cj#662> * Heads up: the Albanian precedent *


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

The Albania scenario seems to be shaping up as a precedent of foreboding
and historical significance.  Although the news stories will focus on what
happens in Albania - and that may prove to be dramatic indeed - it is the
precedent that is more important in the long run because it sets the tone
for the new style of euro-imperialism that seems destined to characterize
the rapidly consolidating globalist system.

In order to fully understand the significance of Albanian events, let's
compare and contrast to two previous epsisodes: Desert Storm and Bosnia.
        Desert Storm itself was a significant precedent.  It established
the principle that a major power can, under cover of UN approval, "legally"
invade a country, cause major damage, and compel that country to conform to
UN-sanctioned constraints on its behavior - even to the extent of ceding
portions of its territory (eg Kurdish areas) to long-term control by
external forces.  But Desert Storm was primarily an American operation, and
intervention by Uncle Sam was already so commonplace that it didn't greatly
change the apparent geopolitical scene.
         To some extent, Bosnia was just one more example of UN forces
playing their traditional impotent role, showing the international flag but
constrained from significant intervention.  But NATO was added to the
equation, and air strikes allowed the international force to play a
significant tactical role.  And in the dramatic climax, when Croatia
invaded Bosnia, US cruise missiles were employed stragegically against
Serbian command-and-control - assuring a considerable and Western-desired
shift in the regional balance of power.
        Nevertheless, in Bosnia, it was still primarily a proxy game that
was being played.  Croats, Serbs, and Bosnians were being played off
against one another, and the NATO forces intervened only at timely moments.
It was a carefully managed tilt to a civil war, but the main action was
among local adversaries.  (Much like the gods intervening at Troy, if we
can believe Homer.)

In Albania we are likely to see several important new trend-setting
developments  - assuming the rebels don't simply fold in the face of
intervention, but instead become more determined and motivated, and achieve
wider popular support.  We'll then see:
        (1) Decisive "legal" intervention by major powers which do not
            include Uncle Sam in their number.
        (2) Intervention by forces which have a direct and obvious
            partisan interest in both the conflict and the outcome.
        (3) A primary combatant role on the part of the intervening
            forces - they will engage enemy, take and hold territory,
            and will find it necessary to incrementally escalate their
            level of involvement, ala Vietnam.  Unlike Desert Storm,
            it seems not be shaping up as a Blitzkrieg affair.

Although Uncle Sam has typically had a covert geopolitical agenda (eg
maintaining control of oil production and distribution), he has managed to
play the part of a neutral intervening policeman - establishing order
without any obvious immediate national gain.
        But in Albania we see Italy and Greece playing roles much more in
the tradition of standard imperialism: they have obvious historic and
ethnic relationships with Albania, and the intervention gives them an
opportunity re-engineer the Albanian political situation to their perceived
benefit, as imperialist powers have so often done before: adjusting balance
of power, gaining investment opportunities or markets, promoting favored
partisans, etc.

It is most significant that the intervening players were selected on a
voluntary basis - whoever wants to play (among the Euro gang) can, and they
can put down as many chips (troops) on the table as they see fit.  This may
bring in a few humanitarian or duty-inspired players, but the primary
result of such a policy is to facilitate Euro gang members in pursuing with
force their geopolitical imperialist interests.
        As long as the media can paint a convincing picture of chaos or
injustice, then the UN can respond to the "emergency" with a "mandate"
declaration and the interested gang members can jump in and gain whatever
they can from the intervention opportunity.  And don't underestimate the
media's ability to make a mountain out of a molehill.  For example, in
Grenada - when American citizens were in no danger whatever - it was very
easy for the media (with the help of dramatic official statements) to
create a false sense of crisis.

Thus it seems that the Desert Storm precedent (legalization of decisive
intervention in a supposedly sovereign state) is now being used to
authorize generic great-power imperialist activity, demonstrating for us
the paradigm for global management that is likely to characterize the
globalist era.  We may ultimately have an integrated global military force,
with its own potent divisions, but in the meantime the Euro-gang (including
USA) of bullies will simply sail under a UN flag whenever they see the need
to make a geopolitical adjustment.

There will be squabbles among gang members - as between Italy and Greece
over who gets to land where.  But these will be ironed out peacefully -
just like squabbles among the players on a football team.  And the biggest
players (due to their permanent Security Council seats and their
influential positions in NATO) will insure their own interests are always
protected and will bring a strategic coherence to the overall pattern and
timing of intervention/enforcement activity.

That's what's different between old-style imperialism and this new
globalist version.  We still have the Euro gang screwing the rest of the
world, but now they're doing it on a systematic collaborative basis,
instead of competing with each other to their mutual disadvantage.  This
development provides a flexible model for maintenance of global "order" and
supplies the critical security component which is necessary to the New
World Order scheme.  Albania seems to be the historic occasion where this
security component will be fully field-tested for the first time, in full
operational mode, and without Uncle Sam there to lend an on-the-ground
guiding hand.

One of problems which will arise will be the need to generate sufficient
home-country public enthusiasm to support the scale of military involvement
that may become necessary in a volative senario like Albania.  There is a
straightforward formula that will most likely be employed to solve this
        Just as in Albania, the troops will go in with a humanitarian &
order preserving mandate, with relatively few troops - enough to occupy
strategic positions and protect themselves temorarily.  The troops will
then provoke attacks on themselves (although it won't be reported that
way), and public sentiment will support sending the next increment of
troops to back up the first.  And so on up the spiral a war will evolve
that is larger than "anyone ever imagined" - or so you will be asked to

You may consider the following piece to be biased - it would be considered
blatant communist propaganda by many - I offer it nonetheless as probably a
fairer characterization of the situation than what we've been getting in
most of our media.

Developments in Albania deserve to be watched closely, reading especially
between the lines.  The euro-gang's scheme for collective global hegemony
is being tested and debugged as we watch, cementing one more brick in the
wall of the New World Order edifice.


Date: Mon, 21 Apr 97
From: •••@••.••• (Brian Hauk)
Subject: Imperialist Occupation Force Lands In Albania
Organization: InfoMatch Internet - Vancouver BC

Imperialist Occupation Force Lands In Albania
from the Militant, vol.61/no.17                        April 28, 1997

   ATHENS, Greece - Despite overwhelming opposition among
Albania's working people, the governments of Italy, France, and
Greece are spearheading an imperialist intervention in the
Balkan country of 3 million. The first 1,200 troops -from
Italy, France, and Spain - have already taken up positions in
the Albanian port of Durres and the nearby capital, Tirana. As
we go to press, troops from Greece and Turkey are also on their
way to join the occupation force, which is projected to rapidly
reach 6,000.
   The aim of the imperialist intervention is to quell the two-
month-old working-class rebellion against the pro-capitalist
regime of President Sali Berisha, overturn the workers state,
and reestablish capitalism in Albania. To justify their course
of action, the imperialists say troops are needed to protect
humanitarian aid and prepare for elections, currently planned
for June. Rome got a three-month mandate from the United
Nations for the operation.
   On April 11 the first group of Italian paratroopers landed
in Albania. Twenty Italian soldiers disembarked from a naval
vessel in the western port of Durres, along with five military
vehicles. At the same time four Lockheed C-130 Hercules
aircraft carrying 100 soldiers arrived at Tirana's airport. The
soldiers, according to the Athens daily Eleftherotypia, are
"armed with a guide to useful phrases in the Albanian language,
such as `surrender your weapons,' " and have already begun
patrolling the road from Durres to Tirana.
   The military occupation of Albania was first proposed by the
French government, which wanted to send the force under the
auspices of the Western European Union. Facing strong
objections from Bonn and London, a meeting of European Union
(EU) foreign ministers failed to agree on Paris's plan. Then
Rome, Albania's former colonial master before the socialist
revolution there in the 1940s, took the initiative to lead the
current intervention with whichever governments were willing to
participate. Italy will provide the largest number of troops,
with 2,500. France is sending 1,000, Greece and Turkey 700
each, Spain 450, Romania 400, Austria 120, and Denmark up to
   Rome and Athens came into conflict over which parts of
Albania each will place its troops in. Initially the Italian
government proposed that Athens send forces to the northern
part of the country, but this plan was changed after strong
objections from the Greek government. Under current plans
Athens will position its occupying forces not only in Tirana
but also in the southern cities such as Vlore, where there is a
large Greek-speaking minority. Athens has long looked hungrily
at southern Albania and  has tried to whip up support for
intervention, supposedly to aid the ethnic Greek minority.
   The port city of Vlore has been at the center of the
rebellion, which was sparked after government-promoted "pyramid
schemes" collapsed in January. Hundreds of thousands of
Albanians lost all their savings in the fraudulent investment
plans, many of them workers who had emigrated to Greece, Italy,
and elsewhere to find employment. The rebels are demanding the
resignation of Berisha and that the government compensate them
for the losses.
    In their endeavor to reestablish capitalism in Albania, the
imperialists fear that they may have to confront, militarily,
the armed toilers of this workers state. This is particularly
true in the southern half of the country, where  Berisha's
armed forces are largely dissolved and local defense councils
are running most affairs.
   The occupying troops have been ordered to shoot "if they
face dangerous situations." The plan for the imperialist
intervention, drafted in Rome by the participating governments,
lists potential "dangerous situations." Among them are
"involvement in clashes between government forces and the
rebels and attacks by armed civilians that may attempt to
appropriate the humanitarian aid." Among the "potential
problems" that the imperialists expect are planted mines at
regional roads and the chance of facing guerrilla warfare."
   Italian Adm. Guido Venturoni, who is commanding the
operation, told reporters April 14 that the force "will not go
into Albania as the blue helmets went into Bosnia, where they
were constrained to stand by during grave acts of violence
without intervening because the rules of engagement did not
permit it."
   In addition to the UN mandate, Rome got approval for the
intervention force from the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). An envoy from that organization,
Franz Vranitzky, met with Berisha, Prime Minister Bashkim Fino,
and other Albanian officials April 16 in Tirana to discuss
plans for June elections. He was then going to Vlore to meet
with rebel leaders there, but canceled the plan under pressure
from Berisha, who smeared the fighters as "extreme left Mafia
   As the imperialist forces were landing in Albania, the EU
Parliament passed a resolution with 355 voting for it, 8
against, and 17 abstaining, calling on Berisha to step down and
to contribute toward disarming Albania's rebels before the
elections. The vote took place after several meetings held
between members of the EU Parliament and Fatos Nano, leader of
Albania's Socialist Party; Meritan Tseka, president of
Democratic Alliance; and Skeder Ginousi, president of Albania's
Social Democratic Party.
   All the above parties, along with Berisha's Democratic
Party, represent competing layers of the bureaucratic caste
that has ruled in Albania for decades. They are all strong
supporters of imperialist intervention, hoping to quell the
working-class revolt that has thrown the rule of their caste
into a deep crisis.
   Reflecting opposition to the military intervention among
many working people in Italy, the Communist Refoundation (CR),
the successor of the former Communist Party, voted against the
troop deployment in Parliament, causing a crisis in Prime
Minister Romano Prodi's social democratic coalition government.
The CR refused to bring the government down, however, backing
Prodi in a confidence vote taken April 12.
   In Athens, the Greek government of the social democratic
Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) had difficulty cobbling
its imperialist military force. Many soldiers and some officers
have refused to volunteer. A SKY radio program on April 10
reported that the soldiers being deployed in Albania are going
under duress from the Ministry of Defense and their commanders.
   Hundreds of workers and youth have participated in recent
actions here in solidarity with the Albanian toilers' revolt.
On April 13, around 200 youth rallied at the Ministry of
Defense calling for "not one soldier to Albania." The protest
was organized by Youth Action for Peace.

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