October 31, 2002
Scandals Are Deadly Experiments
Serbs are arming Saddam Hussein's drive for world domination.
it sounds like a plot of a pathetic spy caper, that's because
it does. But even Hollywood flacks, who habitually
insult the intelligence of American moviegoers, would
never dare stoop this low. It just wouldn't sell. Unsurprisingly,
this particular plot was written in Washington, where no one
cares a whit about the audience. After all, they have no
choice but to listen and obey.
potentates greatly respect the power of human gullibility,
but they also know its limitations. Once in the right frame
of mind, people will believe the most outrageous things
but only up to a point. Rabid warmongering propaganda may
have succeeded in confusing Americans to the point where most
of their opposition to invading Iraq or conquering the world,
for that matter is technical in nature, but it still exists.
Lo and behold, to carry them over that threshold of disbelief
comes a scandal: "Iraq-Serbia."
And Missiles Imaginary
hit a snag in their efforts to resurrect Saddam Hussein's
nefarious reputation they'd crafted in the early 1990s, Imperial
City producers decided to bring in a 'supporting villain'
that might still be fresh in people's minds.
Says Two Serb Firms Are Helping Iraqis," declares
the Washington Post, adding
four days later, "New Yugoslav-Iraqi Ties Alleged: U.S.
Says Defense Firms Developing Cruise Missile for Baghdad."
The Guardian, always eager to score a few Serb scalps,
chimed in: "Serbs Helping Iraq Build Cruise Missile,
US Says," announced
an October 28 headline.
best lies always contain a kernel of truth. It is entirely
plausible and probably true that both the Bosnian Serbs and
Belgrade had done business with Iraq at the time when they
were both under a US-sponsored UN blockade, and maybe even
after that. The old Yugoslavia had traded with Iraq a lot.
So did Britain, France, China, Russia, and not the least of
all, the US. But spare parts for aircraft engines don't make
a good plot point, especially since the Iraqi air force hasn't
flown in years.
a ship full of powder, originating in Montenegro and impounded
by Croatian authorities. The mysterious powder, US officials
claim, is fuel for cruise missiles the Wicked Serbs have been
developing for Evil Saddam!
course, there is a theoretical possibility that the charge
might be true. But it makes no sense. If the Serbs had the
technology to build cruise missiles, wouldn't they have used
it by now? Some such missiles could have definitely come in
handy during the NATO attack in 1999, for instance. Just as,
if that uranium
fuel seized from Vinca Labs a few months back really had
been bomb-worthy, Serbia could have joined the nuclear club
years ago and NATO would have found someone else to occupy
the New York Times usually a rabid Serb-baiter
took a decidedly low-key approach to the matter. "Yugoslav
Aides Are Fired for Sale of Fighter-Jet Parts to Iraq,"
an October 24 article, noting that the case "appears
to focus on the violation of the United Nations arms embargo
rather than the military significance of any sales."
those were hypothetical missiles Saddam "might"
use one day
instructive is the way the charges have been met in Bosnia
and Serbia. The government in Belgrade, always overeager to
please its masters, has sacked several high-ranking officials
in charge of the defense industry, and promised "full
cooperation" whatever that means. Tuesday's Belgrade
daily Glas Javnosti reported an optimistic prediction
by one Prvoslav Davinic, Serbian coordinator for the Balkans
Stability Pact, that the scandal would accelerate Serbia's
entry into NATO's Partnership for Peace program, because a
crackdown on arms dealers would demonstrate its commitment
Pact was established after the Kosovo War, to bring all the
Balkans vassals into Empire's fold. Obviously, anyone associated
with it would lead in the worship of Imperial overlords
but Davinic's attitude is reflected by most Serbian government
officials. They know which side their bread is buttered on,
and it's not the side of the Serbian people
Bosnia, where the entire sordid affair started,
Muslim politicians are using the affair to again call for
abolition of the Serb Republic. A commentator for Sarajevo
daily Oslobodjenje minced no words in calling the Serb
Republic "a paradigm (sic) of aggression, genocide, war
profiteering and plunder."
though Viceroy Ashdown shares their desire for a unified Bosnian
State, he apparently decided to curb their enthusiasm, by
reportedly suggesting that some Muslim and Croat factories
have engaged in not-so-legal arms trade as well.
intensity of the fallout comes as a surprise to the Imperials
themselves, then. They forgot that, in the Balkans, nothing
is simple. Even the tiniest attempts at manipulation create
Arms Traders, And Theirs
for example, the infamous "Washington sniper," who
killed ten people in the Imperial City just this month. On
October 20, days before the arrest of a Gulf veteran suspected
of the spree, Stacy Sullivan penned a paean
to gun control for the New York Times, illustrating
the ease of purchasing sniper rifles in the US by describing
in great detail and sympathetically how Albanian expatriates
armed the terrorist KLA in Kosovo and Macedonia. This
is why NATO couldn't stop the smugglers, just as it had said
in 2001. It couldn't have deployed troops in New Jersey.
it ironic that the Empire is now in furor over alleged Serb
arms trade with Iraq, though its own citizens were arming
terrorists in the Balkans? But of course, the KLA were our
Future Is Now
entire cheap melodrama about alleged arms smuggling diverts
attention from other experiments in the Balkans Laboratory.
For instance, expect new Imperial conquests to be treated
with a heavy dose of democracy a religious
practice brimming with mysticism but utterly devoid of
meaning and elections, the main ritual of this strange religion.
Bosnia has had seven, Kosovo three; one for every year they've
even if the ritual does not unfold exactly as planned, the
Empire always makes sure it fits the predetermined outcome,
even if some of the results need to be adjusted,
as it is currently happening in Bosnia. Praising the elections,
the outgoing head of the UN mission, Jacques Klein, shared
prediction with his bosses the Security Council last week:
nationalists' strong showing created 'a more challenging political
environment that will require strong intervention and continued
commitment' on the international community's part." (Reuters)
intervention and continued commitment. Music to Empire's ears.
Fate of Heretics
important is the ballot religion, that anyone refusing to
participate is deemed a heretic, persecuted and punished.
Such is the fate of Kosovo Serbs, who boycotted
last weekend's municipal election, having realized albeit
belatedly that it would only legitimize Albanian domination
of the NATO-occupied province. Refusing to go along with their
captors is just about the only recourse they still have, since
appeals to NATO's humanity, international law, UN resolutions,
and common sense have all failed. But don't expect the Empire
glimpse of its rage was apparent in a recent
Reuters report about a political murder perpetrated by
Albanians. Even though the elections serve to justify their
claims for independence, some Albanians still honor the gods
of violence when the ballot gods fail them. A former KLA leader
by his comrades a day after the vote, presumably for daring
to represent a rival party. Yet somehow it's the Serbs' fault.
Well, isn't everything?
Serbs who did vote thus supported "hardliners skeptical
of Serb-Albanian coexistence," while the boycott hurt
"U.N. efforts to integrate Serbs into the political scene
and overcome ethnic divisions threatening further violence."
These are mere prevarications, of course. The real bald-faced
lies go something like this:
motivated killings have diminished since the United Nations
and NATO took control of the Yugoslav province three years
that's exactly what the Reuters article said. No wonder it
ended with a despicable comment that US bombing "ended
a near century of Serbian dominance," lifted straight
out of the KLA manifesto.
The Balkans, Tomorrow The World
by their apparent successes in the Balkans, Empire's mad scientists
social managers, to be precise plot on, convinced somehow
that they will succeed where everyone before has failed. Iraq
is just the first step, the "cruise missile" affair
just a casus
belli. The Balkans, having served as a laboratory
for experiments in Imperial intervention, will now become
for the world.
the unconvinced, there is Viceroy Ashdown's own confession,
on the pages of the New York Times this past Monday:
will look back on our engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina
as the first faltering step toward a doctrine of international
community. Bosnia will be seen as a new model for international
intervention one designed not to pursue narrow national
interests but to prevent conflict, to promote human rights
and to rebuild war-torn societies. We are already applying
the lessons of Bosnia in Kosovo, East Timor and Afghanistan.
Perhaps they will be applied in Iraq as well."
almost makes this column seem superfluous.
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