Now I’m Really Angry, II
by David Lee Beowulf
Rich Got Richer: Did the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Of course. The rich, assuming they’re smart, don’t get poor. Industry deregulation is a tough one, though. According to a 5 April 1999 National Review article (“Hapless Abroad” by Elliott Abrams), the USSR started paying attention to Reagan when he fired the aircraft controllers, so maybe this was another move in the high-stakes game. That I can understand, but at the same time, were unions becoming too powerful? I don’t know. What about the banking “crises”? Again, I don’t know. Bankers are and have always been slimy. How else do you explain C- business majors becoming millionaires after a couple of years in the business? What about taxes? Well, I remember my dad’s taxes under Carter being really high, but much of that was due to the very high local taxes in Montgomery County, Maryland. We moved to New York in 1982 and the taxes were lower and salaries were higher. A consequence of geography.
Now, there was a pretty bad recession from 1979 to about 1983 (depending which economists you listen to). California was especially nailed. Lest we forget, California led the nation in “tax protests” with Proposition 13 that cut property taxes to nearly nothing, thus “ruining” the state’s fantastic educational system (they’re funded by property taxes) and other government services. Result: public works spending goes down, people go out of work -except for the rich. The large middle class, that makes up all the professions, i.e., teachers, doctors, engineers, etc., both suffers in terms of less work and, because of their numbers, pays the most taxes; double whammy. If you were “lucky” you already had money and knew where to put it, I guess. Nevertheless, after the recession ended everyone had jobs. And these were good, $30k positions, too. People would work, save and spend, making the Keynesian model (whether it’s “moral” or not doesn’t matter, it’s how our economy runs) work. Things were really, really good in the mid-to-late 1980s, stock market “crash” of 1987 or not. Sure, defense contractors got rich, but, hey, we were fighting a war, folks.
Billions for Defense: Did you know that wars hurt the “economy”? Think about it, while they’re waging, everyone is “employed.” You need soldiers and you need workers to make weapons, and that requires money, which has to be “borrowed.” When the war is over you don’t need all the workers and the money has to be paid back. Bam! There it is again, the double whammy: employment goes up and taxes have to go up to pay back the loans! Damn! With the Cold War over, the industrial-military complex could be paired-down, which meant lay-offs and no jobs. With the Gulf War (more later), we got nailed with higher taxes because we needed to wage a hot war for nearly a year. Once it was over, guess what? A serious recession, with jobs being scarce. Ouch! Hey, I felt it; nothing but temps jobs out there.
Idiot: Reagan was stupid? How’s the son of the town drunk and a graduate from a little college in Illinois get to be President of the United States if he’s stupid? You can be damned sure the Ivy League “establishment” didn’t like him. Besides, he was an actor, that’s all. Sure, and he was President of his union (SAG), college fraternity (TKE), and Governor of California. Certainly there was some administrative skill picked up during the years, no? Did he read? All the time. Just ask Tom Clancy who was responsible for putting him on the map… Don’t forget how useful it is for your enemies to think you’re a fool: they will have a hard time guessing your next move.
OK, fuck you to all the folks who still don’t like Reagan.
George Bush got the sad task of mopping everything up, but, despite his actually being stupid concerning campaigning, and whatever the conspiracy theorists might say about his real motives (e.g., world rule), he won the Gulf War by putting the best minds on it and clearly, oh, how clearly, defining what our goals were there.
Our goals, other than punishing Iraq for invading Kuwait -no matter what reason Iraq might give, were purely selfish. That is, oil. The Gulf War was fought for one of the three legitimate reasons for war, riches (the other two being the enemy’s women and land). Bush, and rightly so, saw that Iraq would destabilize the Persian Gulf so much so that oil prices would not be controllable. Therefore, get him the hell out of Kuwait.
And it was done with the “complete” support of the UN (including the USSR) and especially the Arab countries. It was scary, it looked like Biblical prophecy would be fulfilled (Eze. 38, 39) when Iraq started lobbing scuds at Israel. But the “world” fought hard and drove Iraq out of Kuwait in less than a month.
Think about that when you see some twentysomething “investment banker” tooling around in his new, gas-guzzling SUV. Fuck all of you who close your eyes to it.
And this brings us to the point of the current “war.”
I’ve been writing pieces critical of the Clinton Administration’s foreign policy since before it took office (e.g., October 1992 Ink Nineteen – no link available, I can e-mila you the article if you want it). I mostly ranted about them being one-worlder, let’s-all-think globally, goddess-worshipping eco-fascists. Their record, up to 1999 pretty much confirmed my observations. An example? OK, just one, Al Gore praising US soldiers in the service of the United Nations. That’s enough, thank you very much. How about Bill Clinton apologizing to “Africa” for slavery? I mean look up the record! Look up these folks’ history. Would anyone expect them to even know the first thing about fighting a war? Heck no!
Well, at the very least you’d expect them not to repeat Viet Nam, right? Sure.
The peoples of Yugoslavia have a long tradition of violence, mostly towards each other. Their history is one of battle, conquering and being conquered. Cruelty runs in their genes. Anyone trying to appeal to the “hearts and minds” of the Serbians ignores their history. Maybe Clinton and Blair think that humans are supposed to be peaceful by nature and it’s only through a few “evil” men that so much suffering is caused. Which, of course, is nonsense.
Check it out yourself! The history of mankind, especially Yugoslavia, is the history of violent conflict!
Well, tut-tut, that just isn’t so, Dave, says the defenders of the Clinton and Blair war on Serbia. This is an example of morally-just bombing.
You fucking ex-hippies! At the time of this writing (4 April 1999) Belgrade is nearly leveled! That’s not just, that’s a murder of an entire city!
Do I care? Me, David Lee Beowulf, the guy who likes war? Yeah, I like war, but only if it’s all-out and for real cash and real prizes. Plus there must be opportunities for glory, valor, honor and hand-to-hand combat. Real fighting. Dropping bombs on a third-world city is for pussies.
My real beef isn’t with bombing Yugoslavia. Well, partly it’s not. On the one hand, for the sake of argument, I totally agree with all assessments that Yugoslavian “President” Slobodon Milosevic is a brutal, crazy man. Just like ALL Yugoslavians and Albanians. These people love to hack each other apart. On the other hand, I simply do not see the point of NATO taking sides in a civil war and bombing the hell out of a populated city.
One of my key points is taking sides in a civil war. We took sides in Viet Nam and while I’ll defend it in general as one move in the war on communism, what a waste. At one point we could’ve bribed our way out of the Viet Nam War (Goldwater, page 310), winning it at the same time. Forget it, sez Johnson’s Secretary of Defense, Robert MacNamara, the first Project Manager put in charge of “managing” the war. The rest is so much history you ought to look up.
While I do not see how Yugoslavia, the country that makes Yugos, could in any way imperil NATO, let alone the United States, in armed conflict, I see a real danger in doing what we’re doing. First of all, as many, many have stated, this sets a dangerous precedent: NATO has blatantly interfered with the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Spying is one thing, dropping bombs on cities is another.
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, for whom NATO is proxy agent, have “justified” the attacks, ruling out “ground forces,” in order to bring the “atrocities” committed by Slobodon Milosevic to a stop. Sort of like the “Bomb With Love” mantra from Ticket to Heaven, destroying Yugoslavia will “degrade” the military power of Serbia to such a level that they will see the error of their ways and become peaceful Americans, just like all the rational people on the planet.
Now, before going on, let’s deconstruct my wild ranting just this once:
Sort of like the “Bomb With Love” mantra from Ticket to Heaven, refers to the 1982 film about how a smart young man (played by Nick Mancuso) is brought into a religious cult. “Bomb with Love” is a mantra repeated over and over again to the cults new inductees to “fire them up” before they go out and a) recruit new members, b) beg for money by selling flowers door-to-door, and c) juxtapose the violent aggression of “bombing” with the passion of “love.” It’s pretty creepy when you see it. NATO’s bombs are dropping for love of the so-called “ethnic Albanians.”
…destroying Yugoslavia will “degrade” the military power of Serbia… Throughout this “conflict” NATO spokesman Jamie Shea and others have spoken of “degrading” Milosevic’s power to make war. “Degrading” isn’t what they’re doing, “destroying” is what they’re doing. To degrade would be to send bands of youths armed with cans of spray paint into Belgrade where they’d paint nasty Albanian pejoratives about Slobbo all over the place.
…they will see the error of their ways and become peaceful Americans, just like all the rational people on the planet. It is my impression of one-worlder peacniks that they seriously believe that people really want peace rather than war. That people, if just given the chance, will embrace “market economics” and live like peaceful Americans do. After all, since Americans don’t go around killing each other… Either that or because of our awesome freedoms, especially of “expression,” Americans are the natural model for the peaceful human being. Content, sated, peaceful. Everyone should be such, it’s natural!
Oh? Isn’t worship of the Earth Goddess supposed to bring “us” back to peaceful living? Sure… Peter James and Nick Thorpe, in their excellent 1994 book, Ancient Inventions, state, regarding military technology in the past, “Despite modern fantasies to the contrary, there is not a shred of evidence that there was once a prehistoric ‘golden age’ of peace and plenty, ruled over by peace-loving matriarchs who kept men’s aggressive instincts in check. The sad truth is that human ingenuity has been feverishly applied to military technology since the beginnings of civilization.” I am not making this up as I go along, people!
My fundamental problem with Blair/Clinton is that they’re fucking bombing Yugoslavia. Flat-out that’s it. There is no reason for it. Yugoslavia is in no way shape or form a danger to any EU country’s economic stability. So I don’t see the need to crush their manufacturing ability, besides, they get most of their weapons from Russia, rather than build them themselves. I’d almost dismiss any theory that Slobbo and company were somehow threatening some sort of economic action against the EU except for a fact of Yugoslav history: Yugoslavia, or the separate states of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzigovina, Macedonia, Montenagro and Slovenia, were, for the most part, suppliers of peasants who worked the farms of the German gentry hailing from Austria-Hungary. And we all know that Great Britain has always been closely allied, at times in secret, at times in the open, with its Saxon brethren, i.e., Germans. Put two-and-two together and you get a conspiracy on the part of Great Britain to bomb the Slavs back into their rightful place as a cheap labor resource for the rest of the EU…
OK, that’s complete bullshit, but maybe it isn’t…
So much for the economic justification of bombing Yugoslavia. How about making sure those nasty Serbs don’t bring other nations into the conflict? In the past, Yugoslavia has had boarder disputes with Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria. I guarantee Yugoslavia would NEVER attack any of these countries in order to expand their borders. That would invite NATO and possibly the whole of the old Warsaw Pact to blast them into oblivion, and rightly so. The little split-off of Macedonia may have some problem with Greece, who claim they own the title “Macedonia,” but at most that would just add another group of stateless terrorists to the major leagues (along with the Basque separatists, etc.). And then all you’d have to do is play cat and mouse for the next thousand years or so while the rest of the world enjoys itself.
The only thing left is the “humanitarian” reason. Now, many, many great news columnists, far more articulate than I, in papers all across the globe have made the point that bombing Yugoslavia out of humanitarian concern for the poor, innocent “ethnic Albanians” sets a dangerous precedent. Mainly: internal strife will be answered by external bombs. When, for example, will the bombing of Peking start in order to free Tibet? What I want answered is why nothing was done to stop the incredible slaughter in Rwanda (one or two armored battalions would’ve stopped the massacres there, and on the cheap, too!).
But besides that nonsense, are bombs the answer? How come all the ex-hippie pukes are so behind bombing all of a sudden? Other than the fact that this is, just the Viet Nam, guys, a civil war. Why don’t we simply wall off Yugoslavia, not letting anyone out all the while covertly supplying the Kosovo Liberation Army until the whole thing reaches a standstill for a couple of years? It would be cheap and would only cost the lives of those directly involved in the conflict. Once the standstill is reached, you can buy peace quite easily. Nope, nope, say the ex-hippie Clintonites, bombs away! Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb the hills, bomb the valleys, bomb the cities. And once it’s realized that the crazy Serbs are only made more unified from the bombing, send in the “ground troops” to pull every last Serb out from every nook and cranny they find.
This is so surreal. The last people you’d expect to bomb would be the ex-hippies, right? Unbelievable. What’s also weird is their disdain for upsetting Russia. The country they loved so much in the 1960s can now go to hell? I don’t understand it.
To think that the richest nation in the world can’t simply purchase Kosovo boggles the mind.
And what will happen after this is all over? Assuming this isn’t a playing-out of biblical prophecy and Russia doesn’t attack Israel, the USA will assume the total role of World Hegemon. We will earn a lot of contempt from other countries for imposing our will on their internal workings (who’s next? Indonesia?) and probably open ourselves up to all sorts of terrorist attacks (one more reason to take away my guns…) from who knows where. Not only that, but our amazing economy, the economy that’s booming in the face of recessions in all the modern western and westernized countries, will lose a lot of its steam since we’ll have to pay for rebuilding Belgrade.
That’s really enough, I’m fading fast on this one. So, to fill up a lot of space here are the collected e-mail messages I sent out over the last few weeks pertaining to Yugoslavia, I hope the links are still good, as many of the essays are quite good.
Today, NATO, which of course is Washington, is bombing Serbia because the Milosevic regime – like Suddam Hussein in 1990 – has become uppity. The man is not following orders. He is not subduing the Kosovans as the American plan dictated. He has become all too flagrant, allowing his troops to slaughter people and leave their bodies to be filmed by Western television. More seriously, he is challenging the “stability of the region”; the kind of false stability essential for an imperial power to go about its God-given tasks.
“This campaign is not a 30-second ad,” he said, alluding to his critics’ contention that he views every policy according to short-term political advantage. “It’s only been going a few days. This thing hasn’t had time to work.”
For April Fools Day, I had this:
Lunchtime fishing, here’s the day’s catch… Check out the links as they may be gone by tomorrow.
Here’s a collection of 31 March 1999 editorials on the Yugoslobodon Fun worth checking out…
Really weird report in NYPost: Includes: “State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin said, “There are indications genocide is unfolding in Kosovo” amid reports that 500,000 desperate ethnic Albanians are now refugees. ” Apparently, Jamie Rubin is CNN’s Christine Amanpour’s husband.
Best and the Brightest:
“White House spokesman Joe Lockhart yesterday pleaded for a little leeway regarding the NATO air strikes now underway in the Balkans: ”We feel that we have a campaign that will over time allow us to reach our military objective. There’s no way to put a timetable on this.” He’s right; there can be no timetable. There is something ridiculous about the way the press and public officials are talking about this action – as though a complex military and political situation was going to be resolved in 48 hours with a relatively light bombing campaign that was not targeting Serb troops or weaponry, but rather the military communications network. “
(Hey! Check this one after you read the Chomsky piece!)
On the 31st I sent this:
Who’s telling the truth in this AP release?
Kosovo Rebels Are Barely Holding On Filed at 10:46 a.m. EST By The Associated Press
VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Faced with a massive Serb onslaught, ethnic Albanian rebels are no longer attacking Serb forces and are barely holding on, a regional rebel commander said today.
Ramush Hajredinaj, a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, told The Associated Press by satellite phone that the rebels are trying to protect what’s left of the Albanian community in Kosovo.
“The civilian population needs our protection, certainly the elderly, the women and children,” he said. “We have to do everything we can for the people.”
Hajredinaj said in the absence of international monitors and aid organizations, Serb forces have been “massacring” and “hunting” ethnic Albanian civilians in an effort to drive them into Albania or neighboring areas. Many doctors and pharmacists have been executed, he said. “It’s no longer war, it’s pure tyranny,” he said.
With most international aid agencies and monitors having left Kosovo before NATO bombing began last Wednesday, such reports are impossible to verify.
In Switzerland, a KLA spokesman said today that the Serb attacks would make it difficult for Kosovo to deal with Serbia — even as an autonomous region, as envisioned by a peace plan the ethnic Albanians signed. “After this, we can’t imagine life together with Serbia,” said Bilall Sherifi, a delegate to the failed peace talks earlier this year in Rambouillet, France.
Sherifi said a decision whether the Albanians would abide by the terms of the agreement had to be made by the participants, and admitted that the KLA did not know the whereabouts of many members of the delegation. NATO has said it had received reports that Fehmi Agani, an ethnic Albanian negotiator at the peace talks, was “executed” on Sunday and that others had gone into hiding.
The Serbian Media Center in Pristina, the Kosovo capital, claimed there was no evidence to support the accusations.