Tag Archive: War

Otherwise there will only be fat rich people to die in their next war for oil.

Stacks of unidentified corpses line the walls of an underground shelter at a Bosnian morgue in Tuzla March 28, 1997. The body bags contain victims found in mass graves and in wooded areas after the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. REUTERS

On Thursday, a 65-year-old man with a name that Americans struggle to pronounce was convicted of committing genocide 20 years ago in Bosnia.

Twenty years after the mass killings, threats from current and future U.S. presidents seem to be equally unpersuasive.

With each empty declaration from President Bill Clinton that Karadzic would be held accountable, the Bosnian Serbs seemed to grow more confident and defiant.

Over the course of the war, the Bosnian Serbs “ethnically cleansed” – or expelled – hundreds of thousands of Muslims from their territory. They took UN peacekeepers hostage. And in July 1995, they took the town of Srebrenica and executed every Bosnian Muslim man and boy they captured. All told, 8,000 perished.

Clinton’s unfulfilled threats, it seemed to me and other reporters at the time, had emboldened Karadzic and the mini-state’s military leader, General Ratko Mladic. And Srebrenica itself was, tragically, the physical embodiment of false promise.

In a recent profile in the Atlantic, Obama boasted about the fact that he had not carried out his vow to bomb the forces of Bashar al-Assad if the Syrian leader used chemical weapons against his own people.

“I’m very proud,” Obama told the magazine.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is promising American voters that she will unleash a merciless, multi-year onslaught against ISIS — without deploying large numbers of American ground troops.

“We are in it for the long haul and we will stand taller and stronger than they could possibly imagine,” Clinton vowed in a campaign speech in December.

And Donald Trump is threatening everyone. He vows to place tariffs on every good sold from China – as well as air conditioners that U.S. company Carrier manufactures in Mexico.

“We’re going to tax you,” Trump vowed in a presidential debate last month. “So stay where you are [in Mexico] or build in the United States.”

The lesson for U.S. presidents is that threats can come back to haunt. Clinton responded far more quickly to Serb attacks in Kosovo in 1999, but has said that Srebrenica was one of the greatest regrets of his presidency. It is a distant second with the genocide in Rwanda, where as many as one million perished after the UN failed to protect civilians there.

In hindsight, it is arguably better for American leaders to say nothing when they have no intention of taking actionIssuing hollow threats emboldens extremists. It does not cow them.

And most tragically, as the survivors of  found out, empty threats from a U.S. president also victimize the innocent people who believe them. Today, thousands of women from Srebrenica are growing up without fathers, brothers and sons. Their crime? Believing the word of an American president.

Source: Empty American promises and the lives they can cost

black poppy - anti-militarism

war is easy. It is peace that is hard.

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