Thursday, March 27, 2014

From Belgrade to Baghdad

Amidst all the activity concerning the Ukraine, I barely managed to set aside some time to commemorate the anniversaries of NATO's 1999 war of aggression and the 2004 pogrom it produced. And somehow I missed March 19, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq - one of those invasions "on completely trumped up pretext" that, according to John Kerry, no one does anymore.

Except, you know, the Empire.

Just before the invasion began, I wrote about the complete moral bankruptcy of invoking the Balkans precedent, and all the ghastly, appalling "arguments" proffered by both advocates and "critics" of the invasion.

Here was Richard Holbrooke, for example: "one should never underestimate the persuasive power of power itself." And here was Veton Surroi, a "moderate" ethnic Albanian demanding that Iraqis die to justify the American murder of Serbs four years prior: "Change will only come when the bombs begin to fall."

All the "debate" in the West, then as now, has focused on appearances of Imperial interventions. With a handful of notable exceptions such as Ron Paul, few have ever questioned their validity. Until it is recognized that the Empire had no right to initiate the use of force, whether in Serbia in 1999, or in Iraq 2003, comparisons between the different acts of aggression will be mere exercises in justification.

Considering the number of falsehoods per sentence in yesterday's statement by Mr. Obama, however, I wouldn't wager on that recognition coming any time soon.

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