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.

September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail