Thirty years ago, President Clinton, National Security Adviser SandyBerger and Secretary of Defense William Cohen seldom missed a warprotestrally. When they were young and vulnerable to the killing fields ofVietnam, they just happened to be big time anti-war movers and shakers.
Now all three have morphed into high-profile members of the "Bomb 'embackto the Stone Age" club as they strong-arm the Serbs and Kosovars to thepeace table.
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In 1972, that's exactly what Nixon and Kissinger tried and failed todo inVietnam. Remember Linebacker I and II and the bombs falling by thefreight-train load? Remember how, when the bombing didn't work, those two hawksscrambled to settle for "peace with honor"? And how, in the end, therewasno peace and no honor -- and almost 400,000 U.S. casualties?
Unless they've lost a screw somewhere, people who fight wars don'twantanything to do with war. Those that haven't, like Sandy and the twoBills,are too often hot to trot whether war makes sense or not.
Since none of these born-again war mongers will be risking their ownlivesin the skies over Serbia or in the mud of Kosovo, I thought I'd ask some
real warriors, those who'll do the dying or have already endured theinsanity of battle, for their thoughts on the Clintonian Solution toKosovo.
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- An infantry sergeant: "They're amateurs playing with realbullets. ... Good people will get killed again for bad policy."
- A fighter pilot: "Our country is on a collision course withdisaster.Congress, as usual, is rolling over and ducking their responsibilities.What ever happened to the War Powers Act?"
- A Navy CPO: "The Balkans have been a powder keg for a thousandyears.If Clinton hadn't spent the '60s avoiding war, maybe he would havelearned from the mistakes we made in Vietnam."
- An Army engineer: "Who will tell the mothers and fathers ofthose who are killed in action? Bet your boots it won't be those whoorderus there, but we who wear the uniform, we who bear the scars of battle."
- An Army colonel: "That place is not about freedom andindependence ... it's about hatred that oozes out of blood-caked dirt.Wehave no business sending American troops into that ethnic hornet'snest."
- A Navy commander: "We'll be going against well trained Serbianforces. Thirty-Two German divisions couldn't do it ( in World War II ).When ourboys come home in body bags, what will the war enthusiasts tell thenation?"
- A Vietnam vet: "You can't occupy an unwilling country, norchange their hearts and minds with napalm and explosives. Think aboutit.Did the Germans win over France? Did we win over the Vietnamese?"
- An Air Force colonel: "Air power won't hack it over Serbia.We've bombed Iraq for eight years and they're still standing. Andthey'repussycats compared to the Serbian tigers."
- An Army sergeant: "We've forgotten the main lesson from Vietnam:Never get involved in another country's civil war."
- A Special Forces colonel: "Sun Tzu taught: 'Know your enemy.' Wefailed this lesson in Vietnam and now are repeating the same mistake inKosovo."
- A former Army woman soldier: "Sending U.S. troops into Kosovo is adisaster. Aside from having no business there, we stand to lose much and
- An Air Force captain: "I don't mind dying for my country, but I'llbedamned if I want to die as part of Clinton's New World Order."
- A Navy pilot: "It'll be a slugfest in rotten terrain, withserial killers much like the Russians faced in Afghanistan. This isn't a
peace mission, it's a kamikaze raid!"
- An Army major: "Has anyone thought out an exit strategy? Is itopen-endedlike the mess in Bosnia? If it is, then say so up front and level withtheAmerican people who'll have to station troops there for decades as we've
done in the Sinai."
Congress should talk to our warriors, past and present. They make alotmore sense than all the mumbo jumbo coming out of Washington. Maybe it's
because they've been there and done that -- the hard way.