Sunday, April 03, 2005

Les depeches d'Edinburgh [from Notes 4 Yugoslavia]

[After Avignon 2K, there was Edinburgh 2muchKY--another stand-up joke-off disguised as a theatre festival. And speaking of jerk-offs--Paddy Ashdown is all through these pre-trial depositions where he admits that the goal of the Western powers in Yugoslavia was to get rid of Milosevic. This background, with its incumbent array of NATO war crimes, makes his Lord High Fucquwad performance later at The Hague all that much more ridiculous. For in light of the great lengths to which Milosevic (and Serbia) went to garauntee the will of the people would be expressed in those early elections the DOS(not!) was insisting on, Ashdown's admission that it was 'regime change (by any means necessary) for recolonization' and not 'democratic reform through the resistriction of voting rights' that he was all about demonstrates the kind of venal attention freaks, moral morons, and blood-thirsty warthogs that The New World has Ordered up like so many hot-pepper heros against the small, unaligned nations they've been feeding on since . . . well, since when? WWII? Before? Peu importe. All his corruption has been erased from public memory and Paddy's Viceroy of Bosnia now--I'll bet they're naming pussy bars after him. --mc]

(4 August 2000 - Edinburgh)

Finally the Western war plan for Montenegro is starting to take shape—at least on the mind-tenderizing front it is. In today's (Friday 4 August) Independent, Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats, fresh back from a visit to Kosovo and Montenegro, and a prime example of what Sub-Commandant Marcos calls Liberal Fascism, presents his, however tortured, exegesis of current events and just how they point toward yet another Soviet-style aggression (that is, an aggression through which the aggressor loses territory—let's call it a 'negative aggression') on the part that insidious monster, and a Montenegrin himself, Slobodan Milosevic.

It seems Ashdown is being employed by the British press in a fashion 'post hoctor proct' (the Latin for 'removing Lobsters from Jayne Mansfield's asshole'): A war for the removal of Montenegro from the Yugoslav Federation has been pretty much a lock since the 78-day terror bombing of Yugoslavia (including occasional Serb properties in Montenegro) established the criminal occupation of Kosovo--and the Izetbegovic government in Bosnia decided to slide on out of Sarajevo in full satiated slouch to devote more time to the administration of their hard-detournéed UNHCR and USAID and CIA and EU and World Bank assistance monies in whatever off-shore laundries they're now gathering interest.

As you've read here before (or have you?), the West has been pumping money into the Djukanovic government (supplementing its cut of a very lucrative ciggie smuggling business) at more than $20 million a quarter to guarantee its 'independence' (more Orwell-speak for 'If these chickenshit hustlers want to use their MBAs for anything more than keeping Rummy scores on,
they'll do what we tell them.'), while also guaranteeing access to the Adriatic for the West's Albanian and Turkish mafia clients. It's an ugly job running teenage Moldovan chicks into Europe, but somebody's got to do it, right?

Here's the way Ashdown, with a langue de bois très anglaise, puts it:

. . . Up to now, the hopeful (including me) could believe that,
under the subtle and intelligent leadership of its young President
Djukanovic, Montenegro could, with a little luck (sic) and some
help from its friends, be the single component of ex-Yugoslavia
which would escape from the curse of Milosevic into democracy
without bloodshed. But now I am much, much more gloomy.
I do not believe Montenegro is perfect. There is a real
problem with corruption, always a virulent Balkan disease. The
pace of political and economic reform remains frustratingly slow.
And while there is admiration for Djukanovic's cleverness, some
still express doubts about the true commitment of this ex-acolyte
of Milosevic to Western-style democracy and free-market institutions.

But, as usual, Milosevic is making things difficult—filthy fucker! Again the dictator calls for elections:

Thursday, July 27, 2000
Milosevic Plans September Elections
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- President Slobodan Milosevic
on Thursday scheduled Yugoslavia's federal and local elections for
Sept. 24, a major test of his strength after last year's NATO bombing
campaign, state Tanjug news agency reported. Most of the opposition
parties—except the largest Serbian Renewal Movement—have said they
would participate in the vote despite recent changes in the constitution
that clearly favor the regime. Milosevic apparently hopes to cement his
10-year grip on power in Serbia, which with small Montenegro forms

This is treachery worthy of the King of Siam—or Bill Clinton. When it looks like the forces of the 'independent democratic opposition' are solidifying around the issue of early elections, what does the 'butchest of Belgrade' do? He calls early elections; throws his fourth hat into the ring; and then, to further undermine 'Western-style democracy and free-market institutions', 'his parliament' passes an election reform bill calling for direct election of that same parliament. Huh? When has totalitarianism ever so successfully employed pluralism and the principles of democracy to consolidate dictatorship? The Western mind boggles!

And Ashdown is astounded that 15,000 members of the Yugoslav army are actually already stationed inside Yugoslavia in Montenegro:

. . . This is not outside the borders waiting to come in. . . . So
breaking from Belgrade is not a matter of throwing out an occupying
power, as in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo—but of running a daily risk
of civil war, aided by a full-scale army in your midst.

Here is the broken hinge that supports, ever so unevenly and with constant ugly squeaks, the West's closed-door policy toward Yugoslavia: If the Yugoslav Army can be made to appear as an occupying force within Yugoslavia itself, a force in the service not of the Yugoslav Federation, but of Slobodan Milosevic's Greater Serbian dictatorship; then the Yugoslav Army can be made the first target for neutralization—as has been the case in each of the previous secessions.

So Ashdown's shabby rhetoric sets the reader up with an impossible choice between the concept of an invading army ('outside waiting to come in'), which, in the context of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Army has never been; and the concept of an 'occupying army' which will quite naturally fight against its own annihilation by making civil war.

Of course it is essential to Ashdown's argument, as it is to the whole rationale for the Western seizure and dismemberment of the Yugoslav Federation, that the blame for the civil wars be put squarely on the powerful but inept armed forces of Belgrade, on Milosevic's army. So when the seizure of Yugoslav property by Western financial and commercial interests is achieved, the credit goes to the region's Nationalists, renamed 'Independent Democrats' (in fact, Western puppets who, like the petty gangsters we always knew they were, flee to some tax haven to fondle the royalties from their Goldman-Sachs brokered Time-Warner/AOL deals), and the losses are charged to the victims of the robbery, the people of the Yugoslav Federation, but in the name of their soon-to-be four-times-elected dictator, Slobodan Milosevic.

But what about all that money and moral support the West has been pumping into the opposition? All the USAID grants to B92-B and the other 'independent media'? The mayoralties that accepted gifts of fuel oil last Winter from the very countries who had blown away their power grid? What could be worse for these guys than a continuation of Milosevic's oppression—which is, after all, the only reason they get any kind of paycheck? Yeah, that's right. If Slobo is suddenly out of work, so are they.

And as if she hadn't screwed thing up enough over there, the old vache folle is still trying to get real value for US taxpayers' defense dollars:

Monday 31 July
Albright Appeals to Milosevic Opposition
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Despite an appeal by Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright, opponents of President Slobodan
Milosevic in Serbia and Montenegro are showing little sign
that they will challenge the Yugoslav strongman in September's
national elections. Albright appealed to the opposition yesterday
not to go through with their threatened boycott of the vote. She
urged the democratic opposition in Serbia and the pro-Western
administration in sister state Montenegro to unite behind a
single candidate to oppose Milosevic in the Sept. 24 election.

Now, it's hard to believe that someone, even someone as stupid as Madeleine Albright, could actually believe the kind of drivel that has been passing for information on Yugoslavia. But, then, I suppose that's why we have the likes of Paddy Ashdown—to spoon this senseless gruel into the vacuous gobs of a public more concerned with revenge on pedophiles than politics in Podgorica . Here's how he sets up the next treachery against the people of the Balkans:

There are those who fear some military coup de théâtre
using the Yugoslav army in a lightning strike against the
Djukanovic government. I would have dismissed this a few months
ago. I cannot do so now. Though I still think Belgrade-fomented
internal disruption is more likely. But if, God help us, either
happens, then it is less likely to take the form of a full military
invasion and more likely to look like the early days of Bosnia, with
an unequal civil war in which one side has all the weapons and the
support of the Yugoslav army.

So the stage is set for another Milosevic miscalculation. The
opportunities for mischief are nicely in place The West appears
divided in its response and uncertain what to do next. Say the word
"Montenegro" to any western general and you will receive immediate
return-fire in the form of multiple salvos of reasons why we shouldn't
touch the place with a barge pole. I can see what they mean, though I
recall the same being said in the early days of Bosnia and Kosovo.

So Ashdown tries to convince us that (1) Yugoslavia Will Not Invade Yugoslavia and (2) Yugoslavia Will Again Declare Civil War Against Itself To Insure Territorial Integrity. I have lately been way unimpressed with political discourse in Britain, but Paddy Ashdown's belligerent confusion and ignorant revisions are truly boffo.

To be fair to him, Ashdown has just returned from Kosovo and Montenegro, and seems to be backwriting his piece to accommodate this recent flash:

Thursday 3 August
Yugoslavia Detains Four Foreigners
PODGORICA, Yugoslavia (AP) -- The Yugoslav army said today it had
detained two Britons and two Canadians suspected of training pro-Western
forces in Montenegro to commit "terrorist actions." The two Britons are
instructors at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's
police academy in the neighboring Serb province of Kosovo, the OSCE
said in Vienna, Austria. A Canadian contractor, Meridian Resources of
Calgary, later said two of its staff members in Kosovo were missing after
a short vacation in Montenegro "with their two British friends."

Ashdown squeezes this into his list of Milosevician strategies for losing Montenegro: right next to calling for early elections and passing reforms for more direct elections (which the Montenegrin Parliament declared illegal). Yeah, sure, maybe these mercenaries were just on holiday in Montenegro; and those three GIs last year were just sight-seeing in Serbia. But how do you turn such incidents—especially in the face of the massive bombing campaigns against Serbia in 1995 and 1999—in such a way as to drive people into the kind of war madness necessary to make this incredible shrinking country, Yugoslavia, appear an aggressive war machine?

Well, it helps if you have sold-out any sense of reason or even human decency you might have had for a second-rate byline in a third-rate newspaper in a fourth-rate intellectual culture. It was the Fascists who taught us that action is its own justification. In keeping with the thinking of his new masters, Ashdown concludes:

But, as always in the Balkans, the cost of action has to be measured
against the price of inaction. The consequences for Western policy in
the Balkans, of Milosevic gaining control of Montenegro, would be
catastrophic. A basically pro-Western, pro-European Balkan country
would have disappeared back into Milosevic's maw and the West's primary
aim, the removal of Milosevic, would be in ruins. Is this acceptable, after
the sacrifices, the suffering, and the invested will of the mighty in Kosovo
and Bosnia?

The West is Beowulf and Milosevic is Grendel? Or Grendel's dam? You know how these teabags love their literary allusions—not to say 'illusions'. But their rationalization of the immoral, the unethical, or just the tautological (e.g., the Fascist gambit: The confusion of irony with cynicism. When Ashdown talks of the 'sacrifices, the suffering and the invested will of the the mighty', does he think he is he being ironic? Or just cute? How the mighty have suffered (a kill ratio 5,000 to 0 in last year's NATO air war!) and sacrificed (the whole area is being rewired at a cost of billions of dollars—or Deutsche marks, the current currency of Montenegro—to take only NATO parts)!! Indeed, indeed. And as to matters of the Will: see Mein Kampf or Leni Reifenstahl.

Again one must ask to whose advantage is another war in Yugoslavia. The Austrians took Slovenia; the Germans, Croatia; and an international contingent of business men and knuckle-dragging thugs, armed and trained by retired US military personnel, seems to be trying to keep a lid on the globalized dope and pussy traffic through Bosnia and Kosovo; while reconstruction in the latter seems to have become a French trade show thanks to the good offices of Dr Bernie Kouchner. —Now does it seem more credible that his Medecins sans frontières were running guns to the KLA?

Word just back from Belgrade is that Milosevic is ready to chuck Montenegro and give republic status to Vovodjine, the agricultural center in the North of Serbia on the Hungarian border, just to maintain the semblance of a Federation. But just as with Kosovo, if the West needs a war to balance its accounts with Soros and his ICG (International Confidence Games), there will most certainly be war in Montenegro.


(8 August 2000 - Edinburgh)

Here's an example of why so many people still have to go on about how 'Stalin murdered artists', 'Fidel is the bloodiest murderer in the Western Hemisphere', 'Milosevic slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians', 'Sadam used his extensive bio-chem arsenal against his own
people'—all covers of that old Nazi favorite, 'The Jews are kidnapping our children to feed on their Aryan flesh'.

Without such historically ungrounded and otherwise irrational incantations, the human mind is incapable of taking on the kind of horror being visited every day on a large part of the world in the name of Western humanitarianism. The reasoning being: If Milosevic was in fact murdering Kosovars by the thousands, why, then, can't we? Uh, right.

Well, in case you missed it, here's something from the August 8th Guardian:

Cluster bombs: the hidden toll – by Richard Norton-Taylor

The number of civilians prey to unexploded cluster bombs
is significantly higher than admitted by governments, including
the British, which have consistently suppressed evidence about
the weapon's military effectiveness, according to a devastating
report published today.

Cluster bombs, which contain at least 147 'bomblets' scattered
over a large area, were used extensively in Vietnam, Falklands and
Gulf wars, and mostly recently during NATO's air assault on Kosovo.

Cluster bombs have killed 50 people—about one a week over the
past year in the Serbian province, and injured more than 150, says the
report by the UK Working Group on Land mines, a charity combining
non-government agencies and funded in part by the Princess of Wales
Memorial Fund.

'The unexploded bomblets effectively turn into land mines, ready to
detonate on contact, causing death and injury to civilians even many years
after the war has ended,' said Richard Lloyd, the group's director. 'As many
are brightly colored and the size of a drinks can, they are particularly attractive
to children.'

The report by Rae McGrath, a leading campaigner against land mines,
shows the effect of cluster bombs in earlier conflicts is being ignored by
confused and indiscriminate military strategies.

Cluster bombs were dropped from medium and high altitudes during the
Kosovo conflict despite official US assessments after the 1991 Gulf war that
they were likely to miss their targets.

The Ministry of Defense, which says RAF planes dropped 531 cluster bombs
during the Kosovo war, quotes the manufacturer's estimate of 5% failure rate.
But the UN Mine Action Coordinating Centre in Kosovo gives a much higher

'In Kosovo, preliminary statistics for the British RBL755 [a cluster bomb available
on the open arms market] show that the failure rate is about 11-12%,' the centre said
in March.

Moreover, the MoD has itself admitted that the failure rate of cluster bombs used
in the Falklands was at least 9.6%, nearly twice as high as the manufacturer's claims.

The bomblets are designed to explode on impact but a soft surface or the presence
of trees—cluster bombs were dropped against concealed targets in wooded areas of
Kosovo—can lead to 'substantial failures', today's report says.

Evidence from the use of cluster bombs in Kosovo, the Gulf war, US military
trials, and the Falklands conflict indicate that failure rates range between 9% and
30%, the report says. The difference between a 5% and a 9% failure rate in
Kosovo would mean more than 3,000 more unexploded bomblets in the province.

Cluster bombs are capable of turning huge areas into killing fields. The report
says it is clear from censored figures that their use in Kosovo was disproportionate
to any military advantage gained.

It says official figures of targets destroyed during the bombing have been
discredited by the release of details from the US Munitions Effects Assessment
Team (Meat) which conducted a comprehensive investigation immediately after the

The Meat report was suppressed—even the UN could not get a copy—and
replaced by one written by the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General
Henry Shelton, based mainly on interviews with air crews.

The Shelton report estimated that 140 tanks, 220 armored personnel carriers, and
450 artillery pieces were destroyed in Kosovo. Meat's figures are, respectively 14, 18,
and 20. The Meat team found that of 744 'confirmed' NATO strikes, there was only
evidence of 58 successful ones.

The 50 people killed by NATO cluster bomblets since the end of the bombing
campaign include two British soldiers and a young boy whose death was witnessed by
a 13-year-old friend.

The friend, who underwent a double leg amputation, recalled: 'I went with my
cousin to see the place where NATO bombed. As we walked I saw something
yellow—someone told us it was a cluster bomb. One of us took it and put it into
a well. Nothing happened. . . . We began talking about taking the bomb to play
with and then I just put it somewhere and it exploded.

'The boy near me died and I was thrown a meter into the air. The boy who died
was 14—he had his head cut off.'

In June, in its report on the lessons from Kosovo, the MoD described cluster
bombs as 'an effective weapon against area targets such as a group of soft-skinned
military vehicles'. It added: 'Nevertheless, we have learned that it would be useful
to have a capability to strike single vehicles more accurately . . .'

Today's report says: 'The continued use of cluster bombs has cost thousands of
civilian lives, denied land to the poor and disenfranchised and is now costing the
international community millions to eradicate the unexploded submunitions. . . . To
continue this distortion of the truth [the official claims of a 5% failure rate] while
ignoring the advice of experts from the military and civilian mine-clearance community,
is unforgivable.'

Cluster bombs are not covered by legislation banning land mines since they are
not 'designed' to be detonated by people on the ground. Today's report calls for a
new international law making governments, the military and manufacturers fully
responsible for the clearance of unexploded bomblets and for marking affected land,
paying compensation to civilians and handing over to the UN full records of cluster
bomb deployment.

As a first step, it says, there must be a global moratorium on their use, manufacture
and sale, pending an in-depth review of their legality and impact.

How is reform possible in a situation as dire and as radically mal-conceived as this? And how else but with constant mantric repetition of the 'crimes of others' can the Western mind be convinced that its own crimes are really humanitarian acts? And in the West these crimes, like so many other horrors, have been internalized to such an extent that any discussion of them leads to sullen silence punctuated by the sort of occasional tortured twitterings and pathetic excuses one might expect to hear in high-security and heavy-medication wards for the criminally insane.

But, really, what will Britain do about its pedophiles and other public intellectuals?


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