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NATO Kosovo Shooting – policy and media bias

NATO Kosovo Shooting – policy and media bias


The public that can’t tell attackers and victims apart is not only biased, but inhumane. If victims are ignored because of their nationality, it’s called racism.

This article is the result of a collaborative writing effort through Twitter, Facebook and Google Docs. Thank you all. You can still contribute at http://bit.ly/N7l6rd

On the 1st June KFOR opened fire on Serbian protesters when they started throwing stones at armored vehicles and soldiers wearing full protective gear.

Reports by international media are rife with contradictions and inconsistencies.

In the first BBC headline, emphasis was placed on the stone-throwing, while live ammunition was omitted. Later, it was replaced with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Serbian house under NATO fire. Inside a women with two daughters

AP made the claim that the Serb protesters shot at KFOR from a sniper pit, at which KFOR subsequently opened fire and “deactivated” the sniper. However, blood was spilled on the bridge, a few dozen meters away from KFOR, which is a most unlikely place to conceal a sniper pit.

Reuters describes the attack as a conflict between two armed forces of equal strength.

The impression is that mainstream media distorted the story to a point where the aggressors and victims have almost traded places.

Through careful phrasing and selective presentation of facts, the seriousness of the incident has been undermined. Both sides were presented as equally responsible, and the media went as far as to portray the Serbs as the culprits. For example, Al Jazeera talks about “peacekeepers” and “angry protesters”.

The media focused on rocks while ignoring lethal live ammunition.

Professional soldiers and unarmed civilians have been shown as equally matched opponents in the clashes.

Blood of Serbs wounded on Rudare bridgeThe wounded were also accorded equal treatment, although more Serbs were injured, although the injured KFOR soldier was reportedly discharged quickly, whereas doctors are fighting to save the shot protester’s leg.

Moreover, many reports were only about wounded soldiers, sometimes with subsequent corrections: Balkan Insight.

Serbian reports were ignored, although they came first and were backed by photos, video , medical staff and eye-witness testimonies as well as obvious material evidence, such as blood pools and bullet holes.

Instead, media published the unsupported subsequent NATO claims about wounded soldiers and armed protesters, together with probable hoaxes: sniper pit, kidnapped soldier.

The reversal of facts was complete when pictures of a wounded Serb were published under a headline "Wounded American soldiers".

World media were not the only victim of anti-Serb bias. Most of Serbian media ignored the incident, sparking a storm of protest on social media (1, 2, 3).

Finally, NATO has also demonstrated its double standards. On June 1st, it used live firearms and heavy machinery to prevent local Serbs from blocking a local road.

On 17th March 2004, it stood by while ethnic Albanians drove out thousands of Serbs and other non-Albanians, burning down hundreds of houses and dozens of churches in their wake.


One thing remains unchanged since 2004: anti-Serb media bias. Even then, the reports spoke about clashes, not attacks and victims.

The public that ignores victims is not only biased, but inhumane. If victims are ignored because of their nationality, it’s called racism.

If you are still not convinced of anti-Serb bias, try it for yourself. Can you imagine the following scenario in your country: “Forces of order insist on removing barricades, open fire when protesters start throwing rocks at them. Public condemns wounded protesters”?


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