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"SILVER: I just find it very interesting that the Bush policy of preemption and what the president is doing now is merely a continuation of the humanitarian interventions that were embraced by liberals in the '90s."
The major problem I have with the Kosovo campaign was that destroying civillian infrastructure was
included in a "peace-keeping" mission - I don't think it was really justified in the first place, but I admit
that there was a case for it. The Bosnian intervention was plagued with problems, but at least it didn't
involved the establishment of permanent US bases
in the region. The reason the former Yugoslavia became a blip on the radar screen was because it was in Eastern Europe,
involving Europeans, and to begin with Clinton was extremely hesitant, like his predecessor, to do anything
about the ethnic strife in the region. Congress - lead by WWII vets like
Bob Dole, I'm guessing
concerned over the parallels between WWI and the regional violence - put the former Yugoslavia in our sites.
The idea that those interventions were "embraced by liberals" holds some water, the idea that they
brought it to the table in the first place doesn't.
One could argue about the
economic interests involved - and Eastern Europe
is, as is increasingly obvious now with the "old Europe" comments, of growing importance geopolitically to US planners.
The underlying focus on Iraq stems from oil interests,
the "humanitarian intervention" is being dolled up by the administration purely in terms of WMD and pre-emptive
national security - planning related to "humanitarian" concerns are all secret, behind closed doors, and the
administration continually refuses to be upfront about post-war planning while intra-administration feuding takes
place. There was, at the very least, an actual conflict taking place in the FYR.
The conflicts in Iraq that would warrant intervention on the premises "embraced by liberals" took place over ten years
The intervention in Kosovo
was supposed to end with Milosevic's total surrender and the cessation of hostilities, and then we supposedly would
go on our merry way. We didn't, but this time we're not even putting on the pretense of going on our merry way after
Saddam is ousted. We'll be there to stay, and then - if the neo-con hawks get their way - target one country
after another. This isn't merely "intervention", this is "civillizing colonialism" all over again, on
a scale orders of magnitude greater than US involvement in Eastern Europe, amidst populations grossly more antagonistic
to the West. It's never worked before without gross crimes being committed by the "civillizers", and it won't this time.