On the first day bombs dropped on ex-Yugoslavia, Mrs. Albright said,
“I don’t see this as a long-term operation.”
Pardon me, Madeleine, it’s already been a 30-day-plus nightmare, and
unless the fumbling NATO bureaucracy manages to drop a bomb directly on
Slobodan Milosevic and his inner circle of criminals, we can expect a
much longer siege.
The superior firepower and skill of NATO — read U.S.A. because we’re
already carrying 80 percent of the load — will eventually take out the
second-rate Serbian conventional army. But when there’s nothing left to
bomb but rubble, NATO ground troops will be stuck into the mud of
Albright’s not-exactly blitzkrieg war.
And it won’t be Desert Storm-easy, nor as bloodless. The absence of a
decent launching pad, the rugged Kosovo terrain, the lousy weather and
the Serb fighting spirit and skill are sure to take their toll and slow
down our high-tech punch.
The destruction of the Serbian conventional army will not usher in an
end to the fighting, either. The Serbs invented the word “hardcore” and
aren’t big into white flags. The next phase will be a guerrilla effort
that could last for years. Hit and run. Much like the tactics Tito’s
soldiers employed against the Nazis, and the Vietnamese used against the
French and then us.
The Serb insurgents will have nothing to lose. And they’ll be
fighting for sacred ground against an opponent they’ll now hate as much
as they did the Nazis.
Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago, “In all history, there is no instance
of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. Only one who knows
the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance
of rapidity in bringing it to a close.”
Clinton, Albright, Cohen and their NATO counterparts know nothing of
war or they wouldn’t have erred so badly when they called so quickly for
the military solution.
This is the second time in my lifetime that a war has made me deeply
ashamed of my country’s policies. The war in Southeast Asia, where we
were ultimately responsible for killing more than three million
Vietnamese, one million Cambodians and a half-million Laotians, was the
first. And now this. The Serbian and Kosovar people are not our enemies.
Milosevic and his thugs and the KLA terrorists are the bad guys. Both
evil camps could have been removed without the death and destruction so
far wrought at less than was spent on the first day of the bombing
Of course, not using the military solution would have taken wisdom,
statesmanship and patience — traits never easily found among world
leaders during the 20th Century, where over 160 million human beings
have been killed in conflicts because shooting is so much more
profitable for the
weapon makers than talking.
What surprises me most about this latest mayhem is how little public
protest there’s been. The nation rightfully weeps and builds
yellow-ribboned memorials when buildings are blown up by homegrown
terrorists or when kids imitate Hollywood in Colorado. But we seem big
into denial when confronted with the mass murder, destruction and chaos
being perpetuated by our tax dollars and wreaked on our behalf by our
sons and daughters and politicians upon a land that’s endured strife for
hundreds of years.
While the American people shut their eyes or allow themselves to be
brainwashed by a superficial TV news apparatus, driven by ratings and
sensationalism, the U.S. Congress is spurred on by the likes of war
cheerleader Senator John McCain, who, like Albright, has seen few wars
that didn’t push his buttons.
Both are driven by early experiences of war. As a child, Albright saw
her native Czechoslovakia invaded by the Nazis and again by the Soviets.
McCain was shot down on his 23rd mission over North Vietnam and spent
the next five years as a prisoner of war — during which, by his own
admission, he violated the soldier’s sacred Code Of Conduct by providing
military information to the enemy (U.S. News and World Report, May 14,
Both Albright and McCain might find therapy more helpful than playing
out earlier traumas at the world’s expense. For that matter, maybe the
whole country should shut off the tube and get shrunk.