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Issue 1640 3 April 1999
Bombing means more horror

NATO'S BOMBING of Serbia has turned a tragedy into a total catastrophe. Tony Blair and Bill Clinton said their air strikes and cruise missiles would help the suffering Kosovan people. They have just made the bloodshed much worse. Explosives rain on Serbian cities and terror sweeps Kosovo. Nobody knows for sure how many civilians have been killed by the thousands of bombs and hundreds of missiles which have blasted Serbia. But already by Monday the West had certainly murdered over 20 ordinary people. There will be more agony and more deaths to come.

Across Serbia there are children and old people cowering in air raid shelters. There are corpses and shattered minds. The press and Labour talk of a humanitarian disaster and mass killing in Kosovo. But none of them can deny that the bombs have made it worse, that now there is more ethnic cleansing, more columns of refugees and more killings. This is the reality behind all the cosmetic talk of high minded ideals and "clean" bombing raids Far from weakening Serbian president Milosevic, the bombing has strengthened him. Human rights organisations and people who have worked for a decade against Milosevic now find themselves isolated as nationalist fervour carries away people who are facing the assault.

This is exactly what happened in Iraq. Saddam Hussein has looked ever more secure the more the US bombed Iraq. New Labour has let people down over many issues, from tuition fees to single parent benefits. This is now a new level of treachery. Tony Blair, defence secretary George Robertson and the rest of the war party are ceaseless propagandists for a war which is really only about US power. Labour is pouring tens of millions of pounds a day into war when that money could be saving lives in the Third World. Where now is the "ethical foreign policy"? We say stop the war now.

on the bombing of the Balkans

Ireland: Undermining peace

Minimum wage - it's not enough

A defiant stand to stop privatisation

Education: The hour that narrows minds

Paul Foot: The lips that lied

Reviews: Pastry cook and the family feast

Reports from industry and the unions

Inside the system


Selling Socialist Worker