Diary of an Uncivil War:
Aftermath of the Kosovo Conflict.
Scott Taylor. Esprit
de Corps Books, Ottawa, Canada. 2002.
SCOTT TAYLOR has done it again. For much of the 1990s
his hard-hitting magazine Esprit de Corps, along with his books,
exposed crime and corruption within the Canadian military. Then his book Inat
gave us the other side of the NATO air war over Serbia. Now Scott has produced
another first-hand account which continues where Inat left off. Uncivil
War further reveals the folly of Western quasi-imperialist intervention.
While the international media left the Balkans after the 1999
war, Taylor has maintained a strong and passionate interest in the region, and
he especially has become concerned about the unreported plight of the Serbian
people. Uncivil War is a diary of Taylor’s return visits to
Serbia and Kosovo, along with visits to Macedonia in 2000. As the diary entries
would indicate, the Serbian-Albanian conflict has not ended! Supposedly the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK) “disarmed”, but in reality this was a
token gesture. The KLA still dreams of a greater Albania, and Taylor provides
the maps. KLA units have continued to secretly train, smuggle and store weapons,
and then inflict terror and intimidation on the Kosovo Serbs. Also the KLA has
carried their struggle into Macedonia. The NATO “peacekeepers” have not
solved the problems, and appear to have been only intent on keeping “an
acceptable level of violence.”
Yet, there is a major irony in this conflict given the
current attention on the Middle East. Taylor documents the links which the
Albanians and the Bosnian Muslims have with Osama bin Laden’s al-Quaeda
network! What does western intervention do for these conflicts abroad? Your “friend”
in one war just might be your “enemy” in the next. NATO’s war against
Christian Serbia has not earned the West, and the United States in particular,
any brownie points with Osama and company.
Ulster readers should find the Kosovo scenario as being all
to familiar. First, slanted media reporting about a guerrilla/terrorist ethnic
conflict leads to external meddling. When the outsiders take up their positions
to deliver “reconciliation”, one side simply uses the outsider presence as a
smokescreen to continue the war by other means. Atrocities committed by that
side rarely get media attention because the ‘do-gooder’ reporters have moved
on elsewhere. It should be no surprise that the term “uncivil war” has also
graced the title of a book on the Ulster troubles.
Like his other works Uncivil War is easy to
read. Taylor has run up many miles in travelling, and he has certainly rubbed
shoulders with the locals. The only weakness is that sometimes he takes the line
from the Serbian state media at face value without some critical analysis. Our
memories may be short, but the former Yugoslavia was a Communist country for
about five decades, and the old party attitudes of disinformation do die hard.
(One has to remember this when hearing the claims of any the sides in the Balkan
conflict.) Also in his exposure of the American involvement he should mentioned
those American isolationists who have opposed intervention. (Pat Buchanan, three
times a Presidential candidate, said on CNN that there was NO American interest
at all in the region.) Nonetheless Scott Taylor has produced another classic for
the anti-imperialist library.
For websites of interest on Balkan matters check the
Unity Congress, a Serbian American group, and also check the
archives of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.