tony on Sat, 3 Apr 1999 04:40:10 +0100

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Syndicate: some BALKAN STAT

from the Progressive Review  -- the Princeton University Student's newspaper
(through  ZNet Update)

FROM A COLUMN BY TONY SNOW: Key members of the United States Senate sat
slack-jawed through a confidential briefing last Thursday from the Clinton
administration foreign-policy team. ~~ After the foreign-policy wise men
asserted that the United States has a moral imperative to stop the murderous
Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, one senator asked: How many Albanians
have Milosevic's troops massacred this year? The president's emissaries
turned ashen. They glanced at each other. They rifled through their papers.
One hazarded a guess: "Two thousand?" No, the senator replied, that was the
number for all of last year. He wanted figures for the last month - or even
the year to date, since the president had painted such a grisly picture of
genocide in his March 24 address to the nation. ~~ The senator pressed on.
How often have such slaughters occurred? Nobody knew. As it turns out,
Kosovo has been about as bloody this year as, say, Atlanta. You can measure
the deaths not in the hundreds, but dozens. (I'm not trying to deny
Milosevic's brutality here; only to provide some comparisons.) More people
died last week in Borneo than have expired this year in Kosovar bloodshed -
more died in a single Russian bomb blast; in a single outburst of violence
in East Timor; in a single day in Rwanda. China has been bloodier this year.


--Estimated number of persons killed in Iraq due to American-led sanctions:
over 1,000,000 --Estimated number of persons killed in the Sudan over the
past 15 years: 1,500,000 --Estimated number of persons killed in Rwanda over
the last five years: 500,000 --Estimated number of persons killed in
Chechnya: 80,000 --Estimated number of people dying each day around the
world because of lack of water, clothing, shelter, food or medicine:
100,000 --Estimated number of people in the world who go to bed hungry:
800,000,000 --Estimated number of persons killed in Kosovo last year: 2,000


--Estimate of new households watching CNN thanks to its war coverage:


--Cost of America's 21 B-2 bombers: $42 billion --Value of Yugoslavian GDP:
$43 billion --UN budget as a percentage of the Pentagon budget: 5%