And the Big Picture – A Year Later
article from a year ago is no less relevant today.
of the players have changed: Zoran Djindjic is no
longer among the living. There's been a change
of scenery as well, with Iraq supplanting Afghanistan as the
next stage of Perpetual
War. The chain of interventions continued from
the Balkans to Afghanistan, then
Iraq. The "Budding Report" has not materialized,
and the "freezer
truck" story was dropped down the Memory Hole.
Hollywood still uses the Balkans for plot props (Benicio del
Toro's eco-terrorist character in The
Hunted was an assassin in Kosovo). But these are
details. The occupation, terror, deceptions and delusions
remain. And the importance of the Balkans as the example of
of things to come, and the launch pad for the New
American Century, has never been greater.
people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and any other unfortunate land
that may be next, can see their future in the Balkans present.
It is a future that must not be allowed to happen.
and the Big Picture
Crimes, Terrorists, and Empire
again last weekend, as the Chris Rock-Anthony Hopkins
feature "Bad Company" revolved around preventing
"Yugoslav" terrorists from blowing up New York City
with a nuclear weapon. Even the film critics saw
through such a pathetic plot setup. But it must have rather
embarrassing when a most unlikely suspect was arrested
Monday for allegedly plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb"
in Washington, DC. Not only was he not "Yugoslav"
or "neo-Nazi" (as the politically correct Sum
of All Fears would have it these days), he was an American
Muslim of Hispanic origin.
one movie option no one is going to touch with a ten-foot
pole, though. Tinseltown finds it a lot easier to pin the
"terrorist" tag onto Serbs or Russians even as real
terrorists are nothing of the sort. As mentioned before, there
must be something more at work here than simple ignorance,
or a poor excuse of trying to "promote tolerance."
How does labeling a nation that has nothing to do with terrorism
– while avoiding those who have – promote "tolerance"?
obviously prefers to invent fake terrorists for the sake of
vapid plots, though real life offers far more interesting
– and incredulous
– fare. But is that any better than what the Empire is doing?
one asks the Hague Inquisition, Slobodan Milosevic is a far
worse threat to world peace than Usama
bin Ladin. First he is accused of "terrorizing"
the court by not letting the prosecution crucify him.
Then he is alleged to have created the world's greatest offshore
financing structure. There is also the cardinal sin of
not reading Human Rights Watch e-mails.
Besides, no one's ever accused Al-Qaydah of genocide, while
Milosevic's guilt in that matter is already widely assumed.
War Crimes Scam
hear the Inquisition's witnesses, even when the real terrorists
assassinations of their supporters, everything is Milosevic's
Sidious, eat your heart out: the real Dark Lord of the
Sith sits in the docket in The Hague – or so they'd have us
all believe. So while Al-Qaydah is out of reach, but ever-so-conveniently
"out there somewhere," Milosevic and the entire
Serbian people are made to bear the brunt of Empire's exercise
in vital powers.
most recent victim of the Inquisition was "K12,"
supposedly a truck driver who was supposed to testify about
truckloads of Albanian bodies allegedly reburied in Serbia
even as NATO pulverized its road network. After refusing to
testify and complaining about psychological pressure, "K12"
was found "in
contempt of court" and threatened with fines and
imprisonment. So, though legions of previous witnesses have
freely perjured themselves – an act of contempt if there was
ever any – lying for the prosecution, only the one witness
who refused to do so is actually punished.
top of all that, news that the prosecution commissioned a
report by a reputable Harvard scholar about "Serb nationalism
in the 20th century" makes it clear what the
entire "trial" is about. All the slick PR talk about
"individual guilt" and "command responsibility"
were really a cover for an effort to put the entire country
– through its leader – on trial, and impose on them a burden
of collective guilt. Like the futile hunt for ephemeral Al-Qaydah
through the picturesque Afghan caves, the trial of Slobodan
Milosevic is all show, no substance.
At The Fire
would expect the people who overthrew Milosevic to at least
defend the Serbian state – as their current fief – if not
its people. Instead, Zoran Djindjic persists
in his quest for power, and Vojislav Kostunica persists in
him. Statements in Serbian media regarding the Budding
Report (to call it by its author, Prof. Audrey Helfant-Budding)
are pathetic to the point of being shocking. Kostunica was
"surprised" by the Inquisition's claims of collective
guilt. A leading government international law expert was "disappointed."
And Foreign Minister Svilanovic, Djindjic's lapdog if there
ever was one, quickly commented that judging evidence was
"not the government's job," but that of the Inquisition.
wonder the Inquisition and the Empire dare so much. There's
no one to resist them any more.
in Washington, a disturbing, although entirely expected, pattern
emerges. The horrendous attacks of Black Tuesday are ultimately
used by unscrupulous politicians. Their perpetrators, alleged
or confirmed, are largely ignored. It is as if the Al-Qaydah
is the Phantom Menace, whose mythical omnipotence justifies
everything. This "jihad construct" also masks the
existence of a very
real jihad movement, one few are aware of, and even fewer
are ready to face.
agenda seems to be to escalate the paranoia and expand both
and the reach of Imperial power. Distracted by the daily terror
warnings, fake movie terrorists, and show trials of "war
criminals" who'd have been seen as heroes had they by
any chance been American Presidents, few seem to notice
the growing shadow of the Empire as it boldly asserts itself
with such "defense" doctrines as "first strike."
Balkans Still Matters
Balkan Express started out as a column, it was supposed
to cast light on the widespread ignorance about the peninsula
– and the former Yugoslav federation in particular – because
it was such an important piece of the Big Picture. Almost
two years hence, it appears ignorance is but a part of the
problem, standing right next to bald lies and deliberate malice.
And the Big Picture has only become clearer.
of the Balkans conflict never really mattered to those who
run the Empire, but only the ways in which they could advance
the imperial agenda. Slovenia and Croatia were a pretext for
recognizing Bosnia, intervention in Bosnia paved the
way for Kosovo, Kosovo made possible what happened in
and so on. It had very little to do with the Balkans or its
inhabitants, whose quarrels and feuds were merely a vehicle.
Since everyone was being manipulated, it never mattered who
"won" – the only real winner was the Empire, at
everyone else's expense.
the hidden meaning, if you will, of what happened in the past
show trials and make-believe terrorists show, the Balkans
is still used as a prop in Empire's great game of power. To
be sure, it has become a part of something much more complex
and sinister. That only means, though, that what the Empire
does in the Balkans – and what the Balkans does to either
serve or oppose the Empire – is still very much important.
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