An anecdote about what triggers intervention

Years ago I heard a recount of what happened in Kosovo in a private conversation with someone knowing *more* about it than I did:

Apparently, the Kosovars who wanted independence understood that their guerilla thing wasn't more but harassment and an intimidation of police (the latter was of special interest). So some of theirs asked foreign diplomats to intervene, which replied that the West won't intervene until there are 5,000 dead bodies in Kosovo at the very least.

This was an obvious incentive to the Kosovars to present 5,000 dead bodies, of even better - make believe there are 5,000 dead bodies and more coming.

All the Western interventionists warmongers had to do was to present this to the Western public and suppress evidence to the contrary (including findings of an OECD mission).

In 1999, NATO attacked Yugoslavia based on genocide and ethnic cleansing allegations almost if not as much based on facts as Iraq's "WMDs".
To the West this was -just like the Bosnia intervention- not just some clean-up in the noisy backyard. It was also an opportunity to instil new purpose to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and to cooperate in security policy before Europeans and Americans could part ways for lack of a common bogeyman. We know from history books that many powers dissolved outlived alliances and faced each other as hostile only a few years later. Obviously, we didn't want this. Westerners have become too extreme in their war-making efforts for Western inter-state warfare to be acceptable.

This whole thing - especially the 5,000 dead bodies thing - is a common flashback to me these days. Every time I read about the latest allegation of the Syrian government using chemical warfare munitions I am reminded that this time Western governments have defined the rubicon, the line where crossing means war.
The effect is -again- totally predictable:
The Syrian rebels claim abut every second day that Assad's troops have used chemical agents. Western reporters in the warzone know that chemical agent stories with imagery are the hottest thing to get and speed towards every rumour. It won't take long until they extend their idea of a chemical agent that triggers intervention to white phosphorous smoke (wasn't that the eeevil thing fired into Gaza a few years ago!?).
The Western warmongers push for intervention using any such report, adding to it and suppressing contrary reports.

So please, don't fall for this propaganda. It is extremely unlikely that Assad's men would use deadly chemical agents in this civil war after such threats.
If any was reported,the report is most likely wrong OR it was a false flag operation OR it was done by out-of-control idiots whom Assad will punish himself OR it was an innovative way of defection, a kind of gift to the reels by a deserting officer.
The actual military value of a moderate instead of all-out employment of chemical agents is minimal.
We would have different news if our politicians and other warmongers were really bothered by the possibility of chemical weapon attacks on Syrian civilians: They would deliver protective equipment and set up field hospitals on the Turkish side of the border.
Whatever concerns and threats against possible chemical weapons usage they voice instead are either insincere or an expression of stupidity.

The only justification for offering a Rubicon to the crowd is in my opinion a focused effort to lure warmongers out of the closet in order to play whack-a-mole with them. Sadly, this was not the purpose of such an announcement, ever.


1 comment:

  1. But there need not be a rational explanation for Assad using chemical weapons...because in case of doubt he is CRAAAAZYYYY! Just as *insert name of random bad guy of the moment here* will in case of doubt not be capable of applying rational thinking, since this is such an exclusive (TM) concept to Western powers (and arent we great at applying it, too?).