Turning a Disaster for the Working Class Into a Catastrophe for Capitalism

"We act to prevent a wider war"

- Bill Clinton, March 24 1999.

"The foreign policy elite is tearing its hair out over the upcoming celebration of NATO's 50th anniversary. With Serbia standing up quite well to the combined assault of NATO's nineteen member nations, the advocates of a ground war in Europe are claiming that we can't afford to lose because "it may be that NATO's first major engagement turns out to be a failure," says Ivo Daalder, a former member of Clinton's National Security Council and a leading warmonger. "And that forces you to ask: What is NATO for?" God forbid we should be forced to ask any such question: that, of course, would be a fate far worse than losing tens of thousands of lives in a war to the death with Serbia."
- from www.antiwar.com

Where Does Ethnic Hatred Come From?

The media say the Russians sympathize with "their fellow Slavs".

It's inconceivable to journalists that they could just be sympathizing with their fellow human beings. "Ethnic hatred" explains nothing. In the first place, it doesn't explain why sometimes in some places there is ethnic hatred, and sometimes in other places, there isn't. Yugoslavia used to promote racial harmony, federalism, brotherly love and so on ad nauseam. Most people in Yugoslavia get on with people of multiple nationalities. When a NATO missile struck Novi Sad, it killed Serbs, Hungarians, gypsies and Albanians. Secondly, it ignores the fact that the racist pogroms which have torn Yugoslavia apart have been carried out by small but well-armed nationalist gangs who do not represent the ethnic groups they claim to.

Racism and nationalism are the product of particular interest groups. These groups have an interest in common in dividing people into nations or races. Almost everyone has noticed that the bombing has strengthened Serbian nationalism, but no-one has pointed out that this might be deliberate. Clinton has an interest in crushing the workers of Yugoslavia as well as Milosevic.

In the USA, all the political groups and parties accept or promote nationalism. Whilst the left-wing opponents of NATO salute the heroism of the Serbs, the right argue that "our boys" should not risk their lives for Europe's problems. Both of these points of view assume that nations and races are given, rather than transient myths based on the immediate interests of politicians, generals and policemen.

Why is NATO Attacking Yugoslavia?

The SF Bay Guardian came close on April 7 when it pointed out that Serbia hasn't implemented the IMF reforms which have devastated most of Eastern Europe (privatizations, layoffs, welfare cuts, etc.). What they didn't go on to ask is why the Yugoslav government has been fairly slow in attacking the working class. The answer is that they are afraid it will bite back. A detailed account of why can be found in Wildcat 18, available from the address below, or online at Wildcat.

This conflict threatens everyone in the world. The only thing that can stop it is a rejection of nationalism by people on all sides, and the same kind of actions that stopped the Vietnam War - strikes, demonstrations, mutinies and riots. But in order to undermine nationalism, resistance needs to take place on both sides. There have been numerous desertions and mutinies in the Serbian Army - if we can believe anything we read in the press, there was one in Urosevac, Kosovo, earlier this week (San Jose Mercury News, April 14). We must echo their resistance in the NATO countries. People resisting war in Yugoslavia are isolated, and are easy for Milosevic to target if there is no opposition outside it.

It is already clear, even to numerous establishment commentators, that the NATO powers have made tremendous miscalculations. Though all the world's politicians have interests in common, it is not one big conspiracy. Or if it is, it's a conspiracy that often fails, as it did in Vietnam. We must take advantage of every mistake made by our rulers to expose their stupidity and arrogance, as a preparation for their eventual destruction.

Main page - April 14, 1999.