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Srdja Pavlovic
Re: Open letter on the Yugoslav crisis
Dear Professor Eden,

I agree with your suggestions in respect to the academic debate on the

Even though some of the comments in Mr. Jiggins letter are highly
emotionaly charged and tendentious, I would say that the debate about the
legal aspects of the intervention, as well as about the selectivness
demonstrated by the policymakers regarding similar crisis in other parts of
the world deserves the discussion. 

This is not to say that by debating such issues one supports the policy of
ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, or tries to marginalize the political attitude
of Mr. Milosevic and his followers towards non-Serbs in the region. I
believe that the focus should be placed upon the lack of clear political
objective and the long term strategy on the part of NATO countries. 

It seems to me that the outside world has shown 'the lack of will' (J.Gow)
to act when the action against Mr. Milosevic was needed and the positive
results were achievable. At present,  NATO military strategy seems to be
more of an angry reaction of a rejected lover, rather than well structured
and planned  policy. This is where I see the flaws and miscalculations of
the NATO action, and for those reasons I do not believe that the current
bombing campaign will result in any improvement on the ground. 

I am deeply worried because of such attitude since it will create a general
climate of hostility between the Serbs and the NATO members. In effect, it
strengthens Mr. Milosevic, and for ordinary Serbs only confirms the
truthfulness of his old propaganda slogans about the world's resentment
towards the Serb nation. It should be kept in mind that Mr. Milosevic is
not really a nationalist. A nationalist leader would, I susspect, take
greater care of his people and its interests. Considering the results of
his policies in the region for the past several years, one is tempted to
categorize him as a nihilist. 

But I am also sure that by demonizing Mr. Milosevic the West is not doing a
favor to Serbs. What is needed, I believe, is much broader operational
strategy and a long term planning in order to make his policy in the region
obsolite. I am affraid that now is a bit late to adopt a new approach. This
is where I see 'the lack of will' on the part of the West. Present actions
aim to punish rather than to remedy. 

Many will say that this kind of approach means disregarding the
humanitarian catastrophy in Kosovo. I can not emphasize strong enough my
disagreement with the policies implemented by Mr. Milosevic and I believe
that his administration would have carried out these policies regardless.
But I also believe that the remedy for this catastrophy was lost somewhere
along the road during the past several years.

I would appreciate if you could write your thoughts on the subject and post
it on this web-page. Then we might have a few more people joining the
discussion. I am not writing this letter in order to appear confrontational
in any way.'Audiater at altera pars' is my motive. Secondly, I hope that
through such a discussion one might learn more about one's own
misjudgements. I am sertainly open to all kinds of suggestions if they are

Kind regards,

Srdja Pavlovic

University of Alberta,
Department of History and Classics,
Edmonton, Alberta

Tel: (780) 436-0096
E-mail: spavlovic@sprint.ca
Mailing address: #16. 10839-University Avenue, Edmonton, 
                         Alberta T6E 4R1, Canada


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