A message well stated in your show was Kosovo Liberation Army KLA provocation followed by vicious Serbian reprisals.
Neither faction is aligned with US interests or politics. Overall stability in this part of Europe was largely unthreatened. The decision to interject our ethics into this internal war and unilaterally bomb one faction while glorifying the other is morally reprehensible. It is a violation of the UN agreements and clearly failed to resolve the disagreement.
Americans would do well to remember that we sought our independence to stay largely out of foreign wars. Our best defense against tyranny is the example of peace and harmony we project to the world. Bombing Serbia - bloodless at 15,000 feet - was a cowardly and disgusting example of Puritanism gone wrong.
PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY
I'd like to praise Frontline's documentary on Kosova; what a superb discernemnt of the events leading to the bombing. Television is the ideal conduit for information and PBS has utilized it's resources efficiently for the main purpose of educating the people that wondered, "Why did the U.S. Nato get involved?".
A comment made by one of your viewers needs to be addressed: "We Americans would swiftly retaliate...". I consent to this statement and I have no doubts that the Americans, including myself, would seek such rebels and ensure appropriate retribution, however, I don't condone gunning down an unarmed civilian tending to his/her family or raping innocent girls/women for 'fun'. How can someone justify these atrocities as 'punishment to the rebels'?
Let's come to grips with the realization that millions of innocent denizens of the Balkans have suffered because of Milosevic's vision of a 'Dominant Serbia'. It's NOT going to happen!
Thank you for making the line between Milosevic's relentless tactics at ethnic cleansing and NATO's reasons for bombing a little less blurry. I'm looking forward to Part II.
Generally a good report; some bias evident in some of the material presented. Sorry I will not be able to see the second part next week. Why not have announced repeats in the wee hour of the morning?
1. Many of those who participated in the report need to read more of the history of the Serbs. The Serbs have repeated the same acts as those that started the First World War--Defied the ruler and then killed the envoy.
2. The world has now seen a repeat of the strength of Live Pictures in Living Rooms. Remember Vietnam.
3. I wonder if the mass exodus from the country was a planned effort to gain support.
4. Man's treatment of his fellow kind after 3000 yeas has not changed much. We just don't make houshold slaves out of the conquered.
5. There is no rea solution for these problems.
6. Those that have not the power want the power of those that have it.
7. Funny that we are doing nothing about preventing the Russian cleansings.
sierra madre, california
It was disapointing to view Frontline's documentary on Kosovo this evening, that was definitely slanted to support US and Nato's intervention in Kosovo. Why not equal time to the Serbians?
Where were the 100,000 graves the media was reporting prior to the bombing; the count tonight was approximately 100 dead.The rebel KLA initiated these massacres by murdering Serbian soldiers in order to bring NATO into the war. We Americans would swiftly retaliate, and rightly so,if a rebel group killed any of our soldiers in our country.
Not unlike the market massacre in Bosnia that was wrongly blamed on the Serbs, a photograph forced Ms Albright's hand to bomb the Serbs; what a shocking revelation.
As an American Soldier in the OSS in WW11, I fought beside the brave Yugoslavian and Serbian guerrilla forces, one of our most loyal allies of the war. The Serbians saved hundreds of American Airmen from falling into Nazi hands. It is a tragedy that the grandsons, of the rescued airmen's generation, bombed the Serbian people and devastated their country.
The U.S ie. NATO had no business interfering in the business of an independant state.
The KLA started the violence, with the objective of bringing worldwide attention to their goal of separating from Yugoslavia. They started a war with the Serbs because they the KLA could not obtain through peacefull means--independance--what they might obtain through violence and terrorism. Well, it worked! They got their headlines, and all it cost them was thousands of lives, and hundereds of thousands of them losing their homes, and becoming refugees.
Shame on the U.S. for being duped into entering a situation that they had no right to be in! Imagine if some other nation wanted to bomb the U.S. if they didn't agree with U.S. domestic matters and policy. Who made the U.S. the police force for all mankind?
burnaby, b.c., canada
To portray the struggle in Kosovo/a as one of liberation of an oppressed Albanian minority is laughable. Look at the emblem of the KLA, it is the double headed Eagle of Albania, a foriegn nation, not that of a budding new state. The Clinton Administration simply chose sides in what is, in reality, an incredibly complicated matter, and is in a state of denial about the new injustice it has overlaid over old.
As the population of Serbs in Kosovo/a continues to edge toward zero, NATO has unwittingly completed what Hitler began in 1941, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo/a, and their replacement by his allies the Albanians. He would be proud.
I am 24 years old and was born and raised most of my life here in the United States. Currently my parents are living in Gjakova, Kosova. They are currently helping ease the troubles of just surviving through humanitarian aid distribution. I recently returned from a 3 week trip to Kosova where I personally listened to accounts of the atrocities that have occured.
I would like to personally thank you for your broadcast. I really felt that it showed a clear picture of the war in Kosova. I'm also glad that word is getting out about why the U.S. is involved where we have "no special interests". I for one am glad that someone is standing up for human rights around the world. I am ashamed of what Hitler was able to do and am even more ashamed that society today only cares about their own well being.
While I was there I was talking with someone who said that a NATO bomb, which had struck the Serbian Police headquaters in Gjakova, had also struck his grandfather. However he went on to say that "We all would not have mind if we had died from a NATO bomb. Thank you for setting us free." I could not believe it.
What is happening in Kosova is exactly what happend in Bosnia and Croatia. The Serbs must be stopped. However I don't completly fault the Serbs because during the last major war in the Balkins it was the Croats that were the aggressors. But somewhere this has to stop.
Thank you again for your broadcast. I just hope there are more people out there who care about what is going on in the rest of the world.
La Habra, CA
While finishing my Masters degree at Trinity Dublin I wrote my dissertation on Kosovo, it is a discussion about the alternatives which could have been taken to the air strikes.
Immediately following the end of the air strikes. I traveled to the Balkans for several weeks, for my work I interviewed foreign aid workers, NATO soldiers, Ambassadors, intelligence officers, KLA soldiers, translators, academics, journalists,and economists. I was self funded and went alone, I also arranged all of my interviews.
Many of the conclusions which your show provides I was myself learning firsthand immediately following the bombing.
Thousands of people were slaughtered because the US did not make good on its threat. The data I was able to get on targets was very disturbing. Milosevic had enough time to do two things, one- continue a campaign to cleanse Kosovo, and two- hide and move his weapons. A lot of bodies are yet to be found, and alot of tanks rolled out of the province when the bombing stopped. Also, alot of destruction took place in Serbia proper; hospitals, bridges, pig farms, daycare centers, churches, etc.
The US and NATO had the abilty to solve the Kosovo crisis months before Rambouillet, this ability would have required an air campaign but those sorties would have caught Milosevic in the open. It would have saved thousands of lives. We can blame our president's political problems, we can blame just about anything, but we have to learn from Kosovo, our leaders have to be ready to make good on their threats or not make them at all, thousands, millions of lives depended on it.
I really hope that this letter is shared with your viewers because I cannot tell enough people that Kosovo is not over, in fact it has just begun.
What if a group in this country, in retribution for an offence, perceived or real, would begin a sustained, strategic terrorist campaign which produce a few Oklahoma City senarios and which would leave Americans feeling vulnerable and frustrated, would there not be great preasure from the public to strike out at this threat? Yes, and more than likely innocent people would be scapegoated as our anger is vented. If this be so, why demonize others, namely Serbs and Russians, for acting as we ourselves would react? Dare we think it would never happen here, ask native Americans, Japanese Americans and God forbid, Americans of Southern heritage.
Your program while factual on the larger events did not address the real issues of Kosovo's troubles.
You did not address the whole seperatist movement on the part of Albanians living in Kosovo who refused to attend schools taught in Serbo-Croatian language, who pushed the Serb and non Albanian population out of Kosovo for no other reason than they were non-Albanian. Your program skirted the whole issue of almost one thousand dead Serbs at the hands of KLA before 1999.
If you remember, the reason that Milosevic went to Kosovo in 1989 was to reasure the local Non-Albanians that they would be protected from terror.
The bottom line is that, no matter how the Albanians discriminated against their neighbors, no matter how manny Serbs were murdered President Milosevic was the scapegoat for Clintons Wag-the -Dog stragedy.
I was invited by the Former Minister of Education in Zagreb, Croatia in 1995 to document what was happening to education as a result of war. The Serbs had already rampaged Croatia and were now in Bosnia doing the same thing. When the conflict in Kosovo arose the U.S. only had to review their history during ww II to remember how Serbians not only had concentration camps in the region, but have consistently over the years caried out Adolf Hitler's philosophies of ethnic cleansing.
I met many Croatians, visited many schools and orphanages, talked to displaced Bosnians, Jews, Catholics, etc. only to hear the tale of pure evil.
In my opinion, any and all military, governmental, or social power should be permanently stripped from the Serbs.
The U.S. handled this situation "well" considering what was happening on domestic soil. However, an earlier intervention would have spared lives and chaos.
It was frightening there for a while as things seemed to go awry after the bombing escalated. The scenes and stories of Kosovo people fleeing in droves were disturbing. I called Croatia many times to get updates during that time and was repeatedly sickened by the inside view of the mocking attitude of Slobadan Milosovec.
I only wished we could do something about other Countries who too exist in a primitave era of mass extermination upon their own peoples. But, there are simply too many sophisticated Allies near Kosovo for us to have not acted swiftly.
Left unchecked, the monster Milosovec would have only eventually decided he didn't like Turkey, or Greece, or Italy, etc. Why not kill em all?
While watching your program tonight I noticed a decided absence of the presence of the US NAVY in this war. It looked like it was conducted entirely by the Air Force and I KNOW this to be untrue! I realize the thrust of the program to be how the situation happened and how hard it is to conduct a "war" with constraints, but as a factual report it certainly is lacking. It makes me wonder what other facts you neglected to mention!
The line is simple. Politicians should tell the military who to fight and to what extent. Whether it be to the point of withdrawal, like in a desert storm, or in a limited engagemnt like neutralize those terrorists. After that, let the military do it. Let them tell you how much it will cost, in money and human life, then the politicians give the order to go or not to go. If something happens that gets outside those lines you stop and re-evaluate the decision. Failure to let the military decide what level of engagment is required to meet the military objective will mean escalation, long term engagement, cost increases, etc. Politicians should not decide military tactics and military members should not seek to play political ends. War is by design unfair. Politicians, by nature try to be fair. In war you don't win by being fair. You win by making the other guy hurt so much he doesn't want to fight anymore. In the end, you just hope that you were doing the right thing the right way for the right reasons. Politicians set the goal, the military makes it happen.
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