US terror bombing

Chris Burford cburford at
Mon Mar 29 15:01:10 PST 1999

At 16:56 29/03/99 -0500, you wrote:
>This is marred by Trot boilerplate, but it's still a fine example of why
>Workers Vanguard used to be worth reading when Jan Norden was editing it.
>Yeah, yeah, NATO is just bombing military targets, not civilians, though
>there are 500,000 refugees and hundreds of thousands of others who are
>feeling mighty inconvenienced. But who would trust an entity with a history
>like this to bomb humanely?
>"Liberals have often sought to distance themselves from the policy of
>strategic bombing...."
>Sorry for any scanning glitches - it doesn't work well from yellowing
>How Washington Perfected Hitler's Schrecklichkeit
>Workers Vanguard, March 1, 1991

Terror, is a common weapon of coercive state power. Clearly the Serbs moved 30,000 troops into Kosovo during the Rambouillet negotiations to instill the implicit threat that they would do what they are now doing.

What I think is interesting is a confusion in US imperialist motives for the bombing. Part of the mind set seems to be to bomb Milosevic of Hussein back to the stone age. But I do suggest that technology has moved on and public opinion in the last 8 years. Remember they have to get 19 NATO countries on board, some with centre-left governments. So although in many ways the obvious military counter to the Serb attack on the Kosovans would be to hit the Serbs hard - shut down their electricity and transport, this is ruled out, and the Serbs have called the bluff. They have tighter censorship within their country, while playing on the probability of lack of unity among NATO.

So the most effective terror at the moment is the terror that NATO air power cannot effectively touch: the Serb paramilitaries going from door to door in Kosovo.

Chris Burford London

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