Rod Nordland

Stories by Rod Nordland

  • Focus On Travel: Back To The Balkans

    The Balkan beaches are back, hotter than ever. Ten years after the wars began and five years since combat raged along the coastline, Western tourists are venturing back to the sublime eastern reaches of the Adriatic Sea. From Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, down the 400-mile Dalmatian coast to Kotor and along the ruggedly beautiful shores of Montenegro, there is hardly a hotel room to be found this August. And if you find one, it probably won't be air-conditioned.Marie Lafayette, a physical therapist from Venice Beach, Calif., found herself part of the rush. She stepped off the ferry last Tuesday on the island of Hvar, famous for its all-night beach discos, to discover with sweaty horror that there was no room at the inns. What to do except flash off an e-mail to friends from the nearest Internet cafe? "All of Italy is here," she typed. "I don't know where I'm going to sleep!" Eventually a local family gave her a bed in a room shared with five others, for $12.50 per person. "There wasn...
  • Travel Briefs

    Step into one of Uzbekistan's teeming bazaars, and things won't look much different from the days of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Yes, there are Nike T shirts and fake Chinese Levi's. But along the ancient Silk Road, in market towns like Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, many merchants offer traditional wares: carpets, scarves, silk and spices. The region, which can be reached by air from Moscow and other European cities, is no stranger to modern trappings. Many of the rugs from Afghanistan, a country torn by more than 20 years of war, show off traditional gorgeous patterns--which turn out, on close inspection, to be woven from pictures of warplanes, helicopters and tanks.The area is known as the Pacific Graveyard: the far west coast of Canada's Vancouver Island. Remote and thinly settled, its fishing and logging industries fading out, the region is famous mostly for fierce winter storms. Now tourism operators in the tiny town of Tofino have found a way to market their most...
  • Macedonia: Dealing With Bad Guys

    If the NATO mission in Macedonia goes down in flames, it might well be due to two men on opposing sides of the ethnic divide. The Albanian, Xhavit Hasani, 50, is a woodcutter from the hills with an elementary-school education, a rude way of speaking and a chip on his shoulder as big as a log. "The Macedonians are even afraid to dream of me," he boasts. Ljube Boskovski, 40, the Macedonian, is a lawyer by education, whose overblown manner sometimes causes even sympathetic listeners to laugh. He no longer sleeps, he likes to say, because he's up all night defending his country.Both are hard-core ethnic nationalists--and evangelists for their cause. For the past two years Hasani has been recruiting young men for the Albanian rebels, walking the highland villages along the border of Kosovo where he's considered a war hero, though he never apparently fired a shot at the Serbs. A convicted peacetime cop-shooter and reputed smuggler, Hasani is a founding father of the National Liberation...
  • Let Europe Do It, Please

    Everyone agrees. If it weren't for the Americans, NATO wouldn't be sending yet another mission to the Balkans. The peace plan crafted between Macedonians and Albanians is the result of intense U.S. diplomatic pressure, coming after months of failed European efforts. And Albanian guerrillas promised to surrender their weapons only if the United States was on the ground to help guarantee the deal. Yet as NATO deployed last week, Americans were conspicuous by their absence. The bulk of the force was British, commanded by a Danish general. Their numbers were bolstered by Greeks, French and Czechs, relative newcomers to NATO. Germans may be there, too, after a tough vote in the Bundestag, prompting one NATO expert to puckishly compare Berlin's reluctance to that of the Americans: "The Germans don't want to do anything because they don't want to kill. The Americans don't want do anything because they don't want to be killed."What's going on? The United States provided the main body of...
  • The Making Of A Quagmire?

    Here's a quick primer to the conflict in Macedonia. One side praises NATO to the skies and hopes they'll stay forever. They're the ones who are widely referred to as "terrorists," or, as NATO Secretary-General Lord Robinson put it a couple months ago, "murderous thugs." Even now NATO spokesmen insist on referring to the Albanian guerrillas as the "so-called National Liberation Army."The other side, the Slavic majority, invited NATO to come to Macedonia in the first place-in fact, practically begged NATO to come, and now many of the political leaders on the Slav side regularly denounce NATO for having come. Some young people on the Slav side want NATO to go home so much that they dropped a slab of concrete onto a British Army jeep from an overpass, killing one of the soldiers inside.It gets more twisted still. NATO is now in the country on a 30-day mission to disarm the NLA, and it has already collected perhaps a third of the 3,300 arms that it reckons the NLA's 3,000 fighters have....
  • Real-Estate Porn

    First came the war correspondents, quietly buying little villas on the rugged coasts and islands of Dalmatia. They passed through the area often enough, on the way to Bosnia, Croatia or Kosovo, and watched as beachfront property values plummeted during the war. Then came the international agencies, the U.N. and European staffers who delivered aid to refugees and later oversaw shaky peace deals. It was clear they would be staying a long time, and living in places like Skopje and Pristina that weren't the most pleasant, so why not a holiday home that was?Many of these pioneers scattered among some of the more than thousand Dalmatian islands in splendid isolation. Others became the nuclei of what are still very small expatriate communities. Frances Best, a German freelancer who previously worked for a television network out of Cologne, was a relative latecomer to the island of Korcula, the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. Some 20 American families and even more U.N. and European ones...
  • Escape To The Balkans

    The beaches are back, hotter than ever. Ten years after the wars began, five years since the last shots were fired in ethnic anger, that most timid of Homo sapiens, the Western tourist, has ventured in earnest back to the Balkans and the sublime eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. From the Istrian Peninsula, bordering Italy, down the 400-mile-long Dalmatian coast to Kotor, along the ruggedly beautiful shores of Montenegro to the Albanian border, there is hardly a hotel room to be found this month. And if there is, you can be sure it won't be air-conditioned.Marie Lafayette, a physical therapist from Venice Beach, California, can attest to that. She stepped off the ferry last Tuesday onto the island of Hvar to discover, to her sweaty horror, that there was no room at the inns. What to do except flash off an e-mail to friends from the nearest Internet cafe? "All of Italy is here. I don't know where I'm going to sleep!" Eventually a local family gave her a bed in a room shared with five...
  • Storming Fortress Europe

    When fishermen in the Sicilian village of Portopalo di Capo Passero finish unloading their morning's catch, many of them repair to the Bar Caprice up on the main street. One sleepy day last year, one of them brought in a strange catch from his nets, a human head covered with seaweed, and left it behind on the bar. "It was just a joke," says Maria Mei, a neighbor. The shocked barman found it while cleaning up. He took the head outside and stuck it atop a lamppost. Across the street, a butcher was just closing up when he saw the head, and figured it was a warning to him from the mafia. Locals say the butcher has not been around there since. But the head was not a sign from the mafia. It was a sign of the times in Fortress Europe.The head belonged to one of 283 would-be immigrants who perished in a shipwreck in late 1996. Authorities knew about the wreck but never searched for the missing Sri Lankan Tamils and Liberians. That was true even after fishermen in Portopalo began catching...
  • Crimes Against Humanity

    Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic. Their names resonate in the slaughterhouse of the Balkans. For years the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has sought their arrest and extradition to The Hague. Last week brought that day closer--perhaps very close.The catalyst: the arrest of three senior Bosnian Muslim Army officers for war crimes, committed mainly against Croats in 1993. All three had been applauded by their countrymen as heroes in the defense of Bosnia during the war against the Serbs. Yet within days of their secret indictment two weeks ago, they were seized and, on Friday, shipped off to the Netherlands, where they joined Slobodan Milosevic and 42 others awaiting trial. Most of those are Serbs, with a few Croats. By arresting the first high-ranking Muslim commanders, the tribunal has sent an unmistakable--and critical--signal that all sides to the Balkan conflict will be judged equally.This was in fact a subtle first step in a delicate legal and...
  • A Balkan Beirut

    When gunfire broke out around his small house in the village of Neprosteno, Borovoj Georgievski, 58, grabbed his wife and dove for the floor. He assumed it was Albanian guerrillas of the National Liberation Army, fighting the Macedonian police. Two mortar shells landed in his barnyard; one damaged his car but the five cows, his livelihood, were unhurt. Then, oddly, the phone rang. A neighbor, an NLA guerrilla in the predominantly Albanian village, warned him to run for it. He protested that his wife was too ill, and the shooting too heavy. But the guerrilla insisted. The couple got as far as their front gate, then turned back, hiding in a cellar until the shooting died down. "I don't know what their intention was, to save us or push us out of our homes," Georgievski says. Most of his fellow Slavic neighbors didn't wait to find out but fled for the safety of government-held territory. He stayed. A few days later the guerrillas produced Georgievski as proof of how the Albanians had ...
  • Body Of Evidence

    The cover-up began in the gloom of night, shortly after NATO launched its Kosovo bombing campaign in March 1999. A Serbian manager at the sanitation department in the southern Kosovo town of Prizren barged into the homes of four employees and roused them from sleep. The sanitation workers, all Gypsies (or Roma), were packed into a white van and driven to the Yugoslav military's rifle range on the outskirts of town. As they emerged from the van into the freezing rain, and saw police and Army officers milling about, the four men wondered if they were about to become the next victims of the Serbian rampage.The rifle range was illuminated only by a pile of burning tires that spewed foul, dark smoke. But the Gypsy workers could see the silhouette of a backhoe at work in the distance. As they moved closer, it slowly became clear what the Serbian authorities were up to, and why they had summoned a sanitation crew. The Serbs were exhuming a mass grave. A white refrigerator truck pulled up,...
  • The Balkan Flip-Flopper

    Albanian rebels in Macedonia signed a NATO-brokered ceasefire with the Macedonian Army last week. If the ceasefire holds, NATO is committed to sending in 3,000 troops to disarm the guerrillas. Whether that happens may depend on the mercurial personality of Macedonia's powerful prime minister, Ljubco Georgievski. In a recent interview with NEWSWEEK, the prime minister made clear that he is no fan of NATO's role in Macedonia. "This is the worst flirting by the international community with terrorist groups we have ever seen," he said. "NATO has been too mild with terrorists and Albanian extremists."When the 35-year-old prime minister speaks, diplomats wince. Three years ago the poet and politico became the bright young hope of Macedonia's Western supporters after he took the bold step of forging a coalition between his own Slavic-dominated party and an Albanian political party. That brought him to power--the first salaried job of his life--and brought moderate Albanian leaders into the...
  • Letter From Suva Reka

    At first glance, it was heartening to see how much things seem to have returned to normal in Suva Reka, the town that experienced Kosovo's most brutal and concentrated series of massacres more than two years ago. Of the 8,000 persons believed massacred by Serbs during the war in Kosovo, 506 were killed here and in surrounding villages in an orgy of bloodletting coinciding with the beginning of NATO's bombing campaign.On Reshtan Road, where the Berisha family suffered particularly severely, losing 49 members across three generations, the remaining Berishas have returned and rebuilt most of their burned-out homes. The last time I had been on Reshtan Road, in June of 1999, there were still Serbs prowling the neighborhood and NATO troops had not yet secured it. The evidence of the atrocity was still fresh, coinciding with witness accounts I'd already heard: the charred remains of the men, executed and then burned; the splattered blood and spent shell casings.It started behind one of the...
  • Pride Of Place

    In the Balkans, everyone is a minority somewhere or other. Croats are a majority in Croatia, but a large minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a tiny minority in Serbia, where they still live in fear of their lives. Serbs may dominate Serbia, but in Croatia they would have a rough time these days--if nearly all of them hadn't already been chased out. Bosnian Muslims dominate in Bosnia, but only in 51 percent of it; the rest is practically deeded to Serb control under the Dayton peace accords. And Macedonia, the last to fall victim to ethnic strife, is a bewildering mixture of Muslim Slavs, Greeks, Turks, Egyptians, Romas, Macedonian Slavs, Serbs and Bulgarians. So many, in fact, that the word for a mixed-fruit salad in many European languages is "Macedonian."All these myriad groups want their own ethnically defined nations, for self-protection as well as pride. All have vivid memories of oppression and glorious martyrdom. All have even greater reason to believe now, after a decade...
  • Judgment Day

    Slobodan Milosevic's humilation was by turns historic and pathetic. On Thursday afternoon the warden of Belgrade's Central Prison came to his cell and said, "Get ready, you're going." Where? "To The Hague, Mr. Milosevic." He was incredulous. "Come on, am I really going to The Hague?" He asked to smoke a cigarette: granted. He asked to call his wife: denied. Prison guards drove him to the helipad behind Belgrade's old secret-police headquarters. There they turned him over to three representatives of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, who read him his rights and part of the indictment against him. Milosevic interrupted angrily: "This is a farce. The Hague tribunal has come to the wrong address. The right address is NATO. There is a Hague for you, too."Then Milosevic and his single small suitcase were searched, and resignation replaced anger. They confiscated hidden pill bottles, which Milosevic said were only nitroglycerine for his hypertension. He...
  • Going From Bad To Worse

    Forty-two-year-old Hamdi Klenja knew it was bad when hundreds of men poured into Tsar Samuel Street in the southern Macedonian town of Bitola last Wednesday. The day before, Albanian guerrillas had ambushed and killed five Macedonian soldiers. Three of the dead came from Bitola, and now a mob was taking revenge on the town's ethnic-Albanian civilians. As they broke down his front door Klenja ran upstairs and passed his small children from the balcony to a neighbor next door. Then he jumped after them. Police stood by as looters ransacked his house, then threw in Molotov cocktails. Klenja tried to douse the blaze with a garden hose, but police ordered him to stop. "Let it burn," they said. And it did, along with dozens of other Albanian homes and shops in the city.When it comes to winning hearts and minds, Macedonians are doing a much better job on the diplomatic front than in their own streets and front lines. As evidence of widespread human-rights abuses mounted, NATO secretary...
  • Can Macedonia Be Saved?

    Europe is trying to heed the lessons of Balkans Wars past. But will it be enough to save Macedonia?
  • In Milosevic's Wake

    His legacy is vast, and appalling. A quarter of a million dead in Bosnia alone. More than 3 million refugees. Later in the '90s, Slobodan Milosevic "planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in a campaign of terror and violence directed at Kosovo Albanian civilians," according to the 1999 war-crimes indictment against the Yugoslav ex-dictator. It was only part of the toll exacted by the 10-year reign of the man known as "the Butcher of the Balkans." Throughout Milosevic's Yugoslavia, there were countless lives and families destroyed, villages burned, homes violated. ...
  • The Web's Dark Secret

    Before The Internet Came Along, Pedophiles Were Lonely And Hunted Individuals. Authorities Had Child Pornography Under Control. Today Networks Of Child Abusers Are Proliferating Worldwide. A Newsweek Investigation.
  • Balkan Ghosts Never Die

    As word got out last week that Slobodan Milosevic might soon be arrested, his supporters declared they would build a "living wall" around his house. They said they would stop police from getting him. For a moment, Belgrade held its breath--and then let loose with a col-lective belly laugh. At best 50 "people's guards" showed up, most of them pensioners, the women with big hair, the men with old Lenin caps and shabby suits. Indicted war criminal Vlajko Stojiljkovic dropped by to praise "the greatest Serb of all times," and the demonstrators loudly cursed the press. Behind the high walls at 11 Uzicka Street, the only sign of life was the military guards assigned to the defeated president by his elected successor, Vojislav Kostunica. The protesters were too few even to encircle the walled compound, and when a cold rain set in at night they all went home. "The chance of Milosevic regaining power is nil," said a Western diplomat in Belgrade. "The only thing he can do now is negotiate a...
  • The Last Victims

    No one had more reason to remember the night of Dec. 21, 1988, than Steven Flannigan. Christmas was only four days away, so Steve, then 14, had slipped next door with a present for his 10-year-old sister, Joanne. It was a new bike, and he wanted to set it up for her. Steve was in the neighbor's garage when one of the jet engines and a chunk of wing from Pan Am Flight 103 slammed into his house on Sherwood Crescent in the Scottish village of Lockerbie. He ran out to see an orange fireball where his three-bedroom home had just been. Where Joanne and his parents, Katherine, 41, and Thomas, 44, had just been. Only parts of Joanne's body were ever recovered; nothing of Steve's parents was.There were plenty of other horrifying sights that night, sights that seared themselves into the collective memory of hundreds of families affected by the Lockerbie tragedy. Halfway up a wee hill, the fuselage had landed in the backyards of Rosebank Crescent. Bob Edgar ran out to see a baby boy's body...
  • 'I Haven't Shot Anyone'

    When Fuad Haidar took hostages inside a United Nations compound in Baghdad last month, he soon fell into a gun battle with Iraqi police. To casual observers, it looked at first like Haidar, a 38-year-old car mechanic, had signed his own death warrant. Iraq's security services, after all, have been known to torture or kill people who simply criticize the regime. But Haidar enjoyed a different fate. He was given star billing at a press conference and allowed to air his grievances on national TV--despite the facts that two officials of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) were killed in the incident and seven other people were wounded.Many diplomats and aid workers in Iraq are convinced that Baghdad deliberately staged the June 28 attack. They note several suspicious circumstances. Haidar was pinned down on the ground floor during his battle with police, for instance, yet the Iraqi government claims he killed two hostages who weren't near him. "The victims were upstairs,"...
  • Saddam's Long Shadow

    The revolving restaurant on the bright blue communications tower is a good vantage point for observing Baghdad and some of its many contradictions. Destroyed in the gulf war, it was rebuilt in 1994 and renamed the Saddam Tower. "We made it 108 meters high, so it would be 8 meters higher than the Tower of London," says Uday al-Faie, editor in chief of the Iraqi News Agency. Why bother to top London's tower? "Because it was a British plane that destroyed it," he says. These days, the restaurant revolves fitfully, if at all.Down below, the once mighty Tigris River has been shrunk by two years of drought--one of the few problems official Iraq doesn't blame on United Nations sanctions. As the restaurant revolves eastward, a huge compound of nearly finished buildings comes into view. The compound is so big, and the sputtering tower so slow, that 20 minutes pass before all of it is visible. The guide assigned by the Ministry of Information nervously professes to have no idea what the...
  • 'As Good As Anybody Else'

    The returning heroes slowly climbed the Tuscan hill town's cobbled streets. "Ben tornato!" the villagers of Sommacolonia called out to the elderly black Americans: "Welcome back!" The honored visitors were veterans and relatives of the U.S. Army's 92d Infantry Division, known as the Buffalo Soldiers. During World War II their top officers, all white men, slandered them as cowards. But the villagers have never forgotten the Buffalo Soldiers' courage and sacrifice. The segregated unit fought one of Italy's nastiest little battles of 1944 in a doomed attempt to stop the Nazis from retaking Sommacolonia.Eight surviving veterans came back last weekend to help open the Fortress of Peace, a park dedicated to the fallen heroes of the 92d, in particular Lt. John Fox. An act of Congress finally awarded him the Medal of Honor in 1997, more than half a century after he died in action. On Dec. 26, 1944, two crack Austrian companies attacked Sommacolonia. Fox, posted on the hill as a forward...
  • 'Hold Your Fire!'

    It started with Serbs spitting at the Americans. Soldiers of the 82d Airborne Division were emerging from a building in Mitrovica, Kosovo, that they'd searched for weapons. A crowd gathered. "Come on, shoot me, you cowards," one Serbian man shouted, baring his chest. "You can't bomb us now," another sneered. Captain Mark Pratt ordered the 132 men of his Bravo Company to stand shoulder to shoulder. "Hold your line, Joes," he and his noncoms shouted, as they moved behind their line. That was easy enough. "And hold your fire!" That was harder. They upgraded their status to red, in Army parlance; rounds were chambered."All we could do is stand there and take it," said Specialist David Arsen, 24, of Tacoma, Washington--even when a snowball barrage gave way to trash, rocks and uprooted paving stones. "I grabbed a few guys by the shoulder; I could see they were getting pretty upset," Captain Pratt said. " 'Hold on a little bit longer, we'll get out of this OK. That's what they want you to...
  • 'Hold Your Line! Hold Your Fire!'

    It started with Serbs spitting at the Americans. Soldiers of the 82d Airborne Division were emerging from a building in Mitrovica, Kosovo, that they'd just searched for weapons. A crowd gathered. "Come on, shoot me, you cowards," one Serbian man shouted, baring his chest. "You can't bomb us now," another sneered. Capt. Mark Pratt ordered the 132 men of his Bravo Company to stand shoulder to shoulder. "Hold your line, Joes," he and his noncoms shouted. That was easy enough. "And hold your fire!" That was harder."All we could do is stand there and take it," said Specialist David Arsen, 24, of Tacoma, Wash.--even when a snowball barrage gave way to trash, rocks and paving stones. A brick hit machine-gunner Michael Shane Price, 29, in the face and knocked him, dazed, out of his turret. He was one of two men treated by medics; many others had cuts and bruises."It could have gone either way," said Pratt. And that's what made Mitrovica so frightening. A year after the start of the war in...
  • 'We'll Never Decommission'

    "The war is over," said the IRA man, sipping red wine at the Felons Association and Social Club in West Belfast. At a pub in the city center, a sensibly dressed professional woman who used to be an IRA member said the same thing. An IRA man who spent 18 years in jail, another who did 10, an IRA man in Portadown strikingly dressed all in black--they all agreed that the IRA was out of the war business. Nobody's gathering in war councils these days, says the red-wine man: "There's wee meetings and things like that--on local issues." So why not begin turning in your weapons and explosives? Ah, well, that's a different story. Says the man who was jailed for 10 years: "The issue of the IRA's weapons is an internal matter."It certainly looked that way last week, despite a whirlwind of efforts to make the IRA bend. After the International Commission on Decommissioning determined that the IRA had made zero progress on disarmament, all the big political players went on the offensive to try to...
  • A Sense Of Trust Betrayed

    Even in death, Merite Shabiu was a beautiful child. A U.S. Army officer gave a photo of the 11-year-old's battered corpse to her father, Hamdi, 41, an ethnic Albanian in the crumbling Kosovo town of Vitina. The Americans said they had jailed a suspect in the girl's murder: one of the U.S. Army peacekeepers who patrol the town. "She was like every child here," Shabiu recalls. "Saying 'NATO! NATO!' when she saw them, throwing them flowers..."U.S. officials clamped a tight lid on the incident. They said only that U.S. Army S/Sgt. Frank Ronghi of Niles, Ohio, was charged with premeditated murder and indecencies to a minor. The Army has moved him to Germany pending a pretrial inquiry to decide if he will face a court-martial. Ronghi himself has made no public comment, but his friends and family say there must be some mistake. Their Frank was a gentle, decent guy, not a killer.The peacekeepers are sweating. No one wants a repeat of the wildfire protests that engulfed Okinawa after three U...
  • Coldblooded Justice

    Arkan used to brag that he would never go to the U.N. tribunal at The Hague. Indicted as a war criminal in 1997, he'd recently taken precautions, changing homes every few nights in the posh Belgrade neighborhood he shared with other Serb luminaries and traveling with bodyguards in an armored jeep. But he wasn't running from the tribunal; no, the enemies he most feared were local. And, as Arkan and his entourage finished dinner at the Rotisserie French restaurant inside Belgrade's Hotel Intercontinental around 5 p.m. last Saturday, they apparently caught up with him. An unknown number of gunmen sprayed the place with Heckler & Koch submachine guns, the Belgrade underworld's weapon of choice. Arkan caught a slug in the eye--among three head wounds--and was DOA at the city's Emergency Hospital, as were two of his own heavies.The list of people who wanted Arkan dead is long. A career criminal--he got his start as a hit man for the Yugoslav communists--Arkan ruthlessly built a...
  • Where Is The Next Chernobyl?

    Visitors to Sosnovy-Bor, a distant suburb of St. Petersburg, can't say they aren't warned. The town hall boasts a digital Geiger counter, displaying local radiation levels in large red letters. That's because Sosnovy-Bor's only industry is the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP), with its four massive reactors. When NEWSWEEK visited the plant early this year, it looked like an abandoned construction site. Rusting cranes loomed like mutant insects over piles of building materials, seemingly abandoned. They are supposed to be used to revamp the plant's safety systems, an overhaul originally scheduled for completion by the end of the year. But that has been postponed until 2001. "If the ruble crisis goes on," says spokesman Karl Rendel, "it seems pretty clear it won't be done even by then." The LNPP is a Chernobyl-type power station--only much more dangerous.If Chernobyl had happened here, many of the 4 million people of St. Petersburg would have been hit with a massive dose of...
  • War:E-Zone Combat

    If war is the continuation of politics by other means, in von Clausewitz's classic phrase, then the Internet is increasingly becoming the continuation of war by other means. NATO's Kosovo campaign ended with Serbia's capitulation last June, but Serb-Kovosar animosities live on in cyberspace. Members of every ethnic group in the Balkans can find a welter of Web sites and newsgroups keeping their favorite conflicts alive. Programs called list servers pump out propaganda broadsides, recycle news dispatches and transmit full texts of official news conferences. Chat rooms offer forums for people who seem to like nothing better than to type invective at one another. And while the Balkan conflict seems to inspire the worst of the e-combat, wars big and small elsewhere in the world are also being fought via the Internet. In this sort of combat, at least, no one ends up dead.Cyberwar can be deadly serious, though. During the war in Kosovo, hackers and spammers for the first time got involved...
  • Learning The Killing Game

    It was a feel-good scene in post-war Kosovo. British NATO troops hosted a barbecue to celebrate fixing up the Our Happiness Kindergarten in Pristina. Ethnic Albanian children aged 4 to 7 joined hands and sang, in English, "I'm a free, free child in this free, free world." The new ethnic Albanian headmistress, Afudita Mulla, looked on approvingly. "We must teach children not to hate anyone," she said. So when classes opened last week, for the first time in a decade there were no longer separate entrances and walls down the middle of the halls to keep Albanians and Serbs apart. "The doors," said Mulla, "are open for everybody."Yet not a single Serb came through those doors to register a child, even though the shabby apartment blocks that surround Our Happiness were full of Serbs and their children before the summer. "Some went on their own, and some we forced out," bragged a 7-year-old Albanian girl. Then 9-year-old Laurant, a serious-faced redhead, pulled a gunmetal-gray automatic...