Sunday, 23 March 2014

fyrom, kfor or wag-the-dog

Veteran reporter and author, Masha Gessen writing for Slate, shares her warzone coverage memories on the anniversary, nearly fifteen years ago to the day, when in 1999 NATO forces, under US leadership, began the intervention in Kosovo, and their presence remains today.

Gessen poses an interesting theory regarding the first bombing campaign within the former Soviet sphere of influence that came as a surprise to the old guard, a grave slight with no private warning of NATO's encroachment and roundly reenforced the idea that Russia no longer held super-power status (the wounded egos sound already smack eerily similar to the current reaction of America, taken by surprise by Russia's maneuvers in the Crimea): that the affront—then matched with an accelerated conflict in Chechnya, over Serbia and the splintered Yugoslav states made a lasting impression on the once and future king, Vladimir Putin, made heir-apparent later that same year by a retiring Boris Yeltsin. I admit that I did think that this sort of patient revenge was rather a reach initially, even considering the mention of the actions by the West in his speech, until fully reading the analysis and comparisons drawn. After the spate of over-throws of the Arab Spring, I think the West became dangerously inured to a revolutionary template, and even despite hard lessons, excepted Ukraine to proceed according to certain protocols and there's no real appetite or wherewithal for more.