bouncing ethnicity

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Fri Apr 2 08:34:31 PST 1999

Max Sawicky wrote:

>As we speak, the Serbs are cleansing Kosovo. We know they are
>deporting people en masse. There are reports of burning villages
>and blowing up buildings to say NATO bombed them. And we suspect
>worse. Some try to minimize this by saying "only 2,000" (in a
>population of what, 2 million?) have been killed there this year.

No, Max, that was last year. What was it you were saying about Tony Snow's inability to get a fact straight?

No one that I take seriously is denying that horrible things are happening in Kosovo right now. Many of us are arguing that things have been made far worse by the bombing. But that's not the reason the 2,000 figure was quoted. It was quoted to say that the tales of "humanitarian catastrophes" in the region were grossly exaggerated as propaganda cover for an imperial military adventure. There are far worse catastrophes about which the U.S. and NATO have done nothing (Rwanda, the Sudan). And then there are the catastrophes of which the U.S. is the lead author, notably 1 million dead from the sanctions against Iraq, or to go back a few years, the wars on Central America. Or a co-author, like East Timor, the wars in Central America. Why didn't Croatia's 1995 ethnic cleansing excite Bill Clinton and the cruise-missile liberals, a horror committed with U.S. advisors on the scene? Because the Croats are our SOBs and the Serbs aren't.

I listened to a friend of mine - a cruise-missile socialist - complaining on the phone yesterday that The Nation's editorial line was too critical of U.S. imperialism, and cool to the virtues of "killing Serbs." He said there are many good reasons to kill lots of Serbs. It made me sick to listen.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list