December 10, 1996


So the U.S. is threatening to re-impose the sanctions on Serbia. How much more anti-Serbian can the U.S. government get? ("Serb leader hardens line on protests," News, Monday).

Sanctions are genocidal by definition. Renewing them can only hurt the Serbian people who are demonstrating in the streets of Belgrade - not Serbian Presiden Slobodan Milosevic!

But that's exactly what the U.S. and others in the international community did for almost four years during the Bosnian war. While thousands of Serbian citizens died in silence as a result of malnutrition, hunger and lack of medication, the supposedly civilized world looked the other way.

Meanwhile, what is the self-righteous international community doing now to help the pro-democracy demonstrators in Belgrade?

In a word - nothing!

There were no words of public outrage against Milosevic or support for the demonstrators from the highest levels of the self-appointed defenders of the free world - Bill Clinton, John Major, Jacques Chirac or Helmut Kohl. Nor, for that matter, by Boris Yeltsin. And there were no words of encouragement for the demonstrators from Capitol Hill. Why not?

Reports about the Belgrade protests are often buried inside TV news broadcasts and in most newspapers. Many American stations don’t even carry any news from Serbia. Why not?

Despite the lifting of U.N. sanctions, the U.S. embargo continues. And the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have
not invested in Serbia and Montenegro in the last year. Why not?

Here’s why not: Because the U.S.-led international community and Milosevic have joined hands in oppressing the Serb people.

Which is why Belgrade demonstrators should realize that when they shout "red bandits" and throw eggs at Milosevic’s presidential palace, they are also handing out the same epithets against the international community - the Serb dictator’s partners in crime.

Belgrade demonstrators' best hope for success is to direct their anger at the international community. They should try to shame Milosevic's closet admirers into giving up on him. The only solution is to remove this dictator from power.

Bob Djurdjevic
Phoenix, Arizona

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