Independence in the Brave New World Order
By Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch.org
Across this last weekend, the Western propaganda machine was working overtime, celebrating the latest NATO miracle: the transformation of Serbian Kosovo into Albanian Kosova. A shameless land grab by the United States, which used the Kosovo problem to install an enormous military base (Camp Bondsteel) on other people's strategically located land, is transformed by the power of the media into an edifying legend of "national liberation".
For the unhappy few who know the complicated truth about Kosovo, the words of Aldous Huxley seem most appropriate: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall drive you mad."
Concerning Kosovo, truth is like letters written in the sand as the tsunami of propaganda comes thundering in. The truth is available--for instance in George Szamuely's thoroughly informative piece last Friday here on CounterPunch. Fragments of the truth sometimes even show up in the mainstream media, mostly in letters from readers. But hopeless as it is to try to turn back the tide of officially endorsed legend, let me examine just one drop in this unstoppable sea of propaganda: a column by Roger Cohen entitled "Europe's new state", published in the Valentine's Day edition of the International Herald Tribune.
Cohen's op ed piece is fairly typical in the dismissive way it deals with Milosevic, Russia and the Serbs. Cohen writes: "Slobodan Milosevic, the late dictator, set Serbia's murderous nationalist tide in motion on April 24, 1987, when he went to Kosovo to declare that Serbian 'ancestors would be defiled' if ethnic Albanians had their way."
I don't know where Roger Cohen got that quotation, but it is not to be found in the speech Milosevic made that day in Kosovo. And certainly, Milosevic did not go to Kosovo to declare any such thing, but to consult with local Communist League officials in the town of Kosovo Polje about the province's serious economic and social problems. Aside from the province's chronic poverty, unemployment, and mismanagement of development funds contributed from the rest of Yugoslavia, the main social problem was the constant exodus of Serb and Montenegrin inhabitants under pressure from ethnic Albanians. At the time, this problem was reported in leading Western media [....]
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