Dear RN list, April 16 I think the comments below by Adam Gladstone deserve a response: Subject: RE: NATO's "humanitarian" trigger Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:46:26 -0400 Return-Receipt-To: "Gladstone, Adam" <•••@••.•••> I am missing something or are you basically pushing aside the mass-murder that is going on in Kosovo and has already been done in Croatia and Bosnia. I don't know if you have caught the recent news but there are war-crimes trials going on right now over the Serbs actions in Bosnia. But don't get me wrong. I don't think that NATO is too unhappy about getting a chance to flex its muscles and strike at a smaller and not as well equip adversary. Especially the way that the operation is being carried out begins to give me a feeling that Clinton and NATO are trying to perfect the clean little war (as opposed to a "dirty little war" of recent history). Watch the smart bombs and the planes take off from a cable TV near you. Just too clean.... It is war... and people are dying and suffering greatly. But do not bypass the overwhelming suffering that the Serbians have inflicted in the past decade. Adam ************************************************** Jan's reply: Dear Adam, I don't think I am pushing aside the ugliness of the Serb actions in Kosovo or elsewhere. It is true that I am not focussing much attention on them but am trying to concentrate more on what would be a useful response to the situation at this point. I think it is clear that the same group which is now bombing Yugoslavia (NATO governments) has been fostering the growth of ethnic hatred in the area. It certainly has put much much more resources into preparing for and executing a military response to the violence there than into providing humanitarian assistance. Schools and clinics and refuge for refugees helps defuse hatred. Selling arms, vilifying one side, negotiating in bad faith and dropping bombs are all things which make people more desperate and encourage hatred. We know this in terms of conflict within families as well. For example, say the parents of a family are in conflict. If the parents keep focused on providing for the basic needs of themselves and their children, the situation will be much better than if they vilify the other parent, spend family resources on court battles instead of on providing for basic needs or even resort to violence. Just to give you some idea of the disproprtionate resources that have been allocated for a military response to this war, vs. the resources that have been allocated for more useful intervention, I will include excerpts from a posting about how we could have (and still could) be using our resources to work towards peace. all the best, Jan ************************************************************ Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 18:22:35 +0200 From: FERNEX <•••@••.•••> Sender: •••@••.••• Subject: OSCE instead of NATO Dear friends, When protesting against the NATO bombings, please never forget to insist on the alternative. The alternative to NATO is the OSCE, in spite of the fact that the OSCE has just been betrayed in favour of NATO by its current Chairman in Office, the Norvegian Foreign Minister Vollebaeck, who agreed to evacuate the OSCE observers, in order to allow NATO bombings. Of course, the reason for this is that Norway is a NATO member state. <snip> >From October 23, 1998 to March 1999, the solution rested in the OSCE. 2000 OSCE observers, accepted by Milosevic in October, were due to arrive rapidly in Kossovo. But only about 1400 came slowly, one by one, reluctantly been put at the disposal of the OSCE by its 54 member states and especially the richest of them, the NATO members, with unsufficient equipment, training, budget. Why is it possible to spend millions for one air strike and to engaged thousands of marine, air and communications personnel within one day only, and why is it impossible to send in time (October 1998) enough OSCE observers to gain a civilized peace ? <snip> When Milosevic refused to sign the peace agreement, an international peace-keeping force under OSCE mandate, with US and Canadian members, should have been deployed OSCE being the Regional Organization of the United Nations. Russia could not have objected and so doing, strenghtening Milosevic even more. Russia, as an OSCE member state would have been very welcome to send peace-keepers to Kossovo. But the OSCE had to withdraw, by order of its own Chairman in Office, NATO member Norway's Foreign Minister Vollebaeck, and this will durably stay in the books as the "undeniable" proof that OSCE is absolutely uneffective. Exactly what was intended by NATO proponents. Well done. One cannot predict the extent of the dire consequences this will have durably on the status of the OSCE in the future. The democratic, civil rights and peace movement, especially in USA and Canada, but also here in the NATO states, is urgently asked to educate itself about the OSCE, of which USA and Canada are members. Note : the budget of the OSCE, although it has 54 and not only 19 member states like NATO, is one thousand times smaller than that of NATO. This shows also a political will to keep it as marginal and uneffective as possible. The peace movement could have made a difference, with a strong comitment to support the OSCE while rightly fighting NATO. Gandhi said : "always engage in a constructive program, the alternative". OSCE is clearly an alternative to NATO, and we have almost completedly neglected to support it. It is not too late, even now. Let us do it, and especially while protesting during the NATO Summit in Washington. Solange Fernex, WILPF France, IPB Vice-President, Abolition 2000 Working Group on European Security OSCE : website : http://www.oce.org, email : •••@••.••• Osce Parliamentary Assembly : email : •••@••.•••. Adress : Karntner Ring 5 -7, A - 1010 - Vienna, Austria. The OSCE distributes free from charge a monthly newsletter in 6 languages, also available at its website ------------------------------------------------------------------- Important notice, re : Kossovo : The Helsinki Document 1992 made provision for OSCE peacekeeping activities, stating that peacekeeping constitutes an important operational element of the overall capability of the OSCE for conflict prevention and crisis management, and that OSCE peacekeeping activities may be undertaken in cases of conflict within or among participating States to help maintain peace and stability in support of an ongoing effort at a political solution. So far, however, this option has not been made use of (For more information see: Helsinki Document 1992, chapter III, 17 - 20).