I have always maintained that the demonisation of the late Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the destruction of his country came about not because Milosevic was an ethnic cleanser (he wasn't), nor because he was a dictator (he wasn't), but because he was running the 'wrong' sort of economy.
Yugoslavia under Milosevic had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car and tobacco industries, and 75% of industry was state or socially owned. In 1997, a privatisation law had stipulated that in any sell-offs, at least 60% of shares had to be allocated to a company's workers.
The high priests of neo-liberalism were not happy. At the Davos summit early in 1999, Tony Blair berated Belgrade, not for its handling of Kosovo, but for its failure to embark on a programme of "economic reform" - new-world-order speak for selling state assets and running the economy in the interests of foreign capital.
Now of course Milosevic is dead, and the Balkans have been 'liberated' from his 'tyrannical' rule (under which over 20 political parties freely operated). And Kapital is free to go anywhere in the region!
The newly 'independent' Montenegro is providing particularly rich pickings for the global financial/business elite, as this Daily Mail report reveals.
What was a Yugoslav army/navy dockyard in the Milosevic era is now a piece of real estate owned by TriGranit, Hungary's biggest property developer. And what do we know about TriGranit?
It is co-owned by a Hungarian-born Canadian billionaire named Peter Munk and Nat Rothschild. Munk, 80, is owner of Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold producing company. He was advised to invest in Montenegro by the Rothschild family, with whom he has long enjoyed business ties. Then he made a call to Deripaska. 'Oleg made the first phone call to the prime minister (Djukanovic)(pictured above) and opened the door for me,' Mr Munk explained. But Munk and Rothschild were not alone in the project. Also on board are Nat's father Lord Rothschild and two other business big names. One, Bernard Arnault, the chairman of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, adds lustre.
The toppling of Milosevic and the destruction of his country has certainly proved profitable for some, hasn't it!
As Monsieur Verdoux, the eponymous anti-hero of Chaplin's classic film said: "Wars- conflict- it's all business!"