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Why Kosovo?
Possibility of peaceful resolution tragically being lost

April 6, 1999
The Iranian

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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