Jan’s reflections on Yugoslavia


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,    April 4

I am probably not alone in having received and read a great amount of
material on the Yugoslavia crisis just recently.

Among the very best things I have read is the analysis by Noam Chomsky,
which I will send to you in the next message (although it is also posted,
along with a good complement of other material on the CDR web site

And I thought some of you might find my letter to the editor (below) of use.
It is my best effort so far to speak to my "neighbours", people who would
not have read the things I have read but who are getting the mainstream
media barage. pretty apple pie and obvious stuff, but something I think we
need to say in the face of the disinformation campaign.

all the best, Jan
Dear Editor,

Sad and sickened. This is how I feel about what is happening now in Yugoslavia.

Sad because I know that many children like my daughter are losing their
parents and many parents, who love their children as I do my daughter, are
watching their children suffer and even die.

Sickened because my own government is contributing to escalating the
violence. My own government's actions are also contributing to undermining
the rule of law.

I am also sad to realize I did not do things I could have done to help
prevent this tragedy. I felt helpless in the face of the complexity and
viciousness of the attacks in the former Yugoslavia and sort of threw up my
hands. But there were several humanitarian groups active there, groups such
as Medecins sans frontières, Sweden's Transnational Foundation for Peace and
Futures Research, groups working with the Women's International League for
Peace and Freedom, UNICEF, other UN agencies and the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) etc. And I did not support them as
I might have. Now most of these groups have had to withdraw from Kosovo
because of the bombing and the attacks by Serb forces against the Kosovars
have escalated. NATO governments knew the Kosovars would be in even more
danger once the bombing began but they went ahead and did it anyhow, in the
name of accomplishing a humanitarian intervention! Apparently they also did
it to defend "western" interests and to "save face". 

But our interests are not being served by this attack. Credible analysts are
predicting that this NATO attack will help push Milosovitch, Saddam Hussein
and the Russian government into cooperating with each other against the
U.S./NATO....As Martin Luther King said: "Returning violence for violence
multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

If we really want to do something to save lives and create a better world,
let's work to end the bombing and support those groups which are doing true
humanitarian work, not just in Yugoslavia, but everywhere.

sincerely, Jan Slakov
Weymouth, NS
B0W 3T0