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Analysis

Western Powers Occupy Yugoslavia

by Mick Kelly |
July 1, 1999
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For 78 days the people and government of Yugoslavia resisted attempts by the United States and NATO to occupy the province of Kosovo. In Belgrade and other cities, patriotic people gathered on bridges, in factories and TV stations to thwart NATO bombing runs. NATO responded by destroying hospitals, nursing homes, and churches. The destruction of the Chinese embassy, an act of premeditated murder, sent the clear message, "We will stop at nothing."

In the end, an unjust agreement was forced on the Yugoslav government. Kosovo is occupied by foreign troops. British commandos go door to door in Serb villages telling people, "We can't guarantee your survival," and Yugoslav patriots who resist the occupation are being jailed and murdered.

The Anti-War movement

One response to this criminal war was the construction of a powerful anti-war movement. Tens of millions, in countries around the world said NO to this war. The capitols of Europe were rocked by protests. The U.S. embassy in China was trashed. Sailors in the Greek Navy refused to go into action against Yugoslavia. In Russia and the Ukraine, there were huge demonstrations, and thousands signed up to fight as anti-NATO volunteers.

In our country the anti-war movement can list a number of important accomplishments. By raising a banner of resistance to the war, it was possible to have a real debate about the nature and aims of the war. At the point when the air war ended, that movement was poised to become a more powerful force.

As a part of the international fight against the war, there can also be no doubt that the movement limited the actions of the Western powers. For example, they couldn't introduce ground troops into a "hostile environment" in Yugoslavia.

Serb Americans, who courageously added their numbers and knowledge to the movement, made a critical contribution to the peace movement.

Finally, despite the intense propaganda drive which attempted to give the war a "humanitarian" cover, many people who had not been active in the anti-intervention movement in the past, stepped forward and got involved.

Some Problems

Unfortunately, some people who should know better, were confused and tried to confuse others. As NATO bombs were raining down on factories and farms, they joined the anti-Yugoslavia chorus. Confusing the aggressor with the victims of aggression, these people said that all sides were to blame.

Rather than doing the work to build an anti-war movement, they sat on the sidelines and said silly things like the more we criticize Yugoslavia, the stronger the movement would be. Others showed up at protests calling for "independence for Kosovo," which in practice means to carve up Yugoslavia and make Kosovo a NATO protectorate.

And the people who called for a "United Nations solution" to conflicts inside Yugoslavia are getting just what they asked for: the U.N. will appoint a government to work hand-in-hand with the occupying NATO troops in Kosovo.

Just as in Iraq, the U.N. solution is the U.S. solution.

More Wars Ahead


The Western powers are competing with each other to extend their political and economic domination over the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Soviet Union. The occupation of Kosovo will speed up their attempts at expansion, and sharpen the competition between them.

The outcome of this will be more wars of aggression by the Western powers. Right now the U.S. is engaged in an air campaign against Iraq. Ships and submarines have been sent to the Yellow Sea for the purpose of threatening people's Korea.

We have entered a period where we can expect more unjust wars. The rich and the powerful in the West are going all-out to seize the land, labor, and natural resources of others. We in the anti-war movement have our work cut out for us.

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