LINGUIST List 3.624

Tue 11 Aug 1992

Disc: E-mail links with Serbia

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  1. Jouko Lindstedt, 3.616 E-mail links with Serbia cut

Message 1: 3.616 E-mail links with Serbia cut

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 92 13:25:57 +03.616 E-mail links with Serbia cut
From: Jouko Lindstedt <jslindstwaltari.Helsinki.FI>
Subject: 3.616 E-mail links with Serbia cut

I have a colleague in Serbia, too, with whom I would really need to
establish e-mail connections. Yet I do not agree with Prof. Tomic's
appeal and Wayles Browne's comments thereupon. It is certainly true
that every kind of embargo affects lots of innocent ordinary citizens
-- so did the embargo against South Africa -- but what if the
alternative is to do nothing? I think the general opinion in Europe
and the U.S.A. is that not enough has been done. At least it is hardly
true that reestablishing the e-mail link would "contribute to Peace",
as Prof. Tomic writes; it would be a clear sign that Serbia perhaps
still counts as a state fulfilling the minimum standard of
international conduct.

What is more, the EARN connection does not only mean a line for
innocent e-mail chat. There are lots of other services available
through EARN/Bitnet and Internet, and I can imagine that access to
data bases abroad could at least marginally have even strategic
significance to Serbia. I am thoroughly convinced that the majority of
university teachers in Serbia would be definitely against the use of
the EARN connection by the present government, but it should still be
remembered that part of highly-ranked academicians have been active in
formulating Milosevic's policy from the very beginning. At least I
would say that (1) data connections are not comparable to ordinary
mail and telephone connections, and (2) the Serbian universities are
hardly in the position of ensuring only "innocent" use of these

Prof. Tomic should not be "led to desperation" because of the
cutting of the data connections. The embargo shows that the outside
world is concerned with what happens in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Kosovo, and that is something which certainly supports her
strivings for peace. And that is more important than e-mail,
isn't it?
 Jouko Lindstedt
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