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France splits NATO for fear of Russia


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 19:50:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gunder Frank <agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca>
To: agf <agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: France splits NATO for fear of Russia

SENIOR officials in Paris are claiming that the French government has
vetoed plans by the Western allies to intensify the war against President
Milosevic with an all-out aerial onslaught.

According to the Elysée Palace, President Chirac blocked a move to begin a
new offensive that would involve unlimited attacks on Serbian "centres of
power" for fear of provoking Russia. In detailed briefings to senior
French journalists, the Elysée conceded that opposition to what it calls "Phase
Three" of the campaign has effectively isolated France from her allies.

While the government remains committed to stepping up pressure on
Milosevic - specifically approving the deployment of America's 
tank-busting helicopters - it remains convinced that it is too risky 
to confront Moscow with what amounts to "total war".

In yesterday's Libération, the respected commentator Serge July said that
the French government fears that the increasingly "fragile" Yeltsin
administration, already facing hostile public opinion, would be forced to
react vigorously. He said the Elysée's view was "things must not be
allowed to slip out of control" on the battlefield, "or who is to say that
we wouldn't eventually have to go to war with Russia?".

In light of the dangers involved, said officials, France was now asking to
be consulted in advance - unlike most other governments in the alliance -
over the choice of specific targets. The sources stressed: "There will be no
escalation without the agreement of France." Mr Chirac's position was said
to be that France "prefers fighting with her hands tied behind her back to
having both hands free while walking a tightrope above the abyss".

                   ANDRE GUNDER FRANK
250 Kensington Ave - Apt 608     Tel: 1-514-933 2539    
Westmount/Montreal PQ/QC         Fax: 1-514-933 6445 
Canada H3Z 2G8              e-mail:agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca 

My Personal/Professional Home Page- http://www.whc.neu.edu/gunder.html
My NATO/Kosovo War Page-http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/agfrank/letters/       
My professional/personal conclusion is the same as Pogo's - 
            We have met the enemy, and it is US 

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