LOUD AND CLEAR
The war is Yugoslavia has caused a worldwide debate. The following are brief excerpts of opinion pieces published during the past six weeks. All were translated from the original by the U.S. government's Foreign Broadcast Information Service.
From a May 17 commentary by Ernesto Galli della Loggia in Corriere della Sera (Milan):
It is being said on many sides that the Old Continent was too acquiescent to the United States in giving its go-ahead to the anti-Serbian intervention; that the military action has been characterized by an excessively absolute, and excessively unchallenged, U.S. leadership. This may be so. But let us say this clearly and resolutely: The remedy to our indulgent weakness is to become strong, not to sneak off when it suits us to do so. . . .
The extraordinary U.S. role is only the other side to Europe's now historical impotence, of its lack of a foreign policy and a military policy. It is on this basis--that is, proceeding from the desire to remedy this impotence--that, when the time comes, it will be worth engaging in the real, and necessary, dispute with the United States, perhaps even sharply. To do so before then, to do so now, would be tantamount merely to helping Milosevic win.
From a May 12 editorial in Dainik Jagran (New Delhi):
The active protest that China has conveyed to the United States against NATO's attack on its embassy in Yugoslavia is the right course which can curb the U.S. president's superciliousness. The reprehensible attack on Yugoslavia smacks of the imperialistic designs of the United States, which can't be checked by keeping mum. These U.S. leaders must be told that what they are doing is not right. . . .
As a matter of fact, at the moment the United States is indulging in the grossest possible violation of human rights. The attack launched by it on Yugoslavia, and particularly on Kosovo, is the most appalling violation of human rights, whether the United States accepts it or not.
From a May 11 commentary by Eduardo Dimas on Radio Rebelde (Havana):
Yesterday, an individual stopped me in the street to tell me that he had heard enough about Yugoslavia, that the issue was already tiresome, and that the United States and NATO were definitely going to do whatever they please around the world. Fortunately, very few people think like that. One can see. . . they have no notion of of the meaning of this aggression, whose pretext is to save Kosovar Albanians from an alleged ethnic cleansing by using force. . . .
In other words, it is a matter of preventing a crime by resorting to an even worse crime. In order to do so, the entire economic infrastructure of a country is being destroyed, and the, quote, regrettable mistakes, unquote, of aviation are leaving dead and injured civilians behind. Such a pretext is an insult to the intelligence of any normal human being, including the one who told me that he was tired of listening to others talk about Yugoslavia.
From a May 19 commentary by Ruediger Rossig in Die Tageszeitung (Berlin):
The question of what a combat operation by German soldiers in the Balkans means to people there appears to be getting lost in this context. As a reminder: On 6 April, 1941, the German Luftwaffe attacked Belgrade without warning. More people died then than in the bombings of Warsaw, Coventry and Rotterdam combined. In the fall of that same year, German soldiers murdered 4,000 people in one day in Kraljevo and Kragujevac--100 civilians in "retribution" for every fallen German soldier. . . .
In view of this past history, it ought to be clear that any participation by the Bundeswehr in NATO combat operations in Serbia would damage the peace. . . The sight of German uniforms recalls a collective trauma among many Yugoslavs--which could cause many Serbs to close ranks with a regime which many of them had previously questioned. . . .
From an April 15 commentary by Rida Muhammad Lira in Al-Jazirah (Riyadh):
Clearly Moscow and Belgrade do not know the history of wars when they plainly confuse the causes of the war with its results. The causes of war are usually trivial and escalate through stubbornness until an armed clash breaks out. The results of the war are brought about by the course of the fighting and the losses in lives and assets, thus entrenching the enmity between the belligerents in a manner that imposes radical results that are much greater than the causes that led to the war.
This fact makes it impossible for Belgrade to end the war just by signing the document on autonomy for Kosovo which it had [earlier] refused to sign. Radical changes have to occur in the Belgrade regime whereby politicians are removed from office, the dictatorship is abolished and replaced by a democracy and thus a balance is achieved within the state. . . .
I call on NATO today to get rid of Slobodan Milosevic in the war it is now waging against the Belgrade regime--to completely eliminate one of the bastions of dictatorial rule in the world. . . .
From a May 19 commentary by Gojko Beric in Oslobodjenje (Sarajevo):
Was it necessary to bomb Serbia almost to the point of complete destruction? An American, an Englishman or a Pole will instantly speak his mind about it. Sarajevans are in a much more delicate position there. Emotions accumulated after the long-lasting siege [here] are still strong, so altruism toward one's own tormentor could sound utterly unnatural. However, desire for revenge is nothing else but a continuation of crime. That is why reactions of Sarajevans most often end in an attempt to find a vague midpoint between these two extremes. . . .
Many people are prone to make comparisons between the present-day Serbia and defeated Hitler's Germany. Germany was cured of Nazism by the occupation of the Allies and German economic wonder, so it is being believed that a similar recipe could cure Serbia of xenophobia and nationalism. I do not know for how long we will be seeing off the planes going against Serbia. But if in the end Milosevic's regime does not suffer defeat and occupation, I cannot see who will be the one to save the Serbs from their own selves.
CAPTION: Tom; Trouw; Amsterdam, Netherlands
CAPTION: Cherepanov; Krokodil; Moscow, Russia
CAPTION: Komarnitski; Sega; Sofia, Bulgaria