Students React to Bombings

The NATO attack on Serbian military and communication sites yesterday hit close to home for Harvard undergraduates from the Balkans.

NATO warplanes--including a large U.S. contingent-dropped bombs and missiles on the targets as part of the first wave of attacks aimed at halting a Serbian offensive and forcing a peace settlement in Kosovo on the recalcitrant Serbs.

Several students who have lived in the war-torn region said yesterday that they approved of NATO's actions.

"The only sort of language that [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic understands in a boot in the face," said Ante Skrabalo '99, originally from Croatia.

"I hope too many civilians do not get killed, but Milosevic and all who support him deserve it 10 times over," Skrabalo said.


Ognjen Kavazovic '00, originally from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a scene of earlier fighting, said he saw the air strike as necessary.

"It tells [the Serbs], `You can't do whatever you want,"' he said. "I'm glad NATO didn't wait. If they did, Kosovo would be wiped out."

Also from Sarajevo, Emir Kamenica '01 said he agreed the strikes were crucial, but thought they should have come sooner.

"After the Serbs have been slaughtering people for seven years now, the only regret is that they had not done it earlier," Kamenica said.

As for the efficacy of the attacks, he said the result would depend on the duration of military action.

"If the U.S. is willing to continue with the strikes until the Serbs act like humans, they will be effective," he said.

Kamenica said NATO threats have been hollow in the past and remained meaningless to Milosevic.

Berislav Marusic '01, originally from Croatia, said he was surprised that NATO forces backed up their threats with military force.

"To be honest, I didn't believe they would do it," Marusic said. "Let's look at the effect there would be if there were no strikes. The genocide would have continued. It doesn't mean they will stop, but the likelihood they will stop is greater."

Kavazovic said the military strikes are the best method of getting through to Milosevic.

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