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The Internet

Yugoslav Internet Shut Down? 309

An Anonymous Reader wrote in to say "Beograd.com is reporting that the US has ordered the shudown of satellite feeds into Yugoslavia. This may just be rumor, but I read www.rts.co.yu and www.serbia-info.com on a daily basis. As of this morning, both Serbia-based sites are now inaccessible. " I aso haven't managed to find confirmation of this, but I've heard it from several folks too. This is a scary form of warfare.
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Yugoslav Internet Shut Down?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Shutting down the Serbian net connection is entirely justified. Genocide is one thing, but when they started cross-posting propaganda into unrelated newsgroups (like soc.culture.japan!?) they WENT TOO FAR!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sure, why not, although I'd rather focus on outgoing connections. Think about sneakernet and all the Wen Ho Lees out there; the OSS; information is _important_, and communications infrastructure is a perfectly valid target.

    Kung-fu movies aside, blind warriors fight poorly.

    I do take contention, though, with your statement that such an embargo would be similarly devastating. Cutting off food and fuel to a country that does not have self-sufficiency is far more damaging, both in direct damage (hardship), and indirect (instability). A regime of Net-deprived people is likely in better shape than a regime of food-starved people, eh?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I didnt think countries declared war anymore, war is such an ugly word, i havent noticed the US or NATO actually declare war on yugaslavia. Vietnam wasnt officially a war either though was it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The pictures were the first time I have seen anything from the ground. It seems like the only coverage I see in US media consists of colored maps and NATO officials giving briefings.

    If I can get these pictures on the internet, what excuse do the press and television have for not showing them? Are they afraid of seeming unpatriotic?

    I'm very thankful for the internet. It lets me get information from many sources and it allows me to use my own brain to figure out the truth. I'm no longer dependent on what some editor thinks I need to know. This is why the First Amendment exists. It's also why television and newspapers are becoming increasingly irrelevant to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ah, yes. "Piss us off and die, mofos." Real enlightened attitude for the world's most powerful nation to take. Let me enumerate a few of my problems with the standard set of excuses for this undeclared war...

    -"We have to stop the genocide!" There have been, and still are, a whole lot of genocidal conflicts which the US government has not been the least bit interested in. Hell, look at how Turkey treats its own Kurdish population, and we have bases in Turkey.

    -"Well, we can't stop all of them, but we can at least stop this one." This is pretty bogus because it doesn't explain _why_ this one.

    -"Maybe we finally got tired of sitting by and watching it happen." Actually seen on /., believe it or not. Frankly, I can't believe anyone thinks the US government and/or NATO has a conscience that has finally gotten bothered; everything else about their actions reeks of realpolitik. It also fails to explain why so many other nations are against NATO's actions. They're all inhuman monsters who just don't care about genocide? They just haven't reached their genocide-tolerance threshhold yet?

    My call? There's an unspoken, and probably not even consciously realized belief among Western politicians that what brown people do to each other in distant corners of the world doesn't really matter; they're just primitive and will probably keep killing each other until the end of time. Seeing white people killing each other in NATO's playground gives folks the willies, though; only NATO is allowed to kill people here... It has nothing to do with "causing trouble". WHAT trouble has Milosevic, or anyone else in the region, caused for the US, beyond the problems that we've decided to make our own? Hey, even the Europeans have dropped the lame excuse that we have to stop this because it might destabilize the rest of Europe. Ironically, getting involved _does_ threaten to destabilize things...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Given my American Heritage where we get shot in schools and on the highway, the murders in Yug is trivial. But CROSS POSTING????? I say, nuke the bastards!



  • by Anonymous Coward
    Scariest eh! Even scarier than a tough game of Doom.

    Get real! War involves death. Lots of it. Being cut off from you favorite Web site doesn't even hit the charts.

    The world is a dangerous, unfair, hostile place, not your living room or favorite coffe shop. Stop living in a fairy tale!

    --Alchemist
  • The United States, for all its flaws and problems (and there are many), has for a long time now renounced genocide and ethnic hatred. It is time others did the same.

    HAHAHA! Good One! The US carries out ethnic cleansing and sometimes even genocide whenever it finds the tactic useful. Of course, it's a big world, so the work is usually done by proxy. The US-sponsored and directed ethnic cleansing of over 200,000 Serbs (14,000 killed, mostly civilians) from the Krajina region of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995 is a textbook case. See:

    http://originalsources.com/OS5-99HL/5-13-1999.2. shtml

    for more information on how this works. (Or look into Kurdistan, East Timor, Guatemala,... if you're looking for the general pattern.)

    Alex Berkman
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The internet is one of the few sources of independent news avaliable to Yugoslavia. Cutting it off is just playing into the serbian's hands.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I live in America. It is so scary how much the media and the government control the people's thoughts. People who did not even know the existence of Yugoslavia 60 days ago are rabid supporters of the bombings today. After coming here, I saw a completely new aspect of human nature (certainly there are several exceptions). Give them the material goods and they give you their power to think, analyse and question. Take the material goods away and everything is questioned. For those who are willing to read, I am listing some books which discuss how the "FREE" press in "FREE" America is so very tainted. It would be nice if you bought them. These journalists, although hard working do not have the financial backing of organisations like NBC (which is owned by GE, the largest arms manufacturer).

    Secret State Silent: new militarism, the Gulf and the mordern image of warfare. By Richard Keeble

    Politics of War, By Walter Karp

    The second front, By John MacArthur

    20 years of censored news, By Carl Jensen

    Keeble is English. The other two are Americans. If you are more interested, there is a journal called "Index of censorship"

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This post getting a score:5 illustrates that some moderator is an extremely biased
    supporter of war against Yugoslavis. He also believes that everything is fair, including people's right to knowledge and people's right to
    express. I will be surprised even if one in 1000 people in Yugoslavia have computers. This is aimed directly to prevent
    the American people to know what is happening or what the views of people there are. They may be doing something which may take away the people's support of war here in America.
  • Firstoff, I have no problems reaching the
    mentionned sites from Switzerland. So this might
    be an US-only problem.

    Second, what we have in Serbia is not "just some
    poor people getting bombed by evil forces", but
    some Big-Brother-type dictator Milosevic
    whose politics are strikingly similar to those of
    a certain Adolf Hitler in 1938.

    - dispossessing people of a ethnic minority
    - ethnic "cleansing"
    - crushing in-serbian opposition (Radio B92...)

    What we have is the rise of another fascist state.

    I'm not very pleased with the bombing, but I see
    it as a necessity to do whatever is possible to
    crush that governement.

    This goes not against you serbian people, this
    goes against a fascist governement. Do something
    about this.

    Kirth
  • This action makes good sense to me. When you're fighting a war, you limit the enemy's ability to communicate and distribute propaganda.

    A recent U.S. News had a short article about Yugoslavia's electronic propaganda war. They literally have an entire room full of computers run by people (mostly students, IIRC) solely for the use of sending propaganda over the internet (and they've been doing a much more effective job than NATO!). Far from the bulwark of free and independent news, the internet is being used a a tool to further Milosevic's own political goals.

  • Did I say anything about blowing up a roomfull of students? My goodness, please read the article summary before you post. Apparently, satellite links were shut down. AFAIK, nothing more (I couldn't find the reference on the site.

    No, I don't believe everything in U.S. News. But Beograd.com seems to confirm the report.

    Of course NATO uses propaganda. Every side in a war does. Each side should also work to degrade the ability of the other to distribute such materials.

  • Nowhere did I claim NATO is not using propaganda. I would expect Milosevic to target such sources, hopefully not with violence. Shutting down satellite links is the perfect way to cut off propaganda without the destruction of property or killing of people. It seems entirely reasonable to me.

    CNN, etc. are often used as propaganda weapons against NATO. Reporters are allowed to see only what Milosevic wants them to see.



  • Second, what we have in Serbia is not "just some
    poor people getting bombed by evil forces", but
    some Big-Brother-type dictator Milosevic
    whose politics are strikingly similar to those of
    a certain Adolf Hitler in 1938.


    I don't entirely believe this. The European compaign by the allies in WW2 was fought to reclaim the land that Hitler had taken from sovereign nations and not to stop the "cleansing" of the Jews/Handicapped/Dissidents/etc. going on in the concentration camps.


    If however, Milosevic is actually cleansing the Albanians in a manner that can be compared to Hitler, then why haven't we gone to the UN with the evidence? I'm sure if the world was presented with satellite photographs, sigint intercepts, escapee interviews and such we would declare war on Serbia and go in with the blessing of the world.


    If there are really Albanians being slaughtered by the thousands as is implied by the term "Ethnic Cleansing" then why aren't we down on the ground protecting them? Does anyone honestly believe that we can stop the slaughter using air power alone? Did the massive bombing of Germany affect the concentration camps a single whit? If I recall correctly, the camps weren't liberated until ground troops were sent in.


    If we have a moral obligation to prevent this from happening, we should be doing it with everything we have. Are you prepared to go into Albania and Serbia and be possibly be killed/maimed? Are you prepared to have your fathers/sons/brothers/friends go in and possibly be killed/maimed?


    If not why not? If this is really an evil comparable to Hitler we should have gone in with ground troops to put an end to this long ago.


    As an American I'm not very pleased with any of this. I certainly don't want to see anyone get killed in a war. That includes Albanians, Serbians, Croatians, Chinese, Russian, or member of an African Tribe. Frankly, from what I've seen so far this seems more like a civil war than anything else.


    In the later stages of the American Civil War we had Sherman running around burning a swath through the southern United States. Americans should ask ourselves how we would have felt if a bunch of foreigners stepped in to prevent the wanton destruction of non-combatant property?


    The other thing that really bothers me about this is that America has not declared war. Does anyone really think that the founding fathers intended for the executive branch to have the power to bomb a nation without approval of Congress? I think we need to get our Checks back so we have a balanced system of government again.


    The other thing I wanted to get off my chest which I'm sure will be controversial is this: If Albanians had the right to keep and bear arms, would any of this be necessary? As seen in Afghanistan and Vietnam, an enemy that is determined and fighting for their family and homeland can use guerilla warfare against a superior force to great effect. I'm not talking about the KLA here, but an entire armed population .


    I consider myself a Patriot and love my country. Therefore, I think its my responsibility to question what is going on here. I feel completely disconnected from my government on this issue and that disturbs me. It's still We The People, right?

  • Posted by noflesh:

    I agree it would be a very bad thing to cut off the internet connection. We need more information flowing back and forth not less.

    Here's the big difference between NATO and the Serbian military though: the Serbs are trying to hurt and murder people while NATO is trying not to.

    I'm not saying the bombing is the right thing to do but when you talk about NATO propoganda you're disregarding the voices of thousands upon thousands of suffering people. If you do disregard these people you're just one step above the raping, murderous scum at work in Kosovo.
  • Posted by patg:

    This whole conflict is a pathetic failure and waste!

    What has it acheived? Who is better off for it? Who's going to foot the huge bill to pay for the damage and military expenses?

    Clinton is trying so desparately to have some sort of legacy other than lecherism and dishonesty, and it's a huge failure. You don't solve problems in a region with such a long history of problems by simply dropping bombs. So much rationalism for this that could be applied for so many other conflicts in the world such as Rwanda, that nothing was done about. To risk global conflict for this is utterly insane. It was bad enough, now they "accidently" drop a bomb on the Chinese embassy (China, by the way, is the country who was able to get missle technology from the US due to to political favours by transfering technolical trade regulation from the State dept. to the commerce dept. making it all that much more easy for them to get this information from the US) was that a mistake, or another distraction on top of a distraction? Now something that the Chinese really weren't involved in (this conflict) they have been drawn into (and are more likely to be against it)
    What a pathetic sham of a campaign. On top of that, Yeltsin's rule is in question, and the Russians aren't exactly thrilled about this conflict. This is a volitile situation that Clinton and alot of the american public doesn't understand the repercussions of. There's two sides to every story, and only one is being propagated in this situation.

    Just another example of Clinton's inability to properly utilise the military (which he's professed in the past to "dispise the military").
    and inability to comprehend effective foreign policy.

    What an embarassment!
  • For the past decade, the entire world has been watching genocide in the Balkans and turned a blind eye. I think that it is about time we did something. I don't think that NATO is going about this the right way, but how on earth can anyone justify standing back and doing nothing? Genocide is murder to the nth degree. These are people who are dying, and for the umpteenth time since World War Two, when we all said never again, we've been ignoring it. I'm sick and tired of people saying that this is US imperialism. Have you no consience? NATO is going about this in a less than ideal manner, but something needs to be done.

    But why Yugoslavia? As someone pointed out, it's because "people like us" (i.e. caucasian, albeit swarthy ones) are being massacred. It's also because it's in the US's backyard (the US is a European power, ever since WWI).

    But why Yugoslavia? Massacres equally as heinous are going on elsewhere; if bombs must fall on Serbia, why not send a few to the Sudan, where the Muslim government in the north wants to destroy and/or convert and/or enslave the Christians in the south. Right-wing pols (and voters) in the US like to say that their country is a "Christian nation", yet they don't raise a fuss about the Sudan.

    What about East Timor? Let drop some bombs on the Indonesians. East Timor should have become independent about 25 years ago, as Portugal was releasing its colonies. But they were invaded by Indonesia (with some help, or at least acquiesence from Dr Kissinger and Friends), and have been slowly genocided ever since.

    What about Latin America? The CIA overthrew a government in Chile, and the US looked the other way as murders and human-rights abuses took place over a long period of time. Ditto in places like Argentina, except there was no need for some spectacular US-sponsored coup. In Central America, Merkins swallowed whole a bunch of lies about Contra thugs being "freedom fighters", and to this day the US government and media refuse to acknowledge that there were free elections (complete with international observers) in Sandinista Nicaragua long before the election that brought Dona Violeta to power. And in other Central American countries, those that didn't have the audacity to overthrow their US-backed dictators and US-trained generals, massacres occurred, based on the "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" ethos of Vietnam.

    What about Tibet? Though the Dalai Lama probably wouldn't approve, maybe the US should have been bombing China all these years, rather than sit idly by and let China run roughshod over that land.

    Why Yugoslavia? Why now? Why was there a clause in the Rambouillet accords that would have forced Milosevic to cede his country's sovereignty over to outsiders? Why was that accord drawn up so maliciously that Milosevic would have no option other than to walk away from it and face NATO bombs? And wasn't Milosevic "our guy", once upon a time, just like Saddam and Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden before? They only became "monsters" when they no longer suited the purposes of the West.

    Why? The US, and the West, perpetrates a lot of violence -- military, political, and economic -- around the world every day, and no fuss is raised about it. Now, all of a sudden, a despot in the Balkans is coerced into accepting a bunch of smart bombs on his soil. It makes for lots of exciting TV programming, but, in a way, it's nothing new. Except for all the unanswered questions. NetAid [freeb92.net]: a 24-hour Peace Netcast in honor of (and in aid of) Radio B92 on its 10th birthday, 15 May 1999.

    --

  • See also http://www.c3.hu/actual/ [c3.hu]. Here's a post from today:
    Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 15:16:06 +0200

    Subject: nettime:US shuts down Yugoslav Internet - confirmed!

    Unfortunately it seams that Loral Orion will have to close down all satellite connections to Yugoslavia. Mr. Laban who is representative for Loral Orion communication in Yugoslavia said that Loral Orion informed him about that action. For now, ISPs which are connected through LoralOrion are working, but it is just a matter of time. Strange enough the measure will affect not only ISPs in Serbia but also Montenegrian ones. Overall effect will be that two closest ISP to regime (ptt.yu and eunet.yu) that operate through ground lines will continue operating, but satellite providers - who also close to the regime, but at least try to maintain some image of independence - will be closed down.


    --

  • The best article I've seen so far came from Maggie O'Kane of the (British) Guardian Weekly ( here [guardianunlimited.co.uk] -- I think you're allowed to read it without a login); there's also a short article here [wsws.org]. And I'd bet that if you searched "depleted uranium" on DejaNews^H^H^H^H, you'd find a thing or two. But kudos to the Beeb, and a pox on all those big US outlets that won't tell Merkins what atrocities (to describe them as "little Chernobyls" may only be a slight exaggeration; time will tell) their tax dollars are being used for, both in Iraq and in Serbia. Half-life is a bitch :(

    DU-enhanced weapons are like Lite Nukes minus the Giant Mushroom Clouds and the guilt; the reason the guilt isn't there is because there doesn't seem to be much reportage or discussion about it. See No Evil, etc. It will take widespread news footage of deformed babies and livestock, and mutant produce before that discussion will begin, and then Americans may just choose to ignore it unless it happens on their own soil. And it has, in a way -- Gulf War Syndrome and health problems in post-Gulf offspring may well be related to DU; if there's a ground war in Serbia, the NATO troops may be exposed to the radiation, leading to Who Knows What?®

    --

  • Well, it's all about who's controlling the diamond production. After all, we have to make sure that our "moral" obligations are placed correctly...
  • No, it isn't uncool to be pro-american, the thing that is uncool is the behavior of the american goverment towards the rest of the world. You only need to take a look to the list of countries that the US army have attacked: all the way from Mexico to Serbia, including in the tour Morocco, Cuba, Vietnam and Afganistan, among many other places that I don't remember right now. So it isn't come as a surprise that too many people around the world like to bash the U.S., specially when the Dept. of State keeps feeding them with new material to work...



    "They cite foreign news sites which contradict US news as proof the US media is lying." Personally, I didn't find-yet- a US news service lying, but, no matter if it is the Discovery Channel or NBC, the US media is very prolific at the time of spread half-truths and overreact about anything. This stuff couldn't be a big deal, if the US media only reached US, but they cover the entire world, and, in the places that they didn't reached, you will find a lazy producer that will make a copycat, with all the innacuracies of the original, and some new ones.



    "People die from bombs, or they die from small arms fire (ground troops poindexter...) Either way they die. I'd prefer they die from bombs, as that means less of my fellow citizens would lose their lives for this cut-rate region who's inability to act civilized has caused much more trouble then it could ever be worth."

    Where is the need for your "fellow citizens" to go there and lose their lives in that country in the first place? This war isn't about human rights, Kosovo or the evil Milosevic. It's just a lesson to the world to teach about NATO's and US goverment's power, and how the only way to be safe for a country is building nukes like Russia, China, India and Pakistan, whose goverments can kill at pleasure and still get loans, weapons, and privileges from the western democracies, but, if in some country without nukes appens to have a leader that doesn't share the "democratic principles", it's OK to bring him down, even if him was elected democratically (for example, Francisco I Madero in Mexico, or Salvador Allende in Chile; two civilian goverments crushed by the militia, with the back up of -surprise!!- the US goverment).



    Anyway, you have a good reason to be upset for all those people that keeps talking about "all those evil americans" and doesn't stop to think that maybe, maybe all the americans, serbs, albanians or mexicans are people like them, and have more things in common than they can even wonder.

  • No, it isn't uncool to be pro-american, the thing that is uncool is the behavior of the american goverment towards the rest of the world. You only need to take a look to the list of countries that the US army have attacked: all the way from Mexico to Serbia, including in the tour Morocco, Cuba, Vietnam and Afganistan, among many other places that I don't remember right now. So it isn't come as a surprise that too many people around the world like to bash the U.S., specially when the Dept. of State keeps feeding them with new material to work...

    "They cite foreign news sites which contradict US news as proof the US media is lying." Personally, I didn't find-yet- a US news service lying, but, no matter if it is the Discovery Channel or NBC, the US media is very prolific at the time of spread half-truths and overreact about anything. This stuff couldn't be a big deal, if the US media only reached US, but they cover the entire world, and, in the places that they didn't reached, you will find a lazy producer that will make a copycat, with all the innacuracies of the original, and some new ones.

    "People die from bombs, or they die from small arms fire (ground troops poindexter...) Either way they die. I'd prefer they die from bombs, as that means less of my fellow citizens would lose their lives for this cut-rate region who's inability to act civilized has caused much more trouble then it could ever be worth."
    Where is the need for your "fellow citizens" to go there and lose their lives in that country in the first place? This war isn't about human rights, Kosovo or the evil Milosevic. It's just a lesson to the world to teach about NATO's and US goverment's power, and how the only way to be safe for a country is building nukes like Russia, China, India and Pakistan, whose goverments can kill at pleasure and still get loans, weapons, and privileges from the western democracies, but, if in some country without nukes appens to have a leader that doesn't share the "democratic principles", it's OK to bring him down, even if him was elected democratically (for example, Francisco I Madero in Mexico, or Salvador Allende in Chile; two civilian goverments crushed by the militia, with the back up of -surprise!!- the US goverment).

    Anyway, you have a good reason to be upset for all those people that keeps talking about "all those evil americans" and doesn't stop to think that maybe, maybe all the americans, serbs, albanians or mexicans are people like them, and have more things in common than they can even wonder.
  • Why does it have to be a satellite? Could it not have been a stray missile hitting some building by accident (or even on purpose) and knocking down some data lines or servers? Just because the sites are down does not mean there is some high ranking conspiracy to deprive poor little us of information, or to isolate Serbia.

    Judging from the fact that the site is now up, it is unlikely that the satellite service (if there was any) was severed, rather it was a temporary outage. Maybe the power went off?

  • Some more facts:

    ujans@ullisys:~ > date && traceroute www.serbia-info.com Thu May 13 18:12:43 MEST 1999
    traceroute to www2.EUnet.yu (194.247.192.60), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
    1 router.pond.sub.org (192.168.1.129) 2.309 ms 1.521 ms 1.466 ms
    2 pond-gw.ilk.net (10.10.10.9) 167.92 ms 164.426 ms 153.316 ms
    3 cs1.ilk.net (10.10.10.1) 173.428 ms 154.921 ms 191.488 ms
    4 194.122.227.61 (194.122.227.61) 227.502 ms 155.431 ms 156.134 ms
    5 frankfurt.core.xlink.net (194.122.225.42) 160.131 ms 160.496 ms 156.474 ms
    6 * Ffm-ar02.eunet.com (134.222.19.1) 167.689 ms 166.677 ms
    7 Asd-nr02.NL.EU.net (134.222.228.45) 170.753 ms 164.811 ms 168.695 ms
    8 Asd-nr12.NL.EU.net (134.222.186.12) 164.431 ms 186.031 ms 168.671 ms
    9 Belgrade1.YU.EU.net (134.222.34.2) 630.23 ms 640.8 ms 702.692 ms
    10 Belgrade10-E2.EUnet.yu (194.247.193.123) 684.487 ms 669.633 ms 570.612 ms
    11 www2.EUnet.yu (194.247.192.60) 658.286 ms 615.495 ms 735.829 ms

    The Internet *does* route around the blockage! (Especially look at the ping time difference between hop 8 and 9, which IMHO appears as a satellite leg)

  • Serbia-info is certainly selective with the truth. A large part of it seems to be badly written paraphrases of articales in the western media.

    That's a difficult choice there: Do I read the original column, or do I read a paraphrase of an English article, and then translated back by a less than fluent translater.

    No one media outlet has a monopoly on the truth. I enjoy reading the New York Times, the Washington Post, and viewing ITN and the BBC, and sometimes I am irked by the government line. But Serbia Info is a propaganda vehicle -- nothing more and nothing less.

    The fact that the "Serbian Ministry of Information" is plastered across the web-page testifies to this.
  • Well, there are certain reasons to avoid American televison... I don't watch CBS News, or NBC News, or ABC News. I listen to NPR and watch ITN or BBC. I also read two good daily newspapers. So FRY v. NATO is not news to me. Personally, I dont think the case has much merit, and using Serbia-Info to extract information about the case seems to me as foolish as using Microsoft's PR department to get a handle on US v. Microsoft. If you want a unbiased look at this particular court case, the World Court Docket [icj-cij.org] may or may not be useful.
  • First of all, the article seems to be a rumor, as the sites are back up.

    But the issue brought up is a different thing. No matter that a "war" is on.(Or is it a "police action"?) There are rules, even in war - Geneva convention, etc - and for good reasons (they are to everyone's long-term benefit). For political leaders to deny connectivity to individuals, groups or nations on any pretext is a slippery slope leading to lack of freedom for everybody. Even scum should have their day in court (including and always, the court of public opinion).

    And claiming that removal of 'net connectivity will affect military communications is absurd.

  • Their feed through EUnet is still up... Maybe some other bandwith provider got hit, tho.
  • I don't see this really happening. The main reason is because of the fact that agencies that remain there use the internet to get information. UNHCR and the Red Cross both just used the dialups to EUNet in Pristina when I was there in december.

    Another reason this is bad is because if its the US doing it, then its censorship. Believe it or not the news you get from CNN is biased (yes it really is). I've been forced to stop going there for information on this situation. Even the BBC and Telegraph are biased. Not to say that www.serbia-info.com isn't biased, but it provides another view of the situation. A single view promotes groupthink which is bad and just reinforces bad ideas.
  • No, in the US the bigots run the state dept.


    several million Rwandans mean nothing to the US, but about 2016 Albanian dead mean we demand the unconditional surrender of Serbia?


    Seems pretty black & white to me.

  • Virginia is where the internet crosses the Atlantic to Europe. Any European or Russian site will appear to come from Virginia.
  • *shrug*


    The Yugoslavs themselves say they get internet via sattelite. Beograd.com certainly is, it's run off a generator in some guys apartment.

  • Really sensitive I guess. So far this year, Kosovo has been less violent than Littleton, CO.


    We should send NATO to DC, where people are REALLY oppressed homeless and dying.

  • ...stopped showing Serb news 3 days ago, though they still carry Xinhua.


    What the hell is going on here?

  • Yes, Milosevic (though elected by parliament) is behaving like a dictator.


    I think the big brother award certainly goes to the NATO countries, and the US/CNN in particular.

    Faking satellite photos, faking dead bodies, faking pictures of muslims in refugee camps, and doctoring photos to make Clinton taller than anyone else in the picture; Bombing many many civilian vehicles, and then telling the people "oops"; eradicating civilian journalists (Serb and Chinese) who broadcast pictures of the destruction out of the country.

    Not to mention the sheer audacity of flouting all international law in order to maintain one's "credibility".


    Milosevic may be bad, but trying to reconquer ancient Serb territory from the neo-nazi KLA hardly makes him Hitler. Hitler invaded sovergn nations under the pretext of humanitarian intervention (Czechoslovakia). Sound familiar?

  • Serbia-info is certainly selective with the truth.


    Yes, but so is Western media. Did you like that bleeding heart story about the Albanian baby named "Amerikan", to the complete exclusion of the proceedings of FRY vs NATO in the International Court of Justice? Give me a fucking break!!!


    I say read both. Both state-run medias are complete whitewash on one subject or another.

  • Russia, China, India, Japan, S. Africa, Brazil, and all the CIS countries are flatly against this war and are demanding an immediate halt. That puts the majority of powerful nations against us.
  • From a Sam Smith piece at http://www.prorev.com ...

    FROM A COLUMN BY TONY SNOW: Key
    members of the United States Senate sat
    slack-jawed through a confidential briefing last
    Thursday from the Clinton administration
    foreign-policy team. ~~ After the foreign-policy
    wise men asserted that the United States has a
    moral imperative to stop the murderous Serbian
    president, Slobodan Milosevic, one senator
    asked: How many Albanians have Milosevic's
    troops massacred this year? The president's
    emissaries turned ashen. They glanced at each
    other. They rifled through their papers. One
    hazarded a guess: "Two thousand?" No, the
    senator replied, that was the number for all of last
    year. He wanted figures for the last month - or
    even the year to date, since the president had
    painted such a grisly picture of genocide in his
    March 24 address to the nation. ~~ The senator
    pressed on. How often have such slaughters
    occurred? Nobody knew. As it turns out,
    Kosovo has been about as bloody this year as,
    say, Atlanta. You can measure the deaths not in
    the hundreds, but dozens. (I'm not trying to deny
    Milosevic's brutality here; only to provide some
    comparisons.) More people died last week in
    Borneo than have expired this year in Kosovar
    bloodshed - more died in a single Russian bomb
    blast; in a single outburst of violence in East
    Timor; in a single day in Rwanda. China has been
    bloodier this year.
  • Even leaving aside the propaganda that comes out of Milosevic's camp (didn't the Serbs shoot down
    the whole NATO air force by now?)...


    I think NATO is hiding it's losses, don't you? NATO praises the effectiveness of Serb AA, then says it can't hit anything.



    Bombing many many civilian vehicles, and then telling the people "oops"
    Are you saying NATO does this intentionally, on purpose? If so, could you tell us all what that
    purpose might be?


    To break the will of the Serbian people of course. The same reason we bombed civilians in Vietnam and Iraq.


    eradicating civilian journalists (Serb and Chinese)
    Do you want to say that US intentionally targeted the Chinese embassy in order to kill Chinese
    journalists? Really?


    To appear tough on China in the wake of the bribery scandal? To rally the ultra-right behind the President? Who knows. The excuses are pretty flimsy.



    Not to mention the sheer audacity of flouting all international law in order to maintain one's "credibility"
    International law is very vague with regard to waging war, for obvious reasons. Could you specifically
    tell us exactly which law is NATO breaking?


    The UN charter (by waging war without security council approval), and the Geneva Convention (by targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure like schools and hospitals), and by using cluster bombs, which are a banned weapon.




    trying to reconquer ancient Serb territory from the neo-nazi KLA
    KLA are not angels, but they have are fighting for survival. And "ancient Serb territory" -- how about
    Germany trying to recover ancient German territory -- Prussia -- from Poland and Russia? Or Poland
    recovering traditional Polish lands from Ukraine and Belorussia? Or Azerbaijanis recovering their land
    from Iran? I could go on and on...


    Whatever may have happened previously, the KLA started this particular round of fighting. The KLA had conquered 2/3 of Kosovo before the Serb military decided to react.


    Anyhoo, I don't hate the US, I just deplore this illegal, immoral, and ineptly-executed war. Imperialism in any form is deplorable.

  • Popular support for NATO is eroding quickly. You don't think if NATO had hard proof of atrocities it wouldn't show them?


    NATO hears rumors, and then puts it forward as fact. If there is no evidence of mass killing, its pretty stupid to assume it happened anyway just because NATO says so.

  • The 1998 CIA world factbook puts the entire Albanian population of Kosovo at 800,000.
  • Slightly off-topic, but scary. here [scmp.com]
  • Re international law: are you saying that a country cannot wage war on another country
    without the UN approval? I don't think so. Regarding the Geneva convention, I don't think
    NATO *targets* schools and hospitals. It hits them occasionally, sure, but specifically
    targeting them? Again, I don't think so.


    "I don't think so" has got to be my favorite argument. Go read section II of the UN Charter (www.un.org) and get back to me.

  • Woohooo we got a few atom bombs and now we're a "Powerful Country"


    Well, that about sums it up for England and France. So I suppose the US is the only country that qualifies as powerful. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back...

  • In English:


    The flag highly the series firmly closed S. A. marched with calmly
    fixed step Kam'raden the red front and the reaction shot Marschier'n
    in the spirit in unsern series also

    The road freely the brown asking ALL ions the road freely the storm
    department department of it schau'n auf's heel cross fully hoping
    already millions the day fur liberty and fur bread starts

    To the letzen mark now appeal blown for the fight steh'n we all
    already ready soon to flutter Hitler flags Uber all roads the farmhand
    shank lasts only more short time

    The flag highly the series firmly closed S. A. marched with calmly
    fixed step Kam'raden the red front and the reaction shot Marschier'n
    in the spirit in unsern series with
  • Wow. What a refreshingly fact-free post.


    90% ethnic Albanian is pure poppycock. Even if it were true, that would mean the US would have no authority in New Mexico, S. California, DC, Puerto Rico, or any other place where white folk are in a minority.

  • I see. So your assertion is that the UN charter is not intended to be binding, but just a set of nice ideas? Wow, you're the first person I have encountered who believes this.


    If I can refresh your memory, it was precisely the violation of section II against Kuwait (a UN member) that led to the UN mission against Iraq. Up until very recently, the world, NATO countries included, has viewed the charter as binding and has done a decent job of enorcing it.


    As a matter of fact, NATO is using the UN charter itself extensively in it's defense against Yugoslavia in the World Court of Justice. The Netherlands, for example, is invoking section 7 of the charter saying it gives NATO the right to invade (dubious, but I won't argue it here), and also a 1992 UN resolution saying that FRY does not automatically assume the vacancy left by SFRY when it ceased to exist (and FRY is therefore not a UN member).
    Israel was created by a UN resolution, does that make it's existence illegal if the UN has no authority?

  • Clinton starts the NATO-Yugoslav war so that the US will maintain relevancy in a strengthening European Union. Britain is strongly for it because it is afraid of being eclipsed in the EU by a much stronger Germany.

    D'oh! This war is going badly, and more than half of Italians and a full 97% of Greeks want O-U-T OUT! The new Czech and Hungarian members are also having second thoughs. There goes NATO...

    But wait! If we can get a foreign scary power or two to decry NATO expansionism, and threaten to contain it, then the unraveling NATO will be scared back under the US's military umbrella. The US won't face losing everything it worked for after WWII under the Marshall Plan, and we can spend a ton more on arms to combat the new foreign threat.

    Sound like a dream-come-true for the US and the defense contractors? It's happening [timesofindia.com].
  • *groan*

    The only reason I'm responding to this thread is because my name is on it...


    If the assertion is that the Serb government has no authority over regions that are mostly ethnic Albanian, then the same should apply to regions of the US that are mostly ethnic hispanics or ethnic african-americans. Do you see what I was trying to say now? Both of these ethnic minorities in the US didn't exactly come under the sway of the American colonies under voulontary circumstances.

  • here [odci.gov] is the CIA factbook section on Serbia and Montenegro. I don't see that 90%, but I'm looking.


    Here is what they have:

    Ethnic groups: Serbs 63%, Albanians 14%, Montenegrins 6%, Hungarians 4%, other 13%

    Religions: Orthodox 65%, Muslim 19%, Roman Catholic 4%, Protestant 1%, other 11%

    Languages: Serbo-Croatian 95%, Albanian 5%


    This is also interesting:

    Geography-note: controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East; strategic location along the Adriatic coast

  • From the CIA World Factbook [odci.gov]



    Telephones: 700,000

    Telephone system:
    domestic: NA
    international: satellite earth station-1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

    Radio broadcast stations: 27 (public or state-owned 1, private 26)

    Radios: 2.015 million

    Television broadcast stations: 8 (state owned 1, privately owned 7) plus 1 Satellite TV down link and 48 cable distribution systems

    Televisions: 1 million
  • I've read such real-time war reports, and there are folks from many countries helping out. For instance, there is a "corridor" that runs down the Czech Republic that NATO planes take on the way to Serbia. Spotters in that country would identify the types of planes, what they were carrying, and which direction they were going. Spotters further along would verify, etc.


    Very effective use of the net, I'd say.

  • Wag the Dog has got to be the worst thing that ever happened to Americans' collective consciousness. Now whenever there is an international conflict, people go "aha! this is a coverup for some scandalous presidential tabloid story!", which is usually the polar opposite of the truth.


    Now the Corporate Republic of America can rape loot and plunder abroad with impunity, and the American people will simply redouble their efforts to comprehend the Starr Report.

  • Shoo, fascist troll.
  • DU is radioactive by the Pentagon's own admission. Not only that it is HIGHLY toxic, and causes kidney problems, birth defects, and very high rates of cancer. I guess you'd call it "Gulf War Syndrome". Hundreds of thousands of pounds of this crap is now strewn in and around Baghdad, causing an unprecidented level of these problems in the civilian population. A mini-Chernobyl, without the explosion.
  • Montenegro shares communications infrastructure with Serbia.

  • by Squeeze Truck ( 2971 ) <xmsho@yahoo.com> on Thursday May 13, 1999 @05:01AM (#1894893) Homepage
    NATO is running out of "military" targets.
    During the past couple of days NATO has bombed a bread truck, an elementary school, a farmers collective, a hospital, and yes, plain old villiages full of people.


    The undeclared objective in this conflict is to break the resistance of the Serbs to get them to capitulate. The only way life can suck any more for these people is if NATO expands its civilian bombing.


    Obviously, NATO doesn't want the rest of us to see these images of clusterbombs and dead civilians, which is why they have been going after Serb TV like crazy. Of course the media blackout is incomplete with all these Serbs posting war information and pictures to their websites.



    Toink! There go the satellites.

  • here here War is not about telling your enemy that we are going to bomb a building so they can evacuate first..its about crushing the other side...which we haven't done...
  • Well Altus came up with this, but I don't see it here...

    "A communications disruption can mean only one thing...."
  • ...no, it's pretty standard. Why we're doing it this late in the game, I don't know.

    In the past, it has been: capture or knock out telecom, TV, radio, newspaper systems. Capture is better than knock out, so you can feed the people your own propaganda. But with some special planes that the US has, we can knock out their TV & radio systems and broadcast our own stuff instead.

    But this is a NATO-run operation. So that would also explain why this has happened only now.

    That Milosovec has been allowed to spew the utter BS crap for so long is amazing to me. Yugoslavia doesn't have the FAX network that China or Russia has. Yugoslavia probably doesn't have the sympathetic connections in the media here and in Europe that Viet Nam somehow managed to acquire...


    -Corey

  • The problem here is not that losing one's
    internet connection is on par with losing
    one's fellow citizens - the problem is that
    losing one's internet connection means you
    can no longer tell anyone on the net that
    you are losing your fellow citizens. Let's
    be frank, atrocities are far easier to
    commit when the victim can't complain to
    anyone.
  • I was just thown agast by the comment that this was "a scary form of warfare"...and ready to rant...but thatnks to the above reply hopefully you can understand warfare is alot more horrible than a net connection....
  • -"We have to stop the genocide!" There have been, and still are, a whole lot of genocidal conflicts which the US government has not been the least bit interested in. Hell, look at how Turkey treats its own Kurdish population, and we have bases in Turkey.

    "We have bases in Turkey." Exactly. Turkey is an ally, and an important one. Attacking Turkey would split NATO apart, and destabilize much of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

    -"Well, we can't stop all of them, but we can at least stop this one." This is pretty bogus because it doesn't explain _why_ this one.

    Serbia has no important alliances with us (unlike Turkey), has no important alliances elsewhere (unlike Cuba, back when we cared about Cuba), is not a powerful state in it's own right (unlike China), and has a surrounding military orgization, NATO, to carry out the attacks (unlike Indonesia).

    We can stop Milsoevic because Serbia is a weak state in a region we have a lot power, and a conflict isn't likely to snowball into something truly nasty.
  • Please read some history, stop being naive and simplistic.You think that when NATO wins, that will be that?The whole shi* will come back in 5, 10 or 20 years.

    Of course it will. This conflict itself, after all, is a reaction to events in the early part of this century. So what? Everything has consequences, and I don't see anybody stabilizing the Balkans anytime soon. For now, we save Albanians from slaughter, and we deal with the next crises as it comes.

    "Truly nasty", BTW, is either a ground conflict like Vietnam, or nuclear war. Stuff that chews up American lives and doesn't help anybody else in the process.
  • But the American (and British, and French etc, etc) people already know the truth of what's going on - they see the weapon cam films virtually every day on the news and can see whether or not NATO is telling the truth. Our media has been as open and truthful as possible, owning up to verifiable incidents of bombs hitting Serbian civilian targets, with NATO giving each day accounts of targets hit. Serbian media on the other hand has shown nothing but the few blunders NATO has made, along with lies, more lies and damned lies.
    The internet has been flooded (especially on IRC) with sites purporting to be about discussion of the issues surrounding the conflict in the Balkans, but when anyone tries to raise these issues (eg on #kosovo on Undernet) they get banned as the sites & channels are run by Serbs and Serb sympathisers who just will not allow NATO's case to be put.
    Given that a country like the US fights its wars dependant on the support of their people, and that their defeat in Vietnam was largely put down to lack of public support due to images of war on their media (and let's face it, war is horrible - there's no getting over that), can anyone blame NATO for putting a muzzle on Serbian lies which could damage chances of a satisfactory conclusion to the conflict?
    In WW2, the majority of casualties of any bombing of cities was civilians. Dresden was piled high with hundreds and thousands of dead civilians. If a hundred Serb civilians get killed by accident, yes, this is tragic - terrible! But given that NATO have called off bombing raids in mid flight because they could not be sure enough of hitting a military target, it should be obvious to anyone that NATO are bending over backwards to avoid civilian casualties. Smartbombs against military bunkers are a lot less likely to kill civilians as the Serbian artillery that was used on kosovar albanian villages. Artillery shells are inaccurate at best - not that the Serbs ever tried to avoid hitting civilians. They have tried from the start to kill as many kosovar albanian men of fighting age as they can.
    If the common Serbian people want an end to this conflict, the answer is in their hands - throw Milosevic out! He has done nothing but damage the country since he came to power. No good has come from him for the Serbian people; he has just led them into conflict, poverty and ruin.
  • This is a very good sign of a very wrong situation indeed. With all due respect to the US political
    system, I wouldn't like the US goverment to decide
    for ME and MY country what export control policy I should promote or what I am allowed to see in the Internet.

    Hopefully, the backbone framework will develop well enough to allow people of any country to access the Internet no matter whether the US govt wants it or not.
  • www.serbia-info.com seems to be up, but I've noticed that net access to yugo has been sporadic at best since the bombings started.
  • Let's clear up a few things here. Our government
    has not always been clean as the brits preceeding
    them. There were the brits who eliminated part
    of the people in Acadie while stealing their
    country. There were the brits followed by the
    Americans who killed thousands of natives.

    I am of Acadian and native descent ...

    I'm sure we can compare Kosovo with what happened
    in this country, on the other hand whatever
    happened here years ago is past and the rules
    of laws are observed in this great country of
    today and despite the past I feel home here
    just like any other American.

    So to the morons who try to compare today's USA
    with Kosovo : Get a life!

    Michel

    http://www.netonecom.net/~bbcat
  • Thank you to everyone!

    From beograd.com:
    *********************************************

    16:50 According to the last information, "LORAL ORION" has given up, until further notice, disconnecting Yugoslavia from Internet, because of the protests from all around the world that followed the announcement

    15:55 FONET - One of the biggest US communication satellites of the firm "LORAL ORION" has informed Belgrade provider "Informatika" last night that because of "vis major" they wiould have to stop Internet emitting toward all Yugoslav providers who are linked to providers in USA. "This decision is the
    result of the executive order of the President of USA, Bill Clinton, banning emitting of all services from USA into Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Monte Negro)", says the message of "LORAL ORION" to the general Director of "Informatika", Slobodan Sreckovic.
    "In accordance with that, LORAL ORION will, starting from May 12, 1999, stop its services", it is said at the end of the statement. On Thursday, May 13, in morning hours, "Informatika" confirmed to Fonet this has not
    happened yet, but they are expecting to be disconnected from USA Internet satellite service toward Yugoslavia any minute/hour now".
    ***********************************************

    Your Internet voice has infinite power...

    --diva

  • by Pasty Drone ( 8425 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @05:36AM (#1894906) Homepage
    Here is the info that went out yesterday on beograd.com. If you want to see it yourself, it has now been archived so go to "Previous News" and look under 5/12/99. We have no confirmation yet of whether it will go down today or not:

    **********************************************
    LATEST UPDATE: [5/12/99]

    US shuts down Yugoslav Internet - For immediate release

    BELGRADE, MAY 12 - We have reliable information that the US Government ordered shut down of satellite feeds for Internet customers in Yugoslavia, as a result of NATO air war against this country.
    This action might be taken as soon as later tonight or tomorrow (May 12 or 13, 1999).

    This is a flagrant violation of commercial contracts with Yugoslav ISPs, as well as an attack on freedom of the Internet.

    A Web site in protest of these actions should be up shortly. We will supply you with the URL. In the meantime, please be so kind to inform as many people as possible about this tragic event for the Internet community in Yugoslavia and Europe.

    BeoNET
    Belgrade, Yugoslavia
    ************************************************

    Here is info on the ISPs in .yu:


    Eunet Yugoslavia
    Obilicev Venac 4
    11000 Beograd
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    Contact : Radoslav Stankovic
    Phone : + 381 11 328 2608
    Fax : + 381 11 328 2760
    E-Mail : info@Yugoslavia.EU.net
    WWW : http://www.Yugoslavia.EU.net/
    (DI = modem access number(s))


    BeoTelNet www.beotel.yu/

    Telefonija www.telefonija.co.yu/

    SezamPro http://www.sezampro.yu/

    Bits http://www.bits.net/
    ************************************************ *
    Here is an article with more specifics on the .yu ISPs found here:


    From Yugoslav Net:

    Yugoslavia's Internet is a rickety structure that could easily be taken out by NATO bombs. If that happens, one of the few lines of communication from the war zone will be severed. Asked how long the Internet infrastructure will hold up under the assault, the administrator of the Yugoslavia top-level domain said he did not know.

    "My answer will be extremely short, since I have to write it between two air strikes," wrote Berislav Todorovic in an email. "The Internet service providers in Yugoslavia will do their best to keep the current quality of service, as long as it is technically possible.

    "I can't and don't want to give out any speculative predictions about the possible effects of this disgraceful act of the NATO to the national Internet infrastructure.

    "All I can [say] and want [to] say is -- we shall see."

    The nation's four large public Internet service providers seem to rely on only three land lines and a single satellite link out of the country.

    "As soon as the NATO decides to stop violating basic principles of international law and justice and cease their aggressive actions in the country, I'll be glad to give you a better, more detailed story."

    With the country's telephone network running beyond capacity, it is almost impossible to get a connection out. The Internet may become the only way for Yugoslavs to communicate with the rest of the world.

    Network engineers beyond the country's borders said the situatuon looks bleak.

    "It doesn't look very robust," said Scott Ellentuch, a communications security specialist with Internet consultancy TTSG.

    "It's not like the United States, where there's a lot of connectivity redundancy and if lines are taken out, the network would heal itself quickly and you'd hardly notice."

    Ellentuch said the country's ISPs -- EUnet Yugoslavia, BeoTelNet, SezamPro and BITS -- appear to rely on only three pipes and a single satellite link.

    One of the pipes runs through London and is owned by EuNet, a large European network operator.

    "It's overloaded," said Pierre Baume, a EuNet network engineer based in Amsterdam. "But it's been overloaded for as long as we can remember."

    Meanwhile, the administrators with Eunet Yugoslavia appear to be lying low.

    "As a result of recent NATO attacks on Yugoslavia, Eunet Yugoslavia is unable to provide its customers with payment services and customer support," says an notice on the site. "We hope that we will return to normal operation soon." This story belongs to Wired News. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

    Copyright © 1994-99 Wired Digital Inc. All rights reserved
  • by Michel ( 8815 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @05:27AM (#1894907)
    Would you rather have 1) your internet service cut off, or 2) your country relentlessly bombed?

    This is not a matter of 1) OR 2).

    Would you rather have internet access while your country is being bombed so you can at least get the message out, or would you prefer losing your net access as well as getting the shite bombed out of you?

    And besides, I do think this sort of information warfare is more scary than bombs. Bombs are straightforward, they drop and go bang, and that's that.

    Information warfare is way more sneaky than that, because when you shut up your enemy you can say what you want about them because there's nobody who will deny it, so the gullible masses will just assume it's true.

    This was what made the cold war so succesful. You only heard one side of it, and that was the american propaganda.

    My dad once told me that he and a lot more people back then thought that those people in russia could never be human, that there were some kind of monsters living there. So sure, go ahead and bomb the crap out of them, then. This is what propaganda does to people!

    Now the great thing about the internet is that you can just contact people worldwide and ask them what things are like on the other side. It's about knowledge. If people know what's really going on, the propaganda doesn't work anymore, and then people might conclude that this whole shit isn't good and that it should stop.

  • I have yet to hear of a government harnessing the Internet for propoganda purposes...

    I checked the Serbian news site. It would seem that they're doing a good job of this already. Click here. [rts.co.yu]

    I think the main point is that the government of the United States hasn't hacked this site to insert their own messages yet. No surprise -- it's probably a violation of Federal and International laws to do so. Sure, in theory, you could do all kinds of cool things: hack pages, flood news channels, spam users, &c, with NATO propoganda. NATO is so tied to their lawyers that I do not see this happening.

  • It is scary, in that by cutting off the 'net to Yugoslavia they are cutting off one of the most important means of *independent* communications. It's no longer possible for 'just anyone' to read the point of view of everyday people within Yugoslavia.

    The Internet is a boldly subversive technology, once you realize that you don't have to get your information from Turner or Murdoch. You can get it from anyone prepared to give it. The Internet is the samizdat of the new world order, and it serves to undermine the Milosevics as well as the NATOs of the world.

    In the last few weeks Yugoslavia has been transformed from a moderately wealthy industrial nation (with an oppressive government) into an underdeveloped one.

    It has lost its oil refineries, its power stations, its television studios, its clothing and munitions factories, major bridges and gas pipelines. And yes, these losses mean more to the long-term future of the country than the loss of a few lives.

    The public, who a year ago were vocal in their opposition to the President and to Yugoslav policy in Kosovo, are now almost unilaterally behind Milosevic. And it doesn't take a genius to see why.

    Meanwhile ethnic cleansing has continued apace. Before NATO action, approx. 100,000 people had been "relocated" from Kosovo, with "several thousand" deaths. Now 3/4 of a million -- half Kosovo's Albanians, and most of them women & children -- have been moved, while many of the men have been shot or mobilized in the KLA.

    This war is now on a par with that of Turkey against the PKK. Except that Serbia does not have the benefit of Western investment, commercial broadcast media, low-wage export industry and the drug trade -- it will have to beg for that later.

    J
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @05:00AM (#1894932) Journal

    I was just able to access Radio Television of Serbia [rts.co.yu] at 08:22 CST, so it's either up or I got a cached copy from somewhere. So this particular item may be more rumor than fact. However, it wouldn't have surprised me if it were true, and it would have been a major mistake if that were the case.

    Why? Because the more people who have access to information, the better. It's important for the people of Serbia to be able to get information from outside their own (state-controlled) media, and it's also important for the citizens of NATO countries to be able to understand just what the Serbs are thinking, rather than getting it through their own (possibly slanted) media. It's sort of like Radio Free Europe, except that the information transfer goes both ways. The more people who can access all the facts and form their own opinions, rather than getting their opinions prepared by CNN or Radio Television of Serbia, the better.

    Let's face it, it's a lot harder to fight a war when every day you see what's happening to the other side - that they're people too. I don't think we're going to see governments whipping up their citizens through propaganda during wartime as much in the future, because anyone can find out exactly how their nation's actions are perceived by the rest of the world. In a way, this will bring war into the home the same way that TV coverage of Vietnam did. Once individuals can see the effects of war on other people, they will be swayed less by nationalism and patriotism and more by simple humanity.

    Of course, none of these factors are working at 100% right now. Most citizens still get their news from TV, radio, or newspapers, which have local or national distribution rather than international. And some countries even try to block access to the Internet when there is information that they don't want their citizens to know. But in the long run, I see everyone connected to the global network as a matter of course. When that is the case I don't think any government will be able to effectively block information transfer from one citizen of the world to another.

    This is why the U.S. would be making a mistake in cutting off 'net access to Yugoslavia. If the U.S. and NATO are on the moral high ground in this conflict, then there's no reason not to let people in Serbia find out about it on the Internet. Conversely, if it turns out that the Serbians are the victims, then the rest of the world should be able to get that information as well. Without this exchange, the people of the world are forced to follow their government's national policy, because they can't find out about their other options. That would be the real tragedy of disconnecting Serbia from the rest of the world.

  • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @04:05AM (#1894938) Homepage
    I would suggest that murder and killing are far more scary forms of warfare than shutting off Yugoslavia's internet connection. You've got a country full of people being bombed, and full of people shooting and raping other people just because they are of a different ethnicity. The internet connection should be the least of our concerns...

    ---

  • Gee, I thought all those arial photos of mass graves were real. I guess I was wrong. I guess all those Kosovar women and children showing up at the border talking about how their husbands and fathers were shot into ditches were lying..I guess they had all that time marching to Macedonia to get their story straight.
    We won't get the "proof" until the conflict is over and ground troops are in place. Then they will be able to do what my brother did while on tour in Bosnia - stand guard over a UN Forensic Anthropology Team while they exhume human remains for the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.
    Maybe the lack of "proof", as you put it, shows that the NATO action is actually preventing Milosovic from doing what he did in Bosnia - we should keep it up.
    Besides, I don't know where your from (although I have an Idea) but up here in Canada, support for NATO is actually increasing, not eroding, as it is in most NATO countries.

    Serbia is wrong. They are murdering, raping and driving people (who make up the majority of the province - 90%)out of the homes they have had for over 600 years. Whether they kill 100 or 1000000 makes no difference - Serbia is wrong and NATO is trying to stop them. It's just that simple.
    Maybe some right thinking Serbs should get rid of the War criminal Milosovic and do the right thing.

  • "Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it". To effective isolate Foonia you need to make sure that *every single connection* to the net is disabled, which requires massive cooperation from everybody.

    Let's say there is another country, Quxia, which is not all that enthusiastic about the embargo of Foonia. If Foonia has a connection to Quxia, you would not be able to lock out Foonia without locking out Quxia as well. Yes, you can try to block based on originating host, but there are many counters possible. And don't forget plain-vanilla dial-out over POTS.

    Kaa
  • Even leaving aside the propaganda that comes out of Milosevic's camp (didn't the Serbs shoot down the whole NATO air force by now?)...

    Bombing many many civilian vehicles, and then telling the people "oops"
    Are you saying NATO does this intentionally, on purpose? If so, could you tell us all what that purpose might be?

    eradicating civilian journalists (Serb and Chinese)
    Do you want to say that US intentionally targeted the Chinese embassy in order to kill Chinese journalists? Really?

    Not to mention the sheer audacity of flouting all international law in order to maintain one's "credibility"
    International law is very vague with regard to waging war, for obvious reasons. Could you specifically tell us exactly which law is NATO breaking?

    trying to reconquer ancient Serb territory from the neo-nazi KLA
    KLA are not angels, but they have are fighting for survival. And "ancient Serb territory" -- how about Germany trying to recover ancient German territory -- Prussia -- from Poland and Russia? Or Poland recovering traditional Polish lands from Ukraine and Belorussia? Or Azerbaijanis recovering their land from Iran? I could go on and on...

    Kaa
  • You are mixing up "powerful" and "having a lot of mostly very poor population". The countries you listed are populous, but not powerful. Also, governments in countries like China are not known for expressing the views of their people.

    Besides, since when the majority view has anything to do with what is the right thing to do and what is not?

    Kaa
  • Just because nobody knows for sure how many people were killed in Kosovo this year doesn't mean that nobody was killed. We just don't know now. It may turn out that a couple of hundred were killed, it may turn out that several thousand were killed -- it's too early to tell.

    Besides, does driving people off their land, looting, burning, raping, etc. count for anything?

    Kaa
  • I'm not saying US media is lily-white. But I want to point out that:

    (1) Media lives and dies by its reputation. Tabloids aside, any publication that was caught intentionally lying is in big, big trouble. Everybody knows it and it is a good incentive to avoid blatant misinformation (but not subtle/clever one, of course).

    (2) Published photos are routinely tweaked using PhotoShop and similar editors. It's normal to remove a bit of extra waistline from model pictured on the cover. Make her legs longer? Sure. Hide the unsighty mole? No problem. Done every day. Given this I wouldn't be surprised to see Clinton artificially "elongated", but so what? Besides, I suspect most of the effect comes from the perspective of the shot (if you are closer to the camera, you seem larger than the people behind you; also taller if the photographer is standing lower than Clinton). Intentionally faked satellite shots is another matter, but I haven't heard much about it outside of paranoid conspiracy theories.

    Kaa
  • Re NATO hiding losses: did the Serbs produce any pieces of shot-down warplanes (except for that F-117)? No? And why not if they shot them down? Serb AA forces the NATO planes to stay above 5km and that radically reduces their effeciveness. Basically the NATO planes are flying high up where they are safe but cannot do much.

    Re bombing civilian vehicles: break the will of the Serbian people by bombing convoys of Kosovar refugees?? Boggle. Come on, you can do better than that. Besides it's not like Milosevic (and the leaders of Vietnam and Iraq) care much about what the people think or feel.

    Re attack on the Chinese embassy: To rally the ultra-right behind the President? ??? Hey, man, I want some of that stuff that you're smoking...

    Re international law: are you saying that a country cannot wage war on another country without the UN approval? I don't think so. Regarding the Geneva convention, I don't think NATO *targets* schools and hospitals. It hits them occasionally, sure, but specifically targeting them? Again, I don't think so.

    Re KLA starting the fight: before you weren't talking about who fired the first shot, you were implying that Serbs have a *right* to this piece of land because its "ancient Serb territory". This doesn't really have anything to do with who started the current fight.

    I just deplore this illegal, immoral, and ineptly-executed war

    Illegal -- I don't think so, you'll have to prove it.

    Immoral -- depends on what your morals are. Mine are OK with this particular war.

    Ineptly-executed -- sure. I'm in complete agreement with you here. If that's the best NATO can do, it's time to start learning Chinese...


    Kaa
  • I live in America. It is so scary how much the media and the government control the people's thoughts.
    Well, obviously they don't control yours all that well :) But really, there is nothing specific to US here. A majority of people in any country in the world are likely to belive whatever the media/government wants them to believe, if the propaganda is done skillfully enough. You might argue that this is a regrettable aspect of human nature, but still this has nothing to do with US. If anything, the Anglo-Saxon world (UK and US) has a much deeper distrust of the government than the rest of the world. So be glad you live in US, otherwise you probably would not be thinking these thoughts at all.

    Kaa
  • I'm glad you like the argument :)

    For your information, UN Charter has no sections. It is divided into Chapters and Articles. I assume you refer to Article 2, which reads, in part:

    The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles (italics mine, so that you pay attention to this word).

    1.The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

    2.All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

    3.All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

    4.All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

    ...etc.

    These are *principles* which are not legal obligations and are not binding on the members. Phrases like "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means" clearly describe how the world *should* work, but, again,
    do not prohibit anyone from going to war against another state.

    And if you want to be lawyerly, you can even argue that the NATO war against Serbia is not "against the territorial integrity or political independence" since all NATO claims it wants (it is lying) is to enforce the unsigned Rambouillet Agreement. This, of course, doesn't make any sense, but NATO didn't come up publicly with a resonable goal for this war.

    Kaa
  • by Kaa ( 21510 )
    First, get your Latin straight: it's "a priori", not "a priora". Second, Kaa's Law is empirically derived -- I formulated it based on my own personal observations. With regard to your superset of the law (er.. do you know what a superset is?), I, at least, do not recall meeting anybody who called himself an Anonymous Coward.

    Kaa
  • England is the cradle of the Anglo-Saxon world. :) Obviously. Press in France or India -- I am not sure about it. I think that what's happening is that in US the political mainstream is fairly narrow. You do get all kinds of publications, very critical of govt, but the mainstream publications tend to be bland copies of one another (e.g Time and Newsweek). In Europe the mainstream is wider, especially towards the left. Socialist and even communist publications (especially in Italy, France) are considered to be part of mainstream. That's why people argue that the press in Europe is more free, but they are wrong. The press is actually more free in the US (mostly because of First Amendment), but the European mainstream press is more diverse and tends to present more points of view. However if you want a different point of view in the US it's easy to find one, it just will not be a 'mainstream' publication. As to the press in the developing countries (e.g. India) I have a feeling that it's more rude than free.

    Kaa
  • Well, the original point put forward by Squeeze Truck was that NATO breaks all of international law by waging war against Serbia. I asked him to show what specific law was being broken and he came up with "section II" -- I assume he meant Article 2 -- of UN Chapter. I looked it up and replied, saying that Article 2 imposes no legal obligations on the UN members (leaving aside all issues of moral authority and the way world *should* work). I don't see anywhere here using UN as it suits me (and did I say anything about Iraq?). You seem to be confusing me with the American government. Thankfully, I'm not it.

    Kaa
  • by Stephen Williams ( 23750 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @04:10AM (#1894991) Journal

    I wonder if we'll start seeing more of this sort of thing. Let's say some random country, which we'll call Foonia, has been doing stuff that a few heavyweight Western nations disagree with. These nations can sever their IP connections to Foonia, or refuse to accept incoming Foonian traffic. In effect, you've implemented an information embargo on this country. In the future, this could be as devastating as a "normal" trade embargo.

  • by funferal ( 25312 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @04:20AM (#1894995) Homepage
    If this is true, and it is quite possible,it is indeed scary.

    The US government and others in NATO have protested against the censorship in Serbia, and the fact that State media acts as a mouthpiece for the government.

    Yet here we have a situation where the US/NATO/whoever is removing any chance of accurate/non-state-approved information being available.

    What is the aim? The only thing I can think of is that it will make Serbians feel even more cut off and alone, and increase their determination to oppose the attacks on them and their country. Why have all NATO tactics had this (predictable) result?

    The NATO attack is in breach of international law. If the Serbian government (it is poor tactics to try to personify it as only being Slobodan (sp?)) is attacking Kosovars, as claimed by NATO propoganda, then there is a moral imperative to take effective action. The keyword though is effective - and the action to date has merely been murderous, destructive and cowardly.

    Andrew
  • "We may see". The Cuban internet connection already goes via Canada for some strange reason.

    The good thing is that the internet routes around failures (including Clinton 8)) so that if the US did cut off satellite links then Im sure while it may be a bit loaded the links via their allies in the Russian block will be taking the load.

    Alan
  • One destroys an enemy's commmunications infrastructure in order to confuse the government and military, as well as to prevent governmental propaganda. Killing Internet feeds won't change that; in fact, it would seem to be counterproductive to the NATO mission (whether you agree with said mission or not).

    If the Serbian government and military are communicating via Internet, they are being patently stupid. Were I a NATO general, the last thing I would want to do would be to stop this communication. My first instinct would be to petition the US for NSA resources. Crack the transmissions, then use the intercepted data and insert our own datastreams. The NSA has a literal army of Federal crackers, and the general assumption is that they are competent.

    I have yet to hear of a government harnessing the Internet for propaganda purposes; I'm not quite sure that it is technically possible. Remember Kremvax during the Russian coup attempt? IIRC, that was the only reliable datastream into or out of Moscow.

    If the NATO mission is to get the people and/or military to rise up against the Milosovic regime, you want to destroy Government-controlled media while assaulting all possible bandwidths with your own media. Assuming Milosovic doesn't control the Internet feeds (how could he?), those feeds are more subversive than Radio Free Europe.

    Milosovic has all the reasons to isolate Serbia's Internet from the global net, but NATO has all the reasons to keep those connections open. Of course, NATO may have still selected Internet feeds as targets for other reasons, or not thinking about the exceptional strategic uses of the Internet. How many geeks wear stars on their shoulders?

  • You've got a country full of people being bombed, and full of people shooting and raping other people just because they are of a different ethnicity...

    you probably mean yugoslavia, but you could very well be talking about the US which leads to an even scarier concept...

    all of this [as well as the persecution of many more minorities other than simply ethinicity-based] is going on in your own back yard.

    think about it!

  • I don't think this is scary at all. We're bombing them as US made sattelites provide them with services? We're destroying their TV stations, now we deprive them of Internet.
  • but when they started cross-posting propaganda into unrelated newsgroups (like soc.culture.japan!?) they WENT TOO FAR!


    Lets kill those bastard pornographers while we are at it. I am sick of not being able to read a technical news group without 30 posts on how to get 10 asian girls a day in my mail box. My mail box is just not that big! I know some asian women are small, but geeze.
  • by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @04:09AM (#1895019) Homepage Journal
    as of 09:10 EST5EDT
  • I'm not sure how net access is controlled in Yugoslavia (if its unrestricted or is like Chinas) and here I'm assuming their access is for the most part not restricted.

    Yugoslavia has government controlled tv, which means they're seeing mostly nothing but government propaganda against the allies. (Our TV in the US is propagated too, I know, I know.) Now, the only gateway to outside information that wasn't handed down from the government is generally going to be through the Internet. If the allies were to take out satillites that provided net connectivity, then the government would have even less to worry about when it comes to the Yugoslav people being informed about the atrocities their own country is commiting against the Albanians, and would make it even more simpler for the government to control what they know.

    It just wouldnt make sense, in my eyes, for the allies to take out their net access.
  • Anybody have any info on this, like the URL for the often mentioned, never revealed, website?

    If Geocities pulled it, anybody have a cached copy?

    [bbc.co.uk]
    UK ACTS TO STOP SPY WEBSITE...

    SPY POSTER CALLED: TRAITOR... [ic24.net]

  • by gonzocanuck ( 44989 ) on Thursday May 13, 1999 @07:52AM (#1895035) Homepage
    hee hee, yeah. The USPS stopped delivering mail to Yugoslavia weeks ago, so I'm not surprised. Heck,
    don't forget Canada. We interned just about everybody - Ukranians, Japanese, even Italians, I think...


    I know these little countries. My dad is Greek and comes from a small island. They have very long memories. It's no surprise to them. Their histories will always be written in blood (no optimism here!)

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