Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 11:34:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: Workers World <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Why U.S. Wants Milosevic Ousted
Article: 70091
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

Why U.S. wants Milosevic ousted

By Brian Becker, Workers World, 22 July 1999

Demonstrations demanding the ouster of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic were organized in several cities inside Yugoslavia in the second week of July by opposition parties.

Some of these demonstrations received wide coverage in the U.S. media. In the city of Prokuplje, for instance, 3,000 people answered the call of the opposition. The July 9 New York Times carried a large photo of the demonstration. A picture of an even smaller demonstration from the city of Valjevo filled up a half page of the July 12 New York Times.

When 10,000 demonstrators marched on the Pentagon on June 5 to condemn the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia the New York Times didn't carry a large picture of the activity. They didn't write a big article about it either. In fact, they didn't write one word of the demonstration. It was totally ignored.

What accounts for the difference in the coverage between the anti-war demonstrations at home and the anti-Milosevic demonstrations in Yugoslavia? Both demonstrations were opposing their respective governments.

People always were and always will be foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind the moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises, wrote V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian revolution.

Lenin was succinctly presenting the Marxist starting point for an analysis of all social phenomenon. Whether it's an assessment of a tenant-landlord dispute, a strike of auto workers, a war in a far-off land, or the complexity of international diplomacy, Marxists seek to unearth the class interests that are being served by the contending forces.

What are the class interests being served by the U.S./NATO war against Yugoslavia, by the NATO occupation of Kosovo, and now by the concerted efforts of the CIA, the IMF and the major U.S. mass media to support the overthrow of the Milosevic government?

All the information about the recent war from the U.S. media directs the public to think that in the Balkans different nationalities, for a variety of reasons, have entered into a period of prolonged, agonizing conflict with each other. The propaganda from the Western media focuses its attack on the Serbian leadership and on Serb nationalism.

But Yugoslavia and the Balkans today is not simply a collection of nationalities. Classes have not been abolished in Yugoslavia and in the region of the Balkans. Nor have they been abolished in the United States, Britain, Germany and the other NATO countries.

The Marxist criteria of putting class interests at the center of an analysis immediately brings clarity about the war and the current U.S. efforts to promote the counter- revolution against the Milosevic government.

President Bill Clinton said that the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was in response to the refusal of Yugoslavia to sign the Rambouillet peace agreement. That agreement stipulated that The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free-market principles [and]—there shall be no impediments to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital to and from Kosovo.

That's technical treaty language. But Bill Clinton put it into popular terms when he explained the U.S. aims with the war: If we are going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be the key; that's what this Kosovo thing is all about—its globalism versus tribalism.

Milosevic and the Yugoslav government had put definite impediments on the free movement of capital in Kosovo and in all the other parts of Yugoslavia as well. It is the unfettered flow of capital and investment that Clinton refers to when he talks about globalism. Although the socialist publicly-owned sector of the economy has been damaged over time from decentralization and economic sanctions, public ownership still exists in thousands of factories and enterprises in Yugoslavia.

While Clinton has to put Corporate America's agenda in the Balkans in popular terms, New York Times writer Thomas Friedman is able to put Wall Street's brutal class interests in the war in blunter language.

For globalization to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is—The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist--McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, Freidman wrote in the March 28 New York Times.

While the Milosevic government is not pursuing a revolutionary communist policy, it drew the anger of the United States and other imperialist governments when it acted to slow down and resist the wholesale privatization of industry, banking, and trade as demanded by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

This trend was widely noted in Western media accounts in 1996.

Milosevic is harking back to the political control promised by that old Communist star on his presidency building _[he] is revoking some privatization and free- market measures, stated an article in the June 6, 1996, Christian Science Monitor. A month later, the July 18, 1996, New York Times complained about Milosevic's determination to keep state controls and his refusal to allow privatization.

The Aug. 4, 1996, Washington Post carried a piece against Milosevic that was even more explicit. Milosevic failed to understand the political message of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Post quotes Konstantin Obradovic, deputy director of the Belgrade Center for Human Rights. He is one of the democratic opposition seeking to oust the Yugoslav government.

While other Communist politicians accepted the Western model, and moved in the direction of the rest of Europe, Milosevic went the other way. That is why we are where we are today.

After the collapse of the USSR and the socialist bloc governments in Eastern Europe, the United States has aggressively moved into the region to create a patchwork of new military and economic arrangements, organizations and treaties to insure U.S. domination over the entire area of southern and eastern Europe.

The expansion of NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic puts these countries under a Pentagon- dominated military chain of command. Tens of thousands of U.S. and other NATO troops now occupy the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Macedonia, as well as Kosovo and Albania.

The U.S. also dominates the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI) which is planning for the reorganization of the newly-privatized sectors in energy, oil and petroleum, telecommunications, scientific research and banking.

The SECI is planning for the integration of the region's economic infrastructure into the arteries of U.S.-dominated finance and banking. Nine of the eleven member states of the SECI were formerly part of the socialist bloc countries. Greece and Turkey are the exceptions.

Yugoslavia, under Milosevic, is the only country in the region that has refused to participate in the SECI and its program for the outright imperialist takeover of the region.

This is why the U.S. calls Milosevic intransigent. This is why the opposition economists in Belgrade known as Group 17 have denounced the Milosevic government as illegitimate.

These darlings of Western bankers have proposed an alternative to the IMF to Yugoslavia's public ownership sector once Milosevic could be removed. Who are they?

The Group 17 gathers 20 most-distinguished Yugoslav economists employed at the universities, banks, consulting agencies and international financial instutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, reads the mission statement of the group.

Why are they opposed to Milosevic? Because he has acted as a brake to the full-scale capitalist restoration in Yugoslavia.

One of the latest statements of the Group 17 says it all: A new phase in the process of transition to a market economy throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is beginning. However, it is extremely well known that this transition in Yugoslavia is practically stopped, the statement complains.