NATO's Phase Three:
Limitless "Collateral Damage"
While in many aspects the
following article represents the usual example of anti-Serb propaganda
- shockingly it reveals the inner works of the Western "alliance."
It also reveals that Albanian lives - as well as Serbian ones did not matter
for those who planned this "humanitarian" war.
At the beginning stage the Western leaders expected that Albanian population
of Kosovo would be slaughtered by the Yugoslav forces and were surprised
that Albanians were simply let go. The Westerners consider such approach
- "Milosevic's greatest mistake."
The article also reveals that "Phase Three"
was about to be unleashed over the population of Yugoslavia. In that phase
the "humanitarian" bombers gave themselves right of "LIMITLESS
The article persistently calls Milosevic - a despot - but actually
clearly shows the Western leaders as (and in particular - the American
leadership) as sloppy, stupid, blind, bloodthirsty war criminals they are.
Translated from French
[The comments in square parentheses are ours.]
Le Nouvel Observateur(Paris)
1 July 1999
Nothing Went According to Plan
Report by Vincent Jauvert
Now that the war is over, a dozen
men who were at the heart of the Atlantic alliance's military and diplomatic
machinery agreed to reveal many concealed facts about this conflict, whose
intensity and duration nobody could have predicted. And they said enough
to show that the war against Milosevic [read: against
the Serbian people] did not go as NATO's spokesmen claimed during its 79
We Thought Two Nights Would Be Enough
It emerges clearly from various
sources that the alliance's diplomats and several of its political leaders
believed that they could make Milosevic submit very quickly, after just
a few strikes. "We thought that two nights of bombardments would be
enough," one senior NATO diplomat said. For that matter, Bill
Clinton has just admitted this for the first time: "I
thought," he confided last Friday [June 25, 1999], "that
Milosevic would give in after two or three days..."
Another diplomat in Brussels also made the following disclosure:
"The initial strike plan -- the real
one, the one that nobody talks about officially -- entailed first and foremost
a warning blow: two nights of bombardments in all
directions. Its aim was to persuade Milosevic within a matter of
a few hours. The targets for those nights were more political than military
(the outskirts of Belgrade, for instance.) They were negotiated
directly with Clinton, Blair, Chirac, and their chiefs of staff,
without anyone in NATO, apart from General Clark, knowing anything about
One NATO official commented: "They had Bosnia in mind, where Milosevic
had collapsed very soon. Keep in mind that the resources deployed at the
beginning were exactly the same -- 400 aircraft for some 50 targets."
Another diplomat said: "The operation began on the evening of Wednesday
24 March. We thought that by Friday morning at the latest Milosevic would
make it known somehow or other that he accepted the Rambouillet accord.
We awaited a signal: a telephone call from the Yugoslav chief of staff,
a meeting of the Belgrade parliament -- as happened two months later --
or who knows what else. But nothing materialized."
Diplomats Fooled Themselves
Why such bad forecasts? One
senior NATO military official explained: "The politicians fooled themselves.
They were trapped in a diplomatic funnel. They misinterpreted
what happened at Rambouillet."
According to several diplomats, the French, the Americans, and especially
the British present at Rambouillet thought that the Yugoslav delegation
was inciting them to move on to military action [wow!!!], that Milosevic
was merely awaiting such an opportunity [sic!] in order to yield with honor.
"They told us indirectly: the package (the agreement -- is good, but
Milosevic must be able to show his public that he did his utmost to salvage
[Just consider this astonishing claim: The article wants us to believe
that Yugoslav delegations have asked their enemy - "to move on to
military action" -- i.e. to bomb their country!!!?? To commit mass
suicide! How stupid should the Western readership be to believe this level
Furthermore some intelligence services -- and especially Britain's MI5
-- had sources in the Belgrade despot's very entourage who "conveyed
the same message: just a tiny push is needed to make Milosevic yield."
Fortunately Refugees Came [!!!!]
during the weekend following the initial strikes, thousands of Kosovar
refugees appeared at the Blace and Morina border posts, the
Western capitals were half surprised and half relieved [!!!!]. Surprised?
One French intelligence service official said: "Our sources caused
us to fear massacres among the civilian population, and we spoke about
this to the political leaders on several occasions. But even in our most
pessimistic scenarios we did not forecast the ethnic cleansing."
[Massacres are less pessimistic than the "cleansing"!!!?]
What about the massing of troops along the Kosovo border a few days before
the first strikes? "All the alliance's secret services had the same
hypotheses: either Milosevic was preparing to counter a NATO intervention
on the ground, or he was about to clear away the two or three main centers
of the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army) as soon as the bombardments began.
Nobody imagined the deportations. It was a major failure of intelligence."
The famous "horseshoe plan" presented by the Germans in mid-April
as proof that the cleansing was premeditated was not discovered until after
the war had begun, by Austrian agents. [And this is third time in this
century that Austro-Germans wage a war against the Serbian people. So why
believe them?] It was distributed only to some of the allied secret services
within the framework of "Totem" exchanges.
Once their surprise had passed, it took the Europeans several days to realize
what was really going on in Kosovo. "Neither the DGSE (General Directorate
of External Security) nor the other services had any agents on the ground
at that time," the same intelligence officer said. "The Helios
(France's spy satellite) photographs did not show anything either. And
the Americans were not saying what their own 17 reconnaissance satellites
above the region revealed to them. [Some allies!"] We were in the
dark. It was necessary to send in drones and reconnaissance aircraft very
Relief? One senior NATO official explained: "Following
the fiasco of the lightning strikes [or in the original, Nazi German: Blitzkrieg],
the refugees provided us with a new objective [the new excuse] for the
war. That was crucial. Without them, we would have very quickly
have cobbled together an agreement with Belgrade in exchange for an end
to the bombardments. To allow the Kosovars to leave
was Milosevic's greatest mistake." [They
had to be slaughtered!? By whom? By Yugoslav Army? By NATO bombs?]
One French military official asked: "Do you remember the little wounded
10-year-old Kosovar who was unable to save his little sister from the flames?
Well, the evidence [sic!] of his pictures broadcast throughout the world
was worth more than 50 divisions..."
was to be done about the refugees? "For half a day, a shameful
half-day," a diplomat in Brussels said, "the
NATO countries hesitated: should we help them or not? There was
a scandalous exchange of remarks about the advisability of abandoning them
to their fate. Then, fortunately, they decided to establish the camps.
[...To use the Albanian misery for propaganda purposes.] The democracies
[should we call them that way?] did brilliantly in this respect!"
However, a few days later a similar debate ended differently: it concerned
the provision of supplies to the refugees of the interior, the thousands
of men, women, and children wandering the forests of Kosovo. "It was
Chirac who broached this issue," a senior French military official
recalled. "But NATO did not want to do it. Such operations would have
upset the military campaign: transport aircraft would have to be protected,
fly very low, and above all they would have occupied precious [sic!] air
corridors. So the Americans claimed that it was impossible to know where
the displaced persons were, that the food supplies could have benefited
the Serbs... That was an ignoble episode in the humanitarian
war." [Humanitarian?!!!] At last a single such operation was
carried out: an Antonov aircraft laden with supplies and piloted by [worthless]
Moldavians -- who were paid the earth -- overflew Kosovo, but the pilots
were unable to deliver the crates to their proper destination.
Americans Hit Unplanned Targets
To contain General Wesley Clark
and the Pentagon: this was the French political authorities' obsession
throughout the campaign. "At the start we discovered from the radio
and on CNN that the Americans had hit targets not envisaged by NATO plans."
A senior French military official said. "The USAF refused to abide
by phases one, two, and three. It intended to hit military and political
targets everywhere." Another French official added: "We
were on the verge of an open clash with Washington. Moreover, we
had opted for a subtler strategy..."
[Our title: French spy on the American "ally"!]
It was decided in Paris to
keep a close eye on the USAF. "Our drones, our Mirage IV reconnaissance
aircraft, our AWACS, and our Helios enabled us to follow US operations
very closely." A French official added: "There were other techniques
for knowing where they [i.e. our "allies"] were making their
strikes. For instance, the Americans often asked us to refuel them in flight.
For this purpose they had to say where their aircraft were going."
At the same time the USAF kept aircraft specially tasked with recovering
any US pilots landing in Kosovo or Serbia. This salvage team also had to
be kept fueled. The Americans entrusted this mission to French Puma helicopters.
"In order for us to be able to do what was asked of us," sources
in Paris explained, "the Americans had to give us some indications
of their bombers' destination. This was very valuable information..."
Trials of Strength Between Clark and Elysee
some 10 days the French showed Wesley Clark that they knew a great deal
about the unauthorized strikes. They demanded the right to monitor
USAF bombardments. In exchange they agreed to allow the Atlantic Council
to approve phases "2 plus" and even
"2 plus plus" -- that is, authorization to hit several civilian-type
[!!!] targets. [Nice bargaining among the "allies".]
The trial of strength between Mons -- Clark's headquarters -- and the Elysee
(French President's Office) began. Several times a day the French Defense
Minister received a list of all the bombardments planned in the coming
hours, including those carried out by the Americans. In the event of "contentious"
targets, Jacques Chirac's personal chief of staff would be alerted, and
often even Jacques Chirac himself. According to a US NATO official, "sometimes
our aircraft would circle over their targets awaiting a go-ahead from Chirac.
They would be refueled in flight, and when the Elysee said 'no' the pilots
would return empty handed and maddened with rage."
It was Montenegro that France was particularly keen to spare. Apart from
Podgorica airport, where Serbian MiGs went to seek protection, Jacques
Chirac, in coordination with Lionel Jospin, rejected all targets on Montenegrin
territory. "Ours was a very awkward position," a French official
recounted. "From the very first days we had to persuade Clark not
to bomb the Serbian navy moored near the Montenegro coast, and particularly
two submarines that could threaten the allied forces in the Mediterranean.
As you can imagine, it was not easy." France also opposed strikes
against Montenegro's coastal defenses. It was special forces that put them
out of action.
Last, and above all, Paris rejected the bombardment of the port of Bar,
via which a large proportion of the fuel bound for the Serbian Army passed.
"The Americans and British were shocked," a senior official in
Paris said. "Not only did we refuse to touch that port, but for a
long time we opposed any oil embargo on Serbia."
At the Washington summit at the end of April the French came under pressure.
In order to dry up the flow of fuel they at last proposed strikes on the
eight bridges that link Serbia to Montenegro. "But, strangely, one
French general explained, "this 'caging' strategy was not fully implemented
Then came the "battle of Belgrade." "Clark
wanted to hit a maximum number of symbolic [???] targets in the Serbian
capital," A NATO official explained. "And Paris did it
utmost to prevent it." As we know, the Elysee would not agree to the
destruction of the city's bridges. The Americans submitted their first
request to hit the Serbian television building on 5 April. French chief
of staff general Kelche immediately conveyed his reservations to Jacques
Chirac and Lionel Jospin -- particularly on account of the presence of
an Orthodox church at the foot of the tower. Paris did not yield until
three weeks later. There were a dozen casualties.
"The French resisted
for several weeks over the Milosevic mission, too, then they said 'yes,'"
a NATO general said. "Phase
three was TOTAL war," a French military official explained. "Without,
or almost WITHOUT, ANY LIMITATION ON COLLATERAL DAMAGE..."
Generals in Brussels claim that France's reservations prolonged the Kosovars'
suffering by several weeks. Who knows? [So the author of the article says
that Albanians sitting in refugee tents, safe in Macedonia and Albania
were suffering - and it is pitty that NATO did not went to "Phase
three" - THE UNLIMITED SLAUGHTER OF THE SERBS!!!? And it was a humanitarian
war!? The Serbs are not human? Not part of Homo Sapiens species!? Nazism
Public Opinion Needs To Be Worked on Too
Throughout the conflict political
leaders feared losing the support of their public. Over the weeks NATO
refined its communication strategy, which was very fragile to start with.
"During the first few days we were unable to secure precise information
from the military. WE HAD TO FABRICATE. It
was terrible," a NATO official said. Then the machinery went into
action. Each of the alliance countries received a confidential bulletin
from Brussels with a view to coordinating national
propaganda topics. "We had a fairly effective
tactic for dealing with [so called] errors," a NATO general
explained. "Most frequently we knew the precise causes and consequences
of such actions. But in order to calm the public we would say that we were
conducting an inquiry, that there were many hypotheses. We would only reveal
the truth a fortnight later, once it no longer interested anyone. Public
opinion needs to be worked on, too."
Four rumors (at least) worried
Western leaders to varying degrees. "First there was the announcement
of the death of certain Kosovar leaders. This was simply a mistake on the
part of Britain's MI6 and Germany's BND," a French secret service
official explained. Next several intelligence agencies made it known to
political decisionmakers that according to some of their sources Milosevic
was seriously ill. He had supposedly suffered a stroke and would soon be
going to China for treatment. Intelligence specialists examined the few
video recordings showing the Serbian despot [sic]. They thought they could
see a certain degree of stiffness in his right arm, which might have lent
credit to the rumor. The rumor -- perhaps true -- is still circulating.
bombing of the Chinese embassy obviously sparked all sorts of rumors.
At the beginning the most persistent one was that there had been a conspiracy
on the part of the Serbs, who supposedly "highlighted" the building
at the moment a US B2 overflew it. After three days, on 11 May, to be precise,
the French intelligence services made it known to the political authorities
that they did not believe this. In the meantime the French military staff
closely examined the list of targets "proposed" each day during
the week preceding the error: "The coordinates of the embassy featured
there several times. But always with the wrong identification. As far as
we are concerned, that huge mistake really was a case of mistaken identity."
One NATO general said: "As far as I know, the
US maps were well up to date. In fact that evening Clark wanted
to hit a 'mobile target,' that unfortunately passed in front of the embassy."
Is this the truth? It remains a mystery... [Wow! A B-2 plane, constructed
for NUCLEAR war, was sent all the way from a base in Missouri, USA to bomb
a random mobile target!? These guys truly lie at random.]
Last -- and this is the unconfirmed report that most worried Western military
leaders -- the Russians or Belarusians apparently supplied Serbia with
a large quantity of antimissile batteries during the conflict. "This
was the result of a top-secret barter," a French official said. "According
to several diplomatic dispatches, the debris of an F117 brought down by
the Serbian DCA was given to the Russians, who in exchange provided Belgrade
with antiaircraft equipment."
Ground Invasion -- From North or South
intervention, in the event of a clear failure of the aerial campaign,
was discussed by political leaders on several occasions. But it
was never on the agenda of the NATO Military Committee. In other words,
it was never planned. Its use as a propaganda tool was discussed.
From the beginning of April alliance leaders realized that doubts had to
be kept alive in Milosevic's mind. Little by little, they decided to coordinate
their statements to this end. "It was an entirely deliberate communication
strategy," a NATO official explained. "At the Washington summit
we decided not to intervene militarily [sic] but to suggest the contrary.
This was a difficult exercise because we had to avoid frightening the most
reluctant publics -- the Germans and Italians." A French diplomat
added: "On several occasions Hubert Vedrine asked his British opposite
number not to go too far." Of course several plans were drawn up.
Before the Rambouillet negotiations the French military staff examined
the issue, which was submitted to the Defense Council. The idea was for
an intervention by 100,000 men. "But according to our forecasts there
would have been considerable civilian losses," according to one of
the people closely involved in the matter.
NATO bureaucrats envisaged two major scenarios for a ground intervention
-- one from the South, via Albanian and Macedonia, and the other from the
North, via Bosnia and Hungary. "According to our calculations,"
a NATO general said, "the former was much deadlier than the latter.
But to have crossed the plains of the North would have meant taking Belgrade,
which was not at all the stated purpose of the war." So Brussels worked
chiefly on the former scenario, the southern one. "There were two
versions," a military official explained. "There was 'Plan
A,' involving 100,000 men and 'Plan a minus,' involving 70,000 men.
It was the latter that we would probably have implemented if the conflict
had gone on for too long." Too long? On 28 May in Bonn the British,
French, German, and US defense ministers decided seriously to envisage
such an operation "at the beginning of the summer." When exactly?
"At the end of June or the beginning of July," a French official
replied -- "that is, now."