Date: Wed, 26 May 1999
From: Peter Meyer
Subject: Re: Iskender and Profane Time

Hi [...],

>Peter Meyer wrote:
>>[...] future development as a huge U.S.-controlled military base.
>> It will, of course, run on military time. (Still, this outcome
>> is far from certain, since the Europeans are not fools.)
>Europeans Fools? This time around the US has gotten more
>help/cooperation/poltical agreement than even during the "Gulf War".
>This to me is the most surprising aspect of this whole crazy affair
>-- assuming you were refering to the NATO bombings.

Yes. I was being a bit generous toward the Europeans in my comment above. A more accurate statement of my view is: The Europeans have been pretty foolish to allow the U.S. to drag them into this, but they are not complete fools and it is not unreasonable to expect that they will see the danger and extricate themselves before it's too late.

>I guess, even if I'd hoped for some complaints and feet draging
>from more European leaders, there is even _less_ then I'd expected.
>To me that came as a bit of a surprise. Who would have thought that
>all of the NATO militaries would join it. For example, I never would
>have guessed that the Dutch would join in so easily, nor that the
>Germans would take the opportunity to get more involved.

The European governments probably view themselves as bound by legal agreements (which is not to say they can't break any such agreements if they see fit). As regards opposition, there is a lot of it in Germany. You may have read about the recent Green Party meeting in Bielefeld, where the Greens were split in this respect (or more likely, most members were opposed to the position taken by Fischer).

>Let's hope this recent talk of more 'diplomatic' solutions actually
>starts something more productive and creative than the current
>"bombing the shit out of them 'cause we don't like what we see"

I think a U.N.-brokered end to the bombing is the best hope, but since this would mean the frustration of U.S. plans it is not sure to happen. And, as I've indicated, I think the reason for the war is not that the U.S. doesn't like the Serb regime. The U.S. has a long history of supporting dictatorships. Basically the U.S. wants its own military state in Kosovo (and has no plans to return more than a few token refugees - they'd get in the way of the military build-up).

There is some similarity to Troy. "Protecting the rights of the Albanians in Kosovo" is the trojan horse. Once admitted, the Greeks break out and take the city. The Europeans at least are not unaware of history.

Peter Meyer