rkmoore@iol.ie - 19 May 99

If you would believe what the US and NATO say about their operations, you could only conclude that the whole campaign is a sequence of blunders, with imprecise goals, inadequate planning, and resulting in more harm than help to the people of Kosovo.   But the US and NATO are lying - to them the media is a PR channel to keep the public mollified - their words are not a good
starting point from which to figure out what's going on.  Let's start instead from the facts.

Rambouillet - a pretext for bombing Yugoslavia

    FAIR Media Advisory:
    May 14, 1999

Since the beginning of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the war has been presented by the media as the consequence of
Yugoslavia's stubborn refusal to settle for any reasonable peace plan--in particular its rejection of plans for an international security force to implement a peace plan in Kosovo.

An article in the April 14 New York Times stated that Yugoslavian President Milosevic "has absolutely refused to
entertain an outside force in Kosovo, arguing that the  province is sovereign territory of Serbia and Yugoslavia."

Agence France Presse reported the same day that the Serb delegation "showed signs that it might accept international
peacekeepers on condition that they not be placed under NATO command" and added that the head of the Serb delegation
"insisted that the peacekeepers answer to a non-military body such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe...or the United Nations." A U.S. official confirmed this to AGP: "The discussions are on whether it should be a UN or OSCE force," the official said.

The next day, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared: "We accept nothing less than a complete agreement,
including a NATO-led force." Asked on CNN the same day: "Does it have to be [a] NATO-led force, or as some have
suggested, perhaps a UN-led force or an OSCE...force? Does it specifically have to be NATO-run?" she replied, "The
United States position is that it has to be a NATO-led force. That is the basis of our participation in it."

What happened with Rambouillet, as I see it, is that the US (as was its frequent practice with Russia during the Cold War) intentionally created an unacceptable pre-conditition - a NATO-led force in this case - which guaranteed that an agreement could not be reached.

Any nation could be expected to refuse to offer up its territory for occupation by a foreign army.  In other reports on Rambouillet, it turns out that not just Kosovo was to be occupied, but Serbia as well - and all Serbian policy was to be subject to NATO approval.  In addition, the requirement of NATO occupation was unreasonable in the context of the negotiations.  If the goal was to end Serbian oppression in Kosovo, then occupation by any neutral force would do the job - insisting on NATO was an entirely gratuitous demand.

This scenario suggests that the US goal in the negotiations was to create a pretext for the bombing of Serbia, rather than to find a solution to the problems in Kosovo.   Such a goal is not consistent with US rhetoric, but it is consistent with everything the US has been doing, and with the years-long media demonization campaign against the Serbs.

Demonization campaigns and Pariah Status
Serbia is one of several countries which, whenever they're mentioned in the media, the story always leaves the reader with the impression "something must be done about this".  Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran are familiar names in this category - it would take very little pretext (invented or otherwise) for an attack to be launched on any them - the ongoing demonizing project does its job very well.

One of the hallmarks of such demonization programs is the personification of the "enemy" - Castro, the Ayatollah, Saddam, Milosevic, Khadaffi - providing a phychological focus for public scorn.  As we see Afghanistan being added to the pariah list, we see also the characteristic personification strategy, in this case using the Taliban as a collective persona.  The folks who make up the Taliban haven't changed their stripes, but their image went from `heroes' to `madmen' - and media coverage
switched from their prowess to their perfidy - as soon as their category went from `ally against the Soviets' to `pariah' in US strategic planning.

If the US considers Iran, or North Korea, or whomever, to be a problem, the US has any number of avenues by which it could try to do something about the problem.  It could exert pressures of various kinds, offer inducements to change, and enter into negotiations to resolve the problems.  Instead US policy in such cases is generally to cut off productive communication,
isolate the nation from the international community, create an atmosphere of polarization, periodically issue threats or condemnations, and sporadically engage in acts of provocation (bombing of Libya, cruise missiles in Afghanistan, ulitimatums to North Korea, etc, etc.)

For one reason or another, these pariah nations are unacceptable to the US, and only a complete change of regime is acceptable - if US emnity is to be lifted.  In US rhetoric, nations achieve pariah status because of their human-rights behavior, or because of some perceived threat to "stability".

The hypocrisy of such rhetoric becomes clear when we see China being given most-favored-nation status, arms and military assistance being given to Indonesia during their years-long genocide against East Timor, and Turkey being treated as a most-favored ally while it persecutes its minorities,  makes raids across its borders against politial enemies, and behaves
billigerently toward Greece and others.

Obviously, the US assigns pariah status on grounds other than those proclaimed publicly.   Similarly, media selection of abuses-to-publicize is highly arbitrary, and always subtly supportive of US policy objectives, even though those objectives remain unstated publicly.

Making sense of the Pariah Strategy
There seem to be two _actual reasons for pariah status.  The first reason, (eg-Iran, Afghanistan) is to enhance regional instability and to provide "someone to hate" - providing convenient excuses for military expenditures, CIA operations, and the undermining of civil liberties at home.  It is notable that the current fundamentalist regimes in Afghanistan and Iran were installed with the enthusiastic help of the US government, and that the US has been caught more than once providing technology and weapons to Iran at the very same time Iran was being publicly condemned as a terrorist nation with whom no negotiations could be possible.

The second reason for pariah status (eg-Cuba, Libya, Iraq, Yugoslavia) is that the target nation is pursuing an economic path contrary to the aims of global capitalism - pariah status in this case isolates the "virus" and prepares public opinion for eventual "surgery", as with "Desert Storm" and now "Operation Human Rights" against Yugoslavia.

In this case, it is not necessary that the nation be anti-capitalist, in the sense one might consider Cuba to be - it is only necessary that the economic activity of the nation not be favovable to the interests of Western-based global capitalism.  Serbia's crime, apart from controlling the mineral wealth in Kosovo, was that it was refining its own oil, producing its own chemicals, manufacturing automobiles, and generally competing competently on international markets - all of this cutting into the current and future profits of Western-based TNC's.  Iraq's crime was that it was introducing modernization into the oil-producing states, contrary to the favored US pattern of medievalism for the region.

It's all part of globalization, and it's imperialism under another name
The promoters of globalization (and this includes most Western political leaders) say very explicitly that one of their central objectives is the creation of an integrated global economy.  This part of their rhetoric is very much in line with their actual policies and actions.  Their rhetoric departs from reality, however, when it comes to the nature of that global economy, and the rules by which it is going to operate.

In rhetoric, there is to be open competition, the natural success of the most productive players, and wider choice for consumers.  In fact, the process of globalization is being used to destroy non-Western competition, setting the stage for monopolization of global commerce by Western TNC's.

Chossudovsky, in his well-documented book "The Globalization of Poverty", explains, with the perspective of an insider, the role of the IMF and World Bank (and private international finance) in performing this "hatchet man" job for Western TNC's.  He even goes so far as to characterize this behavior as imperialist, and relates its tactics and its consequences to those of earlier forms of imperialism.

An integrated economy, yes, but one controlled by Western TNC's and Western finance - this is the actual, if not publicly acknowledged, globalization agenda.

US Policy: loyal support of globalist imperialism
US policy, if you give any credence to the public justifications, is full of inconsistencies, half-hearted measures, failures, and counter-productive actions.   Columnists like  Eric "Inside Track On World News" Margolis revel in pointing out these failures and inconsistencies...

Foreign Correspondent, 17 May 1999
"NATO has been risking air crews bombing empty buildings and bridges. Unbelievably, after eight weeks of attacks and
4,000 bombing sorties, half Serbiaís 238-plane air force is still operational. The Serb Navy remains untouched.  According to NATO, a mere 20% of Serb armored vehicles in Kosovo, and only 23% of the Serb national air defense system have been destroyed and these figures may be exaggerated. Oil and spare parts continue to flow into Serbia."

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Perceptive and knowledgeable as Margolis is, he bases all of his analysis on the naive assumption that every goal announced by the US is a genuine one, and that no hidden objectives could possibly exist.  I don't believe Margolis could be that stupid, and that's one of the reasons I classify him as a deceitful propagandist... but that's another story, and it doesn't detract from the value of tracking Margolis' well-informed factual revelations.

It would never occur to Margolis, at least not in his public persona, that the objective of the US is in fact to destroy Serbia's economic infrastructure, that the US is succeeding very well in its objective, and that his surviving-weapons inventory is of no strategic importance in the offensive, until perhaps the endgame.

It is not possible to understand US military objectives without taking into account US economic goals.  Isn't this patently obvious?   What nation has there ever been which didn't give a central role to their economic objectives when formulating their foreign policy?  And yet, when it comes to the US, the two topics are never discussed together, neither by US officials nor in media coverage.

On the one hand there is economic policy, which involves free-trade treaties and bilateral trade arrangements, and on the other hand there is foreign policy, which involves terrorism, human-rights abuses, strategic interests, etc.  US military policy, we are to believe, is always motivated by some high moral purpose.  It generally fails in that purpose; and that is always written up to incompetence.  Motivations other than those announced in public rhetoric are never considered.

This schizophrenic split in public discourse keeps most people - the informed and the uninformed alike - confused about US behavior, and enables Western propaganda to justify US military actions without defending against charges of economic self-interest.

This intentionally schizoid propaganda regime is further assisted by the fact that the economic interests which motivate US policy are _not the economic interests of the US as a nation, but are rather the economic interests of Western TNC's - which have managed to subvert the American political system in support of their operations and their globalization agenda.

Once you accept the fact that all US policy - domestic, military, and economic - is motivated by only one primary objective - the promotion of globalization and of government-by-TNC's - then US policy all makes perfect sense.  It is characterized by success rather than failure, and by consistency rather than inconsistency.

Copernicus' perspective on astronomy did not supplant Ptolemy's because Ptolemy was _wrong; it supplanted it because it provided a much simpler explanation - and a better predictive model - of how the planets move.  To get his model to work, Ptolemy had to introduce epicycle within cycle, correction upon correction, to make it come out right.

Similarly, the official party line, faithfully followed by the corporate media, involves all kinds of clarifications, reversals, inconsistencies, and outright lies in order to in any way track the major contours of reality.  Ptolemey was, at least, confined to the facts.

Example incident: US destroys a village in Kosovo

Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 00:10:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Charles <quester@eskimo.com>
To: cyberjournal <rkmoore@iol.ie>
Subject: Re: cj#935> Query re/media coverage

I have not watched TV since the incident but I have heard reports on NPR. The reports followed a pattern similar to
that of a similar incident a few weeks ago:

1. We don't know what happened or whether anything did.

2. The Serbs were shelling that area and may have caused the      damage so they can blame it on us.

3. We did it in the course of an attack on a legitimate target.  We regret the collateral damage.  Such damage is     unavoidable in a just war.

4. The Serbs may have put the civilians there deliberately and even if they didn't they are the bad guys in this war.

5.  So blame Slobodan Milosovich for this as for everything else.

See what I mean about epicycles within epicycles?... mid-course corrections on the spin of stories, to cover over unfortunate facts which come to light, or to adjust for unfavorable reactions among the audience, excuse me - the public.

In Ireland, where public sensitivies to civilian bombing have been much more critical than in the US, the sequence of lies was paced more slowly. For the first few days, seen from Ireland, NATO had no idea how the village got destroyed... the cover-story about human shields came later, and took more preparation, than it did in the US - reflecting the different target

When you view the Yugolslavia invasion (and the village bombing) from the perspective of the globalization agenda, the contradictions, `mistakes', and other epicycles disappear from the picture...

Serbia - just like Rwanda, Russia, and South Korea - had not yet been pigen-holed into its assigned role in the global economy.  In order to force Yugoslavia into its assigned role, its economy and infrastructure had to be destroyed.  There followed a three-pronged assault: the IMF destabilized the economy; Germany and the US (overtly and covertly) took
steps to accelerate political destabilization; global public outrage was systematically cultivated against the Serbs.

Kosovo, with its minerals and, if I recall correctly, its strategic position vis a vis a planned oil pipeline, is to be made into a Western protectorate - the first outright colony of the globalization regime.  Clearing out Kosovo's population facilitates this plan, and has been one of the objectives of the bombing campaign.  Knocking out a village here and there, and bombing refugees seen going in the "wrong" direction (toward their homes), sends a clear message to the Kosovar civilians (even if the
global public can't see it) that they better get their asses out of there.

Isn't it about time to give up the flat-earth mythology?
Trying to keep up with media mythology makes ones head spin, and too much of what could be useful opposition journalism is expended in exposing the countless hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the official party line.  Instead of debunking Ptolemy, it's time to move on to a workable model; instead of proving the world's not flat, it's time to talk about its real shape.

The agenda of the US government, and of top European leaders, is the establishement of an all-powerful global empire, subservient to TNC interests, and beyond the control of national governments.  Whether or not they personally find such a future attractive, or even acknowledge to themselves where all this is heading, allegiance to the globalization cause is a prerequisite for them to remain in their jobs (eg-Thatcher).

Free trade treaties and IMF diktats are central in achieving imperial globalization, and equally central is an unrestricted and unaccountable US-NATO gobal police force.   When placed in the proper historical context - the centuries-old saga of Western imperialism - the role of IMF and NATO become perfectly obvious, and there is no need to explain-away continual
"mistakes" and "misjudgements" as nation after nation lies in ruin as a direct consequence of their actions.

The primary mission of the global media, itself a TNC operation, is to distract public attention from these unfolding events by presenting (instead of news) a sequence of mini-dramas - based loosely on selected current events - in which the West is always the bold crusader, and the "other" is always some kind of heinous demon.  Very little effort is made to make these mini-dramas consistent with one another - the public attention span is too short to make that necessary.  Saddam (or Noriega or Marcos or Sukharno or the Taliban) can be presented in the role of loyal ally one day, and pariah enemy the next... few seem to notice the orwellian contradictions.

I don't expect the imperialist leopard to change its spots, nor do I expect the media to stop telling us the leapord is a guardian angel - but I do hope more people can begin to see with open eyes.  We don't need mystical conspiracy theories and we don't need yet-another leak of some secret memo - the games of the imperialists are writ large in their global behavior.  We only need to toss aside the distorting lenses the media would have us wear.

Only when we see clearly what _is can we talk sensibly about what could be - and how it might be achieved.

Wexford, Ireland


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