the rulers of the American Empire, the Balkans crusade was
wrapped in the supposed moral imperative of intervention,
which stemmed from the myth of America's role as the chosen
savior of the world. Whether the masses bought into the moral
argument, or fought for "McDonalds
and McDonnell-Douglas" hardly matters. The crusade's
main motivator was a desire for power and prestige. Now that
both have been achieved, there is nothing to be gained by
OF THE REICH
is another thing in the London Times report, one that
has slipped past the media watchers because of their obsession
with US withdrawal. The architect of Bush's withdrawal plan
is no other than Richard Perle, the same "Dark Prince"
who helped Richard Holbrooke craft a belligerent, hard-line
negotiating tactic to help the Bosnian Muslim regime in 1995.
Perle also speculated the role of US troops could be taken
over by the Germans.
years after the people of Yugoslavia some more willingly
than others, but still together booted out the German invaders,
Perle and Bush II are turning the Balkans over to the sons
of those very Germans. Of course, the region has taken so
many insults and injuries over the past decade, this latest
one will hardly be noticed. Still, even though many may be
too exhausted to notice, the notion of German legions occupying
the peninsula again serving
as American proxies or not is enough to make a serious
that Bush II really pulls off the withdrawal of American legions
from the Balkans, America's European vassals will have to
make some unpleasant choices. There is a possibility that
Europe could wake up to the fact that it's been used and abused,
and end the charade in the Balkans altogether but such a
development is remote and unlikely. After all, the leaders
currently running Europe either fiercely supported the NATO
terror-bombing of Serbia in 1999, or went along meekly. Except
the Greeks, not one EU/NATO country even tried to disagree
with the US on the little matter of illegal aggression. This
is hardly encouraging to any advocate of European independence.
Balkans wars did considerable and perhaps fatal damage
to the cause of Europe as a unified, political entity, independent
of US dominance. Future scholars will doubtless pinpoint 1995
and 1999 as two years in which Europe happily played second
fiddle to its overseas master as they indulged in wholesale
destruction in the Balkans. But there is no understanding
of this in London, Paris, Berlin or Brussels. Having grown
up dependent on America and NATO, the Eurocrats are unable
to kick this addiction. The golden moment of the early 1990s
is no longer, and Europe is caught in the web of NATO and
US "leadership" now more than ever.
of renewed violence in the Balkans contain the implicit acknowledgment
that the situation created by US force was not sustainable.
After Nixon withdrew US forces from South Vietnam, much like
Bush plans to do in the Balkans, the pro-US regime there collapsed
within three years. Unlike Vietnam, however, the Balkans has
turned out to be a victory for the idea of American empire
at least, so far.
Paris, London and Berlin now need to decide whether to attempt
the creation of an imperial
Europe at the expense of the Balkans, or abandon the whole
enterprise and let the balance of power reassert itself naturally.
The latter would require losing face, but the former could
be ultimately fatal for any sort of European confederacy they
supposedly wish to create.
OF THE LEGIONS
II, on the other hand, ought to be cautiously commended for
planning to do within four years what his predecessor promised
to do in one, and failed to do in five bring the legions
home. Of course, they should not have gone in the first place,
and knowing the record of Bush I, Reagan and Nixon, they won't
stay home for long. There will be other imperial adventures:
wars to fight, people to conquer, resources to "liberate"
and crusades to win. After all, the US military has not been
a defensive force for over 50 years. Rather, it has been an
imperial force tasked with "breaking
things and killing people" in other countries, rather
than preventing them from doing so to America. So, while cheering
Bush II's pullout from the Balkans, America's antiwar elements
need to start worrying about where His Majesty will employ
for the Balkans, the collapse of imperial occupation is definitely
something to be desired. Some may argue that without foreign
aid the lands and peoples there would plunge into abject poverty
and despair. They've done that just as successfully while
the Empire was giving them all the "help" it could,
though. And the argument that peoples of the Balkans are incapable
of governing themselves and need foreign guidance ought to
be shocking, coming from former Communist intellectuals who
believed in self-determination, people's liberation and end
of imperialism. Then again, more irony is hardly noticeable
in the Balkans landscape.
there is one lesson in the history of the peninsula and
the former Yugoslavia in particular it would be that the
interference of outside powers always creates infinitely more
harm than good. And though none of those powers seems to have
realized that yet, they may still do the next best thing and
leave anyway. Better late than never.
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