|This issue of alternatives is extremely important, and doesn't always
get the respect it deserves from the left, IMO. As we know, there are
many societies in which elementary human rights are being devastated.
They are not reducible to a single cause (like "imperialism"); while
there is usually an ethnic component, the political, geopolitical, and
economic contexts can vary. Nevertheless, the left should be in the
lead when it comes to putting human values ahead of communalist
ideology. (We are, or ought to be, the party of universalism.) Since
the perpetrators of massacres are armed, they need to be disarmed, and
this requires the use of force. International exercise of humanitarian
force needs to be under the control of international law and accountable
in some way to democratic forces around the world -- not just in the
citadels of capital. The obvious objection is that this project is
utopian in a world of US hegemony. I agree. But there is no way to
create the alternative without pushing it before its time. Otherwise,
we are stuck with a choice between compromising with forces like NATO or
proposing to do nothing in the face of hideous brutality. (No air force
bombed Rwanda, nor is any bombing Angola today, but is this any better
than what is happening in Yugoslavia?)
When I look at people like Joschka Fischer and Robin Cooke, I see
remnants of the peace movement (my former comrades, alas) who have given
in to the idea that the choice is between NATO and paralysis.
Recommendation: "Mario and the Magician" by Thomas Mann. Just saying no
is a losing strategy.