April 28, 1999
Have you noticed how few Members of Congress are willing to go on
television and spell out clearly their position on Clinton's war
against Yugoslavia? It's time for Congress to stand up and be counted,
and Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA) has introduced a couple of resolutions
that will require them to do just that.
Those whooping it up for ground troops and more bombing argue
that, if we don't win this war, NATO will be discredited and become
irrelevant. What's much more important is that, if Congress doesn't
exercise its constitutional responsibility, Congress itself will be
Campbell has introduced two resolutions, and the rules of the
House say they must be voted on by the first week of May. H.J.Res. 44
declares a state of war to exist between the United States and
Yugoslavia, and H.Con.Res. 82 calls for the removal of our Armed Forces
from Yugoslavia within 30 days.
Campbell will vote No on the first and Yes on the second, and he
properly challenges every Member to vote up or down on war. The
Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to decide if
and when America goes to war, to make rules for the regulation of our
land and naval forces, and to appropriate or cut off funds for any
purpose, including war.
We all know the kind of dishonest word game Clinton is playing
when he claims that Milosevic is waging war but the United States is
not (even though we are the side dropping the bombs). Clinton has
already issued an Executive Order designating Yugoslavia and Albania as
a "combat zone," and our three captured soldiers have been designated
as Prisoners of War.
Clinton and his Administration have persistently asserted that
they were "not surprised" by the failure of the bombing to accomplish
the announced objectives. State Department spokesman James Rubin has
said over and over again that "nothing went wrong," that everything is
going "according to plan," and that the American people are at fault
for lacking "patience."
If that's true, we must ask the corollary questions. Was it the
Clinton-Albright plan to give Milosevic the Rambouillet ultimatum
knowing he could never accept it, to start the bombing even though the
Pentagon predicted that it would not force Milosevic to surrender, and
then to count on heartrending television pictures to arouse the
American people to "support our troops" by sending ground troops to
fight the Serbs?
Was it Clinton's plan to create a stream of a million refugees
from Kosovo? If so, why didn't he make advance preparations to drop
great quantities of food, tents and sleeping bags, something that
should have been so easy for our immense air delivery system?
Was it Clinton's plan to expect American Prisoners of War? Is
that why he kept 450 U.S. troops in Macedonia after their United
Nations mission had expired, where they had no stated purpose and would
serve only as a trip wire to provoke U.S. involvement in a Balkan war?
Was it Clinton's plan to turn the much-disliked Milosevic into a
national hero, with the Serbs solidly united behind him, making him far
more powerful after the bombing than before? That's exactly the way
Americans rallied after Pearl Harbor and the British rallied during the
Battle of Britain.
Was it Clinton's plan to expand a civil war, that was wholly
contained within one small, faraway country, to other countries, and
additionally to stir up anti-American factions in Russia? All these
results in "other" countries were wholly predictable: the massive
exodus of refugees, the Muslim recruitment of soldiers from elsewhere
to fight in Kosovo, and the ominous anti-U.S. and anti-NATO agitation
Was it Clinton's plan to lie to the American people by claiming
that his bombing was to protect "innocent people in Kosovo from a
mounting military offensive," to keep other small countries from being
"overwhelmed by a large new wave of refugees from Kosovo," and "to
prevent a wider war" and "destabilization"? In fact, those were the
very results of his bombing, and all that human misery was wholly
predictable and predicted by knowledgeable people.
Was it Clinton's plan to spend the surplus of revenues now pouring
into the U.S. Treasury on war so that it could not be returned to
taxpayers? He has already presented an invoice for $4 billion,
predicted that the war will cost another billion dollars a month, and
that doesn't even start to count the money we will be expected to spend
to rebuild the bridges and other properties that his bombing has
Was it Clinton's plan to "wag the dog" with a war in order to
shift media and public attention away from his personal, contempt-of
court, campaign-finance, and espionage-coverup scandals? If so, it
Maybe it's really true, as James Rubin said, that "nothing went wrong" and everything is going "according to plan."