This is by way of a postscript to the post immediately below, on Nick Cohen's criticisms of CND. I was trying to recall a particular argument made by Kate Hudson of CND about Kosovo, and, having now tracked it down, thought it well worth highlighting in a separate post.
This is what Ms Hudson has to say about "The Nato war on Yugoslavia" in her recent book CND: Now More than Ever (2005, pp. 211-12):
Britain had a tradition of good relations with Yugoslavia, and particularly Serbia, resulting from its stand against Nazi Germany in World War II. Many regretted the break-up of what had been a progressive and open socialist society that had found a federal and peaceful solution to the complex diversity of communities in the south Slav state. In the early 1990s, a number of MPs, in particular Alice Mahon, Tony Benn and Tam Dalyell, set up the Committee for Peace in the Balkans, to advocate and support negotiated political solutions in Yugoslavia.... [CND] participated in the Committee from the start. The Commitee mounted a No Bombing campaign when Nato bombed the Bosnian Serbs in 1995, but it played a hugely more important role in leading the opposition to the Nato attacks on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now composed only of Serbia and Montenegro) in 1999.
The determined unreality is breathtaking. We learn from Ms Hudson that this progressive and open socialist society had "broken up" and then been subject to the evidently unprovoked aggression of the Western democracies, who disdained the "negotiated political solutions" propounded by such pacific visionaries as Tony Benn. Ms Hudson somehow manages to avoid all mention of the fact that this "federal and peaceful solution", so far as Kosovo was concerned, was destroyed by Milosevic. As President of Serbia, he stripped Kosovo of its autonomy in 1989, thereby denying it the status within the Yugoslav Federation that it had been assured under the 1974 constitution. The "negotiated political solutions" the Committee for Peace in the Balkans came up with were, by definition, euphemisms for crushing popular demands: almost literally every single Kosovar Albanian supported separation from Serbia. A survey in 1995 (cited in Ivo H. Daadler and Michael E. O'Halloran, Winning Ugly: Nato's War to Save Kosovo, 2000, pp. 8-9) found that 43 per cent of Kosovar Albanians favoured joining Albania, while 57 per cent favoured outright independence.
As the world's top public intellectual might put it, if you turn a blind eye to oppression and spurn popular revolt, your spurious rationalisations will lead you to become an apologist for state violence. So it was with Kate Hudson and CND. As I quote below, she even came to an idiosyncratic description of the slaughter by Serb paramilitaries on 15 January 1999 of at least 45 people at Racak. The massacre was described by the head of the OSCE's Kosovo Verification Mission, William Walker as "an unspeakable atrocity" for which he would not "hesitate to accuse the government security forces of responsibility". By contrast, Ms Hudson called it (emphasis added) an "alleged massacre" in which "evidence has been contradictory and fiercely contested as to whether the Racak victims were civilians or KLA fighters and whether they died in a firefight or close-range shootings". Three of the victims at Racak were women; several were old men; one was a twelve-year-old boy. The wounds inflicted were, according to Walker, who saw the bodies where they lay, close shots in the top and at the back of the head. One victim had been decapitated.
I don't know why I'm so polite about Ms Hudson. Let's just say that I count myself among those she regards as having supported, in Kosovo as in Iraq, "illegal aggression justified by spin and fabrication enabl[ing] might to prevail and deal[ing] a terrible blow to the framework of international law". And I count that, coming from her and from CND, a singular compliment.
UPDATE: Owing to the lateness of the hour, I otherwise unaccountably rendered William Walker's name as 'Weaver' the second time I wrote it in this post. I have gone back to correct this.