Editorial: End NATO's war

MILITARY experts, Politicians and other so-called experts are putting forward many different versions of the aims of Nato's murderous war against Yugoslavia.

Despite the fact that Kosovo has been a part of historic Serbia, they arrogantly talk of: The partitioning of Kosovo; the introduction of Nato ground troops; even more devastating bombing raids; the setting up of a separate state of Kosovo; a Nato protectorate for Kosovo and some think the whole war is utter folly and extremely dangerous.

Either the leaders of Nato have no idea what they are doing or the United States has not yet passed on the next page of the hymn sheet to its coat-tailing allies.

What is abundantly clear is that the original stated aim of the war -- to help the Kosovan Albanians -- has only succeeded in bringing terrible suffering to all the people of Yugoslavia, including those living in Kosovo. The relentless air attacks of the past week have benefited no one -- except, of course, the leading weapons manufacturers in the US.

The air raids have been followed by a stream of refugees. It is not surprising that the devastation of night-upon-night and now round-the-clock bombing should lead to widespread homelessness and fear. Yet, this obvious fact is being denied by western propagandists who want to put all the blame on the Belgrade government in order to justify even further attacks.

Of course, it is undoubtedly true that fighting is taking place in Kosovo between Yugoslav forces and the Western-backed Kosovan Liberation Army. And since the KLA has been encouraged and armed by the Western powers it is reasonable for the Yugoslav government to regard the KLA as de facto Nato ground troops.

The prostitutes of the capitalist media have maintained a daily barrage of horror stories from Kosovo. They relate harrowing stories of Kosovan men being shot by Yugoslav troops -- there is no suggestion that many of these men were almost certainly KLA fighters or that the KLA has been operating from Kosovan villages and effectively using the Kosovan people as human shields.

Nor do we hear of the Serbian victims of the KLA or indeed the Kosovans killed by the KLA because they do not support the separatist cause.

And what of the wider implications of this war? Is it now part of Nato's remit to intervene wherever it chooses in separatist struggles by taking military action against sovereign states on behalf of minorities seeking to break away?

This appalling development, which must be vigorously challenged, exposes Nato for what it is and what it has always been -- the military arm of western capitalism. Fifty years ago when Nato was founded this meant being the launch pad of the Cold War. Today it means waging war on behalf of western big business and in pursuit of US imperialism's strategic and political aims.

One thing is certain -- Nato's war has nothing to do with humanitarian concerns. If that was the case the longstanding suffering of the dispossessed Palestinians would be of concern... The treatment of the Kurds in Turkey would be of concern.

And who are the leading forces of Nato to sit in moral judgement anyway?

Was it not the US that drowned Vietnam in Napalm and Agent Orange, who backed Pinochet in Chile and the Contras in central America, who supported Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto and the Shah of Iran? Was it not the Western powers who bombed Baghdad, imposed sanctions on country after country? Was it not the US who invaded Panama, Grenada and Somalia and waged war on the people of Korea, Vietnam and Laos? And was it not the US who first developed and used the atomic bomb?

Millions of people around the world are not impressed by these credentials and are demonstrating against this barbarous war on Yugoslavia.

There is such widespread international opposition to Nato's murderous war that the United States and its British lackeys didn't even try to get approval from the United Nations. They knew they would be rebuffed by the General Assembly and they knew they'd come up against opposition on the Security Council.

And so the UN, which was the favoured vehicle for imperialist bullyingin the years immediately following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, has been pushed aside -- Nato is now the main means of big power aggression and war.

There is even disquiet within the Nato alliance -- both Greece and Italy have expressed concern at the bombing of a sovereign state which has not threatened any other country.

We need to step up the pressure on our own government to end this war now -- join the protests, NO TO NATO MURDER! STOP THE WAR!

Halt NATO's Balkan war

by Andy Brooks

NATO LEADERS have ordered all-out bombing of Yugoslavia as the war in the Balkans enters its second week. Russian premier Yevgeny Primakov has returned to Moscow empty-handed after the West spurned his mediation efforts. And Yugoslavia remains defiant in the face of waves of missile attacks and air-raids by the US air-force and the RAF.

Nato generals now admit that they've failed to smash the Yugoslav defences. Western politicians now talk of the need for a ground invasion. Russia has ordered part of its Black Sea Fleet back into the Eastern Mediterranean and all over the world there are growing protests at imperialism's new war in Europe.

In Yugoslavia the people are rallying behind their leadership defying the bombing to demonstrate their defiance in Belgrade and their solidarity with the armed forces defending their skies and their independence.

Yugoslav air-defence units claim to have downed seven Western warplanes and three helicopters. The Americans admit only to the loss of one of their Stealth fighters -- and then only after the wreckage was shown to the media.

In the Yugoslav province of Kosovo the federal army has gone on the offensive routing the Nato auxiliaries of the «Kosovo Liberation Army». And there, thousands of civilians are fleeing to safety in Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

Russian and Chinese calls for a cease-fire at the UN Security Council were blocked by America, Britain, France and their allies. And hopes for an early end to the war were dashed this week when Russian premier Yevgeny Primakov was given the brush-off in Bonn when he tabled Yugoslav peace feelers to the German leadership and the rest of the Atlantic Alliance.

Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevich told the Russians that he was ready to reduce the number of troops in Kosovo in return for an end to the bombing, the evacuation of the Nato force in Macedonia and the end to Nato support to the Kosovan rebels. «We are ready to defend our country to the very end,» Milosevich warned. «It is not the first time Yugoslavia has had to defend itself and its right to sovereignty, territorial integrity and national pride,».

The West's answer was to step up the bombing which the Russians say has claimed over a thousand lives already, dismissing the Yugoslav offer as falling «far short of what must be done» to end the fighting. In Washington President Clinton seems determined to escalate with the slavish backing of Tony Blair and the Germans. But fear of a widening regional war is stretching the loyalty of some of America's other allies. Greece is calling for negotiations and Italy's communist bloc in parliament is threatening to pull the rug from under the Democratic Left coalition unless the government moves to try and stop the bombing.

But only mass pressure from the peace movement in Europe and across the world can stop the Balkan war. In Britain some Labour MPs including the veteran Tony Benn and George Galloway are speaking out. Labour peer, Hugh Jenkins, resigned the Labour Whip in the Lords in protest at what he called the «criminal barbarity» of the bombing.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond broke the ruling class consensus in a television address when he condemned the bombing as counter-productive, and said it was an action of dubious legality and «unpardonable folly «. And even some Tories are breaking ranks to speak out against the madness.

More and more people in Britain must be speak out against the war. It can and must he stopped.

Join the 24-hour picket outside Downing St. Mass pickets every night from 6.00 -- 7.30pm

Thu, 1 Apr 1999 19:02:38 +0100 (BST)
From: New Worker Online
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