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04-08-1999, 08:44 PM
Kosovo and our military intervention

What's your take on our current military adventure in Kosovo? My initial feelings were based on a mix of:
Intervention
- Nasty stuff getting done to ethnic Albanians ("EA") by general bad guy Slobodan
- Disruption of life for surrounding sovereignities due to influx of EA refugees
Always tough to deal w/refugees
Tougher yet when they wind up in a neighborhood like Macedonia where ethnic tensions are high already
- What if the western world had reacted a little more resolutely to the early provocations of Hitler? Would we have possibly avoided WWII & its holocaust?
- Related to a comment I'll make below; this exercise is historically a little different from what has been the norm post-WWII, but things change.
Non-Intervention
- It had (ignoring the refugee question for the moment) remained a conflict w/in one sovereignity and thus, by previous post-Cold War standards, did not require the international community's military action
- The UN had been the historic (post WWII) meeting post & was avoided because near superpowers Russia & China could have taken the motion out of the emotion
- No real tangible goal & plan to get there - the threat of bombing did not have its desired result in the diplomatic interchanges of the last year and was backed off on enough times that neither I nor Slobodan probably really believed it was forthcoming - but I was worried at that time about the threat to our credibility. It has been pointed out many times in the last week that no air campaign has won a war by itself (things do change).
- Advertising in advance that we would not occupy any Serbian territory w/o Serb ("SB") permission & that we would not use ground troops ("I'm coming to the fight, but don't worry; I left my right hand at home.") Sounds a lot like the worry over bombing Hanoi when we were at war w/them and the earlier constraints on UN fliers in Korea against pursuing Communist aircraft past the Yalu River ( We're gonna be gentlemen in this game; we're gonna pursue a policy of NEVER crossing their 50-yard line, and they'll just look bad when they cross ours).
- No good guys over there: EA are not likely candidates to take an ethnic minority SB to their hearts and protect them from another PC-deficient EA or a Bosnian or a Macedonian (Generally speaking, who hates each other the most in the world? The people who live next door to each other. This is a little bit like an outsider taking sides in a divorce.).
- A little bit of a suspicion of the "Wag the Dog" factor; afterall, this President has nothing to mark his regime in any positive style - this is the last of my "against intervention" remarks because I would really like to highly discount the possibility of an effort toward acheiving some historical grandeur being WJC's motivation for starting another war

So, now where are we:
This post is long enough already, so I'll tell ya I was opposed to intervention at the outset of the campaign ~two weeks ago, but as soon as the first bomb dropped I realized this cannot be another unresolved situation, we must campaign and win. The only way to resolve a military confrontation is to destroy your enemy's ability to fight & that probably involves the massive insertion of ground troops.
We have to win this war (that's what it is)!
Should we opt for a disguised defeat like Vietnam NATO will have... what meaning? If you have a better idea, I would REALLY like to hear from you.

04-08-1999, 10:39 PM
Actually, this is A LOT like taking sides in a divorce.

Dunno about you, but it seems the media has this back-asswards. They talk about Milosevich being "increasingly desperate", when it's perfectly obvious we are the desperate ones. We blundered into this, we still have no idea when it's going to end, and by the time an occupying force gets there, Serbia will have successfully cleared out Kosovo. So far, our only offer for peace has been unconditional surrender (ie. Serbia gives up Kosovo and lets us have our way with it) This is the stupidest demand ever! It means that Serbia has nothing to lose by fighting us. If they fight and drag this out, they might well win because nobody really wants to risk any lives to end this.

Personally, I suspect Clinton wanted a nice feel-good war like the Persian Gulf, where we simply overwhelmed Iraq. This didn't happen in Yugoslavia; so far they've managed to outsmart us. We have to decide if we are willing to engage the Sebians in bloody, close-quarters mountain fighting. If the answer is no, let's get out of there.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-09-1999, 03:04 PM
I wish people would quit stating that the Germans were incapable of conquering Yugoslavia. They did; and they did it in 11 days! (April 6-17, 1941) Of course, there was a strong underground resistance, but the same was true of France. The French didn't liberate themselves, the Western Allies did. Likewise the Yugoslavs didn't liberate themselves either, the Russians did.

Quit dragging out the old "They're unconquerable" boogieman. The only historical precident for failure in the Balkins is Russian intervension, and they're too dependent on nurishment from the Western tit of capitalism, to do more than complain.

If we truely want to stablize the region, then lets stop pussyfooting around with airstrikes and go in there and remove the destablizing elements (the Milosovich regime). This means ground troops and POWs and KIAs and, yes, it might actually take more than a of couple weeks.

We are at war. Lets do it right or not do it at all.

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Aon Dia.
Aon Tir.
Aon Ite.

04-09-1999, 03:22 PM
Amen, PapaBear. But don't count Russia out. They say Yeltsin will probably be impeached by the hard-liners who control the Russian Parliment. And don't forget that historically, the best way to pull your country out of an economic slump is to go to war. I just heard that Russia, Serbia, and Bellarus are considering a "Pan-Slavic Pact". This could get a lot worse. :(

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-09-1999, 06:39 PM
You might want to reserve judgement until you see the news from an alternate source:

www.serbia-info.com

Sample headline:

Slobodan Milosevic's peace initiative creates an anti-war hysteria throughout the world -- fake refugees exposed while the Head of the USA and his war machinery are at pains trying to get new ideas MORE (http://www.serbia-info.com/news/1999-04/09/10694.html)

It certainly makes for interesting reading. It's clearly propaganda, and should be disbelieved, but it makes one think about the veracity of one's own news sources...

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"I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

04-10-1999, 12:46 AM
I would be inclined to support the Kosovo War on humanitarian terms if the action would do any good. Even the Nazi hordes couldn't tame the Balkans. There is too much dissension for the locals to coalesce around any body of political power. Tito succeeded because he oppressed all groups equally.

Every thing I have heard makes me believe that the Serb government, not Serbs as individuals, is pretty brutal. I mean, they are killing Croats and Muslims for nothing but pure ethnic reasons, and, they have been doing it for years now. I doubt they will stop anytime soon. But, that isn't to say that the Croats and Muslims have been the good guys all along: historically speaking, each of these groups has behaved brutally toward the other. It is just that the Serbs have the power right now.

Still, I could conceivably support an effort to subdue the Serbs if it were based on the WWII model. By that I mean that the Allies seek to bring down an evil regime by force of arms, they execute their moral obligations through a serious effort (translation: troops on the ground, a real invasion with objective goals), and, they occupy the territory until a suitable democratic government can be formed.

My support of such a humanitarian action is tempered by the knowledge of how overwhelmingly difficult that task would be. As I said, the Nazis couldn't do it. To some extent, modern technology can offset the ability of partisans hiding in the hills to continue to wreak havoc, but, I'm no military guy. It seems like recently the Soviet Union could not succeed in a military action in Afghanistan. I think that truly subduing the land would be a long and bloody ordeal.

That leads me to believe that the bombing effort is nothing but a show. Putting lives at risk for no apparent benefit. Sticking our noses in a Millennium old conflict might be morally correct, but only if by taking arms and killing thousands of people we have a reasonable expectation of preventing further death and hardship. I don't believe it is reasonable to so expect in this situation.

All of my reservations are compounded by the obvious incompetence and bumbling of the adminstration to date. Again, Clinton, the man who "loaths" the military, is proving it by demonstrating he is willing to send them into harm's way for no identifiable reason (unless you count distracting us from his Chinagate Treason). Call it Lebanon III (Somalia being Lebanon II). The first two were Republican initiatives and had nothing to do with Communist containment. This is just more feel good crap.

But what else can be expected from the man who "didn't inhale that woman, Gennifer Flowers".


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The Trustworthy Troglodyte

04-10-1999, 01:24 AM
Long rant warning...

I'm having a hard time understanding what the difference is between Albanians in Kosovo, Chechnyans in Southern Russia, Kurds in Turkey, Kurds in Iraq, Sikhs in India, and other ethnic groups who wish independence from the ruling ethnic group, yet must work toward their goals without US intervention. If I were a cynical person, I might believe it had something to do with the Albanians being Europeans...

Has US, oops NATO, bombing prevented atrocities in the name of ethnic cleansing, or decreased the misery in Kosovo? I don't think so.

As far the ability to win a battle or war in this region, yes, it can be done. But like the board game Risk, some territories are easier to take than to hold. The Balkans are such an area. At one time, I naively believed the warring factions were still fighting the Crusades. I now realize that war in this region dates back to the "who's got the bigger rock pile" era. Unless we (US & NATO) are ready & willing to commit to 100 years of "benign" occupation & pouring $$$$ into the region to develop infrastructure & create prosperity there, I fail to see what a few months of bombing is likely to gain other than the deserved animosity of the Serbs and a subdued "uh gee thanks" from the Kosovar Albanians.

We risk losing a good friend in Boris Yeltsin over this. For those who think there may just be a little bit of "Wag the Dog" in this operation, Yeltsin faces a much worse threat to his leadership with the Russian economy and the abandonment of Slavic brothers than Clinton ever faced over Monica. The pressure on him to unite the nation in war to defend fellow Slavs is mounting; his Presidency may well crumble over this issue.

Remember in late '95 when the Dayton accord was signed & the US committed 20,000 ground troops in Bosnia for 1 year? The year was conveniently up just past the '96 election. US ground troops are still there (though no where near 20,000); some for their 3rd, 4th, or 5th tour.

End of rant. Soapbox disassembled.

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Sue from El Paso

04-10-1999, 05:25 AM
Seems like nobody thinks this venture is a great idea. Diceman put it well, "We blundered into this, we still have no idea when it's going to end..." and, more importantly, "We have to decide if we are willing to engage the Sebians in bloody, close-quarters mountain fighting. If the answer is no, let's get out of there." Seems to me that decision should have been made before the first bomb.
But it wasn't.
So, while I wouldn't necessarily say I see a consensus, the general drift of replies is to the effect that we now have to fish or cut bait. PapaBear: "We are at war. Lets do it right or not do it at all."
I suspect it too late to cut bait.

04-12-1999, 01:05 PM
Well, I agree with you PapaBear. Forgive my hyperbole. The Soviet Union won in Afghanistan too. That is my point- do what you want, you won't change the hearts of people. And it is the partisans in the hills that the Nazis couldn't subdue that will continue to forment trouble unless a huge amount of resources are committed to eliminating them too.

I think the Serbs can definitely be defeated. I just don't think Americans have a realistic view of exactly what the cost would be.

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The Trustworthy Troglodyte

04-12-1999, 02:03 PM
make no mistakes.
NATO is not bombing to stop Serbs from killing Kosovars.
Nato is bombing serbs to stop them from pushing refugees into Macedonia and Albania.
Destabilization is the biggest "threat"
feared by the western governments.
We don't care who you suppress, but if your actions threaten to cause problems for a whole region.

the theory goes like this

*Albania-Macedonia destabilized
*Greece moves into Macedonia to prevent having a Lebanon on it's northern border
*Albanian troops take the hunk of Macedonia they've been claiming all along.
*Albania and Greece rumble
*Turkey has training and joint maneuver alliances with Albania
*Greece and Turkey rumble
*everybody takes sides
*everybody rumbles
*Lenny Bruce is not Afraid

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<insert witty sig here>

04-12-1999, 05:28 PM
I agree smegmum V, and I think there is much more risk here than what anybody wants to admit. I think what we have going is the most effective propaganda machine since Goebbels.

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The Trustworthy Troglodyte

04-14-1999, 11:06 PM
As to Kosovo, I think the primary problem is that we keep saying (the US, NATO, and the UN) that we are not the police of the world, then turn around and do just that. Except in Africa.

*IF* we are going to enforce some police action against genocide and/or massive dislocation, then we should say so and lay out the objectives and ground rules. I think we should, but should also stop kidding ourselves and state the objectives.

Going back further, the problem ultimately was created by European (and American) colonizers who created artificial "countries," unifying cultural and ethnic entities that had never been recognized or received among those peoples as entities at all. So *we* should be the ones to pay for those mistaken ideas.

First, admit that we *are* acting as the world police and why. Second, offer any country the protection of the UN/NATO who will demilitarize. Third, pledge to attack any force that undertakes ethnic cleansing/massive relocation (define?). Fourth, seek the means to attain consensus on redefining borders and countries and preventing/addressing abuses of power.

We are in a position of addressing old ill-defined impositions of "nationhood." Tito kept Yugoslavia together with an iron fist and an even approach, insisting on "nationalism." There are few Titos. The entire position needs to be reexamined.

jdv

04-17-1999, 08:53 PM
So what are the real consequences if Congress votes no on a declaration of war and we basically say "Whoops! We shouldn't be here!" and pull out? Near term of course, Slobo is apparently the Lotto winner of the year and NATO has major egg on its face (perhaps terminal).

Will these consequences be worse than if we belatedly mobilize, reinstitute the draft, go fight a ground war and stay there for a decade or two? Oh yeah, and revitalize Eastern Europe as a foe of the West.

For the last couple of weeks I've been (tentatively) subscribing to the thought, as I think most of the people I've talked to have, that collosal error that it may have been to initiate our military involvement, now that we've commited don't pussyfoot around. But that word error haunts me. Are we compounding the error by gradually building toward a full scale war effort?

BTW, kiss the peace dividend, balanced budget and budget surplus goodbye!

04-18-1999, 07:17 PM
Just a little quote from today's (London) Electronic Telegraph that does little to ease the foreboding feelings about Kosovo:

"There will be no escalation without the agreement of France." Mr Chirac's position was said to be that France "prefers fighting with her hands tied behind her back to having both hands free while walking a tightrope above the abyss".

04-18-1999, 11:01 PM
Beatle, I'm surprised France hasn't surrendered yet.



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Ranger Jeff
The Idol of American Youth

Always drink upstream from the herd.

04-19-1999, 12:43 AM
I must confess I found the Serb propaganda at www.serbia-info.com at least as convincing as our own. There was none of the demonization of the ethnic Albanians that I would have expected from a government engaging in systematic genocide; compare the articles about ethnic Albanians and Serbs living together in peace to the distorted German view of the Jews in the 30's.



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Jens

04-19-1999, 01:14 AM
I think one reason why the US is easing off of military intervention in the Americas, and getting into countries of the former Soviet Union, is because those countries are more ripe for economic exploitation. The former soviet union is full of white, well-educated workers who will be happy with wages we would consider at the poverty level.

There is enough ethnic conflict to have our forces stay there indefinately, protecting any American investments

04-19-1999, 06:56 AM
Booga, you make sense. At first I was wondering why Clinton (OOPS, I mean NATO ;) yeah, right) would defend Europeans (how un-PC!), as opposed to stopping the massacre in Rwanda or trying to stabalize the gov't of Indonesia, which is having problems with East Timor. Your post answers my questions.

Also, what do the Teeming Millions think about NATO spokesman Jamie Shea? To me, he seems like such a blatant propaganda agent.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-19-1999, 10:17 PM
The problem with Kosovo seems to be that NATO assumes that since they have jus ad bellum, the automatically have jus in bello also, no matter what they do. Both of those are necessary for a war to be just. Jus ad bellum is a just cause for a war; jus in bello is prosecution of a war in a just manner. NATO seems to me to have a just cause, but is not prosecuting the war justly, or even in a sensible fashion.

Also, I might point out... Canada and the United States are bombing Serbia for carrying out forced unemployment, depopulation, and ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians. So... when does Serbia get to bomb Canada and the United States for carrying out forced unemployment, depopulation, and ethnic cleansing of First Nations?

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Blessed Be,
Matt McLauchlin
Montreal, Quebec

04-19-1999, 10:56 PM
It's sort of like getting the police to go in on a domestic dispute.usually the spouse has a harder time going back after the incident.
A friend in South Africa reports this has become second page news there.
you can't win anymore, settle this as well as we can.

04-19-1999, 11:03 PM
So... when does Serbia get to bomb Canada and the United States for carrying out forced unemployment, depopulation, and ethnic cleansing of First Nations?

As soon as Serbia, Iraq, Iran, and the rest of their ilk have successfully convinced the rest of the World to join them in the 19th century. If we are to be called hypocrites every time we oppose an evil that our grandfathers indulged in, we might as well just dig the moat and spend the rest of our days in blissful, moral apathy. Just because we failed the Tutsis, the Sudanese Christians, and the Tibetans does not make our effort to aid the Kosovo Albanians an unworthy one. Instead of saying "Why now?" we should be saying "It's about time!"

This may sound childish, but Serbia has been asking to have its butt kicked for several years now, and if NATO can do it without severely damaging the civilian population, I'm all for it. This is a chance for us to preempt the sorts of horrors we've always criticized ourselves for ignoring.

04-19-1999, 11:29 PM
PapaBear, I agree with you, but please reread my original post. I think we have to rethink our entire position if we are going to have anything resembling a rational policy. We *are,* with NATO, becoming the "policemen of the world," and slowly abandoning the neoisolationist stance of the right (France excepted; someone once commented that if the UN offered a resolution that the sun would rise in the morning, the French would abstain). The Cold War may be over, but that is just the start of where in the hell we stand.

Don't we have a responsibility to define more clearly what we are doing and why? We have ignored Africa, so when do we become involved and why? "Policemen of the world" is too strong, and so is "imposition of moral right." What are we doing, where, and why is of paramount importance. This is not just Kosovo.

If we are going to do this, there must be new ground rules, not ad hoc rationalizations for each situation. What are we going to do with these artificially created situations and why?

04-20-1999, 12:38 AM
I think a policy of "do good where you can!" is a rational one. I, and apparently the powers that be (the NATO leaders), believe that bombing the hell out of the Yugoslav military complex is a good thing. It's also a thing that we CAN do. If the Chinese start ethnically cleansing the Central Asian Plains of ethnic Mongolians, it would obviously be a really stupid thing to bomb Bejing. A mixture of morality and practicality may be difficult but it is not irrational.

As a strictly practical matter, I think the involvement of NATO forces in the Balkins is a great stabilizer in the region. What would have happened if we didn't intervene? NATO counties would have had no moral obligation to help Albania and Macedonia with the Albanian refugees (if you're one of those idiots who believe NATO bombing is the cause of the exodus, stop reading now. I won't be able to talk any sense into you.) Now you have ethnic tensions in those countries. The resulting civil strife would quickly shake out to a battle between Muslims and Eastern Orthodox Christians. It wouldn't take long for Greece and Turkey to repeat their Cyprian folly of the 70s. Only now, it isn't conveniently confined to an island.

Unfortunately, for those of us who support NATO's action, there's no way to prove that the alternative would be worse.

What if there is another Rhuandan-style slaughter in Africa? I think we should do what we should have done a few years and a million deaths ago. Go in, disarm the killers. If we have to leave 5,000 troops there for the next 10 years, so be it. Remember the alternative! It's nothing more than you'd hope to do yourself in your personal life. Do good where you can!

I agree with people who say we went into this thing less then fully prepared, but we're on Milosovich's schedule here, not NATO's. NATO and the UN debated and planned for years before deciding on a policy in Bosnia. Dutch UN troops had no orders when Serbs slaughtered hundreds of Muslims before their very eyes. One simple order: "Stop the Serbian displacement and extermination of the people in Sebrinica (SP?)" would have allowed these men to do what I'm sure they knew was right.

I'm proud of the fact that NATO had the balls to go off half-cocked when neccessary. If they'd spent time searching for a full proof (what some might wrongly call "rational") policy the planes would never leave the ground.

04-20-1999, 12:43 AM
full proof should read "fool-proof"

04-20-1999, 01:26 PM
I fully understand your point of view, jdv, but the World is a messy place. The World has always moved faster than policy. The United States has no choice but to react on a situational basis.

The affairs of nations can't be run like the American Judicial system. If we allow precedents to rule our actions our hands will forever be tied. We are the most powerful and influencial country in the World and we no longer need to stand on the sidelines until our direct interests are threatened. Politicians can justify aggression by cooking up "national interests" anywhere in the world. It's harder to make the moral arguement. The moral argument for action in Serbia is a sound one.

I think I stated in an ealier post that I thought sticking our head in the ground during the Rhuanda slaughter was a mistake. I also think that the deaths of a couple dozen Rangers in Somalia was a tragic yet not unacceptable trade off for the good we did for millions of starving people.

I'm sure some people think my additude toward putting our troops in harm's way is cavalier. I for one feel there's more to serving in the armed forces than a paycheck and the GI bill. I wish recruiters would explain to their recruits that soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen are expected to actually fight wars and that they are taking the chance that they might die in one when they sign on the dotted line.

04-20-1999, 02:30 PM
Unfortunately, I see a disturbing trend of the US only helping people who are being opressed by second rate armies that we can roll over easily. That was the case with Iraq. That was the case with Somalia. NATO thought that was the case with Sebia. If we only confine our attention to the little guys, them Saddam Husein and Slobodon Milosevich are 100% correct to call us bullies and cowards. The real test of moral leadership would be if we were willing to stand up to the Chinese for what they are doing to Tibet.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-20-1999, 02:49 PM
The real test of moral leadership would be if we were willing to stand up to the Chinese for what they are doing to Tibet.

You're right, Dice, but in the case of a powerful country like China or Russia, one needs to attack in a way that isn't suicidal. We should have cut off all but the most basic diplomatic relations with China after Tinniman Square. Bush and Clinton have sold out their principles for a little Chinese lucre.

I think of countries that oppress their own as "international wife beaters". If you and your neighbors can put a stop to it, you should do so. If the guy is a gun-wielding nut case that is capable of taking out the whole neighborhood, than the best you can do is refuse to have anything to do with him and perhaps get word to his wife that maybe she should stab him in his sleep.

I hope I haven't lost everybody with this analogy. My whole point in all these posts is that if we want to be consistent in our policy lets start with a good one, right now. Being consistent with kowtowing to the Chinese and ignoring the plight of the oppressed doesn't appeal to me.

04-20-1999, 03:11 PM
I was listening to the CBC last Friday night and they were interviewing Noam Chomsky, who brought up some interesting points, the central one being that the situation WAS bad for the ethnic Albanians before the military intervention, but that NATO had three choices: make it better, do nothing, or make it worse. Having been unable to make it better (and to give credit where credit is due, I believe they did try), they chose military strikes against Milosovic, knowing full well that he would be unable to strike back directly, and would therefore step up actions against the Albanians, making their situation worse.

Chomsky stated that to do nothing would have been more humanitarian than to make it worse, as NATO has done. His point was that despite what the media keeps telling us, this is not a humanitarian mission. It sells better as such, but it's not. It is a military exercise designed to bring a specific kind of stability to a region that currently has a system of government opposed to the ideals of NATO.

I don't know that there's anything wrong with this, necessarily. I agree with Chomsky's assessment, but I think that arguing against the operation is a bit like sticking one finger in a dam with a thousand holes. NATO/US military solutions and imposed (liberated) systems of government will probably become more frequent if this succeeds, which it probably will. In terms of global peace and stability, worse things could happen. In many ways it sucks, certainly for the Kosovars, and I don't think we're getting the whole picture from the media by any means, but the situation has an air of inevitability about it. I don't think there's a power left in the world that can match NATO if it wants to do stuff like this, especially since the media serves the interests of NATO with its "humanitarian" spin keeping the general populations of NATO member countries from kicking up too big of a stink. Not enough people believe the alternative media for it to make a difference.

I think the arguments really boil down to "do the ends justify the means?" Reluctantly, because I have no love for the US or its system of government, I'd have to say yes.

04-20-1999, 04:54 PM
Reluctantly, because I have no love for the US or its system of government, I'd have to say yes.

Caution: Nationalist rant ahead.

Just a quibble. Isn't your gripe with Canada and its system of government. Canada is free to leave NATO any time it wants, but as far as I can tell it is one of the biggest boosters for the war. If we're the evil empire to the south, you're the obsequious toady to the north. It's time for the other NATO members to share the responsibility (or blame, if you're incline). If we can't tell you what to put on your French Toast we damned well don't have the power to tell you that you have to go to war!

Sorry, Eris. It's a defence mechanism. I have these battles with my British wife all the time.

04-20-1999, 05:27 PM
Hey, no worries. Rant all you want. I just reserve the right to disagree with you, although in this case, I can't really. I said US because NATO is led by the US. Canada is as much to blame as the rest of the NATO countries, including Britain.

As far as obsequious toadies go, yeah, I think I have to grant that one too. As a capitalist country we have no other choice, although it galls me to admit such a thing to a Yank such as yourself. My nationalistic tendencies go as far as beer, food, scenery and health care. Slam our government all you want; I'll help, but I'll slam yours too. They're all corrupt and they all pander to corporate dollars to some extent.

I have to live on the planet, but I don't have to like it. And just for the record, I'm not anti-capitalist really, either. I guess at this stage I'm just basically misanthropic generally. Humans suck. Individually, we're mostly ok, but as a group, we're immature, selfish and just not very nice. And no, I don't particularly believe in democracy either.

Just another thought, though - according to the news this morning, Clinton's asked for another 6 billion from Congress for the war effort. Who's getting that money, in the end?

04-20-1999, 05:30 PM
In a strange coincidence, a friend just sent me these. You knew it had to happen...

Q: How many Kosovar Albanians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: That's not funny.

or:

A: They have lightbulbs? Did NATO miss a couple?

or:

A: Lightbulbs? Geez, things can't be as bad as they say, then.

Q: How many Serbs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: It's impossible to tell because the media's so biased against them.

04-20-1999, 10:05 PM
If we're going to adopt the UN circumventing policy of "you're bein' bad to somebody, here we come!" on an equilateral basis we need to pump up our military budget by (what?) 1200%? Of course, the equilateral basis will not be an option at first, so we must be selective...

04-20-1999, 10:23 PM
Agree with you again, PapaBear. Policy often lags far behind the need for action. Just wish we could develop some definitions *now*.

What I was getting at is that we *are* becoming the policemen of the world (not alone, so far with NATO and, in the case of Iraq, the UN). I just think we should accept that fact and set down the ground rules and stop shilly-shallying about "Yugoslavia was the start of WWI, therefore...." and all that crap. It is a transparent excuse. If we are gonna do it, let's do it, but have some rational backup. Rwanda not excepted, as you pointed out.

(Aside to Eris--normally I find these kinds of jokes tremendous relief from bad situation. Didn't work this time. Am I getting too caught up in these peoples plight? Prob so--any odds that if the situation were reversed, the Albanians would do just as bad to the Serbs? Or have?)

04-21-1999, 12:46 AM
"Doing good" is a wonderful sentiment, but I'd hardly call it a "policy."

Why is it good to intercede in Yugoslavia, but not, say, in Rwanda? Is it because we identify more with Europeans? Because we got burnt in Somalia and now Africa is off-litmits? If so, our attitudes need some review.

In Kuwait we were reining in a dangerous dictator, but we were also worried about oil. I agree that we were "doing good," but we were also "helping ourselves." Is self-interest or national interest a prerequisite to doing good?

Who will we help in the future, those that we feel good in helping, or those that need it? Who decides who we help and why?

What I'm saying is that there is no policy now, just reactions to individual situations.

04-21-1999, 09:06 AM
I'd like to say that many folks support engagement with China because they realize that wealth is a liberating experience. I belive that a wealthier China will be a better place. Freedom ain't always "nothing left to lose" sometimes its an education or a dream and those often require lucre.

04-28-1999, 07:25 AM
Nato isn't winning any support by serbs with its bad aim.
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Sven and Ole's Pizza, grand Marais MN

06-08-1999, 02:07 AM
Nuke 'em...nuke 'em all.

06-08-1999, 02:31 AM
If you want to have an interesting experience, get ICQ ver.99a and do a White Pages Search for English-speaking people in Belgrade. The state-run media has them hopelessly brainwashed. They keep saying the most looney stuff, mostly to the effect of: "NATO hates Serbs and has decided the Kosovars were more worthy of living in Serbia than Serbs are". And they send you all kinds of crazy links full of oddball pro-Serb propaganda to support their position. Overall, politics tends to be a sore subject.

06-08-1999, 06:37 PM
Why did we ever go in there?These people were just practicing traditional Balkan population control. If they don't go tribal every so often, there will be overpopulation.

06-20-1999, 09:10 PM
Somehow I've lost the separate topic about the Russians.Anyway, the Russians are eager to have their troops participate.With free supplies of course.And hopefully as long as possible.This way they don't have to feed and supply those troops at home.

06-27-1999, 06:48 PM
any odds that if the situation were reversed, the Albanians would do just as bad to the Serbs? Or have?

see http://members.tripod.com/~sarant_2/ksm.html

For the lazy amongst you, the page's title is 'Articles Written When Kosovo Was Not Famous'. It compiles newspaper articles from the 1980's and shows, very clearly, that the Kosovan Albanians (as a group) are far from the innocent victims as portrayed in the western media. Apparently the first press appearance of the term 'ethnic cleansing' was to describe Kosovan Albanians' actions toward Kosovan Serbs. It's eye-opening reading.

06-27-1999, 06:50 PM
Sorry, I forgot the UBB code :)

http://members.tripod.com/~sarant_2/ksm.html

06-27-1999, 07:50 PM
I really don't know if NATO (read U.S.--my point of view, and I can't help it) should be in Kosovo any more than they should have been in Bosnia. My gut says no.

1) The real criminals are off limits. The postors up on all the camps I've been to have their pictures and names and say in big bold letters that you are not to kill them or take them into custody unless they surrender or attempt to enter a camp, to avoid escalation.

2) If the real criminals "mysteriously dissapear" then it will just add support to the propaganda they put out.

3) Bombing a destabilized country will not restabilize it... The only way bombing would help is if we bombed all the radio stations, tv stations, and printing presses instead of just the factories. In the US, we find that idea justifiably abhorrent, so that's not going to happen.

4) We really didn't accomplish anything in Bosnia. The Bosnian Serbs finally figured out that the Muslims were not launching a Jihaad (sp) and refused to help the slaughter any more. Nato just took credit for it. (A Muslim woman with a Serb late-husband told me that. I respect her point of view on it.)

The only reason I say "I really don't know" is that I don't seem to get the whole story from the news. From what they are putting out, it is the same story as in Bosnia. Also, my opinion should be taken with a few hundred grains of salt, considering it is my friends going there. (end of disclaimer)

06-27-1999, 07:57 PM
Oops, typo, who would go there (they aren't expected to soon).

07-10-1999, 08:46 AM
Serbia and it's government are a poisoned nation, who needed the force of NATO to force them into coming to terms with who they are and what they do.
Sebia led the evil empire of Yugoslavia and had a stranglehold on the other nations that were forced to join (Croatia, Slovenia)
the Serbs annexed Kosovo in the eighties, and any actions the Albanians took against the Serbs were out of retaliation or defense.
Look up the greatest English historian at the moment, Professor Keenan or something, and he will completely agree.
The Serbs and their people are the nazis of the nineties.
NATO is giving them a dose (albeit small) of their own medicine.

07-12-1999, 10:10 AM
Stand down, Ivana. Just the other day, the major international news guys admitted that they were inflating the number of casualties, refugees, etc, by an entire order of magnitude. The excuse was that numbers like 1 million refugees and 100,000 dead were based on "very preliminary numbers" that were off by many times. This was on my evening news, BTW. Clinton and the NATO people were (incorrectly) trying to make this sound like the Holocaust, because they needed to drum up support for the war.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island