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Holocaust in Kosovo

In directing its letter [“Stop the Bombing,” Mar. 30] to “all people of good will,” the MIT Organization of Serbian Students was perhaps mistaken in its choice of words. It might have been more appropriate to address “all people who want to revisit the holocaust.” I say this because that is really what is happening in Kosovo. I have heard reliable reports of men being systematically executed, of houses being shelled and burned, and of men, women and children being forced out of their homes and ordered to flee to neighboring countries. I also watched disturbing coverage (reminiscent of scenes from Schindler’s List) of a train full of ethnic Albanians hoping to escape persecution in Kosovo, arrive at the Macedonian border. Police surrounded the train, its doors were locked, and it was sent back to Kosovo without explanation while the people inside screamed for help.

Over the years, we have seen what Slobodan Milosevic is capable of doing to innocent people, and that if something is not done to stop him, he will do it. I compare him to Hitler as a man who does not understand words but only deeds. Although I do not condone the double standards of certain North Atlantic Treaty Organization members with regards to their foreign policy, something has to be done to keep Milosevic in check.

I realize that NATO air strikes put civilian installations and more importantly, Serbian citizens at risk -- destruction does not come without such risks. But Milosevic does not seem to believe that the lives of his people are valuable enough for him to make concessions and reach a peace deal. In the years I have been at MIT, I never once read an article sent in by this student group proclaiming, “we want our families and all the people of the Balkans to live in peace.” Perhaps this is so because it was not Serbian lives that were so callously being taken from this earth, but Bosnian and today Kosovar Albanian.

As NATO bombs Serbian territory in an attempt to avert a humanitarian disaster it failed to prevent five years ago, Serbian students now write to ask for prayers “for our families and all the innocent people suffering from this campaign!” Is Serbian life, as the timing of this call for peace suggests, more important than other life? I think not. But perhaps in the eyes of the members of the Organization of Serbian Students it is; for clearly their concern for the plight of other innocent people who suffered in the Balkans before last week was not great enough to warrant a call for prayers.

Ahmed Bererhi ’99