The Genocidal Mentality, Pt 2:
The Great Humanitarian Wars
The Kosovo war in the Balkans was peddled as a war against genocide, but this ignores the underlying economic reasons (IMF restructuring) the led to the conflict.
It has become a feature of the last 20th and earlier 21st century that the planet has become embroiled in what are called 'humanitarian wars' which, it has been said, are being fought to 'prevent genocide' and are targeting 'new Hitler' who once again threatens the world with tyranny and genocide. In the case of the Balkan conflict and the war in Kosovo, this war against 'ethnic cleansing' and 'the new Hitler' was supported even by many who could be called 'liberals' who were appalled by the prospect of 'genocide' and thus were willing to support military intervention.HOME
Using the Balkan conflict as the template, one can suppose that the planet can look forward to more of these 'humanitarian wars' targeting 'Hitler' in the future, and the ideological premise given for these conflicts will be so compelling that they will even split the 'peace movement' and leave 'liberals' divided among themselves. Certainly the Kosovo war provided the rough outline for the attempted justification of the war against Iraq, although, sadly, from the point of view of the planners, the stunt wasn't nearly as successful when they attempted to recycle the propaganda offensive used in the case of Kosovo and simply reuse the propaganda outline to fuel a war in Iraq.
One of the reasons the Kosovo war was able to split the 'peace camp' and leave even Liberals divided, was due to the general ignorance surrounding the causes of the war, and a lack of genuine understanding of the nature of what is going on in the world, combined with what might be called a diluted middle class liberal perspective of the way the world works.
The roots of the Kosovo conflict, and the current 'restructuring' drive being forced onto poor nations around the world (since these two are linked) go back to the Nixon administration, and the unilateral decision of the White House to deal with problems in supporting the American dollar by means of the Gold Standard by withdrawing from the Gold Standard and instead allowing the value of the U.S. currency to 'float' and be determined by market forces. This decision was abetted by shrew calculations of the effect of liberalizing capital markets, since the American economy was so huge that the end result would be to strengthen the American currency, leading to an even greater tendency for investors around the world to want to hold U.S. dollars and thus support American equity markets, leading to a much needed inflow of capital into American markets, warding off a problem with the balance of trade deficit.
Over the long term this strategy was successful, leading directly to the gigantic stock market bubble that developed in the 90s, and it was also a leading contributor to what became known as the Clinton economic boom, as the strength of the U.S. dollar, determined by market forces (rather than the gold standard) attracted large amounts of capital into the American economy and the U.S. equity markets (which fueled the bubble). Over the short term, the result of printing money not backed up with gold, was inflation, and the problem was compounded by war in the middle east, leading to the oil embargo, and equally inflationary oil price increases.
The introduction of inflationary pressures into the world economy, combined with high oil prices, led poorer nations to borrow money to pay for needed oil (inflation tends to reduce the burden of loans, and so this was not considered a dangerous strategy). However the end result of a number of years of inflation led directly to the appointment of an interventionist as the head of the Federal Reserve (Paul Volker) who jacked interests rates up to the 20 per cent level to finally bring the inflationary effect under control.
Sky rocketing interest rates brought disaster to poorer nations, who were now saddled with debts that were becoming impossible to pay, in particular since a concurrent recession had driven down the price of basic commodities on which their economies depend (colonialism had left these nations as 'suppliers of water and wood', and the manufacturing capacity was kept in the colonial nations, while the poorer colonized nations supplied cheap raw materials, a situation that inevitably contributed to the disasters to come later). Thus we find the IMF empowered with a new task, which continues to this day.
The IMF began the process of 'restructuring' poorer nations, by slashing social programs and other spending, imposing wage freezes which eroded spending power as inflation continued, causing prices to rise, combined with demands to end any subsidies or price controls, which intensified the problem, all of this made even worse by demands to 'rationalize' industry through increased firings and lay offs, all of these measures designed so as to free up the money poorer nations would need to keep up with loan payments. In the six years prior to the outbreak of the disastrous civil war in Yugoslavia poorer nations transferred a little less than 200 billion dollars to banks and international investors, one of the greatest transfers in wealth over such a short time that had ever occurred in history up to that time. Yugoslavia's debt payments were consuming a full one fifth of the nations economic output.
The end result of this process led to the collapse of the economy in Yugoslavia. As industry collapsed due to the collapsing spending power caused by the IMF prescription and there was no longer any social safety net to act as safety valve, ethnic rivalries began to develop in the nation, driven forward by the fall into poverty of the population of Yugoslavia. As anger developed in the different states of the Union, as living standards fell and little was left of social programs that might have helped cushion the impact, politicians began to pursue policies in the self interests of each state, leading to bitter rivalries and feuding. At first there was no warfare and the feuding did not express itself as 'ethnic cleansing' but rather Yugoslavia was riven by strikes and demonstrations for years. It was only after the economy completely collapsed that rivalrous militarists and extremists began to appear on the scene.
Much of this civil war fare was driven by fear and anger among the richer provinces such as Croatia and Slovenia, and the central government was attempting to quell unrest in the poorer provinces through transfer payments funded by these two states. Croatians and Slovenians began to demand the right to leave the federation and become independent states. Meanwhile about 60 per cent of the population was being plunged below the officially declared poverty level in Yugoslavia. The same disasters happened to poor countries all around the world, and eventually led to such feuds as the Yugoslav civil war and the Rwanda massacres, as different groups began expressing their resentments over their share of a shrinking pie by launching civil war (the crazed logic being that fewer mouths equals more pie for those remaining).
Eventually, just before the civil war, 'rationalization', the combination of wage freezes and price increases resulted in an inflation rate of over 1100 per cent in Yugoslavia. The process was made worse by the enforced liberalization of capital, in the form of floating the dinar and subjecting it to the influence of international capital markets. The central government lost all autonomy as its finances collapsed and it basically became an instrument for servicing foreign debt, and all transfer payments to the states ended. To make matters worse the IMF then demanded the closure of over three thousand 'under performing industries' which would throw close to two million people out of work at a time of basically nonexistent social programs, and cause the unemployment rate to soar to around 50 per cent. Most of these 'poor industries' were located in the poorer provinces of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo, and thus the battle lines were drawn for the coming outbreak of civil war.
When civil war finally broke out, the western propaganda machine kicked into high gear, and the public was fed the line about 'the new Hitler' and 'a new holocaust' in Europe, and this lie was required only to hide from the public the true nature of the cause of the conflict in the Balkans. The famous photo, that aroused so many 'liberals' to rally for the war, and divided the 'peace camp' showed the horrifying site of starved, skinny holocaust victims of the new Hitler, waiting for death in the new 'Auschwitz', staring out at the camera from behind the barbed wire of the 'death camp.' It turns out that what actually happened is that the photo was one of a refugee camp, not a 'death camp', and the barbed wire actually surrounded a tool shed. What had happened is that the photographer went into this enclosure around the tool shed and shot out at some skinny refugees through the surrounding barbed wire, to make the famous photograph of 'the new victims of the holocaust' awaiting death in the 'new Auschwitz'. Ironically, the only one surrounded by barbed wire in that photograph was the photographer, but this kind of lying propaganda was powerful stuff, and brought the liberals on board for what was supposed to be 'a great humanitarian war.'
The faked photograph that provided the master narrative of genocide for the Kosovo war
Given that the Iraq war is similarly being fueled by ignorant lies, we can anticipate that the future of these 'great humanitarian wars' will be modeled after the fraudulently sold war in Kosovo, the whole idea being to make sure that no one understands the true nature of the conflict, and ideally such humanitarian wars should bring even liberals on board and split the peace camp. Certainly, the Iraq war, clumsily attempting to mimic the Kosovo propaganda line, was a failure in this regard, but tomorrow is another day, and another great humanitarian war, which using the lessons learned from both Kosovo and Iraq, might be handled with a little more finesse.
Now given that it was actually the IMF and the World Bank who were responsible for starving out those refugees (and not the 'Nazi Serbs') you would think that if 'liberals' and some in the 'peace camp' had known their history at the time, they might have been screaming for NATO to bomb the IMF, instead of devastating Yugloslavia. But I would suppose that if one wishes to bomb Serbs, instead of taking tar and feathers to the IMF, one needs to elect Democrats and defeat Bush, since history shows that those Republicans are just to ham handed to finesse the next great humanitarian war. No, that requires a Democrat, and they did a damn good job of it all the last time, too.
Given that the front runner in the Democratic race is the same General Clark who bombed the hell out of the Serbs, and almost started a world war by ordering some disobedient German General to bomb the Russians, only to get fired like Douglas MacArthur, well considering it all, at least the Democrats look set to elect someone who was in on that great humanitarian war, and thus might have the insight and finesse to carry off the next great humanitarian war, which could break out anywhere, since countries all over South America and Africa have been collapsing into economic ruins since the end of the 90s, and once again IMF policies are to blame, although, truly speaking, the IMF is not to blame, since the IMF is just the mouth piece for international capitalists. When you consider that fact, and how even slums will be created by Democrats to protect capitalists, you can understand why the IMF was protected and Serbs were demonized and bombed, while free market liberals supported this great humanitarian war.
It should be obvious that these so called 'curative wars' are not the answer to anything, and the true anti-war position involves understanding and then undoing the root causes of such conflicts, for which 'humanitarian wars' are only some worthless band-aid offered as a solution. These so called 'solutions' don't even come close to targeting the problem, since such wars are a permanently entrenched feature of the 'free market' economic system, which fosters gross inequality and irrational planning and distribution of resources, leading repeatedly to such catastrophes as depressions and fueling endless rivalries which are so often disguised as 'ethnic conflicts' or in the case of Iraq, 'wars against tyranny'. It is a feature of free market wars that they are never allowed to be presented to the public for what they really are, but rather are kept heavily disguised by propaganda specifically designed to divert attention from underlying root causes.
As for why humanitarian wars were launched in Kosovo and Iraq, but not in other equally deserving places such as Rwanda, the answer is simply oil, since the Caucasus region cannot be allowed to become 'unstable' since it has the greatest untapped reserves of petroleum in the world. Following the Kosovo war, which placed the U.S. military on the eastern edge of the Caucasus, and the Afghan war which led to the establishment of military bases in the northern regions of the Caucasus (made up of such sources of untapped petroleum as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), and following the Iraq war which occupied the southern corner of the strategic Caspian sea region, only Iran now needs to be conquered and occupied to completely encircle and occupy this strategically important oil region, ensuring American hegemony over vital petroleum resources (during the age of climate change and rapidly advancing global warming, something not included in their policy calculations). As Dick Cheney said to oil industry executives, in 1998, "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian."