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Someone needs to sit down Labour's shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, and teach him about the failure of the disastrous Nato attack on Serbia over Kosovo, and the elementary flaws in Tony Blair's attempt to justify it with his discredited doctrine of "humanitarian intervention" (Labour urged not to rule out military intervention, 22 February). Otherwise some future Labour government may be tempted to repeat past blunders instead of learning from them.
Contrary to the received wisdom, Mr Blair's cheerleading of the Nato bombing failed to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo (the exodus of refugees began only after the launch of the Nato attack); or to replace Serbian control of Kosovo by an international administration (which was achieved by flexible US-Russian-Finnish diplomacy when the bombing was going nowhere); or to topple Milosevic (the Serbian electorate did that months later). The Nato intervention was illegal (never authorised by the UN), based on a false prospectus (the Rambouillet conference concocted a pretext for attacking Serbia), unnecessary (the possibilities of a peaceful solution had not been exhausted) and incompetently executed (thousands of innocent civilians killed, non-military targets destroyed). The delusion that the Kosovo aggression was both a success and a personal triumph for Mr Blair clearly encouraged a repetition of all the Kosovo blunders in Iraq, four years later. Never again, thanks, Mr Murphy.