The Clinton administration is using the memory of the WWII Holocaust, the systematic destruction of the Jewish people, in an unseemly campaign to justify the utterly failed and illogical policy of bombing Yugoslavia into giving up it's province of Kosovo. It is offensive and demeaning to the memory of those six million innocent Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis and Nazi sympathizers to use their deaths to incite war fever against the Serbs.
Clinton/NATO have advanced this comparison to try to win over Jewish and general public sympathy for the bombing of the Serbian people into submission. They use the terrible images of the ethnic Albanian refugees-and this is a terrible tragedy (exacerbated by our bombing) that the refugees are enduring-as fodder for a propaganda campaign to tug at the heartstrings of Western public opinion by invoking the memory of the Holocaust. Why? Because the awful bombing and killing of the Serbian people is in no way in the national interest of the U.S. Therefore, another justification must be presented to justify the horrific death and destruction caused by our bombs. Comparing the Serbs to the WWII Nazis and using the desperate images of the Albanian refugees is the only way to get public opinion to support the war. Without this, support for the war collapses totally.
Regrettably, the Clinton spin machine (unquestionably the best spin machine in the world since TV was invented) has had some success in using the Jewish Holocaust to evoke an emotional response from people in NATO countries, enabling the populations of these countries to tolerate what the majority of these populations would not normally tolerate. They tolerate the indiscriminate killing of Yugoslav men, women and children, including cluster bombing of civilian areas of cities. They tolerate widespread destruction of the economic infrastructure of an entire country. All in the name of stopping another Holocaust. There is only one problem. Comparisons of the current situation to the Holocaust are not valid. The facts do not support such comparisons. Here are three of the many major differences between then and now:
- In Germany in the 1930's there was no armed Jewish group that went about killing German police, funding itself with profits from drug dealing operations, or accepting weapons from outside powers to fight German authorities. There was no terrorist JLA. Jews were simply everyday law-abiding citizens. In contrast, the KLA has been killing and terrorizing the Serbs of Kosovo for over 6 years now. Many ethnic Albanians have also been killed by the KLA during this period, especially those that work in Government jobs like the forest service or the post office. They are killed to be “examples” and a warning not to work in any capacity that could be seen as conducive to maintaining Yugoslav control of the province. All Western countries, including the U.S., are on record acknowledging that the KLA is a terrorist organization.
- The Jews in pre-war Germany were not demanding to have a designated area comprising about 10% of the land of Germany designated as an autonomous region for the Jews in preparation for slicing off that portion of Germany as an independent Jewish country. The U.S./NATO demand on Serbia is that they allow in foreign armies to ensure that the ethnic Albanians are given autonomy for 3 years, and be allowed independence at the end of that period.
- German policy in the early 1940's was the total annihilation of a whole people, throughout Europe (and the world, if possible). All Jews were to be found and killed. Trainloads were sent to factories of death. In the death camps, medical experiments without anesthesia were performed on them, they were worked to death, they were systematically and methodically killed by various methods including mass gassings with zyklon B. Killed by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, ultimately adding up to the millions. This was genocide. What is happening to the ethnic Albanians today in Kosovo is not genocide. The human misery of the ethnic Albanians is awful, the death and destruction there is to be condemned, but it is not of the scale, scope or intent as the genocide that was the Holocaust. There are 200,000 ethnic Albanians living securely and comfortably (as comfortably as possible under NATO bombing) in the Belgrade/northern Serbia area today. If it were genocide you would not find this to be the case. Even if you accept as fact that the 800,000 refugees were forced out by the Serbs (other reasons for leaving include heavy bombing of Kosovo by NATO, lack of water and food in the province, forced conscription by the KLA, the prospect of being in a hellish killing zone should NATO invasion occur) they are still alive. They were not put into mass death camps and exterminated. It is a grotesque distortion of the truth to compare the experience of the ethnic Albanians to that of the Jews in WWII.
The only similarity between the current situation in Kosovo and the Jewish Holocaust is that it shows that there are still mean, brutal people in the world. This applies equally to KLA terrorists, Serb paramilitaries, U.S. cluster-bombers (those that order, approve or condone the use of anti-personnel bombs in cities), Croatian neo-Nazi groups, and dozens of other groups worldwide that are motivated by hate. Obviously, mankind is still not fully civilized.
There is another reason that use of the Jewish Holocaust to drum up support for bombing and killing the Yugoslav people is abhorrent to Jews. It is well-known historical fact that during WWII Serbian Jews were sheltered and protected by the Serb population from the Nazis to the extent possible. This was unique among East-European Nazi occupied countries. Jews were hidden, fed, and housed by Serbs. Serbians “married” Jewish people that they didn't even know in arranged marriages to save the new “spouse” from a trip to the death camps. Jews were accepted into Serbian resistance units. Jews and Serbs were killed together in the death camp at Jasenovac, and died side by side fighting in the resistance groups against the Nazis.
In the quintessential irony of this insane bombing campaign, one of the architects of the raining of death on the Serbs is Madeleine Albright. Albright was born Jewish, her family fled Prague in 1939 ahead of the Nazi invasion and went to live in Belgrade. In 1941 the Nazis invaded and conquered Yugoslavia and 5 year-old Madeleine was sheltered for 6 weeks by — yes — a Serb family! She and her family were then smuggled out to London. Because of the Serbs little Madeleine lived, eventually became an American, and culminates her career by killing Serbs by the hundreds, no, by the thousands in the name of NATO and the Holocaust. Incredible.
In contrast to the Serb behavior vis-a-vis the Jews, the Albanians formed two SS divisions under the Nazis. One of these, the infamous 21st Waffen SS “Skanderbeg” division (composed mostly of Gheg Albanians from Kosovo and northern Albania) spent the latter stages of the war hunting down Jews to be killed at Jasenovac, and committing mass killings of Serbs. The Jewish people owe a huge debt to the Serbian people for their actions in helping us during that time. How can we repay such acts? By standing up for them today and doing what we can to stop this sickening bombing campaign by U.S./NATO. Calling, writing, and meeting with our Congresspeople, Senators, and the media, educating them to the truth of the situation. Many Serbs risked (and sometimes lost) their lives helping us. We need do nothing so dangerous or costly to pay them back. Making a few dozen phone calls, writing a few letters, and scheduling a few meetings with our elected representatives and opinion makers is the least we can do to help them now. We must explain to them that blowing up Yugoslavia, ruining it's ecology, and killing it's people is not helpful for any of the ethnic groups that live there.
Thousands of Jewish people live in Yugoslavia, 4,000 in Belgrade alone. I wonder how they are faring as their businesses, schools and neighborhoods are bombed and their children terrorized. We must stop our tax dollars from being used to kill the Yugoslavs and destroy their country. The idea that the United States of America should kill the Serbs, kill the Serbs, and then kill more Serbs (and some Albanians, Gypsies, Jews, Hungarians, Croats, and others living in Yugoslavia along the way) until they let us administer part of their country is morally bankrupt. In our darkest hour the Serbs were there for the Jews. Now it is their darkest hour. We should be there for them.
Above all, we must reverse the hijacking of our Holocaust. We should not allow our Holocaust to be twisted by the Clinton spinmeisters into the reason that we are killing men, women, and children in Serbia or anywhere else. We must take the Jewish Holocaust back from them and proclaim, loudly, that the memory of the six million is not to be used for this purpose. Ever. This is our responsibility. We cannot shirk it.
Todd Emoff, May 24, 1999