Squeezing the Serbs

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LONDON: Moscow and Paris are always slow to dance when Madeleine Albright beats the war drums, but the U.S. managed to secure their agreement Monday for new sanctions to stop Serb aggression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

Although there was some disagreement over the scale of sanctions, the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Russia agreed to discuss additional action if the Serbs fail to withdraw their paramilitary police units from the region within ten days. That's an unlikely prospect, given mounting Albanian demands for independence from Yugoslavia.

Back in 1991 Europe's hesitant reaction to the first signs of the Serbs's war with Croatia and Bosnia allowed the conflict to drag on for four years at a cost of more than 200,000 lives. To avoid a repeat showing, Albright will likely maintain a steady tattoo on those drums over the next ten days.