Possibility of peaceful resolution tragically being lost
April 6, 1999
The NATO attack on Yugoslavia has lent itself to many conflicting interpretations.
Which of these interpretations is closest to the mark? Is the war essentially
a humanitarian operation, as NATO claims, to save Kosovo from ethnic cleansing
by the Serbs?
If yes, why doesn't NATO act to deter its own member, Turkey, from its
systematic oppression of its Kurdish population? Why were the genocides
in Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda-Burundi ignored?
Is the war essentially a grand NATO strategy to contain a declining
yet dangerous Russia that is still armed with weapons of mass destruction?
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have already been incorporated
into NATO as full members. Other Eastern European countries are observers
in NATO as Partners for Peace.
Yugoslavia is the most recalcitrant state in the region and must be
subdued if NATO expansion is to succeed. Is the war part of a grand scheme
to pacify the Balkans as a route for the transport of Caspian oil to the
European markets via a pipeline through Turkey that would lessen Western
dependence on the Persian Gulf oil supplies?
Is the war an age-old struggle between Muslims and Christians for which
Albanians and Serbs are acting as surrogates now with Turkey and Greece
edging toward war?
Is the war a grand strategy of the foxy Russians to trap the United
States in two un-winnable air wars at the same time in Iraq and Yugoslavia
in order to demote the U. S. as the single most powerful superpower?
Is the war part of an emerging new world order led by global capitalism,
call it Pancapitalism if you will, that cannot tolerate the kind of political
stability that ethnic politics is generating in many parts of the world?
Or finally, is the war the fuel that a military-industrial complex needs
to keep its weapons up-to-date, world arms trade robust, and its profit
margins high, all in the name of the Trojan horse of humanitarian intervention?
These conflicting interpretations are not mutually exclusive.
They may be all true in various degrees. What is clear is, however,
is that an opportunity for peaceful resolution of international and inter-ethnic
conflicts is tragically being lost.
Instead of Anglo-American bombing of Iraq or NATO attack on Yugoslavia,
the world could have by now established a credible United Nations peacekeeping
force to intervene in cases of outright state aggression or genocide. That
course would have been far less costly and far more legitimate and humane.
However, in a globalized world, we do not seem yet to have reached that
level of political wisdom to exchange narrow national interests with broader
global objectives by establishing an effective rule of international law.
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