Memo To: Political Correspondents
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Background to the Milosevic Trial
Two years ago, on March 25, 1999, I wrote a memo here about the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. It was directed at Sen. Tim Hutchinson [R-AR], who I thought would be sympathetic to my argument that Serbia was the victim of NATO aggression, not the aggressor. At the time, there were no Serbian troops outside the Yugoslav Federation, so where was the aggression? Now that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is being tried as a war criminal for trying to hold together the Yugoslav Federation, the NYTimes and the other major media have decided that Milosevic is already guilty of war crimes and genocide. The NYT daily “reminds” us that Milosevic “launched four wars” during his presidency. In my 1999 memo, I compared Milosevic to Abraham Lincoln, who launched several wars at once against the southern states in an attempt -- successful thank goodness -- to keep our federation together. The only reason the United States can get away with bribing the current Belgrade government with $1 billion in aid, in exchange for the extradition of Milosevic to the Hague, is that we are an almighty global power, which has become corrupted by that power. Our national press corps has been corrupted in the process, and those of you who receive this missive should wonder how it has happened to you. The answer is easy: When our Political Establishment -- left, right and center -- makes a major blunder, as it has in Yugoslavia, it needs a scapegoat to take the blame, and it will punish the careers of those journalists who do not fall in line. Here is what I wrote to Hutchinson, the background to the events in the Balkans stripped of Orwellian hypocrisy:.