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Yugoslav forces is not specified in the detail of the Rambouillet Agreement, but is similar, though accelerated. The remainder is within the range of agreement of the two plans of March 23. The outcome suggests that diplomatic initiatives could have been pursued on March 23, averting a terrible human tragedy with consequences that will reverberate in Yugoslavia and elsewhere, and are in many respects quite ominous. To be sure, the current situation is not that of March 23. A Times headline the day of the Kosovo Accord captures it accurately: “Kosovo Problems Just Beginning.” Among the “staggering problems” that lie ahead, Serge Schmemann observed, are the repatriation of the refugees “to the land of ashes and graves that was their home,” and the “enormously costly challenge of rebuilding the devastated economies of Kosovo, the rest of Serbia and their neighbors.” He quotes Balkans historian Susan Woodward of the Brookings Institution, who adds “that all the people we want to help us make a stable Kosovo have been destroyed by the effects of the bombings,” leaving U.S. had strongly condemned the K.L.A. as “without any question a terrorist group” when it began to carry out organized attacks in February 1998, actions that Washington condemned “very strongly” as “terrorist activities,” probably giving a “green light” thereby to Milosevic for the severe repression that led to the Colombia-style violence before the bombings precipitated a sharp escalation. These “staggering problems” are new. They are “the effects of the bombings” and the vicious Serb reaction to them, though the problems that preceded the resort to violence by the enlightened states were daunting enough. SPINNING ATROCITIES Turning from facts to spin, headlines hailed the grand victory of the enlightened states and their leaders, who compelled Milosevic to “capitulate,” to “say uncle,” to accept a “NATO-led force,” and to surrender “as close to unconditionally as anyone might have imagined,” submitting to “a worse deal than the Rambouillet plan he rejected.” Not exactly the story, but one that is far more useful than the facts. The only serious issue debated is whether this shows that air power alone can achieve highly moral purposes, or whether, as the critics allowed into the debate allege, the case still has not been proven. Turning to broader significance, Britain’s “eminent military historian” John Keegan “sees the war as a victory not just for air power but for the ‘New World Order’ that President Bush declared after the Gulf War,” military expert Fred Kaplan reports. Keegan wrote, “If Milosevic really is a beaten man, all other would-be Milosevics around the world will have to reconsider their plans.” The assessment is realistic, though not in the terms Keegan may have had in mind: rather, in the light of the actual goals and significance of the New World Order, as revealed by an important documentary record of the nineties that remains unreported, and a plethora of factual evidence that helps us understand the true meaning of the phrase “Milosevics around the world.” Merely to keep to the Balkans region: the strictures do not hold of huge ethnic cleansing operations and terrible atrocities within NATO itself, under European jurisdiction and with decisive and mounting U.S. support, and not conducted in response to an attack by the world’s most awesome military force and the imminent threat of invasion. These SEPTEtvtBER, 1999 ckdoe crimes are legitimate under the rules of the New World Order, perhaps even meritorious, as are atrocities elsewhere that conform to the perceived interests of the leaders of the enlightened states and are regularly implemented by them when necessary. These facts, not particularly obscure, reveal that in the “new internationalism … the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups” will not merely be “tolerated,” but actively expedited exactly as in the “old internationalism” of the Concert of Europe, the U.S. itself, and many other distinguished predecessors. While the facts and the spin differ sharply, one might argue that the media and commentators are realistic when they present the U.S./NATO version as if it were the facts. It will become The Facts as a simple consequence of the distribution of power and the willingness of articulate opinion to serve the needs of power. That is a regular phenomenon. Recent examples include the Paris Peace Treaty of January 1973 and the Esquipulas Accords of August 1987. In the former case, the U.S. was compelled to sign after the failure of the Christmas bombings to induce Hanoi to abandon the U.S.-Vietnam agreement of the preceding October. Kissinger and the White House at once announced quite lucidly that they would violate every significant element of the Treaty they were signing, presenting a different version which was adopted in reporting and commentary, so that when North Vietnam finally responded to serious U.S. violations of the accords, it became the incorrigible aggressor which had to be punished once again, as it was. The same tragedy/farce took place when the Central American Presidents reached the Esquipulas Washington at once sharply escalated its wars in violation of the one “indispensable element” of the Accord, then proceeded to dismantle its other provisions by force, succeeding within a few months, and continuing to undermine every further diplomatic effort until its final victory. Washington’s version of the Accord, which sharply deviated from it in crucial respects, became the accepted version. The outcome could therefore be heralded in headlines as a “Victory for U.S. Fair Play” with Americans “United in Joy” over the devastation and bloodshed, overcome with rapture “in a romantic age” \(Anthony Lewis, headlines in The New York Times, all reflecting the general It is superfluous to review the aftermath in these and numerous similar cases. There is little reason to expect a different story to unfold in the present case with the usual and crucial proviso: if we let it. Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT., and has written and lectured extensively on international affairs. This article is reprinted with permission from Z Magazine, July/August 1999 \( sachusetts 02543. An updated and extended version of this article is available in Chomsky’s new book, The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join the Texas Civil Rights Project $25 a year. Volunteers needed. 2212 E. MLK, Austin, TX 78702. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23