5 July 1999

What do you mean aid? We bombed you, isn't that expensive enough?

Given how much the bombing of Yugloslavia has cost, how are we going to pay for the ethnic Albanians to rebuild their homes and homeland?

The cost of repairing the damage done by NATO bombing to factories, schools, water treatment plants, electrical power plants, highways, and hospitals is estimated at near 100 billion dollars. Of course, that's in Serbia, where NATO has disallowed any foreign aid while Milosevic remains in power. We've already seen how effective that strategy was in Iraq, where society is in ruins, infant mortality is off the charts, and Hussein remains in power. But what about the cost of rebuilding Kosovo, and all the demolished homes of the Albanians we defended so successlessly against Serbian aggressors?

I have a plan. This plan may have some difficulties in its implementation but I think you'll agree that it's an excellent one:

Let's have not launched air strikes on Yugoslavia.

I am confident that this plan will enable the reconstruction of Kosovo. Let me explain.

Before the NATO bombing, the Kosovo region was locked in a bitter standoff. There was a great deal of tension but restrained violence. When the NATO bombing began, it became an open killing season, first for the Serbs, now for the Albanians. By not have having had the airstrikes, we will have not provoked widespread murder. We'll have prevented the loss of countless lives and many ethnic Albanians will have not been forced from their homes. About 11,500 Serbian soldiers and civilians will be saved because they will not have been bombed. Uncounted and falsely estimated numbers of Albanians will still be alive and will have not ended up in mass graves.

Furthermore, by having not have had the bombing, we will save three billion dollars. This is money which we otherwise will never get back, unless we make an effort to collect every unexploded bomb from the Serbian countryside and the Adriatic sea and reuse them. So by having not had the war, we will have saved money that we would then now have to pay for the costs of the war to the ethnic Albanians.

The benefits will have gone on and on. For example, it was recently revealed that half of the medical supplies donated to the Albanian refugees are worthless. Useful medicines were in too large or small a supply, and many useless medicines were sent, such as anti-smoking inhalers incontinence cream, and lipbalm, allowing pharmaceutical companies to unload surplus and take huge tax breaks all under the pretense of humanitarianism. The useless medicine will have to be destroyed at the expense of the Macedonian and Serbian governments. By having not have had the war, the cost of having to destroy this useless medicine will have been saved, and could be now instead applied to helping the Albanians rebuild their community.

So everyone out there on the internet, set your computer clocks back to March.

We must have had to have been crazy to have not thought of this before.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books