Kosovo: Could It Have Been Avoided?

By Swomley, John M. | The Humanist, July 1999 | Go to article overview

Kosovo: Could It Have Been Avoided?


Swomley, John M., The Humanist


The heart of the treaty is Article 5, which states that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all."

Still, a final question remains: was NATO justified on moral grounds? This requires extensive analysis.

The NATO air war against the repression of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority didn't happen because of one man--Slobodan Milosevic--any more than Fidel Castro caused the embargo against Cuba or the war against Iraq can be blamed on Saddam Hussein. These are simplistic claims, because in our rational moments we know that it takes more than one person or one nation to start a fight. And we know that creative means can be found to defuse one.

Since memories are short and the situation is complicated, an examination of recent history will help clarify what has happened in the southeastern portion of Europe called the Balkans. In 1991 and 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia. In April 1992, Montenegro and Serbia joined together to form the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), of which former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic became president.

War continued in Bosnia among the Croatians, the Muslims, and the Serbs. The United States tried to stop the war with accords hammered out in Dayton, Ohio. Those accords provided for a truce in 1995 based on "military stabilization" premised on a military balance among the warring parties. The United States then committed itself to train a united army of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in order to achieve balance with the more powerful Serbs.

The Dayton accords stopped the war--but without any peace strategy and before any of the warring parties had achieved their political goals. It also legitimized the ethnic principle of rule and the nationalist goals of all three Balkan parties. None of them considered the Dayton truce written in stone but agreed to cooperate as long as it served their national interests.

In November 1996, FRY President Milosevic refused to recognize that an opposition party had won the municipal election in Belgrade--the capital of the FRY and the base of Milosevic's Serb-led government. For three months in Belgrade, there were daily nonviolent protest marches against his government--20,000 demonstrators on many days, 100,000 on others. On January 13, 1997, for the Serbian New Year, the protests drew more than 300,000 to the city center, in the pouring rain and against massed police who tried to block streets. The New York Times quoted an opposition leader as saying:

   "We will drive them out. Let them get used to a Serbia that is shut down.
   Our next move will be to refuse to pay our electric bills and our
   television bills. Let them cut off our electricity." Another leader urged
   supporters to block roads throughout the country. "All roads will be jammed
   for a few days until we liberate Serbia."

A European diplomat said, "This is a revolution. It is slow and laborious but the centers of power will not be the same when this is over." But as the Times also reported, "Most senior police officials and nearly all senior military officials have told the President that they will not use force to crush the street protests, Western diplomats said."

The nonviolent street protests against Milosevic were remarkably successful. On February 21, 1997, opposition leader Zoran Djindjic took control as mayor of Belgrade and an opposition coalition took control of the city council. Belgrade was the last of fourteen city governments won by the opposition.

Although this democratic revolt occurred after the Dayton accords, the United States did nothing to commend or support the opposition. Instead it preferred to deal with Milosevic.

The United States also chose to largely ignore the nonviolent opposition movement in Kosovo, a southern region of the FRY's province of Serbia that is regarded by the primarily Orthodox Christian Serbs as key to their struggle to preserve their faith since 1389. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kosovo: Could It Have Been Avoided?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.