: : When the bombing started, the folks on the ground thought of it as WAR, regardless of whether any "mainstream liberals" experienced it as such. "Ethnic cleansing"? Maybe the Serbs were guilty of fighting back? How dare they!
: Yes, forcing families from their homes, and raping women along the way, and executing young men, can be considered self-defense...but not in my book.
The point is that the great increase in both rate of deaths and refugee flight were predictable and PREDICTED by anyone with an ounce of grey matter. Anyone who NOW claims that the War on Kosovo had anything to do with humanitarian concerns has not read the extensive material EASILY obtained on the internet. (I suggest you read the Rambouillet Agreement for starters. It was on ZNet.
Atrocity stories always accompany war efforts to allign a population. After the carnage, various truths emerge as these "stories" get investigated. Remember Bosnia? Reports of 100,000 rapes were widely accepted as fact. As it turns out attempts by the Working Group of UNHCR tracked down the sources of these claims. It all rested on some 26 cases - from which the larger numbers were extrapolated!
And please don't say "One rape is one too many" without saying at the same time "One cluster bomb is one too many".
Do you believe everything you read?
How about David Binder's story printed in the NYTimes 1982:
David Binder filed a report in 1982 (11/28/82): "In violence
growing out of the Pristina University riots of March 1981, a score of people have been killed and hundreds injured. There have been almost weekly incidents of rape, arson, pillage and industrial
sabotage, most seemingly designed to drive Kosovo's remaining indigenous Slavs--Serbs and Montenegrins--out of the province."
Describing an attempt to set fire to a 12-year-old Serbian boy, Binder reported (11/9/82): "Such incidents have prompted many of Kosovo's Slavic inhabitants to flee the province, thereby helping to
fulfill a nationalist demand for an ethnically 'pure' Albanian Kosovo. The latest Belgrade estimate is that 20,000 Serbs and Montenegrins have left Kosovo for good since the 1981 riots."
This is not to get into a battle of atrocities. It is rather to point out that emotions are being manipulated for a purpose. Our task is to discern that purpose. Someday humanitarian concerns may ACTUALLY drive policy. Not today.