Tag Archives: Kosovo

Angela Vera: Propaganda Sales Retail

Media globalization cannot be stopped. It is a result of new communications technology. It is also the prerequisite and facilitator for all other forms of globalization. On the other hand, communication itself is conceived as a kind of social practice with societal implications and effects. If we weigh this feature from a responsibility standpoint, the consequences of a barbarian exploitation of such a powerful tool may be extremely deceiving, particularly when it comes to conflict coverage. The media is manipulated in all manners, for example through professional public relations, and covert and overt government propaganda which disseminates propaganda as news. What are often deemed as credible news sources can often knowingly or unknowingly be pushing political agendas and propaganda. The impacts of public relations cannot be underestimated. When it comes to propaganda for purposes of war, professional public relations firms can often be involved to help sell a war. In cases where a war is questionable, the PR firms are indirectly contributing to the eventual and therefore unavoidable casualties. Media management may also be used to promote certain political policies and ideologies and where this is problematic for the citizenry is when media reports on various issues do not attribute their sources properly.
Some techniques used by governments and parties/people with hidden agendas include paying journalists to promote certain issues without the journalist acknowledging this, or make the conflict be covered by young inexperienced journalists, who are more flexible and lack knowledge. The Kosovo War, for example, is one criticized conflict labeled as “a disaster for journalism” (Philip Knightley). In covering the Kosovo War, most media have selected information and sources in relation to the parties in the conflict and their propaganda activities, mostly the “War Parties,” namely the US and NATO. Essential information has been buried in the midst of unimportant facts. Propaganda techniques have been enclosed as part of the warfare and censorship has been adopted as the controlling-mechanism. Disinformation or partial information reported as news or fact without attributing sources that might be questionable, happened to be one of the main weapons used in the Kosovo warfare.

The intention lying behind manipulation is also creating a public opinion, for example to support a war. NATO’s bombing during Kosovo War and the so called “casualties” afterwards, did undergo through such a subjugating process via media, to make them less and less questionable. They hardly ever got questioned during the war. To question facts and sources as a reporter or journalist should do, didn’t happen; as a rational human being should do, didn’t happen either. And the fact that events were somehow ambiguous helped very little. Truth so became the first casualty. Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks. But we should really start analyzing media as critical responsible global citizens.

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Néstor Núñez: Un dislate llamado Kosovo

Para Washington y sus aliados de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN), el desmembramiento de la añeja Yugoslavia es algo así como lo que en ciertos planes de trabajo se denomina “tarea permanente”.

La desarticulación territorial mediante al azuzamiento de los nacionalismos con apego a Occidente ha sido un arma proverbial del imperio…y llegó el turno a la provincia serbia de Kosovo, donde efectivos otanistas se despliegan desde 1999, luego de violentos bombardeos contra Belgrado y otras ciudades.

La iniciativa fue puesta en manos de los grupos de descendencia albanesa, los titulados por la prensa “albano-kosovares” proclives al desmembramiento y a una posible incorporación futura a lo que algunos llaman, a la usanza de siglos anteriores, “La Gran Albania”, a lo cual suman altos niveles de compromiso con Washington y sus aliados de Europa.

Con el corte territorial yugoslavo el imperio logra varios objetivos. Por una parte, coarta la influencia de una Serbia que desdeña alianzas con la Casa Blanca y se acerca a Rusia, y a la vez afianza el cinturón que intenta bloquear a Moscú como en los “tiempos alegres” de la Guerra Fría.

En consecuencia, el gobierno de George W. Bush no perdió un minuto en reconocer la unilateral independencia de Kosovo, al igual que buena parte de sus congéneres del Viejo Continente, como inequívoca fórmula de presión ante el centellante desacuerdo ruso-serbio y las inmediatas protestas de buena parte de la comunidad internacional.

Las reservas son enormes. El presidente Vladímir Putin fustigó desde la capital moscovita la jugarreta divisionista, en tanto Belgrado se convertía en un hervidero humano que cercaba sedes diplomáticas occidentales y provocaba el apresurado retiro de los personales diplomáticos de varias de esas dependencias. Era la reacción lógica ante un golpe bajo y a la vez sumamente peligroso.

Altos jefes militares rusos advirtieron también sobre el desequilibrio que la decisión unilateral de los albano-kosovares implica en un escenario explosivo como los Balcanes, y algunos gobiernos europeos empiezan a admitir que se abren serios riesgos en el Viejo Continente, si el aliento al separatismo empieza a extenderse.

En efecto, territorios como el español, el británico, el italiano, el francés, y los de varios estados del este de Europa, guardan viejas rencillas y aspiraciones separatistas, hasta ahora ahogadas y controladas, incluso con el uso de una nada disimulada represión.

Corsos, escoceses, gitanos, etarras, sicilianos y otros grupos étnicos y regionales, tienen largas historias de intentos separatistas e independentistas, y el impulso de Washington y buena parte de la Unión Europea a los albano-kosovares es un incentivo a tales aspiraciones.

Nada, que el fuego merodea los polvorines a manos de quienes en su prepotencia no calculan el alcance de sus desmanes.

* Argenpress
* http://www.argenpress.info/nota.asp?num=052494&Parte=0

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Sparks that risk igniting another Balkan war

One response to the results of this week’s parliamentary elections in Kosovo will be: why should we care? A small part of the former Yugoslavia, an aspiring independent state under UN protection, has gone to vote in reasonably good order. Things are moving in the right direction; we can relax and leave the two million or so people of this Balkan enclave to their own devices.

At the present juncture, however, nothing would be more dangerous. The clear victor in these elections looks set to be the Democratic Party of Hashim Thaci, a former guerrilla leader. This was the party that campaigned most stridently and impatiently for Kosovo’s full independence.

If the results suggest growing militancy among Kosovo’s voters, the election offered other malign indicators. The turnout was the lowest ever recorded, suggesting that even voters from the Albanian majority are now frustrated and cynical about the political process. Nor is there the slightest sign of rapprochement between the ethnic Albanians and the minority Serbs. The Serbs – who want Kosovo to remain constitutionally a part of Serbia – stayed away from the polling stations. Their boycott, coupled with the low turnout, allows both sides to cast aspersions on the results.

What is more, time for an internationally sponsored settlement is running out. As part of his election pitch, Mr Thaci vowed to declare formal independence from Serbia once the official 10 December deadline for a deal had expired. With the post of prime minister now within his sights, Mr Thaci is repeating that promise. Yet a unilateral declaration of this sort is the very outcome that everyone involved – the UN, the EU, the government of Serbia and its Russian supporters – has been trying with increasing urgency to avoid.

Now there is a real risk that much, if not all, of the good achieved by the 1999 western military intervention will be undone. Of course, that intervention had its difficulties. It received UN authority only afterwards. It was later than it should have been. The decision making was ponderous. There were mistakes – the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade leaps to mind. And there were dangerous stand-offs. Russia’s advance on Pristina airport risked the first East-West military confrontation since the Cold War and precipitated a spat between the British commander on the ground, General Sir Mike Jackson, and Nato’s American supreme commander, General Wesley Clark.

For all that went wrong with the Kosovo operation, however, the balance remains overwhelmingly positive. This was a successful example of armed force used for humanitarian intervention. It afforded international protection to a group – Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians – who were in immediate physical danger. It also, although this was not the prime objective, sowed the seeds of Slobodan Milosevic’s downfall and speeded the advent of democracy in the rump of Yugoslavia.

The path to independence for Kosovo was never going to be smooth. The small Serbian population needs real guarantees that their rights will be protected; even then, their sense of grievance will run deep. For Serbs, parts of Kosovo have profound religious and cultural significance; more Serbs will probably leave. If, as is likely, Serbia refuses to recognise an independent Kosovo, and if – as is also likely – Russia vetoes recognition at the UN, Kosovo will be in a diplomatic limbo.

In this event, nothing can be ruled out, including resort to arms by disillusioned Albanian Kosovans and irate Serbs. The flames of a new Balkan war could reignite latent conflicts further afield, destabilising the region as a whole. Unless we show greater awareness of these dangers now, Kosovo risks becoming a small country of which we get to know all too much.

* http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/article3174393.ece

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