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FTR #149 More Background to the Conflict in Kosovo — Yugoslavia

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MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

In late April of 1999, the world’s atten­tion focused on the grow­ing con­flict in Yugoslavia. For all the U.S. press cov­er­age of the war, lit­tle truth con­cern­ing what has been, and is, going on there reached the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

This broad­cast is one of a num­ber of Mr. Emory’s clar­i­fi­ca­tions of the record.

Begin­ning with a New York Times arti­cle from 1987, the pro­gram high­lights the fact that the eth­nic Alba­ni­ans in Koso­vo had full func­tion­al auton­o­my in the Yugoslav fed­er­a­tion. Ele­ments of the Alban­ian major­i­ty used their pre­em­i­nence in Koso­vo to oppress the Slav­ic minor­i­ty. The ter­ror­ism exer­cised by the Alba­ni­ans against the Serbs led to the rise of Slo­bo­dan Milo­se­vich, who gained pow­er by promis­ing to wield a firm hand against the Alba­ni­ans. In 1987, it was already clear that the Alban­ian mil­i­tants sought to estab­lish a “greater Alba­nia,” includ­ing much of what was then Yugoslavia.

The broad­cast high­lights the prac­tice of both the Croa­t­ian and Bosn­ian sep­a­ratists of stag­ing provo­ca­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, an alleged Ser­bian mor­tar attack that killed many civil­ians in Sara­je­vo in 1995 was the pre­text for a NATO air offen­sive against the Serbs. British and French experts deter­mined that the Serbs had not fired the round, which was prob­a­bly fired by the Bosn­ian army.

The broad­cast sets forth the view of a for­mer mil­i­tary com­man­der of U.N. forces in Yugoslavia. For­mer­ly of the Indi­an army, Lt. Gen­er­al Satish Nam­biar (retired) is appalled by the NATO bomb­ing cam­paign. Nam­biar believes that the Serbs have been unfair­ly demo­nized, opines that the crimes com­mit­ted by the Serbs are no worse than those com­mit­ted against them and believes that the word­ing of the Ram­bouil­let accord was such that the Serbs could not have signed it. In essence, the appen­dices to the agree­ment are word­ed in such a way as to pro­vide for the mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion of Yugoslavia by NATO.

Much of the pro­gram focus­es on the role of the media in pre­cip­i­tat­ing the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Gen­er­al Nam­biar holds the West­ern elec­tron­ic media respon­si­ble for the con­flict.

The dis­cus­sion high­lights the role of the Rud­er Finn pub­lic rela­tions firm in delib­er­ate­ly slant­i­ng pub­lic opin­ion against the Serbs by com­par­ing Ser­bian crimes with the Holo­caust and dis­sem­i­nat­ing this idea to the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty.

The broad­cast sets forth Bosn­ian pres­i­dent Ali­ja Izetbe­govich’s doc­tri­naire Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism. Delin­eat­ed in 1970, Izetbe­govich’s views explic­it­ly pro­hib­it any demo­c­ra­t­ic coop­er­a­tion between Mus­lims and non-Mus­lims, as well as pre­clud­ing sep­a­ra­tion of church and state.

The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the return of fas­cism in Croa­t­ia. A Holo­caust denier, pres­i­dent Fran­jo Tudj­man appoint­ed two for­mer offi­cials of the bru­tal World War II fas­cist Ustashe regime to serve in the “new” Croa­t­ian gov­ern­ment. He also adopt­ed the Ustashe flag and cur­ren­cy, as well as nam­ing streets and build­ings after Ustasha offi­cials. (Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, Croa­t­ia was a pup­pet state of Nazi Ger­many. Serbs, Jews and Gyp­sies were slaugh­tered by the thou­sands by the Ustashi.) A major ide­o­log­i­cal influ­ence on Hitler, the noto­ri­ous anti-Semit­ic tract The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion achieved “best-sell­er” sta­tus in Croa­t­ia. (Record­ed on 4/25/99.)