Friday, March 19, 2004

On the news front, I've been captivated by the events in Spain, Haiti and now Kosovo. Each vividly show the limits of US hegemony. Much good stuff has been written by others on this, but my two cents are:

In Haiti - It is now clear that the US acted deliberately to oust President Aristide.... the timing of the arrival of US troops, the sacking of his security detail, the lies about where he was to be taken in both the Limo and plane... not to mention the arming and training of theso-called rebels.

What this means is that we still have a policy to rid the world of Socialist regimes... what else did Serbia, Iraq and Haiti have in common (not to mention Central America, Panama, Grenada, Angola...). Aristide, despite being blackmailed by the US in 1994 to adopt basic tenents of neo-liberalism as a condition of his return, vowed protect his people over the attempt to turn it into the next sweatshop country like El Salvador. This was his cheif offense... the other allegations were near complete rubbish. The message to oppsition groups that could never win an election around the world is: the best way to power is to boycott the democratic processes and employ violence instead. If you hold out against compromise and dialogue you can be rewarded with total victory.

In Spain, our hearts go out to those affected by the horrendus blast. Of couse, the question has turned to the election results, which gave Socialists power. It is true that the blasts probably changed the election but only because it prodded so many more (largely young) people to vote. The blast simply created more democracy, which should not be condemned by anyone (what would happen if 77% of our voting-age population voted in November?). The right-wingers saying that the Terrorists won the election are using dangerous simplifications and need to be denounced.

The election is already having a profound effect on the few remaining allies we have in Iraq. El Salvador and Honduras will join Spain and leave Iraq at the end of their mandate. Poland's President felt the need to say he was misled by the Administration and also indicated he reserves the right to pull out (until he received a phone call from Bush yesterday). In Britain, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria and other poodle-states, the ruling governments are nearly certain to lose the next elections.

It is telling that I have not seen one talking head or op-ed in the press put a positive spin on these events. Even those liberals against the War in Iraq cannot admit publically that a break between America and the world is the best bullwark against further US imperialism. This is what seperates liberals and socialists.

In Kosovo, which most Americans thought we had "fixed" already, it has just been reported that the government of Serbia-Montenegro (which still includes Kosovo) is reserving their right to military action if NATO KFOR forces remain unable to stop the violence and protect Serbs there. With NATO forces running scared in many cities in the face of retribution killings, burnings and mob violence, it appears we may not be far from part 2 of the War over Kosovo. I must say that I, and many others, predicted this might happen.

Since the War most Serbs have been forced to leave or herded into ethnic enclaves, largely in the North of Kosovo (this was not ethnic clensing because the violence came from the other side according to the World Powers). Those Serbs who remained lacked any representation in their civic affairs and were openly treated like second class citizens in their own homeland (Kosovo is the historical heart of Serbia). Meanwhile, the US and NATO gave the Albanians enough winks and nods for them to understand that they woud eventually win their terrorist struggle for independence. The UN has rightly had serious reservations about this (rewarding terrorism with independence) and this was a non-starter for the Serbian-Montenegro government. So it appears Plan B (violence that worked before) was put back into action.


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