Wednesday, March 29, 2006

From Belgrade to Baghdad and beyond

Here's my piece on the neo-conservative's long-standing strategy from today's Morning Star.

From Belgrade to Baghdad and beyond

Divide and conquer has been the classic Imperial strategy since Roman times. Today’s Empire builders are no different. The particular genius of the modern neo-conservative project has been the use of the theory of ‘humanitarian intervention’, to co-opt liberal-left support for a centuries old project of conquest. In 1990s it was the Serbs- and their “extreme nationalist” leader Slobodan Milosevic who posed the threat to peace and civilised values. In 2001 it was Mullah Omar and the Islamic hardliners of the Taliban. In 2003 it was the turn of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, with its deadly arsenal of WMD. Now its Iran’s President Ahmadenijad’s alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons which need to be countered. Each time a sizeable section of the liberal-left has supported, not those attacked or threatened, but the aggressors. You might have thought that by now, the pattern would be clear to all. But the enduring success of the New World Order’s propaganda machine can be seen by the reaction of many on the left to Milosevic’s death.

Milosevic, a life-long socialist, was a man all true progressives should have mourned. A man steeped in partisan culture, (both his parents fought the Nazis in World War Two), he never once made a racist speech: the famous Kosovo Polje address of 1989 which his critics claimed whipped up ancient ethnic hatreds, was in fact a statement of support for multi-ethnic, socialist Yugoslavia. Far from being a rabid warmonger, the late Yugoslav leader was, in the words of Lord Owen ‘the only leader who consistently supported peace’ and ‘a man to whom any form of racism is anathema’. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia was initiated not by Milosevic, but by the German decision to prematurely recognise the breakaway republics of Slovenia and Croatia, against all the norms of international law. And war in Bosnia would have been avoided too had US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman not personally intervened at the eleventh hour to sabotage the 1992 Lisbon Agreement which provided for the peaceful division of the republic. ‘If you don’t like it, why sign it’ Zimmerman told the hard-line Bosnian separatist leader Alija Izetbegovic, thereby lighting the touch paper to a conflict which would claim over 90,000 lives. Even after the 1995 Dayton agreement which ended the war in Bosnia, the Imperial appetite was not satiated. Milosevic’s rump Yugoslavia had to be destroyed too, by providing weapons and training for a separatist terror group, the Kosovan Liberation Army. When the inevitable security clampdown from Belgrade came, the West was at hand to issue the ultimatum, producing a document at the Rambouillet Peace Conference, which as Defence Minister Lord Gilbert has conceded, was deliberately designed to be rejected by the Yugoslav delegation. Why was it all done? Milosevic’s Yugoslavia was targeted not for ‘humanitarian’ reasons as many still believe, but simply because it got in the way. ‘In post Cold War Europe, no place remained for a large, independent minded socialist state that resisted globalisation', the words not of a left-wing conspiracy theorist, but George Kenney, an official at the Yugoslav office of the US State Department.

There's no doubting who has benefited from the wars which the West is happy to pin on Milosevic. One militarily and economically strong independent nation, has been replaced by a series of weak and divided World Bank/IMF/NATO protectorates. Western capital has unhindered access to raw materials and markets throughout the region, while in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, the U.S.'s biggest from scratch military base since the Vietnam war, jealously guards the route of the $1.3bn Trans Balkan AMBO pipeline, guaranteeing Western control of Caspian oil supplies.

It’s worth remembering that the very same people who clamoured most loudly for action against Milosevic in the 1990s, were those who were at the forefront of the propaganda war against Iraq a few years later. And today, the very same hawks are trying to convince us of the necessity of ‘strong action’ against Iran. Among the members of the executive of the Balkan Action Committee, who lobbied for US involvement on the side of Izetbegovic in Bosnia, and then for full scale war against Milosevic’s Yugoslavia in 1999, are three names that will need no introduction: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. ‘It‘s either take action now, or lose the option of taking action’ was Perle’s recent comment on Iran: in addition to signing (along with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) a notorious letter to President Clinton in 1998 calling for a ‘comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime’, he also acted as adviser to the Izetbegovic’s delegation at Dayton.

It’s time those who supported the military actions against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and the current 'strong' line on Iran, realised that the biggest danger to peace did not come from Slobodan Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam Hussein, or, now, from President Ahmadinejad, but from the serial warmongers who threatened them. The road to Baghdad began in the Balkans. But it won’t end there, unless the liberal-left supporters of U.S. sponsored “humanitarian” interventions start to see the bigger picture.

Neil Clark/The Morning Star 2006


Lukas said...

Neil, it is such a pleasure to find a writer who consitently tells the truth- in a world where the western media so often pumps lies from number ten and the white house. A great deal of the left should hang its head in shame over its position on the West's destruction of Yugoslavia. At the 'Stop the War' demonstration the other week, so few people (this includes the supposed 'socialists' and 'pacifists') were able to see the evident link between NATO's aggression in Yugoslavia and the current situation in Iraq/Iran. Any defense of Milosevic endowed me the label of 'a defender of tyranny', which was ironic as surely those defending the position of the West were real the defenders of tyranny. My family are from the Yugoslavia, and having travelled there every summer since I was born, I know first hand what people actually felt under the 'tyrant' Milosevic. Even during the sanctions there was an enormous sense of soilidarity and fraternity which I have never seen anywhere in the world. The 'democracy' movement was minimal, although people did want a change- but a change from sanctions and the destruction of their country by the West. A number of family friends (students) attended the demonstrations against Milosevic. Upon hearing this I decided that there was perhaps some truth to the BBC reports of a widespread urge for 'democracy' and an overthrow of Milosevic within the country. However, it soon emerged that the organisation organising these events OTPOR (a, suprise suprise, CIA financed group) had paid these students fifty german marks, each, to attend!

Anyway, thank you for your work- you as a journalist are doing what so few of your colleagues are- telling the truth!

grapesofplenty said...

Great piece, Neil.
The good thing is that many more people are now beginning to 'connect up'- and see the big picture.

Nguyen Van Minh said...

If you want the details on this perpetual "war for globalism", read this article by Pentagon planner Thomas Barnett: