Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Harking back

One of those "look at this great old post that I found, by god I can't help having a chew on it" moments.

"I would argue it is possible to believe that both the Kosovo and Iraq wars were ultimately illegal, further that the Kosovo war was nevertheless morally legitimate, and that the Iraq war was not."

- Ostracised Emigre, preceded by lengthy comparisons.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is reading such well thought out analytical commentary that totally fails to grasp the space-time dynamic.

Basically, all war is always wrong. The whole point about why the Iraq War captured the worlds imagination is not that Milosevic was more/less evil then Saddam, or even that Serbia had less oil. No. Iraq captured the world's imagination because it was preceded by fairly recent shocking imagery from the Kosovo war at the close of the 20th century, at which point the world was dumbstruck gobsmacked when streams of refugees poured over the hills filling makeshift border camps to the brim. It was a humanitarian crisis that nobody had been prepared for and it happened on the borders of Europe. An ugly jerk backwards in time for Westerners to WWII mass evacuations which the Western part of the world thought they had left behind. So when the news and imagery leaked into the media the Western world's population were stricken. How could this have happened? Weren't our bombs smart enough?

It was, a wakeup call. Not to mention an end of century, end of millennia, event. Which tends to make it "stick" in collective memory.

Did people deliberate over the pro's and cons of Kosovo and Iraq before they took to the streets in February 2003 to rally against war? Nope, if they took anything from Kosovo with them it was the image of refugees pouring into the countryside with bundles on their backs and toddlers under their arms. Basically, nobody wanted to risk it again. Nobody cared about pro's and con's, we just knew war was wrong. And we had empathy, for the common folks like us.

Didn't we.



Revised;

"Iraq captured the world's imagination because it was preceded by fairly recent shocking imagery from the Kosovo war at the close of the 20th century, at which point the world was dumbstruck gobsmacked when streams of refugees poured over the hills filling makeshift border camps to the brim"

I should of added ",and by the jaw-dropping propaganda preceeding the still current war in Afghanistan."

and then skipped straight through to;

"Did people deliberate over the pro's and cons of Kosovo and Iraq before they took to the streets in February 2003 to rally against war? Nope, if they took anything from Kosovo with them it was the image of refugees pouring into the countryside with bundles on their backs and toddlers under their arms"

Followed by; "There was no bantering over moral legitimacy. Conscience was motivated, for many, by an aversion to all war, and by the eerily Yevgenian stories stacking up in our news stands."

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