Skip to comments.Amnesty: NATO bombing of Serbian TV ‘war crime’
Posted on 04/23/2009 5:15:38 AM PDT by jerod
An international human rights group demanded Thursday that NATO be held accountable for civilian casualties in the bombing of Serbia's state television headquarters a decade ago, calling the attack a "war crime."
Sixteen civilians were killed and 16 others injured during the attack on April 23, 1999, on the headquarters and studios of Radio Television Serbia in central Belgrade.
Amnesty International called on NATO and its member states to ensure independent investigations, full accountability and redress for victims and their families....
....The bombing was a part of a 78-day air-raid campaign against then-President Slobodan Milosevic to halt his onslaught against Kosovo Albanian separatists in the former Serbian province.
"The bombing of the headquarters of Serbian state radio and television was a deliberate attack on a civilian object and as such constitutes a war crime," Sian Jones, Amnesty International's Balkans expert, said in a statement.
"Even if NATO genuinely believed RTS was a legitimate target, the attack was disproportionate and hence a war crime," Jones said.
The families of the victims gathered in front of the bombed TV headquarters early Thursday to demand why there was no advance warning that the attack would occur.
They believe top Serbian TV officials deliberately sacrificed their staff for propaganda purposes, even though they knew the building would be attacked.
Amnesty International said in the statement that NATO officials confirmed that no specific warning of the attack was given, even though they knew many civilians would be in the RTS building.
(Excerpt) Read more at lasvegassun.com ...
I rarely agree with Amnesty International, but they probably have this one right.
Even the the Serbian victims have been fooled by the propaganda war waged on their country, falsely believing that their own people would do such a thing, when NATO officials have fully admitted and confirmed that they gave no warning.
No doubt Time-Life-CNN, et al, et cetera, ad nauseum should be included in the crew to be rounded up and punished.
We need to lear up this incident long before we get around to satisfying the urges of the BDS sufferers.
“”Even if NATO genuinely believed RTS was a legitimate target, the attack was disproportionate and hence a war crime,” Jones said.”
This is liberal speak for “Your guns are bigger than ours, thus the war is unfair.”
so go after Clinton, I was against that war from the start, it should have never have happened.
I served in Kosovo and the Serbs live in fear from these ethnic Albanians.
the Serbs had their country taken away from them and Clinton helped them so the Muslims can gain ground.
Will this idiot in the white house and his aged 20 plus crew go after now Clinton, Clark etc.
After all Clinton was a war monger, or does that not apply to Democrats
Ever seen a sticker which says Clinton lied no one died
Yes They said at firs Clinton never lied but now they say no one died.
Guess the left forgot about Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia,Kosovo, Serbia etc
hmmm, which produced more deaths
The Bush “torture” interrogation program that actually waterboarded 3 (three) terrorists
or Billy Jeff/Weasley Clark’s NATO bombings of Serbian civilian targets
The ICC already indicted Clinton and wanted him for trial.
President Bush wouldn’t send him.
Maybe the current President will. He’s content to give the country away.
How about the train which was bombed and killed a load of Serbs and then Clinton and the white house got found out so they lied about it.
Bozo is heading down a slippery slope if he goes ahead to prosecute those people, the same people who helped to get info to save out lives and yet bozo goes after them while pissing off our allies including our best ally Britain and then he is nice to our enemies
There wasn't any sort of an "onslaught" against slammite kosovarfs going on at the time, and gthe whole campaign against Serbia was basically a war crime or series of war crimes, not just one little bombing sortie.
Today, HUMAN RIGHTS groups instituted suits against both the United States and Britain for the civilian casualties suffered by the French during the sneak attack on the French coast on June 6, 1944. In the dark of the night, without any prior warnings, elements of both the U.S. and British navies opened fire with their huge naval cannon upon German shore defenses. The bombardment ignored the possibility of inflicting grevious harm to civilians in the area.
Even worse, in the dark of the night, hundreds if not thousands of ALLIED planes dropped bombs on vital bridges and highways, all known to be close to civilian population centers.
In gross violation of both Freedom of SPEECH and of the PRESS, Allied authorities muzzled news outlets and prevent them from issuing news flashes that might have save civilian lives.
Amnesty International claims these HORRENDOUS WAR CRIMES have been hidden all to long.
You probably miss the point. They are trying to set the definition of a “war crime.” “Even if NATO genuinely believed RTS was a legitimate target, the attack was disproportionate and hence a war crime,” Jones said. In other words if they can set this definition, they can go after the US and Israel. The very definition of war is that you always want to use disproportionate force.
One thing that really stood out in reading the book Black Hawk Down was the utter arrogant incompence of then UN Ambassador Madeline Albright. She basically set up the whole situation. It's a bit complicated, but worth reading. Then as Sec. of State she set up the war against Serbia. What a klstrfk that woman was.
Point taken! Then again, in 1944, only the Nazis and imperial Japan hated the US and wanted it to lose.
Today many in our own country do.
Serbia is a complicated issue, but America-bashing is all too prevalent. I remember Amnesty International’s relative silence regarding Saddam Hussein’s crimes.
Unfortunately, the Serbs were "held accountable" for so-called war crimes of lesser, whereas the shitters/i.e shiptaris Albs were also absolved of any "war crimes".
Oh well, Serbs will always be around Kosovo, the Albs owe back rent.
The whole point of the attack was to detach Serbian territory from Serbia.
You've been told the point was to get rid of the local dictator, but you saw how easily that was done by an unarmed group demonstrating in dowtown Belgrade later on.
Clark and Clinton have got to go ~ we must show that we believe in the rule of law by cleaning up the Kosovo mess, and the Europeans will never execute these guys ~ just give 'em some jail time and then give them a night on the town before they are deported back home (maybe 10 years later).
What say you, Prime Minister zer0?
Weasley Clark again!
“Then as Sec. of State she set up the war against Serbia. What a klstrfk that woman was. “
Serbia was the first (and so far only) military action by the US in which I felt the US was the more evil/wrong party.
What does it say of the state of a republic when capricious military ventures against are undertaken at the whims of those in power?
Wag the Dog may have consequences.
The TV station, train/bridge, and Chinese embassy bombings were not war crimes. Inept command? Poor execution and planning? Most definitely. Idiocy and imcompetence are not war crimes, however.
I agree I should have put the sarc tag
I've heard all about how the Bosnian intervention was supposed to take the focus off Monicagate and his impeachment. It has all the credence and credibility of Leftist nuts who believe we went to Iraq in 2003 so Bush 43 could get back at Saddam for planning to assassinate his father and take control of the oil.
Clinton took heat for not intervening in Rwandan genocide, but chose to act in Bosnia. I suppose if he had sent troops to Rwanda in 1994, people would have probably called it a distraction for actions taken by his administration in Waco the previous year.
The bottom line is we had no national interests in either Bosnia or Rwanda. However, your disagreement with the action and 1st Amendment right to say so does not make it a war crime.
Terms like treason, Nazi, torture, and in this instance, war crimes, are thrown around so loosely on internet forums these days, they've almost become relative and lost any true meaning of their definitions.
You're not helping.
Basically, American and NATO personnel knew from day one this was another dog-wagging episode for which nobody could plausibly be asked to go into harms way. They therefore tried bombing from 25000' for three or four weeks and, when they learned they could not harm the Yugoslav military from earth orbit like that, they embarked upon an entire series of what anybody would call war crimes and that included bombing out the entire Serbian civilian infrastructure which is in total violation of Geneva conventions, killing Yugoslav civilians in areas remote from anything which could be called military targets even in an imaginary world in which the operation itself was basically legal, and doing things like bombing out the petrochemical plant at Pancevo and thus dumping hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals into the Danube river which Russians rightly called an act of international terrorism.
That whole deal was basically a gigantic stain on the honor of the United States and in fact it cannot be realistically described without using the term "war crimes".
A multi-national force bombing innocent civilians into submission from a country who attacked no one, WAS a cowardly act -- and an illegal one.
But it was "a NATO action", not "a US action". The US Congress never authorized Bill Clinton to attack Yugoslavia and as a matter fact, there were members of Congress who actually sued Clinton for that action. It may have been a US President who called up NATO, but the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia only became a de facto US operation after the fact.
Yes, I have also heard people say that the reason for it " was to divert attention from Bill Clinton's wayward pants", but I don't buy it -- that may have been a perk of the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, but it wasn't "a reason".
The real reason for the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia was to RESURRECT NATO -- who with the death of the Soviet Union and Cold War -- had been on its political deathbed. The alliance was falling apart -- 50 years of existence and it had never been activated. So rather than die the natural death that it should have done, NATO leadership created a mission for itself to stay alive.
It was no coincidence that the 50th anniversary of NATO happened during the 70+ day bombing of Yugoslavia -- "Happy Birthday NATO, you've got more life in you!".
It was no coincidence that within a couple of months of invading Kosovo, NATO began building Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, one of the largest NATO bases in the world.
If any of us were thinking with a clear head, it was obvious that moment -- in building Bondsteel -- that there was no way that Kosovo was headed any way other than toward "independence". Bush had to eventually sign off on recognizing Kosovo independence, or else face the humiliating consequences of having a NATO Base built on foreign soil with absolutely no permission to be there.
So next question: "Was it a war crime?" Hell, yes! It was a naked act of aggression that can't be framed as anything other than war crime(s)!
But, once again, the players in this game were allowed to use the US to hide behind, but this wasn't initially a US action, it was a NATO action. And it is NATO who should shoulder the blame!
This is not to say that the members of Congress who drug us into taking responsibility for Clinton's actions -- people like Biden, Lieberman and McCain -- don't deserve whatever punishment they deserve from the American people for disgracing us, but that is another story.
By that measure, all of our strategic bombing campaigns in any conflict have been war crimes. It's always prudent to deny the oppostion movement, communication, and supplies. That would require taking out radio/TV stations, power plants, bridges, refineries, and fuel depots. Naturally, that's going to have a direct effect on civilian infrastructure and environment. I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Strenuously.
I'm not asking a leading question or trying to goad you, I'd just like to inquire seriously: What's your opinion on Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings? Were they war crimes?
For once, I’m with AI.
But Kosovo is still a special case and a sort of an archetypal demokkkrat war. To my thinking everybody who was involved in it disgraced himself or herself and by rights the military careers of anybody who did anything other than resign a commission over it should have ended on Jan 20, 2001.
The U.S. military does not exist for the purpose of bombing innocent Christians for the benefit of narco-terrorists, savages, and white trash.
“It just wasn’t cool to protest Clinton’s wars.” - Janeane Garofalo.
If you want US officials tried for war crimes by international courts then you are an enemy of American sovereignty.
....He (Ljubisa Ristic) explains what happened at the June 2 meeting. Ahtisaari opened the meeting by declaring, We are not here to discuss or negotiate, after which Chernomyrdin read aloud the text of the plan. (4) Ahtisaari says that Milosevic asked about the possibility of modifying the plan, to which he replied, No. This is the best that Viktor and I have managed to do. You have to agree to it in every part. (5) Ristic reports that as Milosevic listened to the reading of the text, he realized that the Russians and the Europeans had put us in the hands of the British and the Americans.
Milosevic took the papers and asked, What will happen if I do not sign? In answer, Ahtisaari made a gesture on the table, and then moved aside the flower centerpiece. Then Ahtisaari said, Belgrade will be like this table. We will immediately begin carpet-bombing Belgrade. Repeating the gesture of sweeping the table, Ahtisaari threatened, This is what we will do to Belgrade. A moment of silence passed, and then he added, There will be half a million dead within a week. Chernomyrdins silence confirmed that the Russian government would do nothing to discourage carpet-bombing. (6)
The meaning was clear. To refuse the ultimatum would lead to the deaths of large numbers of civilians and total devastation. President Milosevic summoned the leaders of the parties in the governing coalition and explained the situation to them. A few things are not logical, but the main thing is, we have no choice. I personally think we should accept To reject the document means the destruction of our state and nation. (7) For Ristic, acceptance meant one thing: We had to save the people. (8) Three weeks after Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin delivered NATOs ultimatum, Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovich explained to both chambers of the Assembly why the government had accepted terms. Our country was faced with a threat of total annihilation. Through diplomatic mediators and through the media, the aggressors spoke of the future targets to be bombed, including civilian victims counted in the hundreds of thousands. (9)
If this account is true, the the RTS, train and bridges were just "a warning" of what was to come, rather than specifically identified legitimate targets.
If you want US officials tried for war crimes by international courts then you are an enemy of American sovereignty.
The hard part on this one Joe, is that the same people who willingly gave up our sovereignty to NATO in this case, are the same ones who are trying to hide behind "US sovereignty" to protect them from their crimes done in our name.
Clinton should have been tried here in the US -- first, for what he did as president that violated the US Constitution -- before anything else. But it never happened and it never will happen. (If it had, do you think Hillary would be Sec of State now?)
I'd like to see Bill Clinton and that whole little globalist rabble indicted by the World Court, because it would be real justice to see them hung by their own rope. Then, and only then, we in the US, say, "No, we'll try Clinton et al here. We clean up our messes (not just pretend that they didn't happen.)."
That's invoking real US sovereignty, Joe, not just giving this elite shelter where they continue to destroy the very US sovereignty you are defending!
thanks for that
funny how I never heard the cry of warmonger when Clinton was bombing places around the world
I’ve seen first hand how the Serbs live in fear and how they have been forced from their homes
those ethnic Albanians took over that country by force and Clinton helped them
disgusting and thank you for the video
we heard that Iraq never attacked us and yet neither did the serbs infact they were a great ally to us
Iraq did attack the US when Saddam made an attempt on GHB life while in Kuwait. Any country whose government is found to have been behind that assasination attempt, that in my book is automatic regime change, i.e declararion of hostilities/war on my Govt.