Bombing TV Transmitters - The '90s Version of Book-Burning
Piercing WHICH Propagana Veil - USA or Yugoslavia?
By: Mary Mostert, Analyst, Original Sources April 23, 1999
"On the evening of May 10, 1933, some four and a half months after Hitler became Chancellor, there occurred in Berlin a scene which had not been witnessed in the Western world since the late Middle Ages," wrote William Shirer, in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - A History of Nazi Germany.
"At about midnight a torchlight parade of thousands of students ended at a square on Unter de3n Linden opposite the University of Berlin. Torches were put on a huge pile of books that had been gathered there, and as the flames enveloped them more books were thrown on the fire until some twenty thousand had been consumed. Similar scenes took place in several other cities. The book burning had begun."
Why were the books burned? Because, the books chosen to be burned did not reflect the Nazi view of "German thought." One of the books in that first bonfire was the writings of Hugo Preuss who had drafted the Weimar Constitution.
NATO air forces destroyed the building of Radio Television Serbia. Civilian casualties were confirmed. (A late e-mail from Truth in Media said: "Horrible scenes shown on Belgrade's Studio B (independent) TV station. Injured and dead people are being pulled out of the rubble (at Aberdareva Street). It is estimated that there were at least 70 people inside the Serb TV building when it was struck. This was meant to KILL PEOPLE, not just disable Serb TV. They could have destroyed the transmitters to disrupt, diminish and degrade. They chose to destroy and murder. One of the missiles apparently hit the entrance of the building." - Bob Djurdjevic)
On April 8th, on the Larry King live show, King asked Miodrag Ilic, a former news anchor for the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation and a former talk show host who has worked on and off of the Serb network for over 20 years:
"Mr. Ilic, can you tell us your reaction to the warning that we have learned tonight from NATO: that unless Serb television stations allow Western broadcast during two to three hour periods everyday, they would be bombed? NATO says Serb stations are used as propaganda. Your comments?"
MIODRAG ILIC, SERBIAN BROADCASTING CORP.: "What would you do, Larry, if you were me? We are professionals, and we perform our duty. You see this, moment, it is exactly 3:02 in the morning in Belgrade. And there are about between 800 and 900 people in this building. There are assistants, journalists, producers, members of the technical staff and so on. And we're performing our duty. We have no chance to do something else, you know?
"But if it happens, then it will be the deadly strike to the democracy, and I think it will be the beginning of the world slavery."
The number of civilian casualties at this point is unknown. They could be considerable, if the 800 to 900 people were in the building of Radio Television Serbia which was in the very center of Belgrade, surrounded by blocks of civilian residences and a high school. The building was burning and the whole downtown Belgrade is in heavy smoke. Two days ago NATO took out the 24-story Usce building which had Kosava radio and The Pink and BKTVs transmitters on the top. The Kosava radio and TV and the Pink and BK TVs provided the most popular entertainment programming, especially for young people, Brent Sadler of CNN said in a report from Belgrade. Usce building was hit by four missiles and was located near residential buildings and the Belgrade Museum of Modern Art.
The remaining Serb news link to the outside world is Serb Internet, which is now the prime source of news from Yugoslavia. Serbia-info (at http://www.serbia-info.com/) reported shortly after the bombing of Radio Television Serbia, "This is the second air strike on media houses in Belgrade during last two days. After the attempted murder of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic last night and the total destruction of the residential palace, NATO missiles destroyed a media house and attempted murder of freedom of speech." This refers to the bombing of Milosevic's house shortly after his meeting with Russian presidential envoy on Yugoslavia Viktor Chernomyrdin.
Yugoslav officials said three laser-guided bombs blasted Milosevic's bedroom, living room and dining room. "NATO committed a criminal act without precedence - an assassination attempt against the president of a sovereign state," said Goran Matic, a government minister. Kenneth Bacon, Pentagon spokesman, when asked if the bombing of Milosevic's home was an assassination attempt, said that assassination of foreign leaders was not "US policy."
Of course, the reporter didn't ask what US policy is. He asked if the purpose of bombing Milosevic's home was to kill him. Bacon didn't answer that question. However, it is doubtful that the decision was made to bomb Milosevic's bedroom and living room to improve his health.
As I have said before, I don't pretend to be a military strategist, but so far we are hearing a lot about bombed out TV transmitters, oil refineries, vacuum cleaner, chemical and auto manufacturing plants, refugee convoys of tractors and apartment buildings than we are about bombed military equipment. Why?
Because, apparently, during the first couple of weeks, when the weather was continuously overcast, the military hardware was hidden and dispersed and the bombers can't find it.
Yet, President Clinton told the Serb people that they were not the target. Milosevic is the target, Clinton says. However, we are told, dropping a bomb on the equivalent of the White House in Belgrade him is not an assassination attempt? If missiles started dropping on the White House, CNN headquarters in Atlanta, or on automobile manufacturing plants in Michigan or oil refineries in Texas would that convince Americans that whoever was doing the bombing really was merely attempting to "degrade" America's military? Somehow, I don't think so. I think most Americans would think that a bomb dropped on the White House not only would be an attempt to assassinate Bill Clinton, but would be an attack on all America and what it stands for.
While all that was happening, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was telling the House International Affairs Committee that the Clinton Administration is against the Congress passing a formal declaration of war, saying they don't view the U.S. as being "at war" with Yugoslavia.
We are dropping bombs on everything that moves in Yugoslavia, including their White House, and she doesn't consider that "war?" I think she's been around Bill Clinton too long.
She also said NATO intends to launch a concerted effort to "pierce the veil of propaganda with which Milosevic has tried to shroud the people of former Yugoslavia." That, apparently, was a veiled reference to bombing Yugoslavia's main TV transmitters.
It ought to be obvious to almost anyone who has been watching the events of the past few weeks that the target audience that prompted NATO's modern form of book-burning is not the Serbs but the Americans. By showing Serbian TV stories on US Television, Americans were able to determine for themselves that they were being lied to by the White House and the Pentagon. It was on Serb TV, not American TV, that Americans first saw proof of the capture of the three American soldiers, the downing of the F117 stealth bomber, the bombed refugee convoy, civilian apartment houses, schools, monasteries and the evacuation of mothers and babies from a hospital next door to a government building hit with missiles, NATO was clearly losing the propaganda war - not for the hearts of the Serbs but for the hearts of the AMERICANS. Americans were seeing Serb TV show pictures to prove their stories - usually after CNN and network news broadcasts had quoted US government sources calling them "false."
Of course, now CNN's Brent Sadler cannot show those troubling images to the American people. That leaves the Internet, which is still functioning, and there's a growing number of Serbs contacting Western journalists, like me, or instance, with poignant stories of the destruction of their nation. And, some of those e-mails include pictures.