Hasty Decisions

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  • by Anup Shah
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According to this media advisory1, "New evidence has emerged confirming that the U.S. deliberately set out to thwart the Rambouillet peace talks in France in order to provide a 'trigger' for NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia." This has serious ramifications all over -- from the role of the media to the intentions of NATO.

A senior US State Department official has admitted2 that the US "set the bar too high" for the Serbs and that they needed some bombing and yet the mainstream media has ignored this.

It is also remarkable that NATO has achieved a peace treaty that is almost the same as what was proposed before the bombing began except that it has been very costly to human life and the environment. In fact, both NATO and Milosevic have actually given up some aspects of what the original Rambouillet accord demanded (not that the Rambouillet accord was very fair anyway, but it shows that even some of those demands were lost). Even the Ethnic Albanians have also lost out as the latest peace initiative and resolution does not discuss even the Kosovo Autonomy that the Rambouillet accord suggested. For a nicely summarized table of who gave up and gained what from this conflict, see this link3. The mainstream media again has not really analyzed this.

There had been a number of attempts by the UN and OSCE to promote peace through diplomatic means, but the political will from key nations such as USA, UK, Russia, France, Germany had been lacking -- until now. In fact according to the Sunday Times, the CIA aided the Kosovo guerilla army4before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. And according to the following article, there have been a number of "humanitarian spies5" leading up to the Kosovo military campaign. This therefore again raises more questions about how sincere and committed some of the NATO nations were when pursuing diplomacy.

Most peace processes are a long, complex process6; one which has to carefully consider a variety of complex issues that affect each side involved. You can't just quickly enforce peace, expect it to last and then forget it, and then get out.

It appears as though NATO has not thought7 about a long term solution and just gone for something that looks like a result, perhaps without giving real peace options a chance8.

With the 50th anniversary of NATO and people questioning the need for NATO9, a seemingly quick resolution of the Kosovo crisis lends credence to the effectiveness of NATO in such scenarios. Because the long term rebuilding is taken on by the UN, they can easily be blamed if it is not happening ideally, and if rebuilding goes well, then that shows that NATOs actions were effective. NATO ends up in a win-win situation while the local population have lost out.

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