just back from a recent trip to Bosnia and Kosovo, avers that
"our work isn't done in the Balkans." Addressed
to those largely Republican lawmakers who are beginning to
wonder if the US "investment" in Bosnia and the
Balkans isn't an endless drain on our resources and patience,
Holbrooke's piece is hardly reassuring: indeed, it seems to
confirm the Republicans' worst fears of a quagmire. Holbrooke
vows that we cannot leave Europe and specifically Bosnia and
Kosovo "so long as war, ethnic hatred, and conflict exist
within its space." Sure, we can leave Europe to its own
devices one day once war is forever abolished and universal
brotherhood reigns supreme. What this means is that we can
never leave the Balkans, or indeed any part
of the world, since "conflict" is inherent in human
mentioning any of the specifics, Holbrooke writes that Kosovo
"still lives in the heady but confusing aftermath of
the war and the liberation from oppression." Well, that's
one way to describe the execution of Serbs, the reverse
ethnic cleansing, and the rampaging Kosovar mobs who have
instituted a reign of terror in Kosovo. From the tone of Holbrooke's
rhetoric, I am not at all surprised that he finds this bloody
spectacle "heady." He who speaks of "the timelines
of history and reconstruction" in the Balkans is not
one to shy away from a grandiose vision. When you're busy
"reconstructing" a continent, you don't have too
much time or inclination to notice a few minor casualties
on the ground.
TO THE FUTURE
what is truly ominous about the Holbrookian vision is the
strange sense of déjà vu that overcomes the
reader as he reads the following: "Meanwhile, many of
the forces of darkness separatists, racists, war criminals
and crooks are still there, continuing their efforts
to keep the people in the Dark Ages." In its stridence
and inflexibility, this kind of language resembles nothing
so much as the stylized and highly jargonized sloganeering
of Communists and other Marxists, circa 1935. The cheap vulgarity
of a phrase like "the forces of darkness" is a linguistic
clue to the insincerity and indeed the ill intent of its author.
And who, in this arena, are the Forces of Light? The Muslims,
whose party is openly authoritarian, and whose government
is stealing us blind? And certainly not the Croats, who have
more than their share of defendants before the International
Tribunal at The Hague.
YOUR CANDLES, THE DARK AGES ARE COMING!
anyone is taking Bosnia and Kosovo into the Dark Ages, it
is Holbrooke, Madeleine Albright, and the architects of the
war of "liberation." Their vast social engineering
projects in Bosnia and Kosovo are literally taking the Balkans
back to an earlier time, when Tito constructed the Socialist
Republic of Yugoslavia out of a collection of ethnic enclaves.
Like Tito, the NATO occupation army suppressed all opposition,
closing down Serbian radio and television stations. As in
the Communist era, "hate speech" in Bosnia was defined
in explicitly political terms (anything that dissed NATO).
In Kosovo, NATO and UN officials will monitor and regulate
the media just as Tito's censors once did in order
to safeguard "democracy," of course. And now, in
the Titoite tradition, Commissar Holbrooke wants to close
down not one but two Serbian political parties in Bosnia.
DIKTAT OF HOLBROOKE
praising a "new generation of leaders," left unnamed,
Holbrooke does name those Forces of Darkness alluded
to earlier, and furthermore proposes a blunt and pitiless
strategy to defeat them:
two major political parties in the Serb part of Bosnia continue
to preach ethnic hatred and attack the very foundations of
the Dayton agreement: the war criminal Radovan Karadzic's
Serbian Democratic Party, and Vojislav Selselj's racist, fascistic
Serbian Radical Party. These two parties should be disestablished
by international order (as Dayton authorized the High Representative
to do), just as the Nazis were outlawed in Germany after World
dispute any part of the complex and even Byzantine Dayton
agreement which was never agreed to by the Serbs of
Bosnia, only by Slobodan Milosevic is equated with
promulgating "ethnic hatred." For this one can be
charged with the grave thoughtcrime of "separatism"
which was also a political crime under the Tito dictatorship.
also, how the guilty parties are defined in terms of specific
individuals, as if they were David Koresh-style cults that
somehow deserve to be annihilated. But the Serbian Democratic
Party is far larger than Radovan Karadzic, and indeed for
a while the US government was aligned with a faction of it
that managed to gain temporary control of the Bosnian Serb
Republic of Srpska, under President Biljana Plavšic. But she
apparently fell out with her American allies, and then lost
her position: now the US is calling for the party to be banned.
And Plavšic herself once served in the same Cabinet as Karadzic
but never mind. In the Communist lexicon of old, today's
ally could be tomorrow's "fascist," depending on
the Party line, and comrade Holbrooke seems entirely immersed
in this tradition.
for the Serbian Radical Party, the Republic of Srpska edition
is unlikely to be under the direct control of the much-vilified
Vojislav Selselj. In any case, whatever the West finds unpleasant
in the party's doctrines is likely to be confirmed and strengthened
by the actions of the Allies, who are treating the Bosnian
Serbs like a conquered people.
its Orwellian language instead of being banned, the
offending parties must be "disestablished and
emotional vehemence the language of Holbrooke evokes the "Third
Period" of the Stalin era, in which Communists likened
all their enemies to "fascists" and no rhetorical
excess was too extravagant. In comparing these two parties
to the Nazis, Holbrooke trivializes history and tramples on
common sense, so that any validity in his critique is dissolved
in his own vehemence. He assures us that the "genuine
multiethnic parties" in Srpska "will surely grow
in numbers with each election" in spite of the
fact that these thinly-disguised US fronts have been decisively
repudiated at the polling booth a number of times but
that we have to make sure that "the pressure is kept
on the extremists." The manipulation of elections until
the "right" results are gotten, censorship of the
media, ideological campaigns against various forbidden "isms"
where have we seen all this before?
tell you where: When the Red Army moved into Eastern Europe,
at Roosevelt's invitation, a number of "coalition"
governments were set up, and staged "elections"
were held, ratifying what had already been decided by the
presence of Soviet troops. A similar charade is going on in
Bosnia and Kosovo today, with Holbrooke, Albright, and the
so-called High Representative presiding over it all
as arrogant, murderous, and openly authoritarian as any Communist
despots of yesteryear.
GREAT "EXPERIMENT," THEN AND NOW
what have to be the most revealing few sentences in his article,
Holbrooke actually has the nerve to excuse the atrocities
carried out by the Kosovo "Liberation" Army in the
same sort of exculpatory language Western Communists and fellow-travelers
used to describe the Soviet Russian "experiment":
"A people who have known nothing but various forms of
oppression since at least 1912 have emerged into the harsh
light of the modern world," writes Holbrooke. "The
internal Kosovo political scene is chaotic, and will take
time to sort out." In other words: sure the KLA is just
another gang of tribalist thugs, but they're our thugs.
And besides, give these guys a break: after all, they've just
don't worry: with plenty of US tax dollars, and a dictatorship
enforced by NATO's centurions, we'll have the New Kosovar
Man up and running in a few decades. In the meantime, we have
to foot their bills, censor their media, and make sure they
do all their homework without getting too mixed up
in drugs. This taking on of two new dependencies, Bosnia and
Kosovo, is like having children: "The leaders of the
effort against Slobodan Milosevic cannot turn their backs
on what they have started," we are told. "Having
started the job, we must continue to lead the effort to finish
it successfully." Like an unwed mother stuck with a squalling
brat, the US must care for and raise her young protectorates
and, in the beginning, at least, attend to them twenty-four
hours a day. The Allies, says Holbrooke, "will be sorely tested."
But in the end, it will all be worth it or will it?
FAMILIAL FOREIGN POLICY
what would it mean to "finish it successfully"?
Do you ever really get rid of your children? Even if you're
totally estranged, even if they run off and join the Moonies
or Heaven's Gate, you are linked to them in some fundamental
way, and, most would argue, obligated to them. No matter
how callous you are, the relationship never really ends, until
one of you dies. The truth is there is no end to the
task Holbrooke would have us take up, no end to the job of
policing Europe, and especially the Balkans. For years, the
Clinton administration has been putting time-constraints,
and "deadlines" on the US military presence in Bosnia:
three times a withdrawal date was set, prior to the Kosovo
war, and three times it was postponed. And each time the Republicans
went along with the fiction that this was not a permanent
fixture of our overseas military operations, as if wishing
could make it so.
PROSPECT OF WAR
diktat of Holbrooke his draconian program to impose
a "democratic" dictatorship on Bosnia and Kosovo
comes at a crucial time. For there are rumblings from
General Wesley Clark that hostilities could resume: the General
charges that Serbian "paramilitaries" are "infiltrating"
back into Kosovo to "cause a little bit of trouble here
and there." On the other side of the Kosovo-Yugoslav
border, Serbian generals are demanding that the terms of the
peace agreement be honored, and that they must be allowed
to post soldiers and customs officials on Kosovo's frontiers.
Meanwhile, next Monday is the third or fourth "deadline"
set by NATO and UN authorities for the KLA to completely disarm,
and the violence (including mortar attacks on Serb civilians!)
continues unabated. While Kosovo has managed to stay out of
the headlines, hardly a day goes by without a new atrocity,
a new bombing, and fresh incidents of Serb blood spilled
but don't shine too "harsh" a light on these incidents.
After all, practically anything is justified in a battle
against the Forces of Darkness isn't it?