Paris attacks compared to NATO bombing of Serbian TV

Noam Chomsky has compared the terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo to NATO's 1999 airstrike on the Serbian broadcaster RTS.

Source: Tanjug
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Chomsky, professor emeritus at MIT and "world-famous anti-globalist", noted that the western military alliance's attack that resulted in the deaths of 16 media workers "did not cause mass protests or cries of outrage."

In a commentary published on CNN's website, he writes that the scene in Paris was "described vividly in the New York Times by veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger": "A day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris."

The scene, Erlanger reported, "was an increasingly familiar one of smashed glass, broken walls, twisted timbers, scorched paint and emotional devastation."

"These last quotes, however - as independent journalist David Peterson reminds us - are not from January 2015. Rather, they are from a report by Erlanger on April 24 1999, which received far less attention. Erlanger was reporting on the NATO 'missile attack on Serbian state television headquarters' that 'knocked Radio Television Serbia off the air,' killing 16 journalists," reads the article.

Chomsky quotes the journalist as reporting at the time that "NATO and American officials defended the attack as an effort to undermine the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia," while Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon "told a briefing in Washington that 'Serb TV is as much a part of Milosevic's murder machine as his military is,' hence a legitimate target of attack."

There were no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of "We are RTV," no inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history. On the contrary, the attack on the press was lauded. The highly regarded U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then envoy to Yugoslavia, described the successful attack on RTV as "an enormously important and, I think, positive development," a sentiment echoed by others.

The 16 deaths, he continues, caused "no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of 'We are RTS', no inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history."

On the contrary, "the highly regarded U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then envoy to Yugoslavia, described the successful attack on RTV as 'an enormously important and, I think, positive development,' a sentiment echoed by others."

"One person was indeed punished in connection with the NATO attack on RTS," writes Chomsky, and adds that it was "Dragoljub Milanovic, the general manager of the station."

He quoted the Committee to Protect Journalists to say that Milanovic was sentenced "by the European Court of Human Rights to ten years in prison for failing to evacuate the building."

"The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia considered the NATO attack, concluding that it was not a crime, and although civilian casualties were 'unfortunately high, they do not appear to be clearly disproportionate," Chomsky further wrote.

"Their crimes against us while scrupulously excluding our crimes against them - the latter not crimes but noble defense of the highest values, sometimes inadvertently flawed," he concluded.

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