jacdon at jacdon at
Sun Jun 4 13:09:18 MDT 2000

Reprinted from the June 8, 2000
issue of Workers World newspaper

By John Catalinotto

A team of Finnish pathologists sent to Kosovo in January
1999 to investigate the so-called Racak massacre has at
last publicized its findings.

The result is further proof that the U.S. government
manipulated both events in Kosovo and media coverage of
them as part of its effort to justify U.S./NATO aggression
against Yugoslavia.

The NATO powers prevented the truth from being publicized
before or during the war. The reason is obvious.

U.S. manipulation of the Racak incident was an essential
step in initiating the war.

On Jan. 15, 1999, Serbian police--accompanied by observers
from the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission and an Associated
Press video team who were French citizens--had entered the
village of Racak, a stronghold of the so-called Kosovo
Liberation Army. A firefight ensued, in which the Serb
police bested their attackers.

The next day, KLA members led William Walker, the head of
the OSCE mission, and journalists of the international
media to a gully at the edge of the village. Walker was
also serving as U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia at the time,
and had a record of not exposing but covering up heinous
crimes earlier when he was U.S. ambassador to El Salvador
and Nicaragua.

The KLA took them to the bodies of some 20 people lying
there, and another 20 throughout the village.

Before the international media, Walker immediately accused
Serbian security forces of having committed a massacre of
ethnic Albanian "unarmed civilians." He declared, "I don't
hesitate to accuse the Yugoslav security forces of this

The story was spread worldwide. U.S. President Bill
Clinton condemned the "massacre" in the most absolute
terms. He spoke of "a deliberate and arbitrary act of

The German foreign ministry proclaimed, "Those responsible
have to know that the international community is not
prepared to accept the brutal persecution and murder of
civilians in Kosovo."

The Yugoslav government categorically denied the
allegations and called the incident a manipulation. It
accused the KLA of gathering the corpses of its fighters,
killed in the preceding day's battle, and arranging them so
as to resemble a mass execution of civilians.

The "Racak massacre" was without doubt the trigger event
that made NATO's war against Yugoslavia a certainty. The
Washington Post of April 18, 1999, described Racak as
having "transformed the West's Balkan policy as singular
events seldom do."

NATO immediately convoked an emergency meeting. On Jan.
19, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called for
bombing Yugoslavia as "punishment." The punishment was
delayed, however, as Washington went through the charade of
talks in Rambouillet, France--at which it imposed demands
that it knew the Yugoslav government could not accept.

In the meantime, teams of forensic experts arrived in
Racak from Belarus, from Yugoslavia and-sent by the United
Nations-from Finland.

In February 1999, the Belarus and Yugoslav experts both
said there had been no massacre. But the Finnish
spokesperson gave a vague report that allowed Walker's
unsupported charges to stand.

Now, after the most brutal war in Europe since World War
II, the same team of Finnish pathologists isn't sure there
was a massacre after all.

CBC Radio News learned and reported on May 22 that the
Finnish pathologists' autopsy report reveals no evidence
that the 40 bodies were intentionally mutilated. Only one
of them showed any sign of being killed at close range.

The doctor in charge of the autopsies is expected to
release a full report within a few weeks. But the most
reasonable conclusion is that there was a firefight, that
KLA fighters were killed, and that the United States and
NATO kept the report suppressed to help confuse public

There was no massacre--other than NATO's massacre of the
Yugoslav people.

                         - END -

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