Allied Farce:
A Wartime Diary

Past Diaries

by Justin Raimondo



NATO has announced that its warplanes will target Serbian television studios unless they agree to run "two to three hours" of "Western" footage every night: Serb TV, said NATO spokesman David Wilby, is "hate speech," and therefore not allowed: "It is an instrument of propaganda and repression," and is therefore a fair target. The knowing smirk on Wilby's porcine face, the sarcasm in the clipped tones and arrogant limey lilt of his voice, spoke volumes about the real meaning of what was being said. With endless stories of the plight of the Albanians and the uncritical reporting of unverifiable "atrocities" about which no one has produced any hard evidence, what is our own lockstep media promoting if it isn't war? And, always, the endlessly reiterated question that pops up at least five or six times during the Pentagon's daily press briefing: "When are you going to bring in the ground troops?" That has been the role of the media from the first day of this war, yapping like the dogs of war at the heels of the military men, demanding to know when the real killing is going to start. This is clearly reflected in their reporting, and especially the television reporting, which may as well have been produced at NATO headquarters. They are the Madam LaFarges of this conflict, as bloodthirsty and vengeful as any of the actual combatants. CNN has become a virtual mouthpiece for the Allied Supreme Command, but the perpetrators of this war are not satisfied with that. They want to make sure that no inconvenient images of the rape of Serbia seep through into America's living rooms. Bill Clinton well remembers the effect of seeing American atrocities in Vietnam in living color on television every night. Blasting Serbian TV with a few cruise missiles will turn off the flow of those pictures, and allow Slick Willie and his spinmeisters to control the terms of the debate. This was what these great champions of "democracy" and "diversity" did in Bosnia: storming television stations and shutting down what they called "hate radio" -- which is something they'd like to do right here in America, if they thought they could get away with it. With all information filtered through NATO and the American military, and a press corps more gung-ho than the Joint Chiefs, Clinton and the War Party think they can stage-manage this war. But there are a few variables that they didn't count on, the chief one being the pride and tenacity of the Serbian people. We shall see what "spin" the President's flunkies put on a death toll in the hundreds, and, all too soon, the thousands.


"It's impossible for Bill Clinton to fail without America failing," says Rep. Christopher Cox, the ambitious young Republican from southern California. "The cards have already been dealt." From being a perjurer worthy of impeachment to the virtual embodiment of America , and all in the space of a few weeks-- this strange disparity surely cries out for some explanation. Here's one theory: After months and months of poring over Monica's testimony, debating it in Congress, and salivating over the pornographic details, some Republicans have begun to identify with their material , indeed to over-identify with it, to the extent that they have become just like Monica: pliant, obsessive, passive-aggressive, and all too willing to submissively give pleasure without reciprocation. The Monica-ization of the GOP is a truly bizarre phenomenon to behold, yet another nightmarish aspect of this war.


As befits a war for political correctness, the War Party is a model of "diversity," a veritable rainbow coalition of special interests and even some very special interests, as revealed in the latest issue of the Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco's oldest gay newspaper. With the war in its second week, the subject was finally broached not in the news columns or on the editorial page, but in the Reporter's gossip column, "Out There," by Roberto Friedman and "Jack Boots," and I quote: "Ah, springtime, and a young man's fancy turn [sic] to thoughts of . . . genocide. So far it hasn't been a pretty spring at all, has it, not with Yugoslav totalitarian Slobodan "the Slob" Milosevic's 'ethnic cleansing' (hated term) of Kosovo finally looming in the national consciousness, such that it is. We can only be amazed at the capacity for denial on the part of isolationists proclaiming it's 'not our business!' But like fashion victim Cleopatra, there are always plenty of queens of da Nile."

Naturally, the thought of all those men in sexy uniforms packed close together in tents and trenches makes a certain type of warmonger swoon. War is, after all, about domination and submission. Young men, bursting with testosterone, thrown together in the chaos and horror of war: think of the possibilities! Now we know why the first rabbit our of Slick Willie's hat was gays in the military: in the coming military occupation of the Balkans, we are going to need every man available -- even if some insist on their right to fight in full leather. While this may be a tantalizing prospect for Roberto and his fellow gay militarists, somehow I don't think they are going to be the first to sign up for the battle of Kosovo.


Today's Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll claiming that 73 percent of the American people support putting in ground troops is a transparent fraud. The poll was conducted by Hart Research, a Democratic polling firm whose clients include scores of congressional Democrats, the AFL-CIO -- and Bill Clinton. The senior Vice President of Hart, Fred Yang, frequently authors articles offering "the Democratic perspective" on issues for such magazines as Campaigns and Elections. In any poll, phrasing is all-important: in this one, before the key questions were asked, the respondents were told: "As you may know, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to leave Kosovo" -- a preface that assumes the villainy of the Serbs and the justice of NATO's intervention. The question on sending in ground troops was phrased to push the right emotional buttons: "Would you favor or oppose a decision to send U.S. and NATO soldiers into Serbia if the Serbs continue to drive people out of Kosovo?" Professional pollsters call this "stacking the deck," a time-honored propaganda technique designed to yield the desired results -- in this case, public "approval" of a predetermined policy. The only problem with this method is that it tends to backfire when people's real sentiments break through the smokescreen of lies.


Am I the only one who dares to bring up the subject of CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour's obvious conflict of interest as a journalist married to a prominent government official -- James Rubin, the State Department's official mouthpiece? Amanpour's role as an activist and advocate of the Muslim population of the Balkans has been vocal and unashamed. "In certain situations," she told the author of a 1996 American Journalism Review article, "the classic definition of objectivity can mean neutrality, and neutrality can mean you are an accomplice to all sorts of evil -- in this case, genocide and crimes against humanity." Neutrality is something the Iranian-born Amanpour never had to worry about: she has made Bosnia's Muslims her own personal crusade, embarrassing Clinton in a live "attack interview" in which she accused him of inaction and flip-flopping. Here is an award-winning "journalist" who has spent years in Bosnia and yet somehow missed the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 Serbs from the Krajina region. Now that the war she wanted is in full swing, Amanpour is in her glory, covering the war her husband is a paid apologist for with uninhibited enthusiasm, and interviewing KLA terrorists as if they were the Albanian equivalent of the Founding Fathers. She has become such an adjunct of U.S. government policy over the years that, as one media critic put it, "there is the story that in the Central Operations Room of the Pentagon there is a map, with little pushpins, to keep constant track of Christiane Amanpour. As a military event, the location of this reporter is considered an item of national security." The American media is so prissy when it comes to showing footage from Serbian sources that they insist on labeling it as originating with the "Serbian government-controlled media." Yet they are strangely lenient about their otherwise exacting standards when it comes to Amanpour, whose intimate connection to the U.S. government surely requires some kind of warning label.

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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).

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