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Buffoon blunders in Kosovo

Recently rioters attacked and burned part of the United States Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. American officials were furious that the embassy had been only lightly guarded, especially since such an attack was so predictable. It was common knowledg...

Recently rioters attacked and burned part of the United States Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. American officials were furious that the embassy had been only lightly guarded, especially since such an attack was so predictable. It was common knowledge that the Serbs hated us for our liberty and prosperity, our moral righteousness and democratic institutions, and for us allowing women to drive cars and wear pants.

Or not. As it turns out, Serbs had a grievance with Albanian Muslims declaring Kosovo, one of Serbia's provinces and its averred cultural base, independent. Kosovo's secession was immediately recognized by the United States. The embassy burning, in short, was simply blowback. Yet again America, the muscle-bound buffoon of international affairs, had needlessly intervened in affairs not its own to the detriment of all.

By the late 1990s Albanians made up a solid majority of Kosovo's population. Exhibiting the universal tendency of all ethnic and racial groups that are not restrained by brute government force and are large enough, they moved for their independence. The Kosovo Liberation Army staged terrorist attacks against Serb police and citizens in the justified hope that Serbian retaliation would draw other countries in.

Despite this conflict being entirely irrelevant to any national necessity or threat America could claim, we jumped in anyway, led by President Bill Clinton and a howling pack of Democrats. (Remember when Republicans and their apple-shiners used to decry war? Sean Hannity's 1999 angry comments against gratuitous war with Serbia is great reading now.) Despite this conflict being a completely internal affair, NATO moved to bomb Serbia for 78 days in total disregard of its own charter, which stated that it existed only to defend any of its own members from foreign aggression.

In some ways, the Serbian war run-up prefigured the current Iraq war. Our president rejected any congressional limits on his war-making authority, just like any tyrannical king would. Propaganda and outright lies were thickly spread on the American public to get its approval, lies such as the mysteriously missing 200,000 Albanian men, genocide, mass graves and a new Hitler of the month - Slobodan Milosevic in this case. And that bellwether of war Sen. Joseph Lieberman, lustily approved bombing Serbia, saying that the "United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles. ..." That's the same KLA U.S. special envoy Robert Gelbard called "a terrorist group," which group went on to ethnically cleanse Kosovo (leaving 400 Serbs out of 40,000 in Kosovo's capital Pristina), burn down Serbian churches, and become the chief nexus of illegal drug-dealing in Europe.

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The KLA achieved its goal of slicing Kosovo from its legal mooring to Serbia. Serbs get to face an America that out of left field bombed them nine years ago and has kicked sand in their faces by encouraging and recognizing Kosovo's secession.

Ironically enough, when secession was attempted in America, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the Constitution, sent 600,000 Americans to their graves to stop it, and forged a nation out of a confederation. Apparently

self-determination is a fine thing for everyone but Americans.

Its past time to borrow from Dr. Phil and ask the American public concerning our endless meddling: How's that working out for you? Doing all right? How many more enemies should we needlessly create as we slash and burn from country to country, either for their own supposed good or our alleged security? Candidate John McCain promises us more wars, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have supported President Bush's every request for soldiers and money for Iraq, notwithstanding their current oratory. How's the empire working out for you?

Nelson is a Fargo postal worker and regular contributor to The Forum's commentary pages.

He can be reached at r.cnelson@702com.net

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