> >-------------------------

> >Via Workers World News Service

> >Reprinted from the Oct. 8, 1998

> >issue of Workers World newspaper

> >-------------------------


>The U.S. media are giving full play to reports of a massacre of 34 Albanians in the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia.
> >On Sept. 30, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook--speaking like a true British imperialist--called for United Nations authorization for military strikes against Yugoslavia. U.S. officials are expected to make similar statements.

> >Such calls for war must be resisted in every way possible.

> >No one should be bulldozed by a media blitz into believing that imperialist war strikes are in any way "humanitarian actions."

> >There may or may not have been a massacre. Too often such reports are used for justifying military operations, only to have it revealed later that the original report was completely inaccurate.

> >A "famous" massacre in Romania only a few years ago turned out to be bodies dragged from a morgue and photographed in order to look like a massacre.

> >That is not to say this is what happened in Kosovo. But it is to say that the story in the big business-controlled media can often be wrong and purposely misleading.

> >Even the Washington Post ended its Sept. 30 report of the massacre with the cautious note that several such alleged in Kosovo were tied to the Western-backed Kosovo Liberation Army. There is no reason to believe it was carried out by local police forces, as is charged by imperialists like Robin Cook.

> >For over a month now, officials in and out of the U.S. government have been preparing for a military operation in Kosovo. The propaganda machine was put into full operation in order to build up public support for such an action.

> >Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, a paid adviser to the "Kosovo government in exile," has been all over the media and before Congress calling for military action against the Yugoslav government. They all claim that the Yugoslav government is bombing its own people and creating a massive refugee crisis. Here and in Germany there has been much talk of a "humanitarian" NATO intervention--

> >with 260 jet fighter-bombers--to "save the refugees."

> >Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic has temporarily replaced Saddam Hussein as top demonized political leader.

> >The media present the NATO imperialist military bloc headed by the Pentagon as the champion of democracy and peace. Try telling that to the people of Iraq--or Sudan, where the Pentagon recently carried out a missile strike that destroyed half the country's medicine-producing capability.

> >Perhaps the U.S. media want us to believe that German imperialism's record of starting World War I in the Balkans and carrying out genocide there in World War II has prepared the Bundeswehr for a humanitarian role there? The German ruling class thinks so. It has seized upon the Kosovo crisis to try to justify new German military adventures in the East for the first time since the Red Army drove the Nazis out.

> >The other NATO powers--imperialists all--are no better.

> >And all have long histories themselves of brutal occupations against oppressed peoples. The media present many of these imperialists as "liberating" the oppressed. Such is Britain's long military occupation of Ireland. France's crushing of the freedom movement in Kanaky. Spain's repression of the Basque country. Turkey's bombing of Kurd villages.

> >NATO armies are armies of conquest, not of liberation.

> >Anyone encouraging NATO intervention in Kosovo will share the guilt for the crimes NATO bombers will commit in the region.

> >It's important to make that last point because some people who consider themselves to be against war have been agitating for NATO intervention against Yugoslavia. They use the plight of the Kosovars as their excuse. These people use a true statement--"NATO doesn't care about the people of Kosovo"--to make a false argument--that this is why NATO hasn't intervened more forcefully.

> >The truth is that the United States and Germany funded the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army in order to provoke the crisis in Kosovo and add military pressure to years of economic sanctions against Yugoslavia. If NATO has held back, it's only because this gang of imperialist pirates can't agree on a risk-free strategy or on how to divide the spoils. They also have nightmares that massive Yugoslav resistance will awaken mass anti-war sentiment at home.

> >Anti-war forces should fight NATO military intervention in the Balkans. The danger of a new NATO attack over Kosovo is not only that it would extend war in the Balkans. It also would set a precedent for further NATO intervention in Eastern Europe, and into Russia and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.

> > - END -

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