Who's Afraid of Dick Holbrooke?

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BELGRADE: Not even the sight of Richard Holbrooke seems to have convinced the Serbs that NATO really does intend to bomb them. President Slobodan Milosevic showed no sign of backing down on Kosovo Wednesday, despite a last-ditch meeting with the man who authored NATO's 1995 bombing campaign, which forced peace in Bosnia. "Holbrooke is the ideal diplomat to deliver the final warning," says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. "But NATO's failure to act on its previous threats over Kosovo may have so seriously strained its credibility that not even Holbrooke will be able to convince Milosevic the West is serious this time."

Holbrooke's mission would be helped, of course, if Milosevic would only tune in to the BBC World Service. The radio station is carrying a British Foreign Office message warning British nationals to evacuate Yugoslavia. "That's a strong indication that Europe is ready to go," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "The BBC doesn't do this sort of thing lightly -- it usually precedes military action."