Brett Knowlton brettk at
Wed Apr 7 14:04:38 PDT 1999


>My answer is no, I wouldn't. The 'no bombs' portion of the
>slogan presumably has some effect on the U.S. policy, whereas the
>'no genocide' component has none on Milo. As such, the slogan is
>completely disingenuous. In this context, 'a plague on both your
>houses' is the Pontius Pilate solution, politically bankrupt, or
>morality without moorings.

But you are missing a crucial point - those of us who live in the US have responsibility for US actions (dropping bombs on Serb civilians), but we do not share any responsibility for the actions of Milosevic. So it isn't disingenuous at all - it is simply trying to influence our government to stop its bad behavior. We have little or no influence over the Serb gov't.

What's disingenuous is to demand that our protests must impact on our gov't as well as the Serbian gov't.

I've tried to beat you over the head with this argument for the last few weeks, but it isn't sinking in. Maybe you just think I'm some radical nutcase who doesn't deserve a response since you haven't even attempted to meet the challenge I and others have put to you re: responsibility for the Kosovo situation since you continue to argue in the same vein.

To recap that challenge: the Serbian gov't is responsible for the humanitarian tragedy in Kosovo, NATO (and to a large extent the US) is responsible for the loss of life caused by the bombing, and since we are responsible for our own actions, the best we can hope to do is oppose the criminal policy of our own gov't, and try to get it to implement a policy of pushing for non-violent solutions in Kosovo. Now, before making any similar statements, please answer this challenge. I feel like a broken record.

>I'd be happy to see a diplomatic solution if it gave Kovovars
>their land back, free of Serbian war criminals. There is no
>indication presently of anything to negotiate about, since Milo
>gives no indication of interest in any such solution and indeed
>has little reason to have any. Stopping the bombing altogether
>would give him zero reason to negotiate. If this were September,
>1998 and we were focusing on this with the benefit of some
>foresight, we would probably have much more agreement on how to

What about the latest Serb offer? Why was this dismissed out of hand? Basically the only thing NATO will "consider" is total capitulation of Milosevic to NATO's demands. Of course Milosevic has no reason to negotiate if the terms he has already rejected are the only terms NATO will accept.

>It could be the wrong interpretation, even a malicious one, but
>it can't be a lie because it does not go to a fact. More
>specifically, it is true that nobody is literally supporting
>Slobo. But blocking does not have the same connotation to me as
>supporting. The point is that the "no bombing, no genocide"
>slogan helps Slobo some and the Albanians none. That's close
>enough for blocking. The slogan reflects the best face of the
>anti-imperialist position here, but I will treat it as the
>principal one because it does embody the main issue.
>Blocking with Milo also follows from minimizing the cleansing of
>Kosovo, blaming everything on NATO and the IMF, pointing to other
>atrocities where the U.S. was either an author or a by-stander,
>or dwelling on the unambiguous evil of U.S. imperialism.

I have the opposite opinion - that bombing the Serbs is actually blocking with Milosevic. Let's just agree to disagree on this one, OK?


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