Friday, June 24, 2005

Liberty, Congress and Old Glory

Musing on the flag-burning amendment recently passed in the House, Anthony Gregory of LRC offers this for thought:
"...ever since the Washington administration, federal politicians have attempted to circumvent, and all too often have succeeded in circumventing, the Bill of Rights’ limits on government power. From the first National Bank to the Federal Reserve, from the Alien and Sedition Acts to Japanese Internment, from the first U.S. invasion of Canada to the second war on Iraq, the busybodies in Washington have frequently carried out colossal projects for which one searches in vain for Constitutional authority."

And also:
"Almost everyone in Congress actively and consistently votes against American liberty. Those who desecrate the Bill of Rights and yet feign a tear at the trumped-up intellection of Old Glory being burned in protest by dangerous anti-American radicals have little understanding of freedom – or America, in the best sense of the word."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Pagan Theocracy?

LRC blogger Charles Featherstone noted yesterday that when a U.S. Army reservist desecrated the Quran as supposed retaliation for Muslims burning the American flag, he was unwittingly (or perhaps not?) comparing the Stars and Stripes to what the Muslims believe is "God's speech, an attribute of God, present with God from the beginning." In other words, the soldier was claiming that the United States and its banner were a manifestation of God.

Lew Rockwell isn't surprised:
"The Tomb of the Unknown is a temple complete with mock religious ceremonies... Mt. Rushmore mimics religious statuary in Luxor or Babylon. A Roman temple offers us Lincoln Best and Greatest on his fasces-encrusted throne. The Jefferson Memorial is a Greek temple. The Washington Monument is an Egyptian religious symbol. DC is strewn with these chilling edifices. And the Christian right, in the Yankee-Puritan tradition, regards the US state as God's chosen instrument on earth, and Bush as his prophet. This kid is simply a cruder version of the official view, which will have no other gods before DC."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Atrocity Porn Failure Frustrates Peddlers

Since the video of Serb militiamen executing six Bosnian Muslim captives first appeared two weeks ago, there has been a relentless barrage of propaganda in the Western press about how this was the "irrefutable" proof that the "genocide" in Srebrenica really happened, and that units and authorities from Serbia itself were involved. But despite the initial confusion, born of understandable nausea at the shocking images, many people in Serbia still refuse to swallow the pail of garbage the Imperial propaganda is so insistently shoving down their throats.

I've got a whole column dedicated to this coming out tomorrow on, so I won't rehash the points I've made therein. But another article came across my desk this morning, by one Beth Kampschror of the Christian Science Monitor - a champion of Balkans intervention if there ever was one, and a paper with vested interest in the Official Truth about Srebrenica, as it was one of their reporters, David Rohde, who helped craft the original story.

Kampschror's piece is simply awful, wallowing in double-talk, deceptive phrasing and outright lies. One is tempted to take it apart sentence by sentence - but it would actually take more time and space than it takes to write such trash. I'll try to hit just the salient points.

The "images are gripping and seem irrefutable," she says. They are indeed; no one can refute that six Muslims were killed on that slope, just as shown in the video. No one has tried. It's the implication that this somehow proves that 8000 Muslims were killed, or that the killers were Serbian police, that is rightly doubted. So Kampschror complains the video "has not yet busted the myth that Serb officers did not commit Europe’s worst massacre since the Holocaust." That is because the real "myth" here is precisely what she asserts to be the truth. And where is the Anti-Defamation League when you need it, to put a stop to these incessant and fraudulent comparisons to the Holocaust?

While maintaining that somehow the executioners of the six men were "Serbian officers," Kampschror actually calls the Scorpions - a militia unit formed in 1992 by Serbs who rebelled against Croatian rule - "Serbian-funded." Well, what is it? Were they Serbians, or funded by Serbia? Were they under orders from Belgrade, as Kampschror's colleagues far and wide keep repeating, or was Belgrade paying for their lunch? The question itself is absurd when considering who is CSM's source on this: yes, none other than Natasa Kandic. She claims no one could have gone to Bosnia without government approval and support - an assertion as false as it is idiotic.

"Public opinion in Serbia has long held that the Srebrenica massacre never happened, or that the Muslims were equally guilty if it did," goes Kampschror's straw-man argument. Certainly, Serbians did not believe the official story of the "genocide" in Srebrenica, partly out of instinctive refusal to believe one's own people can commit such atrocities, but also because the same media that authored the Official Truth on Srebrenica have lied shamelessly about other things - e.g. never mentioning the documented atrocities against Serbs. Crimes of the Muslim militias against the Serbs in and around Srebrenica are even more horrifying than the Kandic video (see here).

Eventually, Kampschror gets to the real gripe, and its source: the Hague Inquisition and its collaborators, who were frustrated that their conference on Srebrenica this past weekend was ignored by the Serbian government. The ICTY representative in Belgrade, Alexandra Milenov, tells Kampschror that despite the "overwhelming quantity of evidence," the Krstic conviction, and the Republika Srpska report that "confirmed what the tribunal had already ruled on, you still have voices of denial." Yet the ICTY's "evidence" is hardly overwhelming in quality, consisting mostly of allegations repeated ad nauseam, assumed to be true. General Krstic was convicted of "aiding and abetting" genocide, but the genocide itself was simply asserted as a fact. The RS report from last year was extorted by viceroy Ashdown, and is as valid as the confessions of Stalin's purge victims.

Finally, Kampschror objects that the "nationalist majority" in the Serbian parliament refused to pass a resolution written by Kandic and her fellow ICTY partisans, because they insisted "that crimes were committed individually, rather than blaming the Serbian institutions that made those crimes possible."

What institutions? Kampschror names them earlier in the article as "traditional voices of denial" and "Milosevic-era leftovers": the military, the police, the Serbian Orthodox Church. Tie this back in with the distasteful but deliberate Holocaust comparison from the opening paragraph, and you realize that CSM's correspondent is arguing that the Serbian people and its government were the modern incarnation of the Third Reich. She's not the only one, either.

There is much more legerdemain in the article, but it all follows the same pattern: how dare these Nazis still deny what the Official Truth has proven through endless repetition?

It's because they aren't Nazis, Beth, and the "truth" and "proof" you claim they should accept is nothing but a rotting pile of lies.

Cold-blooded Lies

"Web of cold-blooded lies" is the title of Eric Margolis's column at the Toronto Star today, linked on the news page of, about the UK memos revealing the effort to deceive the British and American public into supporting the invasion of Iraq. As Kevin Zeese reveals on, there are actually seven documents indicating what could be rightly termed the conspiracy to commit aggression.

Margolis, Zeese and not a few other commentators who have addressed the issue of Downing Street memos, wonder where is the popular outrage. The US and UK have manipulated the United Nations into providing an excuse for an illegal, immoral and illegitimate aggressive war and occupation of another country's territory. Shouldn't their people be angry that they've been deceived?

Of course they should - and that they are not reflects all the moral corruption of the "West" today. But not even the complacent Westerners deserve to be lectured on accepting lies and war by the likes of Eric Margolis, who has a vociferous champion of Imperial intervention in Kosovo - one just as illegal, immoral, illegitimate, and based on lies as Iraq. That web of cold-blooded lies, not a few of which have been enthusiastically parroted by Margolis over the past six years or so, remains - in the words of mainstream propaganda trying to present fiction as fact - "widely believed."

So where is the outrage?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Russia and the Yugoslav Template

Among the Serbs there is a certain Russophilia. It was born during the long dark of Ottoman occupation, where the notion of a Slavic, Orthodox power that could counter the pressures of the Muslim sultans as well as the Catholic Emperors of Austria, gave people hope for freedom. But Serbia's experiences with Russia have been mixed. When Russia withdrew its support from the Serb rebels in 1812 (pressed as it was by Napoloen), the Ottomans reconquered Serbia with a vengeance. The Obrenovic princes' Austrophilia meant the Russians were more favorably inclined to Bulgaria. St. Petersburg betrayed Belgrade during the 1908 Annexation crisis. Russia did stand with Serbia in 1914, but they both paid a heavy price. Perhaps most ironically, the Serbs' Russophilia was crudely exploited by the Communists, who used it to sell their ideology - only to imprison and purge the Russophiles in 1948, during the feud with Stalin. But in the minds of many Serbs, there remained a romantic notion of the "Russians" coming to the rescue - perhaps misguided, certainly unfounded, and definitely unrequited.

So it is not Russophilia that makes me pay attention when the Empire attacks Moscow. It is the uncanny similarities between the Imperial assault on Russia, and what has taken place in the Balkans over the past 15 years or so - patterns that have connected fully only after I read Justin Riamondo's column today at

Consider: the color-coded "revolutions" had their beginning in Serbia, in the fall of 2000. Indeed, anywhere a new "revolution" is being brewed, Imperial mercenaries from Serbia (former Otpor and other NGO acolytes) can be found "visiting" and "consulting."

There is also an analogy to be made between Chechnya and Kosovo. Though of course it is not the heartland of Russia (that was Ukraine - and it's already detached, courtesy of the Orangists), Chechnya's separation could mean the unraveling of Russia; its pseudo-federalist organization, a leftover from Communist times, leaves it vulnerable to regional separatism, just as Yugoslavia was. And though the KLA is decidedly more fascist than fundamentalist, it is no less terrorist - and has the same purpose to the Empire - as the Chechen jihadis.

One reason the pattern was not obvious earlier, perhaps, is that the Empire owned Russia for most of the 1990s, when a drunken idiot sat in the Kremlin and his "pro-Western" advisers ran amok. It was the American "privatizers" (or is that privateers?) who created the oligarchs, and systematically robbed Russia of what little wealth survived the Reds. Most of the oligarchs' money - and indeed, the oligarchs themselves - ended up in the West. Serbia, too, had its oligarchs and thieves - but they were not Imperial stooges, and their money ended up in neutral banks of offshore tax havens (Cyprus, Cayman Islands, etc.). While the Serbian people had every right to object to being fleeced like that, that was not the Empire's concern. Indeed, the one thing Serbia's post-revolutionary masters have been ruthlessly efficient at was taxing their subjects.

The current rulers of Serbia - witless, confused and obsequious - uncannily resemble Yeltsin's Kremlin. And the attacks on Vladimir Putin echo those made against Slobodan Milosevic.

Although the analogy should not be stretched too far, a pattern is there. The Empire seeks dominion, and won't accept anyone who refuses to serve, or stands in the way. The political elite that has built its career on fear of Communism for five decades has come to feel some of that fear itself; Russia to them is still a dangerous rival that must be destroyed, or prevented from rising again. They look at China with the same paranoid neurosis. Empires see the world in imperial terms; the very notion that a nation could not seek power over others is alien to them.

So, was Yugoslavia a test-bed for the Soviet Union and Russia? A laboratory for tactics of the New Order? Or was it a grim demonstration of Imperial ability to impose its will anywhere, anytime, an Alderaan of our time? The answer - while it hardly matters to people reduced to picking up the scraps of their lives - may help save others, elsewhere. If Solzhenytsin's interview is any indication, the Russians may already know what is coming. But knowing something and dealing with it are different things altogether.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Crazed Cult

I'm an unabashed fan of, and I make a point of visiting every day. In many ways, I consider it valuable education - in history, philosophy, economics, even gourmet food. But one of my very favorites - no offense to others - has to be Butler Shaffer, whose musings on politics and philosophy never fail to impress.

His most recent essay, "Democrazies," explores the secular religion of the ballot-box in the aftermath of the French and Dutch referenda on the EU. He draws the conclusion that ought to be obvious - that in the Age of Empire, "democracy" means voting the way the government wants:
The impending collapse of our politically-structured world just might take with it the structured mindset upon which it has been built. And within its rubble may be found the remains of the secular religion “democracy,” whose catechisms are today preached from academic cathedrals and the media. In that day, perhaps, our archeological descendants may search the debris for an answer to the question our generation is too terrified to ask: by what justification do men and women organize to inflict violence upon their fellow humans?

Worth reading in its entirety.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Haradinaj Released

The Hague Inquisition has decided to grant provisional release to Empire's fair-haired boy. Our Man Ramush is heading home, as the “Trial chamber is satisfied that, if released, he will appear for trial and that there are no indications that he will pose any danger to victims, witnesses or other persons," according to the ICTY press release duly quoted by Reuters.

No indications? I've known from before that the ICTY has no relationship whatsoever with reality, but this is surely too rich. Aren't Albanian "narcs" routinely murdered in that province "liberated" from civilization? Isn't the Haradinaj clan notorious for killing rivals? Didn't Carla del Ponte herself complain that her biggest problem in Kosovo was Albanian witness intimidation?

But none of that matters, you see. Ramush is Empire's man, and he gets special treatment. As Reuters so helpfully informs, "diplomats say Haradinaj’s departure left a gaping hole in Kosovo’s government as the province nears negotiations on its final status." In plain English, Ramush is needed to help keep the KLA on a leash while its masters do their work. If there was any doubt about that message, the following paragraph dispels it:
Some analysts say Haradinaj’s presence, albeit behind the scenes, could give Kosovo’s leadership renewed direction and discipline as it strives to meet standards of democracy and minority rights the West has set as a condition for the talks.

These "analysts" are most likely ICG, which Reuters is unnaturally fond of quoting.

It all comes together, then: Ramush's indictment and surrender were a publicity stunt, aimed at boosting the Albanians' image and deceiving the Serbs into believing the "international community" actually had principles. His release, a political necessity that defies all law and logic, shows one more time that the ICTY is beyond any doubt a tool of the Empire. And it all fits Washington's "new" Kosovo policy, which the knuckle-dragging morons in Belgrade are doing their best to ignore.

Another day, another outrage.

Monday, June 06, 2005


I am not shocked.

Hey, I was in Bosnia during the war - spent the entire siege in Sarajevo, matter of fact - and have seen plenty of death, onscreen and off. I almost want to say I can't be shocked by any atrocity porn anymore, though I probably shouldn't; there seem to be no limits on human depravity, and someone, somewhere might just surprise me.

But the couple of minutes of "shocking" video that have been playing over the weekend as "proof" of Serbian involvement in the July 1995 events in Srebrenica - courtesy of the notorious Natasa Kandic and the crew from IWPR - while horrifying, are nothing that hasn't happened in dozens of places around Bosnia between April 1992 and November 1995. The cast of characters and locations differ - sometimes it is Serbs shooting Muslims or Croats, other times it is Croats shooting Serbs or Muslims, or Muslims shooting Croats or Serbs (and often other Muslims) - but the script remains the same. It proves absolutely nothing but the depravity of war and of people who make a spectacle of it, be they the executioners who film their own handiwork (e.g. "Naser Oric's Greatest Hits") or those who use such recordings to further their political agendas.

There is much to be written about this, and not enough time in the world to do so, but I shall give it a try over the next couple of weeks. The issue of how many people died in the aftermath of Srebrenica's fall - and how - is too serious to be addressed in an off-handed, hysterical or propaganda manner, which is what the general tone of reporting about it has been for nearly a decade. Indeed, the very vehemence with which the champions of the Official Truth push their story - which brims with righteous rage but often lacks sense - suggests there is more to it than meets the eye, the paper, or the screen.