"Nato bombing 'caused ethnic cleansing' says Carrington"

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Aug 31 00:24:05 PDT 1999

Factually Carrington is right that NATO bombing precipitated Operation Horseshoe in Kosovo and it was executed in the first few days with many atrocities that might not otherwise have occurred. But his aged reflections have a deeper significance.

Carrington is the authoritative voice of that appeasement wing of British imperialism that was dominant in the early 90's and became involved in Bosnia only for the purposes of British interests. These were to appear to do something but to give compelling reasons why that was not very much, while watching that British interests were preserved as much as possible in a volatile area. 200,000 lives were lost.

Carrington has the languid civilised voice of the British Foreign Office through the decades. Very reasonable, quietly very calculating. It does not believe in the universal rights of man. It knows nothing of modern concepts of conflict resolution. It assumes that Britain should naturally lead, by virtue of the natural qualities of its upper class. It is puzzled and hurt when this decreasingly seems to be the case. It has little understanding that behind the backs of its reasonable face, other Europeans speak of perfidious Albion.

It is interesting that Carrington's postscript justification for his laissez faire involvement in Bosnia, is in a magazine for the very elderly. The politics have a longer historical relevance.

We have just had the 60th anniversary of the ultimatum by Britain to Germany over the invasion of Poland that led to the outbreak of the Second World War. Historians in Britain are now once again raising the proposition that that decision was not in Britain's interests: Britain should have left Nazism and Communism, Slav and German, to destroy each other in vast numbers. That was after all the USA's decision in 1939.

None of these comments should be taken as support for the destructive and agressive nature of the intervention in Kosovo that has just occurred. But a policy of no intervention at all, or of only hypocritical intervention, in the face of aggressive fascism, is not a progressive policy option.

Carrington has helped clarify this by speaking up for the appeasement policy of British imperialism, which must be clearly identified beside the aggressive policy of British imperialism. Chamberlain in contrast to Churchill.

Chris Burford



"Nato bombing 'caused ethnic cleansing' says


Carl Remick (cremick at rlmnet.com) Fri, 27 Aug 1999 12:27:05 -0400

[From today's Guardian]

Nato bombing 'caused ethnic cleansing' says Carrington

Nato bombing of Serbia caused, rather than prevented, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, the organisation's former secretary general, Lord Carrington, said today.

The bombing "made things very much worse" and the European Union had made "catastrophically stupid decisions" in its dealings with the former Yugoslavia, he added.

Lord Carrington also questioned the branding of President Slobodan Milosevic as a war criminal. The UK was "a little bit selective about condemnation of ethnic cleansing, in Africa as well as in Europe", he said.

The views of the 80-year-old former Foreign Secretary came in an interview in the September issue of Saga Magazine published by the over-50s holiday company, Saga.

Lord Carrington said: "I think what Nato did by bombing Serbia actually precipitated the exodus of the Kosovo Albanians into Macedonia and Montenegro. I think the bombing did cause ethnic cleansing. "The whole business in the Balkans has been mismanaged from the start. It was obvious it was going to blow up.

"I am not sticking up for the Serbs because I think they behaved badly and extremely stupidly by removing the autonomy of Kosovo, given them by Tito in the first place. "But I think what we did made things very much worse and what we are now faced with is a sort of ethnic cleansing in reverse."

Speaking of Milosevic, Lord Carrington added: "I don't think he is any more a war criminal than President Tudjman of Croatia who ethnically cleansed 200,000 Serbs out of Krajina. Nobody kicked up a fuss about that."

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