Opening Borders

Jim heartfield jim at
Thu Apr 8 01:24:48 PDT 1999

Chris' posts are full of sound and fury, but signify nothing. He says that I support Serb fascism. He can draw that conclusion if he wants, but I just can't make any sense of it. The government of Serbia may be reactionary, but it is not fascist, and I don't support it. Like Max's promiscuous use of the word 'genocide' Chris's rhetorical denunciations of fascism only indicate that his argument is a little weak.

What about the villages being burned out? Chris demands. The villages are being burned out because the KLA aligned itself with foreign power that is bombing the capital city. It is not just or right, but it is entirely predictable. Don't you think that there might be some coincidence between the fact that the villages were set on fire *after* Nato began bombing. And yet this policy, that led to that conclusion, is the one that you support.

My hands are clean. I did not rally to the bombing of Yugoslavia, and bear no responsibility for the ethnic violence that followed it, as night follows day.

Chris gets up on his high horse about LM's position on the Bosnian War. But what is he saying? LM's opposition to the war was certainly a minority position, and the government and courts have tried to have the magazine closed because of it. Every major newspaper supported Western military intervention on the side of the Bosnians. It is only in that context that opposition to intervention appears to warmongers like Chris to be 'support for the Serbs'. He takes issue with the publication of evidence of Bosnian atrocities against Serbs. I can see why .. Chris' propaganda computer must have been saying 'does not compute ... does not compute'. LM was a small voice in a clamour for war. If we showed people things that went against the grain of the dehumanisation of the Serbs, and showed that they too could be the victims in this war, then I am proud of it.

The recently released news that the US military trained and advised the Croatian forces that forced tens of thousands of Serbs out of Krajina indicates that we were right to take a distance from the hectoring war- party of former leftists that Chris has joined. The suspension of democracy in the OSCE protectorate of Bosnia since the conflict confirms it.

See Dave Chandler Bosnia: Faking Democracy After Dayton, Pluto Press, 1999.

In message < at>, Chris Burford <cburford at> writes
>At 01:28 07/04/99 +0100, Jim Heartfield wrote:
>>In message < at>, Chris
>>Burford <cburford at> writes
>>>This is merely describing the shift from an imperialist policy of
>>>appeasement of fascism to an imperialist policy of confronting fascism. It
>>>is not an argument for opposing the more progressive of those two policies.
>>Doug already commented on this, but it is characteristic of Chris'
>>formalistic thinking. He says 'fascist' and hopes that it will
>>substitute for an argument. Not surprisingly the Yugoslavs in turn
>>denounce the West as 'Fascist', which if the word has any meaning at all
>>is also innacurate, if understandable.
>>Yugoslavia is a small nation whose independence has been compromised by
>>what once would have been called imperialist intervention. Denouncing
>>nationalists of small nations as 'fascist' has been a staple of Western
>>propaganda against the rights of small nations for many years.
>>I'm flattered that Chris thinks (see his other post) that LM magazine
>>(which I write for) had a material impact upon the campaign of
>>vilification against the Serbs. He should reflect on what it means to
>>attribute a tendency to 'fascism' to an entire race.
>I do not think Jim H answers the charge that Living Marxism gave
>theoretical cover in leftist circles in Britain and Europe for tolerating
>Serb fascism.
>I certainly remember at a conference at the Humboldt University in Berlin
>seeing the magazine prominently featuring the severed heads of Serbs.
>This line is one of its all a mess. There are atrocities on all sides.
>It gave cover to the aggressive policy of Serb nationalists to carve
>ethnically compact areas out of what what formerly multi-ethnic areas, in
>the name of defending Yugoslavia. When Bosnia declared for independence
>from Yugoslavia (as Montenegro wishes to do now) it was attacked by Serb
>nationalists for this purpose.
>The fact that Croatia, with the connivance of the west also grabbed
>territory with the same strategy, expelling very many Serbs, is not a
>principled reason to confuse the fascist nature of the Serb strategy.
>As for Jim H suggesting I have attributed a tendency to fascism to an
>entire race, he needs to give evidence of this. I have made clear the other
>progressive currents in Serb politics that have been crushed.
>After Jim H made condescending remarks about my "marxoid" analysis I
>produced evidence of Mirjana Milosevic's fascist views about pluralist
>If Jim H has made any comments I did not notice them under a return thread
>title. I would be grateful if he could draw them to my attention.
>It is ironic in view of this thread title of "Opening Borders" that the
>Serb fascists have suddenly closed the borders around Kosovo across which
>they have been driving hundreds of thousands of Albanians by means of
>terror. In the name of a happy Easter cease fire they have now herded them
>back like cattle away from the border to ... where?
>Does Jim H disbelieve NATO's aerial evidence that 500 villages have been
>burned out. Are they being killed therefore or housed in concentration
>camps? And if journalists under press restrictions can be flown into
>Pristina why can they not be flown into these camps to prove they are *not*
>concentration camps?
>Mirjana Milosevic is believed to have commented after Goradze that she was
>ashamed to be Serb. It is therefore entirely likely that she has used the
>influence she has over her husband as a result of her superior theoretical
>knowledge of "marxism" to influence this swing to a moderate fascist policy
>in Kosovo instead of the open terroristic policy. But the Albanians are
>still to be treated like cattle.
>Milosevic has long played off the open Serb fascists against the covert
>moderate Serb fascists, and as his tenure of the Presidency of Yugoslavia
>runs out in a couple of years he has no interest in supporting its
>continued existence.
>Jim H is a journalist and uses his opportunities to place articles in
>various media. I ask him whether he supports the establishment of full
>press freedom not only in Serbia but particularly in Kosovo, because that
>is essential if continued fascism in that province is to be ended. It is
>also important that it starts early and before it is conditional on
>whatever press freedom NATO may wish to organise, so I hope he will not
>come back with the well-known fact about how press freedom is distorted
>under capitalism.
>It would be better for all democratic people if B92 were let into Kosovo
>and allowed to broadcast again. Will Jim H and others support that?
>Chris Burford

-- Jim heartfield

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