Annoying as it may be to some members of these lists I am compelled to join
in the discussion. That intelligent people (whatever their discipline)
should be unconcerned with a war in which their government is
participating is depressing. Bob Jiggins comments are the most sensible I
have so far read. I would like Prof. Nedovic to know that there are people
in the UK who are against this war, including the 10,000 or so who marched
through London on May 8th. If the NATO governments were genuinely concerned
about the plight of ordinary Serbians and Kosovans they would not have
taken action which was bound to isolate the opposition to Milosovic and
intensify the persecution of Albanian Kosovans, not to mention killing
innocent Serb civilians.
On Wed, 12 May 1999 11:09:46 +0100 Bob Jiggins <[log in to unmask]>
> I feel no alternative but to reply to this post on the NATO
> conference. It is very hard to 'calm down' when you see your
> homeland being destroyed - especially when you've been working
> to achieve a more democratic and inclusive society.
> I am frankly amazed that such a conference, with these speakers,
> could be organised in the midst of this war - it beggars belief.
> Perhaps the main problem though (because we have to recognise
> an individuals right to speak their mind) is the manner in which this
> conference was publicised. I notice that although Prof Nedovic was
> not mailed directly - that person (along with others in Yugoslavia) is
> on the European Social Policy mailing list - and that only required
> a quick check.
> I sent out a large mailing recently on three academic lists (albeit
> not as large) and I took reasonable precautions to ensure that no
> ethnic Albanians were subscribed to the lists I subscribe to and
> use - as I had no wish to cause offence even though none was
> intended. I note that Douglas Eden had obviously not taken this
> most elementary of precautions - this is gross insensitivity and
> betrays a lack of knowledge and understanding of the situation in
> Yugoslavia/Kosovo. Those of us who have been interested in and
> concerned with the region for some time, and who do not share the
> traditional International Relations perspective (which tends to ignore
> cultures and societies) have a pretty reasonable idea of the issues.
> The topic and timing of this conference merely indicates the
> ignorant insularity which the British have traditionally displayed over
> foreign affairs.
> When this miserable war is over (perhaps if would be better) it will
> be recognised that there are no 'winners' - instead it will be ordinary
> Yugoslav citizens (Serbs, Montenegrins, Albanians, Roma etc.)
> who are the losers. Moreover it will be those citizens who have to
> pick up the pieces - and hopefully honourable 'Westerners' will do
> likewise. We have to work with our colleagues in Yugoslavia
> afterwards - and now as well - and eventually will begin the long
> task of building a sustainable and equitable peace. You can be
> sure that neither Milosevic nor NATO will help ordinary Yugoslavs
> to recover their futures as they desire. In other words we have to
> maintain a dialogue (that means now - and with the 'enemy'!) - a
> conference and publicity such as this only makes the task more
> difficult who for those who stay behind (after the military and
> strategic analysts have forgotton all about it). I would hope that an
> apology would be forthcoming - although I very much doubt it...
> Bob Jiggins
> Research Unit in South East European Studies
> University of Bradford
> West Yorkshire