Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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The US-NATO War on Yugoslavia

It’s Illegal, Inhumane and Must Be Stopped

by Janette Rainwater

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Conveniently forgotten now by the media is the fact that the KLA was initially unwilling to sign the Rambouillet ultimatum either, since the document only discussed autonomy for Kosovo, not independence, for which the KLA had been fighting. They signed only after the threat that the Albanian border would be closed to the future delivery of weapons. (And with the implicit promise— sign and we’ll bomb Serbia for you.)

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3. So now Milosevic has become the new Hitler, succeeding Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, and Muammar Gadaffi, all of whom this country has demonized in order to justify bombing their countries.

I am not here to defend this opportunist whose career I have been following since I first heard of him in 1987 in which time he has progressed from a two-bit apparachnik in the Serbian League of Communists to exploit the latent nationalism around Kosovo and become the repressive president of rump Yugoslavia. I remember warning Serbian friends back then that this guy sounded like a fascist to me

However, I suspect that until March 24 there was more real freedom and democracy in Serbia than in Croatia. Have we forgotten the Zajedno movement and the 90 days of demonstrations in the very cold winter of 1996-1997 which forced Milosevic to reinstate the victors of the municipal elections he had declared void? Those demonstrators are now almost solidly in Milosevic’s camp as the result of our bombing.

What in heaven’s name gives us the right to subject the Serbian people to the loss of their lives and property and the destruction of their livelihood and the country’s infrastructure in an attempt to unseat this “new Hitler”?

As of today (May 6, 1999) the “military only” targets have expanded to include auto, cigarette and textile plants, electricity power generating stations, and water treatment plants. All of the bridges across the Danube, one of Europe’s main waterways, are down. When Serbian television disclosed the large number of “smart bombs” that had hit residential areas, civilian buses, and refugee convoys, NATO bombed the television station, killing a large number of civilian employees.

Germany’s General Klaus Naumann has estimated that the bombing so far has set Yugoslavia back economically about 10 years and predicted that continued bombing “could end up reversing the country’s development level by the equivalent of 50 years.” An April 14th raid on Krusevac destroyed the country’s major tractor factory, thus crippling Yugoslavia’s ability to rebuild its roads, railroads, and bridges should the war ever end. The property damage is already over $100 billion; schools and universities have closed; the majority of the population is unemployed thanks to the destruction of half the country’s industrial capacity. Most public and private transportation has ceased due to a shortage of petrol.

Major health hazards are on the horizon with the damage to the water supply, sewage system and electricity system such as we have seen in Iraq. But, as Madeleine Albright said when Leslie Stahl confronted her about the horrendous malnutrition and infant mortality in Iraq, “It’s a hard choice, but we believe it's worth the price.” Is it really?

And, as a conservative member of the House of Lords, Lord Robert Skidelsky, recently warned, NATO’s war on Serbia presents a new doctrine of “ethical imperialism” which has some disturbing implications:

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Site last changed November 20, 2001.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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