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fashion few other political subjects have achieved in the post-Cold War world. 1 Ironically, it is in the limelight not due to its general acceptance but because of its controversial character, which has led to acrimonious debates. At the two ends of the scale there is, on the one hand, rejection, with the notion seen as nonsensical, an ‘oxymoron’, 2 the hallmark of deceit and, on the other, its acceptance as one of the clearest manifestations of altruism, the epitome of

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century

ground. Ignatieff is troubled by the concepts and the images that are now used, arguing that ‘virtual reality is very seductive’. 23 He seems to be aware of the trappings of virtual war, with its own fables and representations based on self-righteous invulnerability: ‘We see war as a surgical scalpel and not as a bloodstained sword. In so doing we misdescribe the instruments of death

in Mapping European security after Kosovo

the temptation to let other people die instead is almost irresistible. In this case we face two concrete questions: first, whether it was immoral to start a war at all; and, second, whether it was immoral to start a war in the way it was started, namely without a ground invasion, i.e. in a way that showed no intention to accept own losses. Conducting a war without a willingness to sacrifice life seems

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
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Kosovo and the outlines of Europe’s new order

‘aestheticisation of war’. 7 In ‘Kosovo’, Europe has for the first time faced the increased independent agency – some would say the dominant role – of technology and the media in security matters, turning the war into a form of symbolic exchange and ‘European security’ into a simulacrum. A remarkable disregard by policy-makers and military planners of the ‘situation on the ground’ has made the entire territory of Kosovo and Serbia

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
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Virtuousness, virtuality and virtuosity in NATO’s representation of the Kosovo campaign

on the ground, Serb forces engaged in the mass expulsion and murder of the Albanian population in the province. To deny that a war took place therefore does not mean to deny the exercise of violence and the reality of human suffering in Kosovo. Nor, for that matter, did Baudrillard deny the suffering that was caused by the UN campaign against Iraq. His provocation that ‘the Gulf War did not take

in Mapping European security after Kosovo

the grounds of humanity’ and the motives pure, even though they were not the only motives; the US was so deeply involved in Cuba that one can also speak in terms of self-defence. 159 Amos Hershey referred to the humanitarian plight but also to the cost of the war to US interests and the hardships of its citizens in Cuba. 160 George Grafton Wilson, an opponent of humanitarian intervention, opined that ‘the United States interfered in the affairs of Cuba on the ground of

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
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’humanité , 13 or ‘intervention on the ground of humanity’, intervention ‘on behalf of the interests of humanity’, 14 all with the same meaning. 15 From the 1830s until the 1930s humanitarian intervention was understood as interfering ‘for the purpose of vindicating the law of nations against outrage’, 16 ‘in the interests of humanity for the purpose of stopping religious persecution and endless cruelties in times of peace and war’. 17 According to Antoine

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
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Reflections in a distorting mirror

This is not a text about who was wrong and who was right; neither is it a text which aims to establish the true figures of those killed and displaced by Russian or NATO bombs. It is a tale of two conflicts that share some remarkable similarities and which are to some extent archetypal for our globalised post-Cold War world. It is, above all, an essay about two conflicts which are

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
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A European fin de siècle

they were flown into Albania with much pomp, but they never got off the ground for fear that they would have to fly too low, becoming vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. The Apaches stood idle while the Serbs were completing the ethnic cleansing. Kosovo was a truly postmodern war, an Oscar-winning action movie, a new 3D computer game where one could employ emotion and skill, and

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Civilisation, civil society and the Kosovo war

Introduction ‘War is never civilised’, British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared on 10 June 1999, ‘but war can be necessary to uphold civilisation.’ 1 On that day, seventy-eight days of war were brought to an end by the assertion that they had secured the principles on which the post-Cold War European order was founded. For that reason the Kosovo

in Mapping European security after Kosovo