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The Broader Perspective
Elena Danielson views the Kosovo affair in a world framework:
"I see the NATO bombardment of a nation embroiled in an internal dispute or "civil war" as part of a larger shift in the definition of a nation state that has been gaining momentum over a long period of time. When the U.N. was founded, many American conservatives feared that it would infringe on US national sovereignty. There was some misguided logic to this fear.
Political bickering, the burden of bureaucracy and some failed military interventions quickly limited the U.N.'s credibility as a supra-national authority. Now the use of force by NATO is inadvertently redefining the concept of national sovereignty. I would guess that the legal basis for this kind of action is very weak, but laws are easily formulated to justify events after the fact.
If NATO fails in Kosovo and loses its effectiveness, Europe will be forced to come up with its own security policy. Europe cannot again allow such massive human rights violations on or close to its territory. The demand for supra-national policing of independent countries is gaining validity, and the trend seems to be an inevitable result of global economic integration. The American press and the public still want to think of war as a football game of two opposing sides: our side, which is moral and democratic, fighting the other side, which is evil and tyrannical. It is a powerful and persuasive image that Reagan used to good advantage in the Cold War. Police interventions in multiethnic disputes just will not fit the paradigm. Often all sides are equally willing to sacrifice human rights. The victims are not morally superior or more democratically inclined than their oppressors, just weaker."
My comment: I am sure the Kosovars are as bad as the Serbs, but the U.S. and Western Europe do have higher moral standards, although the U.S. has not signed the genocide treaty. Places like Cambodia illustrate a difference in moral standards. Slowly barbarism is being eradicated. Somalia and Iraq have revived the Vietnam syndrome in the U.S., but NATO is the main hope for stability in the world, and without the U.S. it would lose its credibility. Kosovo will make or break it.
Ronald Hilton - 04/01/99