Is Foreign Muslim Intervention in Yugoslavia to be endorsed?

Lorenzo Penya Laurentius at
Tue Nov 21 16:40:14 MST 1995

Yugoslavia again. Reflections on Bryan's comments. # 7
On Sun, 15 Oct 1995 Bryan A. Alexander wrote:

      I've never argued for NATO airstrikes. I do in fact
      believe that a combined-arms NATO - heck, US - offensive
      would have crushed the Serbs back in '92. I've never said
      that I would have supported such "uncritically." I'd
      rather see workers in all 8 former Yugoslav units unite to
      wipe out their capitalist and Stalinist masters. I'd also
      probably support Muslim troops sent from abroad, if I
      thought it would lead to a better outcome. I don't think
      NATO or the UN is structurally capable of this. I've said
      that before.

Muslim troops sent from abroad?

(1) On account of what? Just because many (or most) inhabitants of the
Yugoslav region (or province, or `republic' or whatever) of Bosnia-
Herzegovina are Muslims (in a loose sense many of them)? Does that
constitute a serious ground in our century for an intervention by
foreign people of the same religion to be justified? Was Franco right
when he appealed to Mussolini, whose Corpo di Truppe Volontarie (about
250,000 men) was sent to overthrow the Spanish Republic? They were
Christians, nay Roman-Catholics, as about 90 percent of Spaniards are
(even today) [well, at least they say they are]. The CIA help to those
who overthrew Arbenz can be justified on similar grounds. And so on
(not to mention foreign intervention in Afghanistan, on which I know
we deeply disagree).
      Some foreign interventions can be justified, under certain
circumstances. None of those conditions is nowadays admitted to be
that of religious adherence. We are no longer in the 16th century
(even the so-called 30 years war was even at that time, in the early
17th century, declared to be political, not religious; that was
Richelieu's justification for supporting the anti-Habsburg cause in

(2) What troops? From what countries? Perhaps Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia, Indonesia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Turkey,
Morocco, Bangla-Desh? All those countries live under terrible, cruel
regimes. A few among them respect a minimum of apparently bourgeois-
democratic appearances (Egypt, Pakistan, Bangla-Desh). Most of the
time they have been under undisguised ruthless military dictatorships.
Their internal record is appalling. (Their external record is hardly
better. Remember Pakistani troops' atrocities in Somalia against the
population, which triggered the US-UN aggression against the Somali
people.) No regimen in the world now has so a bloody record as
Suharto's both against the Indonesian people and abroad (Timor,
Western New Guinea, where real genocide has been committed against
several aboriginal ethnias.) What about the merciless Sudanese
military dictatorship, or Iran's fanatic Mullahs, who have killed
thousands of peaceful political dissenters on account of their
adherence to the `anti-Islamic' ideology of Marxism. (Please, folks,
admit that Tudeh militants and leaders have been the victims, not the
murderers.) What about the King of morocco, with his feudal, quasi-
absolutistic regime? Stories about Moroccan prisons are such that they
can be compared to the Roman ergastula for revolting slaves or the
cages for runaway slaves in America in the early 18th century).
Nothing to say of a particularly loathsome oppression and subjugation
to which they submit half the population, namely all females just
because they are females.
      Bryan, are troops sent by those governments liberators? What to
think about the cause which is likely to be consolidated by such help?
Or are you thinking of non-government troops sent by private citizens
and organizations? (Which ones? I am curious about it.) That cannot be
your point. Your advise `Muslim troops sent from abroad, [...] [such
that what they would be capable of is such that you] don't think NATO
or the UN is structurally capable of'. Hence very very very powerful
      I am sure, Bryan, you do not have in mind a colossal
expeditionary corps sent by Turkey, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt and so
forth. But a joint intervention force meeting your requirement of more
structural strength than NATO's seems to me to evoke something like
      Fortunately nothing of the sort will be realized. Yet, at this
stage an impressive, if more discrete, Islamic-Conference intervention
in the Yugoslav internal affairs has been taking place for years. With
the support and blessing of the Western powers and the media.

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