Subject: Pismo Times-u 2 Author: Janko Nikolic-Zugic at mskcc,SU Date: 12/3/96 12:18 AM
STOP HELPING COMMUNIST OPPRESSION IN SERBIA
To the Editor-
At the local elections in Serbia, held on Nov. 17th., the opposition handily won in the majority of large towns, trouncing Milosevic and his communist coalition in a first communist loss in fifty years. To the freedom- and peace-loving people in Serbia, the United States, and all over the world, this was great news. Then Milosevic and his cronies stole the opposition victory using a variety of illegal and criminal procedures. This was the latest in the series of Milosevic's disastrous moves that have left Serbia impoverished, dishonored, isolated and devastated. This time around, however, the people of Serbia took to the streets, persisting to this day in a peaceful protest and civilian disobedience against Milosevic's criminal, ruthless and dictatorial regime. Hundreds of thousands people had marched for the last two weeks for freedom, justice, dignity and human rights in Serbia. They are still in the streets, braving snow, rain and cold temperatures, trying to peacefully bring down the last communist dictator in Europe and one of the main instigators of the last Balkan war. For the great majority of freedom- and peace-loving people, this is great news, and a great reason to support them.
Not so for the New York Times. In the articles "Ambitious Serb takes on his less telegenic twin", (NYT. 12/1, p. A18), and "Prospects for change, not hope" (NYT, 12/1, p 10., Week in review), both by C. Hedges, and in the editorial of 11/29, the NYT clearly conveys disdain for the opposition movement, treating Milosevic as a lesser evil between the two. We, the undersigned Serbian-Americans, are appalled by the logics behind these articles. All three articles contend that Milosevic is a more convenient partner for the U.S.; the U.S. can easily corner him on any issue in the region, dangling the Hague indictment, and Mr. Milosevic will gladly oblige. Is it possible that the New York Times really believes that one of the most ruthless and criminal dictators is preferable to the democratic, fairly elected government ? Or is the New York Times sacrificing principles of democracy on the altar of the daily (shortsighted) politics ? We would like to believe that neither of the above is true, and that, in view of the above facts, you will help the young and fragile democratic movement, the first of a kind in Serbia in the last fifty years. Only a free, democratic and prosperous Serbia can guarantee lasting peace and stability in the Balkans. And both the Serbs and the world deserve better than Milosevic.