Amply documented, the bombings of Yugoslavia are not strictly aimed at military and strategic targets as claimed by NATO. They are largely intent on destroying the country’s civilian infrastructure as well as its institutions.
According to Yugoslav sources, NATO has engaged around 600 aeroplanes of which more than 400 are combat planes. They have flown almost 3,000 attack sorties, “with 200 in one night alone against 150 designated targets”. They have dropped thousands of tons of explosives and have launched some 450 cruise missiles.
The intensity of the bombing using the most advanced military technology is unprecedented in modern history. It far surpasses the bombing raids of World War II or the Vietnam War.
The bombings have not only been directed against industrial plants, airports, electricity and telecommunications facilities, railways, bridges and fuel depots, they have also targeted schools, health clinics, day care centres, government buildings, churches, museums, monasteries and historical landmarks.
Infrastructure and Industry
According to Yugoslav sources: “road and railway networks, especially road and rail bridges, most of which were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, suffered extensive destruction”. Several thousand industrial facilities have been destroyed or damaged with the consequence of paralysing the production of consumer goods. According to Yugoslav sources, “[B]y totally destroying business facilities across the country, 500,000 workers were left jobless, and 2 million citizens without any source of income and possibility to ensure minimum living conditions”. Western estimates as to the destruction of property in Yugoslavia stand at more than US$ 100 billion.
Bombing of Urban and Rural Residential Areas
Villages with no visible military or strategic structures have been bombed. Described as “collateral damage”, residential areas in all major cities. The downtown area of Pristina (which includes apartment buildings and private dwellings) has been destroyed. Central-downtown Belgrade — including government buildings– have been hit with cluster bombs and there are massive flames emanating from the destruction. According to the International Center for Peace and Justice (ICPJ):
“No city or town in Yugoslavia is being spared. There are untold civilian casualties. The beautiful capital city of Belgrade is in flames and fumes from a destroyed chemical plant are making it necessary to use gas masks”.
Both the Yugoslavia authorities and NATO have downplayed the number of civilian casualties. The evidence amply confirms that NATO has created a humanitarian catastrophe. The bombings are largely responsible for driving people from their homes. The bombings have killed people regardless of their nationality or religion. In Kosovo, civilian casualties affect all ethnic groups. According to a report of the Decany Monastery in Kosovo received in the first week of the bombing:
“Last night a cruise missile hit the old town in Djakovica, mostly inhabited by Albanians, and made a great fire in which several Albanian houses were destroyed … In short, NATO attacks are nothing but barbarous aggression which affects mostly the innocent civilian population, both Serb and Albanian.”
The Dangers of Environmental Contamination
Refineries and warehouses storing liquid raw materials and chemicals have been hit causing environmental contamination. The latter have massively exposed the civilian population to the emission of poisonous gases. NATO air strikes on the chemical industry is intent on creating an environmental disaster, “which is something not even Adolf Hitler did during World War II.”According to the Serbian Minister for Environmental Protection Branislav Blazic, “the aggressors were lying when they said they would hit only military targets and would observe international conventions, because they are using illegal weapons such as cluster bombs, attacking civilian targets and trying to provoke an environmental disaster”. A report by NBC TV confirms that NATO has bombed a the pharmaceutical complex of Galenika, the largest medicine factory in Yugoslavia located in the suburbs of Belgrade. The fumes from this explosion have serious environmental implications. “The population is asked to wear gas masks that in fact nobody …
Supply with drinking water for the inhabitants of Belgrade is also getting difficult after the drinking water facility at Zarkovo was bombed.
Hospitals and Schools
NATO has targeted many hospitals and health-care institutions, which have been partially damaged or totally destroyed. These include 13 of the country’s major hospitals. More than 150 schools (including pre-primary day care centres) have been damaged or destroyed. According to Yugoslav sources, more than 800,000 pupils and students do not attend schools in the wake of the war destruction. There is almost no pre-school institutions (nurseries and day-care centres) which are operational.
Churches, Monasteries and Historical Landmarks
NATO has also systematically targeted churches, monasteries, museums, public monuments and historical landmarks.
“The targets of the attacks on historical and cultural landmarks have included the Gracanica monastery, dating back to the 14th century, the Pec Patriarchate (13th century), the Rakovica monastery and the Petrovarardin Fortress, which are testimony to the foundations of the European civilization, are in all world encyclopedias and on the UNESCO World Heritage list”.
The Use of Weapons banned by International Convention
The NATO bombings have also used of weapons banned by international conventions. Amply documented by scientific reports, the cruise missiles utilize depleted uranium “highly toxic to humans, both chemically as a heavy metal and radiologically as an alpha particle emitter”. Since the gulf War, depleted uranium (DU) has been a substitute for lead in bullets and missiles. According to scientists “it is most likely a major contributor to the Gulf War Syndrome experienced both by the veterans and the people of Iraq”. According radiobiologist Dr. Rosalie Bertell, president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health:
“When used in war, the depleted uranium (DU) bursts into flame [and] releasing a deadly radioactive aerosol of uranium, unlike anything seen before. It can kill everyone in a tank. This ceramic aerosol is much lighter than uranium dust. It can travel in air tens of kilometres from the point of release, or be stirred up in dust and resuspended in air with wind or human movement. It is very small and can be breathed in by anyone: a baby, pregnant woman, the elderly, the sick. This radioactive ceramic can stay deep in the lungs for years, irradiating the tissue with powerful alpha particles within about a 30 micron sphere, causing emphysema and/or fibrosis. The ceramic can also be swallowed and do damage to the gastro-intestinal tract. In time, it penetrates the lung tissue and enters into the blood stream. …It can also initiate cancer or promote cancers which have been initiated by other cancinogens”.
According to Paul Sullivan, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center:
“In Yugoslavia, it’s expected that depleted uranium will be fired in agricultural areas, places where livestock graze and where crops are grown, thereby introducing the spectre of possible contamination of the food chain.”
The New York based International Action Center called the Pentagon’s decision to use the A-10 “Warthog” jets against targets in Serbia “a danger to the people and environment of the entire Balkans”. (Truth in Media, 10 April 1999). In this regard, a report in from Greece:
“registered an increase in levels of toxic substances in the atmosphere of Greece, and said that Albania, Macedonia, Italy, Austria and Hungary all face a potential threat to human health as a result of NATO’s bombing of Serbia, which includes the use of radioactive depleted uranium shells”.(April 10, 1999, see Truth in Media, 10 April 1999).
The Plight of the Refugees
What is not conveyed by the international media, is that people of all ethnic origins including ethnic Albanians, Serbs and other ethnic groups are leaving Kosovo largely as a result of the bombing.
There are reports that ethnic Albanians have left Kosovo for Belgrade where they have relatives. There are 100,000 ethnic Albanians in Belgrade. The press has confirmed movements of ethnic Albanians to Montenegro. Montenegro has been portrayed as a separate country, as a safe-haven against the Serbs. The fact of the matter is that Montenegro is part of Yugoslavia.
Note: This article by Michel Chossudovsky was written in 1999 at the height of the NATO bombing campaign. It was presented to the Ad-hoc Committee to Stop Canada’s Participation in the War in Yugoslavia, Press Conference, Monday, April 12, National Press Theatre, 150 Wellington Street, Ottawa.
Originally published on 1999-04-12
About the author: Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research. He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO’s war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Global Research
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.
Headlines and commentary across both Eastern and Western media have mainly focused on the Catalan independence referendum and the actions of Spanish police and the Spanish government's attempts to disrupt polls.However, little is being said about what the real implications of Catalan independence may be. What do those politicians in Catalonia in favor of independence seek to do with it should they succeed? Will they create a Catalonia that serves the best interests of the people? Or serve the EU and NATO more efficiently and eagerly than a united Spain ever could?There are 5 points those following this conflict should ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
With every day, the true face of Europe mirrors ever so clearer the abject inhumane colonial power that raped and usurped Asia, Africa and South America for hundreds of years, as so well depicted in numerous articles and essays by my friend, philosopher, historian and war journalist, Andre Vltchek. Every day this neo-colonial continent spits out new atrocities. And it’s getting worse. Jean Paul Sartre was right, when he said the US is but a Super-European-Monstrosity. The colonial Europeans, mostly Anglo-French Europeans, are at the helm of this monster-octopus, self-declared empire. They are behind the mysterious and Machiavellian eye on ...
During the last decade of 20th century, leading “analysts” of the New World Order were presenting the Kosovo’s issue as a democratic matter rather than a historical and geopolitical dispute. It was perceived as a political case in which one ethnic minority (Albanians) was oppressed by a “non-democratic regime” of Slobodan Milošević.The refusal of the Rambouillet Accords by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, served as a justification for the unilateral action against Yugoslavia in March, 1999. The Rambouillet Accords called for:1) NATO administration of Kosovo as an autonomous province within Yugoslavia;2) A force of 28,000 NATO troops to maintain order ...
An earlier abridged version of this post was published by Middle East Eye under a different title on June 5, 2016. The focus is upon the misuse of anti-Semitism by those defending Israel to deflect a rising tide of civil society activism and public criticism of Israeli policies and practices.Zionism as Racism? Zionism and the State of Israel8 Jun 2016 – More than 40 years ago the UN General Assembly adopted controversial resolution 3379 by a vote of 72-35 (with 32 abstentions), determining “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” This resolution was bitterly opposed by Israel and its ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!
In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”
But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
The brutal destruction of ex-Yugoslav Federal state-system was in a form of the civil wars or, in another word, a chain of violent conflicts from 1991 to 1995. From the spring of 1992, the SFRY already did not exist as a state and, therefore, the conflicts were turned into the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession.The Yugoslav civil wars can be comprised of the three closely related armed conflicts:1) War in Slovenia in 1991.2) War in Croatia from 1991 to 1995.3) War in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.[i]In the year of 1990, the real potential for the armed conflict became quite ...
Kosovo after June 1999: Serbian Orthodox church destroyed by Kosovo Albanian MuslimsThe horrible pictures of the atrocious ritual beheadings of ICS, the Islamic Caliphate State, on the Internet, have shown an ugly face of Western leaders, avoiding and denying what is crystal clear, as if these heinous acts are not Islamic, and continuing their march of folly as if Islam is a religion of peace and compassion; as if ICS and Qaeda are in fact not Islamic; and as if these and other Islamic terrorist organization hijacked Islam, in order to smear it and de-legitimized its presence in the West.However, ...
On 23 April 1999, a NATO missile attack on Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) headquarters killed 16 employees of the state broadcaster. The forgotten war crime occurred during the Kosovo War (March 1998-June 1999), and was part of NATO’s aerial campaign alongside the US-backed Kosovo Liberation army, in opposition to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.In the aftermath of the attack there were no great public campaigns launched for the 16 murdered journalists and employees, no outpouring of emotion for those killed, no calls for solidarity and togetherness in the face of aggression. On the contrary the West justified this grievous ...
A year ago, at a closed-doors meeting between the USA and EU officials and the leaders of the four major parties of FYROM in Strasbourg, a route map for the resolution of the protracted political crisis was agreed on (or rather imposed). The roots of this political crisis are to be found outside FYROM: it is actually more a confrontation by proxy between “the West”, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which is trying to maintain its influence in the region. In conjunction with the public discontent at government policies and the escalating corruption, the negotiations have contributed to sharpening ...
By now all international media resources; newspapers, magazines, TV channels, and internet social media, are busy reporting the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi; a Saudi reporter, who was loyal to the regime until he turned against Muhamad bin Salman (MBS) and his suppressive policies.
Once MBS was announced crowned prince in 2015 and started his war against Yemen, critic Khashoggi found it safer for himself to leave Saudi Arabia. He moved first to UK and later to USA. In his writings Khashoggi harshly criticized the policies of the young prince. Eventually he was lured to the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where ...
UN Third Committee Resolution L.23 IN, Legitimizes Stranglehold Economic Sanctions., Used as a Means to "Obliterate" North KoreaOn November 15, 2016 the United Nations Third Committee adopted the resolution: “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea".Among the co-sponsors of the Resolution were United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, etc.Disassociating themselves from the resolution, which they denounced as invalid, were China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, and three other countries opposed to the biased character and double standards that typify “country-specific” resolutions. The so-sponsors of this resolution are themselves guilty of criminal human rights violations.The very ...
What is wrong with the American people? After several years of horrific policy toward the waking world, democracy’s standard bearers seem to be drowning in a lake of selfishness. Distracted, apathetic, or simply dumbed and numbed by unrelenting propaganda, the most admired society on Earth has turned to a wriggling mush of diverging ideals. I fear that American have become what we ultimately deplored, just another despicable cultural hegemony. Here’s a short brief on the matter.A recent article by James Carden at The Nation prompted me to discuss this unsavory truth today. The title of the piece, “Trump’s Syria Policy: ...
The Albanian nationhood as understood in the 19th century was part of a romanticist notion of nationality, i.e., the Albanians were the Balkan people whose mother tongue was Albanian regardless of any confessional division of Albanian people into three denominations (Moslem, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox). Within the north Albanian tribes, especially among the Miriditi, the Roman Catholic Church was very influential. The Roman Catholic Church became the main protector of the Albanian language and cultural heritage and the main protagonist of the national identity of the Albanians in Northern Albania. The expression of common notions of the Albanian nationhood ...
August 24th, Ukrainian Independence Day, will see a ceremony introducing the country's new official army salute, as prescribed by Ukraine’s Presidential decree: Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to the Heroes!
"We have consulted with the Minister of Defense, National Security and Defense Council, Government and I have decided that starting from August 24 these words will be heard for the first time as part of the official military parade ceremony on the Independence Day of Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko was quoted saying on the Ukraine President's official site.
Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to the Heroes! is a slogan of the UPA, the ...
While the typical narrative of American history positions the United States as a supporter of democracy and opponent of fascism which helped to defeat the Nazis, key figures in Washington also supported dangerous dictators in Italy and Germany in their early days of power.Noam Chomsky, the renowned political philosopher, historian and scholar, examined the flip side of U.S. opposition to dictatorship in a conversation with Zain Raza, a senior editor at the independent media outlet acTVism Munich. An excerpt from the conversation was published Sept. 30 as part of acTVism Munich’s “Reexamining History” series.Speaking to Raza about Italian dictator Benito ...
Several power centers were formed in Libya as a result of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the destruction of the statehood. None of them has a national legitimacy. The pursuit of personal interests by some political leaders to the detriment of the general state is intertwined with territorial fragmentation. The historic regions - Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan - have de facto separated from each other. The Libyan phenomenon of the city-state arose (Misrata, Al-Zintan, Sirte, etc.). The separatist tendencies of the tribes grew stronger.Along with it, the UN attempts to stabilize the situation in the country. ...
The term “security” is a very multifaceted one. But today’s geopolitical situation forces us to think about its military aspect above all.Our attention is completely absorbed by news about wars, conflicts, military exercises and increasing defence capabilities. An average European reader has no chances to skip this kind of news while looking through news feeds of popular media.Even planned further militarization of the European region and Russia pose the real threat today. A whole generation of European children is growing in the firm belief that the war is approaching. We destroy ourselves by our fears. We notice everything concerning military ...
A NATO defense ministers meeting that took place in Brussels on November, 8-9 resulted in the new and very important decisions for the future of Europe.Speaking at a meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is vital that European roads, ports, bridges and rail networks are able to carry tanks and heavy military equipment. Stoltenberg also added that NATO countries have agreed to cooperate to improve civil infrastructure objects to make them usable for military needs. What does it mean in practice for Europe in general and for the Baltic States in particular?Lithuanian authorities, for example, will for sure try ...
When the civil war in Ukraine started, the question that arised is whether there are similarities between Ukrainian and Yugoslavian civil wars. So let’s compare these two countries, one that is falling apart – Ukraine and the other one that doesn’t exist anymore – Yugoslavia.Multinational countryYugoslavia was a multinational country with different national and ethnic groups coexisting together and two dominant nations Serbs and Croats. Ukraine is also quite a diverse country with Ukrainians, Russians (around 20% of Ukrainian population) and few minorities (Rusyns, Romanians, Hungarians) living together. Once the Yugoslavia collapsed, in a newly created ex-Yugoslav republic Croatia and ...
Catalan Independence: 5 Things to Think About
Colour Revolutions: Made in?
BREXIT vs. GREXIT – The True Face of Europe
Kosovo’s Conflict: A Devastating Precedent in International Relations
Zionism, Anti-Semitism, BDS, and the United Nations
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
The Brutal Destruction of Yugoslavia (1991‒1995)
Islam: Beheadings, Decapitation and Butchering
NATO’s 1999 Attack on Serbia’s State TV Headquarters “Wiped from the Record”
West Rules Macedonia (FYROM) as a US-EU Protectorate, To Put a Check on Russian Influence in the Balkans
International Hypocrisy: Reprimanding the Saudi Kingdom
Human Rights Violations: North Korea vs the U.S.
The Problem is America: The Malignant Cultural Hegemony
Understanding Albanian Nationality and Regional Political-Security Consequences
Nazi Collaborator Greeting Becomes Official Ukraine Army Salute
US Had a ‘Pretty Supportive Attitude’ Toward Fascism in 1930s
Who will Secure Lithuania?
Lithuania goes to War with Russia
Eight Reasons Why Ukraine is New Yugoslavia
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS