Gar Lipow lipowg at sprintmail.com
Tue Apr 6 20:35:28 PDT 1999

sawicky at epinet.org (Max Sawicky) wrote on Mon, 5 Apr 1999 <snip>
>At this point, as you say, the expulsion appears to have irreversible momentum, if it hasn't been completed altogether. Meanwhile, from the news reports, NATO bombing of purely civilian facilities appears to be
expanding, while Clinton says "we're in it to win it," and "no way ground troops," which adds up to a formula for interminable bombing of anything and everything from top to bottom. I am against this. I said I would be days ago, when they had started by confining themselves -- more or less -- to military targets.

So, as I said in another post, your support was for another NATO in an alternate universe.

> But I wouldn't carry a sign in a parade which, for all practical purposes, indicted Clinton and gave Milo a pass. I would support a KLA rally, provided it focused on self-determination and didn't revel in the destruction of Serbia.

Could you carry a sign in a demonstration like the one Laura Flanders is supporting -- the one with the theme Yoshie and LP hate of "no genocide -- no bombs"? (No bombs in this context includes no ground troops; so you would be supporting an end to NATO military intervention.)

>I can deal with the fact that Slobo is close to winning. But as someone may have noticed, I'm stubborn. I cannot reconcile myself to this triumph of injustice. We don't accept it in other contexts, so I fail to see why we should acquiesce here. NATO evidently has no intention of resolving it constructively, just as the rich countries have stood by in similar situations elsewhere, as many have noted.

But why confine your alternatives to Bubba Scumbag and Slobo? You expressed nothing but contempt for a diplomatic solution. But the fact is that a diplomatic solution is not impossible. Tough perhaps, and NATO terror bombing has made it harder. I would not be quite as sure as you are that if we called a truce, that a group including Russia, Greece, MADRE, The Women In Black, and other shreds we have not destroyed of the Serbian democrats could not come up with a solution everyone could live with -- one which would include a return of ethnic Albanians to Kosovo and some protection for them, and for the ethnic Serbs there as well, from future atrocities.

We don't have the power to do this you say? Quite right, but we don't have the power to set strategy for NATO either. And in fact, I'm not sure that what I mentioned above is the right solution. What I am sure of is that the U.S. has a record on interventions; there is nothing in this situation to suggest it will be an exception to the rule the U.S. intervention makes things horribly, bloodily worse. There are other alternatives -- and if they are not perfect they are better than this one.

>I fail to see any victory in the decay of NATO. Its main mission --
contra the USSR and Warsaw Pact -- was accomplished in spades. The French didn't need NATO to quell the '68 upsurge; all they did was ring up West Germany. The EU doesn't need NATO now if all it wants to do is lay waste to annoying peripheral regions. The US only makes it a little easier. Military keynesianism would seem to be a great policy for the EU.

>Shit happens, again. A people is (are?) driven from its homeland. If
this is the fruit of anti-imperialism, I'd say it needs a rethink.

This is not the fruits of anti-imperialism. This is the fruits of an authoritarian Yugoslav government set free to do whatever it wanted by NATO bombings. Many people have argued that Slobo would have done this anyway. But the reason we can't be sure of this is that governments are always limited by what their people will put up with. Before NATO the democratic movements in Yugoslavia were stronger than ever. They were opposing the atrocities. They might have even eventually overthrown Slobo. They certainly were likely to have prevented any escalation of atrocities, and might even have forced an end to them. (They were much stronger than they had been during the Bosnian crisis.) Once the bombing started, Slobo was free to do whatever he wanted. War always frees tyrants to do their worst. WW2 included such wonderful acts on the part of the U.S. as concentration camps for Japanese-Americans, the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo, and the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Most historians, including conservative military historians, deny any of these contributed to S. victories against Germany and Japan. So the idea that war merely sped up the commission of atrocities that would have happened anyway is not as self-evident as you seem to think.

>We could turn this whole argument around by saying the failure of the left to press for a constructive intervention gives a green light to what we're witnessing. The left is blocked with "objectively anti-imperialist" isolationists like Ollie North and Pat Buchanan. Ollie, Pat, and the A-I
left agree that Milo stinks and he may be doing bad things, though we can't be terribly certain how bad, and we've seen worse elsewhere. But "it won't work" rides easily with "it's not worth it -- e.g., the price of fixing this is too high, and the Clinton policy of balking at more than a cheap price won't work." This all boils down to a high threshold for distress (described by NATO critics as 'hand-wringing' and 'bleeding hearts'). That bimbo Clinton is thereby afforded the moral high ground, which he clearly does not deserve, since he's the only one reflecting sympathy for Albanians.

I'm sorry Max, but this is an out and out lie. Nobody on this list actually supports Slobo. And if you are looking for anti-interventionist organizations which link their anti-interventionism to opposition to atrocities against Kosvovar Albanians try The War Resistors League, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, The Committees of Correspondence (to name just three). I am not a pacifist in general; but on this specific issue the pacifists are right. There is no military solution to this tragedy. There may well be non-violent ones.

>I'm trying to wind down on this issue and obviously not succeeding.

Because you are on the wrong side, the side likely to kill the most people, the side least likely to bring justice to Kosvo or poor tortured Yugoslavia. We need you over here, working against the atrocities against the killing. NATO cannot be fine tuned; but it might be stopped.

-- Gar W. Lipow 815 Dundee RD NW Olympia, WA 98502

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