The Bombing of Kosovo


Dear friends,

As we file our taxes today (procrastinators, all of us), and we sign our names on the bottom line of our 1040 tax forms, perhaps we should ask ourselves if what we are doing is signing a death warrant for people we don't even know. Because each night, for the past three weeks, millions of dollars of bombs and missiles -- that you and I paid for -- are being used to kill people in the former Yugoslavia. That makes you and I culpable in their execution.

Did you personally know any of the people who were killed in the village of Pristina (capitol of Kosovo) last week? Had they ever done anything to harm you? How about the children who were blown to bits in the building in Prizren? Had they ever threatened you in any way to cause you to have to kill them in self-defense? Perhaps you had met the people who were incinerated by us on the train to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Can you tell me why you would want to take their lives?

I'm sorry to personalize it in this way, but this slaughter is being conducted in your name and mine, and I'll tell you, this is blood I don't want on my hands. We will all have to answer for this some day, and Iwould like to be able to say that I did not sit by silently while this wasbeing done, and that I did whatever I could to stop it as soon as possible.

Right about now, some of you, with all good intentions, are saying, "But, Mike, this Milosevic guy is a madman. He's committing genocide. We should not ignore this as we did the Holocaust in the early days of World War II. He must be stopped by any means necessary."

Yes, he must be stopped. But bombing the people of his country is exactly the wrong way to stop him. In fact, it has only strengthened him. There was a growing dissident movement in Yugoslavia before the war, and every letter I get from these brave souls tells me that the bombing has set back their struggle so incredibly far that they worry they will now be stuck with Milosevic for a long time. They are pleading with us to stop it. The bombing has made him a hero at a time when nearly half of the country was very unhappy with his leadership. We did not consult the anti-Milosevic movement in advance to see if they would like our help in the form of 10,000 bombing sorties. We just went off half-cocked on our own, and started killing the very people we were claiming to save. Anyone who remembers Vietnam knows that sordid logic and insanity. We have strengthened >>>Milosevic and destroyed his opposition. Happy now?

Friends, Milosevic must be stopped, BUT BOMBING DOES NOT WORK. It has never worked. It didn't work in Iraq -- Sadaam is still in charge no matter how many bombs we have dropped. It didn't work in Vietnam. During the Christmas week of 1972, the amount of bombs we dropped on North Vietnam was equal to half the tonnage of bombs dropped on England during World War II.That didn't work, so one month later, we gave in and announced our complete pull-out.

What a sad, pathetic man Bill Clinton is. Though many have criticized him for dodging the draft, I actually admired the fact that he refused to go and kill Vietnamese. Not all of us from the working class had that luxury, and tens of thousands of our brothers died for absolutely no damn reason. For this "anti-war" President to order such a misguided, ruthless -- and, yes, cowardly -- attack from the air is a disappointment of massive proportions.

Bombing didn't work for either side in World War II. Hitler bombed Britain mercilessly for years, but it didn't work. Our bombing did nothing to save the lives of 6 million Jews, 4 million Catholics, Gypsies and other "undesirables," and 20 million Russians. Our bombs couldn't even take out one German machine-gun on top of the cliffs overlooking the beaches of Normandy. World War II was won because my father and uncles and your fathers and grandfathers risked their lives pouring out of amphibious carriers like sitting ducks on a beach, crawling through the dead bodies of their friends and fellow soldiers, and climbing up those cliffs in France and Italy and the South Pacific. Over a quarter of a million of them, including my uncle, died doing this.

And that, my friends, as some are known to say, is the awful truth. If genocide is really taking place, the only way to stop it militarily is to send our children in there and accept the fact that thousands upon thousands of them will be killed. Are you willing to do that? Or better yet, this is the question I always ask myself when confronted with whether or not Ishould ever support a war: Do I believe strongly enough in this cause that I MYSELF would be willing to risk my life to go over there and square it with my conscience to kill Yugoslavians.

I have a feeling I know the answer most of you would give. We know Clinton is lying to us. We know there is no "Holocaust" taking place. What IS happening is that two groups of people are carrying on their centuries-old mission to annihilate each other. The Kosovo Liberation Army announced their intentions to rid Kosovo of all Serbs (the Albanians are the majority in Kosovo, the Serbs, a minority). That's all a nutcase like Milosevic needed to justify his campaign to rid Kosovo of all Albanians. This is true madness and a lot of innocent people are losing their lives in the process.

So here's my solution:

1) Stop the bombing immediately.

2) Get the Russians, whom the Serbs trust, in there to be the peacekeepers and help resolved the situation. No American or NATO forces on Kosovo soil. Russia can do this in spite of the wanker in charge, Mr. Yeltsin. The Serbs will let them in. Let's get them on board instead of alienating the Russians even further. 3) Let the Orthodox Church play a major role in bringing about the peace. The Serbs are mostly Orthodox and a strong move by its Patriarch could do a lot to ending all the bloodshed.

Look, I'm not an expert on any of this. I'm mostly busy getting my show on the air each week. But as I sign my 1040 today, I must admit that I am partly responsible, as an American citizen who pays his t>>pays his taxes, for this war and I must encourage whoever I can to join me in demanding an end to this now.

Last fall, many of us participated in an incredible act of protest by throwing a bunch of right-wingers out of Congress. We believed that they were trying to overturn an election on the basis of someone's private sexual life and his lies about it. We won, and the Republicans are now chopped liver. Good riddance.

Now, it is time for all of us to stop Clinton and his disgusting, hypocritical fellow democrats who support him in this war. It is amazing to watch all these "liberal" congress members line up behind the President. In a way, I'm glad it's happening, if only to show the American people there is little difference between the Democrats and the usually war-loving Republicans. Aren't you getting a kick watching the Pat Buchanans and the Henry Hydes sounding like pacifists! These politicians can change stripes at the drop of a hat (or bomb) because, ultimately, they are the same animal, participants in a one-party system that tries to fool the people by going by two names ("Democrat" and "Republican").

Please call or write your member of Congress, send a letter to the editor, let the Democrats know we have had it with the whole lot of them. This is OUR country, not theirs and the corporate interests they really represent. It's time to start taking it back.

Each cruise missile that is launched could have built a dozen schools or hired another hundred teachers or provided health care to a thousand people. Those millions of dollars could have been spent saving lives and educating children. Every night, Clinton isn't just bombing Yugoslavia, he's bombing you.


Michael Moore




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