Brief Case Study: The Demonization Of Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein
---John Paul Cupp, North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism
I. "Human Rights" and "Democracy" : Any Excuse For Intervention
Oh how the plunderers lament humanity's death, displacement, and rape, when it is convenient for their geo-political strategy, aimed at imperialist interference and aggression against the sovereign and resisting nations of this earth, which demand the right to an independent course of development. Time and time again, we hear that such nations suffer unimaginable "human rights abuses", how such and such "regime" in place (even if brought about via elections or popular revolt) is a particularly brutal "dictatorship", a supporter of "terrorism" and/or "ethnic cleansing". We find that the imperialist press is in a frantic to label the leadership of such nations, that is the "bad ones" (because they do not orbit around globalizations whims and desires as lackeys), as being vulgar and uneducated brutes, without an ideological orientation beyond "fanaticism" and "hate".
The ability to study the theoretical and historical basis of such movements in power, or struggling for power, are well-marginalized and often virtually non-existent. One cannot just simply order "The Selected Works of Slobodan Milosevic" (or any equivalent) in English, without a great deal of difficulties and work. This nation priding its self on its openness and "democracy" exposes its back side thoroughly, for we see not only popular participation but the free flowing exchange of ideas is not in place, because a desert and waste land lies beyond those bounds set and defined by the ruling class. Beyond these perimeters ye shall not pass!
The ability to study in independent ways, the actual and specific allegations directed against this or that "regime" becomes impossible without great amounts of work. As most people simply work for a living and return home with their families at the end of the day, they do not have the time and patience to carefully and independently analyze this or that specific allegation, let alone an overall paradigm.
The lack of existence of texts and objective reports makes it hard for even genuine anti-imperialists to deconstruct events and determine if actual "human rights abuses" have occurred and under what context (not that it would in any way justify imperialist interference, its self an even greater
"crime against humanity"), and in fact some things do not come out for 20 years, others never, at least in full.
What is key is for those of us in the US, and for the international forces at large, is to question thoroughly, even that which seems obvious, seems cut and dry, to force open the bounds of public discourse, independent study and journalism, and in a way outright hostile to imperialism, keeping in mind, who controls the keys which lock and unlock all doors.
It is US imperialism which causes the masses to sleep uneasy tonight for fear of an invasion (including "peace-keeping" ones) on their soil, an occupation of their homeland, or economic sanctions that could ruin their place of survival in the "economic community" ( and again who controls that?).
II. How the Bait-and-Switch Tactic Works Against the US Anti-war and Anti-Globalist Movement
As if they are a toddler playing "peek-a-boo" with imperialism, US anti-war and anti-globalist forces objectively take pro-imperialist and anti-resistance stances, parroting support for all kinds of coups and subversion of the leadership of resistance forces, at a time when such behavior is objectively colluding with the agenda of fascism. Every socialist and anti-imperialist leader resisting imperialism and/or Zionism, is considered a "dictator" unworthy of support, because of unproven "human rights abuses" made up, manipulated, or taken out of context, by the imperialist propaganda machine.
Why does US imperialism and Zionism so demonize President Saddam Hussein? Obviously they don't care one bit of human rights. The answer is that Saddam Hussein is a steadfast defender of Arab Unification and Palestine. Saddam Hussein has taken the most principled position of any Arab leader since Nasser, with regards to the Zionist Entity and rejecting normalizing relations with it. Here we get to the gist of the matter on why most leaders carving an independent course of development are deeply vilified and made into scapegoats, because they are nationalists, who defend the right of the people to self-determination, and usually because encompassed with that are social economic leanings, that are on some level , in contrast with imperialist goals of wanton privatization and country-selling.
Time and time again, the US anti-war and anti-globalist movement plays into the trap of the Imperialists, demonizing the leadership of resisting forces ( anyone suggesting Milosevic was a murderer and Clinton a genuine progressive deserves to be thoroughly educated or purged from our movements) and often the vanguard party(s) and faction(s) involved, as an excuse to support neither the resistance or the aggression. This tactic of marginalizing the resistance, and openly red-baiting ( usually under the flag of "anti-Stalinism") US pro-resistance activists, is foolish and reactionary. It also is a conspiracy easy to recognize, and well developed by imperialism, in collaboration with the pro-imperialist leaders of the anti-war and anti-globalist movement in the US.
III. The International Significance of the Slobodan Milosevic Trial
The trial of Slobodan Milosevic is a trial of great international significance. We see before us the ever militaristic nature of imperialism, its arbitrary and baseless way of doing things. If such wasn't true before, such is true now, that "international law", "international institutions", and "international public opinion" are nothing more than bootlicking front groups for imperialism, even if from time to time such strays from the specific agenda of the US geo-political objectives, even if at times their are toothless strong words to "Israel", such that are never enforced. It is in this framework that Milosevic mocks and defies the validity of the puppet court.
Why does the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, a head of state being tried for "war crimes" ( and keep in mind that every major imperialist country cannot be tried by the UN "Human Rights" Tribunal, even its individual members) receive almost no coverage in the US? The answer is because, even if Milosevic loses his case in the courts of injustice, he has firmly shown victory in the dockets of history and in the court of law which is the opinion of the masses. Just as the US imperialists kept virtually all information out of public view, before and during the US destruction of Yugoslavia, so too it does not wish to show its loses. It does not wish to talk about depleted uranium which will be a part of the Danube River for the next several billion years. It does not wish to expose that the intervention of Yugoslavia was aimed at its demise, that such required the demonization and breaking of the Serbian masses, that to meet its sinister aims, "Air Strikes", another way of saying intentionally targeting civilians, was used.
The US does not like excessive public exposure of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, because more than Milosevic, this particular act of aggression is on trial, the general behavior of the US and NATO bootlickers is on trial.
For the people of Belgrade, the honor of outstanding Serbia is on trial, and the cause of a Serbian Intifadah against globalization and hegemony is alive for them through Milosevic. On all levels it is Milosevic versus the arrogance of the imperialist "human rights" paradigm, Milosevic versus the ideological basis of the US for intervening against the independent course of development of sovereign people.
Those of you with the time and energy to follow the Milosevic trial have seen the dynamic way in which Milosevic has diminish the credibility of allegations directed against him, because far from being a backwards and short-sighted narrow-nationalist, Milosevic is clearly a very brilliant man, cleverly acting as his own attorney, in a way that gives him the chance to directly, one-on-one, challenge the forces behind the lies which justified the slaughter ( to call it a mere break-up makes it sound like a marriage ending in divorce, with sourness but not carnage) of Yugoslavia.
During Wesley Clark's campaign for President of the United States, Milosevic literally tore up Wesley Clark, countering the prosecutions questioning of the former NATO commander. Judge May, at the time the presiding judge, consistently attempted to stifle Milosevic, demanding that he ask only archaic and obsolete questions, or questions pertaining only to the surface, but not overall paradigm. Even with this, and even with bizarre time restrictions placed on Milosevic for counter-questioning this key witness, we see him expose at great lengths a myth, and then another hostile and baseless objection from Judge May.
On September 2nd 2004, John Hocking, Deputy Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) declared that Milosevic can no longer act as his own attorney in these proceeding. In place of this has been added court appointed lawyers who were formally acting as "friends of the bench". What ever extremely superficial excuse is used, this is a tactic without precedence, even in military dictatorships and under apartheid. It has been widely noted that Nelson Mandela was even allowed to represent himself.
Clearly, it is obvious that the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia) of the United Nations, has realized that they have made a huge mistake, that they have miscalculated Milosevic, and that they must "cut their loses" by violating the last kernel of credibility "International Law" could claim to hold, in order to prevent history from shedding light on their criminal deeds (thereby giving future interventions less credibility, even amongst pro-Imperialist circles). We can thank Milosevic for giving a boost to all forces resisting imperialism, which of late hides under the "human rights" misnomer. Just imagine had he been able to subpoena and question one-on-one, Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, and Tony Blair!
One wonders if the gag around Milosevic's mouth and the blatantly reactionary stiff-arm (not even a facade of process or justice) is a product of not just Milosevic's grand defense, but with imperialism keeping in mind that the illegitimate trial of President Saddam Hussein is just around the corner, that it needs its imperialist "human rights" argument unscathed and in full force, for a trial that will probably attract more attention than the trials of Milosevic and other Serbian leaders.
The imperialists and Zionists are banking on the ideological defeat of President Saddam Hussein, his humiliation before the resisting masses, a tactic to break them. This is a huge and dangerous gamble on their part.
We must get behind the ideological and material defense of all Iraqi resistance detainees, particularly of President Saddam Hussein. The ramifications are far greater than what our differences and similarities with Ba'athism are. Suggesting the total ill relevancy of defending the detained Ba'athist leadership, cantered around President Hussein, is a serious mistake of ultra-leftism and anarchism, at a time when such just cannot be tolerated.
The western intellectuals are too afraid to admit what they see, that Milosevic is innocent of all "crimes", but of late they alone, constitute the only US class, which possibly could take and lead an ideological attack on the imperialist "human rights" facade, as almost all others, particularly in the US are still sleeping, have yet to rebel and expel the imperialist elements who run (into a lake of fire) the US anti-war and anti-globalist movement, turning our progressive energy into a tool for the enemy, all be it, its liberal/"left" wing.
The trial of Slobodan Milosevic is a leading front in the ideological trial of the sincerity of imperialism's motives with regards to "human rights" and "democracy". The outcome of the trial judges, in the grand scheme of things, is ill relevant. Milosevic has already won. The act of attempting to impose council upon him, against his will, is an admission that on the ideological plain, within the parameters of a democratic exchange of ideas, the ICTY and what it represents, on the whole, is without merit.
IV. The Connection between Iraq and Yugoslavia, the connection with Sudan : What to Possibly Expect From Reaction and How We Should Galvanize Against It.
Like the trial of Milosevic, the trial of President Saddam Hussein, too shall be, a chance to turn the lies on their head, to turn the smoking gun back at the real "human rights abusers" and "terrorists", thereby providing a continuous ideological basis for the Iraqi Resistance. Serbia is electrified today, by the chance to defend its honor, Iraq its honor. Let us note that these are not mere trials of personages, but rather heads of state, who could be any head of state in the way of "The New World Order", that this, an overall strategy of and not a tactic. The strategy can only be smashed via military/political defeat, ideologically smashed , when doing as Milosevic is doing, when exposing clearly that imperialism and human rights are mutually exclusive.
Even as its forces are overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan, world reaction is clamoring for aggression against Sudan. The word "genocide" again an oversimplification and misnomer is used. It is the terms "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" which prevent us from seeing that by specific definition (rather than their liberalization) neither of these is occurring in Sudan. If in Sudan, hinges are happening that constitute atrocities, such is regrettable, but the concern of imperialism is to split apart Sudan, even after they have already hit it with "air strikes" (carpet bombing) and not to liberate anyone. The US would love to divide the Arabs from the Black Africans. We only need to look at the US and UK approach to Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and the way even its African-American mouthpieces demonize a democratically elected head of state, to see their concern for the Black African, perhaps the most oppressed of all on this earth.
No force resisting imperialism is perfect. Obviously, some anti-imperialist forces are overwhelmingly revolutionary and progressive, and others
objectively anti-imperialist and revolutionary (under the current geo-political landscape) but even fascist-minded, feudal-minded and chauvinistic. Of
course, a million different independence forces exist in-between these two, to various degrees.
Am I suggesting that only the Imperialists/Zionists and their lackeys engage in unprovoked state-sponsored atrocities? Of course not, but let us never forget who and what the primary contradiction is, and that when its mouth is moving it is ready to tell more lies, when its heart is beating it desires only aggression. We should never lose sight of the real "terrorist" or the fact, that it always has ulterior motives, without exceptions, when expresses crocodile tears, for real or alleged "human rights abuses" in the periphery.
Sudan? Why Sudan? Can you say oil? Can you say imperialists/Zionists prefer divide-and-conquer to unity and economic stability? The powers that be, so "concerned" about the real or alleged plight of the Sudanese Black Africans, are the former colonial and/or current neo-colonial powers responsible for the destruction, dependency, and brutal poverty of Africa, powers responsible for halting Pan-African unity, originator of apartheid, and force behind the death of Lumumba and Coup of Nkrumah. In the minds of her masses, imperialism has a right to die, but not to speak or act, on behalf of "the dark continent".
Allegation after allegation, is going to continue to spring about against the Sudanese "regime". If they follow form, the imperialists will claim a connection to "terrorism" (including Al-Qaeda), more racist eugenics ideas about Arab "savages" will emerge, and account after account of "genocide". More and more excuses will be given for intervention and "peacekeepers" or surreal logic that economic sanctions, further and further entrenched against an impoverished Sudanese people, will somehow magically advance the cause of "human rights".
I am not suggesting that we should not carefully examine the evidence of atrocities and chauvinism in Sudan, but I am suggesting that this is secondary to challenging the overall paradigm of imperialism and Zionism being concerned about "human rights" and "democracy". Also, let's clearly understand that much of what seems obvious becomes a known fraud with time. The enemy is a snake and a liar, who must have its head removed!
The clear lesson is that Sudan could be Syria, could be Venezuela, could North Korea, could be anywhere on the globe, only that the story and tactics change to the objective circumstance. Upholding the unity of nations which are resisting an aggressive onslaught, even if we are in stark contrast with the leadership, is an absolute and uncompromising necessity. It is not safe to say "Neither NATO nor Milosevic" nor "Neither Occupation nor Saddam Hussein". Such positions exist in a vacuum which either move, with time, towards a firm anti-imperialist, or objectively pro-imperialist position.
Let this be clear. We are living in the United States, the epicentre of imperialism, our enemy is our own government and its colluders. No independence force, is "just as bad" or worse, than the imperialists and Zionists. When a United Front Against Fascism is in order, let our compass be anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism, for determining friend from foe. Unequivocally, our job is to combat the myth of imperialism spreading "democracy" and advancing the cause of "human rights", to renounce Zionism, to combat pro-US sentiment and fake anti-war/anti-globalists, and to fight for a principled position in favor of the rights of nations to self-determination. Imperialism and Zionism has no concern for "human rights", nor "democracy". It never has and it never will. Rather, the imperialist interventionists are diametrically opposed to the masses of all nations, races, and creeds whose desire is a world of human rights and democracy. Centering around US imperialism, they are the common enemy of us all.
Free Slobodan Milosevic!
Free Saddam Hussein!