This is the News
By Leon Chame
The room is filled with the bodies of children
killed by Nato in Surdulica in Serbia. Several are recognisable only by their
sneakers. A dead infant is cradled in the arms of his father. These pictures and many
others have not been shown in Britain; it will be said they are too horrific. Eighteen
hospitals and clinics and at least 200 nurseries, schools, colleges and students'
dormitories have been destroyed or damaged, together with housing estates, hotels,
libraries, youth centres, theatres, museums, churches and 14th-century monasteries on the
World Heritage list. Farms have been bombed, their crops set on fire. As bombing of the
Kosovo town of Korisa shows, there is no discrimination between
Serbs and those being 'saved'. Every day, three times more
civilians are killed by Nato than the daily estimate of deaths of Kosovans in the months
prior to the bombing. But minimising the
culpability of the British state when it is engaged in criminal action is normal;
censorship is by omission and misuse of language. The media impression of a series of Nato
'blunders' is false. Anyone scrutinising the unpublished list of targets hit by Nato is
left in little doubt that a deliberate terror campaign was being waged against the
civilian population of Yugoslavia.
The British people are not being told about a policy
designed largely by their government to cause such criminal carnage.
The dissembling of politicians and the lies of 'spokesmen' set much of the news agenda. There is no sense of the revulsion felt throughout most of the
world for this wholly illegal action, for the punishment of Milosevic's crime with a much
greater crime and for the bellicose antics of Blair, Cook and Robertson, who have made
themselves into international caricatures.
A few days before the killing of make-up ladies and camera operators in
the Yugoslav television building, Jamie Shea, Nato's
man, wrote to the International Federation of Journalists: 'There is no policy to attack
television and radio transmitters.' Where were the cries of disgust from among the famous names at the BBC, John
Simpson apart? Who interrupted the mutual back-slapping at last week's Royal Television
Society awards? Silence.
Here is some of the news they leave out. The appendix pages of the Rambouillet
'accords', which have not been published in Britain, show
Nato's agenda was to occupy not just Kosovo, but all of Yugoslavia. This was rejected, not just by Milosevic, but by the elected
Yugoslav parliament, which proposed a UN force to monitor a peace settlement: a genuine
alternative to bombing. Clinton and Blair ignored it.
Britain is attacking simultaneously two countries which offer no threat. Every day Iraq
is bombed and almost none of it is news. Last week, 20 civilians were killed in Mosul, and
a shepherd and his family were bombed. The sheep were bombed. In the last 18 months, the
Blair government has dropped more bombs than the Tories dropped in 18 years.
Nato is suffering significant losses. Reliable alternative sources in Washington have counted up to 38 aircraft crashed
or shot down, and an undisclosed number of American and British special forces killed. This is suppressed, of course.
Anti-bombing protests reverberate around the world:
100,000 people in the streets of Rome (including 182 members of the Italian parliament),
thousands in Greece and Germany, protests taking place every night in colleges and town
halls across Britain. Almost
none of it is reported. Is it not extraordinary that no national opinion poll on the war
has been published since April 30?
This includes blanket bombing by B-52s. Blair and Clinton and the opaque-eyed General Clark, apologist for the My Lai
massacre in Vietnam, are killing and maiming hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent
people in the Balkans. No contortion of intellect and morality, nor silence, will diminish
the truth that these are acts of murder. And until there is a revolt by journalists and
broadcasters, they will continue to get away with it. This is the news!!!