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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jonathan Zasloff asks I answer

The answer to your question depends on what you mean by "Europeans". Western European governments were on board for Kosovo and Afghanistan so they did not denounce the bombings (except for bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade which caused the prime minister of Italy to say too many mistakes were being made). European commentators and journalists were IIRC quite enthusiastic about denouncing NATO bombing of Serbia to the extent that I found the voices pointing out that they had been calling for the USA to do something about Kosovo quite lonely.

I live in Italy. My sense was that public opinion was strongly against the Clinton administration on Kosovo.

As to Afghanistan well 9-11 changed everything for a while. Certainly civilian deaths due to US bombing were reported and many people thought the US should have done better in, for example, not bombing more than one ICRC warehouse in Kabul. My recollection of the war certainly includes recollection of extensive coverage of the US bombing a village tucked into a ravine that looked to someone like a terrorist camp and, of course, extensive extensive discussion of the US bombing red cross buildings (with huge red crosses on their roofs) in Kabul.

If people relying on US news sources have the impression that no one was denouncing the USAF for bombing neutral embassies, civilian targets, and the red cross in both wars, then my concern about the US MSM just turned into panic.

update: Also Matthew Yglesias has a body count and notes that 500<10,000.

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