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Bombing Yugoslavia:

A "Humanitarian War" for an Imperialist Peace

by Howie Hawkins, Syracuse Green Party

The US bombed Yugoslavia for the same imperialist reasons it bombed Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan this year as well as Bosnia in 1995, namely, to project global power and show the world who's the boss. The expressed concern for the rights of Albanian Kosovars was a pretext for advancing US economic and geopolitical interests. The bombing campaign did nothing to protect the Albanian Kosovars from Serb fascists; indeed, it gave them the cover for the ethnic cleansing of Albanians from Kosovo that they had sought for years.

The US pushed the bombing campaign in order to reinforce the dominion of US-run NATO over Europe and to expand NATO's mission to "out of area" military interventions. Under the cover of humanitarian pretensions, NATO now becomes the global cop who enforces the conditions for corporate exploitation, just as nineteenth century imperialism pillaged the Third World while pretending a self-sacrificing "white man's burden" of civilizing the "backward countries."

In Yugoslavia itself, there was nothing of vital economic interest to the US. But there was a nice plum in its province of Kosovo. "The sprawling state-owned Trepca mining complex, the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, is worth at least $5 billion," wrote Chris Hedges for the New York Times. According to the mine's director, Novak Bjelic, speaking in mid-1998 during the civil war between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Yugoslav army, "The war in Kosovo is about the mines, nothing else. This is Serbia's Kuwait, the heart of Kosovo." The mines contain huge veins of lead, zinc, cadmium, gold and silver, as well as 17 billion tons of coal reserves. (1 [see notes at end])

Under the cover of humanitarian pretensions, NATO now becomes the global cop who enforces the conditions for corporate exploitation

Aside from the lucrative but not vital Trepca mining complex, the US wants in Yugoslavia the favorable conditions for corporate profit-making that it wants everywhere: sweat-shop labor conditions, a deregulated market, privatized assets, a "stable" (i.e., repressive) government that maintains these conditions against any social insurgency. That the US has commercial as well as military interests in the Balkans was symbolized in the Boeing 737 crash in 1996 that killed Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. Perishing with Brown were top executives from Boeing, Bechtel, AT&T, Enron, Northwest Airlines, and several other corporations, all of them major Democratic Party donors and traveling with Brown to secure contracts from the $5.1 billion post Bosnian war reconstruction package. (2)

Bombing European Independence

The most important reason the US wanted war in Kosovo, and

before that in Bosnia, had to do with concerns outside the Balkans.

A primary US political/military goal has been to prevent the

Western European powers from breaking free of their subordination

to the US through NATO. Since the Cold War ended, the US has

needed a rationale for preventing Europe from establishing itself as

an independent political/military entity, especially in an alliance with Russia and its nuclear capacities. The wars in Yugoslavia have served this purpose well. The US aim has not been to settle the Balkan conflicts. To the contrary, the US has repeatedly, in Bosnia and Kosovo, blocked settlements, encouraged war by ultra- nationalist and fascistic forces in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Serbia itself, and sought out opportunities to bomb. The US aim has been to occupy the Balkans militarily, thus keeping Europe dependent on US military capacity. (3)

A primary US political/military goal has been to prevent the Western European powers from breaking free of their subordination to the US

This US goal in the Balkans is linked to the overall US goal of nothing less than global domination as "the indispensable power" in Madeleine Albright's arrogant phrase. A 1992 Pentagon policy

document redefined US political/military goals for the post Cold War world. Entitled "The Defense Planning Guide," it states, "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival [i.e.,

Europe]

from challenging our leadership

to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and

We

must

discourage

[the advanced industrial nations]

It

is of fundamental importance

security as well as the channel for US influence and participation in

European security affairs

of European-only security arrangements that would undermine

NATO

ultimately backed by the US

independently when collective action [i.e., the UN] cannot be orchestrated." (4) It is in this context of the US drive for global domination and European subordination that the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s must be understood.

We must seek to prevent the emergence

US should be postured to act

[We

must maintain] the sense that the world order is

The

Caught Between Domestic Bureaucrats and Foreign Imperialists

But it is not just US machinations that account for the recent Balkan Wars. Internally, the Yugoslav state bureaucracy, led by the Yugoslav League of Communists, held power in the post World War II period through a one-party government and a state-owned market economy. Staking out a position of neutrality between East and West in the Cold War and introducing profit-oriented worker- managed firms (with workers' power strictly circumscribed by the League of Communists), the economy grew phenomenally in the 1950s and 1960s and old ethnic rivalries faded in the general prosperity. By the mid-1960s, however, as the linking of the Yugoslav market to the global market created economic imbalances and competitive pressures, continued Yugoslav prosperity began to depend on an influx of foreign capital, which Western banks were happy to provide.

By 1970, foreign debt was $2 billion; by 1975, $6 billion; and by 1980, $20 billion, representing a quarter of national income, with debt servicing taking 20% of export revenues. Now the IMF stepped in, imposing as a condition of continued financing increasingly severe austerity measures, including wage reductions, mass lay-offs, enterprise liquidations, privatizations, and financial deregulation. Between 1979 and 1985, workers' real personal income fell 25%. The standard of living fell by 40% between 1982 and 1989.

In 1990 and 1991, the economy nose-dived into almost total collapse with runaway inflation and severe depression under even more severe IMF "shock therapy," throwing the Yugoslav state itself into crisis. Throughout the 1980s, workers had paid for servicing the debt, but in 1989 the debt still stood at $20 billion. In the early 1990s, unemployment rose to over 30% and 60% of the people lived below the minimum income formerly guaranteed by the state. Meanwhile, as market forces played an increasing role at the expense of economic planning and inter-regional transfers from wealthier regions like Slovenia to poorer regions like Kosovo, regional inequalities increased dramatically. One of the key

Yugoslav bureaucrats slavishly administering the IMF austerity program was Slobodan Milosevic, who launched the Milosevic Commission in 1987 to provide the rationale for economic reforms in 1988 that scrapped economic planning, centralized the Yugoslav federation, and implemented the IMF's pro-capitalist "structural adjustment" package. (5)

the

bureaucratic elites tried to fight the

workers movement by dividing it along ethnic lines.

Politically in this period, Yugoslavia became polarized, not between nationalities, but between a growing independent, multi-ethnic workers movement resisting the austerity measures and demanding more democracy and a move by the bureaucratic elites to nationalism as a means of mobilizing a base of support within their respective ethnic communities as the Yugoslav state went into crisis. Led by revived fascist parties that had not been heard from since World War II in alliance with "reform" Communist leaders who now sought to convert their ruling power from a bureaucratic to a capitalist basis, the bureaucratic elites tried to fight the workers movement by dividing it along ethnic lines.

An enormous strike wave had spread across the country in 1987, sparking a non-nationalist workers movement demanding a democratic socialism, not ethnic nationalism. But the bureaucratic ruling class, backed by the US and IMF, mobilized nationalist sentiment in their respective ethnic communities in what became a desperate scramble for crumbs from a shrinking pie.

US policy, codified in a "Secret Sensitive" 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD), "United States Policy Toward Yugoslavia," encouraged these economic measures to break up Yugoslavia's state-owned economy and open it up to full integration into the global market. (6) Until 1991, however, the US opposed the break-up of the Yugoslav state. Meanwhile, Germany led a group of European powers that encouraged Slovenia and Croatia to secede and recognized them once they did on June 25, 1991. The US continued to back Milosevic diplomatically as he went to war in Slovenia and Croatia to keep them in the Yugoslav Federation. The US also supported his simultaneous operations against Albanians in Kosovo, a military operation intended to bolster his political credentials with the anti-Albanian chauvinism of Serb nationalists. Concerned that Germany was creating its own sphere influence, independent of US tutelage, the US looked for a way to get more

involved in The Balkans and found it by playing the Bosnian card against Germany and the rest of Europe.

As the war between Croats and Serbs spilled over into Bosnia, the Europe Community proposed an ethnic cantonization of Bosnia. Hundreds of thousands of Croats, Serbs, and Muslims living in Bosnia, one-third of whose families were mixed, protested this ethnic partition of their homeland by the Western powers and local fascists. The independent trade union movement continued to resist, holding out for a multi-ethnic socialist democracy. But the US encouraged the Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic to declare Bosnia independent in March 1992, scuttling a peace agreement Izetbegovic had already agreed to that was little different from the one eventually signed at Dayton fours years later, after all the carnage, atrocities, and ethnic cleansing by militias on all sides. By encouraging the Bosnian war, the ethnic cleansing, the post-war ethnic apartheid that is called peace, and by topping it off with bombing strikes leading to the UN occupation based on US/NATO military logistical support, the US achieved its purpose of making its military capacity indispensable in the region. (7)

Seeking War in Kosovo

The war over Kosovo followed a similar scenario. At Dayton, Albanian Kosovar grievances were kept off the table. The US boosted Milosevic as a "guarantor" of the Dayton Accords. With the collapse of the Albanian regime in the latter part of 1997, the border between Albania and Kosovo opened up and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began serious military actions in Kosovo with weapons seized from Albanian armories. In early 1998, the US signaled to Milosevic that he was free to undertake counter- insurgency operations by having the US special envoy to the region, Robert Gelbard, declare in Belgrade that the KLA is a terrorist organization.

That same month, March 1998, Milosevic and the elected leader of the Albanian shadow government, Ibrahim Rugova, declared their support for a peace plan proposed by the European Union and Russia that would have provided for autonomy for Kosovo. But the KLA and the US refused to agree, as NATO prepared its bombing plans. On October 13, Milosevic agreed to a cease fire which provided for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers. But the US obstructed implementation, holding up funding and the observers until it placed William Walker, a veteran of covert operations in Nicaragua and El Salvador, in charge of the OSCE monitoring force. The KLA, probably with US encouragement, ignored the cease-fire while Serbia observed it, according to the European Union's report on the situation in December. But the US pushed for bombing Yugoslavia on the

grounds that its counter-insurgency against the KLA was in fact ethnic cleansing. At the insistence of the German and French governments, there was one more round of negotiations at Rambouillet instead of a fall bombing campaign.

As Henry Kissinger put it, "Rambouillet was not a negotiation as is often claimed but an ultimatum." (8) Serbs and Albanians were not allowed to meet with each other. Instead, the US presented a NATO ultimatum in which Yugoslavia was expected to allow NATO to occupy not just Kosovo, but all of Yugoslavia, with Yugoslavia providing free use of all facilities and with complete legal immunity for NATO for anything it might do. It also specified that Kosovo would operate as a free market economy, with state assets like the Trepca mining complex privatized. (9)

Milosevic refused to sign away Yugoslavia's sovereignty. The Albanian Kosovars also refused to sign because the "agreements" did not provide for the Albanians' goal of independence, while they did provide for disarming the KLA. The US pushed forward the most pliable pro-NATO elements of the KLA who would sign after a couple of weeks and brushed aside the elected leader Rugova and the left-wing of the KLA, led by Adem Demaci. Demaci was the political leader of the KLA at the time and advocated making common cause with the democratic, anti-nationalist Serbs in the independent trade unions for the long term vision of a socialist confederation for the Balkans. Since Rambouillet, however, Demaci has been exiled in Slovenia and targeted for assassination by the KLA leaders pushed to the forefront by the US. (10)

Far from protecting the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the US bombing … precipitated the … ethnic cleansing in order to make ethnic cleansing the excuse for bombing.

After Rambouillet, NATO gave Milosevic, and his fascist sometimes allies in the militias of the Serbian Radical Party, five days notice that the bombing would begin on March 24 and then did not do serious bombing of Serb positions in Kosovo for weeks after that, instead targeting the economic infrastructure of Serbia, Montenegro, and Vojvodina. This gave the militias plenty of time to terrorize Albanians in Kosovo, which they initiated after the pending bombing campaign was announced. Milosevic's Yugoslav army let the militias do the ethnic cleansing as the army prepared defenses against a possible NATO ground invasion. The delay in

bombing Yugoslav army positions in Kosovo also gave NATO's humanitarian pretext of countering Serb atrocities time to take hold. The ethnic cleansing certainly came as no surprise to US/NATO, as CIA and Pentagon officials soon admitted. (11) Indeed, it was easily predicted by the tactics used by the Serbs (and Croats and Muslims) in Bosnia and by anyone examining the programs of the major Serb political parties and their leaders' statements in recent years. (12) Far from protecting the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the US bombing cynically precipitated the predictable ethnic cleansing in order to make ethnic cleansing the excuse for bombing.

The Serb government had been ready to do everything short of a NATO occupation of their whole country to prevent the bombing. The Serbian Parliament had passed a resolution the day before the bombing began that it would accept an armed peacekeeping force under UN command to protect Albanian Kosovars under an autonomy agreement. But US-led NATO wanted war and a NATO occupation of Kosovo and so ignored the Serb peace initiative. (13)

After 79 days of months of economically and ecologically catastrophic bombing came a "settlement" which differed little from that which Milosevic and Rugova, along with Western Europe and Russia, were ready to support a year ago and again at Rambouillet and again the day before bombing commenced, providing for autonomy for Kosovo with international monitoring. NATO got its military occupation, but only of Kosovo, not all of Yugoslavia. Milosevic got a UN Security Council resolution as a fig leaf covering the loss of Kosovo. Albanian Kosovars got to return home as Serbs exit Kosovo, but not to the self-government they had sought. Like the NATO protectorate in Bosnia, Kosovo will be ruled dictatorially by NATO, not Kosovars. It is questionable whether the KLA and the Albanian Kosovars will peaceably disarm and accept foreign occupation for long.

Political Office Is Not Always Political Power

How long can US/NATO occupy the Balkans before the people there wise up to the fact that they have been used as pawns by the great powers intervening, as well as by the lesser indigenous powers Milosevic in Serbia, Tudjman in Croatia, Izetbegovic in Bosnia, and, yes, Rugova (14) and the pro-NATO wing of the KLA, in their ethnic cleansing strategies to consolidate their own bureaucratic power in an economy ravaged by Western indebtedness, structural adjustment, and war?

It is here where one would hope that the Greens-with their roots in the anti-nationalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-bloc movements of the post-war European New Left-would play a major role working in solidarity with the democratic, anti-nationalist movements of the

Balkans, most notably the independent trade unions that are still functioning in opposition to both Western imperialism and Balkan nationalism, as well as the smaller women's, peace, and ecological and Green movements that share these goals. (15) But while most Green parties around the world condemned US/NATO aggression in the Balkans, why did the Green parties in governing coalitions in NATO countries, namely, German, France, and Italy, go along with NATO?

the

jobs

Red-Green coalitions at all levels mean

for

Green Party members.

The German Party was the most involved, with its leading realo, Joschka Fischer, holding the position of Foreign Minister in the German government. For all of Fischer's legitimate outrage expressed at the atrocities and ethnic cleansing committed by Serb forces under Milosevic's watch in Bosnia and Kosovo, it must also be clear to him that Croatia's Tudjman, Bosnia's Izetbegovic, the KLA nationalists, and, above all, US-led NATO, which has encouraged all these forces, including Milosevic's Serbia, in their ethnic wars, are all partners in these crimes.

So why did Fischer, and these other Greens, line up with the NATO war criminals? One can only conclude that these Greens put power before principles, that they wanted to stay in their respective "Red- Green" coalitions at all costs. For the German Greens, the Red- Green coalitions at all levels mean jobs. In the Green party of Fischer's home state of Hesse, by 1989, 80% of the Green Party members had jobs as public officials, party officials, or their staffs. (16) These Greens have let themselves be used by the US to put a humanitarian gloss on its Machiavellian policy of global domination.

The lesson for anti-war Greens is to understand that being in office is not the same as being in power.

The lesson for anti-war Greens is to understand that being in office is not the same as being in power. It will take more than electing Greens to office if we are to dismantle US imperialism. It will take an international movement outside as well as inside of

governments. Corporate power is extra-governmental. Its ability to move capital and ruin a government's economic base makes governments subordinate powers under capitalism. And military power is often extra-legal, as NATO's recent bombing campaign demonstrated. The power we potentially have, to counter the extra- governmental power of the corporations and the extra-legal power of the National Security State, lies more with direct action by masses of people in the streets, in workplaces, and in the armed forces themselves than with legislative action by a relatively few Greens elected to public office.

Notes

Some of the referenced hyperlinks no longer work. I have not tried to determine whether there are alternate locations for these documents on the web, or where else they may be available. —js

1. Wall Street Journal, June 22, 1998; New York Times, July 8,

1998.

2. Ken Silverstein and Alexander Cockburn, "A Knight of

Babylon," CounterPunch, April 1-14, 1996.

3. This article can only touch on the evidence for this contention.

Peter Gowan makes a fuller case in "The NATO Powers and the Balkan Tragedy," New Left Review, March/April 1999; "The Twilight of the European Project," CounterPunch, June 15-30, 1999; and the forthcoming The Global Gamble: Washington's Faustian Bid for World Dominance (London: Verso, 1999).

4. Excerpts of "The Defense Planning Guide" were reprinted in the

New York Times, March 8, 1992.

5. For blow-by-blow accounts of how Western economic measures

undermined Yugoslavia and created the social basis for reactionary nationalisms, see Catherine Samary, Yugoslavia Dismembered (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995) and Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1995). On Milosevic's role in particular, see Michael Karadjis, "Kosova Genocide: Made in USA," Green Left Weekly, April 7, 1999 and Michael Karadjis, "Is Serbia Socialist?" Green Left Weekly, April 28, 1999.

6. Sean Gervasi, "Germany, the US, and the Yugoslav Crisis,"

Covert Action Quarterly, Winter 1992-93.

7.

The US/NATO bombing strikes against Serb positions in eastern

Bosnia in Operation Deliberate Force of August-September 1995, together with the US-backed Croatian offensive in the Serbian Krajina region of Croatia earlier in the summer, "cleansed" these areas of up to 600,000 Serbs. These military actions were taken at a

time when Milosevic was granting concession after concession in hopes of ending the wars and winning Yugoslavian integration into Western institutions. For details on how the US constructed humanitarian pretexts for war when peace was at hand in Bosnia, see Diana Johnstone, "To Use a War," Covert Action Quarterly, Winter 1999.

8. Henry Kissinger, "New World Disorder," Newsweek, May 31,

1999.

9. The text of the Rambouillet agreements, including the originally

secret appendices that opened up all of Yugoslavia to NATO occupation, can be read at:

.

10.

Michael Karadjis, "What Is the KLA?" Green Left Weekly, April

21, 1999.

11. New York Times, April 1, 1999; Washington Post, April 1, 1999.

12. Vojislav Seselj's Serb Radical Party has said for years right in its

program that the Albanian "immigrants and their descendants" must be removed from Kosovo (www.haverford.edu/relg/sells/reports/srpclean21.htm). The Radical Party was a ruling coalition partner in Yugoslavia until Milosevic and the Serb Parliament signed the Kosovo peace agreement in June 1999. The programs of the Western-supported opposition parties are more subtle but nonetheless also support Greater Serbia nationalism and the ethnic cleansing and border redrawing that implies. These include Zoran Djindjic's Democratic Party (www.dssrbije.org/yu/english/index.html) and the Serb Renewal Movement (www.spo.org.yu) of Vuk Draskovic, an outspoken Greater Serbian nationalist who supported the revocation of Kosovo autonomy in 1989 and advocated the "peaceful transfer of populations" (i.e., ethnic cleansing) in Croatia and Bosnia in the early 1990s. As for Djindjic, he was a close ally Bosnia Serb militia leader Radovan Karadzic during the Bosnia war.

For all the demonization of Slobodan Milosevic by the West, his own public statements and the program of his Socialist Party of Serbia are by far the least nationalistic (www.sps.org.yu/engliski/documents/program/index.html). Milosevic's complicity in ethnic cleansing comes from allying with

the nationalists in order to stay in power and for allowing the Serb- officered Yugoslav Army to stand by while the paramilitary forces of Seselj, Radovan Karadic, Arkan (Zelko Raznjatovic), and others carried out ethnic cleansing and other war crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo.

13. See two media advisories by Seth Ackerman, media analyst for

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): "Forgotten Coverage of Rambouillet Negotiations," May 14, 1999, and "What Reporters Knew About Kosovo Talks But Didn't Tell. Was Rambouillet Another Tonkin Gulf?', June 2, 1999, both available at http://www.fair.or g/press-releases/kosovo-solution.html.

14. Ibrahim Rugova is often painted as a saint by pacifists in the

West for his leading role in the decade-long nonviolent resistance to Serbian national oppression of Albanians in Kosovo. However,

Rugova is a nationalist who has eschewed alliances with democratic Serbs, an authoritarian who discarded democratic accountability once elected to head the Albanian shadow government in Kosovo, an opportunist who opposed NATO bombing while he was in Kosovo and came out in support of NATO bombing once he got to Italy in May, a "pacifist" who formed his own paramilitary force last year called the Armed Forces of the Kosovo Republic (which the KLA soon violently absorbed), and the head of the clan that is the biggest land and business owner in Kosovo and looks to Western support to consolidate a capitalist economy in Kosovo. On Rugova's authoritarian politics, see Catherine Samary, "Kosovo and NATO," International Viewpoint, April 5, 1999 and Rosa Liebknecht (pseudonym), "Inside the KLA," International Viewpoint, April 27, 1999.

15. See Michael Karadjis, "Serbian Oppositionists Condemn NATO

and Milosevic," Green Left Weekly, May 12, 1999.

16. Margit Mayer and John Ely, "Success and Dilemmas of Green

Party Politics," in Margit Mayer and John Ely (eds.), The German Greens: Paradox Between Movement and Party (Philadelphia:

Temple University Press, 1998).

Non-Violence and the War in Yugoslavia

Message from Belgrade, April 5, 1999

Dear friends,

Thanks for your concern about us. The bombing is continuing and increasing its destructive effects. This is the 12th day that buildings in central Belgrade are smashed, the headquarters of security forces, some barracks, factory plants, fuel stores, some bridges nearby etc. We understand (hear but do not have any official news) that pictures of the Kosovo civilian exodus are horrible, favoring the need for NATO intervention to stop ethnic cleansing (as if there was not recent experience in Croatia and Bosnia), but for us it is strengthening the false NATO—Milosevic dilemma/confrontation. As people in Yugoslavia do not see these pictures, it makes life horrible to anyone who concerns himself in the "democratic force" of Serbia, being exposed to various dangers and threats.

The nationalistic, xenophobic homogenization on the streets of Belgrade is increasing and getting an early stage of militancy when "masses" smash windows of foreign cultural centers, embassies, offices of western airlines, McDonald restaurants (symbol of American fast food) etc. Suspicious neighbors look for "spies." The wartime psychology is at work. The "voices of democratic Serbia," attempting to think out an optimistic scenario, have no chance to say even a word against the leader and a clique who actually produced all this.

The proclaimed state of war forbids all free media. The rest is vulgar propaganda that increases the number of Internet learners and short wave radio listeners (Radio Free Europe in Serbian and BBC in English). But that is just a drop in a sea of ignorance, irrationality and disorientation. The human suffering in Kosovo is coupled with a growing frustration of democratic forces in Belgrade, helpless and in great danger for showing any meaningful sign of resistance. Our paper Republika came out today from the printers; it will reach only subscribers by post (if post works) as there is no public sale; it is on the Internet (only in Serbian) but very few people here have access to computers.

We see the only way out as immediately stopping the military action on all sides and preparing for the international conference staged by EU or UN; preceded by a serious analysis and debate about the last 10 years of war and its genesis; trying to answer the questions of how the concept of territoriality is misused, what is definition of ethnicity, where is the place of multiculturalism etc. Could the concept of ethnic territories be a basis for peace implementation in the Balkans?

Live in peace while we hope for better times for cooperation.

Sincerely, Sonja & Milan Prodanovic, Ecourban workshop, Beograd, Serbia, Yugoslavia ecourban@eunet.yu

Ecological Catastrophe Hits Yugoslavia

by Mitchel Cohen, Red Balloon Collective, & Brooklyn Greens, Green Party of New York

"We must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to express their anger and to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons." —President William Jefferson Clinton, leading by example at Columbine High Sshool, Colorado, while directing NATO forces to bomb Belgrade.

Nato Endangers Water Supply

Early in April, a leader of the Yugoslavian Green Party warned that NATO missiles were beginning to contaminate the water supply for much of Eastern Europe. "I warn you that Serbia is one of the greatest sources of underground waters in Europe and that the contamination will be felt in the whole surrounding area all the way to the Black Sea," Branka Jovanovic reported from Belgrade.

Her worst fears have apparently come true.

On the first day of the NATO air strikes, March 24, the municipality of Grocka was hit where the Vinca nuclear reactor is situated. The site contains a great stockpile of nuclear waste. No US media reported this.

The municipality of Pancevo was hit, in which the petrochemical factory and a factory for the production of artificial fertilizers are situated. They were bombed again numerous times during April and May.

"Among the cocktail of chemicals billowing over hundreds of thousands of homes were the toxic gas phosgene, chlorine and hydrochloric acid."

The municipality of Baric was also hit. Baric houses a large complex for the production of chloride, using Bhopal technology. "It is not necessary for me to explain what the blowing up of one of such factories would represent," Jovanovic says. "Not only Belgrade, which is situated at a distance of 10 kilometers, but the rest of Europe would be endangered."

On the second day of bombings, a chemical factory in the Belgrade suburb of Sremcica was bombed. Also hit was a rocket fuel storage area, causing releases into the surrounding area and water. Branka also reports that four national parks

were bombed, and that the depleted uranium weaponry first used against Iraq, responsible for thousands of cases of leukemia and other cancers in children, is now being used against Yugoslavia.

Poison Cloud Engulfs Belgrade

In the US the news is well scrubbed so that no blood leaks: NATO bombers, we're told, continue to hit and cripple Yugoslavia's oil refineries. Compare that to the detailed story filed by Tom Walker, reporting from Belgrade for the London Times on April 19:

"A towering cloud of toxic gases looms over Belgrade after warplanes, on the 25th night of the NATO onslaught, hit a petrochemicals plant in the northern outskirts of the city.

"An ecological disaster was unfolding yesterday after NATO bombed a combined petrochemicals, fertilizer and refinery complex on the banks of the Danube in the northern outskirts of Belgrade. "A series of detonations that shook the whole city early yesterday sent a toxic cloud of smoke and gas hundreds of feet into the night sky. In the dawn the choking cloud could be seen spreading over the entire northern skyline.

"Among the cocktail of chemicals billowing over hundreds of thousands of homes were the toxic gas phosgene, chlorine and hydrochloric acid. Workers at the industrial complex in Pancevo panicked and released tons of ethylene dichloride, a carcinogen, into the Danube, rather than risk seeing it blown up.

"At least three missile strikes left large areas of the plant crippled and oil and petrol from the damaged refinery area flowed into the river, forming slicks up to 12 miles long. Temperatures in the collapsing plant were said to have risen to more than 1,000 degrees centigrade. Asked about the hazard from chemical smoke, NATO said there was 'a lot more smoke coming from burning villages in Kosovo.'"

The Health Ministry could not find enough gas masks to distribute.

dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer were released. Transformer stations were also heavily damaged and toxic transformer oil flowed out. The Health Ministry could not find enough gas masks to distribute. Residents were told to breathe through scarves soaked in sodium bicarbonate as a precaution against showers of nitric acid.

"By burning down enormous quantities of naphtha and its derivatives, more than a hundred highly toxic chemical compounds that pollute water, air and soil are released" endangering the entire Balkan ecosystem, said New Green Party scientist Luka Radoja. Dr. Radoja pointed out that the NATO bombing is happening just as many crops vital for survival are supposed to be planted:

corn, sunflower, soy, sugar beets and vegetables. As a result, the planting of 2.5 million hectares of land has been halted. In Kosovo, tractors built to plow the land were mostly used by farmers to tow their villages towards the border and, hopefully, to safety.

"As an expert who has spent his entire work age on the fields of this up until now ecologically pure part of Europe, I am a witness to the disappearing of the most beautiful garden of Europe," Radoja said, sadly.

"This is our worst nightmare," said Miralem Dzindo. "By taking away our fertilizer they stop us growing food, and then they try to poison us as well."

With the bombing of petrochemical facilities, NATO's air strikes have come perilously close to hitting tanks containing tens of thousands of tons of explosive chemicals. NATO missiles grazed one such tank containing 20,000 tons of liquid ammonia. "If that had gone up in flames much of Belgrade would have been poisoned. The pollution in the Danube and in the atmosphere over Belgrade knows no frontiers." Dzindo warned neighboring countries "the poison clouds could soon be with them." (London Times, April 19, 1999)

Indeed, the chief inspector of the Macedonian Ministry of Environment, Miroslav Balaburski, said that furans and dioxins released by bomb explosions are being carried long distances. The pollution is entering Macedonia by air and by the river Lepenec that crosses the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia, according to Zoran Bozinovski, a speaker for the Center for Radioisotopes, a Macedonian government institution based in Skopje. And Ivan Grozdanov, a chemist at the center, made the further point that the burning aircraft fuel is the primary source of stratospheric nitrogen oxides, which are severely damaging the ozone layer.

Because of the poisoned environment, doctors have been advising pregnant Yugoslav women to have abortions rather than risk bringing genetically damaged babies into the world.

Perhaps German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, leader of the German Greens, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, leader of the French Greens; both of whom were major factors in mobilizing their governments to support the bombardment, believe that bombing a civilian population, destroying their water supply, poisoning their crops is a moral and appropriate response—a "Green alternative"—to the alleged or even proven crimes of Yugoslavian officials.

In the days after a peace treaty was signed, NATO bombed the city of Pancevo again. A number of civilians were killed. Thick black clouds of toxic smoke billowed out over the region and were washed to the ground by heavy rains. Farmers just north of Pancevo reported that their crops are completely ruined, and that even walnuts and other fruit have been decimated overnight.

Because of the poisoned environment, doctors have been advising pregnant Yugoslav women to have abortions rather than risk bringing genetically damaged babies into the world. In addition to the once clean water system having been completely polluted by the bombings and air polluted by toxic clouds regularly passing over large areas, doctors are especially concerned with the effects of depleted uranium shells on the fetus. Taking their doctors' advice, women have been aborting fetuses at an alarming rate over the last few weeks.

NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia has polluted the surrounding countries as well. Scientists in Romania are concerned over the long term impact of pollution on the Black Sea and the Danube, which forms Romania's southern border with Yugoslavia and Bulgaria for more than 1,075 km (670 miles), and then forks into a delta before flowing into the Black Sea. Local officials report high concentrations of heavy metals in the Danube, which carries the pollution into Romania and Bulgaria.

Long range transboundary transfer of ash and benzo-pyrene from Yugoslavia to a number of other countries, including Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova is also occurring. Just one liter of naptha and its derivatives can pollute one million liters of water.

Acid rains in May in areas on the Yugoslav border were the direct consequence of air pollution caused by fires set off by the bombings, the Romanian environment ministry said. The resulting large-scale emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides are responsible for causing the acid rain, which destroys agriculture and forestry throughout the region.

"It will take at least two years to size up the full impact, especially on the Danube and the Black Sea fauna and flora. We fear there may be long term effects," the Romanian report continued. The Romanian government, which officially backs the NATO campaign, only released the report when ecologists and media accused officials of covering up the environmental consequences of NATO's air strikes.

Bulgaria's asparagus crop, which it exports for much needed funds, has been banned throughout Europe due to contamination.

Report from the Belgrade Zoo

Perhaps nothing exposes the inarticulable terror of NATO's bombardment more than its effect on animals, as expressed so poignantly in this letter received from Vuk Bojovic, the Director of the Belgrade zoo:

Belgrade Zoo Animals Provide Early Bombing Warning May 30, 1999

"The noise starts around half an hour before the bombs fall as the animals in Belgrade zoo pick up the sound of approaching planes and missiles. It's one of the strangest and most disturbing concerts you can hear anywhere.

"It builds up in intensity as the planes approach. Only they can hear them, we can't, and when the bombs start falling it's like a choir of the insane. Peacocks screaming, wolves howling, dogs barking, chimpanzees rattling their cages.

"I have made a record every hour of each day of when the animals start acting up. One day, when this craziness is over, I'd like to check it with reliable data on when the planes were flying. Someone could make a scientific study out of it.

"I had 1,000 eggs of rare and endangered species incubating, some of them ready to hatch in a couple of days. They were all ruined. That's 1,000 lives lost.

"The zoo's freezer defrosted and went off, making the meat in it suitable only to scavengers like hyenas and vultures. Belgrade people donated meat out of their home freezers when the power went down, but most of it wasn't even fit for animals.

"The lack of water meant that some animals, particularly the hippos, were literally swimming in their excrement.

"We had to give dirty drinking water to a lot of pretty delicate animals. We won't know the effects of that for two or three months."

The nightly air strikes, with their accompaniment of heavy anti- aircraft fire lighting up the sky, has had other, possibly longer lasting effects on many of the animals, the director said. Many of

them aborted their young in the latter stages of pregnancy. Many birds abandoned their nests, leaving eggs to grow cold. "If they ever lay again, I just wonder what they will do with them," he said.

The worst night the zoo can remember was when NATO hit an army headquarters only 600 meters away, with a huge detonation. "The next day we found that some of the animals had killed their young," Bojuvic said. "A female tiger killed 2 of her 4 three-day-old cubs, and the other 2 were so badly injured we couldn't save them."

"She had been a terrific mother until then, raising several litters without any problems. I can't say whether it was the detonation or the awful smell that accompanied the bombing. I personally think it was the detonation," he added.

On the same night, an eagle owl killed all of its five young, and ate the smallest of them. "It wasn't because she was hungry. I can only think it was fear."

The most disturbing case was of the huge Bengal tiger, which began to chew his own paws. "He was practically raised in my office. He trusted humans."

The grimmest spin-off of the war, according to Reuters, is the sight of armed guards patrolling the zoo.

"They're not there to keep people from harming or stealing the animals," Bojovic said. "Their job is to shoot the animals if the zoo gets bombed and some of them try and break out."

Depleted Uranium in War

by Tim Judson, Syracuse Peace Council

In a stunningly familiar show of camaraderie, the nuclear power and conventional weapons industries and the Departments of Defense and Energy (DoD & DoE) united efforts in the struggles for cheap waste disposal and humanitarian destruction in the Balkans. After a fitful short-term project in the Persian Gulf eight years ago, the coalition prepared to really take on the task this time. The A-10 "Warthog" antitank/waste-transport vehicle would both

decimate Serbian armored vehicles and move hundreds of tons of waste to its new permanent home. This new program will bring untold misery to generations of grateful Balkan peoples.

With over 1.5 billion pounds of depleted uranium; (DU, a by-product of the uranium enrichment process for creating nuclear fuel) and marginalized communities being increasingly uncooperative; the nuclear industry offered the entire stockpile of DU to the weapons industry in the late 1970s if they could find something to do with it. Companies like Nuclear Metals (now Starmet) devised ways of converting the unusable uranium hexafluoride back into metal alloy form, for use in weapons. Because DU is 1.7 times more dense than lead, it is valuable for mechanical use (in counterweights, for instance) but the DoD is especially fond of its superkiller qualities: because of its greater density, bullets made with DU are known to slice through conventional armor "like a hot knife through butter," according to Pentagon officials.

DU lived up to all of its promises the first time it was tested on a large scale. During the Gulf Massacre, the US used over 14,000 M1A1 tank rounds and 940,000 30mm rounds from A-10 jets. The A-10 "Warthogs," responsible for over a third of the Iraqi tanks destroyed, spread over 550,000 pounds of DU in the region. Altogether, the Pentagon deposited over 650,000 pounds of DU waste for the nuclear industry. However, while the M1A1 tanks deliver the waste in large bundles of 8-10 pounds per round, the A-10 is by far the heavier hitter for the nuclear industry and made a name for itself as a highly successful waste transport vehicle.

From the promotion of nuclear power to NATO intervention in the Balkans, DU waste has been pitched as one of the unfortunate consequences of the ultimately worthwhile "Peaceful Atom."

Despite the controversy surrounding the issue, the mainstream media has been numbingly silent—the New York Times has not mentioned DU since March 15. One of the only sources published in the US since the war began is an already much-quoted April 1 article by Kathleen Sullivan in the San Francisco Examiner, in which she quotes DoD spokespeople and policy-makers from a pro-DoD think tank. In a March 31 press conference, DoD spokesperson Kenneth Bacon refused to answer any questions about whether DU rounds were being used, saying such details were "verboten from this podium." Rest assured the Pentagon is on top of its cost-benefit analysis, though: Sullivan cites the pro-DoD Center for Defense Information's dismissal of health and environmental impacts of DU, and their statement that everything in life is a trade-off anyway.

The Pentagon's secrecy and cavalier attitude toward the use of DU weapons should let the rest of the world in on the inside joke of "bombing out of humanitarian concern." NATO announced early on that the A-10 would be a central part of the second phase of the campaign, taking out Serbian tanks and armored vehicles—the specialty mission DU rounds were designed for in the first place. And reports from Russian sources on April 16, 1999 said that "experts have detected enhanced radiation levels in the atmosphere and on the ground" in areas of Kosovo.

Health Effects and Toxicity

From the promotion of nuclear power to NATO intervention in the Balkans, DU waste has been pitched as one of the unfortunate consequences of the ultimately worthwhile "Peaceful Atom." The name of the substance is itself misleading. Naturally occurring uranium contains three isotopes mixed together (in the following percentages): U238 (99.3%), U235 (0.7%), and U234 (<0.1%). Uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel increases the concentration of U235, the fissionable isotope that makes bombs and reactors go boom. The by-product of enrichment is a mixture with lower U235 content (0.2%) and higher U238 content (99.8%) the U235 is what is "depleted."

However, U238 is still known to be highly dangerous, even though it is less radioactive than U235. Its radioactive half-life is 4.5 billion years, which means that we will be dealing with radiation from DU for the rest of life on the planet. Health effects from DU range from birth defects and infant mortality to cancer and leukemia, from organ failures to immunodeficiencies and AIDS-like symptoms. Uranium is toxic both because it is a heavy metal which resides in tissues for up to decades, and because it emits alpha particles, the most dangerous form of radiation for long-term exposure.

Increasing levels of sickness and death from DU are well-known from a number of sources. Native peoples who live where uranium is mined and DU is dumped show highly elevated levels of many kinds of sickness. Exposure is constant, from airborne particles and radon gas (emitted as a by-product of U- 238 decay) to contamination of groundwater and soil. For years, mining corporations actually sold DU to Native peoples as material for adobe houses, as well as to housing developers as landfill. The constant bath of radiation from these combined sources has sacrificed whole communities, bioregions, and generations of people to an epidemic of disease and illness.

The military use of DU only escalates the issue. Not only has the spread of waste taken the literal form of all-out war, but, the costs are indiscriminate. US/allied troops and Iraqis alike were exposed without being informed of health risks of which the Pentagon was well aware.

DU weapons are especially dangerous because, according to the Pentagon's own documents, when the bullet strikes a hard surface up to 70% of the uranium burns and vaporizes into a fine mist of particles which can be spread for miles downwind, and are more than small enough to be inhaled into the

lungs. Uranium is most dangerous when ingested because it will reside in tissues, possibly causing failures of sensitive organs such as kidneys—and certainly bathing the surrounding tissues with radiation for years.

Despite the similarity of many of the symptoms of GWS to radiation health effects and the clear evidence of exposure to soldiers, the DoD has refused to investigate the matter.

Although the Pentagon knew of the dangers of DU from weapons research and development, it allowed thousands of soldiers to enter destroyed Iraqi vehicles. We can add to the list of affected people those veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). Despite the similarity of many of the symptoms of GWS to radiation health effects and the clear evidence of exposure to soldiers, the DoD has refused to investigate the matter. Like people living in reactor communities who are told constantly that their plants are run safely and cleanly but who nonetheless experience higher levels of disease and otherwise rare health problems, these veterans are being denied the ability to even name an obvious cause of their suffering. The emotional contamination of people's lives with unacknowledged grief and pain has staggering personal and social costs as well.

Deterioration of Genetic Health, Racism, and Genocide

It is hard to see NATO's use of DU weapons in Kosovo and Serbia as anything but imperialist aggression. The story of the nuclear age is one of the latest chapters in the history of white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. The burdens of all things nuclear have been forced upon poor, marginalized communities. US testing of atomic weapons in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the US Southwest, and the South Pacific were only possible because of how thoroughly dehumanized those populations were in the public eye. Now that public consciousness of racism in the US has increased and the government has been unable to site waste dumps in Sierra Blanca, Texas, and Yucca Mountain (Western Shoshone Territory), it is using the military to do the dirty work again.

DU has heightened the effect of sanctions on Iraq, introducing an insidious level of toxicity into a country whose health, sanitation and basic infrastructure have already been devastated. Physicians report highly elevated instances of leukemia, birth defects, infant mortality, and other symptoms of radiation health effects. Last week, they presented their case in the form of a study to the Arab League.

Visitors to Iraq have witnessed the country's hospital wards full of children suffering from those effects. They have also seen children playing in the

streets with DU bullet casings, which can still be found strewn about the rubble and the environment—a sign of both the extent of contamination as well as the extent to which it is seeping into the lives of people living in the region. Even though Iraq has no resources to begin any kind of environmental assessment or cleanup and the UN and US have barely acknowledged the problem, it may be impossible to do at this point since so much of the DU was burned away and released as mist. The soil, water and air of Southern Iraq and Kuwait may by now be saturated with DU dust.

Adding to the reality of genocide in Iraq is the deterioration of genetic health over generations of people living in the region. The random changes introduced into genes and chromosomes from exposure to radiation may take generations to emerge and show their full effects on the population. And with the contamination of the environment, the level of exposure can only be expected to proliferate.

Inflicting such a heritage on a people by region or ethnicity is genocidal, at best by "negligence" and at worst with full recognition and intent. But why in Yugoslavia; on the pretense of stopping genocide? It is perhaps a sign of global despair, but also perhaps a sign of hope, that multinational capitalism and global domination have broken the chains that cliches of skin color have placed on their exercise of power and the practices of racism. No longer is racism merely a matter of arbitrary biological and ethnic differences, the US and "Greater Europe" now have the actual ability to introduce genetic disparity through contamination and biologically cripple whole regions of people.

Sources: Metal of Dishonor - Depleted Uranium, International Action Center, 1996. "Uranium bullets on NATO holsters," San Franciso Examiner, 4/1/99. "Uranium Weapon Fears in Kosovo - A-10: Can fire depleted uranium shells," BBC web page, 4/11/99. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting ArabicNews.com.

The Black Radical Congress Opposes the Bombing of Yugoslavia

National Council of the Black Radical Congress

The following statement was adopted by the National Council of the Black

Radical Congress (BRC) on April 18, 1999. [Originally drafted by the International Committee of the BRC].

For African Americans, the Latino community, and other peoples of color in the USA the moral claims of the US in its intervention in Yugoslavia ring hollow. The mass opposition of peoples of color in the USA to police killings, mass imprisonment of youth and the militarization of the streets and communities ensures that the opposition to militarism is deep in the oppressed communities in the USA.

The shooting of Amadou Diallo in New York City and the killing of Tyisha Miller in California brought home to the poor the coast to coast violence against blacks and poor people. This police violence is supported by the campaign against crime since black and brown peoples are supposed to be by nature criminals. Low intensity warfare that had been experimented in Nicaragua and El Salvador is now practiced on a daily basis in the poor communities by SWAT teams. The most overt expression of this militarization of the communities is the plan by the army to carry out exercises in the streets of Oakland, California. The exercises are part of the long-range plan of the Pentagon to fight urban guerrilla warfare in the USA. This leads us to the conclusion that a crucial way to oppose this war is to intensify the opposition to police brutality and militarism.

this

military campaign should provide the catalyst for a

worldwide campaign against aggressive military formations such as NATO.

NATO was created as a military alliance between the capitalist powers of Europe, the USA and Canada. The justification for the existence of NATO ended in 1991 at the end of the cold war. In the past three months, the leaders of the US have declared that what is at stake is the "credibility of NATO." This is indeed the case since this military campaign should provide the catalyst for a worldwide campaign against aggressive military formations such as NATO. It is for this reason that one of the fundamental demands of the Black Radical Congress is for the dismantling of NATO.

The bombing of Yugoslavia exposes the fact that organizations such as NATO will carry out illegal acts. The aggression in the Balkans undermines international law, undermines the United Nations as an organization dedicated to world peace and brings to the fore the need for alternatives to the present monopoly over force enjoyed by the USA. Since African Americans also feel the brunt of this force in the form of police violence, it devolves to

organizations such as the BRC to lead the opposition to the military campaign of NATO.

In a major sense the war in the Balkans calls on the BRC to bring forth the anti imperialist radical traditions of dominated peoples. It is from within this tradition that the BRC is calling on all progressive forces to condemn the bombings in Yugoslavia, condemn the ethnic cleansing and brutality of Slobodan Milosevic, and to raise their voices to call for a negotiated end to the crisis in Kosovo before this conflagration explodes into the third world war. The BRC calls for negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. Despite the fact that in the past 10 years the USA has manipulated the UN to do its bidding (such as the bombing of Iraq), the UN remains an instrument for real international deliberation.

The Crisis in Kosovo also reinforces the need for international bodies to try war criminals. It is instructive that in 1998 it was the United States that opposed the formation of a new international criminal court. After one month of deliberations in 1998 more than 100 nations meeting in Rome, Italy voted in the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court on 17 July 1998. The statutes of this new court argued that it is a crime, "if any military operations [are] begun with the knowledge such an attack will cause loss of life and injury to civilians."

The best way to oppose this war is to intensify the opposition to police brutality and militarism in the USA.

Under the statutes of the international criminal court both the present leaders of the USA and those of Yugoslavia would be deterred from military actions and would be forced to seek political solutions to the ethnic and regional problems that beset the peoples of the Balkans. NATO, by militarily intervening in this region, has intensified ethnic antagonisms and postponed the possibilities for democratic and progressive forces to intervene to move the various oppressed peoples towards peaceful solutions to centuries of ethnic rivalry. Africans in the USA and other peoples of color who have borne the brunt of militarism and police brutality know that ethnic and racial chauvinism are tools to divide the poor and oppressed.

The struggle for democracy in multi ethnic and multi racial societies is a totally new terrain where the present leaders of the USA have no experience. It is with this in mind, and with a clear knowledge of the history of US militarism in the world as an imperial force, that the BRC opposes the military intervention in the Balkans and calls for manifestations all over this country to articulate this opposition. This opposition should ensure that there is information in every church, mosque, temple, town hall, library, web site and community center on

the issues involved in the war and for people to move away from the war propaganda being fostered by the media.

The best way to oppose this war is to intensify the opposition to police brutality and militarism in the USA.

The BRC calls for the following:

1. the dismantling of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,

2. the support of the democratic and non violent forces in Serbia and Kosovo,

3. the investigation of the support of the USA for forces of repression and genocide (especially among NATO allies such as Turkey and France),

4. strengthening the United Nations and for the US to ratify the treaty creating the international criminal court and for,

5. the reduction of the military budget in the USA, and the diversion of the resources from the Pentagon to health care, affordable housing, childcare, public education, transportation and for clean up of the environment.

Below, the International Committee spells out the rationale for these demands.

the

peoples of Latin America, Asia and Africa have first

hand knowledge of the forces who have carried out genocide and have not yet been condemned by any international body.

[Appendix 3.] Genocide And The Fight Against Genocide Internationally

The US media has been at the forefront of calling for the deployment of ground troops by NATO to prevent genocide in Yugoslavia, especially Kosovo. There are reports of brutal murders and of pogroms by the military and para military police of Serbia. The issue is whether the question of genocide is being manipulated and cheapened by the United States and NATO. The massive outpouring of refugees from Kosovo is certainly to be opposed by all progressive forces internationally, but the peoples of Latin America, Asia and Africa have first hand knowledge of the forces who have carried out genocide

and who have not yet been condemned by any international body.

What is genocide?

According to the UN convention on genocide adopted in 1948, genocide is, "the intentional mass destruction of a national, racial, ethnic, or religious group." This definition of genocide is familiar to peoples of color who have suffered genocide at the hands of European and US capitalists over the past 500 years. The massive genocide against the native American peoples in this country has been romanticized and legitimized as a component of progress. Hence, certain countries can carry out genocide and have this celebrated in their history. It is for this reason that African Americans do not take the issue of genocide lightly. The massacres and murders of colonized peoples all over the world, (most spectacularly in the Congo where the Belgians massacred more than ten million Africans); but more recently in Rwanda and in Guatemala, did not fall under the category of genocide for the forces of NATO because this genocide was being carried out either by the allies of NATO or with the tacit support of these allies.

Whether genocide or ethnic cleansing is taking place in Kosovo is an urgent matter that cannot be left to the countries of NATO.

In international law there is a major difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide. International law mandates the signatories of the UN convention to intervene once genocide takes place. Ethnic cleansing takes place when the intention of the ethnic cleanser is to eliminate a group from a territory, to drive them out using any means of terror, sexual violence, torture, and other crimes against humanity to get the group to leave. Milosevic and the Serbian extremists may be guilty of ethnic cleansing in the province of Kosovo. Ethnic cleansing, rape, violation, murder and the wanton abuse of human rights must be opposed and those responsible brought to justice. However, for countries like the United States in Guatemala and France in Rwanda that have not come to terms with their complicity in genocide, unilateral intervention of this sort only furthers a selective morality. The reality is that the United States and the UN failed to respond to the real genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994 and instead pontificated that "acts of genocide" may have taken place. Whether genocide or ethnic cleansing is taking place in Kosovo is an urgent matter that cannot be left to the countries of NATO.

The Rwanda genocide in 1994 is still a most burning question for Africans everywhere because the authors of the 1994 genocide are still living in France and other European capitals and there is no major international movement to bring these genocidists to justice. Such an international push would call into question the roles of France, the United States and Belgium before and during the genocide. The present Secretary of State of the United States would be one of the officials to be investigated for the role of the international community in the period of the genocide in Rwanda.

Interestingly, as the US began the bombing campaign, the State Department

called in certain human rights groups and urged then to blow the trumpet about the genocide in Kosovo. It was then that Human Rights Watch released a report on the complicity of the US and other nations refusing to recognize the slaughter of over 800,000 persons in Rwanda as genocide. This same organization has been defending some of the authors of genocide in their publications. Earlier, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, called for an investigation of the role of the UN before and during the genocide in Rwanda. The BRC wants to go on record that there can be no meaningful investigation while both Kofi Annan and Madeline Albright are in positions of authority in the international community. Otherwise such an investigation would only serve the same purpose that the supposed investigation served for the government of France (that is a cover up of their role). In that investigation, the inquiry absolved the French government and military from any active role in the genocide in Rwanda.

The US has weakened the role of the UN as a genuine force for peace by manipulating this body to bring untold suffering on the children of Iraq. Yet, the UN is the only basis for ensuring world peace and stopping the slow but inescapable path to massive war in the Balkans and beyond. […]

The Alternatives

The alternative to the present political and economic direction is not a simple task but small steps must be taken to move the political culture away from the celebration of warfare, violence and destruction. The first step must be an intense campaign against the military operations in Yugoslavia. The BRC must take a stand along with all other progressive forces to bring this opposition to every section of the USA society. All representatives of the African American community should be put on notice that the principal task of the moment is to oppose police violence against the youths.

The alternative to the present political and economic system requires a long struggle. It is a democratic struggle that seeks a new mode of politics and a new mode of economic organization. The political experience of the oppressed in this society places it in the central role in charting the alternatives to the present barbarism of the capitalist system. The campaign must be linked to other campaigns. While NATO is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Washington, the Millions Campaign for Mumia should send a strong signal that the fighters for social justice in the USA oppose militarism at home and abroad.

Editor's Note: The full Black Radical Congress statement includes five appendices. Due to space limitations, Synthesis/Regeneration can only include the third appendix here, which

deals with the question of genocide. The other appendices include: 1. The Dismantling of Nato; 2. The Struggle of Democratic and Non Violent Forces in Yugoslavia; 4. Revitalizing the United Nations; and 5. Opposing Militarism in the USA.

The Black Radical Congress statement is available at www.blackradicalcongress.com.

On Kosovars, Apaches, and "Ethnic Cleansing"

by Zoltan Grossman, Midwest Treaty Network

Back in 1991, I was a witness during the Wisconsin Ojibwe spearfishing conflict, monitoring harassment and violence by anti- Indian groups. One night, after listening to too many chants of "Indians Go Home" and "White Man's Land," I decided to warm up for a minute in a car. The car radio had on graphic news reports about the war in the disintegrating Yugoslavia. It struck me that the nationalists calling for a Greater Serbia, a Greater Croatia, and a Greater Albania were using the same rhetoric as the anti-treaty protesters on that cold boat landing. Rather than blaming their own leaders for their economic problems, they were manipulated to blame the ethnic group living next door, and to clear them out of "their" territory

Eight years later, we can see the United States at war in Yugoslavia, supposedly to stop "ethnic cleansing"-the forced removal of a population. The bombing and the forced expulsions are mutually reinforcing forms of violence that simply feed off one another.

NATO claims the bombing is a "humanitarian intervention" to prevent the sort of ethnic cleansing that has escalated since the air strikes began. This selective humanitarianism downplays the same abuses being perpetrated by US allies such as Turkey, Indonesia, Colombia, and Croatia.

A 1995 offensive by the Croatian Army—with the help of U.S. air strikes and military trainers—ethnically "cleansed" hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the Krajina region, where they had lived for centuries. The Serbs in Croatia had revolted against a government that prevented their self-rule, much like the Kosovar

Albanians later did against Serbia. Many of the expelled Krajina Serbs were resettled in Kosovo, exacerbating the ethnic tensions that have now erupted into war.

perhaps

the greatest irony is the US Army's

recent deployment of helicopter gunships

nicknamed "Apaches."

In neighboring Bosnia later that year, the brutal Serbian and Croatian "cleansing" of Muslim communities set the stage for the Dayton Accords. The US rubber-stamped the de facto ethnic partition of the country between Serbia and Croatia, dooming any hope for a multiethnic future that includes all three Bosnian ethnic groups. The idea that NATO opposes Balkan "ethnic cleansing" flies in the face of recent US approval of "pure" ethnic boundaries that were drawn by forced removals.

The NATO double-standard overlooks the history of harsh and methodical "ethnic cleansing" to build the land base of the United States itself. This history not only includes the Trail of Tears from the Southeast, but the forced removals of Navajo (Dine) and Apache from Arizona, many Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe from Wisconsin, and most Mdewakanton Dakota from Minnesota. It also includes modern forced removals, including of the Big Mountain Dine. If we cannot understand our own history, how can we dictate to other countries how to solve their historic ethnic conflicts?

"That our government can self-righteously go to war to save Kosovo with helicopters named after the victims of our own ethnic cleansing measures the state of denial we are in."

Given this history, perhaps the greatest irony is the US Army's recent deployment of helicopter gunships nicknamed "Apaches." When the US Army defeated the Apache Nation in Arizona, the troops rounded up the survivors, locked them in cattle cars, and shipped them to a Florida military fort. Most of the refugees died of malaria or other tropical diseases. California State Representative Tom Hayden observes, "The much-touted Apache gunships with American crews are preparing to escalate the conflict. The real

Apaches

by the US armed forces in the last century. That our government can self-righteously go to war to save Kosovo with helicopters named after the victims of our own ethnic cleansing measures the state of denial we are in."

were

victims of a brutal, even genocidal, ethnic cleansing

Other victims of ethnic cleansing were the Sauk and Meskwaki of Illinois. They became refugees who fled into Wisconsin, only to be massacred on the banks of the Mississippi River. They were led by Makatai Meshekiakiak (Black Hawk), whose English name now identifies another Army attack helicopter.

No doubt the US Army will justify the name of its attack helicopters in the same way that schools justify their racist school mascots-as historic symbols intended to "honor warriors." If that is the case, then certainly other national minority groups can be similarly honored by the armies that expelled them from their homelands.

Perhaps, a century from now, when the US government is forcibly removing Native Americans from another reservation, the Serbian Army will intervene to "rescue" the refugees, using helicopter gunships nicknamed "Kosovars."

Labor Militancy vs. Ethnic Conflict in Yugoslavia

by Dave Stratman, New Democracy

Millions of Americans are shocked, confused, or disgusted by the US-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The bombing doesn't seem to make any sense. Military analysts have stated repeatedly that bombing alone will have little effect on Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic's ability to carry out the "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo. Indeed, the NATO bombing has led to a massive increase in the number of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo—just as predicted. In addition, far from weakening Milosevic, the bombing campaign has immeasurably strengthened his hand, so that a democracy movement which two years ago seemed close to overthrowing Milosevic has now been drowned in a sea of Serbian national unity against the US and NATO. The US bombing has given Milosevic something he could never have achieved by himself: an external enemy against which all Serbs can unite.

What's going on here? Why would the US and NATO undertake a bombing campaign which has achieved the opposite of its stated goals?

The Hidden History of the War

The most important facts for understanding the present situation have been carefully concealed by politicians and the media.

Since the mid-1980s, Yugoslavia has been the scene of a powerful working class movement which threatens to overthrow the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed ex-Communist government.[1] (Kosovo is an "autonomous region" and Serbia the largest of the six republics which formerly constituted Yugoslavia.) Since 1987, Slobodan Milosevic has been the IMF's strongman in Belgrade, trying to enforce IMF-imposed wage cuts and capitalist restructuring against massive worker resistance, and organizing ethnic atrocities and civil war in a desperate bid to forestall revolution.

In the face of widespread worker discontent about the lack of democracy and a 7-day student takeover of the University of Belgrade in June, 1968 (under the slogan, "Down with the Red Bourgeoisie"), Yugoslavia borrowed heavily in the 1970s and built up a huge debt to the IMF, which in 1985 topped $20 billion.[2] Payback began in 1980. From 1980-84 the standard of living in Yugoslavia fell nearly 40%.[3] In 1984 strikes centered in the Yugoslav republic of Macedonia broke out and spread to other republics.

The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and the ethnic fighting and atrocities are parts of a carefully orchestrated elite strategy to divide and destroy the working class movement.

Strikes and demonstrations continued to grow. In July, 1988 thousands of striking Croat and Serb workers "in a revolutionary mood" fought their way through police cordons and stormed Parliament. They called for "united action by the entire Yugoslav working class."[4] In October, 30,000 workers bearing red flags and banners proclaiming, "Long Live the Working Class!" and "Down with the Fascist Regime" occupied the iron works in Titograd and forced the resignation of Montenegrin Communist officials, while in Belgrade 5,000 Serb workers fought their way into Parliament to demand the resignation of the government.[5] Strikes and hyperinflation swept the country. In December, 1989 there was 2000% inflation [6]. Over 650,000 workers from several republics went on strike together.[7]

In 1990 the Yugoslav government under Ante Markovic administered "shock therapy" to the economy, imposing more stringent capitalist restructuring designed by economist Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard University (who was also responsible for designing capitalist restructuring in Poland and Russia). The reforms at first seemed to be succeeding, but by the spring of 1991 they had

collapsed in the face of massive worker resistance.[8] Clearly some stronger medicine was needed to bring Yugoslav, especially Serbian, workers to heel.

Divide and Rule

The working class movement brought together Yugoslavs of every ethnic background. The movement was at least implicitly revolutionary, and it terrified the international elite, for if successful it might easily spread beyond Yugoslavia and spell the end of the smoothly-managed transition from Communist to capitalist forms of elite rule in Eastern Europe. As the elite are aware, successful revolution and true democracy anywhere could well lead to revolution everywhere.

As the working class movement grew, the Yugoslav ruling elite increasingly faced a stark choice: either smash the growing movement or go under. Rather than lose their grip on power, they decided to dismember the working class movement by dismembering the country. The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and the ethnic fighting and atrocities are parts of a carefully orchestrated elite strategy to divide and destroy the working class movement.[9]

The six republics of Yugoslavia were united under a non-ethnic Communist

government since the end of WWII. Slobodan Milosevic became chairman of the Serbian League of Communists in 1987 and later president of Serbia and of Yugoslavia. He organized the "Milosevic Commission," which in 1988 called for market-oriented reforms, and he "urged Yugoslavs to overcome their

'unfounded, irrational, and

capital."[10] Milosevic moved to destroy working class resistance to IMF restructuring programs.

primitive

fear of exploitation' by foreign

With "near monoply control" of TV, radio, and newspapers in Serbia, the Communist government under Milosevic began an intensive propaganda campaign to divide the working class into warring ethnic groups, claiming that Serbs, the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia, were under attack by Croats and others in the republics beyond Serbia. In every republic, ethnic groups were bombarded with propaganda to set them against each other.[11] Nationalist paramilitary groups were organized to carry out "retaliatory" atrocities. Serb nationalist thugs were armed in Croatia, while Croat officials armed their own groups.[12] Nationalist parties representing various ethnic groups were legalized and received increasing support.

Slovenia, the most developed of the republics, seceded from Yugoslavia in June, 1991. A 10-day war followed which "instilled a sense of discipline and national pride in the Slovenian labour force" and finally enabled Slovenian leaders to restructure the economy.[13] Fighting broke out between Serbia and Croatia, and atrocities were carried out to stoke ethnic hatred. "The people carrying out these actions were generally not from the local area. It was not a case of people who'd lived side by side for decades suddenly deciding to kill each other. Neither was it an eruption of long-suppressed ethnic hatreds, as the media make out. It was a well-organized state policy."[14] Croatia, Macedonia,

and later Bosnia-Herzogovina also seceded. Serbia, Montenegro, and the autonomous region Kosovo are all that remain of Yugoslavia.

Meanwhile the opposition movement continued to grow. In March, 1991 a half- million marched on Belgrade, demanding the ouster of Milosevic, and anti- government riots shook the capital.[15] In April, 1991 700,000 workers in Serbia-one-third of the workforce-struck.[16] In July, 1993 farmers blockaded roads and unions called a general strike.[17] In August the government issued a 500 million dinar note-worth about $10.[18] In September 1993 the Bosnian Serb army mutinied.[19]Thousands of Serbs avoided the draft or deserted. In 1992, only 10% of young Serbs in Belgrade called by the draft reported for duty.[20] In 1995, only 6% of young Montenegrins called reported for duty. Whole villages conspired to hide their young men.[21]

We should build a worldwide revolutionary movement to overthrow elite power and establish true democracy.

In winter, 1997 fifty consecutive days of massive demonstrations demanding the ouster of Milosevic shook Belgrade.[22] According to a former Boston Globe reporter living there who fled once the bombing began, the same crowds are now in demonstrations against NATO organized by Milosevic, while the leaders of the democracy movement are all fleeing. "[NATO] had to know bombs would crown Milosevic emperor for life."[23]

Elite Goals in Yugoslavia

To figure out the real goals of political leaders, sometimes it's necessary to look not only at what they say but at what they do. What have the US and NATO leaders actually done in Yugoslavia? Through the IMF they have imposed repeated wage cuts, devaluations, and massive lay-offs. They supported a "peace process" which has kept that country in a state of war for eight years. [24] They brokered agreements producing massive dislocations of populations and the fragmentation of Yugoslav society.[25] And now with their bombs they are driving people into the arms of a hated politician whom people before the bombing had been trying to overthrow.

Milosevic has been the US-IMF man all along. Bombing Kosovo and Serbia is a last desperate bid by the elite to smash the revolutionary movement and keep Milosevic in power. The targets of the bombs are the solidarity and self- confidence of the working people of every ethnic group. They want to destroy the working class movement and divide Yugoslavs into warring fractions. Their goal is counterrevolution.

This Moment in History

The actions of the US and NATO are not signs of strength but weakness. Acting through the Yugoslav elite they tried to control working people with Communist rhetoric, with capitalist rhetoric, with threats, with police clubs, with bullets, with "restructuring," with ethnic atrocities, with civil war, and each time they failed. They rely now on massive military force because they lack sufficient moral or political credibility to achieve their ends by other means. They carry out these actions at great political cost: their actions expose them as utterly without morality.

The world elite are willing to pay this price because they know that much more is at stake than Yugoslavia alone. The last few months have seen neighboring Romania, where workers overthrew a Communist dictator in 1989, shaken by huge strikes and marches on Bucharest by miners and other workers. Neighboring Albania has been virtually without a government since a popular uprising in 1997. Russia, with its historic ties to the Serbs, is in the throes of strikes and complete disillusionment with capitalist reforms. NATO air strikes are no doubt intended to rally the people of these countries to their respective elites and to tell them also, "Keep in line or you'll get the same."

Now when it seems at its moment of greatest power, the world elite is actually very weak. It has no ability to inspire, only to compel. People are bound to elite control not out of loyalty but because they see no alternative.

What is the alternative? We should build a worldwide revolutionary movement to overthrow elite power and establish true democracy, based on equality and solidarity and the social relations of working men and women of every race and nationality. This new world exists now, in the lives and struggles of ordinary people everywhere. Wherever men and women treat each other with love and respect, wherever people love their children and teach them to be considerate human beings, wherever people support each other in the face of attacks, wherever people stand up and fight for a better world, there reside the values and relationships which are the basis of a new society.

Afterword: Invisible Workers To prepare this article I reviewed a number of current books on Yugoslavia. None of them mentioned the strikes. Only one or two mentioned the massive demonstrations against Milosevic. I also reviewed current left analyses. The struggle of the working class of Yugoslavia doesn't figure in most of them. (One anti-Marxist publication from the UK, Wildcat No. 18, Summer 1996, had some good analysis.) The information in this article comes almost entirely from newspapers: the Guardian, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe. The fact that years of massive working class struggle in Yugoslavia is invisible to scholarly writers and also to the left is a sure sign that we need a new way of seeing the world.

Notes

1. Yugoslavia was a one-party Communist state until 1990, when one-party rule

was replaced with political pluralism, and the Communist Party changed its name to the Socialist Party.

2. For a description of the 1968 student strike, see Alex N. Dragnich,

Yugoslavia's Disintegration and the Search for Truth (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), pp. 91 ff. Dragnich says, "The [Tito] government was quick to grasp the threat to its very existence if the students succeeded in

making common cause with the workers." By the end of the 1960s, a "wage- price spiral" caused by worker insurgency gripped Yugoslavia. Inflation was 11% in both 1969 and 1970. In 1971 the government devalued the dinar by 17%. (New York Times, January 24, p. 21) For the size of the debt to the IMF, see NYT, September 14, 1985. According to the NYT, September 19, 1985 inflation in Yugoslavia was 76% for June, 1985 alone. 3. NYT, September 24, 1984, I, p. 2.

4. The Guardian ran stories of these 48 hours of street protests on July 7 and

July 8, 1988 (the quotes are from The Guardian of July 8, p.11). According to the story of July 7, the striking workers' banners proclaimed such things as, "We

want to be free in a socialist country," and "Down with the government." Both slogans seemed to indicate workers' lack of enthusiasm for the capitalist reforms then being imposed by the government.

5. These events are described in The Guardian, October 10, 1988 p. 24, and

October 11, 1988, p. 10. "Titograd" has since reverted to its ancient name,

"Podgorica."

6. Christopher Bennett, Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse: Causes, Course, and

Consequences (New York: New York University Press, 1994), p. 69.

7. The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 1989, p. 1.

8. The Guardian, April 26, 1991, p. 32.

9. Laura Silber and Allan Little draw a similar conclusion, though they attribute

the dismemberment of the country to a different rationale: "This book shows that Yugoslavia did not die a natural death. Rather, it was deliberately killed off by men who had nothing to gain and everything to lose from a peaceful transition from state socialism and one-party rule to free-market democracy [D]espite the appearance of chaos, the wars have been prosecuted with terrifying rationality by protagonists playing long-term power games." Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 25, 27. The argument of their book, however, begs the question of the key reason for

the conflict: as a succession of Yugoslav leaders learned to their grief, "peaceful

transition

ambitions of individual leaders, but because massive workers' resistance to

to

free-market democracy [sic]" was impossible, not because of the

capitalist restructuring blocked the way. According to a British diplomat on the scene in April, 1991, "while the mounting industrial unrest in Serbia, the biggest of the republics, poses a threat to Mr Milosevic, any serious economic restructuring there would be a greater risk." (The Guardian, April 26, 1991, p. 32.) Milosevic and other ex-Communist leaders obviously preferred ethnic conflict, which strengthened their hand, to class war, which threatened to pull them under. Silber, the Balkans Correspondent for the London Financial Times, and Little, a BBC reporter, avoid dealing with this central contradiction in their argument by not dealing with the working class in their book at all, except in the guise of nationalist mobs.

10. Lenard Cohen, Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia's Disintegration and Balkan

Politics in Transition, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995) p. 56.

11. Many reporters have detailed instances of the conscious manipulation of

ethnic hatreds, by methods ranging from media propaganda to inflicting atrocities. While analysts differ in the degree to which they attribute ethnic fighting to active orchestration by government-linked thugs and provocateurs, they are in agreement that "The fact that for several years nationalistic media outlets closely tied to political leaders and parties bombarded their respective communities with disturbing and often completely false images about their ethnic neighbors significantly reinforced traditional patterns of ethnic distance and ethnic mistrust." Cohen, p. 247. Cf. The Guardian, May 8, 1991, p. 8, which claims that "fear and loathing between Serbs and Croats are intentionally being stirred" by political leaders.

12. Milosevic, it is known, has continued to maintain close connections with

ultranationalist paramilitary groups and with such figures of the Belgrade underworld as one "aspiring warlord" who goes by the nom de guerre Arkan, whose irregular troops, the Arkan "Tigers," in what Cohen refers to as "one of the most notorious examples of externally-orchestrated paramilitary activity helped fuel the onset of hostilities between Serbs and Moslems in Bosnia in 1992" when they brutally "liberated" a small, predominantly Muslim village. Cohen, p. 248. One expedient used by leaders of the various ethnic groups to whip up ethnic anger and fear was to fire all of one ethnic group from their jobs. Thus, for example, the HDZ (Croatian Party of the Right), the party of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, in June, 1991 began to fire all Serbs from a wide variety of jobs in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, stoking the tensions that led to war. Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, (New York: Penguin Books, 1993), p. 77.

13. Bennett, p. 223.

14. Wildcat No. 18, Summer 1996 (London), p. 17.

15. Bennett, p. 145.

17. Guardian, July 28, 1993, I, p. 8.

18. Guardian, August 13, 1991, I, p. 2. Milosevic paid for his wars on Croatia

and Bosnia by printing money, unleashing a hyperinflation which "won for his country the world record inflation rate-313 million percent per month- surpassing previous record holders Weimar Germany and Hungary in 1946." Silber and Little, p. 385.

19. Wildcat, pp. 20-21.

20. Glenny, p. 131.

21. Wildcat, ibid.

22. Guardian, January 7, 1997, I, p. 10.

23. Randolph Ryan, Boston Globe, April 4, 1999, C, p. 3.

24. The peace agreements, which legitimized ethnic cleansing and strengthened

the initiators of ethnic fighting, further destabilized Yugoslavia. "The US, like the European Union before it, recognized Milosevic as key to finding a solution, and turned a blind eye to his complicity in the crimes that were

committed in the prosecution of Serbian war aims

effect of strengthening the hand-in their respective states-of the two men

[Milosevic and Tudjman] on whose shoulders the lion's share of the responsibility for Yugoslavia's tragedy lies." Silber and Little, pp. 389.

The

settlement had the

25. For example, the US "tacitly encouraged" the ethnic cleansing of 480,000

Serbs from Krajina in Croatia. Silber and Little contend, "[The US-sponsored Dayton agreement] represented the pursuit of peace through ethnic cleansing." Silber and Little, pp. 383-384.

Reprinted from New Democracy, May-June 1999. For free copy, send your postal address to Newdem@aol.com or write New Democracy, P.O. Box 427, Boston, MA 02130. Homepage: http://users.aol.com/newdem/

War in Yugoslavia—Background to a Green Decision

by Ludger Vollmer, Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany

We Greens are shaken as we face a situation which was always one of our topmost aims of our policy to prevent. Unexpectedly, and for many incomprehensibly, we have gotten ourselves into a war. As part of the national government and as a coalition parliamentary group, we were faced with a decision which touches our basic convictions and concerns the decisive issues which brought us to politics in the first place.

Many of us wonder what sense Green politics makes if we cannot only not prevent participation in a military attack—especially one which is controversial under international law-but even tolerate and actively bear responsibility for it. The first red-green coalition, of all things, decides in favor of participation of the Bundeswehr [the German armed forces] in combat missions by the much- criticized NATO, without any decision of the UN Security Council. All critical questions are justifiable and must be raised by everybody in the government and the parliamentary group and by party members each considering his/her specific role and function: questions of moral legitimacy, of legality under international law, of military and political efficiency, of precedence and long- term political effect, of a lack of will for early conflict diagnosis and civil conflict resolution. Perhaps an account of some background information will helps to make the answer easier.

Ruling or Opposing?

The Alliance 90/ The Greens were the only party which, since the beginning of the nineties has consistently pointed to the dangerous situation in Kosovo. Our reminders to take this conflict seriously were not heard. After the community of nations had, in our view, pursued completely misguided policies in the Yugoslavia conflict for 10 years, we were, as a ruling party, stuck with the results. Even if we bear no responsibility for this, we still cannot duck responsibility for this legacy. We are not living in the world of our programmatic visions, our alternative designs, but in a reality which cannot simply be reinterpreted according to our wishes. While as an opposition party we had to do nothing but state our opinion openly and bluntly, and theoretically develop half-way conclusive alternative strategies in order to gain a public presence, we must now, as a ruling party, try to implement our political positions in practice within the complex interchange of international relations.

Unlike in domestic policy, we are dealing here not only with a coalition partner and an opposition, but with the various conflicting interests of nation-states, alliances and international organizations. Where the programmatic work during the opposition period conveyed a feeling of sovereignty over the subject of our work, the real world of national foreign policy confronts us with the simple truth that the Greens are not a great power. There are many other protagonists who also represent legitimate interests, and who are stronger.

In addition, we have quickly experienced the fact that there is no such thing as an independent German foreign policy. The Federal Republic acts almost exclusively as a member of an alliance or an international organization. It tries to contribute to the formulation of policy. However, it can never determine it alone, and must largely subject itself to treaties or, in accordance with the solidarity principle, to the results of the common formulation of opinion. On the one hand, this corresponds to our own programmatic position of "self- attachment" and "self-restraint;" on the other hand, however, it blocks the way to a purely Green politics. This would be possible only at the price of complete unilateralism, of "going it alone," which would, moreover, be ineffective because of the self-isolation which would immediately follow. The sequence of decisions which led to the combat mission can only be understood in the context of this principle of multilateralism, to which there is no alternative for German foreign policy.

Even during the period of transition from the old to the new Government, we were already confronted with the most difficult question which politics can address, that of war and peace, of life and death. This question confronted us even more strongly than it had during the opposition period, where we had for years struggled with the conflict of basic values, between pacifism and human rights, antimilitarism and antifascism, for or against intervening. Now, the debate no longer had only a philosophical character; it was a question for practical German government policy.

The Kosovo Conflict, the "Act. Ord." Decision and International Law

The conflict in Kosovo got dramatically more critical after the beginning of 1998. In the fall, as fears rose that the Yugoslav leadership was planning a policy of expulsion and extermination of the Albanian Kosovar population, as it had with the ethnic cleansings in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that because of the coming onset of winter an enormous catastrophe was in the offing, the international community of nations felt forced to intervene. The Security Council and General Assembly of the UN condemned the operations in Kosovo in strong terms. At the instigation of the USA, NATO planned to threaten the Serbian leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with air strikes, in case the atrocities were not stopped. In a complicated constitutional situation, the German political structure had to decide during the transition from the old to the new Federal Government whether it wanted to support this policy of threats. On October 16, 1998, the German Bundestag decided with a large majority to support the threat of air strikes as a form of political pressure. With this threat looming in the background, Holbrooke was able to squeeze an armistice in Kosovo out of Miloševic. The threat of air strikes remained in effect as an "Act. Ord." (Activation Orders).

The justification under international law for the threat of force was extremely controversial. While Joschka Fischer, as the designated foreign minister, in his Bundestag speech took the view that it would be sufficient, if NATO acted on the basis of UN resolutions with the goal of enforcing these resolutions, I in my speech, as a representative of the critical side, stressed the international-legal

concerns regarding an operation which was not explicitly approved by the Security Council. It should be noted that at that time, a combat mission even with a UN mandate went far beyond the parameters of the Green programmatic framework.

The Bundestag [the lower house of the German parliament] vote of October 16th, 1998 is to this day the valid basis for German participation in the air-raids now being carried out.

Particularly with respect to the Security Council (SC) the formal validity of international law and the political drive toward change are in a state of tension to one another which makes further development necessary. NATO policy faced the veto threats of Russia and China. In October, the Americans did not want to allow the SC to cause the failure of the air strike threat. Under these circumstances, the Russians preferred to see the SC circumvented than to see NATO act despite a veto. In this connection, for us Greens and likewise for numerous countries, the question arises in the context of the UN reform discussion of whether the veto should not be completely abolished. However, this regularly fails because of the veto of the veto powers.

The power of veto seems particularly problematic if one sees it in connection with the implementation of the economic embargo against Yugoslavia. Greens criticize the lack of will to carry the embargo through—and rightly so. But where do the Serbs actually buy the oil without which—as [former Foreign Minister] Genscher once emphasized, the war machinery would grind to a halt within a few weeks? It is unacceptable that the embargo is circumvented from the large areas to the east of Serbia and that at the same time, all other intervention is blocked by veto. And China's veto? A few weeks ago, China balked at the mandate prolongation for the UNO protection unit for Macedonia. The only reason was the fact that Macedonia was at that time in the process of building up diplomatic relations with Taiwan. When Security Council members use their veto powers for superficial national reasons, and not according to a globally oriented policy of peace, the dubiousness of the entire structure is demonstrated.

It must remain green policy to fortify UN structures and competence, all the way to a UN monopoly on the use of force. But Greens should not define the monopoly on the use of force in the sense of the status quo, with veto power for countries which they otherwise massively criticize because of lack of qualification in human rights questions. The Bundestag [the lower house of the German parliament] vote of October 16th, 1998 is to this day the valid basis for German participation in the air-raids now being carried out. At that time, everybody making the decision knew or had to know that the political threat

would have to be followed by action if the Serbian side did not give way. Given the long-standing intensive party discussions about armed forces use, Bundeswehr participation, the security architecture in Europe and the confused constellation in the Balkans, everyone must have been aware of the ramifications of his/ her decision.

The supporters of the decision acted with the will and the idea of definitively putting an end to the bloodshed in the Balkans with the voicing of a threat. Nobody supported an aggressive intent against the Serbian people or acted with a motivation which we in the past would have described as imperialism. Nobody represents the interests of the armament industry, nobody wants an offensive NATO strategy. Those Green representatives who abstained from the vote did not, despite their major concerns in terms of international law, want to bring the structure of threats which had already been set up crumbling down as a result of their "no" vote, and thus play into Miloševic's hands. The chances of checking the Serbian aggression against the Kosovar population by non- military means was already too low at this time. Therefore, the position of those who voted "no" was stated very much in terms of principle—for lack of viable alternatives.

The Political Realities

Since then, some decisive things have happened which made the toleration or active support of air strikes unavoidable for the Green parliamentary group and for Green members of the government.

1. Throughout the winter, the KLA had violated the armistice, systematically provoking the Serbian regime, which did not abide by the armistice completely either, by means of selective murders. The Serbs reacted with inconceivable brutality. The aim of the KLA was to provoke TV pictures which would lead NATO to intervene on the Kosovar side due to the indignation of the population in the western world. In the CNN war, NATO was to become the KLA's air force. This bet did not pan out. The West distanced itself from the KLA. The OSCE observers took a neutral attitude. The massacre at Radçak then occurred anyway. The butchering of civilians by the Serbs required a clear reaction from the West. All analyses came to the same conclusion: were there no reaction, the Serbs would think they had free rein to pursue their policy of expulsion and extermination. The armistice was for all practical purposes dead. It was foreseeable that further massacres would follow. It was also foreseeable that in the face of the TV pictures, the call that the political leadership ultimately "do something," that it "must act" these terms are synonymous with military intervention would also became louder. It had to be expected, that the political leadership would not be able to resist the CNN pictures for long. The Red- Green Government would have been accused of failure, cowardice and immorality from all sides. Better an instant reaction and not only for this reason.

The Green ideal that even the most difficult conflicts can be solved through negotiations and in a peaceful way rebounded off the character of Miloševic.

2. Two options were available for the West. The Americans wanted to start

bombing the People's Republic of Yugoslavia [sic] immediately on the basis of the still-valid "Act. Ord." In this, they expected the participation of the other

NATO states, including Germany. No political aim was recognizable apart from that of punishment. The second option, which was the one in fact accepted, had arisen in the upper echelons of the German Foreign Office (AA): At a peace conference, under pressure of the international community, a truce was first to be achieved, then the final status of Kosovo as autonomous region within the Federal Republic Yugoslavia enforced, and, as a third step, a broadly inclusive Balkan conference was planned.

It was the Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and the officials of the AA, who, with great personal dedication, persuaded the other foreign ministers to organize the Rambouillet negotiating process instead of going for quick bombing! For practical and diplomatic reasons, this initiative was not, however, identified as a German and Green one. Rather, the leadership was passed to the hands of the French and British foreign ministers. The steering of the political negotiating process, which had, due to the dominance of military means in the discussion shifted to NATO, was returned to the Yugoslavia Contact Group, to no inconsiderable degree due to our initiative. This body includes Russia. We favored this path due to our firm conviction that only the participation of Russia could lead to a negotiated peace. As representatives of the EU in the negotiating troika and despite our EU presidency and Germany's membership in the Contact Group, we yielded to the Austrian Petritsch, who had not only done good work, but in addition came from a non-Nato country. This was Green peace policy in action, which, however, did not display itself in public for reasons of efficiency.

3. During the negotiation process, it became clear that the Serbian side

absolutely was not interested in a peaceful solution. The Green ideal that even the most difficult conflicts can be solved through negotiations and in a peaceful way rebounded off the character of Miloševic. He emphasized to several conversation partners that he was the stronger in this conflict because he was willing to wade through blood, while the west had to take the sensibilities of the civilized world into consideration. He not only refused to sign that part of the treaty which provided for a military peacekeeping under NATO leadership (NATO plus others), without which the Albanians would never have accepted the text; he also, after he had indicated willingness to sign the political part of the treaty want, called important passages into question shortly before the conclusion of negotiations and later explained in writing that anyone who wanted to interfere from the outside was a "gangster," and that, moreover, there had actually been no negotiations and no draft treaty at all, because Serbs and

Albanians had not met directly.

the

fact that the negotiations in Rambouillet occurred

must be judged a major success of German Green foreign policy.

4. During the transition period from the Kohl to the Schröder government,

Miloševic clearly "played the Green card." He calculated that because of government participation by the pacifist Greens, Germany would never approve of armed action. Through this, NATO would be so weakened that he would have a free hand for his policy of expulsion and destruction in Kosovo. This calculation was foiled by the decision of October 16, 1998. Nonetheless, shortly before end of the negotiations in Rambouillet a high Yugoslav official sought me out to split the western alliance by way of the Greens. On the basis of my pacifist positions, he tried to get me to terminate the coalitional consensus. With reference to the war crimes of the Nazis in Serbia, he demanded that Germany break out of the western alliance. At the same time, he emphasized the legitimacy and legality of Serb policy in Kosovo, using the rhetorical constructs also used by Miloševic.

5. After Rambouillet had failed, an arrangement came into effect which had

been established between the western partners as a prerequisite for negotiations. Our goal had been to reestablish the contact group as the controlling authority, and to obtain a negotiated peace. Only on this basis could the Russians, who had been alienated by the "Act. Ord." as well as by the bombing of Iraq, be won over to cooperation. On the other hand, we could not do without the Americans. They, however, were ready to give up their approach toward direct air strikes in favor of the negotiating approach only under the condition that, first, the negotiating packet included a firm non-negotiable core, and that second, the other western partners confirm that the "Act. Ord." retain its validity, and enter into effect immediately if the negotiating process should fail. We had had to make this concession to get the Rambouillet process moving in the first place. The price now had to be paid.

Conclusions

Green government policy, unlike opposition policy, cannot confine itself to issuing public programmatic declarations and denouncing the mistakes of the past, but is rather forced to act responsibly in the here-and-now, in given situations which have come about independently of us and for which we have no responsibility. Of course our basic principles and programs guide our actions; however, the field of action is the complex international power structure, in which we are only one factor among many. ·Engagement in favor of a negotiated solution including Russia instead of quick bombing by NATO

corresponds not only to Green principles. Merely the fact that the negotiations in Rambouillet occurred must be judged a major success of German Green foreign policy.

The air strikes had become inevitable, because the Bundestag had approved them as a possibility, because all other alternatives had in fact been exhausted, and because the Western camp had agreed upon the Act. Ord., which, after the failure of the negotiations, now had to be implemented. The justification under international law remains at least controversial. The Serbian terror regime in Kosovo definitely does not meet the standards of international law. We Greens have been forced to witness our pacifism being systematically factored into the calculations of a criminal and of state terrorists. They wanted to use us against our actual will, in fact, to turn us into collaborators by using our refusal to resort to force of arms as a strategic element of their policy of eradication. If, however, criminal forces consciously try to play our love of peace off against our humanity, the point will eventually be reached for us political pacifists when our love of peace will have exhausted itself.

The compulsions of reality which made our decision unavoidable in a specific, extreme situation do not mean that we have abandoned our peace-policy goals. The air strikes, whose conclusion and effect cannot be foreseen, prove that nothing in international policy is as important as the development of methods for conflict early warning, peaceful conflict management, non-military crisis intervention and democratic institution-building. The Red-Green Government is working with top priority on the development and implementation of appropriate strategies. The crisis of international law must be used for its further development and reinforcement. The only alternative to the UN is a better UN.

Note: This March 26, 1999 statement was translated by Phil Hill, a member of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and The Greens/Green Party USA living in Berlin, Germany.

Open Letter to Joschka Fischer:

Will "Think Globally, act locally" be replaced by "Think Eurocentrically, act militarily"?

by Per Gahrton, Green Member of European Parliament, Sweden

I

have waited two weeks before writing this letter. On January 12 you presented

the program of the German Presidency in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. As you can imagine, I listened with great interest and great hope; it was the first programmatic foreign affairs declaration of a green President of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. You can imagine that I was

expecting something particularly special and Green.

During your speech I began feeling uneasy, and this feeling increased when my Swedish colleague from the conservative Liberal Party came over to me and

congratulated me: "Excellent! With Greens like Joschka Fischer even I could be

a Green!" The Swedish Liberals have long stood against the Swedish politics of

peace and neutrality and in favor of a militarization of the European Union.

Back in Sweden I realized that this was not the only conservative politician who was fond of your speech. Carl Bildt too, our former Prime Minister and head of the Swedish Conservatives, the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union and a great admirer of Helmut Kohl, praised your speech publicly. His party is considering the development of a federal European Union as a means to decrease the Swedish welfare state and as a guarantee against red-green political "adventures."

What do you want, an EU-FBI, an EU-CIA, an EU-KGB?

After all these comments I took my copy of the minutes and looked carefully at your text. Joschka, I am still irritated. I have to ask you, is there anything in your text which could not have been said by Helmut Kohl as well? You are proposing the integration of the West European Union (WEU) into the EU. You must know that not only the Green Group in the European Parliament but the Green Federation of some 30 green parties from all over Europe are speaking out against any form of militarization. You address the EU as a "strong and decisive global player" and state that the EU has to "bring forward its importance on the global scene." What do you mean by this? These are the same words I am used to hearing from my colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, when they speak out for the new super power EU to defend the European economic and strategic privileges against the poor of this world, towards Africa, Asia and Latin America.

And what about the EU-police? You said, "we have to continue to intensify the cross-border cooperation of the police and to strengthen the operational capacities of Europol." You are even in favor of it becoming "the next step to giving the European police institutions a European-wide power to operate." What do you want, an EU-FBI, an EU-CIA, an EU-KGB? You should know that in addition to the Green Group in the European Parliament, the Green

Federation is very critical of such a centralized police power structure.

You want to abolish the last pieces remaining of self-determination in the small EU member states—their veto power has to be abolished, [decisions will be made] only by majority votes in the EU Council of Ministers. You are aware that this would only apply to the smaller member states. As a result of their dominating position, Germany and France will always maintain de facto veto power. The smaller ones have to obey. The German social-democratic Friedrich Ebert Foundation proposed some days ago that Germany's vote in the EU Council of Ministers and in the EP should be increased. In federal states like the US there is proportional representation only in one chamber; in other federal structures all states have the same voting power.

What sort of internationalism is it which degrades my country, marginalizing it into a sub-province of a German-French Empire?

In the Mega-EU, which is growing and growing, this will all be different. The big states will control both chambers. Why this irrational attitude against this little bit of remaining self-determination for the small EU member states? Haven't we, you and I, fought together for the self-determination of Algeria, Vietnam and other colonized peoples? I don't think that a hundred percent self-

determination is either possible or desirable. But: Is it asking too much to have

a little bit of self-determination for the Swedish, Danish and other smaller nations in the EU? What sort of internationalism is it which degrades my country, marginalizing it into a sub-province of a German-French Empire?

Joschka, aren't you disturbed by the perspective that one day the young generation of my country could be forced to organize—in the same way as the

German Greens in the '70s or the Kosovo freedom fighters of today—desperate protest activities against the EU military super-state? Would they then be at risk from the "increased operational capacities of Europol" and would not "the European-wide operational capacities of European police institutions" be mobilized against them because their activities made them "enemies of the

state"?

A Green German MEP said: "Certainly it was not a green speech, it was a state speech, he had to do it."

"Certainly it was not a green speech, it was a state speech, he had to do it." On January 25 & 26 I was part of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee in Bonn to meet our equivalents in the Bundestag. The German green members there tried to calm me down. "Joschka was obliged to speak like that, he had to calm down fears of our neighbors, for example the US," they said. Others stated that you had to pay a price for the victory of Jürgen Trittin in the nuclear field. [Trittin had strongly opposed nuclear power plants and made that a condition for a green-social democratic alliance.—ed.] As I write, this explanation is becoming increasingly doubtful. [Only] when you succeed with the end of the nuclear society in Germany, [can we say that] this is the price of a verbal adjustment to the dominant security liturgy of the power elites.

I am full of hope that you—after having calmed down the power elites enough —will address a calming word to us Greens and internationalists so that we can be sure that a Green Foreign Affairs Minister means something other than a continuation of CDU politics. In the past we Greens had followed the direction:

"Think globally, act locally." Let's hope that this will never be replaced by, "Think Eurocentrically, act militarily."

Your green friend, Per Gahrton

Note: written 1-1/2 months before NATO began bombing Yugoslavia, this letter was translated from Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), of February 5, 1999.

April 9, 1999

An Open Letter to Joschka Fischer and Our Sisters and Brothers in Alliance 90/The Greens

An Open Letter to Joschka Fischer and Our Sisters and Brothers in Bündnis 90/Die Grünen:

As American Greens, we have often looked to the German Greens for leadership and inspiration. Your electoral achievements in 1983 brought international attention to Green politics and inspired the beginning of Green Party organizing in the US and many other countries. Your current participation in Germany's Red-Green governing coalition has given us hope that progress toward new models of just and ecological economics and peace politics would

be made by Germany and give renewed impetus to Green organizing in the US and around the world.

But now, we have grave concerns about the support that the Red-Green coalition, Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and the majority of Green members of the Bundestag have given to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The very credibility of Green politics around the world may become a casualty of NATO's war if the German Greens continue to participate in it.

We agree that the repression, violence, and ethnic cleansing of the Milosevic regime against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is horrific and must be opposed. But NATO's bombing campaign has only made the situation worse. The Serb-led Yugoslav army and paramilitaries are acting with impunity in Kosovo since the OSCE monitors and independent press left Kosovo when NATO began bombing. Now hundreds of thousands of Albanians are fleeing the violence in Kosovo, as the Pentagon and CIA predicted. The US, at least, apparently knew that NATO bombing would be a disaster for the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

How can Greens in the US credibly build an opposition and alternative to this militaristic austerity program when German Greens have gone to war in alliance with Clinton?

When the bombing campaign began, the US leadership told us its purpose was to save the Kosovo Albanians. Now, having utterly failed to meet that objective, we are told that we are at war "to save US and NATO credibility" and "to punish Milosevic." But the NATO bombing has only rallied Serbs behind Milosevic and crushed the political space for an anti-nationalist democratic alternative. While NATO bombing strengthens Milosevic, it hurts all Yugoslav people and creates resentments that will make a just political resolution of all issues in the Balkans all the more difficult.

That German Green leaders would support a US-led NATO military offensive in a non-NATO country is inexplicable to us because it encourages the US to act as a "rogue superpower" and to pursue its objective of extending NATO into the future indefinitely as its military enforcer throughout Europe and the Middle East. With roots in the anti-missile movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s and their call for a Europe without military blocs, East or West, German Greens projected a hopeful vision for a post-Cold War world at peace. Now the US and NATO are using the Yugoslav war to transform NATO from a supposedly defensive alliance into an explicitly interventionist force.

The ramifications of this change in NATO's role are a threat to peace everywhere. The ABM and START treaties and nuclear disarmament

negotations between the US and Russia are now in jeopardy. Russia may now drop its no-first-use nuclear policy, which US-led NATO never adopted in the first place. The backlash in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China, and other countries to the east has strengthened their militarist and ultra-nationalist forces and threatens to create a new cold war and the re-militarization of Europe.

We are distressed that German Green leadership could believe that an alliance with the US political and military leadership could help make Yugoslavia adhere to human rights standards. US leaders will try to impose a result that is in their own geopolitical and economic interests, not in the interests of Kosovo Albanians or any other Balkan people. As Clinton said here in a speech the day before the bombing began, "If we are going to have a strong economic

relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to

be a key

That's

what this Kosovo thing is all about."

This imperious arrogance of US elites is as dangerous to world peace as the bloody Greater Serbian nationalism of Milosevic is to peace in the Balkans.

If the Clinton administration had a genuine interest in human rights, it would withdraw its military backing of NATO-member Turkey's oppression of the Kurds, Israel's oppression of Palestinians, Mexico's oppression of Indians in Chiapas, and Indonesia's oppression of the East Timorese. It would end the economic sanctions on Iraq that have cost a million lives. It would call off the exploitation and austerity imposed on countries the world over through IMF "structural adjustment" policies, which had no small role in aggravating regional economic disparities and resentments and instigating secessionist movements in the former Yugoslav federation.

At home, if the Clinton administration had a genuine interest in human rights, it would not have revoked the federal guarantee of income support to low-income people and allowed one-fifth of our children today to live below the poverty line. It would not have balanced the federal budget on the backs of low-income people and allowed 44 million people today to go without health insurance. It would not have militarized domestic policy by enacting 50 new death penalties and funding a massive expansion of the prison-industrial complex that now incarcerates over 2 million people.

Clinton was seeking to expand US military spending by $112 billion over the next five years, which means under laws now governing the federal budget that this military money will come from still more cuts in education, housing, welfare, health care, and environment. Now, as a result of NATO's war, US militarists expect to get even higher increases in US military spending locked into the federal budget for years to come.

How can Greens in the US credibly build an opposition and alternative to this militaristic austerity program when German Greens have gone to war in alliance with Clinton?

No quick military solution exists to stop the ethnic cleansing now going on in Kosovo. The bombing has not stopped it, as NATO's military strategists knew from the start. A massive gound force might be able to drive the Yugoslav army from Kosovo, but such a full-scale ground war could cause so much more death and destruction that it might be a cure worse than the cause.

We are doing all we can to stop the NATO bombing campaign because it is only making matters worse. We call for an immediate cease fire by all sides (NATO, KLA, and Yugoslav forces), a re-start of negotiations, and agreement on a UN peace-keeping operation. We demand the replacement of NATO and its diplomacy by military dictate with a UN mandate to end the violence and facilitate a political resolution in cooperation with the OSCE and EU. To enforce a cease-fire and a negotiated settlement, we call for a UN-mandated peace-keeping force that excludes NATO countries that waged war in Yugoslavia, removes the Yugoslav army and Serb paramilitaries that have terrorized and forcibly removed the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, and disarms the KLA. The details of this process must be worked out through the UN/OSCE/EU, not NATO, but we demand that the US, Germany, and other wealthy countries now use the carrot of economic aid instead of the stick of military force to encourage a negotiated settlement.

We see no benefit to Greens being junior partners in a governing coalition if they are reduced to pawns in a US- led NATO policy that contradicts fundamental Green principles.

While ending the bloodletting in Kosovo and Yugoslavia must be the immediate aim, the resolution of the Kosovo issue requires a comprehensive regional peace treaty that offers economic reconstruction to all who sign it. It must aim to stabilize the region economically with a program of economic assistance to overcome the uneven development of the regions that has fueled recent Balkan conflicts. Militarily it must be part of a new post-NATO, European-based cooperative security framework that removes the meddling military forces of the US from Europe. We must undermine the delusion that the US is the "indispensable nation" that should unilaterally police the world, in the phrase coined by Secretary of State Albright that is now fashionable among the ruling elites of the US. This imperious arrogance of US elites is as dangerous to world peace as the bloody Greater Serbian nationalism of Milosevic is to peace in the Balkans.

We call on Foreign Minister Fischer and other Greens in the Bundestag to push for an end to Germany's support for NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia and to support a legitamate international peace-making process. If this causes a break in the Red-Green coalition, so be it. We see no benefit to Greens being junior partners in a governing coalition if they are reduced to pawns in a US-led NATO policy that contradicts fundamental Green principles. Let other parties take responsibility for the military disaster unfolding in the Balkans. It will do more good for the cause of peace and human rights if the Greens maintain the integrity and credibility of our principles.

In solidarity and with respect, —for The Greens/Green Party USA

28 April 1999 European Federation of Green Parties - Resolution on Kosovo

Back To Negotiations - Stop The Nato Bombings

1. There is much discussion within the European Green Parties - as in the whole

European society - concerning the NATO bombing in Serbia and Kosovo.

The German Green Party and the French Greens came out in support of the NATO intervention. However, the overwhelming majority of the 30 Member Parties of the European Federation are opposing the NATO strikes and are calling for an immediate stop of the bombings.

2. This doesn't mean that they do not severely criticize the brutal repression and

the violence of the Serbian army and the special police forces and ethnic cleansing policy of Slobodan Milosevic. But in addition, we do not see how a military intervention could solve the crisis in the Balkan region, a view which is consistent with our Guiding Principles which advocate conflict prevention and political negotiation under the control of the UN.

3. This is proved by the results of more than 30 days of NATO bombings: None

of the goals of the NATO intervention has been reached. On the pretext of the NATO strikes, Slobodan Milosevic sped up the brutal expulsion of the Albanian population from Kosovo. Opposition forces in Serbia are silenced and the support for Milosevic among the Serbian population is more widespread than

before. The strikes against the civilian infrastructure in Serbia have severely damaged the economy, something that will be a huge burden for the future. Bombings of the chemical plants and the oil industry have caused severe ecological damage. And the use of depleted uranium ammunition in Kosovo will be a serious health problem when the Albanian refugees are allowed to come back.

4. One of the most important goals of Green security policy is the creation of a

Pan- European security system which includes all European countries. This goal will be very difficult to realize following the NATO Intervention. New tensions are building in Eastern Europe and in Russia, nationalist forces and the old communist parties are getting more and more support. The danger of a new

split in Europe is highly visible.

5. The NATO intervention has seriously weakened the UN and international

law. In the middle of the military strikes against Serbia, NATO gave itself at its

50th birthday a new power which allows "out of the area" interventions without the need for a UN mandate. This is opening a very dangerious development, where NATO could become a world wide "police" force instead of the UN.

6. After more than 30 days of NATO bombing we are fully convinced that

"more of the same", more bombing and as logical next step in military thinking, the intervention with combat ground troops, will neither solve the humanitarian problems of refugees nor bring a political solution to the Balkan crisis. To give negotiations and a political solution a chance, we call for a stop of the NATO intervention.

7. According to our principles of peaceful conflict resolution and

demilitarisation, Green Parties have a great responsibility to work for a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, particularly Green parties in parliaments and governments. Who, if not the Greens, will stand up for a political solution? Therefore, we appeal to our Green MPs and Ministers to call for a stop of the NATO bombings and to open the way back to political negotiations.

We will continue our dialogue with the remaining Serbian opposition, support their struggle for democracy and help them to spread their views to the European public opinion.

Niki Kortvelessy, Franz Floss For the Committee of the European Federation of Green Parties.

Statement by Mexican Ecologist Youth Movement, May 14, 1999

The National Executive Committee of the Ecologist Youth Movement of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico met in an extraordinary meeting and resolved by unanimity the following:

1. The Youth Movement of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico energetically

condemns the bellicose actions taken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the region of Kosovo.

2. Pacifism and non violence are fundamental principals of the national and

international Green movements and by no means are subject to negotiation or agreements.

3. The Green Youth Movement of Mexico manifests its surprise towards some

Greens in Europe concerning their support towards NATO.

4. We reject the arms race and the international trade of weapons, fundamental

elements of war.

5. We condemn the policy of extermination of the Serbian regime of Slobodan

Milosevic.

6. As young people we demand a world free of armed conflicts to guarantee

development and well being for future generations.

An Appeal from American Jews to the Green Party of Germany to Stop the Bombing of Yugoslavia

[Greens across the U.S. circulated the following petition, drafted by Roger Naimon of the Preamble Center in Washington, in conjunction with Mitchel Cohen of the Greens/Green Party USA. It was signed by hundreds of Jews, whose names appear below.

The "Appeal" was circulated to the German Green Party immediately prior to the Second

Extraordinary Assembly of Federal Delegates of May 13, 1999, in Bielefeld.]

We are Jewish Americans who are deeply concerned that the memory and tragedy of the Holocaust is being invoked in order to justify an unjust bombing campaign against the civilian population of Yugoslavia. Many of us have friends who lost family members in the Holocaust, or have lost relatives ourselves. We are deeply aware of our own history and the need for the world community to intervene in situations where there is a threat of genocide, in order to prevent it. However, this is clearly not what is happening in Yugoslavia today.

We do not believe that our government's war against Yugoslavia is motivated by humanitarian concerns. This is evidenced by their refusal to airlift food and water to desperate refugees within Kosovo, as well as the paltry sums allocated for refugee relief as compared to the billions of dollars spent on the bombing. The Clinton Administration's great reluctance to pursue a negotiated solution to the conflict also indicates that this intervention is mainly about power: showing the world that the United States (and NATO, which it largely controls) is the self- appointed international policeman, and stands above international law and the United Nations. They are waging their war against civilians, destroying the Yugoslav economy and killing hundreds of innocent people, in order to demonstrate and consolidate their power.

Many supporters of the bombing have drawn analogies to the Holocaust, arguing that the world cannot simply stand by in the face of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. But the bombing has greatly worsened the situation of the Kosovar Albanians, as is now universally recognized. It has also destroyed the pro-democracy movement within Yugoslavia, and is destabilizing neighboring countries.

We urge you to reject these false and exaggerated analogies to the Holocaust and World War II, which are being used to garner support for a bombing campaign that is intensifying the suffering of all nationalities in Yugoslavia. We appeal to the Green Party of Germany to oppose this war, and to support a negotiated solution of the conflict.

Signers — Organizations listed for identification only:

Michael Ratner Center for Constitutional Rights

Vivian Stromberg Executive Director, MADRE

Marcus Raskin Co-founder, Institute for Policy Studies

Rachel Rubin, M.D., M.P.H. Division Chair, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Cook County Hospital; University of Illinois, Chicago

Saul Landau Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies Hugh O. LaBounty Chair of Interdisciplinary Applied Knowledge, California State Polytechnic University

Noam Chomsky Institute Professor of Linguistics Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Edward S. Herman Professor Emeritus, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Elaine Bernard Director, Harvard University Trade Union Program, Cambridge, Mass.

Howard Zinn, Historian, Author, "People's History of the United States"

Katha Pollitt Columnist, The Nation, New York

Jeff Cohen Author, founder of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)

Rebecca Golden Director, Ben & Jerry's Foundation

Simona Sharoni Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University

David J Cohen International Representative, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)

James Weinstein Editor, In These Times

Robert Weissman Editor, Multinational Monitor

Seth Ackerman Media Analyst, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

Michael Albert Z Magazine/Znet

Mark Weisbrot Research Director, Preamble Center

Dean Baker Senior Research Fellow, Preamble Center

Robert Naiman Research Associate, Preamble Center

Scott Nova Director, Citizens Trade Campaign

Jared Bernstein Economist, Economic Policy Institute Washington, DC

Ken Silverstein

Journalist

Jaron Bourke Policy activist, Washington, DC

Norman Finkelstein Hunter College

Joel Beinin Professor of Middle East History Stanford University

Stephen Myer Kretzmann Campaigns Coordinator, Project Underground

Michael Brun Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Joshua Karliner Transnational Resource & Action Center, San Francisco

Mark Solomon Prof. Emeritus of History Simmons College, Boston

Peter Dorman Faculty of Political Economy The Evergreen State College Olympia, Washington

Don Barry past Harlan J. Smith Fellow of Astrophysics The University of Texas at Austin

Michael Eisenscher Lead Organizer, Project for Labor Renewal, Berkeley, California

Jacqueline Cabasso Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

Andrew Lichterman Attorney, Western States Legal Foundation

Jay Levin Founder L.A Weekly newspaper

Glenn Rubenstein Park Slope Greens, Green Party of New York

Diane Swords Jewish Peace Fellowship of Central New York

Alan Stoleroff Department of Sociology Instituto Superior de Ciencias do Trabalho e Empresa, Lisbon

Luca Zampieri Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Eli C. Messinger, M.D. Green Party of New York Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical College

Steve Welzer Green Party of New Jersey

Carl Lesnor Manhattan Greens, Green Party of New York

Dr. Nancy Goldner Brooklyn Greens, Green Party of New York

Alan Schrift Professor of Philosophy, Grinnell College

Rochelle Pudlowski Eissenstat, M.D Sinai-Samaritan Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Robert Pollin Professor of Economics University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Brian Tokar Institute for Social Ecology, Plainfield, Vermont

Rabbi David Osachy Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rich Plevin Economic Justice Now, Oakland, California

Dennis Fischman Former President, Temple B'nai Brith, Somerville, Massachusetts

Raven B. Earlygrow Former Mayor, City of Point Arena, California

Andy Mager Jewish Peace Fellowship, Syracuse chapter

Saul Bitran First violinist, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Boca Raton, Florida

Erick Brownstein Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco, California

Irene Harris Former Publisher,Nassau Star (Long Beach, New York) Tarzana, California

Tom Mayer Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado

Paul Worthman Director of Organizing & Research American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)

Nicole Barchilon Frank Past Board Member & Administrator at Temple Beth El Eureka, California

Steve Rhodes Paper Tiger TV, Berkeley, California

Ben Newman Rabbinical Student Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, Pennsylvania

Ann Fox, MSS, LSW Wyncote, Pennsylvania

Craig Gordon Social Studies and Media Studies Teacher Oakland Education Association Site Representative Fremont High School, Oakland, California

David Utzschneider, MD, PhD Specialist in Internal Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Nancy Rost Journalist, Madison, Wisconsin

Ken Cornet Green Party of Connecticut

Philip Y. Blue Senior Law Librarian New York State Supreme Court New York, New York

Alexander Blum, M.D. Physician, Glen Ellen, California

Dr. Alfred Bloch Professor of Political Science and East European History (Retired) New Paltz, New York

Mahir Saul Associate Professor of Anthropology University of Illinois

Zoltan Grossman Co-founder, Midwest Treaty Network (a Native American support group), Madison, Wisconsin

Allan Solomonow Regional Director, Peace Education Program American Friends Service Committee, San Francisco

Randy Baker Co-Producer, "Fear and Favor in the Newsroom"

Naomi Steinberg Student Rabbi, B'nai Ha-Aretz (Children of the Earth), Redway, California

Julie Light Editor, Corporate Watch, San Francisco

Richard Schmitt Department of Philosophy, Brown University

Paula Friedman Editor/Publicist, Richmond, California

Derek Wright United Faculty and Academic Staff, AFT Local 223, UW Madison, Wisconsin

Frances Goldin, Mayer Vishner, Elizabeth Frankenberger The Frances Goldin Literary Agency, New York

Dr. Phillip Moskoff, D.D.S Grass Valley, California

Bob Auerbach National Committee, Greens / Green Party USA Jewish Peace Fellowship Greenback, Maryland

Boris Kogan Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Roman Mordechai System Analyst, Parallax Microsystems, Cleveland, Ohio

Bert Garskof Professor of Psychology, Quinnipiac College Hamden, Connecticut

Jane Angus Writer, Henderson, Nevada

Ashley Marcus Student, University of Virginia

Brian Harvey Lecturer, Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley

Ruslan Karapatnitski President, RIK Enterprises, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

Ross Bauer Department of Music, University of California, Davis

Cory Campbell Undergraduate, Reed College

Aletha Stahl Department of Languages and Literatures, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

David Applefield Association Frank, Paris

Professor Douglas Allen Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Maine Education Coordinator, Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine

Bruce Shapiro Columnist, The Nation

Rebecca Welty Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering, University of California at San Diego

Ryan Titchenell City Councilman, Trinidad, California

Samuel Farber Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College

Kristin Weeks Student, University of Virginia

Scott Rubel Facilities department, Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, California

Judy Samuels

Africa-America Institute, New York

Seth Farber, Ph.D. Network Against Coercive Psychiatry

Harvey Karp, M.D. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine

Phyllis Olin President of the Board, Western States Legal Foundation

Dr. Justin K. Schwartz Attorney, Chicago, Illinois

Devva Kasnitz, PhD Research Director, Research and Training Center on Independent Living and Disability Policy World Institute on Disability, Oakland, Calif.

Paula Gutlove and Gordon Thompson Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge, Mass.

John Burdick Associate Professor of Anthropology, Syracuse University

Zeljko Boskovic Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut

Jorge Liderman Professor of Music, UC Berkeley

Sergei Babko Senior Process Engineer, MSE TA,Inc., Butte, Montana

Olga Babko Graduate Student, Rutgers University

Mira Cantrell, M.D. UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles

Jennifer Malvin

Piano Teacher, Los Angeles

Fred Shapiro Associate Director, Yale University Law School Library

Bernie Tuchman Dept. of Environmental Protection, New York, N.Y.

Judith Ward Professor of History, New York, N.Y.

Don Obers Social Worker, Patchogue, New York

David Comeaux Green Party of New York, Rochester, NY

William Muraskin Professor of Urban Studies, Queens College, City University of New York

Dr. Ilan Kogus Senior Associate, The Adizes Institute for Organizational Transformation, Santa Barbara, California

Albina Leibman-Klix Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature and Philosophy Binghamton University, New York

Jodie Evans Director, We The People Oakland California

Albert Febbo Artist, Las Vegas, Nevada

David Atias Genesee Valley/Rochester Greens, Green Party of New York State, Green Party USA

Diana F. Cramer Librarian, Onondaga County Public Library Syracuse, New York

Laura A. Zimmerman Student, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Wyncote, Pennsylvania

Morten Krogh Student, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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

Seth Kulick Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania

Naomi Smith, Ellen Meltzer, Miriam Chesman New York City, New York

Shirley Cohen and Bernie Levin San Jose, California

Richard and Carol Weinstock Ventura, California

Ben Markeson Orlando Coalition to Stop the War; Socialist Party U.S.A. Orlando, Florida

Andrew Schneider Wanaque, New Jersey

Herbert Brun Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Illinois

Mark Epstein Professor, Dept. of Modern Languages, College of New Jersey

Josh Raufman President, Middlebury College Chapter of Hillel, Member, Democratic Socialists of America

Dr. Benjamin Robinson Post-Doctoral Fellow, Area One Program, German Studies Stanford University

E.M. Daniel Research Assistant/Graduate Student San Francisco State University

Jack Kurzweil Electrical Engineering Department

San Jose State University

Mark Jacobs Director of WESPAC (Westchester People's Action Coalition) New York

David Mladinov Cultural Arts Director, Leventhal-Sidman JCC Newton, Massachusetts

Dennis P. Geller Congregation Kahal B'raira, Massachusetts

Abram Stern Student, Cresskill, New Jersey

Robert Jensen Associate Professor, Department of Journalism University of Texas at Austin

Boris A.Kupershmidt Professor of Mathematics The University of Tennessee Space Institute

Dan Merkle Attorney at Law, Seattle, Washington

Jonathan Rosen Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Tim Wise Director, Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE) Nashville, Tennessee

Christopher Bierman English Language Institute Wayne State University

Dan Brook Instructor, University of California, Davis; Member, Editorial Collective of Socialist Review Davis, California

Julie Brook Editor, Davis, California

Norbert Hornstein, Professor Linguistics, University of Maryland/College Park

Dan Nissenbaum Software Engineer, Amherst, Massachusetts

Michael N. Nagler Professor emeritus of Classics & Comparative Literature Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley, Tomales, California

David G. Kern, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Brown University School of Medicine

Stephen D. Shenfield Watson Institute for International Studies Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Hank Bromley Assistant Professor, Dept of Educational Leadership and Policy, State University of New York at Buffalo

David Ozonoff, MD, MPH Professor and Chair, Dept. of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.

Marguerite Rosenthal, Ph.D. School of Social Work, Salem State College, Salem, Mass.

Dan Bahcall Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ Member Princeton Jewish Center, Princeton, NJ

Bob Jiggins Co-ordinator, Network for Peace in the Balkans

Mark Haim Mid-Missouri PeaceWorks

David Gottfried Westsiders Against the War, New York City

David N. Gibbs Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Arizona

Lew Pepper, MD, MPH Asst Professor, Environmental Health Program Boston University School of Public Health

Alan Meyers Associate Professor of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine

Matthew Smith UE Local 150 - No. Carolina Public Service Workers Union

Ichak Adizes, Ph.D President Adizes Institute, Santa Barbara, California

Robert J.S. Ross Professor of Sociology, Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

Debbie Applefield Milley Marketing Manager, Guidebooks Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, Mass.

Lisa Zimmerman National Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Network, Washington, DC

Dan Tenenbaum Software design engineer, Writer Seattle, WA

David Kaplowitz Prison Radio, San Francisco

Alan and Ruth Barnett Mill Valley, Calif.

Barry Deutsch Student, Portland State University

Gwynne Sigel Member, Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations; New Jewish Voice; Graduate student, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Daniel Ellsberg Peace Activist, Author

Matthew Wright Programmer/Analyst, U.C. Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technology, Berkeley, Calif.

Daniel Weiskopf Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy Brown University

Snezana Landau, translator Neil Landau, nuclear engineer El Cerrito, Calif.

Robert Plummer Impact Sports, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jim Rissman Beth Israel Synagogue Verona, Wisconsin

Adam Kessel Environmental Activist, Center for Neighborhood Technology Chicago

Joe Mabel Seattle Peace Heathens, Seattle, Washington

Stephen E. Berk Professor of History, California State University, Long Beach

Ariel Reinheimer Student, Brooklyn Law School Executive Board member, New Party of Long Island, New York

Jesse Lemisch John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

Naomi Weisstein State University of New York at Buffalo

Moshe Broudo Engineer, Canon Information Systems Cupertino, Calif.

Esher Broudo Homemaker, Cupertino, Calif.

Netta Broudo & Michal Broudo Students, Cupertino, Calif.

Bruce E. Bernstein President, New York Software Industry Association, Inc. New York City

Julie Spriggs Business Owner, New York City

Andrew Bateman, President, Political Science Association, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colorado

Nathan Kauffman Philosophy student, Millersville University, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Barbara Ogur, M.D. Instructor in Medicine Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

Greg Grant, PhD. postdoctoral researcher in Genetics University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Howard Schreiber Filmmaker, Ashland, Oregon

Susan Nossal Atmospheric Physicist, University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin

Sara Sutler-Cohen Graduate Department of Sociology Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif.

Dana H. Brooks Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University Steering Committee Member, Workmen's Circle Shule, Brookline, Massachusetts Co-Chair, Visions of Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine, Boston, Massachusetts

Sam Krasnow Managment Consultant, Cambridge, Mass.

Rumeli Snyder

Oakland, Calif.

Diane Reiner Music Teacher, Berkeley, Calif.

Ephraim Sinowitz Computer Programmer New York City

Jerold M. Starr

Professor of Sociology West Virginia University Director, Center for Social Studies Education, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Shelly A. Erickson Undergraduate, Christopher Newport University Newport News, Virginia

Wendy Linick Senior Technical Writer, Nortel Networks Los Angeles

Daniel Bowman UCSC Student, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Eliza Sulzbacher Student, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Danny Fox Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows

Sylvia Zisman N.J. Hiroshima Day Remembrance Committee Member, Council of Secular Jewish Organizations Springfield, New Jersey

Matt Goldberg Graduate student, JFK School of Government, Harvard Univ. Somerville, Massachusetts

David Rabin Radio Editor, Member, Jews United for Justice Washington, DC

Vera D. Cecilio, M.D. Member, Temple Judea Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Stephen R. Shalom William Paterson University, New Jersey

Sarah Wiseman Musician, Urbana, Illinois

Jon Nissenbaum Department of Linguistics, MIT

Cambridge, MA

Silja J.A. Talvi Journalist Seattle, Washington

Martin Gorfinkel Los Altos, Calif.

Lee Kershner Las Cruces, NM

David Loeb Guatemala News & Information Bureau

Carole Resnick & Debra Lee Gertz Jewish Peace Fellowship of Central New York

Dustin M. Wax Graduate Student, New School for Social Research Exhibition Assistant, The Jewish Museum, New York

Benjamin Davis Teacher, Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School

Janet Weil Teacher, Berkeley, Calif.

John Exdell Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Gregory Sechuga Project Manager, Beacon Consulting Group, Carmel, Indiana

Dr. James M. Blaut Professor of Geography and Anthropology University of Illinois at Chicago

Robin Cohen Migrant Education, Monterey County, Calif.

Walter Miale Green World Center Richford, Vermont

Ronit Avni

Student, Vassar College

Larisa Goldmints Graduate student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Peter D. Lichtenstein New Paltz Acupuncture and Chiropractic Center New Paltz, New York

Jon Ball Northeastern Univ. Dept. of Mathematics, Boston, Mass.

Joseph Levine Professor of Philosophy North Carolina State University

Jeff Grabelsky Senior Extension Associate Cornell University, NYSSILR

Burt Wartell, President Greater Portland Federated Labor Council, AFL-CIO Portland, Maine

Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D. Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy New York Medical College Valhalla, NY

Beth Burrows, Director The Edmonds Institute Edmonds, Washington

Lori Burton State Coordinator Pacific Green Party of Oregon

Corey Hale President Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance

Laura Bassler University of St. Thomas St. Paul, Minnesota

Marlena Schoenberg Fejzo, Ph.D. Postgraduate Researcher, UCLA

Craig Huber Eugene, Or 97440

Patrick A. Villano San Francisco, Calif.

Jim Allwein Student Activist, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Elise Morse MPH, CIH Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Jean Mair Bldg. Engineer, Lucent Technologies Bell Labs INovations

Meredith Thomsen University of California, Berkeley

Giso J Gorodish

Lynn Samuels

Gabriel Libhart Student Activist, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Amelia Kraigher

Joan Phelan Lincoln, Nebraska

John J. Neumaier (Survivor) Dutchess County Peace Center Former Pres. State University of New York at New Paltz

Ronald Daniels

Australia

Karen G. Stone Author, Albuquerque, NM

Kris Bohling, Music Dept. University of California, San Diego

Jaime Bass College of Communications University of Texas at Austin

Joshua Miner

Phillipe Doan Arlington, Texas

Sandra R. Gartin

Griselda Villarreal California State University, Chico

Geneva Jacobs

Elise Hugus Emergency Committee Against the War in Yugoslavia (ECAW) Boston/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Judy Beltrametti Switzerland

Gary N. Barnett Adjunct Professor of Geography Western Connecticut State University

Edda L. Fields University of Pennsylvania Department of History

Sandy Dolan Dept. of English University of Akron, Ohio

Philip Sheaff

Keith Kinion Iowa City, Iowa

Chris Dobbie

PK Choi Faculty of Education The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Rebecca E. Karl History Department & East Asian Studies New York University

Joan R. Saks Berman, Ph.D. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Michael Wilbur Cesar Chavez Student Club for Labor Solidarity

Mathieu Levi Rutgers University, New Jersey

Ernest Goitein, Bay Area Nuclear (BAN) Waste Coalition San Francisco, Calif.

Dan Hamilton Mount Vernon, Maine

Rachel E. Lee University of Hartford, Connecticut

Micah Rose St. Louis, Missouri

Marielle Heller University of California, Los Angeles

Madeleine Shaw United Kingdom

Lilli Rodeck

Denmark

Sondra Guttman Rutgers University, New Jersey

Donna Barrington Lehman College of the City University of New York Bronx, New York

Miriam Bartha Teaching Assistant, Women's Studies Rutgers University, New Jersey

Abby Sher President, Edgemar Development Santa Monica, Calif.

Andrea Maroney UC Davis, Calif.

Evan Haffner Ph.D. Student in Comparative Literature

University of California, Berkeley

Judy Ancel Institute for Labor Studies University of Missouri, Kansas City

Alan Shapiro Teacher, New York City

Larry Dansinger Institute for Nonviolence Education, Research, and Training Monroe, Maine

Eric Zlochevsky

Grace Rubenstein Williams College

Gerry Sussman, Professor School of Urban Studies & Planning College of Urban and Public Affairs Portland State University, Oregon

Sabine von Fischer, architect, New York

Beverly Burk New York City

Jennifer Smith Marvin Cape Codders for Peaceful Solutions and Cape Codders against Iraqi Sanctions

Kenneth A. Falconer

Linda Stern Massachusetts Bay Community College

Tony Poeck UC Davis, Calif.

Marcus Matzke Zivildienstleistender Germany

David Beiles

Maya Conn Assistant Director, Campuswide Stewardship Programs

UCLA

Matthew Weinstein Shorefront Peace Committee Brooklyn, New York

Prof. A. Tom Grunfeld Dept. of History SUNY/Empire State College, New York

Manuel Bonduki

Ravi Nagraj High School student Brampton, Ontario, Canada Anastasia Birou administrative employee of University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

Vladimir Ljubicic Plant Protection Society of Yugoslavia

Joaquin Tagle

Santiago, Chile

Dusica Salai

Yugoslavia

Dejan Markovic Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Sheila Robin

England

Art Hoffer

Francois Josserand postgraduate student London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdon

Rebecca Spencer Worcester College, University of Oxford United Kingdom

Lev Vicrope Toronto, Canada

Lidija Tanusevska

Teaching Assistant University of St. Cyryl and Methodious Skopje, Macedonia

Maria Elena Pastor Fernandez

Robbie Shilliam Sussex University, United Kingdom

Katie Cherrington Auckland University, New Zealand

Ivana Prijic-Niseteo Student Librarian, University of British Columbia Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Angela Kennedy Smith College, Massachusetts

Darrell Silver

Paul Olson Dept. of English University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Terry J. Allen Journalist

Christopher A. Cajski Stanford University

Jason Dennany

Shahrokh Yadegari University of California, San Diego

David Getzin

Nathaniel Birr

Sandra Donellan

Antonis Polentas Department of Langauge and Linguistics University of Essex Colchester, United Kingdom

Branka Nikolic

Vancouver, British Columbia

Bernard Genet Economist, France

Andreas Kurtz Georgetown University, Washington DC

Roger Coghill

Massachusetts

Robin Jacks Women's Action Coalition, Memphis Tennessee

Beatrice & Ronald Gross Authors

Lisa D. Rifkin Theatre Artist, Teaching Artist Lincoln Center Institue, Lincoln Center New York City

Mitchel Cohen Brooklyn Greens, Green Party of NY, Greens / Green Party USA

PR Firms Create an Appearance of "Genocide"

by Mitchel Cohen, Red Balloon Collective, & Brooklyn Greens, Green Party of New York

In April 1993 Jacques Merlino, associate director of French TV 2, interviewed James Harff, director to Ruder Finn Global Public Affairs, a Washington DC- based public relations firm that had been hired by the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the parliamentary opposition in Kosovo. (Because of the sanctions placed against the government of Yugoslavia, the Milosevic government there has not been allowed to hire a public relations

firm.)

Merlino asked Harff how he used a file of several hundred journalists,

politicians, representatives of humanitarian associations, and academics to

manufacture public opinion. Harff explained: "Speed is vital assertion that really counts. All denials are entirely ineffective."

it is the first

In the interview, Merlino asked Harff what his proudest public relations endeavor was. Harff responded:

"To have managed to put Jewish opinion on our side. This was a sensitive matter, as the dossier was dangerous looked at from this angle.[Croatian] President Tudjman was very careless in his book, Wastelands of Historical Reality. Reading his writings one could accuse him of anti-Semitism. [Among other anti-Semitic statements, Tudjman claimed that "only" 900,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust, not six million—MC.] In Bosnia the situation was no better: President Izetbegovic strongly supported the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in his book, The Islamic Declaration.

"Besides, the Croation and Bosnian past was marked by real and cruel anti-Semitism," Harff continued. "Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croation camps, so there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile toward the Croats and the Bosnians. Our challenge was to reverse this attitude and we succeeded masterfully.

"At the beginning of July 1992, New York Newsday came out with the article on Serb camps. We jumped at the opportunity immediately. We outwitted three big Jewish organizations-the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. In August, we suggested that they publish an advertisement in the New York Times and organize demonstrations outside the United Nations.

"That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the [Muslim] Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind. Nobody understood what was happening in Yugoslavia. The great majority of Americans were probably asking themselves in which African country Bosnia was situated.

"By a single move we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself. We won by targeting the Jewish audience. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with use of words with high emotional content such as ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, etc., which evoke images of Nazi Germany and the gas chamber of

Auschwitz. No one could go against it without being accused of revisionism. We really batted a thousand in full."

Merlino replied, "But between August 2nd and 5th, 1992, when you did this, you had no proof that what you said was true. All you had were two Newsday articles."

"Our work is not to verify information," said Harff. "We are not equipped for that. Our work is to accelerate the circulation of information favorable to us, to aim at judiciously chosen targets. We did not confirm the existence of death camps in Bosnia, we just

made it widely known that Newsday affirmed

professionals. We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to moralize."

We are

—Jacques Merlino, "Les vérités yugoslaves ne sont pas toutes bonnes à dire" [The truths from Yugoslavia are not easy to report], Paris: Editions Albin Michel S.A., 1993. Quotations reported by Sara Flounders in "NATO in the Balkans," 1998, International Action Center, New York.

Atrocities: Fact, Fiction, and Hyperbole

Serbian forces have been brutal in suppressing the movement for Kosovo independence. But is repression of political dissidents the same as genocide? In evaluating the crimes of Serbia and the crimes of NATO, it is necessary to separate actual atrocities from those which have been exaggerated or even fabricated.

Two incidents which were important in rallying support—including that of Green Parties—for NATO's military action were the alleged "Racak massacre" and the murder in Goden of 20 teachers in front of their pupils. Both must be viewed with skepticism.

In mid-January the alleged massacre of 45 Kosovars at Racak was a major media event. After the powerful first impression of the "massacre" reached the public mind, questions began popping up. French TV stations and newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro questioned the absence of shell casings or blood where the bodies were found and the fact that no eyewitnesses turned up, even though Racak had its share of journalists.

The American diplomat who publicized the "massacre" was William

Walker, a war crimes investigator. It came to light that William Walker had been involved in the "Iran-Contra" affair with Oliver North. Walker apparently had years of experience in covert operations in Latin America before being assigned to Kosovo. Rollie Keith, who was a Kosovo Verification Monitor during February and March of 1999, wonders if Walker was assigned to assist the KLA in staging the massacre in order to help prepare the public for military intervention. The Los Angeles Times asked if the massacre had been faked by the KLA putting civilian clothes on the bodies of their own military dead before William Walker contacted the press.

The other incident was reflected in a April 29 report by Reuters that

20 teachers had been murdered in front of their students in the

Kosovo village of Goden. Skepticism mounted with the information that Goden had 20 houses and a population of 200. Few 200-person

villages have 20 teachers. A report from the Guardian of April 9 had told a slightly different story: Serbs had came into Goden, lined

20 men (including 2 teachers) against a wall, and told women and

children to leave the village. One woman who fled told reporters "We don't have the slightest idea whether our men are alive, dead or

massacred!"

This would certainly constitute a criminal act by Serb forces. But the press wasn't satisfied with a story that "20 Kosovo men were probably killed after their families had been driven out." Thus, the released version described 20 teachers being murdered in front of their pupils.

Retired Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie, who commanded UN troops during the 1992 Bosnian War, believes that governments have learned the value of hiring PR firms to put the right spin on military actions. In an April 15 story in the Vancouver Sun, he reported that "One Washington-based firm continues to brag on its Web site that it successfully introduced the hot terms 'holocaust, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and concentration camps' to the lexicon of journalists covering the war."

Don Fitz, Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance