Christine Stone practised at the English Bar as a lawyer specializing in crime and civil liberties before setting up the British Helsinki Human Rights Group with a number of academic and journalist colleagues in 1992. She has written for a number of publications including The Spectator and Wall Street Journal on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Her column now appears Thursdays on Antiwar.com.
Archived Antiwar.com articles by Christine Stone
The ideologists of the New World Order like to wrap themselves in the rhetoric of liberty and tolerance, but one of the most striking features of the post-Communist age has been the death of diversity of opinion. Even in wartime America or Britain the media offered a more varied diet of views than today. Ironically, despite the phenomenal growth of new newsgathering and disseminating technologies the commercial media are less diverse in what they offer to the public than ever before. A synthetic and purely technological choice is on offer in most Western democracies today when the individual citizen seeks to get information about the world whether from the electronic or print media.
The new conformism of Western journalism has many sources and hacks have always existed who recited what their masters wanted to hear, but the fact that media moguls seem in harmony about how to interpret the upheavals since 1989 leaves no space for dissent or even information which challenges received wisdom.
Tolerance is supposedly one of the foundations of a free society but rarely before can the holding of opinions at variance with the majority view have met with such hostility. Debating different points of view has died out in much of the Western media. Instead silence if you are lucky is the nearest thing to dissent, and abuse and threats are the response if you hit too raw a nerve.
To suggest that things are not as they seem; that journalists are wrong, manipulated or led astray, that there could be another point of view is anathema in the corridors of power of the new world order. But, rather than argue their case the upholders of the NWO simply resort to abuse.
But their abuse is very revealing about their mentality and motivations.
A letter arrived at Antiwar.com last week accusing me of being "in the pay" of Vladimir Meciar for daring to say that the former Slovak prime minister was not the personification of evil. It is an interesting charge. It suggests that no-one can depart from the received wisdom except for the most sordid motives of personal gain. It raises the question: Do advocates of the NOW's line do so out of conviction or for the pay-check? For the record there is precious little loot in writing articles which Rupert Murdoch or Katherine Graham won't print!
The charge that anyone doubting Meciar's guilt as proven by innuendo and abuse in the New York Times is a paid agent of the retrograde Slovak is nothing new. As someone who has looked into human rights abuses in the former communist world over the past 10 years abuse has been all too frequent for coming to different conclusions to other human rights groups. Either one is "paid" or "right-wing" sometimes "Communist" and in the pay of the KGB or, in one of the most extreme cases, a cocaine addict – again, being "paid" to fund my habit.
This relentless insinuation that dissent equals mercenary propagandist is, however, a far cry from how things were during the Cold War. Apologists for both Communist China and Russia and even Enver Hoxha's Albania were given a sympathetic hearing in the Western media, particularly the establishment press. Then there were the fellow-travellers with their heroes of the peoples liberation struggles from Nicaragua to Vietnam. Finally, there were those prepared to defend the activities of terrorist groups like ETA, the IRA and the Shining Path. It is a fact that it would be easier to publish an article defending Gerry Adams or Abimael Guzman than anything even vaguely sympathetic to Vladimir Meciar or Albania's Sali Berisha.
Much of the present state of affairs comes from the staggering rise of human rights organizations over the past ten years. This would be a good thing if there was, at least, some diversity. But, all well-known human rights groups agree with one another and with the agenda of the new world order be it Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or the International Helsinki Federation as well as their more specific fellow travellers, like the Committee to Protect Journalists.
This may not be entirely accidental. Although these organizations are supposedly "non-governmental" they often receive a major part of their funding from tax-paid bodies like the European Union or governmental agencies such as USAID. Western embassies also punt in the cash at local level. Representatives in various foreign lands are always at hand to fill the visiting journalist in with the appropriate spin. It is hardly surprising that there are virtually no cases where these groups have stepped seriously out of line.
The situation would not be so depressing if the victims of the New World Order recognized their common plight. But, the opposite is the case. Most, if not all, think that they alone are the ones being targeted. Not only do they not see a pattern at work most also believe the propaganda that is directed at everyone else, only they themselves are mysteriously victims of a hostile press. Were they able to present a common front it might counteract some of the worst excesses. But a petty provincialism seems to rule.
Divide and rule is the recurrent strategy of the Clintonistas. They have seen it work time and again. From their mastery of the terms of domestic debate inside the United States, they have turned their triangulation technique to devastating effect abroad. The whole gamut of total media onslaught is deployed: first the attack dogs of the NGOs set up a howling about the target country, then the establishment media rush in to repeat the charges in a deafening chorus, then the international agencies and alliances move in for the kill. The victim is left isolated and bewildered most of all by the speed and ferocity of the attack. After all, the victim has often been one of Uncle Sam's favourites until the sudden turn.
Precisely because all the other target states on the hit list also figure as US allies, they cannot comprehend the sinister nature of the onslaught. If country X is attacked by the USA then it must be at fault.
When it was pointed out to a Peruvian that the present onslaught against President Fujimoro is also underway in neighbouring Venezuala he couldn't see the connection. After all, Peru is perceived as being on the "right" Chavez on the "left." What could the connection possible be?
Time and again I tried to point out to various Slovak officials that the attacks of their country were similar to those made against former president Sali Berisha's Albania. The response was curt: Slovakia is a European country. It couldn't possibly be compared to a Balkans' basket-case like Albania. The same thing occurred when the subject of Belarus came up. To admit any similarity between the kinds of criticisms levelled against the government in Minsk and that in Bratislava was beyond the pale. In fact, Slovakia readily agreed to withdraw its ambassador from Minsk under EU pressure. None of this helped Slovakia rehabilitate itself with the famed international community. The attacks continued until the Meciar government was defeated at the polls in 1998.
One of the worst examples is the seemingly irreconcilable positions of the partisans in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia. In December 1999 Yugoslav prime minister Momir Bulatovic told a meeting in Belgrade that Croatia basked in the glow of US approval – a staggering failure to appreciate the status quo as one has ever heard. The US had been consistently opposed to the Tudjman regime from 1990 onwards only using the Croats as allies on an ad hoc basis to further its policies in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Both Bosnia and Croatia themselves joined in the chorus of approval when NATO attacked Kosovo. No doubt, many people had good reason for wanting to see the Serbs given a bloody nose. But the outcome of the war in Kosovo has not only reduced Serbia's sovereignty it also threatens their own fragile hold on independence. A south-east European federation undepinned by the EU's stability pact looks set to return them all to something not unlike the former Yugoslavia.
The New World Order has, as it were, many mansions. It knows which buttons to press in order to produce the required shouts of disapproval from both Right and Left. The Clintonistas analyse humanity like so many of Pavlov's dogs. They know our prejudices and knee-jerk reactions better than we do ourselves. When it comes to discrediting and isolating an opponent, their global propaganda machine always goes for the jugular by drawing on the instincts of the (despised) majority.
For example, Americans, in particular, are likely to treat anyone as beyond the pale if there is even a suggestion of Islamic fundamentalism. Bosnia has consistently suffered from disinformation on this front as did Berisha's Albania where rumours of Bin Laden supporters being at large were used to bring the country into disrepute. But this can work both ways: the hysterical response in the West to Islamic fundamentalism has been used very cleverly by the Russians to deflect criticism from their brutal suppression in Chechnya.
There is no serious opposition anywhere in the West at the moment. The Right has been reduced to a bunch of "Useful Idiots": the technique is a masterpiece of Leninist slight of hand because, as Lenin taught, it sets one set of enemies at the throat of another. Throughout the later 1990s the Western Right has revealed itself as not only the Stupid Party par excellence, but increasingly as a suicidal one too. Whenever Clinton's White House has let slip the dogs of a media beat, traditionally right-wing newspapers and Republican Senators have been in the lead running along with the baying pack.
Both Republicans and Democrats are united in their attacks on Fujimori's Peru. But, what or who do they want to replace him? Have they considered the possibility that his departure, in less than transparent circumstances, could lead to a revival of hard-line terrorist movements and an increase in drug production?
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair must have a hearty laugh when they listen to Lady Thatcher or Bob Dole rallying the right to the New Left's cause as they did during the Kosovo crisis. The cynical use of patriotism by the New World Order governments in the USA and Britain to mobilise soldiers to fight for the destruction of national sovereignty is a marvel of our time. "Support our boys in action" has become the last testament of conservative politicians urging troops on to destroy national sovereignty and the fundamentals of Western civilization in the name of global values.
No doubt, they are even now cheering on the latest proposals by the "right-wing" government in Bulgaria to declare the Communist government in power between 1944 and 1989 as "illegitimate" and to remove the statute of limitations on prosecutions of its members. The fact that such legislation presents a serious threat to the rule of law, civil liberties – as well as common sense – will, I am sure, escape them.
It is difficult to see a light at the end of this particular tunnel. Perhaps someone, somewhere will stand up to the new world order and put a line in the sand. But, it may only come from unexpected quarters. There is more hope for a messiah to appear in somewhere like Africa where no one either expects or wants entry into one of the clubs like the EU or NATO than in the increasingly, politically dead West.
A contribution of $25 or more gets you a copy of Justin Raimondo's Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against US Intervention in the Balkans, a 60-page booklet packed with the kind of intellectual ammunition you need to fight the lies being put out by this administration and its allies in Congress. All contributions are tax-deductible. Send contributions to
Back to Antiwar.com Home Page | Contact Us