Last October, heavily armed NATO “peacekeepers” seized four radio and television transmitters controlled by Bosnian Serbs.

The United States and its Western allies are now so proud of their action that they are creating a tribunal with the power to shut down radio and TV stations and punish newspapers engaged in undermining “peace.” The NATO forces, which we must remember are under the command of the United Nations, not the United States, say the new powers will be used to stop what they call “poisonous propaganda.”

Western officials involved in organizing the speech police unit said it would monitor what news organizations publish and broadcast to determine whether they meet “internationally accepted standards.”

And just what are those standards? Where are they written? What code of ethics will the U.N. enforce? Well, there isn’t one, exactly. The New World Information Order is sort of making up the rules as it goes. But news organizations had better be careful, because warnings, fines and revocation of licenses — not to mention armed seizure of transmitters, presses and property — are coming, all in the name of peace, harmony and tranquility.

“Basically there’s a tradition here of propaganda in the class of Goebbels,” explained Simon Haselock, a spokesman for the civilian operations of the “peacekeeping” force. “What we’re trying to do is put in place a regime that offers a legal framework that improves and guarantees press freedom. It’s not about censorship. This is all pretty groundbreaking.”

It’s groundbreaking, all right — for a new fascism. I’d like to remind Mr. Haselock that it was Goebbels and his Nazi friends who practiced the fine art of shutting down voices of opposition in the press — not Europe’s liberators.

A State Department official who requested anonymity told The New York Times: “There are obvious free-speech concerns, but we need to put in place something to deal with the abuses of the media — the hate, the racial epithets and ethnic slurs.”

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Wasn’t it this administration that, not too long ago, was complaining about “hate radio” right here in the United States? Is there any doubt that if such a plan is deemed effective in Bosnia it will be employed elsewhere by the new global hierarchy?

“It is intended that this should take place with sufficient speed to ensure the provision of free, balanced, unbiased and pluralist information prior to the September 1998 elections, thereafter to ensure that Western democratic standards governing the media are permanently embedded,” explains a draft charter of the “intervention tribunal,” newspeak for thought police.

Forgive my skepticism, but isn’t the whole concept of Western press freedom based on the notion that people have an inalienable right to express themselves without fear of coercion by government — be it foreign or domestic?

Best of all, guess who’s paying for this plan? You’ve got it. It will cost $2.7 million this year, and your tax dollars will cover the lion’s share of the budget.

The pseudo-intellectual foundation for this international experiment in the suppression of dangerous ideas was laid out a few months ago in the winter issue of Foreign Affairs, the influential journal of the Council on Foreign Relations. Jamie M. Metzl, a former U.N. human rights officer, threw out the idea that it’s time for his old employer to create a special “jam squad” or “independent information intervention unit” that could be dispatched to crisis points around the world, carrying equipment to block “harmful” radio and TV broadcasts.

Already, NATO and the U.N. are taking the idea one step further — employing brute force to shut down newspapers and broadcast operations of the “politically incorrect.”

Bosnia has long been regarded by the internationalists as a testing ground for the New World Order. It’s a laboratory for the most hideous experiments in forcible social engineering.

Interestingly, one of the main reasons NATO’s international army is enforcing these new curbs on freedom of expression is because of their objections to being characterized as “fascists” by Bosnian Serb propagandists. Well, if you act like fascists, you’d better be prepared to be called fascists. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Bosnia.

While this latest misadventure should offer persuasive evidence that Bosnia represents a severely misguided mission, rather it demonstrates just how easy it is to convince some Westerners that freedom is not really a God-given right, but a privilege granted or revoked by force of arms.

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