Resolution of the new Council
of the Greek Mathematical Society
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 Secretary General
Professor Nickolas Alexandris
Mr Ioannis Tirlis
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:48:57 -0800
From: Vicente Morales
Subject: I am ashamed
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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.
Subject: Letter from Belgrade (Zoran Markovic)
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
"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
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
associate professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade
researcher at the Mathematical Institute, Serbian Academy of Arts and
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.
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
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 !
Chargé de Recherche au CNRS
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
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
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.
Professor of Physics, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie
(University of Paris V)
e-mail address: email@example.com
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
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
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
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
(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
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