Little Questions for Mars, the God of War

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh
26 December, 2017
Editorial: 162
Fecha de publicación original: 6 abril, 1999

Money is a good servant, but a bad master

As the XX century draws to a close and the Information Society dawns, Spain has started to bomb Yugoslavia without declaring war and without an explanation from her government as to what new factors have merited military intervention. When the most intelligent thing a lot of people have to say about the Internet is that there is just too much information in it, it now appears that, in fact, there is not enough for us to understand what is happening, nor are we info-saturated in this case. All we are getting are missiles of pure junk information straight from NATO headquarters which all the media, from the most prestigious to the least, parrot faithfully. The Balkan crisis’ “information blackout” seems to have affected NATO itself, which, in tune with events, launched into the venture before weighing up the consequences of its military operation. When the full drama of what was going on in the region reached television screens, more than one of the politicians responsible for the military intervention covered their eyes in horror to see the crimes they had accused Milosevich of actually unfolding before them. But, by then, it was too late to turn back. Now we are up to our necks in it and no-one knows how to tame this hornet’s nest which has so often had an impact on the history of Europe and, in this century, the world.

This war, like all the wars that we have been putting up with since the fall of the Berlin Wall, shows that not only do we need more and better information, but that the very basis of information and knowledge generation has to change track too both as far as its management (sources), distribution (form and content), monitoring, participation and capacity for forming personal opinions is concerned. Otherwise, we will continue to be treated just as public opinion, ready to be fed by stories which come up with no answers and only serve to contribute to mass hysteria. Which does not mean that, in the same way as Atahualpa Yupanqui asked “Little questions to God”, we can’t ask some questions to the worshippers of Mars, god of war. Questions which we will all start to answer ourselves some day, to the undoubted displeasure of some.

Who tells them what is happening on the battlefield?
“The leaders you killed are in good health”, the NATO spokesperson was told just hours after his tragic announcement that the main Albanian Kosovar leaders had been put to the sword. Not strange at all when Jordi Pujol, President of the Catalan government, claimed that he was being informed of the crisis by the President José Maria Aznar, the Minister of External Affairs Abel Matutes, the Minister of Defence Eduardo Serra and NATO’s Secretary General Javier Solana. And then, in the next breath, he admitted that he knew “no more than what is being published in the press”. And the press is not publishing much more than what they are being fed by the aforementioned sources. More than a vicious circle, this seems to be a circle of perversion.

Who are Milosevic’s friends?
Milosevich began operating in 1991 when he entered Vukovar and Europe believed that Maastricht was the key to a union that they are now trying to hold together with fire and steel. Let’s just think back. In December 1991, the European Union decided to suspend recognition of the new states emerging after the death of Tito until there was agreement on the joint structure of what had been old Yugoslavia. That agreement lasted eleven days. Suddenly, Germany recognised Slovenia, and two days later, Croatia. France did the same with Serbia. Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro were left with their pants down. From then on, it was disaster after disaster right up to this war waged by NATO, not by us. Along this road, Kosovo’s autonomy falls by the wayside and the bait of its independence is dangled before it, while the US leaves Europe’s limited identity in matters of security and defence hanging in the balance by launching into a week of bombardments.

Who benefits from this war?
In the first place, arms dealers, in other words those directly involved in the war and those burning with the desire to do so except that they haven’t the muscle for it. But we know nothing about their commercial dealings. For eight years, the Yugoslav army and all kinds of militia and paramilitary forces have been wandering around Central Europe cleansing its neighbours away in perfectly dressed uniforms, armed with the latest, most up-to-date equipment and weaponry available on the military supermarket. The poorest liberation army organises its meetings in the latest model tank. Who oils this machinery? Could it really function all this time without the active support of the NATO countries and Russia? Is everything sold on the black market? We don’t even know if there are people bombarding their own supply lines only to dive anew into the lucrative business of regenerating and expanding them again. Governments are full of talk about control of the Internet because the mafias and organised crime groups use the Net for their dirty business. Is there somebody else out there?

How much does a new metal jacket cost?
Javier Solana, who opposed Spain joining NATO in the past, and later its military structure, is now commander-in-chief of the military campaign headed by Washington. What an ironical fate – having to take decisions in a Central Europe which is on fire again. And that has never been good news over the last 10 centuries.
Has the discussion come to an end or have those who should be leading discussion come to an end?
We are faced with a situation that has all the symptoms of the end of an era, where to reach agreement on political processes (and economic ones) generates panic and the only way out seems to be bomb language. Resorting to these measures is an indication of the poverty of the diplomacy of the states and the immaturity of a diplomacy that has to adjust to globalisation. The policies of the ancient regime talk about respect for positive law (ideology) when they themselves are undermining it in the name of globalisation (pragmatism). In a world that is more and more knitted together by networks and information flows, the mixture of national sovereignty and international law is creating conflicts that are becoming more and more difficult to resolve when there is only one hegemonous military power. The consequence is that dialogue ceases to exist and the diplomacy of the Tomahawk wins the day. How long will this last? And, at what price?

What is the UN still there for?
Bombs on Yugoslavia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan ….. We only need to look back at the previous paragraph for the answer. The UN is now a substantial part of the problem, not of the solution.
Which human beings have the right to claim such status?
In the name of human rights drawn up by some, countries have been isolated, commercially embargoed, invaded with unknown consequences (Somalia), or left to bleed to death after a mysterious missile shot down a helicopter (Rwanda). The genocide which was supposed to be avoided is almost certainly taking place in Kosovo, which leaves wide open the question that perhaps the countries with the most powerful information systems know more than they say. If the answer is no, then whose hands are we really in? If the answer is yes, what are they after when they do exactly the opposite of what they proclaim?

How much is a passport worth?
The US does not want any of its soldiers touched. Over the last few days — and possibly until some other tragedy occurs — CNN and its acolytes reduced their war coverage to the fate of three imprisoned American soldiers. They were more important than the terrible human drama taking place in the region. This was “real information” and the rest was a fairy story. We were suddenly bombarded with what their parents and relatives were going through, their childhood, their schoolmates, etc.. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of anonymous people were being driven from their homes, hungry and ill, shoved into a corner by all the details of the few American soldiers lost in action in the middle of wars where many people died because they had the wrong kind of identity document.

What is the real objective of the bombardment? Is there a plan?
It seems that there are two plans on the go. One seems to work as though the other did not exist: bomb first and then get surprised by the results so that, later, you can put the second plan into action namely, an invasion with some political plan in mind: fragmenting Europe even more, entrenching the problem, making it even more chronic, weakening everyone politically in the process, except the US. Clinton says that, as bombardments have not achieved their objectives (?), Slobodan Milosevich may end up losing the support of the international community for his claims to Kosovan sovereignty. This would pave the way from a statute of autonomy to one of independence. And a conflict with unpredictable consequences. But then, there are not many other options available at the moment. The only decent thing to do is ask the arms industry to stop producing and selling arms and control the black market which sells death. Reinvest this money in networks, computers, data satellites, cheap access information systems, in the collaboration and cooperation among civil organisations, aiding the development of new industries on a different market. In other words, a Utopia for the slaves of Mars, determined to make it a Utopia for everyone. After all, they are really idealists who have been forced into the exhausting task of becoming the exterminators of their own age.

Translation: Bridget King.