“All the NewsrnUnfit to Print” igns( of tl)e ®imes;rnVol. 1 No. 6 June 1999rnAmerica went to war against the Serbsrnin March, ostensibly because of their refusalrnto sign the so-called peace agreementrnput forward by the United States andrnits allies at Rambouillet, France. Manyrnother reasons were subsequently advanced,rnbut this was the original one.rnPresident Clinton told us that the Albaniansrn”chose peace” by signing, while thernSerbs, he said, refused to negotiate, evenrnthough the agreement left Kosovo as partrnof Yugoslavia. But as Ronald Hatchettrnexplained in the Houston Chronicle onrnMarch 28:rnthe “peace plan” actually givesrnthe Albanians precisely what theyrnwant: de facto independence now,rnwith guaranteed de jure independencernin three years. For thernSerbs, signing the Rambouilletrnagreement would actually be signingrnaway a l l Serbian sovereigntyrnover Kosovo immediately.rnUnder the agreement, “Kosovo willrnhave the authority to make laws not subjectrnto revision by Serbia or the FederalrnRepublic of Yugoslavia,” including levyingrntaxes, instituting development programs,rnand conducting foreign relations.rnYugoslav army and police were to withdrawrncompletely from Kosovo, except forrna tiny guard within a three-mile borderrnzone. NATO was to enter with close torn30,000 troops, “which will be authorizedrnto use necessary force to ensure compliancernwith the accords.” A Civilian ImplementationrnMission was to be appointedrnby NATO, and its chief given the authorityrn”to issue binding directives to the Partiesrnon all important matters he sees fit,rnincluding appointing and removing officialsrnand curtailing institutions.” Mostrnimportandy of all, a “final settlement forrnKosovo” would be decided by the outsidersrnin three years “on the basis of thernwill of the people” of Kosovo. As Hatchettrnconcludes:rnFor the Kosovo Albanians, thernRainbouillet agreement gives themrntotal control over the provincernimmediately. The only “sacrifice”rnrequired of them i s to waitrnthree years before the arrangementsrnare made legally permanent.rn. . . The Serbian negotiating effortsrnwere summarily dismissedrnand the Serbs were told they hadrnonly two choices: sign the agreementrnas written or face NATOrnbombing. What would you haverndone if you were on the Serb delegation?rnThe rest is history. As a commentatorrnput it in the Times of London (March 18),rnSerbia had to “stand and fall before NATOrnrather than slink into the dog kennelrnfor voluntary vivisection.” Another commentatorrnremarked in the Guardianrn(April 10) that a century-long effort “tornestablish an international system capablernof setting limits to the unperial ambitionsrnof great powers, has been brought to anrnabrupt end.”rnDevoid of arguments and fearful of informedrnpressure, the Clinton administrationrnsoon began trafficking in storiesrnabout massive atrocities in order to sway arnreluctant public. State Departmentrnspokesman James Rubin suggested thatrnSerbs were herding Albanians into Pristinarnstadium (State Department Briefing,rnMarch 30). He attributed the report tornKLA commander Hashin Thaqi, withrnwhom—according to Agence FrancernPresse (March 18)—Rubin personallyrnhas a “good rapport.”rnOn March 31, a reporter with AgencernFrance Presse visited the stadium and reportedrnthatrnthe stadium, whose galleries canrnhost some 25,000 spectators, wasrncoitpletely empty and there werernno signs of any mass groupings.rnRows of seats stood ertpty and therngrass looked intact . . .rnThe following day, Mr. Rubin wasrnasked about the discrepancy. Accordingrnto the official transcript, the exchangernwent as follows:rnQ: We’ve gotten a report thisrnmorning which i s what I believerni s the f i r s t independent reportrnout of P r i s t i n a in some days,rnsaying that Thaqi’s claim yesterdayrnthat a hundred thousand peoplernwere massed in the Pristinarnstadium-rnMR. RUBIN: I d i d n ‘ t make thatrnclaim-we didn’t make that claim.rnQ: Well, i t ‘ s been referred to.rnBut anyway—anyway, this reportrnsays that this . . .rnMR. RUBIN: I never heard him sayrnt h a t .rnNATO spinmeisters were not to be outdonernby the U.S. State Department. OnrnApril 10, Scripps Howard News Servicernreported that “NATO commanders havernalready admitted that fear of hitting Albanianrncivilians discouraged some strikesrnon designated targets” (emphasis added).rnBut dehumanization of Serbian victimsrnhad reached the point where NATOrnspokesman Jamie Shea could calmly staternthat a passenger train, destroyed alongrnwith scores of civilians on April 12, was arn”legitimate military target.”rnWhat is this bombing all about? Writingrnin Capitol Hill Blue on April 5, DougrnThompson opined that Clinton’s Kosovornwar “is part of a desperate, dangerous andrnfatally flawed plan by a scandal-riddenrnPresident to salvage a legacy for the historyrnbooks”:rnIn fact, the President is willingrnto r i s k a global m i l i t a r y confrnl i c t to shift the emphasis . . .rnaway from the many sex and moneyrnscandals that have dogged his administration,rninterviews withrnpresent and past White House andrnPentagon staff members reveal.rn. . . Former Navy Capt. Al Simonsonrnsays he knows several careerrnmilitary professionals who arernwilling to resign their commissionsrnrather than continue torn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn