NATO's war against Serbia has turned the tragedy of Kosovo into a catastrophe. Now NATO's bombs and missiles are murdering civilians. When NATO jets blasted a passenger train off a railway bridge in southern Serbia on Monday they killed at least ten people. Blood covered wreckage lay below the bridge and most of the dead, who included a ten year old child, were reported to have been burnt alive.
NATO's commanders say that civilian casualties are "mistakes". But as Independent journalist Robert Fisk writes, "While NATO insists that it takes 'every precaution' to prevent civilian casualties, its attacks have been so broadened in the past ten days that large numbers of Serb civilian deaths have become inevitable. Once NATO decided to attack ordinary transport systems it knew that civilians would inevitably be killed."
None of this slaughter has helped refugees from Kosovo. They continue to suffer and their numbers grow despite the massively increased bombing. It is clearer than ever that the whole NATO operation has accelerated the horror in Kosovo.
NATO'S escalation of bombing has included:
Many of these attacks have not been mentioned in most British newspapers.
"NATO seems to have gone onto military autopilot. NATO hits targets because they are there, not because hitting them might have some political purpose"
YUGOSLAVIA is being contaminated with radioactive matter, ensuring a repeat of the disaster inflicted on the people of Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. Anti-tank shells and Tomahawk cruise missiles have tips packed with depleted uraniumsupplied by British Nuclear Fuels from the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria. Journalist Felicity Arbuthnot, who spoke at an anti-war rally in London last weekend, has documented the horrifying effects of depleted uranium on the civilian population of Iraq. She says there has been an "epidemic of cancers and birth defects linked to the depleted uranium weapons which left a residue of radioactive dust throughout the country". She says that birth deformities included babies born without brains and with limbs and genitalia missing.
BRITISH MILITARY leaders and the press denounce Serbian minefields on the border with Kosovo. But British Harrier jets are now dropping cluster bombs on Kosovo and Serbia which create their own instant minefields. The British RBL 755 is an unguided "free fall" bomb weighing 600 pounds. Each of these then bursts open showering 147 "bomblets" the size of drink cans over a wide area.
Each bomblet is powerful enough to destroy a tank. Between 10 and 30 percent of the bomblets do not explode. They create a big minefield of unexploded bombs. Kosovan peasants and children will be blown apart by these bombs for decades to come. The US, which is also using cluster bombs, has refused to sign international treaties which ban landmines.
TURKEY, PART of the NATO alliance, launched another assault on the Kurdish minority in northern Iraq last weekend, killing around 40 people. Tulay Kocak, the editor of the socialist paper Workers Democracy, is to go on trial on 6 May for writing articles in defence of the Kurds and against the Turkish state's repression.
DRAGAN IS an anti-Milosevic Serb, originally from the northern city of Novi Sad in the Vojvodina region, where his family still live.
"My parents live in a house next to the bridge in Novi Sad that NATO aircraft blew up. Now my mother is hidden in a house with a friend on the other side of the Danube. My brother has gone underground because he does not want to fight in Kosovo. He is 28 and was due to report for a month's duty, but he does not believe in Milosevic and doesn't want to lose his life for him. He was a soldier in the war in Bosnia and saw towns burning. It totally upset him. My dad is a partisan from the Second World War. He is no supporter of Milosevic. He says that before the bombing we had a strong opposition, but now "they've made 11 million Milosevics". Before the population had mixed feelings about Milosevic. But now people feel there is no time for internal fighting. Milosevic plays on that. It has given him impetus to drive out the Albanians from Kosovo.
I believe NATO will wash their hands of the refugees. They don't really want them. I am totally against the ethnic cleansing Milosevic is carrying out. All the Albanian Kosovan refugees should be allowed to return to their villages. If the Kosovans want to break away then they should. But I don't believe further partition in the Balkans can be a solution. NATO has made the divisions worse. Instead of us all being brothers and sisters, we're being driven apart. The best thing I can do here in Britain is build an anti-war movement."
ACA SINGER, one of the leaders of Yugoslavia's Jewish community, has spoken out about comparisons between the actions of Serbia's President Milosevic and the Holocaust. Singer opposes the way Serbia is treating Albanians in Kosovo, but he also criticises NATO's manipulation of the way Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
He says, "I don't at all agree that what is happening in Kosovo is genocide. There was no effort to exterminate an entire racemen, women and childrenmerely because of their religious or ethnic identity. Both the Serbs and the Albanians pressure us for sympathy and compassion. Both sides, it seems, want to be Jews. I put myself on neither side. Sixty five members of my family were killed at Auschwitz and I know all their names, first name and surname. The youngest was a baby and the oldest was 92. Sixty five people from one family killed because they were Jewish. That is genocide."