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Intervention In Kosovo

THE BALKANS: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

April 13, 2020


With NATO entering the second month of its military campaign against Yugoslavia, there is little evidence that the effort to curtail the ambitions of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic is being effective, or that the refugee problem in Kosovo is near any resolution. There are widespread reports of Serbian atrocities, and the claim that Milosevic is attempting to starve or drive out of the country nearly 700,000 ethnic Albanians trapped in the hills and forests of Kosovo. The US has escalated its involvement in this crisis, and has committed over 800 aircraft to the NATO effort. Military strategists are widening their list of targets inside of Yugoslavia -- something which is bound to generate more civilian casualties.

For the first time, there is now evidence that the conflict in Yugoslavia has spilled over the border, into neighboring Albania.

Congress is only now beginning to debate the question of whether or not the U.S. should be involved and, if so, to what extent. Polls show that the American people remain divided over the Balkans question, though there appears to be growing support for the use of ground troops if necessary. The goal may be the establishment of a permanent international force to guarantee the status of Kosovo as an independent state.

But can this be done? Is it realistic in view of the region's harsh divisions over religion, ethnicity and other issues?

BACKGROUND: The American Atheist web site FLASHLINE section has a report on the Balkan crisis, including a list of background sources. You can also check Conrad Goeringer's talk on the Balkan crisis delivered last weekend at the American Atheists National Convention. In addition, other news sources including CNN, the BBC and the New York Times have extensive materials on their web sites giving thorough coverage to the historical and cultural forces behind the situation in Kosovo. (If you visit, be sure to come back and vote!)

QUESTIONS: This American Atheist Magazine poll is designed to give some sense of where Atheists and freethinkers stand on this issue. We feel that the situation in the Balkans is an appropriate topic because of the significant, often divisive role which religious belief has played for centuries throughout this area. It is truly a civilizational fault line separating western Christianity, Orthodoxy and Islam; it may well be that no enduring military or political solution is possible without dealing with this question of religious belief, along with other issues such as ethnic identity, language and culture.

YOUR REMARKS: At the end of the ballot section is an entry form for you to leave comments which others can read. We will be most interested in this. Obviously, the crisis in the Balkans is a complex one. Let us know what you think, and don't be afraid to "sound off" on this issue!

Polling is now closed, but you can still see the final results. Thanks for visiting this American Atheist Magazine poll!

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