It was a year much like any other – until it wasn’t.
In the Balkans, the tone for 2013 was set in December 2012, when the Empire-installed regime in Belgrade pledged to break Serbia in exchange for lording over its ruins. But the understanding of Empire’s Balkans policy was much illuminated in late January, by longtime Balkans observer James Jatras, who offered two simple rules and a corollary. Not only have they explained events over the previous two decades, but everything that has happened since.
Empire’s conduct has been clueless as well as callous. Even as Foggy Bottom congratulated the "Kosovians" the fifth anniversary of their "independence" in February, it sent a template congratulation to Belgrade on Serbia’s "national day" – not realizing it was the anniversary of its 1804 rebellion against the Ottomans. The parallel may have been lost on the Department of State, but not on everyone.
As February gave way to March, the Empire was still convinced it could command the tides. Even the 10th anniversary of the disastrous Iraq adventure did not spark soul-searching. March 1999 was still counted as a victory, and March 2004 was deep in the Memory Hole; the illusions of triumph could persist a little longer.
Return to 1941
To truly conquer Serbia, the Empire needed Belgrade to declare that Imperial aggression was in fact liberation, and accept the media construct of Serbs-as-Nazis-reborn as actual truth. Yet a glance at history offered a disturbing understanding of who actually inherited Nazi policies.
The attempt to force an "agreement" between the quisling regime in Belgrade and the "Kosovian government" in March resembled nothing so much as the Tripartite Pact "negotiations" in March 1941. The Royal Yugoslav government had agreed to the pact then, only to be overthrown two days later. Yugoslavia was then invaded by Hitler and his allies.
This time, events unfolded in a different order: Serbia had already been invaded, partitioned and occupied. The "agreement" was simply to be the last nail in the coffin of those brave few that have resisted the occupation of Kosovo for 14 years. For a moment, Belgrade’s unexpected refusal looked like a wrench in the works; but it was only a ploy. Within days, the quislings of Belgrade capitulated completely, consenting to rape.
There was no rerun of March 27, 1941, either. The quislings’ power still appears absolute. But pride goes before the fall…
Summer of Discontent
A wave of riots spread through Europe in late spring and early summer. Muslim immigrants rampaged across Sweden. Turkish secularists opposed the government’s agenda of Islamization. In Bosnia, the lawmakers found themselves besieged by angry activists demanding a centralized ID database (?!) and using babies as props.
A common thread in all cases has been the increased cynicism of both the government and the general population. Furthermore, both the media and the political establishment misrepresented the causes and conduct of the protests – thus eroding what little legitimacy they may have had left.
With governments routinely disregarding their own laws, it was only a matter of time before their subjects decided being law-abiding was for fools. Enter Edward Snowden.
The disillusioned NSA employee revealed urbi et orbi the extent of Empire’s spying, not just on foreign governments – even "allies" – but on its own citizens. Not just against American laws explicitly banning such things, but against the very principles the United States were established on. For that, the establishment denounced him as a traitor – while critics declared him a hero. His passport revoked, Snowden found refuge in Russia.
The Crumbling Foundations
This was not the first time the foundations of Empire have been undermined by its lawless behavior. In March, EU mandarins decided to rob the Cypriot depositors in order to bail out the banksters. This sent a message to all subjects of the EU – and those aspiring to be annexed – that their property was not their own. Iceland received it loud and clear, telling Brussels in September it was no longer interested in joining. But Iceland was small and far away; when Ukraine did the same in December, things got serious.
Another example of lawlessness came in July. After U.S. "democracy activists" helped overthrow President Mubarak in 2011, a Muslim Brotherhood government was elected. But as President Morsi showed no sign of willingness to serve the Empire – having a jihadist agenda of his own – Washington backed a military coup against his government. But by doing so, Washington trampled all over its own propaganda about the sanctity of democracy – which in practice means whatever the Empire wants it to mean.
The very same thing happened in November, when the sham "elections" in the northern parts of occupied Kosovo were declared a success despite the overwhelming boycott of the population. Time and again, the Empire has sacrificed its founding principles for the sake of fictions and fantasies underlying its claim to global hegemony. Even the Bosnian peace, an unlikely achievement that has actually endured for 18 years and counting, has been undermined and maligned the most by its very creators.
The Long Retreat
By the end of August, everything was set for yet another evil little war, this time in Syria. Yet it was here, at last, that efforts to defy reality finally hit the proverbial wall.
Whatever actually stopped the Empire’s planned march on Damascus – a deft diplomatic trapdoor, a fleet off the Syrian shore, or something else altogether – the credit for it rightly goes to Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s editorial in the New York Times was a clear admonishment of those who believed themselves above the law – or exempt from it.
The powerful media delusion mechanism soon spun Putin’s admonishment as "insulting" and countered it with John McCain’s clowning diatribe on a Communist newspaper’s website. Thus the Empire and the EU walked right into another door in November, when Brussels offered Ukraine a "deal" that would have bankrupted the country.
Whether the EU was aiming to be deliberately insulting, or couldn’t afford Ukraine even at a deep discount, was soon of no importance; the "revolution" attempted by Empire-backed "activists", complete with celebrity endorsements and State Department cookies , went nowhere. Empire’s empty promises simply could not compete with Moscow’s cash offer.
Bursting the Bubble
From Cyprus to Kiev, from Syria to Snowden, 2013 has been a year of revelations. Time and again, reality has burst the virtual bubble of the Atlantic Empire and the European Union as the all-powerful, ever prosperous pinnacle of human political evolution.
Granted, that bubble still perseveres in the place where it was first conjured into being. Washington is still romancing the mobster lords of Kosovo, the jihadists of Bosnia, and the quislings of Belgrade. But with every new revelation, fewer and fewer are impressed with the sorrow and the pity of textbook tyrannies.
To quote an adage commonly misattributed to Abraham Lincoln: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time.
And the revelations have only just begun.