OWNS THE YELLOW SEA?
is a situation where a "humanitarian" intervention
by the U.S. would have to be on the North Korean side!
For the sea frontier being defended by South Korean gunboats
was arbitrarily and unilaterally demarcated by the UN military
command in 1953: the armistice makes no mention of it. And
so the question arises: is the United States prepared to go
to war in order to prevent the starving North Koreans from
fishing in the Yellow Sea?
A LOT, HARRY!
Korean crisis, in modern parlance, is an old problem seeking
"closure." Are we never to be rid of the South Korean
albatross hung 'round our necks by Harry Truman? This robust
capitalist economy has twenty times the economic power, more
than twice the population, and a huge military advantage over
the Pyongyang regime. As Pat Buchanan put it: "We are
not going to fight another land war in Asia; no vital interest
justifies it; our people will not permit it. Why, then, keep
30,000 ground troops on the demilitarized zone? If Kim Il
Sung attacks, why should Americans be the first to die?"
Kim Il Sung, the longest-ruling Stalinist despot of them all,
has since gone on to his just reward, the situation is no
different with his son, Kim Jong Il, in the drivers' seat.
As a Stalinist monarchy, which abjures all contact with the
outside world, North Korea bears a remarkable resemblance
to Enver Hoxha's Albania, in the heyday of the Communist era:
both were scarred by grinding poverty and constant war, and
ruled over by a megalomaniac dictator whose cult of personality
was an exercise in self-parody. Left to themselves, the North
Koreans would probably succeed only in starving themselves
to death; martyred by the US, however, they wield an influence
among student nationalists in the South, who would be provoked
into outright insurrection by any US war moves.
and Kosovo: twin quagmires with much in common. As in Korea,
we will be mired in Kosovo for the next 50 years or more;
as in Korea, we are dealing with intractable combatants locked
in a civil war. In both cases, the cause of the conflict is
rooted in the long and bloody history of the region. The Korean
peninsula, like the Balkans, is not only remote and irrelevant
to US national security concerns, it is also peopled by a
particularly cranky and even belligerent people all
you New York City produce shoppers know what I mean. Given
all this, it is only a matter of time before Clinton sends
in the Marines.
his press briefing yesterday, Lt. General Michael Jackson,
the British warlord in command of Operation Joint Guardian,
spoke of the "unfortunate" incidents of the past
few days, including the killing of three German journalists
by Serbs, but no mention was made of the victims of the KLA,
whose numbers are fast rising. We don't read much about the
ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo in this country, but
Telegraph has some pretty graphic descriptions
of the results of our war for "racial tolerance."
According to one story, "even those of mixed blood said
they feared the wrath of the KLA, which has a record of summary
execution to answer for in some zones."
MATTER OF POLICY
the KLA answers to no one but itself these days, as was made
clear by Sali Mustafa, the KLA commander in Pristina, in an
interview with the Telegraph: "'Demilitarise?'
scoffed Mustafa, and one had the feeling that he has an Adams-McGuinness
view of handing over weapons to the British." Asked if
the administrators of the British zone "approves of them
bearing arms against the remaining Serbs or not," the
reply by Captain Andrew Reeds of the Army press office was:
"We're not quite certain of what the policy is ourselves."
So much for the Clintonian crusade against the alleged evils
of ethnic nationalism. Having sold the war to his left-liberal
constituency as a fight against racist ideology, the President
is caught in yet another lie: fortunately for him, they aren't
likely to notice. The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's Serbs is
being airbrushed right out of the American media, or else
framed in a context of "revenge" that implicitly
CRIMES OF THE KLA
whitewash of the KLA continues, with the American media completely
ignoring the real story of "postwar" Kosovo, which
has become a killing field for the KLA. The Beta
news agency, an independent Serbian news agency, reports
that guerrilla fighters pulled three Serbs out of a column
of refugees in Pristina and shot them on the spot, in the
presence of their families. A Serb employee of Radio Pristina
was shot outside his home, and three others were kidnapped
yet all we hear about is the death of three German
journalists, allegedly by Serbian gunmen.
CALLING KEN STARR!
of State Thomas
Pickering is on his way to Beijing, heading up an official
"apology delegation" to make amends for the bombing
of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Pickering, a veteran diplomat,
will arrive bearing an official explanation and apology from
the US government. But apologies come cheaply to this administration,
and the Chinese are not likely to be too impressed. What they
want is a full investigation, publication of the results,
and least likely of all punishment of those
responsible. And they are absolutely right. Why waste Ken
Starr's talents on yet another inquiry into presidential debauchery?
Let's get to the bottom of this "mistake," which
has done so much damage to the reputation and security of
this country, if only for the sake of rooting out criminal
incompetence within the ranks of our own leadership
and what better man for the job than the Special Prosecutor?
While his report may not be as novelistic as his previous
published work, this time he may get a conviction.
around the world the Balkan intervention has had a ripple
effect, stirring the waters and lapping at the outer edges
of the Empire. Korea is about to explode, relations with China
are at an all-time low, and the Russians God bless
them! are in Pristina, thumbing their nose at the Brits
to send in 10,000 more. If this is what "victory"
looks like, imagine what a defeat would have to mean.
possibilities of US intervention are endless, and yet another
candidate is the oil-rich region bordering the Caspian Sea,
where the same currents of ethnic and religious conflict are
roiling the international waters. Azerbaijan and Armenia are
going at it again, with Armenian
troops making significant incursions into the Terter region
of Azerbaijan. Here, as in Kosovo, the fight pits Orthodox
Christian against Muslim in a case of interpenetrated peoples
battling over rival claims to the same land. The prospect
of US meddling against the Christian Armenians, of
course, who have the implicit backing of Holy Mother Russia
is quite high, considering the economic stakes involved.
There is more oil trapped beneath those wild steppes than
in all of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East combined. If you're
sick unto death of hearing about the poor Kosovar refugees,
then what about some Azeri refugees for a little change of
pace? Would anybody really be all that surprised if we should
find a pressing need to send a "humanitarian" "peace
force" to "rescue" the poor downtrodden Azeris
as well as certain oil companies suffering from falling
profits in a buyers' market?
will the Humanitarian Avengers strike next? Korea? The Caucasus?
My own nomination in the category of Most Likely to be Saved
is the Solomon Islands, where ethnic violence has flared leaving
a number of people dead and thousands of refugees. What is
lacking is the presence of CNN, but aside from the absence
of Christiane Amanpour, the Solomons a small Pacific
island nation between Australia and New Zealand have
all the ingredients of a major humanitarian intervention:
ethnicity (natives versus immigrants), refugees (over 10,000),
and even a "liberation army," the Guadacanal Liberation
Army. The militant Guadacanalistas, it seems, are shameless
"nativists," who resent immigrants from the nearby
island of Malaita who seem to have a monopoly on government
jobs. They have gone so far as to set up roadblocks outside
the capital city of Honiara, and thousands of Malaitians are
being sent packing back to Malaitia. Now here is an easy one
for the Clintonians, a kind of "humanitarian" left-liberal
version of Grenada. Instead of dragging on like Kosovo, it
will be over in a few days, if not hours, and this is sure
to prove tempting to those in the administration who crave
seventy-some days of the Wartime Diary, it was time for a
new mission and a new look, and while the former is still
developing, as they say, the latter is here, complete, in
all its glory thanks to our hotshot web artist Malcolm
Garris. Malcolm's work has been sprucing up these pages from
the very beginning, but this time he has really outdone himself.
He has managed to convey the style and spirit of this column
in graphic terms, and thus helped me to shape its content
and made the writing of it all the easier. For this I want
to thank him, in public and in print, for doing me a very