More letters in response to "After the Slaughter: The Political Lessons of the Balkan War"
22 June 1999
To the editor:
Your article, "After the Slaughter: Political Lessons of the Balkan War” (http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jun1999/balk-j14.shtml ) is quite comprehensive. This is a document which should be distributed and publicized in particular on college campuses, where a new generation of skeptics and rebels against the corporate world structure must be developed in order for the mass movement you hope to create via the internet to exist in the new century.
Dear David North,
Your site's fine article, "After the Slaughter", is a valuable guide to what has happened this century as well as what may be in store next century.
The most vivid impression left on me by the article was the sense that absolute power not only corrupts absolutely, it intoxicates absolutely. The quotes from The Future of War, by George and Meredith Friedman, read like the babblings of a crack cocaine addict.
For the first time in my 56 years, I am deeply ashamed of and uneasy with our government. The fact that a former Reaganite like myself finds himself even reading your site, much less depending on it as a major source of real news, shows how far our media have recently fallen. I stopped watching TV last June and I don't believe I've missed a thing.
Socialism is not for me, but we quite obviously need a way to break up the concentrations of monopoly capital that are liquidating our jobs, our health, and our schools; indeed, all our institutions. Thanks for giving us some facts and concepts that are just not available anywhere else.
To the Editors:
I read a statement of Carl Bildt, the UN special envoy to the Balkans today: "We will enter a devastated wasteland and will have to build it from the bottom up." Can there be any doubt that this was the intention of the NATO powers from the very beginning—to rip apart the Balkans and restructure the area according to their own interests? How fortuitous that Serbs, pushed to desperation by bombs, carried out the "ethnic cleansing" for them; it made for good public relations and NATO, like a mob boss, never needed to dirty its hands. The number of casualties is almost meaningless. More horrific is the utter disregard for life, the employment of "inferior" peoples as statistics, as corpses, as marketing materials to justify the mercenary goals of Europe and America.
So now we are to feel safe, because American military hegemony is intact and the evil Serb demolished? Far from safe, I am terrified by the increasing conflicts and repulsive displays of brutality—will I or my children be fodder for the next humanitarian action?
As you write, people are confused ... deadened by the barrage of propaganda dressed up as journalism, unable, perhaps afraid to think critically about the events occurring ... People turn to the Robertsons and Perots who present themselves as alternatives to the Washington crowd without understanding the power that these men and their ilk already wield. I am not a Marxist, not yet, but I believe it is essential that people be alerted to real alternatives. And for that I appreciate and support the role this Web site is assuming.
Thank you for your time.