New Political Science, Vol. 24,  No. 1 (March 2002)

New World Order and NATO’s war against Yugoslavia

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Editor, Democracy & Nature


Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the main dimensions of the New World Order, which followed the collapse of actually existing socialism, in connection to the parallel rise of the internationalised market economy. Thus, the economic dimension of the New World Order is discussed in terms of the emergence of neoliberal globalisation. The political dimension is examined in terms of the parallel development of a new informal political globalisation which is managed by a newly emerged transnational elite. Finally, the ideological dimension is discussed in terms of the development of a transnational ideology, a kind of ideological globalisation, whose core is the doctrine of limited sovereignty. It is argued, with particular reference to the Yugoslavian case, that the three wars launched by the transnational elite so far (Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan) have been aimed at securing the stability of the New World Order in its economic and political dimensions, by crushing of any perceived threats against it.



The three major wars (in effect one-sided military crackdowns against disproportionately inferior opponents) carried out by the advanced market economies and predominantly the US in the last ten years (Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan) marked an important political, military and ideological shift paralleled by a corresponding shift at the economic level. American political elites correctly captured the significance of this shift when they talked about a New World Order (NWO) at the time they led the war against Iraq. Of course, the meaning assigned to it by  US elites has little relation to the meaning given to this term here. In the former case, the NWO simply signified the changes at the political and military level that resulted from the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the Cold War. In this paper, the NWO takes a much broader meaning extending to:

  • the economic level, as expressed by the emergence of the present neoliberal economic globalisation in the form of the internationalised market economy which secures the concentration of economic power inthe hands of economic elites

  • the political-military level, as expressed by the emergence of a new informal political globalisation securing the concentration of political power in the hands of a newly-emerged transnational elite

  • the ideological level, as expressed by development of a new transnational ideology of limited sovereignty (supposedly to  protect human rights, to fight terrorism etc), a kind of ideological globalisation justifying the decrease of national sovereignty, which complements the corresponding decrease of economic sovereignty that follows economic globalisation.

New World  Order: Τhe economic dimension

The economic dimension of the New World Order is best viewed in terms of the  grow-or-die dynamics of the market economy system that led to its present neoliberal globalised form. The emergence of neoliberal modernity can be traced back to  important structural changes and their effects on the parameters of social struggles that brought about the collapse of the statist form of modernity, i.e. the period of the social-democratic consensus lasting from roughly the mid 1930’s to the mid 1970s[1].

These structural changes were mainly economic but also technological. The technological changes, which refer mainly to the information revolution, constitute a parallel (though not independent from the economic changes) process that marked the shift of the market economy from industrial to post-industrial phase resulting in a drastic change in the employment and consequently the class structure of advanced market economies (through decimation of the working class) with significant political and social implications —above all the decline of the labour movement and consequently of the socialist movement.[2]

As far as the economic changes are concerned, they mainly represented the growing internationalisation of the market economy during the 1950s and  1960s, as a result of the expansion of free trade and the corresponding expansion of the newly emerged Transnational Corporations (TNCs).  Although it is true that, throughout the post-war period,  internationalisation of the market economy was actively encouraged by the advanced capitalist countries (mainly through the GATT rounds of tariff reductions), it  was more the outcome  of `objective' factors related to the dynamics of the market economy and, in particular, the expansion of TNC activity.  Expanding needs of the TNC’s in turn led to an informal opening of capital markets, mainly through  development of the Euro-dollar market (1970s) which, however, was instrumental for the later lifting of exchange and capital controls.[3]

Growing internationalisation implied that  growth of the market economy was more and more relying on expansion of the world market rather than the domestic market. This meant that economic growth increasingly depended on supply conditions  rather than on direct expansion of domestic demand. This is because, in conditions of free trade, competitiveness becomes even more crucial, not only on account of the fact that growth becomes increasingly export-led but also because any worsening of competitiveness leads to higher import penetration, domestic business closures and unemployment. To put it schematically, the market economy, now shifts from a "domestic market”-led growth economy to an “external market”-led one. This means that production conditions and particularly those related to the cost of production become crucial. Squeezing the cost of production, both in terms of labour cost and  employers' taxes and insurance contributions, becomes vital. But squeezing the cost of production necessitated a drastic reduction in state intervention, since statism was responsible for a significant rise in the cost of production during the statist era of modernity.

It was thus the incompatibility of statism, which kept growing throughout the early postwar period under the pressure of the labour movement, with growing internationalisation, that led to the stagflation crisis of the early 1970s and not, as it is usually argued, the oil crisis. In this climate of crisis that challenged the Keynesian ideas that constituted the theoretical basis of the socialdemocratic consensus, neoliberal ideas flourished, first in the academia (Chicago school, resurrection of Hayek and so on) and then among the Anglo-American political elites, expressing the new requirements of the economic elites. Added to these requirements was the need to free markets,  particularly the labour market, from numerous state restrictions imposed during the statist period to protect society from the market. Meanwhile, the technological changes mentioned above created the subjective conditions, notably the decline of the socialist movement, for the shift from the statist to the neoliberal form of modernity in the 1970s. Once neoliberalism came to power, first in Britain and the USA and later beyond, it created the institutional framework for neoliberal modernity. In this problematique, therefore, the arrangements adopted by the economic elites to open and liberalise the markets, mostly, institutionalised (rather than created) the present form of the internationalised market economy. The opening and liberalising of markets was simply part of the historical trend  to minimise social controls over markets, particularly those aiming to protect labour and the environment that interfered with economic efficiency and profitability.

Thus, the (mainly informal) opening of commodity and capital markets in the early postwar period was followed by institutionalisation of their opening in the 1980s and the 1990s, made possible by vast expansion of  GATT and its conversion into the WTO, treaties establishing the EU and NAFTA, and similar moves in the South (MERCOSUR, ASEAN etc). Once the opening of markets was institutionalised, the uninhibited flow of capital and commodities across frontiers required the parallel liberalisation of all markets. Furthermore, although the labour markets were not opened  (meaning that exploitation of cheap local labour, particularly in the South, could continue) their liberalisation was necessary in order for commodity and capital markets to be fully utilised.

The main changes introduced to liberalise markets and minimise social controls on them were, first, liberalisation of  the labour market (making it flexible so that the cost of production is minimised), which led to the explosion of open unemployment[4] and part-time/occasional employment and further concentration of income and wealth; second, the liberalisation of capital markets (through the lifting of exchange and capital movement controls), which allowed huge amounts of money to move around in search of speculative gains, effectively undermining the ability of governments to follow macro-economic policies that would significantly diverge from those of their competitors; third, the setting up of international rules by the WTO (aiming to make trade as free as possible), which drastically reduced the ability of national governments to protect labour and the environment; fourth, the privatisation of state enterprises, which not only liberated more sectors of economic activity from any effective social controls but also gave the TNCs opportunity to expand their activities into new areas; fifth,  the drastic shrinking of the welfare state, which facilitated expansion of the private sector in social services; and sixth, the redistribution of taxes in favour of high income groups, which led to further concentration of income and wealth.

Today, all parties in government, either pure neoliberal, or what I call social-liberal, (i.e. centre-left governments which express a curious mix of social sensitivity rhetoric with neoliberal economic policy), including Green parties follow essentially the same policies. In any case, the main effect of the above changes was sharp acceleration of the internationalisation of the market economy.[5] The combined effects of these structural changes has been what is called neoliberal globalisation, which clearly reflects the structural changes of the market economy and the corresponding changes in business requirements of late modernity. Policies implemented today for the management of neoliberal globalisation are therefore systemic policies, necessitated by and reflecting the dynamics of the market economy, rather than capitalist plots carried out by unscrupulous neoliberal governments and decadent centre-Left parties, as the reformist Left suggests,[6] which never grasped the significance of the present monumental changes at the economic level and the corresponding consequences at the political, military and ideological levels that we will examine below.

Towards a self-regulating market

The system established during the period of neoliberal modernity already functions as a self-regulating market. Development of a huge free trade zone,  together with the parallel rise of an almost free  world-wide capital market, has led to a self-regulating system in which the interests of the elites that control it are satisfied to the full, almost automatically, through the mere functioning of the market forces. In fact, both economic theory (radical economic theory and even parts of orthodox theory) as well as empirical evidence can show that the opening and liberalisation of markets, which constitute the essence of neoliberal globalisation, inevitably, leads to the concentration of income, wealth and economic power. Thus, free trade among unequal partners is bound to lead to the domination of the more powerful partner (in terms of productivity, competitiveness etc) —a fact well known to the present advanced market economies which went to great lengths to protect their own industries before they began preaching free trade. Free trade is the best means to destroy the self-reliance of local economies and effect their integration into the internationalised market economy. The first attempt at an internationalised market economy early in the 19th century failed precisely because advanced market economies  at that time had not as yet reached a similar level of maturity in their economic development –a reality that ultimately contributed to two world wars and the Great Depression of the interwar period.

By the early 1990s, an almost fully liberal order has been created across the OECD region, giving market actors an unprecedented degree of freedom.[7] Particularly so, since the peripheral countries in the South were also forced by the  North, through  a stick and carrot policy, to abandon planned development and, instead,  open their markets to foreign capital and commodities. The stick was the US threat of sanctions against exports of any country protecting its local production (e.g. the 1988 US Trade Act). The carrot was a series of structural adjustment programs  those countries had to accept in order to be eligible for much needed loans and aid from the North. The result was that not only were markets opened, but also any effective subsidisation of local production was abolished, creating a huge comparative advantage for the products of TNCs and squeezing the prices of primary products, on which the livelihood of millions of people in the South depended. The inevitable consequence of opening and liberalising markets has been the huge concentration of income and wealth  characterising the present internationalisation which clearly shows that the more open and flexible the markets become the greater the degree of concentration of income and wealth in a few hands. Today,  the richest 20% of the world’s population receive 86% of world GDP (versus 1% of the poorest 20%) and control 82% of world export markets and 68% of foreign direct investment.[8]

The neoliberal form of modernity is in a much better position to create a lasting self-regulating economy than previous forms of modernity, particularly the statist form, since the basic factor that led to collapse of the latter has been eliminated, that is, the controls on the markets for commodities, labour and capital that had introduced various degrees of inflexibility into them. Although these controls represented society's self-protection mechanisms against its marketisation, they were actually  incompatible with the efficient functioning of the market economy. However, the present neoliberal form of modernity does not imply elimination of the role of the state in supporting business through direct or indirect state subsidisation, through research & development funding, bailout aid, debt financing, loan guarantees, export subsidies, tax credits, and infrastructure works —i.e. all those policies usually mistaken by the Left for a kind of statism by the back door in favour of big business. Nor does it imply a phasing out of the state in its political/military role. In fact, as we shall see below, it necessitates a vast expansion of this role to maintain stability in the face of the huge concentration of power that comes with neoliberal internationalisation. So, the role of the state with respect to the market today is very different from both that of the liberal phase, when it restricted itself mainly to the role of the night-watchman, as well as  that of the statist phase, when it played the role of the guardian angel of society over markets. In the new synthesis, the state must secure stability of the market environment and enhancement of  the supply side of the economy so that competitiveness and efficiency —i.e. profits improve while at the same time ensuring survival and control of the marginalized  population.

It is therefore clear that a historic opportunity has been created today for a successful attempt to create a self-regulating internationalised market economy. This has to do with the basic fact that four major institutions on which, according to Polanyi,[9] a self-regulating market relies, have, for the first time in History, been established. These institutions are:

  • a self-regulating market (market economy), an institution which subject to the above qualifications about the role of the state today is more advanced than ever before, as a result of the present degree of freedom that capital and commodity markets enjoy, the retreat of statism everywhere and the universal enhancement of flexible markets for commodities, labour and capital;

  • the liberal (representative) democracy, an institution  intrinsically connected to a self-regulated market and in a sense constituting its complement, which today is universal;

  • the balance-of-power system that today, after the collapse of existing socialism and the internationalisation of the market economy, has taken the form of a New World Order controlled by the transnational elite; and

  • the new international monetary system, established with the launching of Euro at the beginning of the new millennium, and parallel movements in North and South America to create a pan-American dollar; this process could reasonably be expected to get momentum and lead to fixed parities between the three major currencies (US dollar, Euro, yen) and eventually to a new world currency and a new planetary international monetary system, which would secure a stable financial environment for the interlinked  economic space that is being created by globalisation.

These economic changes involve an obvious loss of economic sovereignty, which is also reflected in the creation of huge economic blocks where the economic role of  individual nation-state is being progressively downgraded in favour of supra-national institutions. In this sense and with hindsight, it is now obvious that Polanyi was wrong in thinking that the statist form of modernity was evidence of the utopian character of the self-regulating market and of the existence of an “underlying social process”[10] which leads societies to take control of their market economies. In fact, the statist form of modernity proved to be a relatively brief interlude in the marketisation process, a merely transitional phenomenon resulting from failure of liberal modernity to create a system based on an internationalised self-regulating market economy, along with the parallel rise of the (presently defunct) socialist movement.

At this stage an important question arises. In previous forms of modernity, (i.e. liberal modernity in the 19th century and statist modernity in the 20th), where the market economy was basically national, the nation-state was assigned the role of enforcing the market rules and securing the stability of the system. The question therefore is who plays this role in today’s internationalised market economy. Clearly economic globalisation requires a complementary political globalisation, or, to put it differently, a transnational economy, needs its own transnational elite. Does such political globalisation presided over by a transnational elite exist today?

The New World  Order: the political-military dimension

The emergence of a transnational elite  has already been theorised both from the Marxist[11] and the Inclusive Democracy (ID)[12] viewpoints and the evidence on it has been increasingly substantiated. We may define the transnational elite as the elite which draws its power (economic, political or generally social power) by operating at the transnational level. This elite does not express solely the interests of a particular nation-state, although one may expect that in case most of its members come from a particular nation-state, which happens also to be today’s sole military superpower,  the views of that part of the transnational elite as to ways of achieving common objectives of the transnational elite in general, are bound to prevail. The transnational elite consists of :

  • the transnational economic elite whose members control the internationalised market economy (corporate directors, major shareholders, TNC executives etc) and play the dominant role within the transnational elite as a whole given the predominance of  economic factors in a market economy

  • the transnational political elite whose members control the political dimension of the New World Order (globalising bureaucrats and politicians based either in major international organisations or in the state machines of the major market economies) , and    

  • the transnational professional elite whose members control the scientific/ideological dimension of the NWO (important academics and researchers  in the various international foundations, members of think tanks and research departments of major international universities, mass media executives etc.

It is an elite insofar as its members have a dominant position within society as a result of their economic, political or broader social power. It is a transnational elite because its members, unlike national elites, see that the best way to secure their privileged position in society is not by ensuring the reproduction of any real or imagined nation-state but, instead,  by securing the worldwide reproduction of the institutional framework on which the internationalised market economy is founded: the system of market economy and representative democracy. The new transnational elite sees its interests in terms of international markets rather than national markets. The  transnational elite does not establish any territorial centre of power and is not based on a single nation-state but it is a decentred apparatus of rule. This is clearly an informal , rather than an institutionalised elite. As economic globalisation expresses an informal concentration of power at the hands of the members of the economic elite, political globalisation expresses an informal concentration of power at the hands of the members of the political elite. So, the economic elite constitutes that part of the transnational elite which controls the internationalised market economy, whereas the political elite constitutes that part of the transnational elite which controls the distictly political-military dimension of the NWO. The main institutions securing the concentration of economic and political power at the hands of the transnational elite are the market economy and representative democracy respectively, whereas the main organisations through which the transnational elite exercises its informal control are the EU, NAFTA, the G8,  WTO, IMF, World Bank, NATO and the UN.

With the collapse of actually existing socialism and full integration of the ex socialist countries into the  internationalised market economy that implied their consequent joining of several of the aforementioned organisations which manage it, transnational elite control was automatically extended to these countries as well. The transnational elite indirectly controls the United Nations Security Council, through its economic power over the much inferior economically and technologically Russia and China. However, the fact that the Security Council’s structure still does not reflect the NOW implies that whenever such indirect control is not effective the transnational elite must bypass the UN in favour of alternative mechanisms for imposing its will.

Evidence is growing about the rise of such a transnational elite which expedites globalisation by facilitating the institutional arrangements required for its smooth functioning. Few, for instance, are aware of the European Round Table of industrialists (ERT), an alliance of the chief executives of Europe's largest companies, whose purpose is to formulate policies for adoption by the European Commission. This obscure group is already credited with the Single European Act, which opened and liberalised markets in the European Union, and the EU enlargement plan of 1999, which required new entrants to deregulate and privatise their economies. Furthermore, it seems that the moves of ERT and other trade bodies on both sides of the Atlantic are parts of a master plan to create a legally harmonised neoliberal world order. As it is well known,  the FTAA process aims to extend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the entire hemisphere. This process has already led to the Declaration of Quebec (April 2001) that envisages the creation of the world’s largest free trade zone by 2005. Thus, as George Monbiot informs us:[13]

Since 1995, the EC, pressed by the ERT and other trade bodies, has quietly been preparing for a single market with the US. The Transatlantic Economic Partnership is a slower and subtler creature than the World Trade Organisation or the MAI. One by one it aims to pull down the "regulatory barriers" impeding the free exchange of goods and services between Europe and America…The master plan is now falling into place. A greatly expanded Europe will form part of a single trading bloc with the US, Canada and Mexico, whose markets have already been integrated by means of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta. Nafta will grow to engulf all the Americas and the Caribbean. The senate has already passed a bill (the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act) forcing African countries to accept Nafta terms of trade. Russia and most of Asia are being dragged into line by the International Monetary Fund (...) By the time the world trade agreement is ready to be re-negotiated, it will be irrelevant, for the WTO's job will already have been done. The world will consist of a single deregulated market, controlled by multinational companies, in which no robust law intended to protect the environment or human rights will be allowed to survive.

Finally, it seems that the GATS process (which aims to extend the General Agreement on Trade  to Services currently under discussion in the World Trade Organisation) provides another opportunity for the transnational elite to institutionalise its role. Thus, according to a leaked confidential document from the WTO Secretariat, dated 19 March, a plan is under discussion to create an international agency with veto power over parliamentary and regulatory decisions (article VI.4 of Gats).[14] This plan envisages that final authority will rest with the Gats Disputes Panel to determine whether a law or regulation is, in the memo's language, ’more burdensome than necessary'.

The three wars  launched by the transnational elite in the last ten years since its emergence after the collapse of actually existing socialism, (I.e. the Gulf war,[15] the war in Kosovo[16] and the on-going war on terrorism), are cases substantiating the existence of an informal system of transnational governance, a political globalisation presided over by a transnational elite. This political globalisation is characterised by some as the latest form of imperialism. A professor of history at Oxford University, for instance, describes it as follows:[17] 

Political globalisation is a fancy word for imperialism, imposing your values and institutions on others. However you may dress it up, whatever rhetoric you may use, it is not very different in practice to what Great Britain did in the 18th and 19th centuries. We already have precedents: the new imperialism is already in operation in Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor.

However, the term imperialism refers to a previous stage of  market economy and has little relation to its present internationalised form. Imperialism was founded on national states and markets, whereas today’s political globalisation is built on  economic globalisation which, despite the untenable analysis of the reformist Left[18], is a new phenomenon and not controlled by any single national elite. The informal character of globalisation is needed not only in order to keep the façade of a well functioning representative democracy in which local elites are still supposed to take the important decisions but also in order to preserve the nation-state’s internal monopoly of violence. The latter is necessary so that local elites are capable of controlling their populations in general and the movement of labour in particular,  enhancing the free flow of capital and commodities. This form of political globalisation, given the uneven distribution of political/military power among members of the transnational elite, establishes the informal hegemony of the US elite. It is not therefore  surprising that it has become part of the State Department’s job to push deregulation and the dismantling of all barriers to trade and finance both with individual governments and in international negotiations on economic matters (WTO).[19] The immediate aim of the transnational elite is to pull down "regulatory barriers" impeding free exchange of goods and services, initially between Europe and America and then between this huge trading block and the rest of the world. The ultimate aim is the formation of a vast single deregulated market, controlled by multinational companies, in which social controls over markets to protect labour or the environment will be minimised.           

In this context the war against terrorism, launched by the transnational elite on the pretext of the September 11 bombings, is a particularly expedient means of controlling populations which threaten the NWO. The direct target in this phase is those populations in the South which are particularly influenced by Islamic fundamentalism. The selection of this target does not indicate, of course, the kind of clash of civilisations predicted by the ideologues of the NWO[20] but rather the fact that the populations in countries like  Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, as well as Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia[21] have been the main victims of globalisation because of their geographical and economic position,. After the collapse of socialism in general and Arab socialism in particular, it was natural for these populations to turn to Islamic fundamentalism and to resort to direct action or even violence given their impotence against the NWO. Particularly so when the semi-dictatorial regimes of local elites, which are supported and maintained by the transnational elite, do not allow alternative forms of effective democratic struggle for drastic social change.

The fundamentalist movements in the South are not the only target of the war against terrorism. Direct action movements in the North, like the anti-globalisation movement, are also the implicit target of the transnational elite. The significant curbing of civil liberties introduced at the moment throughout the North (USA, EU etc), ostensibly to subdue Islamic terrorists, could easily be used to suppress the more radical elements within the anti-globalisation movement. The tactics used to suppress this movement have already led to violent confrontations (from Seattle to Göteborg and Genoa) which, in the present anti-terrorist climate, could easily be used by the transnational elite to identify anti-globalisers with terrorists. No wonder that, as Alex Wilks points out[22], a number of official and media commentators have already  claimed that the way to fight terrorism is further economic liberalisation, implying that anyone who dares question this is on the side of terrorists.  It is therefore clear that the war against terrorism simply aims at eliminating all the political and  social forces that pose a violent threat to its interests[23].  

The war against terrorism has showed beyond doubt that there is no foundation for the thesis that the new US administration under George Bush is at its core  unilateralist –something that, if true, would cast doubt on the existence of a transnational elite. Bush went to great lengths to secure the political, economic and military backing of other members of the transnational elite, as well as various local elites, for its war in Afghanistan and beyond. A kind of military division of labour within the transnational elite has emerged, with the  US military machine used almost exclusively in the first stages of the transnational elite’s wars (involving the overwhelming use of air power in which US power is unrivalled) and the military machines of the other members mobilised at later stages for peace-keeping roles etc.

The transnational elite, like national elites,  is hardly monolithic body and there are several significant divisions within it. However, these divisions refer not to the common goal of protecting the stability of the universal institutional framework (internationalised market economy and representative democracy) but on ways and means of doing so. Such divisions become particularly important today in view of the deteriorating multi-dimensional crisis, mainly with respect to its economic and ecological dimensions, as it is shown by the clash of views  between  conservative elements of the transnational elite (mainly the US elites) and progressive elements (mainly European  elites).

An example of this division is the dispute over the Kyoto treaty which has been endorsed by all members of the transnational elite apart from the US elite. Despite the moderate and in fact utterly insufficient targets of Kyoto, the balance in it favoured those members of the transnational elite that express the interests of the insurance, tourist and agricultural industries (which, for obvious reasons, are particularly concerned about the greenhouse effect), at the expense of those expressing the interests of the oil industry. It was this imbalance that prompted the new US administration (reflecting interests of the oil industries which sponsored Bush’s election)[24] to attempt to restore the balance, despite adverse effects on world environment. On the other hand, European representatives of the transnational elite, having to face a more ecologically minded middle class that is represented in several governments, but at the same time not wishing to antagonise those sectors of the elite thriving on eco-destructive activities, sought a compromise in terms of a minimalist version of the Kyoto treaty that is also  in consistence with the strategy it has adopted  for a sustainable development a contradiction in terms.[25]

A similar division has arisen with respect to the growing concentration of economic power that neoliberal globalisation implies. European  elites, having to face stronger reactions against neoliberal philosophy than their American counterparts (due to the stronger socialist/social-democratic traditions in Europe) propose various measures to reduce extreme poverty, (but not inequality!) and pursue a policy of fully integrating  China, Russia and the rogue states into the internationalised market economy rather than alienating them through aggressive political and military strategies. In other words, the aim of European elites is to create globalisation with a human face which however does not  alter the essentials of New World Order.[26]

Still, given the unrivalled power of the US, one might expect that a consensus reached between the various trends on matters of strategy and tactics will mainly express the US positions. Particularly so today when American interests have established a long-term superiority over the rest, not only at the military level, where the events of September 2001 gave them the opportunity to function as the policeman of the New World Order, but also at the economic level. The present US economic superiority is based not only on the long-term decline of Japanese elites but on their unchallenged position in the information revolution placing them well ahead of rivals in the Far East and Europe. A clear indication of the American predominance within the transnational elite is the fact that whereas at the end of the 1980s eight of the 10 biggest multinationals in the world were Japanese, now they are all American.[27]

A new NATO for the New World  Order

The New Political Order, a necessary complement of the New Economic Order, is defined not only by the informal structure of political globalisation that I considered above but also by an important institutionalised change: the redefinition of NATO’s role by the 1999 Washington treaty.

NATO was founded in 1949 as a collective defence organisation against the communist threat posed by the Soviet block. The heart of the North Atlantic Treaty was Article 5, in which the signatory members "agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all”. In fact it was article 5 that was used by the transnational elite in order to involve NATO in the latest war against terrorism. But the 1999 Washington summit dedicated to an expanded NATO that included several formerly Soviet block countries adopted a new strategic concept[28] which radically changed the nature of this crucial military organisation in which all main advanced market economies apart from Japan take part.

The new NATO constitution redefined the role of NATO from a mutual defence organisation of a number of nation-states allied against the Soviet bloc into the  main military institution of the internationalised market economy. As, as the new constitution explicitly states,[29] the Alliance therefore not only ensures the defence of its members but contributes to peace and stability in this region. Then, in a section entitled The evolving strategic environment the document lays out the NATO/UN relationship by stating that the United Nations Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.[30] It is indicative that at the time of the summit meeting, President Chirac interpreted this clause as implying that NATO could not act without UN authorisation, but this interpretation was immediately contradicted by Solana who stated that a Security Council resolution would not be necessary before making an intervention outside NATO territory.[31] The issue has been resolved in practice, through the Balkans war: if the transnational elites cannot secure the votes of all permanent members of the UN Security Council they will have no hesitation to start military action without prior UN mandate.

Further on, in a section entitled Security challenges and risks, the new strategic concept is clearly defined and the transformation of NATO is made explicit: from a defensive alliance which protects specific areas from the communist threat to an aggressive alliance which protects a vaguely defined broad area (in and around the Euro-Atlantic area and the periphery of the Alliance) against a series of loosely defined risks’.[32]  In effect, any kind of conflict situation (including the disruption of the flow of vital resources and acts of terrorism) within this broadly defined geographical area, that might directly or indirectly threaten the stability of the internationalised market economy, may be considered as threatening the Alliance, as article 34 makes clear.

The new role of NATO as the defender of the transnational elite and its global interests is therefore obvious from the Washington Treaty. Furthermore, although the above formulations imply that all members of NATO would take part in defining a risk situation and in proposing the appropriate measures to be taken, it is obvious that, given the US hegemony, it is basically the US part of the transnational elite that takes the responsibility of defending the New Economic Order. No wonder that the  Pentagon explicitly declared that “a prosperous, largely democratic, market-oriented zone of peace and prosperity that encompasses more than two-thirds of the world’s economy” requires the “stability” that only American “leadership can provide”.[33] The same goal of stability (i.e. pacification securing the integration of all countries into the internationalised market economy) was stressed with reference to the Balkans war:

The belief that the U.S. must use military power to create a tranquil international environment in which trade can flourish is not an abstract concept (...) On March 23, the day before the bombing of Serbia began, President Clinton himself justified the impending air strikes by noting that “if we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key (...) That’s what this Kosovo thing is all about 

Protection of the internationalised market economy and free trade thus depend on America’s overseas military commitments and power. An influential  New York Times columnist[34] was even more frank on the matter when he stressed that: “For globalisation to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower it is (...) The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist (...) and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

Yet the fact that US military hegemony is recognised by all members of the transnational elite does not mean that there are no parts of it which would  like to move toward some degree of independence from the US. The French wish to create an independent EU military power with the aim of moderating to American dominance over the other members of the transnational elite is well known. But, as one could expect in view of the military weakness of the European powers, such wishes can never exceed the stage of pious hopes. As George Robertson, the Nato secretary general, pointed out recently, European countries spend on arms the equivalent of two-thirds of the US defence budget[35], but have nothing like two-thirds of the US defence capability because of duplication.[36] No wonder that although the Nice Treaty signed by EU ministers in February 2001 states clearly that common foreign and security policy shall include "all questions relating to the security of the union”, it then goes on to specify in a long annex that Nato remains the basis of the collective defence of its members and will continue to play an important role in crisis management. The development of European security and defence policy will contribute to the vitality of a renewed transatlantic link.[37] It is therefore clear that any European defence force would be fully integrated into NATO, securing the military hegemony of the US elite and, in effect, playing a complementary, rather than a competitive, role to it.

Wars in the New World  Order

The new NATO constitution makes it clear that the type of wars envisaged in the future has nothing to do either with the kind of wars between advanced market economies culminating in two World Wars which marked the 20th century, or those that were expected by the original NATO constitution between the two Cold war blocks. To interpret this radical cahnge we have to consider the significance of wars in the NWO and make an important distinction between wars among major market economies and other wars.

As regards wars among major market economies, it is not accidental that the first attempt for an internationalised market economy that we considered in the first section, was accompanied by what Polanyi called the hundred years peace (1815-1914).[38] The smooth functioning of a self-regulating internationalised market economy, involving free movement of commodities and capital, is incompatible with embargos and military activities. It is therefore not surprising that once this first attempt failed and a new world order of competing market economies based on nation states arose, conflict between them became inevitable. The objective was clear:  to divide the capital and commodity markets, particularly the ones under colonial control.  

The present internationalisation of the market economy makes such armed conflicts between major market economies superfluous, if not impossible. Today, the nation states are essentially the municipalities of the internationalised market economy and their job is to provide, at the cheapest possible cost, the infrastructure and  public goods required for the effective functioning of business.[39] Hence, the hundred years peace which accompanied the first attempt to create a liberal internationalised market economy may become a millennium peace in the framework of today’s internationalised neoliberal market economy. It is simply against the general interest of the transnational elite to allow any military conflicts to arise between the major advanced market economies, i.e. the Triad (EU, NAFTA and Japan) on which all  elements of the transnational elite are based. Furthermore, it is not difficult to see that, in the framework of this internationalised economy, any attempt by a country or an economic bloc to use military force against another country or bloc within the Triad is inconceivable, since it will incur the immediate sanctions of the global financial markets, the first casualty being its own currency. At the same time, a generalised war, like the two previous world wars, will lead to collapse of the internationalised market economy, through the collapse of the internationalised stock exchanges and bankruptcy of the transnational corporations that will have to drastically restrict their activities.

But, if wars among the countries in the Triad are ruled out this is not the case as regards wars between them and countries in the periphery and the semi-periphery of the internationalised market economy, nor is this the case with regard to wars between peripheral countries (often expressing divisions within the transnational elite). Thus, as regards wars between countries in the Triad  and countries in the periphery and semi-periphery, the explosion in world inequalitywhich is a built-in element of the New Order and an inevitable by-product of liberalising and deregulating the markets implies that attacks against any rogue regimes challenging the New Order will continue unabated. The same applies with respect to any future nationally-based liberatory movement  which will have to be crushed in the kind of total victory that we have seen in the case of the three wars to date. It is with the purpose of fighting wars of this type that the armies of countries in the Triad are fast being converted into armies of professional killers (a kind of samurai) who are not susceptible, as conscripts are, to ideological influences and feelings of solidarity with the social groups from which they are recruited (usually the poorest groups). Despite the higher cost of professional armies,[40]  elites of the NWO  have no choice but to finance such extra expenses since wars are no longer for the defence of the country but purely for the defence of the NWO and the privileges of those benefiting from it, primarily the transnational elite but also the upper middle classes in the Triad countries as well as elites in the peripheral countries.

As for wars among peripheral states, conflicts of a cultural, religious, nationalist or ethnic nature may easily arise between them, often giving outlet to socio-economic frustrations. The reaction of the transnational elite to such wars is not uniform. In some  cases, as with ethnic wars in the Balkans, such conflicts may threaten the stability of the NWO and have to be crushed through its military arms, if possible through the UN,  alternatively the new NATO, or as last resort US military power. If these tensions do not threaten the NWO as such but are useful in financing expansion of the transnational elite’s arrmaments industries (as, for instance, in the case of the chronic tension between Greece and Turkey) then, such tensions are left to keep simmering.

The New World  Order: the ideological dimension

Economic and political globalisation are inevitably accompanied by a kind of ideological globalisation, i.e. a transnational ideology used  to justify the decrease of national sovereignty, which complements the corresponding decrease of economic sovereignty following economic globalisation. The core of this new ideology is the doctrine of limited sovereignty used to justify military  interventions/attacks against any rogue regimes or political organisations.

According to this doctrine, there are certain universal values that should take priority over other values, like that of national sovereignty. The five centuries-old culture of unlimited sovereignty, which nations that participated in the drafting of the UN charter agreed to limit only as regards their right to wage war in case of an attack, in exchange for a promise that the Security Council provide collective security on their behalf (an arrangement blatantly violated by the US’s war against Afghanistan)[41]  is completely abolished in the NWO. These universal values change according to  requirements of the international community, i.e. the transnational elite. In the war against Yugoslavia, it was the protection of human rights that was promoted to a universal value justifying any criminal activity by transnational elite. In the war against terrorism, however, the protection of human rights is bypassed if not suspended in favour of protection from terrorism (as defined by the transnational elite again!) which becomes a new universal value justifying any kind of state terrorism and suppression. In cases where universal values are violated, international organisations expressing the will of this community (i.e. the UN, or,  NATO) should enforce them by any means necessary, irrespective of national sovereignty concerns that should never override the primary significance of universal values.  This new doctrine was formally expressed by the UK prime minister in a Chicago speech, just before the Washington NATO summit. The upshot of this speech was that democratic states should be allowed to intervene in the internal affairs of other states so long as human rights are at stake —a principle fully endorsed by the new NATO. Thus, article 20 of the new strategic concept makes it explicitly clear that only a limited conception of sovereignty is recognised by the new NATO. This is the obvious conclusion from references that article 20 makes to ethnic and religious rivalries, or the abuse of human rightsevents which, according to the new strategic concept, can  lead to crises affecting Euro-Atlantic stability and armed conflicts affecting the security of the Alliance by spilling over into neighbouring countries. 

There are two obvious conclusions that one may draw from this new doctrine of limited sovereignty, which is fast becoming the ideology of the NWO, first with respect to human rights and then with respect to the war against terrorism. The first conclusion is that this  doctrine overrides the UN Charter which explicitly states that nothing in it "shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state (...) except upon a Security Council finding of a "threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression." This reversal becomes all too clear when one takes into account that a proposal to ensure  the protection of human rights was explicitly rejected at the San Francisco Conference establishing the UN. The second conclusion is that it is not the sovereignty of the powerful states in the Triad countries which is going to suffer because of this new doctrine but only that of the weak nations.

It is therefore clear that this new doctrine is false, asymmetrical and potentially oppressive. It is false, because primacy of human rights or the protection against terrorism over national sovereignty presupposes that we live in a society and a world in which the peoples of this world (and not their elites) can define in the meaning of human values and terrorism. It is asymmetrical insofar as it creates a right for the powerful to intervene in the affairs of the weak, and not vice versa. This could explain, for instance, why massive violations of Palestinians’ human rights with the obvious connivance of US elites have never warranted any action by the transnational  elite or why the KLA in Kosovo or the Contras in Nicaragua, easily qualifying as terrorist organisations, not only were never pursued by the transnational elite but instead were armed and financed by it! Finally, it is potentially oppressive, because it can easily be used by the transnational elite to oppress any movement that might try  to establish an alternative kind of society which aims to abolish the unequal distribution of political and economic power. This new doctrine of limited sovereignty, therefore, plays the ideological role of legitimising political and military interventions of the transnational elite in order to protect its general interest in reproducing the internationalised market economy.

The Centre-Left and the Greens: the main supporters of the new doctrine

The Centre-Left and the Greens have played a vital part in justifying the wars of the transnational elite through the doctrine of limited sovereignty. This is not difficult to explained in view of the fact that both the centre-left and the mainstream Greens have already fully adopted the New Economic Order . Thus, all major European governments that are controlled by the centre-left (Germany, Britain, France, and Italy before the rise of Berlusconi) have already adopted the kind of social-liberalism described above. Similarly, mainstream Greens have long ago abandoned any ideas about radical economic changes and have adopted a kind of eco-social-liberalism that amounts to some version of  Green capitalism.

It was therefore hardly surprising that the centre-Left endorsed enthusiastically all three wars of the transnational elite, whereas the mainstream Greens, who at the beginning of the 1990s were concerned about the ecological implications of the Gulf war, by the end of the decade were dedicated supporters of the war against Yugoslavia and today have fully endorsed the war against terrorism. For Greens, in particular, the new role of NATO as protector of human rights, in contravention of the principle of national sovereignty, was supposed to be compatible with the Green ideology of fighting for human rights and human liberation in general. Since ideas about the anti-party party, direct democracy, and radical ecology were shelved once the mainstream green parties became normal parties fighting for government power, it was inevitable that, once in power, they would become normal government parties as well, taking part in criminal activities like the NATO war.

However, if the historical role of social democrats on the side of the ruling elites in their various wars can be taken for granted, this does not apply to the Left in general or the Greens in particular. As regards the former, it was surprising though not unexpected to see that the war against Yugoslavia was endorsed by most intellectuals of the European left: from Anthony Giddens and Alain Tourain  to Edgar Morin, Habermas and many others, who, in effect,  served as apologists for NATO’s attack against the Yugoslavian people when they justified the doctrine of limited sovereignty and talked about a new era in international relations supposedly marked by the Pinochet affair and the war itself. It is clear that most left’ intellectuals, having abandoned their critical role are now, as Castoriadis aptly described them, enthusiastically adhering to that which is there just because it is there.[42] 

The same applies to the Greens who entered the political arena a quarter  a century ago, as a new social movement fighting for the noble goal of liberating Nature and Humanity from the evils of the present society. Their participation in the last two criminal wars of the transnational elite (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan) constitutes a flagrant violation of the raison d’ etre itself of the Green movement. This became particularly obvious in the case of Yugoslavia, when realist Greens like the ex Leftists and now professional politicians Cohn-Bendit[43] and Joschka Fischer, and red-Greens like Alain Lipietz,[44] and the European Green parties  saw no  contradiction between the end of this war (liberation of Kosovars from oppression and ethnic cleansing)  and the means used for this purpose (the criminal war machine of the transnational elite engaged in the systematic destruction of the country’s infrastructure). Mainstream Greens have shown  they no longer have (if they ever did) a vision of an alternative society: they simply endorse the institutional framework of the present internationalised market economy and its political expressions. As socialist critics[45] were quick to point out, mainstream Greens today cannot claim to be any kind of anti-systemic force. Clearly, therefore,  from the moment realists won the battle against radical currents within the European Greens, the parties have become an element of the NWO engaged in environmental statecraft on behalf of the middle classes which they mainly represent, ending any hopes for their anti-systemic potential.

The war in Yugoslavia and the New World Order

There is little doubt today about the criminal nature of the NATO war[46]. This is not just because  it was carried out in blatant violation of the UN charter, the 1975 Helsinki Accords and the original NATO agreement itself. As Walter J. Rockler,[47]  the US prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, stressed at the time:

The rationale that we are simply enforcing international morality, even if it were true, would not excuse the military aggression and widespread killing that it entails. It also does not lessen the culpability of the authors of this aggression. As a primary source of international law, the judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal in the 1945-1946 case of the major Nazi war criminals is plain and clear. Our leaders often invoke and praise that judgement, but obviously have not read it. The International Court declared:” To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.

However, apart from the criminal character of the war in the above sense, there is yet another, even more sinister, sense in which the NATO war can be viewd as  criminal. The NATO elites, in an effort to turn the Serbian population against  Milosevic —an effort vindicated later on— pursued a campaign of terrorisation and gradual strangulation of the entire population. According to Yugoslav authorities, 60% of NATO targets were civilian, including 33 hospitals and 344 schools, as well as major industrial plants and a large petro-chemical plant where bombing caused a pollution catastrophe.[48] John Pilger noted that the list of civilian targets included "housing estates, hotels, libraries, youth centres, theatres, museums, churches and 14th century monasteries on the World Heritage list. Farms have been bombed and their crops set afire."[49] Further, the use of illegal cluster bombs[50] in urban areas, as well as depleted uranium bombs was confirmed after the end of the war. As George Kennedy, a former state department official in the Bush (senior) Administration put it: Dropping cluster bombs on highly populated urban areas doesn’t result in accidental fatalities. It is purposeful terror bombing[51]. On top of these, the economic infrastructure of the country (power plants and factories of all sorts) was deliberately dismantled, as even Western analysts admitted at the time,[52] and was confirmed after the war when the Confederation of Trade Unions of Serbia produced a list of 164 factories destroyed by the bombings —all of them state-owned.[53] All this despite the fact that, as Walter J. Rockler[54] pointed out at the time: Contrary to the beliefs of our war planners, unrestricted air bombing is barred under international law. Bombing the "infrastructure" of a countrywaterworks, electricity plants, bridges, factories, television and radio locations is not an attack limited to legitimate military objectives. And this, not to mention the supposed errors of bombing bridges full of trains, cars and people, geriatric homes, buses, and the Chinese embassy which, at best, constitute manslaughter, although in most cases they were deliberate NATO attacks against civilian targets, (as Spanish fighter pilots reported in the aftermath of the barbaric bombings[55]) as well as against the environment.[56]

Ramsey Clark prepared a detailed indictment regarding the crimes of the transnational elite,[57] which, of course, was promptly rejected by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague. This was hardly unexpected given that this court was set up by the very transnational elite that launched this war and depends on it for its funding. The transnational elite, through a stick and carrot policy  (the stick being the gradual economic strangulation of the Serbian people and the carrot the offer to rebuild the economy to the destruction of which it had critically contributed itself!) secured the replacement of the rogue (as not obedient enough) Milosevic elite with a new pro–Western elite. This new political elite was persuaded by the transnational elite (in an obvious effort to justify its criminal war) to hand over Milosevic himself to the kangaroo[58] tribunal in Hague, in a highly unconstitutional way as the highest court in Yugoslavia declared before the extradition. Needless to add that, as The Guardian[59] pointed out at the time, it is no coincidence that Slobodan Milosevic's first full day in a Hague prison cell will be the same day that international donors convene to pledge up to $1.3 bn to help prop up the war-crippled Yugoslav economy!

Of course, this does not mean that the Milosevic elite is not criminal--not just for the atrocities against non-Serb ethnic groups (a common phenomenon in any civil war), but for its role in instigating the civil war itself, which was exploited by the transnational elite in order to dismember Yugoslavia and fully integrate it within the internationalised market economy. However, most of the Left in the West had hailed as a victory for human rights the travesty of justice involved in indicting Milosevic but not Clinton, Blair and company as well. Alternatively, the most progressive elements in the Left, simply put in the same bag Milosevic and the transnational elite, as if their crimes were of equal importance or somehow comparable adopting , in effect, an indirectly apologetic of the NATO elites stand, despite their rhetoric to the contrary.

NATO Mythologies about  the war

According to the official interpretation offered by NATO governments, the goal of  intervention in Yugoslavia was humane —hardly an original claim in History. The Nazis attacked Poland to prevent Polish atrocities against Germans’! However, Tony Blair went a step further and in a speech to fellow European socialists in Paris declared that If Europe is to mean anything, then the policy of ethnic cleansing must be defeated; the values of decency and democracy must win”.[60]

It is ironic indeed that the main perpetrators of the NATO war talked about democracy when they were not able to adhere even to their own democratic values and procedures. Only a handful of NATO parliaments (not including Mr Blair’s!) took a formal decision on the matter. Similarly, as regards the Western elites’ respect for human rights in general and the freedom of information in particular, it is enough to mention that when they failed in their attempt to impose a number of hours of NATO propaganda broadcasting on Yugoslav TV (not on the basis of reciprocity,of course!), NATO embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy every single Yugoslav TV transmitter, not hesitating to kill in the process a number of  TV personnel at work in their Belgrade studios, bombed in full knowledge of possible casualties. This campaign of stifling democratically any alternative view to the sanitised NATO view culminated in the decision forced on the European Satellite Consortium in May 1999 to exorcise Yugoslav TV broadcasts from European satellite transmissions. The lesson to be taught was obvious: in the future, truth would be exclusively defined by the Orwellian Ministry of Information of the ’international community’ (read: the transnational elite). But what was the truth that NATO wanted everybody to assimilate?

Throughout the war campaign Western mass media were engaged in massive censorship by omission[61], massive misinformation and sheer manipulation of public opinion, which a Harvard academic characterised as an unprecedented propaganda, such that we did not see even during the Cold War.[62] In this context, the Western media presented the mass exodus of Albanian refugees from Kosovo as a clear case of racial ethnic cleansing and genocide. But, how faithful to reality was this view? I will not devote any space to discussing the spurious case of genocide, which was already demolished by John Pilger[63], Noam Chomsky,[64] Edward S. Herman & David Peterson[65] and others but also by the International Criminal Tribumal in Hague itself,[66] which nowadays talks about a maximum of 3,000 Albanian Kosovars victimised by Serbs, versus the initial American estimate of up to 100,000!

As regards ethnic cleansing a distinction should be made between the refugee problem before and after the war. There is no doubt that before the massive bombings  the refugee problem was small despite the indisputable fact that Albanians have been oppressed by the Serbs since 1989, when the Milosevic regime in effect cancelled the autonomy of Kosovo (reciprocating for the oppression of the Kosovar Serbian minority at the hands of the Albanian majority before that[67]); there is no evidence that the refugee problem before the war was the result of ethnic cleansing rather than the by-product of Serbian military operations against the KLA, the military organisation of Kosovar Albanians fighting for the autonomy of the province from a truncated Yugoslavia.

This latter view was adopted by the German Foreign Office and various regional Administrative Courts in Germany for an entire year before the war started.[68] A German  Court at Munster, for instance, barely a month before the bombings began, declared that:[69]

There is no sufficient actual proof of a secret program, or an unspoken consensus on the Serbian side, to liquidate the Albanian people, to drive it out or otherwise to persecute it in the extreme manner presently described (...) the measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed towards combating the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters.

However, even if one accepted the realisty of some ethnic cleansing this was nothing unique in Balkan history or indeed  recent history in general. Ethnic cleansing on a much larger scale took place against the Serbs themselves at the hands of the Croats during the Bosnian war, when hundreds of thousands were expelled from Croatia with no objection from the West, not to mention the ethnic cleansing of the Greeks at the hands of Turks  after the Turkish invasion in Northern Cyprus, or that of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis. Needless to add that in the last two cases, despite numerous UN resolutions condemning ethnic cleansing, no action has ever been taken against the perpetrators.

Assuming, given the lack of evidence to the contrary, that a massive exodus of refugees started after the bombings began and not before, the issue of ethnic cleansing arises only for the period after the NATO bombings began. The  mass  exodus after the bombings was predictable by everybody, including the NATO commander himself![70]. Given that the Rambouillet agreement was in fact an ultimatum presented to the Serbs (with the full knowledge that no sovereign country in the world could ever accept its terms, as even the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the UK parliament recognised[71]), it is obvious that the exodus was induced by NATO’s bombings and/or the threat of them[72].  It is clear that the Serbian elites did not have any incentive to start a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing at the very moment  NATO was desperate for a propaganda coup to justify its criminal campaign to Iraq-ise Serbia. Particularly so when the Serbians knew they had no chance to defeat NATO and therefore legalise  the ethnic cleansingde facto. Hence the massive exodus of refugees into neighbouring countries may be attributed to a multiplicity of causes which have little, if anything, to do with ethnic cleansing, let alone genocide. Such causes that were mentioned by reliable witnesses at the time were: a deliberate Serbian war strategy to fight the KLA and/or create instability in the region;[73] acts of Serbian revenge from below, particularly in the first days of bombings, when --in the heat of the massive destruction caused by NATO-- Serbian paramilitary units and Serbian Kosovars turned against the Albanians, who  invited NATO in the first place;[74] and of course fear of the bombings themselves.[75]

When the bombings started and were accompanied by a massive exodus from Kosovo, there began a parallel TV bombardment of western audiences dramatising the saga of the refugees, whereas the simultaneous destruction of Yugoslavia was shamelessly censored by such bulwarks of media objectivity as the BBC and  centre-left papers like The Guardian, The Observer, Le Monde and Liberation. I will  not repeat here the evidence I myself have collected of the despicable role of British media during the war,[76] but the role of the media in periods of crises as pure mouthpieces of the elites[77] was never more visible  than during this war.

The failure of the Left

The common view shared by most sections of the Left about the war in the Balkans was that it was a war to confirm the hegemonic position of the U.S. According to this approach, which I will call the hegemonic approach, the implicit aim of the war was to establish the US hegemony over every possible challenger (the European Union, Russia, China, the UN). The alternative approach I proposed during the war,[78] which we will consider in the next section, was that the war in the Balkans (like the other two wars of the transnational elite) had a systemic nature.

According to one version of the hegemonic approach, the goal of the  American elites was to secure their own political and military hegemony. Wallerstein[79], for instance, argues that the war has shown that NATO is necessary to prevent the West Europeans from straying too far from U.S. control and above all from establishing an autonomous armed structure separate from NATO. Yet there is no evidence whatsoever that European elites have any intention of  straying too far from US control as was made clear not only at the Washington summit but also in their reluctance to create an  independent (from NATO and the US) European army. It is clear that in an  internationalised market economy  the interests of the national elites in the major market economies are so much interlinked that not only real wars between them, but  even economic wars, do not make sense anymore —banana wars and similar skirmishes notwithstanding. Despite some differences as regards trade policies, unavoidable among competing capitalist blocks, the opening of the commodity and capital/money markets , as well as the continuing decline of nation-states’ economic sovereignty, have made the old theory of imperialism, (i.e. conflict among advanced market economies over the division of markets), completely outdated. The EU ruling elites, far from having  interests opposed to those of the US elite on the NATO war, expected to benefit from it, both indirectly, through the full integration of the Balkans in the EU, and directly, through the expected boom in the armaments and construction industries after the war.

According to another version of the hegemonic  approach, the aim of the war was to discredit the UN and/or surround Russia.[80] The UN is said to express an outdated balance of power that no longer expresses the present political/military hegemony of the US and the economic importance of defeated powers in the Second World War, i.e. Germany and Japan. But the transnational elite  has no incentive to  dismantle the UN, particularly if it is effectively controlled by them as it was during  the Gulf war[81], or is today in the war against terrorism.  It is only when there is a conflict of interests between elites in the Security Council (as with Yugoslavia) that the UN becomes useless. But then  it was exactly for such occasions that the new NATO was designed.

As far as the argument about surrounding Russia is concerned, the present Russian elite, committed to fully integrating the country into the internationalised market economy, presents no serious problem to the West.[82] Particularly so when it seems that even the opposition communist and nationalist parties do not dispute this commitment, whereas the possibility of the emergence of a new liberation movement from below that could threaten the West is still remote. No wonder that after the new rapprochement between Russsia and the West, in the aftermath of September 2001, there is serious talk on both sides’ elites about the possibility of integrating Russia into NATO. Similar arguments apply with respect to the argument that the war aimed at establishing the US hegemony against China, at the very moment when the latter was anxious to fully integrate the Chinese economy into the internationalised market economy through its joining the WTO!

According to still another version of the hegemonic war approach, supported, for instance, by Noam Chomsky[83] , the NATO war machine was unleashed to preserve the credibility of NATO and secure US political/military hegemony. However, political/military hegemony, in the institutional framework of an internationalised market economy, is not an end in itself but is rather important only as a means for the protection of this institutional framework. Thus, the main problem of the credibility version, as well as  other versions of the hegemonic war approach, is that it fails to take into account the fundamental link between the political and the economic dimensions of the New Order and cannot see the systemic character of the war.

Finally, there are also some outdated approaches within the Marxist Left, which, although superior to the above approaches of the reformist Left, as they adopt a clearly anti-systemic view of the NATO war, often resort  to familiar mechanistic interpretations of complex events. Such an approach is the one developed by Michael Parenti,[84] which offers a substantiated analysis of the criminal character of the NATO war but  uncritically adopts the mythology about the socialist nature of the Milosevic regime, whereas at the same time, on the basis of a rather simplistic analysis of the meaning of integrating Yugoslavia into the globalised economy, it draws the conclusion that the transnational elite simply wanted to exploit Serbian resources and markets —in reality hardly so important to justify the launching of this major military campaign.

An alternative approach to the NATO war

The main thesis I set forth here is that the NATO war was a systemic war, in the sense that its real aim was to secure the stability of the internationalised market economy environment in a strategically important area and the full integration of Yugoslavia into the market economy. To my mind, it is the failure of the reformist Left to grasp the systemic nature of this war that could help elucidate its inability to explain two crucial facts: first,  that elites of all major advanced market economies were enthusiastic supporters of the war and, second, that the same elites accepted wholeheartedly the new role of NATO and, by implication, the political/military hegemony of the US elite.

At the outset, however, we have to consider briefly the tension between nationalism and the process of internationalisation of the market economy, which still exists in parts of Europe, with immediate ramifications for the NATO  war. This is particularly important if we take into account that the internationalisation of the market economy has proceeded very unevenly in Europe due to its division, up to the beginning of the 1990s, into a capitalist Western Europe and a socialist Eastern Europe.

In Western Europe the movement towards a federal transnational state accelerated World War II —an indication that the core EU countries have already entered the highest phase of the marketisation process. In fact Western Europe is in a transitional period qualitatively different from that in the East. The present conflicts with respect to the future organisation of European integration arise out of the fundamental contradiction created by the fact that although the economic structures of EU members have already been internationalised the political structures, formally at least, still bear the hallmarks of  nation-states. On the other hand, in Eastern Europe, where the marketisation process was violently interrupted by the advent of `actually existing socialism', the state is still supposed to be able to play  the role that it used to play in Western Europe, when it was involved in the process of establishing the market economy system —a false supposition, of course, given the degree of interaction among the components of the internationalised market economy.

The diminishing economic sovereignty of the nation state today did not prevent the resurgence of nationalism in some parts of East Europe and particularly the Balkans, where the degree of integration of their  economies into the internationalised market economy was still low in the nineties. Given the resurgence of nationalism in the Balkans after the collapse of state socialism and the fact that the old Yugoslavia was the strongest Balkan state with a long history of independence from both the Western and Soviet blocks it is obvious that the Western elites at some stage drew the conclusion that normal  methods of economic integration, successfully used in the rest of the Balkans (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania) would not be sufficient to fully integrate the old Yugoslavia into the internationalised market economy and its economic and military institutions (EU/NATO). I would  argue that the view of some on the Left  that Yugoslavia had no strategic importance to the West[85] is not validated by Western policy towards this country. I argue instead that policies of the transnational elite to encourage the dismantling of Yugoslavia,[86] through creation of a series of protectorates (voluntary, as in the cases of Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, or imposed, as in the cases of Bosnia and Kosovo), reflect the significance to the transnational elite of Yugoslavia’s integration into the New World Order.

Dismantling started with  recognition of Croatia by Germany, which, according to Hans Dietrich Genscher, Foreign Minister at the time, was his greatest achievement! This was followed by recognition of Croatia and Slovenia by the entire EU at the beginning of 1992. What followed was inevitable: Yugoslavia, after going through a process of a systematic ethnic cleansing (carried out by all sides and not just the Serbs), costing the lives and the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people, was broken up. The benefit to the West of dismantling Yugoslavia was conversion of the only Balkan state still not fully dependent on the West into a fully integrated member of the NWO. This was done in stages, with the creation first of a handful of small states that were fully dependent on the West and the subsequent integration (through  military and then economic force) of  Serbia itself into the  NWO.

Thus, when Milosevic, in 1989, abolished the autonomy of Kosovo that was introduced by the 1974 constitution,  he  gave the first blow to the system of constitutional balances inherited from the Tito era. The peoples of Yugoslavia, who were united in fighting the Nazis in the second world war (apart from the fascist Croats), were galvanised in their heroic struggle by the promise of a double self-determination, both at the cultural/ethnic and the social level. The establishment of the five republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), united in a  federal multicultural Yugoslavia, aimed at self-determination at the former level (ethnic multiculturalism). Similarly, the introduction of workers' self-management, after the break with Stalin in 1948, aimed at the latter (self-determination at the social level). Although one may raise serious doubts about how genuine a self-management was achieved within Tito’s regime, it is certain that the two types of self-determination were decisively interlinked. Ethnic multiculturalism within the system of the federal republics had its foundation on the social self-determination at the factory level which presupposed a break with the market economy.

Once the Yugoslavian economy began reintegrating into the world market economy in the 1970s and the 1980s, when the Yugoslavian elite turned to  borrowing from the West to finance development, wide gaps in per capita income opened up between the different republics, and, worse, the ideology of competition and individualism was revived. The link between ethnic and social self-determination started breaking up. Individual self-determination within a competitive environment began replacing social self-determination, as the basis of ethnic self-determination the perfect background for the development of ethnic conflicts. The dynamic of the market economy has always led to uneven development and huge inequalities, which constitute the necessary (though not the sufficient) condition for emergence of such conflicts. The very fact  that a variety of peoples in the Balkans were able to live harmoniously with each other for centuries in a framework of a pre-capitalist empire like the Ottoman empire and also during the period of actually existing socialism is a proof of this.

The huge rise in foreign debt in the 1980s[87] brought about by the jump in oil prices and  subsequent rise in interest rates in combination with a drastic fall in exports owing to recession in the West, marked the beginning of the dismantling of Yugoslavia, which effectively began at the economic level well before it was manifested at the political level. Foreign creditors through the World Bank and the IMF— imposed the usual restructuring recipe: elimination of worker-managed enterprises, wage freezes and drastic cuts in welfare spending. As a result of such measures, in less than two years (from January 1989 to September 1990), according to World Bank data, more than 1,100 industrial firms were wiped out and over 614,000 industrial workers were laid off (out of 2.7 million). The areas hardest hit were Serbia, (including Kosovo), Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.[88] Unemployment, emigration and, inevitably, social unrest flourished, particularly in Serbia, where hundreds of thousands of workers engaged in massive walkouts and protests. It was owing to stronger pressure from below against the marketisation of the economy in Serbia that the Serbian elites rejected austerity programs to which the federal government had agreed. Still, the Milosevic elite had already decided to preside over a new system of ethnic self-determination based on the market economy rather than on a social economy as before. No wonder that the so-called Milosevic Commission report was calling for market-oriented reforms in which the world market and world competition represents the strongest generator of economic operation and that since 1988 Milosevic himself was urging Yugoslavs to overcome their unfounded, irrational and…primitive fear of exploitation by foreign capital.[89]

At the same time, the transnational elite did everything possible in the beginning of the 1990s to enhance the autonomous role of the republics at the expense of the federal government.  A US law in 1991 provided aid only to the separate republics, while the European Community organised the same year a conference in Yugoslavia that called for sovereign and independent republics.[90] But, it was the restructuring program itself that decisively contributed to the economic disintegration of Yugoslavia. The program imposed a freeze of transfer payments that were channelling state revenues from Belgrade to the republics and diverted them, instead, towards servicing Yugoslavia’s debt. The economic basis of the federal state was effectively undermined at a stroke as this enhanced the secessionist tendencies that were already flourishing in a climate of economic decay and freezing wages and salaries, with more prosperous republics of Slovenia and Croatia resisting subsidisation of the poorer ones.

The Yugoslavian elite, facing the visible danger of losing power in the midst of mounting social unrest, particularly in Serbia where the socialist movement has historically been strongest[91], moved from socialist to nationalist ideology. As Milovan Djilas put it:[92] ”The catastrophe for the Yugoslav ideal was that all of the communist elites in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, turned to nationalism to save themselves when the communist ideology began to decay in the early eighties after Tito’s death”.

It is on the basis of such considerations that Chossudovsky[93] rightly drew the conclusion  that the ruin of an economic system, including the take-over of productive assets, the extension of markets and the scramble for territory’ in the Balkans constitute the real cause of (the Kosovo) conflict. In fact, Kosovo was perhaps the weakest link in Tito’s multicultural Yugoslavia because (although the Albanians have always constituted the ethnic majority in this area) it was never granted the status of a federal republic. This was because of the special historical links Serbs felt for this area. Although the demographic structure of Kosovo changed significantly during the Second World War, when the Axis powers detached Kosovo from Yugoslavia and granted it to Albania, with the massive movement of Albanians from Albania proper, still, even in 1912, at the time Kosovo was liberated by the Serbs from Ottoman rule, the Serbian population had only been 21% of the total[94]. It was this predominance of the Albanian population thad fuelled constant pressures, even during the Tito era, for some kind of autonomy. In response to these pressures, Tito granted Kosovo far-reaching autonomy in the 1974 constitution that virtually gave it the status of a republic, with a right of veto in federal bodies and its own political institutions, (local parliament, police etc), as well as indigenous cultural institutions including a university in the Albanian language. Yet this was not enough for extreme nationalist elements in the Albanian majority which moved to create the National Liberation Front of Kosovo in the mid 1970s. Still, the majority of Kosovars lived relatively harmoniously in the (officially) multi-cultural environment which constituted Tito’s society, even though class and ethnic frictions, never disappeared.

When the 1974 arrangement was overturned by the Milosevic elite in 1989, on  grounds it was "anti-Serbian”, nationalist tensions increased not only in Kosovo itself but in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and elsewhere. Independence movements flourished all over Yugoslavia leading to the establishment of nationalist governments, armed struggle and dismembering of the country itself. The secession of Slovenia and Croatia (1991) was followed by declarations of independence by Macedonia (1992) and Bosnia-Herzegovina –the latter ending up, after protracted armed struggle, with the Dayton accords (1995) that  partitioned Bosnia-Herzegovina and created two new ethnically homogeneous republics: the Muslim-Croat federation of Bosnia and the Republica Srpska (Bosnia Serbs).

Once the dismembering of Yugoslavia was achieved by the end of the 1990s and its ex-members, apart from Serbia and Montenegro, were converted into de jure or de facto Western protectorates, the truncated Yugoslavia of Serbia and Montenegro presented a problem to the transnational elite since it was the only part of the Balkans not yet fully controlled by it. Although,  Serbian elites were willing to integrate the country (at least partly), into the internationalised market economy, they were not able to proceed (because of pressures from a strong socialist movement) with the adoption of export-oriented growth the hallmark of globalised neoliberal modernity[95] nor with the massive privatisation program demanded by the transnational elite as late as 1999, more than three quarters of the Serbian basic industry was still publicly owned. The time for the physical dismantling of a truncated Yugoslavia had come.

The method  the transnational elite used for this purpose  was the same method  was successfully used for dismembering of the old Yugoslavia. The extreme nationalist elements in Kosovo, who demanded not just restoration of provincial autonomy but full independence from the truncated Yugoslavia, were encouraged . Thus, the KLA, an organisation which up to a few years ago was characterised as terrorist by the transnational elite[96], suddenly became a liberating force enjoying full material and other support of the US and Germany in particular. Intensified Serbian repression in the late 1990s was in direct response to the killings and sabotage  initiated by the KLA—actions that in today’s anti-terrorist climate should make this organisation a perfect candidate for its bombing to oblivion by the US air force.

All sectors of the transnational elite, despite inescapable differences between them as to the client states and the zones of influence they  would support,  shared a common aim: to pacify the Balkans in a way which would secure  full integration of the area into the New Order. This is evident, for instance, by the explicit reference to marketisation in the Rambouillet document (the economy of Kosovo shall function according to market principles[97]). Clinton[98] and Blair[99]  repeatedly stated during the war that all Balkan countries should become members of  the New Order in the area, i.e. the EU and NATOa plan presently being activated. Finally, the EU’s Stability and Association Pact for the Balkans explicitly seeks to bring all the former Yugoslav republics and Albania into the EU prosperity club and under the security umbrella of NATO.

The NATO war secured all the major aims of the transnational elite in a way that signalled a total victory for the New Order in the Balkans. The dismembering of the old Yugoslavia and full integration of the entire  area into the New Order was completed through creation of a formal NATO protectorate in Kosovo (currently being converted into an informal one, on its way to  secession from Yugoslavia), and the setting up of conditions for the full economic dependence of Serbia on the West. Thus, as the G-17 economic research organisation[100] (a pro-Western neoliberal organisation of economists which today plays the role of the neoliberal planners behind the new government)[101] estimated, without a significant infusion of international aid, it would take 45 years for Yugoslavia to reach the level of economic prosperity it had in 1989, before Western economic sanctions, the NATO bombardments and the civil war. Needless to add that  NATO elites made it clear, immediately after the war, that Serbia would get no reconstruction aid, unless the Milosevic elite  was ousted.

No wonder therefore that the Serbian people, ravaged by years of civil war, embargos and finally the catastrophic NATO bombardments,  did oblige (with  massive financial and other help given to opposition parties) and  elected politicians acceptable to the transnational elite. Serbia, the last remnant of a Yugoslavia which had  been fully integrated into the world market economy, finally was brought into line. What used to be Yugoslavia now consists of a series of small, ethnically cleansed and fully dependent nation-states. Destruction of the multicultural old Yugoslavia, (in which the West played such a vital role),[102] has created a  series of fragmented and hostile to each other state entities requiring an indefinite Western military presence in the region (Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia). This series of (formal or informal) protectorates form a bridgehead from which the West  can meddle powerfully in Balkan affairs[103] in order to guarantee the full integration of the Balkans (particularly Yugoslavia) into the neoliberal internationalised market economy.

The transnational elite has achieved its objectives without any risk of serious social reaction in the advanced market economies—a remarkable achievement indeed, but with serious repercussions for the future. Through its  control over the mass media in the West and its  possession of high-tech war technology allowing it to bring massive destruction to Yugoslavia with no casualties at all on its side (with at least 3,000 deaths on the other side) the elite guaranteed that no serious anti-war movement could  develop. The Gulf war, in which this deadly combination of power was first tested, the NATO war, in which the same technique was further refined to perfection, and now the Afghanistan war have shown that the transnational elite will not hesitate to smash into submission any rogue regime that might attempt to challenge the New World Order (Iraq, Afghanistan), or would resist being fully integrated into the internationalised market economy (Yugoslavia).

The dismembering of Yugoslavia meant the return of the Yugoslav peoples to the pre-World War II condition of dependence,  interrupted by their partial separation from the world market and  political independence they achieved under the Tito regime. The question asked in Belgrade after the ousting of the Milosevic regime, as a Western analyst pointed out, was whether the real aims of the West in the Balkans were to use the East and the Balkans - stripped of their industries as a colonial backyard to provide cheap labour and raw materials, which exactly is what the old German vision of Mitteleuropa meant before 1914, and what Hitler's plan for European empire entailed.[104]

But apart from any indirect benefits that full integration of Yugoslavia into the internationalised market economy entails (free movement of commodities and capital throughout the Balkans), there are indications that the transnational elite aimed also at some significant direct benefits through its successful attempt to stabilise the area. The Trans-Balkan pipeline,[105] approved early in 2001, had as its purpose to secure  passage for oil from the Caspian sea that will run from the Black sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic at Vlore, passing through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. Although the pipeline does not pass through Yugoslavia it would have been impossible to finance this project (characterised in November 1998 by Bill Richardson, then US energy secretary, as important for America's energy security) so long as the Balkans were in turmoil.  Thus, as Monbiot revealed out about this project,[106]

The project is necessary, according to a paper published by the US Trade and Development Agency in May 2000, because the oil coming from the Caspian sea "will quickly surpass the safe capacity of the Bosporus as a shipping lane". The scheme, the agency notes, will "provide a consistent source of crude oil to American refineries", "provide American companies with a key role in developing the vital east-west corridor", "advance the privatisation aspirations of the US government in the region" and "facilitate rapid integration" of the Balkans with western Europe.

It is therefore hardly surprising that the transnational elite has  created a new military alliance GUUAM, comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova –hinting at eventual NATO membership of these countries with the obvious aim to control  massive oil and gas riches of the Caspian Sea. It is for the same reason of securing Balkan stability within the internationalised market economy, that the transnational elite recently turned against the Frankenstein monster it created, the KLA, because it was involved, against its wishes, in activities that could destabilise pro-western Macedonia and lead to  eruption of a new civil war in the Balkans. The changing position of the transnational elite concerning the KLA is illuminating because it highlights its policy objectives. Only a few years ago KLA was condemned by the West as a terrorist organisation, then, as senior European officers of the K-For force, as well as leading Macedonian and US sources recently reported, the KLA was used by the CIA to launch a rebellion in southern Serbia in an effort to undermine the then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.[107] After the NATO war the KLA not only was not demilitarised by the NATO occupying forces, as  UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (the legal basis for Nato's occupation) demanded, but was involved instead in an orgy of ethnic cleansing this time against the Serbs, over 80% of whom were terrorised into leaving Kosovo as against roughly half the Albanians who had to flee under Yugoslav occupation.[108]


To my mind, it is only the break away of the Balkan nations from the internationalised market economy and the building of a confederation among them will create a solid foundation for true cultural and socio-economic self-determination in this tormented region. In fact, this was the demand of many in the Balkans after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and again at the end of World War II. A genuine self-determination today presupposes a genuine political, economic, social and ecological democracy, a confederal inclusive democracy.[109] The Balkan crisis is in fact an integral part of the multidimensional crisis (political, economic, social, ecological and cultural) that we face in the era of neoliberal modernity. In other words, the Balkan problem is  emphatically a systemic one calling for the building of a Balkan democratic movement leading to a multicultural confederation of all the Balkan peoples within a broader European (and ultimately world-wide) confederal inclusive democracy.

[1] See Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy (London & New York: Casssell/ Continuum, 1997), ch. 1.

[2] See Takis Fotopoulos, Class Divisions Today: The Inclusive Democracy Approach, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 6, No. 2 (July 2000), pp. 211-252.

[3] See Will Hutton, The State We’re In (London: Jonathan Cape, 1995), ch. 3.

[4] Unemployment, for instance, in the “Group of 7” more advanced market economies (USA, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy) more than doubled between 1973 and 1999, from an average 3.4 per cent of the labour force in 1973 to 7.6 in 1999, Philip Armstrong et al., Capitalism Since World War II, Table 14.1 and UN, Human Development report 2001, Table 17

[5] Thus, the growth rate of world exports increased by almost 73 percent in the period of neoliberal modernity up to now, from an average rate of 4 percent in the 1970s and 5.2 percent in the 1980s to 6.9 percent in the 1990s, World Development Report 1994 (Table 13) and  2000/2001 (Table 11).

[6] Takis Fotopoulos, Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation «Movement», Democracy & Nature, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July 2001), pp. 233-280

[7] Eric Helleiner, “From Bretton Woods to Global finance: a world turned upside down” in Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey R.D. Underhill, Political Economy and the Changing Global Order, (London: Macmillan, 1994).

[8] UN, Human Development Report 1999.

[9] Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press,1944)ch. 1.

[10] Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p. 29.

[11] Leslie Sklair, The Transnational Capitalist Class (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).

[12] Fotopoulos, Globalisation

[13] Ibid.

[14] Gregory Palast Necessity test is mother of Gats intervention, The Observer (15 April 2001).

[15] See T. Fotopoulos, The Gulf War, (Athens: Exantas, 1991) —in Greek

[16] See T. Fotopoulos, The War in the Balkans: The First War of the Internationalised Market Economy”, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 2 (July 1999), pp. 357-382.

[17] Niall Ferguson,  Welcome the new imperialism, The Guardian (October 31, 2001).

[18] Fotopoulos, Globalisation.

[19] See e.g. the series of articles by a team of reporters led by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times (International  Herald Tribune, February 16-19, 1999).

[20] Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of the World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).

[21] Paul-Marie de la Gorce, “Uncivil war in Washington, Le Monde diplomatique (November 2001).

[22] Alex Wilks, Keeping the pressure on, The Observer (November 4, 2001).

[23] Paul-Marie de la Gorce, “Uncivil war in Washington.

[24] See e.g. Ed Vulliamy The President who bought power nad sold the world, The Observer (April 1, 2001).

[25] Serge Latouche The paradox of ecological economics and sustainable development, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 3 (November 1999), pp. 501-510. [abstract]

[26] See for example an expression of this trend in a recent Observer leader under the eloquent title The US is not fit to run the world-We must help Europe take on the job, The Observer (April 1, 2001).

[27] Madeleine Bunting, “Smash and grab inc. The US ruled the last century and it will rule the next. What will it do with its power?”, The Guardian (August 24, 1999).

[28] North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, The Alliance’s Strategic Concept (24th April 1999).

[29] Ibid. article 6.

[30] Ibid. article 15.

[31] Ben Macintyre, The Times (26/4/1999).

[32] The Alliance’s Strategic Concept,article 20.

[33] Christopher Layne & Benjamin Schwarz, Making the World Safer for Business. Instability and aggression are regarded as a threat to the global stability upon which U.S. markets depend”, Los Angeles Times (2/4/1999).

[34] Thomas Friedman, New York Times (March 28 1999) [quoted in M. Parenti’s To Kill Anation, To Kill A Nation (Verso, 2000),  p. 235].

[35] This was before the recent huge rise in US military spending announced by Bush which, according to Professor Paul Kennedy at Yale University, will lead to  the US  spending more each year than the next nine largest national defence budgets combined!, The Observer (February 10, 2002).

[36] Michael White, The Guardian  (February 10, 2001).

[37] Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian (February 28, 2001).

[38] Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p. 5.

[39] K. Ohmae, "The rise of the region state", Foreign Affairs (Spring 1993).

[40] Adrian Hamilton, The Observer (25/2/1996).

[41] As Monique Chemillier-Gendreau points out “The end of international law, likely since the Gulf war, is accelerating (…) the UN Security Council finally bowed to the US in Resolution 1368 of 12 September 2001 (…) By describing the attacks of 11 September as "threats to international peace and security" (…) (it) has abandoned any idea of collective action in the name of the UN (…) the UN is encouraging a vicious circle where the response to violence and murder is a war of vengeance that may be  extended to other lands’. [“UN: the end of collective action”, Le Monde diplomatique (November 2001)].

[42] Cornelius Castoriadis, The Retreat from Autonomy: Postmodernism as Generalised Conformism, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 7, No. 1 (March 2001), pp. 17-26. [abstract]

[43] Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Le recours, c’est la force, Liberation (6/4/1999).

[44] Alain Lipietz, Ce qu’il faut savoir avant une guerre terrestre, Liberation (13/4/1999).

[45] As Paul McGarr stresses: ”Their (Green) politics are a criticism of some aspects of the capitalist system, such as the way it leads to environmental destruction, but not a rejection of the system itself”, European Greens, Shades of Deep Khaki, Socialist Worker (23/4/1999).

[46] Even some pro-West human rights organisations like Amnesty International felt obliged to accuse NATO of war crimes (June 7, 2000), although others, like Human Rights Watch found no evidence of war crimes by NATO, The Independent (February 7, 2000).

[47] Walter J. Rockler, War Crimes Law Applies to U.S. Too, Chicago Tribune (May 23, 1999).

[48] Edward S. Herman, Clinton Is The World’s Leading Active War Criminal, Z-Magazine (December 1999).

[49]  John Pilger, Acts of Murder, The Guardian (18/5/1999).

[50] See  Human Rights Watch Report, The Guardian (8/1/2000) & (7/2/2000).

[51] John Pilger, New Statesman (May 17, 1999).

[52] Michael Dobbs, NATO’s Latest Target: Yugoslavia’s Economy, Washington Post (26/4/1999).

[53] Quoted in M. Parenti, To Kill A Nation, p. 166.

[54] Walter J. Rockler, War Crimes Law Applies to U.S. Too”.

[55] Jose Luis Morales, Spanish Fighter Pilots Admit NATO Purposely Attacks Civilian Targets, Articulo 20 (Spain-weekly) (June 14, 1999) [ZNet Commentary (16 June 1999)].

[56] Michel Chossudovsky, “NATO Willfully Triggered An Environmental Catastrophe In Yugoslavia <> (6-18-2000).

[57] The text of the detailed indictment which was prepared by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, is available through the Commission of Inquiry c/o International Action Center, 39 West 14th St., #206, New York, NY 10011.

[58] On the kangaroo character of the International Criminal Tribunal in Hague see Christopher Black& Edward S. Herman, An Unindicted War Criminal, Z-magazine (February 2000).

[59] J. Borger  & I. Black, The Guardian (29 June 2001). 

[60] Daily Telegraph (28/5/1999).

[61] See, for instance. John Pilger, Acts of Murder.

[62] S. Chaviaras, Eleftherotypia (29/5/1999).

[63] See John Pilger, New statesman (15 November 1999).

[64] See, for instance, print interview of April 8, 1999 with Noam Chomsky, Znet.

[65] Edward S. Herman & David Peterson, The NATO-Media Lie Machine  “Genocide” in Kosovo?”, Z-Magazine (May 2000).

[66] The Guardian (18/8/2000). See also Jonathan Steele, Serb killings “exaggerated” by West: Claims of up to 100,000 ethnic Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as exhumations near end’, The Guardian (August 18, 2000).

[67] See e.g. The New York Times (1/11/1987).

[68] Opinion of the Upper Admin. Court of Baden-Wurttemberg, February 4, 1999 (Az:A 14 S 22276/98) - see Important Internal Documents From Germany’s Foreign Office Regarding Pre-Bombardment Genocide in Kosovo”, Znet reprinting from the German daily Jungle Welt (24/4/1999).

[69] Opinion of the Upper Admin. Court at Munster, February 24, 1999 (Az:14A 3840/94.A). See also  the Opinion of the same court dated March 11, 1999 (Az:13A 3894/94.A) i.e. two weeks before the beginning of the war which declared that “ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have neither been nor are now  exposed to regional or countrywide group persecution in Yugoslavia.

[70] See Takis Fotopoulos, The War in the Balkans and the Criminal Role of the Centre-Left”, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 1999), pp. 195-98.

[71] See The Guardian (7/6/2000). On the Rambouillet agreement see also John Pilger, Acts of Murder and M. Albert The Diplomatic Scene (on the basis of material made available by Noam Chomsky), Znet (8/5/1999).

[72] Stephen R. Shalom, A Just War?”, Z-magazine (September 1999).

[73]  Washington Post, citing Western officials (11/4/1999).

[74]  See independent testimonials mentioned in Regis Debray’s, An Open letter to President Chirac, Le Monde (13/5/1999).

[75] Eve-Ann Prentice, The Times (24/5/1999).

[76] See Takis Fotopoulos, Mass Media and Western Totalitarianism, Eleftherotypia (28/4/1999). See also Edward S. Herman & David Peterson The NATO-Media Lie Machine.

[77] See Takis Fotopoulos, Mass Media, Culture and Democracy”, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 1999), pp. 33-64.

[78] See T. Fotopoulos, The War in the Balkans: The First War of the Internationalised Market Economy.

[79] Immanuel Wallerstein, Bombs away”, Znet (5/4/1999).

[80] See e.g. Tariq Ali, Springtime for NATO, New Left Review (March-April 1999), p. 66.

[81] See Takis Fotopoulos, The War in the Gulf: the first battle in the North-South Conflict (Athens: Exantas, 1991).

[82] Takis Fotopoulos, The Catastrophe of Marketization, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 2 (July 1999).

[83] Noam Chomsky, Crisis in the Balkans, Z-magazine (May 1999).

[84] Michael Parenti, To Kill A Nation (Verso, 2000). 

[85] Catherine Samary, Dismantling Yugoslavia, Le Monde Diplomatique (Nov. 1998).

[86]  See Takis Fotopoulos, The War in the Balkans and the Criminal Role of the Centre-Left”.

[87] The Yugoslavian foreign debt jumped from 8.8% of GNP in 1970 to 23.9% in 1987, World Bank, World Development Report 1989, Table 24

[88] World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study, Overview (WB: Washington, June 1991); see also Michel Chossudovsky and Jared Israel The International Monetary Fund And The Yugoslav Elections (28/9/2000)

[89] Lenard J. Cohen, Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia’s Disintegration and Balkan Politics in Transition quoted in The Balkan War and Leftist Apologetics for the Milosevic regime by Harald Beyer-Arnesen (Oslo, Norway, 11/5/1999).

[90] Michael Parenti, To Kill A Nation, pp. 27-28.

[91] Serbia  had always a proportionately higher percentage of communist party members than other nationalities. Also, in the 1989 US-imposed elections in the republics, Serbs and Montenegrins supported the former Communists  over the US backed democrats, Michael Parenti, To kill a Nation, pp. 81-82.

[92] The Observer (14/3/1993).

[93] Michel Chossudovsky Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonising Bosnia, Znet (April 1999).

[94] Noel Malcolm, A Short History of Kosovo  (New York: Harper, 1999).

[95] Michael Parenti, To kill a Nation, p. 22.

[96] As late as 1998, US officials were still characterising KLA as a terrorist organisation, although as CIA intelligence agents admitted to the London Sunday Times two years later, it was during the same year that the training of the KLA by the CIA began,  well before the NATO attack, Michael Parenti, To kill a Nation, pp. 99-102.

[97] Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo (23/2/1999), Ch. 4a, article 1.

[98] W.J. Clinton, A Just and Necessary War, New York Times (23/5/1999).

[99] See eg. Tony Blair’s sppech in a meeting of fellow socialists in Paris during the Euro-elections, Daily Telegraph (28/5/1999).

[100] Daniel Williams, Decades, Billions Needed to Restore Yugoslavia, Washington Post (5/6/1999).

[101] See Michel Chossudovsky and Jared Israel, The International Monetary Fund And The Yugoslav Elections”.

[102] Some Western liberal analysts openly state that monoethnic states may be the best solution for the underdeveloped Balkans (see e.g. Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books, 14/1/99)

[103] Neal Ascherson, Hard road to true freedom.

[104] Neal Ascherson, Hard road to true freedom, The Observer (October 8, 2000).

[105] See Marjorie Cohn, Pacification for a Pipeline: explaining the U.S. military presence in the Balkans, Jurist Legal News Forum (April 27, 2001).

[106] George Monbiot, 'A discreet deal in the pipeline’, The Guardian (February 15, 2001).

[107]  Peter Beaumont, Ed Vulliamy and Paul Beaver, 'CIA's bastard army ran riot in Balkans' backed extremists', The Observer (March 11, 2001).

[108] James Petras, NATO in Kosova,  Z-Magazine (October 1999)

[109] T. Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy, chs 5-7.