While building his bridge to the 21st century, President Bill Clinton and the NATO forces in Yugoslavia are destroying bridges to the past.
The world will little note the destruction of Old Petrovaradin Bridge, but to the citizens of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia it is a major loss to their culture and history.
The bridge, which survived for 200 years and escaped destruction in two world wars, was destroyed by NATO bombs, which fell for the ninth consecutive day.
Ironically the bridge was protected as a cultural monument. What value it had as a military target is not known to the citizens of Novi Sad.
Old Petrovaradin Bridge was located on Old Petrovaradin Road connecting Novi Sad and Belgrade. It was used primarily for pedestrians because it was too fragile to withstand any significant traffic. It was a part of the Petrovaradin Castle, another historic cultural landmark.
A more important bridge in Novi Sad was also destroyed by NATO bombs two days earlier. That bridge not only carried the major traffic between east and west Europe, it also carried the water supply to Novi Sad, the second largest city in Yugoslavia.
Known as Old Bridge, it spanned the historic and beautiful Danube river.
“Old Bridge in Novi Sad tied all people of good will from both sides of Danube river and testified about rich history and culture of these parts of Serbia. For us it represented testimony of existence of our nation on that part of our country,” explained Dmitar Lakusic, on the faculty of the University of Belgrade.
“Hospitals, schools, Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs, Albanians, Croats … all the citizens on the left bank of the river Danube in Novi Sad have (been) left without (a) water supply,” explained Lakusic email: dlakusic@EUnet.yu.
He claims Yugoslavia has been subjected to more intense bombing than during both world wars combined. He also accused the NATO forces of using cluster bombs, which he says are forbidden by international law.
“NATO is bombing refugee shelters — forbidden by common sense,” he added.
“Bombs all around Yugoslavia are destroying houses and villages. And killing Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrous, Croats, Muslims, Gypsies … BOMBS. NATO BOMBS are producing humanitarian catastrophe of incredible size,” said Lakusic in his mailed letters to WorldNetDaily.
Others from Yugoslavia who have contacted WorldNetDaily have accused NATO forces of violating the United Nations Charter and international laws.
“Let me remind you that the UN Charter number 3314 article number 3 according to which the aggressor is the one who attacks a sovereign country intervening in its internal affairs openly. Serbia did not attack a NATO member-country and there is no legal basis for such an operation. NATO IS AN AGGRESSOR. Stop the bombing,” demanded Ilija Djekic of Belgrade.
Djekic and others who have sent messages to WorldNetDaily, expressed concern about hundreds of medieval churches and monasteries located in the Kosovo area. One ancient monastery in the village of Gracanica has already been heavily damaged by NATO air strikes. Centuries of culture and history are at risk of destruction.
He called for an end to the bombing and called the attacks “a direct threat to the UN, a violation of international law and the UN Charter, and violence against peace.”
“Let me remind you,” said Djekic in his email message, “that our country was twice attacked in this century by aggressors that started the two world wars. In both wars we were the first to fight against hegemonism, totalitarism, fascism, nazism, and all unacceptable dogmas. After the two world wars, Serbs were recognized as a proud people that first rose their voice against violence. And now, we are brutally attacked by NATO forces. Once again we raise our voice against aggression and we know that at the end everybody will know that our people was the first to fight against this, so called New World Order. Stop this bombing and do not play war games.” His email address is email@example.com.
A joint letter received from a group of Serbian students complained of the destruction of their historic landmarks, their culture, and blamed the destruction on “NATO fascists who on beginning of 21st century, under cover of humanitarian catastrophe that they themselves made, are trying to destroy history and steadiness of Serbian nation.”
The students claim NATO bombs have destroyed schools, hospitals, bridges, and caused the death of many innocent civilians. The also expressed concern over deliberate attacks on national historic landmarks that have no military purpose.
“They have started to destroy our culture monuments which represents the core of existence of our nation,” said the students.
“For us Serbs as nation with long history and tradition, nation anxious for peace and mutual life with everyone, bridges represent ties between nations and cultures, because of all this it is for us unthinkable that on the beginning of new millennium destiny of world civilization lies in the hands of an American sex maniac, his frustrated clerk and his dogs of war desperate for money and profit.
“As young people who believe in god and justice we can say to you this: ‘We Serbs have never attacked anyone, we have never taken anything from anyone but we have always protected ours, our country, our culture and our freedom.'”
Sitting in a shelter with his wife and two young children, Vlastimir Dedovic, PhD, professor of technical sciences, Belgrade University, wrote to WorldNetDaily of his concerns.
“This is not the burning house of somebody unknown — believe me — there’s fire in your house too,” warned Dedovic.
“I am writing this message in a shelter, listening to the sound of sirens, while in Belgrade bombs and missiles are whistling between houses. I can assure you that this is not a feeling you would like to experience,” he described.
Dedovic pointed out the extensive damage, loss of innocent life, and massive exodus of refugees as a result of the NATO bombing. He claims the NATO action, which was intended to stop a “humanitarian catastrophe” has made the situation far worse than it was.
“Belgrade citizens, my whole family and me among them, two nights ago were suffocated by toxic gases from targeted chemical facilities. Like in any other country, we have a few more factories of basic chemistry. They are not secret — everybody knows their locations. If these factories should be struck, every living creature from Thessaloniki to Budapest shall be poisoned, and ecological consequences in the hart of Europe shall be worse than in Chernobyl and will last dozens of years,” Dedovic warned.
“The men who made wrong decisions threaten through their own media that attacks of NATO — the alliance of most powerful countries in the world — will be continued and amplified. They say that army, police and all factories, bridges, power plants and whole economy of ten million Yugoslav people shall be destroyed, and that their force will go forward until all poor but dangerous Serbs (women and children included) are thrown on their knees or completely exterminated. It seems that only this way they should be proud of themselves and their leadership. Do you trust them? We hoped that such an insane idea nobody would ever try to realize. But we learned, however, that these efficient persons with limited intelligence and unlimited power are very dangerous. Particularly because they intentionally make a new, greater error, to turn public attention from the previous one. We have nothing but to defend ourselves. Now, our lives are in question, tomorrow maybe yours — that’s why I’m asking your help to stop them,” concluded Dedovic in his letter. He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org