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Madelein,Monica,Bill,Slobodan,William,KLA:Was anyone in charge?

The two most influential daily newspapers in the United States, the New
York Times and the Washington Post, each published lengthy articles
last Sunday giving an inside account of how the
Clinton administration reached its decision to shift policy in the Balkans
and move toward a military confrontation with Yugoslavia.

The behind-the-scenes reports demonstrate that
it was a shift in American policy, not a decision by
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his Serb nationalist regime,
which triggered the present crisis, resulting in the biggest humanitarian
disaster in Europe  since the end of the Second World War.

As late as January 15, according to the Post account,
"Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright was pressing--and losing, for
the moment--a  campaign to scale up US and NATO intervention in
Kosovo." Four days  later a meeting of top Clinton administration
officials in the White House  Situation Room approved a radical new plan for Kosovo,
proposed by  Albright. According to the Times: "It again threatened
bombing if Mr. Milosevic did not go along with the West. But, for the
first time, it demanded that he accept NATO troops in his own country
to enforce a  deal under which he would withdraw almost all his
security forces and  grant Kosovo broad autonomy."

President Clinton did not even attend the key January 19 meeting 
where US policy was reversed, since he was meeting with his lawyers 
on the impeachment trial and  rehearsing his State of the
Union speech.

What intervened to effect the dramatic change in US
policy was the  January 15 massacre of 45 ethnic Albanian peasants
outside the small  Kosovo village of Racak. The Post says, "Racak
transformed the West's Balkan policy as singular events seldom do" 
[The Post seems to forget the  Tonking Gulf, Kuwait 
incubators and smilar self-invented (non) events - AGF]

What actually happened in Racak is far from clear. The
first US official  on the scene, William Walker [of more than shady
reputation as 'our/US man against= Contras working for Ollie North in
Nicaragua] head of the group of unarmed monitors dispatched to Kosovo 
by the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe, immediately branded the deaths a Serb
atrocity. But eyewitness accounts were conflicting, and no Serb
military or police unit could be identified.

The official Serbian government version [perhaps as suspect as the
official US government version? -AGF ] is that the
KLA either carried out  the killings itself, to provide a pretext for US and
NATO intervention, or  took casualties of a firefight between KLA and
Yugoslav forces, dressed  them in civilian clothes, rearranged the bodies and
fired single shots into the heads of each victim in order to simulate a mass

    There are several aspects of the Racak incident which
make it impossible o simply dismiss the Serbian government account as
propaganda. Initial reports, cited by Clinton in his speeches defending
the bombing campaign, describe the victims as having been sprayed
with bullets from  Serb machine guns. Later accounts, including those in
the Post and Times last Sunday, speak of civilians killed
execution-style, each one dying from a bullet in the back of the head.

According to the Post account, "US intelligence
reported almost immediately [earlier] that the KLA intended to
draw NATO into  its fight for independence by provoking Serb forces
into further atrocities.  Concern over the KLA's provocative activities was a
major dividing point between the United States and its European NATO
allies in the  months before the bombing began. The Post cites one
unnamed US  official saying, "One of our difficulties,
particularly with the Europeans ...  was getting them to accept the 
proposition that theroot of the problem is Belgrade."

 Secretary of State Albright saw Racak as the
opportunity to overcome European resistance to NATO intervention in Kosovo,
the Post reports, provided that the administration moved quickly:

                   ANDRE GUNDER FRANK
250 Kensington Ave - Apt 608     Tel: 1-514-933 2539    
Westmount/Montreal PQ/QC         Fax: 1-514-933 6445 
Canada H3Z 2G8              e-mail:agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca 

My Personal/Professional Home Page> http://www.whc.neu.edu/gunder.html
My NATO/Kosovo Page> http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/agfrank/nato_kosovo/       
My professional/personal conclusion is the same as Pogo's - 
            We have met the enemy, and it is US 

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