Clinton CFR Speech - Sept. 14, 1998
"If a President of the United States ever lied to the
American people he should resign."
-- Bill Clinton, in 1974 while running for the U.S. House
Sep 15 1789
The U.S. Foreign Affairs Dept. becomes the U.S. State Department
Clinton CFR Speech - Sept. 14, 1998 - Follow the Money!!!
(as of April 26, 2000 the above
page is down)
14 September 1998
TRANSCRIPT: PRESIDENT'S SPEECH ON THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
(Calls for meeting on world financial system reform) (5183)
Washington -- President Clinton announced that he is seeking a "major
meeting" of the Group of Seven industrial countries finance ministers
and central bankers, to convene within a month, to recommend ways to
improve the international financial architecture.
In a September 14 speech on the international financial crisis,
Clinton said he had asked Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin and
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan "to convene a major meeting of
their counterparts within the next 30 days to recommend ways to adapt
the international financial architecture to the 21st century."
"We must accelerate our efforts to reform the international financial
system," said Clinton, speaking before the Council on Foreign
Relations in New York.
The President also outlined six immediate U.S. initiatives to "help
contain the current financial turmoil around the world," particularly
-- Working with Japan, Europe and other industrial nations to take
concerted steps to spur growth. Part of this initiative will be a
meeting next week in New York of President Clinton and Japanese Prime
Minister Keizo Obuchi "to discuss how America can support Japan's
efforts to restore economic growth and investor confidence."
-- Expanding efforts to help viable businesses in Asia to "emerge from
crippling debt burdens" to enable them to again contribute to growth
and job creation. Clinton announced that he is asking Secretary Rubin
to work with other financial authorities and international economic
institutions to explore ways to help the Asian corporations.
-- Asking the World Bank to "double its support for the social safety
net in Asia to help people who are innocent victims of financial
-- Urging major industrial economies to stand ready to use the $15,000
million in International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency funds to stop
the financial crisis' "contagion" from spreading to Latin America and
-- Increasing the Export-Import Bank of the United States' commitments
to specific economic development projects over the next three years
that have concrete benefits for ordinary citizens in the countries
where the Ex-Im Bank will provide the assistance.
-- Urging Congress to promptly approve the administration's full
$17,900 million request for increased funding for the IMF.
Clinton said the United States has "an absolutely inescapable
obligation to lead" the efforts to restore the international economy
"in a way that's consistent with our values and our obligations to see
that what we're doing helps lift the lives of ordinary people."
Following is the transcript of Clinton's speech:
(Note: In the following text "billion" equals 1,000 million.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Pete. Hillary and I are delighted
to be here with you and Joan, and I'm glad to be joined by Secretary
Rubin and Jim Harmon, Gene Sperling, other members of our team. I'm
glad to see Dick Holbrooke over here. I hope, if we can overcome the
inertia of Congress, he will soon be a member of the team again.
(Applause.) And I thank David Rockefeller and Les Gelb and others who
welcomed us here today.
The subject that I want to discuss -- let me just say one thing in
advance -- I'm going to give you my best thoughts. We have been
working on this for three years at some level of intensity or another,
going back to the Naples G-7 meeting in the aftermath of the Mexican
financial crisis. I have done everything I could do personally to
reach out across the country, and indeed across the world, for any new
ideas from any source. I'm going to give you my best thinking today
about what we can do, but I want you to know that I'm here, and if I
had my druthers, this would be about a three-hour session where I'd
give this talk and then I would listen for the rest of the time.
So I want to encourage you, if you think we're right, to support us.
But if you have any ideas, for goodness sake, share them, because I
agree with what Pete said: this is the biggest financial challenge
facing the world in a half-century. And the United States has an
absolutely inescapable obligation to lead, and to lead in a way that's
consistent with our values and our obligation to see that what we're
doing helps lift the lives of ordinary people here at home and all
around the world.
The Council on Foreign Relations has always stood for political and
economic freedom, since right after World War I. And I think one of
the things that has impacted all of us, and it was implicit in what
Pete said, is that for the last decade the growth of freedom around
the world, with more than half the people in the world living under
governments of their own choosing, more than half the villages, the
one million villages in China now, even electing their own
governments, and this sweeping replacement of command and control
economies by market economies. I think it seems to have happened so
easily, so effortlessly, so inexorably, that I think we think the
trend is inevitable and irreversible.
But if you consider today's economic difficulties, disruptions, and
the plain old, deep, personal disappointments of now tens of millions
of people around the world, it is clear to me that there is now a
stark challenge not only to economic freedom, but, if unaddressed, a
challenge that could stem the rising tide of political liberty as
Obviously we have profound interests here. It is a great irony that we
are at a moment of unsurpassed economic strength at a time of such
turmoil in the world economy. We, I think all of us in this room, know
that our future prosperity depends upon whether we can work with
others to restore confidence, manage change, stabilize the financial
system, and spur robust global growth.
For most of the last 30 years, the United States and the rest of the
world has been preoccupied by inflation, for reasons that all of you
here know all too well -- and it was a good thing to be preoccupied
with. Today the low and stable inflation we enjoy has been critical to
our economic health, and low inflation has also contributed to that of
many other nations as well. But clearly the balance of risks has now
shifted, with a full quarter of the world's population living in
countries with declining economic growth or negative economic growth.
Therefore, I believe the industrial world's chief priority today,
plainly, is to spur growth. It seems to me there are six immediate
steps we should take to help contain the current financial turmoil
around the world, and then two longer-term projects in which we must
To take the immediate first, we must work with Japan, Europe, and
other nations to spur growth. Second, we will expand our efforts to
enable viable businesses in Asia to emerge from crippling debt burdens
so they can once again contribute to growth and job creation. Third,
we've asked the World Bank to double its support for the social safety
net in Asia to help people who are innocent victims of financial
turmoil. Fourth, we'll urge the major industrial economies to stand
ready to use the $15 billion in IMF emergency funds to help stop the
financial contagion from spreading to Latin America and elsewhere.
Fifth, our Ex-Im Bank, under the leadership of Jim Harmon, will
intensify its efforts to generate economic activity in the developing
world immediately, in the next three months. And sixth, Congress must
live up to its responsibility for continued prosperity by meeting our
obligations to the International Monetary Fund.
Secretary Rubin has been working with his counterparts in the G-7 to
get cooperative support for several of these measures. I understand
Chairman Greenspan is also consulting with his counterparts on these
items as well.
As we take these immediate steps, we also must intensify our efforts
to reform our trade and financial institutions so that they can
respond better to the challenges we now face and those we are likely
to face in the future. We must build a stronger and more accountable
global trading system, pressing forward with market-opening
initiatives, but also advancing the protection of labor and
environmental interests, and doing more to ensure that trade helps the
lives of ordinary citizens across the globe.
Above all, we must accelerate our efforts to reform the international
financial system. Today I have asked Secretary Rubin and Federal
Reserve Board Chairman Greenspan to convene a major meeting of their
counterparts within the next 30 days to recommend ways to adapt the
international financial architecture to the 21st century.
Over the past six years, our strategy at home of fiscal discipline,
investment in the skills of our people, and open trade has worked for
all Americans. Unemployment at a 28-year low, inflation a 32-year low,
wages rising at twice the rate of inflation after decades of
stagnation. And on October 1st we'll have the first balanced budget in
But the global economy brought a lot of that prosperity to us, and now
fast-moving currents have brought or aggravated problems in Russia and
Asia. They threaten emerging economies from Latin America to South
Africa. With a quarter of the world's population in declining growth,
we must recognize what Chairman Greenspan said the other day: we
cannot forever be an oasis of prosperity. Growth at home depends upon
growth abroad. A full 30 percent of our growth, just since I became
President, has been due to our expanding positive involvement in the
That's why ordinary Americans should care if Asia or Russia or South
America is on solid economic footing. These people are our customers.
With one-third of the growth of our economy coming from exports, much
of it from emerging markets, we know that those markets will falter as
their economies flatten. When the problem is widespread and perceived
to be moving in the wrong direction, we have seen that our stock
market can react, having a direct and immediate impact on the wealth
of the American people.
These nations are also our competitors. And under conditions of decent
equilibrium that is a very good thing, indeed. But when their
currencies drop precipitously, the prices of their goods fall, they
could undercut the sales of our own goods here at home that are
otherwise profitable, dramatically increasing our trade deficit under
circumstances that could cause the American people to turn away from
open trade toward protectionism in a way that has terrific negative
consequences long-term for our global growth objectives.
Finally, these nations are our friends, our allies and our security
partners. Where economic turmoil plunges millions into sudden poverty
and disrupts and disorients the lives of ordinary people, the risks of
political and social instability and of a turn from democracy clearly
rise. Just look at Russia. Russia is facing an economic crisis that
threatens the extraordinary progress the Russian people have made in
just seven years, building a new society from the ground up. The ruble
and the stock market have plummeted, banks are weak, tax collections
have slowed, the government has trouble paying its debts and its
Some Russians have become wealthy, but many, many more are struggling
to provide for their families. I talked to some of them when I was in
Russia just a few days ago.
Amid such political uncertainty and economic difficulty, some now talk
of abandoning the path of reform and returning to policies of the
past, even policies that have already failed. At worst, adversity in
Russia could affect not only the Russian economy and prospects for our
economic cooperation -- at worst, it could have an impact on our
cooperation with Russia on nuclear disarmament, on fighting terrorism
and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, on standing together
for peace, from the Balkans to the Middle East.
Now Russia has a new Prime Minister, Mr. Primakov, who's been in
office a grand total of four days. He and President Yeltsin face one
of the great challenges of their time. Never has there been a more
important moment to set a clear direction for the future, to affirm
the commitment of Russia to democracy and to free markets, and to take
decisive steps to stabilize the economy and restore investor
But if Russia is willing to take these steps, we must do everything we
can to provide support to them. Because again I say, as long as
ordinary people don't feel any benefits from this, in the end it's
going to be difficult to sustain the direction we think the world
On the other hand, we need to be honest with Russia and everyone else.
No nation, rich or poor, democratic or authoritarian, can escape the
fundamental economic imperatives of the global market. No nation can
escape its discipline. No nation can avoid its responsibility to do
But since all economies are increasingly interdependent, fear and
uncertainty about the economy of one country can prompt investors to
pull money out of other countries thousands of miles away. Markets
work best when they are driven neither by excessive inflows or
outflows of capital based on indiscriminate optimism or pessimism.
Regardless of what changes in policies or institutions may be
warranted, we have to say we'll only be able to help those countries
who are willing to help themselves. If a nation chooses to print money
indiscriminately, to wink at cronyism or corruption, to hide bad loans
and protect corrupt or inefficient banks, then investors, foreign and
domestic, sooner or later, will withdraw their investments, with
consequences both swift and severe.
That is why we support the fundamental approach of the International
Monetary Fund to extend assistance only when nations have taken
responsibility, strengthening their banking systems, introducing
honest accounting and open markets, awarding credit on merit instead
Still, what has been done is clearly not enough to reverse the decline
in particular countries, to douse the flames of the international
financial crisis, to support steady and sustainable growth in the
future. In the face of this new challenge, America can and must
continue to act and to lead to take the urgent steps needed today to
calm the financial crisis, restart the engine of growth in Asia, and
minimize the impact of financial turmoil on other nations, and to make
certain that for tomorrow the institutions and rules of international
finance and international trade are prepared to support steady and
sustainable growth over the long term.
First and foremost, the leading economic nations must act together to
spur global growth. Our strong and growing economy here has made a
major contribution to global growth, just as our weak economy was
holding the world back six years ago when I attended my first G-7
meeting in Tokyo and every other country said, the first thing they
needed was for America to put its economic house in order. We did
Now I believe strongly we must maintain our fiscal discipline. It has
led to lower interest rates and a huge investment and job growth.
Maintaining economic growth is the best thing we can do right now, not
only for the United States but for the global economy.
I would also remember that back in 1993 we had a general agreement
that what was needed was America should get rid of its deficit, Europe
should lower its interest rates, and Japan should open its markets.
There was this general agreement that if we did all those things, we
would have a remarkable resumption of growth.
Europe did moderate its interest
rates and the then prime minister --
now the finance minister -- Mr. Miyazawa, oversaw a significant market
opening trade agreement between the United States and Japan, which
also benefited others, not just us. And of course we got rid of our
deficit. The results were quite satisfactory for several years for us.
Now Europe has to continue to pursue policies that will spur growth
and keep their markets open because they, too, must be able to provide
markets for Asian goods as those nations seek to find their footing.
But the key here is Japan, for the second largest economy in the
world, by far the biggest economy in Asia, has now gone several years
without any economic growth. Thank goodness, a lot of their ordinary
citizens have been able to maintain a decent life because of the
wealth of their country and probably because of the enormous personal
savings rate they have enjoyed for many, many years now.
But it is difficult to see how any actions of the world community can
be successful in restoring growth in Asia in the absence of the
restoration of growth in Japan, which would enable Japan to lead the
region out of its present condition. Therefore, we must support Japan
and do everything we can to help create the conditions in which,
together, we can all lead again, just as we did in 1993.
Their challenges are quite formidable. They have to spur domestic
demand, revive a banking system, restore confidence, deregulate the
economy, and open markets. And we all know all the forces that seem to
be working against these developments in Japan. But I would remind you
that this is a very strong, sophisticated nation full of people of
knowledge and enormous achievement. It is fully capable of playing its
world leadership role. I believe its business leaders right now know
what needs to be done and would support it.
Next week I'm going to meet with Prime Minister Obuchi here in New
York to discuss how America can support Japan's efforts to restore
economic growth and investor confidence. And I will do everything I
can to try to make sure that as we go forward, we have America,
Europe, and Japan all doing our part to get beyond this present
moment, just as we did back in 1993.
The second step we should take is to intensify our efforts to speed
economic recovery in Asia. When countries like South Korea and
Thailand have taken strong and responsible steps, the free fall has
ended, progress is being made. But the human cost of Asia's collapse
is only now being fully felt. Recent press reports have described an
entire generation working its way into the middle class over 25 years,
then being plummeted into poverty within a matter of months. The
stories are heartbreaking -- doctors and nurses forced to live in the
lobby of a closed hospital; middle class families who own their own
homes, sent their children to college, traveled abroad, now living by
selling their possessions.
It is in our interest to help these nations and these people recover.
They will become once again our great markets and our great partners.
It is also the right thing to do. We've worked with international
lenders, like the IMF, to help these nations to adopt pro-growth
budget, tax, and monetary policies, but clearly we're going to have to
do more to restore Asian growth. We must work to lift the weight of
private sector debt that has frozen the Asian economies.
Today, I'm asking Secretary Rubin to work with other financial
authorities and international economic institutions to enhance efforts
to explore comprehensive plans to help Asian corporations emerge from
massive debt where individual firms have been swept under by systemic,
national economic problems, rather than their own errors. We need to
get credit flowing again. We need to get business back to making
products, producing services, creating jobs.
Third, Asian businesses need assistance, but so do millions of Asian
families. We must do more to establish an adequate social safety net
in recovering nations. Wrenching economic transition without an
adequate social safety net can sacrifice lives in the name of economic
theory, and, I might add, can generate thereby so much resistance that
reform grinds to a halt. If we want these countries to do tough
things, we have to protect the most defenseless people in the society
and we have to protect people who get hurt when they didn't do
anything wrong. I think that is terribly important.
With our support, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have
started to deal with these challenges, but they have to expand their
efforts. There is simply not enough being done. I asked them to double
their aid through an expanded social compact initiative focusing on
job assistance, basic needs and economic transition, on children and
the elderly, on groups most vulnerable to economic change. And I want
to commend Jim Wolfensohn for his efforts and his willingness to lead
this expanded initiative. We have to be ready to respond immediately
with financial force if necessary, to the currency crisis, if it
spreads, especially if it threatens the economies of Latin America,
where nations have struggled to make progress to do the right thing,
only to find themselves buffeted by economic storms outside their
Therefore, the major economies should stand ready to activate the $15
billion now in the emergency funds of the IMF, the general agreement
to borrow, to ensure that the IMF continues to support reform and
fight economic contagion.
Fifth, our Export-Import Bank will increase its commitments to
specific economic development projects over the next three years --
three months -- projects which will have concrete benefits for
ordinary citizens in other countries, projects which will increase our
own exports and thereby help our economy, and ones which can help to
restore confidence in countries that they are not alone and that
actual, specific, positive developments can occur.
Sixth, for the effort of the international community to succeed,
America simply must meet its own obligations to the International
Monetary Fund. After a year of financial firefighting, the IMF's
resources are badly strained. Every day we don't act, we undermine the
confidence the world badly needs that we are trying to restore.
Congress simply must assume its responsibility for our leadership in
In my State of the Union address, I said it was better to prepare for
a storm when the skies were clear than when the clouds were overhead.
Well, eight months later, the clouds are closer, and you can nearly
hear the thunder. Now, the Senate, by an overwhelming bipartisan
majority, has, thankfully, approved our obligation to fund our part of
the International Monetary Fund. But with only five weeks left in this
congressional session, there is still no action from the House of
Let me put this as plainly as I can: failure by this Congress to pay
our dues to the IMF will put our own prosperity at risk. Failure to
act will send a sharp signal that at a time of economic challenge, our
lawmakers were unwilling to protect our workers, our businesses, our
farmers from the risks of global economic change, and unwilling to
maintain our leadership in building a global economy system that has
benefited us more than any other nation.
Concerted action to spur growth, helping Asia through private sector
debt restructuring, and a strengthened social safety net, helping to
protect the rest of the world through the use of the IMF's emergency
fund, increasing the activity of the Ex-Im Bank, and meeting our own
obligations to the IMF -- these are the six immediate steps we want to
But we must also be willing to take action for the long run -- to
modify the financial and trading institutions of the world to match
the realities of the new economy they serve. By creating the WTO, the
World Trading Organization, in 1994, we began to build a modern
trading system. We must redouble our efforts to tear down barriers
around the world. But as I said in Geneva last May, we must do more to
ensure that spirited economic competition among nations never becomes
a race to the bottom -- in environmental protection, consumer
protection, or labor standards.
We are working to open the procedures of the WTO to participation by
the public and the full range of affected interests, so that people
will know and see and be able to do for themselves things which will
ensure that the trading system makes the world better for all the
people in all the countries.
We've already completed 260 trade agreements, opening markets in areas
from autos to telecommunications. Next year we will host the meeting
of the world's trade ministers to set the agenda for expanded trade in
the first decade in the new century.
History teaches us that at a time of worldwide difficulty, it would be
folly to retreat into a protectionist shell. We must keep trade
flowing among nations, but I will say again, if we want to do that, we
have got to give ordinary citizens and the groups that represent them
in countries all over the world the sense that it is going to be done
in a fair way, consistent with nations' obligations to advance the
interests of their working people and protect not only their national,
but the global environment.
This November, when I meet with the leaders of the Asian economies at
the APEC meeting, we will move forward to further open markets in
Asia. And when Congress returns next year, I will work to pass
legislation to open markets further --from trade negotiating powers to
the African Trade Initiative. I will do so in a way that I believe
will win broad support from a majority of both parties.
From the G-7 meeting in Halifax in 1995 in the wake of the Mexican
financial crisis, to the Birmingham meeting this year, we have been
working, also, with our major economic partners to plan for new
financial architecture for the 21st century.
For the first time, this year we included key emerging markets in the
process in a new Group of 22, recognizing their important stake in the
global economy. This group has been working together for nearly a year
now to improve the global financial assistance with a special focus on
improving financial sectors, on transparency, and on private sector
I just want to emphasize again that even as we respond to the urgent
alarms of the moment, we must speed the pace of this systemic work as
well. That is why I have asked Secretary Rubin and Chairman Greenspan
to convene the finance ministers and central bankers of the G-7 and
key emerging economies in Washington within 30 days to develop a
preliminary report to the heads of state by the beginning of next year
on strengthening the world financial system.
We must develop policies so that countries can reap the benefits of
free-flowing capital in a way that is safe and sustainable. We must
adapt the IMF so that it can more effectively confront the new types
of financial crises, minimizing their frequency, severity, and human
cost. We need to consider ways to extend emergency financing when
countries are battling crises of confidence due to world financial
distress as distinct from their own errors in policy. We must find
ways to tap the energy of global markets without sentencing the world
to a cycle of continued extreme crises.
For half a century now in our national economy, we have learned not to
eliminate but to tame and limit the swings of boom and bust. In the
21st century, we have to find a way to do that in the global economy
I've discussed this in recent days with Prime Minister Blair of Great
Britain, who is now the Chair of the G-7. He shares my belief that
this is an urgent task. It is critical to the mission that he and I
and Prime Minister Prodi of Italy will be discussing next week at the
New York University Law School in a very interesting meeting that the
First Lady and others in our administration helped to organize on how
to extend the benefits of the world economy to all and how to
strengthen democracy in a time of such sweeping economic change.
Now, let me just say it all again very briefly: in short, we must
improve our ability to address the current financial emergency, and we
must build a system to prevent such future emergencies, whenever
possible, and to blunt their impact when they do occur. There is no
mission more critical to our own strength and security.
And let me say this again, what is at stake is more than the spread of
free markets and their integration into the global economy. The forces
behind the global economy are also those that deepen democratic
liberties: the free flow of ideas and information, open borders and
easy travel, the rule of law, fair and even-handed enforcement,
protection for consumers, a skilled and educated work force.
Each of these things matters not only to the wealth of nations but to
the health of freedom. If citizens tire of waiting for democracy and
free markets to deliver a better life for them, there is a real risk
that democracy and free markets, instead of continuing to thrive
together, will begin to shrivel together. This would pose great risks
not only for our economic interests but for our security.
We see around the world the international aggressors, the harborers of
terrorists, the drug lords. Who are these countries? They're
authoritarian nations without democracy and without open markets.
Nations that give their people freedom are good neighbors; when
nations turn away from freedom, they turn inward toward tension,
hatred, and hostility.
We now have a chance to create opportunity on a worldwide scale. The
difficulties of the moment should not obscure us to the advances of
the last several years. We clearly have it within our means, if we do
the right things, to lift billions and billions of people around the
world into a global middle class and into participation in global
democracy and genuine efforts toward peace and reconciliation. That is
a possibility, but recent events show it is not a certainty.
At this moment, therefore, the United States is called upon once again
to lead -- to organize the forces of a committed world; to channel the
unruly energies of the global economy into positive avenues; to
advance our interests, reinforce our values, enhance our security.
In this room, I think it is not too simple to say we know what to do.
The World War II generation did it for us 50 years ago. Now, it is
time for us to rise to our responsibility, as America has called upon
to do so often so many times in the past. We can, if we do that,
redeem the promise of the global economy and strengthen our own nation
for a new century.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Council on Foreign Relations - CFR - (The RoundTable)
The Council on Foreign Relations are in violation of Title-50 War and
National Defense subsection 783.
The Council on Foreign Relations is a branch of an international group
of co-conspirators called the Round Table Group. Other branches include;
Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Canadian Institute
of International Affairs, the New Zealand Institute of International
Affairs, the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the South
African Institute of International Affairs, the Indian Institute of
International Affairs, the Netherlands Institute of International Affairs,
the Japanese Institute of Pacific Relations, the Chinese Institute of
Pacific Relations, and the Russian Institute of Pacific Relations.
Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
Council on Foreign Relations
New York, New York September 14, 1998
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"Course of Conduct" by Billy Beck
Hillary Rodham Crook?
Maggie Burnett mailto:email@example.com
Mon Feb 18 05:53:47 2002
Belgrade Court Sentences Clinton
By The Associated Press
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia - A Belgrade court found President Clinton and other
world leaders guilty of war crimes and sentenced them - in absentia - to 20
years in prison for NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
The four-day trial was held in an attempt to resurrect anti-NATO sentiment
here and win votes for President Slobodan Milosevic ahead of Sunday's
Belgrade's district court pronounced Clinton and 13 other leaders and NATO
officials "guilty as charged" and ordered warrants be issued immediately for
Court-appointed lawyers were hired to represent the defendants. As each
20-year sentence was read out separately, the crowd behind a row of 14
empty chairs bearing nameplates of the accused, stood and applauded.
"The accused were fully conscious of their actions, they perpetrated the
socially most dangerous acts," presiding judge Veroljub Raketic told some
100 spectators and media present at the sentencing.
Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, U.S. Defense Secretary
William Cohen, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, as well as NATO former
Secretary-general Javier Solana and retired commander Gen. Wesley Clark,
were all accused last month of war crimes connected with the 78-day 1999
"The accused had been notified and summoned to this trial through their
attorneys but they have ignored this court, either because they were afraid of
it or they were fully aware of their guilt," Raketic concluded.
The Belgrade judge also ordered the defendants to pay the cost of the trial
and pronounced NATO guilty of the deaths of 546 Yugoslav army soldiers,
138 Serbian policemen and 504 civilians - 88 of them children.
Yugoslavia suffered heavily in the bombing, launched last year to halt
Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Milosevic has campaigned on a mixture of anti-NATO slogans and
self-awarded kudos for leading the country's "heroic reconstruction" after the
bombing, apparently in the hope this will translate into votes on Sunday.
The Belgrade prosecutor said there is no expiration date for the crimes, and
should any of the guilty parties come to Yugoslavia at any time in the future,
they would be arrested on the spot.
The charges, listed in a 120-page indictment, included "inciting an aggressive
war and committing war crimes against a civilian population," as well as use of
illegal means of warfare, attempted murder and "violation of the territorial
integrity" of Yugoslavia.
During the trial, footage of the NATO bombing was shown, but no witnesses
testified, since the list of plaintiffs included "all citizens of Yugoslavia and no
courtroom was big enough to hold all witnesses," Raketic said.
WITHOUT JUSTICE, THERE IS JUST_US!
Plan To Restore...
American Patriot Friends Network (APFN)
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"In the beginning of a change, The Patriot is a scarce man, brave,
hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid
join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
-- Mark Twain
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Last updated on 05/27/2002 06:22 PM