Borba100 at Borba100 at
Mon Apr 2 01:36:02 MDT 2001

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[Emperor's Clothes]

by Jared Israel [2 April 2001]

Since Slobodan Miloshevich decided to voluntarily submit to what was, in his
and many other people's opinion, a U.S.-ordered arrest, a new theme has
emerged in the Establishment press. Put simply: "Mr. Miloshevich is
suicidal." This is rather ominous. Mr. Miloshevich represents those forces in
Serbia who wish to resist the U.S. This is a plain fact, irrelevant of
whether one "likes" Mr. Miloshevich or "dislikes" him. That is why Senator
Joseph Biden said, in Senate testimony a year and a half ago:

"The most likely thing to do is nail the son of a gun [Miloshevich] by
literally going in and getting him and dragging him to The Hague. If we had a
brain in our collective heads, that's what we would do; literally, not

"It's amazing what a salutary impact that has upon extremes in countries....

"And that's why the single best thing we -- my dream is to visit Milosevic in
prison. [Laughter.] I mean that sincerely. I'm not being facetious. Because
you put Milosevic in prison, and things in the region will change

"If you said to me, 'You can leave him where he is or give him a plane ticket
to take off to some -- like the former leader of Uganda, well, you know, we
gave him -- what was his name? -- Idi Amin -- we can give him an "Idi Amin
passport' and he would leave; I'd say no, leave him there, leave him there
till we get him. Put him in jail…." (Senate Hearings on "Bringing" Democracy
to Serbia, 29 July 1999,

The ideal scenario for the U.S. government would be to stage a show trial in
which Mr. Miloshevich confessed that he was guilty of NATO's crimes.

The problem for the U.S. government is Mr. Miloshevich is a hard man to break.

I was part of a group of three people who spent two and half hours talking to
President Miloshevich after we attended a conference in Serbia last week. He
is tough-minded; he is "cynical" about U.S. Establishment intentions. (I put
cynical in quotes because I think his assessment is accurate.) He is very
calm. Most important, he is certain that the tide in Serbia is turning in
favor of the Socialists and their nationalist allies. Frankly, in my
conversations with ordinary people there, I had the same impression. But
whether heis right or wrong, the point is - he is optimistic. Hopeful.
Stimulated by discussion. Anxious to lead. Excited about the future. Not

He is also very stubborn. That is a famous Serbian trait. The more you order
a Serb to do something, the harder he or she resists. That's one of the
reasons they drove the German Nazis crazy.

Precisely because the Socialist Party (SPS) is getting stronger and because
within the SPS Mr. Miloshevich represents the anti-U.S.-Establishment line,
the U.S. government, which is plainly calling the shots in the current
Yugoslav regime, may find it unfeasible to stage a Miloshevich show trial at
the Hague.

Instead, they may choose to assassinate him.

Before you dismiss this thought out of hand, please recall whom we are
talking about. The U.S. Establishment has continued to finance and train KLA
terrorists while they committed the vilest crimes in Kosovo, southern Serbia
and Macedonia. The U.S. supported the KLA while it drove 90% of non-Albanians
from Kosovo. The U.S. Establishment intentionally bombed civilian trains,
homes, Serbian Television, during the 1999 aggression against Yugoslavia.

For such people, morality is not an issue. Murder is a practical affair: will
it help us or hurt us? That is the question.

And that is the problem with killing Miloshevich. They don't want to make him
a martyr. Hence a cover story has been worked out and is being spread in the
media. This cover story portrays Miloshevich as a nutty character prone to

This line appeared in today's 'New York Times'. Keep in mind that the 'Times'
is not some ordinary newspaper. It is the closest thing to the official voice
of the American Establishment. Hence today's article, which suggests that Mr.
Miloshevich is suicidal, should be taken seriously.

The suicide argument is slipped into a piece about Miloshevich's arrest. From
the start, the article is misleading. Consider the headline:

"Serb Authorities Arrest Milosevic to End Standoff"

With any given story, most people read only the headline. This headline
clearly suggests that through the initiative of the DOS regime, a dangerous
situation was peacefully resolved - "to end the standoff". That is, DOS was
trying to avoid trouble whereas, by implication, Mr. Miloshevich was causing

What are the facts? It was the DOS authorities who sent jeeps with darkened
windows, filled with armed men in black uniforms, to Mr. Miloshevich's house
last week. It was they who refused to comment, saying they couldn't be
bothered worrying about a few jeeps. Under those circumstances, wasn't it
reasonable for Mr. Miloshevich and his supporters to believe he was about to
be murdered? Then DOS mobilized hundreds, and then literally thousands of
"special police" wearing ski masks and women's stockings over their heads.
Eyewitnesses told this reporter that some of the "special police'' spoke a
non-Serbo-Croatian language. These men were stationed all around Mr.
Miloshevich's house and all over Belgrade. Wasn't this an extreme
provocation? Why did the DOS regime do these things?

Was it because they had discovered Mr. Milshevich had committed some
monstrous crime and so they just had to arrest him immediately?

First of all, that wouldn't explain the anonymous jeeps, would it? And second
of all, during the stand-off, the news reports concerning the so-called
charges against Mr. Miloshevich varied according to which spokesman for DOS
was speaking to which Western news agency at what time. One police official

"Miodrag Vukovic said the original charges were abuse of power and corruption
that cost the state close to $100 million, and that Milosevic would face a
maximum five-year prison term if convicted." (My emphasis.)

Other DOS people said the alleged charges were far more serious.

The point is, given the inability of the DOS leaders even to agree on a
specific charge or charges, why was it suddenly such an emergency to arrest
Mr. Miloshevich? Doesn't it make sense that the urgency was not based on a
need to achieve justice, but rather on a need to get Miloshevich behind bars
or dead quickly, to meet a March 31st deadline set by the U.S. government?

That the U.S. government's preferred solution to the Miloshevich 'emergency'
was to kill him and his staunchest supporters is suggested by the slew of
articles that suddenly appeared with title's like "Miloshevich: the Endgame"
and "Slobo: the Final Act" and "Milosevic's Last Stand," and so on. Having
vilified the Serbian people for so long, some folks could not avoid a certain
enthusiasm over the prospect of the destruction of this stubborn symbol of
Serbian resistance to American hegemony.

This DOS-created 'emergency' was in fact defused by Miloshevich. Even while
Miloshevich was negotiating with DOS, DOS was, according to news reports,
preparing to attack the compound and telling the press he would never
surrender. But he did surrender, and voluntarily, "to end the standoff." It
was they who tried to provoke civil war, and he who avoided it.

To be accurate, the 'Times' story should have had a headline that stated
these facts, something like:

"Miloshevich voluntarily surrenders to DOS authorities to end standoff."

That has quite a different political impact, does it not?

Further down, the article gets to the point, which is suicide:

"Zarko Korac, a Serbian deputy prime minister, said this morning that Mr.
Milosevic had waved his own gun during the discussion and had threatened to
kill himself and his wife, Mirjana Markovic, and his daughter, Marija. Mr.
Korac said Mr. Milosevic "was in bad shape" but had finally agreed to
surrender to save lives.

"A senior Serbian government official said that Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian
prime minister, had sent an emissary, Cedomir Jovanovic, who spent more than
a day negotiating with Mr. Milosevic and his family. The official confirmed
Mr. Korac's account, saying Mr. Milosevic's mood "swung wildly, and he talked
about killing himself and his family."

Two things about these two paragraphs.

First, note that Zarko Korac is quoted, but we aren't told anything about him
other than his current position in the DOS government. Since he is being
cited as a source concerning Mr. Miloshevich's behavior, isn't it important
for us to know a bit about him? Is he a neutral witness? Is he an enemy of

Second, the 'Times' implies that Korac directly observed Miloshevich's
allegedly wild behavior. This impression is strengthened in the second
paragraph, which gives the impression that Mr. Korac's account was confirmed
by Cedomir Jovanovic, who, the 'Times' tells us, attended the negotiations.
But if you read the second paragraph carefully, you will see that the 'Times'
never quotes Mr. Jovanovic. Indeed, the mention of Jovanovic's presence at
the negotiations is irrelevant to the article - except insofar as it enhances
the credibility of a certain (unnamed) "senior Serbian official" who, we are
told, has "confirmed Mr. Korac's account, saying Mr. Milosevic's mood 'swung
wildly and he talked about killing himself and his family.'"

Zarko Korac is no ordinary politician. He is quite notorious in Serbia. For a
decade he's been appearing regularly on Western TV as an expert Yugoslav
psychologist. Using those credentials, he repeats ad nauseum the charge that
Serbs suffer from collective paranoia. They just THINK the U.S. and Germany
have been financing terrorists in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. They just
IMAGINE that NATO has targeted the Serbian people in its ongoing effort to
destroy multiethnic Yugoslavia. They are under the ILLUSION that they've all
been driven out of Kosovo, that they've been bombed with depleted uranium,
that the Hague Tribunal was set up to destroy their leaders. So much
paranoia; so little time.

This morning I spoke to a Socialist Party (SPS) spokesman, Vladamir
Kershylanin. He checked with SPS leader Banislav Ivkovic, who was present
throughout the negotiations.

Ivkovic says Zarko Korac did not take part. Not for a minute.

Thus the 'Times' is presenting a most damaging picture of Miloshevich's
mental condition based on the testimony of a Miloshevich-hater who has made a
living slandering Serbian culture, and who in any event did not observe Mr.
Miloshevich during the negotiations. And then the 'Times' 'confirms' Korac's
misleading statements by quoting an unnamed official who apparently also did
not attend the negotiations. To top it off, the 'Times' 'quotes' this real or
imaginary official in a sentence structured so as to mention the misleading
fact that Cedomir Jovanovic was present at the negotiations, thus giving the
hasty reader a false impression that he has been given an eye-wsitness

That's a lot of misinformation to squeeze into two little paragraphs, is it

If the 'Times' were trying to practice unbiased journalism, what might it
have done different?

To start with, it should have told us something like this:

"Zarko Korac, a psychologist whose accusations about the paranoia of Serbian
culture have made him a highly controversial figure in Yugoslavia, and who
was not present, reported that Mr. Miloshevich acted unstable at the

Then the 'Times' should have asked someone from Mr. Miloshevich's team to
answer Korac's accusation. Wouldn't that be fair? You know, like, present
both sides? Isn't that what NEWSpapers are supposed to do? Or am I being
absurdly old-fashioned?

If the 'Times' had bothered to check with the SPS, they would have told the
'Times' what they told me this morning:

"In fact, Mr. Miloshevich was quite calm which is amazing given the threat to
himself, his family and his supporters. Why is Mr. Korac, who was not
present, telling these lies about Mr. Miloshevich's actions and mood? We fear
this is an effort to create public opinion which views Mr. Miloshevich as
suicidal. Then, in the likely eventuality that the DOS-controlled, or should
we say the U.S.-controlled Serbian judiciary cannot break Mr. Miloshevich,
thus making it impossible to stage a proper show trial, the regime will
assassinate him in jail and say he committed suicide."

As is well argued elsewhere (see Diana Johnstone (1) Sven Olafsson (2) and
T.V. & Alida Weber (3)) the attack on Miloshevich is an attack on the Serbian
people. The best way to prevent the U.S. government from having him killed is
to expose their media campaign to label him suicidal. Let us do whatever is
possible to make the public aware that this is a cover story to allow
assassination. And demand his release. His crime is resistance to aggression.
Let us jail the real war criminals: Clinton, Blair, Albright, Fischer, Solana
and Schroeder.

Further reading:

For ten years, the Western media has been telling us that Slobodan
Miloshevich is a monster who makes Hitler-like speeches to whip Serbs into a
frenzy of racism. If you would like to subject that accusation to a reality
check, you may read his most talked-about (though never accurately) 'Speech
at Kosovo Field' at

1) 'The Price of Truth,' by Diana Johnstone at

2) ;Slobodan Miloshevich: Key Symbol in a Great Power Game,' by Sven Olafsson

3) 'Reject Blackmail & Vilification,' by T.V. & Alida Weber at

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