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Is anyone else as scared as I am?

bseed(charleskratz) 03 Apr 99 - 12:13 AM
Rincon Roy 03 Apr 99 - 12:41 AM
03 Apr 99 - 12:54 AM
Margo 03 Apr 99 - 01:27 AM
Sandy Paton 03 Apr 99 - 03:17 AM
The Shambles 03 Apr 99 - 03:16 PM
The Shambles 03 Apr 99 - 03:23 PM
bet 03 Apr 99 - 04:17 PM
03 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM
The Shambles 04 Apr 99 - 01:37 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 Apr 99 - 03:25 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 04 Apr 99 - 03:51 AM
LEJ 04 Apr 99 - 04:00 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 04 Apr 99 - 04:13 AM
LEJ 04 Apr 99 - 04:42 AM
Night Owl 04 Apr 99 - 05:16 AM
Bud Sherman 04 Apr 99 - 09:44 AM
skarpi 04 Apr 99 - 10:35 AM
katlaughing 04 Apr 99 - 02:35 PM
Margo 04 Apr 99 - 03:07 PM
Teresa 04 Apr 99 - 04:42 PM
Ethan Mitchell 04 Apr 99 - 07:33 PM
TonyK 04 Apr 99 - 10:16 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 Apr 99 - 10:40 PM
Susan A-R 04 Apr 99 - 10:53 PM
AlistairUK 05 Apr 99 - 07:00 AM
Ethan Mitchell 05 Apr 99 - 07:46 AM
Teresa 05 Apr 99 - 03:50 PM
LEJ 05 Apr 99 - 08:08 PM
Night Owl 06 Apr 99 - 12:24 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 06 Apr 99 - 03:44 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 06 Apr 99 - 04:48 AM
hank 06 Apr 99 - 08:43 AM
Bert 06 Apr 99 - 09:46 AM
AlistairUK 06 Apr 99 - 11:51 AM
Don Meixner 06 Apr 99 - 12:29 PM
Margo 06 Apr 99 - 12:58 PM
katlaughing 06 Apr 99 - 01:50 PM
Frank in the swamps 06 Apr 99 - 04:25 PM
Bob Landry 06 Apr 99 - 05:09 PM
Bud Sherman 06 Apr 99 - 05:29 PM
The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 05:34 PM
Bob Landry 06 Apr 99 - 05:59 PM
McMusic 07 Apr 99 - 12:54 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 03:20 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 Apr 99 - 04:06 AM
Pete M 07 Apr 99 - 07:42 AM
AlistairUK 07 Apr 99 - 08:09 AM
The Shambles 07 Apr 99 - 10:31 AM
AlistairUK 07 Apr 99 - 11:05 AM
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Subject: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 12:13 AM

I think everything I have read or heard about our jolly little war in Yugoslavia totally misses the real danger we face because of it, and not because the Balkans have a history of involving the world in wars, but because the Russians are about to have an election and the nation and particularly its (sort of) democratic government have been humiliated both by our power play in their backyard and our treatment of them as irrelevant, ignoring their offer to mediate. The Russian ultranationalists were soundly defeated in the last election but the Communists came in a strong second, but if this stupid war lasts things could be very different. And what if, in order to build a majority, the nationalists and communists were to form a coalition--what chance would Yeltsin's successors have when the blame for the humiliation would be added to the blame for the economic collapse and the explosive growth of the Russian mafia?

Does anyone else see the striking similarities between Russia in the present and post World War I Germany? "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" --seed


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Rincon Roy
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 12:41 AM

-a lot of things in this business have been giving me the creeps...


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From:
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 12:54 AM

Actually, Russia of the present reminds me more of World War I Russia; the Russia that supported the Balkan countries then as now. What strikes me most is that our President, an anti-war activist in his youth, has become one of the most bellecose presidents we've had. That's irony for ya.--John


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Margo
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 01:27 AM

I'm for doing things right the first time. (I didn't want us there in the first place.) I think that the President's anti-war track record is showing in that he doesn't have a clue militarily. All the experts are saying that after a bombing campaign, you follow with ground troops or you're wasting your time. Bombing alone won't do the job. The pres. said that he won't send in ground troops, but then he has lied before, hasn't he? Margie


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 03:17 AM

Friends:

It's late and I'm tired. Been working on production stuff all day, and my eyes are blurring from staring at the monitor. But, Paul Stamler, perhaps the most knowledgeable folkmusic DJ in radio (his show is broadcast from St. Louis) just sent this to the FOLKDJ-L to which I also subscribe. I thought I should share it with you. I hope I can shift it over to HTML.


Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 23:13:36 -0800
From: "Paul J. Stamler"
FOLKDJ-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU

Hi folks:

Like all of you, I've been following the terrible events taking place in Yugoslavia for the last several years, including the war that is now taking place. I'm sorry to report that our colleagues at B92, a dissident radio station in Belgrade, have been shut down by the police; they were forced to stop broadcasting last week, and today their internet broadcast was shut down as well. Their website (http://www.b92.net/) was still active as of a few minutes ago, and makes for very interesting reading (they are bitterly opposed to both the NATO airstrikes *and* the Serbian government's atrocities).

I *don't* want to start a discussion of the war here, particularly not a discussion of what we (and others) should do. This list isn't the place for it. But I'd like to make a couple of observations. The first is that the closing of B92 reminds us of how powerful a medium we have in our hands when we sit behind a broadcast console. Most of the time, what we broadcast isn't earth-shaking; we play music, hoping to move a few hearts and souls to laughter, tears or thought. Once in a while, though, there are reminders that radio can be a lifeline, a channel for free thought in the face of tyranny -- a worthwhile remembrance for this season of passover.

This internet over which we're speaking is likewise capable of being a powerful lifeline -- perhaps even more so than radio, since it's far less expensive to connect to the internet than it is to set up and run a broadcasting station. One of the facets of this is that the net has become the equivalent of short-wave broadcasting -- a way to hear the points of view of *all* the protagonists, in their own words. Again, a blow for freedom. As an example, there is a website:

http://www.commondreams.org/kosovo/kosovo.htm

whereat are posted links to everyone, and I mean everyone, from the BBC and Reuters news services to the US State Dept. to the Serbian government to the KLA to nonviolent resistance movements in Kosovo to British military briefings to pacifist groups to humanitarian organizations. I strongly recommend spending an hour browsing these primary sources.

As a radio and internet broadcaster, I am very proud of the roles broadcasters and netcasters have taken in the last several weeks, and am deeply grateful for their efforts. And in this season which is holy to two major religions, I pray for the safety of our colleagues at B92, and for peace.

Salaam aleikum.

Paul

You've just heard from a really good man.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 03:16 PM

It is desparatly sad that the only way that our leaders think they can prevent despots from persecuting and bombing their own innocents, is by persucuting and bombing the innocents in who's name the ethnic cleansing is supposed to be carried out.

In the last few months in the UK, our best legal brains have come up with the idea that General Pinochet is immune to prosecution for torture conducted before a certain date, as torture was not illegal before then.

Surely we have to find a way to make our leaders accountable for their actions and not their countries.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 03:23 PM

There is a lot of good sense posted on this subject here also. Kosovo

The answer to the question Seed is YES


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bet
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 04:17 PM

Lots of food for thought on the Kosovo thread. Yes Seed I am scared!!


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From:
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM

Does anyone have any idea about how long you think it will go on? Over by January, do you think?


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 01:37 AM

There are also some very good thoughts on the subject here. Xenaphobia


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 03:25 AM

Shambles, I look at the situation like Sherlock Holms does when he says "Eliminate the impossible and the rest must be the facts"

Clinton only knows how to do three things:

He didn't make any election promises to the Serbs, so he can't go back on them.

The second thing got him into trouble when he tried it with one woman. He is not likely to try it with the entire Serbian nation.

That leaves only the third thing--bombing.

So much for imitating Sherlock. Now I will go back to the more pleasant task trying to imitate Doc Watson.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 03:51 AM

Murray, I hope you have more success with your endeavor than we are having protecting the Kosovars. --seed


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: LEJ
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 04:00 AM

I wonder how many times I have heard people ask " How could the world stand by and watch as the Nazis slaughtered the Jews?" And I wonder if some of these people are the same ones saying that the elimination of the Kosovars is " an internal problem for Serbia and we have no business interfering in the affairs of a sovereign nation."...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 04:13 AM

Not only is what we are doing counter-productive, Lonesome, but hypocritical. Where were we when the Tutsis were Killing the Hutus in Rwanda (or are we just more concerned about protecting white people than black?) (or perhaps in stabilizing an area we're interested in as the site of an oil pipeline) and where were (are) we when the Indonesian were killing the East Timorese. I can tell you where we were/are in the latter case--selling weapons to the Indonesians. --seed


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: LEJ
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 04:42 AM

One of the reasons we are able to take action in Yugoslavia as opposed to Africa or Indonesia is the fact that we have two things in existence in Europe that we lack in Asia and Africa:1. A consensus of opinion among neighboring governments regarding what should be done and 2. The available forces to do it.

Rather than say "we didn't act there, therefore we lack the moral authority to act here", I believe that nations within the world in the various spheres of power (Southeast Asia, Africa, South America) should form coalitions to monitor and prevent episodes like the ethnic cleansing of Kosovars as well as the slaughter of Hutus or East Timorese. And I believe it is our duty as the most powerful nation on earth to take a leadership role in these situations...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Night Owl
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 05:16 AM

Makes me wonder what we really mean by "Never Again". Frightening????---Ollie North is again sharing his wisdom on TV today.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Bud Sherman
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 09:44 AM

Those who feel that we should do nothing for the Kosovars because we didn't do anything for another group damn us to a virulent form of predestination. Under it society would never evolve. The gift of free coice means that because we previously did something wrong or stupid does not mean that we must continue down the same path for eternity.

When my great-great-grandfather's generation finally accepted the need to end slavery in America, there were nay-sayers, primarily the Copperheads, about that terrible war.

The Serbian "innocents" are not unlike the "good Germans" who did not know what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, Gypsies, Poles, etc., in the concentration camps until after the war. But the Serbs have even less of an excuse. They have B-92 and the internet as news sources.

It is extraordinary that a people obsessed with reversing a battle they lost SIX HUNDRED YEARS AGO in Kosovo, don't realize they are creating enmities that may last another 600 years.

That said, I deeply regret that a majority of my fellow citizens twice voted to put Clinton in the White House. His international skills are non-existant. He started an air-campaign with no idea of what to do if it did not succeed. He is belatedly getting first aid to the Kosovar refugees. He has not done anything to accept the any refugees here.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: skarpi
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:35 AM

Hallo everyone, yes I would, I thought about this. Maybe this is beging of world war three. I pray to god that is not gona be, if the nato army goes into Kosovo on land, may god help them, they do not have a change to fight against the serbs. While the Nato was talking to Milo... what ever his name is why wasend he killed ??? and his members. It is easy to say things than doing them.

I pray to god that this war will be ended, lets all pray to god, as a Icelander I am agianst this war, and that Iceland taking part of it, that is not a good thing.

bless skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 02:35 PM

I am still struggling with my thoughts about this. I consider myself to be a pacifist, but there are times when I have an overwhelming urge to go gung-ho and say blast them away. When reason returns I have thoughts more like skarpi's. Why didn't we "take him out" when we had a chance? Same question asked about Saddam Hussein. Then I think that wouldn't be the answer either.

I didn't mean to suggest that because we didn't help Tibet, that we should never help anyone else; just why didn't we help them, too? I agree that we certainly can't use inaction in a previous situation for inaction in the present.

I plan on visiting the site Sandy posted, some more. I am interested in how the Serbian people feel about Milosevic and in the history of the entire conflict. There are some incredible personal diaries of people in Belgrade on there.

I have to say I voted for Clinton and would do so again. He is not the only one to have made the decision to bomb Kosovo; we are not the only country involved, and in a democracy, no one person ever makes such a decision on their own and carries it out. I still think it is chicken*&^$ of congresspersons to take the easy fence-sitting stance of saying they support our troops, but not the prez. They cannot have it both ways. It is also ironic that most who are saying that are the ones who are usually such warmongers. I believe it is all political and that they don't give a damn as long as they can work at destroying Clinton in any way they can.

I protested against the Gulf War. It feels odd to me to not feel that way about this one. I worry about my neice and her son and husband in Aviano. I have a hard time watching the news because it literally breaks my heart to see the Albanians being exiled. My mind reels to think of my own town being emptied, all of our identity destroyed through burning of papers, etc. It is hard to grasp that such a thing can happen.

There are no easy answers. I don't feel as scared as I do sad, angry, and uneasy. I have to believe that the god of our hearts and those of everyone involved will prevail; that the higher consciousness within each and every one will be allowed to come to the forefront to guide them in reasonable actions; so that all will see the futility and absolute inhumanity of what they are doing and find a way to settle peacefully. Utopian? Perhaps, but if enough make that connection with their Higher Self, whatever their belief, there could be a good and miraculous change of hearts. I give thanks that it is so.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Margo
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 03:07 PM

My husband pointed out to me last night that if the Albanians had the greater military might they would be doing the same thing the Serbs are doing now. There are no good guys there. They have been squabbling and fighting for centurys.

Of course, that doesn't mean that such barbarous agressions should be "allowed". How to disallow, or stop the agressors is unclear to me. But I do feel strongly about American lives and I don't think this conflict is worth losing any.

There is an old Chinese "curse", "May you live in interesting times". These certainly are interesting times.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Teresa
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 04:42 PM

I find it difficult to think about American lives being lost in the context of the number of Albanian lives being lost. How many human lives are affected? Why does it matter whether these lives are American or Albanian? As for the Russian issue, I can only hope that the country's failing economy and recent dependence on the West will curb the Slavo-nationalist rhetoric. The only unsettling thing about that is: How much weaponry will they sell to raise cash? (Shiver) This is all such a mess. Teresa


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Ethan Mitchell
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 07:33 PM

Seems like we're talking a lot about what America is supposed to do in Kosovo, and elsewhere. And the problem is, America has this huge power, this huge potential for good, maybe, but we have an incredible track record of using it in self-interest or almost randomly. So the pacifists (like me) feel edgy, just as they did at the beginning of World War II. (I think Bismark said 'If there is ever another World War, it will come out of some damn silly thing in the Balkans). Because our country knows everything about war-power and nothing about peace-power, so if we're going to be effectual....I guess my point is, the question is not what America should do, 'cause America is probably going to get it wrong, as usual. The question is what do we Americans (et al) do? As individuals. I don't know enough to answer that...Macedonia is apparently getting buried in refugees, and they need help, and there are all the usual protest / write your congressman / fund your lobbyist type things. Or you could go there and filibuster like people did in the Spanish Civil War. Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: TonyK
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:16 PM

This is a very good discussion. Most people I meet at work or on the street don't want to talk about it. The situation over there reminds me of a domestic violence situation. Policemen often get shot getting in the middle of them. The vulnerable ones in Kosovs are getting badly hurt and the men seem to be disappearing. I have to use my head and that's hard to do when children and old people and women are hurting. I must humbly realize that I cannot save the world. These people have been hating each other for centuries. There are some things worth risking everything for and other things I can help out with and some things I must stay out of to enable me to be of help later. My pride is something I need to watch out for, too. I support the bombing and if that doesn't work, back off until the dust settles and a better window of opportunity presents itself. I'm glad President Clinton kept us out of Bosnia until the dust settled and I'm glad he got us the hell out of Somalia. Yes, I'm scared, but not as much as I was 30 years ago today when Dr. King was assassinated. The world is a scary place.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:40 PM

I think it is wrong to argue about what the Albanians would have done if they had the power. They don't. You have to go by what is happening and what you consider might happen. I think the US was right in getting involved in WWII even though Hitler did, in fact, claim that the Jews were conspiring to overpower the "Aryans".

But I don't think the US involvement in WWII was a knee-jerk reaction like the bombing of Yougoslavia is now. It seems to have been carefully planned and thought out.

The Australian papers had a headline after the impeachment decision "Clinton Victorious, Now for Revenge". I was waiting to read that Republican Hq. had been bombed the next day.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:53 PM

The situation feels entirely wrong to me. It seems that p'raps we're pouring oil on a fire. Noam Chomsky talks about applying the hyppocratic principles of 'Do no harm" to this sort of stuff (he write VERY eloquently about how the US has been involved in other countries over the past thirty or so years, and we don't apply that principle well. Teresa, your question is pretty chilling. I do wish that we could somehow deal with leaders. Sovreign immunity seems to be a bit of a problemm. Also, holding the folks who sold all of the heavy equipment wouldn't be bad in my book either. I just don't think our current approach is solving much. I also keep a globe in my kitchen, and it's painfully clear how close everything gets there, and this could so easily spread. Brrrr!

Susan


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: AlistairUK
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 07:00 AM

Clinton got fucked in the US so he's fucking someone weaker than him...best bullyboy tactics. This is not our fight, sorry to say. I feel for the innocents sure but what can we do. This thing may escalate, it may not. It depends on the Powers That Be if they want to continue this abomination. The reason Africa didn't get any help recently was because who gives a shit about the Africans? This is theeir little tribal war. I mean it's not as if they have economic power like say South Africa. Plus they were not so easy targets. And Tibet? Woah Nelly don't mess with the commie chinks they is likely to just nuke the western hemisphere and be done with it. Yugoslavia and the Balkans have indeed been at each others throats since the dawn of time. Occidental europeans got to messin' in their affairs and that got WW1 nicely going, which led to WW2 which led to the communist epoch when the Balkans were part of the Soviet bloc and so repressed they didn't have time to fight each other. What we are seeing in the Balkans the last few years is the release of a few decades of not being able to have a little skirmish ( I mean it's part of their culture for God's sake!) now and again. What can we do about it...absolutely nothing, it's going to happen, just as the massacre of the jews was bound to happen in Germany during the thirties and forties, the conditions (incidently set by the all wise allied commisions after the first war...so who is partially to blame for the Holocaust?) existed and the evilist little git took advantage. NOw everybody is breast beating and pullling their hair out and shit, and I ask "Where were we when they needed our help and wisdom when they became independant?" Falling over ourselves getting trade deals together to suck their money away from them and not worrying about anything else. When the Soviet union collapsed it was obvious what was going to hapopen..look at what happened in Georgia and the other former soviet states. The only difference in the Balkans is that it's gone on for a little longer and the US and NATO have decided to stick their noses in.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Ethan Mitchell
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 07:46 AM

Pretty ugly, Alistair, but pretty accurate. I don't think any situation is *hopeless* if you consider the full range of possibilities...but within the rather limited world of bombing sorties, yes, I think this is hopeless. I know very little about the history of the Balkans, and I get a sense that I'm not alone in that. So I'm a little taken aback by the 'it's been going on for centuries' line. Seems like an excuse for irresponsibility. I mean, you could say exactly the same thing about England and France, France and Germany, Germany and Poland, Poland and Russia, Russia and China, China and Japan, etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Teresa
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 03:50 PM

It's increasingly more difficult to practice isolationism these days. It's so easy to hear about what's going on in the world. Just last night I went to the b92 website, something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing even a couple years ago. I don't know what responsibilities individuals should have in this situation, but I just don't think burying our heads in the sand is a good thing either--it's a good way to get a swift kick in the rear. I don't think in this day and age that it's possible to even pretend not to be involved in any world-shaping political event. Teresa


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: LEJ
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 08:08 PM

Alistair UK...The theory that Clinton "got fucked" in the US, and that is the motivation for the action in Yugoslavia does not hold water. First of all, Clinton's popularity was at an all-time high when this bombing began. Secondly, the action is a NATO joint effort and as such enjoys the support of other alliance nations. This includes a very vocal British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Was he also motivated by vengeance and frustration? And third, the bombing was brought upon Yugoslavia by the intransigence and criminal propensities of Slobodan Milosevich. Most criminals won't behave unless a loaded gun is pointed at them. If they know the gun is unloaded, they will usually continue robbing and murdering.

You say that the " massacre of the Jews was bound to happen." That is like saying that murder and robbery in the streets is bound to happen, so why try to prevent or stop it. And the Holocaust cannot be excused by harsh conditions imposed by the Allies on a defeated Germany. My father and my father-in-law, who fought with American and British forces to subdue Hitler and his regime of murderers, would be quite shocked and angered to be told that their countries contributed in some way to the cold-blooded extermination of millions of innocent people. I think they believed, as I do, that this extermination was the act of a madman.

Finally, the belief that two groups of people living in close proximity but differing in their religious and cultural heritage, who have practiced terrorism and repression against one another,whose history of hostility goes back 400 years... the belief that these people have no better options for the future because "it's part of their culture", that would come as a very bitter and pessimistic comment to those in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Britain who are struggling to create a new and better life for themselves, their countries, and their children...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:24 AM

Wow...LEJ...Well said....I hope you're teaching somewhere!


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 03:44 AM

Lonesome, the holocaust was not the work of just one man but of a majority of people in a nation of what, 80 or 100 million people, whose resentments at the screwing they felt they had received at the end of World War I and their collapsing economy--and their history of anti-semitism (not actually as violent a history as that of Russia until the Third Reich) were stirred by that man, who, mad though he may have been, was a master at the manipulation of myth and memory--just as Milosevic seems to be. I never argued that we should just let the Serbs "cleanse" Yugoslavia of Kosovars, just that there had to have been a better way of stopping him (judging by the results, there could hardly have been a worse), and that Russia would have likely had much more influence and the world would be a hell of a lot safer place if we had let Russia work it out. But NATO nations are far too cozy with international oil interests to allow Russia to have an economic advantage in the area through which they wish to build (and control) an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean from the vast fields to be developed in the former SSRs on the Caspian Sea.

It was for the benefit of these oil interests that we ignored Russia's claim to be close to negitiating an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. THAT war was sold to us on the argument that it was our duty to rid the world of "the Hitler of the Mideast," something we somehow neglected to do once Iraq was out of Kuwait and no longer a threat to Saudi Arabia (two outstanding democracies, of course). We (that is, the government which supposedly serves our needs) can't build it through Turkey or carry the oil by ships to the Mediterranean--Turkey, wisely, doesn't want to chance an Exxon Valdez on its shores. And of course, we can't let it go through Iraq or Iran, right? No, we want Exxon and Shell and Chevron and BP and all those other honorable multinationals to build and benefit from a pipeline through a stabilized Balkans.

I would much prefer that Russia have the prestige and influence that a successful mediation or other solution of the problem would bring them: we have a strong national and international interest in the financial recovery of Russia if that recovery starts when Yeltsin is still president. If Russia goes into the presidential election without signs that this recovery is a real hope, the Communists will probably win a plurality (and possibly a majority) of the votes and the ultra-nationalists will get back much of what they lost in the last parliamentary election. And both the communists and the ultranationalists are likely to try to reabsorb the former SSRs, particularly those with oil. That's what I'm scared of--that looks like World War Three to me.

By the way, I'd like to apologize to the Tutsis for confusing them with the Hutus in and earlier post. --seed


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 04:48 AM

Something truly dreadful is about to happen, I can feel it in my water. Has anybody else in the UK noticed a change in news content yesterday and today? Kosovo is now item 2 or 3 as opposed to #1...
I don't have any precedents for this, just my intuition, but it smells like misdirection. We're being fed humanitarian crisis stories while Belgrade is flattened. I don't doubt the moral justification for this whole business, but the tone of the journalism (even on Radio 4) seems suspiciously heavy-handed to me...
So what is the hidden agenda, and what are 'they' going to do next?


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: hank
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 08:43 AM

well, LEJ, perhaps your father and father in law want to examin history a little closer. Several churches in the US (I don't know how many) held fund raisers in the '30s to help Germany rid themselves of Jews. We tend to forget that setiments today about that war are not what they were. Early on there was strong support for Germany. (Remember many immigrants came from germany) Just because the leaders of this country supported the Allies more then Axis doesn't mean that the support was universial, strong support didn't happen until the war broke out.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 09:46 AM

The really sad thing is that The United Nations (supposedly a peace keeping organization) has been completely inept in this situation. If they had been more effective, then it wouldn't have been left to NATO (a military alliance) to try to solve the problem.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: AlistairUK
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 11:51 AM

LEJ: Hank partially said what i was going to say, but to pick up on a theme I've been putting down in another thread. I wasn't pointing the finger at individuals. That is really hard to do, especially for people who actually believed that they were doing it for the right reasons (a s I'm sure your father did). What I'm saying is that these situations as BSeed said are wholly economical and manipulated by wants of a nation or organisation. Brazil(normally a neutral member of NATO) was suckered into supporting the directive for action in Kosovo because of its massive debt to the IMF, we got to keep licking international bunghole so they look kindly on our loan repayments. So this just goes to show what a truly international statesman Fernando Henrique Cardoso (the Brazilian President) is, he is cut from the same cloth as the Clintons, the Blairs and the rest of 'em. Smiles and pseudo-liberalism on the one hand, and "hardman" posturing on the other. Of course Blair is a vociferous supporter of Clinton, he still wants to be friends with the U.S. ( when I say the U.S. I mean the gargantuan state machine that runs the country not the individuals. Yes Slobodan Milosevich is a murderer and and dictator. I never denied that, but this situation was obviously going to happen from the first day of independence from the Soviet Bloc. political historian with half a brain would have seen this. What i was trying to say, but didn't really make clear was, where the hell were we before this situation started to go out of comntrol? Why were we not there to help ease the independent struggles of the various countries and groups in the Balkans. We weren't interested in trying to enlighten the people, just selling them more coke and nikes. No you can't let the situation carry on as before, I'm sorry if the irony didn't come through but I was actually being ironic. Surely we are more enlightened today and we can help people towrds a better understanding of each other instead of letting situations build up, then getting huffy because they won't listen to us. Sorry, but this selective blindness of the Member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty doesn't wash with me and I'm sure it doesbn't with a lot of other people as well.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Don Meixner
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:29 PM

For the first time in my life I am unsure where I stand in an issue of this kind. Perhaps the comfort of distance allows me to be undecided while people like Wolfgang who are so much closer have a signifcantly greater concern.

I am good historian but its an American history view of the world. We see things globaly only in how they affect us as Americans. Too often our notion of the bigger picture is only in how effects us. Our actions in South America support this. We supported puppets and dictators when we should have supported schools and self reliance. Education is as strong a weapon against tranny as you need, whether the tyrants be from the right or the left. We would now have strong, self supporting neighbors.

I have to ask questions that have no good answers perhaps. Is this really only a civil war and we have no business there? Or is this appeasement and Neville Chamberlain all over again.

Viet Nam was easy for me. The small vestige of racism that I know exists with in me said these were Asians and not related to me. Let them fight it out. The peoples in that region had been at war for centuries with no winners, only losers. The Dutch British French and now the US had tried to work their empiracle wills on South East Asia and never even came close. If communism was their choice, fine. What right had we to jam capitalism and American self interest down their throats in the guise of supporting a local tyrant.

Is Cossavo and Serbia any different because there is an outside chance I could be related to these folks? Is an ancient grudge more acceptable because it is held by the British and Irish and less because the Serbs feel a connection to a chunk of land about as big as Kentucky. I truly don't know.

This I do know. You can't conquer and hold a conquered land from the air. This can only be done from the ground by boys who are barely old enough to vote. Boys who maybe shooting hoops on saturday may be asked to shoot people on Monday. Boys who can't legally drink a beer but are told to save the world as we know it.

I have 16 year old twin sons who maybe facing this fight. They are the music in my day and the joy of my life. Could I give them up for a chance to save people I don't know from a war I can't understand.

I don't know.

Don


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Margo
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:58 PM

I agree that it is totally hypocritical to say that the action being taken aganst Milosivich is for humanitarian reasons; as was pointed out, where was the humanitarianism when the Africans were in upheaval?

I do believe that the United States should use their power in self interest. You've got to protect yourself, not let anyone push you around, and keep yourself strong. As a weak nation the US wouldn't be worth much to the rest of the world.

I just don't see how US involvment in this conflict is in our best interest. I feel very strongly about American lives. If we are going to put our soldiers in harms way, there better be a sound reason for doing so.

What does Clinton think we're going to gain from being there and bombing? What is his motivation for involving the US there? I don't think he has any noble motives at all.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 01:50 PM

I really can't decide how I feel about this, but, Margarita, I don't think oil was very good justification for sending our men in harm's way in the Gulf War, either, esp. when I drive throughout Wyoming and see all of the idle oilwells and read the whining of all of the oil people here who say they are losing money.

I guess it is important to remember that we really are becoming one world, our world is expanding, yet becoming smaller in distance from one another. What effects one part of the world does have a ripple effect on the rest of us, just as volcanic ash spewed forth from Mt. Pinatubo brought a chilly summer and much cloud cover around the world.

Education is the key, although at the moment it is a little too late. I don't think what has apparently happened with over one quarter of a million people displaced is justified, but if it came down to sending my son, like Don said, I just don't know.

Again, I don't think it comes down to Clinton alone, at all. He plays the game, as every President ever has, because to not do so would cause themselves and the self-perpetuating system great harm. Do I like that system? NO! It is cronyism, mafioso-type tactics, and political machinations at their worse, but I do not think we can blame it on whether that one person has good will in his heart or not. He does not act nor make these decisions alone.

America has a schizo collective persona. On one hand, we are gung-ho patriots, ready and willing to defend our freedom and democracy at all costs. On the other hand, when push comes to shove, as we learn more about a situation, esp. nowadays with the Internet, we question more and more, when our intellect takes charge instead of our emotions, and we may not be as blindingly willing to lay our lives or those of our children on the line.

It is as though we've always wanted to be the brash, yet benevolent big brother to every fledgling out there, and instead we act the neighbourhood bully. Still, there are no easy answers. This is the nature of the life we are given of free will and self-determination.

Then we wind up pondering the mysterious ways of the Universe: were the Jews, Gays, Gypsies, etc. fated to die because of past life conduct? When a bus in India wrecks and all are killed, was it karma or sheer chance which caused their demise? Is this the case in Kosovo? Do they owe a big spiritual debt or is their collective consciousness perpetuating a life of strife, anger, resentment and fear which must be acted out? And, if that is so, are we and other NATO members acting out an inevitable scenario given the collective consciouness of the world? Do we, as mature parents, put them in a room, so to speak and tell them to work it out and when that fails, go in and takeover? Should seeming innocents die in our efforts or as a consequence of the intransigence of their neighbors?

Sorry, maybe that is too esoteric, but I do think it is good to try to see the "big picture" and envision the long-range life of our planet, with her peoples or not.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 04:25 PM

Sometimes you have to do it because it's the right thing to do. A nation is suffering genocide for god's sake. No matter how many times we've been wrong before, taking Slob. M's gangsters out is the right thing to do. They need to be brought to trial and hanged. And incidentally, if you wanna talk about blame, western european nations are the ones who should have taken the lead on this back during the Bosnian mess.

Western europeans didn't object very much to our (U.S.)involvment (massive troop deployment & extension of our nuclear umbrella) when the soviet union was at it's peak because they all knew that without America's willingness to fight, Stalin's "iron curtain" would have descended on the west coast of Ireland. Western europe has become too much of a whining welfare state, as usual, America has to take the risks and lead the way, even against a criminal engaged in mass murder in their neighborhood for god's sake! The consequences of simply allowing criminal governments to run rampant are far worse than the risks of insulting the Russians or the Chinese. Oh they'll scream & howl, but they won't lift a finger to help their own people nor will they help Slob. M's gangsters. They know where their bread is buttered.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Bob Landry
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 05:09 PM

My initial reaction to the bombing of Serbia was, there it goes again. History is repeating itself because of greed, power, hatred, economics, you name it! There's a bad kid in the schoolyard and NATO countries, riding on the coat-tails of the US, are going to teach him a lesson.

As I watch the events unfold, my thoughts turn to the dispossessed people of Kosovo and the terrible anguish they are going through as they are killed outright or expelled from their homes and their country. This forced expulsion reminds me of the anguish my ancestors, the Acadians of Nova Scotia, suffered through hundreds of years of conflict, expulsion, exile and attempts to re-establish a vibrant culture and way of life.

I don't think this skirmish will not lead to WWIII. It will end one way or another and western leaders will bury their collective heads in the sand until the next time.

The longer-term tragedy is that the Serbs and the Kosovars will continue to hate each other ... just as other groups in the world will continue to hate. Because of this hatred, they will not accept the simple fact that people are people regardless of ethnic background, culture, religion and colour. We all have the same needs and concerns as people everywhere else. We want to make a living, live in peace, raise our families and enjoy life. We all have the ability to contribute to the world.

What really scares me is that, as civilized people, we seem to be unable to learn from the lessons from the past. And if we don't soon learn to appreciate each other for who we are, learn to live with each other in order to reach our full potential and learn to rejoice in each others' differences, we'll be witness to more of these wars. Future conflicts may literally reach our doorsteps.

There has to be a solution to this rampant suspicion and hatred of others. Other than saying we need statesmen with the skills and the gumption to guide us through what will be many more years of hatred and killing to peaceful co-existence, I wish I knew what it was.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Bud Sherman
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 05:29 PM

It is very difficult to watch the news reports on CNN and the other networks and not feel a need to respond to the atrocities that are happening before our eyes.

While our American society is a long way from perfect, that does not mean that we must stand idly by and watch genocide occur. A jury in Texas found the white man guilty of the heinous murder of black man last year. A Wyoming court sentenced a man to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for killing the gay student. Seventy years ago there wouldn't even have been a trial for these murders.

P.S. This thread is informative. Where else could I have discovered that Brazil is a member of NATO? (No place that I am aware of.)


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 05:34 PM

I'm with you all but do you not think the key to this is our inability to bring the Saddam's and the Pinochet's to account for their crimes.

It is horrifing to me to see all the great legal brains giving all this consideration to Pinochet future, when he and the others do not give their victims any rights at all.

Anyone have any answers to this one?


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Bob Landry
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 05:59 PM

Shambles, here's my posting on another forum in reponse to the refusal of the ruling Liberal-led Canadian government to use constitutional powers to strike down a court decision in British Columbia that ruled possession of child pornography was legal. It may answer at least one of your questions.

Bob

--------

''Most Liberals are lawyers, Carol, twits trained to follow the principles of our judicial system, which is based on the law of case precedent. That means that when one bunch of twits (the House of Twits) passes a piece of legislation, the other twits (legal twits and judicial twits) must follow the law until a legal twit becomes inventive enough to convince a judicial twit that the law is wrong. This usually happens when a legal twit is discussing case precedent while doing illegal drugs with his twit buddies. The judicial twit is required to issue a ruling deeming the law to be unconstitutional, or contrary to the Charter of Rights, or prejudicial to a specific individual or group of individuals, thereby establishing a precedent. The remaining twits are required to follow the precedent in any subsequent court case or appeal until the case reaches the Court of Supreme Twits. If luck is on the side of the citizens (who, most of the time, are powerless to effect change), the Supreme Twits will rule on the side of what is right. More often than not, the Supreme Twits will adhere to case precedent established by other twits. Then the twit game starts over again. In the case of possession of child porn, the Liberal twits have decided not to use their own rules to overturn the judicial twit's decision (the Notwithstanding Clause, used only twice since our constitution was repatriated; Quebec - 1, Saskatchewan - 1, Canada - 0) and allow their friends, the legal and judicial twits, to fatten their wallets as part of a make-work project for legal and judicial twits.''


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: McMusic
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 12:54 AM

Only had the time to read a couple of the entries on the thread, Seed, but I swear, I think that, in spite of the end of the cold war and the so-called "peace dividend", I think the world--particularly Central Europe--is every bit as unsettled, and unsettling, as it was in those days when the Old World truly lost its innocence and the older established order came crashing down in the echoes of the gunfire at Sarejevo. It's not that I'm particularly ripped that NATO is doing what it's doing--the REAL truth to these affairs rarely comes to light in its own generation--but rather that it seems to me that there are Milosevics and Saddams and, God knows who else, all over the place. So we had Iraq, now there's Serbia. Where next?


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 03:20 AM

Seed...To some extent I agree with your assessment that the Russians have been ignored since the commencement of the bombing, and that that scorn serves no purpose for them or for the west. But were they not closely involved in the negotiations that preceded this conflict, negotiations that resulted in an agreement that Milosevitch then proceeded to violate? And I don't buy the argument that mass genocide was a natural outgrowth of the sad state of the German economy. The US, as well as many other countries, saw their economies collapse in the 1930s. Our answer was the New Deal, and public works projects that left a lasting positive legacy. We were led by a brilliant and good man, the Germans by a brilliant evil one.

Hank...unfortunately, neither my Father or my Father-in-Law are in a position to do much research into American sympathies for the NAZI's in the 30s.I know that early on, prior to Hitler's implementation of The Final Solution, many were inclined to view him as a genius who had restored Germany's economy nearly overnight.If you are implying that there was any kind of support for the extermination of the Jewish people in the US...sure, we allow all kinds of maniacs the right to their own opinions.

AlistairUK..Agreed, we should have probably done more prior to the bombing to nip this in the bud- but how do you reach a rational understanding with an unreasonable government, bent on revenge? You can cajole, and you can threaten- then comes the tough part of following through on your threats...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 04:06 AM

Lonesome, you counter my argument by leaving out the middle of it--and the ultra-nationalists in Russia are led by a man who seems very like Hitler in his anti-semitism and his expressed contempt for those he blames for letting the empire slip away (he even considers Alaska stolen from Russia). Do you see a Roosevelt available who can save Russia? --seed


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: Pete M
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 07:42 AM

The short answer Seed is yes. The long answer may take a little time, if only to avoid repetition. I think that amongst all the points raised in this discussion the following stand out. I don't pretend to have any answers, and I'm not at all sure that in reality Blair or Clinton could have done things differently.

Yes we should have done more to prevent this happening, and I believe we could have done so. The opportunity was lost for a variety of reasons most of which have been touched on above, but include the desire to see a communist state collapse, the exploitation of Yugoslavia's economy by international corporations and good old self interest by other nations. There is no real parallel between post Tito Yugoslavia and post Versailles Germany in the causes of the situation, but the effect is the same, a discontented population looking for strong leadership, and a scapegoat. Of course if we had provided support to Yugoslavia and helped them to continue the path of federation set out by Tito there is no guarantee that this would not have happened, and there would always be someone to shout "appeasement" afterwards.

So, having got ourselves into this mess Stanley, how do we extricate ourselves?

I think the two things which worry me most about previous posts is the continued demonisation of individuals, in particular Hitler and President Milosovic, and the concern about, to use that ridiculous phrase dreamed up by Reagan "putting our boys 'in harms way.'".

The first worries me because anyone who has had any dealings at any level with people who commit atrocities will know that they are not monsters, they are the bloke or girl next door. The only difference between them and us is that they believe implicitly that what they are doing is right, and that they have a duty to ensure that the Serb/Irish/German/whoever's way of life is preserved. Also that this duty gives them the moral right to whatever action they consider necessary.

Now the second. If we assume we have a moral obligation to stop these two sides killing each other, the only way is to stand in the middle. That includes being hated, shot at and killed by both sides. I am not advocating the use of force, but if we (the West) decide that this is our only option, we should at least do our best, not take the line of least political risk. If I were Milosovic, I would make sure the army and armed police had clear and explicit orders to evict ethnic Albanians (to save them being hit in cross fire), destroy the villages (which were being used as strong points by the KLA) and drive them out of the area (to protect them) but not repeat not to harm anyone not clearly bearing arms. I could then say to the West that this was so and allow observers to travel with the troops to see it was so. Of course if in the night groups of irregular vigilantes with no connection to the armed forces killed, raped and massacred that is nothing to do with my government. Now, you're going to stop a killing squad of 4 or 5 armed with assault rifles with air power? Give me a break.

No, American, nor British, nor Dutch lives are not worth more than Serb lives, but if dozens must die to save thousands then so be it. I do not want my sons to have to die in any war, and I am not at all sure this is a war that can be justified on moral grounds, but equally I do not want politicians killing innocent people in my name rather than risk loosing an election by taking effective military action once that path is chosen.

I hope this does not read as if I am advocating military action as a solution, I believe it can only make things worse in the long run, but people who want the "baddie" punished but not at risk to "our boys" really annoy me.

So I've rambled on as usual, there are no answers here, but hopefully a new perspective or two. As to the future, yes I think a marginalised Russia is far more dangerous than the old USSR ever was, and that Europe as a whole and the UK in particular should be far more questioning about the US's motives in starting these conflicts. Will this Balkans war spread? I don't know, I don't think so, but that doesn't mean I'm not worried.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: AlistairUK
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 08:09 AM

Ok, so Milo has offered a ceasefire and wants to go back to the table and talk this thing through, what do Britain and the US do (plus the rest of NATO I suppose)? They carry on bombing! Way to go.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 10:31 AM

Pete M

I am with you on the fact that the dictators are not monsters but people like you and me. I don't know if I agree about their motives. It is more about maintaining their own power than anything else. The point is though there should and must be a way, if we are not to continue to see scenes like these forever, of making THEM, rather than their people responsible for whatever actions they do take. It may make them think twice before taking that action.


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Subject: RE: Is anyone else as scared as I am?
From: AlistairUK
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 11:05 AM

Brazil actually was part of the peace keeping force in Rwanda last year (?)


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