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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The War Against Nation States

In the last few days it has become clear that George Bush is unwilling to stop attempts to prise away more satellites from the Russian sphere of influence, despite Russian offers to reduce pressure on the US' dividing Kosovo from Serbia. Bush is already making moves on Georgia, offering membership of NATO.

The War In Iraq has been given many different narratives since its inception - inter alia, part of the War On Terror, a war to stop the use of WMD, an attempt to intervene in the Middle East and promote democracy. But the actual result has been unsuccessful in achieving any of these. In fact it has been counterproductive in all three objectives. Al Quaeda was able to boost its recruitment and deliver terror attacks into many countries on the back of the Iraq War. Democracy is not establishing in the Middle East, and WMD are if anything closer than before thanks to the programme in Iran.

The one assured result of the war in Iraq, however has been the effective break-up of the country. The Kurds are operating to all intents and purposes as an independent country, and the Shia and the Sunni have withdrawn into their respective camps, and fight each other.

It seems that everywhere you look, nation states are being broken up. Within the EU, separatism is an immediate threat - in Spain, Britain, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece to name the more obvious cases - but there is also a longer term programme within the EU to divide the nation states into regions, and break them up that way.

Diana Johnstone, a left-wing American journalist living in Paris, observed that in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, there was a deliberate programme from the west to achieve this outcome. Her experiences were sufficient to move her to write extensively trying to explain to the world that the story they were being given by news organisations and governments was not the true one that she and other reporters was seeing every day.

Boba Borojevic of Radio CKCB Ottawa, Canada interviewed Diana Johnstone (both pictured), about her book 'Fool's Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions'.

Here is an extract.

To the aspiration of those who promote globalization and multiculturalism any nation state is not acceptable. Yugoslavia as a multinational state was not acceptable to the globalists as a potential alternative either. And it had to be dismantled.

"I think that globalization and multiculturalism that you are speaking of is promoted by very strong economic interests, " says Johnstone. "What does globalization mean? It means putting certain economic interests above everything else. It means reorganizing the world according to U.S.-backed business concerns and financial investment. In order to do that you have to get rid of effective nation- states so that you end up with nothing but a bunch of little mini-states absolutely unable to defend themselves." Nation states are not favorable in the globalization concept, "because the nation state can be democratic and can defend the interests of its own population. So you break down all of the borders and you make every majority in any country feel guilty because of its minorities. This constant concern about minorities is making the majority feel guilty and feel helpless. This is the way of destroying democracy so that the world can be totally run by business interests. It is fostering, however, exactly the opposite of what it intended to do because it is encouraging a sort of nationalist backlash. But the purpose of the backlash may be to preserve a political unit in which the people can protect their own interests," continues Johnstone.

"Yugoslavia was misfortunate in being an experimental laboratory for all this. There were minorities and of course there were ethnic conflicts that existed, but they could have been dealt with in a reasonable way. The West boasted that they were making peace but they only made the situation worse. The Serbs were targeted from all sides because as the largest group they were the most interested in keeping some kind of viable state together," said Johnstone.

Diana Johnstone is a widely published essayist and columnist and the author of the book which title itself says plenty "Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions". The book contains all the crucial evidence, purposely omitted by the Western authorities and media, important to understand what had happened and what caused the war in the former Yugoslavia. This is why we wanted to know what made Diana Johnstone write this book?

"What made me write the book really was this indignation over the lies. I have worked as a journalist and been around journalism for a quite a while and I know journalists who have been there longer than I have, and who said this was the most extraordinary case of propaganda and lies they had ever seen. I just felt absolutely obliged to try to combat these lies, because this sort of distortion of historical truth is terribly dangerous for everybody. Of course the first victims of this are the Serbian people who are treated like monsters because of these lies, which identified them with Nazis and so on. But in the long run this is dangerous for everybody," concluded Johnstone.


Boba Borojevic holds a degree in German language and literature and is a producer of a radio program 'Monday's Encounter' on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa.

Full report of the interview - HERE

Diana Johnstone's book 'Fool's Crusade' was published in 2006. It was reviewed in Monthly Book Reviews. This is how the review begins -

INTRODUCTION

On December 8th 2002, George Packer wrote the following in a New York Times Magazine article titled "The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq":

"Why there is no organized liberal opposition to the war?

"The answer to this question involves an interesting history, and it sheds light on the difficulties now confronting American liberals. The history goes back 10 years, when a war broke out in the middle of Europe. This war changed the way many American liberals, particularly liberal intellectuals, saw their country. Bosnia turned these liberals into hawks. People who from Vietnam on had never met an American military involvement they liked were now calling for U.S. air strikes to defend a multiethnic democracy against Serbian ethnic aggression. Suddenly the model was no longer Vietnam, it was World War II -- armed American power was all that stood in the way of genocide. Without the cold war to distort the debate, and with the inspiring example of the East bloc revolutions of 1989 still fresh, a number of liberal intellectuals in this country had a new idea. These writers and academics wanted to use American military power to serve goals like human rights and democracy -- especially when it was clear that nobody else would do it."

If George Packer's assertion is true, and I believe it is, then it becomes necessary to revisit the Yugoslavia events in the light of everything that has transpired over the past decade.... The "humanitarian intervention" themes that were first raised on behalf of Bosnia crop up repeatedly. Not only were they used as an excuse to make war in the Balkans on two occasions, they have been used twice in Iraq as well. There are never-ending supplies of evil dictators, who are either the next Hitler or the next Stalin or a combination of the two, to unite the American people in Orwellian "hate minutes."

....

When much of the left was cheering the NATO war on Yugoslavia, another large section gave credence to the false story while drawing the line at intervention. For example, shortly after the government of Yugoslavia was overthrown by violent, rightwing gangs, Noam Chomsky compared this to the overthrow of South Africa's Apartheid system.

Johnstone identifies a sharp disjunction between the movement against globalization that took shape in the 1990s and a widespread failure to see how that very process was at the root of the Balkans wars and the immiseration that has followed in its footsteps. It is easy for activists to respond to Chiapas; it was much harder to break through the propaganda and mystification over Yugoslavia where defense of the right of the Serb peoples to live in peace became tantamount to Holocaust denial.

Johnstone writes:

The sovereign nation is being broken down subtly by the pressures of economic globalization. It may also be undermined from within, by domestic insurgencies. In the post-Cold War world, the Carnegie Endowment study noted, "groups within states are staking claims to independence, greater autonomy, or the overthrow of an existing government, all in the name of self-determination." In regard to these conflicts, "American interests and ideals compel a more active role." This may go so far as military intervention when self-determination claims or internal repression of such claims lead to "humanitarian calamities." In the future, the authors announced in 1992, "humanitarian interventions will become increasingly unavoidable." The United States will have the final word as to when and how to intervene. "The United States should seek to build a consensus within regional and international organizations for its position, but should not sacrifice its own judgment and principles if such a consensus fails to materialize."

Indeed, just as WWI was launched in part to stop Hun atrocities, so are the wars of the last 10 years or so framed in terms of saving lives and upholding democracy. Unless the left learns how to distinguish between government propaganda and the true aims of an ever more aggressive imperialism, we will be useless. Diana Johnstone's book is a very good place to start.

The full book review can be found HERE

ENDS

It seems that cultural imperialism is driving the American push into many parts of the globe, as it attempts to enforce humanitarian and democratic ideals. The ideals are wonderful, but in practice the programme is destroying nations states, and replacing them with tenuous international organisations, which are not going to be able to replace the stability of the nation states they are destroying. If, for example the EU collapses, which it must eventually do, how will the hundreds of EU regions that are left, after it has broken up the nations of Europe, be able to function at all?

There is also the current danger that sooner or later the USA will blunder into yet another war, maybe over Kosovo, involving Serbia and Russia. It would produce a totally unnecessary strategic disaster for the West, and cast millions into a ghastly terror as the situation unwound itself. It is not impossible that the Americans and their European allies will find a nation state or group of nation states willing and able to bite back. If America is humiliated, the world will overnight become a far more dangerous place for all its citizens. Why risk it?

1 comment:

sb dee said...

Yugoslavia is an example that multi-culturalism does not work.