by Justin Raimondo
WILY OLD SLOBO
You've got to hand it to Slobodan Milosevic: a more wily strategist would be hard to imagine. He has managed to tie up the mighty NATO-crats in knots, jerking them back and forth, first convincing them that he is ready to give up and then pulling the rug out from under them at the last minute. Now as of 12:27 am (Pacific Daylight Time) he is once again raising NATO's hopes that he is ready to give up Kosovo, but on his own terms. First, he wants the bombing to stop; second, he wants to shift the whole diplomatic framework from NATO and the OSCE to the UN. With two allies on the Security Council, Russia and China, Slobo hopes to put up a diplomatic firewall between Serbia and those who threaten its national sovereignty. And he is succeeding: the scene has shifted, now, away from a tent on the Macedonian-Kosovo border, where NATO-crats delivered the "military-technical" details of Serbia's surrender, to the deliberations of the G-8 nations in Cologne, where European diplomats are working to iron out a UN resolution on the Kosovo question.
THE CHINA FACTOR
The fatal flaw in this strategy is to underestimate the degree to which the Chinese are going to play a major role in the outcome of this diplomatic drama. While the Russians are always ready to sell out their Slavic brothers in Serbia and throughout the region, the Chinese are emerging as the principal champions of the Serbian cause. The reasons for this are intimately tied up with domestic Chinese politics. Contrary to the popular American idea of China as a Commie monolith of a single color, the political undercurrents and populist pressures on the ruling elite are at least as strong as in this country. China is no different from most of the rest of the world in the post-Communist era in that a wave of nationalism is sweeping Chinese youth, a growing impatience that China must at last take its rightful place among the Great Powers. Although most of the Western media saw the recent demonstrations in Beijing and elsewhere against the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade as expressions of the official line, more thoughtful commentators (especially those reporting from China, instead of Washington, New York, or London) saw that the authorities were bending to the popular will (all the better to restrain and rein it in). No one is more frightened of this nationalist fervor than the Chinese government, which could well come under attack from nationalist students who blame them for China's humiliation on the world stage. The last time Chinese students rose up, the Communist Party was faced with the Goddess of Democracy and the specter of revolution, and this kind of fear could well motivate them to take a more assertive role in the UN Security Council. For this and other reasons, China is likely to veto any resolution that does not guarantee Serbian national sovereignty over Kosovo. This is the diplomatic endgame, which the West cannot win, and Slobo cannot lose.
THE UGLY ALBANIANS
The mob of Kosovars had already beaten a 17-year-old boy and his father half to death, when they turned on the youngest male member of a Gypsy family in the Stankoveci refugee camp, a 7-year-old boy: as the New York Times story put it, "for a moment, it seemed as if the mob of Albanian refugees would literally tear the 7-year-old Gypsy boy apart, limb from limb." Finally, after months of guff and lies about the sainted Kosovar refugees, the perpetual victims of demoniacal Serbs, the truth about the Kosovar culture of violence and bigotry is beginning to come out. "The look in their eyes when they tried to tear this boy's arms out there was just fire in their eyes," said Ed Joseph of the Catholic Relief Service, and one of the boy's rescuers. The Serbs, Gypsies, and other ethnic and religious minorities of Kosovo are all too familiar with that fire, which has been burning and smoldering and poisoning the very air of that beleaguered province with its stench for decades. The protracted effort by Albanian ultra-nationalists to create an ethnically "pure" Kosovo that would merge into a Greater Albania is what this war has always been about. This is what is being ushered into Kosovo on the wings of NATO's warplanes: a really thorough ethnic cleansing such as Slobo never dreamed of.
WHAT SORT OF JUSTICE?
The most bizarre aspect of the Albanian lynch mob incident was the reaction of U.S. government officials. After the chanting ranting mob of hundreds had attacked the Catholic Relief Services main office, smashed the front door, ripped the bars right off the windows, and attempted to kill a child, the American ambassador to Macedonia, Christopher Hill, was on the scene: the Times reports that he "addressed the mob at midnight and promised that justice would be done in the case" in effect siding with the mob, promising them that the Gypsies accused by Kosovars of "war crimes" would face "justice. The Ambassador made no mention of what sort of "justice" should be meted out to the would-be murderers of a 7-year-old. The spectacle of a U.S. government official appeasing a murderous mob of thugs by agreeing with the "justice" of their cause is indicative of what will take place under NATO auspices if the KLA succeeds in storming into Kosovo.
CALLING CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR!
After hearing endless "refugee stories," after enduring hours upon hours of television footage devoted to sympathetic and often maudlin coverage of the Kosovars' plight, suddenly the one bit of real "refugee news" is suddenly invisible. Only the Times and the (U.K.) Independent among the print media have given this story any prominence, and CNN's Christiane Amanpour is inexplicably missing from the scene.
The most telling aspect of this story was related in the Independent by Kim Sengupta, reporting from Skopje, who explains that "Kosovar refugees want NATO to arrest gypsies whom they accuse of crimes in Kosovo. The alliance is reluctant to get involved in such obscure and impenetrable conflicts, but senior officers acknowledge that they will have to face many such thorny dilemmas if and when they go into Kosovo." This, then, is the future mission of the United States military: to preside over a nation of thugs, to restrain if not tame their murderous instincts, and weigh the merits of ancient grievances opaque to the Western mind.
EVERYONE A "WAR CRIMINAL"
Has anyone noticed how eagerly the Kosovars have taken up the rhetoric of the new internationalism, with all its references to "war criminals" and its appeals to the authority of self-proclaimed International Tribunals, those transnational Kangaroo Courts of the New World Order? Far from being contrite about the bloody incident at the Stenkovici camp, one Kosovar, Murad Hashi, was defiantly self-righteous: "How do you think we feel when we see these people who have robbed and murdered in Kosovo now being among us? It is natural to feel this anger. The only way to prevent it is to try them over here or internationally." The New York Times account also mentions that the mob, in the midst of its rampage, "repeatedly demanded that NATO troops come to take the Gypsies away to be held as war criminals." With all Gypsies jailed as "war criminals," and all Serbs long since condemned as "Milosevic's willing executioners" by the New Republic wing of the War Party as well as the KLA, the second ethnic cleansing of Kosovo is ready to commence.
LOOK WHO'S TALKING
NATO is dropping leaflets, as well as bombs, and the latest is a hoot: it shows a photo of the son of President Milosevic saying in Serbo-Croatian that he is sunbathing and "dancing in his own disco" as Serb soldiers sink into the "dust and blood of Kosovo." Compared to what President Caligula is likely doing in the Oval Office as our own soldiers brave the terrors of Kosovo, the son of Slobo comes out looking relatively benign. The NATO propagandists had better be careful, however, because this kind of "black propaganda" could easily backfire: a leaflet reminding US soldiers of their Commander-in-chief's military record and sybaritic lifestyle could conceivably find real resonance in the ranks.
ATTENTION BAY AREA RESIDENTS
The Ad Hoc Coalition to Stop the US/NATO War in the Balkans is working on a project to challenge local elected officials on the war question. That fountainhead of political correctness, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is at the top of our list; so is Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the pop-eyed socialite and former Democratic party fundraiser who supports the bombing but opposes a ground war. She has been practically invisible on this issue, and refused an invitation to defend her position at a debate sponsored by the Ad Hoc Coalition. She also refuses to call a public meeting on the subject, or on any subject for that matter. Naturally, she is allowed to get away with this in San Francisco, where machine politics are the order of the day and the media gives Establishment politicians a free ride. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can and will cut right through the fog of complacency and media myopia by directly (and peacefully) confronting the liberal apologists for this brazen aggression. But we need your help. Call Supervisor Tom Ammiano's office, at 415-554-5144, or email him, and urge him to introduce the text of the San Francisco Labor Council resolution as an action item on the agenda of the next Board meeting. Call Nancy Pelosi's office, or email her, and demand that she put her franking privileges which she always exercises around election time to good use by calling a public meeting explaining her morally incomprehensible position to the people who elected her. Her number is 415-556-4862. We need to hold these people accountable but we can't do it without you. If you want to make your voice heard, and have a real impact on the local level, then click here: give your name and a phone number to get in touch with you. We will get in touch with you with more details: I will only say here that, as antiwar protests go, this one is going to be fun as well as thought provoking. And further down the peninsula, in Burlingame, Rep. Tom Lantos (one of the most vocal members of the War Party) is having a Town Meeting June 12. Local antiwar activists are mobilizing to make their views heard.
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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).