A recent editorial cartoon comparing the US to the former Yugoslavia isn’t a warning to avoid the path to balkanization and sectarian warfare, so much as a hint in which direction the already ongoing civil war might be escalating.
The chilling image appeared in the Washington Post on Sunday, showing the ethnically partitioned map of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and neighboring Serbia and Croatia – with the name “Yugoslavia” superimposed over the silhouette of the lower 48 states.
WaPo’s grayscale rendering doesn’t do justice to the original image, showing the divisions in vivid color. It turns out to have been published on July 10, authored by the political cartoonist Ratt for the leftist blog Crooks and Liars.
“The whole is less than the sum of its parts,” said the sub-headline on the original post. Hashtags used in the tweet were “partisanship” and “balkanization.”
At first I was confused. Have the Democrats at WaPo and Crooks and Liars finally come around to the realization that their policies are leading the US down the path of open, kinetic civil warfare? Have they heeded warnings from people like me, over the years, against just such a thing?
There are, after all, similarities between the present-day US and Yugoslavia circa 1990: iInflation and national debt spiraling out of control, belief in diversity as strength (“brotherhood and unity,” we called it in Yugoslavia) and insuring the equality of outcomes by treating groups differently (known as “equity” in the US), to name a few. Yugoslavia was held together by its political system, and once the people in power trampled it in the name of expediency, things went south, and fast.