CONSPIRACY THEORY TO END ALL CONSPIRACY THEORIES
head of the UN's Kosovo mission, Bernard Kouchner, claims
that the massacre was part of a dastardly plot that came to
fruition "when and maybe because we were
taking firm steps towards stability" and democracy. (Stability?
What a laugh! Kouchner fiddles while Kosovo burns.) While
neither Jackson nor Kouchner would say, as yet, just who was
responsible, an anonymous KFOR officer did not hesitate to
tell Agence France-Presse that "it was not being ruled
out that Serb paramilitaries were responsible. Such a thing
is not entirely unknown in this part of the world." Since
the Albanian Kosovars can do no wrong, and the KLA is a band
of angels, the Serbs must be doing it to themselves.
would think that even the NATO-crats would be embarrassed
to make such a suggestion, even in jest. But these liars are
utterly without shame. They say it with a straight face
and the media reports it as if it were credible! If someone
so much as hints that the allegations of a Serb massacre of
Kosovar civilians are grossly overstated for propaganda purposes,
he is put in the same category as a "Holocaust denier"
and deemed an apologist for mass murder. Yet the crimes committed
against Serbian Kosovars by the KLA, which are occurring
daily right before our eyes, are casually denied by KFOR
which instead blames the victims.
lie as a matter of course, and the capacity for lying comes
naturally to its servants. But what makes them think they
can get away with such a whopper? Because they aren't getting
called on it, that's why. Where's the media, the "human
rights" organizations, the punditocracy? Out to lunch,
missing in action, and so morally compromised by their complicity
with the NATO-crats that they actually believe this
crazy conspiracy theory.
ALL ABOUT ME
"spin" being put on this incident by the NATO-crats
is that an attack that took 14 lives, all Serbs, including
a 15-year-old boy and a 60-year-old grandfather, was really
an attack on . . . NATO. The frog or should I say 'French'
socialist Bernard Kouchner, who heads up the UN's Kosovo
administration, declared that "the murderers sought to
stop us. We must not permit that. The mission must go on with
redoubled energy." In other words: it's all about us.
This, uh, creative interpretation of events makes perfect
sense if you credit the wacko conspiracy theory that
the massacre was carried out by "Serb paramilitaries."
of which, just who and where are these mysterious
paramilitaries, anyway? The whole world saw the Serb army's
retreat and KFOR verified their complete withdrawal before
the bombing stopped. With tens of thousands of KFOR troops
in Kosovo, and the KLA still armed and dangerous, where are
these all-purpose villains hiding?
Lofgren, an aide to Rep. John Kasich who works on the Research
and Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on National
Security, sent me an interesting letter, which I print below
in full (in italics) interspersed with my own comments
(in regular typeface):
to Antiwar.com. Not only is its editorial policy refreshing,
but it is a valuable research tool for those of us who need,
for professional reasons, to pierce the media blackout of
the real news pertaining to Kosovo. I would suggest, however,
that Justin Raimondo might lower the tone of his pro-PRC pieces
a few decibels. Just because the bombing of the Chinese Embassy
was wrong (and the changing U.S. ex post facto rationales
are evidence of that), that does not make the trashing of
the US embassy and burning of the US consulate right. Whether
the students who did it did so spontaneously or not is irrelevant.
The Chinese authorities plainly permitted it to continue by
their ostentatious non-action to stop it. Does this non-action
retroactively justify the American bombing, as some US hawks
appear to think? No. But the bombing did not justify the Chinese
police's non-enforcement of order either, as they are plainly
obligated to by international treaty and diplomatic courtesy."
I would love to be able to lower
my shrieks of outrage if only by a few decibels
over the way the War Party is demonizing and provoking the
Chinese. Unfortunately, nothing short of a thermonuclear explosion
is going to concentrate the attention of our policymakers
and that is how it may very well end up. This fully
justifies the decibel level, in my view, and on these grounds
one could even argue for an increase. As it is, I have
to stop myself from making every column about China,
and only manage it just barely. Oh, and thanks for the compliment
to our coverage of Kosovo but why is it that we can't
pierce the same sort of blackout when it comes to China?
real meaning of the question posed above is this: in a war
between the People's Republic of China and the US over Taiwan,
which side are you on? I'll take the Fifth on that one, given
the existence of our sedition laws, but possibly Lofgren meant
by "pro-PRC" that I approve of the present government
of China. But this begs another question: compared to what?
Compared to China under Mao and the ultra-leftist "Gang
of Four"? Absolutely. Compared to our own? Well, at least
the Chinese government is moving in the right direction, away
from socialism unlike our own.
a libertarian, I disapprove if that is not too mild
a condemnation of one-party dictatorships, and can
hardly be accused of ideological sympathy with the Chinese
Communist Party. However, in the sense that I believe that
the present Dengist regime is a vast improvement over its
Maoist predecessor, and that it is moving in the right direction
toward the full establishment of capitalism in China
then, yes, I am "pro-PRC." In this
very narrow sense it could also be said that Ronald Reagan
was "pro-Soviet" in his rapprochement with Gorbachev.
Like Gorbachev, and Yeltsin, the present Chinese Communist
leadership is headed for self-abolition and rebirth in another
guise, whether they know it or not. Why not encourage and
hasten the completion of their project?
EYE FOR AN EYE
cannot agree with Lofgren's moral calculus when it comes to
the trashing of the US embassy. It is precisely because the
bombing of the Chinese Embassy was so wrong that the trashing
of the US embassy and burning of the US consulate was, well,
so right. that is, if (and only if) the
bombing was intentional. For surely there is justice, however
rough, in retaliating against a deliberate attack. Or are
we to accept the official explanation of "outdated maps"?
excuse me, but whether the students who did it did so spontaneously
or not is all-too-relevant considering the resolution put
forward in the House by Rep. Benjamin Gilman, which attributes
the damage incurred by our embassy and consulate directly
to the Chinese government and accuses them of "orchestrating"
the attacks. The Gilman resolution furthermore forbids any
reimbursement of the victim's families so long as the Chinese
refuse to pay damages to the US a calculated insult
to the memory of the dead and their families, and a gross
OBLIGATION TO SELF-DESTRUCT?
for the "ostentatious non-action" of the Chinese
government to stop it will the myth of the omnipotent
Chinese Communist Party ever die? A more brittle regime is
hard to conceive of: faced with regionalist rebellions, major
economic dislocations, and the ideological bankruptcy and
self-immolation of Marxism, the crackup could come at any
time. The last thing the regime wants is a confrontation with
Chinese students, who are now on a nationalist kick, for that
would be the end of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese
government is not obligated, by treaty or international protocol,
to commit suicide in defense of the American Embassy, but
only to do everything within its power to maintain
security at US diplomatic facilities. Yes, it could have crushed
the student riots with brute military force but then
the same critics of China who accuse them of directing the
attacks on the Embassy and our consulate would be screaming
about another Tiananmen Square massacre. Some people are just
so hard to please.
Lofgren continues: "Raimondo
seems to believe his evident, and probably well-founded dislike
of the US government requires the worst possible 'spin' on
events to vindicate his pessimism. Contrary to his statement
in his July 23 column, there is nothing in the
Taiwan Relations Act [P.L. 96-8] that "commits the
United States to the unconditional military defense of the
island . . . ." Although others believe that as well
(see the op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, July 20,
1999) a plain reading of the Act would dispel this belief."
cheerfully admit to being a pessimist when it comes to American
foreign policy: that way I am rarely disappointed, and (even
rarer) sometimes pleasantly surprised.
TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT: A BLANK CHECK
Taiwan Relations Act, in its language and its historical context,
was clearly meant as an unconditional pledge of military support.
This is the price that was exacted by Taipei's lobby in return
for the belated and begrudging diplomatic recognition of the
PRC; after the divorce between the US and the Nationalist
regime, the Americans were obliged to pay alimony in perpetuity,
to expunge the guilt of having "lost" China.
could we have "lost" China, if it was never ours
to begin with?
that as it may Any reading of the Taiwan
Relations Act, "plain" or fancy, illustrates
the reality that Taiwan is as much a US protectorate as Kosovo.
The political purpose of the Act was "to make clear that
the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations
with the People's Republic of China rests upon the expectation
that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means,"
as stated in the legislation. Furthermore, the US will consider
"any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other
than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a
threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area
and of grave concern." Concretely, the US government
is obligated "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive
character; and to maintain the capacity of the United States
to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that
would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system,
of the people on Taiwan." This is stated at the outset,
and repeated and elaborated on in Section 3, items (a) through
(c), which explicitly stipulate that "the United States
will make available to Taiwan such defense articles
and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary
to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability."
If this doesn't mean that we must arm Taiwan, and prepare
for war, unto perpetuity, then what, pray tell, does
yet deeper into the legislative morass that is the Taiwan
Relations Act of 1979, we see that the President is bound
to report to the Congress "promptly" any perceived
threat "to the security or the social or economic system
of the people of Taiwan." While we not compelled to declare
war, this Act pre-authorizes any sort of military action:
"The President and the Congress shall determine, in accordance
with constitutional processes, appropriate action by the United
States in response to such danger." A President who moved
against China without congressional authorization,
as required by the Constitution could and would point
to the Taiwan Relations Act to justify his evasion. Not only
that, but the President is authorized to conduct this policy
in utter secrecy from Congress and from the people, or what
else can Section 12, item (a), possibly mean? And I quote:
REQUIREMENT The Secretary of State shall transmit to
the Congress the text of any agreement to which the Institute
is a party. However, any such agreement the immediate public
disclosure of which would, in the opinion of the President,
be prejudicial to the national security of the United States
shall not be so transmitted to the Congress but shall be transmitted
to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the
Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives
under an appropriate injunction of secrecy to be removed only
upon due notice from the President."
GETS IT WRONG
meaning of this particular provision is underscored by the
revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Pentagon
is practically coordinating and directing Taiwan's military
forces, as well as keeping them well-supplied with weapons,
without congressional knowledge or authorization and
contrary to hysterical
reports by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times that
the administration is cutting off all military aid. What is
happening is that the United States has agreed to suspend,
at least temporarily, the massive military buildup on the
island. Far from "appeasing" Beijing, Clinton has
been preparing for this crisis by preparing for war
and this is the real provocation as far as the PRC is concerned.
INNOCENCE, AND PURITY
concludes: "The US foreign policy apparat under the
Clinton dispensation is doing quite well at alienating three-quarters
of the world as it is. Pointing out that fact does not require
attesting to the guiltless purity of foreign countries. That
is an old rhetorical fallacy, which weakens the main argument."
here we get to the crux of the matter: of what crime is China
"guilty"? Have Chinese forces entered US territory,
or violated the rights of US citizens? While no one is arguing
for the "purity" of China's rulers, is "purity"
a precondition of immunity from US attack? If so, then no
nation is safe, and we might as well sign on to the Clintonian-Wilsonian
doctrine of militant internationalism and be done with it.
TOO RISQUE FOR KIDS?
guardians of morality and decency are ever-vigilant, and they
have made a special target of the Internet but it isn't
just pornography and "hate sites" that they want
to block, but downright subversive sites like . . . well,
like Antiwar.com! Yes, folks, the Internet Thought Police,
in association with the Guardians of Political Correctness
over at Compuserve, have decided that our beloved Antiwar.com
is not a site fit for the innocent eyes of children. A reader
good news is I found your website today. We just got a computer
and got on the Internet last week. Another bit of good news
is our son knew the website address by heart.
have a little story to share with any interested readers.
There are two adults in our house, my wife and I. On the computer
we put her on as the main name on CompuServe, and I was a
secondary name. I did a lot of exploring of the net, and found
that the secondary name was considered a child by CompuServe.
Preset parental controls were in effect, so I did a survey
of sex sites on the Net through my wife's name. Having seen
some sites, I'm kind of glad these are restricted. I was pleased
to find, though, that as a child I seemed to be able under
my own name to go anywhere on the Net that didn't relate to
had my conclusion adjusted a few minutes ago when I tried
to go to www.antiwar.com, which we had accessed together as
three of us were looking around the Internet. Under my name,
the parental controls, preset by CompuServe, would not let
me go to this antiwar site. That is an obscene situation!
Our children can go to school, get filled with the Pledge
of Allegiance and other war rhetoric, but cannot freely access
antiwar information in their own homes."
you feel better just knowing that CompuServe, in its infinite
wisdom, is "protecting" your child from this column?
TU, J. C. PENNEY?
yet another reader reports that his employers at J.C. Penney
Marketing have blocked one and only one site from their server,
and that is you guessed it! Antiwar.com. All
we need is for the US military to jump on this little bandwagon,
and decide to block access to our site on their computers
that would really begin to cut into our hits.