Jewish World Review April 5, 1999 /19 Nissan 5759
Now that the ‘honorables’ have returned …
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS TAKEN A JUSTIFIABLE DRUBBING for the
Yugo-slaughter, but he isn't the only one who deserves a trip to the
Most congressional Republicans are guilty of appalling cynicism and
silence. They figure Clinton has hugged the tar baby in the Balkans and they
want to watch him writhe.
But the fun's over.
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic didn't wave the
white flag when our bombers arrived; he waved the bloody shirt and ordered
his troops to conduct their version of Sherman's march into Kosovo.
Now, it's our move --- and the Constitution puts the onus on Congress. When
honorables return from their Easter vacations, they must decide whether
Milosevic's provocations mean war.
Recent Congresses have taken war powers seriously. Democrats tied Ronald
Reagan's hands with the so-called Boland Amendments and repeatedly denied
requests to arm Nicaragua's Contras. They made the wrong decision, but at
least they debated and voted.
Similarly, Congress barely approved George Bush's request to get behind
Operation Desert Storm. In both cases, presidents pleaded their own cases.
Since Clinton hasn't figured out how to justify the latest hostilities,
Congress must make him to do so by debating a war resolution. Here are the
What is our precise military objective in Kosovo? Do we want to drive
Serbian forces out of the province and repatriate the Albanians? Kiss off
Kosovo, and protect Albanian refugees in Macedonia and elsewhere? Grab part
of Kosovo and leave the rest to Milosevic?
Do we want either side to win this war? Or will we cling to the odd notion
that we want Kosovo Albanians to enjoy autonomy, but not independence?
How many troops would we need?
Do we have that many people immediately available, or would we have to
snatch folks from other hotspots, such as the Korean peninsula?
- How long would it take to deploy an invading force?
Do we have enough equipment and supplies to sustain an overseas operation?
- How many reserves would we need?
- Do we have the budget to stay the course?
- How long would it take to establish a chain of command?
- Who would be in charge? The maximum leader at this moment is a Spanish
socialist, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. He calls the shots after
consulting with his constituent heads of state. Although there are many
things on this earth one can run by committee, a war is not one of them.
Someone must control the action -- and in this case, that someone ought to
be an American.
- What would be an acceptable number of casualties on our side? Would we back
off if 1,000 of our troops died? Ten thousand?
- How would we define victory? How would we get our troops out? How would we
prevent the spread of militant Islam into Europe? If we decided not to take
on Milosevic, would we whip up even greater anti-American fervor among
Islamic militants around the world?
- How would we prevent nationalist groups in the area from waging their own
wars of liberation and demanding our support?
- How would we keep Russia from becoming an enemy again?
- How long would we stay after achieving peace? Would we establish new
military bases in such places as Macedonia? Would the endgame be to
establish a permanent presence in the area -- make it a sort of Eurasian
version of South Korea?
In combat, as in everything else, President Clinton has led a charmed life.
He has dispatched troops to dozens of theaters of battle, with little to
show for it. Haiti is as big a mess as before we got involved. Ditto Rwanda.
Somalia. Iraq. We bombed Sudan and Afghanistan to push Monica off the top of
the front page. These incursions cost billions of dollars but didn't hurt
the president's standing at home.
But Milosevic is different. He's tougher than, say, a Republican. He
doesn't care about bogus stories planted in the press. He doesn't give a fig
for poll data. He doesn't swoon over Bill Clinton's political genius. When
someone pops him, he fights back and takes prisoners.
Bill Clinton has put us in a huge mess, but that doesn't mean Republicans
can just sit back and watch the spectacle. They have a job to do. They must
determine whether this is or isn't war -- and whether we should or shouldn't
stay. No matter what the final outcome, it's cowardly and unpatriotic for
partisans to hold their tongues just so Bill Clinton will take a hit in the
03/29/99: And the senators pressed on
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03/08/99: The Lewinsky Principle
03/05/99: Buchanan & Ventura’s lure
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02/25/99: The birth of political wisdom
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02/18/99: Wake up, Republicans!
02/16/99: Why we feel so good
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02/04/99: The languid sigh of waves lapping ashore
02/01/99: Verbal vortex
01/28/99: To be a ‘sell-out’ or an unelectable pol --- that is the question
01/25/99: The apogee of a trend
01/21/99:What my 3-year-old taught me
01/17/99:Don't be fooled, folks
01/14/99: Must a pol be ‘baaaad’ in order to get elected?
01/12/99: Jumpin’ Jack (Kemp)
01/08/99 : Hot air in the Windy City
©1999, Creators Syndicate