Many of the links in this article are now expired or invalid. If you’re looking for the old link collection at “Kosovo: War, Health of the State“, please contact me.
The War on Yugoslavia: a Personal Odyssey
This article appeared in the June ’99 newsletter of the West Coast Libertarian Foundation (see copyright notice)
My journey begins
When the bombs started falling on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, my initial gut reaction, was a sad and tired, “Oh, no! Not again.” Less than 9 months earlier, on the eve of an impeachment vote, Clinton had sent cruise missiles flying into Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan in a vain attempt to target terrorist Osama bin Laden. My memory was still fresh with the US bombing of a Sudanese “chemical weapons plant” that later turned out to be a pharmaceutical plant, as its owners had claimed all along. This was beginning to look suspiciously like another US government attempt to solve every international problem with death and destruction from the sky.
Nevertheless, I had absorbed enough of the standard media fare to believe that there were some “bad people” in control of Yugoslavia, and that perhaps NATO was justified in its “mini-strike” that was supposed to make them back down “in a matter of days”. I had never believed that “national sovereignty” gave unlimited moral sanction to despots. Still, I had a haunting suspicion that this was a very ill conceived move on NATO’s part.
A Serbian Rally
My suspicions were made worse when I attended a Serbian anti-war rally about four days after the bombing began. Some Serbian friends had invited me to “hear the other side”. As it turned out, I missed most of the public discussion that was delivered over a bad sound system, much of it in Serbian. However, in talking to people at the rally, I came away with a few conclusions. First of all, if the mood of these Serbian expatriates was any indication, the Serbs were not going to yield quickly to NATO’s attacks. Second, despite the lack of any blatant racism, there was an undercurrent of fear and suspicion towards the Kosovar Albanians. My experience with human nature told me that almost certainly, this feeling ran both ways. It was certainly looking like NATO had thrown a firecracker into the “Balkan powder keg”.
The Internet Connection
At the Rally, I picked up a couple of anti-war articles from well-known Canadians. I began to suspect there might be another side to the story that NATO was spinning in the western press. Using the Internet, I tracked down sources which underscored how the mainstream media, caught in the usual “war hysteria”, were prone to bias, one-sided reporting, exaggeration, and uncritically parroting outright lies. Over the next 80 days, I read and cataloged over 2000 news items and background articles from web-sites from dozens of countries including Russia, China, Yugoslavia and Albania. (Please contact me for the old collection of links. As a result of this work, I was also asked to edit Free-Market.Net’s Balkan War Spotlight at http://www.free-market.net/features/spotlight/9905.html.)
The “other side” begins to emerge
Besides myriad newspaper articles, I also studied the sites of libertarian think-tanks, such as the Cato Institute and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, as well as the developing centre of the anti-war movement at Antiwar.com.
The picture that emerged was much more complex and much less black-and-white than NATO was painting it. Even now, I don’t claim to be knowledgeable in Balkan affairs. Piecing together all the facts and lies into a solid understanding is a job that would take years for an experienced researcher. Still, by March 31, I was definitely convinced that NATO had made a mistake, and wrote a condemnatory letter to various federal politicians. Although my understanding has deepened over the past 10 weeks, the conclusions I drew then still seem valid today.
The Simple Story
In the simplest of terms, it appeared that NATO had taken a relatively low-grade conflict, and turned in into an all-out war, one which ultimately left many losers: the Kosovars (both Serb and Albanian), the Serbians, and the peace of the planet.
Once the bombing began, there was no escaping the daily reports of a massive exodus of Kosovar Albanians, no doubt accompanied by numerous atrocities. The extent to which NATO had to take responsibility for that humanitarian disaster, lay in understanding some of the background of the conflict.
To provide a complete background to the Kosovo conflict would take a very thick book. The mainstream media kept telling us that disputes over the ownership of this province of Serbia date back over 600 years. In my virtual travels, I learned of a great many sub-themes which underscored my strengthening conviction that NATO had decided to intervene on one side of an ethnic civil war, where both sides had valid claims, and both sides had sordid records. The result was not likely to be peace, harmony and justice for all.
Here are just a few of the “factoids” that I discovered. I knew this wasn’t a definitive history of the region, but it continued to reinforce my belief that there was no “right” side for us to be fighting with, and that we had made things far worse by our intervention. My hope is that it will provide the reader enough incentive to further investigate this background.
For starters, it would appear that the leadership of the Kosovar Albanians has for years been pursuing a policy of ethnic separation and union with Albania. In the 1970s, the more radical communist leaders in Kosovo had called for a policy of ethnically cleansing its territory of Serbs and other non-Albanians as a preparation for separation. Some called for similar policies to be instituted in Albanian regions of Montenegro, Greece and Macedonia. By the latter half of the 1980s, Serbian residents were being driven out of Kosovo by a sustained campaign of violence and intimidation. This is a part of the reason why the Albanians formed an overwhelming majority in Kosovo by 1999.
Milosevic and his supporters
Former communist and now nationalist Milosevic probably deserves much of his bad press in the West. As far as I can tell, Milosevic is the quintessential opportunistic politician with a thuggish streak. He used the fears of the Serbians in Yugoslavia to build and consolidate his power. He also portrayed himself as a “moderate” against the more rabid nationalism of some of the opposition parties. Significantly, his rise to power was really launched in Kosovo, where he promised Serbs relief from Albanian harassment. His crackdown on provincial autonomy is well documented. However, many Serbians strongly opposed his policies, and hundreds of thousands left Yugoslavia in recent years. Libertarians from Belgrade told me of daily demonstrations in the streets that grew to several hundred thousand people in 1996. During this time, the anti-Milosevic Serbians received little or no encouragement from American spokesmen. Only the year before, Milosevic had received a boost when the Americans supported him as “our man at Dayton”.
Enter the KLA
Before the rise of the extremist KLA, the Albanian separatists were led by the pacifist Rugova. If the KLA existed at all, it was a marginal terrorist organization. In the last couple of years, the KLA suddenly underwent a dramatic growth. There are a number of possible explanations for this, including:
- Support from Kosovar Albanian drug rings . (Prior to the war, about 70% of all heroin entering Europe was thought to pass through Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.)
- The disintegration of the government in neighbouring Albania in 1997, increasing the flow of arms, refugees and new recruits into Kosovo.
- Kosovar Albanian reaction to heavy-handed Serbian counterinsurgency operations, and to their exclusion from the Dayton talks..
- Suspected support from Middle East terrorists such as Osama bin Laden .
- Tacit encouragement by the Americans.
- Possible support from “other sources” .
The KLA are the ideological descendants of the former Marxist nationalist government in Albania. (This was the government that claimed that Stalin and Mao were too moderate, and whose repressive policies left Albania the poorest country in Europe.) The KLA apparently had no compunction about killing civilians, Serbian or Albanian, if it served their cause. Some observers believe the infamous “Racak massacre” of early 1999 may have been staged by the KLA to gain western sympathy. (It would not be the first time a warring faction in Yugoslavia had done this.)
Civil War but no “ethnic cleansing” before the bombing
By 1998, Kosovo was the scene of a civil war between the KLA and Serbian counterinsurgency forces. The KLA engaged in provoking excessive reactions from the Serbian forces, and the Serbian forces went right along with them. If the KLA were willing to launch attacks from within civilian settlements, the Serbian government forces were not too finicky about the “collateral damage” to civilians that occurred in fighting back. Nevertheless, during the entire year leading up to the NATO strikes, there were at most about 2200 Kosovo casualties, both Serb and Albanian. This included Serb policemen and KLA fighters, as well as civilians.
Furthermore, there was apparently no organized “ethnic cleansing” of Albanians by Serbian forces prior to NATO’s bombing attacks. With 2000 human rights observers on the ground, there was some hope that eventually, the armed conflict could be scaled back.
So what about the up to 200,000 Albanian refugees that apparently fled Kosovo before the bombing? The evidence appears to be that they were fleeing a war zone and looking for a safer place to live. The Balkans was full of refugees. Tens of thousands of Serbs left Kosovo for parts north. Tens or hundreds of thousands fled Albania during the Albanian “implosion”, many of them into Kosovo. Several hundred thousand Serbians left Yugoslavia for Canada and other countries. On the day of the NATO attack, there were about 600,000 Serbian refugees from Bosnia and Croatia still camped out in Serbia.
The Serbian perspective
In order to understand how all this looked to the Serbians, one might imagine the situation if the Latino population of the American Southwest were to begin a campaign of ethnic separation from the US, and received aid and support from the Columbian drug cartels and Mexican guerrillas. A few attacks on “Anglo” FBI agents, and the resulting “Reno’s Revenge” would likely make Waco look like a kindergarten picnic.
Now, imagine what happens if these “Azatlan separatists” are able to convince a major power (say Russia) to threaten Washington DC with bombs if they refuse to allow a Russian-Chinese occupation force, and the separation of southern California.
NATO the “peacemaker”
Ostensibly, NATO’s bombing attack on Serbia was a reaction to continued Serbian “atrocities” and their refusal to sign the Rambouillet “peace treaty” that was signed by the Kosovar Albanians. As usual, what I found out after digging was much more unsettling. At first, neither the Kosovars nor the Serbians would sign. Late in the “negotiations”, the Americans added a clause that would have given the Kosovar Albanians de facto independence in three years. They allegedly told the Albanian delegation that they needed them to sign so they could portray the Serbs as the “bad guys”. In turn, the Serbs were told to sign or be bombed. On the last day of the negotiations, the US added a clause that was not then divulged to the media, or even to many of the American allies. This clause allowed for the complete and total occupation of all of Serbia by NATO forces. At this point, the talks broke down completely, and NATO began bombing.
When the NATO attack on Yugoslavia began, the West expressed surprise that, rather than capitulate, the Yugoslav government and the local Serbian paramilitaries escalated their actions into a full-scale war on Kosovo separatists, and a concerted effort to drive Kosovar Albanians from their homes. Meanwhile, the KLA stepped up their attacks against the Serbs. In the ensuing melee, thousands died. This seemed to me such an obvious development that I wondered, “How could NATO be so stupid?”
If it was stupidity, it was “studied stupidity”. I eventually found evidence that many had warned Clinton that this is exactly what would happen. A US Defense-oriented magazine issued an explicit warning in October 1998. The CIA and the majority of the Pentagon military chiefs told Clinton the same thing. The libertarian Cato Institute briefed Congress with a similar warning. The radical Serbian opposition parties made explicit promises. Warnings had come from everyone from defense analysts to Serbian Orthodox Church leaders in Kosovo.
In the final days of the war, a story came to light that a US State Department official had let slip a comment about the Rambouillet “negotiations”. Serbia had been willing to agree to a UN presence in Kosovo. But the Americans knew that Milosevic could never agree to the proposed total NATO occupation of Serbia without being accused of treason at home. “We deliberately set the bar too high,” the official said. “The Serbs deserve a bombing and they’re going to get it.”
War is Hell
Well, the Serbs got their bombing, but not the ones that deserved it. The Albanians got expelled, but the KLA remained. As is usual in war, the damage is suffered by civilians and by ordinary soldiers. The casualties of war are truth, freedom, and toleration. The victors are oppressive governments and terrorists.
What can you say about war? War is hell. We’ve heard about atrocities that were visited upon hapless Kosovar Albanians. We’ve heard less about the Serbs and Albanians that the KLA have attacked. We may never know which of the Kosovars were deliberately targeted by Serbian or KLA forces, and which simply caught in the crossfire. In addition, at least 1500 Serbian and Albanian civilians were killed by NATO bombs, and many times that number seriously injured.
To me, one story underscores the horror of this war. There have been several media accounts of landmines left behind by retreating Serb and KLA forces. But NATO has also left a legacy of death. By one estimate, 10,000 “bomblets” from unexploded American cluster bombs now litter the landscape of Serbia, especially in Kosovo. These explosives tend to act as small landmines, exploding upon contact or when disturbed. Unlike landmines, they don’t appear on any maps. In Iraq, unexploded bomblets have now killed more civilians than did the war itself. In Cambodia, twenty-five years later, they are still taking their toll of peasants and children.
What did we achieve?
A Pyrrhic victory
Here are some of the highlights of what NATO achieved by its “victory”.
- Kosovo is in ruins. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Kosovars are dead. How many of them were killed by Serbian forces, KLA reprisals, or NATO bombs, we may never know . NATO’s bombing provided both the trigger and the military cover for the Serbian reaction. To paraphrase an American saying about the Vietnam War, “we destroyed Kosovo in order to save it.” I wonder if some day the Albanians may come to hate us as much for this as they do the Serbs.
- We bombed Serbia back to 1945 . This fact alone may undermine the stability of Southeast Europe for a generation. If Milosevic remains in power, the post-war Serbian casualties could easily exceed those of the war. In the on-going war cum sanctions against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the West may now be responsible for the deaths of over one million Iraqi civilians, most of them children and the elderly. Most of this is a result of pushing Iraq back into the Third World. Is this to be Serbia’s fate also?
- We succeeded in alienating the average citizens of China and Russia to a degree not seen in recent memory. The probability of anti-west extremists gaining the upper hand in these countries has greatly increased . Russia still has thousands of nuclear missiles left over from the days of the Cold War. The country is nervous and unstable. Their military has an explicit policy of nuclear “survivability” and a first strike “use it or lose it” strategy. Even if only ten percent of these missiles functioned, the results are unimaginable.
- The Balkans is more unstable than ever. I’d be surprised if even half the Kosovar refugees ever live in Kosovo again. Added to the already 600,000 Croatian and Bosnian Serb refugees in Serbia will likely be another 200,000 from Kosovo. (“C’est la vie,” says NATO .) The Serbian democratic opposition has been decimated . Meanwhile, four separate and mutually suspicious forces are now charging around in Kosovo and Serbia: the Yugoslav army , the KLA , NATO and the Russians . Clashes between some or all of them are likely if not inevitable. Already as I write comes news that the Russians and British almost engaged in a shooting match over Pristina airport . While the allies crow about their “humanitarian victory”, the KLA are setting themselves up as the new government of Kosovo and beginning their reprisals against Serbs and suspected Albanian collaborators.
Another 600 years of hatred?
In a climate of prosperity, negotiation, and diplomacy, I believe there was a chance that the people of the Balkans could achieve a lasting peace. The attempt to impose ethnic toleration with cruise missiles and cluster bombs has fanned the flames of fear and hatred for another generation. You don’t have to look far for proof of this. Albanian refugees reported their torture at the hands of former Serbian friends in charge of prison camps. One story that particularly touched me was reported by one of the few Western journalists who remained on the ground in Kosovo during the conflict. Around one month after the bombing started, a young Kosovar Serb opened his door to one of his many Albanian friends. Without saying a word, the Albanian lifted his Kalashnikov and fired at the Serb, seriously wounding him and killing his girlfriend.
They say the Serbs have long memories. Many Albanians live by a code that requires them to seek vengeance against the family of one who has wronged them. In a few years, will NATO grow tired of keeping them apart ?
NATO’s blundering intervention
This article has just touched on some of the “stupidities” that NATO has fostered in the Balkans. The research shows that NATO, the IMF, and Western governments have been engaged in a whole series of questionable activities in the region. (A few of these can be found in “Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against US Intervention in the Balkans” by Justin Raimondo, available from Antiwar.com.)
At the end of it all, I’m left wondering “Why?” To what end is all this death and destruction ?
Ignorance and Politics
No doubt some of it is due to simple ignorance. In his speech at the start of the bombing campaign, Clinton admitted to reading up on Kosovo history the night before. He obviously didn’t read far enough, as he referred to the Balkans as the flash point for WWII, as well as WWI. A few weeks later, a poll of Americans showed that about 50% of Americans supported the bombing of Kosovo, and that 50% didn’t know where it was. How many of them were in both camps?
I have no illusions that the policies of NATO completely follow any coherent, long-term strategy, good or bad. NATO itself is composed of a score of countries with very different circumstances and interests. Within each country are disparate forces each trying to assert its own view of the “one best way”. Then, there are the more venal concerns. Without the Yugoslav War, Clinton could be facing his second impeachment hearing over his personal relationship with the Chinese government.
Nevertheless, over the past three months, my suspicions have grown that NATO has pursued a Balkan policy which seems to single out the Serbs in former Yugoslavia for special disapprobation. As an example in point, about a quarter of million Serbs were “ethnically cleansed” from Croatia in the early 90s, while the US not only stood by, but provided military aid to the Croatian army. In nearby Turkey, the campaign against the Kurdish separatists was ten times more deadly than the pre-war Kosovo conflict, and yet Turkey remains a member of NATO and the largest single consumer of American armaments. The same Turkish F16s that bombed Kurdish settlements in Turkey were used for “humanitarian bombing” in Kosovo. I have seen a number of proposed explanations for this disparity. The one that seems most plausible is that NATO has been pursuing a “divide and conquer” strategy towards countries that resist its overtures. Yugoslavia was the most reluctant of the former Eastern European countries, and the Serbians were the only force that could possibly have held Yugoslavia together.
This is also a possible explanation for NATO’s ambivalent attitude towards independence for Kosovo. On the one hand, NATO sees a “Greater Serbia” as an obstacle to its plans in the region. On the other hand, a “Greater Albania” could prove to be just intransigent.
The encirclement of Russia
Why would NATO be so interested in whether the Balkan countries join NATO or not? The answer came to light about halfway through the War, when I stumbled across references to a NATO document outlining its “Russian strategy”. In this document, NATO expressed concern that the growing instability in Russia could lead to communist or nationalist forces taking over the country. A civil war would not be out of the question. In order to counter such an eventuality, NATO has set a goal of bringing every country on Russia’s border (most of them former Soviet republics) into NATO’s alliance. That’s every country from Estonia to Tadzhikistan.
The irony is that this philosophy, coupled with NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia has greatly increased the chances that the Russian leadership will now move in a decidedly anti-Western direction. One could imagine the American reaction if the former Soviet Union had enticed Canada, Haiti, and all of Central America into the Warsaw Pact, and had fought a war with Mexico over independence for Chiapas.
There’s always a connection with Oil
Of course, no American war would be complete without the theme of securing Western access to oil reserves. This one is no different, although it took a while for someone to point out the connection. It turns out that some of the largest oil reserves in the world lie underneath and to the East of the Caspian Sea. The most secure route for this oil to reach the West would be by a pipeline that enters Europe through Turkey and the Balkans. For this route to be “protected” from terrorist or hostile geopolitical forces, it is necessary for the Americans to have a substantial presence in that region. And, of course, it’s necessary for the countries in which the oil is located to have pro-Western governments. Yugoslavia’s resistance to entering the Western orbit was putting a crimp in America’s plans.
NATO, threat to peace and freedom
At one point a few weeks ago, the terrible reality of the New World Order suddenly dawned upon me. A collection of government leaders, operating under the mantle of NATO, had launched an undeclared war on a sovereign state in the name of humanitarian intervention. That war had turned a humanitarian crisis into a humanitarian disaster. In addition, the world moved closer to a major war than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis. We are all targets now.
Yet, this action was taken without the authorization, and in some cases, without even consulting the peoples’ representatives in the various countries affected. In Canada, Chretien allowed an after-the-fact half-day “debate”. (At least Mulroney had a debate over the Gulf War.) In the US, as expected, Clinton waged a devastating undeclared war against Serbia, in order to bypass the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. Subsequently, Congress voted against authorizing the strike against Yugoslavia, and after 60 days, Clinton was also in violation of the 1973 War Powers Act. Similar conditions held in other NATO countries. In the US, public support for the war never went much over 50%. By the end of the war, over 80% of the American public wanted a bombing halt, and in NATO member Greece, 96% opposed the NATO operation. And yet, the NATO juggernaut rolled on, pretty much unopposed.
With NATO now casting about for other humanitarian causes where it can repeat the “success” of Kosovo, world peace is likely to decline further. And yet, with such important issues at stake, meaningful input from those likely to be affected is shunted aside. The American Revolution was fought over the issue of “taxation without representation”. We are now facing the issue of “warfare without representation”.
NATO’s lap dog, the Western press
One of the factors that allowed NATO to pursue its war unimpeded was that slavish adulation of the West’s “free” press. They say truth is the first casualty of war, and this war was no exception. Anyone relying on the coverage of the major newspapers or television networks was getting a one-sided view of the conflict over Kosovo. A few organizations such as FAIR and Antiwar.com devoted themselves to digging out stories from other sources and trying to balance the lopsided coverage of the mainstream media. If it weren’t for this, coverage would have been even more unbalanced. According to an Antiwar.com spokesman, the media:
- Let politicians and military spokespersons get away with evasive and contradictory answers , or sometimes even no answers at all.
- Downplayed important events that shed a bad light on NATO or the KLA .
- Gave excessive and repetitive coverage to stories that portrayed Serbs in a bad light .
- Often engaged in racial generalizations about the Serbs, while simultaneously accusing the Serbs of racism .
- Featured one-sided “debates”, ignoring articulate spokespersons for anti-war points of view .
- Continued to focus on the benevolence of NATO’s intentions, while declining to critically examine the awful results.
My own experience supports this charge. A small example comes to mind. A German NATO detachment discovered a KLA cell in Prizren, where 15 Kosovars, mostly Albanian, were being held and tortured. A man in his 70s had recently died of his wounds. The headline for this story ran “Germans Detain 25 KLA Rebels”. The discovery of a similar Serb-run operation would have received a much more inflammatory title.
Why is a libertarian surprised?
I believe I underwent a transformation during the war. Three months ago, I was willing to believe that NATO was part of the infrastructure that protected my security and freedom here in Canada. No more. Foreign policy is obviously too important to be left to government.
The American founders had it right. “Peaceful trade with all nations. Entangling alliances with none.” We need to reach out across the world outside of the structure of government: through trade, through humanitarian organizations, through individual contact. As Vince Miller of ISIL says, we need to create a “United Nations without the Nations.”
Appendix: The Common-Sense Articles of War
During the hours I spent trying to understand the onion-skin that was Balkan politics and NATO machinations, I tried to come up with a set of principles that might govern the conduct of a rational foreign policy. What I discovered was not a complicated set of geostrategic concepts, but a simple set of common-sense ideas. Many of these principles are known to playground supervisors at preschools.
I call these principles the “Common-Sense Articles of War”. I provide them here without explanation (which means you may have to think about some of them.)
Section 1: War & Peace
- Article I: There are no “smart bombs”.
- Article II: Bombs don’t cause peace, … or democracy, … or human rights, …
- Article III: War creates its own rationale. “To the victor go the spoils.” (The victor also gets to write the history.)
- Article IV: There are no “limited wars”
- Article V: Never start a war you don’t intend to fight all out
- Article VI: If you’re not prepared to die, it’s not worth killing for.
- Article VII: WW2 was not a success.
- Article VIII: War expenditures don’t bring prosperity.
- Article IX: Understand the situation before you act: don’t enter the fray until you know who’s on which side, and who lives where.
- Article X: You don’t bomb the Chinese embassy by accident .
- Article XI: There’s no such thing as the “good guys” and the “bad guys”
- Article XII: Never underestimate your opponent.
- Article XIII: Keep and remember the Golden Rule
- Article XIV: The American Constitution had it pretty much right. (Too bad they threw it out.) Only congress, or parliament, should have the power to declare war.
Section 2: Government
- Article XV: Foreign policy is too important to be left to governments.
- Article XVI: Get governments out of the business of solving world problems (hell, they can’t even solve their own!)
- Article XVII: Forget trade and economic sanctions — lets see if we can find something that hurts the governments more than the people. (How about reviving the practice of “shunning” for despotic leaders?)
- Article XVIII: Leaders who say “the only thing he understands is force” have only one tool: force.
- Article XIX: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- Article XX: Never tolerate a lying cheat, who’s prone to violence, as president. (Now, let’s see, was that Slobo or Willy?)
Section 3: Racism. Prejudice & ‘Ethnic Cleansing’
- Article XXI: ALWAYS deal with people as individuals.
- Article XXII: Countries are not individuals. (We’ve got to stop bombing whole countries to stop the latest madman.)
- Article XXIII: Ethnic-based separation movements have the same root as “ethnic cleansing”. The idea that, if a majority of some ethnic type dominate a region, they have some absolute right to secede (taking their own minorities with them) is a seductively pernicious one that is going to cause a LOT more problems in the future.
- Article XXIV: Never pour gasoline on troubled waters
Section 4: Reason & Persuasion
- Article XXV: The pen is mightier than the sword. Or, as Michael Harris of the Toronto Sun said, “The Internet is mightier than the Cruise.”
- Article XXVI: We need an intellectual victory of reason over institutionalized mysticism, under the guise of: religion, nationalism, patriotism, etc.
- Article XXVII: Put yourself in the others’ shoes — whether you agree or not, you MUST understand their perspective.
- Article XXVIII: Listen first, talk later.
Section 5: Free People
- Article XXIX: Foster more people-to-people contact (instead of government to government). We need a “United Nations without the Nations”.
- Article XXX: Foster real free trade (not “Free Trade”) and free movement.
- Article XXXI: Foster libertarian governments, so people hardly know which government they live under.
- Article XXXII: Become a worldwide beacon for freedom, not a global policeman
Section 6: Ends vs. Means
- Article XXXIII: Never prop up dictators or terrorists to counter other dictators or terrorists (Gee, I wish the US government could learn this one !)
- Article XXXIV: There is no honor among thieves .
- Article XXXV: The ends don’t justify the means
- Article XXXVI: Results are more important than intentions (certainly a message for this war ).
- Article XXXVII: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
- Article XXXVIII: First, do no harm.
References and Acknowledgments
I have not included references with this article. Interested readers are invited to perform their own research, and reach their own conclusions.
Many people contacted me during the last three months with encouragement and assistance. I would like to express my gratitude for their support, which made a difficult time a little easier to endure.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
June 13, 1999
Revised June 19, 1999 at 1800 h PDT
Some links have been added since then. (Many of the links in this article are now expired or invalid.)
May be reprinted freely accompanied by the following credit:
Reprinted with permission from the West Coast Libertarian
703-1180 Falcon Dr.,
(Annual Subscription: $20)
A copy of the reprinted material would be appreciated.
Mirek Kolar has translated part of this article into Czech.
Many of the links in this article are now expired or invalid. If you’re looking for the old link collection at “Kosovo: War, Health of the State“, please contact me.