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Voice of America, 00-04-12

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: NATO has formally said farewell to its military commander, Wesley Clark. General Clark, who led the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia, is vacating his post a few months early at the insistence of the U-S Defense Department. Ron Pemstein reports on the farewell ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    TEXT: /// MILITARY BAND MUSIC - FADE UNDER /// This is a ceremony that should have taken place later this year. General Wesley Clark is leaving his post early -- but not because of any lack of respect at NATO headquarters. NATO Secretary-General George Robertson has worked with General Clark, first when Mr. Robertson was Britain's defense secretary and, since September, as NATO's civilian leader.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    (OPT) With your background at Dayton, you brought to this post of SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) invaluable knowledge of the Balkans, of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and of Slobodan Milosevic himself. (END OPT) You knew how to negotiate with Milosevic and his henchmen, and you knew when diplomacy would not suffice. And when it came time to take up arms and to fight for the cause of peace, you did what all the very best generals do, you succeeded.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Clark may have succeeded in leading NATO's air war with Yugoslavia, but that success did not translate the same way in Washington. General Clark pushed for NATO to prepare ground troops if the bombing campaign did not make Yugoslavia quickly pull its forces out of Kosovo. Officials in Washington, mindful of objections in Congress, did not appreciate General Clark's pressure. General Clark pushed Washington for American Apache helicopters to be sent into battle. The Pentagon sent 24 of the gunships to Albania but never allowed them to be used in Kosovo. The Pentagon has tried to present General Clark's three-month early departure from Brussels as a normal military rotation to accommodate his successor as allied commander, Joseph Ralston, who is coming here after serving as vice-chairman of the U-S Joint Chiefs of Staff. One NATO official says the Pentagon never understood that General Clark had to negotiate military tactics with the NATO ambassadors. The official says the Clinton Administration expected him to carry out U-S policies as an American military officer at the same time as he had to win alliance unity in Kosovo. Greece and the Czech Republic were two NATO countries that continually questioned alliance strategy during the 78 days of bombing. Secretary-General Robertson praises General Clark's diplomatic skills.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    You understood fully that political unity was essential to our success despite the military constraints that that implied. Because of your unique combination of political and military skills, NATO has entered the 21st century in better shape than ever.

    /// END ACT ///

    Speaking to the NATO ambassadors, General Clark says NATO's civilian leadership deserves credit for alliance operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    I appreciate the great work that you all did and your courage that let us in uniform accomplish what you recognized today, Secretary-General. So let me on behalf of all of them, thank you, recognize the courage the vision and determination that you showed in the Bosnian work, in the Kosovo air campaign, and in our continuing work on the ground in Kosovo. We have been successful, we're going to be successful, thanks to the work of men and women in uniform and thanks also to the great leadership of our civilian leaders in this alliance.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Ralston succeeds General Clark as the alliance military commander on May Third. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/KL 12-Apr-2000 11:34 AM EDT (12-Apr-2000 1534 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower today (Wednesday), as technology issues sold off for a third straight day. The technology-weighted Nasdaq composite closed below four-thousand for the first time since January 31st. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The weakness in the Nasdaq market pressured the "blue-chips" (largest industries) in the last hour of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 162 points, more than one percent, to 11-thousand-125. The Standard and Poor's 500 index slid over two percent, losing 33 points. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite dropped another seven percent, as big-name technology stocks sold off. Trading was relatively light until that final wave of selling. Analysts say more investors than usual are uncertain about the current market and prefer sitting on the sidelines (not participating).

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    Market-watcher Stewart Freeman says this is especially true for investors who have been focused on the so- called "new economy" stocks:

    /// FREEMAN ACT ///

    There's a lot of wait and see out there. I think you've got a lot of investors who have been buying technology for the last year. They've got nice gains. They're down off their highs. They're trying to figure out whether they should sell and move into some of the other groups that are actually doing better, or not.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    Microsoft contributed to the day's carnage. Microsoft shares traded below 80-dollars for the first time since last June, after a leading analyst cut the software giant's revenue estimate for the third quarter.


    Microsoft had been the largest U-S company by market value. It is now in fourth place, behind General Electric, Cisco and Intel. Microsoft shares are off over 30 percent for the year. In other news, J-P Morgan - the fifth largest U-S banking group - reported a surge in quarterly profits due mostly to gains in investment banking. Adelphi Automotive Systems - a spin-off from General Motors - came in with good quarterly profits. It also said it still holds to an earnings target of 10- percent growth per year. Adelphi is the world's number one supplier of auto parts. U-S ice-cream maker Ben and Jerry's is being sold to Anglo-Dutch company Unilever - the world's largest ice cream maker. This puts Ben and Jerry's quirky flavors, like "Chunky Monkey" and "Cherry Garcia" under the same corporate umbrella with Unilever's Good Humor and Breyer's ice cream. Ben and Jerry's stock has been trading up for several weeks on the expectation of a buy-out. On the other side of the "fat" equation, Unilever announced that it is also buying "Slim-Fast" - a privately-owned company in Florida that makes food and nutritional supplements for people who want to lose weight. (Signed) [ EDS: For details of Ben and Jerry sale, see CR 2- 261243 ] NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/gm 12-Apr-2000 17:14 PM EDT (12-Apr-2000 2114 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Complaints that the U-S government is being too nosy in how it is carrying out the census is the subject of several editorials this Wednesday. Other topics receiving coverage in U-S editorial pages are the recent arrest of an accused war criminal in Bosnia and China's continued condemnation of the U-S bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. We will also take a look at what papers have to say about the possibility of President Clinton's being indicted after he leaves office for his actions during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Now here is _______________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's editorial roundup.

    TEXT: Every ten years the U-S government takes a head count of the country's residents. But this year, the census has been an especially hot topic - with many complaining that some questions on the form the government sent out to residents constitute an invasion of privacy. The Dallas (Texas) Morning News says the government should learn a lesson from the uproar.

    VOICE: People believe Census 2000 went too far with its questions. They don't appreciate inquiries about the mental health of family members or the number of hours they work each week at their jobs. Most of the inquiries can be justified as necessary for federal and state budget planning. But justification doesn't help much when people take a pass (do not fill out the census form). The response should alert those who prepare Census 2010. They should weigh the government's need to know against the public's right to privacy. . So far, Census 2000 only seems to be receiving a good assessment of the public's lack of trust.

    TEXT: The Houston Chronicle also weighs in on the debate over the census, but it argues that people might be overreacting a bit:

    VOICE: Along with the laggardly response has come a lot of grousing about the forms and what is perceived as growing government intrusiveness. However, a little perspective is probably in order. The practice of putting supplementary census questions to a sample of Americans actually began in 1940 under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. It has continued in every census since then, regardless of party, and the current long and short forms are the shortest in 60 years. The Census 2000 long form designed under the Clinton administration has 53 questions and was sent to one in six households. The short form, which went to the other five homes, has eight questions. . The 1940 long form, by the way, had 81 questions, and the short form defied its "short" label with 65 questions.

    TEXT: The international effort to bring indicted war criminals to trial took a step forward last week when French troops arrested Momcilo Krajisnik, a Serb nationalist indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. The Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio says the arrest is a sign that the net of justice might finally be tightening around Bosnian war criminals.

    VOICE: Radovan Karadzic, the architect of Bosnia's "ethnic cleansing," was indicted for crimes against humanity in 1995. He has eluded responsibility for his atrocities partly because of a political unwillingness by the West -- especially the French -- to doggedly pursue him. . Krajisnik, the rabid Serb nationalist who as Karadzic's right-hand man helped design the terror unleashed against Bosnian Muslims, is the most senior of 39 war-crime suspects now in custody at The Hague in the Netherlands. . Krajisnik's arrest moves forward efforts to ensure that perpetrators of state- sponsored brutalities are brought to justice.

    TEXT: During NATO's campaign against Serbia last May, U-S bombs hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade - touching off a storm of protest from Beijing. Though the United States has insisted the bombing was a mistake, China's outrage has not subsided much nearly a year later. The C-I-A's recent punishment of seven employees the agency says were responsible for the mistake has not satisfied China's leaders. The Boston Globe says if looked at from the Chinese perspective, their anger is pretty understandable.

    VOICE: The CIA explained that agency target-selectors were working with a year-old unclassified military map. . The Chinese find such incompetence in the world's greatest military and technological power implausible. . The Chinese also find suspicious the fact that at least one of America's smart bombs penetrated a secure intelligence room in their embassy building. Since Beijing at the time had been vociferously protesting NATO's bombing of Serbia, the bomb that killed three PRC journalists . struck Chinese sensibilities as a crude American suggestion that Beijing mind its own business. . A disadvantage of being the world's sole superpower is that lesser powers cannot believe the blunders perpetrated by America's intelligence agency.

    TEXT: Turning back to domestic affairs, President Clinton's legal troubles are still the topic of some discussion in editorial pages. A government prosecutor has said recently that Mr. Clinton could be indicted after he leaves office for lying under oath during the Monica Lewinsky investigation that led to his eventual impeachment. The Washington Post says an indictment really is not as unlikely as many people think.

    VOICE: Mr. Clinton, after all, lied in a deposition and before a federal grand jury. A plausible indictment of Mr. Clinton, who has never publicly acknowledged the extent of his wrongdoing, could surely be drawn. Moreover, some opponents of impeachment argued during the congressional proceedings that Mr. Clinton's susceptibility to criminal prosecution after his term in office was a powerful reason not to remove him. . But none of those arguments outweighs the case against indictment. Mr. Clinton has hardly gone unpunished for his offenses. . The historical record will not be without evidence of his misdeeds. . Mr. Ray has said that he must vindicate the principle that nobody--not even a president--is above the law. The principle is important. But the rule of law is not robotic. . Mr. Ray to date had appeared serious about bringing this sprawling investigation to a close. It would be a great service on his part to continue behaving with restraint.

    TEXT: And on that note, we end today's look at the editorial pages of the U-S press.
    NEB/JON/KL 12-Apr-2000 12:04 PM EDT (12-Apr-2000 1604 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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