THEORY OF AMERICAN STUPIDITY: 3-4
4.Turning the Rambouillet Negotiations into an Ultimatum, while overthrowing the Rugova Leadership:
The two variants continue into the Rambouillet process. The idea of bringing the two sides together into face to face negotiations under international auspices came from the French government. The Clinton administration had been against such an idea, favouring a straight move towards bombing. But on this occasion, the differences were overcome in favour of the French getting their way on the form while the US would get its way on the substance. This was a turning point. The French and British switched over to the US position at a meeting of the contact group in London on 29th January,1999, exactly a week before the opening on 6th February of the Rambouillet 'negotiations'. From that moment on the NATO attack on Yugoslavia was a virtual certainty.
We can see why when we appreciate that the Rambouillet 'negotiations' were not negotiations at all:they were an ultimatum to the Serbian government which was drafted in such a way as to ensure that it would be rejected.
The Serbian government wanted face to face negotiations at Rambouillet with the Kosovo representatives.This the Americans absolutely refused, presumably with British and French support since they were formally supposed to be in charge of the process. It is also fairly clear that there were some on the Kosovo side who were interested in discussing with the Serbian authorities. Why else would be Clinton administration have decided to overthrow the elected Rugova government of Kosovo and replace it with a KLA-led government, there and then, at Rambouillet?
The Serbian side was then required to agree to the 'Agreement' without changing it, or face NATO attack on Yugoslavia.If the Serbian government had signed the 'Agreement' the agreement would have had no status in international law, since treaties signed under threat of aggression have no force in international law. But the Serbian authorities, probably wisely, did not have any confidence in their ability to rely upon international law, so they refused to sign. Most people assume that the Serbian government refused to sign, because the 'Agreement' would lead to the independence of Kosovo. The 'Agreement' did involve a de facto NATO Protectorate (not, by the way, a democratic entity. The Chief of the Implementation Force could dictate to the Kosovo government on any aspect of policy he considered relevant to NATO (ie US) concerns.)
But the real sticking point for the Serbian government seems to have been the threat that the 'Agreement' posed to the rest of Yugoslavia.The NATO compliance force would have complete control of Kosovo deploying there whatever types of forces it wished: ' NATO will establish and deploy a force (hereinafter KFOR) which may be composed of ground, air, and maritime units from NATO and non-NATO nations, operating under the authority and subject to the direction and the political control of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) through the NATO chain of command. The Parties agree to facilitate the deployment and operations of this force.' Thus, if the US wished to use Kosovo as a base for the invasion and occupation of the rest of Yugoslavia it could do so.
This was threat enough. But the so-called'Appendix B' added to the document at Rambouillet itself and kept secret until it was leaked and eventually published in the French press, insisted that NATO forces could move at will across the whole of Yugoslavia. Thus: 'NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, manoeuvre, billet, and utilisation of any areas or facilities as required for support, training, and operations.' NATO could also alter the infrastructure of Yugoslavia at will: 'NATO may.... have need to make improvements or modifications to certain infrastructures in the FRY, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and utility systems.' It could thus move around investigating all Yugoslav infrastructures with a view to destroying them (in an attack) later. And the Yugoslav authorities 'shall provide, free of cost, such public facilities as NATO shall require.' The Yugoslav authorities 'shall, upon simple request, grant all telecommunications services, including broadcast services, needed for the Operation, as determined by NATO. This shall include the right to utilise such means and services as required to assure full ability to communicate....free of cost.' 'NATO is granted the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment of fees, duties, dues, tolls, or charges occasioned by mere use.' The Yugoslav authorities must not merely tolerate this: they must facilitate it:' The authorities in the FRY shall facilitate, on a priority basis and with all appropriate means, all movement of personnel, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, equipment, or supplies, through or in the airspace, ports, airports, or roads used. No charges may be assessed against NATO for air navigation, landing, or takeoff of aircraft, whether government-owned or chartered. Similarly, no duties, dues, tolls or charges may be assessed against NATO ships, whether government-owned or chartered, for the mere entry and exit of ports.'
And in all such activities in the whole of Yugoslavia, NATO shall be completely above the law:'NATO shall be immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal.' And again: '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 offences which may be committed by them in the FRY. ' And again: ' NATO and NATO personnel shall be immune from claims of any sort which arise out of activities in pursuance of the operation'.
This threat to move from Kosovo to the overthrow of the entire Serbian and Yugoslav regime was underlined by the fact that NATO claimed the right to dictate the fundamentals of socio-economic policy within Kosovo, with the Yugoslav and Kosovo governments completely under the diktat of US policies.Thus:' The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles.' And: 'There shall be no impediments to the free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital to and from Kosovo.' And again: 'Federal and other authorities shall within their respective powers and responsibilities ensure the free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital to Kosovo, including from international sources. There must also be complete compliance with the IMF and World Bank. Thus: 'International assistance, with the exception of humanitarian aid, will be subject to full compliance with....conditionalities defined in advance by the donors and the absorptive capacity of Kosovo.' The Yugoslav government must also agree to handing over economic assets to foreign interests. Thus: 'If expressly required by an international donor or lender, international contracts for reconstruction projects shall be concluded by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.'
These statements made it perfectly clear that NATO was out to destroy the existing character of the Serbian economy.The ultimatum also demonstrated that NATO was determined to wage war against the Serbian media. It demanded 'Free media, effectively accessible to registered political parties and candidates, and available to voters throughout Kosovo.' And it said that 'The IM shall have its own broadcast frequencies for radio and television programming in Kosovo. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall provide all necessary facilities.....'
Rambouillet was thus an ultimatum for a war against Serbia and the terms of the ultimatum demonstrated that if the Serbian government accepted Rambouillet they would very likely face a crushing attack in the future from NATO forces on Yugoslav soil.