Regarding the indictment of Slobodan
Milosevic as a war criminal...
Anyone notice the incessant use of the words
"indicted war criminal" to describe Slobodan Milosevic? Over and
over, since the court at the Hague met and decreed war crimes had taken place
(without an official war, mind you), the administration and its NATO allies
have pounded this idea home.
abhorrence with which they utter the phrase is designed to
On the face
of it, Milosevic is being bombed daily by an otherwise unstoppable rain of
terror. Now he has to worry about what we think of him, too.
deeper level, it is questionable as to exactly what damage the NATO
(controlled) planes are doing, with certain targets off-limits. Rembrandts and
such. Cultural property is important, no question. The question is, though, how
many NATO lives (our young people's lives) are we willing to trade to keep one
Rembrandt safe? Another way, how much longer will the "war" go on if
we decline to offend our sensibilities? ("Lost Lives" is directly
proportional to "Length Of War".)
At a much
deeper level, the bombing campaign is not terrorizing Milosevic the way it
apparently did Saddam Hussein. There is no capitulation in the offing.
But if you
observe the way the administration is acting, they seem to think their words
are the real weapon. Now that Milosevic has been indicted, public outrage will
turn against him! With the turn of a phrase they have him on the run! Very
(An aside: to see really bad propaganda practiced on a daily
basis, check out N. Korean News.)
looks and sounds to me like Slobodan doesn't care. And why should he? If sticks
and stones, cruise missiles, cluster bombs and smart bombs and God knows what
else do not disturb him, what will a few smartly placed adjectives do? But to
the academes in Washington, the words are just the thing.
bemused observer, it is the equivalent of watching some kid yelling after a
bully that he'll fix him, when he clearly does not care, and is laughing all
the way home.
However deserving this butcher is of
condemnation, pointing fingers and making accusations is not going to help
unless he is actually put on trial, and punished accordingly. Then the words
"war criminal" will have some meaning.
If he is not put on trial, then the
international court is weakened, and the possibility of international justice
deterring other human rights violators will fade quickly from the scene, but it
all should be done in the context of "war", and once the war is
concluded, everyone should go back to minding their own business.
So why belabor the words?
I see their
use of words as a revelation about the mindset of the professorial types in
power in the U.S. Their world is one where a few well placed words really can
ruin a career, be they suspicions of plagiarism or the damnation of faint
praise, crushing the spirit and a lifetime of work. It is the stain and stench
of the opinion of credentialed colleagues that comprises their weaponry.
And I don't
think they can distinguish between the academic world, where opinions matter,
and the real world, where soft words and a big stick seems to be the only
arsenal of merit.
They are also
lawyers, who by and large as a class make a living from destroying lives with
words, justly or not. But the words of our justice system have the confidence
that comes from being backed up by deadly force to insure their implementation.
simple equation, it seems unlikely that the administration would believe their
words would make a difference when the bombs don't. So what are the words
are for us.
- First, to
make it look like they are achieving something.
- Second, and
more importantly, if we are convinced those words have meaning, and power, it
is a small brick in the wall that is our recognition of a world authority.
For all we
know, someday that authority, or its big brother, may just have to come into
Kansas to force acceptance of worldwide pollution standards, assist us in
sharing our foodstuffs with poorer countries involuntarily, or perhaps aid a
rebel group in establishing a separatist province in Silicon Valley. Hell, you
could probably make a world case for Native Americans right now if you wanted
to. Turning us into "citizens of the world" is part of a long, slow
process of enslavement*. They learned a long time ago that we have to be worn
away over generations.
I always used
to think that the US was the world authority. And by and large, we attempted to
help the world, despite the mistakes and abuses that have occurred. But there
are people that don't want us helping from a position of strength. They want to
take our resources and resourcefulness, and distribute its power as they see
fit. Some people have effectively neutered us, through revisionism and other
totalitarian tools, undermining our moral position**, and our capability to
assert justice. These people include our "leaders".
example, every day a thousand new voices blindly raise the new
"fairness" standard. Some have high-minded motives in "helping
all the peoples of the world". Others posture those motives simply to take
control. The ones who would destroy us, and freedom, need our help! But face
it, what good is our selfish sovereignty compared to the nobleness of worldwide
fairness?! I guess the sooner we are knocked down to everyone else's level and
join in their despair, the happier everyone will be. It is only
the acquiescence of our fellow citizens, it seems inevitable they*** will win,
in the short run. Are the words of the one-worlders as strong as our desire to
be free? One bright note: All the lies and propaganda and deadly force and
"fairness" in the mighty USSR could not preserve that union.
appears that this country is the last, best hope for totalitarianism, and here
we will have to make a stand against it. And though ultimately we may lose the
current form and structure of our United States, and millions upon millions of
lives, the idea of freedom in practice is not going to be easy to kill, no
matter what anyone does or says.