cj#916> Kosovo, War Hysteria, and the Liberal Fallacy


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

You haven't heard from me for many days.  Partly it's because I've been
working nose-to-grindstone on getting my first major Perl program running.
But that's only part of the story.

The rest of the story is that I've been disturbed by many of the statements
people have been sending in to the list.  There seems to be a surge of war
hysteria, a willingness by normally critical people to accept the blatant
propaganda being dished out about the NATO bombing and the Kosovo crisis.
I didn't know how to respond to this, so I just let it all pass by while I
worked on other things.

I'll send out two additional postings tomorrow, one with pro-bombing
statements and another with anti-bombing statements.  In this post, I want
to share some thoughts about the bombing and about people's reactions to it.

Background of the Kosovo crisis
Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, US policy toward Russia, the
former Soviet realms, and Yugoslavia, has been one of maximal
destabilization.  Devolution has been encouraged, economies have been
systematically wrecked, and organized crime has been encouraged.  Just as
Rome burned Carthage to the ground and sowed the ashes with salt, so is the
US doing everything in its power, both overtly and covertly, to see that
these formerly stable socialist nations are never again viable, at least
not while any tinge of socialism remains in them.  Whatever suffering is
caused to the people is of no consequence to US leaders, anymore than was
the suffering of the US's first genocide victims, the native Americans.

I'm not saying this in defense of socialism or of Native American, I'm
simply trying to clarify US motivation and policy.

The destabilization of Yugoslavia began, if not before, with the Western
recognition of Croation independence.  It was well known by Western leaders
that this would inevitably lead to a similar demand by Bosnia, which would
in turn lead to all kinds of ethnic strife and civil war.

For this reason most European nations, with the exception of Germany, were
determined _not to recognize Croation independence.  But Germany was
adamant.  It twisted arms.  Finally a deal was struck.  Germany allowed the
UK to opt out of the EU's Social Chapter in return for UK support for
Croation independence.  "I'll let you exploit your workers, if you let me
destabilize the Slavs" was what the deal was essentially about.

Croatia was Germany's pro-fascist ally in WWII, and with Germany's help
carried out extensive atrocities against Serbians.  it was a testament to
the leadership of Tito that a stable Yugoslavia could be constructed when
WWII was over.  But with the the death of Tito, and the precipitous
recognition of Croation independence, all the old rivalries re-emerged, as
Western leaders knew they would.

Croation recognition was only the beginning of the destabilization
campaign.  Arms were covertly funneled to dissident groups in Bosnia, and
they were encouraged to engage in terrorism against the established
government.  Croatia began to persecute its resident non-Muslims.  The
Serbian leaders are not saints, but ethnic cleansing only happened _after
the destabilization campaign began, and was in fact an intentional outcome
of that campaign.

In fact, ethnic cleansing, and persecution of minorities, became widespread
by all sides in Yugosloavia.  But only the actions of the Serbs were
portrayed in Western media.  The largest single episode of ethnic cleansing
happened not in Bosnia, but in Croatia, where the Serbs from an entire
province were forcefully expelled and their homes burned.  During the few
days while this was happening, the Western press ignored it, and instead
focused on reports (from the CIA) that satellite photos had revealed "new
mass graves" in Bosnia.

The event which finally unleashed NATO warplanes and US cruise missiles
against Bosnia was the infamous shelling of a marketplace in Sarajevo.  The
US blamed this on the Serbs, but other NATO commanders believed the
shelling might have been by Muslims, in order to justify expanded NATO
inetervention.  Subsequent evidence reveals they were probably right.  In
any case, the event was used as an excuse for a major cruise-missile
bombardment, the invasion of Bosnia by Croation forces, and major (and
unreported) ethnic cleansing in Croatia.  These actions had been under
preparation for some time, and staging a shelling in Sarajevo would have
been typical of the tactics employed by the US to justify its
interventions.  (See: William Blum's "Killing Hope").

In Kosovo, the trouble seems to have been intentionally started by the US
and Germany, who trained and armed terrorist dissidents and sent them into
Kosovo to wreak havoc.  These terrorists are what is known as the KLA.  The
KLA are characterized as freedom fighters in the Western media, but even in
that media are clues as to what they really are. One report said
"negotiatons are difficult because the KLA has no civilian counterpart".
Doesn't that tell you something?  What kind of "freedom fighters" have no
civilian counterpart?  In a BBC broadcast I saw last week, they showed
footage of KLA operatives in Kosovo.  It was interesting to see how the
narrator danced around the issue of who the KLA was.  He had to admit "many
of these men are from outside Kosovo", but he tried to blur this fact as
much as possible with various irrelevant observations.

With US & German support and arms, the KLA has provoked the crisis in
Kosovo and has given Serbia no choice but to respond militarily to keep
order.  That military response has been seized on by the Western media
while the cause has been suppressed.

To summarize, the Kosovo situation was intentionally planned and brought
about by Germany and the US as part of a bigger campaign to break
Yugolslavia up into little pieces, and make it more amenable to Western
economic exploitation.  Yugolavia is a prototype for how collective
imperialism is to be managed under the new globalization regime.

The Kosovars are simply pawns in the imperialist game, just like the Kurds
and the Afghanis before them, or for that matter, the South Vietnamese.
The US cares nothing about the human rights of the Kosovars or anyone else.
Once the West gets what it wants in Yugolslavia, the Kosovars will be
abandoned, just as the Kurds were abandoned (to invasion by Turkey) and the
Afghans were abandoned (to their Taliban fate).  It is worth recalling that
the first person to drop poison gas on the Kurds was Churchill (following
WWI), to suppress their independence movement.  As part of the current
bombing, the US is covering Kosovo with spent-uranium shells that will
cause severe health problems for generations to come.

Even if the backgroud of the situtation were different than this, if the US
and Germany were not to blame for the situation in Kosovo, the NATO bombing
would still be an unjustifiable response to the crisis.  Even if we accept
that independence for Kosovo is a justifiable goal, the US could employ far
less destructive means to achieve that goal.  There are any number of
viable scenarios by which the US, with its advanced weaponry, could expel
the Serbian military from Kosovo without destroying Serbia in the process.

The fact is that the destruction of Serbia is not a crisis-response by the
US, but is rather a pre-existing objective, a part of the general
destabiliztion campaign.  The Kosovo crisis was engineered in order to
permit this objective to be pursued.

War Hysteria
What disturbs me about the statements people have been sending in, in
support of the bombing, is that many of the people would normally be
against violence, and against warfare as a way to solve problems.  But with
bombs actually falling, and the propaganda machine in high gear, it seems
nearly everyone falls prey to war hysteria.

This is disturbing because it implies is that peace activism is largely a
waste of time.  Regardless of how much "peace consciousnes" might be
developed in the population, it all goes down the drain the minute the
imperialist war mongers decide it's time for another war.  With the
imperialists' ability to manipulate and stage events, and to flood the
airwaves with lies, the overwhelming bulk of public opinion, including both
liberal and conservatives, seems always to  swing to support for whatever
war has been concocted.  If war isn't opposed at the time it's happening,
it matters little what sentiments might be espressed by people between wars.

The Liberal Fallacy
Liberalism (using the US definition), despite some contrary propaganda, is
in the majority in the West.  For this reason, it is liberal sentiments
that are appealed to in justifying interventions such as that in Kosovo.
That's why the bombing is called "humanitarian".  (Pardon me while I puke).
It's also why the Kosovo crisis was engineered in the way it was, so that
liberal sentiments could be aroused against the Serbian responses to
Western initiatives.

Why are liberals so vulnerable to this kind of propaganda trickery?  What
fallacy in their thinking makes them suckers for imperialism?  This is the
question I've been pondering during my recent days of silence.  I'll share
with you my tenative analysis.

At the core of the liberal mentality, it seems to me, is a belief in
"progress from the center", a belief that "things are getting better" due
to central government policy.  Thus was slavery outlawed, the Nazis
defeated, social programs installed, and environmental protections
established.  The government may be biased toward "conservatism", and
influenced by special interests, but by and large, over the course of the
past century or two, the tide of liberal pressure has gradually brought
about ever-greater social progress. So goes the liberal mythology.

What liberals don't seem to understand is that it is not capitalism that
has brought about progress, but technology.  Capitalism is not the source
of technological progress, but is rather an attempt to monopolize control
over that progress, and to concentrate the benefits of that progress into
the hands of a wealthy minority.

The Liberal Fallacy is failing to make a distinction between capitalism and
economic progress, and between central governemnts and social progress.

Economic progress would occur with or without capitalism, as was proved by
the rapid industrialization of the USSR prior to WWII.  That's why Western
propaganda always emphasized whatever negative it could about the USSR, and
(except for the brief years of the WWII alliance) the dramatic economic and
social progress in the USSR was largely ignored.  Thus, in the liberal
mind, it is only capitalism that can lead to economic progress.  Not true.

Social progress has not resulted from government leadership, at least not
in the US, but has been forced on the government from outside.  It has been
largely an attempt to keep the populace content, while real power continues
to reside in the hands of an elite minority.  Liberals think public opinion
determines government policy, and that public education will improve
government policy.  They are wrong.  To top governement leaders, and to the
corporate elite who hire them to run as politicians, public opinion is
merely a beast to be managed, not a source of policy guidance.

Until liberals realize that they are not kings of the roost, but merely
pawns being manipulated, there will be no real progress in the condition of

As long as governement, media, and political parties are controlled by
capitalist interests, our democracies will remain a sham and a con game.

As long as liberals permit their nations to be run by minorities, and
console themselves with economic crumbs from the capitalist table, and fool
themselves into believing in the progress of man, imperialism will continue
and the majority of the world's population will suffer accordingly.

With globalization the formula changes somewhat. Imperialism continues,
with different rhetoric, but Western privilege is reduced.  Capitalism has
learned it doesn't need prosperous Western populations in order to rule the
world.  With modern weaponry, one nation at a time can be brought to heel,
without the need to stage yet another world-war style conflict, requiring
large popular armies.

Wake up and smell the coffee.



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