Letter: Victory for the US

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Fergal Keane says we should praise America for "doing right" by the Kosovars (Comment, 12 June). What has it done for them?

America finally agreed a resolution which was different in no significant respects from what the Yugoslav parliament was ready to accept before the violence started. So it was for no net gain that Nato gave Milosevic the excuse he needed to dramatically escalate his atrocities, whilst it failed to protect a single Kosovar and destroyed their land, roads, bridges, water and electricity supplies into the bargain.

On top of this, Kosovars must also deal with the unexploded Nato cluster bombs and the legacy of depleted uranium weapons that the mothers and children of Iraq know only too well.

Keane points out the UN's obvious flaws, but then asks us to celebrate its role being usurped by an even less accountable institution, dominated by the same state. He misrepresents opponents of the war, who have not just called for UN resolutions, but for such resolutions to be enforced when they are ignored.

The US has not "got it wrong" in Israel and "right" in Kosovo, as Keane claims. It has defended, and extended, its own interests in both cases. That it is now more able to do as it pleases through Nato should not be a cause for celebration, as Kurds, Palestinians, Colombians and others will tell us.


Enfield, Middlesex