Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

Blog and project archive about transdisciplinary design, media theory and creative coding

Europe at War in Serbia and Kosovo, by Alan N. Shapiro

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On March 24, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization initiated a bombing campaign from 15,000 feet vectored towards designated targets inside the territory of Yugoslavia. NATO’s spokesmen stated that the systematic aerial assaults were a response to brutalities being carried out on the ground by Serb military and para-military forces against the ethnic Albanian majority in the southern province of Kosovo, and to President Slobodan Milosevic’s refusal to sign the Rambouillet peace accords. A few days after the beginning of the bombings, television news anchorpersons and NATO officials informed their media audiences that the Serbian killings and unlawful mass expulsions of Kosovar Albanians from their homes and villages were criminal acts of genocide, comparable to the Holocaust. Critics of NATO’s air strikes (Noam Chomsky on the left, Pat Buchanan on the right, and Henry Kissinger somewhere in between, for example) argued cogently that prior to March 24 the armed conflict in Kosovo was a relatively low-grade civil war, with “only” two thousand Kosovars killed up until that point, and that it was the NATO bombings themselves, and the accompanying compelled departure of on-site international peacekeeping observers, which had triggered the dramatic escalation of the Serbs’ barbarism and “ethnic cleansing.” …

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