CHAPTER FIVE: THE NEW IMPERIAL MODEL
THE RAMBOUILLET FARCE
One of the central tenets of Balkan Revisionism in Kosovo is that the Rambouillet talks were merely a pretext for a NATO invasion. The agreement did not give Kosovo full independence, but certainly would have restored the autonomy it had once enjoyed if not more.
Johnstone regards that all as a charade--a mere excuse to start bombing. She counters with this:
"In any normal negotiation, the long proposal presented by the Serbian government calling for extensive local self-government and guaranteed rights for all ethnic groups would at least have been acknowledged as a basis for discussion."
Note that she refers to the Serbian--rather than the Yugoslavian--government. Mostly, however, note that her analysis fails completely to acknowledge the reality on the ground. Considering that she ignores the Belgrade government's recent track record on dealing with non-Serb ethnic groups, and we are back to the problem I wrote about two posts ago--the difficulty of critiquing an argument which is predicated on completely flawed and distorted premises.
NATO and the West had no reason to take those proposals from Belgrade seriously, yet Johnstone presents them as if their sincerity is an established fact. And then she hits the reader with this:
"The "Rambouillet peace agreement," drafted mainly by State Department official Christopher Hil, was a U.S. ultimatum designed to bring NATO into Kosovo, get the Serbs out, and convince the Albanians to sign."
She is being deliberately vague--the agreement certainly sought to bring NATO into Kosovo (years too late, in my opinion), but claiming that it also sought to get "the Serbs out" only makes sense if we're discussing the military and police forces from Serbia proper. She is attempting to blur the distinction between Belgrade's armed presence, and the ethnic Serb civilians who lived in Kosovo. The latter, of course, were not being targeted for ethnic cleansing by NATO, despite her paranoid insinuation.
In the next post, we will consider her version of events in more detail.