Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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Preface to the Sixth Edition, Budite Sebi Psihoterapeut

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To my Yugoslav readers--- past, present and future:

This will not be a normal preface. These are not normal times. It is with feelings of great sorrow and shame that I sit down in this third week of November, 1999 to write to you---- sorrow for the suffering that you have endured during the 78 days of merciless bombing; shame that it was the government of my country that inflicted this outrage upon you.

To keep the record straight, I must underline the word "government", as the American people by and large are decent people who were ignorant of the true facts of the case and were brainwashed by the media into believing that this was indeed a "humanitarian" enterprise.

Only the savvy surfers of the internet knew better, as the mainstream media in this country are completely controlled by the corporate interests who stand to profit by the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the destruction of your industries and infrastructure, and the control of the pipelines of oil from the Caucasus.

The media failed to report the growing numbers of demonstrators against the war in this country; the much larger protests in Europe--- especially Greece and Italy--- were downplayed in the press and on television. We were never told that the Pentagon had ordered 200,000 expeditionary medals plus 7000 Purple Hearts in anticipation of the ground war urged by the governments of the US and UK. (The Monday after John Kennedy's assassination a Pentagon analyst revised the estimate of American deaths in the Vietnam War based on some new information given her. This number correctly predicted the final death figure.) Instead we had story after similar story of the refugees flooding into Macedonia and Kosovo---- they made great "visuals" for CNN.

Many Americans still believe that NATO was "victorious" even though the June terms of settlement were essentially the same as what Yugoslavia had conceded prior to March 24. (And they never knew about Appendix B of the Rambouillet agreement.) With the inability of the forensic pathologists to find the "mass graves" in Kosovo and the "genocide of 100,000 Albanians" given as an excuse for the escalation of the bombing, some of my countrymen are coming to question the rectitude of this war against a sovereign nation. But all too many are still in the grip of denial.

And now, nearly six months after the end of the bombing, the war has gone down into the Black Hole of History for most Americans who are now distracted by East Timor, the presidential contest of 2000, or just getting ready for Christmas. I wonder if they really understood why 10,000 Greek police and 400 FBI men were needed to keep the Clintons safe while traveling on the deserted streets in Athens.

*** *** ***

Honesty and self-awareness require that I admit how gratified my ego is that there are Yugoslavs who are still interested in reading my twenty-year-old words. My identification with Yugoslavia goes back much further than the first edition of this book in 1985. I first visited Yugoslavia in 1958 as a participant in an American Friends Service Committee seminar on "Diplomacy East and West" which was held in Kranj.

Before the start of the seminar I spent ten days traveling in Croatia and Slovenia. This was another period in which I was deeply ashamed of my country--- this time at the lynchings and other mistreatment of the black population in the South where I lived at that time. Yugoslavia was beginning its experiment with a worker-managed economy then; it seemed to me like something my country could do well to adopt. I was additionally very impressed with the seeming willingness of the richer republics to make sacrifices to bring up the standard of living of the poorer republics. And I appreciated the friendliness and helpfulness of people for a stranger traveling alone with only a Serbo-Croatian phrasebook and a meager knowledge of Russian grammar.

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