Allied Farce:
A Wartime Diary

Past Diaries

by Justin Raimondo



NATO spokesman Jamie Shea today announced that "NATO deeply regrets the loss of life to civilians from the attack yesterday on a convoy." The pilot believed he had locked on to a military target, and "he dropped his bomb in good faith," said Shea. In the godless New World Order to which we are condemned, which abounds in blasphemy masquerading as "irony," it is entirely possible to drop bombs "in good faith."


As the guardian of democracy, diversity, and European civilization, NATO has shut down a Bosnian Serb television station on the grounds that the station is "biased." According to an Associate Press story, Kanal S must stop broadcasting because its coverage of the Kosovo crisis is "inflammatory" and "inaccurate." The so-called Independent Media Commission -- a NATO panel charged with ensuring that there is no independent media in Bosnia -- issued the order to stop broadcasting. The great crime of Kanal S, according to the AP report, was the "the station has rallied to back fellow Serbs under attack." Specifically, "the station has failed to report, for example, on the tens of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees forced from their homes by Milosevic's forces and has portrayed the Serbs as victims of NATO aggression." In the name of "democracy" and "tolerance" the Bosnian Serbs are being silenced for what they didn't say -- a new form of censorship more sophisticated and far more odious than the old. Under the old system, one was at least free to be silent; in the New World Order, even passive protest is precluded.


Lately there has been a noticeable tone of genuine puzzlement in the steady stream of letters that pour into Many ask "What is this war really all about?" Why Kosovo, they want to know, and why now? The best short answer was given by Dick Morris, Clinton's one-time Svengali, who wrote in the New York Post [April 6, 1999] that "in 1995, Clinton told me, 'the liberals and the media are trying to get me into a war in Bosnia. They have their reporters there, they run scenes of slaughter and rape every night on TV. They are all internationalists who want to start a war.' " Morris advised him to steer clear of these warmongers, but tragically the President chose to bend to pressure rather than resist. Was this the price he had to pay to avoid impeachment -- settling for a legacy of war rather than pure ignominy?


The spectacle of war has so far been missing the one essential ingredient, the one touch that will give it the sense of a crusade, or at least something more than the whim of a vice-addled Caesar: Such Beltway sages as David Gergen had long been yelping for something more than a pep talk to inspire the troops. I mean not the troops on the ground in Albania and flying low over Kosovo, but the troops on the home front -- the coalition of foreign lobbyists, professional "humanitarians," and neo-conservatives who have been agitating for this war. Now that they have it, however, they must sell it to the public, and Clinton's legendary persuasiveness and his qualities as a performer are sorely needed. In spite of a few manufactured polls to give his war policy the illusion of public support, the margin of such support is razor thin. It was clear early on that he needed to galvanize the public, but his few early attempts were tentative, laconic, and distinctly uninspiring. Clearly, the President's heart was not really in it; but as the war escalated, as talk of ground troops began to be heard on Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle, the reluctant warrior marshaled his arguments in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in San Francisco.

His speech made clearer than ever that Dick Morris is right: the genesis of this war is ideological. It is a war of the internationalists against nationalism, of rootless cosmopolitans against what the President called "a philosophy that teaches people to dearly love a piece of land while utterly dismissing the humanity of those who occupy it." Long on rhetoric, the President's speech is short on facts: the idea that Milosevic was trying to build a "Greater Serbia" ignores the reality that the Serbs already dominated the Yugoslav federation, a multiethnic federation that the Albanian Kosovars want no part of. The ethnic cleansing of Serbs from the Krajina and other regions of Bosnia is ignored, and they are cast as the villains in a simplistic Balkan morality tale. Instead of recognizing that the U.S. assault has seriously destabilized the entire region, Clinton reverses cause and effect and maintains that the destabilization caused the assault. But "ultimately," he averred, "the conflict in Kosovo would spread anyway, and we would have to act anyway." But is this necessarily so -- and, if so, why? No explanation is given, because none exists. The reality is that the unraveling of the Balkan fabric is already begun, with Macedonia well on the way to oblivion and the rest of the region including Montenegro and northern Albania not far behind.

Aside from spinning the history of the war up until this point as a series of uninterrupted triumphs, the President goes further back in history to describe the early United States as "dominated by a principle of nonintervention in the affairs of other countries, even when we strongly disagreed." We are left to wonder "disagreed -- with what?" but the President rushes blithely on: "Indeed, for most of our history, we have worn the principle of nonintervention as a badge of honor, beginning with George Washington's warning against entangling alliances." But the wisdom of the Founders is outmoded, because "the 20th century changed all that." Whether it was a change for the better, or for the worse, is not clear; at any rate, we did not do it for territorial gain, "but for peace and freedom, and security." No one can accuse us of pursuing our own selfish national interests, says Clinton: "When American did get involved, we were going with what at least we thought was right for humanity." Who profited, and who lost, from two world wars and a third in the making, is not a story that can be told here, but it is fair to say that the mix of motives and special interest groups that have involved the U.S. in a continuous imbroglio of wars and skirmishes throughout this century were not entirely disinterested.

Once more the trumpets are sounding, and we are summoned to the barricades with the following battle-cry: "Now, at the end of the 20th century, we face a great battle between the forces of integration and the forces of disintegration." Huh? But who represents what? If anyone represents "integration," then it is the Yugoslav federalism embraced by Milosevic and symbolized by Tito: it is the Albanians who are the champions of ethnic particularism and separatism in this instance. But the polarities do not stop there: we also have "the forces of globalism versus tribalism; of oppression against empowerment" As for tribalism, the Albanians embody the very concept of clannishness: even their houses, which are built like fortresses, face inward, fortified compounds designed to keep the world at bay. Clinton warbles on about "the central irony of our time" which is supposed to be "the oldest demon": hatred of "the other, those who are not like us." We cannot be indifferent to Other-hatred, "at home or abroad" and "that is why we are in Kosovo."

What is so strange about this explanation is that it is not only at variance with the facts, but it is the exact inverse of the reality. Against the idea of a multiethnic Yugoslavia, the U.S. and NATO raise the specter of ethnic particularism and "autonomy." Even more astonishingly, the president then launches into a peroration about the former Soviet Union and all the former Communist bloc nations, mentioning the sensitive areas of the Ukraine and Moldova in what for the Russians must have sounded like a deliberate provocation. Is Clinton warning the Russians that if they interfere with his plans for Yugoslavia, they are next?

The mendacity that runs through this entire exercise reaches its peak when the President talks specifics: "What many Kosovars want is independence. That is certainly understandable; after what they've been through, it's only natural that they should equate sovereignty with survival." But sovereignty, if you will remember, is reactionary in the world of Clintonian globalism. With the unselfconscious arrogance of an Oriental potentate, he announces that "I continue to think that it is not the best answer." And that settles that.

In what can only be described as an understatement of major proportions, the President says that "Yugoslavia's long-suffering neighbors fear that an independent Kosovo would be unstable, and that the instability itself would be contagious." What he doesn't tell you is that the source of all this suffering has been the Albanians, who have been agitating for a Greater Albania for centuries, and whose comrades in Macedonia are impatient to establish an Albanian enclave within the country. Added to Kosovo and Albania proper, this would be the Greater Albania that is the announced goal of our noble allies, the latest member of the new and expanded NATO -- the Kosovo Liberation Army. Oh, but "the principle we and our allies have been fighting for in the Balkans is the principle of multiethnic, tolerant, inclusive democracy. We have been fighting against the idea that statehood must be based entirely on ethnicity." But this is a lie: in aiding the cause of the KLA, NATO-U.S. warplanes have been fighting for precisely the opposite.

Serbia must forget its history, its pride, and such outdated ideas as national sovereignty, and merge itself into the great Melting Pot of Europe, which will then become a veritable potpourri of "ethnic and religious diversity." The word "multiethnic democracy" is repeated three or four times, like a mantra. Finally, Clinton's vision dissolves into a miasma of inchoate imagery when he concludes that "in the long run, our goal for Kosovo should not be independence, but interdependence." Whatever that means.

Sputtering to a halt, like a top that has exhausted its momentum, the President insists that the Balkan War should be "the last conflict of the 20th century," not "the defining conflict of the 21st century." But if that is to be the case, then time's a-wastin'. Does he really mean to win the war in 8 months? Unless we follow the advice of Pat Buchanan , Senator Inhofe, Bob Smith, and Phyllis Schlafly, and get out now, this is one quagmire that we won't escape until well past the millennium.

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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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