On the Nato Agression Against Yugoslavia

Garbis Altınoğlu

29 March 1999                      

US-led NATO forces have begun a bombing campaign against Yugoslav military and civilian sites on March 24th, 1999. Missiles and bombs fired from warships and warplanes have landed on several cities in Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina, killing hundreds of civilians and causing great material damage. Imperialist media has joined the military bombardment of Yugoslavia, with a bombardment of its own, in an effort to persuade the world public opinion of the “noble” motives of Clintons, Blairs, Chiracs, Schröders etc. 
This aggression is being committed in the name of saving the Kosovo Albanians from the atrocities of Serbian forces, preventing ethnic cleansing and a providing so-called humanitarian assistance to ethnic Albanians displaced due to operations of Serbian “security” forces. The NATO commanders and civilian leaders of the US, Britain etc. do not disguise their aims: To weaken and further destroy the Serbian army, force Serbia to accept the Rambouillet peace deal and allow the presence of the NATO “peace keeping troops” in Kosovo and get rid of Milosevic (!). How should we interpret this brutal interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country? What is the reason behind this show of force? What should the attitude of progressive humanity be towards this issue?
All consistent democrats and internationalists, should and do oppose all forms and manifestations of coercion and repression committed by the ruling classes against workers, other toilers and oppressed nations. Accordingly, they have condemned the national oppression of Albanian, Bosnian and other peoples both in pre-revolutionary and Titoite Yugoslavia, based on the dominance of Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian bourgeoisie. After the break up of capitalist federal republic of Yugoslavia led by a federation of anti-communist cliques in 1991, the country plunged into a civil war, which resulted in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent people for the selfish interests of various factions of Yugoslav bourgeoisie and of imperialists. It should be noted however that, Serb chauvinists led by such figures as Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic and bent on realizing their plan for “Greater Serbia” were the main motive force behind this civil war. They had the federal army under their control and therefore were able to play the role of principal executioner. So they committed the most horrendous crimes against Bosnian people with the covert support of British and French and the overt support of Russian imperialists. They were and are also responsible for the crimes committed against the Albanian people of Kosovo. 
Albanian people of Kosovo and the KLA (=Kosovo Liberation Army) wage a just struggle against Serbian chauvinists and militarists. Those, who on this or that pretext fail to condemn the national oppression of the people of Kosovo at the hands of Serbian reaction and fail to recognize the legitimacy of their demand for independence and the democratic content of their struggle, should be called social-chauvinists and advocates of Serbian expansionism. Those, who try to gloss over and justify the crimes of Serb reactionaries in the name of anti-imperialism, deserve to be classified together with the champions of brutal militarist and fascist cliques who have headed or are heading countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Argentina, Turkey, Algeria, Iraq, Burma etc. 
On the other hand, KLA leadership should be criticized for attempting to secure the interference and “support” of imperialists in their fight against Serb aggression and thus assisting in the deception of Albanian people. They should also be criticized for following a narrow nationalistic line and for targeting Serb civilians. They need to understand the nature of imperialism, if they intend to achieve real national liberation, which is indissolubly connected to social liberation. To refresh their memory, we could remind them of the recent “apology” made by Mr. Clinton over the gigantic massacre of peoples of Central America with the all-round support of US imperialism. (1) Consistent democrats and internationalists do all in their power to demonstrate the hypocrisy and deception practiced by the imperialist bourgeoisie, who frequently portray themselves as defenders of human rights and democracy and protectors of small and weak peoples. They strive to underline the fact that imperialism is and remains the main source of all reaction, the first and foremost enemy of the proletariat and peoples of the world and is the main force behind all hangmen, butchers and torturers of the working masses. Therefore, they oppose all forms and manifestations of imperialist interference in the affairs of other countries. This means that they stand for the right of self-determination to all subject nations, which is an aim to be achieved only through a determined struggle against imperialism and for its overthrow. This general approach holds true for the struggles of all  peoples fighting against national oppression and fascist terror. 
The white terror perpetrated by the Milosevic clique against the Albanian people of Kosovo does not and cannot in any way justify the much greater white terror of US-led brigands of NATO, which remain the main enemy of proletariat and peoples of the world. At present, they are more than ever and in an extremely arbitrary manner, interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, sending their troops on “humanitarian missions”, attempting to redraw the map of the world and more and more openly and brazenly violating the principle of national sovereignty, one of the cornerstones of the Charter of the United Nations. The December 1998 aggression of the US and British forces against Iraq, that is the so-called “Operation Desert Fox” and the present NATO aggression against Yugoslavia signify this new trend in the evolution of the imperialist world order. These global terrorists consider themselves entitled to act both as prosecutors, judges and prison guards/ hangmen; they threaten the proletariat and peoples of the world, accuse their opponents of “crimes against humanity”, put pressure on the bourgeois cliques not completely in line with them, readily take action against all forces disturbing imperialist status quo and even go so far as calling and actively working for the overthrow of the so-called non-friendly regimes. A case in point is the act adopted in October 1998 by the US Congress for the “liberation” of Iraq. In their drive for total world domination, US imperialists and their European appendages have trampled on all rules of civilized bourgeois behavior, cast aside all trappings of international law, arrogantly shrugged off the United Nations and its Security Council and taken the law into their hands. This much is acknowledged in bourgeois circles too. Frankfurter Rundschau, the voice of German imperialism made the following commentary at the time of “Operation Desert Fox”: “This air war over the heads of the United Nations degraded the Security Council to a paper tiger… It has totally destroyed hopes for a post-cold war order in which the remaining superpower can no longer decide on war and peace by itself.”
At present, the world has once more been proclaimed and become an arena, where the will and whim of the mightiest is considered the law. This reminds one of the years before the Second World War, when Japan, Italy and Germany threatened the world and invaded Manchuria, China, Ethiopia, Albania, Austria and Czechoslovakia, in open defiance of all treaties and the resolutions of the League of Nations. US and its European allies, who at the moment have been threatening the world and playing a very dangerous game, are following in the footsteps of German, Japanese and Italian aggressors of the 1930s. They, more than anyone else, have deserved the title of perpetrators of crimes against humanity. It is as if NATO terrorists, who violate their own bourgeois international law, are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of this aggressive pact, through an aggressive war against Yugoslavia.
The Second World War had started in 1939, when Nazi Germany had attacked Poland 60 years ago. In 1999, that is 60 years after the start of the Second World War, German army, the offspring of Hitler’s Wehrmacht has for the first time seen combat operations since 1945. After the beginning of the NATO air raids against Yugoslavia, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the servant and spokesman of German monopoly capitalism, arrogantly informed his nation about the participation of German Tornado planes in the bombardment of another sovereign nation. They should be reminded that, various peoples making up Yugoslav nation had fought valiantly against Nazi invaders during the Second World War and had driven them away at the cost of extremely great sacrifices. They can and will do the same again, if they are forced to do so. And at such a moment, it definitely is ironical, to hear the Polish bourgeoisie rejoice over the endorsement of its membership of the NATO. Anti-Bolshevik stand of Poland had not saved this country from the wrath of Nazi Germany in 1939. And present membership of Poland in the NATO will not suffice to save it in the face of of eastward expansion of German imperialism, which has once more started to flex its military muscles.
Imperialists have kindled a fire in Yugoslavia to impose their will on Serbian bourgeoisie and intimidate the peoples of the region and of the world. This fire may grow, get out of control, engulf the whole of the Balkans and Europe and even turn into an inferno of world war. But it will be the imperialists, who will be burned in the fires of a world war, if they try to launch one. The global terrorists of NATO should understand that, they will not be able to intimidate the proletariat and the peoples of the world. Cruise and Tomahawk missiles, Stealth and Tornado fighter planes and napalm and nuclear bombs will not be sufficent to save US-led NATO brigands from an ignoble defeat at the hands of the exploited and oppressed masses, if the former dare to initiate an adventure of this sort. The First World War gave rise to the October Revolution and the establishment of Soviet Russia. The Second World War ended with the defeat of fascist imperialist states, formation of the people’s democracies and the growth of revolutionary forces all over the world. The Third World War may end up with the total destruction of capitalist-imperialist system and the general victory of socialism.                                                                                                                        
(1) US president Bill Clinton delivered a speech during his visit to Central America in February 1999. Commenting over the then recently published report of the Historical Clarification Commission, which documented the massacre of 200,000 people by the Guatemalan “security” forces, trained, armed and supported by the US, Mr. Clinton said: “It is important that I state clearly that support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression of the kind described in the report was wrong… And the United States must not repeat that mistake. We must, and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala.”    


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