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PCUSA Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the NATO Bombing in Yugoslavia

March 24, 2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of NATO’s 78-day bombing of the former Yugoslavia. NATO undertook these actions without approval from the UN Security Council, making them illegal by International Law. The attack was the culmination of the long-time goal of the West to break up the socialist state of Yugoslavia, gain access to gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, and create a military base in the Balkans. British PM Tony Blair called the bombing “the perfect war”, since no NATO troops were harmed, but 500 Yugoslavian civilians were killed, and over 800 were injured.

They say that War is politics by other means, and the bombing of Kosovo is no different. The Collective West began to destabilize socialist Yugoslavia in the 80s with loans from the IMF that were designed to split the country along historic regional and ethnic lines. (interestingly, these loans were taken immediately after President Tito’s death) The terms of the “aid” from the West were that loans could only be made to and repaid from individual states (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, etc.), NOT the country as a whole. Furthermore, the states were forced to sell off public lands and assets to pay the interest on the loans. This caused imbalances and exacerbated pre-existing tensions going back to WW2.

As is par for the course for so many US and Western invasions, many lies were used and exaggerated claims were made in the mainstream press to manufacture consent for the bombing. Wild tales of 100,000 Kosovars dead which later turned out to be probably less than 2,000, tales of sexual abuse against women (some bearing resemblance to recent tales from Israel on October 7), all culminating in the now-debunked Račak Massacre. (witnesses to the recent Bucha hoax in Ukraine will be familiar with the basic plot) Furthermore, the US was funding and arming the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), even though the KLA was literally on the list of worldwide terror groups.

Particularly egregious was the use of depleted uranium munitions which contaminate the soil and cause radiation poisoning, and cluster bombs, which release pellets that can remain hazardous for years and decades, basically turning villages into mine fields. Now 25 years later, Serbia has the highest cancer rates in Europe due to the use of uranium weapons (low-intensity nuclear warfare). Civilian infrastructure was also heavily targeted during the attack, including a worker-owned car factory (Zastava), a TV station, and even the Chinese Embassy!

In addition to being an attack on Yugoslavian/Serbian sovereignty, NATO interventions are also an affront to the sovereignty of the member states. As an example, not a single member of Canadian Parliament was consulted before dragging Canadian planes and pilots into this bombing, much less the Canadian people. Even though in this particular case, no NATO lives were lost, these senseless interventions cost money and resources that should be going to improving the lives of the citizens of the US, Canada, and Western Europe. For these crimes against Yugoslavia and their own citizens, US President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and British PM Tony Blair went free, while Yugoslavian President Milošević died in captivity before his trial was even concluded. In fact, one of the most vociferous proponents for the illegal and murderous campaign was a ranking member of the Senate “Foreign Relations” committee, Joe Biden.

We at the Slavic Commission of the Party of Communists USA reject NATO interventions abroad and demand an end to this offensive alliance. We recognize Kosovo to be a part of Serbia and respect the sovereignty of the Serbian state as well as the states of all victims of imperial wars.

End the Murderous NATO Alliance and End all Imperial Aggressions

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