Letter: Rich man's war
Monday 12 April 1999
Sir: M Owen (letter, 8 April) suggests that many opponents of Nato's actions against Yugoslavia are of the "anti-American left" who are still "locked into Cold War attitudes". If "the Cold War is over", should not someone tell the Americans? We are witnessing a mopping-up operation in that unfinished war.
How else do we explain the unwillingness of the US to prevent or punish atrocities committed by Turkey against the Kurds and by Indonesia against the East Timorese? How do these states escape the wrath of the US, while Iraq and Yugoslavia suffer devastation? Is it simply coincidence that the states escaping Nato bombardment are those already safely locked into the global free market economy while Iraq and Yugoslavia are unwilling to open their economies to US or IMF priorities?
We are now being psychologically prepared for the aerial destruction of Yugoslavia's infrastructure, or a massive ground war, or both. In Iraq the destruction of infrastructure such as water and fuel supplies, and the impact of sanctions, are killing five thousand children each month.
The war is avoidable. The billions of pounds it would cost should be spent on emergency relief, homes, new towns and hospitals for the refugees and impoverished populations of the Balkans. That would reduce the economic pressures which have fuelled the crisis: historic hatred was the excuse for and manifestation of the conflict, not its cause.
But is global capital willing to be the servant of an effort to satisfy such human needs, or must it follow the flag, gunboat and free market ideology which Nato still clearly serves by in its selective exercise of power?
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories