killing. NATO will never wash this blood from their hands as long as I or any of the other honest witnesses to this crime are alive on this earth.

    Sincerely,

    John Bosnitch
    john.b@imcnews.com
    Washington, DC
    (John Bosnitch, 31 May 2008 19:26

    ---…--

    Great reply John, Thanks for the insight. Notice also how NATO are re-writing the history of events not only in the Serbia bombing but the entire Balkan affair.
    (Dorcol, 31 May 2008 21:55)
  13. Adrian

    Are you crazy? To say he let is co-workers die, means he was colluding with NATO as this was the only way he would knew 100% they would actually have the audacity to blow up a TV station with civilian staff.

    If Milosevic wanted Serbian blood to use for propaganda he would of allowed more army/government buildings that were bombed to be full of civilian staff, I only know of a few factions who have used human shields.

    Basically, direct killing of journalists is against international law (people really don’t care about these laws anymore, do they?), by doing so they prove to anyone that when they choose to be, they can push aside any law without punishment.

    More and more we(NATO and also the EU) behave like the USSR. Warning for those Serbs who think the EU is great, it is anti-democratic and you will find the more and more you are drawn into the EU, the less power you will have to rule your own economy and even worse, your social policy.

    I really hope the likes of Albania, Turkey and Croatia join the EU or come close to doing so, as a UK resident the sooner the EU cracks from within the sooner we can focus on forming a trade union again, not a social policy machine.
    (Michael Blairsdale, 31 May 2008 21:10)
  14. I've never seen or read any NATO transcripts about them bombing RTS and I thought they been threatening to only bomb the transmitters.

    Further, no NATO pilot or commander has testified to having done this warning.

    CNN staff was using the building but had been secretly warned and moved out a day or two before.

    The fact that CNN and its staff did not tell the Serbian staff who'd allowed them to share their facilities is damning of CNN.

    I think the families of those killed who are being used as NATO tools to go after Serbs when no transcripts of conversations have ever proved this warning are truly stupid and compounding NATO's and the international communities crimes against Serbs.
    (ida, 31 May 2008 20:26)
  15. "Have we all lost our minds?? Why the hell was Milanovic jailed by fellow Serbs? This is shameful and disgusting."

    Because he sent his co-workers to death? That doesn`t mean that NATO is innocent, but that`s another issue.He probably taught that he will do the Milosevic regime a favor by letting those people die.
    (adrian, timisoara, romania, 31 May 2008 19:45)
  16. This entire RTS tragedy has been used as a propaganda tool by NATO, the EU, and their stooges inside Serbia. I was reporting for Japanese media from Serbia during NATO's undeclared war on the country. I myself could very well have been inside RTS at the time of the bombing (journalists from around the world used the facilities there to send reports to their agencies).

    As soon as I heard of the blast I rushed to the studio buildings with other reporters. There was no doubt from the part of the building that the missile hit that it was intended to kill people rather than to disable the transmission facilities, which were relatively undamaged compared to the areas in which staff were working.

    As NATO chief spokesman/propagandist Jamie Shea told the world many times, NATO's smart bombs can be precisely targeted. No one has ever explained why NATO chose to kill personnel (make-up artists and support staff) rather than to destroy the transmitter antennas, which would have better served their claimed objective of silencing RTS. I believe that NATO chose terror as it's preferred tactic and presumed that murdering some staff members would be more effective than anything else in demonstrating NATO power.

    There is no doubt that RTS was a civilian facility and that its deliberate bombing constituted a war crime, not to mention premeditated murder.

    Whether NATO actually "warned" RTS of its intention does not change the fact that its action was a crime that would have been prosecuted if the Hague "tribunal" were other than the Kangaroo Court that it has since been proven to be.

    The fact that NATO might have "warned" RTS and its individual targets (we journalists using RTS had all heard that NATO planned to kill us) is the proof of the terror aspect of its attack. They thought the media could be silenced by their threats. That never made any sense, however, because every minute we spent reporting from Kosovo we could already be killed by the KLA on the ground or by the KLA air force (NATO) from the air.

    After NATO murdered the journalists at RTS, the most pro-NATO media including US, German and Australian reporters held a speedy "memorial" service for their fellow journalists. The memorial was conducted in a most hurried fashion. But when a group of journalists mainly from non-NATO states attempted to approach the makeshift podium to denounce the killings the Western media coordinators turned off the public address system and rushed everyone out of the venue they had booked for the event. There could not have been a more blatant case of media collusion with the NATO war machine! I left that place with a group of journalists who were similarly convinced that our colleagues from CNN, BBC et al were nothing more than agents of NATO.

    As we all know, the Hague took no action against NATO over the slaughter. The international journalists' organization, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), did nothing either, but that was to be expected because its Chairwoman Kati Marton, was married to the US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke. The incestuous relationship between the NATO murderers and so-called independent reporters also helped to silence big-name journalists like CNN's Christiane Amanpour (also a CPJ director) who was probably "embedded" with her husband, State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin at the time of the bombing.

    After the US-financed coup in October 2000 removed President Milosevic, the NATO puppets who came into power moved to permanently cover up the RTS murders by convicting RTS Director Milanovic of the fake charge of exposing his journalists to possible death by ordering everyone to report to work as normal. The same Serbian courts, which had the power to indict NATO chief Solana for the murders took no action against him at all -- and he has since been a frequent visitor to Belgrade, coming and going as he pleases, whizzing past the memorial to his RTS victims in his big limousine.

    The country was under attack. RTS staff were expected top report to work just as we foreign journalists were expected to file our reports. Anyone who feared for their life had the option of quitting their job as a journalist and getting down into a bomb shelter instead. We all knew the risks and those of us who stayed on the job took those risks.

    Neither I nor any of those killed really expected NATO to really take the decision to commit such an indisputable war crime in front of witnesses from the entire world. But we were then not yet aware that this earth had advanced from what Solzhenitsyn had dubbed the Age of Hypocrisy at the start of the foreign dismemberment of Yugoslavia into the era in which we live today: the Age of Impunity.

    The families of the victims have since been used repeatedly by NATO to score points against the long-deposed Serbian government. And they are still being used to this day by the agents of NATO who probably never even shed so much as one crocodile tear for my dead RTS colleagues but will not hesitate to use their corpses for propaganda purposes as long as they possibly can.

    What an evil, calculated killing. NATO will never wash this blood from their hands as long as I or any of the other honest witnesses to this crime are alive on this earth.

    Sincerely,

    John Bosnitch
    john.b@imcnews.com
    Washington, DC
    (John Bosnitch, 31 May 2008 19:26)
  17. It was an unmistakable proof of the terminal depravity of our post-Milosevic's 'leaders', to have condemned Milanovic for the murder of the sixteen employees of the STS, perpetrated by Wesley Clark.
    The only thing missing to this absurdly repulsive act, was the decoratation of this U.S. general for his bravery.
    This was the moment I parted forever from our NATO-EURO lovers.
    (Peter RV, 31 May 2008 19:17)
  18. NATO was very good at shifting the blame of their war crimes onto individuals in the Serbian Hierarchy.

    The whole country was being bombed by NATO but attacking a TV station and willingly killing civilians intentionally is a war crime. Jamie Shea and Javier Solana should be in CZ instead of Milanovic.

    Condolences to the families and it is always hard to lose loved ones especially so young but shame on B92 and DS/LDP for pushing the NATO lies. Its easy to convict a civilian and tell the families justice has been done but it is far from Just.
    (Dorcol, 31 May 2008 19:06)
  19. It is NATO that bombed civilian infrastructure and it is entirely NATOs crimes.

    There were also warnings of bombing bridges in Belgrade but they held concerts on them instead.

    There were warnings of the country being bombed, so what was the government supposed to do, evacuate everyone?

    NATO leaders are the criminals here and none other than DS friend Solana was in charge. And the DS allowed NATO to turn this around and blame the victims for their crime.

    As far as I'm concerned, the SPS are right to free this man and NATO should be put on trial.
    (ZK UK, 31 May 2008 17:54)
  20. Have we all lost our minds?? Why the hell was Milanovic jailed by fellow Serbs? This is shameful and disgusting.
    NATO is 100% responsible for this blatant war crime - in particular it is Madeline Albright and Wesley Clark.
    This is the equivalent of jailing the home owner because he was forewarned that his house would be robbed and refused to evacuate it. It really boggles the mind. I am truly disgusted by Serbian politicians who would jail this man, who at the same time are not demanding that Albright and Clark be sent to jail for war crimes! It just shows that there really is a Fifth Column inside Serbia working for the colonists, trying to rewrite history and turn the victims into the aggressors, and aggressors into victims.
    Milanovic should be released at once, and war crimes charges filed immediately Clinton's gang.
    (Dragan, 31 May 2008 17:33)
  21. What was the purpose of bombing RTS? Wa this a military target? nato couldn't harm the Serba army from air so they resroted to plan B: attack hospitals, bridges, markets, civillians! The real criminals are NATO! Rest in peace to the innocent Serbs murdered in cold blood by america.
    (Ratko, 31 May 2008 17:30)
  22. Nato had been threatening to bomb the tv tower for days. The people who were working there new that this was a distinct possibility, however they could not accept that Nato would murder them. Nato murdered these people in cold blood in order to scare the Serbian people. This is a historic fact. Arresting the head of RTS was a sham.
    (Marko, 31 May 2008 16:14)
  23. Journalists are not welcomed many times. Does it means they should be slaughtered? I dare to say there is no difference between USA and former USSR. Both of them are good in one thing killing people for there own reasons. NATO is nothing more then a political umbrella for USA.
    (joe, 31 May 2008 14:48)
  24. Lets not forget something here - an attack on a non military target staffed by civilians is a war crime.

    Sure Milanovic did not evacuate the building and knew that his staff would be fired upon, but somebody from NATO should be made accountable for giving the order.
    (bganon, 31 May 2008 14:43)
  25. who ordered Milanović to sacrify his collegues? or did NATO headquarter inform him directly before bombardment?

    facts are: at that time, his boss was information minister Aleksander Vucic - who is now only one step ahead of becoming mayor of Belgrade.
    (rolerkoster, 31 May 2008 13:48)
  26. EA:
    "Thanks for that FACT. It tells a lot that NATO never aimed bombing civilians in Serbia but the brutal regime of Milosevic and its propaganda."

    Get real EA. Of course I agree that Milanovic is a skunk that should be inside. He deliberately allowed those people to be bombed to death. But it is hardly an 'either/or' situation, as I guess the next 20 messages will express. Milanovic's guilt does not alter the guilt of those who actually perpetrated the bombing of this building where they knew civilain staff were inside, not to mention various other passenger trains, markets etc etc. Yeh, they ought to be inside too.
    (DimTuc, 31 May 2008 13:48)
  27. "Milanović was sent to prison after it was established that he had knowingly not evacuated the RTS building despite receiving prior first-hand notification that NATO planned to bomb the building."

    Thanks for that FACT. It tells a lot that NATO never aimed bombing civilians in Serbia but the brutal regime of Milosevic and its propaganda.
    (EA, 31 May 2008 13:00)