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What I don't understand is why does it appear that the Green party is becoming more and more popular in Germany? For exmaple voters leaving the SPD and moving to the Green Party. What's the appeal? I read the Green Party USA Platform (Green Party USA is supposedly a spinoff of German Green Party, thanks Germany!) and I find some of it downright scary. I guess if you want to live off welfare the Green Party would of course be a God send, but why else would it appeal to people?

Sleepy,

the short answer is: they just don't get it. You can watch the sectarian view of the poltical class nearly daily in the news.

Examples?

Gesine Schwan, leftists candidate for presidency and SPD-politician, requested companies to do more against unemployment. As if the companies would be responsible for the mess and not the polticians themselves with their bureaucratic madness and taxes, etc. Since 30-40 years.

Politicians from SPD, Green and CDU (!) requested that managers should voluntarily decrease their salary and vages. Reason: Because the corporations requested longer working times and less vages from their workers, so they should give a share, too. And what about the share of the politicians, who made labour so rdiculous expensive in this country? No word.

It fits that in my place local polticians plan to safeguard the local social welfare institutions (Arbeitsamt, Sozialamt) by police from next year. Because they fear revolts of the poor and unemployed. The feeded protect themselves against those who have feeded them with taxes, etc....


So it goes on and on and on....

I am living in Germany, I am German, and I find the whole situation here downright scary.

Living like in capitalism, working like in socialism - and the difference is financed by debts, debts and more debts... Well, it was. This lame game works no longer. And they don't know what to do instead. Debts and money-spending - that's all they have learned.

And what can you request from people who are confronted with that kind of atitudes, views, etc?

Bottom-line: The state and the political parties here are the problem, not the solution. We have a nice saying for such situations: Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf (the fish stinks from the head).


Regards
klaus

Klaus, There's a spot for you at one of your companies branches over here. As I understand it, production is on the increase and the manufacturing sector should be feeling constrained fairly soon.

The Kosovo War leaves a bitter taste in my mouth for two reasons:

1) The NATO charter authorizes the alliance to wage war only in defense against an attack against one of its members. Kosovo is a part of Serbia, not a part of NATO. The Kosovo War was therefore a treaty violation.

2) In the war aftermath Islamic terrorist groups such as the Kosovo Liberation Army have been allowed to gain power. Such groups are now ethnically cleansing Serbs in Kosovo. (And, naturally, UN peacekeepers in Kosovo are turning a blind eye.)

Robert Kagan - American Power and the Crisis of Legitimacy

http://www.ceip.org/files/pdf/KaganAfterword.pdf

"These days most Europeans argue, as do some Americans, that by invading Iraq without the Security Council’s approval, the United States has “torn the fabric of the international order.” But if there ever was an international order of the kind they describe, then Europe undermined
it in 1999, too."

The Yale reader fails to note the obvious--Kosovo was an ongoing genocide. If Saddam had actually been conducting a genocidal campaign at the time America wanted to depose him, then getting a UN Resolution or at least Nato support would have been relatively easy.

Fischer's arguments are perfectly consistent.

@The Yale reader fails to note the obvious...

I see, Ludwig, Kosovo was an "ongoing genocide," as opposed to Saddam's mass murders, which were, no doubt, a mere "pruning of the population." Your definitions may serve to make Fisher's arguments "perfectly consistent," but they don't make much difference to people lying in mass graves, Ludwig. Unfortunately, they also bear no resemblance to reality. Why don't you go back and Google how many people Milosevic actually killed in Kosovo before the bombs started falling, Ludwig, and then tell us with a straight face that he was "committing genocide," but that Saddam's attacks on the Shiite and Kurd populations in Iraq, in spite of "routine" mass murder, in spite of ethnic cleansing and replacement of native populations by Saddam's favored Sunni Arabs, were nothing of the kind. You can "win" arguments by playing games with definitions ad nauseum, Ludwig, but it won't change the reality of what happened in Iraq one iota.

@ Ludwig

Wrong, wrong, wrong...

The System Saddam was one of permanent genoicide.
As the prisons liberated in the aftermath show, working at a death rate of 95 % of the prisoners, this state was one of permanent killing. Killing to keep the system.

This form of politics began in 1967 with the killing of leader of the putsch and one year later with the killing of jews as "spies".

The killing from there on went in silence.
The League of freed prisoners estimated that without the topple of saddam, 70.000 people would have died in the prisons in the time after 9. April.
We can calculate this also for the time Blix was in Iraq searching WMD and missing the point.
Politics in Iraq with Saddam was one of genoicide - like destillation of the perfect human being out of the iraqi people.
In the thirties the idea of the "manufacture of death" was designed to create a people of killers by hardening the people in the hardest way. The best way is of course to kill relatives to iniciate hatred, just hatred, against anybody moving.
The racial hallmarks (kurds, etc.) aren't missing because it was a war of the Government against it people.

Watch indict.org.uk

The sadistic behaviour of few turned into a "manufacture of death". You are mislead if you believe that there was no genoicide and human rights violation in Iraq until the morning of 9.April.

And regarding French refusal for UN human rights inspectors in Iraq and other things, and first of all, the genoicide in Iraq was known since the seventies and the will to kill people no matter who, could be seen in the Bagdad Butchery of 1968.
We can see it in Sudan now, the "decent" UN Members France or other aren't willing to stop genoicides.

@ Ludwig,

To deny that Saddam's regime was engaged in murder and human rights abuses including rape, torture and imprisonment of political prisoners (including children) on a large scale up until the day the war broke out is entirely consistent with the shockingly cynical Green way of thinking.

That isn't even to mention the countless numbers who died of starvation or lack of medical care because Saddam and his cronies corruptly abused the UN oil-for-food programs at the expense of the Iraqi people.

Now people like Ludwig are trying to redefine the term "genocide" so that they can look at themselves with a clear conscience in the morning and reassure themselves that their way of thinking is "entirely consistent." And they accuse Bush of dealing too much in black and white...

I`d like to recommend this article on the topic "Germany and Kosovo":
http://matthiaskuentzel.de/artikel.php?artikelID=01
there is lots more on this page, unfortunally not translated.

I'm sure they'll figure it out right before they come up with an exit plan for Bosnia and Kosovo.

"If Saddam had actually been conducting a genocidal campaign at the time America wanted to depose him, then getting a UN Resolution or at least Nato support would have been relatively easy."

Sure. Number of SC conventions regarding Sudan so far: 0. Number of UN resolutions concerning Sudan so far: 0. (The UN is too busy condemning Israel.)

ludwig,

To describe Joschka Fischer as consistent either requires an immense amount of blindness/ignorance or chupze beyond reasoning. If your attitude stems from the former, go and read about what happened in Iraq; if it derives from the latter, rationality fails anyway.

Genocide is a Meister from Germany

"(...) People ask, why this big deal about Saddam? "Isn't X evil too, and what about Y, and how can you possibly ignore Z?" But we aren't automata; we are able to make distinctions. Some evil is beyond our power to stop. That doesn't absolve us from stopping what we can. All cruelty is bad. Yet some cruel and evil men are worse than others. By any standard we did right by overthrowing Saddam--and do wrong by denying or belittling that fact. (...)

I suggest only diffidently that the world's indifference to the Coalition's achievement resembles its long-running, well-established lack of interest in Hitler's crimes. I don't claim that Saddam resembles Hitler; I do claim that the world's indifference to Saddam resembles its indifference to Hitler.

The Holocaust was unique--"fundamentally different," the German philosopher Karl Jaspers wrote, "from all crimes that have existed in the past." Hitler's mission was to convert Germany and eventually all Europe into an engine of annihilating Jew-hatred. He tore the heart out of the Jewish nation. There is nothing "universal" or "paradigmatic" about the Holocaust, and next to Hitler, Saddam is a mere child with a boyish love of torture and mass murder.

Yet Saddam, like Hitler, murdered people sadistically and systematically for the crime of being born. Saddam, like Hitler, believed that mass murder should be efficient, with minimal fuss and bother; it is no accident that both were big believers in poison gas. Saddam's program, like Hitler's, attracted all sorts of sadists; many of Saddam's and Hitler's crimes were not quite as no-fuss, no-muss as the Big Boss preferred. Evidently Saddam, like Hitler, did not personally torture his prisoners, but Saddam (like Hitler) allowed and condoned torture that will stand as a black mark against mankind forever.

Hitler was in a profoundly, fundamentally different league. And yet the distinction is unlikely to have mattered much to a Kurd mother watching her child choke to death on poison gas, or a Shiite about to be diced to bloody pulp. The colossal scale and the routine, systematic nature of torture and murder under Saddam puts him in a special category too. Saddam was small compared with Hitler, yet he was like Hitler not only in what he wanted but in what he did. When we marched into Iraq, we halted a small-scale holocaust.

I could understand people disagreeing with this claim, arguing that Saddam was evil but not that kind of evil, not evil enough to deserve being discussed in those terms. But the opposition I hear doesn't dwell on the nature of Saddam's crimes. It dwells on the nature of America's--our mistakes, our malfeasance, our "lies." It sounds loonier and farther from reality all the time, more and more like the Holocaust Shrug.

Turning away is not evil; it is merely human. And that's bad enough. For years I myself found it easy to ignore or shrug off Saddam's reported crimes. I had no love for Iraq or Iraqis. Before and during the war I wrote pieces suggesting that Americans not romanticize Iraqis; that we understand postwar Iraq more in terms of occupied Germany than liberated France. But during and after the war it gradually became impossible to ignore the staggering enormity of what Saddam had committed against his own people. And when we saw those mass graveyards and torture chambers, heard more and more victims speak, watched those videotapes, the conclusion became inescapable: This war was screamingly, shriekingly necessary.

But instead of exulting in our victory, too many of us shrug and turn away and change the subject. (...)"

In proportion to population, which are the countries in the Western world that cried the loudest that the war against Saddam were illegitimate, that he posed no imminent threat to anyone? Hm?

Connect the dots.

To the Yale reader - no offense, but you need to get out of your bubble more. This is one reason there's a divide.

You think the Germans are bad, start visiting No Pasaran and peruse Merdeinfrance's archives - merde now posts at No Parasan.

One could gleen this by reading the international and business sections of American papers over the past 20-odd years - although it's been going on a lot longer than that.

Also visit biasedbbc.blogspot.

It's been a concerted effort for decades, if not 2 centuries. We've upset their world vision, you see. Have from the start. Ever wonder why they've never chosen to try our way? They've had ample opportunity.

Also read Revel's Anti-americanism.

Congrats and welcome aboard to the real world. It sucks to grow up, but grow up we must.

addition:

Saddam personally killed people.

Read www.indict.org.uk

And Saddam gave in the putsch of 1963 lists where prisoner could choose the way how to be tortured.

Mad, madder, saddam...

Here's the link:

http://www.freeq8.com/i/killer1.JPG

the picture is enough to prove...

The real reason for NATO intervention in Kosovo was that France and Germany didn't want the refugees.

That was a civil war. The undercurrent being that NATO could say: Don't bomb us, look how we saved those Albanian Kosovars!

Cowboy Bush leads his contry's economy to 5.6% unemployment rate. Chirac and Schroeder can't get their economies under control.

With all due respect, Mike*, you sound like an idiot.

*) just quoting your mind fellow

I agree with Mike about the refugees..
I live in Germany and people are ALWAYS complaining about the Asylum seekers.. from the former Yugoslavia.
One of the scapegoats for all that is wrong with Germany.. people complain about it all the time.
I believe one of the reasons the German government went along with the war was to prevent a new wave of refugees. Cynical? yes... but I believe it based on the amount of complaining I hear about Asylis...

Shortly after World War I careful demographic studies were done in the Balkans, including Kosovo. The area was predominantly Serbian. During the ensuing years the Albanians moved in and became the majority by virtue of reproducing more rapidly. The "principle" NATO apparently established was that it is legitimate for non-indigenous ethnic groups to move in and carve up neighboring countries at will in this way. All they need to do is engage in enough separatist violence to provoke the leaders of the countries they have invaded into stupid and brutal counter-measures that can be fobbed off as genocide. I wonder if the Clinton Administration ever considered the eventual effect application of this "principle" might have on the southwest of the United States, or, for that matter, on a large number of European countries. In retrospect it seems like we were "disinterested" to a fault in saving the Kosovars. Does anyone know the current leftist party line about what our "true" nefarious purposes were in that conflict. Did we have another oil pipeline up our sleeve, or were we awed by the incredible strategic significance of Kosovo? Perhaps we wanted to corner the world's supply of slivovitz?

Do you think we can demand an exit plan from the Balkans?

Over and over and over and over and over.....

Another aspect to the comparison between the US war on Iraq and the NATO attack on Yugoslavia ought to be the following point concerning the background of Security Council resolutions to each conflict.

Since 1991 Iraq had been under order of the Security Council to prove affirmatively that it no longer had WMD. Moreover, the end of hostilities in the Gulf War was conditional on Iraq's acceptance of this provision. This at least provides some legal justification, whether sufficient or not I don't claim to decide, for the US/British invasion of Iraq.

To those who defend NATO's war on Yugoslavia, and Germany's part in it, I would like to ask, what Security Council resolutions justified NATO (Germany) in attacking Yugoslavia to defend the interests of the Kosovar Albanians?

It seems to me that from the standpoint of formal legality, as defined by UN Security Council resolutions, there is a better case to be made for the legitimacy of the war on Iraq than the war on Yugoslavia. This is not how I, personally, justify the war in Iraq, but since the German government lays claim to the mantle of international legality and attacks the Iraq war on this basis, it seems like a fair point to put Schroeder and Fischer.

and don't forget Iraq was firing on our planes in the no fly zone.. Our planes had a right to be there- per the agreement with Saddam.
Any other country (read Russia) would have swatted Saddam like a fly then and there (read Chechnya), but the US with all its power.. waited..

"Mind fellow"? Learn some English, Garby, it might help you to understand this site better. And come up with your own insults. Better yet, try using arguments and facts.

Actually, I don't like the drift of the Kosovo discussion. Fact is that until the late 90's the majority of Kosovars were not terrorists but a people being oppressed. We had seen genocide in Bosnia conducted and executed by Serbian militias which received their orders straight from Belgrade. In Srebrenica some 7.000 men and boys had been slaughtered. Overall more than 200.000 people, most of which were civilians, lost their lives in the so-called Bosnian civil war, which in fact was a war waged by Belgrade against the Croatian and Muslim population in Bosnia.

I don't mind if there were criminals among high-ranking leaders of the Kosovar resistance. Sure there were some, but the same Serbian militias that attempted ethnic cleansing in Bosnia at the command of Slobodan Milosevic were sent to Kosovo to try the exact same. Isn't that genocide? What's the treshold of the number of terrorists in a population so that it's not terrorism but resistance? 100 terrorists? 275?

Let's not confuse facts with fiction. There was not state-controlled terrorism in Kosovo when Milosevic sent his thugs.

The trouble only started after the NATO bombing when inexperienced and corrupt United Nations officials took hold of Kosovo, allowing foreign terrorists and criminals to gain hold in the executive and judicative branches of the autonomous Kosovarian government.

But it is wrong to assume these were Muslim terrorists starting trouble all the way along.

@Yours Digitally

I'm sure there's room for debate about the significance of the events leading up the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia. The fact remains that the result in Kosovo has been the de facto dismemberment of a sovereign state, the continuing ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of Serbs, and, incidentally, the conversion to Muslim territory of an area that had remained Christian through more than half a millenium of Turkish rule. In a word, it has resulted in what, according to Fischer's definition, amounts to genocide against the Serbs. It is also a fact that the Albanians were not satisfied with this success, but, on the contrary, were emboldened to continue similar irredentist campaigns in Macedonia and the rump Serbian state. Finally, it is a fact that, as our troops patrol the streets of Baghdad, they seldom encounter anyone shedding tears of gratitude for our magnanimous acts in the Balkans, or, for that matter, our ending of the famine in Somalia or freeing of the small Muslim country of Kuwait from a secular dictator. I think these are facts we should not ignore the next time our altruistic impulses suggest some similar heroic act.

The ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Kosovo was a plan that existed well in 1989 when Milosevic held his infamous speech on the Amselfeld (kosovo polje) speaking of Greater Serbia. The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo as conducted now by Muslim terrorists was not planned until after the NATO intervention.

We were right in freeing the Kosovarian people, we were wrong in sending the United Nations there which now enable the same terror right under her eyes that prevails in the PA and elsewhere.

200,000 people lost their lives to Serbian militias? Just where does that number come from?

Not to mention the fact that some here are totally indifferent to the fact that NATO forces bombed innocent Serbs in order to force Milosovic out.

The lst time I was in Germany, all I heard from those I spoke with was their disdain for Turkish workers, Slovenian, Croatian, and other refugees.

The German people are experiencing a "Drang nach Westen!"

In order to eliminate confusion as to which Mike is which, I will post as Newsance in the future.

In the above post the word "lst" should read "last."

The problem that most young Germans have is that their view of the US is predicated on having read too many Karl May novels and not having any real understanding of American history nor their own.

@ Kid:

"Learn some English, Garby, it might help you to understand this site better. And come up with your own insults. Better yet, try using arguments and facts."

Kid, leave Gabi alone. She writes English well. She is a friend of the United States, and I believe she is married to an American.

Note from David: George, Garby is not Gabi.

@Digitally

"The ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Kosovo was a plan that existed well in 1989 when Milosevic held his infamous speech on the Amselfeld (kosovo polje) speaking of Greater Serbia."

The known facts about what Milosevic actually did are, I think, of more significance than conjecture about what he planned to do.

"The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo as conducted now by Muslim terrorists was not planned until after the NATO intervention."

The de facto secession and ethnic cleansing of Kosovo following a successful bombing campaign were entirely predictable regardless of whether Muslim terrorists eventually became involved or not.

"We were right in freeing the Kosovarian people, we were wrong in sending the United Nations there which now enable the same terror right under her eyes that prevails in the PA and elsewhere."

Again, the terror was entirely predictable, and would have occurred regardless of the relative level of involvement of the UN, or anyone else. The commitment to stop it after the bombing had ceased never existed a priori, and the idea that such a commitment would have magically evolved under some different combination of involvement by the UN or NATO is a pipe dream. You can argue that we were "right" to "free the Kosovarian people" if you like, but don't pretend that the consequences of this "liberation" were anything other than entirely predictable. The partition of Serbia and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo were virtually inevitable once the first bomb was dropped. If you drop a piano from the fifth floor and it lands on someone's head, you are still responsible even if you really didn't want the law of gravity to take effect. You may claim that, for some reason, it was still right to drop the piano, but the squashed corpse will be there in any case.

"The known facts about what Milosevic actually did are, I think, of more significance than conjecture about what he planned to do."

So in the face of more than 200.000 dead Bosnians - which is totally in line with Milosevic's 1989 speech predicting an uprisal of Serbs all over the planet - we should have waited for evidence in Kosovo? Interesting.

"The de facto secession and ethnic cleansing of Kosovo following a successful bombing campaign were entirely predictable regardless of whether Muslim terrorists eventually became involved or not."

Why predictable?

"Again, the terror was entirely predictable, and would have occurred regardless of the relative level of involvement of the UN, or anyone else."

Why predictable?

"The commitment to stop it after the bombing had ceased never existed a priori, and the idea that such a commitment would have magically evolved under some different combination of involvement by the UN or NATO is a pipe dream."

Peace is not a matter of magic. It requires a powerful institution to enforce public order and hunt down criminials. In fact in Kosovo both NATO and UN failed to establish such a police force but instead allowed the UCK a.k.a. KLA to roam freely.

"You can argue that we were "right" to "free the Kosovarian people" if you like, but don't pretend that the consequences of this "liberation" were anything other than entirely predictable."

Why and how predictable?

"The partition of Serbia and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo were virtually inevitable once the first bomb was dropped."

You know, repeating your claims about some allegedly predicted results won't spare you from presenting facts to undermine that point. I've scanned your post repeatedly and found none so far.

Here's a hint for you to undermine your case. It's free.

Osama Bin Laden was issued a Bosnian passport by Bosnian-Muslim authorities in the 90's. (Didn't know that, did you?) So, in a sense, Osama Bin Ladin is the citizen of a country right in the middle of Europe.

But I guess we won't see a movie connecting that dots anytime soon.

@Digitally

"So in the face of more than 200.000 dead Bosnians - which is totally in line with Milosevic's 1989 speech predicting an uprisal of Serbs all over the planet - we should have waited for evidence in Kosovo? Interesting."

This is your comment, not mine. Don't put words in my mouth.

"Why predictable?"

It has certainly not been exceptional historically for ethnic or religious groups that have gained the upper hand in population or power over other groups living in their midst to “ethnically cleanse” that other group, either by annihilation or physical relocation. When the weaker has done something to provoke hatred in the stronger, such a reaction is almost inevitable. Examples include the virtual elimination of the original, Welsh and Britannic populations in the Anglo-Saxon areas of England, the destruction of the Moorish populations in France and Spain following the reconquest, the elimination of the Huquenots in France, the annihilation of numerous tribes of Indians in the Americas, the elimination of Jewish populations in various parts of Europe over the centuries, culminating in the holocaust, the elimination of the German populations of the Sudetenland and what is now western Poland, the annihilation of the original, Slavic populations of large regions bordering the North Sea in the Germanic “Drang nach Osten,” the virtual annihilation of the Ainu in Japan, the Armenian holocaust in Turkey, etc., etc., etc. One could cite hundreds of similar cases. More to the point, immediately before the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs in Kosovo, a similar and entirely analogous ethnic cleansing of Serbs took place in the Krajina region of Croatia, where the Croats had gained the upper hand over a Serb population that had occupied the area for hundreds of years. The claim that, under the circumstances, the fate of Kosovo and the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs could not have been foreseen, that after the ethnic cleansing of Krajina it was "surprising" that Kosovo suffered a similar fate, simply attests to the historical blindness of the person making the claim. Similarly, the idea that it was somehow unforseeable that the Albanians would attempt to detach Kosovo from Serbia once they had gained the upper hand in spite of the wholesale spintering of the entire region along ethnic lines over the previous decase, is ludicrous.

"Peace is not a matter of magic. It requires a powerful institution to enforce public order and hunt down criminials. In fact in Kosovo both NATO and UN failed to establish such a police force but instead allowed the UCK a.k.a. KLA to roam freely."

The political will to establish such a police force never existed. There was no reason to expect that, given the nature of the leadership of the countries and organizations involved, such a police force would magically spring into existence. Again, the result was predictable.

I'll pick this quote, "The claim that, under the circumstances, the fate of Kosovo and the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs could not have been foreseen, that after the ethnic cleansing of Krajina it was "surprising" that Kosovo suffered a similar fate, simply attests to the historical blindness of the person making the claim.", as I think it's the pivotal point of your arguments.

Your point is easily refuted. Look at Bosnia. No ethnic cleansing after the conflict was silenced.

You are standing on thin ice, helian.

"There was no reason to expect that, given the nature of the leadership of the countries and organizations involved, such a police force would magically spring into existence."

There are American GIs all over the place in Bosnia securing the freedom. There are multinational forces all over the place in Kosovo. You're right that in hindsight it was wrong to assume Pakistani and Burmese peacekeepers in Kosovo could accomplish what American soldiers did in Bosnia. But we could not foresee back then that ex-militias would be ideologized by Chechen and Uzbek fighters, and built up by Saudi terror financers. Only in the late 90's we saw that e.g. in Bosnia more than 200 huge Mosques have been financed and built by the Royal Saud family. Still we thought it were a regional phenomenon soon to fade away.

Remember that it was 1999. Al Qaeda did not exist on the political landscape in 1999. Were you the one who said in 1999, "Kosovo will fail because Al Qaeda and the Saud family are putting money and efforts into Muslim terrorism?" I could not hear you.

(Psst. It's high time for a rowback, helian.)

@Digitally

"Your point is easily refuted. Look at Bosnia. No ethnic cleansing after the conflict was silenced."

I have no doubt that you're refuting all my points with ease in your imagination, Digitally. I'm not so sure you're convincing anyone else. OK, I'm looking at Bosnia. Ah, I see it has been chopped into two ethnic enclaves, one Serb and one Bosniak/Croat. Ethnic cleansing of these enclaves was a fait accompli before Dayton. Why, exactly, should we have expected it to continue afterwards? The last I looked, the Serb enclave was as insistent as ever in its demands for independence. In a word, Bosnia is hardly a poster child for ethnic harmony.

I don't know of any prophets who can predict the future with absolute certainty. At best, one can speak of things that are highly probable. That's the extent of "predictability" in the real world, but, unless we feel paralysis is an option, we have to act based on these probabilities. I've cited my reasons for claiming that what happened in Kosovo was predictable. In the event, what happened, happened. Unless you want to claim that we had not the hint of a clue, whether from the study of history, human behavior, or whatever, that what really happened was going to take place, that it was a complete historical anomaly, beyond anything one could have expected in like circumstances, then it was certainly, at least to some extent, predictable. If you claim otherwise, Digitally, you're the one who's skating on thin ice.

"Unless you want to claim that we had not the hint of a clue ... blah"

It was you who made strong remarks about the predictability, remember? So I happily accept the rowback you exercised in your last paragraph ("things that are highly probable" etc.)

Hm. Just wondering. What does your magical mirror tell us about Sudan right now? What's the probability ... err, I mean: predictabiliy of a genocide once we step in there and leave one or the other party as winners? 43.2%? 69.158%?

@Digitally

“It was you who made strong remarks about the predictability, remember? So I happily accept the rowback you exercised in your last paragraph ("things that are highly probable" etc.”

Rowback, Digitally? Only ones rowing back here are you and the Helian strawman you’ve invented to redefine my words for me. Guess no one can blame you for inventing Helian surrogates. You haven’t been doing so well against the real thing. Let’s see. You’ve been trying to tell us that the separation of Kosovo from Serbia and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs and other minorities after the 1999 bombing were unpredictable. In reply I noted that history affords numerous examples of what happened in Kosovo when one ethnic group gains the upper hand over another. More specifically, I cited the biggest incidence of ethnic cleansing in the whole Balkan conflict, the killing or driving out of 300,000 Serbs from the Krajina region by the Croats, whose Ustashi terrorists bear a striking resemblance to the Albanian KLA. You didn’t address this earlier incidence of ethnic cleansing, evidently considering it a complete historical anomaly, with no connection to anything else in the real world whatsoever. Instead, you brought up Bosnia as a “counter-example.” However, as I pointed out, Bosnia had already been ethnically cleansed prior to the agreements of 1995, and is now neatly separated into Serb and Bosniak/Croat enclaves. In spite of this you still maintain your “unpredictability” argument. Perhaps we should look at a little historical source material. You claim that the de facto independence of Kosovo after the bombing couldn’t be foreseen, but, according to the Rambouillet agreement Albright stuffed down Yugoslavia’s throat before the bombing:

· "Kosovo will have a president, prime minister and government, an assembly, its own Supreme Court, constitutional court and other courts and prosecutors."
· "Kosovo will have the authority to make laws not subject to revision by Serbia or Yugoslavia, including levying taxes, instituting programs of economic, scientific, technological, regional and social development, conducting foreign relations in the same manner as a Republic."
· "Yugoslav army forces will withdraw completely from Kosovo, except for a limited border guard force (active only within a 5 km border zone)"; the same was to apply to all Serb police forces.
· "The parties invite NATO to deploy a military force (KFOR), which will be authorized to use necessary force to ensure compliance with the accords."
· "The international community will ensure that these provisions are carried out through a Civilian Implementation Mission appointed by NATO."
· The Chief of the CIM may issue "binding directives to the Parties on all matters he sees fit, including appointing and removing officials and curtailing institutions."
· "Three years after the implementation of the Accords, an international meeting will be convened to determine a final settlement for Kosovo on the basis of the will of the people."

Hmmm, looks a lot like independence to me. As for the ethnic cleansing of Serbs, it was not only predictable, it was in fact predicted, and it happened. For example, in an article that appeared in the NYT on March 29, 1999, long before the end of the bombing, it was claimed that the USA was giving too simple explanations for events in Kosovo. The article accused America (with ample justification) of "marrying" a new partner, the so-called KLA or Kosovo Liberation Army, and reminded us that the goal of that terrorist group was "not only independence, but also expelling Serbs out of the Province [Kosovo]" – in other words, ethnic cleansing. It noted that about 60% of the Serbian minority in Kosovo had been expelled from the Province by the KLA before NATO's war against Serbia even began; yet this fact was seldom mentioned in the Western press.

The KLA, warned the New York Times, is "a mixture of the leftovers of the Marxist-Leninist conception taken over from neighbouring Albania and the descendants of Albanian fascists from World War II". The article further noted that the KLA's dream is "the creation of a so-called Greater Albania which would spread over Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro", i.e. ethnic cleansing of Serbs. The terrorist organisation has "little tolerance for other ethnic groups" and carries out "kidnappings, executions and the burning of Serbian villages". It is well armed with around 30,000 automatic rifles and anti-tank and other weapons.

What more can you say?

Aware that his attempts to engage in a real debate are floundering, Digitally pulls the superior virtue card:

“Hm. Just wondering. What does your magical mirror tell us about Sudan right now? What's the probability ... err, I mean: predictabiliy of a genocide once we step in there and leave one or the other party as winners? 43.2%? 69.158%?”

I didn’t realize you were one of the professionally virtuous, digitally. Doesn’t forum protocol require you to announce your moral superiority before entering a debate?

"You’ve been trying to tell us that the separation of Kosovo from Serbia and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs and other minorities after the 1999 bombing were unpredictable."

Wrong. Use the Search function of your browser. I never said anything like that. I questioned your claims that the result of ethnic cleansing as conducted by Kosovarian terrorists were predictable.

"I cited the biggest incidence of ethnic cleansing in the whole Balkan conflict, the killing or driving out of 300,000 Serbs from the Krajina region by the Croats"

Wrong. In the whole conflict there were about 200.000 dead Serbs, Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks. Actually, around 10% of the victims were Serbs. Your figure of the "killing or driving out of 300,000 Serbs" is nowhere near reality. Go google.

"whose Ustashi terrorists bear a striking resemblance to the Albanian KLA"

Strangely enough there were never any Croat paramilitary forces in the 90's which went by the name Ustashi. Actually the Ustasha were Croatian SS forces from WW2.

"You didn’t address this earlier incidence of ethnic cleansing"

Actually, the departure of Krajina Serbs was part of the Dayton treaty.

"In spite of this you still maintain your “unpredictability” argument."

[Copy'n'paste] Wrong. Use the Search function of your browser. I never said anything like that. I questioned your claims that the result of ethnic cleansing as conducted by Kosovarian terrorists were predictable.

"You claim that the de facto independence of Kosovo after the bombing couldn’t be foreseen"

[Copy'n'paste] Wrong. Use the Search function of your browser. I never said anything like that. I questioned your claims that the result of ethnic cleansing as conducted by Kosovarian terrorists were predictable.

"according to the Rambouillet agreement Albright stuffed down Yugoslavia’s throat"

... which Yugoslavia did not accept. So the whole point which spans millions of lines below that sentence is futile.

"The article accused America (with ample justification) of "marrying" a new partner, the so-called KLA or Kosovo Liberation Army, and reminded us that the goal of that terrorist group was "not only independence, but also expelling Serbs out of the Province [Kosovo]" – in other words, ethnic cleansing. It noted that about 60% of the Serbian minority in Kosovo had been expelled from the Province by the KLA before NATO's war against Serbia even began; yet this fact was seldom mentioned in the Western press."

The New Yorks Times seems to have the same rare Gift Of Foresight as Mr. Helian. So let's see. You want to tell me that the KLA with ... how many members? 1.000? were able to expel 60% of the Serbian minority from Kosovo. Hm. The Serbian police force in Kosovo at that time measured more than 50.000 boots. So 50.000 boots could not stop the KLA from driving out 60% of the Serbian minority in Kosovo.

Sure.

"The KLA, warned the New York Times, is "a mixture of the leftovers of the Marxist-Leninist conception taken over from neighbouring Albania and the descendants of Albanian fascists from World War II". The article further noted that the KLA's dream is "the creation of a so-called Greater Albania which would spread over Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro", i.e. ethnic cleansing of Serbs. The terrorist organisation has "little tolerance for other ethnic groups" and carries out "kidnappings, executions and the burning of Serbian villages". It is well armed with around 30,000 automatic rifles and anti-tank and other weapons."

30.000 automatic rifles. But only around 1.000 "soldiers", a figure which your article omitted, or which you did not quote by intention.

1.000 soldiers, each carrying 30 automatic rifles, fighting 50.000 Serbs. No, not only fighting them, but at the same time the KLA expels 60% of the Serbian minority in Kosovo.

Geez.

"What more can you say?"

*poop*

"Digitally pulls the superior virtue card:"

No, it was merely envy. Unfortunately the Creator did not bless me with the Gift Of Foresight.

"Doesn’t forum protocol require you to announce your moral superiority before entering a debate?"

I would merely call it factual superiority, dude.

@Digitally

"Wrong. Use the Search function of your browser. I never said anything like that. I questioned your claims that the result of ethnic cleansing as conducted by Kosovarian terrorists were predictable."

I see, by questioning my claims that the result was predictable you didn't mean to imply it was unpredictable. You just gave me that as an "exercise for the student."

"Wrong. In the whole conflict there were about 200.000 dead Serbs, Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks. Actually, around 10% of the victims were Serbs. Your figure of the "killing or driving out of 300,000 Serbs" is nowhere near reality. Go google."

Killing is not the same as driving out. Go Google yourself. Krauthammer wrote that 150,000 were driven out in one four day period. The total number I've seen at a variety of sources on the web ranges from 250,000 to 350,000

"Strangely enough there were never any Croat paramilitary forces in the 90's which went by the name Ustashi. Actually the Ustasha were Croatian SS forces from WW2."

The Croat forces marching into Krajina carried Ustashi flags and wore Ustashi symbols. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck...

"Actually, the departure of Krajina Serbs was part of the Dayton treaty."

I see, ethnic cleansing is OK if it's in the Dayton Treaty.

"'according to the Rambouillet agreement Albright stuffed down Yugoslavia’s throat'
... which Yugoslavia did not accept. So the whole point which spans millions of lines below that sentence is futile."

In fact, for all practical purposes, Yugoslavia did accept it. The only outstanding issue was the nature of the force to be deployed in Kosovo. The reason it was finally rejected was a last-minute U.S. demand for a three-year transition to independence of the region, further confirming my point that a consequence of our "victory" was the partition of Yugoslavia.

"30.000 automatic rifles. But only around 1.000 "soldiers", a figure which your article omitted, or which you did not quote by intention."

On March 24th the US Government estimated that the KLA had a total of 6,000 to 8,000 people in Kosovo and Albania with perhaps 2,000 to 4,000 in Kosovo -- up to half may have been in Kosovo at any one time. By late May the US Government estimated that the KLA had grown to a total of 17,000 to 20,000 in both Kosovo and Albania, with perhaps as many as 15,000 in Kosovo at any one time.

You just gave me that as an "exercise for the student."

Exactly.

"The Croat forces marching into Krajina carried Ustashi flags and wore Ustashi symbols. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck..."

So 200 Neonazis marching in Passau means that the NSDAP has taken hold of Germany 2004.

"I see, ethnic cleansing is OK if it's in the Dayton Treaty."

Go complain to the Serb leaders who signed that treaty and told their fellows to leave the Krajina in exchange for the Srpska Republika in Bosnia.

"The reason it was finally rejected was a last-minute U.S. demand for a three-year transition to independence of the region"

... while that was the whole point of that plan, the secession of the Kosovo. The Yugoslavians rejected it.

"On March 24th the US Government estimated that the KLA had a total of 6,000 to 8,000 people in Kosovo and Albania with perhaps 2,000 to 4,000 in Kosovo -- up to half may have been in Kosovo at any one time. By late May the US Government estimated that the KLA had grown to a total of 17,000 to 20,000 in both Kosovo and Albania, with perhaps as many as 15,000 in Kosovo at any one time."

Whatever. My point was that in 1999 there were no more than 1.000 armed forces in the KLA/UCK. Do you still want to tell me that 1.000 badly trained KLA heads could not only fight 50.000 Serbs successfully but also expel 60% of the Serbian people?

By the way, the Serbian Army had up to 200.000 armed soldiers at any time. Do the math. Or better, pick up the common sense you left at the door of David's.

@Digitally

"So 200 Neonazis marching in Passau means that the NSDAP has taken hold of Germany 2004."

Most analogies only muddy the water, and this one is really lame. In fact, Ustashi influence and tradition have been strong in the Croat forces from the start.

"'I see, ethnic cleansing is OK if it's in the Dayton Treaty.'
Go complain to the Serb leaders who signed that treaty and told their fellows to leave the Krajina in exchange for the Srpska Republika in Bosnia."

I see, your answer to that one is, "yes." I'll keep it in mind for future reference.

"... while that was the whole point of that plan, the secession of the Kosovo. The Yugoslavians rejected it."

Exactly my point. Evidently you think NATO had a perfect right to arbitrarily carve up another sovereign state that had not attacked any of its members. Where do you find that in its charter?

"Whatever. My point was that in 1999 there were no more than 1.000 armed forces in the KLA/UCK. Do you still want to tell me that 1.000 badly trained KLA heads could not only fight 50.000 Serbs successfully but also expel 60% of the Serbian people?"

Working in an area the size of Kosovo that was 90% mostly sympathetic Albanian and 10% Serb, I think 1000 KLA could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time would convince 60% of the Serb population to "voluntarily" leave the province, and that is exactly what happened.

"In fact, Ustashi influence and tradition have been strong in the Croat forces from the start."

... just as Nazi influence and tradition have been strong in the Deutsche Bundeswehr from the start. What's the point? All Bundeswehrsoldaten are Nazis?

"I see, your answer to that one is, "yes." I'll keep it in mind for future reference."

It's Ok because it was no ethnic cleansing. When millions of Germans leave Mallorca after their vacation is that "ethnic cleansing", too?

"Evidently you think NATO had a perfect right to arbitrarily carve up another sovereign state that had not attacked any of its members. Where do you find that in its charter?"

Where in the Constitution does it read that it's Ok to beat up someone when he pissed in your open mouth?

"Working in an area the size of Kosovo that was 90% mostly sympathetic Albanian and 10% Serb, I think 1000 KLA could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time would convince 60% of the Serb population to "voluntarily" leave the province, and that is exactly what happened."

Helian's rowback, pt. 2. From "easily predictable" to "could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time ... and that is exactly what happened". I'm totally with you when you state it like that.

For a true "rowback" check out Marc Pitzke's "drastic correction" to the Bush-meter. Row, row, row your boat...

"Working in an area the size of Kosovo that was 90% mostly sympathetic Albanian and 10% Serb, I think 1000 KLA could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time would convince 60% of the Serb population to "voluntarily" leave the province, and that is exactly what happened."

As for the argument itself - 50.000 Serbian soldiers could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time would convince 100% of the Albanian population to "voluntarily" leave the province, but that's not what happened. What happened was that hundreds of Kosovarian houses have been burned to the ground by Serbian paramilitary forces, and more than 100.000 Kosovars left the Kosovo for Albania and Makedonia. That's what is called ethnic cleansing.

Helian, not all Kosovars are terrorists.

@Digitally

"... just as Nazi influence and tradition have been strong in the Deutsche Bundeswehr from the start. What's the point? All Bundeswehrsoldaten are Nazis?"

"It's Ok because it was no ethnic cleansing. When millions of Germans leave Mallorca after their vacation is that "ethnic cleansing", too?"

"Where in the Constitution does it read that it's Ok to beat up someone when he pissed in your open mouth?"

Do you really think all these contrived analogies are convincing yourself, Digitally? As tools for approaching the truth they're about on a paar with the catchy slogans of peace demonstrators. Anyone with any doubts about the extent to which the ethnic cleansing of Krajina was "voluntary" will find ample information about it, both pro and con, on the web. I think anyone with an open mind will find that it had little in common with Germans leaving Mallorca.

"As for the argument itself - 50.000 Serbian soldiers could easily have created an atmosphere of intimidation that, over time would convince 100% of the Albanian population to "voluntarily" leave the province, but that's not what happened. What happened was that hundreds of Kosovarian houses have been burned to the ground by Serbian paramilitary forces, and more than 100.000 Kosovars left the Kosovo for Albania and Makedonia. That's what is called ethnic cleansing."

Again, anyone with any illusions about the real need for Albright's bombing campaign should Google the ample information on the topic on the web. They will find that Milosevic was ready to withdraw his 50,000 paramilitaries, his troops, and his police, leaving control of Kosovo to an international peace-keeping force. He balked at the U.S. demand that he also agree to the partition of his country. He was right to do so, as it would have been right for any world leader to do so under similar circumstances. In fact, the Kosovo bombing was absolutely unnecessary, and resulted in ethnic cleansing, the very evil its eager proponents claimed it would prevent. In spite of all their mealy-mouthed and pious proclamations to the contrary, it has also resulted in the de facto independence of Kosovo.

In general, I find it odd that those who are always eager to rush to war and spend their time making bellicose proclamations on Internet forums are so seldom those who must put their lives on the line in the actual fighting. Now we hear that our next targets must be Sudan and Iran. Perhaps good arguments can be made that force is needed or eventually will be needed in both places. One can still ask where the troops are to come from. The ones currently enlisted are burdened to the breaking point. Our reserves, forces that are to be called up only in times of national emergency, are being torn from their families and occupations. They are doing this, in the great majority of cases without a murmur. I can tell you this with confidence, because our media can be relied on to instantly amplify any murmurs that do occur out of all proportion. Clearly, their ranks are not being filled by all the articulate Internet warriors, who evidently feel that their social class and educational background give them ample excuse for avoiding any involvement in something as squalid as actually putting their own lives on the line in the wars they are so eager to provoke. Perhaps if they put down their laptops and put on a uniform they would be somewhat more circumspect the next time there are suggestions of a holy crusade against some dictator.

[Skipping your first few paragraphs ...]

"In general, I find it odd that those who are always eager to rush to war and spend their time making bellicose proclamations on Internet forums are so seldom those who must put their lives on the line in the actual fighting."

Interesting enough that's exactly what I've been thinking for quite a while. Do you think I'm one of those "Internet warriors" being disappointed when our troops retreat from Falluja instead of fighting - and dying? Obviously.

Back in the 90's I've been telling my friends, "Don't waste any young American lifes on the Balkan! Just give the Croats and Muslims enough weapons so that they are on par with Serbian forces. They can handle the matter by themselves. And drop one huge bomb on a certain residence in Belgrade. The war soon will be over, believe me!"

Had you been asking me about my position on this I could have told you from the beginning. But instead you insisted on standing to your point that it was wrong to do anything. No, it's not. We have a fabulous Air Force. Drop one on Busher, Iran. While we're at it, some more at certain palaces in Khartoum. If we got some left, finish the job and send some to Arafat's sweet home.

But targeting the leaders, murderers of other nations, still seems to be a no-no in 2004. What a civilized world we are.

Ob Europa dies gerne hört? Klingt es nicht irgendwie arrogant?


Glimmer of hope in Balkans


By Joseph R. Biden Jr.


Last week's inauguration of Boris Tadic as president of Serbia offers a window of opportunity for the former Yugoslavia. The Bush administration should seize the moment to reverse its policy of disengagement from the Balkans and resume America's indispensable role in the region as a proponent of human rights and democracy. ... The U.N. Mission in Kosovo has done a poor job and lost credibility in the province. It must be reformed under its newly appointed Danish director who will probably have an experienced American diplomat as his deputy.
KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force, also showed grave weaknesses in the March riots, with the U.S. troops providing the only major example of professionalism.
...
The U.S. is in a unique position to facilitate negotiations. Bolstered by the image of American troops who protected Kosovo Serbs in the March riots, U.S. credibility has never been higher in Belgrade, which for the first time has a democratic president with cordial ties to Washington. The Kosovar Albanians remain deeply suspicious of other Europeans but still trust the U.S., whom they thank for overthrowing Slobodan Milosevic's tyranny.
Instead of ceding the leadership of Balkan affairs to the European Union, as we are about to do in Bosnia, President Bush should take advantage of this fortuitous constellation to re-engage in the Kosovo question by appointing a special envoy to the Balkans, a position that proved effective in the 1990s.
The special envoy, working with Serbs and Kosovars, with our European allies, and with the United Nations, could make a full-court press to resolve Europe's most volatile dispute. The stakes are too high to wait any longer.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware is the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20040724-105247-5558r.htm


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