Volume 93, Issue 1

Friday, May 14, 1999


NATO's bombs keep the peace?

Spring's here: time to kick ass

NATO's bombs keep the peace?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the great peace-keeper that it is, claims to be intervening in Kosovo for the humanitarian purpose of ending the plight of ethnic Albanians. The truth is NATO's war against Serbia is neither humanitarian nor helping Kosovars.

If NATO policy-makers do indeed rank the plight of oppressed minorities high, they would declare war against many other governments. According to NATO figures, Kosovo's death toll prior to March 24 was 2,000 and 300,000 people were left as refugees from their own country. The United States State Department gave identical 1998 figures for Columbia's internal strife. If NATO is truly concerned about human rights violations, why are they not bombing Bogota?

Ethnic cleansing is occurring worldwide on a much larger scale than in Kosovo. 10,000 people were killed last month in the Ethiopian-Eritrean area, 80,000 were murdered in Algeria and 820,000 were slaughtered in Rwanda in the last five years. Why hasn't the peace-loving NATO interceded in any of these crises? In fact, amiable NATO not only condones, but also abets atrocities when it's lucrative to do so. East Timor is just one such example.

One of NATO's own members, Turkey, recently murdered approximately 40,000 Kurdish people – the same ethnic group NATO is still bombing Iraq to supposedly protect – without a single reprimand from NATO's altruistic policy-makers.

Again, if the protector-of-all-humanity NATO is truly concerned about the welfare of ethnic Albanians, it would embrace actions that ensure Kosovar's safety and deplore actions which jeopardize their well-being. NATO is doing just the opposite. They are escalating, not diminishing, the atrocities committed against Kosovars.

NATO launched its military campaign without the ground support necessary to protect the millions of ethnic Albanians. The bombings also forced international observers and relief workers to evacuate, whose presence might have helped mitigate suffering and discourage worse offensives. NATO's bombings have allowed Milosevic free reign to escalate his terror campaign against Kosovars as predicted in March by NATO's commanding general Wesley Clark.

Serbia's March 23 attempt at a diplomatic solution, including a move towards Kosovo autonomy and a neutral United Nations force (without NATO troops, for obvious reasons), was rejected by NATO.

NATO's peace bombs have resulted in many civilian deaths, strengthened Serbia's resolve, marginalized the internal anti-Milosevic movement, heightened ethnic tensions and have made a long lasting peace agreement are much less likely.

The money spent on mass destruction could be put to better uses, such as refugee provisions and support for the once strong democratic opposition to Milosevic that existed in the government, media and the public (before the bombings began).

NATO is destroying the infrastructure needed to sustain life once peace is restored and Kosovars return to their homes. NATO's bombs have hurt, not helped, Kosovars by escalating the violence, disease, poverty and economic destruction of their homeland.

As well, NATO's complete disregard for UN policy has definitely weakened the UN's ability to effectively intervene in Serbia.

It's no wonder the rest of the world denounces NATO as the imperialistic bully that it is.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999