-- begin forwarded message: --

Date:  Wed, 19 May 1999 22:37:58 +0900
From: Hendrik
To: Multiple recipients of NETSOURCE-L <netsource-l@mail.think.service>
Subject:  [NS] Was A Peaceful Kosovo Solution Rejected by U.S.?

"[T]he United States "must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only
security arrangements which would undermine NATO.... Therefore, it is of
fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of
Western  defense and security, as well as the channel for U.S. influence
and participation in European security affairs."

Does this sound like a suitable rationale for shredding entire families
with cluster bombs? Given the track record of the military-industrial
complex and the governments it controls this makes perfect sense to me.

I am afraid the price for the USA's ambition to be the only and
unchallenged power in the world will, before long, be paid by US citizens:
i foresee a growing anti-American backlash with hit-and-run attacks on
people and property,both inside the US and abroad. After all, this is the
way the weak have always fought against the strong.


-- begin quoted article: --

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 16:08:17 -0400

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and news reports FAIR Media Advisory: May 14, 1999

Was A Peaceful Kosovo Solution Rejected by U.S.?

Since the beginning of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the war has been
presented by the media as the consequence of Yugoslavia's stubborn refusal
to settle for any reasonable peace plan -- in particular its rejection of
plans for an international security force to implement a peace plan in
Kosovo. An article in the April 14 New York Times stated that Yugoslavian
President Milosevic "has absolutely refused to entertain an outside force
in Kosovo, arguing that the province is sovereign territory of Serbia and
Yugoslavia." Negotiations between the Serb and Albanian delegations at the
Rambouillet meeting in France ended with Yugoslavia's rejection of the
document that had been adopted, after much prodding, by the Kosovo Albanian
party. But is that the whole story?

There were two parts to the peace proposals: a political agreement on
autonomy for Kosovo; and an implementation agreement on how to carry out
the political deal -- usually understood to require international
peacekeepers in Kosovo. By the end of the first round of Rambouillet in
February, the Serb side had agreed to the essentials of a political deal.

Agence France Presse (2/20/99) quoted a U.S. official as saying that the "
political part" of a peace accord "is almost not a problem, while the
implementation part has been reconsidered many times." The U.S. wanted the
Kosovo plan to be implemented by NATO troops under a NATO command, and had
already made plans for a 28,000-troop force. The Yugoslavian leadership was
opposed to the idea, claiming such an arrangement would amount to a foreign
occupation of Kosovo by hostile forces.

On February 20, the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency reported from Rambouillet
that unnamed "Contact Group members may offer, as a compromise, Milosevic
an option under which a multinational force will be deployed under the U.N.
or the OSCE flag rather than the NATO flag as was planned before."

Agence France Presse reported the same day that the Serb delegation "showed
signs that it might accept international peacekeepers on condition that
they not be placed under NATO command" and added that the head of the Serb
delegation "insisted that the peacekeepers answer to a non-military body
such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe...or the
United Nations." A U.S. official confirmed this to AGP: "The discussions
are on whether it should be a UN or OSCE force," the official said.

The next day, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared: "We accept
nothing less than a complete agreement, including a NATO-led force." Asked
on CNN the same day: "Does it have to be [a] NATO-led force, or as some
have suggested, perhaps a UN-led force or an OSCE...force? Does it
specifically have to be NATO-run?" she replied, "The United States position
is that it has to be a NATO-led force. That is the basis of our
participation in it."

Two days later, Albright repeated this position at a press conference: "It
was asked earlier, when we were all together whether the force could be
anything different then a NATO-led force. I can just tell you point blank
from the perspective of the United States, absolutely not, it must be a
NATO-led force."

Over the next month, this position was repeated countless times with
increasing vehemence by State Department officials. Furthermore, the U.S.
refused to allow the Serbs to sign the political agreement until they first
agreed to a NATO-led force to implement it. "The Serbs have been acting as
if there are two documents but they can't pick and choose," Albright said (
AGP, 3/13/99). "There is no way to have the political document without the
implementation force that has to be NATO-led.... If they are not willing to
engage on the military and police chapters, there is no agreement."

Finally, on March 23, the day before the NATO bombing began, Ambassador
Richard Holbrooke met with Milosevic one last time to deliver his
ultimatum: Sign the agreement or be bombed. The response was delivered that
night by the Serbian parliament, which adopted resolutions again rejecting
the military portion of the accords, but expressing willingness to review
the "range and character of an international presence" in Kosovo.

At a March 24 State Department press briefing, spokesman James Rubin was
asked about this development:

QUESTION: Was there any follow-up to the Serbian Assembly's yesterday? They
had a two-pronged decision. One was to not allow NATO troops to come in;
but the second part was to say they would consider an international force
if all of the Kosovo ethnic groups agreed to some kind of a peace plan. It
was an ambiguous collection of resolutions. Did anybody try to pursue that
and find out what was the meaning of that?

RUBIN: Ambassador Holbrooke was in Belgrade, discussed these matters
extensively with President Milosevic, left with the conclusion that he was
not prepared to engage seriously on the two relevant subjects. I think the
decision of the Serb Parliament opposing military-led implementation was
the message that most people received from the parliamentary debate. I'm
not aware that people saw any silver linings.

QUESTION: But there was a second message, as well; there was a second

RUBIN: I am aware that there was work done, but I'm not aware that anybody
in this building regarded it as a silver lining.

In other words, the State Department was aware that the Serbs had once
again expressed openness to an "international presence," but this was not
seen as a "silver lining," apparently because only a NATO force was
acceptable to the U.S. In an intriguing corollary to the insistence on NATO
forces, a leaked version of the Pentagon's 1994-1999 Defense Planning
Guidance report advises that the United States "must seek to prevent the
emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine
NATO.... Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the
primary instrument of Western defense and security, as well as the channel
for U.S. influence and participation in European security affairs."

This whole subject seems to have escaped the interest of the major media.
Those who support the bombing of Yugoslavia argue that the motives are
humanitarian and that all peaceful options for arriving at a settlement in
Kosovo had been exhausted. Journalists need to do more reporting on the
Rambouillet process to see if that in fact was the case.

This media advisory was written by FAIR media analyst Seth Ackerman

-- end of quoted article --

Subscription information, appended by the listserver:
* if you want to leave this list please send an empty message to
* if you know someone who wants to join this list,
please tell them to send an empty message to

-- end of forwarded messsage --