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Vesna Kesic, founder, Be Active Be Emancipated, Zagreb, Croatia
I am the last one to say “all you need is love.” Wars in the Balkans did not end because local politicians and warlords came to their senses. They ended because the international community used political pressure, diplomacy, and even military intervention to protect the civilian population. I am not unconditionally against military intervention if it can prevent ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, or vast destruction. But this is not what the U.S. attack on Afghanistan is about. If the U.S., the mightiest, cannot be patient and generous enough to allow the peaceful process of justice to develop, then who can? Should others because they are less powerful and much poorer? Didn’t we all learn that it works in exactly the opposite way?
My first encounter with “terrorism” was when I ran into a shelter when we feared an airstrike. There were a hundred of us in a dark, concrete hall. Some civilians had guns and rifles, children were crying, and adults wondered whether there were Serbs amongst us. The air was full of hate. I decided I would never go to the shelter again, despite the daily air raids that followed during the next six months. I decided that the most important—and possibly the only—thing I could do is to work on lowering mistrust among people and
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