CHAPTER FIVE: THE NEW IMPERIAL MODEL
THE EAR OF THE EMPIRE: THE ALBANIAN LOBBY IN THE UNITED STATES
In which we learn that: Albanians had a powerful lobby with an inside track to the Clinton Administration through the "Ethnic Outreach" program, while Serbs did not. Johnstone assures us that:
"Americans of Serbian descent, even if they opposed Tito and revered the memory of executed wartime Chetnik leader Draza Mihailovic, never dreamed of reshaping the Balkans with help from the U.S. superpower."
It's an amazing talent of Johnstone, this ability to know the dreams of Serb-Americans as a collective group. With such amazing powers of deduction, how did she fail to note that this program was set up in 1996, when the US was somewhat preoccupied with Serbia and ethnic Serbs in the West Balkans?
It's a tired tactic, yet she never gives it up--segregate events from their context in time and place so that facts which were contingent on circumstance and surrounding events can be recontextualized as glaring contradictions or sinister realities. Johnstone's pretensions to sophistication are once again exposed, as she reacts to stories of--GASP--ethnic lobbying as if she's discovered the Freemason's pulling the strings of the Federal government in league with the Trilateral Commission. The real world is a complicated place, and those in power often respond to conflicting pressures from a variety of pressure groups. The decisions made by those in power are often driven by a mixture of cynical calculation, response to public pressure, kowtowing to organized interest groups, and sometimes even genuine idealism. That idealism is rarely untainted or pure should be obvious to anyone with even a cursory grasp of how government works. But such a nuanced, balanced understanding ill-serves those who wish to paint every action of the imperialist West in the darkest possible hues.
So when Johnstone points out that the US had plans for a natural gas pipeline across the Balkans through Kosovo, one may rest assured that she truly believes this is a damning and shocking revelation, as is the information that Halliburton is potentially involved. The list of people in and out of government who would participate in, and profit from, such a venture is only surprising if you are truly clueless about such things.
To recap, according to Johnstone, the breakup of Yugoslavia was driven by: nationalist groups (Croats, Muslims, Albanians) who had not achieved the high level of national consciousness, inclusive nation-building institutions, and functioning statehood as the Serbs and therefore resented and hated that misunderstood national group which alone stood firm in defense of the multiethnic/multinational ideal of Yugolavia; in collusion with imperialist Western hyper-capitalists intent on dismantling the sovereignty of small nations in order to achieve the global supremacy of global NGOs in service to the neoliberal, globalist New World Order.
Is that sophisticated and nuanced enough for you?