Monday, March 20, 2006

An unpublished Editorial I wrote in 1999 about Clinton, Bin Laden, and Kosovo





Click here to see this post on the Orthodox List, dated April 1st, 1999.

Gone With the Cruise Missiles

This should sound familiar... marauding troops of a Federal government seeking to deny a breakaway province it's autonomy (previously guaranteed by their constitution), making war on civilians; burning homes, farms, villages, and cities; robbing and looting as they go; and causing a humanitarian disaster as starving refugees flee their advance. But this is not present day Kosovo, but the sovereign state of Georgia in 1864 as Sherman made his famous march to the sea, in an effort to break the will of Southerners to continue fighting against the Union. Sherman, who is the originator of the famous maxim "War is hell," justified his actions in Georgia by saying (in his letter to Mayor Calhoun of Atlanta and others of September 12, 1864),"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out."

If only Clinton had been around then to demagogue, perhaps Abe Lincoln would have been branded a war criminal... since Sherman was, after all, acting on his orders.

Of course Clinton had his chance to fight in a civil war back in the 60's. He could have joined the Marines and ran through the jungles of Vietnam, M-16 in hand, chasing after the Viet Cong, who were guilty of far worse atrocities than the Serbs have been accused of committing in Kosovo; but instead Clinton ran to England, and like the other draft dodgers of his day, argued that the US had no business getting involved in a civil war, thousands of miles away, in which we have no vital interest, and which we do not understand.

But now Clinton is the Commander-in-Chief, and so can comfortably play golf while he orders other people's children to risk their lives for his photo-op foreign
policy. Since assuming office, Clinton has stripped the US military to the bone, while at the same time deploying them all over the globe. His weapon of choice has been cruise missiles, the supply of which is now almost exhausted -- he has fired
them off like a kid shooting off bottle rockets on the 4th of July, but has not seen fit to request any new orders of cruise missiles to replace them. Just two days ago, NATO sent B-1 bombers into action over Yugoslavia to make up for this shortage, for which Bill Clinton is completely responsible.

You might recall that Clinton fired rounds of cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden (at a convenient time during the Lewinsky scandal), and declared a "war on terrorism." Though one might reasonably wonder about the moral difference between bin Laden blowing up a US civilian target with a truck bomb, and Clinton blowing up an aspirin
factory with a cruise missile, what is even more curious is that it was OK for Clinton to ostensibly fight bin Laden in Afghanistan and the Sudan, but unacceptable for the Yugoslavs to fight the bin Laden backed KLA in Kosovo.

One might also ask why Clinton objects to "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo, but winked when the Croatians (with NATO weapons, training, and technical support) ethnically cleansed the Krajina region of Croatia of some 200,000 Serbs, most of whom have not been allowed to return to this day.

Another inconvenient question is why is it that NATO continues to include Turkey as a member, despite its ongoing war against Kurdish separatists, and its continues occupation of half of Cyprus, despite numerous UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal?


Questions are also raised as to why Clinton wanted to avoid bombing Iraq during "the holy month of Ramadan" because this would have been "highly offensive to Moslems around the world" (which of course conveniently gave him an excuse for launching air strikes on the eve of the Impeachment vote), and yet he is bombing the Orthodox Serbs during Great and Holy Lent, and has made it clear that he will bomb them straight through Holy Week, and shows no concern for the fact that Orthodox
Christians in Russia, Greece, and throughout the world might find this offensive.

Certainly, we all hate to see civilians caught in the cross fire, but what is going on in Kosovo is not a one sided war. The KLA saw the start of NATO bombing as an
opportunity to step up their attacks on the Yugoslav Army. The Yugoslavs responded, and counter attacked. Combine that with bombs dropping all over the place, and it should come as no surprise that we see so many refugees. The KLA has attacked Serbian civilians, and used Albanian villages as their bases of operations -- those who remember the tactics of the Viet Cong should be somewhat sympathetic with the military problem that this poses to the Yugoslav Army, and they should also realize that this is a problem which KLA chooses to impose upon them, at the expense of Albanian civilians. It is terrible to see this play out in Kosovo, but perhaps the same country that burned Atlanta, fire bombed Dresden and Tokyo, and nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki should not be so quick to cry foul with regard to "making war
on civilians."

Clinton addressed the American people and spoke passionately about his concern for Albanian civilians, with that now famous clinched jaw of his; but this is the same clinched jaw that told us that he didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky. He graphically told us about Serbs shooting Albanians in cold blood, but this is the
same man that told us that Republicans wanted to starve our children, and take away social security checks from helpless old people. But then, if anyone still believes a word Bill Clinton says, then they probably also believe that KLA terrorists wouldn't exaggerate Serbian "atrocities" in order to pump up support for NATO action against Yugoslavia.

Aside from questions about the coherency of this administration's foreign policy, on should also be concerned about their strategic bungling in Kosovo. Clinton began an air war with no plan "B" in mind. We have 10,000 NATO troops across the border in Macedonia, with no tanks. We certainly have a technological edge on the Yugoslavs, but Custer had a technological edge on the Sioux at Little Big Horn -- but as he vividly proved, technology isn't everything.

Every time Clinton has gotten into a jam, a Hitler-du-jour has emerged, and Clinton has fired a few hundred cruise missiles, to save the planet (and his political hide), and make the world safe for philandery. But when the last cruise missile is fired, one wonders what Clinton will do the next time he needs to distract the American people from his personal misdeeds, or to otherwise appear to have a foreign
policy.