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I note we have elided here to the intervention in Kosovo, seven years after what I was describing as a serious failure of EU and EU-member state foreign policy.

The Kosovo crisis is of course very much related, but I do hope you and your interlocutor here can see the nuance and the shift in focus which is undertaken, in both of your rhetoric, which is of course advantageous to the viewpoint you both seem to want to put forth (hard power bad, US hard power very bad).

Remember, my main practical point was simply that German foreign policy relating to the former Jugoslavia in 1991-1992 was irresponsible and played a significant contributing part in the escalation of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, conflict in which US hard power, in support of diplomatic efforts culminating in Dayton peace accords which hold to this day, was eventually needed, given EU member state armed response was pathetically inadequate. I further avered that if the US has a hard time taking EU diplomacy in this part of the world (today Ukraine) the recent past, and decades of under-investment in security on the part of many EU nations (and especially Germany, which enjoys a security guarantee by the US) can help explain it.

I never of course said that I approved of Ms. Nuland's worldview or words or acts. Simply put them in context.

To this I am treated to...wait for it...accusations of US misbehaviour in the middle east, as if I think those imperial wars were justified. And why not talk about Kosovo, which happened 7 years later (and which I further mentioned, given the strengthening of Milosevic in the first Jugoslav wars in Croatia and Bosnia)? Why not keep misdirecting?

Again, I was commenting on unilateral recognition of an independent state in Europe with a very large Serbian minority, at a time when a nationalist was entrenching his power in Belgrade. It doesn't take a genius to suspect that, given what was known about Milosevic already, the man in Belgrade was not going to take such declarations lying down.

This is just how things were, and stating this does not make one a Milosevic lover, as your interlocutor has explicitly stated.

And my "caricature" of the social democratic response was simply, again, a statement about the inability to be realistic about such things, to recognise Croatia unilaterally without so much as pourparlers with Belgrade or military contigency plans in the event of the inevitable. But this somehow makes me a Germanophobe and "distraught at the state of the French left".

And the reason for this is that we are in the same place with Putin right now, and the EU have a similarly weak response. Again, I am not a Putin lover for saying this. There are times when a  military response is warranted, or at the very least a credible threat, else diplomatic pressure can be ignored, something Putin has shown time and again, and any Georgian can tell you about this.

If folks on this site are going to decry lack of nuance, I would suggest folks on this site try to employ it for themselves.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:27:44 AM EST
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