Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Konformist: HOW NATO & THE MEDIA MISREPRESENTED THE CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING

Expand Messages
  • Robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com If you are interested in a free subscription
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com


      If you are interested in a free subscription to The Konformist Newswire,
      please visit http://www.eGroups.com/list/konformist/ and sign up. Or, e-mail
      konformist-subscribe@egroups.com with the subject: "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"
      (Okay, you can use something else, but it's a kool catch phrase.)

      Visit the Klub Konformist at Yahoo!:
      http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/klubkonformist


      >From: JaredI@... <JaredI@...>
      >To: JaredI@... <JaredI@...>
      >Subject: LIES, DMN LIES & MAPS
      >Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 12:35 PM
      >
      >HOW NATO & THE MEDIA MISREPRESENTED THE
      >CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING
      >
      >Opponents of the war against Serbia argue that much of what
      >passes for news these days is really a kind of war propaganda,
      >that NATO puts out misinformation and the media disseminates
      >the stuff uncritically.
      >
      >A case in point is the coverage of the bombing of the Chinese
      >Embassy in Belgrade. I download wire service reports from the AOL
      >world news database (accessible at
      >aol://4344:30.WORLD.338815.464449182
      >if you are an AOL member. This allows me to see exactly
      >how wire services and newspapers change the news from hour
      >to hour. Very instructive for studying how misinformation
      >is disseminated.
      >
      >Studying misinformation is a special interest of mine.
      >If you'd like to see some of my previous work in this area,
      >send me a note and I'll email you The Emperor's Clothes,
      >which analyzes how the NY Times misinformed its readers
      >about the bombing of a Sudanese pill factory in August, 1998.
      >
      >Before we examine the news coverage of the bombing of the
      >Chinese Embassy, let me recount a very interesting report from
      >a Chinese intellectual, currently at Harvard's Kennedy
      >Institute, who spoke on May 8th at the weekly Boston
      >anti-war rally (held at 3:00 every Sat. in Copley Square).
      >
      >The man had conferred with people overseas and thus had direct
      >knowledge of the attack on the Chinese Embassy. He said three
      >missiles had struck the Embassy compound, hitting three
      >apartments where one or both adult family members was
      >a journalist. The missiles apparently carried a light
      >explosive charge.
      >
      >Why NATO Targeted Chinese Journalists
      >
      >Why, asked the speaker, did all three missiles strike journalists'
      >apartments?
      >
      >Clearly, he said, the goal was to punish China for sympathizing
      >with the Yugoslav people against NATO. More specifically, the
      >intention was to terrorize Chinese newspeople in Yugoslavia,
      >thus silencing yet another non-NATO information source.
      >
      >Does that seem too nightmarish to be true? Keep in mind,
      >NATO has consistently bombed Serbian news outlets with
      >the stated intention of silencing sources of "lying propaganda."
      >Why would it be so far-fetched for them to do the same to
      >Chinese newspeople?
      >
      >Perhaps NATO wants to silence ALL non-NATO reporting on the
      >war, even at the risk of starting World War III.
      >
      >Or perhaps NATO, or a part of NATO, such as the U.S. government,
      >wants to provoke a fight with China before China gets too strong
      >to be crushed?
      >
      >Let's take a look at the "news" coverage.
      >
      >
      >SORRY, WRONG BUILDING
      >
      >NATO spokesman Jamie Shea's first response to the Embassy
      >bombing was a) to apologize and b) to explain that the NATO missiles
      >had gone astray. NATO had intended to hit a building across the
      >street, a building that houses what SHEA called the "Federal Directory
      >for the Supply and Procurement."
      >
      >Said Shea: "'I understand that the two buildings are
      >close together."' (Reuters, May 8)
      >
      >(If they ever catch the terrorists who bombed the US
      >Embassy in Kenya and bring them to trial, could their
      >legal team utilize the Shea Defense which consists of
      >a) first you say I'm very sorry and b) then you say you
      >meant to blow up the building across the street?)
      >
      >But getting back to the "news" -- according to Jamie
      >Shea the Chinese Embassy is close to the "Federal
      >Directory for the Supply and Procurement." But the
      >Chinese Embassy is in fact located in the middle of a
      >park in a residential neighborhood and:
      >
      >"The embassy stands alone in its own grounds surrounded
      >by grassy open space on three sides. Rows of high-rise
      >apartment blocs are located 200 (600 feet) metres away and a
      >line of shops, offices and apartments sits about 150
      >meters (450 feet) away on the other side of a
      >wide tree-lined avenue, [called]...Cherry Tree Street."
      >(Reuters, 5/8)
      >
      >
      >NEARBY BUILDING? WHAT NEARBY BUILDING?
      >
      >Apparently realizing that a "Federal Directory for the Supply
      >and Procurement" would not be placed in an
      >apartment complex -- or on a 1000 foot lawn - NATO spun
      >a new story a few hours later:
      >
      >"Three NATO guided bombs which slammed into the
      >Chinese embassy in Belgrade overnight struck precisely
      >at the coordinates programmed into them, but it was
      >not the building NATO believed it to be.
      >
      >'They hit bang on the three aim points they were given,'
      >a military source said....
      >
      >[NATO military spokesman General Walter] Jertz declined
      >to say what sort of weapon hit the Chinese embassy, except
      >that it was 'smart' or guided munitions and not free-fall bombs.
      >He denied planners were 'using old maps, wrong maps.'"
      >(Reuters, May 8)
      >
      >OK. Three smart missiles or bombs hit the three
      >locations they were supposed to hit. It was a misidentified
      >target. And the Pilot(s) wasn't misled by old or bad maps.
      >
      >On the face of it, what is the likelihood of NATO picking
      >target coordinates that just happen to coincide with three
      >apartments occupied by journalists? I mean, one computer-guided
      >bomb destroying a journalist's home would not be unlikely. But
      >three hitting three journalists' homes?
      >
      >
      >TOO MANY SPOKESMEN
      >
      >In the same Reuters story, another expert suggests
      >it would be highly unlikely for NATO to make the kind
      >of mistake Jertz is suggesting:
      >
      >"'Target identification and pilot preparation would have been
      >extensive in this case, because of the military importance
      >of the intended target and because Belgrade is heavily
      >defended by Serb forces,' [Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Wald,
      >a strategic planner for the Joint Chiefs of Staff] said at a briefing
      >for reporters.
      >
      >'`'The way targeting works ... the higher the threat, the more
      >valued the target, the more time you would study it. The more
      >time you have to study it, the better,' Wald said."
      >
      >Based on what Wald is saying here, isn't it pretty much unlikely
      >that an embassy would be mistaken for a "Federal Directory for the
      >Supply and Procurement?"
      >
      >TOO MANY PLACES
      >
      >Which brings us to yet another problem. Because in
      >the same MAY 8 Reuters Story the name of the place
      >which NATO intended to bomb mysteriously changes -- not
      >once but twice. Read the following quote from General
      >Jertz carefully:
      >
      >"Careful to avoid making excuses, NATO military spokesman
      >General Walter Jertz said NATO went after the target because
      >it thought it was the weapons warehouse of the Federal
      >Directorate for Supply and Procurement.
      >
      >'The information we had was that in this building was the
      >headquarters of the Directorate, and we have no evidence
      >that we were misled,' he said."
      >
      >So now the thing they thought they were bombing was:
      >
      >a) the Federal Directory for the Supply and Procurement;
      >
      >b) Weapons warehouse of the Federal
      >Directorate for Supply and Procurement; and
      >
      >c) the headquarters of the Directorate.
      >
      >No wonder they couldn't be misled. They couldn't
      >even name the place.
      >
      >TOO MANY MISSILES
      >
      >NATO's next spin-control effort was an attempt to simplify
      >things. Retelling the story again a bit later on the 8th, AP
      >reported that:
      >
      >"The precision-guided weapon that hit the Chinese
      >embassy in Belgrade apparently did just what it was told. .."
      >
      >One weapon. That does make things more believable,
      >unless of course the reader has seen the previous stories
      >that refer to Three missiles....
      >
      >Since few people read multiple news stories about the
      >same topic, and even fewer read them carefully, moving
      >from three to one missile is a pretty safe gambit. But the
      >problem still remains: how could NATO targeteers, pouring
      >over their maps, not notice the label CHINESE EMBASSY
      >on a building they were planning to bomb?
      >
      >IT WAS THE MAPS!
      >
      >NATO's answer: switch positions on the map question.
      >
      >What was the source of "the erroneous B-2 bomber attack,
      >which dropped several satellite-guided bombs on the embassy"?
      >
      >Here's the latest explanation:
      >
      >"In mistakenly targeting the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade
      >Friday night, U.S. intelligence officials were working from an
      >outdated map issued before China built its diplomatic compound
      >several years ago, American and NATO authorities said yesterday.
      >
      >'The tragic and embarrassing truth is that our maps simply did
      >not show the Chinese Embassy anywhere in that vicinity,' a
      >senior NATO official said." (Washington Post, May 10)
      >
      >Let's consider the implications of what we've just read.
      >
      >First, the Post accepts without question NATO's assertion
      >that the embassy bombing was accidental. Indeed
      >the Post doesn't mention the highly newsworthy
      >fact that the news media stories are so mutually contradictory.
      >Doesn't that tell us something about these news agencies,
      >about their attitude toward NATO and this war? That they are
      >really part of NATO's public relations effort, dutifully
      >reporting whatever they are told without pointing out the
      >implications of NATO's ever-evolving explanations.
      >
      >Second, the claim that using "old maps" was the problem
      >flatly contradicts an equally confident assertion made
      >about 36 hours earlier by NATO' spokesman, General Jertz.
      >You remember: "He [that is., Gen. Jertz] denied planners
      >were 'using old maps, wrong maps.'" (Reuters, May 8)
      >
      >Third, consider the phrase "outdated map issued before China
      >built its diplomatic compound several years ago."
      >This clearly refers to PAPER maps.
      >
      >Now is it believable that NATO would be working off old paper maps of
      >Belgrade? What's the matter, they can't afford computers?
      >They have no technical staff? We are after all talking about
      >the combined armed forces of the U.S. and most of Europe.
      >The whole focus of their attack on Serbia is aerial bombardment.
      >Aerial bombardment depends primarily on maps and intelligence.
      >Doesn't it fly in the face of rudimentary common sense -- indeed of
      >sanity -- to believe that this military force would have anything but
      >the most sophisticated mapping facilities, updated with satellite
      >photos and local intelligence reports hourly, all of it in computerized
      >war rooms with giant screens, scores of technical personnel, etc.,
      >etc.
      >
      >And isn't it equally obvious, that that one thing such an armed
      >force would have at its finger tips would be exact information
      >about sensitive installations -- such as diplomatic facilities --
      >precisely to make sure they did not get bombed.
      >
      >Unless of course NATO wanted them to be bombed.
      >
      >And of all the diplomatic facilities in all of Yugoslavia, wouldn't
      >the one to which NATO would pay the most attention be
      >the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade - both because of China's
      >immense world-importance and because it is Belgrade's chief ally.
      >
      >Of course NATO had up to date maps of the area around
      >the Chinese Embassy. And of every square inch inside
      >the Embassy as well.
      >
      >Fourth, since NATO claims it decided to bomb the Embassy
      >because of what the targeteers saw on these "old maps" -- just
      >what did the targeteers see? We are told they didn't see the
      >Embassy. Did they see something else they wanted to attack
      >and destroy? Just what was this something else? Was it a
      >building which housed some military facility? In the middle of
      >a 1000 foot lawn in a residential section of the city? And if
      >there is such a map with such a building, why doesn't NATO
      >produce this ancient document, and show it to us?
      >
      >And fifth -- did you notice we're talking about multiple missiles
      >again?
      >
      >LET US NOW REVIEW NATO'S STORIES
      >
      >According to NATO there were three --
      >
      > NO, there was only one
      >
      >smart bomb that hit the Chinese Embassy by mistake because
      >it missed a building across the street that houses the "Federal Supply
      >and Procurement Office" --
      >
      > NO, that wasn't the problem. The missiles (because we're back
      >to three missiles again) didn't miss -- they hit right on target except
      >it turned out the target was all wrong, t wasn't the Federal Supply
      >and Procurement Office at all, it was the Chinese Embassy and
      >somehow the targeteers got it all confused but one thing is
      >definite: the mix-up was not the result of using old maps.
      >
      > But that's not right either because if a target is important a
      >great deal of care is taken, and given that this was such an
      >important target, even more care would be taken to make sure
      >it really was the a) Federal Directory for the Supply and
      >Procurement and
      >
      >NO, that should be the b) Weapons Warehouse of the Federal
      >Directorate for Supply and Procurement,
      >
      >NO, that isn't right either it wasn't just a warehouse, it was the
      >c) HEADQUARTERS of the Directorate and -
      >
      >NO! Forget everything I've said so far. It was the maps.
      >The maps were very old so you couldn't tell that the building
      >on that site was an Embassy. And there were three missiles, of
      >course -- who ever said anything about there only being one?
      >
      >A PARK, AND OTHER MILITARY TARGETS
      >
      >This writer has just spoken to a Serbian gentlemen whose
      >family lives a few blocks from the Embassy. He says the
      >Embassy was built 4 or 5 years ago and that prior to
      >the building of the Embassy, the only thing there was: a park.
      >
      >A park: tress and grass...
      >
      >Therefore the notion that NATO could possess a map drawn
      >before the Chinese Embassy was built which showed any building
      >occupying the land on which the Embassy now stands is simply
      >impossible. There was nothing there but trees and grass.
      >
      >Therefore NATO is lying.
      >
      >And since NATO is lying, we are left with the Chinese gentleman's
      >explanation. It is the only one that makes sense. NATO deliberately
      >blew up three apartments inhabited by Chinese journalists in the Chinese
      >Embassy. This was a high-tech execution. What will NATO do next?
      >
      >(Note to reader: If you wish to see the complete text of the
      >articles I have quoted from, drop me a line and I'll be
      >glad to send them to you. jaredi@... )
      >
      >Best regards,
      >Jared Israel jaredi@...
      >
      >IF you know anyone to whom you would like me to send
      >documents and analysis of interest concerning this war and
      >related questions, please send me the address(es).
      >
      >Thanks - jaredi@...

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/group/konformist
      http://www.eGroups.com - Simplifying group communications
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.