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Economic sanctions against Yugoslavia?

By Mary Mostert - 4 Aug 1999


REDDING, CA, July 16

"In 1996, I was a very active supporter of the Bob Dole for President, although I thought he was really wrong in some of his statements about the Bosnian war at the time.

As I delved into the problems, reading material from both Albanian and Serb sources, I kept running into articles which claimed that my hero, Bob Dole, was a 'lobbyist' for the Albanians. I dismissed the charge as unsubstantiated and unlikely. Bob Dole, I believed sincerely, would not be involved with a terrorist group like the KLA which, it appeared quite early on, to be financed in large measure by the sale of heroin. Illyria, an Albanian publication, wrote admiringly of Bob Dole in an editorial on March 4, 1999:

At the start of this decade, one man, then a powerful senator, stood on the steps of the Capitol and vowed to fight for the rights of the Albanians in Kosovo. Through the loud cheers of thousands of demonstrators, Bob Dole promised he would visit Kosovo and see at first hand the brutality of the Serb regime, which aimed at the ethnic cleansing of the Albanian population. Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic, who later would win himself the deserved nickname of the Butcher of the Balkans, had just launched a vicious attack on the Albanian people and their institutions. The move marked the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia. [.] President Clinton ASKED Bob Dole to try to persuade the Albanians that U.S. intentions are good and that the White House is serious about the issue. Not that the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is not a respected U.S. official among the Albanians (her dedication on the issue is to be admired), but Bob Dole brings to Kosovo a familiar face - the face of a man who has fought for their rights in the past and continues to do so.' (_'Albanian Telegraphic Agency'

What I did not know until the last few days was just how much campaign money had gone into Bob Dole's, and other congressional leaders', campaigns from the Albanian lobby. But, what has been the final straw for me was the passage of S 1234 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2000 which was passed 97-2 on June 30, 1999.

Bob Smith, who just this week left the Republican party over matters of principle, and Robert Byrd were the only Senators to vote against the bill.

Tucked away in the depths of the bill, totally undiscussed on the Senate Floor, is a provision which is clearly intended to kill as many Serb children this winter as possible. And 97 American Senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted in favor of it.

I called the office of a Republican senator who shall be temporarily nameless, and inquired if the Senator knew of a provision recently voted on which, according to an e-mail I received, names Yugoslavia a 'terrorist state'. The aide, who had a Croatian name, said without hesitation that I was referring to S 1234, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2000, section 525 of the bill which did indeed list Yugoslavia as a terrorist state, along with Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, or Syria. [.] (also see S99-113, "Peace" 7, Item 3, June 22).

I also found, reading the bill, that Section 578 of S 1234 called for draconian sanctions against Yugoslavia. which are guaranteed to kill hundreds of thousands of people in a nation which is now about 90% unemployed because American bombers destroyed most of its means of production, will remain in place, according to the bill, until the President _'certifies' that:

1. The representatives of the successor states to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have successfully negotiated the division of assets and liabilities and all other succession issues following the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

2. The government of Serbia-Montenegro is fully complying with its obligations as a signatory to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

3. The government of Serbia-Montenegro is fully cooperating with and providing unrestricted access to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, including surrendering persons indicted for war crimes who are within the jurisdiction of the territory of Serbia-Montenegro, and with the investigations concerning the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kosovo;

4.The government of Serbia-Montenegro is implementing internal democratic reforms;

5. Serbian, Serbian-Montenegrin federal governmental officials, and representatives of the ethnic Albanian community in Kosovo have agreed on, signed, and begun implementation of a negotiated settlement on the future status of Kosovo.

In effect these provisions destroy totally the G-8 agreement that Milosevic and the NATO nations signed in early June. It provides for the Yugoslavia's assets to be totally under the control of NATO - since they are the ones occupying Kosovo, and apparently intend to occupy the rest of Yugoslavia, which is exactly what the Rambouillet agreement required of Milosevic - uncontrolled access not only to Kosovo, but ALL of Yugoslavia by NATO troops.

Recently in an interview on 60 minutes, Leslie Stahl asked Madeleine Albright: _'I understand that 500,000 Iraqi children have died due to our sanctions...was it worth it?' Albright replied, _'It was worth it.'

I asked the Senator's aide almost exactly the same question: _'This will cause hundreds of thousands of Serb and other children in Yugoslavia to die, just like in Iraq!' I said. _'Surely the Senator is not approving that?' The aide said, _'That's what they deserve for choosing a man like Milosevic.'

I was dumbfounded. The children have chosen NO ONE! Apparently this whole war IS about money - just as many Serbs have been trying to tell me for weeks - but I didn't believe it. Now I find that the Senate of the United States has passed an appropriations bill that spells it out in detail - and the threat is in effect: Give up your assets to us or we kill your children. [.]

What will this mean on the ground in Yugoslavia? (William) Doric noted, 'As a 'terrorist state', there will be no travel in or out of Yugoslavia.

Mail will be stopped and all of us will be subject to government restrictions on communications with Serbia. Speaking out will carry a price that might be considered subversion. There will be no reconstruction by any nation and no medical assistance and tens of thousands of Serbs will die right before our eyes - just like 1.8 million Iraqi people have died in the last 5 years. The stupidity of this bill is that without rebuilding Serbia, where 60% of Europe's trade flows down the Danube River, the trade will permanently stop. Serbia's neighbors will be punished right along with the Serbs. Mitch McConnell has just shown how much hate can drive a person to immoral conduct and hate speech.'

Can anything be done about it? It is not yet law. Call, write, telephone and fax your representative in Congress! (See Write letters, or send this article, to your local newspaper. For national news sources, go to:

Back in 1962, I was one of 52 American women who flew to Geneva, Switzerland in an effort to stop the testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere because, as a young mother of four little children, I was concerned about the sharp increase in child cancer and leukemia from cancer-causing Strontium 90 that children all over the world were drinking along with their milk. Although the Senate was almost solidly behind the nuclear testing, after six months of work by a small group of women, organized in a loose confederation called _'Women's Strike for Peace' the testing of bombs in the atmosphere was stopped - by a vote of 94-6 in the Senate - saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.

It's time for those who care about the children - whether they be women or men - to speak up and demand a halt to US policies which are killing children. We can stop this madness."

Mary Mostert, Redding, California (e-mail:

Dear Ms Mostert,

We received your message in a roundabout way, through , and . Nevertheless, we wish to let you know that we admire your conscientious attitude regarding the ominous possibility of Yugoslavia being proclaimed a "terrorist state".

We are convinced that the mankind may survive on this planet only if forces of peace and wisdom, to which you undoubtedly belong, prevail over the tragically shortsighted selfishness.

Your action gives us a hope that that there is still a chance for other American citizens to follow your example, particularly those in position to decide about life and death of people worldwide.

Your message left us in a state of shock although we could see for ourselves, living in this strange state of neither peace nor war, that the general situation does not forebode anything good.

We, the Ecological Movement of the city of Novi Sad, share your concern about children. Group members of the Movement, along with public agencies, private and state companies, societies, associations, and faculties of the University, are kindergartens, elementary schools and highschools. The focal point of our activities is raising funds and aid for the first ecological kindergarten in the town and the SOS "Children's Village" orphanage.

We cannot agree more with you that the children have chosen no one. We would like to add that among the voters, there are many of those who are against the regime. We cannot be blamed for being outvoted, our only blame is that we live here where we are and that we have the history such as it is.

We are grateful to you for sending the information that concerns our lives. We shall do all we can to pass your warning to the public, concerned institutions, political groups, agencies and individuals, asking them to try, if indirectly, to stop the strangulation of Yugoslavia and give us a chance.

Thank you for your concern about our children on behalf of 15,000 members of the Ecological Movement of the city of Novi Sad.

For the Ecological Movement,

Nikola Aleksic, President


Thank you for replying to my alert. The bill branding Yugoslavia a "terrorist state" passed the Senate but that provision was never discussed. I contacted several Senators' offices and none of them really supported that portion of the bill, especially since they had an irate grandmother on the line accusing them of killing the children.

The companion bill will be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives possibly tomorrow or next week. So far, the bill that is in the House has not been released and I don't know if that "terrorist state" provision is in it. I will send out an e-mail as soon as I know.

May I suggest that you contact your members and urge them to send e-mails by the hundreds to members of the United States House of Representatives telling them in simple language what will happen to the children if Yugoslavia is declared a Terrorist State. Contact every American you know - and urge them to contact their members of Congress.

If you have access to the internet, the e-mail addresses of members of Congress may be found on my website at You also can find their office addresses there and could mail them letters. Encourage the children to write letters, too.

There is a very strong Albanian lobby in America - but I believe there actually are far more Serb-Americans than Albanian-Americans. They are just better organized. When members of congress receive thousands of e-mail, letters, faxes and telephone calls, they will change their attitute towards the Serbs. The Bill labelling Yugoslavia a "terrorist" state is not only unknown in your country - it is unknown in America. Get to your own government and urge that this be addressed at the United Nations level - and make your appeal based on what it will do to the children. Send me letters about what is happening with to the children - and urge children to write and send me their own stories. I'll do everything I can to get the messages out.

Give me an address where people can contribute to the children's fund you refer to. My son, who is the father of six children, is the director of Banner of Liberty, an organization formed to re-establish in America the principles in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution - Truth, Justice, Freedom, Honor, Courage and Morality. I believe I could prevail upon him and his group to spearhead a fund-raising effort to raise funds to assist the children of Novi Sad. Perhaps you could let me know what the greatest need is. Also, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) and I wrote a letter to a member of the Church's top leadership, the Council of the Twelve Apostles and urged the Church to make direct contact with the Serbian Orthodox Church leadership to provide humanitarian assistence to Serbs. He responded saying they would take it up and se what they can do. If the Church is not blocked by the law, I feel confident it will do something to help also.

At this point, timing is crucial. If we can stop that bill from becoming law, that is what needs to happen. I know if enough people speak up, we can stop it. And, don't underestimate the importance of members of congress hearing directly from Novi Sad and other places in Yugoslavia about what is happening to children, the elderly and the sick and handicapped.

Best wishes to you,

Mary Mostert

Link to PMA's 'NATO Bombing - has it brought peace to the Balkans?' Alert.

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