Meanings of Madness
Nato's 'Accomplishments' in the Balkans
the Balkans, two weeks can pass like a day or like an eternity.
As television, the press and even the Internet increasingly
focus on Afghanistan, the peninsula drops off the news radar
barring some major calamity its inhabitants would rather
avoid. Over time, however, the numerous small and ignored
events open a way for such a calamity, making it seem sudden
and unpredictable. Most observers base their understanding
of the peninsula and especially the Yugoslav crisis
on calamities, thus missing the point entirely. For the devil,
as usual, is in the details.
as Popular Sentiment
for example, Macedonia. It has been over two months since
the Euro-American envoys forced the government to sign the
Treaty of Ohrid, pledging to institute preferential treatment
for Macedonia's seditious Albanians in exchange for the disbanding
of their "liberation army" (UCK) which NATO had
first labeled "terrorist," then accepted as peacemakers.
week, Macedonian police patrols finally returned to the villages
(still?) controlled by the UCK. Unlike normal police forces
anywhere in the world, they did not set up shop at the police
station, but merely
toured the villages and retreated at nightfall. By Tuesday
night, Albanians made
it abundantly clear what they thought of the police's
return, as explosions rocked both the local police station
and the municipal government building.
mind that the police visited their beat under escort of German
NATO peacekeepers and OSCE monitors nannies assigned to
make sure they do not "provoke" the violent separatists.
Even that much re-establishment of Macedonian statehood was
unacceptable. Given that OSCE is an organization dedicated
to "security," and that NATO was one of the guarantors
of the treaty, one would think both organizations would have
condemned the bombings. All the BBC reported, offhandedly,
from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
said the explosions caused superficial damage and injured
as long as they cause only superficial damage and injure no
one, bombs are a legitimate medium of political expression?
Neither OSCE, nor NATO, have claimed otherwise.
expression is certainly allowed to take many forms in the
Empire's most recent Balkans protectorate. Three weeks before
the scheduled elections for a "legislative assembly"
in Kosovo, offices and activists of two Albanian parties continue
to be targets or attacks. Just the other day, two men linked
to Ibrahim Rugova's LDK party were shot
dead, and another, former member of the original UCK ("Kosovo
Liberation Army") was wounded. Last week, an office of
the party led by former UCK commander Ramush Haradinaj "accidentally"
burned to the ground. The only party whose members and offices
have not been attacked is that of UCK's leader Hashim Thaci.
Under ordinary circumstances, this would have made him a prime
suspect. In NATO-occupied, UN-administered Kosovo, political
assassinations seem to be an acceptable form of democratic
all this, Kosovo Serbs must soon decide whether to take part
in the vote at all. The UN satrap would like them to participate,
and he plans to say so in a meeting
with Yugoslav President Kostunica in Belgrade today. If the
Serbs do vote, however, they will be giving legitimacy to
the already certain victory of Albanian separatists. Though
the UN is adamant that the assembly would not have the power
to organize a referendum on independence (so what exactly
is it for, then, except to waste taxpayers' money?), many
Serbs do not trust the world organization's assurances. They
have done so, and suffered the consequences, too many times
OSCE, which in addition to baby-sitting Macedonian police
also organizes Kosovo elections, says the Serb boycott would
As opposed to the current living conditions of the remaining
Serbs, who are confined to ghettoes enclosed by barbed wire
and guarded by NATO troops, lest Albanians shoot them, torch
their homes or blow them up.
the pride and joy of nation-builders throughout the Empire,
has been proving less than stellar recently. Just last week,
the US and UK embassies closed under threat of terrorist attacks.
Tuesday, after the arrests of five Algerians suspected
the country's Muslim leaders struggle to disassociate themselves
from religious militants who aided their cause during the
war, the other half of Bosnia has more pressing concerns.
Hospitals across the Bosnian Serb Republic (RS) closed Tuesday,
as health-care workers began
a general strike. Most health care in RS is government-owned
and funded from the state coffers, which currently stand rather
empty. Six years of foreign occupation and semi-colonial rule
by a series of "high representatives," along with
the imposed compromise solution to the country's ethnic enigma
(which was no solution at all), have resulted in little or
no economic recovery from the wartime devastation and prewar
International Crisis Group recently
issued a report advocating harsh measures against the
RS, even endorsing its destruction if that would prove feasible.
So far, however, the Imperial satraps in Sarajevo have already
censored the RS media, banned one political party, fired one
President and imposed two governments, not to mention arresting
two former presidents and one sitting government minister
on criminal charges. Its current government, which was almost
banned after the elections because the United States disliked
their outcome, is already broke. There is little else anyone
can do to hurt the Bosnian Serbs, short of wanton aggression.
Unfortunately, they just don't have the good sense to oblige
their imperial foes by practicing terrorism.
Day in Court
the appeals court of the Hague Inquisition released three
Croats from the village of Ahmici, who had been convicted
of war crimes in connection with the massacre that happened
there in 1993, after deciding their trial was "critically
flawed." Deeming the trial a "miscarriage of
justice," the ICTY appeals judges indicated that the
prosecution used unreliable and even conflicting witness reports,
that the trial judge ignored witness statements that helped
the defense, and that the case could not stand based on the
Bosnian Muslims from Ahmici did not care about legality
many interviewed by the AFP were witnesses in the trial, and
they were seething
over the release.
the same time, Yugoslavia pressed
charges against European NATO members at the European
Court of Human Rights, claiming that by bombing the offices
of the Serbian television network in 1999, these countries
violated the European Human Rights Charter. What is the NATO
members' defense? That Yugoslavia never signed the Charter,
so whatever the countries who did sign it did to Yugoslavia
surely must not have been a violation of human rights.
this, together. Elections that get overturned depending on
their outcome. Governments that cannot make decisions, but
only waste their impoverished people's tax money. Court cases
in which guilt or innocence is based solely on the identity
of the accused. Human rights defined as freedom to murder
police officers and be subsidized by the state in return.
Freedom of expression defined as setting off bombs. Terrorists
roaming free until they threaten to attack Americans.
exactly, did the Empire hoped to accomplish when it sent "peacekeepers"
into the Balkans, and set up two protectorates? To establish
peace, stability, democracy, freedom? If so, it failed. But
if the purpose was to weaken the EU, sideline the UN, reinvent
NATO, create precedent for worldwide intervention, occupation,
neocolonial protectorates and widespread violations of international
law and sovereignty
then the Balkans has been a magnificent
of Empire's former policymakers and pundits recently boasted
that Bosnia and Kosovo were examples of America "helping
Muslims." Yet how truthful is that? Instead of realizing
their war aims of an integrated Bosnia and an independent
Kosovo, respectively both the Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo
Albanians have to put up with NATO occupation and foreign
administration with near-unlimited powers.
is hard to see how the Empire's behavior in the Balkans could
help but have bearing on events elsewhere in the world, from
Somalia and Afghanistan to Colombia and Taiwan. But the message
is not one of commitment, consistency or conscience. What
the US and its allies have done in the Balkans so far only
shows belligerence, extreme dishonesty and hypocrisy, even
to the people they purportedly wish to help.