Monitor: The crisis in Kosovo

Opinions about how to resolve the conflict between Serbia and the Albanian population of Kosovo
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The Independent Culture
Hong Kong



THE YUGOSLAVS are bent on wiping out as many Muslims as they can; there is no question that they are in the process of creating a new Holocaust. American and European leaders are abetting this daily massacre of innocent Muslims by sitting on their hands and pretending to be issuing ultimatums. By their intransigence, the Americans and the Europeans are building up a reservoir of hate among the peoples of the Arab states that will one day boomerang on them. If the Americans cannot take the lead immediately, and put an end to the slaughter, the Arab states should raise their voices and demand action. A threat by the Arab states to supply arms to the poor Albanians might just do the trick. It has been done before, and the Americans acted promptly then. The senseless killing has just got to be stopped.


El Pais


RICHARD HOLBROOKE'S mission is to persuade the Yugoslav president that the threat of a bombardment is serious. All the military mechanisms are in place. Only a political decision is required. The problem now is finding legal justification for a bombardment. These doubts are exemplified by the Spaniard, Abel Matutes, who assured the press in Luxembourg that, "Intervention isn't possible without the legal backing of a mandate from the Security Council." International experts have emphasised four bases for legal intervention: to prevent genocide; to restore peace and international security; to avert imminent human disaster; and to prevent serious violations of human rights. All four conditions apply in this case.


The New York Times

United States

NO NATO infantry or armoured units should be sent into Kosovo to evict the Serbs. That job should be done with air power. If some kind of peace keeping force is eventually needed, to help assure the safe resettlement of refugees, it ought to be drawn primarily from European armies. The political complexities of Kosovo and divisions in Nato about the use of force may produce paralysis just when action is needed. The governance of Kosovo cannot be set right before winter comes, but thousands of refugees can be saved. When that work is done, the United States and its European allies can help Kosovo's ethnic Albanians regain the autonomy that they should have.




OFFICIALS FROM Belgrade claim to have received many letters from Russians offering to take part in the struggle against Nato with the Yugoslav army. Balkan roulette unfurls with invisible speed. It is clear that this theatre of the absurd may become a theatre of war at any moment, with intervention in a sovereign state without the mandate of the UN. All this could shake the system of modern international relations, with truly unpredictable consequences.


The Washington Post

United States

COUNTRIES PREPARED to live by the law cannot let the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic, get away with this deceptive, destabilising scheme. The Nato republics may be tempted to forgo use of the alliance's weaponry this time around. But that practically invites a second cycle. The Kosovars will surely crank up another burst of resistance that will bring another bloody Serbian response. Nato cannot dance at the end of a Serbian string. The right military course is to be hard-nosed in judging Serbian compliance and to prepare to destroy the military infrastructure supporting genocidal attacks on Kosovars. The right political course is to prepare a negotiation that, in time, will let democratic Kosovars participate in shaping their own destiny.