Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interesting Times

It has been a year since the self-proclaimed "Kosovian" authorities tried to take over the Serb-inhabited north of the occupied province. When they failed, NATO and EULEX were called in - only to be thwarted by non-violent protests of the local population. Tanks and live gunfire could clear the road temporarily, though it soon became clear that they could kill the Serbs - and face the consequences once the footage hit YouTube (which it would have within minutes) - but they could not compel them to obedience. Harassment has continued ever since - just this morning, Polish troops had sealed off one road, while "Kosovian" Very Special Police robbed a Serb bank last week - but it looks like both the "Kosovarians" and their Imperial sponsors are waiting for the new/old regime in Belgrade to find a way of surrendering the occupied territory and the Serbs therein.

(Yes, those were links from B92, because they were the only links in English I could find. There's definitely a gaping hole ready to be filled with English-language news coverage that would not be in service of Serbia's enemies.)

Saturday was also the anniversary of Austria-Hungary's 1914 ultimatum to Serbia, the true start of the Great War; a century hence, some still blame Serbia and Russia for upsetting the old Imperial order. Times change, but the argument remains the same; the invader always wonders why we refuse to just die already. Can't say I have much sympathy for either the argument, or the invaders making it.

When I say that "all of this has happened before, and is happening again", I'm not just using a catchphrase from Battlestar Galactica; the scenario developed for Balkans interventions (first in Bosnia, then in "Kosovia") is actually being applied to Syria. The trouble with imagining oneself as a knight-errant is that the rest of the world is then divided into two categories only: dragons and damsels in distress. Delusional much?

The other problem with interventionism is that it just doesn't work. Sure, it can force things temporarily - kind of like what KFOR does with the barricades in Thacistan - but that just creates more problems down the line. The 1878 Congress of Berlin, for example, "solved" the Balkans crisis in a way that made WW1 almost inevitable. Yet now some people want to do it again.

While I haven't done much writing here lately - most of my attention has been devoted to the other blog, Antiwar.com columns and some translation and editing work - I did manage to add some blog links. If you are interested in news from and about Syria (actual news, not the propaganda), the Moon of Alabama blog is the place to go. I've also added the blog of a sometime commenter and very astute writer, "Hero of Crappy Town" (fans of Firefly will get the reference). I should have done so much sooner.

I'll see July off with something I've said before, but may as well say again. The Empire is constantly harping on about how the people it has "helped" need to "come to terms with reality" - but by that it means the virtual reality, established and maintained through lies and coercion. Meanwhile, the Empire itself refuses to accept actual reality, and the gap between the two is widening by the day.

These are interesting times, indeed. In a very Chinese sense of the word.

3 comments:

Asteri said...

Tragically the Western-Saudi backed Islamic terrorists trying to destroy the secular regime in Syria look set to succeed. They may loose the military war but the damage done to the Syria's image and economy will be devastating enough that it will never be able recover; the regime is finished and so is one of the last remaining multi-religious middle eastern nations. Yet again the empire wins and another country is destroyed.

Gray Falcon said...

I'm not so sure they will succeed, nor am I sure about the "never" part. Or that the regime is finished - indeed, far from it, it has defeated the rebels at every step.

But a tremendous amount of damage has been done - to lives, the economy, and the trust between communities. That's what the Empire does, everywhere it goes. Tacitus comes to mind: ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem apellant.

Asteri said...

For Syria to survive this attack its real allies will have to intervene to restore order and help rebuild the country. The Iraq-Afghanistan experience should be enough too convince Russia and Iran that maintaining a presence there for protection is worth it; even if their there for decades. The empire doesn't take defeat lightly and if so it will be out for revenge against someone - that's why I fear Syria's victory will be hollow with out outside help.