Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Three [32]



With the finish line in sight, Johnstone decides to spend the final three pages of Chapter Three going for broke. For some reason, even though this section is in part 3, ostensibly a discussion of Croatian nationalism, we're no longer talking about Croatian nationalism, or Croats, or nationalism. Johnstone has chosen to end this chapter with the previously discussed Islamic menace that Bosnia allegedly represented. This is standard Serb nationalist propaganda from the war. Johnstone puts a novel twist on it, however, arguing that US support for Muslim support for Bosnia was designed to legitimize US support for Israel.

Well, when you think about it, isn't it crystal clear?

She also manages to throw Hitler into the mix--US support for the Bosnian Muslims was a way of demonstrating US sympathy for Muslims to oil-rich Muslim countries just like Hitler during WWII:

"In 1942, Hitler sought to extend the power of the Third Reich eastward to the oilfields of Baku and the Middle East by exploiting Arab Muslim resentment of British imperialism in the Middle East, which had favored Jewish settlement in Palestine. The Bosnian Muslims appeared to be a useful pawn in the game of gaining Muslim support for Hitler's war aims. In 1992, U.S. support to the Bosnian Muslims helped solidify Washington's geostrategic alliance with rich oil-producing Muslim states."

If you ever read any of Johnstone's writings on Srebrenica, take note of how scornful she is of parallels between the genocide there and the Holocaust. She never tires of lecturing Westerners about lazy comparisons and knee-jerk references to Hitler and the Holocaust when discussing Bosnia. Remember the above-quoted passage, if you ever do come across such a statement. The hypocrisy is blatant, and shameless.

And so she is off, protesting blatant violations of the arms embargo by wealthy Muslim states as they armed their co-religionists clandestinely while oil-whore Americans pretended not to notice. She gives no numbers, of course, nor does she mention that smuggled small arms and a few hundred (or even a few thousand) mujahideen could never fully address the military imbalance that a landlocked rebublic building a military from scratch while surrounded by hostile or at least mercenary nations, one of which had inherited the heavy weapons, supplies, and infrastructure of the fourth-largest army in Europe.

It scarcely matters. She gives one example of rich Saudis voicing support for Bosnia's Muslims by nixing a deal to buy aircraft from a French company. And the Saudis provided financial support for Bosnia, she points out. This is neither surprising nor interesting; the Saudis have lots of money, and nobody should be surprised that they took the opportunity to proselytize and lobby for greater influence in a Muslim community previously not very open to Wahhabi fundamentalism. Building mosques and sending money certainly indicates an attempt to broker influence; Johnstone fails to address the short-term or long-term effects of Saudi support. But, as I said in the previous post, she is not presenting an argument, but rather a vague implication fueled by thinly veiled bigotry.


And so Chapter Three sputters to a halt, after an obligatory dig at the US government for allowing the war to go on for four years solely so an eventual partition of the country to its liking could be imposed. The implication being that the US didn't allow the partition by "local leaders" in 1992 solely because the balance of power wasn't to Washington's liking. Also, this allowed the creation of a non-sovereign state run by international organizations, the IMF as well as the OSCE. This, apparently, was the US plan all along.

Why the US would want to have control over relatively poor Bosnia is a question she doesn't address. Her elaborate theories about the destruction of sovereignty in the name of globalization only sound plausible if one ignores that fundamental question--why would Washington desire such a situation? Twin paranoias are at work here; not only has Johnstone sold herself on the messianic martyr complex of hardline Serb nationalism, she demonstrates again that she meant what she said way back at the beginning of this book. Western involvement in the Balkans was a cleverly calculated tactic, intended to be a vanguard of a larger strategy of neoliberal globalization, the subjugation of small states to Western-dominated international organizations.

Yes, dear reader--all that stumbling and prevaricating by Western powers in Bosnia during those terrible four years were just a front. Behind the scenes, Washington had it all figured out.

And that bizarro conspiracy scenario is the note on which Johnstone chooses to end this tedious, unfocused chapter.

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