ANCIENT HATREDS AND MODERN DEMONS: The Double Bind on Popular Dissent

Matthew C. Ally



Karsten Struhl



Ecological Devastation Crushes Yugoslavia

Report From the Belgrade Zoo

Who Are the Real Terrorists?

Images and Holocausts

Germany’s Secret Documents

Beating Plows Into Evacs

Television Station Bombed

Just How Did the US Flag Acquire All Those Stars?

Mitchel Cohen


VOICES FROM BELOW: Collateral Damage, Incoming!

Biljana Marjanovic



Omar Dahbour



Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis


BOMBING THE BRIDGE TO THE 21ST CENTURY: Behind NATO’s Bombardment of Yugoslavia

Mitchel Cohen


IS NATO A KILLER COP? A View from the Russian Democratic Left

Alexander V. Buzgalin


ANOTHER INVENTED ENEMY? A Call for a New Peace Movement

Betsy Bowman and Bob Stone


Carl Lesnor









Carl Lesnor


These articles were written to challenge the factual, logical, and moral basis of the war propaganda to which we were subjected by the Government and the media. Why are we publishing them now that the war is "over"? First of all, because the war is not over: As many people are being killed today in Kosovo as before NATO intervened, according to a report by the pro NATO, pro-intervention International Crisis Group – only then the killing occurred in the course of a secessionist insurrection – now it is done under the rule of the NATO "peacekeepers." People in Serbia continue to be punished by vindictive and sadistic sanctions for the crime of not overthrowing their government .The sudden flowering of self-righteousness that arose this spring has now died and decomposed: the death, destruction, pillage, and expulsion now taking place in NATO-administered Kosovo are not seen as any sort of "humanitarian catastrophe." Rather, they are shrugged off as growing pains of emerging Kosovo democracy by the humanitarian UN proconsul, Bernard Kouchner. Accordingly, they are not newsworthy, neither is the suffering we have inflicted on the people of Serbia. The contrast between the display of hysterical moral fervor on the part of these humanitarians and their present silence about the result of their handiwork is deafening. Not only don't they want to talk about it; they don't want to think about it either. We do. Though the delay in publishing these articles was largely due to our inexperience, we welcome the opportunity to publish now the criticism we wrote last spring since the entire case the government and the media presented is now in shambles.

We now know that the official casus belli, the refusal of the Yugoslav government to sign what in Orwellian "newspeak" were referred to as the Rambouillet "Accords," was manufactured. We now know that the "accords" were designed to be rejected. What the US government sought was not a political settlement, not even one that would satisfy its objectives; it's objective, as in the Gulf War, was war. We know now, but we have always known, that the most often invoked justification for it, the exodus of refugees, occurred only after the NATO attacks were launched. (We all know that causes precede effects, but we are expected to forget that in time of war.) Only later did NATO assert that the Serbian authorities had been planning to expel them and claimed that this justified the bombing. The trouble was that this was never given as a reason. Ultimately the Administration was reduced to a justification that can be invoked to excuse any folly, any crime: "We have avoided something worse." Although the Serbian government, threatened by invasion by the most powerful nation on earth and its allies, had an urgent interest in putting an end to a guerrilla war behind their lines, a war now being supported by enemy air attacks, they were not the only party having an interest in promoting the exodus of refugees; the US needed it to provide the ex post facto justification for the war and the KLA needed it to dramatize their call for an invasion. Nevertheless, reporters on the scene in Kosovo who failed to confirm claims of "ethnic cleansing," such as Paul Watson (in the LA Times) or Regis Debray (in Le Monde) were either ignored (in the former case) or vilified (in the latter). Similarly, the flight of refugees to Serbia was ignored. How many people fled to escape the bombing and the war itself was never considered by the humanitarian bombers and their apologists. We also now know what we could only suspect before: the scandalous mendacity of the claims of "genocide" and of the disinformation about the "mass graves," which have failed to turn up since NATO occupied the province in June. After six months of assiduous digging, the investigators for the "International War Crimes Tribunal" – itself a legal monstrosity, bought and paid for by the US and other NATO governments as well as private corporations and situated in the Hague so as to be confused with the International Court of Justice – have been unable to discover these alleged mass graves. We also were able to witness the withdrawal from Kosovo of an almost entirely intact Yugoslav army, despite the daily briefings announcing its destruction. It is now clear that what the government calls "collateral damage", the civilian infrastructure, was in fact the real target. (This policy was supported by the respectable media, whose only criticism was that it was not savage enough. At the end of the war, on 5 June, the New York Times complained in an editorial, "Instead of taking the war to downtown Belgrade during the opening hours of the war, NATO waited weeks before attacking targets in the Yugoslav capital, forfeiting the element of surprise and blunting the allies' ability to shock the enemy,") The strategy was to inflict as much suffering on the civilian population of Serbia to force its government to submit. (This policy continues through the continuing embargo of Serbia and the blocking of outside assistance in repairing the damage that "NATO" – in fact the United States – inflicted.)

We know now that the agreement ending the war, calling for Kosovo to remain a part of Yugoslavia and to be administered by the UN, were violated from the first day. Instead there has been a takeover by the KLA, whose violence is directed not only against Serbs, Gypsies and other ethnic groups, but against Albanians who oppose their criminal behavior.

Finally, those of us who took the occasion to familiarize ourselves with the history of the dismantling of Yugoslavia have now learned that the comic book version accepted by many of our leading intellectuals is a grotesque perversion of reality. The upsurge of Serbian nationalism, portrayed as the evil against which all means are permitted, was a reaction to the secessionist movements, first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, and finally in Bosnia, supported, financed, and armed by Germany and the US. Before the US government set to work breaking it up, it would have been hard to find a better example of a multi-ethnic society than Yugoslavia. Its constituent republics contained Serbian minorities – except for Slovenia, very sizable ones – whose rights were endangered in the successor states that lacked the legal protection of minorities and the juridical equality that existed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Still worse, these secessionist movements sought to rehabilitate the pro-Nazi regimes at whose hands Serbs had suffered, and whose barbarism even the Nazis found excessive. Yet Serb fears were regularly dismissed as paranoia in the media; why else would they dwell on "ancient history"? – a history no more ancient than the contemporaneous martyrdom of Europe's Jews, but in one case we are told it is a crime to forget, whereas in the other it seems to be a crime to remember.

The point of remembering the past is to learn from it. This is especially urgent now that the arrogant Clinton-Blair doctrine has been proclaimed: they claim the right to make war on any country they themselves deem to be violating "human rights." They have told us that, because their motives are so lofty, they will not be constrained by such obsolete legalities as international or constitutional law. And since it appears to follow that their self-proclaimed virtue gives them the right to lie to further their humanitarian goals, we have an urgent need to defend ourselves, our reason, and our humanity, the next time they launch such a crusade. Those who were deceived this time might well apply the following principles:

"Keep your head, though all about you are losing theirs," as Kipling, himself a famous imperialist, admonished. We should not allow our judgment to be swayed by atrocity stories, no matter how extensively they are repeated by the media. Like the tale of the Kuwaiti infants thrown out of their incubators by the villainous Iraqis, their purpose is to get us to overcome our resistance to war. Once it has begun it doesn't matter that we learn that the entire story was fabricated by a public relations firm.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. We should not be "open-minded," if that means waiting for the advocates of peace to refute all the war propaganda: they will inevitably be outgunned and outnumbered in the media blitzkrieg. Like the presumption of innocence in a criminal trial, the default position on questions of war and peace is peace. It is up to the proponents of war to make their case beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no way we are going to be able to know enough of the history of some dispute in some foreign country to be able to fix it by force of arms.

To this end we should insist that such momentous decisions be fully debated and voted on by our elected representatives. Although this is no guarantee that these representatives will indeed represent us, to allow the President to thwart this Constitutional safeguard is to destroy the little democracy we have left.