A Letter To Noam Chomsky

A Letter to Noam Chomsky

Dear Mr. Chomsky,

Your well-known and often exaggerated attitudes on the US role in creation of world politics, unfortunately, are often given a tendentious interpretation in Serbian media, as was the case with your recent blog about the terrorist attack on the Magazine “Charlie Hebdo” (of 20th January). I would like to bring your attention to the fact that great deal of publicity derived from your improper and unfortunately chosen parallel between this attack and the NATO bombing of the Serbian Television (RTS) on 23rd April 1999. The unfortunate parallel, I’m afraid, proved to be very useful for local media (on which lustration has never been implemented) to identify it as another, new peace of evidence confirming that Serbia was “the victim of an unfair attack” in 1999 - as if Vukovar, Sarajevo, Kosovo exodus and genocide in Srebrenica occurred on another continent or another planet, and as if the NATO is the only one to be blamed for the deaths of sixteen RTS employees.
As I am certain this was not your true intention, I would like to draw your attention to the facts as follows (I addressed them more in detail in the book, titled Silence in Aberdareva Street which deals with the RTS bombing): 1) Even though the RTS was designated as a system of strategic importance for the country long before the war - that is, according to the Government orders and the General Plan of Defence - it should have been relocated to an alternative place under war conditions - still, this did not happen; all the more, it was the only system that continued to operate as if it were operating under peacetime conditions (and despite the NATO announcement that the RTS is considered to be legitimate military target!); 2) Even though Milosevic and his Headquarters were notified of forthcoming attack from several different sources, they obviously had no interest in evacuating people; 3) Soon after the announcement by the NATO spokesman that RTS would be attacked - by the order of the RTS director, the night shift personnel was doubled even though, according to the regulations, it should have been substantially reduced; 4) save for technical, support staff, not a single journalist was killed in the RTS attack; all Milosevic's state propagandists came out alive, free of any consequences, except the director, Dragoljub Milanovic, who was subsequently sen-tenced to 10-year imprisonment; the very same directors and editors immediately made exclusive footage of the demolished RTS building and sent that image around the world, because this was their goal; some of them appeared beside the destroyed building only a few minutes after the attack, which means that they waited nearby (the building was attacked at exactly 2:06 a.m. Central European Time).
If I were you, dear Mr. Chomsky, I would, first of all, ask myself whether I should accept the medal awarded by Tomislav Nikolic himself, the current President of Serbia. Even more, since Mr Nikolic was a member of the RTS Board of Directors at the time of the bombing and, as set out by the General Plan of Defence, he was required to ask the Ministry of Defense to give an urgent explanation about the reasoning behind the never-realized evacuation and relocation of the Television to an alternative place of work. In addition, I would also give a lot of thought as to whether I would make a generalized, non-binding parallel next time, like the one you made between a single sudden terrorist act and the previously announced violation of Geneva Convention (which the RTS bombing certainly was); RTS in those days was in position much closer to the notorious Rwanda Radio station Milles Collines that provoked genocide than to the innocent editorial offices of a French satirical magazine. In this way, you not only support a Milanovic, who quite intentionally made his employees into targets, (now he declares that he is Charlie Hebdo himself), but you give an opportunity to retrograding forces to revise history and their own shameful role in it.
You may find additional information in the book enclosed herein. In addition, I attach the text written by Ms. Stojanovic, the mother of one of the victims, that was published after a propaganda campaign that followed the publication of the parallel you made between the RTS and Charlie Hebdo.


Zoran Janić

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