Re: Kosovar Attack on Gypsies
Source Yoshie Furuhashi
Date 99/06/09/00:02

The incident is consistent with what has been sporadically reported of the
KLA-nationalist Albanians' treatment of non-Albanians and the Albanians who
are (or perceived to be) pro-Yugoslav. So there is a good reason to see the
report as true. BTW, I don't think that the incident could be properly
characterized as 'revenge,' in that such incidents of separatist Albanians'
attacks upon non-Albanians had already existed before 1998. During the 80s,
many non-Albanians fled the province of Kosovo, in part due to the
harassment they received from anti-Yugoslav Albanians, probably compounded
by economic difficulties.

But what is more interesting is the very fact that the NYT gave _a big
space_ to this article (1455 words!). I don't think that they would have so
prominently covered such an incident of violence against non-Albanians by
Albanians _before_ the Yugo capitulation to NATO. Now the mass media don't
have a need to portray Kosovo Albanians as "innocent victims" of "evil +
genocidal Serbs." I think that the media are preparing the public opinion
in a different way. Now they are likely to paint most Albanians as so
filled with "ethnic hatred and lust for revenge" as to require a firm and
"impartial" hand of NATO "peacekeepers." (Before the Yugo capitulation, the
story was different, for the "innocent victims" _had to_ exist if the
bombings were to be justified.) In this way, if and when NATO gets into
armed conflicts with the KLA or other Albanians (who decline to settle for
what NATO offers, such as jobs of native policemen of a Western
protectorate) in the process of "peacekeeping," they will be able to
justify even a very violent suppression of Albanians when necessary. Hey,
after all, Albanians are savage!

Another newspaper article also points to a change in the portrayal of
"refugees." Before the Yugo capitulation, all "refugees" were presumed to
be "innocent victims" of Serb "ethnic cleansing" (and, in a few articles,
of NATO bombings). However, now the following article admits that the
"refugees" are a mixed bunch, some of whom are KLA _fighters_.

***** Once Yugoslavia withdraws its forces from Kosovo, NATO envisions
disbanding the Kosovo Liberation Army and transforming its fighters into
civilians, many as police officers. Western officials are already scouring
refugees camps in Albania and Macedonia in search of recruits. *****
(Steven Lee Myers and Ian Fisher [of NYT], "NATO Hopes to Turn KLA into
Police," The Plain Dealer, 5 June 1999: 8A)

The Myers & Fisher article also emphasizes the ideologically inchoate,
volatile, factious, and undemocratic nature of the KLA, while before this
aspect was given a very short shrift in American newspapers.

The mass media's task is eventually to portray _all_ parties as tribal
warriors _unfit for self-government_, for they want to depict NATO as the
only institution capable of keeping unruly Serbs, Albanians, and other
ethnic groups in line, without whose "peacekeeping" the Balkans will decend
into the darkness of perpetual ethnic strife.


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