spokesman Jamie Shea today announced that "NATO deeply regrets the
loss of life to civilians from the attack yesterday on a convoy."
The pilot believed he had locked on to a military target, and "he
dropped his bomb in good faith," said Shea. In the godless New World
Order to which we are condemned, which abounds in blasphemy masquerading
as "irony," it is entirely possible to drop bombs "in good
the guardian of democracy, diversity, and European civilization, NATO
has shut down a Bosnian Serb television station on the grounds that the
station is "biased." According to an Associate Press story,
Kanal S must stop broadcasting because its coverage of the Kosovo
crisis is "inflammatory" and "inaccurate." The so-called
Independent Media Commission -- a NATO panel charged with ensuring that
there is no independent media in Bosnia -- issued the order to stop broadcasting.
The great crime of Kanal S, according to the AP report, was the
"the station has rallied to back fellow Serbs under attack."
Specifically, "the station has failed to report, for example, on
the tens of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees forced from their homes
by Milosevic's forces and has portrayed the Serbs as victims of NATO aggression."
In the name of "democracy" and "tolerance" the Bosnian
Serbs are being silenced for what they didn't say -- a new form
of censorship more sophisticated and far more odious than the old. Under
the old system, one was at least free to be silent; in the New World Order,
even passive protest is precluded.
OF THE WAR PARTY:
THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR
there has been a noticeable tone of genuine puzzlement in the steady stream
of letters that pour into antiwar.com. Many ask "What is this war
really all about?" Why Kosovo, they want to know, and why
now? The best short answer was given by Dick Morris, Clinton's one-time
wrote in the New York Post [April 6, 1999] that "in 1995,
Clinton told me, 'the liberals and the media are trying to get me into
a war in Bosnia. They have their reporters there, they run scenes of slaughter
and rape every night on TV. They are all internationalists who want to
start a war.' " Morris advised him to steer clear of these warmongers,
but tragically the President chose to bend to pressure rather than resist.
Was this the price he had to pay to avoid impeachment -- settling for
a legacy of war rather than pure ignominy?
spectacle of war has so far been missing the one essential ingredient,
the one touch that will give it the sense of a crusade, or at least something
more than the whim of a vice-addled Caesar: Such Beltway sages as David
Gergen had long been yelping for something more than a pep talk to inspire
the troops. I mean not the troops on the ground in Albania and flying
low over Kosovo, but the troops on the home front -- the coalition of
foreign lobbyists, professional "humanitarians," and neo-conservatives
who have been agitating for this war. Now that they have it, however,
they must sell it to the public, and Clinton's legendary persuasiveness
and his qualities as a performer are sorely needed. In spite of a few
manufactured polls to give his war policy the illusion of public support,
the margin of such support is razor thin. It was clear early on that he
needed to galvanize the public, but his few early attempts were tentative,
laconic, and distinctly uninspiring. Clearly, the President's heart was
not really in it; but as the war escalated, as talk of ground troops began
to be heard on Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle, the reluctant
his arguments in a speech to the American
Society of Newspaper Editors in San Francisco.
speech made clearer than ever that Dick Morris is right: the genesis of
this war is ideological. It is a war of the internationalists against
nationalism, of rootless cosmopolitans against what the President called
"a philosophy that teaches people to dearly love a piece of land
while utterly dismissing the humanity of those who occupy it." Long
on rhetoric, the President's speech is short on facts: the idea that Milosevic
was trying to build a "Greater Serbia" ignores the reality that
the Serbs already dominated the Yugoslav federation, a multiethnic federation
that the Albanian Kosovars want no part of. The ethnic cleansing of Serbs
from the Krajina and other regions of Bosnia is ignored, and they are
cast as the villains in a simplistic Balkan morality tale. Instead of
recognizing that the U.S. assault has seriously destabilized the entire
region, Clinton reverses cause and effect and maintains that the destabilization
caused the assault. But "ultimately," he averred, "the
conflict in Kosovo would spread anyway, and we would have to act anyway."
But is this necessarily so -- and, if so, why? No explanation is given,
because none exists. The reality is that the unraveling of the Balkan
fabric is already begun, with Macedonia well on the way to oblivion and
the rest of the region including Montenegro and northern Albania not far
from spinning the history of the war up until this point as a series of
uninterrupted triumphs, the President goes further back in history to
describe the early United States as "dominated by a principle of
nonintervention in the affairs of other countries, even when we strongly
disagreed." We are left to wonder "disagreed -- with what?"
but the President rushes blithely on: "Indeed, for most of our history,
we have worn the principle of nonintervention as a badge of honor, beginning
with George Washington's warning against entangling alliances." But
the wisdom of the Founders is outmoded, because "the 20th century
changed all that." Whether it was a change for the better, or for
the worse, is not clear; at any rate, we did not do it for territorial
gain, "but for peace and freedom, and security." No one can
accuse us of pursuing our own selfish national interests, says Clinton:
"When American did get involved, we were going with what at least
we thought was right for humanity." Who profited, and who lost, from
two world wars and a third in the making, is not a story that can be told
here, but it is fair to say that the mix of motives and special interest
groups that have involved the U.S. in a continuous imbroglio of wars and
skirmishes throughout this century were not entirely disinterested.
more the trumpets are sounding, and we are summoned to the barricades
with the following battle-cry: "Now, at the end of the 20th century,
we face a great battle between the forces of integration and the forces
of disintegration." Huh? But who represents what? If anyone represents
"integration," then it is the Yugoslav federalism embraced by
Milosevic and symbolized by Tito: it is the Albanians who are the champions
of ethnic particularism and separatism in this instance. But the polarities
do not stop there: we also have "the forces of globalism versus tribalism;
of oppression against empowerment" As for tribalism, the Albanians
embody the very concept of clannishness: even their houses, which are
built like fortresses, face inward, fortified compounds designed to keep
the world at bay. Clinton warbles on about "the central irony of
our time" which is supposed to be "the oldest demon": hatred
of "the other, those who are not like us." We cannot be indifferent
to Other-hatred, "at home or abroad" and "that is why we
are in Kosovo."
is so strange about this explanation is that it is not only at variance
with the facts, but it is the exact inverse of the reality. Against the
idea of a multiethnic Yugoslavia, the U.S. and NATO raise the specter
of ethnic particularism and "autonomy." Even more astonishingly,
the president then launches into a peroration about the former Soviet
Union and all the former Communist bloc nations, mentioning the sensitive
areas of the Ukraine and Moldova in what for the Russians must have sounded
like a deliberate provocation. Is Clinton warning the Russians that if
they interfere with his plans for Yugoslavia, they are next?
mendacity that runs through this entire exercise reaches its peak when
the President talks specifics: "What many Kosovars want is independence.
That is certainly understandable; after what they've been through, it's
only natural that they should equate sovereignty with survival."
But sovereignty, if you will remember, is reactionary in the world of
Clintonian globalism. With the unselfconscious arrogance of an Oriental
potentate, he announces that "I continue to think that it is not
the best answer." And that settles that.
what can only be described as an understatement of major proportions,
the President says that "Yugoslavia's long-suffering neighbors fear
that an independent Kosovo would be unstable, and that the instability
itself would be contagious." What he doesn't tell you is that the
source of all this suffering has been the Albanians, who have been agitating
for a Greater Albania for centuries, and whose comrades in Macedonia are
impatient to establish an Albanian enclave within the country. Added to
Kosovo and Albania proper, this would be the Greater Albania that is the
announced goal of our noble allies, the latest member of the new and expanded
NATO -- the Kosovo Liberation Army. Oh, but "the principle we and
our allies have been fighting for in the Balkans is the principle of multiethnic,
tolerant, inclusive democracy. We have been fighting against the idea
that statehood must be based entirely on ethnicity." But this is
a lie: in aiding the cause of the KLA, NATO-U.S. warplanes have been fighting
for precisely the opposite.
must forget its history, its pride, and such outdated ideas as national
sovereignty, and merge itself into the great Melting Pot of Europe, which
will then become a veritable potpourri of "ethnic and religious diversity."
The word "multiethnic democracy" is repeated three or four times,
like a mantra. Finally, Clinton's vision dissolves into a miasma of inchoate
imagery when he concludes that "in the long run, our goal for Kosovo
should not be independence, but interdependence." Whatever that means.
to a halt, like a top that has exhausted its momentum, the President insists
that the Balkan War should be "the last conflict of the 20th century,"
not "the defining conflict of the 21st century." But if that
is to be the case, then time's a-wastin'. Does he really mean to win the
war in 8 months? Unless we follow the advice of Pat Buchanan , Senator
Inhofe, Bob Smith, and Phyllis Schlafly, and get out now, this is one
quagmire that we won't escape until well past the millennium.
of $20 or more gets you a copy of my Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The
Case Against U.S. 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. Send contributions
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Make all checks payable to antiwar.com
Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is also the author
the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement
(with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the
Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996).
He writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.
He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard
(forthcoming from Prometheus Books).