Ukraine, Bosnia on Pyres of Empire

If one is to believe the folks calling themselves modern-day Vikings, the Norse apocalypse starts tomorrow. Ragnarok, the "Twilight of the Gods," was described in a 13th-century poem as the end of Asgard and a new beginning for the world. How has Hollywood not been all over this?

Though the prospect of some divine apocalypse this Saturday sounds humorous at best – didn’t the world survive the Mayan prophecy in 2012 just fine (though again, not in Hollywood)? – there is nothing funny about the behavior of some people, who are apparently quite serious about bringing on the apocalypse. Judging by their behavior, the Imperial establishment may well be worshipping Odin these days. They seem determined not just to watch the world burn, but set it on fire.

An (un)civil War

Not two weeks after Imperial diplomats were caught in flagranti trying to order them around, the supposedly "independent" and "popular" leaders of the Maydan rebellion have responded to a general amnesty by the government with – armed rebellion. A number of government buildings were stormed by "peaceful protesters", including an armory in Lvov (Lwow, Lviv, Lemberg) near the Polish border.

So, according to the Empire, armed neo-Nazis, soccer hooligans, a variety of militant separatists, looters, arsonists and cop-killers are "peaceful protesters", whose demands for the government’s unconditional surrender and a rewriting of the Constitution are a desire for more "democracy." Meanwhile, the president who has tried every form of appeasement towards the protesters, including a general amnesty, is a "despot… abolishing democracy."

This is absurd. There is not a shred of logic in any of it, aside from the "who-whom" relativistic logic, according to which the designated villain can do no right, while the designated victim can do no wrong.

Malevolent Spite

The simmering resentment of the Imperial press against Russia over the past decade or so has flat-out exploded in 2014. As Chronicles’ Eugene Girin dared notice, the US media (though the Brits and the Canadians haven’t been far behind) have begun to write about Russia with hate:

"As if on cue from the White House, the American media started an anti-Russian campaign the sheer malevolence of which was only rivaled by the orgy of Serbophobia in the 1990s."

In a follow-up article, he noted that, "unlike the old Soviet Union, which was treated respectfully, if not reverently by the mainstream networks, Russia is portrayed as an object of scorn and ridicule: a failed, menacing, disagreeably exotic country."

Menacing to whom? Georgia, which attacked first? Ukraine, which Russia bailed out and subsidizes with cheap gas? Latvia, where SS veterans march proudly every year? The globalist banksters, who lost the ability to loot Russia they had under Yeltsin? Perhaps this rediscovery of jingoism in the Anglosphere might be rooted in the "feeling that maybe Putin is on to something", an order of things not dictated by Brussels, Washington and Wall Street. Clearly unacceptable.

Pawns on the Chessboard

In 2005, a former official of the International Crisis Group, John Norris, wrote a book about the 1999 Kosovo War, explaining that it was in fact a clash of the West with Russia. In his preface to Norris’s "Collision Course," State Department’s Russia expert Strobridge Talbott volunteered a startling confession: Yugoslavia had to be crushed because of its "resistance to the broader trends of political and economic reform."

If Milosevic’s Yugoslavia was deemed such a danger because of its mere refusal to accept the "end of history", what would Putin’s Russia be seen as, having dared construct an alternative? And so, just as the Albanians were used as a pretext – then abandoned to the tender mercies of the crime cartels – the Ukrainian "peaceful protesters" are being played as pieces on the game board. Perhaps due to wishful thinking, put into words by Guardian editors, that violence in Ukraine might somehow hurt Putin’s credibility and oust him from power?

Torching Bosnia

It cannot have been a coincidence that, during a lull in the "Maidan" activities in the aftermath of the Nuland-Pyatt tape, "revolutionary" riots erupted in parts of Bosnia. Poverty, corruption of politics and business, and a dangerously unrealistic sense of entitlement have plagued Bosnia for years. There was no immediate occasion for street protests to manifest now, yet they did. Within just a day, the "peaceful protesters" were torching local government buildings – rather than, say, the property of oligarchs that have impoverished them.

As if on cue, again, the Western press rushed to blame the "broken peace accord" (Reuters). Interviewing a handful of the same "activists", reporter after reporter concluded that "Many blame these problems – or at least their foundations – on the Dayton Accords" (Foreign Policy), even going so far as to declare that Dayton was "never supposed to remain in force this long" (NY Times) but was "in time supposed to be replaced by a more streamlined system."

The NYT quotes John C. Kornblum, one of Dayton’s authors, who claims the provisions of the peace treaty were "supposed to be replaced in three years with a more streamlined governmental structure." It was actually Rambouillet that envisioned an independent, Albanian Kosovo within three years – but Bosnia, Kosovo, what’s the difference?

Kornbum further said that a "serious attempt at change in 2005… was hindered in part by nongovernmental organizations reinforcing the Bosniak leaders’ desire for a unified state." Was it really the NGOs – which, by the way, are entirely dependent on US and EU taxpayer funds – or might it have been actual governments like Kornblum’s doing the "reinforcing"?

This, along with many other media snow jobs, counts on people not having much of a long-term memory. There is certainly no such thing called the Internet, where one can check what happened in 2006 and exactly who thwarted the "change" in Bosnia. Or, for that matter, look up the actual text of the Dayton Agreement and point to where exactly it says the Muslim-Croat Federation must have the highest number of government officials per capita in the known universe. Hint: nowhere.

The Mad Meddlers

The weather in Bosnia may have been unnaturally warm – which could explain the riots in February, rather than, say, April – but this was no spring, in any sense of the word.

Bosnia’s problem is the complete lack of trust between its ethno-religious communities. Dayton offered a framework to bypass that problem, had there been good will to do so. The succession of international viceroys, however, took to "improving" it in accordance to some mythical "spirit" only they were privy to. Dayton had largely unraveled by 2009; it is a downright miracle that it made it this far.

Yet, without a shred of shame, one of those viceroys, Karl Bildt, now says: "At the end of the day, Bosnia is the responsibility of the elected politicians of Bosnia." Except, you know, if they make any decisions someone in Washington, or Berlin, or Brussels, may slightly disagree with. In which case those "elected politicians" are sacked, or overthrown in "color revolutions", or demonized as war criminals.

And so we come to this, a world "order" in which ransacking and burning government buildings, looting armories and attacking law enforcement are all part of “peaceful protests,” and fighting them in any way is “repression” and “completely unacceptable”… as long as it happens elsewhere, the perpetrators are Empire’s puppets, and the target is a government that does not take orders from Washington.

Perhaps the Vikings were on to something, after all.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for debuted in November 2000.