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New book gives different view of U.S. destruction of Yugoslavia

Published Dec 22, 2005 8:49 PM

“The Defense Speaks for History and the Future: Opening defense statement at The Hague by President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic with an introduction by Ramsey Clark” published by the International Action Center, 2005. 120 pp. $19.95

Does this sound like a book to miss? Well, even if you do buy it, would you let it languish on your bookshelf, without reading it? If you followed either course of action, you would miss out on a remarkable document. In fact, you would be react ing precisely as U.S. administrations from Bush Sr. to Clinton to Bush Shrub have planned. The demonization of Presi dent Milosevic has been so thorough that even those on the side of the working class may not expect him to be the source of historical insight. This is a pity, as he has been a major political figure for many years in Yugoslavia, a once significant workers’ state.

This remarkable little book gives a lucid overview of the complex history of the Balkans from World War II to the present. It includes an analysis of the roots of the tragic inter-ethnic violence and the way inter-imperialist rivalries have played out in the (now) former Yugoslavia. At times it is quite detailed and examines arguments primarily familiar to those who have closely followed the region’s political twists and turns. More often it offers difficult to find and valuable background information that makes the region comprehensible.

Often books that are translations are awkward and convoluted. Not this book. It is an excellent and authoritative translation of Milosevic’s opening statement, which he delivered in Serbo-Croatian before the fraudulent International Criminal Court for the former Yugo slavia. The writing is clear and even elegant. It is an achievement that Milosevic was able to produce this in his isolated incarceration in Scheveningen Prison in The Hague.

Part of Milosevic’s opening statement reads, “An untruthful, distorted picture of what happened in the territory of the former Yugoslavia was created in internation al public opinion over a long period of time with clear political intentions. These charges represent an unscrupulous mani pulation of lies, a perversion of law, a defeat of morals, and an extreme distortion of history. Everything has been turned upside down in order to shield from responsibility those who are truly responsible for the tragic events, to render the wrong judgments and to draw the wrong conclusions about the nature and background of the war against Yugoslavia.”

It is worth our time to read Milo sevic’s book so we can more fully understand what the U.S. has done to Yugo slavia—this scenario of systematically demonizing, dismantling and destroying countries that won’t do Washington’s bidding continues to be the modus operandi of U.S. governments.