Former Potentates Tour Balkans Sycophants
by Nebojsa Malic
in the footsteps of Bill Clinton,
two more former Imperial dignitaries have toured the occupied
Balkans this past weekend. Onetime stepfather
of Bosnia Richard Holbrooke and former Kosovo viceroy
Bernard Kouchner visited Sarajevo and Pristina, reminiscing
about their glory days. The adulation of local media and politicians
must have made them believe they actually mattered once again,
and they were even followed by an entourage of Western journalists
for good measure.
traveling circus of nostalgic former power-mongers underscored
once again the nature of Imperial occupation, and highlighted
the widespread sycophancy of petty Balkans tyrants towards
the outsiders who keep them in power.
publicity-grabbing former envoys' mission was to support local
Imperial clients and campaign to "keep America in the
usual, the abrasive and flamboyant Holbrooke hogged the limelight.
In a commentary for Dnevni Avaz, a militant Bosnian
Muslim daily, he denounced the ruling Bosnian
Serb party as "Nazis who should disappear," and heaped praise
on the ailing Muslim leader Izetbegovic as someone Bosnia
"could not have existed without."
another interview, for the daily Oslobodjenje, Holbrooke
argued that Bosnia should have a "stronger central government"
and called the Dayton Accord "a living document
not a straitjacket."
Albanians got Holbrooke's support for independence and advice
on how to improve their image by publicly denouncing the ongoing murders of Serbs.
Holbrooke's sympathies for Izetbegovic and his
cause are well-known, as they were published in his 1998
memoir. Nor are his sympathies for Kosovo Albanian militants
a secret, not since his famous sit-down with the KLA when they were
still mysterious bandits. He has advocated Kosovo independence
before, most recently this July.
The man is remarkably consistent for someone who believes
in "living" Constitutions.
is also utterly irrelevant a former official of a former
government, and widely loathed by his former State Department
colleagues. As Serbia's deputy PM Nebojsa Covic commented
in a rare moment of integrity, "Hoolbroke is a typical politician
who lost his job, then came back to a conflict zone to try
and find a new one." (Glas Javnosti, 7 October)
may be wrong about Holbrooke's lack of official capacity.
While Kouchner is a member of the European Parliament, Holbrooke
is officially a civilian. A question arises, then, as to who
exactly paid for their extravaganza? Neither the US government
nor the EU bureaucracy appears a likely candidate. Holbrooke
and Kouchner might somehow be men of considerable means, but
should hardly be able to afford such a trip. The New
York Times provided the answer Wednesday: the private-jet
tour was funded by "two private foundations," one
of which remained anonymous, while the other was an American
pseudo-governmental set up to campaign for the Empire. Suddenly
the mission becomes much clearer
Holbrooke and Kouchner
weren't looking for a new job they already had
one. If their remarks sounded just like paid celebrity endorsements,
it is because they were.
that matter, so was Clinton's speech in Srebrenica last
month. Several Bosnian sources indicate that Clinton was paid
$250,000 by the Muslim ethnic party, the SDA. His brief sojourn
in Kosovo may have been funded by the Albanians in a similar
fashion. Such "investments" tend to disparage the
remarks about the crushing poverty of those Imperial protectorates,
demonstrating that while the people of those democratic
satrapies are indeed destitute, their rulers have no such
Little Less Conversation
way things are going, Kosovo Albanians could certainly use
some good press. In just under a week, a "Kosovo" delegation
led by the new viceroy Holkeri is supposed to meet with the
highest Serbian officials, purportedly to discuss "technical
issues" such as license plates. While official Belgrade looks
forward to the meeting in Vienna, Albanians are not
happy at all, and seek to delay
or sabotage the talks.
is hard to see why. Yes, the fact that Serbia is still invited
to talk about its occupied province seems to counter the painstakingly
crafted impression that Kosovo's separation was a fait
accompli. Yet there is no indication that Serbia will
be asked about anything more than the manner in which to renounce
sources have opined that the Vienna talks might open a way
status negotiations. While this seems unlikely, any such
talks would necessarily revolve around the present status
of Kosovo: a territory almost ethnically purely Albanian,
administered by the UN and NATO on behalf of the KLA and other
Albanian separatists. Now, the Vienna talks will also be attended
by EU and NATO bigwigs Javier Solana
and George Robertson. They are both "heroes" of the 1999
war, and to some extent the architects of today's Kosovo.
So what are the KLA afraid of?
is one piece of the puzzle that does not fit. The EU agency
in charge of selling off government property in Kosovo has
just stopped the process,
citing "legal problems." Could it be that the EU bureaucrats
have finally realized they can't sell off property they have
stolen through an illegal occupation? It would be too much
way, Kosovo Albanians are so distressed with their slip from
Imperial graces real or imagined they have eagerly embraced
Holbrooke's support as if it were official, and even made
him an offer of "peacekeepers" for Iraq and Afghanistan.
prompted "President" Rugova and KLA "general" Agim Ceku to
offer their services was the news that Belgrade has
some 700-1000 men for NATO's mission in Afghanistan. Truth
be told, it would be far easier to imagine the KLA keeping
the Pax Americana in Mesopotamia and Bactria than Serbian soldiers.
Not because, as some
have suggested, the Serbs' presence would "enrage Muslims,"
but because of everything that has happened between the Serbs
and the Empire in the past decade or so.
that is precisely what the ruling cabal in Belgrade had in
mind when it made the offer: that an offer of cannon fodder
to Washington could somehow overcome a decade of demonization.
There is little chance of that, but it is far more likely
that many of those who go will never return.
to the New
York Times, the US wanted "combat troops ready to
take casualties," and the Dossie sycophants were happy to
oblige. Serb troops would be based in Kandahar, a region rife
with Muslim militants along the Pakistani border. The location
makes casualties a certainty.
here is a defeated, dismembered, brainwashed, demonized and
disappearing nation, offering its young men as a blood levy to its conqueror
yet again. And the Empire-worshipping vermin have the nerve
to claim it as a success!
the whole affair is even worse. Not only will Serbian troops
be soldering thousands of miles from their homeland, for NATO
which bombed them in 1999 and still occupies a portion of
their country they will do so under German command.
Germany cruelly occupied Serbia from 1915 to 1918. Hitler's
Germany did it again between 1941 and 1944, massacring entire towns
and sponsoring a genocidal Croat regime
that slaughtered Serbs wholesale. The current German government
was a most enthusiastic supporter of the 1999 Kosovo war.
only are Germans not contrite about any of this, especially Kosovo,
their Chancellor sees nothing wrong with coming to visit
Serbia later this month. Schroeder must have figured that
since French President Chirac and former NATO GenSec Javier
Solana have already triumphantly paraded through Belgrade,
he might as well follow their example.
the DOS regime - remnants of a foreign-backed putsch led
by the deposed
and the dead
is welcoming him with open arms. Go figure.
their fraudulent claims of international respect, Dossie groveling
before the Empire is inversely proportional to the amount
of favor Serbia enjoys in Washington. It is obvious that the
current rulers of Serbia are obsessed with winning and staying
in Empire's good graces, no matter the cost (to their subjects,
not them personally). However, they are by no means alone
in this obsession. In the minds of former Yugoslavs and
many other a nation in the world even the illusion of Washington's
blessing equals the divine dispensation of ancient kings.
example is the recent visit of the Bosnian Croat leader and
chairman of Bosnia's tri-partite Presidium to the US,
during which he met with government officials, Croat lobbyists
and supporters in Congress. Soon thereafter, a professional
Croat apologist published a commentary
in the Washington Times, urging support for Croatia's
annexation of Bosnian Croat lands and its role as a "bulwark of Christianity"
against the bloodthirsty Muslim terrorist hordes and mass-murdering
there were several morsels of truth, and even an inkling of
logic, somewhere in the middle of the specious screed. They
were wrapped in such exaggerated nonsense, though, that a
Reuters commentator had a field
day denouncing it all as malicious fabrications.
In a piece co-written by one Muslim and two Albanian correspondents,
one Mr. Hamilton claims there is absolutely no terrorism in
the Balkans (ha!), while the paragons
of tolerance that are Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians
worship America with everlasting gratitude, rather than plot
its demise; those who claim otherwise are simply vile nationalists.
Of course, they say, both Muslims and Albanians know that
"tolerating extremism" would be the sure way to "kill U.S.
support for united Bosnia and Kosovo's hopes of independence
So there is such support, then? There goes plausible
deniability. Fervor often makes for such rash confessions.
military power has established the Empire as the supreme arbiter
in the former Yugoslavia, much as Tito used to be in the Old
Days. Eagerness to gain the hegemon's favor is a natural reflex
of servile governments, perfectly exemplified by the current
ex-Yugoslav regimes. To compensate for their international
sniveling, they are predictably callous and abusive towards
their own populations.
points to the conclusion that foreign policy of Yugoslavia's
successors has become focused solely on currying favor with
the Empire. Those who have such favor (Bosnian Muslims, Albanians)
seek to keep it, those who lost it (Croats) seek to regain
it, and those who didn't have it at all (Serbs) seek to gain
it. Such is this obsession that even former representatives
of Imperial power such as Clinton, Holbrooke and Kouchner,
are worshipped by groveling vassals when they drop by for
whatever the ex-Yugoslavs do will make little difference.
Certainly, there is no shortage of kind words for the sycophants,
but the Empire always ends up doing whatever favors the expansion
of its power at any given moment. Some high-ranking individuals
may harbor paid sympathies that color their actions and judgment,
but the machine as a whole is indifferent to anyone's cause
but its own.
cause has already destroyed the lives of many Balkan inhabitants,
even as it has enriched their petty tyrants. But it is only
a matter of time before those tyrants learn that Imperial
support won't always be there, and to their great detriment.
Please Support Antiwar.com
520 S. Murphy Ave., Suite #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Contribute Via our Secure Server
Credit Card Donation Form
contributions are now tax-deductible