Hidden in Plain View in Belgrade

Why did NATO attack Yugoslavia in 1999, killing perhaps as many as 2,500 civilians? Here are some possible answers as Vladimir Golstein reflects back on that ugly episode.

By Vladimir Golstein
in Belgrade
Special to Consortium News

Right across the street from my hotel, tucked behind tall office buildings, is the rather large Church of St. Mark. Hidden in St. Mark’s shadows is a tiny Russian Orthodox church. The Church of the Holy Trinity, known simply as the Russian Church, is famous for holding the remains of Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, the Russian Civil War leader of the Whites. It is hard to find, but luckily, a friend took me there.

The two churches. (Photo by Vladimir Golstein)

As we were looking around the church, not particularly interested in Wrangel, a couple of Russians asked me to take their picture in front of his tomb. Trying to find a proper angle for the picture, I noticed a small plaque on a wall nearby. It listed the names of Russians who died fighting for Yugoslav Serbs during the conflict with separatist Albanians in Kosovo and the subsequent NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

As we left the church, we took a small path toward the top of the park. There we observed another brutal sign of that war: a destroyed building next to the TV center. It too had a plaque. It screamed, “Zashto” (For What? Why?). Below it were the names of all the TV people NATO killed during that attack. In all, as many as 2,500 civilians may have been killed by NATO, according to the then Yugoslav government, though the real number may never be known. 

On the one hand, the question Zashto is both idle and provocative. It implies a laceration of wounds, a refusal to forget and to start anew. On the other, there is an obvious need to find an answer to this question simply to prevent future destruction and senseless murders. 

We won’t find answers to this question in the official narratives, which tell us that the noble Clinton administration decided to stop flagrant violations of human rights in the extremely complex situation in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo by bombing the Serbs into respecting minorities both on its own and on neighboring territories. (In fact the large exodus of Kosovo Albanians to Albania proper only began after NATO bombs started to fall.)

Testing the Limits

Russians who died fighting for Yugoslavia. (Photo by Vladimir Golstein)

Behind these official stories, a much sadder picture emerges. Why did these people die? Why did this NATO operation go ahead without UN Security Council authorization nor proof of self-defense, requirements of the UN Charter? Was it to satisfy the lust for power of U.S. and NATO leaders, of liberal interventionists like Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton, and Susan Rice? To assuage the Clinton administration’s guilt over its failure to respond to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda? Was it to set up America’s largest military base in Europe since the Vietnam War, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo? For American access to Kosovo’s vast mineral wealth and other business opportunities, including for Ms. Albright? Or was it to finally kill off a rather successful Yugoslav experiment in the “third way” between the West and the Soviet Union?

It seems these people had to die for all those reasons and to put into practice the doctrines of responsibility to protect (R2P) and full spectrum dominance, doctrines cooked up by liberal interventionists and neocons in Washington. Those who died were essentially guinea pigs of a New World Order experiment to see how far the world could be pushed to implement R2P, a policy that could be used to mask imperial ambitions.

And it worked. Yugoslavia was unable to stand up to the power of NATO operating outside the mandate of its obsolete charter: namely to defend Western Europe against an alleged Soviet threat. Indeed one could argue that with the Cold War over, another motive for the attack on Yugoslavia was to provide NATO with a justification to exist. (It would later go even further afield outside its legal theater of operation, into Afghanistan and then Libya.)

Russia could do little to help the Serbs. Then the Chinese Embassy was hit as well, as a test it seems, though The New York Times said it was a mistake. The Chinese did nothing.

Thus was R2P implemented—with no protection for Yugoslav Serbs. They had to die in the experiment to explore the limits of U.S. power and the limits of its resistance.

Vladimir Golstein, a former associate professor at Yale University, manages the Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University and is a commentator on Russian affairs.

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69 comments for “Hidden in Plain View in Belgrade

  1. Walter L
    August 17, 2018 at 10:30

    One serious problem with the use of direct force, violence, is that the usually unintended and also unforeseeable secondary effects, in time, outweigh the direct effect, and thus to negate any temporary advantage. Liddell Hart speaks to this, as do Sun Tsu and Mao.

    One unintended secondary after-effect is that a Serbian diaspora now exists in remote and rugged areas of California – and the still vigorous soldiers that fought NATO in Yugoslavia now can be encountered there. Some actually were involved in the destruction of US aircraft in combat…they have memories.

    Nice men, but they harbor no illusions… Thus a nucleus of a foreign militia on the West Coast (and I assume elsewhere) is among the smaller results of the NATO campaign.

    In metaphysics of conflict after effects such as this come under the rubric of Cathodic Effect. Essentially NATO slapped a hornet’s nest.

    Now we begin to see the real results – the unification of Heartland – (read MacKinder) – The unification of Europe with Asia is the worst possible outcome for the Sea People’s “elites”..the so-called “Atlanticists”.

  2. gepay
    August 10, 2018 at 21:51

    “Then the Chinese Embassy was hit as well, as a test it seems, though The New York Times said it was a mistake. The Chinese did nothing.”
    Maybe. Maybe not.

    Last month, former Army officer William Bennett was found murdered after being out with his wife on an early morning walk in a residential neighborhood in Lansdowne, Virginia. His wife Cynthia was badly injured but survived the March 22nd attack, which is being investigated by local and federal authorities.

    In 1999, sources bring to our attention, Bennett was a retired Army lieutenant colonel working at the CIA on contract as a targeter during the 78-day NATO air war on Kosovo. He was one of the people, according to a former U.S. intelligence source, found responsible by the Agency for feeding the target into the system that resulted in the May 7, 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

  3. David Heitel
    August 10, 2018 at 07:27

    The author conveniently fails to mention the atrocious ethnic cleansing that was the hallmark of Serbian forces in the Yugoslav civil war. R2P was a response to mass murder.

    • joeblogs
      August 10, 2018 at 08:18

      No proof at all.
      That is why Milosevich was ‘got’.
      The ‘allies’ had no case against him.

    • gepay
      August 10, 2018 at 22:12

      There were some evil dudes on the Serbian side – Radovan Koradzik comes to mind. However no side was innocent. The Croats ethnically cleansed 100,000 to 150000 Serbians in Operation Storm, a military offensive that reclaimed the tearaway province of Krajina Planned for the Croats by a private US military contractor – ” In Croatia, local forces, trained by MPRI, used what they learned to conduct one of the worst episodes of ”ethnic cleansing”.” NYT
      The ostensible reason for the bombing of Serbia was supposed ethnic cleansing and massacres of muslims in Kosovo. A following 2 year search by a team of international forensic pathologists found no mass graves It was no different than the use of alleged human rights violations to bomb Libya. .

  4. David Otness
    August 7, 2018 at 18:02

    Thanks, Professor.
    Good to see your writing here.
    Glad to see CN standing ever-strong for the TRVTH.

  5. August 7, 2018 at 16:16

    If my memory serves me correctly, President Bill Clinton had set up a summit meeting with Russian President Yevgeny Primakov here in the USA. Primakov was in flight on his way here for that summit meeting when President of Vice, Al Gore, without Clinton’s permission or knowledge, called Primakov, in flight, to tell him NATO had decided to bomb Kosovo. Primakov immediately ordered his plane to turn around and return to Russia, thus cancelling the summit meeting. Could the abortion of that meeting have been the primary reason for bombing Kosovo at that time in history? I believe so. Noel S. Cowling

  6. rosemerry
    August 6, 2018 at 15:57

    Thanks Vladimir. The Serbs are demonized by so many, especially the Germans-many believe it was because they fought so valiantly against the Nazis in WW2. Diana Johnstone has written “Fools’ Crusade- Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions”, and Michel Collon “Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo”, but books with this point of view are not readily publicised. Nor is the fact that after his death (no trial had yet taken place) Slobodan Milosovic was finally found nOT to have been responsible for all the murderous acts he was accused/assumed to be responsible for.

    We can note now of course the Russian reaction to the “annexation of Crimea” after a referendum, no bloodshed and the referendum also of Russians all over the Federation, while Kosovo was ripped from Serbia by trickery and not consent, and we see how it is now. Russia is sanctioned, the people who overthrew the Ukrainian government are not mentioned, Crimea is not allowed to return to Russia. Slight difference from the “nation” of Kososvo!

  7. Thomas Binder
    August 6, 2018 at 06:35

    The war against #Serbia under #R2P was the #MilitaryIndustrialFinancialMedialComplex’es ruling the #USA/#NATO/#ISR/#SAU empire (#PNAC’s) test for eternal war against #AlQaeda outside international law & interference of #USLegislators for getting full-spectrum dominance.

  8. Johan Meyer
    August 5, 2018 at 22:13

    The US/Canadian/UK/Belgian/bUgandan intervention in Rwanda started on 1 October 1990, with the bUgandan army’s uniformed soldiers invading. For a serious overview, see Robin Philpot’s Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa. For more detailed materials, see references therein, references in Herman and Peterson’s Enduring Lies, and various works by Christopher Black, e.g. The Dallaire Genocide Fax and Who Killed Agathe.

  9. Charles
    August 5, 2018 at 15:41

    “the Chinese Embassy was hit as well, as a test it seems” – Probably more than a test. “Nato deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. Nato electronic intelligence detected it sending army signals to Milosevic’s forces.”

  10. Jackson
    August 5, 2018 at 14:21

    NATO should have been disbanded after the fall of the Soviets. When you arm people and train them to kill, they will look for an enemy to fight. War becomes inevitable.

    • jose
      August 5, 2018 at 18:00

      It is hard to disagree with your post. Nato, disgracefully, has become a terrorist organization that has dedicated itself to be the paw of the western elite. Shamefully, other countries have joined Yugoslavia as victims of Nato criminality. Well done Jackson.

  11. Dusan Lipensky
    August 5, 2018 at 12:14


  12. Björn Lindgren
    August 5, 2018 at 07:25


    There might be still more reasons for the destruction of Yugoslavia.

    Germany had put uts mind into destabilising Yugoslavia to get a “Hinterland”. Added to this, a revenge motive: Nazi Germany occupation of Yugoslavia failed, and this has never been forgotten. And lastly, Yugoslavia was a member of the non-alignment movement, not obeying US-NATO.

    And, of course, after the collapse of the Warsaw pact, NATO had no enemy, no purspose. But, it invented one: full US spectrum global dominance.

    Sweden has also been punished to obey the US.

    During the years of PM Olof Palme, Sweden was also a member of the non-alignment movement. Palme was educated in and friendly to the US, but critized the US war in Vietnam. (Nixon hated Palme, and withdraw the US diplomats from Sweden).

    1992 foreign submarines penetrated Swedish waters repeatedly.

    The submarine incident at Hårsfjärden, a marine base, was not made by Russia, but was made by US and British submarines. Afterwards, both Caspar Weinberger and Sir Keith Speed confirmed this. Weinberger even thanked Sweden for not blowing up the US mini-sub (which we could have done. (Read, “Hårsfjärden. Det hemliga ubåtskriget mot Sverige,” by Ola Tunander).

    Purpose: pushing Sweden westward.

    Already in the mid 50s, William Colby, later head of the CIA, was in Sweden organizing stay-behind groups, recruting Swedish voluntary ex-soldiers from the Finnish wars against Soviet Union. In the 50-s these people were organized in “Sveaborg”, a Nazi group.

    A good hypothesis is, that Olof Palme was assassinated by a US stay-behind group, consisting of Nazi military and police.

    Which, of course, had to be stonewalled “for reason of state”.

    Today, Sweden is “cooperating” shamelessly with NATO, invite, and have excersices with NATO.

    This week, the Swedish government annonced that it will purchase US “Patriot” anti-missiles with “ballistic capability” (Hey,hey!).

    Supporting the insane belligerent US and UK nuclear armament (for a nuclear first-strike?) against neoliberal, oligarchic Russia, which is planning to keep up in the race towards the abyss.

    That is, Sweden is now d e f a c t o a member of NATO, without the Swedish people or parliament have had a say. NATO which eventually is falling apart, and with a lunatic US president and his military government in the White House, in a US empire collapsing.

    The peace aspirations of Sweden are long forgotten. And so, is the Helsinki Conference and agreement (1975-1983) for common security, disarmamanet , and a nuclear-free zone in Europe.

    The question is if Germany, France, UK (with Corbyn in 10 Downing) and Russia will organize a new Helsinki Conference and Agreement?

    Maybe, “for reasons of interest”.

    • rosemerry
      August 6, 2018 at 16:01

      Thanks so much for this comprehensive addition to the discussion. Sweden indeed has been placed in an invidious position.
      Pretending that NATO has any purpose even vaguely related to peace is laughable.

    • David G
      August 6, 2018 at 18:01

      Great comment, Björn Lindgren. Many thanks.

      The withering away of Swedish neutrality into an empty formality has become so obvious, but never remarked upon in the U.S. I’m sure most cable TV talking heads just assume Sweden is in NATO – indeed, I’ve heard the error made, albeit corrected after the next commercial break.

      I appreciate reading your committed, highly informed perspective. Maybe you could submit an article on this under-reported subject to Consortium News?

  13. August 5, 2018 at 04:54

    Excellent article in the eve of 20th anniversary of NATO aggression on Yugoslavia which will be marked by Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, March 23, 24rth, 2019.
    NATO 1999 aggression was meant to be precedent and turning point in global conduct toward globalization of military interventionism (Avganistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.). Willy Wimmer wrote to Schoerder on May 2nd, 2000, USA position: “The war against Yugoslavia was conductted in order to correct the mistake of General Eisenhower from the 2ndWW. Subsequently, for strategic reasons, USA troops had to be stationed there “. And: …”It is clear that it is the precedent to be recalled any time”… The Bondstil base in Kosovo was only the first in the ensuing chain of new USA bases in Bulgaria (4), Rumania (4), Albania (2), Baltic states…

  14. August 4, 2018 at 17:30

    I think VG is quite correct in this: it was a test. And the test was of the neocon/humanitarian intervention marriage. Yes, the USA has doe a lot of this sort of thing in its history, but there has always been some opposition inside the USA. This time, they figured it out and “humanitarian bombing” was born. We have seen a lot more humanitarian bombing since.

  15. Branko Mikasinovich
    August 4, 2018 at 16:45

    A great and truthful article about Western Policy, NATO and US. A couregious and informativne analysis of Mr. Golstein. Thank you.

  16. ToivoS
    August 4, 2018 at 13:18

    Goldstein writes Russia could do little to help the Serbs. Then the Chinese Embassy was hit as well, as a test it seems, though The New York Times said it was a mistake. The Chinese did nothing.

    Actually the Chinese did do something. They changed their attitude towards the US. I have yet to meet a Chinese national who believes that the embassy hit was a “mistake”. They and their government view it as a deliberate attack on their sovereignty. But they realized they were not in a position respond so they then began military planning for possible conflict between China and the US Navy in the Western Pacific. In 2000 they started a 10 plan to achieve the ability to sink any US aircraft carrier within a 1000 km of their shores. We won’t know if they have achieved that ability until a real test is conducted. But that is the something they have done.

    • FB
      August 8, 2018 at 09:24

      Good point Toivos…The Chinese have never forgotten the Belgrade embassy bombing…and they never will…

      Ask any Chinese today, even those living in the West…the Chinese are an ancient people with a long and proud memory…the embassy bombing was a step too far…

      All of these hubristic missteps will come back to haunt the empire…

  17. Theo
    August 4, 2018 at 10:51

    I remember well the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia under the pretext to stop the genocide that was allegedly committed by the Serbs.The saddest thing for me was that Germany was participating in the bombing campaign.My father who was in Yugoslavia as a Wehrmacht soldier was outraged as were many others.After almost sixty years German bombers were over Serbia again.My dad used to say German soldiers on foreign soil had never been good neither for the foreign country nor for Germany.That’s why until today the Germans have an aversion to all military and the deployment of German soldiers in foreign countries is not very popular.

    • David G
      August 4, 2018 at 11:16

      The 1999 air attacks were the coup de grace, but I think Germany had the (dis)honor of leading the vivisection of Yugoslavia from the start.

      As Vladimir Golstein rhetorically asks: “Or was it to finally kill off a rather successful Yugoslav experiment in the ‘third way’ between the West and the Soviet Union?”

      Indeed it was, and that surely appealed to all the Western powers. But Germany was particularly interested in removing a possible continental rival, and took the lead in making sure it happened – not at all to absolve the U.S., under whose aegis it was ultimately operating.

      • Antiwar7
        August 4, 2018 at 11:42

        The German people and the German government are different. The German government has had an anti-Serb animus for over 150 years: that’s clear. But the German people, as Theo’s dad shows, can be very nice. My father was a POW in Germany for 4 years during WW II, and most of the German people he encountered were quite nice to him.

      • Theo
        August 4, 2018 at 15:56

        You are right.The vivisection of Yugoslavia began when Germany recognized the independence of Slovenia before any other country did.The German government with Genscher as foreign minister didn’t consult with any of the European allies.Especially France was not amused at all.

      • rosemerry
        August 6, 2018 at 16:04

        It was Germany, 9 days after reunification, which led the removal of Croatia from Yugoslavia and beginning the breakup of a successful multicultural country.

  18. Juan P. Zenter
    August 4, 2018 at 07:29

    Yugoslavia was a federation of states and was, thus, an obstacle to consolidating EU and NATO power in Southeastern Europe. Once the federation was destroyed, the individual states that comprised it could be absorbed by EU/NATO. That was the ultimate outcome of NATO bombing there, despite all denials about that being the intent.

  19. August 4, 2018 at 05:30

    Thanks for the article, the photo of the beautiful church, and the reflection on this horrible chapter from the book of atrocities disguised as “humanitarian” to fool the masses. This also helped Bill and Hillary Clinton distract the American public from the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    • j. D. D.
      August 4, 2018 at 19:59

      I don’t see it that way. Rather, as President Clinton was hit with the Lewinsky scandal and put onthe defensive immediately following his speech to NY’s Council on Foreign Relations in which he called for “a new world financial archithitecture,” VP Al Gore, who later shunned the president, saw the opportunity to determine policy. It was Gore, in consultation with Hillary Clinton, who decided to launch the criminal bombing of Serbia, informing PM Primakov after taking a phone call meant for the president. Whereupon the PM turned around his flight in mid-air over the Atlantic and returned to Russia. By launching an illegal attack on Russia’s ally, the VP and the future Sec. of State, were offering a foreshadowing of the hawkish and belligerent anti-Russian policy that was to follow for the next 17 years.

      • FB
        August 8, 2018 at 09:31

        Disagree…these are minor details that are meaningless…

        Yugoslavia had already been systematically dismembered starting the very instant after German unification and the fall of the Soviet Union…


        Maybe a child could believe it…by 1999, the final chapter of the dismemberment, Kosovo, was ready, after several years of laying careful groundwork of subversion, propaganda and agitation…

        The Nato war of aggression in 1999 would have proceeded no matter what…to think that the Lewisnky nonsense had anything to do with anything is ridiculous…

  20. nonsense factory
    August 3, 2018 at 23:50

    One major factor in the NATO bombing and the overall agenda in the region was control of territory for a proposed gas/oil pipeline export route from Central Asia to Europe. The creation of Camp Bondsteel was directly related to that goal, and the chief contractor (KBR-Halliburton) played the same role there that they did in the construction of numerous military bases in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

    That’s been a dominant theme in U.S. foreign policy and military strategy circles ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Numerous routes have been proposed – trans-Afghanistan pipeline, the Nabucco pipeline, etc., all with the same goal – getting Central Asia fossil fuels (leased to US and British majors like Exxon, Chevron, BP, etc.) to global markets while bypassing Iran and Russia.

    Monbiot in the Guardian, 2001 (when it was still a fairly decent paper, rather than a gung-ho enforcer of the Blairite neoliberal agenda), said this:

    “For the past few weeks, a freelance researcher called Keith Fisher has been doggedly documenting a project which has, as far as I can discover, has been little-reported in any British, European or American newspaper. It is called the Trans-Balkan pipeline, and it’s due for approval at the end of next month. Its purpose is to secure a passage for oil from the Caspian sea. . .”

    “In November 1998, Bill Richardson, then US energy secretary, spelt out his policy on the extraction and transport of Caspian oil. “This is about America’s energy security,” he explained. “It’s also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don’t share our values. We’re trying to move these newly independent countries toward the west. We would like to see them reliant on western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We’ve made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it’s very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right. . .”

    Paul Stuart, in the WSWS, 2002, noted:

    “According to leaked comments to the press, European politicians now believe that the US used the bombing of Yugoslavia specifically in order to establish Camp Bondsteel. Before the start of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the Washington Post insisted, “With the Middle-East increasingly fragile, we will need bases and fly over rights in the Balkans to protect Caspian Sea oil.””

    Forward project of American imperial power in the name of control of energy resources and the cash flows arising from them, in a nutshell. Or, “business as usual since the 1950s”. Since JFK, it’s all been done under the cover of “humanitarian intervention” and “protecting democracy” which is why so many American citizens have no idea what the true aims of these wars have really been

    • MH
      August 7, 2018 at 14:13

      Sadly, Monbiot’s column aside, the Guardian’s coverage of what most of us here think of as a war against Yugoslav independence was unabashedly pro-NATO and anti-Serb. The outlet did it’s best to confuse otherwise war skeptical liberals—by demonizing the Serbs as bloodthirsty savages purveying late 1930s genocide—about the true character of “the west’s” aggression against the Serbs. Unlike Iraq, where the Graundiad reversed their pro-war stance, the paper only doubled down on its anti-Serb biases, culminating in trumpets and coronets for Hague’s prosecutors ludicrously inept (at best) handling of Milosevic’s trial.

  21. Bob Van Noy
    August 3, 2018 at 20:11

    Thank you Vladimir Golstein for this article. I’m sure you know the answers to the questions you ask in the paragraph titled “Testing the Limlts”. The answer to each of them is given to us and to the world in F. William Engdahl’s devastating book entitled “Manifest Destiny” : Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. I say devastating because Mr. Engdahl thoroughly describes a series of American administrations responsible for all of these crimes and more.

    It will be up to us (American Citizens) to educate ourselves as to the real history of our government acting secretly, without broad consensus, and illegally. This article is a good beginning but the discussion needs to be broadened and further documented. Then we can begin to find a resolution.


  22. Jimbobla
    August 3, 2018 at 18:55

    How one can wonder how the German population stood aside while the Nazis committed their atrocities while at the same time not speaking out at our own apparent daily military excesses is beyond me.

    • irina
      August 4, 2018 at 00:01

      Not to mention meekly paying for these daily military excesses, with no protest.

    • christina garcia
      August 4, 2018 at 01:02

      here is an historical answer, My Grandfather and Grandmother were born in Koenigsberg Prussia what is now known as Kaliningrad. The City of Emanuel Kant and not quite in the 1930’s fans of National Socialism. My Grandfather owned a brick factory and a saw mill . They were capitalists, not National Socialists. And you JIMBOBLA , fyi, My Opa was caught by the Russian Army 1943, my family was totally disunited. It took the Red Cross 3 years to find my family members and repratriate them .The Nazi organization disliked capitalism . I ca prove every single sentence I wrote. Please be careful when you write Nazism

      • Sam F
        August 4, 2018 at 08:48

        If you disagree, you should really address the issue of “how the German population stood aside while the Nazis committed their atrocities.” Are you arguing that Nazi atrocities were justified by the USSR dispersing a family in 1943 Kaliningrad, during a war in which Nazis killed over 20 million Russians? It would be interesting to hear an argument with substance and references.

    • christina garcia
      August 4, 2018 at 01:04

      it is beyond you because you never experienced these atrocities

      • Milojkovic
        August 5, 2018 at 20:11

        Dear Christina, I am very sorry about what happened to your family. They probably didn’t have a choice, otherwise the Nazis would have hurt them. Maybe you’d have never been born if they dared to resist actively. Probably good people, unfairly caught in the whirlwind of history and human brutality. They were then retaliated against by other Nazi victims without deserving so, just because of their ethnicity. I am a Serb, living in U.S. Trust me, I can relate. I was here in U.S. during those terrible days of 1999, living through them as if in a daze. Life is now “kinda back to normal”, but I try my best not to think just how big a part of me had died in that bombing. My grandfather, who was just a peasant but a very devoted Christian, died in a horrible pain from the terminal stomach cancer because there was no pain medication for him; plus the pharmaceutical factories were bombed after having been accused of being able to produce chemical weapons in a coordinated NATO propaganda just days before. In agony, he was trying to undress himself, and was screaming and running around the garden. Several of our family members were killed by Wehrmacht in WW II. I think that Germany had no business participating in this bombing. Look up Varvarin bridge. It was shameful. And yes, unfortunately, it was a German hand holding the match that lit up the powder keg that was Yugoslavia in early 90’s.

      • Consortium's Fan
        August 7, 2018 at 10:28

        Did YOU, Christina Garcia, experience atrocities? Judging by you comment, I am confidently saying you DIDN’T. You know NOTHING about atrocities. Read and watch films about Nazi doings. And compare them to “dispersing a family” in a wartime. A recent film worth seeing is SOBIBOR, entirely based on archives, – a Nazi concentration camp in Poland’s Sobibor – hence the name. Educate yourself.

  23. Lois Gagnon
    August 3, 2018 at 17:37

    Western populations for the most part are so thoroughly brainwashed they still cling to the belief they live in civilized countries and their militaries keep them safe from barbarians. Unf*cking believable.

  24. David G
    August 3, 2018 at 17:24

    This is a very fine, concise article by Vladimir Golstein.

    I would just note that another of the countless questions for which, as he says, “we won’t find answers … in the official narratives” is the matter of the Rwanda bloodletting in 1994.

    I mention this because the reference here to “the Clinton administration’s guilt over its failure to respond to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda” leaves uncontested the “official narrative” of those events.

    That’s understandable in such a brief piece, but I think it’s important – albeit exhausting – to try to challenge the imperium’s lies wherever they crop up, which is basically everywhere.

    For an introduction to another perspective on Rwanda: https://www.blackagendareport.com/crime-turned-central-africa-vast-killing-ground

    • Seamus Padraig
      August 5, 2018 at 17:09

      Good point. Here’re some more sources on Rwanda from CounterPunch:


      It turns out that ‘our man in Kigali,’ Paul Kagame, is very likely the one who started the civil war to begin with.

      • rosemerry
        August 6, 2018 at 16:11

        The likelihood of damage being caused by the USA NOT intervening anywhere must be vanishingly small!!!!!

      • Mellotron
        August 7, 2018 at 14:27

        One thing that continues to puzzle me about Rwanda concerns Philip Gourevitch. His reporting is essentially the template for anglophone elites understanding of early 90s Rwanda—the savage evil of the “genocidairs” as contrasted with the RPF, of which he uses classical propaganda techniques to paint as GI like saviors. Surely this is not accidental.
        Was he just a well connected dupe? Or was he a knowing propagandist consciously serving the Imperium? Any thoughts?

  25. Realist
    August 3, 2018 at 17:24

    To U.S. authorities, foreign lives simply do not matter. No need to conduct any “intelligence assessment” to determine their culpability. They shamelessly commit mass murder right out in the open with impunity.

    • August 3, 2018 at 18:14

      What makes you think USA lives matter to them. I see no evidence of that either.

      • Realist
        August 3, 2018 at 23:39

        Nothing makes me think that. Why do you think I chose the phraseology that I did? It gained currency in reaction to the murderous abuses by American police on our own streets.

        • LarcoMarco
          August 4, 2018 at 13:50

          It gained currency when that other Donald (Rumsfeld) essentially said that G.I’s were cannon fodder.

          • REDPILLED
            August 4, 2018 at 16:54

            That despicable attitude long predates war criminal Rumsfeld: “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”? Henry Kissinger

          • Realist
            August 4, 2018 at 17:43

            So, to U.S. authorities, black lives, foreign lives, soldiers’ lives, human lives in general simply do NOT matter. My simple point. Sorry if anyone missed it.

  26. Drew Hunkins
    August 3, 2018 at 17:17

    Michael Parenti’s book “To Kill a Nation” is the best book on the criminal NATO war on Yugoslavia. Followed closely by Diana Johnstone’s seminal book “Fool’s Crusade.”

    • Antiwar7
      August 4, 2018 at 11:45

      Agreed: those are excellent books, the best English language works on the breakup of Yugoslavia.

  27. dj anderson
    August 3, 2018 at 16:57

    Thank you for this article. Noam Chomsky also bravely gave a fine accounting. https://chomsky.info/200005__/

  28. Jeff Harrison
    August 3, 2018 at 16:55

    One wonders how many times these sorts of things have to happen, and fail before the rest of the world says enough of your bullshit, “West”.

  29. Joe Tedesky
    August 3, 2018 at 16:50

    Isn’t it sad that the most enduring monuments the U.S. is leaving for it’s worldly legacy are but artifacts of war and destruction. We could have done much better than this.

    • August 3, 2018 at 20:25

      Joe – Exactly. I sometimes find myself thinking the “what if” to the U.S. mayhem of just my own lifetime. “What if” the CIA hadn’t coordinated the assassinations of JFK and Lumumba, as well as of course the murder or overthrow of dozens of elected leaders in former colonies who simply aspired to helping their own people, rather than acting as proxies to the continuing pillage by U.S. & Western capitalism. What if instead those leaders were allowed to lead their nations into a non-aligned world and not forced to be beholden to either the U.S. or Soviet systems by threats of U.S. military and economic violence? What if Malcolm and MLK and RFK had not been murdered by forces connected to the U.S. ruling institutions, and had instead by now had become elder statesmen in a more humane and democratic U.S. system that would stand in stark contrast to the insane neoliberal capitalist freak show which has been forced upon the world, and who’s mystical – “invisible hand” – can be found tightly wrapped around the throats of the poor everywhere?

      Yes Joe I agree, I think we could have lived in a very different world had not the greed and pathology of U.S. and Western oligarchy quite intentionally and violently destroyed any possibility of a more humane and egalitarian world by routinely murdering those more humane leaders who could have helped us reach it. That possibility of a more humane world was replaced instead with the odious Maggie Thatcher’s “there is no alternative” global nightmare of continued neocolonial pillage euphemistically called neoliberal capitalism. Only the fine-tuning of the rational for mass murder has changed. Now we have “duty to protect” – which translated from ‘newspeak’ means = “we now must bomb and kill you because we care about you so very, very much.” Sort of a Western postmodern version of earlier justifications for slaughtering the indigenous in order to – “save their souls” I suppose. We in the West have created this current version of global “reality” through absolutely amoral unrelenting mass violence over 500+ years now, and sadly there does not seem to be any real evidence of a change of heart or direction in our global mayhem.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 3, 2018 at 21:24

        Gary I agree whole heartedly with every word you wrote. I would add to how intriguing it would be to learn of the high deception played during the passage of the Federal Reserve back in 1913. Then I’d push out of the way those who blocked Claude Pepper from endorsing Henry Wallace into the 1944 Democratic Convention. This alone may have changed the course of the establishment of the CIA, and avoided the disaster that is happening in Palestine to this day.

        Thatcher & Reagan surly introduced us into this new economy which is often said to be doing so great, and there we are ruined by an overly eager Fed lender along with an out of sight Defense budget. Your job isn’t there, and with that you are told to blame the union. Ah, the Union wasn’t that what Margaret & Ronny sabotaged eventually…. nice work.

        I do believe the assassination era was the biggest turning point, as it sent a strong message to the would be seekers of sane government policies who would incur such tragedy if explored. Joe

        • August 3, 2018 at 23:11

          Joe – I quite agree. The assassination era was the huge turning point, but as you point out the corruption and manipulation of democracy by the oligarchy goes way back. Yes, imagine if Wallace had been the VP for FDR? Had Wallace’s nomination not been sabotaged, perhaps the Dulles brothers would have spent their remaining time on earth learning woodworking skills in prison workshop after being convicted for the treason of their Nazi dealings – instead of leading the CIA and State Dept. into the corrupt secrecy of multiple regime changes, assassinations, and endless insane cold war posturing. The Dulles CIA era, including it’s loving embrace of the Nazi war criminals, seems to have a been in retrospect a very dark prelude leading up to the assassination era to follow. Ike certainly had some foreboding of the evil to come given his parting comments.

          • REDPILLED
            August 4, 2018 at 17:04

            A brief recommended reading list:

            The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot

            The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the attack on U.S. Democracy by Peter Dale Scott

            The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government by Mike Lofgren

      • Dave P.
        August 4, 2018 at 03:00

        Great comments Gary W. So true.

      • Bob Van Noy
        August 4, 2018 at 08:35

        Joe and Gary, very nice and well informed thread, thank you. Clearly we all share the history that both of you mentioned and we also see through the now crumbling obfuscation. It will become our new duty to use that past experience and a new hope to help make an official case for correcting the official record and reclaiming Democracy. Actually it’s a worthy endeavor and we’re uniquely positioned to help…

      • Consortium's Fan
        August 7, 2018 at 10:42

        “Sort of a Western postmodern version of earlier justifications for slaughtering the indigenous in order to – “save their souls” I suppose.”

        Or even earlier justifications (by the Holy Inquisition in the Middle Ages) to burn people alive to “save their souls”.

    • Realist
      August 4, 2018 at 18:03

      Excellent point, Joe. I wonder how different the history books will look if this country somehow manages to shed the warmongering hegemonists who have been in control for at least the last 70 years (or, one might argue, from its inception).

      I’d also like to see an English translation of the current world history books, used in the schools of China, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Cuba, Vietnam or dozens of other countries not part of the American World Empire. I’ll bet American actions and motives are not portrayed to be as noble and pure as the driven snow. I’ll bet even Mexico has a quite different take. Canada? You stopped our invasion in 1812, aided the slaves sent to you via the Underground Railway and refused to cooperate in the Vietnam fiasco. What happened since then? Now you extradite AWOL GI’s who don’t want to go back to the numerous “sand boxes” we play in. I’ll bet those books, if ever published in English, would not be allowed on public library shelves in the U.S.

  30. August 3, 2018 at 16:45

    Interesting article.

    I believe there are many questions that need answering about NATO. For instance:
    July 14, 2018
    The Diabolical “Work” of NATO and Its Allies: Why Are These War Criminals Still Free?

    NATO’s recent meeting or summit in Brussels July 11 – 12, 2018, could be described as a gathering of heinous hypocrites. [1] There are millions of people dead, millions are refugees, their countries have been destroyed and our ruling hypocrites spout the words “rule of law.” Has there ever been a gang of human reptiles (are they even human?) so evil, dressed in expensive suits [and dresses] and operating out of houses of power called “parliaments” and other houses of ill repute? These criminals, or gangsters, or bandits, or reprobates (Add your own epithet) are up to their filthy necks in the blood of the victims of their planned carnage.

    Yet it was reported: “The summit will also discuss the fight against terrorism.” Gee! Does that statement about fighting “terrorism” smack of hypocrisy? There is evidence that NATO and its members have, in fact, been consorting with, and supporting, terrorists. [2]…
    [much more info at link below]

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