Socialist Party local statements on Yugoslavia

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed Apr 14 12:16:18 PDT 1999

Forward from David McReynolds


((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Fraternally, David McReynolds NYC


> The Socialist Party of Illinois and the Chicago Socialist Party

> (affiliates of the Socialist Party USA) issue the following

> resolution regarding the bombing of Yugoslavia. Exactly 82

> years ago, on April 7, 1917, the Socialist Party USA

> denounced the United States government's decision to enter

> World War I. We add our voices to our party's legacy of

> unwavering opposition to war and militarism.

> -------------------------




> April 7, 1999


> The Socialist Party of Illinois (SPI) and the Chicago Socialist

> Party (CSP) are vehemently opposed to the U.S.-led NATO

> bombing of Serbia. The action only serves to strengthen the

> hand of the right-wing nationalist Serbian military government,

> heightens the chance for expanding military conflict to other

> Balkan countries, and puts hundreds of thousands of innocent

> civilians in harms way. We oppose the U.S. government's all

> but unilateral decision to initiate this foray into senseless

> militarism. We call for the capture and trial of Milosevic and

> his cronies before an international tribunal for war crimes

> and crimes against humanity. We call for a multinational,

> secular Yugoslavian federation, governed democratically

> by farmers, students and workers of all ethnicities, so that

> the right to self-determination for all peace-loving peoples

> may be guaranteed.


> 1. Stop the bombing immediately. All further military action

> only strengthens the hand of the right wing nationalists and

> the Milosevic dictatorship. The NATO bombing has clearly

> provided the motivation for intensified persecution of

> Albanians and other groups.


> 2. The NATO attack has made it impossible for those within

> Serbia who oppose the dictatorship--farmers' unions, labor

> unions, students, and others--to make their voices heard.

> The Milosevic regime has never received the support of the

> majority of the citizenry--however, now those forces in

> opposition have even less political and economic resources

> to overcome the dictatorship and re-institute democratic

> structures.


> 3. SPI/CSP supports all those democratic forces who struggle peacefully

> and democratically for the right to self-determination,

> and who oppose the destructive nationalism that the NATO

> bombings will only prolong.


> 4. NATO must be disbanded. It's legacy--ostensibly as a

> counterweight to the Warsaw Pact alliance--served only to

> escalate the arms race, prolong the Cold War, and put

> millions of Europeans in danger of nuclear destruction. NATO's

> role today--a full decade after the Warsaw Pact was peacefully

> disbanded--is to make Eastern Europe safe for economic

> policies that only benefit big corporations. Towards this end,

> the U.S. government and its allies among the Western European

> conservative and liberal administrations have pampered and

> funded those like Milosevic (re: the Dayton Accords) in

> exchange for the implementation of neoliberal economic

> and social legislation that promotes profits and depresses

> wages and living conditions for the majority of working

> women and men.


> 5. We oppose the economic polices of the IMF and

> World Bank because they impose hardship and suffering

> by destroying the hard-won gains of social legislation in

> the areas of job creation, health care, education, and

> guaranteed standards of living.


> 6. All international financial debts must be unilaterally forgiven.

> Monies that go to service such debts only detract from the

> critical social and material resources that will be required to

> rebuild Yugoslavia. Indeed, a removal of such debts would

> accelerate economic and social development in all

> impoverished areas of the world.


> 7. SPI/CSP is fearful that the NATO bombings will heighten

> the probability of military conflict by intensifying nationalist

> and xenophobic tendencies among the unstable governments

> in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Russia and

> elsewhere. The NATO course of action sets a dangerous

> precedent, not only in its adherence to military might, but

> in its criminal favoritism of Turkey while disregarding the

> Turkish governments' oppression of the Kurdish minority.


> 8. We believe the NATO bombing only reinforces the cynical

> worldview that certain groups and countries are necessarily undemocratic,

> dangerous and unable to govern themselves.

> Those who defended Apartheid in South Africa or the

> Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia put forth similar

> justifications. Such ideas are nonsense.


> 9. We believe an end to the conflicts in the Balkans requires

> the support of democratic groups of all ethnicities of that

> region. If they so desire, they must be able to call on outside

> support on their own terms. Such support--preferably from

> non-aligned, non-NATO countries--must be granted with no

> strings attached. Towards this end, we call for equal

> representation for all non-aligned nations in all international

> decision-making bodies.


> 10. SPI/CSP calls for an end to the international arms trade,

> and supports the Socialist Party USA resolution which

> demands an immediate and unilateral 50 percent cut in

> the U.S. military budget. We believe that the billions now

> spent on military goods only furthers the aims of the

> Milosevic's of the world, and that such resources should

> instead be used to increase the living standards of all our

> communities, and so decrease the potential for ethnic and

> nationalist tensions and war.

> --------------------------------------

> Socialist Party of Illinois: <spiegv at>

> Chicago Socialist Party: <iwch at>

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