by Daniel Larison
Published: Jan. 30, 2010 – The American Conservative
But the failure to achieve a second, explicit, U.N. resolution was a political problem, not a legal obstacle. Few of the anti-war movement care to recall that the Kosovan War was, if anything, predicated upon a flimsier legal case than the Iraqi intervention. ~Alex Massie
One of the reasons why I keep revisiting the illegality and immorality of the intervention in Kosovo long after most people have forgotten about it is precisely because so many opponents of the Iraq war don’t want to acknowledge that Kosovo was every bit as unjustifiable and wrong as Iraq was. By endorsing the war in Kosovo even now, as Obama did again in Oslo, many opponents of the Iraq war have opened themselves up to the attack that Iraq hawks were using from the beginning. If someone pointed out that invading Iraq would violate international law and not have U.N. sanction, the hawks would throw the precedent of Kosovo in his face. Unless he was a principled progressive or antiwar conservative, the opponent of the invasion was always at a loss to respond. If invading Iraq was based on phony or exaggerated intelligence about WMDs, Kosovo was based on lies about preventing genocide and protecting human rights. Unless you are among the fairly small percentage that opposed both, the odds are that you are outraged over invading Iraq in inverse proportion to how outraged you were over bombing Serbia.