"NATO's unwise, counterproductive and non-legal bombing of
sovereign Yugoslavia is justified by President Bill Clinton, EU and other Western leaders
and media with reference to humanitarian concerns. Supposedly air strikes serve to stop
ethnic cleansing, future massacres, refugee flows, and prevent innocent children and women
from being killed. Diplomatically expressed, this comes from the marketing department.
Bombings will to produce what it purports to prevent," says Dr. Jan Oberg, TFF's
director, right after the bombing campaign has started. According to Oberg, this argument
lacks credibility for the following reasons:
Why did the West do absolutely nothing before this crisis became violent? There were
many opportunities for a negotiated solutions. TFF, for instance, has suggested a variety
of options since 1992 that could have prevented violence and the killing we've seen the
last year. In no other conflict has there been so many early warnings and so little
preventive diplomacy. Kosovo's catastrophe was among the most predictable of all. It is
intellectual nonsense that 'everything else has been tried and NATO bombings was the only
HUMANITARIAN WORK MADE IMPOSSIBLE BY NATO THREATS
The immediate consequence of the threats of NATO air strikes is that OSCE's
Verification mission had to be withdrawn and that almost all humanitarian organizations
withdrew to protect their staff. More refugees are now running over the border to
Macedonia. With fewer ears and eyes on the ground, its free for all sides - NATO included
- to step up the killing.
THIS WILL MAKE SERBS AND ALBANIANS HATE EACH OTHER (MORE)
NATO bombings will be perceived as a punishment of Serbs and a clear support to
Albanian hardliners. Serbs will feel that it was the Albanian side that called this hell
upon them. Thus, the little hope we may have had about Serbs and Albanians living peaceful
together or as trustful neighbours in the foreseeable future, is now gone. Producing hate
is the opposite of a humanitarian effort.
MANY MORE DIE IN OTHER CONFLICTS, WITH NO HUMANITARIAN CONCERN?
The Kosovo war has caused the death of about 2.000 people during the last year. This
is serious, every human life is sacred. However, the international community has chosen
NOT to intervene in the following when: 80.000 have been killed in Algeria; perhaps 10.000
in the Ethiopian-Eritrean war the last couple of weeks; 820,000 in Rwanda the last five
years; 1.500,000 in Sudan the last 15 years; more than 1 million people have died because
of the Western sanctions against the Iraqi people; perhaps as many as 500,000 have died in
Burma since 1948.
THE WORLD'S REAL HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS ARE NOT ADDRESSED
An estimated 100.000 people's die PER DAY, around the world - not in wars but because
they lack the most basic such as water, clothes, shelter, food, medicine. 100 mill people
have no home; there are already some 40 million refugees; 70 Third World countries have
lower standards of living today than 30 years ago; at least 800 million people go hungry
to bed. In money terms, a fraction of the world's military expenditures could alleviate
most of that suffering.
THERE IS ALWAYS MONEY FOR WEAPONS BUT NOT FOR HUMAN BEINGS
The world's military expenditures - NATO making up most of it - equals the combined
income of the 50% poorest of the world's population. Pentagon alone spends 20 times more
than the entire budget of the United Nations. And the UN - the world's most important
humanitarian organization - is completely ignored in the Kosovo conflict and, these very
days, forced out of Macedonia. When will the media begin to ask what this type of
'peace'-making costs - and what we could do in terms of real relief and peace for a
THERE HAVE LONG BEEN LARGER HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS IN YUGOSLAVIA
250.000 citizens are now displaced inside Kosovo or refugees in Macedonia - about 10%
of the Kosovo-Serbs and 10% of the Kosovo-Albanians. They certainly need help. But so do
the 650.000 mostly Serb refugees (according to UNHCR) who have fled from Croatia, Bosnia
and elsewhere during the dissolution of ex-Yugoslavia, about half of them ethnically
cleansed from Croatia in 1995. from Croatia. It's Europe's largest refugee problem -
largely going unnoticed.
SANCTIONS CREATE HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS
Why has the West upheld various types of sanctions against the people of Yugoslavia
since 1991? The majority of citizens suffer one way or the other from that, not the least
the sick and the pensioners. They and everybody else will stand behind President Milosevic
in this crisis.
IS THIS RHETORIC AIMED TO CONVINCED WOMEN?
All the 'soft' humanitarian coating of this type of militarist policies is probably an
attempt to convince women, soldiers' and pilots' wives and mothers and the general do-good
sentiment in the American public. But will they still believe this when the casualty
Says Dr. Oberg: "Our thoughts go to all friends and colleagues of the foundation,
Serbs, Albanians, Macedonians and others in all of the region, innocent good-hearted
people who are again to pay the price for 'politics' and power game by their own leaders
and the international community's leaders. Citizens in NATO countries were not heard
either. Thus, I draw the following conclusion about this type of B-52
humanitarianism," says Dr. Oberg:
1) Humanitarian concerns is the rhetoric of the smiling Western crocodile. It is either
deliberate misinformation or a view based on incomplete analysis. There IS no global
political will to do something about humanitarian problems where they really exist.
2) In Kosovo, we risk blowing up a low-casualty war to become a major war and creating
a tenfold larger humanitarian catastrophe.
3) It seems the only humanitarian problems in which there is a political will to do
something are those which seem fit for 'NATO treatment' - in short, it is faked.
4) What a wonderful world it would be if the world's most powerful nation, its
president and its allies WERE determined TO DO SOMETHING to alleviate suffering around the
5) Now the combination of their limited creativity, their unlimited cocksureness and
overwhelming military power threatens to only INCREASE the world's humanitarian
© TFF 1999