what we think

NATO's 'routine' of casual killings

THE DESTRUCTION caused by NATO is now so routine the papers hardly comment on it. The generals, however, brag about the scale of their "round the clock" bombing. Just look at what they have bombed over the last few days:

NATO even bombed Albanian troops guarding the Marino border point in Albania on Tuesday. The BBC's John Simpson says, "The majority of people in this country feel like prisoners, hideously vulnerable to an outside force that can strike them at any time it chooses, according to a logic they cannot understand."

Yet NATO spokesman James Shea no longer bothers to apologise for these attacks. He does not even say they are "mistakes". He just says they are "legitimate, designated military targets". NATO's bombing is obscene, but not simply because it is killing civilians. It is a deliberate, sustained attempt to destroy an entire country.

Much of the country is in darkness for long periods because NATO planes are targeting power plants-using conventional explosives wreaking lasting damage. There are severe water shortages as power cuts paralyse the water pumping stations. Television and radio stations are being targeted, and NATO is even bombing civilian telephone lines.

A German government official admitted last week, "No governmental humanitarian agency has the kind of money that will be needed to rebuild bridges or even dredge the wrecks out of the Danube." For all NATO's claims to the contrary, this destruction has not returned one Kosovan refugee to their home, nor does it look likely to. It has created a humanitarian catastrophe, not resolved one.

THE PROTESTS you don’t hear about. This is part of a 40,000 strong anti-war demonstration through Assisi in Italy last month

Opposition grows

NATO IS insisting that Milosevic bows down before its every demand and agrees that any "peacekeeping" force in Kosovo is dominated by NATO forces. The Guardian even argued on Tuesday of this week that the US, British and French governments should push ahead with ground troops even if other NATO countries disagree. "The troops who go into Kosovo will be a coalition of the willing", it said. "NATO members who do not wish to take part will not have to, but equally they will not be able to stop those countries who wish to."

Yet an opinion poll this week showed that 33 percent, one third, of the British population are against the war. Only a bare majority, 54 percent, are for the military action. The poll also showed 40 percent are opposed to the war in Germany, 48 percent opposed in Spain and 46 percent opposed in Italy. In every country opposition to the use of ground forces is even higher. In Germany, for example, 78 percent are opposed to ground forces.

So the Guardian now wants Western powers, which it claims stand for democracy, not to give a damn what their own people think! Both unease and opposition to the war are growing despite pro-war arguments dominating the media. Everyone on Saturday's national demonstration should take heart from that. We should go back to our workplaces, estates and communities determined to build an even bigger, stronger anti-war movement.


Stop the War - Why Bombing Brings More Horror

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  • Voices against the war
  • Letter from Belgrade
  • Europe's fragile union
  • The Rambouillet agreement
  • Ghosts of Vietnam
  • The Nazis, the Serbs and the truth
  • NATO and the new imperialism
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