July 2, 1999 - "Peace" 12
London 1. Cost of Kosovo War Put at "Only" $40 Billion
Washington 2. Russian Air Force Maneuvers Shock NATO;
Albright to Be Sacked Soon?
Alabama 3. "Enough Madness!"
Oregon 4. Transparent Toy Soldiers Only, Please!
1. Cost of Kosovo War Put at "Only" $40 Billion
LONDON, June 29 - By the standards of the Bush administration wars, Bill Clinton's war on Serbia is bound to disappoint the "death merchants" and other industrial and media buzzards feeding off of the "perpetual commerce through perpetual wars" New World Order mantra. The Wall Street Journal has reported from London on June 29 that
"No war comes cheap. But as brutal conflicts go, the showdown over Kosovo has proved something of a bargain," the Journal said. "However ghoulish it might seem, economists and market analysts are busy toting up the cost of NATO's war against Yugoslavia... Their estimate so far: 35 billion euros to 38.5 billion euros, according to Salomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch & Co." (or about $40 billion).
The Journal adds a caveat:
"That sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Viewed from another perspective, though, it's surprisingly inexpensive for a bold international initiative: 38.5 billion (euros) is roughly two-thirds of what the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and rich countries put together to bail out South Korea during the Asian financial crisis. The price tag matches, give or take a couple of billion euros, the rescue packages they assembled for Indonesia and Brazil.
In less cosmic terms, it's 64% of the value of Olivetti's hostile takeover of Telecom Italia; less than half the net worth of Microsoft's Bill Gates; and less than a third of what AT&T has spent on acquisitions since C. Michael Armstrong became chairman on Nov. 1, 1997.
"It's a lot of money for some individual national budgets," says Holgar Schmieding, co-head of European economics at Merrill Lynch. "But for the national economies as a whole and for the Western financial markets, it isn't big." Merrill's 38.5 billion "ballpark estimate," he says, works out to 0.25% of the gross domestic product of the 19 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Brokerage houses and banks are running the numbers for obvious reasons: They want to know how the war has affected the prospects for European economic growth, emerging markets, trade and the defense industry.
Bottom line: The war over Kosovo cost Western economies relatively little. Trade and oil prices has been largely unaffected. Ditto for economic growth in the U.S. and Europe. There was no massive flight to safe havens in global financial markets. The International Finance Corp.'s index of European emerging stock markets actually jumped 19% while the bombs fell.
The military cost of the Gulf War was $111 billion in current dollars, according to London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.
"The economic impact of this war wasn't significant at all," says Robert Hormats, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International. "By contrast, the Gulf War had a market and economic impact, because it was fought in an area that supplied a large portion of the world's oil."
"The cost of the war will be relatively small, but it will trigger new arguments for raising defense spending in the U.S.," says Mr. Hormats, adding that the conflict showed European countries just how dependent they are on sophisticated U.S. weapons and U.S. logistical support.
European NATO countries devoted 2.2% of economic output to defense in 1998, according to Salomon Smith Barney, compared with 3.6% from 1980 to 1984. Over the same period, U.S. defense expenditures fell to 3.2% of GDP from 5.4%.
With moves afoot to build an independent European defense capability, the conflict could lead to higher defense spending in Europe and "an abandonment of the policy of defense spending cuts which have been carried out by countries throughout the 1990s," says Mr. Tusa.
TiM Ed.: That must be music to the "death merchants'" ears, especially coming on the heels of the 1998 NATO expansion to Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary, from which they stand to rake in tens of billions of dollars in new orders (see this writer's Washington Times column, "Rekindling NATO to Fuel Cold War").
As for the 2,000 Serb civilians, including hundreds of children, who have died so that these companies can add a extra cents to their P&L statements? Well... they are merely the inevitable "collateral damage."
Which is why the civilized world longs for the day when the NATO leaders and the "death merchants"-industrial-financial-media CEOs whose interests these war criminals serve, may end up as inevitable "collateral damage" in God's earthly or heavenly P&L statements. Or courts...
2. Russian Air Force Maneuvers Shock NATO; Albright to Be Sacked Soon?
WASHINGTON, July 1 - So the Russians don't have enough fuel to drive out of their barracks, we were told by the New World Order's leaders and their lapdog media? So they can't afford the cost of sending the 3,600 peacekeepers to Kosovo?
The above have been some the recent fairy tales spun by the same Washington-Brussels "lie and deny" PR news spinners who claimed to have "killed" most of the Yugoslav military, while actually managing to damage only 13 of 300 Serbian battle tanks during their 79-day bombing campaign (see S99-112, "Peace" 6, Items 1. Through 3., June 21, and S99-114, "Peace" 8, Items 1. and 2., June 24, 1999).
Well, hold on to your hats folks. The preceding was the good news. As for the bad news, here's a taste of the nuclear reality for you...
Two Russian strategic bombers shocked an unprepared NATO out of its socks last week by flying within a striking distance of the United States, the Washington Post reported in a front page story today. Luckily for the hapless NATO, it was all merely a part of Moscow's largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War.
Nevertheless, the flights "astounded U.S. officials and underlined recent Western concerns about the military leadership in Moscow," the Post said.
TiM Ed.: Meaning that Boris Yeltsin and his pro-western quislings either didn't "stay bought," as befits the proper stooges? Or that they are no longer running the show in Russia? Which is alarming the western buyers of the Russian stooges?
The lightning speed with which the Russian troops moved from Bosnia to occupy the Pristina airport before NATO got to it, is another hint that NATO may have become a slumbering giant which excels at killing civilians, rather than fighting strategic wars against the Russian Bear of the Chinese Panda (see S99-107, "Peace" 1, Item 1, June 11).
After the stunned NATO-Pentagon brass recovered enough from coughing up the rice crispies stuck in their wind pipes after the initial shock, they sent up four U.S. F-15 fighters and a P-3 patrol plane near Iceland early Friday morning (June 25) to intercept the two Russian TU-95 Bear bombers. And to escort them in a clockwise flight around this NATO island-country, the U.S. officials told the Post.
Norway, which like Iceland is a NATO member, also scrambled jets to meet two other TU-140 Blackjack bombers that flew down the Norwegian coastline, but Russian reports said the interceptors failed to reach the bombers before they had turned back.
U.S. officials also said the flights formed part of extensive exercises by the Russian armed forces last week. Though Russian bombers often probed Western defenses during the Cold War, no such activity had been recorded in a decade, and the appearance of the Russian long-range bombers over Iceland and Norway surprised NATO, the officials said.
The exercise, according to Russian news agency reports, drew NATO aircraft and ships into the region. A Norwegian reconnaissance ship, the Marjata, "turned up so close to Russian fighting ships taking part in the exercise that it had to be driven out of the dangerous area," a Russian newspaper reported on Friday (June 25).
An "Orion"-class aircraft flew almost directly above the masts of the nuclear heavy missile cruiser Petr Velikiy ("Peter the Great") and other combat ships of the Russian Northern Fleet, while an American nuclear submarine took a position in the immediate vicinity of a target practice range," the paper reported.
TiM Ed.: Are there still any Americans left who think that NATO's "zero combat" casualty victory over Serbia was a victory?
If so, just wait till the Chinese start flexing their muscles over Taiwan. Or the Iranians over the Persian Gulf. As for the Indians (not North American variety), they have already demonstrated what they think of the U.S. global hegemony by detonating nuclear bombs earlier this year. And by repelling the U.S.-backed Pakistan's incursions into Kashmir.
Echoes of NATO's alleged Kosovo "victory" may end up sending the kinds of shock waves around the world which could make the anticipated Y2K disasters a Godsend by comparison.
Which kind of sums up the Clinton administration's foreign policy as: "All show; no brains; no policy; no gains."
No wonder some of the Russian independent media ("Nezavisimaya Gazeta") reported on June 30 that Madam Halfbright may soon be history. Clinton may be a corrupt criminal, but he is not stupid. Seeing his approval ratings plummet since the start of "Madeleine's War," the Moscow paper said that, "in Washington they are talking that a certain reshuffle will take place in the State Department leadership before this autumn."
Should this rumor come to pass, we are sure that the World Health Organization would also approve. One less Mad Cow to poison the civilized burgers with her hate-filled messages.
3. "Enough Madness!"
ALABAMA, June 26 - "Enough madness!" also echoed the message we received this weekend from a former U.S. Air Force electronic specialist:
Robert Dale Mitchell, Alabama
4. Transparent Toy Soldiers Only, Please!
OREGON, June 25 - We received the following supportive reaction from a TiM reader from Oregon, a former U.S. Army officer, to our "U.S. Veterans' Wives Toy Soldiers" story (S99-114, "Peace" 8, Item 5, June 24), with a unique "twist:"
Conrad von Baumhauer, Oregon
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"