Balkans

Self Service
March 03, 2003

To hear Democratic leaders and Democratic political candidates declaim on war is to conclude that liberals are totally incoherent on the subject of power. Liberalism, on the other hand, is quite coherent. It is important to distinguish between the two. Politicians are pulled by public opinion, by calculations of political advantage, and by other nonideological considerations. Hence, the cacophony of liberal voices about war with Iraq.

Homeward Bound
March 03, 2003

Liberals are no strangers to foreign intervention. Democratic presidents took the United States into two world wars, as well as Korea and Vietnam; Bill Clinton himself sent American forces to Haiti, the Balkans, and Iraq. But, if there was a connection between liberalism at home and intervention abroad, it generally ran from the former to the latter. Liberals believed that by intervening abroad they were spreading or defending liberal values. The Clinton administration's 1996 National Security Strategy, for instance, was based on "enlarging ...

Blue Greens
July 08, 2002

BERLIN, GERMANY It's evening, and the only light on the second floor of Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, the building where members of the Bundestag have their offices, is coming from Cem Oezdemir's suite. Inside, the 36-year-old Oezdemir, who in 1994 became the first person of Turkish descent ever elected to the Bundestag, is describing his hopes for Germany. "What is my goal? It is the kind of hyphenated identity that takes place in your country," he says. "I am Moslem by birth; I am a Moslem like Catholics are Catholics.

War
October 22, 2001

The air campaign that the United States, with the morally spectacular assistance of Great Britain, inaugurated against Afghanistan on October 7 appears designed to make the medieval kingdom of the Taliban safe for operations closer to the ground. Army helicopters and commando units seem destined for the next phase of the campaign, so as to find the caves in which Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the other self-styled Saladins are hiding. Sooner or later American special ops forces, armed not least with their recollections of the ruins in New York and Washington, will find them.

Memory Goes to War
July 12, 1999

I. Madeleine Albright: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey by Michael Dobbs (Henry Holt, 466 pp., $27.50) Down from the heavens he came a decade ago this month, descending by helicopter onto the Field of Blackbirds in Kosovo to deliver a speech that still reads as a paradigm of nationalist madness. About a million Serbs gathered that day to hear Slobodan Milosevic.

With God on Their Sides
November 25, 1996

The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia by Michael A. Sells (University of California Press, 244 pp., $19.95) The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia edited by Mark Pinson. (Harvard University Press, 207 pp., $14.95)   Was it genocide that occurred in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? Were the Serbs and the Croats who attacked the Muslims motivated mainly by religious nationalism?

Dicks
November 20, 1995

In July, 1994, when Bill Clinton was touring Europe, the president's aides were, well, awestruck by the tenacity of Richard Holbrooke, then the United States Ambassador to Germany. What accounted for this reaction? During the president's visit to Germany, Holbrooke was, as one official put it, "a whirling dervish." He managed to wangle his way into top-level meetings and hounded White House staff to get airplane and helicopter seats close to Clinton.

For a New Nationalism
March 27, 1995

 I. In January, as the value of the Mexican peso plummeted, President Clinton, Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed to a U.S. Treasury plan guaranteeing $40 billion of new loans to the Mexican economy. The loans, it was hoped, would stop the peso’s fall and also save the investments of American banks and mutual funds that had bought high-interest Mexican bonds after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Congress began debating the deal, hundreds of CEOs and business lobbyists led by John W.

A Groom of One's Own
July 25, 1994

Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell Villard Books, 412 pp., $25  I. We find ourselves, all of us, in a historical crisis of gender. It has produced highly charged arguments over "Amendment 2" to the constitution of Colorado, and over the various legal actions that have stemmed from that controversial initiative. In Ontario, one of the larger provinces in my own country, it has produced acerbic debate and the defeat of a legislative bill that would have recognized same-sex unions as "marital" in nature, and would have granted them comparable rights and duties.

The Abdication
February 28, 1994

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