If sure methods and ways appear acquainted, that’s as a result of they’re over 20 years outdated
The emotionally charged and infrequently hyperbolic phrases utilized by the US and its allies to explain the battle in Ukraine provides the notion that it’s one thing unprecedented and unseen because the Second World Battle. That’s fairly actually not true.
If something, the behaviors, ways and even methods embraced by the federal government in Kiev and its Western patrons bear an uncanny similarity to the conflicts that destroyed Yugoslavia within the Nineties. In sharp distinction to all of the reminiscing – although nowhere close to sufficient regret – on the current anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, even the critics of the Western institution appear to have forgotten concerning the Kosovo Battle, which started on March 24,1999.
In any case, Operation Allied Drive (NATO’s official identify for the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia) is proof that NATO’s declare of being a “defensive alliance” is a lie. So is the notion that altering borders by drive is one thing that’s merely not completed within the “rules-based world order,” what with the US-led bloc occupying Serbia’s province of Kosovo and endorsing its “independence” in 2008. The West was so law-abiding, it tried to justify the unjustifiable by inventing the doctrine of “accountability to guard” and organising an “unbiased” fee to declare the warfare “unlawful however authentic.”
No surprise, then, that the “worldwide neighborhood” needs this forgotten, to the purpose the place they’re attempting to strain Serbia to legitimize it by threatening sanctions, isolation, and “inner turmoil.”
In Might 1999, after weeks of failing to bomb Serbia into submission, NATO sought to shore up its unity and credibility by having its pet tribunal in The Hague cost President Slobodan Milosevic with warfare crimes. Parallels with occasions of the previous weeks write themselves.
Arguably, the “arrest warrant” for Russian President Vladimir Putin was the logical endpoint of the narrative spawned again in June 2014, when two suppose tank ‘specialists’ penned a bit within the New Republic accusing Putin of “behaving in Ukraine like Milosevic did in Serbia.” When one appears on the precise insurance policies embraced by Washington and its vassals, it’s obviously apparent they took this very narrative to coronary heart.
For instance, take the early discuss a “no-fly zone,” coming from Kiev and a few Western capitals. Such a factor was truly established in Bosnia in 1992, and enforced by NATO on behalf of the UN, after the Serbs have been falsely accused of taking pictures down an Italian humanitarian flight. It ended up being a backdoor for army intervention – identical to in Libya in 2011.
Then there’s the narrative about Ukraine as an harmless sufferer of aggression and a plucky underdog defending Western values, in want of cash, weapons and volunteers – that’s precisely how the Western press painted Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims within the Nineties. Being an actor, Vladimir Zelensky is simply higher at reciting the identical traces as Bosnian Muslim chief Alija Izetbegovic.
Zelensky’s Overseas Minister Dmitry Kuleba can be working off a script lifted from his Bosnian counterpart Haris Silajdzic. He too was a globe-trotting media fixture, demanding every thing from meals to weapons and accusing the “aggressor” of warfare crimes, rapes and genocide. To offer Kiev some credit score, it at the very least sacked the official who made pretend claims of mass rape; Silajdzic by no means disavowed his accusations. In each different respect, Ukraine has far exceeded Bosnia when it comes to projecting a way of entitlement.
The present US and EU sanctions towards Russia additionally had a precedent within the Nineties UN sanctions towards Serbia and Montenegro, right down to the ban on worldwide sporting competitions. Had they thought to cancel Serbian cats or bushes, they most likely would have, too.
The UN additionally positioned an arms embargo on all Yugoslav republics. The US skirted it through the early Nineties, to ship weapons to Muslims and Croats. On the Dayton, Ohio peace talks in late 1995, US envoy Richard Holbrooke sought to sweeten the deal for the reluctant Izetbegovic by providing to “prepare and equip” the Muslim army after the armistice. The present push to create a Western-armed drive in Ukraine is mainly the identical, solely on steroids.
In actual fact, Jens Stoltenberg’s January 2023 argument that “weapons are the best way to peace” is however an echo of Holbrooke’s “bombs for peace” from September 1995, throughout a NATO aerial bombardment marketing campaign that Time journal described as “bringing the Serbs to heel.”
Named ‘Deliberate Drive’, that NATO operation dovetailed with Croatia’s Operation ‘Storm,’ an assault on Krajina, in August 1995. Serbs residing within the historic borderlands of present-day Croatia had arrange their very own republic in 1992, which Zagreb denounced as “aggression” from Serbia itself – very similar to how Kiev, in 2014, reacted to the independence claims by the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk by denouncing it as Russian “aggression”. The US had armed, skilled and suggested the Croatian army for the 1995 assault, and Holbrooke even revealed that Washington had informed Zagreb what to hit and when – in a preview of the US and NATO offering intelligence to Kiev.
Operation ‘Storm’ ended with a compelled “reintegration” of Krajina into Croatia, having left hundreds of individuals useless and over 200,000 pushed from their houses. Lately, officers in Ukraine – from presidential adviser and prime prosecutor Yury Lutsenko to PM Vladimir Groisman – have publicly argued for a “Croatian resolution” to the Donbass “downside.”
One other commonality is that the West has insisted on imposing the 1991 borders of Croatia, Bosnia, and Ukraine, although they have been drawn by Communist governments that the exact same West labored for many years to overthrow. Lest you imagine that signifies a principled place, the US and its allies declared an exception for the borders of Serbia after they carved away Kosovo in 1999. The entire level of the “rules-based order” is that they’re those making the foundations.
The apparent downside right here is that Russia right now isn’t Nineties Serbia, and the notion of recycling isn’t supposed to use to coverage, international or home. But Washington persists in believing its unipolar second hasn’t ended, the “finish of historical past” is simply across the nook, and a “benevolent international hegemony” continues to be inside attain.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially characterize these of RT.