From Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, June 3, 1999: (Letters page):
PETER J OFFORD,
Old Palace Road, Norwich.
I note the war in Kosovo (still undeclared, I believe) is, according to the media and Nato, proceeding along satisfactory lines. In any war there are unfortunate casualties and with the "smart" targeting systems Nato has kept this "collateral damage" to a minimum.
If a few thousand civilians have been killed or maimed and crippled, and left homeless, then let the survivors be thankful that Milosevic did not get there first - after all, he is responsible for the killing of many people.
As for the refugees, are not Albania and Macedonia (like Yugoslavia) so poor that the influx of a few thousand more people into their country can have little effect upon their impoverished economy. Surely it is better to have your country destroyed and people killed by a power that is intervening for the good than by a regime perpetrating these acts with genocidal intentions.
If Nato is contravening international agreements and flying in the face of the United Nations we all know what happens to agreements in a time of war (one only has to be reminded of Adolf Hitler).
The withholding of ground troops is another example of military and political perspicacity, after all we don't want anybody killed on "our" side, the whole thing could take on a particularly unpleasant odour, whereas the death of a few thousand Yugoslav people...
In fact Nato is doing such a good job the "war" does not appear to be affecting us one jot, it almost brings back nostalgic memories of the Falklands or Vietnam. We still socialise, go to work, support the war through our payment of taxes; the price of beer has not increased, and we can still watch sport and TV.
The fact that it is costing £40 million per day has not made one dint in our lives, although social services and the NHS are still a bit impecunious. So long as we don't incur a massive national debt.
On the plus side, the devastation of Yugoslavia and the use of depleted uranium in the warheads all bodes well for those companies specialising in decontamination, construction and rebuilding. Shares in these companies are rising. Maybe this will go some way to adjusting our unemployment difficulties.
In the meantime, Nato will have efficiently disposed of all its fast outdating ordnance on what is proving to be an ideal testing ground for armaments development and military muscle flexing, all at a safe distance from our sceptred isle.
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