Hussein vs. Milosevic
According to the indictments against Milosevic, he is accused of the following;
- 1999 - With four other senior Serb officials, still at large -- indicted for his alleged role in the murder of 900 Kosovo Albanians.
- 2001 - Being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Croats and other non-Serbs from 1991 to 1992.
- 2001 - Responsibility for his alleged role in the the massacre of civilians in Srebrenica, Bosnia (no number given), the killing of several thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
- 1988 - In an effort to gain their independence from Iraq, the Kurds supported Iran during the war. Saddam Hussein retaliated and in the spring of 1988 the Iraq air force responded with poison gas, causing 5,000 deaths.
- 2004 - The U.S. Agency for International Development reports that since Saddam was ousted, 270 sites of mass graves have been reported. These contain an unknown number of Iraqis, Iranian prisoners of war, Iraqi Kurds and Kuwaiti prisoners among the long list of those Saddam tortured and killed. British Prime Minister Tony Blair puts the remains in mass graves at 400,000 so far.
According to the USAID report, "Some graves hold a few dozen bodies -- their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies."
"The scope of the problem is immense. ... (There are) an estimated 300,000 missing people," says William Haglund, a forensic anthropologist and director of the international forensic program for Physicians for Human Rights. "Easily, this is a 50-year job."
So, we have 900, "hundreds" and "several thousand" for Milosevic. Going for worst case scenarios, that comes to, let's be generous, "thousands," maybe even "tens of thousands." for Milosevic. In righteous indignation for the sanctity of human life, we invade Kosovo.
But, for Hussein, that hooligan, we have a mere 5,000 that he gassed (with non-existent chemical weapons - how does that work?), graves for 400,000 so far and a further 300,000 estimated to go. That's over 700,000. But, how dare we invade Iraq for this trifling?
When Clinton used our military in Kosovo, his primary justifications were humanitarian reasons. He was cheered on, despite this illegitimate, though humane, use of our military.
But, with Iraq, it concerned Hussein's possession of and willingness to use biological, chemical and possibly nuclear weapons against U.S. allies, U.S. interests and the United States itself. Bush did, indeed, point out the horror inflicted upon the Iraqi people by Hussein, but those who cheered Clinton's Kosovo action seem, in the case of Iraq, indifferent to the "humanitarian angle."
What's the difference?
Since I doubt Mike Farrell will read this, I really don't expect any response from him, but it is an interesting contrast. Farrell says about Iraq, "It is inappropriate for the administration to trump up a case in which we are ballyhooed into war."
But back in 1999, about Kosovo, Farrell said, "I think it's appropriate for the international community in situations like this to intervene. I am in favor of an intervention."
Hmm, I wonder what the difference was for him.
On March 24, 1999, Clinton said, "Now [Serbs have] started moving from village to village, shelling civilians and torching their houses. We've seen innocent people taken from their homes, forced to kneel in the dirt and sprayed with bullets. Kosovar men dragged from their families, fathers and sons together, lined up and shot in cold blood. This is not a war in the traditional sense; it is an attack by tanks and artillery on a largely defenseless people whose leaders already have agreed to peace. Ending this tragedy is a moral imperative."
On January 28, 2003, President Bush said, "The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq - electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning."
What's the difference?
On March 24, 1999, Clinton said, "Our mission is clear: to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose, so that the Serbian leaders understand the imperative of reversing course, to deter an even bloodier offensive against innocent civilians in Kosovo, and if necessary, to seriously damage the Serbian military's capacity to harm the people of Kosovo. In short, if President Milosevic will not make peace, we will limit his ability to make war."
On September 12, 2002, President Bush said, "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkemens and others - again, as required by Security Council resolutions. ... The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it. The security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest. And open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq."
What's the difference?
On March 24, 1999, Clinton said, "I am convinced that the dangers of acting are far outweighed by the dangers of not acting, dangers to defenseless people and to our national interests. If we and our allies were to allow this war to continue with no response, President Milosevic would read our hesitation as a license to kill. There would be many more massacres, tens of thousands more refugees, more victims crying out for revenge. Right now, our firmness is the only hope the people of Kosovo have to be able to live in their own country without having to fear for their own lives."
On September 12, 2002, President Bush said, "We can harbor no illusions, and that's important today to remember. Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He's fired ballistic missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. His regime once ordered the killing of every person between the ages of 15 and 70 in certain Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq. He has gassed many Iranians and 40 Iraqi villages."
What's the difference?
Further, Clinton apparently exaggerated the suffering in Kosovo. In November 1999, the Christian Science Monitor wrote, "U.S. and NATO officials at times implied that as many as 100,000 ethnic Albanians may have been killed, and they used words like 'genocide' to describe the Serbian policy. They later lowered the estimate to 10,000. But preliminary findings from war-crimes investigators indicate that the number of ethnic Albanians killed by Serbian forces during the air strikes was probably closer to 5,000." He made Milosevic out to be worse than he actually was (20x worse, to be accurate) in order to bolster support for his attacks. Hussein needs no such exaggeration. He's worse than Milosevic ever thought of being.
I won't go into any comparisons between Hitler and Hussein (despite their relevancy), but will simply compare Milosevic and Hussein. How was Milosevic a threat to US security if Hussein was not?