Monday, March 19, 2007

Meeting on 8th Anniversary of NATO Aggression

I've just recieved an email with the following information regarding the meeting next tuesday:

House of Commons Public Meeting to commemorate:
The 8th Anniversary of NATO Aggression against Yugoslavia

Also to be discussed:
  • Future of Kosovo
  • Judgement on Serbia in the Hague
  • Lessons of the past year


Bob Wareing, MP Member for Liverpool West Darby

Alice Mahon, former Labour MP, The last witness at Milosevic Trial

Neil Clark, Journalist and writer

Misha Gavrilovic, Nedaist Initiative

Scheduled for: Tuesday, 27th March 2007 7-8:30 pm

Committee Room 15

House of Commons

St Stephens Entrance

NB: Please come at least 10-15 minutes before the start time in order to pass security check at St Stephens Entrance and get to Committee Room 15.

I've done a quick background check on the speakers since one is a former Labour MP, and the other a current Labour MP. My search yielded the following:

Bob Wareing seems to be constantly rebelling against Labour party policy which is a good sign, but God knows why he's still a member. Apparently he takes a very strong interest in international affairs, particularly eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc and was one of the few Labour MPs to oppose the NATO military action in Kosovo.

It appears that I would probably vehemently oppose Alice Mahon on social issues, as she appears to be a typical socialist, a supporter of the British Humanist Assosciation, and an assosciate of the National Secular Society. But her stance on the NATO aggression seems to be principled and this wikipedia description of her testimony to the Hague as a defence witness for Slobodan Milosevic is interesting:

Mahon told the court that she considered the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to have been illegal and “purely political”. She suggested that the bombing was the main reason that hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians fled their homes in 1999, rather than persecution by the state security services. She also said that Albanians that she spoke with afterwards informed her that they had been told to leave by the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA. Mahon even went so far as to say that she believed the air strikes had deliberately been aimed at civilian targets. “I feel passionately that NATO should be in the dock in this place as well,” she told the court. The witness also called into question the prosecution’s account of an attack by government forces on the village of Racak in January 1999, said to have left some 45 Albanians dead.
She said that her experience of
William Walker, the head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission who was amongst the first to travel to Racak and speak out about the alleged massacre, was “appalling”. Mahon said that Walker had been involved with the Contra paramilitaries in Nicaragua in the 1980s and recalled that conversations with soldiers, charity workers and Kosovo residents had led her to believe that the OSCE was under the influence of the American CIA: “I certainly don’t think we should have destroyed a country based on what Mr William Walker said,” she told the court, adding, “I think there was something highly suspicious about what happened at Racak.”

For the remaining two speakers I have found a trancript of one of Misha Gavrilovic's interviews with Sky news and what seems to be Neil Clarks blog (I'm assuming its the right Neil Clark). This article bodes well and could be considered a short primer on the breakup of Yugoslavia and Milosevic in particular.


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