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Kosovo and Baghdad

There was a lot of flak after Clinton authorized bombing and even the possibility of ground troops in Kosovo, when Milosovic started in on the Albanians. The bombing did kill innocent civilians along with intended targets. But, although it appears that ground forces would have been more effective, the bombing did finally succeed in getting a surrender, which meant no more genocidal activities being practiced by the Serbs. I do have to agree with one person, who said, "You can't kill unless you are prepared to die": Michael Walzer, political theorist. I do think this is part of the equation, the right equation.

Whereas in Baghdad there was no immediate threat, no genocide in the making. The genocidal actions had taken place several years before - which is when some sort of action should have been taken, but instead the Iraqi leadership - Saddam - was supported by the U.S.

I am saddened that more fuss was made over Monica than over Clinton's initial unwillingness to "get involved" in Bosnia. He only took it on when it started to hurt him personally. Although I believe he is at heart a compassionate man, I also believe his ambition and ego tend to take precedence over other concerns. In other words, if you are going to be down on Clinton, at least choose a good reason.

I'm just trying to sort it out. In many ways, being president these days is a no-win proposition. It's odd, I think, that even when the public opposes going to war, it tends to rally around the flag when we actually go. It's as if we are a split personality.

I am fundamentally a pacifist. I want to seek a peaceful solution when possible. In some cases that may not be possible. I am beginning to recognize this. I don't know what I would do if I had to make these decisions.


Judith Lautner
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