What were the dominant themes within media narratives during the UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Libya and the non-UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Kosovo?
An analysis of print media discourses.
The recent NATO intervention into Libya had many similarities and some key differences to the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Both interventions were justified by NATO and its allies and also in the Western media as ‘humanitarian’, as necessary to prevent a ‘genocide’ or ‘massacre’ from occurring and to remove an undemocratic dictator from power. Both interventions involved an aerial bombardment on the enemy, and the support of a non-state actor in an internal conflict. The differences lay in the fact that the NATO intervention into Libya had UN Security Council sanction, whilst the intervention into Kosovo had not received the same sanction. Since the Kosovo intervention, the concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) had come into being, in many ways as the direct result of the controversy of NATO’s illegal intervention into Kosovo. R2P as a growing international norm had now legitimised an intervention into Libya.
During the intervention into Libya, I began to view and read different sources of media and I was interested to see the different interplay of narratives about the intervention from the different sources. While the Western media that I viewed such as Sky News, BBC News and CNN all took a very pro-NATO and anti-Gaddafi stance, the non-Western media I viewed such as Russia Today (RT) and Al-Jazeera took a more critical stand in its reporting. This prompted me to think about the role that media plays in generating public support for various wars. Recently I began to look into the literature on the role of the media during the NATO intervention into Libya, however with the conflict being so recent, the literature is very limited. Through my investigation of sources on media representations of NATO in Libya, the topic of their intervention in Kosovo kept appearing. It was then that the idea of a comparative thematic discourse analysis of the media narratives of NATO’s interventions in Kosovo and Libya came to mind. I felt that the two cases had interesting similarities, but also very remarkable differences insofar as the intervention into Libya had UN Security Council sanction and the changing political context had now ushered in the new norm of humanitarian intervention based on the principle of R2P. With this new international norm in play, this research could analyse if it had changed the media narratives from the Kosovo conflict. I also felt that this piece of research that combined the two case studies will add to the debate.
In order to assess the relevance and possible uniqueness of this piece of research, I started by investigating the literature on the topic of discourse analysis. In particular I focussed on three prominent practitioners of the critical discourse analysis method. After this I began looking into the previous literature on the media and discourses of the NATO intervention in Kosovo in March 1999. Many interesting studies into the role of the media in the NATO intervention in Kosovo had been conducted. However, there is a very limited amount of literature on the media and the Libya intervention and as of yet there has been no comparative discourse analysis of media narratives between the two NATO interventions in Kosovo and Libya. Each of the texts that were consulted is of a critical nature.
This research will use the tools of discourse analysis to discover the dominant themes within media narratives during the UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Libya and the non-UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Kosovo. To do this, a number of texts on discourse analysis were consulted. The first text was ‘Discourse as Data: A Guide for Analysis’, which is a step by step guide on conducting Discourse Analysis. In the first chapter by Stephanie Taylor, she explains that “discourse analysis is the close study of language in use” and furthermore analysts are looking for patterns (Taylor 2001, p.6). Further on in chapter six, Norman Fairclough explains the basis for Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). He suggests that the objective of CDA is to expose how language figures in social relations. He points out that it is critical insofar as it aims to show how language is involved in the “social relations of power and domination, and in ideology” (Fairclough 2001, p.229). It is a form of analysis that questions how language figures in the social processes that produce social inequalities. Fairclough goes on to use Gramsci’s concept of ‘hegemony’ to describe how the dominance of the ruling class depends on winning the consent of the majority to the existing social arrangements (Ibid, p.232). This, he argues is achieved through control of discourses. Fairclough also explains that linguistic analysis involves working on a text at different levels including; Narrative, linking sentences, grammar and semantics and finally the choice of words to create semantic relations (Ibid, pp. 241 – 242).
Building upon this work on CDA is Teun Van Dijk’s ‘Discourse and Power’. The author focuses heavily on the relations between power and discourses. He defines social power in terms of control, that is, the control of one group over another through control of discourses (Van Dijk 2008, p.9). This, he suggests is pervasive in society where this control is in the interests of those who hold power. The most pervasive form of contemporary power can be best described as symbolic power, that is, power that grants preferential access to or control over discourses. The control of public discourse is, according to Van Dijk the “control of the mind of the public, and hence, indirectly, control of what the public wants and does (Ibid, p.14). This idea of control of discourse to shape public views can be seen to be closely related to Gramsci’s hegemony that Fairclough also draws upon in his analysis. In its essence, CDA is interested in the critical analysis of power abuses by politicians, and in how media misinforms rather than informs, or what Van Dijk calls ‘power abuse domination’ (Ibid, p.15). Also, the author suggests that CDA is unlike other forms of discourse analysis insofar as it rejects the possibility of a “value-free” science. Instead, CDA comes from a perspective that acknowledges the researcher’s bias before beginning the research and expects that bias to be part and parcel of the research.
Focussing specifically on the issue of the analysis of newspapers from the perspective of CDA is John Richardson’s ‘Analysing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. In his analysis, Richardson picks up on the theme of power and social relations in discourse whilst drawing on Steven Lukes’ concept of three faces of power to illustrate this. In particular Richardson emphasises how Lukes’ third face best describes the way power works in and through discourses. For example, “A may exercise power over B by getting him to do what he does not want to do, but he also exercises power over by influencing, shaping or determining his attitudes, beliefs and very wants” (Bachrach and Baratz, 1970, cited in Richardson 2007, p.31). In a similar sense to the two previous authors, this concept of power is very close to Gramsci’s concept of hegemony. Keeping this line of thought, Richardson suggests that journalists, having internalised ‘common sense notions of who ought to be authoritative’, accept the frames imposed on events by official sources. This has the effect of marginalising and delegitimising voices outside of elite circles (Ibid, p.36).
In focusing on the analysis of war reporting like the topic of this research, Richardson makes the point that war reporting is generally constructed in a radically polarised way, between the good guys and the bad guys, and so, discourse dominated by official propaganda will only allow two positions to take up, for war or against war (Ibid, p.179). This is a deliberate measure designed to close down a possible critical debate. Richardson also suggests that there are four key professional and occupational procedures that shape journalism as a discourse process, and therefore account for products of newspaper discourse. These are; a declared war against ‘your country’ is highly newsworthy. Journalism requires ‘authoritative sources’, which usually means military or government sources. Journalists live to be first, hence ‘official’ stories that are unconfirmed and unverified. And finally, pressure to avoid stories that are critical of ‘our side’. (Ibid, pp.182-186). All of these, Richardson suggests, “reduce war journalism to being a conduit for the views of the powerful (Ibid, p.186).
The Media and Kosovo:
In ‘Reporting “Humanitarian” Warfare: propaganda, moralism and NATO’s Kosovo war’ Phillip Hammond found a number of trends in British media reporting such as a closer relationship between the military and the media, a “journalism of attachment” and the demonization of enemies (Hammond 2000). The phrase ‘journalism of attachment’ was coined by BBC correspondent Martin Bell to describe a style of reporting that would be openly partisan and engaged as opposed to “the dispassionate practices of the past”. Bell advocated journalism that did not “stand neutrally between good and evil, right and wrong, the victim and the oppressor.” This is very similar to Tony Blair’s explanation of the NATO bombings as “a battle between good and evil, between civilisation and barbarity, between democracy and dictatorship” (Ibid, p.375). This form of journalism functions not as a source of independent reporting for society, but as a propaganda tool for any government that wishes to use it. Hammond also notes a ‘propaganda of moralism,’ i.e. intervention in the name of humanitarianism, was used to further the NATO agenda before and during the conflict (Ibid, p.382).
A similar form of propaganda of moralism and a journalism of attachment was to be found in other pieces of research. In ‘From the Persian Gulf to Kosovo – War Journalism and Propaganda’, Nohrstedt et al conducted a discourse and propaganda analysis involving four leading daily newspapers from Greece, Norway, Sweden and the UK. They found that media reporting was very much in line with US President Bill Clinton’s speeches on the conflict which emphasised the necessity of the bombings to stop ethnic cleansing and that responsibility lay solely with Milosevic. This view was reinforced in the Norwegian, Swedish and UK dailies (Nohrstedt et al. 2000). In a similar way to Hammond’s idea of the ‘demonization of enemies,’ this study also noted an association between Milosevic and Hitler that was inferred by US President Clinton, that was further elaborated on by the media.
The work of Herman and Chomsky in their seminal ‘Manufacturing Consent’ also adds much to the two previous studies. In line with the idea of a demonization of enemies, their work has suggested that US print media have been complicit in using emotive terms such as ‘genocide’ in selective cases that enemy states are involved in, but using the term much less frequently when the US or its allies are involved. For example, an analysis of five major US titles between 1998 and 1999 showed that the term ‘genocide’ was used two hundred and twenty times against the Serbs in Kosovo. Forty one of these instances were on the front page of the title. Contrast this with the case of US ally Indonesia and their occupation in East Timor. Over a ten year period between 1990 and 1999, the term was used just thirty three times, four of those times on the front page (Herman, E. and Chomsky, N. 2002).
Adding to this debate is the book ‘Degraded Capability: The Media and the Kosovo Crisis’ (Hammond, Herman 2000) which within its chapters suggests that the media in many ways were used as a propagandistic tool of NATO, producing uncritical reporting in a way that incompatible with the supposed idea of a free and unbiased press. In particular, Chapter nine, ‘Following Washington’s Script: The United States Media and Kosovo’ highlights the way in which the US media overwhelmingly focused on Serbian state violence whilst failing to report on opposition stories nor on many instances of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) violence during the conflict (Ackerman, Naureckas 2000). The authors also note a form of journalism that is reminiscent to the idea of a journalism of attachment between the media and NATO. For example, on February 24th 1999, New York Times journalist Steven Erlanger reported that Slobodan Milosevic had shown himself to be quite reasonable when trying to find a solution at the Rambouillet peace talks. However, exactly one month later the same journalist was sticking to the NATO line of argument and claimed US negotiators had departed because they were frustrated by Milosevic’s ‘hard line’ stance. This was despite the fact that Milosevic’s position had not changed at all (Ackerman, Naureckas 2000).
In another chapter from the same book, ‘Nazifying the Serbs, from Bosnia to Kosovo,’ evidence of a demonization of the enemy is further illustrated. The way that the Serbs were linked to the Nazi’s was through the accusations that they had committed genocide. British foreign secretary Robin Cook further added to this by stating that “NATO was born in the aftermath of the defeat of fascism and genocide in Europe. NATO will not allow this century to end with a triumph for fascism and genocide (Hume, 2000, p.72). It was also noted by the author how implication of Nazi parallels by politicians or NATO spokesmen were snapped up by journalists. For example, the Daily Mail’s March 29th front page spoke of Albanian children’s faces evoking memories of the holocaust. There was also references in the Daily Mirror on April 1st to ‘Nazi style terror in Kosovo’ and in the Sun the same day of ‘Serb cruelty having chilling echoes of the holocaust’ (Ibid, p.72).
Further research has shown how media in different countries reported on the conflict in different ways. For example, in ‘Framing the NATO Air Strikes on Kosovo Across Countries,’ Jin Yang showed that US newspapers presented a picture of a just war providing humanistic aid to Albanians and the legitimacy of the action was taken for granted, as opposed to the Chinese media which challenged the legitimacy of using force and made the claim that air strikes on the basis of humanistic aid sound very suspicious (Yang 2003, p.244). The research further suggested that US newspapers had more stories from the Albanian point of view as opposed to the Chinese having more from the Serb point of view. The research concluded by suggesting that by highlighting certain aspects of the events and ignoring others, the media screened the reality for the audience (Ibid, p.245).
In a similar line of thought was to be found in the research, ‘A Narrative Analysis of US Press Coverage of Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbs in Kosovo,’ which was carried out by Richard Vincent. In his research, Vincent found that the coverage of the Kosovo conflict was often “peppered with potential bias.” He also concluded that many US media used ‘official’ sources over alternative sources, which typically spun a pro-US and pro-Western point of view, with heavy reliance on government and military officials from Western countries. Further to this he stated that instead of being objective and unbiased, “the US media demonstrated that it was quite vulnerable to serving as an organ of political propaganda and putting national interests over the higher quest for truth and objectivity” (Vincent, 2000, p.20).
Each of the research pieces have taken a critical analysis of the media and the role they played in the Kosovo conflict. They each imply that the dominant narratives running though media reporting of the conflict was overwhelmingly supportive of the official NATO line, and failed to meaningfully critique and analyse the information that they were provided by ‘official sources.’
The Media and Libya:
Although the level of research on the role of the media during the recent Libya conflict is not near the level on the Kosovo conflict, there are some articles emerging slowly. For example, writing in Kenya’s ‘The Nation,’ in his article ‘BBC’s Wartime Propaganda in Libya Illustrates Need for Pan-African Media,’ Murithi Mutiga speaks about how Western media painted a very different media picture of the ‘civil war’ in Libya. In his article he suggests that most Africans would not know that the South African government had petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate the American, British and French governments for war crimes in Libya. He suggests that this is because most people get their news from the BBC, CNN or Sky News, who have engaged in a “frenzied propaganda war” (Mutiga 2011). He goes on to cite a number of outlandish claims from Western media including the UK’s Daily Mail reporting “Troops fuelled by Viagra”, a story that Gaddafi had distributed thousands of Viagra pills to fighters so that they could rape women. There was also the story that Gaddafi had recruited thousands of black African mercenaries to fight his side, a story which led to the rounding up and execution of many innocent black migrant workers (Ibid).
In another article from ‘The Nation’ (USA), titled ‘Libya: An Old Fashioned Colonial Smash-and-Grab,’ Alexander Cockburn suggests that despite the endless disclosures of NATO’s lies regarding its onslaughts on the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, “the press was more gullible regarding Libya, less inclined to question official claims” (Cockburn 2011). In a similar vein to what Herman and Chomsky described in ‘Manufacturing Consent,’ Cockburn suggests that US media is happy to suppress reports of ‘democracy protesters’ in US allay Bahrain, while at the same time reporting the official line on Libya. He illustrates this by pointing out that “Libya” appears fourteen times in the three major declarations at the G8 summit in France, “Bahrain appears not once (Ibid).
John Pilger, a long standing critic of Western imperialism and media bias has added to the debate with his article ‘Hail to the true victors of Rupert’s Revolution.’ He points out that far from having ‘humanitarian’ ideals, in September 2011 the British government controlled ‘Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)’ hosted an preview to an arms fair entitled ‘The Middle East: A Vast Market for UK Defence and Security Companies,’ in which they lauded the potential profits in selling arms to states in the Middle East. He points out the irony of selling arms to the region yet intervening when states use those arms. Pilger goes on to suggest that journalists happily accepted the story that Gaddafi was about to commit genocide while not investigating claims of massacres by the rebels of black Africans accused of being mercenaries (Pilger 2011).
More in-depth research has been carried out by Raeesah Cassim Cachalia in the paper ‘The Role of the mass media in armed conflict: A Libyan case study.’ In the study the author refers to the lack of in-depth reporting or analysis of the broader issues of the conflict such as the formation of the rebel force, the economic costs of the war and the profits that Western states will make. The author further highlights what he calls “utterly ridiculous” reporting such as reports on the bombing of Mizda harbour by Libyan warships, when Mizda is three thousand kilometres from the Libyan coastline, and hence has no harbour. He also highlighted what mainstream media failed to report, such as, in contrast to the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings; the Libyan uprising was violent from the start with government buildings being attacked. He asks how any state would respond in such a situation? The author also raises serious questions about the lack of media investigation and analysis of the rebel ‘National Transitional Council’ (NTC), and how they came together so fast, and came to be so “well-armed, well-organised and well-funded” (Cachalia , 2011, p.1).
This final piece of research that adds to the overall criticism of the Western media during the Libyan conflict was ‘The Media War on Libya: Justifying War through Lies and Fabrications,’ by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya. In his research he points out that the events that sparked off the uprising in Benghazi were not critically examined. He points out that in any country, including the United States or Britain, soldiers will fire on people who attack a military compound with the aim of acquiring weapons. This is precisely what occurred there yet was reported as the Libyan government shooting peaceful democracy protesters. He also highlighted the demonization of black Africans in Libya by the media through the stories of huge numbers of mercenaries fighting for Gaddafi, stories which led to widespread murder of these people by rebel forces (Nazemroaya , 2011).
In a similar way to the research articles on the Kosovo conflict, these articles take a critical stance on the NATO intervention in Libya and the media’s role in reporting that conflict. Each suggests that far from learning from past mistakes of the Kosovo conflict, the Western media has stuck to the same narrative of uncritically reporting the official NATO line, and failed to fully investigate and analyse the stories that they were reporting. So, according to these researchers, the dominant media narratives had not changed between the two conflicts. It is the task of this research to analyse if this is in fact the case, and to discover if there is a difference in the media narratives of the two conflicts.
In order to undertake this research it was decided to use both a qualitative and quantitative approach using primary research. The research used a method of thematic critical discourse analysis to discover the dominant media narratives during the NATO interventions in Kosovo and Libya. The research focused on newspapers from two English speaking member countries of NATO, the United States and the United Kingdom. To access these publications I have used the Lexis Nexus database. To start, I used the search for ‘Major World Newspapers’ (English). As the number of publications from the United Kingdom is vast, I had to be selective in my choice of newspapers. To do this I focused on newspapers published in England. As the selection was still quite vast I then decided to choose the remainder based on circulation figures. From the publications that were available, I chose four from the top ten selling newspapers in the UK. Applying the same logic to US publications I choses four papers from the top ten selling papers in the US. The final list, with national circulation rating in brackets is as follows;
1. Daily News (7)
2. The New York Times (3)
3. USA Today (2)
4. The Washington Post (6)
5. The Daily Telegraph (5)
6. The Guardian (8)
7. The Daily Mail (2)
8. The Sun (1)
In order to further narrow down the search I then used the search terms "NATO" and "Kosovo" in the Headline for articles relating to that intervention. I then used the search terms "NATO" and "Libya" in the headline for that intervention. As this search was still producing a very large number of articles, I then narrowed down the search further by using dates between 17/03/1999 to 31/03/1999 for Kosovo, and 12/03/2011 to 26/03/2011 for Libya, a week before and a week into the conflict in each case. These search terms and dates produced twelve articles for the Kosovo conflict and fourteen articles for the Libya conflict. Out of each of these groups, a random sample of seven articles for each conflict was used, with some articles from both before and after the start of each NATO campaign.
Discussion of discourse analysis method
With the articles that this search produced a critical thematic discourse analysis was conducted that searched for words, phrases, sentences and terms that fitted into four different frames or themes of analysis. These themes of analysis were largely influenced by the previous research that has been conducted on both conflicts individually.
- 1. The first theme was to look for evidence of a ‘journalism of attachment’ in the articles. This includes reporting the ‘official’ line in an uncritical manner and minimal voices from opposing sides. It also includes explicitly taking sides in the conflict.
- 2. The second theme was the ‘demonization of the enemy’. This included the use of emotive terms such as ‘genocide’, Nazi, massacre, slaughter and the use of war propaganda that paints the conflict as a war between ‘good and evil’.
- 3. The third theme was a ‘propaganda of moralism’. This included the evoking of a responsibility to protect (R2P), the idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’ and democracy versus dictatorships.
- 4. The fourth theme was ‘opposition stories’. This refers to any form of story that gives voice to the opposition side, and some critical analysis or support of opposing sides.
In order to conduct this thematic critical discourse analysis, each of the newspaper articles was scanned line by line and grouped into one of the four themes.
With each article I decided to allocate a point to each theme if it was present in the article. So for example, if an article contained elements of a journalism of attachment and demonising of the enemy, I would award each a score of one point, with both other themes receiving zero points. The results would allow a percentage guide for how often each theme appeared in the overall analysis.
Discourse analysis on the each of the articles on the Kosovo conflict.
The first article analysed on the Kosovo conflict was taken from the Daily News, March 29th 1999 titled ‘NATO steps up its air attack: Called bid to stop ‘Genocide’ against Kosovo Albanians’. This article displayed overwhelming evidence of a journalism of attachment with over seventy percent of the article devoted to reporting the official line uncritically and minimal voices from the opposing side. In particular, large portions of the article were devoted to official sources from NATO, as well as quoted from President Bill Clinton, Sectary of State Madeline Albright, the US National Security Advisor and two US Congressmen. The final section of the article also discussed in depth the weapons that NATO would need to “go after Serb tanks and troops”, listing a collection of “laser-guided bombs, rockeye cluster bombs, hellfire missiles and stinger missiles” amongst others. There was also evidence of a demonization of the enemy in the article with the word ‘genocide’ in the headline as well as twice in the text. The article suggests that NATO was in a “race against time” to stop genocide against ethnic Albanians. Quotes from President Clinton also speak of “the continued brutality and repression” by the Serb forces. The article also showed evidence of the theme of a propaganda of moralism with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana stating that NATO was trying to stop a “humanitarian catastrophe” taking place. The fourth theme of opposing stories was present however; the four sentences of opposing voices did not challenge or question the authority of the official stories from NATO or government sources (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
The next article came from the New Your Times on March 29th 1999 and was titled ‘Conflict in the Balkans: The Overview – NATO planes step up Attacks on Serb Troops: Allies Shifting the Focus to Halting Atrocities Reported in Kosovo’. This article also displayed an overwhelming sense of the journalism of attachment. The article included quotes from NATO’s Javier Solana, US President Bill Clinton and his National Security advisor, a Pentagon spokesman, a British Air Commodore, the UK’s Defence Secretary, US Senators John McCain, Kay Baily, Joe Lieberman and Mitch McConnell as well as NATO Press Secretary Jamie Shea. This was contrasted with a statement from the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic praising his people and armed forces and another from his Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic denying accusations of genocide or ethnic cleansing. The theme of a demonization of the enemy was present with words such as “large scale atrocities in Kosovo” and “Serbian repression underscores the need for NATO to persevere”. The word genocide was also mentioned three times in the article. A propaganda of moralism was also in evidence with NATO spokesmen and the UK Defence Secretary speaking of a “humanitarian catastrophe”, “the deteriorating humanitarian situation”, villages being systematically emptied, looted and permanently destroyed” as well as “reports that civilians may be used as human shields” (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
In the next article taken from USA Today on March 26th 1999 and titled ‘Milosevic presses on in Kosovo - Next target for NATO: Serb troops’ there is less evidence of the journalism of attachment although it is evident which side the journalist is taking with much more space devoted to the official NATO line than opposing views. The author also seems to have a fetish for military hardware and went into great detail of the weapons in the US and NATO’s armoury which would be used to target Serb troops as the headline suggests. The article also demonises the enemy with a number of references to Serb aggression, whilst not once mentioning any form of NATO aggression while it was dropping its bombs without UNSC sanction. Presumably this is because NATO bombs for peace and not aggressive instincts? Reference is also made to Serbs sweeping “through ethnic Albanian villages where they executed civilians and set houses on fire” (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
In the first English newspaper article taken from the Guardian on March 24th 1999 and titled ‘Crisis in Kosovo: No choice but to act, says Solana; NATO chief / The West has a duty to end ‘this humanitarian catastrophe’ and restore stability’, there is a quite astounding level of the journalism of attachment. The article reads exactly like a NATO press release and it is devoid of any form of journalistic commentary. The article re-produces word for word a speech from NATO’s General Secretary Javier Solana. In it Solana demonises the enemy in a number of ways by referring to the “Yugoslav government’s refusal of the international community’s demands”, including the Rambouillet peace deal. However there is no criticism of this statement and no mention of the Yugoslav government being open to peace until NATO called for a military presence all throughout Yugoslavia as part of the deal. Solana also mentions the necessity of the “ending of excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo”, and the “intransigence of the FRY government”. The article (speech) also draws heavily on a propaganda of moralism used to justify the military action with Solana stating NATO will take whatever measures necessary to “avert a humanitarian catastrophe”. He went on to say that “our objective is to prevent more human suffering and more repression and violence against the civilian population of Kosovo”. Solana concluded his speech stating “we must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people… we have a moral duty to do so. The responsibility is on our shoulders and we will fulfil it” (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
In another article from the United States, from the New York Times on March 23rd 1999 titled ‘Conflict in the Balkans: In Kosovo; Top Ethnic Albanian Rebel Asks NATO to Start Strikes’, there is a different scope to the reporting. This article shows no signs of the journalism of attachment displayed in other articles. This author relies heavily on opposition stories, but not from the Serbian side. This article is mostly made up of eye-witness accounts and an interview with commander from the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Although the article does demonise the enemy from the perspective of the KLA commander when he suggests, the Serbs “aims are ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Albanian population and the destruction of the KLA”, the article uses a number of non-official sources to gain confirmation of Serbian crimes. The KLA commander does not however draw on a propaganda of moralism to support his case, he instead argues that a NATO intervention will even out the fighting and give his side more of a chance (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
The next article, from the Guardian on March 22nd 1999 and titled ‘NATO attack ‘only hours away’; Civilians flee as Serbian forces put Kosovo to the torch’ takes a similar journalistic approach to the previous article. The author is wholly reliant on ‘unofficial’ sources, i.e. sources from eye-witnesses and not those in authority. The theme of opposing stories in very prevalent in the article and the author also writes of what he has witnessed himself while on the ground. He speaks to ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and asks them their opinion on what is occurring around them. There are stories of a woman “cowering and cradling her children… to escape detection by the Serb forces”. As well as this we read of men “taken to the police station where some of them were kicked and beaten”. The author also takes time to point out that violence is occurring on both sides when he states that “three Serb policemen were killed and one wounded in an apparent reprisal”. The author however, while showing opposing stories also does his best to demonise the enemy by using emotive phrases semiotics such as “a noose of Serbian tanks, armour and troops is hour by hour tightening its grip in open defiance of the international community”, and “eight M84 tanks and eleven armoured vehicles now waited like birds of prey”. He seems to be taking sides when he downplays the significant violent possibilities of the KLA when he states “this is to crush ill-trained guerrillas with only Kalashnikovs, a few rocket-propelled grenades and little fighting spirit” (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
The final article comes from the Guardian again, on March 18th 1999 and is titled ‘No way out for NATO: Bombing will only strengthen Milosevic’s hold on Kosovo’. Again this article takes on the theme of opposition stories throughout the article. The author takes on a critical analysis of NATO’s possible air strikes and concludes that even if NATO did proceed, “it is already too late for this alone to be a solution”. He goes on to suggest that Milosevic’s position would be strengthened, not weakened by such an attack. The author does however show elements uncritical reporting when he suggests that the so-called ‘Racak massacre’ was the product of Serbian executions, the victims he suggests “were not guerrillas, 22 of whom were killed in a gully that was so narrow they much have been shot at close range” when subsequent investigations have revealed that thirty-seven of the dead had gunpowder residue on their hands (Appendix 1, Kosovo, 1999).
Discourse analysis on the each of the articles on the Libya conflict.
The first article analysed from the Libya conflict was from the New York Times, on March 26th 2011 and was titled ‘NATO Takes Lead ON Libya Campaign; Obama Defends His Policy’. This article, perhaps understandably takes quite an American centred approach to this story. However, there is a huge degree of a journalism of attachment contained within the article. We get quotes from ‘Senior NATO and American officials’, the White House, State Department spokesman Mark Toner, Pentagon Administrator William E. Gortney and the American Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz. In contrast to this there is one quote from a Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim. In sticking to the journalism of attachment theme, the author of this article uses the words ‘official’ sources or ‘officials’ from nine times in the article. The author also shows a lack of any real form of critical reporting on the official line and fails to challenge any of the authoritative discourses that are displayed in the article (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
The next article came from the Guardian on March 25th 2011 and is titled ‘Libya: Nato to control no-fly zone after France gives way to Turkey: Climbdown by Sarkozy ends infighting among western allies’. This article also shows strong evidence of a journalism of attachment with a strong focus on the reporting of official statements. Rather than focussing on the reasons for the conflict, this article mainly focusses on in-fighting and squabbles within NATO over control of the mission. The article also to a small degree evokes an idea of a propaganda of moralism. In this regard we see a quote from Hillary Clinton who suggests that NATO would take responsibility for “protecting civilians, enforcing an arms embargo and supporting the humanitarian mission”. As well as this we receive a quote from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who suggests that NATO is “protecting civilians through air strikes”. The article also has some elements of the opposing stories theme with five paragraphs devoted to an on-going argument between the Turkish and French governments over the French role in the military action. In particular, a critical quote from the Turkish Prime Minister is used where he states in relation to France “I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when the look in Libya’s direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on” (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
The next article from the same authors comes from the Guardian again, on March 25th 2011 also and is titled ‘Libya: France give way to Turkey as deal is struck to put NATO in charge’. This article takes on a more critical stance than the last article and has large elements of the opposing stories theme. Over fifty-percent of the article is of a critical nature towards France, with that criticism coming from Turkey. In particular, the quote “I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when the look in Libya’s direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on” was used again. As well as this, there were other quotes such as “the aim of the air campaign is not the liberation of the Libyan people, there are hidden agendas and different interests”. The words of French interior minister Claude Gueant were also cited. He stated that the French President was “leading a crusade” to stop Gaddafi massacring Libyans. The article points out that the use of the word ‘crusade’ caused outrage amongst the Turkish government and in the Muslim world (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
In another article from the New York Times on March 25th 2011 titled ‘NATO To Assume New Role in Libya’, there is evidence of a journalism of attachment again. In the first five paragraphs of the article, the words “officials said” are used five times. The article also quoted a range of ‘official’ voices inside the US administration, the US military, NATO, The French Defence Ministry and a spokesman from the Libyan rebel group. None of the other themes of analysis were present in the article (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
The next article was from USA Today on March 25th 2011 and was titled ‘As NATO takes over in Libya, Gaddafi’s fate remains fuzzy’. In this article there is a strong journalism of attachment from the author. A summary analysis of the article reveals that the author is clearly taking sides. For example, it is stated that “the news is good” that Gaddafi’s forces have little likelihood of standing up to the firepower of NATO. It goes on to state “if the allies remain aggressive rather than limiting themselves to the inadequate no fly zone, Libyan ground forces should run out of tanks, heavy weapons, ammunition, fuel, will-power or all five”. Further to this, the author laments the fact that the UNSC resolution authorising “all necessary means” is confined to protecting civilians. This implies that the author would like to see more than the protection of civilians such as a total defeat of Gaddafi. The article also has strong elements of the demonization of the enemy theme. For example, Gaddafi is accused of using mercenaries to supplement his army. As well as this, the tactics being used to punish Gaddafi such as sanctions and asset freezes are compared to those employed on Saddam Hussein and South Africa’s apartheid regime. This implicitly implies that Gaddafi is similar to both (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
The next article came from the Guardian on March 24th 2011 and is titled ‘There's nothing moral about Nato's intervention in Libya: The western attacks risk a bloody stalemate and are a threat to the region. The alternative has to be a negotiated settlement’. This article takes on a strong theme of opposition stories. It is highly critical throughout the article on all aspects of the NATO led military operation. The author suggests that US, British and other NATO countries have a “habit they can’t kick” of attacking Arab countries. While doing this, the article states, they are “incinerating soldiers and tanks on the ground and killing civilians in the process”. It goes on to state that these states insist that humanitarian motives are crucial, yet the media are baying for the blood of a pantomime villain and regime change is quickly replacing the stated mission. The author further questions the legitimacy of the military action and points out that far from having the support of the international community, Russia, China, Brazil and Germany did not support the UN vote and have criticised the bombings along with the Arab League and African Union. In particular the author emphasises the hypocritical nature of the intervention, and states that “it’s that such double standards are an integral part of a mechanism of global power and domination that stifles hopes of any credible international system of human rights protection. Further to this the article suggests that “A la carte humanitarian intervention” has nothing to do with human suffering, but depends on how reliable an ally the regime is (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
The final article came from the Guardian on March 19th 2011 and is titled ‘Libya On the ground: Jets prepare to deploy despite ceasefire by Tripoli regime: Warplanes head for Mediterranean as Nato envoys meet to back no-fly zone’. The article has a strong theme of journalism of attachment running through it. The majority of the article is compiled of a discussion of military strategy for a possible upcoming campaign. This strategy discussion includes a quote from a ‘Middle East expert’ from the Royal United Services Institute who suggested that any involvement of an Arab state in the military operation was “important as a way of countering the accusation that this is an intervention which is colonialist and imperialist in nature”. The article also suggests that British SAS and SBS soldiers are already in Libya “on the ground”, however the author does not question the legality of this at all (Appendix 2, Libya, 2011).
Results and findings.
The Kosovo case:
Overall the thematic discourse analysis produced some interesting results. As well the qualitative thematic discourse analysis above, a quantitative analysis was also conducted. This allowed the gathering of statistics about how often each theme appeared in the analysis in percentage terms. The table is reproduced below as Table 1.
As illustrated by the table, seventy-one percent of the articles analysed on the Kosovo conflict showed evidence of a journalism of attachment. This perhaps illustrates that journalistic practices during this conflict were not as independent and unbiased as they should have been. In a large majority of the cases, journalists reproduced the official line without questioning and gave minimal space to opposition sources. As well as this, eighty-six percent of the articles showed a demonization of the enemy. Perhaps this is a product of the journalism of attachment, with the official line having to fulfil such a demonization process to legitimise the intervention. Only forty-three percent of the articles displayed evidence of a propaganda of moralism theme. This was quite surprising because as there was no UNSC sanction for this intervention, it seemed logical that the idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’ would have been used more often. However, as the research sample was quite small at seven articles, it is possible that a higher percentage could have been recorded with a larger sample. Finally, only forty-three percent of the articles showed evidence of opposition stories. This illustrated a lack of critical reporting and an underreporting of stories that challenged the ‘official’ propaganda.
Another interesting result was the difference between the articles in American newspapers and in English newspapers. The percentages for this are reproduced below as Table 2.
As this table above shows, the articles in American newspapers showed a strong journalism of attachment in seventy-five percent of the articles. This perhaps illustrates a stronger bond between American journalists and their politicians and a stronger sense of national pride that precludes a journalist from taking an overly critical line for fear of being branded ‘unpatriotic’. English reporters seem to trust the official line a little less with sixty-seven percent, although this is still quite a high number and illustrates the lack of critical reporting. The American articles also showed a strong demonisation on the enemy in one-hundred percent of the articles. This seems in line with the strong journalism of attachment score. The English press was less inclined to demonise the enemy but still showed a high score, on a par with the level of journalism of attachment. A propaganda of moralism was again higher in American articles with fifty percent compared to thirty-four percent of English articles. And finally, showing a trend, American articles displayed much less evidence of opposition stories than English newspapers at twenty-five percent compared to sixty-seven percent in English newspapers. This seems to imply that the English newspapers took a much more critical line than their American counterparts.
The Libya Case:
As a comparative study, it would be interesting to find out if the themes had changed between the two conflicts. The articles on Libya again produced interesting results. The results are reproduced in Table 3 below.
The articles of the Libyan conflict produced some different results to the articles on Kosovo. This time, seventy-one percent of articles showed the theme of a journalism of attachment compared with the same percentage score during the Kosovo conflict. There was however a huge drop in the theme of demonising the enemy with only fourteen percent of articles doing it compared with eighty-six percent During Kosovo. The theme of a propaganda of moralism was also surprisingly low at fourteen percent compared with forty-three present during Kosovo. This is even more surprising when one considers that the Libya intervention had UNSC approval and the growth on the international norm of a R2P since the Kosovo intervention. Finally, the level of opposition stories has stayed the same at forty-three percent since Kosovo and shows that critical voices are still not being heard enough.
Again, when we split the articles up between American and English articles (Table 4), we find some key differences.
As this table shows, when the articles are divided up, the journalism of attachment was present in one-hundred percent of the American articles. This was compared to just fifty percent of the English articles. This shows that since the Kosovo conflict, there has been an increase in the journalism of attachment on the American side and a decrease on the English side. The demonisation of the enemy was present in thirty-four percent of the American articles but not present in any of the English pieces. This shoes a drop in this them from both Americans and the English. The theme of a propaganda of moralism was not evoked at all in the American articles, yet it was present in a quarter of the English articles. This again, showed a drop on both sides when compared with the Kosovo reporting. Finally, and quite shockingly, the American articles showed no signs of opposition stories, in line with their one-hundred percent journalism of attachment rate. This dropped from twenty-five percent during Kosovo. The English articles had improved on their Kosovo score with seventy-five percent opposition stories.
This research set out to discover what the dominant themes were within the media narratives during both the NATO interventions into Kosovo and Libya. The researched was strongly influenced by the previous research that had been undertaken on the role of the media during the Kosovo conflict. It was decided to undertake a thematic critical discourse analysis as this had not been done in any of the previous studies that had been completed. The choice of critical discourse analysis was strongly influenced by the work of Norman Fairclough, Teun Van Dijk and John Richardson, in particular their ideas on how power works through discourse to benefit those in authority. The thematic analysis that was chosen took influences from the previous research that had been done and the four frames of analysis were chosen as a way of understanding the dominant narratives within articles during both conflicts. As a method of analysis this worked quite well and it produced some interesting qualitative and quantitative analysis.
The most noteworthy of the results that emerged was that a majority of journalists during both conflicts showed evidence of a journalism of attachment. However, during both conflicts the American articles showed higher levels of this form of journalism. Both the American and the English articles showed high levels of demonising the enemy also, with eighty-six percent of articles displaying this theme during Kosovo. Again the American journalists were the worst offenders with one-hundred percent of their articles displaying evidence of this. However, during the Libya conflict, this number had dropped to fourteen percent of articles demonising the enemy. The propaganda of moralism theme was also higher during Kosovo at forty-three percent as opposed to fourteen percent during Libya. Perhaps most interesting was the instances where the theme of opposition stories appeared. During both conflicts, only forty-three percent of articles showed evidence of opposition stories. This suggests a lack of critical engagement from journalists in American and English newspapers. However, when the results are broken down, it reveals that during both conflicts, English articles displayed sixty-seven and seventy-five percent respectively, and it was the American articles that dragged the overall average number down. During the Kosovo conflict, American articles only displayed opposition stories in twenty-five percent of the articles, and this number dropped to zero percent during the Libya conflict. The results seem to imply that the English press takes on a more critical role in war reporting than their American counterparts, although both sets of journalists display high levels of a journalism of attachment, with this being the dominant theme throughout the analysis.
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Appendix: Newspaper Articles.
NOTE: 17-03-1999 to 31-03-1999
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Terms: NATO, Kosovo
Source: Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday;Daily News (New York);The Daily Telegraph (London);The Guardian (London);The New York Times;The Sun;USA Today;The Washington Post
Combined Source: Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday;Daily News (New York);The Daily Telegraph (London);The Guardian (London);The New York Times;The Sun;USA Today;The Washington Post
NATO STEPS UP ITS AIR ATTACK CALLED BID TO STOP 'GENOCIDE' AGAINST KOSOVO ALBANIANS Daily News (New York), March 29, 1999, Monday, 902 words, By HELEN KENNEDY, With Kenneth R. Bazinet
CONFLICT IN THE BALKANS: THE OVERVIEW -- NATO Planes Step Up Attacks on Serb Troops; Allies Shifting the Focus to Halting Atrocities Reported in Kosovo The New York Times, March 29, 1999, Monday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Page 1; Column 6; Foreign Desk , 1452 words, By ADAM CLYMER
Milosevic presses on in Kosovo Next target for NATO: Serb troops USA TODAY, March 26, 1999, Friday,, 746 words, Andrea Stone
CRISIS IN KOSOVO: No choice but to act, says Solana; NATO CHIEF/ The West has a duty to end 'this humanitarian catastrophe' and restore stability The Guardian (London), March 24, 1999, The Guardian Home Page; Pg. 3, 556 words
CONFLICT IN THE BALKANS: IN KOSOVO; Top Ethnic Albanian Rebel Asks NATO to Start Strikes The New York Times, March 23, 1999, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Page 10; Column 1; Foreign Desk , 992 words, By CARLOTTA GALL
Nato attack 'only hours away'; Civilians flee as Serbian forces put Kosovo to the torch The Guardian (London), March 22, 1999, Guardian Home Pages; Pg. 1, 941 words, CHRIS BIRD IN GORNJA KLINA
No way out for Nato; Bombing will only strengthen Milosevic's hold on Kosovo The Guardian (London), March 18, 1999, Guardian Features Pages; Pg. 18, 765 words, ISABEL HILTON
1 of 7 DOCUMENTS
Daily News (New York)
March 29, 1999, Monday
NATO STEPS UP ITS AIR ATTACK
CALLED BID TO STOP 'GENOCIDE' AGAINST KOSOVO ALBANIANS
BYLINE: By HELEN KENNEDY, With Kenneth R. Bazinet
SECTION: News; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 902 words
NATO broadened its attacks on Yugoslavia yesterday in a race against time to smash Serb military units and stop what it called "genocide" against ethnic Albanians of Kosovo.
The escalation to "Phase 2" on the fifth night of bombing increases the risk to fighter pilots flying lower and slower to strike the Serb ground troops who are reportedly forcing tens of thousands of civilians from their homes.
"We're entering a phase which is more focused on trying to stop the humanitarian catastrophe which is taking place on the ground," said NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.
Thousands of refugees, mostly women and children, flooded into Albania and Macedonia from Kosovo, telling of Serb soldiers who torched their villages. Men were reportedly being rounded up separately.
"Genocide is starting," warned German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping.
NATO said more than 500,000 ethnic Albanians, a quarter of the population of Kosovo, had been driven from their homes 50,000 of them in just the past few days.
President Clinton said, "The continued brutality and repression of the Serb forces further underscores the need for NATO to persevere."
When asked whether five days of NATO air strikes were pushing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to step up his attacks on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, Clinton shot back: "Absolutely not."
Secretary of State Albright said Milosevic "was planning to do this anyway. It is just simply an upside-down argument to think that NATO or we have made this get worse."
Albright called the plight of the ethnic Albanians "a very, very bad scene."
"There are terrible reports about men being separated from women and children, then they being taken off and executed, villages being torched, people arriving across the border with no shoes," Albright said.
Albanian President Rexhep Meidani pleaded for NATO ground troops to stop the carnage, but U.S. officials continued to reject that possibility.
"I do not believe that sending several hundred thousand soldiers in to occupy Serbia for the next five or 10 years is the right way to deal with this problem," said national security adviser Sandy Berger.
The Yugoslav government denied it was carrying out "ethnic cleansing" or pushing ethnic Albanians from the province.
Instead, Bratislava Morina, Serbia's commissioner for refugees, said ethnic Albanians were fleeing the NATO attacks. "There is no humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo whatsoever," Morina said.
Officials said the air campaign would not be deterred by Saturday's downing of an F-117A Stealth fighter near the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, estimated the bombs would keep falling for at least a month. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said the campaign could go on for "many, many weeks."
In the stepped-up bombing runs in which six of the Stealth fighters participated NATO warplanes and missiles took aim yesterday at some ground troops and military targets, like headquarters and command bunkers.
The Kosovo Liberation Army's news agency said NATO planes had attacked a Yugoslav Army column and destroyed four tanks. A NATO military official could not confirm the report but said it was "entirely possible."
NATO planes were still trying to find and destroy elements of Yugoslavia's sophisticated air defense system. NATO needs to take out the air defenses so that slower and lower-flying planes like the A-10 Warthog can go in to attack the 300 or so Serb tanks shelling Albanian villages.
Opposition to the air strikes continued to be voiced around the world. In his Palm Sunday address, Pope John Paul said, "It is never too late to meet and negotiate."
In Sydney, Australia, 7,000 demonstrators marched on the U.S. Consulate, pulling down the U.S. flag and setting it ablaze. In Moscow, unidentified gunmen aimed a rocket launcher at the U.S. Embassy before being chased away by cops.
Graphic: MORE MUSCLE IN THE AIR
If NATO makes a concerted effort to go after Serb tanks and troops, a primary weapon will be the A-10 Thunderbolt, a slow-flying, low-flying jet that is highly maneuverable. They would be joined by EA-6B radar jamming Prowlers. Tank killing Apache helicopters could also be added to the force.
Nickname: Warthog, for its unlovely appearance, or Tank Killer, for its remarkable record in the Gulf War.
Speed: 420 mph.
Length: 53 feet.
Wingspan: 57 feet.
Range: 800 miles.
Armament: Maverick missiles and laser-guided bombs; can also carry Rockeye cluster bombs or 2,000-pound bombs. Armed with seven-barrel Gatling gun.
Cost: $ 8.8 million.
Maker: Fairchild Republic Co.
Its radar tracking equipment has been key to the U.S. and British success in knocking out missile and radar sites in Iraq.
Speed: 610 mph
Length: 60 feet
Wingspan: 53 feet
Range: 1,100 miles
Armament: Carries up to four HARM missiles.
Maker: Northrop Grumman Corp.
AH-64 APACHE HELICOPTER
Earned a fearsome reputation in Iraq and Kuwait, killing hundreds of tanks and radar sites during the Gulf War.
Rotor diameter: 48 feet
Speed: 162 mph
Range: 253 miles
Armaments: Can carry 16 Hellfire missiles, and has room for Stinger or Sidewinder missiles. Also has machine gun in its nose.
LOAD-DATE: March 30, 1999
GRAPHIC: [Map by DAILY NEWS/KRT]
AP SERB women dance on wing of U.S. F-117a Stealth jet that crashed Saturday in Yugoslavia, possibly downed by anti-aircraft missile. Pilot was rescued unharmed by U.S. teams hours later.
Copyright 1999 Daily News, L.P.
2 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The New York Times
March 29, 1999, Monday, Late Edition - Final
CONFLICT IN THE BALKANS: THE OVERVIEW -- NATO Planes Step Up Attacks on Serb Troops;
Allies Shifting the Focus to Halting Atrocities Reported in Kosovo
BYLINE: By ADAM CLYMER
SECTION: Section A; Page 1; Column 6; Foreign Desk
LENGTH: 1452 words
DATELINE: WASHINGTON, March 28
Allied warplanes braved bad weather tonight to step up attacks on Yugoslav troops while NATO officials repeatedly accused Serbian forces of large-scale atrocities in Kosovo.
The United States and Britain committed additional aircraft to the allied force, and NATO's Secretary General, Javier Solana, said its mission was shifting from neutralizing air defenses to stopping "the humanitarian catastrophe which is taking place on the ground."
President Clinton, in a brief statement before boarding a helicopter for Camp David, said he supported the decision to hit a broader range of targets, including "forces in the field." He said continuing Serbian repression "underscores the need for NATO to persevere." When a reporter asked if the bombing was accelerating the atrocities, he replied, "Absolutely not."
The shift in targeting, according to Kenneth H. Bacon, the Pentagon spokesman, meant that attacks on military and police targets -- like barracks, headquarters and fuel and ammunition depots -- would now account for more than a third of all strikes, compared with about a fifth in earlier raids. While there may be occasional attacks on tank columns or artillery, the basic plan was to cut off such forces from their supply lines and communications, he said.
In a fifth straight night of bombing tonight, NATO mounted attacks that included cruise missile strikes by B-52 bombers.
Hours after the first allied plane loss of the war, an American F-117 stealth fighter whose pilot was rescued, Britain announced that it would add 4 Harrier fighters to the 8 already based in Italy, and also assigned 8 Tornado bombers and a Tristar air-to-air refueling tanker to the force. The United States followed with an announcement that it was adding between 6 and 12 B-1 bombers and B-52 bombers.
At NATO headquarters in Brussels, Air Commodore David Wilby of Britain said, "I'm sure we will get a few more contributions."
In Yugoslavia, state television insisted repeatedly that the stealth plane had been shot down, and several times aired footage of the burning wreck. Yugoslavia's President, Slobodan Milosevic, defiantly praised his people and his armed forces for their defense of Serbia, and staged a celebration in downtown Belgrade -- a rock concert to show solidarity with the armed forces and to mark the 10th anniversary today of his 1989 move to strip Kosovo of broad autonomy.
Air raid sirens wailed several times in Belgrade, and state-run media gave some details of Saturday night attacks. But no new casualty figures were announced. Yugoslav state media previously have spoken of dozens killed in the NATO raids.
On both sides of the Atlantic, officials were being asked what they would do if air power failed to halt the violence against Kosovo's Albanians. Clinton Administration officials, as well as those at NATO headquarters, insisted they had no intention of committing ground troops.
In Washington, Samuel R. Berger, the President's national security adviser, was asked on the ABC News program "This Week" if he could "rule out the use of ground forces in the future?" He replied: "We have no intention of doing that. I don't think it would be advisable."
In London, Defense Secretary George Robertson said NATO was "disrupting the violence," adding, "We have to make sure that we keep doing it until the genocidal attacking stops." But when asked about sending NATO troops in to stop the atrocities, he said, "There are absolutely no plans for an opposed entry into Kosovo."
The United States has agreed to take part with NATO allies in a Kosovo peacekeeping force should Belgrade relent and join delegates of the Albanian majority in Kosovo in signing a peace agreement.
Mr. Solana, also appearing in the ABC program, said the NATO allies "are not in a position to deploy troops on the ground prior to a settlement, to an agreement," adding: "This is a position all the countries maintain until this moment. I don't know how things are going to evolve, but at this point troops will not be deployed on the ground."
One strong voice from the Senate disagreed. "We're in it, and we have to win it," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, appearing on "This Week," adding, "That means we have to exercise every option."
He said: "The American people have to know that these young men and women that are piloting our airplanes are prepared to go into harm's way to get the job done. And I would, all of us would, grieve at the loss of a single American. But when you go into these things, your primary purpose cannot be the safety of your forces. It has to be the achievement of your strategic and tactical goals."
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Texas Republican, appeared on the CBS News program "Face the Nation" and suggested that "troops on the ground" from other NATO countries might be the right response, because the United States has taken the leading role in the air campaign.
European politicians tend to express less fear of public reaction to military casualties than American leaders do, accepting loss of life as a part of fighting a war. But even so, they would demand American participation in any attacking force, as they have for peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Macedonia.
And the subject has been discussed, at least gingerly. A minister in the Cabinet of Chancellor Gerhard Schroder of Germany said that the Chancellor had told him before the air campaign began that everyone had to be aware that bombing might not stop Mr. Milosevic, and that an invasion by NATO troops might have to be considered.
Another option -- urged by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, and Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican -- is for the United States to arm the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army to fight Mr. Milosevic's forces.
But Mr. Solana said, "I don't think at this point, with a U.N. resolution preventing the deployment of arms, I don't think it would be a good idea to help in that direction."
Before the President left for Camp David, he met with his national security advisers. First he saw Mr. Berger alone, and then he spent an hour with Mr. Berger, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen; George J. Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence; Gen. Henry H. Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, and Jim Steinberg, a foreign policy adviser.
They briefed the President on the details of Saturday's rescue operation and on the situation in Kosovo, and they reviewed tonight's military plans. An aide said that they had not discussed the possibility of sending in ground troops, but that the President was increasingly concerned about the refugees fleeing Kosovo.
Briefings on Saturday night's attacks were conducted today in Brussels and London. In Brussels, Jamie Shea, a NATO spokesman, said 66 aircraft had flown in two waves, attacking 17 major targets. Both he and Air Commodore Wilby focused their remarks less on military matters than on what Mr. Shea called "the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and now around Kosovo."
He said it was particularly disturbing that hardly any men of fighting age were among the refugees fleeing into Albania and Macedonia, who are mostly women and children.
Mr. Shea asked, "What has happened to the males between the ages of 16 to 60?" Air Commodore Wilby said, "Villages are being systematically emptied, looted and permanently destroyed."
In London, Mr. Robertson made a similar case, beginning his briefing by telling reporters: "I am sorry to have to report that Yugoslavia's campaign of repression against the Albanian population is continuing. Seven towns on the Albanian border are reported to be burning, and on the Macedonian border, as we have all seen on television, Dakovica is in flames."
"Thousands of refugees are streaming across the border from Kosovo into Albania, and there are also reports that civilians may be used as human shields to protect Milosevic's military machine," he said. "If that is true, this would of course be a war crime in its own right."
Vuk Draskovic, the Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister, denied accusations that Serbia was committing genocide against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo or that its security forces were carrying out systematic "ethnic cleansing."
"No, absolutely no," he said in an interview with CNN. "We need Albanians in our state. No one has that genocide strategy." He added, "Albanians are doing that crime against us, I mean Albanian terrorists."
In his briefing, the British Defense Secretary also renewed his warning to Serbian security forces that they were committing war crimes and that evidence of that was being assembled. He did not say how.
LOAD-DATE: March 29, 1999
GRAPHIC: Photos: The wreckage of an F-117A in the village of Budjanovici, about 35 miles northwest of Belgrade. NATO would not confirm whether the stealth fighter plane had been shot down. Royal Air Force crew under a Harrier GR-7 fighter at Gioia del Colle air base in southern Italy. NATO said it would keep bombing Yugoslavia. (Photos by Reuters)(pg. A8)
Map of Yugoslavia highlighting some of the sites attacked by NATO. (Source: NATO)(pg. A8)
Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company
3 of 7 DOCUMENTS
March 26, 1999, Friday, FINAL EDITION
Milosevic presses on in Kosovo Next target for NATO: Serb troops
BYLINE: Andrea Stone
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 3A
LENGTH: 746 words
WASHINGTON -- Operation Allied Force may aim to halt Serb aggression
in Kosovo, but that clearly has not sunk in yet with Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic.
On the second day of the biggest air offensive in Europe since
World War II, Serb military and special police forces intensified
their nearly two-week offensive in Kosovo. They swept through
ethnic Albanian villages where they executed civilians and set
fire to houses. Yugoslav forces also shelled neighboring Albania.
The NATO attacks are designed to force Milosevic to stop killing
ethnic Albanians and sign a peace agreement. More than 2,000 have
died, and 400,000 have been left homeless, in Kosovo, a province
of Serbia. Serbia and Montenegro make up Yugoslavia.
Now Pentagon officials say NATO is about to switch the focus of
its attacks from air defense and command-and-control centers to
the troops behind the violence in Kosovo.
Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Thursday that about 20%
of targets hit in the first attack Wednesday were military or
security forces. The gradual switch to targeting troops and tanks
will require allied pilots to fly closer to the ground. That is
far riskier than the high altitude runs of the past two nights.
NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark warned Thursday, "There is no
planned sanctuary" for Serb aggressors.
"We are going to systematically and aggressively attack, disrupt,
degrade, devastate and ultimately, unless President Milosevic
complies with the demands of the international community, we're
going to destroy these forces and their facilities and support,"
Clark said in a news conference in Brussels, Belgium. "The operation
will be just as long and difficult as President Milosevic requires
it to be."
The assault resumed after dark Thursday when sea-launched cruise
missiles and Stealth bombers swarmed across the Adriatic to targets
deep inside Yugoslavia.
Four U.S. surface ships and two submarines in the Adriatic launched
Tomahawk cruise missiles at a far faster pace than the night before.
The destroyer USS Gonzalez fired 16 half-ton warheads. A 17th
misfired, tumbling in flames into the sea.
Two jets from a fleet of 21 B-2 Stealth bombers made the 30-hour
round-trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to unload
2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs over Yugoslavia.
From Aviano and Istrana in northern Italy and Gioia del Colle
in southern Italy, dozens of NATO jets roared off into the night.
Among them were F-117 Stealth fighter-bombers, F-15 and F-16 jet
fighters and EA-6B radar-jamming jets.
In NATO's first damage assessment of Wednesday's strike, Clark
said allied missiles and bombs hit more than 40 targets, including
air defenses, command-and-control centers, a power plant, arms
factories and military and ministerial police forces. Yugoslav
officials say 50 targets were hit.
Yugoslav authorities also reported at least 10 civilians killed
and 60 wounded. Bacon said allied strike and support aircraft
made 150 sorties Wednesday, and officials were satisfied with
the results. The Yugoslav commander in Kosovo, Lt. Gen. Nebojsa
Pavkovic, said the first night's strike did "minimal" damage.
But the Russian General Staff in Moscow said NATO bombs badly
damaged five military airfields, two factories, a communications
center, several barracks and a police-training base. Clark denied
reports that a pharmaceutical plant had been bombed.
He did confirm that an aircraft repair plant was hit. So were
three fighter jets from Yugoslavia's small air force of 15 modern
MiG-29s and 64 older Russian-made fighters. Clark raised the number
of Russian-made MiG-29 jet fighters downed by allied aircraft
on the first night from two to three. Two American pilots and
one Dutch pilot got credit for the kills.
Despite dogfights in the skies, all NATO aircraft returned to
base safely Wednesday and were accounted for Thursday.
By contrast to the first night, a defense official said that no
air-to-air confrontations were reported Thursday.
One element of the Serb military that wasn't moved was its tiny
navy of four submarines, four frigates and an assortment of small
patrol and missile-firing boats. Clark said he called the Yugoslav
army chief of staff, Gen. Dragoljub Ojdonic, on Wednesday before
the strikes began and warned him that if Serb vessels entered
the Adriatic they would be attacked. They stayed in port.
LOAD-DATE: March 26, 1999
GRAPHIC: PHOTO, B/W, Stefan Rousseau, AFP; GRAPHIC, B/W, Grant Jerding, Dave Merrill, USA TODAY, Source: USA TODAY research (Map); Heading out: A British pilot boards his fighter jet to take off from Gioia del Colle, Italy, on Thursday.
Copyright 1999 Gannett Company, Inc.
4 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The Guardian (London)
March 24, 1999
CRISIS IN KOSOVO: No choice but to act, says Solana;
NATO CHIEF/ The West has a duty to end 'this humanitarian catastrophe' and restore stability
SECTION: The Guardian Home Page; Pg. 3
LENGTH: 556 words
Nato's Secretary-General, Javier Solana, yesterday explained to reporters at the organisation's Brussels headquarters the background to his ordering of air strikes against Yugoslavia. He said:
'I HAVE just directed the Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark, to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
I have taken this decision after extensive consultations in recent days with all the allies and after it became clear that the final diplomatic effort of Ambassador Holbrooke in Belgrade has not met with success.
All efforts to achieve a negotiated, political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action. We are taking action following the Yugoslavia government's refusal of the international community's demands:
Acceptance of the interim political settlement negotiated at Rambouillet.
Full observance of limits on the Serb army and special police forces agreed on October 25.
Ending of excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.
As we warned on January 30, failure to meet these demands would lead Nato to take whatever measures were necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
Nato has fully supported all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the efforts of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and those of the contact group.
We deeply regret that these efforts did not succeed, due entirely to the intransigence of the FRY government.
This military action is intended to support the political aims of the international community.
It will be directed towards disrupting the violent attacks being committed by the Serb army and special police forces and weakening their ability to cause further humanitarian catastrophe.
We wish thereby to support international efforts to secure Yugoslav agreement to an interim political settlement.
A viable political settlement must be guaranteed by an international military presence.
It remains open to the Yugoslav government to show at any time that it is ready to meet the demands of the international community. I hope it will have the wisdom to do so.
At the same time, we are appealing to the Kosovar Albanians to remain firmly committed to the road to peace which they have chosen in Paris. We urge in particular Kosovar armed elements to refrain from provocative military action.
Let me be clear: Nato is not waging war against Yugoslavia. We have no quarrel with the people of Yugoslavia who for too long have been isolated in Europe because of the policies of their government.
Our objective is to prevent more human suffering and more repression and violence against the civilian population of Kosovo. We must also act to prevent instability spreading in the region.
Nato is united behind this course of action. We must halt the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in Kosovo.
We know the risks of action but we have all agreed that inaction brings even greater dangers. We will do what is necessary to bring stability to the region.
We must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people in Europe at the end of the 20th century.
We have a moral duty to do so. The responsibility is on our shoulders and we will fulfil it."
LOAD-DATE: March 29, 1999
Copyright 1999 Guardian Newspapers Limited
5 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The New York Times
March 23, 1999, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final
CONFLICT IN THE BALKANS: IN KOSOVO;
Top Ethnic Albanian Rebel Asks NATO to Start Strikes
BYLINE: By CARLOTTA GALL
SECTION: Section A; Page 10; Column 1; Foreign Desk
LENGTH: 992 words
DATELINE: POLJANCE, Serbia, March 22
The general commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army called on NATO today to carry out air strikes on Serbia to put an end to the violence, as Yugoslav Army and police forces continued their ransacking and burning of villages.
Special police units were setting houses and farm buildings ablaze here this afternoon, leaving a trail of dead cows and downed fences before pulling back to their base in Srbica.
"There are no terrorists here," said the officer, referring to the ethnic Albanian rebels. "It is all calm," he added as he led out a column of 20 armored vehicles and police jeeps packed with armed men.
Almost every second house in this sprawling village was on fire. Flames leapt from the windows of houses beside the main road, while others were already gutted shells, still smoldering, their blackened rafters collapsed.
Late this afternoon police officers wearing camouflage and carrying automatic weapons, spare magazines strapped across their chests, walked wearily up the road and gathered at the top of the village. They climbed into jeeps, the day's work apparently over.
Two dark blue armored troop carriers and a vehicle mounted with an antiaircraft gun accompanied the column out of the burning village.
Officers riding on top waved their guns and raised a Serbian three-finger salute as they passed. Further down the road two stragglers walked away from a burning house and fired a burst of gunfire into the air.
While the operation was going on the top commander of the Kosovo force, Suleyman Selimi, accused the Serbian military of using heavier weaponry against his people than ever before. He called on the international community to act to stop the violence in Kosovo.
"They are using more modern weapons," Mr. Selimi said of the Serbian military today. "The kind of tanks are more sophisticated and they are using new mortars, 120 to 200 millimeters, as well as ground-to-ground missiles."
He said that his forces had signed the peace agreement because they trusted the West and that he thought NATO air strikes on Serbian military hardware would stop the violence. "I think if they want to stop the violence, they should do that," he said of the NATO threat of strikes. "If we did not trust them we would not have signed the peace deal."
Sitting in a two-story house high in the Drenica region, some 18 miles northwest of the provincial capital Pristina, Mr. Selimi -- who is known among fighters and villagers by his nom de guerre, Sultan -- has a view of villages for miles around.
This morning missiles fired from a multiple rocket launcher were audible, as were the whoosh and detonation a few seconds later on impact. Smoke rose from Poljance and the surrounding area.
Mr. Selimi said Serbian forces had fired ground-to-ground missiles from positions near Istok, 25 miles away near the provincial border with Montenegro, the day before. Three hit the village of Likovac, where the Kosovo force's headquarters are, but landed harmlessly in a field, he said.
A doctor from a French relief group, Doctors of the World, who was running a clinic in a nearby village confirmed that mortars were hitting civilian areas, saying he had treated two wounded civilians on Sunday.
The fighting in recent weeks has been some of the heaviest since last summer. Mr. Selimi said he had lost 47 men in the last three weeks. But he said his forces had inflicted casualties on the Serbs as well.
Mr. Selimi, 28, who is over six feet tall and a former soccer player, cuts an athletic figure. He wears combat fatigues and a short military haircut. Soft-spoken, even shy, he said he studied metal engineering in college and helped found the Kosovo force in the early 1990's when he was a student. He commands obvious respect from fighters and civilians alike.
He said his forces had knocked out three Serbian tanks in a battle for the village of Prekaz on Saturday.
As for his strategy, he said it was to try to defend villages as long as possible, as a conventional army would, to delay the Serbian advance. But he acknowledged that his fighters were in no position to compete with Serbian heavy guns.
"In the end the most important thing is not to lose any men," he said.
He accused the Serbs of carrying out a scorched-earth policy, trying to clear the area and then sending in infantry to raze villages, burn crops and kill livestock.
"Their aims are 'ethnic cleansing' of the Albanian population and the destruction of the K.L.A.," he said. "By this they aim to keep Kosovo under their control."
There were unconfirmed reports of killings of ethnic Albanians in Srbica over the weekend.
Mr. Selimi said that he had heard about six deaths at Serbian police hands in Srbica on Saturday, but that he had only personally interviewed one witness. She told him that her husband had been shot in front of her and her children, he said.
A teacher, Sabit Veliki, whose family lives in Pristina, was killed in Srbica on Saturday, according to the chief editor of the Albanian language daily Koha Ditore. The editor, Baton Haxhiu, said he had interviewed a man arrested with the teacher and later released.
The Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom in Pristina has collected a list of 15 men reported arrested or missing by their relatives.
Without intervention from the West, Mr. Selimi said, the Serbian offensive would escalate and sweep not just the Drenica region but the whole province.
But he maintained that it could not defeat the Kosovo force. "We will be here no matter how they react," he said. "We will hang on as long as we can. Kosovo never belonged to the Serbs. The Albanians will be here always."
Violence exploded in Pristina late tonight when two attacks occurred on an ethnic Albanian cafe and a restaurant. One person was reported killed and several wounded. A heavy police presence scared people off the streets amid reports of beatings and harassment of civilians.
LOAD-DATE: March 23, 1999
GRAPHIC: Photos: Like this little boy forced to leave home and these patients at a clinic run by a French relief agency called Doctors of the World, ethnic Albanians throughout the Drenica region sought help and safety yesterday. LIVES LOST -- Serbian police units set fires across the Drenica region of Kosovo yesterday, leaving a trail of dead livestock and smoking farms. The ethnic Albanian military leader Suleyman Selimi accused the Serbian military of using heavier weapons than ever before. Serbian forces have stepped up their attacks since international monitors withdrew last weekend. FAMILIES TORN -- Like this little boy forced to leave home and these patients at a clinic run by a French relief agency called Doctors of the World, refugees throughout the Drenica region sought help and safety yesterday. (Photographs by Tyler Hicks for The New York Times); Serbian police units set fires across the Drenica region of Kosovo yesterday, leaving a trail of dead cows and smoking buildings. The Kosovo military leader, Suleyman Selimi, accused Serbian military of using heavier weapons against his people than ever before. (Photographs by Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)
Map of Kosovo shows location of Poljance: Poljance was one of several villages attacked yesterday.
Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company
6 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The Guardian (London)
March 22, 1999
Nato attack 'only hours away';
Civilians flee as Serbian forces put Kosovo to the torch
BYLINE: CHRIS BIRD IN GORNJA KLINA
SECTION: Guardian Home Pages; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 941 words
THE Serbs did not want us to see it. But there was no mistaking the hellish fires raging in Kosovo yesterday as ethnic Albanian villages were torched by Serbian security forces.
Our vehicle was turned back a fifth time from a different approach when we tried to drive to Srbica, to where about 5,000 refugees from surrounding villages had fled a push by Serbian forces late last week.
But we could see smoke rising in grey plumes from villages nearby. Then, as we retreated back down the road and up a dirt track, the Serbian security forces' hidden assault came into view. The horizon was obscured by thick smoke after Serbian forces set light to the village of Prekaz. The fumes fanned out over the tops of the low houses, a sea of grey which rippled up over the surrounding Cicavica mountains.
Prekaz is where ethnic Albanian guerrillas of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army say the war started just over a year ago. And it is here that a noose of Serbian tanks, armour and troops is hour by hour tightening its grip in open defiance of the international community.
Nexhmije, aged 35, fled Prekaz at 6am on Saturday morning. Her husband, a guerrilla, had advised her to leave after a shell landed behind the school. She grabbed a bag of bread and cheese and walked out of the village with her six young daughters and eight-month-old son, heading for the next village.
She stopped to hide in a field, thinking she might be able to return home later on. She waited in vain for 18 hours, cowering and craddling her children flat on their faces to escape detection by Serbian troops.
'We had to wait until 2 this morning until the fighting ended before we could move on,' said Nexhmije, now with relatives in the nearby town of Mitrovica. 'We had no blankets to keep warm. Two of my daughters couldn't stop screaming, they were so scared by the shooting.' She has no idea where her husband is. 'He is in the hands of God.'
In the past week, there have been 40,000 other such stories. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says 40,000 people have been displaced by a Serbian offensive Western states had hoped to halt last October with the threat of air strikes.
The ceasefire and the deployment of 1,400 international monitors last October put a flimsy lid on the Kosovo conflict. But yesterday, with the monitors evacuated, taking with them any sense of security that remained, it was as if the lull of the past few months had never existed. Nexhmije was on the run with her daughters for a third time in under a year.
In Srbica, where only last week children were playing in the snow, eight M84 tanks and 11 armoured vehicles now waited like birds of prey.For even as the monitors were leaving on Saturday, the tanks and heavily armed Serbian police units were sweeping in. 'We woke up on Saturday morning when we heard tank engines,' said Miftar Korolli, aged 57. His family were barely out on the street when he said the Serb police marched into his house.
'They asked me what I was waiting for. I told them I was waiting for nothing, that this was my house but they told me to get out,' Mr Korolli said. Outside, he and his son were separated from his wife and mother.
The men were taken to the police station, where he said some of them were kicked and beaten.
Fernando Del Mundo, head of the UNHCR's operations in Kosovo, was yesterday trying to get food and other aid to the new ethnic Albanian exiles. 'I saw a group of about 20 tractors and trailers with families heading for Glogovac, I saw houses burning in Srbica. I talked to two women who said the soldiers had taken their husbands, they were crying, and they said after the men had been taken away, their houses were set on fire,' he said.
'This has been going on for two weeks now. Everyone expected this to happen after the talks were delayed and a lot of people have left.
The refugees were still trickling out. Down from Gornja Prekaz, an ethnic Albanian family was taking no chances and hurriedly left their home. 'We are afraid,' said Veli Uka, aged 49. 'There are so many police on the road.'
The women, tearful, clutched a few plastic bags of clothes and food. The family's 19 members climbed into a minibus and sped off, not waiting to fix a punctured tyre.
You could see Mr Uka's point. Everywhere we drove round the edges of Drenica yesterday we saw tanks, anti-aircraft guns, soldiers, trucks: Kosovo has been turned into one vast armed camp. Armoured cars careered down the middle of the roads. This to crush ill-trained guerrillas with only Kalashnikovs, a few rocket-propelled grenades and little fighting spirit. An attempt to drive down a back road past a checkpoint on the main road failed when Serb villagers crowded round our vehicle, swiped the keys and called the police on a walkie -talkie. Most of the Serbs, outnumbered nine to one by ethnic Albanians in the province, have quietly been supplied arms by the military.
As darkness fell over the capital Pristina last night, automatic weapon fire rang out. Despite braving grenade attacks in the past few weeks, most of the shops and restaurants had finally given way to fear and were shuttered. The streets were empty.
Three Serb policemen were killed and one wounded in an apparent reprisal on a quiet street not far from a Serbian Orthodox church. The call to prayer which floated briefly and gently over the streets was haunting.
The last Serb police officer to turn us away politely yesterday could not resist giving his view on the West's air strike threat: 'I pray God that Nato bombs. Then we could finish these Albanians.'
LOAD-DATE: April 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 Guardian Newspapers Limited
7 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The Guardian (London)
March 18, 1999
No way out for Nato;
Bombing will only strengthen Milosevic's hold on Kosovo
BYLINE: ISABEL HILTON
SECTION: Guardian Features Pages; Pg. 18
LENGTH: 765 words
THERE was a curious reluctance to name names in yesterday's forensic report on the Racak massacre, but the message came through loud and clear: the victims were not guerrillas, 22 of them were killed in a gully that was so narrow that they must have been shot at close range, the angle of the wounds on some victims suggested that they were kneeling when they were shot and on others that they were running away.
Despite Dr Helena Ranta's reluctance to blame the Serbs outright - a hesitation some reports attribute to pressure from the German government - the evidence she was allowed to publish points, of course, to Belgrade.
There are already loud cries of 'unfair' from the Yugoslav government. They claim that the timing of the report - coinciding, as it does, with the Paris talks - is a political manouevre and that there is ample evidence (provided by themselves) that the victims were not the innocent villagers that the rest of the world perceives. All this is wearisomely predictable.
More than 2,000 people have died in Kosovo in the past year, but then, recent history suggests that mass death is perhaps the only spur to diplomacy in the Balkans. The problem now is that we seem to be fatigued by the sight of mutilated civilian corpses and lost as to how to proceed.
AFTER what Robin Cook hailed as the diplomatic triumph of the interim settlement last autumn, the international community sat with its fingers crossed, hoping - against all reason and experience - that the plaster would stick. Racak was the dismal result. Now, in Paris, with the Albanians on side, we are back where we have been so many times before, trying to persuade Milosevic to sign a deal that nobody believes he will keep to, under threat of Nato action that may not happen and will achieve little if it does.
Echoes of Bosnia, of course, are never far away. Through the miserable years of the Balkan wars, European and American diplomacy was hampered by two things - disagreements over troop commitment and tacit sympathy for Milosevic's desire to prevent the fragmentation of Yugoslavia - an objective the West supported, even while (reluctantly) being convinced that his way of achieving it was unacceptable.By the time Nato got around to telling Milosevic, in language he understood, that enough was enough, all sides had lost heavily. Hard to believe, then, that the same slow-motion mistakes have been repeated, but there are striking similarities.
The main problem is that Europe and the United States do not want an independent Kosovo, but seem to be doing all they can to bring it about. The US first threatened Nato action over Kosovo in 1992. Perhaps had they meant it, they could have reinforced the moderate Kosovo Albanians. As it was, the moderates lost ground and now the West is forced to deal with a radical independence movement that promises to be a difficult and unreliable partner in any deal and is fighting for an outcome that the West does not support.
Milosevic worked this out a long time ago. His moves in the last few weeks have been familiar: he has built up his forces in and around Kosovo - there are now up to 21,000 Yugoslav army troops on the perimeter and up to 18,000 inside Kosovo - six times as many as he is allowed under the October agreement. All this could be read as preparation for a military defiance of Nato, but a more likely explanation is that he plans an intensive assault on the KLA, similar to the one he conducted before the interim settlement last October. Already Serb forces are attacking a KLA area in the north and a growing number of Albanians are being abducted, killed, and their bodies dumped at roadsides. All of this, of course, is in breach of last autumn's deal, in which Milosevic promised to withdraw his forces from Kosovo. That alone could trigger Nato action, let alone the fact that Nato has now threatened it so often that there's a matter of face involved now. But even if Nato does proceed with air strikes against Serb military targets, it is already too late for this alone to bring a solution. If Nato were to bomb, Milosevic's position in Belgrade will be strengthened, not weakened, and his forces are in position to move wholesale into Kosovo, defying Nato to come in and get him out. There will be more massacres, more marketplace bombs, before he graciously agrees to better terms than the ones he is now being offered.
If that is the outcome, will the KLA still agree to any 'peace' deal the Contact Group cobbles together and Milosevic signs? Put it this way - would you?
LOAD-DATE: April 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 Guardian Newspapers Limited
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Terms: NATO, Libya
Source: Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday;Daily News (New York);The Daily Telegraph (London);The Guardian (London);The New York Times;The Sun;USA Today;The Washington Post
Combined Source: Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday;Daily News (New York);The Daily Telegraph (London);The Guardian (London);The New York Times;The Sun;USA Today;The Washington Post
NATO Takes Lead on Libya Campaign; Obama Defends His Policy The New York Times, March 26, 2011 Saturday, Section A; Column 0; Foreign Desk; Pg. 4, 1346 words, By STEVEN ERLANGER and ERIC SCHMITT; Steven Erlanger reported from Brussels, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya.
Libya: Nato to control no-fly zone after France gives way to Turkey: Climbdown by Sarkozy ends infighting among western allies The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, March 25, 2011 Friday, GUARDIAN INTERNATIONAL PAGES; Pg. 26, 912 words, Ian Traynor in Brussels, and Nicholas Watt
Libya: France gives way to Turkey as deal is struck to put Nato in charge The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, March 25, 2011 Friday, GUARDIAN INTERNATIONAL PAGES; Pg. 27, 685 words, Ian Traynor in Brussels, and Nicholas Watt
NATO To Assume New Role In Libya The New York Times, March 25, 2011 Friday, Section A; Column 0; Foreign Desk; Pg. 9, 1193 words, By ELISABETH BUMILLER and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK; Elisabeth Bumiller reported from Washington, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya. Reporting was contributed by Kareem Fahim from Benghazi, Libya; Thom Shanker from Cairo; Alan Cowell, Scott Sayare and Steven Erlanger from Paris; and Mark Landler and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.
As NATO takes over in Libya, Gadhafi's fate remains fuzzy; OUR VIEW USA TODAY, March 25, 2011 Friday, EDIT; Pg. 10A, 573 words
Comment: There's nothing moral about Nato's intervention in Libya: The western attacks risk a bloody stalemate and are a threat to the region. The alternative has to be a negotiated settlement The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, March 24, 2011 Thursday, GUARDIAN COMMENT AND DEBATE PAGES; Pg. 37, 1077 words, Seumas Milne
Front: Libya On the ground: Jets prepare to deploy despite ceasefire by Tripoli regime: Warplanes head for Mediterranean as Nato envoys meet to back no-fly zone The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, March 19, 2011 Saturday, GUARDIAN HOME PAGES; Pg. 4, 867 words, Richard Norton-Taylor Nick Hopkins Robert Booth
1 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The New York Times
March 26, 2011 Saturday
Late Edition - Final
NATO Takes Lead on Libya Campaign; Obama Defends His Policy
BYLINE: By STEVEN ERLANGER and ERIC SCHMITT; Steven Erlanger reported from Brussels, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya.
SECTION: Section A; Column 0; Foreign Desk; Pg. 4
LENGTH: 1346 words
BRUSSELS -- Resolving internal divisions, NATO prepared on Friday to assume leadership from the United States of the military campaign against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's forces as allied officials scrambled to work out the precise command arrangements, senior NATO and American officials said.
The agreement came as President Obama, facing criticism from his political opponents, began trying to seize control of his message about the Libyan conflict. On Friday, he defended his handling of the Libya crisis in a White House meeting and conference call with more than 20 Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders.
The White House also announced that he would give a speech to the nation on Libya on Monday night. And his two top foreign policy advisers -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates -- prepared to appear on the Sunday talk shows to explain the administration's Libya policy.
Mr. Obama has come under criticism from Republicans in Congress for failing to provide a coherent explanation of the operation, which is in its seventh day. Administration officials portray it as an already successful effort to prevent the Libyan leader from attacking his own people. But the military campaign has been dogged by friction over its ultimate mission, and which of the disparate countries involved should command the operation.
The allied effort won rare military commitments in the Arab world on Friday when two Qatari fighter jets flew on patrol with the Western allies and the United Arab Emirates said that it would send warplanes to join them.
NATO had agreed late Thursday that it would take over not only command and control of the no-fly zone, but also the much riskier campaign to protect civilians through aggressive coalition airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi's troops on the ground, the officials said. Details of the second part of the operation will be worked out in a formal military planning document in time for a meeting of coalition foreign ministers in London on Tuesday, the officials said.
''It's been handed over to military planners,'' Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said on Friday.
As the air campaign entered its seventh day, allied warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles pounded Libyan air defenses, communications posts and troops. At the Pentagon, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the director of the joint staff, said that the airstrikes were making it harder for Colonel Qaddafi to supply and communicate with his troops, but that they had not yet seriously weakened the Libyan military forces or pushed them to heed the Americans' call to defy their leader.
In an apparent bid to bolster the loyalty of Colonel Qaddafi's armed forces, Libyan state television said Friday without details that the military would promote all its officers, implying a raise in pay. A government spokesman, Musa Ibrahim, said that similar raises were carried out during earlier crises, like Colonel Qaddafi's failed war with Chad in the late 1980s.
The London meeting of coalition foreign ministers and subsequent meetings will deal with the larger political campaign, including sanctions and other measures intended to put more pressure on Colonel Qaddafi to quit. It will also have representation from the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union. But that meeting of what the British are calling ''the contact group'' will not be running the military side of the operation, the officials said.
Left unresolved, of course, is how long the campaign will last, because Colonel Qaddafi shows no sign of obeying the United Nations Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire and refuses to pull his troops back to barracks. At the same time, the ragtag opposition may not be strong enough, even with the coalition's air power, to force the colonel from his redoubt in Tripoli.
NATO officials said Friday they thought the no-fly zone would last about three months, but Pentagon officials privately expressed fears that it could last much longer.
A sticking point in the negotiations to broadening NATO's control was what military officials call the ''no-drive zone,'' the bombing of Colonel Qaddafi's ground forces, tanks and artillery outside Libyan cities. France wanted to have a clearer leadership role in the campaign, while Turkey was concerned about the operation's evolving into one involving ground troops. Many countries, like Italy and Norway, however, said they would participate only if NATO ran the entire military operation.
France was placated by the London coalition, while Turkey's fears were allayed by putting the military campaign under the full control of NATO, which operates only by the unanimous consent of its member nations.
The United States, which contributes most of NATO's military capability and traditionally dominates behind the scenes, is in this case eager to hand off responsibility and will have more limited roles, officials said. Reinforcing that point, Canada said Friday that one of its officers, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, would be taking command of NATO no-fly operations in Libya.
The United Arab Emirates agreed on Friday to commit 12 aircraft -- six F-16 and six Mirage warplanes -- to join patrols enforcing the no-fly zone, the official Emirates News Agency reported. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are the only members of the 22-nation Arab League that have committed planes to an active role in enforcing the no-fly zone. On Friday, British and French officials said their planes had conducted assaults on loyalist forces around the beleaguered eastern city of Ajdabiya, which controls the approaches to the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi. Pro-Qaddafi units have been holding their easternmost line against rebels in Ajdabiya, thwarting any rebel advance to the west toward Tripoli, but rebel forces say they have been trying to negotiate the withdrawal or surrender of one loyalist unit in the strategic crossroads town.
Gene Cretz, the American ambassador to Libya, said on Friday that the United States was in regular touch with leaders of the Libyan opposition, and stood ready to offer them political training and legal advice as they try to form a provisional administration. But Mr. Cretz said the United States had not yet decided whether to recognize the rebels as the legitimate government of Libya, saying that raised legal questions.
He also said no decision had been reached on whether to provide weapons to the rebels. ''The full gamut of potential assistance that we might offer, both on the non-lethal and the lethal side, is a subject of discussion within the U.S. government,'' he said.
Mr. Cretz, who left Tripoli last year amid fears for his safety after the release by WikiLeaks of secret cables with embarrassing details about Colonel Qaddafi, praised the so-called transitional national council for getting off to a good start, noting that it had organized people in rebel-held towns to provide services, and pledged its commitment to democratic principles, human rights and women's rights.
''I don't think we're at a point where we can make a judgment that this is a 100 percent kosher, so to speak, group,'' Mr. Cretz said. But he added, ''the personalities that we are dealing with, the actions that they've taken, the statements that they have made have all led us to conclude, at least at this beginning stage, that they are a positive force and one that we should be engaged with at this point.''
The administration has named a special envoy to the Libyan opposition, Chris Stevens, and Mr. Cretz said he hoped Mr. Stevens would be able to travel to Benghazi in coming days for meetings with opposition leaders.
Mr. Cretz said officials from Colonel Qaddafi's government had reached out to American officials in recent days. ''I'm not exactly sure what the message is, but it clearly indicates, I think, at least some kind of desperation,'' he said. In his conversations with Libyan officials, Mr. Cretz said he reminded them of President Obama's warning that they would face consequences if they did not break with Colonel Qaddafi.
LOAD-DATE: March 26, 2011
GRAPHIC: PHOTOS: Libyan rebels watched for coalition planes on Friday near Ajdabiya on the road to Benghazi. Fighter jets from an Arab nation, Qatar, flew with a Western patrol. (A4)
Despite British and French forces' attacks on loyalist positions, the Libyan government's shelling around Ajdabiya led many rebel fighters to flee the area on Friday. (PHOTOGRAPHS BY GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS) (A10)
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2 of 7 DOCUMENTS
The Guardian (London) - Final Edition
March 25, 2011 Friday
Libya: Nato to control no-fly zone after France gives way to Turkey: Climbdown by Sarkozy ends infighting among western allies
BYLINE: Ian Traynor in Brussels, and Nicholas Watt
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Western allies and Turkey secured a deal last night to put the entire military campaign against Muammar Gaddafi under Nato command by next week, UK and French sources have told the Guardian.
The US, Britain, France and Turkey agreed to put the three-pronged offensive - a no-fly zone, an arms embargo, and air strikes - under a Nato command umbrella, in a climbdown by France that accommodates strong Turkish complaints about the scope and control of the campaign.
The deal appeared to end days of infighting among western allies, but needed to be blessed by all 28 Nato member states. At the end last night of a four-day meeting of Nato ambassadors in Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general, said Nato had agreed to take command of the no-fly zone from the Americans. Disputes have raged at Nato HQ every day this week. Rasmussen contradicted leading western officials by announcing that Nato's authority was limited to commanding the no-fly zone, but he signalled there was more negotiation to come.
"At this moment, there will still be a coalition operation and a Nato operation," he said. This meant Nato would command the no-fly zone and police the arms embargo. But on the most contentious part, air strikes and ground attacks against Gaddafi, consensus remained elusive.
The agreement emerged from phone calls yesterday between William Hague, the foreign secretary, Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, following rancorous attacks from the Turkish leadership on French ambitions to lead the anti-Gaddafi war effort.
The agreement also gives political oversight of the military action to a committee of the international coalition in the campaign. Since the no-fly zone and air attacks on Libya began last Saturday, Washington has been in charge of operations, but is eager to surrender the role.
Under the scheme agreed yesterday, the transfer to Nato will take place by the latest on Tuesday, when the parties to the coalition gather in London for a special "contact group" conference. French sources said the Benghazi-based Libyan rebel leadership would be in London to attend. The conference will consist of two meetings: a war council made up of the main governments taking part in the military action, as well as a broader assembly including Arab and African countries devoted to Libya's future.
Hillary Clinton welcomed the Nato decision to take command of the Libyan operations and police the no-fly zone, and she expected that it would eventually take over responsibility for protecting civilians, enforcing an arms embargo and supporting the humanitarian mission. She said the United Arab Emirates was to join Qatar in sending planes to enforce the no-fly zone.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had tried to diminish the role of Nato, conceded, in the face of Turkish opposition, that a two-tier structure would run the operation: Nato "assets" will co-ordinate all aspects, including enforcement of the no-fly zone, protecting civilians through air strikes, and enforcing a UN arms embargo. Juppe agreed that Nato would be in control of the entire operation.
Political oversight will be in the hands of a committee of a smaller number of countries involved in the military campaign.
There had been bitter attacks from the Turkish government on Sarkozy's leadership of the campaign, accusing the French of lacking a conscience in their conduct of operations, with criticism from the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the president, Abdullah Gul.
France had insisted on Tuesday that the operations would be "non-Nato". Turkey was emphatically behind sole Nato control of the operations. In Istanbul, Erdogan said: "I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in (Libya's) direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on."
This week, Claude Gueant, the French interior minister who was previously Sarkozy's chief adviser, angered the Muslim world by stating that the French president was "leading a crusade" to stop Gaddafi massacring Libyans. Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin also used the word in reference to air strikes on Libya.
Yesterday Erdogan said: "Those who use such hair-raising, frightening terms that fuel clashes of civilisations, or those who even think of them, need to immediately evaluate their own conscience."
The Turks are incensed at repeated snubs by Sarkozy. The French failed to invite Turkey to last Saturday's summit in Paris, which preceded the air strikes. French fighters taking off from Corsica struck the first blows. The Turkish government accused Sarkozy of launching not only the no-fly zone, but his presidential re-election campaign.
The dispute over Libya appears highly personal. Sarkozy went to Turkey last month for the first time in four years as president, but the visit was repeatedly delayed and then downgraded from a state presidential event. He stayed in Turkey for five hours. "Relations between Turkey and France deserve more than this," complained Erdogan. "I will speak with frankness. We wish to host him as president of France. But he is coming as president of the G20, not as that of France."
A French Rafale fighter returns to base in Corsica after a Libyan trainer plane was shot down with a missile as it was coming in to land at an airbase in Misrata within the no-fly zone
Photograph: Francois Mori/AP
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The Guardian (London) - Final Edition
March 25, 2011 Friday
Libya: France gives way to Turkey as deal is struck to put Nato in charge
BYLINE: Ian Traynor in Brussels, and Nicholas Watt
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Western allies and Turkey last night reached a breakthrough deal to put the entire military campaign against Muammar Gaddafi under Nato command by next week, senior UK and French sources told the Guardian.
The deal being finalised last night at Nato headquarters in Brussels gives political oversight of the military action to a committee of the international coalition involved in the campaign.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had tried to diminish the role of Nato, conceded, in the face of determined Turkish opposition, that a new two-tier structure will be established to run the operation:
Nato "assets" will be used to co-ordinate all aspects of the military campaign against Libya, including enforcement of the no-fly zone, protecting civilians through air strikes and enforcing a UN arms embargo. Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, conceded that Nato would be in control of the entire operation.
Political oversight will be in the hands of a Nato-led committee modelled on the body that oversees the International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan.
The breakthrough came in a conference call yesterday between Hillary Clinton, William Hague, Alain Juppe and their Turkish counterpart. The agreement reached by the four key countries was put to a meeting of Nato ambassadors.
Hague had told MPs he was hopeful of a breakthough. He said: "We have made a great deal of progress.
"We should understand this is a new coalition, put together very quickly for obvious reasons last week, and so there are bound to be issues to sort out in its management. But we are getting through those pretty well."
Earlier, Turkey attacked Sarkozy's and France's leadership of the military campaign, accusing the French of lacking a conscience in their conduct of operations. The vitriolic criticism, from the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the president, Abdullah Gul, followed attacks from the Turkish government earlier this week and signalled an orchestrated attempt by Ankara to wreck Sarkozy's plans to lead the air campaign against Gaddafi.
With France insisting that Nato should not be put in political charge of the UN-mandated air campaign, Turkey has come out emphatically behind sole Nato control of the operations.
The clash between Turkey and France over Libya is underpinned by acute frictions between Erdogan and Sarkozy, both impetuous and mercurial leaders who revel in the limelight, by fundamental disputes over Ankara's EU ambitions, and by economic interests in north Africa.
Using incendiary language directed at France in a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said: "I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in (Libya's) direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on."
President Gul reinforced the Turkish view that France and others were being driven primarily by economic interests. "The aim (of the air campaign) is not the liberation of the Libyan people," he said. "There are hidden agendas and different interests."
Earlier this week, Claude Gueant, the French interior minister who was previously Sarkozy's chief adviser, outraged the Muslim world by stating that the French president was "leading a crusade" to stop Gaddafi massacring Libyans.
Erdogan denounced the use of the word crusade yesterday, blaming those, France chief among them, who are opposed to Turkey joining the EU.
The Turks are incensed at repeated snubs by Sarkozy. The French failed to invite Turkey to last Saturday's summit in Paris which presaged the air strikes.
The dispute over Libya appears highly personal, revealing the bad blood simmering between the French president and the Turkish prime minister.
Sarkozy went to Turkey last month for the first time in four years as president. But the visit was repeatedly delayed and then downgraded from a state presidential event. He stayed in Turkey for five hours. Sarkozy has declared loudly that culturally Turkey does not belong in Europe, but in the Middle East.
Erdogan was especially offended by a French minister's use of the word 'crusade' in reference
to the attacks
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The New York Times
March 25, 2011 Friday
Late Edition - Final
NATO To Assume New Role In Libya
BYLINE: By ELISABETH BUMILLER and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK; Elisabeth Bumiller reported from Washington, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya. Reporting was contributed by Kareem Fahim from Benghazi, Libya; Thom Shanker from Cairo; Alan Cowell, Scott Sayare and Steven Erlanger from Paris; and Mark Landler and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.
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WASHINGTON -- NATO will assume leadership from the United States of patrolling the skies over Libya but the military alliance remains divided over who will command aggressive coalition airstrikes on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's ground troops, NATO and American officials said Thursday.
After a day of confusion and conflicting reports out of NATO headquarters in Brussels, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced late Thursday in Washington that NATO had agreed to lead the allies in maintaining the no-fly zone. Effectively, that means that planes from NATO countries will fly missions over Libya with little fear of being shot down since Tomahawk missiles, most of them American, largely destroyed Colonel Qaddafi's air defenses and air force last weekend.
But NATO and American officials said NATO had balked at assuming responsibility, at least for now, of what military officials call the ''no-drive zone,'' which would entail bombing Colonel Qaddafi's ground forces, tanks and artillery that are massing outside crucial Libyan cities, and doing so without inflicting casualties on civilians.
Late Thursday night a senior Obama administration official insisted that NATO had agreed to assume responsibility for the no-fly and ''no-drive'' zones but said the details remained to be worked out. The official's statements appeared to contradict those of the secretary-general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who said in Brussels earlier Thursday that NATO was still considering whether to take on ''broader responsibility'' for the war.
A NATO official said that two member nations, Germany and Turkey, objected to NATO participating in strikes that they consider beyond the mandate of the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorized the military action in Libya.
The announcement of at least a partial handoff of responsibility to NATO came only five days after the conflict started and reflected the intense pressure on President Obama to deliver on his promise that the United States would step back ''within days, not weeks'' from command of the effort.
Mrs. Clinton, in her comments on Thursday night, said the United States was already cutting back its role. ''As expected, we are already seeing a significant reduction in the number of U.S. planes,'' she said.
At the Pentagon earlier Thursday, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the director of the joint staff, said that American fighter jets would continue bombing Libya and that American surveillance planes would provide reconnaissance even after NATO, in partnership with other coalition members, assumes leadership of the coalition. He also said the United States would provide airborne refueling tankers for coalition warplanes as well as other logistical support.
As the United States and its European allies tried to work out a coherent agreement for control of the war, the allies continued to pound Libyan ground forces, tanks and artillery outside three key Libyan cities -- Misurata, Ajdabiya and Zintan. Admiral Gortney said the airstrikes were aimed at cutting off the communications and supply lines of the Libyan forces. The coalition was not bombing inside the cities to avoid inflicting civilian casualties, he said.
Admiral Gortney said the coalition would continue to attack Libyan ground forces as long as the Libyan forces threatened the lives of Libyan civilians. He said the United States and its allies had repeatedly told the Libyan forces to cease and desist -- he did not say whether the communications were by radio, leaflets or other means -- and that they had been ignored.
''Our message to regime troops is simple: stop fighting, stop killing your own people, stop obeying the orders of Colonel Qaddafi,'' Admiral Gortney said. ''To the degree that you defy these demands, we will continue to hit you and make it more difficult for you to keep going.''
In Libya, it appeared that the barrage of coalition airstrikes -- the Pentagon said there had been 49 strikes on Libyan targets on Thursday -- had begun to shift momentum from the forces loyal to Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi to the rebels opposing him.
In Misurata, rebels said they were feeling reinvigorated by a second night airstrikes against the Qaddafi forces that have besieged them. The rebels said that they continued to battle a handful of Qaddafi gunmen in the city but that the armored units and artillery surrounding the city appeared to have pulled back, their supply and communication lines cut off by the airstrikes.
Earlier on Thursday a French Rafale fighter jet fired on a Libyan warplane that had been detected by reconnaissance aircraft flying above the embattled city of Misurata, the French Defense Ministry said in a statement. The plane was hit by a missile shortly after landing at a nearby military airbase, the Defense Ministry said.
At a news conference in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, issued sweeping denials that the rebels had made battle gains. Contradicting the reports of residents in Misurata, Mr. Kaim said the Qaddafi government had controlled the city for a week ''except for pockets of violence.''
Again contradicting residents, he said that utility companies had turned on the power and water, and he faulted the rebels and international airstrikes for turning them off.
Mr. Kaim also denied that French fighters had shot down a Qaddafi warplane, saying that no Libyan warplane had taken off in days in observance of the United Nations resolution.
Rebels in Libya said that Qaddafi warships that had closed the port in Misurata ( had departed, opening a vital supply outlet and allowing them to make arrangements with an international aid group, Doctors Without Borders, to evacuate 50 of their wounded by boat to Malta on Sunday. A rebel spokesman in Misurata said that only two residents were wounded on Thursday, after 109 deaths over the previous six days.
In Washington, Mrs. Clinton said that a group supported by the Agency for International Development would soon be able to provide humanitarian relief to Libyan civilians, but she gave no details.
In what was potentially one of the first signs of breakdown in discipline among the Qaddafi forces, rebels near the eastern city of Ajdabiya said they were in negotiations with a unit of pro-Qaddafi troops who have offered to abandon their position and withdraw further west. The unit, stationed at the northern entrance to the city, had lost contact with its commanders, said a rebel spokesman, Col. Ahmed Omar Bani.
The negotiations, which were being conducted through a local imam, hit a snag on the issue of whether the troops would keep their weaponry and withdraw further west or simply surrender, as the rebels were demanding. ''We are trying to lead them to peace,'' Colonel Bani said.
The rebels have made inflated claims in the past, and these reports have not been corroborated by independent sources. As rebel leaders continued to plead for weapons, along with communications and night-vision equipment from abroad, they said that no foreign experts had been sent to help train their fighters. ''The only foreign expert we use is Google Earth,'' Colonel Bani said.
LOAD-DATE: March 25, 2011
GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Rebel fighters near Ajdabiya, on Thursday. ''We are trying to lead them to peace,'' one rebel officer said of negotiations with a government military unit. (PHOTOGRAPH BY GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS) MAPS: Rebel forces reported making gains after coalition airstrikes.
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5 of 7 DOCUMENTS
March 25, 2011 Friday
As NATO takes over in Libya, Gadhafi's fate remains fuzzy;
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A week after the U.S. and its allies attacked Libya, progress is evident, but the outcome remains predictably and troublingly fuzzy.
In purely military terms, the news is good. Moammar Gadhafi's forces are still attacking rebel strongholds, but there seems little likelihood that they can stand up to firepower from NATO, which is moving to assume control of the still-murky mission.
On Thursday, the U.S. military proclaimed the Libyan air force crippled, and armored columns that had been crushing rebellious regions are under steady attack. Sooner or later, if the allies remain aggressive rather than limiting themselves to the inadequate no-fly zone, Libyan ground forces should run out of tanks, heavy weapons, ammunition, fuel, willpower, or all five. A naval blockade and attacks on airfields, meanwhile, might cut off the flow of mercenaries Gadhafi has used to supplement his army.
But NATO's ability to crush an inferior military force has never been in doubt. The question is what will happen once civilian populations are no longer under attack, either because Gadhafi's forces are destroyed or because the besieged Libyan leader recognizes that a strategic retreat could limit and potentially split the alliance attacking him.
Much as the U.S. and its allies want Gadhafi gone, they are not fully committed to evicting him. Therein lies a quandary. The United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing "all necessary measures" is confined to protecting civilians, and the Arab League, whose support is critical politically, has already objected to the ferocity of the attacks.
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it Thursday evening, the U.S. role is "limited in time and scope."
When that limit is reached, it's safe to assume Gadhafi will no longer control eastern Libya, or even rebellious parts of the west. But he could retain power over a vast area surrounding Tripoli, where he enjoys popular support.
On their own, the rebels seem unlikely to depose the dictator. It has become increasingly clear that they are far less formidable than they once seemed, perhaps having as few as a thousand trained soldiers. So in the worst case, Gadhafi would still have means to cause familiar problems, and the freed area of Libya would be fractured among various tribes contesting for power and settling scores, creating the potential for civil war or a failed state.
To be sure, there are brighter scenarios, and the situation remains fluid.
The Obama administration says its policy is that Gadhafi should go, and while it doesn't say how or when, it is pursuing that goal by several means: embargoes, sanctions and blockades; freezing of Libyan assets worth billions of dollars; blunt warnings to people around Gadhafi that they will be held accountable for war crimes; and, presumably, inducements to Gadhafi to leave voluntarily. In doing this, the U.S. has unusually broad international support.
Such tactics sometimes succeed, but they tend to take a long time. After the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein survived 12 years of sanctions and no-fly zones before the U.S.-led invasion deposed him in 2003. South Africa's apartheid regime lasted even longer despite broad international condemnation.
That is not reason for the U.S. to plunge into full-scale war. It is a reminder that removing dictators is never as simple and easy as imposing a no-fly zone might seem, and it's always hard to be confident about what comes next.
LOAD-DATE: March 25, 2011
GRAPHIC: PHOTO, B/W, Aris Messinis, AFP/Getty Images
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The Guardian (London) - Final Edition
March 24, 2011 Thursday
Comment: There's nothing moral about Nato's intervention in Libya: The western attacks risk a bloody stalemate and are a threat to the region. The alternative has to be a negotiated settlement
BYLINE: Seumas Milne
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It's as if it's a habit they can't kick. Once again US, British and other Nato forces are bombarding an Arab country with cruise missiles and bunker-busting bombs. Both David Cameron and Barack Obama insist this is nothing like Iraq. There will be no occupation. The attack is solely to protect civilians.
But eight years after they launched their shock-and-awe devastation of Baghdad and less than a decade since they invaded Afghanistan, the same western forces are in action against yet another Muslim state, incinerating soldiers and tanks on the ground and killing civilians in the process.
Supported by a string of other Nato states, almost all of which have taken part in the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, the US, Britain and France are clinging to an Arab fig leaf, in the shape of a Qatari airforce that has yet to arrive, to give some regional credibility to their intervention in Libya.
As in Iraq and Afghanistan, they insist humanitarian motives are crucial. And as in both previous interventions, the media are baying for the blood of a pantomime villain leader, while regime change is quickly starting to displace the stated mission. Only a western solipsism that regards it as normal to be routinely invading other people's countries in the name of human rights protects Nato governments from serious challenge.
But the campaign is already coming apart. At home, public opinion is turning against the onslaught: in the US, it's opposed by a margin of two-to-one; in Britain, 43% say they are against the action, compared with 35% in support - an unprecedented level of discontent for the first days of a British military campaign, including Iraq.
On the ground, the western attacks have failed to halt the fighting and killing, or force Colonel Gaddafi's forces into submission; Nato governments have been squabbling about who's in charge; and British ministers and generals have fallen out about whether the Libyan leader is a legitimate target.
Last week, Nato governments claimed the support of "the international community" on the back of the UN resolution and an appeal from the dictator-dominated Arab League. In fact, India, Russia, China, Brazil and Germany all refused to support the UN vote and have now criticised or denounced the bombing - as has the African Union and the Arab League itself.
As its secretary general, Amr Moussa, argued, the bombardment clearly went well beyond a no-fly zone from the outset. By attacking regime troops fighting rebel forces on the ground, the Nato governments are unequivocally intervening in a civil war, tilting the balance of forces in favour of the Benghazi-based insurrection.
Cameron insisted on Monday in the Commons that the air and sea attacks on Libya had prevented a "bloody massacre in Benghazi". The main evidence was Gaddafi's threat to show "no mercy" to rebel fighters who refused to lay down their arms and to hunt them down "house to house". In reality, for all the Libyan leader's brutality and Saddam Hussein-style rhetoric, he was scarcely in any position to carry out his threat.
Given that his ramshackle forces were unable to fully retake towns like Misrata or even Ajdabiya when the rebels were on the back foot, the idea that they would have been able to overrun an armed and hostile city of 700,000 people any time soon seems far-fetched.
But on the other side of the Arab world, in western-armed Bahrain, security forces are right now staging night raids on opposition activists, house by house, and scores have gone missing as the dynastic despots carry out a bloody crackdown on the democratic movement. And last Friday more than 50 peaceful demonstrators were shot dead on the streets of Sana'a by government forces in western-backed Yemen.
Far from imposing a no-fly zone to bring the embattled Yemeni regime to heel, US special forces are operating across the country in support of the government. But then US, British and other Nato forces are themselves responsible for hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last week more than 40 civilians were killed by a US drone attack in Pakistan, while over 60 died last month in one US air attack in Afghanistan.
The point isn't just that western intervention in Libya is grossly hypocritical. It's that such double standards are an integral part of a mechanism of global power and domination that stifles hopes of any credible international system of human rights protection.
A la carte humanitarian intervention, such as in Libya, is certainly not based on feasibility or the degree of suffering or repression, but on whether the regime carrying it out is a reliable ally or not. That's why the claim that Arab despots will be less keen to follow Gaddafi's repressive example as a result of the Nato intervention is entirely unfounded. States such as Saudi Arabia know very well they're not at the slightest risk of being targeted unless they're in danger of collapse.
There's also every chance that, as in Kosovo in 1999, the attack on Libya could actually increase repression and killing, while failing to resolve the underlying conflict. It's scarcely surprising that, outgunned by Gaddafi's forces, the Libyan rebel leadership should be grateful for foreign military support. But any Arab opposition movement that comes to power courtesy of Tornadoes and Tomahawks will be fatally compromised, as would the independence of the country itself.
For the western powers, knocked off balance by the revolutionary Arab tide, intervention in the Libyan conflict offers both the chance to put themselves on the "right side of history" and to secure their oil interests in a deeply uncertain environment.
Unless the Libyan autocrat is assassinated or his regime implodes, the prospect must now be of a bloody stalemate and a Kurdistan-style Nato protectorate in the east. There's little sympathy for Gaddafi in the Arab world, but already influential figures such as the Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah have denounced the intervention as a return to the "days of occupation, colonisation and partition".
The urgent alternative is now for countries such as Egypt and Turkey, with a far more legitimate interest in what goes on in Libya and links to all sides, to take the lead in seeking a genuine ceasefire, an end to outside interference and a negotiated political settlement. There is nothing moral about the Nato intervention in Libya - it is a threat to the entire region and its people.
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The Guardian (London) - Final Edition
March 19, 2011 Saturday
Front: Libya On the ground: Jets prepare to deploy despite ceasefire by Tripoli regime: Warplanes head for Mediterranean as Nato envoys meet to back no-fly zone
BYLINE: Richard Norton-Taylor Nick Hopkins Robert Booth
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British Tornado and Typhoon ground attack aircraft are expected to fly to bases in the Mediterranean today as Britain, France and the US step up military pressure on Colonel Gaddafi despite his announcement of a ceasefire.
The UK is also expected to set up a joint command centre with the US and France to co-ordinate operations that will be supported by a number of other countries, including Canada and Denmark. In further evidence of mounting determination to confront Gaddafi, ambassadors from Nato's 28 member countries are due to meet today to lend added support to the UN-backed plans for a no-fly zone.
Nato also emphasised humanitarian operations, but suggestions that ground troops from Britain and other countries could be deployed in Libya were dismissed last night.
"The absolute priority is to enforce the no-fly zone, and to secure maritime supply routes," said a defence source. "Nothing else is in the mix at this stage."
Nato secretary general Anders Rasmussen said the UN resolution sent "a strong and clear message from the entire international community" to the Gaddafi regime to stop his "systematic violence against the people of Libya immediately".
To this end, an array of other British military assets, including reconnaissance aircraft and air-refuelling tankers, will be deployed to bases in the Mediterranean. Military commanders in the UK have called the entire effort Operation Ellamy.
Though the MoD never talks about special forces operations, it is understood that SAS and SBS soldiers are already on the ground in Libya, providing information on likely first targets for any bombing raids. They could include airfields, supply routes and Libya's anti-aircraft defence batteries. "Any operations will be highly targeted to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided," said the source.
Yesterday it became clear that the complexity of co-ordinating joint operations with so many countries would stymie any immediate plans for air strikes to help the rebels. One strategic priority was to find a way of binding in Arab help for any attacks, even though this is likely only to be at a logistical and support level.
The prime minister told the Commons yesterday morning that British Tornado and Typhoon aircraft were within hours of being deployed. However, Whitehall sources later admitted that no planes had left the UK, and nor were they likely to until the weekend.
The day began with no clarity over the command structure for any operations - and whether they would be led or supported by Nato. These details were being frantically developed in the hours after the UN resolution was passed. General Sir David Richards, chief of the defence staff, worked through Thursday night trying to secure agreement over who would do what and when, before attending the Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.
He has been liaising closely with Air Marshall Sir Stuart Peach, chief of joint operations, who is based at the permanent joint headquarters of the three services in Northwood, to the north-west of London.The most likely scenario is that British fighters will be stationed at the British sovereign base at Akrotiri in Cyprus, where the RAF already has E3-D long-range air surveillance aircraft that are monitoring Libyan airspace.
Nato is also operating 24-hour surveillance of Libya with Awacs reconnaissance aircraft based in Germany. British fighters may also be stationed at the Nato airbase at Sigonella in Sicily - Canada is sending six fighters there.
The Royal Navy still has two ships in international waters off Libya - the frigates HMS Cumberland and HMS Westminster. There are no plans to increase the number at this stage.
However, the navy is working up a response force task group, which will include up to six different support and warships. That may be deployed in the weeks to come, sources said.
The US already has a strong naval presence in the Mediterranean: a battle group of five vessels led by the ageing aircraft carrier USS Enterprise includes the nuclear-powered submarine USS Providence and the destroyer USS Mason.
The USS Kearsarge is also in the area with a contingent of US marines on board while the USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer, was in port in Haifa, northern Israel on Wednesday.
"Surveillance will be 60% of the strategy if the plan is to dissuade Libyan aircraft from taking off," said Professor Trevor Taylor, head of the centre for defence management and leadership at Cranfield University. "And ground surveillance will be much more important still if the Libyans start using armoured vehicles because that will multiply the number of targets."
Barak Seener, a Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute, added: "Symbolically it's very important to include an Arab element in any attacks.
"Logistically they cannot provide very much, but it is important as a way of countering the accusation that this is an intervention which is colonialist and imperialist in nature."
Diplomats have said Arab countries that could participate in possible strikes might include Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Libya Foreign minister Moussa Koussa addresses a press conference
Libya A checkpoint on the road from Benghazi to the front line
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