: 31. maj 1999 13:09

Emne: Against the Logic of War - NGOs from Serbia




Dear Friends and Esteemed Colleagues,

This letter is an answer to a "request" made by our associates and friends of

long standing, with whom we cooperated for a number of years on the long-term

and far-reaching programme of building a civic society in the FR of


This request, which we received in the midst of war, "humanitarian

intervention" and NATO aggression, that is, in the midst of a collapse of the

legitimate spheres of public and political life, at a time of extraordinary

decrees, military rule and summary trials in Yugoslavia, asks of us to

raise our

voices and sharpen political criticism and moral condemnation of the regime in

Belgrade. Moreover, in this assult of severe western Alliance action, which


transformed our society into a military barracks and enthroned Milosevic a

charismatic leader and Supreme Commander, we are expected, if possible, to

approve, even greet with understanding the militarist interventionism of NATO

in the FR of Yugoslavia.

Let us say immediately: from the beginning of the destruction of former

Yugoslavia our "civic position" has been clear and unambiguous. We have been

equally opposed both to the ethnic cleansing in Croatia, Bosnia and


and today in Kosovo and to NATO's intervention in the FR of Yugoslavia. In

other words, we fought with equal decisiveness against the lethal political

self-will of the Belgrade regime and the pernicious militarist self-will of


western alliance. In this context, we cannot be expected to unilaterally

denounce local totalitarianism and, at the same time, express solidarity with

the pretensions of global hegemonism. It is our principal belief that the


society should function as a permanent corrective to the state reason, and


NGOs should be supportive of peace and not war option of their governments.

It is unfounded to expect that the chain of violence and an expansionist

military option will lead to a rational political solution in Kosovo, in

the FR

of Yugoslavia and in the Balkans. On the contrary, we fear that in the name of

so-called "humanitarian intervention" we are witnessing the revival of the


archaic "figure of war", which we hoped long banished from our culture.

Finally, let us remind you: the brutal disintegration of the former


and the related nationalist conflicts which culminated i the ethnic


in Kosovo, took place "in collusion" with European policies and international

diplomacy. It has been precisely these unexpected shocks that have dangerously

threatened the ideals and norms of international democracy, which is still the

successor to the liberal and social heritage of defence of autonomy of the

individual, groups and peoples.

In spite of all circumstances, we shall continue to fight persistently and

enduringly for freedom of the individual, for those individual, civic,

collective and human rights which this war has again brought into peril.

Alternative Academic Educational Network

Association of Citizens for Democracy, Social Justice and Support for Trade


Belgrade Circle

Belgrade Women Studies Center

Center for Policy Studies NEZAVISNOST

Center for Transition to Democracy

Civic Initiatives

District 0230 Kikinda

EKO Center

European Movement in Serbia

Forum for Ethnic Relations and Foundation for Peace and Crisis Management

Foundation for Peace and Crisis Management

Group 484

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Society for Peace and Tolerance (Backa Palanka)

Sombor's Peace Group (Sombor)

Student Union of Yugoslavia

Trade Union Confederation

Union for Truth About Anti-Fascist Resistance

Urban Inn (Novi Pazar)

VIN Weekly Video News

Women in Black

YU Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights

In Belgrade,

May 21, 1999


Centar za proucavanje alternativa/ Center for Policy Studies

ul. Brace Jugovica 21/II

11000 Beograd


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