The Defining Year Was 1991: The Demise of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union


by Marcus Papadopoulos, via Global Research


Yugoslavia was where the West/NATO’s policy of intervention was born, where international law would be completely sidelined and where alleged acts of genocide would provide NATO, under American leadership, with a pretext to intervene in, under the banner of humanitarianism. Western intervention in Yugoslavia would subsequently provide the catalyst for future western intervention elsewhere in the world in order for the US to strengthen its global hegemony. And it was in Yugoslavia where the American and British establishments would employ one of their most formidable weapons to justify their new interventionist policy: mainstream media. And US and UK mainstream media would subsequently take its new-found experiences and successes from Yugoslavia to new fronts – Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine.


In Croatia, the West armed what was, essentially, a fascist movement which glorified the Ustase, a Croatian fascist organisation which had ruled the pro-Nazi Independent State of Croatia during World War Two and which had committed genocide against the Serbian people at that time, murdering approximately 700,000 Serbs, some of whom were murdered at Jasenovac concentration camp, known as the Yugoslav Auschwitz. Returning to the 1990s, the largest act of ethnic cleansing during the Yugoslav civil wars was carried out by the Croats, when they executed the US-planned Operation Storm, resulting in the expulsion of over 250,000 Krajina Serbs from their ancestral homes.

In Bosnia, the Americans not only armed the secessionist Muslim forces there but also facilitated the transportation of Mujahideen fighters from Afghanistan to Bosnia to fight alongside Bosnian Muslim forces. Those Mujahideen fighters, who had previously fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, not only committed some of the most sickening crimes of the Bosnian war but they also began to use their new-found presence in Europe to lay the foundation for the spread of Islamism and Islamism terrorism on the continent and beyond. Islamist fighters now enjoyed a forward-base in Europe. One of the Mujahideen fighters whom the Americans brought to Bosnia was Osama bin Laden, who was given a Bosnian passport by the Muslim authorities and, according to a Der Spiegel journalist, was seen at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sarajevo in 1994.

The Serbs – who opposed the breakup of Yugoslavia and who did not want to be ruled by Croatian fascists and Muslim fundamentalists, terrified of their experiences during World War Two – were singled out by the West as the barrier to achieving its objectives in the Balkans. Enter Western mainstream media.

The Serbian people, who throughout their history have fought against foreign oppression (the Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarians, Imperial and then Nazi Germany), were depicted by Western media as mass murderers, mass rapists and perpetrators of genocide. Whilst those allegations were fabrications, they, nonetheless, paved the way for NATO to start bombing the Serbs in Bosnia, an act which had no basis under international law.

As Major General Lewis MacKenzie, who was the United Nations Protection Force Chief of Staff and Commander of the Sarajevo Sector, said:

Those of us who served as UN commanders in Bosnia realised the majority of the media reports were biased, to say the least. Whenever we tried to set the record straight we were – and continue to be – accused of being ‘Serbian agents’.”

So, NATO began bombing the Bosnian Serbs in 1994. However, the Americans and the British needed a far more intensive campaign not just to achieve their geo-strategic aims in Bosnia but to establish a precedent for future Western/NATO intervention in other regions of the world, and to also show off NATO’s prowess and thereby intimidate countries which followed an independent foreign policy. And the alleged genocide at Srebrenica, in July 1995, would provide Washington and London with what they were looking for. To this day, Srebrenica remains the foundation of the West’s ‘humanitarian intervention’, and it is what American and British politicians and journalists cite when they call for military intervention in a country, as they did in Libya and Syria.


So the actions of the West in the former Yugoslavia set the precedent for what the West would later on do in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. The concept of independent, sovereign states, enshrined in international law, was destroyed by the West in the former Yugoslavia.

Now, I said, at the beginning of this piece, that 1991 was also a defining year for the international arena because this was the year in which the USSR ceased to exist.

From 1945 until 1991, the Soviet Union constituted a formidable counter-balance to the US on the international stage.

But with the weakening and dissolution of the Soviet colossus, this paved the way for the West to achieve global dominance and to bomb and/or invade sovereign countries, in geo-strategic parts of the world, to get its way.

The Russian Federation was incapable of preventing the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the bombing of Serbia, the invasion of Iraq, the bombing of Libya and the fermenting of the conflict in Syria. It is a moot point but had the Soviet Union not been dissolved, then I believe that the aforementioned events would not have occurred, mainly because the US and its allies would not have tried it on in the first place because of the deterrence that was the USSR.

Because of the catastrophe that was Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, the US and the UK were provided with a golden opportunity to do as they pleased in the world…and they gleefully took this opportunity.

Now, Russia, in 2018, under the strong leadership of Vladimir Putin, has regained a lot of its lost superpower status. But Russia is still in the shadow of the Soviet Union in terms of power. I believe that that situation will change in the future but it will take considerable time.

Vladimir Putin must sit in his office lamenting that had Mikhail Gorbachev been an effective leader, then he, Vladimir Vladimirovich, would today be the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in charge of a superpower. The year 1991 changed the course of history. The destruction of Yugoslavia and the death of the Soviet Union brought about the carnage which the world has witnessed ever since then. For the West, 1991 was a glorious year as it heralded the beginning of Western global mastery. But for countries in geo-strategic parts of the world which pursued independent foreign policies, 1991 would constitute a fatal year, both literally and metaphorically speaking.

Dr Marcus Papadopoulos is a specialist on Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. He edits UK’s Politics First.

The Defining Year Was 1991: The Demise of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union

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