A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West
by Noam Chomsky
AVAILABILITY: Active Record (Available for Order)
Publication Date: January 2001
Publisher: Verso Books
Binding: Trade Cloth
Topics: INTERVENTION (INTERNATIONAL LAW); TIMOR ISLAND (INDONESIA); WORLD POLITICS_1989-; KOSOVO (SERBIA)_HISTORY_CIVIL WAR, 1998-1999
1999 saw two major international crises which, looked at side-by-side with characteristic acuity by Noam Chomsky, starkly illuminate the strategies of the Western powers in the new century. In East Timor the warnings of further escalation in an unfolding humanitarian disaster could not have been more apparent. As Chomsky points out, the West did not need to do very much to prevent this--a firm word with Jakarta would probably have sufficed. But East Timor is of little strategic interest to the US and its allies, and so they did nothing. Thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands were forced to flee their homes. Precise figures are difficult to establish because little has been done by the West to uncover exactly what happened. In this respect, the situation in Kosovo is very different from East Timor. In Yugoslavia, at the cessation of NATO bombing, hundreds of forensic experts were brought in to substantiate claims made by the State Department and the British Home Office concerning the thousands who had reportedly been massacred at the hands of the Serbs. In fact numbers of this scale have not been corroborated. Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the atrocities that did occur took place in the wake of the NATO bombing, and were its consequence not its cause. Humanitarianism was not the moving force behind military intervention in Yugoslavia; here, as in East Timor, strategic concerns were dominant and the fate of civilian populations incidental.
One of the West's most influential intellectuals in the cause of peace. (The Independent)
"(Chomsky is) one of the West's most influential intellectuals in the cause of peace." The Independent
An appraisal of the Wests's responses (or lack thereof) to two international crises, the situations in Yugoslavia and East Timor, and of the strategic humanitarianism that defines the West's role in the current world arena.
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