For those aging hippies who smoked insufficient amounts of dope, such that they remember My Lai, this is an urgent news flash: nothing has changed.
As has been widely reported, Nato troops in the Balkans — including American troops — fired ammunition made of "depleted" uranium. These rounds are apparently denser than steel (and are thus great as armor-piercing rounds) and also apparently explode on impact (whether this is due to the fact that they are made of depleted uranium, or because they are incendiary rounds, has not been clearly reported). In addition, they are also quite radioactive and thus poisonous to human life.
To date, newspaper stories have focused on the "syndromes" associated with the Balkan intervention. It turns out that soldiers are turning up sick, apparently because of exposure to depleted uranium. Thankfully, the soldiers are from a variety of nations, so no one monopoly state has been able to censor all the stories.
More to the point, Robert Fisk, writing in the Independent (UK) has pointed out that soldiers are not the only ones getting sick.
It turns out that those Albanians that NATO and Bill Clinton were so trigger-happy to "save" are now coming down with cancer.
Thanks to America’s "glorious" and ongoing war on Iraq, many Iraqis are also now suffering from similar cases of radiation poisoning. And so are American veterans.
The point which should not be lost on the aging hippie crowd — or on the younger generations — is that Western thought has not advanced since Vietnam.
Madeleine Albright has declared that the death of many thousands of Iraqi children is "worth it" to keep Saddam Hussein in check.
Albright and the other Clinton "experts" have no end game — no concept of what Iraq should look like in ten years. What sort of feelings do these policy wonks — who will now be celebrated by the press as departed heroes rather than war criminals — think will be the feelings of today’s Iraqi children when they are older? What do they imagine to be the feelings toward the West and the United States held by those Iraqi parents who have watched their children die?
And how about the Albanians? Did Nato and the USA have to poison them to, in order to "save" them?
For those who have not yet perceived Bill Clinton’s modus operandi — his style — Kosovo’s cancer cluster is par for the course.
Rather than actually do something good or useful, Clinton’s foray into Kosovo — which was closely linked to his need to push the Lewinsky sex scandal off the front pages — was merely aimed at making good headlines. (It might be argued that Clinton was also saving the credibility of the sycophants in the media, saving them the trouble of defending his libido any further, but that is beyond the scope of this article.)
Journalists and special interest groups crying out for President Happy-Pants to "do something" about Kosovo? Bombs away. Problem solved.
Only the problem was never solved.
Despite the heroic crowing by the left-wing establishment that ground troops had not been needed, and that Kosovo had not turned into "another Vietnam," it turns out that Kosovo is indeed "another Vietnam," although not for the reason feared.
Rather than turning into a charnel house where bright, young American men were shot, burned, maimed, blown up, and generally treated worse than hamburger meat, Kosovo turned out to be like Vietnam in demonstrating the left-wing establishment’s complete disregard for the alleged "victims."
Those Kosovars that we were supposedly "saving" are now coming down with cancer, thanks to us.
We must destroy the village in order to save it. Hello, Vietnam.
One final note: consider the fact that the government cares more about hamburger meat than it does about its citizens. The past few years have featured numerous media tales of tainted hamburger meat, such that the federal government is now pushing for all sorts of additional restrictions on how meat is slaughtered, packaged, shipped, labeled, and prepared. Hamburger meat, then, is something which requires great care.
Contrast this with the government’s utter disdain for its citizens’ lives, in particular those who are soldiers. Rather than adequately equip or train the military, America’s social workers in camo are sent to known terrorist havens, such as Yemen, where they can be blown up having lunch. Just as shamefully, they are sent to the Balkans, or Iraq, where they are poisoned by their own ammunition and experimental vaccinations. To top it all off, their "superiors" lie to them, lie to their families, and lie to the world, all in an effort to keep their jobs, which pay much more than a soldier earns. How noble.
Mr. Dieteman is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.
© 2001 David Dieteman