cj#1058> Workers World: GLOBALIZATION & YUGOSLAVIA


Richard Moore

From: "Wyles, Margaret" <•••@••.•••>
To: "'•••@••.•••'" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: In the end, it's an old story after all......
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 11:10:53 -0800

          [Workers World News Service]

          Via Workers World News Service
          Reprinted from the Jan. 27, 2000
          issue of Workers World newspaper

          Globalization, militarism & the U.S./NATO war against

          By Richard Becker
          International Action Center
          San Francisco

          Excerpts from a speech at the No to WTO/People's
          Assembly, Seattle
          Nov. 28, 1999

          The world's attention this week is on Seattle, the World
          Trade Organization, and the struggle against what has
          become one of the buzzwords of the 1990s,
          "globalization." But what is "globalization"? Is it a
          new phenomenon? I'd like to read a few words from a
          pamphlet written more than 150 years ago.

          "The need of a constantly expanding market for its
          products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface
          of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle
          everywhere, establish connections everywhere ... . The
          bourgeoisie, through its exploitation of the world
          market, gives a cosmopolitan character to production and
          consumption in every country. ...

          It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt
          a bourgeois mode of production. It compels them to
          introduce what it calls civilization into their midst,
          in other words to become bourgeois themselves . . . In a
          word, it creates a world after its own image."

          Those words are from the most popular and widely
          translated work ever written, "The Communist Manifesto."
          It shows that globalization is not new.

          Our definition of imperialist globalization is the
          process of breaking down all barriers to the free
          movement of capital and its right to freely exploit the
          resources and labor of all countries.

          Some in the left have misunderstood this to mean that
          capital has become denationalized. There was a theory in
          the early 1990s of "global mobile capital," that capital
          had become detached from its national roots. This is
          like an old theory called ultra-imperialism. It's a
          false theory that conveniently--and not
          coincidentally--relieves its proponents of the need to
          fight against their own ruling class.

          It allows some on the right, and the social-democratic
          left as well, to argue that the U.S. capitalists have
          become unpatriotic--as if at some point they were
          patriotic to anything besides profits.

          U.S. capital in driver's seat

          The Pentagon, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines
          do not exist to defend capital in the abstract or in the
          general sense. They exist to protect and serve U.S.
          capital--not only to extend and maintain its domination
          in what used to be called the Third World, the oppressed
          countries, but also vis-a-vis its imperialist allies and
          rivals. The domination of U.S. capital is the overall
          strategic objective of U.S. policy.

          Maximization of profit is, of course, what drives the
          system. But maintaining U.S. hegemony is the guiding
          principle of U. S. strategic doctrine. Globalization
          yes, but globalization with U.S. capital in the driver's

          How does all this relate to the U.S./ NATO war against
          Yugoslavia? What is the relation ship between
          globalization and militarism?

          Ten years ago, neither Yugoslavia nor Iraq would have
          seemed likely targets of U.S. military attack. Both are
          key countries in key strategic regions.

          While the United States had been fiercely hostile to
          both of them after their respective
          revolutions--Yugoslavia in 1945, and Iraq in 1958--it
          seemed to change over the years. Ten years ago the U.S.
          policy toward both countries was officially friendly.

          In 1990 and 1991 however, all this friendliness suddenly
          evaporated. The benign mask dropped away, revealing the
          true face of U.S. policy. The U.S. rulers proceeded to
          first demonize and then to devastate both
          countries--tearing one to pieces, and inflicting on the
          other a human-made famine and deadly epidemics.

          Both the Yugoslav and Iraqi people have suffered immense
          human, productive and cultural losses. Both were
          subjected to nearly a decade of war, blockade and
          subversion. Today the U.S. government's official policy
          toward both countries is called "regime change." The
          imperialists are continuing their aggression against
          both countries.

          What happened to bring about such a cataclysmic change?
          Was there a dramatic change in the government of either
          country? No, those governments are basically the same
          today. Did they change their basic orientation? No, not
          at all. Did either one of them menace the United States?
          No, neither is in a position to do so.

          The real change that took place was inside neither Iraq
          nor Yugoslavia.

          What happened was a sharp change in the balance of
          forces in the world brought about by the disintegration
          and then collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist
          bloc in Europe in the period of 1989 to 91.
          Imperialism's friendliness toward Iraq and Yugoslavia
          lasted exactly as long as the existence of the socialist

          First the governments in the newly reunified Germany and
          subsequently Britain, France, Italy and above all the
          United States set out to carve up the Yugoslav
          Federation, fanning the flames of chauvinism while
          arming the most reactionary nationalist elements within
          that country.

          U.S./NATO role
          destroying Yugoslavia

          The destruction of Yugoslavia with its extremely diverse
          and intermingled population required a bloody civil war.
          The imperialists were only too glad to do everything
          they could to make the civil war as atrocious and brutal
          as possible. The United States and the other NATO powers
          used an integrated, economic, military and diplomatic
          strategy to destroy the former Yugoslavia.

          The economic austerity plan implemented by the
          International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the
          1980s played a major role in heightening the tensions
          between the different republics and provinces of
          Yugoslavia that had different standards of living,
          within the federal state.

          The threat of trade sanctions and other penalties was
          used to support the secessionist movements in Yugoslavia
          in 1991 and 1992. Economic sanctions--a total blockade
          of the country that was based on the sanctions
          implemented two years earlier against Iraq--were brought
          to bear on Yugoslavia in 1992 and imposed until 1996.

          Both the U.S. and German regimes, but increasingly the
          U.S., armed, funded and trained the Croatian and Bosnian
          military. Washington insisted that NATO must carry out
          the bombing of Bosnia in the summer of 1995. Meanwhile
          the U.S.- retrained-and-led Croatian army ethnically
          cleansed half a million Serbs from the Krajina region of
          Croatia where they had lived for many centuries.

          This was the integrated strategy. The combination of
          sanctions, blockade, economic and financial measures,
          NATO bombing and U.S. intervention forced the Yugoslav
          government to sign the Dayton Accords in 1995.

          And 1999 brought a new round of war--a massive 78-day
          bombing campaign by NATO, led by the Pentagon, and then
          new economic sanctions, which exist today. Washington
          justifies this policy by claiming it was standing up for
          human rights!

          U.S. capitalism grew wealthy largely through the
          exploitation of millions of people who were enslaved,
          carried out the greatest ethnic cleansing in history on
          this continent by clearing out the Native inhabitants,
          and put its nation together by war and conquest. What
          right do U.S. rulers have to speak to any people
          anywhere in the world about human rights? None.

          Washington's goals in Balkans war

          Washington and NATO launched a war against Yugoslavia
          for the same reasons the U.S. army invaded Cuba, Puerto
          Rico and the Philippines in 1898. They want to subject
          Central and Eastern Europe to a new form of colonial
          domination. They don't care about the lives of any of
          the peoples of Yugoslavia any more than they cared about
          the rights of workers and farmers in Cuba or Puerto Rico
          or the Philippines a hundred years ago.

          Just since World War II, Washington has fought the
          Korean War; overthrown the elected governments of
          Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Indonesia; fought wars against
          the people of Central America; invaded Leban on; carried
          out a genocidal war in Indo china, in which millions of
          Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians and more than 50,000
          U.S. troops died; and enforced an economic block ade
          against Iraq that has taken the lives of more than a
          million and a half people, half of them children under
          the age of 5.

          Given this horrific and bloody record, are we to believe
          President Clinton or Madeline Albright or Gen. Wesley
          Clark on certain days wake up in the morning and say,
          "Human rights are being threatened somewhere in the
          world--we must act!" No, of course not; it's ludicrous
          to think so.

          The real objective of the war on Yugoslavia is to
          re-balkanize the Balkans--to break up Yugoslavia into
          small, easily controllable and digestible pieces, in
          order to insure U.S./NATO, and especially U.S.,
          domination of this key strategic region.

          While 10 years ago it had none, today the United States
          has military bases in Albania, Macedonia, Hungary,
          Bosnia and Croatia. Washington and its NATO partners
          have cut up Kosovo into little pieces, occupation zones.

          I want to read a quote from Thomas Friedman, who writes
          for the New York Times--a thoroughly despicable
          individual who is now held up as the highest example of
          U.S. journalism. Friedman wrote approvingly on March 28,

          "For globalization to work, America can't be afraid to
          act like the almighty superpower that it is. The hidden
          hand of the market will never work without a hidden
          fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without
          McDonald-Douglas, the designer of the F-15, and the
          hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon
          Valley's technology is called the United States Army,
          Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

          New U.S. military buildup

          A new military buildup is already under way, despite the
          fact that the United States today already spends more on
          its military that the rest of the UN Security Council
          combined. Having spent $19 trillion since 1940 on the
          military, the U.S. government proposes to spend an
          additional $1.2 trillion in the next four years.

          The purpose of this military buildup is to provide
          security for corporate America's far-flung empire. It is
          part of the globalization strategy.

          It is also designed to assure that U.S. capital is
          pre-eminent over all others. This was laid out in a
          Pentagon "White Paper" publicized in March 1992, soon
          after the collapse of the Soviet Union, called the
          Defense Planning Guidance Document. It stated
          forthrightly that the top U.S. aim in the post-Soviet
          era should be to prevent any potential rival from even
          considering the possibility of trying to achieve
          competitive balance with the United States.

          U.S. military superiority is the key to U.S. imperialist
          global economic domination. The United States does not
          have superiority over its rivals just by virtue of its
          economic system and technology. But what it does have is
          this vast military apparatus to implement its will.

          There are many in the anti-war movement who were deluded
          into thinking that the demise of the Soviet Union and
          the end of the Warsaw Pact would usher in a new era of
          peace and demilitarization. Those who held this hope did
          not understand that imperialism is still imperialism.
          And the imperialist leaders, instead of thinking about
          peace, saw the changed relationship of forces in the
          world as a new opportunity to secure domination over key
          markets, labor and resources.

          Instead of becoming more peaceful, they became more

          We do not live, unlike what so many in academia tell us
          now, in some post-modern era. We still live in the era
          of imperialism--of imperialist war and socialist
          revolution. Imperialist globalization, based on the
          maximizing of super-profits and the transnational banks
          and corporations, is laying waste to the world and to
          its people.

          At the same time, this process expands every day in
          every country the ranks of those who were described in
          that same pamphlet that I quoted earlier as the
          gravediggers of the system--the working class.

          Today imperialism appears to be riding high; the
          imperialists feel strong. But I want to quote another
          great revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, who once said,
          to paraphrase, that "every ruling class thinks itself
          invincible until history teaches it otherwise." Our job
          is to organize the movement that teaches them otherwise.

          - END -

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          Copyright © 2000 workers.org

Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance
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