Mick Hume has a good piece in the Times today on why those who believe that Gordon Brown will prove a less of a poodle to the US than Tony Blair are living in cloud cuckoo land. He does though make one serious factual error in his article. Hume claims Labour 'bombed Serbia in the 1990s'. But the country Labour bombed in the 1990s was called Yugoslavia, not Serbia. It's an important distinction. Part of the neo-con mythology surrounding events in 1999 was that a country called 'Serbia' was attacking a place called 'Kosovo' (maps on US tv stations actually showed Serbia and Kosovo as two separate countries). In fact, what was taking place was a counter-terrorist operation carried out by Federal Yugoslav forces against Kosovan separatists, armed and financed by the West. There was no 'Serb aggression' (the stock phrase used by neo-cons when writing about the conflict): merely action taken by the Yugoslav forces (forces which contained ethnic Hungarians, Roma, Muslims and other ethnic/religious minorities) to quell foreign-backed terrorism. Neo-cons were keen to use the word 'Serbia' and not Yugoslavia' for another reason too: it fitted in with their long-standing campaign to demonise the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, and portray him as a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth Serb nationalist. Milosevic was of course no such thing, born into a family of Partisans, his loyalties were first and foremost to Federal Yugoslavia and not to the cause of Serbian nationalism. The fact that the country Milosevic governed was still known as Yugoslavia, was hugely inconvenient for the neo-cons, so they simply ignored the official name of the country and called it what fitted in with their propaganda.
It's a pity that a writer like Mick Hume, who opposed western aggression in the Balkans, has decided to follow the warmongers lead.