The Living Constitution andrnthe Death of SovereigntyrnAmerican Constitutional Law Goes Internationalrnby Stephen B. PresserrnAs this is written, the United States and its NATO alHes arernbombing the Serbian forces of Slobodan Milosevic. Thisrnis the first offensive action for NATO, and the first time that jelliedrnarmed forces have been unleashed against a sovereign nationrnwith which the United States is not formally at war withoutrnan express authorizahon by the U.N. Security Council. ThernAmerican public seems mesmerized by the course of events,rnand while, as yet, there seems no widespread opposition to ourrnwholesale destruction of persons and property in the Balkans,rnneither is there much ringing support.rnThe bombing in the Balkans is part of a post-Vietnam creationrnof a new set of doctrines of international law. These doctrinesrnhave no clearly defined limits and can be used to justifyrnbrute force and human carnage in ways we have never beforernseen. We may be witnessing the opening moves in the forgingrnof a New World Order, where nahonal sovereignty is fundamentallyrnimpaired and where the possessors of superior militaryrnforce can dictate the basic terms of domestic life to other nationsrnwithout even the formalitv- of conquering them in therncourse of conventional warfare.rnPresident Clinton has argued that it is necessary for us to participaternin the bombing of Yugoslavian targets because Mr.rnMilosevic and his armed forces have committed violahons ofrnthe “human rights” of the ethnic Albanians who make up thernmajority of the populadon of Kosovo. His foreign-policy teamrnhas claimed that Mr. Milosevic is bent on following the samernpolicy of “ethnic cleansing” that his Serbs have undertaken inrnother parts of what used to be Yugoslavia, as they seek to build arn”greater Serbia.”rnStephen B. Presser, the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal Historyrnat Northwestern University School of Law, is the legal affairsrneditor for Chronicles.rnInvestigations by international organizations have not beenrnable to substanfiate prior claims that the Serbs were following arnpolicy of genocide; and the Kosovo Liberafion Army seems tornhave engaged in a bit of ethnic cleansing of its own against thernSerbian minority of Kosovo, just as the Bosnians earlier did tornthe Bosnian Serbs. As often seems to be the case in the Balkans,rnnone of the belligerents play by Marquis of Queensbury rules.rnNot for nothing did Otto von Bismarck declare that the Balkansrnwere not worth the bones of a single Prussian soldier.rnWhatever the “human rights” and “ethnic cleansing” pretextsrnof NATO and the American President, it is the legal thinkingrnbehind the strategy that is the most new and alarming.rnConsidering the text of the Rambouillet accords, the real reasonrnfor bombing Milosevic’s forces—the army of a sovereignrnnation—appears to be to compel Belgrade to cede autonomy, ifrnnot territory, to a minority ethnic group within its borders.rnSome critics of our intervention in the Balkans have likened ourrnbehavior to Japan bombing California to force it to cede autonomyrnto Latinos in regions where they make up a majority of thernpopulation. This seems far-fetched, but so does the President’srnclaim that if we do not act to prevent Yugoslavia’s aggressionrnagainst its own citizens, the flight of refiigees from Kosovo couldrndestabilize neighboring NATO allies, particularly Greece andrnTurkey, so that NATO’s bombing activities are really authorizedrnby its basic purpose of self-defense. Indeed, what does ourrnintervention in Serbia say to the ethnic Kurds in Turkey or evenrnthe ethnic Turks in Germany, let alone the Alrican-American,rnHispanic, Polish, Italian, Irish, and other ethnic and racial minorihesrnin the United States itself?rnWhat in the U.N. Charter or in international law would authorizernour action in the Balkans, and what, if any, are the limitsrnof our new doctrine of humanitarian intervention?rnArticle I of the U.N. Charter provides that the purposes of thern16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn