by Justin Raimondo
"There was an intelligence error," said NATO shill Jamie Shea, "which obviously led to this case of mistaken identity and NATO attacking the Chinese embassy." Please do not anyone tell me that the same people who "mistakenly" bombed a hospital, several busloads of civilians, a market, and innumerable residences have made another "mistake." Everybody knows that the psychological terrorism practiced on the brave Serbian people has been a deliberate tactic in the war on Yugoslavia. But this latest "error" is so fraught with political implications and consequences, both abroad and right here at home in the United States, that it cannot have been anything but deliberate. Exile me to the fever-swamps for daring to say it, denounce me as a "conspiracy theorist," but how can any objective observer possibly swallow NATO's story? We are told, to begin with, that this was not a case of a bomb gone astray, that the bombs (three of them) were targeted on that particular building: "The information we had was that that building was the headquarters of the Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement. There was an error in the targeting process which caused us to attack the wrong building," averred Major General Walter Jertz, NATO's military spokesman. But this is highly improbable. As the Sunday Telegraph of London put it, "the failure correctly to identify the Chinese embassy which is listed in public telephone directories, clearly signposted and has a Chinese flag flying outside implies a substantial failure of intelligence." Such acerbic understatement underscores the absurdity of the NATO explanation. The mystery of how the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the NATO high command somehow mistook the Chinese embassy for the Yugoslav federal government's Department of Supply and Procurement can be cleared up if we ask a simple question: qui bono? Who benefits?
Chinese Ambassador Watches Embassy Burn and Coworkers Die
PLAYING THE CHINA CARD
The day before the "accident," the momentum for peace seemed unstoppable. The Russians, the UN, the Germans, the Italians, a delegation of Republicans led by Rep. Curt Weldon, and Jesse Jackson the hero of the hour were in the spotlight. A real deal seemed to be in place. Then, suddenly, with a single case of "mistaken identity," the Chinese embassy is in ruins along with any hopes for a UN-brokered deal in the near future and the momentum for peace is stopped dead in its tracks. Most significantly, the attack was soon followed by massive, spontaneous, and sometimes violent demonstrations by Chinese nationalist students throughout China, with 20,000 storming the U.S. embassy in Beijing and fire damage to consulates in southern China. While these demonstrations were sanctioned by the Chinese government, it is likely that rather than precipitating them, the regime was merely going with the flow. China's students, always a harbinger of which way the political winds are blowing, are in the throes of a radical nationalism. Any government that fails to stand up for China's honor in this matter by failing to respond in a meaningful way would be sure to incur the students' displeasure: instead of trashing the U.S. embassy, they would be storming Communist party headquarters. China is now forced to assert itself in a way it has never done in the Security Council. Rather than paralyze the Council by vetoing actions of which it disapproves, the Chinese have up until this point abstained, as in the case of Iraq. But this time, for domestic political reasons, they may have to take a stand, one way or the other, and intervene in the peacemaking process in a fairly dramatic way. Ultra-sensitive when it comes to the principle of national sovereignty because of the long-standing threat of regional insurgencies in Tibet, Sinking province and Taiwan, China is unlikely to endorse any solution to the Kosovo question that in any way compromises Yugoslav sovereignty.
A NEW ELEMENT
The entry of China onto the scene introduces an entirely new element into the politics of this war here on the home front. The rock-solid Republican opposition to this war, led by the heroic Tom "the Hammer" Delay, has really whipped the War Party into a frothy-mouthed frenzy, and has been the main opposition to the President's reckless drive to war. Yet many of these same Republicans are warmongers there is no other word for it when it comes to China.. The Chinese "spy scandal" in which there is not even enough evidence to arrest the hapless Chinese scientist touted by the Right as the biggest Commie spy scandal since the Rosenbergs is the conservative cause of the moment. The right-wing schizophrenia on the question of foreign interventionism is neatly and visibly dramatized by the number one news website on the Net in terms of hits, WorldNet Daily: its top section, devoted to the Balkan war, has articles attacking the war as globalist folly, while the section just below it, dedicated to covering the "Clinton-China Connection," seems to assume that a coming military conflict with China is inevitable and the sooner we take them on the better. With China as one of the chief attorneys for the Serbians in the UN Security Council, the antiwar stance of congressional Republicans, particularly the most militant and "isolationist" (when it comes to Europe, at any rate), is likely to be blunted if not reversed.
PORTRAITS OF THE WAR PARTY: ANDREW SULLIVAN
What is it about that war that fills certain prominent homosexuals with bloodlust? I have noted the proliferation of pro-war sentiment in some gay circles in these pages before, much to the chagrin of many readers, both gay and straight, pro-war and antiwar and even to the dismay of our Beloved Webmaster, who gets to read all the death-threats. But my (perhaps unhealthy) fascination persists, and what's a diary for if not obscene obsessions? What I don't get is how such a normally pacific crowd could suddenly become so enamored of violence. As a movement that grew out of the New Left and, indirectly, the antiwar movement of the sixties, the gay rights movement seems an unlikely incubator for the birth of a movement of warrior homophiles. Yet they are springing up like Myrmidons all over the place, not only the Bay Area Reporter and the political consultant John Aravosis, but also Brit émigré Andrew Sullivan, a leading advocate of gay rights. Sullivan, a former editor of the New Republic, has made gays in the military into a personal crusade, declaring in his book Virtually Normal that military service (along with marriage) would symbolize the full assimilation of the gay outsider into heterosexual society, the final and most important symbol of the social acceptance of homosexuality as "virtually normal." Eager to show that a faggot can warmonger with the best of them without, of course, actually signing up for military service Sullivan has been berating the American public's lack of backbone in the British press. His most recent piece in the Sunday Times accuses Clinton of a "sellout" for even entertaining the idea of a negotiated peace and, in a curious appropriation of the language of the Moral Majority, even denounces him for "shamelessness"! Striking a self-consciously butch pose, Sullivan sneers at Clinton's sissified tactics and appeasement of a skeptical public: "Even now, he is reassuring Americans that the peace process will be speedy," he writes. "Speedy? Who on earth would enter tough negotiations by saying they need to leave early? Only someone who is preparing to climb down." Sullivan's tone is typically condescending, as if to say: Those silly Americans don't they know that a war will be good for them? According to Sullivan, the President never really intended to win the war. His pollsters are telling him to back away, and "clarity is as alien to him as chastity." In managing to appropriate the language of organized religion, which is almost uniformly hostile to unabashed sodomites such as himself, Sullivan's pro-war stance is not a political statement so much as the public display of a psychopathological symptom. While I am no fan of Clinton's, to see him attacked for his "shameless" lack of "chastity" by an HIV-positive poofter are we to be spared nothing? Clinton, the decadent heterosexual sybarite, is not up to the stern standards of our homophile militarists, such as Sullivan, who opines that instead of fighting to "liberate" Kosovo those shameless isolationist Americans will solve the problem by taking the Kosovars in as immigrants: "America is a big and friendly place," he writes. Yes, friendly enough to have taken in Sullivan, who is now an American citizen and here is yet another reason to severely limit immigration, if not abolish it altogether: the insidious effect of naturalized foreigners on America's foreign policy. As a magnet for every aggrieved minority on the face of the earth, the "open door" guarantees that America will be continually pressured by lobbies of hyphenated Americans to intervene in this or that dispute. The Albanian lobby has been instrumental in mobilizing support for this war in the administration and Congress, and the nation's Anglophiles have been lionizing Tony Blair as the modern-day equivalent of Winston Churchill and generally rallying to the cause of the Mother Country, as they do in every war. Oh, for a bit of ethnic cleansing in this country, starting with Andrew Sullivan, and, perhaps, extending to the heroin-dealing Albanian Mafia already ensconced here and slated to receive lots of reinforcements in the near future.
THE BATTLE FOR PUBLIC OPINION: THE POLLS
It took years before the American public turned against the war in Vietnam; barely six weeks into the Balkan war, Americans are beginning to register their dissent. Only 46 percent approve of the way Bill Clinton is handling the war; the bombing campaign is rapidly losing support (a CBS poll charts a 6-point loss, from 59 percent to 53 percent, in the past few weeks); support for ground troops has dropped from 52 percent to 40 percent; a solid 64 percent say Congress, not the President, must have the final say on ground troops; and, most encouragingly, a whopping 67 percent support a negotiated settlement, with only 26 percent opposed. This is a testament to the ornery independence and stubborn contrarian spirit of Americans, who are not easily hoodwinked by propaganda, no matter how intensive or prolonged, and who distrust and despise the uniformly pro-war elites as well as Clinton in particular as corrupt and possibly deranged.
A FEW ITEMS
While antiwar.com is not about to take credit for the good sense and inherent "isolationism" of the American people, we are increasingly being recognized as the source for information on what is really going on in Yugoslavia and environs. Recent articles in Investors Business Daily, WorldNet Daily, and the increasing number of links to this site, combined with the increase in the number of hits up to 40,000 last week have really put us on the cyber-map. This recognition naturally increased our workload, and increased the amount of correspondence to the point where it is impossible to answer any of it. The numbers have simply been too overwhelming. Therefore, we have had (and are delighted) to take on the volunteer services of Gary Gorka, a librarian and research specialist, who will be editing the letters column in addition to helping direct research. No more month-long-plus intervals between updates now we will be posting new letters constantly. The only stumbling block is that I have to answer those that we cannot (will not) print without comment: but having to write at least 2,000 word a day, six days a week, has left no time for living and breathing, let alone answering the mail and this is one of those tasks that, like the Republican tax cut or the proposed abolition of the National Endowment for the Arts seems to have been postponed for the indefinite future. This war, and the attendant orgy of war-hysteria and bloodthirsty liberal self-righteousness, is a sight that sickens the soul and could prove toxic to the human spirit: the dangers of overexposure are obvious. Given the press of work, and the inherent dangers of brooding too long and too often on such a subject, I have decided that five days a week for my Diary Monday through Friday is enough. At any rate, welcome Gary and don't worry about those death threats. We promise not to tell them where you live.
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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).