During a Round Table program aired on Cuban television on April 25, 2003, I pointed out that the then Spanish President José María Aznar, an ally of the world's leader in genocides and massacres, had met with President William Clinton on April 13, 1999, at an uncertain juncture of the war in Yugoslavia, and had told him, verbatim:
"If we’re at war, let’s make it an all-out war, in order to win, to achieve more than a partial victory. Even if the war must last a month, three months, let's wage it. I don't understand why we have not yet bombed Serbian radio and television".
Aznar and US government spokespeople have kept silence about this. The text that follows has never before been published. I will use other materials, both public and confidential, in reflections to come.
[...] "AZNAR: I will speak frankly. As I've already told President Clinton, the one thing that cannot happen is for NATO to be defeated now. Not only NATO's credibility, but its very existence as well, is now at stake. Had this conflict taken place 30 years ago, we would not have intervened. Europe has always been plagued by ethnic cleansings, confrontations between minorities and majorities, religious conflicts. Today, this is no longer tolerable. From the political point of view, we will never be in favor of Kosovo's independence, because of what we said before".
Referring to Chirac, the French president, he said: "I will speak with him tomorrow in Brussels. When I want to have a good time with Chirac, I start by saying to him that 'these Americans are truly horrible’. I had dinner with him at the Elysium three weeks ago. I don’t know what had happened between you, but he was saying terrible things about you. I told him that was all fine and good, but that I wasn't there to discuss that.
"My idea is that, in order to win the war, the lines of communication between the Belgrade government and the people must be cut off. All of Serbia's lines of communication, its radio, television and phones, must be put out.
“In addition to this, we must restructure our information policy. NATO's information policy is disastrous. We're giving people the impression we've set out on an adventure, not that we're waging a war. There are real communication gaps. We have to go as far as we can on this, patiently cut off all supplies and lines of communication.
“We have to be careful with Italy and Greece. Air traffic and tourism in Italy are being severely affected. D'Alema is doing a good job, given the circumstances. We must not let him arrive at facile solutions.
"We must step up humanitarian aid efforts. Our citizens must see the efficacy of our humanitarian work as the other side of the bombings.
"It would be senseless to change positions now. I spoke with Annan yesterday. I saw that he had a firm stance on the matter. I stressed this to Annan. We can be flexible, but we cannot give people the impression that NATO is withdrawing.
"We can be flexible with respect to whether NATO would lead this force or not, but we cannot content ourselves with having OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) observers return. In addition to transparency, we must have a guarantee.
"We must continue to pursue this strategy, to see if it possible for him to be overthrown internally" (He is referring to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic).
"If a number of his generals fear that they can be accused before the Hague Tribunal, they may cooperate. Milosevic will likely try and come to an agreement. We must attempt to have that agreement reduce and not increase his power.
"We need not even touch on the matter of the land operation.
"Everyone understands that plans are in the making, anything else would be illogical. If our current strategy isn't working, we have to explore other options. It must be put on the table for consideration. If everything we're doing leads us nowhere, we'll have to intervene in the coming months. But our actions could not be limited to Kosovo. Rather, they would include other areas of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, going through Bosnia and Hungary, even. The Hungarian president is a young and intelligent leader, he told me that we will never be successful unless the following happens: Milosevic out of office, Kosovo split into two and a reformulation of the policy towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, to be divided as follows: a united Serbian Republic for Serbia, the Croatian part for Croatia and an independent Muslim part. I don't agree with this idea, but I believe it is gaining ground in countries in the region. It will be very hard for Serbs and Albanians to go back to living together again. We must continue to do what we've been doing, but we've been in Bosnia for many years now and we don't know when we will be able to get out of there. The Albanians may accept the idea of a confederation, but this will not be possible if Milosevic remains in power.
"If they have no guarantee of a Serbian presence in the regions that symbolize the birth of their civilization for them, they won't accept it. The feeling that native soil has been lost, that this soil must be "liberated", will arise.
"Our priority is to win the war; we'll see what happens afterwards".
[…] I ask Mr. Aznar to tell us whether it is true or not that, on April 13, 1999, he advised President Clinton to bomb Serbian radio and television.
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 29, 2007
One more argument for the U.N.
While I am working with the already famous Greenspan book, I read an article published by El País, a Spanish newspaper with a circulation of more than 500,000, according to reports; I would like to pass this on to the readers. It is signed by Ernesto Ekaizer, and it literally reads:
"Four weeks before the Iraq invasion which happened in the night of March 19 to 20, 2003, George W. Bush publicly sustained his demands of Saddam Hussein in the following terms: disarmament or war. In private, Bush acknowledged that war was inevitable. In a long private conversation with the then Spanish president, José María Aznar, held on Saturday, February 22, 2003 at the Crawford Ranch in Texas, Bush made it clear that the moment had come to get rid of Saddam. ‘We have two weeks. In two weeks our military will be ready. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March', he told Aznar.
"The moment has come to get rid of Saddam.
"As part of this plan, Bush had accepted, on January 31, 2003 --after an interview with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair-- to make a last diplomatic manoeuvre: to introduce a second resolution to the United Nations Security Council. His objective: to clear the way legally for a unilateral war that the United States was getting ready to unleash with more than 200,000 soldiers who were in the region ready to attack.
"Bush was aware of Blair’s internal difficulties and he knew of Aznar’s. Only seven days before that meeting at the Crawford Ranch, three million people were demonstrating in several Spanish cities against the imminent war. ‘We need your help with our public opinion’, Aznar asks. Bush explains to him the scope of the new resolution that he is going to present: ‘The resolution will be tailor made to help you. I don’t care about the content’. To this, Aznar replies: ‘That text would help us to be able to co-sponsor it and be its co-authors, and get many people to sponsor it’. Aznar, then, offers to give Bush European coverage, together with Blair. Aznar’s dream of consolidating a relationship with the United States, following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, was about to become reality.
"Aznar had travelled with his wife, Ana Botella, on February 20 to the United States making a stopover in Mexico to persuade President Vicente Fox –unsuccessfully– of the need to support Bush. On the 21st, the couple, accompanied by the President’s assistants, arrived in Texas. Aznar and his wife stayed at the ranch guest house.
"In the meeting on the following day, Saturday, President Bush, his then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and Daniel Fried, the chief of European Affairs at the National Security Council, were present. Aznar, on his side, was accompanied by his international policy advisor, Alberto Carnero and the Spanish Ambassador in Washington, Javier Rupérez. As part of the meeting, Bush and Aznar had a four-way telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Italian President Silvio Berlusconi.
"Ambassador Rupérez translated from the English for Aznar and also from the Italian for Condoleezza Rice; another two interpreters did the same for Bush and his collaborators. It was Rupérez who drafted the minutes of the conversation in a memorandum that has been kept secret until today.
"The conversation is impressive because of its direct, friendly and even menacing tone when, for example, they refer to the necessity of some countries like Mexico, Chile, Angola, Cameroon and Russia, members of the UN Security Council, voting for the new resolution as a show of friendship towards the United States or else they would have to suffer the consequences.
"They are cautioned about zero expectations for the work of the inspectors, whose chief, Hans Blix, had dismantled just one week earlier, on February 14, the arguments presented by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Security Council on February 5, 2003, with ‘solid facts’ enthusiastically supported by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio. The same facts that Powell himself later described as a bunch of lies.
"The Blix Report
"According to Blix, Iraq was taking steps towards active cooperation in solving the pending issue of disarmament. His tone had been less critical than that of his report of January 27, 2003. ‘Since we arrived in Iraq three months ago we have made more than 400 inspections, with no advance warning at 300 sites. Until now, the inspectors have found no prohibited weapons…If Iraq decides to cooperate even more closely, the period of disarmament by the inspections can still be short´, the chief inspector pointed out.
"The General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El Baradei released information on February 14 that there were still some technical issues left to clear up. But, he added, ‘now there are no more disarmament problems left to solve’. According to him, absolutely no proof had been found that Iraq had been carrying out nuclear activities or activities related to nuclear energy, another clear lie about what Powell had stated about the Iraqi nuclear program.
"Both the first results of the inspections and the end of the United States preparations led Bush to set the beginning of the military operation towards the date of March 10, 2003. Later, nine days were added in order to get the second resolution. The process of moral persuasion in which Aznar and Palacios worked by phone and in bilateral meetings did not succeed in pulling in more than four votes: those of the three promoters and Bulgaria. They needed 9 votes.
"The failure of this legal coverage for the imminent war led Bush, with Blair and Aznar, to agree to a summit meeting in the Azores on March 16, 2003, a place suggested by Aznar as an alternative to Bermuda for a reason he explained to Bush: ‘Just the name of these islands suggests an item of clothing that is not exactly the most appropriate for the seriousness of the moment in which we find ourselves’. There, on that March 16, Blair, Bush and Aznar decided to replace the United Nations Security Council. They usurped its functions to declare war on Iraq at their own risk. On the morning of March 17, the United Kingdom ambassador at the UN announced in New York the withdrawal of the second resolution. A defeat in the voting would have complicated even further the race towards war."
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 27, 2007.
http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/secciones/reflexiones/esp-007.html (Other Fidel’s reflections, in various languages)