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Pre-1989 Albanian Rule in Kosovo Discriminated Against ALL non-Albanian Minorities Why is there Civil War in Kosovo, Why Did Clinton Get Involved and What has Been Accomplished?

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In the meantime, Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Albright have squandered billions of dollars in NATO resources, killed thousands of Yugoslavs, mostly innocent civilians many of whom were children, and sacrificed the lives of many dozens, perhaps hundreds, of NATO pilots, airmen, and commandos. They have driven the Russians and Chinese closer together than they have been in decades, exposed internal weaknesses in NATO, and caused many to question the rationale for that organization. There is talk in Europe of creating a separate European military organization with its own separate command structure that will not include the United States, Great Britain, Canada, or Turkey.

The war has caused much revulsion among thoughtful people the world over. A Greek court ruled that Greece could not enter the war militarily because NATO had committed war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions, whose articles are intended to protect civilians and make militaries wage war on other militaries. A group of legal experts from the United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, and Norway have presented a case to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to indict NATO leaders for war crimes. Nothing is likely to come of this, since that same tribunal has been sitting on a request for some time to condemn Croatia for war crimes in carrying out the brutal ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Serbs from that nation.

There is real danger of a reversion to global polarization. After the bombing started, the Ukrainian parliament voted unanimously to revert the country to its former nuclear status. The Ukraine supplied petroleum to Yugoslavia during the fighting. On April 30, a meeting of the Russian National Security Council approved the modernization of all strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. It decided to develop strategic low-yield nuclear missiles capable of pin-point strikes anywhere in the world.

Indian nationalists have now found new reason to continue their march toward nuclear armaments. China, needless to say, is demonstrating unaccustomed hostility to the U.S. and NATO. All over Latin America, previously subdued regimes have been decrying Yanqui imperialism once again. Even Muslim regimes, whom we might have expected to be vociferously pro-NATO in this war, have been subdued, understanding as they do the consequences of a world in which a rogue NATO seeks to replace the UN and a whole web of treaties and international understandings as the arbiter of international "peace" and international boundaries.

Albright and Clinton have done great harm to U.S. and NATO standing in the international community. They have alienated many other nations who fear NATO's efforts to define an entirely new role for itself in the international arena. They have destroyed the military mystique of NATO by suffering heavy losses in a failed attempt to defeat the Yugoslav military from the air. They have destroyed the mystique of Stealth technology. They ultimately resorted to a cowardly war against civilians in an effort to get their way, and still failed to achieve their "non-negotiable" terms at Rambouillet. And yet, they are now crowing about a great NATO victory.

Some experts have stated their belief that the Clinton-Albright team is the most incompetent foreign policy team in the U.S. in the last half century. This may be. Mrs. Albright seems dominated by a Central European Catholic prejudice against the Serbs that has so warped her judgment as to make her ineffective as a negotiator or mediator, which requires some element of neutrality and willingness to understand the legitimate security concerns of all parties. Mr. Clinton's whole political career has been characterized by media manipulation, lying, bullying, vindictiveness, and buying people off. Applying these qualities in domestic politics has been bad enough. Applying them on the international scene can have huge consequences for the entire planet. Much of the world has now become frightened of Mr. Clinton's New World Order, including many of our own European allies. For a man preoccupied with his legacy, he has much to be preoccupied about.

A Historical Postscript

This is the third time in the twentieth century that Serbia has been issued an ultimatum to surrender its sovereignty or be attacked. In 1914, the Austrian Empire issued a 14-point ultimatum to Serbia designed to force the nation to surrender her sovereignty under threat of attack. The Serbs refused and World War I started. It ultimately took an Austrian Army, a German Army, and a Bulgarian Army to occupy the nation. The Serbian Army escaped intact and came back to fight in 1916-1918. Germany and Austria lost the war, Austria lost an empire, and the map of Europe was redrawn.

In 1941, the Serbs rejected a German ultimatum to let German troops move through their country to help Mussolini's beleaguered forces in Greece. The subsequent German invasion delayed the planned invasion of the Soviet Union by six weeks and prevented a knockout blow before the Russian winter came. It also resulted in a prolonged war of attrition against Serbian guerrillas that tied down large numbers of Axis troops, preventing them from being used on either the Eastern or Western fronts. These were crucial factors in turning the tide against Germany, which lost the war. The map of Central and Eastern Europe was redrawn.

The larger consequences of this latest failed ultimatum are yet to be played out. They could also be enormous.

June 15, 1999

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© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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