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Protesters Burn U.S. Embassy in Belgrade

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Massive protests in Belgrade against Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia have turned violent. According to CNN, in the last hour protestors massed in front of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade entered the building and set it alight. The Embassy attack followed a day of protests and speeches, attended by an estimated 150,000, denouncing the countries (US, UK, German, and Italy) who recognized Kosovo's independence. The BBC has the details, focusing on the fiery rhetoric of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica:

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica addressed the crowds from a large stage, draped in two huge Serbian flags and with a banner reading "Kosovo is Serbia" at the back.

"As long as we live, Kosovo is Serbia," he said to cheers and applause. "Kosovo belongs to the Serbian people."

"We'll never give up Kosovo, never!" the crowd responded.

"Is there any other nation on Earth from whom [the great powers] are demanding that they give up their identity, to give up our brothers in Kosovo?" he added

Those brothers in Kosovo, of course, are the province's 120,000 ethnic Serbian inhabitants. Kosovar Albanians, most of them Muslim, constitute 90 percent of the population.

reason on Kosovo here.

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  1. Thank God it wasn’t those radical jihadists in Kosovo or Bosnia, just God* fearing Orthodox Christians.

    Hey Dondero, WTF?

    * Should an atheist capitalize God? I don’t capitalze mermaid or unicorn.

  2. If the God Damned war monger George Bush hadn’t lied us into a war with unsubstantiated claims of genocide against Serbia, which was never authorized by the UN and was for the unlawful neocon purpose of depriving Serbia of its lawful territory, maybe they wouldn’t hate us so much.

  3. Why would the US support the right of a small band of people living in a small area to live free from the interference of their larger, adjacent neighbors? Doctor, heal thyself.

    See Utah, a history of

  4. I wonder what Michelle Malkin et al. has to say about that… Those crazy Muslims, er, Serbian Orthodox Christians.

  5. J sub D,

    I capitalize it, for the same reasons I capitalize Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The word “God” is a proper noun referring to a particular one of the group “gods,” regardless of the existence or nonexistence of the subject. Just like if you had a particular mermaid in mind, you’d capitalize the name (i.e. “Ariel” vs. “ariel”).

    So don’t discriminate! Fictional characters should benefit from grammatical rules too!

  6. JsubD:
    I just realized that, as an atheist, I’ve kinda developed a system for god capitalization.

    When arguing about religious matter or philosophical matters with religious people, and I am specifically referring to the god they believe in, I will capitalize it out of politeness.

    When generally referring to that supreme being that some people believe in, lower case.

    When being sarcastic or making fun of religious people you gotta capitalize it and also take out the o, G-d d*mn it!

  7. In case anyone was wondering why the Kosovars would want to put some distance between them and Serbia, this should do it.

  8. You make a good point Serbian. Of course the Serbians did this to themselves after their attempted genocide in Bosnia. The truth was, the Serbs were not committing genocide Kosovo. Bill Clinton claimed they were to justify the war but it wasn’t true. Of course everyone believed him because of Serbia’s appalling behavior in Bosnia. Frankly, the Serbs got screwed on this deal but they only have themselves to blame.


  9. * Should an atheist capitalize God? I don’t capitalze mermaid or unicorn.

    I wrote something the other day, and just to push a button my own habits I did not capitalize god (like now) and waited for a bolt of lightning…. still waiting.

  10. John,
    George Bush is just the biggest douche in a long line of douches. At least Clinton didn’t lie his way into Serbia. The claims of genocide were substantiated, and of course it was a UN operation.

    At the time, the Republican were all against such ill advised foreign interventionism. They were right. Too bad their opposition was all about Team Red, and nothing to do with principles or conviction.

  11. They just want to establish a Serbian empire. First they take back Kosovo, then Europe, then we will all have to submit to the Serbian Christ or die.

    The best way to handle this is to attack Iran.

  12. Also, to the extent their was mass killing in Kosovo it was done by the Albanian Kosovars in the time between the Serbian pullout and the arrival of NATO forces. The Albanian Kosovars are no better than the Serbs. Don’t think for a moment had this gone the other way, they wouldn’t be burning down the US Embassy in Albania.

  13. I capitalize it, for the same reasons I capitalize Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The word “God” is a proper noun referring to a particular one of the group “gods,” regardless of the existence or nonexistence of the subject. Just like if you had a particular mermaid in mind, you’d capitalize the name (i.e. “Ariel” vs. “ariel”).

    Thanks. I should have deduced that myself. My forehead continues to flatten.

  14. A key moment in the rise of Slobodon was his (and I paraphrase) “you [ethnic Serbians] will not be beaten anymore” speech in Kosovo.

    John,

    While genocide may not have occurred I think it is safe to say that violence was uses against the ethnic Albanian population and this lead to some rather bloody outcomes.

  15. “The claims of genocide were substantiated, and of course it was a UN operation.”

    It was not a UN operation until it was over. The war was a NATO operation. It was never authorized by the Security Council and was technically a much more blatantly illegal war than the invasion of Iraq, which had the authorization of UNSC 1442 and Saddam’s numerous breaches of it to hang its hat on. The Kosovo war had none of that and was based on blatant lies about what was actually happening in Kosovo. It also created a quasi UN run colony the resolution of which was going to create huge problems and gave the entire Slavic world a reason to hate us and bought us absolutely no good will from Muslims. We went to war to keep Europe from the threat of a refugee crisis. We also intervened in the wrong Balkan conflict. Clinton was five years too late and should have, if he was ever going to intervene, intervened in Bosnia before the genocide took place not after. They completely screwed the pouch on it.

  16. Moynihan,

    Haven’t more countries than that recognized Kosovo?

  17. I’m sure the demonstrations and chaos will subside when they realize that Arch Duke Ferdinand is already dead.

  18. When France recognized U.S. independence, were there any anti French riots in England? I don’t know but I’d wager there wasn’t

  19. Seems like a proper response from the Serbs —

    Notice how other poor European backwaters like Spain and Georgia aren’t recognizing the new country due to their own violent seperatist movements.

  20. “The claims of genocide were substantiated”

    No they weren’t. They found about 1000 bodies. Milosevic was an asshole and is burning in hell right now, but what was going on in Kosovo was minor league compared to what happened in Bosnia. In some weird way I can understand why Milosevic had to have been shocked when NATO bombed him. He had killed 10s of thousands in Bosnia and no one did anything, in fact they saved his ass with the Dayton accords after he was losing the war to Croatia, then he kills a few hundred Kosovars and the US Air Force shows up. Yes, there were killings and violence in Kosovo, but never genocide, Milosevic was acquitted of that charge at the Hague, and it was never what Clinton sold it as.

  21. J sub D,

    From what I’ve read on the subject I’d say that France’s involvement in a war with Britain was at least one of the major factors leading to the Gordon Riots (1780).

  22. ..still waiting.

    As near as I can tell, no religion in history has ever condemned capitalization errors as a deadly sin. Neither can I find any sacred text reporting a lightning strike as the result of miscapitalization. Expecting a lightning strike, facetiously or not, is a complete non-sequitur.

  23. Pointless trivia: when stationed in Hanau (1987-1990) I saw graffiti all over downtown that read “Kosovo Republic”. It was, however, nicely stenciled and the Germans didn’t care to remove any of it. *shrugs*

    Back to the action…

  24. How is Kosovo becoming independent because it happens to be 90% ethnic Albanian not internationally condoned ethnic cleansing? If it isn’t then why not partition Bosnia? This by the way is Clinton’s policy not Bush’s. It was and continues to be a mistake that should be even less debatable than Iraq.

  25. John,

    They have found far more than a thousand bodies. The issue is how many were victims of war crimes.

  26. See, the US can’t win no matter what when it takes sides in this centuries old conflicts.

    This is a case where the US took the side of the Muslims, but how often do you hear about how great that was from Islamic fundamentalists?

  27. I wonder how we’d react if a heavily Hispanic area in the southwest declared independence.

  28. History’s Champion is also known as Comprehensibility’s Big F*cking Loser.

  29. Has Switzerland recognized Kosovo’s independence? Being completely neutral always seems like a great idea, but if simple recognition of independence sets people off, how does it get handled? I’m being serious, do they just wait for everyone else to recognize first? If that’s the case, complete neutrality can’t work for everyone.

  30. At the time, the Republican were all against such ill advised foreign interventionism. They were right. Too bad their opposition was all about Team Red, and nothing to do with principles or conviction.

    Nah, there are principles involved on both sides. For one, roughly speaking Democrats are much more likely to support interventionism if there’s absolutely no way to frame it as being strategically valuable or important to the US, whereas Republicans are the reverse. (I’d imagine that some people are blatantly disappointed that Iraq was not, in fact, a “war for oil.”)

    Haven’t more countries than that recognized Kosovo?

    Australia, Turkey, some others. See here

    Unsurprising that the Baltic nations would feel sympathy and recognize; equally unsurprisingly that Spain would refuse. For extra fun, note that Taiwan recognized Kosovo really fast, which upset the PRC of course.

  31. John | February 21, 2008, 2:11pm:

    How about starting to blame those states that armed Croatia and Bosnia after 1990 and started the process of ripping Yugoslavia apart in pieces that had nothing to do with nationalities ?

  32. Thank God I live in the USA and not the tribal hellhole that is the rest of the world.

  33. The whole world isn’t a tribal hellhole full of irrational idiots. Only the Balkans and the Middle East are.

  34. Has Switzerland recognized Kosovo’s independence?

    According to a swissinfo article linked from the Wikipedia article above, the Swiss foreign minister has claimed “total support” for Kosovo, but it takes a few weeks for the negotiations to go through in order to recognize. A fairly positive statement compared to the neutral position of, say, Brazil.

  35. Ron Paul supports the right of succession.

  36. I wonder how we’d react if a heavily Hispanic area in the southwest declared independence.

    Particularly the odd “paleolibertarian” succession-supporting particularly when it comes to the South but opposing immigration particularly of Mexicans types. I wonder what their response would be.

  37. I don’t understand why Western Europe couldn’t have taken care of Yugoslavia themselves. Its their backward, for God’s sake. We wouldn’t come crying to them for if there was a civil war in Mexico.

  38. “How about starting to blame those states that armed Croatia and Bosnia after 1990 and started the process of ripping Yugoslavia apart in pieces that had nothing to do with nationalities ?”

    The German’s perhaps? They had a ton of equipment that used to belong to the East German Army that ended up arming Croatia. That said, Croatia and Slovinia deserved independence. They are both decent prosporous countries now that they have shed the Serbian yoke. The really evil thing was starting the war and then imposing an arms embargo on Bosnia leaving the Bosnian Muslims defensless.

  39. Shouldn’t all the people who bitched that Lew Rockwell is a neoconfederate be on the side of the Serbs here?

    Fuck those secession-minded Kosovars! They probably want to bring back slavery or something!

  40. “Shouldn’t all the people who bitched that Lew Rockwell is a neoconfederate be on the side of the Serbs here?”

    In some ways. There is something to be said for national sovereignty. But the Kosovars are not here and they don’t have slavery. Regardless of which side you are on, Lew Rockwell is a racist, historically illiterate moron.

  41. I’m sure Spain is thrilled, as this surely won’t encourage the Basque or Catalonians. No way.

  42. John Thacker,

    Sixteen currently and sixteen on the way to recognition.

    _____________________________

    The break-up of Yugoslavia started more or less with the death of Tito. What pushed it along was efforts by some Serbian leaders to reassert the dominance of Serbia in Yugoslavian politics.

  43. Brandybuck –

    Exodus 20:7 (The Third Commandment): “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

    How much this applies to someone whose god isn’t God is not for me to say.

  44. Anyway, as far as I know the status of Kosovo (and some other regions like it) has been problematic since long before the break-up of Yugoslavia.

  45. Kosovo has been problematic since fucking 1388. Eastern Europeans and their long memories.

  46. * Should an atheist capitalize God? I don’t capitalze mermaid or unicorn.

    Surely you capitalize the Invisible Pink Unicorn, don’t you? You don’t want her to confuse you for a theist and grind you beneath her nonexistent hooves.

  47. The whole world isn’t a tribal hellhole full of irrational idiots. Only the Balkans and the Middle East are.

    Sub-Saharan Africa? Steeerike one!

  48. The reaction over a LGF is positively hilarious. Apparently, taking the side of a Muslim state brings out their inner Ron Paul.

  49. Its their backward, for God’s sake.

    I’ll award an RC’z Law for that.

    And, for criminy sakes, its “secession”, not “succession.”

  50. I wonder how we’d react if a heavily Hispanic area in the southwest declared independence.

    Might be good for some fun hypotheticals, but the bigger question is – What about the current seccessionist efforts in Mexico’s south, and what kind of gas this’ll throw on that fire?

  51. Cesar:

    The whole world isn’t a tribal hellhole full of irrational idiots. Only the Balkans and the Middle East are.

    Don’t forget the British Isles, the Iberian Peninsula, Sri Lanka, the entire continent of Africa…

    I think that Australia is probably the only place devoid of tribal hellhole status.

  52. I’ll give you Sub-Sahara Africa, but come on the Balkans and Middle East take the cake. Those people never forget in the worst sense of the term.

  53. The Europeans don’t forget either but they’re comfortable enough where they let it go. If things got really tough in Europe for some reason, you bet your ass they’d start remembering again.

  54. “Don’t forget the British Isles, the Iberian Peninsula, Sri Lanka, the entire continent of Africa…”

    Don’t forget India. The Muslims and the Hindus really know how to kill each other. Basically 80 to 90 percent of the world thinks tribally and that is why most of the countries in the world suck. You can’t have a decent government when the judge faces explusion from his tribe if he doesn’t let his own tribe walk and screw everyone not in the tribe.

  55. The western Europeans finally decided “Hey, tribal/nationalist war is really fucking stupid!” after enough of them died.

  56. Nope, no genocide here.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/473017.stm

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK

    World: Europe

    Kosovo mass grave uncovered

    The latest mass grave is one of more than 150 in Kosovo

    German forensic experts have been investigating a mass grave in the south-western Kosovan town of Orahovac.
    By Tuesday they had exhumed 15 sets of human remains out of an estimated total of up to 90. The site was discovered on Friday.

    Peter Koehler, the head of the German forensic team, indicated that the grave could date from July 1998, the height of the crackdown on ethnic Albanian rebels by Yugoslav government forces.

    http://www.glypx.com/BalkanWitness/graves.htm

    Mass Graves Found All Over Kosovo

    By Ellen Knickmeyer
    Associated Press Writer
    June 22, 1999

    IZBICA, Yugoslavia (AP) — Turn down the wrong road in Kosovo looking for a mass grave of 35 ethnic Albanians, and the men there say, no, that’s the next village — but we’ll show where we buried seven of our fathers and uncles together.

    Ask someone for directions to a field holding the corpses of 142 people who were executed and he says, after that, if you want, I’ll show you a grave holding six members of a single family.

    Mass graves are everywhere in Kosovo: more than outsiders can track down in their first days back in the province; enough to keep war crimes prosecutors busy for years, if they choose.

    Apparently fearing just such prosecution, Serb soldiers, paramilitary, police and civilians cremated many of their ethnic Albanian victims, or returned to exhume corpses for burning or reburial in single graves, survivors say.

    But while the 2 1/2-month war was time enough for killing untold thousands, it wasn’t enough time for cleaning up afterward. The signs of slaughter abound:

    A Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla with a bandana tied over his nose pulls on a rope snaking from the ground, lifting out the head of one of 10 people buried there. The cord that strangled the victims is still around the neck.
    Outside Djakovica, an Italian soldier points his foot at a human ribcage in a gravel pit that villagers say holds the bodies of 86 people massacred in the southwestern city. “A boy,” the soldier guesses.
    A woman’s skull rests among the charred bones of 26 people who were shot and then had their house burned around them in the village of Cara Luka, 22 miles southwest of the capital, Pristina. Hair intact, head tilted back, her mouth is wide open. “As if she’s still screaming,” people studying the scene tell each other.

    I imagine there’s a difference between you and a Holocaust denier, John, but it isn’t occuring to me right now.

  57. Thank God I live in the USA and not the tribal hellhole that is the rest of the world.

    You speak too soon my friend, you speak too soon

    http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10697106

  58. Joe, so why couldn’t the western Europeans stop it on their own? Its on their freaking borders. Why do we always have to clean up everyone else’s mess?

    Can you imagine France and Britain helping us if we had to intervene to stop a civil war in Mexico? No, I didn’t think so.

  59. We wouldn’t come crying to them for if there was a civil war in Mexico.

    Sorry, I can’t resist:

    You’re right, we would just annex part of their territory.

  60. http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/Kosovo/Reports/homepage.html

    Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting is a new chapter in our effort to document the extent of human rights and humanitarian law violations in Kosovo, and to convey the size and scope of the Kosovo conflict. The information in this report is drawn from refugee accounts, NGO documentation, press accounts, and declassified information from government and international organization sources.

    The atrocities against Kosovar Albanians documented in this report occurred primarily between March and late June, 1999. This document is a follow-up to the U.S. Department of State’s previous human rights report, Erasing History: Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo, which was released on May 10, 1999.

    A central question is the number of Kosovar Albanian victims of Serbian forces in Kosovo. Many bodies were found when KFOR and the ICTY entered Kosovo in June 1999. The evidence is also now clear that Serbian forces conducted a systematic campaign to burn or destroy bodies, or to bury the bodies, then rebury them to conceal evidence of Serbian crimes. On June 4, at the end of the conflict, the Department of State issued the last of a series of weekly ethnic cleansing reports, available at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/rpt_990604_ksvo_ethnic.html concluding that at least 6,000 Kosovar Albanians were victims of mass murder, with an unknown number of victims of individual killings, and an unknown number of bodies burned or destroyed by Serbian forces throughout the conflict.

    On November 10, 1999, ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte told the U.N. Security Council that her office had received reports of more than 11,000 killed in 529 reported mass grave and killing sites in Kosovo. The Prosecutor said her office had exhumed 2,108 bodies from 195 of the 529 known mass graves. This would imply about 6,000 bodies in mass graves in Kosovo if the 334 mass graves not examined thus far contain the same average number of victims. To this total must be added three important categories of victims: (1) those buried in mass graves whose locations are unknown, (2) what the ICTY reports is a significant number of sites where the precise number of bodies cannot be counted, and (3) victims whose bodies were burned or destroyed by Serbian forces. Press accounts and eyewitness accounts provide credible details of a program of destruction of evidence by Serbian forces throughout Kosovo and even in Serbia proper. The number of victims whose bodies have been burned or destroyed may never be known, but enough evidence has emerged to conclude that probably around 10,000 Kosovar Albanians were killed by Serbian forces.

  61. I think that Australia is probably the only place devoid of tribal hellhole status.

    Australian aboribinal people live in tribal hellholes.

  62. Joe, so why couldn’t the western Europeans stop it on their own? Its on their freaking borders. Why do we always have to clean up everyone else’s mess?

    Can you imagine France and Britain helping us if we had to intervene to stop a civil war in Mexico? No, I didn’t think so.

    A better analogy would be Americans fighting a civil war in California against Hispanic seperatists armed by Cuba and Venezuela and France and Britain bombing Washington.

    As Pat Buchanan pointed out, the 1990s “genocide” claimed less than one percent of the casualties of Lincoln’s war.

  63. The whole world isn’t a tribal hellhole full of irrational idiots. Only the Balkans and the Middle East are.

    And Africa. And the Indian subcontinent. And Southeast Asia. And North and South America and Australia avoid being ‘tribal hellholes’ due to their current occupants’ willingness to commit genocide. China and Russia keep their minority populations in line via brutal repression… am I missing anything?

  64. Cesar,

    I could see Spain sending forces there perhaps. I think it would depend on the historical relationship between the European nation and the nation in conflict.

  65. Oh jesus christ, is this the thread where joe drags out his favorite war purely for partisan reasons?

    Do you want me to link to the mass graves we found in Iraq and use that for justification of that whole clusterfuck?

  66. joe, IRT your las. Do you think some folks will shut up now?

    Me neither.

  67. Cesar,

    Because they were a bunch of pussy-wimps?

    Hopefully, the success of the operation and complete absence of casualties among both combat and peacekeeping forces will encourage the Euros to take a little more responsibility for their back yard. If so, Clark and Albright will have done humanity, Europe, and America a great service.

    Already, our leadership there got the Germans to step up for a peacekeeping role.

    But all that aside, I can respect the idea that we shouldn’t intervene in faraway lands, even if we could save a great many lives, as in Kosovo and Darfur. I disagree, but I can respect that as a principled position that comes from honorable impulses.

    What I cannot respect, and what no decent human being can respect, is genocide denial.

  68. As my Serbian uncle always says:

    “Deh mauther fucking croats”

  69. Just more fall out from the ‘peace’ of WWI.

  70. “Joe, so why couldn’t the western Europeans stop it on their own? Its on their freaking borders. Why do we always have to clean up everyone else’s mess?”

    Because we will. Let’s say you have a bug infestation. You have a choice between two exterminators, one has the best quality and is free, the other is average quality and highly expensive, which one are you going to pick?

  71. North and South America and Australia avoid being ‘tribal hellholes’ due to their current occupants’ willingness to commit genocide.

    Only in the U.S., Canada, and Argentina. In the rest of the Americas, theres still a big indigenous presence.

    Not that there isn’t bitterness in South Ameirca. Ask the Paraguayans about their lost territory when they were gang-raped by their neighbors. But they don’t put Brazilians in gas chambers over it.

  72. I imagine there’s a difference between you and a Holocaust denier, John, but it isn’t occuring to me right now.

    It’s not genocide if you have a bunch of little graves. You need one big one!

  73. Cesar,

    In other words, if there was a civil war in some former British colony in the Americas then I could see the British government getting involved militarily to end it.

  74. As Pat Buchanan pointed out, the 1990s “genocide” claimed less than one percent of the casualties of Lincoln’s war.

    That’s because it was stopped. Over the objections of some.

    Bingo,

    Since none of those mass graves in Iraq were actually being filled at the time of our invasion, as opposed to Kosovo, no, you can’t really do that.

    But I’ll give you this much – I would never deny that Saddam Hussein carried out a mass slaughter in the Anfal campaign, and pretend not to see the bodies, just to slam George Bush.

  75. Calidore-

    I’m just saying every great power should take care of their backyard if possible. And its very possible for western Europe–a wealthy, developed region of the world–to do that.

  76. Cesar,

    I’d say they are generally doing a better job of that now than was the case in the early 1990s (from what I’ve read in press reports, etc.).

  77. Cesar | February 21, 2008, 2:47pm | #
    “The whole world isn’t a tribal hellhole full of irrational idiots. Only the Balkans and the Middle East are.”

    How about those nice civilized folks that sponsored the breakup of Yugoslavia (you know who they are, right now they are refusing to do their share in Afghanistan) ? How about the nice civilized folks that only a few decades before slaughtered their own loyal minorities ? How about the nice civilized folks that a couple of decades before that fucking raped the Balkans (there are some 1919 reports of US Red Cross on how those nice and civilized folks requisitioned not only all the food they could find in the occupied areas, but also all the metal they could lay their hands on, including the cooking pots) ?

    The borders of the republics of Yugoslavia had less to do with “ethnic realities” than the borders of US of A states. Then some civilized and nice fuckups smuggle weapons inside, arm the local governments, the local governments declare that “who is not with us is not true [Croatian/Slovenian/etc.] and would better pack up”, so those that have a chance to flee take that chance, those that don’t get recruited in the army and there you go … “freedom fighters” liberate the poor republics from the evil federal government.

    How about US taking some responsibility for giving Kosovo to Serbia in the first place in 1912 ?

    It is true that the Serbians are quite dumb and can’t see that they have already lost. It is also true that the Serbians were “good people” only when they died in your wars: WWI did not start with the assassination of Ferdinand; WWI started when the same nice and civilized people I mentioned above started to move troops towards the French border.

  78. I’m just saying every great power should take care of their backyard if possible. And its very possible for western Europe–a wealthy, developed region of the world–to do that.

    They don’t do it because our government seemingly WANTS to do it. Its like welfare: They are just being free riders.

    Once we run out of money and nobody is willing to lend to us anymore either, it will be China’s turn.

  79. http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2007/03/22/details_of_kosovo_war_crimes_emerge/

    Details of Kosovo war crimes emerge
    By Dusan Stojanovic, Associated Press Writer | March 22, 2007

    BELGRADE, Serbia –Decomposing corpses were dumped into a trash-filled ditch. Blindfolded and hands bound, three Albanian-Americans were led to its edge and shot in the head, their bodies joining the others.

    The details, emerging for the first time at the trial of two former Serbian commandos, shed light on how the regime of late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic tried to conceal atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

  80. “Shouldn’t all the people who bitched that Lew Rockwell is a neoconfederate be on the side of the Serbs here?”

    No, my history books say Lincoln was the greatest thing since sliced bread. The Serbians are just aggressively trying to crush self determination.

  81. http://news.monstersandcritics.com/europe/news/article_1294213.php/New_mass_grave_of_Kosovo_war_victims_found_in_Serbia

    New mass grave of Kosovo war victims found in Serbia

    Apr 20, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    Pristina – A new mass grave which reportedly holds the remains of Kosovo conflict victims, has been uncovered in Serbia, officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday.

    Herardo Patrandolfi, the head of the ICRC office in the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo, said that both the ICRC and the United Nations administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) have been notified of the new grave site.

    But you should probably take this one with a grain of salt. I mean, the Red Cross? They’re one of those commie-symp, America-hating groups, right? Talk about your BDS.

  82. I wonder how we’d react if a heavily Hispanic area in the southwest declared independence.

    I guess that would depend on if the U.S. launched a genocide campaign against Hispanic Americans in those areas first, wouldn’t it?

    If the U.S. government did the same thing as Serbia, then I might very well side with those successionist movements. However, given that the U.S. is clearly on the opposite side of the coin (actually subsidizing mass immigration of Hispanics into the United States), I would probably be skeptical of any succession movement.

  83. It should be noted that the vast majority of KFOR personnel have not and still do not come from the U.S.

  84. I agree with Calidore: in the aftermath of the Kosovo operation, the powers of Western Europe have become more, not less, willing to keep their house in order.

  85. How about US taking some responsibility for giving Kosovo to Serbia in the first place in 1912 ?

    Uh, I’m pretty sure the US had nothing to do at all with European politics prior to World War I.

  86. If the western Europeans play such a central role now I’d really like to know why the British, French, German, and Italian embassies aren’t being burned.

  87. Because the Serbian government hasn’t been whipping up mobs against the French, Germans, and Italians; and because the French, Germans, and Italians didn’t play a “central role,” but a secondary one – in 1999.

  88. Do these pyro-protesters “hate us for our freedoms” too?

  89. “Cesar | February 21, 2008, 3:32pm | #

    Uh, I’m pretty sure the US had nothing to do at all with European politics prior to World War I.”

    They were at the conference that decided who should take Kosovo when Turkey lost it. France, Germany, Austria, Italy, UK were there too.

  90. So western Europe gets the benefit of a stabilized Balkans, while we pay the price of being hated by yet another country. What a great deal!

  91. Cesar,

    FWIW, I’ve read that the U.S. did send a representative over to Europe in 1914 in an effort to forestall a conflagration. I just mention it because your comment brought that to mind.

  92. Cesar,

    From what I’ve read other embassies have been attacked as well.

  93. They were at the conference that decided who should take Kosovo when Turkey lost it. France, Germany, Austria, Italy, UK were there too.

    And I wonder how much influence the US carried at that time in Europe? I’m guessing close to nil.

  94. “Cesar | February 21, 2008, 3:40pm | #

    And I wonder how much influence the US carried at that time in Europe? I’m guessing close to nil.”

    Well, if you read Italian or French, I might recommend you some 1913 titles containing details on the proceedings of the 1912 conference, and details on the negotiations. You could probably find them in a “good library nearby”

  95. Emil, theres a huge difference between a US delegation being present at a peace treaty and saying “The US gave Kosovo to Serbia in 1912”.

    It would be like saying “Portugal gave Alsace-Lorraine back to France” because they had a delegation present at Versailles.

  96. It is an interesting amalgam that denies the Serbs’ warcrimes, though. Serbain front groups, paleo-libertarians, various revolutionary communist groups (who were able to defend Milosevic while denouncing the U.S.) as well as your typical anti-war lefties.

    If you google search on “Kosovo mass graves,” it’s interested to find the documentary evidence interspersed with evidence-lite bits from “Common Dreams,” “lewrockwell,” and “the International Socialist Society.”

  97. Yes Joe I am a holocaust denier but you have kittens when I mention your defense of Saddam. Can we say projection? From the NYT today,

    “An estimated 10,000 civilians were killed in the 1998-99 conflict, many of them Albanians, while 1,500 Serbs died in revenge killings that followed.”

    As many as 10,000. That is not genocide. Further, some of those people were killed by US bombs and as bystanders to the fighting between the KLA and Serbians. Meanwhile in the last ten years the UN has been aiding and abetting the cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo. hardly any Serbs live outside a small NW enclave anymore. The Kosovar Alabamians have engaged in systematic terrorizing of the Serbian population to ensure that all of them got the message. It is pretty nasty stuff.

    One other thing, Holocaust denier? You can do better than that Joe. Please don’t confirm my suspicions about what a horrible bitter person you are.

    And why you are doing all that research, why don’t research a little bit about Saddam Huisain’s reign of terror? None of that seems to matter when we are talking about the war in Iraq but all of this matters now that we are talking about Clinton’s war. You are such pathetic hypocrite. Truthfully, Clinton was right to bomb Serbia, despite the fact that it was not genocide. Milosevic needed to go and it should have been done in the mid 90s. I supported the war at the time and support it now, although it was done under dubious pretenses. I just love to point out the hypocrisy of people like you that love any war a Democrat dreams up but then discover pacifism when the wrong team starts one. Why do Kosovar bodies mean so much to you Joe but Arab ones so little? Is it because they look like you?

  98. Dammit, I’m sick and tired of hearing about the Balkans. Why the hell did our State Department have to say anything about Kosovo? It has no tangible effect, except for pissing off Serbs, and brings up the threat of us getting drawn into that whole bloody mess again. Last thing we need at a time like this. I say screw this crap, and let the Serbs and Kosovars fight it out between themselves.

  99. So western Europe gets the benefit of a stabilized Balkans, while we pay the price of being hated by yet another country. What a great deal!

    Act NOW! And we’ll throw in a free Wes Clark.

    Operators are standing by.

  100. J sub D is an aTheist.

  101. This is one area that I agree with joe. While it always sounds like it is best to leave everyone alone, allowing genocides to happen isn’t one of those times. Part of our problem here is that we don’t just stop genocides. We contribute to all sorts of fucking-with-people around the world. If we just minded our own business EXCEPT when we are trying to intervene in genocides, I don’t think even most libertarians would object to such actions.

    Of course, people are so damned proud, they refuse to ever say we screwed up here or there. They will justify everything until they take their last breath. A little humility and respect would make our occasional interferences accepted, as we’d have the moral high ground in the eyes of almost everyone around the world.

    Some might argue that stopping genocides will only piss off those that started the conflict. Well, someone’s always gonna get pissed off. That doesn’t mean allowing 800,000 Rwandans to die is justifiable.

  102. “Some might argue that stopping genocides will only piss off those that started the conflict. Well, someone’s always gonna get pissed off. That doesn’t mean allowing 800,000 Rwandans to die is justifiable.”

    You are right. We should have never let that happen. We also should not have let Saddam gas the Kurds and slaughter the marsh Arabs. The problem is that to stop most of these genocides is not just a question of bombing for a few weeks and going home. It also can mean staying and killing a few people. It means sending in troops and staying there for a long time. We have been in Kosovo for almost ten years now. We would have had to do the same in Rwanda or the Sudan today. What makes me angry is the very same people who scream that we should do something about Darfur, would be the first ones to be marching on the capital so “stop the illegal war against Sudan” if we ever actually did anything about it. I am all for stopping genocide but everyone needs to understand that in doing so we are going to have to spend some blood, treasure and get our hands dirty.

  103. Yes Joe I am a holocaust denier but you have kittens when I mention your defense of Saddam.

    The difference being, I have never defended Saddam, nor denied his crimes, while you actually have, repeatedly, denied the war crimes commited by Milosevic.

    As many as 10,000. That is not genocide.

    No, it’s an interrupted genocide. One that barely got off the ground. Some of us consider it a good thing that it did not.

    Please don’t confirm my suspicions about what a horrible bitter person you are.

    You’re repeating genocide-denial propaganda because you can’t stand to admit that Bill Clinton did something good, and I’m the bitter one? Whatever.

    And why you are doing all that research, why don’t research a little bit about Saddam Huisain’s reign of terror?

    Because I’ve never denied Saddam Husseins’ reign of terror, while you consistently deny Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing.

    You are such pathetic hypocrite. And you are, as usual, on the wrong side of the facts.

    Why do Kosovar bodies mean so much to you Joe but Arab ones so little? Arab bodies mean a great deal to me. That’s why I supported keeping Saddam Hussein a box, and tried to keep dimwits like yourself from creating so many thousands of them with your ill-advised war – because you’ve both shown a remarkable eagerness to turn live Arabs into dead ones, and need to be restrained.

  104. Actually, Nick, I think the question is whether our soldiers should have to fight and die and our citizens (or future citizens) pay taxes to intervene where there is no direct threat to the nation’s security.

  105. What makes me angry is the very same people who scream that we should do something about Darfur, would be the first ones to be marching on the capital so “stop the illegal war against Sudan” if we ever actually did anything about it.

    John can’t read Red Cross reports, but he sure can read minds!

  106. “You can’t stand to admit that Bill Clinton did a good thing”
    Well, while I’m not agreeing with John (one of our resident war hawks), I don’t consider continuing military adventurism for “humanitarian” purposes a good thing. I just wish Bush had kept to his promise about a “humble” foreign policy. We could have avoided a lot of trouble.

  107. I suppose you cosmotarian balkan secessionists will now agree the Confederacy had a right to secede.

  108. economist,

    I respectfully disagree on your proposed course of action, but I commend you for at least acknowledging the facts as they have been shown to exist.

  109. economist,

    What if those actions are not for “humanitarian” reasons, but for honest-to-goodness, no scare quotes humanitarian reasons?

    Are you against faking humanitarian motives, or against acting on them?

  110. Don’t get me wrong, economist, I hold the same objections as you for the same reasons. I’m trying to think of a legitimate way.

    I was thinking that groups like Blackwater, being private could be contracted by the UN, but of course it was the UN that has pussied out with regard to Rwanda and Darfur. And, I know, the UN is paid for in taxes, blah, blah, blah. But someone has to stop this killing. And, it has to be paid for somehow unless we’d rather just drag people off the street, hand them an old used gun, and say “good luck.”

    I don’t know the answer, but WE, the world collective WE, need to do something.

    Any ideas?

  111. I suppose you cosmotarian balkan secessionists will now agree the Confederacy had a right to secede.

    Yes — And the Union had the DUTY to invade and occupy (indefinately) a land where the people were abusing fundamental human rights in an institutional and systematic manner.

  112. Do I have to turn in my libertarian card now? I got ripped a new one on another post today for suggesting one form of government interference was not as objectionable as a different form.

  113. Joe,

    Bill Clinton did do a good thing. He got rid of Milosovic. Further, I don’t deny Milosovic’s ethnic cleansing, such as it was, but whatever it was it was a lot worse in Bosnia. Bill Clinton never went to war when Milosovic was killing 10s of thousands of Bosnians. If he was right to go in to Kosovo, he was downright immoral to stand and watch as the real Bosnian genocide unfolded. Clinton went to war against Serbia on very dubious pretenses and with no UN authorization. I was and am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and be glad that Milosovic is gone. You would never do the same had Clinton been a Republican.

    Lastly, if keeping Saddam in a box, while he killed millions of his own, why wasn’t keeping Milosovic in a box good enough? Kosovo was a purely internal matter. Milosovic wasn’t anymore of a threat to his neighbors than Saddam. Why do love containment so much in Iraq but not in Serbia? Oh, Iraq was started by a Republican. Now I understand.

  114. joe

    I’ll ask you, since you seem to have the websites closer to hand: What is the generally accepted number for Kosovar Alabanians killed during that mess? I ask because, in some slight defense of John, I too had gotten the impression over the years that the tales of genocide had been overblown, and the Serbs, while definitely engaged in some pretty awful stuff which created a refugee crisis, were not engaged in rapine and plunder to the degree we were told at the time.

    I say this as a person did and still does support the war to stop said actions by the Serbs, and not some sort of Paleo, Chomskyite, Serb partisan, or Lew Rockwell-type.

  115. Yes, it’s very sad that the Sudanese are murdering people in Darfur, and it shows just how well these former colonies govern themselves. However, why should we allow more soldiers to be killed, spend more, and get even more people pissed off at us? I think I have a timeline of US intervention, and much of it is to remedy the effects of past intervention (except for the first one).
    1. WWI: We have no compelling interest in the war and good ol’ Woody gets us into the thick of it. We contribute just enough to make sure Germany is thoroughly trounced and has to accept any crap thrown its way in the Treaty of Versailles. A few years later, Hitler uses the treaty as a target to get Germans riled up in favor of his party. Here comes our next event.
    2. WWII: US, under the benevolent guidance of FDR, enters the war uncritically on the side of the Soviet Union. Much pro-Soviet rhetoric ,and some massive concessions to the Soviets at Yalta, later, they emerge as an enemy in all but name. Then they get nukes.
    3. Cold War conflicts: Pretty much trying to contain the Soviet mess from the Cold War. While Korea and Vietnam are the best-known interventions, there are also interventions in the Middle East.
    4. So here we are now.

  116. The Balkans have been a mess for a long long time. The instability there is not an issue of right and wrong but of power. Any foreign policy in that region that aims to help the weak at the expense of the powerful is misguided, no matter how well meaning it may be. Stability and not morality should be first aim. The conditions in which people can be expected to treat each other well will only arise out of a stability that comes from working with rather than against local powers. Our policies in that region have been far less then helpful because we allowed it to be guided by some sense of who the bad guys were and who were their victims. The truth in that region is that today’s villain was yesterday’s victim and these roles will just keep switching around until enough stabilizing power is consolidated to make breaking the vicious cycle possible. That means working with the Coates and Serbs, not undermining them and bombing them.

  117. “WWII: US, under the benevolent guidance of FDR, enters the war uncritically on the side of the Soviet Union.”

    Japan bombed us and the Germans declared war on us. What were we supposed to do? We bear no responsibility for that war. And don’t give me that “we cut off oil to the Japanese” bullshit. Nothing says one country has to trade with another. If Iran or Venezula stopped selling oil to the US, would you support a suprise attack against them over it? If not, then how can you justify Japan’s attack on the US. The Germans did not have to declare war on the US. Roosevelt did not have the public support to go to war in Europe even after Pearl Harbor. People wanted war with the Japanese not the Germans. Had Hitler not gone whacko and declared war on the US, there is serious doubt whether Congress would have declared war on Germany.

  118. A Europe half-controlled by the Soviet Union was infinitely preferable to a Europe fully controlled by the Third Reich.

  119. I noticed joe’s quote about my use of quotation marks. The reason is that, while it may help some people to interfere in affairs that do not directly concern us, it does harm the soldiers sent to fight and die, the taxpayers forced to give up their wealth to fight the war, unintended civilian casualties on the side of the people we’re fighting against, and, in the case of the Balkans and Iraq, civilian victims of reprisals by the formerly oppressed side. I don’t see how this is “humanitarian”.

  120. John,

    Bill Clinton never went to war when Milosovic was killing 10s of thousands of Bosnians.

    Uh, Bill Clinton launched airstrikes against Serbian forces in Bosnia, and a few days later, their operations ended at they were at the peace table. It took too long, but he most certainly did take action in Bosnia.

    Sure, the death toll was higher. That’s the difference between stopping that business ASAP and letting it go on for years.

    Lastly, if keeping Saddam in a box, while he killed millions of his own, why wasn’t keeping Milosovic in a box good enough? It was. That’s why we drove him out of Bosnia and Kosovo, but didn’t invade Serbia to depose him. Like the smart George Bush did with Saddam.

    Kosovo was a purely internal matter. Crimes against humanity = loss of soveriegn rights in my book.

    But hey, keep yammering about political parties. It might help camouflage how badly you have mangled the facts.

  121. History’s Campion,

    There is some truth in what you are saying. Honestly, the best policy in some of these places is to make sure both sides are equally armed. One of the reasons why there were so many deaths in Bosnia was the UN arms embargo that left the Bosnian Muslims defenseless. In Dafur we would be better off sending the people who are being killed guns and let them defend themselves. Rather than send the 82 airborne in, we would be better off sending them arms and Special Forces people to train them. When one side can shoot back, it takes all of the fun out of ethnic cleansing. But, good luck in selling that fact to your typical international do gooder.

  122. Jammer,

    8-10,000 is probably a good ballpark figure – it’s probably the right order of magnitude.

    And yes, the initial reports were exaggerated. There weren’t 100,000 military-aged Kosovars dead when we began the airstrikes – though as Bosnia shows us, there would have been at least had many had we done nothing.

  123. joe refers to:

    the success of the operation

    Defined how? Isn’t the UN/NATO still there? Didn’t someone just secede? Isn’t the UN/NATO having to crank up security to prevent violence?

    Doesn’t that all that mean that there isn’t yet a widely accepted and legitimate government that can assure peace and security within its borders?

    Just askin’.

  124. John,
    I am arguing we could have taken an approach that did not give the Soviets so much opportunity to dominate a postwar vacuum. Like dealing with Japan, the immediate threat to our country, before Europe. Nazis versus Commies fight to the death would probably have made the European operation significantly easier, and weakened the Soviet Union further, making it less of a postwar threat. And we should have chucked all the “uncle Joe” crap.

  125. I know, economist, all good points. One could argue we’d have been better off to get into WWI on the side of our choosing early and end it quick, saving countless lives. After that, the butterfly effect tells us the entire world would be different and WWII probably never happens, etc.

    Hindsight tells me personally that we should have stayed out of WWI and let it stalemate naturally. WWII probably never happens and 7 million people aren’t exterminated because Hitler doesn’t come to power.

  126. John,
    Remember when we sent weapons to Saddam to help fight the Iranians?

  127. “Kosovo was a purely internal matter. Crimes against humanity = loss of soveriegn rights in my book.”

    So Joe, Saddam lost his sovereign rights when he committed any number of crimes against humanity. I can agree with that. I am glad to see you have come around to supporting the war.

    Also, Milosevic was losing the Bosnian war and on the verge of losing power and Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright saved him through the Dayton accords. Had they done nothing, the Croats would have taken care of him. Further, they stood by idly wile 100s of thousands were killed. They only intervened at the very end of the war, after it had been settled and the Serbs were losing. He was a day late and dollar short. If you were not such a partisan moron, you might understand history a little bit. But you are incapable of admitting that anyone with a D after their name ever made a mistake. It is just pathetic sometimes Joe.

  128. Nick
    Actually, I’m not that optimistic. But I think we could have avoided the Cold War by taking a more prudent stance in our WWII relationship with the USSR.

  129. ‘Cesar | February 21, 2008, 3:48pm | #
    Emil, theres a huge difference between a US delegation being present at a peace treaty and saying “The US gave Kosovo to Serbia in 1912”.

    It would be like saying “Portugal gave Alsace-Lorraine back to France” because they had a delegation present at Versailles.’

    My fault, it was 1913.

    USA + UK + France + Germany + Austria + Italy decided who gets what.

    I don’t think Portugal had a vote at Versailles. US had a vote at the London Conference in 1913. Of course, then the Serbians were the “freedom fighters” and the evil empire was Turkey.

    History of the Balkan Wars, in a nutshell:

    – Russia arms a rebellion in the Western Balkans, so those guys press-gang their neighbours into a army, fight off the Ottomans, get some degree of independence and call their state Serbia.
    – Austria squishes the life out Serbia and the Serbs by trade embargoes (Serbia was landlocked and could trade with the rest of the world only by crossing territories controlled by Turkey or Austria), so the Serbs surrender and start playing nice.
    – Russia gets pissed off and starts sponsoring rebels in the Eastern Balkans, who press-gang their neighbors into an army, but get squished by the Turks so Russia has to get to war. At the end you have two rival states (Bulgaria and Serbia), each controlled by elites that could not have resisted at the top one week without the support of their Russian or Austrian patrons.
    – Russia and Austria decide it’s time to get rid of Turkey, so they finance Bulgaria and Serbia to take on Turkey. When Turkey is beaten with help from the Greeks, Kosovo is given to Serbia, Albania is virtually given to Italy and the rest of the Turkish possesions in the Balkans are split between the victors.
    – Austria and Russia are not at ease with the new power balance, so Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece start renegotiating the London Treaty, and with the help of Rumania, another Austrian satellite, Bulgaria is squished.
    – Franz Ferdinand is assassinated; Serbia, which had nothing to do with G.Princip, the assassin, is served an ultimatum, which it accepts almost completely, but Austria had to play it safe and make sure the “Illirian” idea (the freedom fighters of the 1914, which hoped to unite all the southerns Slavs) is done with so they declare war to Serbia, Russia declares war to Austria. Germany declares war to Russia and because it had no war plans in which it was supposed to fight only with Russia, it used the plan designed for fighting France and Russia in the same time and begins sending troops to the French border, too. The French and the British get spooked etc.
    – the Bulgarians do not want to enter the war so their elites get a better deal from the Germans and attack Serbia and help squishing it.
    – the Rumanians do not want to enter the war, but by 1916 the Russians and the Austrians are already fighting each other on Rumanian territory, so they choose the side they think has the best chances to win in the long term.
    – the Greeks do not want to enter the war so France and England take over, confiscate the fleet and sponsor an insurrection against the legitimate government, recruit an army and set their own government in charge of Greece.
    – Serbia, Montenegro and the 2/3 of Rumania that were occupied get so savagely plundered that by 1919, when the Red Cross gets there, there was no moneyed economy: in Southern Rumania sugar was the main currency, and in Montenegro overcoats were used instead of money.

  130. joe,
    I just want to ask you a purely hypothetical question. If you had the choice to either enter the original Balkan conflict or not, would you have followed Clinton’s path, or stayed out?

  131. “John,
    Remember when we sent weapons to Saddam to help fight the Iranians?”

    Yes. Of course that was when he was an ordinary Arab thug and before he gassed the Kurds and invaded Kuwait. What is amazing is that Saddam was so dumb. He could have been our thug and still be in power but he never really understood the US and his behavior was so appalling even the US couldn’t have supported him after 1988.

  132. So why did Clinton need to pretend there were 100,000 people murdered if the case for intervention was so airtight?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War#Criticism_of_the_case_for_war

    And this business about respecting the “territorial integrity” of Bosnia is bullshit, too. The borders of Yugoslavia were deliberately drawn to prevent Serbia from having overwhelming influence. This was accomplished by arbitrarily placing a large section of their territory in Bosnia.
    When Croatia declared independence, ratified a constitution that did not recognize minority rights, and began decorating Ustasi war criminals it was entirely predictable that Serbs in eastern Slavonia as well as Bosnia would be worried. And make an attempt to regain the territory full of its people that was severed for entirely political reasons.

  133. Wow, WWI was really a world changing event. Even the Bolshevik Revolution might not have occurred if things played out differently

  134. economist,

    Our casualties in the Balkans add up to zero (0).

    The number of deaths from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo was a tiny fraction of that in Bosnia.

    If you don’t think the salvation of tens of thousands of lives is worth the life of a single American soldier or a few million dollars, that’s one thing. But don’t go into denial mode, and pretend that such operations cannot accomplish genuine humanitarian ends.

  135. As I have been asking for over a decade, where is Bismarck when you need him? We might have to update the “Pomeranian grenadier” for “redneck reservist from Alabama” but otherwise….

    (By the way, I’ll just preempt the “North Dakota” answer to my rhetorical question myself.)

    WTF we have been doing in the Balkans since The Slick Willy Days is beyond me. If this isn’t another example of deserving blowback from meddling, I don’t know what is.

  136. RC Dean,

    The success of the operation was the end of the ethnic cleansing campaign Operation Horseshoe.

    You are correct, however, that the situation has not yet stablized to the point that the few battallions of troops in the security mission can leave.

  137. I like your argument here joe. Basically, it’s okay to lead the US into a war against an entity that poses no direct threat to us and risk American lives while spending heavily, as long as there’s a “humanitarian” end. And it looks like you falsified some of your statistics. And you didn’t answer my hypothetical question.

  138. Jesus, you are stupid, John.

    So Joe, Saddam lost his sovereign rights when he committed any number of crimes against humanity. I can agree with that. I am glad to see you have come around to supporting the war.

    No, dimwit, this is why I supported kicking him out of Kuwait, the sanctions (though they could have been run better), and the no-fly/no-drive zones. This is what’s called “opposing the war.”

    I’ve spent the entire thread laying out substantive, factual distinctions in policy and in the events on the ground, and all you can talk about is political parties.

    It’s blindingly obvious who the blind partisan here is.

    P.S. did anyone ever tell you you’re sexy when you get angry because I pwned you?

  139. economist,

    What is “the original Balkan conflict?”

  140. You know, I think it’s amusing to here joe and the other leftists here hearken back to their Wilsonian interventionist days. Or sickening. I can’t tell what the funny feeling in my stomach is.

  141. Well, I guess “original Balkan conflict” is too general. Fine, would you repeat Clinton’s intervention?

  142. joe-
    It’s historically low, and maybe a record low, but not zero. There have been some casualties in the occupation, and while there were no deaths during combat operations, some died in accidental aircraft crashes.

    I’m just saying this because some reports (not by you personally necessarilly) of ‘nearly 4000 deaths in Iraq’ conflate the 3100 KIA by hostile fire with the 800 or so in non hostile event (e.g. traffic accidents)

  143. economist,

    I like your argument here joe. Basically, it’s okay to lead the US into a war against an entity that poses no direct threat to us and risk American lives while spending heavily, as long as there’s a “humanitarian” end.

    Yes, depending on the likely costs and benefits.

  144. economist,

    If you can arise from your fainting couch and face the horror that there are actually people who would stop genocides if given the chance, I’ll answer your question:

    I would have had Clinton stop the Serbs earlier in the Bosnian War. The Serbs’ intention was to push until they were stopped. We could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

  145. joe,
    Great. Let those people stop genocide. I might even join them. However, dragging half the country along with you is in no way “humanitarian”.

  146. “John,
    Remember when we sent weapons to Saddam to help fight the Iranians?”

    Yes. Of course that was when he was an ordinary Arab thug and before he gassed the Kurds and invaded Kuwait.

    It was, however, after he had begun using chemical weapons against Iranian troops.

    When Donald Rumsfeld shook hands will Saddam Hussein, and gave him intelligence on Iranian troops movements, the world already knew that Saddam was launching gas attacks on those troops.

  147. Wait a minute. You said “stopped the Serbs earlier…we could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives”. I saw earlier in the thread that the figure killed by the Serbs was 10,000 at most. Where did you get your figure?

  148. economist,

    There are 300,000,000 people in America.

    Our operations in the Balkans involved, IIRC, about 30,000, including the crews of ships and airfields.

    That is 1/10,000th.

  149. Actually, I don’t care that much that Saddam gas attacked Iranian troops. Mostly I just wanted to point out to John what “keeping both sides equally armed” gets us.

  150. I saw earlier in the thread that the figure killed by the Serbs was 10,000 at most. Where did you get your figure?

    in bosnia

  151. “When Donald Rumsfeld shook hands will Saddam Hussein, and gave him intelligence on Iranian troops movements, the world already knew that Saddam was launching gas attacks on those troops.”

    Yeah, what an asshole. I’m sure those Iranian soldiers would much rather have been killed by bullets or schrapnel.

  152. economist,

    Hundreds of thousands were killed by the Serbs in Bosnia.

    They probably managed under 10,000 in Kosovo.

    We interrupted the Serbs’ Operation Horseshoe in Kosovo, so that the death toll never approached that in Bosnia.

    Clear?

  153. “There are 300,000,000 people in America.

    Our operations in the Balkans involved, IIRC, about 30,000, including the crews of ships and airfields.

    That is 1/10,000th.”

    I have a feeling it was a much higher percentage than that footing the bill.

  154. BaBar, how much money is acceptable to you to spend stopping a genocide? On an per-victim basis, I mean?

    Would a buck be ok? 100,000 people who get to live a life, for $100,000?

  155. I have a feeling it was a much higher percentage than that footing the bill.

    So what. There are billion things that taxes are spent on. Why do you feel that spending them on stoping a genocidal power, with what actually turned out to be a very effective operation, but which came way too late, is so objectionable?

  156. Yeah, what an asshole. I’m sure those Iranian soldiers would much rather have been killed by bullets or schrapnel.

    “Would it make you any happier little lady if they were all pushed out of windows?”-Archie Bunker

  157. “So what. There are billion things that taxes are spent on. Why do you feel that spending them on stoping a genocidal power, with what actually turned out to be a very effective operation, but which came way too late, is so objectionable?”

    Yes, I do object to it and most of the other billions of things. What if all ethnic Serbs in the US refused to pay their taxes when this happened. How would the US govt. have treated them? Locking all of them up maybe? Then maybe Russia would have intervened.

    “Would a buck be ok? 100,000 people who get to live a life, for $100,000?”

    I might fork over that dollar, but then nobody ever asked me. The money was taken from me with an implicit threat of violence.

  158. joe,

    The problem is in that you’re in a no-win situation. You can’t ever prove that the NATO intervention prevented anything. And that’s the whole crux of the problem with deciding to intervene in a supposed genocide situation, since one doesn’t really know it’s genocide for sure until the body count really starts to pile up.

    There was certainly a reasonable chance in the Kosovo case that the body count would have continued to pile up, and pile up big. It was this reasonable chance, and not a clearly defined case of genocide in and of itself, that was the basis for the intervention.

    And if John disagrees with the reasonableness of this chance, then that does not make him a genocide denier.

  159. Hundreds of thousands were killed by the Serbs in Bosnia.

    They probably managed under 10,000 in Kosovo.

    We interrupted the Serbs’ Operation Horseshoe in Kosovo, so that the death toll never approached that in Bosnia.

    Clear?

    I think I am pretty clear that the democrats attempt at intervention for a goal other then the spread of democracy is falling apart.

  160. I wonder how we’d react if a heavily Hispanic area in the southwest declared independence.

    It would depend on why they are doing it and what they plan to create once they did that.

    If they were say leftists I would be upset…if they wanted to get out of the Endangered species act and work on a more efficiant property rights based conservation program then I would probably send them money.

  161. J sub D and all the god capitalizer questioners:

    Is “god” a proper name like Zeus or Thor? I was under the impression that the people of the book use “god” or “allah” because you are not supposed to know or say the deity’s name. Yahweh or Jehovah comes closer bcse those are name given to the one who cannot be named based on the Tetragrammaton. Which is an even cooler name for this mythical person since it sounds like a Godzilla movie monster.

    Of course we should probably use Adonai… but then, just to be safe, use HaShem, instead. Blah Blah Blah.

  162. BaBar,

    Your problem, then, is with taxation, not foreign policy. You could as well complain about the money spent on those same soldiers and sailors if we hadn’t bombed the Serbs.

    MP,

    That’s a a fair point, but in this particular case, we had Bosnia – which the Serbs didn’t even consider their “homeland” from which to draw a conclusion. They were doing the same things in Kosovo they were doing in Bosnia.

    It is not “a reasonable chance” that genocide would happen. Genocide and ethnic cleansing, were happening. We knew that then, and we know it now. Except John, apparently, who’s good at not knowing things when it suits him. That makes him a denier. A genocide denier is a genocide denier regardless of whether his denial is in real time or post-facto.

  163. If you have a problem with people being tribalistic, take it up with Darwin. There will be wars and genocides and misery as long as humans walk the earth. Our nature is directed towards reproduction and domination of resources, not happiness.

    We can’t save the world. It doesn’t want to be saved. The best we can hope for is to save our own small part of it.

  164. but in this particular case, we had Bosnia – which the Serbs didn’t even consider their “homeland” from which to draw a conclusion.

    Which is why I used the phrase “reasonable chance”. I’m unsure if an “intent to commit” genocide is actually genocide. But of course, it’s that type of waffling on defining the issue which typically paralyzes actors and prevents them from addressing the issue.

    Considering our overall costs incurred while imposing ourselves in the Kosovo situation, I don’t have a major disagreement with the issue beyond my standard non-interventionist position.

  165. joe,
    Okay, point taken. Minor forgetfulness there. All these Balkan conflicts run together. Which is why I think we would have been better off avoiding it altogether. And I still think it’s funny how you go into Wilsonian mode when Clinton’s military exploits are mentioned.

  166. cant we just bomb them again? they should be more sensitive to the fact that we like to test out our new JDAM models on irascible balkans before deploying them to dustier regions, browner people

    seriously. Come on John, cut the whiney “it wasnt legal!” malarkey. sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to bomb people who vote for leaders with names like Slobodon, Saddam, Khadaffi, or Mahmoud or whatever. sooner or later they get the message and elect someone named “smith” or something

  167. MP,

    My point is, it wasn’t “Intention to commit genocide.” They were actively engaged in a genocide. They were doing the same thing in towns throughout Kosovo that they did in Sbrenka. Often, it was the same people, such as the Maniacs.

    economist,

    I think I’ve explained the principles that lead me to support the Kosovo War and oppose the Iraq War well enough. Up thread, I explicitly endorse “the smart George Bush’s” action irt the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the No Drive/No Fly zones.

    If all you are capable of seeing is the party of the president who started each of those wars, that’s your problem, not mine.

  168. No, I’m simply pointing out that, given my particular reasons for opposing military adventurism, I see little reason to treat needless wars launched for humanitarian reasons any more favorably than wars launched for no reason at all.

  169. OK, we have different principles, economist. And I really respect yours, honestly. There is a great deal of wisdom in what you say about not sticking our nose into other people’s business.

    But I have principles of my own, as well, and I’d thank you not to take cheap shots accusing me of partisanship when I have, in fact, stuck to those principles regardless of the president’s party.

  170. All these Balkan conflicts run together. Which is why I think we would have been better off avoiding it altogether.

    I fail to see the ‘why’ in your argument. Balkans was not a politcal outcome, it was a ‘humanitarain’ outcome, ethnic cleansing was stopped, lives saved.

    You speak as if the only way to justify foreign involvement is if the problem is completely solved once and for all the first time.

    So in that case I suppose you’re right. If NATO did not bomb the Serbs they would have cut out most Kosovar males old enough to hold a gun, and maybe a couple thousand others. So I suppose there would not be anyone left to stomach this latest attempt at independence.

    If you goal is ‘stabilization’ by any means necessary, then the Serbs should not have been bombed, and there would be way less unhappy Kosovars now. An ethincaly cleansed area is more stable then an area with two feuding peoples.

  171. People of the Book

  172. joe’s repeated claims that the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia stopped the genocide from becoming worse rest on rather shaky ground. The worst of the atrocities occurred AFTER the bombing campaign had commenced.

    The KLA played Milosevic, western media, NATO, and apparently joe to perfection, all to the detriment of many thousands of dead and displaced Kosovars. The KLA knew they could never achieve what they wanted on their own. Their attacks on Serbs were meant to encourage severe reprisals from Milosevic which they believed would in turn draw the West to joining them in their fight for independence owing in large part to Western guilt for not having acted before to stop what the Serbs did in Bosnia.

    The actions of the U.S. during the Rambouillet negotiations — demanding that NATO be allowed to occupy all of Yugoslavia — are not those of a power whose main concern is in ending genocide. It was clear that NATO wanted to use the crisis in Kosovo as an excuse to oust Milosevic and the demands of the U.S. at Rambouillet all but assured that the Serbs would walk away from the negotiating table, providing the pretext for removal of Milosevic by force.

    Until the bombing campaign commenced, the crisis in Kosovo was mostly a refugee crisis with isolated instances of atrocities. After the bombing campaign started, the Serbs saw the writing on the wall and stepped up their slaughter on the way out, trying as best they could to cover their tracks.

  173. The worst of the atrocities occurred AFTER the bombing campaign had commenced.

    The Serbs attempted to speed up Operation Horseshoe once they realized their time was limited.

    There are still Kosovars in Kosovo. The genocide was ended.

    was clear that NATO wanted to use the crisis in Kosovo as an excuse to oust Milosevic Funny, then, that they never ousted him.

  174. “BaBar,

    Your problem, then, is with taxation, not foreign policy. You could as well complain about the money spent on those same soldiers and sailors if we hadn’t bombed the Serbs.”

    Actually I’ve got a major problem with foreign policy as well, and I think the US was severely misguided involving itself in the breakup of Yugoslavia. And much of Bosnia was considered Serbian “homeland” that was partitioned away by earlier European treaties (hence Republika Srpska).
    The fact that Kosovo was ever even identified as an autonomous region within Serbia never really made sense when Serbian enclaves within the other republics didn’t receive similar autonomy (or UN protection when the Serbs where cleansed from eastern Slavonia in the 90’s).
    Basically, it wasn’t our business to get involved and the history there is much more complicated than pointing out that Kosovo is 90% Albanian (ie poorer people breed faster and Serbians generously let any of them stay after the Albanian atrocities of WWII).

  175. Screw your principles, joe. They all seem to involve income redistribution, paternalism, and general douchiness.

  176. “I wonder what Michelle Malkin et al. has to say about that… Those crazy Muslims, er, Serbian Orthodox Christians”

    She would say the same thing I would, mainly that you are a total fucking idiot. Perhaps if someone had drawn an unflattering picture of Jesus, she may have just excused their barbarity, you know, kind of like you do with Muslims whenever some “insults” that piece of shit pedophile, Muhammad. Unlike you, Michelle Malkin does not apologize for the barbarity of others simply because they have the same religion.
    Now if you will excuse me, I have to wipe my ass with the Koran and then burn it.

  177. Re: Has Switzerland recognized Kosovo’s independence?

    Yes, Switzerland officially recognised Kosovo’s independence on 27.2.2008.

    Source:
    http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/Serbia_recalls_envoy_as_Bern_recognises_Kosovo.html?siteSect=108&sid=8790228&cKey=1204183540000&ty=st

    Title of article: Serbia recalls envoy as Bern recognises Kosovo

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