Europe's Prime Ministers should step down for Kosovo
As we are getting into the 3rd week of the
NATO air strikes on Kosovo and the accelerated ethnic cleansing and genocide
by the Milosevic regime, it becomes increasingly clear that the NATO political
leaders have made a serious error of judgment. When the horrors of Auschwitz
came into the open in 1945, a shocked world proclaimed that this was never
to happen again: And now in 1999, babies are being born and dying immediately
in the refugee camping grounds along the Macedonian and Albanian borders,
and we find that it is happening again. Our political body is failing
As the military tells us that it takes three months to build up a proper force, the decision to do so should have been taken around January 1 1999. At that time the American President was involved with the Senate hearings on the Monica Lewinsky affair, and we may presume that American leadership on Kosovo was lacking. But this does not mean that European leaders are excused. On the contrary, we should expect them to fill the gap.
Incompetent or cynical and cruel
It will be proper that, as the European leaders step down,
our Parliaments indeed verify the situation of incomptence or cruel cynicism.
There will be ample documents and witnesses in the policy making process
to allow Parliaments to determine how the decisions were actually taken.
People will be shocked to hear about what went on, but, our leaders already
have shown themselves to be what they are, and we will be much better off
when we can determine where things went wrong.
One European Union
Though not intended for this, the stepping down of the
European leaders will also be a signal to Russia that Europe is taking
its responsibility seriously. One can only expect that this signal will
be greatly welcomed, and that it will ease tensions here too.
Mr. Milosevic is a former communist who turned to nationalism and religion in order to remain in power when the communist regimes in the world started falling down. He and his regime are responsible for hideous crimes in Kroatia, Bosnia, and now in Kosovo. President Yeltsin and his prime minister and former KGB chief Primakov will understand the psychology and political meaning of this, and will understand that such a scenario will eventually not be successful - not even for Russia itself (!). This is also an analysis that has to be clarified to the Serbian population, and it would be advisable that the Russians take part in this explanation. The memoirs of Milovan Djilas, a former comrade and later victim of Tito, will now do great service to his former Yugoslavian people. It is urgent that our planes drop books and information leaflets and connection cables for the internet rather than bombs.
A co-operative future
Rather than NATO, one would hope that a wider international force would police the area. But obviously, Europe cannot rely on either Russia or America to make sure that the Milosevic regime goes. Allied forces will have to target their attack to precisely that goal, even if this means a heavy build up of troops to secure the less relevant areas. (*) Of course, such decisions will have to be taken by our new leaders, and we can only hope that these will be wiser and more truthful and courageous.
Trying times call for better servants.
|(*) Note April 19 1999: It does not help to demonise people, of course. One has to balance the benefits and costs. The position of Saddam Hussein is a similar case. As the dissertation of Peter van Bergeijk argues, boycots or sanctions seldom help, and hit on the people instead of the regime. People who struggle for survival don't have the time and energy for opposition. Thus, the line about the heavy build up of forces does not directly mean an all-out attack on Belgrade or a rekindling of mountain wars against partisans, as currently suggested in the media. It means that a heavy build up of forces around the Yugoslavian borders may be required to restore the current credibility gap. Go to the suggestion of a settlement.|