My thoughts on bombing dirty Serbs

Michael Pollak mpollak at
Tue Apr 6 01:29:59 PDT 1999

On Mon, 5 Apr 1999, Enrique Diaz-Alvarez wrote:

> What is the reason for the West extreme anti-Serb prejudice?

I think it's unfortunately very simple: it's revenge for making us look bad in Bosnia. We did the same thing to Vietnam. When they made a humanitarian invasion to save Cambodia from Pol Pot -- one of the few neo-Hitlers who really deserves the name -- we supported Pol Pot for 10 years. Why? Because Vietnam made us look bad. We dogged Vietnam for 20 years after bombing them into the stone age. And Saddam and his entire country gets the same. We are irrational and dogged and unflagging and murderous when we feel someone's made us look like fools. It's the one thing you can count on, our Puritan pride.

The result is that sometimes we're on the side of human rights, and sometimes we're on the side of genocide. We're not bombing Serbia because we care about Kosovars. It's because we care that other people think we don't care. And because we were outraged at looking impotent.

The only difference between Krajina and Kosovo *is* anti-Serb prejudice, just as you said. Of course, bad motives don't discredit the action by themselves. It might turn out to be a good thing for the Kosovars in the end that they are the enemy of our enemy. And maybe it won't. But the motivation is that we felt we had to revenge our honor in the most feudal sense. I guess you could call that fighting for ideals ;o) It's just like chivalry: completely feudal. The nation-state as a shining knight -- ready to kill for honor's sake.


__________________________________________________________________________ Michael Pollak................New York City..............mpollak at


Of the modes of persuasion some are technical, others non-technical. By the latter I mean such things as are not supplied by the speaker but are there at the outset -- witnesses, evidence given under torture, written contracts, and so on.

Aristotle, _Rhetoric_, Book I, 1355, 36-38. __________________________________________________________________________

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