The reason we really went into Kosovo remains a mystery. I know, I know, it was to look after the Albanians who were denied their political rights. The fact that we made a complete mess of looking after any of the rights of the Kosovan Serbs, Gypsies or even Albanian Catholics is purely down to the incompetence of some of the most professional soldiers in the world. It has nothing to do with the racism of our noble allies in the KLA. The comparative insouciance shown towards the Chinese for their treatment of the Tibetans, or the Turks because of their treatment of the Kurds is purely due to the complex situations here, as if anything was clear cut in the Balkans.
Is there an economic rationale to this adventure? This is unlikely, for the simple reason that the Balkans will not pay. Most reconstruction, for example, is actually being paid for by the American and European taxpayers. Together with the cost of recruiting and stationing troops, this is going to be an enormous economic drain. Some individuals and companies, like Cecil Rhodes in British Africa, are bound to make a killing (sorry) but as a whole it is going to run at a loss. Someone, somewhere, is bound to mention oil pipelines, please don’t. As far as oil pipelines go, Chechnya is far more important, and we are not intervening there, yet.
Nevertheless, the clinching fact that lays the humanitarian lie is the by now well documented fact that all the propaganda NATO fed us about a humanitarian tragedy is false. The promised mountains of bodies are strangely absent. Now we are told that three thousand bodies have been discovered, but more may be on their way, with unexhumed sites and people taken to Serbia. I would even say fewer bodies might be on their way, as these are all bodies found. It does not account for the Serbs, KLA fighters, victims of NATO bombing raids and even those who died of natural causes all of whom would be present there. NATO knew it was lying, and manufactured (or at the very least vastly exaggerated) a humanitarian catastrophe, and then went on to create a real humanitarian tragedy. As the British Government MP, Tam Dayell said, "Where did the Russians get the idea that high level bombing might be a way of conducting a modern war?" If it was a genuine humanitarian catastrophe, all NATO needed to do was tell the truth; NATO refused to tell the truth; so, NATO wanted this war for a different reason. What was the reason?
I think that the reason we went to war in the Balkans was the time-honoured reason for all forms of evil, the European Union. Now you are going to say, not again. Just as he was beginning to talk about conspiracies and Kosovo, up pops his far less sexy obsession with the EU. Bor-ing. Hear me out. The EU wants the nations of the Balkan region to sign a "non-aggression" pact. Most nations want to sign this pact, but a few do not. So, with the backing of their American allies they coerce one of the few remaining recalcitrant powers into submission, and provide a graphic example of the follies of resisting the Balkan dimension of the New World Order.
The Belgian Empire does not call the Balkans protectorates or anything like that. What it says is that nations who wish to receive foreign aid and wish even to think of applying to join the EU must join the Stability Pact. The applicant country agrees to accept European legal norms and European policy decisions (for example they accept the Euro) in return for – well aid. Nevertheless, why would politicians in Bulgaria, Serbia or Albania do this sort of thing? To put it bluntly it is a business decision. In Bosnia, which seems to be a model for most of this neo-colonialism, foreign aid does not reach the genuinely needy until the various politicians get considerable finders’ fees. Bosnian politicians can be sacked at will because they are not servants of the people but servants of the occupying powers. It is rather a shock to the West to come across a politician, like Milosovic, who has his own private sources of wealth and his own agenda.
Look at the results thus far, the Macedonians are given a clean bill of health after rigging their elections. Croatia runs a relatively clean election and the West responds with warnings that an HDZ reelection will not be accepted under any circumstances. Serbia is bombed for ethnic cleansing, while the KLA is given the mildest slap on the wrist. Kosovo and Montenegro take up the Deutschmark, and Bosnia shadows it. Serbian towns are given aid if their councils oppose Milosovic, while the Bulgarian governing party, thanks to plentiful foreign aid, is more corrupt and repressive than their communist opponents are. Montenegro rewards draft dodgers, a move designed to provoke a reaction from Serbia. Even comparatively advanced countries such as Hungary balk at the costs of needless military expenditure. The rationale is that if this area is all put together under a beneficent overlord they will all start getting on. Only one problem, it has been tried already and both the Ottoman Empire and Yugoslavia fell apart.
Why does the EU want to take over the area that Bismarck said was "not worth the bones of a Pomeranian Grenadier"? The Balkans in particular were chosen because the EU has nowhere else to play Empires. Although Oswald Moseley, the prophet of British pro-Europeanism, talked of "Europe a Nation, Africa an Empire", Africans are rather proud of their hard won independence, even in Somalia. This goes for pretty much anywhere else in the world. Except perhaps the Balkans, where minds seem to be concentrated by the presence of Russia and quite dire poverty cheek by jowl with European prosperity.
Why does Europe want an Empire at all? The economic gains are negligible, although the economic disaster of the Euro has shown that economics comes a poor second behind politics. It is hard to remember overt imperialism. For the last two generations honest imperialism has been confined to the history textbooks and the inscrutable Russians and Chinese. Much of Western Europe has in fact been going through a painful process of decolonisation, and America’s small scraps of formal empire have been mostly given away. However, empires fill a useful role for otherwise unviable countries that can best be summed up in the phrase "war is the health of the State". Now Britain is finding this out with the relatively recent outburst of Scottish Nationalism. Why were the Scots the most conspicuously British subjects in the last century yet want nothing to do with Britain in this? The reason was that when Britain ruled the waves, Scotland seemed to be a distraction. However when the choice is being part of one medium sized power or your own medium sized power, the idea of Britishness seems somewhat less attractive. Per capita, the Scots sent out far more emigrants than England. Now there is no imperial project the differences between these two English speaking, politically liberal, Protestant peoples are highlighted rather than minimised.
An empire also means that the central government becomes more powerful than the states. Nothing helped the American federal government in their constant battle to take the state’s powers more than Federal control over Western lands. The ceding of all western claims by the states when the constitution was written gave the Federal government the excuse to build a superstructure of internal government. No federal police were needed, or wanted, in the thirteen states, but Federal marshals were active in the "Wild West". At a time when the constitution was more than an historical document, the Federal Government was given a large shelter under which to construct its activities. The curiously un-Jeffersonian Louisiana Purchase not only more than doubled the Federal realm, but also made permanent the Government debt. With the cavalry needed to police the wilderness a case for an internal standing army could be made, who could then be used to coerce states which talked of secession or nullification. The advocates and opponents of slavery largely accepted that they could not force slave or free soil states to change their ways. However, the Federal government did have the power to force the territories to become slave or free soil. Indeed the very way in which the right to secession was viewed had changed due to the federal presence on Western lands. Whereas pre-existing states that joined the Union could claim that they had the right to secede from a Union, those that were carved out of Federal territory could not be alienated from their federal parent. I know its rubbish (especially considering the fact that Virginia and Texas had a clear right to secede) but to many it was convincing rubbish.
Let me clear up one misconception now. American troops will not be brought back home if the Europeans integrate their armies. If there is an integrated EU army and no noticeable increase in military spending or decrease in commitments, the effect will be negligible. In fact it will be worse as the State Department can say to impatient Republicans "look the EU is doing something", when in fact nothing on the ground has changed. Is there a higher chance that the French, British and Germans will be more willing to spend tax money on increased military expenditure if the armed forces are not recognisably theirs? Is there a higher chance that the Europeans will be less willing to commit troops to all wars going if the body bags are going through someone else’s airport? The questions should answer themselves. Europe’s problem is about over-ambition not a lack of integration. Britain, for example has drastically cut its Territorial Army and funneled the savings into a "Rapid Reaction Force", hardly a move in the direction of a peaceful world. Europe can adequately defend itself without military integration, American involvement or even a massive increase in defence expenditure. How? They can do this by concentrating on defence and not aggression. But a belligerent Europe will get itself into a large number of scraps, expecting America to rescue it whenever the going gets tough. America must stop underwriting European belligerence, not just for the sake of the Balkans and America, but for the people of Europe themselves.
An empire would also give a boost to another symptom of the State, an integrated EU army. The decision to move the responsibility of policing Kosovo to the EU can be seen as part of this pattern. Nevertheless, it is not primarily as just another empty symbol of state that a European army is needed, but as a final guarantee of European Union. There is a fear that haunts Brussels that a large member may withdraw because of economic pressure or a number of court cases changing their political system. Indeed in Britain, there is a small but active withdrawal movement. If it is made clear that any attempt at withdrawal will be met with force, then maybe potential secessionists will think again. It may be a misjudgment of European character (there will more likely be civil war rather than a craven surrender) but it is a potent threat nonetheless. The plain fact is that a European Army is needed for internal repression. A British army would find it hard to fire on its own people if they had democratically decided to leave the EU. Foreign troops would have fewer scruples (as would British troops if they were abroad – in Serbia, say). To dismiss the army as a pointless token of statehood or as something that annoys the Americans is missing the point. It is intended as an instrument of repression.
America is the guarantor of this process. In true Orwellian fashion, where war is peace and slavery is freedom, intervention is disengagement. A European Army is seen as a positive thing, her troops are coming home. Do not be fooled. A European Army will defend Europe no better. Operational problems brought into being by national antagonisms, the Babel of languages and the unwillingness of taxpayers to pay for a mostly foreign army may make a European Army worse at defending Europe than its predecessors. Europe needs a sober reassessment of just what are vital national interests. It does not need a palliative of a common army and America should stop underwriting this European belligerence, or there will be blood, very possibly my blood, in London streets when the Empire wishes to control rebellious provinces.
A contribution of $20 or more gets you a copy of Justin Raimondo's Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against US Intervention in the Balkans, a 60-page booklet packed with the kind of intellectual ammunition you need to fight the lies being put out by this administration and its allies in Congress. Send contributions to
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