As NATO focused on forcing Milosevic to accept peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, hard-line rebels took over the ethnic Albanian delegation. "That made life a lot easier for Milosevic," says Anastasijevic. So no bombs, no agreement and -- as both sides let their weapons do the talking in new clashes in Kosovo Tuesday -- no sign of peace.
Slobodan Milosevic's characteristic smug smile is more than normally appropriate right now -- after all, he's the only winner in the meltdown of the Western-authored Kosovo peace deal. NATO's second deadline for agreement passed on Tuesday with neither side on board, but instead of bombs, the Serb president got another three-week extension -- bombing Milosevic into acquiescence wasn't an option as long as his enemies played hard to get. Says TIME reporter Dejan Anastasijevic, "While the U.S. and the international community are playing down the extent of the failure at Rambouillet, Milosevic is the only winner here because the refusal of the ethnic Albanians to sign has allowed him to wriggle out undamaged."