The Media's Credibility Gap
By Cliff Kincaid
February 17, 2004

President Bush’s “credibility gap” on Iraq was a major issue during the journalists’ roundtable discussion on NBC’s Meet the Press on February 15. This “gap” allegedly occurs because some of the pre-war intelligence, relied upon by both Democrats and Republicans and the international community, appears to have been faulty. But the liberation of Iraq is not a lie. It is a noble cause, regardless of whether weapons of mass destruction are found or not.

Curiously, the media did not find a “credibility gap” when President Bill Clinton in 1999 waged a unilateral war in Kosovo under false pretenses and without the backing of the United Nations. This made the action illegal under the “international law” that liberals like Senator John Kerry claim to respect.

Not only did the U.N. not back the intervention, the U.S. Congress failed to authorize the war after it began, as required under the War Powers Act. This made continuation of the war illegal under U.S. law.

If journalists had any integrity, they would also point out that the war was waged against a Christian country, Serbia, for the benefit of the Islamic terrorists that hit us on 9/11 and are attacking our troops in Iraq now.

Isabel Vincent of Canada’s National Post is one of the few journalists to report the brutal truth. “Four years after it was ‘liberated’ by a NATO bombing campaign,” she recently reported, “Kosovo has deteriorated into a hotbed of organized crime, anti-Serb violence and al Qaeda sympathizers, say security officials and Balkan experts.”

Vincent reported that al Qaeda has set up bases in the province and is working closely with Albanian mafia and paramilitary groups.

Clinton went to war on behalf of the Muslims twice, in Bosnia and then Kosovo. He wanted to appease the powerful Arab/Muslim bloc of nations and the Europeans who wanted to call the shots on U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. still has thousands of troops in Bosnia and Kosovo.

In Kosovo, the American people were told by the Clinton administration that the U.S. had to act through NATO because hundreds of thousands of “ethnic Albanians” in Kosovo were victims of “ethnic cleansing” or even “genocide.” This was a lie. Investigators have determined that between 2,000 and 3,000 died in the Kosovo civil war, with several hundred of those deaths being Serbs.

The media can assign numerous reporters to the issue of Bush’s National Guard service 30 years ago, but they failed to cover a recent Washington conference at which Serbian Orthodox Bishop Artemije of Kosovo described how the “ethnic cleansing” that was supposedly ended by the war has continued, with the Serbs being the victims. He said there are only a few hundred Serbs left in Kosovo, out of a pre-war population of about 250,000.

Bishop Artemije also produced documentary evidence, a book entitled Crucified Kosovo, showing that more than 100 Christian churches have been destroyed, and graves and tombs have been desecrated, by the Muslim extremists there.

Yet the Kerry campaign is proud that Kerry backed Clinton’s war, asserting that the senator “was a strong proponent of U.S. participation in the NATO intervention that put an end to the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.” Kerry is never challenged on this blatant falsehood.

Liberal partisan James Carville, a co-host on CNN’s Crossfire show, recently claimed that, in contrast to the Iraq war, in Kosovo “We won that war” and “We leveled with the American people.”

As long as the media allow Kerry and Carville to get away with such whoppers, any discussion of the Bush administration’s “credibility gap” has to be dismissed as just a campaign tactic by the Democrats and their media lackeys.

Carville & Company may reply that the U.S. didn’t lose one American soldier’s life in Kosovo, in contrast to Iraq, as if the thousands of Serbs who died in the NATO bombing campaign didn’t matter. The fact remains that in Kosovo the U.S. illegally intervened militarily in the internal affairs of a sovereign state when U.S. national security interests were not in any jeopardy. Five years later, there is no end to this intervention/occupation in sight.

Ironically, the rationale that was used to falsely justify U.S. intervention in Kosovo can more legitimately be used to explain America’s war in Iraq. After all, more than 300,000 people died in Iraq at the hands of Saddam Hussein and his thugs.

Kerry, who supported the Kosovo war but has flip-flopped on Iraq, has the real credibility gap. But that’s not an issue for the elite media on Meet the Press.

Cliff Kincaid is Editor of the AIM Report.