PERSPECTIVES ON SERBIA : An Ultimatum to Mr. Milosevic : The world won’t abide a repeat of Bosnia in Kosovo. Stop the genocide or be prepared for NATO air strikes.

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<i> Bob Dole is the Senate minority leader. </i>

Dear Mr. Milosevic:

Since leading a congressional delegation to Kosovo in August, 1990, where I saw with my own eyes your brutal suppression of 2 million Albanians, you have savagely pursued your dream of creating a “Greater Serbia.” Your territorial ambitions have brought war and suffering to the people of Slovenia and Croatia, and genocide to Bosnia-Herzegovina. With “ethnic cleansing” as their main tool, your legions have forced more than a million people from their homes, committed unspeakable atrocities and sent thousands of civilians to their graves. All the while, cease-fires and other agreements have been negotiated and broken by your representatives and forces.

At this point you may believe that you are nearing completion of a Greater Serbia having paid only a small price. It may not bother you that Serbia is an international outlaw state--that your regime is seen by many as a reincarnation of the fascist evils of World War II.

But, while until now you have paid only a small price, I expect that this soon will change. Too many of your promises have been broken and too many thousands of lives have been shattered as a result.


The time for meetings and negotiations is over. The time has come for strong action, definitive action. Action to blunt your war machine. Action to prevent the onset of genocide in Kosovo. Action to prevent your dreams of a Greater Serbia from becoming a reality.

What type of action? The United States and the United Nations should give you a deadline. I will recommend to both the outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations that NATO air forces conduct selective air strikes if you do not cease the bloodshed and genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their targets will not be citizens, but the very core of your power: Serbia’s military assets.

Mr. Milosevic, your time is running out. The United States and the world won’t let you get away with genocide.

It is not only the world that won’t let you get away with genocide. It seems that the Serbian people are beginning to realize that the “truth” they see on their TV news is really propaganda; that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina is not one to “defend Serbs,” but to rape, pillage and ultimately conquer Bosnian territory.

The people of Serbia may have an opportunity next Sunday to choose democracy over dictatorship, peace over war, by voting for Milan Panic. But, despite my hopes, I am not at all confident that you will allow free and fair elections, particularly in light of the fact that Serbia’s last elections were neither free nor fair.

This letter may not convince you, but perhaps history will.

For many years, Adolf Hitler pursued a campaign of war and genocide that in his fanatical view seemed to advance the future of his country. Both Hitler and Germany paid a terrible price. Like Hitler, you have embarked on a war against civilization. The fate of Hitler’s Germany awaits you and Serbia.