The Blood on Bill Clinton's Hands
October 25, 2000
I watched the memorial service for those who died on the USS Cole, and my heart went out to the families left behind, the hopes and dreams forever dashed, the faith tested, the yearning for the lost loved ones.
It's the price of war.
We are at war, by the way. That's the thing that everybody seems to miss. This was not a terrorist attack. Those who planned the attack might also have planned terrorist attacks like the bombing of the U.S. embassies in East Africa, but this attack, at least, followed the rules of war.
They attacked a military target. They attacked soldiers in uniform. They achieved surprise, at the cost of their own soldiers dying in performing the mission. But if this had been an operation by, say, Navy SEALs against an enemy power, we would regard it as a successful and legitimate military operation meant to unsettle and demoralize the enemy.
So when our news media persist in calling the attackers "terrorists," that leads us to a dangerous mindset. It makes us complacent -- this is a matter for police, we think, because we're dealing with brutal criminals, and our goal should be to arrest them and bring them to justice.
But in war, your goal is not to arrest the enemy. Your goal is to destroy the enemy's will and capability to fight.
In war, you don't have a trial. You find the enemy, you bring superior force to bear, and you win however you can. That's what they're doing. It's insane that we're not taking them seriously.
Sending an unescorted ship to refuel in a port where any rational person would recognize dire and immediate threat -- that's like the Israeli military sending their tanks to gas stations in Syria for a fill-up.
But the fact that our soldiers were given their orders by stupid commanders is neither unusual nor relevant at a funeral for those who died from enemy action.
Lots of soldiers die because they are following stupid orders. You still grieve at their funerals and honor their sacrifice.
Then Bill Clinton stood up and spoke. Every word sounded false coming from the liar's mouth, but we've had that for eight years, during which time he was reelected once and missed being thrown out of office by the Senate, so apparently most Americans are content having slime all over everything. Somebody gave Bill his script, and he put his oil on it and let it slide past his lips. He's the guy who gets to wear the suit while we're waiting to find a real President, so we let him do his bit even on our sacred occasions.
So I was relatively calm until he actually dared to accuse those who carried out the successful military operation that killed our soldiers -- to accuse them of not valuing human life.
Bill Clinton? Accusing someone else of not valuing life? Of not having moral sensitivities?
I think it's time that we remembered Bill Clinton's track record on valuing human life.
Let's start with his utter disregard for the weeks and months of slaughter in Rwanda. A sovereign nation. An internal matter. The U.S. couldn't intervene. Might lose a U.S. soldier, and after all, it was just a bunch of tribesmen killing each other with machetes. We can't police the world, right?
Bosnia. Uh-oh. This time it was Serbia backing their co-"Christians" in the territory of a breakaway nation. We watched as they herded thousands of Bosnian Muslim men into a stadium. We knew they were going to murder them all. But once again, Bill Clinton did nothing. Not the policeman of the world, yadda yadda.
Rwanda and Bosnia showed the world that we have learned nothing at all since the Holocaust. It not only can happen again, it has happened, and we stood and watched.
Dying for Monica
But then something remarkable happened to Bill Clinton. Suddenly one day he wakes up and decides that intervening in foreign countries is a good idea. The embassy bombings in East Africa had made the U.S. look impotent and showed just how useless our intelligence agencies can be against a determined enemy that can strike anywhere. It was suddenly in our vital interests to retaliate. You know, the way Reagan bombed Libya to retaliate for terrorist acts that Khaddafi had sponsored. FOOTNOTE
And there's suddenly a deadline for taking action. Clinton can't wait around for our intelligence services to determine who the bombers actually were. Because there's a matter of vital national interest that requires immediate action:
Got to have something on the front pages when the lab reports on the presidential sperm count. And those embassy bombings in East Africa are the perfect excuse. We've got to have the name of the perpetrators and we've got to take a big, splashy action against them.
So the missiles fly, the bombs drop, things blow up, and there's Bill Clinton, oiling his way through the explanation: It was this Osama bin Laden guy, and they were planning yet another imminent action and our bombs have definitely thwarted him.
Only there's one tiny problem. We didn't know where Bin Laden was, nor did we know anything about his plans.
Furthermore, our missiles and bombs were utterly useless and we knew it when they were fired. He's a guerrilla fighter, like Castro in the mountains of Cuba. We can't touch him with missiles.
So we bombed a medicine factory in Khartoum, with only the most ludicrous "evidence" that it was involved in chemical weapons production.
And we bombed "terrorist camps" in Afghanistan. Our intelligence was so bad that two of them turned out to be Pakistani-operated bases -- our allies -- and as for the ones that might have been associated with our enemies ... well, Mr. Bill tipped our hand by withdrawing nonessential U.S. personal from the area before sending the missiles. They had plenty of time to get out of the way.
So we achieved no surprise. If our missiles killed any terrorists or damaged any of their equipment, it was a lucky accident.
Of course, Mr. Bill and his apologists could claim complete success because, after all, there was an "imminent terrorist attack" and, after we fired all those missiles, the attack didn't happen!
That's like the old joke about the guy who walks along banging two pans together. "Why are you doing that?" "To scare the elephants away." "There aren't any elephants around here." "See? It's working."
There was no imminent terrorist attack. We did not know who set off those bombs in East Africa, and even if we had known, hitting those targets did not punish them in any way, did not prevent anything.
And here's what really sticks in my craw. People died from those bombs. Bill Clinton killed people in the name of the United States of America, for his own political gain.
Moreover, he grossly violated international law. He bombed the territory of two nations with which we are not at war. One is ruled by a hostile regime, and Afghanistan is barely governed at all. They may have provided shelter for those who attack us, but that doesn't change the fact that we have declined to declare war on them and do not have the right to simply bomb them whenever our president feels like it.
But for Bill Clinton, all that matters is that Sudan and Afghanistan are poor countries without the power to retaliate in kind. He could bomb them and kill people within their borders and blow up a plant that made medicine for half a continent, and nobody could do anything about it.
Only they can do something about it, can't they?
A few months later, the House was about to vote on impeachment. And guess what happens? Bill Clinton discovers that there is an emergency in Serbia which requires the bombers to fly yet again.
What was this emergency? Remember, this is the same president who thought that the murder of tens of thousands of Bosnian civilians was not worth so much as a single bullet. And now it isn't a fight between two nations. It's Serbia trying to deal with a revolution by an Albanian ethnic majority in the province of Kosovo. The Kosovar separatists have been assassinating Serbs and Kosovars whom they accuse of being collaborators. So far, however, the Serbs have been very restrained in their response (restrained, that is, for Serbs) -- only about fifty people are known to have died in the Serbian counter-revolutionary campaign up to that point.
And there was nothing happening that week that was different from the week before. No pressing emergency.
But there was that impeachment vote in the House ...
So our bombers flew. But they had to fly very, very high, because if Bill Clinton is anything, he's an absolute political coward -- he couldn't bear to face the possibility of even one U.S. pilot getting shot down. So our bombs fell from such a "safe" altitude that we were bound to kill civilians willy-nilly.
The Serbs took exception to this. They'd been trying to behave themselves (for Serbs), and hardly killed anybody in Kosovo, and now the U.S. was bombing them. Heck, nobody bombed them for killing tens of thousands in Bosnia! So if they were going to get punished like this anyway, they might as well go ahead and do the ethnic cleansing thing. Drive out all those Albanians and pretty soon, no Kosovo problem. Right?
Maybe the Serbs would have eventually gotten around to killing Albanian Kosovars or driving them out of Serbia. We'll never know. What we do know is, not only did the bombs Bill Clinton ordered kill Serbian civilians, they also provided the direct provocation or excuse for Milosevic to turn his boys loose on the Kosovar people. We know the results. The body count. The refugees. The destruction.
Months and months later, Serbia capitulated to our illegal bombing and allowed foreign "peacekeepers" to occupy their sovereign territory so that American bombers would stop killing people and wrecking their economy. I think the main lesson to be learned by other nations is:
When an American president is in political trouble, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Because the American President is the kind of man who kills foreigners in order to shore up his popularity with the American people. And as long as it's a liberal President who supports the right of women to kill their baby at any point before the head emerges from the womb, the American press will take his specious and obviously false excuses at face value and question nothing.
Those "terrorists" who bombed the USS Cole killed seventeen soldiers in uniform, and they gave their own lives to accomplish it.
They are our enemies, and we have a right to protect ourselves from them, and to honor and mourn for our soldiers who died at their hands.
But what Bill Clinton does not have the right to do is accuse them of having no regard for human life.
Clinton ordered bombings that killed hundreds of innocent civilians, and not in some noble cause, but solely to save his own political skin.
Add to those direct killings, done at his order, the deaths of thousands of others that he might have saved in Rwanda and Bosnia. But because he wasn't in danger of impeachment or political embarrassment at that time, he did nothing. Even if you don't find any of the blood of slaughtered Tutsis and Muslims on Clinton's hands, you have to admit that his inaction when they were dying utterly disproves any claim that he was intervening to save lives in Kosovo. He doesn't care about lives in Kosovo or anywhere else. He is what he accused them of being.
And Americans, when polled, say he's doing a "good job."
Indicting the Co-Conspirators
If America had a free press, of course, Clinton would have been politically destroyed after the bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan, months before he started killing people wholesale in Serbia. But we don't have a free press -- the American press is utterly controlled by, and mostly consists of, the ruling elite that gave us Bill Clinton in the first place.
You know, these are the people who give credence even to the most stupid and scurrilous rumors about George W. Bush, on no evidence at all, but who demand impossible levels of proof before they'll heed any accusation against Clinton.
Remember how they sniped at George Bush Sr. for the invasion of Panama?
Clinton killed a lot more people in Serbia, and achieved far less and took a lot longer doing it, but where was the sniping from the people who had loved peace so much only one president before?
Remember how radicals used to call Nixon a war criminal? I guess those guys are all too busy making money in Mr. Bill's boomtown to notice when we have a real war criminal in the White House.
Comparing Clinton and George Bush Sr.
When George Bush, our last real President, committed the U.S. to a foreign intervention, he:
1. Chose plans of action that protected civilians lives as the highest priority, and only afterward tried to protect American soldiers' lives.
2. Committed ground troops, because air attacks alone are incapable of achieving military objectives.
3. Risked his own political future completely with each intervention, because he regarded the interests of the United States as being more important than his own political survival.
4. Built consensus and assembled allies before taking military action. In Kuwait, he accomplished the incredible feat of getting European nations to commit troops and getting Islamic nations to cooperate with us in liberating a conquered Islamic nation. In Panama he had the cooperation of at least somewhat legitimate national leaders in getting rid of the tinhorn dictator who was running Panama like a personal fief.
5. Told us the truth about what we were doing and why we were doing it.
And remember Jimmy Carter? When he brought Israeli and Arab leaders together, his personal honor was part of the foundation on which a courageous man like Sadat could rely as he risked his life to build peace.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president again?
The Longterm Cost
The trouble is, electing a real president to replace Mr. Bill won't undo the damage he's already done:
Legacy # 1. We now know that our absolutely partisan press will twist the news to preserve their own people in power, no matter what the cost. If a Republican president had done everything Clinton has done, the press would have hounded him out of office.
The double standard is firmly in place and continues today: Gore's lies are called "innocuous" or "irrelevant," while George W. Bush, who hasn't taken a drink in years, is ridiculed as a drinking, drug-using party boy. Bush, who has governed a difficult and divided state with remarkable effectiveness, is called "dumb," while Gore, who hasn't governed anything and changes personality with the polls, is considered "smart."
Only the Washington Times and Fox News ran with the story of Gore's secret deal with Russia to sell arms illegally to Iran and keep it a secret from Congress. Where is the liberal media? When they finally mention the story, I'll bet they spin it as an attack on the Republican Congress for "partisanship" -- even though Gore's signature on such a memo is prima facie evidence of a crime against the constitution, an offense that cries out for impeachment, except in the funhouse mirrors at the New York Times and the Washington Post.
No matter whom we elect, we still have the elitist press spinning everything with utter contempt for truth. Clinton was their boy; Gore is their kind of "leader"; they jeer at honorable men. And as long as all our journalists have to be passed through the filter of American journalism schools, I don't see how we're going to get a press that tells us the truth even when they don't like it.
Legacy # 2. Americans may pretend they don't know why Mr. Bill went a-bombing, but nobody in the rest of the world was fooled.
The Russian people had good feelings toward America, until we bombed Serbia illegally, killing their Slavic brothers for the crime of trying to keep control of their own territory ... and we did it to help Bill distract us from his well-deserved impeachment for the crime of oathbreaking.
And in Afghanistan, there were many who remembered how America helped them win their independence from the Soviet Union's attempt to rule them. But they saw that America was willing to violate their sovereignty and bomb their land ... for Monica's dress.
Hey, Mr. Bill! Thanks for the enemies!
Legacy # 3. Those in the Islamic world who already hated us now have far more support in their war against America. What Muslim now, however he might wish for peace, can seriously suggest that America is any kind of friend to any Muslim country? Clinton did not create our enemies -- he merely cut off our friends at the knees. Remember: When President Bush left office, our friends in the Islamic world knew we would stand by our allies. But America now chooses leaders whose word is worthless.
Which of our Muslim friends will dare to bet their future on American friendship now?
Legacy # 4. Mr. Bill made a hero out of Osama bin Laden. Monica's dress was the best thing that ever happened to him. Mr. Bill's most terrible legacy may be this: He has raised out of obscurity the charismatic leader who may be able to do what no other has been able to accomplish: unite Islam in holy war against us. When Muslims look at bin Laden, the man who can blow up American ships and laugh at American missiles, and at Bill Clinton, the man who kills foreigners and breaks oaths and plays sex games in the White House ... no wonder so many of them believe that God is on their side.
Legacy # 5. Our enemies everywhere have seen us revealed as cowards and bullies.
President Bush showed them that America would do whatever it took to roll back illegal aggression, and that America had the courage to put the lives of American soldiers at risk in order to do it.
But Clinton has shown them that Americans, after throwing out a strong president, will elect and reelect and continue to support an abject coward who will only do "safe" things like bombings from high altitude, and then only when it suits his political purposes. In 1991 we were viewed with respect even by our enemies. Now we are viewed with contempt even by our friends.
And when your enemies and your friends have contempt for you, the world is an infinitely more dangerous place. They now will dare what they would never have dared before, because they have seen how soft and selfish and scared we are.
One More Trick Up His Sleeve
A lot of us have been wondering what Mr. Bill will do on November 1st, 2000, to try to throw the election to his wooden puppet.
Remember the way Lawrence Walsh misused his office as independent investigator of the Iran-Contra affair to level specious charges against George Bush in the days just before the election of 1992, in an effort to guarantee Clinton's victory; you'll also remember the smeary little rumors that Bush, too, was having an affair with somebody, so Clinton's lack of honor would be seen as "normal."
So ... what's it going to be this time?
Bombs worked for Clinton twice before, and nobody -- nobody -- held him accountable, since the press all flack for him. So my prediction is that Clinton will "discover" who the perpetrators of the "terrorist" attack on the USS Cole were, and he'll bomb some more Arab targets and kill some more innocent people. He'll make the people of other nations hate, fear, and despise us even more. We'll face the consequences for years, decades, generations to come.
And here's what scares me most:
The American people don't care.
Our president can use our soldiers to kill people in other countries, and we don't care.
If we had repudiated Clinton when we had the chance, then maybe we could say, "It was him, not us, who committed those war crimes."
But we didn't repudiate him.
And with that decision we took some of the blood from his hands onto our own, every one of us, whether we like it or not.
Now when our sailors die or are crippled by the attacks of our enemies, emboldened by Clinton's weakness and enraged by his crimes, we listen to our "president" denounce our enemies as inhuman monsters.
Maybe they are.
But what are we, who kept Bill Clinton's bloody hands on the reins of power? FOOTNOTE
And what will it mean if we elect Fibber Gore and keep the same conscienceless team in office for another four years? You know, the guy who thinks it's OK to make secret deals that violate U.S. law and not tell Congress about it because, after all, that's just a bunch of Republicans....
I fear for our souls. I believe that God has protected our nation for two hundred years, despite all our sins, because at core we were decent and wanted to be better than we were; because we loved freedom and did what we could to extend it to everyone, everywhere.
But why should a just God protect America now, if Bill Clinton represents what we have become?
We have the habit of thinking that we're the good guys.
But good guys choose good guys to lead them.
Those soldiers who died on the USS Cole deserved to have the President of the United States honor them with his presence and his words.
Instead, all we had for them was Mr. Bill.
America was once a nation, a people, an idea worth dying for. It could be again. But we have to choose to be such a nation.
Let's retroactively give meaning to the deaths of those good sons and daughters of America, by becoming a people who value honor above money, freedom above security, law above private advantage, and virtue above charm.
You know. The character thing.
Let's start with our own character. And then choose leaders who represent what we'd like to become. The kind of leaders who, by speaking at their funeral, would honor those who died for our sake.
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