|FTLComm - Saskatoon - May 2, 1999|
|We were late Saturday afternoon and missed the modest gathering denouncing the NATO
bombing campaign against Serbia. The protest was largely supporters of former Conservative
leader candidate and a noted Nationalist opposing Free Trade, David
Orchard. A statement by Orchard was handed out as well as one written by Richard
Becker from the International Action Center
in New York
Becker's paper condemns the actions of NATO and zeros in on the Rambouillet Accord. He explains that the accord was designed in such a manner that Milosevic's government could not agree to it as it would erase Yugoslavia's sovereignty. He goes on to condemn the leadership of his own country in this effort as a thinly disguised move to establish Kosovo as an American colony.
David Orchard's paper "Humanitarian Bombing, Month Two" points out that the involvement of Canada in this expedition, is a violation of international and Canadian law and he adamantly claims that no ethnic cleansing or genocide has taken place. His most critical statement deals with Canada's complicity in the bombing: "For Canada to be bombing in favour of the breakup of a sister multi-ethnic state defies comprehension. In Iraq, our government said it was bombing to maintain the territorial integrity of Kuwait. Here, it is openly bombing to dismember a country, a founding member of both the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement and Canada's staunch ally in both world wars."
Richard Becker's objection to the bombing is most definitely correct in terms of international law as was pointed out here but we now are aware that the NATO leaders are not at all responding to laws and charters but to the overwhelming reaction of public opinion. The interesting problem for these leaders is that military strategists long ago warned of involvement on the ground in the Balkans and contrary to their advise they had to take some action to appease the public and as was predicted, the bombing is not altering things and the public is demanding land forces be inserted into the area to protect civilians from Milosevic's army, released criminals and police. The public wants this to be a cost free operation, protect the people but do so without casualties. After all, neither the politicians, or the public at large, understand the ramification of military conflict and thus we see tragic results.
David Orchard's view is equally interesting, as he like Becker, sees the world in terms of nation states, which is a decidedly time related view of reality, however, despite that point of view, Orchard does understand the politics of power. Many idealist have been surprised at both Sadham Hussain and Milosevic's ability to confront the massive power of the world's most powerful military country without realising that large countries like China, the United States and Russia have little ability to engage in strategic action, because they have political structure and responsibilities that do not exist with a dictator in a small country.
It is important that protests and political discussion about this situation takes place, one can easily see that positive motivation and sincerity with David Orchard and his followers. Our political and legal society permits and encourages the free expression of ideas and opinion, a luxury the majority of the people on this planet do not enjoy.