Afghan villagers are "understanding" but "not happy" following the apparent deaths of nine children in an American airstrike, a U.S. military spokesman has said.
"They've been through years of war. They're not happy, but I think it meant a great deal to them that my commander, Gen. [Lloyd] Austin, came out and personally expressed his condolences."
Sassaman presided over the meeting with a light hand. But when it appeared the council might take up the question of getting rid of the city's police chief, Sassaman quickly drew the line.
"I hereby confirm the police chief to a six-month term," the colonel said into the microphone, and there was no dissent.
Afterward, Sassaman said the police chief was simply too valuable an ally to lose.
Stop the War and Stop the Genocide, read the banners being waved in the demonstrations in Rome and here in Bari. For Peace. Against War. Who is not? But how can you stop those bent on genocide without making war?
We have been here before. The horrors, the horrors. Our attempt to forge a "humanitarian" response. Our inability (yes, after Auschwitz!) to comprehend how such horrors can take place. And as the horrors multiply, it becomes even more incomprehensible why we should respond to any one of them (since we have not responded to the others). Why this horror and not another? Why Bosnia or Kosovo and not Kurdistan or Rwanda or Tibet?
Are we not saying that European lives, European suffering are more valuable, more worth acting on to protect, than the lives of people in the Middle East, Africa and Asia? ...
... Another argument against intervening in Kosovo is that the war is -- wonderful word -- illegal," because NATO is violating the borders of a sovereign state. Kosovo is, after all, part of the new Greater Serbia called Yugoslavia. Tough luck for the Kosovars that Milosevic revoked their autonomous status in 1989. Inconvenient that 90 percent of Kosovars are Albanians -- ethnic Albanians" as they are called, to distinguish them from the citizens of Albania. Empires reconfigure. But are national borders, which have been altered so many times in the last hundred years, really to be the ultimate criterion? You can murder your wife in your own house, but not outdoors on the street.
Imagine that Nazi Germany had had no expansionist ambitions but had simply made it a policy in the late 1930's and early 1940's to slaughter all the German Jews. Do we think a government has the right to do whatever it wants on its own territory?
Not surprisingly, the Serbs are presenting themselves as the victims. (Clinton equals Hitler, etc.) But it is grotesque to equate the casualties inflicted by the NATO bombing with the mayhem inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people in the last eight years by the Serb programs of ethnic cleansing.
Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust.
No forceful response to the violence of a state against peoples who are nominally its own citizens? (Which is what most "wars" are today. Not wars between states.) The principal instances of mass violence in the world today are those committed by governments within their own legally recognized borders. Can we really say there is no response to this? Is it acceptable that such slaughters be dismissed as civil wars, also known as "age-old ethnic hatreds." (After all, anti-Semitism was an old tradition in Europe; indeed, a good deal older than ancient Balkan hatreds. Would this have justified letting Hitler kill all the Jews on German territory?) Is it true that war never solved anything? (Ask a black American if he or she thinks our Civil War didn't solve anything.)
War is not simply a mistake, a failure to communicate. There is radical evil in the world, which is why there are just wars. And this is a just war. Even if it has been bungled.
Stop the genocide. Return all refugees to their homes. Worthy goals. But how is any of this conceivably going to happen unless the Milosevic regime is overthrown? (And the truth is, it's not going to happen.)
« Older Language tree rooted in Turkey.... | Transdniester.... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt