by Andrew Murray* The first casualty of this war, as with others, has been the truth. In an attempt to mobilise support behind the air bombardment of Yugoslavia, the British Government's propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, with scant regard for truth, the supposed independence of the BBC or even the intelligence of the British people. LIE NUMBER ONE — This is a humanitarian intervention. Quite apart from the direct civilian victims of the bombing, NATO aggression has engulfed Kosovo in a tide of misery far greater than any which preceded the bombing. Just as the position of the Kosovo Albanians deteriorated following the funding and arming of the Kosovan Liberation Army by the German Government, so it is the Kosovan Albanians who are suffering the consequences of this latest escalation. Clearly they are pawns in a game which has nothing to do with "humanitarianism" but plenty to do with big-power politics. It is fair to assume that the plight of the Kosovan Albanians ranks rather low down NATO's concerns. By provoking the very humanitarian crisis that it claims to be trying to avert, NATO is setting the stage for further and deeper military intervention in the Balkans, probably amounting to the armed occupation of much of the region and the complete destruction of independent Yugoslavia. LIE NUMBER TWO — Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is a new Hitler. The British Establishment failed to do anything about the real Hitler until the matter was forced upon it. The main measure of Hitlerism in international politics was its disregard for international law and the League of Nations and its willingness to violate the sovereignty of other states in pursuit of global hegemony. On that reading of Hitlerism, one should not look for the heirs of Adolf in Belgrade, which threatens no other state, but in Washington, London, Paris and Bonn. LIE NUMBER THREE — This attack represents the will of the "international community". The largest states in the world — Russia, China and India — actually oppose NATO's actions, which has neither sought nor received the blessing of the United Nations. It is an action undertaken solely by the US, the west European nations and their immediate satellites for their own interests. LIE NUMBER FOUR — Something must be done and there is no alternative. This is a double deceit. First there is no necessary reason why "something must be done" about the exclusively internal affairs of a sovereign state. Second, the clear alternative is the path of negotiation, primarily between Kosovan Albanians and the Yugoslav Government. It is this path that the policy of the NATO powers has actually frustrated again and again with its support for violent attempts to rewrite the Yugoslav constitution. The best alternative of all would be a ringing call by the United Nations for the full reconstruction of Yugoslavia and support for her right to sovereignty and independence, free from aggression. In summary, Germany wants to extend its hegemony over eastern Europe and has pursued the dismemberment of Yugoslavia for some years as part of this policy. The US is glad for a chance to remind the European Union that, whatever its economic strength, it still needs US military might — in a sense the war is the US response to the birth of the euro. And Britain, a second-rank power with global economic interests and ambitions, will do whatever is required to sustain a "world police force" intervening here, there and everywhere in the interests of the "haves" against the "have-nots".
* * **Morning Star (Abridged)