“We will be ashamed, just like Serbia.” Sharp anniversary of “humanitarian bombing”

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At the end of March, 25 years have passed since the beginning of the bombing of Yugoslavia, today’s Serbia, by the aircraft of the North Atlantic Alliance. The bombing, which the Serbs perceive as an act of aggression, lasted 78 days and nights. Member States hit a number of civilian targets with their bombs and caused massive casualties on the part of the civilian population.

Official figures most often state that the bombing killed 2,500 civilians, including nearly a hundred children. The most famous child victim is the three-year-old girl Milica Rakić, who was hit by a cluster bomb in the bathroom of her family’s house. Among the first targets hit was the Belgrade maternity hospital building.

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The NATO strikes were officially intended as an action to prevent a humanitarian disaster within the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, which was fought over by the Kosovo-Albanian separatist forces with the regular Yugoslav army and police. Paradoxically, the bombing also hit the Albanian refugee convoys.

The Czech president at the time, Václav Havel, supported and defended the bombing. He is credited with making the “humanitarian bombing” statement, which some of his supporters describe as fabricated. However, public sources quote Havel from the French newspaper Le Monde that “airstrikes, bombs are not motivated by material interest. Their nature is exclusively humanitarian.”

Miloš Zeman was the prime minister at the time, whose cabinet finally approved the overflights of airplanes over our territory after prolonged pressure from the Alliance. Zeman later stated that he was deceived because it was promised that only military targets would be hit. In 2021, during the visit of Serbian President Vučić to Prague, he apologized live to the Serbs for this Czech consent to the bombing and asked for forgiveness.

ParlamentníListy.cz was interested in how Czech politicians across parties look back on this NATO action.

“Hello, at that time, as a student, I collected hundreds of thousands of humanitarian aid and went there to help. That’s why my point of view is definitely different from many politicians. Every war is disgusting,” wrote the Lidovecki MEP to the editors Tomáš Zdechovsky.

His colleague from the European Parliament and head of the KSČM Kateřina Konečná she was more forceful. “Hello, Yugoslavia is just the icing on the cake of evil that was and is being sown by the NATO pact. Today it serves as an extended arm of US interests. After all, KSČM and STAČILO are the only entities that ask citizens to comment on whether they want to remain in this warmongering pact or not,” she said.

“Sometimes even a master carpenter cuts himself. What more to say. I recommend Jiří Dientsbier Sr.’s book Blood Tax on the subject,” said the ODS senator Tomáš Jirsa.

  • KSČM
  • I am a member of parliament – thanks to you, for you, with you
  • MEP

  • KDU-ČSL
  • Member of the EP and member of the board of the KDU-ČSL
  • MEP

For SPD MPs Radovan Vicha the bombing was a shock. “The ink has not even dried on the accession treaty of the Czech Republic to NATO, and the government of the Czech Republic at that time already agreed to the overflight of NATO planes over our territory with the aim of the so-called humanitarian bombing of Serbia, which resulted in many innocent civilian victims during strikes on civilian targets. I think it shook the confidence of our citizens in NATO. It is also necessary not to forget who was the president at that time,” said the deputy.

“I was in Belgrade and talked to the locals. Most people want Serbia to join the European Union, but you can hardly find a person who wants to join NATO. I can’t assess the military effects in the 90s, but I think that politically NATO lost that country irretrievably,” stated the pirate MEP Mikuláš Peksa.

The senator also offers a clear view Zdenek Hraba. “I did not agree with this action at the time and I have not changed my mind. I believe that it was a mistake also because this bombing left big wounds on the relations between the West and Serbia, which will take a long time to heal, which can be seen after all,” he told ParlamentníListy.cz.

“Even then I condemned the bombing, it was clearly an attack on Serbia by NATO troops, i.e. an act of military aggression. So I don’t need a hindsight, whoever wanted it knew and was clear back then. Then I went to Serbia with my husband to see and hug the local people… All those who committed and approved of the attack on Serbia should be ashamed of themselves. I am not even talking about the double standard in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. War is always evil, and therefore I condemn this government which wants to drive us into it. I don’t understand anyone who craves war, and in the case of Minister Černochová, her apparent satisfaction in buying weapons. Apparently she is missing others. We should all do everything to preserve peace, the government in the first place,” said the senator Jana Zwyrtek Hamplová.

The head of the Oath movement Robert Schlachta he talks about the long-term consequences of the bombing. “I judge it, like any similar conflict, badly. Every action where civilian victims die is a terrible tragedy and it should be the duty of all parties, including the UN and NATO, to prevent conflicts. That was true then and it is true today. In addition, each such action has long-term consequences and causes security risks in the wider area as well,” he said.

  • OATH of Robert Szlachta
  • outside the representative function

“In 1999 I visited Serbia with humanitarian aid and experienced a series of night raids in Belgrade. I spoke with many people there and understood that the attack by the NATO states damaged the positive attitude of the Serbs towards the “West” for many years. I am convinced that the governments at that time should have looked for other ways to stop the senseless killing in Kosovo,” said the head of SOCDEM Michal Šmarda.

According to the head of the PRO party Jindřich Rajchl the bombing of Serbia is the greatest shame in the history of our country. “We were hastily accepted into NATO only so that our territory could be used for military aggression against Serbia. As a result of the use of depleted uranium, Serbia has the highest number of cancer cases per capita in Europe and the second in the world. I am convinced that we should apologize additionally to Serbia for this failure. And above all, we should learn from it and never repeat a similar mistake. Which unfortunately we are currently doing when our Taurus missiles are being used to attack civilian targets and when Petr Fiala has turned us into a dealer in artillery shells. One day, we will be just as ashamed of this stupid overtaking of an aggressive strategy of unnecessary prolongation of the war conflict and incomprehensible bloodshed as we are of the humanitarian bombing of Serbia,” stated Rajchl.

  • FOR 2022
  • Chairman of the Law Respect Expertise party
  • outside the representative function

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author: I like Doll


The article is in Czech

Tags: ashamed Serbia Sharp anniversary humanitarian bombing

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