For all the talk of strategic counterinsurgency that oozes out of Washington, and all the manuals explaining that 80% of our investment in a nation-building operation should be civilian, we’ve been investing about 3% of our efforts in Afghanistan into a civilian project the leader of which has described it as a way to support the military. That leader was, until he died yesterday, Richard Holbrooke … //
… In the June 14, 1999, issue of The Nation, George Kenney, a former State Department Yugoslavia desk officer, reported:
“An unimpeachable press source who regularly travels with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told this [writer] that, swearing reporters to deep-background confi dentiality at the Rambouillet talks, a senior State Department official had bragged that the United States ‘deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept.’ The Serbs needed, according to the official, a little bombing to see reason.”
Jim Jatras, a foreign policy aide to Senate Republicans, reported in a May 18, 1999, speech at the Cato Institute in Washington that he had it “on good authority” that a “senior Administration official told media at Rambouillet, under embargo” the following: “We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that’s what they are going to get.”
In interviews with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), both Kenney and Jatras asserted that these were actual quotes transcribed by reporters who spoke with a U.S. official.
Negotiating for the impossible, and falsely accusing the other side of noncooperation, is a handy way to launch a “defensive” war. Behind that scheme in 1999 was special U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke. (full text).
Yugoslavia: How Holbrooke Lied His Way into a War, by Sam Husseini, December 15, 2010;
America’s Special Envoy: What the Establishment Media Won’t Tell You About Richard Holbrooke, by Max Kantar, December 15, 2010.