In 1999 Bill Clinton Thought He Could Afford to Hit China Because It Was Weak
In retrospect you could call that a poor decision
Editor’s note: The following text is contemporary comment, I find the bit explaining Clinton thought he could “contain” China’s reaction particularly interesting. Such arrogance, and such a blunder to have taken out an embassy of what is now a world economic power on par with the US and set to overtake it.
The NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was a deliberate, calculated act, which is why China is so outraged. Both NATO and China know the truth, but neither will come clean. The politicians and ‘statesmen’ are going to be the end of all of us someday.
The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was full of electronic tracking devices that were sophisticated enough to give the Yugoslavs advance information. This is certainly not unusual as, for example, every US Embassy in the world is stuffed with the same type equipment – only more and better. It soon became clear the Chinese, who opposed the NATO position, were passing on their information to Yugoslavia. The Russians too were doing the same thing for the same reasons to their long-time ally.
NATO decided to hit China since it needed the Russians more in this situation. The US was sure it could control China’s response in light of the recent Chinese-American summit. America felt China needed the US for WTO so incorrectly assumed China’s reaction could be contained. Even if things went wrong with China, Washington felt it would at least appeal to the anti-China lobby in the US.
Which they did. The law of unintended consequences is at work again.
NATO could not admit the truth since the bombing was an obvious act of aggression against a third party. China would not admit the truth in order to maintain the moral high ground of an innocent victim.
The worst aspect has been the utter stupidity of the ‘free’ press that bought this whole absurdity with no questions asked. The entire ‘mistake’ story is so ludicrous that no inquiring mind would accept it unless they were afraid of being booted out of future press conferences or perhaps even worse, they believe the ‘mistake’ story.
NATO at first claimed the bombing was an unfortunate case of ‘collateral damage’ such as occurs in all wars. Then China demonstrated the building was hit from several different directions by multiple missiles with pinpoint knowledge of the building’s structure all from different sources. NATO quickly changed its story to blame the mistake on ‘old maps’.
I was astonished they could even say such words with a straight face, but then I noticed the press accepting the story without a blink.
Even the tourist’s maps of Belgrade show the Chinese Embassy, which is set away from all other buildings. The American CIA knows the location of every Russian and Chinese Embassy in the world and keeps constant track of their comings and goings. Diplomatic officials attend special events at each other’s embassies at least annually. It’s one of the perks of the job. The idea that the US did not know the location of a Chinese embassy is beyond belief.
America then went so far as to state the ‘mistake’ just got caught in the system as it went through the vetting and approval procedure it claims for all targets. Now they have really done it!
That would mean the intelligence bureaus of at least Germany, Italy, France and the UK were all using the same old map and none of them knew about China either. Please! Every one of those countries has been wooing China all over the world for several years. They have been to the embassies repeatedly and would certainly have caught the ‘error’ as the target went to each for approval as NATO claims it did.
The US has further acknowledged that it found all other targets in Yugoslavia using up-to-date technology. Are we really to believe that in only one case, a US intelligence officer would suddenly adopt a totally different target-locating technique in violation of operational rules? Are we really to believe the same intelligence officer didn’t actually use the map directly to identify the target, but found it by ‘comparing the pattern and numbering system of its parallel streets’? Who is this ‘intelligence officer’? Why can’t we meet him?
We have all seen the US repeatedly claiming it can pinpoint targets from Iraq to Sudan to Afghanistan knowing exactly what was happening in each location as well as the structural makeup of the targets. How could the same technology that can track the inner workings of buildings around the world confuse the Chinese Embassy?
NATO knew exactly what it was doing.