Thank you for your timely editorial "Kosovo: The silent majority should make their voices heard, Vol. 5 #15). While living in Slovakia for 14 months, I came to trust your reporting as fair and important. Now, back in the States, when I have time, I catch up with your web site.
Back when I lived in Slovakia, not many of my Slovak friends, who are mostly college students, were supporters of HZDS. This newest NATO action really poses a problem for them, which you wisely outlined in your editorial. By being against the bombing they run the risk of being seen as unhumane and right-wing radicals.
In my opinion, what they must understand is, supporting America doesn't always make you democratic in your thinking, just as going against America doesn't make your thinking undemocratic. Many Americans, myself included, are against the bombing. Although, what is going on in Kosovo is terrible, war is not the solution.
First, we are attacking a sovereign nation. Why? We don't like the way they treat a minority group that wants to annex part of their country for an independent state. What if the Hungarian minority wanted to annex southern Slovakia as a Hungarian state? Would Slovaks let it go without fighting?
Second, our action has not saved one Kosovar life. Not one. Instead, we still have the Serbs killing Albanians, and now on top of that, we are killing Serbs.
Humanitarian? By bombing and not committing ground troops, we gave Milosovec free reign to rape and pillage, while we drop bombs from 30,000 feet. Ground troops are the only way to stop an action like this and America will not stand for its soldiers dying in a 600-year old civil war.
Thirdly, the bombing has created a massive refugee crisis for Albania and Macedonia, destabilizing the Balkans further. This is a problem that wasn't there before the war started.
Lastly, what about Russia?
I encourage Slovaks that support democracy and freedom to take another look at this action. There is much more to it than the sad plight of the refugees that CNN and SKY parade 24-hours a day. There are also long term consequences to a misguided military action. Unfortunately, Americans and Slovaks may be dealing with these consequences far into the next century. America is a great country which usually provides democratic vision to the rest of the world. This time, however, America and her president are wrong.
Abingdon, Virginia, USA
3. May 1999 at 0:00