============================================================================ From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••> To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••> Cc: "Jan Slakov" <•••@••.•••> Subject: Life in Yugoslavia (including Kosovo) one year after the bombing ended Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 A moving first-hand account from a NY youth Š. and a deeply infuriating and recognizable pattern of NWO behavior. ----- Original Message ----- From: •••@••.••• To: Yugoslavia list Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 10:04 PM Subject: Life in Yugoslavia (including Kosovo) one year after the bombing ended IAC note: Josina Dunkel represented the IAC at the International Campus of Friendship and traveled around Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, in July and early August. She presented this report August 14 to a New York meeting of the IAC. This report should be considered as background o the fact sheet on the NATO/KFOR seizure of the Trepca mines we sent out yesterday. We are working on documenting the U.S. funding (and control) of the "opposition" candidate in September's presidential elections in Yugoslavia.. =============================================== LIFE IN YUGOSLAVIA ONE YEAR AFTER THE BOMBING-- a report by Josina Dunkel Last year, for 78 days, NATO bombed Yugoslavia. They used the usual catch words, saving small nations, defending democracy, and the ultimate oxymoron, the "humanitarian war." But it was not a war for ideals, it was a war to control the Yugoslavian economy and to eliminate the sovereignty of this Balkan country. Having watched the war develop and having visited the country this summer, I am firmly convinced that neither the US nor Germany nor any of the other 19 countries who make up NATO were ever interested in protecting minorities. They were interested in securing markets to expand capitalism in this region. When people asked who will control the planned Balkan oil pipelines or transportation systems, NATO did not want the answer to be Yugoslavia but rather, NATO. The US is not alone in its desire to dominate the Balkans; Germany and England played large roles. Germany's role, in particular, should not be overlooked in this war. Germany is trying to become the strongest imperialist force in Europe. It had been running money and arms to the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, for years. Germany promised the KLA political power. Why? For the same reasons I just mentioned, control. There has been no evidence to support the wild claims that the Yugoslavians committed the mass slaughter, genocide, or holocaust they were charged with. Thousands of people were killed during this war, but from the NATO BOMBS which all along were aimed at destroying civilian targets. I went to Yugoslavian a few weeks ago, representing the International Action Center at the International Campus of Friendship. The Campus brought together youth activists from around the world to witness the Yugoslavian situation as it really exists, not through the western media's portrayal of the country. We came from many different countries, Russia, the Ukraine, Vietnam, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Jordan, Belgium, England, Romania, thee Netherlands, Bulgaria, and more and of course the US. We were hosted by the Patriotic Union of Yugoslavia. We traveled around Yugoslavia and we saw people-- reconstructing-- out of jobs-- suffering from Shortages-- dealing with problems from the damage of schools and cultural centers. Did you know that: Throughout the war, in 78 days of bombing only 14 tanks were destroyed. BUT 328 schools, 33 hospitals, the heating plant for Belgrade, electrical grids in many parts of the country and over 100 churches/monastaries were damaged or destroyed by NATO bombs. ALSO, numerous residential neighborhoods, bridges, museums and factories were destroyed or heavily damaged. This means that the Yugoslav peoples' churches, homes, workplaces and the preservation of their history were not only damaged, or destroyed, but INTENTIONALLY targeted. At the Zastava car factory which made Yugo cars for the world market, the assembly line, the iron forge and the computer center with irreplaceable information were all destroyed. (When this report is posted on the http://www.iacenter.org , we will include a picture of this.) The destruction of Zastava meant that hundreds, thousands of workers have lost their jobs. What is so interesting, however, is that the factory had an arms manufacturing part but this was NOT bombed. In this case there was a clear military target but it was avoided in order to attack civilian parts of the extensive plant. Much of the damage can still be seen. You can walk around Belgrade and come across the remnants of government buildings or even hotels which were deemed military targets. Reconstruction is paid for entirely by the Yugoslavians. They have not received compensation AND Foreign bank accounts have been frozen so they can receive no international loans. The economy is suffering. People with jobs often don't have much work to do because of shortages. There are no more export or import industries because of sanctions. In Novi Sad NATO bombed all three bridges which connected one side of the city to the other. I live in New York City and I can picturewhat that means; imagine if the tunnels and all of the bridges were bombed by an outside force. No Triboro, no Williamsburg, no Brooklyn bridge. Could we get across? Yes but taking barges takes a while and the interdependencies between say Brooklyn and Manhattan mean that it is not just an inconvenient traffic jam, it couldbe life and death. In Novi Sad, a city which had three bridges, now has one and a half. One of the bridges withstood 5 direct hits before it succumbed to the final 6th. In its place is a bridge which was built in three months, andgoes only one way at a time and has a railroad track on it. Another bridge has been replaced with a bridge built on barges. (There will be pictures of this on http://www.iacenter.org .) Now it takes much longer to get from one side of Novi Sad to the other. There are tremendous traffic jams on a regular basis. Sometimes cars, buses filled without air conditioning, and ambulances have to wait 2 hours to get from one side to another. What was really shocking was to see the civilian targets. The TV and radio buildings in Belgrade as well as in Novi Sad were completely destroyed. It was really an attempt to silence what was happening in the country and to disrupt people's lives not because they posed a military threat. A children's village near Novi Sad which is an orphanage and foster home suffered heavily even though it was not directly targeted. Sheets of glass were broken as were roofs, and walls. Children were thrown into the air, on one occasion, 12 yards. Some of the Yugoslavian students told us about what it was like to live during the bombing. They never got enough sleep since most of the bombs fell at night. The air raid sirens and the need to go into shelters, which meant going into subway stations, interrupted people's sleep and left them sleep deprived as well as emotionally drained from seeing the wreckage and death. During the day people tried to keep normal schedules but the elementary and high schools were mostly closed. We met with the organizers of the daily concerts, Music for Peace. All different types of music were included. People would gather sometimes on the bridges to form human protection and dare the planes to drop the bombs. There is a post card which shows a massive target symbol being carried during a demonstration in Belgrade, which will also be available on http://www.iacenter.org . Belgrade was a cool city and had a large degree of wry humor which helped them get through the war. There are clubs and night life, a lot of people on the street at all hours. KOSOVO It was in stark contrast to the atmosphere we found in Kosovo. We all heard a lot about Kosovo in the media during and after the war last year. What was rarely reported, however, was the place of Kosovo in the Serbian mentality. It is seen as the cradle of the Serbian civilization. All of the most important Serbian cultural shrinesand monasteries are located in Kosovo. Crossing from Serbia into Kosovo, you immediately feel a difference. The border is controlled by Belgium KFOR troops, NATO's soldiers. Now when you go into Hungary on a bus, your bus is boarded by a Hungarian soldier who works at customs and immigration. When you go into Kosovo, still a part of Yugoslavia but occupied by foreign troops, your bus is boarded by Belgium troops. Throughout the trip we were accompanied by many Yugoslavian students who found this trip to Kosovo particularly hard. The Serbs still living in Kosovo feel very vulnerable. If they had lived insections now under Albanian control, they were forced to leave their homes. We met some refugees in Serbia who were given 24 hours notice and whose house is now occupied by someone who had never even lived in Kosovo before. Serbia has 1.5 million refugees and many of them are Albanian. People told us how any Serbian can be arrested if an Albanian claims that that Serb committed genocide. The Serb's cases are never heard in courts and they are held, without real charges against them, without any investigation into the case and without meeting a judge for months. We met three such prisoners in a hospital in Kosovo-Mitrovica who had been held for 13, 9, and 8 months respectively. They had had close friendships with Albanians and were trusted neighbors but now they were imprisoned and guarded by KFOR troops. And after I came back to NYC I received an email that said that these men have since disappeared and no one has heard a word of their whereabouts. Kosovo is suffering. There is no law and this situation is being exploited by the KLA and by the Albanian Mafia. Serbs live in fear that they will be randomly accused of a war crime or indiscriminately beaten. In the city Kosovo-Mitrovica, French KFOR troops guard a bridge dividing the Albanian section of the city from the rest. The other sideincludes mainly Serbs but is a mixed neighborhood. The Albanian side has been ethnically cleansed of all others. The Romani people who had a settlement in the south side of the city were bombed and then burned out of their homes by the KLA. A few months ago they were forced to move and now live in tents which we visited. (There will be a picture of this in the web version.) They told us that it wasfine for the time being when the weather was warm but when it turned cold there were going to be serious problems. We toured a hospital in this city which has running water and electricity for only a few hours a day. The water and electricity plantsare in the Albanian section of the town. The signs in the hospital are still in Albanian first and then Serbian. This whole trip to Kosovo and the rest of Yugoslavia was a moving experience. It was interesting to see the country for myself and to talkto people who are living through these hardships imposed by NATO. It made me angry to see what my tax dollars are going to. To think that they rob our education and health care systems to pay for the destruction of the education and health care services of another country. It is infuriating. We, the youth of this trip and the organizations we represented have already started to plan actions in solidarity with the Yugoslavian people. We will have a medical aid campaign and a world wide weekend of action October 20-22. Italian solidarity organizations are planning to send a ship loaded with medicines to Yugoslavia to break the blockade. Thank you and please stay in touch with the International Action Center for information and actions in solidarity with all the peoples of Yugoslavia. International Action Center 39 West 14th Street, Room 206 New York, NY 10011 email: •••@••.••• web: www.iacenter.org CHECK OUT THE NEW SITE www.mumia2000.org phone: 212 633-6646 fax: 212 633-2889 ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ featured article: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Whole_Earth_Review/Escaping_the_Matrix.shtml A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .