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An Open Letter from The Greens/Green Party USA to Joschka Fischer and Our Sisters and Brothers in Alliance 90/The Greens, April 9, 1999.

As American Greens, we have often looked to the German Greens for leadership and inspiration. Your electoral achievements in 1983 brought international attention to Green politics and inspired the beginning of Green Party organizing in the US and many other countries. Your current participation in Germany's Red-Green governing coalition has given us hope that progress toward new models of just and ecological economics and peace politics would be made by Germany and give renewed impetus to Green organizing in the US and around the world.

But now, we have grave concerns about the support that the Red-Green coalition, Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and the majority of Green members of the Bundestag have given to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The very credibility of Green politics around the world may become a casualty of NATO's war if the German Greens continue to participate in it.

We agree that the repression, violence, and ethnic cleansing of the Milosevic regime against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is horrific and must be opposed. But NATO's bombing campaign has only made the situation worse. The Serb-led Yugoslav army and paramilitaries are acting with impunity in Kosovo since the OSCE monitors and independent press left Kosovo when NATO began bombing. Now hundreds of thousands of Albanians are fleeing the violence in Kosovo, as the Pentagon and CIA predicted. The US, at least, apparently knew that NATO bombing would be a disaster for the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

When the bombing campaign began, the US leadership told us its purpose was to save the Kosovo Albanians. Now, having utterly failed to meet that objective, we are told that we are at war "to save US and NATO credibility" and "to punish Milosevic." But the NATO bombing has only rallied Serbs behind Milosevic and crushed the political space for an anti-nationalist democratic alternative. While NATO bombing strengthens Milosevic, it hurts all Yugoslav people and creates resentments that will make a just political resolution of all issues in the Balkans all the more difficult.

That German Green leaders would support a US-led NATO military offensive in a non-NATO country is inexplicable to us because it encourages the US to act as a "rogue superpower" and to pursue its objective of extending NATO into the future indefinitely as its military enforcer throughout Europe and the Middle East. Now the US and NATO are using the Yugoslav war to transform NATO from a supposedly defensive alliance into an explicitly interventionist force.

The ramifications of this change in NATO's role are a threat to peace everywhere. The ABM and START treaties and nuclear disarmament negotiations between the US and Russia are now in jeopardy. Russia may now drop its no-first-use nuclear policy, which US-led NATO never adopted in the first place. The backlash in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China, and other countries to the east has strengthened their militarist and ultra-nationalist forces and threatens to create a new cold war and the remilitarization of Europe.

We are distressed that German Green leadership could believe that an alliance with the US political and military leadership could help make Yugoslavia adhere to human rights standards. US leaders will try to impose a result that is in their own geopolitical and economic interests, not in the interests of Kosovo Albanians or any other Balkan people. As Clinton said here in a speech the day before the bombing began, "If we are going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key.... That's what this Kosovo thing is all about."

If the Clinton administration had a genuine interest in human rights, it would withdraw its military backing of NATO-member Turkey's oppression of the Kurds, Israel's oppression of Palestinians, Mexico's oppression of Indians in Chiapas, and Indonesia's oppression of the East Timorese. It would end the economic sanctions on Iraq that have cost a million lives. It would call off the exploitation and austerity imposed on countries the world over through IMF "structural adjustment" policies, which had no small role in aggravating regional economic disparities and resentments and instigating secessionist movements in the former Yugoslav federation.

Clinton was seeking to expand US military spending by $112 billion over the next five years, which means under laws now governing the federal budget that this military money will come from still more cuts in education, housing, welfare, health care, and environment. Now, as a result of NATO's war, US militarists expect to get even higher increases in US military spending locked into the federal budget for years to come.

How can Greens in the US credibly build an opposition and alternative to this militaristic austerity program when German Greens have gone to war in alliance with Clinton?

We are doing all we can to stop the NATO bombing campaign because it is only making matters worse. We call for an immediate cease-fire by all sides (NATO, KLA, and Yugoslav forces), a re-start of negotiations, and agreement on a UN peacekeeping operation. We demand the replacement of NATO and its diplomacy by military dictate with a UN mandate to end the violence and facilitate a political resolution in cooperation with the OSCE and EU. To enforce a cease-fire and a negotiated settlement, we call for a UN-mandated peace-keeping force that excludes NATO countries that waged war in Yugoslavia, removes the Yugoslav army and Serb paramilitaries that have terrorized and forcibly removed the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, and disarms the KLA.

While ending the bloodletting in Kosovo and Yugoslavia must be the immediate aim, the resolution of the Kosovo issue requires a comprehensive regional peace treaty that offers economic reconstruction to all who sign it. It must aim to stabilize the region economically with a program of economic assistance to overcome the uneven development of the regions that has fueled recent Balkan conflicts. Militarily it must be part of a new post-NATO, European-based cooperative security framework that removes the meddling military forces of the US from Europe. We must undermine the delusion that the US is the "indispensable nation" that should unilaterally police the world, in the phrase coined by Secretary of State Albright that is now fashionable among the ruling elites of the US. This imperious arrogance of US elites is as dangerous to world peace as the bloody Greater Serbian nationalism of Milosevic is to peace in the Balkans.

We call on Foreign Minister Fischer and other Greens in the Bundestag to push for an end to Germany's support for NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia and to support a legitimate international peace-making process. If this causes a break in the Red-Green coalition, so be it. We see no benefit to Greens being junior partners in a governing coalition if they are reduced to pawns in a US-led NATO policy that contradicts fundamental Green principles.

In solidarity and with respect,

The Greens/Green Party USA

Note. The above is an abridged version of the letter from The Greens/Green Party USA. The full version can be found by going to the S/R website,, and clicking on the Table of contents for this issue (#20).

Statement by Green Party of Canada, March 29, 1999

Victoria, B.C. The Green Party of Canada deplores the involvement of Canada in yet another questionable US led enterprise. Canada's support for NATO acting unilaterally will undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, and will jeopardize any role Canada can play as an independent credible voice for peace. Even NATO is in violation of its own charter which calls for defensive action only. This cannot be construed as defensive. Furthermore, the Green Party of Canada has expressed grave concern about the endorsement, by the Red/Green alliance in Germany, of the NATO strikes."

Statement, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, March, 1999

New Zealand Greens are disappointed that yesterday's German Green Party conference backed the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. "The German Greens are out of kilter with Greens around the world, who have favoured peaceful alternatives to NATO's campaign," said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke. The New Zealand Green Party sent a message to the German Green conference. We said that "NATO's air bombardment has proved disastrous, particularly for the ethnic Albanians. The bombing has dramatically speeded up the "ethnic cleansing" and marginalized the democratic opposition in Serbia."

Statement by AGALEV (Belgian Greens), March 28, 1999

After initiation of the NATO action, AGALEV deeply regrets the fact that things have come to military action. The expulsion led by Milosevic and the terrorization of the Albanian residents of Kosovo has cost many people their lives, and may be tolerated no longer. The Serbian government has in no way constructively contributed to a true peace process, despite the efforts of the contact group, the EU and the USA. For the Greens this is completely unacceptable. It proves to us that Milosevic is steering toward a military solution to the problem. The international community cannot watch silently as this state of affairs continues. ... In these circumstances we call on the international community, and all the countries, particularly those which are friendly with Serbia, to do everything to convince Milosevic to proclaim an immediate armistice in Kosovo. The Serbian attacks on the Albanian population must be stopped. The KLA must be called upon to cease all combat activity. The negotiations in Rambouillet must be resumed. The Serbian government must accept that an international force supervise the results of the negotiations on the ground.

Translation by Phil Hill, a member of both the Greens/Green Party USA and Alliance 90/The Greens.

Statement by Mexican Ecologist Youth Movement, May 14, 1999

The National Executive Committee of the Ecologist Youth Movement of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico met in an extraordinary meeting and resolved by unanimity the following:

1. The Youth Movement of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico energetically condemns the bellicose actions taken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in the region of Kosovo.

2. Pacifism and non violence are fundamental principals of the national and international Green movements and by no means are subject to negotiation or agreements.

3. The Green Youth Movement of Mexico manifests its surprise towards some Greens in Europe concerning their support towards NATO.

4. We reject the arms race and the international trade of weapons, fundamental elements of war.

5. We condemn the policy of extermination of the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

6. As young people we demand a world free of armed conflicts to guarantee development and well being for future generations.

Declaration of the Green Party of Albania, April, 1999

In this extremely difficult situation for the Albanian Nation, the Greens of Albania, express our gratitude to the European Greens who have expressed their solidarity with our brothers, the Kosovo Albanians, who are experiencing and living through the greatest humanitarian tragedy in Europe.

The bloody regime of Milosevic is torturing and killing, exercising an obscene genocide against the Kosovo Albanians. The crimes against them comprise an endless list: teachers have been shot in front in front of their pupils, men have been separated from women, children and the elderly and thousands of defenseless people have been taken hostage and, in many cases for no reason, have been tortured and shot, taking advantage of the absence of laws in the bloody government of Milosevic.

In this extremely difficult situation, we, the Albanian Greens appeal with this declaration for the European Greens as well as those throughout the world to express their solidarity with these people to support them in overcoming the catastrophe into which they have been forced by Slobodan Milosevic and his criminal bands who are now well-known to the international public.

We express our amazement and deep bitterness for the position of the Italian Greens, which independently of their geographic affinity to the region, are the only ones not to have denounced the regime of Milosvic for all the sufferings that he is forcing on two million unprotected people.

We hope to receive, and anticipate, the solidarity of European Greens as well as that of all greens from around the World.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 1999
Previous Article:German Greens, Executive Committee Statement of March 29, 1999.
Next Article:An Appeal from American Jews to the Green Party of Germany to Stop the Bombing of Yugoslavia.

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