Fw: [KDN] NYT: Bush and the World
- Notice how it is always okay to bash Orthodox and accuse them of crimes, but
when they are, or have been, slaughtered by Muslims and Roman Catholics
duri9ng the past 100 years that is simply the horrors of war.
----- Original Message -----
From: D. Dostanic <dostanic@...>
To: KDN <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 1:49 AM
Subject: [KDN] NYT: Bush and the World
THE NEW YORK TIMES, Saturday, September 30, 2000
ABROAD AT HOME
Bush and the World
By ANTHONY LEWIS
When Slobodan Milosevic's forces ravaged Croatia in 1991, and then began
their campaign of genocide in Bosnia, President Bush decided that the
United States would do nothing meaningful to stop him. It was one of the
most shameful episodes in the history of American foreign policy.
If George W. Bush is elected president, the indications are that he
would follow his father's example. That appears from his own words and
the views of those who would advise him.
"We should not send our troops to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide in
nations outside our strategic interest," Governor Bush said earlier this
Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Bush's campaign adviser on foreign policy, won
applause at the Republican Convention when she said: "America's armed
forces are not a global police force. They are not the world's 911."
But the key figure is Gen. Colin Powell, the almost certain Bush choice
for secretary of state. I am a great admirer of General Powell - but not
of what has come to be called the Powell Doctrine. It is that American
soldiers should not be used abroad except in overwhelming force when
fundamental U.S. strategic interests are threatened.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the first years of the
Clinton administration, General Powell strongly opposed the use of U.S.
forces to stop the Serbian rape, torture and murder in Bosnia. He not
only worked inside the government but wrote a newspaper article opposing
involvement. His opposition was crucial in President Clinton's decision
to abandon a campaign pledge and stay out of the Bosnian tragedy.
The consequences of U.S. inaction through the Bush and early Clinton
years were terrible. Hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were killed or
forced to flee. In the end, shamed by the mass murder of Bosnians in
Srebrenica, the U.S. negotiated the Dayton accords and sent forces to
help police them - under much less favorable conditions than would have
existed years before.
Mr. Milosevic, moreover, concluding that the United States was a paper
tiger, went on to his campaign of terror in Kosovo. That led to still
deeper U.S. military involvement.
The premise of President Bush's decision to ignore the Milosevic
aggression when it began in 1991 was that it was a European problem and
should be handled by our European allies. But the Europeans will not act
without American leadership, as events proved.
The same thinking is evident now in the Bush campaign. Dick Cheney, the
vice-presidential nominee, said last month that it was time to consider
recalling our ground troops from Bosnia and Kosovo, leaving the job to
the Europeans. If we followed that course, the situation in both
territories would quickly unravel.
That the United States cannot be "the world's policeman" is an easily
accepted slogan. But realistically, there is no substitute for American
leadership and involvement if the worst of human horrors are to be
Genocide in Bosnia does not engage our strategic interests as would,
say, a threat to our supply of oil. When those two oil men, George W.
Bush and Dick Cheney, talk about the vital interests that alone would
justify the use of American forces abroad, they may well be thinking
precisely of oil.
The odd thing is that Governor Bush and his campaign colleagues talk
with great emphasis about the need to build up our armed forces. To do
The most frequent threats to peace and stability in the post-cold-war
era are arising from internal ethnic, religious and other conflicts.
East Timor, Bosnia and Kosovo are all remote from traditional U.S.
strategic interests. But if ignored, those conflicts could have
destabilized large areas important to us: Indonesia, Southeastern
Europe. To turn our heads away is not the course of realism.
And there is another consideration that makes the inclinations of George
W. Bush unrealistic. Americans do not like to see mass cruelties ignored
by the one country that can stop them. Perhaps that is why President
Bush, when he and Brent Scocroft published a book on his foreign- policy
record, did not even mention Bosnia.
If Americans know that horrors are happening, they are not going to be
content with a president who says, "I am not my brother's keeper."