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Letter in Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, April 21, 1999.

Forced into an immoral and stupid war

The Drive, Costessey

We are at war - an immoral and stupid war which can't be won, bombing ex-allies (you can't say fighting) on behalf of ex-enemies!

Would one of your readers lease tell me when our Parliament voted for this? Or have we been bundled willy-nilly? If that's the case, then we don't need Parliament.

Those who have watched the BBC will know how wicked the Serbs are. Certainly they are not angels. But, and it's a big but, they are nowhere near as wicked as the Croats who massacred something like a million Serbs in 1941-45. A holocaust, in fact, but curiously never mentioned even though it included Jews and gipsies.

Is it not surprising, even sinister, that Der Spiegel, a German weekly, should have called in 1993 for the "decimation of the Serb civilian population"?

Our MPs to me have a lot to answer for. We should get out immediately.


From the letters page of the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich, Tuesday, 20th April 1999.

Too little too late in Ulster and Kosovo

Waterloo Avenue, Leiston.

Peter Day belligerently asserts that appeasement has always been "the Mother of Aggression" (April 16).
In every successful species I know of it is the other way round; appeasement is the negative feedback essential to regulate aggression. Consider the smaller dog exposing its neck to the bigger one, which then refrains from tearing out the arteries.
He storms at us that the Nato allies had no alternative but to take up arms against Milosevic. Yet they have easily found alternatives to the horrors of Tibet, East Timor, Rwanda and elsewhere, when it has suited them, by turning their backs.
He demands that Nato only stop the bombing when a UN-protected Kosovo is agreed, yet it has been the systematic emasculation of the UN Security Council, by Nato allies among others, that has for so long prevented any meaningful UN-sponsored solutions to the problems in the Balkans.
Turning to Northern Ireland, he castigates the UK Government for falling [in] with the IRA, but ignores the fact that the same Government ignores the terrorism and violence perpetuated by the loyalists.
Even more remarkably, he trumpets the UK's "famous" commitment and determination to do what is right when, in Ulster as in Kosovo, it is attempting too little, too late and too partially

Important we keep twin link

Gilman Road, Norwich.

I'm not a Labour supporter, but I think that the city council was courageous, and perfectly right, to vote to continue our twinning with Novi Sad. There are just three ways to get rid of enemies - kill them, make them go away, or turn them into friends.
Your recent correspondents must be too young to know what happened after the 1914-18 way. We tried to punish the Germans by making them pay "reparations" to compensate for the damage that they had done. That led to the rise of Hitler - and another war.
We learnt that lesson. After the last war, the Allies took care to help and to befriend the Germans, Italians and Japanese. That worked; we've had peace between these countries for over 50 years, with more, no doubt, to come.
Presumably your ferocious correspondents do not propose that we should kill off the Serbs, nor that we should copy Milosevic and drive them out of their country. That means that, when the fighting is over, we have no choice but to try to turn them into friends.
Maintaining our twinning link with Novi Sad tells them that we want them to be friends. Our military activities presumably make it clear to them that we cannot be friends while they behave as they do towards the Kosovars. This seems to be about the best combination of activities that is available to us in an appalling situation.
Blowing blimpish trumpets will do nothing but make things worse.


The Avenues, Norwich.

We read with some dismay the recent letters in your paper concerning twinning with Novi Sad. They seemed to be of the view that because Nato is currently at war with Belgrade there should be no communication between the people of Norwich and those of Novi Sad.
We abhor the policy of ethnic cleansing but there are many in Serbia who do not support the government and many who are unaware of what their government is doing in their name.
After the armed conflict is over there can be no lasting peace until all those involved learn to recognise and respect each other as individua; human beings. It is therefore important to maintain the twinning arrangement, however much we disapprove of what is going on now.
The town twinning could be an important channel of communication for reconciliation, and could offer Norwich people a special opportunity to contribute to a future settlement of the current woeful situation.


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