by Justin Raimondo
THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
The United States will inflict a "nightmare" on Serb troops, declared Jamie Shea, as Apache helicopters entered the fray. Long thought to be an indication that the much-heralded ground war is imminent, the arrival of the Apache helicopters was being touted by NATO as the beginning of the end for Slobodan Milosevic until one crashed in a test flight just outside of Tirana airport. The two pilots escaped with minor injuries, but the real damage was to the Apache and the overweening pride of the NATO-crats. This war is a nightmare sure to horrify all the combatants, as Jamie Shea will soon learn to his sorrow.
Yet another nightmarish aspect of this war: while NATO's bombing of Montenegro has stopped only recently, from day one of this crisis the Allies have pledged to defend this tiny republic of mountains and beaches. The delicate balance of power in the last remaining region other than Serbia in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, is being rapidly undermined by the war here is the flashpoint that could easily ignite the first battles of the ground war. As Federal troops move into the Montenegrin port city of Bar, Yugoslavia's only seaport and the main route for the transport of oil imports, the country is on the brink of civil war. With a significant pro-Yugoslav minority, and a government that is decidedly pro-Western, Montenegro's occupation by Yugoslav government forces is bound to provoke a strong response from NATO.
THE DRASKOVIC FACTOR
The decision to intervene with federal troops in Montenegro is meeting opposition on the home front in Belgrade, where there is a campaign to persuade Yugoslav Army reservists not to serve in the occupying forces. The big news is the sudden ascension of Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic as an open opponent of Slobodan Milosevic. In an interview with Studio B, the television station of his Serbian Renewal Party, Draskovic called on Milosevic to "stop lying to the people of Serbia and finally tell them the truth. The people should be told that NATO is not facing a breakdown, that Russia will not help Yugoslavia militarily, and that the world public opinion is against us." He also suggested that the government might accept a UN peacekeeping force that could include members of NATO nations, and that this is the gist of a deal brewing, with both Milosevic and Russian special envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin in favor of it. Draskovic denies that there is a struggle for power within governing circles. However, when two Yugoslav Army officers paid a visit to the offices of Studio B and announced that the new editor-in-chief is going to be an Army colonel, Draskovic declared he would take his struggle to the streets. The leader of the Serbian Renewal Party is a voluble man, a poet and a writer who sees himself as the defender of Serbian history and the national mystique; he was a leader of the street protests that almost toppled Milosevic a few years ago. NATO is seizing on Draskovic's dramatic dissent as the first big crack in the Belgrade leadership, but he is unlikely to lead such a massive street protest in the midst of a war. The war has fatally undermined the Yugoslav opposition, as long as the ever-escalating bombing campaign continues. Here is a good reason for a bombing pause: to give the democratic opposition the breathing space to mobilize and usher in a new government that can bring peace to the region. Before we commit 200,000 troops and untold billions to a bloody war, let us pause on the brink and make a sincere effort at a negotiated peace. Allied government officials were celebrating what the British Prime Minister's office called "outright dissent in the heart of Milosevic's regime" but whether that dissent will be extinguished is a decision that is in their hands and no one else's.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . .
The opening paragraph of a CNN news story on the influx of Kosovars into the U.S. tells the whole story: "Thousands of Kosovars, having faced disease, hunger and miserable weather in refugee camps in the Balkans, could soon have new challenges where to find work, housing, and public assistance in the United States." According to the story, "The refugees will be able to receive federal housing, health and job assistance benefits," along with automatic green cards. "They are eligible for welfare," says Patricia Callahan of Catholic Charities, "but obviously we are not going to encourage them to take that as a first step." This brings to mind the comments of a Serbian-American demonstrator at the April 24 Washington rally against the war: "The ethnic Albanian people in Kosovo lived better than most minority groups in other countries," said Alex Djuric, formerly of Kosovo and now hailing from Cleveland. "They had free housing, they didn't pay taxes, they didn't pay water bills, they didn't pay utility bills, they didn't do anything. They lived off the state for free." Already, large numbers of Kosovars have abandoned their beloved homeland, after shedding the requisite amount of tears, and decided to let the American state pick up their bills and why shouldn't they bring their customs and traditional culture with them? Isn't that what multiculturalism is all about?
The NATO summit not only brought together the world's leading war-makers, it also turned out to be a cosmic convergence of the world's leading socialists. As the Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema put it at a meeting sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council, and attended by the center-left leaders of the NATO powers including Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok the "big problem" they all face concerned a certain shyness about a single word. "There are words that in your civilization in your history, sound difficult to understand or to accept," said D'Alema. "For example, we belong to the Socialist International, and I'm aware that this word is somewhat sensitive here and I can see that we have avoided pronouncing this word here. But we should prevail over this fear of words." Clinton was quick on his feet: "I'm not sure I would have you here, Massimo," he said, "if I were running for reelection." These gathered representatives of the "Third Way" the midway point between capitalism and socialism celebrated as the Left's answer to neoliberalism and free-market ideology may have been slightly embarrassed by the mention of the "s"-word, but none disdained it; D'Alema, up until relatively recently a follower of the Third (or Communist) International, rather than the Second, is merely less discreet than his British, German, and Dutch comrades.
ROTHBARD WAS RIGHT
That the leading socialists of our era are also constitute the high command of the War Party merely underscores the truth of what Murray N. Rothbard said in his famous 1993 speech to the John Randolph Club about the death of Communism: "Though Marxism-Bolshevism is gone forever, there still remains, plaguing us everywhere, its evil cousin: call it 'soft Marxism,' 'Marxism-Humanism,' 'Marxism-Bersteinism," 'Marxism-Trotskyism,' well, let's just call it 'Menshevism' or 'social democracy.' Social democracy is still here in all its variants, defining our entire respectable political spectrum, from advanced victimology and feminism on the left over to neoconservatism on the right. We are now trapped, in America, inside a Menshevik fantasy, with the narrow bounds of respectable debate set by various brands of Marxists. It is now our task, the task of the resurgent Right, to break those bonds, to finish the job, to finish off Marxism forever."
OF THE WAR PARTY: