For those wanting a second opinion, or in the case of Kosovo, any opinion other than Madeleine Albright’s and her compliant media spin doctors, Kosovo Crisis: A Study in Foreign Policy Mismanagement by Dr. Vojin Joksimovich is a first. It’s the first book authored by this nuclear scientist, the first comprehensive detailed volume about the war in Kosovo as told from a non-NATO perspective. It’s also the first "no-holds barred" attack on the NATO propaganda machine and their dirty little illegal war.
Over 20 wars are raging around the globe. Why then was NATO so concerned with the Balkans? The plight of the refugees is the stock pro-war answer. Yet, 15.3 million refugees were made homeless by war in 1995 alone. So, again, why did the war in Kosovo, where US military might was 99 times greater than that of the state it opposed, command the attention of the world’s great powers?
The causes can’t be found by looking only at the Balkans, or at the events of recent months. The roots are much broader and deeper. To see the whole picture we must return to the central fact of recent European history — the fall of the Stalinist states in 1989.
During a recent conversation with an old friend – once an anti-war activist, now a congressional staffer – I suggested that the decision to bomb the former Yugoslavia had more to do with NATO’s credibility and US influence in Europe than protecting Kosovo Albanians or defense of human rights. Be that as it may, he responded, "Milosevic is a brutal dictator and something had to be done to stop genocide. I’m not a pacifist."
Such arguments among progressives have been common since late March, with both sides marshaling "facts" to support their positions. Opponents of the war note that NATO and the US didn’t negotiate in good faith, or take steps to deal with the refugee flow that would inevitably follow military action – though they probably expected it. Supporters point to the mass removal of Albanians before the bombing, Milosevic’s past betrayals and crimes, and evidence of atrocities since March. To this extent, both sides are right. But equating opposition to bombing with pacifism, along with the argument that military action was justified by the charge of genocide, betrays the myopic thinking of those who support "diplomacy backed by force."
Those who thought the French government blocked the European Commission’s crusade for the New Transatlantic Marketplace (NTM) last spring were surprised when the results of the European Union-United States Summit were announced. At their press conference in May, US President Clinton, Commission President Santer, and UK Prime Minister Blair revealed the birth of a creature called the New Transatlantic Economic Partnership (NTEP). As Clinton put it, using this comprehensive trade initiative, the EU and US "will work to dismantle trade barriers, both bilateral and multilateral … in about a dozen areas in all."
Last summer, on the eigth anniversary of the June 13-15, 1990 coal miner’s massacre of Romanian anti-government protesters, a hunger strike was held at University Square in downtown Bucharest. The strikers staged their protest at the location of the bloodshed beneath the twenty-two story, luxury Intercontinental Hotel and across from the fountain colloquially known as Tianemen Square II. The idea was to draw attention to the government’s reluctance to prosecute those responsible for the three days of violence that killed 60 people and injured over a thousand.
A humanitarian disaster looms on the horizon in Kosovo. As winter approaches, thousands displaced by the fighting live out in the open, running the myriad risks associated with exposure. Meanwhile, safe within the walls of fortress Europe, efforts are underway to reinforce barriers to entry through an Austrian proposal to "harmonize" European Union (EU) immigration and refugee policy.
Not only would that plan mean greater difficulties for those seeking asylum, it also threatens to set a precedent for countries outside the EU, and even redefine the Geneva Convention on Human Rights. By limiting the definition of who can be considered a "true" refugee, it could restrict the rights of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.