The Russian guy got out of a meeting with Milosevic and announced "progress."  Milosevic said that he'd talk to the other interested parties when the bombing stops.  The bombers adopted a "wait and see" position and continued bombing.
    Milosevic's proposals were complete non-starters - bunch of lying nothings - the truth revealed by the propaganda that the Kosovars are fleeing the bombing rather than the Yugoslav army, which is of course just silliness.  The Russians picked up that line and repeated it on their news.  I guess it would seem plausible if you're in a certain pan-Slav state of mind.
    The fact is, though, that the bombing is utterly useless in terms of the stated goals of getting him to stop being a crumbum.  It only bolsters his position at home.  And it does nothing, obviously, to impair his ground capabilities.
    So much for the other side.  Back at the White House they are saying that the repression has nothing to do with the bombing, that he was going to do it anyway.  That is more silliness.  Milosevich was being restrained by the politics of the pre-bombing situation - had to sneak around doing a few expulsions here, a few house burnings, maybe a little massacre.  The bombing was a perfect excuse to really get the job done.  He could claim national security in time of war.  It's all spelled out in Hitler's book, which Milosevic has obviously read.
    But the White House figures if they say something, well, someone will believe it, and of course it will make the News, there'll be an element of credibility just because they said it.  But it is so obviously wrong that it engenders incredulity - just another lie from the government.  So we are back to Vietnam on this - if the government says something it must be untrue.
    Now for the best part, cynically speaking.  They (whoever it was that planned this) either knew it would turn out this way, in which case there is a hidden motive for the exercise having nothing to do with the Kosovars, or they were thoroughly mistaken in their calculations.  The first possibility would be criminal, as indeed, in terms of international law, the whole exercise is.  The second would be rather exquisitely stupid.
    Well, so what would would be the hidden motives?  Who benefits from this business transaction, if that is what it is?  As mentioned before, Turkey gets a boost, simply by the depletion of Slav assets.  There is an implied benefit for far away Iran as well, for similar reasons.  The softening up of the Balkans may perhaps facilitate some oil pipeline business at some point in the future.  Perhaps we see the shadowy form of Royal Dutch Shell behind the the participation of the Netherlands.  And Germany, in the military realm, is still a slave to the victors of World War II, with no independent possibilities.  But tell me, if any of you know, if there is any national interest for Italy in this?  Or for UK?  I think there is none.  If this is a plan, it seems to benefit some private and personal interests.  Interesting ideas?  Someone remind me of what I'm not noticing here.
    The other possibility is stupidity.  Bunch of stuffed shirts sitting around their conference room thinking up a halfbaked halfplan, convince themselves it might work, it doesn't work, they can't think of anything better to do than more of the same.  We have certainly seen this scenario before, haven't we?  I think we could call it petit hubris, and it seems that every president since, oh, maybe Eisenhower has succumbed to this occupational disease.
    At the moment, seven days into the bombing, I incline toward the stupid possibility rather than the carefully executed criminal conspiracy.  I've seen it many times before.  Haven't you?
    I've been sending little piddly donations to the Dems to foil the evil stupid Reps.  I've told them no more donations until the bombing stops.  Bad imitation of Bush, himself no role model.
    More on this later.  Please, anyone who knows things I don't, give me a clue.

    The mail I'm getting on this subject, admittedly not a lot, seems to tend toward the utterly cynical theory that this is an inept attempt by a clueless and vainglorious Clinton to have a little military fling to secure his place in history.  If true that would place him in a lower mental state than Nixon, a paragon of rectitude, comparatively speaking.  One hesitates of course to attribute such thoughtless stupidity to a national leader, but of course similar gaffes occur regularly in the course of human events.  This bagatelle cannot possibly do any good for the prospects of the Dems in 2000.  Surely someone among the perpetrators will benefit from this exercise!  Surely it is not designed for the ultimate benefit of Milosevic!  Keep those emails coming please.  I am still in the dark as to why this is actually happening.  Deep Throat said to follow the money, but the money only seems to be going down the drain.