Ignatieff, Michael Virtual War

ISBN 13: 9780099289807

Virtual War

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9780099289807: Virtual War

This text looks at the way the war in Kosovo was fought. Kosovo was a virtual war, fought by pilots at 15,000 feet, commanded by Generals whose only view of the battle was through their pilot's bombing sights, and reported by opposing media with competing versions of collateral damage stories.

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Kosovo was, Michael Ignatieff asserts, "the first post-modern war". A lateral step from the Gulf War, and further than just decades away from the total wars of the 20th century, it was essentially fought on the Allied side by a few thousand airmen with not one combat casualty, yet was watched by billions of spectators. War without death, he argues, is surely "virtual" war, and this gladiatorial vision, of foreign policy stripped of its physical and emotive restraints, forms the basis of his third book in an unintentional trilogy. The first two books-- Blood and Belonging and The Warrior's Honor--explored themes of ethnic nationalism and the impossibly fine line between negligence and interference for outside, ie, generally Western, "democratised" nations or individuals. Virtual War uses Ignatieff's personal experiences in and around Kosovo to bring the two together in a meditation on the Balkans and, by way of it, the future of modern warfare (though "war" is an "unspun", obsolete word in our sensitive age). In 1995, French philosopher Jean Baudrillard published The Gulf War Has Not Taken Place; Ignatieff does not go that far, but in some ways Virtual War is a virtual book. The first half comprises a series of essays concerning key players in Kosovo, and is among the best collected journalism on the subject yet written. Ignatieff is a remarkable journalist; whether profiling American envoy Richard Holbrooke, prosecutor for the War Crimes Tribunal Louise Arbour, old friend and now "virtual" enemy Aleksa Djilas, exchanging letters with British peer Robert Skidelsky (by e-mail, naturally), or reporting from a Kosovan deportee camp in Macedonia, his writing never fails to match a fiercely wrought intellect to rhetorical eloquence. The latter chapters, in which he expounds his theories of virtual warfare leading to virtual victories, are tightly argued if not groundbreaking, though his portrait of post-Cold War globalisation, of a world shrink-wrapped by telecommunications and homogenised moral universalism, justifies the conceit. In a Playstation world, this is a persuasive, provocative book by a very real thinker. -- David Vincent

From the Publisher:

An urgent, illuminating and moving study of the war in Kosovo and a vision of the future of warfare by a distinguished cultural commentator writer and broadcaster.

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Ignatieff, Michael
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099289806 ISBN 13: 9780099289807
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099289806

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