Note from the Editor: In her E-mail to Swans, Valeria Bradley uses outside sources, sources that are real and can be verified, to tell a narrative of the war...
Spanish Fighter Pilots Admit NATO Purposely Attacks Civilian Targets
by Jose Luis Morales
From the Spanish weekly "Articulo 20", No. 30, June 14, 1999, about the NATO bombing raids against Yugoslavia and the role of Americans in making all decisions.
(Translated from Spanish to English by Jelena Karovic)
The pilots of Spanish planes who participated in bombing raids against Yugoslavia do not feel like "supermen" nor as masters of air space. Quite on the contrary, they say that our forces play to the tune of music played by the North Americans, and accuse NATO of having honored with medals the bombing of civilian targets, what they otherwise name "collateral damages".
Captain Adolfo Luis Martin de la Hoz, who returned to Spain end of May after having participated in the bombings since the beginning, an "authentic expert for the dreadful F-18", the war plane most often used in the war strategy of "scorched land" in the Balkans, is very categorical:
"First of all, I want to make it clear that the majority, I say the majority, of my colleagues, even if not all, are against the war in general and against this war of barbarity in particular." Martin de la Hoz says that he and his colleagues "are burnt out". "Since a few days ago there appeared in the papers certain statements of the commander Maches Michavilla, who is now in the air base at Aviano with the pilots who replaced us, in which he said that our worst enemy in the air was our mental and physical health. But I tell you that our worst enemies are our own authorities, the Defense Minister and his whole team, the members of the Government, who know nothing about war and go along with it without informing themselves about anything and, what is gravest, are guilty of lying to the Spanish people through the papers, radio and television, foreign correspondents and press agencies."
The suspicions that NATO's repeated bombings of civilian victims and non-military targets are not the result of war "errors", are confirmed by Captain Martin de la Hoz: "Several times our Colonel protested to NATO commanders why they select targets which are not military targets. They threw him out with curses saying that we should know that the North Americans will lodge a complaint by the Spanish Army, once through Brussels and again by the Defence Minister. But there is more, and I want to tell it to the whole world: once there was a coded order of the North American military that we should drop anti-personnel bombs over the localities of Prishtina and Nish. The colonel refused it altogether and, a couple of days later, the transfer order came. But what I say now is nothing compared to what I shall have to say when the time comes."
The Spanish military denounces that "the Spanish Government not only does not try to inform themselves but they also accept the false reports that are edited for them in Aviano, where there is a sort of military press cabinet in the hands of North American generals and function aries. Ever since we arrived in Italy - the Captain goes on - there is no end to humiliations and insults. The order givers are only the North American generals, and no one else. We are zeroes, just as our replacements are going to be.
But there is still more to that. Here they say that several operations were directed by Spanish commanders and pilots. Lies over lies. All the missions that we flew, all and each one, were planned by US high military authorities. Even more, they were all planned in detail, including attacking planes, targets and type of ammunition that we have to throw. We never directed anything, and our missions were limited to flying over the borders of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Slovakia."
None of the pilots presently stationed at Aviano, who replaced those who went to the Italian base a little before the start of war, last March 23, were there with clean conscience, says the Spanish military. "It is being written to saturation that the disciplined and patriotic Spanish pilots according to Minister Eduardo Serra - are concentrating on the complexity of their war missions". But we read so many discrepancies, so many lies that we agreed to not read a single newspaper until we return. Our anger is enormous.
The President of the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Defense Minister are lying brazenly each time they talk about the war. Some of us are of another opinion and believe they do not inform themselves, because the North Americans - the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, the Embassy or military information service, whoever, do not inform them about anything. How should they inform themselves if our own Javier Solana has not informed himself since the war broke out? Solana is a puppet who has been put there by the Yankees to do what they tell him he has to do. And so he does, standing straight before General Clark when he talks to him, or better said, when he issues him the orders that he has to implement without delay."
On the subject of manipulation of information about the war, Captain de la Hoz says that "no one has said anything about the incidents that took place in Aviano, about the disastrous maintenance of Spanish machinery, and above all about the constant humiliations to which we were subjected from the beginning. Not that we were cannon food. No. We were nothing. About the fatal accidents, the losses suffered without connection to combat, the contempt and sanctions, not a word. From no one!"
For the wrong selection of targets and humiliations the Spanish militaries are ever more certain that there is no alibi. "We know perfectly well that we are intervening in a conflict - says Martin de la Hoz - which is rejected by the majority of the Spanish people and this is most important for us. But what they do not say in any information, commentary or speech, is that the Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese ... that we are there to cover up the North American generals who are dealing and wheeling in the war. There is no journalist who has the slightest idea what is happening in Yugoslavia. They are destroying the country, bombing it with novel weapons, toxic nerve gases, surface mines dropped with parachute, bombs containing uranium, black napalm, sterilization chemicals, sprayings to poison the crops and weapons of which even we still do not know anything. The North Americans are committing one of the biggest barbarities that can be committed against humanity. A lot of very bad things will be told in the future about what was happening there, because, by the way, judging by what we talked about with the British and German officers, it was designed in order to divide the Europeans and keep us subjected for many decades.
Therefore, Captain Martin de la Hoz is enraged when there are talks about the costs of the war. There should be no doubt, he confirms that the militaries detached in Aviano are receiving bonuses which are "five times our salary", without counting daily expenses and other prerequisites.
We could say that we should be satisfied with what this war means economically for each one of us, but it is not true, what they give us is the chocolate for the parrots. This war is going to cost the Spaniards more than all money allocated for culture in the last five years. And how, even if now no one says anything because of the elections, it will be evident in a few months and will be felt in our pockets. Because this brutal solely Yankees' war, no one's but Yankees', is going to be paid by all of us.
Be sure that what I say is not to exculpate myself and to intone 'mea culpa' for having participated in it, because I will never be able to forget that what was being committed there was one the biggest savageries of history."
On another note, comments from Valeria Bradley
Topic: Kosovo & ethnic cleansing
Gailbraith' Kosovo to be etnically cleansed of Serbians'
Just switched to Hockenberry. In questioning Former Ambassador Gailbraith of Croatia fame, Gailbraith stated the Serbians will not be allowed to stay in Kosovo. Hockenberry" Wait a minute, are you saying that NATO is going to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of Serbs." Gailbraiths answer:"Yes" then he caught himself and said Milosovich is to blame. I wish the Serbs could stay but they can't. Gailbraith ethnically cleansed Croatia of Serbs.
My [Valeria's] comment:
Similar but "milder" statements have come out of the Pentagon, made by Kenneth Baker, James Rubin, and on the British side by George Robertson on his visit to Macedonia in a speech to British troops, all three stated that Kosovo will not be a happy place for Serbs, Robertson was criticised later, and said he didn't mean civilians. The failure of NATO in "demilitarizing"/disarming the KLA proves in my opinion that particular governments "don't mind" if non-albanian civilians move out of the region, agreeing with their Balkan protegee Franjo Tudjman, that an ethnically pure region will make a happy and harmonious region. Unfortunatelly this amounts to ethnic clensing, in this case by inaction and threats.
I include the relevant text of a Pentagon briefing by Kenneth Baker:
05-06-99 USA: KEN BACON HOLDS NEWS BRIEFING ON NATO'S OPERATION ALLIED
By KEN BACON.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REGULAR NEWS BRIEFING
JUNE 5, 1999
SPEAKERS: KENNETH H. BACON, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN
BACON: We always have to be concerned about possible threats to NATO
troops. The fact of the matter is that I don't think that Kosovo is going to be a
very happy place for Serbs when NATO comes in and the - and I don't think Serbs
will want to stay there. I think they will want to return to Serbia.
I don't anticipate that is what's going to happen. I anticipate that
people want to get home and rebuild their lives. And that's what they will devote
their energies to.
QUESTION: Does that include the Serb minority you said, that Kosovo won't be a very happy place for Serbs...
BACON: Well, I mean the Serb minority will be allowed to stay if it wants to stay. We're already getting some reports and suggestions that most Serbs will want to go. We don't know how big the Serb minority is there. It's probably about 100,000. Could be a little more than that. But as Kosovar Albanians flow back in, our assumption is that many Serbs will probably return to Serbia. QUESTION: Sounds like you're encouraging the Serbs who now live in Kosovo then to leave.
BACON: I'm not encouraging them at all. I'm just stating what we anticipate the facts will be.
QUESTION: And as they leave with - the fear of the Serbs is that as they leave they're going to be the ethnic minority population will be retaliated against by the KLA. That's the fear...
BACON: Well, as I said, NATO is going there to set up a safe and secure environment and that means protecting all people from this. And we don't believe that there will be a need for fighting.
QUESTION: Have you - on the question of the Serb minority there - I mean, for nigh on 11 weeks now, NATO has talked about the horrors of ethnic cleansing and ethnic partitioning. And you're saying that and ethnic group will not feel welcome in their homes.
BACON: I think you're completely misunderstanding what I said. I said that many Serbs - we are getting reports - and these reports have been in the press - that many Serbs may want to leave Kosovo, after what's happened. Nobody is going to force them to leave Kosovo. NATO is going to protect everybody's rights to live in Kosovo. If people want to leave, they'll be allowed to leave. They will not be forced out, the way the Serbs forced out Kosovar Albanians. They can stay if they want to stay. We are getting reports that many will want to leave. If that's true, they can leave.
QUESTION: But doesn't that - whether it's being forced out by NATO or not - doesn't that amount to ethnic partitioning in reverse?
BACON: I don't think so at all. I mean, the free movement of people is something that all democracies stand for. If they want to stay there, they can stay there. And, in fact, some may want to stay there. I've just said there have been press reports, and others, suggesting that many will want to leave. If that's true they can leave. NATO's preference is that people be able to live in harmony, where they want to live.
Washington Transcript Service
Copyright 1999. Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.
FEDERAL DOCUMENT CLEARING HOUSE
FDCH WASHINGTON TRANSCRIPT SERVICE 05/06/1999
My [Valeria's] comment: Clinton's aim in sponsoring the Krajina genocide [Croats's expulsion of all Serbian population] was to produce a tidier Balkan map, with the people segregated by race and religion. The United States is now getting into the ethnic cleansing business in a big way, with its KLA terrorist allies doing the dirty work on the ground now that we are done with our antiseptic, CNN-friendly bombing.