Report of a Kosovo Massacre Bolsters Case for NATO Action

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If Slobodan Milosevic reads the Washington Post, he should be a worried man. With the Kosovo peace talks going nowhere, Wednesday's report of a massacre of ethnic Albanian civilians in January will stiffen Western resolve for military action against the Serbs. The Post reports that a Finnish forensic team has concluded that 40 ethnic Albanian civilians were killed execution-style in the village of Racak in January, although the leader of the forensic team on Wednesday denied that her report explicitly concluded that the civilians were killed in an organized massacre. The Post claims that Germany pressured the Finnish team to withhold some of its more inflammatory findings, in order to avoid jeopardizing the prospects for a Kosovo peace deal at talks in Paris.

With the Serbs showing no signs of yielding at the peace talks and escalating their offensive against ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo, NATO now faces the challenge of imposing a solution. "Milosevic's defiance has put NATO on the line," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "NATO may be forced to act if its future warnings are to carry any credibility." And images of kneeling civilians being shot through the head should certainly help NATO find the will to act.