Protest against the Bombing

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Fri Mar 26 11:37:28 PST 1999

On Fri, 26 Mar 1999 09:28:45 -0800 Sam Pawlett <epawlett at> writes:
>> The length of Barkley's analysis is interesting, but the matter is
>> marxists should have a prejudice in favour of the right of nations
>> self-determination.
>but the question remains what constitutes a nation. Southern
>California and Tejas
>now have or soon will have majority Latino(a) populations. Do they now
>have the
>right to self-determination? or the right to (re)join Mexico? Their
>case is even
>stronger than Kosovo Albanians, given that SC and Tejas were
>originally part of
>Mexico, nabbed illegally by the U.S.A. If every geographical area
>where an ethnic
>group is in teh majoritty, constitutes a nation, then the world would
>into hundreds if not thousands of statelets. What is the relationship
>ethnicity and a nation?
> In the case of Yugoslavia, there is now at least 20 minorities
>living in the
>province of Serbia. Should each have the right to self-determination
>or just the

One can think of many examples of US hypocrisy concerning the right to self-determination. At the time of the Gulf War, President Bush invoked the Iraqui Kurds' right to self-determination as a justification both for the war itself and for the imposition of "no fly" zones and other forms of intervention in Iraq following the war. The US has recently been curiously silent concerning the Turkish Kurd's right to self-determination. On the contrary, US intelliegence seems to have played a key role in the arrest of Kurdish leader, and the US government has been remarkably silent while the Turkish government brutally repressed the Kurds. Apparently, the much vaunted right to self-determination does not apply to national minorities that have the misfortune to live inside members of NATO.

> Those concerned with civilians; bombing will only kill more
>civilians and make
>the lives of those who survive even worse.
> If the ruling elites really believed their own rhetoric about
>concern for
>civilians they would have abolished capitalism in favor of a more
>humane system
>long ago.

No intelligent person can think that the ruling elites take their rhetoric of concern for civilians and human rights very seriously, since it is barely coherent in the first place. Human rights and the right to national self-determination is invoked to justify military intervention in one place, while in countries where far worse attrocities are occurring no one among the elites gives a thought to intervening.

> I would suggest that they adopt the language of concern for
>only when it serves their interests to do so. There are no principles
>at work
>here, just straight Machiavellianism. By nabbing Kosovo, the U.S.
>expands its
>sphere of control eastwards.

All through the Cold War, the US and NATO did everything in their power to help keep Yugoslavia viable as a federal republic. Although, Yugoslavia was a Communist state, after its break with the USSR, the West sought to use Yugoslavia as a buffer against the Warsaw Pact. The West worked arm in glove with Tito's regime to quell successionists. As soon as the Cold War ended, Yugoslavia was no longer needed as a buffer state, so it was a free for all, as Germany and other NATO countries went out of their way to back successionists of various tripes, and thus help dismantle the Yugoslavian federation. All the while the very same Western governments used the resulting civil strife and bloodshed as justifications for ever increasing intervention into what had been a sovereign state. In the name of human rights, policies were undertaken that had the effect of propelling to power several hideous regimes, especially in Serbia and Croatia. And the resulting attrocities has been used to justify more intervention, although the consequences will no doubt involve even more bloodshed and repression.

Jim F.

>Sam Pawlett

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