Free at Last
"Why didn't the Serbs stand up to Milosevic when their Croat, Bosnian and Kosovar neighbors were being butchered, raped and tortured?" ANNA NOVIC Phoenix, Ariz.
"Nobody expected the transition from war to peace in Yugoslavia to be as dignified as it was [WORLD, Oct. 16]. Thousands of young Serbs in the streets of Belgrade accomplished what thousands of nato bombs could not. The power of the people overcame that of Slobodan Milosevic. With this history-making event, the people of Yugoslavia at last showed the world the real face of their nation, and we congratulate them. MIROSLAVA MYRA BIHAC Wilmington, Del.
In Poland and what was once the U.S.S.R., in Selma, Ala., and Johannesburg and in countless other places, the catalyst for change has been the very common act of someone saying, "No more!" The longer I live, the more firmly I believe that an oppressed people's rallying cry to revolution is not "Freedom!" but "Enough already!" When people gather under that banner, anything is possible. FRAN HUTCHINSON Brattleboro, Vt.
I was glad your story noted the atrocities suffered by the Serbs themselves. I am not a Serb but a member of the U.S. Air Force who served in Bosnia for four months. While there, I witnessed the blatant brushing aside of Bosnian Serbs' needs by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe because of political bias. The Bosnian war was a huge land grab by Croats, Serbs and Muslims; there were no heroes on any side. Anti-Serb bias in the U.S. media and in the government has done more damage to our credibility in this region than any bombs. It will take years, if not generations, for these people to forgive and forget. Still, I am very grateful that they have a new start. They deserve it. (SSGT.) VANCE CLARK, U.S.A.F. Pacific Grove, Calif.
Waiting for Justice
In citing the difficulties in compelling Milosevic to stand trial before the new International Criminal Court [WORLD, Oct. 16], you noted the growing popularity of holding local trials for war criminals. The International Criminal Court, which was established by treaty in 1998 and can begin work only after 60 countries have accepted its jurisdiction, will try cases only if countries are unwilling or unable to try them locally. This is unlike the existing temporary tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which may take cases away from local courts as they see fit. The International Criminal Court respects the idea that war criminals should be tried locally if countries are willing and able to do so; it acts as an incentive for local trials to be held but will serve as the court of last resort if those trials are not taken seriously. JONATHAN HUSTON New York City
If Milosevic is never sent to the Hague to be tried as a war criminal, your cover photograph will stand as a permanent symbol of contempt for this inhuman monster. Brilliant! ROY ADAMS Upper Marlboro, Md.
Rain Forests at Risk