2000 Censored

Foreign Policy News Stories


Project Censored

Multinational Corporations Profit from International Brutality

by Arvind Ganesan, Dollars and Sense, May/June 1999

In the sleepy fishing village of Veldur in India, Sadhana Bhalekar, a young woman in her mid-twenties, was taking a bath on the morning of June 3, 1997, when police broke down her door, beat her retarded nephew, and mercilessly dragged her naked out of her house. They

beat and then arrested her. She was three months pregnant at the time. The police officer in charge reportedly said, "This is Baba Bhalekar's wife, bash her head on the road." Why? Vithal "Baba" Bhalekar, is a leading opponent of the Houston-based Enron Corporation's Dabhol Power project-the largest power plant in the world-in the state of Maharashtra, India. The brutal police raid on Veldur village was clearly an act of terror to silence critics of the project.

Police assaults against opponents of Enron's project are a regular occurrence in Ratnagiri district, where the power plant is located. Authorities threw in jail a high profile critic of the project, Sadanand Pawar, an economics professor from Bombay, because he had "spread false information to the public which is against Enron."

The police-in what is often viewed as the world's largest democracy-criminalized demonstrations against Enron in December 1996, by banning all "public utterance of cries, singing of songs, playing of music" and the "delivery of harangues, the use of gestures or mimetic representations, and the preparation, exhibition, or dissemination of pictures, symbols, placards, or any other object or thing which may in the opinion of such authority offend against decency or morality...." The orders squashing free speech expire every 15 days, but police routinely renew them to maintain the semblance of rule of law. By March 1998, more than 3,000 people had been jailed, and some beaten, simply for demonstrating against the project.

The Indian state government did everything it could to ensure that Enron's project would move forward. What about the company? Enron paid the police who arrested and beat the protesters and continues to pay them to this day, a relationship legal under state law. Enron also loaned police a helicopter to survey the demonstrators.

But the actions of the company go beyond material and financial support for abusive police. On at least four occasions, contractors for the company directly threatened, harassed, and attacked individuals who opposed the project. When the victims tried to press charges, they found the rule of law did not operate for them. The police looked the other way in some cases. In others, the police arrested the victims.

The corporation denies any culpability. Instead, the multinational criticizes human rights organizations for documenting its abuses.

Since the East India Company first embarked on colonial ventures centuries ago, corporations have been complicit in human rights abuses. Because energy companies like Enron invariably displace residents from their land, or make it unlivable by polluting it, they are involved in some of the worst human rights abuses today. They have received more attention since November 1995, when the Nigerian government executed human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others who opposed the environmental devastation wrought by Royal Dutch Shell in the Ogoniland region. An international campaign against Shell continues to this day even as the corporation, the largest foreign investor in Nigeria, has endorsed United Nations human rights guidelines and says it will devise policies to follow them.

Since Saro-Wiwa's death, human rights and environmental organizations have stepped up their scrutiny of corporate abuses and ugly corporate partnerships with repressive governments. Local and national governments increasingly vie for lucrative business deals with multinationals and are more than willing to sideline human rights in favor of commerce. Similarly, the United States and other home governments of corporations are only too happy to support these multibillion-dollar energy or infrastructure projects by taking human rights off their foreign policy agenda.

Companies and governments often argue that these investments will improve human rights, but a cursory look at operations throughout the world in the 1990s paints a very different picture.

* Mobil Oil's natural gas subsidiary provided the bulldozers used by the Indonesian military to dig mass graves during its murderous campaign to crush an insurgency on the island of Aceh in the early 1990s, according to allegations that only recently surfaced. Indonesia is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

* Since 1993, when they began construction on the Yadana natural gas field and pipeline in Burma, the French oil company TOTAL and the U.S.-based Unocal partnered with the brutal Burmese junta. The Burmese military providing security for the project killed, tortured, raped, and conscripted the labor of villagers along the pipeline's route, according to press accounts. These charges will soon be judged in a California federal court, where a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Earth Rights International alleges that Unocal benefited from the use of forced labor and the Burmese military's human rights abuses.

* In 1996, the human rights world learned of British Petroleum's multimillion-dollar contracts with the Colombian military-among the world's most brutal-to provide security for BP's exploitation of the massive Cusiana-Cupiagua oil fields. These fields were the largest discovered in the Western Hemisphere since 1967.

* Exxon is under fire after the slaughter of 20 citizens living near the oil company's proposed pipeline through Chad and Cameroon. The German parliament and African and European groups predict further human rights violations, forced relocations, and environmental damage once construction begins. Environmental organizations from the North and South are calling on the World Bank to suspend funding for the project until Exxon addresses these issues. The pipeline would make Chad one of Africa's top five oil exporters.

Burma, Colombia, Indonesia, and Nigeria. All are countries with a history of rule by repressive governments even without the collusion of multinationals. In this context, corporations often argue that their presence and investment will improve human rights. Superficially, "constructive engagement," as this argument is called, has merit: If economic activity increases, so will the possibility of international dialogue with abusive governments and an improvement of living standards that gives citizens the power to raise their voices in protest.

Human rights violations become framed as a "necessary evil" that insures improvement in the long term. Essentially this view serves to justify million or even billion-dollar investments in abusive countries.

Mobil-soon to merge with Exxon- is the most vocal on the issue. Its "editorial advertisements" lambast government sanctions to punish abusive governments. In one 1997 ad Mobil wrote: "Rather than taking action that merely makes us feel virtuous, government should clarify its objectives and weigh the full costs before imposing sanctions. It should seek ways to engage, not retreat..." Joining Mobil in attacking sanctions is the American Petroleum Institute, an industry-funded advocacy organization and think tank. Its August 1998 report-titled "Oil and Natural Gas Industry Promotes Human Rights Abroad"-proclaimed that the use of "sanctions to punish regimes that abridge their peoples' human rights" denies local people the "rights enhancements" that oil companies "confer." This report was written in conjunction with USA*ENGAGE, another industryfunded lobbying organization whose purpose is to severely limit or curtail the use of sanctions by the U.S. government.

The reality is that "constructive engagement" with undemocratic governments is a myth. Instead, engagement has the opposite impact as a look at only the last five years reveals. Consider Burma, where Unocal claims its Yadana gas project-the largest single foreign investment in the country-"is bringing sustainable, long-term, economic and social benefits to the 35,000 villagers living in the immediate pipeline region and lasting benefits to the people of Myanmar [Burma]." The IMF reports that Burma's economy is collapsing, there is virtually no social spending by the military junta, and there is no short-term prospect for reforms, despite foreign investment. Throughout this process, the military junta tightened its grip over the country.

Similarly, in Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbaev signed a deal with Chevron in 1993 to develop the nine-billion barrel Tengiz field-the world's largest single oil discovery since 1967, worth at least $78 billion. Five years after the deal was inked, Nazarbaev has shut down the independent media, announced snap elections, and arrested and harassed his leading political opponent to insure that no credible opposition can challenge his increasingly autocratic rule. He also appointed his son-in-law to manage the state oil company.

The most compelling evidence, not just of constructive engagement's failure, but of its role in undermining progress on human rights, comes from a seemingly unlikely source-the final report of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission found that corporations were "willing collaborators" with the apartheid regime since the early 1960s with "a direct interest in maintaining the status quo." They bypassed attempts to impose sanctions by "forming partnerships with South African parastatal organizations." The apartheid regime "depended on five major oil companies to break the oil ban: Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Mobil, Caltex, and Total."

"Foreign investment prevented governments from taking any real action against apartheid" because of the pressure exerted by these companies to maintain the system, said the commission-a pattern we see today. Some examples of government-corporate complicity in abuses:

Just this year, the Dutch government reversed its long criticism of China's human rights record and refused to sponsor a United Nations Human Rights

Commission resolution condemning China. In February, the Chinese government awarded Royal Dutch Shell the largest single foreign investment in Chinese history-a $4.5 billion contract to build an ethylene plant with a government oil company.

In March 1998, the U.S. State Department ignored its own report on human rights abuses in Turkmenistan to okay a $96 million award from the Export-Import Bank to four U.S. companies selling natural gas and other equipment to the country. Any Ex-Im Bank loan over $10 million requires the State Department to conduct a human rights impact assessment "to determine if it may give rise to significant human rights concerns." Its 1997 human rights report began with the statement, "Turkmenistan, a one-party state dominated by its President and his closest advisers, made little progress in moving from a Soviet-era authoritarian style of government to a democratic system." Its state security forces "operate with relative impunity and have been responsible for abusing the rights of individuals as well as enforcing the Government's policy of repressing political opposition."

Turkmenistan possesses some of the largest oil and gas reserves in Central Asia and companies such as Mobil, Exxon, and Royal Dutch Shell operate there. So the State Department okayed the deal that gives Bateman Engineering, Dresser Rand, Corning, and General Electric $96 million in public funds.

While Turkmenistan's president Saparmurad Niyazov was visiting President Clinton a month later, the U.S. government's Trade and Development Administration awarded Enron a $750,000 grant to conduct a pipeline feasibility study for a proposed $2.8 billion pipeline in Turkmenistan. (General Electric and Bechtel, both U.S. companies, eventually won the pipeline project in February 1999.) After the Enron deal was signed, the White House issued a press release stating, "Turkmenistan is committed to strengthening the rule of law and political pluralism, including free and fair elections for Parliament and the presidency in accordance with international standards...." But when reporters asked Niyazov about the government's attitude toward opposition parties, he said, "We do not have any opposition parties-you are ill-informed. We have none."

U.S. officials said they raised human rights issues privately with Niyazov during his April 1998 visit. The U.S. and Turkmen governments played the game of "hostage politik"-where repressive governments release political prisoners to gain political and commercial favor with Washington-during the visit. The State Department lobbied for and secured the release of 10 political prisoners which the U.S. government then cited as an example of improvement in human rights, in justification of its commercial interests.

Behind the political smokescreens, undemocratic governments further consolidate their stranglehold over resources and revenues once partnered with international corporations. A dictatorship or one-party state has no incentive to distribute its gains to a population it does not pretend to represent. Agreements between a company and a repressive government are essentially deals between two private parties-they are a profit-making enterprise for the company and for those in power. When a resource brings in hard currency, like oil, an autocratic government often becomes a kleptocratic one, enabling a few to steal the wealth of the nation. Then there is Enron. If increased investment necessarily leads to improvements in human rights and respect for the rule of law, then how to explain the human rights violations surrounding the company's power project in India? India is considered the world's largest democracy, governing under the banner of human rights, the rule of law, and an active judiciary. It largely accepts free expression and peaceful assembly. The conflict in the Ratnagiri district flows directly from the conduct of Enron's subsidiary and the state after villagers opposed the seizure of their lands, and the polluting and diversion of their water. The abuses visited upon dissenting villagers are traceable to the supposedly beneficial investment by Enron.

Despite cheerleading that promotes foreign investment as the key to improving human rights, the reality is human rights are not safeguarded-even in countries considered democratic-without forceful action on the scale that defeated apartheid in South Africa. Financial institutions must enact human rights guidelines in their loans. Campaigns sanctioning corporate investors must enlist the support of those suffering under corporate/government collusion. Corporate codes on human rights-such as those enacted by Unocal and Shell after their operations in Burma and Nigeria were exposed-are only one piece of a project that requires action by governments, financial institutions, and the citizenry of the world.

NIGERIA'S "PROGRESS" Nowhere is the need for concerted action more urgent than in Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa, and the fifth largest in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Instead of this rich resource transforming Nigeria into one of the most prosperous states on the African continent and a model of human rights and democracy, these natural resources have enriched a small minority and multinationals at the expense of human rights.

Ironically, in August 1998, Mobil called on governments to "Seize the Day"-not to tie increased investment to real improvements in human rights by corporations and the government-but to promote foreign investment in Nigeria as a way to engage the repressive regime.

It is true that the military government led by General Abdusalami Abubakar released many political prisoners and relaxed restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and association. It allowed elections so that now Olusegun Obasanjo is Nigeria's civilian president.

But the situation in the oil-producing Niger Delta is worsening, contrary to oil companies' claims that they improve human rights.

In the Niger Delta, protests directed at oil companies and the lack of development are increasing. Many of the projects built by oil company money in areas largely ignored by the Nigerian government are inappropriate for the needs of the communities or shoddily carried out, exacerbating conflicts within and among the oil-producing communities. Protesters regularly occupy flow stations, stop production, or take oil workers hostage.

The Nigerian government set up special task forces to handle security issues in the region, including the protests of Saro-Wiwa and his allies. They crack down on anyone deemed a threat to oil production. In virtually every community in the oil regions, the paramilitary Mobile Police, the regular police, or the army continue to beat, detain, or even kill those involved in protests, peaceful or otherwise. They target whistleblowers for arrest, including a coordinator of the African section of the international watchdog group Oil Watch.

In a particularly brutal series of incidents on December 30, saw youths protesting against multinational oil companies throughout Bayelsa State were met with an influx of several thousand military personnel. Two days later, in the town of Yenagoa, security forces killed 25 youths over three days. The government detained at least a dozen more.

Five days later, 100 armed soldiers, using boats and a helicopter owned by Chevron, attacked Opia and Ikenyan, two small communities of perhaps 500 people each in the north part of Delta State. Community members told Human Rights

Watch later that they were used to seeing Chevron's helicopter flying low over the community since two Chevron wells are within 100 metres of Opia. At first they thought nothing of it, but as the helicopter approached the village this time it started firing down at them. It then flew to nearby Ikenyan and opened fire. Soldiers then sped to shore in what appeared to be Chevron's boats and opened fire, killing at least two people in each village, including the traditional leader of Ikenyan who was approaching them to negotiate. Fifteen people from Opia and 47 from Ikenyan are still missing. The soldiers torched each village before they left, destroying virtually all the houses and sinking the canoes.

Chevron defended the soldiers, who claimed to be "counterattacking" youths who threatened them as they were guarding a Chevron drilling rig. Villagers said they knew of no such altercation. Chevron expresses no regret for what happened. In this environment, companies cannot claim human rights have improved.


Turkey Destroys Kurdish Villages with U.S. Weapons

by Kevin McKiernan Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 1999

Behind army lines in the Turkish province of Siirt, scores of frightened refugees were on the run. They were Kurdish families, fleeing a village that had recently been burned by the Turkish army. When I caught up to them, they were fording the Tigris River, guiding a long line of donkeys laden with refrigerators and other goods.

In the village, most of the houses were in ashes. Only a handful of residents had returned to scavenge some of their belongings. The local mayor told me that an army commander, accompanied by a group of government-armed village guards, had arrived and given residents 24 hours to get out of town. Some quickly dug holes in the outlying fields to bury valuables; others just gathered up what they could carry and abandoned the rest.

I walked through the rubble, taking pictures. The destruction was fresh, maybe a couple of days old, and some of it was still smoldering. I heard an army helicopter overhead. It was American-made, a Sikorsky Black Hawk, the type the Turkish army uses to land troops in the villages. But it was high in the air, on a different mission. I finished my work and moved on.

ROOTS RUN DEEP. At 25 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own state. With a similar language, religion, and culture, the Kurds have lived for thousands of years in an area that is now part of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the former Soviet Union. Today, the 15 million Kurds who live in Turkey constitute about 25 percent of that country's population.

After World War I, Kurds hoped to create a homeland from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire, but those dreams vanished with the birth of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Riding a wave of nationalism, Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk, "the Father of the Turks," imposed a single identity on the multicultural population of Turkmans, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, and others. Most minorities were forcibly assimilated, everyone became a Turk. (The Kurds were called "Mountain Turks" until after the Gulf War in 1991.)

In the first 25 years of the Turkish Republic there were dozens of Kurdish uprisings. All were crushed, but discontent continued. In 1984, a Marxist-led group called the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, began an armed struggle against the government.

The war in Turkey represents the single largest use of U.S. weapons anywhere in the world by non-U.S. forces, according to Bill Hartung of the World Policy Institute. "I can think of no instance since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982,' he said, "where American weaponry has been put to this concentrated a use." In 15 years of fighting in Turkey nearly 40,000 lives have been lost, more than in the conflicts on the West Bank and in Northern Ireland combined. The two million refugees produced by the war in Kurdistan are roughly the number of homeless created by the widely reported war in Bosnia, where U.S. weapons were not a factor. In contrast, 75 percent of the Turkish arsenal was made in the United States, according to estimates.

Despite these statistics, the civil strife in Turkey has received comparatively little coverage in the U.S. media. Television news rarely mentions the Kurds, unless the story relates to the Iraqi Kurds. It is almost as though there are two sets of Kurds: the Kurds in Iraq, who seem to be viewed as the "good" Kurds because they oppose Saddam, and the Kurds in Turkey, who are "bad" because they oppose a U.S. ally. It doesn't seem to matter that there are four times as many Kurds in Turkey, or that both populations have suffered repression from their respective governments.

Until 1991, Kurdish music and language, dress, associations, and newspapers were banned by the Turkish government. After the Gulf War, Kurdish printing was legalized, but in the intervening years numerous Kurdish newspaper offices have been bombed and closed. More than a dozen Kurdish journalists, as well as numerous politicians and activists, have been killed by death squads (human rights groups list more that 4,000 extrajudicial killings during the period). Despite 15 years of fighting the PKK, Turkey today has no Pows; most rebels, according to the government, have been "captured dead." But there are large numbers of civilian Kurds in Turkish prisons where, according to organizations like Amnesty International, the use of torture is routine.

Kurdish TV and radio are still illegal in Turkey, although the government has promised to soften the ban. The Kurdish language still may not be taught in schools or used by merchants on storefronts or in advertising. It is illegal in Turkey for parents to give their child a Kurdish name.

In June 1995, the army commander from the city of Mardin informed residents of the village of Alimlikoy, called Bilalya by the Kurds, that they would have to go on the payroll of the state as village guards. The villagers were reluctant to become guards because that would put them in the middle of the war with the PKK rebels. They were shepherds who spent long, isolated hours in the mountains with their flocks; they feared that if they accepted weapons from the government, they would become targets for the guerrillas. The Turkish officer gave them two weeks to think about it. When no answer was forthcoming, he arrested the muhtar, or village elder. The shepherd who walked me into Alimlikoy overland, around the blockaded road told me the muhtar had been kept in jail for several days. He had been beaten, according to the shepherd, "but not badly."

On the day the muhtar was released, which was shortly before my arrival, the villagers hired trucks to haul away household goods and as much of the ripening harvest of lentils and barley as they could carry. I arrived in time to see some of the harvests, piled in heaps by the side of the road. The Kurds were pouring salvaged grain into plastic bags, which they hoped to sell at the market. On a hillside, a giant sign read: "Happy is He Who Can Call Himself a Turk."

Back in Alimlikoy, I asked the shepherd why he hadn't just agreed to become a guard. "Why would we?" he asked. "We have our fields and our animals. We have an income.

"Besides," he said with some emphasis, "why should we try to do a job that not even the state can accomplish?"

Since 1980 the United States has sold or given Turkey, a NATO ally, $15 billion worth of weapons. In the last decade the Turkish army has leveled, burned, or forcibly evacuated more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. That is roughly three-quarters the number of Kurdish settlements destroyed in Iraq in the 1980s during Saddam Hussein's infamous "Anfal" campaign, when the West was arming Iraq and turning a blind eye to widespread human rights violations.

Most of the destruction in Turkey took place between 1992 and 1995, during the Clinton Administration's first term. In 1995 the administration acknowledged that American arms had been used by the Turkish government in domestic military operations "during which human rights abuses have occurred. In a report ordered by Congress, the State Department admitted that the abuses included the use of U.S. Cobra helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and F-16 fighter bombers. In some instances, critics say, entire Kurdish villages were obliterated from the air.

The administration conceded that the Turkish policy had forced more than two million Kurds from their homes. Some of the villages were evacuated and burned, bombed, or shelled by government forces to deprive the PKK of a "logistical base of operations," according to the State Department report, while others were targeted because their inhabitants refused to join the "village guards," a brutal military tactic patterned on the Vietnam-era "model villages" program that requires civilian Kurds to fight Kurdish guerrillas.

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based watchdog group, said the State Department had issued only "half conclusions" in its report, so as to avoid offending the Turkish government. Human Rights Watch, which has also criticized the PKK rebels for serious rights violations, said the U.S.-supplied Turkish army was "responsible for the majority of forced evacuation and destruction of villages.'

In a 1998 interview, John Shattuck, the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, defended U.S. arms deliveries to Turkey. Shattuck, a onetime professor at Harvard and a former member of the advisory board at Amnesty International, said that although abuses against Kurds were "a matter of grave concern" to the United States, Turkey's human rights record was improving. And in any case, he added, "I don't think the United States is responsible for Turkey's internal policies.'

Some members of Congress strongly disagree. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat from Georgia, believes that human rights, democracy, and nonaggression criteria should be applied before American weapons are sold or given to countries like Turkey. "If they are going to be our ally and they are also going to receive our weapons," McKinney said, "the least that we can do is to suggest to them that they not use the weapons against their own people." McKinney led the fight in 1997 for a code of conduct, which would have mandated congressional review of such transfers. The code, which was opposed by the White House, passed in the House but did not receive adequate support in the Senate, where it died in conference committee.

Last September the code was reintroduced with 80 co-sponsors in the House, but the session adjourned before a vote could be taken. Congress did pass a less comprehensive measure, an amendment introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, which prohibits U.S. military aid to foreign security units that the State Department has found to have "committed gross violations of human rights." The so-called "Leahy Amendment" also bars funding for military training programs if a member of a unit has been found to have committed "gross human rights violations."

Many Europeans are also uneasy with Turkey's current policies. Turkey has been angling for admission to the European Union (EU) for years, but the EU, citing the lack of freedom of expression, the jailing and torture of dissidents, and the state of emergency in Kurdish areas, has locked the door. The Kurdish problem, according to Hugo Paeman, the EU' s ambassador to the United States, "is only a reflection of the fact that we don't have the type of government [in Turkey] which we would feel comfortable with within the European Union."

Paeman, a Belgian, said it was difficult for the EU to negotiate in good faith with the civilian government in Ankara when the army generals behind the scenes held the real power. "Do you feel that you are actually not talking to the people who are running Turkey?" I asked him. "Up to a certain point, yes," he responded.

In view of that, I asked, is Turkish democracy merely a facade? Ambassador Paeman paused to make eye contact with his aide, a Danish official, before answering. "One can say that," he replied.

When I met Ali in 1996, he was drinking tea and playing cards in Midyat, one of dozens of Kurdish towns overflowing with refugees. Ali and his wife and nine kids had all fled Shehkir, a farming village known for its sweet cherries. Long ago the Turks had changed the name of the place to Kocasirt, which is how it appeared on the map. But Ali, like others who had lived there, still called it Shekhir.

Having agreed to take me to the village, Ali drove gingerly down a hill toward his old home, carefully scanning the rock-studded road for signs of surface digging. He said the army often mines access to abandoned Kurdish villages. The week before, on the road to another vacated settlement, a man and a woman were badly injured when a land mine exploded under their donkey. "I have seen President Clinton on television," he told me in a trusting tone. "I don't think he would permit these bad things to happen if he knew about them."

Ali said that in the summer of 1994, 16 army tanks rolled through his village searching for Kurdish guerrillas. Some of the tanks had rubber wheels, like the kind the Germans sell to Turkey; the others were track vehicles, like the M-48 and M60 tanks made in the United States.

Even though no rebels were found, the soldiers returned a few months later and delivered an ultimatum to the people: Become village guards or abandon your homes. The 70-year-old muhtar insisted the villagers had never fed or otherwise assisted the rebels; they just wanted to grow their crops. He told the soldiers that the people chose to be left alone. It was the wrong choice.

A few nights later, the muhtar was dragged from his home and shot. The townspeople still refused to take arms from the government. Instead, they gathered their furniture and household belongings and moved away.

Whatever Kocasirt had been before, it was now a collection of deserted, burned, and dynamited houses. It was a ghost town, except for the cemetery. There we encountered an old woman who had just returned to the village by foot. She was wailing softly and sprinkling red cherries on a tombstone. She said she was "feeding the spirit" of her dead brother. My guide recognized her: She was the sister of the muhtar. Reaching for a weed in the overgrown graveyard, the woman made a sweeping motion with one hand. "They just plucked him like a flower," she said.

Because of its strategic location in the Middle East, between the Balkans and the southern republics of the former Soviet Union, Turkey has served as a major U.S. ally for more than 50 years. The low point in the alliance came in 1974, when in response to the invasion of northern Cyprus by Turkey's U.S.equipped armed forces, Congress placed

a total embargo on U.S. arms transfers to Turkey. The invasion, which has been condemned by numerous U.N. resolutions, might have permanently altered the U.S.-Turkish relationship had it not been for the fall of the U.S.-backed regime in Iran in 1979.

For the United States, a decades-old strategy in the Gulf collapsed with the demise of the Shah. Not only was its Cold War containment strategy threatened, the United States now regarded Islam, stretching from North Africa through the Gulf to southwest Asia, as the single biggest threat to U.S. interests in the region. Turkey, like Israel and Egypt, would form the cornerstone of the new policy to contain Iran and the further spread of Islamic fundamentalism.

Good relations between the United States and Turkey weathered a 1980 coup, in which Turkish army generals overthrew the country's democratically elected leaders. (Almost 20 years later the army's power over the constitution and other Turkish laws is unquestioned.) Within months of the coup, the United States and Turkey signed the Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement, a treaty which gave the United States the right to locate military bases in Turkey, which borders both Iran and Iraq, in exchange for a promise to modernize Turkey's armed forces.

The agreement proved vital to U.S. strategy against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. The Allies flew hundreds of bombing missions against Iraqi targets from Turkish air space. The Turks also agreed to shut down the Iraqi pipeline where it entered Turkey's southeast border. That decision, made at considerable cost to Turkish interests, was key to the post-war embargo of Iraq.

Turkey's value to U.S. policy-makers today is more than just its proximity to Iran and Iraq or the perceived need to contain the spread of Islam. There is also the issue of petroleum. The Caspian Sea to the east is thought to contain more than 100 billion barrels of oil. Capturing the deposits is a mammoth project, the stakes are high, and the parties play hardball. The agreement signed by a consortium of global companies to recover the oil represents the most lucrative contract of any kind in the twentieth century.

No one yet knows how the crude oil will be transported to the West, but the United States is pushing for a pipeline to be built through Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea. Amoco and British Petroleum, the largest companies in the consortium, want to build a shorter pipeline through Georgia and then ship the oil by tanker through the Black Sea. But both companies are currently involved in other projects in Turkey, and Turkey has threatened to revoke their operating permits if they fail to support the Turkish route for Caspian oil. As it turns out, such a route would pass through the center of Kurdistan. Kurdish guerrillas, who already have blown up sections of the Iraqi pipeline and Turkish oil fields in the southeast, have vowed to block the project.

In 1994, when I last visited Gorumlu, a settlement tucked into the base of a mountain on the Turkish side of the Iraqi border, the village showed signs of support for the rebels, and the area was often the scene of firefights with the army. But today the local Kurds are on the government payroll. The village guards in Gorumlu had joined the widespread program of rural pacification, the army strategy introduced in 1985. In this area the guards were especially valuable because they knew the PKK trails along the border; they had served as scouts for soldiers in several incursions into Iraq in search of rebel base camps.

Because of their decision, the villagers were able to keep their homes. The state was giving them weapons, bullets, U.S.-made Motorola radios, and a salary of $250 a month far more than they could make as farmers. With their help, the Turkish army had driven the guerrillas deep into the mountains, and clashes in the village had become less frequent. But Gorumlu's switchover was not without cost.

The PKK, many of whose local members had been recruited from Gorumlu, views both the guards and their families as Turkish collaborators, and claims that both are legitimate military targets. Soon after one army incursion into nearby Iraq, the guerrillas launched a coordinated attack against the village and the nearby army garrison, resulting in civilian deaths.

During the battle, the army commander told me he had intercepted a radio transmission, which he said came from a PKK superior, urging his fighters to "hit the little mice as well as the big mice."

According to the Turkish officer and several villagers, four children were killed and several adults were injured when the PKK threw a grenade through a window of one of the houses. For its part, the PKK has denied responsibility for the attack, blaming instead the Kontra Gerilla death squads they say are linked to the Turkish security forces.

Today, the United States has several intelligencegathering posts in Turkey, including a radar installation in Mardin, a largely Kurdish city. The Mardin facility was built by GM Hughes of E1 Segundo, California, the parent company of Delco Systems. The radar site is said to be capable of "seeing" deep into Iraq, Iran, and south central Asia.

NATO has major installations in Turkey, the most prominent of which is at Incirlik, near the city of Adana. U.S. intelligence planes, including the giant AWACs, take off daily from Incirlik for flights over northern Iraq, monitoring traffic both in Iraq and Iran. U.S. F-15s and F-16s, as well as British aircraft, make regular sorties into northern Iraq, patrolling the "no-fly" zone for violations by Saddam Hussein's air force.

Turkey's war with the Kurds draws on weaponry from dozens of American companies, including McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics, Hughes, Boeing, Raytheon, and Bell Textron. Kurdish refugees driven into northern Iraq from destroyed villages in Turkey rarely know any English, but in recounting the rocketing of their settlements, they regularly use the words "Cobra" and "Sikorsky," the U.S.-made helicopters used to clear Kurdish villages.

The "King Cobra," the gunship produced by Bell Textron in Texas, is a strong contender for a new Turkish arms contract worth almost $4 billion. In 1997 the State Department granted market licenses to Bell and to Boeing Aircraft for attack helicopters (Boeing makes the "Apache" gunship), but future sales by either company could be delayed if human rights concerns are raised again in Congress. In 1996 Turkey canceled the purchase of 10 Super Cobra helicopters when Congress delayed that deal to consider whether Turkey was using the Cobra against Kurdish civilians. If that happens again, Turkey could buy attack helicopters from France or could turn to a version of the weapon built jointly by Russia and Israel, without strings attached. In fact, the burgeoning relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem which includes Israeli upgrades of Turkey's F-4, F-5, and F-16 fighters; the development of medium-range missiles; and the conduct of joint military exercises has increasingly allowed Turkey to circumvent U.S. and European embargoes.

The giant helicopter sale is one of two prospective U.S. arms transfers that have generated strong opposition from human rights groups. The other is a $45-million sale by AV Technologies in Michigan for 140 armored personnel carriers (APCs) to Turkey. Turkey already has an estimated 2,800 U.S.-made APCs (most of which were made in California by FMC the Food Machinery Corporation). The new APCs are intended for use by Turkey's "anti-terror" police units. Amnesty International USA conducted a three-year study on these police groups, which it sent to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in an effort to block the transfer. The report provides examples of identified "anti-terror" units torturing children, sexually assaulting prisoners, using electric shock torture, beating, burning, and the near-drowning of suspects, as well as other gross violations. Among 280 victims of the "antiterror" units mentioned in the report were "infants, children, and the elderly." But last December, despite such evidence, the State Department okayed the arms deal. Because of the recently enacted Leahy Amendment, some restrictions were placed on the use of U.S. loans for APCs destined for areas of conflict, but the export license for all 140 vehicles to the "anti-terror" police was approved.

That was consistent with past practices, in which arms deals involving Turkey have moved along expeditiously. In 1992 and 1993 the Pentagon quietly facilitated a mammoth military shipment to Turkey at no cost. According to the U.N. arms registry, the U.S. government turned over 1,509 tanks, 54 fighter planes, and 28 heavily armed attack helicopters to Turkey. The weapons were slated for reduction after the Cold War under a 1990 treaty on conventional forces in Europe. Instead of scrapping them, the United States simply gave them away. There was no congressional oversight or public debate about the transfer,

nor was there much question about the purpose of the unprecedented arms shipment. As Jane's Defense Weekly revealed as early as 1993, "a high proportion of defense equipment supplied to Turkey is being used in operations against the PKK."

Military assistance to Turkey has even included the use of American soldiers. Last year, according to the Washington Post, a special operations team authorized by the Joint Combined Exchange Training Act, a little-known law passed by Congress, conducted its first mission to Turkey. The U.S. team was sent to train the Turkish Mountain Commandos, "a unit whose chief function is to fight Kurdish guerrillas."

Turkey also benefits from the International Military Education and Training program, a Pentagon program funded through the foreign aid budget. From 1984, when the PKK's uprising began, to 1997, about 2,500 Turkish officers received training. Bill Hartung of the World Policy Institute says that much of the training of the Turkish military focuses on how to use weapons already purchased from American companies. Hartung estimates U.S. taxpayers have already paid "tens of millions of dollars' to train Turkish forces to fight the Kurds.

Cizre has been "cleaned," the Turkish policeman said proudly. And in one sense he was right. The largely Kurdish town of 25,000, located about 50 miles north of the Iraqi border, was firmly under the control of the Turkish security forces.

When I was there in 1994, Cizre was a hotbed of PKK resistance. That memory was still fresh as I rented my old room at the ratty Kadioglu, where an intermittently lit sign said "Turistik Hotel." The room had an outdoor balcony, which overlooked the sign, and from there I used to watch the exchange of tracer fire after dark, the surreal streams of yellow lighting up the intersection below. In 1992, during Newroz, the Kurdish new year, the Turkish army shot and killed a photojournalist near the Kadioglu. Since my last visit, someone had repaired the concrete balcony by my room, patching over the bullet-pocked walls.

The reception clerk told me he was getting tired of it all, tired of the war and tired of all the unpaid tasks he was forced to perform. He was still cooperative with the police, and he had no use for the rebels. But, like many accommodating Kurds, he was growing progressively alienated. It was true that the guerrillas had been driven into the tops of the mountains, their logistical base disrupted by deforestation and the widespread destruction of villages. But the government seemed to be losing the battle for the hearts and minds of ordinary Kurds.

The hotel clerk complained that he had to inform the police of all movements by reporters: "When you get up, when you go out, and when you return. It's incredible," he said. "We have to telephone three different places each time: the Army, mit [military intelligence], and the regular police. Why can't we just call one place, and let them handle the rest?"

What he really wanted was a sort of clearinghouse for the surveillance of the press, and we got to joking about it. In jest, I asked him to notify the police that I had used a hotel toilet at 6 A.M. that day, and again at 7:30.

He smiled, shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes. "What can we do?" he said.

The case of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan has raised the profile of the Kurds in recent months. Ocalan, widely known as Apo was arrested in November 1998 in the Rome airport after arriving from Moscow. After a decade of directing PKK activities from Damascus, Ocalan and other PKK officials had been expelled from Syria a month earlier when Turkish troops began massing on the border, threatening to escalate a long-running political feud between Turkey and Syria.

Turkish officials were jubilant when Ocalan was detained, but their euphoria soon turned to outrage. The Kurdish leader, whom the government charged with "tens of thousands of murders" in the 15-year-old uprising, would have faced execution if returned to Turkey. But the Italian constitution bars extradition to countries where the death penalty is in force. Within days Italy announced it would not extradite, and Ocalan was released.

Turkish politicians unleashed a firestorm of protest. Across Turkey the police reacted by staging raids on the offices of Hadep, the legal Kurdish party. More than 3,000 Hadep members were jailed within a few days. According to human rights groups, a number of party members were subjected to torture; two died in custody.

In Istanbul, the nation's top business lobbies urged a total boycott of Italian goods (Italy ranks as the world's second largest exporter to Turkey). But the European Union immediately threatened Turkey with economic sanctions if it followed through with the boycott.

Turkey's harsh attacks on EU-member Italy seemed especially inflammatory, considering Turkey's persistent efforts to be accepted for membership in the EU. But the Ocalan affair was shaping up to be the nastiest row in memory between NATO members, and the dispute was widening.

Massimo D'Alema, Italy's prime minister, called on the Kurdish leader to renounce violence, a minimum requirement to be considered for political asylum. Ocalan responded by saying: "I am ready to do my part to halt terrorism." He called for a political solution to the war, a demand that Turkey had repeatedly rejected. The disavowal of violence was welcomed by D'Alema, but the Italian leader further angered Turkey by declaring that the struggle of the Kurdish people was an ancient and complex problem that could not be regarded solely in the context of terrorism.

The PKK leader likened his cause to that of the PLO, the IRA, and Basque separatists, movements that sought to make a transition from warfare to diplomacy. He asserted that he had come to Italy to launch the political phase of the Kurdish struggle. Meanwhile, 40,000 Kurds from across Europe gathered in Germany to demonstrate on Ocalan's behalf.

Others condemned the Kurdish leader. Human Rights Watch, which had repeatedly attacked Turkey for abuses against the Kurds, sent a letter to D'Alema charging Ocalan' s PKK with massacres in Turkey's southeast, primarily in the early 1990s. The majority of the victims were village guards and their families and Turkish teachers who were targeted by the guerrillas as state collaborators. Opposing extradition to Turkey, Human Rights Watch called instead for Ocalan to be tried under international law in Italy or another EU country.

In January, Ocalan left Italy of his own accord, reportedly aboard an Italian secret service airplane to Moscow, from which he transited to an undisclosed location. His brief appearance on the European stage and the diplomatic tornado it whipped up had received more publicity in two months than he or the PKK had generated in 15 years of guerrilla warfare. But it was increasingly clear that he would not be awarded political asylum and, with relations deteriorating with Turkey, Italy warned Ocalan that if he stayed in the country, he might be brought to trial on terror charges. Ironically, such a trial could also have been Turkey's worst nightmare if it had exposed state terror as well as rebel terror and if it had sparked an international review of the long-standing civil war in that country.

Until now, Turkey has been able to ignore Western demands for dialogue with the Kurds. The brutal scorched earth campaign in the southeast has been a military success. The deforestation and village burnings have been accomplished with little press attention, a minimum of public debate, and no censure from the United Nations. And the PKK, though still a force to be reckoned with, recently has been beset by internal conflicts and beleaguered by defections. Ocalan's arrest, in Turkey's eyes, could have finished the rebels once and for all. But now his fate, the "Kurdish question," and Turkey's suitability as a member of the European Union have once again been postponed.

In early February, two months in advance of the increasingly important national elections, Turkey took steps to ban the Hadep party. Officials said that some members of Hadep, which has more than 3,000 registered members, had shown sympathy for the guerrillas by participating in hunger strikes and other non-violent activity following Ocalan's arrest in Rome.

Hadep represents the Kurds' only potential interlocutor with the government other than the rebels. The bid to outlaw the party, which would deny the Kurds any representation in the Turkish parliament, startled the United States and its allies, alienated moderate Kurds, and further undermined the country's fragile democracy.

For all the military assistance the United States has provided its ally over the years, Turkey remains politically unstable. The ruling coalition in Ankara recently collapsed in a corruption-related scandal, and the Islamic party, the scourge of the Turkish army, is stronger today than at any time in history. While still a minority party, it is widely expected to win the national elections this spring. The country is unstable economically as well, and inflation is rampant, a reflection of the fact that $100 billion has been spent, just since 1991, to defeat the rebels.

On the surface, very little seems to have changed. The government still has 300,000 security forces in the southeast, and Apo is underground once again. Notwithstanding recent events, the battleground has yet to shift from the Turkish-Iraqi mountains to the political salons of the Continent. Turkey still boasts the largest army in NATO (after the United States), but the path to diplomatic acceptance in Europe despite dogged U.S. efforts will be clouded by the Kurds for some time to come.

KEVIN McKIERNAN, a photojournalist, has visited Turkey and northern Iraq a dozen times since the Gulf War. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Reprinted by permission of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1998 by the Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, 6042 South Kimbark, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA. A one-year subscription is $28.


NATO Defends Private Economic Interests in the Balkans

Sources: WOMEN AGAINST MILITARY MADNESS, November 1998; and SONOMA COUNTY PEACE PRESS, April/May 1999 Title: "The Role of Caspian Sea Oil in the Balkan Conflict" Author: Diana Johnstone

BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER, May/June 1999 (Reprinted from Workers World, July 30, 1998) Title: "Kosovo: It's About the Mines" Author: Sara Flounders

SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, December 16. 1999 Title: "Caspian Pipe Dreams" Author: Pratap Chatterjee

Faculty Evaluators: Catherine Nelson, Ph.D. & Jim Burkland Student Researchers: Misty Anderson, Jake Medway, & Damian Uriarte

NATO and the countries it represents were fully aware of numerous economic advantages to breaking up Yugoslavia and thus pursued a war over Kosovo. Despite environmental and civilian harm, NATO promoted a war with Serbia in order to position the Western nations politically and economically, and to reestablish itself militarily.

The media often depicts Kosovo as an isolated and poor region with little or no resources. Yet huge reserves of lead, zinc, cadmium, silver, gold, and coal are in Kosovo and were held by the Serbian state-owned Trepca mining complex. The most valuable resources in the Balkans are its mines, estimated to be worth in excess of $5 billion. The huge complex of mines, oil and gas refining prospects, and power and transportation futures is thought to be the largest piece of wealth not yet in the hands of U.S. and European capitalists. Whoever ultimately controls Kosovo will determine principle interest in the 22 mines and the many processing plants of the Trepca complex for decades to come.

Natural gas pipeline routes that carry Caspian oil to foreign markets may also have been a contributing factor in NATO's war against Serbia. On average, the 1990s oil prices from the Caspian Sea amounts to approximately $5 trillion. Amoco and Chevron are two leading oil companies with interests in Caspian oil.

Numerous problems exist with various proposals for delivery of Caspian oil to the West. Options for building pipelines through Iran and Russia are, for example, opposed by the U.S. for political reasons.

The possibility of shipping the oil across the Black Sea from a pipeline on the sea's eastern coast may be the cheapest option. Still, the likelihood of environmental damage while shipping 100 million tons of oil annually through the narrow Bosporus Straits is too great. The solution favored by the U.S. is to build the pipeline from the western end of the Black Sea through the NATO-controlled Balkans.

NATO's role of protecting the vital interests of multinational corporations is perhaps its principle justification for existence after the end of the Cold War. A leaked 1992 Pentagon planning document states, "It is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and security, as well as the channel for U.S. influence and participation in European security affairs." Without a Soviet threat, the U.S. had to find other uses for the alliance.

A senior NATO official told a reporter of the New York Times, "Organizations seek out action. They need to do things. That's why NATO needs the Balkans...."

UPDATE BY AUTHOR PRATAP CHATTERJEE The Caspian region has been touted as the successor to the Arabian Gulf as a source of world oil. Various experts have estimated that the region holds a treasure chest of roughly $5 trillion worth of oil that makes the region the setting for tremendous political rivalry. Although the conflict in the region has been a major news story (such as the ongoing Russian assault on Chechnya), very few reports have focused on the possible environmental consequences of the drilling, the lack of democracy in the region, and the unequal distribution of wealth.

"Caspian Pipe Dreams" provides a road map to various pipeline options and the political rivalries and conflicts, as well as the social and environmental consequences of the drilling plans.

In mid-November, President Bill Clinton went to Istanbul, Turkey, to take part in the formal signing of pipeline agreements with the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan. Russia and Iran, both of whom are rivals to the American interests, were cut out of these agreements.

One of these pipelines will carry oil from Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, some 1,080 miles across the Caucasus and through eastern Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The other pipeline, which is 1,250 miles long, will run under the Caspian to take gas from Central Asia along the same route to an export outlet in Turkey. U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson summed up the American position for the press at the signing of the pipeline agreements: "This is not just another oil and gas deal, and this is not just another pipeline. It is a strategic framework that advances America's national security interests."

The mainstream media has been very interested in the conflict over Caspian oil. There has even been a James Bond movie, appropriately titled The World Is Not Enough, but the coverage has been mostly sensationalistic and very supportive of the "need" to tap these riches and the potential benefits for the local people without questioning the possible downside locally. Nor has the mainstream media ever covered possible alternative development models for the region or the fact that the very extraction and consumption of Caspian oil will exacerbate global warming.

To get regular updates on the subject of the mineral industries I recommend that readers subscribe to a twice-monthly electronic magazine, Project Underground, Drillbits & Tailings, from a non-profit organization that supports communities affected by the mineral industries. The magazine is available electronically for free (financial support is encouraged) by e-mailing project_underground@moles.org. All back issues are archived and completely searchable on the World Wide Web at www.moles.org..

"Kosovo: It's About the Mines" examines the economic and strategic interests at stake in the Balkans. It was written before NATO's war.

In May 1999, during the 78-day NATO bombardment, I traveled through Yugoslavia with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and videographer Gloria La Riva. It was clear that NATO overwhelmingly targeted the civilian infrastructure. In Belgrade and Novi Sad I visited bombed schools and hospitals. In Nis I saw a hospital and marketplace hit by cluster bombs.

In June, as the Yugoslav military withdrew from Kosovo Province, the media debated whether the Pentagon had destroyed three or seven Yugoslav tanks. What was not publicized was that NATO had bombed 328 schools and 33 hospitals along with heating plants, food processing and pharmaceutical plants, bridges, apartments blocs, and refugee convoys. NATO planes dropped more than 35,000 cluster bombs and fired thousands of rounds of depleted uranium shells.

Three months after the war a series of articles in the Washington Post by Dana Priest (September 19, 20, and 21,1999) revealed that U.S. generals directing NATO bombing purposely struck civilian targets in Serbia to pressure the government to capitulate. The Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits bombing not justified by military necessity. If there is any likelihood that a target has a civilian function, then bombing is prohibited by international law and considered a war crime.

Back in the spring, NATO bombardment was continually justified as a "humanitarian war." Hardly anyone mentioned the powerful economic interests that drive modern war. They assured the population that NATO intervention against the Yugoslav military was the only way to stop "genocide." On April 19, the State Department said that up to 500,000 Kosovar Albanians were missing and feared dead. On May 16, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said that up to 100,000 Albanian men in Kosovo had vanished and may have been killed. This was an unrelenting theme during the bombing. A search of the Internet turns up more than 1,000 stories written on Kosovo massacres and mass graves.

Throughout the NATO bombing the media hardly mentioned Kosovo's many resources, except to charge that the Trepca mines were sites of mass graves. The New York Times on July 7, 1999, wrote a major story headlined: "Crisis in the Balkans: Atrocities, Acid and Smelting Vats Evoke Fear of Grisly Burials by Serbs." According to NY Times correspondent Chris Hedges, truckloads of bodies arrived each night at the Trepca mines and the unusual bittersweet smell, assumed to be burning bodies, wafted up from the chimneys that ventilate the huge bowl-shaped smelting vats. Reports claimed that more than 700 bodies were in the mine.

In June, after the cease-fire, forensic teams from 17 nations converged on Kosovo to gather evidence of war crimes committed by the Yugoslav military. On November 11 a New York Times article reported that after five months of investigation and exhumation of 195 most serious grave sites, reported to hold thousands of bodies, they had not found even a fraction of the reported 500,000 or 100,000 bodies. Their total count was 2,108 bodies throughout the province. They found no mass graves.

After a long NATO investigation at the Trepca Mines, but with far less publicity than the original charges, the November 11, 1999, New York Times article admitted that no bodies or any evidence of a crime at the Trepca mines could be found. The mines are now firmly in NATO control.

Since the cease-fire the real U.S. goals have become much clearer. The largest U.S. foreign base built from scratch since the Vietnam War is under construction in Kosovo. Unlike the tent camps of the European forces, Camp Bondsteel is already a heavily fortified base surrounded by miles of barbed wire, earthen berms, and permanently heated and air-conditioned buildings.

Behind the propaganda of a humanitarian war, U.S./NATO bases have been constructed in Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Macedonia, and Kosovo. The Balkans, a region of enormous strategic importance, rich natural resources and important industrial capacity is now occupied by thousands of U.S. troops. All this has happened without any informed debate or discussion.

Presently I am coordinating the Independent Commission of Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia. Ramsey Clark has drafted a 19-point indictment charging U.S. and NATO leaders with Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity in violation of the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Hague Regulations, the Geneva Conventions, and the U.N. Charter. Large public hearings on these charges have been held in 10 U.S. cities and in cities throughout Europe. Many more hearings are planned. This has become a people's movement demanding truth and accountability. The most dramatic event was a People's Tribunal of over 10,000 people in Athens, Greece, where the Greek Supreme Court declared President Clinton and NATO

leaders guilty of war crimes. An International Tribunal will be held in June 2000 in New York City where a jury of internationally prominent individuals will review the evidence and deliver a verdict. Student interns on this project are welcome. The 19-point indictment and research papers are available on the International Action Center (IAC) Web site: www.iacenter.org.


U.S. Media Reduces Foreign Coverage

Source: AMERICAN JOURNALISM REVIEW, November 1998 Title: "Good-bye World" Author: Peter Arnett

Faculty Evaluator: Elizabeth Burch, Ph.D. Student Researchers: Deb Udall & Monte Williams

Mainstream coverage: The Boston Globe, November 15, 1998, D6, Editorial

Foreign news is disappearing from many of America's newspapers. Today, a foreign story that doesn't involve bombs, natural disaster, or financial calamity has little chance of entering the American consciousness. This happens at a time when the United States has become the world's lone superpower and "news" has so many venues that it seems inescapable.

So how is it that Americans are less informed than ever about what's going on in the rest of the world? Because the media have stopped telling us. In the Indianapolis Star, for example, in the 30 days of November 1977, there were a total of 5,100 inches of foreign news. In the same month in 1997, foreign news accounted for just under 3,900 column inches, a 23 percent drop over two decades.

Beyond quantity, the trend involves an overall reduction in prominence of foreign news. For example, even in metropolitan newspapers, a subscriber can go for days without seeing a foreign news story crack the front pages. While people told pollsters that they rely primarily on TV for national and international news, mainstream newspapers have opted to cover what national networks can't-local news and sports. Television news, during the heyday of Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, and Frank Reynolds, contained at least 40 percent international coverage. The figure today is 7-12 percent and dropping.

International news began to fade from America's newspapers in the 1970s. When the Vietnam War ended, international news fell dramatically out of favor with editors. With the emergence of Watergate, the energy crisis, and other domestic concerns, fewer papers were willing to support foreign correspondents or subscribe to foreign news services.

Nationwide interviews indicate that most editors believe readers aren't interested in foreign news. Surveys of readers, however, show the contrary. A Harris poll showed that nearly half or even more readers were interested in international news. In a 1996 poll, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked readers what kind of news stories they regularly follow. Fifteen percent said international affairs-just one point below Washington politics and slightly ahead of consumer news, and two points ahead of the celebrity stuff that gets all the coverage.


Planned Weapons in Space Violate International Treaty

Sources: EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL, Winter/Spring 1999 Title: "U.S. Violates World Law to Militarize Space" Author: Karl Grossman

TOWARD FREEDOM, September/October 1999 Title: "Pyramids to The Heavens" Author: Bruce K. Gagnon Community Evaluator: Rick Williams, Attorney At Law Student Researcher: Julia O'Connor

Mainstream coverage: The Huntville Times, November 7, 1999, Editorial, D2

The United States plans to militarize space while in direct violation of international treaties. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 bans deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space. Still, the Ballistic Missile Defense system and other space weapons programs have already been approved by Congress and are currently underway. The United States Military Space Command's "Vision for 2020" report not only speaks of controlling the Earth and the sky above our planet, it also describes plans to control the vast region beyond as NASA and aerospace corporations move toward mining the moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies for minerals.

Our military successes in the Persian Gulf War convinced the U.S. military that space dominance and space control were necessary. Using its satellite supremacy, the Pentagon pre-targeted Iraq's military installations, and hit over 90 percent of its targets within the first few hours, giving the U.S. the ability to control the entire battlefield. The Space Command's Global Positioning System constellation of 24 satellites is credited with providing navigation and timing support to coordinate the actions of allied air crews and naval forces operating in the region.

The Pentagon is so convinced that whoever controls space will control the Earth and beyond that they are feverishly working to deploy anti-satellite weapons (ASATs) within the next five years. The weapons will enable the U.S. to knock out competitors' eyes-in-the-sky during any future hostilities. General Joseph Ashy, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command, stated, "It's politically sensitive but it's going to happen.... Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue but, absolutely, we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space.

The aerospace industry, eagerly awaiting sub-contracts, engages in a campaign called "Declaration of Space Leadership." This campaign calls for funding of NASA and "Space Defensive Systems" at costs that guarantee American leadership in the exploration of space.

Still, one of the military's problems is providing the massive power needed to project their space-based weapons. The military believes that nuclear power is the only source powerful enough to supply military space forces with the electric power needed for these weapons to work.

The Outer Space Treaty also states that nations should avoid activities that stand to produce "harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies as well as adverse changes in the environment of Earth." Between NASA's demand for future nuclear-powered space probes and the Space Command's desire for nuclear powered space weapons, the result will be nuclear contamination problems both on land and in space. With a 12 percent failure rate in both the U.S. and Russian space programs, nuclear accidents are inevitable.

NASA has launched a program to reach every science teacher in the country. Their thoughts are that by 2020, current elementary school students will be taxpayers. The industry hopes that they'll not only believe that we should spend whatever it takes to go to Mars, but also that war in space is inevitable.

The United States is violating the Outer Space Treaty, the basic international law on space, by covering its nuclear-fueled space shots with the U.S. Price Anderson Act. The Outer Space Treaty declares that nations "shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects." The Price Anderson Act limits liability in the event of an accident involving a U S. nuclear power system-and was originally designed for nuclear plants on Earth. But in 1991 NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, in a Space Nuclear Power Agreement, declared it would cover U.S. nuclear-fueled space shots, too.

Thus, if there had been an accident on the most recent U.S. nuclear mission, the plutonium-fueled Cassini space probe, the U.S. would have only accepted liability for a fraction of the consequences in death and damage- $8.9 billion for impacts in the U.S. and $100 million, under the Price Anderson Act, for impacts in all foreign nations. NASA documents, meanwhile, acknowledged that if an inadvertent re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere occurred during the most risky aspect of the Cassini mission-the 1999 Earth "'flyby' or 'gravity assist maneuver'...approximately 5 billion [of the world population] could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure," and the cost of de-contaminating the land could run in the trillions of dollars.

Since publication of the Earth Island Journal article, Cassini was successful in buzzing the Earth in a 700-mile high flyby in August 1999. Yet, the following month, an accident befell NASA's Mars Climate Observer-similar to what could have happened with Cassini. It failed in buzzing Mars because one NASA team calculated altitude in meters, the other in feet. Coming in too low, it broke apart.

Meanwhile, NASA plans eight more plutonium-fueled space probe shots in coming years-all to be covered by the Space Nuclear Power Agreement. With Cassini, the world got through one in a series of space-borne rounds of nuclear Russian Roulette. The enormous risk and illegality remains if U.S. plans are not changed. And changed they could be. The next U.S. nuclear space mission, for example, is in 2003, when NASA intends to launch its plutonium-fueled Europa space probe to Jupiter. The same year, the European Space Agency will be launching its solar-energized Rosetta space probe beyond the orbit of Jupiter to rendezvous with a comet called Wirtanen. The European Space Agency has made a point of noting that it is using solar energy rather than nuclear power to energize the instruments on board Rosetta and that Rosetta will be gathering solar power as far as 500 million miles from the sun. NASA could also use solar power as an alternative to nuclear power in space.

Meanwhile, the U.S. push to weaponize space has become more intense since the publication of the Earth Island Journal article. The use of nuclear power in space is closely linked to this trend. U.S. military documents declare that the U.S. is seeking to control space, and from space (which the documents call "the ultimate high ground") the Earth below. As a U.S. Air Force board report, "New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century," explains, the space-based weapons such as lasers, need large amounts of power and a solution "is nuclear power in space. Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space." (The Pentagon's desire to use nuclear power in space is a key reason why NASA rejects the solar option and sticks with nuclear, to better coordinate its activities with the U.S. military.)

"New World Vistas" further states that "in the next two decades, new technologies will allow space based weapons of devastating effectiveness to effect very many kills." These plans remain despite the ban on deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space by the Outer Space Treaty, initiated by the U.S., the United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Union in 1967 and ratified by most of the world's nations.

In a critical United Nations General Assembly vote in November 1999, called to deal with the U.S. plans to weaponize space, 138 nations voted to reaffirm the Outer Space Treaty and its provision that space be used for peaceful purposes. The U.S. abstained on the vote. And it drives on to make the heavens a war zone.

Although there was mainstream media coverage of the Cassini mission and its Earth flyby, there was absolutely no mention of the Space Nuclear Power Agreement aspect and the Outer Space Treaty violation it involves. The current push to weaponize space remains spottily covered by mainstream media, with whatever coverage there is stressing missile defense, despite the abundance of U.S. military documents making it clear that the U.S. military's plans are largely about domination of space.

A comprehensive source of further information is the book I have authored, The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet (Common Courage Press, Tel: (800) 497-3207), and video documentaries I wrote and narrated, Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens and Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks (EnviroVideo, Tel: (800) ECO-TV46 and www.envirovideo.com).

Also, for more information and to get involved in challenging the U.S. plans, contact the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power In Space at (352) 337-9274 or E-mail: globalnet@ mindspring.com. Its Web site: www.globenet.free-online.co.uk.

As this was written, CNN ran a non-stop promotion on TV for NASA's Mars Polar Lander (which only days later turned up lost in space wasting $123 million). While we are told that NASA is looking for life on Mars, the reality is that NASA is doing planetary mapping, and soil identification, and in future missions, the space agency will do a soil sample return mission. All of this is a prelude to "manned" missions to Mars. Manned nuclear-powered mining colonies are to be set up to "exploit" Mars for cobalt, magnesium, uranium, and other rare minerals.

Nuclear-powered rockets would blast off from Cape Canaveral to shorten the amount of time it takes to get to Mars. And the cost of all this? Space News, an industry publication, gave the conservative figure of $400 billion as the collective cost of the Mars mission series for the U.S. taxpayer.

Indeed, as outlined in my article, "Pyramids to the Heavens," the U.S. Space Command's job would be to create a parallel military highway between Earth and these exploited planets to ensure, as they say in their "Vision for 2020" report, "U.S. military, civil, and commercial investments in space" are protected. President Clinton is expected to make the final decision prior to June 2000 on "early deployment" of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. This system would allow for a return of Star Wars. The Air Force is now testing space-based laser weapons and antisatellite weapons (ASATs) that would be the follow-on technologies to the BMD Trojan horse. With this space domination established, the U.S. would not only control the Earth but also the new "shipping lanes" of space.

The corporate-dominated media is ignoring the real story about space. As hundreds of billions of tax dollars are spent on space, they offer the fluff and the hype from NASA about Mars landings, but there is no analysis of where the U.S. Space Command and the aerospace corporations are taking the space program. Critics that are interviewed are used to make the case that NASA needs more money to do the job "better." In fact, a series of Mars movies will be coming out in 2000-2001 to sell the program. Filmmaker James Cameron recently told a Mars Society conference, "I want to make humans-to-Mars real in the minds of the viewing public." He said that he hopes to create a ground swell for increased NASA funding.

The alternative media must help carry this important issue to the public. Who else will? The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) is now organizing to create a worldwide democratic debate about what kind of seed should be carried into space. Should we take the bad seed of war, greed, and environmental degradation with us as we leave this planet? Just how much money should be spent on the space program? And who should be in control?

For more information about this important issue please check the Global Network's Web site: www.globenet.freeonline.co.uk. On the Web site you will find links to all the major military and corporate aerospace sites so you can see for yourself what they are up to. To get directly involved please contact the GN at P.O. Box 90083, Gainesville, FL 32607, Tel: (352) 337-9274. Bruce K. Gagnon, coordinator.


The U.S. and NATO Deliberately Started the War with Yugoslavia

Sources: THE VILLAGE VOICE, May 18,1999 Title: "The Real Rambouillet" Author: Jason Vest

EXTRA, July/August 1999 Title: "Redefining Diplomacy" Author: Seth Ackerman

IN THESE TIMES, August 8,1999 Title: "What Was the War For?" Author: Seth Ackerman

COVERTACTION QUARTERLY, Spring/Summer 1999 Title: "Hawks and Eagles: 'Greater NATO flies to Aid of 'Greater Albania"' Author: Diana Johnstone

PACIFICA RADIO NETWORK, April 23,1999, www.Pacifica.org Title: "Democracy Now" Host: Amy Goodman

Faculty Evaluator: Phil Beard Student Researchers: Nathan Guzik, Jennifer Mathis, & Jennifer Acio

Mainstream coverage: C-SPAN Washington Journal, San Husseini, April 22, 1999 Washington Post, "For the Record," April 28,1999, A-24 Star-Tribune Newspaper of the Twin Cities Minneapolis-St. Paul, May 17, 1999, 6A Harper's Magazine, July 1, 1999

The U.S. and NATO pushed for war with Yugoslavia by demanding full military occupation of the entire country as a condition of not bombing. Belgrade could not accept the U.S. drafted two-part Rambouillet ultimatum, not only because it was a thinly veiled plan to detach Kosovo from Serbia, but also because it contained provisions even worse than loss of that historic province, provisions no sovereign country in the world could possibly accept.

Appendix B of the proposed pre-war Rambouillet treaty, subsections 7 and 8, stated that: "NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and "shall enjoy...free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY, including associated airspace and territorial waters."

Clauses 11 and 15 granted NATO "the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment [and] the right to use all of the electromagnetic spectrum." Also included were arbitrary arrest and detention powers for NATO personnel. President Milosevic, fearing the loss of sovereignty of Yugoslavia, refused to ratify the agreement-the bombing started the next day.

Robert Hayden, director of the Center for Russian and European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, stated that, in his view, a close reading of the accords "provided for the independence of Kosovo in all but name, and the military occupation by NATO of all of Yugoslavia, not just Kosovo."

According to NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea, "There was no intention whatever of having any kind of NATO occupation regime in Yugoslavia itself. What Rambouillet refers to is simply the right to transit, nothing more." Yet NATO had carefully planned military operations several months in advance and the treaty gave the Serbs no alternative.

Dan Goure, deputy director of political and military studies at the Center of Strategic and International Studies states the following: "The administration went to Rambouillet basically to arrange a trap for Milosevic. It was a no-win situation for him and frankly, Albright was trying to find a pretext for bombing. They told the Kosovar Albanians that if they signed and Milosevic didn't, they'd bomb Serbia. Rambouillet was not a negotiation, it was a setup, a Iynch party."

Unreported in the mainstream media was the fact that when Serbia rejected the treaty they also passed a resolution declaring their willingness to negotiate for Kosovo's self-management. For months, the Serbian government had offered to negotiate. High level government teams made many trips to Pristina to hold talks with Ibrahim Rugova and other nonviolent ethnic Albanians. The Albanians refused to negotiate, for fear of going against the rising armed rebel movement, the Kosovo Libertarian Army (KLA), hostile to any compromise and ready to assassinate "traitors" who dealt with the Serbs.

At Rambouillet, the older generation of nationalist leaders did not have the slightest opportunity to enter negotiations with the multi-ethnic official Serbian delegation. They were overshadowed in the ethnic Albanian delegation by the KLA, who by then were assured U.S. support. Genuine negotiations would have at least paid attention to the extensive 10-page proposal of the Serbian government. Some of the points outlined in the proposal included the following: Equality of all citizens and guaranteed human rights, facilitated return of all citizens to their homes, safe unhindered access of all international and national or non-governmental humanitarian organizations to the population for purposes of aid, and the widest possible media freedoms.

NATO's war against Yugoslavia was the major ongoing news story of 1999 and will continue into 2000 and beyond. Presented by NATO propagandists and most of the media as a "humanitarian" war on behalf of the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, this war violated international law, killed thousands of people, wantonly destroyed the livelihood of millions of innocent civilians in Yugoslavia, and left the supposed beneficiary of this aggression- Kosovo province-in a shambles.

NATO's airstrikes triggered violent Serb retaliation against ethnic Albanians who by the hundreds of thousands fled to safety in neighboring countries. They have since returned to a province under foreign military occupation, with no government administration or judicial system, at the mercy of a ruthless Albanian nationalist armed group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which, while pretending to disband, has continued to drive out Kosovo's non-Albanian citizens and to terrorize fellow ethnic Albanians. This disastrous situation has its roots in the opportunistic alliance, which I described in "Hawks and Eagles," between U.S. strategists seeking a pretext to expand NATO and a nationalist Albanian lobby with influential supporters such as former Senator Bob Dole. This alliance culminated in the Clinton Administration's promotion of KLA leader Hashim Thaqi to head the Kosovo Albanian delegation that, by signing the "Rambouillet accords"-in fact a U.S. ultimatum-gave Washington the pretext it sought to launch NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia in time for NATO's 50th anniversary celebration in April of 1999.

This unscrupulous alliance has dire consequences for the people of Kosovo and the entire region. A few words of Serbian spoken in public can equal a death sentence. Nobody is safe. Moderate Kosovo Albanian leaders have been publicly threatened by the KLA. The only people who may be safe now in Kosovo are the U.S. soldiers for whom the United States has hastily built a huge fortified military base, Camp Bondsteel, in total illegality on the territory of a foreign state.

Meanwhile, the Clinton Administration is encouraging further disintegration of Yugoslavia itself by inciting separatists in Montenegro, Voivodina, and the Sandjak region, as well as certain opposition leaders, to resort to secession and even civil war, in order to end the sanctions that continue to punish the people of Yugoslavia.

Never has an event of such tragic dimensions been so badly reported by Western mainstream media. Except for Greece, and to some extent Italy, the NATO propaganda version dominated media reporting. To justify continued airstrikes, NATO apologists even resorted to racist stigmatization of the Serbs as a people.

NATO propaganda has gradually lost credibility thanks to its own excesses, to the reporting of a few mainstream journalists such as Paul Watson and Robert Fisk, and more than ever before to the alternative press and the Internet. Just as Seattle may mark a new phase in activism against the excesses of economic globalization, the Kosovo War marked a new phase in the role of e-mail and Websites in overcoming the information monopoly of the corporate media. Thanks to the Internet, my own articles have appeared on Web sites and in publications I didn't know existed. The Web site of the Transnational Foundation for Future and Peace research, www.transnational.org, has been of particular value in spreading information and stimulating debate, as have ZNet and emperors-clothes.com.

Diana Johnstone 65 rue Marcadet 75018 Paris, France Tel & Fax: 011-33-1-4223-5211.

The diplomatic sleight-of-hand at the Rambouillet peace conference in February-March 1999 forces us to ask searching questions about the nature of NATO's Kosovo War. Was it, as NATO says, a desperate recourse to the use of military force, aimed at stopping an imminent genocide from being perpetrated by Yugoslav forces hiding cynically behind claims of national sovereignty? Or was it an American power play-designed to advance Washington's strategic goals in Europe, joined by skeptical European allies brigaded behind a U.S. policy they lacked the military weight to challenge?

Such questions cannot be answered with any certainty until all the diplomatic records are opened-and we will have to wait a long time for that to happen. In the meantime, we can listen to those in some position to know what took place at Rambouillet-as well as before and since. For instance, Eric Rouleau, an influential French journalist and diplomat, recently published an intriguing account of France's role in Western diplomacy towards Kosovo in the French journal Le Monde Diplomatique. In his lengthy analysis, Rouleau, a former French ambassador to Turkey, writes that a senior official in the French foreign ministry admitted to him that the Rambouillet document was unacceptable.

Prominent diplomats, scholars, and Balkan experts have offered their judgments about U.S. diplomacy. Henry Kissinger has said that "the Rambouillet text...was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing" Yugoslavia. Lord David Owen, the European Union's former peace negotiator for Bosnia, has acknowledged that once the U.S. put forward the Rambouillet military annex, with its demand to allow NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, "there was no question that the Serbs would risk air attacks." He also found it "noteworthy" that this provocative demand failed to materialize in the final June 3 agreement with Yugoslavia.

The famed British foreign correspondent, Robert Fisk, published a report in the November 26 London Independent tracing the evidence that Appendix B of the Rambouillet text was designed to provoke a Serbian rejection. Fisk interviewed Serbian officials, including Information Minister Milan Komnenic, a respected figure within and outside Serbia, who is at work on a book about the talks, entitled The Rambouillet Trap. Another minister, Goran Matic, who is close to President Milosevic, told Fisk:

'We were ready to accept the political solution of the Kosovo problem and U.N. troops to regulate the implementation- but not NATO troops in occupation." Matic claims that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which set the final peace terms in June, "could have been accepted before the bombing."

To my knowledge, the facts about Appendix B of Rambouillet, Serbia's prewar concessions, and the American strategic interest in airstrikes, have never been discussed in any depth in the news columns of the major media. In my view, this silence represents the greatest failure of the American press's coverage of Kosovo. Indeed, "failure" is probably too exculpatory. Steven Erlanger of the New York Times, one of the best American correspondents in Belgrade, acknowledged in a radio interview last summer that he believes a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis had been possible at Rambouillet. Yet Erlanger, unlike Robert Fisk, has never published an article exploring the question.

Yet the facts are available. One of the best single sources for information about these aspects of the Kosovo War is the Web site of Z Magazine, which devotes a special section to Kosovo. That page can be found at www.zmag.org/ZMag/ kosovo.htm. Jan Oberg of the Transnational Institute in Stockholm produced some of the earliest and best analyses of the Rambouillet texts and the subsequent diplomacy. His Web site is www.transnational.org.


Evidence Indicates No Pre-war Genocide in Kosovo and Possible U.S./KLA Plot to Create Disinformation

Sources: COVERTACTION QUARTERLY, Spring/Summer 1999 Title: "William Walker: 'Man With a Mission"' Author: Mark Cook

THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW. June 1999 Title: "My Multinational Entity, Right or Wrong" Author: Progressive Staff

EL PAIS, September 23,1999 Title: "Spanish Police and Forensic Experts have not Found Proof of Genocide in the North of Kosovo" Author: Pablo Ordaz

Faculty Evaluators: John Kramer, Ph.D. & Andrew Botterell, Ph.D.

Student Researchers: Fera Byrd & Jeremiah Price

Mainstream coverage: Los Angeles Times, October 29,1999, Editorial

According to the New York Times, the "turning point" to NATO's decision to go to war against Yugoslavia occurred on January 20, 1999 when U.S. diplomat William Walker led a group of news reporters to discover a so-called Serb massacre of some 45 Albanians in Racak, Kosovo. This story made international headlines and was later used to justify the NATO bombings.

The day before the "massacre," Serb police had a firefight with KLA rebels that was covered by an Associated Press (AP) film crew. At the end of day, the village was deserted. Then, the next day the village had been reoccupied by the KLA, and it was the KLA who initially led foreign visitors to the alleged massacre site. William Walker arrived at noon with additional journalists, and expressed his outrage at a "genocidal massacre" to the world press.

Walker's story remains shrouded with doubt. "What is disturbing," remarks war correspondent Renaud Girard, "is that the pictures filmed by the AP journalists radically contradict Walker's accusations." Challenges to Walker's massacre story were published in Le Monde and Le Figaro: "During the night, could the UCK (KLA) have gathered the bodies, in fact killed by Serb bullets, to set up a scene of cold-blooded massacre?" (Le Figaro). Belarussian and Finnish forensic experts were later unable to verify that a massacre had actually occurred at Racak.

Walker's pronounced massacre fueled NATO's justification for the air attacks on Serbia as a means of preventing genocide. However, reports from various foreign offices state that genocide was not occurring in Kosovo.

The Progressive Review reported that according to internal documents from Germany's Foreign Office and regional courts on January 6, 1999, "No cases of chronic malnutrition or insufficient medical treatment among the refugees are known and significant homelessness has not been observed." On January 12, other records noted: "Even in Kosovo an explicit political persecution linked to ethnicity is not verifiable." In addition, records from February 4 state: "The various reports presented to the Senate all agree the often-feared humanitarian catastrophe threatening the Albanian civil population has been averted." February 24 records state: "Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity." Records from March: "Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have neither been, nor are now, exposed to regional or countrywide group persecution in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."

Additionally, El Pais reports that Spanish forensic experts have not found proof of genocide in the post-war region of northern Kosovo. NATO told the Spanish forensic teams that they were going into the worst part of Kosovo and to be prepared to perform 2,000 autopsies. Only 187 bodies were found in nine villages. They were buried in individual graves (most of which pointed toward Mecca to comply with the Albanian Kidovar religious custom) and without sign of torture.

At about the time the Balkan War broke out, I was working on a memoir of the '60s and read, with no little embarrassment, some of the things I wrote as a 27-year-old in 1965 about Vietnam. I found there the tracks of a Cold-War-liberal upbringing, recent service in the Coast Guard, the memory of a friend who was among the first 40 killed in Southeast Asia, but most of all of a young journalist unwilling to risk looking foolish to others. It took about a year before I could turn such influences aside and stare straight at the facts.

In the end, it was a struggle that stood me in good stead. It taught me that war was the most seductive drama most of us will ever encounter, and that the media too often chooses the role of playwright rather than of honest observer.

The task has become much harder. Not only has military agitprop become infinitely more sly and manipulative, today's typical journalists are without personal experience of the system they celebrate. For this reason, I sometimes suggest a revival of the draft-but only for reporters. That way they would not be so easily conned by the military "experts" they so gladly interview and quote.

A less painful solution, of course, would be a far more aggressive and skeptical journalism that did not repeatedly serve, in Russell Baker's phrase, as a "megaphone for fraud." For my part, I find myself increasingly covering Washington's most ignored beat: the written word. The culture of deceit is primarily an oral one. The soundbite, the spin, and the political product placement depend on no one spending too much time on the matter under consideration.

Over and over again, however, I find that the real story still lies barely hidden and may be reached by nothing more complicated than turning the page, checking the small type in the appendix, charging into the typographical jungle beyond the executive summary, doing a Web search, and, for the bravest, actually looking at the figures on the charts.

My work on the Balkan War represents an effort of this sort. It is the result not of investigative journalism, but of something that I fear is even rarer these days: Simple journalistic curiosity, a chronic dissatisfaction with the loose ends of our culture and experience. The piece was just a compilation of what should have been in my morning paper, but was not.

Although the issue with the article "My Multinational Entity, Right or Wrong" is out of print, photocopies of the article can be obtained by sending $2 to the Progressive Review. Other coverage of the Balkan War can be found at the following Web sites: http://prorev.com/ balkan.htm and htip://prorev.com/balkan 2.htm.

Sam Smith The Progressive Review
1312 18th St. NW, #502 Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 845-0770 Fax: (202) 835-0779 Web site: htip://prorev.com
E-mail: news@prorev.com news

Seldom has the power of mass media censorship been so graphically and frighteningly demonstrated as in the William Walker episode in Yugoslavia.

The Kosovo atrocity story Walker trumpeted in January 1999 was almost immediately discredited, not by a small political weekly somewhere, but by the leading newspapers in France. No matter-the discrediting was so completely suppressed in the United States that virtually no one could have heard of it. It was not as if anyone successfully answered the French journalists' claims; practically nobody even tried. As with Orwell's Ministry of Truth, it was found that the best way to kill the story was not to challenge it.

In contrast, Walker's dubious Racak story was loudly and unquestioningly repeated and became the propaganda justification for the bombing war. "Racak transformed the West's Balkan policy as singular events seldom do," wrote the Washington Post on April 18, 1999. The same day, the New York Times called Racak "a turning point."

Ironically, Walker had no credibility with the U.S. press corps. His role in E1 Salvador was so notorious that CBS's 60 Minutes ran a segment on him twice. The second time was after the principal figure Walker was protecting, Salvadoran army chief of staff Rene Emilio Ponce, turned out to have been the main culprit in the 1989 Jesuit murders.

Since publication, the press has still not backed off the Racak story in the way that was finally done with the Battleship Maine or the Gulf of Tonkin. The revelations in the article have had an effect, however, in Europe as well as here. Many Europeans doubted Walker's Racak atrocity story, but knew little or nothing about his role in Central America. In the period since the article's publication, several European governments are reported privately to have called for his dismissal, arguing that if nothing else, his Salvador reputation made it difficult to use him to sell a "humanitarian" war.

Washington has not given up, however. Aside from Richard Holbrooke, who has a similarly unsavory record in East Asia and has now been appointed Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, there is Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering. As ambassador to El Salvador in 1984, Pickering publicly took much the same position that Walker accused the Serbs of taking at Racak-that it was all right to kill unarmed civilians who sympathize politically with armed rebels, since they are, in Pickering's words, "something more than innocent civilian bystanders" (see "The Salvador Boys," Fall/Winter 1999 issue of CovertAction Quarterly).

Readers interested in following the story further can search the Internet under the word "Racak," where the French stories can be found in English translation. Nexus or Internet searches will produce the U.S. Embassy cables from San Salvador published by the National Catholic Reporter on September 23, 1994, as well as the articles cited on the Jesuit murders. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights publication on the Jesuit murders, "A Chronicle of Death Foretold," may be obtained in libraries or from the Committee,330 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

The findings of the "United Nations Truth Commission on E1 Salvador" published in 1992-93, do not appear to be on the Internet but can be found in libraries. Unfortunately, the report, "De la Locura a la Esperanza," (Naciones Unidas, San Salvador y New York), is available only in Spanish, reportedly because the U.S. government blocked publication in English.


U.S. Media Ignores Humanitarian Aspects of Famine in Korea

Sources: PEACE REVIEW, June 1999 Title: "Famine in North Korea" Author: Ramsay Liem

PEACE REVIEW, June 1999 Title: "Dangerous Communists, Inscrutable Orientals, Starving Masses" Author: Yuh Ji-Yeon

Faculty Evaluator: Les Adler, Ph.D. Student Researchers: Damian Uriarte & Julie O'Conner

The U.S. media used the Korean famine for political propaganda and has failed to cover the huge disaster from a humanitarian perspective. The U.S. media provided only minor coverage of the devastation even though people are suffering severe malnutrition.

A humanitarian food crisis of staggering proportions has been developing in North Korea, yet nowhere has there been an outcry like the one fueled by media worldwide for Ethiopia. Instead, the media chooses to focus on the implication of the threat posed by North Korea as they continue their nuclear testing.

The German Red Cross estimates two million deaths in 1997 due to starvation, the South Korean Buddhists Sharing Movement reported an estimated three million deaths, and the New York Council of Foreign Affairs reported an estimate of one million North Korean deaths due to famine. In May of 1996, the Canadian Food Grains report predicted that the North Korean grain supply had been damaged four times more severely than Ethiopian agriculture during the height of that country's famine in the mid-1980s. As the critical threshold is reached, and some believe it already has been, mortality from famine and famine-related diseases will be unprecedented.

North Korea's entire population shares the deprivation because North Korea's Public Distribution System tries to insure a relatively equal distribution of food. Twenty-three million lives are threatened at once, yet no headlines report these figures. Instead, U.S. media talk about the danger of food relief being given to the North Korean Military instead of the people and the general failure of the Communist political system.

Author Yuk Ji-Yeon writes that North Korea (with whom the U.S. is still technically at war) is still seen as the enemy. While millions of people are starving, the media blames the Communist leaders and ignores the human suffering that is taking place. The media also promote the notion that a proud North Korea refuses aid, rather than focusing on the fact that the U.S. isn't offering much.

UNICEF is actively working in North Korea, surveying 171 of 210 counties, and monitoring food aid distribution from the World Food Program (WFP), an arm of the United Nations. The WFP program's food aid to North Korea is, however, meeting only 50 percent of the need. Meanwhile, the U.S., the food basket of the world, contributes little.

Tragically, hunger in North Korea continues to be an important, if untold, story. Over the half-decade of acute food shortage, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Koreans have perished and countless others have been ravished by illness and malnutrition. Accurate statistics on the human costs of this crisis are not available.

Predictably, donor fatigue has been an increasing problem and the U.N. World Food Program has warned repeatedly that failure to respond by the international community threatens long-term suffering in North Korea even if domestic food supplies increase. For example, children who are severely malnourished can experience permanent retardation of their physical and psychological development threatening the loss of an entire generation of young adults.

Fortunately, improved weather conditions during the past year have contributed to improved prospects for food production, and current estimates are that 4.8 of the 6-5 million metric tons of grain needed to feed the population will be produced this year. Although the long-term recovery of North Korean agricultural output is beginning to look more favorable, international aid continues to be vital. Now more than ever, humanitarian aid offers the promise of longer term food security coupled with support for agricultural rehabilitation and the introduction of new varieties of crops and farming methods.

To achieve these objectives, however, the persistent marginalizing and demonizing of North Korea by the United States and her Western allies must end. The most immediate, concrete expression of such a change in policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would be to end all economic sanctions against North Korea and develop full diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and recognition of one another's sovereignty. While the Clinton Administration has at times shown an inclination to follow this path, Republican hard-liners in the House and Senate have repeatedly attacked the White House for "appeasing" North Korea and sought to undermine the negotiation process. Americans who wish to end the Cold War with North Korea and adopt a truly humanitarian stance toward the food crisis in that country must oppose this mean spirited and self-serving saber rattling.

Coverage of the food crisis in North Korea by the mainstream press was nonexistent during the first two years of shortages (1995-96), and ranged from curiosity to Korea-bashing in 1997 and 1998. Yet coverage has returned once again to virtually total neglect during the past year. The reality of hunger in that country has been replaced by speculation about North Korea's nuclear weapons and long-range missile capabilities in the very limited coverage of North Korea in the U.S. press.

INFORMATION SOURCES FOR THE FOOD CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA United Nations, NYC-World Food Program (principal coordinator of international food relief in North Korea); United Nations Development Program (UNDP): the UNDP has developed a join proposal with the full partnership of the DPRK for mid-term agricultural rehabilitation.

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Philadelphia, PA-Asia Desk: the AFSC has the longest relationship with Korea, north and south, of all NGOs in the United States; they were the first group in the U.S. to initiate food relief programs for North Korea when news of potential famine became public in early 1996.

Institute for Strategic Planning: This Washington, D.C.-based organization of Korean Americans has been supporting food relief programs in North Korea for three years and holding policy briefings in the D.C. area with government officials directly engaged in negotiations with the DPRK.


World Bank's Resettlement Program Displaces Millions

Source: WORLD RIVERS REVIEW, December 1998 Title: "World Bank's Record on Resettlement Remains Troublesome" Author: Lori Pottinger

Faculty Evaluator: Bryan Baker, Ph.D.

Student Researchers: Jennifer Mathis, Melissa Bonham, & Lisa Desmond

The World Bank funds large dam projects, but does little to help the displaced millions who are forced to relocate. A recent report by the World Bank's Operations Evaluation Department (OED), which reviews the Bank's record on complying with its own directives, paints a gloomy picture of the Bank's resettlement record for the people displaced by these large dam projects in the name of development. The most recent data available indicate that 1.9 million people are being displaced by projects in the Bank's current portfolio and that these numbers continue to grow.

The report, "Recent Experience with Involuntary Resettlement," published in June 1998, provides a detailed analysis of the resettlement record of eight dam projects approved between 1984-91 in six countries. To date, the World Bank has helped finance more than 600 large dams.

The OED report acknowledges major problems with the Bank's resettlement record. Their biggest concern is over the Bank's ability to restore the incomes of those resettled. The authors of the report state that the Bank showed only "intermittent interest" in providing follow-through to support its resettlement programs once a loan was disbursed. Another problem stems from the Bank's typical practice of gearing compensation disbursements to a project's construction schedule. This practice results in the Bank exiting the project before staff can reach the Bank's primary responsibility -restoring or improving incomes and standards of living for the displaced populations.

The report recommends that the Bank move away from its policy of offering replacement land for lands lost to a project. Big dam sites usually eliminate the only productive farming systems in the region, leaving resettlers with barren land. People indigenous to these valleys have few skills that are transferable to activities other than farming. They become displaced and unemployable in a foreign environment. Alternatives to land-for-land compensation such as cash compensations or so-called income generating schemes have been tried for years. Several investigations by the World Bank Inspection Panel demonstrate that, at least in rural settings, such options have universally failed. Even the OED report confirms that the Bank's special income strategies have been uniformly ineffective. Still, they are recommending that the Bank weaken its compensation policy by de-emphasizing the current practice of offering replacement land to displaced farmers. One of the OED report authors has said, "In reality, resettlers lose the best land in the area, river valley land, and it's replaced with the most awful land around, because that is what is left."

An estimated 40 to 60 million people have been displaced by large dams in this century, most of them rural poor. The great majority of those displaced have been further impoverished and abandoned by the dam builders and governments responsible for their plight. The World Bank has been a major force behind the world's rush to dam its rivers, and Bank projects as a whole continue to displace nearly 500,000 people a year. The Bank's resettlement policies have long been considered the "gold standard" that forcibly moves people for development schemes. Yet the Bank has failed at resettling people effectively, and instead has increased poverty the world over.

Since the original story was published, the World Bank began to rewrite its resettlement policies, but many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have criticized the document thus far as far weaker than previous ones, especially on issues of restoring incomes and "land-for-and" compensation. Many NGOs question the entire idea of a policy on forced resettlement. Says Patrick McCully of International Rivers Network (IRN), "[The draft policy] insures that the only people certain to be better off due to Bank-funded involuntary resettlement will be resettlement consultants." IRN and other NGOs propose that the Bank no longer engage in forcible resettlement, which the U.N. Commission on Human Rights calls "a gross violation of human rights," but instead approve projects only after potentially affected people have freely given their consent. "Bank-financed resettlement should be voluntary and based on negotiated settlements with affected people to which project developers can be held accountable. If forced resettlement continues to be normal practice for the Bank, project-affected people and their allies will continue to mobilize against Bank projects," McCully writes in a letter to the Bank.

Even if the Bank were to adopt a stronger resettlement policy, it would still have to rectify problems from past projects. Dam-affected people have increasingly demanded reparations for their losses. One recent example is ongoing protest over Thailand's Pak Mun Dam, one of the few projects described as a success in the World Bank's OED report (the topic of the original story). At press time, 3,000 villagers had occupied the dam site for nearly a year, demanding the dam be removed if the World Bank can't make good on its promises to restore livelihoods. "The OED report did not tell the truth," said a Pak Mun villager, in a new report on the project by International Rivers Network. Villagers are asking Bank staff to come see for themselves how their lives and livelihoods have deteriorated.

Neither the original story about the OED's evaluation of the Bank's resettlement practices nor the ongoing revision of the Bank's resettlement policies have received significant media coverage.

FOR MORE INFORMATION About dams worldwide: Lori Pottinger, Director, Southern Africa Program and Editor, World Rivers Review International Rivers Network 1847 Berkeley Way Berkeley, California 94703 USA

Tel: (510) 848 1155 Fax: (510) 848 1008 Web site: www.irn.org

About the World Bank's role in forcible resettlement worldwide: Bank Information Center 733 15th Street NW, Suite 1126 Washington, DC 20005 Tel: (202) 624-0623 Web site: www.bicusa.org

Center for International Environmental Law 1367 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite #300 Washington, DC 20036 Tel: (202) 785-8700 E-mail: info@ciel.org Web site: www.ciel.org


IMF and World Bank Contributed to Economic Tensions in the Balkans

Source: THIS, July/August 1999 Title: "Banking On the Balkans" Author: Michael Chossudovsky
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Ph.D. Student Researchers: Jeremiah Price & Lisa Desmond

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) were leading contributors to economic tensions in the Balkans that stimulated the breakup of Yugoslavia. The divisiveness in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo was reported by media to be caused by "aggressive nationalism" and the ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts. However, other causes involving the IMF and the World Bank contributed to the rise in ethnic tensions.

Declassified documents from 1984 reveal that a U.S. national security decision directive, entitled "United States Policy Towards Yugoslavia," set a policy for destabilizing the Yugoslavian government. U.S. policy was to expand efforts to promote a "quiet revolution" to overthrow Communist governments and parties, while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.

In the early 1980s, the World Bank and IMF provided loans to the former Yugoslavia to supposedly "fix" the economic hardship of the region. The loans from these two organizations included mandated macroeconomic restructuring that, rather than helping, in fact destroyed the industrial sector and dismantled the welfare state. In 1980, when the first phase of macroeconomics reform started, industrial growth began its seven-year decline from 7.1 percent per annum during the years of 1966-79, to 2.8 percent from 1980-87.

Within a climate of severe inflation and wage freezes, restructuring moved on to include new laws, which ushered in import liberalization and a freeze on credit. This caused investment and industrial growth to plummet to zero. Consumer price indexes increased 2,700 percent. Hundreds of firms filed bankruptcy or liquidation, and tens of thousands of industrial workers were laid off. In Kosovo, one of Yugoslavia's poorest provinces, economic depression sparked ethnic conflict between the Albanian majority and Serb minority. Albanian pressure to secede increased and Slobodan Milosevic began moves to suppress Albanian nationalism. In the process, hundreds of Albanians were thrown out of state jobs.

In 1990, the IMF and the World Bank delivered a new "financial aid package" that required new extensive expenditure cuts by the federal government. Belgrade suspended transfer payments to republics and provinces, and real wages collapsed by 41 percent causing half a million workers to have their wages suspended. Inflation began to rise and industrial growth plummeted to 10.6 percent. The entire Yugoslavian banking system began to be dismantled under the supervision of the World Bank. A year later, in 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia and civil war broke out in Croatia.

The IMF and World Bank involvement led to the impoverishment of the population, which in turn led to hatred, confusion, and divisiveness. The United States and NATO wanted to see Yugoslavia become a market-oriented economy, but due to structural adjustment programs the country has experienced out of control inflation and enormous drops in real wages. Now that the economy is in shambles, the U.S. and the European Union have installed a "full-fledged colonial administration" to replace the sovereign economic control of the country. Unfortunately, most of the Western world doesn't realize the root of the problems in the Balkans and sees NATO and the U.S. as the saviors of an "ethnic war."

The military invasion and occupation of Kosovo is but a stage in the broader process of conquest and political destabilization of Yugoslavia. After the separation of Kosovo from Yugoslavia, the Alliance is intent on promoting the secession of Montenegro, Yugoslavia's only remaining access to the Adriatic. Washington has backed the puppet government of President Milo Djukanovic, politically as well as financially since 1997. Conditional upon the adoption of "free market" reforms, U.S. assistance has included support to the 12,000 strong police force loyal to President Djukanovic, not to mention the financing of the Montenegrin civilian militia. (See U.S. State Department, Press Conference, Washington, DC, June 9, 1999; see also The Statements of Secretary M. Albright and President M. Djukanovic, State Department Press Conference, April 22, 1999).

Advised by Western economists and consultants, the preconditions for Montenegro's "economic separation" from Yugoslavia had been firmly established. The Deutschmark was adopted as the "official" currency in November 1999 leading to Montenegro's de facto withdrawal from the Yugoslav monetary system alongside the paralysis of federal transfers to the Podgorica government. A Currency Board was installed on the model of Bosnia-Herzegovina under the Dayton Agreement. Meanwhile, Montenegro's Central Bank had severed its ties with the Yugoslav Central Bank in Belgrade with a view to eventually establishing its own currency pegged to the Deutschmark. The new currency would be established under the currency board arrangement, with the support and financial assistance of the IMF.

By November 1999, the political and economic secession of Montenegro was already de facto with the exception of the cutting off of Serbia from its access to the Adriatic. In this regard, the U.S. is intent with the support of the Djukanovic government of mounting an effective blockade of Bar, which is the port of entry for imported oil into Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the Pentagon had already set out operations plans (OPLANs) "for the invasion and forcible expulsion of Serb forces in Montenegro" (Truth in Media, September 29, 1999). The same source indicates "that the unit designated as the spearhead for the invasion of Montenegro, II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, has an Operational Planning Team (OPT) in Macedonia calculating how best to secure bridgeheads to militarily support the Montenegrin government should it decide to declare its independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY)" (Truth in Media, September 29, 1999).

Destabilizing Vojvodina: Vojvodina is a "bread basket" and a source of raw materials for Yugoslavia. NATO's ultimate objective is the total collapse of Yugoslavia as a viable national economy. Vojvodina has within Serbia the same status as Kosovo. It is an autonomous province with Novi Sad as its capital. NATO's hidden agenda is to destabilize Vojvodina, calling for the establishment of a "special status." The Budapest government (now a member of NATO) has called for the return of the northern territories ceded from the Austro-Hungarian empire as a result of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. Barely a month after the end of the bombings, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met behind closed doors with U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. On the agenda: autonomy to ethnic Hungarians in the north of Vojvodina.

Economic Reconstruction: The so-called "reconstruction" by foreign capital of the Balkans under the "stabilization program" will signify multi-billion dollar contracts to multinational firms to rebuild roads, airports, and bridges that will eventually be required (once the embargo is lifted) to facilitate the "free movement" of capital and commodities. The proposed "Marshall Plan" financed by the World Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD), as well as private creditors, will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum, and construction companies, while fueling the region's external debt well into the third millennium.

Free market reforms have been envisaged for Kosovo under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions largely replicating the structures of the Rambouillet Agreement. Article I (Chapter 4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulated that: "The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles." The KLA government will largely be responsible for implementing these reforms and ensuring that loan conditionalities are met. In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions had already analysed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo. Almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank conducted "simulations" that anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo (World Bank Development News, April 27, 1999).

The "reconstruction" of Kosovo financed by international debt largely purports to transfer Kosovo's extensive wealth in mineral resources and coal to multinational capital. In this regard, the KLA has already occupied (pending their privatization) the largest coal mine at Belacevac in Dobro Selo, northwest of Pristina. In turn, foreign capital has its eyes riveted on the massive Trepca mining complex that constitutes "the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at least $5 billion" (Chris Hedges, New York Times, July 8, 1998). The Trepca complex not only includes copper and large reserves of zinc but also cadmium, gold, and silver. Also, it has several smelting plants, 17 metal treatment sites, a power plant, and Yugoslavia's largest battery plant. Northern Kosovo also has estimated reserves of 17 billion tons of coal and lignite.

The most profitable state assets are being transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World Bank-sponsored privatisation program. Strong economic medicine imposed by external creditors will contribute to further boosting a criminal economy (already firmly implanted in Albania) that feeds on poverty and economic dislocation.

Also, Kosovo is slated to reimburse this debt through the laundering of dirty money. Yugoslav banks in Kosovo will be closed down and the banking system will be deregulated under the supervision of Western financial institutions. Narcodollars from the multi-billion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled towards servicing the external debt, as well as financing the costs of reconstruction. The lucrative flow of narco-dollars thus insures that foreign investors involved in the "reconstruction" program will be able to reap substantial returns. In turn, the existence of a Kosovar "narco-state" insures the orderly reimbursement of international donors and creditors. The latter are prepared to turn a blind eye. They have a tacit vested interest in installing a government that facilitates the laundering of drug money.


U.S. and Germany Trained and Developed the KLA

Sources: THE PROGRESSIVE, August 1999 Title: "Mercenaries in Kosovo: The U.S. Connection to the KLA" Author: Wayne Madsen

COVERTACTION QUARTERLY, Spring-Summer 1999 Title: "Kosovo 'Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organized Crime" Author: Michel Chossudovsky

Faculty Evaluators: Rick Luttman, Ph.D. & Phil Beard, Ph.D. Student Researchers: Michael Spigel & Jeremiah Price

Germany and the U.S. collaborated in supporting the development and training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to deliberately destablize a centralized socialist government in Yugoslavia.

Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans. Undercover support to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavor between the CIA and Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany:

"They used German uniforms, East German weapons, and were financed in part by drug money," according to intelligence analyst John Whitley. As the KLA matured, the U.S. and Germany recruited Mujahedin mercenaries, financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to train the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics.

Since the mid-1990s, there has been a small handful of Pentagon contractors or private military companies providing support to the KLA. One of these contractors is the Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI). In a recent interview retired Army Colonel David Hackworth gave to Catherine Crier of Fox Television, he states that the MPRI used former U.S. military personnel to train KLA forces at secret bases inside Albania.

The MPRI has a starting lineup comprised of retired Pentagon top brass. Its roster includes one retired admiral, two retired major generals, and 10 retired generals. The MPRI employs more than 400 personnel and can access the resumes of thousands of former U.S. military specialists from cooks and clerks to helicopter pilots and Green Berets.

The MPRI has been in the Balkans for years. MPRI military advisers helped plan Storm and Strike, the Croatian offensive that was responsible for driving out 350,000 Croatian Serbs from the Krajina province. In 1996, just one year later, the MPRI received a $400 million State Department contract to train and equip the Bosnian Croat-Muslim Federation Army.

Some of the KLA's military leadership includes veterans of the MPRI-planned operation Storm and Strike. Agim Ceku is the military commander of the KLA and was a former brigadier general in the Croatian army. According to the London Independent's Robert Fisk, Ceku is an ethnic cleanser in his own right. Ceku, along with MPRI military advisers, helped plan the Croatian military offensive that resulted in the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from Krajina.

The story on the U.S. mercenary connection to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was virtually ignored by the corporate-controlled media during NATO's Balkans War. Playing into the hands of the Pentagon's information warfare and perception management cadres, as well as Clinton Administration spinmeisters, the major media sang the praises of the KLA, refusing to peer inside the covert assistance program rendered by Pentagon "private military contractors" to this shadowy group long connected to criminal enterprises in both Eastern and Western Europe.

The U.S. private military contractors and police advisory teams associated with the Justice Department's and United Nations peace monitoring teams continue their activity in the world's most volatile trouble spots. As private entities, these companies are not subject to congressional oversight or Freedom of Information requests.

MPRI stepped up its military training activities in Bosnia after the suspension of the firm's arms transfers to the Bosnian army was lifted by the State Department. MPRI activities included training a rapid reaction Bosnian special forces unit and providing direct support to the Bosnian Defense Ministry. Pentagon insiders reported that MPRI also provided weaponry to paramilitary forces loyal to Montenegro's pro-Western President Milo Djukanovic and continued covert assistance to the KLA in Kosovo.

Also, MPRI's activities in Africa increased. Not only did the company's personnel increase their profile in Angola, helping that nation in its war against Washington's former UNITA allies, but the firm's representatives showed up in Abuja, Nigeria, after the swearing in of democratically elected president Olusegun Obasanjo. MPRI is a central player in the Pentagon's African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) and Nigeria was long sought as a military partner of the United States in that effort. However, neither former dictator Sani Abacha nor former president-elect Chief Moshood Abiola were acceptable to Washington as military partners. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering provided much of the high-level liaison between Obasanjo's government and MPRI. Ironically, Pickering was present during a July 1998 meeting with Chief Abiola when the imprisoned president-elect suffered a heart attack and died minutes later. MPRI is also active in counter-narcotics military operations in Colombia.

There has also been a blurring of law enforcement and military activities of companies like Dyncorp and Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). One of Dyncorp's U.N. police monitors was wounded by pro-Indonesian East Timorese militiamen in the post-referendum violence that swept the ravaged territory. Others, providing police services in NATO-occupied Kosovo, were attacked by both Serb and Albanian militia groups.

SAIC became more active, through the CIA-connected ICITAP, in paramilitary counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency operations in Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, and Panama-all long-time favorite haunts of CIA operatives. ICITAP also stepped up training of Bosnian federal and cantonal police units and various South African police services. Former ICITAP director Janice Stromsem was joined by another ICITAP employee, Mick Andersen, who charged that agencies other than the Justice Department were engaging in "illegal activities" in Haiti. Stromsem and Andersen were both forced from their jobs with ICITAP and have been effectively ostracized within the government after blowing the whistle.

During 1999, Dyncorp faced charges that it was raiding police departments around the country luring away experienced officers with six-figure salaries. In September 1999, the mayor of Surf City, New Jersey filed suit against one of his police officers for abandoning his job to join Dyncorp's force in Kosovo. A retired Bloomington, Indiana police officer returned home from Kosovo after becoming disenchanted with his duties. Still others cited difficulties in dealing with the Albanian Mafia in Kosovo. Moreover, some 10 percent of the U.N. police candidates dropped out of Dyncorp's Fort Worth-based training program after they initially signed up. Aside from radio interviews with progressive radio stations in New York, there was no other media reaction to the story.

For more information peruse the following Web sites:
www.mpri.com www.dyncorp.com/areas/intlpm.htm www.saic.com
(key site's search engine for ICITAP) www.ciponline.org/facts/icitap.htm www.us.net/cip/icitap3.htm www.ndu.edu/inss/strforum/ forum84.html
www.whistleblower.org/www/ antigag.htm

As Western leaders trumpet their support for democracy, state terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO's post-war design. The KLA's political role for the "post-conflict" period had been mapped out well in advance. NATO had already slated the KLA "provisional government" (PGK) to run civilian state institutions. In the weeks following NATO's military occupation of Kosovo, the KLA took over municipal governments and public services including schools and hospitals. The KLA has a controlling voice on the U.N.-sponsored Kosovo Transitional Council, UNMIK. In the weeks following the military invasion, the KLA "Provisonal Government" established links with a number of Western governments.

Under NATO occupation, the rule of law has visibly been turned upside down. Criminals and terrorists are to become law-enforcement officers. With the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops and police, the KLA without delay took control of Kosovo's police stations. Under the formal authority of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was entrusted with the task of training and installing a 4,000-strong police force with a mandate to "protect civilians" under the jurisdiction of the KLA-controlled "Ministry of Public Order." The evidence suggests that the KLA-controlled police force was also responsible for the massacres of civilians organized in the immediate wake of NATO's military occupation of Kosovo.

Moreover, despite NATO's commitment to disarming the KLA, the Kosovar paramilitary organization is slated to be transformed into a modern military force. So-called "security assistance" has already been granted to the KLA by the U.S. Congress under the Kosovar Independence and Justice Act of 1999.

While the KLA's links to the Balkans narcotics trade (served to finance many of its terrorist activities) had been highly publicized, the paramilitary organization was granted an official U.S. seal of approval as well as being deemed a "legitimate" source of funding. In turn, Washington's military aid package to the KLA was entrusted to Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, a private mercenary outfit run by high ranking former U.S. military officers.

In September 1999, the KLA was officially dissolved and transformed into the newly formed Kosovo Protection Force that was funded by U.S. military aid. Shift in military labels: KLA Commander Agim Ceku was appointed Chief of Staff of Kosovo's newly created armed forces.

Barely a few weeks after Commander Ceku's NATO sponsored appointment, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced that it was "investigating Ceku for alleged war crimes committed against ethnic Serbs in Croatia between 1993 and 1995" (AFP, October 13,1999). This information had been withheld by the ICTY during the mandate of Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour. In other words, the U.N. and NATO knew that Agim Ceku was an alleged war criminal prior to the onslaught of NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in March 1999. Moreover, KFOR Commander Mike Jackson and UNMIK head Dr. Bernard Kouchner (and 1999 Nobel Peace Laureate as cofounder of Doctors Without Borders) were fully aware of the fact that an alleged war criminal had been appointed as Commander in Chief of the KPF: "If we lose him it will be a disaster," said a diplomat close to Bernard Vouchner, the U.N.'s special representative. "When you get to the second level of the TMK [Kosovo Protection Force], you're down to a bunch of local thugs." American diplomats have suggested any indictment of Ceku would most likely be "sealed" and thereby kept out of the public domain [meaning that public opinion will not be informed of the Court's decision]. Another diplomat said he believed KFOR, the NATO-led peace-keeping force, could not contemplate a public relations disaster with the Albanians by arresting Ceku (Tom Walker, "Kosovo Defense Chief Accused of War Crimes, Sunday Times, October 10,1999).

The ICTY also cautioned that the inquiry did not necessarily imply that Ceku was responsible for wrongdoings in Kosovo: "The court's inquiries relate to atrocities committed in Krajina between 1993 and 1995." Ceku's record in Kosovo itself is not thought to be in question, although the office of Carla del Ponte, the new chief prosecutor, said an investigation into his activities with the KLA could not be ruled out. The possibility that Ceku, a respected figure in Kosovo, could be accused of war crimes, has sent "shivers through the international community in Kosovo..." (Ibid.).

In other words, the so-called "international community" has firmly relied on an "alleged war criminal" to replicate in Kosovo the massacres and ethnic cleansing conducted in Croatia against Krajina Serbs. Visibly what was shaping up in the wake of the bombings in Kosovo was the continuity of NATO's operation in the Balkans. Military personnel and U.N. bureaucrats previously stationed in Croatia and Bosnia had also been routinely reassigned to Kosovo. In this context, the assignment of Mike Jackson to Kosovo as KFOR Commander was remarkably consistent with the appointment a few months earlier of Brigadier General Agim Ceku as Commander of the KLA.

KFOR Commander Mike Jackson had also been routinely reassigned to Kosovo following his earlier stint in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. His experience in "ethnic warfare," however, predates the Balkans. From his earlier posting, while in Northern Ireland as a young captain, Jackson was second in command in the "Bloody Sunday" massacre of civilians in Derry in 1972. Under the orders of Lieutenant Derek Wilford, Captain Jackson and 13 other soldiers of the parachute regiment opened fire "on a peaceful protest by the Northern Ireland civil rights association opposing discrimination against Catholics. In just 30 minutes, 13 people were shot dead and 13 injured. Those who died were killed by a single bullet to the head or body, indicating that they had been deliberately targeted. No weapons were found on any of the deceased" (Julie Hyland, "Head of NATO Force in Kosovo, Second-in-Command at 'Bloody Sunday' Massacre in Ireland," World Socialist Web site, June 19, 1999).

Jackson's role in "Bloody Sunday"

"did not hinder his Military career" . (Ibid.). From his early stint in Northern Ireland, he was reassigned to the theatre of ethnic warfare in the Balkans. In the immediate wake of Operation Storm and the ethnic massacres in Krajina, Jackson was put in charge as KFOR commander, for organizing the return of Serbs "to lands taken by Croatian HVO forces in the 1995 Krajina offensive." And in this capacity General Mike Jackson had "urged that the resettlement of Krajina Serbs not be rushed to avoid tension with the Croatians while also warning returning Serbs of the extent of the land mine threat (Jane's Defense Weekly, Vol. 25, No.7, February 14,1996). In retrospect, recalling the events of early 1996, very few Krajina Serbs were allowed to return to their homes under the protection of the United Nations. According to Veritas, a Belgrade based organization of Serbian refugees from Croatia, some 10,000-15,000 Serbs were able to resettle in Croatia.

A similar process took place in Kosovo where the conduct of senior military officers conformed to a consistent pattern because the same key individuals were reassigned to a "peace-keeping" role in Kosovo. While token efforts were displayed to protect Serb and Roma civilians, those who fled Kosovo were not encouraged to return under U.N. protection. In post-war Kosovo, ethnic cleansing was carried out by the KLA while under the auspices of NATO and the U.N. It has been accepted by the "international community" as a fait accompli.

Moreover, while calling for democracy and "good governance" in the Balkans, the U.S. and its allies have installed in Kosovo a "civilian paramilitary government" with links to organized crime. The outcome is the outright "criminalization" of civilian state institutions in Kosovo and the establishment of what is best described as a "Mafia State." The complicity of NATO and the Alliance governments (namely their relentless support of the KLA) points to the de facto "criminalisation" of KFOR and of the U.N. peace-keeping apparatus in Kosovo. The donor agencies and governments (e.g., the funds approved by the U.S. Congress in violation of several U.N. Security Council resolutions) providing financial support to the KLA are, in this regard, also "accessories" to this criminalization of state institutions. Through the intermediation of a paramilitary group (created and financed by Washington and Bonn), NATO ultimately bears the burden of responsibility for the massacres and ethnic cleansing of civilians in Kosovo.


International Conference Sets World Agenda for Peace

Source: TOWARD FREEDOM, July 1999 Title: "United for Peace" Author: Robin Lloyd
Faculty Evaluator: Phil Beard, Ph.D. Student Researcher: Jeremiah Price

The Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP) Conference, which took place in the Hague, Netherlands, in May 1999, has set a "Global Agenda" for world peace in the next century. Over 1,000 groups, from 100 different countries, intended to voice their suggestions on how to make international peace possible. The four-day event yielded a turnout of over 8,000 people and resulted in ground-breaking initiatives and resolutions.

One of the many new campaigns launched at the conference was the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). The IANSA goal is to encourage tracking, protesting, and publicizing the sales and shipments of weapons. Referring to the fact that the U.S. sold $119 billion in arms, some 45 percent of the world's total, from 1989 to 1996, Pierre Sane of Amnesty International stated at the conference that the U.S. is "becoming the arsenal of the world."

The Hague Global Agenda calls for recognition and enforcement of World Court rulings that over 150 countries have endorsed. The United States has been unwilling to submit to the international jurisdiction of the World Court.

A long-term project put in motion at the conference is the Global Action to Prevent War. Its purpose is to establish a coalition of organizations that will build a permanent body of NGOs, individuals, and eventually governments to support world peace.

Heads of some governments avoided the event, although representatives from various governments attended. Several of the attending representatives were ambassadors and ministers, most of whom acknowledge that the majority of governments will only recognize universal values until they interfere with national or economic interests, and that governments often co-opt the language of peace to justify and protect corporate interests.

The following is the agenda that was set forth at The Hague Appeal for Peace Conference. The Global Agenda outlines 10 fundamental principles for a just world order:

1. Every government should adopt a resolution prohibiting war.

2. All states should accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

3. Every government should ratify the ICC and implement the Land Mines Treaty.

4. All states should integrate the New Diplomacy-the partnership of governments, international organizations, and civil societies.

5. The world can't ignore humanitarian crises, but every creative diplomatic means possible must be exhausted before resorting to force under U.N. authority.

6. Negotiations for a Convention Eliminating Nuclear Weapons should begin immediately.

7. The trade in small arms should be severely restricted.

8. Economic rights must be taken as seriously as civil rights.

9. Peace education should be compulsory in every school.

10. The plan for the Global Action to Prevent War should become the basis for a peaceful world order.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the NGOs and civil society organizations for creating the conference. While the conference was covered by Associated Press and released worldwide, the United States media ignored it, with coverage in the back pages of only a handful of small regional papers.

Ten thousand peace activists, Nobel peace prize winners, and celebrities met for four days in May of 1999 at a conference center at the Hague, the Netherlands, to virtually no U.S. (and skimpy international) coverage. A few blocks away, the boys with the big cameras clustered outside the gates of the International Court of Justice, where Yugoslavia was charging NATO with grievous violations of international law.

After all, there was a war going on.

Every day, young people from the conference trooped down with banners, urging the media to provide some coverage. No luck. As a Hague Appeal staffer later explained, "Unless the story has action and can be explained in two seconds, they don't want to cover it."

The conference was spurred by a revolutionary idea: abolishing war in the 21st century. Hopelessly idealistic? As Cora Weiss, president of the Hague Appeal, put it, this end-of-the-century conference was convened "because we want peace to have the last word in this most war-filled, most violent century." That concern also spurred my own participation. I was tired of hearing the millennium being boiled down to an acronym-Y2K. The conference provided a context to talk about renewal and a recommitment to democratic values as we entered a new century.

And it wasn't a bad story, complete with history (the conference occured 100 years after the first Hague conference of 1899), hope for the future, revolutionary fervor, youth, and even some celebrities (Kofi Annan, Bishop Tutu, and Queen Noor, among others). Yet, maybe the best story was: how could this "peace conference"-dedicated to abolishing war, and taking place in the midst of one-avoid taking a stand on Kosovo? Virtually every participant had to answer that question upon returning home.

What was the conference's stand on Kosovo? Officially, it didn't have one. And that may well have been a factor in the press's indifference to both the process and the 21st century agenda that emerged.

But now, after the mobilization against globalization in Seattle, the Hague conference reveals a larger story: the potential role of "civil society" in the new millennium. It's been growing for a while; politely at the Hague, not so politely in Seattle. The people are at the gates, asserting that their interests as human beings are being ignored or manipulated by governments, international financial institutions, and corporations.

"What are these NGOs 'swarming' about?" The Economist asked in a December 1999 article. "Are citizens' groups, as many of their supporters claim, the first steps towards an 'international civil society' (whatever that may be)? Or do they represent a dangerous shift of power to unelected and unaccountable special-interest groups?" The way the magazine framed the question suggests that they believe something pretty ominous is happening.

In fact, the number of international non-governmental organizations has increased fourfold, from 6,000 in 1990 to 26,000 today. But the key question is whether civil society can move from knocking on the door of international institutions to taking over the hall and creating a people's parliament. It's not as utopian as it sounds. Remember when the U.S. shifted from electing its senators through state legislatures to letting the people decide?

A Millennium NGO Forum will be held at the U.N. from May 22-26, 2000. Its agenda-to build grassroots and public support for a more effective U.N.-is moderate, but it will also provide an opening for international civil society to push the envelope on global governance. As Toward Freedom editor Greg Guma wrote recently in an editorial, "We need to move beyond fear of government and work for democracy at the world level."

The Hague Appeal for Peace can be reached on the Internet at www.haguepeace.org, or e-mail: hapy@ipb.org. The Millennium People's Assembly Network is at www.ourvoices.org. Toward Freedom will continue to track development on its Web site, www.towardfreedom.com.

Project Censored page

Index of Website

Home Page