Fwd: Questions To Clinton On Kosovo

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMdojo.tao.ca
Thu Nov 25 02:28:45 MST 1999



Forwarded From: "richard w. rozoff" <rrozoff at rush.edu>

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>
> QUESTIONS TO CLINTON IN
>                               KOSOVO
>
>     Dr. Jan Oberg
>
>      November 22, 1999
>
>      "Given that democratic countries have free and independent
media,
> President
>      Clinton's visit to Kosovo on November 23, would be a golden
> opportunity to take
>      stock of the US-lead Western policies to bring peace to the
region.
> Here is a
>      selection of questions with some media advisory. In other words,
if I
> imagine I had
>      been granted an interview as a journalist, this is what I would
focus
> on," says TFF
>      director Jan Oberg.
>
>      (1) Mr. President, US warplanes bombed Yugoslavia and the Kosovo
> province
>      with you as the Chief Commander of US forces. Does it worry you
> that the whole
>      campaign was justified and conducted on the basis of what has
> turned out to be
>      grossly mistaken or falsified information about a genocide
planned
> by Belgrade?
>
>      [During the campaign, President Clinton, Secretary Cohen, and
> Secretary Albright
>      are on record with figures of between 10.000 and 100.000 missing
> and probably
>      killed in consequence of the alleged plan by Milosevic,
Operation
> Horseshoe.
>      However, the Hague Tribunal has recently revealed that, so far,
> 2.108 bodies
>      have been identified - of more than one ethnicity and dead from
> different causes;
>      in short, not all Albanians massacred by Serbs. From a human
point,
> of course,
>      this is a great relief. But it raises serious issues as to of
the
> information and
>      intelligence basis on which decisions with far-reaching
> consequences are made.
>      And it begs the question: what is world public opinion informed
about
> and what
>      not, and who produces information for what purposes].
>
>      (2) What are your thoughts by the fact that NATO, with your
country in
> the lead,
>      killed at least 2.000 innocent civilians in Serbia due to stray
missiles
> and bombs?
>      You have apologised to the Chinese people for bombing their
> embassy. Did you
>      consider the possibility personally to apologise to the
relatives or,
> for instance,
>      pay a compensation of some kind? And how do you feel about the
> indictment of
>      you, your Secretaries and all other NATO leaders to the Hague
War
> Crimes
>      Tribunal?
>
>      [For the indictment of NATO leaders, see
>      http://www.transnational.org/features/Indictment_of_NATO.html.
For
> the
>      indictment of Slobodan Milosevic for, among other things, being
> responsible for
>      the death of more than 300 people during the Kosovo war, see
>      http://www.transnational.org/features/indicted.html ]
>
>      (3) Mr. President, the American Camp Bondsteel here at which you
> celebrate
>      Thanksgiving Day with your soldiers, is said to be the largest
US
> military facility
>      the US has built from the ground-up since Vietnam. I have three
> questions about
>      it: a) what long term strategic aims does this huge investment
serve,
> and b) how
>      is it possible to build such a facility on territory which,
according to
> concurrent
>      legal judgment - and all UN resolutions - belongs to the
sovereign,
> recognised
>      state of Yugoslavia whose integrity you are also obliged to
respect?
> And c) are
>      you not sending a very strong signal that Kosovo's future status
is
> somehow
>      already settled by fait accompli?
>
>      [Camp Bondsteel is described in a November 22 Christian Science
> Monitor article
>      - http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/11/22/fp1s2-csm.shtml.
> (Check
>      archives, perhaps) It is gigantic: 775 acres, costs US $ 36.6
million,
> has every
>      convenience and facility needed for its 6.300 US soldiers,
including
> two chapels
>      and a mobile Burger King; the way it is constructed is said to
be
> indicative of a
>      multi-year engagement and wider-than-Kosovo aims].
>
>      (4) It is hardly wrong to say that the US was sympathetic to the
plight
> of the
>      Albanians and cultivated the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation
Army,
> LDK/UCK,
>      such as the present self-appointed prime minister of this
province,
> Mr. Hacim
>      Thaci. Are you disappointed by the fact that these allies of
yours - I
> think we can
>      call them that since KLA and NATO helped each other - are also
> responsible for
>      an ethnic cleansing policy that has driven 234.000 legitimate
> non-Albanian
>      citizens out of the province, according to UNHCR figures? If so,
what
> do you do
>      now during your visit to put enough pressure on Hacim Thaci and
his
> military and
>      civilian colleagues to ensure that you can say what you said
about
> the Albanian
>      refugees in Macedonia and Kosovo: we are going to bring them
back
> to a safe
>      environment.
>
>      (5) I have a follow-up to that with a somewhat different angle:
> according to the UN
>      mandate that KFOR, UNMIK, OSCE operate on, Kosovo's citizens and
> their
>      multi-ethnic composition should be protected. However, the
234.000
> have left
>      under the very eyes of these missions being present on the
ground. I
> am sure
>      that you, as the single most responsible leader, regret this
failure,
> given that this
>      is the biggest and most heavily armed peacekeeping mission ever -

> and the
>      ultimate test of NATO in that role. In which ways does America
and its
> NATO and
>      UN allies intend to change the structure and function of the
entire
> Kosovo
>      operation before it decays beyond repair?
>
>      (6) Mr. President, in every speech you have held also on this
tour,
> you emphasise
>      human rights, general humanitarian concerns and freedom. Now,
> there are
>      almost 1 million refugees in Serbia - many more in fact than
there
> were
>      Kosovo-Albanian refugees in Macedonia and Albania. They have
fled
> from
>      Croatia, Bosnia and now Kosovo, driven away for exactly the same
> reasons you
>      stated repeatedly at the time about the Albanian victims: "not
> because of anything
>      they have done, but because of who they are." Yugoslavia and
> Serbia is in deep
>      crisis because of political blunders and economic mismanagement,
> that is true,
>      but also because of NATO's destruction and many years of
sanctions
> and
>      exclusion from the international community. A humanitarian
> catastrophe cannot
>      be excluded this winter. How do you reconcile your personal
> commitment to
>      humanism and moral leadership with actively preventing that
THESE
> human
>      beings are helped? Do you see any historical evidence that this
is
> the way to
>      overthrow authoritarian leaders?
>
>      (7) In your own speeches before the bombing campaign, you
> emphasised that a
>      major goal apart from stopping a genocide was to create
stability in
> the Balkan
>      region. I think quite a few diplomats and security experts would
> agree that neither
>      Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, nor Bosnia and Croatia
for
> that matter,
>      are more secure now than before March 24. Rather, less so. I
think
> many would
>      be grateful for your guidance as to where and when the Balkan
> situation has
>      improved in any proportion to the political, moral, military and
> economic
>      investment we have made here?
>
>      (8) Do you intend to compensate, one way or another, Macedonia
and
> Albania for
>      America's/NATO's use of their territory and facilities? I mean
in more
> substantial
>      terms than "keeping the door open" for later - much later -
> membership of NATO?
>
>      (9) You have stated time and again, Mr. President, that you are
proud
> that
>      America intervened both in Bosnia and here. And it did so, for
sure,
> forcefully and
>      with determination - so much so, it seems, that EU countries are
now
> starting a
>      'turbo-militarization' with aims such as military-industrial and
> -political integration,
>      common policies, EU-WEU fusion - in short, big steps towards a
> European army.
>      The reason? They think they looked timid compared with America!
> They want to
>      be able to fix problems in their own backyard. Now, I think I am
not
> offending
>      anyone by saying that the United States of America has
antagonised
> the Chinese
>      and the Russians a bit - NATO expansion, the Ballistic Missile
> Defence plans, the
>      Test Ban policy, bombing of Yugoslavia, the failed economic aid,
the
> oil pipeline
>      agreement you just signed in Istanbul, Georgia's future NATO
> membership, the
>      'noise' about Chechenya... - well, you know the list much
better, of
> course. Do
>      you also sometimes feel that the US has taken the lead to such
an
> extent that it
>      has antagonised its European friends and that this could
backfire,
> that they are
>      now somehow turning away from the Atlantic dimension. Even Tony
> Blair's UK
>      seems to want Europe to become more and more of a super power
> and less
>      dependent on the US?
>
>      (10) Finally - and you have been extremely generous with your
time -
> I would like
>      to ask you a question that has only indirect bearings on the
Balkans.
> Wherever
>      you go you promote human rights, freedom and democracy. I am
> sure that the
>      right to privacy and freedom of speech is absolutely essential
central
> in your
>      thinking. Therefore, I can't help asking you: how come the US
has
> developed
>      technology that permits it to listen and automatically register
not only
> e-mail and
>      fax traffic worldwide but also - now - the human voice as we
speak on
> phones
>      with each other. It is done by your National Security Agency,
but -
> sorry if you think
>      this is a naive question - does the United States HAVE to feel
so
> insecure? I relate
>      it also to the fact that US defence for the year 2000 will be
more than
> three times
>      greater than the combined military spending of China, Russia,
and
> the rogue
>      states Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Cuba?
>
>      [The tapping of communication was reported recently by the
> Independent -
>
> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/Digital/Features/spies151199.shtml.
> The
>      military expenditure figures were reported by The Christian
Science
> Monitor
>      (check archives, perhaps) at
>      http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/11/04/fp1s1-csm.shtm ]
>
>      "Well, only carefully chosen people get the opportunity to ask
the
> President of the
>      United States questions. But we can ask ourselves questions and
> ponder the
>      answers - such as: why on earth are questions like these not
asked
> by those who
>      do get the chance? And why are they not analysed and debated
> MUCH MORE in
>      your local and in our global media?
>
>      Philip Knightly has stated that war's first victim is truth.
Peace
> researcher Johan
>      Galtung maintains that complex understanding is its second
victim. It
> seems to
>      me that war's third victim is self-criticism - and thus we
prevent
> ourselves from
>      learning about the real motives behind wars as well as the
> alternatives to war,"
>      ends TFF's director.
>
>
>
>      © TFF 1999
>
>      You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this
item,
> but please
>      retain the source.
>
>
>
>      _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
>
>      Dr. Jan Oberg
>      Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team
>      to the Balkans and Georgia
>
>      T F F
>
>      Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
>      Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
>      Phone +46-46-145909 (0900-1100)
>      Fax +46-46-144512
>
>      Email
>
>      tff at transnational.org
>      http://www.transnational.org
>
>
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