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A Blunder Too Far Takes us to The Brink
When this crazy war started 47 days ago we were led to believe
that it would be short and sharp. Miracle smart bombs would rain
down from the sky and President Milosevic would see the error
of his ways and return on his knees to the negotiating table.
Ha, ha bloody ha ha.
Anyone with an ounce of sense knew that this misjudged mission
was doomed from the start. What few realised then was just how
far it would push the world to the brink of a global war. Only
the continuing incompetence of a blundering military machine
such as NATO's could have facilitated such a breakdown of the
'new world order' in such a haphazard fashion.
We have long heard of how the Warsaw Pact countries of old
could never really muster a full scale assault on the West. For
all the Cold War talk of the the Communist threat, in reality
their aged machinery could do little but maintain a stand-off
in the arms race they entered with their bullish western foes.
What no one told us was how inadequate our own military preparations
were. It is now clear Western countries have created the most
expensive folly of our time: NATO. Trillions of dollars of defence
spending mean little when those who head up this monstrosity
show the morality of a hyena and the sense of geography of a
Really, forget spy satellites and field agents didn't anyone
think to check Belgrade's A to Z or the local phone book before
targeting the embassy representing a quarter of the world's population.
Ever ones to deflect responsibility, those jesters at Brussels
NATO HQ must surely be trying on one joke too far if they expect
us to believe that their mis-targeting was a result of bad information
from a Serb double-agent. This from the same military force whose
map reading skills led to the bombing of the wrong city, in the
wrong country when a bomb hit Sofia, Bulgaria on April 29.
So forget such weak-kneed propaganda and instead pose yourself
this question following the bombing of the Chinese Embassy, Belgrade.
Short of pressing the red button can anyone think of a quicker
way to precipitate a nuclear crisis?
Freedom is Early Casualty in NATO's Pursuit
Long ago before the advent of television, war artists would
record scenes of battles for posterity. Then came war reporting
with film cameras - newsreel style. Whether showing Allies, NAZIs
or the Red Army these were delivered to an anxious public with
scenes cut, edited and stylised to maximum propaganda effect.
With TV came a clear picture of the horror of war, in an instant.
This was most evident in the roller coaster ride that was Vietnam.
In subsequent conflicts, such as The Falklands and The Gulf,
military leaders manipulated and controlled images in an attempt
to produce films which fused the propaganda purpose of the NAZI
flicks with the flamboyant imagery of Top Gun.
Now the world's leading military forces, masquerading under
the auspices of NATO, have gone one step further in the rush
to control what ordinary citizens see. They now not only want
to dictate and supervise images delivered to their own people
but also those shown to the enemy.
Indeed NATO's leaders say that they won't stop bombing Kosovo,
Serbia and Montenegro until their TV shows are broadcast on all
It is easy to guess how many fingers the Yugoslavs will use
in response to this latest and most strange NATO request. For
if anything is likely to stiffen the resolve of Yugoslavia's
war weary folk it is the prospect of wall to wall CNN (read Compliant
NATO News) interrupted only with ancient episodes of Dallas.
If this war really is about freedom, let us consider what
freedoms we ourselves, and others, are asked to sacrifice in
pursuit of victory.
A Special Message From the Publishers of LondonNet
LondonNet abhors the violence carried out in the name of NATO
and the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic. While we criticise
the beligerance and aggression of both warring parties none of
us can ignore that this is not just a political but also a humanitarian
this end we support the collection of charities listed on our
Kosovo Appeal page in their
efforts to ease the pain and sufferring of Kosovo's refugees.
In turn we ask that you show your support by contacting the Appeal
and offer your help too. (7/4/99)
Bomber Blair's Third Way
On entering office the UK's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook promised
an 'ethical foreign policy'. Instead we have witnessed the most
bloodthirsty administration since the gung-ho Winston Churchill
era. Difference was in those days our own soil was actually threatened.
But it is not just the British centre-left that has taken
to the machismo of war. In Germany too the recently elected Red-Green
coalition supports the war. French and Italian socialist governments
also back the action. A nationalist Russia stands alone in refusing
to join the bloodbath...yet.
Predictably both sides in this conflict blame each other for
the unfolding humanitarian disaster. What is clear is that the
number of refugees, according to NATO's own figures, have increased
dramatically since the outbreak of Allied bombing.
In the face of such suffering and conciliatory moves from
the Serbs one might imagine that the West would draw a deep breath
and reconsider its disastrous policy of blitzkrieg diplomacy.
Not a bit of it. Instead we now hear talk of 'Phase Three'.
After 'Phase One' - attacks on air defence systems and 'Phase
Two' - attacks on Serb ground forces, it now seems we really
will witness Bomber Blair's oft trumpeted Third Way. This however
will be more of a Third Wave. Attacks on Serbian infrastructure
and economic targets is the army parlance. All out, senseless,
counterproductive willy wagging is what we call it.
Before NATO launched its 'smart' hardware last week there
was a huge problem in the Balkan region. In just seven days these
military whizzkids have managed to create the largest refugee
crisis in Europe since World War Two and the biggest freeze in
East-West relations since the thawing of the Cold War.
Nice work NATO. Great to know the world's security rests in
such responsible and capable hands.
The ultimate fly-on-the-wall doc
Hey-Ho, Off to war we go! Those insatiable playground bullies,
Bill Clinton and his side kick Tony Blair, are at it again.
Fresh from a series of 'successful raids' on Iraq - where
has that got you Bill and Tony? - our armed forces are once more
at the dirty end of TV fuelled popular politics. With recent
casualties so minimal even our brave pilots and servicemen can
be forgiven for savouring their appearance in the ultimate fly-on-the-wall
However, leave aside the jazzed up nightly news bulletins
replete with fire and brimstone, what will these spats really
prove? If the overall objective really is peace can Bill and
Tony point us to where their 'means justify the ends' ideology
ends? Hey, if the latest Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland
fails can we expect smart cruise missiles to be heading up the
trousers of targeted Loyalist and Nationalist 'foot soldiers'?
Of course not, because these PR based war-jaunts only work
'over there'. Out of sight really is out of mind. If you can't
point to it on the map should you really cry yourself to sleep
every night. No one over here will that's for sure.
But yes there will be cries. Cries from women and children
in the streets of Yugoslavia, that's where.
This latest folly has the added danger of stirring the great
Russian bear. Sooner or later this injured, yet still powerful,
beast may intervene to protect the interests of its fellow Slavs.
At this point Bill and Tony's foreign policy of "if you
don't do as we say, we'll bomb the hell out of you" comes
For when two gangs of bullies meet face to face what's left
is just a bloody mess. However a long term peace can only be
won by nothing short of a fully consensual political agreement.
SERBIA TALKBACK SPECIAL:
What do you think? Are NATO
countries right to bomb Serbia over autonomy for Kosovo?
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