THE RAMBOUILLET AGREEMENT: A DECLARATION OF WAR DISGUISED AS A PEACE AGREEMENT
By Richard Becker
The official line in the big business media is that the Pentagon had no choice but to rain bombs and missiles down on Yugoslavia because the Milosevic government refused to negotiate over the issue of Kosovo, a region of that country where ethnic Albanians make up the majority.
The reality was very different: The Rambouillet accord, the U.S./NATO "peace plan" for Kosovo was presented to Yugoslavia as an ultimatum. It was a "take it or leave it" proposition, as Albright often emphasized back in February. There were, in fact, no negotiations at all, and no sovereign, independent state could have signed the Rambouillet agreement.
Appendix B of the accord would have opened the door for the occupation of all of Yugoslavia.
The accord provided for a very broad form of autonomy for Kosovo. A province of Serbia, one of two republics (along with Montenegro) which make up present-day Yugoslavia, Kosovo would have its own parliament, president, prime minister, supreme court and security forces under Rambouillet. The new Kosovo government would be able to negate laws of the federal republic’s legislature (unlike U.S. states) and conduct its own foreign policy.
All Yugoslav federal army and police forces would have to be withdrawn, except for a 3-mile wide stretch along the borders of the province. A new Kosovar police force would be trained to take over internal security responsibilities. Members of the U.S.-backed KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) which is supposed to disarm under the agreement, could join the police units.
But, in reality, neither the Kosovo police, the KLA nor the Yugoslav federal forces would be the basic state apparatus under Rambouillet:
That function would be reserved for NATO. A 28,000-strong NATO occupation army, known as the KFOR, would be authorized to "use necessary force to ensure compliance with the Accords."
As has been reported in the mainstream media, the Yugoslav government indicated its willingness to accept the autonomy part of the agreement, but rejected other sections, including the occupation of Kosovo by NATO, as a violation of its national sovereignty and independence.
Many key aspects of the accord have been given very little or no coverage in the corporate media.
Chapter 4a, Article I—"The economy of Kosovo, shall function in accordance with free market principles." Kosovo has vast mineral resources, including the richest mines for lead, molybdenum, mercury and other metals in all of Europe. The capital to exploit these resources, which are today mainly state-owned, would undoubtedly come from the U.S. and western European imperialists.
Chapter 5, Article V—"The CIM shall be the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of the civilian aspects of this Agreement, and the Parties agree to abide by his determinations as binding on all Parties and persons." The CIM is the Chief of the Implementation Mission, to be appointed by the European Union countries.
Chapter 7, Article XV—"The KFOR [NATO] commander is the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of this Chapter and his determinations are binding on all Parties and persons." "This Chapter" refers to all military matters. The NATO commander would almost certainly be from the U.S.
Together, the CIM and the NATO commander are given total dictatorial powers, the right to overturn elections, shut down organizations and media, and overrule any decisions made by the Kosovar, Serbian or federal governments regarding Kosovo.
At the end of three years of this arrangement, the "final status" of Kosovo would be resolved through an unspecified process (Chapter 8, Article I, Section 3). In reality, Yugoslav sovereignty over the region would end the day the agreement was signed.
The Rambouillet accord would have turned Kosovo into a colony in every respect, a colony of the United States, the dominant power in NATO. But it also would have gone a long way toward subordinating all of Yugoslavia.
Appendix B, the "Status of the Multi-National Military Implementation Force," includes extraordinarily intrusive provisions for Yugoslavia as a whole.
Section 6a. "NATO shall be immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal."
Section 6b. "NATO personnel, under all circumstances and at all times, shall be immune from the Parties, jurisdiction in respect of any civil, administrative, criminal or disciplinary offenses which may be committed by them in the FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)."
Section 7. "NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the FRY."
Together, Sections 6 and 7 comprise the old, hated, colonial concept of "extraterritoriality," under which the colonizers were immune from being tried by the courts of the colonized country, even if they committed—as they often did—rape, murder and mayhem.
Section 8: "NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, maneuver, billet and utilization of any areas or facilities as required for support, training, and operations."
Section 11: "NATO is granted the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment of fees, duties, dues, tolls, or charges occasioned by mere use."
Section 15: "The Parties (Yugoslav & Kosovo governments) shall, upon simple request, grant all telecommunications services, including broadcast services, needed for the Operation, as determined by NATO. This shall include the right to utilize such means and services as required to assure full ability to communicate and the right to use all of the electromagnetic spectrum for this purpose, free of cost."
Section 22: "NATO may, in the conduct of the Operation, have need to make improvements or modifications to certain infrastructure in the FRY, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and utility systems."
The stationing of 28,000 U.S./NATO troops in Kosovo, a province of Yugoslavia would, by itself, be a gross violation of the country’s sovereignty.
But the Rambouillet accord requires that Yugoslavia allow NATO unfettered access to any and all parts of the country’s territory, with all costs to be borne by the host country!
The accord blatantly violates Yugoslavia’s sovereignty in so provocative a manner that it cannot have been accidental. It is not difficult to imagine a working group in the State Department charged with the task of thinking up the most intrusive and insulting clauses possible to insert into the agreement.
Clearly, U.S. policymakers never intended for Yugoslavia’s leadership to sign this document. It was just another step in the preparation for war. The role of Rambouillet in this process was to put the onus, unfairly, on the Yugoslav side for the failure to achieve a peaceful resolution, in order to justify the massive bombing of the entire country.
The Rambouillet Accord was, in truth, a declaration of war disguised as a peace agreement.
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