Clinton Defeated by Milosevics Approval of G8 Peace Proposal
By: Mary Mostert, Analyst, June 4, 1999
After much behind-the-scenes bickering among NATO nations and Russia, the Peace Agreement brought to Slobodan Milosevic by EU envoy Martti Ahtisaari and Russia's Viktor Chernomyrdin, presumably with the understanding that it represented the NATO position, Milosevic and the Serb Parliament quickly approved it and Bill Clinton is still determined to bomb Yugoslavia and clearly is not at all happy that Milosevic signed the document.
Why? Because the document represents a bitter defeat for the Clinton-Albright dream of turning NATO into their personal army with which they could handily bypass the U.S. Constitution and the United States Congress.
While Clinton may find himself backed into a corner and FORCED to go along with the G8 peace proposal for Kosovo, he will do it only because he time is running out for him.Clearly even those nations, such as Germany, who are perfectly willing to sacrifice their old enemies, the Serbs, are not going to approve of German ground troops trying to take Kosovo away from an entrenched, still well armed, now totally united Serb nation willing to fight and die for their homeland. Clinton is rapidly losing the voter approval rating he maintained during a year-long impeachment battle over his bombing of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, he is out of time and facing a determined Congress over his blatant violation of the War Powers Act. His sixty days of grace are up and he needs to come to Congress and ask its approval for his foreign adventures in Yugoslavia.
What makes his defeat even all the more bitter is that the G8 peace proposal is almost identical to the proposal made in February at the Rambouillet meeting - which Albright and Clinton summarily dismissed.While he still may hold out and continue bombing, if could very well find himself abandoned by the NATO countries, with the possible exception of Britain and Tony Blair, and facing a growing fury in America and a loss of presidential prerogative in a Supreme Court decision that ends his dictatorial one-man bombing spree.
However, if we know anything at this point, we should know that Clinton has the worlds most polished propaganda (read spin) machine.He could still come up with another scheme to drag a red herring across the trail to confuse and propagandize the American people. His latest effort, getting his friend Louise Armour at the Hague to rush a war crime indictment of Slobodan Milosevic in a last ditch effort to scuttle the G8 peace efforts, didnt quite work.
Of course, no one in the Administration is admitting that the G8 proposal is almost a mirror image of the Serb Kosovo Peace declaration that they tried to present for discussion at the meeting at Rambouillet.The so-called Ethnic Albanian "autonomy" issue was never a problem. What the Serb president, Milan Milutinovic, tried hard to get in Rambouillet and Paris talks was protection of minority rights for all the OTHER ethnic groups in Kosovo.
Hashim Thaci, the KLA leaderwho somehow became the top spokesman in the Paris talks in February said, "We hope that the force of the international community will make Yugoslavia sign." And the two months of bombing has been designed to do exactly that - force the Serbs to sign a document. That document, according to a letter sent to the French and British foreign ministers by nine Yugoslav delegates at the Paris talks from non-Albanian ethnic minorities in Kosovo, would make them second-class citizens in an ethnically cleansed Kosovo.
The differences in the three peace proposals, the one Clinton and Albright demanded that the Serbs sign,the one that the Serbs proposed in Paris, which was summarily dismissed by the Clinton Administration and the one put forward yesterday by the G8 nations, primarily involved Serb sovereignty.
Highlights of the three plans are as follows:
A.The Rambouillet Accord The Bombing was Designed to Force Milosevic to Sign Created an independent Republic inside Yugoslavia for a period of three years, followed by elections which would allow Kosovo to secede from Yugoslavia and allowed NATO troops unlimited power, financed by Yugoslavia:
Understanding the Rambouillet Accords
An overview prepared by the U.S. Department of State
The Rambouillet Accords are the only chance for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and represent a three year interim agreement that will provide democratic self-government, peace, and security for everyone living in Kosovo:
1. Democratic self-government will include all matters of daily importance to people in Kosovo, including education, health care, and economic development. Kosovo will have a President, an Assembly, its own courts, strong local government, and national community institutions with the authority needed to protect each community's identity.
2. Security will be guaranteed by international troops deployed on the ground throughout Kosovo. Local police representative of all national communities in Kosovo will provide routine law enforcement. Federal and Republic security forces will leave Kosovo, except for a limited border protection presence.
3. An international meeting will be convened after three years to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo. The will of the people will be an important factor at the international meeting. Democratic Self-Government During the interim period, citizens in Kosovo will govern themselves democratically through Kosovo institutions:
4. Kosovo will have a Constitution. The Constitution calls for the democratic selection of a President, a Prime Minister and Government, an Assembly, and strong communal authorities. Kosovo will have its own Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, other courts, and prosecutors.
5. Free and fair elections will be held within 9 months of entry into force, under the supervision of the OSCE.
6. Kosovo will have the authority to make laws not subject to revision by Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including levying taxes, instituting programs of economic, scientific, technological, regional, and social development, conducting foreign relations within its areas of responsibility in the same manner as a Republic, and all matters of local government.
7. Kosovo and its national communities will perform most functions presently handled by the Republic of Serbia. However, citizens in Kosovo will be able to call upon Republic institutions for assistance, if they wish. Including receiving pensions, civil court proceedings in front of a Serbian judge, etc. The Federal Republic will not be permitted to act in ways injurious to Kosovo.
8. National communities in Kosovo will be able to control their own identities, including preserving their languages and operating schools and hospitals. All other authorities are forbidden from interfering.
9. Human rights and the rights of the members of all national communities will be guaranteed.
10. The international community will play a role in ensuring that these provisions are carried out, through a civilian Implementation Mission, an ombudsman and constitutional court judges selected under international auspices, OSCE supervision of elections, and an international military presence. Peace and Security The Parties invite NATO to deploy a military force (KFOR), which will be authorized to use necessary force to ensure compliance with the Accords, protect international agencies involved with implementation, and provide a secure environment for everyone in Kosovo. Security in Kosovo will be handled by KFOR. All other security forces will withdraw or be phased out under the supervision of KFOR, according to a balanced schedule of reciprocal steps by all sides specified in the Accords.
11. Yugoslav army forces will withdraw completely from Kosovo, except for limited border guard force (active only within 5 km border zone) and associated personnel.
12. Serb security forces will withdraw completely except for limited number of border police and, for a transitional period, a limited number of civil police officers who will serve at the direction of the international Implementation Mission until local police are trained to replace them.
13. Kosovo Liberation Army will hand over security in Kosovo to NATO troops, and will be demilitarized. v14. Local police will take over all policing duties in Kosovo within one year, extendible for a limited period only by the Chief of the Implementation Mission. A Mechanism for Determining a Final Settlement
Three years after entry into force of the Accords, an international meeting will be convened to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo, on the basis of the will of the people, opinions of relevant authorities, each party's efforts regarding the implementation of the Accords, and the Helsinki Final Act.
Appendix B, the "Status of the Multi-National Military Implementation Force," includes extraordinarily intrusive provisions for Yugoslavia as a whole.
Section 6a. "NATO shall be immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal."
Section 6b. "NATO personnel, under all circumstances and at all times, shall be immune from the Parties, jurisdiction in respect of any civil, administrative, criminal or disciplinary offenses which may be committed by them in the FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)."
Section 7. "NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the FRY."
Serbs Accepted the Political Part of Rambouillet, But not NATO Occupation of Yugoslavia:
By the close of the first round of the Rambouillet talks in late February 1999, Serb President Milan Milutinovic had already declared Serbias willingness to discuss "an international presence in Kosovo" to monitor the implementation of the accords. On February 21, Madeleine Albright responded by insisting that "We accept nothing less than a complete agreement, including a NATO-led force."
On March 23, the day before the NATO bombing began, the Serbian parliament adopted a resolution again rejecting the military portion of the accords, but expressing willingness to review the "range and character of an international presence" in Kosovo. According to the Toronto Stars correspondent in Belgrade on March 24, "There have been hints Serbia might ultimately accept a UN force."
But the U.S. appears to have been unwilling to consider any option other than NATO troops. At a March 24 State Department press briefing, spokesman James Rubin was asked about this development:
QUESTION: Was there any follow-up to the Serbian Assemblys yesterday? They had a two-pronged decision. One was to not allow NATO troops to come in; but the second part was to say they would consider an international force if all of the Kosovo ethnic groups agreed to some kind of a peace plan. It was an ambiguous collection of resolutions. Did anybody try to pursue that and find out what was the meaning of that?
MR. RUBIN: Ambassador Holbrooke was in Belgrade, discussed these matters extensively with President Milosevic, left with the conclusion that he was not prepared to engage seriously on the two relevant subjects. I think the decision of the Serb Parliament opposing military-led implementation was the message that most people received from the parliamentary debate. Im not aware that people saw any silver linings.
G8 Peace Proposal Approved Yesterday by Serb Parliament and Milosevic:
Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo
- Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces
- Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objective
- Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo
- Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations
- A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the regionand the demilitarization of the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA)
-Comprehensive approach to the economic developments and stabilization of the crisis region.
The obvious foot-dragging going on in the White House, the continued bombing, and the statements by the President to the media yesterday were clearly efforts to stall for time.The G8 Peace Proposal is a crushing defeat for KLA dreams of a greater Albania, which would include Kosovo, and represents a major problem for those who positioned NATO as a multi-national military force to implement Clinton doctrine around the world.
If he can somehow avoid signing the agreement, Bill Clinton will.