Bleeding Heart Gazette

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Thu Apr 8 12:34:35 PDT 1999

> Max Sawicky wrote:
> Max, I don't get your point. I don't think anyone on this list
is denying
> that Serbs have done and continue to do horrible things in

I do. People say the Albanians are not fleeing the Serbs because some of them are in Serbia. They say all the destruction of buildings is NATO bombing. They say, in effect, Serbia isn't killing Kosovar leaders, because this fellow reported dead is alive. They say, the trains people were stuffed into didn't go to death camps, but to the border. They say assume the opposite of whatever the commercial media are saying, and the media are reporting Serb atrocities. When you raise atrocities, they say, what about this here other atrocity? When you say, the Serbs are killing people, they say well the KLA or the U.S. are or were killing other people. When you say, NATO should do something, they say, well they didn't do anything in Rwanda or some other place. It all sounds like denial to me.

> arguments made here instead are that they're not the only
guilty ones, that NATO isn't the proper agency to do anything about it, and the U.S. and its allies are using humanitarian concerns to push an imperial agenda. You're doing the same thing Nathan Newman and Chris Burford are - turning any criticism of the bombing into an implied apologetics for Serbia.>

There's a lot to criticize in the bombing. I've done some criticizing myself. Proposal of an effective intervention by the UN or NATO is described unfailingly as "pro-bombing" and makes me a "desktop bombadier," as if we are dilletantes who enjoy watching civilians getting blown up. No matter. It is better to give than to receive.

A minor point, since it hasn't been too frequent, posting Serb government propaganda to me qualifies as an apologetic. Obviously nobody defends atrocities in so many words; they tend instead to change the subject of blame (three parts Milo, one part US).

>Clinton, that great humanitarian, would love it if every televised refugee translated into deeper support for the cruise missiles. Why are you so quick to believe the best about him when it comes to high explosives, and so quick to believe the worst when it comes to fiscal policy? >

I believe the worst about him particularly in this affair. This mess qualfies as impeachable.

This issue of motive keeps coming up. NATO/Clinton are not humanitarian, as if anybody implied otherwise. I don't have this romantic view of politics. Rather, the central issue is how the behavior of those motivated by an assortment of narrow, self-seeking, and often evil motives do or don't translate into good or bad outcomes.

An analysis which begins by assuming that NATO can do nothing good fails the Appomatox Test, so it should be rejected in favor of a one which begins by locating where the greatest evil is being perpetrated, then asking what actions might alleviate it.


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