These messages brought to you today by VOICES FOR PEACE/
LaCrosse Coalition Against the Wars

‘Stop the bombing of Yugoslavia and Iraq!
Lift the sanctions against Iraq!  Let them LIVE!’
La Crosse post office, June 15 1999

Since our last vigil a week ago, our bombers have ended their vicious bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, and we rejoice for that!
We certainly aren’t sure ‘the war is over’, however.
Since our last vigil a week ago, our bombers have bombed Iraq again also.  Several times.
Since our last vigil a week ago, our ‘sanctions’ have killed another 1,500 or so Iraqi children.


Congressman Ron Kind
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515
local phone:  782-2558
Senator Russ Feingold
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
local phone: 782-5585
Senator Herb Kohl
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510


Excerpted from an editorial in the June 11 1999 Madison Cap Times:

…Perhaps the United States might learn a lesson or two from what surely was one of the most strategically inept, obscenely expensive and ultimately harmful geopolitical endeavors since Mad Anthony Wayne’s ill-fated invasion of Canada.

Ostensibly launched to protect the Kosovar Albanians, the 11-week NATO bombing mission ended with 860,000 Kosovars displaced to refugee camps.  Hundreds of thousands of additional ethnic Albanians are hiding in the hills of their homeland, having been forced to abandon their home villages by Serb thugs and NATO bombs.

(VOICES  notes: they say the worst danger for the returning refugees is the polluted water and land,  and the land mines – do you think our bombing contributed to any of this?)

Even NATO officials admit that, if the war had not been fought, the overwhelming majority of the Kosovars would still be in their homes.  This is not to say that the Kosovars would not have been endangered by Slobodan Milosevic’s army and the Serb paramilitary forces that have terrorized ethnic minorities.  But it is to say that the bombing mission did much more harm than good.

The more-harm-than-good scenario plays out, as well, in Yugoslavia itself, where Milosevic’s shaky grip on power was strengthened by the NATO assault.  It plays out on the streets of Belgrade and other Yugoslav cities, where billions will have to be spent to rebuild a civilian infrastructure that was virtually obliterated, and where families must struggle to overcome the grief of loved ones lost to the nightly bombings.  It plays out in U.S. – Russian relations, which are at the shakiest point in years.  It plays out in a bloated U.S. military budget, into which billions of dollars were shifted at the height of an undeclared war.

This war should not have been fought.

…The real lesson of this war is the lesson of all recent U.S.military excursions:  When this country follows its emotions into the civil wars of far-off lands, it is almost always a mistake. …It guarantees that Americans will ultimately ask:

Why are we killing people without even declaring war on them?

It is not the right or the responsibility of presidents or the Pentagon to decide where America will fight wars.  That is the job of the Congress.  And if Congress had done its job this time, the Kosovar Albanians would be better off, thousands of Serbs would be alive, and America would have more money for schools, Medicare, Social Security and all the other programs that suffer when money is squandered on military adventurism.