Abramowitz-Albright Policy For Yugoslavia
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avgust 20, 2008


















The Abramowitz-Albright policy for Yugoslavia-7

The Abramowitz-Albright policy for Yugoslavia has been used as the event, the fait accompli, to complete a major institutional shift of power. Institutions based on the principle of decision-making equality between nations (the United Nations, its agencies, and the OSCE) have been drastically weakened. Others, effectively under U.S. control (NATO, the International Criminal Tribunal), have enlarged their scope, under the heading of a vague new entity, the "international community".

The first target of this shift has of course been the United Nations. Already weakened by the successful U.S. undermining of U.N. agencies such as UNESCO and UNCTAD which threatened to promote alternative and more egalitarian concepts of "globalization", the United Nations has been reduced by the conflict in Yugoslavia to a rubber stamp to be used or ignored by the United States as it chooses.

Certainly, responsibility for weakening the United Nations is widely shared among world powers, but the United States' role in this demolition enterprise has nevertheless been outstanding. Far from trying to help the United Nations seek an even-handed solution to the Yugoslav crisis, the Clinton administration used its influence to secure decisions of benefit to its own chosen clients, the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanian secessionists. In Bosnia, United Nations forces were given impossible missions: hanging around deceptively declared -- deceptively because never demilitarized like Srebrenica -- "safe areas", as fighting continued. Their inevitable, not to say programmed, failure could be, and has been, trumpeted as "proof" that only NATO can carry out a proper peace-keeping mission.

A significant high point in the United States' reduction of the United Nations to a pliant tool came on August 30, 1995, when the United Nations momentarily relinquished its control over Bosnian peace-keeping to NATO, aka the Pentagon, in order to let the United States bomb the Bosnian Serbs.

For Washington, the primary significance of this bombing had less to do with the people of Bosnia than with U.S. power. According to Richard Holbrooke, this was correctly grasped by columnist William Pfaff who wrote the next day: "The United States today is again Europe's leader; there is no other."

In his memoir To End a War, Richard Holbrooke recounted this proud achievement and lavishly praised the United Nations official who made it possible: the Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan, then in charge of peacekeeping operations.

Madeleine Albright, at the time the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was carrying on a "vigorous campaign" in favour of bombing the Serbs. Luck smiled: "fortunately, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali was unreachable [...], so she dealt instead with his best deputy, Kofi Annan, who was in charge of peacekeeping operations. At 11:45 a.m., New York time, came a big break: Annan informed Talbott and Albright that he had instructed the U.N.'s civilian officials and military commanders to relinquish for a limited period of time their authority to veto air strikes in Bosnia. For the first time in the war, the decision on the air strikes was solely in the hands of NATO -- primarily two American officers [...]"

"Annan's gutsy performance in those twenty-four hours was to play a central role in Washington's strong support for him a year later as the successor to Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the United Nations. Indeed, in a sense Annan won the job on that day".

Bosnia was the main reason for getting rid of Boutros-Ghali. "More than any other issue, it was his performance on Bosnia that made us feel he did not deserve a second term -- just as Kofi Annan's strength on the bombing in August had already made him the private favorite of many American officials", Holbrooke explained. "Although the American campaign against Boutros-Ghali, in which all our key allies opposed us, was long and difficult [...] the decision was correct, and may well have saved America's role in the United Nations."

Clinton Doctrine ] Importance of War Crimes ] Humanitarian Realpolitik ] Cultural Divides ] Scenarios Reach the TV Screen ] [ Abramowitz-Albright Policy For Yugoslavia ] How to sabotage the OSCE ] How to obtain "Justice" ] Unified Empires ] History as Melodrama ]