Belgrade Preview of Y2K Effects : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Several points in this Breaking News article which demonstrate factors we may be contending with come Y2K & after.

In previous threads we have seen the results of Hurricane Mitch, Ice Storms, earthquakes, Equador crisis, Germany 1930, etc -- historical situations which give clues to how this world devolves in emergencies, crisis, wars, etc, and what to expect and what signs to watch for.

We've read about near-instant looting, martial law, bank holidays, year-long seizure of bank accounts, travel restrictions, rationing, failure of infrastructure, collapse of civility, door-to-door confiscation, dislocation, refugees, massive death and disease, etc.

Now from Belgrade in the first days of war, Y2K primer:

Quiet Anger, Disbelief Among Belgrade's People

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

3/26/99 -- 1:21 PM

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) - Lines form early at grocery stories in the Serbian capital, and for good reason: By mid-morning bread and milk are gone.

Finding fresh vegetables and meat in the popular outdoor markets is not easy either. Most of the stalls have been abandoned because farmers don't have fuel to drive into the city.

After three days of NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia, the effects are being felt by the population in the national capital.

NATO planes and missiles have avoided targets in the center of Belgrade, sticking to the alliance's pledge to strike only at military sites used by President Slobodan Milosevic's war machine. The goal is to cripple the Yugoslav military's ability to wage war on the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo, a Serbian province of Yugoslavia's main republic.

As result, most of Belgrade's 2 million residents have yet to hear a detonation or see any bomb damage, except for what is broadcast on Serbian television.

For them, the effect of the raids is indirect. The government has ordered state-owned shops to maintain normal business hours, so food stores open at 6:30 a.m. as usual.

But supplies are dwindling, largely because of transport problems. Fuel has been diverted to the armed forces and gas stations have stopped selling gas and diesel to the public.

As a result, trucking companies cannot deliver supplies to shops. And most people don't have enough gasoline to reach food stores outside their neighborhoods.

Fear and transport problems keep most people indoors - either at home or at their offices. The government has encouraged people to keep working, and a state of emergency declared this week gives the state the power to demand that people report to their jobs.

Schools and universities, however, have closed. On fashionable Knez Mihajlova Street, which is normally closed to vehicles, few pedestrians wander past shops, despite sunny skies and mild, early spring temperatures.

That gives the city an eerie silence and a feeling of being deserted, although there has been no general evacuation.

The state-controlled media reports volunteers streaming to join the armed forces and defend the nation. But most of the scenes broadcast on state television show volunteers signing up for duty in Russia, which strongly opposes attacks on its fellow Orthodox Slavs.

Movie theaters have stopped showing American or other foreign films. Instead, old Serbian films showing partisans fighting against the German occupiers in World War II are run.

When air raid sirens sound, many people head for their basements, especially at night. There is a mixture of anger at America and bewilderment that traditional allies such as France have joined with Washington to wage war on a small nation.

Most Serbs receive their information through state-controlled media, which portrays the fighting in Kosovo as a justifiable attempt by the government to crush a rebellion by ``Albanian terrorists.''

Maja Alsirev of the Serbian Society for the Protection of Animals was worried about the 500 stray dogs in the group's animal shelter, 12 miles south of Belgrade. It is located between two military sites that have been attacked, but no one has enough fuel to drive there and feed the animals.

``The bombs have probably scared them to death,'' Alsirev sobbed.
``They must be out of their minds. At a time we are fighting to protect animals, this is happening.''

Alsirev said her group receives financial support from a French animal rights group associated with former film star Brigitte Bardot.

``Our French friends call us on the phone,'' she said. ``They haven't forgotten us, although their planes are bombing us.''
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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999


Getting worse -- looks like the Serbs have kept their ammo for exacting revenge and spreading the war ...

Kosovo-MiGs Downed

[ For Educational Use Only ]

3/26/99 -- 1:45 PM

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - NATO forces shot down two Yugoslav MiG-29 fighters Friday as they attempted to strike NATO-led peacekeeping troops in Bosnia.

The pilots of the two MiGs were captured in Bosnia-Herzegovina by the peacekeeping forces, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said.

It was not immediately known if the MiGs were shot down by allied aircraft or from the ground.

NATO air operations were continuing over Yugoslavia, Shea said.

Looks like the "terrorism" part of the Y2K threat has exponentially escalated.

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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

"Lines form early at grocery stories in the Serbian capital, and for good reason: By mid-morning bread and milk are gone ... Most of the stalls have been abandoned because farmers don't have fuel to drive into the city ... "

"... The government has ordered state-owned shops to maintain normal business hours ... Fuel has been diverted to the armed forces and gas stations have stopped selling gas and diesel to the public ... As a result, trucking companies cannot deliver supplies to shops. And most people don't have enough gasoline to reach food stores outside their neighborhoods ... Fear and transport problems keep most people indoors - either at home or at their offices. ... "

" ... The government has encouraged people to keep working, and a state of emergency declared this week gives the state the power to demand that people report to their jobs ... scenes broadcast on state television show volunteers signing up for duty in Russia ... receive their information through state-controlled media ... "

more eerie familiar phrases ... notice the one about "volunteers signing up for duty in Russia" ...

mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm mmmm

-- Ashton (, March 26, 1999.

uh-oh, we've really ticked ppl off ...

Anti-NATO Protests Target Embassies Throughout Europe

[ For Educational Use Only ]

3/26/99 -- 3:25 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Protesters opposed to NATO attacks on Yugoslavia directed their anger at American sites around Europe on Friday, drenching olive branches in red and calling President Clinton a ``facist.''

Up to 10,000 people in Bulgaria gathered in the nation's capital of Sofia to protest the NATO airstrikes.

In Greece, a NATO member, 15,000 protesters marched to the U.S. Embassy. Demonstrators chanted slogans including ``Clinton, Fascist, Murderer.'' Some waved Greek and Yugoslav flags and carried religious icons, reflecting the Orthodox Christian faith shared by the two countries.

In Russia, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. and British embassies. Russia ordered NATO representatives to leave the country and said it was suspending all contact with the Western alliance until the airstrikes stop.

Russia, which is not a NATO member, has been highly critical of NATO's decision to use military muscle to force a peace plan between Yugoslavia and ethnic Albanian separatists in the province of Kosovo.

Opposition to the bombing also increased in Italy, another member of the alliance. Outside parliament in Rome, dozens of protesters waved olive branches dyed red to simulate blood.

And in Bosnia, the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo said an American diplomat was seriously injured Thursday when demonstrations staged by some 3,000 Bosnian Serb youths turned violent. The incidents took place in Banja Luka, the Bosnian Serb administration center.

Closer to Kosovo, the protests turned even more heated.

Riot police blocked demonstrators trying for the second day Friday to reach the American Embassy in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. More than 10,000 NATO ground troops were sent to Macedonia for a possible peacekeeping role in neighboring Kosovo.

After peace talks fell apart, the NATO force in Macedonia was left awaiting new orders. Some troops have begun patrols along the 120-mile border with Yugoslavia.

But their presence has touched off concerns that Macedonia could face retaliation from larger and more powerful Yugoslavia. Police cordoned off parts of Skopje to try to avoid a replay of Thursday's attacks of Western embassies and NATO personnel.

Police increased security at the U.S. and British embassies and other American sites in Athens ahead of the demonstration and clashed with rioting youths who smashed cars and store windows. Authorities dispersed a crowd hurling eggs and rocks at the British Embassy.

Another anti-American demonstration was held in the northern Greek port of Salonica, which was used as a transit point for NATO ground forces bound for neighboring Macedonia.

Greek officials have urged NATO to halt the bombing and resume negotiations.

Greek newspapers ran cartoons depicting President Clinton as Adolf Hitler. Many headlines denounced the U.S.-led attacks. ``Murderers'' wrote the conservative Vradini newspaper. Added the left-leaning Eleftherotypia: ``NATO Criminals.''

In Cyprus, 300 Greek Cypriots staged a noisy demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in the island's capital of Nicosia.
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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

And, the old-line Communists smell blood and a chance ...

Primakov Asks Parliament to Put Off Yeltsin Impeachment Debate

[ For Educational Use Only ]

3/26/99 -- 3:33 PM

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's prime minister on Friday failed to convince parliamentary leaders to put off a scheduled impeachment debate on President Boris Yeltsin in light of NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia.

Yevgeny Primakov told the heads of parliament's various factions that debating impeachment would be ``untimely'' because it would split Russian political groups in a time of crisis, Agrarian Party faction leader Nikolai Kharitonov said.

But Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov, whose party is the largest in the lower house of parliament, refused to comply, saying the impeachment hearings will start as scheduled on April 15. Russia has called for an end to the NATO strikes on Yugoslavia.

Communists support Primakov's Cabinet and have generally gone along with his wishes, but not always.

The impeachment motion is considered unlikely to succeed, but even its arrival on the Duma floor would be considered another blow to Yeltsin.

A parliamentary committee has charged Yeltsin with instigating the 1991 Soviet collapse, improperly using force against hard-line lawmakers in 1993, launching the botched 1994-96 war in Chechnya, bringing the nation's military to ruin and waging genocide against the Russian people by pursuing economic policies that impoverished the country. ...[ snip ]
You'd think they'd have the grace not to gnaw on Yeltsin now. Idiots. How the earth keeps spinning, weighed down with so many idiots ...

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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

Leska, it'll keep on spinnin' alright, but if things keep going like this, cockroaches may rule the day.

The local gas station attendant told me this afternoon that she's afraid this is "the beginning of the end."

What--precisely--is the penalty for "impeachment" in Russia? A firing squad? This is not good. Time to write your senators folks.

-- FM (, March 26, 1999.

Good grief! The timing of this is bizarre! How old are draftees? Wasn't it 17-45, men? Better not be women too! This is too much!

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Army Secretary Says Reinstating Draft May Be Impractical

3/26/99 -- 4:56 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reinstating the military draft to help fill the ranks of America's fighting forces may not be fair or practical, Army Secretary Louis Caldera said Friday.

He also said it would be harder than in the past to fashion a fair draft, and an unfair one might harm the military rather than help it.

Caldera said renewing the draft, which ended 25 years ago , is one possible response to the problems the armed forces are having in finding enough recruits to fill its ranks.

``By its very nature the draft communicates that military service is everyone's obligation,'' Caldera said in a speech at the National Press Club. ``And it might act as a leveling influence in the ranks and in other society,'' bringing together young people from differing backgrounds.

He said the draft would have the added benefit of reducing the $100 million a year the Army spends in recruiting advertising.

``But for today's Army,'' Caldera said, '' a draft may simply not be fair or practical'' because the armed forces do not need as many young people as they did during World War II. During the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s only one in 10 of those eligible to serve did so, he said.

``Today with our smaller post-Cold War armed forces, our stronger volunteer tradition and our need for longer terms of service to get a good return on the high, up-front training costs, it would be ever harder to fashion a fair draft,'' Caldera said.

He said a draft that was perceived as unfair ``because too few are called, might harden feeling against the military and hurt rather than help raise the regard in which military service is held.''

While some members of Congress have raised the prospect of renewing the draft because some branches of the armed forces can't find enough recruits, military leaders say the all-volunteer force of 1.4 million is sufficient for now, although they support better pay, benefits and living conditions for the troops.

Almost all male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the United States, must register with Selective Service. But the United States has not drafted the nation's youth into the military since the Vietnam War ended.

Caldera, a West Point graduate who took over his post last July, said recruiting efforts are being hampered by baby boomer parents who don't value military service and ``consider it a bad choice compared to trying to go to college.''
Still blaming it all on the baby boomers.

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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

More breaking news from the front:

[The following is a letter from Belgrade by a friend of a friend who is there conducting research for his doctoral dissertation in history at Stanford. It is forwarded with permission. If anyone has other reports from the region, please do send them along. For more reports see , , and .] =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= This message was forwarded through the Red Rock Eater News Service (RRE). Send any replies to the original author, listed in the From: field below. You are welcome to send the message along to others but please do not use the "redirect" command. For information on RRE, including instructions for (un)subscribing, see or send a message to with Subject: info rre =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 23:35:47 +0100 From: Dusan Djordjevich Subject: Re: from enemy territory [...] Belgrade Thursday, March 25, 1999, 7:30pm (local time) Air-raid sirens have just sounded in Belgrade, marking the second night of NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia. There were two waves earlier today of 2-3 hours each, the last one ending with an all-clear signal around 4:30pm. (One quickly learned to distinguish the two signals with the help of civil defense bulletins on TV and brochures stuffed this morning into mailboxes.) The normally bustling center of the city was extremely quiet today, in terms of both pedestrians and cars, despite the beautiful spring weather. Half or more of the stores seemed to be closed, and the large "Zeleni Venac" outdoor market near my apartment was nearly deserted. As part of the state of war that has been declared, gasoline will not be sold for private use. Spring break has started early: schools and universities have suspended instruction until at least April 2. Most who live and work in Belgrade's central districts don't fear direct air strikes. In the outskirts and across the Sava River in the highrises of the post-WWII settlement "New Belgrade," people feel less secure, as many could hear explosions last night during strikes against such targets as a factory in the suburb Pancevo and the military airbase some 20 km NW of here. People here have lived with the threat of air strikes since October, but no one was sure what to expect and there was a good deal of skepticism that such a serious bombardment would take place. Most now are calm but very worried and upset. Constant calls to friends and relatives (phone lines are working for the most part). For the moment, at least, there is little appetite for the black humor with which Serbs typically greet difficult times. I wanted to escape for a couple of hours on Tuesday and watch "Twins" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito on TV -- but they'd replaced it with the historical drama, "The Battle of Kosovo." Other shows are being pre-empted by old Partisan vs. German WWII movies. Classical music and Mexican soap operas are apparently still acceptable. For those who have them, satellite dishes and short-wave radios provide news from west European stations to complement the local reporting. (There's also the Internet, of course, but very few people have access to it.) It's frustrating, though, since from what I've seen -- mostly on BBC World and Sky News, occasionally CNN when it comes in well -- there's a fair amount of Gulf War-type parroting of official pronouncements, and superficial coverage and analysis. In Serbia, Radio B-92, the main electronic source of independent news, was kicked off its frequency. For the moment, Pancevo's independent station is carrying the B-92 news programs, so they can still be heard in Belgrade. I see in the message you sent that the RedRockEater list carried the report that B-92's editor-in-chief Veran Matic was detained by police Wednesday morning. Fortunately he was released after several hours, but the regime will certainly continue to quiet independent and critical voices. It should be said, however, that criticism of the regime in any case is likely to be very muted. Some "experts" on BBC, CNN, NPR have been saying that they expect mounting criticism of Milosevic, even some kind of popular and/or elite revolt against him, as the damage inflicted by NATO mounts. This is a misreading of the mood here, to put it mildly. (It also reveals ignorance of the usual effect of air strikes.) Even the most vehement opponents of Milosevic and his policy in Kosovo see this primarily as an unwarranted and unwise attack on their country, and their anger and disappointment with NATO and above all the U.S. is only likely to grow. Milosevic could have signed the Rambouillet document and allowed foreign troops into Kosovo without serious domestic dissent in the short term, but in time such a move may well have cut into his already dwindling popularity. As it is -- in the general view here and surely in Milosevic's own calculations -- the bombardment is almost certain to renew and consolidate support for the government and hurt if not cripple the prospects of democratic opposition forces. For myself and many people with whom I've spoken, one of the most worrisome aspects is how unpredictable the course of events seems at the moment. It's not just our own ignorance, but the fact that no one in Brussels or Washington seems to have a good answer to the "What next?" questions, and it is not yet clear under what circumstances either side might back off its stated resolve. As I write this, I've just heard that all NATO-country journalists are being expelled from the country, which will of course make it even more difficult to get an accurate picture of the situation. As it is, no one seems sure exactly what is happening on the ground in Kosovo, where some predict a stepped-up offensive by Yugoslav forces and significantly more suffering for the people of the province -- the very people whose welfare is ostensibly NATO's primary concern.
******************************* Dusan Djordjevich PhD Candidate Department of History Stanford University dusandj@eunet.yu *******************************

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), March 26, 1999.

CNN just had a report about Serbian television. They're showing Wag the Dog...

-- Mac (, March 26, 1999.

Mac, bet that REALLY pisses them all off! They'll talk about that non-stop for months. Unfortunate & weird how close it comes ... bad that they expelled all the reporters. And things will only get weirder and weirder ...

How many men on this Forum are draft age?

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, March 26, 1999.

More troops! Escalation. Dragged into the pit.

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Clinton Sending More Forces to Macedonia

3/26/99 -- 6:45 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Clinton dispatched 100 ``combat-equipped'' Marines on Friday to guard the besieged U.S. Embassy in Macedonia.

He also informed Congress that additional military personnel were needed to guard against Serb attacks on NATO forces already deployed in the country neighboring Serbia.

As NATO airstrikes seek to weaken Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's ability to wage war on Kosovo, the Clinton administration has repeatedly said it would not send ground troops to Kosovo unless a peace agreement was reached.

But given the violence directed at the U.S. Embassy in the Macedonian capital of Skopje and concerns that the fighting in Kosovo could spread, Clinton said prudence called for a greater U.S. presence in Macedonia.

Clinton's message to Congress came in two letters Friday, one officially informing lawmakers under the War Powers Act of the U.S. military's involvement in the NATO mission and the other telling them of his decision to send U.S. forces to Macedonia.

In response to the angry mob that attacked the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Clinton said he had sent ``100 combat-equipped Marines'' from the USS Nassau ``to enhance security at our embassy.''

``These Marines will remain deployed so long as is necessary to protect our embassy and U.S. persons,'' he wrote.

He also informed Congress of NATO's decision to deploy its Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Headquarters Rear Command Post to Macedonia. The 30 U.S. members of the command's staff would be added to the 400 U.S. troops already on the ground as part of the 10,000-strong NATO force that would help enforce any peace agreement.

``Having those officers serving in their regular positions will enhance the safety of U.S. and other friendly military personnel and increase the effectiveness of the NATO presence,'' Clinton said. He then raised the possibility of sending an unspecified number of additional U.S. troops.

``Sound military planning may also call for sending a limited number of additional U.S. military personnel to Macedonia in support of ongoing operations,'' Clinton wrote, saying those operations include combat search and rescue, intelligence support, surveillance and reconnaissance.
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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

Plenty, I'm sure. The Air National Guard here in Hawaii was sent over a couple weeks ago, and now are in active duty. My friend refuels planes. He is active in our community Y2k preparedness. This hits close to home. I just wanted to say mahalo for the thread. The inside scoop(and you folks) is much appriciated. Hi Mac!

-- Justin Case (justin, March 26, 1999.

Mac, an article about it on AP Breaking News:

As Bombs Explode, Serbs Watch `Wag The Dog'

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

3/26/99 -- 9:34 PM

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - As NATO pounded the Belgrade suburbs Friday, Serbian television was airing ``Wag The Dog,'' a film of an American president who fabricates a war in Albania to distract attention from a sex scandal.

[ Groan. Is anybody else struck by how awful this makes the USA look? Could any movie been as engineered to incite gasps of hatred and outraged disbelief in a foreign people being bombed in exactly the depicted situation? They will feel mocked; they will certainly believe the whole thing is intentional! Oh, how furious this will make them! What a disaster. ]

The 1998 film, starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, began shortly after midnight as explosions were heard in 11 districts around the capital.

The film was interrupted with news pictures of huge plumes of flames glowing in the night sky around Belgrade. The announcer warned that ``aggressor aircraft'' were more active around the capital, and urged residents to stay in shelters until sirens sounded the all-clear. The transmission was monitored in Zagreb, Croatia.

Cruise missiles zoomed past an airliner carrying 70 people as it landed at the Montenegro capital of Podgorica during a NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Montena news agency reported Friday.

It said the airliner, a Montenegro Airlines Fokker jet was approaching the airport just after sunset Wednesday when the first air raid alarm sounded.

Passengers reported seeing the missiles' fiery exhaust but couldn't tell how close they were to the plane. Montenegro's Vijesti newspaper said one missile exploded near a jet fuel tank a half-mile from where the plane landed.

Yugoslavia consists of Serbia and the much smaller Montenegro. The little state's pro-western government has declared its neutrality in the conflict and vowed not to allow the Yugoslav military to use its soil to combat NATO forces.

This has not prevented NATO from repeatedly striking at military targets in Montenegro, despite pleas from the authorities for an end to the attacks.

Air traffic controllers were ordered to vacate the tower at Podgorica airport at the outset of the raids on Wednesday. The airport is divided into a civilian and military part, which has an extensive underground complex designed to shelter aircraft from aerial attacks.

``Fortunately, everything ended well, although the passengers were greeted with huge blasts as they emerged from the airliner,'' Montena said.
This is really really bad. Especially bombing Montenegro. It is almost like the US is *trying* to stir up so much hatred against itself that its predictions of Y2K "terrorism" have to come true. The lunatics are running the asylum.

I want a quick ticket out. It is too bizarre, and the suffering, blood, deprivation, and death are too real in consequence.

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-- Leska (, March 26, 1999.

Yikes! Save a ticket for me too Leska. How about another planet? :(

-- Rob Michaels (, March 26, 1999.

If I can get the tickets, yes, one for you, Rob, from a faithful FRLian. But another planet is too close for comfort. I want another plane, another much better dimension of existence.

Take a gander at these headlines coming up on Drudge:

The WASHINGTON POST is reporting that the deteriorating situation in Kosovo has prompted discussions among senior NATO and U.S. officials about the possibility of introducing U.S. and allied ground forces into the three-day-old air campaign against the Yugoslav military...


Insanity! The only reason the sheeple still snooze thru all this "over there" carnage is because our casualties have been relatively low thru the Gulf Gaffes. But the hilly creepy terrain of Balkan terror? Insanity!

The only place worse might be Aghfganistan (-sp), where, we read, Cain murdered Abel, and such a curse lies over the Khyber Pass (-sp) that legend says any empire that attempts to take that country and war thru that crevass of death will be doomed to fall soon thereafter. Worked like a charm for the Soviet Union. Charge of the Light Brigade, anyone? Cursed passages and repeated historical mistakes?

This is a nightmare. Somebody tell me we'll wake up soon.

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-- Leska (, March 27, 1999.

Leska: We'll wake up soon - on that other plane maybe. Thanks for the ticket. I always wanted to travel.

-- Rob, shaking his head (, March 27, 1999.

"At a time we are fighting to protect animals, this is happening....." Am I missing something here? Protect animals -- murder, rape, burn out and make homeless, starve, and otherwise torture humans.... but by all means, let's not disrupt our humanitarian efforts on behalf of the animals.... OOOOK, I see, something is very disconnected here. Or perhaps this citizen of the state is unaware of why anyone would want to disrupt their leaders plans.

"A parliamentary committee has charged Yeltsin with.... waging genocide against the Russian people ..." and let's add, defending the right of the Serbians to do the same to his countrymen.

Note: I'm not saying we don't have our own ways of 'doin' it' to our own here in the good ole USA: economic is the name of the game here; I'm just a bit awonder why no one seems to grasp what is happening in Kosovo and why NATO got involved.

'Cursed passages and repeated historical mistakes?'...yes, it's looking death is too many, and so many have already died. No we aren't the world's policeman...or are we? is NATO? when the neighborhood bully decides to beat up some kid in your back yard, do you do anything about it? And after all we've discussed re: Y2K and the very small and interconnected world we live in I do not understand the consensus attitude is 'we are way over here and that's happening way over there and we shouldn't have anything to do with it'. Our allies have it happening on their front porch. It does trouble me to see wavering allies....almost enough to say, OK, you want a repeat performance of Hitler: allow Milosevic to continue the slaughter....

It's like half of the world has evolved to a position of no war is justified... and the other half have gone totally mad and are brutal beyond my ability to comprehend. It is very difficult for me to think we should sit still while it happens...we waited too long in Bosnia. We never should have sat still for Rwanda.... but no, we can't do it all... and we can't do it at all without getting our own hands bloody. Neither can we protect ourselves, our homes, our families in a +10 Y2K scenario without doing the same. Moral dilemmas... I personally feel very sorry for those who have the responsibility of making these kinds of decisions....and even sorrier for those who choose to ignore them. No matter which side of the coin you come down on, at least there isn't the insufferable arrogance of indifference.

-- Shelia (, March 27, 1999.

Sheila, I understand what you are saying, but I respectfully disagree on a small point. Yep the Serbians (mostly the Serbian partisans--ie., uneducated hicks who have a lot of anger and are itching for scapegoats) have been doing HORRIBLE and DESPICABLE things. And Milosevic is at best intentionally turning his head the other way and at worst giving them the green light to do their genocide.

These paramilitary aren't doing their worst with big artillery. They are doing it with very low-tech (y2k compliant) pistol shots to the back of the head--and with torches to the head. Bombs won't stop these bastards. Bombs will only motivate them to do their business even more.

The only way to stop the killing would be to send in the Marines. Oh, about, say....several million of them. And the Army and a draft of fresh 18-25 year old conscripts. The Nazis could not even subjugate these tough people even after five years.

One thing that Aquinas(sp?) said that in order to wage a "just war," you had to be fairly certain of your chances for victory. You had to be certain that your victory would leave behind a world that was more peaceful and a vanquished people whom you could help rebuild and bestow mercy on.

In Kosovo, we can't be certain of victory or whether or not our action will reap an end result of a more peaceful world. It might feel good to act in vengence. But vengence is the same thing that motivates terrorists to throw bombs into buses filled with school children. And these surviving children then are motivated to grow up in hate and throw bombs into the buses of other children. As much of a cliche it is to say this, violence is a cycle. War is violence. There are probably few wars which meet the high standards of a "just war."

-- coprolith (, March 27, 1999.

Nothing about this whole thing makes "sense."

*Big Sigh*


E-mail messages from Kosovo bring home horror of war
WILLIAM SCHIFFMANN, Associated Press Writer
Saturday, March 27, 1999 article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/03/27/national0207EST0451.DTL

(03-27) 02:07 EST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Her face is a mystery, but the e-mailed words of a16-year-old girl struggling to survive in Kosovo paint a stark picture of life in a land torn by war.

Her words, if not her voice, have been heard by millions of National Public Radio listeners as Finnegan Hamill, 16, a reporter for Berkeley-based Youth Radio, shares e-mail from the teen-ager he knows as Adona.

At times, there are light, personal moments -- she tells Hamill the music she likes (The Rolling Stones, REM and Sade), and is searching the Internet for colleges to attend.

But then the war creeps in.

``You don't know how lucky you are to have a normal life,'' the young ethnic Albanian wrote in February.

``I used to hang out with my friends,'' she told Hamill in another note. ``We were never safe on the streets, but now we're not safe in our own homes.''

``If you were the ones to taste this bitter and cruel part of the world, you would understand me and my imagination,'' she wrote. ``You would also understand the luckiness I feel just being alive.''

Adona's words are read on the air by Belia Mayeno Choy, another Youth Radio reporter.

Hamill, a high school junior, said he got Adona's e-mail address from a peace worker who visited his church after a trip to Kosovo, and they've exchanged more than 40 messages via the Internet.

``I started e-mailing her and we developed a friendship through our e- mails,'' he said Friday. The letters blend the personal and the political.

``They are half pen-pal stuff, things you would talk about with your friends, and half really heavy, living-in-the-middle-of-war stuff.''

Ellin O'Leary, who founded Youth Radio in 1992 and produced the series, says it has had a huge impact.

``We're getting e-mail from kids all over the world wanting to be in touch with her,'' she said.

O'Leary said Friday they went to great lengths to verify that Adona was real, speaking to her by telephone and talking to two people who had been in Kosovo and met her in person.

``The most amazing thing about this girl is that she has no investment in this war,'' O'Leary said. ``She doesn't hate Serbs, she wants to be friends, she doesn't hate Christians ... she just wants a normal life.''

Hamill said he hoped to meet Adona soon, and said they had received offers of scholarships for her and hoped to bring her to the United States.

Her latest message came Monday, two days before the United States and its NATO allies began bombing Yugoslavia to try to stop attacks by the Yugoslav military against the majority ethnic Albanian people of Kosovo.

From her balcony, she told Hamill that she heard gunshots as she watched people scurry by carrying suitcases. Her bags were packed, but she had nowhere to go.

``As long as I have electricity, I will continue writing to you,'' she wrote. ``I am trying to keep myself as calm as possible.''

Hamill and all who listen for her messages have been waiting since.

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 27, 1999.

That is really sad. Does it remind anyone of the kerchiefed girl running across the bridge with the kitty? Is this going to get any stranger? Keep up the human-angle posts, Diane ;-) Thanx

-- Leska (, March 27, 1999.


I know this statement might get royally flamed, probably rightly, or wrongly so, but ...

Have you ever noticed that most WAR, not all, is created and perpetrated by the males of the human species?

Just observing.


Diane, Peace, eventually, we hope

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 27, 1999.

No flames from me, Diane ;-) The males *are* testi-fight-mad. I have no urges to gun my way around -- but see the value of having a pack of sober men with guns ringing my castle. Unfortunately, I'm not that kind of princess, sigh. And this is 1999, plowing thru the year too too too too rapidly.

Being an avid Anne Rice reader, explored the whole male-responsible-for-wars concept totally while reading "The Queen Of The Damned." What an awesome book! Anyway, none of the various "solutions" the crazed Queen schemed up to rid/contain the planet of males was feasible or desireable.

The *only* solution is for each human to find peace, love, and brotherhood in his/her heart, in silence and at-tune-ment with the Creator, and extend that wealth of peace with each encounter in everyday life. Aum, Shanti, Amen

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-- Leska (, March 27, 1999.

NATO attacks as more reports of Kosovo violence emerge

GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, March 27, 1999
Breaking News Sections

(03-27) 11:01 PST BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- A fourth round of NATO air attacks on Yugoslavia began before dusk Saturday, while increasing reports of heavy fighting and alleged Serb atrocities raised new alarm about the fate of Kosovo Albanians. ... bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/03/27/ international1251EST0541.DTL


... British Defense Secretary George Robertson called Milosevic a ``serial ethnic cleanser'' and said: ``The Serbs are bombarding villages to the point of obliteration. We have heard that some villages do not exist.''

Ethnic Albanian leader Hashim Thaci, who wants NATO to send in ground troops, called Saturday the ``worst day since the struggle began.''

In a telephone interview with the Austria Press Agency, he said scores of people were killed in Djakovica in western Kosovo and accused Serb forces of ``rampaging like wild animals,'' raping women and shooting people.

With independent monitors and journalists forced out of Kosovo, it was impossible to confirm claims about the situation. ...


*Very Big Sigh & Extreme Sadness*


-- Diane J. Squire (, March 27, 1999.

I'm at No Worries, PC, can't make the link! Anyway, up now on AP Breaking News:

This is why the US is over there:

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

3/27/99 -- 4:35 PM

Refugees stream out of Kosovo, alleging brutal treatment

MORINI, Albania (AP) - Thousands of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo on Saturday told of roundups, forced expulsions and other brutal treatment by the Serbs.

A line of refugees stretched for a mile across the Albanian border at Morini, watched by about 10 Yugoslav army soldiers holding machine guns. Many of the 5,000 refugees - including barefoot women, pregnant women and mothers holding children's hands - were weeping.

Western officials said unconfirmed reports appeared to point to a savage new campaign of ``ethnic cleansing'' that has escalated dramatically since NATO attacks began on Wednesday.

The reports of atrocities have been virtually impossible to confirm since monitors and most foreign reporters left Kosovo last week under increasing threats to their security.

Yet the weight of testimony by refugees pointed to a swelling humanitarian crisis.

``They told us there's no more place for Albanians in Kosovo,'' said Yakup Bytici, 13, from Zojs village in the west of Kosovo, the predominantly ethnic Albanian province in southern Serbia.

The refugees said tens of thousands more were coming. Albania's Information Minister Musa Uliqini said on local television late Saturday that as many as 50,000 could cross the border in upcoming days.

Many refugees said they had seen the bodies of about 20 people killed in the Kosovo village of Landovic.

Besides the accounts of refugees arriving in both Albania and Macedonia, ethnic Albanian sources remaining in the Serbian province made allegations of killing, kidnapping, and looting by paramilitary gangs, some targeting civilians in door-to-door raids.

Kosova Press, the ethnic Albanian rebels' news agency, said the bodies of 33 massacred Albanians were found floating in the river between Orahovac and Djakovica, and also claimed five children and three women were among 13 killed people in Bela Crkva.

The Albanian government accused Serb police and military gangs of ``harassing and eliminating'' well-known Kosovars, saying intellectuals and political leaders were missing, including members of the Kosovo delegation at peace talks in France.

``There are clear signs now that an all-out Serbian offensive against the Kosovo Albanian people has started,'' said British Defense Secretary George Robertson. ``Violence is widespread.''

None of the refugees interviewed by Associated Press reporters outside Kosovo's borders Saturday said they had witnessed killings. But many of about 250 at a crossing north of Macedonia's capital, Skopje, said villages near the border had been emptied at gunpoint, and one man had a black eye which he said came from being hit by a rifle butt.

The Kosovars crossing at Morini, 15 miles northeast of the Albanian town of Kukes, said they didn't know where they would go. Albanian villagers stood by the road offering to take them in.

But the area around Kukes, which has promised to accept 3,000 refugees, was likely to be overwhelmed by the influx after thousands already arrived during fighting in Kosovo last year.

The refugees reported heavy fighting in recent days and said they had passed six burning villages on their way out: Piran, Landovic, Celine, Radobrav, Nagafc and Brestovc.

The first group to arrive at Morini described a tumultuous two days starting with a Serb attack on their village, Krushj e Madhe, on Thursday. They said they fled to the mountains, but on Friday, Serb forces sprayed the area with bullets, found 400 to 500 people and took them down to the village.

Women and children were separated from the men; later all but four or five of the men were returned. They were bused to near the Albanian border Saturday morning from where they walked across.

Daout Sejfullahu said Serb soldiers took $350 from him. His wife, Zenije, 50, fainted after crossing the border and was taken to a hospital, and their son was left behind.

The couple's daughter, Drita, six months pregnant, expressed frustration with the departure of international monitors last week on the eve of NATO airstrikes.

``When they were in Kosovo they were throwing us all kisses from the windows of their cars,'' she said. ``They left us orphans, and that's why this is happening.''

What we really noticed was THOUSANDS of people were being controlled by 10 soldiers with machine guns. Sounds like what so many have said on this Forum. Wish y'all weren't so knowledgeable; the verifications are making us nervous.

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-- Leska (, March 27, 1999.

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