The Guardian September 6, 2000

Lies, lies and damned lies

by Bob Petrovich

"Serb killing exaggerated by the West", said the headline of the London 
Guardian (18/8/00). The paper's subheading said it more forcefully 
and 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 

Think of what this has to mean to Madeleine Albright, James Rubin, and 
Jamie Shea. They 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 ended.

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 

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 Serbs."

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 [media] might fairly be 
characterised as Madeleine's willing executioners.

Based on the myth of an Albanian Kosovar "holocaust" perpetrated by the 
Serbs, not only Milosevic and his regime but also the entire Serbian people 
are condemned.

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 "re-
education" of the Serbian people, utilising the post-war German model.

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 from the media that they 
were wrong.

Endless horror stories illustrated with fantastically high death tolls were 
aired day after day on CNN but when will we hear a retraction? Christiane 
Amanpour [CNN reporter  Ed] 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".

Journalists didn't question the US 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?

Phillip Knightley who has written on wartime propaganda in his book The 
First Casualty said recently: "Usually the truth about what has really 
happened during a war will emerge after it is over. Sometimes it takes 
years and years. 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  American public relations companies working for the Kuwaiti 
Government, for example  had invented the incubator babies story.

"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 realise at the time that NATO was lying when it said it did not 
deliberately attack civilian targets. There will be a lot more, believe 

If, by some chance, the truth about Kosovo gets out, how will the American 
[and Australian?  Ed] 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 
narcotised 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 

I like to believe that Americans 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 exists  and must continue to exist.

Bob Petrovich

Antiwar website:

Footnote: And what of the Australian media, the ABC and SBS reporters who 
lied with the best of them. Will some qualify for the Walkley Awards for 

What of the government spokespersons who must have known the truth but went 
along with the war propaganda and took in thousands of the "poor" and also 
deceived Albanian refugees as their contribution.

What of Green Left which excelled in its support for the drug-
pedalling, CIA-trained and fascist KLA beefing them up as "freedom 
fighters", instead of as the imperialist mercenaries that they were?

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