April 7, 1999: The Mass Media as Instruments of the NATO - Warfare!

3rd Press Release of the Central Committee of MLPD

Since the beginning of the imperialist war of NATO against Yugoslavia a great part of the mass media, especially television, is playing the role as an instrument of the NATO - warfare. This includes a real media censorship over the protests and actions of resistance, of which - as with the Easter Marches - not more than some pictures were shown. The MLPD denounces this bringing into line of the medias and demands an objective coverage of the causes and consequences of the NATO-war as well as of the growing resistance.

The exploitation of the mass media for the imperialist conduct of war becomes apparent mainly in the following phenomena:

1. Actions against the NATO-war are hardly mentioned in the mass media.

According to official statements 50,000 people demonstrated in 150 activities in Germany against the NATO-war in Yugoslavia during the last four days. They condemned the bombings against Yugoslavia and are outraged by describing the imperialist war as a "humanitarian act." In the TV-channels ARD and ZDF only short newsflashes on this subject were inserted into the continual reports on the movements of refugees from the Kosovo. Tacitly, this should create the impression that these actions were directed against the "NATO-aid" for the refugees.

In most mass medias we learn very little about the reasons for the crisis of the SPD and the Greens, in particular, the party’s rank-and-file has no say. E.g. the public notice of resignation from the SPD of Wolfgang Dominik from Bochum who for twenty years has been an active member of this party: "I resign my membership, because I refuse to speak of a ‘mission, operation, or humanitarian intervention’ by the order of the SPD-leadership instead of war. I do not back ‘our soldiers’ neither - these are not my soldiers. I resign, because the SPD is obviously assisting in the attempt to turn the NATO from a so-called alliance of defence into a global military power of intervention, into an armed tool of the capitalist, highly developed countries against the poor people in this world." Instead of such information the TV-cameras are constantly showing pictures of Scharping, Schröder and Fischer. They allegedly have everything "under control", whereas the SPD and Alliance/Greens in reality are under great strain.

2. Systematic disinformation on the causes, the responsible persons and the effects of the flight of hundreds of thousands of people from the Kosovo.

Every day television is showing new pictures of the plight of hundreds of thousands fo people from the Kosovo fleeing their country. In addition to this, pictures display the Federal Armed Forces caringly sending medicine, apart from bombs. Everyone who wants to alleviate the misery of those people is called upon to make a donation. The intention is to create the impression that the missiles and the aid to the refugees would both serve the people.

However, the flight of refugees really started with the NATO-attacks! In fear of the NATO-bombs, of the war of the UCK as well of rascist attacks at the hands of the Milosvic-regime. It is regrettable that important forces of the just struggle of the Albanians of the Kosovo have now turned into lackeys of the NATO, and in this way have converted the mandate for self-determination into a mandate for a NATO-protectorate. Objectively, NATO uses the flight of the refugees for preparing war operations on the ground. The forceful deportation of refugees into various NATO-countries shows that this is not being done in their interest. Thousands of people were already flown out from Mazedonia into Turkey against their will. The only way of eliminating the misery of the refugees is the solution of the national and social question by the peoples of Yugoslavia themselves. This requires the common struggle with the perspective of genuine socialism and against every kind of imperialist intervention. Only this will create a sustainable basis for a peace among the peoples in the Balkan region.

The same imperialist politicians who are allegedly plagued by the concern for the people in the Kosovo are engaged in a game of brinkmanship risking a Third World War. NATO troops should be deployed in Yugoslavia in order to contain the Russian militariy potential and influence in Eastern Europe and in particular on the Balkan. According to Ludger Kühnhardt, director at the center of integration research at the university of Bonn, there are disucssions in the USA on the employment of ground forces with the following aim: "As a consequence entire Yugoslavia would be turned into a protectorate of the Western military powers." In Russia the former general Lebed demanded in response to this to "declare Yugoslavia a Russian field of interest." The mass media, however, are playing down and even covering up the growing threat of a world war. Apart from the "humanitarian" propaganda this is the second variant of mass manipulation.

3. Half-truths and lies about the methods of the imperialist conduct of war and its constant intensification.

Only rarely pictures are shown about the destruction in residential areas and among the working people caused by the bombs and missiles. Allegedly, this cannot be possible, because NATO is bombing so accurately as if it were operated with a scalpel ("surgical strikes"). Whereas in the first stage of the strikes mainly regional military facilities were bombarded, in the second stage military and state facilities in the whole country were targeted. Since Easter non-military facilites such as supply lines, bridges, power stations as well as industrial plants were destroyed as well. This immediately affects the masses in Serbia, while the war propaganda is misrepresenting this fact as "individual cases of missing the target".

The war on the ground is allegedly excluded, but the deployment of 24 military helicopters ("Apache") and a ground staff of 2,000 men against tanks is the actual beginning of a land warfare. In Greece the deployment of 100,000 NATO-soldiers is being prepared. In Albania and Mazedonia tens of thousands of NATO soldiers have already been stationed in order to invade Yugoslavia. These preparations are being intensified, while the armistice declared one-sidedly by Serbia in Kosovo is rejected by the NATO-leaders and Federal Chancelor Schröder as "being insufficient". This exposes the real objective: it is not humanitarian aid nor an armistice, but the intention of forcing the Serbian government to consent to the permanent deployment of foreign troops on the territory of the state. This is nothing else than the imperialist colonialization of Yugoslavia.

Foreign troops out of the Balkan!

For the right of self-determination of the peoples and nations!

The manipulation of the mass media is not a sign of strength. It is rather the fear of the war-mongers of the masses of people in their own countries, the majority of which rejects the imperialist NATO-war, wants to understand its causes and seeks real alternatives.

Since the beginning of the attacks the journal of the MLPD, "Rote Fahne" (Red Flag), is reporting in detail about all essential questions, activities and initiatives. It has set itself the task of supporting, publicizing and organizing the movement of active resistance against the NATO-war.

 

Read, subscribe to and spread the Red Flag!

In fighting the manipulation of the mass media the MLPD demands:

 

Ban on war propaganda and smear campaigns against the peoples!

Objective coverage of the causes and consequences of the NATO war against the peoples of Yugoslavia!

Free acces to the mass media!

Literature

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