Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Intervention that Worked

Christopher Hitchens writes in Slate:
The European Union utterly failed Bosnia, which was in its very own "back yard." So did the United Nations. So did the Clinton-Gore administration, for as long as it regarded Milosevic as "containable" by the use of sanctions. Bosnia did not cease to be a killing field, and Serbia did not cease to be an aggressive dictatorship until the United States armed forces took a hand. The neoconservatives, to their great honor, mostly supported an effort to prevent genocide being inflicted on Muslims: an enterprise in which Israeli interests were not involved. Many liberal and socialist humanitarians took the same view. The argument about intervention and force changed forever as a result, except that many people did not notice. Just go and look up what the leaders of today's "anti-war" movement were saying then … too many civilian casualties (of all things!); the threat of a Vietnam-style "quagmire"; the lasting enmity of the Christian Orthodox world; above all the risk of a "longer war."
Why did Saddam Hussein, that great lion of the Arab and Muslim world, denounce the American bombing of the Muslim-killing Milosevic? Why did Qaddafi do the same? For the very same reason that Christian fascists in Serbia now denounce the intervention in Iraq: They know that the main foe is the United States and that this fact transcends all the others.
Bosnia will forever stand out as a case of US (not UN) military intervention that worked. The genocide has ended, Croats, Serbs and Bosnians are living together in peace, and many of the war criminals of all three sides have been brought to justice. The current anti-war camp, as Mr Hitchens says, were firmly pro-intervention at that time, and quite rightly so, intervention saved countless lives and stopped a very dirty war. The fundamentalist murderers were defeated not by negotiation, or sanctions, or a "pluralist outlook" or whatever, but by force. They should remember that the next time they denounce the Afghan (or Iraq) campaigns as morally wrong. That one time, at least, the neo-cons were (gasp!) right.

(Hat tip: Josh McCabe.)

Posted in Politics and Economics.


Post a Comment

<< Home