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PostMilosevich's Plans and NATO (Ronald Hilton, USA, 05/10/99 3:16 am)
Moore of Hoover expresses the strong feelings of many WAISers. He does
not condone Milosevich but he blames Clinton for the "mess". He says:
The problem is what do we do with the mess we are now in. Neither the Chinese nor the Russians will support NATO being at the core of any force that occupies Kosovo, even if we got Milosevich to agree to such a force.
"Let´s not forget that Milosevich started it all, just as Hitler did." I disagree. We presented the Serbs with an ultimatum. They had to allow Kosovo to become independent in three years and allow NATO to occupy all of Serbia.
We have demonized Milosevich. He clearly is a war criminal for having fostered the Bosnia war. What he was doing in Kosovo before the bombing was largely going after the KLA, which was described by our State Department as a terrorist organization and is certainly not different from the Kurdish guerillas or the Basques. Although there were atrocities before the bombing, they were investigated by the International observers. There was no systematic effort to expel the Kosovars. Even now it is not clear whether it is Milosevich who is trying to expel the Kosovars or irregulars and neighbors who covet their land and property.
If we did get Clinton's wish and have NATO occupy Kosovo we would have to have extensive troops there to protect the Serb residents from the anger of the Kosovars and to protect the Kosovars from their neighbors as well. We would have to be there for decades.
Our best solution is to stop dropping bombs on people, take up Milosevich's offer of allowing an UN force without NATO in and let the UN try and police the province. I agree that many if not most of the refugees will not be willing to go back in but I am not sure that they will go back in any case unless all of the Serbs are ethnically cleansed and Kosovo is independent.
No matter what we will face a horrendous bill for rebuilding Serbia and Kosovo."
My comment: We do not yet know exactly neither what took place before the military action began nor the plans of Milosevich. My reading is that he planned to clear the Kosovars out.
NATO´s demand that he accept a free vote after three years makes sense. We should have learned from Northern Ireland that this is the only way to solve such problems, although Lincoln instilled in Americans the idea of fighting to preserve the union, which was the idea of George III, who lost. Lincoln won.