Reply to Nathan on Kosovo analogy

Rob Schaap rws at
Sat Oct 6 07:06:41 PDT 2001

G'day Nathan,

>One, the folks who opposed intervention in Kosovo dismissed the mass murder
>of Kosovars because they were variously described as drug runners, CIA
>agents or ethnic primitives. Thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands
>driven out of the country the year before the intervention were dismissed as
>minor repression ...

Let's not forget that 80000 of those Kosovar refugees ran to, not from, Belgrade, Nathan. At that time, many were as frightened of the KLA (units of which pressganged at gunpoint at a time when Rugova's parliamentary strategy still enjoyed popular support) as they were of the Serbo-nationalist-militias (for whom few sympathetic words were heard anywhere on the cyberleft).

>because the Kosovars were seen as the "wrong" victims.
>Similar (if possibly slightly smaller) recent numbers of victims in
>Palestine are (rightly) highlighted by those same people as showing nonhuman
>barbarism that deserves the extermination of the Israeli state. The
>inconsistency is awesome.

So it would have been, had that actually been the prevalent line. It wasn't, as the archives clearly show.

>My view on the Kosovo war was to apply exactly the amount of violence
>against the Serbian state needed to back them off and SAVE LIVES. NATO
>killed far fewer people in the war than the Serbs had killed in the year of
>"peace" before the intervention., much less the mass murder engaged in by
>the Milosevic regime during that time.

1) The deaths haven't stopped in Yugoslavia, so the count is ongoing. The impoverishment, massive despoliation and the displacement of a generation all add to the account. Little in Yugoslavia is solved, and poor little Kosovo will never stand as securely stable independent entity. 2) High-level bombing is always, and has always been, the mass murder of innocents. 3) Many of the pre-NATO dead were participants in a civil war exacerbated (possibly precipitated) from the outside. I don't think we have the statistics available to us to compare bodycounts of commuters, make-up artists and autoworkers going about their business.

Cheers, Rob.

>But because the Kosovars and the Tiananmen protesters were the "wrong"
>victims, violence against them is apologized for and dismissed.
>-- Nathan Newman

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