David Hudson on Wed, 12 May 1999 20:24:36 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 15 minutes of shame

     [orig to <rewired@rewired.com>. see also

Spiegel Online is running a summary of a piece from what I'm assuming is
the upcoming issue of Die Zeit (due Thursday, which is a holiday; will it
come out earlier this week? I suppose they have the info from a Zeit press
release...? Martin?) Anyway, a brief, fly-by summary of SpO's summary:


"Germans had 15 minutes to decide about the war"

The Hamburg weekly "Die Zeit" has reconstructed just how Germany got
involved in the war in Kosovo based on secret files obtained from the
Foreign Ministry. The govt had 15 minutes to make its decision concerning
the NATO action.

The decision had to be made just days after the election on Sept 27, '98.
Die Zeit quotes Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer: "We had 15 minutes to
decide a matter of war and peace."

October 9, 1998: US President Bill Clinton is still showing that he
understands that designated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder wants to wait until
the first meeting of the German parliament before he decides on the NATO
action. Three days later, an immediate "Zustimmung", an agreement, is
requested. Fischer asks himself: "Why do we have to respond now?"

There's more good stuff, but skipping to the bottom, the Americans pressed
on with their shuttle diplomacy, but the Germans insisted -- and got -- an
international peace conference. But as they were preparing for Rambouillet,
they were "booted out." On the day before the decisive meeting of the
Balkan Contact Group on Jan 29, '99, the British and the French tried to
squeeze the Germans and the Italians out of the negotiations. By the final
phase, Rambouillet had become a purely US event.

End of summary.

But it does shed interesting light on, among other things, of course,
another recent bit from Stratfor. I think the second paragraph is probably
reeeaallly stretching, especially since the Schröder/Solana meeting
evidently went so well after all (or so it seems), but...



Stratford                      1554 GMT, 990510


Germany and Italy, whose simmering opposition to the U.S. led NATO
bombing campaign against Yugoslavia has been kept in check through
the intense efforts of Washington, have finally said "Enough." The
bombing campaign has not succeeded in stemming the humanitarian
crisis in Kosovo. It has not brought Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic to the negotiating table. And it is now plagued with an
increasing number of incidents of collateral damage, including the
bombing of the Chinese embassy. Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
said that NATO should cease its bombing campaign, "because we are
very worried to see that the raids are apparently moving away from
military targets and are being directed towards civilian targets." Germany,
meanwhile, has called NATO Secretary General Javier Solana to Bonn to
meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder wishes to
discuss with Solana the aftermath of the bombing of the Chinese
embassy, and its impact on the air campaign and the diplomatic process.

Another indication that Germany and Italy are ready for an end to the
crisis in Yugoslavia came from Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin, who
said Sunday that Milosevic was responding positively to "new
circumstances." Chernomyrdin left Bonn for Moscow on Sunday,
postponing a visit to Belgrade, because he had to discuss "very serious
circumstances" related to the Yugoslav settlement with Russian leaders.
According to Agence France Presse, Chernomyrdin returned to Moscow
to allow NATO more time to formulate a formal proposal to Milosevic. It is
apparent that the "circumstances" to which Chernomyrdin was referring
regarded the split in NATO following the Chinese embassy bombing, and
the formal proposal he is awaiting is the one to be drawn up by Bonn and
Rome and forced, not on Milosevic, but on Washington. Germany and
Italy are tired of U.S. leadership in this crisis, and of U.S. mistakes.



 virtuality is bosh, as we know in so many ways.

		Paulina Borsook

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