Letter: Crisis over Kosovo

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Sir: Bombing Kosovo is illegal, immoral, impractical, and very dangerous for us all.

Illegal because the UN charter expects unanimity amongst the permanent members of the Security Council before war starts. Two members out of five are against the war.

Immoral because this is not a just war. The level of force proposed, and which will be necessary after the inevitable escalation, is out of proportion to the problem. And we are closet partisans: we want the KLA to win.

Impractical because remote action will not be effective. Withdrawal of the OSCE monitors has already precipitated atrocities by the Serbs. In the second World War the Germans with all their military might and punishment killings could not overcome the Yugoslave Partisans. In Vietnam the US burnt civilians with napalm from a high but had to engage with troops on the ground as well.

Dangerous because escalation is inevitable. The world will be drawn into this.

So our policy must be changed. We have to stop posturing as policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer when we think it suits us. If we feel justified we should send our army into the field to separate the combatants. That would lead to loss of our own people, but probably not as many as will fall when the present policy leads us into long and deep conflict.

In parallel we should mount a strong humanitarian aid programme. These people are part of Europe; one day we shall want to see them in the European Union. Then we shall spend vast sums to facilitate their accession. Let us spend a bit of that straight away.


Hythe, Hampshire