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Post The Serb Position
Created by Ronald Hilton on 03/27/99 2:49 AM

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The Serb Position (Ronald Hilton, USA, 03/27/99 2:49 am)

The Kosovo situation is seen through colored spectacles, either ethnic or partisan (in this country, mostly Democrat or Republican). The post of Hoover Archivist, now held by Elena Danielson, was once held by a naturalized Serb, Milorad Draskovich. A very able and attractive person, but he saw things through Serbian glasses.

At about the same time, a Serbia specialist, Alex Dragnich, was a visiting scholar at Hoover. An American of Serbian family, he too was extremely pleasant and scholarly, known as a top specialist on Serbia. He had served with the State Department in Belgrade. His hoped-for permanent appointment at Hoover did not materialize. I suspect the feeling was that Hoover was becoming too Serb-heavy. He returned to Vanderbilt, and retired some years ago.

Now he has popped up again, and his books are in demand. He expounds the Serb position mostly to pro-Serb audiences. I was delighted to see him after all these years, wizened but still vigorous. His position is that Milosevich is the villain, but that U.S. policy is a mistake.

Several non-Serb WAISers, including John Wonder, take the same position. Tom Moore of the Hoover Institution writes:

"Of course, Milosevich is a monster, and should be tried as a war criminal, but that does not make our policy sensible. We should never have threatened to bomb Serbia if it did not agree to our terms. Consequently we are bombing but bombing has never been successful by itself. In Bosnia Milosevich agreed to Dayton because they were beginning to lose the war with the Croatia. We have tried to change Iraq by bombing without any noticeable success.

Bombing does have the effect of making the people of Serbia rally round its government and Milosevich. Even those who don't like him will support him against the agressor -- the United States and NATO. Rather than hurt Milosevich, we have strengthened his hold on power.

As a consequence we are acting as the airforce for the Kosovars. At the best we may wind up with any independent Kosovo, which we don't want. More likely is the Serbs will continue to ethnic-cleanse Kosovo and drive its people out into nearby countries, which will also be disastrous."

My comment: I can only say what Julius Caesar said when he crossed the Rubicon: "Alea jacta est."

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