GREEN PARTY USA DEMANDS HALT TO NATO BOMBING; CALLS ON GERMAN GREENS TO JOIN ANTI-WAR CALL
Speaking for the Coordinating Committee of the Greens/Green Party USA, Starlene Rankin of Ames, Iowa, said today, " The Greens/Green Party USA calls for an immediate halt to US-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia with its resulting loss of human lives and environmental destruction. We demand a return to negotiations and peace monitors under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"We are working in solidarity with the European Greens, who have also called for an end to NATO air strikes. We are disappointed, however, that the German Greens have so far failed to dissent from the pro-NATO intervention policy of the Red/Green alliance governing Germany. We call on the German Greens to return to their anti-war roots and nonviolent principles and join the call to an immediate halt to NATO's air strikes.
"We call on the U.S. government to stop this illegal intervention in a sovereign state that has received no sanction from the United Nations and has received no Declaration of War from the US Congress, as our Constitution requires. We call on the US to pursue, through the UN Security Council and the OSCE, renegotiating an immediate cease fire, working closely with Russia and other European countries to facilitate negotiations, building a multilaterally-supported political process for new negotiations between the parties to the conflict within a framework of international law, returning civilian observer-peace monitors to Kosovo, and reasserting efforts to hold all actors accountable under international law for crimes, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
"NATO bombing only makes it harder for the pro-democracy movements of both Serbs and Albanian Kosovars in Yugoslavia. NATO bombing has already worsened the ethnic violence on the ground by providing cover for stepped up action by both the Serbian army and the Kosovo Liberation Army. NATO bombing is helping to defeat the internal democratic opposition inside Serbia by rallying the besieged Serbs to the militaristic forces of Greater Serbian nationalism.
"NATO's intervention is an environmental disaster for the people of Yugoslavia. The depleted uranium shells used by US forces will jeopardize the health of the people and the land for generations to come.
"We do not for one minute believe the humanitarian pretext for the US-led NATO military intervention. If humanitarian motives guided the US and NATO actions, then they would have intervened long ago to stop the atrocities committed by NATO member, Turkey, against the Kurds. Why are the USA and its NATO partners suddenly so concerned about civilian casualties while their sanctions, according to UN estimates, kill 5000 Iraqis a month? Humanitarian rhetoric cannot hide the geopolitical objectives of the US in the War, namely, dominating the Balkans in order to secure access to Caspian oil and gas and turning US-led NATO into a global police force for protecting corporate investments.
"There are no easy answers to the conflict in Kosovo, and we firmly believe that bombing will not resolve ethnic conflict in the Balkans. It will only harden the militarists on all sides and lead to occupation by NATO forces to enforce an unjust peace, which will meet with resistance and the loss of more lives, including American troops.
"Let us be clear that we oppose Milosevic's reactionary nationalist project of a Greater Serbia. In particular, we condemn the violence of both the Serb-led Yugoslav Army against Albanian Kosovar civilians and the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serb civilians. We support the right of Albanian Kosovars to self-determination and independence. We support pro-democracy movements in all the Balkan states. We must work directly with the anti-war, pro-democracy movements in all the Balkan states and support their nonviolent social struggles to lift oppression and resolve conflicts (for example, by building the campaign to support Radio B92, the independent Serbian anti-war, pro-democracy station recently banned by Milosevic.)
"Americans are victims of the NATO bombing, too. Resources devoted to US imperial ambitions and the Military/Industrial Complex are resources siphoned away from education, health care, economic security, our decaying cities, and our environment in the US."
The Greens/Green Party USA is working for the creation of a sustainable, just society based on the Ten Key Values of Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community-Based Economics, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Future Focus and Sustainability.
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