Backing up Globalization with Military Might

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Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:17 pm

Backing up Globalization with Military Might
by Karen Talbot
Covert Action Quarterly, Issue 68, Fall 1999

The U.S. and its NATO underlings undoubtedly will be vastly emboldened by their "success" in ensconcing themselves in Kosovo, Bosnia and the other remnants of Yugoslavia—Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia. We can expect rapid steps to further fragment the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). We can also expect the new mission of nuclear-armed NATO — intervening over so-called "humanitarian concerns" against sovereign nations—to be implemented elsewhere, with great speed, especially in the Caspian Sea/Caucuses areas of the former Soviet Union.

Burgeoning military alliances, with the U.S. at the helm, are likely to try intervening in a similar way against North Korea, China — any country refusing to be a "New World Order" colony by allowing its wealth and labor power to be plundered by the TNCs. The assault against Yugoslavia threw open the floodgates for new wars including wars of competition among the industrial powers, with nuclear weapons part of the equation.

President Bill Clinton recently praised NATO for its campaign in Kosovo saying the alliance could intervene elsewhere in Europe or in Africa to fight repression."We can do it now. We can do it tomorrow, if it is necessary, somewhere else," he told U.S. troops gathered at the Skopje, Macedonia airport. (1)

Given these scenarios, it is hardly surprising that Clinton and the leaders of the other NATO countries continue to glorify the aggression against Yugoslavia as "preventing a humanitarian catastrophe," "promoting democracy" and "keeping the peace "against a Hitler-like dictator who would not adhere to "peace" agreements. The public is being repeatedly assured that the means -the bombing of the people of Yugoslavia-were justified by the ends.

The ongoing media hype, including the unprecedented demonization of the Serbs, is designed to continue molding public opinion to accept the "justice" of the war. The unmistakable message is that the "Serbs got what they deserve." It also masterfully conceals, and therefore allows unimpeded momentum toward, the true goals behind the stepped-up saber-rattling of the world's super-power and its allies. This skillful disinformation campaign has been spectacularly successful in derailing sections of the traditional peace and progressive movement.

But, today, as never before, we need to tear away the mask of lies and disclose the real goals of this "new world order" imperialism and see clearly how it hurts workers and the poor within our own borders and globally. We need to see the ways in which military dominance increasingly works in close tandem with economic globalization, privatization and the drive for corporate super profits. This basic understanding is essential for paving the road to a powerful united worldwide resistence movement. Already, the U.S./NATO war against Yugoslavia has awakened millions of people to the ferocious nature of the U.S. corporate drive for world dominance. That process needs to be accelerated by exposing the palliatives designed to mislead the public and getting down to a true diagnosis which can help lead the peace and justice movement to an effective response. So let's examine some of the rationales for the war and then look at some of the real motives.

The Real Terrorists

Adding to the barrage or propaganda, the U.S. Senate recently labeled Serbia a "terrorist state." (2) What obscene hypocrisy! Yet another case of blaming the victim for the crimes of the perpetrator. What could be more "terrorist" than the relentless blitzkrieg with 23,000 "dumb" bombs and "smart" missiles rained upon Yugoslavia for 79 days by U.S.- led NATO forces? Is it not terrorism to casually drop upon civilians, from the sanctuary of thousands of feet in the air, or with terrain-hugging computer-guided missiles, radioactive depleted uranium weapons and outlawed cluster bombs designed to rip human flesh to shreds? Is it not terrorism to deliberately target the entire infrastructure of this small nation including the electrical and water filtration systems critical to the survival of civilians? Is it not terrorism to ferociously obliterate 200 factories destroy the jobs of millions of workers? What of the constant air assault-"fire from the sky"-against cities, villages, schools, hospitals, senior residences, TV towers and studios, oil refineries, chemical plants, electrical power plants, transmission towers, gas stations, homes, farms, marketplaces, buses, trains, railroad lines, bridges, roads, medieval monasteries, churches, historic monuments- destruction amounting to more than $100 billion dollars? What of the eco-terrorism, biological and chemical warfare, resulting from the incalculable destruction of the environment including the deliberate bombardment of chemical plants. Above all, is it not terrorism to kill, maim, traumatize, impoverish, or render homeless tens of thousands of men, women and children?

Not only was NATO's war a reprehensible act of inhumanity, it was in contravention of all norms of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.

It was an unprecedented war by the most powerful military force in history involving the 19 wealthiest nations with 95% of the world's armaments against a small sovereign nation that ultimately had little chance of countering such an attack. Given that reality, it was awe-inspiring to see the heroism of the peoples of Yugoslavia-a population of 10 million— standing up to such a mighty juggernaut.

"Humanitarian Crisis" Crusade
We were told this inhuman blitzkrieg was necessary to protect the human rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. People everywhere wanted to believe this noble purpose. Yet the most obvious and glaring contradiction was the absence of any similar concerns about hundreds of thousands of Serbs expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by the Croatian military, in 1995-described in the press as "the largest ethnic cleansing" of the Yugoslav civil war. (3)

Thousands died in that "Operation Storm." Not only did the United States not express compassion or offer to defend those refugees, the massive assault was carried out with the aid of "retired" U.S. military officers belonging to a "private" organization, Military, Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) with the help of U.S./NATO planes and weaponry. (4)

In fact, Agim Ceku, a brigadier general from the Croatian Army who presided over that colossal bombing and expulsion of Serbs from Krajina, beginning in 1993, took over command of the KLA in recent months, according to Jane Defense Weekly. Licensed by the U.S. State Department and Pentagon, the MPRI also had been operating in Kosovo training the KLA, beginning several weeks before the air strikes began. (5)

Rick Rowden, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, said "Americans should question the administration's stated objective to 'stop the killing' in Kosovo. [It] should give us reason to ask "Why can the U.S. support Croatian ethnic cleansing in Croatia but oppose Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo? The answer likely has little to do with 'stopping the killing' and much to do with the expansion of NATO and its post-Cold War global role." (6)

There were a million Serb refugees even before the bombing began. This terrible flood of human suffering was greatly augmented by refugees who fled Kosovo after the NATO attack was launched-Albanians, but also, Turks, Romas, Goranies, and Serbs (many of whom were refugees from Bosnia and Krajina, once again uprooted.) Now there is a vast exodus particularly of Serbs as the KLA's drive for an ethnically pure Kosovo is being played out swiftly while NATO troops stand by and take no steps to prevent it.

What of the human rights of the population of Yugoslavia which is confronted by appalling conditions following the U.S./NATO attack? People have no jobs, often no water and electricity, and face desperate circumstances in the coming winter, according to Jim Carlton, Secretary-General of the Australian Red Cross, who inspected the devastation in June. He said that NATO's air war had destroyed the basic industry resulting in massive unemployment and caused a serious refugee situation. "The humanitarian assistance that the Red Cross can get into Serbia is minuscule compared to the need," he said. (7)

In fact, there was no "humanitarian crisis" until NATO started bombing Yugoslavia, (including Kosovo) over an alleged "humanitarian crisis."

If protecting human rights was the purpose behind the bombardment why were there no similar actions, for example, over the genocide in Rwanda, or the tens of thousands killed in Angola, Mozambique, Guatemala, El Salvador or among the Kurds of Turkey? There were no threats to bomb on their behalf. What of millions of victims of the bombings and continuing sanctions-using the withholding of food and medicines as a weapon of war-against the people of Iraq? What of the embargo against the people of Cuba?

KLA Steps up Terrorist Attacks
The U.S. and NATO's hypocrisy over human rights is exposed especially since the occupation of Kosovo began on June 8. There has been intense persecution and expulsion of tens of thousands of Serbs, Romas, pro-Yugoslav ethnic Albanians and anyone targeted by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). This has included attacks on Serbian monasteries and churches, and assaults carried out while NATO troops watch and do nothing, which amounts to helping the KLA. The separatist KLA whose goal is an ethnically pure "Greater Albania." has been further entrenched-not "demilitarized" as required in UN Security Council resolution 1244 ending the bombing.

Yet, out of a total of $150 million appropriated for assistance for Kosovo, the Senate earmarked $20 million for training and equipping a security force "that its authors say could include the KLA," (8)

By the first of September, NATO and UN officials had agreed to the civilian force made up of "the remnants of the KLA." It will have 3,000 members with a military structure formed from the core KLA commanders. Gen. Agim Ceku, who makes no secret about this force as essential to achieving independence from Yugoslavia, said "We will build a new army in the future and the Kosovo Corps will be one part of it."

According to the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly one third of the Serbs in Kosovo had fled by early July. No longer are there any Serbo-Croat language television or radio programs. Broadcasting studios have been taken over by the KLA. Albanian and German currencies have replaced the Yugoslav dinar, postal links have been cut and a legal system is being set up without Belgrade's involvement. (9)

Human Rights Watch reported, "well over 164,000 Serbs have now fled Kosovo with a significant number of Romas. The intent behind many of the killings and abductions..appears to be the expulsion of Kosovo's Serb and Roma population." It said NATO and the UN "seem ill-equipped to stop the violence." (10) That number has escalated greatly in the interim, reaching proportions approaching the ejection of the entire Serb population.

A media release by UNCHR said "If emergency aid is not immediately provided to these people, 40-50 percent of whom are children under 16 years of age, UNCHR believes their situation could turn desperate when winter comes." (11)

There are myriad examples of the ongoing KLA rampage such as the plundering of Belo Polje which had been an entirely Serb village. Today it is in ruins. Soldiers wearing KLA uniforms murdered Serb civilians, then looted and torched the entire village, according t a reporter at the scene. NATO soldiers did nothing to stop the mayhem. (12)

Three hundred and fifty armed KLA troops seized the Belavic coal mine in Dobro Selo near Pristina-a mine that provides for much of Serbia-and KFOR took no action (13)

"Violence has been rising steadily, against the remaining pockets of Serb civilians. The looting and burning of Serb homes, as well as dozens of assassinations and kidnapings of Serbs-including the massacre of 14 Serb farmers...are reminiscent of the gun-slinging and anarchy that have characterized Albania in the last few years." (14)

Congress member Dennis J. Kucinich, said: "I read the latest reports concerning a recent Executive Order that hands the CIA a black bag in the Balkans for engineering a military coup in Serbia, for interrupting communications, for tampering with bank accounts, freezing assets abroad and training the Kosovo Liberation Army in terrorist tactics, such as how to blow up buildings.

"How this is intended to help establish a democracy in Serbia or Kosovo hasn't been explained. Nor has the failure to substantially demilitarize the KLA been explained. Nor has the reverse ethnic cleansing taking place in Kosovo by the KLA while NATO rules the province been explained." (1

KLA's Fascist Roots
The fascist roots of the KLA were detailed even in a New York Times story by Chris Hedges. (16) He speaks of the leadership faction as having "hints of fascism" and being comprised of the "sons and grandsons of those who fought in the World War II fascist militias and the Nazi Skanderberg SS Division" or descendants of the rightist Albanian Kacak rebels who fought against Serbs 80 years ago. They wear black fatigues and had ordered their fighters to salute with a clenched fist to the forehead, as did their fascist antecedents. (17)

The 1941, German and Italian fascist invaders of Kosovo called for turning multi-ethnic Kosovo into a "pure" Albanian State. A "greater Albania" only existed during the administration by the Nazis who linked Albania and Kosovo as a single unit.

The CIA and BND of Germany had been covertly training and supplying the KLA since the mid 1990s. (18)

German NATO troops-the first German forces in Yugoslavia in 54 years- were enthusiastically welcomed by KLA supporters. Western journalists seemed to be startled by this. "This is a second liberation," Ali Majo, 68, a native of Prizren told Los Angeles Times staff writer Marjorie Miller on June 17. "I can't describe how it felt when we saw German soldiers come here again." Majo told the reporter how he had first seen the Nazi forces bomb Partisan guerrilla positions. "After that...we all shouted 'Hitler.' We were proud of the German soldiers because they liberated us from the Serbs." (19)

The U.S. and NATO Prevented a Peace Agreement
The key reason used to justify the NATO attack was that Milosevic refused to sign the Rambouillet "peace agreement." Actually, the chance to arrive at a peaceful settlement of the crisis during the talks in Rambouillet and Paris, last February and March, was thwarted. Even the short time initially allotted to "negotiate" this complex question showed a lack of seriousness. It becomes clear by perusing the text of the Rambouillet "agreement" (20) that the Contact Group, especially the U.S., did not want a peace agreement because no nation would have signed away its sovereignty as required in that document. It was accompanied by an ultimatum to sign or be bombed. This was deja vu for the Yugoslavs. In 1941, Hitler had ordered them to capitulate to his pact or be bombed. Then as now, they refused and were bombed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, in its thrust toward World War I, inflicted a similar edict on Serbia, in 1914.

In Rambouillet, the delegation from the FRY, made up of representatives of every nationality of Serbia including ethnic Albanians, had agreed to the ten original political points decreed by the U.S. and the Contact Group, including autonomy for Kosovo. However they rejected the added demand for the deployment of NATO troops in the province, maintaining that if the parties agreed to the ten points, there would be no need for a heavily armed force in Kosovo. (21)

The acquiescence of the Yugoslavs to the political points provided an opening for a successful peaceful settlement of the crisis. It contrasted sharply with rejection of this document by the KLA, causing considerable consternation among U.S. officials. Press accounts were full of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's open apprehension that NATO would not be able to bomb if the KLA refused to sign. After a flurry of activity over several days, a signature was obtained on the greatly altered Rambouillet accords with 56 added pages. It was then presented to the FRY delegation when the talks resumed in Paris. This virtually new document, totally contravening the 10 Contact Group principles, had never been negotiated. In fact, there never were real negotiations.

Aside from the other blatant violations of the sovereignty of Yugoslavia contained in the Rambouillet "accords, there was a provision that after a three year period, a new international meeting would be held to "take into account the will of the people" in Kosovo. This was clearly meant to open the way to independence even though the U.S. and the other Contact Group members had repeatedly assured the world they only favored autonomy, not independence, for Kosovo-Metojia. (22)

The refusal of the FRY to sign the fraudulent Rambouillet document provided the desired go-ahead for NATO to begin bombing with all its terrible consequences for civilians, refugees— Serbs, Albanians and all the people of Yugoslavia. NATO's ultimate goal of establishing itself in Kosovo was also accomplished.

These few simple and obvious facts cut through the lies used to justify the war against Yugoslavia. What then are the real objectives of the U.S. and NATO?

McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas to Flourish
An article by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times entitled "What the World Needs Now" tells it all. Illustrated by an American Flag on a fist it said, among other things: "For globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is....The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist-McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." (23)

There could not be a better description of how the U.S. armed forces are seen as the military arm of the globalizing transnational corporations (TNCs).

President Clinton said in a speech delivered the day before his televised address to Americans about Kosovo: "If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key....That's what this Kosovo thing is all about." (24)

Defense Secretary William Cohen, in remarks to reporters prior to his speech at Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, put it this way, "[T]he prosperity that companies like Microsoft now enjoy could not occur without having the strong military that we have."

"The defense secretary is making the case that conflicts in faraway lands such as Bosnia, Korea and Iraq have a direct effect on the U.S. economy. The billions it costs to keep 100,000 American troops in South Korea and Japan, for example, makes Asia more stable—and thus better markets for U.S. goods. The military's success in holding Iraq in check ensures a continued flow of oil from the Persian Gulf," concluded the Associated Press dispatch reporting on Cohen's Seattle appearance.(25)

In today's world, TNCs, and governments running interference for them, are pushing relentlessly for an end to national sovereignty and democratic rights in order to achieve total unimpeded access to acquire investments, cheap labor and consumers in every nook and cranny of the globe. This is being accomplished particularly through mechanisms such as multilateral agreements on investment, NAFTA-type free trade agreements, and the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO).

The globalization fever is running rampant. It is epitomized in the feeding frenzy taking place across the Asia-Pacific region where U.S.-based transnationals and banks are gobbling up assets at bargain basement prices in nations stricken by the Asian economic crisis. In the early weeks of that economic tsunami, the New York Times , described U.S. banks and corporations as poised to "snap up some corporate bargains...Chase Manhattan, General Electric, General Motors and J.P. Morgan are all said to be looking at ailing companies in the region."(26)

Corporations will stop at nothing
To achieve maximum profits these transnationals will stop at nothing. After all, they are non-human institutions that must expand through ever-greater profits, or go out of business. In so doing they have shown willingness to violate human rights-particularly workers' rights—to throw millions out of work, eliminate unions, use sweat-shops and slave labor, destroy the environment, destabilize governments, install or bolster tyrants who oppress, repress, torture and kill with impunity.

Is it surprising, then, that wars and military intervention, including attacks on civilians, are waged on behalf of corporations? It has been an integral part of the history of imperialist powers. Why should we believe it is any different today? Yugoslavia is but the most recent victim of this process.

But the targeting of Yugoslavia did not begin with the bombing. Economic destabilization of that nation began in the 1980's with IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs (SAPs). As happens throughout the world where such SAPs are imposed as conditions for debt relief, they devastated the economy, laying the groundwork for the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Political destabilization through the years against Yugoslavia was equally intense. Today, there are amazingly open pronouncements about deposing Milosevic. The funding and organizing of opposition groups is openly espoused and carried out.

Those endeavors by the U.S. have included a meeting held the end of June organized by President Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro, attended by Prince Alexander, self-declared heir to the Yugoslav "throne," and Serbian Democratic Party President Zoran Djindjic. Djindjic has taken the lead in organizing U.S.-orchestrated efforts to get rid of Milosevic. To this end he formed the Alliance for Change.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funded by the U.S. government in what Republican Congressman Chris Smith defined as "the most cost-effective item in the budget" (NED Press Release, March 5, 1999) has been pouring millions of dollars into Yugoslavia for years.* (27)

*(Statement by Paul B. McCarthy, National Endowment for Democracy (NED Press Release, March 5, 1999) : Hearing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe "The Milosevic Regime Versus Serbian Democracy and Balkan Stability, December Paul B. McCarthy, said "past grantees have included the newspapers Nasa Borba, Vreme, and Danas, an independent TV station in eastern Serbia, TV Negotin, the prominent news agency BETA, and...Radio B-92....the Association for Independent Electronic Media (ANEM)....and Dnevni Telegraf." ( 10,1998, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building)

Among other things, McCarthy praised the "Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations held in Belgrade in June (1998) and encouraged U.S. organizations "to provide opposition political parties with expertise.." He said western funders should support organizations like the Alternative Academic Network, the Anti-War Campaign which "protested the war in Kosovo." NED funding also is going to the Humanitarian Law Center, the Center for Democracy Foundation, the Belgrade Center for Human Rights, the Center for International Private Enterprise the European Movement of Serbia and the G-17 group of economists as well as the American Center for International Labor Solidarity which continues to assist UGS Nezavisnost, a trade union confederation which opposes Milosevic., among others, according to McCarthy. )

Profits for the Military-Industrial Complex
Clearly, a related major objective behind the NATO action was to add more billions to the already bloated U.S. military budget and to fill the coffers of the military-industrial corporations with super profits acquired from the hard-earned tax dollars of American workers. After all, the stocks of Tomahawk Cruise missiles must be replenished. Congress, with great bi-partisan fervor, is approving an increase for the Pentagon of $20 billion adding up to $288.8 billion for FY 2000. By contrast, all other domestic discretionary spending, including for education, job-training, housing, environment and health programs, totals $245 billion— "the biggest disparity in modern times," according to the Center for Defense Information. More food and education being taken from children to feed the war machine.

If that were not enough, President Clinton signed a bill appropriating $15 billion above the current Pentagon budget to wage the war against Yugoslavia. Most of that will be siphoned out of the Social Security surplus fund.

The Pentagon is not satisfied with all this largess but apparently finds it necessary to divert hundreds of millions of dollars into projects never authorized by Congress including a "super-secret" Air Force "black program," and "illegally spent hundreds of millions to update its C-5 transport planes; and millions on a previously canceled 'Star Wars' missile defense program."(28)

Tapping into this lucrative bottomless well of funds, the "Big Three" weapons makers-Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon— now receive among themselves over $30 billion per year in Pentagon contracts. Companies like Lockheed Martin are actively engaged in shaping U.S. foreign and military policies. Their efforts have yielded among other things: the "payoffs for layoffs" subsidies for defense industry mergers such as the Lockheed/Martin Marietta merger; the elimination of royalty fees that foreign arms customers had been paying to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for the cost of weapons developed at taxpayer expense (this adds up to a loss for taxpayers of roughly $500 million per year); and the creation of billions of dollars of new grants and government-guaranteed loans to support the export of U.S. weaponry. These Pentagon contractors, conservative think tanks and advocacy groups lobbied heavily and successfully for the "Star Wars" missile defense program.(29)

War Profiteering
The bombing and missile strikes are, more than ever, giant bazaars for selling the wares of the armaments manufacturers. An article in USA Today said: "The USA's defense equipment, such as the satellite-guided smart bombs, has stolen the international spotlight as NATO air forces pound Serbian forces. That could mean increased foreign interest in U.S. military equipment..." (30) Raytheon spokesperson, David Shea, said: "We are expecting the Kosovo conflict to result in new orders downstream." Officials at Raytheon announced that replacing munitions used in the Balkans could lead to about $1 billion in new contracts. (31)

Jaynatha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, said recently that "television coverage of modern warfare has effectively created an 'advertising dividend' for the manufacturers of high-tech weaponry and the countries and alliances that use such weapons..." He observed that during the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf and the recent NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, tiny video cameras enabled hundreds of millions of viewers to "experience vicariously" the flight paths of attacking missiles to their intended targets. (32)

No wonder stock prices of the large military manufacturers shot up. Since the beginning of the war against Yugoslavia, March 24, 1999, the stocks of Rockwell International (maker of the Lancer, B-1 bomber, etc.) was up +48 percent; Boeing Aircraft (maker of the B-52 Stratofortress, etc.) up +30 percent; Raytheon Systems (maker of the Tomahawk cruise missile, HARM missile, etc) up +37 percent; Lockheed Martin (maker of the F-117 Nighthawk, F-16 Falcon, etc.), up +18 percent; and Northrop Grumman (maker of the B-2 bomber, etc.) up +16 percent. (33)

Defense and aerospace companies have either announced or completed mergers and acquisitions amounting to nearly $60 billion just in the first half of 1999. That amount is already well above the total for all of 1998. (34)

The New NATO
The giant corporations-especially the military-industrial corporations—have been pushing vigorously for expanding and extending the role of NATO. Their blatant salivating over potential profits was indisputable during NATO's 50th Anniversary celebrations which became "the ultimate marketing opportunity," as described in the Washington Post. The host committee included the chief executives of Ameritech, DamilerChrysler, Boeing, Ford Motor, General Motors, Honeywell, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nextel, SBC Communications, TRW and United Technologies. (35) These companies sell weapons but also other products. They have been busy lobbying for the expansion of NATO to avail themselves of the lucrative markets in Eastern European nations which have been pressed to join NATO. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have already been admitted. In order to be a part of the Alliance these nations must spend billions to upgrade their military forces.

Even the Ukraine, part of the NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace, held joint naval exercises with the United States in July. Perceiving this as a threat, Russian Prime Minster Sergei Stepashin was quoted by Interfax Ukraine news agency as telling the officers and men of Russia's Black Sea fleet to prepare for a naval exercise to imitate the military action in Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis. (36)

The Ukraine along with Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldava are members of GUUAM, a bloc of "Western-oriented" Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members, according to a dispatch from "Global Intelligence Updates." (37) Moldava and Uzbekistan joined during the NATO anniversary Summit in April, and a charter was established encompassing military cooperation within the group and with NATO. GUUAM members have opted out of the CIS Collective Security Treaty. (38)

"The pendulum of Ukrainian foreign policy swung closest to the West on June 12, when Kiev briefly closed Ukrainian airspace to Russian aircraft trying to reinforce Russian troops at Slatina airbase in Kosovo... Russia's military commanders were furious. It was bad enough that NATO convinced ostensibly neutral Romania and Bulgaria to deny their airspace to Russian aircraft, but Ukraine was a step too far. Ukraine had to clarify its relationship with NATO and with Russia," said the dispatch. (39)

Moreover, NATO has repeatedly deflected protest over its possession of nuclear armaments and its refusal to renounce first use of these weapons.

At all costs then, NATO is projecting its new role as acting "out of area" and intervening anywhere on the basis of "humanitarian concerns" regardless of national sovereignty and international law. The purpose is to send a message to nations of the entire world that if they do not do the U.S. bidding, they too could be a victim of the kind of devastation unleashed upon Yugoslavia and Iraq. They too could be divided up, balkanized, turned into banana republics or emirates. Especially vulnerable are those countries involved over the oil riches of the Caspian Sea basin—Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazahkstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia-and where there are already related conflicts including over Dagestan, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Abhkazia.

Intensifying Antagonisms Between the U.S. and Europe
Another factor driving U.S. policies is economic competition with the European Union which is surfacing increasingly in spite of cooperation and commonality of interests on other levels. This is epitomized by: the recent banana trade wars in which the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of U.S. TNCs; the rivalry over such prizes as the oil riches of the Caspian sea basin and access to the labor, market and resources of Eastern Europe.

The U.S. has warned openly that it will not tolerate a purely European military alliance to take the place of NATO. The military might of the U.S. must prevail.

This was clearly spelled out in "The Defense Planning Guide," excerpted in the New York Times , which said, among other things: "We must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. ... we must [deter] potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role... We must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."(40)

Nevertheless, on the very day that Yugoslavia adhered to the G-8 agreement, the leaders of 15 European countries announced the European Union will establish an independent military force.

Commerce up the Danube was disrupted by the bombing of bridges in Novi Sad which infuriated Europeans whose economies continue to be adversely affected. It was perceived as a manifestation of the intensifying economic rivalry between the U.S. and Europe.

Alarm bells should remind us that two world wars were ignited by such competition

At the same time, rivalry is tempered increasingly by the the corporate imperative to survive at all costs and to make maximum profits including through mergers and partnerships. Lockheed Martin, maker of missiles and high tech weaponry, has created Lockheed Martin UK Limited, based in London. Its largest UK operation is the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter program among many other military programs. In fact, Lockheed Martin has more than 200 international partnerships around the world. (41)

U.S. aerospace companies are determined not to be locked out of the lucrative profits to be had from the establishment of a separate European military alliance. This pressure has led to a shift in policy by the Pentagon. Mergers between U.S. and European defense contractors are being given the go-ahead. "U.S. Undersecretary for Defense Jacques Gansler has admitted being in talks not only with European Governments such as the UK, Germany, France and Italy but also with leading defense companies including British Aerospace (Bae), France's Aerospatiale Matra SA and Germany's Dasa," (42)

Girdling the Globe with U.S.-led Military Alliances
NATO expansion pertains to what Washington calls a "new strategic concept," an expensive new program to have NATO, under U.S. leadership, become the key player globally. This new blueprint for NATO not only sees it extending throughout Eastern and Baltic Europe, possibly taking in Russia itself, it goes considerably beyond this, as indicated by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his new book ("The Grand Chessboard"). He defines the alliance as part of an "integrated, comprehensive and long-term geostrategy for all of Eurasia," in which NATO would eventually reach Asia, where another U.S. led military alliance would connect Pacific and Southeast Asian states.

The unfolding events in Indonesia and East Timor appear to be closely related to plans for establishing a U.S.-controlled NATO-type military alliance in that region and to counter a purely Asian military association.

........ ... tary-might

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:18 pm

"Control of Space Means Control of Earth"
The Pentagon is convinced that control of space means control of Earth. It is working non-stop to deploy anti-satellite weapons (ASAT's) to enable the U.S. to knock out competitors' "eyes in the sky," according to Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. (43)

The Persian Gulf war convinced the U.S. military that "space dominance and space control" are essential. The war in Kosovo was used "to show the world that they have achieved their goal," says Gagnon. In a news release, June 17, 1999, the U.S. Space Command proclaimed: "Any questions about the role or effectiveness of the use of space for military operations have been answered by NATO's operation Allied Force." (44)

The recent go-ahead given by Congress for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) is integral to this strategy. Though BMD is touted as being "defensive," Col. Tom Clark, speaking at the 36th Space Congress at Cape Canaveral, Florida, said it is "obvious that dual use is clear", referring to the ability of lasers in space to fire either defensively or offensively. (45)

Russia and China are deeply concerned over this drive for space dominance and the flouting by the U.S. of the ABM and Outer Space Treaties. They have both called for the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) to establish an ad hoc committee to negotiate a treaty for the "prevention of an arms race in outer space." The U.S. has consistently blocked this in the CD for two decades. Furthermore, the U.S. has been virtually the only member state of the UN to vote "no" time and again opposing UN General Assembly resolutions calling for preventing an arms race in outer space. (46)

Becoming 'Irrational," "Vindictive" and Threatening Nuclear Attack
Nothing could describe U.S. military goals better than the British American Security Information Council's recently published, partially declassified, text of the U.S. Strategic Command's 1995 "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence:

"[T]he United States should have available the full range of responses, conventional weapons, special operations, and nuclear weapons. Unlike chemical or biological weapons, the extreme destruction from a nuclear explosion is immediate, with few if any palliatives to reduce its effect. Although we are not likely to use nuclear weapons in less than matters of the greatest national importance.. Nuclear weapons always cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict in which the U.S. is engaged. Thus, deterrence through the threat of use of nuclear weapons will continue to be our top military strategy...

"That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries..." [emphasis added] (47)

Why the Balkans?
How do the Balkans figure in all this? The peoples of this strategically situated region have had the great misfortune of living on real estate coveted by empire after empire, all of which employed classic divide and conquer tactics by pitting one people against another. Not much has changed!

Today, there is determination that the free market and privatization must prevail. Yugoslavia committed the unpardonable sin of putting the brakes on market reforms imposed by the IMF and World Bank including the drive to privatize all public enterprises. Huge strikes by the workers had protested the reforms. President Borisav Jovic who headed the government in 1990-1991 opposed those austerity measures because of the economic havoc they were causing the people. Among others, Slobodan Milosevic, who was president of the Republic of Serbia at the time, backed him in that stance.

Numerous articles in the mainstream press have unveiled this real complaint against Milosevic. The New York Times, for example, says, "there has been little improvement in the Serbian economy, largely because of the determination of Mr. Milosevic, a former Communist, to keep state controls and his refusal to allow privatization."(48) The Christian Science Monitor put it this way: "Milosevic is harking back to the political control promised by that old Communist star on this presidency building...[he] is revoking some privatization and free market measures." (49)

In response to this "stubbornness" by Yugoslavia, the U.S. Congress, on November 5, 1990, passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513. That law abruptly cut off all aid, credits and loans from the U.S. to Yugoslavia, further demolishing the economy. It also demanded separate elections in each of the six republics making up Yugoslavia and said only those forces defined as "democratic" would receive funding from the U.S. At the time this law was passed theCIA issued an unusual public report described in the New York Times in which it "predicted that the federated Yugoslavia will break apart most probably in the next 18 months and that civil war is highly likely." The article spoke of the expected impact of cutting all funds to the government as the basis of impending civil war. (50) This was one year before it actually happened and before there were any indications in the press of the impending trouble. Coupled with the increasing economic suffering of the people, this law fueled ethnic strife by providing backing for right-wing and nationalist elements. In this way, the full onslaught for the dismantling of Yugoslavia was launched.

The Allure of Rich Resources and Cheap Labor
The determination by the U.S and NATO, at all costs, to occupy Kosovo and virtually all of Yugoslavia, is spurred on by the enticement of abundant natural resources. Kosovo alone has the richest mineral resources in all of Europe west of Russia. The New York Times observed that "the sprawling state-owned Trepca mining complex, the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, is worth at least $5 billion." producing gold, silver, pure lead, zinc, cadmium, as well as tens of millions of dollars in profits annually. (51)"Kosovo also possesses 17 billion tons of coal reserves and Kosovo ( like Serbia and Albania) also has oil reserves. (52)

"A number of unofficial partition plans have been drawn up for Kosovo all raising the question of who would control an important northern mining region," the New York Times revealed. (53) Trepca was also a "glittering prize" taken over by Hitler to fuel the Nazi war machine during WWII.

Serbia as a whole is rich in minerals and oil including in Vojvodina, the northern part of the FRY. That coveted area of Vojvodina is also extremely fertile land-a major "breadbasket" for Europe. Then there is the allure of enterprises to be privatized at bargain prices, and the anticipation of exploiting very cheap and highly skilled labor potentially available to work in sweatshop conditions.

Chapter 4 of the outrageous 85-page Rambouillet "agreement" deals with plans for the economic assets of Kosovo. Article 1 calls for the privatization of the whole economy. (54) This meant that private Western corporations would have been allowed to easily plunder the large industries in this Serbian province which are almost entirely state-owned.

Similarly, a major aspect of the implementation of the Dayton Accords on Bosnia is overseeing the publicly owned enterprises and their privatization. (55)

Perhaps most significantly, Yugoslavia has strong elements of a socialist economy -the last in Europe— however tattered it may have become by years of economic destabilization by the West and international financial institutions. Sixty-five percent of all firms are either state-owned or self-managed cooperatives. Most heavy industry is state-owned. Factories bombed during the 79 days of NATO attacks were exclusively state-owned. The banking and financial system is also state-controlled. Only 20 percent of the workforce is in the private sector. (56) Yet like scores of nations around the globe, Yugoslavia fell prey to the international financial institutions.

The U.S. had joined Belgrade's other international creditors in imposing a first round of macroeconomic reforms in 1980, shortly before the death of Marshal Tito. "Successive IMF-sponsored programs since then continued the disintegration of the industrial sector and the piecemeal dismantling of the Yugoslav welfare state. Debt restructuring agreements increased foreign debt and mandated currency devaluation also hit hard at Yugoslavia's standard of living...[the] IMF prescribed further doses of its bitter economic medicine periodically...Industrial production declined to a negative 10 percent growth rate in 1990- with all its predictable social consequences,." (57)

In autumn of 1989, Yugoslavia agreed to even more sweeping economic reforms, including a new devalued currency, another wage freeze, sharp cuts in government spending and the elimination of socially-owned worker-managed companies. (58)

Workers from all national communities protested and the government began to reject these structural adjustment requirements. In later years, as President of the FRY, Slobodan Milosevic again moved away from privatization. This, of course, outraged the U.S. and its partners.

On top of all of this, harsh economic sanctions were then imposed against Yugoslavia.

The targeting of the Yugoslav economy can be traced back to a 'Secret Sensitive" 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133), United States Policy toward Yugoslavia."). A censored version declassified in 1990 largely elaborated on NSDD 54 on East Europe issued in 1982. The latter advocated "expanded efforts to promote a 'quiet revolution' to overthrow Communist governments and parties" while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.(59)

Is Montenegro Next?
Even though a referendum in Montenegro had rejected seceding from Yugoslavia, there continue to be very strong efforts to tear Montenegro away from the FRY. Montenegro, under U.S.-supported leadership has privatized 95% percent of its economy, unlike Serbia. In 1992, Montenegro received a pledge from Secretary of State Madeline Albright to "shield" it from the sanctions (imposed seven years ago on Yugoslavia). Montenegro was receiving $5.9 million in aid from the U.S. and $4.4 million from the European Union. (60)

Montenegro is a coveted prize also because of its extremely valuable port of Bar -a deep water port which provides the cheapest route for commerce in and out of Eastern Europe and beyond. (Lituchy) Its beautiful seacoast is a haven for tourists.

In the coming months, there are sure to be further efforts to dismantle Yugoslavia by peeling away Montenegro and Sandjak, (a region connecting Kosovo to Bosnia-Herzegovina ) as well as the Northern province of Vojvodina.

Those machinations are already well underway. Talks began in mid- July between delegations from the two republics-Montenegro and Serbia. "Montenegro's pro-Western government hopes the talks might lead to Yugoslavia becoming a looser federation," says an Associated Press dispatch, "The threat of a split puts pressure on Serb officials to consider ousting Milosevic. .. Serb-born American millionaire, Milan Panic, who served [briefly] as federal premier...told Belgrade daily Blic that, if Milosevic remains in power, 'everything has been prepared for Montenegro to secede.'" (61)

Sanctions: War Against the People
Yugoslavia has been suffering under severe sanctions for seven years and now, as it tries to recover from the vast destruction of the country, there promises to be no let up in those sanctions.

Senate Bill 1234,(and its counterpart in the House HR 2606) not only declared Yugoslavia a "terrorist state" along with Cuba, Iraq, Libya ,North Korea, Iran, Sudan an Syria. In Section 578 it called for keeping in place sanctions against Yugoslavia. (62) As has happened in Iraq, this will likely result in the deaths of additional thousands of people in a nation where, 90 percent are unemployed due to the U.S/NATO bombing and where the infrastructure has been demolished.

This section stipulates that sanctions will remain in place, until the President certifies that "... successor states to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia [the former Yugoslavia] have successfully negotiated the division of assets and liabilities and all other succession issues... Serbia-Montenegro is fully complying with its obligations as a signatory to the... [Dayton Accords];...fully cooperating with and providing unrestricted access to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, including surrendering persons indicted for war crimes who are within the jurisdiction of the territory of Serbia-Montenegro, and with the investigations...of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kosova [sic]:...instituting democratic reforms; and Serbian-Montenegrin federal governmental officials, and representatives of the ethnic Albanian community in Kosova [sic] have agreed on, signed and begun implementation of a negotiated settlement on the future of Kosova [sic]." (63)

The Lucrative Business of Destroying and Rebuilding
Another goal is to create a "Marshall Plan" for the Balkans. Though this sounds benevolent—and certainly reconstruction is desperately needed—it means using public funds to underwrite the profits of corporations to rebuild the infrastructure and entrench themselves in Yugoslavia. This amounts to corporate welfare paid for by the workers. It also provides easy access into the region for Western corporations and gives impetus to the establishment of a "free" market economy and massive privatization. Destroying and rebuilding is enormously lucrative!

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Congress in mid-April that the Clinton administration envisioned a plan to reconstruct Kosovo, create a common Balkan currency and forge new trade relationships. She assured Congress that Europeans were prepared to pay for most of it. Subsequently, NATO finance ministers met with the World Bank and IMF to "explore aggressive ways for us to help," in Clinton's words. Later a conference was held in Bonn to plan for ways to come up with the billions needed for reconstruction of the Balkans. (64)

Other countries have been hard hit by the NATO war against Yugoslavia. They too will need "rebuilding." The bulk of commerce for Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania went either to or through Yugoslavia. This was substantially destroyed by the NATO attack. The World Bank and IMF issued a report in April which said that over five percent of the gross domestic product will be wiped out for the Balkans this year plunging their economies into recession and unemployment.(65)

Debt-ridden and impoverished Albania and Macedonia both of which gave NATO free-rein to use their territories, and to a lesser extent, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Croatia and Slovenia will need to be "rejuvenated," as well.

The U.S. dominated South East European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), in which Milosevic refuses to participate, has been very active in this picture.

Though U.S. officials insist there will be no aid to Serbia so long as Milosevic is in power, Montenegro will receive such "assistance." There have also been promises of aid made to Mayors and city councils of some cities if they oppose the Milosevic government.

Basically, Serbia is now susceptible to the whetted appetites of the TNCs who are eager to invest and rebuild on their own terms.

Special task forces have been set up in Britain, Germany and France made up of companies who want to go after reconstruction contracts. There is considerable hustle and bustle by these companies as they seek to avoid being outdone by competitors in the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. Undersecretary for Trade, David Aaron announced on June 15 that the U.S. is demanding a share of the Kosovo contracts, saying 100 companies want to participate. (66)

Above All its About Oil!
Perhaps above all, this U.S.-led NATO onslaught is about oil. It is related to the drive to extend and protect the investments of the transnational corporations in the Caspian Sea region, especially the oil corporations.

The Balkans are strategic for the transshipment of oil and gas to Europe and beyond. They are critical in the competition between Europe and the U.S. over these riches. Time is of the essence. The first tanker shipment from the port of Supsa in Georgia on the eastern Black sea coast — the terminus of a pipeline from the Caspian sea oil fields—took place recently. Another pipeline passing through Russia and Chechnya, also ending at the eastern shore of the Black Sea at Novorossiisk, will add to the tanker traffic.

The predicament is how to get that oil beyond the Black Sea. The Bosporus straits, at Istanbul, are narrow and pose considerable hazards, especially for the tremendously heavy tanker traffic expected. And so far plans to build a pipeline through Turkey (Kurdistan) are thwarted by the struggles of the Kurds and by competing interests. Hopes for a pipeline through Iran are also on hold. Though preferred for several reasons, those routes would not provide the best access to Europe and the Western Hemisphere. The oil can be shipped by tanker up the Danube River, a waterway crossing Europe from the Black Sea where a short canal connects it to the port of Constanza in Romania. The Danube runs through Belgrade and Novi Sad in Yugoslavia. The recent completion of a grand canal— about the time the turmoil started in the former Yugoslavia— between the Danube and Rhine Rivers now makes it possible to ply those waters through a great inland system of canals and waterways to the industrial Ruhr Valley and clear to the North Sea. Undoubtedly this route is favored by the Europeans in the competition over the Caspian Sea treasure chest.

Pipelines Across the Balkans
There are also plans to build pipelines across the Balkans. One from Romania— which, incidentally, has considerable oil wealth itself-would extend from Constanza to Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. At Trieste the oil would be piped northward or shipped westward out of Europe by tanker.(67)

There are also plans for a pipeline through Bulgaria from the port of Bourgas on the Black Sea, to the Vlore port on the Adriatic in Albania. This is a project of the U.S.-owned Albanian, Macedonian and Bulgarian Oil Corporation (AMBO) (68)

These would be part of a multiple pipeline system in the Balkans some connecting

with existing "Soviet-era" pipelines from Russia that would need upgrading. But these oil and gas pipelines extending through Serbia from Russia to Central Europe are extremely valuable. (69)

In the competition with European- based companies, the U.S. backs the Caspian Pipeline consortium led by Mobil. (70)

Also, Kosovo is in a corridor used for centuries, including during the Crusades, as a route between Europe and the Middle East. The route follows river valleys connecting with the Danube River Valley near Belgrade. The southern arm of the transbalkan railway runs along these valleys. Control of this overland passageway was critical to the German fascist war machine in World War II, and to other conquerors. It remains vital to getting the oil riches into Europe from the Middle East and for other two-way commerce.

Neighboring Albania, whose economy has been completely transformed to the "free-market" and domination by western transnational corporations and banks, has vast untapped mineral resources including oil reserves. These are already being gobbled up by transnationals including the major oil companies. (71)

The application of strong structural adjustment policies imposed by the World Bank and IMF "had contributed to wrecking Albania's banking system and precipitating the collapse of the Albanian economy, says Chossudovsky. The resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals to carefully position themselves. Several Western oil companies including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum had their eyes riveted on Albania's abundant and unexplored oil-deposits. Western investors were also gawking Albania's extensive reserves of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum.. The Adenauer Foundation had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining interests." (72)

So this entire region is broiling with activities over the profits to be had particularly from oil.

Stoking Conflict in the Caucuses /Caspian Sea Region
There is a growing contention between Russia and the West over the oil wealth of the Caspian Sea basin. This was manifested not only in the NATO war against Yugoslavia, but also increasingly in the Baltics, the Ukraine, the region of the Caucuses Mountains and among all the littoral nations of the Caspian Sea. The main pipelines for the Central Asian oil, the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline and the Baku-Supsa pipeline, pass through the Caucasus. In the mounting disputes, Russia allies itself with Armenia and, it is suspected, with the Abkhaz separatists to "counterbalance NATO influence in Azerbaijan and Georgia". Chechnya and Dagestan are also critical in this struggle as the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline passes through its territory.(73) That pipeline also passes through Dagestan which is located between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea and where conflict has exploded recently between secessionists and Russia.

"For Russia, Dagestan retains an important strategic value. Dagestan commands 70 percent of Russia's shoreline to the oil-producing Caspian Sea and its only all-weather Caspian port at Makhachkala. It provides the crucial pipeline links from Azerbaijan, where Russia maintains important oil interests..." (74)

The recently opened Baku-Supsa route through Georgia, favored by the West, by-passes Russia altogether,"undermining Russian influence on the region's oil and Russian revenue from that oil. This route was opened following military maneuvers for training to defend the line by Ukrainian, Georgian and Azeri troops, as part of the GUUAM alliance.

Intensifying competition between Russia and NATO has escalated after a battle with heavy losses, June 14, between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. (75)

Another pipeline route favored by the U.S. is between Baku and Ceyhan passing through Turkey. However this is more expensive and transverses the area of intense struggles by the Kurdish people. This is leading the U.S. oil companies to revive their interest in other routes. One of these is through western Afghanistan, the other, south through Iran. (76)

Richard Morningstar, special advisor to the U.S. President and Secretary of State for Caspian Issues, said it was essential that the two Caspian states—Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan—

agree as soon as possible about a transcaspian gas pipeline to transport oil from Turkmenistan to Turkey via the Caspian Sea. Washington has urged them to ignore Russian and Iranian hostility and move ahead with this pipeline even if it means violating the existing legal status of the Caspian Sea in which all the littoral states are to be consulted about its future. Russia and Iran " feel increasingly irritated by the U.S. activities in Central Asia, aimed at preventing Moscow and Teheran from reasserting their economic and political grip over the former Soviet republics in the Caspian region," according to a Stratfor article. (77)

Also at stake in this region is the growing competition from China which recently has established significant military and economic ties with Turkmenistan. China's National Petroleum Company has helped rebuild over100 wells in Turkmenistan resulting in an increase in the nation's export production. It is estimated that Turkmenistan soon will be the third largest gas exporter in the world. (78)

China, the second largest energy consumer in the world, is expected to require 40 percent of its oil through imports by 2010 up from less than 20 percent today. (79).

According to a report in the Journal of Commerce, June 25, 1998, by Michael S. Lellyveld, entitled, Trade bill embroils Senate in the Caucasus' problems; Measure would authorize fund to all 8 former Soviet republics:

"A bitter ethnic battle in the Caucasus spilled over into Congress this week as U.S. corporate and oil interests won a key vote on aid to the region in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The panel approved the Silk Road Strategy Act...[which] would 'target assistance to support the economic and political independence of the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia.' But behind the measure's bland title is a widening web of international and U.S. business alliances with stakes in the outcome of a 10-year old war..."(80)

So once again oil interests lead to interventions predicated on "national liberation" or "human rights concerns."

Stirring Things Up in East Asia
Steps are well underway for new relations with Southeast Asia in which the U.S. is acquiring access to military bases in Asian countries in exchange for financial help to buy U.S. arms. The Pentagon's East Asian Strategy Report defines this program as offering the United States "a credible power projection capability in the region and beyond."

Dr. Joseph Gerson, Program Director at the New England Region of the American Friends Service Committee, puts it succinctly: "In the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. is enforcing its 21st century "Open Door" policy by means of the IMF, the World Bank, APEC, bases and forward deployments, the Seventh Fleet and its nuclear arsenal; as it seeks to simultaneously contain and engage China, to dominate the sea lanes and straits through which the region's trade and supplies of oil must travel (the 'jugular vein' of Asia Pacific economies), and to 'cap' Japanese militarism and nationalism.

"Since 1951, the hub of this strategic architecture has been the Mutual Security Treaty (MST) with Japan. During the Clinton years, the MST has been 'redefined' to reconsolidate U.S., and to a lesser extent, Japanese power. (81)

A "US -Japan Joint Declaration on Security Alliance for the 21st Century" proclaimed at the Summit between President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto, cited "the alliance's, new enemies and public rationales: tensions and instability on the Korean Peninsula, China's nuclear arsenal, and territorial disputes with China."

The regular gigantic "war games" conducted in the Korean region by the U.S., and South Korea, have been stepped substantially up in the recent period.

Echoing the Gulf of Tonkin provocation used to justify U.S. intervention in Vietnam, South Korean warships sank a North Korean boat and badly damaged another allegedly over a dispute about a crab-fishing area of the Yellow Sea. (82)

Plans for U.S. deployment of Theater Missile Defenses (TMDs) around China, sensationalized and unproven allegations of Chinese nuclear spying, claims of Chinese nuclear parity with the U.S., the blocking of China's entry to the WTO; the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and recent independence moves by Taiwan encouraged by U.S. Congress members, place the world on the brink of a U.S.-orchestrated confrontation with that nation. Taiwan is "the most likely trigger for U.S.-Chinese nuclear confrontation and war," according to Gerson.(83)

A backdrop to these developing tensions is the Taiwan Relations Act which closely links the U.S. and Taiwan economically and militarily. (84)

With the bombing of Yugoslavia barely over and with continuing and escalating air strikes against Iraq, the U.S. appears to be moving rapidly toward such a confrontation with China over Taiwan. In mid-July, Taiwan's President, Lee Teng-hui, announced the island wants "special state-to-state relations" with China, meaning a rejection of the "one China" policy that has kept the peace for many years. This led Chinese President Jiang Zemin to tell President Clinton, July 18, that China would not rule out using force regarding Taiwan.(85)

Washington is regaining even greater access to ports and bases throughout the Phillippines under the "Visiting Forces Agreement." Considerable attention is also being focused on Indonesia, to prevent the U.S. loss of access to its natural resources, markets and its control of the strategically important shipping lanes. (86)

A Military NAFTA
The Americas are not to escape this buildup of U.S.-controlled military alliances. The U.S. Army War College has urged a "NAFTA for the military "with joint command between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. (87)

Also, there is every likelihood of an imminent, all-out U.S. military intervention in Columbia on the pretext of drug interdiction. The people of Columbia could well be the next victims of U.S. military attack.

Globalization onslaught of TNCs
This information age of high technology communications and transportation is catapulting globalization forward at warp speed. A borderless world is increasingly attractive to profit-driven corporations seeking to extend their tentacles without impediment into every conceivable niche on Planet Earth. Indeed the pundits of the "new world order" speak openly now about the demise of national sovereignty as necessary and inevitable to permit capital to flow anywhere free of restrictions. The U.S./NATO destruction of Yugoslavia established the desired precedent for military attack, cloaked in a democracy and human rights disguise, against any sovereign country that might have the temerity to stand up to the encroachment of the TNCs.

But in this brave new corporate world all will not be well. The multitudes will suffer increasingly. Already, there are 1.5 billion people living on less than $1 per day and 1 billion are unemployed or under-employed (ILO ). (88) "Thirty percent of the world economy is now in recession, according to the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC), made up of 55 European union federations. (89) "Only the United States has a buoyant economy." the TUAC statement said.

In the U.S., too, one must ask: "economic boom for whom?" Child poverty in the U.S. remains the highest for any industrialized country. That figure stands at 22 percent in 1997 or 5.2 million children living below the poverty line including 2.5 million who were "extremely poor," living below half the poverty line. (90)

More than one million children in America are homeless. "Some 40 percent of America's homeless are now women and their children-the fastest growing homeless group." (91)

The structural adjustment policies of the IMF and World Bank and the accelerating brutal economic globalization and privatization drive by the transnational corporations are creating divisive conflicts and assaults upon the living standards of hundreds of millions on our planet. In the process, national sovereignty, democratic and genuine human rights are being trampled on in scores of countries.

This great momentum toward destroying sovereignty and democratic rights is beginning to impact the people of the U.S. Laws protecting workers, consumers and the environment increasingly are being rendered null and void by NAFTA and other international agreements.

At the same time, the megacorps depend on the sovereign muscle of the major industrial powers who increasingly are headed toward direct confrontation with each other. Above all, these megacorps rely on the might, including military might of the United States to act in their behalf around the world. Business Week's listing of the world's 1,000 largest corporations shows that half of them are American. The market value of the U.S. corporations on the list, totaling $ll.3 trillion is more than double the total value of the next four countries' corporations combined: Britain, Germany, Japan and France," according to economist Victor Perlo. "Where U.S. armed forces penetrate and establish bases, American corporations, protected by the military, follow," says Perlo. (92)

"The technological superiority of the U.S. megacorps is also related to the vast resources [largely from the taxpayers] devoted to the development of new U.S. weapons, and the exclusive availability of the relevant discoveries to U.S. corporations.

"Equally important, U.S. megacorps realize a much higher rate of exploitation of labor than the domestic British, German, Japanese and French companies. American workers toil longer hours, have shorter vacations, lower pensions, less unemployment insurance and other social benefits of all kinds. The decisive factor here is the much smaller proportion of U.S. workers organized into trade unions, and the relative weakness of U.S. trade unions. ..." says Perlo. (93)

Corporations Seek to Rule the World
It is highly likely that the economic globalization onslaught will be propelled forward exponentially at the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle at the end of November."Europe, the U.S. and the WTO are devising agreements that will remove the final obstacles to the free play of 'market forces' and require countries to submit to the unfettered expansion of the multinationals. Learning from the failure of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), big business and technocrats are trying to force through a decision before the end of 1999," according to Christian de Brie writing in Le Monde Diplomatique. The MAI had been "stopped" in the OECD. Again, as in the case of the MAI, secret talks have been taking place on a MAI clone—this time by the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP) and the Millennium Round of the WTO. The first of these meetings, which opened on September 16, 1998, dealt with "the favorite project of the British and Americans-seeing the European Union dissolved in a free trade area with the United States." says de Brie. The article points out that:

"On the pretext of removing 'technical barriers to trade,'which include health, social and environmental protection regulations, the ultimate aim is to 'reach a general commitment to unconditional access to the market in all sectors and for all methods of supply' of products and services, including health, education and public contracts. ...states and local authorities are required to make 'all derogations explicit in the form of 'a negative freedom that the agreements negotiated apply to all the territory of the parties, regardless of their constitutional structures, at all levels of authority. ...

[T]alks proceed behind closed doors, using ..tactics to avoid alerting public opinion, so everything can be sewn up by December 1999. Industrial goods, services, public contracts, intellectual property, etc. - in a dozen fields, slice by slice, 'mutual recognition agreements (MRAs)' to reduce standards and regulations to the lowest common denominator. The outcome is that the safeguards that Europe has built up, in food, the environment and health in particular are being dismantled.

"Once agreement has been reached, governments will be obliged to abolish any laws that conflict with the MRAs....the TEP follows the same aims as the MAI - to hand over all human activities to capital, without let or hindrance, thereby stripping the EU, member governments and local authorities of their ability to pursue their own policies....

"But the document...has another aim: to establish a US-EU condominium capable of imposing its will on the rest of the world, and in particular the countries of the South in the [WTO] talks....The war being prosecuted, with the support of their governments, by the transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic for the conquest and domination of world markets is becoming increasingly brutal and has no regard for laws. Witness America's ...Helms-Burton and D'AMATO-Gilman acts that are contrary to international law; the banana war lost by the EU....the disputes over hormone-contaminated meat and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that contravene health regulations....

"[T]here seems to be nothing to prevent the transnational corporations taking possession of the planet and subjecting humanity to the dictatorship of capital....

"In order to crush any thought of organized resistance to the supporters of the new world order, tremendous police and military forces are being used to establish a doctrine of repression..." (94)

The provisions of the MAI are finding there way into many agreements, such as the "African Growth and Opportunity Act"-the NAFTA for Africa bill recently passed by Congress. Even NAFTA, though purporting to deal only with trade issues, has a section on investments which is now being evoked in a suit by Canada, (on behalf of a corporation) challenging recently- adopted California environmental legislation banning the gasoline additive MTBE. If the suit prevails, California will have to abolish the law or pay large penalties.

The original draft of the MAI and its clones are written to have a dual effect: threatening social programs, while protecting and enhancing military spending and arms trade. (95) The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), also exempts military spending from its proscriptions against government subsidies. This gives U.S. corporations a great advantage over other countries because of the trillions already being spent on the Pentagon. In fact, the high tech industry got a its start and continues to benefit from the research conducted by the military with taxpayer dollars.

So while the MAI- and now its clones— would threaten nearly every public sector of national economies such as health care, education and culture, government spending for the military, weapons, development and production and direct support for weapons corporations are excluded from the liberalizing demands of such an agreement. (96) This will give free rein for the Pentagon to continue to abscond with the tax dollars of U.S. workers.

The purpose of MAI-type agreements is to remove virtually all barriers to investment by corporations. Foreign investors would be required to be treated the same as domestic investors. Governments would be denied much of their power to intervene in the economy to promote social goals. (97) Thus, not only national sovereignty but also the democratic rights of the people would be usurped.

NAFTA mechanisms, as well as the WTO, IMF and World Bank are totally undemocratic, with no access by the people. They are run by the nations with the greatest wealth, the U.S. in the first place— with the corporations and banks pulling the strings.

The Fightback
The fightback against war and the corporate globalization offensive and its manifestations at home is needed today, more than ever in history, as events move at astounding speed. Such a movement is bound to grow every day. Multitudes of the world's poor and working people are resisting in rapidly growing numbers. In the process they are coming to understand the commonality of interests they share with all those victimized by the corporations and the policies of the U.S. and other powerful governments—the U.S. sword and dollar marching hand in glove— in the brutal, relentless drive for ever-higher profits. Nothing is more important than to quicken the pace and strengthen the unity to resist this imperialist onslaught toward global corporate rule. ... tary-might

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by blindpig » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:50 pm

I disagree with the notion that some nebulous 'New World Order' of corporations & billionaires rule the planet independent of the nation states. New World Order is camouflage for the financial/military hegemony of the United States. Nice bit of misdirection. Where are the NWOs artillery?
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:11 pm

I'd say the NWO has more recently been replaced by the Deep State these days amongst the Liberal World Order (LWO henceforth) as the buzzword/acronym dejour. Anything to avoid talking about capitalism. If I'm not mistaken it was GHW Bush who at least popularized the term "New World Order" and from there it was a quick trip to Skull and Bones and secret societies. One of the things that I'm always amazed at is how out in the open everything is and how there is no need to develop conspiracy theories about anything.

I think the term "globalization" was also used as a diversion from attempting to analyze the mechanisms of capitalism and it's outcomes. The width of the "anti-globalization" movement in the late 1990's was extensive I would say but the depth was paper thin so we saw it wither away fairly easily though to be fair there were the usual repressive tactics.

Nevertheless this particular piece has a good bit of information as a jumping off point to understand the destruction of Yugoslavia.

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:27 pm

Twenty Years Ago: NATO’s War of Aggression against Yugoslavia: Who are the War Criminals?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, March 19, 2019
15 May 1999

Twenty years ago in the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. “The operation was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker” according to Nebosja Malic.

This article was first written in early May 1999 at the height of the bombing of Yugoslavia.

The causes and consequences of this war have been the object of a vast media disinformation campaign, which has sought to camouflage NATO and US war crimes.

It is important to note that a large segment of the “Progressive Left” in Western Europe and North America were part of this disinformation campaign, presenting NATO military intervention as a necessary humanitarian operation geared towards protecting the rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

The intervention was in violation of international law. President Milosevic at the Rambouillet talks had refused the stationing of NATO troops inside Yugoslavia.

The demonization of Slobodan Milsovic by so-called “Progressives” has served over the years to uphold the legitimacy of the NATO bombings. It has also provided credibility to “a war crimes tribunal” under the jurisidiction of those who committed extensive war crimes in the name of social justice.

The Just War thesis was also upheld by several prominent intellectuals who viewed the Kosovo war as: “a Just War”.

In turn the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was upheld by several “Leftists” as a bona fide liberation movement rooted in Marxism.

The KLA –whose leader Hachim Thaci is now president of Kosovo– was a paramilitary army supported by Western intelligence, financed and trained by the US and NATO. It had ties to organised crime. It also had links to Al Qaeda, which is supported by US intelligence.

It is worth noting that the same “Leftists” who supported the KLA in 1999 are now supporting the Syrian “revolutionaries” (affiliated to Al Qaeda and supported by US-NATO).

Michel Chossudovsky, March 2006, updated March 2019

* * *

NATO’s War of Aggression against Yugoslavia: Who are the War Criminals?
by Michel Chossudovsky, 15 May 1999

Low Intensity Nuclear War

With NATO air-strikes entering their third month, a new stage of the War has unfolded. NATO’s “humanitarian bombings” have been stepped up leading to mounting civilian casualties and human suffering. Thirty percent of those killed in the bombings are children.1 In addition to the use of cluster bombs, the Alliance is waging a “low intensity nuclear war” using toxic radioactive shells and missiles containing depleted uranium. Amply documented, the radioactive fall-out causes cancer potentially affecting millions of people for generations to come. According to a recent scientific report, “the first signs of radiation on children including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles” have been observed in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the bombings.2

In addition to the radioactive fall-out which has contaminated the environment and the food chain, the Alliance has also bombed Yugoslavia’s major chemical and pharmaceutical plants. The bombing of Galenika, the largest medicine factory in Yugoslavia has contributed to releasing dangerous, highly toxic fumes. When NATO forces bombed plants of the Pancevo petrochemical complex in mid-April “fire broke out and huge quantities of chlorine, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer flowed out. Workers at Pancevo, fearing further bombing attacks that would blow up dangerous materials, released tons of ethylene dichloride, a carcinogen, into the Danube.”3

Nato to the “Rescue of Ethnic Albanians”
Ethnic Albanians have not been spared by NATO air raids. Killing ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is said to be “inevitable” in carrying out a “humanitarian operation on behalf of ethnic Albanians”. In addition to the impacts of the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Armed Forces, the bombings and the resulting radioactive fall-out in Kosovo have been more devastating than in the rest of Yugoslavia.

Presented as a humanitarian mission, the evidence amply confirms that NATO’s brutal air raids of towns and villages in Kosovo have triggered the exodus of refugees. Those who have fled their homes to refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania have nothing to return to, nothing to look forward to… An entire country has been destroyed, its civilian industry and public infrastructure transformed into rubble. Bridges, power plants, schools and hospitals are displayed as “legitimate military targets” selected by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vicenza, Italy and carefully “validated prior to the pilot launching his strike.”

With the “diplomatic shuttle” still ongoing, the Alliance is intent on inflicting as much damage on the Yugoslav economy (including Kosovo) as possible prior to reaching a G8 brokered “peace initiative” which will empower them to send in ground troops. “Allied commanders have steadily widened their list of economic targets… Increasingly, the impact of NATO air strikes has put people out of work… causing water shortages in Belgrade, Novi Sad and other Serbian cities. … [T]he effect was to shut down businesses, strain hospitals’ ability to function and cut off water…”4. Some 115 medical institutions have been damaged of which several have been totally demolished. And hospital patients –including children and the elderly– are dying due to the lack of water and electricity…5

General Wesley Clark, NATO’s Supreme commander in Europe, confirmed in late May that “NATO’S air campaign has not reached its peak yet and the alliance should be prepared for more civilian casualties.”6. General Clark also confirmed that “he would be seeking to increase the number of air strikes in Kosovo and expand the range of targets.7 As the bombings entered their third month, there was also a noticeable change in “NATO rhetoric”. The Alliance had become increasingly unrepentant, NATO officials were no longer apologising for civilian casualties, claiming that the latter were contributing to “helping Milosevic’s propaganda machine.”

Extending the Conflict Beyond the Balkans

Drowned in the barrage of media images and self-serving analyses, the broader strategic interests and economic causes of the War go unmentioned. The late Sean Gervasi writing in 1995 had anticipated an impending War. According to Gervasi, Washington’s strategic goals stretched well beyond the Balkans. They largely consisted in “installing a Western-style regime in Yugoslavia and reducing the geographic area, power and influence of Serbia to a minimum….”8

In this context, the installation of American power in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean also constitutes a step towards the extension of Washington’s geopolitical sphere of influence beyond the Balkans into the area of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and West Asia.

In this regard, NATO’s military intervention in Yugoslavia (in violation of international law) also sets a dangerous precedent. It provides “legitimacy” to future military interventions. To achieve its strategic objectives, national economies are destabilised, regional conflicts are financed through the provision of covert support to armed insurgencies… In other words, the conflict in Yugoslavia creates conditions which provide legitmacy to future interventions of the Alliance into the “internal affairs of sovereign nations”.

The consolidation of American strategic interests in Eastern Europe, the Balkans (and beyond) was not only marked by the enlargement of NATO (with the accession of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic as NATO members) barely two weeks before the beginning of the bombings, the War in Yugoslavia also coincided with a critical split in geopolitical alignments within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In late April, Georgia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldava signed a pact in Washington, creating GUUAM, a regional alliance which lies strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas wealth, “with Moldava and the Ukraine offering [pipeline] export routes to the West”.9 This geopolitical split bears a direct relationship to the crisis in Yugoslavia. The region is already unstable marked by nationalist conflicts and separatist movements.

The members of this new pro-NATO political grouping not only tacitly support the bombings in Yugoslavia, they have also agreed to “low level military cooperation” with NATO while insisting that “the group is not a military alliance directed against any third party, namely Moscow.”10

Dominated by Western oil interests, the formation of GUUAM is not only intent on excluding Russia from the oil and gas deposits in the Caspian area but also in isolating Moscow politically thereby potentially re-igniting Cold War divisions…

The War Has Stalled Nuclear Arms Controls

In turn, the War in Yugoslavia has significantly stalled nuclear arms-control initiatives leading to the cancellation of an exchange program “that would have had US and Russian nuclear weapons officers in constant contact at year’s end to prevent any launches as a result of Year 2000 computer troubles.”11

Moreover, Russia’s military has also voiced its concern “that the bombing of Yugoslavia could turn out in the very near future to be just a rehearsal for similar strikes on Russia.”12.

According to Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, co-president of the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the impact of NATO bombings of Yugoslavia “on nuclear weapons policy is an extremely serious development… Russians feel a sense of betrayal by the West… because NATO took this action outside the UN.”13

Aleksander Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Defence Committee of the Russian State Duma U.S.-Russian relations describes the War in Yugoslavia as the “worst most acute, most dangerous juncture since the U.S.-Soviet Berlin and Cuban missile crises.”14 According to Arbatov:

“START II is dead, co-operation with NATO is frozen, co-operation on missile defence is out of the question, and Moscow’s willingness to co-operate on non-proliferation issues is at an all-time low. Moreover, anti-U.S. sentiment in Russia is real, deep and more wide-spread than ever, and the slogan describing NATO action – “today Serbia, tomorrow Russia,” is “deeply planted in Russian’s minds.”…15 Mary-Wynne Ashford also warns that whereas Russia was moving towards integration with Europe, they [the Russians] now:

“…. perceive their primary threat from the West. Officials in [Russia’s] Foreign Affairs (Arms Control and Disarmament) told us that Russia has no option but to rely on nuclear weapons for its defence because its conventional forces are inadequate…. Even if the bombings stop now, the changes in Russia’s attitude toward the West, its renewed reliance on nuclear weapons with thousands on high alert, and its loss of confidence in international law leave us vulnerable to catastrophe…. This crisis makes de-alerting nuclear weapons more urgent than ever. To those who say the Russian threat is all rhetoric, I reply that rhetoric is what starts wars”.16

The Media War: “Silencing the Silent Majority”

This war is also “a War against the Truth”. With protest movements developing around the World, NATO has reinforced its clutch over the mass media. In a stylised (“wag the dog”) media mascarade, the Alliance is relentlessly portrayed as “the saviour of ethnic Albanian Kosovars”. A full-fledged “cover-up operation” has been set in motion with a view to thwarting public debate on the War. The hidden agenda is to “silence the silent majority.” The Western media heeding to the Alliance’s demands has blatantly misled public opinion. Casually portrayed on TV screens, civilian deaths are justified as inevitable “collateral damage”. According to the Pentagon, “there is no such thing as clean combat.”17

Meanwhile, anti-war commentators (including former ambassadors and OSCE officials) have been carefully removed from mainstream public affairs programmes, TV content is closely scrutinised, the images of civilian deaths and destruction relayed from Belgrade are seldomly and selectively displayed, journalists are under tight supervision. While the media does not hesitate to criticize NATO for having committed “errors” and “tragic mistakes”, the legitimacy of the military operation and its “humanitarian mandate” are not questioned:

“Public opinion is confronted with a loaded question which allows only one answer. In the present war, that question is, “Doesn’t ethnic cleansing have to be stopped?” This simplification allows the media to portray Yugoslavia rather than NATO as the aggressor. The alliance, in a complete inversion of reality, is presented as conducting an essentially defensive war on behalf of the Kosovar Albanians…” when in fact ethnic Albanians are the principle victims of NATO’s “humanitarian bombings.”18

According to NATO’s propaganda machine, “ethnic Albanians do not flee the bombings” and the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Army. According to Diana Johnstone this makes them “nearly unique [because] throughout history, civilians have fled from war zones…. No, as we have heard repeatedly from NATO spokesmen and apologists, Kosovo Albanians run away from only one thing: brutal ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbs.”19

The refugee crisis we are told by NATO is limited to Kosovo. Yet the evidence (withheld by the Western media) confirms that people throughout Serbia are fleeing major cities:

Reliable estimates put the number of refugees who have left Belgrade to escape the bombing at 400,000. Most are women and children, as with the Kosovo Albanians. At least another 500,000 have left Serbia’s other cities, notably Novi Sad and Nish, where NATO bombing has caused air pollution, cut the water supply, and struck purely civilian targets such as market squares. Altogether, according to the Italian daily “Il Manifesto”, the NATO bombing has produced at least a million refugees in Serbia. Predrag Simic, foreign policy adviser to Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic, told a Paris conference [in late May] that Kosovo was being so thoroughly devastated by NATO bombing that nobody, neither Albanians nor Serbs, would be able to go back and live there”.20

Who is Responsible for War Crimes?

Public “disapproval” of NATO bombings is immediately dismissed as “Serb propaganda”. Those who speak out against NATO are branded as “apologists of Milosevic”. While most anti-War critics in NATO countries are not defenders of the Milosevic regime, they are nonetheless expected to be “balanced” in their arguments. “Looking at both sides of the picture is the rule”: anti-war commentators are invited to echo NATO’s fabricated media consensus, to unequivocally “join the bandwagon” against Milosevic. Under these circumstances, an objective understanding and analysis of the role of the Milosovic government since the civil War in Bosnia and in the context of the present crisis in Kosovo has been rendered virtually impossible.

Media double standards? Whereas President Milosevic and four members of his government were indicted by the Hague International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) (late May) for organising a policy of “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo, the news media failed to mention that several parallel law suits were launched at The Hague Tribunal (ICTY), accusing NATO leaders of “crimes against humanity.”21

It is also worth mentioning that the UK government (whose Prime Minister Tony Blair is among the list of accused in one of the parallel law suits) has provided The Hague Tribunal with “intelligence on the situation within Kosovo” since the beginning of the bombings.22 Part of this intelligence material was relayed by the KLA with which British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has been in frequent contact as well as through British Special Forces (SAS) directly collaborating with the KLA.

Law Suit Directed Against Nato Leaders

In May, a group of 15 Canadian lawyers and law professors together with the American Association of Jurists (with members in more than 20 countries) launched a suit against NATO leaders at the ICTY in the Hague.23 The suit points to “open violation” of the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty, the Geneva Conventions and the “Principles of International Law Recognized by the Nuremberg Tribunal”. The latter makes: “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances” a crime.24

The list of crimes allegedly committed by NATO leaders includes:

“wilful killing, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, extensive destruction of property,… employment of poisonous weapons [implying radioactive fall-out] or other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity,… “25

Under the terms of reference of the ICTY “a person who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime shall be individually responsible for the crime” and “the official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility or mitigate punishment.”26

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson (and former President of Ireland) confirmed in Geneva on 30 April that the Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) has the mandate not only to prosecute Serb forces but that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and NATO may also come under scrutiny, “if it appears that serious violations of international humanitarian law have occurred.”

According to Walter J. Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials:

“The bombing war also violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”27

Shaky Evidence of a “Humanitarian Catastrophe” Prior to the Bombings

In the course of “covering-up” the real motivations of NATO in launching the War, the international media has also failed to mention that an official intelligence report of the German Foreign Ministry (used to establish the eligibility of political refugees from Kosovo) confirmed that there was no evidence of “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo in the months immediately preceding the bombings. Who is lying? German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had justified NATO’s intervention pointing to a “humanitarian catastrophe”, yet the internal documents of his own ministry say exactly the opposite:

“Even in Kosovo an explicit political persecution linked to Albanian ethnicity is not verifiable. The East of Kosovo is still not involved in armed conflict. Public life in cities like Pristina, Urosevac, Gnjilan, etc. has, in the entire conflict period, continued on a relatively normal basis. The actions of the security forces [were] not directed against the Kosovo-Albanians as an ethnically defined group, but against the military opponent [KLA] and its actual or alleged supporters.”… “29

[W]ith an agreement made with the Serbian leadership at the end of 1998 … both the security situation and the conditions of life of the Albanian-derived population have noticeably improved… Specifically in the larger cities public life has since returned to relative normality.”29

The above assessments are broadly consistent with several independent evaluations of the humanitarian situation in Kosovo prior to the onslaught of the bombing campaign. Roland Keith, a former field office director of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), who left Kosovo on March 20th reported that most of the violence in Kosovo was instigated by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA):

“Upon my arrival the war increasingly evolved into a mid intensity conflict as ambushes, the encroachment of critical lines of communication and the [KLA] kidnapping of security forces resulted in a significant increase in government casualties which in turn led to major Yugoslavian reprisal security operations… By the beginning of March these terror and counter-terror operations led to the inhabitants of numerous villages fleeing, or being dispersed to either other villages, cities or the hills to seek refuge… The situation was clearly that KLA provocations, as personally witnessed in ambushes of security patrols which inflicted fatal and other casualties, were clear violations of the previous October’s agreement [and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199]. The security forces responded and the consequent security harassment and counter-operations led to an intensified insurrectionary war, but as I have stated elsewhere, I did not witness, nor did I have knowledge of any incidents of so-called “ethnic cleansing” and there certainly were no occurrences of “genocidal policies” while I was with the KVM in Kosovo. What has transpired since the OSCE monitors were evacuated on March 20, in order to deliver the penultimate warning to force Yugoslavian compliance with the Rambouillet and subsequent Paris documents and the commencement of the NATO air bombardment of March 24, obviously has resulted in human rights abuses and a very significant humanitarian disaster as some 600,000 Albanian Kosovars have fled or been expelled from the province. This did not occur, though, before March 20, so I would attribute the humanitarian disaster directly or indirectly to the NATO air bombardment and resulting anti-terrorist campaign.”30

Chronology of Nato Planning

Kosovo’s “Independence”: Dilemmas of NATO’s Aggression in 1999
Carefully removed from the public eye, preparations for both “the air campaign” and “the ground War” have been ongoing for almost a year prior to the beginning of NATO’s “humanitarian bombings” on March 24th 1999.

Responding to broad strategic and economic objectives, the Alliance’s first priority was to secure the stationing of armed combat troops in Macedonia on the immediate border with Kosovo. US Secretary of Defense William Cohen had travelled to Skopje in late December 1997 for discussions with the Macedonian government and Military. These high levels talks were followed a few months later by the visit of Macedonia’s Defense Minister L. Kitanoski to Washington for meetings at the Pentagon. On the agenda: the establishment of a NATO base in Macedonia.31

No time was lost: on May 6, 1998, the NATO Council met “to review alliance efforts” in the region; a major military exercise entitled “Cooperative Best Effort” was slated to take place in Macedonia in September. NATO nonetheless “reassured the international community” that the military exercise was not meant to be “a rehearsal”, rather it was to enable “NATO military authorities to study various options. Decisions on whether to execute any of those options would be a matter for future decision.”32

Largely the consequence of KLA terrorism, the deterioration of the security situation in Kosovo conveniently provided NATO with a pretext to build up its ground forces in Macedonia (composed largely of British and French troops). According to NATO, it was therefore necessary to envisage “a more complicated and ambitious [military] exercise [in Macedonia] to send a clear political signal [to Belgrade] of NATO’s involvement”.33

The Role of the Kosovo Liberation Army

In parallel with the setting up of its military operations in Albania and Macedonia, NATO had established direct links with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). A US Department of Defense briefing confirms in this regard that “initial contacts” between the KLA and NATO had taken place by mid-1998:

“…the realization has come to people [in NATO] that we [NATO] have to have the UCK [acronym for KLA in Albanian] involved in this process because they have shown at least the potential to be rejectionists of any deal that could be worked out there with the existing Kosovo parties. So somehow they have to be brought in and that’s why we’ve made some initial contacts there with the group, hopefully the right people in the group, to try and bring them into this negotiating process. 34

While these “initial contacts” were acknowledged by NATO officially only in mid-1998, the KLA had (according to several reports) been receiving “covert support” and training from the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties.35

The concurrent building up of KLA forces was part of NATO planning. By mid-1998 “covert support” had been gradually replaced –despite the KLA’s links to organised crime– by official (“overt”) support by the military Alliance in violation of UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1160 of 31 March 1998 which condemned: “…all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms and training.”

On 24 September 1998, another key UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1199) was adopted which called “upon the authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community urgently to enter without preconditions into a meaningful dialogue on political status issues.” It also required Belgrade to withdraw its troops from Kosovo.

Following a renewed wave of KLA terrorism, the Yugoslav authorities were blamed for the “crackdowns on ethnic Albanians” providing NATO defense ministers meeting in Vilmoura Portugal (September 24th on the same day as the adoption of UNSCR 1199) with the “justification” to issue an “activation warning” for a campaign of air strikes against Serb positions. The Vilmoura statement called upon Belgrade to “take immediate steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation…, stop repressive actions against the population and seek a political solution through negotiations with the Albanian majority”.36

This so-called “activation warning” was followed in mid-October by “an activation order” by the North Atlantic Council authorising NATO’s Supreme Commander for Europe General Wesley Clark to initiate “limited air strikes” and a “phased air campaign” … should the Yugoslav authorities refuse to comply with UNSCR 1199.37

Under the impending threat of air strikes, a partial withdrawal was carried out by Belgrade (following the adoption of UNSCR 1199) creating almost immediately conditions for the KLA to occupy positions previously held by retreating Serb forces. In turn, the strengthening of the KLA was accompanied by renewed terrorist activity and a consequent “worsening of the security situation”. NATO’s hidden objective, in this regard, was to use the KLA insurgency to further provoke ethnic tensions and generate social strife in Kosovo.

In the meantime, US envoy Richard Holbrooke had entered into discussions with President Milosovic. Forged under the threat of NATO air strikes, negotiations on Kosovo’s political status had also been initiated in Pristina between a Serbian delegation led by President Milan Milutinovic and Ibrahim Rugova, President of the Democratic League (DLK) representing ethnic Albanians. While Mr Christopher Hill, the US envoy had been invited as an observer to these meetings, Milutinovic had insisted that the negotiations (which proceeded from UNSCR 1199) were an internal matter.

Following the agreement between US envoy Richard Holbrooke and President Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslavia was to complete negotiations on “a framework for a political settlement” by the 2nd of November 1998. Moreover, a Verification Mission to establish compliance with resolutions UNSCR 1160 and UNSCR 1199, was put in place in Kosovo under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). A parallel NATO air verification mission (complementing the OSCE verification mission) was established following an agreement signed in Belgrade on 15 October 1998 by the Yugoslav Chief of General Staff and NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, General Wesley Clark.

The terms of both the OSCE and NATO verification agreements were subsequently embodied in UNSCR 1260 of October 24th. Whereas Belgrade was given a 96 hour “deadline for compliance”, the Alliance decided to postpone the initiation of air strikes following talks in Belgrade (October 25-26) between President Slobodan Milosevic and General Wesley Clark. According to the Alliance statement: “NATO will remain prepared to carry out air operations should they be necessary” 38. In the meantime, NATO launched Operation Eagle Eye using unarmed aircraft and unmanned predator aerial vehicles (UAVs). Eagle Eye surveillance activities were coordinated with the “ground verification” mission conducted by OSCE observer teams and by the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission (KDOM).

A Former “Iran-Contragate” Official Heads the OSCE Verification Mission

In the meantime, a career US diplomat, Ambassador William G. Walker was appointed Head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM). A tailor-made assignment: Walker was well-known for his role in the “Iran-Contragate” scandal during the Reagan administration. The KLA insurgency was in many regards a “carbon copy” of the Nicaraguan Contras which had also been funded by drug money with covert support from the CIA.

Well documented by court files, William G. Walker –in association with Oliver North– played a key role in channelling covert funding to the Nicaraguan Contras while serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs in the Reagan Administration. In this capacity, he became a special assistant to Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, “a figure whose name would soon be making its way into the headlines on a daily basis in connection with … the “Iran-Contra” affair.”39

William G. Walker had been involved in the so-called Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (“NHAO”) in the State Department which was a cover-up fund whereby covert military aid was supplied to the Contras. The objective was to circumvent the so-called “Boland Amendments”, –ie. “riders” to the Department of Defense Appropriation Act, “which prohibited the [US] government from spending money for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua”. 40 Confirmed by files of the US Court of Appeal (District of Columbia), “Walker attended some meetings of the Restricted Interagency Group for Central America, of which Oliver North was a member”.41

Walker was never indicted for criminal wrong-doings in the Iran- Contragate scandal. Upon completing his work with Oliver North, he was appointed US Ambassador to El Salvador. His stint in El Salvador coincided with the rise of the death squadrons and a period during which the country was virtually “under the grip of US sponsored State terror.”42

In Kosovo, William G. Walker applied his skills in covert operations acquired in Central America. As head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), Walker maintained close links to the KLA military command in the field.43 From the outset of his mission in Kosovo, he used his position to pursue the interests of the Alliance.

“The Racak Massacre”

The so-called “Racak massacre” occurred shortly before the launching of the Rambouillet “peace initiative”. although it turned out to be a fake, the Racak massacre nonetheless played a key role in “setting the stage” for NATO’s air raids. William Walker declared (in his capacity as head of KVM) that the Yugoslav police had carried out a massacre of civilians at Racak on January 15th. The Yugoslav authorities retorted that local police had in fact conducted an operation in this village against the Kosovo Libration Army and that several KLA soliders had died in cross-fire. As later reported by several French newspapers (Le Monde, Le Figaro and Liberation), it was confirmed that the “Racak massacre” was indeed a fake put together with a view to discrediting Belgrade:

“Eventually, even the Los Angeles Times joined in, running a story entitled “Racak Massacre Questions: Were Atrocities Faked?” The theory behind all these exposs was that the KLA had gathered their own dead after the battle, removed their uniforms, put them in civilian clothes, and then called in the observers.”44.

The Rambouillet Process

On January 22, senior officials of the so-called “Contact Group” of six countries (including the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy) meeting in London called for a peace conference which would bring together the Yugoslav government and “representatives of ethnic Albanians.” In turn, NATO warned that it was “ready to act” if the peace plan to be finalised by the Contact Group were rejected. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan concurred during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels that the threat of force was “essential” to press both sides into a settlement.45

In the meantime, while supporting the KLA insurgency on the ground, the Alliance had also contributed to spearheading KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year “freedom fighter”) into heading the Kosovar delegation to Rambouillet, on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority. The Democratic League headed by Ibrahim Rugova had been deliberately side-stepped. The Alliance was relying on its KLA puppets (linked to organised crime) to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under NATO military rule.

While negotiations were ongoing in Rambouillet, NATO decided to increase the readiness of its assigned forces “so as to make them able to execute the operation within 48 hours”.46 In other words, “peace negotiations” had been initiated in Rambouillet (contrary to the Vienna Convention) under the threat of impending air strikes. NATO had granted a three weeks period to the parties meeting in Rambouillet to conclude negotiations.

On February 19, one day prior to the deadline, NATO Secretary General Javier Solano reaffirmed that, “if no agreement is reached by the deadline set by the Contact Group, NATO is ready to take whatever measures are necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe”.47 And on 22 March 1999, NATO’S North Atlantic Council authorised “the Secretary General to decide, subject to further consultations, on a broader range of air operations if necessary.”48

And on 23 March 1999, NATO’s Secretary General directed the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General Wesley Clark to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Air operations commenced on 24 March 1999 under the nickname “Operation Allied Force.”49

Sending in Ground Troups Under a G-8 “Peace Plan”

Since the brutal onslaught of the air campaign on March 24, the Alliance has continued to build up its ground combat troops on the Macedonian border in anticipation of an impending military invasion. Initially NATO had envisaged a Kosovo occupation force of 50,000 troops which could be increased to 60,000 with a larger US share than the 4,000 initially envisaged under Rambouillet.

In other words, the proposed invasion force was to be more than double that under Rambouillet (28,000 troops) while also enforcing all the normative clauses of the initial Rambouillet agreement including the “free movement” of NATO combat units throughout Yugoslavia.

In the meantime, NATO’s military establishment was forcing the pace of international diplomacy. The Alliance hinted in May that a ground offensive could be launched prior to reaching a “peace agreement” sanctioned by the G8 and ratified by the United Nations Security Council.

In addition to the 16,000 ground troops already stationed (well before the beginning of the bombings) in Macedonia (of which almost half are British), some 7000 NATO troops and “special forces” were also present in Albania, not to mention the NATO troops stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina under Operation Joint Endeavour:

“We’ve already put quite a lot of troops in Macedonia as the nucleus of that operation”, said British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. “There are over 12,000 there already… and last weekend [14-15 May] we committed another two and a half thousand to go there. We need to build up – actually we need to build up now…”50.

In late May, the 60,000 troops target was revised to 150,000. Alliance officials estimating that “if the alliance later decides to mobilize for a land attack … an invasion force could number more than 150,000 soldiers.”51 Prime Minister Tony Blair in a separate statement had (without any form of parliamentary debate) confirmed the sending of 50,000 British troops as part of the 150,000 invasion force.

In early June, a NATO led invasion under a bogus G8-UN peace initiative was put forth. While the latter served to appease and distract public opinion, it usefully provided the Alliance with a semblance of legitimacy under the UN Charter. It also purported to overcome the hesitation of elected politicians including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema. The US Administration also required the “rubber stamp” of the United Nations Security Council so as to acquire the assent of the Republican dominated Congress:

“House and Senate Democrats agree there is little support at this point for launching ground troops… even if Clinton and other NATO leaders could reach a consensus on such a dramatic shift in tactics. For now, Clinton has said he is opposed to ground troops.”52

The US House of Representatives (in what appeared to be a partisan “anti-Clinton” vote) has declined to even endorse the air campaign while signifying its refusal to authorize a “ground war” without congressional approval. In early April, Republicans and Democrats joined hands in the House and threw out a proposed “declaration of war on Yugoslavia” by an overwhelming 427-2 vote.

In late May, seventeen members of Congress launched a suit against President Clinton pointing to the blatant breach of the US Constitution:

“that the Defendant, the President of the United States, is unconstitutionally continuing an offensive military attack by United States Armed Forces against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without obtaining a declaration of war or other explicit authority from the Congress of the United States as required by Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, and despite Congress’ decision not to authorize such action.” 53

The law suit launched in District Court (District of Columbia) also pointed to the violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a Vietnam War-era legislation which requires “the sitting President congressional approval for the “introduction into hostilities” of the U.S. armed forces for longer than 60 days”:

Plaintiffs also seek a declaration that a report pursuant to Section 1543(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution was required to be submitted on March 26, 1999, within 48 hours of the introduction into hostilities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of United States Armed Forces. Additionally, Plaintiffs seek a declaration that, pursuant to Section 1544(b) of the Resolution, the President must terminate the use of United States Armed Forces engaged in hostilities against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia no later than sixty calendar days after March 26, 1999. The President must do so unless the Congress declares war or enacts other explicit authorization, or has extended the sixty day period, or the President determines that thirty additional days are necessary to safely withdraw United States Armed Forces from combat.54

NATO as “Peace-keepers”

Echoing the barrage of self-serving NATO propaganda, the media scam now consists in skilfully portraying Alliance ground troops as bona fide “peace-keepers”. Public opinion should not be deluded as to the meaning of a G8-UN brokered diplomatic solution.

An “international presence” consisting largely of NATO troops under the G8 proposal (ratified by the Serbian Parliament in early June) could include a token participation of “non-NATO forces” including Russia and the Ukraine. While Moscow agreed in early June that all Yugoslav forces be withdrawn from Kosovo alongside the disarmement of the KLA, Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin nonetheless insisted that the command structure of the proposed international force be under the control and jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Despite his perfunctory condemnation of NATO bombings, Russian President Boris Yeltsin is a Western puppet. Chernomyrdin writing in the Washington Post had earlier warned that a continuation of the air raids could hurt US-Russian relations: “The world has never in this decade been so close as now to be on brink of nuclear war…” adding that “Russia would pull out of the negotiating process if NATO bombing, which started March 24, doesn’t stop soon.”55

In the meantime, the Alliance, however, had persisted in maintaining a unified NATO command structure (which was unacceptable to Moscow and Belgrade). NATO has also stepped up the bombings as a means of pressuring Belgrade into accepting (without prior negotiation) NATO’s “five conditions”.

If the G-8 proposal were to be ratified, NATO would first send in US Marines into Kosovo from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Adriatic Sea. The Marines would be part of a so-called “Enabling Force” prior to the moving in of a force of 50,000 troops.

A G-8 “peace proposal” (implying a de facto military occupation of Kosovo) could be formally ratified at the Cologne G7-G8 Summit in mid-June. All G7 heads of government and heads of State together with President Boris Yeltsin will be in attendance at Cologne in what is hoped to be a highflown display of unity in favour of a (G8 sanctioned) NATO led invasion. NATO nonetheless warned in early June that should the diplomatic initiative not succeed, the Alliance would proceed with a ground invasion involving 150,000 troops….

The Sending in of “Special Forces”

In the meantime, an incipient undeclared ground War has already commenced: special British, French and American forces were reported to be advising the KLA in the conduct of ground combat operations against regular units of the Yugoslav Army. To support this initiative, a Republican sponsored bill was launched in the US Congress to provide direct military aid to the KLA.

These “special forces” are “advising the rebels at their strongholds in northern Albania, where the KLA has launched a major recruitment and training operation. According to high-ranking KLA officials, the [British] SAS is using two camps near Tirana, the Albanian capital, and another on the Kosovar border to teach KLA officers how to conduct intelligence-gathering operations on Serbian positions”.56 In May, three French special forces officers wearing uniforms of the French Armed Forces (“Parachutistes”) were reported killed on the Albania-Yugoslavia border by the Yugoslav daily Vecernje Novosti. According to the French daily Libration, the three men were allegedly “instructors in charge of coordinating ground war activities by the KLA…”57.

An Unholy “Marriage of Convenience”

In addition to the dispatch of Western special forces, Mujehadeen mercenaries and other Islamic fundamentalist groups (financed inter alia by Iran and Saudi financier Osmane Bin Laden) have been collaborating with the KLA in the ground war.

y early December 1997, Iranian intelligence had already delivered the first shipments of hand grenades, machine-guns, assault rifles, night vision equipment, and communications gear… Moreover, the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK [KLA] commanders for advanced military training in al-Quds [special] forces and IRGC camps in Iran…58.

Bin Laden’s Al Qa’ida allegedly responsible for last year’s African embassy bombings “was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, … Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 … Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists”.59

Nato in Close Liaison with KLA Ground Operations

According to Jane Defence Weekly (10 May 1999), the KLA’s new chief of staff is former Croatian Armed Forces Brigadier General Agim Ceku (an ethnic Albanian) who is currently under investigation by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague (ICTY) for his role in “summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and `ethnic cleansing’ during the War in Bosnia.”60

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea’s response to the appointment of a War criminal as KLA chief of staff was communicated in a Press Briefing:

“I have always made it clear, and you have heard me say this, that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they appoint as their leaders, that is entirely their own affair. I don’t have any comment on that whatever.61

Shea’s statement that NATO has “no direct contacts with the KLA” is a lie. It is in overt contradiction with other Alliance statements: “I speak regularly to Hashim Thaci, the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army who’s in Kosovo. I spoke to him at the end of last week” said British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.62

Operations on the ground (led by the KLA and NATO Special forces) are now being carefully coordinated with the air campaign. Moreover, some 50 Canadian armed forces “are working with the KLA in Kosovo” to help report “where the bombs are falling” so they can better target “where the next bomb should go.”63

Pentagon Sponsored Mercenaries in Kosovo

The KLA has also been provided with “a long-term training deal with Military and Professional Resources International [MPRI], a mercenary company run by former American officers who operate with semi-official approval from the Pentagon and played a key role in building up Croatia’s armed forces [during the War in Bosnia].”64 And General Brigadier Agim Ceku (despite his role in “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia), is currently collaborating closely with the Pentagon’s mercenary outfit MPRI on behalf of the KLA.

The KLA to Form a “Post-conflict Government”

A self-proclaimed provisional KLA government of Kosovo has been established. With KLA leader Hashim Thaci as Prime Minister designate, the KLA has already been promised a central role in the formation of a “post-conflict government”.

While openly promoting a “freedom movement” with links to the drug trade, NATO was also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who had earlier called for an end to the bombings. Rugova was branded as a “traitor” by the KLA. According to Albanian state-run TV, the KLA had sentenced Rugova to death accusing him of being “an agent of the regime in Belgrade.”65

In April, Fehmi Agani, one of Rugova’s closest collaborators in the Democratic League was killed. The Serbs were blamed by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea for having assassinated Agani. According to Skopje paper Makedonija Danas quoting reliable sources in Albania: “Agani was killed… on the orders of Tirana where Thaci is located with the members of his illegal government”.66

According to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute:

“…the KLA have [no] qualms about murdering Rugova’s collaborators, whom it accused of the “crime” of moderation. Most recently, although Rugova’s recent meeting with Milosevic may well have been under duress, the KLA declared Rugova a “traitor” – yet another step toward eliminating any competitors for political power within Kosovo.”67

The KLA military regime had replaced the duly elected (by ethnic Albanians) civilian provisional Kosovar government of President Ibrahim Rugova. In a statement issued in April, the KLA considered the (parallel) “parliamentary elections” organised by the Democratic League and held in March 1998 to be invalid.

The self-proclaimed Kosovar administration is made up of the KLA and the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova’s Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controls the ministries of finance, public order and defence. In the words of US State Department spokesman James Foley:

`We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.’68

With the KLA poised to play a central role in the formation of a “post conflict” government, the tendency is towards the installation of a “Mafia State” with links to the drug trade. The US State Department’s position is that the KLA would “not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a ‘different context'” meaning the inauguration of a de facto “narco-democracy” under NATO protection: “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with.”69

In recent developments, the Alliance, however, has sought through the intermediation of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to reconcile divisions between Thachi, Rugova and other ethnic Albanian leaders “primarily with a view to strengthening its [the Alliance’s] own position in the region.”70

Imposing “Free Market” Reforms

Wall Street analysts concur that “war is good for business” particularly during a period of “economic slowdown”. The US Congress has approved increased budgetary allocations to finance the War in Yugoslavia which will result in multi-billion contracts for America’s Defense industry. In turn, the War will boost the military-industrial complex and its related high tech sectors in the US and Western Europe. A ground war combined with a prolonged military occupation (as in Bosnia) will prop up military spending. In turn, covert support and financing of “freedom fighters” (extending beyond the Balkans into Central Asia and the Middle East) will contribute to boosting the lucrative contraband in small arms for an expanding market of insurgent nationalist movements.

“Economic Reconstruction”

The “post conflict” agenda (under the proposed G8 “peace initiative” consists in establishing in Kosovo an occupied territory under Western administration (broadly on the same model as the 1995 Dayton Agreement imposed on Bosnia-Herzegovina).

“Free market reforms” are envisaged for Kosovo under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions. Article I (Chapter 4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulates that: “The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles”.

“Civilian administration [in Kosovo] and reconstruction would be carried out by non-military bodies including the EU and the OSCE, with input from the World Bank and the IMF to rebuild war-damaged infrastructure and rehouse refugees.71

In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions had already analyzed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo: almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank conducted “simulations” which “anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo”.72 The “simulations” conducted in Washington have in fact already been translated into a panoply of “emergency recovery loans” for Macedonia and Albania, and there is more to come… Since the imposition of the embargo, Yugoslavia, however, is no longer considered a member of the Bretton Woods institutions and will not be eligible for IMF-World Bank loans until the sanctions are lifted.

The proposed “Marshall Plan” for the Balkans is a delusion. We recall that in Bosnia, the costs of reconstruction were of the order of 50 billion dollars. Western donors initially pledged $3 billion in reconstruction loans, yet only a meagre $518 million dollars were granted in December 1995, part of which was tagged (under the terms of the Dayton Peace Accords) to finance some of the local civilian costs of the Implementation Force’s (IFOR) military deployment as well as repay debt arrears with international creditors.73

The eventual “reconstruction” of Yugoslavia formulated in the context of the “free market” reforms and financed by international debt largely purport to create a safe haven for foreign investors rather than rehabilitate the country’s economic and social infrastructure. The IMF’s lethal “economic medicine” will be imposed, the national economy will be dismantled, European and American banks will take over financial institutions, local industrial enterprises which have not been totally destroyed will be driven into bankruptcy. The most profitable State assets will be transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World Bank sponsored privatisation programme. In turn, “strong economic medicine” imposed by external creditors will contribute to further boosting a criminal economy (already implanted in Albania and Macedonia) which feeds on poverty and economic dislocation.

“The Allies will work with the rest of the international community to help rebuild Kosovo once the crisis is over: The International Monetary Fund and Group of Seven industrialized countries are among those who stand ready to offer financial help to the countries of the region. We want to ensure proper co-ordination of aid and help countries to respond to the effects of the crisis. This should go hand in hand with the necessary structural reforms in the countries affected — helped by budget support from the international community.74

In turn, the so-called “reconstruction” of the Balkans by foreign capital will signify multi-billion contracts to multinational firms to rebuild roads, airports and bridges which will eventually be required (once the embargo is lifted) to facilitate the “free movement” of capital and commodities.

The proposed “Marshall Plan” financed by the World Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD) as well as private creditors will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and construction companies while fuelling the region’s external debt well into the third millennium. And the countries of the Balkans are slated to reimburse this debt through the laundering of dirty money in the domestic banking system which will be deregulated under the supervision of Western financial institutions. Narco-dollars from the multi-billion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled (through the banking system) and channelled towards servicing the external debt as well as “financing” the costs of “reconstruction”.

The pattern for Kosovo is, in this regard, similar to that of Macedonia and Albania. Since the early 1990s, the IMF’s reforms have impoverished the Albanian population while spearheading the national economy into bankruptcy. The IMF’s deadly economic therapy transforms countries into open territories. In Albania and Macedonia it has fostered the growth of illicit trade and the criminalisation of State institutions.

Moreover, even prior to the influx of refugees, NATO troops in Macedonia and Albania had already occupied civilian facilities (including hotels, schools, barracks and even hospitals) without compensating the national governments for the use of local services.75

In a cruel irony, a significant part of these incurred costs as well as those associated with the refugee crisis are now to be financed not by the Alliance but by the national governments on borrowed money:

“[T]he Albanian government’s formal structures have been paralysed by the crisis. The country’s treasury has been emptied by the initial efforts to help the refugees.”76

Who Will Pay War Reparations?

The extensive destruction of Yugoslavia, would normally require the Alliance to “pay war reparations” to Belgrade. However, following a pattern set in both Vietnam and Iraq, the Alliance will no doubt compel Belgrade “to pay for the costs” of Operation Allied Force (including the cruise missiles and radioactive shells) as a condition for the “normalisation of relations” and the lifting of the economic embargo.

We recall in this regard that whereas Vietnam never received War reparations payments, Hanoi was compelled –as a condition for the “normalisation” of economic relations and the lifting of the US embargo in 1994–, to recognize the “bad debts” of the defunct Saigon regime which were largely used to finance the US War effort. By recognizing (in a secret Paris Club agreement negotiatied in 1993) the legitimacy of these debts, Vietnam had accepted “to pay war reparation damages” to her former enemy.77

Similarly Baghdad has been “billed for the costs of the Gulf War”, – –ie. accumulated Iraqi debts including private claims against Iraq have been carefully recorded by a special unit of the UN Security Council. The recognition of these debts by Baghdad at some future date will be a condition for the lifting of sanctions on Iraq. ... inals/2144

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:44 pm

Twenty years since the US bombing of Yugoslavia
23 March 2019

March 24 marks 20 years since the US and NATO launched a one-sided war against Yugoslavia, bombing Serbia and its capital Belgrade for 78 straight days. Factories, schools and hospitals were destroyed, along with bridges, roads and the electrical grid in a bid to bomb the Serbian population into submission to US and Western European imperialism’s domination of the Balkans.

The airstrikes killed around 2,500 people and wounded another 12,500 according to Serbian estimates.

One of the US-NATO airstrikes used laser-guided bombs to take out a railway bridge in southern Serbia, killing at least 10 people on a passenger train. Another slaughtered 21 people in a nursing home. And a deliberate strike on the TV broadcaster RTS in Belgrade took the lives of 16 civilian workers.

In one of the most provocative acts of the war, the US carried out a strike on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three people. Washington claimed that the bombing was an “accident,” but Beijing and the Chinese population rightly saw it as an act of aggression that foreshadowed an escalating US military buildup against China.

“Operation Noble Anvil”, as the bombing campaign was dubbed, was launched without any authorization from the United Nations after Serbia’s President Slobodan Milosevic refused to accept the so-called Rambouillet Agreement, which in reality was a US-NATO ultimatum that demanded Belgrade allow NATO troops to occupy the province of Kosovo and be granted free rein over all of Yugoslavia. Even the veteran imperialist war criminal Henry Kissinger acknowledged that the so-called agreement “was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing.”

The war constituted the final chapter in the imperialist dismemberment of Yugoslavia, a country that had existed since 1918. Having pulled the rug out from under the Yugoslav economy, the major imperialist powers encouraged the growth of ethnic nationalism—spearheaded by ex-Yugoslav Stalinist bureaucrats turned communalist capitalist politicians—warming their hands over the fire as they pushed Serbs, Muslims and Croats to slaughter one another, and using Yugoslavia as a testing ground for military intervention and a new generation of so-called precision-guided munitions.

The essential precursor of the war was the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the hands of the Moscow Stalinist bureaucracy. During the Cold War, Washington and its NATO allies had supported the unity of Yugoslavia as a counterweight to the influence of the USSR in the lands to its south. But after the Stalinist bureaucracy’s drive for capitalist restoration culminated in the breakup of the Soviet Union, the imperialist powers launched a reckless and ultimately catastrophic scramble for the Balkans.

Germany began by recognizing the independence of the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia, flexing its new-found muscles as an imperialist power in Europe following its 1990 re-unification. While Washington first opposed the move, it subsequently threw itself into the carve-up by recognizing Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent “nation” meriting its own state. This set the stage for a bloody conflict between the territory’s three constituent populations –Muslims, Serbs and Croats–and ultimately imperialist intervention.

Underlying the drive to war over Kosovo was the imperialist imperative of bringing Serbia, the strongest power in the region, to heel in order to solidify US-NATO hegemony.

The war was launched by the Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton under the thoroughly discredited and hypocritical banner of “humanitarian intervention” and the claim that the US and its allies were intervening to stop a massacre of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian population at the hands of Serbian security forces.

Washington and its European imperialist allies, backed by a thoroughly pliant capitalist media, cast Serbian leader Milosevic as a new “Hitler” and the Serbian people as a whole as “Nazis,” obscenely comparing the repression in Kosovo to the Holocaust.

Claims that 100,000 ethnic Albanians had been slaughtered that were floated in advance of the US-NATO war were debunked in its aftermath. The real death toll in Kosovo before US and NATO bombs began to fall was revealed after the war to have been closer to 2,000, with the majority of the killings committed by the armed separatist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)

The KLA, previously classified by Washington as a terrorist organization, was elevated in the run-up to the war as the sole legitimate representative of Kosovo’s population. Its extensive ties to organized crime throughout Europe as well as to Al Qaeda were swept under the rug as the CIA poured money and arms into the group, which carried out terrorist bombings and ethnic killings against the Serbian population. The KLA, working in close collaboration with its US sponsors, sought to create as much violence and death as possible in order to pave the way to Western intervention.

Twenty years later, the former chief of the KLA, Hashim Thaçi–proclaimed in Washington as “the George Washington of Kosovo”–has headed a succession of governments, even as control of the landlocked mini-state’s economy remains in the hands of European Union officials and its territory is still occupied by 4,000 NATO troops, including 600 US soldiers.

Thaçi has been exposed in numerous investigations as the head of a criminal organization involved in drug trafficking and prostitution as well as in the appalling trafficking in human organs “harvested” from captured Serbs. Washington and the EU have repeatedly intervened to prevent him from being prosecuted for war crimes and other criminal activity.

The “humanitarian” intervention to halt “ethnic cleansing” has resulted in massive ethnic cleansing, including the driving out of two-thirds of the 120,000 Roma and Ashkali living in Kosovo as well as many thousands of ethnic Serbs.

Despite Kosovo being the largest per capita recipient of foreign aid on the planet, the landlocked mini-state remains the poorest territory in Europe, with an official unemployment rate of 30 percent (55 percent for youth) and wages averaging just $410 a month. With all of its wealth and military power, US and German imperialism have managed to create only a failed state and a government controlled by a Mafia.

None of the wounds inflicted upon the former state of Yugoslavia by imperialist intervention have healed. The Balkans remain a powder keg that can be set off at any moment, igniting–as they did in the 20th century—a wider war that can bring in the major powers.

Among the most politically significant features of the 1999 Kosovo war was the unabashed and enthusiastic support lent to the US-NATO bombing of Serbia by former opponents of the American intervention in Vietnam and even self-proclaimed socialists in both Europe and America. This emerging pseudo left, whose social base was among privileged layers of the middle class, would go on to provide crucial political support to imperialism in similar bloody “humanitarian” regime change operations that have devastated both Libya and Syria.

The World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International opposed this reactionary outlook from the start, denouncing the onslaught against Yugoslavia as an imperialist war waged to assert US hegemony over the Balkans as part of a re-division of the territories of Eastern Europe and Central Asia left in a political vacuum following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In June of 1999, after the relentless bombing of Serbia forced Belgrade to withdraw security forces from Kosovo and open the way to US-NATO occupation, the World Socialist Web Site warned in an statement by David North, the chairperson of the WSWS and the Socialist Equality Party (US) titled “After the Slaughter: Political Lessons of the Balkan War,” “The bombing of Yugoslavia has exposed the real relations that exist between imperialism and small nations.”

The statement continued, “The great indictments of imperialism written in the first years of the twentieth century—those of Hobson, Lenin, Luxemburg and Hilferding—read like contemporary documents. Economically, small nations are at the mercy of the lending agencies and financial institutions of the major imperialist powers. In the realm of politics, any attempt to assert their independent interests brings with it the threat of devastating military retaliation. With increasing frequency, small states are being stripped of their national sovereignty, compelled to accept foreign military occupation, and submit to forms of rule that are, when all is said and done, of an essentially colonialist character.”

It went on to warn that the “cult of precision-guided munitions” promoted on the basis of the United States’ casualty-free Kosovo war, ignored the more basic tendencies of economic development. “Neither this advantage [in the arms industry] nor the products of this industry can guarantee world domination,” it said. “Despite the sophistication of its weaponry, the financial-industrial foundation of the United States’ preeminent role in the affairs of world capitalism is far less substantial than it was 50 years ago.”

Nearly two decades later, this prognosis has proven correct. For more than a quarter century, the US ruling elite has sought to sustain its global dominance through the uninterrupted and reckless use of military power. This has resulted in a string of failures from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya and Syria–as well as Kosovo—that have served only to exacerbate the crisis of the global system, while exposing the limitations of American military power.

The US-NATO war in Kosovo has been followed by NATO’s relentless expansion eastward, bringing US troops to the very border of Russia. While still playing the “humanitarian” card on occasion, Washington has jettisoned the “war on terror” as the central rationale for global US militarism, adopting a strategy of “great power” conflict, openly preparing for war against nuclear-armed Russia and China, as well as potential challenges from its erstwhile allies in Europe and Asia.

The destructive policies pursued by US imperialism are giving rise to an immense growth of social tensions and class struggle around the world, including in Kosovo, which has seen a wave of strikes against the abysmal conditions facing the working class, as well as in the United States itself. This rising movement of the international working class provides the only viable answer to the growing threat of multiple military conflicts across the globe igniting a new world war. The decisive lesson of the Kosovo war and what has followed is the necessity of building an international, socialist antiwar movement based upon the working class. ... s-m23.html

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:49 pm

Cause and effect in the Balkan War
By David North
17 April 1999

The following letter by David North, chairman of the editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, was written in reply to a letter from a reader defending the US-NATO war against Yugoslavia. The full text of the reader's letter is linked to Mr. North's reply.

First of all, your description of yourself as "very liberal" does not at all contradict your endorsement of the war that is being waged by the United States and NATO. Under the cover of "human rights," American liberals--having recovered from the trauma of their Vietnam debacle--are reasserting their traditional political role, dating back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, as the strategists and apologists of United States imperialism.

You justify support for the war as follows: though the humanitarian rationale given by the US and NATO may be a false one, the effects of the war are nonetheless humanitarian.

This is an absurd and reprehensible argument. If, as you seem to accept, "NATO did not enter into the struggle in a humanitarian capacity," then this war was launched by the United States for other reasons, i.e., those related to imperialist political and financial interests, which are being concealed from the people. It would follow that the entire media campaign which has accompanied the war represents a colossal exercise in disinformation.

Moreover, I do not quite know what "humanitarian effects" you are referring to. Since the United States launched its bombing campaign, the central Balkans has become the scene of death, destruction and untold suffering. As for the long-term political, social and economic consequences of the war--for Serbs and Kosovan Albanians alike--it would be appropriate to recall the impact of other reckless and brutal interventions by the United States. Have you forgotten all about Cambodia?

The WSWS does not by any means assume that all the atrocities attributed to the Serb forces in Kosovo are merely the propaganda concoctions of the American media. There is no question but that atrocities have been committed--as they have been committed by all the nationalist forces involved in the Balkan wars of the last decade.

What the WSWS has repeatedly pointed out is that 1) the coverage of these atrocities has been utterly one-sided and hypocritical, and 2) the underlying political and economic roots of the violence of the past decade have been ignored or distorted by the media. The manner in which the economic policies and diplomatic intrigues of the major imperialist powers accelerated the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the descent into civil war has been swept under the rug.

Your own letter provides a rather blatant example of the prevailing double standard. "There have been atrocities performed by the Serbs against innocent Kosovars," you write, "and it should not matter that they have been the result of action by the KLA [Kosovar Liberation Army]."

This astonishing statement simply confirms that the media has been remarkably effective in poisoning public opinion and demonizing the Serbs. Whatever happens must in every case be explained as a product of Serb criminality. There is no pretense any longer of an objective examination of political events.

No notice is to be taken of the fact that the KLA, whose ties to the drug underworld are not disputed even by its imperialist patrons, has been waging a terrorist campaign to secure the secession of Kosovo from Serbia. It has been involved in numerous acts of terror against Serbs living in Kosovo. And yet you maintain that civilian deaths that are the consequence of the on-going civil war, in which the KLA is being funded, trained and armed by the United States and NATO, are the sole responsibility of the Serb government!

Perhaps you will reconsider your strange double standard in light of the most recent developments. Earlier this week, as you know, the United States dropped bombs on several convoys of civilians in Kosovo, which resulted in scores of deaths. What was the reaction of Mr. Clinton? "That is regrettable," he said yesterday in San Francisco. "It is also inevitable."

In other words, when civilians are killed by American bombs 5,000 miles from the borders of the United States, it is merely an unfortunate occurrence. "This is not," as Clinton went on to say, "a business of perfection." On the other hand, even those deaths that result directly from clashes between the Serb forces and the KLA are depicted as Serb atrocities. In its present state of self-righteous imperialistic intoxication, the media fails to even take note of its own double-standard.

In closing, let me return to the essential premise of your letter: that we should not trouble ourselves with the real reasons for the waging of this war by the United States. It's the effects that count. Aside from the increasingly tragic "effects" that are already observable, your argument is politically bankrupt. The political aims that have led the United States to wage war in the Balkans are not of secondary or incidental significance. Reactionary political aims and methods have reactionary consequences. The operation of this basic law of politics will become ever more evident in the weeks and months ahead.

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:58 pm

NATO’s Rape of Yugoslavia
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, March 25, 2014

March 24, 1999 will go down in history as a day of infamy. US-led NATO raped Yugoslavia. Doing so was its second major combat operation.

It was lawless aggression. No Security Council resolution authorized it. NATO’s Operation Allied Force lasted 78 days.

Washington called it Operation Noble Anvil. Evil best describes it. On June 10, operations ended.

From March 1991 through mid-June 1999, Balkan wars raged. Yugoslavia “balkanized” into seven countries. They include Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia.

Enormous human suffering was inflicted. Washington bears most responsibility.

Diana Johnstone’s book titled “Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions” is a definitive account of what happened.

Claims about Milosevic’s “Greater Serbia” ambitions were false. Washington-led wars wanted Yugoslavia balkanized. Germany was very much involved.

Both countries encouraged cessation. They provoked conflict. After ravaging and destroying Yugoslavia, they took credit for ending it.

Milosevic wanted Yugoslavia’s disintegration prevented. He wanted minority Serbs protected. Johnstone said Washington’s aims included:

preventing a European-backed settlement;
“assert(ing) its dominance over European allies in the arbitration of European conflicts;”
expanding NATO through a new “out of area” humanitarian mission (aka US dominated colonization); and
“gain(ing) influence in the Muslim world by championing the Bosnian Muslims.”
She called “government by international bureaucracy (a) new trend in the New World Order.”

After the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Dayton Accords), “Bosnia-Herzegovina (was) ruled by…a complicated set of local authorities under the strict supervision of a ‘High Representative’ (a contemporary Proconsul or Viceroy) who can, and does, annul laws adopted by the local democratic institutions or dismiss democratically chosen officials” not supportive of US imperial aims, said Johnstone.

In other words, democracy was verboten. It prevented from emerging. Washington rules were instituted. Colonization ended Yugoslavia’s market socialism experiment.

Predatory free-market harshness replaced it. Complete with IMF-imposed financial terrorism. In October 1998, a NATO air verification mission was agreed to for Kosovo.

In November, Milosevic agreed to a framework political settlement. A second Verification Mission was established to assure compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions 1160 and 1199.

The former banned arms sales to Serbia. It imposed economic sanctions. The latter ordered both sides in Kosovo to end hostilities and observe a ceasefire.

The so-called February 1999 Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo (the Rambouillet Agreement) was prelude for war.

It was an ultimatum Milosevic couldn’t accept. It was designed for rejection. It was a take-it-or-leave-it demand.

It ordered Milosevic to surrender Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) sovereignty to a NATO occupation force.

It demanded unimpeded access to its land, airspace and territorial waters, as well as any area or facility therein.

It required the FRY to let NATO freely operate outside federal law. Demanding it was outrageous. Milosevic’s justifiable refusal became pretext for war.

It followed mercilessly. Nobel laureate Harold Pinter denounced what happened.

He called US-led bombing and dismemberment of Yugoslavia “barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe.”

For 78 days, around 600 aircraft flew about 3,000 sorties. Thousands of tons of ordnance were dropped, as well as hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles. Up to then, its ferocity was unprecedented.

Nearly everything was struck. Massive destruction and disruption followed. Known or suspected military sites were targeted.

So were civilian sites and infrastructure unrelated to military operations. They included:

power plants;
civilian transportation;
telecommunications facilities;
roads, bridges and rail lines;
fuel depots;
a TV station;
China’s Belgrade embassy willfully on a false pretext (claiming a mistake didn’t wash);
government offices;
historic landmarks; and more.
Cities, villages and other areas were struck throughout the country. NATO began running out of targets. It didn’t matter. Bombing continued relentlessly.

It was willful, lawless aggression. Horrendous war crimes were committed unaccountably. Humanitarian disaster followed.

Outrageous claims about humanitarian intervention were fraudulent. Washington claimed another imperial trophy. The former Yugoslavia no longer exists.

An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. Environmental contamination was extensive.

Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost their livelihoods. Many their homes and communities. Most their futures.

Serbia’s sovereign Kosovo territory was lost. It’s now US/NATO occupied territory. It’s home to Camp Bondsteel. It’s one of America’s largest military bases.

Kosovo is run by Hashim Thaci. He’s a former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright protege.

In 2000, she ordered then chief Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte to exclude his name from a list of suspected war criminals.

He’s a street thug posing as prime minister. He’s nicknamed “The Snake” for good reason.

Former Clinton Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard called him and likeminded figures “terrorists.”

Former US DEA official Michael Levine said:

He has known organized crimes ties. “The KLA (he formerly headed) is tied in with every known Middle and Far Eastern drug cartel.”

“Interpol, Europol, and nearly every European intelligence and counter-narcotics agency have files open on drug syndicates that lead right to the KLA…”

He remains unindicted. Washington, EU nations and UN officials elevated him to power.

He’s a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander. Post-war, he usurped power. He took control of many municipalities.

It doesn’t matter. He’s Washington’s man in Kosovo. He runs it like a crime family. Friends in high places support him.

Washington and complicit EU partners opened an avenue to Eurasia. A permanent US military presence was established where it previously didn’t exist. It serves America’s broader imperial agenda.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria followed. So does slow-motion genocide in Palestine. Iran’s turn awaits.

Washington’s dirty hands want Venezuela’s democratically elected government ousted. Obama’s war on humanity continues.

Russia is in the eye of the storm. Global war is threatened. Neocons infest Washington. They influence administration and congressional policy.

What’s ongoing bears erie resemblance to events preceding WW I. Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August” explained its beginning and early weeks.

One thing led to others. Events spun out-of-control. Deadly consequences followed. Before it ended, over 20 million died. Many more were wounded and/or maimed. An entire generation of youth was lost.

Weapons used then were toys compared to now. A possible armageddon end times scenario looms. Irresponsible leaders risk it. Mainstream media support what demand opposition.

History has a disturbing way of repeating. George Santayana famous dictum is forgotten. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” he said.

George Bernard Shaw once said: “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”

Damn fools run things now like before. Today’s super-weapons make earlier ones seem like toys.

Crazies act like nuclear missiles and bombs are king-sized hand grenades. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.

Will Ukraine become a flashpoint for East/West confrontation. Will something erupt making Yugoslavia’s destruction look insignificant by comparison?

Will Washington neocon extremists challenge Russia belligerently? Will mainstream media support them? Will public outrage fail to materialize?

Will potential armageddon be risked? Will never again really happen this time? Einstein once said he didn’t know what WW III weapons would be used.

“…WW IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” he said. Betrand Russell was an Einstein contemporary.

“Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war,” he asked? It’s the only way to live in peace. The alternative risks annihilation.

The choice is clear. The wrong one assures potential disaster. America heads humanity dangerously toward it. Either we end wars or they’ll end us. There’s no in between.

A Final Comment

The late Michael Mandel (1948 – 2013) was among a group of law professors wanting justice. They filed war crimes charges against numerous Western officials and complicit allies.

They did so at International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Notable US ones charged included Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen and General Wesley Clark.

European ones included Tony Blair, Robin Cook, George Robertson, Javia Solana, Jamie Shea, and numerous others – 68 in all.

On February 22, 2000, in testimony before Canada’s House of Commons, Mandel explained he “specialize(d) in criminal law and comparative law with an emphasis on domestic and foreign tribunals.”

He got involved because of the outrageous “killing and maiming of innocent people for what…were purely self-interested motives.”

He called it “the farthest thing from humanitarianism.” NATO’s war was illegal, he stressed. Force is justified only in self-defense or when Security Council authorized.

He explained relevant UN Charter provisions. They leave no ambiguity. They were systematically violated. So was the NATO Treaty and Canadian law.

The NATO Treaty Preamble states:

“The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.”

“Article 1: The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”

“Article 7: This treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.”

The Canada Defense Act states:

“31. (1) the Governor in Council may place the Canadian forces or any component, unit or other element thereof on active service anywhere in or beyond Canada at any time when it appears advisable to do so.
(a) by reason of an emergency, for the defence of Canada; or
(b) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any other similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada.”
Mandel was unequivocal saying:

“The illegality of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia is not disputed by any legal scholar of repute, even those who had some sympathy for the war…”

“NATO has no humanitarian lessons to teach the world,” he stressed.

“Much more plausible than the humanitarian thesis is the one that the United States deliberately provoked this war, that it deliberately exploited and exacerbated another country’s tragedy…for purely selfish (political) and economic” reasons.

It ravaged and destroyed a country for power and profit. War crimes charges against culpable officials are warranted.

Grave international law breaches were committed. No Western or complicit official was held accountable. Justice remains denied. ... ia/5375189

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Re: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

Post by chlamor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:00 pm

The Dismantling of Yugoslavia (Part I)
A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse)
by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
(Oct 01, 2007)

The breakup of Yugoslavia provided the fodder for what may have been the most misrepresented series of major events over the past twenty years. The journalistic and historical narratives that were imposed upon these wars have systematically distorted their nature, and were deeply prejudicial, downplaying the external factors that drove Yugoslavia’s breakup while selectively exaggerating and misrepresenting the internal factors. Perhaps no civil wars—and Yugoslavia suffered multiple civil wars across several theaters, at least two of which remain unresolved—have ever been harvested as cynically by foreign powers to establish legal precedents and new categories of international duties and norms. Nor have any other civil wars been turned into such a proving ground for the related notions of “humanitarian intervention” and the “right [or responsibility] to protect.” Yugoslavia’s conflicts were not so much mediated by foreign powers as they were inflamed and exploited by them to advance policy goals. The result was a tsunami of lies and misrepresentations in whose wake the world is still reeling.

From 1991 on, Yugoslavia and its successor states were exploited for ends as crass and as classically realpolitik as: (1) preserving the NATO military alliance despite the disintegration of the Soviet bloc—NATO’s putative reason for existence; (2) overthrowing the UN Charter’s historic commitments to non-interference and respect for the sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and political independence of all states in favor of the right of those more enlightened to interfere in the affairs of “failing” states, and even to wage wars against “rogue” states; (3) humiliating the European Union (EU) (formerly the European Community [EC]) over its inability to act decisively as a threat-making and militarily punitive force in its own backyard; (4) and of course dismantling the last economic and social holdout on the European continent yet to be integrated into the “Washington consensus.” The pursuit of these goals required that certain agents within Yugoslavia be cast in the role of the victims, and others as villains—the latter not just belligerents engaged in a civil war, but evil and murderous perpetrators of mass crimes which, in turn, would legitimate military intervention. At its extreme, in the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Yugoslavia has been cast as one gigantic crime scene, with the wars in their totality to be explained as a “Joint Criminal Enterprise,” the alleged purpose of which was the expulsion of non-Serbs from territories the Serbs wanted all to themselves—an utterly risible caricature, as we show below, but taken seriously in Western commentary, much as Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” were to be taken early in the next decade.

While the destruction of Yugoslavia had both internal and external causes, it is easy to overlook the external causes, despite their great importance, because Western political interests and ideology have masked them by focusing entirely on the alleged resurgence of Serb nationalism and drive for a “Greater Serbia” as the root of the collapse. In a widely read book that accompanied their BBC documentary, Laura Silber and Allan Little wrote that “under Milosevic’s stewardship” the Serbs were “the key secessionists,” as Milosevic sought the “creation of a new enlarged Serbian state, encompassing as much territory of Yugoslavia as possible,” his “politics of ethnic intolerance provok[ing] the other nations of Yugoslavia, convincing them that it was impossible to stay in the Yugoslav federation and propelling them down the road to independence.” In another widely read book, Misha Glenny wrote that “without question, it was Milosevic who had willfully allowed the genie [of violent, intolerant nationalism] out of the bottle, knowing that the consequences might be dramatic and even bloody.” Noel Malcolm found that by the late 1980s, “Two processes seemed fused into one: the gathering of power into Milosevic’s hands, and the gathering of the Serbs into a single political unit which could either dominate Yugoslavia or break it apart.” For Roy Gutman, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina “was the third in a series of wars launched by Serbia….Serbia had harnessed the powerful military machine of the Yugoslav state to achieve the dream of its extreme nationalists: Greater Serbia.” For David Rieff, “even if [Croatia’s President Franjo] Tudjman had been an angel, Slobodan Milosevic would still have launched his war for Greater Serbia.”1

In a commentary in 2000, Tim Judah wrote that Milosevic was responsible for wars in “Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo: four wars since 1991 and [that] the result of these terrible conflicts, which began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State,’ is the cruelest irony.” Sometime journalist, sometime spokesperson for the ICTY at The Hague, Florence Hartmann, wrote that “Long before the war began, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and, following his example, Franjo Tudjman in Croatia, had turned their backs on the Yugoslav ideal of an ethnically mixed federal State and set about carving out their own ethnically homogeneous States. With Milosevic’s failure, in 1991, to take control of all of Yugoslavia, the die was cast for war.” After Milosevic’s death in 2006, the New York Times’s Marlise Simons wrote about the “incendiary nationalism” of the man who “rose and then clung to power by resurrecting old nationalist grudges and inciting dreams of a Greater Serbia…the prime engineer of wars that pitted his fellow Serbs against the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Albanians of Kosovo and ultimately the combined forces of the entire NATO alliance.” And at the more frenzied end of the media spectrum, Mark Danner traced the Balkan war dynamic to the Serbs’ “unquenchable blood lust,” while Ed Vulliamy asserted that “Once Milosevic had back-stabbed his way to power and had switched from communism to fascism, he and Mirjana set out to establish their dream of an ethnically pure Greater Serbia cleansed of Croats and ‘mongrel races’ such as Bosnia’s Muslims and Kosovo’s Albanians.”2

This version of history—or ideology under the guise of history—fails at multiple levels. For one, it ignores the economic and financial turbulence within which Yugoslavia’s highly indebted, unevenly developed republics and autonomous regions found themselves in the years following Tito’s death in 1980, the aptly named “great reversal” during which the “standard of living whose previous growth had muted most regional grievances and legitimized Communist rule declined by fully one-quarter.”3 It also ignores the geopolitical context marked by the decline and eventual dissolution of the Soviet bloc, just as it ignores the German, Austrian, Vatican, EU, and eventual U.S. interest in the dismantlement of the socialist as well as federal dimensions of a unitary Yugoslav state, and the actions that brought about that result. Furthermore, it underrates the importance of Albanian (Kosovo), Slovene, Croat, Macedonian, Bosnian Muslim, Montenegrin, and even Hungarian (Vojvodina) nationalisms, and the competing interests of each of these groups as they sought sovereignty within, and later independence from, Yugoslavia. Perhaps most critical of all, it overrates the Serbs’ and Milosevic’s nationalism, gives these an unwarranted causal force, and transforms their expressed interest in preserving the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and/or allowing Serbs to remain within a single unified successor state into wars of aggression whose goal was “Greater Serbia.”

The standard narrative also fails egregiously in claiming the Western interventions humanitarian in purpose and result. In that narrative those interventions came late but did their work well. We will show on the contrary that they came early, encouraged divisions and ethnic wars, and in the end had extremely damaging effects on the freedom, independence, and welfare of the inhabitants, although they served well the ends of Croatian, Bosnian Muslim, and Kosovo Albanian nationalists, as well as those of the United States and NATO. Furthermore, NATO’s 1999 bombing war against Yugoslavia, in violation of the UN Charter, built upon precedents set by NATO’s late summer 1995 bombing attacks on the Bosnian Serbs. More important, it provided additional precedents which advanced the same law-of-the-jungle lineage under the cover of “human rights.” It thus served as a precursor and a model for the subsequent U.S. regime’s attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, and the lies that enabled them.

Another notable feature of the dismantling of Yugoslavia was the very widespread support for the Western interventions expressed by liberals and leftists. These intellectuals and journalists swallowed and helped propagate the standard narrative with remarkable gullibility, and their work made a major contribution to engineering consent to the ethnic cleansing wars, the NATO bombing attacks, the neocolonial occupations of Bosnia and Kosovo, and the wars that followed against Afghanistan and Iraq.

1. Geopolitics and Nationalism
The Yugoslav (or “South Slav”) solution to this region of Southeastern Europe’s “national question” had always been tenuous. “Failure…to maintain the [united, federal] state throughout the…country’s existence [was] an ever present possibility,” Lenard Cohen and Paul Warwick write. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo—the three most bloodily contested areas in the 1990s—had all been “areas of high ethnic fragmentation” and “persistent hotbeds of political criminality.” Throughout Yugoslavia’s brief history, ethnic unity “was more an artifact of party pronouncements, induced personnel rotation, and institutional reorganization, than an outcome of genuine political incorporation or enhanced cohesion among the different segments of the population”4

This fragile state of affairs had been held together by the rule of Tito, along with Western support for the independent Yugoslavia in an otherwise Soviet-dominated area. Tito’s death in 1980 loosened the authoritarian cement. The collapse of the Soviet bloc a decade later deprived Yugoslavia of Western support for the unified state. As the last U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia purportedly instructed Belgrade upon his arrival in April 1989: “Yugoslavia no longer enjoyed the geopolitical importance that the United States had given it during the Cold War.”5

Yugoslavia’s economy was deeply troubled by the 1980s. Unemployment was dangerously high and persistent. Regional inequalities remained the rule. On a per-capita basis, Slovenia’s income by the late 1980s was at least twice the average for Yugoslavia as a whole, Croatia’s more than one-fourth greater, and Serbia proper’s roughly equal to the average. But Montenegro’s was only 74 percent of Yugoslavia’s average, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 68 percent, Macedonia’s 63 percent, and Kosovo’s 27 percent.6 What is more, Yugoslavia borrowed abroad heavily in the 1970s, and it accumulated a large external debt that stood at $19.7 billion in 1989.7 With hyperinflation spiking upward to more than 1,000 percent this same year,8 Yugoslavia was pressured by the IMF to undertake a classic “shock therapy” program that threatened the solidarity of its population.

Economic decline was accompanied by a diminished confidence in the federal system and the rise of republican challenges to it. But as Susan Woodward notes, taking the lead “were not the unemployed but the employed who feared unemployment” and property owners who feared “that they would lose value and status.” It was in the two wealthiest republics of the northwest, Slovenia and Croatia, but Slovenia in particular, that the drive toward autonomy took the most pronounced anti-federal form.9 Although less than 30 percent of Yugoslavia’s population lived in Slovenia and Croatia, they accounted for half of federal tax revenues—before they stopped paying it. They openly resented these obligations. Longing for closer ties with Western Europe, they revolted.10

In what Robert Hayden calls the “new doctrine of republican supremacy,” by midsummer 1989 Slovenia had rejected the federation. Amendments were proposed for Slovenia’s constitution that clashed with its federal counterpart. Among these was a notorious amendment that defined “Slovenia” as the “state of the sovereign Slovenian nation”—a change that the Borba newspaper (Belgrade) editorialized would “divide Yugoslavia.” In February 1990, the Constitutional Court (a federal body) ruled against Slovenia’s assertion that its laws took precedence over federal ones. This included the “question of secession,” which the court ruled “could only be decided jointly with the agreement of all the republics.” The court also ruled “that the Presidency of Yugoslavia would have both the right and the obligation to declare a state of emergency in Slovenia if some general danger threatened the existence or constitutional order of that republic, on the grounds that such a condition would also threaten the whole of the country.” Slovenia “rejected the court’s jurisdiction,” Hayden adds.

In April 1990, both Slovenia and Croatia held the first multiparty elections in Yugoslavia since the late 1930s. A coalition of six parties called DEMOS that campaigned on an independence platform received 55 percent of the Slovene vote. In Croatia, Franjo Tudjman’s blatantly nationalistic and separatist Croatian Democratic Union received 70 percent. News accounts conveyed the resurgence of nationalist politics in Slovenia and Croatia, along with a distinct flavor of ethnic chauvinism pitting these Westernized republics against the other, less advanced counterparts. Hayden notes that on July 2, 1990, the Slovene parliament declared Slovenia’s “complete sovereignty,” and that the “republic’s laws superseded those of the federation.” Then on July 25, Croatia’s parliament did likewise, making Croatia “a politically and economically sovereign state” (Tudjman). Finally in September—still three months before its own republican elections, in which Milosevic’s Socialist Party received 65 percent on a platform of preserving Yugoslavia, in explicit opposition to the separatist parties that had come to power in Slovenia and Croatia, and were to be soundly defeated in Serbia—Serbia adopted a new constitution granting its laws the same supremacy over federal institutions. “If the Slovenes can do it, so can we,” a member of the Serbian Presidency said. With these challenges to federal authority by each of the three most powerful republics, the “collapse of the Yugoslav state was inevitable,” Hayden concludes.11

In contrast to the standard narrative, it is clear that nationalist forces at this time were stronger in Slovenia and Croatia than in Serbia. The decisive, history-making difference, however, was that in Slovenia and Croatia, the nationalist parties that won the April 1990 elections also adopted separatist platforms. Not only did they challenge the federal institutions as a whole, they also sought to sever ties with them—the last real bonds left from the Tito era.

Had Western powers supported the federal state, Yugoslavia might have held together—but they did not. Instead they not only encouraged Slovenia, Croatia, and later Bosnia-Herzegovina to secede, they also insisted that the federal state not use force to prevent it. Diana Johnstone recounts a January 1991 meeting in Belgrade between the U.S. ambassador and Borisav Jovic, a Serb then serving on Yugoslavia’s collective State Presidency. “[T]he United States would not accept any use of force to disarm the paramilitaries,” Jovic was told. “Only ‘peaceful’ means were acceptable to Washington. The Yugoslav army was prohibited by the United States from using force to preserve the Federation, which meant that it could not prevent the Federation from being dismembered by force”12—a remarkable injunction against a sovereign state. Similar warnings were communicated by the EC as well. We might try to imagine what the United States would look like today, were the questions it faced in 1860 about its federal structure and the rights of states handled in as prejudicial a manner by much stronger foreign powers.

At the heart of the multiple civil wars had always been a simple question: In which state do the people of Yugoslavia want to live—the SFRY or a successor state?13 But for a great many Yugoslavs, an answer contrary to their desires and contrary to the Yugoslav constitution was imposed from the outside. One way this was accomplished was by the EC’s September 1991 appointment of an Arbitration Commission—the Badinter Commission—to assess legal aspects of the contests over Yugoslavia. This body’s work provided a “pseudo-legal gloss to the [EC’s] opportunistic consent to the destruction of Yugoslavia demanded by Germany,” Diana Johnstone writes.14 On each of the major issues contested by the Serbian republic, the commission ruled against Serbia. Yugoslavia was “in the process of dissolution,” the commission’s notorious Opinion No. 1 stated when published on December 7, 1991. Similarly, Opinion No. 2 held that “the Serbian population in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina…[does not] have the right to self-determination,” though it “is entitled to all the rights concerned to minorities and ethnic groups under international law….” And Opinion No. 3 declared that “the [former] internal boundaries between Croatia and Serbia and between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia…[have] become frontiers protected by international law.”15 Remarkably, the commission recognized the right of republics to secede from the former Yugoslavia, and thus affixed the right of self-determination to Yugoslavia’s former administrative units; but the commission detached the right of self-determination from Yugoslavia’s peoples, and thus denied comparable rights to the new minorities now stranded within the breakaway republics. The breakaway republics themselves might be blessed with foreign recognition; or, like Serbia and Montenegro for the remainder of the decade, recognition would be withheld, and its peoples rendered effectively stateless.

From the standpoint of conflict resolution, this was a disastrous set of rulings, as the republics had been administrative units within Yugoslavia, and three of them (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia) included large ethnic minorities who strongly opposed the terms of Yugoslavia’s breakup, and who had been able to live with each other in relative peace on condition that their rights were safeguarded by a powerful federal state. Once the guarantees of the federal state were removed, it was inflammatory to deny peoples the right to choose the successor state in which they wanted to live; and the more ethnically mixed a republic or even commune, the more provocative the foreign demand that the old internal republican boundaries were sacrosanct.16 But the Badinter Commission’s rulings made perfect sense from a much different standpoint: That of prescribing an outline for Yugoslavia’s dismantlement that was in accord with the demands of the secessionist forces in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and their Western supporters, while ignoring the rights (and wishes) of the constituent “nations” as specified in the Yugoslav constitution, and justifying foreign interference in the civil wars as a defense of the newly independent states.

Germany in particular encouraged Slovenia and Croatia to secede, which they did on June 25, 1991; formal recognition was granted on December 23, one year to the day after 94.5 percent of Slovenes had voted in a referendum in favor of independence. EC recognition followed on January 15, 1992, as did U.S. recognition in early April, when Washington recognized Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina all at once. More provocative yet, whereas the UN admitted all three breakaway republics as member states on May 22, it withheld the admission of a successor state to the dismantled Yugoslavia for another eight-and-a-half years; the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, composed of Serbia and Montenegro, often denigrated as the “rump” Yugoslavia, was not admitted until November 1, 2000, almost four weeks after Milosevic’s ouster. In other words, the two republics within the SFRY—itself a founding member of the UN—that rejected the dismantling of the federal state had been denied the right to succeed the SFRY as well as membership within the UN for close to a decade. At this highest level of the “international community,” it would be difficult to find a more extreme case of realpolitik at work, but it was a realpolitik that assured a violent outcome—and to the victor, the spoils.

A far more aggressive U.S. policy toward Yugoslavia began in 1993, with Washington anxious to redefine NATO’s mission and to expand NATO eastward; and searching for a client among the contestants, Washington settled on the Bosnian Muslims and Alija Izetbegovic. To serve these ends the Clinton administration sabotaged a series of peace efforts between 1993 and the Dayton accords of 1995;17 encouraged the Bosnian Muslims to reject any settlement until their military position had improved; helped arm and train the Muslims and Croats to shift the balance of forces on the ground;18 and finally settled at Dayton with an agreement that imposed upon the warring factions terms that could have been had as early as 1992, but for one missing link: In 1992, a Western-managed neocolonial regime, complete with NATO serving as its military enforcer, still was not achievable.19 Now into the twelfth year after Dayton, Bosnia remains a foreign occupied, severely divided, undemocratic, and in every sense of the term—failed state.20

A similar process took place in Kosovo, where an indigenous, ethnic Albanian independence movement was captured by an ultra-nationalist faction, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose leaders soon recognized that, like the Bosnian Muslims, they could enlist U.S. and NATO sponsorship and military intervention by provoking Yugoslav authorities to violence and getting the incidents reported the right way. Thus in the year before NATO’s seventy-eight-day bombing war in the spring of 1999, the “KLA were responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav authorities had been,” British Defense Secretary George Robertson told his Parliament.21 As was true of the Bosnian Muslim and Croat forces before their major spring and summer offensives in 1995, the KLA received covert training and supplies from the Clinton administration,22 a well-guarded secret to the Western publics then being fed lines about “Milosevic’s willing executioners” marching off to perpetrate genocide in Kosovo.

On matters of principle, neither the EU nor the United States have been consistent on secession rights. In 1991–92, they encouraged the republics of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina to break away from Yugoslavia; the federal state was denied any right to use force to prevent them from doing so; and no one living within these republics was permitted to break away from them. And yet as recently as June 2006, the EU, United States, and UN accepted Montenegro’s right to break away from its Serbian partner; and more recently, the UN’s special envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari has supported the right of the Serbian province of Kosovo to break away from Serbia once and for all—“to be supervised for an initial period by the international community.” Calling NATO-occupied Kosovo “a unique case that demands a unique solution,” Ahtisaari reassured that Kosovo would not “create a precedent for other unresolved conflicts.” With resolution 1244, Ahtisaari reports, the “Security Council responded to Milosevic’s actions in Kosovo by denying Serbia a role in its governance, placing Kosovo under temporary UN administration and envisaging a political process designed to determine Kosovo’s future. The combination of these factors makes Kosovo’s circumstances extraordinary.”23

The UN special envoy is badly deluded. Kosovo is a NATO-occupied province in southern Serbia, following NATO’s illegal war in the spring of 1999. Kosovo’s status ought to be no different than was Kuwait’s on August 3, 1990: It is a territory taken by military force in contravention of the UN Charter, and its independence should mean above all the restoration of its sovereignty to Serbia. But as with the subsequent U.S. wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Security Council neither condemned NATO’s 1999 aggression nor demanded that measures be taken to remedy it, for the simple reason that three of the Council’s Permanent Five members had launched it. And in 2007, the UN’s special envoy shows not the slightest interest that Serbia entered into its war-ending treaties under the duress of a conquered state. Instead of demanding that NATO return the province to the country from which it was seized, the UN not only accepts the aggression as a fait accompli, but also affirms its legitimacy on “humanitarian” grounds. The Ahtisaari solution is a case of “commissioned power politics.”24 The only “extraordinary” circumstance is to be found in which group of states launched the war. (On the fraudulence of the “humanitarian” rationale for NATO’s war, and the inhumanitarian effects of both the war and occupation, see sections 9 and 10.)

In sum, the United States and NATO entered the Yugoslav struggles quite early and were key external factors in the initiation of ethnic cleansing, in keeping it going, and in working toward a violent resolution of the conflicts that would keep the United States and NATO relevant in Europe, and secure NATO’s dominant position in the Balkans.

2. The Role of the Serbs, Milosevic, and ‘Greater Serbia’
A key element in the myth structure holds that Milosevic incited the Serbs to violence, setting loose the genie of Serb nationalism from the bottle that had contained it under Tito. During the prosecution’s opening statement at his trial, a videotape was played of Milosevic uttering the words “No one should dare beat you” at the Hall of Culture in Pristina in April 1987. “It was that phrase…and the response of others to it that gave this accused the taste or a better taste of power, maybe the first realisation of a dream,” prosecutor Geoffrey Nice told the court. With these words Milosevic “had broken the taboo of [Tito] against invoking nationalism,” Dusko Doder and Louise Branson write, “a taboo credited with submerging ethnic hatreds and holding Yugoslavia together for more than forty years….The initial impact was catastrophic: rabid ethnic nationalism swept all regions of Yugoslavia like a disease.”25

But neither these remarks by Milosevic nor his June 28, 1989, speech on the six-hundreth anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo had anything like the characteristics imputed to them. Instead Milosevic used both speeches to appeal to multi-ethnic tolerance, accompanied by a warning against the threat posed to Yugoslavia by nationalism—“hanging like a sword over their heads all the time” (1989).26

In his 1987 speech—the words “no one should dare beat you” having been uttered in response to the news that the police had roughed up some local Serbs—Milosevic said “we do not want to divide people into Serbs and Albanians, but we must draw the line that divides the honest and progressive who are struggling for brotherhood and unity and national equality from the counterrevolution and nationalists on the other side.” Similarly in his 1989 speech, he said that “Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it,” and nothing in either of these speeches conflicted with this sentiment—nor can quotes like these be found in the speeches and writings of Tudjman or Izetbegovic. But the standard narrative steers clear of Milosevic’s actual words, understandably, as the misrepresentation that surrounds the simple phrase “no one should dare beat you” is deeply ingrained, and repeated by the ICTY’s prosecutor, Silber and Little, Glenny, Malcolm, Judah, Doder and Branson, and a cast of thousands; also by The Guardian and the New York Times, to name but two, all of whom allude to these speeches in the inciting-Serb-nationalism mode, but almost surely never bothered to read and report their actual content.

The massive trial of Milosevic, with 295 prosecution witnesses and 49,191 pages of courtroom transcripts, failed to produce a single credible piece of evidence that Milosevic had spoken disparagingly of non-Serb “nations” or ordered any killings that might fall under the category of war crimes. But the so-called Brioni Transcript of talks that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman held with his military and political leadership on July 31, 1995, reveal Tudjman instructing his generals to “inflict such a blow on the Serbs that they should virtually disappear.”27 What followed within days was Operation Storm, a massive, well-planned military blow that made the Krajina Serbs literally disappear. Imagine the windfall that a statement such as Tudjman’s would have provided Carla Del Ponte, Geoffrey Nice, Marlise Simons, and Ed Vulliamy, had it been Milosevic who uttered a statement directly linking him to criminal activity of this magnitude. But by the summer of 1995 Tudjman was a U.S. ally, and Operation Storm was approved and aided by the United States and some of its corporate mercenaries.28

Similarly, in Alija Izetbegovic’s Islamic Declaration, first circulated in 1970 but republished in 1990 for his presidential campaign, his major theme is what he called the “incompatibility of Islam with non-Islamic systems.” “There is neither peace nor coexistence between the ‘Islamic religion’ and non-Islamic social and political institutions,” Izetbegovic argued. “Having the right to govern its own world, Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of putting a foreign ideology into practice on its territory. There is thus no principle of secular government and the State must express and support the moral principles of religion.”29 Again, nothing ever uttered by Milosevic matches this for a program of ethno-religious intolerance. But as it was the prescription of a man who became a key U.S. client, Izetbegovic’s beliefs were ignored by the same journalists and historians for whom “no one should dare beat you” was alleged to herald the breakup of an entire country. Instead, David Rieff adopted the Bosnian Muslims as his “just cause” because, in his account, theirs was “a society committed to multiculturalism…and tolerance, and of an understanding of national identity as deriving from shared citizenship rather than ethnic identity”—and this witness-bearer claims to be referring to the “values” and “ideals” that Izetbegovic’s Bosnia would uphold!30

In the series of ICTY indictments of Milosevic et al., the charge that he was striving to produce a “Greater Serbia” ranks high among the causes of the wars. This is also the standard formula that entered into the intellectual and media narrative of cause, as expressed by Judah’s statement “that it all began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State’” and in an obituary in the Washington Post in March 2006, where we read again that Milosevic’s “pledge to unify all Serbs in one state turned into an ironic promise.” And in a comprehensive offering of cliché lies, we find Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books stating: “As had the Yugoslav wars, the Dayton peace sprang from the forehead of Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of Greater Serbia, the man who had built his power base by inciting and exploiting Serb nationalism.”31

One serious problem with the prosecution’s theory and the premise of the establishment narrative—that Yugoslavia’s wars were the result of the “incendiary nationalism” (Marlise Simons), “blood lust” (Mark Danner), and ruthless contempt for the “mongrel races” (Ed Vulliamy) by the Serbs and Milosevic—is that Serbia proper, the alleged heartland of this “joint criminal enterprise,” was itself subject to no “ethnic cleansing” whatsoever throughout the wars, but witnessed a net inflow of refugees from other former republics. (For data on refugee flows in the former Yugoslavia, see section 9.) This dramatic fact was brought out by Milosevic in his trial, during his examination of defense witness Mihailo Markovic, a noted professor of philosophy and one of the founders of Praxis. Acknowledging the “paradox in view of all these charges” concerning “Greater Serbia” and “ethnic cleansing,” Markovic said that “Serbia still has today the same national structure that it had in the 1970s,” and that although “Serbs were expulsed from practically all the other republics, Serbia did not change.” “Why would Serbs be expelling Croatians from Croatia if they’re not expelling them from Serbia?” Markovic asked the court. “Why would Serbs be expelling Albanians from Kosovo if they’re not expelling them from Belgrade and other parts of Serbia?” Shortly thereafter, Milosevic directed much the same question back toward Markovic:

Milosevic: f you have in mind that the greatest part of that Greater Serbia would be precisely the Republic of Serbia, which did not see any expulsions at all throughout the crisis, do you find it logical that Serbia should initiate expulsions from territories outside of Serbia?

Markovic: Well, I already told you it seems illogical to me.32

Obviously, these are important questions, whose answers cast doubts on a fundamental tenet of the standard narrative. If the Belgrade Serbs, as the alleged originators of the “joint criminal enterprise” to create a “Greater Serbia,” did not implement their conspiracy where they held unquestioned power, inside Serbia proper, then what is the likelihood that the prosecution’s theory for the wars has any merit? Lead prosecutor Geoffrey Nice had no solution for this “paradox.” And Marlise Simons, Mark Danner, Ed Vulliamy, David Rieff, and others have not dealt with it by any method other than yet more misleading rhetoric and strategic silence. This exchange was unreported in any Western media institution.

But in an even more devastating development in the Milosevic trial, which occurred during its defense phase, prosecutor Geoffrey Nice admitted that Milosevic’s objective of allowing Serbs to live in one state “was different from the concept of the Greater Serbia….”33 Nice was responding to questions that had been raised by amicus curiae attorney David Kay and presiding judge Patrick Robinson about the prosecution’s claim that Milosevic et al. had a plan to create a “Greater Serbia,” and what such a plan really meant—a charge that exists in each of the three indictments for Croatia, in both indictments for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is either asserted or implied by countless news and historical treatments of the wars. “I had the clear impression that this was an essential foundation of the Prosecution’s case,” Judge Robinson noted.34 A short while later, Judge O-Gon Kwon asked Nice to explain to the court the “difference of the Greater Serbia idea and the idea of one—all Serbs living in one state.” Nice replied:

t may be that the accused’s aim was for that which could qualify as a de facto Greater Serbia….Did he find the source of his position at least overtly in [the] historical concept of Greater Serbia; no, he didn’t. His was…the pragmatic one of ensuring that
all the Serbs who had lived in the former Yugoslavia should be allowed for either constitutional or other reasons to live in the same unit
. That meant as we know historically from his perspective first of all that the
former Yugoslavia shouldn’t be broken up

In this passage, Nice betrays the fact that the prosecution itself doesn’t believe its most notorious accusation against Milosevic et al., as to why Yugoslavia broke apart: That leading Serbs in Belgrade and elsewhere conspired to create a living space exclusively for Serbs, cleansed of the other ethnic groups (“Greater Serbia”); that they entered into this conspiracy by no later than August 1, 1991; and that they were willing to perpetrate any atrocity, genocide included, to execute their conspiracy. Instead, what the prosecution really believes is that the breakup of Yugoslavia was accompanied by civil wars, plain and simple; that the principal crime for which Milosevic et al. have always been held responsible among the Western powers was the crime of trying to hold Yugoslavia together, against the West’s efforts to dismantle it; and that once events beyond their control closed-off this option, they attempted to hang onto a smaller successor state established on the same principles as the larger one they had lost. That they were not striving for an “ethnically pure” Serb state was made clear by the absence of any ethnic cleansing in Serbia proper.

Of course, the prosecution would reply that once Yugoslavia had undergone the process of dismantlement—and on July 4, 1992, Opinion No. 8 of the Badinter Commission declared that as a “matter of fact,” the “process of dissolution of the SFRY referred to in Opinion No. 1…is now complete and that the SFRY no longer exists”36—any attempt by the minority Serb populations of Croatia or Bosnia to secede from the new, internationally recognized states and to join the “rump” Yugoslavia was an act of rebellion, and any aid provided by Milosevic to these rebels was interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, aggressive, and criminal. But Badinter ran roughshod over both Yugoslavia’s constitution and fundamental principles of self-determination: The former reserved the right of secession to Yugoslavia’s constituent nations, not to its administrative units;37 and Badinter’s endorsement of the independence claims of Yugoslavia’s Slovenes, Croats, Muslims, and Macedonians, while rejecting the claims of its Serbs, ranks among the greatest and most costly exercises of the double-standard in modern times.38

Despite the allegations to the contrary, it remained the prosecution’s belief throughout the trial that the Milosevic regime’s political objective at the time of the secessions of Slovenia, Croatia, and later Bosnia-Herzegovina was to preserve the SFRY; and that if this could not be done, then as much of the old SFRY as possible should be kept within a single, unitary successor state. Indeed, this was the reason for which Milosevic’s Socialist Party had received 65 percent of the Serbian vote in December 1990, in the republic’s first multiparty elections: Not to create a “Greater Serbia,” but to preserve Yugoslavia. Until historians recognize that the ultimate crime for which the serial indictments have been brought against Milosevic et al. was the crime of trying to hold the SFRY together or a successor state on a similarly unified, federal model, they will never understand the enormity of what Nice conceded in court on August 25, 2005. As best we can tell, this startling concession to the Milosevic defense and the historical record, which amounted to the prosecution’s de facto abandonment of the main component of the ICTY’s case, has never been reported in the major English-language print media.

Furthermore, it is not even true that Milosevic fought to keep all Serbs in one state. He either supported or agreed to a series of settlements, like Brioni (July 1991), Lisbon (February 1992), Vance-Owen (January 1993), Owen-Stoltenberg (August 1993), the European Action Plan (January 1994), the Contact Group Plan (July 1994), and ultimately the Dayton Accords (November 1995)—none of which would have kept all Serbs in one state.39 He declined to defend the Croatian Serbs when they were ethnically cleansed in two related operations in May and August 1995. He agreed to an official contraction in the earlier SFRY to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e., to Serbia and Montenegro—itself further shrunk with the exit of Montenegro), which in effect abandoned the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to their fate outside any “Greater Serbia.” His aid to Serbs in both Croatia and Bosnia was sporadic, and their leaders felt him to have been an opportunistic and unreliable ally, more concerned with getting the UN sanctions against Yugoslavia removed than making serious sacrifices for the stranded Serbs elsewhere.

In short, Milosevic struggled fitfully to defend Serbs who felt abandoned and threatened in the hostile, secessionist states of a progressively dismantled Yugoslavia; and he wanted, but did not fight very hard, to preserve a shrinking Yugoslav Federation that would have kept all the Serbs in a successor common state. For historians, journalists, and the ICTY to call this a drive for a “Greater Serbia” is Orwellian political rhetoric that transforms a weak and unsuccessful defense of a shrinking Yugoslavia into a bold and aggressive offensive to seize other peoples’ territory. It is also of interest that the clear drives of Croatian and Kosovo Albanian nationalists toward a “Greater Croatia” and “Greater Albania,” and Bosnian Muslim leader Izetbegovic’s refusal to agree to a settlement (with U.S. encouragement) in hopes that with NATO aid he could rule over all three “nations” in Bosnia, have been ignored in the standard narrative as serious causal factors in the ethnic wars of the 1990s.

It should also be clear that the assured claims of Silber and Little, Glenny, Malcolm, Judah, and Simons (and they are only a small sample from a vast universe) about who was responsible for the breakup of Yugoslavia is ideology and myth parading under the guise of history—easily confuted, but part of the standard narrative that is unchallengeable in a closed system.

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↩ Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), 26; Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1996), 33; Noel Malcolm, Bosnia, rev. ed. (New York: New York University Press, 1996), 212; Roy Gutman, introduction, A Witness to Genocide (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993), xviii; David Rieff, “The Balkans,” Toronto Globe and Mail, July 19, 1997.
↩ Tim Judah, “Is Milosevic Planning Another Balkan War?” Scotland on Sunday, March 19, 2000; Florence Hartmann, “Bosnia,” in Roy Gutman & David Rieff, eds., Crimes of War (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1999), 50–51; Marlise Simons, “Slobodan Milosevic, 64, Former Yugoslav Leader Accused of War Crimes, Dies,” New York Times, March 12, 2006; Mark Danner, “America and the Bosnia Genocide,” New York Review of Books, December 4, 1997; Ed Vulliamy, “Profile: Mira Milosevic,” The Observer, July 8, 2001.
↩ Harold Lydall, Yugoslavia in Crisis (New York: Clarendon Press, 1989), esp. 40–71; and John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as History, 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 322. In Lydall’s words, “the year 1979 was climacteric: from that year onwards, the trend of economic change [was] in almost all respects downwards” (40).
↩ Lenard Cohen and Paul Warwick, Political Cohesion in a Fragile Mosaic (Boulder: Westview Press, 1983), esp. chap. 7; here 1; 152; 157.
↩ Warren Zimmermann, “The Last Ambassador,” Foreign Affairs, March/April, 1995.
↩ Dijana Plestina, Regional Development in Communist Yugoslavia (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992), table 6.1, 180. For what these numbers represent, see n. 9, xxvii.
↩ World Development Report 1991 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), table 21, “Total external debt,” 245.
↩ Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1995), esp. figure 3.3, 54.
↩ Susan L. Woodward, Socialist Unemployment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), esp. 345–70, here 361. Also see “Unemployment Rate by Republic or Province,” 384.
↩ As Dijana Plestina sums up her study: “[E]conomic regionalism, that is, the pursuit of one’s own region’s economic interests, explains better than any other factor the Yugoslav socialist regime’s overall failure in narrowing regional economic inequalities.” Regional Development in Communist Yugoslavia, 173. She adds that by 1990, the disparity in per capita income between Slovenia and Kosovo had reached as high as 8:1.
↩ Robert M. Hayden, Blueprints for a House Divided (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 27–52.
↩ Diana Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002), 24.
↩ The logic of the constitutional crisis that led to Yugoslavia’s violent breakup is best exemplified by the oft-quoted, oft-misrepresented, and perhaps apocryphal quip attributed to a Macedonian political figure: “Why should I be a minority in your State, when you can be a minority in mine?”
↩ Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, 36–40.
↩ Perhaps the most accessible copy of the Arbitration (or Badinter) Commission’s Opinions is to be found within the electronic archives of the European Journal of International Law 3, no. 1 (1992), and 4, no. 1 (1993), http://
↩ According to Yugoslavia’s 1981 census, out of a total population of 22.4 million, Slovenia was 90.5 percent Slovene; “Serbia proper” 85.4 percent Serb; Croatia 75.1 percent Croat and 11.5 percent Serbs; Montenegro 68.5 percent Montenegrin; Macedonia 67 percent Macedonian; and Bosnia- Herzegovina 39.5 percent Muslim, 32 percent Serb, and 18.4 percent Croat. The autonomous region of Kosovo was 77.4 percent Albanian; and Vojvodina 54.4 percent Serb and 19 percent Hungarian. See Cohen and Warwick, Political Cohesion in a Fragile Mosaic, appendix A, “The Ethnic Composition of Yugoslavia,” table A.1, 164.
↩ See the invaluable memoir of David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995).
↩ On covert aid to the Croatian and Muslim forces, see the report by the House Committee on International Relations (a.k.a. the “Iranian Green Light Subcommittee”), Final Report of the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia, U.S. House of Representatives (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997); and Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992–1995 (London: Lit Verlag, 2003), esp. 157–218.
↩ NATO remained the sole military enforcer of Dayton from January 1996 through December 2005, when it was joined by a European Union force (EUFOR).
↩ See David Chandler, Bosnia (Sterling, VI: Pluto Press, 1999); David Chandler, Empire in Denial (Ann Arbor: Pluto Press, 2006).
↩ George Robertson, Testimony before the Select Committee on Defense, U.K. House of Commons, March 24, 1999, par. 391.
↩ On covert aid to the KLA, see, e.g., Ian Bruce, “Serbs used CIA phone to call in convoy raid,” The Herald (Glasgow), April 19, 1999; Tom Walker & Aidan Laverty, “CIA aided Kosovo guerrilla army,” Sunday Times, March 12, 2000; “NATO Faces Combat With KLA Forces Which the US Trained and Armed,” Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, February, 2001; Peter Beaumont et al., “‘CIA’s bastard army ran riot in Balkans,’” The Observer, March 11, 2001; James Bissett, “We created a monster,” Toronto Globe and Mail, July 31, 2001.
↩ Martti Ahtisaari, Report of the Special Envoy of the Secretary- General on Kosovo’s future status (S/2007/168), March 26, 2007, par. 5; par. 15.
↩ See Johan Galtung et al., “Ahtisaari’s Kosovo proposal,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, May 11, 2007.
↩ Milosevic Trial Transcript, February 12, 2002, 19; Dusko Doder & Louise Branson, Milosevic (New York: The Free Press, 1999), 3–4; also 43ff.
↩ See “Speech by Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo Polje,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 28, 1987; and “Slobodan Milosevic addresses rally at Gazimestan,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 30, 1989.
↩ For our reference to the Brioni Transcripts of July 31, 1995, see Milosevic Trial Transcript, June 26, 2003, 23200 (lines 1–10).
↩ Ken Silverstein quotes a writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, who noted that as of early 1995, the Croatian military “consisted of criminal rabble, a bunch of fucking losers. MPRI [i.e., the Virginiabased Military Professional Resources Incorporated] turned them into something resembling an army.” Private Warriors (New York: Verso, 2000), 173.
↩ Alija Izetbegovic, Islamic De-claration, 1970, 1990, 30, as posted to the Web site of the Balkan Repository Project, http://www
↩ David Rieff, Slaughterhouse, 2nd ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 10.
↩ Daniel Williams & R. Jeffrey Smith, “Crusader for Serb Honor Was Defiant Until the End,” Washington Post, March 12, 2006; Mark Danner, “Endgame in Kosovo,” New York Review of Books, April 7, 1999.
↩ Milosevic Trial Transcript, November 16, 2004, 33460–63.
↩ See Milosevic Trial Transcript, August 25, 2005, 43223ff; here 43225, lines 9–10.
↩ Milosevic Trial Transcript, August 25, 2005, 43224, lines 11–12.
↩ Milosevic Trial Transcript, August 25, 2005, 43227, line 6 through 43228, line 3, emphases added.
↩ For the Badinter sources, see note 15, above.
↩ According to the opening words of the Preamble to the 1974 Constitution of the SFRY, “The nations of Yugoslavia, preceding from the right of every nation to self-determination, including the right to secession, on the basis of their will freely expressed in the common struggle of all nations and nationalities in the National Liberation War and Socialist Revolution…” (emphases added). See Snezana Trifunovska, ed., Yugoslavia Through Documents (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1994), 224–33, here 224. No fragment among this Constitution’s 10 principles or 406 articles contradicted what its preamble unambiguously proclaimed, and earlier constitutions (e.g., 1963 and 1971) had as well: That the “subjects” to whom the rights of self-determination and secession belonged were explicitly defined as nations—real flesh and bone people, not republican units in the federation—of which Yugoslavia recognized six equally: Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims, Serbs, and Slovenes.
↩ See Peter Radan, The Break-up of Yugoslavia and International Law (New York: Routledge, 2002), 216–22. Here we add that the Slovene and Croat declarations of independence of June 25, 1991, each separately affirmed the “right of the Slovene nation to self-determination” and the “right of the Croatian nation to self-determination.” Thus, as the two triggers for Yugoslavia’s breakup, this fact underscored the belief then prevalent in Yugoslavia that the legal subject to whom the rights of self-determination and secession belonged was the nations, and not, as the Badinter Commission would later rule, the republics (i.e., mere administrative units within the SFRY). See Trifunovska, Yugoslavia Through Documents, (a) Republic of Slovenia Assembly Declaration of Independence, Ljubljana, June 25, 1991, 286; and (b) Constitutional Decision on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb, June 25, 1991, 299.
↩ See, e.g., Owen, Balkan Odyssey; Woodward, Balkan Tragedy; Lenard J. Cohen, Broken Bonds, 2nd. ed. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995); and Steven L. Burg & Paul S. Shoup, The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1999). ... ugoslavia/

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