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Voice of America, 99-10-07
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 ON THE LINE: WHAT NEXT IN YUGOSLAVIA?DATE=10/9/1999
TYPE=ON THE LINE
NUMBER=1-00786 SHORT # 1
EDITOR=OFFICE OF POLICY - 619-0037
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THEME: UP, HOLD UNDER AND FADE
Anncr: On the Line - a discussion of United
States policy and contemporary issues. This week,
"What Next in Yugoslavia?" Here is your host, ----
Host: Hello and welcome to On the Line.
In more than a decade of misrule, Slobodan
Milosevic has turned one of the most prosperous
countries in Eastern Europe into a pauper and a
pariah. During its failed attempt to ethnically
cleanse the province of Kosovo, Yugoslavia
sustained some sixty billion dollars of damage
from NATO bombing. As President Bill Clinton has
made clear, Serbia will receive no help in
rebuilding so long as Milosevic remains in power.
For the past several weeks, the Alliance for
Change, a coalition of opposition groups, has led
nightly marches through Belgrade, calling on
President Milosevic to resign. Yet the political
opposition has not agreed on a common strategy for
removing Milosevic. Meanwhile, NATO peacekeeping
troops remain in Kosovo, as well as Bosnia, to
prevent any resumption of fighting.
Peter Galbraith is former U.S. ambassador to
Croatia and currently a professor at the National
War College. He says that Milosevic's days are
Galbraith: I don't think that Milosevic can stay
in power over the long term. I would be reluctant
to set a specific time frame for his departure,
but the fact is that he is the leader who has been
responsible for the misery and the impoverishment
of his country. He has launched four wars this
decade. He has lost all four. He has given up the
most of the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
most of the population. Now he has lost effective
control of Kosovo, a part of Serbia itself.
Mihajlo Mihajlov, a former Yugoslav dissident, is
a senior associate at George Washington
University's program on transitions to democracy.
He says that Milosevic is stronger than ever.
Mihajlov: My impression is that it is naive to
expect that Milosevic will to lose his power in
one or two months. Nothing, in fact, endangers
him. He controls entirely the army, police, and
TV. The opposition is divided, without any real
alternative program. Demonstrations are very small
in comparison with the demonstrations three years
ago in 1996-97. It was a huge, three-month long
demonstration in all the biggest Serbian cities.
Dusko Doder is co-author of the new book,
Milosevic, Portrait of a Tyrant. He says that some
unforeseen event will be Milosevic's undoing.
Doder: The opposition leaders are weak but the
opposition is strong to Mr. Milosevic. And I think
what you have to expect is that there may be
something totally unexpected that is going to
inflame public opinion. What they are organizing
is not going to work but, you know, winter is
coming. There is going to be a shortage of fuel;
there are going to be shortages of many things.
People are going to resent many things. And just
an incident can inflame opinion. And I can see for
Mr. Milosevic two alternatives, either like King
Alexander [the Serbian king who was overthrown] or
like Nicolae Ceausescu [former dictator of Romania
who was killed when Communism was overthrown]. A
tyrant cannot leave office and stay alive.
Host: Former U.S.ambassador to Croatia Peter
Galbraith says that that the breakup of the
Federation of Serbia and Montenegro would remove
Milosevic from power because the country that he
is president of, Yugoslavia, would no longer
exist. For On the Line, this is ------.
Anncr: You've been listening to "On the Line" - a
discussion of United States policies and
contemporary issues. This is --------.
07-Oct-1999 17:27 PM EDT (07-Oct-1999 2127 UTC)
 REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: CENTRAL EUROPE BY RON PEMSTEIN (BUDAPEST)DATE=10/7/1999
INTRO: Central European countries are marking the 10th anniversary of the end of communist dictatorship and the beginning of democracy and free-market economies. Three countries -- Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary -- all entered NATO this year and are well on their way to joining the European Union in the next four-years. Correspondent Ron Pemstein has reported on these countries since the 1970's and recently revisited their capitals to see what has changed. He sends this report from Budapest.
TEXT: Warsaw at the end of the 20th century. There are automatic teller machines at the airport. There are also machines to obtain local currency with a bankcard at the airports in Prague and Budapest. Unfortunately, the two machines at Budapest's airport were temporarily out of service when I needed them. No one says a free market will always be perfect. It was not possible to obtain Polish currency so easily when I first arrived in Warsaw in 1974. It was not possible either on my last visit in 1994. That is change for the better, if you are a traveler. On the other hand, some things do not change. A helpful taxi driver offers to carry your substantial luggage to his Mercedes. He sets his meter to run so fast that the fare into Warsaw's city center is two- and-one-half times the normal taxi charge for the same distance. It was the same scene in Prague. By the time I reached Budapest, I learned it was better to take the airport mini-bus. Increased wealth in these central European capitals has its costs. There are more cars than the last time I drove in the cities. Budapest is so choked with traffic it is difficult to breathe. Sixty-thousand new cars were sold in Poland last July and it seems as if all of them are in the center of Warsaw at once. All three central-European capitals have decided to deal with the traffic problem the way Western Europe deals with it. They put up parking ticket machines. It costs a little bit to stop the car briefly in the city center and costs a lot more if you want to park your car there longer. The Poles have managed to cheat their elected local government just as they cheated their communist government in the old days. Copy machines are now everywhere in Warsaw and the latest fraud is to change the time and date on the parking slip and make a copy. If you do have money, life in central Europe can be more comfortable. On a Sunday morning in Warsaw I met Anna, after she left the `Marks and Spencer" department store after buying a jacket for her son. Anna knows the prices are no bargain at the British store's new branch.
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NEB/RDP/JWH/RAE 07-Oct-1999 10:29 AM EDT (07-Oct-1999 1429 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 TURKEY / OCALAN (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)DATE=10/7/1999
INTRO: A Turkish court (Thursday) gave Kurdish rebel chief, Abdullah Ocalan, more time to prepare an appeal of his death sentence on treason charges. As Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, the court granted the appeal postponement at the request of Ocalan's lawyers.
TEXT: The court was widely expected to uphold the
death sentence that was handed down last June. Ocalan
was convicted and sentenced at the end of a month-long
trial that was held on Imrali island off the coast of
The postponement has been described by Western
diplomats as further evidence that Turkey is giving
the man it labels a "baby killer" a free and fair
But Ocalan's lawyers have described his treason
conviction as "unjust," especially in the light of
recent peace overtures made by the leader of the
outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or P-K-K.
These peace overtures include calls for P-K-K rebels
to withdraw from Turkish territory and end their armed
campaign for Kurdish self-rule. Last week a nine-
member rebel group turned itself in to Turkish
authorities on the Iraqi border in what Ocalan termed
a good will gesture aimed at proving that he was
sincere about ending more than 15 years of ethnic
Over 30-thousand people, most of them P-K-K rebels,
have died since Ocalan launched his armed campaign
that was initially aimed at creating an independent
Kurdish state. During his trial, Ocalan shocked many
of his followers by declaring the rebellion "a
mistake." Ocalan said the easing of bans on
broadcasting and education in the Kurdish language and
the granting of a full amnesty for his fighters hiding
in the mountains of southeast Turkey and northern Iraq
would be enough to satisfy the Kurds demands.
Turkey's response so far has been to keep up the
military campaign against the rebels, to jail the
group that surrendered, and to prepare new charges
against Ocalan that also carry the death sentence.
Turkish officials continue to dismiss Ocalan's
gestures as a ploy calculated to save his own life and
to create the impression that the Turkish state is
negotiating, albeit it indirectly, with the rebels.
That is something, Turkish officials, categorically
reject, saying they will never talk with "terrorists."
The parliament and the Turkish president need to
approve the death sentence before it can be carried
out. There have been no executions in Turkey since
1984 in line with the country's efforts to highlight
its democracy. (Signed)
 N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)DATE=10/7/1999
INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Thursday) as traders began to worry again about U-S interest rates. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thouand-537, down 51 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-17, down seven points. But the NASDAQ index gained about one-tenth of one percent. Analysts say there were conflicting themes on Wall Street. Some traders worried about Friday's U-S employment report for September. A large increase in the number of new jobs created could revive inflation and interest rate concerns. But other traders felt optimistic that strong corporate earnings will carry stock prices higher. The stock of Yahoo, the internet portal company, jumped seven percent after Yahoo reported earnings which were well above Wall Street expectations. The strong Yahoo earnings helped lift the stocks of many other internet-related companies.
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Source: Voice of America
 THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=10/7/1999
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: A full-scale debate over the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty occupies the editorial pages of many major U-S dailies this Thursday. Other popular topics include comment on allegations of a U-S massacre of refugees during the Korean War; the latest proposal for East Timor; Russia's full-scale war in Chechnya; and the situation in Haiti. Now, here is _________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.
TEXT: A vote is scheduled for next week on the test- ban treaty and three positions are emerging in the nation's press. One is to pass it; the other is to reject it and a third group of papers, including most recently Newsday on New York's Long Island, are urging the Senate to put off a vote until after next year's presidential election. In New England, The Boston Globe says "Ratify the . Treaty."
VOICE: Because the United States ceased its own test explosions in 1992 and can maintain its nuclear weapons stockpile through simulated tests, ratification of the Test Ban Treaty should be seen as a low-cost way to enhance a basic element of national security. Partisan politics should not have been allowed to endanger ratification. The fault lies not only with Republican leaders . [but also with] President Clinton . He wasted the past two year, failing to use his bully pulpit to rally support for a treaty that deserves wholehearted bipartisan backing.
TEXT: In dissent, The Augusta [Georgia] Chronicle says, under a headline reading: "Kill test ban pact;"
VOICE: The treaty has languished in the Senate for years despite propaganda by liberal pundits and politicians that it would curb nuclear weapons proliferation. That's an admirable goal, but it wouldn't happen under this treaty. This is why head- counts through the years show the treaty has never been close to the 67 Senate votes needed for ratification. . Senate Foreign Relations chairman Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, . and other critics say, rightfully in our view, that a permanent test ban could strip the U-S of both its offensive and defensive deterrents.
TEXT: Taking a third approach, that of postponement until a more thorough debate can be held, is New York's Newsday, from Long Island.
VOICE: Wait. Stop. Sanity must be allowed to prevail. Rather than play a game of political chicken [Editors: a test of courage] with the . treaty, Senate leaders must agree to take if off the table for now. The alternative ... is that the Senate will reject the treaty. That would damage U-S interests by leading to a proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world.
TEXT: A report by the Associated Press that a group of U-S Army troops killed about 300 South Korean refugees under a railway bridge during the Korean war draws this reaction from the New York Post:
VOICE: The 20th century has run red with the blood of civilians shed in wartime. Witness what's going on in Chechnya today, over the Balkans last spring - plus the London Blitz, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nanking and thousands of other conflicts. .[In] modern warfare, it's often difficult to assign proper guilt for civilian deaths when war spills over into civilian areas. . Matters like this need to be kept in mind as the United States considers its guilt in what's coming to be known as the No Gun Ri massacre.
TEXT: Still with Asian affairs, there is more comment on the latest development in East Timor, a call by the United Nations to have the world body take charge of affairs in the territory for the foreseeable future. Of the plan, The New York Times says:
VOICE: To avoid months of chaos in East Timor, Secretary General Kofi Annan wants the United Nations to take full control of the territory and spend the next two to three years readying it for independence. This is a timely and constructive proposal that deserves Washington's encouragement.
TEXT: However The San Francisco Chronicle says funding such an ambitious proposal may be a real problem, given that the U-S Congress still does not want to pay its U-N dues arrears, of more than a billion dollars, much less fund anything new.
VOICE: . The humanitarian crisis is so severe that the U-N must take over the water and electrical systems and defunct government agencies as soon as possible. The . Security Council, which must approve [U-N Secretary General Kofi] Annan's proposal, is expected to debate the matter today. Meanwhile, Congress is refusing to pay more than 25 percent of the peacekeeping costs. The U-N wants the United States to pay 31 percent. But now is not the time to quibble about costs. It's time to support a tiny oppressed nation that bravely demanded democracy and is now hanging by a thread.
TEXT: Now to Chechnya, another site of conflict, Hawaii's Honolulu Star-Bulletin says "Russia should grant Chechnya independence and end the fighting."
VOICE: /// OPT /// In August and September, Muslim militants in Chechnya invaded neighboring Dagestan seeking to enlarge the Islamic state in southern Russia. Also last month, a series of bombings in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia killed about 300 people. [Chechen president Aslan] Maskhadov enlisted into the Chechen armed forces Shamil Basayev, whom Russia blames for the bombings. Air strikes and ground attacks have given Russia control of one-third of Chechnya, while [Mr.] Masikhadov vowed defiantly that Chechnya "will not give up a single square meter of land." /// END OPT /// The Russian attack has caused more than 100-thousand Chechens to flee into the adjacent region of Ingushetia despite warnings of severe shortages in clothing, food and medicine. .. Josef Stalin deported the entire Chechen people to Central Asia in 1944, killing tens of thousands, and it was 13 years before Nikita Khruschev allowed the Chechens to return to the Caucasus. Denying them independence any longer is asking for perpetual trouble.
TEXT: Lastly, some misgivings from the Florida Times-Union about the removal of the last peacekeeping troops from Haiti.
VOICE: It's time to move past platitudes, and get down to facts, on foreign policy. U-S Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, recently asked the house not to call for a complete troop withdrawal from Haiti. The march toward disengagement, he insisted, is grossly counterproductive to the democratic process there. That sounds good. But what democratic process? Haiti's president dissolved parliament and rules as a dictator. . The U-S-trained police force, rather than protecting people, is preying on them. It is particularly notorious for a wave of murders and drug offenses. The remaining U-S troops are digging ditches, building roads and doing other chores that would be more efficiently performed by civilian organizations. They are a target. . Only a few troops remain, but even one soldier is too many.
TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of
editorial. Comment from Thursday's U-S press.
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