January 30, 2002

Balkanizing the World
What Empire Wants

If there were any hopes in the past few weeks, what with the rising tide of antiwar sentiment, that the Empire might turn back from the brink of invading Iraq, the Emperor’s annual speech should have dispelled them. Within a few short weeks, before the weather window closes, there will be war.

Baghdad via Belgrade

Before attacking Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, the Empire bothered to create a pretext. First its diplomatic observers – actually intelligence agents – helped a terrorist group stage a "massacre," then its top diplomat proposed a "peace plan" that was in fact a naked land grab in the language of unconditional surrender. When the Belgrade government understandably refused, U.S. and its satellites unleashed Hell. But because it lacked any justification for the attack, the Imperial Alliance made wild allegations of "genocide" and "humanitarian disaster." The ongoing farce in the Hague Inquisition is an embarrassing reminder of the lengths to which they have gone to transform these lies into Official Truth.

Now the same pattern is used on the eve of war against Iraq, only some portions are no longer necessary. The pretext, for example, which was to be fabricated by the weapons inspectors, has failed to materialize. Wild allegations are flying again, though, and there has even been a threat of charging Iraqis with "war crimes," such as resisting Imperial invasion.

Hopes of the UN somehow stopping the war are also baseless. Any moral authority they might have had was purposefully demolished in Bosnia, and died when the first bombs hit Belgrade and NATO got away with the international-law equivalent of premeditated murder. After what happened in the ruins of Yugoslavia, with the entire world watching, the Empire now feels it can get away with anything, anywhere, anytime. Its leaders have said as much.

Up to Their Old Tricks

While the general public in Imperial-dominated countries may have already forgotten 1999, both those running the Empire and their intended victims have not. When the implausible proposal of exile for the Iraqi leader was floated ten days ago, Saddam Hussein must have thought of Slobodan Milosevic. His constant appeasement of U.S. demands, from Dayton to Kumanovo, only brought more demands and new sanctions, which did not stop even after he was taken to the Hague Inquisition in chains. Clearly, in Milosevic’s case, trusting the Empire proved his undoing. Unlike the Serbian people, Hussein seems to have realized that. What good that will do him, if any, remains to be seen.

The 'Serbian Model'

If extracting parallels from the Yugoslav experience seems a bit far-fetched, how about this Monday’s Christian Science Monitor, which in a series of articles openly discusses upcoming "regime change" in Baghdad in light of previous such actions, specifically devoting a major portion to Yugoslavia?

Apparently, Iraq should end up with a similar result as the 2000 "October Revolution" in Belgrade, if through different, more violent means. Reading the interviews with pro-Imperial sycophants and foot-soldiers of the October coup, it becomes obvious the Empire saw nothing wrong with corrupting a country’s political process and literally buying a government it desired. After all, they’ve funded the terrorist KLA, then claimed it fought for "American values"…

So it is we learn of a "a three-year [sic!] campaign by the US and other Western governments to dislodge the Yugoslav leader by strangling his country’s economy with sanctions and rocking it with bombs," an admission of international crime if there ever was any. Iraq suffered three times as long, though.

Also noted is the role of "non-governmental" organizations, such as George Soros’s Open Society and various "human rights" groups, which were basically fronts for direct action against their host country.

The Monitor also mentions in passing the following facts, which have been known for years yet assiduously ignored by the mainstream media. Upon reading them, it is not hard to see why:

  • "opposition parties ran all the country’s major towns and cities after municipal elections in December 1996."
  • "Milosevic never resorted to dictatorial repression of his political opponents at home."
  • "former members of the fractious 18 party ‘Democratic Opposition of Serbia’ (DOS) [say] US diplomats knocked their heads together until they formed a cohesive and united coalition."
  • "western money funded the development of Otpor."

Otpor ("Resistance") was ostensibly a student movement advocating the overthrow of government – but only the Milosevic government. It was organized and paid by the Empire to do a job. The Monitor quotes one Otpor leader:

"Eighty-five percent of our funding came from the United States," through bodies such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, as well as USAID.

The article ends with Zarko Korac, now information minister in Zoran Djindjic’s quisling government, claiming that what brought Milosevic down was a "death by a thousand cuts."

Well, there’s a cheerful picture: "democracy" as a product of political and military action based on ancient Chinese torture. Truth can come from the mouths of morons! But overall, it is a chilling admission of how the Empire is determined to have its way, and – perhaps more disturbingly – how so many are prepared to help it.

Caracas Copycats

But before the people of Iraq can dance with joy at the prospect of a Zoran Djindjic of their very own, it needs to be made clear that the rest of the world can look forward to such wonders as well. Just last week, Washington’s patsies in Caracas have tried to copy the Serbian Model, asking foreign assistance to force early elections and topple President Hugo Chavez.

Chavez is by no means a paragon of virtue, and his socialist economic theories leave a lot to be desired, but while this describes most world leaders, he differs by refusing to be America’s busboy. And because Venezuela supplies over 10% of U.S. oil imports, his defiance is more than irksome to the Court of St. Abraham.

Battle Hymn of the Empire

This founder of Imperial Presidency sheds much light on the belligerence of today’s Washington. Modern-day worshippers of a president who shredded the very real Constitution to save the very abstract "Union" have gone much further than the man who endorsed total war against his own people. Lincoln only claimed total dominion over the United States of America; they claim dominion over the entire world. Somehow, at some point, America was anointed with World Leadership, they say, and any and all who resist it are "in rebellion" against legitimate authority. Thus, there is no need for justification of further invasions, as they represent legitimate suppression of rebellions by the legitimate overlords of the World.

Towards a New Liberty

Whosoever accepts this theory should know that its end result will be like the ruins of Yugoslavia: a foul, wretched place, filled with tyranny, chaos and despair. If this is the choice they are prepared to live with, so be it. They have been fairly forewarned. The rest, one suspects, would rather be free.

Well, it’s high time we be about it.

– Nebojsa Malic

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Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo, and contributed to the Independent. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for Antiwar.com appears every Thursday.


Archived Columns

Balkanizing the World

A Chauvinistic Farce

The 12 Months of Christmas

More Dirty Lies

Democratic Destruction

Forged Memories

Making the Balkans Connection

Remembering the Obvious

Empire's Playground

Casus Belli

Forward to The Past

The Unbearable Futility of Voting

A Global Balkans

Triumph of the Will

The Day Nothing Changed

Illusions of Truth and Justice

More archived columns by Nebojsa Malic

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