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 irrelevant.
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 inside Russia.
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 destroyed.
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 certainly succeeded.
Maybe it’s really true, as James Rubin said, that “nothing went wrong” and everything is going “according to plan.”