Veran Matic on Sat, 10 Oct 1998 12:17:27 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> ANEM letter of protest to NATO

Association of Independent Electronic Media

To: 	NATO Secretary General Xavier Solana
	Hans van den Broek
	Madeleine Albright
	Richard Holbrooke
	Robin Cook
From:	Veran Matic, ANEM / B92
Date:	9 October 1998  Fax:	99 322 707 4666 


If NATO carries out its threat of military intervention in Yugoslavia, the
possible consequences for the long-term stability of the Balkans are
unimaginable. Intervention would unite the Serbian people behind President
Milosovic in a way that no internal political action could. It would
mobilise behind the Yugoslav President the very opposition forces that the
West has been trying to promote.
Military action would make a mockery of the assertion that democratization
of Serbia is the only way to secure future peace in the Balkans. Such
action would set back by years any chance of bringing the democratic
process to Serbia - the best chance of effecting an end to the Kosovo
crisis and the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe. 
Instead, military action is likely to encourage ultra nationalist forces to
take the law into their own hands. The Serbian Deputy Prime Minster
Vojislav Seselj, who is also president of the ultra nationalist Radical
Party, has already threatened to arrest independent and foreign
journalists, whom he describes as spies. The Serbian Government has also
decreed that no media should carry international news services - a move
described as an "intolerable and illegal censorship" by editors of the
independent media. 

Nationalist feelings would almost certainly be ignited the moment any
military threats were to become reality - putting at serious risk any
members of the independent media, either local or foreign. 

Military action may also convince Milosevic that he has nothing to lose and
could result in an even harsher crack down on the Albanians in Kosovo. The
action would, among other things, also severely restrict the work of aid
agencies carrying in Kosovo.  

Military action will not bring to an end the crisis in the Balkans. It is
more likely to bolster Milosevic's totalitarian regime and pile more misery
on the people of Yugoslavia by guaranteeing more years of international
isolation. The first to suffer would be the very minorities that the West
is striving to protect. 

Veran Matic
Chief Editor Radio B92, ANEM Chairman

Veran Matic, Editor in Chief	                 tel: +381-11-322-9109
Radio B92, Belgrade, Yugoslavia		         fax: +381-11-322-4378

          Radio B92 Official Web Site ---

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