This note expresses my basic attitudes to the subject of the conflicts in Yugoslavia (Kosovo/Serbia/Montenegro) and war in general, but see, also, "Beliefs" section.

"Personal Note

The way human beings inflict horror and suffering upon themselves both fascinates and scares me. The tendency to violence is the flaw in human personality that maximises human misery and endangers the entire species. As such it deserves our serious and continuing attention.

Wars in Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, to which NATO nations contributed, demonstrate the havoc and wretchedness that our tendency to violence can cause and are matters that concern all responsible people.

My poems are simply a personal attempt to record and respond to the conflicts. Like most UK citizens I was involved daily throughout the war watching it on TV, listening to the radio and reading about it in the newspapers. I am involved as a tax payer, voter, and supporter (or otherwise) of a NATO government.

In some poems I set up other people’s ideas for consideration. So that there may be no confusion I would like to state that I unreservedly condemn: 1) the systematic racial abuse, removal of human rights, arbitrary arrest, torture, destruction of homes and murder of Kosovo Albanians by Serbs over many years; 2) the violence of the KLA against Serbs; 3) the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO; 4) the murder and violence against Serbs, Roma, and Gorani carried out by Kosovo Albanians from June 99 onwards. I would suggest that all the violence has served only to make situations worse.

I hope that the questions raised in my poetry and verse will provoke thought about violent conflicts and help, in a small way, to encourage the development of wiser international policy.

My thanks to John Bedford for proof reading the text in a very narrow time slot, and to the editors of Day by Day who were the first to publish four of the Kosovo War Poems.

David Roberts, 18 January 2000"







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