• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

The Clinton administration, as well as key allies in the mainstream
media, are going out of their way to portray the president as the man
who forced Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic into accepting the G-8
cease-fire accords, which finally ended the U.S.-led NATO bombing
campaign in Kosovo. Clinton, Americans are being told, was “absolutely
right” when he ordered U.S. forces to bomb sovereign Yugoslavia. It was
that “brave decision,” so they say, that definitively put an end to the
horrific slaughter being perpetrated against the ethnic Albanians by
Milosevic’s “nazi” troops.

In a perfect world, perhaps. But as Clinton’s so-called foreign
policy leadership has proven for the past seven years, we live in a
world far from perfect because individuals who are more concerned about
image over substance lead us.

The fact is it was neither NATO collectively, nor Clinton personally
that brought about this cease-fire. It was the Russians and, in
particular, Boris Yeltsin, who insisted that the Russian Bear not be
dismissed again as it was when the U.S. decided to bomb Iraq for four
days again last December. Then, the U.S. decided to treat Russia as
though it were a third-rate, Third World power, when Clinton and his
foreign policy team acted against Hussein over Russian objections and
without so much as acknowledging Moscow’s concerns. Those brilliant
decisions embarrassed Boris Yeltsin and emboldened him to never be
humiliated by Bill Clinton again.

So when it came time to settle the Yugoslavian issue, Yeltsin played
Russia’s still powerful hand.

Few voices, even from Congress, admonished Clinton and his foreign
policy clowns to pay more attention to Moscow when this foolhardy
adventure to bomb Yugoslavia began. So few, in fact, that even after
cease-fire accords were reached, NATO and, specifically, the United
States, ignored them before the ink even dried on the documents when
they publicly claimed victory over the Serbs. That was never
part of the agreement and all parties understood that.

In a maneuver that the Clintonites have used on political enemies for
years, the United States and NATO agreed to one set of cease-fire
conditions behind closed doors, but immediately embraced a different set
once those doors were thrown open to the public. Unlike the cowardly
Republicans, however, the Russians did not take this bait and switch
lightly, as has been evidenced this past weekend.

Originally NATO and the Serbs agreed to recognize Moscow as playing a
central role in any peace deal, agreed to give Milosevic ultimate
control over his own province (Kosovo), and essentially agreed not to
portray the agreement as any sort of a defeat for Serbia, which it
clearly was not. But when NATO last week publicly declared that the
Yugoslavs had actually been defeated in combat, Serb negotiators
contacted their Russian military counterparts, who then came to Brussels
and declared the original G-8 accords dead in the water. That is why
last week there was a period of time when most of the western world was
expecting an announced peace deal but didn’t get one; NATO and Clinton
tried to double-cross the Serbs and the Russians.

Even the Washington Times got it wrong yesterday. In their story
detailing how the Russians took everyone by surprise and entered Kosovo
early, Times reporters referred to a NATO “victory” in Yugoslavia. And
Times reporters quoted Republican National Committee Chairman Jim
Nicholson as saying, “The Russians didn’t help us fight this battle. …
But now they want to dictate the terms of the occupation. This could be
a real setback for us.”

Memo to Jim: They were promised a decision-making role in the
accords originally agreed upon in Brussels. You’re right about the
setback part, but it’s our fault, not theirs.

One independent analyst organization put it this way: “The entire
point of the G-8 agreements was that there would be a compromise in
which NATO achieved what it wanted while Yugoslavia retained what it
wanted. A foreign presence would enter Kosovo, including NATO troops.
Russian troops would also be present. These Russian troops would be used
to guarantee the behavior of NATO troops in relation to Serbs, in regard
to disarming the KLA, and in guaranteeing Serbia’s long-term rights in
Kosovo.”

True, these agreements were unwritten in the sense that they were
never officially recorded as part of the G-8 accords, but they were
central to any agreement over Kosovo, because neither the Serbs nor the
Russians were prepared to accept anything less.

Thus, after being deceived by NATO and Clinton, the Russians decided
to get their rear ends into Kosovo before NATO could. This way, they
have now guaranteed that no matter what the West says publicly from now
on, the reality on the ground would more closely resemble the terms they
and the Serbs initially agreed upon.

Yet even after these latest developments, still the Clinton
administration retains such a level of arrogance that future
“misunderstandings” and perhaps even confrontations with Serb and
Russian soldiers seem a foregone conclusion.

On a Sunday television newsmagazine, Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright — perhaps the mastermind behind this Yugoslav debacle –
proclaimed that the Russians simply “got ahead of themselves” by going
into Kosovo early, and that there would be no independent role for
Russian troops to play there.

Memo to Albright: Seems like they aren’t playing by your rules.
Maybe it’s because you are not playing by your rules.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen added on a separate program, “We
have to make sure that this agreement stands. And it cannot stand if
there is going to be a posture struck by the Russians that they are
there to defend the Serb population against the Kosovars.” To me, the
mere fact that Cohen would even mention this Russian role tells me that
yes, this is what everyone initially agreed upon. Otherwise, why
would he feel compelled to dismiss it?

Speaking of Russian troops, Albright added, “They cannot have their
own sector. One of the things we want to avoid is the partition of
Kosovo … and that would clearly contribute to it.” And yet, it was
precisely because of the Russians that this agreement was signed in the
first place.

Besides, it seems to me with NATO troops in any part of
Yugoslavia, we ourselves have “partitioned” the country.

In April and May, as has been reported in some mainstream media
sources, Americans already knew that a strong core of leaders in some
NATO countries were hungering for some sort of settlement in
Yugoslavia. They were hungering for it because the vaunted “genius” of
Clinton’s bombing campaign wasn’t working, and there was no stomach for
a ground invasion. Consequently, the role of peacemaker fell to the
country that has the most influence with Yugoslavia — Russia, not the
United States or any other NATO representative. In essence, I suppose,
we all ought to be thanking Russia for saving us from a massacre if some
idiot (Clinton?) had decided to send in the Marines.

But instead of thanking Moscow for giving us a way out of our hapless
military misadventure against Milosevic, we hoodwinked them (or tried
to). Now, in order to cover our own ineptitude, we have resorted to
lying to the world about the original pretext of the G-8 agreement.

How utterly typical of the most unethical administration in U.S.
history.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.