Archive through November 5, 1999
>> Nalini, fine postings, but I am afraid you will not get your question answered. Quite a few people tried the same thing before, and found it fallen of deaf ears. I hope you have more luck! <<
Good example of a "Reflection Sign", otherwise known as "projecting" in psychology.
BTW - I'm still waiting for your answer to my question - who you write for and where it's published/printed. Shouldn't be difficult.
November 1, 1999
Back in 1996, when the number of Iraqi
off by sanc-tions stood at around half a
million, Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright made her infamous declaration
to Lesley Stahl on CBS that "we think
the price is worth it". Given such pride
in mass murder at the top, it comes as
little surprise to learn that the State
Department views the truth about the
vicious sanctions policy with the same
insouciance as their boss regards the
lives of Iraqi children, now dying at the
rate of four thousand a month.
"Saddam Hussein's Iraq", released by
the State Department on September 13,
is an effort to persuade an increasingly
disgusted world that any and all human
misery in Iraq is the sole fault and
responsibility of the Beast of Baghdad.
The brazen tone of this sorry piece of
propaganda can be assessed from the
opening summary: "The international
community, not the regime of Saddam
Hussein, is working to relieve the impact
of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis." An
examination of how the sanctions
system actually works tells a very
Key to US self-justification is the
so-called "oil for food" program under
which Iraq is allowed to sell oil. The
precise fashion in which the US
manipulates this program is never set
forth in its malign specifics.
CounterPunch readers should know the
Proceeds from such oil sales are banked
in New York (at the Banque National de
Paris). Thirty-four percent is skimmed
off for disbursement to outside parties
with claims on Iraq, such as the
Kuwaitis, as well as to meet the costs of
the UN effort in Iraq. A further thirteen
percent goes to meet the needs of the
Kurdish autonomous area in the north.
Iraqi government agencies, meanwhile,
under consultation with the UN mission
resident in Baghdad, draw up a list of
items they wish to buy. This list can
include food, medicine, medical
equipment, infrastructure equipment to
repair water and sanitation etc., as well
as equipment for Iraq's oil industry. UN
hq in New York reviews the list,
approving or disapproving specific
items. Then the Iraqis order the desired
goods from suppliers of their choice.
Now comes the most crucial step in the
process. Once the Iraqis have actually
placed an order, the contract goes for
review to the 661 Committee. This is
made up of representatives of the fifteen
members of the Security Council and is
named for Security Council Resolution
661, which originally mandated the
sanctions, on August 6 1990. The
Committee has the power to approve or
disapprove (although the preferred
euphemism is to put "on hold") any of
the contracts. Approved contracts are
then filled by the supplier and shipped to
Iraq, where they are inspected on arrival
by an agency called Cotecna. When this
agency certifies the goods have arrived,
the supplier is paid from the oil cash in
the bank in New York.
"Since the start of the oil-for-food
program", the State Department report
declares, "78.1 percent [of the contracts
submitted for review to the 661
Committee] have been approved". That
means that 21.9 percent of the contracts
are denied. It goes without saying that
the overwhelming majority of the vetoes
are imposed by the US and Britain.
"The 448 contracts on hold as of August
1999", the State Department report
explains, "include items that can be used
to make chemical, biological and nuclear
No one wants Saddam Hussein to make
chemical or nuclear weapons, but it has
been abundantly clear since the end of
the Gulf War that the US and its British
toadies regard the issue of Iraq's mass
destruction weapons principally as a
means of ensuring that sanctions remain
in place forever. For example, a friend
of CounterPunch fully conversant in an
official capacity with the International
Atomic Energy Agency's inspection
effort in Iraq-the nuclear equivalent of
UNSCOM-reports that the IAEA has
been prepared for at least two years to
declare the Iraqi nuclear program dead
but has been successfully pressured not
to do so by the US.
UN officials working in Baghdad agree
that the root cause of child mortality and
other health problems is no longer
simply lack of food and medicine but
the lack of clean water (freely available
in all parts of the country prior to the
Gulf War) and of electrical power,
which is now running at 30 percent of
the pre-bombing level, with
consequences for hospitals and
water-pumping systems that
Counter-Punch readers may all too
readily imagine. Of the 21.9 percent of
contracts vetoed by the 66l Committee,
a high proportion are integral to the
efforts to repair the water and sewage
systems. The Iraqis have submitted
contracts worth $236 million in this
area, of which $54 millions
worth-roughly one quarter of the total
value-have been disapproved.
"Basically, anything with chemicals or
even pumps is liable to get thrown out",
one UN official tells CounterPunch. The
same trend is apparent in the power
supply sector, where around 25 percent
of the contracts are on hold-$138
million worth out of $589 million
The proportions of
approved/disapproved contracts do not
tell the full story. UN officials refer to
the "complementarity issue", meaning
that items approved for purchase may
be useless without other items that have
been disapproved. For example, the
Iraqi Ministry of Health has ordered $25
millions worth of dentist chairs, said
order being approved by the 66l
Committee-except for the compressors,
without which the chairs are useless and
consequently gathering dust in a
Albright's minions make great hay out of
the vast quantities of medical supplies
(including the dentist chairs) sitting in
Baghdad warehouses, implying that
Sad-dam is so cruelly indifferent to the
suffering of his subjects that he prefers
to let them die while stockpiled medicine
goes undistributed. "They don't have
forklifts," counters one U.N. official
involved with the program. "They don't
have trucks, they don't have the
computers for inventory control, they
don't have communications. Medicines
and other supplies are not efficiently
ordered or distributed. They have
dragged their feet on ordering nutritional
supplements for mothers and infants,
but it's not willful. There is bureaucratic
inefficiency, but you have to remember
that this is a country where the best and
the brightest have been leaving for the
past nine years. The civil servants that
remain are earning between $2.50 and
$10 a month."
The breakdown of the Iraqi
communications system-it can take two
days to get a phone call through to
Basra from Baghdad-is obviously a
fundamental impediment to the health
system. The Iraqis have ordered just
under $90 million worth of
telecommunications equipment, all of
which is "on hold"-i.e., vetoed. The
excuse of course is that Saddam could
use the system to order troops about,
notwithstanding the fact that the Iraqi
security services have the use of their
own cell-phone system, smuggled in last
year from China.
In further efforts to lay all responsibility
for the misery of ordinary Iraqis at the
feet of Saddam alone, the State
Department report alleges that "Iraq is
actually exporting food, even though it
says its people are malnourished".
Leaving aside the copiously documented
fact that the people of Iraq ARE
malnourished, UN officials hotly dispute
the notion that food delivered under the
oil-for-food program has been diverted
to overseas markets. "There is
absolutely no evidence for that", says
one. "On the other hand, the Iraqis are
very rigorous in rejecting sub-standard
shipments. You find a lot of stuff such
as baby milk, sent from neighboring
Arab countries as aid, that in some cases
has passed its expiration date when it
arrives so they ship it out again."
The Iraqis do not have this recourse for
goods shipped under the UN program.
Once Cotecna certifies the goods have
arrived, whatever their condition, the
suppliers get paid. The UN office in
Baghdad supported a reasonable
proposal to the Security Council that the
Iraqis be allowed to withold ten percent
of the payment until they have had a
chance to inspect the goods. The
proposal drew a 661 Committee veto,
though not, for once, from the
Anglo-Americans but from the French
and the Russians, who are both
currently doing well out of the Iraq
Seeking out evidence of Saddam's
depredations against his own people
should be an easy task, but the State
Department report opts for fiction over
fact when possible. The report featured
an aerial reconnaissance picture of
"destruction by Iraqi forces of civilian
homes in the citadel in Kirkuk".
According to Mouayad Saeed
al-Damerji, an internationally respected
Iraqi archeologist, the picture shows
what is in fact an archeological dig at the
4,600-year old citadel, in progress since
There appears little prospect of change
in this miserable situation. Last year,
Denis Halliday, the UN coordinator for
humanitarian relief in Iraq, quit in
protest over a policy that causes "four to
five thousand children to die
unnecessarily every month due to the
impact of sanctions". White House
officials expressed their delight that this
irksome voice of moral outrage had
been removed from the scene, but Hans
von Sponek, Halliday's successor, is
showing signs of treading the same path,
publicly appealing for the end of
Friends say he is on the verge of
quitting. For Albright that will be no less
acceptable a price than the thousands of
little coffins that will serve as her
I have no time to go through the same useless stories over and over again. No offence, please.
No Genocide in Kosovo Clinton's Media Defenders Now Admit
"Facts are Stubborn Things" and Clinton's Lies About Kosovo Will Become an Election Issue
By: Mary Mostert, Analyst, Original Sources (www.originalsources.com)
November 4, 1999
After months of trying to pretend the "story" was over in Kosovo, one by one, it seems, major news sources are beginning to reluctantly admit that
they published lies trying to justify Clinton's use of the U.S. Airforce to destroy Yugoslavia. I received reports yesterday about three different news
sources finally publishing articles about issues some of us have talked about for months. Radio Talk Show Hose Chuck Baldwin, of Florida, who
had said during the bombing that it was "highly unlikely that genocide was taking place and that Bill Clinton was lying through his teeth pointed out
yesterday in a column entitled "What Genocide?":
"President Clinton assured the American people that as many as 100,000 people had been slaughtered. Later the figure was reduced to 10,000. We
were told that mass graves could be seen from our hi-tech satellites. (These were the same satellites that didn't know it was the Chinese Embassy
that we were bombing.)"
Baldwin cites the Sunday Times of London, October 31 edition, which quoted a pathologist who led the Spanish team looking for bodies in the
aftermath of the fighting as saying: "I calculate that the final figure of dead in Kosovo will be 2,500 at the most. This includes lots of strange deaths
that can't be blamed on anyone in particular."
Baldwin, who is a mild-mannered minister, charged,
"In fact, Clinton and his bloodthirsty comrades killed more people during that illegal war than the Serbs had killed during the preceding
decade! When will the American people wake up the fact that one cannot trust the word of a pathological liar? And those who have
sold their souls to defend and protect a pathological liar cannot be trusted, either. That the congress and people of this country grant to
Bill Clinton any degree of credibility or trust demonstrates their own stupidity!
"For the sake of opinion polls and media intimidation, the US Senate must now face eternity with the blood of thousands of innocent
people on their hands!"
On October 27th, the Los Angeles Times reported from Pristina that the environmental disaster the Serbs have been talking about for five months
and which was summarily dismissed by the Clinton spinmasters, is real. In an article entitled "U.N. Urges Cleanup of 'Hot Spots' Left by Kosovo
War" the LA Times reported: "Urgent steps are needed to clean up "hot spots" of pollution created by NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the
The United Nations Balkans Task Force identified four pollution sites where it urged "immediate action from a humanitarian point of view." So far,
Clinton has blocked all efforts to repair civilian water, electrical and heating plants targeted during the 79 days of bombing. In fact, he is using the
threat of winter and the impending deaths of elderly, ill and children this winter from Yugoslavia's bitter winters as a weapon to force the Yugoslavs
to surrender their elected leader, Slobadan Milosevic, who was indicted by the NATO financed Yugoslav Tribunal for a genocide that never took
And, while it still downplays the possibility that the bombing of chemical plants and oil refineries resulted in pollution severe enough to cause birth
defects in infants, it did announce that the Danube River is MORE polluted than first believed. Furthermore, the pollution is not coming from the
Serbs, but upstream from other nations, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.
The report stressed that the hot spots identified in the study "should be handled as places where humanitarian assistance is needed," despite
international economic sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia. The sites of "urgent concern" identified in the 104-page study are in four cities:
* Pancevo. NATO bombed a major industrial complex that included a petrochemical plant, a fertilizer plant and an oil refinery. This
caused "serious leakages of 1,2-dichloroethane (EDC) and mercury; burning of vinyl chloride monomer to form dioxins; burning of
80,000 tons of oil and oil products releasing sulfur dioxide and other noxious gases; high concentrations of EDC found in water of [a]
canal running into the Danube; high concentrations of mercury and petroleum products in the canal sediments."
* Kragujevac. Heavy damage was inflicted on the Zastava car factory complex, including a power station, assembly line, paint shop,
computer center and truck plant, releasing high levels of potentially harmful dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.
* Novi Sad. This city's oil refinery was a principal target of NATO bombing. Concerns now center on "the risk that ground water
polluted with petrochemicals from oil refinery could enter drinking water wells."
* Bor. Airstrikes targeted a copper mine and smelting plant and a nearby oil depot. Disruption of the copper mine operations has led
to the chronic release of large quantities of sulfur dioxide gas. Damage to electric facilities caused localized PCB contamination.
"It is important to ensure the safety of the environment and the cleanup of these areas immediately, in order to avoid risks to human
health and long-term ecological damage," the report says.
The third media report sent to me by readers was a column by Richard Gwyn from the Toronto Star in Canada which was entitled: "No genocide,
no justification for war on Kosovo."
IN THE GENOCIDE of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by the forces of Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic, the worst incident occurred at
the Trepca mine.
As reported by American and NATO officials, large numbers of bodies were brought in by trucks under the cover of darkness. The
bodies were then thrown down the shafts, or were disposed of entirely in the mine's vats of hydrochloric acid. Estimates of the number
of dead began at 1,000.
That was six months ago, in the middle of the war undertaken to halt what both U.S. President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair called ``a human catastrophe.'' Estimates of the number of ethnic Albanians slaughtered went upward from 10,000. U.S.
Defence Secretary William Cohen put the count at 100,000.
Three weeks ago, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia released the findings of Western forensic teams
investigating the horror at Trepca. There were not 1,000 bodies down the mine shafts at Trepca, reported the tribunal. There were not
100 bodies there. There was not one body there, nor was there any evidence the vats had ever been used to dispose of human
Shortly afterward, the tribunal reported on its work at the most infamous of all the mass graves of ethnic Albanians, at Ljubenic near
the town of Pec. Earlier, NATO officials had said 350 victims had been hastily buried there by the retreating Serb forces. There were
not 350 bodies at Ljubenic, though. There were five.
So far, not one mass grave has been found in Kosovo, despite four months' work by forensic teams, including experts from the FBI
and the RCMP.
This discovery - more accurately, this non-discovery - first was made public three weeks ago by the Texas-based intelligence think
tank, Stratfor. Stratfor estimated the number of ethnic Albanian dead in Kosovo at 500.
Last weekend, the story was broadcast for the first time by the TV Ontario program Diplomatic Immunity. (Last Sunday's New York
Times was still using the ``10,000 deaths'' figure.)
The story has begun to appear in European newspapers. Spain's El Pais has quoted the head of the Spanish forensic team, Emilo
Pujol, as saying he had resigned because, after being told to expect to have to carry out 2,000 autopsies, he'd only had 97 bodies to
examine - none of which ``showed any signs of mutilation or torture.''
Because 250 of 400 suspected mass graves in Kosovo remain to be examined, it's possible that evidence of mass killings will yet be
found. This is highly unlikely though, because the worst sites were dug up first.
No genocide of ethnic Albanians by Serbs, therefore. No ``human catastrophe.'' No ``modern-day Holocaust.''
All of those claims may have been an honest mistake. Equally, they may have been a grotesque lie concocted to justify a war that
NATO originally assumed would be over in a day or two, with Milosevic using the excuse of some minimal damage as a cover for a
surrender, but then had to fight (at great expense) for months.
There's no question that atrocities were committed in Kosovo, overwhelmingly by the Serb forces, although the ethnic Albanian
guerrillas were not innocent. Quite obviously, these forces, acting on Milosevic's explicit orders, carried out mass expulsions of people,
terrorizing them and destroying their homes and property.
Acts like these are inexcusable. That they occur often in civil wars (far worse are being committed by the Russians in Chechnya), is
irrelevant to their horror. But they have nothing to do with genocide.
No genocide means no justification for a war inflicted by NATO on a sovereign nation. Only a certainty of imminent genocide could
have legally justified a war that was not even discussed by the U.N. Security Council.
No genocide means that the tribunal's indictment of Milosevic becomes highly questionable. Even more questionable is the West's
continued punishment of the Serbs - the Danube bridges and the power stations remain in ruins - when their offence may well have
been stupidity rather than criminality.
The absence of genocide may mean something else, something deeply shaming. To halt the supposed genocide, NATO bombed
targets in Serbia proper. Because of ``collateral'' or accidental damage, such as the bombing of a train, some 500 civilians were killed
(Belgrade claims almost 1,000 deaths). NATO very likely killed as many people as were killed in Kosovo.
The number of these dead isn't large enough to justify NATO's actions being called a ``human catastrophe.'' But, unless proof of
genocide can be produced, NATO's actions were clearly a moral catastrophe.
These three media reports e-mailed to me by readers was illustrated, strangely, by a fourth e-mail written by an American ex-patriate I will identify
only as Henry who wrote:
I always read your comments with great respect and appreciation. I just finished reading your October 13th column under the subject
of "US Moral Leadership Slipping Away."
It's sad to watch the moral leadership slipping away from America which has chosen a leader no one can respect or desire to follow.
I firmly believe the US has absolutely no mandate to "lead" a cockroach much less the world. The anti-Christian U.S. with the
anti-Christ incarnate in the White House is the world's most cunning, terrorist entity on this planet. The U.S. promotes and exports
I firmly hope that America gets it's due for committing international Crimes with impunity. I am disgusted and ashamed to even hold an
American passport. The day I became a naturalized citizen is the blackest day of my life. The fact that I participated in the Korean War
under the American and UN flags is the darkest period of my life. If 20 years younger I'd be most pleased to stand in front of the local
Consulate's building and burn that damn little blue book.
I will, however, always appreciate your writings since you have decency and morality, even if your voice is hardly heard and can hardly
change the minds of the unwashed illiterate masses over there.
The American masses are certainly uninformed and mis-informed. They are not, however, illiterate. And, as Rep. Henry Hyde and other House
Managers of the Impeachment of Bill Clinton often said, when being condemned in the media, "Facts are stubborn things." With the internet and a
growing readership of people who tell their friends and neighbors about my daily sorting through facts, and the efforts of a talk show host here and
an editorial writer there and a netropolitan news reporter somewhere else, the "hardly heard voices" like mine are becoming louder and more
insistent. The questions now beginning to be asked about those "genocide" stories cannot be stifled.
I predict by the Presidential elections a year from now the lies told and the Social Security money spent to destroy Yugoslavia will be a major
American campaign issue
To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org
U.N. investigator says Kosovo Serbs now targeted
By Anthony Goodman
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo last
spring has been replaced by the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in the fall, but
now in the presence of the United Nations and NATO, a U.N. human rights
investigator said Thursday.
In a report on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia, Jiri Dienstbier
leveled criticism at various aspects of the human rights situation in all
three countries. But he was particularly scathing about Yugoslavia's mainly
ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo, now under U.N. administration.
``The situation in Kosovo can be summarized as follow: the spring ethnic
cleansing of Albanians accompanied by murders, torture, looting and burning
of houses has been replaced by the fall ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Romas,
Bosniaks and other non-Albanians accompanied by the same atrocities,'' he
Dienstbier, a Czech, continued: ``'Death to Serbs!' is the most common wall
inscription now. Our problem is that this is now happening in the presence of
UNMIK, KFOR and OSCE,'' he said.
He was referring to the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, the
NATO-led international force in Kosovo, and representatives of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
They were dispatched to Kosovo in June after the Yugoslav army withdrew from
the Serb province following an 11-week NATO air campaign aimed at halting the
repression of its mainly ethnic Albanian population.
Dienstbier said the leadership of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which
battled for independence from Yugoslavia, was creating ``accomplished facts
without regard to UNMIK's legal authority and the values which were the
proclaimed basis of both NATO operation and the U.N. mission.''
DE FACTO GOVERNMENT IN KOSOVO
The KLA created a de facto government, appointed mayors, directors of
enterprises and other officials, pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing in
jobs, and supported the confiscation of property of non-Albanians and even
some Albanians, he said.
He called for the postponement of elections for all levels of administration
``until stability has been achieved, people have returned home to live next
to one another without fear, and a pluralistic multiethnic political
structure has been developed.''
Regarding the rest of Yugoslavia, he said that, ``to prevent a humanitarian
catastrophe in the coming winter and to support the democratic forces, ``all
sanctions and embargoes (except for the arms embargo) should be terminated
and humanitarian aid should be promptly delivered, especially heating oil and
Concerning Bosnia, Dienstbier said there was ``a near-total absence of rule
of law in the area of property rights,'' leading to the return of very few
refugees from the 1992-1995 conflict that ended with the U.S.-negotiated
``There is, furthermore, insufficient progress on eliminating discriminatory
practices in relation to social and economic rights,'' he added.
DAYTON MUST BE IMPLEMENTED
``We can limit ourselves to the statement that the Dayton Agreement and
individual decisions affecting property must be fully implemented if basic
human rights are to be respected.
``It is alarming that four years after Dayton its mandate has still not been
effectively utilized,'' Dienstbier said.
On Croatia, he expressed concern that President Franjo Tudjman recently said
that ``Bosnia and Herzegovina should be split into three separate entities.''
This was a reference to a statement by the president last month that
Bosnia-Herzegovina, now comprising a Serb republic and a Moslem-Croat
federation, should have a separate Bosnian Croat entity.
Dienstbier said the president was one of the signatories of the Dayton
accord, adding that ``any attempt at undermining the agreement can only
worsen ethnic tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and may result in further
violations of human rights and possible humanitarian catastrophes.''
Regarding parliamentary elections in Croatia next month, he said the fairness
of the results ``will be evaluated, among other factors, by the equality of
access of all competing parties to the media, in particular television.''
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