Allied Farce:
A Wartime Diary

Past Diaries

by Justin Raimondo



One of my Italian correspondents reports that rumors are making the rounds in Europe that the reason Clinton has been dropping all those Cruise missiles with such abandon -- Iraq, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and now Serbia -- is that they're not Y2K compliant and have to be used before the end of the year.


The same correspondent, who spoke with his relatives in Barbeano and Toriano, about 10 miles south of Aviano air base, writes that the situation is "tense." With bombers roaring overhead on a nightly basis, no one is getting any sleep, refugees abound, "and theft is on the rise." Rightly concerned that the Serbs will cross the border and create mayhem -- and still smarting over the acquittal by a U.S. military court of an American pilot whose antics caused the death of scores of Italians at a ski resort -- the Italians may be first to break ranks and distance themselves from NATO's gang-rape of Serbia. (If the Greeks don't beat them to it.)


For anyone who has followed her career as a leftist ideologue, the appearance of British actress Vanessa Redgrave, on CNN's Talk Back Live program, as a defender of NATO's war on Serbia was a rare moment. Angrily denouncing the Serbs as "aggressors," and declaring that "we must not talk with Milosevic," she set her jaw and demanded that he be dragged before the Hague and prosecuted for war crimes. The vehemence in her voice, the absolute rectitude in the toss of her head, made her seem like some Joan of Arc figure, a "humanitarian" angel wielding her flaming sword. "Red Vanessa" has long been a controversial figure due to her political views -- which have undergone a bizarre transformation.

Of course, her politics were quite bizarre to begin with: as a militant follower of British Trotskyist theoretician and cult leader Gerry Healy, Redgrave was not shy about expressing her political beliefs. Her vociferous support of the Palestine Liberation Organization led to a boycott of her theatrical performances, and she stood for Parliament as the candidate of Healy's Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), attracting more attention (and ridicule) than votes. The WRP was well-known in British leftist circles as being a cult with a marked proclivity for violence: WRP guru Gerry Healy preached an esoteric philosophy based on a mystification of Marxian "dialectics," and was something of a megalomaniac, demanding absolute obedience from his disciples: Redgrave was among the most devoted.

Healy, it turned out, was getting millions of dollars from various Arab regimes, including Iraq and Libya. The revelation of his financial patrons -- as well as the shocking news that he and his cohorts helped finger Iraqi and Libyan dissidents living in exile, who were marked for assassination by Saddam Hussein and Colonel Qadaffi -- broke up the group into rival factions. Vanessa and her brother Corwin, both members of the WRP Central Committee, stuck with Healy, who formed his own grouplet, the Marxist Party. This, too, broke apart in the early 1990s, and Healy wound up getting expelled from his own party on charges of sexual exploitation of some of his female disciples. Poor disillusioned Vanessa, having spent over a decade helping to build an authoritarian leftist sect, was disillusioned and cast adrift on the seas of bourgeois ideology -- where she soon capsized.

La Redgrave's road from the PLO to NATO was traversed in only a few years: in 1992, she was still a Marxist Party militant. To what extent she still considers herself a Marxist is hard to discern, but when asked pointblank by CNN if she supported the NATO military strike against Serbia, she gave a long and oddly legalistic explanation of her position which boiled down to: yes. She appeared with a Greek Orthodox priest, who looked puzzled, as if he could not quite figure out who she was or why her opinion on this matter was to be taken seriously. Describing the Kosovars fight for "national self-determination" in the same glowing terms she had once reserved for the PLO, Redgrave made the case for the New World Order in the name of the same authoritarian moralism that had once inspired her to crusade for the "world socialist revolution." Having despaired of ever arousing the proletariat to fulfill its historical destiny, Red Vanessa, like so many Trots before her, eventually turned to the Pentagon as the liberator of mankind.


As the United States government and its NATO allies drape themselves in the mantle of "humanitarianism," stories of Kosovar refugees being forced onto airplanes at gunpoint are causing a sensation. When asked about such incidents at NATO's daily press briefing, spokesman Jamie Shea flatly refused to discuss it.

The Kosovars, we are told, just want to go home. But the Serbian offer of a cease-fire in Kosovo and the readmittance of the displaced refugees, along with guarantees of their safety, was contemptuously rejected by NATO -- which answered with renewed bombing raids of unprecedented savagery. Meanwhile, the British Independent reports that Kosovars herded on planes going to Turkey were told that they were on their way to Germany. "When one refugee tried to run away he was frog-marched on board by security men." When reporters arrived at the scene to record the refugees' misery, they were told: "'The planes are all going to Turkey, but we would kindly like to ask the reporters not to tell the refugees because we have had problems,' said the stern woman in the navy-blue trouser suit."


For weeks we have been bombarded with endless footage of sobbing Kosovars trudging along dusty unpaved roads, huddling in muddy refugee camps, loudly bemoaning their fate. How many times have we seen that young Albanian boy pushing his grandfather down the road in a wheelbarrow? The evil Serbians, so the story goes, are intent on emptying Kosovo, and repopulating it with Serbs. The irony of this is not lost on the Serbs, who often joke that, as much as they revere Kosovo, no one would actually want to live there.

Now a new accusation has been hurled at the demonic Serbs, whose capacity for evil is apparently limitless. A CNN story asserts that 'tens of thousands of Kosovo Albanians waiting to cross into Macedonia were turned back forcibly by Serbian authorities Tuesday and told to return to their villages." Relief officials are quoted as expressing "concern that Serbian forces might harm the ethnic Albanians or use them as human shields to discourage NATO airstrikes."

The frenzied effort to demonize the Serbs has degenerated beyond the need for either consistency or common sense. Either the Serbs are "cleansing" Kosovo of Kosovars, or they are preventing them from leaving. Drunken with bloodlust, and hot with war hysteria, NATO and its journalistic auxiliary have not bothered much about either logic or consistency.


Virtually all the atrocity stories retailed in the mainstream press have at least an implicit caveat in that their only source appears to be the Kosovars, and this has been the great weakness of the Clintonian propaganda campaign: no bayoneted babies, no babies torn out of incubators, no grisly photos that would galvanize Americans around the Kosovar–KLA cause. NATO reports that thousands of people in Pristina were being herded into a "concentration camp" in a soccer field were deflated when the French press showed up and found nothing but an empty stadium. The apparent resurrection of Irbrahim Rugova, whom State Department spokesman James Rubin averred had been shot to death by Serb forces, was another big setback for the War Party. They were desperate for visual evidence of atrocities, either real or imagined, and by coincidence some enterprising journalist "discovered" it in the form of a grainy amateur videotape of what the New York Times referred to as "the aftermath of the incident that shows the bodies of nearly 100 men" supposedly massacred by Serbian forces. Triumphantly aired on virtually every news program, the video does indeed show the aftermath of some violent event, with dead bodies aplenty. And that is it: no Serbian is shown mowing down defenseless civilians. The only image is of prone corpses: how they got that way, whether as a result of a major battle pitting Serbian troops against KLA rebels, or whatever, is impossible to even infer. Yet there stood George Alagiah, the Turkic-looking young BBC correspondent who happened to stumble across this ambiguous and smudgy home video, smiling as if he had just won a Pulitzer Prize. Accompanying the phony footage was an equally phony pulp adventure story: the cameraman was said to be a poverty-stricken peasant, Melaim Bellamica, who just happened to have an expensive video camera in a remote village in Southwest Kosovo. Melaim stayed hidden for a week, we are told, and filmed the massacre after it was over. Satellite photos that NATO insists are evidence of mass deportations are equally unconvincing: all they show are groups of people converging on trucks and other vehicles, but there is no necessary inference of coercion in these images.

On the other hand, photos of real atrocities, in the sense that they are readily verifiable, are routinely ignored in the NATO-ized media. The shocking photo that -- well, I wouldn't say "adorns," how about appears on the first page of this site will be printed in very few American newspapers, if any.

Now why do you suppose that is?

Please Help

A contribution of $20 or over gets you a copy of my Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. 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
520 S. Murphy Ave. #202
Sunnyvale CA 94086
Make all checks payable to

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).

Back to Home Page | Contact Us