National Post, June 23, 1999
Globalism's first victim
by David Orchard
In March, the most powerful military force in history attacked
tiny Yugoslavia (one fifth the size of Saskatchewan) and after seventy-nine
days of flagrantly illegal bombing forced an occupation of Kosovo.
Admitting its intention was to break Yugoslavia's spirit, NATO targeted
civilian structures, dropping over 23,000 bombs (500 Canadian) and
cruise missiles in a campaign of terror bombing, described recently
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn as follows: "I don't see any difference
in the behaviour of NATO and of Hitler. NATO wants to erect its
own order in the world and it needs Yugoslavia simply as an example:
We'll punish Yugoslavia and the whole rest of the planet will tremble."
The idea that NATO attacked Yugoslavia to solve a humanitarian
crisis is about as credible as Germany's claim in 1939 that it was
invading Poland to prevent "Polish atrocities." The United Nations
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported the first registered
refugees out of Kosovo on March 27th -- three days after the bombing
began. Civilian casualties after twenty-one days of bombing exceeded
all casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months before
In an all out effort to convince public opinion that Yugoslavia
deserved the onslaught, Western politicians and media are churning
out endless accusations of Serb atrocities, while the proven and
infinitely greater atrocities of NATO -- launching an aggressive
war, using internationally outlawed cluster bombs and firing depleted
uranium ammunition into Yugoslavia -- are buried.
Why did NATO attack Yugoslavia and why are Serbs -- Canada's staunch
allies in both World Wars, with 1.5 million dead resisting Hitler's
Nazis and Italian Fascism -- being demonized?
Most 19th century wars were over trade. When the U.S. invaded
Canada in 1812, Andrew Jackson declared, "We are going to... vindicate
our right to a free trade, and open markets... and to carry the
Republican standard to the Heights of Abraham." In 1839, Britain
demanded China accept its opium and attacked when China said no.
When Thailand refused British trading demands in 1849, Britain "found
its presumption unbounded" and decided "a better disposed King [be]
placed on the throne... and through him, we might, beyond doubt,
gain all we desire."
In 1999, NATO said it was attacking Yugoslavia to force it to
sign the Rambouillet "peace agreement" (even though the Vienna Convention
states that any treaty obtained by force or the threat of force
Significantly, Rambouillet stipulated: "The economy of Kosovo
shall function in accordance with free market principles" and "There
shall be no impediments to the free movement of persons, goods,
services and capital to and from Kosovo."
During the war, Bill Clinton elaborated: "If we're going to have
a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell
around the world Europe has got to be the key; that's what this
Kosovo thing is all about... It's globalism versus tribalism."
"Tribalism" was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals
to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening
any nation which might have ideas of independence.
Yugoslavia had a domestically controlled economy, a strong publicly
owned sector, a good (and free) health care system and its own defence
industry. It had many employee owned factories -- its population
was resisting wholesale privatization. It produced its own pharmaceuticals,
aircraft and Yugo automobile. It refused to allow U.S. military
bases on its soil. According to the speaker of the Russian Duma:
"Yugoslavia annoys NATO because it conducts an independent policy,
does not want to join NATO and has an attractive geographic position."
Ottawa, cutting medicare, agricultural research, social housing
and shelters for battered women, spent tens of millions to bomb
Yugoslavia and is spending millions more occupying Kosovo, while
abandoning its own sovereignty to U.S. demands, from magazines to
fish, wheat and lumber. It is expropriating part of British Columbia
for the U.S. military and considering the U.S. dollar as North America's
currency. Now, the Liberals have thrown our reputation as a peace
keeper into the trash can, along with the rule of international
law, by smashing a small country to pieces at the behest of Washington.
In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman
wrote: "For globalization to work, America can't be afraid to act
like the almighty superpower that it is... The hidden hand of the
market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot
flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And
the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies
is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."
As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo's
new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies
of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia's break-up.
And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem,
we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain: "It's
not a single person that's at issue, there's a regime in place in
Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the
World Bank... has to insist on..."
The Canadian government professes great interest in human rights.
Globalization undermines both democracy and national sovereignty,
the only guarantors of human rights. Unfortunately for Messrs. Clinton,
Chretien et al, that message was not lost on millions around the
world watching NATO bombs pulverize Yugoslavia.
Orchard is the author of The Fight for Canada -
Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism and
was runner-up to Joe Clark in the 1998 federal Progressive Conservative
leadership contest. He farms in Borden, SK and can be reached at
tel (306) 664-8443 or by e-mail at email@example.com