rn- re: Hans Sinn – Why are Germans so interested in seeing Yugoslavia disintegrate?


Richard Moore

5/10/99, Jan Slakov wrote:
  >Dear Richard,
  >I think Hans Sinn asked a good question, ie. why Germany would have
  >strong-armed countries into dividing up Yugoslavia...
  >I hope you'll reply to Hans, and if the reply is useful to the whole
  >RN list.

Dear Jan & rn,

I apologize for being so long in replying, and I'm glad Jan didn't wait for
me before continuing this important thread.

Hans Sinn asked:
 >Why were and are the Germans (and the former German Minister of Foreign
 >Affairs Hans-Dietrich Genscher) so interested in seeing Yugoslavia
 >disintegrate ?

Please understand that I'm talking about German leaders only, not about
"Germans" as a society.  German national decisions aren't made
democratically, any more than they are in the US.

The whole Yugoslav scenario is an imperialism scenario, and it can be
placed in context by looking at the four major types of activities that
have been characteristic of imperialism down through the centuries...

    1) Competing among imperial powers
    These are known as "real wars", and they occur when one
    imperial power thinks it can succeed in grabbing territory
    from another.  Examples: Mexican War (1830's, seizing
    American Southwest), Spanish American War (seizing Cuba and
    the Phillipines), WW-I (competing over the Balkans and
    North Africa), WW-II (Hitler thought he could take over Russia
    outright; Japan and US were competing over Southeast Asian

    2) Confiscating native territories
    These aren't known as "real wars" and aren't covered much in
    school history books.  They occur when indiginous peoples
    get in the way of capitlist growth, and typically involve
    ethic cleansing and systematic genocide.  Obvious examples
    were Native Americans and Ausralian Aboriginies, but the
    process continues today with rain-forest tribes and much of
    Black Africa (through Western financed, trained, and armed
    insurgent groups which are encouraged to incite genocidal
    civil wars).

    3) Destabilizing colonial economies
    When the British East India Company first reached India, the
    Indian economy was comparable in its productivity to
    the British economy.  This was not a case of an advanced
    country meeting a primitive one.  But the British had better
    arms, and proceeded to destabilize and destroy the Indian
    economy so that it could be dominated by Britain and become
    a market for British goods.  Destabilization of local
    competition is a universal tactic of capitalist imperialism,
    and is reflected in the "guidelines" laid down by today's
    IMF - which systematically destroy economy after economy,
    taking local competition off the international market and
    creating local markets for TNC products and fire-sale investment
    opportunities for outside investors (eg: Rwanda, S Korea, Russia).

    4) Restructuring home-country economies
    Capitalist imperialism does not limit its activities to the
    far side of the Rubicon.  Destabilization, or re-
    structuring, of home-country economies has long been used to
    provide capital growth opportunities.  The Enclosure Acts in
    England - the classic case - forced rural populations into
    low-wage factories while enabling agriculture to be
    reorganized along industrial lines.  The dismantlement of
    railroads in postwar US, Britain, and Ireland - forcing
    people into cars, goods into trucks, and creating a huge
    market for petroleum - is a more recent example.

In Yugoslavia, from the perspective of Germany and the US, I'd say it's
pretty clear we're dealing with a type-3 scenario: split Yugoslavia into
manageable pieces, make sure they're in conflict with one another, and bomb
the economic infrastructure back to the stone age.  In all, it's an
effective master plan for reducing Yugoslavia, effectively, to colonial
status - subject to Western domination, a market for Western goods, and no
longer a competitor in international markets, as it was until recently, for
example, in automobile production.

Naturally the conflict is presented publicly as a moral crusade - that's
been the Western battle-theme ever since the original, looting-motivated
Crusades in the late Middle Ages.  Always there's an evil enemy... the
"saracen", the "heathen", the "hun", the "fascist", the "commie", the
"treacherous jap", the "terrorist"... _never, it would appear, do Western
powers act out of selfish interests - unlike everyone else in the world,
whose every action is interpreted as coming from their self-interest.  With
the West's presumed nobility of purpose, and centuries of Western global
domination, one might wonder why the world isn't a better place - _if one
believed the rhetoric.


 >Where did the Germans get the political muscle to force the other western
 >governments into a premature recognition of the secessionist governments of
 >Slovenia and Croatia?

Germany is, after all, the biggest economy by far in Europe; the Mark
dominates European commerce; the Bundesbank more or less sets Europe's
interest rates; and Germany is the largest single market in Europe.
Germany has countless ways to twist arms and get its way.

In the case of Croation recognition, according to the reports I read, the
primary deal was struck with Britain - once Britain switched sides, the
rest of the European leaders capitulated.  What Britain got out of the deal
was the right to opt out of the "Social Chapter" - that set of EU
provisions which call for uniform labor laws, wage levels, and other
socially-oriented measures.

In essence, the deal was: "If you let us destabilize the Balkans, we'll let
you exploit your workers."   (As usual, a "deal" among imperialists is one
where they split the cash benefits, and everyone else pays the human costs.)

 >Why would the Germans precipitate a situation in which they would become
 >the major recipient of the consequent refugee flood? For instance, there
 >are now 800.000 Albanians living in Germany.
 >According to you it appears that the Germans were and are merely the
 >instrument of the Americans and the "capitalist elite", who are reaping the
 >benefits of the Balkan chaos, while the German government merely saw fit
 >(for some reason) to invite another two million refugees or so into its
  >already densely populated country.

Here it is important to make the clear distinction between the German
people and German leaders.  The influx of refugees is highly destabilizing
of German society.  It is over-stretching the national budget, throwing
flames on an existing right-wing racist backlash, swamping the
social-services capacity of the nation, and bringing in gangster elements
from the KLA (such groups always seem to get first chance at immigration,
eg: Miami).  Clearly these developments are not to the benefit of the
German people.

Is this societal destabilization a case of accidental, collateral damage,
or is it one of the goals of the esteemed German leaders?

To answer this question, we need to consider a new major form of
imperialist activity, one that began with the Regan/ Thatcher Reactionary
Revolution, and which has since become the dominant global paradigm.  I
speak of course of the "neoliberal" revolution - privatization, downsized
government services, the end of entitlements, deregulation, lowered
corporate taxes, and free trade.

To some extent, these are a case of Type-4 devilry - cannibalizing national
assets and social welfare to provide another round of capital growth.  But
the neoliberal revolution goes further than that - it is aimed specifically
at destabilizing Western society and the institutions of liberal democracy.

You can see this by the way polticians and government are continually
denigrated in the corporate media - whereas before the 80's the spin was
the other way around, toward respect for officials and toward national
patriotism.  You can also see it by the homeless in the streets, the
readily available CIA-supplied drugs, the skyrocketing prison population,
and any number of other indicators.

As our old friend Sam Huntington said in his historic '73 "Crisis of
Democracy" article, the "excesses of democracy" had, in the postwar era,
become an impediment to business-as-usual operations - these "excesses must
be reduced" if the normal business of the West (ie, capitalist growth and
imperial management) was to continue unfettered.

The US and Germany, the leading Western capitalist powers, were also in the
'70's leaders in environmental protections and anti-war sentiment.  (These
are examples of Huntington's excesses.)  There was a spirit of renewed
bottom-up democracy, and a somewhat leftist energy alive in national
politics (more excesses).

In other words, these bastions of Liberal Democracy were also threatening
to become thorns in the side of global capitalism, a kind of domestic
democratic cancer that hampered global activities - rather than providing
the fortresses of imperialism that had been the Western tradition ever
since Columbus.

The neoliberal revolution was only the opening salvo in the assault on
Western democratic institutions and societies.  NAFTA, the later GATT
rounds, and the other free-trade treaties were a second-wave assault, whose
full ramifications are yet to be felt.  Major influxes of refugees, without
any effective plans to integrate them into society, furthers the aims of
destabilization in many ways at once.

It creates a vulnerable, low-wage labor pool - unlikely to demand its
rights or sign on for its benefits - which can be used to make further
inroads against unions, labor-protection laws, etc.   It accentuates
divisiveness in society, not only between citizens and newcomers, but also
among political factions - in particular it fans the flames of a right-wing
reaction, as was mentioned above.

No, Germany's schemes in the Balkans are not to the benefit of the German
people, but they advance the cause of globalization, and the
destabilization of Western societies (especially Germany), very well


The whole matrix of globalization is being revealed, and is coming to a
rapid climax, in the current episode in Yugoslavia.

At the beginning, NATO was simply exceeding its charter a bit, allegedly
taking emergency action for an emergency situation - no time to wait for
the UN committees, as it were.  But already things have progressed to the
point where Clinton has announced that this is now a new permanent regime -
NATO is no longer tied to the UN and it now has an official responsibility
to police the world.  Where in hell does he think he gets the authority for
such a pronouncement??  Louis XIV claimed divine right; I suppose "backing
of the capitalist elite" is today's equivalent, and need not be spoken.

At the beginning, we were told that withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo
was the main objective... subsequently we learn that NATO occupation of
much of the region was a non-negotiable demand from the outset, unbeknownst
to us mere citizens.  Increasingly, the correct term is becoming not "neo
imperialism", but rather "old-fashioned colonialism", with Western troops
garrisoning the dominions, and ships-of-the-line bombarding resisting
targets.  Again, Yugoslavia marks a warp-speed acceleration in the
globalization agenda.

And then there are the Russian and Chinese angles.  These are not
peripheral to what's going on, but are strategically central.  While the
US, in a de facto sense, completely dominates the world militarily, China
does not accept this as a permanent state of affairs.  You can read about
this in Foreign Affairs, March-April, 1997, or you can see my article
"China vs. Globalization" on the cdr website, under "CyberLib".

China believes in sacrosanct national sovereignty - at least for itself
(did I hear someone mention Tibet?) - and is working feverishly to develop
the military and technological capacity to defend its sovereignty
effectively against the threat of American hi-tech and first-strike
weaponry.  In some sense, outside public awareness, there's a replay of the
Cold War arms race going on, but with a hi-tech emphasis instead of raw
nuclear firepower.  (Naturally, as is tradition, Western suppliers are
selling to both sides in the arms race, and Western capital is
participating, at least indirectly, in Chinese military development.

Desert Storm, among other objectives, provided an opportunity for testing
the hi-tech weapons which the US had been developing in its unannounced
arms race with China.  Iraq was so totally outmatched that the display of
American weaponry was entirely gratuitous to that conflict; as a veteran of
that war expressed it, "It was like a college team playing against a grade
school team - they didn't even fight back."  That's because the weapons
were designed with a more powerful adversary in mind.  The main tactical
problem in the Gulf War was sheduling in all the targets they wanted to
test their weapons on; the enemy wasn't a factor - strange "war" indeed.
Once the tests were over, they launched the long-heralded "land war", and
the rest was over in a day or two.

Again in Yugoslavia updated weapons are being tested, and the NATO lads are
getting their chance to try some of them out.  Taken together with the
arrogant and belligerent stance being taken by Clinton and NATO - thumbing
their noses at the UN, and claiming official sovereignty over the world -
there is no way that the Chinese would not feel they were being implicitly

Desert Storm, as George Bush put it, heralded the beginning of a New World
Order.  The blitzkrieg assault on Yugoslavia reveals more of the subtle
grossness of that new global regime.  Chinese leaders can watch their
televisions and see the weapons being deployed that were designed with them
in mind; they can hear the US President saying he has the unaccountable
right, along with NATO, to enforce against anyone they choose whatever
conditions they might come up with, based on whatever PR story they wish to
concoct.  Meanwhile, the Chinese can observe that the global media falls
into line like so many sheep to echo and illustrate the official line.

As if the implicit confrontation weren't enough, along comes a salvo of US
missiles to blow away the Chinese embassy.  Don't believe for a second that
was an accident.  Today's earlier rn posting, "WHY the Chinese embassy..."
was probably much closer to the truth than what we're hearing on the media.
The embassy attack was so much spit in their face - it was saying "In case
you don't get the message, tough guy, I'm number one around here and you
better just watch your step.  Wanna do something about it?...  I dare you."

The New World Order is about total global hegemony for the capitalist
elite, to be managed by the IMF, the WTO, American and NATO forces, and a
collection of mega TNC's.  This is not a world which has room for an
independent national power, not one as big as China, and not one with the
designs China has for a "special role" as Asian hegemon.

A full scale conflict with China, in the opinion of one significant branch
of US policy making, is inevitable.  Perhaps that branch of policy making
is in the ascendency; perhaps the timing is now considered right; perhaps
the secret bombing strategy is to escalate and escalate further, to involve
neighboring countries, to keep pushing and pushing until finally a response
is forced from Russia and/ or China.  Perhaps the climactic ascendency of
the New World Order is nigh upon us, and China, like Yugoslavia, is soon to
be bombed back to the stone age, and Russia is to be taken out for good
measure.   "Grind all Carthiginians into the dust, and get it over with",
would certainly be a welcome motto among many Pentagon veterans (shades of
Dr. Strangelove).

Or perhaps the point is simply to humiliate the Chinese publicly, to
demonstrate their impotence, to give them no face - to teach them to accept
their subservient role in the newly announced global power structure.  We
don't know which way this game is going to go, to predict would be like
trying to guess whether the bird in their hand was alive or dead - they can
always change their mind and create the reality they want.


 >I like to believe your analysis, but to do so I would have to know much
 >more about the actual past and present German motivation.

I'm not sure why anyone would "like" to belive my analysis - I'd much
prefer if I was wrong - but it is important to know the truth even if it's
painful and seems at first hopeless.  Hope (as opposed to wishing) becomes
possible only when you acknowledge how bad things are, and can then get on
realistically with the challenge of figuring out what can be done.

I hope this has clarified the question of past and present German
_leadership motivation.



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