The Coastal Post - June 2000

Crime And Punishment

By Edward W. Miller
"They made a wasteland and called it 'peace'."
-Tacitus

Manufacturing a crime to justify military intervention has become the custom in Washington. Noam Chomsky calls it "the principle of retrospective justification," while political writer Diana Johnstone prefers "making the crime fit the punishment." In any case, the object is to present our military adventurism in such a way as to hide both intent and process, thus achieving tacit support from an uninformed public while avoiding such politically-embarrassing backlash as Washington suffered during the Viet Nam war. This smoke-and-mirrors approach to our little wars requires extensive planning.

Now that hundreds of thousands of the Balkan peoples have been killed, maimed, starved, made homeless and turned into refugees, the Balkan economy set back some 30 years, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, and other neighboring countries severely depressed and both Kosovo's and Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry destroyed, it might be worth looking at Washington's involvement in this tragedy.

When at his death in 1980, President Tito's Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia began to disassemble, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, certain political groups in both the reunited Germany and Washington visualized the Balkan States as a potential area for their political and economic expansion. This region, properly exploited, might also limit the new Soviet's efforts to extend its hegemony westward. Secretly acknowledging this policy, President Clinton, speaking at Berlin's Brandenberg Gate on October 12, 1994 referred to Germany's then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl as "my principal partner in Europe."

To politically disrupt these socialist Balkan States, the new U.S.-Berlin Axis targeted three politicians, men who had already made their marks as political activists and who had learned to appeal to those religious and nationalist sentiments barely hidden beneath the surface in the Balkan States.

Yugoslavia's President Milosovic, representing Serbian Eastern Orthodox Christians, on June 28, 1989, speaking on the 600th anniversary of the Kosovar's defeat at the hands of the "Ottoman Islamist Empire," had reassured his audience of over one million that Kosovo would remain integrated with the Yugoslav Federation despite the Albanian majority's ever-increasing clamor for separation. It was Milosovic's dream to maintain the Yugoslav Federation of States as a political unit, rejecting separatist demands from the Kosovars and other nationalist or religious entities. Milosovic would fight Balkan fragmentation and was therefore seen as a major threat to western expansionism. He had to be eliminated.

Meanwhile, in Islamic Bosnia-Herzegovina, activist Alija Izetbegovic, who had been jailed six years for anti-state "Islamic activities," after release, as candidate for his Muslim Democratic Action Party, managed to secure 86 seats, Serbs and Croats coming in second and third.

Though the B-H constitution required the presidency be rotated between the three parties on an annual basis, Izetbegovic, once in office, seized power and refused to share the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

At about the same time, in Roman Catholic Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, once a communist general in Tito's army but an avowed fascist and likewise jailed as an activist, on his release created the right-wing HDZ Croatian Party. Tudjman became president of Croatia in May, 1990, while Croatia was still in the Yugoslav Federation.

Working quietly behind the scenes, Germany's Chancellor Helmut Kohl had met in Germany with Tudjman in 1988, supposedly to promise political, financial and covert military support for Croatia's planned secession for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On October 4, 1990 (as reported in a 1995 Chicago Symposium on the Balkan war), the Roman Catholic Church, using a secret order established during the Crusades (Chevailers-Hospitaliers de Malta) had quietly extended a $2 billion loan to Croatia for similar support, while Croatia was still part of the Yugoslavia Federation. Tudjman formed his own ZNG or National Guard Corps, patterned after Croatia's WWII Ustashi, with a public blessing of the Roman Catholic Church. On December 22, 1990, with German support, but against the wishes of other members of the European Union, Tudjman declared Croatia a sovereign state.

Croatia's new constitution identified Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and Muslims as second-class citizens. Ethnic cleansing of Crotian Serbs began in 1991 and as reported by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, over 250,000 Serbs were murdered or driven from Croatia by 1992, 245 Serbian villages burned to the ground and another 10,000 Serbs driven across the border into Bosnia. The Balkan Symposium reported that Western media paid no attention to repeated violence against Serbs until the Yugoslav army tried to free some 6,000 Serbs imprisoned and being killed at Vukovar. At that point, "TV cameras appeared on the scene to tell the world of barbaric Serbian aggression launched against freedom-loving democratic Croatia."

At a meeting in Masstrict in December, 1992, Kohl's Germany again over-ruled the wishes of the other EU members, so both Roman Catholic Croatia and Slovenia were recognized as independent states. The Vatican officially acknowledged this separation.

Meanwhile by February, 1992, Izetbegovic's Bosnia-Herzegovina had declared it would also secede from the Yugoslav Federation despite its 34 percent Serb population which refused to vote on the referendum. Ninety-nine percent of the Muslim population voted for secession. Germany forced through EU recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina separation on April 6, 1992 and the 34 percent Serbs who owned some 65 percent of the land immediately declared an Independent Serbian Republic with its own army. President Izetbegovic then ordered the Serb barracks attacked. Fierce fighting ensued.

Though, after international negotiations, the Serbs agreed to withdraw their army into Serbia, the UN Security Council under U.S. and German pressure adopted Resolution 757, imposing economic sanctions on Yugoslavia (both Serbia and Montenegro). A second Resolution, 816, declared air space over B-H a no-fly zone, impeding Serbian defense of their oppressed minority.

Thus the U.S. and Germany, using both the UN and NATO as cover-up, maneuvered to separate Roman Catholic Croatia and Slovenia, as well as Muslim Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Yugoslav Federation. Though Yugoslavia's President Milosovic made every effort to hold his Federation of diverse peoples together, the U.S. and Germany continually thwarted his efforts. Employing both NATO and the U.N., as well as compliant members of the EU to shield their activities, the Bonn government with Washington's help not only secretly supported the ethnic cleansing of Serbians from these states, but supported a media campaign against Milosovic, demonizing him while presenting every effort the Serbs made to defend their lives and homes as "Serbian terrorism."

This campaign of misinformation and vilification was the media cover under which NATO, with scarce complaints from most of the world, both politically and militarily destroyed the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and then decimated both Kosovo's and Yugoslav's economy, leaving millions homeless, cities in ruin, factories and refineries smoking environmental hazards, and highways and waterways (the Danube) unusable. To top it off, the UN was pressured to further injure the Yugoslavian people, freezing them to death by embargoing their fuel oil as winter approached.

Today, as UN and NATO organizations attempt to police this ethnic wasteland, they face those reawakened religious and nationalistic animosities which Tito had dreamed his Federal State of Yugoslavia might control.

As writer Diana Johnstone notes: "NATO's land is a gated community whose armed forces are being prepared to intervene worldwide, at the bidding of Washington, to defend members' interests..." Johnstone points out that Clinton has voiced a "new principle of international relations: the destruction or displacement of peoples within states can justify international intervention." Thus Washington excused NATO's brutal destruction of Yugoslavia and Kosovo as "humanitarian intervention."

Americans had hoped that destroying a people to save them from some politician or political system., the so-called My-lai syndrome had been buried with the Viet Nam war. Not so.

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