L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 68, March 31, 2000
How We Lost the War of Juanita's Lip;
Or, Return of the Balkan Tar-Baby
by Victor Milan
Exclusive to TLE
Inasmuch as Job Number One for the US military, going into the 21st
Century, will be disarming and subjugating the American people, it
behooves would-be free folk to understand one fact about the recent
military adventure in Kosovo.
Militarily the US and NATO lost. President Slobodan Milosevic and
It's a fundamental military principle, universally accepted since at
least the days of von Clausewitz, that war must by definition have a
clear-cut goal, some point the attaining of which will signal
victory. The necessary corollary is that should war fail to attain
that goal at reasonable cost, it's not a victory. While draws --
lose/lose situations -- are anything but uncommon in warfare, if one
side attains its goals and prevents its enemies attaining theirs, it
wins. It's that simple.
(Of course, anyone who's ever played a game of capture the flag, or
chess, or virtually any other competition already understands this.)
So in what way did Yugoslavia win? And how did they wind up so
screwed? How did the entire non-Albanian population of Kosovo, along
with every Kosovar who isn't the KLA's bitch, wind up getting
ethnically cleansed with the happy approbation of jackals like Tony
Blair and Madeleine Albright and the unsighted acquiescence of a
grotesquely marsupial "war crimes tribunal"?
First, the NATO military campaign against the Yugoslav army in its
province of Kosovo was a flop. With the air campaign in progress, the
Yugoslav army attacked the KLA and rapidly, decisively defeated it on
This is worth an instant replay: under one of the most intensive
bombing campaigns in history, despite moral and almost certainly
material support from NATO to the KLA, the Serbs whipped the
separatists in short order. Strike one.
When the war ended, the Yugoslav Army pulled out in good order, its
men riding tanks, waving their fists and shouting defiance. That's no
beaten army. And, oh, yes, those tanks -- NATO's claims for the
destruction it wrought on the Yugoslav Army were as fraudulent as its
claims of 100,000 murdered Kosovars: only a handful of actual
fighting vehicles were destroyed. In fact, so excellent was NATO's
intelligence-gathering, including its vaunted spy satellites, that
more tanks openly rolled out of Kosovo at the conclusion of
hostilities than NATO ever knew were there.
Ever dim, NATO did at least realize something was wrong with an
overwhelming air assault whose objects fought and won an offensive
campaign as if the bombs were sleet -- although, of course, no such
thing was ever hinted at in the lie-sewage that gushed nonstop from
the mouths of Jamies Shea and Rubin to be disseminated via those
dutiful sewers, our Western media. NATO did adjust its manifestly
losing strategy. It concentrated instead on civilian targets,
attempting to destroy not just Yugoslavia's industrial base but also
its civilian infrastructure, in hopes of torturing the populace into
surrender. NATO also attacked, probably deliberately, targets such as
buses and passenger trains, incinerating dozens of noncombatants to
orgasmic howls of delight from the American right and left.
After the war, certain NATO spokesvermin tacitly credited the attacks
on civilians with ending the war. So impressed were the corrupt
Communist thugs who ran Russia that they deliberately, and avowedly,
emulated NATO's genocide strategy in Chechnya.
But no terror-bombing campaign in history has ever produced victory.
Nor did this one.
Because of course, NATO lost.
As foreplay to the Kosovo war, NATO presented Yugoslavia with a treat
called the Rambouillet Accords. Although marketed as a peace
agreement, the Accords could not rationally be considered anything
but a provocation meant to drive Yugoslavia into war. Two clauses in
particular make this undeniable: first, a demand that Yugoslavia cede
Kosovo's independence, which even Milosevic's opponents rejected.
Second, that Yugoslavia submit to plenary military occupation by
NATO, allowing NATO troops total freedom to move anywhere in the
country at any time, while enjoying total legal immunity from
Yugoslav criminal and civil law.
I'm not one of these self-pronounced freedom-lovers everywhere
apparent who nonetheless sing the praises of the sovereign state:
government is murder, plunder, enslavement, and rape. All government
at every level is evil. Nor am I a fan of Slobodan Milosevic, another
But no unconquered nation-state could accede to such abject terms.
Had the democratically elected president of Yugoslavia done so, he'd
have been promptly killed by his own people, like Moctezuma. The
second condition alone would have rendered Yugoslavia a colony of
NATO: a penal colony, whose inmates enjoyed less recourse than
American prisoners in a maximum-security facility.
Milosevic was prepared to accept Rambouillet's other points. But the
two that amounted to utter surrender he was willing to fight rather
than give in to -- as NATO knew he would be, and manifestly intended.
So: the Kosovo War was fought to force Milosevic to accept two
particular clauses of the Rambouillet Accord. Your tax dollars at
The fighting ended when NATO (which really means the US and a pack of
miserable sock puppets) agreed to drop its insistence on Kosovo
independence and the military occupation of Yugoslavia. The very
issues war was fought over.
NATO exactly failed to achieve its war aims. Milosevic did attain
his. He won.
Strike three. NATO lost the war. But it won the peace, and in a way
entirely appropriate to Bill Clinton, that coke-whuffling,
cigar-twiddling, civilian-butcher bumpkin Omnibomber with the voice
of a goosed sow and the morals and sexual proclivities of a
televangelist: they lied.
Like Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau in the First World War --
who did at least defeat if not destroy the German armies -- Clinton
and his punks talked their opponents into laying down their arms with
a peace treaty they never meant to keep.
And we all know how well that turned out the first time, eh?
How sweet is victory. Juanita Broaddrick's credible allegations of
rape are forgotten -- which is victory, for Clinton. We may
yet find ourselves back toe-to-toe in newclear confrontation with the
Rooskies, which means America's pro-war conservatives have won reward
for their latest Lewinsky impression: a chance at re-igniting their
beloved Cold War. Everybody in the world brighter than Tony Blair --
six billion of us, give or take -- fears they may be the next victims
of a random American drive-by bombing. Our armed forces are adding
another black mark alongside their having connived at the genocide of
the Krajina Serbs of Croatia in the 1990s. And here we are with
another foot stuck irreclaimably into the Balkan Tar Baby.
"Smart guns" and mandatory "safety" locks aren't meant to save
children. They're meant to kill gun owners.
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