by Justin Raimondo
THE END OF THE BEGINNING
The war has been declared "over" barely a few hours, and already the NATO-crats and the UN War Crimes Tribunal are looking forward to the next one this time to topple Slobodan Milosevic from power and drag him by the hair to the Hague for a show trial. And get ready for the fusillade of attacks on the Clintonians for "betraying" the Kosovars by not invading Serbia and fighting a ground war. The past few months have only been round one: round two is coming right up . . .
The United Nations announced today that it will go into Kosovo with teams of forensic experts looking for evidence of Serbian war crimes. A quarry so eagerly and persistently sought will either be found or manufactured. Anyone who thinks that Milosevic is going to be allowed to remain as the ruler of Serbia is naive in the extreme. But it isn't just Milosevic that the NATO-crats have a problem with the Serbian nation itself will have to be punished. For if Slobo is guilty of war crimes, they reason, then so are the Serbian people who elected him (twice) to office: they are, in the chilling words of Daniel Goldhagen, Milosevic's "willing executioners" and nothing short of putting them all in reeducation camps can damp down the danger they pose to the peace of Europe. Watch for this view to gain currency, especially among the Susan Sontag/sandals-and-beads set.
A NEW FACE
The KLA is getting a makeover: from drug-running, wild-eyed, neo-Marxist/quasi-fascist guerrillas dressed in battle fatigues and praising Allah, to NATO's ground troops, the upholders of democracy and national self-determination. A few hours after the announcement that the Serbs had agreed to sign the peace pact, the KLA held its first real news conference, presided over by its slick new "minister of information," Bajram Kosumi, who declared that the group is a "protection force of human values and European civilization"! And to think that, only yesterday, they were a gang of thugs second only to the Cosa Nostra who terrorized and murdered innocent civilians and sentenced most of their political rivals, such as the pacifist Irbrahim Rugova and his followers, to death.
In explaining why the KLA would not attack the retreating Serbs, Mr. Kosumi averred: "We're not into revenge." Does this mean that the KLA intends to abolish the Code of Lek, the ancient body of Albanian clan law which stipulates that the murder of a relative requires killing not only the perpetrator but also his entire family? The reality is that the KLA is the embodiment of the Code of Lek: a feudalist army of primitive clansmen armed not with swords and spears but Kalishnikovs.
RISLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Paul Risley, a spokesman for the United Nations Tribunal investigating war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, yesterday declared that "any participant [in] an armed conflict within the former Yugoslavia is subject to our authority" including NATO and the Kosovo Liberation Army, as well as the Serbs. This is a measure of the puffed-up arrogance of these globalist bureaucrats: one gets the eerie feeling that they really believe their own rhetoric. I'll believe it when they indict Jamie Shea and drag him off to the Hague in chains.
The battlelines in the struggle against U.S. intervention in the Balkans will now shift back to Congress, where opposition to stationing American soldiers in Kosovo indefinitely has provoked a storm of opposition from conservative Republicans. Today, as news of the accord broke, the House Republicans made a move to deny all funding for American "peacekeeping" operations in Kosovo. Two weeks ago, the Republican leadership succeeded in temporarily quashing conservative dissent on the war, but a rebellion was provoked by news of the deal and the legislative effort to bar funding was resumed. The military appropriations bill is now the vehicle for antiwar protest in Congress. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is trying to water down GOP opposition to the military occupation of Kosovo by supporting a measure to outlaw funds for peacekeepers sent in "without Congressional authorization," thus reducing the whole issue to a technical question of institutional power and prerogatives. But he has indicated that he will not stand in the way of a resolution by hard-right conservatives, led by House Majority Whip Tom "the Hammer" DeLay, to ban all funding. Oh happy day! It is inspiring to see that the spirit of resistance to our war-maddened rulers is not snuffed out by Clinton's "victory," but only emboldened. Alexander Cockburn knew whereof he spoke when he said that the isolationists of the Right are our last and only hope.
The debate in the House will start today it may be going on as you read this and there are sure to be some pretty spectacular fireworks. Touting their "success," the Democrats will "spin" this as a triumph of military and moral prowess, and that the Republicans are pygmies chucking spears at the ankles of giants. Clinton is already threatening to veto the entire military budget: "It would be very unwise for Congress to take any action that undercuts US policy precisely at the point when success is in reach," intoned P. J. Crowley, a White House spokesman. Success? Well, you see, P. J., it all depends on what you want to succeed at. If your goal is make sure that American soldiers will be patrolling the fields and forests of Kosovo for generations, then, yes, Republican noninterventionists are indeed undercutting US policy and thank God for that!
ANOTHER KIND OF WAR
House minority leader Dick Gephardt denounced "the spectacle of Republicans bringing up amendments to cut off funding at the very moment that we should be trying to consolidate the peace." Representative Martin Frost (D-Texas) said the Republicans made the House "appear both a laughingstock and irrelevant." But there is no peace: only another kind of war, this time against the very people we set out to "liberate." With the KLA determined to wrest control of Kosovo and merge it into a Greater Albania, and the Western powers opposed (at least so far), new battlelines are being drawn and a new conflict is bound to break out at any moment. As for Rep. Frost's charge that the House is an irrelevant laughingstock: it will surely be irrelevant if it fails to challenge the President's reckless foreign policy of global interventionism. And the only laughingstock is the spectacle of a draft-dodging, amoral Caligula, who orders troops into battle even while his wenches are performing unspeakable acts on his bloated and vice-ravaged person.
WAR WITHOUT END
I have been writing this column at least five days a week, and often seven, since shortly after the war began, and I have mixed feelings about its' murky final act. To begin with, it is not a final act, but only a pause and a short one at that before NATO's relentless assault on Serbia is resumed. The embargo is still in place, and so is the hatred of Serbians and all things Serbian by the "humanitarian" liberals who not only supported but reveled in this war. And so the war has not come to an end there is to be no end to it. For if and when the NATO-crats get Milosevic, they will move on to bigger and better game: their gaze will inevitably drift eastward, if it hasn't already, to alight on the lands that make up the former Soviet Union. What is more, the NATO-crats did succeed in attaining their goal without suffering a single casualty, a fact they will never cease to remind us of in the days and months to come. The idea of Bill Clinton and especially the insufferable Tony Blair crowing about their great "victory" for at least the next few weeks is almost too much to be borne. This thought is so demoralizing that I can barely bring myself to write it down. Are we to be faced with a future of endless wars, each more outlandishly "humanitarian" than the previous one? Will Madeleine Albright now go rampaging through Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, a mad cow frothing at the mouth about "human rights"? It is a horrible fate that none of us deserves, no matter what our sins.
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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).