WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Sunday Times, of London, reports that well before the NATO air strikes were launched President Clinton knew that "air strikes might provoke Serb soldiers into greater acts of butchery."
On March 15, reports the Sunday Times (NATO Attacks, March 28), "Clinton and his cabinet members, including William Cohen, the defence secretary, and Sandy Berger, the national security adviser, sat in silence as Shelton [General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff] outlined the thrust of the analysis. There was a danger, he told them, that far from helping to contain the savagery of the Serbs in Kosovo - a moral imperative cited by the president - air strikes might provoke Serb soldiers into greater acts of butchery. Air strikes alone, Shelton stated, could not stop Serb forces from executing Kosovars."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports (NATO Races To Smash Serb Units, George Jahn, March 29), "Tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians streamed out of Kosovo today while NATO raced against time to smash Serb military units and ease what officials say is becoming Europe's worst humanitarian disaster since World War II."
According to the BBC (Refugees flee Kosovo horror, March 29), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees believes that up to 25% of the population of Kosovo - more than 500,000 people - have fled their homes since the conflict began.
However, says The Washington Times (Pentagon considers ground troops, Bill Sammon and Joyce Howard Price, March 29), "the White House yesterday repeated its assurance that President Clinton has no "intention" of dispatching ground troops to Kosovo." There was no effective plan approved to prevent, or even minimize, the forseeable humanitarian catastrophe.
Yet, speaking from the White House five days ago, President Clinton told reporters "Our purpose here is to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Our objective is to make it clear to Mr Milosevic he must choose peace, or we will limit his plans to make war."
Our purpose here is to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe? Really, Mr. President?
["But launching a NATO air war against Milosevic was the triumph of threat over thought." -- Bill Clinton's War, The Progressive, May 1999]
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