cj#941> JOHN NEUMAIER – Another war in the name of peace


Richard Moore

From: •••@••.•••
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 18:25:59 EDT
Subject: Column on Yugoslvia war
To: •••@••.•••

After receiving materials re Vermont Rep. Bernard Sanders'  position on
Kosovo, I thought you might be interested in a column I wrote for the Daily
Freeman in Kingston, New York. I have downloaded it from their Website and
appended it below.

        Best wishes,  John J. Neumaier

<Picture>Sun., May 2, 1999

COMMENTARY: Bombing Yugoslavia: Another war in the name of peace


IMAGINE you're a citizen in the Serbian republic of Yugoslavia. Whether or
not you support Slobodan Milosovic and his regime (many Yugoslavs have
opposed him in the past), chances are you and your family are frightened and
angered by the massive bombing of your country. President Milosovic may have
persuaded you that the U.S.-led NATO powers cared little about "ethnic
cleansing" when it was done by Albanians and Croats to Serbs. The Belgrade
media is no doubt proudly reminding you that when Fascist Croats and
Albanians were fighting on the side of Hitler's Germany, a majority of Serbs
were heroically resisting the Nazi onslaught.

But we are in the United States. The mass media we listen to is underscoring
the humanitarian intentions which prompted the U.S. government and its 18
NATO allies to undertake the intensive bombing attack on Yugoslavia (mostly
by U.S. pilots). The announced peaceful aim and moral imperative for this
"just war" is to force Milosovic to stop the ethnic cleansing of citizens of
Albanian lineage living in Kosovo. We are being told that the news out of
Belgrade is just lying propaganda, and that, in sharp contrast, it is truth
which is emanating from round-the-clock NATO briefings, from President
Clinton, the State Department, and Pentagon information specialists.

AS USUAL, it is difficult for the targeted audiences of the warring
governments to separate factfrom fiction. In Yugoslavia ideological control
is mostly accomplished through government hegemony; in the United States it's
done through the pliant conformity of most of the fourth estate, i.e. the
mass media, which has rightly been called the fourth branch of government.

This explains why so few U.S. journalists and TV anchors protested the
bombing ofthe Yugoslav TV headquarters in Belgrade and the "collateral"
killing of 13 civilians, presumably journalists, who were inside.

IN SPITE of governmental propaganda on both sides there are people who insist
on thinking for themselves. I want to single out here the many Yugoslav NGO's
(non-governmental organizations recognized by the U.N.) whose members are
speaking out for peace and against ethnic cleansing.

Seventeen Belgrade NGO's recently issued an appeal on the Internet, saying:
"We, representatives of civic groups and organizations, have worked valiantly
and persistently against the policies of the war-mongering and nationalist
regime (of Milosovic), in favor of the respect of human rights, particularly
having put our determination against the repression exercised against the
Kosovar Albanians." But they bitterly lament how their efforts to democratize
their country and to cooperate with a broad-based non-violent movement of
ethnic Albanians have been set back because of the sustained US-NATO bombing

IN AN article in the San Francisco Chronicle (April 9) an American of Serbian
origin writes that "the Milosovic regime is corrupt and brutal,"but she
grieves that "my adopted country is bombing my homeland." She says Kosovo
contains more than 800 Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches and that the
Serbs think of it as their Mecca, adding that: "The Kosovo Serbs dwindled
from 50 percent of the population prior to World War II to 10per cent today,
largely due to expulsion, often at the hands of the Albanians themselves."

Indeed, all but forgotten is the West's own condemnation of the terrorist
tactics of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), tactics which effectively
destroyed the broad-based andnon-violent Kosovar movement against ethnic

IN SPITE of Congress's overwhelming vote to back the Clinton administration's
bombing initiative, along with the obligatory political rhetoric about
"backing our troops", Americans areincreasingly divided over the merits of
this war. It's becoming clear to many, even to some politicians, that the
Clinton-Albright ultimatum to Milosovic -- accept U.S.-NATO military presence
in Kosovo, end the ethnic cleansing, or else be bombed --was not a stellar
moment in U.S. diplomacy.

Indeed, it has had the very opposite and predicted effect -- bringing
incredible misery and suffering to hundreds of thousands of Kosovar
Albanians. Growing numbers of Americans are repulsed by the massive bombing
of Yugoslavia'sinfrastructure and the killing ofinnocent civilians. Moreover,
though only two years ago more than 200,000 Yugoslavs held a protest rally in
Belgrade against Milosovic, his regime now enjoys broad support as people
unite behind him against the merciless bombing by the powerful NATO

There are other matters of growing concern to Americans: the mounting tension
with Russia over the bombing, the threatened oil embargo, a possible ground
war, the strengthening of Russian ultra-nationalists, and the diversion of
Social Security tax funds to pay for the war. Only arms manufacturers and
born-again cold warriors could welcome these developments.

WHAT ABOUT the legalbasis of this undeclared war against a sovereign country?
The U.S. Constitution explicitly delegates the power to make war to the
Congress. And the air attacks on Yugoslavia clearly contravene the U.N.
charter, which permits defensive military engagements only if specifically
approved by the Security Council. NATO itself, originally founded to contain
the Soviet Union, was set up as a purely defensive pact.

One should not exaggerate parallels between the U.S. war in Vietnam and the
bombing of Yugoslavia. The Vietnam war cost the lives of 3.5 million
Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans. Still, as I see it, we in the U.S. are again
on the verge of a bitter polarization over what the administration is doing
in the Balkans. Despite mainstream support, more and more opponents of the
war are speaking out -- some from the Right and some from the Left.

WHATEVER one's orientation, it is by no means easy to penetrate the Foggy
Bottom miasma which veils U.S. foreign policy. Without belittling the
unconscionable killing of thousands of Albanian Kosovars, one has to ask why
it is that this particular ethnic cleansing has caused our government to
start the war. There are millions of people in Sudan, Rwanda, Indonesia, and
other African, Asian, andMid-Eastern countries who have been and still are
being persecuted and killed. What about the cruel persecution by one of the
19 NATO allies, Turkey, of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Kurds, not to
speak here of the history of U.S. ethnic cleansing against diverse groups of
people, especially Native Americans, and the continuing evidence of past and
present discrimination and segregation?

Already in the 1980s, economic and "strategic restructuring" of Yugoslavia
was one of Washington's policy objectives. Specifics are to be foundin
National Security Decision Directive (NSSDD) 133 entitled: "United States
Policy toward Yugoslavia."

There is a slight difficulty, however, in that the document is labeled
"SECRET SENSITIVE." A censored version of NSSDD 133 was declassified in 1990.
It turned out to be similar to NSSDD 54 of 1982 pertaining to Eastern Europe,
a cold war document which had set the goal to"reintegrate the countries of
Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy."

IT WAS a goal which involved the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
World Bank. For details on how these agencies and the U.S. contributed
significantly to the weakening and shrinking of the economy of Yugoslavia see
"The Globalization of Poverty -- Impact of IMF and World Bank Reform" (1997)
by University of Ottawa Economics Prof. Michel Chossudovsky. The gradual
ethnic dismemberment of Yugoslavia after 1990, with the assistance of
Germany, the U.S., and other Western nations, is part of the story.

It is high time for the American people to speak up, assemble, demand redress
of grievances, and rein in the political-military-industrial complex's
arrogation of power to make war in the name of peace. We must insist that the
United States government cooperate with the United Nations to achieve a
peaceful resolution to the conflict in Kosovo.

Poughkeepsie resident Dr. John J. Neumaier was president of SUNY New Paltz
from 1968-72 and of Moorhead (Minn.) State University from 1958-68. He is
philosophy professor emeritus of Empire State College, New York City. His
column appears in the first Sunday Freeman of each month, and is broadcast by
short-wave station Radio for Peace Internationa, 6.975, 15.050 and 21.460.

(c) 1999, Daily Freeman



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