It Began with a Lie: How German Officials Lead their Country to Another Aggressive War
Germany’s Social Democratic (SPD)-Green party coalition government employed fabrications and manipulated facts to overcome popular opposition to the participation of the German armed forces in NATO’s war against Yugoslavia. A German TV report by journalists Jo Angerer and Mathias Werth entitled “It Began With a Lie” provides proof of this.
The report, which was first broadcast on the nationwide ARD public channel on February 8, set off a large-scale public discussion in Germany. It was the subject of a parliamentary debate in the Bundestag [the German federal parliament] on February 16. On the same day, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper published the script of the report in a slightly abridged version, and on February 19 the report was rebroadcast on WDR (one of the ARD channel’s affiliated stations, which can be viewed nation-wide via cable), followed by a live discussion featuring politicians, journalists, generals and one of the makers of the documentary, Mathias Werth.
In the TV report, the authors juxtapose step by step the results of their own meticulous research to the statements made at the time by Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Minister of Defence Rudolf Scharping (both SPD) and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (Greens).
When 39 Deaths were Called “Humanitarian Catastrophe”
“NATO says it dropped the bombs to save the lives of the Kosovar Albanians—from the Serbs,” states the report. That was the main argument used by the government to justify the first combat deployment of German troops since the Second World War, 50-plus years after Hitler’s armies devastated the Balkans.
Rudolf Scharping stated on March 27, 1999: “We never would have taken military action if there weren’t this humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, with 250,000 refugees within Kosovo and far more than 400,000 refugees in total, and with a death toll we are not even able to count yet.”
The report contrasts this statement with the findings of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at the time. The OSCE’s “results for March 1999” reported “39 deaths in all of Kosovo—before the NATO bombers came”.
Heinz Loquai, a former general attached to the OSCE who has already published a book refuting some of the German Ministry of Defence’s lies, particularly the fictitious “Operation Horseshoe” (which will be dealt with later in this article), states: “the kind of humanitarian catastrophe that, as a category of international law, would have justified going to war did not exist in Kosovo prior to the war”. And Norma Brown, a US diplomat in Kosovo, says: “There was no humanitarian crisis up to the beginning of the NATO bombing raids.”
The authors’ conclusion: “An unambiguous verdict! On the question of violence in Kosovo—in none of the OSCE reports is there even the slightest indication of an impending humanitarian catastrophe. What was observed by the international experts were situations where rebels of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were fighting against regular Yugoslav troops. A civil war, says the OSCE. The village dwellers fled from these battles. Later, they usually returned to their houses, most of which had been completely destroyed.”
This is substantiated by a quote from the secret reports of the German Ministry of Defence: “There were no major armed conflicts between the Serb-Yugoslav forces and the KLA over the past few days…. In the recent period the Serbian security forces have restricted their activities to routine operations such as security checks, patrols, searches for weapons caches and the monitoring of important connecting roads.”
To convince the population of Germany that there was indeed a humanitarian catastrophe, and that the Serbs really were committing atrocities on a massive scale against the Kosovars, the German government utilised every conceivable propaganda ploy. But the TV reporters have pulled the carpet out from under Scharping’s crudest inventions.
“Concentration Camp” that Never Existed
ENGLISH SUBS HARD CODED!!
Jul 02, 2009, 00:10:21
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