From David Swanson’s book War Is A Lie:
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia found that NATO’s bombing may have increased, rather than diminish, the war crimes it was justified by — most of which occurred during and not prior to the bombing.
In the June 14, 1999, issue of The Nation, George Kenney, a former State Department Yugoslavia desk officer, reported:
“An unimpeachable press source who regularly travels with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told this [writer] that, swearing reporters to deep-background confidentiality at the Rambouillet talks, a senior State Department official had bragged that the United States ‘deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept.’ The Serbs needed, according to the official, a little bombing to see reason.”
Jim Jatras, a foreign policy aide to Senate Republicans, reported in a May 18, 1999, speech at the Cato Institute in Washington that he had it “on good authority” that a “senior Administration official told media at Rambouillet, “under embargo” the following: “We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that’s what they are going to get.”
In interviews with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), both Kenney and Jatras asserted that these were actual quotes transcribed by reporters who spoke with a U.S. official.
Negotiating for the impossible, and falsely accusing the other side of noncooperation, is a handy way to launch a “defensive” war.
Behind that scheme in 1999 was special U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, whom we encountered above in 2010 defending an aggressive war on Afghanistan.
Atrocities against the same group of people can be grounds for humanitarian war or matters of no concern at all, depending on whether the perpetrator is an ally of the United States’ government.
In 1995 the cops of the world stumbled into Yugoslavia out of the goodness
of their hearts. President Clinton explained:
“America’s role will not be about fighting a war. It will be about helping the people of Bosnia to secure their own peace agreement.…In fulfilling this mission, we will have the chance to help stop the killing
of innocent civilians, especially children….”
Fifteen years later, it’s hard to see how Bosnians have secured their own peace. U.S. and other foreign troops have never left , and the place is governed by a European-backed Office of High Representative.
U.S. involvement in Yugoslavia in the 1990s was not unrelated to lead, zinc, cadmium, gold, and silver mines, cheap labor, and a deregulated market. In 1996 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown died in a plane crash in Croatia along with top executives for Boeing, Bechtel, AT&T, Northwest Airlines, and several other corporations that were lining up government contracts for “reconstruction.”
Enron, the famously corrupt corporation that would implode in 2001, was a part of so many such trips that it issued a press release to state that none of its people had been on this one. Enron gave $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 1997, six days before accompanying new Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor to Bosnia and Croatia and signing a deal to build a $100 million power plant.
The annexation of Kosovo, Sandy Davies writes in Blood on Our Hands, “…did succeed in creating a small militarized buffer state between Yugoslavia and the projected route of the AMBO oil pipeline through
Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania. This pipeline is being built, with U.S. government support, to provide the United States and Western Europe with access to oil from the Caspian Sea.…Energy Secretary
Bill Richardson explained the underlying strategy in 1998. ‘This is about America’s energy security,’ he explained. ‘. . . It’s very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right.’”
The U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia in the 1990s may have involved a desire to keep Europe subordinate to the United States through NATO, an organization that was in danger of losing its reason to exist.
In its wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq, the United States has left behind depleted uranium.