BOMB! BOMB! BOMB! blaired the Sun newspaper headline – a public incitement to mass destruction, a mass destruction taking place, according to the Prime Minister, for humanitarian reasons. So humanitarian that Blair’s and Clinton’s bombs have considerably accelerated and worsened the refugee crisis, and brought (at least triggered/sped up) disaster over an ever larger section of the civil population already badly hurt by the civil war in Kosovo.
How the killing of large numbers of Kosovar refugees and Serb civilians, the bombing of hospitals, the TV station and the Chinese embassy by NATO are supposed to fit in the concept of surgical intervention to stop killing and destruction is largely left open – that “mistakes happen” is simply not good enough, nor is the dictum that Milosevic is responsible for everything to do with the conflict.
Of course Blair is lying – if his “moral crusade” (his words) was humanitarian, he should have done something about the plight of the Kurdish people under Turkish rule, but Turkey is a NATO member and oppression of minorities there is not an issue.
So what is the real agenda of the NATO bombing?
– There are serious rift within the Western establishments. The US fears an increased independence of a Europe dominated by the French and the Germans. The English fear to lose what remains of their ‘leadership’ position in Europe by losing the backup by the ‘special relationship’ with the US. The US is interested to keep Europe under its close influence with the British as their faithful dogs in a stronger position than they would hold on their own. [ An example of this is that in the bloody and genocidal civil war in Rwanda one side (the Hutus) were backed by the French, while Britain and the US backed the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Army – the ultimate death toll was an estimate 500’000.]
– A situation was created whereby the whole of NATO – including, most notably, the Germans (for the first time since WWII) – went out to bomb Serbia for a civil war conflict that took place inside its borders. [Imagine, say, an Arab power bloc bombing Britain for the conflict in Northern Ireland. A refugee crisis would certainly ensue…]
The participation of Germany was crucial especially as it happened shortly after a new Social-Democratic / Green coalition government came to power. This marks the final sell-out of the Green Party whose original power base had been the anti-Nuclear and anti-NATO movement. Now they back air strikes (Joschka Fischer, Green Party foreign minister did get a paint bomb in the face at their party conference, so at least there was some disagreement).
– Russia was outraged, but another thing Blair and Clinton wanted to show is that they are now in a position to humiliate the Russians: NATO can bomb whoever they want, and Russia can’t do anything about it.
– We should have no sympathy for Milosevic or Saddam, but the cynical power politics of Clinton and Blair, and their ‘Third Way’ world domination enterprise needs to be denounced. Not only because Blair doesn’t stop smiling as he throws bombs, but because for their very own power reasons they are creating a situation of deep resentment and hatred in many areas of the ‘second’ and ‘third’ world that will sooner or later backfire on Europe and North America.
– Part of their strategy to get backing by their own people is to single out certain figures (Milosevic, Saddam, Bin Laden) as the arch enemies of democracy and freedom and build them up as despicable satanic characters that are cause enough to bomb other countries. The hypocrisy is clear, since the west doesn’t cease to actively support, bankroll and back anti-democratic regimes around the world who do not question their aspirations for world power, or who are not in the way of the expansion of the capitalist market and anglo-american cultural imperialism. The identification of resistance with characters like “Slobba” serves also to discredit resistance.
– The strategy to denounce Serbia as “fascist” and accuse them of “genocide” adds a new twist to western imperialism. Just as the nail bombs served to get people used to increased police presence, roadblocks and cordoned off areas in the capital, we are supposed to agree with western hegemonism in the name of freedom and human rights.
– In the age of information war, the weapons industry is worried, without a few bombardments once in a while it could easily see profits slump as conflicts are fought not less ferociously, but conceivably in less bloody ways. Kosovo also signals an internal victory against those military strategists who have in recent years emphasised the technological shift towards ‘non-lethal’ forms of combat. While it is politically difficult to convince people to send their sons into a war for Clinton and Blair and have lots of them return in body bags, to just bomb other countries is the loophole the warmongers have been looking for. They showed they could do it in the middle east, now they show they can do it in Europe. The people of Kosovo are just a pawn in their game.
While it’s true that Milosevic and Saddam etc. just have to go, the same is true for Clinton and Blair. The human community of the future will have to be built without any of them.
PS. Who has a mandate to speak, act, bomb in the name of “their” people? Only the one who can still convince “their” people that their version of events isn’t merely propaganda but a true assessment of the situation and reaction to it. Does Milosevic have a mandate? Does Clinton, does Blair?
Or does the weapons industry who as always literally makes a killing out of war?
PS (2). After an attempt by the Serbs to capitulate on the 72nd day, the bombing continued for another few days. They refused, so we are told, to “agree to the agreement”. This is a bizarre use of language that we might understand better when we consider allied commander General Wesley Clark’s statement that fighting NATO must be “like fighting God”. Therefore the lines between “Good” and “Evil” are drawn beyond questioning.
It is fairly clear what the mid-term future for Kosovo holds – the Serbs are giving up its territory to an international “peacekeeping” troop and administration. A situation similar to Bosnia, now a UN run mock-democracy, is likely to ensue. In the longer run, more seeds for conflict, death and disaster has surely been successfully sown by NATO.
The war on the home front has been more successful for Clinton and Blair than the actual war in the Balkans – there has been very little dissent, and – more importantly – NATO unity has held. The signal to the rest of the world that they have to toe the line or else get ripped to shreds has been clearly stated.
And just like the weapons industry made millions out of the bombing, western companies are waiting in the wings with contracts to make money out of rebuilding the rubble.
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