The NATO bombings have been a tragic disaster since day one. Instead of stopping the
violence, they have pushed a volatile region further into war and suffering. A Pentagon
spokesperson said recently, ìIt is difficult to say that we have prevented one act of brutality.î But
what the Pentagon didnít say is how the bombings have enflamed the entire situation.
What we are doing is not working. Rather than broaden the war by calling up over thirty
thousand US reserves and introducing ground troops, the Clinton administration should end the
NATO bombing immediately. The United Nations should install a UN peacekeeping presence in
Kosova; and begin negotiations with all the parties. And the US should begin massive
humanitarian aid to all victims throughout the region, not only to the Kosovars, but even to the
people of Serbia.
The entire world has a stake in ending ethnic cleansing and this war. NATO should not
be deciding the worldís fate. The United Nations needs to lead the way to peace in the Balkans.
If the UN Security Council is stuck, then the General Assembly, including the Russians, needs to
resolve the crisis. We have to go back to the negotiating table. History teaches us that there are
always other possibilities. There is always an opening for peace.
Instead of bombing non-military targets like factories, office buildings, and
tractors, not to mention civilians, we should offer economic assistance to the people
throughout the region. Before the bombing, there was a fledgling independent press and a
strong movement for democracy. Economic assistance strengthens those forces for
pluralism and peace, and would help lead everyone to the negotiating table. The ethnic
cleansing of Kosova is a crime against humanity, but so is the NATO bombing.
Bombings have never ended a war. Wars never solve problems. Violence never
breaks the chain of violence; it only continues the killing. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it
this way: ìReturning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper
darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light
can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.î
Itís not too late to heed Dr. King and the wisdom of nonviolence. We must stop
the bombings, join the voices around the world calling for peace, and pursue nonviolent
solutions to the crisis, before one more person is killed.