It is said that the 1991 "Desert Storm" was the first war waged live on cable TV. Eight years later, NATO attacked Serbia (Operation "Allied Force") and the attendant media adhered to the same matrix of behavior. Only this time, there was the internet. However clunky and amateurish citizen-reporting was back then, in its infancy, it nonetheless provided an alternative to the relentless propaganda churned out by compliant reporters regurgitating Alliance spokesman Jamie Shea's infamous briefings. Bit by bit, the truth of NATO's atrocities came out, while the rumors of Serbian atrocities were shown to be greatly exaggerated.
Many of the news sites and proto-blogs that helped expose the truth about NATO's "humanitarian war" are no longer around. One, however, has persevered - and continued the struggle for truth ever since, through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And as George Orwell so aptly put, "speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act."
All too many people in the United States today still see things through the darkened lens of partisan politics. Democrats this, Republicans that, liberals this, conservatives that. Yet what Antiwar.com has demonstrated over and over is that both parties march in lockstep when it comes to waging wars, empowering the state and repressing the citizenry. It doesn't matter whether the Emperor is Slick Willie, Bush the Lesser, or Saint Barack of Hopechange: the policy of killing people and breaking things always remains the same.
I've had a small part in this endeavor since October 19, 2000, when Antiwar.com published my first column. "Balkan Express" ran weekly for many years, eventually becoming the biweekly "Moments of Transition." I would like to think that I've helped prove the point about the Empire in my coverage of the troubles in the Balkans and Europe in general. Both the fan mail and hate mail accumulated over the years suggest that I have, as do some figures of speech - "Empire" itself being a case in point - that have since made their way into foreign policy discourse in the Balkans itself.
The Imperial government has created this fantasy world in which it can move nations around the Grand Chessboard by sheer strength of willpower - and a few smart bombs here and there. It need not concern itself with the "reality-based community," or such mundane things as money and facts. If needed, facts are invented, and money is simply printed (oh, is it ever!). But the rest of us, we live in the real world, and deal with real facts. And when bills come in, we need to pay them with real money.
Now, you'll notice this blog doesn't have a donation box or anything like that. I work for a living, and what I do here and at Antiwar.com is something I can afford to do on my own time. But I am well aware that running a major news website, collating news, editing and posting articles - all that costs money. Thanks to the government and the likes of the giant vampire squid, none of us have much. But what we have ought to be put to good use.
So, if you want to hear what the mainstream media refuse to tell you - for example, understand why the TSA gets to grope you, or what is really happening in the Balkans (and why that is relevant) - consider making a donation to keep Antiwar.com going. Unlike with the Empire and its attendant media, you actually have a choice in the matter.