Letter: Are we Blair's willing bombers?

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INSTEAD OF attempting to blame the Serbian people for the Kosovo tragedy ("Voices were raised in protest, now the silence is deafening", 18 April), Andrew Gumbel should have asked this question: why were no Western voices raised in support of the tens of thousands of Serbian demonstrators against Slobodan Milosevic in the winter of 1997-98? Why the deafening silence then?

That winter, in inclement weather, for more than four straight months, sometimes as many as 400,000 Serbs demonstrated daily against their corrupt leader. During the earlier democracy demonstrations in Prague and Warsaw, the West gave full support for toppling the Communist governments. When the Serbs demonstrated, we did nothing. The money spent on one day of Nato bombing, spent in support of the demonstrators, would have toppled Milosevic.

Let's stop the lying. Milosevic has remained in power this long because he was "our boy". In their ignorance of Serbian history and spirit, Nato planners and Western politicians expected Milosevic to sell out again, clueless that he could not sell out Kosovo and survive. Not only has the bombing by the "civilised West" taken away hope for a democratic Serbia for years to come, it has succeeded in turning those who despised Milosevic, and demonstrated against him, into supporters.

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