From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 00:02:07 MDT

On Friday, May 26, 2000 6:09 AM Michael S. Lorrey
> > No time to comment on everything this morning, but the above point of
> > clearly means Lorrey means anything and everything can be redefined as a
> > military target. In other words, any war is always total war and any
> > engaging in war that thinks it has right on its side -- and what nation
> > going to war claims it doesn't -- can bomb and kill indiscriminately.
> No, that is NOT what I mean. You cannot specifically target civilians,
> buildings that don't contribute to the war effort (and propaganda is a
> contribution to the war effort, so a TV station IS a legitimate target),

I disagree in regards to TV stations. I think, in particular, the TV
stations were bombed to prevent non-NATO media from operating. (Not that
Milosevic supported or defended free media. In fact, during and after the
bombing, he basically did everything in his power to stop all but
pro-Milosevic media from functioning.)

> hospitals, schools, prisons, etc. However, there is a difference between
> targeting a non-combatant, and accidentally killing a non-combatant
> collateral damage while in the course of attacking a legitimate target.

I agree about the difference between targeting and accidentally hitting
someone or something. Even so, there is a such thing as accidents and
willful negligence in targeting. For instance, if one bombs a target in a
population center, I think any civilian deaths and destrcution of
nonmilitary propert might be regarded as willful neglegence -- and not a
mere accident.

See _The Globe and Mail_ article at:

wherein Canadian commanders admit to probably hitting civilians despite
extreme precautions. (For the record, this does NOT look like the Yugoslav
forces put their bases there because NATO air strikes were in the offing,
but rather because they'd always been there. The last time Yugoslavia was
bombed was during WW2.) I also wonder, given the description of the target
selection process -- if indeed this was the process used by all NATO
missions -- why was the Chinese embassy bombed, from three separate
directions no less?

In this case -- bombing Yugoslavia -- the innocent shields of threats
argument can't really be used. Yugoslavia was not an aggressor by
international standards. The fact that it did not consent to the
Rambouillet terms is not grounds for warfare, especially if one looks at the
terms, which basically included provisions for NATO to occupy all of
Yugoslavia. Has Lorrey read the terms?

> Any
> civilian with brains will stay as far away from any military target as
> Bridges are and always have been considered primary military targets.

See below. I don't necessarily disagree on bridges, though the argument
about staying away from targets kinds of goes against Lorrey's argument
later on about bombing Dresden. Since Dresden was an arts Mecca, one would
suspect that it would not be a primary or even secondary target. (Again:
the real reason for bombing Dresden had to do with satisfying the Soviets --
not with helping the war effort. That is, unless one considers do any of
one's allies whims helping the war effort.)

> > I recall the bombing of the train bridge. The pilot saw the train after
> > dropping his first load and went back and bombed again. The NATO
> > claimed, "He bombed in good faith." What, pray tell, would bombing in
> > faith" be?
> Bombing in bad faith is specifically bombing a target that you are aware
has a
> large number of non-combatants in the target zone. This is called an
> If you drop a bomb, knowing the target is clear, and while the bomb is
> a non-combatant runs into the target area, that is not an atrocity, that
> stupidity on the part of the non-combatant.

Recall, in the case I mentioned, he bombed, the train entered the target
area then he rebombed. So, by Lorrey's standard, the first drop was "good
faith," the second "bad faith." (If he thinks the commuter train moved into
the target area because its engineer saw the bridge being demolished, this
is something he'll have to prove. The specifics of the case _seem_ to be
that the train was moving and its engineer unaware of the bombing.)

> > The Soviets actually asked the British and Americans to target the city.
> > Tens of thousands were killed. The military targets in Dresden were
> > and rail centers. In order to minimize civilian and refugee deaths, all
> > that would have been necessary was targeting these outside the city.
> > bombing took place in February of 1945. The war ended a few months
> > This was not material to ending the war -- any more than turning over
> > to the Soviets after the war was material to keeping the peace.
> General 'Bomber' Harris was the British commander in charge of the British
> bombing raid, he heard the Americans were going to target a few military
> around Dresden, and he was so competetive that he HAD to bomb Dresden
first, so
> he sent up the British mission. I do happen to think that Harris should
> been tried for war crimes, as a matter of fact.

I'm glad to see that he thinks that.

> > > Now, are you saying the Germans were housing POWs in the city, as
> > > shields? That, in itself, is a war crime.
> >
> > The Germans, to my knowledge, did not know Dresden was going to be
> > Up until February of 1945, to my knowledge, Dresden had never been
> > bombed AND it was not a military center -- being mainly an "arts" Mecca.
> They didn't know when any place was going to be bombed. That is not an

But according to Lorrey's other material on this, he gives one the idea that
civilians can expect to know where not to be not to get bombed. I don't
want to keep going back and forth on this. Suffice to say, we disagree here
and it does not appear agreement will be forthcoming, perhaps not until both
of us cogitates on this for a bit.

> Note: We frequently bombed military industrial facilities where Jewish
> laborers worked. Should we be blamed for their deaths?

When one evaluates the effect of such bombing on the war, I think one could
at best say it was a wasted effort. It would have been much better to
concentrate all bombing during the war on a) bombing specifically military
targets (e.g., sub bases, barracks, tactical military targets such as tanks)
and anything related to oil refining and storage.

> > [big snip I'll to get to later...]
> > > We don't kill the kids.
> >
> > Who is this "we"? Is Lorrey calling the shots down at the Pentagon?
> You are blaming America in general, and I am an American, so it is 'we'. I
> that you avoid replying to the rest of my comments here.

Then let me restate. I do NOT blame the US in general. I blame its
government at the time, specifically those in charge and those who carried
out their missions without question.

Even if I did mean blaming the US as a whole -- which I did NOT -- then the
response should never be to defend US as a whole. (In fact, I've looked
over my passed emails. I've mostly used "US government." I've been pretty
restrained on using "America" and "Americans." The context should have been
apparent that when I did so I was not blaming every last American. Also, I
accept no guilt for the actions of others, so I hardly include myself in
such collectivizations.)

Let me also state that I don't have time to comment on every single comment
here. If Lorrey would use his eyes to read, he would have noted that I
stated in my last post on this thread with "No time to comment on everything
this morning..." Some of us have jobs and don't live for this list, okay?

> > [another big snip I'll to get to later...]
> > Yes, I recall some 45 people were killed before the bombings began.
And, of
> > course, the claims of the KLA Are to be beleived while any Serb sources
> > total liars. Genocide on a scale to match... Waco not Hitler. I
> > that justifies bombing all of Yugoslavia AND killing thousands of
> > in the process.
> There were far more than 45 people killed.

I agree. I've made a mistake here. The NY Times claimed in 1999 that
approximately 2000 people were killed in all of 1998 in Kosovo. Hardly
genocide considering that that figure might actually be an overestimate and
includes Kosovar Serb deaths. I.e., it combines KLA killings as well as
those caused by Yugoslav forces. (The Serb page I cite below claims the
death toll was 1200 and about 140 of those were Serbian. Now, theyare
probably biased, but 1200 is really not such a great underexaggeration of
2000. I mean, if one is going to lie, why not say 500 people were killed
and 400 of them were Serbs?)

My mistake was in regards to an alleged massacre January 15, 1999 in the
village of Racak in Kosmet which was reported widely before and during the
bombings to be in the thousands and the actual number was in the dozens or
maybe 15. If my memory's correct, this "massacre" was a proximate trigger
for the bombings.

(I should add too, we must be very careful here since the Pentagon controls
media access in such campaigns. Funny how little the Media and (Lorrey and
too many Americans) has (have) complained about this control.)

>Where are you getting your
> information? By the time we started bombing, there were hundreds of
thousands as
> refugees and thousands of people killed, raped, and being used as human

I've noticed Lorrey cites no sources.

Cato's testimony about the issue is at:

It does not cite numbers of deaths in Kosovo, though it points out that
before the bombing campaign they were way below Kurd deaths in Turkey. (And
I might add probably below the number of people killed by US ally Indonesia
during East Timor's bloody exit from that nation. In fact, Indonesia is
still getting arms and money from the US despite its long and continuing
tradition of using that money and those arms against its subjects.)

A probably totally biased source is Even so, this does
not mean it should not be looked at. (One should critical with all sources,
not just the ones one disagrees with, but it is only to be expected to be
more skeptical about what one disagrees with than with what one holds near
and dear.)

See the complaint about war crimes commited by NATO in Yugoslavia at:

On the number of nonAlbanians fleeing Kosovo since NATO made it safe for the
KLA, see "UN: 210,000 non-Albanian refugees from Kosovo" at:

> > Also, the bombing against Yugoslavia seems to not have stopped the
> > in the region, but escalated them. Was this the goal? I don't think
> > One should, after all, go to war with the notion to making things
> > In other words, one fights because one thinks that the peace afterwards
> > be better than the peace before the fight. This should make war the
> > to a higher end and actual military actions can then be measured against
> > whether they work toward this end or detract from it.
> If the Serbs did not want what is happening to them now, they should not
> given free reign to those who perpetrated the slaughter and rape of
thousands of
> ethnic albanians. What comes around goes around.

Excellent analysis! Of course, Lorrey seems to assume that no Albanians
every did anything wrong here and that the Serbs as a whole deserve
punishment. In other words, if a Black man kills a White man up in Lorrey's
neck of the woods, watch out! He might just show up in Comptom or Harlem
and kill a few Blacks. After all, "What comes around goes around."

> > Yugoslavia is interesting in another way. The US had no vital interest
> > there. It did not affect any US allies in a big way. (If it did, why
> > the trouble in the Balkans for the last ten years not bothered them?)
> > US policy in the region has been markedly pro-Islamic and pro-German.
> > not trying to bring a conspiracy angle in here, but it's strange to see
> > US standing by while Croatia cleansed itself of Serbs by the tens of
> > thousands, while not being able stand Serbia hold on to Kosovo and the
> > toll being orders of magnitude smaller. (Croatia is a nation which
> > celebrates its alliance to Nazi Germany and exterminated approximately a
> > third of its population during WW2. This does NOT mean I'm prepared to
> > support a bombing campaign against Croatia TV and rail lines, civilians
> > no.)
> Croatia did not slaughter thousands of Serbs, they evicted them. They also

Lorrey is not reading my words again. He's talking about the recent
secession from Yugoslavia. I'm not against secession per se, but Serb
civilians were killed during this secession. The total number of Serb
refugees from Croatia during the 1990s is also quite high -- hundreds of

The killings I mention above -- forgetting Croatia's involvement in Bosnia
for the moment, where Croatian forces were killing anyone nonCroation -- was
as I said, "during WW2." About one third of Croatia's citizens were killed
then by the Croatia government. The killings were so bloody that it even
made the Nazi and Italians queasy. In the end, the Italians (surprisingly?)
intervened. See
"The Real Genocide in Yugoslavia: 'Independent' Croatia of 1941 Revisited"
by Srdja Trifkovic at:

> received a good number of Croats that were evicted from other areas.
> wais not a saint, he was a thug as well. Most Americans, and I'm sure our
> government as well, does not consider any of the leaders in the former
> Yugoslavic states to be nice people. They are all thugs and bullies.

I agree, that, for the most part, all the leaders in the region, including
KLA leaders are thugs and bullies. If Lorrey really believes this, then
this is a great reason NOT to get involved -- as I've maintained all along.

>All we can
> do (and what the Europeans should have been doing but were to lazy and
> involved to pull their heads out of their asses) is try to keep the peace
in a
> very volatile situation, or else we might as will blockade the whole area
> give them all the guns they want so they can shoot it out until they've
> their differences. These are the only two real options.

Not so. The truth is, the best thing to do, for the US and NATO would be to
just leave it alone and allow those who want to emigrate leave the region.
Truth be told, the peace has not been kept. Kosovar Serbs are now being
killed. The KLA, with its dream of a Greater Albania, might destabilize the
region even more, especially since it's laying claims to lands in Macedonia
and Greece.

If NATO and the US had stayed out of it, chances are Yugoslavia would
eventually disintegrated over the years as internal opposition mounted to
Milosevic, but in the meantime the KLA would not be a loose canon rolling
across the deck of the Balkan ship.

Again, I reiterate. US involvement generally makes bad situations worse.
Look at the outcome of Iran (helped to keep the Shah in power insuring that
those yearning to be free from his tyranny would hate the US and the West),
Libya (US CIA helped put Qadafy in power), Vietnam (overthrew elected
government in the South and eventually helped to destabilize Cambodia, Laos
as well as lose the war), Colombia (currently working on this one), Somalia,
and so on. This is not a track record of success with a few minor,
excusable failures. Instead it is a track record of major failures with a
few minor, unexpected successes. (I'll leave it to Lorrey to show the
successes, if he can find any.) If people would look at results rather than
intentions, they might be very wary of any foreign involvement.

> Once again, Europe is asking us to pull their nuts out of the fire, and if
> don't do it just the way they want us to, they try to blame us for the
> thing. Sometimes I think we should tell them all to piss off.

I think, for the most part, the US should remain out of it. Europe has no
current looming threats to its security. Even a rampant KLA probably will
only effect the Balkans and nowhere else.

> > > while in Chechnya, the
> > > Chechens started killing Russians first. While Serbia is small enough
> > > that we can do something about it, there is little we can do about
> > > Russia except diplomatic protests.
> >
> > My point was that Russia could make the same claims about Chechnya that
> > Lorrey could make about Yugoslavia. In fact, the Russian policy with
> > Near Abroad and breakaway republics like Chechnya and Ingushtia has been
> > claim that ethnic Russians are being persecuted -- a claim not
> > without merit -- and use this as a pretext for intervention.
> Of course. And given the level to which fundamentalist Muslim terrorists
> percolating and penetrating in the 'Stans' these days, I'd be very worried
> willing to take action too if I were in the Kremlin.

This not only doesn't rebutt my claim above, Lorrey ignores what he said
earlier. First, he told us that "Chechens started killing Russians first."
Now he's telling us this is all based on justified paranoia.

Is there anyone else on this list aside from Lorrey who thinks that the most
recent Russian campaign against Chechnya was anything more than a ploy to
take the pressure off the Kremlin for the sad state of Russia's economy and
the rife corruption there. It's funny how the whole campaign was timed
right when Yeltsin's inner circle was starting to collapse and that it
catapulted Putin, the architect of the campaign, into the Presidency. It
was nothing more than a massive and bloody PR campaign written with Chechan
and Russian blood.

> > > > It's a shame that the American people will have to pay for these
> > mistakes --
> > > > and not the politicians who make them. But that's the nature of the
> > beast.
> > >
> > > How are we going to pay for them?
> >
> > Americans will pay through blood and treasure, of course. With the
> > there is terrorism and war which will claim American lives. I'm not
> > this is a justification for this, but merely human nature. The orphaned
> > Iraqi or Serbian kid who turns to terrorism is not going to think about
> > morality the same way Lorrey (I hope!) and I do. He or she is mostly
> > to be motivated by revenge against the US. That urge would not be there
> > the US had either a) stayed the f*ck out it or b) been a little more
> > restrained and civilized in flexing its muscles.
> Funny, until we started bombing, bleeding hearts like you were crying that
> were not doing enough to stop Milosevik. When are you ever going to be
> satisfied?

Lorrey is definitely wrong here. I have been against US involvement in
almost all foreign wars for the past decade or so. I've especially been
against US involvement in the Balkans. I've never called for any
involvement. In fact, the Objectivist position on this, which I adhere to,
is that no side in the conflict will provide a government which protects
individual rights, so there is little point in supporting any of them.
Also, since none of them, as yet, has made attacks on the US, there is no
proximate justification for involvement. (For the record, I don't think any
leader in the region will ten years from now be landing troops in Vermont.:)

In fact, I'm generally against intervention. I've been pretty much an
isolationist since I've been old enough to vote. (Of course, being
sympathetic to libertarian anarchism, I've generally been against
governemnt. Sans government, it would be very hard to intervene. Surely,
people like Lorrey could join the foreign legion or send money to the KLA,
but that would leave the 99 and 44/100ths of everyone else out of it.:)

What I wonder is whether Lorrey will be a big enough man to apologize for
his mistake here.

> > The treasure part includes property lost to terrorism and war as well as
> > taxes paid to fund the current policy of military adventurism of the US.
> > But also, the price will be paid in many other ways -- a less stable
> > for one.
> As long as there are people who hate their neighbors just because they go
to a
> different church or have a different accent, and are willing to kill them
> these differences, then the world will be less stable. Its did not start
> us, and cannot be blamed on us.

The thing to do is not to add wood to the fire. Add wood to the fire and
then one must accept some blame for the mess.

Enough for now!

Daniel Ust

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