Backtalk, September 27, 2005

The Tragedy of a Complicit Media

Excellent, if very depressing, column.

I’ve been worried for many years now about the sorry state of our primary and secondary school systems. I do believe that, beginning with Reagan, Republicans have made a conscious effort to “dumb down” our kids, to stymie critical thought, to actually “bend” history, science, literature, etc., to their own ends. And we are finding out what those ends are, aren’t we?

I am a 57-year-old Navy vet who went back to college two years ago to finish up/earn a long-postponed communication and the arts degree (I succeeded). I noticed right away how uneducated my fellow classmates, all around 18-22, were. These young people did not have basic knowledge of history, geography, science, spelling (especially spelling), American and English lit, etc., etc.

I knew right then, as I know right now, why the Republicans have been able to take over our government.

Knowledge IS power. Oh, yeah – these same kids could make a computer jump through hoops, but only in the mechanical sense. They sure didn’t show much desire to actually LEARN, if you get my drift. They all covet that college degree, but could care less about LEARNING. Very depressing – and very illuminating.

~ Gary Van Ess, Green Bay, Wisconsin

I am a Bush supporter, but I grudgingly agree about the media being complicit in deliberate disinformation by the government, because I am an honest man and detest such dishonesty and deception. But what about Kosovo? Why don’t you mention the far worse conduct by the Western media during the Kosovo war? Are you wearing a partisan blinder on one eye? While the legality of Bush’s war in Iraq is debatable, Clinton’s and NATO’s war of aggression against sovereign Yugoslavia massively violated the UN Charter, NATO’s own charter and U.S. laws. Then, it turned out that the U.S. and NATO did not even have a “humanitarian” excuse for aggression. It is now known as a fact that well over 99 percent of the allegations of “Serb atrocities” in Kosovo were bold-faced lies by the Clinton-Albright clique and European governments, and most of the rest are in doubt.

What was never in doubt is that the violence in Kosovo was started by the virulently racist, sadistic, genocidal Kosovar Albanian KLA terrorists and not by the Serbs. The only thing the Serbs were guilty of was that they tried to defend themselves and their families from terrorists in their own country. For that, NATO had bombed and destroyed Serbia, cheered by the abominable European and U.S. media, who vilified the entire Serb people in an openly and rabidly racist way, reporting every government lie as a fact, and adding tons of lies of their own. No wonder the Kosovo campaign was called a “media-driven war.”

While the Western media’s coverage of the Iraq war is less than stellar, it was during the Kosovo war that they were at their very worst. It was then that they had displayed their capacity for evil.

~ Ruslan Tokhchukov

Eric Garris replies:

Speaking for, we were doing that back in 1999. In fact, got its start during the Clinton wars in the Balkans.

Here’s an article about us from 1999 based on a piece about us on PBS: “Voices of Dissent.”

The Coming Storm

I was in Kosovo from October 1999 to May 2004. Presently I am in the phase of mental turmoil trying to write a book concerning the “events” that occurred during this period. … The challenge is to write it “simple” enough for the average America to at least grasp some of the situation. That is the biggest issue.

Now, the article – I am actually a neutral American. I’m not a Democrat (by any stretch of the imagination) and I’m not a Republican (although my military background leans in that direction), but some points I would like to comment about.

Yes, the violence should not be rewarded. It did demonstrate that they aren’t ready for that step, to be multiethnic – ya think? That’s a no-brainer. However, there is much more than that. You see this was the first time ever that the demonstrations got violent. However, this was not a coincidence. The “demonstrations” were supposed to take place later in June or July to “celebrate” the end of bombing. However, four Albanian kids had an “accident” and drowned. The ones in charge – probably Ramush, Ceku, and Thaci, LKCK, etc. – you know the story, gave the orders to make up the story about the dogs being set upon the four, chased them in the river, causing them to drown in order to justify the “violence.” I know the previous demonstrations over the past years, as I have reported to many many people, were only practices – for this thing. This was a practice for the violence in 2006 and 2007 when or if they get independence. Notice: ALL of the participants are young men – this is a DUH – anyone at home in NATO or UN? The posters in 2002 all appeared in one night. This was my proof that it was organized. …

I have actual footage of the deaths, looting, and two books that were published by the OSCE detailing the events throughout Kosovo. I have copies of the actual books, and they’re massive. Milosevic was bad to the Albanians and the Serbs. Under his regime, the Mafia side did weapons trade with the KLA (being trained by MPRI, by the way. Ironic), and then he was a hero to the Serbs living in Kosovo. I have one Top Secret document detailing a strategy he used in 1998 north of Kosovo. Interesting. Yes, the KLA did the same thing. In one village, they killed every living thing from person to animals – nothing living was left alive. That is why the ICTY has indicted the Albanians that killed other Albanians first – pretty clever, huh? Ramush I know was the commander of the Black Eagles during 1999 to present – secretly. That’s another story.

Get this: there’s a group of “intelligent”(?) political types that are advocating KFOR/UN enter North Mitrovica and try to integrate it. Can you imagine, it’s a long proposal with many recommendations to get this done. Intelligent? Where have they been all this time? Nigeria? …

This note is written without malice or total disagreement. Just thoughts being expressed. Heavy rolls are coming. Oh, I’ve told them since 1999 that the mujahedin and al-Qaeda were operating fully in Kosovo. No one cared then but they will next year.

~ Tom Gambill

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Dear Mr. Gambill,

Whenever I get a reaction to one of my older columns, it is usually some form of hate mail. I am glad your letter was the exception. I am very interested in reading the memoir of your time in Kosovo, especially since there seem to be few, if any, reliable accounts of what has been taking place during the occupation.

With Simple Tools, Activists in Belarus Build a Movement

What a dreadful shame. has finally succumbed to the Western media’s party line on Belarus by publishing a clearly propagandistic article from the mainstream press (“With Simple Tools, Activists in Belarus Build a Movement,” Washington Post). Does anyone think that U.S. authorities, upon uncovering an underground press where activists were printing material (with intent to disseminate) calling for the forceful overthrow of the U.S. government, would hesitate to break it up? This rubbish is the smelly orthodoxy of our time, but it is remarkable how few of its proponents have ever visited Belarus. One would have hoped Antiwar would lean more toward publishing material like the speech of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to the UN on Sept. 15.

~ Chad Nagle

Will Neocon Fanaticism Destroy America?

Ammunition statistics from the horse’s mouth [the GAO]: here.

~ Steve Mack

Democratic Hallucinations in Afghanistan and Iraq

Dear Mr. Eland:

Your excellent article reminds me of an interview that took place in Kandahar, in 1997, with Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil.

He told me that secretly Mullah Omar had a strong dislike for Osama bin Laden and was put off by the “upstart Arab’s” growing influence in a country over which he ruled. Mutawakil also asserted that Mullah Omar was distraught with the negative publicity that Osama brought to Afghanistan with all the attendant baggage that entails. But his comment that I found most interesting was the fact that Taliban routinely offered to negotiate with the U.S. over the bin Laden impasse.

Taliban had two demands which on their face were reasonable considering what the U.S. would gain in return. First, Taliban asked the U.S. to use their good offices to acquire the vacant UN seat for their regime. Second, Mutawakil stated that Taliban had asked for documentation that could be useful in diplomatic channels so as to not appear that they had abandoned bin Laden to his fate. Contingent upon these demands, Osama bin Laden would have been abandoned by Taliban. In this regard, Afghanistan has no history of terrorism and steadfastly refused to export their war into the Soviet Union, notwithstanding the extreme brutality of the Soviets.

The “Osama” negotiations were routine at the State Department, however, the elephant in the room was Taliban’s alleged maltreatment of women.

An issue championed with extreme passion and a profound lack of diplomacy by Secretary Albright, who could not move beyond her preconceived prejudices. Had the Clinton administration embraced diplomacy and sought to avert war, perhaps, just perhaps, Osama would have been trundled-up and remanded to waiting FBI agents in neighboring Pakistan. And who knows, maybe 9/11 would not have taken place. The foreign minister also said to me that “Your country is extremely hard to understand, they say Osama is the single most important issue for them, and in this regard we have tried to cooperate with them, but I think they want the issue, not the solution.” “I think they want war with Afghanistan.”

Mutawakil’s sentiments were also expressed to me by Taliban representative in New York, Abdul Hakim Mujahid. He said that “both the Clinton and Bush administrations wanted war, not Osama.” It seems that Osama was just a pretext for both Clinton and Bush. Had they dealt with Taliban there would perhaps be no justification for invasion and occupation. Taliban had it right when they said both Clinton and Bush wanted war, not Osama.

~ Bruce G. Richardson, author: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror

Withheld’s Backtalk

Withheld” is correct. You should not refer to any person as a moron or demented. That is not an argument. You may refer to their statements or ideas as moronic or demented, if you wish, but that is not very constructive either. You may see this as a fine distinction. However, the personal attack game is what Bush and friends are playing all the time – do you really want to wallow in the same muck? Yes, you are convinced, but you will not convince thoughtful people with name-calling.

~ William Edelstein

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Mr. Edelstein,

While I agree with your reasoning, isn’t running an analogy to “Bush and friends” engaging in name-calling just as well?

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