Milosevic's Iron Grip
In your report on Kosovo, you say that the man behind all this is Slobodan Milosevic ("The Man Behind the Agony," Special Report, April 19). But how do you justify the fact that the Serbs, after all the bombing in Yugoslavia, stand united and ready to sacrifice themselves and their children? Nobody would do that for a leader's sake only. It goes deeper, to the very essence of protecting one's country, history and heritage. NATO was formed for defense purposes, especially against the "communist threat." What does that have to do with interfering in the internal problems of a sovereign country?
I was disappointed by the tone of the articles on Milosevic. You emphasize only the worst in his life. Although vice dominates Milosevic's character (I don't question this), this was an unfair portrayal. You used his son, Marko, as an example of the family's possessive nature. But why has nothing been said about his daughter? Wasn't there anything about her that would have helped in portraying Milosevic?
If NATO doesn't take Milosevic out of the volatile Balkan equation now, he'll be around for a long time, threatening world peace, just as Saddam Hussein still does. NATO should set a precedent for the next century by insisting that Milosevic and his top cronies be handed over for war crimes.
When I read your articles about Slobodan Milosevic's mind and motives, he reminded me of Leopoldo Galtieri, head of the military junta in Argentina in 1982. Galtieri's grip on power was quickly slipping away as the Argentines were increasingly questioning his human-rights abuses. To stay in power, he played a dangerous game by invading the Falkland Islands. This rallied the people behind him--but only for a while. The result was a complete setback for Argentina. In a matter of days after the defeat, Galtieri was out of power. This could happen to Milosevic, too, on the condition that NATO wins the war.
The Albanian Kosovars used to have a self-rule that other European minorities can only dream of. But it cannot have satisfied them, since all they wanted was to break away from Yugoslavia. Can Northern Ireland break away from Britain? If the answer is yes, then there's no reason that Kosovars should not do the same in Yugoslavia. But if the answer is no, the NATO members' double standards should be abandoned immediately.
Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
In your interview with German foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, he said that his generation of baby boomers asked their parents, "Why could [the Holocaust] happen in Germany--and why didn't you resist?" (" 'We Have to Win This' "). I believe that because such questions have continually been brought up by many Germans since 1945, we today see a different Germany--as a member of the NATO force fighting for humanity in Kosovo. Japan has also been on the side of great evil in the past. Compared with Germany, however, Japan has shown little repentance. Asians are worried because of concealment of war crimes to this day. I hope that Japan can grow further as a mature nation by learning from Germany's transcendence of its grim past.
Seoul, South Korea
Waging War for Harmony?
In your article "The Good Soldier," it sounds as if Vice President Al Gore wants to establish "diversity and harmony" as vital national- security interests (Special Report, April 19). Given the Clinton administration's recent propensity for moral relativism, its newfound righteousness is hypocritical. Anyone who thinks that we should wage war to enforce diversity and harmony shouldn't be commander in chief.
Craig L. Scanlan
Rumson, New Jersey
Congratulations to Rod Nordland for his true observations and deep understanding of Serbian nationalism ("Vengeance of a Victim Race," Special Report, April 12). …