domingo, 6 de fevereiro de 2005

Os falhanços do Internacionalismo

"(...)Everyone now knows (or at least I thought everyone now knew) that the Clinton Administration’s claims of "genocide" by Serbs against Albanian Muslims were grossly exaggerated. There were no angels in the Balkans; my book doesn’t claim there were. The point, however, is this.

According to the U.S. State Department in 1999, the Serbs were "conducting a campaign of forced population movement not seen in Europe" since World War II; a U.S. Information Agency release suggested that as many as 400,000 Albanians may have been massacred. David Scheffer, U.S. envoy for war crimes issues, repeatedly cited a figure of over 225,000 ethnic Albanian men missing. Clinton himself spoke of "100,000 people who are still missing," and his secretary of defense, citing the same figure, ominously declared, "They may have been murdered."

As it turns out, however, well under three thousand civilian deaths have been tabulated in Kosovo between 1997 and 1999, and there is good reason to believe that these were by no means all Albanians killed by Serbs. Even if they were, the fact remains that the figures casually thrown around in British and American circles were enormously inflated.

As John Laughland wrote in The Spectator, "Even if one assumes that all these people are Albanians murdered for ethnic reasons by Serbs, this is 1/5 of the number alleged by the [British] Foreign Office in June; 1/50 of the number alleged by [U.S. Defense Secretary] William Cohen in May; and 1/250 of the number suggested by the State Department in April." The Spanish forensic surgeon Emilio Perez Pujol, who was dispatched to uncover evidence of Serbian atrocities, described the purported search for mass graves to be "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one – not one – mass grave." "The final figure of dead in Kosovo will be 2,500 at the most," he concluded. "This includes lots of strange deaths that can’t be blamed on anyone in particular."

It was only after the bombing began that the Serbs began a massive expulsion of Albanians; the CIA had warned Clinton that such a humanitarian catastrophe was likely if he decided to bomb, but he went ahead anyway and then pretended to be shocked at the result. The bombing itself led to a humanitarian disaster of its own. Casualty figures for the Clinton/NATO bombing range from between 500 to 2000. The bombs destroyed hospitals and schools, wrought environmental havoc, and left the country’s infrastructure in ruins. The cost to rebuild was estimated at $100 billion.

When the bombing was over, Serbs in Kosovo found themselves subject to the ethnic Albanians’ desire for revenge, and before long, even with a United Nations presence there, more Serbs had been killed than Albanians before the bombing. Serbs were forced from their homes in huge numbers, with nearly 200,000 fleeing Kosovo altogether. The Clinton Administration’s happy talk about a multiethnic Kosovo that would be tolerant of ethnic minorities, allow religious freedom, and abide by modern Western values, has proven a deadly case of willful self-delusion.

In early 2004, Republican Senator Sam Brownback wrote a letter to President George W. Bush deploring the crimes against Serb Kosovars following the cessation of the NATO bombing campaign: "We should not consider advancing the cause of independence of a people whose first act when liberated was to ethnically cleanse a quarter of a million of their fellow citizens and destroy over a hundred of their holy sites."

In March of that year, after nearly five years of United Nations rule, a UN official described the situation thus: "Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo. What is happening in Kosovo must unfortunately be described as a pogrom against Serbs: churches are on fire and people are being attacked for no other reason than their ethnic background."

Prof. Lockard, who continues to defend Clinton era lies about the situation (although, charmingly, without apparently knowing they were lies), somehow missed all this. Perhaps his next article will tell us all about the weapons of mass destruction that were found in Iraq, and the "excruciating incompetence" of anyone who denies their existence."

Is This the Best They Can Do? by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

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