FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Balcony Seat to Our Own Balkanization?

“The United States has today formally recognised Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state. We congratulate the people of Kosovo on this historic occasion.”

–Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Feb 18, 2008

“Then we will remember
Things we said today.”

–The Beatles

One day in the future, something like the following may be enacted in the American Southwest: Votes will have been cast, referendums held; promises, pleas and threats — all made and disdained. A new flag will have been run up, the Stars and Stripes brought down one final time. The media will have shown graphic scenes of the exodus of “ethnic” English-speakers from the lands formerly called Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Southern California. Some resonant name will have been found for the new nation. The air will be rent with cries of “Si, Se Puede”. (Yes, we can).

When that day might come be one cannot say. But if it should, it doesn’t take an astrologer to predict that Serbia will be the first country to recognize the new state. Following close behind: Russia, then perhaps China.
A couple of years ago I wrote an article called, “The Partition of America” outlining some historical parallels for such a scenario. Today’s superpower status is no guarantee against tomorrow’s disintegration. If this seems far-fetched, then I have two words for you: ‘Soviet’ and ‘Union’.

What Bush and Cheney — and all of us — have collectively wrought: the death of a half-million Iraqis and dislocation of four million, Milosovic, however terrible, and Serbia, a mere regional power, could never hope to match. To recall the lines from Gray’s Elegy,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;

Today’s news reminds us once more, lest we forget, of Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s unity in diversity — their tireless advocacy of a full-court press bombing campaign against another sovereign nation — Serbia; again, one that had done no harm to the United States. It also tells us that “the mindset that got us into war in the first place” in Barack Obama picturesque phrase, was not a product of the Bush-Cheney era entirely. And at least in the matter of speaking easily about warmaking, the torch (to plagiarize from Mr. Obama’s idol) has been passed to a new generation: “I am not against all wars”, declared young Mr. Obama, putative bhakta of Martin Luther King, in the pre-Iraq War speech of 2002 so pivotal to his campaign, “Only dumb wars”.

Really? America’s Serbian war was, by measures of Washington Wisdom, a ‘smart war’. No Americans died in it (Lots of Serbians did, as did some Chinese — but who’s counting them?). Our ‘war’ ended in about two months: a neat affair, like a summer romance. Did Mr. Obama think that was a smart war or a dumb one? No one in the Press asks, because we are too busy with matters of vital importance, such as whether he stole a line or two from Deval Patrick.

A towering trade deficit, an eviscerated manufacturing sector, an imbecilic proposition that ‘jobs Americans won’t do’ (such as thinking?) is a fine reason to encourage illegal immigration, the crushing of any moral standards in the name of fighting terrorism — this is our baseline. And now, on the heels of breaking down Iraq, we are busy encouraging the break up of Serbia. We do it in arrogance. Yes, We Can, we seem to say to the world as we throw down a gauntlet.

But, does the US believe, as it ambles along parroting this pithy slogan, that similar fates are not in our own future? Now that would be a topic worthy of a Presidential Debate!

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN is a writer living on the West Coast. He can be reached at: njn_2003@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

/>Niranjan Ramakrishnan is a writer living on the West Coast.  His book, “Reading Gandhi In the Twenty-First Century” was published last year by Palgrave.  He may be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

November 14, 2018
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
Ron Jacobs
Impeach!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail