For more information contact Glenn Ruga at 413-586-6450
HADLEY, MA -- Friends of Bosnia strongly endorses the decision by the United States and its NATO allies to take military action against ultranationalist Serb forces to prevent further massacres of Kosovar civilians in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
The Milosevic regime has acted with impunity for the past ten years: imposing an oppressive rule over Kosovar Albanians, committing war crimes including genocide against the Bosnian people, and now turning its military forces and heavy weaponry against the Kosovar civilians in an all-out assault. Friends of Bosnia and other concerned citizen groups have long maintained that the surest way to establish stability in the Balkans is to stop the genocidal tactics of Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic.
We feel that saving thousands of lives from a possible genocide, thwarting the growth of a fascist and ultranationalist regime, and protecting our country═s critical interest in European stability are legitimate and ethical foreign policy objectives, and we support the use of U.S. troops in achieving these ends. Friends of Bosnia has worked for many years to expose the dangers of the Milosevic regime, and we feel the current military response is (and has been) the only appropriate action to effectively oppose such a threat.
We applaud the courage of U.S. officials in leading this campaign, and hope their decisions reflect a policy based on the principles of human rights and the pursuit of justice, and a strategic plan for achieving long-term peace in the region.
For nine years, the Serb government has oppressed the Kosovar Albanian people, denying their civil, constitutional and human rights, during which time the Kosovar Albanians deliberately chose a path of nonviolent resistance. Lacking support and recognition from western powers to help head off a violent crackdown by the Milosevic regime, the Kosovar Albanians only recently turned to organized armed resistance. The current escalation by Serb forces into a full scale assault against the Kosovo Liberation Army, as well as civilians, was predictable and, sadly, preventable. Once again, the world will have a clear view of atrocities and unspeakable suffering caused by the Serb ultranationalists against an untold number of noncombatants, women and children--crimes that, hopefully, our government is now committed to ending.