Maybe it seems like old news not worth revisiting. But the more I see
Bill Clinton congratulating himself over his “military victory” in
Kosovo, the more it reminds me that this entire operation began as
little more than a diversion from his latest political scandal.
This wasn’t a humanitarian relief mission, folks. It was the latest
in a series of wag-the-dog attacks directed by the war criminal in the
If you have any doubts, let’s just review the facts:
- On Aug. 17, 1998, Clinton went on national television to offer an
explanation-cum-apology for his deposition that day in the Monica
Lewinsky investigation. On Aug. 20, 1998, Clinton launched a cruise
missile assault against Sudan and Afghanistan. The Afghan real estate
was supposed to be the base of terrorist Osama bin Laden. But he was not
present, though 24 others were reportedly killed. The Sudan site was an
alleged chemical-weapons plant that turned out to be a perfectly
legitimate pharmaceutical company. The night watchman was killed.
- On Dec. 16, 1998, Operation Desert Fox began with air and cruise
missile attacks on Iraq just hours before the House of Representatives
was to commence its impeachment debate. The proceedings were delayed by
a day because of the military action. The operation ended three days
later, by some accounts, out of respect for the Islamic holiday of
Ramadan. Nevertheless, some 2,000 Iraqis were killed in the series of
- In February 1999, Clinton was faced with two scandals breaking at
once — the emerging evidence that he had raped Juanita Broaddrick and
the details of security lapses that resulted in American nuclear secrets
falling into the hands of the Chinese. Though many analysts were
surprised at the precipitous manner in which negotiations were halted,
Clinton chose this moment to launch what turned into an 11-week bombing
campaign in Serbia, killing some 6,000 Yugoslavian troops, 2,000
civilians and sparking the revenge killings of some 11,000 ethnic
Where would Clinton get the inspiration for such brazen and risky
political theatrics? Paul Burgess, a former congressional aide to U.S.
Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, thinks he has an answer. And so do I.
Burgess cites a hard-to-find report released by Federal Reserve
economists in late 1997 called “An Investigation into the Magnitude of
Foreign Contacts.” The document (No. RWP97-14) is essentially, Burgess
explains, a scientific qualification of the “wag the dog” theory, with
the researchers offering a lengthy and complex mathematical model to
illustrate the advantages of small-scale, low-intensity wars to
presidents in distress.
The report concludes: “If the information content (about the leader,
and for the consumption of the electorate) of small conflicts is
substantial and their costs sufficiently small, our model points to the
possibility of diversionary actions being welfare-enhancing (for the
leader); only when (a diversionary war) can provide information
favorable to the incumbent leader can the action be successful in its
purpose; even though a diversionary war may have been avoidable and may
force an unwarranted cost upon the electorate, it also reveals new
information about the leader’s abilities which the electorate may find
I sit here in amazement that Clinton is permitted by my colleagues in
the press and the Republican majority in Congress to gloat about his
military prowess in defeating the Serbian army. He should be prosecuted
for this savagery and this blatant violation of the Constitution.
Worse yet, Clinton is now suggesting that his antics in the Balkans
should serve as a model for future engagements throughout the world.
He says this at the very moment the bloody tables in Kosovo have been
turned — as ethnic Albanian Muslims take their revenge on innocent Serb
We’re a long way from peace in the Balkans. Intelligence analyst
Richard Maybury points out that, in World War II, the real fighting in
the Balkans did not begin until after the Serb government surrendered.
Then the Serbs turned to guerrilla war and eventually ran the Nazis out,
killing some 70,000 in the process.
Is it too much to believe that a president of the United States would
stoop to warfare as political cover for himself? Remember, this is not
just any president of the United States. This is Bill Clinton we’re
talking about — a politician who lives by the polls. It’s just possible
that, in the last two years, more than a few people have died for those