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The war that was to affirm NATO’s credibility as a war-making machine is now technically over. Everybody, including the Russians and Chinese, now know that NATO can be as ruthless as any aggressor in history. And the Kosovo Liberation Army will soon find out that NATO did not go to war to hand them full governmental control over Kosovo. How the KLA will deal with this reality is to be seen.
NATO demanded that Yugoslavia remove its armed forces and police from Kosovo. The Yugoslavians have complied. Now NATO must fulfill its goal of permitting the Kosovar refugees to return to their homes and live in peace. Under NATO, the Kosovars will be able to enjoy both freedom and security. That’s a plus. As for the Serbs who are fleeing or have fled Kosovo, they will be encouraged to return once NATO has established order and justice.
It all sounds pretty good. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright, and Bill Cohen are all smiles. They have taken control of Kosovo, and now NATO must spend the next few years creating the kind of ideal society that they supposedly fought for. Meanwhile, bodies will be exhumed, atrocities verified, and war criminals sought after. It turns out that some Serbs actually protected their Albanian neighbors from the killers, and it also turns out that some Albanians collaborated with the Serbs in identifying fellow Albanians who might have been involved with the KLA.
In other words, this war was no different from any other war. The worst and the best, the most cowardly and the most courageous human actions took place side by side. The Yugoslav infrastructure has been destroyed, factories leveled, bridges blown, civilians killed. Kosovo itself was also heavily bombed by NATO. The untold misery of the population itself during the three months of the war begs the question of whether or not this war was necessary.
Some wars are unavoidable, as, for example, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. We had no choice but to declare war. The Korean War was started by an attack by Communist North Korea on South Korea. When General MacArthur wanted to end the war speedily by bombing the Chinese at the Yalu River with an atomic bomb, President Truman said no. The result was that the war dragged on for two more years, killing 50,000 American soldiers.
And now we know that the Vietnam War was also avoidable. That’s what genius Robert MacNamara now tells us. That was the war in which bombers flew 3,000 miles from Guam to Vietnam to drop bombs on huts in the jungle and fly another 3,000 miles back to Guam. In this war against Yugoslavia, we are told that some of our bombers flew from Kansas to Yugoslavia and back just to drop bombs on the Serbs. Nobody in the Pentagon, least of all Bill Cohen, has informed us of the price of the roundtrips.
We have not been told yet what the cost of occupying Kosovo will be for the next few years. And, of course, we have no way of knowing what will happen if and when we leave Kosovo. We may have to stay for a decade or more. But that’s the role NATO has chosen for itself as it builds the New World Order.
But could the war have been avoided? Back in 1992, Strobe (Rhodes poster boy) Talbott wrote an article in Time magazine (6/1/92) entitled, “The Serbian Death Wish.” In it he traced the Balkan problem back to 1981 when the Kosovo Albanians started agitating for status as a republic. Fearing that secession would be the next step, Serbs began leaving Kosovo. But Milosevic decided to put Kosovo under direct and heavily repressive rule from Belgrade. Talbott writes,
- Until then, the leaders of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia had by and large been willing to remain with Serbia in a loose federation. But when they saw how brutally Milosevic was dealing with Kosovo, they concluded that he was the embodiment of Serb nationalism at its worst. Wanting no part of his Yugoslavia, they headed for the exits.
Clearly, according to Talbott, Milosevic was the problem. So why didn’t the Western powers do what they could to get rid of Milosevic? There was a growing democratic movement in Yugoslavia that wanted to remove Milosevic from power. They demonstrated in the streets of Belgrade for weeks. But NATO did nothing to bolster the movement. Had one-tenth of the money spent on the war been spent trying to get rid of Milosevic, the so-called Serbian death wish might have evaporated.
And here we are today, after three months of intensive bombing and great suffering on the part of millions of people, and Milosevic is still in power! Talbott told us in 1992 that Milosevic was the problem. So, seven years later NATO dreamed up Rambouillet and gave Milosevic an ultimatum which neither he, nor any other Serb, could accept. Not a very imaginative bunch that NATO crowd is.
One must conclude that NATO wanted war so that it could bomb Milosevic into submission. It never occurred to Madeleine and Co. that by doing so they would unleash wholesale murder and ethnic cleansing. Since they knew what Milosevic was capable of, why did they let it happen? Maybe Strobe will tell us some day.
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including “Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children. His books are available on Amazon.com.