Edifice of Lies
Balkans Tragedy to Build, Justify Empire
by Nebojsa Malic
Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941 unleashed a maelstrom
of pent-up violence between its people. Four bloody years
later, the Communists emerged as the new power in the Balkans,
reshaping Yugoslavia to their liking. Legacies of wartime
carnage and genocide were shoved into hibernation, and Tito's
regime proceeded to create its own inter-ethnic conflicts
for the next 45 years.
Communism and Yugoslavia
imploded in 1990 largely as a result of those 45 years of
controlled ethnic strife, defrosting the World War Two blood
feuds and ideologies in the process. The resulting conflagration
again brought forth an outside force that exploited the conflict
for the sake of its own objectives, caring not a whit about
the combatants and their causes.
the Nazis, who regarded the Balkans as a peripheral nuisance,
the fin-de-siècle Empire saw it as the centerpiece
of the New World Order, a place where its global hegemony
could be forged more easily, and in better spotlight, than
in the deserts of Mesopotamia (though the road led there eventually).
Much like the Communists half a century before, the Empire
presented itself as a "liberator," and proceeded
to trample all over the locals in the name of "higher
interests." Just like the Communists, it established
a structure based on lies and conflict while proclaiming a
desire for stability and peace.
of Imperial control range from media
manipulation and brute force to quasi-judicial falsifications
of history. The Hague Inquisition's "indictment"
of Slobodan Milosevic in the midst of NATO's 1999 attack on
his country was not the first clue that this "court"
was a political creation of the Powers That Be, only the most
obvious. Now there are more.
week's indictments of four Serbian military and police officials
were an attempt to pressure Serbia into giving up Kosovo,
says Christopher Deliso of Balkanalysis.com:
West is once again using the Hague Tribunal as a way of taking
the pressure off. It hopes to use it both to direct attention
elsewhere and to pressure the Serbs into quicker concessions."
to Deliso, the Empire isn't really interested in occupying
Kosovo much longer, and wants to move on. Albanians are building
up the pressure for recognition of their conquest. On the
other hand, Serbia's insistence on law and territorial integrity
is seen as an obstacle. Since the Serbs already have the image
of villains, and their government is illegitimate, spineless
and weak, clobbering the Serbs into submission yet again while
appeasing the aggressive Albanians seems to be the current
plan. This explains why the KLA enjoys
Imperial protection, even when evidence of their bestiality
Hague has proven itself to be a joke, acting only to protect
the UNMIK forces on the ground from Albanian reprisals."
would be bad enough if ICTY's purpose was just to cover for
the unjust occupation of Kosovo and protect its "liberators"
from the thugs they "liberated." But the Inquisition
goes much further, trying the blame the entire decade of wars
and violence on
Serbs as a people, and the governments led by Slobodan
Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic as their representatives.
step in that effort was Lord David Owen's testimony earlier
this week, a topic of many tendentious reports. Most news
stories focused on Owen's accusation that Milosevic had the
power to force the Bosnian Serbs to accept a controversial
peace agreement, but failed
to use it. So apparently, Milosevic's sin was not interference
in Bosnia's affairs as the Tribunal and legions of his detractors
have charged all along but lack thereof! Yet in cross-examination,
Owen admitted Milosevic's influence over Bosnian Serbs decreased
dramatically after 1993.
AP piece claimed that a remark of Milosevic's in 1993 showed
"anticipated" Srebrenica, and did nothing to
stop it. But Owen said no such thing. Here is what he did
say, according to The
feared that if the Bosnian Serb troops entered Srebrenica
there would be a bloodbath because of the tremendous bad blood
that existed between the two armies."
A Bosnian Muslim journalist, writing in 1993, provides an
explanation. Amidst exaggerated claims about starving patriots
fighting barefoot with pipe-guns to steal food for their famished
families, Haris Nezirovic writes:
victories lasted until January 27 when Bosnian units took
the key village of Skelani on the Serbian border. Then they
stopped. There were no more villages with food and the campaign
collapsed. For almost 11 months, the Bosnian army in Srebrenica
chalked up one victory after another." (The
charge Muslim forces in Srebrenica with murdering thousands
of civilians in this campaign, and at least 1000 more between
the summer of 1993 and 1995, while Srebrenica was under UN
protection. Milosevic was talking about angry Serb troops
taking revenge, and he was obviously not endorsing
it, but trying to prevent it from happening!
cited above also includes this "factoid":
prosecutors say the murders at Srebrenica were part of a plan,
designed by Milosevic and hardline nationalists in Belgrade,
to create a pure 'greater Serbia' empty of non-Serbs."
wonder their case is a wreck. Their main premise is utter
what exactly is David Owen's sin, given that his testimony
was twisted by the 'court' and the media? According to historian
Srdja Trifkovic of the Rockford Institute, though Owen accused
Milosevic of failing to stop the Bosnian war, that failure
was really his own. Owen accepted the illegal and unjust decision
to partition Yugoslavia along the Communist administrative
borders, fully aware that what he was doing was wrong:
one's own critical and moral judgment in favour of one's career
and personal vanity, or any other 'higher' reason, is the
hallmark of a bureaucrat, or of a war criminal. Owen is a
bit of both
according to Owen's own admission, the peace plan was deliberately
drafted against the Bosnian Serbs. Plus, Alija
Izetbegovic's regime accepted it only when it was obvious
the Serbs never would, thus cloaking themselves in trademark
is no fan of Slobodan Milosevic; indeed, he professes a desire
to see him "languish in jail," for reasons he elaborates
elsewhere. But "to that end Carla Del Ponte's is
the wrong indictment, The Hague the wrong court, and David
Owen the wrong witness."
challenged and truth-deprived as the Inquisition and its witnesses
may be, they are by no means the only ones thus afflicted.
Writing in the Washington Post on Tuesday, columnist
Richard Cohen invoked
the example of Bosnia to justify the ongoing disaster in Iraq:
overcoming the lessons of Vietnam (and reexamining the lessons
of the Holocaust)
the United States, leading NATO as it always
must, put an end to the Serbian rampage in the Balkans. This the
application of force to end a human rights nightmare was the
bottom line for me. The Balkans had proved it could be done.
The Balkans had proved that without U.S. leadership, nothing
would be done."
every contention in this passage is false. The lessons of
Vietnam were forgotten, not overcome. The memory of the Holocaust
into cheap propaganda. The "Serbian rampage"
existed only in the imagination of propagandists. The "human
rights nightmare" allegedly ended by American force actually
continues; the war is physically over, but in the hearts and
minds of the people affected, it is still raging. Bosnia was
not saved, but damned.
the last line is true. Without American involvement, there
would have been no war in Bosnia, or the occupation of Kosovo.
But that's not what Cohen had in mind.
also compared Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, calling
them "unmitigated evil." True, that is the essence
of statism but again, Cohen did not mean it that way. However,
even if Milosevic and Hussein are guilty of using violence
against their own people and neighbors, how is the US using
violence against scores of countries half the world away
in any position to judge them?
years ago, the same Richard Cohen suggested that "bagging"
wartime Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and Mladic could appease
the world's Muslims angry about the War on Terror. Forget
Osama bin Laden, "Osama bin Serb" is who we're after!
drivel merely confirms what has seemed obvious for quite some
time: the road to Babylon led
through the Balkans, where gradual intervention created
precedents that "justified" in 2003 what would have
seemed unimaginable in 1991.
Rendezvous with Entropy
is why, anxious as it may be to pull back men and money from
the Balkans, there is no sign that the Empire is giving up
on the conquered region. German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Belgrade and Zagreb last week. In addition to shilling for
NATO and the Hague Inquisition, he endorsed the incumbent
government in Croatia in the upcoming elections. Given that
Germany was instrumental in Croatia's recognition, Schroeder
might think he's entitled.
visitor to the region this week is American undersecretary
of State Marc
Grossman, on a mission to "underscore continuing
commitment" to continuing the failed policies practiced
might ask why the current Washington cabal is continuing the
Balkans policies of its predecessor, when it has had plenty
of chances to score political and real victories by reversing
them. Certainly, some people in both regimes have been sympathetic
to causes of certain Balkans factions, but that is only part
of the answer. The reason the Empire "cares" about
the Balkans may well be so its arbitrary, overwhelming force
to conquer the world could appear noble and humane to
those naïve enough to believe it.
very many do. Like the Communist Yugoslavia, the Empire
and the Balkans it created is an edifice of lies, kept together
by force in defiance of both human and natural law. But it
can only resist entropy for so long.
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