The “Kosovo Standard” may be the unseen danger in the U.S./NATO military intervention in support of the KLA and, presumably, in favor of their political ambitions. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart has confessed that the alliance is fighting for the “autonomy and self-government of the Kosovo Albanians.” In other words, the United States and its NATO allies are supporting a Kosovo secession movement. This is the “Kosovo Standard,” and ethnic minorities everywhere that aspire to be free from the fetters of the modern unitary nation-state must be celebrating in anticipation of this alliance coming to their rescue just as soon as fighting subsides in the Balkans.

If the U.S. government (more precisely, the American Empire) operated consistently on principle rather than expediency, it would be worried about establishing a precedent for the Kosovo Standard. Suppose that the American Southwest (including Southern California) becomes predominantly Hispanic early in the next century. The Aztian Liberation Army (ALA), in an attempt to break off territory in order to form an independent Hispanic state or to bring about a reconquista on behalf of Mexico, engages in terrorist activity against federal and state authorities and attacks non- Hispanic civilians.

The ALA’s pretext? “Human rights violations” by the United States against Mexican-Americans. The U.S. Border Patrol and National Guard units from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California take the field against the ALA to thwart Hispanic territorial ambitions. Pleas for action against “Anglo racism” are picked up and parroted by the international media. Videotape footage of Yankee brutality along the border dominates the airwaves, and La Raza undertakes a massive propaganda campaign for intervention against the Anglos. Washington is accused of “ethnic cleansing” as American forces succeed in driving ALA fighters toward the Mexican border. Streams of pitiful Hispanic refugees follow them southward, choking the dusty roads leading to Tijuana, Juarez, and Matamoros. The BBC conducts interviews at border checkpoints across the Rio Grande, soliciting tales of horror and brutality.

Remembering the “Kosovo Standard” of 1999, Third World nations petition NATO to act to prevent an “humanitarian disaster.” NATO officials balk at the request. But how will they wriggle out of this one? All the preconditions for a “Kosovo Standard” military action have been met. Must the air strikes begin in order to “degrade ” America’s military capabilities? Should the Hague Tribunal brand the American president a “war criminal” and call for his immediate arrest? How long will it take before Tony Blair calls him a “bush-league Milosevic” and CNN begins broadcasting pictures of “the worst humanitarian disaster since Kosovo”?

Of course, a wise and prudent administration would never have let itself be sucked into such a sticky situation in the first place. Simply put, it’s not America’s place to run the world. Hubris always exacts its price; pride goeth before a fall. What will the leaders of the American regime do when they find themselves playing the role of the Serbs in some not-too-distant future, trying to keep their own multicultural and multiethnic empire in order, and one of their ethnic minorities reminds the world of the Kosovo Standard? Just something for our imperial masters to think about—between bombing runs.