Jeffrey Benner’s commentary elicits strong reader response
I read your superb article on Yugoslavia in yesterday’s MoJo Wire and I wanted to commend you for an outstanding job. I’ve taken the liberty of e-mailing it to over a hundred contacts, including journalists, editors, elected officials, etc., and intend to snail mail about twenty additional copies today.
It’s by far the most penetrating and encouraging piece I’ve read on (and since) the peace agreement. I’ve been convinced that in fact NATO was compelled to give way to the U.N. — convinced by your arguments — though at first I suspected a ploy by the NATO-ites to gain ex post facto “justification” for their war against Yugoslavia. (The equivalent of arresting/beating/shooting a suspect and THEN getting a warrant.)
I’ve just read on Reuters that one hundred Russian troops have arrived in Belgrade from Bosnia, so maybe there is hope for thwarting whatever “clandestine” plans NATO had up its sleeve.
Yours for peace,
I think you miss the point. We had a lot of sophisticated munitions that were not exactly Y2K-compliant and they all had to be used before the expiration date of Dec. 31, 1999 or our investment would have been wasted. “Peace” was attainable once this problem was solved.
The defense contractors will now reap a great windfall as the stockpile has to be rebuilt at taxpayer expense. “Human rights,” the “evil” of Milosevic — or, for that matter NATO — were never the real issue.
It’s funny how the Republicans became doves and the Democrats became hawks and all those bleeding-heart “human rights” types got sympathy for the devil. Now, of course, the victims will be vilified, as is the course of human nature, while the victimizers will be courted, pampered, and praised.
And of course, we will be able to repeat this episode again and again as bread and circuses and war profits are our national priority.
Go ahead and shake your finger at NATO. After all, it was ONLY about genocide — at least on the surface which I doubt you even scratched.
Just out of curiosity. What’s it like to live in total delusion?
I read your article published on Yahoo today, and I can’t help but agree with you on every point you make.
Finally someone else shares my point of view.
I recently read your article “The NATO coup that failed” and plowed through the obviously one-sided political opinion in an attempt to figure out exactly what your point was. I must say that your work, while apparently difficult for you to create, doesn’t quite measure up to your organization’s web page statement as “a magazine of investigation and ideas for independent thinkers … challenges conventional wisdom … and offers fresh solutions,” although you are all probably excited someone visited your site. In your search to justify yourself accepting one of those pale and cheap awards given at black tie affairs for journalistic insanity, you have twisted and misaligned some important facts concerning the NATO operations and their attempts to bring peace to the region and the Serbs to the negotiation table.
Point #1 — Why do you think NATO acted instead of the UN? Because the UN fails to act in a timely matter for anything. Bogged down in pointless bureaucracy, the UN has proven in Somalia, Haiti, Central America, Central Africa, and countless other locations that it can’t muster any credible response to tyrants and renegade governments who offer even token resistance. Only NATO could back up its position with an armed force capable of demonstrating the ability to dislodge Serbian forces from Kosovo.
Point #2 — “Even previous to those negotiations it had been reported that Milosevic was willing to allow a U.N. led force into Kosovo”: REPORTED?? WILLING?? It has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Milosevic is a master of saying one thing and doing just the opposite. He also set conditions that the even the UN found to unacceptable. He never let any international organizations travel freely to examine cases of crimes against humanity.
Point #3 — NATO’s ultimatum was clear and to the point. It had to be. You don’t bomb someone incessantly for 11 weeks and then ask, “What do you think we should do?”
Point #4 “Nevertheless, it is difficult to believe NATO was willing to go to war simply to ensure the success of a peacekeeping mission in an obscure corner of Europe.” Wow! You ignorance is really showing now. I can just picture your history professor coming across the tables with that enraged look in his/her face screaming OBSCURE????
Point #5 — NATO will not need to drag its tail between its legs. It will hold its head high with pride knowing it acted when the UN did not. While occasionally bothered by petty political inputs in an otherwise effective military operation, the senior military leadership kept clearly defined objectives in the forefront of their planning: Remove the Serb forces from Kosovo and limit Milosevic’s ability to inflict harm on civilians.
Point #6 — Your last sentence would read better if it said “Tragically, thousands of lives and the well being of a nation have been sacrificed due to the Serbian president’s arrogance, intransigence, and lust for power.”
War in Kosovo: Fought for access to oil?
I support the conclusion of your recent article titled “Marshall Plan of the Mind”; that “as soon as the war ends, the West must open its arms to Serbia and help marshall Serbs onto the path of democracy.” Unfortunately, the war and the planned reconstruction effort are not about humanitarian goals, justice or the American way.
There is compelling evidence that the NATO war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was actually an institutional conspiracy between the US White House, OSCE and transnational oil corporations. The goal of this cabal was to pacify the FRY so that a new oil transport route from the Caspian Sea to the North Sea could be safeguarded.
The goal of this plan is to move vast oil, gas and mineral quantities to the western market in exchange for finished goods from the industrialized countries.
In the recent American Spectator article titled “Roots of Allied Farce”, John B. Roberts II pointed out that the Carnegie Endowment’s report “Changing Our Ways: America’s Role in the New World” is the root of a new White House principle of international relations. The new strategy is to “realign NATO and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to deal with new security problems in Europe and urge military intervention under humanitarian guises.”
Under this cynical geopolitical strategy, the people of the Balkans are just collateral damage in a war to safeguard the security of an oil trade route against a preconceived threat. In the end the Balkan economies will be primarily reengineered to meet the economic interests of transnational corporations and the World Trade Organization. A fitting slogan for this postwar campaign is “buy up the Balkans and bring on the oil barges”.
Vojvodina: a “simmering dispute” with Hungary?
Thank you very much for your coverage of the Vojvodina situation. It is the first mention that I have seen anywhere in the U.S. press about the situation there, and the potential for more ethnic conflict. I was happy to see that political parties there are working for democratization, and not towards killing each other.
However, I noted one small inaccuracy. You mentioned that no parties in Hungary have ever made territorial claims on the region. While there may be no vocal calls now for the incorporation of the region into Hungary, in the recent past (1990-1994 or so), individual politicians in the Hungarian Democratic Forum — which was the first party to take power after the transition from totalitarian rule — made significant statements regarding the region. This included the Prime Minister claiming he was the Prime Minister of 15 million Hungarians. That would only be possible if you include the ethnic minorities in the neighboring countries of Romania, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine. Other parties, more minor and even more nationalist, made direct demands for the “return” of Vojvodina to Hungarian rule. While there may not be loud drumbeats now, I believe the potential for a simmering dispute over the region is still present.
Readers: War wasn’t unconstitutional; the rich are getting richer
I just finished reading Bob Harris’ claim that the “war” in Yugoslavia violates the War Powers Act and is “unconstitutional.” That assertion is a load of crap to us who know the Constitution in all its provisions.
Harris should read Article VI, paragraph 2, that establishes the Constitution, U.S. laws and TREATIES as the “supreme law of the land.” It is this clause that determines the validity of armed hostilities.
We fought in Korea because of the treaty with the United Nations to oppose aggression. We fought in Vietnam because of treaty obligations (SEATO) to defend a member state (South Vietnam — whether the West-created government of South Vietnam was worth defending or was embraced by its population is another matter that didn’t diminish the validity of a treaty). We fought the Gulf War because of treaty obligations to defend Saudi Arabia. We have been in the Yugoslavia mess because of treaty obligations with NATO. Whether NATO had justification to get into Yugoslavia is another matter which has no bearing on the treaty or the legality of the administration to fulfill its treaty obligations. Because treaties are supreme, a simple law will have a hard time overruling the treaty unless the law specifically states its purpose is to nullify the treaties it impacts.
I don’t take a stand on whether the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, or Kosovo wars were justified; I am only addressing the constitutional aspect of each. And all were legal under the U.S. Constitution.
Applause, applause, Mr. Harris has seen the light and it is dark, murky and black. A black light? You bet! The media, White House, and the rest of the propaganda machine are viewing an economic room bathed in UVA light and pointing out all that glows and grows, leaving the rest of the room in sullen disinterest and denial.
The full spectrum reflects a different truth and points to facts which illustrate the old saying, “the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” By design or chance, probably a bit of both, Americans are being made into indentured servants while being fed the hollow promise of great prosperity; keeping the paycheck out of the savings and into the marketplace to keep the cash flowing. Unfortunately it is pooling into a very few pockets.