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Jewish World Review April 14, 1999 /28 Nissan 5759

Don Feder

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Before we march into Kosovo

(JWR) ---- (
IN WORLD WAR II, the German blitz forced England to surrender. The 1972 Christmas bombing of Hanoi toppled the communist regime and secured the independence of South Vietnam.

You missed that, didn't you?

In reality, strategic bombing alone has never decided anything. Yet Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright remain convinced they can bomb Slobodan Milosevic back to the conference table, as Lyndon Johnson used to say.

Clinton demonstrated his keen understanding of the Balkans when he told an audience thatboth world wars started there --- doubtless after Poland became loose from its moorings and drifted south.

Among the many things the president does not understand is the Serbs' determination. More than 400 years of being subjugated and slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks hardened their resolve and gave them a fatalistic outlook.

After the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary gave the Serbs an ultimatum. They ignored it. Austria shelled Belgrade and occupied the city for most of World War I.

That didn't stop the Serbs, who sacrificed 52 percent of their adult male population fighting the Central Powers.

In 1941, Hitler gave the Serbs an ultimatum. They responded by declaring war on the Third Reich. The Nazis bombed Belgrade and 17,000 died. Serb partisans tied down 37 German divisions and inflicted 700,000 casualties. In turn, the Serbs lost 1.7 million, including hundreds of thousands killed by Croat Nazis and Bosnian Moslems.

And now Clinton thinks Milosevic will throw up his hands after a few weeks of NATO bombing runs. But then, the president is used to dealing with Republicans.

When he at last realizes that the air war has failed, Clinton will reluctantly allow Republicans like Sen. John McCain to persuade him to send in the troops.

Blood and Guts Bill is hoping a ground war will be a reprise of Desert Storm. Albright forgot to tell him there's no sand in Kosovo, just lots of forests, mountains and boulders -- tough terrain to fight over.

The Yugoslav army includes 75,000 regulars and 150,000 reservists. Unlike Iraq's Republican Guard, they are highly motivated.

The Serbs are fortifying their positions in the province and moving in howitzers, tanks and other heavy equipment. If they are defeated in open battle, the Serbs are prepared to fade into the mountains and fight a guerrilla war, as they did from 1941 to 1945.

Why are we so eager to add our blood to that sodden soil? To stop a "humanitarian disaster"?

But the New World Order gang is indifferent to ethnic cleansing in the Sudan (which makes Kosovo look like a debutantes' ball), likewise the mound of skulls that resulted from tribal cleansing in Rwanda.

While NATO bombers roared through the night sky over Belgrade last week, Clinton feted Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. What does he think Beijing is doing in Tibet, celebrating diversity?

Are we willing to recreate the Tet Offensive so Kosovar Albanians can have autonomy? An autonomous Kosovo would be dominated by the Kosovo Liberation Army, which former Secretary of State Alexander Haig calls "a gaggle of drug-dealing fundamentalist Marxist goons."

When Croatia and Bosnia declared their independence in 1991-92, local Serbs wanted a little autonomy of their own. The West flatly rejected that appeal. Constituting 75 percent of the Krajina region of Croatia didn't help the Serbs in the least.

During the war that ensued, 1.2 million Serbs were forced from their homes.

Despite the presence of 30,000 NATO peacekeepers, no effort has been made to repatriate these refugees. Their haggard faces did not appear on the nightly news.

Not only is Kosovo the Serbs' historic homeland, the local Serbian minority was badly mistreated by Albanians both during and after Tito. In 1989, frail, elderly Patriarch Pavel, then bishop of Kosovo, was nearly beaten to death by Albanian youths in the streets of Pristina.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission found the Kosovo Liberation Army responsible for its share of mass graves. Will the addition of American headstones help the Serbs and Albanians buried there rest more peacefully?

Before we march into hell for a dubious cause, I trust the commander in chief will address the troops, telling them that just as he answered his country's call to duty in the '60s, he's asking them to sacrifice now, while in the background the Marine Corps band plays Phil Ochs' "The Draftdodger's Rag."


4/12/99: Taiwan more worthy of U.S. support
4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
3/29/99: At Passover, Egypt is a state of mind
3/29/99: Could the GOP stand Pat in 2000?
3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
3/15/99: All bow, the court is in session
3/11/99: In praise of negative campaigning
3/09/99: Day-care study defies common sense
3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
3/01/99: Public will blot out Broaddrick's accusation
2/25/99: Slick Hillie for Senate would be fun
2/23/99: Fascism in the name of fighting fascism
2/16/99: Was anything learned from the impeachment trial?
2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1999, Creators Syndicate