Allied Farce:
A Wartime Diary
A New Feature of



by Justin Raimondo



Today's theme is a variation of yesterday's: the "humanitarian disaster" has now become a "humanitarian catastrophe." No one mentions Serbian casualties, either civilian or military. The American and British media are not interested in acts of mass murder that are indubitably occurring, but only a "genocide" that cannot be verified. As of this moment, the only evidence for the allegations of genocide are contained in KLA press releases and the testimony of KLA partisans and sympathizers. The mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, we are told, has nothing whatever to do with the intensified bombing of the area by NATO.


"We have to take whatever measures are necessary, including, reluctantly, ground troops to finish the job." -- former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger,


All morning, and well into the evening, images of the Albanian exodus fill the screen, and the constant refrain of "genocide" is heard. By mid-afternoon, impelled by the force of sheer repetition, the subtext emerges: ground troops. Richard Haas, of the Brookings Institution, says we have two options: escalation or a "strategic defeat for the United States." And it isn't just the Clintonians: their allies in the Republican party are making their voices heard: not just the rabid militarists over at the Weekly Standard, but also Senator John McCain, Republican presidential hopeful and former prisoner of war in Vietnam, who opined on "Face the Nation" that "we're in it, and we have to win it. This means we have to exercise every option." Every option? One can only assume that McCain does not mean to infer that he would consider using nuclear weapons in the heart of Europe. As for "we're in it, we have to win it" -- this is what might be called the "lemming strategy": no matter how deep the abyss, we are committed to following our Leader blindly and uncritically into it.


With such slavish devotion to the Clintonian policy, McCain won't last long in the GOP primaries.


A panel discussion on PBS's Lehr News Hour, at which various "human rights" and U.S. government officials deplored the lack of a free media in Serbia, makes a particular point of trying to discredit Radio B-92 -- the Belgrade station made famous during the student uprising against Milosevich a couple of years ago. Banned by the authorities, the station went underground and became a rallying point for radicalized students. Lionized by western liberals, the B-92ers were reinstated in their studio after the protests subsided -- but according to the director of the national endowment for Democracy, a U.S. agency, the station is 'no longer credible." Why? Apparently they have "changed" since the bombing. Apparently these ingrates show insufficient gratitude to the lovers of "democracy" who are raining death on their heads. The NED honcho claims that B-92 has been "intimidated" and that all Serbian media are subject to a strict censorship. Yet the station is reporting dissent within the Milosevich government, detailing deputy minister Vuk Draskovich's proposal to reopen negotiations and compromise on Kosovo. B-92 also reported its own temporary shutdown by government authorities, and the arrest (and release) of its editorial director, which occurred less than 24 hours after the first air raid sirens sounded. While naturally opposed to the bombing of their own country, Radio B-92 is still on the air and still critical of the Milosevic regime. What makes this particular lie about what is going on in Serbia so outrageous is that anybody with a computer can log on to and see the truth for themselves -- that the Serbian censors are either asleep at their desks or else are otherwise occupied.

News from the Other Side:
B92 Open Yugoslavia Radio


What good is a "free" press, anyway, if everyone is writing the same copy? How many times do we have to see the phrase "the greatest humanitarian disaster since World War II"? To say nothing of what everyone is not writing about. The number one non-topic in the U.S. media is also a subject that the U.S. government would rather not discuss, and that is the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Who are these guys? Aside from hearing about how they want independence for Kosovo, what does anyone know about their politics or their sources of support -- and how did they suddenly spring up, like Myrmidons, ready to do battle with Belgrade? The few analytical articles that have appeared in the U.S. press refrain from asking such questions. While Kosovars living abroad contribute money, it is under the rubric of giving to charities and hospitals: the KLA diverts the money to buy weapons. But this is hardly enough to sustain an army in the field, not to mention an army of public relations consultants in the United States. Those snappy khaki-green-and-red uniforms and jaunty berets with the cool insignia do not come cheap, nor do the increasingly heavy and sophisticated weapons the KLA is beginning to deploy in the field. The London Times (March 24, 1999 details charges of intelligence officers throughout Europe that the KLA is engaged in the lucrative heroin trade. the German Federal Criminal Agency has concluded that "ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer societies." The Albanians, it seems, are a rough bunch, the locus of Europe's criminal element. This ought to clear up the mystery of why Serbians venerate Kosovo, yet hardly any choose to actually live there.


Ten thousand rock fans gathered for the third day in Belgrade's Republic Square, listening to popular musicians and flaunting their defiance of NATO's imperial pretensions. As if to say "you know what you can do with your 'New World Order,'" concertgoers wore placards printed with a target: one prominent banner read "F-117A. Sorry, we didn't know that you are invisible." While the New York Times claims that the whole thing was "staged" by none other than Slobodan Milosevich, who supplements his income as absolute dictator of Serbia with a part-time job as a rock promoter and club deejay. The Times describes it as an "eerie celebration" which "bore an ironic resemblance to similar concerts held by anti-Milosevic demonstrators during the mass pro-democracy demonstrations of 1996-97 in Belgrade." The reason for the resemblance is that it is the very same people attended and the very same musicians organized it, such as Bajaga and Cukic. The Times also fails to tell us is that, although a state of alert had been in effect and all civilians were ordered to take shelter, thousands of concertgoers in Belgrade defied both Milosevich and NATO warplanes, and took their stand out in the open. Will we be seeing this concert -- to be held every day until the bombing stops -- on MTV or VH-1 any time soon? Or is that too much to expect of the so-called counterculture?


The caricature of Milosevich as "the last Stalinist despot in Europe" and Yugoslavia as the political equivalent of North Korea is a gross distortion designed to appeal to the reflexive anti-Communism of conservative Republicans. While Old Slobo is a wily politician not above strong-arming his political opponents, virtually all points on the spectrum are represented in legal organizations. Deputy Prime Minster Draskovich held a press conference in Novi Sad a few days before the bombing began, and declared that a foreign military presence in Kosovo would be acceptable -- provided it did not endanger national sovereignty. He also stated that Serbia agreed with "85 percent" of the Rambouillet peace proposal. On the right, the Serbian Radical Party presciently declared that the negotiations were futile as long as the United States was involved and trenchantly declared that "the U.S. policy of double standards and one-sided pressure represents a major threat to global peace and security."


The same London Times piece that exposed the KLA as the drug lords of Europe describes the shadowy guerrilla group as "a Marxist-led force funded by dubious sources." If any of the players in the Kosovo crisis are going to be red-baited, then surely it should be the KLA, with its ties to the old Albanian Party of Labor. With the same mixture of xenophobic nationalism and Marxist-Leninist ideology and tactics, it is the KLA and not Milosevic which can truly claim the mantle of Stalinism in the Balkans.

~ Justin Raimondo