Jewish World Review April 19, 1999 /3 Iyar, 5759
Why we are in Kosovo
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
KOSOVO BURST INTO OUR NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS all at once.
A month ago, it
was "Will Hillary run for the Senate?" and "Did Al Gore really say he had
been a farmer?" Before we knew it, our planes were bombing Yugoslavia,
refugees were pouring out of Kosovo, young Kosovar men were disappearing,
and the United States was plunged into a debate over ground troops.
Why did this crisis erupt so suddenly? The Clinton administration has been
dealing with Slobodan Milosevic for six years. It was content to see Serbia
lob mortars into downtown Sarajevo, round up Bosnian Muslim men and starve
them in concentration camps, engage in the systematic rape of Bosnian women
and girls, and more -- all with hardly a protest and certainly without the
claim that American or NATO credibility was at stake.
(At the end of the
Bosnian conflict, NATO did drop some bombs, but only after years of
dithering and only when Croatian troops were settling the matter on the
Certainly it is difficult to credit the claim that President Clinton was
overcome with humanitarian concern. As the CATO Institute's Doug Bandow has
pointed out, "At least twice as many people died in January alone in Sierra
Leone than in all of Kosovo last year." And this administration instructed
the United Nations in 1994 not to use the word "genocide" about the
slaughters in Rwanda, lest the emotional freight of the word impel action.
So why are we now embarking upon a military adventure that has not been
thought through, has no clear goals and has precipitated some of the
civilian suffering it was designed to prevent -- all in a region where no
American interests are at stake?
The answer may very well be "wag the dog."
This is a serious charge, but then, we are dealing with a president who is
not above bombing unfriendly countries to distract attention from the grand
jury testimony of former paramours.
("Frontline" recently revisited the
question of whether the pharmaceutical plant we bombed in Khartoum, Sudan --
following Clinton's testimony before the grand jury -- was truly
manufacturing chemical weapons and reported that the evidence was
Why does the president need a distraction right now? Not to cover up his
sexual squalor but to create a smoke screen before his national security
Almost unnoticed amid the Kosovo agitation was explosive testimony before
the Senate Armed Services Committee last week by Notra Trulock, formerly the
director of intelligence at the Department of Energy. Trulock testified that
he had approached senior Energy Department officials with information
suggesting that our nuclear labs had been penetrated by Chinese intelligence
and that key nuclear technology, including the design for the neutron bomb
and for the W-88 nuclear warhead, our most advanced, had been stolen.
Trulock told the senators that "Beginning in early 1997, senior DOE
officials, including my direct supervisor, urged me to cover up and bury
The Clinton-appointed officials were concerned, Trulock explained, that
information about theft of secrets would harm the credibility of the
laboratories and might affect congressional funding decisions. (No kidding.)
Besides, he was told, the presence of a spy at Los Alamos would not "affect
the Clinton administration's policy of using the laboratories to further its
engagement policy with China."
The administration's response to reports of Chinese spying has
been so lax as to suggest indifference. National security adviser Sandy
Berger, who represented Beijing as a lawyer before assuming his post, was
first told about Chinese espionage at the nuclear labs in April 1996. Yet
Berger withheld the information from the president until July 1997. But even
then, he did not detail the nature of the security breaches.
Wen Ho Lee, the scientist identified by the FBI as the main suspect, was
fired from his job in February of this year but not arrested. Only within
the past several days has the FBI even searched his house.
The initial response by the president to the revelation of this
devastatingly successful spying by China was political. It all happened on
Reagan's and Bush's watch, he claimed.
When it became clear that the worst
had happened since 1995, and that the president had lied about it, his
response was ... Kosovo.
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©1999, Creators Syndicate