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Douglas Eden
Re: Open Letter on the Yugoslav Crisis 
Dear Professor Pavlovic,

I agree with nearly all of what you say.  Unfortunately, the point is not
that our political non-leaders did make many errors in the Balkans during
the past eight years -- they certainly did, and many of us were aware of it
-- but that, having made the errors, they placed NATO in the position we
find it today.  So I too would not have started from here, but that is now

I now fear that these same inadequate leaders will continue to proceed with
this crisis in the same way as they conduct their domestic politics --
avoid leading and arguing with their constituents at all costs.  They will
war as they govern, by focus group and opinion poll, and will at no time
seek to educate or discuss alternative options with their constituents.  In
short they will never offer strong leadership.  Having, in their youth,
luxuriated in irresponsible and facile protest attitudes, they now, in
"maturity," have no experience of bearing responsibility nor the character
to risk having a conviction.  Their arrogance is to have sought office
lacking such fundamental qualities for the jobs they now hold.  Their folly
is nearly matched by those who elected them.

Having said all this, NATO's survival is so important to security and
stability in Europe, let alone the wider world, that we must support the
current action and urge that it is brought to a successful conclusion as
speedily as possible.  That means preparing for extensive ground
operations.  These, by the way, may be more effective if conducted from
Hungary and Croatia in the north than if attempted in the mountainous
terrain of Kosovo.  A real threat to Vojvodina just might cause Milosevic's
army to sue for peace and accept the loss of Kosovo (and probably
Montenegro too).  Perhaps the bombing of the Novy Sad bridges across the
Danube has some more intelligent strategic point than has been noticed by
commentators -- to cut off Yugoslav reinforcements from Vojvodina.

I am afraid this sorry episode has some long way to run.  The only way the
Serb people will not hate us is if we treat them as we did the Germans
after World War II.  I doubt that will happen.  But will the Kosovo
Albanians regain their homes if it doesn't?

I hope this is the realm of discussion you were looking for.

Yours sincerely,

Douglas Eden
Principal Lecturer in International History and Politics
Head of the Centre for Study of International Affairs (Europe and America)
Middlesex University (White Hart Lane, London N17 8HR, England)
Postal address:
Flat 5, 20 Shepherds Hill, Highgate, London N6 5AH, England
Email address:  D.Eden@mdx.ac.uk
Phone/Fax:  +44 (0)181-340 1802

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