NATO assumes that if they destroy enough of Serbia, the “Butcher of
the Balkans” will back down. The problem with this “strategy” is that it
assumes that Milosevic cares about whether his policies hurt others.
I wonder if NATO’s leaders know that both of Milosevic’s parents
committed suicide when he was young? I wonder if NATO’s leaders know
that Slobodan’s favorite uncle also committed suicide? Those who do know
Milosevic say that his heart is as cold as stone. They say that he can’t
“quit” because that is what his parents and uncle did. If they are
right, Milosevic will not give up. If they are right, NATO will have to
invade Kosovo, kill everyone in Yugoslavia or give up.
NATO and Clinton insist that Slobodan must accept “their” terms about
what happens in “his” country or they won’t stop the bombing. NATO’s
number one demand is that Serbia relinquishes control over Kosovo. The
problem is that when the Ottoman Empire took Kosovo from the Serbs in
1389, the return of Kosovo became a holy issue for Serbs. A few years
ago, Slobodan went to Kosovo and said that he would never, ever allow
Kosovo to be taken from the Serbian people again. If NATO won’t stop
bombing until Slobodan gives up Kosovo, and he is sworn to die before he
does so, where does that leave the people of Yugoslavia?
NATO is acting like a school yard bully. Instead of admitting that it
made a mistake, NATO seems determined to unleash as much pain and
destruction upon as many innocent Serbian civilians as possible. Monday,
NATO dropped graphite bombs on Yugoslavia’s major electricity plants.
These bombs shorted out most of Yugoslavia’s electrical grid, plunging
the country into darkness. These bombs also cut off all power to
hospitals, nursing homes and facilities for the sick, infirm and aged.
Seventy premature babies almost died when their life support systems
stopped when they cut off the electricity. The good news is that backup
generators kept them alive. The bad news is that with the destruction of
all of the oil refineries and a potential oil embargo, these generators
may run out of fuel soon. However, that is not the worst of it.
NATO’s bombing of oil refineries, petrochemical plants, fertilizer
plants and oil storage depots has created an ecological disaster.
According to an April 19th story in London Times,
- Among the cocktail of chemicals billowing over hundreds of
thousands of homes were the toxic gas phosgene, chlorine and
hydrochloric acid. Workers at the industrial complex of Pancevo panicked
and decided to release tons of ethylene dichloride, a carcinogen, into
the Danube, rather than risk seeing it blown up.
The pollutants that NATO has created harm and sometimes kill
people. The pollution that NATO has released into the Danube is killing
fish and poisoning the drinking water of Romania and Bulgaria. When it
reaches the Black Sea, it will affect the health of citizens of the
Ukraine and Turkey. Remember how the world howled when Saddam Hussein
set fire to the Kuwait oil fields? Why is this any different?
NATO’s destruction of the civilian infrastructure of Serbia means
that most Serbs no longer have electricity, running water or telephone
service. NATO’s “accidental” bombing of buses and trains means that
public transport is no longer safe. NATO’s destruction of bridges and
roads means that food, medicine and other necessities of life can’t get
through. All of this is being done, they tell us, to stop ethnic
cleansing and make Milosevic sue for peace. However, it’s not working.
I am unalterably opposed to what Slobodan Milosevic is doing in
Kosovo. He is a butcher and should be removed from power by his own
people. However, isn’t it now clear that NATO’s attack has made things a
thousand-time worse for the Kosovar Albanians? Shouldn’t NATO and the
U.N. concentrate on providing adequate housing, health care and medical
treatment for the Kosovar refugees? Six weeks have gone by. What are
they waiting for?
If NATO is to protect displaced Kosovars, NATO must send troops into
Kosovo to rescue and protect the refugees who are hiding from
Milosevic’s police thugs. If NATO wants to stop the killing in Kosovo,
it must send in the Apache attack helicopters. Every day that NATO
delays condemns millions of Yugoslavs to a living hell.
An irony of this war is that Milosevic could not win over the Army to
his insane vision. As a result, Slobodan created one of the largest
police forces in the world to carry out his insane orders and protect
him from an Army-led coup. Recently, Milosevic removed the
Chief-of-Staff of the Army when he refused to carry out ethnic cleansing
orders. Instead of supporting the growing rebellion of Army officers of
character, however, NATO is systematically killing as many of these
brave men as possible.
Bill Clinton’s latest threat is that he will send in B-52s to carpet
bomb Serbia if Slobodan doesn’t back down. Do you know what that means?
It means starting at one end of the country and walking a wall of bombs
across the countryside. Carpet-bombing kills everyone and everything in
its path. To even talk about carpet-bombing is criminal. To think that
even this level of savagery would make Slobodan back down is insane.
NATO has backed itself into a corner. Milosevic will not give up
Kosovo. So unless they accept his terms, they have no choice but to
invade Kosovo. If NATO invades Kosovo, thousands of NATO soldiers will
This war has been a complete and utter failure. We are killing
hundreds of Serbian civilians for no reason at all. NATO’s bombing has
created a human rights nightmare by escalating the violence between Serb
and Albanian. NATO not only has failed to prevent ethnic cleansing, it
has destabilized the Balkans. It is time to end this war before things
get worse. Remember Vietnam. Remember Afghanistan.