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The war on your pocketbook

OK America, I give up. Nothing I say about the illegality and
immorality of this blitzkrieg against Serbia is going to make any
difference to you.

You don’t care that the United States has no business in Yugoslavia,
no vital interests, no national security concerns.

You don’t care that the Balkans have been in turmoil for 600 years
and that the civil war raging today has deep cultural and religious
roots that we can’t begin to understand — let alone solve.

You don’t care that the United States and NATO have no right to bomb
sovereign nations just because we think they are being mean.

You don’t care that the bombing of Serbia will not achieve even the
vague objectives laid out by the Clinton administration.

You don’t care that the execution of the war has been
counterproductive in every way — strengthening the leadership the U.S.
condemns and victimizing the civilians we sought to protect.

You don’t care that we are jeopardizing the lives of your sons and
daughters in a pointless exercise of power politics designed to carve
out a legacy for a president who was too cowardly or disloyal to serve
in the armed forces when he was called.

You don’t care that we risk engulfing Europe — even the entire world
— in a wider conflict as we spark ancient antagonisms and unify enemies
against the West.

No, none of that means anything to you. So let me make a much
different kind of appeal to you. Let me explain that this war is also
costing you money. Let me appeal to your sense of economic
self-interest. Let me appeal to your well-developed sense of greed.

You probably thought that this war was a freebie — that the budget
surplus your political leadership has been lying to you about for the
last several years — would cover the costs of whomping the Serbs.
Unh-uh. Sorry. There is no budget surplus. So the billions of dollars
that this war will ultimately cost the U.S. taxpayers will come from one
place and one place only — the Social Security Trust Fund.

That’s right. Bill Clinton, who has made a political career out of
pandering to misguided senior citizens willing to place their futures in
the hands of a corrupt government, is betraying his core constituency.
He’s selling out senior citizens and the Democratic Party’s cornerstone
of economic false promise. He’s stealing money set aside for the future
of Social Security in favor of bombing the Serbs. He’s taking money out
of your wallet, food out of your mouth, milk out of your grandchild’s

How do you like that? Does that make you mad? Is that enough to get
you out of your easy chair and into the streets?

I’ve explained it before, but it bears repeating in a new context.
More than a year ago, this cyber-paper exposed that sham. The facts are
simple. There is no surplus. In fact, the budget is operating in a
deficit and has been throughout the Clinton administration. In normal
times, you could count on the opposition party to expose such highjinks.
But these are not normal times. The Republicans control both houses of
Congress. The Democrats control the White House. At some point, the
leadership of both parties decided it would be in their best interest to
pull the wool over the eyes of the American people, lie to them about a
budget surplus and then go about the business of spending freely on
their pet projects.

In Clinton’s case, he wants to kill people and break things in
Yugoslavia. Don’t ask me why. That’s what he wants to do. Don’t ask me
what the Republicans have in mind. Perhaps they just don’t want to
appear unpatriotic or subversive by telling the truth about what’s
happening in Serbia.

After all, why should we expect any of those Washington politicians
to speak the truth about the Balkans? If they lie to you about Social
Security and steal your money, why would you expect them to tell you
what they are really up to in Yugoslavia?