cj#930> European sentiment grows against NATO


Richard Moore

Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 02:49:11 +1000
From: ROAL <•••@••.•••>
 (by way of Lynette Dumble <•••@••.•••>)
Subject: [GSN] Letters from Seville - Mireya WiB
To: •••@••.•••

Dear friends,

FYI from Women in Black, Spain - a small window into the untold suffering
inflicted by NATO's war in the name of "humanitarianism" - with warm
regards, Lynette.

Dear friends,

>From Spain, we send you two letters; the first one (written 12 days
ago!) in English and the second one in Spanish (we will send you the
translation in a few days).

Here, in Spain, we will try to hand "An Appeal to governments members of
NATO" to the Foreign Office personnaly the 7th May.  We would like to
know if there would be possible a coordinated action of this kind in
some of the NATO countries. Please, answers before Tuesday. We plan
additionaly to hand an statement asking to stop ethning cleasing to the
Yugoslav Embassy, in order to keep the line of neither/nor.

Best wishes,
Yolanda R.

Letter from Sevilla/Mireya Women in Black (18 04 99)
traducción: Paula/W in B Sevilla (25 04 98)

Dear Friends,

More than a week has gone by with no news, lots of activity, trying to
keep up with everyone by means of an ice-cold screen that
can't transmit what we really need to know - direct news from our
friends.  So many people that we would love to have just a sign
from, people we want to caress with the tenderness of our words, know
how they are living through these endless days and nights.
Friends from Kosova, Belgrade, Panchevo, Montenegro and others from the
communities thrown together and separated, bridges
that were destroyed years ago and again now, Vojvodina ... 


On Sunday the 9th of May, in Rota, Andalucía, there will be a march against
the base, against NATO, against the war; a march of Iberian character as
even some Portuguese will participate too.  A multitude of associations are
organizing it.  We are among the participants and we will try to
communicate messages from women, make a space for that ... On Thursday I
particpated in a 'round table' talk at the Architecture Faculty.  Imagine,
three in favour of 'the inevitable necessity of the intervention' and three
against ... there I spoke strongly about civilian networks and the effect
of the bombs etc. I was surprised by a young journalist who has just come
back from Macedonia, accusing us (Sebastian, another from an NGO and I) of
being gullible because of our anti-intervention stance ... less strange was
Manolo from APY who said he didn't want war but that sometimes armed
intervention was necessary - of course he has his supreme chief in the high
spheres of military power of this world.  You see, Western patriotic
discourse  intoxicates the people, but just as well it doesn't create a
totally hegemonic atmosphere ... it's easy enough to open up debate and
shake the learned principles of violence against violence.  On Saturday I
was at the Pedagogy Faculty with a woman from a wonderful neighbourhood
group called "New Illusions", they participate in our protests.  There we
were recounting our experiences. It was the 13th Social Pedagogical
Conference, with more than 500 students listening to your messages ... my
asking for networks to be created ... and they erected a mural for everyone
to write messages which was then to be sent to Solana in solidarity with
everyone in Belgrade, Pristina ...


From: "viviane lerner" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: ZNet Commentary, The Greeks, Kosovo and the US
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 20:30:55 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Albert <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>
Date: Saturday, May 01, 1999 8:33 AM
Subject: ZNet Commentary, May 2 - Nikos Raptis

Here is today's ZNet Commentary Delivery from Nikos Raptis. The attached
file is the same material in nicely formatted html so that you can read it
in your browser if you wish.

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The Greeks, Kosovo and the US By Nikos Raptis

Following the Chomskyan distinction, in the present text the word Greeks
refers to the inhabitants of the geographic region of Greece as distinct
from the political and economic elits that "govern" the country. (The use
of the quotation marks is explained later on.)

But, first, a report on the main events in Greece for the last 20 hours.
(This is being written at Halandri, a suburb of Athens, on April 28, 1999
at 7 pm, Athens time.)

- Yesterday, around midnight, a group of Greek citizens demonstrated
against the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia at the gate of the fenced area of
the railroad terminus of the port of Salonica. The aim of the demonstrators
was to block the departure of a train that was about to move British troops
and tanks (on flatcars) from Salonica to Macedonia. The demonstrators
blocked the train as it moved out of the terminus, painted the swastika on
the sides of all the tanks on the flatcars, wrote (in English) the slogan
"Killers go home" and started shouting against the British soldiers that
were in the train cars. Then, they started throwing stones thus breaking
the glass windows of the cars and forcing the rather surprised British
soldiers to put on their helmets. Finally, with the help of the railroad
employees, who joined them, the demonstrators succeeded to force the train
to move back into the terminus. (Source: Reported as seen by me on the news
of the Greek TV stations.) Note: On April 1 similar scenes to the above
took place again in the port of Salonica. Also, a couple of weeks ago a big
group of demonstrators at the Greek-Macedonian border stopped a big convoy
of trucks that were moving French troops from the port of Salonica to
Macedonia. Finally, after many hours of negotiating with the police, the
demonstrators forced the convoy to return to the port of Salonica! (Source;
The same as above.)

- Yesterday on the island of Corfu, at 10 pm (Athens time) there was a
concert - demonstration against the NATO bombings attended by about 10,000
people. After the concert was over, around 12 midnight, the crowd walked to
the airport of the island, overcame the police force that was guarding the
airport and stormed into the buildings. Then they moved out towards the
runway and there ensued clashes with the police that lasted up to 3 o'clock
in the morning. Result: 6 or 8 policemen injured, one of them in serious
condition, 8 civilians arrested. (Source: The same as above.)

- Today, in the Greek papers there is a report that the day before
yesterday in an an evening TV show George Katsanevakis, the prefect of the
prefecture of Chania on the island of Crete, declared that Nicholas Burns,
the US Ambassador in Greece, is "persona non grata" in Chania. Because,
Burns protested to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs about a resolution
made public by the General Assembly of the Local Governments of the Chania
prefecture. The resolution: "We, the members of the Local Governments,
being aware of the indignation felt by our fellow-countrymen, inform our
government... that the American soldiers are undesirable in our country and
we cannot guarantee for their physical safety or for anything else that
might happen to them. We call the citizens to boycott the American
multinational companies and not to deal with them." (Source:
ELEFTHEROTYPIA, Apr. 28, '99, p.7)

Notes: 1. Most Cretans, by tradition, own guns. Ownership of guns is
illigal in Greece. Cretans fire their guns mostly to celebrate a marrige,or
on other festive occasions, sometimes in the presence of governmant
officials. Also, they fire their guns to kill one another in decades long
vendettas. 2. The US military base at Souda Bay in Crete seems to be one of
the most important (if not the most important) US bases in the world.

- Yesterday at 11,36 pm, a time bomb had exploded infront of the Athens
Intercontinental Hotel. There was a 39 years old woman dead and a man
lightly wounded. The organization that put the bomb, the "Revolutionary
Cells", had warned about the bomb 30 minutes before the explosion. The
occasion for placing the bomb, as explained by the organization itsef with
a letter to an Athens paper, was to protest for a conferene organized by
the London "Economist" in the hotel. The general consensus of the Greek
press is that this is a provocation by western secret services.

Now to the main theme of this commentary: Why only the Greeks, among all
the European peoples are opposing the NATO (that is US) bombing against
Yugoslavia? The polls show that 98 % (!) of the Greeks are against the
bombing. They express their opposition with massive demonstrations, almost
every other day all over the country. In Athens the demonstrations end up
infront of the US Embassy. This seems to not only annoy Mr. Burns, the US
Ambassador, but according to the Greek press to also make him jittery, as
indicated by his frequent visits to the Ministry of Public Order, a natural
reaction when one observes a mass of humanity as far as the eye can see (to
the tune of tens of thousands) and has protection of only a few hundred
policemen. The Greeks are ANGRY against the US. They think that the war is
morally wrong. They can see through the hypocrisy of Clinton and his
puppets. They know who Milsevic is. They are not for Milosevic. They know
the suffering of the refugees and the role of the bombing in this. Also,
they know what is happening in Yugoslavia. There are dozens of Greek
reporters in Yugoslavia and in Kosovo, who report honestly what is
happening there, as much as is possible to do, They know that Greece has
been under virtual US occupation since 1947. They know that any Greek
government "governs" as a proxy of the US elites. They know that when
Demirel of Turkey threatens Greece with war, in case Greece does not do the
bidding of the US in Kosovo, as Demirel did threaten Greece immediately
after the bombing started, he (Demirel) is doing the threatening as a proxy
of the US.

However, the main reason that the Greeks see through the lies that other
peoples swallow is their history of the Resistance against the Nazis and
the history of the Greek left, especially the Greek Communist Party. It is
quite interesting to see today coservative Greeks to agree with the
positions that the left had been holding, about the US, for almost half a
century, namely that the "Americans are murderes of peoples!", which by the
way is the slogan heard from one to the other end of the country. (Of
course, the Greeks make the necessary Chomskyan distinction and by
"Americans" they mean the Trumans, the Clintons, et al.).

Two days ago, in Syntagma Square, the historic square of Athens, there was
a concert - demonstration with Mikis Theodorakis, the composer, as the
central figure of the event.. There were more than one hundred thousand
people, of all ages, present at the event. The Greeks were proud and moved
to tears about the maturity, the seriousness and the MORALITY of those
present, especially the young people. This, I think, was a real life test
of the truth of the claims made about the Greeks in the preceding
paragraph. The main slogan, repeated continuously, was: "Americans murderes
of peoples!"

At this point a short parenthesis for those that do not know who Mikis
Theodorakis is. Mikis was borne in 1936. At the age of 14 he joined the
anti Nazi resistance. He was arrested and tortured. He joined the Greek
left and spent years and years in prisons and concentration camps. Since
the age of ten he had been composing. Now he is considred, worldwide, as a
composer who belongs in the company of the best composers of the world. He
still belongs to the left.

Three days from now, on Saturday the First of May, the Greek workers for
the first time in the history of the Greek labor movement will celebrate
the sacrifice of the heroes of Haymarket of Chicago infront of the US
Embassy in Athens, protesting the bombing. They will be joined by another
mass of Greeks who would start their First of May celebration in Syntagma
Square, and who are the "descendents" of the Greeks that were killed in
that very square in December 1944, essentially by British troops, a few
weeks after the Nazis left Greece, as they (the Greeks) demonstrated for
freedom and social justice.

Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 08:01:20 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: MSNBC: Support waning in Europe (fwd)

        Message includes interesting European demographics for
support/oppostion to Kosovan war, and perspectives from many European

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:00:43 -0400
From: Stevan Vidich <•••@••.•••>
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
To: SRPSKA KULTURA <•••@••.•••>
Subject: MSNBC: Support waning in Europe
Resent-Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 09:25:49 -0700 (PDT)
Resent-From: •••@••.•••

____ CP||CKA KY/TYPA ____ No. 880  Poruka od:  Stevan Vidich

 Support for NATO waning in Europe

 Europeans have doubts about war in Balkans

 A masked demonstrator stands next to anti-riot police during a protest
 against NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia outside the Bagnoli NATO base
 in suburban Naples Saturday.

 By Jonathan Miller MSNBC

LONDON, April 24 -  The first step for a democracy in mounting any
successful war is persuading voters that it is a good idea. The strike on
Yugoslavia got off to a good start - as the pitiful flood of refugees
emerged from Kosovo, public opinion solidified behind the air campaign. But
one month later, the first cracks are starting to appear.

BRITISH BARONESS Margaret Thatcher is hardly a shrinking violet. The former
British Prime Minister became known as the Iron Lady for her uncompromising

After the Argentines invaded the Falkland Islands, she single-handedly
galvanized British public opinion to support a military operation to seize
them back. She even famously told former President George Bush not to
"wobble" in facing down Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Kuwait.

Yet last week, it was Europe's Iron lady who was wobbling, joining a small
but growing chorus of skeptics who have begun questioning the timing,
tactics and objectives of NATO's military operation against Serbia.

Slobodan Milosevic, Thatcher warned, was "not some minor thug ... but a
truly monstrous evil." Nevertheless, she declared, the war against him was
being waged "eight years too late ... and with war aims that some find
unclear and unpersuasive."

To be sure, the statement was a footnote of dissent in a country in which
popular opinion remains solidly behind the NATO action. Britain's tabloids,
reliable barometers of public sentiment, are continuing to maintain a
robust tone. The Sun, which launched the war with a massive headline
exhorting NATO to "Clobba Slobba," has maintained steady support for the

But amongst the opinion formers, the doubts are growing, even if the
doubters are split between those who advocate taking firmer action and
those who believe that even the air strikes were a mistake.


An article in London's Times on Wednesday offered a third view. In a
forensic and highly critical deconstruction of NATO's war so far, it
concluded that NATO was fighting a war it simply could not win.

Authored by Simon Jenkins, a former editor of the paper and one of
Britain's most respected journalists, the article systematically shredded
the logic behind the campaign against Serbia and starkly concluded that
NATO's hubris has delivered the alliance to the brink of humiliation.

"NATO pledged to draw the line against Mr. Milosevic in Kosovo and did not
do so. It sent in monitors, then withdrew them. NATO sent reinforcements to
Macedonia but left them setting up camps for victims of a war NATO half
threatened but would not fight," argued Jenkins.

The first evidence that these arguments are getting through to the public
came with a poll in the center-left Guardian this week showing support for
the NATO campaign has dropped from 65 percent to 57 percent, while support
for sending in ground troops has gone from 58 percent to 50 percent.


In Germany, where the war began with Luftwaffe pilots flying into action
for the first time since 1945, popular newspapers took an initially robust
line. It has not proved durable.

"NATO now finds itself in a nightmare situation," said Hannoversche
Allgemeine Zeitung this week. "On the one hand it is hitting Yugoslavia
with increasingly severe attacks. On the other, the alliance's political
aims are becoming increasingly remote. If you extend this into the future
the only reaction can be one of horror."

Although Germany has played a secondary military role in the campaign so
far, with just 14 aircraft, a single frigate and 3,000 support troops in
Macedonia, the war is threatening to destabilize Europe's biggest democracy.

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's SDP-Green coalition may not survive a May 13
special conference of the Greens, which is likely to declare NATO's
campaign incompatible with both international law and the governing
coalition's election manifesto.


In Italy, too, the war is introducing strains in a coalition government
that has offered a platform for NATO air strikes against Serbia, despite
deep ambivalence.

Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema's center-left coalition includes anti-war
communists and public opinion is increasingly hostile to the NATO campaign.
There are also deep-seated fears that Italy will end up taking in many
Albanian refugees.

La Repubblica, the country's leading daily newspaper, summed up the Italian
attitude in an editorial declaring that public opinion must "face reality"
that "this probably won't be a war of weeks and will produce more suffering.

If we are not prepared to accept the weight of this suffering then we might
as well pull the white flag out of our rucksack immediately."


In Paris, most of the media has stood solidly behind the cohabitation
government of rightist President Jacques Chirac and socialist Prime
Minister Lionel Jospin. Polls show wide public support for NATO - 70
percent back airstrikes, while 64 percent say they would back ground

But some are expressing doubts. Le Canard Enchaîné, a weekly that often
differs with the mainstream media, said that the allied intervention has up
to now "revealed only its weakness."

In Le Monde this week, commentator Edgar Morin declared the war to be
"Madness ! Folie ! Folie !" It was, he said, a folly not only of the
nationalism of the Serbs and its ravages, but of NATO's "war of computers,
of killing machines."

Adding a further strain, the right-wing daily Le Figaro has started to
question the Clinton-Blair axis at the center of the alliance.

"If the bombing raids on Yugoslavia are not enough to put an end to Mr.
Milosevic's excesses a ground war is probably necessary. But it is not
right that Mr. Clinton and his pilot fish, Mr. Blair, should take this
decision. The involvement of European troops on the ground could be
inevitable but it would be shocking for them to be commanded by an American


The most robust dissent from the NATO consensus has come from Greece where
polls show between 92 to 97 percent oppose NATO bombings.

Greek unions have been openly raising money to send relief supplies to
Yugoslavia. The Greek Radio and Television employees' union has expressed
"disgust" for what it called the "inhuman and cowardly attack of NATO
forces" on the RTS radio and television building of Belgrade.

Across Europe this weekend, many journalists agreed that the attack on RTS
has set a terrible precedent, turning the media into legitimate targets of

In Geneva, the European Broadcasting Union condemned the attack; in London,
the Defense Correspondents Association, which represents many journalists
who are reporting on the conflict and who are vulnerable to reprisals,
expressed "considerable disquiet."

Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for the Guardian, is among a number of
commentators who think that Clinton and Blair are rapidly swimming out of
their depth.

"These two master campaigners are fighting Slobodan Milosevic the way they
beat George Bush and John Major: with heat-seeking spin and laser-guided
polls. Those methods worked wonders then but they're playing havoc now."

 Jonathan Miller is a correspondent for MSNBC.

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