Kosovo: The Continuing Decline of the West
by Marian Shuter

Questions, questions and more questions.


Has anyone read Oswald Spengler's "The Decline of the West" lately? It appears that we are witnessing, in a most severe way, here and now, the decaying process, as described by Spengler, in Kosovo; but also in the world at large, that is, those regions of the world that are strongly influenced (willingly or otherwise) and supported (or destroyed) by the power brokers of the economically enlightened.


Money, money, money, money---money. Remember that song?


Is this the reason that so few of us can make our way through the residue, or is it quagmire, left behind the constant quest to have more than plenty of it?

Are we really like Spengler's Romans, civilized with a capital "C"; that is, pragmatists focusing all of our human energy and resources to acquire more, much more, than our immediate material needs. Yet, at the same time, ignoring, or running away from, all those elevated human qualities--that is, culture with a lower case "c"--that allow us to experience the sublime in all that is familiar and unfamiliar? Are we westerners pursuing a life that demands possession (tangible and intangible) as the necessary prerequisite to the profound experience of being alive. Will we ever again be content to behold the world in a state of wonder? Or will the excrement which follows the satisfaction of physical needs provide the fodder for future generations?

Well, here are some more questions:

1. -Has the Kosovo Liberation Army, historically and perhaps up to this day, been funded by heroin dollars?

2. -If the KLA has been growing due to the funds realized by drug money, and U.S. officials have always known this, then what is this KLA need for U.S. aid, or more importantly, U.S. willingness to consider such aid? Are not drugs significant revenue producers? Or does this tainted money need to be "processed through western banks"?

3. -Do the natural resources in Kosovo abound a plenty, while there are not much to speak of in Serbia proper? Is the desire to control these resources the motivational force behind the behavior of the Serbs, Kosovars, Europeans, Russians, and/or the United States?

4. -Is the actual territory of Kosovo strategically important to all, or some, of the above named peoples and/or countries?

5. -Is ethnic cleansing the reason, the only reason, Nato is in the Balkans; or, is it the term used by Nato to describe a civil war?

6. -Is it true that prior to Nato bombings, approximately 2,000 people (Serbs and Albanians alike) were killed because of a struggle between those pursuing a "Greater Albania" against those desperately hanging on to what is left of "Greater Yugoslavia"?

7. -Are the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter, and the documents governing Nato going to be repeatedly and viciously violated for months or years to come?

8. -If Milosevic is to be tried for war crimes (or is it conflict crimes?), should those violating the intent and stated provisions of the official papers cited above be tried as well?

9. -Is this indeed a war, or is it a conflict that only appears to be a war to those who are being bombed and forced out of harm's way?

10. -Do U.S. officials really care about the Albanians? If so, when will we see more of them in this country? Doesn't Macedonia want a little refugee relief? Don't the refugees want a bit more relief with respect to their immediate physical needs? If we are going to spend the hard earned U.S. surplus (initially earmarked for Social Security and the like), shouldn't we use it primarily for human survival? Isn't it true that our resources are limited (regionally and globally)? Does it make sense to bomb? Or is blowing up more satisfying than building up?

11. -Are all of these questions insane, or merely the questioner?

12. -Will the key players of the U.S. national news teams help me sort any of this out?


I thank antiwar.com for arousing, in me, the desire to ask these questions.

If I am not thinking clearly and critically about the convoluted nature that seems to describe Kosovo, I can at least take some comfort in knowing that ignorance may be bliss, but bliss has a price tag: a mind and heart that is dead to the suffering of the world.

Published May 23, 1999
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