By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
You’d never know this, of course, from the official debate. Liberal Democrats who took a moral dive for President Clinton during most of last year have once again gone in the tank for him. They seem incapable of holding two thoughts in their heads at once: 1) that the Kosovar Albanians are being persecuted by Slobodan Milosevic and 2) that NATO’s war is only inflicting more suffering on all.
Given the demonstrated cowardice of what survives of American liberalism, I doubt we are going to see much if any outrage coming from elected Democrats as the war escalates. So far, barely a tenth of the Democratic congressional delegation has found the courage to even whisper against the war. The rest have sat silently by as this Democratic administration pisses on what is arguably one of the most important gains of the post-Vietnam era — constitutional restrictions on a president’s ability to unilaterally make war. On Tuesday, May 25, when, after 60 days of military engagement, he refused to seek congressional authorization, Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to blatantly and flatly violate the 1973 War Powers Act. Roll over, Richard Nixon!
The abdication of Democratic liberals has placed an enormous weight of responsibility on the shoulders of a still-incipient peace movement. Against charges that such a movement was marginal and relegated to the fringe, we saw more than 1,000 Angelenos flock to the anti-war teach-in at Leo Baeck Temple two Sundays ago. But this peace movement, to be effective, must also be clear-headed: It must be able to walk and chew gum at the same time; it must full-throatedly articulate that the U.S./NATO war is wrong and that Slobodan Milosevic is a murderous fascist.
Those who deny that the Kosovar Albanians have any less right to self-determination than, say, South African blacks, and especially those political knuckleheads who argue that Serbia is under attack by the U.S. because it is an obstinate "socialist" island in a global capitalist ocean, please . . . please do us all a favor and find some other movement to be a part of.
The rest of us have much work to accomplish in a very short window. We must mount that moral barricade suggested by Stephen Cohen and bring to bear our effective and principled opposition to more bombing and more war. With a poll-driven administration in power, we must spread our opposition into the halls of Congress, into the core Democratic constituencies, and ultimately into the streets. Join the demonstrations every Saturday at the Westwood Federal Building, take family and friends to the twin June 5 marches in Washington and San Francisco, organize in your school and neighborhood. We invite those of you who initially supported the intervention out of your compassion and concern for the Albanians to now join us in confronting a policy that produces only more suffering and death.
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