A Response to Pfaff's Lies and Wars
Dear Mr. Pfaff:
It is quite ironic that you lament the massive lying of Western "democracies" to their own people, while at the same time regurgitating one of the Biggest Lies of recent times.
If you believe that the Yugoslav wars were about the Serbs' desire for a "Greater Serbia" then that tells me you have done no serious investigation of this important piece of history.
The reason it is important is precisely because this was the first large-scale success of the Big Lie strategy that would then be repeated for Iraq and Afghanistan, and now for Iran.
For the sake of brevity I will not bother to argue the point on the basis of facts. Instead I will appeal to logic. Is it logical to think the Western "democracies" were telling the truth about Yugoslavia, but then turned 180 degrees and started telling Big Lies about Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran a few years later?
Does a leopard really change its spots so quickly? Only a baby could believe such logic. You have zero credibility if you think this way. And the fact that you choose to write about Yugoslavia without availing yourself of even the most basic facts betrays an intellectual slothfulness that is inexcusable.
I will just add here that I do not understand why this writer is featured here. He is obviously an intellectual dwarf. He wants to believe that in the 1990s the West was a pure-as-the-driven-snow truth-teller and used its military might for good -- "saving" the Balkans from the evil Serbs.
But when it comes to Iraq and Iran then all of a sudden the West is lying -- and using its military might for selfish reasons? Pfaff wants to pick and choose a la carte when it comes to imperial wars of conquest.
It does not work that way. You cannot support imperialism in one place and then reject it in the next. This is not a principled position and is therefore weak and useless.
Moreover, Pfaff does not realize that Yugoslavia directly made possible Iraq and everything else that followed.
The imperial project to dismember Yugoslavia was a resounding success mostly due to the massive effectiveness of the propaganda campaign. The publics of the West were completely misled about the real roots and causes of the Yugoslav wars.
The power of the media to completely mold public opinion was surely a wake-up call to the leaders of the West. Here now was a tool that could give them carte-blanche for unfettered foreign military adventures. And since there was no longer a Cold War adversary to check their global ambitions, a new era of aggressive military action beckoned. And this is what has happened.
Let's just recap briefly how the truth was turned on its head in the Yugoslav crisis. The story that the wars were caused by the Serbs' desire to dominate their neighbors has as much truth to it as Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. It is a complete invention.
The real cause of the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia was the West's imperial ambition. Is it coincidence that the breakup of Yugoslavia commenced at precisely the moment that the Soviet Union collapsed?
In terms of historical fact, the war in Bosnia would not have happened had the US not prodded its muslim proxy to reject a negotiated settlement. Likewise the war in Croatia. Both Bosnia and Croatia contained significant Serb populations for centuries, living in Serb-majority enclaves.
Why then did the West decide to push for recognition of Bosnian and Croat independence that did not recognize those Serb territories, or even the legitimacy of the Serbian people (nearly 40 percent of the population of Bosnia and 12 percent of the population of pre-war Croatia)?
The obvious conclusion is that the West would push for such a partitioning of Yugoslavia (a founding UN member state) only if it were intent to provoke violence.
I live in Canada, where the province of Quebec has considered the idea of independence. At the same time the English-speaking enclaves in the province assert that they, in turn, have the right to secede from Quebec, if Quebec leaves Canada.
This was the position of the Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia. This is a universal principle of the right to self-determination and is completely legitimate. That means that the question of those Serb populations should have (and could have) been settled through diplomacy.
But instead of diplomacy the West chose to push a hard-line position that recognized Bosnian, Croatian and Albanian independence without any heed at all to the Serbian population.
What happened to the Serb-majority enclaves of Krajina and Slavonia in Croatia? They no longer exist. An entire population of several hundred thousand was driven out en masse in in the space of a few days, during the 1995 Croatian blitzkrieg (Operation Storm), funded and equipeeed by the West.
A few years later, the Kosovo Albanians demanded separation from Serbia in exactly the same way that the Serbs of Croatia demanded independence. But in this case, the exact opposite happened. Albanians were given a statelet and the Serbs were again driven out. By the same measure, the Serbs of Krajina and Slavonia should have been given their own "Kosovo."
There are more than 1 million Serbian refugees from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in Serbia proper. They are the ONLY ethnic group of Yugoslavia that has actually been ethnically cleansed from their towns, villages, farms and homes, despite the fact that they have been instilled in the Western public consciousness as the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing.
So the Big Lie propaganda, thanks to people in the media like Pfaff who endorse it and spread it, has worked fantastically in Yugoslavia. Here is an imperial project that has succeeded wildly, the first post-Cold war success of a resurgent Western imperialism.
Naturally, the empire desires to build upon that success. So the same cookie-cutter template of massive misinformation was employed in the runup to the Iraq invasion. The only problem here was that this was a much more difficult lie to sell. It soon became apparent that there were no WMDs at all.
When that became obvious, the story effortlessly shifted to how it was necessary to remove an evil dictator. Never mind that in removing this so-called dictator, more than a million innocent human beings paid with their lives. Many more with their homes and worldly possessions. And the rest continue to live in an earthly hell.
But of course none of this is really a topic of much discussion in the civilized and democratic societies of the West. Instead, the dialogue has shifted again to a new drumbeat for military action, now against Iran.
Supposedly Iran is a "threat." Although the US, which has used unprovoked and massive military force against Panama, Iraq, Serbia, Iraq again, and Afghanistan in the space of less than two decades, is somehow not a "threat."
Israel which has 200 nuclear weapons and has likewise engaged in almost nonstop violence for the last 20 years is likewise not a "threat."
So this is the topsy-turvy landscape of truth turned on its head that we live in.
And all of this was supposed to have happened overnight between the 1999 bombing of Serbia and the 2003 invasion of Iraq? In 1999 the West was pure and good and spoke only the truth.
Four years later it unleashed a Big Lie campaign the likes of which the world has never seen. And it continues to lie, lie lie.
How does this possibly add up? I think Mr. Pfaff must be living in some kind of parallel universe.
Gordon Arnaut, Oro-Medonte Township, Ontario