by Justin Raimondo
Just as the NATO-crats hesitate to confront the Serbs on the battlefield, preferring to drop bombs at 30,000 feet, so their Irish confreres would prefer not to meet the Serbs face-to-face, even if only on the soccer field. It was only a matter of time before the war invaded the world of sports: the Irish government is denying a visa to the Yugoslavian soccer team, which is scheduled to play the Irish in Dublin on Saturday. While sources indicate that the Irish government would prefer that the United European Football Association (UEFA) bow to pressure and cancel the game, sports officials show no signs of caving. UEFA's position is that Ireland will be expelled from the European Championships and disqualified from competing for the World Cup. Another option is to declare Yugoslavia the winner of the match and award it the three points for a win. UEFA could also fine the Football Association of Ireland, and demand that the game be played on neutral territory. Denouncing the "failure on the part of UEFA to accept its responsibilities" to whom or to what? Dublin cited "the unacceptable situation in Kosovo and the indictments of the International Tribunal against the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" as the reason for its action. The real reason, however, is much more prosaic: they were scared shitless of losing the game.
PEACE PLAN SCUTTLED IN ADVANCE
The alleged "peace plan" supposedly designed jointly by the U.S., Russia, and the European Union blew apart even before their respective envoys reached Belgrade. Viktor Chernomyrdin asserts that the plan as approved allowed for an international peace force consisting of NATO and Russian troops, with each force under a separate command. Minutes after Chernomyrdin's statement was released, the NATO-crats were denying it and reiterating their constant refrain that the force must be under a single command their own. So this is the great issue, the high principle that American soldiers must fight and die for the composition and command structure of the "peacekeeping" force.
OMIGOD, NOT THAT!
A correspondent in France sends the following tidbit: It seems that the horrific tortures visited by the Serbs on their hapless Kosovar victims have taken a new and ominous turn. In an interview with France's TV5, Kosovar refugees recently released from Serbian prisons testified that "It was horrible, they said, the Serbs made the Albanian men kiss each other! It was so humiliating for them having to kiss other men," the refugees claimed, "while the Serbs enjoyed watching"! We are supposed to believe that not only are the Serbs homosexual sadists, but also according to charges filed with the War Crimes Tribunal they are engaging in "systematic mass rape" of the women. This repulsive propaganda can do nothing but backfire on the Clintonians, who ought to institute a rule among themselves to never under any circumstances utter the word "rape." And if I were the Albanians, I would not offend the powerful gay lobby a major pillar of the Clintonian coalition by complaining about the humiliation of same-sex kissing. All the major NATO countries now have permissive policies regarding gays in the military, and in calling for the military occupation of Kosovo the Albanians may be getting more than they bargained for.
JUNE 5TH: THE BEGINNING OF A MOVEMENT?
The good news is that the antiwar movement is broadening, every day, every hour, and the left-sectarian stranglehold on the movement seems to be broken, at least on the East Coast. The Washington rally is shaping up to be quite a mix, featuring speakers like Tom Hayden and Ramsey Clark on the left, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Tom Fleming, editor of Chronicles magazine, the flagship journal of the paleoconservatives (which I write for frequently). On the West coast, the sectarian antics of the International Action Center and the rival Ad Hoc Coalition are still dividing the movement and seriously crippling antiwar organizing, but there is growing pressure for unity under the slogan: Left and Right, Unite and Fight for a Peaceful World. With the Left, including the leftwing social democrats and even many avowed socialists, generally in sympathy with the Third Way Warriors of NATO and their "humanitarian" crusade, the antiwar movement must seek out allies on the Right, in Middle America rather than among the sandals-and-beads set. In a world where Susan Sontag is a warmonger, and the American Legion is lined up with the American Friends Service Committee, all the old rules are obsolete and effectively abolished.
ANOTHER CLINTONIAN OUTRAGE
Speaking of June 5th, it seems that the police authorities are determined to deny the marchers in Washington a permit to march on a roadway between the Vietnam Memorial and the Pentagon, and last we heard the Arlington county police were refusing to return phone calls from the organizers and their attorneys. This administration well knows the potential power of a visible and massive outpouring of antiwar sentiment, and they are petrified, as well they should be. Oh, what a vision I have of Clinton cowering in the White House, while, outside, tens of thousands of protesters are jeering: "Hey Hey, WJC, how many kids did you kill today?"
EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
According to a report from Reuters, the Serbs have an early warning system that presages the arrival of NATO bombers without fail: the Belgrade zoo. About half an hour before the bombs start falling, the zoo animals start up their panicked chorus. "It's one of the strangest and most disturbing concerts you can hear anywhere," says zoo director Vuk Bojovic. "It builds up in intensity as the planes approach only they can hear them, we can't and when the bombs start falling it's like a choir of the insane." The war is literally driving the residents of the Belgrade zoo mad, as a female tiger turns on her own cubs, killing all four, and a large snake aborts 40 fetuses. These augurs of an evil time prefigure the chaos and brutality we have unleashed in the Balkans: having opened the Pandora's Box of Kosovar "self-determination," we should not be at all surprised at what flies out.
WHY NOT US?
First out of the box was Hungarian far-right leader Istvan Csurka, who called today for Hungary to annex the Serbian province of Voivodina. Home to some 300,000 ethnic Hungarians, the northern reaches of the Serb republic were Hungarian soil before World War I, and Csurka's "Party of Hungarian Life and Justice" is now declaring that any Kosovo peace treaty must also redress Hungary's territorial claims. The party is demanding that Belgrade give up a swath of land cutting 36 miles into Yugoslavia, from the Hungarian border to a line drawn by the Yugoslav towns of Sombor, Vrbas, Srborban, Novi Becej and Kikina. The Balkans are full of irredentists, each with their ancient grievances and claims, who will now be demanding NATO's services: not only the Hungarians in Serbia, but the Albanians in Macedonia, the Bulgarians in Greek Thrace, the Hungarians forced to lived under Romanian rulers, and on and on. In the name of fighting Serbian nationalism, the NATO-crats have unleashed at least a dozen other destabilizing nationalist movements in the region and guaranteed that their "peacekeeping" mission will never end. But this, of course, is just a coincidence.
THE NEW TURKISH EMPIRE
When the Seljuk Turks and their Ottoman successors came charging out of the Asian steppes and swept everything before them, they humbled old Constantinople, desecrated the Church of Sancta Sophia by turning it into a mosque, and poured across the Bosphorus, threatening Europe. They reached the gates of Vienna, but were driven back. They ravaged the Balkans, enslaving the Serbs and all the Christian peoples of the region: their rule was renown for its cruelty, and it wasn't until modern times that the Ottoman tyranny was finally broken. Yet now NATO seems intent on their return; this week a top Turkish commander announced that the Turkish armed forces would join in the occupation force, and reveled in the prospect of a NATO invasion: "There may be a land operation," exulted Turkish air force chief Ilhan Kilic. "and we, as member of the alliance, may join in." Join in the plunder, that is, as Serbia's enemies' pile on, each tearing off a piece of territory, like vultures picking at the still-living body of a fallen warrior. Will the Serbs once again have to defend their homeland against the Turkic conquerors, this time with NATO's warplanes raining death from above? If the air war has demoralized the Serbian people and sapped their will to fight, as the NATO-crats claim and I don't believe it for a moment, but let us just say, for the sake of argument that they are right then General Kilic has given them a real reason to fight, an incentive more powerful than anything Milosevic's propagandists could come up with.
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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 US Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and 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).