Kosovo: Revision, Recycle, and Reality - Clinton Style

By Joyce Mucci

December '98 Featured Rightgrrl
Member, Rightgrrl Advisory Board
March 30, 1999

As bombs whistled over the head of Milosevic President Clinton, in his classic sober tone, asserted that Kosovo is, "a powder keg at the heart of Europe" and that his justification for intervention is "to prevent a wider war". We are asked to believe that without our military power war is eminent. What he didn't tell you, and what he was hoping you wouldn't remember, is that he used the same speech in 1995. Back then the issue on the plate was Bosnia. He asserted then that Bosnia lies "at the heart of Europe." That any failure on our part could ignite, "the kind of conflict that has drawn Americans into two European wars in this century." Which is it Mr. President, Bosnia or Kosovo that threatens the world?

There is something more going on here.

Let's start with the obvious. President Clinton believes the American people are brainless and half-witted. By using revisionist history, metaphor, and a recycled speech where the only distinction is the real estate under discussion, we are asked to deliver our hearty support once again for military action. At this point there is no end in sight nor any concrete American interest at stake. Moreover, we are admonished, that if we, as Americans, turn our backs on the troubles at the doorstep of Europe, we have the added burden of discrediting NATO. After all, according to the President, we should be grateful to NATO because they have been, "the cornerstone on which OUR security has rested for the last 50 years now." If we accept the claims made by the President to be credible, then we have a moral obligation to feel guilty about the peace we enjoy and further, we should be thankful that NATO has been the ever vigilant overseer of our national security.

In spite of his apocalyptic warnings of world war, the only compelling interests being served by our presence in Kosovo, are those of Bill Clinton's reckless resolve to nail down his legacy as a leader. The United States forces have become his pawns in this crusade for world admiration. He blamed former Presidents of past wars for not "acting wisely and early enough"; the results were the loss of American lives. However, Clinton's predecessors were faced with one of the world's great powers -- the German's well-trained military force --seeking world domination. President Clinton, on the other hand, is only facing a small time thug. The editors of the Wall Street Journal summed up accurately Milosevic's position in the world, "Slobodan Milosevic is merely the irredentist of the moment. All over the world are pirates masquerading as national leaders, eager to invade and kill the people next to them under the guise of historic grievances." Basically, the President wants to feel good about facing down the bad guy of Kosovo.

Having been charged with numerous lapses of judgement and evil doings, the President's most glaring character flaw is his manipulation of the good will of the American people. By comparing the troubles in Kosovo to epic proportions as those of two world wars he could convince, albeit reluctantly, the American people to get on board his humanitarian program. Further, he has made good use our good will and unfailing support of the military for his long-range design. To rewrite a legacy that has so far proven to be flawed, blemished and disfigured. His desire, for all practical purposes, is to be memorialized, not as an impotent impeached President of the United States, but as the Leader of NATO. Finally, Clinton asked us, "do our interests in Kosovo justify the dangers to our Armed Forces?" His reassurance was that he "thought long and hard about that question" to which, we can conclude, was only long enough to rifle through his hard drive to find the 1995 speech about Bosnia.

This article copyright © 1999 by Joyce Mucci and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.