Sunday, March 07, 2010

Libertarians Protest the Balkan (Serbian) War in the 1990s

Many Americans, even many antiwar activists, have forgotten Clinton's Serbian War. This is partially because many "progressives" supported that war, since it was Clinton's war. 

Libertarians can be proud that many of them did oppose that war. was founded in response to the Balkan Wars.

Below are some photos from a Los Angeles protest in opposition to U.S./NATO actions against Serbia.  I'm not sure of the date, except that it's the late 1990s.

I think this protest (which I did not attend, or even know about at the time) was probably organized by an ethnic Serbian group.  It doesn't appear to be a specifically libertarian protest. Yet there was a Libertarian Party presence.

These photos originally appeared on the Los Angeles County Libertarian Party website.  By the time I took over as that site's webmaster, the photos had already been delinked, yet were still on the server.

For the sake of reminding people of the Libertarian Party's consistently antiwar history, I bring readers this "blast form the past."

I think that's California LP activist Mark Selzer on the right.

There's Mark again, on the right. Note the anti-Clinton tone of this antiwar protest. Progressives who imagine that war is a Republican thing, or a Bush invention, should pay especial attention. War has always been a bipartisan project.

Here's a banner equating Clinton to Hitler. This is the 1990s, before the "Bush = Hitler" posters of the post-9/11 era. Conservatives who imagine that such extreme language is a Democratic thing, or a invention, should pay especial attention. Using tough language against American presidents has always come from all political leanings.

Today's "Reform faction" Libertarians fear using such strong language, at least against Republicans.

That's a Serbian flag on the right. Sadly, antiwar protests disproportionately draw support from the currently attacked ethnic group, instead of from all Americans.

That "Kosovo is Serbia" sign suggests the man holding it is a Serbian nationalist rather than a peacenik. He's likely upset that the U.S./NATO were engaged in stragetic bombing to support Kosovan secession.

Note the sign equating NATO bombings with genocide.

Again, note the strong language. Clinton is called a "Mad Dog" and the "Butcher from Little Rock."

And NATO is equated with a terrorist organization.

The politics behind the 1990s Balkan Wars and breakup of Yugoslavia are too complex to discuss in one post -- and I don't claim to understand it all. But all of us should bone up on history. Especially history as recent as the 1990s. 

Read up on the Serbian War. Who supported it? Who opposed it? Why? How does it relate to our current wars? How many contradictions and hypocrisies, on any and all sides, can you identify?

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