rn: The WHY of the war


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,            May 13

I have been trying to keep up with the news about the war in Yugoslavia and
am finding myself faced with a feeling of deep ignorance when faced with the
simplest questions. Questions like: WHY would the German government along
with the US government have wanted to destabilize Yugoslavia and to
precipitate this war? And: Why is the bombing continuing? In other words,
what must Milosovic do to bring an end to the bombing?

There are some things I do not feel so ignorant about: It seems clear that
the Rambouillet "agreement" was an ultimatum designed to justify bombing. 
The bits of mass media stuff I hear convince me that those responsible for
the bombing think the more bombs they drop, the more successful they are;
whether or not they succeed in bringing refugees back to their homes in
safety seems to have little or nothing to do with success!

These NATO spokespeople also go on about ensuring NATO's credibility. What a
joke! (See Robert Fisk's comments in the next posting.) I get the feeling
NATO is not really trying to impress dictators with its ability to make them
toe the line.... Maybe NATO is really trying to get us activists to give up
or at least to stop talking about human rights abuses lest we unwittingly
help to justify them going in to bomb some other unfortunate spot on our
fragile earth.

The idea that the bombing was initiated to protect human rights seems
ludicrous. I am quite sure NATO has spent much more on humanitarian
assistance since the bombing started rather than before, when humanitarian
assistance might have helped to alleviate the tensions. Certainly NATO
countries backed IMF policies in Yugoslavia which created a humanitarian
disaster: mass unemployment which, when combined with continuing to let arms
flow into the region (and to send the arms in) virtually ensured that there
would be violence.

The two postings I am sending today address the questions I have raised
above. If any of you reading this have comments or clarifications on these
questions I'd be interested to see them. 

Also, if anyone wonders why I have come to the conclusions I outline above,
I am willing to send you particular postings which helped me reach my

all the best, Jan

PS I am not the only person on this list who is baffled by the WHY question. 
Hans Sinn, who has worked to set up nonviolent peace-keeping and human
rights protection efforts for many years, wrote:

Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 11:48:00 -0400
From: Hans Sinn <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn- Re: "Who in the hell started the barbarism some 8
  years ago?"

Hi Richard,

I have read with interest your long answer to the question "Who started the
mess (in Yugoslavia) 8 years ago? ": The Germans!

I am prepared to accept that the re-united Germany kicked off "the mess".
But you have not told us why. Instead you told us all about the motivation
of the Americans and the "capitalist elite". 

So the question remains: 
Why were and are the Germans (and the former German Minister of Foreign
Affairs Hans-Dietrich Genscher) so interested in seeing Yugoslavia
disintegrate ?

Where did the Germans get the political muscle to force the other western
governments into a premature recognition of the secessionist governments of
Slovenia and Croatia?

Why would the Germans precipitate a situation in which they would become
the major recipient of the consequent refugee flood? For instance, there
are now 800.000 Albanians living in Germany.  
According to you it appears that the Germans were and are merely the
instrument of the Americans and the "capitalist elite", who are reaping the
benefits of the Balkan chaos, while the German government merely saw fit
(for some reason) to invite another two million refugees or so into its
already densely populated country.

I like to believe your analysis, but to do so I would have to know much
more about the actual past and present German motivation.

Kind regards,


Brooke Valley Road 687
Perth, Ontario
Tel: 613 264 8833
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