Letter: To bomb or not to bomb in Serbia

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I WOULD have perfectly understood your leading article (28 March) if your newspaper were pacifist. You refer to the policy of the Yugoslav government towards Albanian subjects as "breathtakingly vicious"; you say that it is right to try to stop it, but that war is the wrong method, wrong in law and wrong in practice. Your twisted argument is that the allies are bombing people who pose no threat to Western security and that "only a genuinely neutral and virtually universal organisation such as the UN" can be trusted to say when to intervene militarily.

First of all, you know very well that it is not "people" that Nato is bombing; it is what the Defence Secretary, Mr Robertson, rightly calls "Milosevic's murderous machine". Secondly, you know the West has tried very hard to solve the problem politically but Russia shows that every attempt to solve it with the help of "the universal organisation" would have failed.

I have got family in Kosovo, and I fear that when the truth comes out of what the Serbs are doing right now, away from the eyes of the Western journalists, you and others will have to reassess your judgement. You go too far in giving the Serbs the benefit of the doubt when you write that "recent history has made them feel isolated and insecure". Can you justify the massacres of Albanian women and children by what you call the Serbs' "deep emotional investment in Kosovo"? I don't remember the Serbs having any "emotional investment" in Srebrenica, where they murdered thousands of innocent civilians. You suggest a third way that could be found, between subjection and secession. It was exactly what the international community was offering both sides. The Albanians accepted it but the Serbs did not, because they knew they were militarily superior, and they could do away with the Albanians at any time.


London SW20