Monday, August 25, 2008

Blame Bush or Clinton for Russia's Invasion?

Among the charges leveled against the West these days by Moscow's defenders is hypocrisy. Viewed from the U.S., the obvious parallel is Iraq: If we get to invade Iraq without prior international approval, why can't Russia invade a much closer neighbor?

But the better analogy---and the one that has apparently stirred up the Russians to a greater extent---is Kosovo. Recall that the NATO operation in Kosovo was not authorized by the UN Security Council, and thus, from the perspective of international law, illegal. Indeed, it was also probably illegal from the perspective of domestic U.S. law, as President Clinton sought and failed to obtain Congressional approval for the action, but then went ahead with it anyway.

At the time, the internationalist left in the U.S. was divided. (But pretty much only in the U.S. I happened to be in Italy at the time, where the left was almost unanimously opposed to the action, not principally on Serb-friendly grounds but on general anti-war and anti-U.S. grounds.) Many of the people who had been distraught by world indifference to the Rwandan genocide and the slow reaction to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia were glad that the West was finally taking a stand against many of the very perpetrators of the latter. But others worried deeply about what precedent would be set by a humanitarian intervention without formal legal authorization. After all, military expansionists (including Hitler himself) have used the pretext of humanitarianism to wage aggressive war.

Did Russia infer from NATO's actions in Kosovo that there was now a new norm permitting military action to aid a breakaway region? Maybe, although given the conflict in Chechnya, it's hard to see how Putin could have made that a universal principle.

Still, it's probably wrong to see in Russia's actions in Georgia simple self-serving power politics. Justifications do matter, and Russians may well be right to see a double standard here. Why does NATO get to say that Kosovo needs its help while Russia cannot say the same about South Ossetia?

I'm still tempted to say that the key event was not so much the 1999 NATO action in Kosovo but the decision of the US and various NATO allies earlier this year to recognize Kosovo's claim to independence. While atrocities are occurring, there is a good moral argument for military intervention on humanitarian grounds, even if such intervention is illegal because not authorized by the Security Council. But changing international boundaries should require a more orderly process. Viewed from Russia, Western acknowledgment of Kosovar independence confirmed the suspicion that the 1999 action (including the bombing of Belgrade, let's not forget) reflected anti-Slavic aggression all along---and such acknowledgment occurred on the watch of the current President Bush.

Posted by Mike Dorf


Roycommi said...

NATO gets do do what it wants imho because NATO is a collection of democracies that were trying to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing, and bring stability.

Russia on the other hand is an authoritarian near dictatorship that fed money, arms, and pro independence propaganda into the breakaway regions for over a decade and used the legitimate suppression of rebellion within the boarders of a sovereign nation (a democracy i might ad) as pretext for a power and land grab. If Russia had invaded any of the number of neighboring "-stans" that are run by similar authoritarian dictators, i don't think anyone would have given a mind.

I don't think its too hard to see a clear distinction in these events.

Michael C. Dorf said...

in response to roycommi, i completely agree that it's easy for US to see a clear distinction here, just as it was easy for proponents of the war in Iraq to see a distinction between preemptive war against a bad regime like Saddam Hussein's and pre-emptive war between regional rivals (like India and Pakistan). The main point is that once you start violating international law because you're a good guy stopping bad guys, you undermine the ability of that law to constrain anybody. To be sure, there are some circumstances in which it makes sense to go ahead and do the right thing even though it's illegal, but there's almost always a price to be paid for that judgment. It's easy to see how Bush et al were willing to pay this price because their crowd (e.g., Bolton) don't believe in international law in the first place. My premise was that international law has some beneficial effect.

Bob Moss said...

In general, I'm with Prof. Dorf on this one. There's been too much jumping to portray the conflict as completely black and white. Many aspects of it contain shades of gray. The fact that there is a credible secessionist movement in South Ossetia warns us to look for complexities. Besides, Teddy Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." What good is blustering about Russia's action if we can't do anything about it?

Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to get some last chaos gold and the lastchaos gold is given by my close friend who tells me that the lastchaos money is the basis to enter into the game. Therefore, I should buy last chaos gold with the spare money and I gain some cheap lastchaos gold from other players.

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工

Anonymous said... .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,