Wednesday, June 29

We're looking for a few good men . . . to get blitzed, paint their bare torsos, and regurgitate GOP talking points.

Given that Bush's little pep talk at Fort Bragg last night had little purpose other than to frantically dump another quart of oil into an approval rating that's been knocking and pinging for months now -- making it a superfluous bit of political theatre even by Bush's standards -- I don't have much else to say on that particular subject. Instead I bring you this far more revealing slice o' conservative life from the College Republican National Convention (found linked at Hullabaloo):

In interviews, more than a dozen conventiongoers explained why it is important that they stay on campus while other, less fortunate people their age wage a bloody war in Iraq. They strongly support the war, they told me, but they also want to enjoy college life and pursue interesting careers. Being a College Republican allows them to do both. It is warfare by other, much safer means.


Oh, goody, let's hear it. I can only hope that these next quotes were a bad joke, or simply elicited by the large amounts of alcohol being consumed at the event -- it wouldn't be an excuse, but at least it'd be an explanation:

By the time I encountered Cory Bray, a towering senior from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, the beer was flowing freely. "The people opposed to the war aren't putting their asses on the line," Bray boomed from beside the bar. Then why isn't he putting his ass on the line? "I'm not putting my ass on the line because I had the opportunity to go to the number-one business school in the country," he declared, his voice rising in defensive anger, "and I wasn't going to pass that up."

And besides, being a College Republican is so much more fun than counterinsurgency warfare. Bray recounted the pride he and his buddies had felt walking through the center of campus last fall waving a giant American flag, wearing cowboy boots and hats with the letters B-U-S-H painted on their bare chests.


Huh, that must be one of those groundbreaking "ideas" the Republicans are always chiding Democrats for not having.

"We're the big guys," he said. "We're the ones who stand up for what we believe in. The College Democrats just sit around talking about how much they hate Bush. We actually do shit."


Yes, Cory Bray, you've "done shit," all right. Let me be more specific: You've done jack shit.

God. An MBA student and a College Republican. If only he'd enrolled at UT-Knoxville instead of Penn, he'd have hit the Smarmy Unctuous Waste-Of-Oxygen Trifecta.

60 comments:

Mortimer Duke said...

Okay. I get it. It took a while. But I get it now. For some insane reason, I thought there might be an original idea or two to be found here but now I know this is a perpetual whine blog. So, please point me to a liberal/semi-liberal blog where they discuss ideas. Is there such a thing?

Doug said...

Okay. I get it. It took a while. But I get it now. Whenever a conservative does or says something so monumentally moronic that you can't offer any sort of rebuke or defense of your side, you just resume the same perpetual whine about how nobody on the liberal side of the aisle ever comes up with any "ideas." So please, point yourself somewhere else if this blog offends you so much, and quit being such a wuss.

Josh said...

Seriously, though, if we want to scour college campuses nationwide to find inane political quotes, we won't have to go far to write an entire book from the liberal perspective. Sure, these guys are asshats, but let's not pretend that most 18-year-old leftists are any more enlightened than they are.

bill from jc said...

And Josh is the first to weigh in with the "you guys do it too" defense to foul behavior. For further examples of this fine defense look to any repub article re Watergate, gitmo torture, swift boats, awol presidents, deficit spending, resolutions to go to war based on lies, and pretty near every other issue that finds their hands squarly in the cookie jar. This is the same tripe heard on every school yard in america every time a brat gets caught acting up. Rationalize your actions by saying the other kid did something too (weather it is true or not.) I think this is why the repugs hate the NEA so much. Teachers have heard this crap enough to recognize it for what it is.

Doug said...

True enough, Josh. But here's one thing liberal college students did not do: They did not gather together and call for a war they had no intention of actually helping to fight.

I mean, if this Cory Byrd kid was just some beer-drinking frat-boy dipshit and nothing more, I wouldn't have even bothered to mention him. Certainly beer-drinking frat-boy dipshittery is not limited to conservatives; lord knows I participated in it when I was in school. But Byrd's more than just a dipshit. He's a dipshit who got together with his fellow budding neocons and said "Yes, we must send troops overseas to fight and die," but then turned around and said, "But not me 'cause I got accepted to the best business school in the country." (And conservatives call us the elitists.)

Liberal students as a whole may not be any more enlightened than conservative students in the grand sense (though that's a debate we can have sometime later on), but this habit of calling for war yet refusing to help fight it is something that seems to be strangely restricted to conservatives. Looking at the current occupant of the White House, though, it seems that they do have a pretty obvious role model for this sort of behavior.

Anonymous said...

Bill sent troops to Bosnia for lesser cause but, of course, he served in Viet Nam so it's OK. Right?

Doug said...

Bra-vo, Anonymous.

Josh said...

It might scare you Bill, but I am a teacher.

All I'm saying is, the last place I go to for political discourse - right or left - is our esteemed college campuses. Young Republicans want to "Whoo! Bomb those ragheads!," while Young Democrats want to form a sit-in and protest "well, like, something that Nazi Fuhrer-in-Chief neocon Cheney-puppet chimp moron Bush did," while listening to old Joan Baez songs (driving there in daddy's SUV, of course).

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting posit, Doug. Liberal precedence is irrelevant. If what Bill did is irrelevant, I guess what the other liberal icons did is also irrelevant. Hmmm, FDR, Johnson, JFK. All irrelevant. If that's your logic, we should throw out case law.

ACG said...

Anonymous, I don't think anyone is suggesting that we throw out legal precedent and case law (nice straw man, though). I think you'll find that even in the legal system, "But - but - but - but look at him!" is rarely an acceptable defense. "But the BTK murderer did it, like, so much worse!" isn't going to get you off the hook for homicide, and neither Bill Clinton's record with Vietnam nor his record with Bosnia make it okay for scads of Young Republicans to cheer on a war that they're unwilling to participate in themselves - because they got into, like, the best business school in the country.

Sherri said...

I know I"m taking my life in my hands to walk into this, but self-preservation has never been my strong suit. I'd like to make a few (useless, I suspect) observations, then I will go back from whence I came. Some of these were said in other words.

1) doing anything or defending anything because someone you don't like is doing it is a cover, not a reason. Billy throws mud, so I can throw mud. Jane bit Sue, so when Sally just punches her, Sally is much less culpable. Poor logic, fit only for the sandbox crowd. Can it go away now?

2) There are few, if any, people who are not all about justifying what they think and do. No one likes to be wrong. In fact, for some people, being called wrong is worse than anything else. So they are right, no matter what, and telling them they are wrong will not help. It will, in fact, harden them in their position as they escalate in their attempts to prove that they are right. Check your own feelings on this one -- how do you react when you are told you are wrong, especially about something not held to the laws of empirical evidence (aka opinions and beliefs)?

3) Doug's opinion is just that -- his opinion. Just as I have a right to agree OR disagree with it, he's got a right to have it. That's obvious. That he thinks this particular college student is an asshat for defending his choices as he does isn't arguable. Whether this student IS an asshat is subject to debate, but so far, no one has really brought up a better argument than "Well, no one should listen to college students because they are all asshats". I'm tempted to agree with that somewhat but qualifiers like "all" are dangerous. One non-asshat college student shows up, and the whole thing falls down.

4) This one student's stement, as presented , is outrageous and not defensible. It displays a particular line of thinking, a feeling of entitlement, and a kind of short sightedness I find offensive, but not uncommon (sadly). If he'd said "I'm an MBA, and I couldn't pass a military physical because I've got this problem, but I support the war and the troops" then I'd move on to the next thing. But what I hear in this how entry reports the student's comment is a secret contempt reflecting that a college MBA student is too good to be in the military, that the military is only for those who could not make it otherwise. Like many prejudices, I doubt it is consiously realized, and perhaps his method of showing support helps keep that demon down.

Mostly it says to me the student has been long trained to appreciate his own "specialness" and bless his god that he wasn't born poor and dumb enough to have to enlist. THAT is offensive, as is most bigotry. I don't know that it is particular to College Republicans, or College students or just upper class white males or what. It's still reprehensible.

Rallies and public drunkeness while yelling slogans are fine and good as far as they go. However, I'd argue they do not show support so much as a willingness to find any excuse to party. Supporting troops would be, perhaps, sending letters to soldiers, helping the familes of those stationed overseas with basic, day-to-day activities, volunteering at hospitals, or any number of other activities that, in the words of Mr. Bray (What an unusually descriptive name -- is it really his name?) "...actually do shit."

None of which is nearly as much fun.

Ok, back into the woodwork I go. If you are overwhelmed with a desire to flame me, go ahead. I know, I know, I said someone here was wrong.

Anonymous said...

acg, we all just find it very interesting that when the question of where were all you liberals when Bill invaded Bosnia, never is heard a responding word. Or, this new one: "I'm so sick of this if it was good for Bill, it must be good for George sandbox argument." Hell, even Doug, had to refer to another blog for the response. A virtual liberal objection handling system you got here.

I just want to know what justification you found acceptable for (albeit ex-president) Bill's invasion and ongoing occupation of Bosnia? Genocide? Killing fields? The french said it was OK? That's all we want to know. Just a little historical curiosity you might say.

sherri, really no reason to flame you. You did a pretty good job of making a pathetic ass out of yourself. Have you met Bill from JC? Now, pass the bong, please...hurry.

bill from jc said...

So even after I suggest that the repugs will counter this post with is the ever faithful "we are not as bad as / the dems did it too" josh and anon still trip over themselves in a race to continue that sandbox level rationalization.

How woefully ironic.

I can at least respect Josh, even though he is wrong. At least he has the courage to put his name on his posts. Anon is just a coward.

Just curious Josh, where are they singing Joan Baez songs at? Wouldn't Dylan be more appropriate?
As to removing legal precedent, what in the blue whooping fuck does that have to do with drunk republicans eager to go to war without doing anything?... oh wait, that pretty well describes the current crop of repug leadership during the Vietnam era, so I guess there is a precendent for that.....

How will you make your next rationalization Anon? It's about time for you to spew forth more rhetoric about the Dems being out of ideas... here's an idea, don't send troops places they don't need to be and balance the fucking budget.

Steve said...

Sherri, God bless you for making some meaningful points. I may not agree with all (or any), but the thought put into them was evident. That is often uncommen in this format from both sides.

From a personal standpoint, I'll give a response. I think the war in Iraq was the right thing to do. I believe Bush acted on the information he had in good faith. Call me an asshat, a neocon, an idiot, whatever. But I refuse to believe that the people we have trusted with our sons, daughters, etc. would send then off to die for political reasons. I think Bill Clinton will go down in history as a disaster of a president, but I never thought he risked our soldiers lives for his own gain. For all the faults I believe he had, I don't think he was heartless.

Steve said...

I agree that college campuses are the wrong places to find mature thought. Whoever Cory whatever is, he's an idiot. On the other hand, supporting a war while not participating directly in it is not grounds for automatic dickhead treatment. I see people every day voicing concern over what is happening in Africa with starvation and HIV and railing at the powers that be over lack of action, but I also don't see them donating every dollar they have above the local poverty level to help out. I also don't doubt there sincere conviction.

Steve said...

And I am a firm believer in dessent. Doug and I agree on very little except who's a really hot chick, but I keep coming back for challenging ideas. Sometimes I just sigh, but other times I think a little about whether I need to rethink a position.

I also come back to try to force Mary out of hibernation out of shear outrage at my laziness.

bill from jc said...

Bill didn't go to Bosnia. NATO did. Or do you repugs want to ignore every treaty we ever signed and go it alone?

Did anyone lie about Bosnia? Did anyone ever say Bosnia was trying to get yellowcake uranium from Nigeria? How often did Bill link Bosnia to 9/11? Did 1700 Americans loose thier lives in Bosnia after having been lied to? Did Bill start bombing Bosnia a year before Congress gave him authority to? Did Al Gore ever say the case for Bosnia building weapons of mass destruction was a slam dunk or that we knew exactly where those weapons were? Since you repugs are so opposed to the war in Bosnia does that mean you want Slobadon to reopen his torture rooms? Why do you repugs hate America? Why do you want more soldiers to die in Bosnia? Why do you want Bosnia to win? Where does Ann Coulter send her money to the Slobadon defense fund, do you all have the address?

Oh, and did any democrat congressman ever say there was proof of a link between Al Queda and Bosnia?

I think anyone that opposes the war in Bosnia is a traitor.

Don't like it? Welcome to our world.

Anonymous said...

Soooooooooooooo, what was the justification for the Bosnian invasion and occupation? Simply that our NATO allies deemed it worthy? If so, why was it worthy? Or is it just a "better" war because there was no faulty intelligence?
I like the "Bill didn't go to Bosnia, NATO did" line. Only a true liberal apologist/spinner could create that one. Are you saying that Bill had no control over the deployment of our troops while he was Commander in Chief? Does the NATO treaty relinquish our sovereignty and control of our troops?
Since you liberals are so opposed to the war in Iraq, does that mean you want Saddam to reopen his torture rooms...and throw in a little Kurdish genocide while he's at it?

bill from jc said...

No Anon (still latin for chicken shit), the war in Bosnia was justified by the need for stability in Europe. We gave our word to NATO (of course we know what a republican's word is worth nowdays,,,) and we kept our obligation. As to the NATO treaty relinquishing our sovereignty and control of our troops, no. They were and are under US command. As to your rant re: Saddam torture rooms we continue our opposition to them, May I suppose however that since you oppose Bill Clinton you are in favor of the rape of innocent Serbs?

I love the line about "faulty intelligence", only a true republican liar could come up with a line like that. Since when is fixing the intelligence to the desire for invasion make the intelligence faulty? It's plain and simple; the intelligence was there, you just decided to follow the King of Liars.

Now that most Ameicans oppose the war Anon (aka chicken shit) does that mean the majority of Americans oppose democracy? Are you that dense?

Anonymous said...

Stability in the Balkans = stability in Europe. That's quite a statement. Who made it? What was so unstable about Bosnia at the time? And how did it affect stability in Europe? By the way, bill from jc (ebonic for dumbass), I think Bill did the right thing. As far as the majority goes, the majority voted for Bush in the last election. Evidently the majority didn't think he was a liar amongst other things.

bill from jc said...

Sooooooooo now you think Bill did the right thing, while two posts ago you were whining (like a little girl) that there was no justification for the US going to Bosnia...

Which one is it Anon/chickenshit? Do you have a position on anything?

Anonymous said...

bill, I never said that we weren't justified in going to Bosnia. I just posed the question to the bloggers:

"I just want to know what justification you found acceptable for (albeit ex-president) Bill's invasion and ongoing occupation of Bosnia? Genocide? Killing fields? The french said it was OK? That's all we want to know. Just a little historical curiosity you might say."

You're adamant that it is a necessary cause, surely, you must have the details of the justification on the top of your mind. Just clue me in on the finer details of the Bosnian decision. Personally, I can't remember the situation other than the genocide issue. Fill in the blanks for us, please.

bill from jc said...

Do you get dizzy when you spin that much Anon?

Anonymous said...

So, bill, I guess you're not going to give us the details? Didn't think you knew what you were talking about. Do you normally take strong positions on things you don't understand? Anybody else out there know the justification for the Bornian intervention?

Anonymous said...

OK, everyone, since bill from jc won't help us out here, check this link out:

http://agitprop.org.au/stopnato/19991019stratfor.php#The%20Justification%20for%20War

Sound vaguely familiar?

Anon II said...

Where is Bornia?

Anonymous said...

Up one row and one and a half keys to the east of Bosnia.

Anonymous said...

Summary

During its four-month war against Yugoslavia, NATO argued that Kosovo was a land wracked by mass murder; official estimates indicated that some 10,000 ethnic Albanians were killed in a Serb rampage of ethnic cleansing. Yet four months into an international investigation bodies numbering only in the hundreds have been exhumed. The FBI has found fewer than 200. Piecing together the evidence, it appears that the number of civilian ethnic Albanians killed is far less than was claimed. While new findings could invalidate this view, evidence of mass murder has not yet materialized on the scale used to justify the war. This could have serious foreign policy and political implications for NATO and alliance governments.

The Justification for War

On Oct. 11, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (ICTY) reported that the Trepca mines in Kosovo, where 700 murdered ethnic Albanians were reportedly hidden, in fact contained no bodies whatsoever. Three days later, the U.S. Defense Department released its review of the Kosovo conflict, saying that NATO?s war was a reaction to the ethnic cleansing campaign by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. His campaign was "a brutal means to end the crisis on his terms by expelling and killing ethnic Albanians, overtaxing bordering nations? infrastructures, and fracturing the NATO alliance."

The finding by The Hague?s investigators and the assertion by the Pentagon raise an important question. Four months after the war and the introduction of forensic teams from many countries, precisely how many bodies of murdered ethnic Albanians have been found? This is not an exercise in the macabre, but a reasonable question, given the explicit aims of NATO in the war, and the claims the alliance made on the magnitude of Serbian war crimes. Indeed, the central justification for war was that only intervention would prevent the slaughter of Kosovo?s ethnic Albanian population.

On March 22, British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons, "We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe, from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing by a brutal dictatorship." The next day, as the air war began, President Clinton stated: "What we are trying to do is to limit his (Milosevic?s) ability to win a military victory and engage in ethnic cleansing and slaughter innocent people and to do everything we can to induce him to take this peace agreement."

As NATO?s first intervention in a sovereign nation, the war in Kosovo required considerable justification. Throughout the year, NATO officials built their case, first calling the situation in Kosovo "ethnic cleansing," and then "genocide." In March, State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters that NATO did not need to prove that the Serbs were carrying out a policy of genocide because it was clear that crimes against humanity were being committed. But just after the war in June, President Bill Clinton again invoked the term, saying, "NATO stopped deliberate, systematic efforts at ethnic cleansing and genocide."


The Claims Grow

Indeed, as the months progressed, the estimates of those killed by a concerted Serb campaign, dubbed Operation Horseshoe, have swollen. Early on, experts systematically generated what appeared to be sober and conservative estimates of the dead. For example, prior to the outbreak of war, independent experts reported that approximately 2,500 Kosovar Albanians had been killed in the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign.

That number grew during and after the war. Early in the campaign, huge claims arose about the number of ethnic Albanian men feared missing and presumed dead. The fog and passion of war can explain this. But by June 17, just before the end of the war, British Foreign Office Minister Geoff Hoon reportedly said: "According to the reports we have gathered, mostly from the refugees, it appears that around 10,000 people have been killed in more than 100 massacres." He further clarified that these 10,000 were ethnic Albanians killed by Serbs.

On Aug. 2, the number jumped up by another 1,000 when Bernard Kouchner, the United Nations? chief administrator in Kosovo, said that about 11,000 bodies had already been found in common graves throughout Kosovo. He said his source for this information was the ICTY. But the ICTY said that it had not provided this information. To this day, the source of Kouchner?s estimates remains unclear. However, that number of about 10,000 ethnic Albanians dead at the hands of the Serbs remains the basic, accepted number, or at least the last official word on the scope of the atrocities.

Regardless of the precise genesis of the numbers, there is no question that NATO leaders argued that the war was not merely justified, but morally obligatory. If the Serbs were not committing genocide in the technical sense, they were certainly guilty of mass murder on an order of magnitude not seen in Europe since Nazi Germany. The Yugoslav government consistently denied that mass murder was taking place, arguing that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was fabricating claims of mass murder in order to justify NATO intervention and the secession of Kosovo from Serbia. NATO rejected Belgrade?s argument out of hand.

Thus, the question of the truth or falsehood of the claims of mass murder is much more than a matter of merely historical interest. It cuts to the heart of the war ? and NATO?s current peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. Certainly, there was a massive movement of Albanian refugees, but that alone was not the alliance?s justification for war. The justification was that the Yugoslav army and paramilitaries were carrying out Operation Horseshoe, and that the war would cut short this operation.

But the aftermath of the war has brought precious little evidence, despite the entry of Western forensics teams searching for evidence of war crimes. Mass murder is difficult to hide. One need only think of the entry of outsiders into Nazi Germany, Cambodia or Rwanda to understand that the death of thousands of people leaves massive and undeniable evidence. Given that many NATO leaders were under attack at home ? particularly in Europe ? for having waged the war, the alliance could have seized upon continual and graphic evidence of the killing fields of Kosovo to demonstrate the necessity of the war and undercut critics. Indeed, such evidence would help the alliance undermine Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, by helping to destroy his domestic support and energize his opponents.

As important, no one appears to really be trying to recover all of the Kosovo war?s reported victims. Of the eight human rights organizations most prominent in Kosovo, none is specifically tasked with recovering victims and determining the cause of death. These groups instead are interviewing refugees and survivors to obtain testimony on human rights violations, sanitizing wells and providing mental health services to survivors. All of this is important work. But it is not the recovery and counting of bodies.

It is important to note that a sizable number of people who resided in Kosovo before the war are now said to be unaccounted for ? 17,000, according to U.S. officials. However, the methodology for arriving at this number is unclear. According to NATO, many records were destroyed by the Serbs. Certainly, no census has been conducted in Kosovo since the end of the war. Thus, it is completely unclear where the specific number of 17,000 comes from. There are undoubtedly many missing, but it is unclear whether these people are dead, in Serbian prisons ? official estimates vary widely ? or whether they have taken refuge in other countries.


The Investigation

The dead, however, have not turned up in the way that the West anticipated, at least not yet. The massive Trepca mines have so far yielded nothing. Most of the dead have turned up in small numbers in the most rural parts of Kosovo, often in wells. News reports say that the largest grave sites have contained a few dozen victims; some officials say the largest site contained far more, approximately 100 bodies. But the bodies are generally being found in very small numbers ? far smaller than encountered after the Bosnian war.

Only one effort now underway may shed light on just how many ethnic Albanian civilians were ? or weren?t ? killed by Serb forces. The ICTY is coordinating efforts to investigate war crimes in Kosovo. Like human rights organizations, the tribunal?s primary aim is not to find all the reported dead. Instead, its investigators are gathering evidence to prosecute war criminals for four offenses: grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, violations of the laws of war, and genocide and crimes against humanity. The tribunal believes that it will, however, be able to produce an accurate death count in the future, although it will not say when. A progress report may be released in late October, according to tribunal spokesman Paul Risley.

Under the tribunal?s guidance, police and medical forensic teams from most NATO countries and some neutral nations are assigned to investigate certain sites. The teams have come from 15 nations: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The United States has sent the largest team, with 62 members. Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom have each sent teams of approximately 20. Most countries dispatched teams of fewer than 10 members.

So far, investigators are a little more than one quarter of the way through their field work, having examined about 150 of 400 suspected sites. The investigative process is as follows: ICTY investigators follow up on reports from refugees or KFOR troops to confirm the existence of sites. Then the tribunal deploys each team to a certain region and indicates the sites to be investigated. Sites are either mass graves ? which according to the tribunal means more than one body is in the grave ? or crime scenes, which contain other evidence. The teams exhume the bodies, count them, and perform autopsies to determine age, gender, cause of death and time of death all for the purpose of compiling evidence for future war crimes trials. The by-product of this work, then, is the actual number of bodies recovered. The investigations will continue next year when the weather allows further exhumations.

In the absence of an official tally of bodies found by the teams, we are forced to piece together anecdotal evidence to get a picture of what actually happened in Kosovo. From this evidence, it is clear that the teams are not finding large numbers of dead, nothing to substantiate claims of "genocide."

The FBI?s work is a good example. With the biggest effort, the bureau has conducted two separate investigations, one in June and one in August, and will probably be called back again. In its most recent visit, the FBI found 124 bodies in the British sector of Kosovo, according to FBI spokesman Dave Miller. Almost all the victims were killed by a gunshot wound to the head or blunt force trauma to the head. The victims? ages were between 4 and 94. Most of the victims appeared to have been killed in March and April. In its two trips to Kosovo since the war?s end, the FBI has found a total of 30 sites containing almost 200 bodies.

The Spanish team was told to prepare for the worst, as it was going into Kosovo?s real killing fields. It was told to prepare for over 2000 autopsies. But the team?s findings fell far short of those expectations. It found no mass graves and only 187 bodies, all buried in individual graves. The Spanish team?s chief inspector compared Kosovo to Rwanda. "In the former Yugoslavia crimes were committed, some no doubt horrible, but they derived from the war," Juan Lopez Palafox was quoted as saying in the newspaper El Pais. "In Rwanda we saw 450 corpses [at one site] of women and children, one on top of another, all with their heads broken open."

Bodies are simply not where they were reported to be. For example, in July a mass grave believed to contain some 350 bodies in Ljubenic, near Pec ? an area of concerted fighting ? reportedly contained only seven bodies after the exhumation was complete. There have been similar cases on a smaller scale, with initial claims of 10 to 50 buried bodies proven false.

Investigators have frequently gone to reported killing sites, only to find no bodies. In Djacovica, town officials claimed that 100 ethnic Albanians had been murdered but reportedly alleged that Serbs had returned in the middle of the night, dug up the bodies, and carried them away. In Pusto Selo, villagers reported that 106 men were captured and killed by Serbs at the end of March. NATO even released satellite imagery of what appeared to be numerous graves, but again no bodies were found at the site. Villagers claimed that Serbian forces came back and removed the bodies. In Izbica, refugees reported that 150 ethnic Albanians were killed in March. Again, their bodies are nowhere to be found. Ninety-six men from Klina vanished in April; their bodies have yet to be located. Eighty-two men were reportedly killed in Kraljan, but investigators have yet to find one of their bodies.


What Happened?

Killings and brutality certainly took place, and it is possible that massive new findings will someday be uncovered. Without being privy to the details of each investigation on the ground in Kosovo, it is possible only to voice suspicion and not conclusive proof. However, our own research and survey of officials indicates that the numbers of dead so far are in the hundreds, not the thousands. It is possible that huge, new graves await to be discovered. But ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are presumably quick to reveal the biggest sites in the hope of recovering family members or at least finding out what happened. In addition, large sites would have the most witnesses, evidence and visibility for inspection teams. Given progress to date, it seems difficult to believe that the 10,000 claimed at the end of the war will be found. The killing of ethnic Albanian civilians appears to be orders of magnitude below the claims of NATO, alliance governments and early media reports.

How could this have occurred? It appears that both governments and outside observers relied on sources controlled by the KLA, both before and during the war. During the war this reliance was heightened; governments relied heavily on the accounts of refugees arriving in Albania and Macedonia, where the KLA was an important conduit of information. The sophisticated public relations machine of the KLA and the fog of war may have generated a perception that is now proving dubious.

What is clear is that no one is systematically collecting the numbers of the dead in Kosovo, even though such work could possibly topple Milosevic and would only help NATO in its efforts to remain in Kosovo. What can be learned of the investigations to date indicates deaths far below expectations. Finally, all of this suspicion can be easily dispelled by a comprehensive report by NATO, the United Nations, or the United States and other responsible governments detailing the findings of the forensic teams, and giving timeframes for completion and results. It is unclear that, even if the ICTY releases a report soon, it will address all these issues. The lack of an interim report indicating the discovery of thousands of Albanian victims strikes us as decidedly odd. One would think that Clinton, Blair and the other leaders would be eager to demonstrate that the war was not only justified, but morally obligatory.

It really does matter how many were killed in Kosovo. The foreign policy and political implications are substantial. There is a line between oppression and mass murder. It is not a bright, shining one, but the distinction between hundreds of dead and tens of thousands is clear. The blurring of that line has serious implications not merely for NATO?s integrity, but for the notion of sovereignty. If a handful ? or a few dozen ? people are killed in labor unrest, does the international community have the right to intervene by force? By the very rules that NATO has set up, the magnitude of slaughter is critical.

Politically, the alliance depended heavily on the United States for information about the war. If the United States and NATO were mistaken, then alliance governments that withstood heavy criticism, such as the Italian and German governments, may be in trouble. Confidence in both U.S. intelligence and leadership could decline sharply. Stung by scandal and questions about its foreign policy, the Clinton administration is already having difficulty influencing world events. That influence could fall further. There are many consequences if it turns out that NATO?s claims about Serb atrocities were substantially false.

bill from jc said...

Wow. A right wing web site that doesn't find justification for Bosnia. Imagine that.

So I guess repubs really do want Slobadan to reopen the rape rooms. I thought better of you chickenshit.

Anonymous said...

bill, this is from the Blacktown Branch Communist Party of Australia website. I like some of their links: "left History," "radio Red," "get your Red Card now,"

Right wing? Don't think so.

Doug said...

Wow. Not only did you have to go back to Bosnia to find a way to distract from the topic at hand, Anonymous, you had to go to an Australian Communist Web site to find material to back up your "position," such as it is.

Congratulations, you're officially irrelevant. Buh-bye.

Free to be anonymous said...

Irrelevant? Officially irrelevant? That's high praise coming from the uber-blogster himself!

Go back to Bosnia? Doug, we're STILL IN BOSNIA - TODAY!

I know that you feel liberal history and precedence is irrelevant, but Bosnia is here with us today. And the decision process that brought us there is not unlike what brought us to Iraq. It's, if not compelling, at least interesting to compare the two to see what the leaders at the time were confronted with and how they reacted. It's the old if you don't learn from you past mistakes you're doomed to repeat them thing. (Based on the last two elections, you dems may have a pathological aversion to history lessons.)

Regarding the website reference. It is one of many international leftist sites with similar accounts of the flawed Bosnian information and decisions that plagued the Clinton administration.

I do find it interesting that the offshore leftists don't feel compelled to protect the Clinton legacy as you and bill do.

I know how you feel, though. As you, yourself once said:

"Whenever I say something really pissed-off and critical about George W. Bush [replace with: any democrat] on this site, you can practically set your watch by what happens next: First some conservative or conservative leaner [replace with: leftist or leftist leaner] will leave an indignant comment about how hateful and divisive I'm being, issuing knee-jerk condemnations of every single thing Bush [replace with democrat of choice] does. Then I'll respond with a comment asking why it's any better to just go right along with every single thing Bush [replace with your democrat of choice] does. Then they'll respond with an indignant comment about "Hey, I don't agree with every single thing Bush [replace with your democrat of choice] does, I'm perfectly willing to disagree with him when he or his administration [replace with democrat constituency of choice] does something wrong," blah blah blah.

Oh, you are? Great for you and your independent, free-thinking little selves. So how come I don't ever freaking hear it?"

Learn or repeat...your choice.

Also Anon said...

Yep, when the Austrailian Communist Party is in total agreement with your position you might want to rethink it...

Anonymous said...

Yep. The Aussie Commies mirror most of the US leftists' positions. With the exception of the Bill and Bosnia.

Cosmo said...

Why doesn't somebody answer the dude's question about the justification for Bosnia.

Ole Buford said...

Why doesn't the dude just admit that he is just using the old "Clinton did it too" defense as was predicted above? Really you republicans are so predictable.

Anonymous said...

DID Clinton do it too?

bill did it too said...

If this guy is a right winger, then we all are....

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/guest/Parenti/Yu-Destruction.html

Professor Michael Parenti

The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia

-----------------------------------
November 1999
In 1999, the U.S. national security state -- which has been involved throughout the world in subversion, sabotage, terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, and death squads -- launched round-the-clock aerial attacks against Yugoslavia for 78 days, dropping 20,000 tons of bombs and killing thousands of women, children, and men. All this was done out of humanitarian concern for Albanians in Kosovo. Or so we were asked to believe. In the span of a few months, President Clinton bombed four countries: Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq repeatedly, and Yugoslavia massively. At the same time, the U.S. was involved in proxy wars in Angola, Mexico (Chiapas), Colombia, East Timor, and various other places. And U.S. forces are deployed on every continent and ocean, with some 300 major overseas support bases -- all in the name of peace, democracy, national security, and humanitarianism.

While showing themselves ready and willing to bomb Yugoslavia on behalf of an ostensibly oppressed minority in Kosovo, U.S. leaders have made no moves against the Czech Republic for its mistreatment of the Romany people (gypsies), or Britain for oppressing the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, or the Hutu for the mass murder of a half million Tutsi in Rwanda -- not to mention the French who were complicit in that massacre. Nor have U.S. leaders considered launching "humanitarian bombings" against the Turkish people for what their leaders have done to the Kurds, or the Indonesian people because their generals killed over 200,000 East Timorese and were continuing such slaughter through the summer of 1999, or the Guatemalans for the Guatemalan military's systematic extermination of tens of thousands of Mayan villagers. In such cases, U.S. leaders not only tolerated such atrocities but were actively complicit with the perpetrators -- who usually happened to be faithful client-state allies dedicated to helping Washington make the world safe for the Fortune 500.

Why then did U.S. leaders wage an unrestrainedly murderous assault upon Yugoslavia?

The Third Worldization of Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was built on an idea, namely that the Southern Slavs would not remain weak and divided peoples, squabbling among themselves and easy prey to outside imperial interests. Together they could form a substantial territory capable of its own economic development. Indeed, after World War II, socialist Yugoslavia became a viable nation and an economic success. Between 1960 and 1980 it had one of the most vigorous growth rates: a decent standard of living, free medical care and education, a guaranteed right to a job, one-month vacation with pay, a literacy rate of over 90 percent, and a life expectancy of 72 years. Yugoslavia also offered its multi-ethnic citizenry affordable public transportation, housing, and utilities, with a not-for-profit economy that was mostly publicly owned. This was not the kind of country global capitalism would normally tolerate. Still, socialistic Yugoslavia was allowed to exist for 45 years because it was seen as a nonaligned buffer to the Warsaw Pact nations.

The dismemberment and mutilation of Yugoslavia was part of a concerted policy initiated by the United States and the other Western powers in 1989. Yugoslavia was the one country in Eastern Europe that would not voluntarily overthrow what remained of its socialist system and install a free-market economic order. In fact, Yugoslavs were proud of their postwar economic development and of their independence from both the Warsaw Pact and NATO. The U.S. goal has been to transform the Yugoslav nation into a Third-World region, a cluster of weak right-wing principalities with the following characteristics:

incapable of charting an independent course of self-development;
a shattered economy and natural resources completely accessible to multinational corporate exploitation, including the enormous mineral wealth in Kosovo;
an impoverished, but literate and skilled population forced to work at subsistence wages, constituting a cheap labor pool that will help depress wages in western Europe and elsewhere;
dismantled petroleum, engineering, mining, fertilizer, and automobile industries, and various light industries, that offer no further competition with existing Western producers.
U.S. policymakers also want to abolish Yugoslavia's public sector services and social programs -- for the same reason they want to abolish our public sector services and social programs. The ultimate goal is the privatization and Third Worldization of Yugoslavia, as it is the Third Worldization of the United States and every other nation. In some respects, the fury of the West's destruction of Yugoslavia is a backhanded tribute to that nation's success as an alternative form of development, and to the pull it exerted on neighboring populations both East and West.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, Belgrade's leaders, not unlike the Communist leadership in Poland, sought simultaneously to expand the country's industrial base and increase consumer goods, a feat they intended to accomplish by borrowing heavily from the West. But with an enormous IMF debt came the inevitable demand for "restructuring," a harsh austerity program that brought wage freezes, cutbacks in public spending, increased unemployment, and the abolition of worker-managed enterprises. Still, much of the economy remained in the not-for-profit public sector, including the Trepca mining complex in Kosovo, described in the New York Times as "war's glittering prize . . . the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans . . . worth at least $5 billion" in rich deposits of coal, lead, zinc, cadmium, gold, and silver.1

That U.S. leaders have consciously sought to dismember Yugoslavia is not a matter of speculation but of public record. In November 1990, the Bush administration pressured Congress into passing the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, which provided that any part of Yugoslavia failing to declare independence within six months would lose U.S. financial support. The law demanded separate elections in each of the six Yugoslav republics, and mandated U.S. State Department approval of both election procedures and results as a condition for any future aid. Aid would go only to the separate republics, not to the Yugoslav government, and only to those forces whom Washington defined as "democratic," meaning right-wing, free-market, separatist parties.

Another goal of U.S. policy has been media monopoly and ideological control. In 1997, in what remained of Serbian Bosnia, the last radio station critical of NATO policy was forcibly shut down by NATO "peacekeepers." The story in the New York Times took elaborate pains to explain why silencing the only existing dissident Serbian station was necessary for advancing democratic pluralism. The Times used the term "hardline" eleven times to describe Bosnian Serb leaders who opposed the shutdown and who failed to see it as "a step toward bringing about responsible news coverage in Bosnia."2

Likewise, a portion of Yugoslav television remained in the hands of people who refused to view the world as do the U.S. State Department, the White House, and the corporate-owned U.S. news media, and this was not to be tolerated. The NATO bombings destroyed the two government TV channels and dozens of local radio and television stations, so that by the summer of 1999 the only TV one could see in Belgrade, when I visited that city, were the private channels along with CNN, German television, and various U.S. programs. Yugoslavia's sin was not that it had a media monopoly but that the publicly owned portion of its media deviated from the western media monopoly that blankets most of the world, including Yugoslavia itself.

In 1992, another blow was delivered against Belgrade: international sanctions. Led by the United States, a freeze was imposed on all trade to and from Yugoslavia, with disastrous results for the economy: hyperinflation, mass unemployment of up to 70 percent, malnourishment, and the collapse of the health care system.3

Divide and Conquer

One of the great deceptions, notes Joan Phillips, is that "those who are mainly responsible for the bloodshed in Yugoslavia -- not the Serbs, Croats or Muslims, but the Western powers -- are depicted as saviors."4 While pretending to work for harmony, U.S. leaders supported the most divisive, reactionary forces from Croatia to Kosovo.

In Croatia, the West's man-of-the-hour was Franjo Tudjman, who claimed in a book he authored in 1989, that "the establishment of Hitler's new European order can be justified by the need to be rid of the Jews," and that only 900,000 Jews, not six million, were killed in the Holocaust. Tudjman's government adopted the fascist Ustasha checkered flag and anthem.5 Tudjman presided over the forced evacuation of over half a million Serbs from Croatia between 1991 and 1995, replete with rapes and summary executions.6 This included the 200,000 from Krajina in 1995, whose expulsion was facilitated by attacks from NATO war planes and missiles. Needless to say, U.S. leaders did nothing to stop and much to assist these atrocities, while the U.S. media looked the other way. Tudjman and his cronies now reside in obscene wealth while the people of Croatia are suffering the afflictions of the free market paradise. Tight controls have been imposed on Croatian media, and anyone who criticizes President Tudjman's government risks incarceration. Yet the White House hails Croatia as a new democracy.

In Bosnia, U.S. leaders supported the Muslim fundamentalist, Alija Izetbegovic, an active Nazi in his youth, who has called for strict religious control over the media and now wants to establish an Islamic Bosnian republic. Izetbegovic himself does not have the support of most Bosnian Muslims. He was decisively outpolled in his bid for the presidency yet managed to take over that office by cutting a mysterious deal with frontrunner Fikret Abdic.7 Bosnia is now under IMF and NATO regency. It is not permitted to develop its own internal resources, nor allowed to extend credit or self-finance through an independent monetary system. Its state-owned assets, including energy, water, telecommunications, media and transportation, have been sold off to private firms at garage sale prices.

In the former Yugoslavia, NATO powers have put aside neoimperialism and have opted for out-and-out colonial occupation. In early 1999, the democratically elected president of Republika Srpska, the Serb ministate in Bosnia, who had defeated NATO's chosen candidate, was removed by NATO troops because he proved less than fully cooperative with NATO's "high representative" in Bosnia. The latter retains authority to impose his own solutions and remove elected officials who prove in any way obstructive.8 This too was represented in the western press as a necessary measure to advance democracy.

In Kosovo, we see the same dreary pattern. The U.S. gave aid and encouragement to violently right-wing separatist forces such as the self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army, previously considered a terrorist organization by Washington. The KLA has been a longtime player in the enormous heroin trade that reaches to Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Sweden.9 KLA leaders had no social program other than the stated goal of cleansing Kosovo of all non-Albanians, a campaign that had been going on for decades. Between 1945 and 1998, the non-Albanian Kosovar population of Serbs, Roma, Turks, Gorani (Muslim Slavs), Montenegrins, and several other ethnic groups shrank from some 60 percent to about 20 percent. Meanwhile, the Albanian population grew from 40 to 80 percent (not the 90 percent repeatedly reported in the press), benefiting from a higher birth rate, a heavy influx of immigrants from Albania, and the systematic intimidation and expulsion of Serbs.

In 1987, in an early untutored moment of truth, the New York Times reported: "Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. . . . Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls. . . . As the Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years . . . an 'ethnically pure' Albanian region. . . ."10 Ironically, while the Serbs were repeatedly charged with ethnic cleansing, Serbia itself is now the only multi-ethnic society left in the former Yugoslavia, with some twenty-six nationality groups including thousands of Albanians who live in and around Belgrade.

Demonizing the Serbs

The propaganda campaign to demonize the Serbs fits the larger policy of the Western powers. The Serbs were targeted for demonization because they were the largest nationality and the one most opposed to the breakup of Yugoslavia. None other than Charles Boyd, former deputy commander of the U.S. European command, commented on it in 1994: "The popular image of this war in Bosnia is one of unrelenting Serb expansionism. Much of what the Croatians call 'the occupied territories' is land that has been held by Serbs for more that three centuries. The same is true of most Serb land in Bosnia. . . . In short the Serbs were not trying to conquer new territory, but merely to hold onto what was already theirs." While U.S. leaders claim they want peace, Boyd concludes, they have encouraged a deepening of the war.11

But what of the atrocities they committed? All sides committed atrocities, but the reporting was consistently one-sided. Grisly incidents of Croat and Muslim atrocities against the Serbs rarely made it into the U.S. press, and when they did they were accorded only passing mention.12 Meanwhile Serb atrocities were played up and sometimes even fabricated, as we shall see. Recently, three Croatian generals were indicted by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal for the bombardment and deaths of Serbs in Krajina and elsewhere. Where were U.S. leaders and U.S. television crews when these war crimes were being committed? John Ranz, chair of Survivors of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, USA, asks: Where were the TV cameras when hundreds of Serbs were slaughtered by Muslims near Srebrenica?13 The official line, faithfully parroted in the U.S. media, is that the Serbs committed all the atrocities at Srebrenica.

Before uncritically ingesting the atrocity stories dished out by U.S. leaders and the corporate-owned news media, we might recall the five hundred premature babies whom Iraqi soldiers laughingly ripped from incubators in Kuwait, a story repeated and believed until exposed as a total fabrication years later. During the Bosnian war in 1993, the Serbs were accused of having an official policy of rape. "Go forth and rape" a Bosnian Serb commander supposedly publicly instructed his troops. The source of that story never could be traced. The commander's name was never produced. As far as we know, no such utterance was ever made. Even the New York Times belatedly ran a tiny retraction, coyly allowing that "the existence of 'a systematic rape policy' by the Serbs remains to be proved."14

Bosnian Serb forces supposedly raped anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 Muslim women. The Bosnian Serb army numbered not more than 30,000 or so, many of whom were engaged in desperate military engagements. A representative from Helsinki Watch noted that stories of massive Serbian rapes originated with the Bosnian Muslim and Croatian governments and had no credible supporting evidence. Common sense would dictate that these stories be treated with the utmost skepticism -- and not be used as an excuse for an aggressive and punitive policy against Yugoslavia.

The mass rape propaganda theme was resuscitated in 1999 to justify NATO's renewed attacks on Yugoslavia. A headline in the San Francisco Examiner tells us: "SERB TACTIC IS ORGANIZED RAPE, KOSOVO REFUGEES SAY." Only at the bottom of the story, in the nineteenth paragraph, do we read that reports gathered by the Kosovo mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found no such organized rape policy. The actual number of rapes were in the dozens "and not many dozens," according to the OSCE spokesperson. This same story did note that the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal sentenced a Bosnian Croat military commander to ten years in prison for failing to stop his troops from raping Muslim women in 1993 -- an atrocity we heard little about when it was happening.15

The Serbs were blamed for the infamous Sarajevo market massacre of 1992. But according to the report leaked out on French TV, Western intelligence knew that it was Muslim operatives who had bombed Bosnian civilians in the marketplace in order to induce NATO involvement. Even international negotiator David Owen, who worked with Cyrus Vance, admitted in his memoir that the NATO powers knew all along that it was a Muslim bomb.16 However, the well-timed fabrication served its purpose of inducing the United Nations to go along with the U.S.-sponsored sanctions.

On one occasion, notes Barry Lituchy, the New York Times ran a photo purporting to be of Croats grieving over Serbian atrocities when in fact the murders had been committed by Bosnian Muslims. The Times printed an obscure retraction the following week.17

We repeatedly have seen how "rogue nations" are designated and demonized. The process is predictably transparent. First, the leaders are targeted. Qaddafi of Libya was a "Hitlerite megalomaniac" and a "madman." Noriega of Panama was a "a swamp rat," one of the world's worst "drug thieves and scums," and "a Hitler admirer." Saddam Hussein of Iraq was "the Butcher of Baghdad," a "madman," and "worse than Hitler." Each of these leaders then had their countries attacked by U.S. forces and U.S.-led sanctions. What they really had in common was that each was charting a somewhat independent course of self-development or somehow was not complying with the dictates of the global free market and the U.S. national security state.18

Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has been described by Bill Clinton as "a new Hitler." Yet he was not always considered so. At first, the Western press, viewing the ex-banker as a bourgeois Serbian nationalist who might hasten the break-up of the federation, hailed him as a "charismatic personality." Only later, when they saw him as an obstacle rather than a tool, did they begin to depict him as the demon who "started all four wars." This was too much even for the managing editor of the U.S. establishment journal Foreign Affairs, Fareed Zakaria. He noted in the New York Times that Milosevic who rules "an impoverished country that has not attacked its neighbors -- is no Adolf Hitler. He is not even Saddam Hussein."19

Some opposition radio stations and newspapers were reportedly shut down during the NATO bombing. But, during my trip to Belgrade in August 1999, I observed nongovernmental media and opposition party newspapers going strong. There are more opposition parties in the Yugoslav parliament than in any other European parliament. Yet the government is repeatedly labeled a dictatorship. Milosevic was elected as president of Yugoslavia in a contest that foreign observers said had relatively few violations. As of the end of 1999, he presided over a coalition government that included four parties. Opposition groups openly criticized and demonstrated against his government. Yet he was called a dictator.

The propaganda campaign against Belgrade has been so relentless that prominent personages on the Left -- who oppose the NATO policy against Yugoslavia -- have felt compelled to genuflect before this demonization orthodoxy.20 Thus do they reveal themselves as having been influenced by the very media propaganda machine they criticize on so many other issues. To reject the demonized image of Milosevic and of the Serbian people is not to idealize them or claim they are faultless or free of crimes. It is merely to challenge the one-sided propaganda that laid the grounds for NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia.

More Atrocity Stories

Atrocities (murders and rapes) occur in every war, which is not to condone them. Indeed, murders and rapes occur in many peacetime communities. What the media propaganda campaign against Yugoslavia charged was that atrocities were conducted on a mass genocidal scale. Such charges were used to justify the murderous aerial assault by NATO forces.

Up until the bombings began in March 1999, the conflict in Kosovo had taken 2000 lives altogether from both sides, according to Kosovo Albanian sources. Yugoslavian sources had put the figure at 800. In either case, such casualties reveal a limited insurgency, not genocide. The forced expulsion policy began after the NATO bombings, with thousands being uprooted by Serb forces mostly in areas where the KLA was operating or was suspected of operating. In addition, if the unconfirmed reports by the ethnic Albanian refugees can be believed, there was much plundering and instances of summary execution by Serbian paramilitary forces -- who were unleashed after the NATO bombing started.

We should keep in mind that tens of thousands fled Kosovo because of the bombings, or because the province was the scene of sustained ground fighting between Yugoslav forces and the KLA, or because they were just afraid and hungry. An Albanian woman crossing into Macedonia was eagerly asked by a news crew if she had been forced out by Serb police. She responded: "There were no Serbs. We were frightened of the [NATO] bombs."21 During the bombings, an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Serbian residents of Kosovo took flight (mostly north but some to the south), as did thousands of Roma and other non-Albanian ethnic groups.22 Were these people ethnically cleansing themselves? Or were they not fleeing the bombing and the ground war?

The New York Times reported that "a major purpose of the NATO effort is to end the Serb atrocities that drove more than one million Albanians from their homes."23 So, we are told to believe, the refugee tide was caused not by the ground war against the KLA and not by the massive NATO bombing but by unspecified atrocities. The bombing, which was the major cause of the refugee problem was now seen as the solution. The refugee problem created in part by the massive aerial attacks was now treated as justification for such attacks, a way of putting pressure on Milosevic to allow "the safe return of ethnic Albanian refugees."24

While Kosovo Albanians were leaving in great numbers -- usually well-clothed and in good health, some riding their tractors, trucks, or cars, many of them young men of recruitment age -- they were described as being "slaughtered." Serbian attacks on KLA strongholds and the forced expulsion of Albanian villagers were described as "genocide." But experts in surveillance photography and wartime propaganda charged NATO with running a "propaganda campaign" on Kosovo that lacked any supporting evidence. State Department reports of mass graves and of 100,000 to 500,000 missing Albanian men "are just ludicrous," according to these independent critics.25

As with the Croatian and Bosnian conflicts, the image of mass killings was hyped once again. The Washington Post reported that 350 ethnic Albanians "might be buried in mass graves" around a mountain village in western Kosovo. Such speculations were based on sources that NATO officials refused to identify. Getting down to specifics, the article mentions "four decomposing bodies" discovered near a large ash heap, with no details as to who they might be or how they died.26

An ABC "Nightline" program made dramatic and repeated references to the "Serbian atrocities in Kosovo" while offering no specifics. Ted Kopple asked angry Albanian refugees what they had witnessed? They pointed to an old man in their group who wore a wool hat. The Serbs had thrown the man's hat to the ground and stepped on it, "because the Serbs knew that his hat was the most important thing to him," they told Kopple, who was appropriately appalled by this one example of a "war crime" offered in the hour-long program.

A widely circulated story in the New York Times, headlined "U.S. REPORT OUTLINES SERB ATTACKS IN KOSOVO," tells us that the State Department issued "the most comprehensive documentary record to date on atrocities." The report concludes that there had been organized rapes and systematic executions. But reading further into the article, one finds that stories of such crimes "depend almost entirely on information from refugee accounts. There was no suggestion that American intelligence agencies had been able to verify, most, or even many, of the accounts . . . and the word 'reportedly' and 'allegedly' appear throughout the document."27

British journalist Audrey Gillan interviewed Kosovo refugees about atrocities and found an impressive lack of evidence. One woman caught him glancing at the watch on her wrist, while her husband told him how all the women had been robbed of their jewelry and other possessions. A spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees talked of mass rapes and what sounded like hundreds of killings in three villages. When Gillan pressed him for more precise information, he reduced it drastically to five or six teenage rape victims. But he admitted that he had not spoken to any witnesses and that "we have no way of verifying these reports."28

Gillan noted that some refugees had seen killings and other atrocities, but there was little to suggest that they had seen it on the scale that was being reported. Officials told him of refugees who talked of sixty or more being killed in one village and fifty in another, but Gillan "could not find one eye-witness who actually saw these things happening." It was always in some other village that the mass atrocities seem to have occurred. Yet every day western journalists reported "hundreds" of rapes and murders. Sometimes they noted in passing that the reports had yet to be substantiated, but then why were such stories being so eagerly publicized?

In contrast to its public assertions, the German Foreign Office privately denied there was any evidence that genocide or ethnic cleansing was a component of Yugoslav policy: "Even in Kosovo, an explicit political persecution linked to Albanian ethnicity is not verifiable. . . . The actions of the [Yugoslav] security forces [were] not directed against the Kosovo-Albanians as an ethnically defined group, but against the military opponent and its actual or alleged supporters."29

Still, Milosevic was indicted as a war criminal, charged with the forced expulsion of Albanian Kosovars, and with summary executions of a hundred or so individuals. Again, alleged crimes that occurred after the NATO bombing had started were used as justification for the bombing. The biggest war criminals of all were the NATO political leaders who orchestrated the aerial campaign of death and destruction.

As the White House saw it, since the stated aim of the aerial attacks was not to kill civilians; there was no liability, only regrettable mistakes. In other words, only the professed intent of an action counted and not its ineluctable effects. But a perpetrator can be judged guilty of willful murder without explicitly intending the death of a particular victim -- as with an unlawful act that the perpetrator knew would likely cause death. As George Kenney, a former State Department official under the Bush Administration, put it: "Dropping cluster bombs on highly populated urban areas doesn't result in accidental fatalities. It is purposeful terror bombing."30

In the first weeks of the NATO occupation of Kosovo, tens of thousands of Serbs were driven from the province and hundreds were killed by KLA gunmen in what was described in the western press as acts of "revenge" and "retaliation," as if the victims were deserving of such a fate. Also numbering among the victims of "retribution" were the Roma, Gorani, Turks, Montenegrins, and Albanians who had "collaborated" with the Serbs by speaking Serbian, opposing separatism, and otherwise identifying themselves as Yugoslavs. Others continued to be killed or maimed by the mines planted by the KLA and the Serb military, and by the large number of NATO cluster bombs sprinkled over the land.31

It was repeatedly announced in the first days of the NATO occupation that 10,000 Albanians had been killed by the Serbs (down from the 100,000 and even 500,000 Albanian men supposedly executed during the war). No evidence was ever offered to support the 10,000 figure, nor even to explain how it was so swiftly determined -- even before NATO forces had moved into most of Kosovo.

Repeatedly unsubstantiated references to "mass graves," each purportedly filled with hundreds or even thousands of Albanian victims also failed to materialize. Through the summer of 1999, the media hype about mass graves devolved into an occasional unspecified reference. The few sites actually unearthed offered up as many as a dozen bodies or sometimes twice that number, but with no certain evidence regarding causes of death or even the nationality of victims. In some cases there was reason to believe the victims were Serbs.32

Lacking evidence of mass graves, by late August 1999 the Los Angeles Times focused on wells "as mass graves in their own right. . . . Serbian forces apparently stuffed . . . many bodies of ethnic Albanians into wells during their campaign of terror."33 Apparently? The story itself dwelled on only one village in which the body of a 39-year-old male was found in a well, along with three dead cows and a dog. No cause was given for his death and "no other human remains were discovered." The well's owner was not identified. Again when getting down to specifics, the atrocities seem not endemic but sporadic.

Ethnic Enmity and U.S. "Diplomacy"

Some people argue that nationalism, not class, is the real motor force behind the Yugoslav conflict. This presumes that class and ethnicity are mutually exclusive forces. In fact, ethnic enmity can be enlisted to serve class interests, as the CIA tried to do with indigenous peoples in Indochina and Nicaragua -- and more recently in Bosnia.34

When different national groups are living together with some measure of social and material security, they tend to get along. There is intermingling and even intermarriage. But when the economy goes into a tailspin, thanks to sanctions and IMF destabilization, then it becomes easier to induce internecine conflicts and social discombobulation. In order to hasten that process in Yugoslavia, the Western powers provided the most retrograde separatist elements with every advantage in money, organization, propaganda, arms, hired thugs, and the full might of the U.S. national security state at their backs. Once more the Balkans are to be balkanized.

NATO's attacks on Yugoslavia have been in violation of its own charter, which says it can take military action only in response to aggression committed against one of its members. Yugoslavia attacked no NATO member. U.S. leaders discarded international law and diplomacy. Traditional diplomacy is a process of negotiating disputes through give and take, proposal and counterproposal, a way of pressing one's interests only so far, arriving eventually at a solution that may leave one side more dissatisfied than the other but not to the point of forcing either party to war.

U.S. diplomacy is something else, as evidenced in its dealings with Vietnam, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, and now Yugoslavia. It consists of laying down a set of demands that are treated as nonnegotiable, though called "accords" or "agreements," as in the Dayton Accords or Rambouillet Agreements. The other side's reluctance to surrender completely to every condition is labeled "stonewalling," and is publicly misrepresented as an unwillingness to negotiate in good faith. U.S. leaders, we hear, run out of patience as their "offers" are "snubbed." Ultimatums are issued, then aerial destruction is delivered upon the recalcitrant nation so that it might learn to see things the way Washington does.

Milosevic balked because the Rambouillet plan, drawn up by the U.S. State Department, demanded that he hand over a large, rich region of Serbia, that is, Kosovo, to foreign occupation. The plan further stipulated that these foreign troops shall have complete occupational power over all of Yugoslavia, with immunity from arrest and with supremacy over Yugoslav police and authorities. Even more revealing of the U.S. agenda, the Rambouillet plan stated: "The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles."

Rational Destruction

While professing to having been discomforted by the aerial destruction of Yugoslavia, many liberals and progressives were convinced that "this time" the U.S. national security state was really fighting the good fight. "Yes, the bombings don't work. The bombings are stupid!" they said at the time, "but we have to do something." In fact, the bombings were other than stupid: they were profoundly immoral. And in fact they did work; they destroyed much of what was left of Yugoslavia, turning it into a privatized, deindustrialized, recolonized, beggar-poor country of cheap labor, defenseless against capital penetration, so battered that it will never rise again, so shattered that it will never reunite, not even as a viable bourgeois country.

When the productive social capital of any part of the world is obliterated, the potential value of private capital elsewhere is enhanced -- especially when the crisis faced today by western capitalism is one of overcapacity. Every agricultural base destroyed by western aerial attacks (as in Iraq) or by NAFTA and GATT (as in Mexico and elsewhere), diminishes the potential competition and increases the market opportunities for multinational corporate agribusiness. To destroy publicly-run Yugoslav factories that produced auto parts, appliances, or fertilizer -- or a publicly financed Sudanese plant that produced pharmaceuticals at prices substantially below their western competitors -- is to enhance the investment value of western producers. And every television or radio station closed down by NATO troops or blown up by NATO bombs extends the monopolizing dominance of the western media cartels. The aerial destruction of Yugoslavia's social capital served that purpose.

We have yet to understand the full effect of NATO's aggression. Serbia is one of the greatest sources of underground waters in Europe, and the contamination from U.S. depleted uranium and other explosives is being felt in the whole surrounding area all the way to the Black Sea. In Pancevo alone, huge amounts of ammonia were released into the air when NATO bombed the fertilizer factory. In that same city, a petrochemical plant was bombed seven times. After 20,000 tons of crude oil were burnt up in only one bombardment of an oil refinery, a massive cloud of smoke hung in the air for ten days. Some 1,400 tons of ethylene dichloride spilled into the Danube, the source of drinking water for ten million people. Meanwhile, concentrations of vinyl chloride were released into the atmosphere at more than 10,000 times the permitted level. In some areas, people have broken out in red blotches and blisters, and health officials predict sharp increases in cancer rates in the years ahead.35

National parks and reservations that make Yugoslavia among thirteen of the world's richest bio-diversity countries were bombed. The depleted uranium missiles that NATO used through many parts of the country have a half-life of 4.5 billion years.36 It is the same depleted uranium that now delivers cancer, birth defects, and premature death upon the people of Iraq. In Novi Sad, I was told that crops were dying because of the contamination. And power transformers could not be repaired because U.N. sanctions prohibited the importation of replacement parts. The people I spoke to were facing famine and cold in the winter ahead.

With words that might make us question his humanity, the NATO commander, U.S. General Wesley Clark boasted that the aim of the air war was to "demolish, destroy, devastate, degrade, and ultimately eliminate the essential infrastructure" of Yugoslavia. Even if Serbian atrocities had been committed, ... where is the sense of proportionality? Paramilitary killings in Kosovo (which occurred mostly after the aerial war began) are no justification for bombing fifteen cities in hundreds of around-the-clock raids for over two months, spewing hundreds of thousands of tons of highly toxic and carcinogenic chemicals into the water, air, and soil, killing thousands of Serbs, Albanians, Roma, Turks, and others, and destroying bridges, residential areas, and over two hundred hospitals, clinics, schools, and churches, along with the productive capital of an entire nation.

A report released in London in August 1999 by the Economist Intelligence Unit concluded that the enormous damage NATO's aerial war inflicted on Yugoslavia's infrastructure will cause the economy to shrink dramatically in the next few years.37 Gross domestic product will drop by 40 percent this year and remain at levels far below those of a decade ago. Yugoslavia, the report predicted, will become the poorest country in Europe. Mission accomplished.

Postscript

In mid-September 1999, the investigative journalist Diana Johnstone emailed associates in the U.S. that former U.S. ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, who had backed Tudjman's "operation storm" that drove 200,000 Serbians (mostly farming families) out of the Krajina region of Croatia four years ago, was recently in Montenegro, chiding Serbian opposition politicians for their reluctance to plunge Yugoslavia into civil war. Such a war would be brief, he assured them, and would "solve all your problems." Another strategy under consideration by U.S. leaders, heard recently in Yugoslavia, is to turn over the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina to Hungary. Vojvodina has some twenty-six nationalities including several hundred thousand persons of Hungarian descent who, on the whole show no signs of wanting to secede, and who certainly are better treated than the larger Hungarian minorities in Rumania and Slovakia. Still, a recent $100 million appropriation from the U.S. Congress fuels separatist activity in what remains of Yugoslavia -- at least until Serbia gets a government sufficiently pleasing to the free-market globalists in the West. Johnstone concludes: "With their electric power stations ruined and factories destroyed by NATO bombing, isolated, sanctioned and treated as pariahs by the West, Serbs have the choice between freezing honorably in a homeland plunged into destitution, or following the 'friendly advice' of the same people who have methodically destroyed their country. As the choice is unlikely to be unanimous one way or the other, civil war and further destruction of the country are probable."

Michael Parenti is the author of Against Empire, Dirty Truths, America Besieged, and most recently, History as Mystery, all published by City Lights Books.



NOTES:

New York Times, July 8, 1998.
New York Times, October 10, 1997.
For more detailed background information on the stratagems preceding the NATO bombing, see the collection of reports by Ramsey Clark, Sean Gervasi, Sara Flounders, Nadja Tesich, Michel Choussudovsky, and others in NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition (New York: International Action Center, 1998).
Joan Phillips, "Breaking the Selective Silence," Living Marxism, April 1993, p. 10.
Financial Times (London), April 15, 1993.
See for instance, Yigal Chazan's report in The Guardian (London/Manchester), August 17, 1992.
See Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (London: Penguin, 1995), p. 211; also Diana Johnstone, "Alija Izetbegovic: Islamic Hero of the Western World," CovertAction Quarterly, Winter 1999, p. 58.
Michael Kelly, "The Clinton Doctrine is a Fraud, and Kosovo Proves It," Boston Globe, July 1, 19 99.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 1999 and Washington Times, May 3, 1999.
New York Times, November 1, 1987.
Foreign Affairs, September/October 1994.
For instance, Raymond Bonner, "War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops 'Cleansed' the Serbs," New York Times, March 21, 1999, a revealing report that has been ignored in the relentless propaganda campaign against the Serbs.
John Ranz in his paid advertisement in the New York Times, April 29, 1993.
"Correction: Report on Rape in Bosnia," New York Times, October 23, 1993.
San Francisco Examiner, April 26, 1999.
David Owen, Balkan Odyssey, p. 262.
Barry Lituchy, "Media Deception and the Yugoslav Civil War," in NATO in the Balkans, p. 205; see also New York Times, August 7, 1993.
For further discussion of this point, see my Against Empire (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995).
New York Times, March 28, 1999.
Both Noam Chomsky in his comments on Pacifica Radio, April 7, 1999, and Alexander Cockburn in the Nation, May 10, 1999, referred to Serbian "brutality" and described Milosevic as "monstrous" without offering any specifics.
Brooke Shelby Biggs, "Failure to Inform," San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 5, 1999, p. 25.
Washington Post, June 6, 1999.
New York Times, June 15, 1999.
See for instance, Robert Burns, Associated Press report, April 22, 1999.
Charles Radin and Louise Palmer, "Experts Voice Doubts on Claims of Genocide: Little Evidence for NATO Assertions," San Francisco Chronicle, April 22, 1999.
Washington Post, July 10, 1999.
New York Times, May 11, 1999.
Audrey Gillan "What's the Story?" London Review of Books, May 27, 1999.
Intelligence reports from the German Foreign Office, January 12, 1999 and October 29, 1998 to the German Administrative Courts, translated by Eric Canepa, Brecht Forum, New York, April 20, 1999.
Teach-in, Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, May 23, 1999.
Los Angeles Times, August 22, 1999.
See for instance, Carlotta Gall, "Belgrade Sees Grave Site as Proof NATO Fails to Protect Serbs," New York Times, August 27, 1999.
Los Angeles Times, August 28, 1999.
It is a matter of public record that the CIA has been active in Bosnia. Consider these headlines: The Guardian (Manchester/London), November 17 1994: "CIA AGENTS TRAINING BOSNIAN ARMY"; The London Observer, November 20, 1994: "AMERICA'S SECRET BOSNIA AGENDA"; The European, November 25, 1994: "HOW THE CIA HELPS BOSNIA FIGHT BACK."
Report by Steve Crawshaw in the London Independent, reprinted in the San Francisco Examiner, July 26, 1999.
See the communication from Serbian environmentalist Branka Jovanovic: http://beograd.rockbridge.net/greens_from_belgrade.htm; March 31, 1999.
San Francisco Examiner, August 23, 1999.



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Last revised: May 31, 2004

hardknocks said...

Yeah, Bill did it too.

Bill from jc said...

Amazing. Now the neo cons are quoteing from a book about how the Muslims want to revive the Ottoman empire. One question:



Is your tinfoil hat dry clean only or do you just replace it with a fresh one every few days?

yourstruly said...

bill, just a simple question for a simple mind: What was bill's justification for invading and occupying Bosnia?

bill from jc said...

Scroll back up thru the Muslims for the Ottoman Empire post (might take an hour or so) and thru the Austrailian Communist Party post (what great creds the right wing has... and they have now had days to locate better sources) and you will find your question has been answered. It may be confusing given the current enviroment in that it is exactly what the Clinton adminstration said which turned out to be the actual reason, instead of say Iraq, where the stated reason was changed after the fact several times. Get past the notion that Republicans have that says the reason can change after you do it, it makes sense once you release yourself from that delusion.

merlallen said...

My father in law is a man I respect very much, however whenever I mention Bush, he falls back into the Clinton defense. So now I preface every statement with "You know, that bastard Clinton raped and murdered countless people, but that doesn't excuse Bush's fucking lies killing thousands of people"
He finally figured out how lame he sounded.

Anonymous said...

I see.

In bill's war, genocide, atrocities and crimes against innocents was reason enough to invade and occupy Bosnia and Kosovo. Further, the subsequent democratically elected president was removed because he failed to cooperate with NATO guidance. Also, the prewar intelligence was faulty. In the end there has been no evidence of genocide to validate the decision to invade.

In George's war, prior use of WMD's, failure to comply with 17 UN resolutions, NATO intelligence indicating further development of WMD's (confirmed by Putin), an attack on Iran, the invasion and occupation of Kuwait, harboring al qaida operatives, genocide using WMD's and the torture and murder of political foes was not sufficient justification for action against Iraq? Further, the subsequent democratically elected officials remain in power and going about developing a Constitution to support a standing government. The genocide has been confirmed and the killing fields excavated. The only disappointing news here is the WMD intelligence was wrong.

It seems that both leaders suffered from faulty prewar intelligence, both felt there was a compelling need to remove oppressive governments by invading and occupying for humanity's sake and we are all better off for having taken the actions.

In the end, it appears that conditions in Iraq have proven to be the more dire of the two, what with institutionalized torture and rape in place for decades, not to mention confirmed genocide.

As far as who "lied" to further their agendas, I don't see any intentional prevarications on either's part.

The more curious question is why do the liberals run from the Bosnian justification question? Why not embrace it like a balanced budget? Aren't the people of the Balkans better off today than before we acted? What's so embarrassing about Bosnia to the left?

yourstruly said...

They don't like to talk about it because it looks too much like Iraq but there was more justification for Iraq.

ACG said...

No, honey, there were more justifications for Iraq. Every time one of them gets stale, they switch to another.

And maybe Bill's foray into Bosnia is a little easier to swallow because he didn't lose 1,700 American lives doing it.

Anonymous said...

I see. Then Viet Nam was a better war than WWII because we lost fewer troops? And Bosnia is the best war because we lost the least, plus, there are few justifications for it? Interesting logic. What about the fact that the fewer justifications for the Bosnian war are bogus?

ACG said...

Well, if your higher body count is due to a complete lack of foresight and planning, then yeah, you're less justified. Bush had all of these justifications for war, and it's increasingly apparent that he'd been planning for it long before he told the rest of the world about it, so he probably had time to actually come up with a strategy that would keep more Americans alive - and if he couldn't come up with one, maybe he shouldn't have sent troops over. Not to mention the fact that he was already involved in a war in Afghanistan - a war against people who had already attacked us, who had proven that they had the wherewithal to do us harm, and who needed to be taken out with some urgency. Since Bush wasn't done yet there, that's another reason not to send troops into Iraq. Unfortunately, we're now seeing the results of that non-strategy in London; I'd like to think that Bush is kicking himself for that comment about not knowing and not caring where bin Laden is, but somehow I doubt it.

Consider the difference in planning between a military effort with international support and a total of three American deaths, and an effort with 1,700+ American deaths and the support of Poland, then get back to me.

Anonymous said...

No plan? Like JFK, LBJ and Viet Nam?

What's your plan, honey? Growing up near Benning must give you some military credibility.

And, now, Bush is responsible for the bombings in London?

Hey, why don't you try this one on for size... The TERRORISTS are responsible for the bombings in London.

What's your strategy? Group therapy for disenfrachised neo militant islamists? How about let's release the 500+ militants at Gitmo and give them maps to the world's great subway systems?

And as far as being "done" is concerned, we're in a global war, honey, not just a war in Afghanistan. Take London, for example. Maybe Buckhead's next.

Anonymous said...

But I thought we were fighting them over there so we wouldn't have to fight them over here, you sanctimonious dipshit.

But thanks for dumping your Bosnia obsession and reaching even further back to Vietnam. There's truly no such thing as a hole so deep a conservative can't dig it deeper.

Anonymous said...

We're fighting them everywhere. And that's Mr. Dipshit to you, bill. I know that reviving the failings of your liberal icons is painful but it does make the point that faulty intelligence, the best laid plans and justifications for war are equal opportunity issues that have plagued all leaders.

Bill from jc said...

Failings of liberal icons?? Was London bombed because of Clinton now anon? Is Clinton the one that said he didn''t care where Bin Laden was? Did Clinton send troops to Iraq based on lies before we had finished in Afganistan?

Btw Anon, what was Eisenhower's exit stratagy for Vietnam?

Anonymous said...

. . . faulty intelligence, the best laid plans and justifications for war are equal opportunity issues that have plagued all leaders.

Translation: So let's just all shut up and accept it and allow Bush to go on fucking things up.

Nope. Sorry. Not good enough. You lose.

ACG said...

The terrorists are absolutely responsible for the bombings in London, and if they hit B'head, they'd be responsible for that, too. Now let me think back to the guy who was so intent on getting Osama bin Laden, dead or alive...

Wait, no, Bush doesn't care where he is anymore. Doesn't know, doesn't care, if I recall correctly. And while Porter Goss does know where he is, he's worried about (snort) - about (chuckle) - about violating another country's sovereignty.

And just in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not your honey.

Anonymous said...

Honey, sorry, beeeatch, where did Bush say he wasn't interested in finding OBL? I guess we're not pursuing him in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Beeeatch, we lost, what, 18 troops on the Afghan-Pakistan border last week? I guess they were on R&R. And if we had OBL, the terrorism would cease?

General bill, now what precisely was the lie George told?

Damn, what a tangled web y'all weave when first you decide to use leftist talking points and not think for yourselves.

Bill from jc said...

Well Capitan Chickenshit, how about the time he said the invasion was based on the best intelligence availible (it wasn't), or that we knew that Saddam had WMD;s and where they were (he didn't, we don't). What about when he hung a banner that said "Mission Accomplished (it wasn't) or that we would not stop searching until Bin Laden was brought to justice ( we did). How about when he swore to protect and defend the Constitution (then lobbied for the Patriot Act that allows search without due process.) What about the one where he said that tax cuts would stimulate the economy (they didn't) or when he said that no one could have predicted Al Queda would attack the US with airplanes (they could and did.)

Tell you what Cap. Chickenshit, why don't you tell me something Bush has told the truth about.

Also, let me add it takes a big man to call a girl names like you did above. What kind of cowardly fuck are you that you have to call a young lady names like "beeeatch"?

Does it make you feel like a big man to pick on a girl?

Have you always had trouble talking to women?

Were girls mean to you growing up?

Anonymous said...

Bush hasn't told a lie that any of us are aware of. Do you know of any lies he's told? I know you're a little challenged when it comes to the use of the English language but that's no excuse to misuse the term. I suggest you look-up the definition of "lie" before you respond again.

I tried "honey" but she didn't like that one bit. So, "beeatch" seemed appropriate.

Anonymous said...

"Mission Accomplished"

bill from jc said...

Couldn't have said it better Cap. Chickenshit. "Mission Accomplished" was one of his bigger lies.

As to you calling Ann names, that just shows what sort of person you are. It reflects poorly on you and your family, not her. Your parents must be proud.

Anonymous said...

That's your lie? Pretty lame and WRONG! First, as I mentioned before, I suggest you check the dictionary for the definition of "lie". Second, that's the "lie" we went to war over?

Now, while you're trying to repair the last answer, tell us about the justification for the Bosnian war.

The good news for all of us is that leftwingnuts like you and your fellow leftists are crashing and burning, never to control anything of consequence.