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Ramboulliet Steps to War


[from FAIR Media Advisory May 14]
    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

     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

     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. 

                   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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