Statement: US Force in Kosovo

 

April 5, 1999

The Seamless Garment Network, a coalition of organizations committed to the protection of life, opposes the use of violence to solve society's problems. The SGN stands opposed to violence in all forms.

Therefore, the Seamless Garment Network does not support the ongoing U.S. and NATO bombing campaigns in Iraq and Kosovo. Violence begets violence. The complex problems in Iraq and Kosovo are only being exacerbated by the bombings.

           

In Iraq, the U.S.-led war and sanctions have resulted in thousands of civilian deaths while doing little to undermine Saddam Hussein's power base. In Kosovo, the U.S./NATO bombing campaign has resulted in an even more horrible backlash against the Albanians and strengthened the resolve of Slobodan Milosevic, in addition to causing an untold number of civilian deaths.

What's clear thus far is that the U.S./NATO bombing campaign has made matters worse for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Thousands of desperate refugees are pouring out of Kosovo because Milosevic has used the air attacks as an excuse to increase his campaign of violence against the ethnic Albanians.

Supporters of the Seamless Garment Network decry Milosevic's terror campaign against ethnic Albanians. We call on the nations of the world to open their hearts and their borders to help the fleeing refugees.

Violence begets violence. We believe a nonviolent solution is possible and we urge the U.S. and NATO to do everything possible to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Kosovo.

Unfortunately the violence of the U.S./NATO forces has only increased the suffering of the ethnic Albanians and will likely make life miserable for many Yugoslavians who are not supporters of Milosevic. Innocent civilians will also be injured and killed as the bombing campaign continues.

In Easter sermons all over the world, ministers called for peace and an end to the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. "We cannot find peace this way, not peace with justice," Cardinal John O'Connor of the Archdiocese of New York said about Milsovic's actions. "Nor can we find peace and justice simply through bombs. Life does not come from killing."

In the post-Cold War world the United States is assuming the role of global policeman, and has shown little patience for diplomacy. Like almost every president in the 20th century, Pres. Clinton has exhibited a quick trigger finger when it comes to foreign policy. In a nuclear world, our "biggest bully on the block" strategy is lacking in moral vision and creativity.

The choice in a nuclear world, said the late pacifist leader Martin Luther King Jr.,
is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or non-existence.

 

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