The architects of Kosovo

Glen at Instapundit links to a great article by Matt Welch: bq. Temporary Doves Why are the architects of Kosovo so down on Gulf War II? bq. Of all the historical precedents that paved the way for President George W. Bush�s war against Iraq, the most directly relevant was Bill Clinton�s 1999 bombing of the rump Yugoslavia. bq. Like Gulf War II, the 78-day NATO air campaign in Kosovo was waged without the explicit authorization of the United Nations. (Of the two, the Iraq war had much more of a U.N. mandate, through Resolution 1441, which gave Iraq a "final opportunity" -- one it did not take -- to comply fully with all previous Security Council resolutions or else face "serious consequences.") Like Iraq, Yugoslavia was a sovereign country that was bombed into submission for essentially internal infractions. Both wars were expressions of American exasperation at European impotence in the face of dictatorial slaughter. Slobodan Milosevic, like Saddam Hussein, was described as a modern-day Adolf Hitler, eager to practice genocide against minority tribes while scrambling for horrible weapons to menace peaceful neighbors. Supporters of both wars frequently invoked the Munich Agreement of 1938, in which the West appeased Hitler rather than defend allied Czechoslovakia. Opponents of both wars warned that the target countries were colonially conceived multi-ethnic basket cases not conducive to postwar democratization. And the United States led the fight against both dictators despite urgent warnings from antiwar activists and multilateralism enthusiasts that each new bomb would lower the threshold for waging modern war. Kosovo made Iraq possible. bq. So it is of pressing interest to see what the architects of Kosovo, and its predecessor campaign in Bosnia, have to say about Bush�s controversial war. As luck would have it, there are recent books from three key Yugoslavia warriors: Madeleine Albright, the Munich-haunted Czechoslovak �migr� who was the most influential anti-Milosevic hawk in Clinton�s cabinet; George Soros, the Munich-haunted Hungarian �migr� and billionaire philanthropist who was among the earliest and most influential nongovernmental voices to urge military action against Serb nationalists; and Wesley Clark, the retired supreme allied commander of NATO who directed the Kosovo War. Since Clark was one of the top four Democratic candidates for president, and Soros has redirected his considerable energy and at least $15 million to effect "regime change" in the United States, their distinction between Kosovo and Iraq arguably looms as the defining foreign policy difference between Democrats and Republicans in 2004. And for those of us who supported Clinton�s Wilsonianism but not Bush�s, these books should help answer two questions we really ought to be asking ourselves: Is our support for America�s activist role dependent on high moral principle, or is it tethered to partisan politics? And did we lower the bar for military intervention? Very well written -- worth your time to go and read the rest; I just cherry picked a couple of paragraphs...

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