Tuesday, March 30, 1999
Walesa opposes NATO bombing
Polish leader tells Miami audience: 'No problem should be solved by force'
BY RANDY McNUTT
The Cincinnati Enquirer
OXFORD Lech Walesa, the shipyard union leader who led 10 million Poles to freedom, said the fighting in Yugoslavia proves that the burden of the past is still with us.
Speaking through an interpreter at Miami University Monday, Mr. Walesa said the Yugoslavian problem could have been avoided if nations had heeded his advice several years ago.
No border changes
A year before the conflict started, I warned the world, he said. My solution was that we should agree that every human has a right to freedom, but the freedom of one group should not hinder the freedom of another group.
He said there should be no changing of borders, as Eu rope has routinely done for centuries.
No problem should be solved by force, he said.
He likened the United States role in the world as that of a policeman.
We must provide a new way, he said.
In 1980, Mr. Walesa, a shipyard electrician and devout Catholic, organized the Solidarity union and urged an end to communism in Poland. For his efforts he received support from Pope John Paul II and was imprisoned by Poland's communist leaders.
When Mr. Walesa called for strikes, communist leaders declared martial law and outlawed Solidarity. But support for the first free trade union in the Soviet bloc continued to grow.
It was a success that consisted of correcting the errors of my generation, he said.
In 1990, Mr. Walesa became his nation's first popularly elected president, after four decades of communism in Poland.
His political career ended in 1995, when former communist Aleksander Kwasniewski defeated Mr. Walesa.
These days, Mr. Walesa speaks out on democracy and free market reforms in Eastern Europe and the world. He works with the Lech Walesa Institute.
On Monday, he spoke to about 30 students in Bishop Hall. Miami President James Garland awarded Mr. Walesa the presidential medal, given to people for service to their country.
Very few people can say their lives have changed the lives of millions of people, Mr. Garland said. At great personal sacrifice, he brought peace and democracy to Poland.
A few dirty, unkind words about spring
'74 tornado tore Xenia's heart
More tornadoes coming?
Sirens not the perfect alert system
Key evidence against ex-cop thrown out
Man shot by police 'didn't die in vain'
Vaccine rule draws outcry
Healing family to push for repeat-offender law
Justin custody rally draws 70
Former golf division boss goes to prison
Walesa opposes NATO bombing
How to help Kosovo refugees
Lebanon lists job candidates
Applicants for Lebanon city manager
Dear 'NSync . . .
Science a breeze on trapeze
Yoga extends its reach
Bruggemeier back in action
$4.5M lost in parking lot jewelry heist
Art classes pair parents with kids
Cheerleaders win national title
I-71 stall? Expect 25 minutes
Interim chief in Carlisle
Landfill battle gets murkier
N.Ky. hotel rooms sit vacant
Old control tower too dangerous for kids
Remorse expressed after crash, police say
9 social service agencies to lobby legislators in D.C.
Summer's on time at Princeton
Sycamore schools rate AA-plus
Tristate juggles two standards for smog