datacide on 8 Oct 2000 12:08:42 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> remember the kosovo war on this list?

Usually just lurking on this list, I don't want to pick up the original thread
again, but simply couldn't stand this shocking mail by mr.barbrook to be the
last word on Kosovo here; also now it's interestingly supplemented by the
events in Belgrade and the Mahler discussion:

> >1) Were there any people on Nettime who supported the NATO bombing
> >campaign?
> I thought that the Left was supposed to support national liberation
> struggles and oppose fascism! If the American imperialists choose to aid
> the oppressed against the oppressors, why should we protest? I loathed the
> Stalinist regime in Russia, but was very happy that they gave money and
> guns to the ANC...

I beg to differ, the idea that the Left is supposed to support "national
liberation" is an error which admittedly has its reasons for coming into
existence (colonialism), but has shifted considerably and become more
untenable than it always was. National revolutionaries now are exactly people
like Horst Mahler, or indeed the KLA who have successfully "cleansed" Pristina
of Jewish people. I currently live too close to "nationally liberated" zones
in the east of Germany to ignore this. These "nationally liberated" zones are
vey much a reality, where people originating from other continents as well as
'punks' or 'lefties' can't walk around without serious danger of getting the
shit beaten out of them. These are enforced by neo-nazi boot boys, but their
ideologists agree that "national liberation" is on the agenda everywhere.
Choose to aid the oppressed against the oppressors? It's a question of
definition, isn't it. Do you really not see that the peoples of Kosovo and
Serbia are instrumentalised by inter-national power struggles? Do you really
think the KLA are representing all Kosovars, etc.?
So you don't care where your guns and money are coming from? Team up with
Imperialists, Stalinists AND national revolutionaries of all kinds and happily
chant along with Wesley Clark "We shall demolish, destroy, devastate, degrade
and ultimately eliminate".
Your "realpolitik" stinks of rotting corpses. I'd rather insist that the aim
of the Left should remain a world without borders, money, exploitation and
alienation, without nations for sure.

> >2) Did anyone think that Serbian Television was a proper war target and
> >that bombing it was a correct act?
> Is making propaganda justifying imperialism, apartheid and 'ethnic
> cleansing' correct? Is it okay to murder newspaper editors, imprison
> journalists, close down opposition media, etc., etc.?

What are you trying to say with a "clever" rhetorical question like that? Your
rabid outbursts of morally charged military humanism once again try to imply
that criticism of the NATO-terror meant de facto support for Milosevic, which
is insidious. The bombing was clearly a war crime, especially since it was an
attempted assassination of Yugoslav minister of the interior Aleksander Vucic,
who was supposed to be in the building at the time, invited to appear on Larry
King live. He was late, and survived. The make-up girl wasn't, and got ripped
to shreds by your humanitarian bombs.

> >3) What might have been the nature of any 'censorship' that was carried
> >out by the editors of Nettime -- from what point of view?
> The most obvious absence on the nettime discussions were the voices of the
> Kosovars themselves. Just think for a moment about *why* this might have
> been the case...
> >Many well-educated, liberal, otherwise gentle, loving people I know
> >swallowed the NY Times propaganda whole and to this day support the
> >bombing.
> Or maybe they've met people who lived through the siege of Sarajevo, had
> their relatives murdered by Chetniks, survived being imprisoned in a
> concentration camp or were burnt out of their homes? My sister was a
> Greenham Common peace protestor in the 1980s who had turned into a NATO
> tanks-to-Belgrade hawk by last year.

and the people who lost their folks by NATO bombing, murdered, burned out of
their homes by the KLA?
Or anyone else for that matter. Finally in the last few days we see a
potential beginning of a revolution in Belgrade, but there's not too much hope
that it won't remain a transition of power to a regime that will certainly
provide welcome breathing space for people, but end up selling out to IMF &
co, combining their own brand of nationalism and neo-liberal "therapy". Whose
"national liberation" struggle are you supporting then?

> >It could easily happen again... That's what concerns me.
> 'Milosevic carries within him a psycho-pathology of war. He is compelled to
> seek war. Just as a murderer must kill and a psychopath rape, he must make
> war. The West let him wreak destruction for far too long.' -  Bogdan
> Bogdanovic, ex-mayor of Belgrade, quoted in the latest issue of 'Bosnia
> Report': <>.

He is a beast, a monster that needs to be put down, and his people too for
they allowed him to represent them, they are mere vermin in the eyes of the
just BlairSchröderClintonBarbrook.
How crude can you get, trying to demonise your enemies? Trying to make them
sub-human, deserving nothing more than 31'529 NATO bombing raids in 78 nights,
"We shall relentlessly grind them down and it will continue as long as it
takes to accomplish our objectives" to quote Mr. Clark again.

It's a sick irony of the whole campaign that "preventing another Auschwitz"
was used as a justification to wield power politics in the Balkans with the
result (one of many) that pogromes in Pristina had to be covered up, remain
unreported, and the Jews there had to flee to Serbia.

Milosevic is out of power now, and that's good. Everyone is happy about it,
except the ex-KLA: yet another subtle irony. The reason is not only that
Mr.Kostunica is a Serb nationalist who has called Milosevic a "traitor"for
letting go parts of Bosnia, Croatia and Macedonia, but that in general their
luck with the Western powers is down now, and Kosovo is unlikely to gain

Funny also that both you (Barbrook) and Milosevic are claiming to be on the
"Left", while the only connection that the KLA had with anything "Left" was
the influence of post-Enver Hoxha Stalinist secret service men.
Leninists always thought they could form strategic alliances with anyone, and
always supported "national liberation". This is also why it's dangerous
nonsense to regard someone like Horst Mahler as a deranged crank, because
there is unfortunately a direct line (not the only one, but a possible one)
from the Maoist ideology to the "nationally liberated zones". As Florian
Cramer pointed out in his mail, he's no one-off either.
The struggle against oppression has to be internationalist.
However you turn it there is no excuse for supporting "national liberation" in
todays world, unless you are a neo-fascist.

christoph fringeli

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