The West is adept at demonizing whoever they want to go after - exclusive interview with Dr. Edward Herman
Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Dr. Edward Herman. He is a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And he is also the author of several books, namely “The Manufacturing of Consent”, he wrote that with the Noam Chomsky, and “The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context and Politics”.
Robles: You said the West wanted, or the United States, wanted a reason to get Serbia. What exactly were those reasons?
Herman: After the fall of the Soviet Union, the West: the United States and its allies, no longer wanted to support an independent Yugoslavia. It was a social-democratic state, it was relatively independent and they didn’t want it to continue and would prefer to have it broken into pieces which they could control.
So, they encouraged Slovenia and the Bosnian Muslims, in Bosnia, and the Croatians, they encouraged them to leave Yugoslavia. And the only ones who wanted to keep Yugoslavia together were the Serbs. So, the Serbs did try to keep them together but there was mutual fighting and there were efforts to settle the whole business and let them exit more or less peaceably, but the West sabotaged those agreements.
This is a famous set of episodes, there was an attempt called the Lisbon Agreement in 1992, to sort of solve some of the problems with peaceful resolution and the Bosnian Muslims were encouraged by the United States to reject that agreement.
So, they fought one another mutually trying to establish land control and this caused the tremendous amount of killings. The Srebrenica massacre was part of this mutual ethnic cleansing and struggle for land control. But behind it all was the fact that the West supported the dismantling of Yugoslavia. And the Serbs were their enemy because the Serbs opposed this dismantling. So, the Serbs were the victims of all the West’s activity.
Most important, possibly, apart from the sabotaging of this peace agreement, was the setup of Yugoslavia Tribunal. And the Tribunal was, and remains a complete instrument of NATO and the United States and it went almost entirely after Serbs, and it actually helped to sabotage peace. It was really a phony judicial arm of NATO with the Serbs as victims.
And so, eventually they went after Milosevic. All these efforts of the Tribunal were the dismantling of Yugoslavia in a proper political light. If you could criminalize all the Serb leaders, you could prove that Serbia was the bad guy and that NATO and its activities, including the bombing war against Kosovo, that NATO would look like it was engaging in humanitarian intervention, here it had this judicial backup of the Yugoslav Tribunal which was a fraud, which was a travesty.
There is a wonderful book by John Laughland entitled “Travesty”. It is a study of the Yugoslav Tribunal and its devastating. Actually another good book is by Michael Mandel called “How America Gets Away with Murder” which also has a very good discussion of the Tribunal and International Criminal Court, and the extent to which they are effectively arms of the West, they are not judicial institutions at all, really Public Realtions arms of the West.
Robles: After WW II there was an agreement not to reorganize Europe. And I’ve read some material saying that Yugoslavia was the first experiment for the US in their game of geopolitical chess to reestablish or redefine the borders of Europe. Do you think that was successful and where do you think that has led us today?
Herman: I think it was a very successful operation from the standpoint of the United States and NATO, because this independent social-democratic entity was destroyed by the West and it left a series of states that are dependent on the United States and the West. Serbia which was once an independent state is now a groveling, kind of pathetic failed state. It was failed, by the bombing and by the long blockade or sanctions against Serbia, it is now groveling before the West trying to get into the European Union. It was dismantled and taken apart.
Robles: There are “some” people in Serbia, who are as you say, groveling for the West. But there is a large percentage of Serbians who know the reality of what happened and really, hate the West because they know that their country was destroyed.
Herman: I agree with you completely. I’m talking about the people who run this, those in power. It is true that there is a very significant minority, or maybe it is even a majority…
Robles: I think it is a majority, but you just said the key words there “those in power”. Right!
Herman: You know, I think that the vast number of Serbs are resentful of what has been done to them. But the West has arranged and the power structure has been fixed so that the friends of the West retain political power and they do the groveling.
Robles: And there is so much of a media blackout of anything that counters that “evil Serb” stereotype that they promoted in the West.
Herman: Absolutely, yes. The standard procedure of the United States and the NATO powers is to demonize whoever they are going to go after. So, Milosevic was made into a devil and the Serbs were made into an evil population. And of course the Bosnian Muslims loved that and latched onto that and they are still using it to achieve some of their aims. Countries finds it extremely difficult to throw off the burden of demonization and hatred by the West.
After we crushed Vietnam, we allegedly lost that war, but we damaged Vietnam horribly, we actually succeeded in maintaining an 18 year boycott of this victim to whom we ought to have been paying huge reparations. We actually should be paying gigantic reparations to Serbia for the illegal bombing war. But the West does this demonization and the demon charge hangs on.
So, each successful target you find this demonization process at work and the hypocrisy involved here is absolutely mindboggling because sometimes you have us changing our mind in mid-stream as with Saddam Hussein, when he was warring against Iran in the 1980s, he was a friend of the United States and they actually provided him with weapons of mass destruction. And then he became worse than Hitler. But the media doesn’t stress this and avoid it, they ignore the fact that he was our ally and then the next day he is a demon.
Robles: Same thing with Muammar Gaddafi, I mean he became a friend, again, what you were saying. Disarm! Disarm! Ok, he disarmed. The same with Hussein, he disarmed.
Herman: I don’t think we ever really loved Gaddafi or Assad but we did get along with them at least for a while. But Gaddafi was always a handy villain we could turn to, like in a Lockerbie case, that was really an amazing business, because after Pan Am 103 was shot down.
Robles: Sure! Do you think he was behind that? Do you believe that?
Herman: No, absolutely not! Right off the bat. The shoot down of Pan Am 103 followed by six months the United States shooting down an Iranian airliner killing 290 people. And six months after that there was Lockerbie, the Pan Am 103, so everybody knew. And in fact the CIA claimed for two years it was clear fact that Iran and Syria had been behind that bombing.
But the geopolitics changed and suddenly we were having to deal with Saddam Hussein, we needed Iran and Syria to be our temporary friends and Gaddafi was brought into the picture. The convenient villain. I’m totally sure, I’ve studied that Lockerbie case and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the shooting down of Pan Am 103.
But it is like the Srebrenica massacre. The capability of the West and the media to manipulate facts, and the CIA to manipulate facts and demonize, and have an effective case against whomever we have demonized, it is amazing how the West does this.
That was the end of part 2. You can find part three on our website at english.ruvr.ru