A Serb ArtistYugoslavia map by Mark Bloch

Chat With a Witness of NATO Bombings

Moderated by artist and journalist Mark Bloch, ABCNews.com

On March 24, 1999, as NATO forces began dropping bombs on Serbia in the former Yugoslavia, I was engaged in an occasional e-mail correspondence with my artist friend Andrej Tisma in Novi Sad with whom I had exchanged art and letters continuously since the early 1980s via the international postal system in an activity known as "mail art". Since, at this historic moment,  I was working at ABCNews, a major American news outlet, and information from within northern Yugoslavia was sparse, it occurred to me to ask Andrej if he would like to be interviewed in chat format for one hour by members of the American public via our web site, ABCNews.com. When he consented, I arranged for the event to take place in real time with me as the moderator, the unedited transcript of which follows below. (I also include, at the end, the many comments from users that did not get utilized that day due to time constraints.) As you will see, our discussion quickly became a heated one due to a difference of opinion or two between the Serbian artist Andrej and the aggressive American audience who were focused on opposing Andrej's ideology, while I attempted to steer things back to a first-person account of events on the ground which I found fascinating. Nevertheless, this was a ground-breaking early use of cyber-space to reach across international borders during a time of war. I think it is particularly notable because it grew out of our association via the mail art network, a long-distance communication precursor to what was then starting to take its place on the Internet and the World Wide Web .

At first the communication was choppy due to the sporadic phone service in Serbia so I filled in the blanks by providing excerpts from some of Andrej's recent emails of that time. Eventually the talk lasted for more than and hour and a half. You can refresh your memory of these political events at this link although I am not sure my friend Andrej, who is still living in Novi Sad, would necessarily subscribe to their point of view.

Finally, I wanted to hear what Andrej would think of all this now. So I recently asked him "What is life like in Serbia? What are you up to? Please tell me about your life and let me know what you think of these writings you did almost EXACTLY 10 years ago today...." His response follows at the end of this article here.


–Mark Bloch



Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:29pm ET

I have been corresponding by e-mail with andrej for the last few days and so I will post a few excerpts from his email to keep things moving. In his email, he has summarized the conflict and reported on his reactions.


David from [], at 1:30pm ET

How is the conflict viewed in Yugoslavia by the mass population? As an American, I can only equate it to civil war, and NATO's participation as a possible breach of respect for a nation's sovereignty. At the same time, both the possible human rights violations and instability from the refugee situation might warrant action against Milosevic, but not against the population of Yugoslavia.

Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:31pm ET

Mr Tisma wrote the following to a friend just before the first bombs hit his city:

Yugoslavia map by Mark Bloch
All maps in this story by Mark Bloch for ABCNews.com. See also this page for a detailed Flash presentation on the history of the Balkans going back to ancient times.


"Here are e-mails I sent just 10 minutes before the bombing.:

Unfortunately history is repeating over and

over. Using power can't solve any problem, especially the Kosovo problem

which is old for centuries. But we will see, all we see till now are

only threats. We don't want the war, but we don't want the NATO troops

neither on our ground. Serbia stopped the Ottoman Empire in front of

Europe, Yugoslavia stopped Hitler for a while before his attack on

Russia, I hope Yugoslavia will stop Clinton (NATO) in conquering the

rest of Europe.

Bombing a country which is fighting against its inner separatist

movement could be a dangerous step. After that Spain could be bombed

because fighting Basques, France for Corsicans, England for Ireland,

China for Tibet, Russia for Chechenia, but also America for Texan

separatists etc. Or any country could be bombed for anything. That is

stupid and dangerous.

Yugoslavia is a sovereign country, not a member of NATO, so NATO has

nothing to do here, without UN's permission or without our call for

help. UN is against air strikes, we are against it, so what does NATO want on Yugoslavian ground or sky?"

Chat page ABCNews------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrej Tisma at 1:31pm ET

First of all my appologies for bad speling English


The conflict in Kosovo actually lasts since the Ottoman Empire's occupation of Serbia in 14th century. Then Turcs gave to Albanians, who used to live on hils, outside of Serbia, some occupied territories. Before that only Serbs were living on Kosovo. Actually Kosovo was the first Serbia.

After that, when Serbs got free from Turky, came Austro-Hungarian occupation. Albanians also served to those ocupators. After that they served Germa and Italian nazis. They were killing Serbs during all those occupations, taking their land. So Serbs have many reasons to be unsatisfied with Albanians' behaviour.

It seams that Albanians are now serving the new occupator - USA


Ken Adams from [], at 1:32pm ET

Mr. Tisma,

If you could how would you deal with the Albanian problem in your country?


Mandy Annand from agt.net at 1:34pm ET

Hi. I'm a thirteen year old girl living in Canada. It is 10:50 am in Canada right now, and I my class is investigating this situation. Do you think that Clintons method of peace keeping is going to work?


Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:37pm ET

If I may continue to share from Andrej's email from last week:

"Here is a short report on my first days of bombing of Novi Sad:

My situation? Going every day into the shelter after the air raid alarm.

Spending there 3 or 4 hours, and there you can do nothing useful or

vise, it is a stupid empty time, waiting for the sign of the end of

attack of NATO's Tomahawks and bombers.

"Novi Sad was bombed two times

yesterday. I was sitting by my computer writing some e-mail, it was dark outside and I saw a blast, orange one, far enough from my home. After

few seconds my windows were shaking. I knew it was it. Quickly I sent

that e-mail, exit Windows, and told my wife and daughter to leave our

apartment which is on the second floor. There were 3 more explosions. I

couldn't believe. Such a stupid thing by NATO to attack one sovereign

European country.

"I took some important things with me and left apartment. After end of

alarm we went back home. But 1,5 hour later there was a new attack on

Novi Sad. I became really energetic, but also felt helpless to do anything.

That evening about 30 targets were bombed all over Yugoslavia."


Andrej Tisma at 1:38pm ET

To Adams:

Albanians are just one of 26 nationalities and ethnic groups living in Serbia today. All those others are satisfied with thewir rights (correct me if you have heard of any other nationality complaining) just Albanians are unsatisfied. They got 50 newspapers in their language, TV, Radio, schools. What more would they need?

But they want to separate that part of country and take it with them That would be not possible. Same as in case of Kurds in Turky, Corsicans in France, Basques in Spain, Texans in USA.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:39pm ET

Continuing with Andrej's email from last week to give some background:


I heard 2 airplanes and 6 Tomahawks were destroyed by our artillery.

Also report from our hospitals say there are about 10 dead and 20

wounded in all Yugoslavian region till now, among them few civilians.

"Today I was again in the shelter. There we watch TV, CNN, Sky News and

we look at the loads of bombs they are putting into B52 bombers, and we

know they will come soon. Really stupid and non creative situation.

"In the meantime I walked in the park with my wife, it was hot and sunny.

Park was totally empty. We enjoyed nature. This evening coming back from

shelter we enjoyed moon light, because the city is without lights.

During the night I slept completely dressed, in case I have to leave my

apartment. But at six o'clock alarm was finished, so I undressed and

slept in my comfortable bed till 9. After that I went to work. Really

awful and stupid."


Jack from om-inc.com at 1:40pm ET

You state that you are avidly against NATO action, but are you also against the ethnic cleansing or do you even believe that this is occurring.


L. Hardy from [], at 1:43pm ET

If you could speak directly to BOTH presidents and the Sec. of NATO what would you say to them today?


Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:47pm ET

Andrej, I am particularly interested in the effect this bombing has had on your everyday life.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 1:52pm ET

More from Andrej's correspondence by email (7pm thurs night NYC):

"Dear friend,

It is now 1:27 AM and I am very tired. Now I can do nothing. I slept

only few hours last night. This evening I dedicated to answer some

e-mails. But I am not sure when I'll be able next time.




Front Page-- ABCNewsModerator Mark Bloch at 1:59pm ET

More from Andrej's correspondence by email (Friday 2:56 pm NYC time):

"Dear friend,

The air raid stoped, so I go home, and we will continue from there.



Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:05pm ET

This message from Andrej was received yesterday (Sunday 3/28) morning to arrange this chat:

"We could make a precise time. But often I go to shelter or to do

some other things, or for a walk.


PS Novi Sad was bombed again six times this night."


Blaz from [], at 2:07pm ET

Hello mr. Tisma. I am from Slovenia and I have this question: What is your attitude to the Milosevic's politics and does he still have a lot of support from the side of people?


Andrej Tisma at 2:13pm ET

I don't know what you call cleansing, but if you think of planed killing of one nationality like in nazis' time, I am of course against that. But in Kosovo there were, and still are clashes between Kosovo Liberation Army rebels and state police officers and soldiers. Hov can an armed group of people be allowed to kill whoever they want, kidnapp people, kill civilians, even children (remember cafe "Panda" in Pec where 6 young Serbs were killed). Which country would tolerate that.

And those terrorists are often hiding in villages, village houses which are transformed into bunkers or fortreses, and they keep Albanian civilian around them as hostages (covards). SAo it happens somethimes that civilians are victims. But not planed by police. Sometimes killed KLA rebels are dressed in civiliant clothes, but sometimes they dress them in civilian clothes after they have been shot. That is the secret of dead "civilians". That case was in village of Racak, when police found powder on hands of those killed "civilians" who shooted at police.


Nancy from [], at 2:17pm ET

So aside from missing a little sleep how has your life changed?


George from [], at 2:18pm ET

You say you don't like being bombed, but what have you done to get your government to stop bombing and killing the Kosovars?


Andrej Tisma at 2:23pm ET

To Mandy in Canada:

How can throwing of bombs make peace?

How can Clinton make peace with thousands of Tomahawks and bombs. Before those bombings there was relatively quiet in Kosovo (except everydays KLA attacks on civilians, police and Army) but now, as NATO attacek begun, Yugosvaian army will end with KLA, and therefore civilians are fluing away from those fights. Clinton made that humanitarian catastrophy huge just by bombing.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:25pm ET

Andrej, politicians can argue forever. But you are an artist living in Novi Sad on a Monday night. Please tell us what it is like to be there at this moment.


joe b. from [], at 2:27pm ET

I am an American and I don't want to see serb people die...however when I see thousands upon thousands of Albanians crossing the border into other countries, saying "the serbs are systematically killing thousands of men, women and children...*even as I type this* . There cannot be a *mass conspiracy* against Serbia, when 18 countries and hundreds of thousands of people are all claiming this is happening RIGHT NOW. What I would like to know is, in the face of all this proof, how the serbs can continue to maintain it is all lies?


Andrej Tisma at 2:29pm ET

to Nancy:

My life has changed alot. First of all I am gravely dissapointed wit USA, their image of democracy in which they can bomb anybody who is not living in their way of life. I am disgusted. And all Yugoslavian people are disgusted by Clinton, Cook, Albright etc.

And Milosevic, of course, is getting stronger. All yugoalavians are now united, against NATO


BILLYBOB from [], at 2:31pm ET



Andrej Tisma at 2:33pm ET

to Moderator:

To be an artist or not, when you are expecting bombs to fall onto your native town, is the same. But this night I will print some anti-NATO graphics and will go to a gallery to exhibit them. Several artists will come and bring anti-NATO works. That will be my best reaction.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:34pm ET

We're going to keep this chat going on for a while longer; thank you for your patience -- we realize the question-and-answer rhythm has been a little hard to follow, but the phone lines from Novi Sad have been up and down, so we've been having some connection problems with Andrej. Thanks for your patience.


Andrej Tisma at 2:36pm ET

To Billybob Cigar:

And would you care it would blew yours?


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:36pm ET

What happens isnside the bomb shelter? How many people are there? What do they do?


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:38pm ET

I think most people here are not familiar with the experience of hearing an air raid siren and running to a shelter. Perhaps you could describe a few details.


Andrej Tisma at 2:41pm ET

To David:

This conflict in Kosovo is not a civil war, but the fight between armed separatist rebels who call themselwes KLA and official state Police and Army who are almost everyday attacked by those rebels. Very similar as situation between Kurds and Turkish government.


Daniel Talbot from [], at 2:43pm ET

As a para-medic from Canada,do you require outside medical services at this time. As a Canadian, how can we help your people with medical services?


Blaz from dial-up.arnes.si at 2:46pm ET

Dear Tisma, as an artist, how do you think this war will influence on future art?


Andrej Tisma at 2:47pm ET

to Joe:

You don't see Serbs die, but you see Albanians refugees leving... Do you see Albanians die, I mean refugees die? Have you seen Serbian policemen dead, their funerals? Maybe they are not showing them in CNN.

Refugees are not a problem, but those dead people. But be shure that mostly KLA separatist terrorist are killed, same as terrorists in Ireland, Corsica, Spain, Kurds etc


Monupics from ipt.aol.com at 2:48pm ET

WHO CARES what they do in a bomb shelter? If they had an ounce of moral courage they would be marching on their own government and dragging that murderous pig Milosevic through the streets like Mussolini.


Craig from [], at 2:48pm ET

Dear Moderator;

I don't believe you will find him interested in describing either the air raid experience or his travails in a shelter or the effects of the bombing. It would imply that he is on the wrong side, when he is actively engaged in convincing himself that he is on the righteous side.


Map by Mark Bloch for ABCNewsAndrej Tisma at 2:49pm ET

to Daniel:

Dear medic, better stop throwing bombs on our heads


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:51pm ET

As I said before, any politician, or any citizen, for that matter, of any country on the planet can argue endlessly about war and who is right and what it means.

I was more curious about something only Andrej and his fellows can answer: how DAY TO DAY life has been affected by the NATO air strikes.


Andrej Tisma at 2:54pm ET

now about shelters:

No we are not afraid. Many people don't go to shelter, led by ethical reasons. They don't want to be seen as cowards. I can inform yuo that last two days a big rock concert was held in the center of Belgrade with tens of thousands of visitors, against the NATO bombing. It was held in the time of air raid and all people in the audiance were holding a paper target in their hands.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 2:57pm ET

How do the Serbian authorities feel about this?


California from [], at 3:02pm ET


All Americans want an end to the conflict- listening to either side state their views lends creedance to either's argument- but this conflict must end and can only do so through a political solution- one that the USA has no business participating in BUT NATO does. Please don't hate the USA because of our alliance with NATO- our people our not happy about what's happening but what can we do??? We are all hoping that ongoing Russian diplomacy helps. Stay safe!!

California Friend


kaross from [], at 3:02pm ET

Thank you....you have courage, endurance to tell the truth...americans do not know what war is like...or even big environmental disasters...They have lost their conscience, knowing what is right from what is wrong...I cry for our loss of common sense...bombing Kosovo under the disguise of "peace"....another tragic mis-adventure...criminals are "right" and non-criminals are "wrong"...I apologize to you and the Serbian people, and their government...

my heart is breaking. God speed.


Christopher T. from [], at 3:02pm ET

As an American, I am very much against the NATO bombings because I think it is just making the situation much worse. It was only after we told the European monitors to leave, and started bombing that the atrocities escalated to this horrible level.

I must say though that Mr. Tisma is being blind to the situation and I hope he realizes that he is being manipulated by Serb propaganda just as we are manipulated by US propaganda. Milosovic is not a good person, he showed that in Bosnia so please don't show your lack of intelligence and be led by a chain. We are also being led by a gung-ho military that should have never started this in the first place. We could have dealt with Milosovic in a more constructive way but I'm afraid we are now walking into a disaster.


Larry from [], at 3:02pm ET

Andrej, are your political views guided mostly by your government and media, or by your day-to-day experiences?


Greg Sterling from [], at 3:03pm ET

There is absolutely no difference between the Sebian government's campaign of "ethnic cleansing" and the Nazi's systematic extermination of Jews, Gays, and the disabled in WWII.

Given the refusal of the Serbian government to engage in good faith peace negotiations, force is the only way to address Serbian genocide.

I cannot express strongly enough my shock and outrage at the brutality being directed toward the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

The Serbian troops and paramilitaries are monsters. What kind of ethnic hatred can reduce a human being to such barbarism?


Andrej Tisma at 3:04pm ET

To Moderator:

You ask me how do our authorities feel about this. look, 16 countries are attacking one small country. Is that fair. Isn't that too much. Isn't that barbarism. Our authorities are brave and don't want to lett NATO troops in Kosovo. And what is more important our people don't let them too. Because Kosovo is for Serbs as Jerusalem for Jews. The cradle of their state and culture, with about 1.500 Serbian churches and monasteries. It is impossible to give up. Nobody could.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 3:06pm ET

I'd like to thank Andrej Tisma and everyone who participated in our chat.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 3:07pm ET

I wondered how the authorities felt about people not obeying the air raid shelters.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 3:08pm ET

Please share any final words with us Andrej.


Andrej Tisma at 3:31pm ET

to Sterling:

Serbian state is just fighting against KLA gangsters. Instead of explenation I reccomand you to see some facts of KLA bestiality at URL:


I can clame that in fact Albanians, as majority in Kosovo are doing genocide over Serbs who still live there.

If Albanians are victims of genocide, how would you explaine that they made 60% of population in Kosovo before ww2 and they make 90% (together with those who emigrated) now? Use your brain.


Moderator Mark Bloch at 3:34pm ET

Thank you Andrej for your participation in this event. And thanks again to all who sent questions.


Moderator Area


Show  most recent posts

[551]    MESSAGE FROM       Verena from [], at 3:26pm ET

I am an 18 year old girl from Germany, I know a serbian woman who had to flee Yugoslavia because she married an Albanian and after that they could neither live with the one, nor with the other side.I can`t understand why people in Yugoslavia hate each other so much!!I know that it`s difficult to divide a country (Germany was divided too), but the Albanians must have strong reasons if they really want to separate. Why do Serbians always speak of their "holy ground"??

[550]    MESSAGE FROM       Jasmin from [], at 3:25pm ET

e/mail address:

jjazzy@hawknet.com.au. if you are able to access the previous question.

People are very quick to judge, even when they do not understand the facts or actually involved in the situation- i do not judge as my info., like everyone else's is biased through media .

Take care

[549]    MESSAGE FROM       John from [], at 3:22pm ET

Why is the government of your country so obstinate? isn't it better to have a small country at peace than a large one at war? You are killing each other for something that belongs to all of us an at the same time none of us. Do you ever thought of that?

[548]    MESSAGE FROM       Justin Thompson from up.net at 3:21pm ET

Is that it?

[547]    MESSAGE FROM       Andy from [], at 3:21pm ET


Here is a thought...next time there are 10,000 people in downtown belgrade attending a concert while air-raid sirens are sounding--instead of holding paper targets why don't you hold signs of protest against Milosovic's policy of ethnic cleansing. Until you do this, the outside world will have no sympathy for the Serbs. You will be looked upon as guilty because of your lack of protest.

[546]    MESSAGE FROM       Wally from [], at 3:21pm ET

I understand how you feel about other troops in your country! do you want help to stop the war,or would you rather to be left alone and let the warring factions settle their differences by themselves?

[545]    MESSAGE FROM       Alva_Hare from [], at 3:20pm ET

We're right, your a nationalistic mouthpiece. No one _wanted_ a war. We cannot stand by through this any longer. Sarajevo, Grageda, these names have been forgotten allready. Serbia=Nazis. Bomb them.

[544]    MESSAGE FROM       S.Nelson from [], at 3:18pm ET


[543]    MESSAGE FROM       Barb in NJ USA from [], at 3:18pm ET

I find it sad that the US has seemed to be the leader of the NATO desision to raid the area. Do you tink that the 16 countiries that you mention are acting completely without consideration? If so then please help us to realize that the stories are not true and there is not cleansing going on. I do not like what is going on but I cry thinking about what happend in WWII.

[542]    MESSAGE FROM       bob from [], at 3:17pm ET

I think Mr. Tisma is being very naive about his country being attacked by 16 countries. If this were the case, Serbia would no longer exist and it would be under the rule of NATO. All NATO wants is Milosovic to quit his Hitler antics and come to the table he has pushed away. Since he will not return to the table, NATO will prevent him from continuing his Nazi assaults on innocent people by bombing.

[541]    MESSAGE FROM       Myxilplyc from [], at 3:17pm ET


You can bet I'll be writing to ABCNEWS.COM about the decision to have a public chat with a racist. Boy, you surely weren't expecting him to say that, were you? Serves you right for attempting to dominate the conversation.

"Because Kosovo is for Serbs as Jerusalem for Jews" -Tisma

[540]    MESSAGE FROM       jr from [], at 3:16pm ET

who gave serbia the right to kill people in Kosovo

[539]    MESSAGE FROM       HogDriver from [], at 3:15pm ET

Serb: How can the Serbian people continue to deny that they are following their leader's legacy into history - A history which will show your government, and ultimately people, as being the second worst regime in terms of crimes against humanity! Do you realize that you are commiting genocide, second only to the Nazi's in World War 2? Do you actualy understand this? Or are you and your people so convinced and stuck up in your beliefs that you are 'just'? Hitler also thought he was just and morally correct in trying to eliminate everyone but his perfect race.

I am from Canada - we have a seperatist movement here as well in Quebec - but let me tell you, our value of human life as a society, and our respect and value to the law would never permit us to act in the way in which you are doing towards first Bosnia, and now Kosovo. I say let them go on their own - Once a collective group of people decides on a path to sovereignty, no matter how many bombs, you drop, children you kill, or

SORRY: length exceeded

[538]    MESSAGE FROM       lenny alfano from [], at 3:14pm ET

DEAR SIR,i as a former us marine are not concerned with you internal govermental problems but i am concerned with all the refuges coming out of kosovo men,women and childeren how can the goverment leaders order such ill treatment of your citizens no matter what ethnic background why dosent yourleaders but an end to this murdering of the masses to stop the bombing stop the murdering now

[537]    MESSAGE FROM       Marty from co.hennepin.mn.us at 3:14pm ET


My heart goes out to you and your contry. But I do share the same concerns as joe b. above. Can you please elaborate on this?

[536]    MESSAGE FROM       Chris Underhill from [], at 3:14pm ET

Do you think Milosevic's plan is to destroy the KLA or is it to drive out all ethnic Albanians from Yugoslavia?

Do you think the ethnic Albanians should leave Kosovo? Do they have the right to live there?

[535]    MESSAGE FROM       Paul from [] at 3:14pm ET

I pray God is with you.

In Christ Jesus,


[534]    MESSAGE FROM       wjb from [], at 3:13pm ET

Andrej, NATO did not want to take control of Kosovo, but merely to ensure peace. Your government does not seek peace but to rid itself of the Albanians. The evidence of brutality and killing is shocking. Kosovo and Yugoslavia should now be occupied and your government subject to war crimes in the Hague.

[533]    MESSAGE FROM       debbie from [], at 3:13pm ET


How can you sit there and say that one country is ONLY for the SERBs!!!! No one nationality has the right to "own" any country. The United States is made up of many nationalities, not just ONE.

I fully agree with what NATO is doing,

it looks like the only way to make your people stop acting like BARBARIANS, not the others.

[532]    MESSAGE FROM       vladimir krajnovic from [], at 3:12pm ET

Dragi prijatelji,

ma koje nacije bili, molim Vas da ucestvujete u razotkrivanju lazi o Srbiji i Srbima, na sve moguce nacine.

Jedino tako se moze obustaviti ova nerazumna akcija alijanse NATO.

Uveren sam da ce se americka nacija dugo stideti ove tragicne i veoma opasne ratne igre koja ima tendenciju prerastanja u konflikt sirokih razmera.

Verujem u Vas razum. Beograd 29.03.99.

[531]    MESSAGE FROM       Shawn from [], at 3:12pm ET

I hope Nato bombs Serbia back into the stone age. All you monsters desverse to die horribly

[518]    MESSAGE FROM       Brenda T from [], at 3:01pm ET

What is the employment rate in Serbia? Do Albanians generally have jobs as good as other ethnic groups in Serbia or do they have more labor intensive jobs?

[517]    MESSAGE FROM       Julie from [], at 3:01pm ET

Andrej ... I for one appreciate you taking the time to do this ... it is fascinating to actually be reading your comments in the midst of this ... I for one can not stand even to see a bird die in the streets ... I fear that because NATO is sending in air defenses only, it's as if many of them are playing computer games ... I believe that NATO is somewhat desensitised to the death of a single life ... it may be possible to keep the numbers down ... but even 1 is too many ... I wish peace could come from both sides ... my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family ... I cannot fathom what it must be like to live in fear of a stray bomb! I would love to see your artwork ... will it be posted somewhere? ... I cannot make a call on "right" or "wrong" ... just that I hate to see anyone die Serbians or Albanians!

[516]    MESSAGE FROM       Mike Harley from [], at 2:58pm ET

I think we(the US) needs a more firm and structured foreign policy. While the death of people on either side of the conflict is terrible, I think the US has no buisness bombing yugoslavia. If we're going to get involved in yugoslavia, why don't we get involved in africa too?

[515]    MESSAGE FROM       sam from [], at 2:58pm ET

hello mr.tisma, i am a college student in america who feels that what is happening in Kosovo can be completely parralled to the atrocities in world war II, how do you feel about this?

[514]    MESSAGE FROM       Nijan Milochekivk from [], at 2:58pm ET

If NATO stopped the bombs RIGHT NOW and once again started pushing for stronger peace action, what whould your reaction be? Would you thirst for blood and revenge against NATO, or would you thirst for peace within your country?

Right now, thousands upon thousands of Albanians are fleeing your country -- isn't that what Serbia ultimately wants?

[513]    MESSAGE FROM       Sally from [] at 2:58pm ET

Could this be the start of World War 3??

[512]    MESSAGE FROM       Becky from bcbsal.org at 2:58pm ET

Is it true that the serbian military is moving into the houses of the Kosovo's who flee the country?

[511]    MESSAGE FROM       Blaz from [], at 2:58pm ET

Tisma...how do you feel about Milosevic's take over the media. He is controling everything from newspapers to the television. I believe that Serbian people have a wrong image of what is going on in reality. What is your opinion on that?

[510]    MESSAGE FROM       Steven from [], at 2:58pm ET

I heard that many Serbians were in disbelief that NATO (esp. America) would actually bomb Serbia. Is that the general feeling there is Serbia? Did you feel that way?

[509]    MESSAGE FROM       Linda Morrell from [], at 2:58pm ET


It sure would be nice to know how an "everyday" Serb *feels* about the issues. How does he *feel* about ethnic cleansing?

[508]    MESSAGE FROM       arizona eddie from fm.intel.com at 2:57pm ET

wha the yeh like nato is going to bomb a rock concert...get real

[507]    MESSAGE FROM       Jill from [], at 2:57pm ET


I agree with you that war will not bring real peace. Speaking for myself, and only myself, I am sorry for all the pain and suffering that your country will and currently endures because will see violence as the only means to peace.

[506]    MESSAGE FROM       Craig from mac.blueridge.com at 2:57pm ET

Please draw the targets just a bit bigger, and tell your army to hold still for about an hour, OK?

[504]    MESSAGE FROM       Becky from bcbsal.org at 2:57pm ET

Do you know anything about the assasinations of prominent Kosovo leaders in the last few days? And why are women and children being forced across the border What is your opinion on why this is being done.

[503]    MESSAGE FROM       williamm@interlog.com from [], at 2:57pm ET

Whats happening now in Yugoslavia is a carbon copy of what Hitler and his thugs did prior to and into WWII they have profesional killers and butchers who are intent on getting rid of the problem with guns and camps . Death squads seem to rome at will . I am wondering why when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq that ground forces were there in days to sto the killings and takeover was it because of oil ? I hope not ..If Nato was intent on stopping this action quickly they would have sent in ground troops backed up by air support ..Air strikes mean very little in this situation which I fear will drag on for a long time ... Do you agree ...

[502]    MESSAGE FROM       FREEKOSOVA from [], at 2:57pm ET


[501]    MESSAGE FROM       Amos Yung from [], at 2:57pm ET

To moderator:

re: country can endlessly arguing

about who's right and who's wrong.

Ever since the beginning of the bombing, I don't believe I have heard any convincing argument from the "other" side. Mr. Tisma is at least

trying to do that. Not convincing

enough, imho, by far thought. I find

this far more important than "life

in the bomb shelter".

[500]    MESSAGE FROM       Sally from [] at 2:57pm ET

Could this be the start of WW3??

[496]    MESSAGE FROM       eric from [], at 2:57pm ET

If i had to listen to a Serbain rock concert, i would be begging for a bomb to fall on my head.

Yugoslavia map by Mark Bloch
Art by Andrej Tisma for the One World Mail Art Show.

[493]    MESSAGE FROM       Warren from [], at 2:56pm ET

If we're so interested in daily life, why don't we ask a couple Kosovo Albanians how THEIR day to day life has been affected by the Serb genocide?

[492]    MESSAGE FROM       hudson from csfb.com at 2:56pm ET

Do you have any ethnic Albanian friends? What about fellow artists?

[491]    MESSAGE FROM       Rick from [], at 2:56pm ET

Dear Moderator:

Are you sure this guy is an artist?

[490]    MESSAGE FROM       Breakpoint from [] at 2:56pm ET

How much of the remaining, accessible media is not controlled by the state? (Radio B92, for example, was taken off the air for a transmitter-power technicality, although it was broadcasting streams over the Internet for a while longer.)

[488]    MESSAGE FROM       Bob from [], at 2:56pm ET

What do you say about the executions of five Albanian leaders in Kosovo, including two who had been at the bargaining table just a few weeks ago: "negotiator Fehmi Agani and Baton Haxhiu, editor in chief of the main Kosovo Albanian newspaper, Koha Ditore"

They were not KLA members! But they were executed without trial.

[487]    MESSAGE FROM       Danny Eakins from [], at 2:56pm ET

Why are Yugoslav forces executing teachers and a negotiator to the Ramboullet peace talks?

[486]    MESSAGE FROM       Zoran Dimitrijevic from [], at 2:55pm ET

I just want to say to all blood-thirsty Western qasi-democrats who cry over anyone who is not Serb and were silent (if not jubilant) during Serb exodus in Croatia in 1995 that good people in the world can now see clearly your true Nazi and anti-Serb nature that you were hiding for decades.

[485]    MESSAGE FROM       Warren from [], at 2:55pm ET

**To the Moderator**

You opened the debate about the war when you stated in your original message:

"Moderator at 1:20pm ET

Welcome. Care to summarize the conflict?"

Mr. Tisma's biased responses that show he clearly agrees with the genocide only stoked the fire.

[484]    MESSAGE FROM       Justin in Dallas, Texas from [], at 2:55pm ET

Do you believe that there are some Kosovoars who are innocent/blameless of the crimes of which you speak? Surely they comprise the majority of the Kosovo populace. Are they not being unjustly victimized by Milosevic's policy of ethnic cleansing?

[483]    MESSAGE FROM       Bart Boy from [], at 2:55pm ET

Andrej...Why can't you drop the political ramblings and give us some insight about the direct effect of the war on you...the local economy...day to day activities?

[482]    MESSAGE FROM       Alexei from [], at 2:55pm ET

Why you don't post my message about aprotest action in US? I want people in Serbia and US to know, that there are people in America who are not agree with their government

[481]    MESSAGE FROM       Alex in Boston from fmr.com at 2:55pm ET

Hold a bigger one next time!!!!!!

[480]    MESSAGE FROM       Joe from [], at 2:55pm ET

Mr Tisma,

Before the bombings began, were your Public Schools, restaurants, Pubs, etc. off limits to Albanians? Was segregation prominant becuase of religious belief or ones ethnic background?

[479]    MESSAGE FROM       bill from [] at 2:55pm ET


[478]    MESSAGE FROM       Jason B. from [], at 2:55pm ET

Have you tried putting yourself in NATO's shoes? Unfortunately, there are people on this planet that would scorn us for bombing Yugoslavia, and they would also scorn us if we just stood by idly while genocide is occuring. I guess we chose the lesser of two evils. You can't deny that if there weren't atrocities in Kosovo, there wouldn't be any bombs falling on you right now. What would you do in our shoes?

[477]    MESSAGE FROM       Jim Peters from [], at 2:54pm ET

Hilter annexed countries during World War II systematically. He also systematically exterminated groups of people: Jews, Slavs, the handicapped, mentally-retarded, etc, eventually exterminating 6,000,000 of the 12,000,000 Jews during that time. The US is not interested in annexing Yugoslavia or promoting exterminating any ethnic group. I do not understand the comparison; how can you compare Clinton to Hitler?

[476]    MESSAGE FROM       bill from [] at 2:54pm ET


Map by Mark Bloch for ABCNews[475]    MESSAGE FROM       Donna from [], at 2:54pm ET

Milosevec is a terrible person. How can you condone a person that terrorizes the people of Kosovo? America must help the people who are being abused!

[474]    MESSAGE FROM       Ralf from [], at 2:54pm ET

It seems like Andrej is excusing the violency by Serbs in Kosovo as an unfortunate consequence of necessary action against the KLA.

[473]    MESSAGE FROM       Walter from [], at 2:54pm ET

Why wasnt there such protest when the Serbs invaded and tried to cleanse Bosnia and Croatia? I didnt hear anyone saying that what the Serbs were doing was wrong. How do you explain that? No one cared about that situation. Were you happy when all of this was going on in 91-95 when Serbia tried to expand its borders into Croatia and Slovenia, murdering thousands.

[472]    MESSAGE FROM       Chris Kozlowski from [], at 2:54pm ET

Dobro doszli,

Do people in Yugoslavia today miss the social harmony and security of the socialist era?

[471]    MESSAGE FROM       bill from [] at 2:54pm ET

How do you feel about the war?

[470]    MESSAGE FROM       Skip from [], at 2:53pm ET

Let's assume for a moment that the bobmbing continues for a while. Either, 1. Milosovic backs down (unlikely), or 2. Milosovic entensifies his attacks in Kosovo (against civilians or KLA, doesn't matter). Are the Serbian people prepared to repel ground forces? Do they feel strong enough to stop a NATO ground assault? This isn't WWII and NATO won't just be sending in a bunch of Panzer divisions. The choice for the Serbs will be to fight us and die or get rid of Milosovic and keep Serbia. Thoughts?

[469]    MESSAGE FROM       megon from [], at 2:53pm ET

What is the diferent point of views is there to this war?

[468]    MESSAGE FROM       Yoni from [], at 2:53pm ET

It seems clear that there bith serbs and Albanians dying, and I think that the US needs to stop the killing of all innocent civillians. How can that happen when Milosevic will not even negotiate a peace treaty? Do most Serbs support Milosevic's policies? Do you?

[467]    MESSAGE FROM       John Plummer (Equatorial Gunie from [], at 2:53pm ET

How many people have been killed so far since start of raid?

[466]    MESSAGE FROM       Jon Radoff from [], at 2:53pm ET

Anrej, do you feel that the Serbian policy with respect to Bosnia two years ago (government-sanctioned massacres, etc.) differs from the policies recently in effect in Kosovo?

[465]    MESSAGE FROM       Astrit Kashari from [], at 2:53pm ET

The war in Balkan is not going to help Albanians or destroy Serbs,but

it's going to be the WWIII if is not stopped now. There will be a new holocost and a new Vietnam.

Albanians don't want this new tragedy. Serbs and all nations in Balkan and Europe don't want it too.

Than who is creating this new theatre in Europe today ?

It's Europe so stupid in digging its grave again ?

Who is creating artificily the Apocalipse and why ?

Who wants it ? Who design it ?

Let's find the answer of these questions and not blaming like stupid

Albanians and Serbs.

They are both in the same boat, in which someone has open a hole

to destroy so "the boat", the Balkan

and Europe.

Only the UN can fix now this big crisis

in Balkan if there still exist that "government" which was build to stop the nations of creating new holocosts and world wars.

[464]    MESSAGE FROM       Keigh from [], at 2:53pm ET

Artist Tisma, you should do the art work on war criminal Milosevic, not on NATO's bombing because NATO is fighting the peace for Albanias.

[463]    MESSAGE FROM       Scott from [], at 2:53pm ET

Why wouldn't your government accept the peace agreements? Isn't peace better than "bombs dropping on your heads?"

[462]    MESSAGE FROM       AJ Gilson from [], at 2:53pm ET

Do you think the Croats will take advantage of NATO attack to go into Vojvodina? Seems likely to me.

[461]    MESSAGE FROM       Breakpoint from [] at 2:53pm ET

Mr. Tisma,

At what point does a problem like Kosovo, which Yugoslavia regards as an internal affair, justifiably become an international problem? It seems to me that the mass exodus of Albanians threatens to seriously destabilize the region, and that this is no longer an internal problem for Yugoslavia.

[460]    MESSAGE FROM       Warren from [], at 2:52pm ET

"Dear medic, better stop throwing bombs on our heads "

I'm sure NATO would be glad to stop bombing, as soon as you get Milosevic to agree to 'stop throwing bombs' on the heads of the Kosovo Albanian civilians.

[459]    MESSAGE FROM       Justin Thompson from up.net at 2:52pm ET

So do you think Milosevic is right to not sign the peace treaty?

[457]    MESSAGE FROM       Yevgeny from [], at 2:52pm ET

Andrej, what do you think about position of Russia in this war?

[456]    MESSAGE FROM       carlos from informix.com at 2:52pm ET

I haven't read the full manuscript of the chat.... But, I must tell you,

you must be out of your mind to suggest

that international society shouldn't

interfere or use force at this stage.

[455]    MESSAGE FROM       Steve-Head from [], at 2:52pm ET

how does it feel to witness all of these inocent people killed? How long have you been in the bomb-shelter?

[454]    MESSAGE FROM       Larry from [], at 2:52pm ET

Who's to say whose righteous? We can only believe what our government and media are telling us. They can only believe what they see and what their government and media are telling them.

Let's not pretentiously say who's right or wrong here. I doubt anyone on this chat is informed enough to make that call. I'd rather here more information from Andrej's perspective, so I can become more informed.

We're all entitled to our own interpretations of the information Andrej is supplying. Let's not force our own interpretations down anyones throats.

[453]    MESSAGE FROM       Anthony from [], at 2:52pm ET

Apparently Sir, the Albanians are to blame for this whole mess!!! All that can be said about your attitude is that you are as blind as the German people were during the WWII.

And, if you are simply denying what the Serb Military is doing, you are just a guilty of genocide as they are.

[451]    MESSAGE FROM       Jen from [], at 2:51pm ET

Even if the KLA has carried out terrorist acts, does that constitute the expulsion of thousands of innocent civilians, a fact that is undeniable now?

[450]    MESSAGE FROM       ken from [], at 2:51pm ET

To the moderator, perhaps it is you that is the problem. Why don't you gain some courage to ask him a real question.

[449]    MESSAGE FROM       Sally from [] at 2:51pm ET

how does it feel to see inocent people die??

[448]    MESSAGE FROM       Nick.A. from [], at 2:51pm ET

Dear Andrej Tisma,

many times I hear that atrocities commited agains Serbs, Albanians, Etc. are explained by looking back on events that sometimes happend centuries into the past. You say that "Actually Kosovo was the first Serbia". Why can't you people (Serbs and Albanians alike) look forward into the FUTURE and work to resolve your differences in a logical way instead of dreaming of a greater Serbia (kind of a "holy land" theory).

[447]    MESSAGE FROM       arthur from [], at 2:50pm ET

I still can't believe that US and most of NATO made up of mostly christian nation attacks another christian nation for reasons I still don't understand. I support the troops of the US, but they should not be bombing or even going out their. I beleive if this continues that NATO will attack on easter too. which will create more choas.

[446]    MESSAGE FROM       R.D. Johnson from [], at 2:50pm ET


[445]    MESSAGE FROM       Rusmir from [], at 2:50pm ET

Mr Tisma, I am Bosnian, now i am in USA.I personnaly had to leave my country because of serb nationalists & serb ethnic cleansing all over Bosnia and when u say that 6 young serb policemans have been killed by Kosovar`s army what would u say about

3000 dead man woman and children all Kosovars or over 500 000 Kosovars who had to leave their homes and as i am writing people are beeing tortured by paramilitary forces such as Arkans Tigers or Seselj`s Chetniks?Who gives you the right to say that Kosovo is yours when there is only 10 % of serbian population.I strongly support NATO air strikes but serbian people is under control of Milosevic = Adlof Hitler who lies his owne people and does not care what will happen to them.

[444]    MESSAGE FROM       tl from [], at 2:50pm ET

I also think that bombing to forward peace. I also understand there is a difference of opinion between whether you believe there is "ethnic cleansing" occuring. Side-stepping that issue, why did Milosovic not negotiate or provide any options when the peace negotiations were going on? What, in your opinion was so unacceptable about any of the negotiations?

[443]    MESSAGE FROM       Wally Huels from [], at 2:50pm ET

Do you believe any one can mediate a cease fire? if so, who?

[441]    MESSAGE FROM       Walter from [], at 2:49pm ET

Well I hear that Milosevic is in Greece with his family. What kind of a leader abandons his people!

[440]    MESSAmap abcnews by mark blochGE FROM       ken from [], at 2:49pm ET

To the moderator, the Serb is apparently correct. I am being censored in this so-called free country by you when trying to make a point. How can you as a member of the media, defend such an action. U.S. is supremely hypocritical.

[439]    MESSAGE FROM       Ariel from [], at 2:49pm ET


What do you think of the media coverage of the whole situation? My view is that it is one sided biased to the point of view of the Kosovars. This is a welcome opportunity on the part of ABCNEWS to broadcast your point of view. What do you think the media should do more of?

[438]    MESSAGE FROM       Melissa from [], at 2:49pm ET

Do you have any opinion on why your Presidents children left for Greece?

[437]    MESSAGE FROM       Monupics from [], at 2:49pm ET

Few things can justify a campaign of terrorism. Genocide is one of them.

[436]    MESSAGE FROM       Marty from [], at 2:49pm ET


My heart goes out to you and your contry. But I do share the same concerns as joe b. above. Can you please elaborate on this?

[435]    MESSAGE FROM       Sal from [], at 2:49pm ET

It's not NATO that wants to hurt the people of Serbia, it's the rulers and the people with that kind of mentality for genocide who should be blamed for action against Serbia.

Milosevic can end this war just by accepting to sign the peace deal. I mean why is it that difficult for some people to understand. If you really want peace, then sign the peace deal. Look at the effects of the mass exodus to all the other neighboring countries. Was that at all needed? No.

What's your response to that, my friend?

[434]    MESSAGE FROM       Diane from wspan.com at 2:49pm ET

Mr Tisma,

How is your family handling the stress of having to constantly go to bomb shelters ?

[432]    MESSAGE FROM       JASMIN from [], at 2:48pm ET

As a high school teacher in Australia, the study of the Kosovo conflict is difficult for our senior students to comprehend. Your views as a writer and description (briefly) of the bombing and its effects would help us, especially from an eye-witness.Please take care of yourself and your family.

[431]    MESSAGE FROM       Karen from [], at 2:48pm ET

If this is not a civil war, but just rebels causing problems then how do you justify the murder and rape of women, children and old men. The police seem to have an open policy of throwing families out of there homes, burning them and telling them to get out of their country or else. At the borders taking their identification papers so they cannot return when the "civil war" is over.... Civil war? I don't think so...Ethnic cleansing for a "Pure Serbia" is a better description. How can you rationalize your governments actions?

[429]    MESSAGE FROM       pam from [], at 2:48pm ET

An expert/historian was on Good Morning American this morning. He quoted from a popluar Serbian historic poem which glorified the ethnic cleansing. Is it possible that this problem is so ingrained in your lives that you cannot it as it truly is?

[428]    MESSAGE FROM       Skip from [], at 2:48pm ET

If the bombing continues, what will the Serbian people do? Will they rise against Milosovic? Will they support Milosovic? Will they call on him to take the war out against NATO troops in surrounding countries? What do you predict the Serbian people will do this time next month while the bombings continue?

June 10, 2009--I recently asked Andrej, "What is life like in Serbia? What are you up to? Please tell me about your life and let me know what you think of these writings you did almost EXACTLY ten years ago today. Tell me your thoughts about Milosevic and related matters today..." Here is his response these ten years later:

Dear Mark,

First of all I want to stress that the chat we made for ABC News on March 29, 1999 was very important to me and I am thankful to you for giving me an opportunity to discuss the war situation live and openly. I must remind you that our country, then Yugoslavia, was under international blockade and embargo in every way; in communication, economy, culture etc. since 1992 and I didn't have real opportunity to tell the world the truth from my point of view, from this side of frontier. I felt as if my hands were tied up and I was lacking communicate with the world the way I used to have for decades in my vivid mail-art practice and networking since 70s. So your offer to have a live chat through a powerful American news agency as ABC made me happy and I accepted it immediately.

I must admit it was also a pretty hard task for me because I didn't have good conditions for that chat, it was night time, after 8 pm and streets were without light because of air raid alarm, also it was forbidden to turn on light in apartments. So I was replying your and audience's questions in the dark, with several cuts of phone line, sitting most of the time on the floor because the attack on Radio station next to my apartment was expected every day and every moment. But I didn't want to miss that opportunity and I think I made those answers pretty good, with some time delay because of technical problems, but I answered almost every question you posed me during the chat. Although I made some mistakes in spelling which is normal because I was writing under stress situation (that was only sixth day of NATO bombing, situation was very new for me and all people around me) I think I succeeded to keep calm and polite and answer every question, even there were few that offended me. But I think you did a great job in organizing that chat and keeping people use polite manners of discussion. I am glad that you didn't edit the talk but it went live, because that was my only condition to accept it. I wanted the open talk and you made it possible.

Concerning the content of my answers, I would sign today every word I said then, I would not change anything. It is just a pity there was no more space for me to explain all circumstances, historical, political etc. about that situation. But I was also very tired, because of little sleep during nights full of bombings and alarms, lack of food and constant tension. But in all I am very satisfied with answers I gave in that unnatural and inconvenient situation, and I think I couldn't give better.

The situation now in Serbia is, I could say peaceful, but not much better than in 1999. The bombing itself has destroyed our economy, factories, bridges, airports, oil refineries, all infrastructure, roads, electricity etc, the damage was about 100 billion dollars, but if you take in consideration about 2,000 lost lives, psychical damage on millions of people, lost jobs, destroyed families, chemical and radioactive pollution of soil, water and air, the damage could go to 200 billions. And Serbia (bigger part of then Yugoslavia) still didn't stand on its feet. The world didn't help us to rebuild our country but we did it partly with our own efforts. Life is normal, but we are still under pressure from outside world, Europe and USA, getting always new conditions, being blackmailed all the time since 1999. Although the political system in Serbia has changed, our puppet regime composed and orchestrated by the West still has to serve and fulfill more and more conditions. The latest was to give up Kosovo, to recognize its independence which was one-sided and proclaimed by former members of rebellion (not to use a worse word) Kosovo Liberation Army who started that war supported by the West with arms, logistics, advisers etc. The NATO intervention was ended on 10th of June 1999, exactly 10 years ago with UN Resolution 1244 in which it is stated that Kosovo belongs to Serbia but will be under international protectorate of UN. So Serbia can never accept Kosovo's independence, and it will not be valid until Serbia recognizes it. That is why we are now blackmailed and under tremendous pressure in order to give up a part of our country. What any country in the world would not accept I am sure.

Now you would like me to say something about Milosevic and his destiny? I wonder why are you interested specifically in this person and theme. Just one detail, he was American ally til the late 90s, he signed the Dayton peace treaty on Bosnia in 1995 as a person who guaranteed peace from the Serbian side. He was not seen as a war criminal. On the contrary, he was a person of Clinton's highest trust. Wasn't he? But during the bombing campaign in May 1999, when Clinton have seen Milosevic is not going to surrender to American and EU (the same) policy, not letting NATO troops into Kosovo (aim was, as we see now the construction of biggest military base in Europe and way for NATO controlled oil pipe line) he suddenly accused him of war crimes. From peace maker and guarantee to a criminal! Isn't it little bit strange? And when they could not find any guilt for him after years spent in Hague prison where he defended himself at the court, they killed him (didn't let him go to medical examination although he was obviously ill and weak). I personally never voted for Milosevic nor for his Socialist party, I never sympathized with communists, but the way he was treated by the West is a swinery. So would you publish this? This is a plain truth. If you want I will make a chapter on this theme, no problem. But then we should widen the theme to American policy, its aggressiveness, arrogance based on force, Albanian separatist movement supported openly by America and Europe, domestic traitors like Djindjic and so on and on.

Otherwise I am fine, working in field of art, videos, music, I had few concerts with video projections, of my own music and videos, as DJ and VJ recently. You can listen to my music here. It is about globalization and wars. My art is only and best way for me to express my feeling of this situation, but not just in my country but globally. I think now more and more countries all over the world will go through that what I had and have here.

Best, Andrej

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