G8 "Peace Plan"
A Quick Reaction from Michael Albert


Here is the text of the G8 "principles" as published by BBC on May 6:

"The following general principles must be adopted and implemented to resolve the Kosovo crisis:

  • Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.
  • Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police, and paramilitary forces.
  • Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives.
  • The establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo, to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants for Kosovo.
  • The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organisations.
  • A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework. An agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles and sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and other countries of the region and the demilitarisation of the UCK.
  • Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilisation of the crisis region."


Some things to notice:


The bottom line...

To offer terms during bombardment is commonplace. During the Vietnam War the U.S. regularly offered terms, changing every now and then, that were always unacceptable until the end. At the end, the terms the Vietnamese had offered, virtually unchanging from the beginning, were the terms of agreement. The war then was really a kind of gigantic grotesque apostrophe to a settlement that was possible from the outset. The war, in other words, indicated the price of "success" against the U.S. lest others be tempted to follow a similar path: near annihiliation.

It is difficult to know immediately on their face the purpose of any given list of "peace terms": it could be to move toward settlement, or it could be to force a rejection with the purpose of holding up the rejection as justification for increased violence. It could be a merely a holding pattern, keeping options flexible. In this case, certainly the U.S. wanted the Russians to make clear that our actions aren't going to lead to expanded conflict with them and the Russians wanted to reveal that even if they stick to different terms (and verbally they are, at the moment) if doesn't imply general decay of relations. Only those at the scene can know fully the tone and content of any proposals and thus the additional specific meaning of these. Even now only very small sectors of "the public" are first becoming aware of the content and meaning of the Rambouillet Terms, themselves. Therefore, in reacting to such offerings the best approach is clam caution, continued resistance to in justice, and, by and large, extreme skepticism about mere rhetoric.