Loss of focus casualty of embassy bombing

Friday’s bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was a tragic mistake and an unfortunate result of NATO actions against Yugoslavia. While the death of three innocent Chinese citizens is regrettable, the greater casualty of the bombing is the loss of focus on the humanitarian disaster taking place in Kosovo. After all, the reason NATO is in Yugoslavia in the first place is to put a stop to the blatant, large-scale human rights violations. The U.S. government should offer its deepest apologies to the families of those who suffered as a result of our error. However, we should not allow this mistake to fundamentally alter NATO strategy.
Recent days have seen protests at the American embassy in Beijing, forcing U.S. Ambassador James Sasser and his staff to take refuge inside the building. The killings of the three Chinese nationals have caused considerable resentment in China. Moreover, the Chinese media has characterized the war in Kosovo as a NATO attack against the peace-loving citizens of Serbia. The Chinese people have been bombarded with the message that this action is another example of American aggression.
Foreign dictators and U.S. war protesters like to parrot the line that we are engaging in imperialism, forcing our views on another country by military force. Given the steady stream of propaganda and lies to which the Chinese have been subjected, it is a small wonder that the embassy bombing has led to such an outpouring of anger.
This international incident has siphoned attention from the real horrors that are going on in Kosovo. Even as the Serbs claim they are partially withdrawing from Kosovo, the evidence continues to show they are entrenching their positions. Our military action began because the nations of NATO wanted to put a stop to genocide.
An investigation must be made into the planning that led to this tragic accident. NATO intelligence made a mistake that could have been avoided by simply looking in a Belgrade phone book. Responsibility for this blunder does not lie on a lower level operative; it rests at the highest echelons of planning.
However, the Chinese, and all governments for that matter, need to realize that Serbia, as a result of the genocidal policies it chose to pursue, is a war zone. Accidents can and will continue to take place; they are a regrettable fact of war. However, modern warfare is not the cause of these mistakes. On the contrary, modern warfare has lowered the number of incidents such as these dramatically. Third-party participants would do well to leave the scene of this conflict if they would like to completely avoid danger.
Everything about the Chinese embassy bombing incident has been an embarrassment and a tragedy. At this point, apologies need to be made and condolences extended. Yet the United States should not acquiesce to Chinese suggestions that we cave in on other lines of negotiation in response to this matter. The bombing should continue until Slobodan Milosevic’s troops withdraw from Kosovo and allow ethnic Albanians to return under NATO protection.