Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Slobodan and the invasion of Iraq

David Aaronovitch takes readers through his personal transformation in viewing the Western response to the 1990s butchery in the Balkans. He uses this moment of Slobodan Milosevich's death to show how he created the blueprint for the current invasion of Iraq:

What I want to do, however, is to chronicle how the Serbian leader was responsible for the invasion of Iraq. Along a line of logic that runs, crudely, no Slobbo, no Bosnia, no Kosovo, no fashion for intervention, no Iraq.

This is the only time Aaronovitch mentions Iraq in his piece.

Aaronovitch believes the plight of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia changed the way many on the left looked at foreign intervention on behalf of oppressed people. At first, like many others he viewed Wesern intervention in the situation in Bosnia skeptically. He believes this view only made the unthinkable a reality. It created what Aaronovitch sees as a Munich parallel, leading many like himself determined not to stand by as innocents are slaughtered. He concludes that military action in the Balkans divided the left:

Slobodan Milosevic, more than anyone else, caused a division within the Left and Centre Left, dividing the pacifists, anti-imperialists and anti-Americans from the anti-fascists and the internationalists. He reminded too many of us that inaction can be as toxic and murderous as action. He prepared us — for weal or woe — for the new world. RIP Slobbo.

Read it.


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