Note from the Editor

This issue of Swans takes a look at the strategic moves through violent means that the Western powers have unleashed on the entire world since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a primary focus on the exceptional book written by Diana Johnstone, FOOLS' CRUSADE: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions. It is exceptional for at least two reasons. First, it may well be the most thorough and rigorous work that has been published in the past four years on the disintegration of Yugoslavia, with an acute historical perspective that clearly explains the current strategic policies of the western powers; and second, because it has been remarkably ignored by the main media and the so-called alternative press. Freedom of speech is a lofty principle, but if your voice is literally buried so deep that no one can hear it, then the principle becomes moot!

We are publishing an excerpt of the book -- the introduction -- with the permission of the author and her publishers in both the U.K. and the U.S. Then Louis Proyect, Edward Herman and Gilles d'Aymery review Fools' Crusade from different angles, each providing additional perspective. Furthermore, we are presenting four other articles in support of Diana Johnstone's work. Konstantin Kilibarda provides a legal analysis on the dismantling of Yugoslavia and Jan Baughman looks at the common threads among the wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Lest you not be outraged by these analyses, read the transcript of the interviews that Greg Elich conducted with Serb refugees. Their experiences were far from the 'humanitarianism' in the name of which these wars were conducted. Finally, Aleksandra Priestfield looks at the other non-reasons for going to war.

Please do your utmost to read and disseminate Johnstone's book.

In addition on Swans, Deck Deckert cleverly imagines the truths we could learn if journalists were embedded in various circumstances. Embedded journalists at peace rallies? Imagine the possibilities! Richard Macintosh questions the dreadful and superb sides of America where, according to Philip Greenspan, knowing the right person is as good as being on the right side of the law.

Last but not least, Sabina Becker and Gerard Smith have once again produced two powerful poems to tie it all together.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


From the Balkans to Iraq: Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Diana Johnstone:  FOOLS' CRUSADE: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions

[Ed. This is the full introduction of the book, published by permission of the author and the publishers, Monthly Review Press, in the U.S., and Pluto Press, in the U.K.]

Yet NATO's violent advance into southeast Europe was precisely related to the globalization process opposed in Seattle. Few seemed to grasp the connection.   More...


Louis Proyect:  Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade

On December 8th 2002, George Packer wrote the following in a New York Times Magazine article titled "The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq": "Why there is no organized liberal opposition to the war?"   More...


Edward S. Herman:  Diana Johnstone On The Balkan Wars

[Ed. This review was first published on Monthly Review and is re-published courtesy of the author and the publisher.]

Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Monthly Review Press, 2002) is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the causes, effects, and rights-and-wrongs of the Balkan wars of the past dozen years.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Diana Johnstone And The Demise Of 'Yugoslavism'

On May 21, 2003, the US Senior Senator of West Virginia, Robert Byrd, delivered one of his customary Senate Floor Remarks that began thus: "Truth has a way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it. Distortion only serves to derail it for a time."   More...


Konstantin Kilibarda:  Selective Recognition and the Dismantling of SFR Yugoslavia

The conflicts that wracked the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) during the 1990s -- and international responses to these crises -- have profoundly shaped the face of the post-Cold War order. The nature of Western intervention, not to mention its ultimate outcome, casts a long shadow on the heavily mediated and selective rhetoric of a "new (militarized) humanitarianism" and the promise it holds out of an increasingly just and law governed global order.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Lessons From Yugoslavia: Blueprint for War?

In March 1999 NATO forces began their 'humanitarian' war on Yugoslavia to stop the 'ethnic cleansing' of Albanians by the Serbs. We related to the pain and suffering of the alleged refugees of war, and Slobodan Milosevic became the Hitler of the '90s. Operation Allied Force unleashed 78 days of bombing and destroyed the infrastructure of a country that no longer exists in name or in the cultural diversity the bombing was intended to preserve.   More...


Gregory Elich:  We Have The Right To Live

Four years ago NATO waged war against Yugoslavia in what was billed a "humanitarian" war. The lofty motives proclaimed by Western leaders had the hollow ring of hypocrisy for those on the receiving end of NATO bombs.   More...


Aleksandra Priestfield:  Making War Out Of Nothing At All

You know how you sometimes like a song, for nebulous reasons -- a haunting tune, a turn of phrase in the lyrics? I have several like that. One of them is "Making love out of nothing at all," by a band called Air Supply.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Deck Deckert:  Embedding The Truth

The embedding of reporters with military units invading Iraq was a disaster, both for the anti-war movement and the cause of journalism.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Courage And Cowardice

I remember T. Chadbourne Dunham, Professor Emeritus at Wesleyan University, saying that the Germans were "wonderful and horrible." Dunham had been in Germany as an American graduate student when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor in 1933.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  An Awful Lawful World: Who Wins, Who Loses

Certain moral precepts accepted as standards of conduct provide the basis of laws throughout the world. It is assumed those laws will be equally applied in all situations and to all individuals and groups.   More...



Sabina C. Becker:  Accomplishments

There was an evil man
Out in Afghanistan—
At least, our Georgie Bushie told us so.
He hid out in a cave,
He wasn't very brave.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  My Appearances

i am nothing if not expression
a meaningless even if then,
never a poem decrypted,
never wave particle wave.   More...



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Created: June 4, 2003