by Justin Raimondo
LARRY KING -- NATO SPOTTER?
While CNN's role as the propaganda arm of NATO is widely acknowledged, the very idea that Larry King was involved in an effort to take out the Serbian Minister of Information, Alexsandar Vucic, does seem a bit much. But, then again, Larry's schedulers did call Vucic several times, in the days before the bombing of Serb TV, and would not take no in answer to their request for an interview. For two days they called and cajoled, begging for a live interview which they wanted to take place at the Serb TV building in Belgrade at "exactly the time the attack occurred," according to Vucic. The Serb official speculates that it was not his own importance as an individual target so much as "they wanted a spectacular live show in which everybody could see how it looks like when a missile is shot."
"Tony Blair has become the commander-in-chief of NATO," said William Kristol, admiringly, on ABC's This Week, but not everyone was thrilled by Tony's pledge to fight to the last American: "Tony Blair is the mouse that roared," said Pat Buchanan. "It isn't going to be British troops humping up the road to Belgrade." The headline on the London Telegraph story said it all; "Americans Recoil from Bellicose Prime Minister."
William F. Buckley,Jr., who only weeks ago was backing Clinton's war, has now recanted, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 22). The paper quotes him as saying that "if there was ever a case where you're in a hole, start digging, this is it." In a speech at Francis Xavier College, he said that the war has been so mishandled that the only choice is to pull out. Buckley was originally a screeching hawk: "If I were voting on the Kosovo matter," wrote Buckley a few short weeks ago, " I'd vote yes: Get on with the bombing." He advocated "a saturation bombing along the fighting front, followed by a peacekeeping cordon of NATO soldiers." Not only that, but never mind the old distinction between civilian and military targets: "The one obstinately unsatisfactory aspect of the current analysis is the business of what we are determined not to do, which is to bomb other than the fighting front. The reasons we give are conventionally acceptable -- you don't endanger 'innocent people.' There are two difficulties with that formulation. One of them is that there really aren't significant differences between civilian Serbs who are simply going about their duties in Belgrade, making shoes, or serving pasta, and other Serbs who are firing artillery into Kosovo villages." Now that Clinton has taken his advice, however, and started to redefine "military targets" to include television stations, tobacco factories, and residential areas, Buckley has reconsidered - not on moral grounds, but because "our lack of preparation was appalling." The Post-Dispatch added that Buckley's change of heart was also due to the unfortunate fact that "because of public opposition, NATO can't use nuclear arms or carpet-bomb Belgrade like the Allies did Berlin." Mass murder is not wrong, it is merely impractical. The question to be faced now, averred, Buckley, is "whether America is 'large enough to accept the mistake we've made.'" Of course, "we" have made no such mistake - it is Buckley and his magazine, National Review, both avid supporters of Clinton's war (if not Clinton), who were mistaken from the beginning. Now that Buckley is backtracking, will his magazine - which has been almost as bellicose a supporter of the war as the Weekly Standard -- stop the warmongering? The current issue has no less than six pro-war pieces, by such notables as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Andrew Bacevich ("Target: Belgrade") on why we should not fear a ground war.
INTO THE SNAKE PIT
For American troops stationed in Albania, the ground war starts immediately. For the Albanian badlands in which they are stationed - the completely lawless northern section, on the border with Yugoslavia - may prove to be a battlefield no less bloody than any in Kosovo. As the London Times puts it: "Just as in Somalia, the north is a playground for ill-educated, heavily-armed, thieving thugs whose only passion, other than crime, is the clan-based blood feud." The Times quotes Daci Barani, a Tirana hotelier, as remarking that "when the Americans start working up in the north, they're in for a fright. They won't be safe from the Albanians when they're on their bases, nor the Serbs when they're in the air. If they get into a fight in self-defense, they'll win it - but the locals will never forget, or forgive." We are going to be fighting not only the Serbs, but also the northern Albanians, known as Ghegs, who are in constant conflict with their southern Albanian countrymen, the Tosks. The U.S. military is already preparing: American troops have "sealed themselves into the [Tirana] airport," according to the Times, and are under orders to travel into the capital only in armored vehicles.
THE WAR AT HOME
thuggishness of the Albanians is, unfortunately, not confined to Albania,
but with our liberal immigration laws -- and the recent announcement that
20,000 Kosovars are on their way to the U.S. and are eligible for permanent
residency -- has landed on American shores. At an April 24 rally held
in Washington during the NATO summit, 400 Albanians gathered, chanting
"Bomb, NATO, bomb!" The media dutifully reported the
demonstration, but failed to note that there was a counterdemonstration
by peace activists, notably from the Catholic Worker movement -- and that
they were physically attacked by the Albanians. According to an
internet posting on Free Republic, one antiwar demonstrator was followed
by young Albanian thugs: "A few of the young men eyed me suspiciously
and tried, unsuccessfully, to read my sign as they walked by me on their
way out." Another antiwar protester "told me that the Albanians
had tried to
The U.S. and its NATO allies unveiled a new plan to bring Serbia to its knees: a naval blockade. The stated aim is to prevent the passage of oil and other strategic materials to the Yugoslav Army, but the ultimate result will be to spread this war far beyond the boundaries of Kosovo. For this means at the very least that the war will have to involve Montenegro, which gives the Yugos their only outlet to the Adriatic. More ominously, Russia is tonight declaring that it will continue supplying the Serbians, and there is some speculation that they may try to do it by air, just as the U.S. resisted the Soviet subjugation of West Berlin by undertaking an airlift. Will we shoot down Russian planes, board Russian vessels, and risk World War III in the name of "humanitarianism"?
THE HUNGARIAN FACTOR
Another ominous development is the entry of Hungary into the Kosovo equation. As the newest member of NATO, and the only member of the Alliance to share a border with Serbia, Hungary has been called upon to do its part, and is enthusiastically complying with requests to use its three major airfields as launching pads for the NATO attack. This is a major escalation and widening of the war, meant to not only give NATO a new base of operations but also to sow disunity in what remains of Yugoslavia. For Serbia's northern province, Voijdovina, is the home of a significant Hungarian minority, which up until this point has shown no inclination to take the separatist route. But in response to clashes on the Hungarian-Serbian border, a new civil war could break out in northern Serbia, pitting ethnic Hungarians against Serbs -- a new theater of fratricide to be filmed live by CNN.
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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. 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).