Genial G8 Doesn't Resemble Kosovo's Reality

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Now it’s officially time to wage some peace in Kosovo. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana announced Sunday that with the Serb troops out of Kosovo – ahead of schedule, no less – "I have accordingly decided to terminate with immediate effect the air campaign." President Clinton assured CNN it was "a very happy day." But on the ground in Kosovo, the early signs are already making the push-button war look like the easy part. Across the province, KLA troops – in full camouflage and still fully armed despite agreements to the contrary – are parading in full view of NATO troops and making everybody nervous. In the German-held sector, returning Kosovar Albanians are torching Serb homes. And Serb civilians, for obvious reasons, are ignoring the alliance’s promises to protect them and running for Slobo’s Serbia – only to be turned back by Serb troops. Big-hearted guy, that Milosevic.

The architects of all this, meanwhile, were at a safe distance in Cologne, Germany, trying to bring Russia into the peacekeeping fold. Yeltsin came bearing gifts for Clinton meant to "mend ties after a fight": a promise of some flexibility on the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty that bans "Star Wars"-style missile-defense systems, and a fat folder of recently declassified Russian information on the JFK assassination. "I am among my friends now," Yeltsin announced, and in return, everybody said he looked great. "He walked a bit stiffly, but he was very forceful," offered national security adviser Sandy Berger. "His behavior was neither erratic or shaky," added Clinton later. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien declared the ailing bear "strong. But he can’t run a marathon." Too bad. Because for everyone in that room, that’s exactly what Kosovo is shaping up to be.

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