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Oppose U.S. and NATO Aggression in Yugoslavia
A statement of the Committees of Correspondence
April 9, 1999
As peace organizations and other voices around the world warned, the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia has led to the dissolution of pro-peace and democratic opposition to President Milosevic and has fueled the violence. It has compounded the human suffering of ethnic Albanians forced from their homes in the Yugoslav Province of Kosovo by government and para-military forces. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees and a deadly war against the Serbian people. Neither have the bombings stopped the murder of ethnic Albanians by the Serbian government.
By violating the United Nations Charter, and refusing to pay its longstanding debts to the world's most important international organization, the United States is deliberately undermining the United Nations. When it has been unable to overrule the will of the majority of the General Assembly through its control of the Security Council, it has used its dominant position in NATO to carry out its policies. With the end of the Cold War, NATO has been used as an instrument for U.S. strategic interests in Europe, as a growing market for the U.S. arms industry, and now as a testing ground for lethal new weapons.
Our government's moral posture in claiming that the present aggression is in the humanitarian interest of the Kosovo Albanians is sheer hypocrisy. Did the U.S. pursue a humanitarian interest in backing a pro-fascist regime that came to power in Croatia that then forcibly expelled the Serbs? Has the U.S. stopped its economic and military support of Turkey in response to that government's enormous repression of the Kurdish minority?
The truth is the U.S. has been a chief perpetrator of humanitarian crises. Through use of its overwhelming military might, its CIA and School of the Americas, its weapons trafficking, U.S. government policies have led to death, assassination, brutal repression, and grinding poverty among hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians around the world. It has a long record of violating international law and disregarding rulings of the World Court.
Whether by original design, or because of abysmal ignorance of the history of the region, the attack against Yugoslavia shows ominous signs of moving inexorably toward a ground war starting in Yugoslavia and spreading throughout the Balkans. The Clinton Administration's and NATO's arrogant refusal to respond positively to Yugoslavia's unilateral Easter cease fire is yet another step toward the abyss of a wider war. The Committees of Correspondence offers the following imperative steps for halting this tragedy before it consumes us all. We call upon our country and NATO to:
1. Immediately cease all bombing and military activities against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2. Immediately cease any preparation for a future invasion of Yugoslavia and withdraw from the area all U.S. and NATO military forces not involved in refugee relief.
3. Oppose the presence of troops on Yugoslavian soil under U.S. and NATO command.
4. Renounce any program of arming military groups within Kosovo, such as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
5. Recognize the authority of the United Nations and support the UN General Secretary in initiating direct negotiations between representatives of the Yugoslav Government and Kosovo Albanians. The U.S. must support the United Nations authorization for such negotiations based on the full recognition of national sovereign rights and human rights of all minorities, including cultural rights. The monitoring of agreements reached should be in the hands of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
6. Agree to provide the funds necessary for aid to all refugees from this crisis, and for the reconstruction of the Yugoslav infrastructure, with the funding and administration of such aid to be transferred to the United Nations.
7. Pay all back dues owed by the United States to the United Nations. We call upon the government of Yugoslavia to immediately cease the killings and physical assaults, forced expulsions and house burnings of the Albanian population of Kosovo. We call for the cessation of all military activity by armed forces in Kosovo.
We support the efforts of religious leaders and peace organizations in the U.S. and around the world that are united in the demand that the U.S. and NATO halt the bombing of Yugoslavia. We are in solidarity with the democratic and progressive forces of Yugoslavia which favor full public debate of the issues involved and an end to the crisis.
The Committees of Correspondence is a national political organization dedicated to the struggle for democracy and socialism. For more information, call or write us at: 11 John Street, Rm. 506, New York, NY 10038. Ph: (212) 233-7151; Fx: (212) 233-7063; Email: email@example.com. Visit our web page at www.cofc.org