Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Smearing the Serbs

As I predicted last month, the Hashim Thaci Defense League has come out swinging, trying to discredit the Marty report as "Serb propaganda" aimed at "smearing Kosova." One good example is Dennis McShane (a Serbophobic former Labour official), writing in the War Street Journal this Tuesday, but the full extent of Empire's efforts to cover up their KLA monster can be found in Julia Gorin's excellently researched expose.

Note that the common strand in all arguments in favor of Thaci, the KLA and their "independent state" is the call for "evidence" to back up Marty's report. This is very important. These very people telling you today that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and that we shouldn't judge an entire nation based on allegations without evidence? They are the ones who have, for the past two decades, done precisely that: leveled outlandish allegations against an entire nation, without a shred of evidence - worse yet, with actual evidence running counter to their claims! But you see, the nation we should not judge are the Albanians (specifically, the made-up "Kosovars") and the nation we've become used to instinctively condemning against all the evidence to the contrary are the Serbs - so that's perfectly all right, then.

As if on cue, an example appears. There are many objectionable things in Newsweek's "Deposed Despots" feature, posted on Monday. I don't have time or inclination to go into all of them. Of the eleven "dictators" they list, only two were not clients of the Empire. Actually, I'm not so sure about Romania's Ceausescu. The one whose mention is the occasion for this post, of course, is Slobodan Milosevic.

Here's Newsweek's description:

This genocidaire brought horror to ’90s Europe and died while on trial for war crimes. After the fall of the “Butcher of the Balkans,” Serbia remains a hotbed of organized crime, and Kosovo’s independence sparked violent protests. But at least the mass ethnic slayings are gone.

Ah yes, the old Big Lie about the 1990s wars being Milosevic's fault. They weren't. There are confessions by Croat and Muslim leaders proving it, and memoirs of US officials who wanted to "give war a chance." That Milosevic is to blame for everything is an article of propaganda-induced faith; once you start looking for evidence for it, there simply isn't any. That is the problem the Hague Inquisition (a.k.a the ICTY) ran into when they put Milosevic in the dock. After almost 300 witnesses, they had no case. Milosevic's death, under suspicious circumstances, saved the ICTY the embarrassment of having to convict against facts - though that hasn't stopped them before, or since.

There was no genocide. The 2007 decision by the ICJ - an institution hardly biased towards the Serbs - rejected all the Bosnian Muslim claims to that extent, noting only that the events of July 1995 were categorized as genocide by the ICTY (a definition that insults elementary logic, as explained elsewhere).

It was the British tabloids that labeled Milosevic the "Butcher of the Balkans." With the details of KLA's butchery of captives to sell their body parts to rich Westerners beginning to emerge, it is becoming clear that Hashim Thaci is far more deserving of the moniker.

The declaration of independence by the Albanian provisional government in occupied Kosovo, three years ago, did actually spark protests. They were by and large peaceful - much more than the ones in Egypt, for example - but the propaganda machine seized on several smashed shop windows and an attempt to set the US embassy on fire. I actually do think that's the Serbs' own fault: they should have called it an "unfortunate accident," and claimed they really wanted to burn the Albanian embassy, but couldn't find it on the map. Hey, it worked for NATO when it bombed the Chinese embassy in 1999...

As a matter of fact, I agree that Serbia is a hotbed of organized crime: the current government, installed by Washington and Brussels, is the foremost criminal organization in the country. But I doubt that's what Newsweek had in mind. Conventional crime, then? Again, Serbia can't hold a candle to the "freedom fighters" in its occupied province of Kosovaristan.

"At least the mass ethnic slayings are gone"? Tell that to the Serbs remaining in today's independent Croatia, or the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation, or "independent" Kosovo (where you can also check on the Roma, Jews and Gorani). If you can find any.

Newsweek's treatment of Milosevic actually fits Thaci more. But we can't have that, oh no. That would be smearing, and might just offend Dennis McShane. Every single claim made in the one-paragraph, drive-by character assassination is either completely false, or true in a sense Newsweek's reporter absolutely did not intend it to be.

It is amazing that in this world, where "progressives" of all stripes have declared tolerance, diversity and inoffensiveness to be the highest virtues, it is not only allowed to be hateful, and offensive towards the Serbs, it is expected as proof of one's political correctness. The Newsweeks and McShanes of this world see nothing wrong with demanding evidence when their ox is being gored, but inventing or ignoring it when they wish to smear someone else.
That's actually a bigger problem for them, and their countries and societies, than it is for the Serbs, who are used to such treatment by now and don't give a damn.

For all the faults and flaws he had, Slobodan Milosevic was a democratically elected president, who has done more for peace in the Balkans than any of the "democrats" in the surrounding client-states of the Empire. However, his insistence that he, his country, and his people would not be anyone's servants earned him Empire's enmity and endless demonization of the kind described and dissected above.

At least he is still treated with more respect and dignity than Saddam Hussein - who, interestingly enough, didn't make Newsweek's list, even though he was supposedly so evil that the U.S. absolutely had to invade Iraq and have him executed. Go figure.


Suvorov said...

I tried to post a comment several hours ago, but I am not it went through. If it did, then please ignore this one.
I just thought it was very appropriate that you wrote War Street Journal instead of Wall Street Journal. Sometimes we say the best things by accident (don't take it the wrong way)

As to Dennis MacShane, he belongs to the same neocon Henry Jackson Society for which Attila the Whore writes. That says it all.

Finally, political correctness and the supposed with all their manifestations are more intolerant and self-contradicting than anything that preceded them in history. For just as progressive do-gooders still cannot explain why multicultural Yugoslavia had to be broken up and multicultural Bosnia has to be preserved at all costs and against its own will; they cannot explain why tolerance and acceptance of all races and genders doesn't extend to white males. I guess the best summary for that school of thought is "affirmative action equal opportunity" which is a self-contradictory formula.

Gray Falcon said...

This is the first comment I got. Blogger can be wonky about comments sometimes.

I borrowed "War Street Journal" from Justin Raimondo. Wish I'd thought of that myself!

Suvorov said...

I missed two words in my post. In the first sentence: I am not SURE it went through. In the first sentence of the last paragraph: ...political correctness and the supposed TOLERANCE...

jack said...

In regards to Serbian organised crime British intelligence is said to be well connected to the Serbian underground in this article about MI6 organising a sniper assassination attempt against then PM Vojislav Kostunica.

English intelligence arranged the Kostunica assassination and the snipers were supposed to come from Croatia.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica was supposed to have been assassinated on July 15, 2002 and the operation was named Bandit.

However, the plan was discovered and the operation fell through. The assassins, who were supposed to have come from Croatia, never made it to Sarajevo.

Serbia and the Bosnian-Serb entity of Republika Srpska security services overhead a conversation of two key agents who were in Serbia at the time. They were arranging the Bandit operation in a Belgrade hotel restaurant.

One of the agents was at the time the head of the English MI6 intelligence agency, and he was allegedly well connected with the Serbian underground.

In regards to the Tyrants list the US was signing oil and gas transit deals in 97 with Turkmenistan through there other client state Taliban controlled Afghanistan which Mullah Omar is also absent from the list.

kapetan Mile said...

I still remeber when the ICJ ruling came out in 2007. I was driving to work in my car and i was listening to the news when the radio anoucer talked about the ruling. Here i what she said : ".....Serbia was found guilty.....". i was stunned to hear that especially since the ruling said exactly the opposite (i had heard about it the day before). This just goes to show how deep the extent of the brainwashing is in the entire western world (i live in canada). to this day, i remain stunned.

So yeah the propaganda was very effective and still is somehow.

Gray Falcon said...

Well, it was cleared of all the charges, and only mildly faulted for "failing to prevent" the alleged Srebrenica "genocide" - in other words, guilty of existing. For days thereafter, the Western media labored to spin the decision as a victory for Official Truth on that one point alone (which is something all those Euro-Serbs sneering at Milosevic's "imaginary victory vs. NATO" never seem to mind). And the Empire got its vengeance against the ICJ three years later, with the Kosovo verdict.

The problem in believing one's own propaganda is that one day such people end up in your bunker raving how the Steiner offensive is going to make everything all right...

Asteri said...

Denis MacShane is actually a disgraced MP who is under criminal investigation for fraud, one of the most loathsome and yet stupid Politian’s in Britain today. When he’s not boring on about a worldwide anti-Semitic conspiracies, fiddling statistics and steeling public money he’s whitewashing the KLA.

If you want to read more whitewash read Daniel Korski in the Spectator.

marknesop said...

Western coverage (especially the "establishment" magazines such as Newsweek and Time) of Serbia the supposed hotbed of crime - I agree with your assessmment - reminds me of its generous coverage of Georgia compared with its daily reviling of Russia.

It seems westerners have a soft spot in their hearts for Republics they feel they have had a hand in creating, and view them as bratty children whom you just can't help loving, no matter how bad their behaviour.

Gray Falcon said...

That is why I think the Empire (it isn't really polite to call it America anymore) has sunk into that moral morass where it isn't actions that are right or wrong, but people. So the Serbs can do no right, while e.g. the Albanians can do no wrong.

jack said...

London based Chechen/Islamic terrorist training camps in the US.

How this relates to 9/11.

Eugene Costa said...

Michael Parenti's "The Demonisation of Slobodan Milosevic" (December 2003) is not only still pertinent but in its thoroughness a useful functor of the technique. It is available online here:

For Slobodan Milosevic just fill in the Empire's and its allies' sundry other Hitlers--Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Alexander Lukashenko, et alii.

Gray Falcon said...

Eugene, that link doesn't seem to be working.

Suvorov said...

Maybe this one:

Gray Falcon said...

That one works.
Interesting talk, though he focuses entirely on the "rich vs. poor" aspect of the Empire. What about power? The Balkans wars weren't about oil, or gold, or chrome, or whatnot - they were about power.

Suvorov said...

I think his point was that destroying Yugoslavia was crucial for the NWO, because it couldn't allow an alternative to the prevalent corporate-run crony capitalist model of government anywhere in the world, let alone in Europe. It could probably be thought of as a continuation of an effort that started with WWI to undermine the concept of nation state and replace it with one-world-government globalism. The first step was to dissolve empires that were based on a national idea (Russian, British, French, German etc). The second step was to dissolve the remaining nation states into regional structures like the EU. The third step will be to merge these supra-national entities into one-world government, and then the end of history will arrive and everyone will live happily ever after.

Eugene Costa said...

Curious--pasting in the link goes directly to the essay on Parenti's archive site.

What is particularly useful about the article is that it is specifically about the demonization of Milosevic. Here is an excerpt:

The propaganda method used to discredit many of these governments is not particularly original, indeed by now it is quite transparently predictable. Their leaders are denounced as bombastic, hostile, and psychologically flawed. They are labeled power hungry demagogues, mercurial strongmen, and the worst sort of dictators likened to Hitler himself. The countries in question are designated as “terrorist” or “rogue” states, guilty of being “anti-American” and “anti-West.” Some choice few are even condemned as members of an “evil axis.” When targeting a country and demonizing its leadership, U.S. leaders are assisted by ideologically attuned publicists, pundits, academics, and former government officials. Together they create a climate of opinion that enables Washington to do whatever is necessary to inflict serious damage upon the designated nation's infrastructure and population, all in the name of human rights, anti-terrorism, and national security.

There is no better example of this than the tireless demonization of democratically-elected President Slobodan Milosevic and the U.S.-supported wars against Yugoslavia. Louis Sell, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, has authored a book (Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, Duke University Press, 2002) that is a hit piece on Milosevic, loaded with all the usual prefabricated images and policy presumptions of the U.S. national security state. Sell's Milosevic is a caricature, a cunning power seeker and maddened fool, who turns on trusted comrades and plays upon divisions within the party.

This Milosevic is both an “orthodox socialist” and an “opportunistic Serbian nationalist,” a demagogic power-hungry “second Tito” who simultaneously wants dictatorial power over all of Yugoslavia while eagerly pursuing polices that “destroy the state that Tito created.” The author does not demonstrate by reference to specific policies and programs that Milosevic is responsible for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, he just tells us so again and again. One would think that the Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian Muslim, Macedonian, and Kosovo Albanian secessionists and U.S./NATO interventionists might have had something to do with it.

This is just a small sample. Parenti pursues the matter in great depth.

Gray Falcon said...

Eugene, perhaps the page was down when I tried to load it last night. Thank you for the extended quote. He's quite right, and I've raised the same points myself over the years.

Suvorov, many lefties in the West tend to fetishize Yugoslav self-management as some sort of progressive model for workable Communism. I know firsthand that it was nothing of the sort. However, your analysis is much closer to the mark: it was about crushing a nation-state that refused to be a client state at a time everyone else in Europe was all too eager to be just that.

Eugene Costa said...

Leftist "fetishism" aside, it is quite clear what is in store for Serbia, if the US and NATO get away with it, from the point of view of Finance Capitalism, and that is debt credit slavery and privatization, an inevitable mechanical process that most "Libertarians" refuse to face.

Also remember that most of the American Right and faux-Left, along with most "Libertarians", have never read Marx, including the following passage on public credit:

"National debts, i.e., the alienation of the state – whether despotic, constitutional or republican – marked with its stamp the capitalistic era. The only part of the so-called national wealth that actually enters into the collective possessions of modern peoples is their national debt. Hence, as a necessary consequence, the modern doctrine that a nation becomes the richer the more deeply it is in debt. Public credit becomes the credo of capital. And with the rise of national debt-making, want of faith in the national debt takes the place of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which may not be forgiven.

The public debt becomes one of the most powerful levers of primitive accumulation. As with the stroke of an enchanter’s wand, it endows barren money with the power of breeding and thus turns it into capital, without the necessity of its exposing itself to the troubles and risks inseparable from its employment in industry or even in usury. The state creditors actually give nothing away, for the sum lent is transformed into public bonds, easily negotiable, which go on functioning in their hands just as so much hard cash would. But further, apart from the class of lazy annuitants thus created, and from the improvised wealth of the financiers, middlemen between the government and the nation – as also apart from the tax-farmers, merchants, private manufacturers, to whom a good part of every national loan renders the service of a capital fallen from heaven – the national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy...."

[Karl Marx]

Note well: the Finance Capitalists inevitably buy any system that is buyable, but as it happens "representative democracy" in a multi-party state by majority vote is one of the cheapest and easiest buys.

Suvorov said...

Right, I didn't mean to idealize Yugoslavia at all, especially considering Tito's anti-Serb policies. I only meant it was unacceptable for Western interests, which were not willing to accept independence of any sort: Communist, capitalist, socialist, libertarian etc. Actually, I find it very limiting to think of a country purely in terms of its economics. I even believe it to be one of the Marxist traps we were meant to fall into. A bit like having to choose between Democrats and Republicans. Who was it who said that instead of being about right and left, it used to be about right and wrong?

Just as an example, somebody pointed out that the government in France actually owns a higher percentage of property than the government in Venezuela, but somehow it doesn't occur to anyone to call the French president a "Communist dictator"...

Gray Falcon said...

Suvorov, that quote sounds like Rothbard, but I'd need to check. And Eugene, you've finally succeeded quoting a passage from Marx that I actually agree with :)
Mind you, that is identical to the libertarian position on government debt (Ron Paul vs. the Fed, anyone?) and the thesis that democracies are easily corruptible is at the heart of Hoppe's "Democracy: The God That Failed"...

Eugene Costa said...

Part 2

But there is another dimension here that is not so much “transeconomic” as it is psychological and in the service of an unconscious economic ordering according to the various mythologies of the American barbarians (as George Santayana rightly called them in the end).

One owes to Fuentes the insight that one is not going to understand what came afterward in Russia without grasping Gogol's Dead Souls, even only in translation and thus not as the “poem” it is labeled.

The US, on the other hand, not only has no Gogol but also no peasants really.

Given present American education—public and private—and a “history” that was long ago quite profitably forgot, one is also not going to find among the same American barbarians either what may constitute an equivalent of Gogol psychologically and economically, or where one might bother to look for it.

In fact two American works have to do the job of the Russians' one. These two works are central but now mostly unread, not only by Americans but, more tellingly, by those educated elsewhere.

The first, a great work of literature that comfortably sits on any shelf in the world, is Melville's The Confidence Man.

The second is crude and crass and not literature at all but very instructive, namely, P. T. Barnum's so-called “Autobiography”.

The trouble with the first is that it takes many years and readings to sink in.

The trouble with the second is that it also takes many years for its barefaced crassness and glorious deceit to be believed as a genuine historical milieu, which it most certainly is.

Mentioning all this is very roundabout, and, one flatters oneself, almost Byzantine, but it is key to understanding all American Capitalism—Industrial and Financial--as just another version of “Greater Fool Theory.”

The degree to which this is true, both domestically and in foreign policy, is actually startling once it sinks in.

But in not sinking in, it explains to a large degree not only the seeming naivety of Milosevic and the Serbs and other Yugoslavs, but also that of the Russians, the Iraqis, and now perhaps also the Egyptians and others.

In fact in going so trustfully to Dayton, the Yugoslavs would have been better off reading Sinclair Lewis' Babbit over and over, to see exactly whom they were dealing with, and the deceptive power of American schizophrenia and hypocrisy, than even in rereading Marx.

At any rate, no real progress is going to made in one blog or one or two comments, however long.

Gray Falcon said...

Eugene, I definitely appreciate the insights expressed here. But as you say, this may be spilling over into a bigger discussion, beyond this blog and the comment space.

I did not approve Part 1 of your comment, however, because it is filled with assertions you're either unwilling or unable to back up, ad hominems, and arguments from authority. It is also completely irrelevant both to my original post and the discussion we've been having here.

gyg3s said...

Pietje said...

some new smearing?