Cover image for Fools' crusade : Yugoslavia, NATO and Western delusions
Fools' crusade : Yugoslavia, NATO and Western delusions
Johnstone, Diana, 1934-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Monthly Review Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
vi, 317 pages : map ; 22 cm
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JZ1316 .J64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Military interventions on supposedly humanitarian grounds have become an established feature of the post-Cold War global order. Since September 11, this form of militarism has taken on new and unpredictable proportions. Diana Johnstone's well-documented study demonstrates that a crucial moment in establishing in the public mindand above all, within the political context of liberalism and the leftthe legitimacy of such interventions was the "humanitarian" bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999.

In the course of the civil wars that led to the break-up of Yugoslavia, a complex history came to be presented as a morality play in which the parts were scripted to meet the moral needs of the capitalist West. The identification of Muslims as defenseless victims and Serbs as genocidal monsters inflamed fears and hatreds within Yugoslavia, and prepared the way for power to be shifted from the people of the region to such international agencies as NATO.

Deceptions and Self-Deceptions tests the popular myths against the reality of Yugoslav history. Johnstone identifies the common geopolitical interests running through such military interventions, and argues persuasively that they create problems rather than solving them. She shows that the "Kosovo war" was in reality the model for future destruction of countries seen as potential threats to the hegemony of an "international community" currently being redefined to exclude or marginalize all but those who conform to the interests of the United States.

A concluding chapter shows how the script prepared for Yugoslavia is being re-enacted in Afghanistan. Whether Milosevic's trial before the International Court at the Hague or the capture of bin Laden will provide an adequate conclusion to this ideological play-making, remains an open question.

Author Notes

Diana Johnstone is a widely-published essayist and columnist who has written extensively on European and international politics

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Claiming that media reports of the violent breakup of Yugoslavia were inaccurate and distorted, Johnstone presents a picture strikingly different from the one known to the public. In Johnstone's view, those primarily responsible for the country's dissolution were Presidents Tudjman of Croatia and Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Kosovar Albanian nationalists, the Western news media, and the German and US governments. Also coming in for criticism are the leaders of Slovenia, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the Vatican. Finally, the author considers the destruction of Yugoslavia to have been part of an American attempt to impose globalization on the world. As for the Serbian leadership, their chief failings were merely ignorance of and ineffective reactions to the hostile behavior of others. The book serves as a useful correction to one-sided mainstream reporting about Yugoslavia's breakup. Nevertheless, since the author admits that she made no attempt to present a fully balanced picture of the situation, it is regrettable that the book's positive qualities will be generally ignored because its biases and factual omissions will limit its readership. Extensive notes; no maps or bibliography. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. J. M. Scolnick Jr. University of Virginia's College at Wise

Table of Contents

Mapp. vi
Introductionp. 1
1. The Yugoslav Guinea Pigp. 15
2. Moral Dualism in a Multicultural Worldp. 65
3. Comparative Nationalismp. 124
4. The Making of Empiresp. 165
5. The New Imperial Modelp. 201
Postscript: Perpetual Warp. 259
Notesp. 270
Indexp. 309