The op-ed itself is fluff. Written by Deborah Senn, in places it seems copied out of ICG's handbook: Serbia's people, she says, "have the intellectual skills, determination and know-how to create a prosperous future, as long as their nation can leave behind the nationalism and ethnic divisions of the past."
Senn gushes over "well-educated and eager young people" who can make a "giant leap" and "[write] a new chapter in its colorful history — this time as a tolerant, pluralistic country"...
Never mind any of this naive, liberal-imperialist bovine excrement. Look at the picture the Seattle Times editors ran next to the article.
LOOK AT IT.
Flowers in blue, white and red - the national colors of Serbia - are blooming from the ground seeded with bombs. This is the message: (American) bombs bring democracy, prosperity, tolerance.
Well, Ms. Insurance Inspector, you can take your bright shining future and shove it. Serbia is not latte-sipping lumpen-studentariat gushing over the newest Western celebrity craze and blaming the "evil old regime" for every ill sent its way by the Empire in the past decade. That Serbia which you envision is never going to exist, save in the demented imaginations of western imperialists and domestic sycophants. If it gets its act together, Serbia will bloom and grow - not out of those "humanitarian" bombs of yours, but despite them. In defiance to them.
And you better hope and pray that some time down the line, when the American Empire is no longer the most powerful military force in the world (which may be sooner than you think), someone else doesn't decide to "humanitarianize" Seattle the way Americans "brought democracy" to Belgrade.