Today is that most holy day in the American statist pantheon, when millions of believers gather at makeshift temples and wait in lines to worship the State. (What, you didn’t know I hated Democracy? After this? Come on!) Even though this election is being pitched as “crucial” and “fateful” – which one isn’t? – regardless of which New England patrician gets to be the new Emperor, nothing will fundamentally change in the way the Empire works.
Yes, Emperor JFK would likely staff his cabinet with Balkans warmongers, and reignite conflict in the region, just like Candidate JFK promised. And yes, Candidate JFK did take donations from the KLA. And yes, this is why many American Serbs are voting for Bush, just as many Albanians, Croats and Bosnian Muslims are voting for Kerry.
But as British interventionist Brendan Simms points out in The Times, Clinton’s Balkans interventions had enthusiastic neocon support: do names Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith mean anything? Richard Holbrooke’s memoir notes how he went to Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle to get help with putting together the Dayton Agreement.
Washington’s Balkans policy over the past 15 years has never been purely Democratic or Republican, but Imperial. And no matter who is at its helm, the Empire needs its “good wars”, and isn’t about to admit to lies and aggression. Hasn’t the Bush reign demonstrated this over and over so far?
I’m not endorsing anyone; in fact, I wish they would all lose (if only that were an option!). Neither Americans nor Serbs, Croats, Albanians or Muslims really need an Emperor, or an Empire, regardless of what they currently believe. But it’s an Emperor we’re all going to get.
H.L.Mencken called Democracy “a theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
But does anyone really deserve this?