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Resolution of the new Council of the Greek Mathematical Society RESOLUTION The Council of the Greek Mathematical Society representing the Greek Mathematical Community express their anger at the NATO attack on Yougoslavia which has resulted in a number of victims among non-combatants, women and children. The Greek mathematicians express their opposition to any attempt of changing the borders in the Balkans through war, since such an action will have unpredictable consequences for the Balkan people. We firmly believe that the differences between people must be resolved at the political level by negotiations and not by the force of weapons. We call upon NATO to immediately stop the use of this inhuman operation and on the international community to work out a fair solution of the problem. Athens, 26 March 1999 The President The Secretary General Professor Nickolas Alexandris Mr Ioannis Tirlis
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:48:57 -0800 From: Vicente Morales To: Subject: I am ashamed [The following text is in the "iso-8859-2" character set] [Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set] [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly] My name is Vicente Morales. I am a professor of Mathematics of Finance at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) and I really think that is really a shame that an spanish scientist (Solana) be the one who has decided the bombing. I am simpathetic with you. I don't like ethnic cleansing but I also think that bombing innocent people with the last sophisticated missiles is still quite worse. Take care Vicente Morales
Subject: Letter from Belgrade (Zoran Markovic) Dear friends, when we were young, we thought that scientists should be the conscience of the world. It is in the hope that at least some of this feeling still exists, that I am writting this letter. B E L G R A D E I S B E I N G B O M B E D ! Is this the begining of the 21th. century? Why is this being done? I will not try to give any defense of Serbs. After seven years of systematic defamation, this is an enormous task. So let us assume that everything you read about Serbs is true. But how exceptional this is? How many similar or worse stories have you seen in the last week, month or year, well or less well reported? Incidentaly, have you heard anything lately about the human rights of Kurds in Turkey. But Turkey is not being bombed - it is bombing, together with its 9 NATO allies, the Yugoslavia. So, assuming everything you read about Serbs is true, ask yourself what stupendous and unprecedented thing has Yugoslavia done to make NATO countries: 1. violate NATO charter 2. violate UN charter 3. violate their own Constitutions? Or is it about Serbs and Albanians at all? Is it not maybe about THE PRECEDENT. I hope you are aware that as of March 24, 1999 NATO has established its right to bomb whom-ever and when-ever it deems necessary, without any regard for international law or legal systems of its member countries (not to speak abut the laws of other, non-member countries). Do you know which people formaly made this decision? Did you vote for any one of them, or can you vote them out of the office? Can the people of your country have any influence on them? Think about this. Or hope that NATO will be very prudent in the future and bomb only properly defamed countries which resist the New World Order. These questions are, I believe, for everyone. The New World Order has shown its real face. How do you like it? How will you like to have your destiny determined by people you cannot vote for (or against)? After all, Madlena Olbright has openly stated that sovereignty of states is a thing of the past. Did anyone notice any public consternation over this remake of Brezhniev's Doctrine of limited sovereignty? At the end, I would like to make a personal (selfish?) plea. The way this conflict is developing, I am afraid it can end only with the third (and final, this time) genocide of Serbs in this century. On the one hand, one of the main reasons given for bombing was that NATO had to keep its credibility. As the results of the bombing are less than zero, it will have to keep bombing even more (remember American generals in Vietnam:"if only politicians would allow us to use sufficient force..."). Any reasonable person will say that Serbs have to surrender and accept American demands. Unfortunately, there is almost no chance for this. I will just mention three events from Serbian history. 1.The most revered Serbian folk hero is King Lazar. Medieval Serbia had much more prominent, powerfull and successful rulers. King Lazar's claim for fame among Serbs consists in the following: he refused the offer by Turkish Sultan Murat to become his vassal (a sort of "Partnership for Peace") and instead took the complete Serbian army into the battle with far superior Turkish army, in Kosovo field 610 years ago. The result was that almost all Serbian nobleman were killed including King Lazar. Sultan Murat was also killed and Turkish army had to withdraw, but they came back some years later and occupied Serbia for centuries. Still, King Lazar is revered as a saint. 2.In 1914, after the assasination of Austrian archduke in Sarajevo, Austria issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Even though it was clear that Austria was looking just for some excuse, Serbian government accepted all demands but one: that Austrian police investigates the assasination on Serbian teritory. This is considered by Serbs as one of the great moments in their history although as a result Serbia lost one third of its population (over 50% of men fit for military service). 3.On March 25 of 1941,Yugoslav government signed a treaty with Hitler which was more favorable than the "agreement" offered by Clinton administration in February of 1999. For one thing, there was no German troops to be stationed in Yugoslavia. Actually, even the transport of German troops through Yugoslav teritory was forbiden, but this was a secret clause. Considering this a treason of WW1 allies, Serbs took to the streets on March 27 and overthrew the government. As a result, Nazis bombed Belgrade on April 6 and invaded the country and Serbs suffered enormous losses then and also in huge resistance movement. Also, hundreds of thousands Serbs were exterminated in Croatia and Bosnia by so called "Independent State of Croatia" and in Kosovo by Greater Albania - states created by the New World Order of the day. Still, Serbs consider March 27 of 1941 one of the greatest moments in their history, and actually to this date there is a dispute between left and right over who contributed more. So what do you do with such nation? Is it ripe for the Final Solution? Is it not a major obstacle to progres? The Ministry of Truth is on the verge of proclaiming that only dead Serb is a good Serb (I saw some statements which are just a step away). If you are not ready to believe in this, please try to do something to stop this NATO massacre. Zoran Markovic Belgrade, March 27-28 P.S.I have been writting this during air raid warning. Few minutes ago there were several explosions. Yesterday, Yugoslav defense downed several NATO planes, so as a punishment for this aggressive behavior, they decided to keep up the attaks all night, with several short brakes. As a true Serb, I refuse to go to shelter, because I may be killed but will not be intimidated by these people. This is not all that brave as it may sound, since up to now they bombed only the suburbs and I live in the center. I also want to finish this since, I donnt know if and when they would cut us off from Internet.
From Tue Mar 30 12:52:05 1999 Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:22:28 +0200 From: Aleksandar Lipkovski Dear colleague / friend, as you know, my country has been brutally attacked by NATO forces. While I am writing this letter at my home in Belgrade, I hear jets flying over our houses and bombs exploding in my neighborhood. The "justification" of this insane act of aggression by politicians in the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany with the so-called "humanitarian catastrophe" and "ethnic cleansing" is undoubtedly wrong and without reasonable confirmation from the ground. It is also based on the wrong premises that "they are not attacking Serbian people, they are attacking the government forces and president Milosevic". I want to assure you, that they are indeed attacking the Serbian people. The conflict in Kosovo and Metohija is much more complicated than the western politicians' explanations say. I have a lot of friends here, none of them being Milosevic's political supporter (including myself), however we all support our country's policy concerning the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija. In fact, there has been maximal unity and consensus within our nation, including all political parties, concerning this matter. We are at the state of war and we are determined to withstand the pressure of NATO forces. Please, take it very seriously. If you are interested in getting another point of view of the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija, I would be glad to send you materials from various sources (I'll put you on our mailing list). You will find two of these attached to this letter. You may freely distribute it, in order to influence some other peoples' opinions. If, however, you are satisfied with the information you get from your usual information source (e.g. CNN and Sky news) and you don't want to receive such messages, please let me know by e-mail. Sincerely yours, Aleksandar Lipkovski associate professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade researcher at the Mathematical Institute, Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
Dear Prof. Lipkovski, I obtained your email address from a letter forwarded to me by Prof. Vyacheslav Shokurov of Johns Hopkins mathematics department. I used one of the website addresses in your letter to access several articles by (mostly) westerners about the present situation in Serbia and Kosovo which cast serious doubt on the allegations on which the present NATO bombing campaign is supposedly based. I feel this action is most unjust and feel sorry for you as its victims. Our government is not honest in its claims. As I have implied, I have read several letters and articles, including a Boston Globe editorial on the present situation. These tell a very different story from what we are told by our mass media - whom I suspect of not being honest, either. Best regards, Walter Baily University of Chicago
Dear colleagues of Yugoslavia, I have well received your appeal from Belgrade and I want to assure you that, inside the mathematical community, we are numerous to think that NATO assault against the RFY is a terrific, a tremendous howler ! Immediately after the beginning of the bombing, I sent to the french Prime Minister Mr Jospin the following letter : Monsieur le Premier Ministre, Les bombardements de l'OTAN en cours sur la Yougoslavie sont insensés et se retourneront à terme contre leurs auteurs. Sous couvert d'intervention humanitaire, le gouvernement américain poursuit en réalite un tout autre but : affaiblir un peu plus encore la Russie et son allié traditionnel, étendre l'influence des Etats-Unis en Europe orientale au travers de l'OTAN. Monsieur le Premier Ministre, vous qui êtes un véritable homme de gauche, vous qui avez montré par le passé votre indépendance d'esprit et votre clairvoyance, ne vous laissez pas entrainer dans cette aventure par des gens qui montrent tous les jours dans le monde (et notamment envers le peuple irakien) leur arrogance brutale et leur cynisme. Leurs prétendues valeurs ne sont pas les nôtres! Je vous en conjure, Monsieur le Premier Ministre, faites tout ce qui est en votre pouvoir pour sortir au plus vite la France de cette guerre qui ne fera qu'exacerber les passions nationalistes sur le terrain, déchainera la violence, et rendra plus difficile encore l'élaboration d'une solution politique. We do not forget the heroic struggle of the Yugoslavian people against Nazism during the World War. We do not forget the weight of History. With all my heart, I give you my ardent support : Courage ! Hold out ! -- -------------------------------------------------------------- Marc-Antoine COPPO Chargé de Recherche au CNRS Tel: Mel: --------------------------------------------------------------
To the Departments of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Belgrade Dear unknown Yugoslav Friends, I want to express my deep sorrow caused by the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, and express not only my total disagreement with this policy, but also my disgust with the one-sided propaganda that is aimed at misleading the public opinion in the West. It is particularly dangerous, in my opinion, to forget completely European history of this century, with its heavy load of human losses, and responsibilities hat could not be forgotten. I belong (being a Jew) to the people that can not forget that we are still indebted to the Serb and Montenegro peoples who fought the German nazism bravely and with terrible human losses; I can not forget the German responsibility in recent events, when they contributed to the explosion of Yugoslavia by encouraging all the extremist and separatist tendencies. And I remember that Albania was a crazy totalitarian state, one of the most miserable, until less than 10 years ago, while the Albanians in Kosovo could enjoy much better living standads and much more political liberties than in Albania itself. I believe that massive bombings against the cities, factories and little towns in a sovereign country, without any internationally recognised "casus belli" (which was not the case with Iraq !) does create a very dangerous precedent in Europe, - this is as it could be believed, from now on, that the United States can declare any other sovereign state "criminal", and pull the entire NATO pact into bombings and even total war. This can not be accepted by any means. I believe that the French government has been more or less forced by the complex alliances to take part in this action, which is a disproportionate and irresponsible way to influence the politics of other nations. I am firmly against this undeclared and illegal war, and I would express my solidarity with my Serbian colleagues that are suffering under the NATO bombings. Richard KERNER, Professor of Physics, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (University of Paris V) e-mail address:
James K. Galbraith LBJ School of Public Affairs The University of Texas at Austin Austin TX 78713 Subject: letter on Kosovo by Galbraith War is Hell General William Tecumseh Sherman had a complete legal right to repress the armed rebellion his armies encountered in Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. This right was based on the authority of the United States, to preserve the Union. That Sherman did so violently, that he waged war on civilians, seized property and burned houses, did not diminish this. Nor did it give England or France or anyone else any legal or moral standing to intervene in our Civil War. By what standard does the United States now claim legal or moral standing to prevent the Yugoslav National Army from repressing armed rebellion in Kosovo? In Bosnia, an independent country, we had a legal right to bomb. We were invited, by the government, to do so. And we also had a clear moral imperative; in fact, our intervention there came too late. Kosovo, on the other hand, never has been independent. That its population happens to be 90 percent ethnic Albanian, and now wants independence, is irrelevant. An ethnic enclave has no national rights, and cannot invite us to intervene on its side in a civil war. But has the war turned to something much graver, namely genocide? In Bosnia, Serb forces caused 200,000 civilian casualties in the first year of that war. That was genocide, directed mainly against Muslims by militias that wanted them off the land. In Kosovo after one year, there have been so far about two thousand casualties, about one percent as many. The Serb strategy in Kosovo is harsh. But it is not genocide, so far. NATO's case thus depends on the assertion that genocide would occur in the absence of our bombing. This would justify our actions -- if it were true. But what is the evidence? Have we intercepted plans, orders? If we had, Clinton and Albright would say so. They have not. Instead, they advert to what did happen in Bosnia, to crimes committed years ago, principally by Bosnian Serbs. And yet, that Bosnian Serb political entity, the Republika Srpksa, continues to exist because we protected it, in the Dayton Accords, from military defeat! As an explanation for our conduct in Kosovo today, this story does not parse. If we had evidence of genocide, or plans for genocide, then we could have sought international legal authority for our actions. The correct forum for this is the United Nations Security Council. The UN did give us the authority we needed to conduct, for instance, the Gulf War. But NATO did not seek such authority for Kosovo. Why not? Perhaps the evidence was not good enough. And so, perhaps, our true motive is different. Perhaps it reflects instead what is quite openly stated: our frustration that Yugoslavia would not agree to diktat on the matter of a Kosovo peace settlement. But why should it? Agreements, by definition, must be mutual. We have not sought, and certainly have not achieved, a settlement acceptable to Serbia as well as to the Albanian leaders of Kosovo. We have instead operated by threat, and agreements reached under threat of force are not valid in any event. In our dealings with Belgrade, we have flagrantly ignored this principle of international law and common sense. And so now we see the failure of diplomatic bluster. We see the failure of Richard Holbrooke's view that he personally could deal with Slobodan Milosevic by entreaty and threat. Having tried that route and failed, now "our" credibility is at stake. Are we at war for Holbrooke's vanity, at long last? Next question. Will the war work? The first-in-history successful achievement of a political objective by air power alone has not yet occurred. In this instance, signs are bad. After two days, the burning shops in Pristina and villages in the Kosovo countryside belonged to Albanians. Our air attacks have accelerated, not retarded, the Yugoslav military campaign. Our bombing cannot long remain confined to bloodless targets like airfields and TV towers. Eventually, we will have to send in the close-support jets, looking for jeeps and armored cars. At that point, two things will happen. First, some of our aircraft will get hit, by rifles and cannon and shoulder-fired missiles. And, second, even more civilians will get hurt. And then? Slobodan Milosevic thus has a clear strategy (while we do not). He can disperse his forces, hold his anti-aircraft fire, press his ground campaign, and wait for us to start killing civilians. Soon after, international public opinion and NATO itself will begin to crack. This is not, as it were, rocket science. Clinton, Albright and Holbrooke were seduced by the weird logic of "credible threat." They will pay a price in history, for discrediting NATO and for bringing ourselves, twenty-five years after Vietnam, back into disrepute. Our policy in Kosovo is not only wrong. It is not only illegal. It is also not very bright. It is like playing chess one move at a time, as they say in the Texas Lege. ------------- James K. Galbraith is, like WTS in 1860, a Yankee who teaches in the South. This essay will appear in the Texas Observer, and is copyright © 1999 by the Texas Democracy Foundation. Permission is granted to copy and circulate for any non-commercial purpose, provided the essay and this notice remain intact.
USI, New Delhi, April 6, 1999 THE FATAL FLAWS UNDERLYING NATO'S INTERVENTION IN YUGOSLAVIA By Lt Gen Satish Nambiar (Retd.) (First Force Commander and Head of Mission of the United Nations Forces deployed in the former Yugoslavia 03 Mar92 to 02 Mar 93. Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Indian Army. Currently, Director of the United Services Insitution of India.) My year long experience as the Force Commander and Head of Mission of the United Nations Forces deployed in the former Yugoslavia has given me an understanding of the fatal flaws of US/NATO policies in the troubled region. It was obvious to most people following events in the Balkans since the beginning of the decade, and particularly after the fighting that resulted in the emergence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, that Kosovo was a 'powder lessons from the previous wars and applied it to Kosovo. (1) Portraying the Serbs as evil and everybody else as good was not only counterproductive but also dishonest. According to my experience all sides were guilty but only the Serbs would admit that they were no angels while the others would insist that they were. With 28, 000 forces under me and with constant contacts with UNHCR and the International Red Cross officials, we did not witness any genocide beyond killings and massacres on all sides that are typical of such conflict conditions. I believe none of my successors and their forces saw anything on the scale claimed by the media. (2) It was obvious to me that if Slovenians, Croatians and Bosniaks had the right to secede from Yugoslavia, then the Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia had an equal right to secede. The experience of partitions in Ireland and India has not be pleasant but in the Yugoslavia case, the state had already been taken apart anyway. It made little sense to me that if multiethnic Yugoslavia was not tenable that multiethnic Bosnia could be made tenable. The former internal boundaries of Yugoslavia which had no validity under international law should have been redrawn when it was taken apart by the West, just as it was in the case of Ireland in 1921 and Punjab and Bengal in India in 1947. Failure to acknowledge this has led to the problem of Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia. (3) It is ironic that the Dayton Agreement on Bosnia was not fundamentally different from the Lisbon Plan drawn up by Portuguese Foreign Minister Cuteliero and British representative Lord Carrington to which all three sides had agreed before any killings had taken place, or even the Vance-Owen Plan which Karadzic was willing to sign. One of the main problems was that there was an unwillingness on the part of the American administration to concede that Serbs had legitimate grievances and rights. I recall State Department official George Kenny turning up like all other American officials, spewing condemnations of the Serbs for aggression and genocide. I offered to give him an escort and to go see for himself that none of what he proclaimed was true. He accepted my offer and thereafter he made a radical turnaround.. Other Americans continued to see and hear what they wanted to see and hear from one side, while ignoring the other side. Such behaviour does not produce peace but more conflict. (4) I felt that Yugoslavia was a media-generated tragedy. The Western media sees international crises in black and white, sensationalizing incidents for public consumption. From what I can see now, all Serbs have been driven out of Croatia and the Muslim-Croat Federation, I believe almost 850,000 of them. And yet the focus is on 500,000 Albanians (at last count) who have been driven out of Kosovo. Western policies have led to an ethnically pure Greater Croatia, and an ethnically pure Muslim statelet in Bosnia. Therefore, why not an ethnically pure Serbia? Failure to address these double standards has led to the current one. As I watched the ugly tragedy unfold in the case of Kosovo while visiting the US in early to mid March 1999, I could see the same pattern emerging. In my experience with similar situations in India in such places as Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Nagaland, and elsewhere, it is the essential strategy of those ethnic groups who wish to secede to provoke the state authorities. Killings of policemen is usually a standard operating procedure by terrorists since that usually invites overwhelming state retaliation, just as I am sure it does in the United States. I do not believe the Belgrade government had prior intention of driving out all Albanians from Kosovo. It may have decided to implement Washington's own "Krajina Plan" only if NATO bombed, or these expulsions could be spontaneous acts of revenge and retaliation by Serb forces in the field because of the bombing. The OSCE Monitors were not doing too badly, and the Yugoslav Government had, after all, indicated its willings to abide by nearly all the provisions of the Rambouillet "Agreement" on aspects like cease-fire, greater autonomy to the Albanians, and so on. But they insisted that the status of Kosovo as part of Serbia was not negotiable, and they would not agree to stationing NATO forces on the soil of Yugoslavia. This is precisely what India would have done under the same circumstances. It was the West that proceeded to escalate the situation into the current senseless bombing campaign that smacks more of hurt egos, and revenge and retaliation. NATO's massive bombing intended to terrorize Serbia into submission appears no differrent from the morality of actions of Serb forces in Kosovo. Ultimatums were issued to Yugoslavia that unless the terms of an agreement drawn up at Rambouillet were signed, NATO would undertake bombing. Ultimatums do not constitute diplomacy. They are acts of war. The Albanians of Kosovo who want independence, were coaxed and cajoled into putting their signatures to a document motivated with the hope of NATO bombing of Serbs and independence later. With this signature, NATO assumed all the legal and moral authority to undertake military operations against a country that had, at worst, been harsh on its own people. On 24th March 1999, NATO launched attacks with cruise missiles and bombs, on Yugoslavia, a sovereign state, a founding member of the United Nations and the Non Aligned Movement; and against a people who were at the forefront of the fight against Nazi Germany and other fascist forces during World War Two. I consider these current actions unbecoming of great powers. It is appropriate to touch on the humanitarian dimension for it is the innocent who are being subjected to displacement, pain and misery. Unfortunately, this is the tragic and inevitable outcome of all such situations of civil war, insurgencies, rebel movements, and terrorist activity. History is replete with examples of such suffering; whether it be the American Civil War, Northern Ireland, the Basque movement in Spain, Chechnya, Angola, Cambodia, and so many other cases; the indiscriminate bombing of civilian centres during World War Two; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Vietnam. The list is endless. I feel that this tragedy could have been prevented if NATO's ego and credibility had not been given the highest priority instead of the genuine grievances of Serbs in addition to Albanians. Notwithstanding all that one hears and sees on CNN and BBC, and other Western agencies, and in the daily briefings of the NATO authorities, the blame for the humanitarian crisis that has arisen cannot be placed at the door of the Yugoslav authorities alone. The responsibility rests mainly at NATO's doors. In fact, if I am to go by my own experience as the First Force Commander and Head of Mission of the United Nations forces in the former Yugoslavia, from March 1992 to March 1993, handling operations in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia, I would say that reports put out in the electronic media are largely responsible for provoking this tragedy. Where does all this leave the international community which for the record does not comprise of the US, the West and its newfound Muslim allies ? The portents for the future, at least in the short term, are bleak indeed. The United Nations has been made totally redundant, ineffective, and impotent. The Western world, led by the USA, will lay down the moral values that the rest of the world must adhere to; it does not matter that they themselves do not adhere to the same values when it does not suit them. National sovereignty and territorial integrity have no sanctity. And finally, secessionist movements, which often start with terrorist activity, will get greater encouragement. One can only hope that good sense will prevail, hopefully sooner rather than later. Lt General Satish Nambiar Director, USI, New Delhi 6 April 1999