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international institutions that are essential for the strengthening of the rule of law, accountability
at the global level, are undermined by the self-exemption of the most powerful
countries,4 while the newly assumed responsibilities and concerns for the violation of human
rights are selectively invoked, depending on the geostrategic interests of the dominating
states and not on the magnitude of violations themselves. Often these newly assumed
responsibilities are justified by either false or superficial diagnosis, stereotyped simplifications
of the causes and actors of conflict (unexplainable Evil vs. unquestionable Good), resulting
in a „rush to war”, in the implementation of disproportionate force, surpassing the
magnitude of the (moral) provocation.5
On the other hand, the advocacy of the new normative project by all those who recognize
the real need to prevent mass violations of human rights becomes a form of political irresponsibility
when the moralistic rethorics of the global political elite is taken at face value,
disregarding the lack of credible evidence that the normative vacuum created by the
end of Cold war and the dynamics of globalization, was in practice being transcended by a
consistent series of steps toward establishing a new, cosmopolitan, order. Above all, that it
was rooted in the profound and necessary changes of its main proponents – USA and its
Western allies, in the transformation of the nature of the hegemonic aspirations of America.6
For instance, when humanitarian motives were read into the military intervention against
Serbia (1999), classical agression was declared to be the „first ethical war carried out in
the name of human rights” (V. Havel). This was done as if the paradigmes of the foreign policy
of US and its allies, the self-interest that motivated interventions in the past, underwent
fundemental changes. Either that, or the advocates of the new ethical war were implying
that the Cold war was a plot involving only one „evil” actor – Soviet Union, whose
disappearance automatically created the preconditons for a transition to a higher normative
order, to a new level of international responsibility of the enlightened, non-self-serving
4 According to the privileged and rich, in spite of the unprecedented interconnectedness and interdependence,
the world still consists of civilized and uncivilized parts, insiders and outsiders. The civilized
(representatives of the universal) have the right to rule making and self-exemption, and the uncivilized „are
included in humanity by being excluded from any kind of equal treatment.“ Beate, Jahn, “One Step Forward,
Two Steps Back: Critical Theory as the Latest Edition of Liberal Idealism”, Millennium, 1998, vol. 27, no. 3, p.
5 ICISS, The Responsibility to Protect, Ottawa, 2001, pp.36-37.
6 In order to avoid misunderstandings, let me underline that critical reflections concerning the US as an
international, global actor should not be automatically perceived as „anti-americanism“, in the same way as
critical refelctions concerning internal policies of Isreal should not be equated with „anti-semitism“. Such
misperceptions hinder critical thinking, creative reforms, alternative strategies, dialogue.

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