Toronto Sun - Nov 22
Where's NATO?

Even as the news was filtering out last week about the so-called progress in international talks aimed at getting Russia to tone down its war on Chechnya, the Russian military was pressing on.
After weeks of shelling, it was claiming to have the capital of Grozny surrounded, and more assaults on the rebels were planned.
At the same time in Istanbul, as the Sun's Sean Durkan reported Saturday, the 54 leaders of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ended their meeting amid self-congratulatory speeches about securing peace in Europe in the 21st century.
The leaders signed a treaty that imposes country-by-country restrictions on the number of tanks, armoured combat vehicles, heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters in Europe - an update on similar agreements from the Cold War era.
Yet amid all this, there was no concrete plan or commitment by Russia to end its assault on Chechnya. There was only an agreement that Russia would allow the OSCE chairman to visit Chechnya and, as Durkan reported, "consider the possibility of future humanitarian and peace-brokering assistance (from the OSCE)."
This is a far cry from peace in the 21st century - just weeks away.
The parallels between Chechnya and the ill-conceived, poorly executed NATO war on Kosovo - where, as Canadian foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy reported to the OSCE, "serious difficulties" remain (!) - are unmistakable. A small ethnic minority population, enjoying de facto independence, is being attacked - and ethnically cleansed - by a larger power in the name of fighting terrorism and preserving national stability. Refugees are pouring into neighbouring territories. Sound familiar?
But where is the international outrage this time? Where's NATO?
So far, some mild complaint has come from countries like the U.S., whose President Bill Clinton has warned he won't ratify the treaty until Moscow reduces its forces in Chechnya.
Our own PM Jean Chretien, however, simply said he couldn't pass judgment on the Chechen war, and admitted "what (the treaty) will mean in terms of real action ... I cannot say." Great.
Chechnya, it seems, is but another casualty of the dangerous precedent set in Kosovo. That war demonstrated the folly, and hypocrisy, of NATO moving in to play the world cop.
Now, backers of that war have been hoist with their own petard.

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