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Letter: Nato aim unclear

Sir: The air strikes against Yugoslavia have jeopardised the lives of 10.5 million people and unleashed an attack on the fledgling forces of democracy in Kosovo and Serbia.

The protection of a population under threat is a noble duty, but it requires a clear strategy and a coherent end game. As the situation unfolds it is becoming apparent that there is no such strategy.

Analysts are already asking whether the air strikes are still really about saving Kosovo Albanians. Just how far are Nato members prepared to go? What comes next after the "military" targets? What happens if the war spreads?

These questions crowded my mind as I sat in a Belgrade prison on the first day of the Nato attack. In the cell I shared with a murder suspect I asked myself what the West's aim was for the morning after. I've seen no indication that there is a clear plan to follow up the Western military resolve.

My friends in the West keep asking why there is no rebellion. People feel betrayed by the countries which were their models. With the bombs falling nobody can persuade them that this is only an attack on their government and not their country.

The West has washed its hands of the people, Albanians, Serbs and others, living in the region. Thus the sins of the government have been visited on the people. Is this just?

Nato's bombs have blasted the germinating seeds of democracy out of the soil of Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro and ensured that they will not sprout again for a very long time.


Editor in Chief, Radio B92,

Belgrade, Yugoslavia