The Coastal Post - June 1999

Brute Force In Yugoslavia

By Edward W. Miller

"They made a wasteland and called it 'peace'." -Tacitus (Roman historian)

Let's once again review the sequence: On April 30, 1998, the U.S. Senate, following furious lobbying by the armanents industry, voted to extend NATO membership to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and on March 23rd of this year, the U.S. Senate, following no significant debate, voted 58/41 to authorize President Clinton to conduct military air operations and missile strike against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Thus in a cowardly move and in direct contradiction to the powers expressly given to Congress by our Constitution, we are at war with a sovereign nation without the express declaration of war.

After two months of almost incessant bombing, interrupted occasionally by inclement weather, NATO has reduced Kosovo to a shambles, and is rapidly destroying the remainder of Yugoslavia. While pursuing its so-called "humanitarian objectives," NATO has managed to further alienate Russia, to antagonize China, and as the papers reported May 20th, suffers internal divisions, as Germany's Gerhard Schroder, along with the leaders in Italy and Greece begin to speak out against the use of ground forces in this military fiasco.

The economic damage from this mindless bombing is already affecting the entire Balkan area since the River Danube has now been blocked in several places by bombed-out bridges. Thus commercial shipping, vital to the economies of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovenia and Croatia, has ceased. Much of Yugoslavia's industry has been wiped out. On May 20, NATO missiles destroyed the Ugo auto manufacturing plant in Kragujevac, 62 miles east of Belgrade, thereby putting its 36,000 employees out of work and devastating the local economy. Hospitals and schools have been hit by our "scientifically guided missiles."

The fact is, NATO is not only in violation of the UN Charter, which forbids military action against sovereign states NOT at war with their neighbors, but also in violation of its own charter, since NO NATO country was subject to attack. U.S. interest in the Balkans is marginal at best, though Clinton is leading this murderous crusade.

When NATO initiated this war, Milosevic had for 10 years been reducing the political and humanitarian rights of the Kosovars, whose recently formed (two years ago) Liberation Army or KLA has lost less than 2,000 defending themselves. In contrast, since NATO's military interference, the loss of both Kosovar and Serbian life has increased exponentially, while neighboring Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and even Greece and Italy are being overwhelmed with refugees. Kosovo itself has been reduced to a land of burned-out villages, bombed towns, still occupied by some Kosovars hiding from Milosevic's military and murderous militias.

On May 18, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose United Nations has been purposely marginalized by Clinton and the NATO nations, in a speech at the Hague marking the Centenary of the First International Peace Conference, warned that: "Unless the Security Council is restored to its pre-eminent position as the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force, we are on a dangerous path to anarchy."

Secretary Annan's view is shared by leaders across the civilized world. The Independent Press reported May 7 on "three separate indictments filed at the Hague Tribunal against NATO officials.":

A group of lawyers from several counties filed a complaint with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia against the individual leaders of the NATO countries. Their list of crimes includes: "willful killing, extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity, employment of poisonous weapons (uranium-tipped missiles), wanton destruction of cities, etc."

Athens lawyer, Alexandros Likurezos, initiated proceedings at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, charging the 19 NATO member-states with aggression against Yugoslavia. From Brussels, Belgium, members of the European Board for the Defense of Yugoslavia also submitted to The Hague Tribunal a demand that: "both the U.S. and NATO officials be indicted for genocide and war crimes."

As for the Clinton-NATO argument that their military intervention is justified by the need for that "humanitarian intervention" articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, MIT's Professor Noam Chomsky recently noted (April 29th) that "humanitarian intervention" was used by Japan to justify its invasion of Manchuria, by Mussolini to justify his invasion of Ethiopia, and by Hitler to justify his invasion of Czechoslovakia. Chomsky added: "Japan was going to establish an 'earthly paradise' for the Chinese as it defended Manchurians from 'Chinese bandits'...Mussolini was liberating thousands of slaves as he carried forth the western 'civilizing mission'...and Hitler announced Germany's intention to end ethnic tensions and violence, and safeguard the national individuality of the German and Czech peoples."

Following our Congress' error in not destroying NATO after the Cold War ended, compounded in 1998 by extending NATO to Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, our representatives should at least have debated at length the advisability of NATO's onslaught against a sovereign country. In sluffing off this Constitutional imperative, the American people have again been betrayed.

Coastal Post Home Page