About the HIR method

Historical and Investigative Research - 17 Dec 2005
by Francisco Gil-White


I am often asked this question:

“Since you are arguing that we cannot trust what we read in the media, how can we believe what you say, given that your source material is so often drawn from the same Western mass media that you claim is dishonest?”

I used to find this a very frustrating question, but I have matured. It has taken me a while to see how interesting the question is. Laypeople, it now dawns on me, find it quite difficult to grasp what historians do, and have a quite mistaken picture of it. I will do my best here briefly to explain how proper historiography -- the very thing this website aims to produce -- ought to work.

What historians should do

What is a historian doing? Or, perhaps we should ask: What should a historian be doing?

Nobody knows what happened. We just don’t, for the simple reason that we don’t have time machines with which to go back into the past and check. A historian is limited, therefore, to examining the traces that have survived into the present from previous eras: ‘documents.’

What is a ‘document’? Things that people wrote, certainly, but in recent times also things that people filmed, photographed, videotaped, audio-taped, and digitized. The things that people in previous eras built, and the things they used and discarded, are also ‘documents.’ So are their bones.

Now, there is no question that the record of written documents is especially useful, but it is sometimes extremely fragmentary (for example, in the case of ancient eras), and it must always be handled with great care. Why so careful? Because the people producing surviving texts had, themselves, an imperfect access to events -- sometimes woefully imperfect. And they cannot be presumed always to remember things correctly. More seriously, they often lie. So, although readers are not always properly warned, what historians actually do, when they are doing their job, is this: they invent stories. Not just any stories, of course. Historians are supposed to invent stories that will make the surviving ‘documents’ more meaningful. In other words, rather than using the documents to determine what happened -- as I suppose many people erroneously construe our business -- a historian creatively uses the imagination to make sense of the documents we have.

I will clarify this.

A historian will produce a hypothesis about what happened, and a hypothesis is a story. How do we know that a story is good or bad? A story is good if it requires people from previous eras to have produced the very documents that they in fact did produce. If the story, on the other hand, makes it absurd that people from other times produced these documents, then it is not a very good story.

Now, once you think about it, this point may be obvious enough. But we live in an age of ‘historical films’ that whisper subliminally into our subconscious an intuitively powerful but mistaken idea: that the past is known. Because otherwise how could anybody make a historical film in the first place? The fallacy in this is easily exposed: it is the unstated premise -- admitted into our subconscious only because the audiovisual experience is so realistic -- that the film is indeed historical, as if it had literally been shot in the past. But in fact, the overwhelming majority of supposedly historical films are outrageous fantasies, radically contradicting in details large and small what our surviving documents suggest about the periods such films are supposed to be representing.

I’ll give you just one dramatic example. If you were to travel back to 18th century Europe the smell and appearance of people would not merely offend you -- it would horrify you. I am talking about the upper classes. This was a culture that understood little about hygiene and suffered accordingly. European aristocrats in the 18th century didn’t smell too differently from the unfortunate homeless in modern Western cities, their faces were covered in grotesque eruptions, and their heads were bristling with lice. Or at least this is the story I would defend. Because from those days countless aristocratic manuals of manners have survived, with discussions of the uses of perfume the better to overwhelm potent body odors, helpful suggestions for dealing with the problem of lice, and all sorts of advice for how to disguise the massive attacks of acne and other eruptions on the face. In other words, unless these 18th century European aristocrats really were this awful, it is absurd that they produced the manuals of manners that have survived into our times.

We should not defend absurdities.

I saw a program on public television once that strove, precisely, not to defend absurdities, doing its best to represent 18th century aristocrats in a realistic way; throughout, my face was uninterruptedly contorted in disgust. It really was hard to watch. But no hint of this in Hollywood’s ‘historical films.’ That’s understandable. Filmmakers need customers, and keeping viewers constantly revolted is a strategy with limited genre possibilities and appeal. But by creating the illusion that the past is known -- in fact, by creating for the viewer the illusion that she has witnessed history -- such films make it more difficult for ordinary people to discover the kinds of stories that will plausibly account for our surviving documents.

Also contributing to the illusion that the past is known is the expository method adopted in the works that historians write for the general public, with their “this happened, then this happened…” structure, as opposed to putting it like this: “this way of imagining what happened makes sense of our surviving documents, and here is why, whereas this other imagined story does not.” The latter is supposed to be a ‘technical’ style, appropriate only among historians; ordinary people will just be told what most historians supposedly accept as the story of what happened, without the demonstrations, as if it was known to have happened. The general public then doesn’t get to see the ferociously creative art that is the writing of historiography.

Historiography, in fact, is much like the writing of a novel, though of course the normative constraints on novelist and historian are quite different. If a story makes sense of our surviving documents, individually and in combination with each other, its quality as a historical explanation is not affected in the least if it is uninteresting or delivered in a dull style; such failures, however, would certainly ruin a novel. The historiographical test is whether the story makes our surviving documents meaningful -- nothing more. But also nothing less! Historians certainly are not free to create stories that force our surviving documents to express or imply absurdities, nor can they simply invent things out of whole cloth that are not supported by any documentary evidence. (Well, they can and often do, but they are not supposed to.)

Now, to invent a historiographical story you will need ideas concerning what supposedly makes humans tick, and this is key. In other words, implicitly or explicitly you are going to need some theory of human psychology, of class relations, of the effects of propaganda, etc., etc. Why? Because it was ticking humans who bequeathed to posterity the documents that have survived into our times, and therefore the better you understand what makes humans tick, the better your chances of producing a story that makes it necessary that the people in previous eras produced the documents which they in fact and indeed produced. So, good historiography requires a good theory of human motivations and biases, a good theory of human institutions, and so on.

In other words, good historiography requires good social science.

The same basic idea can be stated in the opposite direction: if your story of what happened makes it absurd that the people in previous eras would have produced the documents that have survived into our day, then you are either flat wrong or still missing something important, and this implies that your theory of human motivations and biases, your theory of human institutions, and so on, is probably a bad one. In other words, you are not a very good social scientist.

But not only will you need a general social scientific theory, you will also need a more specific period theory, and also a theory for the specific authors of specific documents. Proper historiography is not easy.

Recent history

Recent history begins a second ago. The situation is the same. We cannot travel back in time, even to the previous second. So anything we say about recent history, even about the immediate past (yesterday, even) is also a creative story -- a hypothesis. Here too, the job of a historian is to produce a story that will make the production of surviving documents necessary rather than absurd.

As in the case of ancient history, we will need, for recent history, a theory of general human motivations, and also a specific model of the main forces that shape our times, in addition to a theory of current institutions, and in particular of the institutions which author the documents whose very production we are trying to explain. In other words, we need a theory of the media, because in the modern world the mass media is constantly producing a truly awesome mountain of documents.

As you cannot fail to notice, media documents form the basis of much source material in HIR pieces. This brings us back to the original question, which concerns the validity of using the mass media as a source if the basic veracity of the media is being questioned, as it is on this website. Does this create a problem?

It does not. The ultimate goal is the same: we must invent stories that make the production of surviving documents necessary rather than absurd -- it doesn’t matter that they have survived from a thousand years ago or from the day before, nor does it matter that the documents have been produced by a potentially dishonest media.

The best way to see this is with an example.

An example

We have a document that has survived into our day from 1989, produced by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), and which purports to be the BBC’s translation of former Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic’s speech of the same year, given to a very large crowd of Serbs in a place called Kosovo Polje (or Gazimestan). This document contains nothing but exhortations to unity, brotherhood, peace, and tolerance among the peoples of Yugoslavia and Serbia.

For example, it contains the following passages:

“Equal and harmonious relations among Yugoslav peoples are a necessary condition for the existence of Yugoslavia and for it to find its way out of the crisis and, in particular, they are a necessary condition for its economic and social prosperity. In this respect Yugoslavia does not stand out from the social milieu of the contemporary, particularly the developed, world. This world is more and more marked by national tolerance, national cooperation, and even national equality.

Modern economic and technological, as well as political and cultural development, has guided various peoples towards each other, has made them interdependent and increasingly and mutually equal [Serbo-Croat medjusobno ravnopravni]. Equal and united people can above all become a part of the civilisation towards which (?we are) moving. If we cannot be at the head of the column leading to such a civilisation, there is certainly no need for us to be at its tail.”

“…unity in Serbia will bring prosperity to the Serbian people in Serbia and each one of its citizens, irrespective of his national or religious affiliation.”

“Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully.”

“The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work [words indistinct] respecting other people and other nations in their republic.”[1]

The document that purports to be the BBC translation of Milosevic’s 1989 speech, from which the above excerpts are taken, was not released to the general public. I found it in the microfilm archives of Van Pelt Library, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Now, another BBC document that has also survived into our day, this one from 1st April 2001, has the title “The Downfall of Milosevic.” This one was released to the general public. In fact, it is still posted on the BBC website, where you may inspect it.[2] This document undertakes to explain to the reader what caused the civil wars that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s. The following is an excerpt:

“It all began in Kosovo in 1987. Mr Milosevic was a middle ranking and virtually unknown Communist official sent to calm local Serbs who were complaining about abuses by the majority ethnic Albanian population.

He was greeted by an angry crowd and the Kosovo police -- who were then mainly ethnic Albanians -- began pushing them back.

Milosevic uttered the words which transformed him from Communist apparatchik into nationalist tribune, telling the frightened Serbs: "No one will ever beat you again."

New struggle

The effect was electric. State television began broadcasting the remarks around the clock. Mr Milosevic became the focus for all the resentments Serbs had felt over the past 40 years - that in Tito’s Yugoslavia their interests had been always [sic] come last.

His new popularity allowed Mr Milosevic to knife his political mentor, Ivan Stambolic, in the back and take control of the Serbian state.

In 1989, on the 600-year anniversary of the battle of Kosovo Polje, he gathered a million Serbs at the site of the battle to tell them to prepare for a new struggle.

He then began to arm and support Serb separatists in Croatia and Bosnia. Other nationalists were coming to power throughout the republic’s of the old federation.

Yugoslavia’s long nightmare of civil war was beginning.”

I have highlighted the key passage in red, but in order to understand what the BBC is saying you must read the entire excerpt, so you can put it in context. When you do that, it is obvious that, according to this BBC document, Slobodan Milosevic, in his 1989 speech in Kosovo Polje, incited the “frightened Serbs” against their ethnic neighbors and, in consequence, caused “Yugoslavia’s long nightmare of civil war.”

Now, what a historian needs to do is produce a model of the BBC that will explain the BBC’s production of both documents I have quoted above. No matter how you cut it, the model that says the BBC means to inform the public produces absurdities.

Consider first the case where, in order to defend your model that the BBC means to inform, you stipulate that the BBC told the truth when, in April 2001, it released a document to the public (the one quoted immediately above) where it referred to Milosevic’s 1989 speech as warmongering. What would this force you to say? That the BBC produced a fraudulent translation for its own archives. Because, you see, there is zero warmongering in the BBC document that purports to be a translation of the 1989 speech, and which the BBC did not release to the public. Why would the BBC tell the truth in public but produce a fraudulent translation for its own archives? Absurd.

What if you argue instead that the translation is accurate? In this case you are saying that the BBC radically misrepresented the speech to the public in the April 2001 document. Since your model is that the BBC means to inform the public, what you are defending is once again absurd.

You may be tempted, here, to defend a model of BBC incompetence. Under this view, the BBC means to inform but it is run by imbeciles. The imbeciles who run the BBC news divisions are not smart enough to consult the people who make translations, nor do they have the skills to look up translations in the BBC’s own archives. I find this highly implausible to begin with, but in any case this explanation will not make the production of the two documents necessary. On the contrary, the BBC’s production of these two documents will still be absurd. First, because although incompetence can in principle be invoked to explain all sorts of errors, it is absurd that mere incompetence will yield an exactly opposite portrayal of what is in the BBC translation. Second, because the BBC translation can be had in under a minute using Lexis-Nexis, an online archival service that every journalist, including those at the BBC, knows how to use.

So you are now entitled to put on the table the following hypothesis:

Perhaps the BBC means to misinform.

The reason for putting this hypothesis on the table is that it will neatly account for the two documents we have considered. In this story, the translation is accurate, but the BBC does not want the public to know what Milosevic really said, so it did not release the translation to the public, whereas in the document that the BBC did release to the public, in 2001, it radically misrepresented the speech.

We mustn't stop here. On the contrary, we should subject any hypothesis to further tests. The way to do this is to consider additional documents until we are satisfied that an alternative hypothesis will not account for the data.

For example, allow me to introduce a third BBC document, produced by something called the BBC’s “Summary of World Broadcasts.” In 1989, immediately after Slobodan Milosevic spoke at Kosovo Polje, the BBC’s “Summary of World Broadcasts” summarized the content of his words in a manner perfectly consistent with the BBC’s translation of the same speech:

“Addressing the crowd, Milosevic said that whenever they were able to the Serbs had helped others to liberate themselves, and they had never used the advantage of their being a large nation against others or for themselves, Tanjug reported. He added that Yugoslavia was a multi-national community which could survive providing there was full equality for all the nations living in it.”[3]

It was only later, in 2001, that the BBC misrepresented the speech. This suggests that the BBC didn't have a strong enough reason to misrepresent the speech in 1989, but that this had changed by 2001. What appears to be decisively ruled out is that the BBC made an innocent mistake in 2001.

I would now like to make clear a general principle: the more documents we simultaneously have to account for, the more constrained the range of possible models becomes. If we are required to account for more and more documents simultaneously, then we come closer and closer to the truth. Let us therefore consider two additional relevant documents.

The first is an article published 1st July 2001 in The Independent, a British newspaper, which gives what purports to be a chronology of the main events in the civil wars that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s. This article includes the following entry for the year 1989:

“June 1989

On the stump at Kosovo Polje

Serbia’s leader [Slobodan Milosevic] sets out his agenda at a rally of more than a million Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo 600th anniversary celebrations, as he openly threatens force to hold the six-republic federation together.”[4]

What The Independent wrote in 2001 contradicts the BBC translation of that speech, because no such open threat of force appears in the BBC translation. It also contradicts a document produced by The Independent itself in 1989. On that date, The Independent produced a report of Milosevic’s speech immediately after it was given. The byline for this 1989 article says “From Edward Steen and Marcus Tanner in Kosovo Polje” -- in other words, it claims to be based on what two reporters for this newspaper witnessed at the scene of the events. The report says this:

“[At] the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje…the Serbian President made not one aggressive reference to ‘Albanian counter-revolutionaries’ in Kosovo province. Instead, he talked of mutual tolerance, ‘building a rich and democratic society’ and ending the discord which had, he said, led to Serbia’s defeat here by the Turks six centuries ago.”[5]

What we are seeing here is the beginning of a pattern. Just like the BBC, The Independent, the day Milosevic gave his speech, reported that he had spoken of “mutual tolerance.” In 2001, however, The Independent misrepresented the speech as warmongering -- again, just like the BBC.

How widespread is this pattern? It is very, very widespread. I have produced a careful demonstration that, across the board, the Western mass media went out of its way to lie about what Milosevic said at Kosovo Polje in 1989. Here are some examples:

The British magazine The Economist wrote in 1999 that,

"It was a stirringly virulent nationalist speech he made in Kosovo, in 1989, harking back to the Serb Prince Lazar’s suicidally brave battle against the Turks a mere six centuries ago."[5a]

But what Milosevic said about Prince Lazar's battle is the following:

"Today, it is difficult to say what is the historical truth about the Battle of Kosovo and what is legend. Today this is no longer important."[1]

Does it strike you that The Economist paraphrased accurately what Milosevic said about the Battle of Kosovo?

TIME magazine wrote in 2001 that,

"...it was on St. Vitus' Day, 1989, that Milosevic whipped a million Serbs into a nationalist frenzy in the speech that capped his ascent to power."[5b]

And NPR (National Public Radio) said that,

"...the people were whipped up into a kind of hysteria."[5c]

What frenzy? What hysteria? On the contrary, the two Independent reporters on the scene in 1989 said that the crowd had been very quiet.[5cc]

The Irish Times wrote in 1999 that,

"10 years ago this month, the Yugoslav President, Mr Slobodan Milosevic, made his name telling a crowd of 500,000 Serbs, 'Serbia will never abandon Kosovo.'"[5d]

But the words "Serbia will never abandon Kosovo," which The Irish Times has the boldness to put in quotes, appear nowhere in the speech.

It goes on and on. If you would like to see the entire list, please consult the full demonstration.[6]

Now, the job of a historian is to explain why, across the board, all of these documents were produced. Put another way, we need to produce a hypothesis that will explain why the mass media -- across the board -- misrepresented Slobodan Milosevic's 1989 speech. Fewer stories will account for that than will account for the behavior of just the BBC, so by considering more documents we have narrowed down the search for the truth.

I will help us narrow the search for the right story even further, but allow me a short digression to elucidate a general historiographical principle: a historian is not required to demonstrate what is generally agreed upon. This answers to a practical need: if every single detail always required a demonstration, even those which nobody disputes, every historiographical work would consist of an infinity of volumes, and they would be so painful to read that nobody would bother. Just imagine a historian demonstrating that the sun rose and then set down on a particular day (in addition to a million other undisputed details). If however, a historian wishes to dispute what is generally taken for granted, then yes, a demonstration will be necessary. The requirement of a demonstration, therefore, is established by the background of cultural agreement.

Thus, for example, nobody disputes:

1) that, in 1999, NATO bombed Serbia;

2) that, in order to justify the bombing, NATO alleged that Slobodan Milosevic’s forces were committing genocide against the ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo; and

3) that, two years later, in 2001, NATO tried hard to get Slobodan Milosevic sent to the Hague Tribunal to be tried for supposed ‘war crimes.’

Since nobody disputes the above three points, I am not required to demonstrate any of that. But wherever I disagree with what is commonly taken for granted, I will be required to produce a demonstration. For example, on 1st April 2001 The Seattle Times wrote about NATO's efforts (eventually successful) to get Slobodan Milosevic sent to The Hague:

“Faced with the loss of $100 million in economic aid, [the new, post-NATO-bombing government in] Belgrade met the spirit of a Saturday deadline by [the US] Congress to cooperate with the U.N. war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands. Milosevic was arrested this morning, and wisked away to prison after barricading himself in his villa for 26 hours.

The dispute with the government of President Vojislav Kostunica is whether Milsovic will be extradited for trial.

Nothing else would satisfy the rule of law. He would be tried, in particular, for his 1998 crackdown on ethnic Albanians in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo.

Milosevic, his policies and his followers are responsible for countless deaths, nearly ceaseless fighting and a flood of refugees that engulfed Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell properly delayed final decision on compliance until tomorrow, when the smoke and mirrors of this weekend’s confusion could be cleared away.

Did Yugoslavia meet the deadline?

Holding Milosevic accountable begins with Belgrade atoning for its own throaty support for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities. That starts with surrendering Milosevic.”[7]

Nobody disputes that NATO wanted Milosevic sent to The Hague, so there is no need for me to demonstrate that, since I agree. But I happen to dispute everything else that The Seattle Times writes above. In other words, I dispute that “ethnic cleansing and other atrocities” against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by the Serbs really took place. So, for these claims of mine I am required to produce a demonstration, because quite a lot of people believe the Serbs committed atrocities in Kosovo, mostly because The Seattle Times, the BBC, TIME magazine, The Economist, etc., said that such atrocities happened.

But here is an interesting question: What position should you, my reader, logically take?

That depends on whether I convinced you that the media lied about Milosevic's 1989 speech. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that I did convince you. The first thing that you must notice is that these accusations of atrocity have the exact same structure as the accusations about the speech:

1) they paint the Serbs as warmongers; and

2) the chief beneficiary of the accusations is NATO, because NATO bombed the Serbs, it said, on account of the supposed atrocities.

If you were paying close attention, you will have noticed that it was in 1999 and in 2001 that the media told the public that Milosevic had supposedly caused the civil wars in Yugoslavia by inciting the Serbs back in 1989. NATO bombed the Serbs in 1999, and NATO got Milosevic sent to The Hague to be tried for supposed war crimes in 2001. In other words, it is precisely when NATO needed the media to paint Milosevic as a warmonger who caused the civil wars in Yugoslavia that the media did precisely this -- with lies. So, should you simply accept the accusation by the same media that the Serbs really did commit atrocities in Kosovo? Logically, no -- you should be skeptical. If Milosevic really had incited the Serbs, the stupidest thing in the world would be to lie about a speech in which Milosevic calls for tolerance and unity, so the lies about the speech suggest that no speech by Milosevic exists in which he did incite the Serbs to violence, or else the media would have used that. And if the media lied once, it might lie again, especially on the issue that the media felt was important enough to lie about once.

If you are skeptical, this may pique your interest sufficiently to read my demonstration that the media lied about the atrocities, too. This is my claim: that there is no evidence -- nothing -- supporting the allegation that the Serbs committed atrocities in Kosovo, and that the media knows this. I invite you to read this demonstration.[8]

Let us now imagine that you have read my demonstration and found it satisfactory. What we now will need is a story to explain why the media lied about the Serbs, making NATO's attack appear justified to the world. Clearly, something is not right with the media, and it appears to have a relationship with the NATO powers quite at variance with what the phrase "independent and free" connotes.

Back to the original question

The original question was whether it makes sense to use the documents produced by the mass media as source material if one claims that the mass media cannot be trusted. I hope it is now clear that the role of a historian is to produce a hypothesis that will make it necessary that our surviving documents should have been produced. Whether or not the media is honest is neither here nor there for the historian. The honesty of the media is something that a historian is supposed to investigate. Our job is to explain what the documents are doing there, and why they say what they do. This exercise produces a hypothesis of how the world works, and what the relevant actors were trying to do.

What I have done here is use the documents produced by the mass media in order to produce a theory of the relationships between different institutions such that the production of these very documents is necessary rather than absurd. The exercise allows me to produce an improved model of how the world works, which in turn will motivate hypotheses that guide further research. I do not take at face value what the media says -- I investigate. When something is not under dispute, however, I may simply cite the mention of it in a media source without further comment. What will require a demonstration are those commonly accepted claims that I happen to dispute.


Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] The reference for the BBC document is the following:

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 30, 1989, Friday, Part 2 Eastern Europe; B. INTERNAL AFFAIRS; YUGOSLAVIA; EE/0496/B/ 1;, 2224 words, SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC ADDRESSES RALLY AT GAZIMESTAN, Belgrade home service 1109 gmt 28 Jun 89Text of live relay of speech delivered at 28th June rally celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje (EE/0495 i)

I have scanned the microfilm of this document and you may view it here:

For an easy-to-read text version of the BBC translation:

To compare this to the US government translation (which is almost perfectly identical, except for one or two minor differences due to the fact that two different people did them), visit:

[2] "The downfall of Milosevic ", Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK;

[3] Copyright 1989 The British Broadcasting Corporation; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts; June 29, 1989, Thursday; SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; 2. EASTERN EUROPE; EE/0495/ i; LENGTH: 249 words; HEADLINE: The anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje.

[4] "Milosevic on Trial: Fall of a Pariah"; Newspaper Publishing PLC, Independent on Sunday (London); July 1, 2001, Sunday, SECTION: FOREIGN NEWS; Pg. 21

[5] The Independent, June 29 1989, Thursday,  Foreign News ; Pg. 10,  654 words,  Milosevic carries off the battle honours,  From EDWARD STEEN and MARCUS TANNER in Kosovo Polje

[5a] The Economist,  June 05, 1999, U.S. Edition,  1041 words,  What next for Slobodan Milosevic?

[5b] Time International, July 9, 2001 v158 i1 p18+


[5cc] "The cries of 'Slobo, Slobo' which greeted his arrival on the vast monument to the heroes of 1389 soon gave way to a numb silence. 'I think people were a little disappointed, it became very quiet after the beginning,' an educated-looking woman from Belgrade said. ...'People were satisfied, after all it wasn't a protest rally,' said another pilgrim."

SOURCE: The Independent, June 29 1989, Thursday,  Foreign News ; Pg. 10,  654 words,  Milosevic carries off the battle honours,  From EDWARD STEEN and MARCUS TANNER in Kosovo Polje

[5d] "Serbs make ragged retreat from their historic cradle"; The Irish Times; June 16, 1999, CITY EDITION; SECTION: WORLD NEWS; CRISIS IN THE BALKANS; Pg. 13

[6] “How Politicians, the Media, and Scholars Lied about Milosevic’s 1989 Kosovo Speech: A review of the evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; 8 Sep. 2005; by Francisco Gil-White

[7] The Seattle Times. April 1, 2001, Sunday,  Sunday Edition,  ROP ZONE; Opinion;,  Pg. B6,  220 words,  Milosevic on deadline

[8] “The Freezer Truck Hoax: How NATO framed the Serbs”; Historical and Investigative Research ; 2 December 2005; by Francisco Gil-White