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|Sad Day: Clinton
postures about 'de-Balkanizing the Balkans'
by Raymond Kent (6-4-00)
President Clinton's current statements about being "for Peace in Europe," "de-Balkanizing the Balkans," and "including Yugoslavia into Europe," reveal once more that contradictions and historical ignorance hardly bother this Baby-Boomer.
The accepted dictionary version of "Balkanize" is to "divide (a region or territory)into small, often hostile, units." The term derives "from the division of Balkan Countries by the Great Powers early in the 20th Century." The Clinton Administration, along with Germany, has had a major role in "Balkanizing" Yugoslavia, a process still on hand at Kosovo, with Montenegro on the brink and Vojvodina still "on the menu." Since its inception after World War I, Yugoslavia has been in Europe by virtue of geography as well as by way of an educational and economic system.
Despite its industrial underdevelopment in comparison with Western Europe it was a modern European state before being dismantled by the Third Reich. It did not orbit out of Europe under 40 years of Communist rule. It has not done so in its truncated state. Its modern infrastructure was just destroyed by the 78 days of US/NATO "humanitarian" bombs. It has not been allowed to be a part of the rest of Europe by the economic sanctions demanded and imposed by Mr. Clinton himself. His sanctions are still in place as he calls for "de-Balkanization of the Balkans" and economic integration of Yugoslavia into the European Union, a mission impossible.
As for "Peace in Europe," it should be recalled that three times within the last decade peace in ex-Yugoslav space was more than possible if it had not been actively opposed and torpedoed by the Clinton foreign-policy team. It had a chance in Lisbon in 1992. It had a chance with the Vance-Owen Plan subsequently. It even had a chance at Kosovo via Rambouillet. All three chances were deliberately killed by the Clinton Administration.
It is now known that the British shipped arms and related equipment to Slovenia before it orbited out of Yugoslavia, that Germany and Hungary were secretly arming Croatia, that we allowed Iran to arm the Bosnian Mulsims, that we trained both the Croat and Bosnian Muslim armies to fight against the Serbs, that NATO already bombed the Bosnian Serbs, and that we have actively supported Albanian terrorists at Kosovo and still do. "Peace" in Europe, Mr. Clinton?
The recent killings in Belgrade more than suggest a CIA involvement in destabilizing Serbia and the sub-rosa pressure for Montenegro to secede is in force. Only Mr. Clinton can promote peace while actively promoting war which becomes a "virtual war" never a "real war" and aimed at a single leader not at all a people. Now you see it and now you do not. Might makes Right. Only the bombs of the mighty can be humanitarian. The Ends justify the Means.
Oh, yes, the only "peace" at Kosovo, with 40,000 NATO troops, happens to show some signs of life in the parts ethnically cleansed of all the Serbs and other minorities. We have already spent 20 billion dollars for Bosnia and Kosovo without solving anything in a lasting way. If absence of shooting, without removing the underlying causes, problems and foreign interferences, becomes "peace" by edict it has already cost the American people too much and there is no end in sight for other billions on the way. With that kind of money we could revamp Medicare to help our own needy instead of spending it on egregious foreign policy stupidities masked as "victories" for "Human Rights" by people who are horrifed about the killing of an Albanian by a Serb but hardly blink when our planes and bombs kill a couple of thousand Serbs, en passant, while our NATO generals throw tantrums for not being allowed to kill a couple of million Serbs.
How can our Military-Industrial Complex make the big bucks without hoisting NATO on an increasingly uneasy Europe? We need more wars, not peace. Without them half of the present foreign policy elites would not be able to make a living even as dog catchers for a county. Was it not George Orwell, the great prophet of our moment in time, who concluded that Peace is War and War is Peace? He was only wrong about the place at which this would become true. It was not Moscow. It is Washington, D.C. It is not a Stalinist who does it but our own Democratic Baby-Boomer who blows up a country in order to make us forget the cigar.
Raymond K. Kent is Professor Emeritus, History Department University of California, Berkeley
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