"No!" to the war in the Balkans


June of 1999

To the peoples in struggle against the war:
To Social Europe:|
To the men and women who are saying "No!":

Brothers and Sisters:

Greetings to all from the zapatistas of Mexico. All over the world different mobilizations and activities are being carried out at this time against the war that money has sown in the heart of Europe: the war in Kosovo.

In this war, the great Power has set itself to making all of us take part: either we support Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" war or we support NATO's "humanitarian" war.

This is the great alchemy of money, to offer us the option of choosing between two wars, not between peace and war.

On the shelves of the globalized market, the Powers are offering humanity only different versions of the same war: they come in all colors, flavors, sizes and shapes. They are for all tastes and all pocket books. There is only one thing that makes them the same, the results. Always destruction, always anguish, always death. And death, anguish and destruction are always for the other, for the different, for that which is unnecessary, for that which is in the way, for that which is below.

And, even within the mercantile logic of the merchants of death, neo-liberalism wants to offer us a fraud: the war that is supposedly going to avoid more deaths, has done nothing but multiply them; the war that should be holding back the possibility of the conflict expanding to other regions, has assured that the conflagration will now spread beyond its original geographical limit; , the "intelligent" war has done nothing but demonstrate the great destructive capacity of stupidity; the war of "good faith" has re-defined human life: its loss is now counted as "collateral damage."

It is a lie.

It is not true that we have to take part in this lethal market.

It is not true that there are only options between different kinds of war.

It is not true that we must take part on the side of one or another stupidity.

It is not true that we must renounce intelligence and humanity.

Nothing can legitimize Milosevic's ethnic war. Nothing can legitimize NATO's "humanitarian" war.

The trap is there, but there are more and more who are refusing to fall into it and who are saying "No!" to the war in the Balkans.

In Kosovo, it is not just the existence and resistance of Social Europe that is at stake in the face of the Europe of Money; at stake is not just accepting or not the de facto power of the new global police, the new clothing with which the Pentagon is dressing their troops.

Also at stake is the possibility of recognizing the other, the different, in a way that he is not dead, imprisoned, humiliated, subjugated, persecuted, forgotten.

We will not fall into the trap, we will not allow the loss of humanity to pass into history in the category of "collateral damages," and to allow cynicism and conformity to be the triumphant generals of the European war.

Despite all the power of money, despite all the arms, despite all the arbitrary acts, despite all the attempts at hegemony and homogenization, despite all the traps, we still have the right to say "NO!"

And that is what we raise today. A world-wide "NO!" to the lie that feigns truths in the skies and the grounds of Kosovo. NO to the destruction of the different.

NO to the death of intelligence. NO to cynicism. NO to indifference. NO to having to choose between criminals who are more or less bloodthirsty, more or less perverse, more or less powerful.

If we do not say "NO!" to Kosovo today, tomorrow we will be saying "YES!" to the horrors that money is now concocting all over the world.

Another, different world is possible than this violent supermarket that neo-liberalism is selling us. Another world is possible, where the option is between war and peace, between memory and forgetting, between hope and resignation, between the gray and the rainbow. A world where many worlds fit is possible. It is possible for an imperfect "Yes!', unfinished and incomplete, to be born from a "NO!", a "Yes!" that gives humanity back the hope of rebuilding, every day, the complex bridge that joins thought and feeling.

This is what we zapatistas are saying: "NO!"

Viva life! Death to death!

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, June of 1999.


Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa

To the Mexico page