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Action Alert - Australian Peace Committee (SA Branch)

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

MEDIA RELEASE 28 March 1999


The Australian Peace Committee (SA Branch) strongly protest at the Australian Government’s support for NATO’s air attacks on Yugoslavia. It is the sovereign right of that country to resolve the conflict peacefully. Unfortunately this has not been possible. The reason for this has been the continued harassment of the process by forces supported by the United States and their allies in Europe, in particular the British government.

US global policy since the ending of World War II has been to assume international leadership in the interests of the US national interest. As a consequence US foreign policy has supported the most brutal regimes in our history. They have propped up a discredited government in South Vietnam with appalling outcomes for the people of that country, which still suffers the after effects of the fifteen years of conflict. They have given logistic support for the extreme right wing governments of central and south America. This has included support for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Allende government in Chile and the destabilising of the democratically elected Nicaraguan government. (There is mounting evidence that the funds for their involvement came from the trading of drugs, e.g. heroin and cocaine, through their ever reliable CIA).

Moreover the US government stands indicted because of the deliberate avoidance of the processes of the United Nations, putting themselves above that world organisation and its Security Council, in pursuit of their own ends. The death toll mounts in Angola where a bloody conflict has continued for over a decade. Similarly the Indonesian government has pursued a brutal and oppressive policy against the people of East Timor for over 25 years, and not one action has been put in place to stop this brutality by countries such as the US or Britain. Only when the Indonesian people have decided to end undemocratic practices and revolt, do changes begin to happen. And again a similar pattern is emerging in East Timor as has happened in other trouble spots, where a minority group within the country is armed by the military to violently oppress their own people, in the interest of sustaining the colonising power.

Kosovo has all the hallmarks of conflicts over the last fifty years. Though small, it occupies a central position in Eastern Europe. It is separated from the sea by Macedonia. Militarily both countries are weak and would present little opposition to a powerful country like the US, especially if a nearby country had been used to show how effective US firepower is. We have already seen this in Iraq.

The US are past masters of destabilisation. The methodology is to capture the mood of the people by demonising the leader. We saw it with Allende, and also with Norriega in the Panama, where the US wanted to control the Panama Canal, with the loss of some 1400 innocent Panamanians. And Norriega was an ally of the US State Department in drug running. Saddam Hussein was another case, in which the people of Iraq are the victims and the tyrant remains. Now it is the turn of Milosevic. History has been besmirched by such tactics, with innocent people becoming collateral damage. The world leaders who support these methods also stand condemned.

But why Kosovo?

Kosovo has always been a part of Serbia. In fact it is regarded as the birth place of the Serbian language and culture. Kosovo has received Albanian immigrants for centuries, to a point where they outnumber the Serb population. The Serbian government under Milosevic is still seen as a thorn in the side of further expansion eastward by western economic forces. They are therefore accused of extreme nationalism, abhorrent to the deregulating, expansive capitalism of the west controlled by the US. The fields rich for exploration in this region would be opened up immeasurably if this ex-communist country could be brought to heel. With a compliant and weak Albania and Macedonia, trade routes could be opened up to this region through the ports of the Adriatic.

What better way to destablise the region than to foment ethnic tension? Kosovo has a population dominated by Albanians. Albania is a poor country that needs foreign economic aid and the possibility of an improvement in their living standards. The US provides aid in the form of arms to carry out a protracted guerilla struggle. This struggle would appear to the outside but ignorant world to be the plight of a poor people putting up a valiant struggle against the aggressive nationalism of the Serbian government or, by focussing on the individual, Milosevic.

If the US is able to maintain the united front through a subservient NATO, then they will be able to put pressure on the Russian Federation to submit to US foreign policy through the discredited International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Yours faithfully,

Don Jarrett, President.

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