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PostSERBIA, KOSOVO, ALBANIA (Ronald Hilton, USA, 05/08/99 3:15 am)
Robert Gard says:
I find Tom Moore's analysis persuasive. It is not sensible to corner a wolf, issue him an ultimatum, and refuse to negotiate. As I understand it, M gagged only on the NATO occupation force. Now we speak of an "international" troop presence; too bad we didn't do so at the outset. [ M is reported to have specified that it must not include troops from NATO countries. RH]
Let's hope that the Russians can broker something acceptable to both sides so that we can stop what has turned into a desperate attempt to make life suffiently miserable for the civilians in Yugoslavia that they will demand that M fold. [There is a third side, the Russian one; Russia is not impartial.RH.]
Our immculate conception of warfare, by bombing from high altitudes, plus an apparently irresponsible intelligence effort guarantees "collateral damage" and the death of scores of civilians.
My comment: How does one deal with a wolf? I want to add my own comment on Tom Moore´s disputing my claim that the example of Northern Ireland justifies the plan to offer the Kosovars a chance to vote on their future status. I still think that in general such a procedure is valid, but the case of Kosovo and Albania is special for two reasons:
1. The Curse of History. Each side has its own version of history. the Serbian version claims that in World War II the Mussolini-Hitler axis forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands of Serbs from their historic Kosovo home. Serbs became a minority as 375,000 of them were expelled and 1 million Albanians moved in. The Serbs are reclaiming their land. Is this Serb version correct?
2. Crime. In a long article, "Albanan Clans Trying to Take Over Kosovo Crime Network" (S.F. Chronicle, 5/11/99), Frank Viviano, an excellent reporter, claims that rival Albanian and Kosovan drug gangs vie for control. If this is so, NATO must to put it mildly be very careful.