rn: What will we learn from this war?


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,            June 5

And so, the bombing may well be over, but will the war really be over? Will
Yugoslavia suffer much the same fate as Iraq?

And will people swallow the standard media line that Milosovic is the type
of guy who only understands the language of violence and so we used violence
and won? Or will we look more critically and see that this bombing campaign
seems to have been set for Yugoslavia like a trap and then refuse to let our
governments get away with any more killing sprees in the name of "defence"?

David Morgan, author of the item in this morning's posting about NATO's
current role, writes: 

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 11:20:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: David Morgan <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Peace - Serbs ask why not 72 days ago: Fisk, June 4

This is a surprisingly faulty article by Fisk who is a great 

What did Milosevic gain by failing to sign the Rambouillet "Accords?"

The answer is, he gained Serbia.  Appendix B to this treacherous 
document called for NATO forces to be allowed to take over Serbia
as well as Kosovo.

Our wonderful media only told us about part of this document.
It was designed to be rejected.

Best wishes,  
David Morgan
I believe now is a crucial time for those of us who were disgusted by this
bombing campaign. We must see that how this bombing campaign gets
interpreted will be of utmost importance for whether or not future wars are
accepted as "necessary" or avoided in favour of non-violent means of
conflict resolution.

Earlier, an RN subscriber, Daniel Haran, wrote that this war was largely
about legitimizing the institution of war:

Date:   Sun, 16 May 1999 20:12:35 -0300 (ADT)
From:   Daniel Haran <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn- re: Germany & Yugoslavia destabilization

Hi all,

Just came back from a week-end workshop on Non-Violence here in Nova

The facilitator, Leonard Desroches, said something that made a lot of
sense to me. "This war is about protecting War; the institution of War."

Seems to me that imperialist motives aside (breaking up FRY,...), this
war certainly defends the need for NATO, which was under attack only
recently as an unneeded, expensive anachronism.

Another important (for me) idea he emphasized was that so long as we hold
on to the idea of a just war, we do not question the framework. For Len,
and myself, war is simply unnaceptable; the challenge is not to stop this
war or that, but to oppose militarism.

This has led me to a clearer understanding of my role. I've chosen to work
on building and nurturing those community institutions -peace groups,
conflict resolution centers- that get to the root of the problem.

Peace- Daniel.

P.S. Some of you may be interested in his book, Allow the Water- Anger,
fear, power, work, sexuality, community- and the spirituality of
nonviolence. I highly recommend it.


No just war? It may seem that this idea is too far out for our society.
Maybe people are scared of what it might mean to really believe that there
is no such thing as a just war. Remember the quote from Thomas Friedman:

Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 18:02:36 -0700
From: Sid Shniad <•••@••.•••>
Subject: For globalism to work

"For globalism to work, American can't be afraid to act like the almighty
superpower that it is....The hidden hand of the market will never work
without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell
Douglas, the designer of the F-15.  And the hidden fist that keeps the
world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States
Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

        -- "What the World Needs Now," Thomas Friedman, New York Times,
                March 28, 1999

--- -- -
But for me, at least, I come to the same conclusion as Daniel: there is no
such thing as a just war and that to build the kind of society we want, we
must stop arming the same interests that are oppressing people (ourselves
included) the world over. We must "prepare for peace" because peace is what
we want:

"Si vis pacem, para pacem"

all the best, Jan
PS The next posting offers further commentary on the need for us to keep
critical thinking alive in this time when it will be so tempting to just let
"them" interpret the war for us.

PPS As I mentioned above, aiming to get rid of the militaries in our
countries may seem impossible. 

But let us take inspiration from a Canadian group, HOMES NOT BOMBS, which
reminds us to "Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible":

Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 22:18:22 +0530 
From: •••@••.••• (L. Smith/M. Behrens) 

Dear Friends,

Enclosed is the text of a two-page flyer currently being 
distributed across Ontario by a group of loosely affiliated nonviolent 
activists who believe in the old slogan, "Be Realistic: Demand the 
Impossible." On November 12, Homes not Bombs is inviting activists from 
across Ontario, Quebec, and wherever else to come to Ottawa and convert the 
War Department to the Housing Department. We want to pose a serious 
question: what would Canada look like if we stopped spending $10 billion 
annually on war, and spent it instead on housing, child care, education, 
women's support programs, health care, environmental clean-up and 
protection, income support for the under- and unemployed, etc.? 
On Friday, November 12, we plan a nonviolent civil disobedience 
action and street festival celebrating alternatives to war and military 
spending. Groups of people trained in nonviolence will enter the War 
Department to begin preparations for the building's conversion. In a way, 
they will act as citizen inspectors trying to bring the building up to the 
United Nations code which says all signatory nations of various covenants 
must do everything humanly possible to respect the cultural, economic and 
human rights of their citizens. Institutions which prevent the 
establishment and maintenance of these rights (by sucking away money which 
would otherwise be spent on socially useful programs to fund war equipment 
and training) are in violation of the United Nations covenants to which 
Canada is a party. 
There's lots of work to do leading up to November 12: signing 
people up for buses, conducting nonviolence training sessions, outreach and 
education, making props and banners, fundraising, and much more. 
To get involved, contact us at the nearest city near you, or start 
your own chapter wherever you are! Donations are greatly appreciated for 
this all-volunteer effort to meet our travel, phone and photocopying 
expenses. Donations can be addressed to Homes Not Bombs, P.O. Box 73620, 
509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. 
Toronto: (416) 651-5800, •••@••.••• 
Guelph (519) 766-4079; Hamilton: (905) 627-2696 
Windsor: (519) 258-1555 
Ottawa: (613) 237-6278, •••@••.••• 

"One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that 
we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue 
peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at 
deadly war games before we heed the plaintive pleas of the unnumbered dead 
and maimed of past wars? It is not enough to say, We must not wage war. It 
is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not 
merely on the eradication of war but on the affirmation of peace." - Martin 
Luther King, Jr.