/ fiction / humanitarianism / kosovo/
Continuing a rather extensive discussion that has been going on in this site's comment section about the Kosovo aggression, following a relevant post, I would like to present Diane Johnstone's latest article on the Kosovo debacle. This is an argument against Kosovo's independence, and a rather accurate (IMHO) description of the aftermath of the military intervention that led to the creation of one of the most ethnically pure states in the Balkans, a true haven of human rights, in the name of multi-culturalism and tolerance. What isn't described in the article is the sort of destabilization the Kosovo precedent has already wrought on the neighbouring Republic of Macedonia and in Southern Serbia - and how explosive this precedent is as far as minority nationalist expectations in the Balkans are concerned... But not only the Balkans... look how lovingly the Kosovo method of dealing with minorities is brought as a shining example by other, much more powerful, would-be repeat cleansers... It is indisputable that the international indifference to the ethnic cleansing processes in Kosovo (and to a lesser extent - because they will be hopefully rectified soon - in Krajna) is the stuff that fuels every crazed nationalist's wet dreams.
But this isn't the end of it... That some serious sort of trouble is brewing in Kosovo is not in doubt, as the KLA seems not happy with the NATO forces in the province as well. It's fascinating to watch how non-commital the "resolution proposals" being suggested are.
On a related issue, the Milosevic trial continues its farcical course. There seems to be no real evidence of Slobo's involvement in any crimes against humanity except in the most indirect sense of being responsible for the atrocities committed by his officers... John Laughland comments on the dire predicament the ICC is in, and notes:
The possibility is now real that a conviction of Milosevic can be secured only on the widest possible interpretation of the doctrine of command responsibility: for instance, that he knew about atrocities committed by the Bosnian Serbs and did nothing to stop them. But if Milosevic can be convicted for complicity in crimes committed by people in a foreign country, over whom he had no formal control, how much greater is the complicity of the British government in crimes committed by the US in Iraq, a country with which the UK is in an official coalition? This is not just a cheap political jibe but a serious judicial conundrum: the UK is a signatory to the new International Criminal Court, and so Tony Blair is subject to the jurisdiction of the new Hague-based body whose jurisprudence will be modelled on that of the ICTY. So if Slobbo goes down for ten years in Scheveningen jail because of abuses committed by his policemen, then by rights his cell-mate should, in time, be Tony.
(Laughland has in the past also argued about how the Hague is an anti-Nuremberg.)
That's not to say he's innocent - just that one could not seriously expect to dig up the sort of evidence that could stand up in a court of law - at least about his direct involvement in war-crimes.
It seems that only a Serbian court could successfully prosecute Milosevic, specifically for the Stambolic murder. This International Court can only invent a guilty verdict based on the available evidence (or lack thereof). To try to blame Kosovo on Milosevic alone was, anyway, idiotic. This is an unresolved minority issue dating back at least a century. It could be argued that in 1999 Milosevic was supported by more Serbs than at anytime else in his political career. Note also that a number of the NATO countries involved were at least as guilty of atrocities against secessionist minorities as Yugoslavia...
Anyway do not forget this was the direct precedent for the Iraq war. It was equally illegal, it did not have the approval of the Security Council, and it established the right of the Superpower to bomb and attack whoever it wished. Remember all that when Kerry takes office and we all discover how "anti-war" he truly is - at which point the French and the Germans will join the good cause of civilizing the natives in Iraq - in the same way they brought peace, multiculturalism, harmony and understanding to Kosovo...
Boris Kagarlitsky concludes, in an article about the March killings in the province:
The point is not that the West backed the wrong side in the conflict. Serbian nationalists are no more decent and honorable than the Albanians who incite riots and murder. In feuds like this there are no good guys, just the bad and the very bad. And determining who is who with any certainty is impossible.
The point also is that sovereignty should be treasured, at least until we discover a democratic, just and egalitarian way of doing international politics - otherwise humanitarianism becomes the cruel excuse of a new, politically correct but more violent, imperialism.
More (including further discussion of the points Doug Muir raised in our previous comment exchange) in the comments below...