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<nettime> (fwd) The Economic Provisions of Rambouillet
Geert Lovink on Thu, 27 May 1999 17:09:41 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> (fwd) The Economic Provisions of Rambouillet


Date: 25 May 1999 18:00:34 -0400
From: John Caruso <caruso {AT} paradiso.umuc.edu>

A good bit of attention has been focused on the portions of
Rambouillet which would have granted NATO colonial powers over all of
Yugoslavia (not just Kosovo).  However, the economic provisions tend
to get short shrift, though I feel that they're possibly even more
important in understanding just how little the Rambouillet proposal
had to do with establishing peace.

Here are some relevant quotes from the document:

----------------------------------------------------------------------
- Chapter 4 Economic Issues

Article I

1. The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free
   market principles.

[...]

6. Federal and other authorities shall within their respective powers
   and responsibilities ensure the free movement of persons, goods,
   services, and capital to Kosovo, including from international
   sources. They shall in particular allow access to Kosovo without
   discrimination for persons delivering such goods and services.

[...]

Article II

1. The Parties agree to reallocate ownership and resources in
accordance insofar as possible with the distribution of powers and
responsibilities set forth in this Agreement, in the following areas:

     (a) government-owned assets (including educational institutions,
         hospitals, natural resources, and production facilities);

     [...]

[ http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/ksvo_rambouillet_text.html ]
----------------------------------------------------------------------
-

First, ask yourself: what are these provisions doing in a "peace
agreement" at all?  Why were the US and NATO attempting to mandate a
free market economy, if the purpose of Rambouillet was to stop the
fighting and protect ethnic Albanians?

Article I section 6 is especially interesting.  It opens the door for
transnational corporations and foreign investment capital to have free
and unhindered access to Yugoslavia.  Historically the desire to open
new markets has been a major motivation in imperialist expansion by
Western countries; it appears not much has changed.

Article II section 1 takes this further by essentially laying out the
privatization of all remaining socialist assets in Yugoslavia. I find
it especially interesting that they name "natural resources"
explicitly, since one of the speculations I've heard is that the NATO
attack is motivated in part by the desire to control the Trepca mining
complex in Kosovo (apparently the third largest in the world). And the
reference to "production facilities" supports Michael Parenti's
assertion that one of the motivations of the West in the breakup of
Yugoslavia was to be able to sell off factories and other state assets
"at garage sale prices".

The provisions of Rambouillet which give NATO full and unhindered
access to all of Yugoslavia are certainly damning for anyone who wants
to claim that Rambouillet was a reasonable proposal, and Yugoslavia's
failure to accept it unjustified.  But the economic provisions are
even more damning IMHO since they so clearly have nothing to do with
establishing peace.  If (even after reading this) you still believe
that the US and NATO are attacking Kosovo for "humanitarian" reasons,
read the rest of Rambouillet, and see what you think when you're done.

[ And if you believe in a free press, ask yourself why there was
nearly no analysis of Rambouillet on or after March 24th.  Even now
that the issue is being forced by some (independent) journalists, it's
not receiving major media coverage; networks like CNN which have 15-20
minute spots for every piece of (alleged) massacre footage they can
find, and for every refugee interview they can get which implicates
individual soldiers or paramilitaries in crimes, don't have a minute
to spare to analyze the document which led directly to the NATO
bombings.  As Norman Solomon pointed out, they say that it's "old
news" now--but they never reported it in the first place! ]

- John

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