NATO Socks It To The Serbs, For a Change
By Nebojsa Malic
MORE THAN A DOZEN civilians were injured when NATO troops opened fire on Serb protesters in northern Kosovo on Tuesday. The Serbs had been peacefully protesting NATO’s seizure of checkpoints on the roads to the rest of Serbia, seeking to enforce the writ of the self-proclaimed Albanian government “in the entire country” (Kosovo’s Albanians declared an independent state with NATO support in 2008; Serbia, along with most of the world, refuses to recognize it). Western media reported this as “clashes.” NATO spokespeople argued they’d used only rubber bullets, in “self-defense.” Video and eyewitness reports prove them wrong.
NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, after an illegal war in support of the separatist Albanian “Liberation Army.” Evidence of alleged Serb atrocities – used to justify the war – never materialized. Albanian persecution of ethnic Serbs and other communities, meanwhile, has unfolded for 12 years now, under the very noses of the “peacekeepers” and often with their tacit approval. When Serbia acted to establish law and order in Kosovo in 1998, it was condemned by NATO as “aggressor” and its actions deemed “genocide.” But when NATO initiates violence on behalf of a criminal regime of ethnic cleansers, slavers, drug-runners and organ harvesters, they call it “law and order” and anyone who opposes it, no matter how peacefully, a “criminal element.”
Why should any of this matter? Because it shows the world’s dominant military power (for now) as dangerously and deliberately disconnected from logic, and hence justice.
In the early 1990s, a media image of the Balkans wars was created in the West, wherein the Serbs were these mass-murdering aggressors against their peaceful neighbors, and the virtuous West had to step in and stop them. The Serbs were accused of the most vicious atrocities and compared to the Nazis.
None of that makes any sense. The Serbs are accused of breaking up Yugoslavia – yet they wanted to preserve it (and even then, not at all costs). The West decided that Yugoslavia had ceased to exist (just like that) and that the borders of its federal units were inviolable – except for Serbia, which could be carved up further (Kosovo). Serbs in Croatia were denied autonomy and expelled en masse, but Albanians in Serbia were given independence. Serbs in Bosnia were told they had to submit to a centralized, Muslim-dominated state, while Serbia itself was ordered to de-centralize to the point of separatism. No matter which way one turns, the only consistent “principle” in the Orwellian Balkans is that the Serbs always lose.
The Nazi comparison is especially vile, considering that 1) the Serbs were the principal targets of Nazis and their allies during WW2, and had also fought German and Austrian aggression in WW1; 2) Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Albanians were allied with the Nazis in WW2, and the first two fought for Austria-Hungary in WW1, and 3) both Croats and Albanians had designs for eliminating the Serbs from the territories they claimed, and put those plans into effect under Western patronage, while the Serbs were accused of genocide without any evidence of intent!
One PR executive even bragged, as early as 1993, that the biggest coup of his agency was convincing the Jewish public opinion in the West that the Serbs were Nazis reborn, even though Croats and Bosnian Muslims had a history of “real and cruel anti-Semitism”!
In the course of the Balkans interventions, the West has repeatedly violated its own laws and charters (NATO), making a mockery of the UN and international law, while claiming to be guided by some sort of higher morality. The result of these interventions was that the US, Britain and France betrayed an ally from two world wars and demonized them as Nazis reborn, while supporting Germany and aiding German allies from WW2 to finish what they started in 1941. If this sort of stunning reversal can happen in the Balkans, it can happen anywhere else. To anyone else.
First come the smears. Then the bombs. Then the boots on the ground, and the desert called peace.
You have been warned.
Nebojsa Malic has been the Balkans columnist for Antiwar.com since 2000, and blogs at grayfalcon.blogspot.com. This editorial is exclusive to Barely A Blog.
UPDATE: BAB contributor Nebojsa Malic on Russia Today, TODAY. The neocon is always and everywhere the most uncivilized:
It is interesting how pariah-regimes are ‘allowed’ to exist and to ‘prosper’ with the ‘permission’ of the UN and its money-partners, until – of course – they either bite the hand that feeds them, or, they’ve overstay their welcome…
As an example:
Ghadaffi (Libie) and
the Afrikaners of South Africa…
It is said that when Ghadaffi visited South Africa, he was quoted saying:
“How could they (the Afrikaner) just give up all of this….(in reference to FW De Klerks treachery)
…today, we know why…
‘It’s all about the money..or the oil..’
As far back as 1990 Congress apparently wanted to encourage the breakup of Yugoslavia. From HR5114, Congress prohibited funds to assist Yugoslavia until and unless they held elections in each of the Yugoslav republics presumably to encourage nationalists and separatists.
This law was passed in 1990, six years after the LA Olympics in which Yugoslavia defied the Soviet led boycott and attended. Yugoslavia was routinely held up as a model nation and we even allowed them to export Yugos to us. Why the sudden turn against them?
Unfortunately, it is not about the money and the oil. If it were, we could define and understand what is happening. Those are red herrings; the US has for years been making strange decisions that don’t compute. We are fickle, one day Libya is our buddy, the next day, we are sending troops. Canada has offered us the Oil Sands at a reduced price. Obama and Congress are ignoring their NAPHA (I think) partner and it looks like China will get the contract while we keep buying oil from Saudi Arabia. The only reason I see for it is that the oil refineries are in Texas, a Republican state. Which begs the question; why are we so bound and determined to give Serbia to Albanians? It doesn’t make sense. If I were a citizen in another country and saw an American coming down the road, the first thing I would do is run.
It’s not about money or natural resources; those are just icing on the cake, nice to have but unimportant. It’s about power. By dismantling Yugoslavia, the U.S. (or rather, Empire, as I prefer saying) sought to rid itself of the restraints of international law. The clear parallel is how the U.S. government always asserts new domestic powers in a crisis, and there constantly seems to be a crisis going on (what a remarkable “coincidence”!).
I think the Serbs were picked because they were tagged as surrogate Russians, and were the only people in Eastern Europe not to come running to NATO bowing and scraping, but rather insisted to be treated as a sovereign nation. That the lickspittles chosen as allies in the region had done the exact same thing for Hitler 70 years ago was conveniently ignored; after all, policymakers in Washington only care about the desired End of History, not the actual history…
Some additional information…
ps: Robert, I believe you’re thinking NAFTA – NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT – It was in additions to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement – and it includes Mexico. More-over, yesterday on FOX, the intended pipeline route from Canada to Texas refineries was shown and it was stated that 40% of U.S. consumption could be supplied via the tar sand oil.
I’d prefer my money to go to Canada.
Thank you Dennis, 8PM on the west coast is ten in Oklahoma and I was a bit tired. Most people think of NAFTA as a treaty with Mexico, but forget that Canada is part of it. That said, I have to agree with Nebojsa Malic on the word ’empire’ Obama is now making ‘pronouncements on high’ “The King of Tunisa must go; The president of Egypt must go; The Leader of Libya must go. I think I missed a couple of other pronouncements about other countries. I know he made a pronouncement about the president of Syria but I don’t think he has guts enough to try kicking him out. Russia stands behind him, as they do Iran. But, the emperor still waxes strong. My apologies to the people of Serbia, this is not my desire for my country.
See “The Weight of Chains”
“The Weight of Chains” is a Canadian documentary film that takes a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous European state – Yugoslavia. The film, bursting with rare stock footage never before seen by Western audiences, is a creative first-hand look at why the West intervened in the Yugoslav conflict, with an impressive roster of interviews with academics, diplomats, media personalities and ordinary citizens of the former Yugoslav republics.
The film began with production in late 2009 in several cities throughout Canada including Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, continued in early 2010 in the United States – Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington, and was finalized in the Summer of 2010 in Slovenia – Ljubljana; Croatia – Vukovar, Djakovo, Jasenovac, Zagreb, Gospic, Knin; Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo, Trebinje; Serbia – Belgrade, Subotica, Kosovska Mitrovica, Trepca, Pristina, Orahovac, Prizren and Strpce. “The Weight Of Chains” was completed in October 2010.