bouncing ethnicity

Brett Knowlton brettk at
Fri Apr 2 08:40:39 PST 1999


>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.
>Imagine what the self-annointed anti-imperialists would say if
>the NYPD had killed 10,000 people in NYC over the past year.

Saying that 2,000 Kosovars have been killed IS relevant (along with the estimates of the number of refugees). It is an estimate of the magnitude of the problem, and I see nothing intrinsically wrong with making comparisons to other humanitarian disasters to put this situation in perspective. There is nothing wrong with airing the facts, such as we know them (I'm sure all would admit that these numbers are very rough).

>The on-going 'cleansing' to me signals that no sequenced
>diplomatic wind-down of hostilities is going to prevent the
>eradication of Kosovo. Diplomacy only becomes feasible when the
>Serbs begin to withdraw, which they are in no likelihood of doing
>right now. Otherwise diplomacy simply affords the parties some
>opportunity to save face while ratifying the basic outcome.

Why is this a sign that no negotiated settlement was possible? This appears to me to simply be a "wishful thinking" argument. That is, the bombing (or some form of military intervention) is justified because supposedly Milosevic wouldn't have responded positively to any peaceful settlement. How do you know this?

Nathan mentioned that Milosevic played the delaying game for a while, but it is still the case that NATO ruled out certain options, like a UN peacekeeping force for example. Just because Milosevic had plans for sending in the troops doesn't mean it was a fait accompli.

I'm sure our military leaders have drawn up plans for a ground invasion of Kosovo, but that doesn't mean its going to happen.


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