1/30/2007

True Cultural Warfare

TMM posted a piece, The Way of War, about war and how to win that spawned considerable dialogue back and forth. One of the latter comments by him referenced the Balkan situation as an example of the US taking the lead and making a difference. It raises a question or two about the people involved, then and now.

Throughout that action, the people we were helping were called "ethnic." They were Muslim, but the government and media spun it so we would not worry about helping our perceived enemies in the Muslim world. But the US did it anyway, feeling the Serbs had gone too far beyond acceptable warfare in mass killing of non-combatants (the Muslims committed atrocities, too, but did not have the means for mass scale killing). Our nation undoubtedly helped prevent the Muslims from being eradicated in the Balkans.

As far as I know, we gained zero moral capital in the Muslim world for our effort. We did, however, bolster Osama Bin Laden (sorry for the far right citation/link, but it summarizes the point nicely). That went well for us. And, we also helped create a newly emerging independent Kosovo. (Even in the linked article, the American press in 2007 still refers to the people of Kosovo as "Albanian." Albanians are primarily Muslims). New Islamic states are great for US security, too. Especially a new European branch of the family.

The action we fought against in Serbia was not quite genocide, but "gendercide" against Muslim men. It makes a person wonder if the Serbs concluded, based on history, that the only way to defeat a Muslim military is to take out its whole base. They did not have to look too far back for examples justifying that theory, like the mass suicide armies (with nothing but scarves and rocks) the Iranians used to overrun the Iraqi armies in the 1980's. If they were right, how can we ever win in Iraq without doing the same?

2 comments:

tmm said...

Now there's some food for thought. Though the stiffness of reaction to our latest 'surge' to me precludes any far reaching action that may need to take place (for now). Needless to say I'm worried about my kids.

Anonymous said...

You may be interested in watching these 2 archived events:

1) Kosovo: Final Status
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Events/ev010406a.cfm

After years of relative international neglect, the Bal­kans was back on the political agenda in Washington and Brussels this past summer when agreement was reached to review Kosovo’s ultimate status. As noted by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, it is “a year of decision for Kosovo.”

Since the NATO bombing campaign that ended Ser­bian ethnic cleansing of Kosovo’s Albanian popula­tion six years ago, Kosovo was effectively made a ward of the international community – administered by the UN and secured by NATO – with its future status left to later determination. That time is upon us, to resolve this issue and finally to win the peace.

Yet significant challenges remain. Longstanding ethnic differences continue to poison negotiations. Conflict between the Albanian majority and the Serbian minority has made any reconciliation near impossible. Will Kosovo one day achieve a lasting and peaceful independence? Or will history continue to repeat itself? Please join us as our distinguished panel of scholars addresses these questions and more.

2) Serbia and Its Place in the World:
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Events/ev090706a.cfm

After a decade of war, bloodshed, and disintegration, Serbia, now a democratic state committed to joining the European Union and NATO, is devoting its energies to the arduous process of economic liberalization and much needed structural reform. Serbia’s future also depends on the issue of Kosovo, specifically whether the province’s future status can be resolved while preserving regional stability and furthering regional prosperity. As the region’s pivot state, a prosperous Serbia will remain an important U.S. interest for some time.

To examine these issues, The Heritage Foundation is privileged to welcome His Excellency Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia and a leader of pro-Western democratic forces in the country. President Tadic’s lecture will focus on Serbia's place in the world of today, its future relationship with Washington and how a partnership and full political, military, economic cooperation with the U.S. is one of Serbia's strategic and essential goals.