So President Clinton wants to send 20,000 American soldiers to Bosnia. The man who ducked out of serving in the Vietnam War now says it’s our duty to send other men’s sons to fight a foreign war.
Clinton says he has already committed 20,000 troops and now an unsuspecting nation is told we must go along because “he gave his word.” But Clinton made that rash and casual promise on his own; the rest of us are not a party to the deal. And since when is “his word” inviolate?
Clinton is trying to tell Americans that going to Bosnia is our moral duty. But he is no oracle of moral law. We didn’t start the war, it isn’t our obligation to stop it, and foreign policy should not be used for social work.
Unable to show any vital national interest, the Clinton spin salesmen have instructed all Administration spokesmen to say that troops are needed in Bosnia to protect our “values,” although they never say what values they are talking about. The word has no meaning in relation to the Bosnia decision; its use is just a cheap attempt to paper over the Administration’s lack of any reasonable argument.
Clinton says we must assert American leadership in the world. But the kind of leadership America should assert is political leadership in showing the superiority of freedom over totalitarianism, and economic leadership in demonstrating the superiority of the free market over socialism and government planning.
Clinton asserts that it is his prerogative as Commander-in-Chief to send troops to Bosnia. But his constitutional authority to dispatch troops is only for the purpose of defending Americans or vital American interests, not to rush out and join a war that is none of our business. Only Congress has the constitutional power to go to war.
Clinton argues that we should go into Bosnia to keep the fighting from spreading into a bigger war. But he’s got it exactly backwards. It is U.S. involvement and casualties that turn a local fight into a world event.
Clinton says our troops will be “peacekeepers.” But there is no peace in Bosnia; all sides hate each other and one of the warring parties has refused to ratify the Dayton accord. Nor can the United States pretend to be neutral so soon after we bombed the Serb secessionists.
Even if there were peace, U.S. servicemen are not policemen and should not be forced to assume that role. Policemen and soldiers are trained for different missions, and those purposes should not be blurred.
It’s not at all clear that anyone can stop the fighting. Balkan nations have fought each other for over 500 years, and too much blood has been shed over little pieces of land for the enmity to disappear in the 12 months of our projected deployment there.
The Dayton agreement creates a new Bosnian state with indefensible borders and a collective presidency with, in rotation, a Muslim, a Serb and a Croat as chairman. Under this inherently unstable arrangement, each side will have its own army!
If it is truly in the vital interest of Europe to stop the bloodletting in the former Yugoslavia, let the European countries send whatever troops are necessary. Europe has plenty of money and manpower to take on the task.
Despite the lack of a clear mission as to why we are going in, what good we can accomplish, and when we will get out, the entire liberal and internationalist establishment plus the media elite are lining up to support Clinton’s expedition into Bosnia. Let’s look at the reasons for this curious propaganda push.
They want to give NATO something to do before the American people realize that NATO has completed its mission of stopping the Soviets from invading Europe and now ought to be retired. The Warsaw Pact is already “history,’ but NATO careerists want to keep their bureaucracy going through “mission creep. “
The internationalists remember how hard it was to get the United States involved in World Wars I and II. They think that, if they can just keep U.S. troops constantly marching around in Europe on any make-work project, America will be caught right in the middle if and when another big war starts.
The internationalists want to get the United States in some kind of world government and, since the United Nations is in such disfavor, NATO can serve as a useful stepping stone. Using NATO instead of the UN will avoid the criticisms about U.S. servicemen wearing UN uniforms or serving under foreign commanders.
The American people are looking for a leader who will stand up to Clinton and say “NO, we are not going to let you drag our nation into a foreign war that is none of our business.” We are looking for a Senator and a Representative who will lead the battle in Congress to cut off all money for use in Bosnia, which Congress has every right and constitutional authority to do.
And one more thing: “OK with conditions” is not acceptable. We want a leader to “just say NO.”