Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Recycled Lies

Here is the current mandatory propaganda meme in stories by Reuters, tracked across several articles:
"Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombing forced then-President Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces. Some 10,000 civilians were killed during his two-year crackdown on an Albanian guerrilla insurgency.

Kosovo’s 90-percent Albanian majority has been clamoring for independence ever since."
There are at least four things here that, mildly put, do not correspond with reality. First, the phrase "his forces," referring to Slobodan Milosevic, as if the Serbian police and the Yugoslav Army were his private institutions. Nobody calls the U.S. troops in Iraq "George Bush's forces," especially not Reuters.

Second, the "factoid" that "10,000 civilians were killed" in Kosovo is an absolute, unvarnished lie. Not only has the number of dead associated in any manner with the terrorist campaign of the KLA and the NATO bombing never exceeded 3,000, a substantial portion of that were KLA bandits. Are they to be counted as "civilians"? What about the actual civilians, Serb and Albanian, murdered by the KLA, or killed by NATO? Reuters here clearly misrepresents both the number of dead and their identity.

As for the last sentence, which often stands as a paragraph of its own, it is both inaccurate and deceptive. Kosovo only became 90% Albanian through the ethnic cleansing of Serbs and birth rates far exceeding those in Albania or Macedonia, and only in the latter part of the 20th century, specifically during the period when the province was under control of ethnic Albanians (whether of the Communist or fascist variety). It is specious to posit Albanian numerical superiority as the basis of their claim for independence, without noting how it came into being.

Finally, the Albanians of Kosovo have not been "clamoring for independence" since 1999, but since 1981, or even earlier. This claim is completely fabricated.

Now look at the meme in its entirety: It is geared to insinuate (and none too subtly) that Milosevic personally oppressed and mass-murdered the Albanians of Kosovo, the majority in the region, until NATO and the UN came to their rescue in 1999. On that basis, the Albanians are asking for independence. Presented with such an argument, who wouldn't be sympathetic to their claim? And that is precisely the purpose of this confabulation.

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