in the Twilight Zone
A Brief Overview of a Morbid Experiment
the French king and the Holy Roman Emperor signed a peace
treaty in Munster, Westphalia, on October
24, 1648, they were hardly aware that by ending Europe's worst
war to date they had also established the foundations of the
modern system of international relations. The Treaty of Westphalia
introduced and enshrined the principle of territorial sovereignty,
without which modern nation-states would have been impossible.
and a half centuries later, their heirs aspiring to lord
over the creation of a new European superstate chose to
casually reject this legacy. On January 15, 1991, the European
Union formally recognized the declarations of secession by
two of Yugoslavia's federal republics, Slovenia and Croatia,
declaring Yugoslavia no longer existed.
best, this was a heavily assisted suicide of an already dying
country; at worst, an act of incalculable malice. Whatever
it was, it plunged the people of Yugoslavia into the abyss
they've been in ever since.
the outbreak of the Wars of Yugoslav Succession1 and the
end (?) of Macedonia's Apartheid Rebellion, both
the Balkans and the world changed beyond recognition. The
"hour of Europe," heralded by Yugoslavia's enthusiastic executioners,
was more like the proverbial fifteen minutes. Having shrugged
off the unpleasant distractions of Somalia and Haiti, the
United States rolled into the Balkans in full force, leveling anything
in its path and rewriting
history as it went along. With massive amounts of propaganda
supplementing brute force, the United States used the Balkans
to assert its position as the world's "indispensable nation,"
the global Empire incarnate.
Empire's scions claim to have brought "peace" to the Balkans,
along with "democracy" and "human rights." All they really
brought were subjugation, kleptocracy2 and conquerors' privileges:
slavery, drug-running and widespread organized crime in
general. None of the problems between Yugoslav peoples has
been resolved with the possible exception of Croatian and
Albanian distaste for Serbs, largely cured by mass expulsions
and, equally, mass murder.
November, Bosnia entered its sixth year of existence as the
Empire's protectorate divided, impoverished and despairing.
To make matters worse, the Empire's erstwhile Arab and Afghan
allies, who also helped out during the war in Bosnia, had
just committed mass murder in New York and Washington. Soon
thereafter, five Algerians and a Yemeni who stayed in Bosnia
and were even granted citizenship by a grateful Muslim regime
had been arrested at US urging, based on the CIA's claims
they were connected to Al-Qaeda.
men had violent criminal records in Bosnia, but no hard evidence
linked them to terrorism. So the six were released
last week into the custody of the US military. At
US urging, they were stripped of their citizenship, then
shipped to the luxury cages in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while
their families and supporters rioted outside the Sarajevo
loyal vassal of the Empire for years, the Muslim regime in
Sarajevo thus found itself in dire straits. The current government
is still mostly Muslim, though it includes many of Bosnia's
Croat and Serb Christians. Both facts prevent it from dealing
with the issue of its predecessor's dalliances with militant
Islam in a forceful manner. On one hand, Bosnian Muslims
still depend on support and aid of many Middle Eastern charities.
On the other hand, many of those charities are suspected fronts
for organizations the US labels "terrorist" and the US
does not tolerate
any debate on this particular subject right now.
they crack down on the fundamentalists, the Muslim authorities
risk the full wrath of the "holy warriors," with Bosnia's
Christians the first likely target. But if they do nothing,
the fundamentalist influence will grow and Bosnia might find
itself on the US blacklist as "collateral damage" in the War
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Empire's "help" is also felt in Serbia these days. The future
of its union with Montenegro is so obfuscated by Imperial
meddling, many people are increasingly willing to settle for
any solution, to the benefit of various politicians
with illegitimate aspirations.
if that were not tragic enough, Serbia's 18-headed hydra
of a government is busy not only plundering its citizens through
the destruction of banks, but also destroying the state from
the inside. The Serbian Parliament is likely to approve the
"omnibus" law proposed by several power-hungry separatist
parties in the ruling coalition, giving the northern province
of Vojvodina its Communist-era "autonomy."
practice, this would mean creating a separate state within
Serbia a crazy idea if there ever was one. The repressive
statism of Zoran Djindjic would be replaced by the even more
repressive statism of Nenad Canak and other self-proclaimed
"Vojvodina leaders," in comparison with whom Djindjic appears
downright saintly. President Kostunica's party, far from opposing
this madness, is actually advocating a proposal to divvy up Serbia into five
sub-states six, counting the occupied Kosovo.
LA SERBIE, C'EST MOI!
himself is staying out of the division debate, content that
he would end up ruling all the fiefdoms anyway. He is also
very busy setting up his own national security council,
which would take control in a "crisis situation." Given Djindjic's
political and academic
credentials in the field of power-grabbing through provoking
crises, this should be a red flag for every Serbian patriot
well, that, and his choice of ambassador in Washington.
Djindjic's allies in the government approved the choice of
Stojan Cerovic for Yugoslavia's second Ambassador to the Empire,
after the first Milan St. Protic was recalled late last
year. Cerovic has no diplomatic credentials, but he does have
a history of maligning the Serbs to his employers in the US
Institute of Peace and elsewhere. This has been enough
to force many American Serbs to bitterly denounce Djindjic
and his private diplomacy, but few voices of opposition were
heard in Serbia itself, as usual.
NOT WITHOUT CAVIAR
are but the most egregious examples of distilled evil that
has festered in the darkness of the Balkans under Imperial
rule, and the list is far from complete nor is there enough
space here for it to be. But this brief overview would be
sadly lacking without the news that the new governor of occupied
Kosovo is none other than German diplomat Michael Steiner.
Formerly a deputy governor of Bosnia, Steiner advised the
German Chancellor for a while, before resigning in a scandal
involving several German officers, an airplane at the Moscow
airport and caviar that apparently wasn't there.
is that Steiner has quite a taste for caviar, and that he
is not known for diplomacy or tact. So while Kosovo is awash
in murders, theft, slavery and extremely distasteful politics
not to mention the whole bit about it being occupied territory
of a nominally sovereign state at least its occupiers and
their subjects will now be treated to some sharp German wit
and lots of caviar.
a historical footnote, Steiner's appointment means that for
the first time since World War One, Bosnia and a part of Serbia
will be ruled by an Austrian and a German, respectively.
the demagogues that came to lead the successor states of former
Yugoslavia bear a great deal of culpability for the present
sad state of affairs in the once-promising region. Their involvement
with outside powers, however, and those powers' incessant
meddling in the Yugoslav crises, has exacerbated these consequences
recognition of Slovenia and Croatia created a precedent for
future "diplomatic aggression," destruction of countries by
recognition of their seceding parts. Political pressure in
Macedonia, proxy warfare in Croatia, outright force and occupation
in Bosnia and Kosovo were all meant as precedents for other
parts of the world their authors admitted as much, publicly.
logic, tradition, law and just about everything else that
even remotely resembles sanity and civilization were tossed
aside for the sake of a grand experiment in statist imperialism.
How well that has worked one can see from the examples above.
Having performed the most gruesome procedures on human beings
declared lab rats, the Empire turned its morbid curiosity
to other places. The experiment continues, with less haste
than before. The Balkans lab rats are still alive, though
horribly mangled by the experience, and still inhabit their
despoiled cages hoping for a better tomorrow or a release
from the nightmare of their existence.
sounds like a chilling script for a Twilight Zone episode. Only it's all too
Since no one contested the constitutional right of Yugoslav
republics to secession, but rather their stubborn insistence
on international recognition of arbitrary Communist borders,
the 1991-95 wars were fought over the division of territory
i.e. succession of Yugoslavia's property. The subsequent
conflicts in southern Serbia (Kosovo, Presevo) and Macedonia
were wars of Albanian separatism, and thus completely unrelated
to the Succession Wars.
By strict definition, any government is a "kleptocracy"
i.e. it rules by stealing the property of its citizens (through
"taxes"). Therefore, statist writers commonly misuse the term
to describe corrupt regimes. A kleptocracy is not corrupt,
it is simply a state entirely devoted to plunder.