The Crisis In Kosovo: An NHHS News Discussion Page

North Hagerstown High School students have been watching the crisis in Kosovo with interest and concern. Social Studies classes have been using the Internet and traditional news sources to gather information on the historical and political background of the crisis.

Students have also received e-mail from Americans and citizens of others nations. Such messages have helped our young people gain an understanding of the crisis that is not restricted to the American point of view.

This page has been developed to help students express themselves on the issues related to the crisis. The main question they had to deal with was whether or not US and NATO ground troops should be introduced into the area to prevent further killing of the Kosovar Albanians by Serb security forces. Additional messages and links have been added below.

Student opinions:


My opinion about using ground troops is I agree.  I think we should send troops over because we shouldn't just sit over here and let people die.  If it is like the Holocaust we should prevent it before it spreads and becomes a bigger problem. I agree with us interfering because we should have morals as a country and should be willing to help.  Not just say, "well, it doesn't effect us so let it go and don't interfere."  I don't see how you could say that knowing that people are being executed for stupid reasons.


Right now I am in between saying send American troops over and don't send American troops over. I agree because the U.S. is a first world country and we should help countries that are in trouble, but if we go over I think it should be just to stop the fighting and not to choose sides. On the other hand, I feel that we shouldn't get involved in other countries problems because really its none of our business. If the ethnic groups can't get along then that's their problem because we have our problems with that. Another reason why i disagree is because we will be endangering our troops for another countries fights that we are not part of.



I personally don't like the fighting, but I don't think we should just let Milosevic continue on with the genocide. I think that if this continues it will become another holocaust with other then just arabs dying. We help during the holocaust and we won. I think that we should go in now and help if we hadn't gone and helped the jews and every one else that was in the Holocaust there would have had many more deaths and we may not be here today because Hitler's power could have grown and he could have taken over the U.S. I think that although if we go into Kosovo we may kill some innocent people it would probably be less then what Milosevic will kill.


I think that the United States should introduce ground troops into Serbia. The U.S. is the basically the parents of the world since the first world war. We have the best military in the world. The U.S. stands for freedom and democracy for all and when people are being slaughtered I think it is our duty to stand for what we believe in, to fight for what we believe in and if ground troops is what we need over there than it shall come.

Zachary T.


Should the U.S send ground troops into Kosovo? At this point in time I am in between sides. One point of view that I have is that as a first world country it is our responsibility to go in and help out. While this will only create more killing and conflict. So with this thought the whole idea dosn't seem that great.


On the topic of sending ground troops into Serbia, I think that Americans, as well as other countries especially Britain and France should send troops into Serbia.  At first I thought we should not get involved, but in an article in my local paper the ethnic albanians told of what the Serbians were doing to them.  It was terrible, almost like another holocaust.  Now I think we should stop the problem before it gets worse.  Our air strikes, which worked so well in Iraq don't work as well in Serbia because of the cloudy climate.  The two best airplanes in the world (the F-117 and B-2).


I think that the U.S. should send ground troops to Kosovo to end all of the unnessecary killings of innocent civilians. As long as we keep bombing them form the air Milosevic will continue to gain support form the Serbian citizens. If we start to diminish the ground troops in Kosovo, Milosevic may start to lose support from his many citizens. I also believe that sending ground troops into Kosovo is inevitable.

Mark S.

I believe that Slobodon Milosevic is a more moderate version of the 1940s Adolph Hitler. He also has not invaded countries, but what will happen if we allow all of these massacres to go unanswered? No one knows for sure and the outcome is too dangerous to wait for. I believe we should send ground troops in to the conflict just to police the feuding peoples. In the past, We did not intrude upon Hitler and the mysterious Jewish deaths. We paid for that in having a World War. Maybe now we can nip this problem in the bud, so it can not span to further the warring. I believe that intervention is inevitable anyway.

Mark W.

On the topic of sending troops of Nato on the ground in to Kosovo, I think that it is a good idea because it could save a lot of the missiles that we have fired and we could stock up on them. We could also get a lot of help from the other countries who are in this war and that could help us. The united states could do a lot of good in helping Kosovo in their war. They are getting killed for no reason at all. that is one reason why we should send ground troops in to Kosovo.



I personally believe that we as the United States should not send troops into Kosovo. If their civil war spreads through out Europe than just maybe we should send troops. The civil war is in Europe and it is Europe's job to send troops because it is there part of the World. If we send troops then we must likely will win but happens when we do? I think it is none of your business to get involved in a civil war unless the war progresses.


I think that the United States should send troops to Kosovo.  There killing a lot of innocent people and we need to do something about it.  Buy sending ground troops over, we can stop the hate.


It is my personal opinion that the NATO program should not send ground forces into Kosovo. The conflicts in Kosovo are civil conflicts, problems between the people of the country and the government. The problems, at this time, do not propose any effect on other countries in the world. If NATO sends troops into Kosovo, they will be showing aggression and the Serbs will fight back, resulting in the loss of many soldiers, soldiers who were fighting for a nation that wasn't their own. NATO doesn't have any business in Kosovo because the people there did not ask for our help ands obviously do not appreciate us being there.



I believe we shouldn't send troops to Kosovo because first off we have no reason to be over there. They can deal with their problems themselves. Why do we have to get involved? Their problems do not have anything to do with us. We have no right to bomb Kosovo because we would be harming innocent people over there. When they have nothing to do with what is happening. So I think that we shouldn't sent ground troops over and we should just come to an agreement with Kosovo before they bomb us.



 I think that the United States should continues its attack on Kosovo because innocent people are being killed because of their differences, something that happened to Jews during the Holocaust. I believe that when a large number of people are killed , no matter how far away, America should help them.

I think the United States should send ground troops to Kosovo. They can help to prevent another Holocaust from happening. Also we can help stop killing, we can't just sit here doing nothing. As we're part of NATO we have to help. We have the advanced technology yo be able to help, so we should.



I think that the American troops should stay in America at the current time. If in fact the problem gets ot of hand then an only then. I think it's time for the European countries to step in and stop counting on the U.S. to handle all of these of problems. I don't think our men should die for another country. If in fact they must die it should be for our country.



I believe that the U.S.should send ground troops to Kosovo. We are apart of NATO. NATO was created just for this kind of thing, which is war. We are fortunate that we have such a powerful country where we can protect the lives of our people and the lives of others. There are those who feel that it is none of our business and we should not invole ourselves. How can you say that? I feel that if we turn our backs and ignore what is happening to all those poor defenseless people, we are being selfish. We should use our power for good to help others  If sending ground troops is the only way to help stop the Serbs, then that is the right way.

Links Related to the Balkans  List of links to Balkans Resources.  All the details of their current makeup, ( WWII thru 1993 only)   a map.

For a Serb view of the conflict:

Please Send Us Your E-mail:

Intelligent, non-inflammatory messages will be posted.

Dear Students,

I am a professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, and I am very interested in the current Kosovar crisis for two reasons:  1) I like to evaluate the mass media's ability to generate truthful and balanced reporting on crises, and 2) all four of my grandparents are from the former Yugoslavia.  To make things interesting, two grandparents are from Croatia, and two grandparents are from Serbia.  That makes me Serbo-Croatian.  I grew up in a very strong Serbo-Croatian enclave in St. Louis, Missouri (born in 1950).

While I question much of the propaganda being reported in our American media (there was time that I did not recognize it as "propaganda" per se), one thing I can tell you with certainty is that Serbian people are just like Americans.  They love their children, they have very strong family units, they work hard to make their lives more prosperous, and they take great pride in their country.  While it is convenient because of the current NATO bombing to see Serbians as being very different from Americans (and sometimes even see them as the enemy), they are not different.  They love blue jeans, rock music and pizza.  They hurt, they cry, and they fear the bombs that are falling on their cities just as you would. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how you would think if
you were a Serbian student.

If you will permit it, I would like to deal with question #2:  Do you think the citizens of Serbia will successfully overthrow Milosevic.

Sadly, the bombing of Serbia has strengthened Milosevic's hand.  Imagine that there was an unpopular president in the United States whom you did not like when your country was bombed by a foreign power.  You would
forget your political differences and close ranks behind the unpopular president.  That is what is happening in Serbia.  To make matters worse, Milan Panic, an American with dual citizenship who ran against Milosevic
in the past, built a pharmaceutical plant to create jobs in Serbia.  He is Milosevic's political enemy, but NATO bombed his plant, ICN Glinka.  Further, NATO is now bombing parts of Montenegro.  Keep in mind that
Montenegro has a pro-western government, it is a democratically-installed government with a democratic constitution.  It has also opened its arms to help the Kosovar refugees.  In short, Montenegro has been an anti-Milosevic government, and yet NATO bombs are falling on Montenegro.  I guess you can guess where I am going with my opinion:  Milosevic is stronger now because the NATO has weakened Milosevic's political opposition inside Serbia.  Some of our greatest philosophers have warned that "the end does not justify the means."  Maybe Kosovo offers an excellent case study of the concept.

Please don't think me unpatriotic.  I served in the US Army's First Cavalry Division.  You saw my unit depicted in the movie "Apocalypse Now" (remember actor Robert Duvall's line "I just love the smell of napalm in the morning.")?  I am proud to have worn an American uniform, I received a commendation and was honorably discharged.  But I can tell you with confidence that war brings out the darkest spirits in humans.
That goes for the Yugoslav army, the Kosovo Liberation Army and even the American army.  The only glory in war is to be found in Hollywood.

 I commend your interest in current events and encourage you to keep digging for answers. In your studies, be sure to include President Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation.  His warning of the dangers of the military-industrial complex may be worth noting.

Thank you for bearing through my long message.  Good luck in your

Kind regards,
John Katich
Assoc. Prof. - Journalism
University of Kansas

A Message From Belgrade Students

Subject: Dear students
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 07:07:35 +0200
From:  "Belgrade Academic Association for Equal Rights in the World" <>
Reply-To: "Belgrade Academic Association for Equal Rights in the World" <>
To: <>

I am a almost graduate physics student from University of Belgrade,Yugoslavia. Things that happen in my country do not make me feel good. Here is a war going on. An unjustfull war where Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is under a ruthless aggresion of NATO forces. Why? You are old enough to know that your president Clinton was near the doomnes by commiting purgery and sex scandal. Then, he wanted to move your attention to war. He started a war against a small Europian country which has only 10 milion inhabitants.

Before NATO aggression people almost lived in peace, because there was a bunch of terrorists who call themself KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) which commited several attacks against Serbian people and Serbian security forces. Then, NATO attacked our country and we are facing something your media is calling humanitarian catastrophe. It is true, but only because they are escaping from intensive NATO bombing. You may or may not know that Serbian forces shut down 23 NATO planes from which 19 is American. We hold 34 NATO pilots and soldiers as prisoners of war. Twenty one your soldiers got killed already. But it is a war. If the ground troops come to our soil, there will probably be more American casulties. Why? Because of the fake humanitarian catastrophy? This does not make me very happy. In war lots of innocent people get killed. You are so far from it and you don't know what is war. I hope that you will never know what is it.

Serbia is a country with long history and culture. We had a state before 1389. when we opposed Turks......
But I don't want to be boring.  If you would like to learn more about our country,culture, history,current
situation visit and and see the inrmation
from our point of view. Your questions send on and we will
answer to all questons you may have.

I wrote this letter on request of your teacher Mr. George Cassutto. Hope hearing from you.


Marko from Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Subject: Response
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 08:20:31 -0500
From: Chuck Ramer <>

Dear Students,

        I find your response page very interesting and your thoughts about sending in ground troops very humanitarian. Many of you, as well as many others, have drawn the parallel between Kosovo and the Holocaust. This may or may not be a good parallel, I do not know because I do not think I have enough information.

        Another parallel that could be drawn is between Kosovo and the Vietnam War. Vietnam was a civil war that first France and then America were drawn into fighting. Should we have been involved? I do not thinks so, but that
can, of course, be argued. However, it seems to me that what we are witnessing in Kosovo is another civil war that has not yet expanded outside it's borders like the Holocaust.

        To me, one of the greatest lessons the American public should learn from Vietnam is to be cautious in accepting everything the government and the press says regarding any situation. Recent revelations about Vietnam, such as Robert McNamara's book, make it clear that some actions and information fed to the public to garner support for government action were misleading. This too was a lesson from the Holocaust.  We must always question, raise critical questions and be open to a variety of points of view. Some where, amidst all that, there is a truth. Fortunately, we live in a governmental system that allows us to do that. Our responsibility is to not blindly accept what we are told but to continuously question.

        I am a strong supporter of the American government as an institution, but I also realize that the people charged with its operation are fallable. It is for that reason that when I stand for the National Anthem I am paying
tribute to the institution and not necessarily the people who operate it.

Chuck Ramer
Coordinator of Secondary Education

A Retired General Writes...

Hi, I am Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd Clark, USA (ret) now a public school teacher in Arkansas. I teach geography and history to 7th & 8th graders.

I am a retired intelligence offecer. I have served on the planning staff at Headquarters U.S. European Command, at US Central Command, at US Forces Korea, as the Senior INtelligence Officer for the 2nd. Infantry Division on the DMZ in Korea, and at Eighteenth Airborne Corps in N. Carolina. XVIII Corps is the nations quick response force when we get into trouble or need to help someone quickly.

I have lived in Europe and been to Holocaust sites. The military planning in this operation would get an "F" at the Command and General Staff College or the War College. ONe does not tell an enemy in advance what one is NOT going to do and one does not tell in adavance when one is planning to use such and such weapon. It only serves to alert the enemy and allow him to prepare.

Our Presidentt has made a big mistake, or several of them. Some of the military leaders on the Joint Chiefs appear to be less than forthcoming in their dealing with him in order to curry his favor in budget battles.
Gen Shelton comes to mind.  air Power seldom, if ever, can be used to force an enemy to comply wih ones wishes. It takes troops on the ground.  We have failed to protect the people we said we started the bombing for.
In fact, we made the situation worse. Now we are in a terrible dilemma.

We don't want to go to war on the ground but almost have to in order to save our national honor and prestiege, and the Kosovars. Yet, the geograpphical location make it a very difficult place to attack with sufficient ground forces to get the job done at minimum risk to US and NATO ground forces. Ther are few land aproaches. The best is thru Greece and Macedonia which do not support our position. If we go thru Albania or Bosnia we draw them into the war and make them a likely victim if we ever leave. Committing attack helicopters and MLRS IS a turn toward ground forces if we are to follow standard force protection measures.  If a chopper is shot down we ALWAYS try to rescue the crew. That takes ground forces. They too must travel by chopper. IF one gets shot down that is 30 or 40 casualties in one blow or POW's. Or we can abandon them and leave them to the mercies of the Serbs.  The President has socked the tar baby and we have to pay the penalty.

I am opposed to the action he has taken thus far, but now, it appears we must commit forces to finish the job but we will be then forced to stay for a looooong time just as in Korea.
Keep up the good dialog.

Date: Tue, 06 Apr 1999 23:19:11 -0700
From: Lloyd Clark <>


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