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Consequences of war without victory
On 23 November, 1999, President Clinton was visiting Kosovo. He was addressing a crowd of Kosovars to whom he proclaimed with stern emphasis that NATO had won them the war, but only they - the Kosovars - could win the peace by burying old hatreds and living in peace with their Serb neighbors. A Kosovar in the crowd was shown replying to the President's nostrum that they were willing to live in peace with the Serbs, but not with war criminals.
That made me reflect on the festering sores left behind by wars that are not fought to a clear and convincing victory. One such sore is wrapped up in that Kosovar's reply. It is the same kind of cancer that was left in place to eat away at the moral fabric and collective conscience of the nations of eastern Europe when the Soviet Union collapsed on its own, rather than being destroyed piece-by-piece and forced into unconditional surrender in an all-out war with NATO. There was no NATO victory in 1991, nor was there an unconditional victory now over Milosevic's Yugoslavia; there was only an inconclusive battle and an orderly retreat by Milosevic's forces.
In this century the Western democracies have prevailed only once over a totalitarian enemy in a manner worthy of the term "victory". That was in 1945, with the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. However, there is a stain even on this one triumph. The defeat of the brown and black fascists was accomplished only with the help of the red fascists, and the price of victory was the consignment of the nations of central and eastern Europe to 46 years in a deadly prison, the likes of which the world had not experienced before.
Total victory over Nazi Germany did allow the West to bring to justice most of the Nazi criminals against humanity and to mete out appropriate punishment. There was the macabre situation of having the red fascists - themselves guilty of equally heinous crimes against humanity - sit in judgment of their Nazi cousins, but at least it could be said that the crimes of the Nazis had been acknowledged and many of the guilty punished. To this day, people (particularly Germans) who are tainted with a Nazi past are not welcome in public affairs. One can only wish that were so also for people with a Communist past.
However, the Communists the red fascists - have gotten away with their crimes unscathed, be it in Europe or Asia. The Red empire simply closed up shop and the criminal elite of the Leninist state apparatus remained in place under new "democratic" labels. The Communist nomenklatura metamorphosed into successful Mafiosi. The people of the collapsed empire were advised by the leadership of Western democracies that, if they, too, hoped to join the family of democratic nations, they had to observe all the legal niceties as practiced in the West, not abuse the "human rights" of their Communist oppressors, and, preferably, forget all the monstrous crimes perpetrated on them by their red fascist masters and ignore the criminals living among them. This state of affairs spits in the eye of natural justice. As a result, cynicism, corruption and repudiation of the standards of civil law are now ravaging the societies of the ex-Soviet Union. The plague will rage on for at least a generation, until the executioners and slave-masters die off from old age.
The Kosovars are asked by President Clinton to acquiesce in a comparable situation. Just as the Germans thought of themselves as the ruling elite of the "new order" of Nazi Europe, and the Russians thought that they were the ruling elite of the red fascist world order, so in like fashion, Milosevic's once red fascist Serbs have now exchanged their Communist ideological mantle for one of racial purity like that worn by the Nazis and think of themselves as the elite of a Greater Serbia.
The Nazis were defeated in war and eliminated. The Russian red fascists and their toadies were not defeated. The societies of the newly-independent, erstwhile "near-abroad" colonies of Soviet Russia have had to tolerate in silence the presence of large numbers of Russians who used to be the colonizers - many of them known criminals against humanity - in their midst, and suffer the corrosive societal damage mentioned above. In addition, they must constantly fear that they could also experience a fate like that of Chechnya.
In Kosovo the Muslim population was first oppressed and then attacked by the fascist Serb state machinery of Yugoslavia by methods identical to those used by the state machineries of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. In every instance the objective was to "liquidate" (or at least, relocate) undesirable ethnic or social classes of people. It is understandable why the Kosovars are refusing to live with unindicted known Serb criminals against humanity as neighbors.
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