Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Serbia - 10 years on

A decade on from the Nato bombing campaign, more than 90,000 Serbs are still in danger from unexploded cluster munitions, according to a recent report funded by the Norwegian foreign ministry. The report says they face a daily threat and estimates that there are some 2,500 unexploded devices in 15 areas of Serbia. In the capital, Belgrade, and elsewhere in Serbia you can still see the impact of the bombing.

"The 10th anniversary of the air strikes will lead people to think about the bombing campaign, which they saw as unjust, unfair and illegal action carried out by Nato," says Serbian political analyst Bratislav Grubacic.

Some 2,500 civilians were killed, among them 89 children, while 12,500
were injured.

US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke said that NATO's air attack on former Yugoslavia a decade ago was "the right thing to do" .

Holbrooke when questioned by Charlie Rose during the bombing of Yugoslavia as to why the Serbs didn't agree to the terms of the Rambouillet text, Holbrooke, who delivered the final ultimatum to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, stated that Serbs claimed that signing the Rambouillet text would amount to agreeing to a NATO occupation of their country. Holbrooke told Rose he insisted this 'isn't an occupation.' In fact, an examination of the Rambouillet text shows that it did fundamentally call for an occupation of Yugoslavia.

David N. Gibbs an associate professor of history and political science at the University of Arizona said:

"The 1999 Kosovo war is often remembered as the 'good' war which shows that American power can be used in a morally positive way and can alleviate humanitarian emergencies. In fact, the NATO air strikes failed to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo; instead the strikes worsened the atrocities and heightened the scale of human suffering.

The NATO states could have achieved a negotiated settlement of the Kosovo problem and resolved the humanitarian crisis -- without war. However, the Clinton administration blocked a negotiated settlement at the Rambouillet conference, leading directly to the NATO bombing campaign. The U.S. government sought to use the Kosovo war as a means to reaffirm NATO's function in the post-Cold War era. It was this NATO factor -- rather than human rights -- that was the main reason for the war.

The Kosovo war had many features in common with George Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq. In both Kosovo and Iraq, American presidents avoided diplomatic avenues that might have settled the disputes without war, went to war by circumventing the UN Security Council, and engaged in extensive public deception.

What we said 10 years ago was that:-"Faced with this latest manifestation of capitalist barbarity and cynicism we once again place on record our abhorrence of all war and call upon workers everywhere to unite to bring the war-prone capitalist system to a speedy end."

No comments: