By Charley Reese,
The Orlando Sentinel
April 20, 1999
In the fog of war propaganda, let us remember the facts. The North Atlantic
Treaty Organization is in the wrong.
NATO is in violation of the United Nations Charter, which forbids military
aggression against a sovereign state at peace with its neighbors. Yugoslavia
was at peace with its neighbors.
NATO is in violation of its own charter because it was supposed to be a
defensive alliance only. No attack was launched against any NATO country.
The United States, which has orchestrated this war against Yugoslavia, has
no legitimate vital, strategic or even marginal interests in the Balkans.
At the time the NATO attacks were launched, a total of about 2,000 people
-- both Serbs and Albanians -- had been killed during a two-year civil war
between the government and the Kosovo Liberation Army. To put that number into
perspective, about 18,000 Americans lose their lives to criminals in one
One of the most stupid statements being made in Washington by both
Republicans and Democrats is that attacking Yugoslavia was a mistake but that,
because it has already been done, the United States has to win.
This is stupid for a number of reasons. War is not a sport. What the people
making those statements are really saying is that it was wrong to begin
killing people and destroying their property but that, because we are doing
it, we have to keep on killing people and destroying more property. Second,
there is no way the United States can win. If it takes Kosovo away from Serbia
and gives it to the Albanians, then the Serbs will fight a guerrilla war to
get it back. Moreover, the Albanians very likely will fight to get NATO forces
out so they can pursue the goal of a greater Albania. Unless the United States
halts its aggression, it will create a fire that will burn well into the new
Finally, to say that Americans and Serbs must die in order to salvage the
reputation of President Clinton's incompetent foreign-policy team is
obscene. The reputations of Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright aren't worth
the life of a rat, much less the life of an American or a Serbian man or
In an age of lies, it is always best to look at actions rather than words,
and the meaning of NATO's actions includes the following:
By expanding the alliance and immediately launching an offensive war
against a sovereign nation, NATO has shown that its purpose is to be a weapon
to enforce U.S. domination of Eastern Europe.
There were, in fact, no negotiations with Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was told:
You will turn Kosovo over to the Albanians; you will accept occupation of your
territory by foreign military forces; or you will get bombed. The Yugoslav
leader had no choice but to reject the NATO demands. This cannot be blamed on
the current leader, Slobodan Milosevic. Any Yugoslav president would have been
forced to reject the dictate.
The consequences will be serious. This war has already precluded the chance
of any pro-Western person being elected in Russia. Russia, in this case, is on
the high moral ground and rightly sees the NATO aggression as a potential
threat to it. Ukraine and Belarus, which had given up nuclear weapons, are
both now reconsidering the issue. Russia and China have even more reason to
establish close military ties.
The United Nations, like its predecessor, is a dead issue. The old League
of Nations died when it did nothing to help Ethiopia, which had been invaded
by fascist Italy. Now the United Nations has done nothing to help the Serbs,
who have been attacked by NATO.
Clinton has poisoned the future. People who said character doesn't matter