* In America, Serbian American protesters can burn American flags with impunity in front of the White House to protest the NATO campaign against genocide. That is their right as Americans. In the former Yugoslavia, people are murdered not only for what they say, but simply for who they are. Not only is there no right to freedom of expression, there is not even a right to life.
Serbian Americans in this country, of which I am one, would do well to appreciate this difference before using their free-speech rights to provide aid and comfort to Slobodan Milosevic and his genocidal henchmen. For the record, not all Serbian Americans support this madman, and more than a few of us are sickened and embarrassed by the actions of those who do.
RONALD O. RICHARDS
* What bothers me about the bombing in Yugoslavia is that we are involved in another country’s civil war yet again. I guess we really didn’t learn anything from Vietnam after all.
In Rwanda the tribe in power murdered approximately 1 million members of a minority tribe in a horrendous, bloody civil war. We sure didn’t seem very concerned about that “ethnic cleansing,” so why Kosovo?
* For seven long, bloody years the Serbs have engaged in the barbarous practice of “ethnic cleansing.” The media, The Times included, refer to the victims as Bosnians and Kosovars; this is true but incomplete. The Serbs are Orthodox Christians (as are their friends, Russia and Greece). The victims are Muslims. This is a religious persecution, as was Hitler’s against the Jews. Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was asked, “What is the lesson of the Holocaust?” His answer: “You can get away with it.”
* Now that NATO has set a precedent, what will be next? Chechnya? Tibet? Timor? Or maybe California and Texas!
A. TRUJILLO ESCARENO
* To those people who say that Kosovo is none of our business and we should stay out of it: If you looked across your back fence and saw your neighbor beating his stepchildren with a club, would you just ignore it? Some of you probably would.
* Let’s see now: According to a Times Poll, 53% of Americans polled approve of the decision to send U.S. troops to participate in NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia (March 26).
Yet, 46% of those polled said they don’t know who’s fighting whom, and 7% thought they knew but were wrong. Hmmmmmm, 46 plus 7 equals (surprise!) 53%.
Maybe your headline should have read “53% of Public Backs U.S. Role in Airstrikes, Same Margin Clueless Re Combatants.”
SANDRA L. GENIS
* Well done, President Clinton (and NATO). If we had bombed the railway tracks leading to the gas chambers 56 years ago in World War II, thousands of lives would have been saved. I know, I lost my family there.
Kosovo is no different.
* I translate a quote taken directly from my 20-year-old cousin Marko’s most recent e-mail from Belgrade. “We didn’t sleep all night. My mom was bugging me nonstop to go into hiding, but how can I go when that is really just a place for leaving old belongings and boxes. There is no ventilation. If they hit us with bombs, everyone and everything would be buried. Hopefully God will not let that happen.”
I felt compelled to share this e-mail with my fellow Americans. They should realize that America is not just bombing buildings, they are bombing people. They are bombing grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and even schools.
If this is how America makes peace, then I am beginning to question this “land of liberty.” I urge all Americans to look carefully before supporting an operation that only promotes violence and the deaths of innocent civilians.