The Dismantling of Yugoslavia (Part I): A Study in <em>In</em>humanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse)

Authors

  • Edward S. Herman
  • David Peterson

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-059-05-2007-09_1

Keywords:

Imperialism, Political Economy

Abstract

The breakup of Yugoslavia provided the fodder for what may have been the most misrepresented series of major events over the past twenty years. The journalistic and historical narratives that were imposed upon these wars have systematically distorted their nature, and were deeply prejudicial, downplaying the external factors that drove Yugoslavia's breakup while selectively exaggerating and misrepresenting the internal factors. Perhaps no civil wars—and Yugoslavia suffered multiple civil wars across several theaters, at least two of which remain unresolved—have ever been harvested as cynically by foreign powers to establish legal precedents and new categories of international duties and norms. Nor have any other civil wars been turned into such a proving ground for the related notions of "humanitarian intervention" and the "right [or responsibility] to protect." Yugoslavia's conflicts were not so much mediated by foreign powers as they were inflamed and exploited by them to advance policy goals. The result was a tsunami of lies and misrepresentations in whose wake the world is still reeling.

Published

2007-10-01

Issue

Section

Review of the Month