Letter: How to beat Serbs

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The Independent Culture

How to beat Serbs

Sir: Robert Fisk in his denunciation of the Nato attack on Korisa (15 May) refers to the appointment of Agim Ceku as Chief of Staff of the Kosovo Liberation Army and describes him as "one of the planners of Croatia's ethnic cleansing in the Krajina".

Fisk should recall that ethnic cleansing by Serbs started in Croatia. Thousands were murdered or driven from their homes. Mass graves are still being uncovered. The 114th such was found last week near the village of Berak in the Danube region.

Croatia, with the approval of the US, launched a ground offensive and succeeded in retaking the Krajina in seven days. In your leading article of 17 May you say "air power alone brought Milosevic to the negotiating table at Dayton". This could not be further from the truth. The decisive pressure came from the Croat and Muslim forces advancing into Serb territory. Troops on the ground were needed in Bosnia, as they are in Kosovo.

It is true the Serbs fled the advancing Croat forces. This is not surprising given the crimes that had been committed against the Croat population and the way their leaders abandoned them. Individual members of the Croat forces did commit crimes and some have been sentenced in Croatian courts. But nowhere is there evidence of systematic atrocities such as were committed by Serb forces in Croatia, then Bosnia and now Kosovo.

As for General Ceku, he is an ethnic Albanian who rose to high rank in the Croatian service. He has now joined the KLA as Chief of Staff. This appointment is significant, given the increasing extent to which KLA is working with Nato and the recognition, by Albania, of the KLA leadership as the provisional government of Kosovo.


Bromyard, Herefordshire