Readers for Peace
Maybe you can identify a fairly defensible rationalization for entering the war in the Balkans some seventy days ago. Can you similarly rationalize its continuance? Millions of honorable men and women serve, and have served, in the military services for the sake of American-style democracy the world over. They put everything, including their lives, at risk for a higher purpose. For more than two hundred years, American patriots have acted out of a sense of duty based on the simple moral precepts and principles of law laid down by our founding fathers, and they continue to do so today.
I believe that most American citizens and members of our armed services likewise cannot support continuing this amoral and clearly illegal war. So who do you serve and what do you stand for? Isn’t it time to collectively confront your elected representatives and to tell them to actually begin representing you again? Isn’t it time NOW to pull the plug on the Clinton administration’s “bombs for peace” war in the Balkans?
I remain, praying and acting for peace,
Oregonia, OH For the past few days, NATO has been destroying the electric grid throughout Serbia. It has also been destroying water-purification facilities. The media comment on this is: “The Serbs will have to get used to living without television.”
Without electricity, the Serbs have no running water. Hence what they will soon have to get used to is dying in large numbers.
Please tell me that I’m over-dramatizing. Tell me that there’s no emergency, that the power cuts aren’t total, and that the city dwellers of Serbia will quickly find ways of getting enough potable water, of evacuating their sewage, and of surviving healthily on raw food, brought in somehow from the countryside.
Please tell me that it’s OK to continue talking business (or politics or whatever) as usual, just like everybody else.
Tell me I can relax and have a good night’s sleep.
Clinton Violating War Powers Act
It is a shame that the major media is ignoring the constitutional crisis we are facing, but it is even more disturbing that the alternative media is also. Where is the commentary about the fact that Clinton is in violation of both the Constitution and the War Powers Act? If he is allowed to get away with this, how are we going to be able to hold any future president accountable to the law of the land?
New Tripoli, PA
Rambouillet vs. the G-8 Peace Plan
Dear Mother Jones,
I have followed your coverage of the tragic events in Kosovo and found your reporting to be informative and accurate. However, I have a concern about your comparison of the “new” agreement with the Rambouillet proposal. After much searching through news reports, I couldn’t find any specific outline of the Rambouillet agreement, so I began a search on the Internet and found what was purported to be a complete text of the “accords.”
The body of the proposal seemed to give Yugoslavia more than the present agreement, but Appendix B of the Rambouillet proposal gave NATO remarkable powers throughout Yugoslavia, not just in Kosovo. It gave NATO the power to arrest people, conduct troop movements using Yugoslav facilities, and receive total immunity from criminal and civil processes throughout Serbia. Will this be the case under the new agreement? If not, I would suggest that Serbia, not NATO, has “won”!
Harold St. Clair Dearest MoJo,
In the June 3 article by “Balkans expert” Christopher Bennett, “Fine Print on Peace Deal,” it was stated:
“The Kosovo peace agreement ratified today by the Serbian parliament amounts to capitulation to every demand which NATO has presented for an end to its bombing campaign. Its terms are, therefore harsher than those of the Rambouillet Agreement…”
I’m just a little confused by this statement implying the latest agreement is harsher than the original demands. If you read the actual Rambouillet Agreement, it states near the end (was this the fine print?), in Appendix B: Status of Multi-National Military Implementation Force No. 8, that:
“NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters.”
This particular section, let alone the rest of the “agreement,” sounds to me like the occupation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), and not just Kosovo, contrary to what is frequently claimed by NATO representatives. Could this be the ultimate aim of NATO expansion?
In the reports regarding NATO’s demands at Rambouillet, the above points are never touched on. This “agreement” is like giving a country an ultimatum: Let us come in and occupy your country, or we’ll take you by force. It all sounds like an insidious attempt by NATO to control the region while hiding behind the mask of humanitarianism.
I hope the war ends with these new agreements, for the sake of all the innocent lives, on both sides, caught up in this brutal video-game assault.
Compassion, Intellectual Liberalism, or Ignorance?
The problem with Rabbi Michael Lerner’s elegant justification of NATO intervention in Yugoslavia is that it hinges on his willingness to let others do his killing for him. If he were willing to give up his business, his home, his family, his freedom, and his cerebral safety to join the NATO forces in actual combat, he would be worth reading.
But his willingness to ignore Clinton’s “ethnic cleansing” and the role of the military-industrial complex in the war against Yugoslavia is a convenience wallowed in by comfortable liberals who start these moralistic wars — an intellectual adventure for them, but real death to others. War will continue as long as young men (and women, these days) aim guns at who they are told to aim at and pull the trigger when so ordered.
Only when conscripted youngsters turn on their commanders — as they did en masse in Vietnam (“fragging”) — and slay those who order them to kill others, will the war stop.
Everything else is rhetoric, but deadly to others.
Grass Valley, CA
I read your article “Compassion with Teeth.” I hate your hypocrisy, faking ignorance of what the Serbs have suffered from for decades.
“But the murders and rapes and mass expulsions of hundreds of thousands of Kosovars were committed by tens of thousands of ‘willing executioners’ cheered on by a Serbian society which had supported the genocide in Bosnia and seemed willing to go along with its continuation in Kosovo.”
This is intentionally ambiguous, using the fact that these are only unproven allegations for dozens of murders and rapes, the “hundreds of thousands” applying only to the alleged “mass expulsions.” You are also counting on the fact that in a decade, people reading your paper and not remembering exactly what happened will understand it quite differently.
This is the same trick your friends used to forge the now well-implemented false impression that Serbs are savages, killing people without having been aggressed upon.
Why did your friends do nothing when Serbs were killed in WWII by Communists (generally Croats) and fascists (generally Albanians)? When Serbs were killed by Muslim Bosnians in Bosnia? When Serbs, who still comprised 60 percent of the population in Kosovo in WWII, were driven out by constant assassinations, rapes, and robberies? Do you really ignore the fact that the aggression against the Serb police and army forces by the KLA has not stopped with the capitulation (still another five were wounded near Urosevac on the afternoon of June 3)? Do you really ignore how Serbs were “ethnically cleansed” from Croatia since the start of this war in 1991?
I am disgusted with this cowardice and lying.
I am not Serb; I am French, but I really don’t like killing and lying. It’s easy to posture like a hero when systematically taking the stronger side, like against the GIs in the Vietnam War, as so many did without even trying to go there to check the reality.
As a result of this imposed capitulation, racism has won! You are now allowed to kill, kill, kill if you are on the dominant side (Albanians), but if you are the victims, you have no right to tell about it, much less to defend yourself (nor, of course, to try to retake the territory you lost).