Letter: Collateral casualty

Sir: My colleague Alex Callinicos differs from many others who oppose Nato by making a reasoned contribution to debate (letter, 4 May). I fear, however, he has missed the main issue. That is not whether Milosevic is Hitler, or others besides Serbs are guilty of crimes, or Nato has made mistakes. It is why Belgrade, which since 1988 has attacked in turn Kosovo, Vojvodina, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, again Kosovo and now even Montenegro was allowed to get away with it so long - and what will happen if it is allowed yet again to get away with it.

Professor Callinicos questions whether Nato will succeed. No one can be sure; but there is little doubt that the West's failure to confront Milosevic earlier helped him along his way. If Nato does not succeed and Milosevic remains in power (or is displaced by someone like his deputy Seselj, who boasted of eating pork from pigs fattened on slaughtered Croats), it is absolutely certain that war will continue.

BRUCE YOUNG

Head of Philosphy

University of Wolverhampton

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