Thursday, 26 May 2011

Ich Bin Nicht Europa

Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent and multi-ethnic, if imperfect, federation that stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to dominate its "natural market" in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991, a secret deal had been struck; Germany recognised Croatia, and Yugoslavia was doomed. In Washington, the US ensured that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans and the defunct Nato was reinvented as an enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo "peace" conference in France, the Serbs were told to accept occupation by Nato forces and a market economy, or be bombed into submission. It was the perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
That is how the shock doctrine works: the original disaster- the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane- puts the entire population into a state of collective shock. The falling bombs, the bursts of terror, the pounding winds serve to soften up whole societies much like the blaring music and blows in the torture cells soften up prisoners. Like the terrorized prisoner who gives up the names of his comrades and renounces his faith, shocked societies often give up things they otherwise fiercely protect.
Naomi Klein The Shock Doctrine 

  • incapable of charting an independent course of self-development;
  • a shattered economy and natural resources completely accessible to multinational corporate exploitation, including the enormous mineral wealth in Kosovo; 
  • an impoverished, but literate and skilled population forced to work at subsistence wages, constituting a cheap labor pool that will help depress wages in western Europe and elsewhere;
  • dismantled petroleum, engineering, mining, fertilizer, and automobile industries, and various light industries, that offer no further competition with existing Western producers.


JM said...

there was a nice summation of what happened here:

as for Parenti:

W. Kasper said...

Thanks for the links - to be honest it was just a roundabout way of posting Young Gods trax!

JM said...

Okay! :) sorry for my accusatory tone.

Matt Moore said...

"The U.S. goal has been to transform the Yugoslav nation into a Third-World region"

I don't think that's actually true. The European Union did not want a Darfur on its doorstep - from a purely selfish perspective, such disasters are very expensive to clean up and trigger waves of refugees that are destabilising to neighbouring countries. The US was more concerned with a destabilised Russia at this time. The truth is: no really cared about little Yugoslavia. James Baker: "We have no dog in that fight." Warren Christopher: "a humanitarian crisis a long way from home... does not involve our vital interests."

Yugoslavia was in trouble long before 1991 - things started falling apart when Milosevic changed the constitution in March 1989 to absorb Kosovo & Vojvodina into Serbia.

Although feel free to keep it up with The Young Gods.

W. Kasper said...

OK - in all honesty, I may be as confused by the Balkans situation as I was in 1991 (but maybe not NATO's reasons for involvement in Kosovo). Hence quotes, here and in a previous post. When I just post quotes, it doesn't necessarily mean I agree. If I had a firm opinion, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it off.

But the Young Gods - I was listening to them the other day, and they did seem to evoke a sense of 89-91 'Euro-flux', haunted by earlier horrors. The way the tracks break down and/or solidify. Not least since Switzerland has been the real capital 'C' capital of Europe, to anyone who's paid attention for the past 300 years.