As Slobodan Milosevic fought for his political life in Belgrade, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright condemned him and expressed support for his opposition—while at the same time acting as if the State Department would do everything in its power to help Milosevic survive.
"Kostunica not Clinton administration's man," reported UPI's Martin Sieff on September 25, a day after the Yugoslav presidential election. The former professor is "far from welcome to the Clinton administration":
Kostunica is not pro-American. He is as virulent a critic of recent U.S. policies as Milosevic himself. And he has said he is determined not to give an inch on the Kosovo issue . . . From the Clinton administration's point of view, the trouble with Kostunica is precisely that he does appear to . . . express the democratic aspirations of the Serbian people. The only trouble is that they are not the aspirations that the Clinton administration would like them to be.
Sieff's assessment was supported by a stream of otherwise inexplicable official "leaks" from Washington about the millions of dollars supposedly given by the U.S. government to the opposition in Serbia. The opening shot came on September 19, just five days before the election, in a front-page story in the Washington Post that seemed to reinforce Milosevic's contention that the opposition...