Kosovo and the Far Right

Seeing a war against Christian whites, extremists are taking up the Serbian cause

The NATO-led attacks on Christian Serbs in Kosovo and Yugoslavia have given the radical right a new ideological battleground — a battleground that some believe may become as important a rallying point as the conflagration in Waco, Texas.

On scores of Web sites, in the extremist literature and in the speeches and conversations of far-right leaders, the Kosovo war is increasingly seen as an attack by the "New World Order" on white Christian ethnics that is designed to force multiracialism and multi-ethnic states on the world over the protests of patriots everywhere.

Although voices opposing the war have come from across the political spectrum, the debate is seen in explicitly racial and religious terms by the hard right. Like the 1993 tragedy in Waco, which extremists saw as revealing the true, repressive nature of American government, the U.S. attacks on Serbian forces have emerged as a new right-wing battle cry.

Perhaps most tellingly, Louis Beam, probably the revolutionary right's most important theoretician, recently broke a long silence to attack the war.

"This baby killing, church burning, drug using, draft dodging, woman raping, perjuring lying adulterer — who calls himself the President of the United States — has begun killing Europeans in the name of the American people!" Beam, the architect of the tactic of "leaderless resistance," writes in an essay, "Kosovo: The Alamo of Europe."

At the same time, in Serbia and around Europe, people demonstrating against the NATO attacks have included large numbers of neo-Nazis, and many have been seen giving fascist salutes. There are also reports of European neofascists making their way to Serbia to fight for President Milosevic. Some extreme-right Web sites have called for volunteers.

Beam, like the Belgrade-based Serbian Hammerskins and other far-right organizations here and abroad, is especially angered by remarks attributed to NATO's supreme commander, Gen. Wesley Clark: "There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th-century idea and we are trying to transition it into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states."

'77,000 Christians' vs. Islam
To Beam, independence-seeking Kosovars — seen by most of the world as the victims of President Milosevic's genocidal campaign of "ethnic cleansing" — are "Albanian Muslim terrorists backed by American cruise missiles and B2 bombers."

Characterizing the U.S. as a "terrorist country," Beam also slams President Clinton for recent American attacks in the Sudan and elsewhere. "Though you may feel no responsibility for violent acts of your government," Beam tells his readers, "it is still your government and others certainly hold you responsible.

"While it is true an Arab avenger cannot bring the desert to you and show you the blood of his loved ones, he can bring you pain, and the terror he knows so well. And he will."

The Kosovo conflict has helped spur the increasing internationalization and unification of the radical right. Svend Johansen, of the Norwegian antifascist Monitor magazine, reports that many neo-Nazis across Europe are supporting Serbia because "they see the Muslims as a threat to Europe." In early April, he notes, six Norwegian neo-Nazis attacked a Kosovar refugee center.

Many white supremacists have come to see Kosovo as the site of a historic stand by white Christians against the darker-skinned Ottoman Empire. In 1389, "77,000 Christian knights and soldiers "exact[ed] such a tremendous toll upon the Islamic soldiers that the advance into the heart of Europe was halted," Beam writes admiringly.

As it was then, he says, it will be again.