Borba100 at Borba100 at
Fri Apr 27 03:09:28 MDT 2001

The URL for this article is  [Emperor's Clothes]


An Open Letter to Peter Phillips

Dear Peter, 

I am writing regarding your email note about the Media Conference this 
weekend sponsored by PROJECT CENSORED, which publicizes stories suppressed by 
the mass media. Like so many people, I feel your group has made a big 
contribution to exposing propaganda lies. I am writing because your latest 
email suggests a move in the opposite direction, particularly as regards that 
most strategic and treacherous issue: Yugoslavia. 

We at Emperor's Clothes were honored that PROJECT CENSORED awarded two of our 
writers a prize for the exposé "The International Monetary Fund And the 
Yugoslav Elections" ( ). We are 
honored that you mentioned us for first publishing in English Abe de Vries' 
exposé of the CNN/ARMY psy-ops connection.

Now, concerning your unfortunate email. 

It lists the panels offered at your Conference. One is called "War and Peace 
- What the News Media Don't Report" - an important subject. It seems this 
panel will be dominated by Justin Raimondo and Stephen Zunes, two writers who 
parrot the latest Washington/mainstream media line on Yugoslavia, albeit 
dressed up in the clothing of dissent. 

In your email you said Emperor's Clothes is "an important real news 
publication." Thank you, but while we do sometimes report the news, we mainly 
print analytical articles and critiques of media lies, especially concerning 
Yugoslavia. If we had been asked, we could have recommended people to speak 
on the "War and Peace" panel. But we were not asked. 

So what about Raimondo and Zunes? 

Stephen Zunes wrote: 

"While the U.S. government crows about the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic, it 
doesn't deserve much of the credit. As the new Yugoslav President Vojislav 
Kostunica put it, 'The Americans assisted Milosevic not only when they 
supported him, but also when they attacked him. In a way, Milosevic is an 
American creation.'" 

Note that Zunes strikes a dissenting pose, denying Washington 'credit.' 

Ahh, credit. 

Washington doesn't give a damn about credit. Washington only gives a damn 
about people accepting what Zunes is saying: that the Belgrade coup was a 
democratic rebellion, irrelevant of the fact that Washington deployed within 
Yugoslavia an apparatus relatively larger than the US Democratic and 
Republican parties put together, irrelevant of the money Washington pumped 
into the pockets of the "independent opposition" - relatively more money than 
was spent on all the US presidential elections since 1792, combined. 

Behind Zunes' dissenting pose lurks Washington's core message: Milosevic was 
a dictator overthrown by a spontaneous rebellion. 

Ignore the fact, which is thoroughly documented, that Washington organized 
and financed a network of a hundred "civil society" and "independent media" 
groups who were ordered to support each other and instructed in how to spread 
lies in order to demonize Milosevic's forces and destabilize Yugoslavia. 

Ignore the fact, which has been admitted in the 'NY Times' and 'Washington 
Post', that Washington shipped this independent opposition "suitcases full of 
cash" - isn't it amazing? You get "suitcases full of cash" from an enemy 
power but you're still independent! Sort of like a virgin whore.

Ignore the reality that before the Oct. 5th coup, most Yugoslav media was 
financed from Imperial forces abroad (mainly out of the USA) and that it was 

Ignoring all this, Zunes puts forth the very lies that you rewarded Emperor's 
Clothes for exposing. We have shown:

1) Milosevic's functioned through a parliamentary coalition - if anything, 
his government was too tolerant. His government could legitimately have 
jailed the Fifth Column opposition for accepting tens of millions of dollars 
in illegal, enemy money. (After all, their Washington paymasters did bomb 
Yugoslavia with radioactive weapons, didn't they? Taking Washington's money 
involved more than a simple bribe. It was treason.) 

2) The Oct. 5th coup was modeled after Mussolini's Fascist March on Rome 

3) The key force behind the coup was Wall Street 

4) The program of the coup's leaders, which program is now being implemented, 
was to impose draconian economic measures, including the destruction of farms 
and industry, sky high prices, an end to subsidies for 1,000,000 refugees, 
and the further breakup of Yugoslavia and its two remaining Republics into 
tiny protectorates, controlled by Washington, London and Berlin. All this is 
documented. (On the above four points, see FURTHER READING, at the end) 

Zunes is not only dishonest, he is unoriginal. His argument has been put 
forward by other writers at Z magazine, but Z is not the origin. Long before, 
this line was espoused by Srdja Trifkovic. Trivkovic was trained as a 
propaganda writer at Voice of America, the CIA-connected radio network. He is 
now an employee of the Rockford Institute, which has the dubious distinction 
of advocating the resurrection of the Southern Confederacy 

Isn't it striking that Zunes, associated with the Z-magazine Left, espouses 
the nonsensical arguments of Trifkovic, a figure on the sinister Right, 
namely that "the-U.S.-has-created-Milosevic-and-is-threatened-by- 
the-current-Belgrade-regime-because-it-represents-the-people" - ? 

Does jailing Milosevic and denying him medical treatment for a heart 
condition that appeared only after he was arrested - is this supposed to show 
that Milosevic is Washington's boy, as Zunes and Trifkovic suggest? Is the 
fact that the current Belgrade authorities had Milosevic arrested to meet a 
U.S. deadline another example of how the U.S. "fears" the 'independence' of 
the Belgrade authorities? (U.S. Balkans diplomat Richard Holbrooke wrote in 
the April 8th 'NY Times': "The arrest of Mr. Milosevic resulted from American 
pressure". ) 

Amazingly, the views of Trifkovic and Zunes are also put forth, though more 
shrilly, by Justin Raimondo, also on the panel. Raimondo is sort of a 
neo-conservative dressed up in anti-Interventionist clothing. 

In a recent post to the Antiwar Forum, Justin Raimondo wrote that former 
Yugoslav President Milosevic should be "executed for murder, treason, and 

In another forum post, Raimondo, who apparently developed his elegant style 
as a ghost writer for the Black-, Jew- and red-baiting politician, Pat 
Buchanan, answered the rhetorical question: "What should Kostunica do?" as 
follows: "1) Shoot Milosevic. 2) Forget about Kosovo. 3) Forget about the 
Republika Srpska [the Bosnian Serb Republic]. 4) Privatize everything, 
abolish regulations..." 

Raimondo shamelessly claims these positions represent support for Serbian 
sovereignty and opposition to NATO! The idea is: Give up everything, then 
you'll have a 'pure' Serbian state. Sure you will. Just like the pure Serbian 
state under the Ottoman Empire. Belgrade plus ten farms.

Raimondo ignores the immense suffering caused by the U.S.-installed regime. 
This includes: a 60% drop in the economy; confiscatory taxes within Serbia 
(not just in Kosovo! Raimondo who 'hates' taxes ignores the fact that his 
boys in Belgrade are taxing cell phones at a higher rate than Milosevic once 
taxed houses!); and the arrest of Milosevic and scores of Serbian 
politicians, soldiers and ordinary citizens whose 'crime' is resisting 

The U.S. Senate's Serb-basher-in-chief, Joseph Biden, argued that only by 
first jailing Milosevic could Washington hope to break Serbian resistance and 
consolidate control in the Balkans, e.g., in Kosovo and the Bosnian Serb 

Now that Milosevic is in jail, Raimondo says: "Kill him!" - and, Raimondo 
thoughtfully adds, the Serbs should give up Kosovo and the Bosnian Serb 

The day after the 'NY Times' told the world the lie that Milosevic is 
suicidal, Raimondo dutifully produced a column parroting this line, and 
worse. He wrote: "According to Steve Erlanger, writing in the Sunday New York 
Times, old Slobo was waving a gun around during the negotiations, threatening 
to kill himself. Too bad he didn't follow through." (For an expose on the 
suicide lie that Raimondo finds so appealing, see "The 'New York Times' 
Spreads a Deadly Lie" at ) 

Raimondo ridicules writers who continue to defend Serbia against the 
Washington-controlled Belgrade regime. Writers who refuse to spout the 
made-for-dissent varieties of Washington propaganda. 

For example, Raimondo has attacked the courageous writers, John Laughland and 
especially George Szamuely. These men apparently annoy Raimondo because their 
work gets into major newspapers. Raimondo calls Szamuely's dazzling writing 
"pro-communist drivel." 

Raimondo is employing an old McCarthyite dirty trick, often used by his hero, 
Pat Buchanan: smear your opponent as a commie, even if the description is 
ridiculous, as it happens to be with Szamuely and Laughland, both of whom are 
reformed cold warriors. 

Raimondo has nothing but praise for the obedient regime Washington has bought 
and paid for in Belgrade. He has endorsed the jailing of Milosevic, openly 
ordered by Washington and which involved unidentified thugs with women's 
stockings pulled over their faces who beat unarmed witnesses and fought the 
Yugoslav Army. These stocking-heads were heard speaking English. 

Raimondo is 1000% for Serbian sovereignty BUT wants Serbia chopped up, the 
elected head of state shot, and Serbian industry - built by the sweat of 
millions - turned over to leveraged buyout hustlers from the States. 

But the Serbs are notoriously hard to push around. Yugoslavs, including the 
huge Socialist Party, several large nationalist parties and millions of 
ordinary people, are resisting the Belgrade regime. The country is riddled 
with strikes. For instance, recently 6000 workers at the Zastave auto plant 
sat-in and took over the plant to resist Belgrade's efforts to close it and 
hand it over to the Western thieves, laying off the workers. 

This Saturday the Socialists have called their fourth weekly mass 
demonstration. This one will be near the Zastave auto plant. They are 
demanding Milosevic be freed and are urging workers to seize any factory that 
Belgrade tries to close, in order to prevent Belgrade from handing these 
factories over to foreign crooks. Hopefully, soon the socialists and various 
nationalist parties will organize joint actions. 

Why has the U.S. mass media gone to great lengths to demonize little Serbia 
and its leaders? 

Because Yugoslavia is strategic to U.S. Imperial expansion. Since the fall of 
the Soviet Union, the U.S. Establishment has gone into high gear. It is 
trying to reduce the former Soviet Union to a series of tiny, U.S.-controlled 

To make this possible, the U.S. wants to first turn the Balkans into another 
Afghanistan. That is why Washington continues to fund and deploy the 
fascist/terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army, presently employed in Macedonia and 
inner Serbia. The Serbs, fiercely resistant to foreign domination, must be 
broken as a political force. That is only possible if huge numbers of people 
are killed or jailed. The country must have a weak-and-Washington dominated 
government that lets Washington's secessionist killers from Kosovo and other 
parts of Yugoslavia terrorize the people. Then Yugoslavia would present no 
obstacle to Washington's plan to escalate "low intensity war" against the big 
prize: the former Soviet Union. 

As the late Sean Gervasi commented, the U.S. is attempting a 19th century 
colonial power grab in a 20th century world full of nuclear weapons. This 
U.S. war - for what has been happening in the Balkans is part of one 
continuous war - could easily evolve into nuclear war. 

How does a government sell the public such an insane policy? The public must 
be brainwashed with monster lies about "the ruthless dictator and murderer 
Milosevic" and "fascist Serbian war crimes" 

But lies can be exposed. That is the lesson the U.S. Establishment learned 
the hard way from the war in Vietnam. In the early 1960s, it appeared that 
the U.S. public was sold on anti-communism. And yet a critical-minded student 
movement developed, focused around the exposure of lies about Vietnam. The 
key strength of that movement was that it did not let itself be suckered into 
attacking the victim of Washington's aggression.

Though at first we in the student movement were isolated, even on campus, our 
influence grew. The news that Washington was lying spread. By the early 
1970s, the mighty U.S. Army was so 'infected' with antiwar ideas that 
soldiers rebelled against fighting the Vietnamese. (This is not hyperbole. I 
saw it happen.)

To prevent a repeat of this kind of disaster, the Empire needs the help of 
two-faced writers, on the Left and on the anti-interventionist Right. These 
people may criticize the Establishment over secondary matters in order to 
establish their credibility among those who are suspicious of Washington's 
intentions. That is precisely what Zunes and Raimondo do. Perhaps during the 
PROJECT CENSORED "War and Peace" panel, Zunes and Raimondo will entertain the 
audience with some credibility-enhancing diversion, a little spirited "Z-mag 
vs.-Buchanan fight", you know, like TV wrestling. This sort of thing makes it 
harder for people to notice that Z mag and Raimondo are fundamentally saying 
the same things about Yugoslavia. 

(Interestingly, both Raimondo and Z magazine enthusiastically supported the 
'Serbian student group,' Otpor - this despite widespread reports that Otpor 
was a classic CIA-type front. In the Spring, 2001 issue of 'News and 
Information', a publication of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an 
official U.S. agency set up by Congress in 1983 to take over certain 
functions of the CIA, it is admitted that the NED funded Otpor since August, 
1999. That is, as soon as the U.S. stopped bombing Yugoslavia, the Washington 
bureaucracy went into high gear setting up the Fifth Column infrastructure 
needed to pull off a coup. Emperor's Clothes will soon publish extensive 
excerpts from the NED's 'News and Information' bulletin. It is most 

Writers like Raimondo and Zunes perform a service that Washington's 
mainstream media simply cannot provide. They strike a dissenting pose on Left 
and Right and in doing so they set the apparent limits of possible debate. 
That is, they appear as the angry extremes and since these 'extremes', 
criticizing Washington from Left and Right, nevertheless agree with 
Washington that Milosevic is a criminal - how can anyone doubt it? (To 
further confuse people whose instinct is to doubt Washington's good 
intentions, both the Raimondo Right and the Z magazine Left criticize 
Washington for 'trying to take the credit' for overthrowing Slobo. This 
compounding of disinformation is enough to make your head spin.)

Who cares if these guys say "Clinton is a war criminal" as long as they also 
say "Milosevic is a war criminal" or at least "a criminal".

Washington does not worry about being criticized. Washington worries about 
being confronted with a non-sectarian movement, that is, one that is not hung 
up on proving it is Left or Right, that opposes Washington's strategically 
crucial (albeit insane!) plans for the Balkans, Yugoslavia in particular. 
Washington does not want 'critics' saying it is behind KLA attacks on 
Macedonia and Serbia; it does not want them saying it is using the Yugoslav 
government to destroy Serbian and Yugoslav sovereignty; it does not want them 
saying the attacks on Milosevic are lies aimed at justifying U.S. actions, 
past, present and future.

A movement that did say those things might influence millions of people. 
Washington needs to have potential dissenters inoculated against precisely 
such dangerous thoughts. A very common way to inoculate is to give the 
patient a mild case of the disease. If you want to keep people from thinking, 
"The U.S. is attacking Milosevic because he symbolizes resistance to Imperial 
control," the best way is to tell them "Wa

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