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Honor and dishonor

Clinton has always said he would use the presidency to show Americans
what government can do. With this undeclared war against Yugoslavia, he
has. Ludwig von Mises used to say that government is not compassion; it
is beating, killing, hanging. To that we must add bombing, lawlessness,
and mass wreckage.

Ask Dragan Miladinovic, a resident of Aleksinac, a historic town in
Yugoslavia. His wife and daughter are dead, killed by a U.S. bomb that
blew up his home and slaughtered his loved ones. Another U.S. bomb
killed seven other civilians, including a child, standing in the street.
All told, an estimated 30 innocents are dead from this one infernal
device. You can tell by counting body parts sticking out from the
rubble.

Max Boot, writing for the Wall Street Journal, said that in this war,
“humanitarianism truly is in the driver’s seat.” His article appeared on
April 1, so perhaps it was a cruel joke. But that’s no excuse to shield
our eyes from the reality of what the U.S. empire is doing.

Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work are being used to
murder in cold blood and to demolish an entire society. In the bombing
of Pristina, which ripped through the civilian sector destroying
factories, an environmental disaster is in the making. The humiliation
is intensified through bombings of cemeteries and religious monuments.
Think of the Soviets in Afghanistan or the Nazis in Amsterdam. That’s
what the U.S. — the government that claims to act on all our behalf –
is doing to these people, though no one in Yugoslavia ever threatened an
American citizen.

The usually sensible George Melloan, also in the Wall Street Journal,
writes that the purpose of all this is “something far more ambitious
than pacification. It is trying to civilize Serbia.” His article,
however, did not appear on April 1, so we must take him at his word. If
this be civilizing, God save us from barbarism, and from warfare
statists masquerading as advocates of free enterprise.

The U.S. says these attacks on civilians are mistakes. They are
misfires. They were just off target a bit. But these are no longer
plausible explanations. The bombings of civilians are becoming too
common and too systematic, exactly as during WWII, Vietnam, and the Gulf
War. They are nothing but an attempt to terrorize the country, to
humiliate the entire population, and to force an unconditional
surrender, which itself is a brutal and inhumane war tactic. Besides,
the administration’s apologists are already saying that civilian deaths
are the price you pay for a good war.

At every level, the results of the war have so far been exactly the
opposite of what Clinton promised. He said he wanted to help the
Kosovars, but more than a million refugees are fleeing both ethnic wars
and U.S. bombs, and some of these refugees are being forcibly
transported by NATO troops. Clinton said he wanted to show Milosevic
that he means business, but now even Milosovic’s opposition views him as
a hero. The hatred generated against the U.S. may never dissipate.

Clinton has shown us again that government is very stupid and very
evil. The federal tyranny that Americans hate at home is being visited
on foreign peoples who otherwise admired American culture. Claiming that
he is helping people, he is drawing blood. He complains about violence
in our cities, and yet turns foreign cities into war-zones. The bombings
Clinton so deplores when used by domestic militants he now copies
abroad. Waco has gone global.

And here is the most frustrating part: like a dictator, Clinton
pursues his war with no accountability. Congress wasn’t even asked to
declare war. In press conferences, he answers questions of his choosing
and ignores those he doesn’t like. The Joint Chiefs are reported to have
opposed this dirty war, but even they are powerless. All reports say he
is hunkered down with two advisors, Sandy Berger and Madeline Albright,
and listens to no one else.

And their advice has been: Escalate. The Serbs are already comparing
the U.S. with Hitler’s army. I wonder why? Perhaps because Gen. William
Odom, director of the National Security Agency under Reagan, urged
copying German military tactics in a ground invasion of Belgrade.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he praised the Nazis who “swept down
this corridor in World War II, taking the whole of Yugoslavia in a
couple of weeks.”

Let history record that it was Clinton who turned an ancient, limited
conflict into a regional and possibly global one. Let it be burned
indelibly in our minds that it was the U.S. government that bombed a
sovereign country and terrorized its population for a goal that had
nothing to do with the American people. Let us never forget that Clinton
has violated every known rule of warfare and pursued a campaign of
violence with no basis in just war doctrine.

Please, let us hear no more about the U.S. as the “indispensable
nation,” the world’s savior and guardian of democracy, much less about
the U.S. as some sort of keeper of peace. Meanwhile, what can be said
about those public figures who have enlisted in the war effort, defended
the indefensible, celebrated this destruction, and even called for more?
They belong on a roll of dishonor, and here is a start:

So much for the dishonor roll. Onward to the honor roll, a
much-expanded list of courageous writers and thinkers who have thrown
themselves into the battle to stop the bombings and stop the war. I’ll
say again that they deserve our attention, admiration, and thanks:

Thanks to all the WorldNetDaily readers who’ve written me. I’d
welcome additions to both rolls. Email me at rockwell@mises.org.

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