in Media Global Watch Bulletins
TiM GW Bulletin 99/2-5
Feb. 21, 1999
|Dragnich on the
Carving Up Serbia
Albright Shows Once Again Why the
"Halfbright" Nickname Fits Her So Well
Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
are like spider webs. If some poor weak creature comes up against them-it is caught. But
the bigger one can break through and get away."
Solon (a Greek philosopher- c.630-c.555 B.C.)
CARVING UP SERBIA
A Letter by Prof. Alex Dragnich to the Washington Post
PHOENIX, Feb. 21 - The "Kosovo crisis" is heating
up again. For the "umpteenth" time, it seems. And as many times
before, the trigger-happy and power-hungry Clinton administration is threatening to bomb
another sovereign country. Unless, of course, this sovereign country (Serbia) yields
to the NATO gun pointed at its head, says goodbye to its sovereignty, and lets foreign
troops (NATO) occupy its province of Kosovo, a preamble to its eventual secession.
Dr. Alex Dragnich, professor emeritus of Vanderbilt University, and a
widely published author of books on history of the Balkans, says he cannot believe what
our government is doing. His letter to the Washington Post was
published at the top of the Letters' page on Saturday, February 20, 1999:
Do We Really Want to Bomb?
I just can't believe what my government is threatening to do,
and may actually do before these words appear in print -- bomb a sovereign country. As
Tony Benn, a well-known member of the British Parliament, said last October in a letter to
his foreign secretary, Robin Cook:
"Air strikes against Serbia would constitute a total
breach of international law, of the Charter of the United Nations and of Article 1 of the
NATO Treaty, which commits NATO to upholding the U.N."
We are threatening to bomb the Serbs not because they have
invaded a foreign country but because they refuse to accept an agreement, which we have
crafted, to resolve a domestic conflict inside Yugoslavia and to permit the entrance of
NATO troops to enforce it.
What or who gives us the authority to do such a thing?
Some say the United Nations. But the United Nations and the League of Nations before it
were created specifically to prevent a nation, or combination of nations, from infringing
on an independent country's sovereignty. We are arrogating to ourselves the power to judge
a country for seeking to put down terrorism within its borders as well as to protect its
borders with foreign countries.
More serious in the long run will be the precedent we would
be creating. Our proposed actions would provide the arguments to justify a power or a
combination of powers to invade some country in search of justice for a minority or
minorities. This could be some Arab states, perhaps in agreement with Russia, or it could
be China seeking to take over Taiwan. And what if the Hispanics in Texas or California
should desire to detach a part of those states, appealing for foreign intervention to come
to their assistance?
In any one of the hypothetical situations, power would be
decisive. We will have provided the legal justification. Do we really want to do that?
I am disturbed not only by what my government is about to do
but also by the apparent bankruptcy of the political opposition. The Republicans have yet
to craft a credible foreign policy program for the Unites States.
ALEX N. DRAGNICH
ALBRIGHT SHOWS ONCE AGAIN WHY NICKNAME "HALFBRIGHT"
PHOENIX, Feb. 21 - On the topic of Kosovo, here is an excerpt from a message
we received this morning from a TiM reader, along with our reply, which follows:
Note that this article (a Reuters report) indicates, contrary
to major network and other press propaganda, that the Albanian's HAVE NOT accepted
the agreement for Yugoslav control of Kosovo with no independence. Yesterdays reports
portrayed the Serbs as the sole hold up for an agreement. The article shows that the US
and NATO is practically begging he Albanians to sign an agreement so that they can bomb
I know. There is a similar dichotomy in today's front page story in the New York
Times. The U.S. (Madeleine Albright) is praising Albanians for their conduct at
the talks in France while lambasting the Serbs. Yet "at the last minute," the
Albanians refused to sign the political provisions of the agreement which were intended to
put pressure on the Serbs, the New York Times says.
A Rambouillet Egg
as if Madam Halfbright is telling the Albanians, "please sign quickly so we can get
on with bombing the Serbs."
At least the Secretary of State is being consistently "half bright." While
she was still the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., she reportedly confronted the then Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, by chiding him (paraphrasing) -
"what good is it having the most powerful military in the world if you don't use
Which is like saying - "what good is it owning a gun if you don't kill people with
it?" So let's give her a toy gun instead of the Pentagon. It may save lives.
While at the Kosovo talks in France, earlier in the week, the gun-toting Secretary of
State also caused quite a fluster among the European diplomats while displaying her
Halfbright qualities. Here is what one diplomat had to say to the London Times
"EUROPEAN diplomats in Paris accused Madeleine Albright
yesterday of having a poor understanding of the Kosovo problem after the US Secretary of
State suggested to an ethnic Albanian negotiator that he should adopt Gerry Adams, the
Sinn Fein leader, as a role model.
American officials rushed to smooth over any controversy, but the
remark served to draw out European discontent at the heavy-handed American push behind the
Kosovo peace talks.
"Quite honestly, she's been unimpressive on the
details," said one European Union source involved in setting up Ms Albright's
whirlwind weekend inspection of proceedings at Rambouillet and her meetings with EU and
Contact Group ministers. "It's clear that she hasn't grasped the full deal under
discussion, but having said that, she has massive clout - she's the one who can say to the
Serbs, 'sign this, or we'll bomb the hell out of you'."[...]
American officials said Ms Albright had tried to charm both
sides; she had reminded Serb leaders of her Belgrade childhood, and of how her Czech
diplomat father, who loved Serb songs, had said that, if he had not been born Czech, he
would have liked to have been Serb."
True. Mr. Korbel, a Czech diplomat, was grateful to the Serbs for their friendship and
protection, especially at a time when the Serbs, as well as the Jews, were being hunted
down by the Nazis and their collaborators (including the Kosovo Albanians). Which is why
Madeleine's father, Mr. Korbel, is probably turning in his grave now seeing what his
daughter is trying to do to the Serbs (also see our 1997 column, "Da Bull" ).
Also, check out... "Tragic
Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators
Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds
Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on
Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses'
from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a
Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to
Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition
in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?",
"Murder on Wall Street",
"Kosovo: 'Bosnia II'",
"What If the Shoe Were on the Other
Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American
Lives", and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's
Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning
Up Another Crisis"