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Date:  Wed, 28 Apr 1999 01:41:34 +0900
From: ernie yacub
To: Multiple recipients of NETSOURCE-L <netsource-l@mail.think.service>
Subject:  [NS] Friend becomes fiend...Milosevic and the US

'President Milosevic,' said Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy, 'is a man we
can do business with, a man who recognises the realities of life in former
Yugoslavia.'

Remind anyone of US relations with other former allies such as Noriega and
S. Hussein?

ernie



Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 16:04:34 -0700
From: Mike Wallace <mdwallac@unixg.SPAMTRAP.ubc.ca>
Subject: NN: Balkan winner: the arms trade



Monday April 19, 1999
The Guardian

'The struggle of people against power,' wrote Milan Kundera, 'is the
struggle of memory against forgetting.' The idea that the Nato bombing has
to do with 'moral purpose' (Blair) and 'principles of humanity we hold
sacred' (Clinton) insults both memory and intelligence. The American attack
on Yugoslavia began more than a decade ago when the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund set about destroying the multi-ethnic federation
with lethal doses of debt, 'market reforms' and imposed poverty.

Millions of jobs were eliminated; in 1989 alone, 600,000 workers, almost a
quarter of the workforce, were sacked without severance pay. But the most
critical 'reform' was the ending of economic support to the six constituent
republics and their recolonisation by Western capital. Germany led the way,
supporting the breakaway of Croatia, its new economic colony, with the
European Community giving silent approval. The torch of fratricide had been
lit and the rise of an opportunist like Milosevic was inevitable.

In spite of his part in the blood-Ietting of Bosnia, Milosevic, the
'reformer', became a favourite among senior figures in the US State
Department. And in return for his co-operation in the American partition of
Bosnia at Dayton in 1995, he was assured that the troublesome province of
Kosovo was his to keep. 'President Milosevic,' said Richard Holbrooke, the
US envoy, 'is a man we can do business with, a man who recognises the
realities of life in former Yugoslavia.' The Kosovo Liberation Army was
dismissed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as 'no more than
terrorists'. Last October, the Americans drafted a 'peace plan' for Kosovo
that that was pro-Serbia, giving the Kosovans far less autonomy and freedom
than they had under the old Yugoslav federation.

But this deal included, crucially for the Americans, a Nato military
presence. When Milosevic objected to having foreign troops on his soil, he
was swiftly transformed, like Saddam Hussein, from client to demon. He was
now seen as a threat to Washington's post-cold war strategy for the Balkans
and eastern Europe. With Nato replacing the United Nations as an instrument
of American global control, its 'Membership Action Plan' includes linking
Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Like Poland, Hungary and
the Czech Republic before them, these impoverished countries will be
required to take part in a 22 billion weapons' buildup. The beneficiaries
will be the world's dominant arms industries of the US and Britain - the
contract for fighter aircraft alone is worth pounds 10 biIIion.

Like the 1991 'moral crusade' in the Gulf, which slaughtered more than
200,000 people, including the very minorities the West claimed to be
protecting, the terror bombing of Serbia and Kosovo provides a valuable
laboratory for the Anglo-American arms business. Mostly unreported, the
Americans are using a refined version of the depleted uranium missile they
tested in southern Iraq, where leukaemia among children and birth
deformities have risen to match the levels after Hiroshima. The RAF is using
the BL755 'multi-purpose' cluster bomb, which is not really a bomb at all
but an air-dropped land-mine: readers will recall the Blair government's
'ban' on land-mines. Dropped from the air, the BL755 explodes into dozens of
little mines, shaped liked spiders. These are scattered over a wide area and
kill and maim people who step on them, children especially.

Britain's new military-industrial-arms trade, which Margaret Thatcher built
and the taxpayer subsidises through 'soft loans' to dictatorships, is
central to the 'Blair project'. Each time New Labour has sought to bring big
business into the fold, arms companies or their representatives have been at
the head of the queue. A New Labour backer is Raytheon, manufacturer of the
Patriot missile and currently under contract to the Ministry of Defence to
build tanks. More arms contracts have been approved by the Blair government
than by the Tories; and two-thirds of arms exports go to regimes with
appalling human rights records - such as the dictatorship in Jakarta, which
is currently deploying death squads in East Timor.

Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that British-supplied small arms have
caused in East Timor the equivalent of the Dunblane massacre many times
over. Last year, the Defence Secretary, George Robertson, intervened in a
Courtaulds Aerospace deal for armoured vehicles, headed for Indonesia's
Kopassus special forces whose commander, General Prabowo, he described (in a
letter to Robin Cook) as 'an enlightened officer, keen [on] human rights'.
Kopassus is the Waffen SS-style force that spearheaded the invasion of East
Timor, murdered five journalists and is responsible for the worst atrocities
in the illegally occupied territory. When Prabowo's father-in-law, the
tyrant Suharto, was toppled from his throne last year, the general was also
sacked.

The parallels with Kosovo and East Timor are striking. However, no bombs
will fall on Jakarta. They might hit the local offices of British Aerospace
(supplier of machine guns and Hawk fighter bombers) and the Defence Export
Sales Organisation, the Blair government's official merchants of death who,
as Thatcher used to say, 'are batting for Britain'.

 Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 1999




Michael D. Wallace
Department of Political Science
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z1
phone:(604)822-4550, fax:822-5540

[...]

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