Back during the bombing of Yugoslavia in '99,
NATO threatened to bomb Yugoslav TV transmitters
unless they would spend six hours a day
broadcasting NATO programs.
On April 8th, '99, Radio-Television Serbia
said okay-- they would give NATO six hours
a day of broadcast time. All they wanted in exchange
was six minutes of TV time a day in the NATO countries. This was even reported on the U.S.-operated Voice of America.
Instead NATO decided just to bomb the RTS building
in downtown Belgrade, killing 16 people--
technicians, journalists, and the night crew.
At the time, British foreign secretary Robin Cook
defended the bombing, claiming that it would enable the people of Yugoslavia to "learn the truth".
It's hard to equate the truth with NATO's
wartime propaganda-- NATO spokesman Jamie Shea reported that that 20
schoolteachers were killed in front of their pupils, that Pristina stadium was being used as a concentration camp, that Kosovo Albanian
leaders had been executed--all of which turned out to be false.
But whatever NATO's propaganda goals were,
why would they have chosen to bomb a civilian target,
attracting the condemnation of the International
Federation of Journalists, and a lawsuit
backed by the European Court of Human Rights, instead of taking six hours a day on Yugoslavia's national television network
to get their message across?
It must have been the sheer terror of those six minutes a day on CNN, disrupting their propaganda machine by actually daring to imply that there was another side to the conflict.
Six minutes, sixteen lives. Scary math.