News Release

Earth Day and Rambouillet


Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Hayden said: “The administration’s Rambouillet plan was a public relations fraud rather than a diplomatic compromise. It provided for the independence of Kosovo in all but name and the military occupation by NATO of all of Yugoslavia — not just Kosovo. This was plainly a proposal that no government could accept… NATO’s bombing of the petrochemical plant at Baric only a few miles from Belgrade risked the life, health and safety of the civilian population of 2 million in the city of Belgrade. The attack released clouds of poison gas over Belgrade, and violated international humanitarian law. Fortunately, the winds kept the poison cloud above the city. Ironically, Clinton had just warned the Serbs against using chemical weapons.”

Thornton is the Military Toxics Project’s international coordinator for the Ban Depleted Uranium Campaign. While the military still has not confirmed or denied that they are using depleted uranium, Thornton said: “As Earth Day 1999 [April 22] approaches, we in the U.S. are at war with two countries. We have used depleted uranium (DU) weaponry in Iraq which is both a toxic and radioactive weapon. DU dust created by firing these weapons has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Many believe DU may be one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome in our veterans and of the increased rates of cancers and childhood leukemia reported in southern Iraq. Depleted uranium can also contaminate the air, water, agriculture and livestock.”
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Coordinator of the Iraq Action Coalition, an environmental scientist and a national board member of Peace Action, Masri said: “The bombing of Yugoslavia is reminiscent of the bombing of Iraq. That has proven to be devastating for both the Iraqi people and the environment. In 1991, the U.S. military used 300 tons of DU in Iraq. They bombed chemical and biological facilities, oil refineries, waste water treatment facilities, factories and agricultural fields. As a result of all this, compounded by almost nine years of sanctions, unidentified plant diseases have surfaced, over 15 million trees have died, cancer rates have increased three fold and the food chain has been contaminated. We cannot allow the same to happen to Yugoslavia.”

A media analyst with Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting who monitors the European press, Ackerman said: “The Rambouillet talks were a farce. The U.S. consistently refused to negotiate; for example, Madeleine Albright told the Serbs, ‘We accept nothing less than a complete agreement, including a NATO-led force.’ There is evidence that a peaceful solution was possible, but the U.S. has blocked that route.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167