Letter: Nato terror raids

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Sir: The claim by Nato's Supreme Commander, General Wesley Clark, that Nato's bombing of a civilian passenger train near Leskovac on Monday was an "uncanny accident" (report, 14 April) must be regarded as a sick joke. Nato planes bombed the train twice, from close quarters. Unsatisfied with one "accident", the pilot apparently went back for another, when the train was clearly visible to him.

The truth is that Nato is murdering civilians in Yugoslavia virtually every day and is systematically destroying the country's civilian infrastructure. A typical example of Nato's bombing strategy was illustrated in Robert Fisk's report of the same day, " `Collateral damage' lies dying in a shattered Belgrade hospital".

Nato bombed barracks in the Belgrade suburb of Banjica in full knowledge that it was situated back to back with a hospital and that harm to patients was inevitable. Victims included civilians recovering from major surgery and people injured in earlier Nato attacks.

I agree with Robert Fisk that Nato's claim that they go to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties is "totally untrue". I fear that these attacks on the civilian population of Yugoslavia are actually designed to terrorise the population into submission. Furthermore, I believe that Nato's threat to bomb Yugoslav radio and television transmitters arose from concern about the effects on Western public opinion of broadcasts which show the extent of human "collateral damage" in Nato's humanitarian war.

Those who are suffering and will continue to suffer will not be the political leaders, here or in Yugoslavia. They are the innocent children and civilians of a country whose infrastructure is being systematically destroyed, in a landscape filled with depleted uranium and land mines in the form of unexploded cluster bombs dropped by the Royal Air Force.


(Lab, Halifax)

House of Commons

London SW1