The Clinton administration says U.S. and other NATO troops will continue to occupy Yugoslavia for at least 18 more months, with their aim being the "creation of a free market economy" - in other words, restoring the domination of capital over the Yugoslav toilers. But as the recent demonstrations in Yugoslavia show, the working class there has not been defeated. Washington and its imperialist cohorts remain far from their goal.
With the disintegration of the Stalinist regimes throughout Eastern Europe, wannabe capitalists from the former ruling caste in the Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia went to war with each other in 1991, wrapping themselves in the flag of nationalism to each try to grab a bigger piece of the pie.
The rulers in Washington, London, Bonn, Paris, and other imperialist capitals stood by, hoping this bloody slaughter unleashed against the workers would be enough to overturn the workers state established in the Yugoslav revolution of the 1940s and restore capitalist property relations.
When it became clear a proxy war would not achieve their aims, Washington spearheaded the 60,000-strong NATO occupation force that went into Bosnia last December, with the stated aim of enforcing the Dayton "peace" accords that spell out the partition of Bosnia.
But the massive protests involving hundreds of thousands in Croatia and Serbia, as well as the skirmish with the U.S. troops in Bosnia, reveal the spark of working-class resistance that has not been snuffed out in any part of Yugoslavia. The would-be exploiters, like those represented by Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade and Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb, will meet stubborn resistance from workers and peasants as they try to bleed the toilers. That's why imperialism will have a rough time trying to accomplish its goal of reestablishing capitalism there.
The partition of Bosnia imposed by Washington and its allies/rivals in NATO itself sets the stage for more instability and social explosions as refugees try to return to their former homes. The new "13-points" U.S. officials forced the ruling thugs in Bosnia to sign, will not bring peace to working people in the region any more than the Dayton agreement. The capitalist class has no solutions to the crisis in Yugoslavia short of more war and massive destruction. And being under the boot of occupying imperialist armies makes it that much harder for the Yugoslav toilers to fight against the gangsters that run the various pieces of their country.
Competition is intensifying among imperialist rivals as they vie for control of markets to boost declining profit rates. The possibility of a ground war being fought in Europe with troops from Washington, Bonn, London, and Paris is real for the first time in decades.
Class-conscious workers should take every opportunity to discuss Clinton's war moves and get out literature that explains the facts about the history of the Yugoslav revolution. Some of the best tools available are the books The Truth About Yugoslavia - Why Working People Should Oppose Intervention and New International no. 7, which features the article "Opening Guns of World War III."
Those who want to fight against war and capitalism's dog-
eat-dog society should join the campaign to sell these books
that workers need, and urge working people and youth to demand
U.S. and other imperialist troops get out of Yugoslavia!
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