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A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor, and the "Responsibility to Protect" Today, Updated and Expanded Edition [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
How do we understand the role and ethics of humanitarian intervention in today's world? This expanded and updated edition is timely as the West weighs intervention in Libyan civil war. Discussions of Libyan intervention involved the international principle of "the right to protect" (R2P). Chomsky dissects the meaning and uses of this international instrument in a new chapter. Other chapters from the book help readers understand the West's uses and abuses of "humanitarian intervention," which is not always what it seems, including detailed studies of East Timor and Kosovo.

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About the Author

Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author recently of Hopes and Prospects (2010) and Power and Terror (Paradigm 2011). His articles and books revolutionized the contemporary study of linguistics and his political writings are widely read and translated throughout the world. In 2003 a profile of Chomsky in the New Yorker described his influence as one of the most cited scholars in history.

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1.0 out of 5 stars A Different Lesson To Be Learned April 28 2013
On the subject of NATO's intervention, Chomsky outlines three basic reasons of Eastern European stability, stopping ethnic cleansing and NATO credibility. The last reason is put forth by Chomsky as the major reason for the Kosovo action; he does not accept the facts that the Balkan wars were a symptom of social-political unrest during a time of change with the collapse of Communism and that the NATO activity ultimately stopped the ethnic cleansing, despite the rise in atrocities after the campaign had began.

His final chapter of “Kosovo In Retrospect” outlines Chomsky's misunderstanding of this episode in the Balkan Wars. This section begins with a short synopsis of a Dec. 1999 Wall Street Journal article by Robert Block and the late Daniel Pearl entitled “War In Kosovo Was Cruel, Bitter, Savage; Genocide It Wasn't”.I went back to the original work and noted that the two reporters focus upon one expert who labeled the actions of Serbians on Albanian Kosovars as “Ethnic Cleansing Light”. According to the 1948 U.N. legislation, the acts of homicide, forcible transfer, torture, and imposing inhumane conditions on a specific group of people include ethnicity (and this also contains religiosity and nationality), so the reporters did not account for this definition. Block and Pearl presented unconfirmed and exaggerated accounts of atrocities as the normal atmosphere and result of the NATO campaign, and not the subsequent suffering and discovery of corpses killed by Milosevic's forces. Chomsky attempts to reinforce this media perspective by citing a content analysis of the word “genocide” which was discontinued after 1,000 documents.
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