"Pro-Serb-Nationalism"/"Pro-Milosevic" Baiting and the Death ofYugoslavia

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Thu Apr 1 23:07:13 PST 1999

Yoshie says:

> It has been my experience on this list that those who do not swallow the
> imperial thesis that "Serbs are the worst rapists, ethnic cleansers, and
> organizers of genocide" have been repeatedly characterized as
> "pro-Serb-nationalism" and/or "pro-Milosevic." I have no probelm refuting

Really? Please cite one post where anybody propounded the thesis that "the Serbs are the worst rapists, etc. etc.", or where anybody characterized anyone as pro-Serb-nationalism or pro-Milo. What we are is uniformly concerned more about the threat of genocide by Serbs against Kosovari than the converse, and even in the latter case we have advocated peace-keeping, not simple-minded support for the KLA and/or anti-Serb military operations.

I found four posts where you preceded your cross-posting of spam with injunctions to "supporters of the KLA," or "supporters of the U.S., Nato, and the KLA" (on March 27). That was tiresome too.

I did, of course, criticize the vulnerability of the doctrine of revolutionary defeatism to the case of Nazi Germany. I said this was lunacy, particularly because I couldn't believe anybody still buys into it. I also commented on one-sided cross-posting, typified by your presentation, unidentified, of a Serb government statement.

> such characterization, but the frequency with which such epithets are used
> reminds me of red-baiting rhetoric; only this time, you are not baited for
> being a red, you are baited for being pro-Serb or pro-Milosevic.
> Completely misleading, not to mention quite tiresome.

I will be happy to stipulate that nobody here is pro-Serb or pro-Milo, though I detect some nostalgia for the old Yugoslavian Federation, the feeling that it still exists in some residual form. No, if the Muslims had the upper hand and were intent on butchering Serbs, and the U.S. intervened on the side of the Serbs, I'm certain you would be supporting the Muslims and probably amplifying a discourse on race and orientalism, or some damn thing. Carroll said it best: if the U.S. attacks fascists, hurrah for fascists!

> I simply note here that this "Pro-Serb-Nationalism"/"Pro-Milosevic"
Baiting has happened less often on three other left-political-elists I'm subbed to. The difference does say something about this list's subscriber demographics.>

> I also add that even in the left imagination and language, Yugoslavia (a
> multi-ethnic country) died a long time ago, and only "Serbia" remains in
> its place, though not all who live in "Serbia" are Serbs and not all who
> live in "Kosovo" are Albanians. This language use reveals that despite
> their superficial anti-nationalist rhetoric, they have actually
> bought into the imperial strategy of carving up Yugoslavia through

The devolution of Yugoslavia was a fact before Milo revoked Kosovo autonomy. Milo bears at least some responsibility for turning Yugoslavia into Lesser Serbia. There may be a case for NATO/IMF complicity as well, but evidently such schemes are imperfectly conceived or supported because the independence of Kosovo appears to be very much in doubt.

Evidently some radicals are not against nationalism at all, when it fits into their own ulterior designs. They may have no interest in it "as a thing in itself." Which means they are not interested in it for the same reason the masses might be, only as an object of manipulation. (Experience with this sort of radical is what turns revolutionary nationalists into reactionary ones.) Some people might want to interpret that as anti-communist or red-baiting, but it is a fact, nor is it true of all communists, including some on this list.



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