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The cameras never lie - correspondents do!

by Anatoly O. 03.25.2001

In the first half of April, on the road Djakovica-Prizren in Kosovo, NATO planes bombed two columns of civilians, mostly ethnic Albanians, who were returning to their homes. At least 57 people were killed, and more than 100 civilians were injured. When pictures of the killed and of the crying boy were shown for the first time on TV, the statement was made that it was NATO pilot's mistake. However these pictures were shown again and again, when correspondents spoke about "Serb's war crimes against Albanians." Most viewers concluded that they saw victims of Serb's war crimes.

Any war is terrible, and civilians are suffering most. Everybody remembers the naked little Vietnamese girl running down the road, her body seared by napalm. Did anybody see pictures of the Vietnamese Communists torturing and beating American POWs or their own citizens?

Pictures of bodies of ethnic Albanians massacred at Racak in January 1999 helped the West to justify NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia during the 78 days. Do cameras help to keep the violence in the Middle East alive? Will young boys continue to throw stones without observers with cameras?

In Kosovo since the arrival of KFOR in the period of June 12, 1999 to January 16, 2000: 793 persons were killed; there were 3,688 terrorist attacks; 688 persons were abducted and missing; 611 persons were wounded. In this case presence of observers with cameras could have saved lives. But there were no pictures from Kosovo during that period.

Indeed, the cameras never lie - correspondents do!