by Nebojsa Malic
July 26, 2014
When the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the United States – and its junior partners in Europe – found itself bereft of an enemy. One scholar, Francis Fukuyama, concluded by 1992 that this represented the “end of history” and the beginning of an age in which “western” values such as capitalism and “liberal democracy” were unchallenged and would dominate forever.
Fukuyama’s thesis served as the foundation for a manifesto of American imperialism. Written by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, and published in July 1996 on the pages of Foreign Affairs (a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations), it offered an “elevated vision of America’s international role” as a “benevolent global hegemony.” Though Kagan and Kristol were what would later be described as “neoconservatives,” their prescription was soon accepted and put into practice by the “liberal” Clinton administration.
Birth of the Empire
Washington’s policy of backing Croatian, Bosnian Muslim, Albanian and Montenegrin separatists against the Serbs in Yugoslavia led to the tragedies of 1995 – a mass expulsion of Serbs from territories claimed by Zagreb and Sarajevo, in a repeat of the 1940s – and 1999, when NATO openly attacked Serbia in order to occupy its province of Kosovo. Yugoslavia itself was abolished in 2003, and Montenegro separated from Serbia in 2006 – in effect establishing the Austro-Hungarian vision for the Balkans a century after the Hapsburg Empire vanished into history.
However dysfunctional Yugoslavia was, its shards are failed states outright. Serbia had been blockaded for nearly a decade and its infrastructure devastated by bombing, but the real reason for its present predicament is the series of quisling regimes in power since the October 2000 Yellow Revolution. Macedonia, which begged Empire’s protection to avoid war, got war anyway, and is currently held hostage by its ethnic Albanians – encouraged by the Empire’s gift of “independent Kosovo”. Pitched as the “great success” of Washington after the Somalia fiasco, Bosnia is still a protectorate, ruled by EU viceroys and U.S. ambassadors. Even Slovenia and Croatia, presented as “civilized” and “European” – fared better only until the loot from Yugoslavia ran out; now they are EU members with economies on par with Greece.