Answering Professor Stephen Zunes' question about his 'unspeakable crimes.' -- by CM/P
[This appears as a response to Zunes' comment, sorta 'Why are my crimes unspeakable?' on my introduction to the article 'Riding the Green Wave . . . ' by Ed Herman and David Peterson (see below) over on Cyrano's Journal Online at
What is 'unspeakable' about your crimes, Mr Zunes, is that you PRETEND to advocate non-violence and democracy and oppose US imperialism and oppressive regimes, yet the results of the programs and policies you promote and support are the destruction of the democratic process and the murder, in the name of regime-change, of democratically elected socialist leaders. I’ll speak in particular of the aid and comfort you gave to the military violence that changed the duly-elected Milosevic regime in Serbia/Yugoslavia in 2000.
The stated purpose of the 78-day bombing of Serbia and its environs--stated by its supporters like General Wesley Clark, Javier Solano, and Richard Holbrooke (all, like you, warriors for peace?)-- was to 'bring down the Stalinist strongman Milosevic.' Now, you can demur and say you opposed the bombing as 'immoral, illegal, and unnecessary' and that it actually delayed the 'non-violent' movements effectively 'Bringing Down the Dictator,' but certainly anyone who lived through that bombing and the subsequent singularly non-non-violent riots around the Yugoslav presidential elections of 2000, would hear this as little more than liberal cant.
In your glorified fictionalization of how "The people of Serbia were able to do nonviolently what 11 weeks of NATO bombs could not," you omit some important history:
First, those 2000 presidential (early) elections called by then-Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milosevic, in response to enormous pressure from movements forcing non-violent and democratic regime-change, were the first time that the Yugoslav presidency had been put to a popular vote. Milosevic had assumed the role of president as he was the leader of the most popular political party, and as such was the head of the Yugoslav presidentium. The 'Stalinist' Milosevic did not run for a third term as the much more politically influential president of Serbia because of constitutional term limits on that office. Certainly conduct most unbecoming a repressive, authoritarian dictator.
And when it looked like the election would run its democratic course--and that is not to say that it appeared Milosevic was a cinch to win or lose--the real threat to you and yours became that the principles of Serbian/Yugoslav democracy (a real socialist democracy) would be shown to be far superior (i.e., far more honestly in the service of the real interests of the majority of its people) to those of any of the NATO nations seeking to 'change' Serbia/Yugoslavia. This was the moment the violent, anti-democratic forces in your movement kicked in.
The riots, the looting and burning and beatings, the mass destruction of public property, the circling of Belgrade with heavily armed troops: was this somehow separate and apart from your instructions to the OTPOR cadres in Budapest?
And when Milosevic came in second after the first round of voting to Vojislav Kostunica (though neither gained the 51% majority required to win outright), why was it imperative for your regime-change program to nullify the elections and threaten Milosevic with even more bloody civil war if he continued to pursue the electoral process into a constitutionally-mandated second round? Why couldn't Milosevic have been allowed to lose the second round?
Here is where your crimes become 'unspeakable.' Because your idea of regime change in Serbia went well-beyond the man, Milosevic, who, after all, was just that, one man, a man who had served his country lawfully, loyally and in the best traditions of revolutionary socialism. He could not be allowed to continue in Serbian/Yugoslav politics, especially as leader of the opposition, because that would have validated that country's socialist democracy, and it was that absolute need to destroy socialist democracy everywhere, that forced you not only to 'bring down' the politician Milosevic, along with his Socialist Party of Serbia (as your ilk has subsequently done with Vojslav Seselj and his Radical Party of Serbia), but you had, in the great tradition of non-violence, to put this decent, majoritarian leader to death.
First, your 'non-violent' ground forces arrested Slobodan Milosevic, put him in Belgrade's central prison, held him without ever bring charges against him (because, despite all your insinuations, your stooges have admitted there were no charges that could be brought!), and conning your craven bagman, PM Zoran Djindjic, into ransoming the President to NATO's kangaroo court in The Hague--a ransom that was never paid, of course, but then no sensible person puts any stock in the word of the NATO fascists you front.
And, in Holland, after a protracted circus of mendacious wheedling and prolonging the war against Yugoslav socialism by other means, it became painfully evident that the Tribunal could not convict Milosevic of the charges for which they had, again, produced no evidence. Yet they certainly could not acquit him--let him go home to assume the parliamentary seat he’d been democratically elected to while locked down--they couldn’t cut him loose without admitting their own subhuman criminality--so they just murdered him in prison--made it look like he slipped in the shower, choked on his mac and cheese, overdosed on allergy medication.
But, hey, the Tribunal investigated itself and absolved itself of any responsibility in the President’s death, so . . . as with 9/11: Democracy Rules! Death to Tyrants!
Then it became easy enough for Javier Solano and the rest of your NATO cohort to go about 'imposing' Peace and Democracy by eviscerating Serbia's political institutions and indenturing the people for generations to come through the private sale of that once proudly independent socialist nation to venal and vulgar Western financial and commercial mafias.
When I was in Belgrade in March to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the start of the NATO bombing, I turned on the TV and saw where the World Bank or IMF had granted Serbia a $4.3 billion loan. Good news? For privateers like you maybe. But the people of Serbia are going to have to further reduce their social spending by 30%.
So, see, this is where your crimes become truly 'unspeakable'--and whether you are now or ever have been paid on CIA/MI6/Mossad check stock is irrelevant. Your programs, through the most violent and anti-democratic means, have ruined the health of the Serbian/Yugoslav peoples with your use of depleted uranium arms and destroyed the river systems through the pollution brought on by the bombing of chemical and petroleum refineries; you have allowed the murders of thousands of innocent people and relegated the survivors to a life of miserable dependence on the Western Waste Culture that sponsors you.
The Peace your non-violence brings is the peace of death. And Serbia is but one example.
Now you are going to go down and help the anti-coup forces, the pro-Zelaya forces in Honduras? This is how you mean to oppose US imperialism? By showing them that documentary about how you brought down the democratically-elected dictator Milosevic, and by giving them some lessons in non-violence and democracy from young Serbian Quislings?
The Hondurans--and the world at large--need to be warned: You dishonor and destroy everyone you pretend to help.