Preventable occurrence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 May, 1999, 12:00am

What is really happening in Yugoslavia? There are so many questions and few answers. We are told that the destruction of the Chinese Embassy was not a result of technical malfunction.

Indeed the wrong road map was used by the country with the most advanced weapons systems known to mankind. Such systems that require maps to be digitised to integrate with GPS (global positioning system). Targeting information is fed into computers, whether for GPS control or information purposes.

It is simplicity epitomised to programme also the co-ordinates of those structures that must not be targeted, for example hospitals, embassies, schools, residential areas, and the like.

Then should for some reason erroneous co-ordinates be programmed, the computer would alert. Are we really saying that the most sophisticated military power actually used the wrong map? If this is the case then I'm a Teletubby.

The targeting of the Chinese Embassy was therefore a totally preventable occurrence even by the most inept military force. But then we have the Americans who killed more British in Dessert Storm than the Iraqis.

Notwithstanding Slobodan Milosevic is a monster, those responsible must face up to their ineptitude.

A thorough inquiry is essential by an international body and those responsible punished with jail terms.

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton could have prevented the deaths of innocents resulting from the unacceptable risks of air attacks alone. But they lacked the political guts to send in ground troops fearing the body bag backlash back home. Instead, they sacrificed the Albanians and innocent Yugoslavs and now Chinese.

This whole disgraceful situation has indeed been Blair's (and Clinton's) Blunder! My heartfelt sorrow for those Yugoslavs, Albanians and Chinese who have died.

DAVID LARMER New Territories