Letters

Administration’s Omission of ‘Genocide’ No Accident

Reality Check: Genocide

Sir:

Of course they use these ugly words, because they have to justify what they are doing. They are the same words Hitler used in 1939, before he attacked Czechoslovakia.

Ivan Stanojlovic
Toronto, Ontario
Thank you for your article on genocide. I knew it was as you have said. We feel so discouraged out here; there seems to be nothing we can do. We call and fax and phone our representatives and senators. We are ignored. Things keep going in the same direction (disaster) for our country. Republicans seem gutless and mesmerized by the Clinton cobra. He has circumvented Congress and will get us into the conflict (war) without Congressional approval. He’s like a dictator and NATO is his “army” to do his bidding. I fear that the American public is fat, dumb (to Clinton’s wiles), and full of apathy.

Name withheld



The Evils of ‘Humanitarian Bombs’ and Banning Dissent

MoJo Wire Kosovo Coverage

The Clintons never cared about victims of drug-related murders in Mena, Arkansas, during the Clinton governorship. They could easily have done something about those killings, without “collateral damage” to any innocent persons, but they chose to perform a cover-up. Now they expect us to believe that they are full of compassion for Kosovars. Next they’ll try to sell us ocean-front real estate in Nebraska.

Joseph Ravitts
Doesn’t anybody in the media see the inherent lunacy in “humanitarian bombing”? Isn’t this an obvious oxymoron (with “moron” as the operative word)? Add to this the fact that our “good guys,” the KLA, are under investigation by several European police agencies for organized-crime links and drug trafficking. Haven’t we seen this arms-for-drugs scenario before? Is it U.S. foreign policy to keep the world free for dope peddlers?

Now the White House spin-meisters want to cut off Yugoslavia from the Internet in a vain attempt to control the propaganda war. That is what it truly is: a propaganda war. And now the media talks about the U.S. needing to send in ground troops to save face! Shoulda never gone there in the first place, I say.

Norbert Radtke
In American politics, nothing is ever as it seems.

We haven’t allowed a balanced debate over Kosovo. Why? Bush allowed debate about Kuwait. Perhaps the arguments against entering a civil war were too strong to allow debate about Kosovo. A sovereign country attacked for 13 months from outside its borders by a terrorist organization backed by a drug mafia. A constant claim of oppression when the Serbs expelled the terrorist organization. An October agreement promising to keep the terrorists off the backs of the Serbs AND moderate Kosovars. A failure to live up to our side of the agreement. An ultimatum in Rambouillet. A refusal to negotiate on the twenty-some adjustments brought to the table in Paris.

No wonder we started bombing before the public had a chance to ask why. I’m still looking for a balanced network to tell both sides of the story, this time without trashing the dissenters. Better now than after our ground forces get bogged down in the mountains all winter. I’ll bet we will hear about the ground troops for the first time after they’ve crossed the border. This seems to be the pattern of this administration. Telling us about the plan for ground troops now will only stir debate. And if debate is bad for the administration, then maybe that’s a dead giveaway that someone doesn’t have a very strong position to stand on, like Bush did in Kuwait.

The time for NATO to worry about its credibility is before it does the deed, not when it is trying to cover its actions up and trash the dissenters. Of course, since he owns the greatest propaganda (I mean spin) machine of all time, Clinton will never need to learn this lesson. He sure didn’t last year.

Or better yet, maybe the Clinton administration can just ban dissent. The American people may not be smart enough to comprehend its real motives. Or maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps Tony Blair can show that Rambouillet can work by offering the deal to the Catholics in Northern Ireland.

My ax to grind is if they would not allow an honest debate before they wage an illegal war against a people that have always been our ally, they can do it to us as well.

Bill Pangonis
Undeclared wars have terrible consequences for the rule of law. The message given to Americans is that the law does not matter when an executive (Clinton) intends to act in an imperial and uncontrolled manner. It is Congress’ role to declare war. But Congress voted no such declaration and furthermore, by a tie-vote, declined to support the air war.

In other words, there is no Congressional authority for this war under the War Powers Resolution. Some may look to NATO, given that America is in the war at the request of NATO. The NATO charter, though, makes it clear that any actions taken by alliance members are dependant on the constitutional processes of member nations. Congress has already spoken to denounce the air war. And according to Article I of the NATO Charter, NATO is supposed to report threats to the peace before the United Nations security council, where a vote would be taken by the members under Chapter 7 to decide what action, if any, would be taken.

Mr. Milosevic has a legitimate case against NATO in a international court of law regarding damages done to his country. The fact is that we have an illegal war upon us. Thankfully, though, on April 30 House members Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed suit in federal court with 15 other members seeking to stop the war by May 25, the date when Clinton’s authority runs out under the War Powers Act. Finally, honest people who have respect for the rule of law will see that the laws are followed properly.

Thank you very much for your time,
Pete Papageorge



Why Greeks Don’t Support NATO

MoJo Wire Kosovo Coverage

To Whom It May Concern:

From the start of the conflict, the Greek people have openly stood on the side of the Serbs and against NATO, which they blame for waging an illegal war against them. The Greek people also blame NATO for punishing a whole group of people by killing unprotected men, women, and children and destroying their country to an extent that is greatly disproportionate to the probable faults of their leader, Milosevic. NATO is also criticized for not waging a ground war, man to man, but fighting from the relative safety of the air, killing with the press of a button.

Why do the Greek people act in this way and hold daily demonstrations against NATO while people in the U.S.A. and Western Europe seem to be indifferent? The answer is that, in many aspects, the Greek people think differently from the other people mentioned above. They feel solidarity with the suffering of the Serbs, even though their government has done some terrible things. They are against the alliance that has the power to impose its will by any and all means.

Generally, the way a people thinks is expressed by its language. The language of each culture — by the way it is used, by its words and phrases — expresses the way that a people thinks. Thought and language are inseparable. They consist of one and the same thing. The language itself, expressing thoughts, makes no mistakes.

  • REFUGEES are people who are forced to leave their country because of war or other causes. The Greek equivalent is PROSFYGHES (PROS = “toward somewhere” + FYGHE = “going away”). That is to say, in the Greek language, and consequently in Greek thought, a direction is indicated; it is implied that there is somewhere the people can go and be accepted.

  • COUNTRY is “land” in German, “pays” in French — both words with a neutral meaning. The Greek word for “country” is CHORA (“space”), implying that there is enough space for all who reside therein, delineating no boundary between natives and foreigners.

  • HOSPITALITY is an English word that is wrongly translated into Greek as FILOXENIA. The Greek word consists of two roots (FILO = “to love” + XENOS = “stranger/foreigner.” That is to say, FILOXENIA is the love for the stranger and the foreigner.

  • DISASTER: The Greek word for “disaster” is SYMFORA (from SYN = “all together” + FORA = “turning around”); all the people suffer together and their lives are “turned around” together.

  • INTEREST comes from the Latin roots INTER (“in the middle”), and EST (“it is”). It implies something that is in the center and everyone wants to take a piece for his or her own purposes. The Greek word is SYMFERON (from SYN = “together with others” + FERO = “to bring”). Its meaning is almost the opposite of the word in English.

I will not continue as this letter is long enough. From these few examples, the reader can get an idea of the different way the Greek people think.

Sincerely yours,
Nikolaos G. Tasvos
Pattras, Greece



Pacifists vs. Powerfists

A Carrot for Kosovo

I agree with David Hartsough’s column on a real-life solution for Kosovo and Yugoslavia, provided there is a portioning to Serbia of religious sites … and I don’t mean a disingenuous, endless nitpicking by those who have no concern or clue to a true religiosity.

What Mr. Hartsough is pointing to is the way the world is actually moving and will need to continue moving if we are to be allowed survival. But pacifists must get much better at not allowing powerfists to usurp their responsibilities in future. People like Slobodan Milosevic appeal to our security needs and the lolling, laziness within that believes freedom comes at no personal cost. Peaceful sleeves must be rolled up and a witty mind must be exercised (not exorcised) to put power in its entropic place, that little discombobulated machine that it believes it has a right to be, like it or not.

When pacifists wait too long in the face of power, when they naively believe that everybody’s ideas are equally good, or that everybody wants good for the all, then they allow power to corrupt absolutely. This is a safe haven for fools in their paradise lost. The truth of it is that a uniquely humane honor could have prevailed with courage in the beginning when there was clearly presented — at the daily, silent forks in the road to which we all are witness — that conscious choice for full awareness with all its attendant rights and responsibilities to distinguish good from evil and human from machine.

Nina Panaeti