Keith Sanborn on Wed, 7 Apr 1999 22:33:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Clarification

> >I am certain there are many people in Yugoslavia who oppose both.
> >How is it they are paralyzed?
>     My dear friend, IT'S A GOD DAMNED WAR HERE! On the first day of 
>     NATO attacks out government declared a law according to whom: 
>     "any public work against the country's safety is STRICTLY 
>     forbidden and will be SEVERELY punished". That law will be valid 
>     only during the war. Now, tell me: if you were here, would you 
>     have so much courage to get out and play a hero on the streets 
>     on Belgrade yelling: "Milosevic murderer"? When there were no 
>     NATO attacks, that was possible. Now, thanks to NATO, Milosevic 
>     is stronger than ever...
>From what you say, you have been one of the ones working to prevent this
situation; apparently not enough people felt or worked in Serbia as you
do. Dictators don't appear overnight.  Sometimes, it is convenient not to
know things and sometimes the media covers them up as the us media did in
Iraq; most americans are still unaware of the toll their clean war took on
average Iraqui's, especially children. I cannot claim to be the kind of
hero who would go onto the streets of Belgrade now yelling "Milosevic is a
murder." Perhaps it should have been done a while ago. THis is not the
first time for him, after all. 

> >Ironically, I can only suppose that the Albanian-speaking people of 
> >Kossovo felt occupied by foreign troops as the Serbian army 
>     Milosevic didn't sent those troops on Kosovo because he decided
>     one day, it would be really fun to kill some Albanians. THERE
>     IS ARMED REBELLION ON KOSOVO! Hardcore Albanian leaders and their
>     armed forces (KLA) want to separate Kosovo from Serbia. They 
>     wanted that to do that for decades before Milosevic. That's why 
>     I'm saying Milosevic is NOT THE ONLY key to Kosovo conflict.

I think you make a good point, but the parallel to the intifada causes me
to realize that at least some of the paramilitary troops and Serbian
troops did in fact go in with the attitude that it would be fun to kill
some Albanians. I have seen filmfootage of paramilitary troops saying
almost the same thing. In any case they have certainly gone into their
work with relish.

I remember in the united states during the vietname era, people talking
about killing gooks as if it were hunting. Many atrocities were
perpetrated on the Vietnamese people on a personal level--not to mention
carpet bombing--that may even exceed the reported atrocities of the
Serbian troops in Kossovo.

> >The nation state and nationalism are one of the causes of the greatest
> >evils of our time, but what should replace them?
>     So, like I said, NATO is clearly not here to end this terrible 
>     humanitarian catastrophe on Kosovo or solve anything, but to 
>     destroy Yugoslavia and Serbia (revenge?), even with a price of 
>     much larger exodus from Kosovo.
I think that to blame the exodus on NATO is simply not factual. Milosevic
made the decision to force Albanians out. His troops took them from their
homes and began driving them to the border. If he had not done so, NATO
air strikes would be more difficult. It would not be so easy to single out
military and logistical targets if so many Albanians had not been driven
out. His cynical "peace offer" recognizes that.

Before that he tried simply to murder the dissenters and not just those
wielding ak47s and to drive them out by fear. So far I haven't heard many
complaints voiced by Albanians about the damge done by NATO. But perhaps
I'm not listening carefully enough. I think that the NATO action if
anything comes too late. The NATO reaction is structured to logistically
disable the continuation of ethnic cleansing. I won't applaud the concept
but it is not revenge as far as I can tell. There is a difference between
suppressing armed rebellion and carrying out ethnic cleansing. The can be
blurry, but Milosevic seems to have gone out of his way to erase the

>     They simply don't care about refugees. Nobody ever really cares 
>     for refugees. Everybody feels sorry for refugees he/she sees 
>     on TV, but nobody wants to do anything to PREVENT such things 
>     to happen! 

I am sorry to say that I think you are right. Even in Albania where things
are grim, people are making jokes because some of the Albanian refugees in
the camps have more to eat than they do. 

>     I know that best, because I work in one Belgrade based NGO which 
>     acted for a peaceful resolve of Kosovo conflict for more than 10 
>     years! I can count on my fingers governments, persons and 
>     institutions, national and international, who were truly 
>     interested for refugees and peaceful resolve of this conflict
>     If somebody thinks that heavy military action and more killing
>     is a way to bring peace anywhere - he is either naive or a fool.

The dead on both sides have found their peace already. It's a matter of
stopping the ethnic cleansing and rethinking "nationhood." 

Greetings. I hope a better peace--if not a more lasting one--can be found
for the living.

Keith Sanborn

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