Letters

Kosovo Doesn’t Meet Definition of ‘Genocide’

Reality Check: Genocide

As a WWII veteran, I saw the atrocities of Dachau and I was at the war-crimes trials in Nuremberg in 1946. Genocide is the correct word for what happened in Nazi Germany, or what happened in Turkey in 1915 when about one million Armenian souls were killed.

Ethnic cleansing has been going on in the Balkans for centuries. In Croatia, Amnesty International reported in 1995, the Croatian army under Agim Ceku (now the KLA chief of staff) regained control of the Krajina region, which was primarily inhabited by ethnic Serbs, with the tacit approval of the West. Hundreds of civilians were killed and about 200,000 Serbs were herded out of their homes. This was known as “Operation Storm.”

According to the New York Times, the Croatian-armed army and special police committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law. The estimated number of Serbs ousted from Croatia was around 350,000, while about 400,000 Serbs were thrown out of Bosnia. Where is the comparison by the Western news media? Only one Croatian has been tried and now just recently released, because he already served his time. That was for the murder of women and children.

Agim Ceku, who is on leave (in his words, “retired”) from the Croatian army, was trained by the CIA and the Pentagon’s Military Professional Resources, Inc. MPRI is headed by retired U.S. military officers and specializes in sending mercenary armies, under Pentagon contracts, into wars without the fig leaf of congressional oversight. This is what is happening with the KLA. This will cause a guerilla war that will last for years.

There are about 800,000 ethnic Albanians that fled Kosovo and they are still alive and kicking. The Nazi Germans killed six million — that is genocide. The Turks killed about one million Armenians. That is genocide.

A MoJo subscriber,
Bill Baker



Readers Respond to Article on Agim Ceku

War Criminal, Ally, or Both?

May 27, 1999

Dear Editor:

The reason why the international community gave the Croatian military its tacit approval to enter Krajina was because the region was Croatian territory illegally seized by the Serbs as part of Milosevic’s quest for a Greater Serbia. Operation Storm was designed to recapture territory occupied by Serb rebels and JNA regulars in 1991. For four years, Serbian forces controlled and ethnically cleansed twenty-five percent of Croatia’s territory.

Furthermore, before the war, Serbs constituted twelve percent of Croatia’s population. After the war, six percent remained and twenty percent of those who had left, at the urging of their own leadership, returned. This fact was recently confirmed by Mary Robinson, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. In contrast, virtually none of the Bosnian Croats and Muslims driven from their homes in what is now the Republika Srpsca (Serb Republic) in Bosnia have been permitted to return; I doubt any of the Kosovar Albanians will ever see their homes again either.

The aftershocks of Serbia’s attacks on Croatia and Bosnia are real and unfortunate, but they are a direct result of Milosevic’s dreams of regional dominance and in no way mitigate the carnage in Kosovo.

Sincerely,
Frank Brozovich
President, Croatian American Association

 

To the Editors:

Why don’t more articles like Jeffrey Benner’s get into the mainstream press? The general public needs to read these things. Is it because articles like these do not get submitted for mainstream publication, or is it because, once submitted, they will not get published anyway?

Thanks to Mother Jones for bringing some balance to the issues in the Balkans.

Bob Heffron



We Stand Corrected

The Great American Whale Hunt

It’s understandably timely for MoJo to reprint its article “The Great American Whale Hunt,” given that the Makah have just killed a whale. However, you received a letter from Greenpeace’s Oceans Campaign after the article ran last year, pointing out that Greenpeace is not opposing this hunt, unlike some animal-rights groups and others.

Our position, instead, mirrors that attributed to the Sierra Club. If you’re going to pull out old articles when they become current, couldn’t you at least correct the mistakes you know you made?

Dave DeRosa



Concern for Alex; E-mails from Refugees?

Dispatches from Belgrade

Just wondering if you know what is up with Alex Bogojevic. His last e-mail was May 14. I’ve been reading every one of them, and this seems to be the longest space between e-mails.

Deirdre Sweet
Chicagoland

Editor’s note: We were worried about Alex too. His e-mail connection has been unpredictable and sporadic due to the power outages in Belgrade. After more than a week without word from him, we finally received an e-mail, which we posted on May 24.

 

To the Editors:

It would be quite interesting to publish e-mail from a Kosovo refugee; it might temper some reactions to Alex’s plight. I am sorry he’s coping with power outages and intermittent water supplies, but it probably beats living in a tent, with no furniture, no plumbing, and no job to go to. I haven’t read much about his sympathy for those who have fled Serbian forces, for those who were forcibly removed from their homes, or for those who can’t even buy food from Serbian merchants.

Your coverage has become very one-sided, it seems. While it is important for us to understand the difficulties of the Serbian people, the even worse plight of the Kosovo refugees is being neglected.

Name withheld



Not in Clinton’s Fan Club

MoJo Wire Kosovo Coverage

In regards to America’s role in the brutal and illegal bombing of Yugoslavia, I have this to say:

I believe this sordid matter has been brought about in part by the most evil, corrupt, and belligerent S.O.B. ever to occupy the White House: Bill Clinton. (And I voted for this modern-day Caligula in ’92.)

Since “Willie” has been caught with his pants down on several occasions, he knows he can’t take the chance of getting caught again, so he is releasing his pent-up sexual hostility on Yugoslavia in the form of bombs and missiles.

If we the people keep our heads in the sand, paying more attention to the Dow Jones average than the mass murders being committed by Amerika, we are just as guilty as Clinton.

Thanks,
Greg Bacon
Columbia, MO

 

Two recent statements by President Clinton and the first lady provide little confidence in their perception of reality. Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece that, had we not intervened in Yugoslavia, “the Kosovars would have become a people without a homeland, living in difficult conditions in some of the poorest countries of Europe, overwhelming new democracies.” Doesn’t the president comprehend that is exactly what has happened; that the U.S./NATO bombing decision is what turned a low-level conflict into the inferno we have today?

In her visit to the region, Hillary Clinton said the plight of Kosovar refugees reminded her of Holocaust scenes in the Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List. Hasn’t Hillary seen real film clips of the Holocaust, or read a history book on this period? Does this mean that Hillary, and perhaps Bill, learns history from the movies? Hillary’s statement is as bewildering as Bill’s contention that he never had sex with Monica.

In Britain, Tony Blair, the seeming choirboy-turned-warrior, wants us to believe his total concern is humanitarian. Blair’s compassion involves two months of around-the-clock bombing with more than 20,000 sorties flown. The “humanitarian” accomplishments are dead people and the destruction of a European country. Calling this policy humanitarian is ludicrous to the extreme. Surely it remains true that “two wrongs do not make a right.”

In European demonstrations against the bombing, many signs read, “End the Cowardly War.” This refers to a war that is waged from 15,000 feet, where the victims are never seen. Whatever we call it, the bombing makes no sense. Let us demand that it be stopped and agree to a settlement negotiated by the U.N.

Douglas Mattern
President, Association of World Citizens
San Francisco, CA