If you have lost faith in western explanations of what is going on in Syria, maybe you have begun to question what you believed about the break-up of Yugoslavia which began in the 1990s and was accomplished with NATO's involvement in 1999. NATO waged war against the Serbian and other governments opposed to Yugoslavia's division into several states - its 'balkanisation'. The way these conflicts were reported in the west was terribly confusing. In the first part of this article, Ken stone suggests why outside forces were so keen to disorganise post-Tito Yugoslavia. In the second part, 'Victors' justice', he criticises the way the the victors rewrote history as they dominated the international justice system and notes how they got away with dismembering Yugoslavia.
Author Ken Stone is an executive member at Syria Solidarity Movement and his website is www.hamiltoncoalitiontostopthewar.ca
The West sought to destroy Yugoslavia for several reasons:
1) Germany has always regarded the Balkans as within its natural sphere of influence. For that reason, its policy has always been to keep the Balkan people balkanized, the better to manipulate, dominate, and exploit them. For this reason, Nazi Germany attacked Yugoslavia during WW2, redivided the country along ethnic and confessional lines and punished the Serbs especially because they led the effort to form a federal republic. Germany played a large role in the 1990’s to split up the former Yugoslavia.
2) The USA sought to dismember Yugoslavia because it was outside of its control until the end of the Cold War and did not have sufficiently compliant economic or political system. In short, US multinational corporations could not just walk into Yugoslavia and set up shop. There were rules and regulations against foreign takeovers that had to be removed. There was also a lot of public control and ownership of the Yugoslavian economy.
3) The USSR had always stood as the protector of the South Slavs. The demise of the Soviet Union gave the USA the opportunity to divide up Yugoslavia, pit one nation against another, sell arms to all sides, dominate the region, privatize the many state industries, and seize the fabulous Trepka mines of Kosovo which were under state control.
4) Although there were no important supplies of oil and gas in Yugoslavia, the US had a plan to bring Qatari gas pipelines into South Europe through Kosovo to undercut the Russian pipelines through Ukraine and into Eastern Europe. The Qatari pipeline was to go through a defeated Syria, which didn’t happen. The US built its super-base, Bondsteel, in Kosovo as the anchor of the new Qatari gas line.
The problem with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) was that it was victors’ justice, set up by the NATO countries that launched the illegal war of aggression against the former Yugoslavia, and targeted the victims of that aggression, mainly Serbs. The military intervention was NOT authorized by the United Nations Security Council. It was a successful attempt to destroy and dismember a country which described itself as a secular, socialist, federalist, pluralistic, and democratic state. After the war, all the claims made by NATO to justify the attack on Yugoslavia – namely that Yugoslavia was conducting a genocide in Kosovo – proved to be false.
The real criminals, who started the war, were never put on trial. I refer specifically to US President Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, but also to all the leaders of NATO countries at the time, including Canada’s Jean Chretien. The NDP originally supported the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, which lasted 78 days, but, under pressure from its own members, reversed its position after three weeks.
NATO countries were content to use the help of terrorist mercenaries from the Kosovo Liberation Army, which was supported by Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, as their foot soldiers, against the Yugoslavian army. (Does this sound familiar in the context of Syria today?) The KLA was a bunch of drug and human smugglers, which until then, had been on the USA’s own terrorist list. After the defeat and dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia, the KLA conducted a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo and destroyed many historic Serbian orthodox churches and monasteries. The fabulous Trepka mines in Kosovo were privatized. The USA then proceeded to build Bondsteel, its largest military base in the world, nearby.
So Milosevic, the democratically-elected president of the republic, died in custody at the Hague and now Karadzic will spend the rest of his life behind bars while the war-makers/pillagers walk free.
The destruction of the former Yugoslavia was only the first of the post-Cold War western military interventions. After they got away with that crime (because the Soviet Union had collapsed), the US and its allies attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Libya, and Syria. (Did I miss any?)
I am not impressed with the miscarriage of justice known as the ICTY.