The war: "humanism's" descent to barbarism.
[Prof.] Carl G. Jacobsen 26 May 1999 [tel&fax: 1-613-234-7511; e-mail:
The war against Yugoslavia, launched in the name of our highest ideals,
has degenerated into barbarism, wreaking death and destruction far, far
worse than that against which it was aimed.
It was launched precipitously, in utter disregard of the dictates and
possibilities of diplomacy; Milosovic had in fact accepted all the
principle 'G8' demands, including the insertion of an armed
international peacekeeping force; the war was launched because Madeleine
Albright and others insisted on NATO rather than UN helmets, and because
they naively believed that "if you whack him, he'll cave". She/they
foresaw a two day 'demonstration', with scant thought given to the
horrors and destruction that would ensue of they were wrong. The most
fundamental principle of strategy--a clear-thought-out end clearly
warranting the means (ie deaths and casualties) needed to attain it--was
The proclaimed moral agenda was always suspect. Why, otherwise, did we
not intervene in conflicts that had caused a thousand times more
victims, like Rwanda, the Sudan, Turkish Kurdestan or Tibet? Were the
answers, respectively: racism; racism; "Turkey is our ally"; "China has
nuclear weapons" (in which case, are we telling 'sinners' to go
nuclear?)? Or why did we not intervene, but in fact provide arms and
training to Croatia when it 'cleansed' 650,000 Serbs from Krajina less
than four years ago, Serbs still refugees, in squalor, unattended by
media or aid?
NATO's real agendas clearly lay elsewhere. One derived from hundreds of
billion dollars' worth of Mid-East investment and Gulf War
re-construction projects, oil and gas fortunes and arms sales prospects;
all dictated denial of Saddam's potent charge that the West would only
target Muslims. Another was the need to expunge the Monica legacy that
haunted Bill, and the similar legacy enveloping Britain's Robin Cook.
Finally, there was Madeleine's Thatcher-like macho need, her mindset's
"post-Munich" need to appear Churchillian, and "decisive"--consequences
We have transformed a small-scale insurgency/counter-insurgency struggle
(about like Chiapas) into an incalculably larger horror-zone. Our
"murderous bombing" (in the words of Pope John Paul and Patriarch
Teoctist) legitimized extremist, secessionist KLA horrors, thereby
legitimizing also Serb nationalist fanaticism and no-holds-barred
"forced deportation" (to once again quote John Paul and Teoctist) such
as had found no legitimacy before. "Forced deportation"--all too common
in history; we did it to millions of native Americans; we encouraged it
when done to millions of Polish and Czech Germans after World War 2, and
to 900,000 Palestinians--; tragic and outrageous, yes, but, morally, can
it really be said to justify or legitimize "murderous bombing"?
"Precision munitions" have already "accidentally" killed rising
thousands of innocents, Serbs and Kosovars, in factories, schools,
trains, buses, convoys, Embassies and maternity wards. Now, with
supplies run down, ever-less "precise" munitions promise ever-more
civilian horror. Deadly chemicals from bombed-out petrochemical and
pharmaceutical plants are seeping into ground water and rivers,
affecting neighbouring countries also. Depleted uranium munitions
(making this, in effect, a low-level nuclear war) leave a deadly legacy
for generations to come.
What would you rather be today: a Kosovar refugee given health, shelter,
food and security, or a Serb or Kosovar in Serbia/Kosovo, under constant
threat of death, with no electricity, often no water, with little or no
food, bombed-out neurological and maternity wards, no or inadequate
medicines, surgeries threatened by black-out...?
Oh, so Milosovic is the bogey-man? Never mind that demonization of the
antagonist, always a dumbing down of intellect, is an inevitable
conflict corollary. The fact is that he was under domestic political
siege before the bombs. The fact is that the bombs delegitimized his
opposition. He had stood as symbol of failures past; now he symbolizes
Serb defiance. His democratic (and other) rivals accept the need for
unity. When the bombs cease, domestic Serb opposition will again be
legitimate, and likely successful. Continuing bombing can only
perpetuate his power.
A vendetta to destroy a politician on the verge of losing power anyway
(in the last election Belgrade voted against him, as did other cities,
and Montenegro, Serbia's sister province), and for that we are willing
to lay a country in ruin--to utterly devastate a civilization? Indeed,
in the words of Canada's Ambassador and pre-eminent Yugoslav specialist
when the Yugoslav wars first broke out: "imbecilic"... and "barbaric"!
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