LondonNet Comment over NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia. Part of LondonNet's feature on the Kosovo problem


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NATO Attacks Serbia:
LondonNet Comment

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A Blunder Too Far Takes us to The Brink

When this crazy war started 47 days ago we were led to believe that it would be short and sharp. Miracle smart bombs would rain down from the sky and President Milosevic would see the error of his ways and return on his knees to the negotiating table.

Ha, ha bloody ha ha.

Anyone with an ounce of sense knew that this misjudged mission was doomed from the start. What few realised then was just how far it would push the world to the brink of a global war. Only the continuing incompetence of a blundering military machine such as NATO's could have facilitated such a breakdown of the 'new world order' in such a haphazard fashion.

We have long heard of how the Warsaw Pact countries of old could never really muster a full scale assault on the West. For all the Cold War talk of the the Communist threat, in reality their aged machinery could do little but maintain a stand-off in the arms race they entered with their bullish western foes.

What no one told us was how inadequate our own military preparations were. It is now clear Western countries have created the most expensive folly of our time: NATO. Trillions of dollars of defence spending mean little when those who head up this monstrosity show the morality of a hyena and the sense of geography of a lemming.

Really, forget spy satellites and field agents didn't anyone think to check Belgrade's A to Z or the local phone book before targeting the embassy representing a quarter of the world's population.

Ever ones to deflect responsibility, those jesters at Brussels NATO HQ must surely be trying on one joke too far if they expect us to believe that their mis-targeting was a result of bad information from a Serb double-agent. This from the same military force whose map reading skills led to the bombing of the wrong city, in the wrong country when a bomb hit Sofia, Bulgaria on April 29.

So forget such weak-kneed propaganda and instead pose yourself this question following the bombing of the Chinese Embassy, Belgrade. Short of pressing the red button can anyone think of a quicker way to precipitate a nuclear crisis?

Freedom is Early Casualty in NATO's Pursuit of Victory

Long ago before the advent of television, war artists would record scenes of battles for posterity. Then came war reporting with film cameras - newsreel style. Whether showing Allies, NAZIs or the Red Army these were delivered to an anxious public with scenes cut, edited and stylised to maximum propaganda effect.

With TV came a clear picture of the horror of war, in an instant. This was most evident in the roller coaster ride that was Vietnam. In subsequent conflicts, such as The Falklands and The Gulf, military leaders manipulated and controlled images in an attempt to produce films which fused the propaganda purpose of the NAZI flicks with the flamboyant imagery of Top Gun.

Now the world's leading military forces, masquerading under the auspices of NATO, have gone one step further in the rush to control what ordinary citizens see. They now not only want to dictate and supervise images delivered to their own people but also those shown to the enemy.

Indeed NATO's leaders say that they won't stop bombing Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro until their TV shows are broadcast on all Yugoslav channels.

It is easy to guess how many fingers the Yugoslavs will use in response to this latest and most strange NATO request. For if anything is likely to stiffen the resolve of Yugoslavia's war weary folk it is the prospect of wall to wall CNN (read Compliant NATO News) interrupted only with ancient episodes of Dallas.

If this war really is about freedom, let us consider what freedoms we ourselves, and others, are asked to sacrifice in pursuit of victory.

A Special Message From the Publishers of LondonNet

LondonNet abhors the violence carried out in the name of NATO and the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic. While we criticise the beligerance and aggression of both warring parties none of us can ignore that this is not just a political but also a humanitarian problem.

To this end we support the collection of charities listed on our Kosovo Appeal page in their efforts to ease the pain and sufferring of Kosovo's refugees. In turn we ask that you show your support by contacting the Appeal and offer your help too. (7/4/99)

Bomber Blair's Third Way

On entering office the UK's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook promised an 'ethical foreign policy'. Instead we have witnessed the most bloodthirsty administration since the gung-ho Winston Churchill era. Difference was in those days our own soil was actually threatened.

But it is not just the British centre-left that has taken to the machismo of war. In Germany too the recently elected Red-Green coalition supports the war. French and Italian socialist governments also back the action. A nationalist Russia stands alone in refusing to join the bloodbath...yet.

Predictably both sides in this conflict blame each other for the unfolding humanitarian disaster. What is clear is that the number of refugees, according to NATO's own figures, have increased dramatically since the outbreak of Allied bombing.

In the face of such suffering and conciliatory moves from the Serbs one might imagine that the West would draw a deep breath and reconsider its disastrous policy of blitzkrieg diplomacy.

Not a bit of it. Instead we now hear talk of 'Phase Three'. After 'Phase One' - attacks on air defence systems and 'Phase Two' - attacks on Serb ground forces, it now seems we really will witness Bomber Blair's oft trumpeted Third Way. This however will be more of a Third Wave. Attacks on Serbian infrastructure and economic targets is the army parlance. All out, senseless, counterproductive willy wagging is what we call it.

Before NATO launched its 'smart' hardware last week there was a huge problem in the Balkan region. In just seven days these military whizzkids have managed to create the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two and the biggest freeze in East-West relations since the thawing of the Cold War.

Nice work NATO. Great to know the world's security rests in such responsible and capable hands.

The ultimate fly-on-the-wall doc

Hey-Ho, Off to war we go! Those insatiable playground bullies, Bill Clinton and his side kick Tony Blair, are at it again.

Fresh from a series of 'successful raids' on Iraq - where has that got you Bill and Tony? - our armed forces are once more at the dirty end of TV fuelled popular politics. With recent casualties so minimal even our brave pilots and servicemen can be forgiven for savouring their appearance in the ultimate fly-on-the-wall documentary: War.

However, leave aside the jazzed up nightly news bulletins replete with fire and brimstone, what will these spats really prove? If the overall objective really is peace can Bill and Tony point us to where their 'means justify the ends' ideology ends? Hey, if the latest Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland fails can we expect smart cruise missiles to be heading up the trousers of targeted Loyalist and Nationalist 'foot soldiers'?

Of course not, because these PR based war-jaunts only work 'over there'. Out of sight really is out of mind. If you can't point to it on the map should you really cry yourself to sleep every night. No one over here will that's for sure.

But yes there will be cries. Cries from women and children in the streets of Yugoslavia, that's where.

This latest folly has the added danger of stirring the great Russian bear. Sooner or later this injured, yet still powerful, beast may intervene to protect the interests of its fellow Slavs. At this point Bill and Tony's foreign policy of "if you don't do as we say, we'll bomb the hell out of you" comes a cropper.

For when two gangs of bullies meet face to face what's left is just a bloody mess. However a long term peace can only be won by nothing short of a fully consensual political agreement.

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