West steps up threats against Yugoslavia
September 25, 2000 12:19 PM   Subscribe

West steps up threats against Yugoslavia -- "The Democratic Opposition of Serbia has signed up to the platform of the G17, a think-tank of market economists again funded by National Endowment for Democracy [an adjunct to the CIA]. This economic blueprint calls for the adoption of the German mark as the main currency for all of FRY, following in the footsteps of the Montenegrin republic last year. Other proposals include reduction of public spending, ending subsidies on food and other forms of social protection. The continuation of US and European economic sanctions on the FRY is being cynically exploited to bludgeon the population into accepting these terms as the condition for ending their economic isolation...." [more...]
posted by johnb (11 comments total)
"On September 18, EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels stated openly that if the voters ditched Milosevic at the polls economic sanctions would be lifted forthwith. Javier Solana, who is now the EU's foreign and security policy representative, commented, "A change from Milosevic to Kostunica would be welcome for all democrats and all citizens of Europe."

The Western media has already made clear that a victory for Milosevic will be interpreted as proof of ballot rigging. This would be utilized to encourage civil unrest amongst the population and any ensuing confrontation could provide the pretext for NATO military intervention.


These developments reveal that the Western powers are not interested in the democratic process or preventing a new outbreak of war in the Balkans. Their support for the oppositionist forces in Serbia and secession in Montenegro are merely a means towards an end -- destabilizing the FRY in order to extend their economic, political and military domination of the Balkans."
posted by johnb at 12:20 PM on September 25, 2000

A few notes:

1) The US Government has contributed perhaps $100 million towards the Serbian opposition, as has been acknowledged in the New York Times and elsewhere. This is a clear violation of campaign finance laws, and Kostunica can legally be disqualified for this reason alone.

2) How did the opposition movement grow? Through western-financed propaganda campaigns, for one thing; but also through public rallies and street protests -- largely in clear violation of traffic regulations and other laws. And as every American knows, "conspiracy to block traffic" is a very serious charge. Of course, Thirteen, as leader of the AJS (anti-jaywalking society), regards all such episodes of direct action as equally contemptible.
posted by johnb at 12:23 PM on September 25, 2000

This is how things work. This is how they have always worked. Welcome to the Real World. Glad you could join us.
posted by aramaic at 12:27 PM on September 25, 2000

"This is how things work. This is how they have always worked. Welcome to the Real World. Glad you could join us."

Are you talking to me or Thirteen?

Personally, I've never been in denial that the US is a "rogue state", devoid of humanitarian intentions. However, the US government and Western media have advertised the opposite view so effectively that a large number of Americans have adopted it. Hence the motivation to get the facts out.

If, in front of an audience that contained some holocaust skeptics, I pointed out the evidence of gas chambers and other atrocities, would you have the same reaction? Sure, the Holocaust is part of "how things work, how they have always worked" -- but in order to convince skeptics of this thesis, you need to present some evidence. That's how people work.
posted by johnb at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2000

Did somebody say my name? I have not posted to this thread before, and I was with JohnB on this one. I live in the real world too!
posted by thirteen at 1:45 PM on September 25, 2000

That's good to hear, Thirteen. I didn't mean to drag you in, but couldn't resist mentioning your rather strict policy on blocking traffic. I trust you are consistent in applying your policies, but the same cannot be said about the western media. No doubt the media will completely ignore the "criminal" aspect of the street gatherings in Belgrade, and focus instead on the "exuberance" of the crowds, celebrating the success of a "democratic, independent" opposition movement. Whereas, in covering Prague, they have dwelled on the details of police preparations aimed at "avoiding the violence that marred the WTO demonstrations in Seattle." Naturally, it's all bullshit, but not everyone knows that yet, which is why it can be useful to talk about it in forums like this.
posted by johnb at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2000

What I meant is this: the planet has always been slathered in unmitigated brutality. "Humanitarian" intentions do not exist on a national scale, in any country. Every state is a rogue state -- anyone that claims not to be is either a liar, or hasn't figured out how to become a rogue state like everyone else.

The solution, therefore, is to subjugate all nations beneath one united boot of oppression. Once everyone, everywhere, is ground to dust beneath the spiked hammers of my neo-industrial dictatorship, all peoples can be happy. There will be no more disparity, no more disharmony. Everyone will wear gray, and nobody will starve because half of the planet will be dead.
posted by aramaic at 2:27 PM on September 25, 2000

Need a secretary?
posted by lileks at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2000

Aramaic -- well, when you put it that way, I guess it doesn't sound so bad. There are many different shades of gray, after all... But what about the idea -- as conceived in Orwell's 1984 -- that you need a bit of war going on in the background to keep people interested? If sound, that would be an argument for a diverse plurality of repressive regimes (more "mushroom cloud" shots in the movie version, as well). Just a suggestion...
posted by johnb at 2:58 PM on September 25, 2000

Wow, this thread is more cynical than me on a bad day.

Yes, I agree the USA is a rogue state which puts its interests about all others. I think that the perpetrators of the bombing of civilians in Serbia should be indicted in Haig just like Milosevic.

Don't discount the Serbian opposition just yet. Belgrade has had many years of street protest against the government. This is not some western invention, it's real. The opposition movement have up until now been let down by a disorganized and disunited leadership.

Am I missing something here? Why the hell are we talking about friggin' traffic laws? The right for people to freely organize and demonstrate in the streets without fear of police violence is critical for any democracy.

posted by lagado at 3:36 PM on September 25, 2000

"U.S. international and security policy... has as its primary goal the preservation of what we might call "the Fifth Freedom", understood crudely but with a fair degree of accuracy as the freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate, to undertake any course of action to ensure that existing privilege is protected and advanced." -- Noam Chomsky
posted by johnb at 3:26 AM on September 26, 2000

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