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"He dead"

For some reason, that line from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" has stuck in my head ever since I heard the news about ol' Slobodan quietly kicking off in his jail cell.

Yep, Milosevic is dead, and everyone seems pretty happy about it. There doesn't seem to be any significant post factum hand-wringing about whether we did the right thing by removing this evil dictator from power.

That's odd, in a way, considering Milosevic

  1. didn't attack us on 9/11
  2. wasn't allied with al Qaeda
  3. and didn't pose a direct threat to the United States or American citizens

Not only that, but the military campaign that unseated him was not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council. And yet toppling Milosevic was just A-okay.

The reason this should be the case is left as an exercise for the reader.


Actually Barry,
Let me surprise you here. Although I think Clinton was a great president, I believe that getting involved there was the only serious mistake of his presidency. I dont think it was okay and you are right, it did not have the approval of the UN security council. I think Albright messed up in this case, and as secretary of the state she was as bad as Condoleezza Rice, if not worse.

Yes, our involvement in the Balkans was our FIRST "UN-opposed," and "utterly unprovoked" military incursion into "a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us."

The very same parameters so many naive Americans use to oppose our involvement in Iraq.

As luck would have it Korea, Vietnam, Panama and Grenada all "unprovoked" wars. In fact, the only "PROVOKED" wars that America ever got involved with against foreign nations were The War of 1812 and WW II!

But it's even worse than THAT, when comparing Iraq and the Balkans.

The squabbles in the Balkans started with the slaughter of some 3,000 Kosovo Christians by Albanian Muslims (Muslims engaging in relgious genocide? What a shocker!) back in the mid-1990s. Milosevic's "crime" was responding in kind, slaughtering nearly 10,000 Muslims in the Balkans in response.

Those troubles were all kept within the borders of the Balkans, none of those groups possessed or were developing WMDs and there was no expansionist threat from that region.

On the other hand, Iraq had previously used WMDs (yeah, the ones we sold them to fight against the Soviet-backed Iranians), had previously posed an "expansionist" threat (invading Kuwait) and DID harbor and sponsor international terrorists and not just Hammas, but al Qaeda via its Ansar al Islam camps in northern Iraq.

Oh, there's one thing BOTH places DID share in common - an international oil interest; Iraq has oil reserves that estimates pose could be larger than Saudi Arabia's, while the Balkans were critical to the connecting of the Albanian oil pipeline.

That last reason IS probably the main reason why we got involved in those places but not in Rwanda, Darfur (the Sudan) or Kashmir - the ENTIRE WORLD (including ourselves) is now oil one huge oil-based economy.

It can easily be argued that Milosevic was no threat to us or the world, either economically (as it had no huge oil reserves of its own), nor security-wise (he didn't support any international terrorism), Saddam, on the other hand DID support al Qaeda and did pose a huge economic world threat by his controlling substantial oil reserves that could've impacted world oil pricing and damaged worldwide economies.

Actually Blue, as I've stated many times, even though we and NATO jumped in on the wrong side morally in the Balkans (the Albanian Muslims were the first to use genocide and the Christian Serbs were the first victims), our economic interests trumped morality, as it always does.

The U.S. and Europe had a shared economic interest in that Albanian oil pipeline.

We really had no interest in "who was right, and who was wrong" in a "petty regional culturo-religious squabble."

It was, bottomline, the right thing to do, just as Iraq was.

our economic interests trumped morality, as it always does

What economic interests?

It was, bottomline, the right thing to do, just as Iraq was

No. They were both the wrong thing to do.

The reason for ours, and NATO's involvement in the Balkans had NOTHING to do with "genocide," Blue.

If it had, we'd have originally been involved there after the INITIAL genocide commited upon the Christian Serbs BY the Albanian Muslims...or the genocide in Darfur (in the Sudan)...or the genocide in Rwanda (WoW! 700,000 killed in just six months!)...or many other places where genocide has taken place.

NO, the reason we got involved in the Balkans with NATO was to expedite the Albanian OIL pipeline.

If you care to dispute that, I only ask that you attempt to refute it with facts, preferably some UN Reports, etc.

On a national level, ECONOMICS always trumps what we'd call personal morality, because politicians...ALL...politicians KNOW that economic issues are the ones that create wars and win & lose political power.

You know what? Politicans are RIGHT to view such things in a short-sighted way. It's their careers and their legacies that are on the line.

That's why we had no time for Rwanda, but could spare no expense when it came to the Balkans and Iraq...and sad to say, rightly so.

Take me, for instance, I'm pretty much an average American voter - stop the genocide in Rwanda and I'm worrying about the costs and why we're even there. In other words, "Where's OUR upside? But secure the world's oil supply by invading the Balkans for the sake of the Albanian oil pipeline and tell me that it'll "keep the world's supply of oil flowing at market prices," and I'm OK with that. In fact, I'm better than OK with that.

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