Letter 1 from Mladen

I received the following letter from a Yugoslav the other day. He's given me permission to publish it here. It speaks more eloquently of the situation than anything I've been able to write so far.

I jumped to your page for some font utilities and quite strangely and unexpectingly found Kosovo on your site.

I live in north province of Yugoslavia called Vojvodina (vojvoda is duke in english) which is as usually most developed part of country. I have been called to army service while NATO attacks were in operation.

I read your letters with great respect to your justified attitude with which I agree. Your politicians (e.g. senators) just as anywhere in world are spilling their words of wisdom forgetting why they got elected in first place: not to gain power and vote for self promotion but to speak in the name of people they represent.

You can never expect politics to be justified: there are always some higher interests beyond our knowledge. It would be wasting your and mine time elaborating why they done that [bombing]. Clearly, in my view they achieved nothing.

They lowered Euro from 1.18 to 1.02 to US dollar (thanks to UK Tony Blair). They brought misery to 12 million people. They destroyed all 3 bridges in my hometown Novi Sad which is divided by Danube (Dunav), greatest Europe river. I live less than half mile from two of them and a mile from third. There has been lot of damage that could not in any conceivable way be connected with proclaimed aims or with military activities. Still, it happened.

Now I watch war films in other light. I know what sirens mean. I know how it feels to be hit with 2.000 tons bombs (used on Liberty bridge, similar to one in SF only much smaller).

And after all, we all have to live here.

The main point is that it is very hard to understand other people, their habits, their needs. Also mentality is hard to translate. You always have to see things from other perspective. You can translate words, but they have more quality than just translation: they have heritage and they have weight. You can't judge by taking first persons words without listening to its opponent and taking for granted anything that is said and that proves your suspicions.

I will not judge: if I do so I will put myself on one side or the other. And both sides are wrong.

I think you're right: USA is not world police and had no reason to do so. I would NEVER accept to go and risk my life for bunch of idiots in god-forgotten regions of the world. And I would NEVER accept that my tax money should fund such adventure as this was. It was only good for dogs of war. Not for american people. It doesn't require phD to figure out how will tax money given for development and production of various weapons and systems end up in private companies which produce aircrafts, bombs and other millitary stuff. If all that money was given for economic and development of democracy, everyone would forget what was ethnic thing all about. If you work you don't think of war.

Thanks for your time.


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