1. Germany Lies Again! Germany has readopted Goebbels's principle that "The bigger the lie, the more believable." On April 15 German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping announced that the refugee column bombed by NATO had in fact been shelled by Serb artillery. On the 19th, he claimed that 3,000 men disappeared from Pristina in a single night--a night whose date he couldn't name. This followed Scharping's March 31st statement that Serbia had set up concentration camps, an allegation later quietly dropped. The Germans have apparently decided that the best way to purge that nagging ol' war guilt is to manufacture a new enemy just as bad as they were, and then destroy that enemy. Now if they could only get their stories straight...
2. KLA Aggression. On Sunday, April 18th, BBC radio aired an interview with a KLA commander in Albania who warned that Macedonia faced a KLA insurrection after Macedonian officials confiscated 4 tons of KLA weaponry on their territory. Macedonia has also accused the KLA of kidnapping and forcibly enlisting Albanian men living in Macedonia.
3. NATO Disinformation. The NATO bombing of the refugee column revealed NATO's willingess to lie shamelessly. At first, NATO officials denied the slaughter; then they blamed the Serbs for having bombed the refugees with their own jets; then they claimed that after the NATO planes had bombed "only
4. Cowardice. The attack also revealed what wussies NATO are. The pilot was flying at 15,000 feet, the minimum altitude NATO commanders will allow for fear of Serb air defenses. That doesn't quite show the sort of resolve that will earn you the respect of your enemy--or allow you to distinguish refugees from military convoys.
5. Priorities. NATO's unapologetic official reaction to the refugee slaughter makes the whole moral-superiority argument a little difficult to swallow. It seems NATO is more concerned about losing a single pilot than crisping entire convoys of Albanians.
6. Irrational Numbers. NATO's estimate for the number of Albanians killed by the Serbs is suffering from hyperinflation. On April 17th, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea claimed that the Serbs had killed more than 3,200 Albanians. On April 18th, the U.S. ambassador for war crimes David Scheffer charged that 3,200 was "a very low estimate," and upped the figure to 100,000. Not to be outdone, the State Department issued a written report on Monday, April 19th, claiming that the number of Albanians killed could be as high as 500,000. It does seem odd that just when NATO has to admit having killed 75 refugees, Albanian victims of Serb brutality increase fifteen-fold overnight.
7. Lotsa Little Hitlers! The eXile was right: this war is good news for European Fascist politicians. In the first elections held by a neighboring country, a radical right-wing nationalist party stormed to a close second in Turkey's parliamentary elections last Sunday. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which failed to clear the 10 percent hurdle in 1995, earned 130 seats this time, just behind the ruling party of the left. Expect more of the same throughout Southern Europe.
8. Expulsion or Detention? On Friday, April 16th, UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski accused Serbia of trying "...to expel the entire ethnic [Albanian] population of Kosovo." On Monday, April 19th, Janowski claimed that Albanians "are being forcibly prevented from leaving Kosovo." Which is it?
9. The Phantom Air Force. Does Yugoslavia still have an air force or not? It was supposedly devastated in the first few days of the war. Then the Pentagon falsely claimed that Serbian rather than NATO jets had strafed the refugee columns. On the day of the mistaken bombing, April 14th, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon claimed that the Yugoslav air force was using helicopters and aircraft against KLA positions. How could those ancient MiGs still be flying? Don't we control the air?
10. "Refugee Reports...." The fact that Albanian refugees were willing to say that Serb jets had bombed them, or that Serb troops had killed them, casts serious doubts on the reliability of these "Albanian refugees" as sources, since NATO has admitted that it was responsible for the attack.
11. Mo' Money! Clinton just asked Congress for an extra $6 billion to fund the war. Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Bozhkov is asking for $500 million compensation. Greece claims that its tourist industry, its largest money-maker, has collapsed. And who's going to pay for all this? Well, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R - KS) last weekend reported that "The (Clinton) administration has told (Congress) the U.S. has agreed to pay for 25 percent of the cost for rebuilding what we are now destroying."
12. Kosovo-Nam? Sen. Max Cleland, a wheelchair-bound hero of the Vietnam War, is raising the spectre of another Vietnam: "Vietnam...was both no win and no exit. We can't afford to repeat that mistake in Kosovo. We either have to come up with a policy to win militarily, or come up with a good exit strategy or both."
13. No Respect. We're even getting dissed by lady Mormons! In an April 18th Reuters article, Valerie Hudson, a foreign policy professor at Brigham Young University, questioned Clinton's policy and concluded, "Americans are now worried about looking like the biggest idiots on the world stage."
14. Mad Albright? The following is an excerpt from General Colin Powell's book My American Journey: "My constant, unwelcome message at all the meetings on Bosnia was simply that we should not commit military forces....Madeleine Albright, our ambassador to the UN, asked me in frustration, 'What's the point of having this superb military...if we can't use it?'"