NATO leaders say in public that they are conducting the war in the Balkans so as to prevent further horror. They are attempting to convince people that their only concern is for the hundreds of thousands of Albanian refugees who have fled Kosovo. Yet the bombing campaign has made the refugee crisis far worse than it was four weeks ago.
What the alliance leaders say in public and what they say in private are two very different things. When NATO leaders talk to each other, as at the summit of foreign ministers last week, they say the single biggest reason for going to war is to "preserve the credibility" of their military alliance. This betrays the true purpose of Nato. It is not a force for peace. For most of its 50 year existence US and Western leaders claimed the alliance was needed to face down Russia. But instead of declaring itself redundant, NATO has expanded since the collapse of the Eastern bloc. The three East European countries that have recently joined NATOthe Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have been forced to increase their military spending to qualify.
This is a war about NATO powerabove all for US power and world influence. That is why Clinton and his craven supporter Tony Blair call for an intensification of the bombing campaign, dismissing the further bloodshed that will result. The catastrophe that NATO is creating is leading to tensions even between the alliance's leaders themselves. The International Herald Tribune reports that Clinton and Blair speak to each other daily about the war and then rush to ring round other European leaders to ensure they toe the line.
The pressure to carry on with the madness will grow. NATO is blundering into a deeper war which threatens to spread across the Balkans. There have already been skirmishes between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Yugoslav army on the Albanian border. As the catastrophe of the war unfolds, the splits within NATO are likely to widen and their real war aims will show more clearly.
THIS IS Nato's so called "clean war". Ten people were killed and 16 injured when a passenger train was destroyed by a missile that slammed into a bridge spanning the Yuzhna Morava river. The bridge was considered a "legitimate military target" by Nato
THE government and the media are trying to vilify anyone who speaks out against the war. They slander those who oppose the bombing, such as left wing MP Tony Benn and playwright Harold Pinter, as agents of Slobodan Milosevic. These prominent individuals represent a large body of opinion which knows bombing means more horror for Albanians and Serbs alike.
You would not know from the media that there are continuing mass protests across Europe against Nato's bombing.
One in three people in Britain oppose the war. But the national media acts as though everyone supports the carnage. Even traditionally "liberal" papers like the Guardian are pumping out page after page of pro-war propaganda dressed up as fact. Practically every paper ignored Sunday's anti-war protests in London and Glasgow.
If the war continues, the divisions among our rulers and the mounting civilian death toll will drive more and more people to oppose it. That can fuel protests which cannot be ignored. Whether that happens depends on rallying on a left wing basis the substantial numbers who are already against the war and fighting to bring it to an end.
LONDON PEACE DEMONSTRATION
RAF NORTHWOOD AIR BASE
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