< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > >



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 00:01:20 +0000
From: Marjaleena Repo/Campaign for Canada <ccafttor@sympatico.ca>
To: YUGOSLAVIA ALERT list <ccafttor@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Article by David Orchard: Humanitarian bombing, month two

by David Orchard

For over a month Canada has been bombing Yugoslavia. Without a
parliamentary resolution, without a declaration of war and without a
shred of legality Canadian war planes are attacking the nation that
stood at the forefront of the fight against both Hitler’s Nazis and
Mussolini’s fascists during World War II.

The Nuremberg trial ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression... is
not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.”
Yet this is precisely what Canada and its NATO allies have done.

The Canadian government said it was bombing to force the Yugoslavian
government to sign the Rambouillet “agreement” — an ultimatum which
provided for NATO’s occupation of Yugoslavia. Yet article 52 of the 1980
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, to which Canada is a
signatory, states that any treaty procured by force or the threat of
force, is null and void. The bombardment of Yugoslavia is a flagrant
violation of the UN charter, which prohibits the use of force against a
sovereign state which has not committed aggression on another state; of
NATO’s own charter and of international law on a number of other fronts.
NATO is dropping internationally outlawed cluster bombs and using
missiles hardened with depleted uranium which vapourize upon impact
releasing deadly radioactive fall-out which will, as in Iraq where
similar weapons were used, leave a legacy of agony in Yugoslavia for
decades to come.

Canada’s government said it was bombing to prevent a humanitarian
crisis, genocide and “ethnic cleansing.” The unvarnished truth is that
the bombing has increased the humanitarian crisis a thousand-fold and
knowledgeable observers have repeatedly stated that what was going on in
Kosovo before the bombing began cannot be called genocide. In a recent
article, “The fatal flaws underlying NATO’s intervention in Yugoslavia,”
Lt. General Satish Nambiar, former commander of the United Nations
forces in Yugoslavia, writes that he “did not witness any genocide
beyond killings and massacres on all sides that are typical of such
conflict conditions.” 

He points out that over 800,000 Serbs were driven out of Croatia and the
Muslim-Croat Federation without a word of complaint from the west.
Canadian Roland Keith, a former field office director of the Kosovo
Verification Mission, recently returned, reported that “the clear
majority” of the violence he saw in Kosovo was instigated by the Kosovo
Liberation Army, and that “there was no ethnic cleansing going on that I
witnessed and certainly no genocide.” 

The total deaths on all sides in Kosovo prior to the bombing was 2000.
Yet now, in one of the defining moments of our century, NATO has
launched a massive around-the-clock air bombardment on behalf of a
shadowy, armed Kosovo secessionist movement seeking to break up what
remains of Yugoslavia.

For Canada to be bombing in favour of the breakup of a sister
multi-ethnic state defies comprehension. In Iraq, our government said it
was bombing to maintain the territorial integrity of Kuwait. Here, it is
openly bombing to dismember a country, a founding member of both the UN
and the Non-Aligned Movement and Canada’s staunch ally in both world

The lesson NATO is teaching the world is that from now on the only
sovereign nations are those capable of defending themselves with nuclear
weapons. All others apparently can be bombed and now also, it appears,
blockaded — another flagrantly unlawful act by NATO.

Who exactly has ordered Canada into war? Do unelected generals at NATO
now determine Canada’s foreign policy, including decisions of war and
peace? It is clear our Parliament does not. In a crowning abdication of
responsibility, Mr. Chrétien has declared that whatever the NATO “team”
decides about a ground war, Canada will go along.

Our government, through Mr. Axworthy, tells us this is a “humanitarian
bombing mission.” In fact, it is a campaign of terror. Over 14000
bombing sorties, plus hundreds of cruise missiles, have struck
Yugoslavia, a country one-fifth the size of Saskatchewan. Over one
hundred schools and churches, including monasteries dating back to the
12th century, have been hit; as well as power stations, chemical plants
(releasing toxic clouds over Belgrade and polluting the Danube), water
and sewage facilities, factories, including the Yugo car plant, trains,
train stations and apartment buildings; the result is untold suffering,
a human and environmental catastrophe. NATO doesn’t like Yugoslavian
media coverage of the damage on the ground, so it bombed the television
station in Belgrade incinerating twelve young journalists, burying
another eighteen, perhaps more, alive under tons of rubble.

This is not a war. It is the slaughter of a tiny, virtually defenceless
nation by a vigilante gang-up of western powers. “Massive bombing,” in
General Nambiar’s words, “intended to terrorize Serbia into submission.”

President Clinton told his shocked nation after the Colorado school
killings that we must teach our youth to solve conflicts with words, not
weapons. And who will teach NATO’s adults this lesson now that the rule
of law has been thrown onto the ash heap of history?
APRIL 28, 1999

DAVID ORCHARD is the author of the just updated and reissued bestseller
The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American
Expansionism. He farms at Borden, Saskatchewan. He is a founding member
and chairman of Citizens Concerned About Free Trade. Recently he placed
second in the federal Progressive Conservative Party leadership contest.
He mobilized the Ad Hoc Committee to Stop Canada's Participation in the
War Against Yugoslavia.

Citizens Concerned About Free Trade/Campaign for Canada
#202-9 Bloor street E., Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A9
Toronto: (416)922-7867  Fax: (416)922-7883
Saskatoon: (306)244-5757 Fax: (306)244-3790
Vancouver: (604)683-3733 Fax: (604)683-3749
e-mail: ccafttor@sympatico.ca  website: http://web.idirect.com/~ccaft

< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > > | Home