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Jewish World Review June 17, 1999 /3 Tamuz 5759

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Econophone

Why Right went cuckoo over Kosovo

http://www.jewishworldreview.com --
NOW THAT THE WAR is over, it must be asked why so many conservatives went cuckoo over Kosovo.

While such stalwarts as Pat Buchanan and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were allied with the angels, Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, The National Review's John O'Sullivan and the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal enlisted in Bill Clinton's cluster-bomb crusade and clamored for a ground war.

A May 13 ad in The New York Times ("Only Ground Troops Will End Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo") saw Kristol and O'Sullivan in bed with such notorious non-thinkers as Bianca Jagger, Susan Sontag, Michael Lerner and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Solarz.

The left knew exactly what it was doing. Because America has no security interests in the Balkans (making our involvement purely philanthropic), the establishment left embraced it with gusto. At the same time, the anti-war left -- always suspicious of projections of American power -- remained true to its 1960s roots and opposed intervention.

The reaction of many on the right can only be explained as miscalculation, a tendency to see everything from a Munich-Cold War perspective and a desire to validate their humanity.

They fail to understand that every tyrant isn't about to plunge the world into an inferno.

"This century has taught us where unchecked aggression leads," they intoned. And if we hadn't stopped Slobo in Kosovo (his own country, lest we forget), he would have what? Gotten sassy with Montenegro? Menaced Macedonia?

Intervention was the correct response to communism. Marxism had declared war on the West. Moscow, which incited and supported Third World insurgencies, had nuclear weapons and missiles.

In the postwar era, the red tide surged higher and higher. While often mishandled, our involvement in Korea, Vietnam and Central America were justified in terms of national survival.

Whatever else he may be, Milosevic is no threat to the West. However objectionable his methods, in trying to thwart the establishment of another Islamic republic in Europe, he was doing us a favor.

When the Cold War ended, some conservatives forgot how to think strategically. Firepower should be saved for real threats (China, for instance), not wasted on conflicts that don't concern us.

There is, strange to say, an anti-nationalist element on the right, epitomized by The Wall Street Journal, that views nation-states as obsolete and envisions a world without borders governed by free trade and market principles.

Whenever a group like the Serbs threatens this emerging order by putting love of country and attachment to the land above the globalist vision, it becomes necessary to bomb them to an appreciation of international harmony.

Finally, many conservatives are driven to prove their virtue.

By supporting the bombing of Yugoslavia, they were in effect saying, "We're not heartless reactionaries, we care about suffering Albanians and are willing to commit America's military might to their succor."

Throughout the Cold War, the left taunted conservatives with the accusation that they didn't really care about freedom, they just hated communism. During the Gulf War, it was said the right was willing to trade blood for oil.

Kosovo gave guilty conservatives a chance to refute these charges.

America doesn't rely on Kosovo's coal mines for energy. The Serbs aren't part of an international conspiracy. Other than the balderdash about the Balkans being part of Europe, which interventionists waved feebly from time to time, it was clear that Kosovo was a charity case. This appealed to conservatives desperate to prove their altruism.

Some conservatives attempt to establish humanitarian credentials by supporting open borders. ("Sure we're opposed to affirmative action. But it's not because we're racists. We favor increased immigration. There's no reason for America to remain an ethnically European nation.")

The same urge led others to embrace American intervention in a conflict that could not conceivably be further removed from our vital interests.

Kosovo revealed a fault line on the right. On one side stand the internationalists and those who share Clinton's conviction that our armed forces are a social service agency and America must transform the world into a multicultural college campus. On the other are the nationalists who believe empire is inconsistent with republicanism and we should save our shot until we encounter a real menace.


Up

6/14/99: America will be ultimate victim of war on Yugoslavia
6/09/99:Call a moratorium on Clinton judges
6/07/99: Public schools will muck up character education
6/03/99: Don't think, just vote
5/28/99: An American credo
5/26/99 :Do we really want peace in Yugoslavia?
5/24/99: Gay 'marriage' -- don't pass go
5/19/99: Little Bill, you had a busy week
5/17/99: Gun control, campaign-finance reform -- two liberal illusions
5/12/99: Watch Quayle go from "incredible" to quite credible
5/10/99: Conservatives excluded from academic diversity
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5/03/99: Gore race-baits with impunity
4/29/99: Why Kosovo? Oh, just because
4/27/99: The president's pro-parent claptrap
4/22/99: McCain plays to the media
4/19/99: NATO would have favored the confederacy
4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
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
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3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
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11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
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5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
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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
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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