I don’t intend to go to great lengths justifying what I wrote in the East-West Church & Ministry Report in response to Mr. Jeff Thompson’s critique —see 12 (Summer 2004): 1-3; and 13 (Spring 2005): 15. In 2002 I addressed many of those issues at greater length in my “Religion and Armed Humanitarian Intervention in the Former Yugoslavia” in Religion, Law and the Role of Force: A Study of Their Influence on Conflict and on Conflict Resolution, ed. by J.I. Coffey and Charles T. Matthewes. As I see it, our basic disagreement is at the level of our premises. Mr. Thompson appears to hold that Albanians are good and Serbs are bad and that the government of Slobodan Milosevic would have eliminated the Albanian population from Kosovo had NATO not saved them by means of war.
As I see it, both Serbs and Albanians engaged in mutual atrocities, both over the centuries and during recent times. Milosevic is a war criminal whose fate ought to be decided by the International Court in The Hague.
Albanians in Kosovo were brutally oppressed by the Milosevic regime and this escalated sharply after the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army began its terrorist activities — they too perpetrated crimes against humanity and some of their leaders will keep company with Milosevic in The Hague. Ethnic cleansing greatly escalated after the NATO attack. And while much has been written about it under Milosevic, very little is being reported about it since reverse ethnic cleansing became almost completely successful under a UN-approved administration with U.S. soldiers on the ground. But, of course, we rarely use the same criteria when it comes to abuses by others and when they are carried out under our watch. The alternating nature of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo over the centuries can be clearly demonstrated. In my opinion, it is not qualitatively better when it takes place under the nose of NATO/UN than when it took place under a war criminal.
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