July 23, 2001
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Editor's Note: This commentary follows the article Not Only Are They Demons, Serbs Are Imbeciles, and the report, The Circle of Deception: Mapping the Human Rights Crowd in the Balkans, and should be read concurrently as they are closely related.
Many news reports of atrocities and "genocide" allegedly committed by the Serbs and widely disseminated in the Western main media have originated with a little known NGO in Belgrade, Serbia, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC). The story of the refrigerated truck filled with corpses that was purportedly dumped in the [river] Danube in April 1999 is a good example.
Report of the news was posted on the Internet on various distribution lists and Web sites (BAN, Balkanhr, GHM) and eventually found its way to IWPR and the major news media but it originated with HLC.
While the story is buried on the site and does not seem (as of July 21, 2001) to be available by surfing the site, it can be retrieved (again as of July 21, 2001) by typing the words "refrigerated truck" in the site's search engine. Then comes the full story with two pictures, entitled: New Testimony on Removal of Evidence of Crimes in Kosovo. Its URL is http://www.hlc.org.yu/english/hlc2000/hlc2000-kladovo.htm.
But first, a couple of words about the Humanitarian Law Center. HLC was created in 1992 by Natasa Kandic, its present Executive Director. It has been funded by who else but George Soros as well as the National Endowment for Democracy (see http://csf.colorado.edu/pen-l/2000IV/msg00187.html). This year the Ford Foundation provided HLC with a $80,000 grant.
Kandic is a darling of the Western Human Rights crowd. She's received tons of awards and was conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of Valencia, Spain, for "her longstanding work in the field of human rights and her humanitarian activities."
According to a July 18 editorial by Justin Raimundo of Antiwar.com, "It was Kandic who, as the organizer of an OSCE media conference held in Montenegro, told Serbian journalists who walked out in protest at the NATO-crats' high-handedness: 'They pay you and have the right to question your conduct during the war.' Heavily subsidized by interventionist sugar-daddy George Soros, Kandic is a weird, isolated figure in Serbian politics, one of the few who openly sided with NATO during the bombing."
So, one could entertain the idea that if "they" pay, "they" also have the right and the expectation to a return on their investment. Natasa Kandic has undoubtedly been quite a profitable investment!
Back to the refrigerated truck story. What is posted on the HLC site is a compendium of several articles that appeared in the Serbian pro-governmental (that is the current government) media (press, magazines and radio). The names of these news outlets are quite telling as they assemble the core of the fiercest opposition to the former socialist government of Serbia and Yugoslavia.
No need to review B92, FreeB92, and Radio B92. They've been financed from their cradle to today by Western money, not the least that of George Soros.
Danas, with a circulation of about 45,000 is a corporate member of SEEMO, another murky NGO. Danas is defined as a "liberal (in an Anglo-Saxon meaning of this term), pro-European newspaper, which stands for the highest levels of tolerance in Yugoslav society and is strongly dedicated to the principles and values of democracy and civility. It strives for pluralism and dialogue, for the complete and thorough protection of basic human rights, as well as the rights of all sorts of minorities - national, religious, cultural, and other."
BETA is a pro-western sort of Serbian AP.
No information was available at the time of this writing for Glas and Politika.
NIN is the Serbian Time magazine.
Ljubica Gojgic who is either the author of the NIN story or that of the entire compendium posted on HLC, is a reporter for NIN and has possibly (unconfirmed) also written for Danas. [Ed. Please, see note added on July 28, 2001.] Gojgic was the recipient of "the annual Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship program, a six-month, on-the-job training program for print journalists from developing and transitional countries at U.S. newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer." (see http://www.inform.umd.edu/News/Diamondback/00-06-29/news2.html)
The story was milked by all the above news outlets but it appears that it came originally from the Timocka Krimi Revija (Timok Crime Review), a small publication in Timok Krajina founded, privately-owned and edited by Dragan Vitomirovic. Vitomirovic has also written for Danas. He was recently appointed new director of the Radio Zajecar, the oldest local radio outlet in Serbia. Vitomirovic is also known for his old and close friendship with current interior minister (and Deputy Prime Minister), Dusan Mihajlovic, a politician of the most rabid anti-Milosevich faction.
Now that the entities and characters with whom we are dealing have become more familiar and clear, let's have a look at the HLC report. In and of itself the report does not call for a complete deconstruction. As said, it's a compendium, either assembled by HLC's staff or by Ljubica Gojgic. Also said, the story has been milked as far as possible and rehashed by the various outlets. They all find witnesses, often the same ones, go into long demonstrations of how the "crime" was buried, becoming a secret of state. Of course, now that Serbia is finally a "free" country, tongues are unknotted, people are "free" to talk and they are talking, aren't they? It's fascinating to see how many of them got involved with the event and have something to say to the reporters. Yet, for two long years they kept silent, nothing really transpired. It had to be due to the brutal dictatorship of the "Butcher of Belgrade..." Had to be, of course!
However, we'd like to point out three small details, you know, those darn little facts...
First, scrutinize the two pictures and ask yourselves what you think of the second one. Just ask yourselves.
Second, please make sure to read the following passage that is located under the second picture: "I was in a boat on the river, only some thirty meters from the bank, when I heard voices about 2.15 a.m. Sound carries a long way on the Danube at night. I don't know what language they were speaking there on the bank - I didn't understand any of the words. It might have been Turkish or Albanian - who knows. But I'm certain it wasn't Serbian or Romanian, which I know well."
Third and finally, ask yourselves whether you've heard of, seen or read any press report on your local radio, your TV news or your favorite newspapers that even alluded to that very quote. Have the AI, HRW or IWPR that were so quick to jump on this abominable story of atrocity, immediately linking it to the so-called Asanacija plan, ever mentioned that part of the story? Check for yourselves how, for instance, IWPR reported the story on June 15, 2001 in Belgrade Prepares Serbs for Milosevic Extradition. It seems that some witnesses are better than others, does it not?
Do you get the picture?
Note: Another short example of fabrication and dissemination of deception: A video of Milosevich's arraignment at the IWCTY was and still remains posted on the BBC at http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/cta/events01/world/eur/milosevic_trial/hague_03july.ram. I wanted to keep a copy but unfortunately was unable to do so. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I visited the Web site of B92 at http://www.b92.net and found a downloadable 10 MB high quality copy. When I watched it, I found that to my consternation several parts had been edited out in comparison to the original video, particularly when the judge turns the mike off when Milosevich is speaking in Serbocroatian (his words translated). The video is drastically shortened and essentially does not show the nasty face of the Kangaroo court. This is a perfect example of deception. You simply edit what you do not want your viewers to see. Keep it clean and simple (the famous American KISS concept). Here again, control of the information....and mind control!
Editor's Note, added July 28, 2001. On July 25, we received an e-mail from Ljubica Gojgic. Ms. Gojgic confirms that she is a NIN's reporter and advises us that she has never written for Danas and that she is not the author of the report posted on HLC. We thank her for this clarification. (back)
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This Week's Internal Links
A Hot Rain's A Gonna Fall - by Michael W. Stowell
The Other War Criminals - by Sanjay Basu
Genocide or Veracicide: Will NATO's Lying Ever Stop? - by Stephen Gowans
Not Only Are They Demons, Serbs Are Imbeciles - by Gilles d'Aymery
The Circle of Deception: Mapping the Human Rights Crowd in the Balkans - by Gilles d'Aymery
Beneath the Cloaking Device - by Michael W. Stowell
How Much is Enough? - by Milo Clark
Please Be Patient IV - by Milo Clark
Back of the Bus (in 1956) - by Sandy Lulay