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The Current Bombings:
Behind the Rhetoric

By Noam Chomsky

 

There have been many inquiries concerning NATO (meaning primarily US) bombing in connection with Kosovo. A great deal has been written about the topic, including Znet commentaries. I'd like to make a few general observations, keeping to facts that are not seriously contested.

There are two fundamental issues: (1) What are the accepted and applicable "rules of world order"? (2) How do these or other considerations apply in the case of Kosovo?

 

(1) What are the accepted and applicable "rules of world order"?

There is a regime of international law and international order, binding on all states, based on the UN Charter and subsequent resolutions and World Court decisions. In brief, the threat or use of force is banned unless explicitly authorized by the Security Council after it has determined that peaceful means have failed, or in self-defense against "armed attack" (a narrow concept) until the Security Council acts.

There is, of course, more to say. Thus there is at least a tension, if not an outright contradiction, between the rules of world order laid down in the UN Charter and the rights articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UD), a second pillar of the world order established under US initiative after World War II. The Charter bans force violating state sovereignty; the UD guarantees the rights of individuals against oppressive states. The issue of "humanitarian intervention" arises from this tension. It is the right of "humanitarian intervention" that is claimed by the US/NATO in Kosovo, and that is generally supported by editorial opinion and news reports (in the latter case, reflexively, even by the very choice of terminology).

The question is addressed in a news report in the NY Times (March 27), headlined "Legal Scholars Support Case for Using Force" in Kosovo (March 27). One example is offered: Allen Gerson, former counsel to the US mission to the UN. Two other legal scholars are cited. One, Ted Galen Carpenter, "scoffed at the Administration argument" and dismissed the alleged right of intervention. The third is Jack Goldsmith, a specialist on international law at Chicago Law school. He says that critics of the NATO bombing "have a pretty good legal argument," but "many people think [an exception for humanitarian intervention] does exist as a matter of custom and practice." That summarizes the evidence offered to justify the favored conclusion stated in the headline.

Goldsmith's observation is reasonable, at least if we agree that facts are relevant to the determination of "custom and practice." We may also bear in mind a truism: the right of humanitarian intervention, if it exists, is premised on the "good faith" of those intervening, and that assumption is based not on their rhetoric but on their record, in particular their record of adherence to the principles of international law, World Court decisions, and so on. That is indeed a truism, at least with regard to others. Consider, for example, Iranian offers to intervene in Bosnia to prevent massacres at a time when the West would not do so. These were dismissed with ridicule (in fact, ignored); if there was a reason beyond subordination to power, it was because Iranian "good faith" could not be assumed. A rational person then asks obvious questions: is the Iranian record of intervention and terror worse than that of the US? And other questions, for example: How should we assess the "good faith" of the only country to have vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states to obey international law? What about its historical record? Unless such questions are prominent on the agenda of discourse, an honest person will dismiss it as mere allegiance to doctrine. A useful exercise is to determine how much of the literature -- media or other -- survives such elementary conditions as these.

 

(2) How do these or other considerations apply in the case of Kosovo?

There has been a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo in the past year, overwhelmingly attributable to Yugoslav military forces. The main victims have been ethnic Albanian Kosovars, some 90% of the population of this Yugoslav territory. The standard estimate is 2000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees.

In such cases, outsiders have three choices:

(I) try to escalate the catastrophe

(II) do nothing

(III) try to mitigate the catastrophe

The choices are illustrated by other contemporary cases. Let's keep to a few of approximately the same scale, and ask where Kosovo fits into the pattern.

(A) Colombia. In Colombia, according to State Department estimates, the annual level of political killing by the government and its paramilitary associates is about at the level of Kosovo, and refugee flight primarily from their atrocities is well over a million. Colombia has been the leading Western hemisphere recipient of US arms and training as violence increased through the '90s, and that assistance is now increasing, under a "drug war" pretext dismissed by almost all serious observers. The Clinton administration was particularly enthusiastic in its praise for President Gaviria, whose tenure in office was responsible for "appalling levels of violence," according to human rights organizations, even surpassing his predecessors. Details are readily available.

In this case, the US reaction is (I): escalate the atrocities.

(B) Turkey. By very conservative estimate, Turkish repression of Kurds in the '90s falls in the category of Kosovo. It peaked in the early '90s; one index is the flight of over a million Kurds from the countryside to the unofficial Kurdish capital Diyarbakir from 1990 to 1994, as the Turkish army was devastating the countryside. 1994 marked two records: it was "the year of the worst repression in the Kurdish provinces" of Turkey, Jonathan Randal reported from the scene, and the year when Turkey became "the biggest single importer of American military hardware and thus the world's largest arms purchaser." When human rights groups exposed Turkey's use of US jets to bomb villages, the Clinton Administration found ways to evade laws requiring suspension of arms deliveries, much as it was doing in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Colombia and Turkey explain their (US-supported) atrocities on grounds that they are defending their countries from the threat of terrorist guerrillas. As does the government of Yugoslavia.

Again, the example illustrates (I): try to escalate the atrocities.

(C) Laos. Every year thousands of people, mostly children and poor farmers, are killed in the Plain of Jars in Northern Laos, the scene of the heaviest bombing of civilian targets in history it appears, and arguably the most cruel: Washington's furious assault on a poor peasant society had little to do with its wars in the region. The worst period was from 1968, when Washington was compelled to undertake negotiations (under popular and business pressure), ending the regular bombardment of North Vietnam. Kissinger-Nixon then decided to shift the planes to bombardment of Laos and Cambodia.

The deaths are from "bombies," tiny anti-personnel weapons, far worse than land-mines: they are designed specifically to kill and maim, and have no effect on trucks, buildings, etc. The Plain was saturated with hundreds of millions of these criminal devices, which have a failure-to-explode rate of 20%-30% according to the manufacturer, Honeywell. The numbers suggest either remarkably poor quality control or a rational policy of murdering civilians by delayed action. These were only a fraction of the technology deployed, including advanced missiles to penetrate caves where families sought shelter. Current annual casualties from "bombies" are estimated from hundreds a year to "an annual nationwide casualty rate of 20,000," more than half of them deaths, according to the veteran Asia reporter Barry Wain of the Wall Street Journal -- in its Asia edition. A conservative estimate, then, is that the crisis this year is approximately comparable to Kosovo, though deaths are far more highly concentrated among children -- over half, according to analyses reported by the Mennonite Central Committee, which has been working there since 1977 to alleviate the continuing atrocities.

There have been efforts to publicize and deal with the humanitarian catastrophe. A British-based Mine Advisory Group (MAG) is trying to remove the lethal objects, but the US is "conspicuously missing from the handful of Western organisations that have followed MAG," the British press reports, though it has finally agreed to train some Laotian civilians. The British press also reports, with some anger, the allegation of MAG specialists that the US refuses to provide them with "render harmless procedures" that would make their work "a lot quicker and a lot safer." These remain a state secret, as does the whole affair in the United States. The Bangkok press reports a very similar situation in Cambodia, particularly the Eastern region where US bombardment from early 1969 was most intense.

In this case, the US reaction is (II): do nothing. And the reaction of the media and commentators is to keep silent, following the norms under which the war against Laos was designated a "secret war" -- meaning well-known, but suppressed, as also in the case of Cambodia from March 1969. The level of self-censorship was extraordinary then, as is the current phase. The relevance of this shocking example should be obvious without further comment.

I will skip other examples of (I) and (II), which abound, and also much more serious contemporary atrocities, such as the huge slaughter of Iraqi civilians by means of a particularly vicious form of biological warfare -- "a very hard choice," Madeleine Albright commented on national TV in 1996 when asked for her reaction to the killing of half a million Iraqi children in 5 years, but "we think the price is worth it." Current estimates remain about 5000 children killed a month, and the price is still "worth it." These and other examples might also be kept in mind when we read awed rhetoric about how the "moral compass" of the Clinton Administration is at last functioning properly, as the Kosovo example illustrates.

Just what does the example illustrate? The threat of NATO bombing, predictably, led to a sharp escalation of atrocities by the Serbian Army and paramilitaries, and to the departure of international observers, which of course had the same effect. Commanding General Wesley Clark declared that it was "entirely predictable" that Serbian terror and violence would intensify after the NATO bombing, exactly as happened. The terror for the first time reached the capital city of Pristina, and there are credible reports of large-scale destruction of villages, assassinations, generation of an enormous refugee flow, perhaps an effort to expel a good part of the Albanian population -- all an "entirely predictable" consequence of the threat and then the use of force, as General Clark rightly observes.

Kosovo is therefore another illustration of (I): try to escalate the violence, with exactly that expectation.

To find examples illustrating (III) is all too easy, at least if we keep to official rhetoric. The major recent academic study of "humanitarian intervention," by Sean Murphy, reviews the record after the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 which outlawed war, and then since the UN Charter, which strengthened and articulated these provisions. In the first phase, he writes, the most prominent examples of "humanitarian intervention" were Japan's attack on Manchuria, Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia, and Hitler's occupation of parts of Czechoslovakia. All were accompanied by highly uplifting humanitarian rhetoric, and factual justifications as well. Japan was going to establish an "earthly paradise" as it defended Manchurians from "Chinese bandits," with the support of a leading Chinese nationalist, a far more credible figure than anyone the US was able to conjure up during its attack on South Vietnam. Mussolini was liberating thousands of slaves as he carried forth the Western "civilizing mission." Hitler announced Germany's intention to end ethnic tensions and violence, and "safeguard the national individuality of the German and Czech peoples," in an operation "filled with earnest desire to serve the true interests of the peoples dwelling in the area," in accordance with their will; the Slovakian President asked Hitler to declare Slovakia a protectorate.

Another useful intellectual exercise is to compare those obscene justifications with those offered for interventions, including "humanitarian interventions," in the post-UN Charter period.

In that period, perhaps the most compelling example of (III) is the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in December 1978, terminating Pol Pot's atrocities, which were then peaking. Vietnam pleaded the right of self-defense against armed attack, one of the few post-Charter examples when the plea is plausible: the Khmer Rouge regime (Democratic Kampuchea, DK) was carrying out murderous attacks against Vietnam in border areas. The US reaction is instructive. The press condemned the "Prussians" of Asia for their outrageous violation of international law. They were harshly punished for the crime of having terminated Pol Pot's slaughters, first by a (US-backed) Chinese invasion, then by US imposition of extremely harsh sanctions. The US recognized the expelled DK as the official government of Cambodia, because of its "continuity" with the Pol Pot regime, the State Department explained. Not too subtly, the US supported the Khmer Rouge in its continuing attacks in Cambodia.

The example tells us more about the "custom and practice" that underlies "the emerging legal norms of humanitarian intervention."

Despite the desperate efforts of ideologues to prove that circles are square, there is no serious doubt that the NATO bombings further undermine what remains of the fragile structure of international law. The US made that entirely clear in the discussions leading to the NATO decision. Apart from the UK (by now, about as much of an independent actor as the Ukraine was in the pre-Gorbachev years), NATO countries were skeptical of US policy, and were particularly annoyed by Secretary of State Albright's "saber-rattling" (Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, Feb. 22). Today, the more closely one approaches the conflicted region, the greater the opposition to Washington's insistence on force, even within NATO (Greece and Italy). France had called for a UN Security Council resolution to authorize deployment of NATO peacekeepers. The US flatly refused, insisting on "its stand that NATO should be able to act independently of the United Nations," State Department officials explained. The US refused to permit the "neuralgic word `authorize'" to appear in the final NATO statement, unwilling to concede any authority to the UN Charter and international law; only the word "endorse" was permitted (Jane Perlez, NYT, Feb. 11). Similarly the bombing of Iraq was a brazen expression of contempt for the UN, even the specific timing, and was so understood. And of course the same is true of the destruction of half the pharmaceutical production of a small African country a few months earlier, an event that also does not indicate that the "moral compass" is straying from righteousness -- not to speak of a record that would be prominently reviewed right now if facts were considered relevant to determining "custom and practice."

It could be argued, rather plausibly, that further demolition of the rules of world order is irrelevant, just as it had lost its meaning by the late 1930s. The contempt of the world's leading power for the framework of world order has become so extreme that there is nothing left to discuss. A review of the internal documentary record demonstrates that the stance traces back to the earliest days, even to the first memorandum of the newly-formed National Security Council in 1947. During the Kennedy years, the stance began to gain overt expression. The main innovation of the Reagan-Clinton years is that defiance of international law and the Charter has become entirely open. It has also been backed with interesting explanations, which would be on the front pages, and prominent in the school and university curriculum, if truth and honesty were considered significant values. The highest authorities explained with brutal clarity that the World Court, the UN, and other agencies had become irrelevant because they no longer follow US orders, as they did in the early postwar years.

One might then adopt the official position. That would be an honest stand, at least if it were accompanied by refusal to play the cynical game of self-righteous posturing and wielding of the despised principles of international law as a highly selective weapon against shifting enemies.

While the Reaganites broke new ground, under Clinton the defiance of world order has become so extreme as to be of concern even to hawkish policy analysts. In the current issue of the leading establishment journal, Foreign Affairs, Samuel Huntington warns that Washington is treading a dangerous course. In the eyes of much of the world -- probably most of the world, he suggests -- the US is "becoming the rogue superpower," considered "the single greatest external threat to their societies." Realist "international relations theory," he argues, predicts that coalitions may arise to counterbalance the rogue superpower. On pragmatic grounds, then, the stance should be reconsidered. Americans who prefer a different image of their society might call for a reconsideration on other than pragmatic grounds.

Where does that leave the question of what to do in Kosovo? It leaves it unanswered. The US has chosen a course of action which, as it explicitly recognizes, escalates atrocities and violence -- "predictably"; a course of action that also strikes yet another blow against the regime of international order, which does offer the weak at least some limited protection from predatory states. As for the longer term, consequences are unpredictable. One plausible observation is that "every bomb that falls on Serbia and every ethnic killing in Kosovo suggests that it will scarcely be possible for Serbs and Albanians to live beside each other in some sort of peace" (Financial Times, March 27). Some of the longer-term possible outcomes are extremely ugly, as has not gone without notice.

A standard argument is that we had to do something: we could not simply stand by as atrocities continue. That is never true. One choice, always, is to follow the Hippocratic principle: "First, do no harm." If you can think of no way to adhere to that elementary principle, then do nothing. There are always ways that can be considered. Diplomacy and negotiations are never at an end.

The right of "humanitarian intervention" is likely to be more frequently invoked in coming years -- maybe with justification, maybe not -- now that Cold War pretexts have lost their efficacy. In such an era, it may be worthwhile to pay attention to the views of highly respected commentators -- not to speak of the World Court, which explicitly ruled on this matter in a decision rejected by the United States, its essentials not even reported.

In the scholarly disciplines of international affairs and international law it would be hard to find more respected voices than Hedley Bull or Louis Henkin. Bull warned 15 years ago that "Particular states or groups of states that set themselves up as the authoritative judges of the world common good, in disregard of the views of others, are in fact a menace to international order, and thus to effective action in this field." Henkin, in a standard work on world order, writes that the "pressures eroding the prohibition on the use of force are deplorable, and the arguments to legitimize the use of force in those circumstances are unpersuasive and dangerous... Violations of human rights are indeed all too common, and if it were permissible to remedy them by external use of force, there would be no law to forbid the use of force by almost any state against almost any other. Human rights, I believe, will have to be vindicated, and other injustices remedied, by other, peaceful means, not by opening the door to aggression and destroying the principle advance in international law, the outlawing of war and the prohibition of force."

Recognized principles of international law and world order, solemn treaty obligations, decisions by the World Court, considered pronouncements by the most respected commentators -- these do not automatically solve particular problems. Each issue has to be considered on its merits. For those who do not adopt the standards of Saddam Hussein, there is a heavy burden of proof to meet in undertaking the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international order. Perhaps the burden can be met, but that has to be shown, not merely proclaimed with passionate rhetoric. The consequences of such violations have to be assessed carefully -- in particular, what we understand to be "predictable." And for those who are minimally serious, the reasons for the actions also have to be assessed -- again, not simply by adulation of our leaders and their "moral compass."

 

http://www.zmag.org/ZNETTOPnoanimation.html


                                          ユーゴ空爆について   

ノーム・チョムスキー

 コソボに対するNATO(といっても主として米軍によるものだが)の空爆については、多くの質問が出されている。この問題に関しては、Zネットの上の報道を含め (訳注1)、すでに多くの文章が書かれている。私としては、まだ正面から論ぜられていない事実に限って二、三の一般的考察をしてみようと思う。

 基本的な問題は二つある。第一は、一般に認められている妥当な「世界秩序にかんする基準」とは何かという問題であり、第二は、こうした基準やその他の要件をコソボの事態にあてはめればどうなるかという問題である。

(1) 一般に認められている妥当な「世界秩序にかんする基準」とは何か?

 国連憲章およびその下での諸決議や国際司法裁判所の決定を基礎として、すべての国家を拘束する国際法や国際的秩序の制度というものがある。一言で言えば、武力による脅迫あるいは武力の行使は、平和的方法による解決が失敗に帰したと国連安全保障理事会が認めた後で、それを明白に権威づけた(authorize)場合か、あるいは安全保障理事会が行動を起こすまでの期間、「武力攻撃」(狭い概念での)に対抗する自衛の場合でないかぎりは、禁止されているということである。

 もちろん、そう言っただけで不十分な面が残る。以下にのべるように、国連憲章と、第二次世界大戦以後アメリカの主導のもとにつくられてきた世界秩序の二次的な基本事項である人権に関する世界宣言にのべられている諸権利の間には、明白な矛盾とまでは言えぬにせよ、少なくともある種の緊張関係が存在する。すなわち、国連憲章は国家主権を侵害するような武力行使を禁止しているのだが、一方、世界人権宣言は、抑圧的な国家に対抗して個人の権利を保障している。この二つの間の緊張関係から、人道的介入という問題が生起してくる。コソボの事態で米国およびNATOが主張していることや、マスコミの論説、報道などが一般的に支持しているのは、まさにこの「人道的介入」の権利の問題である(ただし、マスコミの場合は、この用語を使うこと自体にも慎重である)。

 「法律学者ら、(コソボでの)武力行使を支持」という見出しの『ニューヨークタイムズ』の記事(三月二七日)が、この問題を扱っている。元アメリカ国連代表部顧問のアレン・ガーソンによるものがその一つだが、ほかに二人の法律学者の説が紹介されており、一つは、テッド・ガレン・カーペンターが、「政府の見解を嘲笑」し、介入権の主張を否定しているというもの、そして第三がシカゴ・ロースクールの国際法専門家、ジャック・ゴールドスミスの主張である。彼は、NATOの空爆に対する批判にも「十分な法的論拠はある」が、しかし「多くの人は〔人道的介入という例外が〕慣行の問題として現に存在していると考えている」とする。この論評は、記事の見出しにあるような空爆支持の結論を正当化するための論拠をまとめてのべたものだ。

 少なくとも、われわれがそのような「慣行」実行を決定していいだけの事実があると認めるかぎり、このゴールドスミスの意見は妥当である。だが、われわれはもう一つの自明の理も念頭におくであろう。すなわち、人道的介入の権利なるものが存在するとすれば、それは、介入当事者の「善意」を前提としているということであり、そうした想定は、介入当事者の表面的な言辞などではなく、実際の行動、とくに彼らが国際法の諸原則、国際司法裁判所の決定等々に、これまでいかほど忠実であったかという記録を基礎にしてなされるものなのである。例えば、西欧諸国が行動を起こそうとする以前に、イランが提案した虐殺を阻止するためのボスニア介入を考えてみよう。これらの提案は嘲笑とともに一蹴された(事実上は無視された)。もしそれに、権力への追従という以上の理由があったとすれば、それはイランに「善意」を想定できなかったからに他ならない。だが、理性ある人ならば、それに続けてあといくつかの自明の問いも発するだろう。すなわち、イランの干渉とテロの記録は、アメリカのそれに比してはるかに悪質なものであるのか否か。また例えば、国際法の遵守をすべての国に求めている安全保障理事会決議に反対した唯一の国の「善意」をどのように査定したらいいのかという問いであり、さらにまた、その国の過去の記録はどうなのかという問題である。そうした疑問が議論のテーマとしてはっきりさせられぬ限り、誠実な人間なら、それを独善的な政策への固執にすぎぬとして退けることだろう。今有効な試みは、マスコミであれ何であれ、こうした言説のうち、どれほどのものが、以上のべたような基本的条件を満たして残り得るのかを見定めることである。

(2)こうした基準やその他の要件をコソボの事態にどのように適用するのか?

 過去数年にわたって、コソボでは人道上の大悲劇が続いている。大部分はユーゴスラビアの軍隊によって起こされたものであり、犠牲者は主としてこの地域の住民の九〇パーセントほどを占めるアルバニア系コソボ人である。一般に、死者は二〇〇〇、難民の数は数十万とされている。

このような場合、外部の勢力がとるべき態度としては、次のような選択肢がある。

  (T) 悲惨な事態をさらに激化させる

  (U) 何もしない

  (V) 事態を緩和させる

 この三つの選択肢の例証としては、現代の同様な事態を見てみればいい。そこで、コソボとほぼ同規模な二、三の事例に限定して検討し、コソボはそのどのパターンに該当するかを見てみることにしよう。

(A) コロンビアの事例

 国務省の評価によると、コロンビアでは、同国政府およびそれと関連する準軍事組織による毎年の死者の数はコソボとほぼ同程度であり、主としてその残虐行為を避けて逃亡する難民は百万人を超えているという。コロンビアは、一九九〇年代を通じてアメリカの武器援助、ならびに暴力訓練を受け入れてきた西半球の中での主要な国で、それは今も増大の一途をたどっている。そうしたアメリカの援助は、「麻薬戦争」という口実の下で行なわれてきているのだが、およそ事態をまじめに見ている人なら、大方そんなことは信じていない。クリントン政権は同国のガビリア大統領を賞賛することにとりわけ熱心だったが、いくつかの人権組織がいうところの「身の毛もよだつような規模の暴力」は、ガビリアが政権にあったことに帰せられるのであり、それは、彼の前任者をはるかに凌駕するひどさだった。事実の詳細は容易に入手できる。

 このコロンビアの事態の場合、アメリカの反応は、(T)の「悲惨な事態をさらに激化させる」であった。

(B) トルコの事例

 ごくに控えめな評価によっても、九〇年代におけるトルコのクルド人抑圧はコソボの規模と同じ範疇に入る。それは九〇年代初めに頂点に達した。ある統計によれば、一九九〇年から九四年まで、トルコ軍による破壊活動が続く間、各地方からクルド族の事実上の首都ともいうべきジヤルベキールへ逃れてきたクルド人は一〇〇万を超えている。一九九四年には、二つの最高記録がある。ジョナサン・ランダルが現地から伝えたところでは、この年は、「クルド人居住地域における抑圧が最悪になった年」であり、また同時に、トルコが「アメリカの兵器の最大の輸入国となった年、したがって世界最大の武器購入国となった年」だという。トルコが村落の爆撃にアメリカ製ジェット機を使用していることを、人権擁護団体が暴露したとき、クリントン政権は、さまざまな手を用いて、兵器の引渡し停止を命ずる法の定めを潜り抜けたのだった。それはまさに、インドネシアなど、他の諸国に対してやったこととまったく同様だった。

 コロンビアとトルコによる(アメリカの支援を受けた)残虐行為を、両国は、テロリスト・ゲリラによる脅威から自国を防衛するためだ、と説明している。これもユーゴスラビア政府が挙げている根拠とまったく同様である。

 この事例もまた、(T)の「悲惨な事態をさらに激化させる」に該当する。

(C) ラオスの事例

 毎年、数千の民衆、大部分は児童か貧しい農民たちが、北部ラオスのジャール平原で殺されている。そこは、歴史上、民間人に対する最も激しい爆撃、そしておそらくは最も残酷な爆撃の場となったようである。貧農社会に対するワシントンの物凄い攻撃は、この地域の戦争とはほとんど関係のないことだった。その最悪の時は、ワシントンが(民衆および実業界からの圧力を受けて)対ベトナム交渉に入ることを余儀なくされ、北ベトナムに対する定期的な爆撃を終らせた一九六八年以降だった。それ以後、キッシンジャー=ニクソン政権は、航空機をラオスとカンボジアへの爆撃に振り向けたのである。

 死者は、「ボンビー」と呼ばれる小型の対人用兵器によるものだった。それは地雷よりもはるかに悪質なもので、とくに人間を殺傷するためにだけ設計されたものであり、トラックや建物などには何の効果もなかった。ジャール平原一帯にあふれるほど投下されたこの兵器の不発率は、製作にあたった会社、ハニウェルによると、二〇ないし三〇パーセントである。この数字が示すことは、品質管理がきわめて杜撰であったということか、それとも、この不発率は、投下時よりもはるか後になって民間人を殺戮するための合理的な政策に基づくものであったのかの、いずれかである。しかも、これらの武器は、そこで使用された最新技術のごくごく一部に過ぎなかったのであり、それ以外にも、住民の各家族が避難所にしていた洞窟をも貫通する高性能のミサイルなどもあった。現在の「ボンビー」による年間の犠牲者数は、一年間数百人と見積もるものから、『ウォールストリート・ジャーナル』のアジア問題ベテラン記者、バリー・ウェインが同紙のアジア版に書いているように、全国での年間死傷率は二万、そしてその半数以上が死者という評価にいたるまで、かなりの幅がある。そのあと出されたある控えめの評価でも、今年の危機的状況はコソボのそれにほぼ匹敵するが、死者の中で児童の占める率ははるかに高いとしており、一向にやまぬ悲惨な状態を緩和させようとして一九七七年以来活動を続けているメノナイト中央委員会の分析は、死者の半数以上が児童だと伝えている。

 この人道上の惨事を広く伝え、それに対応しようという努力も続けられている。イギリスに本部を置く「地雷撤去顧問グループ」(MAG)は、この致命的な兵器の除去に努力中だが、しかしアメリカが、ようやく若干のラオス民間人の訓練をすることには同意したものの、「MAGに同調する少数の西欧組織の中に加わっていないのはかなり目立っている」ことだ。イギリスの新聞も、アメリカはMAGの「作業の速度をはるかに早め、かつ安全度をはるかに高める」ことになる「危険除去措置」の提供を拒否したというMAGの専門家の主張を、ある怒りを込めて報じてもいる。これらのことは、アメリカ国内でのすべての問題と同様、国家機密とされたままである。バンコックからの報道は、カンボジアにもきわめて類似した状況があると報じており、一九六九年の初め以来米軍の爆撃が非常に激化した同国東部地域でとくに著しいという。

 このカンボジアの場合、アメリカの対応は(U)の「何もしない」に該当する。そして、これに対するマスコミやニュース解説者の態度は、沈黙を守り続けるというものである。かつてラオスでの戦争が「秘密の戦争」として計画された当時、それは周知の事実であったにもかかわらず、報道は抑えられた。また一九六九年三月以来のカンボジアでの事態のときもそうであった。今のマスコミの姿勢は、その時の規範を守っているものだ。当時の報道の自主規制のレベルは極端なものだったが、現在の局面もまさに同様である。この衝撃的な事例が現在の事態解明に大いに関連していることは、これ以上の説明を要せず、明らかだろう。

 (T)と(U) のその他の事例については省略しよう。それは枚挙にいとまがなく、そしてまた、とりわけ残忍な生物学兵器という手段を用いたイラク民間人に対するすさまじい大量殺戮のような、はるかに重大な悲惨な事態についても、ここでは触れない。一九六九年、イラクの児童が五年間のうちに五〇万人も殺されたことについて、全国放送のテレビで意見を求められたマドレーヌ・オルブライトは、「実につらい選択です。」しかし「この代償はそれに見合うだけの価値を持っています」という意見をのべた。現在でも、毎月約五千人の児童が殺されているとの評価が続いている。そしてその代償は、今なお「それに見合うだけの価値をもっている」というわけだ。クリントン政権の「道徳的羅針盤(コンパス)」が、ついにそれにふさわしい形で機能しつつある模様について、ただただ恐れ入るしかないような雄弁を読まされるときには、こういったような事例も思い浮かべるのもいいだろう。コソボの事例などはまさにそうしたものである。

 いったい、このコソボの事例は何を明示しているのか? NATOによる空爆の脅しは、予想された通り、セルビア軍による残虐行為の急激な増加をもたらし、また国際問題の専門家の離反をももたらした。そしてこのこともまた、セルビア軍の行為のエスカレーションという同じ結果をもたらしたのはもちろんであった。ウェズリー・クラーク最高司令官は、NATOが空爆すれば、それ以後、セルビア人のテロと暴力が強化されるだろうということは「まったく予見できることだ」と公言した。そして事態はまさにそうなった。テロ行為は初めて首都のプリスチナ市にまで広がったし、農村部における村落の大規模な破壊、暗殺、膨大な難民の流れの発生、おそらくアルバニア系住民の大部分を追放しようとする試みなどについて、信用できる報告がいくつもある。そのすべては、このNATOの脅しとそれに続く実際に武力行使の「まったく予見可能な」結果であり、クラーク将軍が正しくものべた通りであった。

 したがって、コソボも(T)のもう一つの例証なのであり、まさにそういう予想を事前にもちながら、暴力をさらに激化させようとする事例なのである。

 (V)の事態を示す実例は、少なくとも、政府筋の表向きの弁舌だけを見ているかぎり、見つけることはきわめて容易である。ショーン・マーフィーによる「人道的介入」にかんする最近の注目すべき学術的研究は、戦争を禁止した一九二八年のケロッグ=ブリアン条約以後の記録、そして、これらの各規定をさらに強化し明瞭にさせた国連憲章以降の記録を、詳しく検討している。第一の時期で、「人道的介入」の最も顕著な事例として彼が挙げているものは、満州をめぐる日本の攻撃、エチオピアに対するムッソリーニの侵略、そしてヒトラーによるチェコスロバキアの一部領土の占拠である。そのいずれもが、高い理想を謳いあげた人道的言辞を伴っており、事実の上でもそれを正当化する試みを伴った。日本は、「中国人匪賊」から満州人を保護するのだとして「王道楽土」を樹立しようとした。その際、日本は国民党(ナショナリスト)指導者のある中国人を担いだのだが、この人物は、アメリカが南ベトナムを攻撃するさいに担ぎ出しを考えたどんな人物よりも、はるかに信頼に足る人物だったのだ(訳注2)。ムッソリーニは、西欧の「文明的使命」なるものを持ち出しつつ、数千の奴隷を解放するのだとした。ヒトラーは人種的緊張と暴力を終らせるためだとするドイツの意図を謳いあげ、「この地域に居住する民衆の真の利益に奉仕したいという熱烈な願望に満ちている」作戦の中で、「ドイツとチェコの民衆の民族的個性を擁護する」のだとした。しかもそれは、これら民衆の意思に沿ってのことだとした。すなわち、スロバキアの大統領が、ヒトラーに対し、スロバキアをその保護領として宣言するよう求めたというのだった。

 もう一つ試みたらいい有益な知的実践は、こういったおぞましい正当化の言説を、「人道的介入」なるものも含めて、国連憲章制定以後の介入の際にのべられたさまざまな主張と比較してみることである。

 この時期のことで、もっとも注目せざるを得ない事例は、一九七八年十二月のベトナムによるカンボジア侵攻である。それは当時絶頂に達していたポルポト派の残虐行為を終らせることになった。ベトナムは武力攻撃に対する自衛の権利を主張したが、それは、国連憲章制定以後、この主張が妥当のように受け取られる数少ない事例のうちの一つであった。クメール・ルージュ体制(民主カンボジア、DK)が国境地帯でベトナムへの凶悪な攻撃を続けていたからである。これに対するアメリカの反応は検討に値する。新聞報道は、べトナムが国際法を真っ向から踏みにじったとして、アジアにおける「プロシャ」だという非難を投げつけた。ベトナムには、ポルポト派の大量殺戮を終らせたという罪で、手ひどい懲罰が加えられた。最初は(アメリカに支援された)中国による侵攻であり、ついで、アメリカが課したきわめて厳しい制裁措置である。アメリカはDKをカンボジアの正統政府だと承認した。国務省は、それがポルポト政権からの「継続性」を持っているからだ、と説明した。アメリカは、カンボジアに対して攻撃を続けるクメール・ルージュを支援したが、それをことさらに隠そうともしなかった。

 この実例は、「人道的介入という新しく生まれた法的規範」なるものの根拠とされる「慣例」について、さらに多くのことをわれわれに示してくれる。

 丸を四角と言いくるめようとする論者どもの必死の努力にもかかわらず、NATOの空爆によって、現在残っている国際法の脆弱な構造がさらに弱体化されたことについては、まっとうな疑問をさしはさむ余地はない。アメリカは、NATOのこの決定を導き出すための討議の中で、そのことを実に明々白々にさせたのである。イギリスは別として(この国の自立性とは、ゴルバチョフ以前の時期のウクライナのそれとほぼ同程度のものに過ぎない)、NATO諸国はアメリカの政策に対して懐疑的だった。とくにオルブライト国務長官の「サーベルをガチャつかせる(武力行使の威嚇)」(ケビン・カレンの表現、『ボストン・グローブ』紙、二月二二日号)には、当惑していた。

 現在、この紛争地域に地理的に近ければ近いほど、ワシントンが武力行使に執着していることへの反対が強くなっている。それはNATO内部においてさえもしかりである(ギリシャおよびイタリー)。フランスは、元来、NATOの平和維持軍展開を、国連安保理事会の決議によって権威づける(authorize)よう求めていた。だがアメリカは、「NATOは国連から自立して行動できるようになるべきだという立場」(国務省当局の説明)に固執して、その要求をにべもなくはねつけた。アメリカは、NATOの最終文書の中に、「権威づける」(authorize) というあとあとまで問題の種になるような言葉を含めることを拒絶したのだ。それは、国連憲章と国際法とには、いかなる形にせよ、権威を与えることを嫌ったからである。そして「是認する」(endorse) という用語を使うことだけを許した(ジェイン・パーレス、『ニューヨーク・タイムズ』二月一一日号)。同様に、イラクに対する爆撃も、それが実行された特定のタイミングですらもが、国連に対する侮辱の露骨な表現であった(訳注3)。また、それより数カ月前に、アフリカの一小国の薬品生産力の半分を破壊した行為にも、もちろんこれが当てはまる(訳注4)。それは、「道義的羅針盤(コンパス)」がたまたま正しい方角からはずれたことを示すような出来事などではない。かりに、この事件が、事実からして「慣行」実施の決定が適切だと考えられる場合だとするならば、それはただちに万人注視の下で再検討されるはずの記録であることは言うまでもない。

 世界秩序にかんする諸規則は、一九三〇年代後半にその意味を失ってしまったわけだが、それとまさに同じように、今日、この諸規則がこれ以上破壊されることは不適切だという主張は、かなり妥当といっていい論だろう。世界秩序の枠組みに対する世界の指導的国家による侮辱は、すでに極端なまでになっており、その結果、議論すべきことなど何も残されてはいない。国内の資料を調べてみれば、こうした姿勢(スタンス)はごく初期の時期、一九四七年に新しくできたばかりの安全保障理事会の覚書にまでさかのぼり得ることがわかる。ケネディの時代に入ると、この姿勢(スタンス)はあからさまな表現をとり始める。そしてレーガン=クリントンの時代での主要な変革は、国際法と国連憲章への正面からの反抗がまったく公然と実行されるようになったということである。それは、実に興味ある解釈によって裏打ちされてきたのであるが、もしも真実と誠実とに重要な価値があるとみなされるならば、この解釈なるものは、新聞の一面を飾り、初等学校から大学にいたるまでのカリキュラムの中で主要な位置を占めてもいいほどのものである。政府の最高の地位にあるものが、紛れもない明確さをもって、国際司法裁判所、国連、その他の機関が、戦後初期の時代とは違って、もはやアメリカの指令に従わなくなったがゆえに、それらが不適切なものとなってしまったと説いたのである。

 つぎには、この公的立場を正式に採用するものが出てくるかもしれない。だが、少なくとも、相手が変わるにしたがって、それに立ち向かう武器として、きわめて選択的に、独善的なポーズをとってみたり、侮蔑しきっている国際法の原則を操ってみたりという皮肉なゲームを断るという態度を伴うのであれば、それはそれで、正直な立場だということにはなるだろう。

 レーガン一派が新たな分野を切り拓いたとするなら、クリントンの下では、タカ派の政策立案専門家までもが心配し出すほど、世界秩序への挑戦は極端になってしまった。体制よりの主要雑誌『フォーリン・アフェアズ』誌の最近号で、サミュエル・ハンチントンは、ワシントンが危険な道をたどりつつあると警告している。世界の多くの人びとの目には、――いや、恐らく世界のほとんどの人びとの目には、アメリカが「ならず者超大国になろうとしている」と映っており、「自分たちの社会に対する唯一最大の外的脅威」と考えられている、と彼は言っている。現実主義的な「国際関係理論」によれば、このならず者超大国に対抗してそれと釣り合いをとろうとして連携する国家群が登場しうると予言されている、と彼は論ずる。したがって、プラグマチックな見地からすれば、この現在の姿勢(スタンス)は再検討されねばならぬことになる。また、自分たちの社会についてそれとは別の展望(イメージ)を選ぶアメリカ人は、プラグマチックな根拠ではない別の基盤にたっての再検討を求めるかもしれない。

 そうした再考慮は、コソボにかんしてどうすべきかという問題をどこに置くのであろう? 実は答えを出さぬままにしておくのである。アメリカは、自ら明白に認めているごとく、残虐行為と暴力をいっそう激化させる行動をとるというコースを選んだ――しかも、それはあらかじめ「予見可能な」道だったというわけだ。その行動のコースとは、国際秩序の制度に対して、さらにもう一つの打撃を加えるものでもあった。この国際秩序の制度は、弱者に対して、略奪をこととするような国家からの、少なくともある限定されたものにせよ、確実に保護を与えているものなのだ。長期的に見た場合、結果は予測不能である。まず妥当と思えるような一つの観測としては、「セルビアに落とされる爆弾の一つ一つが、またコソボでなされる民族的殺人行為の一つ一つが、ある種の平和のうちにセルビア人とアルバニア人とが互いに隣り合わせに暮らすことを不可能になるだろうということを示している」という説である(『フィナンシャル・タイムズ』三月二七日号)。ありうべき長期予想の結果のうちのいくつかは、きわめて醜悪なものであって、それはこれまで気づかれていなかったことではない。

 ふつうに言われてきた主張は、われわれは何もしないわけにはゆかなかった、残虐行為が続いているというのに、ただ傍観していることはできなかった、というものである。――が、それは決して真実ではない。常にそうなのだが、選択肢の一つに、「第一には、害になるようなことをするな」というかのヒポクラテスの原理に従うということがある。そして、その基本的原理に従う方策が思いつけぬのであれば、その時には、何もするな。いつでも、考慮し得る方策はいくつもあるものだ。外交と交渉は決してその使命を終えてしまったのではない。「人道的介入」の権利なるものは、冷戦の口実がその効果を失ってしまっただけに、今後数年の間、あるときは何がしかの根拠をもって、またあるときは何らの根拠もなしに、ますます頻繁に発動されそうである。そのような時代にあって、高い尊敬を集めている解説者の見解に耳を傾けてみるのは、無駄ではない。国際司法裁判所の決定はもちろんのことである。国際司法裁判所は、ある決定の中で、この問題について実に明快に裁定しているのだが、アメリカはそれに従うことを認めておらず、その要点の報道すらもされていない。

 国際問題および国際法という学問的な専門分野の中では、ヘドリー・ブル、あるいはレオン・ヘンキンの見解ほど評価の高いものは、他に容易には見当たらない。ブルは、今から一五年前に、「特定の国家、あるいは国家グループが、他の国ぐにの意見を無視し、世界共通の善について裁定する独断的な裁判官の地位に自らを置こうとするならば、それは事実として、国際的秩序に対する、したがってまたこの分野における効果的行動に対する、脅威となる」と警告した。一方、ヘンキンは、世界秩序についての規範的労作の中でこう書いている。「武力行使の禁止を弱めるような圧力があることは嘆かわしい。そしてこうした状況の下では、武力の行使を適法とするような議論には、説得力がなく、危険でもある。……人権侵害は、実際、あまりにも広い範囲で起こされている。そしてもしも、それを除去するのに外部からの武力行使が許されるとするならば、いかなる国が、他のいかなる国に対するものにせよ、武力の行使を禁じる法など、存在しなくなってしまうだろう。人権は擁護されねばならず、その他の不正も矯正されねばならないと私は信じるものだが、しかしその方法は、侵略に扉を開き、国際法における原理の進歩、戦争と武力の行使の禁止を破壊するようなものではなく、別の、平和的手段によってなされなければならないのである」と。

 国際法と世界秩序について承認されている原理、厳粛な条約上の義務、国際司法裁判所の決定、高い評価を受けている識者の熟慮の上の見解――こうしたものも、特定の問題を自動的に解決してくれるわけではない。一つ一つの具体的問題は、それぞれの理非曲直に応じて考慮されねばならない。サダム・フセインの基準をとらぬものにとっては、国際秩序の原理を侵犯して武力による威嚇あるいは武力の行使に訴えようとする場合には、十分なだけの重い立証責任がある。おそらくその立証はされうるのだろうが、しかしそれは感情的な言葉で声高に言われるだけのものではないものとして提示されねばならない。そうした侵犯の結果の評価は、慎重になされなければならない。とくに、「予見可能」だと理解する場合はなおさらである。そして、どうにかまじめだと言える程度のまじめさしか認められぬような場合には、その行動の理由も、また評価検討されねばならない。この場合もまた、国の指導者たちへの賞賛の言葉やその「道徳的羅針盤(コンパス)」だけによってなされてはならぬのである。

 


(訳注)

 Zネット → http://www.zmag.org/

 「満州国建設にあたって日本が後ろ盾をした中国人」というなら、これは満州国皇帝に擬せられた溥儀のことをさすわけだが、しかし溥儀は中国国民党の指導者ではなかった。ここは Chomsky (あるいは、彼が引用しているMurphy) が、日本が一九四〇年に南京に作った傀儡中華民国政府の主席に担いだ王兆銘のことと混同したのかもしれない。汪兆銘は、国民党左派の指導者であり、蒋介石のライバルでもあった。

 昨一九九八年一二月一七〜二〇日の四日間に行われた米英両国によるイラク爆撃をさす。国連大量破壊兵器廃棄特別委員会(UNSCOM)のバトラー委員長が、「約束通りの全面協力をイラクから得られない」との報告書をアナン国連事務総長に提出したが、その件について、国連が審議を始めようとしているときに、その報告を根拠にして米英両国だけでイラク攻撃に踏み切った。

 このアフリカの一小国とはスーダンのこと。昨年八月七日、ケニアのナイロビの米大使館付近で爆発が起き、米国人を含む 二四七人が死亡、同時刻にタンザニアのダルエスサラームの米大使館でも爆発、一〇人が死亡した。アメリカはこれを、イスラム過激派のやったことだとした。スーダンはイランとの関係が深く、イスラム過激派に自国領土使用を認めていることなどを理由、米国はスーダンを「国際テロ行為支援国家」と認定した。そして、八月の米大使館爆破を契機に、その報復と対米テロを抑止するためだとして、アフガニスタン領土内の「テロ組織の訓練施設」とスーダン国内の「化学兵器施設」に対し、八月二〇日、トマホーク巡航ミサイルの攻撃を加えた。これに対し、スーダンは、攻撃を受けた施設跡を公開、「化学兵器施設」などではなく、薬品工場だったとして強く反発した。

(訳 吉川 勇一)

 

市民の意見30の会・東京 (http://www.jca.apc.org/iken30/News2/N54/N54-11.html)


 

Kosovo Peace Accord
(Z, July '99)

By Noam Chomsky

On March 24, U.S.-led NATO air forces began to pound the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, Serbia and Montenegro), including Kosovo, which NATO regards as a province of Serbia. On June 3, NATO and Serbia reached a Peace Accord. The U.S. declared victory, having successfully concluded its "10-week struggle to compel Mr. Milosevic to say uncle," Blaine Harden reported in the New York Times. It would therefore be unnecessary to use ground forces to "cleanse Serbia" as Harden had recommended in a lead story headlined "How to Cleanse Serbia." The recommendation was natural in the light of American history, which is dominated by the theme of ethnic cleansing from its origins and to the present day, achievements celebrated in the names given to military attack helicopters and other weapons of destruction. A qualification is in order, however: the term "ethnic cleansing" is not really appropriate: U.S. cleansing operations have been ecumenical; Indochina and Central America are two recent illustrations.

While declaring victory, Washington did not yet declare peace: the bombing continues until the victors determine that their interpretation of the Kosovo Accord has been imposed.

>From the outset, the bombing had been cast as a matter of cosmic significance, a test of a New Humanism, in which the "enlightened states" (Foreign Affairs) open a new era of human history guided by "a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated" (Tony Blair). The enlightened states are the United States and its British associate, perhaps also others who enlist in their crusades for justice.

Apparently the rank of "enlightened states" is conferred by definition. One finds no attempt to provide evidence or argument, surely not from their history. The latter is in any event deemed irrelevant by the familiar doctrine of "change of course," invoked regularly in the ideological institutions to dispatch the past into the deepest recesses of the memory hole, thus deterring the threat that some might ask the most obvious questions: with institutional structures and distribution of power essentially unchanged, why should one expect a radical shift in policy -- or any at all, apart from tactical adjustments?

But such questions are off the agenda. "From the start the Kosovo problem has been about how we should react when bad things happen in unimportant places," global analyst Thomas Friedman explained in the New York Times as the Accord was announced. He proceeds to laud the enlightened states for pursuing his moral principle that "once the refugee evictions began, ignoring Kosovo would be wrong...and therefore using a huge air war for a limited objective was the only thing that made sense."

A minor difficulty is that concern over the "refugee evictions" could not have been the motive for the "huge air war." The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported its first registered refugees outside of Kosovo on March 27 (4000), three days after the bombings began. The toll increased until June 4, reaching a reported total of 670,000 in the neighboring countries (Albania, Macedonia), along with an estimated 70,000 in Montenegro (within the FRY), and 75,000 who had left for other countries. The figures, which are unfortunately all too familiar, do not include the unknown numbers who have been displaced within Kosovo, some 2-300,000 in the year before the bombing according to NATO, a great many more afterwards.

Uncontroversially, the "huge air war" precipitated a sharp escalation of ethnic cleansing and other atrocities. That much has been reported consistently by correspondents on the scene and in retrospective analyses in the press. The same picture is presented in the two major documents that seek to portray the bombing as a reaction to the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. The most extensive one, provided by the State Department in May, is suitably entitled "Erasing History: Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo"; the second is the Indictment of Milosevic and associates by the International Tribunal on War Crimes in Yugoslavia after the U.S. and Britain "opened the way for what amounted to a remarkably fast indictment by giving [prosecutor Louise] Arbour access to intelligence and other information long denied to her by Western governments," the New York Times reported, with two full pages devoted to the Indictment. Both documents hold that the atrocities began "on or about January 1"; in both, however, the detailed chronology reveals that atrocities continued about as before until the bombing led to a very sharp escalation. That surely came as no surprise. Commanding General Wesley Clark at once described these consequences as "entirely predictable" -- an exaggeration of course; nothing in human affairs is that predictable, though ample evidence is now available revealing that the consequences were anticipated, for reasons readily understood without access to secret intelligence.

One small index of the effects of "the huge air war" was offered by Robert Hayden, director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies of the University of Pittsburgh: "the casualties among Serb civilians in the first three weeks of the war are higher than all of the casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months that led up to this war, and yet those three months were supposed to be a humanitarian catastrophe." True, these particular consequences are of no account in the context of the jingoist hysteria that was whipped up to demonize Serbs, reaching intriguing heights as bombing openly targeted the civilian society and hence required more fervent advocacy.

By chance, at least a hint of a more credible answer to Friedman's rhetorical question was given in the Times on the same day in a report from Ankara by Stephen Kinzer. He writes that "Turkey's best-known human rights advocate entered prison" to serve his sentence for having "urged the state to reach a peaceful settlement with Kurdish rebels." A few days earlier, Kinzer had indicated obliquely that there is more to the story: "Some [Kurds] say they have been oppressed under Turkish rule, but the Government insists that they are granted the same rights as other citizens." One may ask whether this really does justice to some of the most extreme ethnic cleansing operations of the mid '90s, with tens of thousands killed, 3500 villages destroyed (seven times the number in Kosovo, according to Clinton's "victory address"), some 2.5 to 3 million refugees, and hideous atrocities that easily compare to those recorded daily in the front pages for selected enemies, reported in detail by the major human rights organizations but ignored. These achievements were carried out thanks to massive military support from the United States, increasing under Clinton as the atrocities peaked, including jet planes, attack helicopters, counterinsurgency equipment, and other means of terror and destruction, along with training and intelligence information for some of the worst killers.

Recall that these crimes have been proceeding through the '90s within NATO itself, and under the jurisdiction of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, which continues to hand down judgments against Turkey for its U.S.-supported atrocities (several in 1998). It took real discipline for participants and commentators "not to notice" any of this at the celebration of NATO's 50th anniversary in April. The discipline was particularly impressive in the light of the fact that the celebration was clouded by somber concerns over ethnic cleansing -- by officially-designated enemies, not by the enlightened states that are to rededicate themselves to their traditional mission of bringing justice and freedom to the suffering people of the world, and to defend human rights, by force if necessary, under the principles of the New Humanism.

These crimes, to be sure, are only one illustration of the answer given by the enlightened states to the profound question of "how we should react when bad things happen in unimportant places." We should intervene to escalate the atrocities, not "looking away" under a "double standard," the common evasion when such marginalia are impolitely adduced. That also happens to be the mission that was conducted in Kosovo, as revealed clearly by the course of events, though not the version refracted through the prism of ideology and doctrine, which do not gladly tolerate the observation that a consequence of the "the huge air war" was a change from a year of atrocities on the scale of the annual (U.S.-backed) toll in Colombia in the 1990s to a level that might have approached atrocities within NATO/Europe itself in the 1990s had the bombing continued.

The marching orders from Washington, however, are the usual ones: Focus laser-like on the crimes of today's official enemy, and do not allow yourself to be distracted by comparable or worse crimes that could easily be mitigated or terminated thanks to the crucial role of the enlightened states in perpetuating them, or escalating them when power interests so dictate. Let us obey the orders, then, and keep to Kosovo.

A minimally serious investigation of the Kosovo Accord must review the diplomatic options of March 23, the day before "huge air war" was launched, and compare them with the agreement reached by NATO and Serbia on June 3. Here we have to distinguish two versions: (1) the facts, and (2) the spin -- that is, the U.S./NATO version that frames reporting and commentary in the enlightened states. Even the most cursory look reveals that the facts and the spin differ sharply. Thus the New York Times presented the text of the Accord with an insert headed: "Two Peace Plans: How they Differ." The two peace plans are the Rambouillet (Interim) Agreement presented to Serbia as a take-it-or-be-bombed ultimatum on March 23, and the Kosovo Peace Accord of June 3. But in the real world there are three "peace plans," two of which were on the table on March 23: the Rambouillet Agreement and the Serb National Assembly Resolutions responding to it.

Let us begin with the two peace plans of March 23, asking how they differed and how they compare with the Kosovo Peace Accord of June 3, then turning briefly to what we might reasonably expect if we break the rules and pay some attention to the (ample) precedents.

The Rambouillet Agreement called for complete military occupation and substantial political control of Kosovo by NATO, and effective NATO military occupation of the rest of Yugoslavia. NATO is to "constitute and lead a military force" (KFOR) that "NATO will establish and deploy" in and around Kosovo, "operating under the authority and subject to the direction and political control of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) through the NATO chain of command"; "the KFOR commander is the final authority within theater regarding interpretation of this chapter [Implementation of the Military Agreement] and his interpretations are binding on all Parties and persons" (with an irrelevant qualification). OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) has formal jurisdiction over civilian aspects of the agreement, in coordination with KFOR -- an occupying army, hence in a position to determine what happens. Within a brief time schedule, all Yugoslav army forces and Ministry of Interior police are to re-deploy to "approved cantonment sites," then to withdraw to Serbia, apart from small units assigned to border guard duties with limited weapons (all specified in detail). These units would be restricted to defending the borders from attack and "controlling illicit border crossings," and not permitted to travel in Kosovo apart from these functions.

"Three years after the entry into force of this Agreement, an international meeting shall to be convened to determine a mechanisms for a final settlement for Kosovo." This paragraph has regularly been construed as calling for a referendum on independence, though that is not specifically mentioned.

With regard to the rest of Yugoslavia, the terms for the occupation are set forth in Appendix B: Status of Multi-National Military Implementation Force. The crucial paragraph reads:

 8. NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, maneuver, billet, and utilization of any areas or facilities as required for support, training, and operations.The remainder spells out the conditions that permit NATO forces and those they employ to act as they choose throughout the territory of the FRY, without obligation or concern for the laws of the country or the jurisdiction of its authorities, who are, however, required to follow NATO orders "on a priority basis and with all appropriate means." One provision states that "all NATO personnel shall respect the laws applicable in the FRY...," but with a qualification to render it vacuous: "Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities under this Appendix, all NATO personnel...."

It has been speculated that the wording was designed so as to guarantee rejection. Perhaps so. It is hard to imagine that any country would consider such terms, except in the form of unconditional surrender.

In the massive coverage of the war one will find little reference to the Agreement that is even close to accurate, notably the crucial article of Appendix B just quoted. The latter was, however, reported as soon as it had become irrelevant to democratic choice. On June 5, after the peace agreement of June 3, the press reported that under the annex to the Rambouillet Agreement "a purely NATO force was to be given full permission to go anywhere it wanted in Yugoslavia, immune from any legal process," citing also the wording (New York Times; also others). Evidently, in the absence of clear and repeated explanation of the basic terms of the Rambouillet Agreement -- the official "peace process" -- it has been impossible for the public to gain any serious understanding of what was taking place, or to assess the accuracy of the preferred version of the Kosovo Accord.

The second peace plan was presented in resolutions of the Serbian National Assembly on March 23. The Assembly rejected the demand for NATO military occupation, and called on the OSCE and the UN to facilitate a peaceful diplomatic settlement. It condemned the withdrawal of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission on March 19 in preparation for the March 24 bombing. The resolutions called for negotiations leading "toward the reaching of a political agreement on a wide-ranging autonomy for Kosovo and Metohija [the official name for the province], with the securing of a full equality of all citizens and ethnic communities and with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." Furthermore, though "The Serbian Parliament does not accept presence of foreign military troops in Kosovo and Metohija,"

The Serbian Parliament is ready to review the size and character of the international presence in Kosmet [Kosovo/Metohija] for carrying out the reached accord, immediately upon signing the political accord on the self-rule agreed and accepted by the representatives of all national communities living in Kosovo and Metohija.The essentials of these decisions were reported on major wire services and therefore certainly known to every news room. Several database searches have found scarce mention, none in the national press and major journals.

The two peace plans of March 23 thus remain unknown to the general public, even the fact that there were two, not one. The standard line is that "Milosevic's refusal to accept...or even discuss an international peacekeeping plan [namely, the Rambouillet Agreement] was what started NATO bombing on March 24" (Craig Whitney, New York Times), one of the many articles deploring Serbian propaganda -- accurately no doubt, but with a few oversights.

As to what the Serb National Assembly Resolutions meant, the answers are known with confidence by fanatics -- different answers, depending on which variety of fanatics they are. For others, there would have been a way to find out the answers: to explore the possibilities. But the enlightened states preferred not to pursue this option; rather, to bomb, with the anticipated consequences.

Further steps in the diplomatic process, and their interpretation in the doctrinal institutions, merit attention, but I will skip that here, turning to the Kosovo Accord of June 3. As might have been expected, it is a compromise between the two peace plans of March 23. On paper at least, the U.S./NATO abandoned their major demands, cited above, which had led to Serbia's rejection of the ultimatum. Serbia in turn agreed to an "international security presence with substantial NATO participation [which] must be deployed under unified command and control...under U.N. auspices." An addendum to the text stated "Russia's position [that] the Russian contingent will not be under NATO command and its relationship to the international presence will be governed by relevant additional agreements." There are no terms permitting access to the rest of the FRY for NATO or the "international security presence" generally. Political control of Kosovo is not in the hands of NATO, Serbia, or the OSCE, but of the UN Security Council, which will establish "an interim administration of Kosovo." The withdrawal of Yugoslav forces is not specified in the detail of the Rambouillet Agreement, but is similar, though accelerated. The remainder is within the range of agreement of the two plans of March 23.

The outcome suggests that diplomatic initiatives could have been pursued on March 23, averting a terrible human tragedy with consequences that will reverberate in Yugoslavia and elsewhere, and are in many respects quite ominous.

To be sure, the current situation is not that of March 23. A Times headline the day of the Kosovo Accord captures it accurately: "Kosovo Problems Just Beginning." Among the "staggering problems" that lie ahead, Serge Schmemann observed, are the repatriation of the refugees "to the land of ashes and graves that was their home," and the "enormously costly challenge of rebuilding the devastated economies of Kosovo, the rest of Serbia and their neighbors." He quotes Balkans historian Susan Woodward of the Brookings Institution, who adds "that all the people we want to help us make a stable Kosovo have been destroyed by the effects of the bombings," leaving control in the hands of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army). The U.S. had strongly condemned the KLA as "without any question a terrorist group" when it began to carry out organized attacks in February 1998, actions that Washington condemned "very strongly" as "terrorist activities," probably giving a "green light" thereby to Milosevic for the severe repression that led to the Colombia-style violence before the bombings precipitated a sharp escalation.

These "staggering problems" are new. They are "the effects of the bombings" and the vicious Serb reaction to them, though the problems that preceded the resort to violence by the enlightened states were daunting enough.

Turning from facts to spin, headlines hailed the grand victory of the enlightened states and their leaders, who compelled Milosevic to "capitulate," to "say uncle," to accept a "NATO-led force," and to surrender "as close to unconditionally as anyone might have imagined," submitting to "a worse deal than the Rambouillet plan he rejected." Not exactly the story, but one that is far more useful than the facts. The only serious issue debated is whether this shows that air power alone can achieve highly moral purposes, or whether, as the critics allowed into the debate allege, the case still has not been proven. Turning to broader significance, Britain's "eminent military historian" John Keegan "sees the war as a victory not just for air power but for the `New World Order' that President Bush declared after the Gulf War." Keegan wrote that "If Milosevic really is a beaten man, all other would-be Milosevics around the world will have to reconsider their plans."

The assessment is realistic, though not in the terms Keegan may have had in mind: rather, in the light of the actual goals and significance of the New World Order, as revealed by an important documentary record of the '90s that remains unreported, and a plethora of factual evidence that helps us understand the true meaning of the phrase "Milosevics around the world." Merely to keep to the Balkans region, the strictures do not hold of huge ethnic cleansing operations and terrible atrocities within NATO itself, in its Southeastern corner, under European jurisdiction and with decisive and mounting U.S. support, and not conducted in response to an attack by the world's most awesome military force and the imminent threat of invasion. These crimes are legitimate under the rules of the New World Order, perhaps even meritorious, as are atrocities elsewhere that conform to the perceived interests of the leaders of the enlightened states and are regularly implemented by them when necessary. These facts, not particularly obscure, reveal that in the "new internationalism...the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups" will not merely be "tolerated," but actively expedited -- exactly as in the "old internationalism" of the Concert of Europe, the U.S. itself, and many other distinguished predecessors.

While the facts and the spin differ sharply, one might argue that the media and commentators are realistic when they present the U.S./NATO version as if it were the facts. It will become The Facts as a simple consequence of the distribution of power and the willingness of articulate opinion to serve its needs. That is a regular phenomenon. Recent examples include the Paris Peace Treaty of January 1973 and the Esquipulas Accords of August 1987.

In the former case, the U.S. was compelled to sign after the failure of the 1972 Christmas bombings to induce Hanoi to abandon the U.S.-Vietnam agreement of the preceding October. Kissinger and the White House at once announced quite lucidly that they would violate every significant element of the Treaty they were signing, presenting a different version which was adopted in reporting and commentary, so that when the Vietnamese enemy finally responded to serious U.S. violations of the accords, it became the incorrigible aggressor which had to be punished once again, as it was. The same tragedy/farce took place when the Central American Presidents reached the Esquipulas Accord (often called "the Arias plan") over strong U.S. opposition. Washington at once escalated its wars in violation of the one "indispensable element" of the Accord, then proceeded to dismantle its other provisions by force, succeeding within a few months, and continuing to undermine every further diplomatic effort until its final victory. Washington's version of the Accord, which sharply deviated from it in crucial respects, became the accepted version. The outcome could therefore be heralded in headlines as a "Victory for U.S. Fair Play" with Americans "United in Joy" over the devastation and bloodshed, overcome with rapture "in a romantic age" (Anthony Lewis, headlines in New York Times, all reflecting the general euphoria over a mission accomplished).

It is superfluous to review the aftermath in these and numerous similar cases. There is little reason to expect a different story to unfold in the present case -- with the usual and crucial proviso: If we let it.

---

Postscript. It is irritating to have one's most cynical expectations verified, but within hours after the preceding was posted on the web, the standard story unfolded: Washington provided its interpretation of the Kosovo Peace Accord (and the subsequent UN Security Council Resolution), radically different from the text and quite similar to the Rambouillet conditions that the US had formally renounced. The media and other commentary adopted Washington's version as The Facts. Events otherwise proceeded on course, and will, with the same proviso.

 

 

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