To Kill a Nation

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Feb 19 09:27:58 MST 2001

TO KILL A NATION, The Attack on Yugoslavia by Michael Parenti

BOOK REVIEW by Gilles d'Aymery February 19, 2001

No one knows everything and there are always two sides to a story. These
two precepts, often unobserved, have been entirely ignored, utterly
discarded by our decision makers and our opinion makers, media pundits and
anchors, during the dramatic turmoil that engulfed Yugoslavia for the past
decade. The absence of these two most basic rules considerably limits the
likelihood that a citizenry can reach an informed opinion.

Social critic and historian Michael Parenti tells the other side of the
story and brings to light with great details the knowledge that will allow
the readers to form a balanced assessment of what really happened in the
Balkans. This is not a book for aficionados of conspiracy theories. It is
an exercise in investigative reporting and a brilliant analysis of the
events that brought the wrath of our Western gods to the peoples of
Southern Europe, and more precisely to the Serbian people. Neither is it
the work of a "Serbian apologist," as anyone who has relentlessly combated
the demonization of the Serbian people and culture, including this
reviewer, is generally tagged. This is a fully documented examination of
the decisions made in the eighties - decisions that took a sense of urgency
after the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the former
Soviet Union - to dismember the socialist Federation of Yugoslavia and to
carve it into powerless statelets, to complete the privatization of its
entire economy and to achieve the "Third Worldization" of the Balkans.

Those familiar with Michael Parenti either personally or through the
reading of some of the 15 books and countless articles he has written over
the past 25 years know that he is blessed with a sharp mind and a pair of
eagle eyes. He performs with the precision of a surgeon to map the
destruction of Yugoslavia. He does it with ample evidence documented in
more than 20 pages of notes that he assembled with minutia from
well-established Western sources, from international organizations (OSCE,
NATO, ICTY, USDEA, European Commission, etc.) to major news organizations.
It is another side of the story that was always there in the open. One just
had to turn off the TV set and take the time to look for the clues.
Parenti's merit is to have brought forward all these threads together,
knitting in the process a powerful quilt with swatches of evidence that
never came to the fore.

Kosovo cannot be fathomed without appreciating the strategy devised and
implemented for at least an entire decade. By 1992, attentive observers
could sense that the road the Western carvers were taking would probably
lead to Belgrade through Kosovo-Metohija. By 1995, the probability had
become a certainty. Parenti must have been one such observer as, instead of
merely focusing on Kosovo and the illegal war against Serbia in the Spring
of 1999, he reviews each step of the dismemberment, starting with the
secession of Slovenia and Croatia under the "sponsorship" of Germany (and
the Vatican) in a series of short chapters that lay bare the policies put
in place in Bonn and Washington. As Parenti puts it in the introduction of
the book, "Top policy makers are intelligent, resourceful, and generally
more aware of what they are doing than those who see them as foolish and
bungling. US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies.
It has performed brilliantly and steadily." Here again Parenti shows with
persuasive argumentation backed by documented facts that indeed the
policies were steady.and bloody. He convincingly replaces the conflict in
the realm of the end of the Cold War (has it really ended?) and the
ineluctable march Eastward of the Western Powers in the name of democracy
and free-markets. Each chapter brings new details and new revelations of
the deceptions put in place toward the achievement of the final breakup of
Yugoslavia; and while some, particularly the chapter dedicated to
Bosnia-Herzegovina, could have used further exploration, they significantly
facilitate the understanding of the whole Yugoslav tragedy.

For years most people have only read and listened to a one-sided story; a
story repeated ad nauseum, filled with insinuations, PR campaigns,
deceptions, slander, all with remarkable effectiveness. The consequences of
this story will be with us for many years. No one can even apprehend how
extensive the repercussions will be, not just in the Balkans, but in the
entire world (notice already the direct impact on Russia, China, India, and
possibly even in Europe). Honest-minded people, whether they agree or not
with Parenti's conclusions, will want to read To Kill a Nation in order to
draw their own informed conclusions. They finally will have heard the other
side of the story.

Parenti dedicates the book "To the people of the former Yugoslavia with the
hope that they may be allowed to live in peace with justice."

TO KILL A NATION, The Attack on Yugoslavia by Michael Parenti Publisher:
Verso - 2000 - ISBN 1-85984-776-5

TO KILL A NATION will be in your local bookstore on February 22, 2001. You
can also order it from People's Video/Audio, toll-free order: 800-823-4507
(VISA, Mastercard or American Express) or by check or money order to:
People's Video, PO Box 99514, Seattle WA 98199

Louis Proyect
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