JE ME SOUVIENS… I REMEMBER

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An American in Serbia: From a Writer’s Notebook


JULY 23, 2018

VISIT TO TAŠMAJDAN PARK, NATO WAR MEMORIAL EVOKES WARTIME MEMORIES

Maybe it’s because today is the 23rd (day of the month). On April  23, 1999, NATO committed one of its most heinous crimes against humanity. It bombed the Serb TV building. Which is in my neighborhood here. 

A walk through the Tašmajdan Park the other day, and again last night, evoked wartime memories of my visits to Belgrade as a Truth in Media war correspondent. And this morning, they bubbled up again like a geyser of emotions. 

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WHY WE CAN AND SHOULD FORGIVE BUT MUST NEVER FORGET

We can and should forgive someone who shows real contrition for the wrongs he or she had done. The ultimate judgment is not up to us. 

“It is not for us to judge (other people),” Patriarch Pavle told me during one of our many meetings. “That’s something God will do. All we can do is try to do our best. (And trust that) He will weigh everything precisely and fairly.”

But we must never forget. Because everything that happens in life is a lesson. We must not forget the lessons our experiences teach us. Lest we want to come back and relive them again.

Yet I sometimes hear people here in Belgrade shrug when the subject of NATO’s bombing comes up. I hear some even want Serbia to join NATO. Like, “who cares.”  Montenegro did it even though it was also bombed in 1999.

Who cares?

The souls of the NATO victims care. Their families care. They will never shrug off the Gang Rape of a Small Country, as I called it contemporaneously in my reports and speeches.

So how dare we forget something like this…

Take a look at this video a posted a couple of years ago on the anniversary of NATO’s attack on Serbia.

March 24, 2016

A GANG RAPE OF SERBIA: Another Day of Infamy 3-24-1999– a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – March 24, 2016 – music from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” finale recorded by ALTZAR in 2014 – includes original clips from wartime videos, along with Truth in Media photos


 

VISIT TO THE PARK, WAR CRIME SCENE

After sitting on a park bench for awhile (on July 20), I took a shortcut toward the Palilula market and unexpectedly ended up at a war crimes scene. This is where 16 people died on April 23, 1999 when NATO bombed the Radio and Television Station of Serbia. It was the first such attack on media (Bombing of the Serb TV and other civilians targets in and around Belgrade, 13 images, Truth in Media).

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I was actually in Serbia in April of that year covering the bombing as a Truth in Media war correspondent. And I remember coming back here again in September of 1999 to pay my respects to my Serbian media colleagues who died here. But I had nearly forgotten all about it until I took this shortcut to the market.

May NATO war crimes against innocent Serbian people never be forgotten even if they are not prosecuted the New World Order “kangaroo court” in the Hague.

 

AN ACT OF STATE TERRORISM

Looking at this memorial, I contemplated this terrorist strike that took place here the night of Apr 23, 1999.  This was not an act of war against Slobodan Milosevic and his government. This was a war crime, a mass murder of innocent civilians.

And it was an act of terrorism against the two Orthodox churches within a 100 yards of the target, and the tens of thousands of Belgrade residents who live nearby.  That would have included me and my current flat.

Here’s part of the report I filed “live” from Phoenix on Apr 22, 1999.

This just in from a TiM source in Belgrade (4:18AM, local time, Apr 23, 1999):

“Horrible scenes shown on Belgrade’s Studio B (independent) TV station. Injured and dead people are being pulled out of the rubble (at Aberdareva Street). It is estimated that there were at least 70 people inside the Serb TV building when it was struck. This was meant to KILL PEOPLE, not just disable Serb TV. They could have destroyed the transmitters to disrupt, diminish and degrade. They chose to destroy and murder. One of the missiles apparently hit the entrance of the building.”

I know what that feels like. I have had bombs and missiles strike close to me when I was in Serbia in April 1999. In fact, the day before the Serb  TV bombing, I had just returned from Belgrade to my Arizona home. And had filed a report warning that the Serb TV may be the next target.

Here are excerpts from my contemporaneous wartime reports at the Truth in Media website.

Belgrade               3. Serb TV HQ Next Target? Journalists as “Human Shield”

BELGRADE, Apr. 21, 1999 PDT – We’ve just been advised from Belgrade that NATO has signaled that its next target may be the Serb TV headquarters – by advising the foreign journalists to leave the SerbTV premises. Like NBC’s HQ at the Rockefeller Center, the Serb TV offices are in the heart of downtown, surrounded by residential and other office buildings.

The Yugoslav federal minister for information, Goran Matic, led a group of 100 domestic and foreign journalists last night on a tour of Serb TV buildings, so as to show them its purely civilian nature. A number of foreign correspondents reportedly decided to stay at the Serb TV building as another “human shield” against NATO’s madness.

https://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/War/day29up1.html

 

Belgrade              3. Serb TV Knocked Off the Air; Many Civilian Casualties Reported

BELGRADE, Apr. 22, 1999 PDT – NATO’s bombing targets have indeed become amazingly predictable. Just as we warned yesterday that Serb TV headquarters may become NATO’s next target (see Day 29, Update 1, Item 3, Apr. 21), it happened today at about 2:00AM Belgrade time (Apr. 23).

Ron Allen, MSNBC correspondent in Belgrade, has just reported from his hotel in Belgrade that there were apparently “a lot of civilian casualties, and a huge amount of damage over there.”

A TiM source in Belgrade reports that the Church of St. Marko, Holy Trinity, a Russian Orthodox Church, and the professional children theater, “Dusko Radovic” – all within 100 yards of the Serb TV building – were also damaged by the explosion.

“The (Serb TV) building is burning and all of downtown Belgrade is in heavy smoke,” our source reports.

The Yugoslav parliament and Belgrade’s central PTT (post office) are also within a couple of hundred yards or so of  tonight’s target.  It is unclear what damage, if any, they sustained from this NATO missile strike.

This just in from a TiM source in Belgrade (4:18AM, local time, Apr 23, 1999):

“Horrible scenes shown on Belgrade’s Studio B (independent) TV station. Injured and dead people are being pulled out of the rubble (at Aberdareva Street). It is estimated that there were at least 70 people inside the Serb TV building when it was struck. This was meant to KILL PEOPLE, not just disable Serb TV. They could have destroyed the transmitters to disrupt, diminish and degrade. They chose to destroy and murder. One of the missiles apparently hit the entrance of the building.”

TiM Ed.: If there were ever any doubt before that Clinton, Blair, Chirac, Schroeder, Clark and other NATO leaders who are responsible for such wanton murder of innocent civilians, may find themselves one day facing a war crimes trial, such doubts were removed today. In fact, a group of Serbian legal experts from the Law Faculty in Belgrade had already drafted articles of such charges earlier this month.

But as in any trial, one first has to have the accused in custody. Which is unlikely to happen, unless the NATO madmen persist with their march to WW III. Which they are surely going to lose. Or at least, not win. For, there may be no winners in a nuclear holocaust.

https://www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/War/day30.html

 

ANOTHER WAR MEMORIAL

Steps away from this war crime scene, I saw another war memorial. This one is to all Serbian victims of the Yugoslav wars during 1991-2000.

 

 

“How many is that?,” I wondered.

THE FORGOTTEN EXODUS

The Wikipedia data, which is based on the”victors” (NATO) statistic for the consumption of the western readers, cite between 35,000 and 40,000 Serbs killed. Additional statistics show that nearly a million refugees (983,000) poured into Serbia, fleeing the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

srbexodus

And all that happened while the US and western governments and media pinned the blame on the Serbs as “aggressors”. And, in fact, aided and abetted the local warlords in this gigantic act of “ethnic cleansing.”

Check out this Truth in Media page from 1995. We had actually underestimated the number of Serbs driven out of Croatia. Subsequent data put that number at 300,000.

“New World Order” at Work: Serb Exodus (1995)

Over 200,000 Serbs from Croatia, Bosnia were “ethnically cleansed” in the summer of 1995 alone in a U.S.-masterminded and aided “blitzkrieg,” followed by a NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs in September 1995


 

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NATO WAR ON SERBIA: GANG RAPE OF A SMALL COUNTRY

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GANG RAPE OF A SMALL NATION

Back in the 1990s, I was a war correspondent and geopolitical commentator. My articles about the Balkans wars were published in the Truth in Media and the major media outlets in the US and around the world. March 24, 2014 is the 15th anniversary of the New Day of Infamy. That’s what I called that day in an editorial written on March 24, 1999, just before the NATO bombs started to fall on Serbia. This article and the short film within it are dedicated to the victims of the NATO bombs. They are my memorial to the indomitable human spirit. The music I recorded and used in this video – the theme from “Chariots of Fire” – was chosen by the Spirit for me. Because it also celebrates the strength and indestructibility of the human spirit. 

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There is no expiry date on murder, let alone mass murders

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Je me souviens – I remember

GANG RAPE OF A SMALL COUNTRY

There is no expiry date on murder, let alone mass murders. And yet there are war criminals still walking free on American streets. Some have even held high offices in US government. The purpose of this article is to remind ourselves of the fact that we harbor war criminals among us. And not to let them off the hook. Their crimes against innocent civilians have stained the American flag under which they were committed. So we must make sure that we distance ourselves from them if we are to regain the honor and respect that the Stars & Stripes once commanded around the world.

Just because these individuals have not been formally charged with war crimes does not mean they will  escape justice, either in this world or the next. Lest we forget, powerful dictators and warmongers look untouchable only for a while. Before they fall into the dustbin of history…

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Je me souviens – I remember… This video is my memorial to the victims of NATO bombs

NATO WAR AGAINST SERBIA – 15 YEARS LATER: WHY?

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J’accuse – I Accuse

As Emile Zola railed 100 years earlier (1899) against the anti-Semitism of the then French government, I now accuse the following individuals of war crimes against the Serbian people. They are the world class terrorists that need to be brought to justice. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It just identifies some of the highest ranking politicians and military leaders who are responsible for mass murders in Serbia.

NATO leaders 1999 NATO leaders 1999-2

The charge: Excerpt from one of my wartime speeches

 “NATO’s bombing of Serbia was nothing short of a gang rape of a small country.Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 5.43.47 PM

A military alliance of 19 nations and 780 million people; with over half of the world’s gross economic product, possessing two-thirds of the global military power, ganged up on a tiny nation of 10 million. For 78 days, NATO terrorized the people of Serbia, dropping 23,000 bombs and missiles on them in 36,000 sorties.

Over 2,000 civilians killed by NATO, 30% of them children. Thousands of additional people  were maimed and crippled. Over half a million Serbian citizens became unemployed overnight. NATO had destroyed their places of work. The NATO criminals even bombed the power plants and bridges that cut power to, and isolated hundreds of thousands of civilians from each other.

Yet the citizens and the army of Serbia remained unbowed and uncowed! This is not hearsay. I saw their defiance with my own eyes during the six days I had spent under NATO’s bombardment.I told the Serb people that it was my privilege to bow my head before them in admiration of their courage and love of freedom. And then I did it. [bowing] Like this. [pause]

The bombing ended on June 10. But NATO’s war against the Serb civilians continued. Only by other means. The day the armistice was signed by NATO and Serbian military authorities, we said that NATO’s “peace process” would turn into a “peace farce.” It has.

During the next five months, over 400 Kosovo Serbs had been killed, nearly 500 kidnapped and presumed dead, and more than 180,000 driven from their ancestral homes. 

On Nov. 10, 1999, the Truth in Media Kosovo War Memorial was finished. It consisted of 158 special TiM Bulletins, 707 articles, nearly 1,000 printed pages, 400 photo images, and 314,000 words.”

 Some of their victims

bojana-beba pec6-20 train1-4-12 bg5-06-1 A MAN WATCHES A VEHICLE BURN OUTSIDE HOSPITAL AFTER NATO AIR STRIKES IN BELGRADE. WOMAN PREPARES A MEAL OUTSIDE APARTMENT BLOCK IN BELGRADE.A BELGRADE WOMAN FEEDS HER BABY IN A SHELTER. A MAN SCREAMS OUTSIDE HIS HOUSE DESTROYED BY NATO BOMBING IN NIS.

“A Day Which Will Live in Infamy”

Fifteen (15) years ago today, I penned the following words. Washington’s/NATO’s war on Serbia had not yet begun. But it was about to. So these words ended up being quite prophetic, especially now in hindsight. 

New Day of Infamy – Mar 24, 1999

“Mark this day – March 24, 1999! It may be remembered in history as a new Day of Infamy. Just as was December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Except that this time, it is the NATO American-made missiles and pilots that are delivering hell to Serbia on behalf of the forces of Evil.balkan DU sign

By the order to launch air strikes against Serbia, NATO and President Clinton have entered uncharted territory in mankind’s history. Not even Hitler’s grab of the Sudetenland in the 1930s, which eventually led to WW II, ranks as a comparable travesty. For, there are no American interests whatsoever that the NATO bombing will either help, or protect; only needless risks to which it exposes the American soldiers and assets, not to mention the victims on the ground in Serbia.

Bombing Serbia is an act of raw, wanton aggression and violence by a power-hungry Clinton administration. No wonder most Americans who write to us say they are ashamed of it. But shame may quickly turn to blame (of Clinton), if the flames of war in Serbia engulf other nations, possibly even Russia.

May God help all innocent people whom Clinton and his neo-colonial NATO allies have put in mortal danger!”

Bob Djurdjevic

Founder and editor of the Truth in Media

Phoenix, Arizona

The 78-Day War, Followed by 151-day Peace Farce

For 78 days after the New Day of Infamy, this writer did nothing but live, breathe, speak and write the NATO war against Serbia. My average workday was 16-18 hours long. There was nothing else in my life, except short sleep, before continuing the effort to bring out the truth about this travesty to the world. Every day, I put out a Truth in Media Bulletin with fresh news directly from Serbia. Some days, when action got quite hot and heavy, there were two or three editions per day. Whether I was reporting from my home in Phoenix, or from under NATO’s bombs in Serbia, or from the anti-war rallies in Washington and New York at which I also spoke, the Truth in Media reader always had the freshest and the most honest of news and analysis. For 79 days, I literally lived this Truth in Media slogan:

We TRAVEL the

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We LISTEN to the…       UNSPOKEN

We READ the…       UNWRITTEN

We UNCOVER the…   CONCEALED

And then… we WRITE

 TiM new WP logo

the TRUTH IN MEDIA!

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So now there is day-by-day a record of this war and of all the crimes and transgressions the western political and military leaders have committed. All in all, Truth in Media published 106 special wartime TiM Bulletins, encompassing 480 articles and 199,000 words. Between June and November 1999, we added 52 special “peace farce” TiM editions, totaling 227 articles and 101,000 words. If you click on these links below, you can peruse that day-by-day diary of NATO’s war against Serbia.

The effort seemed to pay off. At the height of the war, the Truth in Media became the world’s 33rd most popular web site out some 40 web sites in existence back then. And our reporting earned us recognition and awards afterwards from the freedom loving people around the world. 
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INDOMITABLE SPIRIT – BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG

Tennis star, Ana Ivanovic, talks about how she trained as a child between NATO bombing raids  – in an empty swimming pool! She was 12 at the time

In June 2008, she became No. 1 in the world… Indomitable spirit

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On March 24, 2014 – the RT.COM – Russia Today web site, is expected to release a documentary about NATO’s war on Serbia: