Now that we have succeeded in halting most of the ethnic cleansing in
Kosovo, we need to fly NATO's warplanes stateside to bomb the S.N.O.T
(Systematic Native Oppression & Torment) out of Arizona.
The reason? Ethnic cleansing by your old Uncle Sam.
By February 1, 2000, all remaining Navajo Indians (about 3000 elders)
on what are called Hopi Partition Lands in the four corners region of
Arizona are to be "relocated" from their tribal homes to a desolate
tract of land on the Rio Puerco, just downstream from the worst uranium
mine disaster in U.S. history (Church Rock Mill). To date, 10,000
Navajos--known as Dineh in their language--have been exiled to this
site, with 25% of the first group resettled in 1980 dying within the
first six months of arriving at the "New Lands." The remaining
survivors suffer from increased rates of birth defects and poisoned
In order to force the remaining Navajo elders from Big Mountain, the
government forbids them from repairing their homes, denies them access
to fresh water, and confiscates their livestock and firewood. In fact,
Alice Begay, a great grandmother whose family has lived at Big Mountain
for generations, had to buy back her cow from a livestock auction
earlier this month after the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
seized it from her.
You see, it all starts in 1863 when Colonel Kit Carson and the U.S.
Army went on a rampage to exterminate the Navajo who had been residing
in the Big Mountain region for the last 600 years. After Carson spent
weeks killing thousands of Indians, the survivors were forced to march
400 miles on the infamous "Long Walk" to Fort Sumner in eastern New
Mexico. Those who escaped Carson's grip hid in the canyons of the Big
Mountain region currently inhabited by the Navajo and the Hopi peoples.
The Hopi, an agrarian people, occupy permanent settlements in the
lowlands of the area relying largely on farming. The Navajo rely on
sheep-herding and dry-crop farming. In 1974, President Ford signed a
bill partitioning the Big Mountain area and ordered the Navajo to
leave. This was done in spite of a 1962 U.S. District Court ruling that
the lands in question were a Joint Use Area (JUA) cooperatively
developed by both Hopi and Navajo peoples (with the exception of the
small portion occupied by the Hopi settlements).
So why would the government care if the Navajo lived there or not,
especially since many Hopi elders believe that the Navajo have just as
much right as they do? Just follow the money: It turns out that during
the 1940s and 1950s, massive deposits of low-sulfur coal, oil, and
uranium were discovered in the mountains and canyons occupied by the
Navajo. The Peabody Western Coal Company began operating a 103-square
mile coal strip in the area in the mid-1960s (after first displacing
200 Navajo families).
The Navajo and Hopi tribal councils--created by the feds--get royalties
from Peabody's mining operations but those Navajo living in the mining
permit area get nothing (estimates show they live on top of 18 billion
tons of coal just six feet beneath the surface). In 1964, with the
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) acting as an "agent" for the Navajo,
Peabody paid less than 2% in royalties to the Navajo under its original
lease with the tribe. In 1984, the tribe sought to adjust the royalty
rate to 20 percent to reflect market standards. The Department of
Interior, which includes the BIA, approved the increased royalty rate
but Peabody (the world's largest private coal producer) pressured then-
Interior Secretary Donald Hodel into overturning the decision. Last
week, the Navajo announced they were fighting back with a $600 million
lawsuit against Peabody for shortchanging the tribe since 1984.
Nevertheless, the lawsuit won't prevent the expulsions of the Navajo
elders from Big Mountain. If you want to help:
AMERICAN BARBARISM AND THE BIG LIE TECHNIQUE
ARE THE WINNERS IN KOSOVO
28 June (Vidovdan) 1999
Is there anyone left who still believes that Yugoslavia was destroyed
by "ancient ethnic hatreds," and not from without by Western -
particularly American - imperialism and covert action? The potency of
this big lie diminished greatly as 20,000 tons of bombs were dropped on
Yugoslavia over 79 days, exposing the pure bloodsucking savagery that
is American imperialism. But not before it served its purpose in
providing the necessary diversion for the White House, the Pentagon and
the State Department to carve up Yugoslavia once again, detaching
Kosovo from Serbia and occupying it, looting its resources.
When investigating a crime one must learn both the motive and the modus
operandi of the perpetrator. Some of the best evidence of the economic
motives driving this war are in the perverted documents of the
criminals themselves, such as the infamous "Rambouillet Accords."
Chapter 4 of this 85 page Nazi-like ultimatum deals exclusively with
what is to be done with the economic assets of Kosovo. At the very top
of the list, Article 1 (page 45) calls for the privatization of the
whole economy. Since Kosovo's large industry is almost entirely state
owned, this document amounts to nothing less than an organized theft of
Yugoslav resources by Western corporations. Indeed, as the New York
Times admitted in a 1998 article, "below Kosovo, a war's glittering
prize" awaits the conqueror.
Kosovo's mineral resources are the richest in all of Europe west of
Russia. In particular, the N.Y. Times noted, "the sprawling
state-owned Trepca mining complex, the most valuable piece of real
estate in the Balkans, is worth at least $5 billion," producing gold,
silver, pure lead, zinc, cadmium, as well as tens of millions of
dollars in profits annually. Trepca was built by the British before
World War II, and is now once again back in the hands of British
capitalists. Kosovo's mines also possess 17 billion tons of coal
reserves, and Kosovo (like Serbia and Albania) also has oil reserves.
But these were not the only economic motives driving this war.
itself is also rich in mineral resources, especially oil. And the port
of Bar on the Montenegrin coast is the most valuable, cost efficient
deep water port in the entire Eastern Mediterranean Sea - the cheapest
route for the flow of goods in and out of Eastern Europe and beyond.
Also, extremely valuable oil and natural gas pipelines flow through
Serbia from Russia to Central Europe.
Finally, let's not forget the interests of the military-industrial
contractors themselves. Having used up their inventory of certain
weapon systems, the Pentagon got Congress to rush through a $15 billion
military spending bill for just the first six months following the
outbreak of the war. The NY Times reported that Congress is expected
to request an additional $120 billion for the next five years and over
$250 billion through the year 2010. This is a bonanza for the
munitions makers but a looming catastrophe for humanity, for as the
criminal American ruling class prepares this vast expansion of military
power they are also preparing to plunge humanity into a state of
constant war with the rest of the world, a vision of the future not
unlike the one portrayed in George Orwell's novel 1984.
But the economic prizes are not the only motivation behind the war.
Also important is the fact that Yugoslavia represents an alternative to
capitalism, and no such alternative can be permitted to exist --
especially not when it is outperforming many of its capitalist
Yugoslavia has the last socialist economy in Europe. 65% of all
are either state owned or self-managed cooperatives. The
combination of private, cooperative and state run enterprises is -- and
always has been -- the hallmark of the Yugoslav socialist model. Most
heavy industry is state owned, and it was the exclusive focus of the 79
day bombing campaign. The banking and financial system is also state
controlled. Only 20% of the workforce is in the private sector. And
Milosevic has moved away from privatization in recent years.
Despite Western-imposed sanctions Yugoslavia's economy managed to show
one of the best growth rates in Eastern Europe last year. Unable to
wreck the Yugoslav model through sanctions, the US and its European
allies financed mercenary armies in the guise of "democratic opposition
movements." When even these proved insufficient, the US and its
henchmen resorted to an outright terrorist bombing campaign.
The modus operandi of US imperialism in the Balkans follows a pattern
that by now should be altogether too familiar: incite ethnic conflict
by supporting secessionist movements; invent a new fake history of the
region to justify the secessionists; covertly finance and arm the
secessionists (using the narcotics trade for financing); exaggerate and
misrepresent internal suppression of that rebellion into human rights
violations; disseminate cooked stories of atrocities to the media, the
human rights groups and Jewish organizations; and then, in the wake of
the media clamor, threaten war to "defend human rights. Yugoslavia
will serve as the precedent for all future "humanitarian" wars of the
21st century. Soon we shall need to refer to the coming century as
"Orwell's Century" (or perhaps Goebbels'?).
It is funny to recall that when America blew up the Chinese Embassy,
the US corporate media simply could not comprehend what all the fuss
was about in China. Of course, having not received their cue from the
State Department and the human rights organizations, the American media
was puzzled as to what the big deal was in China. "What are they
getting so worked up about," they asked? So much for a free press.
Likewise, the faces and names of hundreds of thousands of Serbian and
other Yugoslav victims of the NATO bombings were rarely seen by the
American public and the destruction of the country of Yugoslavia was
obscured by blanket coverage of "the plight w as Albanians rape, murder
and pillage their way back into Kosovo against the half million Serbs,
Gypsies, Turks, Goranies and other nationalities in Kosovo, the human
rights "watchers" have all gone on holiday. This in the end is the
"Kosovo autonomy" that all of these human rights fakers (and not a few
"leftists") clamored for. So much for human rights.
In reality, the conflict in Kosovo that supposedly compelled NATO to
intervene was never really about Serbs versus Albanians -- except in
the Western imperialists' imagination. It was a struggle between
Western sponsored Albanian fascism that went by the name of the KLA
versus Yugoslavism. And when the Yugoslav army smashed the KLA, the
West intervened directly.
We supported Yugoslavia in this struggle, not merely because it was
right thing to do, but because of what it stands for: the last multi-
national state in Europe, the last socialist society in Europe, the
last free people in Europe. This is why Yugoslavia proved to be such a
powerful obstacle to IMF and NATO domination of southeastern Europe.
And this is why it was so savagely demonized, slandered and
Since the truth would be unpopular, the US foreign policy
establishment had to cast about for lies to justify their aggression.
The lies took the form of a virulent racist diatribe against the Serbs.
The "enemy" was always "the Serbs" -- never the Yugoslavs. Although
Serbs make up a majority of present day Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia consists
of 27 nationalities, so the bombs were falling on lots of non-Serbs.
But the main purpose of the anti-Serb propaganda was to misrepresent
the history of Yugoslavia as some sort of "Greater Serbian nationalist
state." However, rather than advocating "greater Serbian nationalism"
and ethnic cleansing, the Serbs have always -- both before and after
the initial dismemberment of Yugoslavia in 1991 -- supported a
multinational, socialist and independent Yugoslavia. It was for this
"crime" against global capitalism and US corporate power, and this
"crime" alone, that they were demonized.
Indeed, the fierce anti-colonial and revolutionary traditions of the
Serbs were well known long before this crisis ever began, for the Serbs
have a long tradition of resistance to imperialism. It was known in
1804 when the Serbs led the first uprising against the Ottoman Turks in
the Balkans. It was known in 1878 when the Serbs forced the Turks to
retreat from much of the Balkans and completely in 1913. It was known
in World War I when a million Serbs died to throw the Habsburg Germans
out of the Balkans. And it was known again after World War II when
Serbian anti-fascists played the leading role in stopping 33 Nazi
Wehrmacht divisions. Most importantly, it was known by the US, British
and West German governments throughout the Cold War which harbored and
supported the former Croatian, Albanian and Bosnian Muslim fascists for
fifty years until they could give birth to neo-fascist movements which
once again could destroy Yugoslavia and come to power in Croatia,
Bosnia and Kosovo as they had back in 1941 at the behest of Il Duce and
Der Fuhrer. It has always been known by would-be conquers, that in
order to conquer the Balkans you must first conquer the Serbs.
During this war the Serbs held out for an ideal they believed in and
for their independence. They hoped their struggle would resonate with
other forces in the world. They waited and listened as their cities
were blown up and burned, as their electricity and water supplies were
destroyed, as their children and people were poisoned and murdered.
But in the end they stood alone -- there was no response. The big lie
triumphed. The defeat of the Serbs leaves us all with a much more
dangerous world. It has fully exposed the dark, criminal nature of
William Jefferson Clinton - a rapist, a murderer, a gangster and a
fascist -- and his entire government. But we should not compare Clinton
to Hitler; it does not do justice to the full range of Clinton's social
pathology. He's best compared to a Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy:
sexual predators who murder the weak.
But this is not the first time that the Serbian people have been
subjugated, nor the last time that they shall rise up in struggle
against a bloody dictator and empire. The Serbs must plan for their
day of liberation today. They must make a record of every person
murdered by American pilots and sailors, a record of every person
crippled or injured, of every piece of property damaged, destroyed or
stolen, of every bridge, car and school bombed. The total cost to the
American and Western European taxpayers for these crimes will be around
one trillion dollars. Americans especially must pay up, since well
over 90% of the damage was done by American forces.
We must promise ourselves to do better this time than after Jasenovac.
We must promise ourselves that there will be a reckoning for the crimes
committed by American fascism, and that there will be a punishment
extracted - in blood if need be - from those who committed these
atrocities and crimes against humanity. There can be no justice for
the peoples of the Balkans without justice for Yugoslavia and for the
Serbian people. That is our central demand. And there can be no peace
as long as Western colonial troops occupy the Balkans. NATO
imperialists out of the Balkans! Long live Yugoslavia!
* * * * *
Adapted from his speech at the June 5th Demonstration at the Pentagon
Barry Lituchy teaches European history at Kingsborough Community