The headline in the London Guardian [18 Aug. 2000] was really a bit of an
understatement: "Serb killings 'exaggerated' by West." The subhead,
however, underscored the enormity of the lie: "Claims of up to 100,000
ethnic Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as
exhumations near end." Think of what this has to mean: Madeleine
Albright, James Rubin, and Jamie Shea didn't pull this off
single-handedly. Not only the US government, but the worldwide media
fabricated a "genocide" and, on that basis, launched a savage war against
a sovereign nation that had never attacked us, in the name of
"humanitarianism – a war, I might add, that was stopped but has not
THE CASE OF THE MISSING CORPUS DELICTI. In a sense, the
NATO-crats have been tripped up by their own web of propaganda: in
their eagerness tocharge Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic with
"war crimes," and indict him before their self-appointed "War Crimes
Tribunal," Western governments have had to follow at least the forms of
legality: due process, the rules of evidence – and, in the case of murder, not to
mention "genocide," the necessity of producing the corpus delicti. Where
are the bodies, all 100,000 of them? This became the task of the "war
crimes experts," as the Guardian describes them: to produce what never
existed in the first place – a task that naturally had to end in failure.
The Guardian reports:
"As war crimes experts from Britain and other countries prepare to wind
down the exhumation of hundreds of graves in Kosovo on behalf of the UN's
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague,
officials concede they have not borne out the worst wartime reports.
These were given by refugees and repeated by western government spokesmen
during the campaign. They talked of indiscriminate killings and as many
as 100,000 civilians missing or taken out of refugee columns by the
MADELEINE'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS. It was lies, all lies, from beginning
to end. They may have originated from government sources, in most cases,
but in spreading these lies far and wide the Western media were more than
willing accomplices. Keeping in mind that over 5,000 civilians were
slaughtered in the NATO air strikes, the ladies and gentlemen of the
Fourth Estate might fairly be characterized as Madeleine's willing
executioners. This is a takeoff, of course, on the favored phrase of the
New Republic wing of the War Party, which condemns the entire Serb nation
as "Milosevic's willing executioners." Based on the myth of an Albanian
Kosovar "holocaust" perpetrated by the Serbs, not only Milosevic and his
regime but the entire Serbian people are condemned as being no better
than the "good Germans" who voted Hitler into power and tacitly supported
the Holocaust. Here was classic war propaganda, on a par with stories of
Belgian babies impaled on German bayonets during World War I and tall
tales told during the Gulf war of babies dumped out of incubators and
gasping for breath on the floor of a Kuwaiti hospital. The idea is to get
public opinion behind the complete subjugation and "reeducation" of the
Serbian people, utilizing the postwar German model.
HEROES TO SHILLS. In a 1999 speech to the Freedom Forum that bears
rereading, Phillip Knightley predicted this turn of events, and his
prescience is stunning. Speaking of how he came to write The First
Casualty, his famous (and recently updated) account of wartime propaganda
and its intimate relationship with "journalism," he relates how he
started out wanting to portray war correspondents as heroes, but explains
that he had to change his theme when he discovered that war reporting
invariably falls into the following pattern:
"1. Although all the right is seldom on one side, the media will present
the war in stark terms of good and evil.
"2. The evil side will be demonized, its leader depicted as mad,
bloodthirsty, and subhuman, a modern-day Hitler.
"3. The good side will be presented as the savior of civilization,
humanitarian, caring, and compassionate, forced to act because of the
barbarity of the other side.
"4. To this end – ignoring the fact that there are atrocities by all
sides in all wars – old atrocity stories will be dusted off and recycled.
Some will be true, many will be false, and it will be difficult – if not
impossible – to tell while the war is on which are true and which are
propaganda. After the war, although some of the atrocity stories will be
confirmed, there will be a retreat from many of the most outrageous
SOUND THE RETREAT. In the case of the Kosovo war, the retreat has
already begun. Far too late to help the victims of the vicious "Allied"
air war: they are dead and buried, or else mutilated beyond repair. Yet
we are still waiting for some acknowledgment – aside from a few stories
in overseas newspapers – from the media that they were wrong. After
endless horror stories illustrated with fantastically high death tolls
were aired day after day on CNN, when will we hear a retraction?
Christiane Amanpour repeated her husband's lies with a perfectly straight
face: tens of thousands slaughtered, we were told, and the murderous
drug-dealing KLA were really "freedom fighters," the Albanian equivalent
of George Washington and his Continental Army! Journalists didn't
question the government line about alleged Serbian "genocide": instead
they wanted to know if the President would send in the ground troops –
and if not, why not?
KNIGHTLEY'S INSIGHT. Knightley gave his speech before an audience of
journalists who reacted much as one might expect; furiously defensive and
unrepentant. But the predictive power of Knightley's insight into the
psychology of wartime propaganda has withstood the test of time, and is
underscored by the following excerpt from his remarks:
"Usually the truth about what has really happened during a war will
emerge after it is over. Sometimes it takes years and years – we are
still learning new things about the Second World War. But sometimes the
truth surfaces quite quickly. Within little more than a year after the
Gulf War we knew that the claims for the pinpoint accuracy of Allied air
strikes and the ability of the Patriot missiles to intercept Iraqi
missiles were all nonsense. Within two years we knew that many of the
atrocity stories attributed to the Iraqis – the incubator babies story,
for example – had been invented by American public relations companies
working for the Kuwaiti government. But, of course, by then it was too
late to make any difference to the outcome of the war, and the media
caravan had moved on. We are learning only now that the CIA helped train
the Kosovo Liberation Army before the bombing began. We did not realize
at the time that NATO was lying when it said it did not deliberately
attack civilian targets. There will be a lot more, believe me."
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT. Oh, we believe you all right. There's more, a lot
more – including the story of how and why the media eagerly disseminated
the oily deceptions of little Jimmy Rubin and his cadre of spin-doctors.
And it is just now beginning to come out. When oh when is the American
media going to start reporting this? Do we have to turn to the British
papers via the Internet to get the truth? Most importantly, when are the
journalists who "reported" Kosovo's phony "holocaust" as fact going to
own up to their mistakes – giving them the benefit of a doubt that this
was an error and not deceit. Knightley correctly notes that in a war
"In which the revolution in communications technology – the satellite
phone, 'the star of the war'; instant television links from the front to
the studio and between correspondents in the field; electronic
transmission of still photographs; and the latest arrival at the front,
the Internet – should have provided the public with an unprecedented
overview turned out instead to be a disaster for journalism."
THE EXCEPTION THAT PROVES THE RULE. Except that the Internet was clearly
light-years ahead of the Old Media in discovering and reporting the truth
about the nonexistent "genocide" in Kosovo. Antiwar.com reported the
truth from Day One. We saw the culprits behind the campaign of lies, the
journalistic auxiliary of the War Party, who collaborated with the
NATO-crats – whether consciously or not – in the biggest hoax since the
discovery of "Piltdown Man." In the opening paragraph of my first column
for Antiwar.com [26 March 1999], I wrote:
"It was a sight that doubtless cheered virtually everyone who saw it –
the American media being chased down the street by an angry crowd of
their slandered victims. In Skopje, Macedonia, thousands of Serbians,
outraged by the relentless media barrage of anti-Serbian propaganda,
converged on news crews, destroyed equipment, and literally chased
American, British, and German reporters down the street and out of town.
The same journalistic cleansing occurred in Pristina, capital of Kosovo
province, and in Belgrade, where Western journalists were expelled. . . .
In a tone of bewildered indignation, CNN reporters complained on the air
that they had been singled out. But those Western journalists who have
placed themselves and their profession in the service of Allied Force
should not be too surprised to find that the people they have demonized
are less than hospitable."
DECADENCE OR IGNORANCE?. If, by some chance, the truth about Kosovo gets
out, how will the American people react to the revelation that they were
lied to by Clinton's numerous media enablers? Will they, like the Serbs,
chase the bums out of town – or will they bask in the warm security of
their narcotized ignorance, indifferent to the truth and immune to
righteous indignation except when prompted by government propagandists?
This is the difference between cultural health and decadence, between a
truly American political culture in the traditional sense and one that
has become alienated from its roots and degenerate beyond redemption or
revival. I like to believe that Americans – even these Americans, who
watched as Waco burned – are not numb to the crimes of their government.
I like to think that they don't react to the crimes of the US against the
people of Iraq – daily bombing excursions, and 5,000 children a month
killed by murderous sanctions – because they don't know about it. That is
why Antiwar.com exists – and must continue to exist.
A STATION BREAK. We told the American people the truth last year, when
the rest of the media – with a few prominent exceptions, such as Paul
Watson in the Los Angeles Times – were lying through their teeth, avidly
transcribing every word out of NATO shill Jamie Shea's mouth as if it
were holy writ. Let's hope we can continue to do so – with your continued
support. We depend on financial contributions from our readers and
supporters in order to bring you the real news of the world five days a
week, with frequent weekend updates. Don't wait for the next war to
remind yourself that there's just one place on the Internet you can go to
ferret out the truth behind the headlines – and that is right here.