Serbia and Montenegro: NATO faces genocide charge

1999 imperialist war against Serbia in the dock

Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) is suing NATO for genocide before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. SCG chief legal representative, Tibor Varadi, argues that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, in 1999, did not contribute to a solution of the conflict in Kosovo/Kosova. Rather, Varadi says, it was an act of genocide by NATO.

Varadi spoke before the judges last Wednesday, explaining that the bombing did not resolve the problem in Kosovo, in the late 90s. On the contrary, the problem was exasperated, as evidenced by the bloody violence that took place last month in Kosovo and Meothija.

Whilst this trial may highlight NATO war crimes, the representatives of imperialism will never be brought to justice in this way. The whole system of international law is not neutral, but entirely biased towards the imperialist countries and their representatives. If this trial ever became a serious embarrassment to the NATO countries they would no doubt attempt to force the leaders of SCG to back down through economic and diplomatic pressure.

A more direct and serious punishment for imperialism’s war crimes would be the building of a powerful workers’ movement in the Balkans that could reverse the market liberalisation inflicted on the region by the IMF, World Bank and EU. Such a movement would also bring the workers’ into direct conflict with their own rulers who may oppose imperialism in the court room, but capitulate to it economically. A powerful class movement could unite the people’s of the Balkans and expel imperialism.

Ironically, the neo-liberal leaders of Serbia and Montenegro would like future NATO membership themselves. Suing their potential allies is probably not the best way to gain speedy admission.

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April 2004