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Defending the West . . . Against Itself

In his article "A Just and Necessary War," published in the New York Times on May 25, President William Jefferson Clinton summarized the case for his war against the Serbs. He elaborated on his "vision," arguing that the bombing of Serbia was the response to "the greatest remaining threat to that vision; instability in the Balkans fueled by a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing."

Clinton's piece, predictably, teemed with the lies and distortions that are by now his hallmark; the article's misstatements began with the very first words: "We are in Kosovo with our allies . . . " We were also told that he is defending Kosovo against Milosevic's "Greater Serbia" and that, before the bombing, "we exhausted every diplomatic avenue for a settlement," but when the Serbs' premeditated offensive began, "we had to act." The President concluded that, had it not bombed Serbia, "NATO itself would have been discredited for failing to defend the very values that give it meaning."

While Clinton's various assertions about the background to his war were long ago discredited, he should be commended for his overdue admission—contained in the title of his piece—that it is indeed a "war" that he is waging. That war is both unjust and unnecessary, of course, but Clinton's claim that NATO (read; America) is defending...

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