Kosovo’s “independence” from Serbia was imposed by the U.S., European Union and NATO, with a puppet government led by the head of one of Europe’s biggest criminal gangs, the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army). This is sharpening the struggle for world supremacy, especially between the U.S. and Russia, over the control of Eurasia’s vast energy reserves. An “independent” Kosovo will make U.S. military bases permanent in the area to protect future Washington-backed pipelines and maintain its military encirclement of Russia, setting the stage for future wars. Its precedent can also be used by both the U.S. and Russian imperialists, the former to create destabilizing secessionist movements in Russia and China, the latter in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Kosovo’s independence is the continuation of Clinton’s 1999 merciless bombing and the subsequent total dissolution of Yugoslavia, intended to separate Russia from the Balkans, encircle it with U.S. and NATO military bases and safeguard the Macedonian pipeline routes delivering Eurasian oil and gas to the EU to break their energy dependence on Russia.
The military goals were largely achieved, but eliminating Russia’s influence in the region has proven more difficult. For example, at the first Balkan region energy summit (held 6/2007 by the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania), the guest of honor was Putin.
Breaking Russia’s stranglehold on European energy has been even harder. Last year, U.S. imperialists suffered serious set backs when Putin signed energy deals with the former Soviet Central Asian republics. A U.S. expert wrote, “Western energy policies in Eurasia collapsed in May 2007… Cumulatively, the May agreements signify a strategic defeat of the decade-old US policy to open direct access to Central Asia’s oil and gas reserves. By the same token they have nipped in the bud the European Union’s belated attempts since 2006 to institute such a policy.”(latimes.com)
Putin followed this by striking deals with some of the former Soviet Eastern European countries to build new pipelines and massive underground gas deposits and hubs to increase delivery to the EU, bypassing the Ukraine and Belarus, both politically problematic transit spots. These deals and others with Turkey, Greece, Austria, Italy, Germany and Serbia have tremendously increased the EU dependence on Russia. In fact, the EU division over Kosovo’s declaration does not reflect a strategic one. Instead, Italy, Greece, Austria, Germany and others are more willing to compromise with Russia.
Given this, the U.S. bosses must fight to control the energy resources of Eurasia. This struggle is also more pressing because of the crumbling of their post-WW II strategy for world domination: controlling the strategic oil reserves of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Venezuela. They lost Iran, Venezuela is slipping out of their grip, Saudi Arabia is becoming more independent (it refused Bush’s request for increased oil production to avert a U.S. recession) and the whole Middle East is increasingly volatile.
But, the possibility of passing a long-awaited Iraqi law, handing over Iraq’s oil to the U.S. and allies, has renewed U.S. bosses’ hopes. They think Iraq will soon be pacified enough to pump 6 million barrels a day in four years and many more shortly thereafter. A pacified Iraq would be the perfect bridge to transport the trillions of dollars of Eurasian energy to the EU and other parts of the world. Thus, they hope that Russia’s backbone would be broken, China and the industrial world would again be energy dependent on the U.S., and Iran and Venezuela would have to capitulate. However, this might eventually make a China-Russia-Iran alliance against the U.S. a reality.
Camp Bondsteel, the huge U.S. Kosovo military base is strategically located 15 miles from the path of the U.S.-planned Macedonia pipeline. The projected Russian pipeline will pass through Serbia. Whether or not the U.S. rulers’ dream of a pacified Iraq comes true, the struggle over control of Eurasia’s energy and the EU’s markets will only intensify. The Russians will never give up their centuries-old dominions without a tremendous fight, and the U.S. won’t relinquish world hegemony peacefully. Wider wars and eventually WW III will decide this dogfight.
Workers in Kosovo, Serbia and elsewhere are expendable pawns in the imperialists’ chess game for world domination. The burning of the U.S. embassy in Belgrade by right-wing Serbs is but another example of our class’ anger being used to further the imperialists’ goals. Independence, like democracy, is a boss-created myth serving their class, not ours. We must forge our working-class international unity under the leadership of one worldwide mass PLP to smash all the capitalist-imperialists, their borders, patriotism and racist divisions with communist revolution.