As a former naval officer who volunteered in wartime, I am appalled by Michael Kelly's attack on Republican Tom DeLay, the House majority whip, and, by inference, on all other members of Congress who believe, as I do, that this is Bill Clinton's war ["Comforting Milosevic," op-ed, May 19]. This, Kelly says, is "giving aid and comfort to the Yugoslavian war aims." His words smack of an accusation of treason.
Contrast Clinton with President Bush, an experienced Navy veteran who obtained approval from the United Nations, the House and the Senate after extensive debate, and who had made five months of careful preparation before going to war against Iraq. America and its allies had a dramatic success. Having zero military experience, Bill Clinton ordered bombing of Yugoslavia to begin March 24 with no such approval from the United Nations or Congress and with hardly any strategy for winning the unjust war he alone created. Of course, NATO is just a fig leaf for Clinton's "Wag the Dog" scenario, since well over 95 percent of the airplanes and missiles are American. Yugoslavia did not threaten the United States, NATO or any U.S. ally.
The cost of the war, more than $10 billion and rising, could have built hundreds of badly needed high schools of science and technology at home. When this physicist demonstrated twice outside the old Executive Office Building near the White House, not one person objected to my sign and my shouts, "Stop the Bombing! Stop the War!" On the contrary, many smiled and gave a thumbs up. Nothing should restrain DeLay, Curt Weldon, Trent Lott or any member of Congress from criticizing Clinton's stupid war.
-- Howard David Greyber
Michael Kelly soundly suggests that members of Congress should support the nation. But he incorrectly identifies the nation with President Clinton. He also confuses the interests of NATO with the interests of the United States.
Because Congress has never authorized military strikes against Yugoslavia, it is not our war from the legal standpoint. Nor does it have to be such from the moral perspective, since it would be our moral duty as U.S. citizens to oppose any objectionable policy of our government, should the latter become corrupt.
The absurdity of Kelly's idea of nationhood becomes obvious when it is applied to Yugoslavia. Should Yugoslav citizens support their government's actions in Kosovo in the name of nationhood?
The war in Kosovo is not our war, and I hope it never becomes ours.
-- Vadim Klishko