Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999
Subject: Re: Your words in print

Dear B.,

>I have done a bit more perusing of your site, and I have to tell you that I
>totally disagree with your position on Kosovo. Most wars are wrong, but in
>my opinion this is the first morally righteous war since WW II (and I say
>that as a native-born German).

Being a native-born German probably makes you more susceptible than most people to charges of genocide.

>The incredible barbarity of the Serbs had to be stopped

In this situation no-one deserves merit, so I don't wish to defend the Serbian govt., but (as a native-born German you should know that) one has to be careful of propaganda, and the tales of massacres that were being reported in Kosovo prior to March had that quality. In the worst case perhaps 50 Albanians were found shot. Who did it? I don't know and I doubt that you do. The Serbs were blamed. It may also have been CIA-inspired [and funded] KLA who were deliberately attempting (with considerable success) to create an "incident" to justify agression against Serbia. Hitler used the same trick to justify his invasions of the Sudetenland and Poland.

>and there was really nothing in this for NATO to gain.

There was a lot for the U.S. to gain ... The Rambouillet document shows that the U.S. (under the guise of NATO) demanded control of all of Yugoslavia. Having total control over a central European country would certainly be in the interests of the U.S.'s plans for world domination. Then there are the strategic minerals in Kosovo. However, it didn't work out quite as the U.S. had hoped for.

>I am not
>a naive person, but in this case I truly believe it was revulsion at the
>Serbian atrocities that caused NATO to act.

We'll have to differ on that point. Almost all (non-civil) wars are either to defend against an aggressor (and the U.S. was never threatened by Yugoslavia) or for territorial or economic gain (as was the case in this "war"). I can think of only one war that might be considered to have been conducted for moral purposes, and that was India's invasion of (then) East Pakistan. I'm a bit vague on the details now, but the Pakistani regime was not conducting itself well. However, note that India did not attempt to annex East Pakistan. Nor did it bomb civilians there (hospitals, power stations, water supplies, bridges) for ten weeks in an attempt to influence politicians in Karachi. NATO's attack upon the infrastructure of Yugoslavia, knowing the suffering that this would cause to the civilian population, was barbaric. (Could say the same of the Allies' bombing of Hamburg and Dresden, of course.)

>There was no choice but to destroy Nazi Germany

Given that the Nazis were (like the Americans now) bent on total control of the world, yes, they had to be stopped.

>but out of that destruction grew a civilized modern Germany.

Yes, I admire modern Germany.

>I am afraid the same had to happen to Serbia.

I don't believe the charge of genocide against Milosevic was justified. This was NATO propaganda. He is certainly an unlovely dictator who came to power by fanning nationalist hatred, and should be shot by his own people. But the degree of suppression of Albanian rights in Kosovo never came close to an attempt at genocide. There were other ways to handle this short of a ten-week bombing campaign leaving thousands dead (a lot more Yugoslavs were killed by Nato bombs and missiles than Albanians killed by Serbs).

>Governments may be deceitful and corrupt (I agree) but sometimes they
>actually do do something morally good.

Not in the case of Kosovo, which has been a moral disaster for everyone and it is not over yet.

Peter Meyer