Friday, November 19, 2004

Lawrence of Cyberia: The (Schlieffen) Plan for the New American Century: "Immediately after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, world opinion - including the rival powers of the Triple Entente - was overwhelmingly sympathetic to Austria-Hungary, and supportive of whatever measures the Empire might take to punish the assassins (Nous sommes tous americains). Despite the seriousness of the assassination, it was regarded as a crime by a small sub-national group (Bosnian Serbs then, Al Qaeda now), not an act of war by a nation. So there was at first no expectation in Europe that this Balkan crisis would lead to a general war, any more than did the Balkan crises of 1912/13, which had been settled by diplomatic contacts among the Great Powers.

"But in 1914, there was a conscious decision not to proceed by international consensus (**** the UN and Old Europe!). Austria-Hungary's government, most vocally the Chief of the General Staff (von Hotzendorf) and Foreign Minister (von Berchtold - insert the name of your favorite PNAC'er here) saw the opportunity to exploit the incident as the provocation that would allow Austria-Hungary to launch a preventative war against Serbia (Iraq), removing the destabilising effect that an independent Slav kingdom (Arab regime that didn't toe the US line) exercised over the restive southern Slavs of the Empire, and asserting Hapsburg hegemony over the Balkans (US hegemony over the Mid East).

"So the Austrian government publicly blamed the government of Serbia for the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, describing the assassination as a "well-organised plot whose threads extend to Belgrade" (we know there are ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda), and outlining impossible demands that Serbia had to comply with if it was to avoid war (Hey Saddam, prove you’ve destroyed nuclear weapons you haven’t got). In reality, even the official Austro-Hungarian enquiry into the assassination found no evidence of official Serbian involvement in the crime, but by continuing to maintain that Serbia was responsible, Austria-Hungary could justify going to war under the pretext that she was punishing the real murderers of the Archduke."

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