Accuracy in Media

In claims widely publicized by the media, the U.S. and NATO have insisted they were bombing Yugoslavia because of human rights abuses, “ethnic cleansing,” and even genocide committed by Serbs against ethnic Albanians living in the Yugoslavian province of Kosovo. In his national address to the nation, President Clinton claimed that “genocide” had already taken place in Bosnia in 1995. Former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, a decorated World War II veteran, has echoed these claims, giving the Clinton policy the appearance of bipartisan backing.

Key facts are being ignored in the coverage, including some relevant information about Bob Dole?s reasons for supporting the policy. On the matter of ethnic cleansing and genocide, we pointed out in a previous broadcast that just a few days before the air strikes began, the New York Times broke from the journalistic pack and published a front-page story that supported what the Serbs had been claiming for years—that they themselves were major victims of the ethnic cleansing that had taken place in Bosnia. What?s more, journalist Raymond Bonner said this 1995 assault, “which drove some 100,000 Serbs from a large swath of Croatia over four days, was carried out with the tacit blessing of the United States by a Croatian Army that had been schooled in part by a group of retired American military officers.”

If true, this means that the United States played a role in the same kind of ethnic cleansing that Clinton Administration officials now claim to be opposing. The difference, of course, is that the victims are different. As the Clinton Administration was assisting the Croatian Army, it was also encouraging a flow of Iranian arms through Croatia to Bosnia?s Muslims, who were also targeting the Serbs. A Senate investigation determined that Clinton had violated United Nations resolutions and his own executive orders, which were supposed to enforce an arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia.

Considering the facts of the case, the Serbs could very well have come to the conclusion that THEY were being targeted for genocide. They could also have recognized this policy as bipartisan, based on the fact that Bob Dole was and is a leading advocate of NATO intervention in Yugoslavia. When Dole appears on television, journalists never question how he came to adopt this policy. They appear to be in awe of his credentials as a World War II veteran.

But Brian Mitchell of Investor?s Business Daily has now revealed that Dole has been influenced by a top aide, Mira Baratta, known on Capitol Hill as “a passionate anti-Serb.” Mitchell said Baratta had several family connections to Croatian nationalist causes. For example, her grandfather fought with pro-Nazi Croatian forces in World War II and her father, Peter Radielovic, had been “a public defender of alleged Croatian war criminals.”

Bob Dole served his country well in World War II. But it appears that his views on Bosnia and Yugoslavia have been influenced by an aide who has a rather checkered background and a conflict of interest. This is a story that has to be told.

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