News Release

Analysts Scrutinize NATO Bombing

ROBERT HAYDEN
Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Hayden has been deeply involved in attempts to mediate the crisis in Kosovo, bringing together political leaders from all sides and regularly visiting the region. One of the Albanian party leaders he worked with was reported by NATO to have been executed by Serbian forces. Hayden said today: “This mission, supposedly designed to prevent a massive humanitarian catastrophe, has instead produced it. We have now shown that NATO is ‘credible’ for doing something incredibly irresponsible. Apparently ‘winning it’ means destroying the Balkans to save NATO for its upcoming 50th birthday…. Having provoked the catastrophe with bombing, NATO’s ‘remedy’ is more bombing. The army headquarters in central Belgrade that NATO is considering targeting is surrounded by apartment buildings. Civilian casualties here could not be considered ‘collateral damage,’ particularly since the ‘command and control’ functions are no longer being carried out from those headquarters.”
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JACQUELINE CABASSO
Executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, Cabasso said: “The situation in Kosovo is ominous with respect to prospects for nuclear disarmament. The U.S.-led NATO bombing is opposed by Russia, China, India and Indonesia; three are nuclear powers, making up almost half the world’s population. There are reports that India is considering a possible alliance with China and Russia in response. Russia has terminated its Y2K compliance program with the U.S., and Ukraine is reportedly contemplating reversal of its non-nuclear status. This first NATO military action since its recent expansion up to Russia’s border comes on the eve of NATO’s 50th anniversary summit in Washington. Centrally provocative to Russia is that NATO acts under the U.S. ‘nuclear umbrella’ including threatened first use of nuclear weapons. There’s also the recent Senate vote to go forward with national missile defense, which threatens to abrogate the ABM treaty. All of these developments have made the Russians resistant to ratifying the START II arms reduction treaty. In addition, the U.S. has committed $60 billion to rebuild its nuclear weapons research, development and production infrastructure, and the Secretary of Energy has announced that production of tritium — radioactive hydrogen used to boost the destructive power of atomic bombs — will be resumed. We seem to be heading straight backwards into the Cold War.”
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JULIANNE SMITH
An expert on NATO, Smith is a senior analyst at the European Security desk at BASIC (British American Security Information Council). Smith said: “Bombing is not a preventive tool, it is a consequence of not having any preventive tools. It’s clear that the NATO bombings are not saving lives, instead they are contributing to the escalation of the conflict.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; Loren Sears, (541) 484-9167