Date: Wed, 17 Dec 97 14:45:48 CST
From: (Brian Hauk)
Subject: NATO Troops Get Out Of Yugoslavia Now!

NATO Troops Get Out Of Yugoslavia Now! Washington's aim is restoring capitalist domination

The Militant, Vol.61 no.45, 22 December 1997

The working class and its allies—working farmers and other exploited producers—and their conquests in overturning capitalist rule in Yugoslavia in the 1940s are the target of the occupation of Bosnia. NATO's expansion into Eastern and Central Europe has a similar and interrelated goal: sweeping away once and for all the remaining gains of the October 1917 Russian revolution and reestablishing class exploitation and the complete domination of the profit system from the Balkans to the Caucasus and beyond.

NATO's course, which is Washington's course, means nothing but economic ruination, moral degradation, and subjugation to the imperialist boot for working people in Yugoslavia and elsewhere in the region.

Inside the United States and other capitalist powers occupying Yugoslavia, class-conscious workers have an obligation to campaign among fellow unionists and others to explain this imperialist war drive and why working people should oppose it.

As capitalist politicians and pundits have pointed out, the U.S.-engineered expansion of NATO into Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic is linked to the invasion of Bosnia. In fact, Washington's projected enlargement of NATO was prepared on the blood and bones of the toilers of Yugoslavia.

In the early 1990s, as rival European governments fanned the flames of war between competing layers of the Stalinist bureaucracy in Yugoslavia, the U.S. rulers put on a show of a pious concern for the Bosnian Muslims -much like their posturing today as opponents of the oppression of Albanians in Kosovo. All the while, however, Washington worked behind the scenes to make sure enough weapons got in to keep the slaughter going, without resolution. The U.S. rulers urged their French and British counterparts to intervene under the United Nations flag, while sabotaging every accord proposed by powers in the European Union between 1992 and 1995.

Meanwhile, Washington built a military ring in and around Yugoslavia—with hundreds of soldiers on the ground in Macedonia, agreements to deploy U.S. forces from Albania and Hungary, covert links with the regime in Croatia, and the U.S. Sixth Fleet off the Yugoslav coast in the Adriatic. Finally, after letting the Yugoslav people bleed for three years, organizing the first sustained bombing raids over Europe since World War II, and repeatedly humbling its imperialist rivals, the White House dictated a set of accords at an air force base in Dayton, Ohio. These accords spelled out the partition of Bosnia and its occupation by NATO troops.

The Dayton accord was a symbol of the new level of U.S. hegemony in Europe. It coincided with the Clinton administration's announcement of the plan to expand NATO, bringing imperialist forces closer to the border of Russia. Since NATO's founding in 1949, its goal was to defeat the Soviet Union and other workers states. That is still its purpose today.

But NATO has been weakened by the deepening conflicts among its members and between them and Moscow. That's why Washington is repositioning its military forces vis-a-vis Russia and strengthening its place as the dominant European power.

The main problem for Washington is that with thousands of troops on the ground it has been unable to overturn noncapitalist property relations in Yugoslavia. It has also been unable to erase the desire among many Yugoslav working people and youth of various nationalities to restore the Yugoslav federation. That's why NATO's forces plan on staying in Yugoslavia well beyond June 1998. And that's why working people and youth in the United States and around the world should organize forums and protests demanding: NATO troops out of Yugoslavia now!