Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NATO and the use of 'excessive force'

From Svetlana's excellent Byzantine Sacred Art blog:

Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitriy Rogozin said today in Brussels that Russia does not take lessons from those who were killing Serbs and destroying Serbia's infrastructure in 1999.

"NATO’s communiqué about the excessive use of force in the South Ossetia makes Moscow remember the operation of the Alliance against Serbia. Russia will not listen to such assessments from this military bloc, because it would then have to remind of the disproportionate use of force against the people and armed forces of Serbia, when NATO tried to give Serbs 'joys of democracy' through bombardment of Belgrade, destruction of Serbian towns, bridges and infrastructure", Russian Ambassador said at the press conference dedicated to Russia's military operations in South Ossetia.

"In 1999, NATO assessed that Slobodan Milosevic's policy is bad towards Kosovo-Metohija Albanians, but it decided not to bomb only the Serb troops in Kosovo, but the entire territory of Serbia, including bridges, hospitals, TV stations and state institutions... Thousands of Serbian civilians were killed in those attacks", Rogozin said.

"That is the major difference between NATO and Russia, which limited its actions in Georgia strictly to military targets. I'm horrified when I hear those who were silent before thousands of Serbian victims in 1999 giving themselves right to deliver moral lessons now... They'll never have that right", Rogozin

Above you can see a picture of NATO's use of 'excessive force' in Yugoslavia in 1999: the shameful bombing of a passenger train at Grdelica Gorge which killed 14 civilians. Remember it, and all the other innocent victims of NATO's aggression, next time you hear a spokesperson from that organisation criticise others for using 'excessive force'.


Anonymous said...

yI am afraid there is no such thing as a 'military target' in modern warfare. Civilians have died and will die as a result of Russian military action. Civilians have died and will die as a result of a Georgian military action. This will be more true the longer the conflict continues. They will be dead and for what precisely?

Neil Clark said...

Hi jolies- I think there is a difference between deliberately targeting civilians, as in the attack of the passenger train at Grdelia Gorge, and the bombing say of military airports and military positions, which is what the Russians have been doing. Have you got any evidence that the Russians are deliberately shelling civilians?

olching said...

All this ridiculous liberal rhetoric of the past 20 years is coming back to haunt the world.

The Russians are particularly astute of utilising this and turning the tables on the west. I was very impressed with Sergey Lavrov press conference today where he invoked the image of Srebrenica. He said approximately that Russia cannot let Georgian forces back into South Ossetia, because of what happened in Srebrenica; he knows how badly it affected the Dutch troops and cannot do the same to the people of South Ossetia or the Russian troops.

What a clever move: He not only used the rhetoric of the west (beating them with their own weapons), but also pointed to their abject failure in the past. It's an argument against which there is no comeback.

The last 5 days have demonstrated to me that the current Russian administration is effing good at international politics. The fact that they have now called a ceasefire just shows how astute they are at staying within the limits of international war, despite the fact that this law is de facto non-existent after the west's adventures in Serbia and Iraq. More very shrewd moves by Russia.

They have a UN mandate to protect in South Ossetia and have fulfilled just that while taking away Saakashvili's toys. What a perfect execution and what a way to highlight the US' hypocritical stance in all of this.

Anonymous said...

@neil, if you can read Serbian, check out the ("evil" ;) B92 news site and readers' comments on US/NATO claims of excessive force. Seldom have I seen so many sarcastic, vicious and recommended comments. Quite a good laugh :)

Anonymous said...

24 hours is a long time in war as in politics and the much vaunted ceasefire does not appear to be holding and yes there is evidence of Russian forces targeting civilians (though whether this is deliberate or not [on their commanders part], it is always difficult to tell since Russian forces are not the most disciplined in the world).

However, if one is hit by a shell or a bomb or a bullet, I doubt whether you care much about the nature of its original motivation.

Meanwhile, on the subject of glee, I had two uncles who fought in WWII on the 'right side' - one was with the Soviet Army when it liberated Auchwitz and one was at D-Day (I have an ecumenical family) neither looked back on the conflict that they had endured with anything other than sorrow and repentance at what we humans are capable of, even though they had tried to act justly and had done genuine good.

I am reminded of Viktor Frankl and a fellow concentration camp victim finding themselves free and walking towards the American lines. Frankl's companion wants to walk through the cornfield. Frankl suggests going around. 'What do I care about the f*****g German's cornfield?' replied Frankl's friend. 'Not to care,' replied Frankl, 'would be to show that they have won'. They went round the cornfield.