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Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott now calls Kosovo a
“permanent dilemma” for U.S. policy-makers.

It did not have to be so.

Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Talbott
said the administration is seeking “the right mixture of priorities and
values.”

If the United States came out flatly for independence, that could
destroy what has been accomplished in the province, which remains part
of Yugoslavia, he said. And the administration could lose the support it
has among European allies.

Yet, Talbott said, if the United States appeared to be against
independence and for putting Kosovo back in Yugoslavia, “we would be
wrong.”

In other words, the geniuses in the U.S. State Department haven’t
figured out how they can have it both ways.

They should have thought about that before they dragged the United
States into an illegal bombing campaign against Yugoslavia last year by
lying to U.S. taxpayers and the rest of the world.

In a little-noticed address to the Parliament House in Canberra last
month, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser candidly stated
that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, lied before, during
and after the bombing campaign.

Why? Because, he said, Talbott’s boss, U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright, wanted a war and framed terms the Serbs found
impossible to meet.

“NATO said it was a humanitarian war, although its charter does not
permit NATO to go to war for any purpose except to defend a member
country under attack,” he said. “So this was a new and internationally
illegal invention.”

But the lies hardly started there.

We now know that slightly more than 2,000 people were actually killed
in Kosovo over a period of months leading up to and including the period
of heavy bombardment of Serbia by NATO forces.

This was hardly the “genocide,” billed by Clinton, Defense Secretary
William Cohen and others who whipped up hysteria to justify their air
war.

It wasn’t hundreds of thousands of dead in Kosovo, as some reports
suggested. It wasn’t even tens of thousands. It was, at worst, a couple
thousand over a considerable period of time. That, of course, is still a
dreadful and grisly toll. But, to put it in perspective, no global
authority — not the United Nations, nor NATO — ever advocates
intervention in the United States or anywhere else when the annual
murder toll hits 2,000, which it does early in the first quarter of
every year.

“There are indications genocide is unfolding in Kosovo,” we were told
by State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin.

Cohen characterized the bombing campaign as a “fight for justice over
genocide.”

Clinton compared the atrocities in Kosovo to the Holocaust.

In a June 25 press conference he was asked if, indeed, NATO had
actually been the party guilty of war crimes.

“NATO did not commit war crimes,” he said. “NATO stopped war crimes.
NATO stopped deliberate, systematic efforts at ethnic cleansing and
genocide.”

A year after the war ended, there is still no evidence to support
Clinton’s conclusion — or Cohen’s or the State Department’s. There
simply are not enough bodies.

Examinations of the most likely dumping grounds produced only 2,108.
That’s hardly genocide. It’s tragic. But how does it justify an
international bombing campaign that may well have resulted in far more
civilian deaths in Serbia?

But it’s not just the Clinton administration to blame for the
continuing quagmire in Kosovo. The Republican Congress is still
supporting it.
Last week, the House of Representatives refused to require Clinton to
withdraw U.S. peacekeepers from Kosovo unless European countries give
more of the aid they have promised for the Yugoslav province.

By a 219-200 vote, lawmakers rejected a bipartisan effort to use the
threat of withdrawal to pressure the Europeans to deliver millions of
dollars more for economic, humanitarian and policing assistance. Clinton
would have had to begin withdrawing troops in June.

The vote came a year after the 78-day air war against Yugoslavia
began, during which the U.S. flew about three-fourths of the bombing
missions. There are 37,000 NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo, including
5,300 Americans.

This is what you call too-little-too-late to acknowledge a huge
foreign policy debacle — as Kosovo is facing greater chaos today than
it was prior to the NATO bombing and the internationalization of the
territory.

And that’s why Strobe Talbott, in a rare moment of candor himself,
called Kosovo America’s new “permanent dilemma.” For once, he’s
absolutely right. His globalist, interventionist, utopian ambitions have
helped create just that — a “permanent dilemma.”

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