Ivan Zassoursky on Mon, 5 Apr 1999 20:09:51 +0400

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Syndicate: The brave new world II

The brave new world II or exploring Hitler's legacy

There has been an amusing misuse of metaphors in Western media and political
Milosevic is claimed to be a new Hitler, and European leaders justify their
bold support for the war by claiming that otherwise they would have to
promote "appeasement", which led to disastrous consequences in the wake of
the World War II. No ethics here in my judgment, only comparative analysis.
And some ideas about the new millennium, I'm afraid.

1. There is a question of ethnic cleansing. Well, it is a controversial
issue. First of all, Hitler's idea was not about letting the people go. Let
me remind you, it was about extermination of Jews, Slavs and the like. And
by the way, to put things straight, Milosevic is no angel, but there are two
sides to the Kosovo conflict, and Milosevic, military and paramilitary Serbs
are not the only vile guys with the guns.
Anyway, before the strikes began, ethnic cleansing was not on the agenda,
and even now I would doubt that genocide is a Serb government policy.

2. But there was more, so much more about Hitler than genocide. European
governments didn't give a heck about Jews. Hitler was about establishing a
new world order with the help of Italy and Japan. This is why the war
started actually and this is why the appeasement policy proved to be such a
failure - because it didn't solve the existing controversies and didn't
prevent the war in Europe even at the cost of German, Austrian and Polish
Is Milosevic capable of establishing the new world order? I don't think he
has any ambition of that scale. And who does?

3. What is NATO? A military organization operation out of the framework of
nation-states policy, dominated by the United States. Europe as such doesn't
exist, but only united it could stand up to USA and only with a sound and
clear policy could it attempt to use NATO for her own benefit. But imagine
such a split in NATO - and surely, any attempt to redirect it to serve
solely European priorities would be easily and successfully blocked by the
USA. Evidently, the decision to strike Yugoslavia didn't suffer such a
fate - because they were devised in Washington.
By the way it was Hitler who raised the question of ethnic minorities to put
claims on parts of sovereign states - such as Czechoslovakia and Austria.
And European states did their best to convince Czechs not to wage war at
Wermacht - today it sounds like: Milosevic, give up Kosovo and we'll stop
bombing the hell out of you.

4. The essence of the European policy in the Balkans today is not the bold
stand, but appeasement. The victims of this policy are all the people of
Yugoslavia and Kosovo, Serbs and Kosovars alike. To elaborate this metaphor
further, Serbs AND Kosovars could be compared to the Jews in Germany and
occupied lands in 1939-1945. And the beneficiary is America, or the United
States. Together with their closest allies (UK, Germany and France) they
have crushed the United Nations, UN Security council and basically every
other instrument in the post-war international framework.
A new framework will be established, and NATO leaders hope that by the end
of the day the will obtain a better position in it, stripping Russia of
Soviet legacy as a world superpower (and all the benefits that this legacy
offered to this rogue state), integrating it and everybody else (China,
India etc.) in the global economy.

5. This plan can be implemented, it can even prove a success. The question
is, at what price. NATO can become a backbone for the world power, but as
the UN is shattered, the world is not only rapidly becoming a different
place to live, but also a different place to rule. Destroying the remains of
the UN Security council, the NATO states undermined fatally the
international laws - the procedures and instruments that they have learned
so well and used do extensively to restraint the vicious regimes killing
their own people. When they didn't support them, of coarse, as in Chile and
especially Turkey, speaking about ethnic minorities.
It means that if China decides to occupy Taiwan (maybe, next year), there
will be no diplomatic "safe zone", where this kind of aggression could be
prevented by peaceful means. And of coarse NATO countries would look
ridiculous using moralistic arguments, because today the only reasoning in
their own position that stands criticism is cynical "might is right".

6. When there is no international framework, the only way to stop the
aggressor is by force. For NATO countries it means two options. Either agree
to limit their claim to America, Western part of Europe and the Middle East,
or answer every challenge. The first option is more realistic, especially if
Kosovo operation FAILS. The other one though could be regarded as a success
only from a limited perspective. Why? Simply because it means war, war, war
and terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. And this, of coarse, means limits for
freedom and democracy - something like Red scare.
There was a dream about the world united in communicating art, answering the
new challenges of nature and destiny with the help of science, living
peacefully... Remember? Well, it is time to adjust to reality.

7. So, do the European states really want to follow UK into becoming "the
Greeks of the new Roman Empire", as Churchill put it? Or, in other words, do
you have any idea about what it is really like to be a superpower's poodle,
especially in times like these? This is not only a question of supporting
military operations throughout the world and at great human cost. It is also
a question of being able to pursue your economical interests, i.e. not only
a doomed Euro, but jobs at home vs. jobs in US, an ability to put restraints
on transnational corps based in the US.
And a career opportunity for young German fascists, French National front
and the like. With the deepest regret I suspect that at least for the
mainstream media in a five years time I will be some kind of enemy...
Alien - well, that's for sure.

Welcome to the new millennium.

P.S. So who is Hitler?
Hitler was a war creature: a son of defeat, but a father of revenge.
Hitler was a media creature (radio, cinema and TV). A national hero.
Hitler was a "visionary" politician: he believed that the aims justify the

I don't think there is anybody like him yet. Well, if Hitlerism exists, it
has been both softened and institutionalized - judge for yourself.

If Hitler or Stalin or anybody of that magnitude will surface, it will
happen later, some time in the future. When problems worsen, international
relations destabilize etc. But I doubt the Idea of genocide will be a
crucial one again. Wealth in the nineties is more important then
nationality. And why kill if you can isolate? Check this out in Bronx.

In other words: the history never repeats itself, mind you.

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