Letters

MoJo Wire takes heat on Shell Ads

Shell Ads on MoJo Wire

How does refusing to run Shell ads restrict Shell’s freedom of expression? Logically this does not follow. I also find your comments paternalistic even while you decry paternalism in stating you do not want to shield your readers from positions with which we or Mother Jones may not agree. I think we are all too familiar with Shell and their advertising without needing to see it on a progressive news site. What are you hoping we’ll do–stop and ponder the irony? I think the commercial bug has infiltrated your thinking. There’s nothing thought provoking here. It’s just pure hypocrisy.

Kerri Covey


Partitioning Kosovo, and the US bias in the Balkans

The MoJo Wire’s Kosovo Coverage

Dear Editor,

The massacre in Gracko demonstrates, I believe, the necessity of some form of partition of Kosovo. NATO has an impossible mission if it desires to prevent revenge killings and houseburnings by the Albanian community. After the events of the last year,it is asking too much of the Albanians to refrain from seeking revenge against the Serbs, regardless of their individual guilt or innocence. Any people in similar circumstances would seek revenge for the suffering wrought upon them, and NATO will never have enough troops to prevent or punish all acts of revenge-inspired violence.

The Kosovar Serbs are drawing the only reasonable conclusions, and accordingly are leaving their homes. However, like the Kraijina Serbs five years ago, they have nowhere to go. The Belgrade regime has neither the resources or the desire to help these people. Nevertheless,the Kosovar Serbs are leaving because their physical survival is at stake.

The simplest and perhaps most just solution to this problem would be to partition Kosovo into Serbian and Albanian portions. Serbs could be resettled into the northermost tenth of the province,and Albanians in those areas could be resettled into Albanian Kosova. Such a solution might offend our prejudice against redrawing existing borders, but to insist that a Serb minority and an Albanian majority are going to peacefully co-exist after this war is to ignore the realities on the ground. I would rather sacrifice abstract principles of statecraft rather than the lives and homes of Kosovars, Albanian or Serb.

Sincerely,
Mark Nuckols

 

I was apalled at the misinformation provided by the Jeffrey Benner article on May 21. No reporting was attempted of the brutal Serb destruction and occupation of one third of Croatia in 1991, where 25,000 Croatians were killed and hundreds of thousands forced out of their homes. I also particularly complain about his misinformation regarding Croatia’s Serb population. The “Krajina” most certainly is not inhabited predominantly by Serbs. You could check the population statistics before making such false claims. There are Serb villages in this area, but they are surrounded by Croatian villages. Overall Croats make up the majority of the population in this mixed area. Any census research will confirm this fact.

Please note that many Serbs from Croatia never left the country. This includes the formerly ‘rebel’ Serbs of the Vukovar region in Eastern Croatia as they negotiated a peaceful settlement with Croatian authorities and did not leave. Serbs in wealthy urban areas of Croatia did not participate in a rebellion in the first place. Only the Serbs from the Knin area of Southern Croatia, who were led by leaders who refused to negotiate with Croatian authorities, left the country. 60,000 of these have already returned which Mary Robinson has praised. Thousands more are being currently processed.

Your articles have repeatedly served only to obfuscate the enormity of Milosevic’s crimes this decade through false equalisation and misinformation. Your site is the most blatant Serb apologia I have witnessed. If I desire your type of ‘news’ again I shall merely tap into the Serbian information ministry.

Sincerely Yours,
M. Breretin
Sydney, Australia

 

It saddens me to hear the remarks of Secretary of State Albright as she mentioned that there would be no more guns forcing people to leave their homes, no more ethnic cleansing, no more killings and violence. But as she made those remarks on her recent trip to Kosova, that violence she mentioned continues. It continues under the watchful eyes of KFOR troops and is generally ignored by the West and the media.

According to the latest statistics echoed by British newspapers, nearly 20 Serb homes are torched per day, one Serb is murdered every 24 hours, there are 80,000 ethnically cleansed Serbs, 198 total murders, 840 lootings, 573 arson attacks and 20 Christian churches vandalized or destroyed. All this in the six weeks after the bombing has stopped. All this done by Albanians, especially by the terrorist group the UCK, (KLA). And will these Albanians be brought to justice? Not according to Western policy. There should be open investigations into KLA atrocities before and after the air war. Both sides should not be immune from the arm of justice!

It’s quite obvious that the Albanians are treated better than our own suffering Americans here. And as Clinton rages on that the Serbian people will not receive a dime of assistance, the Albanians get what they want. One group of people is viewed as better than the other according to our own government. There is a term for this, it is called being ethnically racist. And that is surely what the U.S. and the West is doing in the Balkans today.

God bears witness to all of our actions!

Sincerely,
Pete Papageorge
Beloit, WI



All hell breaks loose at Woodstock ’99

Peace, Love, and Martial Law

Thank God! Someone is finally telling the truth that everything wasn’t all peace and love until 9:30 Sunday night. My friends and I (all of us women) fled the festival Saturday night in a rented U-Haul because we were scared to death by the total lack of security. It was quite clear that everyone thought they could do whatever they wanted to and get away with it (since it was common knowledge that the peace patrol spent some of their time selling drugs and blackmarket wristbands and NONE of their time keeping the peace).

We had been physically assualted, crushed, and survived an attempted attack by men on our tent Friday night, and we had had enough. To discover that women were raped at the front of the stage (which was the only place the the peace patrol seemed to gather in any numbers) is not surprising, but the fact that some in the media have tried to blame the women themselves (if some women are walking around topless, it seems to mean that it’s okay to assault and rape all women) rather than the total lack of any type of crowd control indicates the kind of spin that has already been put on the event.

Thank you Mother Jones for once again being willing to say what other media will not, the truth. Woodstock ’99 was a disaster waiting to happen from its opening moments.

Gwynne Ellen Ash
University of Georgia
Athens GA

 

Hi,

I just got back from Woodstock last night. We left early because it was so phucking far from what Woodstock was originally meant to be. I’ve read your articles about Woodstock. Some of it I agree with, but as for security, if you weren’t carrying a backpack, then they pretty much didn’t bother you. I was walking around with several illegal substances and saw other people selling them directly in the open. There were hypodermic needles lying on the ground and tipped over porta-potties. Everyone looked like they were trying to have a good time, but it was so hot and miserable, that it was almost impossible to. The stench of shit and sweat from half a million people was unbelievable. One toilet for every 10,000+ people is not enough. It wasn’t what I bargained for, but then again, could I really have expected any more than this?

Sincerely,
Shannon Mossop
Jeez!

The article about the ridiculous security forces at Woodstock ’99 is chilling. Especially that list of “don’t brings”.

Did the Woodstock promoters actually enlist all of this help, or did this mass of law enforcement agencies “volunteer” their services? Maybe they thought they could get some “practice” in at this event.

It’s also interesting to note that in light of all these draconian preparations, they had some major trouble at the concert anyway (fires, riots, etc.). I’m wondering – was the trouble there a public response to so much law enforcement presence?.

Yikes, the whole thing just gives me the creeps.

Lovin’ Mother Jones!

KR,
Austin, Texas

 

Last weekend I took my backpack, six liters of water, some grain cereal, soy milk, and an open mind and headed 10 miles down the road to the Woodstock festival. As a veteran of the original, I was interested in seeing how all the planning of our local govt. and the music industry would come out. Well if one looks out for their ass, they can have a good time anywhere.

While wandering around the concert site I came across your exhibit. Found your people to be nice to talk to and I took one of your magazines. I really don’t know my overal impression of the “festival.” Living in this area, the local papers are full of both “told you so” and “this was a great thing”. I kind of think most people feel like one does when they sober up in the morning and realize they had a good time but are not sure if they want to do it again. One of the best lines I heard was “I wonder what the last base commander would think if he saw this sh**?” Other great comments were “I’d pay the money just to watch the people even if there was no music.” When I looked around I mentioned to some one that there was enough plastic on the ground to keep OPEC in business for years.

Despite the heat, being screwed by the vendors and the break down in infrastructure/sanitation etc. I had a f***ing blast!! Given a comparison between a city of 200,000 and this “festival,” I was probably safer here. Despite all the comments made by the reactionary press and politicians people can be trusted not to f*** with each other if they are given a chance and a common purpose. Even if that purpose is to get screwed up and listen to music. One wonders why the positive aspects of human efforts can’t be harnessed? But I think I have a clue why as I munch on my $10 Taco and wash it down with my $4 bottle of water. I could probably go on and on in my ramblings but I have to go garden.

P.S .Loved your “Woodstock Diaries.” Keep up the good work. It’s a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stifling atmosphere, even though the cumulative effect of the articles kind of makes me hope for a planet-busting asteroid.

R. Robin,
New York