April 2, 1999

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do

April 2, 1999
This whole thing in Kosovo is really tearing me apart. Seriously. It’s like trying to choose the lesser of two evils. Do we try to stop the Serbs from displacing thousands of Albanians or do we pull out and hope to find some diplomatic peace agreement? Do we threaten more American lives in an already bloody civil war and risk having this conflict escalate into another Vietnam? There are so many different perspectives to look at this particular issue from that I could spend days just figuring out how to word them all. Does the NATO alliance have the right to invade a sovereign country? No. Do the Serbs have the right to kick the ethnic Albanians out of their country? It’s a difficult call to make, but I’d have to say yes.

Dane once wrote an essay about how British colonists (and later Americans) overpowered the Native Americans and won the land of North America from them. He basically termed it as survival of the fittest. The Indians couldn’t defend themselves well enough from the American offensive, therefore they lost their rightful land and were shoved into reservations. The Serbs are overpowering the ethnic Albanians and forcing them to return to their country of Albania. Survival of the fittest.

Forget the fact that Albania happens to be the poorest country in Europe. It will plead for and receive huge amounts of aid — both monetary and good-wise — from the United States and Europe.

I just can’t see NATO inflicting further death and destruction in that already blood-soaked area. Already over 100,000 Albanians have fled from the Kosovo province of Yugoslavia to neighboring Macedonia and Albania. I think the United States should rather concentrate on supplying those countries with the aid they will need to support these refugees.

We’re only two weeks into this conflict and we’ve already lost one F-117 Stealth bomber and three American soldiers (noncombatants, I might add) to this conflict. I cannot support the further escalation and risking of American lives in this campaign. Anyone who watches even a bit of the MSNBC coverage of this conflict or reads the paper knows the further risks involved in extending NATO targets to inner cities (like the bombing in downtown Belgrade earlier this evening). Not only do we risk American soldiers and airman, we also take the chance of bringing Serb civilian casualties into the equation.

The flower children said in the ’60s that if they were in the White House they would not cause America to become involved in these sort of conflicts. Well, here’s their chance. And it looks like they’ve blown it.

I support our troops. I cannot support the situation our troops are being put in, though. And I feel unqualified to discuss this subject further.

In closing, I urge all my Austin readers to join me in protest of the conflict in Kosovo on Sunday at noon on the front steps of the Texas Capitol.

There’s a man with a gun over there, tellin’ me I gotta beware

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