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               Andre Gunder Frank      
                [April 4, 1999]

The US government wishes to invoke international law to protect
3 American soldiers held by the Yugoslav government under the Geneva
Convention regarding prisoners of war. Yet at the same time,

The 19 states of NATO led by the United States are or have just been
flagrantly  violating international law  - and without even any
declaration of war -

        in wantonly bombing military and civilian targets
        in Yugoslavia, including two buildings in the very center of
        Belgrade on April 2

        deliberately blocking a major  international waterway normally
        used for commercial shipping  by non combatant and neutral
        countries, by bombing a culturally significant bridge over the
        Danube in Novi Sad and plunging it into the river

The NATO states deliberately by-pass the entire United Nations
organization and set aside the consultative procedures it, and especially
its Security Council, offers for the discussion and settlement of
Disputes. These include in particular those that guarantee human rights
and those that may threaten the peace. Thereby the NATO member states
including the United States are   blatantly abrogating - even more than
violating - the mainstay of international law

NATO and particularly the United States has been obstructing international
criminal law by deliberately failing to arrest and remand to the War
Crimes Court in The Hague persons indicted for genocide and other
violations of human rights who are in the de facto and perhaps de jure
jurisdiction of NATO forces in Bosnia, members of which provided for such
arrest and remand as part of the settlement at Dayton, USA.

The very man, Milosevic, who at Dayton was selected and supported to
guarantee and implement the Dayton agreement is now being demonized and
used as the pretext for this illegal NATO bomb attack against an entire
country. However,  Milosevic abrogated Kosovo autonomy already ten years
ago and began his autocratic rule fanning Serbian nationalism even more
than ten years ago, when it was also Western generated causes of and then
Western support for the breakup of Yugoslavia  that gave Milosevic that
opportunity. [Shades of the first US/Western support  and then blame of
Saddam Hussein, to whom Milosevic is only now being compared].

NATO bombing has effectively emasculated the very Serbian opposition to
Milosevic and his rule, which offered the best chance and mechanism for a
democratic, peaceful political settlement and the furtherance of more
humanitarian policies in Serbia, including Kosovo, and also in  the
Serbian populated regions of Bosnia. This domestic opposition to Milosevic
was long led by the Serbian Peace, Womens and other Democratic movements. 
They became a world wide model of peaceful mobilization when they brought
hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets during a months of
winter nights and which thereby obliged Milosevic to revoke a number of
undemocratic and illegal measures. If the NATO powers had  had even the
slightest interest in promoting democracy or human rights anywhere in
Yugoslavia, including at the time in Bosnia and Croatia, they would have
worked with rather then undercut the  domestic democratic movements [Again
exactly the same was and still is true in Iraq].

NATO bombing, as the CIA and Pentagon reportedly predicted, has
immeasurably increased the deprivation of the Kosovo Albanians' life,
property, home, and country. It is difficult to see how any measures could
now or ever in the future restore even what little they had before NATO
bombs and Serbian persecution drove them out into neighboring countries -
where the humanitarian concern of NATO had not made the slightest
preparation to care for them.  And still at the time of this writing, the
number of  Albanian refugees FROM Serbia does not yet or is only just
beginning to match the number of  Serbian refugees TO Serbia, who were
forced out
Of Croatia by ethnic cleansing that was itself instigated and supported by
NATO policy. So there is more than just hypocrisy in the comparison and
relation of these two flows of refugees. It will be a macabre irony if the
Croatian Serbs, who were displaced with NATO help and still have found no
place to take root, end up in Serbian Kosovo after NATO also helps to
chase the Albanians out!

NATO member states have always denounced and combated all 'terrorist'
military and para-military forces [except of course those that they
themselves have trained, armed and financed around the world from
Indochina, via Afghanistan and Angola to Columbia and Guatemala and
Nicaragua].  Yet now the military wing of the Albanian movement in Kosovo
have become 'freedom fighters', alas without hardly a leg to stand on any
more in Kosovo after ten days of NATO bombing and Serb military offensive.
Ironically hypocritical also is the NATO support to and intended if not
realized protection of the very Albanian organizations that the police
forces of several of the same NATO member states have accused of large
scale drug trafficking, in violation of course also of international law.

There is also at least a touch of hypocrisy in the discussion in the
United States of now bringing up charges of genocide in Kosovo . For its
government delayed 40 years to sign the international genocide convention,
and in the meantime instigated it in Guatemala [as President Clinton
recently admitted there], done it through carpet bombing in Indochina
[were the Vienamese, Laotians and Cambodians swept under the carpet?] and
waited for those otherwise defamed Vietnamese to stop the genocide in
Camodia. and also to supported it or looked the other way elsewhere,
including turning a blind eye to NATO members Turkey's genocidal policy
towards its own and neighboring Kurds. Indeed, the United States itself
has been responsible for the death for many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
men,women and children through bombing and  the resulting damage and
poisoning with depleted but still roadioactive uranium, and a soon decade
long embargo, that cripples the Iraqi economy and social services - and
what for? First and foremost to sustain the already low price of oil by
keeping  a maximum of Iraqi oil off the world market. And even still  very
recently in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, the United States and
some of its same NATO partners first set up  some  'safe havens' in
Bosnia, and then 'helplessly' stood by to watch massive massacres and
ethnic cleansing. For 'safe' areas were taken over by Bosnian Serbs [with
help from the same Yugoslav army] who  massacared  whole communities of
Muslims in Srebrenica and elsewhere then of course to take over their
properties. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were themselves driven out by
Croatians who similarly enriched themselves, only on a still larger scale.
Maybe the Genocide convention was still too recently signed by the United
States yet to intervene under its cover then.

Shameful hypocrisy also has been the consistent failure, nay even refusal,
of the major Western NATO powers first to avoid and then to remedy the
breakup of Yugoslavia and its dreadful consequences that are allegedly of
age old  'ethnic' origin. Far from it, for at each step of the way, it was
these same Western powers and their  policy or lack thereof that provoked
and condoned the domino-like set of events that are too long even to
summarize. Moreover, each time it was the Western powers who
[deliberately?] refused to accept settlements to avoid bloodshed until it
was much too late and the combination of countless deaths with their power
politics resulted in what was essentially the self -same settlement that
had been rejected years before, e.g. the Owens Plan and the Dayton
So again at Ramboulleit the Western powers held out for a 'settlement'
that they knew  MUST be unacceptable to Yugoslavia, while in Paris  all
major Yugoslav parties, including the Albanians, came to an agreement that
Western powers rejected. So NATO started bombing because it wanted to and
not as it hypocritically alleges because  all other options had run out.
 No sooner did NATO bombs start falling than the Russian Prime Minister
flew to Belgrade and negotiated an agreement that would have stopped the
persecution and exodus of Albanians in Kosovo and would have permitted
an immediate cease fire.  But of course that was not acceptable to the
major [although yes to some minor]  NATO powers,  for whom the plight of
the Albanians is no more than a hypocritical excuse for the American NATO
offensive in the Balkans.

P.S.  The First Lady of the first NATO power Hilrary Rodham Clinton ,
speaking in Marocco a couple of days ago,   lamented the human tradgedy in
Yugoslavia, but said she was even  more distrubed by  twisting the truth
and falsifying history. Alas she found fault for this hypocrisy only in
the President of Yugoslavia and not at all in her presumably ever faithful
and truthful husband, the President of the United States.


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