Gregory Stanton's Thoughts on Kosovo
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
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Well, at the very beginning, in fact, of the Kosovo crisis, I in fact did write an options paper, well over a year before the Kosovo War, and did circulate it, and predicted that there would be genocide in Kosovo—and in fact used the eight stage analysis which I alluded to about the stages of genocide as a predictive way of showing why I was sure that genocide would occur, because they had already drawn up the death lists, which as you remember is stage six. It’s the stage just before the killing. We knew that genocide was gonna happen there. And so, it was no surprise when in fact it did happen. At that time then, going to the administration and outlining options for action was the way to try to influence the action and, at that time, getting the administration to look at how the action could be pursued, either through the UN or through NATO. The administration eventually chose NATO, because of the Russian and Chinese veto problem. I, by the way, did recommend another possibility, which was the use of the Uniting for Peace resolution, which is a use of the General Assembly in the United Nations, which, if it had been used, would have allowed our response in Kosovo to be legal under the UN Charter. But, be that as it may in any case, those actions were unfortunately taken too late. It just took too long. And so by the time we responded in Kosovo, Milošević had already moved, and in fact had committed the genocide. In my own view, if we had taken resolute action quite a bit earlier and essentially had told Milošević that we would not put up with it, I think it could have been prevented.
Well, in this case, I think we would have recommended that the UN or NATO, with UN blessing—through the General Assembly in this case, probably—would have stood up a force, put it on the border, and said, “Mr. Milošević, if you try to send your troops into Kosovo and if you start to commit crimes against humanity, we are going to send our troops in.” And I think that would have stopped him. I mean, that would have been my recommendation. I don’t know, frankly, you know, whether that was something that we were ready to do. I don’t know whether politically that was something that we were ready to do. There are many judgments of that kind, of course, that political leaders need to make, but it is—and I remember that it was a terrible time politically in this country. President Clinton was going through the impeachment trials. But it was also a time when we did need to respond. Unfortunately, the victims were people in Kosovo of our lack of action.