"An Iraqi Flag is Constantly Present"

Letter from a Belgrade communist.

Dear comrades,

I've just finished sticking scotch tape on my windows. We all expect a big hit this evening because NATO bombed a bridge in Novi Sad (second largest city in Serbia) yesterday.

People from my block are moving to the other parts of the city because we live close to this strategically-important bridge over Danube River. There are certainly many civilians killed in these attacks but I can't trust the state media so I won't mention any numbers.

Of course the state media claims that there is no such thing as "ethnic cleansing" but Milosevic has done it before and I firmly believe that something similar is going on in Kosovo.

Unfortunately most of the people down here don't [or won't] believe that their army is doing something like that, there are also many of those who applaud to it. Their justification of this "action" may sound stupid to you but believe me after years of civil war, ultra-nationalism and media propaganda you can easily get caught up in this mind state. Nevertheless you simply can't ignore some of the facts that these people present, for instance that after WW2 the Serbs/Albanians ratio was 50:50, even in Tito's Yugoslavia (where they had the maximum level of autonomy) Albanian separatism and nationalism were very strong, now the ratio is 10:90 in Albanian favor.

You can't really get an objective information since all the private TV channels are owned by the people who are members of Milosevic's pa also used this situation and war to introduce a whole bunch of new fascistic laws which allow him to arrest people and control media.

On the other hand I can't rely on the imperialist media. I watched CNN the other day and it made me sick! They are making a big show out of my peoples misery, it's disgusting.

I can't understand how the public opinion in the West can accept this hypocrisy, all of a sudden Clinton is so concerned abut the "humanitarian catastrophe" and "poor refugees" He didn't do a damn thing for the slaughtered people in Rwanda, nobody cares about the fact that Kurdish people are being killed every day in Turkey.

I wonder how many of your readers are familiar with the fact that there were 500,000 Serbian refugees from now ethnically-cleaned Croatia. How come there were no CNN cameras to report this exodus? This double standard policy is more than obvious.

People in Belgrade are gathering everyday in the center of the city to demonstrate and express their anger. Every day popular bands are playing and the basic motto of these events is RESISTANCE. Since we don't have such big military force we'll confront them with one thing that's clearly bigger---our soul, they say.

People here haven't lost their sense of humor. At the demonstrations numerous posters are shown such as: "SORRY WE DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS INVISIBLE" (the shooting of F-117 Stealth); the cute little yellow bird is shown (you know the one that's constantly being chased by that cat Sylvester in the cartoons) with the text below "I THINK I SAW AN AEROPLANE;" "NO RYAN WILL BE SAVED" (Spielberg's movie); "HEY MOULDER THE TRUTH IS RIGHT HERE" (the X-files); "ADOLF CLINTON"; "North Atlantic Terroristic Organization"...

Yesterday I witnessed the demolition of the Amerikkkan cultural centre. Young people expressed their anger by smashing windows, throwing computers, files, furniture and the rest of the equipment from the third floor. Amerikkkan flags were burning along with some pathetic posters showing happy [uncle Tom] blacks together with a bunch of cowboys (I think that this posters doesn't even deserve to be called propaganda-it's that miserable). We even found some dinner plates with the Amerikkkan flags on them!!! French, British and German centers were also looted, and their embassies are covered with graffiti: Swastikas [on German], Burn Hollywood Burn![USA], l'haine[French]...

Oh yeah, by the way McDonalds' stores are also being demolished (mad cows written all over) and Coke signs are the targets as well. Sadly most of the young people involved in this rioting are members of the nationalist parties or even skinheads, although I saw a couple of red (hammer and sickle) flags too.

An Iraqi flag is also constantly present!

I would like to write more but it's getting dark and I gotta go to my shelter (damn, this is so pathetic I feel like Ana Frank).

Over and Out Goran

PS -- I have to give revolutionary greetings to all the comrades in Russia, to all leftist activists in Greece, Italy and Germany, to all the protesters in Canada, Macedonia and to all other people around the globe who oppose this savage, imperialist attack on my state.


(Reprinted from SeeingRed magazine)