THE TIDE of refugees flooding out of Kosovo provides stark evidence of the fundamental fact of the war in the Balkans: Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic is a barbaric dictator.
The past week has shown the certainty of Milosevic's action. Even the faint-hearted doubters critical of Nato's stand against Milosevic must see that his accelerated attempted genocide... exposes the malevolence of the man and reinforces the justification of the efforts to stop him.
THE SAME concentration of effort lavished on the aerial war against Serbia must now be applied to the task of housing and caring for the refugees reeling out of Kosovo. That no preparations of this kind were made by the governments dealing with Milosevic or by the Alliance military staffs as they laid their plans is more than a pity. The Serbs have stripped [the refugees] of their possessions and their documents and have tried to strip them of their dignity. All three must be restored, beginning with the last.
SINCE THE bombing began, at least 25,000 Kosovars have fled to Montenegro. The strains from bombing plus the refugees could end up toppling the republic's anti-Milosevic president, Milo Djukanovic.
This is a rare case in which the standard logic is outweighed by the political negatives. Nato shouldn't bomb Montenegro. The humane treatment of Kosovo's refugees is something on which decent people - whatever their view of Nato - can agree. The civilized world must succor a people whom Slobodan Milosevic has torn asunder.
FROM AN Israeli perspective, the images of the refugees, the separated families separated, and the reports of killings and torture recall the plight of Jews during the Holocaust. (Though of course, the Germans and their henchmen slaughtered six million Jews out of hatred, and not because of any threat, real or imagined).Even though during World War II the Serbs showed great courage in resisting the Nazis, our sympathies today lie with the people of Kosovo.
SHOULD THIS situation continue and the number of refugees pouring into the neighbouring states swell, the conflict could widen. Already Macedonia has banned the entry of more refugees, while there is a limit beyond which Albania cannot accommodate the growing influx of fellow Albanians from across the border. Macedonia is in a difficult situation. Both Greece and Bulgaria eye it greedily and the two will never fail to capitalize on its difficulties. Albania has bad relations with Greece, and should Serb ground forces in their anti-Kosovar offensive clash with Albanian border guards, the present conflict could widen.
ATTENTION MUST be focused now on emergency aid for the refugees pouring into Albania and Macedonia, and even Montenegro in federal Yugoslavia, none of which can cope with the droves of people. Instinctive offers of tents, blankets, medicine, food and aid workers have come from many countries and nongovernment organizations such as Catholic Relief Services of Baltimore.Reuse content