I hope that the Slovaks will not follow every whim of NATO and serve as their proxies in the clean-up job of Kosovo. Let's set the record straight. Yes, Milosevic caused a lot injustice to the Kosovo Albanian population. Is that cause for a violent NATO reaction to wage a savage and cowardly war on the civilians of Kosovo and Serbia, causing the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians (more than Milosevic's thugs managed to do), displacement of 800,000 civilians, damages to the Yugoslav economy well in excess of $100 billion and untold suffering that is going to follow? Pointing fingers at Milosevic as a war criminal and blaming him alone for the disaster in Kosovo without pointing the war crime finger at the main NATO actors is less than a fair assessment of the causes in the current deplorable situation in the Balkans.
It causes me real pain to read in your newspaper that the Slovaks are willing not only to finance the cleanup of the mess left behind by NATO, but also to expose young Slovak lives to the dangers of unexploded NATO ordinances and the hostilities of local population. Slovakia is not a member of NATO, so it should not be asked to carry out NATO's tasks. If the UN asks Slovakia to step in, and the UN will finance the efforts, I am sure a limited effort by Slovakia will find more support also among Slovaks.
If I may suggest, Slovakia would be well advised to stay out of the Balkans. It is not only a question of money, it is also a question of fairness and living with our consciences for the next millenia. The Serbs, Slavs like the Slovaks, did not forget their battle in Kosovo against the Turks in the 15th century, and they will not forget their forced exit from Kosovo caused by NATO, not by ethnic problems.
19. Jul 1999 at 0:00