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The New Military Humanism:
Scarcely had the dust settled on NATO's 1999 bombing of Serbia when prolific political commentator Noam Chomsky brought out The New Military Humanism, which raises incisive, unsettling questions about the motives of the United States and England--the two most vocal proponents of Operation Allied Forces--and the efficacy of their handiwork. Chomsky pulls together much damning evidence, including testimony from the military commander who led the attack, to demonstrate that the assault was not intended to bring an end to Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" of the disputed territory in Kosovo; it seems very likely, in fact, that President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair knew full well that their actions would ultimately exacerbate the situation. Chomsky also points out that if the United States was genuinely concerned with ending the horrors of genocide, its continued financial and military support of repressive regimes in countries like Turkey and Indonesia is at the very least extremely puzzling. (The New Military Humanism was written and published before the international community decided in September 1999 to intervene in East Timor, which had been subject to Indonesian occupation for over 20 years.) Ultimately, Chomsky suggests, such contradictions exist because what the United States claims to be a "humanitarian" mission is--no matter how glowingly the mass media portrays it--nothing more than American muscle flexing. "The contempt of the world's leading power for the framework of world order," he concludes, "has become so extreme that there is little left to discuss." --Ron Hogan [via]