Kosovan war

Kosovo - back to the brink

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The Balkan province of Kosovo has been largely forgotten in British politics since the war there nine years ago. It was obvious at the time that the post-war settlement would come to a crisis over the question of Kosovan independence.

If a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo doesn't lead to war, that's only because the Serbs are too war weary and defeated to fight against what most of them see as a further attack on their country.

Balkans: The Spoils of War

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Dragan Plavsic looks at the bloody parallels between the Balkans and Iraq.

Six years ago, in March 1999, Tony Blair launched his very first war when Britain and the US bombed Serbia for 78 days. Those of us who then argued - to the scorn of supporters of the war - that bombing Serbia would set a precedent for deadly interventions elsewhere could scarcely have imagined how swiftly and devastatingly this prediction would come true, in Sierra Leone, in Afghanistan and now, most devastatingly of all, in Iraq.

Kosovo: The Myth of Liberation

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The latest outbreak of violence between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo last month revealed once again the stark truth behind Nato's US-led war against Serbia in 1999, and the subsequent colonial-style administration of the province.

With 31 dead and a reported 3,000 Serbs ethnically cleansed, defence minister Geoff Hoon announced that he was urgently dispatching 750 British soldiers to quell the violence - while in the same breath absurdly claiming that 'very considerable progress' had been made in inter-ethnic relations since 1999.

Promises, Promises

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Bush claims he wants to liberate Iraq. Dragan Plavsic examines the experience of Serbia and Afghanistan.

The assassination last month of the pro-western, neoliberal Serbian prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, a key leader of the revolution of 2000 that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, demonstrated in stark and bloody fashion the chaotic condition of Serbia today. This situation cannot be understood without examining the devastating role of western governments and institutions, above all the US and IMF, in recent Balkan affairs.

A criminal elite

Milosevic Trial: Sold to the Highest Bidder

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The trial of Slobodan Milosevic opened in The Hague last month to much self righteous acclaim. Commentators were quick to draw comparisons with the trial of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. Yet far from being a testimony to the moral rectitude of the west, the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a symbol of its moral duplicity.

The mere fact that this is indeed the first international war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo speaks volumes. Why were there no such tribunals for the US carpet-bombers of North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, where millions lost their lives? And few commentators saw fit to recall that at Nuremberg the first count on the charge sheet against Nazi leaders was that of planning and waging aggressive war. In 1999 it was Nato that planned and waged aggressive war against Yugoslavia.

The Limits of US Power

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The world's only superpower combines military strength with economic and political weakness.

Is US power sweeping all before it? The rapid defeat of the Taliban regime is seen by supporters of US policy as a vindication of the Afghan war and a confirmation that US might is invincible. US leaders are hardly likely to disagree. It is only in legend that kings like Canute show the world the limits of their power. George Bush will not be found on a seashore commanding the sea to go back. He needs the world to believe that there are no limits to US power.

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